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)  That he had met with the Leader of Kent County Council (KCC). He had been promised details on the Levelling Up Fund Bid for the Port of Dover. It was important for District Councillors to know the details as it would impact on the people of the district.


(b)  That KCC’s overview and scrutiny committee had considered the future of the Joint Transportation Advisory Boards in Kent and had recommended that they be abolished. The Council had not received any further information on this from KCC and had requested to be updated on the future of the Boards.


(c)   To advise that KCC had made a devolution bid and to express concern at the elected mayor model of governance proposed given that Kent was not a city. 


(d)  That representatives from KCC had visited the district to see the challenges it faced.


(e)  That a joint letter on the future arrangements for Port Health had been sent by the Leader and Natalie Elphicke, MP for Dover. It reiterated that Dover District Council was the Port Health authority not Ashford Borough Council and expressed the concern that moving checks away from Dover to Ashford endangered public safety.


(f)    To thank all those involved in Kearsney Abbey winning a Green Flag award.


(g)  That he had met with representatives from Southern Housing who were looking at opportunities for investing in the district.


(h)  To thank all those involved in making the fun day at Guston such a great success.


(i)    That he had attended the Dover Pride event with the Deputy Leader and had found it to be a fantastic event. He thanked all those who had made it a success.


(j)    That he had attended the re-opening of the Sandwich Jubilee Centre and hoped that it would be a great success.


(k)   That he had visited the Deal Food Bank and the Dover Foodbank and had been very impressed by their work. He noted that demand had been going up and users now included many who were in work. He thanked the volunteers for their service.



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


(a)  That he was pleased to see attendance of Councillor C F Woodgate given how long it had been since he had last attended a meeting.


(b)  That he had taken a food collection from Staple Church to the Deal Foodbank. He expressed the hope that the food was being used to help people given the large stock held.


(c)   To question the effectiveness of the Labour administration since taking office in May. He pointed to a 13 minute Cabinet meeting, the absence of a new Corporate Plan and raised questions concerning social housing and progress on bus routes.


(d)  To recognise Kearsney Abbey as a great asset for the district.


(e)  To congratulate the Head of Property Assets, the Head of Parks, Open Spaces and Countryside Management and the Head of Corporate Services and Democracy on their recent appointments and wish them well. He also thanked the retiring Head of Housing for her work. He called upon the Leader of the Council to confirm that staff were still at the heart of the Council.


In response the Leader of the Council advised:


(a)  To question former Councillor R S Walkden’s level of attendance when he was a councillor.


(b)  To advise that he understood that any surplus from the Deal Foodbank was shared with other foodbanks.


(c)   That the length of Cabinet meetings was determined by what was on the agenda.


(d)  That the new Corporate Plan would be coming soon.


(e)  That his administration continued to lobby Kent County Council in respect of the crisis facing bus routes in the district. The Deputy Leader of the Council had also met with Stagecoach to discuss concerns over bus services.


(f)    That his administration would continue to work to improve the district.

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