Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Thursday, 15th October, 2020 5.30 pm

Venue: Online only

Contact: James Clapson 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

2.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 151 KB

    To approve the Minutes of the meeting of Council held on 10 September 2020 copy attached.

    Minutes:

    It was proposed by the Chairman, seconded by the Vice-Chairman and agreed that the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 10 September 2020 be approved and signed by the Chairman.

     

3.

Announcements

4.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 87 KB

5.

Petitions

5a

Uncle Mack Petition pdf icon PDF 71 KB

    Minutes:

    Mr Perkins presented an e-petition regarding the removal of the Uncle Mack plaque in Broadstairs.  Members noted that the following petition contained 281 signatures:

     

    “We the undersigned petition the council to preserve and not remove the plaque next to Viking

    Bay memorializing James Summerson (also known as Uncle Mack).”

     

    In accordance with the Council’s Petition Scheme, the petition was referred to Cabinet without debate for report back to the Council within three ordinary meetings.

     

5b

Petition regarding Dog Restrictions on Thanet Beaches pdf icon PDF 71 KB

6.

Questions from the press and public pdf icon PDF 67 KB

6a

Question no.1 - the delegation of functions to Council Officers

    Minutes:

    Mr Hughes, Committee Services Manager, asked the Leader the following question on behalf of Mr Green:

     

    “Public opinion is that increasingly over the years, senior officers at TDC have increased decision making powers over and above those found in other local councils, without effective democratic control.  Will he seek to introduce mechanisms to limit these powers together with timely public reporting of decisions taken?”

     

    The Leader responded with the following points:

    ·  The last major review of the Constitution (including non-executive delegations) was undertaken in 2015/16.  This was in response to a recommendation from the LGA Peer Review. It was a huge piece of work led by a lawyer commissioned from Essex County Council. 

    ·  Council Members were responsible for considering, amending and approving the constitution. This work was carried out at eight meetings of the Constitutional Review Working Party and two meetings of the Standards Committee during 2015/16. The Constitution was then approved by the Council on the 25 February 2016.  All these meetings were held in public.

    ·  The Local Government Act 2000, required the Leader of the Council to prepare a scheme of delegations (for executive functions) which is presented at the annual meeting of Council.

    ·  Since its adoption by Council in February 2016, the changes, considered by the Constitutional Review Working Party and agreed by Council, related to; Contract Standing Orders; Standing Orders for Statutory Officers; mandatory training for Members; a variation to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel; and some minor procedural matters.

    ·  The delegation of non-executive functions to officers was considered in great detail and agreed by elected Members in 2016. The delegation of executive functions is solely the responsibility of the Leader.  These are local decisions, so would differ from council to council.

    ·  Any specific suggestions for improvements were welcome as the Council should always be open to improvements.

    ·  The Leader felt that Members were at least as engaged in decision making as they were in 2015 and before.

    ·  It may be the case that the public had an incomplete understanding of the different roles of Members and Officers, this could result in unrealistic expectations.

7.

Questions from Members of the Council pdf icon PDF 70 KB

7a

Question No.1 - The use of Weed Killer

    Minutes:

    Councillor Wing asked Councillor Albon the following question:

     

    “I have been informed that TDC only uses weedkiller in 'emergency situations', what are these emergency situations, please give examples, what  weedkiller was applied and how many litres has TDC used so far in 2020?”

     

    Councillor Albon responded that:

     

    ·  The term 'emergency situations' was not a trigger for weedkiller use. 

    ·  The Council has not used glyphosate based weed-killer within the District since 6th February 2020.

    ·  There were no immediate plans to use products containing glyphosate, however it may be used again in the future if it is considered the best solution at the time.  Alternative non glyphosate products would also be considered. 

    ·  A total of 1.6 litres of glyphosate based herbicide diluted in 60 litres of water was used between 1st January and 6th February 2020.

    ·  Weed clearance has been on a reduced this year due to the need to prioritise services elsewhere in response to the current pandemic.

    ·  Only manual weed clearance has taken place in public open spaces since February.

     

    Councillor Wing did not wish to ask a supplementary question.

8.

Notice of Motion

9.

Leaders Report pdf icon PDF 67 KB

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

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leaders report had been circulated to Members and published on the Council’s website before the meeting. The report has been attached as an annex to these minutes.

     

    Councillor Ashbee as Leader of the Conservative Party made the following points:

    ·  She thanked Members for their congratulations and welcome into her new role as Leader of the Conservative group.

    ·  She wished to thank the housing officers for their hard work during the transition of the service in house, and hoped the benefits to residents would soon become obvious.

    ·  She appreciated the sentiment that the Council remained open to external advice on how to improve.

     

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

    ·  Congratulations were offered to Councillor Ashbee and the Leader looked forward to working with her.  He believed that he had a good working relationship with all the group leaders, and highlighted that they were all working for the benefit of the residents.

    ·  The Leader reiterated his thanks to the Housing team and noted that Councillor Whitehead also deserved recognition for her efforts.

     

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

    ·  It was the right decision not to undertake a peer review that would have caused additional uncertainty for the Council.

    ·  The Council continued to get things done despite the Covid pandemic, it was good to see some positive social media comments.

    ·  The District would cope with Brexit and further delays to the reopening of the airport.

    ·  Congratulations were offered to Councillor Ashbee.

     

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

    ·  The peer review decision was made collectively and was an example of how well the Council worked together.  This would need to continue in the face of the Covid resurgence.

    ·  There was a need to understand how London’s allocation to tier two could impact the District.

     

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

    ·  He wished to offer his thanks to staff for their work at this time.

    ·  He believed that a peer review in the new year would be beneficial to the Council.

    ·  He shared concern about the potential for pollution as a result of the Manston Airport proposals.

    ·  Levels of pollution were an issue of growing concern across the District.

    ·  It was highlighted by residents that there needed to be more clarity regarding plans at the Port of Ramsgate, it should be easier for residents to engage with the Council.

    ·  Housing should be high on the Council’s agenda, and he hoped to be involved in this in future.  Congratulations were offered to Councillor Whitehead and others involved in bringing the Council’s housing stock back under Council control.  There was a need for more social housing in the District.

    ·  He was pleased that the Council had supported the Thanet Community Land Trust, and hoped that support would continue.

    ·  All new buildings should support environmental enhancements, residents felt strongly about this and the enhancement of biodiversity should be at the forefront of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Report of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel pdf icon PDF 82 KB

11.

Annual Treasury Management Review 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 546 KB

12.

Changes to Committees, Panels and Boards - 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 66 KB