Agenda and minutes

Policy Overview Committee
Tuesday 12 June 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: B12

Contact: Email: 

Note No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J Burrell, B Garden and R Lees. No Substitutes were nominated.


The Chairman welcomed Members and Officers to the meeting and thanked Mr John O’Sullivan (Kent Local Pharmaceutical Committee) for agreeing to return and update Members following his last presentation to the Committee in September 2017.


The Chairman asked that his thanks to Alan Stoneham, as a valued and long-standing Clerk to the Committee, be recorded in the Minutes. He wished Alan a long and happy retirement, sentiments which Members endorsed.  


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.


There were declarations of interest.


Confirmation of the minutes of the Policy Overview meeting held on 20 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 130 KB




That the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 20 March 2018 be confirmed.


Urgent Items

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


The Chairman advised that there were no urgent items for consideration by Members.



Policy Overview Committee Terms of Reference and Protocol pdf icon PDF 45 KB

This report presents to Members the current Policy Overview Committee Terms of Reference and Protocol.

Additional documents:


The report asked Members to formally note the Committee’s Terms of Reference and Protocol documents as agreed at the Annual Meeting on 9 May 2018 (attached to the report as Appendix A and B respectively).





1.    That Members note the Terms of Reference for the Policy Overview Committee attached at Appendix A to the report;

2.    That Members note the Committee’s Protocol attached at Appendix B to the report.



To consider references from other Committees (if any)


There were no references from other Committees to consider.


Regulation 9 Notice pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To consider any issues arising from the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 May 2018 to 30 September 2018.




1.    That the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 May 2018 to 30 September 2018 be noted.



Action Points Arising from the Policy Overview Committee Meeting held on 20 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To note the list of action points arising from the Policy Overview Committee meeting held on 20 March 2018.


This standard report from the Committee Clerk asked Members to note the list of Action Points arising from the Committee’s last meeting held on 20 March 2018.


Members were advised of the following further developments/proposed action:


Item 1: Health Funding


Officers remained in ongoing discussions with representatives of the Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (DGS CCG) and the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust over the scope and content of a further letter to the Secretary of State for Health, expressing continued Member concern over the inadequacy of Government funding for the Trust and the CCG. The Strategic Director (ES) undertook to speak to Mike Gilbert at the CCG and Gerard Sammon at the Trust to progress matters.


Item 2: GP charges for Referral Letters


The Vice-Chairman advised Members that she had been in contact with three separate GP Practices in Dartford over this vexed issue, with some success.  The Elmdene Surgery had ceased charging following her representations, but The Orchard Practice continued to charge a £10 fee for non-clinical referrals. However, the practice in Joydens Wood which had first been reported to Members continued to charge £25 for all referral letters. The Vice-Chairman undertook to continue with her representations and report back to the Committee.


Item 3: Update from Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group


The Chairman advised that this would take place in March 2019 not 2018 as advised in the report.




1.    That the list of Action Points arising from the Committee’s meeting on 20 March 2018 be noted, together with the further action agreed by Members on 12 June 2018, as set out above.





Pharmacy Services pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To receive a briefing on the services that can be provided by pharmacies.

Additional documents:


At its meeting on 19 September 2017 the Committee were briefed by Cheryl Clennett, Pharmacy Advisor to Kent Public Health and John O’Sullivan, Kent Local Pharmaceutical Committee (KLPC) member, on the services that were provided by pharmacies and the progress of the ongoing Kent Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) review [Min. No. 20 refers].


At the request of the Committee John O’Sullivan (KLPC) had agreed to return and update the Committee on the outcomes of the PNA review and changes to pharmacy services since that initial presentation to Members in September 2017. The Chairman thanked Mr, O’Sullivan for agreeing to return and update Members, and invited him to address the Committee.


Members had been provided with copies of the Kent PNA for Dartford, Gravesham & Swanley CCG (and accompanying maps) dated March 2018 in the agenda papers [Item 9 Appendices A and B pages 43-104 refer]. In his update address to the Committee, John O’Sullivan drew on the contents of a Dartford specific speaking note ‘Community Pharmacy in Dartford’ (subsequently copied to Members) from which he highlighted the following key points and statistics for consideration by the Committee:


·         Since February/March 2017 Government cuts to the funding of community pharmacy had totalled some £140M with a consequent severe impact on revenue streams for pharmacies and a grim outlook for the future of community pharmacy;

·         Core costs for pharmacies were rising (salaries) whilst the NHS contract for core services had been eroded over the previous 18 month period;

