Agenda and draft minutes

Cabinet - Thursday, 14th December, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent

Contact: Charles Hungwe 

Link: This meeting will be livestreamed


No. Item


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies for absence made at the meeting.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 113 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 of interest.


Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To approve the summary of recommendations and decisions of the Cabinet meeting held on 16 November 2023, copy attached.


Councillor Everitt proposed, Councillor Yates seconded and Members agreed the minutes as a correct record of the meeting held on 16 November 2023.


Combined Surveillance/CCTV/Image Recording Technologies Policy pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:


Cabinet considered proposals regarding the CCTV and Image Recording Policy. CCTV and the use of image recording was now commonplace. From town centre CCTV cameras to building security to dash cams, ring doorbells and mobile phones. The Council's use of CCTV was governed by a profusion of legislation, codes of practice and central government guidance. New and Emerging technologies and capabilities such as Artificial Intelligence, biometrics, or advances in IT system integration had to consider the increased risk to individual privacy and ensure that the Council continued to be compliant.


In response the Council had developed this policy which was intended to regulate the its operation and use of image recording systems across all areas of the Council including when and where CCTV was used. Members were asked to agree to the adoption of this policy which was intended to regulate the Council’s operation of image recording systems across all areas of the Council and to allow the delegation of future operational revisions of the policy to the Head of Neighbourhoods.


Councillor Keen proposed, Councillor Yates seconded and Cabinet agree the following:


1.  The adoption of Combined Surveillance/CCTV/Image recording technologies Policy;


2.  To delegate any operational revisions of the policy to the Head of Neighbourhoods.


Purchase of 24 Homes at Tothill Street, Minster for Affordable Rent pdf icon PDF 150 KB


Cabinet discussed proposals for the purchase of 24 homes in Tothill Street, Minster to be used for affordable rent lettings. In July this year Council approved an accelerated affordable rented housing development programme of at least 400 new homes, constructed or acquired, by 2027. Officers were contacted by BDW (Barretts) Homes who were required to deliver 24 new affordable homes, as part of their development at Tothill Street, Minster. This requirement was set out in the section 106 obligations for the development. They had been unable to secure an affordable housing provider to deliver these homes. The capital cost for the 24 homes was £3.2 million and £50k for associated costs.


As the homes had been designated as affordable homes in the planning consent and section 106 agreement, they had been designed specifically for that purpose and accordingly were considered appropriate for the HRA, in line with the needs of households on the council’s register or those living in temporary accommodation. There was a significant level of need for one bedroom homes, as well as for larger family homes. The unit sizes and the mix of dwellings were as follows:


  • 8 x 1 bed units
  • 16 x 2 bed units


It was proposed that the new homes be let in accordance with the council’s adopted allocations policy.


The following Members spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1:


Councillor Pugh;

Councillor Bayford.


Councillor Whitehead proposed, Councillor Albon seconded and Cabinet agreed the following:


1.  The purchase of 24 new affordable homes, using the additional capital budget, approved by Council at its meeting on 12 October 2023;


2.  The letting of these homes in accordance with the Council’s Allocations Policy, at an affordable rent as set out in the Council’s Tenancy Strategy.


Jackey Bakers Recreation Ground pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:


Cabinet considered proposals for the Jackey Baker Recreational Grounds. The proposals were for Cabinet’s approval for improvements at Jackey Bakers Recreation Ground. The report that was discussed referred to a petition that was received by the Council in June 2023 about the management of Jackey Bakers Recreation Ground and describes the actions taken since then. The recommendations proposed in the Cabinet report included the demolition of the existing pavilion subject to planning prior approval being granted at the Planning Committee held on the 13th December 2023.


Following demolition it was proposed that temporary facilities be provided with team changing rooms, showers, officials changing, storage and toilets. The report also proposed the adoption of a master plan (attached as Annex 1 to the report) for the future development of the site. The master plan proposals were not currently funded but the adoption of the plan will inform direction and represent a first step towards securing the required funding for the long-term future of Jackey Bakers. The report further proposed that authority be delegated to investigate the options for a future development on the site based on the master plan, including car parking, a new pavilion and other sporting/recreational facilities that might enhance the offer at the site.


