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Agenda and minutes

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Note No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Chairman's Welcome and Update


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors; Burrell, Butterfill (Substitute Cllr. Barham), Currans, Grehan (Sub. Cllr. Ben Moussa), Ozog (Sub. Cllr. Mote) and Sandhu.


The Chairman welcomed his guests Patricia Chapman (Dartford Tenant’s and Leaseholder’s Forum), Sue Braysher (DGS CCG) and Adam Wickings (West Kent CCG), and noted the presence of the Strategic Director (External Services), the Waste & Parks Manager, the Assist. Environmental Health Manager and the Council’s Scientific Officer to respond to Members’ questions and concerns.


He also advised Members that he had spoken to the Leader of the Council concerning the future direction of the Committee’s work, given its responsibility to report to Cabinet [Min. No. 2 of 18 June 2019 refers]. The Leader had placed no restrictions on the Committee’s Work Plan or proposed any future areas of investigation.



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.


Several Members gave details of relatives who worked within the NHS in differing capacities.


None of the disclosures made constituted a pecuniary or prejudicial interest under Council Standing Orders [SO 19 and 20 refer].



Confirmation of the minutes of the Policy Overview meeting held on 18 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 320 KB


The Committee Co-ordinator confirmed that the Minutes of the Committee’s meeting held on 18 June 2019 were subsequently considered by Cabinet on 2 September [Cabinet Min. No. 9 refers]. The issue of improved ‘sign-posting’ on the Council’s website for customers wishing to claim Universal Credit, particularly disadvantaged customers [POC Min. No. 9 refers], was being taken forward by the Strategic Director (Internal Services) in discussion with the Benefits Manager.




That the Minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 18 June 2019 be confirmed.


Urgent Items

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


There were no urgent items for Members to consider.



To consider references from other Committees (if any)


There were no references from other Committees for Members to consider.



Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To consider any issues arising from the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 9 August 2019 to 31 December 2019.




1.    That Members note the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 9 August 2019 to 31 December 2019.



Action Points Arising from the Policy Overview Committee Meeting held on 18 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

To note the list of action points arising from the Policy Overview Committee meeting held on 18 June 2019.




1.    That the contents of the report be noted.


Urgent Care Services in Dartford, Gravesend and Swanley pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Members to note the report and enclosed material from the Dartford Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and agree a Council response to the CCG’s proposals.

Additional documents:


The report from the Strategic Director (External Services) brought to Members’ attention a consultation by the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), concerning the provision of urgent care services in the area.  A press release from the CCG which summarised the identified options for changes to existing services was attached at Appendix A to the report. The full consultation document and questionnaire was attached as Appendix B. The public consultation exercise would end on 4 November 2019.


Members were invited to consider both appendices, which set out the pros and cons for creating a new single Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC), to be situated in either Gravesham Community Hospital or Darent Valley Hospital and agree a formal response from the Council to the CCG.


The Chairman proposed that discussion proceed on the assumption that Members had already read the report and appendices. He also noted that he and some other Members had already responded to the CCG consultation document on an individual basis.


He opened the debate by stating his support for Darent Valley Hospital (DVH) to be chosen as the location for the new Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC), given its geographical location in the centre of the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG area, and close proximity to the A2. Location of the UTC at DVH would also help relieve existing pressures on the hospital’s adjacent A&E Department.


In subsequent discussion, several Members expressed their dissatisfaction with the CCG consultation document [Appendix B to the report], which they felt was biased towards location of the proposed UTC at Gravesham Community Hospital (GCH) in terms of; ‘parking availability’, ‘ease of access by public transport’ and ‘ease of access on foot’ as detailed in pages 9 and 10 of the report and summarised in the table on page 11 [agenda pages 31-33 refer].


Members made the following points in support of locating the new UTC at Darent Valley Hospital (DVH):


·         UTCs benefitted from co-location with existing A&E facilities which DVH already had, thus making a better combined package of care facilities for all DGS CCG residents;

·         DVH benefitted from a direct Fastrack service in terms of public transport;

·         DVH did need more vehicle parking (as did GCH), but proposals for a new multi-story car park were being pursued;

·         Dartford’s increasing population and house building operations added weight to the case for DVH to be the preferred option for a new UTC rather than GCH.


The Strategic Director advised that, based on Member discussion, as confirmed in the approved Minutes of the meeting, Officers would compose a ‘draft’ letter from the Chairman to the CCG confirming the Council’s formal response that the proposed new Urgent Treatment Centre be located at Darent Valley Hospital.




