Council

 

Minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2019 at 7.00 pm in Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent.

 

 

Present:

 

Councillor Jason Savage (Chairman); Councillors Albon, Ara, Ashbee, Bailey, Bambridge, J Bayford, R Bayford, Boyd, Campbell, Coleman-Cooke, Constantine, Crittenden, Currie, Day, Dennis, Dexter, Duckworth, Everitt, Farrance, Fellows, Game, Garner, Green, Gregory, Hopkinson, Huxley, Keen, Kup, Pat Moore, Ovenden, Parsons, L Piper, S Piper, Potts, Pugh, Rawf, Rogers, Roper, Rusiecki, D Saunders, M Saunders, Scobie, Shrubb, Stevens, Taylor, Tomlinson, Towning, Whitehead, Wing, Wright and Yates.

 

 

 

 

<AI1>

1.            Apologies for Absence

 

Apologies were received from Councilors; Braidwood, Hart, Paul Moore and Scott.

 

</AI1>

<AI2>

2.            Minutes of the Previous Meeting

 

It was proposed by the Chairman, seconded by the Vice-Chairman and agreed, that the minutes of the Council meeting held on 5 September 2019 be approved and signed by the Chairman.

 

</AI2>

<AI3>

3.            Announcements

 

The Chairman announced that both former Councillor Dennis Payne and former Councillor John Fullarton had recently passed away.  Members stood for a minute’s silence as a mark of respect, and offered sympathy to Mr Payne’s and Mr Fullarton’s families.

 

</AI3>

<AI4>

4.            Declarations of Interest

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

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<AI5>

5.            Petitions

 

No petitions were received in accordance with council procedure rule 12.

 

</AI5>

<AI6>

6.            Questions from the press and public

 

</AI6>

<AI7>

(a)           Question No. 1 From A Member Of The Public  Regarding Renewable Energy

 

Mr Pressland asked Councillor D Saunders the following question:

 

“In view of the clear benefits of solar and air source heat pumps in reducing co2 and advancing climate change mitigation and reducing energy costs for council run public buildings long term. Will TDC create a clear strategy to install renewables on all council buildings. If not, why not”

 

Councillor D Saunders responded with the following points:

 

</AI7>

<AI8>

(b)          Question No. 2 From A Member Of The Public  Regarding The Overview And Scrutiny Panel

 

Ms Austin asked Councillor Pugh the following question:

 

TDC’s website states that the function of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee is to monitor the performance of the Leader and Cabinet and scrutinise services and policies throughout the district. How can it do this effectively if information can be withheld from it on the basis of commercial confidentiality?”     

 

Councillor Pugh responded with the following points:

 

</AI8>

<AI9>

(c)           Question No. 3 From A Member Of The Public  Regarding The Ramsgate Port Feasibility Study

 

Mr Murphy asked the Leader the following question:

 

Evaluation Criteria in the Port Ramsgate Feasibility Study tender favour low price over quality and encompass unacceptably small operations with low credit ratings.  Quality analysis of all options is vital to turn the port around.  A low quality applicant may win.  What will you do to stop this?”  

 

The Leader responded with the following points:

 

</AI9>

<AI10>

(d)          Question No. 4 from a Member of the Public regarding Land on the North Side of Tivoli Park Avenue Margate

 

The question was with drawn at the request of the questioner.

</AI10>

<AI11>

7.            Questions from Members of the Council

 

</AI11>

<AI12>

(a)           Question No.1 Broadstairs Playgrounds

 

Councillor Garner asked Councillor Ashbee the following question:

 

“Plans to replace the 4 playgrounds in Broadstairs parks, along with the Section 106 funding to pay for them, have been waiting for approval since last year. Can you confirm when the 4 new playgrounds will be installed?”

 

Councillor Ashbee responded with the following points:

 

A programme had been drafted for the playground refurbishment works.  Completion of the site works was programmed for the end of June 2020.

 

Councillor Garner  followed up his question by asking if residents could be engaged at an early stage in the process, and involved in the planning of the playgrounds.

 

Councillor Ashbee responded that she would be very happy to coordinate a meeting with the residents and planners in order to have input from residents.

