Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: The Guildhall, St Peter's Place, Canterbury

Contact: Josie Newman  01227 862 009 Email: democracy@canterbury.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

462.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Clark.

463.

Substitute Councillors

Minutes:

Councillor I Thomas was present as a substitute for Councillor Clark.

464.

Declaration of any interests

TO RECEIVE any declarations for the following in so far as they relate to the business for the meeting:-

 

  1. Disclosable Pecuniary Interests
  2. Other Significant Interests (what were previously thought of as non-pecuniary Prejudicial interests)
  3. Voluntary Announcements of Other Interests

 

Voluntary Announcements of Other Interests not required to be disclosed as DPI’s or OSI’s, ie announcements made for transparency reasons alone, such as:

·        Membership of outside bodies that have made representations on agenda items, or

·        Where a Councillor knows a person involved, but does not have a close association with that person, or

·        Where an item would affect the well-being of a Member, relative, close associate, employer, etc but not his/her financial position.

 

[Note: an effect on the financial position of a Councillor, relative, close associate, employer, etc; OR an application made by a Councillor, relative, close associate, employer, etc, would both probably constitute either an OSI or in some cases a DPI].

 

 

Minutes:

The following voluntary announcements were made:

·         Councillors Cook, I Thomas and R Thomas were Kent County councillors.

·         Councillor R Thomas was a trustee of Active Life and a Vice Chair of the Friends of Canterbury Castle.

·         Councillor L Jones-Roberts and Councillor I Thomas qualified for the 20% discount for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles at ANPR car parks.

·         Councillor Cook was associated with the Herne Bay Pier Trust.

465.

Public participation

Members of the public may speak on any item on the agenda, for a maximum of three minutes, provided that notification has been given to Democratic Services by 12.30pm on the working day before the meeting.

Minutes:

There were four public speakers registered to speak and they were heard before the consideration for the relevant items (the parking strategy and the draft general fund budget).

466.

Minutes of the meeting held on 9 October 2019 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

TO CONFIRM as a true record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 9 October 2019 were agreed as a true record.

467.

Parking Strategy Review and Proposed Changes to Charges and Conditions in Council Car Parks pdf icon PDF 114 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Head of Transportation and Environment.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

a)     To note the external consultant’s (Steer) Parking Strategy review and its key findings and recommendations;

b)     The Committee to consider any future disposal of city centre car parks identified in the current Local Plan on a case by case basis following specific public consultation and provided there is evidence of overall spare capacity;

c)     To undertake public consultation on the closure of Northgate Car Park;

d)     To consider any additional city centre car park disposals through the review of the next Local Plan;

e)     That the Off Street Parking Places Order (OSPPO) changes contained in Appendix 7 are taken to public consultation;

f)      That the car park improvements identified in paragraph 2.6 are included in the council’s capital Budget; and

g)     That a decision on whether to provide zero emission buses in the next Park & Ride contract will be made when tenders are evaluated in April 2020.

 

Reason for the decision: The proposals would help to meet the existing objectives of the parking strategy, many of the proposals would have a positive impact of climate change and the additional revenue raised would be used to fund other transport/parking improvements that council may wish to deliver as well helping to close the council’s overall funding gap and maintain essential services.

Minutes:

(Earlier Councillor L Jones-Roberts and Councillor I Thomas had made a voluntary announcement that they qualified for the proposed 20% discount for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles at ANPR car parks.)

 

(The following members of the public spoke prior to the consideration of the item Councillor Eden-Green, Andrew Stark, Jeremy Baker and Lisa Carlson.)

                                                                                                             

The Head of Transportation and Environment introduced the report which explained that the parking strategy review had been commissioned to consider policies and charges relating to council car parks. The recommendations in the review were set out in the report and a series of changes were proposed for public consultation. He drew attention to the following matters:

 

1.      It had been the Council’s policy for a number of years to reduce city centre parking and to encourage the use of park and ride in order to reduce congestion.

 

2.      The Council’s Local Plan set out the disposal of city centre car parks, only two of which had been approved, although not yet delivered, so far. 

 

3.      The proposals included consulting on one disposal that was in the Local Plan but not yet approved - the disposal of the Northgate car park to allow the doctors surgery to expand.

 

4.      The rest of the parking strategy would be considered as part of the Local Plan review.

 

5.      The increased parking charges were expected to generate additional funds for climate change initiatives.

 

6.      The business community would be one of the groups potentially most affected by any suggested increases in charges, and the consultation would be extended by one week to allow them more time to respond.

 

The options were set out in the report as follows:

  • That the proposals shown in Appendix 7 are taken to public consultation.
  • That amendments are made to the proposals shown in Appendix 7 and public consultation

is undertaken.

  • That none of the proposals shown in Appendix 7 proceed to public consultation.

