Agenda and draft minutes

Annual Council - Wednesday 11 May 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1DR

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome

Minutes:

The Mayor, Councillor Rosanna M Currans, welcomed Members, Guests, Officers and Members of the public to the Annual Council Meeting 2022.

2.

Election of The Worshipful The Mayor of Dartford for the ensuing year and announcement of the Mayoress and the Mayor's Chaplain

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor J A Kite MBE, nominated Councillor P Cutler to be elected as Mayor of the Borough of Dartford for the next Municipal Year.  The nomination was seconded by Councillor C J Shippam.

 

There being no further nominations Councillor P Cutler was duly elected the Worshipful the Mayor of the Borough of Dartford, for the 2022/23 Municipal Year.

 

Following his election, Councillor Cutler made his declaration of acceptance of office, which was witnessed by the Leader of the Council, Councillor J A Kite MBE, and the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor C J Shippam, in the absence of the Proper Officer, and received the Chain of Office.

 

THE WORSHIPFUL THE MAYOR

COUNCILLOR P CUTLER IN THE CHAIR

 

The new Mayor thanked the Council for electing him as Mayor of the Borough for the forthcoming year and expressed the hope that he would fulfil the Office to the best of his abilities and in fairness to the views of all Members.

 

The Mayor announced that his wife, Mrs Suzanne Cutler, would be his Mayoress for the ensuing year and invited her to come to the front of the Dais where she was invested with the Mayoress’s badge and Chain of Office.

 

He also advised that he had appointed Reverend Kenneth Clark of St Mary the Virgin Church, Stone, as his Personal Chaplain, to continue the excellent support and spiritual guidance Rev. Clark had provided to his predecessor as Mayor.

 

3.

Prayers - Mayor's Chaplain

Minutes:

The Reverend Kenneth Clarke led the Council in prayer.

4.

Appointment of Deputy Mayor for the ensuing year and Announcement of the Deputy Mayor's Escort

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that Councillor Rosanna Currans would be Deputy Mayor of the Borough for the ensuing 2022/23 Municipal Year.

 

Councillor Currans read out her declaration of acceptance of office, which was witnessed by the Leader of the Council, Councillor J A Kite MBE, and the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor C J Shippam, in the absence of the Proper Officer, and received the Chain of Office.  Councillor Currans informed the meeting that Mrs Corinna Bailey would be her Escort, and duly invested her with her Badge of Office.

5.

Vote of thanks to the retiring Mayor in respect of services rendered during the past year

Minutes:

The Mayor invited the Leader of the Council, Councillor J A Kite MBE to propose a vote of thanks to the retiring Mayor.

 

Councillor Kite firstly congratulated the newly elected Mayoral Party and wished them well in the forthcoming year. He thanked the new Mayor for his unstinting support to his predecessor in what had been another challenging year for the Council, local government and the nation as a whole, during the end of the Pandemic and aftermath. He expressed his utmost confidence that Councillor Cutler with his own quiet style, modesty and ethos of hard work, would enjoy an outstanding term in office.

 

Councillor Kite then congratulated the retiring Mayor, Councillor Rosanna Currans, for another outstanding term in office which had again demonstrated her unique people skills across the whole social and political spectrum. Her warmth and willingness to listen and empathise with all viewpoints, allied to her innate ability to consistently bring those viewpoints together in a constructive and meaningful way for the benefit of the Dartford community as a whole, in the difficult circumstances of the Pandemic and its aftermath, was to be highly commended.

 

He reminded Members that Councillor Currans was not a political animal by nature, having come relatively late to local politics through her championing of local issues as a resident; in particular her securing of a significant compensation payment from a national energy company for its inadequate service to Dartford residents during a sustained power failure. Her continued performance as Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Councillor and Ward Member was all the more praiseworthy set against that background, and the Leader was particularly grateful for Councillor Curran’s willingness to again serve as Deputy Mayor in the ensuing municipal year, and looked forward to welcoming her back in the following year as Mayor, which he felt sure would not be her last in either role.

