Agenda item

Leader's Time

To receive an oral report at the meeting from the Leader (and Cabinet) on the business of the Executive or on any topic or subject that it is felt should be brought to the attention of the Council.


In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10 (Leader’s Time):


(a)  The Leader (and Cabinet) shall have up to 15 minutes to make within this report any statements that they wish on any topic or subject that they feel should be drawn to the attention of the Council.

(b)  The Leader of the Main Opposition Group (or their nominee) shall be allowed up to 10 minutes to respond.

(c)  The Leader of the Council shall be allowed up to 5 minutes to exercise a right of reply (or 25% of the time given to the Opposition Group Leader(s), whichever is the greatest).


The Leader of the Council, Councillor K Mills, included the following matters in his report:


(a)  To thank officers for their support since he was appointed Leader of the Council at the Annual Meeting of the Council.


(b)  To advise that he had attended both the Inspire and Triangle Awards and had been pleased at the good work that was being recognised. He was particularly pleased to see individuals that had turned their lives around as a result and emphasised the importance of young people for the future of the district.


(c)   To thank Kent County Council for supporting the impact roadshow, which had received very positive feedback.


(d)  To update Members on the progress of the Afghan Resettlement Programme. The district would be receiving its first families in August. The Council’s delivery plan was recognised as best practice.


(e)  To welcome the successful performance of the out of hours service since returning in-house in July. There had been a 50% increase in the number of calls dealt with since returning in-house.


(f)    To congratulate the CCTV team on its work with partners to make residents in the district safer.


(g)  To advise that he had met with the Port of Dover and hoped that the Council could work with them on easing congestion.


(h)  To advise that discussions were on-going with the Government over the future location of the Port Health Authority role and to express his firm support for it being with Dover District Council rather than Ashford Borough Council.   


(i)    To advise that he attended a Short Straits meeting.


(j)    That he had attended the Annual Meeting of Sandwich Town Council.


(k)   That he had met with the Leader of Kent County Council (KCC), Councillor Gough, and told him of Dover District Council’s ambitions for the future. They discussed the impact of KCC’s budget deficit on services and the Dover District and the proposed devolution bid. He emphasised the importance of the system of devolution being the right one and that he had concerns over the proposed combined authority model.


(l)    That he had attended a public meeting that had been organised in respect of the closure proposals for the Richborough Household Waste site. He had reiterated Dover District Council's opposition to those proposals at the public meeting. He expressed disappointment that there were no conservative councillors at the public meeting. He expressed the view that the district needed to be united in its opposition to the proposals to close either of the Deal or Richborough Household Waste sites and called up the conservative group to support opposition to the closures.


(m) That the Beacon Project needed to be delivered on time and on budget.


(n)  That he had met with other Kent Leaders and that the priority for all the districts was jobs and housing.



The Leader of the Opposition Labour Group, Councillor T J Bartlett, included the following matters in his report:   


(a)  That he was pleased to hear that new Members were settling in well.


(b)  To express support for the Leader attending the Inspire and Impact events and the work being undertaken to support and inspire young people.


(c)   To welcome the news on the first families arriving under the Afghan Resettlement Programme.


(d)  To welcome the news over the performance of the out of hours service since returning in-house and to encourage Members to arrange a visit of the CCTV centre.


(e)  To express his support for the Port Health Authority function being with Dover District Council not Ashford Borough Council. 


(f)    To similarly express his opposition to the proposals for the closure of one of the household waste sites in the district. He advised that he had attended a different public meeting on the Household Waste site at Richborough at which he had been assured that Kent County Councillor S S Chandler would be present. He had not been aware of any other public meeting.


(g)  To emphasise the importance of the police keeping junctions clear around Dover during the traditional ‘getaway’ period in July.


(h)  To enquire over the progress in relation to the Roman Painted House.


(i)    To advise of the royal visit to the Staple development that included 6 new affordable homes.


(j)    To express his interest in hearing the answers to later question on the new homes target and enforcement.



In response the Leader of the Council advised:


(a)  That he encouraged Members to arrange to see the work of the CCTV centre and welcomed the excellent work it undertook with the police on tackling crime.


(b)  That he had not received an invitation to the event that Councillor Chandler had been present at. He had only received an invitation to the public meeting he attended.


(c)   That he had written to the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) on the importance of keeping the roads open but had received no response from them. He expressed concern that the KRF was only reactive and had no resilience. He stated that the lorries should be held at Sevington to keep the roads open.


(d)  That in respect of the Roman Painted House, that it was a vital heritage asset for the district and needed to be enhanced. There were questions that still needed to be resolved over its future.


(e)  To welcome the successful visit by the Princess Royal.

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