To receive an oral report at the meeting from the Leader (and Cabinet) on the business of the Executive or on any topic or subject that it is felt should be brought to the attention of the Council.
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 (Leader’s Time):
(a) The Leader (and Cabinet) shall have up to 15 minutes to make within this report any statements that they wish on any topic or subject that they feel should be drawn to the attention of the Council.
(b) The Leader (or their nominee) of the Major Opposition Group (Labour Group) shall be allowed up to 10 minutes to respond.
(c) The Leader of the Council shall be allowed up to 5 minutes to exercise a right of reply (or 25% of the time given to the Opposition Group Leaders, whichever is the greatest).
The Leader of the Council, Councillor K E Morris, included the following matters in his report:
(a) That the new cinema at the St James development would be opening that week and the opening dates of other businesses would be announced soon. There would be free parking at St James that weekend as well.
(b) That the Council had been awarded £15.8 million for a Bus Rapid Transit scheme. It was hoped that the scheme would open in 2021.
(c) That Dover District Council along with Canterbury City Council and Shepway District Council had written to the Secretary of State to ask for more lorry parking facilities to be made available.
(d) That the Local Government Boundary Commission for England was consulting widely in respect of the Electoral Review of the Council.
(e) That early meetings had been held on developing a High Street incentive scheme.
(f) That the Development Consent Order for Manston Airport would be submitted shortly. The Council supported the site remaining an airport.
(g) To advise that the change of administration at Thanet District Council had seen the Conservative Group take charge with Councillor Bayford as the new Leader.
(h) To express the hope that the former UKIP members of Dover District Council would continue to do good work as independents.
(i) That the latest round of Coastal Community Fund bids was open and that the Council was involved with bids for Sandwich and Dover.
(j) That he had written to both government ministers in respect of the issue of the chimes at Sandwich and had received one reply.
(k) That there had been a reduction in the number of homelessness presentations for the district. In contrast the numbers countywide were rising.
(l) That the Age Concern Centre in Sandwich and the Citizens Advice Bureau in Deal would be offering advice to residents on council services.
The Leader of the Main Opposition Labour Group, Councillor M R Eddy, included the following matters in his report:
(a) To welcome the news of the new cinema opening in St James.
(b) To express disappointment that the Regent in Deal was not open as a cinema.
(c) To welcome the news of the funding for a Bus Rapid Transit scheme. He paid tribute to Councillor P Walker who had been a proponent of the scheme.
(d) To agree that a solution to the problem of lorry parking was desperately needed and to suggest that there needed to be more lorry parks further up the transport network to alleviate the problems experienced in the district.
(e) To welcome the Chairman’s announcement that the report on the Council’s submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England had been deferred.
(f) To suggest that Thanet District Council would not be controlled by the Conservative group for long.
(g) To express concern that ‘pop-up’ area offices such as the ones in Sandwich and Deal did not have all the facilities available, such as direct access to systems that a proper area office would.
(h) That while recognising the willingness of the Council to do something concerning homelessness to express disappointment that the Council had not pressed the government for additional funding on the matter. To also state that homelessness did not just affect the unemployed.
In response, the Leader of the Council raised the following matters in his right to reply:
(a) That while agreement had been reached with the Citizens Advice Bureau and Age Concern Centre the delivery style for council services had yet to be finalised.
(b) That homelessness was not just a financial issue and that the Council was tackling the issue through a number of approaches such as modular housing, the buying back of old council housing stock and the purchase of other properties.