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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

53.

Prayers: Reverend Kenneth Clark

Minutes:

The Mayor’s Chaplain led the Council in prayer.

54.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Armitt, Garden, Hayes, Hunnisett, Kaini, McLean, M A Maddison, J A Ozog, Page, Perfitt, Read and Shanks.  

55.

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.

56.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

57.

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 OF THE COUNCIL, COUNCILLOR J A KITE MBE, IN THE CHAIR

 

58.

Electoral Review Warding Arrangements Submission pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider the Council’s submission on warding arrangements to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England as part of the Commission’s electoral review of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council explained the background to the review of Dartford’s electoral arrangements and that this had been triggered by electoral inequalities in 7 of the Council’s 17 wards which deviated from the average electorate per Councillor by 10% or more. The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) had therefore initiated a review of the Borough’s electoral arrangements. The first stage in this had been to agree on the size of the Council. A cross-party Member Working Group had been established to take this work forward and there had been cross-party support for a reduction in the number of Councillors from 44 to 42 and this figure had been accepted by the LGBCE. The second stage was to determine the warding arrangements, the number of wards, how many Members should represent each ward, ward names and boundaries. It was open to anyone to make a submission to the LGBCE before its deadline on 4th December and the GAC had proposals before it for consideration as the Council’s submission to the LGBCE. 

 

The Leader drew attention to the recommendations contained in the report and also to clarification of certain matters detailed in the tabled errata sheet. He explained that it was likely that the proposed changes to electoral arrangements were likely to result in the need for a Community Governance Review to consider parish electoral arrangements and that because of timing issues it was important to start collecting data for the Community Governance Review as soon as possible so that it could be completed in time for implementation at the May 2019 elections rather than waiting for the LGBCE’s decision on Borough warding. The Leader thanked Members and Officers for their hard work on the review and in producing the submission.

 

A Member questioned the need for an electoral review simply to secure electoral equality and felt that it was a futile and upsetting process for local communities which had developed ties over many years. Another Member asked why the size of the Council had been determined first and also felt that the number of Members should have stayed at its current level. A Member also expressed concern that once boundaries had been revised some constituents might have to vote in two different polling stations in the event of combined elections taking place.

 

The Leader of the Council stated that if the original ward boundaries were right then there was an argument that any change should only take place in areas where there had been significant population growth or decline. However the LGBCE was charged with delivering electoral equality and this was a key aspect of the review. The LGBCE periodically reviewed every local authority and had determined that Dartford’s electoral arrangements needed to be changed to rebalance the numbers. In terms of polling stations there would be a review of polling districts and places after the ward boundaries were agreed.

 

A Member felt that the first draft submission considered by the Member Working Group which had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

59.

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

 

 

The Mayor announced the end of the meeting.