Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary, Overview & Scrutiny Panel
Monday, 21st November, 2016 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Charles Hungwe 

Items
No. Item

74.

Apologies for Absence

75.

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.

76.

Thanet Local Plan - Consultation pdf icon PDF 308 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Councillor D. Saunders, Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Panel invited Mr David Stevens to address the Panel. Mr Stevens made his submissions after which the Chairman called upon Councillor Wells, Leader of Council to present the main issues for debate. Councillor Wells introduced the report by initially advised the meeting on a number of amendments to the report. These changes have been attached as Annex 1 to this minute item.

     

    Councillor Wells said that the Local Plan was a statutory document that had to be evidence based and would be assessed by an independent Planning Inspector against a set of government guidelines. The plan would support the key strategies of the Council’s corporate priorities in particular as it relates to housing, workforce, infrastructure development and inward investment.

     

    The draft Plan was linked to the public consultation that was conducted on the ‘Preferred Options’ in January 2015. Key changes that were made as a result that consultation were as follows:

     

    ·  The identity of additional sites to meet the increased housing requirements;

    ·  The Council’s current evidence on the future of the Manston Airport site;

    ·  Identification of key road schemes to be provided alongside development;

    ·  To invite proposals for sites to be considered as local green space;

    ·  Amended location for the proposed Thanet Parkway Station;

    ·  Proposals for adopting new national technical standards for water efficiency, internal space, accessible and adaptable accommodation.

     

    As part of finalising the plan, a sustainability appraisal & strategic, environmental assessment & habitat regulations assessment, draft infrastructure delivery plan and local green space would also be subject to the same public consultation. Councillor Wells said that the Thanet joint transportation strategy would be developed by Thanet District Council and Kent County Council and be subject to a separate report and a later public consultation.

     

    Councillor Wells advised Members that the future of the airport was important. However that it should be noted that the alternative to foregoing the brown fields linked to the airport for housing development would lead to 180 acres of green fields being required for housing development in the district.

     

    Although the draft Plan highlighted the development of 17,140 houses during the Plan period; the existing planning permissions, completed development, windfalls and empty homes accounted for some 7,840 homes, leaving a need for 9,300 homes in this draft Plan.

     

    In concluding his presentation, the Leader then requested the Panel to agree the recommendations in the officer report which were as indicated below:

     

    1.  That the Overview and Scrutiny Panel recommends to Cabinet that the proposed revisions to the draft Local Plan, and the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment/Habitat Regulations assessment reports, be agreed for consultation purposes for a period of 6 weeks; and

     

    2.  That Overview and Scrutiny Panel recommend to Cabinet that the appropriate amendments to the Local Development Scheme be agreed.

     

    In response to the submissions by the Leader of Council, Members of the Panel made the following comments:

     

    ·  Expressed concern that the Panel was not given enough time to study the report which was significantly larger  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.

77.

Budget Strategy 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 10 KB

78.

Fees and Charges 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 10 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Panel considered the fees and charges schedule that had been recommended to Full Council by Cabinet. Mr Willis advised that on page 1105 of the agenda pack, the item on ‘events/commercial enterprises’ percentage should read 75% and not 50%.’

     

    One Member noted that the budget had assumed that Ramsgate Town Council would continue the financial arrangement for a further year which would see free car parking on Saturdays at Leopold Street Car Park. The Member then suggested that it would be a good idea for Thanet District Council to put a press statement on the website acknowledging that arrangement.

     

    Another Member asked why the Council was intending to charge residents for household waste bin replacement and not for the replacement of green (recycling) bins. In response, Madeline Homer, CEx responded, that it was in order to create some incentives for residents to recycle. Officers were going to check and provide a fuller response outside the meeting.

     

    However a member of the Panel advised that residents had to obtain a green bin, hence there was no requirement to pay for the replacements thereafter. Members also said that they hoped that a proper review had been undertaken to the proposed schedule of fees & charges for 2017/18.

     

    There being no specific recommendations to make to Cabinet, Members noted the report.

79.

Council Tax Support Scheme pdf icon PDF 10 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Mr Willis led the discussion on this item and reported that the proposed Council Tax Support Scheme had been recommended to Full Council for adoption by Cabinet. It was also reported that government funding of the scheme had been reduced and Council had had to top it up over the years. Although proposals to the scheme would see reductions being introduced, it would still be one of the most generous in the county.

     

    Council would also be considering for adoption in the near future, a Hardship Scheme to support those families that would have been affected most by the changes to the proposed Council Tax Scheme. A Member of the Panel suggested that the details of the Hardship Scheme be brought to the Overview & Scrutiny Panel, before finalisation by Council.

     

    Members requested for clear definitions to the key issues in the hardship scheme. In response Mr Willis advised Members that the Hardship Scheme would need to be in place by 1 April 2017. The proposed scheme would be similar to the one adopted by Canterbury City Council and Dover District Council.

     

    There being no specific recommendations to make to Cabinet, Members noted the report.