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Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Note: This meeting may be viewed on YoiuTube by highlighting and opening the following link: https://youtu.be/-12AdmLBVTY 

Items
No. Item

149.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

150.

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 Strategic Director (Internal Services).

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests.

151.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 September 2020 pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Summary:

 

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 24 September 2020.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 24 September 2020 be confirmed as an accurate record.

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 24 September 2020 be confirmed as an accurate record.

152.

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.

153.

To receive the minutes of the Cabinet Advisory Panel held on 26 October 2020

To follow

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet Advisory Panel B held on Monday 26 October 2020 and had regard to the Panels views throughout the meeting.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet Advisory Panel B held on Monday 26 October 2020 be noted.

154.

References from Committees

None at this stage.

Minutes:

There were no references from other Committees.

155.

Test and Trace Standard Support Payments and Discretionary Payments Scheme Policies pdf icon PDF 167 KB

Summary:

 

This report updates Members on the new Test and Trace Support Payments  and Discretionary Payments Schemes and ancillary matters.

 

Recommendations:

 

 

1.    That the implementation of measures by Government to ensure that those who are required to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, as a result of Test and Trace and if eligible, receive a payment, through either the Test and Trace Standard Support Payments Scheme or the Test and Trace Discretionary Payments Scheme, to assist with their finances, be noted;

 

2.    That authority be delegated to the Strategic Director (Internal Services) to agree the details of the Policies respectively, for the Test and Trace Standard Support Payments Scheme and the Test & Trace Discretionary Payments Scheme, as set out in Appendices A and B to the report; and

 

3.    That in-year amendments to the Policy for the Test and Trace Discretionary Payments Scheme, be delegated to the Strategic Director (Internal Services), in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (Internal Services) informed the Panel that the Government had announced a package of legislative measures known as the Self-isolation Payment Scheme (under the Test and Trace Support Scheme), as part of its COVID-19 response, to ensure that those who were required to self-isolate (on or after 28 September 2020) would receive a payment to assist their finances and to encourage compliance with the legislation. Local authorities were required to set up their self-isolation support schemes by 12 October 2020 and action had been taken to meet this deadline under standing order 38. Individuals would be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 from the Council‘s Standard Scheme if they met all of the Test and Trace Standard Support Payments Scheme eligibility criteria, including being in receipt of a ‘qualifying’ benefit listed in the report, or if meeting all of the eligibility criteria other than being in receipt of a qualifying benefit they could apply for funding from the Discretionary Scheme. The Council had been allocated Government funding for both schemes with spending from the Standard scheme being adjusted to match the level of actual expenditure, however the funding for the Discretionary Scheme was capped at the allocated amount which meant that the policy might have to be modified depending upon the level of take up to focus on those applicants in the greatest need. The Test and Trace Standard Support Payments and Discretionary Payments Scheme policies were attached to the report.

 

The Chairman noted that there had been significant discussion about the operation of the policies at the Cabinet Advisory Panel meeting, including the eligibility of the self-employed and those on zero-hours contracts. He noted that any applicants who were unable to apply online could still apply by calling the Council’s COVID hotline. A Member said that he had looked at the application process and it seemed to be very clear. He asked about the current level of take-up and the methodology that had been used by the Government to determine the amount of discretionary scheme funding for each local authority. The Strategic Director (Internal Services) said that, as of 23rd October, 15 requests for support had been received of which 5 grants had been paid, 4 were being asked to provide further information and 6 had been rejected as they were not eligible or had not been completed in full. In terms of the funding allocation she understood that a number of factors had been used including measures of deprivation.  

 

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.     That the implementation of measures by Government to ensure that those who are required to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, as a result of Test and Trace and if eligible, receive a payment, through either the Test and Trace Standard Support Payments Scheme or the Test and Trace Discretionary Payments Scheme, to assist with their finances, be noted;

 

2.     That authority be delegated to the Strategic Director (Internal Services) to agree the details of the Policies respectively, for the Test and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 155.

156.

White Paper Consultation: Planning for the Future pdf icon PDF 366 KB

Summary:

 

The Government launched a White Paper with proposals for restructuring the planning system, called “Planning for the Future”. This report considers the Council’s formal consultation response, and some of the likely key implications.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the responses to the questions, set out in Appendix B to the report, form the Council’s response to the Government’s Consultation on the White Paper: Planning for the Future.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman informed the Cabinet that this would be the last Cabinet meeting attended by the Head of Regeneration, Teresa Ryszkowska, who was retiring from the Council. He highlighted the outstanding contribution that Mrs Ryszkowska had made to the work of the Council and the Borough at a time of enormous change and challenge for Dartford and wished her and her family well for the future.  

