Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Cecil Street, Margate, Kent. View directions
Contact: Lyn Davey
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Hornus, who was substituted by Councillor K Gregory.
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.
There were no declarations of interest.
It was proposed by Councillor Duncan and seconded by Councillor Gideon that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 3 July were approved as a correct record subject to substitution of the word “but” for “and” so that the second line of paragraph 3 of minute 10 reads “… and recognised that it…”.
Matters arising for the previous minutes
The Democratic Services and Scrutiny Manager gave an update on the review of electoral arrangements being undertaken by Kent County Council (KCC).
He had spoken with the Head of Democratic Services and Local Leadership who confirmed that there were no specific proposals within KCC’s review which would affect Thanet’s district wards. Furthermore, KCC’s review had not yet been submitted to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) and the outcome would not be implemented until May 2017. Currently, although KCC had expressed a preference for single member electoral divisions it had not specifically requested them from the LGBCE.
Annex 5 – Possible Precepts for new Town / Parish Councils, to follow
The Democratic Services and Scrutiny Manager introduced the report on proposed second-stage public consultation arrangements and details of the precepts that might be set by the new town/parish councils.
He then introduced the Corporate Information Manager and Finance Manager who both spoke on their respective elements of the consultation document.
Public consultation (Stage 2)
Members asked that the proposed online questionnaire be kept as clear as possible and easy to follow.
With this in mind it was agreed to amend some of the questions to make the online form easier to complete.
On the grounds that the full range of governance options had been offered for public consultation in Satge 1, it was decided to remove the second part of question 3, so that the question is closed:
“Do you agree with the proposal above for two new Parish/Town Councils (Margate Town Council and Westgate-on-Sea Parish Council)?”
Furthermore, it was agreed to add the following question to the end of the online form:
“Do you have any other comments about the proposal for the above for the future governance of Westgate-on-Sea?”
The Corporate Information Manager informed Members that a paper copy of the consultation document would be made available to people that requested one. The Working Party agreed that the consultation document needed to be made “attractive” in order to generate interest.
Hyperlinks would be used throughout the online consultation document. Due to the restrictions of the web publishing software it was not possible to have “dialogue boxes” which would provide further information when a cursor was moved over certain words.
Some members raised concerns that the consultation wouldn’t be seen by those with no internet access. The Corporate Information Manager informed Members that as budgets were limited, targeting all residents was impossible. The Communication Implementation Plan detailed the proposed methods of reaching residents within the budgetary constraints.
It was agreed that the consultation document would reiterate the different roles/powers between the Charter Trustees and town/parish councils so that residents could make up their own minds.
The Finance Manager gave a summary of the possible precepts for the town and parish councils based on a number of assumptions. However, he stressed that these figures were based on existing levels of service provision and functions that must transfer from the Margate Charter Trustees to the new town/parish Councils. Any additional services the town or parish councils would like to deliver would increase the precept.
Some Members discussed the possibility of using the existing reserves of the Charter Trustees to pay for the inaugural elections but were advised against basing projected precepts on that basis. The decision of what to do with the reserves would be down to the newly created town and parish council.
The Working Party agreed that the Finance Manager’s assumptions would not be included in the public consultation document in detail because there were best guesses based upon the limited information currently available; however the precepts for a Band D property would be included (but without ... view the full minutes text for item 14.