Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330 

No. Item


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 Fire Evacuation Procedure.



To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 30 August 2017 (Minute Nos. 175 - 186) as a correct record.



The Minutes of the Meeting held on 30 August 2017 (Minute Nos. 175 - 186) 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.


Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Update pdf icon PDF 55 KB

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Interim Director of Regeneration, the Special Projects Manager and the Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Scheme Manager have been invited to attend for this item.


The Chairman welcomed the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, the Interim Director of Regeneration, the Special Projects Manager, the Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Scheme Manager and Huw Evans from Quinn Estates to the meeting.


The Cabinet Member for Regeneration reported that there was now physical progress being made and the scheme was moving towards fruition.  He invited Members to ask questions.


A Member referred to the second bullet point in Construction on page 2 of the report and asked how far behind programme the scheme was, and when was the anticipated completion?  In response, the Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Scheme Manager said that the kerb line had now been installed on the South side of West Street and he was hopeful that work on Phase I would be completed on time.


In response to a request from a Member, the Special Projects Manager advised that the meeting with Huber took place on 4 October 2017.  They were currently considering design drawings, and work on the Multi-Storey Car Park was due to start on site in March 2018 with three months off-site fabrication work and a construction period of 26 weeks.  He added that works to the water main diversion as highlighted on page 2 of the report was underway and progress on the roadworks to the west of St. Michael’s Road, Sittingbourne would be completed in advance of the start date.


In response to a question from the Chairman, the Special Projects Manager said that Tesco were working well with Swale Borough Council (SBC) and the documentation to approve the moving of the car park entrance was waiting to be signed-off.  He added that Network Rail had agreed the land swap with SBC in front of the train station and the completion of the St Michael’s Road  Car Park would trigger the land swap.


A Member asked that future updates included more detail on specific start and completion dates, and referred to the Development Agreement on page 1 of the report.  The Special Projects Manager said that the report was produced two weeks in advance of the Scrutiny Committee meeting and a Quantity Surveyor had now been appointed. He reminded Members that the Development Agreement was split into sections and the next part of the scheme to go unconditional was the Leisure, Hotel and Cinema, with a target date of end of November 2017.  Huw Evans from Quinn Estates added that the pre-commencement planning conditions were complex but had all been signed off, and that the Section 106 Agreement had been worded so that some pre-commencement conditions were not required.


A Member acknowledged that the disruption caused by the highway works so far had been tolerable but highlighted the impact of the next phase, which may be more challenging on the public and asked how this would be managed?  In response, the Interim Director of Regeneration explained the communication methods that were used to publicise works on Phase I and said that these would be used again.  The Interim Director of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 268.


Reviews at Follow-up Stage and Log of Recommendations pdf icon PDF 114 KB

The Committee is asked to review the updated log of recommendations (attached).






The Policy and Performance Officer introduced the report and highlighted that the Visitor Economy Strategy would be considered by the Policy Development Review Committee (PDRC) on 28 November 2017 and the Housing Services review report was considered by Cabinet on 4 October 2017.


A Member raised concern that the Visitor Economy Strategy was not yet available to view, and the short time between the Strategy being considered at Cabinet and PDRC. A discussion ensued around the process and dates of publishing documents, and the Policy and Performance Officer agreed to clarify and report back*.


A Member was disappointed with Cabinet’s response to the Housing Services Review and lack of action whilst another Member pointed out that five of the seven recommendations of the Housing Review were agreed by Cabinet.  A Member praised the efforts of the staff in Housing Services in preventing homelessness.   Another Member was concerned about the impact the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 would have when it was implemented in November 2017.


Post Meeting Note


*The Policy and Performance Officer provided the Member with an update the day after the meeting.


Other Review Progress Reports

The Committee is asked to consider updates on other reviews.


The Chairman advised that a report on the Development Management review would be produced by the end of the calendar year.


Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 97 KB

The Committee is asked to review and discuss the Committee’s Work Programme (attached) for the remainder of the year.


In response to a Member, the Chairman advised that a review of Residents Parking would be included in next year’s work programme.


There was a discussion on the priorities on the work programme and whether any items might be discussed at the Policy Development Review Committee.  Members agreed that a Task and Finish Group, which would include a Member from each of the three areas of the Borough, would carry out some background work and produce a scoping report, for a Non-Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration review.  Councillors Mike Henderson, Nigel Kay, Cameron Beart, Roger Truelove and Lesley Ingham agreed to liaise with the Policy and Performance Officer to produce a scoping report.


Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 80 KB

The Committee is asked to consider the Forward Plan with a view to identifying possible items for pre-decision scrutiny.


A Member highlighted an error in the date at the bottom of page 15 of the report which should have read 2018 not 2017.


Urgent Business Requests

The Committee is asked to consider any requests from Committee Members to commence a review.


There were no urgent business requests.