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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
Note No. Item

1.

Chairman's Introduction

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Members and Officers to the meeting.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors S H Brown, P Cutler, B Garden, M B Kelly, J A Ozog, and M I Peters.

3.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

4.

Items Reserved for Debate

Minutes:

The Chairman advised Members that the following agenda item had been drawn down for debate:

 

12.      Dartford Home Energy Conservation - Home Energy and Fuel Poverty Action Plan 2015 – 2018 Progress Report & Home Energy and Fuel Poverty Action Plan 2017 – 2020

 

Accordingly, Members endorsed the Officer recommendations in respect of the following items:

 

8.         Business Rate Pool: Use of Pool Funds

 

9.         Street Naming and Numbering - Land North of Hedge Place Road

 

10.       Orchard Theatre: Auditorium Seating

 

11.      Report of Delegated Action taken under Standing Order 38: Response to A2 Bean and Ebbsfleet Junction Improvements Public Consultation

5.

Declarations of Interest on Items Reserved for Debate Only

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.

6.

References from Committees

None at this stage.

Minutes:

There were no references from Committees.

SD (ES)

7.

Consultation on the Housing White Paper "Fixing our Broken Housing Market" pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Summary:

 

1.         This report is produced in response to the Government’s consultation on the document ‘Fixing our Broken Housing Market’ (February 2017), known as the Housing White Paper.

 

2.         A summary of proposed further actions are listed in Appendix A to the report, and the proposed response to the consultation questions forms in Appendix B.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Council’s response to the Government’s White Paper ‘Fixing our Broken Housing Market’ (February 2017)’ consultation, as set out in Appendix B to the report, be agreed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report presented, for approval, the Council’s proposed response to the Government’s Housing White Paper entitled “Fixing our Broken Housing Market”.

 

  • The Planning Policy Manager described this to be a major Government publication and said that it presented a comprehensive set of issues for consideration. He noted how the proposals and ideas in the White Paper were hard to summarise briefly and said that it contained many loose ends. He said that increased house building and home ownership continued to be the main areas of focus and that the influence that the construction industry had on the delivery of homes was now being recognised. The response noted that some of the proposals were considered to have gone too far given Dartford’s particular circumstances and also noted how some areas would be subject to further consultation in the future.

 

  • Members welcomed and thanked officers for the comprehensive response and noted that further detail was to be provided in the future. It was then noted how one of the Corporate Plan relationships was to create self-reliant communities and reference was made to the high Council Tax bandings that were being assigned to new builds and the impact that this, together with associated maintenance charging, was having on the ability for families to remain self-reliant. The Strategic Director (External Services) advised that the Valuation Office Agency was responsible for Council Tax banding and that the Borough and County Councils had no responsibility or control over the assigned bands.

 

  • In response to a question relating to the amended methodologies for deriving housing need the Planning Policy Manager noted it to currently be a complex prescriptive process and said that details of any proposed changes needed to be clearly set out so that the implications of the more standardised approach may be assessed.

 

  • Reference was then made to the response to question 3a), which related to national policy amendments for groups with particular needs, and the need to be provided with further information before it could be decided whether the Council could agree with the proposals. The Planning Policy Manager replied that the existing National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) document and guidance already included details relating to how to assess and plan for many specific groups, and that the Council would need to know how these were being changed before committing to an agreed response. A Member noted how there had been historic problems when addressing the needs of particular groups and hoped that this area would be given further consideration once the additional detail became available.

 

  • In response to a question relating to the Council’s objection to proposals 8c) and 8d) the Planning Policy Manager replied that the principle of ‘rural exception’ sites in the countryside (which can deliver purely affordable local needs housing as a potential exception to countryside restraint policies) was supported. However, the proposal to build into the policy the ability for developers to also include general market housing was not, as this would undermine the purpose of focusing on providing  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

SD (IS)

8.

Business Rate Pool: Use of Pool Funds pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Summary:

 

This report seeks Members’ agreement for the use of the joint regeneration pot within the business rate pooling funds towards the Council’s contribution to the Thames Gateway Kent Partnership and to support the Dartford Town Centre Regeneration project.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.         That Cabinet agrees a sum of £58,000 be drawn down from the joint regeneration pot of the business rate pooling funds as the contribution towards the work of the Thames Gateway Kent Partnership as set out in the report.

 

2.         That Cabinet agrees that the balance of the joint regeneration pot be used to support the Dartford Town Centre Regeneration project.

Minutes:

Members endorsed the recommendations in the report.

SD (IS)

9.

Street Naming and Numbering - Land North of Hedge Place Road pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Summary:

 

To approve two new road names for the development of the land to the north of Hedge Place Road.

