Agenda item

Questions from the Public

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 received during the notice period are set out in the agenda papers.



(1)  In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, a question from Mike Eddy was put to the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett:


“Given the scale of expenditure on Dover’s Maison Dieu and the recently announced funding for the Bench Street area, when will Dover District Council take action to assert its rights and duties of ownership of the important heritage asset that is the Dover Roman Painted House?”


In response the Leader of the Council, Councillor T J Bartlett stated:


“The Roman Painted House is leased to the Dover Roman Painted House Trust, a charity established some 50 years ago for the purposes of its stated aims which according to the Charity Commission website are to “preserve the Roman House, Dover, manage it and open it to the public as cost effectively as possible”.


Whilst the Council is very grateful to the work undertaken by you and your fellow trustees over the years, I do feel strongly that the time has come to review this arrangement with the trustees and also those dedicated volunteers that support the work of the Trust.


I am sure you will agree that this heritage asset deserves to be promoted, understood and appreciated by a far wider audience than is the case today.


Hopefully we can work together to create a management structure, which is fit for the 21st century and then work to attract the external funding that will be needed to restore the Roman Painted House as a cultural destination so that it can take its rightful place at the heart of Dover’s historical and cultural offer.”


A supplementary question was asked in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.8.


(2)  In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, a question from Adrian Sullivan was put to the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Environment, Councillor N S Kenton:


“What actions has the Council taken, and what actions will the Council take in the future, to show it is implementing the Kent Biodiversity Strategy 2020-2045?”


In response the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Environment, Councillor N S Kenton stated:


“The potential for impacts to priority habitats and species identified in the Kent Biodiversity Strategy is currently addressed as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.


The Council’s emerging Local Plan recognises the importance of the Kent Biodiversity Strategy 2020-2045, and planning applicants will need to demonstrate how their proposals align to strategic priorities and actions for the natural environment, including those in the Kent Biodiversity Strategy relating to the priority habitats and species that are present in Dover District. This will ensure that potential impacts are fully addressed and will also contribute to the delivery of Kent Biodiversity Strategy targets such as habitat restoration and creation, and the provision of habitat features including swift boxes.


Through the Kent Nature Partnership, the Council is a contributor to the current review of the Kent Biodiversity Strategy that will ensure that it can be embedded within the forthcoming Kent Local Nature Recovery Strategy, for which Kent County Council is the ‘Responsible Authority’, and in the development of which the Council is actively engaged.


Through the Environment Act 2021, the Council will have a statutory duty to have regard to the Local Nature Recovery Strategy in local planning policy and decisions, so the implementation of actions in the Kent Biodiversity Strategy will be embedded in the Council’s planning functions.


Through the Environment Act 2021, the Council also has an enhanced duty to conserve and enhance biodiversity and to report on its actions in this regard. The Council is awaiting government guidance for how the reporting should be undertaken, but the expectation is that there will be a focus on priority species and habitats.


The Council is one of the founding partners and the host organisation for the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership (WCCP). Through the activities of the WCCP and its partners the Council is working to restore, enhance and build the resilience of a number of the priority habitats and species which are the focus of the strategy. Through its events and educational programmes, WCCP also plays a key role in ‘connecting people with the natural environment’ across both Dover and Folkestone and Hythe districts.”


A supplementary question was asked in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.8.


(3)  In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, a question from PeterIssac was put to the Portfolio Holder for Transport, Licensing and Regulatory Services, Councillor M Bates:


“A Welsh “Judge” ruled that Teachers had a right to teach children as young as 3 years and up about sex including gender and LGBTQ+ nullifying the parent’s right to protect children.


Duties of DDC include regulation at a local level and Duty of care and statutory duty of care for Health, Safety, and welfare, etc.


Referencing the wide spread use of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in schools and play-schools an unregulated system which is open to abuse by accident or design.


NLP falsely renamed a New Learning Pattern was implemented in schools in 2015; Richard Bandler co-creator referred to its Hypnotic effect.


Under our English Common and Statutory Law, DDC have entrusted duties to ensure children’s safety against the unregulated use and abuse if systems such as NLP, Hypnotism of children.


My question poses a duty on the council to state publicly whether under your care and trust duties because you can regulate health safety and welfare requirements upon schools / play schools etc. Within the Dover District which are not been regulated elsewhere; ensuring that persons trained on or self-taught in these systems are regulated to the following safety requirements.


1.    Trained to a specific standard to


a.    Ensure what they are saying or doing does not adversely affect any child either emotionally, psychologically or physically, or gain any undue influence over children regardless of the intention.

b.    Declare on a local register that they are trained to use this system safely, that they are required to inform children, work colleagues, and most importantly the parents/Guardians of its use and serious safety risks associated to people not associated with but in the vicinity of its use.

c.     Declare to the children, parents and colleagues of the risks associated to the Children’s Health Safety and Welfare as stated above and to allow opt in/out and non consent.


2.    Ensure that their actions are not passed on through a third party in the following ways.


a.    Ensure that people are aware of the risk of adverse effects of NLP when they may be aware they are using it e.g. the written work from a colleague.

b.    By speech

c.     By actions

d.    By the written word


3.    All Staff must be trained up to recognize and report the dangerous risks to our children of Health safety and welfare of children regarding “Unregulated NLP” hypnotic systems, if not why not this is a breach of your lawful obligation to Duty of Care and a breach of Trust?


In general it is illegal to hypnotise children under the age of 18.”


In response the Portfolio Holder for Transport, Licensing and Regulatory Services, Councillor M Bates:


“The matters raised in this question are not matters in respect of which a District Council has powers and duties and we are not in a position to do as requested.


The Council’s only powers and duties in relation to hypnotism relate to the provision of permits for the licensing of exhibitions, demonstrations or performances of hypnotism for public entertainment.


Health and Safety and safeguarding issues in schools are the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive, Ofsted, and depending on the school, the governing body and the local education authority. I would recommend that you address any concerns to the relevant body.”


The Chairman refused the questioner’s supplementary question.

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