 

Finally, the Leader of the Council paid tribute to the continued and outstanding support provided by Mrs Corinna Bailey, as the Mayor’s Escort in the past year, which he was sure would continue to be the case in the ensuing year.

 

The Shadow Leader of the Council, Councillor K J Grehan,  expressed her best wishes to the new Mayoral and his Mayoral Party and looked forward to working with him in a constructive and co-operative manner during his term in office.

 

She then paid tribute to the outgoing Mayor, Councillor Rosanna Currans, who had enjoyed an outstanding term in office during the last municipal year. She greatly admired and appreciated Councillor Currans peoples skills, which she had experienced on several occasions in the past year, most notably at an International Women’s Day event,  when Councillor Currans had excelled, talked freely to all participants irrespective of social standing or political viewpoint, and had skilfully brought the proceedings to a successfully conclusion with her closing speech. She looked forward to working in collaboration with Councillor Currans in her forthcoming role as Deputy Mayor.

 

Councillor Laura Edie, Leader of the Alliance Group, also  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Presentation of a Bar for the Past Mayor's Badge

The outgoing Mayor will receive a bar for her Past Mayor’s badge.

Minutes:

The Mayor asked Councillor Currans to accept an engraved Bar to her Past Mayor’s badge, in recognition of her term of office as Mayor in the preceding 2021-22 municipal year, and invited her to respond to Members’ vote of thanks.

 

Councillor Currans congratulated the new Mayor and his Mayoral Party and thanked the Council for her engraved Bar and their kind words in praise of her performance in what she described as ‘surviving the year that was’.

 

All Members across the Chamber had been positive and understanding of her efforts as Mayor, but nothing would have been achieved without the tremendous support of her Escort Mrs Corinna Bailey, and the help of the Leader’s PA Carole Butcher, and the Leader’s Driver Derek Levy, now sadly missed following his recent retirement, but in attendance that evening in his ceremonial role as The Sergeant. Directors and Officers had been unstintingly helpful and patient with her many requests for guidance during the past year, with the Democratic Services Manager and his team particularly helpful on a day-to-day basis.

 

Councillor Currans saw the role of Mayor as having three principal strands. To support and attend major Council events such as the Steam Fair, Sunday Band Stand Concerts and of course the Dartford Festival, sadly cancelled during the Pandemic. To actively support local organisations including chairing Zoom meetings (which as a people’s person she hated), and Mayoral support of local charities in a fund-raising capacity. The third strand was to represent Dartford at official functions out-with the Borough, and to help raise the Council’s profile through that role, particularly in the last 6 months following the easing of lockdown restrictions post Pandemic.

 

She had been particularly pleased with the £17K raised for her charities through some 14 events, and the £10K donation from the local Freemason’s Lodge, allied to a further £5K windfall contribution to be dispersed across all her charities. The organisations and people who had helped her and Corinna in all their charity endeavours were too many to list, but she wished to pay a special thanks to Dartford’s schools their teachers, pupils and parents, who had been particularly effective in boosting the her final charity proceeds.

 

7.

To receive any declarations of interest Members may wish to make

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

8.

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Butler-Ruhle, S. Gosine, Perfitt and Swinerd.

9.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 447 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the General Assembly of the Council held on 13th December 2021 and of the General Assembly of the Council (Budget) meeting held on 28th February 2022 as accurate records.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor J A Kite MBE and seconded by Councillor C J Shippam and

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes the General Assembly of the Council meeting held on 13 December 2021 and of the General Assembly of the Council (Budget) meeting of 28 February 2022 be confirmed as accurate records.

10.

To Note the On-going Appointments of the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council

To note the ongoing appointment of Councillor J A Kite MBE as the Leader of the Council until the May 2023 Annual Meeting and the appointment of Councillor C J Shippam as Deputy Leader of the Council until the end of the term of office of the Leader of the Council.

Minutes:

The Mayor invited Members to note the ongoing appointments of Councillor J A Kite MBE and Councillor C J Shippam, respectively,  as the Leader of the Council and the Deputy Leader of the Council until the May 2023 Annual Meeting.

