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Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
Note No. Item

1.

Prayers: Reverend Helen Reeves

Minutes:

The Mayors Chaplain led the Council in prayers and in particular remembered the people of Dartford’s twin town, Hanau, which had experienced loss of life during a recent terrorist attack. The Council observed a period of silence as a mark of respect.

 

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

3.

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 Strategic Director (Internal Services) 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 2020/21.

 

The Strategic Director (Internal Services) in the exercise of her delegated authority, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer, also declared that she had granted a dispensation to all Councillors to speak and vote on Agenda item 7, Revenue and Capital Budgets 2020/21, 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 7).

 

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

 

Councillor R M Currans declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 7 as she is a trustee of Home-Start, which receives grants/funding from the Council.

 

Councillor L H K Edie declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 7 as her father is an employee of the Council.

 

Councillor J A Kite MBE declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 7 as he is a director of Dartford Football Club, which receives grant funding from the Council.

 

Councillor T A Maddison declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda item 7 as he is a trustee of the North West Kent branch of the RSPCA, which receives business rate relief from the Council.

 

Councillor D J Mote declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 7 as he is a trustee of Greenhithe Community Association which is a tenant of the Council, Chairman of Stone (Dartford) Scout Group and Treasurer of the Greenhithe branch of the Royal British Legion, all of which receive grants/funding from the Council. He also declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Appendices J(i),(ii) and (iii) of Agenda item 7 as his wife is an employee of Darenth Parish Council

 

Councillor D J Reynolds declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda item 7 as his partner is an employee of Dartford Borough Council.

 

Councillor A S Sandhu MBE declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 7 as he is a trustee of the Kent People’s Trust and of the Kent Cohesion Council, and as Vice-President of Dartford Valley Rugby Football Club as they receive grants/funding from the Council.

 

 

4.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

5.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

6.

Local Scheme of Support for Council Tax 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To approve rolling forward the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2019/20 for 2020/21, with effect from 1 April 2020.

Minutes:

The General Assembly of the Council considered a report which recommended rolling forward the Local Scheme of Support for Council Tax 2019/20 to 2020/21 with effect from 1st April 2020, as agreed by the Cabinet on 23 January 2020. The Scheme had been subject to comprehensive review for 2019/20 and no changes to that scheme were proposed.

 

It was moved by Councillor J A Kite MBE, seconded by Councillor C J Shippam, and

 

            RESOLVED:

 

That the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2019/20, be rolled forward to 2020/21 with effect from 1 April 2020.

 

MD

7.

Revenue and Capital Budgets 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 323 KB

To set the overall level of General Fund and Housing Revenue Account revenue and capital expenditure for Dartford Borough Council for 2020/21, to agree the level of Council Tax for Dartford Borough in its parished and unparished areas for 2020/21, to approve the Pay Policy Statement for 2020/21 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 2020/21. 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 2020/21, to approve the level of

rents chargeable for Housing Revenue Account dwellings for 2020/21, 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.

 

Before introducing the budget report, the Leader of the Council expressed his own sadness at the appalling terrorist incident in Hanau and noted that they had replied immediately to the Mayor’s letter to send their appreciation for the moral support given by Dartford.

 

The Leader of the Council said that this was the 14th time that he had presented the administration’s budget proposals to the Council and despite being re-elected with a substantial majority last May, he took nothing for granted. Every four years the people of Dartford had the opportunity to express their views and the budget set by the Council and the policies that flowed from it were important for the prosperity of Dartford and there was no hiding place from the Council’s record. He explained that he had presented budgets under many governments and that the one thing they had in common was that they could have done better to provide funding for local government. He said that the funding relationship with central government had been characterised by uncertainty and that future funding remained opaque and confusing. There were new threats to future funding arising from new arrangements for business rates, the financial settlement, the Spending Review and uncertainties over the future of the New Homes Bonus. To manage this it was important to maintain prudent reserves and balances. He explained that whilst this was the case the Council always challenged itself to deliver beyond the expectations of its residents and that new residents were constantly expressing surprise at the extent of the Council’s achievements and services. He cited the continuance of weekly bin collections, the Dartford festival, the new community facilities and rugby club at Stone Lodge as examples of these achievements and said that the proposed budget would continue to deliver social infrastructure.

 

He explained that there were three major elements within the budget: the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), the Capital budget and the Revenue budget. The Leader said that the HRA underpinned the Council’s housing services and he paid tribute to the quality of the work of the Council’s housing policies and the work of housing officers for which he noted there was a shared appreciation across the Chamber and he welcomed the level of engagement that new Members had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.