Agenda and minutes

General Assembly of the Council (Budget)
Monday 28 February 2011 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
Note No. Item

132.

Prayers

Minutes:

133.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

Marie Kelly-Stone 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 2011/2012.

 

Marie Kelly-Stone Head of Legal Services announced the following declarations on behalf of Members:

 

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 and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Dartford Conservative Association which hires a stall at the Dartford Festival.  The Councillor declared a personal prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6, as a trustee of Dartford Citizens Advice Bureau, director of Thames Groundwork Kent and Medway, trustee and chairman of Dartford Age Concern and as a trustee of Dartford Almshouse Charity.

 

Councillor C Angell declared a personal prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6, as a trustee of the Dartford Citizens Advice Bureau and of Time4U.

 

Councillor I D Armitt declared a personal interest in Agenda item 6, as a member of DGSM Your Choice, and as Vice President of the Dartford District Scouts Association.  The Councillor declared a personal prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 6 as trustee of Dartford Age Concern, WalkTall, Crayford and Dartford Sea Cadets and Time4U, and as his wife is employed by Dartford Age Concern, and as he is an employee of Wilmington Parish Council.

 

Councillor D J Baker declared a personal interest in Agenda item 6, as a member of the Acacia Hall Club.  The Councillor declared a personal prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6, as a director of Central Park Athletic Club.

 

Councillor A Bardoe declared a personal prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6 as a member of the management board of YMCA Thames Gateway (South) and as Chair of the 3rd Dartford Scout Group. He also declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 6 as he is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 133.

134.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

135.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

Fire at an Orphanage in Estonia

 

In view of the Borough’s links with Tallin the Mayor was sad to report that there had been a fire at an orphanage for disabled children in the western Estonian town of Haapsalu which had resulted in the death of 10 children and that a further 10 children and 2 adults had also been injured. The Mayor explained that he would be sending the Council’s condolences to the Estonian authorities.

 

Charity Ball

 

The Mayor informed Members that the Charity Ball had been a great success and had raised nearly £2,000. He thanked members for their support.

 

Cabaret Evening

 

The Mayor reminded Members that they could contact himself or the Mayoress to obtain tickets for the Cabaret evening at Acacia Hall which would take place on 6 March. 

136.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

MD

137.

Revenue and Capital Budgets 2011/2012 pdf icon PDF 6 MB

To set the level of expenditure for Dartford Borough Council capital and revenue budgets for 2011/2012, to approve the level of rents chargeable for Housing Revenue Account dwellings for 2011/2012, to agree the level of Council Tax for Dartford Borough in its parished and unparished areas and to determine sundry related matters.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Managing Director submitted a report which set out the Council’s capital and revenue budgets for 2011/2012. 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 2011/12, to approve the level of rents chargeable for Housing Revenue Account dwellings for 2011/12, 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, commended the budget proposals to the Council and explained that he felt that the budget represented a huge achievement on the part of Members, including his coalition colleagues, and of the officers involved. The budget proposed no increase in Council tax and no discernable reduction in services despite widespread predictions of cuts by Members of the opposition and their local supporters. This had been possible because the Council had taken a prudent approach to financial planning, had worked hard to eliminate waste and had focussed on the needs of residents and the town of Dartford. He noted that in the last year of the Labour administration Council tax had increased by 10% and the Council had employed 25% more staff. In comparison during the last 4 years Council tax had risen by 6.8% in total and over the last 8 years of Conservative control had risen by 24.56% at a time when the RPI had gone up by 29.4%. He explained that there would be no increases in Members Allowances or salaries this year. He also drew attention to many achievements of recent years including the development of the Princes Park Stadium, the Judo Club and the new Parish Centre in Swanscombe and Greenhithe. He highlighted the work that had been done with the Youth Council, Salute to Youth and the Elder Person’s Forum which had proved popular and successful and demonstrated that the Council listened to the wishes of local residents.   The Leader commented that the budget proposals also included a balanced and sensible approach to the Council’s staffing requirements to ensure that staff were both valued but also added value to the organisation. He noted the good work that had been done to deliver private sector housing renewal targets and quoted the positive comments from the Chairman of the Resident’s Forum on the housing services delivered by the Council. He also reminded Members that the Council had made efficiency savings of over £3M in recent years and that the Audit Commission had confirmed that Dartford was a low cost authority. He noted that the Labour Group had invited the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 137.