Agenda and minutes

Legal & Democratic Services Advisory Committee
Thursday, 2nd July, 2015 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Democratic Services - 01732 227247 

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chairman

Minutes:

Resolved: That Cllr. Firth be appointed as Chairman of the Committee for the ensuing municipal year.

 

 (Cllr. Firth in the Chair)

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

Minutes:

Resolved: That Cllr. Pett be appointed as Vice Chairman of the Committee for the ensuing municipal year.

3.

Declarations of Interest

Any interests not already registered

Minutes:

No additional declarations of interest were made.

 

4.

Update from Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Chairman, and Portfolio Holder gave an update in relation to her new Portfolio since May and set out her aspirations for the Committee. 

5.

Scope of Officer Responsibilities pdf icon PDF 440 KB

Presentation

Minutes:

Members considered a report which provided details of the role of the Committee, it’s areas of responsibility and key issues and the challenges facing those areas.  Members received a short presentation by the Chief Officer Legal and Governance and Head of Transformation and Strategy on the relevant service areas.

6.

KCC Boundary Review - Response to Consultation pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Electoral Services Manager presented a report which advised that on 12 May the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) had issued a consultation document on its draft proposals for new county council division boundaries for Kent County Council (KCC). The review was being conducted as KCC currently had high levels of electoral inequality where some councillors represented many more or many fewer voters than others.

 

The consultation period was due to end on 6 July (an eight-week period) which would not have allowed time for a formal response from this Council without special meetings of Governance Committee and Full Council being called. The Chief Executive had written to the LGBCE who had agreed to an extension to 22 July (the day after full Council on 21 July 2015) on the basis that a draft of what would be considered by Council on that date could be sent to them by 6 July, and notified on 22 July of any changes made at Council which could be achieved by the Portfolio Holder passing any comments agreed by the Committee.

 

Three alternative boundary options, which had been discussed prior to the meeting with the Portfolio Holder, were tabled along with the corresponding electorate numbers for each of the different proposals.  Members considered and discussed these new alternative options along with alternative division name changes in detail.

 

One of the main concerns was keeping community identities for which alternative option three achieved this the best.  It was generally felt that Sevenoaks Town should remain as one County Council division with Westerham remaining within Sevenoaks West division.   Whilst creating a large geographic South division the configuration avoided the difficulty of one County Council member having to service two town councils, namely, Edenbridge and Westerham.   With regards to the name changes, the guiding principle was to retain Sevenoaks as a generic name for all divisions bar Swanley and to distinguish between the divisions close to the Town and those which were purely rural.  Sevenoaks West remained the same as it abutted the Town and being located all along the A25 up to and including Westerham town was not strictly rural.

 

It was noted that the report would be considered by the Governance Committee on 13 July and advised of the outcome of this Committee’s considerations, and Full Council on 21 July 2015.  The Chief Officer Legal and Governance would also be contacting all Members of the Council prior to the meeting of Full Council for any further comments, and Members of the Committee could also feed any further comments to her after the meeting.

Public Sector Equality Duty

 

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

 

Resolved: That the Portfolio Holder for Legal and Democratic Services be advised that for the purposes of submitting the interim draft response to the consultation,  the Advisory Committee’s preferred option was the alternative option 3 tabled at the meeting (and attached as an appendix to these minutes), along  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Equalities Annual Report pdf icon PDF 30 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Transformation and Strategy presented a report which highlighted Sevenoaks District Council’s progress against the West Kent Equality Partnership’s Aims and Commitments 2012 to 2016 which set out the Council’s commitments as a community leader, service provider and employer. 

 

Public Sector Equality Duty

 

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

 

Resolved: That

 

a)    the progress made against the Council’s equality aims and commitments be noted; and

 

b)    a working group be set up to include Cllrs. Pett, Halford, and Pearsall to consider the Equalities aims and commitments for 2015/16.

 

8.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 16 KB

Minutes:

The work plan was noted with the following additions agreed:

 

8 October

  • Shared Services
  • Crime and Disorder Act

 

26 January 2015

  • Trading Company
  • Update from Equalities Working Group

 

14 April 2016

  • Licensing

 

 

 

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