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Agenda and draft minutes

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

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors; McLean, Ozog, Sandhu and Storey.


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.


There were no declarations of interest.


Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 194 KB


Councillor Currans advised that she had given apologies for the meeting but these had not been recorded in the Minutes.


The Committee Co-ordinator apologised for the oversight and advised that the published Minutes had been amended.




That the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 July 2019 be confirmed with the above addition.


Chairman's Update


The Chairman advised Members that he had nothing to add to the published agenda.


Urgent Items

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


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


To consider references from other Committees (if any)

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


There were no references from other committees.


Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To consider any issues arising from the Regulation 9 Notice (Forward Plan) for the period 15 October 2019 to 29 February 2020.


The Chairman advised Members that the Regulation 9 Notice was for noting, but that any item on the Notice could be drawn-down for consideration at a future meeting of the Committee if Members so wished.




That Members note the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice [Forward Plan] for the period 15 October 2019 to 29 February 2020.


Dartford Cricket Club Update (October 2019) pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To note the attached report and update from Dartford Cricket Club (October 2019) attached at Appendix A to the report.

Additional documents:


The covering report from the Leisure & Communities Officer enclosed a Community Use Information Update from Dartford Cricket Club which itemised the Clubs activities for the period to October 2019.


The Chairman expressed his concern at the late publication of the report after the main agenda papers, which had left Members only 24 hours to consider its contents. He asked whether there was a deadline process in place to ensure the timely submission of reports to Committee.


The Committee Co-ordinator confirmed that there were published deadlines for the submission of reports to all Committees, and that he and his colleagues in the Democratic Services team reminded Council Officers of those deadlines in good time to meet agenda print and publication dates.


However, in the case of input from outside bodies (such as Dartford Cricket Club), matters were often outside Officer’s control. The Club had wanted to present complete figures for October 2019, which meant that their contribution had per force missed the agenda print deadline, and the report had become a ‘To-Follow’ item.


Officers had continued to liaise with the Club for the material [Appendix A to the covering report] and it had been distributed to Members as soon as it had been received and integrated into a report on 11 November.


The Chairman thanked the Committee Clerk for his explanation and asked Members if they had any questions concerning the covering report and the Appendix A document from DCC.


Following general discussion, Members sought further information on:


·         How many girls/women participated in DCC’s cricket teams;

·         How many DCC members were Dartford residents;

·         Whether Dartford Members could attend a DCC cricket match


It was agreed that Officers would liaise with the Club on the above points and revert to Members.


A Member also mooted a charity cricket match between Councillors and the DCC, and it was agreed to look at possible dates in spring 2020 once the Club had published their fixture list for the 2020-21 season [March 2020].


Members also noted that Hesketh Park was a valued community facility which provided much more than a cricket facility.




1.    That Members note the contents of the covering report and the Community Use Information Update - October 2019 provided by Dartford Cricket Club attached at Appendix A.




Orchard Theatre Annual Report & Accounts for the Year ending 31 March 2019 (Work Programme) pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To note the attached report and Appendices.

Additional documents:


The report from the Leisure & Communities Officer enclosed for Members’ consideration, the Orchard Theatre Annual Report & Accounts for the Year ended 31 March 2019 [attached as Appendices B and C]. The Council’s Monitoring Schedule for the provision of Services by HQ Theatres & Hospitality at The Orchard Theatre Dartford Limited, was attached as Appendix A to the covering report.


The Chairman renewed his concerns over the late presentation of the report as a ‘To-Follow’ item, only received by Members the previous day.


The Committee Co-ordinator repeated his explanation for obtaining report material from outside bodies [Min. No. 21 refers]. The circumstances surrounding the timely submission of the Orchard Theatre Annual Report and Accounts for 2018-19 had been particularly challenging. The new Orchard Theatre Director, Lorna Strawson, was preparing her first annual report following her succession of Chris Glover. Unfortunately, she was on an extended period of annual leave when the report request had been made, but had responded as soon as possible on her return. The requirement was firmly noted in her 2020 diary for the timely submission of the 2019-20 report and accounts.


In general discussion Members noted the high quality of The Orchard Theatre operation under the management of HQ Theatres & Hospitality, with the venue continuing to operate above capacity and expectation, and in excess of the national average for other provincial theatre operations. Members asked that their appreciation of the efforts of the Theatre Director and her staff be recorded in the minutes.


The Vice-Chairman expressed his particular appreciation of the higher than average number of productions for children and young adults in the Orchard programme for 2018-19, but questioned the 54 days devoted to the Pantomime production, and proposed that it be shortened to 40 days for the future, in favour of more productions in other genres.


The Lead Member for Parks, Open Spaces & Heritage attending to respond to Members’ questions, advised the Committee that the Orchard Theatre management operated a flexible policy regarding the Pantomime whereby matinee sessions that were poorly booked, were successfully replaced with other shows, whilst retaining the evening performance of the Panto as demand dictated.


The Leisure & Communities Officer confirmed for Members that the Monitoring Schedule [attached as Appendix A to his covering report] acted as a guide to Theatre Management concerning the number of days devoted to individual production types, it was not a prescriptive document.


He supported the Lead Member in his view that the number of days devoted to Pantomime in the Orchard’s annual programme be retained, and that HQ Theatres continue to manage the number of Pantomime days in the season on a flexible basis.

In subsequent discussion, the consensus amongst Members was that the present allocation of 54 days devoted to the Pantomime season at The Orchard Theatre should continue, under the flexible management of HQ Theatres Limited, and in response to public demand.




1.    That the Annual Report and Accounts for The Orchard Theatre Dartford Limited for 2018-19 as set out in Appendices B  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


Review Committee's Rolling Work Plan for 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Additional documents:


The report from the Committee’s Co-ordinating Officer enclosed at Appendix A to the report, a revised Committee Work Plan for the remainder of the 2019-20 municipal cycle for Members’ comments.





1.    That Members note the report and the revised Work Plan document attached at Appendix A.