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 advised that members of the Cabinet would provide updates in respect of the following matters as part of his report:


Councillor P M Brivio discussed the work underway in Poulton Close to prepare the site for the construction of new temporary accommodation units. This was part of the work to increase the Council’s housing stock.


Councillor C D Zosseder raised the following matters:

·         To praise the on-going restoration works at Maison Dieu.

·         To update Members on the progress of Kearsney Abbey Café and its progress on becoming a wedding venue. There had also been a defibrillator installed at the Café.

·         The out-of-hours service had received no complaints about accessing the service or the service itself since being moved in-house in July.


Councillor E A Biggs raised the following matters:

·         To inform Members that the containerisation of green waste was on target with 500 new subscribers added.

·         That preparations were underway for a highspeed road clean.

·         That the Beacon Project was progressing week,

·         That the Local Plan had only required 2 amendments following its examination and it was progressing on target.


Councillor S H Beer informed Members that despite challenges the overall message on the Council’s finances was positive and that no cuts to services had been required in the budget.


Councillor J L Pout raised the following matters:

·         The launch of the Great British Spring Clean in March and how it brought people together.

·         To praise the Reach Awards which actively recognised those who were seeking to improve the environment.

·         That he was liaising with Stagecoach on reinvigorating the Quality Bus Partnership.

·         That Fasttrack had been pushed back as there was a need to make sure everything was in place for its launch. It was expected to launch in Summer 2024.

·         That he had written a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport about the impact on Dover of traffic when Operation TAP or BROCK were in effect and the potential impact of the European Entry-Exit System (EES). He would be meeting with the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) to find out about their plans for dealing with these matters, particularly with the prospect of 14-hour delays at the Port of Dover due to the introduction of the EES.   


Councillor K Mills raised concerns over the impact of EES on the town of Dover, the wider district, Kent and the UK. He stressed that Dover would the only town that would be gridlocked as a result of this which would impact of schools, shops, businesses and local residents. He had a meeting with local businesses coming up.


The Leader of the Opposition Group included the following matters in his report:   


(a)  To emphasise the importance of the budget meeting and to point out that the Council had always had a balanced budget in the past.

(b)  That the letter on Port Health concerns had been sent to the wrong minister and that his Group could have assisted with this.

(c)   To ask if the Leader had met with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

(d)  To raise concerns over the cancellation of meetings with Shadow Cabinet Members.

(e)  That he had been inundated by local residents complaining about the Garden Waste scheme.

(f)    That local residents had not responded well to the new car parking charges.

(g)  To enquire if the Leader had taken enforcement action against landlords who were not maintaining their properties.

(h)  To support the Great British Spring Clean and praise those residents who regularly undertook litter picking.

(i)    That the Planning Committee needed to make sound decisions in respect of the Betteshanger applications.

(j)    To point out that climate change was not on the list of functions of chief officers.

(k)   To ask how many houses had been built by the Council since May 2023.

(l)    To congratulate Places Leisure on the 5th Anniversary of their being at the Dover District Leisure Centre.

(m) To offer assistance to the Leader in respect of the EES.

(n)  To welcome the installation of defibrillators in Kearsney.



In response the Leader of the Council advised:


(a)       To advise the Leader of the Opposition that he was welcome to drop in and see him to discuss matters.

(b)       To advise that DEFRA has offered to meet with the Council, which he was not aware had been offered before.

(c)       That the letter had been sent to the correct minister in respect of Port Health.

(d)       That the Council was a Member led organisation and that the shadow cabinet members were welcomed to meet with Cabinet Members in respect of matters.

(e)       That the garden waste decision was a decision taken by the opposition when in power and had already been agreed when he became the Leader.

(f)        That Chief Officer responsibilities would be updated at the meeting that evening.

(g)       To welcome the offer to work together in respect of EES.

(h)       That the Betteshanger applications would be determined on planning grounds by the members of the Planning Committee.

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