 

The Head of Regeneration thanked the Chairman for his kind works and said that she had enjoyed her time working at Dartford and the opportunities that this had provided. She then introduced a report which detailed proposals for restructuring the planning system contained in the Government White Paper, “Planning for the Future”. The report outlined the background to the proposed changes, the key implications and the Council’s formal response to the consultation, ending on 29 October.

 

Members were reminded that the Cabinet had considered the proposals contained in another consultation on “Changes to the current planning system” at its last meeting which could have an immediate and direct impact on local authorities, resulting in potentially very significant housing pressures on the Council. In contrast, the current White Paper outlined possible structural changes to the planning system over a longer timeframe, although at this stage it lacked much detail in certain areas.

The proposals were driven by the Government’s perception that the current planning system processes are too complex, outdated, slow and failing to deliver the Government’s national targets for the number of new houses. There was also a recurrent emphasis on national simplification/ modernisation of the system through technology, reform of the Local Plan, new  types of planning applications, an emphasis on design, a move away from local discretionary decision making and seeking to achieve predictability and speedier decision-making for developers.

The Council’s proposed response acknowledged that whilst there might be scope to simplify planning requirements and opportunities to improve urban design there were key concerns particularly about the reduced local political and public input to planning decisions, increased house-building through binding centralised targets that were contentious and ambitious and that the overall impact on quality was unclear. There were also concerns about the proposal to fund infrastructure using a single levy based on sales values and the outcome of the proposed infrastructure and affordable housing funding shifts were not fully clear. An oversimplified approach to major development could also adversely impact proactive areas such as Dartford where there was significant large scale development.

 

The Chairman noted that the Cabinet Advisory Panel had fully supported the proposed response to the consultation and had voiced its concerns about some of the possible changes to planning. He felt that Dartford’s proactive approach to planning struck the right balance and that if more local authorities did likewise there would be no impetus for some of the proposed changes. He was concerned about the reduction of public input to decision making and that oversimplification of planning requirements could also lead to building control concerns and lack of information  ...  view the full minutes text for item 156.

157.

Formal Parking Consultation Responses: West Hill Ward - Shepherds Lane pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Summary:

 

This report outlines the responses received from local residents following a formal statutory consultation undertaken between 10th September and 1st October 2020 as part of a Traffic Regulation Order process to implement a scheme to extend the days and hours of operation of the residents parking bays in Shepherds Lane between Nos.1a and 59.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That the Cabinet considers the responses to the consultation outlined in paragraph 3.6 of the report; and

 

2.  That the extension of the days and hours of operation, Monday – Sunday 9.30am to 8:00p.m, of the residents parking bays in Shepherds Lane,  between Nos.1a and 59, as shown coloured pink on the plan at Appendix A to the report, be approved.

 

 

Minutes:

The Head of Regeneration informed Members of the outcome of the formal statutory consultation undertaken with local residents between 10th September and 1st October 2020 as part of a Traffic Regulation Order process to implement a scheme to extend the days and hours of operation of the residents parking bays in Shepherds Lane between Nos.1a and 59. This followed a previous round of informal consultation on a range of proposals for a scheme in March 2019 which had been considered by the Cabinet in October 2019 when the Cabinet had endorsed the proposed changes to the parking scheme which had now been through formal consultation.

 

A total of seven responses were received from the formal statutory consultation, three indicated no observations about the proposals or were in support whilst four objected to the proposals, due to concerns about the limitation of parking permits to one per household, inadequate enforcement and too many visitor parking permits, rather than the change to the times of the scheme’s operation. Details of the responses were highlighted in the report. The Head of Regeneration explained that although the number of responses received during formal consultation were relatively small this was not unusual. There had however been a significant number of responses to the previous round of informal consultation, 81% of residents in the area concerned had responded, with a majority in favour of the proposed changes to the parking restrictions which had been driven by the expansion of out-of-school hours activities at Dartford Grammar School and the additional pressure on local parking that had arisen as a result.

 

The Chairman emphasised that the increased restrictions were not aimed at the school, which had a traffic management plan and with whom the Council worked closely, but were aimed at regulating the limited parking available to ensure a fair balance for everyone and for local residents.   The Cabinet noted that the local ward Members supported the proposals.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the responses to the consultation outlined in paragraph 3.6 of the report, be considered; and

 

2.    That the extension of the days and hours of operation, Monday – Sunday 9.30am to 8:00p.m, of the residents parking bays in Shepherds Lane,  between Nos.1a and 59, as shown coloured pink on the plan at Appendix A to the report, be approved.

