Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 01732 227165  Email: democratic.services@sevenoaks.gov.uk

Note: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClT1f_F5OfvTzxjZk6Zqn6g 

Media

Items
No. Item

25.

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 19 July 2022 pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Minutes:

Resolved: That the Minutes of the meeting of Council held on 19 July 2022 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

26.

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 on interest, were received.

27.

Chairman's Announcements.

Minutes:

The Chairman announced that it seemed a long time since the last Full Council Meeting in July. Summer had been and gone and winter was approaching. The Family Fun Days were a great success and were attended by a large number of families and were very lucky to have mainly good weather. Autumn brought with it the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11, who was a great servant of the people and a shining example of public service. Many local people signed the book of condolence and attended the proclamation of the new King.We now have to  move forward with the new King, Charles 111.

 

She was delighted to have attended the launch of the Sevenoaks Place Brand campaign, ‘Sevenoaks So Much More’, and reminded Members of the “So Much More” website and the video that highlighted the unique district. She encouraged Members to support the new portal and to also subscribe to it.

 

Once again, the Council was looking for unsung heroes for the Community and Voluntary Awards. There were 11 nomination categories and as ever, we wanted to hear about the outstanding residents and organisations that go the extra mile to help others. The deadline for applications was 4pm Friday 31 December 2022. The winners would be announced at a ceremony at St. Nicholas’ Church in Sevenoaks on Wednesday 15 March 2023.

 

Moving on to Net Zero ambitions, the Council had a new, environmentally-friendly tool to help tackle the unsightly chewing gum that had become stuck to the pavement. It was notoriously difficult and time consuming to remove, however the electronic rechargeable chewing gum removal unit allows gum and stickers to be removed from any surface in seconds. It eliminated the need for high pressure hoses and chemicals. The machine was paid for by a grant funded by chewing gum manufacturers.

 

In turning back to thoughts of winter and with many households struggling with the cost of living, individuals and families are facing tough decisions about whether and when they can heat their homes. To help residents during this challenging time, the Council had developed a warm spaces directory. Warm spaces were existing community or business places that provide a safe and friendly public space where people of all ages can go and spend time reading, studying, chatting with others, and meeting new people. Some venues also offered support services and advice. The directory was available on the Council’s website, and it also had a sign up form for local organisations and businesses who want to offer a Warm Space.

 

Change In Agenda Item Order

The Chairman moved agenda item 6(b) to take place following agenda item 12.

 

28.

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.

29.

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 had been received.

30.

Matters considered by the Cabinet and/or Scrutiny Committee: pdf icon PDF 27 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)    Local Plan Regulation 18 – Consultation

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Thornton seconded, the recommendation from Cabinet. The report sought approval for Officers to formally withdraw the December 2018 Regulation 19 Proposed Submission version of the Local Plan, which was submitted to the Secretary of State in April 2019, before the Regulation 18 Consultation Draft is issued for consultation.

 

Resolved: that Officers formally withdraw the December 2018 Regulation 19 Proposed Submission version of the Local Plan. Which was submitted to the Secretary of State in April 2019, before the Regulation 18 Consultation Draft be issued for consultation.

 

 

31.

Matters considered by other standing committees: pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)    Parliamentary Boundary Review

 

Councillor Eyre moved and Councillor Nelson seconded the recommendation from the Governance Committee which recommended that the revised proposals from the Boundary Commission for England for Parliamentary boundaries for the Sevenoaks District be noted; and that the Council submit a final consultation response to the Boundary Commission for England based on views collated from Members and agreed with the Chairman of the Governance Committee.

 

Resolved: That the

 

a)    revised published proposals from the Boundary Commission for England for Parliamentary boundaries for the Sevenoaks District Council, be noted; and

 

b)   Council submit a final consultation response to the Boundary Commission for England based on views collated from Members and agreed with the Chairman of the Governance Committee, be approved.   

 

b)   Development Control Committee Procedures

 

Councillor Eyre moved and Councillor Nelson seconded the recommendation from the Governance Committee which recommended that the amendments to part 7 of the Constitution, as set out in Appendix A to the report, take effect from 2023/24 municipal year.

