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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
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Butterfill, Cutler,

R Gosine, S Gosine, Maddison, Nicklen and Oguntope.

2.

Items Drawn Down for Debate

Minutes:

The Chairman advised Members that the following item had been drawn down for debate from Parts B and C of the agenda:

 

9

Dartford Town Centre – Parking Study – Objectives and Approach

 

 

Accordingly Members endorsed the officer recommendations in the following items:

 

 

8

Communications and Media Protocol for Investigating Officers 

10

Revision to Part 1 of the Approved Scheme of Delegations to Officers: 1-4-1 Right-to-Buy Replacement Scheme Delegations

11

Street Naming and Numbering: Site 1 – Northfleet West Sub-Station (Phase 2C), and Site 2 – Stone Lodge Development Complex Access Road

12

Ombudsman Annual Review Letter

13

Committee 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:

There were no declarations of interests in items contained in Part A of the agenda nor in any of the items drawn down for debate from the remainder of the agenda.

4.

Confirmation of the Minutes of the Meeting of the Cabinet held on 22 July 2021 pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Summary:

 

To consider the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 22 July 2021.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 22 July 2021 be confirmed as an accurate record.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel received the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 22 July 2021.

5.

Urgent Items

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

6.

References from Committees

None at this stage.

Minutes:

There were no references from other committees.

7.

Policy for Publicising Enviro-crimes, ASBO's, Verdicts and Sentences pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Summary:

 

To endorse the Policy for Publicising Environmental Crime, Criminal Behaviour Orders, Verdicts and Sentences, so as to provide the Council with a defined and legitimate approach, in the public interest, to improve the effectiveness, transparency and accountability of its enforcement related activities, prevent and detect crime, identify offenders, encourage the release of images to the media where appropriate and at the earliest opportunity, discourage offending and/or re-offending etc.

Recommendation:

That the Policy for Publicising Environmental Crime, Criminal Behaviour Orders, Verdicts and Sentences, at Appendix A to the report, be endorsed.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Director of Housing & Public Protection presented a report which proposed the introduction of a policy to support and enhance the Council’s regulatory and enforcement activities. The Council had a number of teams delivering regulatory and enforcement functions which protected the public, public funds, the environment and groups such as consumers, residents, tenants, workers and businesses. It also had a wide range of responsibilities and powers in relation to anti-social behaviour, mainly within three distinct service areas; Community Safety, Environmental Health, and Housing Services. The Council’s teams worked together closely and the Council actively pursued fraud and criminal offences. It was felt however that these regulatory and enforcement activities would be further supported and enhanced if a Council-wide policy was developed which provided guidance on the publication of environmental crime, criminal behaviour orders, verdicts and sentences via the Council’s media channels. This approach would support the proactive work undertaken by the Council and also act as a deterrent to potential future offenders. The policy also set out the parameters for publicising such matters, to ensure that any decisions to publicise activities would be for a legitimate purpose, be necessary and proportionate, and that the handling of data would be in accordance with legislation and the Council’s policies for data handing, equalities and diversity.  The policy would improve the effectiveness, transparency and accountability of enforcement activities and also assist with preventing and detecting crime, identifying offenders and discouraging offending and re-offending. The policy would also be supported by a Communications & Media Protocol for Investigating Officers.

 

The Cabinet Advisory Panel welcomed the introduction of the policy and its supporting Protocol and the clarification that these provided on the circumstances when offenders would be identified. A Member sought assurance that Members would still continue to receive quantitative data about offending and was assured that this information would continue to be supplied. A Member asked whether Ward Members would be informed of any ‘live’ investigations taking place in their wards and progress on these cases.

 

The Chairman welcomed the new policy which he felt would enhance transparency of the Council’s enforcement activities and noted that it was important to take robust and appropriate enforcement action to ensure public confidence in the Council’s actions. He drew attention to the material published by a neighbouring authority on its web site detailing cases where planning enforcement action was taken, where this was deemed to be in the public interest or the issue had been raised by a Ward Member. This described the nature of the offence and provided a timeline of key events and actions. He felt that this was very transparent and wondered whether the Cabinet might wish to include something similar in the information that would be published by the Council. He also felt that Ward Members should be advised when there were live investigations taking place in their Ward and provided with a case reference so that they could monitor progress. Another Member suggested that Members should be supplied with a list of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Communications and Media Protocol for Investigating Officers pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Summary:

 

To endorse the Communications & Media Protocol for Investigating Officers, to ensure that any communications pertaining to regulatory and enforcement across the Council is well coordinated, effectively managed and responsive to the diverse information needs of the Council and the public.

 

Recommendation:

 

That the Communications & Media Protocol for Investigating Officers, at Appendix A to the report, be endorsed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

 

 

9.

Dartford Town Centre - Parking Study - Objectives and Approach pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Summary:

 

To report on the proposed Parking Study for the Dartford Town Centre and matters ancillary thereto.

