Agenda and minutes
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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.
Councillor Ken Rowles declared a non-pecuniary interest in respect of the Swale Media Arts Centre.
Councillor Mike Dendor declared a non-pecuniary interest in respect of the Kemsley Community Centre of which he was a Trustee.
Councillors Derek Carnell, Steve Davey, Mike Dendor and Tony Winckless declared a non-pecuniary interest in respect of Milton Creek Country Park of which they were Trustees.
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 December 2020
(Minute Nos. 316 – 326) as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 December 2020 (Minute Nos. 316 – 326) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
To consider matters arising from the last meeting held on 8 December 2020.
Members noted the progress on actions.
The Chairman referred to Brown tourism signs and said that the audit went beyond the Sittingbourne area and should be part of a wider project including trunk roads.
In the absence of the Cabinet Member for Economy and Property, the Chairman noted that the North West development had gone through Planning and included a provision of a site for a school. However, the building of the school was the responsibility of Kent County Council (KCC).
The Chairman referred to the Sittingbourne town centre regeneration scheme update paper recently considered by the Scrutiny Committee. The Chairman agreed to follow up on a matter raised by a Member regarding an issue with Virgin Fibre Optic.
The Chairman noted that the Mill Skatepark, Sittingbourne was now in the hands of Brogdale Community Interest Company (CIC) who were looking at ways to improve the entrance. A Member spoke about the rubble at the entrance which needed removing, and the Chairman agreed to take this up with the Cabinet Member.
The Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure gave an update on the Tennis Courts at Milton Recreation Ground. Further to discussions with the two Ward Members and the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, it had been agreed to look at all matters relating to the sports court. Previously it had been run by the Fitness Club and all switches were located in their premises. Officers and Members were looking at taking back control of operation and maintenance and making it a multi-sports centre. The following works needed to take place before this could happen:
Different options on funding the project were discussed.
The Chairman had spoken to Richard Emmett (Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne) about the bomb shelter which could be made into a tourist attraction and a meeting would be set-up to discuss further with Councillor Simon Clark.
The Chairman provided an update on two projects to improve the lighting in the Milton Regis area:
The purpose of this item is to enable members of the public to direct questions to the Chairman or suggestion agenda items for future meetings.
No issues were raised.
The Chairman explained that as the Committee had not previously allocated any of the 2020-21 funding, there was £44,000.00 available to allocate.
A Member spoke in support of allocating funding to the Swale Media Arts Centre to carry out internal and external works to No 34 High Street, Sittingbourne.
Louise Funnell spoke on behalf of Brogdale CIC on their request for funding to provide signage, picnic benches and a refuse bin at the Mill Skatepark.
Elizabeth Fuller spoke on behalf of Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway and set-out their request for funding to provide additional signage to direct visitors from the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway carpark to the station, which would also show the disabled access.
David Gawler spoke on behalf of the Kemsley Community Centre Trust and explained the need to replace two sets of fire exit doors and one entrance door.
A Member spoke on behalf of Flowers in Bloom to fit flower beds in various open spaces in Murston Ward.
Mark Allinson spoke on behalf of the Dolphin Sailing Barge Museum Trust who sought funding to improve the infrastructure and provide a proper installation of electrical cables via an underground tunnel.
The Chairman advised that he had received a late application for equipment for the sailing barge Raybel being restored at Lloyd Wharf.
Members discussed all the applications for funding set-out in the report along with the late application for the Raybel and the project raised under Matters Arising for the Tennis Courts at Milton Recreation Ground.
Councillor Roger Truelove proposed and Councillor Tim Gibson seconded a proposal that the following funding be allocated to each project:
Brogdale CIC, signage, benches and a bin - £2,330.26;
Milton Creek Country Park Trust, various additions to the park - £8,313.00;
Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, signage - £870.74;
Kemsley Community Centre Trust, replacement doors - £10,555.56;
Flowers in Bloom, flower beds in Murston Ward - £4,000.00;
Dolphin Sailing Barge Museum Trust – electrical tunnel - £4,537.20;
The Raybel, equipment - £4,000.00; and
Tennis Courts at Milton Recreation Ground, electrical work - £2,393.24.
On being put to the vote the proposal was agreed by Members.
(1) That the £44,000.00 funding be awarded to the projects listed below:
(a) Swale Media Arts Centre, improvements to 34 High Street, Sittingbourne - £7,000;
(b) Brogdale CIC, signage, benches and a bin - £2,330.26;
(c) Milton Creek Country Park Trust, various additions to the park - £8,313.00;
(d) Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway, signage - £870.74;
(e) Kemsley Community Centre Trust, replacement doors - £10,555.56;
(f) Flowers in Bloom, flower beds in Murston Ward - £4,000.00;
(g) Dolphin Sailing Barge Museum Trust – electrical tunnel - £4,537.20;
(h) The Raybel, equipment - £4,000.00; and
(i) Tennis Courts at Milton Recreation Ground, electrical work - £2,393.24.
No issues were raised.
Nomination for Area Committee Review Working Group
Nominations for a representative to sit on the Area Committee Review Working Group.
It was agreed that Councillor Derek Carnell would sit on the Area Committee Working Group.
Two nominations were put forward for the second position, Councillor Mike Dendor and Councillor Ken Rowles. On being put to the vote it was agreed that Councillor Ken Rowles would sit on the Working Group.
(1) That Councillor Derek Carnell and Councillor Ken Rowles to sit on the Area Committee Working Group.
Matters referred to Committee by Cabinet
No issues were raised.
Matters referred to Cabinet by Committee
A Member raised concerns about the difficulties residents and Councillors experienced when trying to navigate the Swale Borough Council website. Some items appeared to be ‘buried’ and took a number of steps to find. It was agreed that the Chairman would refer this matter to Cabinet.
The Chairman understood that an App was going to be made available to give information on how to dispose of different waste items. The Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure advised that the Waste Wizard was already available on the Swale website but the creation of an App was still being investigated.