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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

19.

Prayers: Reverend Kenneth Clark

Minutes:

The Mayor’s Chaplain led the Council in prayer.

20.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Armitt, Burrell, Cutler, P Kelly, D Reynolds, Sandhu, and Shanks.  

21.

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.

22.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the General Assembly of the Council held on 10 May 2017.

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the General Assembly of the Council held on 10 May 2017 be confirmed as an accurate record.

23.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor commended the success of the Dartford festival which had taken place on the weekend of 15/16 July. She said that all of the acts had been great and the variety of stalls had been tremendous and very popular. She hoped that many Members had had the opportunity to attend and enjoy the festival.

 

The Mayor said that she was enjoying her Mayoral duties and had met so many lovely people since her investiture. She had particularly enjoyed welcoming so many children on visits to the Council Chamber and answering their questions.

 

The Mayor highlighted forthcoming events and hoped that Members would support her chosen charities which were all based in Dartford.  

24.

Leader's Announcements

To receive announcements from the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council congratulated Councillor Lucas Reynolds on his recent marriage to Marla. He wished the couple a happy marriage.

 

The Leader of the Council also congratulated his Deputy Leader, Councillor Chris Shippam, and his wife Jean on the renewal of their marriage vows after 25 years of marriage.

25.

Questions from Political Group Leaders

To consider any questions from the Political Group Leaders to the Leader/Cabinet submitted in accordance with Standing Order 14.

Minutes:

The following three questions were submitted by the Shadow Leader of the Council:

Question 1

“Following the tragic events of Grenfell, can the Leader of the Council reassure residents of the safety of this authority’s housing stock and that the fire safety and suppression employed by the Council are robust, up to date and fully compliant?”

Question 2

“The government has dropped the policy of 100% retention of business rates from its legislative programme. With RSG disappearing and no clarity on future funding, what risk assessment is being undertaken to ascertain the threat to our services from the cliff edge in funding this authority now faces in 2020?”

Question 3

“This Council has experienced a significant increase in complaints about the waste collection service. Does the Leader of the Council accept that residents are not receiving the service they should expect and what steps are being taken to address the failures in service provision?”

In accordance with Standing Order 14 the questions and answers, including any supplementary questions and answers, are recorded in a book kept for this purpose in the Members’ area.

 

26.

Motions

To consider the following motion submitted by the Shadow Leader of the Council in accordance with Standing Order 10:

 

That….

 

 

This Council notes:

 

·         That at the Policy Overview Committee meeting of 21 march 2017 it was revealed that Dartford Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was predicting a £17 million deficit for the financial year 2016/2017 and this was forecast to rise to £42 million by 2020/2012. The main driver for this was population growth of around 2% per annum which outstripped funding based on 1% per annum growth. This was despite the CCG finding £13 million in efficiency savings.

 

·         That in the same meeting, the Chief Executive of Darent Valley Hospital Trust expressed her concern that the current uncertainty around Brexit was having an adverse effect on recruitment of EU and Non-EU staff as well as causing concern for c.300 EU nationals currently employed at Darent Valley Hospital.

 

 

This Council believes:

 

·         That because of the pace and speed of development within the Borough, a fair funding settlement is needed to meet existing and forecast increased demand.

 

·         That dedicated healthcare professionals working at Darent Valley Hospital are being let down by the current inadequate funding settlement and this could have an impact on the care they are able to deliver.

 

·         That the public sector pay freeze introduced in 2010 is contributing to the difficulty in recruitment of doctors, nurse and other healthcare professionals locally.

 

 

The Council Resolves:

 

·         To endorse and fully support the letter sent by the Policy Overview Committee to the Chief executive of NHS England highlighting the growing gap in funding to the CCG.

 

·         To support demands for a fair funding settlement for the CCG and calls on the Secretary of State for Health to ensure that local health services in Dartford are adequately funded and resourced to provide care to Dartford’s growing population.

Minutes:

The Shadow Leader of the Council moved the following motion of which he had given notice in accordance with Standing Order 10:

 

This Council notes:

 

·         That at the Policy Overview Committee meeting of 21 March 2017 it was revealed that Dartford Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was predicting a £17 million deficit for the financial year 2016/2017 and this was forecast to rise to £42 million by 2020/2021. The main driver for this was population growth of around 2% per annum which outstripped funding based on 1% per annum growth. This was despite the CCG finding £13 million in efficiency savings.

 

·         That in the same meeting, the Chief Executive of Darent Valley Hospital Trust expressed her concern that the current uncertainty around Brexit was having an adverse effect on recruitment of EU and Non-EU staff as well as causing concern for c.300 EU nationals currently employed at Darent Valley Hospital.

 

 

This Council believes:

 

·         That because of the pace and speed of development within the Borough, a fair funding settlement is needed to meet existing and forecast increased demand.

 

·         That dedicated healthcare professionals working at Darent Valley Hospital are being let down by the current inadequate funding settlement and this could have an impact on the care they are able to deliver.

