Agenda and minutes

Economic & Community Development Advisory Committee
Tuesday, 11th October, 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

13.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 31 KB

To agree the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 13 June 2016, as a correct record

Minutes:

Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 June 2016, be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

14.

Declarations of Interest

Any interests not already registered

Minutes:

No additional declarations of interest were made.

15.

Actions from Previous Meeting

Minutes:

There were none.

16.

Update from Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder and Chairman, reported that leaving the European Union could affect external funding. Some funding was still guaranteed for the next two years but it was unknown how the LEADER programme would be affected. Procurement arrangements could also change.

 

A business breakfast was held for the Swanley and Hextable Master Plan consultation which was well attended. The Portfolio Holder would be attending the Economic forum in Edenbridge to discuss their vision for their town. Members were advised that the government had revalued all businesses but the effect on business rates to be paid was not yet known. A government consultation on the future business rates process was currently taking place.

 

Members were informed that Social Saturday would be taking place on 15 October 2016 and Small Business Saturday would be taking place on 3 December 2016. 

 

 

17.

Referrals from Cabinet or the Audit Committee

Minutes:

There were none.

18.

Economic Development Strategy Update Report pdf icon PDF 32 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report which provided an update on the progress of the delivery of the Economic Development Strategy and its associated action plan. The Economic Development Officer highlighted that the strategy was half way through its term and it was an evolving document however 84% of targets were green and were on target to be achieved or already achieved; 9% were amber, target in some danger or in progress and 7% were red with the target unlikely to be achieved, mostly due to external influences.

 

Members discussed the targets and noted the high number of green actions. The Chairman advised Members that the Chairman of the Council had held four events in the District which was promoting some tourist locations to the wider community in West Kent. The events had been well attended and the Chairman thanked Officers for their support. 

 

Public Sector Equality Duty

 

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

 

19.

Budget 2017/18: Service Dashboards and Service Change Impact Assessments (SCIAS) pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chief Finance Officer presented the report which set out updates to the 2017/18 budget within the existing framework of the 10-year budget and savings plan.  The report also presented proposals that had been identified which needed to be considered, together with further suggestions made by the Advisory Committees, before finalising the budget for 2017/18.

 

The major message of the report was that the Council was able to remain financially self-sufficient.

 

The budget agreed by Council in February included £100,000 of new savings or additional income per annum and the Advisory Committees were being asked to make suggestions to Cabinet that would achieve the £100,000 required for next year. Two Member Budget Training sessions had recently taken place with the intention of increasing, or refreshing, Members knowledge of the budget process and to enhance the discussions that would take place at this round of Advisory Committees.

 

The Chief Finance Officer reminded Members that over £6m had already been agreed to be saved between 2011/12 and 2017/18 made up of over 130 items and over £10m had been saved since 2005/06.

 

Members reviewed and discussed Appendix D which contained the growth proposal put forward by the Portfolio Holder and Chief Officers, and the Service Change Impact Assessments (SCIAs) in Appendix E. 

 

Members also considered and gave their individual ideas for growth and savings items.  The Chief Finance Officer summarised the suggestions put forward and Members considered whether there was anything they wanted taken forward as potential growth or savings suggestions. A number of growth and savings items were suggested and discussed:

 

Growth:

Community awards and projects arising from them,

Development of Local Government apprenticeships for SDC and re sale to other councils,

Skills and training signposting for businesses, and

Offer more paid for training sessions for businesses.

 

Savings:

Invest in more electric bikes and cars,

Improved use of technology for external information provision,

Administration expenses,

Greater engagement with local businesses on projects,

Car parking in Sevenoaks town,

Advisory/consulting offering to other councils,

Encourage more volunteering and outreach with community projects,

West Kent Partnership LEADER,

Measure Officer man-hours,

Build a second hotel for a different market.

 

Action 1: For Chief Officer Communities and Business to circulate information on the West Kent Partnership including targets and their aims

 

Public Sector Equality Duty

 

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty and that individual equality impact assessments had been completed for all Service Change Impact Assessments (SCIAs) to ensure the decision making process was fair and transparent.

 

Resolved:  That it be recommended to Cabinet that

 

a)     the growth proposal identified in Appendix D applicable to the Advisory Committee (SCIA 15) be agreed;

b)     the following suggestions be discussed further by the Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Chief Finance Officer, before putting suggestions forward to Cabinet

Growth

Community awards and projects arising from them,

Development of Local Government apprenticeships for SDC and re sale to other councils,

Skills and training signposting for businesses, and

Offer more  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 14 KB

Minutes:

The work plan was noted with the following amendments:

·         7 March 2017 - Swanley Economic Development Strategy

·         13 December 2016 - The new Chief Executive of Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services (DAVSS) and West Kent Partnership would be invited

 

·         Summer 2017 – Visit Kent

 

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