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Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

44.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

The Cabinet noted the ongoing absence of the Managing Director, Graham Harris, due to illness and expressed its best wishes to him for a full and speedy recovery.

45.

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.

46.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the Meeting of the Cabinet held on 5 September 2019 pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 5 September 2019.

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 5th September 2019 be confirmed as an accurate record.

47.

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.

48.

To receive the Minutes of the Cabinet Advisory Panel held on 28 October 2019

To follow

Minutes:

The Cabinet received the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet Advisory Panel A held on 28th October 2019 and had regard to the Panel’s views throughout the meeting.

49.

References from Committees

None at this stage.

Minutes:

There were no references from other Committees.

50.

Consultation on the Dartford Local Plan Review Preferred Options pdf icon PDF 307 KB

Summary:

 

To consider the current consultation on the review of the Local Plan at the mid-stage phase and the ‘Preferred Options’ document indicating the proposed direction of travel in producing a new Local Plan. The report summarises the content, including the vision/objectives, preferred options and alternatives. The report also outlined studies carried out to support the new Local Plan and the proposed public consultation. 

 

Recommendations:

 

1.      That the Preferred Options Local Plan (attached at Appendix A to the report) be approved for public consultation, for a six week period, starting in early November 2019;

 

2.      That authority be delegated to the Head of Regeneration for non-material and minor editing amendments to the text, tables and illustrations and amendments to layout and formatting of the Preferred Options consultation document (attached as Appendix A to the report);

3.   That authority be delegated to the Head of Regeneration, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, for amendments and inclusions which are non-minor or additional, including illustrations to the Preferred Options consultation document (attached at Appendix A to the report), providing these are consistent with the principles and policy approaches set out in the document at Appendix A;

4.   That the consultation arrangements set out at paragraph 5.1 to the report, be agreed; and

5.  That evidence, including the 2019 Five Year Deliverable Housing Land Supply, attached at  Appendix B to the report, be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Planning Policy Manager introduced a report which presented the current consultation on the review of the Local Plan at the mid-stage phase and the ‘Preferred Options’ document indicating the proposed direction of travel in producing a new Local Plan. The report described the direction of travel for long term development in the Borough until 2036, and summarised the content, including the vision/objectives, preferred options and alternatives and timetable for submission with a view to the plan being formally adopted in 2021 following publication of a final document in Spring 2020, submission to the Secretary of State and examination by an Independent Planning Inspector. The report also outlined studies carried out to support the new Local Plan, the Five Year Deliverable Housing land Supply and the proposed public consultation process. 

 

The report contained a key diagram on page 66 of the agenda which illustrated the long term sustainable development pattern for Dartford and it was confirmed that there would be no strategic release of green belt land for housing given the Council’s strong position in terms of delivering housing without the need to build on the green belt.  The Local Plan would focus development in Dartford Town Centre and Ebbsfleet Garden City.  Ebbsfleet Central, Kent Road/Hythe Street and the former Littlebrook Power Station site were proposed as strategic sites for development. There were still uncertainties over the theme park development on the Swanscombe peninsula so the preferred approach was for this to be potentially developed as a lower density mixed use development including some residential, enhanced employment and a park. The ‘Preferred Options’ document would go through a six week public consultation process starting in early November. Members’ attention was drawn to the minor changes and errata document that had been issued as a supplement to the document in the published agenda.

 

The Chairman noted that the Public Inspector considering Sevenoaks District Council’s Local Plan had called a halt to the inspection citing the Council’s failure to consult on its Local Plan fully enough with neighbouring authorities and asked whether there was a risk of the Council’s process being similarly challenged at the inspection stage. The Planning Policy Manager said that, whilst there was some risk, he felt that Dartford was better placed than most authorities because of its strong position on housing supply and that Dartford did not have a heavy functional relationship with Sevenoaks in terms of housing. The Cabinet asked for it to be made clear in the Council’s submission that it felt that it had been properly consulted by Sevenoaks District Council on the Sevenoaks Local Plan and enjoyed working with that local authority.  

 

The Cabinet had regard to the comments made by the Cabinet Advisory Panel, which had endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.      That the Preferred Options Local Plan (attached at Appendix A to the report), with the changes contained in the Minor Changes and Errata document issued on 30th October, be approved for public consultation, for a six week  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

LA Support (Environmental Enforcement Contract Extension and Further Offences Proposal pdf icon PDF 296 KB

Summary:

 

To approve proposed new contract arrangements with LA Support Limited (formerly Kingdom Services Group Limited) that would see an agreed financial split between it and the Council and expand the current Litter and Dog Fouling Enforcement Scheme for a further 2 years from 25th January 2020 to include a range of other offences, including Littering from Vehicles, Commercial (Trade) Waste offences, Fly Posting, Graffiti and Public Space Protection Order breaches.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That the extension of the existing LA Support Limited contract for a further two years period from 25th January 2020 to January 2022 be approved;