 

·         That the public sector pay freeze introduced in 2010 is contributing to the difficulty in recruitment of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals locally.

 

 

The Council Resolves:

 

·         To endorse and fully support the letter sent by the Policy Overview Committee to the Chief executive of NHS England highlighting the growing gap in funding to the CCG.

 

·         To support demands for a fair funding settlement for the CCG and calls on the Secretary of State for Health to ensure that local health services in Dartford are adequately funded and resourced to provide care to Dartford’s growing population.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor M A Maddison.

 

The Shadow Leader of the Council expressed his deep concern at the inadequate level of funding for the NHS locally to keep pace with the growth of the population of Dartford and neighbouring areas and at the problems experienced by the Dartford Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group and Daren’t Valley Hospital in recruiting and retaining qualified staff. He cited the valuable contribution of the NHS and noted a funding gap which he said would grow from £17 million in year one to £42 million in year three, despite the CCG having made savings of £13 million. He said that currently there was a national shortage of nursing staff amounting to 40,000 posts and that nurses and doctors deserved to be paid a decent wage for the work they carried out. 

 

Councillor M A Maddison spoke of the need to secure a fair funding settlement for the CCG and claimed that there was a 30% shortage in the number of nursing staff at Darent Valley Hospital. He said that the hospital was understaffed and also did not have staff with the right  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Urgent Items

The Mayor will announce her decision as to whether there are any urgent items.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

28.

References from other Committees (if any)

Minutes:

There were no references from other committees.

29.

General Assembly of the Council Work Plan 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To consider and agree the General Assembly of the Council’s Work Plan for 2017-18.

 

Minutes:

The General Assembly of the Council considered its proposed Work Plan for 2017-18.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Work Plan attached at Appendix A to the report be approved as the General Assembly of the Council’s Work Plan for the 2017-18 Municipal Year.

30.

Council in Committee

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor R M Currans, seconded by Councillor J A Kite and

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That in accordance with Standing Order 11 (13) the General Assembly of the Council go into Committee and the rules of Procedures for Committees do apply.

 

THE LEADER, COUNCILLOR J A KITE MBE, IN THE CHAIR

 

31.

Electoral Review - Council Size Submission pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To consider the Council’s submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission on the future size of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The General Assembly of the Council considered the Council’s submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission as part of the Commission’s review of the Council’s electoral arrangements. The review had been triggered as 7 of the Council’s current wards (40%) had developed an electoral disparity of more than 10% from the average electorate per councillor across the Borough and this exceeded the parameters set by the Commission. The Commission carried out periodic reviews of all authorities and had concluded that the Council’s electoral arrangements were in need of review. The process would be carried out in two major stages, the first being to establish what the size of the Council should be in terms of the number of Councillors. The Council had been asked to make a submission on the size of the Council, which the Commission would consider along with any submissions received from other organisations and members of the public. Once the Council size had been determined the review would move into a second stage where detailed work would be undertaken to consider the names, number and boundaries of wards and the number of Councillors to represent each ward. This would take into account geographical features, natural boundaries and communities among other criteria.

 

A cross-Member Working Party had been set up to work with officers in determining the most appropriate Council size taking into account the needs to operate effective governance, scrutiny and representational functions and taking into account Member workloads, capacity and arrangements operating in similar authorities. It had been felt that some changes in governance would be needed in future in terms of introducing a business enterprise committee, enhancing the role of the Crime and Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee and promoting the role of Member’s as community ambassadors. Taking these factors into account the Working Group had concluded that a reduction in the number of Members from 44 to 42 was the most appropriate size for the Council moving forward.

 

Members discussed the merits of the Working Group’s submission. Some expressed concern at a reduction in the number of Members given the rapid growth of the local population and the increase in electorate and the impact this could have upon their capacity. Concern was also raised about a reduction in Member’s representing a reduction in the opportunity for a wide cross-section of people to participate as councillors thereby depleting democratic opportunity and a fear that applicants would be deterred by increased workloads, or that the office of councillor could become elitist. Members appreciated that the Council was subject to review and had to make a submission which would continue to deliver excellent governance and the best possible services.  It would be even more important for the voices of all Members to be heard during decision making and for consideration of how the Council communicated with residents. It was also noted that the Commission might have different views on Council size and that it might decide that the number of Councillor’s should go up rather than  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Adoption of the Development Policies Local Plan pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To adopt the Development Policies Local Plan and new Policies Map for the Borough.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the proposed Development Policies Local Plan and new Policies Map for the Borough. It was noted that the plan had been produced over a number of years, had been thoroughly examined by the Member Local Development Framework Working Group, and had undergone three rounds of public consultation and public examination by the Planning Inspectorate.

 

The Plan would enable all planning applications to be considered against locally relevant criteria in addition to national policy and also provide a stronger legal and practical basis for implementing the Council’s planning objectives.

