Agenda and minutes

Council - Thursday, 24th February, 2022 7.00 pm

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

Contact: James Clapson 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

    Minutes:

    Apologies were received from Councillors Hart, Potts, Hopkinson and Paul Moore.

2.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 275 KB

    • View the background to item 2.

    To approve the Minutes of the meeting of Council held on 12 January 2022.

    Minutes:

    Councillor Everitt proposed, Councillor Albon seconded and Members agreed that the minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2022 were a correct record subject to the following amendment:

    In respect of the penultimate paragraph of item 7a, delete the words "all the" and insert "but Thanet District Council is the responsible body so district"

3.

Announcements

    To receive any announcements from the Chairman, Leader, Members of the Cabinet or Chief Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 2.2 (iv).

    Minutes:

    The Chairman announced the recent passing of former Councillors Mr. Brownlee and Mrs. Dwyer-King, and offered sympathy on behalf of the Council to their families.

     

    Members paid tribute to Mr. Brownlee and Mrs. Dwyer-King, and stood for a minute’s silence as a mark of respect.

     

4.

Declarations of Interest 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.

5.

Petitions

    To receive petitions from the public in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.

5a

Report Back to Council - Thanet Lifts Petition pdf icon PDF 63 KB

    • View the background to item 5a

    Minutes:

    Members noted the report.

6.

Questions from the press and public pdf icon PDF 68 KB

6a

QUESTION NO.1 FROM A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC REGARDING OLD TOWN HALL AND MAYOR’S PARLOUR IN MARGATE.

    Minutes:

    The questioner was unable to attend the meeting to ask the question, therefore the question would be responded to in writing.

6b

QUESTION NO.2 FROM A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC REGARDING CATERING IN WESTBROOK BAY.

    Minutes:

    Ms Yorath asked Councillor Pugh the following question:

     

    “The cafe in the Westbrook loggia building ceased trading about two years ago, leaving the popular family beach without a catering service, even in the busy summer of 2020.   So last summer we celebrated when a small converted horsebox arrived offering limited food/drinks/ beach goods.  However, our joy turned to horror when a noisy generator was used to power the horsebox.  This meant that those of us in the adjacent beach huts could not enjoy our quiet much needed relaxing time.

    Would the council tell us what plans have been made to provide the essential catering in Westbrook Bay from the beginning of the season in April?

    This summer, will the council allow the catering facility to use the mains in the building (which are very accessible) so that the enjoyment of those utilising our beautiful and tranquil beach is not destroyed by a noisy generator for yet another year?”

     

    Councillor Pugh responded with the following points:

    • The food and beverage concession was a temporary licence which had since ended.  The Council was looking at coastal licences, and this area of the promenade would form part of the larger exercise.
    • Where a generator was absolutely necessary, alternative all-electric or hybrid-powered generators should be considered, in line with our Corporate Statement for Environment.
    • Access to the Loggia building for power supply was not permitted for health and safety reasons.

     

     

7.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 72 KB

    To receive questions from Members of the Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 14.

7a

QUESTION NO. 1 FROM A MEMBER REGARDING KENT COUNTY COUNCIL’S HOUSEHOLD WASTE AND RECYCLING CENTRE CONSULTATION.

    Minutes:

    Councillor Crittenden asked Councillor R Bayford the following question:

     

    "I note from the outcome report of KCCs Household Waste and Recycling Centre consultation, carried out during August and September last year, that, unlike Labour led Swale Council, Thanet District Council did not respond to the invitation to contribute to the consultation.  Given the shocking rise in fly-tipping back in early 2020 when the Waste and Recycling Centres were closed because of the pandemic, I would have expected the Council to have publicly shown more interest in this consultation by responding.

     

    Can you please advise why TDC did not respond to the consultation?”

     

    Councillor R Bayford responded with the following points:

    • The Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) consultation in August and September 2021 sought customer's views on the future use of a booking system at HWRCs.
    • The booking system was introduced in May 2020, as a method of managing the number of visits to facilitate social distancing during the pandemic.  Officers communicated regularly with Kent County Council (KCC) on this subject via the Kent Resource Partnership.  The ability to communicate through the Partnership was likely to be the reason why only one of the 12 district councils in Kent, felt the need to respond to the HWRC consultation.
    • The initial limit on the frequency of visits by any one customer was removed in December 2020, thereby significantly mitigating concerns around increased fly tipping risk. 
    • Since its introduction in 2020, the booking system had reduced the instances of traffic queuing outside the HWRC at Margate.  This has reduced the risk to users, and offered a benefit to the Council as the HWRC shared a common access with the Council's waste and recycling depot at Manston Road.