Members were advised that a further report will be presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel and the Cabinet once these options have been further explored.


The following Members spoke under Council Procedure Rule 201:


Councillor Rogers;

Councillor Rattigan;

Councillor Will Scobie;

Councillor Austin.


Councillor Albon proposed, Councillor Duckworth seconded and Cabinet agreed the following, to:


1.  Approve the demolition of the existing pavilion on the basis of health and safety (subject to the Local Planning Authority giving prior approval*);


2.  Approve the purchase of a temporary portacabin style changing facility once demolition has occurred;


3.  Approve a public engagement exercise to inform the master planning for Jackey Bakers, based on  Section 1 the draft master plan attached at annex 1;

4.  Explore facilities that will be installed that will encourage safe enjoyment of Jackey Bakers by girls and young women;


5.  Ensure the temporary changing facilities are properly insured and secured;


6.  Delegate authority to the Chief Executive Officer to investigate the options for a future development on the site based on the master plan, to include a new car park, new pavilion (to include changing facilities) and other sporting/recreational facilities that might enhance the offer at the site. A report will be represented to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel and the Cabinet once these options have been further explored;




That Cabinet Recommends to Council that:


1.  A one-off 2023/24 supplementary General Fund Revenue budget of £370,000 be approved, for the demolition of the existing pavilion and the provision of a temporary portacabin facility, to be funded from the Risk Reserve.


*Local Planning Authority approval was granted on 13 December 2023.


Public Toilets Refurbishment and Renewal Project pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Additional documents:


Members discussed proposals for the refurbishment of public toilets that were detailed in the Cabinet report. This report proposes a schedule of investment in public toilets around the district. Budgets totalling £1.25 million with a mixture of revenue and capital funding have been identified. A further sum of £250k is anticipated although not yet approved via an external grant from Southern Water. The report proposes maintenance works at 7 sites. This will focus on addressing existing defects and is not a full refurbishment of the toilets. But it will return them to a much higher standard of repair. Examples of the work content can be found at Annex 1 (to the report) with the estimated cost.


The total spend on revenue repair work is £279k and subject to approval at Cabinet. It was proposed to undertake these works in the new year so that they were complete before the start of the 2024 season. The report also proposed capital works at three sites, Margate Clock Tower, Stone Bay and Botany Bay. These capital works would provide significantly improved and accessible facilities at all three sites. There were currently 27 public toilets in Thanet and this report proposes works in 10 of those 27 locations. This investment was proposed to be the start of an anticipated wider and longer term programme of public toilet improvements subject to further funding being identified.


The report also proposes that a further report be taken to Cabinet before the end of October 2024 to provide an update on toilet refurbishment and improvement works. The report would update on the capital works programme and will propose next steps to address refurbishment or improvements at the public toilets not included in this initial phase. £400k of revenue funding is coming from earmarked reserves. In option 1 £279k would be allocated for revenue repairs and £121k revenue contribution to capital. However, if the Council was required to undertake option 2 then the whole £400k would be allocated to revenue repairs.


The Cabinet recommended to Council that a one-off supplementary General Fund revenue budget of £279k be approved for the repairs to existing facilities; to be funded from the underspend identified at the end of 2022/23 and allocated to earmarked reserves for investment in toilet facilities. Of the £749k budget for the Public Toilets refurbishment and renewal project within the 2023/24 Capital Programme the report suggested that £450k be from borrowing and a £121k contribution from earmarked reserves. Financing of the remaining £179k was going to be identified at a later date.


£400k of funding would be sourced from the Margate Town Deal funding, which was an external grant. Cabinet noted that £400k of approved capital budget was allocated for toilet facilities within the Margate Town Deal scheme in the 2023/24 Capital Programme. It was estimated that Southern Water would allocate funding to the value of £250k.


The following embers spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1:


Councillor Pugh;

Councillor Austin.


Councillor Albon proposed, Councillor Duckworth seconded and Cabinet agreed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.


