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Agenda and draft minutes

General Assembly of the Council
Thursday 27 September 2018 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

42.

Prayers: Reverend Andrew Avery

Minutes:

The Mayor’s Chaplain led the Council in prayer.

43.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Armitt, Bardoe, Hunnisett, Kaini and Page.

 

An apology for lateness was submitted on behalf of Councillor Jones.

44.

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 interest.

 

Councillor Lees informed the General Assembly of the Council that he had sought, and received, confirmation from officers before the meeting that he did not have a prejudicial interest in agenda item 11, Community Governance Review, in respect of his role as a member of Swanscombe and Greenhithe Town Council.

45.

Minutes of the meeting held on 16 July 2018 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the General Assembly of the Council held on 16 July 2018.

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the General Assembly of the Council held on 16 July 2018 be confirmed as an accurate record.

46.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that he had attended the Bluewater Jobs Fair on 14th September. He had found this to be a remarkable and impressive exercise and as a result some 1,600 jobs had been found by local people. This demonstrated the significant role that Bluewater played in the local community.

 

The Mayor said that he had also had the pleasure of attending the Business Awards on 20th September. This had showcased the high quality of many local businesses in Dartford.

 

He encouraged Members who were interested to see his broader activities as Mayor in more detail to follow this on his blog. 

47.

Leader's Announcements

To receive announcements from the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council echoed the Mayor’s comments about the importance of the Bluewater Jobs Fair in stimulating the local economy and the significance of the local Business Awards in highlighting the achievements of local businesses.

48.

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

“Does the Leader of the Council believe that Conservative proposals to charge residents to dispose non household waste will result in an increase or decrease in fly tipping incidents in Dartford?”

Question 2

“A Dartford academy trust has written to parents describing the impact school cuts are having on Dartford’s children. 93% of Dartford’s schools are suffering cuts to vital resources.  Does the Leader recognise the scale of cuts schools are facing and what representations has he made to government about this issue?”

Question 3

“Following the compelling testimony heard at this Council from parents of children injured in accidents on Dartford’s roads, does the Leader of the Council now accept that we urgently need to see the introduction of 20mph zones near to Dartford’s schools?”

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.

 

49.

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

 

·         Single use plastics are plastic items that are used once before they are thrown away. Common examples are plastic bags, cups, straws, water bottles and most food packaging. Single use plastics do not biodegrade and instead break down into tiny particles, making them very harmful to our environment. Single use plastics pollute soil, are dangerous to wildlife and it is predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.

 

·         In Dartford, discarded plastic cups and bottles are a regular sight on community litter picks – littering our roads, community spaces and rivers. This harms our local environment, makes Dartford look unnecessarily untidy and incurs costs to the taxpayer for their removal.

 

·         Single use plastics are also harmful to people. Plastic particles can pass into our bloodstream and this has been linked to cancer, birth defects and other serious health conditions.

 

·         There is an encouraging degree of cross party consensus on this issue. A number of MP’s from all parties have acknowledged the need to take action to reduce the amount of plastic we use.

 

·         Local government is leading the way in reducing plastic use. A number of local councils including Medway, Brighton & Hove and East Cambridgeshire have already passed motions or introduced policies designed to phase out the use of single use plastics in their communities.

 

This Council agrees

 

·         That single use plastics litter our streets, damage our environment and endanger our health. Dartford should aspire to become a plastic free Borough by 2020.

 

·         The availability of environmental friendly re-useable cups and bottles are a viable alternative to single use plastic products and notes these are offered by some shops and businesses in Dartford.

 

This Council resolves to

 

·         Phase out the use of single use plastics at the Civic Centre, Council owned facilities and Council run events within a year.

 

·         Act as an advocate for a plastic free Borough by encouraging more local businesses and organisations to sign up to phasing out the use of single use plastics and encourage the use of environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic across the Borough.

 

 

Minutes:

The Shadow Leader of the Council introduced a motion of which he had given notice in accordance with Standing Order 10. He said that there was an obvious need to use less plastic and that single use plastics were not biodegradable, polluted soil and were harmful to the environment. In addition they littered the community and made Dartford untidy and were also harmful to people’s health. He stressed that there were alternatives that were already available and that action needed to be taken now and that the Council should set an example to the community and phase out using single use plastics in its own building and Council organised events and to advocate a plastic free Borough. The motion did not seek to prescribe how this should be achieved but to provide a commitment that the Council would do what it could do and encourage others to do likewise.     

