Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 22nd November, 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks

Contact: Democratic Services 01732 227247  Email: democratic.services@sevenoaks.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

14.

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 21 July 2016 pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 21 July 2016 be approved and signed as a correct record.

 

15.

To receive any declarations of interest not included in the register of interest from Members in respect of items of business included on the agenda for this meeting

Minutes:

No additional declarations of interest were received. 

 

16.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that he had an interesting and fascinating few months.  He had been struck when going round the district, by how fortunate the district was to have people who cared more for people and their community than the monetary aspects. For example the Forget me not cafés, which were held once a month to support people and carers living with dementia.  Since the last meeting he had held one civic at the Kent Wildlife Reserve of which there would be an article in next the InShape, and again these were people who cared for their community and environment.  On the same note, Council staff for example had just raised £530.95 through bingo, dressing up, cake sales and donations for Children in Need.  Members expressed their appreciation.

The Chairman further announced that the Council had again been doing well with awards.  The Council had been: finalists for Efficiency and Transformation in the Association of Public Sector Excellence Awards; shortlisted in the Finance category for the Guardian Public Sector Awards and also subject of an article on keeping services in-house, due to be published at the end of November; shortlisted in the Local Government Chronicle Awards for Entrepreneurial Council of the Year and also Council of the Year; and had won the Dementia Friendly Organisation award from the Kent Dementia Alliance.

The Chairman advised that annual Christmas Staff carol service was taking place on Tuesday 6 December 2016 in St Luke’s Church at 10am to which all Members were welcome.

This was the first meeting of Council since the passing of Councillor Robert Brookbank, in August.  The Chairman further announced the sad passing of two former Chairmen: David Coates 1996-97, Labour ward member for Swanley White Oak 1995-2007l; and former Chairman Norma Munson Chairman 1998-99 Liberal Democrat ward member for Kemsing 1995-99 Members held a moments silence in their memory.

 

17.

To receive any questions from members of the public under paragraph 17 of Part 2 (The Council and District Council Members) of the Constitution.

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

 

18.

To receive any petitions submitted by members of the public under paragraph 18 of Part 2 (The Council and District Council Members) of the Constitution.

Minutes:

No petitions were received.

 

19.

Matters considered by the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 23 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)         Development of Buckhurst 2 Car Park

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Dickins seconded, the recommendation from Cabinet.  The report sought approval to develop the existing Buckhurst 2 car park to provide additional town centre parking capacity and residential accommodation.

 

The Leader reminded Members that this was the second set of proposals for developing Buckhurst 2.  There were a number of funding scenarios of which he had moved option c as it was clearly the best in financial terms and provided much needed housing. 

 

Cllr Purves stated that the report included provision for residential accommodation to help offset costs, and SP3 of the Core Strategy required that 30% of units should be affordable with the preference for those to be provided on site, although in exceptional circumstances a financial contribution could be made towards off site provision.  She referred to the Cabinet Minutes of 13 October which stated “as none of the houses constructed as part of the scheme were likely to fall within the definition of affordable there was provision for off-site affordable housing.  She then queried that with a shortage of affordable housing, and it being an ideal location for affordable housing, were there really “exceptional circumstances” in this case.

 

In response the Leader stated that if the report was approved a planning application would need to be prepared and submitted and that it was at that stage that the type and mix of housing would be looked at.  If it did not fall within the definition of affordable there would be provision for off-site affordable housing.

 

Councillor Purves further asked that rather than build the housing suggested within the scheme, why not consider building a terrace of 20 x 2 bed houses for keyworkers and the retired.  The Leader responded that the scheme presented in the report was what worked financially, however as already stated these issues would be looked at as part of any planning application.

 

Resolved:  That

 

a)   a planning application be submitted to provide additional long stay parking at the Buckhurst 2 Car Park, Sevenoaks;

 

b)   the planning application include provision for residential accommodation to partly offset the costs of the proposed car park;

 

c)    the preferred funding method be scenario C as detailed within the report.