 

Councillor Eyre spoke to the motion, advising that the working group included the Chairman of Development Control Committee supported by Officers who had assisted in going through the constitution line by line with the working group. Discussions took place on each line and changes were made where it was believed to be necessary.

 

It was moved by a Member and duly seconded that the motion be amended to include the wording “with the sole proviso that the two instances of the words ‘three minutes’ in paragraph 3.33 set out in Appendix A be amended to read ‘four minutes’”.

 

Debate took place on the amendment with some Members expressing that the current three minutes did not provide enough time for the speakers to get their point across and the extended time would allow this. Other Members expressed that even being provided with four minutes to speak, speakers would always overrun. Other Members drew attention to other ways in which the public can get their views to the Members of the Committee.

 

A vote took place on the amendment and it was lost.

 

The Chairman put the original motion to the vote.

 

Resolved: That the amendments to part 7 of the Constitution, as set out in Appendix A to the report, take effect from 2023/24 municipal year.

 

c)    The Council’s Policy Framework

 

The report set out that the Council’s Policy Framework which set out the policies and strategies which were required to be adopted by Full Council and at this time there were no changes to be agreed.

 

It was moved by Cllr Eyre and seconded by Councillor Nelson that the report be noted.

 

Resolved: That the report be noted.

 

32.

To consider the following reports from the Chief Executive or other Chief Officers on matters requiring the attention of Council: pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)    Christmas Parking 2022

 

It was moved by Councillor Fleming and seconded by Councillor McArthur that the cost in terms of loss of income for free parking on a selected date in 2022 for off-street parking be met from the supplementary estimates.

 

Resolved: That the cost in terms of loss of income for free parking be met from the supplementary estimates.

 

b)   Appointments to Other Organisations 2022/23 – Non Executive

 

Councillor Fleming moved and Councillor Dickins seconded the report which recommended that Cllr Pender be appointed as the Council’s representative on the Outside Organisation – The Council for the Voluntary Service North West Kent (CVSNWK) for the municipal year 2022/23.

 

Resolved: That Cllr Pender be appointed as the Council’s representative on the Outside Organisation – The Council for the Voluntary Service North West Kent (CVSNWK) for the municipal year 2022/23.

 

c)    Draft Calendar of Meetings 2023/24

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Dickins seconded the report which sought approval for the draft calendar of meetings 2023/24.

 

Resolved: That the draft calendar of meetings for 2023/24 be approved subject to formal adoption at the Annual Meeting on Council on 23 May 2023.

 

d)   Members’ Allowances Scheme – Annual Updating 2022/23

 

It was moved by Councillor Fleming and seconded by Councillor Dickins that the recommendation within the report which set out that Members’ allowances for 2022/23, be updated by 5.76%. An increase would not apply to travelling expenses but was in line with the provision for Officer pay set out in the National Joint Council for Local Government Services pay award.

 

Cllr Fleming spoke to the motion stating that Members decided to link the increase to officer pay previously and normally the increase would have been at a percentage figure. However, as this year the agreement was a set figure which did not fit the Council’s constitution or many other Constitutions up and down the country. As a result an average percentage increase was what most other councils were also doing. The change was one made annually and he hoped that next year it would be in line with the constitution.

 

Some Members spoke to the motion expressing their concerns with the increase when there were residents who were facing financial pressures. Other Members expressed that the proposal was consistent with the principles as set out within the constitution.  As officers had been given a fixed lump sum rather than a percentage increase, the principle was not being amended.

 

In summing up Councillor Fleming responded to comments made reiterating that the Constitution had been changed to avoid Members having to decide on their allowances, and it was a taxable income. He reminded Members that they had the choice to decide if they wanted to receive an allowance and the increase.

 

Resolved: That Members’ allowances for 2022/23, except for travelling expenses, be updated by 5.76% in line with the provision for Officer pay set out in the National Joint Council for Local Government Services pay award.

 

33.

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. pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Minutes:

Two questions had been received from two Members in accordance with paragraph 19.3 of Part 2 The Council and District Council Members) of the Constitution.