 

The Shadow Leader of the Council moved the following motion:

 

“That this Council notes that

 

·         Single use plastics are plastic items that are used once before they are thrown away. Common examples are plastic bags, cups, straws, water bottles and most food packaging. Single use plastics do not biodegrade and instead break down into tiny particles, making them very harmful to our environment. Single use plastics pollute soil, are dangerous to wildlife and it is predicted that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish.

 

·         In Dartford, discarded plastic cups and bottles are a regular sight on community litter picks – littering our roads, community spaces and rivers. This harms our local environment, makes Dartford look unnecessarily untidy and incurs costs to the taxpayer for their removal.

 

·         Single use plastics are also harmful to people. Plastic particles can pass into our bloodstream and this has been linked to cancer, birth defects and other serious health conditions.

 

·         There is an encouraging degree of cross party consensus on this issue. A number of MP’s from all parties have acknowledged the need to take action to reduce the amount of plastic we use.

 

·         Local government is leading the way in reducing plastic use. A number of local councils including Medway, Brighton & Hove and East Cambridgeshire have already passed motions or introduced policies designed to phase out the use of single use plastics in their communities.

 

This Council agrees

 

·         That single use plastics litter our streets, damage our environment and endanger our health. Dartford should aspire to become a plastic free Borough by 2020.

 

·         The availability of environmental friendly re-useable cups and bottles are a viable alternative to single use plastic products and notes these are offered by some shops and businesses in Dartford.

 

This Council resolves to

 

·         Phase out the use of single use plastics at the Civic Centre, Council owned facilities and Council run events within a year.

 

·         Act as an advocate for a plastic free Borough by encouraging more local businesses and organisations to sign up to phasing out the use of single use plastics and encourage the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

51.

Council in Committee

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor D J Mote, 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

 

52.

References from other Committees (if any)

Minutes:

There were no references from other committees.

53.

Community Governance Review pdf icon PDF 74 KB

This item is ‘to follow’.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (Internal Services) introduced the final recommendations arising from the Community Governance Review (CGR) launched in January 2018 to examine existing parish council arrangements across the eight parish and town council areas in the Borough and previously unparished areas. The CGR looked at existing parish arrangements and had the power to create, merge or abolish parishes, to alter the boundary of existing parishes or make changes to their existing arrangements. The CGR however could not make changes to borough wards or county divisions and where possible would seek boundary coterminousity to avoid voter confusion.

 

The wider review of the Borough Council’s electoral arrangements by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) had resulted in some proposed revisions to parish internal electoral arrangements. As a result of the CGR the Council would be seeking consent from the LGBCE to alter some of these changes.

 

The first stage of the review, which was to invite formal submissions from the Parish Councils had been completed and their submissions had been reflected in the proposals which had been considered and agreed by the GAC on 16 July 2018 for wider public consultation. A broad public consultation exercise had run from shortly after the last meeting of the GAC in July until 3 September 2018 through a range of methods. The public and all parished properties received details of the review and how to submit their views along with their annual Household Enquiry Form. Draft proposals were published on the Council’s web site and by the 3rd September closing date 425 responses had been received online. A press release had been sent to all of the local newspapers giving details of how responses could be submitted. The Parishes were also encouraged to submit their views as part of the formal consultation and their responses were detailed in the appendices to the report.

 

The draft proposals had included a number of alternative options for certain areas within the parishes of Stone, Darenth and Wilmington and the views of affected residents and the Parish Councils were sought on these options through an additional “factfinder” exercise by letter. A letter had also been sent to residents of Swanscombe and Greenhithe to seek their views on three proposed options for the Town Council, including the possibility for any of the areas to become unparished.

 

The responses to the consultation exercise had been collated, mapped and analysed and duplicate responses discounted. The results were detailed in the appendices to the report which also contained the recommendations to the Council in respect of each parish and the rationale for those recommendations.

 

Once the final recommendations had been agreed the Council would need to publish its decision and the reasons for it and would need to write to the LGBCE seeking consent to the changes. The Council would also need to make a Reorganisation Order by December 2018 and would have to deposit the Order and a map showing the effects of the Order at the Civic Centre  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Crime and Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee Annual Report 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To consider and note the Crime & Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee Annual Report 2017-18.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the work carried out by the Crime and Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee during 2017/18 which was described in its annual report. The Chairman of the Committee thanked the Members of the committee for their input during the year and also thanked the Democratic Services Officer, David Hook, for his support for the committee’s work. He commended the report to the committee.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Crime and Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee Annual Report 2017-18 be noted.

 

55.

Reconvening 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 D J MOTE IN THE CHAIR

 

56.

Reserved Minutes pdf icon PDF 85 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

 

26 July 2018

6 September 2018

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No Cabinet minutes were reserved for debate.