Agenda and draft minutes

Policy Overview Committee - Tuesday 6 September 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Email: memberservices@dartford.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

10.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed attending Members and Officers to the meeting and reminded Members that any apologies for absence should be copied to him in addition to the Clerk.

 

Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors; Burrell, Butterfill, Gaskin and Sandhu.

11.

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 the Chief Officer & Director of Corporate Services.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

12.

Confirmation of the minutes of the Policy Overview meeting held on 14 June 2022 pdf icon PDF 251 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman advised Members that he had continued his dialogue with the DGS HCP Director concerning increased GP provision in Dartford [Min. No.7 GP Provision refers]. In particular the proposal by the Kent & Medway CCG to provide a new health care hub in Greenhithe. Sadly, that proposal had not progressed to the planning stage, and remained part of the CCG’s proposals for increased GP provision for Kent as a whole.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Policy Overview Committee held on 14 June 2022 be confirmed as accurate.

13.

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 confirmed that there were no urgent items for the Committee to consider.

14.

To consider references from other Committees (IF ANY]

Minutes:

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

15.

Regulation 9 Notice [Forward Plan] pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To consider any issues arising from the Regulation 9 Notice [Forward Plan] for the period 15 August 2022 to 31 December 2022.

Minutes:

            RESOLVED;

 

1.    That Members note the contents of the Regulation 9 Notice [Forward Plan] for the period 15 August 2022 to 31 December 2022.

16.

Air Quality Annual Status Report 2022 pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The covering report from the Scientific Officer provided Members with information on pollution levels across the Borough and within the four declared Air Quality Management Areas. Appendix A to the report comprised the Council’s 2022 Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR) to Government, in fulfilment of Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 for Local Air Quality Management dated June 2022.

 

The Chairman thanked the Scientific Officer for his report and compiling the Council’s 2022 Air Quality Annual Status Report (ASR) for presentation to central government in accordance with the Act. He proposed that both documents be taken as tabled and asked Members to put any questions or areas of concern they might have on the contents to attending Officers.

 

He started that process by expressing his disappointment that the Committee had not been involved in compiling the 2022 Air Quality Action Plan, as he had recommended to Cabinet in December 2021 when the Committee had considered the delayed 2021 SAR [Min. No. 25 Chairman’s Summary 3rd bullet point refers].  He expressed his further disappointment that the Council had also not undertaken further extensive tree planting in the Borough to help combat pollution and enhance air quality, as the Committee had also recommended in December 2021 [Min. No. 25 Summary 1st bullet point refers].

 

A Member noted that the Cabinet Advisory Panel [and Cabinet] had recently addressed the question of enhanced tree planting in the Borough to improve air quality, together with the importance of selecting the correct type of trees to achieve that objective.

 

The Scientific Officer supported the Member in his observations and added that, the green infrastructure in certain circumstances could prevent the wind from dispersing pollution. Whilst trees can trap particulate matter, it was not possible to demonstrate a quantifiable reduction for nitrogen dioxide by trees.

 

The Chairman noted the comments, but re-iterated his request that his views and that of the Committee be considered when compiling the 2023 ASR.

 

The following points were confirmed by Officers in response to subsequent questions from Members:

 

·         The Ebbsfleet Development Corporation (EDC) was responsible for ensuring that monitoring of dust pollution [as required through planning conditions imposed on the various developers] directly caused by their various operations in and around Dartford, including the ongoing works at Eastern Quarry, was undertaken and subsequent enforcement action taken as required;

·         Environmental Health (EH) had recently received complaints concerning dust in the Eastern Quarry area, and the EH team would be resuming their bi-lateral meetings with the EDC to address those complaints and seek possible solutions in the coming weeks and months;

·         The Council also monitored PM10 dust particle pollution across the Borough at designated stations in general terms, but not the finer PM 2.5 particle pollution to date, but the new air quality station to be installed near to Hope Cottages, Bean, following completion of the road junction improvement works would include a PM 2.5 monitor;

·         Air quality in Dartford had improved in the period under review. Attained in part  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Food Policy Update & Action Plan pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report from the Community Services Manager (CSM) updated the Committee on progress with the actions relating to the Food Security Action Plan, attached as Appendix A to the report.

 

The Chairman proposed that the report and Appendix A be taken as tabled and asked Members to pose any questions or areas of concern they had on the contents.

 

The following points were confirmed by the CSM in subsequent debate:

 

·       The Council’s Food Policy was being taken forward through a multi-agency approach and Members’ recommendations concerning new voluntary bodies, schools and other organisations and contacts to advertise and distribute the Councils offers and services e.g. Healthy Start Vouchers and Bounty Packs were welcome and would be pursued where appropriate and practical;

·       The varied food supplies donated to the Dartford Healthy Living Centre had been re-distributed across the Borough [Appendix A agenda p.88 refers].

 

The Lead Member for Equalities, Cohesion & Society with responsibility for Food policy working directly to the Leader of the Council informed Members of the following latest measures undertaken by the Council to support residents:

 

·       Support of the free school meals and KCC’s £50 voucher scheme;

·       28 Dartford schools and 3,600 pupils supported to date, with a further 13 schools and some 550 children due to receive support;

·       Each Dartford school would also be receiving £1K in funding for school uniforms, to help free-up parental monies for food and heating.

 

In response to a further specific question from the Chairman, the CSM advised that the Council proposed further initiatives going forward with the voluntary sector, including the YMCA, to help identify and alleviate fuel poverty in addition to food poverty in the Borough, and that the Food Action Plan would be amended and updated as events unfolded, with the updated Action Plan circulated to partners, voluntary bodies and relevant contacts.

 

                    RESOLVED:

 

1.     That Members note the actions taken to date as detailed on the Food Security Action Plan as detailed in Appendix A to the report;

 

2.     That the Committee receive an annual update to the present Food Action Plan in September 2023.

18.

2022-23 Work Plan Update pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report from the Committee Co-ordinator attached at Appendix A an updated Committee Work Plan for the remainder of the 2022-23 municipal cycle for Members to note.

 

The Chairman expressed his disappointment that his long requested report on Ebbsfleet and the role and policies of the Ebbsfleet Urban Development Corporation had been deferred to December, following his written dialogue with the Head of Legal Services and the Director of Growth and Community. In addition to inviting the EDC Chief Officer to address the Committee in December 2022, the Chairman advocated a greater role for Cabinet in holding the EDC to account, and noted in that context, that the Leader of the Council sat on the EDC Board [by continued appointment of the Secretary of State].

 

The Chairman also confirmed that he wished the Committee to receive an ‘Open Spaces’ update report in December, and a combined ‘Litter &  Environmental Enforcement’ update report, excluding re-cycling but including fly-tipping.

 

It was also noted that the proposed report from Dartford Rugby Club was more appropriate for consideration by the Scrutiny Committee, and the Clerk instructed to make the appropriate transfer.

 

 

                    RESOLVED:

 

1.     That the Committee Work Plan attached at Appendix A to the report be amended as minuted above.

19.

Corporate Plan Performance Indicators 2022 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report from the Community Services Manager enclosed a table setting out Performance Indicators for Quarter 1 [Q1] of the Council’s Corporate Plan 2021-23 9attached as Appendix A to the report).  A short Addendum to Appendix A was tabled at the meeting setting out final figures for PPI 29, BI 3, PCS 3 and RBPI 1.

 

 

                    RESOLVED:

 

1.     That Members note the Performance Plan Performance Indicators for Q1 of the 2021-23 Corporate Plan, as set out in Appendix A to the report.