 

158.

Proposed London Resort and the Duty of the Applicant to Consult the Council on the Proposal pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Summary:

 

The proposal for the London Resort leisure and entertainment complex is to be dealt with as a planning application to be determined by the Secretary of State as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).  As such, it is subject to legislation under the Planning Act 2008, which is distinct to that for applications determined directly by the Council. The applicant, London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), is required under section 42 of the 2008 Act to consult the Borough on its emerging proposal before being formally submitted to the Secretary of State, with the Council being a statutory consultee. The closing date for responses was 21 September 2020.  The Council’s response, agreed under delegated powers, was submitted in time to meet this deadline but this did not allow for the response to be presented to Cabinet in advance.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Council’s response to the consultation as set out in the letter and comments attached at Appendices A-C to the report, be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Regeneration informed Members that because the proposed London Resort leisure and entertainment complex development in Swanscombe was deemed to be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) the planning application would be determined by the Secretary of State under the Planning Act 2008 rather than being determined directly by the Council. The applicant, London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), was required under section 42 of the 2008 Act to consult the Borough, as a statutory consultee, on its emerging proposal before formally submitting it to the Secretary of State. This was the fifth round of consultation since the inception of the project and the closing date for responses to this consultation was 21 September 2020.  Given the timeframe involved the Council’s response was agreed with the Chairman of the Cabinet and the Mayor under delegated powers in time for submission by the deadline.

 

The content of the development was outlined in paragraph 3.13 in the report. The report highlighted that, despite the length of time since the last consultation in 2015, much of the assessment work required had not been submitted within the consultation documents and the proposals were therefore lacking much detail. Key documents were missing including transport modelling which made it difficult to assess the impact on the road and rail networks and local transport infrastructure. It was therefore difficult at this stage for the Council to provide detailed comments on the options or the impacts, as the assessment results were not available to enable proper consideration by the Council of the likely impacts and the mitigation needed. LRCH had not allowed sufficient time or resources to enable engagement with the Council and there had been no collaborative working to inform the design or develop mitigations. The response to the consultation therefore drew attention to the assessments that were missing, the paucity of information on the detail of the proposal and the potential risks that could result for the Council and the Borough. It acknowledged that whilst the London Resort has the potential to bring significant benefits to the Borough through employment, skills development and a boost to the local economy, this was not a foregone conclusion and that the right measures would need to be in place to enable this. Mitigations would also need to be in place to ensure that adverse impacts of the scheme could be addressed.  It was therefore hoped that there would be fuller engagement with the Council following the consultation to ensure that the Borough and its residents could benefit from the development and the Council had urged LRCH to delay the submission of its planning application, currently due to be submitted in December, to allow for further collaboration to produce a more rounded and informed submission.

The Chairman felt that whilst the Council wanted to be a good neighbour and recognised the opportunities that the development offered for the area it also had a duty to defend and support local residents and to ensure that LRCH undertook all the assessments  ...  view the full minutes text for item 158.

159.

Draft Private Sector Discretionary Assistance Policy pdf icon PDF 255 KB

Summary:

 

Central government allocates funding which allows discretionary financial assistance to be provided by a local authority to assist local residents to live independently and safely in their own homes. This report proposes a new draft Private Sector Discretionary Assistance Policy  to replace the previous Better Care Fund Discretionary Assistance Policy.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.   That the Hospital Discharge Grant be increased from £5,000 to £10,000;

 

2.   That the Safe and Secure Grant be increased from £5,000 to £10,000;

 

3. That the Discretionary Assistance Grant be increased from £7,500 to   £15,000; and

 

4. That a new Contribution Grant for mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants be approved with a maximum grant limit of £10,000.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (External Services) presented a report which proposed the introduction of a new draft Private Sector Discretionary Assistance Policy to replace the previous Better Care Fund Discretionary Assistance Policy. The proposed new policy would govern the way that the Council allocated discretionary financial assistance to help local residents to live independently and safely in their own homes from the funding allocated by Central government for that purpose. Under the new policy it was proposed to increase the amount available from certain discretionary funds, establish maximum levels of grant for others and to make all of the grants non-repayable, which was not currently the case and deterred some people from applying. The Strategic Director (External Services) explained that the financial impact of making grants non-repayable would be minimal as most grants had not been repaid (in accordance with the terms of the scheme), but that the possibility of having to repay them had been a deterrent to some potential applicants who could have benefitted. The removal of the possibility of repayment and the additional flexibilities contained in the new policy were considerable improvements to the previous arrangements.

