Agenda and minutes
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The Leader explained that the Cabinet meeting would be conducted in accordance with the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panel (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 No. 392.
In welcoming all Members and members of the public, the Leader explained which Swale Borough Council (SBC) officers were in attendance.
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 meeting 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.
Part A Minutes for Recommendation to Council
Tabled documents added 22 January 2021.
Additional tabled documents added 26 January 2021.
The Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance introduced the report which set-out the progress made to-date with the Local Plan Review document and presented the headlines for the final pieces of the remaining evidence that had now been completed in full. Two further tabled papers had been added to the online agenda and these had also been emailed to Members. The Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance said that this was a very emotive and challenging task with strong local community interest, and advised that the consultation would be carried out for a period of six weeks. He said the need to allocate new housing was not a choice made by the Council, but came from Central Government. There had been extensive discussion so far, in what was a slow process. He thanked the Cabinet Member for Planning and the officers for their work on the Review.
The Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance advised that the recommendations from the Local Plan Panel on 19 January 2021 were the same as the ones set-out in this report. He invited the Cabinet Member for Planning to present the four recommendations, and for Members to ask questions.
Recommendation 1: to note the summaries of the remaining evidence for the Local Plan Review.
The Cabinet Member for Planning echoed the comments made by the Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and praised the Planning Policy Team for the work they had carried out. An opportunity was given for questions and none were raised.
Recommendation 2: to agree the addendum to the Statement of Community Involvement that sets out how the Council will address Covid-19 related restrictions in light of the usual need to have hard copies of documents available for inspection.
The Cabinet Member for Planning said that Appendix IV of the report outlined the changes in the way the public could access the consultation due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The Cabinet Member for Environment asked how people, who could not access IT, could engage with the consultation and examine the Local Plan if they were unable to view it online? The Planning Policy Manager explained that a telephone number was published so that residents could phone the Planning Policy Team and they could also write in as well. With guidance on the document from the team, there was the option of having a printed copy of all or part of the document. The Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance acknowledged the difficulties of getting the document to all interested parties during Covid-19 restrictions and said that it was not financially feasible to print it in large quantities.
Recommendation 3: to agree the Local Plan Review pre-submission draft and accompanying documents as set out in Regulation 22 and commend them to Council for approval for the purposes of public consultation and submission to the Secretary of State in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.
The Cabinet Member for Planning acknowledged that no one wanted the amount of housing ... view the full minutes text for item 428.