Agenda and draft minutes

General Assembly of the Council (Budget)
Monday 26 February 2018 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
Note No. Item

77.

Prayers: Reverend Clark

Minutes:

78.

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 6, Revenue and Capital Budgets 2018/2019.

 

It was noted that the Managing Director in the exercise of his delegated authority, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer, had granted a dispensation to all Councillors to speak and vote on Agenda item 6, Revenue and Capital Budgets 2018/19, in respect of their receipt of Members’ Allowances paid by the Council on the ground that without the dispensation, the number of persons prohibited from participating in the discussion and voting on Members’ Allowances would be so great a proportion of the body transacting the business as to impede the transaction of business (see agenda item 6).

 

Councillor I D Armitt declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Appendices J(i),(ii) and (iii) of Agenda item 6 as he is an employee of Wilmington Parish Council.

 

Councillor J Burrell declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6 as he is a trustee of the Dartford Citizens Advice Bureau which receives grants/funding from the Council.

 

Councillor P Kelly declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6 as he is a trustee and Chairman of the Unit Management Committee of the Dartford & Crayford Sea Cadets who receive grants/funding from the Council.

 

Councillor J A Kite MBE declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6 as he is a director of Dartford Football Club which receives grant funding from the Council.

 

Councillor R Lees declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6 as he is a trustee of Dartford Citizens Advice Bureau which receives grants/funding from the Council and also as a trustee of Greenhithe Community Association which is a tenant of the Council and receives grants/funding from the Council.

 

Councillor D J Reynolds declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda item 6 as his partner is an employee of Dartford Borough Council.

 

Councillor A S Sandhu MBE declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6 as he is a trustee of the Kent People’s Trust and as Vice-President of Dartford Valley Rugby Football Club as they receive grants/funding from the Council.

 

 

79.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors P F Coleman, J A Ozog, R S L Perfitt and Mrs P A Thurlow.

80.

Mayor's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Mayor.

Minutes:

The Mayor reminded Member’s about forthcoming events in support of her chosen charities. Members were invited to support the Mayor’s afternoon tea at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel (Dartford Bridge) on 4th March, the Indoor Bowls at Stone Lodge Bowls Centre on 20th April and the Dinner Dance at Princes Park on 21st April.

81.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

MD

82.

Revenue and Capital Budgets 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 169 KB

To set the overall level of General Fund and Housing Revenue Account revenue and capital expenditure for Dartford Borough Council for 2018/19, to agree the level of Council Tax for Dartford Borough in its parished and unparished areas for 2018/19, to approve the Pay Policy Statement for 2018/19 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 2018/19. 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 2018/19, to approve the level of rents chargeable for Housing Revenue Account dwellings for 2018/19, 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.

 

The Leader of the Council introduced the budget report and congratulated officers and the senior management team for their diligent financial management and for their hard work in preparing the budget. He also thanked Councillors Shippam and Lloyd for their support in managing the Council’s finances and in developing the budget. He contrasted the strong financial performance of Dartford with other boroughs that were struggling to maintain services and balance budgets and pointed out that Dartford had no such difficulties having risen to the challenge of identifying savings and revenue to ensure the delivery of core services whilst balancing the books. He pointed out that Dartford had seen no cuts or reductions in core services and had been able to freeze Council tax levels in 7 of the last 8 years. However he felt that the people of Dartford valued the services that they received and would understand that these had to be paid for and it was only right to make clear that this would require an increase in Council tax for 2018/19. It was proposed to increase Council tax by 2.9%, the equivalent of another 9 1/2p per week. This decision had not been taken lightly but was considered to be fair and necessary. He quoted examples of the Council’s commitment to the community and to ensure that everybody had access to services and events, the Council’s measures to deal with homelessness, the delivery of affordable homes where the Council had delivered 239 homes during the last year, the highest total of any authority in Kent, and improvements to local facilities.    The Council had established fair and decent policies which ensured that nobody should feel priced-out of the community and that there was a commitment to action and providing services to real people and people in real need. In terms of capital spending the budget promised better facilities for Dartford families and improvement to the local environment. He felt that the budget continued to cement Dartford’s reputation as a well-run, prudent authority which punched above its weight and commended the budget to the Council and proposed its adoption.  

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor A R Lloyd.

 

In response the Shadow Leader of the Council suggested that the Administration was not listening to the people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.