 

 

RESOLVED

 

1.    That the ongoing appointment of Councillor J A Kite MBE as Leader of the Council until the May 2023 Annual Meeting, unless he resigns from office, is no longer a councillor, is removed from office by a Council resolution or is otherwise disqualified by law, be noted; and

 

2.    That the ongoing appointment of Councillor C J Shippam as Deputy Leader of the Council until the May 2023 Annual Meeting, unless he resigns from office, is no longer a councillor, is removed from office by the Leader of the Council or is otherwise disqualified by law, be noted

 

11.

To note the Announcement of the Shadow Leader of the Council, Group Leaders and their Deputies

To note the announcement that Councillor K J Grehan will be the Shadow Leader of the Council and Councillor A Gaskin the Shadow Deputy Leader of the Council from the Labour and Co-Operative Party Group and that Councillor L H K Edie and Councillor P M Harman, respectively, will be the Leader and Deputy Leader of The Alliance Group.

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that Councillors K J Grehan and A Gaskin of the Labour and Co-Operative Group would, respectively, hold the offices of Shadow Leader and Deputy Shadow Leader of the Council.

The Mayor further announced that Councillors L H K Edie and P M Harman would be the Leader and Deputy Leader respectively, of the Alliance Group.

12.

To receive and note the size of the Cabinet and to allocate all executive functions to the Cabinet and determine the Terms of Reference of the Cabinet and to allocate all Executive Functions to the Cabinet and Determine the Terms of Reference of the Cabinet (Appendix A) pdf icon PDF 147 KB

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council congratulated the Leaders and Deputy Leaders of the Labour and Co-Operative Group and the Independent Group on the Council on their appointments. He expressed the hope that the Groups would continue to work together positively and collaboratively in the future, as they had done in the past year.

 

It was moved by Councillor J A Kite MBE, seconded by Councillor C J Shippam, and

 

     RESOLVED:

 

(1) That the size of the Cabinet be set at seven members;

 

(2) That functions be allocated to the Cabinet as a body with the Terms of    Reference set out in Appendix A to the agenda.

13.

To receive and note the appointment of Members to the Cabinet (Appendix B) pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Minutes:

The Mayor called upon the Leader of the Council to announce, in accordance with Section 11(3) (b) of the Local Government Act 2000, the membership of the Cabinet, their portfolios and other Lead Members.

The Leader advised that for the ensuing year, the Cabinet Members would be: Councillors J A Kite, C J Shippam, S H Brown, A R Lloyd, D J Mote, Mrs P A Thurlow and R J Wells with himself as Chairman and Councillor Shippam as Vice Chairman and with the portfolios as set out in Appendix B to the agenda.

The Leader also advised that Cabinet would be supported by the Cabinet Delivery Teams with Lead Members as also set out in Appendix B to the Agenda.

 

14.

To Receive and Note the Establishment of the Deed, Trust and Obligations Committee under the Local Government Act 2000, its membership, functions and terms of reference (Appendix C) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor J A Kite MBE, seconded by Councillor C J Shippam, and

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Deed, Trust and Obligations Committee be established under the provisions of the Local Government Act 2000 and that the appointments as to membership, and the appointment of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman and the Terms of Reference, be as set out in AppendixC to the agenda. 

15.

To Note the Appointment of the Head of Paid Service, Chief Finance Officer and the Monitoring Officer

Minutes:

The Mayor advised Members that Mrs Sarah Jane Martin would be the Head of Paid Service, Mr Tim Sams would be the Chief Finance Officer and that Mrs Marie Kelly-Stone would be the Monitoring Officer for the ensuing year.

 

16.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor informed the Council that he had chosen three charities to support during the coming year:

 

·         Arrow Riding Centre for the Disabled - which taught horse riding for adults and children from special needs in the area;

·         Care for Veterans; and

·         Cancer UK - with special support for Breast Cancer.

 

 

17.

