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Agenda and minutes

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

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 outlined the emergency evacuation procedure.



To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 July 2019 (Minute Nos. 108 - 116) as a correct record.



The Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 July 2019 (Minute Nos. 108 – 116) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


In response to a question, the Democratic and Electoral Services Manager clarified that there was nothing in law to prevent a Deputy Cabinet Member from being a member of the Committee.


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 95 KB

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


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


The Cabinet Member for Economy and Property advised that the multi-storey car park would be open in a matter of days and welcomed questions from Members.


A summary of the topics raised and answers given are set out below:


·         It was confirmed that the permanent design layout provided a bus stop outside of the train station.  The temporary stops had been removed.


·         Members emphasised the need for greater signage for HGVs and further deterrents to keep HGVs away from the town centre.


·         The Cabinet Member expressed reservations regarding the road layout and HGV traffic flows, and invited the Scrutiny Committee to take part in a longer term review, working with partners and taking independent advice.  It was suggested this may be a matter for the Swale Joint Transportation Board too.


·         Frustration was expressed that Kent Highways were not represented at the meeting.  The Chairman shared his disappointment and advised he had contacted the Kent County Council (KCC) Cabinet Member regarding this. 


·         A Member questioned the provision of spaces for motorbikes and disabled bikes in the Forum, and it was agreed that this would be looked at with the design team.  In respect of a concern about parking tickets issued, the Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services agreed to take this back to the Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure.


·         It was confirmed that the bus stop area was due to open on 14 October 2019, subject to confirmation being received that the Traffic Commissioner had been asked by KCC to approve this.  Some amendments had been approved by the operators and KCC to make it more user friendly for passengers and bus operators.  The changes were due to take place at the end of September 2019 to coincide with remedial works on St. Michael’s Road.


·         It was clarified that the initial design of the bus stop area was approved by KCC.  The operation of the bus stop was the responsibility of ERITH and ERITH still had ‘road manager status’ until KCC were completely satisfied and issued a Certificate 1.  At that point it would become adopted highway.  Some concerns were raised about enforcement until that time.

·         In response to questions about the holding area for buses, Members were advised that it was the role of the Traffic Commissioner to register services for bus companies, and so the new stop would need to be re-registered and timetables altered to reflect the new stop.


·         In respect of the bays, the Cabinet Member advised that there had been some changes to lengthen some of the bays and there would be illuminated no entry signs.  The Sittingbourne Town Centre Scheme   Manager agreed to provide information to Members regarding this.


·         Clarification was sought regarding the structure and frequency of meetings of the Board.  The Head of Housing, Economy and Community  ...  view the full minutes text for item 193.


Cabinet Forward Plan

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


The Chairman drew attention to the Forward Plan that had been circulated, and thanked Democratic Services for making changes to the plan as suggested at the last meeting.  The Plan was considered page-by-page, and it was noted that there was a duplicate entry for the Warden Bay report.  Members considered that the Beach Huts Policy report should be considered this calendar year, and asked that this be raised with the Cabinet Member.


Urgent Business Requests

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


The Chairman advised of two urgent business requests.


Revised Review Plan


The Chairman invited Councillor Cameron Beart to give an update regarding the revised review plan for Regeneration Schemes (other than Sittingbourne Town Centre), a copy of which was circulated to Members.  Councillor Cameron Beart thanked the Policy and Performance Officer for his work on this and outlined the revised focus of the review, which would concentrate on two projects on Sheppey and two in Faversham:


·         West Sheppey regeneration;

·         Queenborough and Rushenden regeneration;

·         Faversham Recreation Ground project; and

·         Faversham Creek basin/bridge project.


He also outlined other changes regarding the aim and objectives of the review etc, and suggested if Members were happy, a meeting would be arranged with the relevant Cabinet Member, the Head of Housing, Economy and Community Services and the Director of Regeneration.  Part of the work of the task and finish group would also look at other projects in local authorities with similar social economic profiles.  Membership of the task and finish group comprised of Councillors Cameron Beart, Steve Davey, Tim Gibson, Pete Neal, Ken Pugh, Benjamin A Martin and Lee McCall.


Members agreed the revised review plan.


Work Programme


Discussion ensued regarding the work programme for future meetings, and whether an additional meeting was required regarding Sittingbourne Town Centre Regeneration, given the agenda items for meeting on 6 November 2019.  The Chairman was also asked to ensure that Kent County Council were invited to attend the meeting. 


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