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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meetings - This meeting will be held virtually. Details of how to access the meeting on YouTube are contained in the meeting page, along with the agenda and papers.. View directions

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Note: This meeting may be viewed on YouTube by highlighting and opening the following link: https://youtu.be/QDqreQuR1HI 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Butterfill and Nicklen.

2.

Items Reserved for Deabte

Minutes:

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

 

8.  Parking Services Annual Report

 

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

 

9.  Guidance – Prioritising Investigation of Reported Parking Issues and Parking Management Schemes 

 

10. Town Centre Public Spaces Protection Order

 

11. Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s  Annual  Report.

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 the Strategic Director Internal Services).

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests in respect of Part A of the agenda or the item from Part B of the agenda which had been drawn down for debate (Parking Services Annual Report).

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.

References from Committees

None at this stage.

Minutes:

There were no references from other committees.

6.

Consultation on Changes to Planning Policy and Regulations pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Summary:

 

To consider a response to the Government Consultation on Changes to the Current Planning System.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the responses to the questions set out in Appendix B to the report should form the Council’s response to the Government Consultation on Changes to the Current Planning System.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Planning Policy Manager presented a report which detailed the Council’s proposed response to the Government consultation on Changes to the Current Planning System due to end on 1st October 2020. The Planning Policy Manager  explained that whilst the proposed changes were considered to be technical they could be introduced very quickly by way of amendment to the national Planning Policy Guidance and would not require legislation and the impact of the changes on Dartford and other authorities could be significant.

 

There were four parts to the document:

 

·       Changes to the standard method for assessing minimum housing numbers in strategic plans. This change was proposed because the existing methodology was not delivering the government target for building 300,000 homes pa. The current methodology for identifying the minimum number of homes to be planned in each borough, which included a cap on any increase, was explained. The Government’s revised methodology for calculating the target figure was explained and the Government also proposed removing the cap. Using the proposed approach Dartford would have to plan for 1,441 new homes pa, double the current requirement, which it was felt would represent a sudden and substantial increase and would be wholly unrealistic. It would also unfairly punish those authorities like Dartford that had delivered on their housing needs, result in further in-migration to the Borough and result in a spiral of ever increasing housing projection figures. The Council’s proposed response very strongly objected to the changes, setting out a clear rationale and data demonstrating that the Government’s revised approach is not an effective, fair or sustainable methodology from which to derive a baseline target for housing. The response also suggested that instead the baseline figure should be established as 1.25% pa of the existing housing stock which would deliver more than the Government’s target of 300,000 new homes pa.

 

·       The report also detailed proposals for delivering ‘First Homes’, intended for first time buyers at a discount of at least 30% below market value and that a minimum of 25% of all affordable housing should be First Homes. Whilst the Council had no objection to First Homes per se it would not want this to endanger the provision of affordable rented housing, which was needed in the Borough.

 

·       The report described plans to support small and medium-sized developers by reducing the amount of affordable housing they would need to deliver through new planning permissions for 18 months by raising the threshold at which developers would be required to provide affordable housing on a site from 10 to 40 or 50 homes. This could impact adversely on the delivery of affordable housing, particularly if developers sought to gain and bank planning permissions or if this became a permanent change.

 

·       Finally the Government was proposing extending the permission in principle consent regime to allow developers to apply for in principle permission for major housing-led development (where an Environmental Impact Assessment or Habitats Regulations Assessment were not required). This could however result in developers obtaining in-principle decisions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Parking Services Annual Report pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Summary:

 

To consider the 2018-20 Parking Services Annual Report.

 

Recommendation:

 

To consider, note and agree the Parking Services Annual Report 2018-20, attached at Appendix A to the report, in the light of any comments from the Joint Transportation Board, for publication on the Council’s web site.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Enforcement Manager introduced the Civil Enforcement & Parking Services Report for 2018/20 which set out the Council’s approach to parking and traffic management, provided information about parking provision and enforcement, car park provision and parking schemes and projects undertaken during the past two years as well as statistical and other relevant and comparative data.  He explained that there was a statutory requirement to publish a report and that he regarded the evolution of the service to be very much a work-in-progress. He also clarified the table on page 88 of the agenda, describing income and expenditure, which should have referred to ‘off street’ parking as well as ‘on street’ (alternate lines of the table should read ‘On’ ‘Off’, ‘On’ ‘Off’) which would be amended prior to publication.

 

A Member welcomed the report and explained that she had spoken to the Enforcement Team about more detailed empirical data about parking enforcement and PCN’s in her ward which she felt it could be useful for all Members to receive on a regular basis. She said that residents in her ward were concerned about parking and in particular about dangerous parking on corners and around schools. She felt that having information about the number of offences on a road-by-road basis was particularly useful for identifying locations and areas of particular concern which could then be examined and addressed. Other Members supported these views and a Member asked whether information could be supplied about the number of offences committed around schools to establish whether enforcement was effective or whether additional resource might be needed.

 

The Enforcement Manager explained that enforcing restrictions around schools was particularly resource intensive and would require 3 of his team of 5 enforcement officers to attend each location to be effective. The team did enforce restrictions around schools on a rota basis at the end of the school day. Parking patterns around schools differed at the start of the day, when parents simply dropped children off and drove away, and at the end of the day when parents often parked up and waited for their children to come out from school where it was more possible to enforce restrictions. In terms of providing more detailed information to Members on a regular basis this was now easier to do following the implementation of a new parking  management system which could produce such statistics more readily and he would be happy to circulate  on a quarterly or six monthly basis if Members so wished.

 

A Member queried why there was no information in the report about fines issued to drivers for occupying two parking spaces and it was explained that the categories of contraventions had not been differentiated to that level of detail but that it might be possible to look at distinguishing this in future. Another Member also wondered if information could be supplied on contraventions of residents parking schemes. Another Member asked whether consideration could be given to a scheme to allow residents to use the Council’s car parks in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Guidance - Prioritising Investigation of Reported Parking Issues and Parking Management Schemes pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Summary:

 

To consider new guidance for prioritising reported parking issues in the Borough for investigation and development of parking schemes to address identified problems.

 

Recommendation:

 

That  the Guidance on Prioritising the Investigation and Implementation of Parking Management Schemes, attached at Appendix A to the report, be adopted as part of the Council’s process for prioritising reported parking issues in the Borough as outlined in paragraph 3.8 to the report.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

9.

Town Centre Public Spaces Protection Order pdf icon PDF 164 KB

This report is ‘to follow’.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

10.

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman's Annual Review Letter 2020 pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Summary:

 

To receive and note the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s Annual Review Letter 2020.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s Annual Review Letter 2020, attached at Appendix A to the report, and the annual summary of statistics on the decisions made about the Council for the year ending 31 March 2020, at Appendix B to the report, be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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