Skip to content

H1 - do not remove

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meetings - This meeting will be held virtually. Details of how to access the meeting on YouTube are contained in the meeting page, along with the agenda and papers.. View directions

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Note: This meeting may be viewed on YouTube by highlighting and opening the following link: https://youtu.be/1vtcpO7joAQ 

Items
No. Item

212.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

213.

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 the Strategic Director (Internal Services).

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests.

214.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 25 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 234 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 25 March 2021 as an accurate record.

Minutes:

Members considered the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 25 March 2021.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 25 March 2021 be confirmed as an accurate record.

215.

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. However, as a result of discussion at the Cabinet Advisory Panel, an addendum had been circulated to Members for consideration as part of agenda item 8, Replacement of Vehicle Fleet.

216.

To receive the Minutes of the Cabinet Advisory Panel held on 19 April 2021

To follow

Minutes:

The Cabinet received the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet Advisory Panel A held on 19th April 2021 and had regard to the Panel’s views throughout the meeting.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of Cabinet Advisory Panel A held on 19th April 2021 be noted.

217.

References from Committees

None at this stage.

Minutes:

There were no references from other committees.

218.

Draft Environmental Enforcement Policy pdf icon PDF 153 KB

Summary:

 

To consider the Council’s [draft] Environmental Enforcement Policy which sets out the overall approach the Council takes towards environmental crime investigation and enforcement action. This policy provides a framework to explain the processes of environmental enforcement and assists the Council’s Environmental Enforcement Officers in decision-making. It is intended to ensure that these enforcement decisions are lawful, consistent, balanced, fair, transparent and proportionate. The policy also details the Council’s approach to regulation and the subsequent, appropriate use of enforcement powers.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That the draft Environmental Enforcement Policy, attached at Appendix A to the report, be approved;

 

2.    That the Director of Housing and Public Protection be granted delegated authority to make amendments to the draft Environmental Enforcement Policy, as required by changes in legislation, government guidance or fees and charges; and

 

3.    That the Customer Access Review for the draft Environmental Enforcement Policy, attached at Appendix B to the report, be noted and approved.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (External Services) presented the Council’s draft Environmental Enforcement Policy which set out the overall approach the Council takes towards environmental crime investigation and enforcement action. This was a comprehensive, overarching policy which brought together the diverse investigation and enforcement activities across the Council, including the involvement of key partners. The policy provided a framework to explain the processes of environmental enforcement and assisted the Council’s Environmental Enforcement Officers in decision-making and in ensuring that enforcement decisions were lawful, consistent, balanced, fair, transparent and proportionate. The report explained that the Council sought to influence offending behaviour through education and clear communication but also outlined the other sanctions, penalties and enforcement action that could be used where this approach failed or more serious offences were committed and the circumstances where these would be applied. The policy also detailed the Council’s approach to regulation and the subsequent, appropriate use of enforcement powers.

 

The Strategic Director (External Services) advised Members that there had been considerable discussion of the policy at the Cabinet Advisory Panel, which had been supportive of the Council’s approach to environmental enforcement and regulation. The Cabinet Advisory Panel had endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

 

The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Advisory Panel for its input and support for the policy. He observed that there had been a deterioration in public behaviour by a small minority of local people during the pandemic and an increase in anti-social behaviour. It was important to tackle this and to ensure that people behaved responsibly and that the Council’s officers had the right policies and powers in place to do this. He noted the Council’s success in tackling such issues in a robust and innovative manner, which he attributed to the commitment and experience of the Enforcement and Regulatory Services Team, and to the Council’s decision to recruit officers from an enforcement background, who correctly perceived that these behaviours were not only unacceptable but were also criminal activities.

 

A Member thanked the Enforcement officers for their activities which she said had made a significant improvement to the cleanliness of Birchwood Road and Oakfield Lane. Another Member observed that he had never heard any member of the public complain about the issuing of penalties to stop fly-tipping or other anti-social behaviour and actually felt that some of the financial penalties should be increased to ensure that it was more expensive to offend than to dispose of waste responsibly. The Strategic Director (External Services) informed Members that the level of the financial penalties was set by the Government and there was little discretion for the Council to increase them, and that the opportunities to take civil recovery action were limited and not financially practicable. The Cabinet felt that the Council should make its’ views known to the Government that an increase in the maximum fines would assist in deterring irresponsible behaviour.  

 

A Member commented about the level of fly-tipping across Dartford Heath and wondered whether the requirement to book in advance to visit Kent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 218.

219.

Replacement of Vehicle Fleet pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Summary:

 

To seek approval to purchase 4 vehicles to replace the existing aging fleet.

