Skip to content

H1 - do not remove

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, 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 received from Councillors Canham, Cutler and R Gosine.

 

Councillor Oakley-Dow attended the meeting as a substitute member for Councillor R Gosine.

2.

Items Reserved for Debate

Minutes:

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

 

10

Service Level Agreement – Dartford Rugby Ltd

 

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

 

8

Local Scheme of Support for Council Tax 2020/21

9

National-Non Domestic Discretionary Rate Relief 2020/21

11

Street Naming and Numbering – Eatern Quarry Phases 4 and 6C

12

Calendar of Meetings of the General Assembly of the Council, Cabinet, Committees and Boards 2020/21 and 2021/22

 

3.

Declarations of Interest in items discussed at the Meeting

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 in respect of the Reference from the Joint Transportation Board, the item in Part A of the agenda (Response to Consultation on Strengthening Police Powers to tackle Unauthorised Encampments) or the item from Part B of the agenda which had been drawn down for debate (Service Level Agreement – Dartford Rugby Ltd).

4.

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.

5.

Reference from the Joint Transportation Board pdf icon PDF 206 KB

Summary:

 

To consider a reference from the Joint Transportation Board held on 3 December 2019 relating to parking issues in the Borough.

 

Recommendations:

 

1. That, having noted that staffing establishment matters are not within the remit of Cabinet, but that Cabinet  may comment on the levels of service provided by the Council, more specifically, whether or not it wishes to give greater priority to  parking enforcement which the Council would need to take into account in determining resources etc., Cabinet instructs accordingly on the Joint Transportation Board’s request to consider increasing the staffing establishment in the parking enforcement team to a level where it presents a significant deterrent to illegal, dangerous and inconsiderate parking; and

2. That, having noted the staffing implications at para.5 of the report,  Cabinet instructs accordingly on  the Joint Transportation Board’s request that the Transport Planner  undertake a research project into the parking problems in Dartford and the introduction of measures to ameliorate these, including research into strategies employed by other authorities to achieve this.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel considered a reference from the Joint Transportation Board meeting on 3rd December 2019 relating to parking issues within the Borough. This had arisen from discussion on two reports by Kent County Council which proposed introducing waiting restrictions in Chastilian Road and Wentworth Drive, and on the Fleet Estate. The Board had expressed considerable concern at the level of illegal and inconsiderate parking across the Borough and particularly in roads surrounding local schools and asked Cabinet to consider increasing the staffing establishment in the parking enforcement team to increase enforcement activity to deter illegal and inconsiderate parking and to commission research into the extent of the problem and strategies for tackling it. It was noted that whilst staffing establishment matters were not within the Cabinet’s remit the Cabinet could determine service priorities which the Council would need to take into account in determining resources.

 

Members expressed strong support for the matters raised by the Joint Transportation Board and felt that residents would overwhelmingly support additional enforcement measures to deter unreasonable parking behaviours in the Borough.

  

The Cabinet Advisory Panel strongly endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

 

6.

Response to Consultation on Strengthening Police Powers to tackle Unauthorised Encampments pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Summary:

 

  To advise Members of a Government consultation on 'Strengthening Police Powers to tackle Unauthorised Encampments’ and the Council’s proposed draft responses to the consultation questions. The Home Office acknowledges that there have been long-standing concerns about the issue of Police powers relating to unauthorised encampments. These were voiced in 2019 by the previous and current Home Secretaries when the Government heard strong views that, in spite of a range of powers already in place, unauthorised encampments remain a significant issue which causes genuine difficulties for communities.

 

Recommendation:

That the Cabinet approves, or amends, the proposed response to the consultation on ‘Strengthening Police Powers to tackle Unauthorised Encampments’ as set out in Appendix A to the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Enforcement and Regulatory Services Manager introduced a report which detailed the Council’s proposed response to the Government consultation on proposals for ‘Strengthening Police Powers to tackle Unauthorised Encampments’. In its consultation the Home Office had acknowledged long-standing concerns about the limitations of Police powers relating to unauthorised encampments. These had been voiced in 2019 by the previous and current Home Secretaries when the Government heard strong views that, in spite of a range of powers already in place, unauthorised encampments remained a significant issue which caused genuine difficulties for communities. The Government was therefore consulting on a series of possible measures including; criminalising the act of trespassing when setting up an unauthorised encampment, extending the time period during which trespassers were prohibited from returning to land, lowering the number of vehicles from six to two to trigger consideration of the use of police powers to remove an unauthorised encampment, and providing powers to enable the police to remove trespassers from land forming part of the highway.

 

The report also described the background to the proactive and innovative work of the Council’s Enforcement and Regulatory Services team in dealing with unauthorised encampments and explained that at one time that there had been differences of approach by the Council and other partners, specifically Kent Police and Kent County Council, which had led to a mismatch of expectations. The Enforcement and Regulatory Services Manager had submitted a report to the Deputy Chief Constable for Kent regarding concerns about police policy, which at that time, suggested that it was for local authorities to resolve the ‘problem’ of unauthorised encampments. This had resulted in a change in Kent Police policy to reflect a more collaborative approach and a Memorandum of Understanding had been established between the Council and the Police to clearly delineate their roles and expectations which had resulted in close work with local police to deal with instances of unauthorised encampments. This approach had proved so successful that it had been rolled out across Kent and the number of instances of unauthorised encampments in the Borough reduced. Despite this there were clear limitations in police powers under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and some senior police officers were either unclear over or unwilling to use existing powers. The Enforcement and Regulatory Enforcement Manager welcomed the additional powers being considered by the Government which he believed would provide greater clarity, whilst remaining proportionate, and this had informed the Council’s proposed responses to the consultation.