 

The Cabinet noted that the Cabinet Advisory Panel had endorsed the proposals.

 

 

          RESOLVED:

 

1.             That the Hospital Discharge Grant be increased from £5,000 to £10,000;

 

2.             That the Safe and Secure Grant be increased from £5,000 to £10,000;

 

3.             That the Discretionary Assistance Grant be increased from £7,500 to £15,000;

 

4.             That a new Contribution Grant for mandatory Disabled Facilities Grants be approved with a maximum grant limit of £10,000;

 

5.             That a new Relocation Grant be approved with a maximum grant limit of £10,000; and

 

6.             That all grants be made non-repayable.

 

 

 

 

160.

The Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy 2020 pdf icon PDF 302 KB

Summary:

 

This report outlines the details of the Kent and Medway Energy and Low   Emissions Strategy.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That the Council’s commits to support for the Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy; and

 

2.    That a future report be submitted to Cabinet on the Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy Implementation Plan, linking with future Council activities.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (External Services) introduced a report which outlined the details of the Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy (ELES) which set out the Kent and Medway approach to achieving a reduction in carbon emissions and improvements in air quality with an agreed Kent and Medway target of net zero emissions by 2050.  The ELES sought to identify ways to deliver a clean growth strategy and action plan around air quality, reducing fuel poverty and delivering affordable, clean and secure energy for Kent and Medway. The ELES was recently considered by Kent local authorities’ Chief Executives and the Kent Leaders Group, which had supported the Strategy, and would be formally launched at the Kent and Medway Net Zero Conference on 27 November 2020. The report detailed the 10 priority actions contained in the Strategy and outlined the work previously carried out in Dartford, and ongoing work underway, that would complement the ELES and sit alongside the strategy. This included significant work around the environment, carbon emissions and housing, the creation of a Climate Change Member Working Group which had devised a climate change initiative, Planet Dartford which had been about to launch when the country went into lockdown, and a clear commitment by the General Assembly of the Council to take a leading role in working with other agencies to combat climate change. If the Cabinet endorsed the ELES it was proposed to develop an action plan of the Council’s activities and policies to link into the strategy and to report this to Cabinet for approval.

 

The Chairman welcomed the Strategy, noted the wide support for it across Kent and hoped that this would translate well into practical implementation.

 

          RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Council commits to support for the Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy; and

 

2.    That a further report be submitted to Cabinet on the Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy Implementation Plan, linking with future Council activities.

 

161.

Environmental Health Partnership and Proposed Disengagement by Sevenoaks District Council pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Summary:

 

This report informs Members of the decision of Sevenoaks District Council to disengage from the Environmental Health Partnership, the implications for the [Borough] Council and the steps to be taken to safeguard services to the Borough’s residents and businesses.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That the proposal by Sevenoaks District Council to disengage from the Environmental Health Partnership, be noted; and

 

2.    That the actions proposed by Dartford Council, as set out in paras. 3.6 and 3.7 of the report, to mitigate the impact of the disengagement, be noted.

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (External Services) presented a report which informed Members of the decision of Sevenoaks District Council to disengage from the Environmental Health Partnership which had been jointly operated since 2012. The service had been, and remained extremely effective, delivering responsive, high quality services to residents and businesses across both districts. It had benefited both authorities by providing access to a wider pool of expertise and to greater resilience while delivering savings of approximately £1.5M to each authority, over a period of nine years. The joint service was fully integrated and funded 50/50 with its main operational base at the Dartford Civic Centre. Whilst recognising the entitlement of Sevenoaks to disengage from the partnership the timing was very unfortunate given the wide ranging regulatory role of the service to protect residents, visitors, businesses and the environment particularly during the on-going national public health emergency. Although the end date for the partnership was still under discussion Sevenoaks were keen for the partnership to end on 31 March 2021. Considerable work would need to be carried out to disengage the two services, including staffing, IT systems and shared data and to establish how to facilitate the smooth transition to a standalone Environmental Health Service. No redundancies were anticipated and it was likely that additional staff and resource would be required to maintain existing service levels. 