To confirm the Size and Membership of the Political Groups on the Council (Appendix D) pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Minutes:

The details of the size and membership of political groups formed by Members of the Council were presented.  The Political Groups on the Council comprise the Dartford Borough Council Conservative Group (31), the Labour and Co-Operative Group (7) and the Alliance Group (2).

 

There were in addition, two non-grouped Members sitting as Independents.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the size and membership of political groups formed by members of the Council, attached at Appendix D to the agenda, be noted.

 

18.

To adopt the Rules for Substitution for Committees, Sub-Committees, Boards and Panels (Appendix E) pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor J A Kite, seconded by Councillor C J Shippam and;

 

     RESOLVED:

 

That the Rules for Substitution on Standing Committees, Boards and Panels, set out in Appendix E be adopted.

 

19.

To announce the structure of the Other Groups on the Council and the allocations/distribution of responsibilities (Appendix F) pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Minutes:

Members received the structure of the Labour and Co-Operative Group and the allocation/distribution of responsibilities as set out in Appendix F to the agenda

 

20.

To consider and agree the Terms of Reference for the General Assembly of the Council (Appendix G) pdf icon PDF 202 KB

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor J A Kite seconded by Councillor C J Shippam, and

 

      RESOLVED:

That the terms of reference for the General Assembly of the Council, set out in Appendix G to the agenda, be agreed.

 

 

21.

To consider and establish Committees, Sub-committees, Boards, Panels and other bodies, appoint representatives to other bodies and determine the Terms of Reference of and Delegations to such Committees, Boards, Panels and other bodies, as set out in the relevant Appendices (Appendices H(i) to U) pdf icon PDF 53 KB

(a)    To note the review of the representation of the political groups on Standing Committees, Boards and Panels (as it affects the Council) and other “bodies” within the meaning of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990 as set out in Appendix H(i) in accordance with the principles detailed in Appendix H(ii).

 

(b)     To adopt the Licensing Committee and its Sub-committee respectively under Section 102(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 1972 and the Licensing Act 2003, to adopt other Committees, Sub-committees, Boards and Panels under Section 102(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 1972 and, as applicable, the Local Government Act 2000, and to note the appointments to membership made in accordance with the wishes of the political groups on the Council, as set out in the relevant Appendices or subsequently notified to the Proper Officer, and the appointments of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen, as set out in the relevant Appendices.

 

(c)     To adopt the Cabinet Advisory Panels and note the appointments to membership made in accordance with the wishes of the political groups on the Council, as set out in the relevant Appendices.

 

(d)    To adopt the Joint Transportation Board as a non-statutory forum and note the appointments to membership made in accordance with the wishes of the political groups on the Council, as set out in the relevant Appendices.

 

(e)  To agree the Terms of Reference and Delegations for Committees, Sub-committees, Boards and Panels as set out in the relevant Appendices.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor J A Kite MBE, seconded by Councillor C J Shippam, and

           

            RESOLVED:

 

(a) That the review of the representation of the political groups on Standing Committees, Boards and Panels (as it affects the Council) and other "bodies" within the meaning of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990, as set out in Appendix H(i) to the agenda in accordance with the principles detailed at Appendix H(ii) to the agenda, be noted 

(b)  That the adoption of the Licensing Committee and its sub Committee respectively under Section 102(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 1972 and the Licensing Act 2003 and the adoption of other Committees, Sub-committees, Boards and Panels under Section 102(1)(a) of the Local Government Act 1972, and as applicable the Local Government Act 2000, be noted along with the appointments to membership made in accordance with the wishes of the political groups on the Council, as set out in the relevant Appendices or subsequently notified to the Proper Officer, and the appointments of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen, set out in the relevant Appendices to the agenda, be noted. 

(c) That the adoption of the Cabinet Advisory Panels and the appointments to membership made in accordance with the wishes of the political groups on the Council set out in Appendix T to the agenda, or subsequently notified to the Proper Officer, be noted.