TLS procurement - Responsive Repairs, voids, compliance and planned and cyclical works Contract pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Additional documents:


Cabinet considered proposals for the Tenant and Leaseholder Services procurement of a responsive repairs, voids, compliance and planned maintenance and cyclical works contract. And was asked to “the letting of a 10 year contract, with provision to extend for a further 5 year period to enable a true alliance between contractors and client. This contract is for the provision of responsive repairs, voids, compliance, cyclical and planned works. It will also include an element of works for corporate properties.”


This contract would cover the following:


?  Responsive repairs, voids, compliance, cyclical and planned works; 

?  Provide an element of service for the council's corporate properties; 

?  Provide an out of hours service for emergency repairs; 

?  Maintain a customer contact centre for tenants and leaseholders of the council to call to report repairs.


In developing this contract the Council placed a strong focus on local delivery, directly employed local operatives and the use of local material suppliers. This was in order to add social value to the area through job creation and material supplies. This would also provide the most efficient and responsive delivery through local supply, ensuring that Thanet’s service is given priority, through area buy-in and local knowledge. This approach would also minimise carbon emissions by reducing travel time for operatives and material delivery. The level of work that went into procurement and organisation of a housing service of this scale was extraordinary; as was the progress that had been made within Housing since we brought it back in house. 


This contract was last extended in 2020; it cannot be extended further, which means that coming in this May as an administration gives little to no lead time to produce an extended in house service across all areas; much as, as evidenced by my determination to bring Housing back and produce in house temporary housing, and our first in house rough sleeping accommodation, my general inclination is to create and promote in house services wherever possible.


Ideals have to be considered in relation to realities in order to deliver results, and the security of service, especially when what is at stake is the quality of delivered service to a very large number of our residents; and as such focusing on areas that we can deliver in house, such as minor works, and ensuring that our complex and specialist areas function and deliver without interruption is essential. As referenced in the report, we are now choosing to focus heavily on the local economy in housing procurement; our contracts prioritise local jobs, local call centres, and include the requirement for local apprenticeships, to build not only the local economy, but also build skills and employment opportunities. 


This combined with our proposed in house expansion of minor works, to explore our delivery of direct services, allows us to deliver not only many highly complex workstreams, but also build our own resilience; and the sheer scale of the number of new strategies being implemented, and the considerable growth of our portfolio means that ensuring reliability of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 70.


TLS KPI Q1 & Q2 - Housing Performance report pdf icon PDF 80 KB

  • View the background to item 71.

Additional documents:


Members considered the performance report provided Cabinet with a view of the performance of the Council’s Tenant and Leaseholder Service (TLS) for Quarter 1 & Quarter 2 for 2023/24. This included performance information relating to two areas of the TLS and these were:


·  Operational performance against key indicators for the period from 1 April 2023 - 31 June 2023 and 1 July 2023 - 31 September 2023;


·  The management of tenant and leaseholder health and safety as of 31 June 2023 and 31 September 2023.


As evidenced by the thorough nature of these reports, a huge amount of work went into both collecting and analysing data within Housing and the comprehensive coverage of service performance was something that officers involved in producing this information deserve significant credit for. The new dashboard style reporting, which made information more accessible and very clear to understand was welcome worth special mention. The inclusion of in-depth reporting on the Council’s tower block retrofit and refurbishment programme, which was a huge piece of work, was exceptionally positive.


Cabinet was encouraged that gas compliance only had one outstanding case, and that this was linked solely to very complex access issues, as this indicated the level of effort officers had made and were making to ensure that residents were protected. Cabinet acknowledged that the drop in tenant arrears was extremely positive considering the level of financial stress that many residents were currently facing. This was evidence to the huge amount of support that the TLS team were giving to residents to help them access support that they may be entitled to and to support them when times were challenging.


Work in relation to voids was also very pleasing with faster turnaround times which meant more families accommodated more quickly. This was essential to reduce disruption to families and provide secure accommodation as quickly as possible. Cabinet commended reports from the Head of Tenant and Leaseholder Services as being always very thorough. Members also recognised the work that went into collating and presenting performance information and extended their appreciation to the Tenants and Leaseholder Services team.


Councillor Whitehead proposed, Councillor Keens seconded and Cabinet agreed to note the report.