Agenda and minutes

General Assembly of the Council (Budget) - Monday 1 March 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meetings - This meeting will be held virtually. Details of how to access the meeting on YouTube are contained in the meeting page, along with the agenda and papers.. View directions

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Note: This meeting may be viewed on YouTube by highlighting and opening the following link: https://youtu.be/86A_fQ-On_c 

Items
Note No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence

Minutes:

2.

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 Strategic Director (Internal Services).

Minutes:

The Strategic Director (Internal Services) declared a personal interest on behalf of all Officers present at the meeting in staffing matters referred to in Agenda item 6 Revenue and Capital Budgets 2021/22.

 

The Strategic Director (Internal Services) in the exercise of her delegated authority, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer, also declared that she had granted a dispensation to all Councillors to speak and vote on Agenda item 6, Revenue and Capital Budgets 2021/22, in respect of their receipt of Members’ Allowances paid by the Council on the ground that, without the dispensation, the number of persons prohibited from participating in the discussion and voting on Members’ Allowances would be so great a proportion of the body transacting the business as to impede the transaction of business (see agenda item 6).

 

Councillor Mrs A D Allen declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6 as she is a trustee of North West Kent Age UK, and of the Dartford Healthy Living Centre, which receive grants/funding from the Council.

 

Councillor R M Currans declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6 as she is a trustee of Home-Start and a trustee of the Dartford Almshouse charity which receive grants/funding from the Council.

 

Councillor J A Kite MBE declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6 as he is a director of Dartford Football Club which receives grant funding from the Council.

 

Councillor D J Mote declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6 as he is a trustee of the Greenhithe Community Association which is a tenant of the Council, a trustee of ‘Mary’s Child’ and of ‘We are Beams’, Chairman of Stone (Dartford) Scout Group and Treasurer of the Greenhithe branch of the Royal British Legion, all of which receive grants/funding from the Council. He also declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Appendices H(i),(ii) and (iii) of Agenda item 6 as his wife is an employee of Darenth Parish Council

 

Councillor D J Reynolds declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in Agenda item 6 as his partner is an employee of Dartford Borough Council.

 

Councillor A S Sandhu MBE declared a prejudicial interest in Agenda item 6 as he is a trustee of the Kent People’s Trust and of the Kent Cohesion Council, and as Vice-President of Dartford Valley Rugby Football Club as they receive grants/funding from the Council.

 

 

3.

Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly of the Council held on 1st February 2021 pdf icon PDF 353 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly of the Council held on 1st February 2021as an accurate record.

Minutes:

            RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the extraordinary meeting of the General Assembly of the Council held on 1st February 2021 be confirmed as an accurate record.

4.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor informed Members that his Charity had been able to send £7,428 to the Ellenor Hospice and thanked the Deputy Mayor and the charity committee for their help in raising such a sum in very challenging circumstances.

 

The Mayor also informed Members that the funeral of Mrs Silvie Bassam had taken place on the previous Thursday. Mrs Bassam had served as Mayoress when her late husband, Bertie Bassam, had been Mayor. He hoped that it would be possible to pay a fuller tribute to her at some point in the future.

5.

Urgent Items

The Mayor will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items.

Minutes:

MD

6.

Revenue and Capital Budgets 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 360 KB

To set the overall level of General Fund and Housing Revenue Account revenue and capital expenditure for Dartford Borough Council for 2021/22, to agree the level of Council Tax for Dartford Borough in its parished and unparished areas for 2021/22, to approve the Pay Policy Statement for 2021/22 and to determine sundry related matters.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The General Assembly of the Council considered a report which set out the

Council’s capital and revenue budgets for 2021/22. The report, which included

the revenue and capital estimates, identified the level of precepts for Kent

County Council, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent Fire and

Rescue and the Town and Parish Councils within the Borough.

 

Members were asked to set the level of expenditure for Dartford Borough

Council Capital and Revenue Budgets for 2021/22, to approve the level of

rents chargeable for Housing Revenue Account dwellings for 2021/22, to

agree the level of Council Tax for Dartford Borough in its parished and

unparished areas, and to determine sundry related matters. Members were

also asked to approve the Council’s Pay Policy Statement.

 

 

The Leader of the Council started by expressing his sympathy to the Bassam family on the death of Mrs Bassam, whom he had known well, and confirmed that there would be a time when it was fitting to mark her loss along with others who had recently passed away and to whom the Council had not been able to pay a proper tribute. He also welcomed back Members who had recently recovered from COVID and other illnesses and sent his best wishes to the families of everyone connected with the Council and the community recovering from illness. In introducing the budget proposals he reminded Members that the past year had set a new and awful threshold in terms of the challenges faced by many residents and businesses.  The Council had also lost its Managing Director, Graham Harris, and his strong leadership, professionalism and astute financial management which had enabled the Council to deal with the exceptional circumstances of the past year from a robust and strong position. He expressed his thanks to the Strategic Director (Internal Services), the Head of Finance and the entire Finance Team as well as the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Finance and the Deputy Leader of the Council for producing a comprehensive set of budget proposals. He also welcomed the leaders of the other political groups who had been involved in the budget setting process from an early, formulative stage, and thanked them for their cross-party input. He also thanked all Council Members and officers for their exceptional response to the national crisis which had placed additional stresses on them and imposed new ways of working. He paid tribute to the efforts of the Council’s suppliers, contractors and partners who had kept working throughout, and often at personal risk, and highlighted, by way of example, the performance of the Council’s Waste & Recycling contractor, Urbaser, which had continued to operate to high collection rates. He also thanked all key workers, the emergency services and the NHS and associated medical services, who were working on the frontline of the pandemic. He said these achievements would be recognised by a formal awards programme in due course and announced the creation of a commemorative garden in the Town Centre. The planting theme for the carpet bed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.