Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Panel - Tuesday, 14th March, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent. View directions

Contact: Charles Hungwe 

Link: This meeting will be livestreamed


No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from the following Members:


Councillor Leys, substituted by Councillor Rusiecki;

Councillor Wing substituted by Councillor Smith;

Councillor Pat Moore, substituted by Councillor Yates;

Councillor Rattigan, substituted by Councillor Towning.


Declaration of Interests pdf icon PDF 87 KB

To receive any declarations of interest. Members are advised to consider the advice contained within the Declaration of Interest advice attached to this Agenda. If a Member declares an interest, they should complete the Declaration of Interest Form


There were no declarations made at the meeting.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To approve the Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 16 February 2023, copy attached.


Councillor Fellows proposed, Councillor Austin seconded and the Members agreed that the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 16 February 2023 were a correct record.


Southern Water Presentation pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Additional documents:


Ms Elizabeth Wickenden and Ms Jacquie Brown addressed the Panel and asked Southern Water representatives the following questions:

  For the December 2022 water outages in Thanet, why have you as a company been so sporadic in how compensation or goodwill payments have been credited to customer accounts and why are there differences in payment amounts.

  Finally why are there still a number of Wimpey Estate customers who are still waiting for their compensation money to be credited to their accounts?

  If developments of 21,000 houses across Thanet receive planning permission. Are Southern Water able to give residents assurances they will be able to deliver a reliable water supply and that sewage spillages into the sea will not increase, given the area already experiences this. And that there will be no negative impacts on communities across the district from water supply and sewage treatment and disposal issues?


The following Members spoke under Council Procedure 20.1:

Councillor Garner;

Councillor Bailey;

Councillor Rawf.


They made the following points:

  Ward Councillors had been approached by their constituents regarding the water supply interruptions in December 2022 and January 2023;

  A large number of residents had not received their compensation payments;

  One resident who had not received their payment had been ill and had just come out of hospital when the interruptions took place. This made them quite vulnerable;

  The infrastructure was not fit for purpose;

  The previous CEO for Southern Water had promised to improve the performance of the water supply system some years back, but no improvements had taken place;

  There had been limited information coming through from Southern Water during these incidents;

  The water bottles supply to affected households had been patchy;

  The three delivery locations for relief supplies were small and busy areas for such deliveries;

  There had been no consistency with the compensation payments;

  The seaweed contamination through sewage spills into the sea meant that the farmers who usually took delivery of the seaweed could not do so as they could not use contaminated seaweed.


Mr Tim McMahon, Director of Water Operations at Southern Water then led his presentation and made the following comments:

  The water pipes which were part of the infrastructure were installed more than 77 years ago. The organisation was working on the short term strategy which would see a change in electricity infrastructure. It was hoped that this would improve the performance of the infrastructure. The system at the Tower was now working fine;

  The long term strategy was that there was a need for an overhaul of the power supply and six months would be required for this work at a cost of about £250k;

  There was also ongoing work on the draft plan for the AM8 to create more salience for the system and this piece of work would be carried out in 2025-2030;

  The December 2022 water supply interruptions affected 12,352 households and 1,043 non households. So  ...  view the full minutes text for item 444.


TDC and Parish & Town Councils Collaboration Working Party Report pdf icon PDF 92 KB

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Councillor Currie, Chair of the Collaboration Working Party introduced the working party report. He thanked the working party members Cllr Austin, Cllr Bailey and Cllr Fellows for the work they did to gather evidence and produce the report. Councillor Currie also thanked Parish and Town Council representatives, Cabinet Members and senior officers who attended the various sessions where the working party gathered evidence that was used to come up with this report.


This review was an interesting exercise for Members as they got an insight into what Parish and District Councillors as well as officers thought about how they could improve effective working between the District and Parishes. A number of ideas were identified and added to the report, many of which were proposed by all parties. If implemented Members felt that this would successfully lead to a more effective approach for collaborative working for the benefit of the local residents around the District.


Councillor Currie further thanked TDC officers for their input to support this review and officers from Democratic Services for their invaluable help in putting this report together. With the ever tightening of budgets year on year Members felt that if the recommendations could be implemented, this would hopefully make a big difference on how services were delivered for our local communities.


Councillor Currie proposed, Councillor Keen seconded and Members agreed to forward the report and recommendations to Cabinet for decision.


Review of Overview & Scrutiny Panel Work Programme for 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

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Members noted the report.


Forward Plan and Exempt Cabinet Decision List pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Additional documents:


Members noted the report.