 

Question 1: Cllr Dr Canet

“There is an increasing number of older people living in our district, as shown by the recent census, most of us will want to keep a measure of our independence especially as Kent County Council is under a lot of pressure to meet Adult Social Care needs. What is Sevenoaks District Council doing to enable suitable housing to be built in the district to meet the needs of private owners? Many of us would like to be able and must in future help each other. Developments similar to Rockdale could be a solution.”

Response: Leader of the Council

 

“If by Older people Cllr Dr Canet is talking about the over 65’s then between 2015 and 2020 the district saw a less than 1% increase in the number of older people, however as with all age groups we continue to see an increasing need for housing of all types and tenures

As with the Housing Strategy 2022-2027, the Targeted Review of Local Housing Needs (2022) and Older Persons Housing Study (2022) form the key evidence that informs the housing policies in the emerging Local Plan.

These studies identify a requirement for around 1,000 new units of specialist older persons accommodation over the plan period to 2040.  The Older Person’s Housing Study (2022) shows that while 67% of older people want to stay living in their existing home with help and support when needed, there are also significant numbers (24%) who would like to move to a more suitable home – in a suitable location with access to transport, broadband, shops, healthcare and other amenities – if one were available.

It is widely recognised that there is huge diversity in what older people are looking for and that many could afford to buy on the open market. However, it is evident that there is a gap in supply.

A new Local Plan policy that specifically considers housing for older people will address the gap. It will ensure that a sufficient supply and range of housing and accommodation suitable for older people (both market and affordable) is delivered over the Local Plan period 2022-2040 in order to meet the specific needs of this group and to assist in the creation of mixed, balanced and inclusive communities. The new policy sets out a number of criteria that applicants will be expected to meet including making sure that the proposed development is in a well-connected and sustainable location, that it incorporates high quality design principles in order to offer attractive alternatives to the current home, that it meets the required accessibility standards and has access to private or communal outdoor space.

The emerging Local Plan (entitled Plan 2040: A new Local Plan for Sevenoaks District) will undergo public consultation starting Wednesday 16th November and running to Wednesday 11th January 2023. We would love as many  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

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.

35.

To receive the report of the Leader of the Council on the work of the Cabinet since the last Council meeting. pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported on the work that he and the Cabinet had undertaken in the period of 4 July to 28 October 2022. The Leader took the opportunity to highlight the work ongoing with the LCWIP in what he hoped was the first he hoped of many and hopefully there would be funding for the North of the District and the work would be published soon. This was as well as looking at the possibility of an electric bike scheme within the work of the LCWIP which would be two positive moves within the Council’s Net Zero 2030 ambitions.

 

In response to a question based on the electric bikes scheme the Leader advised that the scheme was not about providing bikes to individuals through long term lease or another similar method and so was not the scheme consulted on, but it did not write it off from being a future consideration.

36.

To receive reports from the Chairmen of the Audit and Scrutiny Committees on the work of the Committees since the last Council meeting. pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the work presented by the Chairman of the Audit Committee, Cllr McGarvey. He highlighted the work of the Audit Committee emphasising that the work undertaken on Members’ allowances would now show the amount claimed by each Member. He was hopeful the working group on the Statement of Accounts would be meeting soon.

37.

Matters considered by the Cabinet and/or Scrutiny Committee (Continued)

Minutes:

b) SDC Food Safety Plan 2022

 

With the Chairman’s permission the Leader informed Members that it was highly unusual for a whole report and appendix to be exempt and it was not possible on this occasion to have information publically available and it would always be Officers and Members preference to have as much as possible in the public domain but on this occasion it had not been possible.

 

Resolved: That under section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting when considering minute 34 b (agenda item 6b), on the grounds that likely disclosure of exempt information was involved as defined by schedule 12A, paragraph 3 (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)).

 

It was moved by the Councillor Fleming and seconded by Councillor McArthur that the contents of the report be noted; and the SDC Food Safety Plan 2022, be adopted.

 

The Leader spoke to the motion advising that this was a good news story and highlighted the successes of the Environmental Health Team since returning as an in-house service.

 

Members discussed the exempted information.

 

Resolved: That the

 

a)     contents of the report, be noted; and

 

b)     Food Safety Plan 2022, be adopted.

 

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