 

The Chairman noted the ending of the partnership with regret. It had provided greater resilience through the sharing of resources, risk and expertise. The challenge now was to develop a new model for a standalone environmental health service that would be even better. He was optimistic that this could be achieved as there were good foundations already in place with excellent staff and the Council was prepared to invest in the future of the service to ensure that it would operate effectively and to the highest standards. He noted that the Council was in a position where it could properly resource this work due to the prudent financial management that had been applied over many years and that the Council was fully committed to taking this opportunity to provide its own  excellent front-line service.

 

A Member noted that the Council had established a number of partnerships with other authorities which had offered economies of scale and shared risks to the financial benefit of the participants. He cited other successful partnerships with Sevenoaks, including the Revenues & Benefits Service, Counter-Fraud and Audit and asked whether it was possible that Sevenoaks could seek to withdraw from these as well. The Strategic Director (External Services) could not speculate on the rationale behind Sevenoaks’ decision but noted that, whilst they were also seeking to disengage from a partnership for Building Control services with another authority, they had currently given no indication that they wished to withdraw from the remaining partnership arrangements with Dartford.   She was confident that Dartford could retain its existing staff and recruit new environmental health officers, despite these being in high demand, to establish a highly effective standalone  ...  view the full minutes text for item 161.

162.

Review of the Management of the Housing Revenue Account Garage Portfolio pdf icon PDF 158 KB

Summary:

 

Following an audit recommendation to review the current performance of the Council’s garage stock, this report explores the options that might best deliver the aims of improving the condition of the stock to ensure they are fit for purpose and to improve the occupancy rate and maximise potential rental income.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That, for the reasons outlined in the body of the report, the outsourcing of the management service for the Council’s garage stock, be endorsed in principle; and

 

2.    That a further report will be presented following the tender process, seeking approval for the outsourcing to be in place, from 1 April 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (External Services) presented a report which explored the options that might best deliver the aims of improving the condition of the Council’s stock of garages to ensure they were fit for purpose and to improve the occupancy rate and maximise potential rental income. This followed an internal audit review of the Council’s garage management service which was responsible for the 1258 garages owned by the Council, which were a significant asset whose management could have important implications for the Housing Revenue Account. The challenges of managing the current garage portfolio, including the poor condition of some of the stock, the limited size of many of the garages, a backlog of repairs and a significant and slowly increasing vacancy rate were set out in the report. The current management arrangements were outlined and other options considered, including setting up a dedicated in-house management team, selling the garages on the open market or moving to an outsourced management solution. It was felt that adopting an outsourced management approach would provide clear benefits for both the Council and the tenants and residents who rented the Council’s garages and would provide more customer focus, improve the condition of the stock through investment, protect the Council’s rental income and ownership of the stock, whilst also protecting tenants from high rental increases and dealing with the backlog of repairs.

 

The Strategic Director (External Services) explained that the garage portfolio largely consisted of small and standard sized units, which could not accommodate modern, larger cars, and that alternative uses were fairly limited. Many residents actually used the garages for storage rather than parking. The proposed management solution would deliver safer, secure parking to the benefit of residents whilst retaining Council ownership of the garages. The Council had carried out an assessment of possible alternative uses of the garage sites in the past, and the recent residential development at Gilbert Close provided an example where such an alternative use to an underused resource had been possible, but further opportunities were likely to be limited.

 

The Chairman felt that the current service had reached a point where a new direction and vision was required and welcomed the proposals.

 

 

      RESOLVED:                                                                        

1.    That, for the reasons outlined in the report, the outsourcing of the management service for the Council’s garage stock, be endorsed in principle; and

 

2.    That a further report will be presented following the tender process, seeking approval for the outsourcing to be in place, from 1 April 2021.

                                                                                                 

 

                                                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                              

163.

Capital Programme Monitoring 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 323 KB

Summary:

 

To inform Cabinetof the progressto date on the schemesin the approvedCapital Programme,and toreport thelatest positionon capital resources.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.  That Cabinet notesthe progressmade todate onthe 2020/21 Programme;

 

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

 

3.  That Cabinet approvesthe virementsbetween housingrevenue account budgets,as detailedin thereport andin AppendixA; and

 

4.  That Cabinet approves the virement of £900,000 from the

Leisure and Open Spaces budget, to the Acacia Project budget.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (Internal Services) introduced a report which detailed the progress to date on the schemes in the approved Capital Programme for 2020/21along with the latest position on capital resources.

 

The Cabinet noted that there had been considerable discussion at the Cabinet Advisory Panel(CAP) about the reported £900,000 overspend on the Acacia Budget and the clarification provided by the Head of Finance on the reasons for the overspend and the proposed virement from the Leisure and Open Spaces budget.