 

2.    That an additional range of offences be included in the contract, as detailed in Appendix A to the report; and

 

3.    That the revised financial split proposal, as detailed in paragraph 6.3 of the report, be approved.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which proposed new contract arrangements with LA Support Limited (formerly Kingdom Services Group Limited) that would see a new agreed financial split between it and the Council and expand the current Litter and Dog Fouling Enforcement Scheme for a further 2 years from 25th January 2020 to include a range of other offences, including Littering from Vehicles, Commercial (Trade) Waste offences, Fly Posting, Graffiti and Public Space Protection Order breaches. The background to the existing contract, which had been introduced in 2016 for a trial period, following public consultation in 2015 and extensive public support, had been awarded for a 3 year period beginning in January 2017. The current contract had proved to be very effective in dealing with littering and from 25th January 2016 until 31st August 2019 11,435 fixed penalty notices (FPN’s) had been issued with a payment rate of 72%. The litter FPN’s were issued at £75 and £50 for dog fouling, which was at the lower end of the spectrum where fines were issued by local authorities. £42 of each litter FPN was retained by LA Support Limited to fund the Enforcement Officers and £33 retained by the Council. So far the Council had paid LA Support Limited £466,450 and collected £602,680 realising an income of £136,230. The Council also took legal action against offenders who did not pay the FPN and had been awarded court costs of £50,980 against expenditure of £25,100.

 

The terms of the existing contract with LA Support Limited contained a provision for the contract to be extended by a further two years and for the addition of the additional offences and the contractor was keen to broaden the pool of offences. Officers had examined the experience of other authorities where a wider range of offences were enforced and concluded that the enforcement delivered positive results. The proposed financial split of 70:30 on all Fixed Penalty Charges (FPN’s) that had been paid by offenders would deliver a projected annual income to the Council of £133,995 which could be reinvested to support the Council’s corporate priorities and keep the borough clean and tidy. These extended activities would complement the Council’s existing enforcement activities on such matters as fly tipping and fly posting and it made sense to use the Enforcement Officers’ ‘eyes on the ground’ to help to take action on these matters.

 

The Cabinet noted that there had been considerable discussion of this item by the Cabinet Advisory Panel and noted the views expressed by Members at that meeting. The Chairman stressed that it was important to consider whether it was right to fine people who dropped litter and whether LA Support Limited were enforcing the existing offences reasonably. He felt that the purpose of the activity was to reduce incidents of littering and that the virtual absence of any repeat offending demonstrated that enforcement did work and, importantly, that it educated and deterred people from re-offending. He felt that LA Support Limited was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

Acceptance of Tender - Housing Repairs and Maintenance Measured Term Contract pdf icon PDF 158 KB

Summary:

 

To consider the tenders for the Housing Repairs and Maintenance Measured Term Contract to deliver reactive repairs, void property works, disabled adaptations, out of hours repairs and programmed works to the Council’s housing stock and appoint a successful contractor from April 2020.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That Cabinet agrees to enter into a contract with Company A (as detailed in Exempt Appendix A) on terms to be agreed by the Head of Legal Services for all repairs and improvements to the housing stock for an initial period of 5 years, from 1 April 2020, with the option to extend the contract for a further two 5 year periods, respectively, at year 5 (1 April 2025) and at year 10 (1 April 2030).

 

2.    That an informal body, namely the Housing Maintenance & Monitoring Project Board, be established and responsible for ongoing oversight and monitoring of the contract and that membership of the Board, include three Councillors, politically balanced and officers.

 

3.    That the contract be reviewed on a yearly basis, by the Housing Maintenance & Monitoring & Project Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which provided details of the tenders for the Housing Repairs and Maintenance Measured Term Contract to deliver reactive repairs, void property works, disabled adaptations, out-of-hours repairs and programmed works to the Council’s housing stock and appoint a successful contractor from April 2020. The report explained the detailed tender and evaluation process and consultation carried out with tenants and leaseholders. By combining housing responsive and planned works elements and increasing the overall value of the contract, economies of scale could be achieved to deliver savings and efficiencies whilst delivering a high quality of service to the Council, its tenants and leaseholders.  Five of the six companies that had been invited to submit formal tenders had submitted bids and the outcome of the evaluation process was detailed in exempt Appendix A to the report. The Cabinet noted the need to nominate three Members to serve on the proposed Housing Maintenance & Monitoring Board which would oversee and monitor the contract and the Chairman said that he would advise officers of the nominations in due course.

