Agenda and minutes

General Assembly of the Council (Budget)
Monday 1 March 2010 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
Note No. Item

126.

Prayers: Reverend David Norley

Minutes:

Prayers were said by the Reverend David Norley. Special mention was made for the recovery of Councillor L J Bobby who was currently in hospital.

 

127.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interests Members may wish to make including the term(s) of the Grant of Dispensation(s) by the Standards Committee (if any)

Minutes:

The Head of Legal Services declared a personal interest, on behalf of all Officers present at the meeting, in staffing matters referred to in Agenda Item 6, Revenue and Capital Budgets 2010/2011.

 

The Head of Legal Services announced the following declarations on behalf of Members present:

 

In respect of Agenda item 6, for Parish/Town Councillors, a personal interest by virtue of their Parish/Town Council membership.

 

In respect of Agenda item 6, recommendation 3.7 (Members’ Allowances and Mayoral Allowances), all Members and the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have a personal interest.

 

In respect of Agenda item 6, recommendation 3.8 (Mayoral Allowances – standard rate of income tax), the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have a personal interest.

 

In respect of Agenda item 6, recommendations 3.27 (a) (Council Tax Base) all Members resident in the Borough have a personal interest.

 

In respect of Agenda item 6, recommendations 3.27(b) and 3.28 (Parish/Town Council Tax Base/Precepts) Councillors Mrs A D Allen, I D Armitt, D J Baker, L J Bobby, S H Brown, P F Coleman, S East, D A Hammock, J A Hayes, D E Hunnisett,  S Johnston, J A Kite, E J Lampkin, A R Martin, V Openshaw, R S L Perfitt, M I Peters, D M Pickersgill, B E Read, Mrs J Rickwood, P J Scanlan, Mrs P A Thurlow, and Mrs N C Wightman have a personal interest.

 

Councillor A D Allen declared a personal interest in Agenda item 6, as Council representative on the F W A Dartford Family Support Service.  The Councillor declared a personal prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6, as a trustee of Dartford Citizens Advice Bureau, director of Groundwork Kent and Medway, trustee and chairman of Dartford Age Concern and as a trustee of Homestart North West Kent.

 

Councillor C Angell declared a personal prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6, as a trustee of the Dartford Citizens Advice Bureau and of Time4U and as an area co-ordinator for South East Open Studios which has received funding from Dartford Borough Council. The Councillor declared a personal interest in Agenda item 6 as a member of the Dartford Constituency Labour Party Executive Committee, which hires a stall at the Dartford Festival.

 

Councillor I D Armitt declared a personal interest in Agenda item 6, as a member of DGSM YourChoice, a member of the Executive Committee of the Dartford Conservative Association which hires a stall at the Dartford Festival and as Vice President of the Dartford District Scouts Association. Councillor Armitt also declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 6 as he and his wife are shareholders, season ticket holders and members of the Supporters Club of Dartford Football Club and as his wife is a member of The Orchard Theatre’s Premier Club and his daughter is employed at the Theatre. The Councillor further declared a personal prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 6 as trustee of Dartford Age Concern, Crayford and Dartford Sea Cadets and Time4U, and as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 127.

128.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

129.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that the recent Barn Dance in aid of her Charity had been well supported and that tickets were still available for the forthcoming Charity Cabaret night.

 

The Mayor presented Councillors J A Kite and A R Martin with certificates from YMCA Thames Gateway which recognised their participation in the first annual sponsored sleep-out at Dartford Football Club on the evening of 30 January.  The “Sleep Easy” event helped to raise over £7,000 to provide disadvantaged young people with support and opportunities to turn their lives around.  

130.

Urgent Items

The Mayor will announce her decision as to whether there are any urgent items.

Minutes:

MD

131.

Revenue and Capital Budgets 2010/2011 pdf icon PDF 15 MB

To set the level of expenditure for Dartford Borough Council capital and revenue budgets for 2010/2011, to approve the level of rents chargeable for Housing Revenue Account dwellings for 2010/2011, to agree the level of Council Tax for Dartford Borough in its parished and unparished areas and to determine sundry related matters.

Minutes:

The Managing Director submitted a report which set out the Council’s capital and revenue budgets for 2010/2011. The report, which included the revenue and capital estimates, identified the level of precepts for Kent County Council, the Kent Police Authority, Kent Fire and Rescue and the Town and Parish Councils within the Borough.

 

Members were asked to set the level of expenditure for Dartford Borough Council Capital and Revenue Budgets for 2010/11, to approve the level of rents chargeable for Housing Revenue Account dwellings for 2010/11, to agree the level of Council Tax for Dartford Borough in its parished and unparished areas, and to determine sundry related matters.

 

In accordance with Standing Order 16(4), a motion was proposed, seconded and carried, to allow extra time for Leaders of the Political Groups to deliver their speeches on the Budget report.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor J A Kite, explained that he had warned in previous years about the pressure on resources made available by the Government which were diluted by the various agencies and quangos through which they were delivered and that these agencies, like the rest of the public sector, were having to adjust to a new reality. Government spending and borrowing as a response to the recession had resulted in an increase in public debt of £140B during the last year and had reached a record high of £840B. The private sector had been hit hardest by the economic situation but the public sector was also experiencing the consequences and it was expected that there would be a reduction in central grant funding from the Government by 20-35% over the next three years. Dartford however was in as good a  position as possible to deal with these pressures because the Council had developed a clear vision to deliver service improvements whilst maintaining strong financial controls. This had enabled the Council to make cashable savings of over £3.5M in recent years whilst achieving a high CAA score for the Use of Resources, providing low cost and high quality services for the Council’s customers and delivering service improvements.   The Council had been able to improve local facilities in Princes Park and Central Park, and provide innovative developments such as the Dojo whilst there had been service improvements in housing services and graffiti removal and successful initiatives such as “Salute to Youth”.

 

The Leader commented on the stability of the Council’s revenue budget and budget planning and stressed that the Council would be innovative in areas where this could benefit the borough or its residents, which could involve joint working where this was appropriate. This prudent approach had enabled the Council to deliver a balanced budget which had minimal implications for staffing levels and even allowed the Council to award a pay increase of 0.5%. Whilst the budget report made provision for a similar increase in Members Allowances, Councillor Kite announced that the Conservative Group would not be accepting the increase in view of the current economic circumstances. The Leader highlighted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 131.