     

     

7b

QUESTION NO. 2 FROM A MEMBER REGARDING RECYCLING IN CLIFTONVILLE WEST

    Minutes:

    Councillor Currie asked Councillor R Bayford the following question:

     

    "With the massive increase over the last couple of years in household waste being generated, recycling within our communities has never been more crucial than at this time. In my ward, Cliftonville West there is a higher than average proportion of HMO’s and households where recycling collection is not possible due to a lack of bin storage areas. 

    Large communal waste bins for these households are constantly overflowing; probably half of the contents inside could be recycled.

    Unlike the nearby wards in Dane Valley and Cliftonville East there is no designated council recycling area where residents can easily walk to, and dispose of their glass, plastic and cardboard. 

    Would the Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Special Projects please liaise with officers to identify a suitable site in Cliftonville West where a recycling hub could be situated?”

     

    Councillor R Bayford responded with the following points:



    • A total of 15 static collection sites were listed for recycling on the Council’s website. One of these was at Dalby Square, within the Cliftonville West ward, and offered recycling of glass jars and bottles.  Other sites just outside the ward included Dane Crescent Road and Palm Bay Car Park, the latter also offered paper and cardboard recycling. 
    • The neighbourhood recycling scheme was also available in a large number of roads in Cliftonville West, for residents who wish to opt in to receive mixed dry recycling, and paper and card kerbside collections. Residents who were interested in joining the scheme can do so via the waste and recycling page on the Council's website.
    • Where the neighbourhood recycling scheme was not available, the Council was always prepared to discuss the introduction of recycling collections, provided there was space for bin storage.
    • Unfortunately fly tipping and antisocial behaviour led to the Harold Road recycling site in Cliftonville West being removed in 2014.
    • The Council was committed to diverting recyclable waste away from the non recyclable waste stream, but this needed to be in a manner that was sustainable in terms of staffing resources and budget. 

     

    Councillor Currie followed up his question by asking if a site visit could take place as, following discussion with residents, there were some potential locations for a sealed container, similar to the ones in Dane Park.

     

    Councillor Bayford agreed to liaise with Officers to consider what could be done, and asked Councillor Currie to send him an email with the details as a first step.

     

     

7c

QUESTION NO. 3 FROM A MEMBER REGARDING A RESPONSE PROVIDED AT THE COUNCIL MEETING ON 12 JANUARY 2022

    Minutes:

    Councillor Everitt asked the Leader the following question:

     

    "At the full council meeting on January 12th, I asked the leader to share her correspondence with the secretary of state with responsibility for local government about the council's governance, to avoid the need for me to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain it. She refused to do so, claiming the correspondence was personal and private. This was never a realistic claim and she was subsequently forced to disclose it. 

     

    She also insisted that she had never asked the secretary of state to "rectify the situation", explicitly stating that she had never used those words, despite them appearing in the local media from her own public statement at the time and in her email to Michael Gove MP on September 15th. 

     

    I'm sure she agrees with me that political leaders must always tell the truth. Will she therefore now apologise for misleading the council at the January meeting?”

     

    The Leader responded with the following points:



    • It had not been her intention to mislead the Council and she agreed that political leaders must always tell the truth.
    • She felt that Councillor Everitt’s question, as part of his response to the Leaders report at the meeting on 12 January 2022, did not relate to the content of Leader’s report which was required by the Council’s constitution.  This put her in a difficult position as she wanted to offer a response but was unable to check her answer before responding on the night.
    • The words in question were ‘rectify’ or ‘regularise’, Both words had a similar meaning. 

     

    Councillor Everitt followed up his question by asking what the Leader’s correspondence with the Secretary of State had achieved.

     

    The Leader responded that the correspondence had led to the Government recognising that the Leader believed there were problems at the Council.  This was before the Council was issued with a Section 24 notice.

     

7d

QUESTION NO. 4 FROM A MEMBER REGARDING HOUSING TARGETS AND THE LOCAL PLAN

    Minutes:

    Councillor Smith asked the Leader the following question:

     

    " It is widely acknowledged, including by North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale, that our house building targets are based on inadequate and incorrect ONS data. They do not reflect Thanet's needs. At the same time, actual delivery is failing to offer the very minimum requirement of 30% affordable housing. Yet Thanet's beautiful towns and villages are being irrevocably damaged, while swathes of irreplaceable Grade 1 and 2 agricultural land are being lost.

