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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 Welcome

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Members to the meeting.

 

The Chairman paid tribute to Alan Stoneham, Democratic Services Officer, for his work in support of the Cabinet Advisory Panel over many years and wished him a happy retirement. He welcomed Alan Twyman, Democratic Services Manager, who would be supporting future Panel meetings.

2.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mote and Page.

 

An apology for lateness was submitted on behalf of Councillor Hayes who subsequently joined the meeting.

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 items had been drawn down for debate:

 

 

8.   Capital Programme including Prudential Indicators – Outturn 2017/2018

 

9.   Revenue Budget Monitoring – Outturn 2017/18

 

11. Public Consultation for Stone Lodge Site redevelopment

 

 

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

 

7.   Street Naming and Numbering – Site of Former 95 Brent Lane

 

10. Annual Treasury Report 2017/18           

             

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 interests.

6.

References from Committees

None at this stage.

Minutes:

There were no references from other committees.

SD (IS)

7.

Street Naming and Numbering - Site of Former 95 Brent Lane pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Summary:

 

This report is to approve a new road name for the development site formerly known as 95 Brent Lane.

 

Recommendation

 

That the new road name for the development site formerly known as 95 Brent Lane be approved as Hampton.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members endorsed the recommendation in the report.

SD (ID)

8.

Capital Programme Including Prudential Indicators - Outturn 2017/2018 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Summary:

 

To inform Cabinet of the final pre-audit figures for the 2017/18 Capital Programme, the capital resources that were used to fund it and those that remain available to fund future investment.

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That Cabinet note the draft outturn for the Capital Programme for 2017/18.

 

2.    That Cabinet note the draft outturn position for 2017/18 on Capital resources, and the balance available to be carried forward into 2018/19.

 

3.    That the Cabinet recommend the total capital budget carried forward into 2018/19, as set out in Appendix C to the General Assembly of the Council including a new Supported Housing allocation.

 

4.    That Cabinet note the outturn position on the Capital Prudential Indicators as shown in Appendix D.

 

5.    That the General Assembly of the Council be asked to agree the capital budget carried forward into 2018/19 as per appendix C, thereby increasing the total capital budget to £25.983m.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Advisory Panel considered a report which provided details of the final pre-audit figures for the 2017/18 Capital Programme, the capital resources that were used to fund it and those resources that remain available to fund future investment.

 

A Member explained that he had drawn this item down for consideration due to concerns about underspends on the Housing Capital Programme as this seemed to be a recurring underspend year on year and he asked whether the Council aimed to deliver an underspend as a matter of policy. He also drew attention to reference to capital receipts of £4,693,000 having been received in respect of redemptions relating to the discounted sale scheme at The Bridge development as he had understood that this was a private scheme. He also highlighted the projected underspend on Disabled Adaptations and said that he would appreciate a more detailed commentary as to the reasons for the underspends.

 

The Financial Services Manager explained that Housing Capital underspends had been reported with a commentary on the reasons for the underspend in each case. He confirmed that there was no policy to aim for budgetary underspends but that the phasing of capital projects sometimes meant that these budgets could be underspent. However where this occurred for capital budgets the funding was generally carried forward or stayed within the Housing Revenue Account so the funding was not lost. In terms of the capital receipts from The Bridge there were two components to this; income from the development, from the sale of remaining plots and from discounted sales where the money came back to the Council when the redemption of a charge on the relevant properties were redeemed.

 

Further commentary on the issues raised would be prepared for consideration at the Cabinet meeting on 28 June 2018. 

 

The Advisory Panel endorsed the report’s recommendations.

SD (IS)

9.

Revenue Budget Monitoring - Outturn 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Summary:

 

To inform Members of the detailed final pre-audit 2017/18 figures for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account, including reasons for significant variances compared to the probable outturn.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the 2017/18 outturn for the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account, together with the reasons for significant variances compared to probable outturn, be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel considered a report which provided details of the final pre-audit 2017/18 figures for the General Fund and Housing revenue Account, including reasons for significant variances compared to the probable outturn.

 

A Member explained that he had drawn this item down to seek clarification of the reported figures for the Employee Vacancy factor which seemed to indicate that the Council was either having difficulty in filling vacant posts or keeping posts vacant. He was concerned at the impact that this could be having on existing staff who were having to cover work in the interim in terms of stress.

 

The Financial Services Manager explained that the figure for employee vacancies contained a number of different elements. When a member of staff opted to go part-time or to take flexible retirement the full-time budget for that post was often retained in case they subsequently left the Council and the post have to be re-provided on a full-time basis. There were also cases where staff opted out of the pension scheme and in these circumstances the employer pension contributions that would normally be made were retained within the budget in case the position changed in future. Where a vacancy became available managers would naturally review their service requirements before necessarily seeking a direct replacement and it was also the case that the recruitment process would often result in a period of vacancy once somebody left the Council’s employment.

 

A Member remained concerned about the overall level of staffing and felt that new staff were not being recruited quickly enough where vacancies arose. Another Member felt that the approach described demonstrated that the Council applied a professional and considered approach to filling vacancies.   

 

The Advisory Panel endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

SD (IS)

10.

Annual Treasury Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Summary:

 

1.    To inform Cabinet of the outturn position (subject to audit) of the Council’s investments and borrowing for the 2017/2018 financial year.

 

2.    To inform Cabinet of the outturn position of the Council’s treasury indicators.

 

 

Recommendations:

 

1.    That Members note the outturn for the Council’s treasury management operations for 2017/2018.

 

2.    That Members note the outturn for the Council’s treasury indicators.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members endorsed the recommendations in the report.

11.

Public Consultation for Stone Lodge Site Redevelopment pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Summary:

 

            This report sets out the extent of the public consultation prior to the submission of the Council’s application for outline planning consent, along with the designer responses.

 

Recommendation:

 

            That the contents of the report be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Advisory Panel considered a report which provided details of the public consultation carried out in January and February 2018 prior to the submission of the Council’s application for outline planning consent, the responses to that consultation and the responses from the Council’s design consultants.

 

A Member explained that he had drawn this item down for discussion as a result of concerns expressed by some residents of Stone that the consultation had been conducted separately from the consultation on the Rugby Club and that the schemes did not seem to have been joined-up. In doing so he welcomed the content of the public consultation document for the Stone Lodge site but remained concerned that the rugby club hadn’t formed part of that consultation.

 

The Heritage, Events & Projects Manager explained that the original intention had been to carry out a single consultation exercise but that timing issues had made this impracticable. The Rugby Club scheme had therefore had to undergo public consultation separately as part of the planning process which had been reported to the Development Control Board. It was noted however that the consultation for Stone Lodge had contained a presumption about the provision of a rugby club element and that there had been a range of responses from the public.

 

Another Member stressed the importance that forthcoming consultations on the Town Centre redevelopment should be looked at as a single entity to avoid any confusion of thinking.  

 

The Advisory Panel noted the report.