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Agenda and minutes

General Assembly of the Council (Budget)
Monday 23 February 2015 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
Note No. Item

89.

Prayers: Reverend McCarron

Minutes:

90.

Declarations of Interest

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:

The Managing Director declared a personal interest on behalf of all Officers present at the meeting in staffing matters referred to in Agenda item 7 Revenue and Capital Budgets 2015/2016.

 

Councillor I D Armitt declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Appendices K(i),(ii) and (iii) of Agenda item 7 as he is an employee of Wilmington Parish Council.

 

Councillor A Bardoe declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda item 7 as he is a trustee of the 3rd Dartford Scout Group.

 

Councillor J Burrell declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda item 7 as he is a trustee of the Dartford Citizens Advice Bureau.

 

Councillor P A Coleman declared a non-pecuniary prejudicial interest in Agenda item 7 as he is an honorary treasurer of the 1st Sutton-at-Hone Scout Group.

 

Councillor P Kelly declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda item 7 as he is a trustee and member of the Unit Management Committee of Dartford & Crayford Sea Cadets who receive grants/funding from the Council.

 

Councillor J A Kite declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 7 as he is a director of Dartford Football Club and a director of the Leigh Academy Trust.

 

Councillor E J Lampkin declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda item 7 as he is group leader of the Wilmington Scout Group. 

 

Councillor D J Mote declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Appendices K(i),(ii) and (iii) of Agenda item 7 as his wife is an employee of Stone Parish Council. He also declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda item 7 in respect of his position as Chairman of Stone (Dartford) Scout Group and as a committee member of the Greenhithe and Swanscombe Royal British Legion which receive grants/funding from the Council and also as a member of the Management Team for Greenhithe Community Centre.

 

Councillor A S Sandhu declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda item 7 as he is a trustee of the Kent People’s Trust and of the Temple Hill Trust.

 

 

91.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

92.

Mayor's Announcements

To receive announcements by the Mayor.

Minutes:

·         Former Councillors Ernest Armstrong and Mike Crosby

 

The Leader of the Council paid tribute to former Councillors Ernest Armstrong and Mike Crosby who had recently passed away. In fact he had only learnt of Ernest Armstrong’s death in the last hour. He said that both men had been very different characters but had made a big contribution to the lives of the people of Dartford. Ernest Armstrong had represented Gundulf Ward and was a man of strongly held views which he was never afraid to express, particularly when dealing with people with different views to his own. Mike Crosby had also held strong views which were the opposite of those held by Ernest Armstrong in that he was a die-hard socialist which he had always pursued with conviction, particularly his opposition to the poll tax in the 1980’s. Both men would be sadly missed.

 

The Shadow Leader also spoke in memory of both former Councillors.  He said that he had succeeded Ernest Armstrong as the Member for Gundulf Ward in 1995. Both men could be difficult characters but were very well respected by the local community.

 

Councillors Read and Maddison also shared their recollection of the former Councillors and commented that it was a pity that the Council had lost so many former Members in recent years but noted the positive impact that all of them had had on Dartford. 

 

The Mayor added his condolences and explained that although he had not known Ernest Armstrong he was sure that he had been a very good Councillor. He had attended the funeral of Mike Crosby and knew that he would be greatly missed.

 

·         Forthcoming Events

 

The Mayor reminded Members that the Mayor’s Ball would take place at the Orchard Theatre on 28 February and although this was almost sold out a few tickets were still available. In the coming weeks there was also a Cabaret evening on 29 March, clay pigeon shooting on 4 May and a further Curry evening in support of the Mayor’s Charities on 21st May. The Mayor also announced that he would be attending the Twins Restaurant following the meeting to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

 

93.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

94.

Membership of the Independent Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 47 KB

To make appointments to the membership of the Independent Remuneration Panel.

Minutes:

The General Assembly of the Council was invited to appoint two additional independent members to serve on the Independent Remuneration Panel following the recent selection process and interviews by a panel drawn from the 3 political groups on the Council.

 

It was proposed by Councillor J A Kite and seconded by Councillor A R Martin and

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That Mr Timothy Ian Whittaker and Mrs Lisa Nyon be appointed to serve on the Independent Remuneration Panel for the remainder of the Municipal Year, subject to references.

MD

95.

Revenue and Capital Budgets 2015/2016 pdf icon PDF 176 KB

To set the level of expenditure for Dartford Borough Council capital and revenue budgets for 2015/2016, approve the level of rents chargeable for Housing Revenue Account dwellings for 2015/2016, agree the level of Council Tax for Dartford Borough in its parished and unparished areas, to approve the Pay Policy Statement for 2015/2016 and to determine sundry related matters.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The General Assembly of the Council considered a report which set out the Council’s capital and revenue budgets for 2015/2016. The report, which included the revenue and capital estimates, identified the level of precepts for Kent County Council, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, 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 2015/16, to approve the level of rents chargeable for Housing Revenue Account dwellings for 2015/16, 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.

 

In accordance with Standing Order 16(4), a motion was proposed by the Deputy Leader of the Council, seconded by Councillor C J Shippam 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, informed Members that whereas some other authorities were seeking ways of freezing Council tax and developing services in advance of the forthcoming elections for political reasons this was simply business as usual at Dartford where Council tax had been frozen for six years whilst maintaining services. He thanked the Managing Director, the Management Team, and Finance officers for their help in developing the budget proposals and for their sound advice. He also thanked Tim Sams, Financial Services Manager, who had worked on his first full budget at Dartford. The Leader paid tribute to the work of Councillor Tony Martin, Deputy Leader of the Council and the Cabinet member with responsibility for Finance, for his hard work in preparing the budget and providing him with advice, and also thanked members of the Cabinet, his own Group, the Swanscombe and Greenhithe Residents Association and Members of the Opposition for their support. He stressed that Dartford remained a commonsense authority driven by meeting the needs of the people of Dartford in ways that were practical and achievable. This was reflected by recognising the economic pressures on local resident’s which had been met by freezing Council tax for the 6th year in succession whilst continuing to deliver core services and also being able to deliver a wide range of discretionary services and improvements to local infrastructure. He cited the achievements of recent years including improvements to Central Park, the Judo Centre, bowls facilities, and forthcoming facilities such as the opening of the new cricket pavilion at Heseketh Park, the refurbishment of the Orchard theatre and the re-opening of Fairfield Pool in spring 2016. 

 

The Leader of the Council announced the intention to hold a Spring and Autumn Cultural Arts festival pump-primed by the Council and support for initiatives such as the Dartford Litter pickers by establishing a fund to clean-up Dartford with £30,000 allocated for the town centre and £20,000 for out-lying wards.  The Leader also welcomed the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95.