Skip to content
Contact Us  |  Councillors and Meetings  |  Comments / Complaints  |  Voting / Elections  |  About Us  |  Finance / Performance
Contact Democratic Services

Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330 

Items
No. Item

24.

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.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.

25.

Minutes

To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 27 February 2019 (Minute Nos. 519 -524) as a correct record.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 27 February 2019 (Minute Nos. 519 – 524) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

26.

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.

27.

Welcome and Introduction

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed new and re-elected Members to the meeting and Members of the Committee introduced themselves.  The Deputy Leader said that Cabinet would be supportive of reviews and would take recommendations arising out of the Scrutiny Committee seriously.

28.

Adjournment

Minutes:

The Chairman called an adjournment from 19:13 to 19.15 so that those present could consider the progress update and plans of the Sittingbourne Town Centre regeneration.

29.

Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Update pdf icon PDF 90 KB

The Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services, the Cabinet Member for Economy and Property and the Sittingbourne Town Centre Scheme Manager have been invited to attend for this item.

 

Tabled Sittingbourne Town Centre update added 7.6.19

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the Cabinet Member for Economy and Property, the Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services and the Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Scheme Manager to the meeting.

 

The Cabinet Member for Economy and Property introduced the update and clarified Swale Borough Council’s (SBC) role as a partner in the scheme. She explained that SBC were commercially and contractually bound by a legal agreement.

 

The Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services gave a short history of the partners in the scheme.  She referred to the plan circulated, highlighted the development areas and explained that SBC were a development partner and funder, not the developer.  The Cabinet Member for Economy and Property added that work to the Spring Street car park and one-way system was due to commence the following week.

 

A Member questioned the safety aspect of buses dropping passengers off on an unlaid kerbline area and asked when the work would be completed?  In response, the Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration scheme manager confirmed that Spirit of Sittingbourne (SoS) were aware of one particular bus operator doing this and they had been warned against it. 

 

In the discussion that followed, the Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services explained that the responsibility for the management of the buses was with Kent County Council (KCC) and the bus companies and the issue could be discussed at the next Quality Bus Partnership meeting.    The Cabinet Member for Economy and Property added that any photographic evidence would be forwarded on for action. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Economy and Property said that there was dis-satisfaction with the works generally and this would be addressed.  The Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Scheme Manager explained that KCC had not yet signed off the work and the Stage 3 Safety Audit process was still ongoing.  In response to a question from a Member on the number of elements of the scheme not yet signed off by KCC, the Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Scheme Manager explained that Erith (Contractors) had found difficulty in laying hot rolled asphalt to acceptable KCC standards.

 

There was a discussion around the traffic lights at the train station and how recent and proposed changes might affect the flow of traffic.  The Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Scheme Manager agreed to look into this.

 

In response to a Member’s question on any progress made on a previous suggestion of moving the taxi rank outside the train station to avoid the blockages caused by the loading bay, the Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Scheme Manager agreed to look at this.

 

The Chairman questioned the communication sent out to Members and highlighted a press release that Members received after it was published in the media.  Another Member criticised the SoS website and suggested that communication should be clearer. The Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services agreed that communication levels needed attention and there would be more regular updates.

 

The Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services gave an update on the Multi-Storey Car Park (MSCP).  She  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

Introduction to Overview and Scrutiny

A presentation to introduce new Members to the Overview and Scrutiny Function.

Minutes:

The Policy and Performance Officer gave an introduction to Overview and Scrutiny which included an explanation of what it was, how it worked at SBC, highlights of its positive achievements and how it might change in the future.

 

In response to a Member’s question on what could be scrutinised, the Chairman explained Scrutiny’s powers.  He drew attention that only Cabinet or Cabinet-led decisions could be considered and explained the procedure for a call-in.  The Chairman explained that the Policy Development and Review Committee (PDRC) could consider policies of the Council.  Lastly, the Chairman highlighted the importance of the Annual Budget Scrutiny Committee meeting, in January 2020, and advised that he would ask each Cabinet Member to attend and give an overview of the main proposed budget changes in their portfolio.

31.

Draft Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 242 KB

The Committee is asked to consider the Draft Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2018/19.

Minutes:

The Policy and Performance Officer introduced the report which would be submitted to Full Council.  He explained that much of the previous municipal year concentrated on the Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration Scheme and some of the reviews were not completed due to the Borough election.

 

Resolved:

 

      (1)  That the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report for 2018/19 be presented to Council.

32.

Committee Work Programme for 2019/20 Municipal Year pdf icon PDF 127 KB

The Committee is asked discuss and make suggestions for the Committee’s Work Programme for the forthcoming municipal year (to follow).

 

Work programme added 31.5.19

Minutes:

The Policy and Performance Officer introduced the Scrutiny Work Programme for 2019/20 and referred to the table at Appendix I.  He explained that items 1 to 4 were ongoing review work and the Scrutiny Committee should consider whether to continue with Development Management, Regeneration review and Infrastructure provision in Swale.  He added that the new administration might have different ideas going forward.

 

The Chairman said that any reviews should be completed this municipal year and explained how a Task and Finish Group was set up.

 

In the discussion that followed, Members suggested that Utilities provision across the Borough (water, electricity, broadband) and future public transport provision (including the train line between Sittingbourne and Sheerness) should be considered.

 

A Member said that several projects including the Queenborough and Rushenden Regeneration Scheme and the Faversham Swing Bridge were ongoing projects so should continue to be reviewed.  The same Member advised that Southern Gas Networks were investing heavily on the Isle of Sheppey.  In response, the Policy and Performance Officer advised that the scope of the Regeneration (non-STC) review had changed in the previous municipal year and he would circulate the scoping reviews for all the paused reviews to Members for discussion at the next Scrutiny Committee meeting.  Members agreed to progress Utilities and Public Transport reviews for Swale.

 

A Member suggested the Scrutiny Committee could consider how it operated at other authorities under the Committee system and whether it added any value.

 

The Chairman encouraged Members to take part in future reviews.

33.

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 86 KB

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

 

Tabled Forward Plan added 7.6.19

Minutes:

The Policy and Performance Officer gave an explanation of the purpose of the Forward Plan and highlighted the criteria of a key decision.

 

A Member asked for more information on the disposal of 17/17a Station Street, Sittingbourne.  The Senior Democratic Services Officer agreed to obtain this information.

 

A to Z of Services :
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z