 

</AI12>

<AI13>

(b)          Question No.2 Tivoli Woods

 

Councillor Gregory asked Councillor Ashbee the following question:

 

“Referencing TDCs 'Open Space Strategy 2018' that cites health benefits and pollution reduction evidence, please explain the tree and wildlife habitat decimation in Tivoli Woods since TDC sold this covenanted site. Will TDC designate this site a 'Local Green Space' as it is  demonstrably special to the local community?”

 

Councillor Ashbee responded with the following points:

 

Councillor Gregory followed up her question by asking if the council would seek to address the terms of sale of the land to ensure that any work in breach of a protective covenant was undone.

 

Councillor Ashbee offered to come back to Councillor Gregory following a discussion with the estates department.

 

</AI13>

<AI14>

(c)           Question No.3 Removal of Bins

 

Councillor Ara asked Councillor Ashbee the following question:

 

“Ramsgate residents have brought to my attention the removal of dog-waste and litter bins from our open spaces and residential places. People are having to walk further to find bins and dog-poo bags may be discarded wherever. What can the cabinet member tell me about this?”

 

Councillor Ashbee responded with the following points:

 

 

Councillor Ara followed up her question by asking if bins could be returned to areas that seemed to be lacking them?

 

Councillor Ashbee responded by asking Cllr Ara to detail the main sites of concern and she would visit them to assess the situation.

 

</AI14>

<AI15>

(d)          Question No.4 from a Member Regarding Fly Tipping

 

Councillor Duckworth asked Councillor Ashbee the following question:

 

“Has any analysis been done of the effect of KCC's decision to start charging for tip use, to see if fly tipping has increased since the charges were introduced?”

 

Councillor Ashbee responded with the following points:

 

</AI15>

<AI16>

(e)          Question No.5 From A Member Regarding The System Of Governance

 

Councillor Bailey asked the Leader the following question:

 

“On 11th July a motion was put forward for members to explore the committee system of governance. Has any work been done towards this yet?

 

If we are looking to adopt a new system at the next Annual meeting then time is short.”

 

If we are looking to adopt a new system at the next Annual meeting then time is short.”

 

The Leader responded with the following point:

 

Councillor Bailey followed up her question by advising that Ed Hammond from the Centre for Public Scrutiny could help as he had assisted other councils to change their system of governance.

 

The Leader responded that he would meet with Councillor Bailey to look at the options available.

 

</AI16>

<AI17>

(f)           Question No.6 From A Member Regarding Travellers

 

Councillor Rawf asked Councillor Game the following question:

 

“This council has legal, moral duties towards people of nomadic habit. In 2012 the nationally agreed immediate need for new pitches was 6000. Less then a third of those have been provided. Do we provide pitches with basic hygiene services sufficient to the needs of this minority in our area?”

 

Councillor Game responded with the following points:

 

Councillor Rawf followed up his question by asking, what the Council did to ensure the health and wellbeing of gypsies and travellers.

 

Councillor Game responded that the community safety team took the health and wellbeing of travellers very seriously, they made regular visits to sites to ensure needs were met.

 

</AI17>

<AI18>

(g)          Question No.7 From A Member Regarding Ramsgate Port

 

Councillor Wing asked the Leader the following question:

 

“Given the TDC contract with BRETTS makes the landlord (TDC) responsible for maintaining and/or upgrading the facilities they use at the Port of Ramsgate, have BRETTS ever requested work to be carried out and did this include the proposed work involving one of the pontoons presently in Ramsgate Harbour?”

 

The Leader responded with the following points:

 

Councillor Wing followed up her question by asking if Brett had requested the work?

 

The Leader responded that Brett had not.

 

</AI18>

<AI19>

(h)          Question No.8 From A Member Regarding The Council Becoming Carbon Neutral

 

Councillor Roper asked Councillor D Saunders the following question:

 

“Whilst we wait for the Climate Emergency Working Party to be formed, could relevant Council Officers please examine ways in which TDC could move towards becoming Carbon Neutral. For example ensuring that our electricity supply comes from renewable sources and that any vehicle replacements are as environmentally friendly as possible”

 

Councillor D Saunders responded with the following points:

 

 

Councillor Roper followed up his question by asking if the Council would look to make council houses as environmentally friendly as possible?

 

Councillor D Saunders responded that the future management of the housing stock had not been agreed, however if it was to be managed by the Council then that would be the case.