 

 

(b)         Christmas Parking 2016

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Dickins seconded, the recommendation from Cabinet.  The report sought funding from supplementary estimates for free parking on two Saturdays preceding Christmas.

 

Resolved:  That the cost in terms of lost income for free Christmas parking be funded from Supplementary Estimates.

 

 

(c)          Council Tax Reduction Scheme

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Lowe seconded, the recommendation from Cabinet.  The report sought adoption of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2017/18.  The Leader explained that the Council had to work with the other preceptors and had done their best to look at the scheme and mitigate its effect and impact on residents.

 

Resolved:  That

 

a)     the outcome of the public consultation and the consultation with Kent County Council as set out at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Matters considered by other standing committees pdf icon PDF 17 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)         Proposed implementation of the electronic knowledge test for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver applicants

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Mrs. Morris seconded the recommendations from the Licensing Committee.

 

Resolved:  That the implementation of the electronic knowledge test and the requirement for all prospective Hackney Carriage and Private Hire driver applicants to be subject to the test prior to application, be approved.

 

 

(b)         Future appointment of External Auditors

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Grint seconded the recommendations from the Audit Committee.  Councillor Grint advised that there were three potential routes to make the appointment: make a stand alone appointment; set up a joint auditor panel; or opt in to a sector led body.  The Audit Committee had received two reports on the subject and were recommending that Council approved Option 3 which was to opt in to the sector led body.  The body would be ‘Public Sector Audit Appointments’ (PSAA) which had been established by the Local Government Association (LGS) and the majority of authorities had expressed interest in taking this option.

 

The benefits included: securing competitive prices through economies of scale; avoiding the need to establish an auditor panel; and having the same auditors as partner authorities which should result in efficiencies.  He therefore recommended the motion before Council.

 

Resolved:  That the Council opt in to the appointing person arrangements made by Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) for the appointment of external auditors.

 

 

(c)          Outcome of electoral review workshop

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Pett seconded the recommendations from the Governance Committee.

 

Resolved: That no action be taken at this stage, but the matter be reconsidered shortly after the 2019 local elections.

 

 

 

(d)         2018 Parliamentary boundary review

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Pett seconded the recommendations from the Governance Committee.

 

Resolved: That

 

a)     the Boundary Commission for England proposals for Parliamentary boundaries for the Sevenoaks District Council area are noted; and

 

b)     the Council submit a consultation response to the Boundary Commission for England based on the views collated from Members as set out at Appendix B to the report with the additional comments submitted at the meeting of the Governance Committee, and agreed with the Chairman of the Governance Committee.

 

21.

To consider the following reports from the Chief Executive or other Chief Officers on matters requiring the attention of Council: pdf icon PDF 22 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)         Committee Memberships

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Lowe seconded the report which sought approval of the revised committee memberships and advised Council of a change in Cabinet membership.

 

Resolved: That the revised appointments and membership for 2017/18, attached as an Appendix to the report, be approved.

 

 

(b)         Draft calendar of meetings for the municipal year 2017/18

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Lowe seconded the report which sought approval of the draft calendar of meetings 2017/18.

 

Resolved: That the draft calendar of meetings for 2017/18 be approved subject to formal adoption at the Annual Meeting of the Council on 9 May 2017.

22.

To consider any questions by Members under paragraph 19.3 of Part 2 (The Council and District Council Members) of the Constitution, notice of which have been duly given.

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

 

23.

To consider any motions by Members under paragraph 20 of Part 2 (The Council and District Council Members) of the Constitution, notice of which have been duly given.

Minutes:

No motions had been received.

 

24.

To receive the report of the Leader of the Council on the work of the Cabinet since the last Council meeting. pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported on the work that he and the Cabinet had undertaken in the period 11 July to 8 November 2016.

 

In response to questions he advised that the meeting with Marks & Spencers had been to discuss the lack of parking in the town centre, and as the Council no longer had the ability to own or rent any housing stock the only way to look at any future schemes would be through the Council’s trading company Quercus 7.

 

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