Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room - Swale House. View directions
Contact: Democratic Services, 01795 417330
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. Nobody must leave the assembly point until everybody can be accounted for and nobody must return to the building until the Chairman has informed them that it is safe to do so; 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 ensured that those present were aware of the evacuation procedure.
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 March 2016 (Minute Nos. 538 - 543) as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 March 2016 (Minute Nos. 538 – 543) 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 Director of Corporate Services as 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.
The Corporate Services Director introduced the report which set out proposals to change arrangements for voting in Sheerness Ward and Woodstock Ward, in the light of experiences at recent elections.
A Ward Member for Sheerness Ward considered that the proposals for her ward were far more reasonable for local residents.
The Electoral Services Officer explained reported that the Sports Pavilion had worked well for the EU Referendum with only one complaint being received about access to the venue via the ramp.
Members welcomed the proposals for Woodstock Ward.
(1) That the proposed changes to polling districts and the polling place for the Sheerness Ward be approved.
(2) That the proposed change to the polling place for the Woodstock Ward be approved.
The Director of Corporate Services introduced the report and Members considered each of the working papers.
A Member noted an error in the final sentence of paragraph 5.1 of the Committee report which should have read: “All recommendations from” not form.
(a) Working Paper - Statutory Officer disciplinary procedures
The Director of Corporate Services drew attention to the working paper which set out the background for the need to incorporate the revised national model procedure into Part 4.8 of the Officer Employment Procedure Rules within the Constitution. He explained that details were still awaited with regard to whether the new independent panel should consist of at least two independent persons and, once confirmation of this had been received, he considered that the Council should adopt the national model process.
Members welcomed this approach.
(1) That delegation be given to the Director of Corporate Services, in consultation with the Leader, to incorporate the revised national model procedure into Part 4.8 of the Officer Employment Procedure Rules within the Constitution.
(b) Working Paper on proposed amendments to the constitution – Head of Planning Services delegations regarding S.106 Agreements
The Head of Planning Services introduced the item and Members considered the proposed delegation to the Head of Planning Services as set out in paragraph 3 of the working paper.
Members raised the following points: need to be clear what was meant by ‘not controversial applications’; and seems a sensible approach.
There was some discussion about the lack of clarity in the wording of paragraph 3 and the Corporate Governance (Solicitor) suggested a minor amendment to delegation 1 of the Head of Planning Service’s delegations in Part 3.4 of the Council’s Constitution to include the wording “to negotiate and enter into S.106 Agreements”. This was agreed by Members.
Members then considered the proposed delegation to the Head of Planning as set out in paragraph 4 of the working paper.
The Corporate Governance (Solicitor) reported that it was becoming more apparent that Inspectors were wanting officers to present draft S.106 heads of terms and draft conditions at planning appeals. Granting delegation to officers would ensure agreements were in place and would allow the draft S.106 agreement se to be signed-off by legal.
Members considered the proposal and raised points which included: the importance for Ward Members and the Planning Committee Chair to be involved with S.106 where possible; Ward Member involvement with draft S.106 Agreements was beneficial; need to ensure pre-hearing agreement with Ward Members, in particular before agreed S.106 agreements and conditions; need to circulate draft conditions to Ward Members prior to any appeal hearing; and S.106 Agreements impacted on more than one Ward so adjoining Ward Members needed to be ‘in the loop’.
The Head of Planning Services stated that he would be more than happy for officers to consult Ward Members prior to any appeal on the draft conditions but not at the actual appeal. Any consultations would also need to be in-line with the Council’s Local Development Scheme.
Discussions ensued ... view the full minutes text for item 904.