Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1DR
Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayers: Reverend Arding
The Reverend Arding led the Council in prayer. Special mention was made of the late Neil Pearson Coffey, Bean Parish Councillor and Parish Councillor Representative on the Joint Transportation Board, who had recently passed away and for the recovery of Councillor Sheila East and Colin Cloke who were both seriously ill.
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)
Alan Twyman, Member Services Manager, 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 2012/2013. He also 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 3.10 (Mayoral Allowances – standard rate of income tax), the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have a personal interest.
In respect of Agenda item 6, recommendations 3.31 (a) (Council Tax Base) all Members resident in the Borough have a personal interest.
In respect of Agenda item 6, recommendations 3.31(b) and 3.32 (Parish/Town Council Tax Base/Precepts) Councillors J P Adams, Mrs A D Allen, I D Armitt, L J Bobby, S H Brown, S P Butterfill, P F Coleman, D A Hammock, J A Hayes, D E Hunnisett, J A Kite, E J Lampkin, A R Martin, M I Peters, B E Read, Mrs J Rickwood, R L Shanks, M J Street, and Mrs P A Thurlow have a personal interest.
Councillor J P Adams declared a personal interest in Agenda item 6, as a member of the Executive Committee of the Dartford Labour Party which hires a stall at the Dartford Festival.
Councillor A D Allen declared a personal interest in Agenda item 6, 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 Almshouses Charity, Age Concern North West Kent and of Dartford Citizens Advice Bureau, and as a member of the management committee of Health Action Dartford.
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. He also declared a personal interest 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 he is an employee of Wilmington Parish Council.
Councillor A Bardoe declared a personal prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6, as Chair of the 3rd Dartford Scout Group. He also declared a personal interest in Agenda item 6 as he is a member of the Becketts Gym.
Councillor L J Bobby declared a personal interest in Agenda item 6, as a member of the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents’ Association and a member of the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Sports and Social Club.
Councillor S H Brown declared a personal interest in Agenda item 6, as a member of Dartford Football Club Supporters’ Club and because his father is a shareholder in ... view the full minutes text for item 2.
Apologies for Absence
To receive apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors J Burrell, S East, R S L Perfitt and G Reynolds.
The Mayor made the following announcements:
Mayor’s Charity Ball
The Mayor thanked Members for supporting a highly successful Charity Ball held at Princes Park Football ground which had proved an excellent venue.
The Mayor reported that he had received no further update on the condition of Colin Cloke and that the position remained the same as outlined in the last email sent to Members by the Member Services Manager along with a copy of an article which had been published in the local press.
Neil Pearson Coffey
The Mayor led the General Assembly in sending the Council’s condolences to the family of the late Neil Pearson Coffey. The Mayor advised Members that Mr Pearson Coffey’s funeral would take place at 11.00 am on Wednesday 7 March at Medway Crematorium.
Successes across the Borough
The Mayor announced that he had written to a number of residents of the Borough who had recently made significant achievements:-
· Miss Hanah Cubicis, of the 9th Dartford Scout Group who had received the Baden Powell Challenge Award;
· Terry Holland, who had taken 3rd place in the World’s Strongest Man competition and 1st place in the All American Strongman Challenge; and
· The Head Teacher of Knockhall Primary School to congratulate the School on reaching its centenary. He had encouraged the Head Teacher to make any publications celebrating the School’s history and achievements available to the Dartford Library and Museum for posterity.
Councillor Jeremy Kite, MBE
The Mayor congratulated the Leader of the Council for being awarded the MBE in the New Year’s Honours list. The Mayor paid tribute to Councillor Kite as an outstanding Dartfordian and Leader of the Council and praised his commitment and enthusiasm to working on behalf of the people of Dartford.
Finally the Mayor announced that he had also written to Her Majesty the Queen to congratulate her on celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of her accession to the throne.
The Mayor will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items.
To set the level of expenditure for Dartford Borough Council capital and revenue budgets for 2012/2013, to approve the level of rents chargeable for Housing Revenue Account dwellings for 2012/2013, to agree the level of Council Tax for Dartford Borough in its parished and unparished areas, to approve the Pay Policy Statement for 2012/13, and to determine sundry related matters.
The General Assembly of the Council considered a report which set out the Council’s capital and revenue budgets for 2012/2013. 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 2012/13, to approve the level of rents chargeable for Housing Revenue Account dwellings for 2012/13, to agree the level of Council Tax for Dartford Borough in its parished and unparished areas, and to determine sundry related matters. Members were also asked to approve the Council’s Pay Policy Statement and proposals for restructuring the organisation following changes within the senior management structure.
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 his Group had taken control in 2003 following a year in which the previous administration had increased the Council tax by 9.88% against an increase in the RPI of 1.5%. Since that time there had not been a single year during which the Council had increased the level of Council tax by even half of that figure and low Council tax increases combined with a programme of real achievement and delivered promises had seen the current administration returned for a third term of office in May 2011. Whilst in 2003 the administration had required a coalition to retain control this had long ceased to be the case but the Majority Group had chosen to continue to work in coalition with the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents Members voluntarily. The Leader felt that the Council operated most effectively when Members from all groups worked together and not politically.
The Leader paid tribute to the Managing Director, the Management Team, Head of Finance and Resources and the Finance Department for continuing to deliver good services and for robust financial management during a difficult economic climate. He also paid tribute to the management of The Orchard Theatre for delivering a superb service for the public and the Council. The Leader informed Members that he had recently attended two budget briefings for Council staff to explain the budgetary approach that the Council was proposing and that a choice had been made to follow an approach of pay restraint rather than sacrificing jobs. Unlike some other Council’s which were cutting jobs and slashing services he felt that the Council’s staff were a valuable resource worth protecting. Whilst he was happy to announce a pay award of 1% he recognised that this was a sub-inflationary award but was pleased that staff had responded well and appreciated the fact that any increase was proposed and that the Council was looking to provide a stable ... view the full minutes text for item 6.