 

The Cabinet had regard to the comments made by the Cabinet Advisory Panel, which had endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Cabinet agrees to enter into a contract with Company A (as detailed in Exempt Appendix A) on terms to be agreed by the Head of Legal Services for all repairs and improvements to the housing stock for an initial period of 5 years, from 1 April 2020, with the option to extend the contract for a further two 5 year periods, respectively, at year 5 (1 April 2025) and at year 10 (1 April 2030).

 

2.    That an informal body, namely the Housing Maintenance & Monitoring Project Board, be established and responsible for ongoing oversight and monitoring of the contract and that membership of the Board, include three Councillors, politically balanced and officers.

 

3.    That the contract be reviewed on a yearly basis, by the Housing Maintenance & Monitoring & Project Board.

 

 

53.

Parking Consultation: West Hill Ward - Priory Gardens pdf icon PDF 330 KB

Summary:

 

To consider the outcome of the first stage of public consultation on the introduction of a permit parking management scheme in Priory Gardens, West Hill Ward.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That the Cabinet agree not to proceed with proposals consulted on in view of the outcome of consultation set out in paragraph 3.4; and

 

2.    That households within the consultation area be informed of the outcome of the consultation and Cabinet’s decision accordingly.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which presented the outcome of the public consultation on the proposal to introduce a permit parking management scheme in Priory Gardens, West Hill Ward following a petition from residents of Priory Gardens complaining about inconsiderate on-street parking on the road and at the junction of Priory Hill. Possible options for managing the parking issues were put out to public consultation including the introduction of waiting restrictions and permit parking. Whilst a high proportion of respondents supported the introduction of a permit parking scheme, only 45% of all of the households in the affected area gave their support for the introduction of such a scheme which fell below the Council’s threshold whereby there would need to be support from the majority of the households in the area in order to introduce a scheme. There was also concern about possible parking displacement to neighbouring streets. There was very little support for introducing waiting restrictions to regulate parking times with 40% of households and 66.7% of respondents against the proposal. In view of this the Cabinet was asked not to introduce a parking management scheme.

 

The Cabinet had regard to the comments made by the Cabinet Advisory Panel, which had endorsed the recommendations contained in the report, and noted that the Ward Members had also supported the recommendations.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Cabinet agree not to proceed with proposals consulted on in view of the outcome of consultation set out in paragraph 3.4; and

 

2.    That households within the consultation area be informed of the outcome of the consultation and Cabinet’s decision accordingly.

 

54.

Parking Consultation: West Hill Ward - Shepherds Lane pdf icon PDF 360 KB

Summary:

 

To consider the outcome of the consultation on extending the hours and days of operation of the existing permit parking scheme in Shepherds Lane.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That the completion of the Traffic Regulation Order in accordance with paragraph 3.5 of the report and the implementation of the scheme be approved; and

 

2.    That households within the consultation area be informed of the outcome of the consultation and the applicable installations.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which detailed the outcome of the public consultation on proposals to extend the hours and days of operation of the existing permit parking scheme in Shepherds Lane following a request by some residents living opposite Dartford Grammar School for Boys to extend the existing permit scheme because more people were visiting the school premises and the Mick Jagger Centre beyond the school day which was reducing their ability to park close to their homes. The consultation looked at various options including extending the hours and days of operation, doing both or retaining the existing arrangements. The overall response rate was very high (81.3%) and, although the Council’s threshold of 50% or more households in an area being in favour of proposals for them to be introduced had not been achieved, a combined percentage of almost 47% of households had supported proposals to extend the days of operation into the weekend and/or to extend the hours of operation into the evening and the weekend. There were also concerns about the safety of school pupils due to reverse parking taking place at the end of the school day which had been raised by local Members. Given these special circumstances, and the particular concerns around school safety, it was therefore proposed to extend the days and hours of operation to Monday to Sunday from 9.30am to 8.00pm.

 

The Cabinet had regard to the comments made by the Cabinet Advisory Panel, which had endorsed the recommendations contained in the report, and noted that the Ward Members had also supported the recommendations.

 

The Cabinet felt that whilst the 50% threshold had not been achieved it was important that each request for restrictions was considered on its merits. In this particular case, there had been a high response rate and the expanded hours during which events were held beyond the normal operating hours of the school, and with greater frequency, allied to the concerns about pupil safety, justified the extension of the existing scheme.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the completion of the Traffic Regulation Order in accordance with paragraph 3.5 of the report and the implementation of the scheme be approved; and

 

2.    That households within the consultation area be informed of the outcome of the consultation and the applicable installations.

 

55.

