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Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday 20 November 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Room B12, Civic Centre, Home Gardens, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1DR

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

19.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors S R Jarnell and C S McLean.

 

Members were also informed that the Leader of the Council,  the Community Safety Manager and the Leisure & Communities Officer, were unable to attend proceedings due to illness.

 

The Chairman welcomed attending Committee Members and Councillor Lloyd as Cabinet representative to the proceedings and noted the presence of the Strategic Director (External Services) and the Waste & Parks Manager to respond to Members questions.

20.

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:

There were no declarations of interest.

21.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 September 2018 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Minutes:

                                    RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the Scrutiny Committee meeting held on 18 September 2018 be confirmed as accurate.

22.

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 announced that there were no urgent items for consideration.

23.

To consider references from other Committees (IF ANY)

There are currently no items from other Committees for Members to consider.

Minutes:

There were no references from other committees.

24.

Chairman's Update

Minutes:

The Chairman proposed that agenda items 8 and 9 be taken last in the unfortunate absence of the presenting officer.

 

 

25.

Regulation 9 Notice [WP] pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To note the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice for the period 15 October 2018 to 28 February 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That Members note the contents of the Forward Plan for the period 15 October 2018 to 28 February 2019.

26.

Utilisation and Renewal of Public Litter Bins [Draw-Down] pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To note the attached report and comment accordingly.

Minutes:

The Chairman advised Members that he had drawn-down the topic on behalf of his Group, given the number of enquiries and weight of correspondence he continued to receive from residents in his Ward, regarding the provision of litter and dog waste bins by the Council. He understood that this was also the experience of other Members.

 

He wished to examine and discuss the Council’s existing litter bin regime, and how the current arrangements might move forward and be improved for the future, and asked the Waste & Parks Manager to summarise the main points in his report for Members [agenda item 10 pages 45/46].

 

The Waste & Parks Manager highlighted the following principal points for Members as set out in his report:

 

·         There were some 700 litter bins distributed across the Borough used for both litter and dog waste [previously separate]. The Borough Council  provided the majority of the bins, supplemented by Parish/Town Councils locally and by private enterprise;

·         The current distribution of litter bins across the Borough had evolved over time, in response to Member and resident concerns, and expressions of perceived need;

·         The Council received between 3-5 requests per month from residents for increased litter-bin provision. The majority of residents wanted litter and dog-waste bins, but generally not situated near to their properties;

·         Litter bins were emptied by the Council’s contractors on a daily, multiple day, or weekly basis as appropriate, depending on the volume of litter and dog waste deposited; 

·         Amey LG Ltd emptied the majority of the 700 litter bins in the urban environment, Continental Landscapes emptied the litter bins in Central and Hesketh Parks, and CPM Ltd were contracted to empty the litter bins in Dartford’s 27 school playgrounds;

·         All street litter - plastic, paper and bottles went into the same litter bins, together with dog waste, there was no statistical breakdown for the component elements of street litter.

 

In response to subsequent specific questions from Members the Waste & Parks Manager confirmed the following points:

 

·         There was no map showing the location of the litter bins in the Borough;

·         All non-recyclable waste from litter bins (including dog waste) was bulked up at Pepperhill Household Waste & Recycling Centre for subsequent transfer to Maidstone for incineration;

·         The frequency for emptying litter bins was decided by the Waste & Parks Manager (given the fiscal implications) based on feedback from the contractors - some bins e.g. in the town centre were emptied daily, others e.g. at train stations were emptied up to 3 times per week, others only once per week - based on usage;

·         Use by businesses of public litter bins was monitored where possible, and Enforcement Officers visited offending businesses to remind them of their obligation to have their own waste disposal arrangements for their commercial use;

·         Previous issues with Continental Landscapes over the emptying of litter bins in Dartford’s parks had now been resolved.

 

The Chairman noted that there was no formal policy or procedure in place for the provision of new litter and dog bins [report para 3.8  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Council's Modern Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement [Draw-Down] pdf icon PDF 415 KB

The consider the Council’s statement on these issues (attached).

Minutes:

The Chairman advised Members that he had drawn-down the Council’s Statement on ‘Modern Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking’ on behalf of his Group in recognition of UK Anti-Slavery Day [18 October] and for the Committee to examine whether the Council’s performance in these policy areas fulfilled the terms of its Statement, including their interactions with suppliers and partners, and whether there was any scope for more to be done in that respect. Depending on the outcome of their discussions, the Committee might wish to make a recommendation to Cabinet.