    Will the Leader consider following the example of Mid Sussex District Council, in halting the current Local Plan review process, and writing to the Secretary of State to ask him to revise these false housing targets?”

     

    The Leader responded with the following points:

    • The Government’s standard method for assessing housing need for local areas, through the Local Plan process, was set out in Government guidance. That guidance was clear that local councils should use the 2014 based household projections as the basis for that calculation. 
    • The guidance said that the 2014 based household projections were used to ensure that historic under-delivery and declining affordability were reflected, and to be consistent with the Government's objective of significantly boosting the supply of homes.  The standard method also included an adjustment to recognise the differing affordability issues in different areas.
    • It was understood that the Government was reviewing the current standard method for calculating housing needs, and that this may change in the near future. If this was the case, this could be addressed during the Local Plan process.

7e

QUESTION NO. 5 FROM A MEMBER REGARDING EMERGENCY HOUSING PROVISION FOR PEOPLE WITH PETS

    Minutes:

    Councillor Wing asked Councillor J Bayford the following question:

     

    "The Charity StreetPaws states that ‘the bond between a homeless person and their animal is profound. Their animal is their whole world, gives them a reason to carry on, and is often the only source of unconditional love. The health benefits of pet ownership are immense both mentally and physically, but many rough sleepers are asked to give up their dogs to access services and support’. The Big Issue and Dogs Trust reports that research from Nottingham University has found that pet ownership among homeless people is linked to a range of benefits, including alleviating loneliness, isolation, depression, substance abuse and criminality. Clearly there is well evidenced benefits to pet/dog ownership so will the Leader seek to ensure our homeless with pets, most commonly dogs are offered equal access to both emergency and permanent housing as soon as possible.”

     

    Councillor J Bayford responded with the following points:

    • The Council fully recognised the value of pets, particularly dogs, to people facing homelessness or other traumas in their life, and sought to support this wherever possible.
    • The Rough Sleeping Service (RISE) did have access to a number of emergency accommodation placements where it was possible for people to take their dogs with them.  The Council could also assist clients in finding other temporary arrangements for their dogs to enable clients to take up emergency accommodation, whilst waiting for a more permanent home.  The statutory homelessness services also had access to some temporary accommodation where dogs were permitted. 
    • Many dogs were well behaved, but not all, and these risks needed to be managed for the safety of other residents and staff.
    • It was more difficult for the Council’s services to secure move-on accommodation for people with dogs, as many landlords would not permit pets.  There could also be an additional charge for allowing dogs, which clients may not be able to afford.
    • Tenancy agreements for the Council’s own permanent housing stock allowed pets, including dogs to be kept, with consent. Consent would be on the basis that pets were well cared for and did not pose a risk or cause a nuisance to other residents.

     

    Councillor Wing followed up her question by asking how many people were currently sleeping rough with pets.

     

    Councillor J Bayford offered to enquire and let Councillor Wing know.

     

     

7f

QUESTION NO. 6 FROM A MEMBER REGARDING THE VIKING BAY LIFT IN BROADSTAIRS

    Minutes:

    Councillor Bailey asked The Leader the following question:

     

    "At the last Budget Council meeting there was a proposed  amendment to allocate part of the New Homes Bonus money to fund the repairs of the Broadstairs and Ramsgate lifts.

    In response to that proposed amendment the Leader said that ‘extensive’ and ‘ongoing’ conversations had been held with Broadstairs Town Council in regard to them taking on the Viking Bay lift. 

    I am a Broadstairs & St. Peter’s Town Councillor, and sit on most of the Town Council committees, and I have heard nothing about this and, as far as I know, there have been no such formal discussions.

    Also revealed at that meeting was the estimated cost of repairing the Viking Bay lift being in the region of £113K. 

    Can the Leader tell me, if she donates £50K from Southern Water, where the remaining £63k is going to come from if there is no allocation in the budget?”

