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Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

27.

Prayers: Reverend Helen Reeves

Minutes:

The Mayor’s Chaplain led the Council in prayers.

28.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Canham, Currans and Gaskin.

29.

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:

Councillor Mote declared a prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 13, Members’ Allowances-Update (minute 40) as he would be the recipient of a proposed new Special Responsibility Allowance, and took no part in the debate or voting on that item. There were no other declarations of interests.

30.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 224 KB

To approve the minutes of the Annual Council Meeting held on 22nd May 2019 as an accurate record.

Minutes:

Councillor Maddison reminded Members that when he welcomed the election of the new Mayor, Councillor Perfitt, at the Annual Council meeting he had also presented him with a card along with a donation cheque on behalf of the new Labour Group on the Council to start his charity appeal for his chosen charity, ‘Ellenor’ and felt that this should have been recorded in the minutes. It was agreed that the minutes should be amended to reflect this.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Annual Council meeting held on 22nd May 2019, as amended to record the donation to the Mayor’s charity appeal by the Labour Group, were confirmed as an accurate record.

31.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that he had enjoyed the first two months of his Mayoralty and in particular his visits to schools and meeting older people. He had also attended the Dartford Festival at the weekend and felt certain that the Leader of the Council would have more to say on the success of that event.

32.

Leader's Announcements

To receive announcements from the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council made the following announcements:

 

·         Dartford Festival 2019

 

The Leader of the Council said that the Council continued to organise amazing events and that the Dartford festival was the pinnacle of these activities. The event was a raging success and the two acts on the Saturday evening had been particularly good. It was important that the Council gave something special back to local residents and once again the Council had delivered. He thanked Councillor Patsy Thurlow, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Arts and Culture, Adrian Gowan, Lewis Kirnon and their teams for all their hard work in organising the festival and making it so successful.

 

·         New Council

 

The Leader of the Council noted that this was the first substantive Council meeting since the local elections in May. He welcomed new Councillors to the meeting and commented on the positive approach of the Labour Group so far, which he hoped would carry on and that the political groups would continue to work together productively in the future. He commented that it was important for the Council to fulfil the promises made during campaigning and that the Council had delivered all but one of the pledges made by his Group in their 2011 and 2015 manifestos, the only one that it had been unable to deliver in each case being the result of the approach taken by Tesco. This was now being addressed.

 

·         Play Places

 

The Leader of the Council announced that the Council was actively looking at opportunities to establish new accessible play places. The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Arts and Culture and the Lead Member for Open Spaces and Heritage were already working on the delivery of new play places and green spaces and this would be an important area of work for the Council.

 

·         Leaders’ Advisory Group on Road Safety

 

The Leader of the Council reminded Members that towards the end of the last Administration he had established a Leaders’ Advisory Group on Road Safety and that he wanted to formally restart this work. He highlighted the good work already carried out by the Group and said that Kent County Council had recently made encouraging noises regarding the introduction of 20 mph zones and had given their support to go ahead. He intended to organise meetings of the Group during the Autumn to progress this important area of work.

 

·         Road Safety Mirrors in Fleetdown

 

The Leader of the Council advised Members that new road safety mirrors had been successfully sited at a hazardous point in Fleetdown following a serious accident and represented a small but important success.

 

 

·         Climate Change

 

The Leader of the Council said that during his recent holiday he had made the time to read extensively about climate change and he had been prompted to call the Shadow Leader of the Council to discuss this and ways that the Council could address these issues and that he had been receptive and supportive. The Leader of the Council said that climate change was one of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

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 questions were submitted by the Shadow Leader of the Council:

 

Question 1

 

‘With the summer holidays beginning the end of the month, what support is the council providing to the almost 7000 children growing up in poverty, to maintain a nourished diet through this holiday period which can add up to between £30 and £40 a week for parents already struggling financially?’

 

 

Question 2

 

‘Although the council already has some preventative mechanisms in place for rough sleepers and support networks to accessing services. Would the Council consider applying for such a grant in aide of going that one step further by providing emergency accommodation 24/7 rather than just for the extra cold nights?’

 

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.

34.

Motions

To consider any Motions submitted in accordance with Standing Order 10.

Minutes:

No motions were submitted under Standing Order 10.

35.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

36.

Council in Committee

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor R S L Perfitt, 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

37.

References from other Committees (if any)

Minutes:

There were no references from other committees.

38.

Work Plan for the General Assembly of the Council 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To consider and agree the proposed Work Plan for the General Assembly of the Council for 2019/20.

Minutes:

The General Assembly of the Council considered its proposed Work Plan for 2019-20.

 

            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 2019-20 Municipal Year.

39.

Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To consider the Annual Report of the Scrutiny Committee for 2018/19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council made some introductory comments about the importance of the work carried out by the Council’s scrutiny committees in general in holding the Cabinet and himself to account and providing balance to the work of the Cabinet. The work carried out by the Scrutiny Committee during 2018-19 was described in its annual report and it was important that all political groups supported this work to get value from the process. Councillor Davis, who had been the Vice-Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee during 2018-19, thanked Members for their support and recorded his thanks to David Hook, Democratic Services Officer, for his work with the committee and for preparing the Annual report.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2018-19 be noted.

40.

Members' Allowances - Update pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To provide an update on the current level of Member’s Allowances and to consider a new Special Responsibility Allowance for the Chairman of the newly created Strategic Housing Board.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council introduced a report which updated Members on the current level of Members’ Allowances and the work being carried out by the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) to review the Scheme of Members’ Allowances with a view to making recommendations on a revised Scheme to the General Assembly of the Council in December 2019. Members were also asked to approve a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) for the Chairman of the newly created Strategic Housing Board at a level commensurate with that paid to the Chairman of the Development Control Board.

 

Members asked for details on how the Independent Remuneration Panel was appointed and the Leader of the Council explained that the panel was appointed by the Council following a process of public advertisement and interviews conducted by the leaders of the political groups who then recommended the appointments to the Council. The IRP was required to review the Scheme of Members Allowances every 4 years and to submit their recommendations to the Council, although ultimately it was the Council which determined the levels of allowances and the purposes for which they were paid. Members also asked for clarification on how it had been determined that the new allowance for the Chairman of the Strategic Housing Board should be commensurate with that paid to the Chairman of the Development Control Board given that the latter was a statutory quasi-judicial body meeting monthly whereas the new Strategic Housing Board was an advisory body meeting quarterly. The Leader of the Council explained that this reflected the importance of housing and the work that the new Board was being tasked with. He explained that formerly there had been a Cabinet Member with responsibility for housing who had been paid a higher allowance so that the proposal actually delivered a reduction in the overall level of allowances. He confirmed that the new allowance would also be reviewed by the IRP as part of its current review.    

 

            RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the progress of the Independent Remuneration Panel in undertaking its review of the Scheme of Members’ Allowances be noted;

 

2.    That the current levels of allowances be noted; and

 

3.    That a new Special Responsibility Allowance for the Chairman of the Strategic Housing Board be agreed in line with the current Special Responsibility Allowance paid to the Chairman of the Development Control Board.

41.

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 S L PERFITT, IN THE CHAIR