Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Swale House
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 Chairman drew attention to the evacuation procedure.
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 September 2018 (Minute Nos. 202 -206) as a correct record. Link to Minutes
The Minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2018 (Minute Nos. 202 – 206) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman 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.
Councillor James Hunt declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 5 – Beach huts provision, as he owned a Beach Hut in the Borough.
Change to the Order of Business
The Chairman advised of a change to the running order of the meeting, to bring forward the item on Public Space CCTV Strategy for Swale.
The Committee is asked to consider a discussion paper on developing a public space CCTV strategy for Swale.
The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities and the Interim Economy and Community Services Manager have been invited to attend for this item.
The Chairman welcomed the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities, the Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services and the Interim Economy and Community Services Manager to the meeting.
The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities gave a presentation on Public Space Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) in Swale. He gave a history of the use of CCTV in Swale and advised that a draft strategy would be considered at the Policy Development and Review Committee (PDRC) meeting in January 2019 and be considered again at a future PDRC meeting, after the strategy consultation. The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities advised that the final Public Space CCTV Strategy for Swale should be published in Spring 2019.
In the presentation, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities outlined issues around the CCTV service which included:
· Swale Borough Council’s partnership with Medway Council;
· compliance with relevant regulations;
· quality of footage and effectiveness of system;
· costs of operating and maintaining;
· private property and business premises monitoring;
· use of smart phones for recording footage;
· lack of funding from the Police;
· the effect of recently de-commissioned cameras;
· options of how monitoring could be carried out in future; and
· technological advancement and the use of Town Centre WiFi.
In delivering the presentation, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities referred to public interest in the CCTV system and advised that Windmill Road and Howard Avenue Neighbourhood Watch Residents’ Association were currently collecting signatures to petition for the recommissioning of cameras in that area.
The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities asked Members to consider what should be included in the strategy.
The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities, the Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services and the Interim Economy and Community Services Manager for their attendance and asked Members of the Committee to direct any comments or questions on the draft strategy via Democratic Services by 21 November 2018.
The Committee is asked to consider a discussion paper on the future provision of beach huts in Swale.
The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, the Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure and the Leisure and Technical Services Manager have been invited to attend for this item.
The Chairman welcomed the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, the Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure and the Leisure and Technical Services Manager to the meeting.
The Cabinet Member for Regeneration introduced the paper and sought Members’ views on the provision of beach huts.
Members spoke positively about the development and expansion of beach huts in Swale. In the discussion that followed, the following points were made:
· beach huts enhanced the seafront and encouraged visitors to the area;
· more beach huts should be built;
· ancillary services such as toilets were necessary if more beach huts were built;
· were administration costs and regulations deterring potential purchasers;
· other areas, such as Sheerness, should be considered;
· the use of a few commercial huts for facilities such as shops or watersports should be considered;
· suggestion of including a timescale when selling on beach huts to those on the beach hut waiting list;
· the licence ensured that high standards were maintained;
· increasing the number of beach huts would be profitable for the Council;
· suggested the £25 retention fee to stay on the beach hut waiting list should be refundable on the purchase of a beach hut;
· clarification sought on how the sub-letting of beach huts was monitored;
· suggested a Financial Appraisal of the beach huts to compare profit from rent and sale of beach huts;
· clarification on how many more huts were planned and where they were planned to be sited;
· the attraction of the beach huts was not just financial;
· there needed to be a balance to avoid over-intensification of beach huts;
· could beach hut tenants buy a beach hut at the end of their term?;
· were there variations of lease times to suit;
· a standard licence for all would be more manageable;
· how was security of the beach huts managed?
· Planning Regulations should be considered if more beach huts were sited; and
· non-beach site locations, such as woodlands, should be considered for the siting of huts.
The Cabinet Member for Regeneration agreed to look at the rent-to-buy option.
The Leisure and Technical Services manager said that feedback from owners indicated that rules and regulations were welcome and said that beach hut associations were very proactive in encouraging self-help security for beach hut owners.
The Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure explained that the administration of the waiting list was time consuming and there was a risk of vacant huts and extra officer resource required if additional beach huts were rented rather than purchased. He advised that work had been carried out on plotting extra beach huts without flooding the market, and he explained the resale process of purchasing beach huts. He clarified the sub-letting clause in the licence.
The Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure agreed that toilet facilities would be vital if further beach huts were sited at Minster and he explained that of the £100k required to carry out this work, there was currently £30k in reserve. He added that drainage surveys had already been carried out near the Little Oyster car ... view the full minutes text for item 310.
The Committee is asked to note the Committee’s Work Programme for the remainder of the year. Report to-follow.
Report published Thursday 8 November 2018.
The Policy and Performance Officer introduced the tabled work programme which included the items due to come before PDRC in the coming municipal year. He updated Members that the Swale Public Space CCTV Strategy item discussed earlier in the meeting would be considered again at the PDRC meeting on 16 January 2019.
In response to a question from a Member, the Policy and Performance Officer agreed to find out which consultants had been appointed for the Homelessness Strategy and circulate details to Members.