Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Panel - Tuesday, 26th October, 2021 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Charles Hungwe 

Link: This meeting will be live streamed

Media

Items
No. Item

333.

Apologies for Absence

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Councillor Rattigan.

334.

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 no declarations of interest made at the meeting.

335.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 126 KB

    To approve the Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 26 August 2021, copy attached.

    Minutes:

    Councillor Fellows proposed, Councillor Tomlinson seconded and Members agreed the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 26 August 2021.

336.

Cabinet Member Presentation

    Councillor Ashbee, Leader of Council

    Minutes:

    Councillor Ashbee, Leader of the council made a presentation on the vision for the council. The main points of the presentation were as follows:

     

    • At the end of the current term of office, cabinet want be able to demonstrate some deliverables achieved;
    • With regards to governance matters, the council was moving on well in addressing those issues and cabinet welcomed the governance review;
    • The council was looking to leveraging as much as possible inward investment into Thanet, as Government funding of council activities has been declining year on year;
    • The building blocks for success from the levelling up funding was to encourage inward investment into the district for the future.
    • Levelling Up Funds: The council was bidding for about £50million. If successful, this fund would form the foundation of for further investment into the area;
    • Young people would be encouraged to stay in Thanet after graduating and work in the area;
    • Parkway Station: This was a big investment for Thanet and it opens up new opportunities for the local area;
    • There was a need for the council to focus on investment areas that would create the greatest economic impact;
    • Visit Kent: The council supports this campaign for attracting tourism into Kent;
    • Local Plan: The Local Plan enables investment by defining investment opportunities in different parts of the district;
    • The council would encourage big digital companies to come and invest in Thanet. However these companies can only come here if there are the right skill sets among the local population. That is why is it important to invest in education as well;
    • The coastline is one of Thanet’s greatest assets.
    • Support for the Ramsgate Port and Harbour would also create inward investment;
    • Council Property Strategy: This was being renewed and once it was completed, it should give the council opportunities for development;
    • TDC Office Accommodation: This issue was also still under review, more so in view of the flexible working that has been introduced by the council (initially on a pilot basis); There was need to review and ascertain how much space was needed for TDC conduct its business.
    • Manston Depot: There was also a need to explore the potential for the Manston Depot rationalisation;
    • Working as East Kent: Moving forward the model of district councils of Thanet’s size was probably no longer viable. It was therefore necessary to look at better ways of working by combining with other councils. A Unitary Council approach is a long process and not achievable in the shorter term. However, a Combined Local Council would be a more viable approach. This was once considered a few years back but was dropped following the failure to get support from all of the other councils.
    • A White Paper on Devolution was expected to be published soon. This would give some steer on how the council can move forward;
    • The Leader’s vision was for TDC to be part of a Combined local Council;
    • Cabinet had also identified to deliver on the following areas:

     

    a.  A Youth Council;

    b.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 336.

337.

Event Policy and Suitability of Events Documents pdf icon PDF 152 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Penny Button, Director of Safer Neighbourhoods introduced the report and made the following points:

     

    • The Events Policy was first put in place in 2016;
    • Elle Sutton, Community Officer has been working on making a number of updates, including changes to the terms and conditions that have to be signed by the event organiser;
    • There is also an additional document attached to the policy which details what is on offer, i.e. the council land that can be hired by organisers;
    • There is also content on reduction of carbon emission;
    • The Suitability Events Documents controls the advertising associated with events;

     

    • A recommendation has been made that cabinet make a decision on whether date restrictions  should be in place for when beach events can take place;
    • Events sites have been updated;
    • Currently the council is charging for standard sites and Premium sites;
    • Once the update policy has been adopted by council, the charging rates would be for small, medium and large sites;
    • The costs are divided into community costs, commercial costs and enthusiasts costs;
    • Officers have spoken to events organisers and have received some feedback;
    • The policy proposal will be going to Cabinet on 18 November 2021.

     

    Members made comments and asked questions as follows:

     

    • Was the insurance premium the same for all events?
    • The policy was now more readable and set out impressively;
    • Safety Action Group: Having a 4 week deadline to respond before the vent was not adequate. It was too short a deadline;
    • It would be a good idea for TDC to inform town/parish councils of upcoming events, so that no other events are organised around the same time. this would prevent smaller events being drowned out by bigger events that have larger sound systems;
    • Has the Climate Change officer been consulted?

     

    • Can the council transfer carbon offsetting to events organisers?
    • When parish councils are holding non commercial events on council land they are still charged for using council land. Why was this the case and could this not be changed?
    • Small groups that would like to host events are charged for officer time. Was that the case? If it was, this would put off any small groups from hosting events. Could this be considered?
    • The events notification form to be submitted at least 14 weeks before the hosting of the event: Although this has been reduced from 16 week; this was still too long, why?
    • Circulating a list of events would be handy. Can this be done?
    • Lighting of the beacon in June 2022: There is a need to plan for the health and safety measures to be put in place for that event;
    • It would be good for the district council to work closely with the town and parish councils on events matters.

     

    Penny Button responded to Member comments and questions as follows:

     

    • The 14 weeks deadline is an absolute minimum. Discussions with event organisers would have started long before that deadline
    • Elle Sutton has been working on improving liaison between the council and parish/town councils regarding the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 337.

338.

Review of OSP Work Programme for 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 92 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair advised the meeting that Kent Police representative Temporary DCI Matthew Smith would be in attendance at the 18 January 2022 Panel meeting to make a presentation on “Modern Slavery in Thanet.” This is at the invitation of the Panel.

     

    Councillor Fellows, Chair of the Coastal Waste Scrutiny Review Working party gave a verbal update on the work of the sub group. He said that the working party had met on three occasions. The first meeting was to agree on an approach for conducting their work.

     

    The second was to interview and gather evidence for their report from Gavin Waite, Director of Communities. This was followed by another meeting with Councillor Bob Bayford, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Special Projects, Mike Humber, Director of Operations and Lisa Collingwood, Education Officer (Enforcement Services).

     

    A few other meetings were lined up in November to gather evidence from volunteer litter picking community groups, business groups and parish/town councils.

     

    Members noted the report.

339.

Forward Plan & Exempt Cabinet Report List pdf icon PDF 80 KB