1.    That Members note the report and Appendices;


2.    That Members support the proposal that the new Urgent Treatment Centre for the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group be situated at Darent Valley Hospital.


Mental Health

To receive a presentation from the CCG that provides an overview of the strategic aims for mental health, key programmes of work and priority areas.



The Chairman renewed his welcome to his NHS guests and invited them to outline their roles and responsibilities for Members.


Sue Braysher advised that the CCG had been increasingly focused on the move towards the creation of a single Kent and Medway CCG by April 2020 if the application to NHSE was successful. The new single CCG would be responsible for strategic commissioning across Kent & Medway which would include specialist Mental Health services. Dartford, Gravesham & Swanley Integrated Care Partnership will (from April 2021) be responsible for ensuring that Mental and Physical Health and Wellbeing services meet the needs of the population.


Adam Wickings introduced himself as the Deputy Managing Director, West Kent CCG and the Senior Responsible Officer for Mental Health for Medway, North and West Kent CCGs. In that latter role, his responsibilities were focussed on ensuring that more CCG funding was spent on Mental Health care, and within that category, that a larger proportion of resources were devoted to Children’s Mental Health care.


Members received a PowerPoint presentation from the Deputy MD entitled ‘Children, Young People and Adult Mental Health strategic aims, key programmes of work and priority areas’, which covered four key areas:


Kent Mental Health Needs Assessment 2019


·         Mental Health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises his/her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to his/her community (World Health Organisation 2003);

·         Mental illnesses are as varied and distinct as physical illnesses, with a variety of causes and treatment. They typically group into two main types, Common Mental Illnesses (with a prevalence of 1 in 4 of the population) or Severe Mental Illness such as Psychosis (with a prevalence of 0.5-1 in 100 of the population);

·         50% of lifetime mental illness begins before the age of 14 (Kessler R, and Berglund P 2005);

·         75% of lifetime mental illness begins before the age of 24 (Kessler R, and Berglund P 2005);

·         Both poverty and exposure to ‘adverse childhood experiences’ (ACE) contribute and exacerbate a person’s mental health (state of mind) and can lead to mental illness (a clinically diagnosable condition that requires treatment);

·         Exposure to four or more ACE’s gives a person a 60% chance of having a mental illness that requires specialist treatment;

·         Social Isolation and loneliness also increase the likelihood of depression, multi-morbidity and use of adult acute mental health services;

·         There are a range of protective factors such as employment, education and social connectedness that can keep people well and improve their resilience.

Five Year Forward View and Long Term Plan for Mental Health


·         Children and Young People (CYP) – 35% of CYP with a diagnosable mental health condition to access treatment each year by 2020/21;

·         CYP Eating Disorders – Community Eating Disorder teams for CYP to meet access and waiting time standards;

·         Early Intervention in Psychosis – Expand capacity so that 50% (moving  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


Illegal Dumping, Enforcement and Household Waste Recycling Centres pdf icon PDF 128 KB

This report updates Members regarding the level of dumping, enforcement against offenders, and policy changes at Kent County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres.


Additional documents:


The joint report from the Waste & Parks and Enforcement & Regulatory Services Managers, updated Members regarding the level of illegal dumping and fly tipping in Dartford, the enforcement measures being taken against offenders, and the policy changes at Kent County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs). Appendix A to the report comprised a table setting out reported incidences of illegal dumping/fly tipping on a monthly basis for the years 2015/16 to 2019/20 [to date].


The Chairman advised Members that he had requested the report to enable the Committee to focus on how the Council was meeting these continuing challenges common to all local authorities in Kent. He stressed that his request for an update report did not imply any criticism of Council Officers or the existing measures being taken to address these core issues. He made no judgement that the Council’s efforts to address illegal dumping were better or worse than those of neighbouring Kent Boroughs.


That said, he wanted Dartford to be known as the best local authority in Kent for the successful removal of fly tipping and illegally dumped waste, and for the successful prosecution and fining of those committing such offences. To that end, his aim was to identify further positive measures which the Council could adopt to achieve that goal. The presence of the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Waste & Environment on the Committee would provide Members with additional expertise, in addition to a voice within Cabinet to add weight to any recommendations the Committee might resolve to put to the administration for consideration.


