Agenda and minutes

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No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting of the Advisory Committee held on 29 November 2022, as a correct record.



Resolved: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2022 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Declarations of interest

Any interest not already registered.



Cllr Dyball declared that she was a trustee of Swanley Community Hub.


Actions from Previous Meeting


There were none.


Update from Portfolio Holder


The Portfolio Holder updated the committee on the services within her portfolio. The West Kent Domestic Abuse Conference was held on 25 November 2022. A 16 Day White Ribbon campaign to end domestic abuse was also held in November 2022. Funding for the Domestic Abuse Coordinator has been extended for a further two years. A workshop with the Council’s West Kent partners is due to be held in May 2023. An Internet Safety Day was held on 7 February 2023, with over 800 pupils invited to learn about the importance of internet safety. The new Kent Policing Model is due to go live in June 2023. This will include additional beat officers, a greater focus on rural policing, and the removal of PCSOs from the Community Support Unit.


The Silver Sunday event observed its 10-year anniversary last year with a full programme of activities in the district, and the new White Oak Leisure Centre in Swanley celebrated its first anniversary on 12 February 2023. Everyone Active, the leisure operator, celebrated with an open day providing free taster sessions for various activities, and a plaque was unveiled in memory of Lesley Reeves. The Access All Areas Disability Information and Awareness community event was held at White Oak Leisure Centre on 19 February. The Making a Difference Community Awards will be held on 15 March 2023. Family Fun Days have been scheduled for the Easter and Summer Holidays, and will have voluntary sector partners available to provide cost-of-living advice. The Broomhill Bank Internship program began in November 2022, with 3 students working in various roles within the Council. The Warm Spaces directory was launched online, with more than 30 venues supported, as part of the Council’s Here to Help Campaign. Over £26,000 of funding was shared with foodbanks across the district, as part of the Housing Support Fund.


The Council was drafting a response to Kent County Council’s Communities Programme public consultation. This reviewed community assets such as children’s centres, libraries, and adult education centres across the district. A Homes of Ukraine scheme event was held in January for hosts, with a further event for guests being held in March. The Council will fly the Ukrainian flag and hold a minute’s silence to acknowledge a year since the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. The Portfolio Holder thanked those who had supported Ukrainian refugees within the district, and encouraged landlords and homeowners who are able to offer rooms or properties to contact the Council. In partnership with IMAGO, a volunteering event will be held in Swanley on 29 March.



Referral from Cabinet or the Audit committee


There were none.


Everyone Active - White Oak Leisure Centre Presentation pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed the representatives from Everyone Active, who gave a presentation on the performance of White Oak Leisure Centre for the past year. It outlined the development process for the Leisure Centre, its involvement in the community, and Everyone Active’s plans for the future. The White Oak Leisure Centre had seen a large growth in both memberships and attendances under Everyone Active, as well an increase in the range of services available. The centre offered a number of community support programmes, including free memberships for children in care, Ukrainian refugees, and people with Parkinson’s disease. They also launched an exercise referral  programme in January 2023, which they hoped to expand in scale in the future. 83% of workforce at the centre were Swanley residents, and many were engaged in development qualifications to further their careers.


In response to questions, they explained that the Feel Good Suite was currently fully booked for the 6 days a week it was open, and that they were investigating avenues for expanding the time and dates it could be open for. They further explained that all assets were reviewed to ensure the service provided was meeting customer demands, with adjustments being made as necessary, including the types and timings of available classes.


            Resolved: That the report be noted.  


West Kent Housing - Dealing with ASB pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Additional documents:


The Community Safety Manager for West Kent Housing Association (WKHA) gave a presentation, which outlined the process by which WKHA addressed Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB). He emphasised that tenancy sustainment was a key element of how they addressed ASB. He further emphasised that all reports were investigated, and that reports of behaviours that were not ASB were not ignored, but were signposted to other departments or organisations that could then provide solutions. Support was offered to both victims and perpetrators of ASB to best address the causes and effects of the issue. 83% of ASB was resolved by early intervention, but legal enforcement was used when necessary.


In response to questions, he advised that the WKHA Community Safety Unit worked closely with the police and the Council’s CSU, to ensure serious incidents such as domestic abuse were progressed. Noise was the most common ASB reported to WKHA. He explained that the confidentiality of sources for ASB complains was paramount, and that steps were taken to prevent the disclosure of their identities to the subjects of the complaints. The Committee discussed the possibility of WKHA providing additional partnership cameras to pro-actively reduce fly tipping.  


            Resolved: That the report be noted.


Community Grant Scheme 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:


The Community Projects & Funding Officers presented the report, which outlined the 2023/24 Community Grant Scheme draft allocations. 31 applications were received, with a total grant request of £116,000 against £49,800 that was available for the scheme. Officers carried out a full appraisal alongside the Portfolio Holder, reviewing applications on how they supported the scheme’s priorities, whether their performance indicators were relevant, and whether the application was the responsibility of another organisation, amongst other criteria.


They outlined some of the applications received to highlight the diversity of projects supported. They highlighted the two similar applications for training members of the community as Mental Health Champions, and how they had helped the organisations behind them form a partnership.


In response to questions, they advised that when they found an application was ineligible for the Community Grant Scheme, the team helped the applicants to locate other grant funders.


            Resolved: That the report be noted.


Community Mobilisation Update pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Additional documents:


The Community Mobilisation Officer gave a presentation, which updated the Committee on the work carried out to address community mobilisation. The post was fully funded by KCC Helping Hands initiative until July 2023. She outlined some of the projects developed to address the aims of developing an online community platform, gaining more volunteers, and helping communities to initiate and deliver local projects. These included the Warm Spaces, Directory, Grow a Healthy Swanley, the Hello Lamppost project, and the Growth Gurus Community Hub.


In response to questions, she explained that the priorities for the Hello Lamppost project were to engage more volunteers, provide community support, and increase awareness of events and local activities. The Committee discussed the opportunities for skills developed through these courses to pass into the community, through encouraging beneficiaries to become volunteers or share their developments with friends. The Committee also discussed the possibility of a cross-border shared volunteer scheme with neighbouring authorities.


          Resolved: That the report be noted.



Sevenoaks District Community Safety Partnership Strategy & Action Plan 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:


The Health & Communities Manager presented the report, which set out the 2023-24 Sevenoaks District Community Safety Strategy and Action Plan. The Strategy’s seven priorities were built on the Council’s Strategic Assessment and local data from partner organisations. The Community Safety Unit would work alongside these priorities in day-to-day work, with dedicated actions to reduce, enforce, and educate around each priority. An example of this was the new task action group addressing Violence Against Women and Girls, which would work in tandem with the West Kent Domestic Abuse Forum to address the issue across West Kent.  


No funding had been received for 2023-24 from the Police and Crime Commission at the time of the meeting. In previous years, the funding was roughly £35,000. The Strategy and Action Plan would be monitored on a quarterly basis.


In response to questions, she clarified that addressing fraud had become day-to-day work managed by the Community Safety Unit, and was thus no longer a Strategy priority. She advised that this would be reviewed in the monitoring process. The Committee discussed the reduction in the number of PCSOs within the District and its potential effects. Dedicated roles, such as the Vulnerable Adults Officer, would be lost, but Rural PCSOs and neighbourhood taskforce PCSOs would remain. Work would be undertaken to ensure that the areas these roles targeted are not neglected in the new policing system. The Committee further discussed the Community Service Wardens, and heard that the adverts for the positions remained open.


Resolved: That it be recommended to Cabinet that it be recommended to Council that the 2023-24 Sevenoaks District Community Safety Strategy and Action Plan be adopted.


Work Plan pdf icon PDF 53 KB


The Work Plan was noted, with the following additions:


20 June 2023:

-       Rural Prosperity Fund Update

-       Community Mobilisation Programme Update

-       Sevenoaks Place Campaign Update

-       Public Realm Commission Annual Update


3 October 2023:

-       Community Plan Update

-       Community Grant Scheme 2023/24


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