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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Room B12, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1DR

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
Note No. Item

29.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

An apology for lateness was submitted on behalf of Councillor Kelly who subsequently joined the meeting during consideration of item 7, Adoption of the Dartford Town Centre Framework (minute 33 refers).

30.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members including the terms(s) of the Grant of Dispensation (if any) by the Audit Board or Managing Director.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests.

31.

Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

32.

To receive the minutes of the Cabinet Advisory Panel held on 23 July 2018

Minutes:

The Cabinet received the minutes of the Cabinet Advisory Panel held on 23 July 2018 and took note of the Panel’s views throughout the meeting.

33.

References from Committees

None at this stage.

Minutes:

There were no references from other Committees.

34.

Adoption of the Dartford Town Centre Framework pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Summary:

 

To seek approval of the Dartford Town Centre Framework after public consultation showed support for its proposals.

 

The Framework will be adopted as a formal Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to be used to assess planning applications in the town centre, helping to ensure development is consistent with corporate objectives for regeneration.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That the Dartford Town Centre Framework attached at Appendix A to the report, be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) guiding investment and informing planning decisions in the town centre, with immediate effect.

 

2.    That the statutory and consultation documents at Appendices B to D to the report be noted and agreed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the Dartford Town Centre Framework which had been produced to set out a vision for the town centre built environment and which sought to guide and co-ordinate future development and investment in the town centre so as to create a cohesive and high quality public realm. It aimed for private investment to reinforce the drive for quality and encourage the provision of a wider range of shopping, leisure and community facilities by identifying the opportunities available. Once approved the Framework would be adopted as a formal Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which would be used to assess planning applications in the town centre, helping to ensure that development was consistent with corporate objectives for regeneration. The SPD had undergone public consultation and activities during and prior to the consultation had yielded invaluable feedback which had helped to shape and inform the final version of the Framework document and had demonstrated a strong level of support from across residents, businesses and agencies for the specific town centre proposals in the Framework. Modifications to the original draft framework had arisen from the consultation process and were detailed in Appendices C and D to the report. There had also been some additional referencing and a sharpening of the presentation of the framework document.

 

Members welcomed the report and the design work for the town centre and thanked officers for producing this important piece of work.   

 

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.  That the Dartford Town Centre Framework attached at Appendix A to the report, be adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) guiding investment and informing planning decisions in the town centre, with immediate effect; and

 

2.  That the statutory and consultation documents at Appendices B to D to the report be noted and agreed.

35.

Tender Return - Acacia Hall Redevelopment pdf icon PDF 31 KB

This report is “to follow

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which detailed progress on the redevelopment of Acacia Hall as a result of the project brief agreed by the Cabinet on 22 October 2015 to transform, revitalise and rationalise the site. This included producing a new masterplan for the site and producing a new site-wide design. Planning consent for the project was awarded on 12 July 2018. The project was highly complex requiring civil engineering, building skills and the wholesale replacement of services and the works had been tendered on an open basis to attract contractors who were capable of delivering this sort of mixed project. The results of this process and a recommended contractor were reported in the Exempt Appendix B to the report. The Council was also working with the Environment Agency on the river works to be carried out as part of the redevelopment and there would be a further report to Cabinet on the costs of the in-channel river works and the implications of complying with the pre-commencement planning conditions.

 

Cabinet noted the comments made by the Cabinet Advisory Panel and welcomed the suggestion that the Cabinet should receive additional information on the qualitative assessment of the tenders as well as the information on costings included in the exempt Appendix B to the report before awarding the contract. This information had been circulated to Cabinet and also tabled at the meeting in an exempt addendum to Appendix B.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the progress on the project be noted and the tender be awarded to the contractor as set out in Exempt Appendix B to the report; and

 

2.    That a further report be presented on the costs of the in-channel river works and implications of complying with the pre-commencement planning conditions.

 

36.

Draft Licensing Policy 2019-2024 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Summary:

 

To propose a revised Statement of Licensing Policy (2019-2024) for consultation purposes.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.     That the draft Statement of Licensing Policy (2019-2024) attached at Appendix A to the report be approved for the purposes of consultation.

 

2.     That the Strategic Director (External Services) be authorised to undertake the consultation on the draft Statement of Licensing Policy in accordance with prescribed legislative procedures.