At the Chairman’s request, Members had received pictures of recent illegally dumped waste on the verges of some of the main arterial routes in Dartford. The Chairman proposed that the successful removal of such illegal dumping be publicised on the Council’s website (as it was in local papers), to help raise the Council’s profile in successfully tackling the issue. He also advocated the increased use of press releases by the Council, to make the public better aware of ‘success stories’ where such fly tipping had been removed and offenders prosecuted and fined.


The Waste & Parks Manager advised Members that the Council website provided statistics on illegal dumping in the Borough, it also asked the public to help in reporting those incidents, and provided details of the Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) fining regime in force for illegal dumping offences, including fining the public for using illegal waste carriers. He assured Members that the Council took every opportunity to publicise the details of successful prosecutions against illegal dumping and fly tipping, including ‘naming and shaming’ offenders in Council press releases, when they were convicted by the courts.


The following principal points were confirmed by the Waste & Parks Manager in further discussion with Members:


·         The number of prosecutions brought by the Council in the courts for illegal dumping, as a percentage figure of the total number of FPNs issued, was not known by the Waste & Parks Manager. However, given the higher degree of proof required by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Air Quality Annual Status Report 2019 pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To receive the Council’s Air Quality Annual Status Report for 2019 and comment accordingly.

Additional documents:


The covering report, written jointly by the Council’s Assistant Environmental Health Manager and the Council’s Scientific Offer, enclosed at Appendix A the Council’s Air Quality Annual Status Report for 2019.


Members were asked to note the contents of both documents prior to submission of the 2019 Air Quality Report to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in fulfilment of Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 for Local Air Quality Management to:


·         Report progress on the implementation of measures in the local air quality action plan and other measures and their impact in reducing concentrations below air quality objectives to;

·         Provide a summary of monitoring/modelling data in order to process the air quality situation in the area and likelihood of air quality breaches.


The Chairman proposed that discussion proceed on the basis that all Members had read both the covering report and the substantive 2019 Annual Report at Appendix A.


In response to subsequent questions from Members, the Strategic Director (External Services) and the report authors confirmed the following points for the Committee:


·         Air pollution in Dartford had increased in 2018 over levels recorded for 2017. It was believed that this was due primarily to adverse weather conditions, in particular an increase in Easterly wind strengths on the western side of the A242, in contrast to the Westerly prevailing winds of previous years;

·         The 2018 increase in air pollution levels in Dartford had not been replicated Kent-wide, and the exact causes (other than changes in wind direction) for an increase was unknown. However, an increase in air pollution in 1 year (2018) should be viewed in the context of previous years: it did not mean that air pollution in Dartford was on an upward trend;

·         Improvements in vehicle technology have resulted in a reduction in emissions from individual vehicles however, due to Dartford’s increasing population associated air quality benefits have not been as rapid as hoped. Ownership of electrical vehicles is increasing, despite only 1% of new vehicle registrations being electrical. It has been predicted that the tipping point for the uptake of electrical vehicles will be 2022 at which point, they will be cheaper to own and the demand for them increase significantly. The price of the Westgate charging points relative to elsewhere was not known;

·         The imposition of 20 m.p.h. speed zones for cars held both benefits and draw-backs. Emissions may be greater from a vehicle travelling at 20 m.p.h. compared to one driven at 30 m.p.h. however, depending on the local traffic conditions, a 20 m.p.h. speed limit could result in smoother flowing less stop-start traffic, which could result in an overall reduction of emissions;

·         The potential parking arrangements for HGVs in the car park of Ebbsfleet International station [post Brexit] for vehicle and customs checks, was imposed by central Government under Statutory Instrument on 6 September 2019. The Council had been consulted and had registered a strong objection to the HMRC and DoT proposed scheme, which would utilise existing ‘hard standing’ at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.



This report updates Members on the progress made with meeting the key actions and performance indicators for the Corporate Plan in the first quarter of the 2019/20 municipal cycle, as set out in Appendices A and B to the report.

Additional documents:





1.    That Members note the contents of the report.


Committee rolling Work Plan 2019/20 and Beyond pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To consider the updated 2019/20 Work Plan attached at Appendix A to the report and agree the proposed additions, deletions or re-scheduling of existing and new items.

Additional documents:




1.    That Members note the Committee’s revised rolling Work Plan for 2019-20 as attached at Appendix B to the report;


2.    That Members receive a further specific presentation from the West Kent CCG’s CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health) team on their Dartford operation in March 2020, and that the Work Plan be amended accordingly;


3.    That the Committee note that it would now receive the Dartford Preventative Health Projects (DPHP) Annual Report 2018-2019 in March 2020 rather than December 2019 [Min. No. 35 refers].