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 

Items
No. Item

14.

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 10 May 2022 pdf icon PDF 194 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:  That the Minutes of the meeting of Annual Council held on 10 May 2022 be approved and signed by the Chairman 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 it was now two months since her election as Chairman and after a quiet start, things were getting busier. She began by congratulating Sevenoaks Town on recently being named the ‘Best Place to Live in the South East’ by The Sunday Times. It was a great honour and one well deserved by the community highlighting the importance of continuing to improve and support everyone in Sevenoaks, much like the goal of the new place brand campaign, ‘Sevenoaks So Much More’, the launch of which she was delighted to attend recently.

On this theme, she further announced that Hollybush Playground in Sevenoaks was getting an exciting £85,000 refurbishment which included installing new play equipment such as a tree top canopy tube slide. The work was being paid for by a grant from Kent County Council’s Community Parks Funding, and a further £15,000 is going to West Kingsdown Parish Council to part fund their playground improvements.

The Chairman was also delighted to announce that Sevenoaks District Council had secured £1.2 million for a new east to west cycle and walking route in Sevenoaks. This initiative would help towards the ‘Movement Strategy’ to encourage healthier, safer and more sustainable travel, and would also help the Air Quality Action Plan as the route improved connections to local schools, helping to reduce the environmental impacts of the school run.

For the first time since the pandemic, back in May returned the ‘Run, Walk, or Push Against Dementia’ at Knole Park. There were over 300 participants and it raised thousands of pounds for local dementia services. It was such an important cause and the Chairman was enormously proud of the community in all they had achieved to help those living with memory issues.

‘The Big Community Sing’ in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, took place in June, where singing groups of all ages took part in the musical extravaganza at the Stag. The night was a huge success and raised lots of money for local mental health services.

The Chairman announced that looking to the summer holidays, the council was once again organising 4 weeks’ worth of free Family Fun Days. They included every activity imaginable, details of which could be found on the council’s website, and no booking was necessary in order to take part. As well as this there were five, free eco-trails being set up across the District so families could enjoy local wildlife and possibly win a fabulous eco-hamper. The trails would be set up between 22 July to 4 September 2022 by Sevenoaks District Council and The North West Kent Countryside Partnership and would explore some beautiful nature spots.

Finally, next Friday the ‘Three and Four’ was set to be unveiled in Blighs, a new stunning bronze and steel sculpture created by Oliver Barratt, an international artist who lives near Sevenoaks. The project had been paid for by property developers from a fund specifically for public art, and celebrates the history of Blighs, Sevenoaks and the wider  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

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 had been received.

 

19.

Matters considered by the Cabinet and/or Scrutiny Committee: pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)            Housing Strategy 2022-27

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Dickins seconded, the recommendation from Cabinet. The report sought approval for the Housing Strategy 2022- 27 be adopted and that the public consultation, be noted.

 

Resolved: That the

 

a)    feedback received from the public consultation, be noted; and

 

b)   Housing Strategy 2022- 27, be adopted.

 

b)      Sevenoaks District Housing Register Allocations Scheme

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Dickins seconded, the recommendation from Cabinet, which sought the noting of the feedback received from the public consultation and the Housing Register Allocation Scheme, be adopted following revised wording as set out in the agenda.

 

Resolved: That the

 

a)    feedback received from the public consultation, be noted; and

 

b)   Housing Register Allocations Scheme 2022-2027, be adopted with the revised proposed wording as set out on page 95 of the agenda papers.

 

c)           Quercus Housing – Increasing the delivery of affordable housing in the Sevenoaks District

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor Maskell seconded the recommendation from Cabinet, with an amendment to (b) that the Portfolio Holder for Finance also be consulted. The report sought for approval of a financial facility of up to £15million which was to be drawn down by Quercus Housing over a 10-year period from prudential borrowing obtained by the Council. It would be used for the purpose of delivering affordable housing. It also sought delegation for the terms of any borrowing to be determined at the point of draw down.

 

Resolved: That

 

a)     a financial facility of up to £15million to be drawn down by Quercus Housing over a 10-year period from prudential borrowing obtained by the Council and to be used for the purposed of delivering affordable housing, be approved; and

 

b)     the Deputy s.151 Officer in consultation with the Chief Executive and Portfolio Holder for Finance & Investment, be delegated authority to agree the terms of any borrowing to be determined at the point of draw down.

 

d)           Contaminated Land Strategy 2022-27

 

Councillor Fleming proposed and Councillor McArthur seconded the recommendation from Cabinet for the adoption of the Contaminated Land Strategy 2022-27.

 

Resolved: That the Contaminated Land Strategy 2022-27, be adopted.

 

20.

To consider the following reports from the Chief Executive or other Chief Officers on matters requiring the attention of Council: pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)       Returning Officer's report following by-election

 

The report provided Members with the result of the by-election.  Councillor Fleming welcomed Cllr Streatfeild to the Council following the by-election held in June, and the Chairman echoed his welcome

 

It was moved by Councillor Fleming and seconded by Councillor Dickins that the report be noted.

