Agenda and minutes
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To agree minutes of the meeting of the Advisory Committee held on 25 November 2022, as a correct record.
Resolved: that the minutes of the meeting on 25 November 2021 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Declarations of interest
Any declarations not already registered.
There were none.
Actions form previous meeting PDF 77 KB
The Assistant Chief Executive gave an update to the committee on the Mental Health Strategy which was now available on the Council’s website.
Update from Portfolio Holder
Funding had been approved for various projects at Council (Budget) on 22 February 2022.
The Local Government Association Corporate Peer Challenge Results has been made available and were to be presented to the Committee as Item 6 in the agenda.
The Council’s Place Strategy was coming forward once more and would likely be presented to a future meeting of the Committee.
Referral from Cabinet or the Audit Committee
There are none
LGA Corporate Peer Challenge Feedback Report PDF 130 KB
The Assistant Chief Executive presented the report which outlined a summary of the LGA Peer Challenge findings.
The Peer Challenge took place between 29 November and 1 December 2021 and was conducted by a team of seven elected member and officer peers, drawn from across the Local Government sector. The report concluded with nine recommendations as set out below:
Recommendation 1: Build on recent place leadership work – consider developing a renewed, partnership-led, long-term vision for the district, residents and businesses
Recommendation 2: Complement the council’s existing project-basedcommunity engagement work with more open, bottom-up, conversationalapproaches
Recommendation 3: Use service data and community networks to enhance the council’s understanding of its diverse and emerging communities
Recommendation 4: Consider the optimum balance between the council’s scale of ambition and availability of resources
Recommendation 5: Explore the scope for a managed increase in Quercus Housing’s affordable housing delivery outputs
Recommendation 6: Consider the full range of options for additional modest-scale market value and affordable housing activity – ‘massive small’
Recommendation 7: Review the external specialist skills to challenge viability appraisals and negotiate S106 agreements with developers
Recommendation 8: Use the council’s influence to optimise the outcomes from the district’s strategic development sites
Recommendation 9: Consider developing a proposition for inward investment and development as part of the emerging economic development strategy.
Once the final report had been received the Council would have six weeks to publish it. It was hoped that this would be taken to the Cabinet meeting in March 2022. After publication of the report the Council had a further eight weeks to publish their action plan. After a further six-month period, the LGA Team would return to review progress with the action plan and discuss any further support that the Council may welcome.
The Committee discussed the report.
In response to questions the Chairman established that the Council were looking into smaller parcels of land that the Council owned across the District which could be used for development. The Council were also working with West Kent Housing to improve the housing type imbalance in the district. The Chairman also confirmed that the Town Centre Strategy Meetings Consultation which formed part of the emerging local plan had been broadened to look at the future of the Districts High-Streets and New Ash Green.
Resolved: that Members
(a) Give their thanks to the LGA Peer Challenge Team for giving their time and expertise in undertaking the peer review of the Council, be noted; and
(b) the findings of the Peer Challenge and the nine recommendations as set out in this report, be noted
The Work plan was noted with the following additions:
· Capital Programme Update
· Cyber Security Update
· Asset Review
· Data Analytics on Customer Interactions Progress update