     

    The Leader responded with the following points:

    • Informal conversations had taken place with the three Cabinet Members who were also Broadstairs Town Councillors, one of these was Councillor D Saunders the Chair of Broadstairs Town Council (BTC) Leisure and Tourism Committee.  The Leader had also discussed the matter with KCC and BTC Councillor Binks who was the Chair of the Finance and General Purposes Committee.
    • The purpose of the conversations was to find a long term and sustainable solution to keeping the lift open and running on a secure financial and maintainable basis.
    • The offer to BTC would be to adopt the lift as a BTC asset along with a £50,000 donation only to be used in connection with the lift.  BTC Councillors needed to decide if they wished to proceed and let the TDC know accordingly.
    • If BTC decided not to proceed then the £50,000 would be allocated to another community cause within the District.

     

    Councillor Bailey followed up her question by asking where the shortfall for repairs would come from if BTC did not adopt the lift.

     

    The Leader responded that the lift would open in Easter, however there would be no funds available to make repairs if the lift developed a fault.  If BTC took on the lift then they would need to allocate funding to maintain it.

     

     

     

7g

QUESTION NO. 7 FROM A MEMBER REGARDING THE GOODS YARD IN ALL SAINTS AVENUE.

    Minutes:

    Councillor Farrance asked The Leader the following question:

     

    " Regarding the Local Plan, the Council has been instructed to conduct another search for brownfield sites.   There is a suitable brownfield site at the old goods yard, off All Saints Avenue.    At 3.2 hectares, it could accommodate 130 units of housing -  surrounded on two sides by residential housing, close to the seafront and town centre.  Although this was allocated for commercial development, times have changed and we are now desperate to find brownfield sites, and save our precious green spaces and fields.  At the same time, we have 1 million square feet of commercial development in progress at the 'China Gateway' area.   Why is this not enough for Thanet's commercial needs?   Has the council consulted with the owners of the All Saints site to consider what would surely be a popular housing development instead of commercial?”

     

    The Leader responded with the following points:

    • Decisions about the allocation of sites for housing, or for other purposes, were taken through the Local Plan process.  These decisions had to be based on thorough site assessments which looked at a range of planning issues.  They were subject to consultation with other statutory bodies and a sustainability appraisal, as required by government guidance. This also involved consultation with landowners, wherever possible, to ensure that the sites selected were genuinely available for development.
    • It was also important to ensure that there was a suitable mix of commercial land and buildings available to support the local economy; the site was currently protected in the adopted Local Plan.  It was the intention that all these matters would be addressed through the Local Plan process in due course, and that recommendations on a set of suitable sites would be presented to Members for decision.  It would not be appropriate to pre-judge that assessment process.
    • The Leader was aware of the site and understood that it had been recently purchased with the intention of having commercial units.  She did not believe that a conversation had taken place with the new owners, however as it was designated in the local plan as commercial development it would be unlikely that it would be changed to residential use.

     

    Councillor Farrance followed up her question by asking what conversations had taken place regarding the use of the Old Goods Yard site, and other brownfield sites for housing.

     

    The Leader responded that the Council sent out a call for sites as it did not have the ability to approach all commercial sites individually, then it acted upon the responses received.  To her knowledge the Council had not approached the owners of the Old Goods Yard site.

     

8.

Notice of Motion

    To receive any Notices of Motion from Members of Council in accordance with the Council Procedure Rule 3.

    Minutes:

    No motions on notice have been received in accordance with council procedure rule 3.

9.

Leaders Report pdf icon PDF 63 KB

    To receive a report from the Leader of the Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 2.4.

     

    Minutes:

    The Leader, Councillor Ashbee, presented her report to Council, covering the following key points:

    • Members were thanked for unanimously approving the 2022/23 budget.
    • A new marine licence for berths four and five at the Port of Ramsgate was submitted on 28 January 2022.
    • The Interreg Experience Development programme, in partnership with Visit Kent, had brought 17 new tourism experiences to the District.
    • The Ramsgate Future Town Investment Plan was published on 20 January 2022.  Members were encouraged to watch the excellent explanatory videos available on the Council’s website to get more information.
    • The Council had partnered with Totally Local as part of the Welcome Back Funding for highstreets, this encouraged business owners to work together and support post Covid 19 recovery.
    • Network Rail had published updates on the Thanet Parkway Station, passenger services were planned to be introduced in May 2023.
    • The Margate Town Deal would hold a public pop up exhibition at the Turner Contemporary on 26 February 2022.
    • The application to plant tree saplings in Northdown Park had been approved.  A biodiversity strategy would be developed for the District that would include the protocol to gain permission for projects on Council land.
    • The Great British Spring Clean was running from 25 March to 10 April 2022.  The Council would be supporting the local groups who wished to take part.
    • The severe weather emergency protocol was activated on 18 February 2022 in response to storm Eunice.  RISE officers were proactive in offering shelter to rough sleepers during the period of adverse weather.
    • Mr Baker, the Independent Monitoring Officer, attended the General Purposes Committee on 26 January 2022 to provide an update on his progress.  A summary of the update was available on the Council’s website.
    • The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated with an extensive programme of public events.  There was a new system called Event App, to allow organisers to register any public event, and the fee for organising street parties during the four day celebration period would be waived.

