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 of the Main Opposition Group (or their nominee) 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 Leader(s), whichever is the greatest).
The Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett, included the following matters in his report:
(a) To note that the Lydden Hill planning application had been approved by the Planning Committee.
(b) To advise that the Digital Administration Apprentice won Creative and Digital Apprentice of the Year at the East Kent Apprenticeship Awards and to congratulate her on her success.
(c) That he had met with Councillor Roger Gough of Kent County Council to set out his vision for the Dover District and the importance of needed road improvements.
(d) That he had been invited to pull the first pint at the Lord Nelson pub following its £330,000 redevelopment by Shepherd Neame.
(e) That an event was held to mark the first anniversary of the Dover District Lotto which had been a great success raising over £40,000 for good causes in the district. He thanked Councillor M J Holloway and the Community Services team for their work.
(f) To congratulate the Climate Change and Energy Conservation Officer on her success in being recognised as a Heat Hero.
(g) To celebrate the first anniversary of the Dover District Leisure Centre which had seen a 379% increase in membership compared to that of the old leisure centre. In addition, the Dover District Leisure Centre had received an ‘A’ certificate energy rating.
(h) That the Council would be launching a green energy grant scheme that would provide up to £10,000 to help small businesses in the district become more energy efficient.
(i) That the ‘Solar Together’ scheme would be launched in March 2020. The scheme would help residents power their homes through solar energy and there was a trial involving four properties in Temple Ewell.
(j) The Open Legacy Fund, an initiative run by the R&A, had launched its Green Initiatives Grant Programme with Dover District Council and Sandwich Town Council. The fund would enable community groups and organisations in Sandwich to apply for funding to support initiatives that provided social, environmental and health and well-being benefits for the town and its residents.
(k) That he had visited an Outreach Centre for homeless people to see the work being done to support them.
(l) To advise that the Discovery Park had been awarded Life Science Opportunity Zone status by the government which would help it develop as a regional life sciences cluster.
The Leader of the Opposition Labour Group, Councillor K Mills, included the following matters in his report:
(a) That in respect of the Lydden Hill application it was important to remember the concerns of local residents concerning noise and ensure that any breaches were enforced.
(b) To express his support for the Council’s apprenticeship programme.
(c) That he thought the Dover District Lotto would continue to be a success and suggest that the Council front load money into a grant scheme if it could to support demand.
(d) To welcome the Dementia Village and emphasise the important of council staff being trained to deal with people with dementia.
(e) In light of International Women’s Day to advocate more women being involved in politics.
(f) To express support for the decision to bring East Kent Housing (EKH) in-house and ask that the issue of accessibility of officers at EKH be addressed.
(g) To call for a member of Deal Town Council to be made a member of the Tides Leisure Centre PAG and highlight the importance of public involvement in the work of the PAG.
(h) That express the view that all Members should be concerned about the health gap, especially in the Dover district.
(i) To ask for a presentation on the readiness of the district’s BREXIT preparedness. This should include the role of Manston and the Highways Agency.
(j) To advise that although he had not pulled the first pint, he had visited the Lord Nelson pub and felt that it was an improvement for the area,
In response the Leader of the Council advised:
(a) That the Council would be working with a residents panel in respect of Lydden Hill.
(b) That he would see what he could do in respect of the availability of grant funding from the Dover District Lotto.
(c) That while he had yet to go to the Dementia Village he welcomed it as an excellent facility.
(d) To agree with the Leader of the Opposition on the importance of supporting International Women’s Day and encouraging more women to enter into politics.
(e) That he would try to improve the service offered to Members by East Kent Housing. He suggested that any member experiencing problems speak with the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health, Councillor D P Murphy.
(f) That the state of the district would be updated with the latest figures related to deprivation and its impacts.
(g) To agree that a BREXIT meeting for Members would be a good idea and advise that he would try to get key external agencies to attend.