 

Members commended the Enforcement and Regulatory Services Manager and his team for their innovative approach to dealing with Unauthorised Encampments, which were recognised as being very disruptive for local residents when they occurred. A Member questioned whether where the Council’s proposed response to some of the consultation questions was to ‘disagree’ the option selected should be to ‘strongly disagree’. The Enforcement and Regulatory Services Manager said that he considered that the proposed responses were proportionate but that it was a matter for the Cabinet if it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Local Scheme of Support for Council Tax 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Summary:

 

This report recommends the rolling forward of the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2019/20 to 2020/21 with effect from 1 April 2020.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Cabinet recommends the rolling forward of the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2019/20 to 2020/21 to the General Assembly of the Council, to be effective from 1 April 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

8.

National Non-Domestic Discretionary Rate Relief 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Summary:

 

To consider granting discretionary rate relief to ratepayers who have made applications in respect of 2020/21, receive an update on the local discretionary business rate relief scheme and note the level of retail discount granted for 2019/20 and the approach for implementation of the retail discount for 2020/21.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That the maximum level of discretionary rate relief for 2020/21 for the organisations listed in Appendix A to the report be determined in accordance with the detailed recommendations set out in Appendix A;

 

2.    That Members note the level of local discretionary Business Rates Relief to be awarded in 2020/21 as set out in paragraph 3.29 of the report; and

 

3.    That Members note the level of retail discount granted for 2019/20 as set out in paragraph 3.32 of the report and note the approach for implementation of the retail discount for 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

 

9.

Service Level Agreement - Dartford Rugby Ltd pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Summary:

 

To consider a proposed Service Level Agreement between the Council and Dartford Rugby Ltd.

 

Recommendation:

 

That, subject to the Dartford Rugby Club agreeing to enter into a Service Level Agreement with the Council, on the terms set out in Appendix A to the report, the Council grant funds the Club the sum of £15,000 (fifteen thousand pounds) for the period 8 October 2019 to 7 October 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Policy and Corporate Support Manager presented a report which detailed the proposed service level agreement between the Council and Dartford Rugby Ltd (the Club). He explained that the Club had taken a lease from the Council for the new community rugby facility at Stone Lodge but that the Club had taken the facility from the Council as a shell and that it was now incurring significant costs in fitting out the facility. This included substantial outlays in terms of stocking the bars and kitchens, furnishing the bars and banqueting areas, making provision for utility bills, and for the maintenance and ultimate replacement costs of the artificial pitch at the end of its ten year lifespan. The Club had a detailed business plan to achieve this and had appointed a facilities manager to develop the business. In view of the substantial opportunities for community development, it was proposed that the Council would make a one-off enabling grant of £15,000 to the Club. The Club’s objectives included promoting rugby across Dartford’s communities, ensuring that the new facility was available to the community as a whole and helping the Council to achieve its objectives in terms of sport and health. In addition the Club had a detailed plan for community involvement in place and ambitious plans for developing the Club as a community business and promoting sporting diversity. The Club had developed a youth programme, including assistance for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, and was keen to drive the Club forward through youth involvement. It was also strongly promoting its social membership and inclusivity and had been out leafleting in the community to encourage people to come to the Club and get involved. The Club had welcomed the one off grant from the Council to help them to move forward at this crucial development stage and the SLA clearly set out the Council’s expectations in return for this assistance and also contained provisions in terms of monitoring performance and producing an annual report. He also noted that the Council’s Healthy Living Co-Ordinator was already using the facilities as a base for activities to promote health and wellbeing.

 

Members welcomed the grant and SLA but one Member wondered whether a one-off grant of £15,000 covering three years was actually enough. The Policy and Corporate Support Manager explained that the grant had been discussed with the Club and that they were satisfied with the arrangement and welcomed the support which would help them move forward to develop the Club further. They would produce an annual report which could be shared with Members if they so wished in similar fashion to the reporting arrangements for the Orchard Theatre and Fairfield Leisure Centre. In terms of the amount of the grant, this would effectively help to kick-start the Club, and the Club had set itself ambitious growth targets which was why it was in its own best interests to promote itself as widely as possible and in all parts of the community. It was strongly pursuing youth  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Street Naming and Numbering - Eastern Quarry Phases 4 and 6C pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Summary:

 

To approve 10 new road names for the development known as Eastern Quarry Phase 4 & Phase 6C.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the new road names for Eastern Quarry Phase 4 & Phase 6C be approved as Atterbury, Bodycomb, Gregory, Haygreen, Inkpen, Kember, Mackerness, Oliver, Poffley and Tomalin.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

 

11.

Calendar of Meetings of the General Assembly of the Council, Cabinet, Committees and Boards 2020/21 and 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Summary:

 

To seek views on the proposed calendar of meetings for 2020/21 and the provisional calendar for 2021/22.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the proposed calendar of meetings for 2020/21 and the provisional calendar of meetings for 2021/22 be submitted to the Annual meeting of the Council for agreement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.