 

The Chairman opened the debate by stating that it was hugely positive that the Council had published their own Statement regarding ‘Modern Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking’ measures, procedures and practices. He noted that many Councils had not done so and invited the Cabinet Member present and the Strategic Director (External Services) to brief Members on the objectives of the Council’s policy, as enshrined in its Statement [Agenda pages 47-53].

 

The Strategic Director (External Services) advised the Committee that she was not an expert on ‘Modern Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking’but was able to give Members the background to the Council’s decision to publish a Statement, and also outline how her responsibilities as SD(ES) led to her involvement with and oversight of the Council’s Statement.

 

On a personal working level, the Strategic Director (External Services) was Chair of the Council’s corporate Safeguarding Steering Group and was heavily involved, on behalf of the Council, with the Community Safety Partnership (CSP).  A principal part of the CSP’s work was to agree and publish an Annual Strategic Assessment document which addressed, inter alia, Safeguarding, Modern Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking issues in the Borough, how to identify them and the measures and resources required to address these issues together with CSP partners such as Kent Police and KCC.

 

At the time of publication of the parent legislation [Modern Slavery Act 2015] it had not been clear what demands the Act imposed on local authorities. The Council had decided to adopt its strictures as ‘good working practice’ and to demonstrate its willingness to address the issues the Act covered.

 

Since publication of its first Statement in 2017 the Council’s policy had been one of promoting awareness and greater understanding of the subjects to its officers. Officers in the Community Safety Unit (CSU), Housing and Environmental Health services in particular, who potentially encountered the various issues on a daily basis whilst working in the community, had been equipped with the skills to recognise and appropriately report concerns of potential modern day slavery and human trafficking. The Council had engaged outside experts in the field and liaised closely with colleagues from partner agencies to build up a greater awareness of the issues, and how to respond.

 

A Briefing Note to Members was an example of the Council raising awareness of the issues and who to contact when encountering them in their Wards and elsewhere. The most recent example of the Council raising awareness of the issues in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Orchard Theatre Annual Report & Accounts for the year ending 31 March 2018 [WP] pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To consider the Theatre Director’s annual report for The Orchard for the year ending 31 March 2018, together with the theatre’s published Accounts for the corresponding period.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The covering report from the Leisure & Communities Officer attached as Appendices A, B and C respectively:

 

(i)            The Council’s Monitoring Schedule for monitoring the  provision of Services by HQ Theatre & Hospitality (HQT&H) for The Orchard Theatre Dartford Ltd (Appendix A to the report);

(ii)          The Orchard Theatre Director’s Annual Report for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 (Appendix B to the report);

(iii)         Orchard Theatre Dartford Ltd – Profit Share at 31 March 2018 (Appendix C to the report)

 

In the unfortunate absence of the report author due to illness, the Chairman asked Members to consider the report and Appendices as submitted in the Agenda.

 

Members expressed their appreciation of the Orchard Theatre Director’s annual report for 2017/18 and the efforts of his team, and asked that this be recorded in the Minutes.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members note the contents of the 2017/18 Annual Report for the Orchard Theatre Dartford as set out in Appendix B to the covering report;

 

2.    That Members note the Profit Share at 31 March 2018 for the Orchard Theatre Dartford Ltd as set out in Appendix C to the report.

29.

Dartford Cricket Club [WP] pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To note the attached report and Appendix and comment accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The covering report from the Leisure & Communities Officer enclosed a Community Use Information (CUI) sheet from Dartford Cricket Club (DCC) dated October 2018 at Appendix A to the report.

 

Following publication of the agenda, DCC had issued a revised CUI for October 2018 which was distributed to Members under separate cover as an Addendum. Members confirmed that they had received the revised material.

 

The Chairman asked if Members had any questions on the report and revised Appendix in the absence of the Leisure & Communities officer, they did not.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members note the contents of the report and revised Appendix A from Dartford Cricket Club dated October 2018. 

30.

Scrutiny Committee Rolling Work Plan 2018-19 [WP] pdf icon PDF 60 KB

To consider the Committee’s existing Work Plan (attached at Appendix A to the report) and comment accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report from the Committee Co-ordinator attached at Appendix A an updated Rolling Work Plan for 2018-19 and beyond.

 

He advised Members that currently, there were no scheduled Work Plan items for the Committee’s meeting on 19 February 2019.

 

The Chairman asked Members to suggest topics for the February 2019 meeting, in addition to any items proposed via the agreed Draw-Down process, as set out in the Committee’s Protocol.

 

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That Members note the report and the contents of the Committee’s current Rolling Work Plan, as set out in Appendix A to the report.