     

    Councillor Everitt as Leader of the Labour Group made the following points in response to the Leader’s report:

    • It was good that Members voted unanimously in favour of the budget, however it was disappointing that the two proposed amendments were not agreed.  It would remain to be seen how robust the assumptions about costs within the budget turned out to be, following the recent increases in cost of living and pressure on wages.
    • There was concern about the continued cost of berths four and five at the Port of Ramsgate.  Each passing month imposed additional financial pressure on the Council, and environmental cost on the community through the need for aggregate to be imported by road instead of sea.
    • The launch of the Ramsgate Town Investment Plan, and the opportunity for engagement around the Margate Town Deal, was welcomed.  Community involvement was key to the success of these projects.
    • Thanet Parkway Station would benefit the whole District.
    • The work of the Independent Monitoring Officer had been impressive so  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Report of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel pdf icon PDF 73 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Rev. Piper presented the report during which he noted:

    ·  The Coastal Waste Scrutiny Review Working Party was in the process of drafting its report, the report would be presented at the Scrutiny meeting on 15 March 2022.

    ·  At a recent Panel meeting, Kent Police had presented an item on modern slavery and crime in the area. This had been very informative and Members were encouraged to watch the recording of the meeting on the Council’s YouTube channel.

    ·  The Chair reminded Members to get in touch if they had any topics for review.

     

    Members noted the report.

11.

Members Allowances Scheme 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

    • View the background to item 11.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair proposed, the Leader seconded and Members agreed the recommendation as detailed in the report, namely:

     

    To adopt the proposed 2022/23 Members allowances scheme as set out at annex 1 to this report and to refer the scheme to East Kent Joint Independent Remuneration Panel for them to consider, with any amendments being reported back to Council.

12.

2022-23 Council tax resolution pdf icon PDF 90 KB

    Minutes:

    It was noted that in accordance with council procedure rule 17.6, a recorded vote would be taken on the motion or any amendments and substantive motions.

     

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

     

    “(i) That Members approve the Thanet District Council element of Council Tax charges as set out in the report.

    (ii) That Members approve the determinations at Section 1 of the report.”

     

    The Deputy Monitoring Officer conducted a recorded vote the result was as follows:

     

    51 Members voted in favour of the motion: Councillors Albon, Ara, Ashbee, Austin, Bailey, Bambridge, J. Bayford, R. Bayford, Boyd, Braidwood, Coleman-Cooke, Crittenden, Currie, Day, Dennis, Dexter, Duckworth, Everitt, Farrance, Fellows, Garner, Gregory, Huxley, Keen, Kup, Leys, Pat Moore, Ovenden, Parsons, L. Piper, S. Piper, Pugh, Rattigan, Rawf, Rogers, Rusiecki, D. Saunders, M. Saunders, Savage, Scobie, Scott, Shonk, Shrubb, Smith, Tomlinson, Towning, Wallin, Whitehead, Wing, Wright, and Yates.

     

    No Members voted against the motion.

     

    No Members abstained from voting.

     

    The Motion was carried.

     

     

13.

Exclusion of Public and Press pdf icon PDF 68 KB

    Minutes:

    The Chair Proposed, Councillor R Bayford seconded and Members agreed the recommendation as detailed in the report, namely;

     

    That the public and press be excluded from the meeting for agenda item 14 as it contains exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

     

    Councillor Rev. Piper and Councillor Whitehead offered their apologies and left the meeting at this point.

14.

Appointment of Section 151 Officer

Minutes:

The Leader proposed, Councillor D saunders seconded and members agreed the recommendation as detailed in the report, namely:

 

“That the Council appoints Chris Blundell, Director of Finance, as Chief Financial Officer (S151 Officer) for the Council with immediate effect.”