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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330 

Items
No. Item

262.

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 outlined the emergency evacuation procedure.

263.

Minutes

To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 September (Minute Nos. 190  - 195) as a correct record.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 September 2019 (Minute Nos.190 - 195) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

264.

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:

Councillor Steve Davey declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 7 Other Review Progress Reports – Regeneration Schemes (other than Sittingbourne Town Centre) as he managed the George Public House, High Street, Sittingbourne.

 

During the discussion, Councillor Simon Fowle declared a non-pecuniary interest in Item 5 Performance Monitoring Report as he owned a beach hut at The Leas, Minster.

265.

Performance Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 264 KB

The Committee is asked to consider the Performance Monitoring Report Quarter 1 April – June 2019.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed the Policy and Performance Support Officer to the meeting, and advised that the Leader had given his late apologies.

 

The Policy and Performance Support Officer introduced the report which covered the first quarter of 2019/20 (April – June 2019), and explained that the new format which the new administration had implemented was more timely and transparent.  The Chairman suggested that Members should have been informed of the new format in advance and a consultation of Members carried out.

 

The Policy and Performance Support Officer explained that there were 32 managed performance indicators measured monthly and quarterly and 20 corporate indicators, measured monthly.

 

The Chairman went through the report page by page.

 

In the discussion that followed, the following comments were made:

 

·         Was it common for the first quarter to have a high number of red indicators?;

·         clarification on how targets were measured;

·         drew attention to the missed target for bin collection;

·         more information and understanding on how targets worked and what was being done to address missed targets; and

·         requested data be presented with more commentary.

 

In response, the Policy and Performance Support Officer explained that challenging but achievable targets were set annually and it took time to hit a new target, so it was common for targets to be Red in the first quarter.  He agreed to find out more information on how targets were measured and to feedback the comments on the new format.

 

A Member drew attention to the information on the number of missed refuse and recycling bins on page 10 of the report, and said there was a lack of communication with residents.  The Chairman said that the Scrutiny Committee could invite the Waste Team to a future Scrutiny Committee meeting to explain what action was being taken to address the issues.

 

A Member highlighted the missed targets in the Customer Service Centre on page 10 of the report, and said that there should be fewer phone calls due to the Transformation Project’s encouragement of customers to use the Council’s website.  The Policy and Performance Support Officer explained that the increase in calls was partly caused by issues with waste collection.  In the discussion that followed, a visiting Member said that the facility to report a missed bin collection did not always work properly.  Another visiting Member explained that the process of reporting a missed bin collection was not the same as complaining about the service.  A Member questioned whether a customer taking the advice of a recorded message was included in the abandoned call figures.  The Policy and Performance Support Officer agreed to find out.

 

Table 2 (page 11)

 

The Policy and Performance Support Officer explained that there was no commentary in an Amber indicator as this was up to and within 5% of the target. The Chairman said that the Council Tax collection target would need to be monitored.

 

Table 3 (page 12)

 

A Member suggested that short-term sickness information should be added to compare to long-term sickness.  The Chairman  ...  view the full minutes text for item 265.

266.

Infrastructure Provision in Swale

Open discussion for Members on which Infrastructure Providers to invite to a future Scrutiny Committee meeting and topics for questions.

Minutes:

The Chairman asked Members for suggestions of which infrastructure providers to invite to a future Scrutiny Committee meeting.  In the discussion that followed, Members made suggestions including:

 

·         Gas providers to provide an update on gas works from Key Street, Sittingbourne to Medway and how the traffic management process would work;

·         mobile networks – information on planned local projects and rural broadband;

·         Southern Water/South East Water;

·         UK Power networks – the increase in power cuts locally was noted;

·         KCC – coordination of roadworks and Traffic Regulation Orders; and

·         Highways England.

 

The Policy and Performance Officer reminded the Scrutiny Committee meeting that the focus should be on the future, to ensure residents’ needs were met.

 

A Member said that work was ongoing for many utilities in the area and suggested that utilities be written to first to ask about future plans in the area, and, dependant on responses, could attend a future Scrutiny Committee.  Several Members highlighted the importance of coordination of works between Utility companies.

 

Recommended:

 

(1)  That all Utilities be written to, to establish their future growth and maintenance plans in Swale.

(2)  That Southern Water/South East Water and UK Power networks be invited to attend a future Scrutiny Committee meeting.

267.

Other Review Progress Reports pdf icon PDF 93 KB

The Committee is asked to consider updates on other reviews:

 

      Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration (written update)

 

      Regeneration Schemes (other than Sittingbourne Town Centre)

 

Minutes:

Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration

 

The Chairman reminded Members that any questions should be circulated to Democratic Services in advance of the Scrutiny Committee meeting scheduled for 10 December 2019, when the Cabinet Member and Officers would be invited to attend.

 

In response to a Member’s comment that some responses were outstanding, a visiting Member said that an email with this information had been circulated to Members on 11 September 2019. 

 

A visiting Member questioned the progress in the multi-storey car park as referred to on page 21 of the report as he said there were no changes, and asked what was installed and where?

 

There was a discussion on the timing of the update report as some information was out of date by the time of the Scrutiny Committee meeting. It was suggested that in future a tabled update with more up-to-date information be produced a day before the meeting.

 

Regeneration Schemes (other than Sittingbourne Town Centre)

 

The lead Member of the task group advised that a meeting was scheduled to take place and a progress update would be provided at the next Scrutiny Committee meeting.  Councillor Carole Jackson agreed to join the group to balance out representation from the Faversham area.

268.

Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 87 KB

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

Minutes:

A Member requested an up to date list of Cabinet Member’s portfolios.

 

The Senior Democratic Services Officer drew Members’ attention to the updated Forward Plan which was published the day before the Scrutiny Committee Meeting and advised Members of the changes from the plan in the Agenda pack.

269.

Urgent Business Requests

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

Minutes:

The Chairman raised some issues around the Special Project Fund.  He questioned where information was available, what the criteria was and how the fund was being operated, and he drew attention that some funding had already been allocated.  Another Member added that each project should have a business plan for an audit trail.  A visiting Member said there should be predicted outcomes.  Members agreed that the relevant Cabinet Member and Officer for each project be invited to a future Scrutiny Committee meeting.

 

The Chairman raised the issue of non-collection of bins and what action was being taken to address it.  In the discussion that followed, a visiting Member questioned whether other partners in Mid-Kent Services were experiencing the same issues.  A Member said that the main issue was around the lack of communication.  The Chairman said that the Cabinet Member and officers should be invited to a future Scrutiny Committee meeting at the earliest opportunity.

 

Recommendation:

 

(1)  That the relevant Cabinet Member and Officer for funding allocated from the Special Project Fund be invited to a future Scrutiny Committee meeting.

(2)  That the Waste team be invited to attend a future Scrutiny Committee meeting.

270.

Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 95 KB

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

Minutes:

The Policy and Performance Officer drew Members’ attention to the tabled revised Committee Work Programme.

 

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