 

3.     That, following the consultation, a further report be submitted, summarising any comments and representations received on the draft Statement of Licensing Policy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet was reminded that licensing authorities were required to prepare and publish a statement of its licensing policy every five years. The current Statement of Licensing Policy for Dartford was adopted on 7 January 2014 and was due to expire on 6 January 2019. Members were asked to consider a revised Statement of Licensing Policy covering the period 2019-2024 and to approve the draft policy which would then be subject to a statutory consultation process prior to adoption by the General Assembly of the Council.

 

The Cabinet noted the view expressed by the Cabinet Advisory Panel that the Licensing Committee should be formally invited to submit a response to the consultation and that this should be added to the recommendations contained in the report. This issue had also been raised with the Leader of the Council by the Chairman of the Licensing Committee. There had also been some discussion at the Cabinet Advisory Panel about the scope of the activities licenced by the Council. The Cabinet felt that the Licensing Committee should be invited to comment formally on the consultation and noted that it was open to members of that Committee to make suggestions on licensing issues individually  both during the consultation and more generally at any time where they had examples of good practice or matters of concern by raising these with officers. It would however have been inappropriate for the Licensing Committee to seek to shape draft policy before it had been considered by the Cabinet. Cabinet thanked the Cabinet Advisory Panel and the Chairman of the Licensing Committee for their input.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.     That the draft Statement of Licensing Policy (2019-2024) attached at Appendix A to the report be approved for the purposes of consultation;

 

2.     That the Strategic Director (External Services) be authorised to undertake the consultation on the draft Statement of Licensing Policy in accordance with prescribed legislative procedures;

 

3.     That the Licensing Committee be invited to provide a formal response to the consultation on  the draft Licensing Policy; and

 

4.     That, following the consultation, a further report be submitted, summarising any comments and representations received on the draft Statement of Licensing Policy.

 

 

37.

Draft Gambling Policy 2019-2022 pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Summary:

 

To propose a draft Gambling Policy for consultation purposes.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That the draft Gambling Policy attached at Appendix A to the report be approved for the purposes of consultation.

 

2.    That the method of consultation in accordance with national guidance be delegated to the Strategic Director (External Services).

 

3.    That, if comments and representations are received, Cabinet receive a further report at its meeting on 6 December 2018, in order to consider any necessary changes to the draft Gambling Policy, prior to recommending its adoption by the General Assembly of the Council, at its meeting on the 10 December 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet was reminded that licensing authorities were required to prepare and publish a statement of its Gambling Policy every three years. The existing Gambling Policy for Dartford was adopted on 3 January 2016 and was due to expire on 2 January 2019. Members were asked to consider a revised draft Gambling Policy covering the period 3 January 2019-2 January 2022 which would then be subject to a statutory consultation process prior to adoption by the General Assembly of the Council.

 

The Cabinet noted the view expressed by the Cabinet Advisory Panel that the Licensing Committee should be formally invited to submit a response to the consultation and that this should be added to the recommendations contained in the report. This issue had also been raised with the Leader of the Council by the Chairman of the Licensing Committee. The Cabinet felt that the Licensing Committee should be invited to comment formally on the consultation. It would however have been inappropriate for the Licensing Committee to seek to shape draft policy before it had been considered by the Cabinet. Cabinet thanked the Cabinet Advisory Panel and the Chairman of the Licensing Committee for their input.

 

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the draft Gambling Policy attached at Appendix A to the report be approved for the purposes of consultation;

 

2.    That the method of consultation in accordance with national guidance be delegated to the Strategic Director (External Services);

 

3.    That the Licensing Committee be invited to provide a formal response to the consultation on the draft Gambling Policy; and

 

4.    That, if comments and representations are received, Cabinet receive a further report at its meeting on 6 December 2018, in order to consider any necessary changes to the draft Gambling Policy, prior to recommending its adoption by the General Assembly of the Council, at its meeting on the 10 December 2018.

38.

Government Consultation on the Draft Clean Air Strategy 2018 pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Summary:

 

DEFRA are carrying out a consultation on its recently published draft Clean Air Strategy. Cabinet is presented with a summary of this Strategy and asked to agree a draft response to the consultation.

