Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, - Swale House. View directions
Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330 Senior Democratic Services Officer
Fire Evacuation Procedure
The Chairman will advise the meeting of the evacuation procedures to follow in the event of an emergency. This is particularly important for visitors and members of the public who will be unfamiliar with the building and procedures.
The Chairman will inform the meeting whether there is a planned evacuation drill due to take place, what the alarm sounds like (i.e. ringing bells), where the closest emergency exit route is, and where the second closest emergency exit route is, in the event that the closest exit or route is blocked.
The Chairman will inform the meeting that:
(a) in the event of the alarm sounding, everybody must leave the building via the nearest safe available exit and gather at the Assembly points at the far side of the Car Park; and
(b) the lifts must not be used in the event of an evacuation.
Any officers present at the meeting will aid with the evacuation.
It is important that the Chairman is informed of any person attending who is disabled or unable to use the stairs, so that suitable arrangements may be made in the event of an emergency.
The Vice-Chairman-in-the-chair drew attention to the Fire Evacuation Procedure.
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 May 2018 (Minute Nos. 655 - 659) as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 May 2018 (Minute Nos. 655 - 659) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Vice-Chairman-in-the-chair as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves or their spouse, civil partner or person with whom they are living with as a spouse or civil partner. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
The Chairman will ask Members if they have any interests to declare in respect of items on this agenda, under the following headings:
(a) Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI) under the Localism Act 2011. The nature as well as the existence of any such interest must be declared. After declaring a DPI, the Member must leave the meeting and not take part in the discussion or vote. This applies even if there is provision for public speaking.
(b) Disclosable Non Pecuniary (DNPI) under the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council in May 2012. The nature as well as the existence of any such interest must be declared. After declaring a DNPI interest, the Member may stay, speak and vote on the matter.
(c) Where it is possible that a fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts would conclude that there was a real possibility that the Member might be predetermined or biased the Member should declare their predetermination or bias and then leave the room while that item is considered.
Advice to Members: If any Councillor has any doubt about the existence or nature of any DPI or DNPI which he/she may have in any item on this agenda, he/she should seek advice from the Monitoring Officer, the Head of Legal or from other Solicitors in Legal Services as early as possible, and in advance of the Meeting.
No interests were declared.
The Committee is asked to consider the Gambling Policy.
The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Chairman of the General Licensing Committee, the Resilience Officer and the Licensing Officer have been invited to attend for this item.
The Vice-Chairman-in-the-chair welcomed the Chairman of the Licensing Committee (who was also a Member of the Policy Development and Review Committee), the Resilience and Licensing Manager and the Licensing Officer to the meeting.
The Chairman of the Licensing Committee introduced the report, advised that it had been considered by the General Licensing Committee at their meeting on 18 July 2018 and he welcomed feedback from the Policy Development and Review Committee (PDRC) before going out to consultation.
The Licensing Officer advised that historically, the Statement of Principles that Swale published was developed via the mechanism of the Kent & Medway Regulatory Licensing Steering Group and adapted to suit, but this draft Statement of Principles had been prepared using a model template recommended by the Gambling Commission. She added that the Statement of Principles took into account the fifth edition of the Gambling Commission Guidance on preparing statements and spoke of the issues that operators must consider when preparing their risk assessments, as shown on pages 23-25 of the Agenda.
The Licensing Officer advised that the Local Area Profile, which identified risk to any gambling related harm, could be incorporated into the Statement of Principles or published separately, and the preferred option would be a separate document as it could be managed more efficiently. She drew attention to the proposed wide consultation.
A Member suggested that the General Data Protection Regulations should be included at paragraph 24.
A Member raised concerns around the enforcement of the Policy, said that there were too many steps before a prosecution and the process should be shortened. In the discussion that followed, the Licensing Officer clarified that the process was required, as part of the Regulators Code 2014, but not all stages needed to be followed.
A Member asked what Swale Borough Council (SBC) were doing to prevent underage gambling and whether there was support for people who suffered with mental health issues and gambled? In response, the Licensing Officer advised that complaints about under-age gambling were referred to Trading Standards to carry out test purchasing and action taken thereafter, and gambling premises displayed notices of help for addicts. She said that gamblers had to self-exclude and were not banned by gambling premises. The Licensing Officer advised that risk assessments were included in the Gambling Commissions Code.
In response to a question from a Member, the Licensing Officer agreed to include schools in paragraph 50.
