Agenda and minutes

Economic & Community Development Advisory Committee
Tuesday, 21st October, 2014 7.00 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks

Contact: Democratic Services 01732 227199  Email: democratic.services@sevenoaks.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

14.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 42 KB

To agree the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 8 July 2014, as a correct record

Minutes:

Resolved: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2014, be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

15.

Declarations of Interest

Any interests not already registered

Minutes:

No additional declarations of interest were made.

16.

Actions from Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 15 KB

Minutes:

The actions were noted.

17.

Update from Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

 The Chairman and Portfolio Holder for Economic and Community Development advised that the planning application for the decking of Buckhurst 2 car park had been suspended.  He advised that the Parking Technology working group had met but that the Membership needed to be reviewed. The timing of the meeting was discussed and it was agreed that they should meet between 5pm and 6pm. Cllrs. Ball, Mrs. Bosley, Hogarth and Miss Stack volunteered to be on the working group. Cllr. Butler stepped down.

 

Members were advised that ‘Welcome to the District Leaflets’ had been produced and were encouraged to take a copy.  The Chairman advised that he had visited Orchard Academy and was impressed with the progress that was being made.  Members agreed that the work being undertaken was excellent.  It was brought to Members attention that the Tea Box centre was currently being under used and that it was hoped that it would be used in the future to meet the needs of the school and the community for training.  A Councillor advised that she had received positive feedback to the HERO scheme which the Council provided as the awareness of working and education was improving.

 

Resolved:  That

 

a)    the Technology Working Group Membership be amended to include Cllrs. Ball and Miss Stack and;

 

b)    Cllr. Butler be removed from the Working Group Membership.

18.

Referrals from Cabinet or the Audit Committee

Minutes:

There were none.

CHANGE IN ORDER OF AGENDA ITEMS

With the Committee’s agreement the Chairman put back consideration of agenda item 6.

19.

Budget: Service Reviews and Service Change Impact Assessments (SCIAS) pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer presented a report which detailed the update to the 2015/16 budget within the existing framework of the 10 year budget and savings plan.  A replacement page 17 was tabled which included current and future pressures.  There were no proposed growth or savings items included in the report for this committee.

 

In response to questions the Chief Finance Officer advised that works to the all weather pitch in Edenbridge came under the Asset Management plan which was reported to the Finance and Resources Advisory Committee annually.  Members were advised that the income from Council Tax court costs were to recover the costs of taking people to court.  The Head of Parking and Surveying Services advised that Development Control fees were set by central government but the building control fees were different and were set within the legal framework on a cost recovery basis. Savings in Building Control had been made by the new partnership between Sevenoaks District and Tonbridge and Malling Borough Councils.

 

Public Sector Equality Duty

 

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.

 

Resolved:  That it be recommended to Cabinet that there were no further suggestions for growth and savings proposals for the services within the terms of reference of this Advisory Committee.

 

20.

The Annual Review of Parking Charges for 2015/16 and Christmas Parking 2014 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Parking Manager presented the annual review of parking charges which proposed car park and on-street parking charge options for 2015/16 and included consideration of free Christmas parking for 2014. Members were advised that the options for Westerham had been tabled and the Westerham Town Partnership were thanked for meeting a tight deadline.

 

The Committee was advised that the income being received this year was an improvement on the previous year and that in terms of actual income the increases approved for 2014/15 were being achieved. 

 

A Member thanked Officers for the work that had been carried out with Westerham Town Partnership.  There were concerns that increasing some of the parking fees would be high in percentage terms.  Members were advised that the current parking scheme in Westerham had only been in place for 6 months.

 

Members discussed the evening charge and the potential effects of extending the day-time charges into the evening period.  Whether charges for Sunday parking should be introduced was also discussed.  In response to questions the Committee was advised that maximum parking times did not apply on Sundays and Bank Holidays and enforcement requirements would need to be considered if parking controls were to be proposed.  A Member expressed the need for free residents parking.  Members were advised that parking permit fees were not reviewed annually and did not feature in this review.

 

Members discussed the charging options for the car park charges and expressed concerns at the proposed increases in Sevenoaks Town Centre in respect to the Blighs car park for 30 minutes and 1 hour believing that these tariffs should remain unchanged. Members were advised that Option 3 did not contain any proposals to amend these charges. In respect to Option 3 Members suggested that the 3 hour charge should be increased to £5.00 to encourage the turnover of spaces.  A Member raised concerns about the parking situation in the area of St Johns Hill and in view of this was not in favour of increasing the parking charges in the St. John’s Hill car parks.  Members discussed that a working group should be set up to review parking in the area of St. John’s in more detail.