 

Recommendation:

 

That Members note the content of the DEFRA’s Clean Air Strategy and agree or amend the proposed response set out in the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report which provided a summary of the Government’s recently published Clean Air Strategy and a suggested response to the consultation currently being carried out by DEFRA.  Air quality pollution from road traffic was a matter of national and local concern  In July 2017 DEFRA released the ‘UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations; this plan was discussed at Policy Overview Committee in September 2017 and has been subject to legal challenge by Client Earth.  In February 2018 the High Court confirmed that the measures proposed by this plan were insufficient and ordered DEFRA to make changes.  Of concern to the Council was an apparent divergence between NO2 levels predicted by the modelling within this plan and those measured by the Council.  It had been shown that these discrepancies resulted from DEFRA using a method of modelling and prediction, whilst the Council took actual measurements. 

The Government’s draft Clean Air Strategy examined other sources of air pollution and proposed measures to reduce emissions. The Strategy was broken down into 10 chapters and these were summarised in the report along with the consultation questions and the Council’s proposed responses for consideration by Members. 

The Leader of the Council reminded Cabinet that air quality was a matter of particular concern for Dartford and that clean air was important and taken very seriously by the Council. Cabinet noted the concerns raised at the Cabinet Advisory Panel meeting about the manner by which DEFRA measured air quality and also that DEFRA had modified its modelling following representations by the Council to pay some regard to the Council’s measurement of air quality. Cabinet also heard that a new air monitoring station had been put in place by DEFRA. It appeared that the courts had determined that DEFRA’s methodology complied with the law but this would not prevent the Policy Overview Committee from expressing its ongoing concern, if it so wished, after considering air quality at its meeting in September. Cabinet welcomed the Government’s Clean Air Strategy which demonstrated serious intent to deal with air quality issues and felt that it was important that any quality standards in place following Brexit should be at least as rigorous as those currently imposed in the EU.   

            RESOLVED:

 

That Members note the content of the DEFRA’s Clean Air Strategy and that the proposed response set out in the report be agreed.

39.

Local Scheme of Support for Council Tax pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Summary:

 

To provide Cabinet with outline details of proposed changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20 and ask Members to approve that consultation on the proposals be undertaken with the Precepting Authorities, taxpayers and other relevant stakeholders.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That Members note the outline proposed changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20.

 

2.    That Members agree that consultation on the proposed changes be undertaken with the Precepting Authorities, taxpayers and other relevant stakeholders and that the Strategic Director (Internal Services) be granted delegated authority to agree the consultation material in liaison with the Leader and the Finance Portfolio Holder.

 

3.    That a further report be presented to Cabinet on the results of the consultation, together with recommendations for revisions to the scheme, for approval by the General Assembly of the Council.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which outlined details of proposed changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20 and sought approval for consultation on the proposal’s to be undertaken with the Precepting Authorities, taxpayers and other relevant stakeholders. The proposed changes to the Scheme would only affect working age applicants. The Scheme for pensioners was determined by the Government and they would not be affected

 

The Strategic Director (Internal Services) explained that the need to change the current scheme had arisen as a result of the full introduction of Universal Credit in Dartford from July 2018 and the complexities that this would involve in calculating people’s entitlement to Council Tax Reduction. The current scheme for Council Tax Reduction would simply become unworkable requiring frequent and confusing adjustment and the re-issuing of Council Tax bills and the experience of other authorities operating similar schemes after the move to Universal Credit supported these conclusions. The proposed new scheme was designed to make the system clearer, simpler and fairer as well as being workable for staff. It was not designed to save money and should be cost neutral overall.

 

The main features of the Scheme were outlined in paragraph 3.7 of the report. The current means-tested scheme would be replaced by a scheme based on a sliding scale of discount based on a number of income ranges and taking other factors and parameters into account. It was anticipated that the simplicity of the new scheme would make it easier to implement and explain whilst also addressing the complexities associated with Universal Credit. The new scheme would be fully consulted with the Precepting authorities, council tax payers and other stakeholders. It was intended to write to all existing working age recipients as part of the consultation process. A further report would be presented to Cabinet on the results of the consultation, together with an Equality Impact Assessment, and recommendations on revisions to the scheme for ultimate agreement by the General Assembly of the Council.

 

The Cabinet noted the points raised by the Cabinet Advisory Panel and recognised the challenges arising from the introduction of Universal Credit and were reassured by the preparations made by the Council. The need for a simpler, fairer and practical scheme was supported.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members note the outline proposed changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2019/20;

 

2.    That Members agree that consultation on the proposed changes be undertaken with the Precepting Authorities, taxpayers and other relevant stakeholders and that the Strategic Director (Internal Services) be granted delegated authority to agree the consultation material in liaison with the Leader and the Finance Portfolio Holder; and

 

3.     That a further report be presented to Cabinet on the results of the consultation, together with recommendations for revisions to the scheme, for approval by the General Assembly of the Council.

