Agenda item

Leader's Time

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 remind Members of the ‘Hands. Face. Space’ message from the government and the need for everyone to do their part in combating the spread of Covid-19.


(b)  To express his sympathy for those who had lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic and he noted that this had hit the young particularly hard.


(c)   To advise that the Council had been awarded funds from the Heritage Lottery to undertaken restoration work at the Maison Dieu. This would include the development of a new visitor entrance and a café in the former cells. He extended his thanks to everyone involved in the project and praised the contribution of the Council’s consultants on the project.


(d)  To advise that a meeting of the Dover Town Regeneration Advisory Board (PAG) would be held in December 2020.


(e)  To advise that although the Council’s budget would be balanced for 2020/21 there were tough choices to be taken in 2021 for the 2021/22 budget.


(f)    To highlight the works on the new entrance for the Dover Museum and its Dunkirk exhibit.


(g)  To thank volunteers for their hard work in a recent litter collection.


(h)  To praise the projects funded by the Community Grant Scheme and thank community services for their work.


(i)    That he had informed about the planned lorry park in the Dover District but had been unable to say anything publicly as the information was confidential.


(j)    That the Local Plan Regulation 18 consultation would commence in January 2021.


(k)   That he opposed the increased housing target set by the Government.


(l)    That the Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, had visited the Council’s new CCTV centre and had been advised of its successes. In addition, there would be an additional six police officers allocated to the Dover District.


(m) To welcome the housing service return in-house and to thank ICT for their work in ensuring a smooth handover.


(n)  That the Council had made two bids for funding to tackle homelessness, including a capital funding bid for accommodation for rough sleepers.



The Leader of the Opposition Labour Group, Councillor K Mills, included the following matters in his report:   


(a)  To welcome the news concerning the works for Maison Dieu.



(b)  To suggest that the co-innovation hub could be expanded to other areas of the district.


(c)   To point to the increasing need for grants arising from the impact of Covid-19 and the pressure on the Council’s grants scheme.


(d)  To welcome the news of increased police numbers in the district but to emphasise that this needed to be an increase in front line staff rather than managers.


(e)  To thank former councillor J P J Burman for his contribution during his time as a councillor and to wish him the best for the future.


(f)    To welcome the return of the housing service to council control. There were many lessons to be learnt from East Kent Housing’s management of the service and it was not clear what the final cost of bringing the service up to standard would be. In addition, there was a need to rebuild confidence in the service although he pointed to the previous management for this rather than officers.


(g)  To welcome the news of a government minister’s visit to Dover and request a presentation for Members on EU Exit, including details of the Kent Access Permit.


(h)  To ask if there had been any progress on the issue of consultation for rural car park charging.


(i)    That the parking capacity at Dover Priory was not sufficient to meet demand and parking was spilling out into surrounding streets and impacting on residents. While a journey time of under 1 hour to London would open Dover to investment there was a need to be mindful of the needs of local residents.


(j)    To recognise the distress crime can cause victims and recognise the courage of those who come forward to report crimes despite this pressure.   


In response the Leader of the Council advised:


(a)  That he shared concerns on the demand for grants and encouraged more people to join the DDC lotto as the money raised from this was used for grant funding. A cross-party group was looking into the matter.


(b)  That he would check on the details of additional policing provision for the Dover District.


(c)   That he had asked the Government for clarification on the Kent Access Permit and would provide Councillor K Mills with details once he had received a response. The Chief Executive suggested that a briefing could be provided for Members on this and other related matters.

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