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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Room B12, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1DR

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence


The Chairman welcomed all Members and Officers to the Scrutiny proceedings and extended a special welcome and thanks to Mr Paul Spooner, CEO of EDC for kindly agreeing to respond to Members’ questions and concerns again [Min. No. of 20 of 15 Nov. 2016 refers].


Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors J Burrell and Mrs R M Currans.


Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members including the terms(s) of any Grant(s) of Dispensation.


There were no declarations of interest.


Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2017 pdf icon PDF 96 KB




1.    That the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2017 be confirmed as accurate.


Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.


The Chairman announced that there were no urgent items for consideration.


To consider references from other Committees (IF ANY))

There are no references from other Committees at present.


There were no references from other committees.


Chairman's Update


The Chairman referred Members to the Committee’s updated Work Plan for 2017-18 (Item 11 agenda p.13).


He advised that following discussions with the Strategic Director (Internal Services) and drawing on the Committee’s experience in May, when it had considered the Fairfield Pool and Leisure Centre Refurbishment [Min. No. 10 refers]; he had agreed with the SD(IS) that the Update report from Dartford Cricket Club would now be taken on 14 November 2017. This would allow the Club and Officers to provide Members with fully comprehensive information and data for their consideration, as the Committee continued to seek evidence of robust outcomes for public expenditure on leisure facilities in the Borough.



Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To note the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 June to 31 October 2017.


The Chairman asked Members if they had any suggestions for addition to the Committee’s current Work Plan for 2017-18; either from the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 June to 31 October 2017 as presented in the Agenda (pages 9-12) or in general.


A Member proposed consideration of the 2017 Dartford Festival, given the exponential growth in scale of the public event in recent years. The Chairman supported the proposal and recalled that the operation of the Festival had been considered by the Scrutiny Committee in the past.


The Lead Member for Enforcement & Community Safety [appearing as a Member of Scrutiny] agreed that the Dartford Festival, as a large scale public event, might be considered at a future meeting of the Committee. However, he proposed that all public events organised by the Council in 2017 be considered in tandem, not the Festival in isolation.


The Chairman asked the Committee Co-ordinator to explore this suggestion with relevant senior Officers and obtain definitive advice on whether the topic could be added to the Committee’s Work Plan, or be subject to a Draw-Down request. He also undertook to liaise further on the topic with the Lead Member.




1.    That the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 June 2017 to 31 October 2017 be noted. 



Garden City Project - Update from Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC)

Mr Paul Spooner, Interim CEO at EDC will update Members on developments with the Garden City Project since November 2016 [Min. No. 20 refers].



The Chairman renewed his welcome to Paul Spooner, Interim CEO for the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) and thanked the CEO for returning to update Scrutiny Members on the progress of the Ebbsfleet Garden City development; following his initial presentation to the Committee in November 2016 [Min. No. 20 refers].


The Chairman proposed that the Committee re-visit the key areas of the development project, including; rate of build, increased transport provision, composition of the new build, impact of the Lower Thames Crossing proposal and the future shape of the theme park on the Swanscombe Peninsular, now that Paramount had dropped out of the picture. 


The CEO welcomed the opportunity to update Scrutiny Members on progress made with the Garden City project in 2017. He advised that since his last presentation to the Committee agreement had been reached for the re-generation of the Gravesham waterfront, a target of 15,000 new homes had been set, Ebbsfleet City Centre build agreed, Government approval had been secured for the forward funding of electricity provision including £25M for the building of a power sub-station on a 100% recoverability basis, public utility companies had been tied-into the project and construction had started on the Green Corridors linking the various facets of the Ebbsfleet Garden City development. In addition to providing the headlines above, the CEO gave a detailed address to Members, which covered the following key areas:


Historical Context - England’s first Garden City in over 110 years


·         15,000 new homes of all tenures to meet community needs including affordability;

·         Seven new city parks with a network of green corridors and cycle ways;

·         ‘State of the Art’ new public transit network including a major Fastrack upgrade to raise community aspirations and convert residents to greater use of public transport;

·         Major university and health education and research campus to provide quality training;

·         ‘Vibrant’ new town centre with new houses and linking green corridors and parks;

·         Continued proposals for a world resort and theme park following Paramount withdrawal with re-branding as a ‘London Resort’ to encourage customers from the capital, as well as local residents.


21st Century Vision


·         Creating a city by the river; with

·         Proximity to Central London via High Speed 1 (HS1) and Crossrail mooted with links to the Victoria Underground Line, Heathrow and the M4 Corridor;

·         Local transport and highways improvements incorporated as a critical factor with EDC strongly supporting Option C for the new Lower Thames Crossing with the Secretary of State;

·         High quality home construction and neighbourhoods;

·         A Healthy New Town with EDC supporting the case for increased NHS funding for the local CCG and Darenth Valley Hospital (DVH) to meet the needs of the Garden City;

·         Sports and leisure facilities in partnership with Ebbsfleet United football club;

·         A mixed-use, high density place-making development in the city centre.


Development at Pace


·         Seven housebuilders now on site;

·         650 homes started in 2016/17 with 350 completed, 160 starts in 2017/18 against a target of 550 compared to only 40 in 2015/16. with 1,500 currently under  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.


Review of Updated Work Plan 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Attached as Appendix A for consideration and approval by Members is an updated document, reflecting the Committee’s discussions on 23 May 2017 [Min. No. 12 refers] and subsequent discussion between the Chairman and the Strategic Director (Internal Services).


The Chairman proposed that the updated Scrutiny Committee Work Plan for 2017-18 be approved as submitted in the agenda papers [p.13] and that Members of all Groups represented on the Committee give further consideration to the draw-down of additional topics as discussed elsewhere in the agenda [Min. Nos 18 and 19 refer] following advice from Officers.


He also confirmed that his mooted draw-down of the Council’s Litter Picking contract with Kingdom proposed for 14 November 2017, would be dependent on the final scope and terms of the Leader’s Review of the topic, in which he was also participating.





1.    That the Committee’s updated Work Plan for 2017-18 as submitted in the Agenda papers [p. 13] be approved with the addition of the Chairman’s provisos as recorded above.