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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

43.

Prayers: Reverend Helen Reeves

Minutes:

The Mayor’s Chaplain led the Council in prayer.

44.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Maddison, Sandhu and Shippam.

45.

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.

46.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 328 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the General Assembly of the Council held on 15 July 2019 as an accurate record.

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the General Assembly of the Council held on 15 July 2019 be confirmed as an accurate record.

47.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that he had attended a number of functions in recent weeks including an event at Castle Hill Community Centre organised by the Kent Telugu Community on 5th October where he had been presented with a trophy which was now on display in the Mayor’s Parlour.

48.

Leader's Announcements

To receive announcements from the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council made the following announcements:

 

·         Public Consultation on Urgent Care Services

 

The Leader of the Council advised Members that a consultation document from the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group on options for improving NHS urgent care services across the CCG area had been placed in their pigeonholes. He encouraged Members to respond to the public consultation on these important services.  

 

·         Festival of Light

 

The Leader reminded Members that the Festval of Light would take place in Dartford on 18th October and said that this was a wonderful celebration of colour and lights which was particularly enjoyed by many children and encouraged Members to attend. He thanked Gurvinder Sandher, Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus and the Kent Equality Cohesion Council for their work in organising the event.

 

·         Forthcoming Councillor’s Weddings

 

The Leader of the Council congratulated Councillor Richard Wells on his forthcoming marriage to Katie on 19th October and Councillor David Butler on his marriage to Kallum on 26th October. He and Members of the Council wished both couples every future happiness.

49.

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

Residents have conveyed their deep concerns on how the situation of a no deal Brexit would impact on their lives. Dartford Borough Council have been given £150,000 to spend if this eventuality occurs. In order for the council to be transparent and provide reassurance, how will this be used?

Question 2

What are DBC's contingency plans for a no deal Brexit?

Question 3

As many councils celebrate the 31st Black History Month with events, monuments and educational opportunities etc, will DBC take this opportunity next year to also celebrate Black History month and celebrate the BAME residents who also put Dartford on the map such as Adam Gemili?

 

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.

50.

Motions

To consider the following motions submitted in accordance with Standing Order 10:

 

(1)  Motion submitted by Councillor K J Grehan:

 

‘That this Council notes: 

 

?     That analysis of the 2018 Local Election results by the Fawcett Society found that only 34% of councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2017;

 

?     Of the seats that were up for election in 2018, 38% went to women, up just 3 percentage points on 2014 when these seats were last contested; 

 

?     That across England, Labour has improved its representation since seats were last up for grabs, with 45% women compared with 40% in 2014, Liberal Democrat representation up from 34% to 36% whilst the Conservative Party saw a fall from 31% to 29% in the share of its councillors who are female;  

 

?     That Dartford Borough Council currently consists of 15 women (35.7%) and 27 men (64.3%);

 

?     That the role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of their background, and that introducing a parental leave policy is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may want to start a family to remain as councillors; 

 

?     That parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and that it should also cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt; and

 

?     That a parental leave policy will give certainty to councillors and councils alike when a councillor needs to take time off after the birth or adoption of a child, and the lack of parental leave would not be a deterrent to someone becoming a councillor.

 

That this Council resolves: 

 

?     To adopt the parental leave policy drafted by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Taskforce to give all councillors an entitlement to parental leave after giving birth or adopting;  and

 

?     To ensure that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate.’

 

 

(2). Motion submitted by the Leader of the Council, Councillor J A Kite MBE:

 

That this Council recognises the serious impact of climate change and accepts that rising global temperatures presents a clear and present threat to our world. We are facing a climate emergency.

 

The Council further recognises that all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to act but feels that progress in Dartford should not be constrained by the actions of the slowest. Our town and its people have a part to play in securing a sustainable future and this Council must not only be a force for change in itself, but must inspire and encourage change in others.

 

It welcomes the Government’s commitment to meet the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 but feels that, locally, we should aspire to act faster, and go further, to embed multiple actions across our community and local economy. Some measures may be quicker to yield results than others but the Council aspires to see the effects of climate change tackled earlier  ...  view the full agenda text for item 50.

Minutes:

Councillor K J Grehan moved the following motion of which she had given notice in accordance with Standing Order 10:

 

‘That this Council notes: 

 

?     That analysis of the 2018 Local Election results by the Fawcett Society found that only 34% of councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2017;

 

?     Of the seats that were up for election in 2018, 38% went to women, up just 3 percentage points on 2014 when these seats were last contested; 

 

?     That across England, Labour has improved its representation since seats were last up for grabs, with 45% women compared with 40% in 2014, Liberal Democrat representation up from 34% to 36% whilst the Conservative Party saw a fall from 31% to 29% in the share of its councillors who are female;  

 

?     That Dartford Borough Council currently consists of 15 women (35.7%) and 27 men (64.3%);

 

?     That the role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of their background, and that introducing a parental leave policy is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may want to start a family to remain as councillors; 

 

?     That parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and that it should also cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt; and

 

?     That a parental leave policy will give certainty to councillors and councils alike when a councillor needs to take time off after the birth or adoption of a child, and the lack of parental leave would not be a deterrent to someone becoming a councillor.

