Agenda item

Questions from Members

Up to 60 minutes is allowed for this part of the meeting unless extended by the Chairman of the Council or 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 order received 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 P M Brivio asked the Portfolio Holder for Transport, Licensing and Regulatory Services, Councillor M Bates:


DDC has already demanded a review of the whole procedure leading to the chaos and gridlock that occurred in Dover over the Christmas period, so that lessons are learnt from what happened. This should be acted upon to ensure that there is a strategy in place to ensure such a situation does not happen again; residents and the council must be fully informed of this new strategy.


Is the Portfolio Holder able to advise when this council and more importantly the Public were advised of the new strategy?”


Reply by the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Environment, Councillor N S Kenton (in the absence of Councillor M Bates):


“Since the French border closure at the end of 2020 a Kent Police operation called Op Merlon has been created to mitigate a repeat of this situation. This operation creates control points on all the major routes into the town and far enough away to enable the town to be free from congestion.


This operation will only be deployed if the border is closed and is an Officially sensitive document.


DDC works closely with both highways agencies and DfT with regards the impacts on the community with disruptions at the port.”


(2)  Councillor K Mills asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett:


“Is the leader able to advise the Council and Public why no one from the Cabinet or controlling administration attended the recent public meeting on the CO Innovations Centre despite as stated in the press that invites were sent?”


Reply by the Leader of the Council:


“Yes. Let me firstly say that I have visited the Co-Innovation Centre on a number of occasions and am appreciative of how this facility has operated and been supported by the Council since 2018 over the period of temporary use.

In answer to a press enquiry prior to the recent public meeting, a statement was issued clearly setting out our position; namely that:


We will continue to work closely with the Co-Innovation Centre. I, along with the Chief Executive and Head of Community and Digital Services met with operators of the site prior to the public meeting to provide the latest information. In this respect, it was confirmed that we are looking at ways that we could support the operators financially subject to the receipt of a suitable business plan. We have now received a proposal which is being considered.


Given this background, it was not considered necessary to attend the meeting later in the day.”


(3)  Councillor K Mills asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett:


“Could the leader please advise council of the outcomes of any discussions held with DHB regarding fishing from the admiralty pier.”


Reply by the Leader of the Council:


“I am not aware of any discussions with the Port of Dover regarding changes to the arrangements regarding fishing from the Admiralty Pier.”


(4)  Councillor E A Biggs asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett:


“With the announcement that Dover will now be enjoying 2 massive border facilities can the leader advise of the locality of this second huge benefit to Dover, so that the affected residents can relocate to an area where they will not be subjected to the blight of thousands of HGV’s.”


Reply by the Leader of the Council:


“The proposed location of the second site cannot be disclosed yet due to commercial sensitivity. The proposed location will be shared as soon as possible.


However, it is an established commercial site and is not in a residential area or close to one.”


Supporting documents: