Agenda and minutes

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

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No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To agree the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 3 October 2017, as a correct record.


Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 3 October 2017, be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.




Declarations of Interest

Any interests not already registered


No additional declarations of interest were made.



Actions from Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 38 KB


The actions were noted.



With the agreement of the Committee, the Chairman took agenda items 7 and 6 first.


The Visitor Economy Study pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed Roni Lovegrove to the meeting.  She gave a presentation outlining the current and future demands and pressures for the Visitor Economy in the District which she had undertaken on a voluntary basis.  Members had the opportunity to ask questions.

Members particular discussed potential solutions to the ‘last mile’, by example, the distance between a train station and a tourist attraction for insdtance, and how this could be bridged by innovative ideas such as electric bikes.  A Member suggested a small visitor tax could be imposed in Kent in order to help finance such ventures and signage. The Chairman asked Cllr. Barnes to share the findings with Swanley Town Council.

The Chairman thanked Roni for attending.

Resolved: That the presentation by Roni Lovegrove outlining the current and future demands and pressures for the Visitor Economy in the District be received, and the suggestions on potential activities and actions which could be followed to stimulate the Visitor Economy in the District, noted.



Visit by the District Police Commander to speak on Speedwatch, Anti-Social Behaviour and recording of crime pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed Chief Inspector Tony Dyer, Sevenoaks District Commander, Kent Police to the meeting who gave a joint presentation with the Community Safety Manager on policing in the Sevenoaks District and a Community Safety Unit update.


In response to a question as to how the Council could be listed as leading on ‘multi agency gangs work’ and not the Police, CI Dyer and the Community Safety Manager advised that whilst the Police investigated the criminal element many of the impacts were environmental such as: anti-social behaviour; fly tipping; environmental health breaches; and the Council was the first in the country to do so. CI Dyer stated that they were very fortunate to have such a proactive approach from the Council.


There was some discussion on the ‘perceived’ amount of crime and what was actually reported.  Members raised concerns and were asked to send specific details to the Community Safety Manager, as the data did not necessarily tally with Members’ constituents’ perceptions.  However, it was pointed out that Sevenoaks still had the lowest crime statistics in Kent.


A Member queried whether letters sent out to those exceeding the speed limit and caught by ‘speed watch’ were actually effective.  CI Dyer replied that he was sure available data stated that 80% (later in the meeting after checking he confirmed it was 89.6%) did not reoffend after the initial letter.  There was a follow up home visit after a second letter, and he would find out the outcome figures on this.  There was to be a new pilot around speed watch which would be run by Police Officers to begin with and gradually handed over to speedwatch members.


A Member was impressed with the liaison work acknowledging it was still a work in progress, and thought the successful liaison work should be more publicised.


The Chairman stated that whilst perception appeared to not reflect the facts the low level offences nibbled away at quality of life and know question of prioritising, and requested they were not ignored and opportunities to publicise any action was taken.


CI Dyer assured everyone that they were not ignored.  He further added that social media was making it harder with the spread of false or inaccurate information.


Members advised that false social media statements needed to be regularly challenged, with facts repeatedly put into the stream.  The Community Safety Manager stated that usually a statement was issued.


Members were pleased with the improved liaison work and the Chairman thanked CI Dyer for attending.













Referrals from Cabinet or the Audit Committee


There were none.


Update from Portfolio Holder


The Portfolio Holder, and Chairman, advised that:

·         There would be no Community and Volunteer awards next year but it would return in 2019.  Instead 2018 would see a community ‘Big Sing’ being led by Cllr. Mrs. Bosley (the current Vice Chairman of the Council);

·         Brexit was now in Cllr. Firth’s portfolio and he had been talking to her on how to engage local businesses;

·         He had had the pleasure of meeting the Princess Royal at the opening of the new Citizens Advice in Swanley; and

·         Simon Harris, the new Enterprise Coordinator, was now in post and was responsible for developing strategies around career opportunities for young people.  The Chief Officer Community & Business, advised that he was based at SDC funded by West Kent Partnership with a grant from the Department of Education and Hadlow College on a 2 year contract which could be extended. He was responsible for co-ordinating work for three districts working with employment/enterprise advisors who were volunteers and linking with schools/colleges particularly around trades/trade guilds.  He was very energetic and enthusiastic and very experienced.



Work Plan pdf icon PDF 38 KB


The work plan was noted and it was agreed that the banking presentation and presentation on the rural economy be moved to the summer meeting.


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