 

Recommendation:

 

That Fairlawn and Swansfield be approved as the two new road names for the development of the land to the north of Hedge Place Road.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members endorsed the recommendations in the report.

SD (IS)

10.

Orchard Theatre: Auditorium Seating pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Summary:

 

The Orchard Theatre operator, HQ Theatres, wish to replace the auditorium seating to meet health and safety requirements. Members are asked to note the capital contribution that the Council is required to pay towards these works in accordance with the lease. Provision for this contribution has been made within the 2017/18 Capital Programme.

 

Recommendation:

 

That Members note that a contribution of £40,546.75 will be required from the Council towards the cost of replacement auditorium seating in accordance with the Orchard Theatre lease.

Minutes:

Members endorsed the recommendations in the report.

SD (IS)

11.

Report of Delegated Action taken under Standing Order 38: Response to A2 Bean and Ebbsfleet Junction Improvements Public Consultation pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Summary:

 

To report to Cabinet, in accordance with the requirements of Standing Order 38(2)(b), the delegated action taken under Standing Order 38(2)(a) by the Managing Director, in consultation with the Cabinet Chairman, in relation to the Council’s response to the Highways England public consultation on proposed improvements to the A2 Bean and Ebbsfleet junctions.

 

Recommendation:

 

That Cabinet note the action taken by the Managing Director, in consultation with the Cabinet Chairman, under Standing Order 38(2)(a), in relation to the Council’s response to the Highways England public consultation on proposed improvements to the A2 Bean and Ebbsfleet junctions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members endorsed the recommendations in the report.

SD (ES)

12.

Dartford Home Energy Conservation - Home Energy and Fuel Poverty Action Plan 2015 – 2018 Progress Report & Home Energy and Fuel Poverty Action Plan 2017 - 2020 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Summary:

 

1.         The Council is required to publish a report at two yearly intervals on progress made in implementing measures relating to the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995.

 

2.         The report attached at Appendix A covers the progress made against the actions in the 2015 – 2018 Home Energy and Fuel Poverty Action Plan.  The report also covers a range of areas including an analysis on Dartford’s current position regarding energy efficiency and the action to be taken in the period 2017 to 2020.

 

3.         The report also includes information about the changes to the Energy Company Obligation Government Scheme following wide consultation.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the contents of the 2015 – 2018 Home Energy and Fuel Poverty Action Plan progress report at Appendix A and the Home Energy and Fuel Poverty Action Plan 2017 - 2020 at Appendix B, be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council is required to publish a report at two yearly intervals on progress made in implementing measures relating to the Home Energy Conservation Act 1995. This report presented the progress made against the actions in the 2015 – 2018 Home Energy and Fuel Poverty Action Plan, and also covered a range of areas, including an analysis on Dartford’s current position regarding energy efficiency, and the action to be taken in the period 2017 to 2020. The report also included information relating to changes that had been made to the Energy Company Obligation Government Scheme following wide consultation.

 

  • The Environmental Promotion Officer noted that the full version of the Home Energy and Fuel Poverty Action Plan 2017 – 2020 had now been placed in the Members’ area, but also advised that the Council was still waiting for the Government’s associated detailed guidance to be published.

 

  • Members welcomed the work that was being carried out in this area and the stated aim of reducing the number of families deemed to be in fuel poverty and asked how the success of this aim would be measured. The Environmental Promotion Officer replied that, although some associated data was available from other sources, the impact of the work being carried out to reduce the number of families experiencing fuel poverty would be difficult to ascertain. She did however note that previously published figures had shown that fuel poverty in Dartford was lower than other parts of Kent and the South East. In response to further questions she confirmed that the Council did not gather related data itself, but noted how they worked with those providing fire related and health support services to identify and target families that would benefit from energy efficiency improvements.

 

  • The availability of Government related fuel poverty statistics was noted and the Environmental Promotion Officer said that these can be used to identify those wards which may have families who are most at risk of fuel poverty, and so enable improvement initiatives to be targeted in those areas.

 

  • Reference was then made to published Government housing related data which had identified the number of dwellings in Dartford with inadequate heating, category 1 health and safety hazards, together with others which had been assessed as not meeting the decent homes standard and asked whether action was being taken to address the problems found. The Environmental Promotion Officer replied that information from the housing stock condition survey had been included in the plan and that action to address identified issues was being carried out.

 

  • Members then referred to the Council’s relationship with energy companies and asked whether they could be asked to identify families who may be struggling to pay their bills, or are using less fuel than expected, and may therefore be experiencing fuel poverty. The Environmental Promotion Officer replied that no information was provided by energy companies but noted how those who take part in the energy supplier switching scheme do supply consumption figures and that it may be possible to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.