 

Recommendation:

 

That for the reasons detailed in the report, Contract Standing Order 7.5 be waived and 4 replacement fleet vehicles be purchased from KCS Professional Services (KCC), pursuant to a framework agreement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report which sought approval to purchase 4 new vehicles to replace the Council’s existing fleet. The majority of the current vehicles were old and becoming less reliable, and consequently costing more to maintain. The Council’s requirements had been assessed and suitable vehicles identified. Consideration had been given to purchasing electric vehicles but rejected partly because of the higher cost and also due to the current limitations of electric vehicles. It was likely that this would be a more viable option when the vehicles would next have to be replaced and the market for electric vehicles would have matured sufficiently for this to be a more practical proposition. It was proposed that the new vehicles would be purchased through KCS Professional Services, using an existing framework agreement, which had been competitively tendered, and the Cabinet was requested to waive Contract Standing Orders to enable this to happen.

 

The Cabinet noted that the Cabinet Advisory Panel had recommended that the Cabinet should consider purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle as part of the replacement fleet, possibly instead of the petrol Fiesta contained in the specification, in order to demonstrate the Council’s commitment to the environmental agenda and in recognition of the direction of travel towards electric vehicles. A supplementary report had therefore been circulated to examine the options available, including the costs and practicality of purchasing an electric or hybrid vehicle.

 

The Chairman welcomed the Cabinet Advisory Panel’s recommendation and, whilst noting the higher cost of purchasing an electrical vehicle, felt that this needed to be balanced against the moral position. However he sought assurance that an electric vehicle would meet the Council’s operational needs and would not be a mere token gesture. The Strategic Director (External Services) confirmed that the electric vehicle would meet operational needs but that it was felt that a hybrid would not do so. The Civic Centre already had two charging points and the intention would be to charge the vehicle overnight. It was also envisaged that the number of charging points across the borough would increase significantly in coming years. The additional cost could be met from the reserve set aside for environmental projects. In view of this, the Cabinet strongly felt that the Council should take a lead and set an example by purchasing an electric vehicle in place of the petrol Fiesta contained in the original specification and that a Nissan Leaf should be purchased instead, as outlined in the addendum to the report.

 

          RESOLVED:

 

That, for the reasons detailed in the report, Contract Standing Order 7.5 be waived and 4 replacement fleet vehicles be purchased from KCS Professional Services (Kent County Council), pursuant to a framework agreement, to include an electric vehicle (Nissan Leaf) in place of the petrol Fiesta contained in the original specification.

220.

[Dartford] Joint Transportation Board Agreement pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Summary:

 

To inform the Cabinet of the final [Dartford] Joint Transportation Board agreement.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the [Dartford] Joint Transportation Board agreement, attached at Appendix A to the report, be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet was advised that a review of the existing Joint Transportation Board (JTB) Agreement, which had been in place since 2012, had been carried out by Kent County Council, in consultation with the Kent local authorities. As a result a revised ‘agreement template’ had been produced for local authorities to tailor and incorporate in their specific governance arrangements. The revised draft [Dartford] Agreement had been presented to the General Assembly of the Council on 13 January 2020, where it was agreed that the number of Parish/Town Council representatives on the JTB. Finalisation of the agreement had been delayed due to Covid-19 but the Cabinet was now invited to note the final Agreement.

 

The Chairman stressed the importance of the work carried out by the Joint Transportation Board and the value that it brought to the lives of local residents.

 

          RESOLVED:

 

That the [Dartford] Joint Transportation Board Agreement, attached at Appendix A to the report, be noted.   

221.

Committee Minutes pdf icon PDF 214 KB

To receive and note the minutes of the following meetings:

 

·         Strategic Housing Board held on 27 January 2021

·         Policy Overview Committee held on 16 March 2021

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet received the minutes of the meetings of the Strategic Housing Board held on 27 January 2021 and of the Policy Overview Committee held on 16 March 2021.

 

The Chairman commented on the value of the work undertaken by both committees and noted the momentum of the work being undertaken by the Strategic Housing Board in examining and influencing issues of interest within the local housing market. He noted that this had attracted some adverse interest from the press and social media but felt that this demonstrated that the Council was determined to ask the difficult questions and to have a beneficial impact on addressing housing matters.

 

          RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meetings of the Strategic Housing Board held on 27 January 2021 and of the Policy Overview Committee held on 16 March 2021 be noted

222.

Mrs Sheri Green, Strategic Director (External Services)

Minutes:

The Chairman informed Members that this was the last Cabinet meeting that Mrs Sheri Green would be attending. Mrs Green, Strategic Director (External Services), was retiring form the Council after over 30 years of service. He paid personal tribute to Mrs Green’s exemplary service, her experience, wise counsel and influence across every aspect of the Council’s activities. He reminded Members that the Council asked a lot of its senior officers and that the Council’s highly inclusive way of operating frequently resulted in strong and innovative service delivery for the benefit of local people but that this placed additional pressures on officers. He said that Mrs Green had thrived and risen above all of these challenges and that he, and the Council, would miss her terribly.

 

Mrs Green thanked the Chairman, and Members, for their kind words and thoughts. She said that during her 30 years at Dartford she had been responsible, at one time or another, for almost all of the service areas within the Council and had thoroughly enjoyed her career. She said that Dartford was a brilliant place to work and was getting even better. She wished the new Management Team every success in continuing this work.