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Agenda and minutes

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Richard Lees and Patsy Thurlow and Independent Members Mr. Richie Estcourt, Mr. Martin Hussey and Mr. Steve Maynard.

 

Members wished Cllr. Thurlow a speedy recovery following her discharge from hospital.

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members, including the term(s) of any Grant(s) of Dispensation.

Minutes:

The Committee Co-ordinator, on behalf of the Head of Legal Services, confirmed that there was no apparent conflict over any items contained in the agenda papers for Cabinet Members present.

 

No other declarations were made.

3.

Confirmation of Minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2017 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2017 be confirmed.

4.

Chairman's Update

Minutes:

The Chairman advised Members of the following developments on matters not subject to specific reports in the agenda papers:

 

·         Dartford Cricket Club (DCC) – Erection of Advertising Hoardings in Hesketh Park: DCC had yet to apply to the Council for landlord permission to erect revised advertising hoardings as agreed by Members in October 2016 [Min. No. 30 refers];

 

·         Hesketh Park Bowls Club – Refurbishment of Club House: the Club had recently installed new windows, but other planned refurbishment works as set out by the Club and agreed by Members on 8 March 2017 [Min. No. 38 refers] had yet to take place;

 

·         Correspondence for Noting – Mr L P Ryan: the correspondence circulated to Members for noting under separate cover on 9 October and 16 October respectively, had been received after the agenda had gone to print. Members confirmed that they had received both sets of correspondence.

 

In subsequent discussion Members agreed and it was RESOLVED that:

 

(i)            Unless DCC applied in the very near future for landlord permission to erect the advertising hoardings in Hesketh Park [as agreed by the Committee in principle in October 2016]; given the passage of time the Club should submit a fresh application (via Officers) for the Committee to consider at their next scheduled meeting in October 2018;

 

(ii)          Officers continue to update the Committee (as appropriate) on the progress of any further refurbishment works undertaken by Hesketh Park Bowls Club;

 

(iii)         Members confirmed that they had received and noted the latest correspondence from the Dartford resident Mr L P Ryan, as circulated under separate cover on 9 and 16 October 2017 respectively, following publication of the Agenda.

5.

Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.

Minutes:

The Chairman confirmed that there were no urgent items for the Committee to consider.

6.

The Kidd Legacy Trustee's Annual Report and Accounts 2016/2017 pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To consider the Trustee’s draft Annual Report and Accounts for the Kidd Legacy at Central Park Dartford (registered charity no. 1134257) and to recommend accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report asked Members to consider the Trustee’s draft Annual Report and Accounts on the Kidd Legacy at Central Park Dartford (registered charity number 1134257) for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 (attached as Appendix A to the report).

 

In response to specific questions from Members, the Financial Services Manager (FSM) advised the following:

 

(i)            The increase in Unrestricted Funds in 2016/17 over 2015/16 [Appendix A table p.9 - agenda p.21] arose from revenues accrued over more than 1 calendar year being brought to account in a single fiscal year;

 

(ii)          The increase in insurance premiums for 2016/17 over those paid in 2015/16 as recorded in Appendix A [table p.9 – agenda p.21] reflected a general rise in premiums across the industry, but the FSM undertook to check the figures to ensure that Value for Money was being obtained by Officers on behalf of the Charity;

 

(iii)         The contradictory figures quoted for the acreage of the plot of land added to the Kidd Legacy holding in Central Park in 2009 by the Council in its corporate capacity, would be verified and confirmed to Members [Appendix A para 5 and Note 3 to the Accounts respectively – p. 18 and p.21 of the agenda papers].

 

In general discussion, Members supported the comments of the Vice-Chairman and the Chairman that Central Park (including the Kidd Legacy land) had never looked better in presentational terms and that the efforts of the maintenance and landscaping team employed by the Council to maintain Central and other Council owned parks and open spaces in Dartford, be commended.

 

The Vice-Chairman also confirmed for Members that; the planning application for the redevelopment of land ‘East of Lowfield Street’ [DA/16/01919/FUL] considered by the Committee as Charitable Trustee and a ‘neighbouring occupier’ on 8 March 2017; had been subsequently passed by the Council’s Development Control Board (DCB). In making their decision, the DBC had taken into account the comments made by DTOC Members [Min. No. 39 of 8 March refers]. 

 

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the draft Annual Report and Accounts for the Kidd Legacy at Central Park Dartford (registered charity number 1134257) for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 as set out in Appendix A to the report be approved;

 

2.    That the Committee Chairman be authorised to sign the Annual Report and Accounts on the Trustee’s behalf, subject to confirmation by Officers of the exact acreage for the replacement plot of land purchased by the Council (in its corporate capacity) and added to the Kidd Legacy holding in 2009;

 

3.    That the Managing Director be authorised to file the Annual Update for the financial year 2016/17 with the Charity Commission, on the Trustee’s behalf;

 

4.    That the Chairman, in consultation with the Financial Services Manager, confirm that the insurance premiums being paid by the Charity represent the best Value for Money (VfM) available in the market.