Upgrade of the Housing Services Integrated Management System pdf icon PDF 242 KB

Summary:

 

To consider options for upgrading the existing Housing Services Integrated Management System which is used to facilitate the delivery of housing services for the Council and the reasons why the current system needs to be replaced, the issues considered and the proposed action to be taken.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Council upgrades its Housing Services Integrated Management System to the Capita One Housing IHMS platform, on terms to be agreed by the Head of Housing Services in consultation with the Head of Legal Services.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which described the options for upgrading the existing Housing Services Integrated Management System which was used to facilitate the delivery of housing services for the Council and the reasons why the current system needed to be replaced, the issues considered and the proposed action to be taken. The existing HSIMS provided by Capita would no longer be supported from 1 September 2020 and it was important that a replacement system was procured for this key operational system in good time or face the risk of significant disruption across the Housing Service with impacts on the collection of rents, managing repairs, the impact on managing expenditure and budgets and an inability to meet the Council’s obligations as a statutory housing authority.  Ordinarily such a complex and business critical system would require a minimum of 12 months to implement post procurement so it was felt that the optimum route to identify and appoint a supplier would be via an OJEU compliant procurement framework. Two suppliers had been evaluated and following an appraisal of the options it was recommended that the contract should be awarded to the current contractor Capita. Remaining with Capita would allow the current HSIMS functions to be migrated from Capita Housing to Capita One Housing individually, on a like for like basis. Capita had given an undertaking to continue to maintain the existing system until all the necessary modules of Capita One Housing could be implemented and the Council’s data successfully migrated to the new platform. This would remove the risk of any delay in implementation and allow for thorough testing of the new system.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Council upgrades its Housing Services Integrated Management System to the Capita One Housing IHMS platform, on terms to be agreed by the Head of Housing Services in consultation with the Head of Legal Services.

56.

Revenue Budget Monitoring 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Summary:

 

To update Members on financial performance against the 2019/20 budget to date for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account.

 

Recommendation:

 

That Members note that the overall level of spend and income for the year is expected to be within the parameters of the budget.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which updated Members on financial performance against the 2019/20 budget for the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account as at 30 September 2019.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That Members note the overall level of spend and income for the year is expected to be within the parameters of the budget.

57.

Capital Programme Monitoring 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 298 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.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That progress to date on the 2019/20 Capital Programme be noted; and

 

2.    That the current position on the Capital Prudential Indicators, as shown in Appendix C to the report, be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which detailed progress to date on the schemes in the approved Capital Programme for 2019/20 and reported the latest position on capital resources as at 30 September 2019.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.  That progress to date on the 2019/20 Capital Programme be noted; and

 

2. That the current position on the Capital Prudential Indicators, as shown in Appendix C to the report, be noted.

 

58.

Treasury Management Mid-Year Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 257 KB

Summary:

 

To inform the Cabinet of the investment performance of the Council’s internally and externally managed funds to 30 September 2019 and to update the Treasury Indicators for the six months to 30 September 2019.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That Cabinet notes the investment performance of the Council’s funds; and

 

2.    That the Cabinet notes the half-year position of the Council’s Treasury Indicators.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which detailed the investment performance of the Council’s internally and externally managed funds to 30 September 2019 and to update the Treasury Indicators for the six months to 30 September 2019.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Cabinet notes the investment performance of the Council’s funds; and

 

2.    That the Cabinet notes the half-year position of the Council’s Treasury Indicators.

 

59.

Appointment of a 4th Independent Person to the Deed, Trust and Obligations Committee pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Summary:

 

To consider and confirm the appointment of a 4th ‘Independent Person’ to serve on the Deed, Trust and Obligations Committee upon the recommendation of the interview panel held on 15th October 2019.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the appointment of Mr Ken Moore as the 4th Independent Member (voting co-optee to the Deed, Trust and Obligations Committee recommended by the interview panel held on 15th October 2019 be approved, for an initial period of one year and subsequently confirmed at the Annual Council meeting.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a recommendation that a 4th ‘Independent Person’ be appointed to serve on the Deed, Trust and Obligations Committee following a selection process culminating in an interview panel which met on 15th October 2019 which recommended the appointment of Mr Ken Moore. The Chairman confirmed that the interview panel had been impressed by Mr Moore’s commitment to the local environment and community and he welcomed the appointment.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the appointment of Mr Ken Moore as the 4th Independent Member (voting co-optee to the Deed, Trust and Obligations Committee recommended by the interview panel held on 15th October 2019 be approved, for an initial period of one year and subsequently confirmed at the Annual Council meeting.

 

60.

Minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview held on 10 September 2019 pdf icon PDF 343 KB

Summary:

 

To receive and note the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 10 September 2019.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee on 10 September 2019 be noted.  

Minutes:

The Cabinet received the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 10 September 2019.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee on 10 September 2019 be noted.

 

61.

Housing Repairs and Maintenance Contract - Acceptance of Tender - Exempt Appendix A
(Exempt Category SO46(1)(b) Annex 1, Paragraph 3)

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That, following discussion of the main report (minute 52), Exempt Appendix A to the report be noted.