 

Recommendations:

 

1. That the provisional area for the Parking Study be agreed as identified in Appendix A to the report and that work on identification of the priority areas be undertaken, as set out in paragraph 7.2 of the report; and

2. That a further report be presented to Cabinet in due course setting out:

 

                   i.       the results of the Identification Stage;

                 ii.       the recommended priorities for consultation and further investigation;

                iii.       details of the proposed Stage 1 informal consultation and the area(s) that this will relate to.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Transport Planner presented a report which detailed parking pressures on the roads around Dartford Town Centre arising from town centre activities, development and commuter parking. To address this a more integrated approach was required to address on-street and off-street parking, as well as parking for new development and to look beyond purely reactive measures. In order to fully understand the parking issues it was proposed to carry out a comprehensive parking study of the Town Centre and its environs, which would be driven by the needs of residents and businesses. The area for study had been determined by identifying a radius of 10 minute walking time from Dartford railway station and extending the area to the nearest ‘natural boundary’. In view of the scale and diverse nature of this area it was proposed to break the area down into sub-zones, in consultation with local ward Members, to be prioritised for detailed analysis, investigation and consultation with stakeholders and residents. The initial study would examine on-street parking and an evaluation of the current on-street parking controls and enforcement. The challenge was to find a balance between the needs of residents, businesses and visitors, and to minimise the impact of commuter parking on local residents, whilst being mindful of any potential displacement of parking pressures.

 

The area under review contained a total of 106 roads and over 8,000 properties, including the High Street and the core of the Town Centre. Should parking controls be deemed to be necessary, if supported by residents, it was likely that each sub-area/zone would have its own individual consultation, with any parking permits being issued within that zone only, in order to stop inter-zone commuting. The report outlined the scope, methodology and stages of the proposed study and the Cabinet was asked to agree the identified provisional study area and arrangements for consultation with ward Members, Officers and Kent County Council Highways. A further report would then be submitted to Cabinet with regard to priority areas for further work and more detail on the consultation stage and survey work.

 

The Chairman thanked the Principal Transport Planner for his comprehensive report and welcomed the involvement of Members at the various stages of the study.

 

Members welcomed the study and the fact that it recognised that the issues had to be considered holistically as any new controls and enforcement put in place often resulted in parking displacement to other areas. A Member welcomed the study and noted that it would be ‘resident-led.’ She said that much of her casework related to parking issues and that it was a major problem in her ward. She also welcomed the active dialogue with KCC Highways and other stakeholders and the recognition of the importance of encouraging other forms of transport, which she felt went hand-in-hand with measures to address parking, and also measures such as the introduction of a 20MPH speed limit which she was keen to see being introduced in her Ward. She questioned why the boundary for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Revision to Part 1 of the Approved Scheme of Delegations to Officers: 1-4-1 Right-to-Buy Replacement Scheme Delegations pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Summary:

 

To seek approval for a revision, for the reasons outlined in the report, to the financial threshold  applying to the 1-4-1 Right to Buy Replacement Scheme property sales and purchases delegation, within which the Director of Housing and Public Protection is authorised to act.

 

Recommendation:

 

That, for the reasons referred to in paras. 3.3 and 3.5 of the report, the financial threshold relating to 1-4-1 Right to Buy Replacement Scheme property sales and purchases  delegation, within which the Director of Housing and Public Protection is authorised to act, be increased to £500,000.

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

 

11.

Street Naming and Numbering: Site 1 - Northfleet West Sub-Station (Phase 2C) and Site 2 - Stone Lodge Development Complex Access Road pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Summary:

 

To seek approval for single new road names for the next phase of the Northfleet West Sub Station development and for the main access to the area known as the Stone Lodge Development Complex.

 

Recommendations:

 

1. That the single new road name for the next phase of the Northfleet West Sub-Station development be approved as Rixson: and

2. That the single new road name for the access way to the Stone Lodge Development Complex be approved as Stone Lodge.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

 

 

12.

Ombudsman Annual Review Letter pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Summary:

 

To receive and note the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s Annual Review Letter 2021 and the Housing Ombudsman’s Landlord Performance Data 2019/2020.

 

Recommendations:

 

1. That the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s Annual Review Letter 2021, at Appendix A to the report and the corresponding data tables at Appendix B, be noted; and

 

2. That the Housing Ombudsman’s Landlord Performance Data 2019/2020, at Appendix C to the report, be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.

 

 

13.

Committee Minutes pdf icon PDF 216 KB

Summary:

 

To receive the minutes of the following meetings:

 

(a) Strategic Housing Board held on 14 July 2021;

 

(b) Policy Overview Committee held on 20 July 2021.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

That the minutes of the meetings of the Strategic Housing Board held on 14 July 2021 and of the Policy Overview Committee held on 20 July 2021 be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Advisory Panel endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.