 

That this Council resolves: 

 

?     To adopt the parental leave policy drafted by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Taskforce to give all councillors an entitlement to parental leave after giving birth or adopting;  and

 

?     To ensure that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate.’

 

In introducing the report Councillor Grehan stressed the importance of parental leave in encouraging more people to put themselves forward to be Councillors. At present only 37% of the Councillors in Dartford were women and the average age of Councillors across the country was 60. She said that Labour had worked hard to encourage more women to serve as Councillors and the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Taskforce had developed a policy on parental leave that would provide assurance and certainties for those people contemplating parenthood or adoption. She said that whilst this could be considered by the Independent Remuneration Panel the Council could act decisively and without delay to adopt the policy now as 24 other local authorities had already done.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor V Oguntope.

 

Councillor J A Kite MBE moved, that in accordance with Standing Order 10(6)(a) the motion should stand referred to the independent Remuneration Panel for consideration as part of its ongoing review of the Scheme of Members Allowances and other support. He stressed that it was the Council’s practice that any change in remuneration would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

52.

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

 

53.

References from other Committees (if any)

Minutes:

There were no references from other committees.

54.

Capital Programme including Prudential Indicators - Outturn 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 243 KB

To agree the capital budget carried forward into 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report on the final pre-audit figures for the 2018/19 Capital Programme, the capital resources that were used to fund it and those resources which remained available to fund future investments and approved the carry forward of capital budgets into the 2019/20 financial year.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the capital budget set out in Appendix C to the report be carried forward into the 2019/20 financial year thereby increasing the total capital budget to £30.771M.

 

55.

Crime and Disorder (Overview & Scrutiny) Committee Annual Report 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To receive the Crime and Disorder (Overview & Scrutiny) Committee Annual Report 2018-19.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the work carried out by the Crime and Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee during 2018/19 which was described in its annual report. The Chairman of the Committee thanked the Members of the committee and officers 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.

 

Councillor Davis reminded Members of the importance of the Committee’s work in tackling crime and disorder in the Borough and highlighted that violent crime had increased with three violent crimes occurring every day.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Crime and Disorder (Overview and Scrutiny) Committee Annual Report 2018-19 be noted.

 

56.

Re-convening of the General Assembly of the Council

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor J A Kite, seconded by Councillor S Brown 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

 

57.

Reserved Minutes pdf icon PDF 217 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

 

25 July 2019

5 September 2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that one Cabinet minute had been reserved for debate

in accordance with Standing Order 16(14)(1)(a).

 

·         Minute 39 – Review of Charging Periods for Highfield Road Car Parks – (Cabinet – 5 September 2019)

 

The Shadow Leader explained that although he had reserved this minute for debate Councillor Jones wished to speak on the issue as a local Member.

 

Councillor Jones said that a number of Members had registered concerns about parking in the vicinity of Highfield Road at the Cabinet Advisory Panel meeting on 2nd September. Since the introduction of the pay and display arrangements in the Highfield Road car park it was now little used and residents could not afford to pay £5 per day to park there. Much of the road opposite was covered by yellow lines and a number of residents had also spent money to introduce dropped curbs. All of these factors meant that there were serious problems for residents of Highfield Road and neighbouring streets who needed on-street parking and considerable frustration as a result. Whilst he recognised that there had been problems with abandoned vehicles in the car park before the introduction of charges he felt that the CAP meeting had recommended that spaces should be made available in the car park free of charge for local residents but that the Cabinet had instead decided to look at the introduction of a Resident’s Parking Scheme with an annual charge for permits.

 

The Leader of the Council explained that the CAP had an important advisory role and that the CAP’s had been set up to ensure that all Members had an input to Cabinet decision making. He understood the situation in Highfield Road and the Council had quite rightly reviewed the position in light of resident’s views and the current demand on the car park following the introduction of pay and display charges. As a result the Council was considering the introduction of a resident’s parking scheme which would include reserving a number of spaces in the car park for residents who wished to buy a permit. This would be on the same basis as other residents’ parking schemes in the borough for which there was a £50 annual charge. The Council paid to operate and maintain car parks in the borough and it was important that this was done on a cost neutral basis and that residents using the car parks contributed towards these costs. It would not be right for the Council to provide these facilities to the owner occupiers opposite the car park on a free basis as there could be no preferential arrangements given that a charge was levied where other Residents’ Permit schemes operated in the Borough. The Cabinet had had regard to the views of the CAP and considered the various options available before making its decision.