 

Members congratulated officers and members of the Working Group for their endeavours in producing a comprehensive plan and policies map.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Development Policies Local Plan, and associated new Borough Policies Map, at Appendices A and B to the report, be formally adopted as part of the statutory Development Plan for the Borough;

 

2.    That the Head of Regeneration be granted delegated authority for the final formatting and layout of the Development Policies Plan and Policies Map, and to make any grammatical or typological corrections; and

 

3.    That the Head of Regeneration be granted delegated authority to produce formal documentation necessary arising from adoption, including the Strategic Environmental Assessment Adoption statement.

33.

Capital Programme including Prudential Indicators - Outturn 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To agree the capital budgets carried forward into 2017/18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report on the outturn of the 2016/17 Capital Programme and approved the carry forward of capital budgets amounting to £851,000 into the 2017/18 financial year.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the capital budgets set out in Appendix C to the report be carried forward into the 2017/18 financial year.

 

34.

Corporate Plan 2017-2020

To agree and adopt the Corporate Plan for 2017-2020.

 

This report is “to follow”.

Minutes:

The General Assembly of the Council considered an updated Corporate Plan for 2017-2020 setting out the Council’s vison and priorities for the next three years. This built upon the previous Corporate Plan and a draft version of the new Plan had been discussed at length at the last meetings of the Policy Overview Committee and the Cabinet Advisory Panel prior to being agreed by the Cabinet. The Cabinet had agreed to the inclusion of a number of amendments suggested by the Policy Overview Committee.

 

There was lengthy discussion of the merits of the content of the Corporate Plan with some Members challenging what they perceived as the paucity of content, the absence of metrics and meaningful performance indicators, the omission of key issues such as homelessness prevention, and lack of ownership by portfolio holders. They also felt that Members had not had sufficient opportunity to input to the development of the Plan. This view was countered by other Members who commended the Plan and pointed out that it provided clear vision and objectives which reflected the Administration’s manifesto commitments, which had been endorsed by the electorate, focussed on outputs rather than pointless metrics, had been subject to considerable discussion at the Policy Overview Committee and CAP and was collectively owned by the Cabinet. It was also pointed out that just because something was not included in the Plan this did not mean that it was any less important and that the Council was fully committed to homelessness prevention.

 

Six Members requested that a recorded vote should be taken.  

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Corporate Plan 2017-2020 attached to the report by agreed.

 

Members voted on the resolution as follows:

 

FOR

AGAINST

ABSTAIN

Councillor Mrs A D Allen, MBE

Councillor A Bardoe

Councillor S H Brown

Councillor L A Canham

Councillor P F Coleman

Councillor M J Davis

Councillor B Garden

Councillor D A Hammock

Councillor J A Hayes

Councillor D E Hunnisett

Councillor S R Jarnell

Councillor K M Kelly

Councillor M B Kelly

Councillor J A Kite, MBE

Councillor E J Lampkin

Councillor A R Lloyd

Councillor C S McLean

Councillor J A Ozog

Councillor J M Ozog

Councillor R S L Perfitt

Councillor Mrs M I Peters

Councillor L J Reynolds

Councillor C J Shippam

Councillor Mrs R F Storey

Councillor D Swinerd

Councillor Mrs P A Thurlow

Councillor R J Wells

Councillor J S Hawkes

Councillor J Jones

Councillor Dr B K Kaini

Councillor M A Maddison

Councillor T A Maddison

Councillor D Page

 

Councillor R Lees

TOTAL:  27

TOTAL: 6

TOTAL: 1

 

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor were absent from the Chamber during consideration of this item.

35.

Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 43 KB

To receive the Scrutiny Committee Annual Report for 2016-17.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the work carried out by the Scrutiny Committee during 2016/17 which was described in its annual report. The Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee thanked the Members of the committee for their input during the year and also thanked the Committee Co-Ordinator David Hook for his support for the committee’s work.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2016-17 be noted.

36.

Appointment of the Council's Representative on the Police and Crime Panel for Kent and Medway pdf icon PDF 47 KB

To appoint a new Council representative to serve on the Police and Crime Panel for Kent and Medway.

Minutes:

The Council considered the appointment of a new representative to sit on the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel for the remainder of the 2017-18 municipal year following the resignation of the existing representative.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That Councillor R J Wells be appointed as Dartford Borough Council’s representative on the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel for the 2017-18 Municipal Year.

37.

Re-convening of the General Assembly of the Council

Minutes:

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

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That in accordance with Standing Order 11 (14) the General Assembly of the Council now re-convene.

 

THE MAYOR, COUNCILLOR R M CURRANS IN THE CHAIR

 

38.

Reserved Minutes pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To consider any of the minutes of the following Cabinet meetings reserved in accordance with Standing Order 16;

 

(a)       for full debate by Political Groups on the Council;

(b)       by Ward Members.

 

Cabinet

 

9 March 2017

13 April 2017

25 May 2017

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No Cabinet minutes were reserved for debate.