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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Swale House. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

570.

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.

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Chairman drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.

571.

Minutes

To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 February 2019 (Minute Nos. 475 - 485) as a correct record.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 February 2019 (Minute Nos. 475 – 485) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

572.

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.

 

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

573.

Financial Management Report: April - December 2018 pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance

 

Cabinet considered the report of the Chief Financial Officer and the above Cabinet Member, which set out the revenue and capital projected outturn activity for 2018/19 as at the end of December 2018.  The report was based on service activity up-to the end of December 2018 and was collated from monitoring returns from budget managers.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance introduced the report, and reported that the total forecast revenue underspend was £270,950, an increase of £43,950 from the half year forecast.  The projected underspend equated to 1.5% of the Council’s budget so was a small margin.  The Cabinet Member referred to the main variances which were set-out in the report, and explained that there was nothing out-of-line with what had previously been reported.  He considered the Council were currently in an excellent financial position.  The Cabinet Member explained that the coming months were very important as the Council would hear about the situation regarding business rates and the financial review.   The Cabinet Member endorsed the report and proposed the recommendations.

 

A Member asked how certain officers were in relation to the level of Business Rate reserves? He also drew attention to page 8 of the report and the Local Loan Fund, and asked whether the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance would consider widening this to support new businesses just starting out?

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance was adamant that the reserves for business rates as outlined in the report were needed.  He explained that the financial position for 2020/21 was unknown, and the Council needed to maintain a secure financial position, until the situation in relation to funding was known.  With regard to widening the Local Loan Fund to include start-up businesses, the Cabinet Member agreed that they should be supported by that fund and stated that new businesses were the future of the Borough. 

 

A Member congratulated officers on the 98.2% payment of creditors, exceeding the target of 97%.

 

The Cabinet Member for Planning welcomed the Development Control additional income from an increase in planning applications.  He concluded that good planning represented good news for the local economy. 

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the projected revenue underspend on services of £270,950 (Table 1 refers) be noted.  

(2)       That the capital expenditure of £12,240,144 to end of December 2018 (paragraph 3.14 and Table 4 Appendix I refers) be noted.

(3)       That the Pension and Redundancy reserve be topped-up by £250,000, from the General Reserve.

 

574.

Swale Strategic Air Quality Action Plan 2018-22 pdf icon PDF 195 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs

 

Cabinet considered the report of the Mid-Kent Environmental Health Manager and the above Cabinet Member, which charted the development of Swale’s Strategic Air Quality Action Plan 2018-22 before submission to the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).  The Action Plan was a fulfilment to the Council’s responsibility in the Local Air Management regime under the Environment Act 1995.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs introduced the report, which was the last in a series of reports recording development of Swale’s Strategic Air Quality Action Plan 2018-22.  The Cabinet Member thanked members of the Air Quality Steering Group who had provided useful information.  The Cabinet Member also thanked officers for all their hard work in producing the document, and endorsed the report, and proposed the recommendations.

 

A Member spoke in support of the document and welcomed the good response to the consultation.  The Member also welcomed that the control of HGVs in categories 1 to 4 was included.  He asked what the Council were doing to press Central Government for funding and ideas to support improvements in air quality in the Borough? 

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs stated that once approved by DEFRA, the Council would be able to use the Action Plan to lobby for further support and financial assistance.   He added that the Council had already pressed for various grants and schemes with some success.

 

A Member thanked the Cabinet Member and officers for their work in creating the document.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the outcome of the public consultation on the draft Air Quality Action Plan 2018-22 be noted.

(2)       That the additional measures in the draft Air Quality Action Plan for submission to DEFRA be approved.

 

575.

Tender award report for Multi-Function Devices (MFDs) and specialist printing machines pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance

 

Cabinet considered the report of the Head of Commissioning, Environment & Leisure and the above Cabinet Member, which summarised the procurement process and results of the tender process for the Mid Kent Partnership (Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells Borough Councils) for the Multi-Functional Devices contract which expired on 29 April 2019.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance introduced the report and proposed the recommendation.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the appointment of Konica Minolta Business Solutions (UK) Ltd as Multi-Functional Devices and specialist printing machines supplier until 30 November 2024 be approved.

 

576.

Housing Enforcement Civil Penalties Policy - An alternative to prosecution for certain housing legislation offences pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities 

 

Cabinet considered the report of the Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services and the above Cabinet Member, which sought approval to use civil penalties and set-out how the Council would implement new enforcement powers contained in the Housing and Planning Act 2016.  This allowed financial penalties to be imposed as an alternative to prosecution for certain housing offences under the Housing Act 2004 and for a breach of a banning order under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.  The Policy was set-out at Appendix I to the report.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities introduced the report.  He drew attention to paragraph 2.4 on page 80 of the report, which set-out the list of offences that the Council could impose penalties for.  The legislation would equip local authorities in the management of landlords.  The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities drew attention to Table 1, on page 82 of the report, which set-out the financial penalty banding taking into account government guidance and linking culpability and harm criteria as outlined in the Policy.  He endorsed the report and proposed the recommendations.

 

A Member welcomed the document which he hoped would send a clear message that the Council would not allow rogue landlords to set-up in Swale.

 

In response to queries from Members, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities explained that he hoped that officers would not have to use the penalties policy, and that it was one-step short of taking landlords to Court, and would act as a useful deterrent.  The Cabinet Member stated that it was about getting landlords to accept their responsibilities and do the right thing by their tenants.  With regard to sending a message to ‘rogue’ landlords, he stated that the Council would do this if appropriate.  The Cabinet Member stated that the wording ‘criminal’ landlords, was the language used in the Government’s document on the legislation, and that fraud was not an offence that the Council would be able to serve penalties for. 

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the use of Civil Penalties Policy as an alternative to prosecution, as set out at Appendix I of the report, be adopted.

(2)       That the Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services be delegated all powers to issue, use and enforce civil penalties as detailed in the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and any regulations made therefore under, including deciding on the level of penalty and dealing with representations.

(3)       That the Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services be delegated authority, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities to make amendments to the policy, to maintain functionality and reflect changes in guidance or legislation.

 

 

 

577.

Tree Maintenance Policy 2019-2023 pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs

 

Cabinet considered the report of the Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure and the above Cabinet Member, which set-out the process undertaken to update the Council’s Tree Maintenance Policy which was set- out at Appendix I of the report. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs introduced the report and thanked members of the Council’s Policy, Development and Review Committee (PDRC) who had considered the Policy on two occasions and recommended several amendments which the Cabinet Member considered had resulted in an improved document.  The Cabinet Member stated that the document stated what the Council would do with trees in its ownership.  The Cabinet Member thanked officers for their work on the document, in particular the Green Spaces Manager, and proposed the recommendation.

 

A Member, who was Chairman of PDRC, thanked the Cabinet Member for his time in attending PDRC, and also thanked Members of PDRC for their diligence and comments which had greatly enhanced the document.  A Member considered it to be a useful document which described what the Council would and would not do in regard to tree maintenance and was a huge step forward.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the Tree Maintenance Policy 2019-2023 as drafted, be approved.

 

 

578.

Lorry Parking in the Borough pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Minutes:

Leader

 

Cabinet considered the report of the Chief Executive and the Leader, which asked Cabinet to enable further background work to be undertaken by officers to identify whether there were any opportunities to avoid the inappropriate lorry parking on both the strategic highway network as well as locally in unsuitable commercial and residential locations. 

 

The Leader introduced the report and spoke about the damaging effect of inappropriate parking of lorries in laybys and slip roads across Swale.  The Leader reported that Canterbury City Council were experiencing similar issues and he had met with their Leader and senior officers to explore potential solutions, and also attended a meeting between Canterbury City Council, Highways England and Kent County Council (KCC) and whilst discussions were at a preliminary stage, he was confident that due to the business case that had been produced the proposal would be progressed.   The Leader stated that a similar report had recently been approved by Canterbury City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee.  The Leader endorsed the report and proposed the recommendation.

 

Members welcomed the report and spoke about the importance of addressing the issue, particularly at Brenley Corner and along the A249.  Some lorries were even parking on the hard shoulder of the motorway which was unacceptable and dangerous.  A Member queried why KCC Highways and Transportation had not dealt with the problem, and that the Leader continue to liaise with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation about the issue.

                                                                 

A Member noted that the report spoke about the implications of the proposal and referred to ‘reasonable financial payback and return on investment’.  He stated that Members should not only consider any cash return but also the community value which he considered made it the right thing to do.  The Chief Financial Officer clarified that officers at Swale would provide a full costed business case, and the financial implications would be reported to Members. 

 

In response to a query from a Member, the Leader stated that the issue was only now being looked at due to a change in Government attitude to enforcement.. 

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That authority be given to officers to explore further with Canterbury City Council, Kent County Council and Highways England potential options for lorry parking within Swale.

579.

Recommendations of the Swale Joint Transportation Board meeting held on 4 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 14 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the recommendations from the Swale Joint Transportation Board meeting held on 4 March 2019.

 

Resolved:

 

(1) That the recommendations in Minute Nos. 533 and 534 be agreed.

580.

Recommendations of the Local Plan Panel held on 14 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Tabled Recommendations uploaded 22 March 2019

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the recommendations from the Local Plan Panel meeting held on 14 March 2019 which were tabled.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the recommendations in Minute Nos. 561, 562 and 563 be agreed.

581.

Exempt Addendum Report - Financial Management Report: April - December 2018

Minutes:

There was no discussion on this item, therefore the resolution to exclude the press and public was not passed.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the position in respect of the compensation claim for Compulsory Purchase Order of the Dockyard Church, Sheerness be noted.

 

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