Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services: 01732227247  Email: democratic.services@sevenoaks.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

21.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 159 KB

To agree the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 12 October 2021, as a correct record.

Minutes:

Resolved: That the minutes of the meeting held on 12 October 2021, be

approved and signed as a correct record.

 

22.

Declarations of Interest

Any interests not already registered.

Minutes:

There were none.

 

 

23.

Actions from Previous Meeting (if any) pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Direct Services gave an update for the Committee and confirmed that trees were being replaced during construction of the White Oak Leisure Centre and that he would circulate further details when he had them. The Head of Direct services also confirmed that Ash Dieback information was provided on the 18th October 2021.

 

 

 

24.

Update from Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder, and Chairman gave an update on services within her portfolio. Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, a large number of food premises within the district were overdue a food hygiene inspection and a large number of businesses had not been inspected. The team had been working hard to catch up. All high-risk premises had been inspected as had 128 new premises. Since the start of the pandemic, 48 new premises had been registered but closed before inspection. The team had put in place a strategy to complete a further 300 inspections by the end of March.

The Test and Trace System had significantly impacted upon the work of the Environmental Health Team. In November and December, 228 requests were received from the Kent Local Tracing Partnership to contact positive cases and their contacts. In order to deliver this public health priority alongside the team’s day- to- day duties, Environmental Health had been co-ordinating their efforts with the Town Centre Ambassadors who had stepped up to assist.

The Council’s Emergency planning processes had been revisited and made ready in the case of illness amongst staff. Previously the highest priority had been to ensure the continuation of waste collection.

A review of the refuse freighter collection rounds was being undertaken to ensure the council was as efficient as possible and that all new housing developments were covered. A further update would be provided at the next meeting of the Committee.

The recruitment of a Countryside and Open Spaces Manager was still underway.

Regarding Mill Pond, the Council was working with the contractor to solve the Environmental Agency’s concerns of a continued sewage leak. Work was hoped to begin in mid-January.

 

 

 

25.

Referral from Cabinet or the Audit committee (if any)

Minutes:

There were none.

26.

Net Zero 2030 Update pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Minutes:

The Net Zero Project co-ordinator presented the report which outlined the continued progress meeting the Council’s commitment to working towards net zero carbon emissions by 2030 for the Council and its assets and also to work with communities to reduce carbon emissions across the District.

The Council had been making progress supporting low carbon travel within the District. The Movement Strategy, which will set out the key issues and priorities for sustainable movement and transport for the District, will be considered by members of the committee in Spring 2022. 

The Council had made a commitment to reduce carbon emissions from its buildings and services, this included looking for ways to reduce emissions by considering work processes as well as the use of technology and efficiency measures.  For example, reducing work mileage including making site visits more efficient and reducing deliveries where possible, going further to become “paperless”, reducing printing, and reducing energy use across Council buildings. 

A Carbon Reduction Plan, which would focus efforts to reduce carbon emissions both for the Council and its assets, and within Sevenoaks District, would be commissioned to help ensure the Council would meet its Net Zero 2030 ambition. This plan would be produced by consultants and procurement was underway.

Members were advised that the Net Zero actions for 2022-23 would be presented to the Committee in Spring 2022.

In response to questions, members were directed to the website www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/netzero to review the yearly internal audit of Council emissions. Members were informed that the impact of covid-19 on the Council’s emissions and Net Zero plan were emerging but it was hoped that more data would provide greater insights.

Members were further advised of the various online resources that the Council provided for residents and businesses including advice on how to reduce their own emissions and officers were looking at providing additional advice on the website for residents and businesses in the future.

Public Sector Equality Duty

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Resolved: That the report be noted.

27.

Scrap Metal Dealer Licence Fees 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

Minutes:

The Senior Licensing Officer presented the report which sought approval for the Scrap Metal Dealers license fees. The proposed fees were set locally on a cost-recovery basis and included a 2% inflationary cost. There were currently two site licenses in Sevenoaks District.

Resolved: That it be recommended to Cabinet that the fees as set out below be approved.

Type of Application

2021/2022
Current Fee

2022/2023
Proposed Fee

Site Licence – Grant (3 years)

£497

£507

Site Licence – Renewal (3 years)

£420

£428

Collectors Licence Grant/Renewal (3 years)

£303

£309

Minor administrative change to licence

£33

£34

Variation – change of site manager

£180

£184

Variation from collector to site licence

£215

£219

Variation from site to collector licence

£139

£142

 

28.

Swanley Sunday Market Proposal pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Direct Services presented the report which updated Members on a proposal for an additional Sunday street Market in Swanley.

The Council’s current contractor, Bray Associates had approached the Council with a proposal for consideration to offer an additional Sunday street market at the same location as the existing Swanley Wednesday market. This would initially be trialled as a 6-month pilot. Negotiations with LCP Properties who own the Shopping Centre were ongoing and in principle an agreement for a 6 month pilot had been agreed. Dartford Borough Council had been consulted and had no objections to an additional Sunday street market.

Bray Associates proposed to pay the Council £4,000 per week for the first month of the Sunday market pilot and £6,000 per week for the remainder of the pilot, which would give a total income of £144,000 for the 6-month pilot.

