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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330 

Items
No. Item

255.

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.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman drew attention to the Fire Evacuation Procedure.

256.

Minutes

To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 July 2018 (Minute Nos. 89 - 101) as a correct record.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 July 2018 (Minute Nos. 89 –101) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

257.

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.

258.

Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Update pdf icon PDF 55 KB

The Kent County Councillor Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste, Swale Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, the Director of Regeneration, the Sittingbourne Town Centre Scheme Manager and Huber Car Park Systems have been invited to attend for this item.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, the Director of Regeneration, the Sittingbourne Town Centre Scheme Manager, Huw Evans and Richard Blackwell from Spirit of Sittingbourne (SoS) and Philip Chater and Dominik Webster from Huber, the multi-storey car park contractors, to the meeting.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration introduced the report and highlighted the progress that had been made since his last attendance at the Scrutiny Committee meeting in June 2018.  He praised Huber for their work and progress on the multi-storey car park, and thanked Kent County Council (KCC) for their assistance.

 

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration advised that since the Agenda had been published, there had been further progress.

 

Multi-storey Car Park

 

Philip Chater (Huber), said that the multi-storey car park was progressing well and further progress was expected, to meet the deadlines.  He explained that progress would not be so visible in the coming months as work would be more localised within the inside of the car park.  He advised that there were no health and safety issues and thanked KCC for their help and support.

 

Members asked the following questions:

 

·         When would the multi-storey car park be complete?;

·         what were the fire evacuation plans during the build and on completion?;

·         how was the snag list addressed?; and

·         how many lifts were planned?.

 

In response, Philip Chater (Huber) advised that the forecast was that the major structure would be complete by the end of the year, and the car park should be complete by the end of February 2019, weather dependent.  He advised there were three emergency exits, explained the process of dealing with the snag list which was factored into the deadline date, and confirmed there would be 2 lifts in the completed car park.  The Sittingbourne Town Centre Scheme Manager said that some stages of the multi-storey car park scheme had been moved to allow for contingency for later in the project.  He added that the wall adjacent to The Forum was a fire boundary wall, emergency routes were via a ramp and there was always free access from The Forum.

 

The Chairman gave praise and thanked Huber for their attendance.

 

Kent Council Council

 

The Chairman welcomed the KCC Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste, the Director of Highways, Transport and Waste and the Development Agreements Manager to the meeting.

 

The KCC Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste thanked the Scrutiny Committee for their invitation to attend and praised the successful relationship between KCC and Swale Borough Council (SBC).

 

The Chairman referred to the minutes of the Scrutiny Committee held on 7 June 2018, when Members had raised issues around the role of KCC in the scheme and its delayed start.

 

Huw Evans (SoS) explained that KCC had considered the Traffic Management Plan and raised issues which needed to be addressed.  He said that the work on the amended Traffic Management Plan had caused an initial delay but was of benefit as traffic delays in the area once the scheme  ...  view the full minutes text for item 258.

259.

Financial Management Report pdf icon PDF 147 KB

The Committee is asked to consider the Financial Management Report.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance and the Chief Financial Officer have been invited to attend for this item.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance, the Deputy Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance and the Chief Financial Officer to the meeting.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance introduced the report which set out the revenue and capital outturn position for 2018/2019 as at the end of June 2018.  He said that it was early in the financial year to forecast but that the £54k underspend was a small amount compared to previous years.  He thanked the Finance Team for their hard work in continuing to look for savings and was determined that the quality of services provided would not be lost. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance said that work would continue through to the Borough elections in May 2019 to ensure sound finances for the new administration, and to support the Council in the next two to three years.  He referred to the Deputy Cabinet Member for Finance’s assistance and expertise in risk.

 

The Chairman commended the clarity of the report.

 

A Member asked that, as the report was three months behind, were there any current issues causing concern?  Another Member asked whether the software used could produce a Red Amber Green (RAG) report whilst the Chairman suggested any issues coming up might be included?  In response, the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance said that Central Government often made changes that lacked detail and would affect the Budget, at late notice.  He also referred to the previous issue of unexpected payment to the Lower Medway Internal Drainage Board which he had highlighted to the Scrutiny Committee at the time.  He advised that there were no exceptional risks at the current time.  The Chief Financial Officer added that the timing of the meetings cycle dictated when reports were considered by the Scrutiny Committee.  He said that homelessness costs had increased and planning fees income and parking revenue income had reduced.  He agreed to consider including a RAG rating for the next cycle of reports.

 

The Policy and Performance Officer and a Member both considered that the quality of the report compared favourably with other Local Authority reports.

 

In response to a question, the Chief Financial Officer clarified the Non-Service Budget on page 19 of the report.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance praised the clarity of the report and said that it had evolved from feedback from the Scrutiny Committee.

 

The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance, the Deputy Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance and the Chief Financial Officer for their attendance.

260.

Other Review Progress Reports

The Committee is asked to consider updates on other reviews:

 

Regeneration (other than Sittingbourne Town Centre); and

Development Management.

Minutes:

Regeneration

 

The Chairman referred to the suggestion made by the current lead on the Regeneration Task and Finish Group, that the review be postponed until after the Borough elections in May 2019.

 

Members discussed whether the review should be continued with the current group, an invitation sent out to all Councillors (not just Scrutiny Committee Members) to join and continue the review, or whether it should be postponed until after the Borough elections in May 2019.

 

In the discussion that followed, the Policy and Performance Officer advised that the focus so far had been about themes such as skills/education not individual Regeneration projects.

 

Several Members said that the review should not be rushed, and asked what work had been carried out so far?  The Policy and Performance Officer advised that some information gathering had taken place and several meetings had been held.  He said that visits to businesses and other Local Authorities were due to be arranged. 

 

Members asked that the Policy and Performance Officer bring back the Review Plan and a summary of progress to the next Scrutiny Committee meeting on 7 November 2018, to decide whether to proceed with the review or put it on hold until after the May 2019 elections.

 

Development Management

 

The Lead Member on the Development Management Task and Finish Group advised Members that the review team had met, formulated an action plan and were waiting to meet with Planning Officers and the Cabinet Member for Planning during the day, before the next Scrutiny Committee meeting on 7 November 2018.

261.

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 89 KB

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

Minutes:

The Chairman updated Members with the changes to the Forward Plan since the Scrutiny Committee Agenda was published, which had been circulated via despatch.

 

The Chairman requested clarification on the ‘List of the documents submitted to the decision maker’ column on the document.  The Senior Democratic Services Officer agreed to report back.

 

In response to a question, the Senior Democratic Services Officer explained that a report on CCTV cameras would be considered at the next Policy Development and Review Committee on 6 November 2018 and the Policy and Performance Officer explained the process.

262.

Urgent Business Requests

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

Minutes:

There were none.

263.

Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 94 KB

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

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that invitations to the Budget Scrutiny Committee meeting on 23 January 2019, would be sent out to all Cabinet and Deputy Cabinet Members.

 

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