SD (IS)

40.

Capital Programme - Monitoring 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Summary:

 

To inform Cabinet of the progress to date on the schemes in the approved Capital Programme, and to report the latest position on capital resources.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Cabinet note the progress made to date on the 2018/19 Capital Programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report which detailed progress to date on the schemes in the approved Capital Programme for 2018/19 and reported the latest position on capital resources. The Cabinet noted the great success of the recent modifications at the Fairfield Leisure Centre.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Cabinet note the progress made to date on the 2018/19 Capital Programme.

SD (IS)

41.

Revenue Budget Monitoring 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 32 KB

Summary:

 

To update Members on financial performance against the 2018/19 budget to date for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account.

 

 

This report is “to follow”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet received a report which updated Members on financial performance against the 2018/19 budget to date for the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That Members note the monitoring report update for the year to date.

42.

Parking Services Annual Report 2017/2018 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Summary:

 

To consider the Parking Services Annual Report 2017/2018.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Parking Services Annual Report 2017/2018 attached at Appendix A to the report be noted and the report published on the Council’s web site.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the Parking Services Annual Report for 2017/18 which set out the Council’s approach to parking management and provided information about parking provision as well as statistical and other relevant and comparative data and information on parking related projects undertaken during the past year. 

 

The Leader of the Council said that tackling anti-social parking was an important issue for the Borough and welcomed the report which described the significant effort that the Council assigned to this task. He noted the comments raised at the Cabinet Advisory Panel around the use of the camera car and school safety but could not agree with comments about the direction of the Leaders’ Working Group or see how child safety could possibly be seen as an additional burden on teachers and schools. 

 

Cabinet discussed the number of PCN’s issued and were assured that any financial surplus arising from parking enforcement was used to fund measures such as CCTV and road improvements and that enforcement action was taken to deal with anti-social parking and to promote responsible behaviour rather than to generate revenue. The Cabinet felt that it was important to ensure that PCN’s were only being issued when restrictions were clearly and appropriately displayed and it was agreed to produce a map of the enforcement hot spots in the Borough to allow an assessment to be made of the adequacy of the signage on display.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Parking Services Annual Report 2017/2018 attached at Appendix A to the report be noted and the report published on the Council’s web site.

 

43.

Disposal of Land at Stone Lodge, Dartford for the Development of a Secondary School pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Summary:

 

To note action taken by the Managing Director under delegated authority from the Cabinet to dispose of land at Stone Lodge, Dartford for the development of a Secondary School.

 

Recommendation:

 

That action taken by the Managing Director on 14 June 2018 to dispose of land at Stone Lodge, Dartford for the development of a Secondary School, by exercising powers delegated to him by Cabinet on 2 November 2017, be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet was asked to note action taken by the Managing Director under delegated authority from the Cabinet to dispose of land at Stone Lodge, Dartford for the development of a Secondary School. The Managing Director updated the Cabinet on progress being made on the project and that the new school was now projected to open in September 2021. It was also possible that a site might be sought for a temporary school in the interim.  

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That action taken by the Managing Director on 14 June 2018 to dispose of land at Stone Lodge, Dartford for the development of a Secondary School, by exercising powers delegated to him by Cabinet on 2 November 2017, be noted.

 

44.

Policy Overview Committee minutes - 12 June 2018 pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Summary:

 

              To present to Cabinet the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 12 June 2018.

 

       Recommendation:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 12 June 2018, be considered and noted.

 

This item is “to follow”.

Minutes:

It was reported that the minutes of the Policy Overview Committee held on 12 June 2018 had only just been agreed by the Chairman of the Committee and had not been available for discussion by the Cabinet Advisory Panel. This item would therefore be included in the agenda for the next meetings of Cabinet/CAP.

 

 

45.

Tender Return - Acacia Hall Redevelopment - Exempt Appendix B - Tender Report and Recommendation(s)
(Exempt Category SO 46 (1) (b) Annex 1 Paragraphs 3

This item is “to follow”

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That, following discussion of the main report (minute 35), Exempt Appendix B be noted.