Agenda and draft minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Panel - Tuesday, 30th August, 2022 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Charles Hungwe 

Link: This meeting will be livestreamed

Media

Items
No. Item

398.

Apologies for Absence

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Councillor Rattigan, substituted by Councillor Wright.

399.

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

    Minutes:

    There were declarations interest made at the meeting.

400.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 140 KB

    To approve the Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 21 July 2022, copy attached.

    Minutes:

    The Panel Chair gave an update to members regarding the invitation sent out to Stagecoach, inviting their representatives to attend a Panel meeting to discuss the decision by the company to discontinue some bus routes in Thanet. Councillor Piper said that no responses had been received from either Stagecoach or the KCC Cabinet Member responsible for transport. One member expressed disappointment at the lack of a response by invited guests. The Chair then summed up the discussion by indicating that he would be writing to Stagecoach to ask for an update.

     

    Councillor Tomlinson proposed, Councillor Coleman-Cooke seconded and the Members agreed that the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 21 July 2022 were a correct record.

401.

Net Zero Strategy and Action Plan pdf icon PDF 175 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Bob Bayford, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Special Projects introduced the item and made the following key points:

     

    •  The proposed strategy had been reviewed by the Climate Emergency Cabinet Advisory Group;
    • This was a detailed report which had taken some time to put together;
    • The strategy had gone through a number of internal council reviews before being brought to the first formal meeting;
    •  The Panel was being asked to recommend the proposed strategy to Cabinet.

     

    Members made comments and asked questions as follows:

     

    • Members congratulated officers for drafting the detailed strategy;
    • How could the council put in place tougher conditions on activities and transactions where the council had partial control, like with contractors for the Levelling Up Projects or the Parkway?
    • Some new housing development work and new estates were being developed away from the existing transport network. There was a need to think about how the council could influence how these developments could factor in the reduction of the carbon footprint;
    • Was the strategy document a dynamic document that could be updated in response to emerging issues in order to enable the council to respond to those issues (for example issues relating to Manston Airport, Parkway Station and Ramsgate Harbour);
    • How would the council influence individual residents to do their part in reducing carbon emission?
    • Did the council share knowledge and experiences with other councils?

     

    Councillor Bob Bayford, Dr Scott, Bob Porter and Chris Blundell responded to Member comments and questions as follows:

     

    • Dr Scott will work with the Procurement team to ensure that conditions regarding the requirements of the net zero strategy were included in council contracts;
    • The strategy would be continuously reviewed and updated to address any emerging issues along the way;
    • Climate consideration would be added to the council’s corporate report template to ensure that this issue is factored in the council’s decision making process;
    • A lot of work had been carried out with consultants regarding decarbonisation in housing development. The council was going to submit a bid for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund for Phase 2;
    • The council was working on a housing strategy that would factor in decarbonisation in housing development;
    • Council was also using the “No regret approach” to adopting new technology which means that TDC would not rush to use untested technology in housing development;
    • Within the Local Plan, the council declared a state of climate emergency. When it comes to reviewing the Plan, further discussions will be had regarding decarbonisation;
    • TDC was part of the Climate Change Network Group, where information is shared with KCC and other local councils.

     

    The meeting was adjourned at 19.25hrs

     

    The meeting resumed at 19.28hrs.

     

    On resumption of the meeting Members recommended the Net Zero Strategy and Action Plan to Cabinet.

     

     

402.

Councillor Call For Action pdf icon PDF 106 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Piper, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel advised Members on the framework for discussing the councillor call for action request that had been brought before the Panel by Councillor Whitehead. The Chair indicated that the Panel ought to consider the options in the covering report as they progress the call for action request and further advised the meeting that a wider report on housing delivery in Thanet was going to be considered by Cabinet on 22 September 2022. Councillor Piper said that Members had to be satisfied that all other processes for requesting that action be taken on an issue had been exhausted.

     

    The Chair then invited Members who had requested to speak under Council Procedure Rule 20.1 to speak and the following Members spoke:

     

    Councillor Bailey;

    Councillor Garner;

    Councillor Smith;

    Councillor Yates

    Councillor Bob Bayford.

     

    Those Members speaking under Council Procedure Rule 20.1 made the following comments:

     

    • Members had received a number of calls from residents regarding the pressures families were under regarding the unaffordable rents they were facing;
    • They also cited the lack of social housing in the district and the challenges the council was facing in providing affordable housing to residents;
    • There was some displacement of families due to sharp rise in rentals;
    • The right to buy scheme was also taking away from the social housing market;
    • There was a need to come up with a council wide strategy to deal with these issues;
    • There were a number of Section 21 Notices that residents were getting, leading to displacement of households due to no fault of their own;
    • This had forced some households to be placed in temporary accommodation often outside the district;
    • AirBnB had increased dramatically in Thanet, thereby taking away from the stock for low income households;
    •  Members expressed their support for the councillor call for action.

     

    The Chair invited a member of the public to speak and Ms Sarah Pengelly made the following comments:

     

    • The Citizens Advisory Bureau was concerned about what was happening to some households affected by the sharp rise in rentals in the district;
    • Tenants need security from astronomical rises in rental costs;
    • The clapping for essential services workers that was done during the pandemic should now be translated into action;
    • The Bureau was ready if asked to write up a case study to share with the council.

     

    Councillor Jill Bayford, Cabinet Member for Housing, advised the meeting that she had written to the government (to the Minister of Housing) asking for action on this matter in February 2022 and got a reply in July 2022. The request to the government was for support for the acquisition of land to develop affordable housing. A housing delivery report was going to cabinet on 22 September and this request for action was therefore not appropriate as it doesn’t acknowledge the work done by the Housing team to date.

     

    Councillor Whitehead then made her submission and said the following points:

     

403.

Review of OSP Work Programme for 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 93 KB

404.

Forward Plan & Exempt Cabinet Report List pdf icon PDF 78 KB