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Agenda and minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday 10 July 2018 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors; J Burrell, P Cutler, J A Hayes and Mrs M B Kelly.

2.

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.

3.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 April 2018 pdf icon PDF 145 KB

Minutes:

                                    RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 April 2018 be confirmed as accurate.

4.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

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

5.

To consider references from other Committees [IF ANY]

There are no references from other Committees for Members to consider.

Minutes:

There were no references from other Committees for Members’ consideration.

6.

Chairman's Update

Minutes:

The Chairman advised Members that he had no points at that juncture.

7.

Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To note the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 June 2018 to 31 October 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 June 2018 to 31 October 2018 be noted.

8.

Funding of Dartford Churches Winter Shelter [Draw Down]

To receive a response from the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Portfolio Holder, regarding Council funding of the Dartford Churches Winter Shelter, following draw-down by the Vice-Chairman of Scrutiny.

Minutes:

At the invitation of the Chairman and with Members’ agreement, the Vice-Chairman assumed the chairmanship of the meeting for this draw-down item made on behalf of the Conservative Group.

 

The Acting Chairman confirmed that all Members had received copies of the tabled document ‘Dartford Churches Winter Shelter Project – 2018’’ and welcomed his guests from the Shelter – Michael Smith, Project Administrator and John Atkins, Chair of the Shelter’s Steering Group. He also noted the presence of the Leader of the Council, the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing and the Council’s Housing Solutions & Private Sector Manager to respond to Members’ questions.

 

He proposed that Michael Smith and John Atkins first brief the Committee on the origins of the Winter Shelter Project and its current operation, before Members addressed their questions to the Leader and the Cabinet Portfolio Holder regarding the Council’s decision to fund the Dartford Churches Winter Shelter Project.  He confirmed, in response to a specific question from the Deputy Shadow Leader, that the purpose of the draw-down was to establish clarity over the Council’s decision to fund the Winter Shelter Project: not to scrutinise the Shelter’s operation by Dartford Churches. He asked that any questions Members might have in the latter context, be addressed directly to himself as Acting Chairmen, not to the attending guests.

 

Michael Smith and John Atkins highlighted the following principal points for Members, drawing on the contents of the tabled report:

 

·         The Winter Shelter Project was in its 5th year of operation during the peak cold Winter months from 1 January to 31 March;

·         The Winter Project offered over-night accommodation, a hot evening meal and a cooked breakfast to a maximum of 12 homeless people at a different church venue each night from 7 pm to 8 am the following morning Sunday to Saturday;

·         All churches in Dartford supported the Winter Project, which had grown year on year, and now had 180 regular volunteers operating at 6 separate church venues in Dartford;

·         The Project had been entirely reliant on donations from churches, and individuals in its first 4 years of operation, prior to the funding donation from the Council in November 2017 following an approach to the Leader by the previous Project Administrator, Michael Pethick;

·         The Council’s grant of £10k had enabled the Winter Project to make a significant and desired step-change in its operation in 2018, from its previous bed & breakfast service to one which helped homeless people to ‘move on’ to a better life off the streets;

·         The Council’s donation of £10k had been used to fund the general running costs of the 2018 Project [excluding salaries] and enabled the Steering Group to use its existing bank balance of some £2k plus further donations from churches and individuals, to fund the salaries of 2 Project Workers during the Shelter’s peak operating months of January to March for 30 hours each per week, reduced to 16 hours per week during the transition month of April. In addition, from its  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To consider the draft annual report for the preceding 2017-18 municipal year (attached as Appendix A to this report) for approval as appropriate, and submission to the General Assembly of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the report and expressing his thanks to the Committee Co-ordinator for its preparation and his general support of the Committee and its Members in the period under review.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members note the report and appendices detailing the work of the Committee during the 2017-18 municipal cycle as presented, and that the report be submitted to the General Assembly of the Council.

10.

Scrutiny Work Programme 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To consider the Committee’s Work Programme for the remainder of the 2018-19 municipal cycle, as set-out in the draft Work Plan (attached as Appendix A). 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the report and draft Work Plan (attached at Appendix A to the report) for the remainder of the 2018-19 municipal cycle.

 

He noted that there were no WP items scheduled for the next meeting of the Committee on 18 September, and asked Members to consider possible topics for discussion and to advise him and the Committee Co-ordinator of their proposals.

 

He confirmed that any requests for draw-down items should continue to be addressed to himself and the Vice-Chairman on a political Group basis, for approval by the Managing Director within the timings set out in the Committee’s Protocol.

 

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members note the report and draft Work Plan for the remainder of the 2018-19 municipal cycle as detailed at Appendix A to the report;

 

2.    That Members identify further topics for possible inclusion in the current Work Plan, in particular for the next meeting of the Committee in September 2018, and advise accordingly;

 

3.    That items for draw-down be advised to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman as set out in the Committee’s Protocol for approval by the Managing Director as Responsible Council Officer.