·         In this climate of fiscal regression pharmacies could only undertake a bare recruitment campaign to replace staff on a like for like basis [pharmacists train to a Master’s degree level over 5 years, inclusive of a minimum 1 year’s practice with professional examinations, plus a commitment to Continued Professional Development (CPD)];

·         Pharmacists now had to increasingly multi-task, which increased the opportunity for mistakes [due to pressure of work] and increased litigation arising from those mistakes;

·         Pharmacists were ‘over-skilled’ but underutilised in the present system particularly in terms of their introduction into hospitals and 1 on 1 emergency care;

·         Little had changed in terms of pharmacy provision for Dartford since the PNA review conducted by Cheryl Clennett [Consultant Pharmacist for Kent Public Health] in 2017. One new pharmacist had opened at the Bridge Development, but growth in Dartford was a concern, with few commercially viable new contracts if any, available;

·         A particular concern was Kent’s 200+ GP vacancies against a backdrop of the highest number of GPs over the age of 55 across the UK excluding Wales. The challenging primary care infrastructure meant that new GPs were not coming through the system with NHS England experiencing a shortfall in GP and all clinician grades across the UK;

·         The shortfall in GP provision in Kent in particular, could provide increased and more diversified roles for pharmacists in the provision of locally commissioned services (LCSs) but this was not being reflected in the funding provisions made by Kent’s eight CCGs to community pharmacies. The Dartford, Gravesend and Swanley (DGS)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.



Update on Government Consultation on the draft Clean Air Strategy 2018 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman confirmed that all Members had received a printed copy of the report [marked as to ‘To-Follow’ in the agenda] from the Council’s Scientific Officer which enclosed as Appendix A the Government’s draft Clean Air Strategy 2018 document, recently published by the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) for public consultation.


Members were asked to note the content of the report and to offer any comments for inclusion by Officers in a final report to Cabinet, which would form the basis of the Council’s formal response to the questions posed by Defra in their draft 2018 Clean Air Strategy to meet the consultation deadline of August 2018.


The report from the Scientific Officer advised Members that Defra’s draft 2018 Strategy did not consider air pollution from road traffic. Such pollution would continue to be considered by Defra via their ‘UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations’ published in July 2017, and discussed by the Committee in September 2017 in the context of his Air Quality Review update report to the Committee [Min. No. 21 refers]. 


Members were advised that Defra’s UK Plan to tackle roadside pollution had subsequently been made subject to legal challenge by Client Earth, and that in February 2018 the High Court had confirmed that the measures in the UK Plan were insufficient and ordered Defra to make changes. Of particular concern to the Council had been an apparent divergence between NO2 levels predicted by the modelling within Defra’s UK Plan, and NO2 levels measured by the Council in Dartford. It had now been determined that those apparent discrepancies had resulted from the method of modelling and prediction used by Defra, but that the High Court had now ruled that Defra’s methodology did comply with the relevant European directive.  Following these developments, a further Annual Air Quality report would now be submitted to the Committee in September 2018 (formerly July 2018) updating Members more fully.


The Council’s Assistant Environmental Health Manager (Environment & Protection) highlighted the following key points for Members in relation to the draft 2018 Clean Air Strategy consultation document and the Council’s proposed response via Cabinet:


·         Whilst the 2018 Strategy consultation document mentioned roadside NOx [Chapter 5 – Action to reduce emissions from transport]: it stated that the Government intended to primarily deal with this issue via the already published ‘UK Plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations’ and a future strategy document entitled ‘Road to Zero’ which would look at changing vehicles to greener alternatives;

·         Officers intended to respond to the questions raised in the consultation about transport emissions (as they fell within their areas of expertise) but considered that the consultation document contained very little additional information on these issues to that already published elsewhere by the Government [see above];

·         The Strategy proposed changes to, and the strengthening of, existing regimes to control PM2.5 emissions (resulting from the burning of fossil fuels within homes) currently controlled by the Clean Air Act and enforced by the Council’s Environmental Health Officers. Proposed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.



Illegal Dumping and Special Collections of Bulky Waste pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To advise Members of the background and current policies regarding the removal of illegal dumping, bulky waste collection and enforcement measures taken against offenders.


The report from the Council’s Waste & Parks Manager (W&PM) advised Members of the background and current policies regarding the removal of illegally dumped materials, the collection of special/bulky waste, and the enforcement measures being undertaken to address these issues.


