To receive answers in respect of questions from the public to Members of the Executive asked in accordance with Rule 11 of the Council Procedure Rules.
(a) Questions will be asked in the order in which notice of them was received, except that the Chairman may group together similar questions.
(b) The period for questions by the public shall be limited so that no further questions shall be put after the elapse of 15 minutes from the commencement of the first question.
(c) A maximum of three minutes is allowed for the each question to be read.
(d) A questioner who has put a question in person may also put one supplementary question without notice to the member who has replied to his or her original question. A supplementary question must arise directly out of the original question or the reply.
(e) Afterwards, any other Member at the Chairman's discretion may speak for up to two minutes on a question or reply.
Questions from the Public
The questions from the public received within the notice period are set out in the agenda papers.
(1) In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11 a question from John Hayter was put to the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Governance, Digital and Climate Change, Councillor C A Vinson:
“DDC have declared a “Climate Emergency”. The Queen on the 19th of October stated “that it is up to all political leaders, business and civil society to align in the SHARED RESPONSIBILITY of saving the planet”. Currently DDC employees are able to park free of charge outside their offices at Whitfield. Why then aren’t DDC employees incentivised in the same manner as the Dover residents parking permits and pay parking/emission charge when parked outside their place of work at Whitfield?”
In response, the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Governance, Digital and Climate Change stated:
“DDC has, as you have noted, recognised the challenge posed to all of us by the climate emergency and is working to deliver a wide range of initiatives that will see a significant reduction in the carbon emissions from the Council’s activities. Progress is already being made and for example the Council’s greenhouse gas emissions have dropped from 3045 tonnes in 2017/18 to 1740 tonnes in 2020/21 and over recent months we have installed a network of EV chargers across the District including 7 at the Whitfield offices which support the Council’s own fleet of electric vehicles.
In addition to these initiatives, the Council is currently considering introducing additional EV charging facilities to enable staff and visitors to charge their vehicles at the offices, subject to payment for the cost of the energy and are also considering introducing a salary sacrifice scheme specifically aimed at public sector employees, which specialises in low emission vehicles.
As regards the car park at the Whitfield offices, this is managed in accordance with the off-street parking order and provides free parking for all those using the offices, which includes DDC staff, CCG staff and all those members of the public who visit and use the offices.”
(2) In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11 a question from Graham Wanstall was put to the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett:
“It is encouraging that you have established a committee to consider plans for the Platinum Jubilee, however, it is frustrating that only district members invited to serve on it as this important national celebration concerns us all. It should be inclusive not exclusive! To date there has been little imagination or vision with ideas to permanently mark this unique jubilee. I put forward five proposals listed now and ask that you please give them proper consideration.
1) A commemorative clock at Pencester Gardens by the bus station to replace the clock removed about five years ago by DDC.
2) To relight again the Town Hall clock that was lit up until about 40 years ago with a plaque to explain why again lit up.
3) To name Castle Hill from its junction with Victoria Park to the top “Queen Elizabeth II Hill”. This is a busy main road next to Dover Castle and has no residents to consult. This is an appropriate location for these reasons, I submit.
4) One or two slabs imprinted or similar into the pavements in front of the war memorial or/and in the Market Square to show the crown etc and the relevant 70 years. This was done in Canterbury in 1977 and still there today! (For the silver jubilee).
5) To rename the Eastern Docks “Jubilee Eastern Docks” so the whole world will remember the jubilee when travelling.
Will you please give these constructive proposals serious consideration as time is now short, in the spirit intended?”
In response the Leader of the Council stated:
“The limited time frame, together with the considerable pressure on resources from a number of sources, has meant that it is not possible for DDC both to set up a fully inclusive consultation process and deliver the outcomes from that consultation before the Jubilee. I do however welcome your thoughts and suggestions and can confirm that the Council are already exploring the options for reintroducing a clock in Pencester Gardens to mark the Jubilee. The Council also consider your suggestions of lighting the clock at Maison Dieu and the imprinting of slabs both worthy of further consideration, although not necessarily in connection with the Jubilee. Any request to rename Castle Hill is likely to be rejected by the palace for the same reasons that DDC’s request last year to create the ‘Duke of Edinburgh steps’ was rejected. The Council will not therefore pursue that suggestion. The renaming of the Eastern docks is something that only Dover Harbour Board can decide on.
Platinum Jubilee Planning is ongoing across the District, and within DDC, and the Council will announce its support and plans in due course.”