Agenda and draft 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.
Councillors Ken Ingleton, Elliott Jayes, Peter MacDonald, and Ken Pugh declared a Non-Pecuniary Interest as they all sat on Minster Parish Council.
Councillors Ken Ingleton and Elliott Jayes declared a Non-Pecuniary Interest as they were Trustees of Thistle Hill Community Centre.
Councillors Cameron Beart, Richard Darby, and Peter Marchington declared a Non-Pecuniary interest as they all sat on Queenborough Town Council.
To approve the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 December 2020 (Minute Nos. 332 to 340) as a correct record.
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 15 December 2020 (Minute Nos. 332 – 340) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
To consider matters arising from the last meeting held on 15 December 2020.
Members noted the progress on actions as set-out on the update attached to the agenda. The Chairman went through each item and the following points were made:
Sheerness Town Centre Regeneration
Councillor Monique Bonney, Cabinet Member for Economy and Property, provided a verbal update on the proposed restoration of the Grade II listed Sheerness clock tower which was in a poor state and would likely need to be removed from the site for specialist restoration work. She hoped Cabinet would agree funding for the work at their meeting on 17 March 2021. Councillor Bonney reported that Cabinet would also be considered a report on the low carbon refurbishment of the Master’s House, Sheerness. Councillor Bonney also spoke about the Sheerness high street project she was currently working on with officers from Kent County Council (KCC). She reported that a deep clean of Sheerness high street was scheduled for early May 2021 and another at the end of 2021.
Tree planting in urban areas
The Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure provided an update on tree planting in urban areas. He said that as part of the Council’s commitment to the Climate Emergency 150,000 trees were to be planted around the Borough and officers were currently looking for appropriate Council-owned sites. In response to queries, the Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure confirmed that they were liaising with the Kent Wildlife Trust. He asked people to contact either himself or the Council’s Green Spaces Manager if they were aware of sites suitable for tree planting.
Kent County Councillor Andy Booth raised concern that foilage was being removed near Eastchurch prison. The Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure asked that he contact him about his concerns.
Safety and upkeep of playgrounds
The Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure provided an update on the safety and upkeep of playgrounds. He reported that the Council had over 90 playgrounds and employed two grounds maintenance officers who were Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) qualified. They checked all playgrounds regularly and three times a week during the busy summer months. The grounds maintenance officers were supported by Borough wardens. He further reported that the Council’s grounds maintenance contractor emptied litter bins three times a week. He also spoke about the playground development project which sought to secure funding for playgrounds through Section 106 agreements.
In response to a query from Parish Cllr Paul Day, representing Leysdown Parish Council, about funding for resurfacing local playgrounds, the Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure spoke about resurfacing work at Barton’s Point Coastal Park which would be completed once the weather conditions had improved, and he said it might be possible to factor in other sites.
Restoration of the War Memorial, Sheerness
The Head of Commissioning, Environment and Leisure gave an update on the restoration of Sheerness war memorial. He reported that ground works were completed and the York paving had been laid, and commissioning of the wall would be included in the next phase ... view the full minutes text for item 536.
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.
Local resident Dolley White provided an update on the work of the Sheppey Community Development Forum (SCDF). The Forum had discussed provision of a food bus project with a local coach provider. They were also working on an Options Paper for the project and asked Members to contact SCDF with their experiences of: trusteeships; directorships; and provision of food for food banks. She also spoke in support of the Area Committee and hoped it would continue.
Local resident Pat Sandle spoke about flooding issues in Warden village which she considered was caused by a blocked outfall. She asked the Council’s Cabinet to put pressure on the Environment Agency to repair the outfall. She also spoke about a children’s centre in Leysdown on Swale Borough Council-owned land which was not currently being used. She asked whether the Council could investigate and liaise with KCC and the NHS about the possibility of using it as a medical centre.
The Cabinet Member for Economy and Property introduced the item which provided options for replacing the seafront toilets following a request from a Member.
Members were invited to consider the options paper and raised points which included:
· Had concerns about Option 1 as the path regularly flooded and was too close to the entrance of the nightclub;
· Suggested the toilets could be located next to the car park and main kiosk;
· would prefer a traditional brick-built building; and
· there were existing public toilets in the area that needed upgrading.
The Chairman drew attention to an error in the report, application SHEP006 was a Member bid and was not on behalf of Minster-on-Sea Parish Council.
Members discussed all the applications for funding and noted the tabled supporting papers for applications SHEP001 (Queenborough Castle Site – Pye Paly Park Access Path Installation) and SHEP004 (Reinstatement and extension of public footpath between Stanley Avenue, Queenborough and Neats Court Retail Park).
Application SHEP001 (Queenborough Castle Site – Pye Play Park Access Path) - Ashley Shiel, representing Queenborough Town Council spoke in support. A Member spoke in support of path B. The application was supported by Members.
Application SHEP 002 (Teddy Bear Day Care Sheppey Ltd - Ashley Shiel, representing Queenborough Town Council spoke in support of the application. Members spoke in support of the application.
Application SHEP003 (Leysdown Parish Council CCTV Cameras) - A Member spoke against the proposal for two cameras on the Promenade, Leysdown and considered they should be sited elsewhere in the village. He considered the proposal did not benefit the residents of Leysdown.
Nicola Scott, Leysdown Parish Council, spoke in support of the application and stated that the cameras were urgently needed to combat anti-social behaviour along The Spinney and Promenade.
In response to questions, the Economy and Community Services Manager reported that the evidence was there to support the need for the cameras in the locations identified. She explained that privacy screens could be fitted to the cameras if needed, and they would consider cameras for other areas if evidence supported this.
Members supported the application.
Application SHEP004 (Reinstatement and extension of width of public footpath between Stanley Avenue, Queenborough and Neats Court Retail Park) - Members supported Option A.
Application SHEP005 (Solar Panels for Thistle Hill Community Centre - Members supported the application.
Application SHEP006 (The Glen improvements) - Councillor Elliott Jayes introduced the application and reported that the Council’s Green Spaces Officer had advised that £12,000 was needed for improvements to the pond. Some Members considered it would be inappropriate to consider the additional £12,000 at this late stage. Members agreed that the £12,000 not be considered at this time.
Members supported the application as set-out in the report.
Application SHEP007 (Thistle Hill Improvements) – Members supported the application.
The Chairman reported that the cost of the raised beds for application SHEP002 could be reduced to £3,889.72 to avoid going over the £56,000 funding available. Some Members did not support this and considered that they would prefer the cost for application SHEP004 to be reduced to £29,690.72.
Councillor Lee McCall moved the following motion which was seconded by Councillor Ken Pugh:
That the £56,000 funding be awarded to projects in the following proportions:
Teddy Bear Day Care Sheppey Ltd - £7,000.00;
Leysdown Parish Council CCTV Cameras- £6,092.40;
Reinstatement and extension of width of public footpath between Stanley Avenue, Queenborough and Neats Court Retail Park - £29,690.72;
Solar Panels for Thistle Hill Community Centre - ... view the full minutes text for item 539.
No issues were raised.
Nomination for Area Committee Review Working Group
Nominations for a representative to sit on the Area Committee Review Working Group
(1) That Councillors Ken Ingleton and Cameron Beart sit on the Area Committee Working Group
Matters referred to Committee by Cabinet
There were none.
Matters referred to Cabinet by Committee
There were none.