(d) That the adoption of the Joint Transportation Board as a non-statutory forum and the appointments to membership made in accordance with the wishes of the political groups on the Council set out in Appendix U to the agenda be agreed. 

(e) That the Terms of Reference and Delegations for Committees sub - Committees Boards and Panels as set out in Appendices I to U, be agreed.

 

22.

To agree the Calendar of Council and Committee Meetings for 2022/23 and to note the Provisional Calendar for 2023/24 (Appendix V) pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor J A Kite, seconded by Councillor C J Shippam, and

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the dates and times of Council and Committee meetings for 2022/23, and the provisional Calendar of meetings for 2023/24 as set out in Appendix V to the agenda, be agreed.

 

23.

To note the appointments of Councillor representatives by external bodies, and to outside bodies where the term of office exceeds one year (Appendix W) pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor J A Kite, seconded by Councillor C J Shippam, and

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the appointments of Councillor Representatives to outside bodies for a term exceeding one year, as set out in Appendix W to the Agenda, be noted.

 

24.

To appoint Councillors to Outside Bodies and to Liaison Groups (Appendices X and Y) pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor J A Kite MBE, seconded by Councillor C J Shippam, and

 

            RESOLVED:

 

(1) That the appointments of Councillor representatives to outside bodies for 2022/23, set out in Appendix X to the agenda be adopted; and

 

(2) That the appointments of Councillor Representatives to liaison groups for 2022/23, set out in Appendix Y to the agenda, be adopted.

 

25.

Closing Remarks

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor J A Kite thanked and congratulated all Members for their service to the Dartford community in what had been another exceptionally difficult year.

 

He welcomed the return to a first in-person Annual Council meeting since 2019 but also noted that in his term of office, it was first Annual Meeting that the late and sadly missed Councillor Ann Allen MBE, had not been in attendance but he was sure was with them in spirit. He continued to miss Ann’s guidance, advice and knowledge on a daily basis, with her calm presence and people skills and understated appreciation of her many skills and achievements, including two terms as Mayor in addition to her long-serving roles as KCC, Borough and Parish Councillor. He recounted a typical self-deprecating tale Ann often told of herself, of being stopped at the Gates of Heaven by St. Peter, who kindly but firmly advised Ann that ‘the staff entrance was round the back’ She was and would continue to be sorely missed and he had been honoured to attend a recent tribute ceremony in Ann’s honour at Canterbury Cathedral.

 

On a more positive note, looking forward, the Leader welcomed Councillors Sue Butterfill and Anita Barham [formerly of the Independent Group] to his Group. He said that the Conservative Group was a broad-based church and Members with proven community achievements were always welcome.

 

He also renewed his congratulations to Councillor Kelly Grehan on her recent election to the Leadership of the Labour and Co-operative Group, and paid tribute to her predecessor, Councillor Sacha Gosine, who had had a difficult tenure as Labour Leader and endured both family loss and personal illness in the past year and hoped he would return to the Chamber soon.

 

The Leader also wished to make special mention of the Mrs Sheri Green, the former Director for Strategic Services (External) including oversight of the Council’s Housing policy, who he said had been a wonderful officer with consummate skills and diplomacy who had served a succession of Leaders and Chief Officers. He was pleased to announce that one of the Council’s latest new builds, a block of 6 flats was to be named ‘Sheri Court’ in her memory on 12 May and that all Members were welcome to attend the ceremony.

 

He next addressed the Council’s significant Platinum Jubilee celebrations planned in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s 70 years of outstanding public service, which would surpass the Diamond Jubilee celebrations marking Queen Victoria’s reign. More than a dozen major events were planned in the Borough, and the Council had assisted with  funding of some 78 Street Parties.

 

He looked forward to working with all Members in the Committees, Boards and Panels that had been confirmed that evening. He also looked forward to working with Members of other Groups on non-statutory bodies and Leader’s Group bodies including Planet Dartford, which Councillors Laura Edie and Sacha Gosine had joined. He had proposed a new Leader’s Working Group on Equalities (under  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.