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Election of Chairman
Councillor Rusiecki proposed, Councillor Bayford seconded and Members agreed that Councillor Dixon be the Chairman of the dream Working Group.
Councillor Dixon in the chair.
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies received at the meeting.
Declaration of Interests
To receive any declarations of interest. Members are advised to consider the advice contained within the Declaration of Interest form attached at the back of this agenda. If a Member declares an interest, they should complete that form and hand it to the officer clerking the meeting and then take the prescribed course of action.
Members sought advice on whether there would be membership restriction on the working group that required the exclusion of those councillors who were part of previous council administrations that made decisions related to the Dreamland.
Tim Howes advised that there were no obligations for declarations to be made by councillors solely on the basis of the role they played in previous council administrations. He further advised that the issue being considered by the working group was not as a result of a call-in.
Councillor Johnston had declared a significant interest and submitted a signed declaration form, but this was withdrawn on the basis of advice received.
Members to draft terms of reference of the Dreamland Working Group
Madeline Homer, CEx indicated the need for clarity when setting out the terms of reference for the working group and working towards the agreed outcome.
When asked to come up with draft terms of reference Members made the following contributions:
· The terms of reference should be clear and robust enough to enable a root and branch review;
· The internal audit report that was presented at the Panel meeting in December 2016 should be a key reference point for the review;
· A time frame for carrying the review should be set out;
· Auditors to be invited to attend the working group meetings;
· Check issues relating to due diligence carried out in connection with the Dreamland project.
Ms Homer advised Members that in some instances it may be necessary to review some of the information relating to the subject in private. In particular, some of the information would be exempt from publication because of the ongoing legal negotiations and any public discussion of such matters may be prejudicial to the council.
Councillor Ashbee proposed, Councillor Bayford seconded and Members unanimously agreed that the East Kent Audit Partnership report that was presented to the Panel on 13 December 2016 be the framework for the terms of reference of the working group.
Some Members requested that the T8 Policy relating to the Dreamland project should be subject to the scrutiny review as they believed it was an important part of the subject in question. In response, Ms Homer said that it was not appropriate at this time to include the T8 Policy in the review due to on-going negotiations as this would prejudice the council’s interests.
Members further agreed that the outcome of this review would be to identify the lessons learnt in order to inform future actions.
It was also agreed that the working group would aspire to conclude their work in four meetings.