Agenda item

Questions from Members

Up to 60 minutes is allowed for this part of the meeting unless extended by the Chairman of Council on a motion moved, duly seconded and approved by the Council.  Members may ask one supplementary question in addition to their original question.


Members may ask one supplementary question in addition to their original question.


The questions received are set out in the agenda papers.



In accordance with Rule 12(1) of the Council Procedure Rules, Members of the Cabinet responded to the following questions:


(1)   Councillor M Rose asked the Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health, Councillor D P Murphy:


“Considering the UK has achieved a world beating rollout of 20m plus COVID19 vaccinations, along the £252m funds to support Kent as part of a wider £1.2bn South East Covid support fund from Government.


How does East Kent now compare on their own vaccinations roll out locally for over 80’s, over 70’s and now the over 60’s completion rates? In particular the rates focus for Dover, Deal and Sandwich compared to the Thanet and Medway areas? Are we still in line with the successful national roll outs?”


In response Councillor D P Murphy thanked the NHS, Armed Forces and volunteers and stated:


“The vaccination data is now available at MSOA level (as well as Local Authority and Constituency) and for the Dover District is as follows. The data is currently not split into first and second doses of the vaccine.  The data has recently been published and we will now look at how we can analyse the data and compare how, as per the question, we compare nationally, locally and with Thanet and Medway areas.  Once we have this analysis, if the data makes it possible, we will include in the Members Weekly News as an update to all members.”


Councillor M Rose did not ask a supplementary question.


(2)   Councillor H M Williams asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett:


“Is it possible to have a copy of the letter that was agreed would be written to the Government urging that the £20 uplift to benefits continues. This was agreedat full council on 27 January 2021.”


In response Councillor T J Bartlett advised that a copy of the letter had been provided to the Member.


Councillor H M Williams did not ask a supplementary question.


(3)   Councillor L A Keen asked the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Governance and Digital, Councillor C A Vinson:


Given the large increase in population in Aylesham, and the probability of ongoing Covid 19 restrictions of some sort in May, is active consideration being given to providing an additional polling station in the village for the forthcoming elections in May?


There were already large queues at the polling station in  the 2019 election,;  it is  essential to ensure safe voting for local residents (and DDC staff) by limiting queuing, and thus enabling effective social distancing arrangements - which will not be possible with only the one polling station.”


In response Councillor C A Vinson stated:


“This is a function of the Returning Officer who has provided the following information:


Due to elector numbers, Aylesham is already a double station, usually with both stations situated in one building. In order to ensure that polling stations have space and remain covid secure, we have split the Aylesham Polling Station.  Electors whose street names begin A-G will vote at Aylesham Baptist Church, Dorman Avenue South and electors whose street names begin H-Z will vote a few streets away at St Finbarr’s Church, Market Place. Letters have been sent to those electors affected advising of the change.


In terms of queues, each polling station will be provided with a bespoke layout plan, setting out where any queues should be formed. In addition, each polling station will have a poll clerk allocated to deal specifically with queue management and social distancing measures.”


In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.5, Councillor L A Keen exercised her right to ask a supplementary question.                                         


(4)   Councillor L A Keen asked the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulatory Services, Councillor N S Kenton:


“How effective has DDC been in ensuring that residents without access to the internet are not disadvantaged in relation to the local plan consultations; in particular how has the offer of free paper copies of the local plan to such residents been advertised in a form accessible to them.”


In response Councillor N S Kenton stated:


“A variety of consultation methods have been used for the consultation to ensure that those without internet access are not disadvantaged. Comments can be submitted online, by email and by post.


As it has not been possible to place hard copies of the consultation document for viewing in public places as would normally happen, free hard copies of documents are being provided to those without internet access.


A dedicated telephone hotline has been set up for the consultation, so that those without internet access can speak with an Officer to either request a hard copy or find out further information about the consultation. The details of this hotline are provided on the consultation material.


The consultation has been advertised through a variety of means to reach those with and without internet access, including local newspaper, social media, posters in the local areas where development is proposed and direct correspondence to those registered on our consultation database and those who have registered for updates from the Council on planning issues through ‘Keep me posted’.  We have also asked town and parish councils, and local groups and organisations to share the consultation with residents.” 


In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.5, Councillor L A Keen exercised her right to ask a supplementary question.


(5)   Councillor C D Zosseder asked the Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment and Tourism, Councillor M J Holloway:


“Dover has been hit hard in recent years and not just because of the COVID crisis.  The Stembrook Co-Innovation Centre has been an excellent project that has helped several businesses start up and join the high street.  Please could you tell me if there are plans to utilise any of the other large empty premises for another project of this nature to aid in the revitalisation of Dover’s High Street.”


In response Councillor M J Holloway stated:


“This was always intended as a short-term project, initially for 12 months, but which will have actually run for almost three years when it closes in August.


We have no plans to use any other premise but we do intend to work with Red Zebra and Dover Big Local over the coming months to offer support to those businesses currently based within the Co-Innovation Centre focusing especially on those who have the potential to grow.”


In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.5, Councillor C D Zosseder exercised her right to ask a supplementary question.








Supporting documents: