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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

119.

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 Leader outlined the emergency evacuation procedure.

120.

Minutes

To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 June 2019 (Minute Nos. 45 - 51) as a correct record.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 12 June 2019 (Minute Nos. 46 – 51) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Leader as a correct record.

121.

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.

122.

Financial Management Year End Report pdf icon PDF 303 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader introduced the report which set out the revenue and capital outturn position for 2018/19.  He referred to the service rollovers, highlighted the increase in reserves and said that whilst not seriously depleting, some reserves were there to be spent. 

 

The Leader explained that the Special Projects Fund would benefit local people and reserves would not be decimated but topped up by the growth of Business Rates and income from the North Kent Business Rate Plan.  He said that that the administration would be promoting health and recreational activities and advised that concessionary parking at the Swallows Leisure Centre, Sittingbourne and the Sheerness Leisure Centre would be reinstated.

The Leader advised that 22 staff would benefit from the implementation of the Real Living Wage.

 

The Leader invited the Chairman of Scrutiny Committee to speak.  The Chairman of Scrutiny Committee asked for report headings to be clearer and for the report information to be more consistent, highlighting Real Living Wage/Living Wage and confusing information on whether the Sheerness Leisure Centre was included in the concessionary parking.  He welcomed the Special Projects Fund and sought clarification on whether the £1m referred to in recommendation (3) included the Regeneration Fund or was in addition to it.  The Scrutiny Committee Chairman advised that the Scrutiny Committee had proposed an additional recommendation:

 

That the Scrutiny Committee recommends that future consideration be given that the Economic Development Support Officer post be made a permanent role at Swale Borough Council.

 

The Scrutiny Committee Chairman thanked the Chief Financial Officer and his team for their hard work.

 

In response, the Leader confirmed that the £1m funding was on top of the Regeneration Fund and advised that the Real Living Wage was based on current figures and this would be reviewed in the future.

 

The Leader gave his support to the Scrutiny Committee’s additional recommendation.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)  That the gross revenue underspend of £930,800 be noted

(2)  That the revenue service rollovers of £722,500 and the setting up of new reserves as set out in Appendix I Table 11 for approval be noted.

(3)  That a new fund called ‘Special Projects’ be set up to replace the Regeneration Fund and the topping up of this Fund by £1m per annum from reserves be agreed.

(4)  That the car park concession at the Swallows and Sheerness Leisure Centres from July 2019 at an estimated cost of £90,000 in 2019/20 funded from the underspend in 2018/19 be reinstated.

(5)  That the Real Living Wage for Swale Borough Council staff at a cost of £68,000 per annum funded from the underspend in 2018/19 be implemented.

(6)  That the allocation of uncommitted underspends to reserve funds be delegated to the Chief Financial Officer.

(7)  To note that the capital expenditure of £18,870,571, as detailed in paragraph 8 and Appendix I Table 14 be noted.

(8)  That the capital rollovers of £2,862,822, as detailed in Appendix I Table 15 for approval be noted.

(9) That future consideration be given that the Economic Development  ...  view the full minutes text for item 122.

123.

Living Wage pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Minutes:

The Leader introduced the report which sought to apply the Real Living Wage to Council employees and to investigate applying it to staff working on the Council’s major contracts.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)  That the Real Living Wage be applied to  Council employees immediately,

(2)  That applying the Real Living Wage to staff working in the Council’s major contracts be investigated.

124.

CCTV Future Service Delivery Options pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Communities introduced the report which sought Cabinet’s approval on proposed changes to the monitoring delivery model for the Public Space CCTV service.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities gave a background and explained the aims of the Public Space CCTV (page 55 of the report), and advised that a review of the Public Space CCTV had been completed.  He added that the responses to the public consultation undertaken in May 2019 were supportive of the Council continuing to deliver a Public Space CCTV.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities highlighted the benefits of the proposed Public Space CCTV monitoring delivery model which included the system control room being located within the new Multi-Storey Car Park in St. Michael’s Road, Sittingbourne.  He also drew attention to the proposed use of Town Centre Wi-Fi within Sittingbourne, Sheerness and Faversham to utilise the wireless CCTV infrastructure.  He thanked the previous administration and Council staff for their work on the scheme.

 

Members welcomed the proposals. In the discussion that followed, Members spoke about the need to monitor rural and remote areas as well as the towns.  A Member suggested that any foliage should be cleared from blocking the lenses of CCTV cameras.  Another Member praised the report and suggested a proper audit of cameras was carried out after installation to ensure they could not be unplugged.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)  That the proposed Public Space CCTV monitoring delivery model be approved.

(2)  That officers conduct a procurement exercise for the proposed upgrade to the Public Space CCTV Service and Town Centre Wi-Fi, which will be brought back to Cabinet for approval.

125.

Adoption of the Housing, Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-2023 pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader praised the report and gave thanks to Officers for their hard work.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing introduced the report which sought to adopt the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-2023.  He thanked the previous administration for the consultation carried out.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing said that housing was one of the key priorities for the new administration and affordable housing was a particular focus.  He highlighted that homelessness figures were significantly increasing, there were long waiting lists for affordable housing and not enough affordable housing was being built within the current Local Plan.  The Cabinet Member for Housing drew attention to the priorities on page 68 of the report and spoke of the complex needs of the homeless and rough sleepers.  He said that other issues could be worked on if housing was delivered and said that the two main causes of homelessness in Swale were parental eviction and evictions from privately rented tenancies.

 

The Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing referred to the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-23 on pages 67-163 and spoke about the detailed and comprehensive review of the issues that had taken place.  He congratulated Officers for their hard work.  The Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing drew attention to the main challenges identified at the bottom of page 63 of the report.  He went on to highlight the four main proposed priorities at 2.5 on page 64 of the report and criticised the previous administration for their lack of action on addressing the housing issue.

 

The Deputy Cabinet Member for Housing went through the document highlighting information including  the key priorities and objectives (page 70) and Swale’s housing market (page 74).  He paid particular attention to bullet point 5 on page 77 relating to Kent County Council’s commissioning strategy.  He commended the comprehensive report.

 

Members welcomed the report.  A Member asked that Central Government was continually pressed to change the criteria of the Homelessness Reduction Act.  The same Member said that more effort should be made to use Empty Dwelling Management Orders to help with homelessness.  A Member thanked officers for their work on achieving funding for rough sleepers in 2019.  A Member said that the housing market in the United Kingdom was dysfunctional, led to short-term tenancies and there was no security of tenure.   A Member said that he hoped that the number of properties approved for loans and grants to assist with energy efficiency would increase in future.

 

In summing up, the Leader said the new administration were putting more resources into the housing sector, would put greater pressure on developers to provide affordable housing  and had a readiness to intervene where the private sector did not provide housing and would have more responsibility for tenants in the private housing sector when they needed assistance.  He asked the Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services how the documents would be shared and publicised?  In response, the Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services explained there would be engagement with main  ...  view the full minutes text for item 125.

126.

Authority to complete contract documentation for two parking services pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Environment introduced the report and explained that the proper procurement processes had taken place and the contract was already in place, but because the cost of the tender was over £100k, authority was required by Cabinet.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)  That the contract for cash collection services be awarded to Contract Security Services Ltd.

(2)  That the contract for cashless parking solution be awarded to Cobalt Telephone Technologies Ltd.

(3)  That authority be delegated to the Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure and Head of Legal, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment to complete the contract award.

127.

Recommendations of the Local Plan Panel Meeting held on 6 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the recommendation from the Local Plan Panel meeting held on 6 June 2019.

 

Resolved:

 

(1)       That the recommendation in Minute No.38 be agreed.

 

128.

Recommendations from Swale Joint Transportation Board held on 24 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 45 KB

Minutes:

Cabinet considered the recommendations from the Swale Joint Transportation Board meeting held on 24 June 2019.

 

Resolved:

 

(1) That the recommendations in Minute Nos.  77, 78, 79 and 80 be agreed.

 

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