Agenda and minutes

Boundary and Electoral Arrangements Working Party
Thursday, 3rd July, 2014 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Lyn Davey 

Items
No. Item

6.

Election of a Chairman

7.

Apologies for absence

8.

Declaration of Interests

    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.

9.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 54 KB

    To approve the Minutes of the Boundary and Electoral Arrangements Working Party meeting held on 9 January 2014, copy attached.

     

    Minutes:

    It was proposed by Councillor W Scobie and seconded by Councillor Hornus that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 9 January 2014 were approved as a correct record.

     

10.

Review of community governance arrangements - Margate pdf icon PDF 142 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor Mrs Johnston spoke under Council Procedure Rule 24.1

     

    The Democratic Services & Scrutiny Manager introduced the report, the results of the first stage public consultation and the decisions the Working Party needed to take in order for the community governance review to progress to the second stage consultation.

     

    Members were concerned about the low level of responses to the first stage consultation but recognised that it might not have been easy for members of the public to respond when presented with such a wide range of options for the area. The Democratic Services and Scrutiny Manager explained that the Stage 2 consultation would be different, because the Working Party needed to agree very specific proposals at this meeting, which it was hoped would elicit a larger response.

     

    Despite the consultation responses largely only drawing a distinction between Westgate and the rest of the un-parished area of Margate, it was suggested by some Members that Westbrook may have more in common with Westgate, and that option should be a specific part of the Stage 2 consultation.

     

    The Democratic Services and Scrutiny Manager commented that a good deal of such specific options could be included in the Stage 2 consultation, but there would be a difficulty drawing the line as to which specific options to present. It would be simpler, and easier for the public to understand, if one specific set of proposal were put forward, but the consultation explained the choices available; those choices would include agreeing or disagreeing with the proposal, or suggesting a different proposal with, for example, different boundaries.

     

    Members agreed to attend residents’ association meetings etc. to engage the public more and ask them to get involved. It was noted that the public needed to know any difference between a Parish and Town Council and understand what Parish councillors and Town councillors can and cannot do.

     

    The Finance Manager said he would come to the next meeting with possible precept figures for any new Town/Parish Councils for 2015/16, but at this early stage they would only be indicative and based on a set of assumptions, although he did comment that the precept for Ramsgate had risen by 111% since it was set up. He also told the Working Party that it could cost the council £25k to hold an election for Margate if it coincided with another election or £50k if it were to be on its own (although such a scenario may be unlikely). Members agreed that in Stage 2 of the consultation the public should be made aware of the possible costs for a Margate Town council and a Westgate Parish council in terms of a possible precept.

     

    It was proposed by Councillor W Scobie, and seconded by Councillor E Green that the following be the subject of the second stage public consultation; that:

     

    1. A “Margate Town Council” be created for the un-parished area of Margate excluding the District Ward of Westgate on Sea; with the same number and distribution of Councillors as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.