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:
“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.
“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.