The Committee discussed the report and some concern was expressed by Members on the negative impact an additional market could have to Swanley, including problems with litter, traffic and parking and an increase of emissions to the area. It was noted by Members that as the scheme was a trial, this would allow any issues to be managed before any adoption of a more permanent market.  Additionally, Members noted that Swanley Town Council were unhappy with the proposal.

The Head of Direct Services confirmed that a pilot would be trialled for 6 months and discussions would take place with Swanley Town Council and the public. Mitigation works could be introduced if required which would be funded by the additional income provided by the market.

Public sector equality duty

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Resolved: it be recommended to Cabinet that the proposal for an additional Sunday market, be endorsed subject to the following comments made by the Advisory Committee:

a)    the market should be tightly managed

b)   the public and Swanley Town Council should be rigorously consulted

c)    Following completion of the pilot, a report should be brought to the Committee with an update.

 

29.

Bradbourne Lakes Update pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Direct Services presented the report which updated the Committee on the progress of the Bradbourne Lakes vision. Much of the park required repair work and these costs would be optimised concerning aesthetics, robustness and longevity.

The vision of Bradbourne Lakes was estimated to cost £1,262,000 to implement and external funding was to be sought. After rejection by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in December 2019 due to financial impacts of the Covid pandemic, the council had been invited to re-submit an updated application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for this project.

£252,400 of the Council’s CIL fund was applied for and was approved on 9 December 2019, subject to external funding and relevant planning permission. A decision from the HLF funding panel had now been given and the Council’s Expression of Interest (EOI) would now proceed to a full application.

Members were informed that the HLF enjoyed the vision of Bradbourne Lakes and were impressed by the commitment to this project. The Committee discussed that residents were admirably committed to this area and expressed regret that it had fallen into disrepair, and noted that much more funding was still required.

 

Following discussions the Head of Direct Services advised that engagement was underway with the Residents Association and Community groups in regard to this area and that maintenance budgets would not be enough to rejuvenate this area fully as major restoration works were required.

 

 

Resolved: That the report be noted.

 

30.

Air Quality Action Plan Request to Consult pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Environmental Health Manager gave an update on the Draft Air Quality Action Plan.

The Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) 2022/2023 replaces the previous Action Plan (2009) and aimed to tackle the main causes of poor air quality within Sevenoaks District, namely emissions from combustion engines, particularly diesel vehicles, and emissions from domestic combustion sources.

The Council was required to consult with relevant stakeholders and the public on the measures proposed by the AQAP. The outcome of the consultation would be reported and used to shape the final draft.

Members discussed the report, and advised that A27 Bradbourne Vale Road on page 57 of the agenda should be listed as A25 Bradbourne Vale Road, and noted minor typographical errors, which would need to be corrected prior to the Action Plan consultation.

Public sector equality duty

Members noted that consideration had been given to impacts under the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Resolved: That subject to the typographical and consistency changes as discussed, it be recommended to Cabinet that it be recommended to Council that the Environmental Health Team undertake public consultation on the draft Air Quality Action Plan.

 

31.

Review of Animal Welfare Licensing regime pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Minutes:

The Environmental Health Manager presented the report which gave an update on the range of animal welfare services that the council provided.

The animal welfare function was a responsibility of the Environmental Health Team. Members were advised that this service was extremely busy and required a lot of interaction with the public.  The service performs excellently to deliver all elements under its responsibility and was able to solve a vast array of problems informally.

The Council has a legal duty to provide a 24 hour reception point for stray dogs found within the District, and work with a private kennels who provide this on the Council’s behalf. The Environmental Health team also have an excellent working relationship with a variety of charities that take on the stray dog re-homing.  It was highlighted that there was a marked increase in stray dogs being found by the District Council and likewise an increase in dog ownership during the pandemic. This would mean an increase in new dog breeders and may result in increased demand on the council’s services.

The priorities for the next 12 months would include ensuring all premises in Sevenoaks were appropriately regulated and seeking to reduce the number of stray dogs by increasing promotional activities.

In response to questions, the Committee was advised that The District Council had a statutory duty to investigate noise complaints including those associated with dog barking/ whining etc, in order to determine if they were a statutory nuisance.  In practice, the majority of complaints about animal welfare were dealt with informally through the provision of advice and assistance.  The Environmental Health Team also work in partnership with Kent Police to investigate incidents involving aggressive and/ or uncontrolled dogs, as it related to Anti-Social Behaviour. It was noted by Members the Animal Welfare Officer worked incredibly hard to deliver the service and was supported by the Team.

The Committee expressed thanks and congratulated the Environmental Health team on their excellent service delivery record.

Resolved: That the report be noted.

 

32.

Work Plan pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Minutes:

The work plan was noted with the following additions:

 

18 April 2022

  • Annual Review of Parking Management
  • Direct Services Review of Waste Collection Rounds
  • West Kent CCTV Control Room Hub
  • Update on Electric Vehicle Charging points
  • Movement Strategy
  • Air Quality Action Plan – for final agreement

 

 

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