The W&PM highlighted the following key points in his report for Members:


·         The Council is a Waste Collection Authority (WCA) under s30 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 [the Act] which placed a general duty on WCAs to collect domestic waste at a service level they decided;

·         The Controlled Waste Regulations gave WCAs the power to charge directly for the collection of certain types of domestic waste such as large or bulky items;

·         The Council is a Principal Litter Authority (PLA) under s89 of the Act which places a duty on PLAs to keep the public highway and land under their control free from litter, refuse and dumping;

·         Kent County Council is a Waste Disposal Authority (WDA) under s51 of the Act which places duties on WDAs to make arrangements for waste collected by WCAs in its area and to provide Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) for residents in its area;

·         ‘Special Collections’ (a.k.a. bulky waste collections) are one-off ad-hoc collections of large or bulky items such as settees, white goods, mattresses etc. direct from domestic premises. The Council received some 2,000 requests p.a. from residents requesting the collection of such items direct from their homes, and recovered some £60K p.a. in charges, to help defray the over-all cost of that service;

·         ‘Illegal dumping’ (a.k.a. ‘Fly-tipping’) is the unauthorised deposit of waste onto any land that is not subject to a waste management licence e.g. settees, white goods, mattresses etc. and are commonly left in country lanes, laybys and at recycling sites

·         ‘Illegal dumping’ is an offence for which Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) can be issued or prosecutions undertaken. The collection of waste from commercial sources is not a Council responsibility, but if it is dumped the Council has to remove it.


He advised Members that in terms of profile, the Borough suffered from a mixed bag of illegal dumping offences but that Dartford was no worse-off than other areas in Kent and the country a whole. Regarding household waste, he advised that Dartford residents use the Dartford Heath HWRC facility in the continued closure of KCC’s Pepperhill plant following the recent fire. It was his view that Dartford residents tended to dump locally [rather than further afield in Kent] and his Waste & Parks team worked closely with the Council’s Enforcement team to identify, fine or prosecute offenders with a high degree of success.


The Chairman thanked the Waste & Parks Manager for an excellent report and invited questions from Members.


The Deputy Shadow Leader of the Council and Members of his Group represented on the Committee, expressed concerns over a reported increase in fly-tipping (including an increase in commercial offences) and an increase in special collections across the Borough, and questioned the current and continued role of Amey LG  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.



Corporate Plan 2017- 20: Key Actions and Performance Indicators Monitoring Reports pdf icon PDF 54 KB

This report provides the progress with the latest set of Corporate Plan key actions and performance indicators for quarter 4 of 2017-18.

Additional documents:


The standard covering report attached for Members to note at Appendices A and B respectively, the Key Actions Monitoring Report and the Performance Indicators Monitoring Report for Quarter 4 of 2017/18 which recorded the progress that had been made to date, in meeting the aims of the Council’s Corporate Plan for the period 2017-2020.




1.    That Members note the contents of the Key Actions Monitoring Report and the Performance Indicators Monitoring Report as attached at Appendix A and B respectively, to the covering report.




Policy Overview Committee Annual Report 2017 - 2018 pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To consider the work carried out by the Policy Overview Committee during the 2017 – 2018 municipal year.

Additional documents:


The covering report attached a draft report (Appendix A) which covered the work undertaken by the Committee during the 2017-2018 Municipal Year, for submission to Cabinet as required by the Committee’s Protocol, subject to any comments from Members.


The Chairman asked that his thanks to the report’s author, Alan Stoneham, be formally recorded in the Minutes.




That the draft report covering the Committee’s work during the 2017-2018 Municipal Year be referred to Cabinet as submitted and without amendment.




Policy Overview Committee Work Plan pdf icon PDF 53 KB

This reports sets out the Policy Overview Committee’s work plan.

Additional documents:


This report set out the Committee’s rolling Work Plan for the period June 2018 to March 2019 as recorded in the table at Appendix A.


The report also listed (para 3.8) additional areas for consideration by Committee, as agreed by Members on 13 June 2017, that had yet to be scheduled.


The Chairman confirmed the following additions to the published Work Plan as agreed by Members during the consideration of earlier agenda items:


·         Invitation to Mr Dan McDonald, Chair of RELATE (Medway & Kent) to brief the Committee on the organisation’s work with Dartford residents – September 2018;

·         Air Quality Update Report – September 2018




1.    That the published Work Plan at Appendix A to the report, together with the additions as Minuted above, be noted.