 

</AI19>

<AI20>

(i)            Question No.9 From A Member Regarding The Protection And Planting Of Trees

 

Councillor Farrance asked Councillor Ashbee the following question:

 

“It has been clearly stated that, scientifically, planting more trees is the biggest and cheapest way to tackle the climate crisis. TDC unanimously declared a Climate Emergency on 11 July, so what action is the council taking to plant more trees in Thanet, as well as safeguarding our existing trees?”

 

Councillor Ashbee responded with the following points:

 

 

Councillor Farrance followed up her question by asking if she could be kept up-to-date on any timelines for these projects and asked how existing trees were safeguarded?

 

Councillor Ashbee responded that there were a number of separate projects underway, Members would receive updates once they had bedded in.  Councillor Ashbee’s work with the Isle of Thanet Tree and Woodland Initiative was a personal project outside of the Council, if successful, it could bring significant benefit to the district and other projects could be built around it.

 

</AI20>

<AI21>

(j)            Question No.10 From A Member Regarding Shelter Surveys

 

Councillor Whitehead asked Councillor D Saunders the following question:

 

“Considering the recent works to both the Fort Hill and Newgate Gap Shelters, in the interest of transparency, could Council please outline for the public how a section 78 notice is implemented and identify which contractors have been/will be used to assess the structural integrity of these shelters?”

 

Councillor D Saunders responded with the following points:

 

Councillor Whitehead followed up her question by asking if the survey results could be made public once they were completed?

 

Councillor D Saunders responded that once completed the survey results could be made available to Members and any other interested party who may wish to take on structures.

 

</AI21>

<AI22>

8.            Notice of Motion

 

</AI22>

<AI23>

(a)           Notice of Motion Regarding Council Housing

 

It was proposed by Councillor Whitehead and seconded by Councillor Everitt that:

 

This council regards the recently identified health and safety failings in the management of Thanet’s council housing by East Kent Housing as grossly unacceptable and a grave failure of the council’s duty of care towards its tenants. Council also notes concerns with regards to potential financial mismanagement. Consequently, council has no confidence in East Kent Housing as an organisation and calls upon cabinet to take substantive action during the current calendar month towards bringing this authority’s council housing back into direct management.”

 

In accordance with council procedure rule 3.7, Councillor Game provided a response to the motion.

 

Members chose to debate the motion, after which the motion was carried.

 

</AI23>

<AI24>

9.            Leaders Report

 

During his report the Leader covered the following areas:

 

Councillor Everitt as Leader of the Labour Party responded with the following points:

 

The Leader replied to Councillor Everitt’s comments with the following points:

 

Councillor Reverend Piper as leader of the Thanet Independents Party made the following points:

 

The Leader replied to Councillor Reverend Piper’s comments with the following point:

 

Councillor Roper as Leader the Green Party made the following points:

 

The Leader replied to Councillor Roper’s comments noting that he felt that he had been open and had attended every scrutiny meeting since Annual Council in May.

 

Councillor Parsons left the meeting during this item.

 

</AI24>

<AI25>

10.          Report of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel

 

Councillor Campbell, the former Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel (OSP), presented the report and the following points were noted:

 

The Panel had met once since the last report.  This was an extraordinary meeting held on the 1st October during which the Panel reviewed:

 

 

Members noted the report.

 

</AI25>

<AI26>

11.          Corporate Priorities 2019-2023

 

It was proposed by the Leader, seconded by Councillor Ashbee and Members agreed the recommendation as shown in the report, namely:

 

“That Council note the report and adopt the proposed new Corporate Statement and supporting Core Business Objectives.”

 

</AI26>

<AI27>

12.          Annual Treasury Management Review 2018-19

 

It was proposed by Councillor D Saunders, seconded by Councillor Ashbee and Members agreed that the recommendation set out in the report be agreed, namely:

 

“That council:

● Notes the actual 2018-19 prudential and treasury indicators in this report.

● Approves the Annual Treasury Management report for 2018-19.

 

 

</AI27>

<AI28>

13.          Changes to Committees, Panels and Boards 2019/20

 

NOMINATION OF MEMBERS TO SERVE ON COMMITTEES

 

It was noted that:

 

·         Councillor Rev. Piper would replace Councillor Braidwood on the General Purposes Committee, Councillor Braidwood would become the reserve for this committee.

·         Councillor Braidwood would replace Councillor Rev. Piper of the Governance and Audit Committee.

 

</AI28>

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Meeting concluded: 8.30 pm

 

 

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