 

7.

Children's Playing Field and Recreation Ground, Savoy Road - Trustee's Annual Report and Accounts and Annual Update 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To consider the Trustee’s draft Annual Report and Accounts and the Annual Update for the Children’s Playing Field and Recreation Ground, Savoy Road (registered charity number 302723) for the financial year 2016-17, and to recommend accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report asked Members to consider the Trustee’s draft Annual Report, Accounts and Annual Update for the Children’s Playing Field and Recreation Ground, Savoy Road (registered charity number 302723) for the 2016/17 financial year (attached as Appendix A to the report).

 

The Financial Services Manager reminded Members that the commuted sum of £21,132 received by the Council in 1997 from Kent County Council for the upkeep/maintenance of the land, had been exhausted during 2014/15 and that the Council now met this expense in its corporate capacity, and would continue to do so for the remainder of the lease term until 24 March 2028. Similarly, the play equipment installed at the site by the Council from corporate funds would continue to be maintained corporately.

 

A Member proposal to hold ‘fund-raising’ events to help meet the continued costs of the facility was, on balance, rejected. Members feared that such a measure could be mis-construed by parents as being asked to pay for facilities that were currently free of charge.

 

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Trustee’s draft Annual Report, Accounts and Update for the Children’s Playing Field and Recreation Ground, Savoy Road (registered charity number 302723) for the 2016/2017 financial year as set out in Appendix A to the report be approved;

 

2.    That the Committee, acting as charitable trustee, notes the financial position of the charity as set out in paragraph 3.8 of the report, including the Council’s undertaking (acting in its corporate capacity) to continue to meet all expenditure for the Charity for the remainder of the lease term until 24 March 2028;

 

3.    That the Managing Director be authorised to file the Annual Update for the financial year 2016/2017 with the Charity Commission on the Trustee’s behalf.

 

8.

Hesketh Park - Trustee's Annual Report and Accounts and Annual Update 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To consider the Trustee’s draft Annual Report, Accounts and Annual Update for the Scheme of Management for the Council’s charitable land holding in Hesketh Park, Dartford and to recommend accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report presented the Trustee’s draft Annual Report and Accounts and Annual Update for Hesketh Park for the 2016/17 financial year (attached as Appendix A to the report).

 

The Financial Services Manager advised Members that the insurance premiums for Hesketh Park in respect of Trustee Indemnity and Public Liability [Appendix A agenda p.48] had also risen during 2016/17 - similar to the rise in premiums for the Kidd Legacy [Min. No. 6 (ii) refers]. He would check that the best Value for Money (VfM) was being obtained by Officers in respect of these premiums also.

 

He also confirmed, in response to a specific question from the Vice-Chairman; that the Charity’s balance of £3,833 held as at 31 March 2017 [Appendix A para. 5 agenda p.45] which represented 8 months rental income from Dartford Cricket Club (DCC) in Hesketh Park; would go towards the charity’s running costs in 2017/18. In 2018/19 rental income from DCC would rise to £5,000 representing a full 12 months of tenancy. Only income above £5,000 p.a. was required to be registered with the Charity Commission and unless further income was received, it would not be necessary to register the charity with the Commission in the foreseeable future. However, the Council as Trustee remained subject to charity law and the regulatory powers of the Charity Commission and would continue to monitor the situation; in addition to maintaining annual accounts for Hesketh Park and producing an annual report as a matter of good practice.

 

The Vice-Chairman praised the excellent maintenance of Hesketh Park by the Council’s Parks team and noted that Dartford Cricket Club was settling well into its new surroundings. His experience in visiting the Park was that dog walkers continued to use the facility in numbers and that he invariably observed children and young adults playing cricket and using the net facilities.

 

The Chairman supported these comments and advised Members, in response to a specific question, that cricket had been played in the Brent area since 1756 and that Dartford Cricket Club was maintaining that long tradition with their expanded facilities including flourishing youth and ladies teams.

 

The Vice-Chairman further advised (in response to a Member’s concern) that Hesketh Park was not exclusively for the use of cricket. The Charity Commission had taken a common-sense approach to the Council’s management of the Park both as Trustee and in its corporate capacity: there was no exclusivity of use for any interest group in the Park. In addition to cricket and bowls clubs, dog walkers continued to use the Park in significant numbers, in addition to family groups with their children and members of the public visiting the Garden of Remembrance. Hesketh Park was a good working example of a multi-faceted community amenity in the long-tradition of parks nation-wide: trying to restrict use of such facilities to particular interest groups or even exclude use for particular pastimes, went against those long-held traditions.

 

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Trustee’s draft Annual Report, Accounts and Update for Hesketh Park, Dartford for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.