 

Resolved: That the report be noted.

 

b)       To agree the allocation of seats to political groups in accordance with the political balance rules

 

Councillor Fleming moved and Councillor Dickins seconded the recommendation which noted the political balance of the Council, detailed the political groupings and proposed agreement for the allocation of seats as set out in the appendix.

 

Resolved: That

 

a)   the political balance of the Council was 45 Conservative, 4 Liberal Democrat, 2 Hextable Independent; 1 Labour; 1 Independent and 1 no party description, be noted;

 

b)   the following political groupings: 45 Conservative Group, 4 Liberal Democrats Group; 3 Sevenoaks Independent Group, leaving 2 ungrouped, be noted; and

 

c)    the allocation of seats as set out in the appendix to the report, be agreed.

 

 

c)           Changes to appointment of Memberships of Committees 2022/23

 

Councillor Fleming moved and Councillor Dickins seconded the recommendation which requested the approval of the revised Membership of Committees for 2022/23.

 

Resolved: That the changes to the appointments of memberships of Committees for 2022/23, be agreed.

 

d)          Changes to appointments to other organisations 2022/23 (Non-Executive)

 

Councillor Fleming moved and Councillor Dickins seconded the recommendation which changed the appointments to other outside organisations for the remainder of the municipal year 2022/23.

 

Resolved: That the changes to appointments to other outside organisations for the remained of the municipal year 2022/23 as set out in the supplementary agenda, be approved.

 

e)           To confirm the Council’s Policy Framework (as set out in Appendix F of the Constitution)

 

Debate took place on the recommendation before Members and it was moved by Councillor Fleming and seconded by Councillor Dickins that the report be deferred for consideration by Governance Committee.

 

Resolved: That the report be deferred to be considered by Governance Committee before coming to the November meeting of Council.

 

21.

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 46 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 Streatfeild

 

“Significant proportion of people would like to be able to live in the town or village they grew up in. That is true of Penshurst Fordcombe and Chiddingstone and across the district – how is the housing strategy, which identifies a District wide requirement of 423 per year, going to ensure we have sufficient affordable houses, which must be built at a rate of 12 per parish per year across the District, if that is to be achieved? In answering the question could the cabinet member also touch on how the council plans to make these homes truly affordable rather than just let at 80% of market rate?”

 

Response: Leader of the Council

 

“The draft Housing Strategy 2022-2027 and emerging Local Plan recognise the importance of sustaining communities through the provision of new affordable housing.

 

The District Council has committed to a 5 year rolling programme of housing needs surveys across all 31 town/parish council areas.  We are now 2 years into this programme. The needs surveys provide evidence to assist communities wishing to take forward local needs housing schemes, e.g. rural exceptions sites.

 

Local needs housing schemes means applicants on the Sevenoaks District Housing Register with a proven local connection to the parish, will have priority in perpetuity.

 

We are working closely with a number of Parish Councils and our specialist rural provider, English Rural HA, to deliver new local needs homes.  Two such homes were delivered in 2020/21 (Weald Parish – WKHA) and two in 2021/22 (joint scheme with Halstead and Knockholt Parishes). Six homes are due for delivery this September (Seal Parish). A further nine homes have been permitted and are due for delivery in 2023 (Seal Parish – WKHA).  Two planning applications have been submitted for local needs schemes in Chiddingstone and Halstead Parishes. A further application is anticipated in the Autumn for West Kingsdown Parish. Work is ongoing with other Parishes, including Leigh and Penshurst

 

All of the above mentioned sites will provide new, genuinely affordable homes. This means homes for rent, where the rent is capped at Local Housing Allowance levels or lower. Our partner providers work hard to ensure housing running costs are minimized where possible, with keen attention paid to energy efficiency.

 

Delivering new local needs housing is not easy - all parties recognise it takes time, commitment, tenacity and a willing landowner, to bring matters to fruition. A timeline for the proposed WKHA scheme at Forge Field, Penshurst, demonstrates this:

 

In January 2009, Penshurst parish needs survey identifies there is a need for 11 new affordable homes and recommends a scheme of approximately 5 affordable rented homes to meet this need. In February 2011, Forge Field is identified as the preferred site by the Parish Council. In October 2011 a planning application is submitted (11/02258/FUL) for 6 affordable units  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

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.

23.

To receive the report of the Leader of the Council on the work of the Cabinet since the last Council meeting. pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported on the work that he had the Cabinet had undertaken in the period of 4 April to 1 July 2022. The Leader took the opportunity to highlight the ‘Big Sing’ and the LGA Conference in Harrogate which had been very beneficial.

24.

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 136 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the report presented by the Chairman of the Audit Committee, Cllr McGarvey. He highlighted how there were two newly appointed non-voting Co-opted Members successfully appointed.

 

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