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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting Via Skype

Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330 

Items
No. Item

668.

Introduction

Minutes:

The Chairman explained that the meeting would be conducted in accordance with the Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panel (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 No 392.

 

In welcoming all Members, the Chairman explained which Swale Borough Council officers were in attendance.

669.

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.

670.

Call-in Minster Leas Modular Toilet Contract Award pdf icon PDF 89 KB

The Cabinet Member for Environment, the Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure and the Leisure and Technical Services Manager have been invited to attend.

Minutes:

The Chairman explained that the purpose of the meeting was the call-in of the Cabinet decision to agree the tender contract, including the location, of the Minster Leas Modular toilet scheme.  The Chairman referred to the three reasons for making the call-in and invited the Cabinet Member for Environment to speak.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment responded to the reasons for the call-in by saying that as the building would be built under Permitted Development, a public consultation was not required but officers had attended Minster Parish Council and had spoken to ward members about the project.  He accepted that the Parish Council’s views were not included in the report but explained that ward members and other members had made their views known at the extra-ordinary Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday 22 April 2020.  The Cabinet Member for Environment said that location A was the most economically viable location option.

 

The Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure outlined the tender process and highlighted the transparent mechanism.  He said that the Council were not duty bound to award the lowest price as both quality and price were taken into consideration.

 

In response, Members made points which included:

 

·         A proper consultation should have been carried out, despite the building being Permitted Development;

·         Minster Parish Council were not provided with full information;

·         location B was more acceptable;

·         the proposed site was less convenient, further away from the beach and within the visual field of Minster bay;

·         why had the more convenient location adjacent to the car park above the drainage level or other options not been considered by Cabinet?; and

·         at what point had alternative locations been taken out of consideration?

 

The Chairman went through the reasons for the call-in.

 

Reason 1 – Inadequate consultation relating to the decision

 

Members raised several questions and points including:

 

·         As there was no consultation, the public only became aware of the proposals from the media;

·         the proposal was on public land and it was courtesy to consult the public;

·         consultation was key when spending public money;

·         the location and specification chosen were not supported by the public;

·         whilst there was no legal obligation to consult the public, the Council should do the right thing;

·         a public consultation for cars parking on The Leas  was carried out by the previous administration, despite the Council not being legally obliged;

·         the views of ward members, Minster Parish Council and residents had been dismissed;

·         not all ward members were consulted; and

·         late public comments were not tabled at the Cabinet meeting.

 

In response, the Cabinet Member for Environment drew attention to the location map on page 68 of the report and said that the location was chosen carefully, not opposite any properties.  He said it would be difficult to run a consultation for visitor facilities, whilst explaining the engineering difficulties within different locations.  The Cabinet Member for Environment said that all original locations and views were considered.  The Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure apologised to a ward member for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 670.

671.

Adjournment

Minutes:

The meeting was adjourned from 8pm to 8.05pm and from 9.12pm to 9.24pm.

 

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