 

Members discussed the proposals for on street parking and whether a mixture of options 2 and 3 should be proposed.  Some Members believed that as there was a surplus then the fees should not be increased.  It was suggested that an “Option 4” be proposed increasing the 30 minutes charge by 10p, the 2 hour charge by 20p and 4 hour charge by 10p.

 

In respect to the parking charges in Westerham, a Member proposed that no change be made to either the car park or on-street charges.

 

In respect to the free Christmas parking it was suggested that the preferred dates of the consultees be agreed.

 

A Councillor expressed concern that there was a lack of enforcement in some areas of the District which could affect residents and businesses.  The Parking Manager advised that if  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Business Continuity Strategy and System and Plan pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Parking and Surveying Services gave a presentation on the revised Business Continuity Plan which incorporated recommendations from a recent audit that included five key recommendations.  The plan provided a framework for the Council to continue to deliver services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident.

 

Members were advised that Business Impact Assessments for each service function of the Council had been undertaken on the criticality of each function. These were classed into one of four categories ranging from functions that had to be operated within 24 hours, 1 to 3 days, 3 to 7 days and those which could be left for over 7 days.  The criticality of each function depended on statutory responsibility, legal agreements, financial implications and reputational damage. There were 24 critical functions that had to be operated within 24 hours.

 

In response to questions Members were advised that ‘denial’ was a term used for something that the council did not have and were given the example of the telephony systems being down.  Members were also advised that if there was a pandemic flu outbreak, resources would be moved around the Council to maintain the critical services which could include staff working across different teams.

 

Public Sector Equality Duty

 

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.

 

 

Resolved: That it be recommended to Cabinet that the revised Business Continuity Plan and Strategy be approved. 

 

22.

To note minutes of the Health Liaison Board pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Minutes of the meeting held on 1 October 2014.

Minutes:

Cllr. Mrs. Cook, the Chairman of the Health Liaison Board, informed Members of the high number of health meetings which Councillors attended.  Members were advised of the key points from the previous meeting in particular the visit to Swanley Food Bank.

 

The Chief Officer Communities and Business advised that part of the Swanley White Oak Leisure Centre was already in use as additional storage. Swanley Town Council and Kent County Council had been approached but it had not been possible to find a larger premises for the food bank. 

 

Resolved:  That the minutes be noted. 

 

23.

Economic Development Strategy - Final Draft pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Officer Communities and Business presented the revised final draft of the three year Economic Development Strategy and three year Action Plan (2015-2018), following the public consultation period.  Members were advised that the current document would be redesigned for the final version.  The action plan had focused targets and measures to achieve the targets set.  The Committee was advised that Appendix B was the summary of public comments with the Council’s response which, on occasions, resulted in a change being made to the document.  A response from Sevenoaks Town Council, Riverhead Parish Council and National Farmers Union was tabled.

 

It was discussed whether further investigation could be taken forward with the inclusion of Bat and Ball and Enysford  train stations in the Zone 6 proposals relating to Swanley. Concerns were raised that it could have an impact on the Darent Valley Villages including additional parking problems and that it could seem as if the villages were part of a London Borough.  Members discussed whether there would be any additional benefits of the inclusion but agreed that Swanley should be part of it as there was already some Zone 6 benefits in place.  Members were advised that at Swanley and Dartford stations there was a change to contactless payments but it was unknown if this would include the Oyster card and Zone 6.

 

Members’ attention was brought to the comments made regarding attracting retailers to the area and were advised that the Council could not control retailers that came into the area.  A Member expressed concern that that there should be greater support for planning and that businesses could find it hard to set up in rural areas due to listed buildings and conservation sites which prevented businesses starting up.

 

A Member queried why Broadband was not listed on aim 3.6.  Members were advised that ‘21 Century Connectivity’ included Broadband but the wording could be amended to read ‘Broadband and other 21 Century connectivity’. Members agreed it had been a good consultation process and that issues had been identified. It was queried what resources could be put into obtaining funding. In response, the Chief Officer Communities and Business informed Members that there would be a change in structure and that a Head of Service was being recruited for a merge of the Economic Development and Property teams to ensure that funding was secured and to encourage future investment.

 

The Chairman thanked the Officers for their diligence and quality of work for the document.

 

Public Sector Equality Duty

 

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.

 

Resolved: That it be recommended to Cabinet that subject to the comments and views made above the final draft of the Economic and Development Strategy and Action Plan be approved.  

 

24.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 15 KB

Minutes:

The Chief Officer Communities and Business advised that the inward investment – the case for West Kent was looking at how to encourage business to invest in West Kent.

 

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