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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Swale House. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330 

No. Item


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; 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 emergency evacuation procedure.



To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 January 2019 (Minute Nos. TBC) as a correct record.



The Minutes of the meeting held on 15 January 2019 (Minute Nos. 434 – 443) 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.


Financial Management Report - April - September 2018 pdf icon PDF 8 KB

The Committee is asked to consider the Financial Management Report April – September 2018.


The Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance and the Chief Financial Officer will be attending the meeting.

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed Members and officers to the meeting. The report set out the revenue and capital projected outturn activity for 2018/19 as at the end of September 2018, which had been complied from monitoring returns from budget managers.  Attention was drawn to the update paper which had been included with the agenda.


The Chairman invited the Committee to ask questions, focussing on the Tables in the report.  A summary of the responses are set out below.


Update Paper:


In response to a comment about the projected level of underspend and whether it was good budgeting, the Chief Financial Officer advised that the amount of projected underspend had reduced since September 2018.  Another Member commented on the budgeting for planning fees.


Table 2:


In response to a question concerning paragraph 3.6, the Chief Financial Officer explained how the £8.5m set aside for business rate appeals had been estimated.


Table 4:


The Chief Financial Officer undertook to provide information to a Member about what was included in the 2017/18 rollovers.


In response to a question regarding the Swale lifts replacement, the Head of Property confirmed that the contract included a standard 12 month defect period and so a percentage of the cost had been held back.


Table 6:


Reference was made to paragraph 3.18 and congratulations were given to officers for paying 99.5% of creditors within 30 days.


Appendix I:


In response to a question about the reason for the overspend on consultancy fees for the Sittingbourne Town Centre Project (page 11), the Chief Financial Officer explained that there was no base budget for this.


In response to a suggestion that the underspend on Grounds Maintenance (page 17) could be used to carry out some work on land near to Faversham Swimming Pools and the car park, the Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs advised that the underspend had reduced since that time.  He did,  however, agree that some work was needed there, and referred to the refurbishment of the nearby play area.




(1) That the report be noted.


Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Plan pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To review the draft Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan for 2019/20 and to consider making recommendations to Cabinet on 6 February 2019.


Cabinet Members and their Deputies; and the following Officers have been invited to attend the meeting, as have all Members:


Chief Executive; Director of Regeneration; Chief Financial Officer; Head of Property; Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure;  Head of Policy, Communications and Customer Services; Head of Planning Services; and Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services.


The Chairman welcomed Members, Cabinet Members, Deputy Cabinet Members and officers to the meeting, and invited the Committee to consider the proposals for the draft revenue budget for 2019/20, and the proposed Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP).  The Chairman reminded Members that any recommendations would be considered by the Cabinet on 6 February 2019.


The Cabinet Member for Performance and Finance presented the MTFS and draft budget and spoke of the hard work that had been undertaken to ensure the Council had a strong financial base for the years ahead.  The Council was in a good position to deal with the uncertainty ahead in respect of local government finance, whilst also continuing to provide high quality services and regenerate the Borough.


The Chief Financial Officer drew attention to the tabled paper which gave an update on the impact of the Settlement (including New Homes Bonus (NHB)), which left a budget gap of £264k.  In response to a question, he explained that an assumption had been made that NHB would continue after 2019/20, but this was uncertain.


Cabinet Members and Deputy Cabinet Members were then given an opportunity to introduce the budget proposals for their respective areas.


The Leader thanked the Cabinet Member, the Chief Financial Officer and his team for their work in ensuring the Council was in the position it was in.


The Cabinet Member for Housing and Safer Communities explained that there had been some changes to the way in which some budgets had been presented, in that some budgets had been split into separate categories.  He drew attention to Appendix II and referred to car park maintenance (vandalism and maintenance), car parks (road lining and parking adjudication fees), and penalty charge notices (car parks and on-street car parking).  He also outlined the reasons for the need for growth items which included an amount for General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) compliance and VAT treatment for Swale Car Parks.


The Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs advised that the majority of his budget was spent on street cleansing and grounds maintenance.  He referred to the substantial investment in playgrounds, the Heritage Lottery Fund project in Faversham, and the ongoing work to improve air quality.


Members then considered the report page-by-page, and asked questions.  A summary of the response to questions is set out below.


·        Paragraph 2.8 – the Chief Financial Officer clarified the make-up of the shared fund.


·        Paragraph 2.15 – the Chief Financial Officer clarified that there were three vacant posts, but the Full Time Equivalent to be deleted from the establishment was 13.


·        Paragraph 2.16 – the Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure explained that the Retail Price Index would continue to apply as the Leisure Contract had been extended rather than renewed.


·        Paragraph 2.17 – the Chief Executive explained that the local pay award was negotiated by the Head of Paid Service, Human Resources and Unison, but was benchmarked against the National Pay Award.


·        Page 35 – Princes Street Retail Park operational running costs –  ...  view the full minutes text for item 459.


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