In response to a question from a Member, the Licensing Officer explained that Licence applications for Gambling premises could not be refused on density within an area, but Planning Regulations could consider this issue. She added that Swale did not currently have an issue with a growth in Gambling premises compared to other geographical areas.
The Chairman of the General Licensing Committee advised that the consultees would include NHS services in Faversham, and Members highlighted the following typing errors:
Page 10, final paragraph, should read “The Cabinet Member for Regeneration…..”;
Page 20, incorrect ... view the full minutes text for item 129.
The Committee is asked to consider the Corporate Plan for 2018 – 2021.
The Leader and Policy and Performance Manager have been invited to attend for this item.
The Vice-Chairman-in-the-chair welcomed the Deputy Leader and the Policy and Performance Manager to the meeting.
The Deputy Leader introduced the discussion paper and explained that, although in its early stages, work had already started on the fourth Corporate Plan and the final draft was due to be considered by Full Council in February 2019. He referred to the four headings on pages 66 to 68 and suggested that these could form the basis of new priorities and said that the new plan was an evolution of the current plan. Lastly, the Deputy Leader invited comments.
In response to a Member’s comments, the Policy and Performance Manager advised that any new administration after May 2019 would take time to settle and starting work on the document now would assist officers. The same Member warned against relying wholly on digital services as he said the quality of internet was unreliable and was declining in Swale. The Policy and Performance Manager said that the Digital Strategy had been considered by PDRC and did not exclude those who could not access services.
A Member said that the Corporate Plan needed updating but suggested it should be written for the public, not just internally. In response, the Policy and Performance Manager reminded Members that the document in the Agenda was a discussion paper and there would possibly be an internal and public version of the Corporate Plan.
In the discussion that followed, Members made the following points:
· Should include rural areas and Faversham;
· was unbalanced as some areas within Swale had unique challenges;
· there should be more support to sustain rural lives and encourage rural businesses and facilities;
· there should be more focus on infrastructure improvements to support regeneration and housing should be built after completion of infrastructure; and
· communication with local people and more consultation with Parish and Town Councils.
Quality of Life
· More emphasis on Environmental issues including improving recycling;
· progress had been made on Air Quality but still lots more to do;
· more focus on leisure and tourism;
· more assistance with voluntary sector to assist those with mental health conditions and social isolation;
· further development was not the solution, there should be more investment in local services to improve quality of life for existing residents;
· new development needed to address the needs of local people and provide relevant housing such as bungalows or disabled friendly properties;
· quality of life was about the work/life balance;
· promotion of employment so that residents could work in Swale;
· planning for an aging population;
· a more joined up approach was needed and working in partnership with the voluntary sector;
· more focus on health pressures as a result of NHS cutbacks;
· more focus on education and skills; and
· more encouragement given to build affordable and social housing.
· Stressed the health benefits and how influential leisure time was on the local economy;
· more consideration needed on how to access rural leisure facilities;
· consider assistance to help voluntary groups access funding;
· lots of facilities available in Swale, ... view the full minutes text for item 130.
The Committee is asked to consider the Work Programme 2018/19.
The Policy and Performance Officer introduced the report which included the items due to come before PDRC in the coming, municipal year.
The Vice-Chairman-in-the-chair referred to the tabled paper and explained that policies would be looked at from an earlier stage in the process and highlighted the three stages a policy might be considered by PDRC.
Members welcomed the changes to the format, and praised the forward thinking.
A Member suggested progress and actions from PDRC could be included in the Work Programme. In response, the Policy and Performance Manager explained that the Council’s standard report templates had recently been updated to include further information which would reflect this.
There was a discussion around the difficulties of bringing Policies for review via Cabinet Members. The Policy and Performance Manager explained that the Policy Register listed when Policies were due for review and this would be regularly considered at Informal Cabinet meetings from now on. The Policy and Performance Officer outlined the difference in the roles of the Scrutiny Committee and PDRC.
The Committee is asked to consider the Draft Annual Report to Council 2018/19.
The Policy and Performance Officer introduced the report which gave a summary of work the Committee had been engaged in during the municipal year 2017/18.
A Member said that the report was factual, but not user friendly and suggested including the impact that feedback from PDRC had made. Other Members praised the report. In the discussion that followed, the Policy and Performance Officer agreed to update the report to include references to where Cabinet had taken on board the Committee’s comments.
(1) That the draft Annual Report to Council (Appendix I) be updated with Members suggestions and submitted to Full Council for consideration.