 

The Chairman said that whilst the value of the overspend might be significant it was important to look at the detail behind the overspend. He noted that a Member of the CAP had also asked whether there had been any contingency built into the original budget and implied that this had been insufficient and possibly should have been higher. He confirmed that there would have been an element of contingency in the budget but that it was important not to pitch this at an unrealistically high level as this would result in distorted capital budgets that would reduce the number of projects that the Council could undertake at any time, encourage contractors to submit inflated tenders and result in the reporting of large eventual underspends, which were undesirable. Contingencies had to be set at sensible levels across the range of all Council projects. He pointed to the factors behind the Acacia overspend including the considerable impact of COVID, which had resulted in work having to cease temporarily whilst plant, site security and other costs had continued to accrue. There were also some works that had already been carried out that needed to be redone once work restarted and other unanticipated works had been encountered once groundwork had begun. It was not uncommon for unanticipated, and sometimes costly, works to emerge during complex capital projects and this had been the case.  Fortunately the Council had considerable headroom from underspends on other budgets, including the budget for Leisure and Open Spaces where it would not be possible to carry out originally projected works during the current financial year due to COVID and the staff required not being in place. He confirmed that the virement applied only for the current financial year, that the Leisure and Open Spaces budget for the next financial year was not affected and that no other projects had been cancelled or postponed as a result of the virement. Whilst it was legitimate for overspends to be questioned it was important to look at the reasons behind them and he was proud of the fact that the Council addressed this honestly and transparently.

 

The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Finance supported the Chairman’s comments and the methodology underpinning the Council’s capital budgeting and the setting of the level of contingency in public sector budgets.     

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Cabinet notes the progress made to date on the 2020/21 Capital Programme;

 

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

 

3.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 163.

164.

Street Naming and Numbering - Littlebrook Power Station Access Roads pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Summary:

 

To approve two new road names for the Littlebrook Power Station redevelopment.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the names of Harris and Powerhouse be approved for the two access

roads at the Littlebrook Power Station Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a proposal to approve two new road names for the Littlebrook Power Station redevelopment, Powerhouse and Harris. The first name reflected the connection with the former power station whilst the latter commemorated the Council’s late Managing Director, Mr Graham Harris, who had passed away during the summer after many years of long service to Dartford and its residents. Both names were in accordance with the Council’s street naming policy and Mr Harris’s family had given their consent for his name to be used.

 

The Chairman said that it was fitting for a road to be named in honour of Mr Harris both because of his outstanding service to Dartford but also because he had worked tirelessly to secure the successful development of the former Littlebrook power station site. He requested that the longer ‘community road’ should be named after Mr Harris and the smaller estate road should be named ‘Powerhouse’ because it led directly to the location of the former powerhouse on the site.

 

          RESOLVED:

 

That the names of Harris and Powerhouse be approved for the two access roads at the Littlebrook Power Station Development

165.

Treasury Management Mid-Year Report 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 275 KB

Summary:

 

To inform Cabinet of the investment performance of the Council’s internally and externally managed funds to 30 September 2020 and to update the Treasury Indicators for the six months to 30 September 2020.

 

Recommendations:

 

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

 

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

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (Internal Services) presented a report which detailed the investment performance of the Council’s internally and externally managed funds to 30 September 2020 and updated the Treasury Indicators for the six months to 30 September 2020. She informed Members that in previous years the Council had consistently overachieved on its investment targets, but that whilst the current investment target would be delivered, there would not be the same level of overachievement given the current state of the global investment markets.

 

The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Finance paid tribute to the Council’s investment management team and their advisors and clarified the background to the element of debt shown in the report which related to the Council’s purchase of its housing stock in 2012 and the arrangements for repayment of that loan. 

 

         RESOLVED:

 

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

 

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

 

166.

Revenue Budget Monitoring 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Summary:

 

To update Members on financial performance against the 2020/21 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 Strategic Director (Internal Services) presented a report which updated the Cabinet on financial performance against the 2020/21 budget for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account to 30 September 2020. She informed Members that since the report had been produced the Council had received a further grant for £491,000 from the Government to assist with additional expenditure related to COVID-19. The Cabinet welcomed the additional money and commended the Government for providing funding for this purpose and in a timely manner.  

 

          RESOLVED:

 

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

167.

Minutes of the Policy Overview Committee on 8 September 2020 pdf icon PDF 302 KB

Summary:

 

To receive and note the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 8 September 2020.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 8 September 2020 be noted.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 8 September 2020.

 

          RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 8 September 2020 be noted.