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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Swale House, East Street, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 3HT

Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item


Emergency 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.  Nobody must leave the assembly point until everybody can be accounted for and nobody must return to the building until the Chairman has informed them that it is safe to do so; 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 outlined the emergency evacuation procedure.



To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 March 2019 (Minute Nos. 570 - 581) as a correct record.



The Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 March 2019 (Minute Nos. 570 – 581) 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.



No interests were declared.


Coalition Priorities: Update and Next Steps (information report) pdf icon PDF 77 KB


The Chairman introduced the item by saying it was an interim report setting out the coalition’s priorities, and invited each Cabinet and Deputy Cabinet Member to give an update on their respective areas.  It was acknowledged that there were many cross-cutting issues.


Constitution Review


The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning referred to the General Purposes Committee meeting that had been held earlier that day, the recommendations from which would be submitted to the Council meeting on 26 June 2019.  He advised that there would be a report to the next Policy Development and Review Committee on constitution review and this would include consideration of returning to a committee system and the introduction of area committees.  Officers were working on papers for this and the intention was for a report to be considered at the October 2019 Council meeting.


Local Plan


The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning referred to the recent meeting of the Local Plan Panel where some good suggestions had been made on the future vision and approach to local plan-making.  Work was ongoing and there would be further updates in due course.


Climate emergency


The Cabinet Member for Environment  advised that a motion would be considered at the next Council meeting on this topic and he outlined the detail of what was proposed.  He gave an update on preliminary meetings that had been held, referring in particular to the carbon management plan and the potential for renewable energy.  He referred to the positive impacts and benefits to everyday lives as a result of improvements such as reducing carbon emissions; insulating housing, particularly social housing; improving electric charging points for cars; and offsetting carbon emissions such as by planting trees and salt marshes.  The positive impacts of this included reducing social exclusion and fuel poverty, and improvements to health as a result of improving air quality.




The Cabinet Member for Housing advised that additional meetings had been held with officers and the draft strategy on housing, homelessness and rough sleeping was being reviewed further before being considered again by Members.  Work was also being undertaken to review the department’s structure.  Close attention was being given to the temporary accommodation that was offered and the intention was to end use of bed and breakfast accommodation by December 2019. Meetings were being held with housing providers. 


The Cabinet Member for Health referred to paragraph 3.8 of the report and in respect of Sheerness High Street, she suggested that residential options would be better utilised if the access was improved to a decent standard.


The Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing gave an update on visits made to temporary accommodation, and he hoped that housing associations would be able to help to increase provision in this area.  He reiterated the need to stop bed and breakfast accommodation and welcomed the restructure in the housing department.


Community inclusion and safety


The Cabinet Member for Community advised that the CCTV strategy was being reviewed and was being considered by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.


Budget Update (information report) pdf icon PDF 62 KB


The Chairman introduced the report, referring to the revenue underspend of around £1m, and the £24m in reserves.  He acknowledged that there would be pressure on the revenue budget in the future, but considered that the amount of reserves was too large and so some of it should be used to the benefit of the community. 


He drew attention to paragraph 3.1 of the report which set out proposals for a Special Projects Fund and additional officer posts in health and housing.  The Cabinet would also be exploring the option of implementing the living wage as employer, and to explore how this could be incorporated into employees in major contracts as they came up for renewal.


The Chief Financial Officer advised that the full outturn report, and requests for revenue and capital rollovers, would be considered by the Scrutiny Committee on 3 July 2019 and by Cabinet on 10 July 2019. 


In response to a question regarding the level of detail in the budget book, the Chairman confirmed that more detail would be included in the future.   The Chairman also acknowledged that there were two different ‘living wages’, one set nationally and the other by the Living Wage Foundation, and that this would be considered further.


Queenborough and Rushenden Regeneration Scheme funding increase pdf icon PDF 62 KB


The Economic Development Officer introduced the report, referring to the successful bid in 2017 for £3.5m for land raising and remedial works, and the approval by Cabinet in December 2018 to enter into a grant agreement.  There had been an increase in the estimated cost of the works and so Homes England had been asked for extra funds, and £5.1m had been approved.  



(1) That delegated authority be given to the Director of Regeneration and the Chief Financial Officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Economy and Property and the Cabinet Member for Finance to entre into the Homes England Grant Determination Agreement to provide £5.1million HIF funding to support the Queenborough and Rushenden regeneration scheme and staff resources allocated to administer the funds in line with requirements.




Outside Bodies - Nominations to be made by Cabinet pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman introduced the report which set out nominations for outside bodies.  As there were two nominations for the Optivo Kent General Panel, a vote was taken, and this was in favour of Councillor Ben J Martin.



(1) That the Cabinet makes appointments to outside bodies as set out in Appendix I to the report, subject to Councillor Ben J Martin being nominated as the representative on Optivo Kent General Panel.


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