Agenda and minutes

Cabinet
Thursday, 17th November, 2016 7.00 pm

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

Contact: charles hungwe 

Items
No. Item

374.

Apologies for Absence

375.

Declarations of Interest

    To receive any declarations of interest. Members are advised to consider the advice contained within the Declaration of Interest form attached at the back of this agenda. If a Member declares an interest, they should complete that form and hand it to the officer clerking the meeting and then take the prescribed course of action.

    Minutes:

    There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting.

376.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB

377.

Combined Safeguarding Policy pdf icon PDF 232 KB

378.

Fulfilling Thanet's growth and development opportunities pdf icon PDF 160 KB

379.

Budget Monitoring Report No 2 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 359 KB

380.

Budget Strategy 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 643 KB

381.

Fees and Charges 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 201 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet discussed proposed fees and charges to be recommended to Council for 2017/18. Members were aware that these proposals were being considered in a difficult environment and agreed that any proposed increases would be proportionate to the scale of the overall budget challenges and competing service requirements.

     

    Members were asked to note the following amendments; that on page 155 of the agenda pack, the charge for commercial events “build and de-rig” should be 75%, not 50% as printed.

     

    The following Members spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1:

     

    Councillor I. Gregory;

    Councillor K. Gregory;

    Councillor Campbell;

     

     

    Councillor Townend proposed, Councillor Crow-Brown seconded and Cabinet agreed to recommend the Fees and Charges listed in Annex 1 (to the report) to Council for final approval.

382.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 239 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The meeting was informed of the need to adopt a new Council Tax Support Scheme for the district to replace the one that had been in place since 2013. The funding gap for the scheme had continued to grow due to funding cuts by government. Members agreed that the proposals being put forward were not a very difficult choice.

     

    The recommendations that were put forward had been extensively researched and consulted upon, and were arrived at after careful examination of the evidence. Whilst trying to make the scheme less costly, it was worth noting that the scheme would still be subsidised. Cabinet also proposed in addition, a hardship scheme to assist those most adversely affected by the suggested changes.

     

    The following Members spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1:

     

    Councillor Constantine;

    Councillor Campbell;

    Councillor Game.

     

    Councillor Townend proposed, Councillor Brimm seconded and Cabinet agreed to forward the following recommendations to Full Council that:

     

    1.  The existing scheme is modified to reduce the level of expenditure within the scheme by £875k (of which Thanet’s reduction would be £119k) and maintain alignment with the Housing Benefit rules whilst protecting the principles of the original scheme relating to protecting the most vulnerable where possible.

     

    2.  The current minimum contribution towards their Council Tax made by recipients of Council Tax Support is increased from 5.5% to 10.0%;

     

    3.  The maximum savings that a customer can have and still claim Council Tax Support is reduced from £16,000 to £6,000;

     

    4.  A minimum income is used within the calculation for Self Employed Customers after 12 months of self-employment;

     

    5.  The maximum level of Council Tax support is restricted to the equivalent of a Band D property charge;

     

    6.  Only the first two children in a family will be included in the calculation for children born after April 2017 (some exceptions will apply for adoptions and multiple births);

     

    7.  The Family Premium is not included in the calculation of Council Tax Support for all new working age customers;

     

    8.  The period for which a late claim can be backdated is reduced to one month;

     

    9.  The period for which a customer can be absent from Great Britain and still claim Council Tax Support is reduced to 4 weeks (with some exclusions for certain occupations);

     

    10.  The element of the work-related component of Employment and Support Allowance is not included in the Council Tax Support Calculation;

     

    11.  TDC works towards an exceptional hardship scheme that will be introduced from April 2017 in order to provide a safety net for customers experiencing extreme difficulty paying their Council Tax;

     

    And Members further agreed:

     

    12. To note the equalities impact as detailed in Annex 1 to the Cabinet report.

383.

Policy to cover the use of electronic tablets by Councillors pdf icon PDF 122 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The meeting was advised of the need to adopt a policy to cover the use of electronic tablets by Councillors. The policy specified expectations regarding the return of tablets when Councillors cease office, the use of Email and the process regarding replacement of broken or stolen tablets. It was important to note that this policy complemented the suite of ICT policies, currently in operation in the Council.

     

    Members were reminded that the Local Government (Electronic Communications) (England) Order 2015 allowed the Council to issue electronic copies of meeting summonses, subject to written consent from each Councillor. This therefore means that once agreed by Cabinet and in order to facilitate this transition, Councillors would be asked to agree to receive meeting summonses electronically as part of this Policy. Such an agreement would mark a significant step towards a paperless environment for Councillors.

     

    Councillor K. Gregory and Councillor Game spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1.

     

    Councillor Crow-Brown proposed, Councillor Stummer-Schmertzing seconded and Cabinet approved the Councillor Electronic Tablet Usage Policy.

384.

Asset Disposals pdf icon PDF 167 KB

    Report to follow.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered a follow up report to the one that was brought before Members on 27 September 2016. They received feedback comments from the public consultation that Cabinet had commissioned. Of particular interest from the public comments was the issue regarding the agricultural land which many believe formed valuable ‘green wedges’ between settlements. The public response indicated high value that residents attribute to the concept of maintaining these green wedges.

     

    Cabinet had been encouraged at the prospects of some sites possibly being transferred to Town Councils or community groups through the community asset transfer process. This would ensure that the public uses could continue and be expanded for the benefit of the public at no cost to the council.

     

    The following Members spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1:

     

    Councillor Matterface;

    Councillor Bayford;

    Councillor Game;

    Councillor Partington.

     

    Councillor Townend proposed, Councillor Stummer-Schmertzing seconded and Members agreed:

     

    1.  The disposal of the assets listed in Annex 1 (to the report), with sale proceeds being used to fund the asset management plan and capital programme;

     

    2.  The removal of the assets listed in Annex 2 (to the report) from the disposals list for 2016/17.