 

The Committee debated the report, and the Chief Executive and Head of Transportation and Environment gave points of clarification. Matters including the following additional points were covered:

 

7.    The importance of looking at the right comparators when benchmarking.

 

8.    Income from the proposals would be used to fund Council services.

 

9.    Residents wanted to see a reduction in traffic.

 

10.  Bus pricing, controlling traffic flows and redesigning road layouts to enable more cycling were not within the City council’s control. 

 

11.  The county council were the highways authority and the city council worked with them on the Transport Strategy, but it remained their document.

 

12.  If given the choice people would drive in to the city centre. Taking this choice away would reduce the amount of people going in to the city centre and this was expected to reduce carbon emissions.

 

13.  The Local Plan review processes would see detailed evidence gathered in regards to air quality, provision of houses, traffic management and this would include a detailed modelling.

 

14.  Free parking in Whitstable prior to 10am was designed to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 467.

468.

Review of councillor allowances by the East Kent Joint Independent Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 95 KB

TO CONSIDER the Head of Corporate Governance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Corporate Governance introduced the report which explained that as part of the review of the committee system considered by Council in April 2019, it was resolved that the East Kent Joint Independent Remuneration Panel (EKJIRP) should be invited to undertake a review of the council’s Councillors’ Allowance Scheme. The recommendations of the review were set out in the report.

 

The options were set out in the report as follows:

  • To accept the findings of the report.
  • To consider whether, in light of the report to the panel and the recommendations of the EKJIRP, alternative recommendations should be put to Council.
  • To reject the recommendations.

 

The Committee had the opportunity to discuss the report and the Head of Corporate Governance gave clarification when necessary. The recommendations in the report were proposed seconded and when put to a vote agreed.

 

RECOMMENDED (to Full Council): 

 

1.      That the recommendations of the East Kent Joint Independent Remuneration Panel be accepted, as follows – 

a.       That the current Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2019/20 be endorsed subject to a recommendation that the remuneration of the Chair of the Audit Committee be increased from £531.95 to £2659.87.

b.      That the limit on the number of Special Responsibility Allowances that could be paid to a single member (excluding the group leaders allowance) be maintained. 

c.       That the rate at which the Carers’ Allowance is paid be changed from the National Minimum Wage to the National Living Wage. 

d.      That the travel and subsistence allowances should continue to remain in line with HMRC approved rates. 

e.       That the current practice of linking increases to councillors allowances to the staff pay award continue until such time as a further review is commissioned.

 

2.      That the council appoints the East Kent Joint Independent Remuneration Panel to undertake reviews of councillor allowances and associated matters for a further four year period expiring 30 November 2023, and that Mr Ken London, be reappointed as the council’s representative on the Panel for the same period.

 

Reason for the recommendation: The allowances had been objectively assessed by the Panel, taking into consideration the internal and external factors presented in the accompanying report.

 

Record of the voting for recommendation 1a 

For the proposal: Councillors Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Fitter-Harding, L Jones-Roberts, Ricketts, I Thomas, R Thomas and Todd (9)

Against the proposal: Councillors Baldock, Edwards and Kenny (3)

Abstaining from the proposal: Councillor Glover (1)

 

Record of the voting for recommendations 1b - e and 2

For the proposal: Councillors Baldock, Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Edwards, Fitter-Harding L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, Ricketts, I Thomas, R Thomas and Todd (12)

Against the proposal: None

Abstaining from the proposal: Councillor Glover (1)

 

469.

Draft General Fund budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 269 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Deputy Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

i)                 that the Committee endorses the budget assumptions and strategy set out in the report;

ii)                that the public consultation be used to seek views on the significant proposals in Appendices 1 to 7 (as amended to reflect decisions taken at this meeting);

iii)              that the car park charges and order proposals set out be advertised; [see minute 467]

iv)              that it be noted that officers will use delegated powers to implement operational savings contained in the proposals;

v)               that for the cost recovery fees and charges (highlighted in amber in Appendix 7), officers are able to increase or decrease charges during the year by up to 5% if costs vary, in consultation with the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee;

 

RECOMMENDED to Full Council:

 

vi) that officers be given authority to put into effect the measures required to achieve the service savings and reductions contained within the 2020/21 proposals, in order that the savings begin to accrue from as early as possible in 2020/21, subject to implementation of the measures only becoming effective if the measures are approved in the budget in February 2020.

 

Reason for the decision: The consultation period would be used to obtain views on the options for achieving a balanced budget.

 

Minutes:

(Prior to the meeting the councillors had received a briefing on the budget).

(Prior to the consideration of the item Councillor Eden-Green spoke as a member of the public)

 

The Deputy Chief Executive introduced the report which sets out the key financial issues facing the Council from 2019 to 2024, and advised on key budget assumptions and puts forward budget proposals for 2020/21 and future years for consultation. The Council needed to find new ongoing savings of £5m by 2023/24, equivalent to 29% of its net budget. The detailed estimates and consultation responses will be considered by the Policy and Resources Committee on 5 February 2020 and by Council on 13 February when the budget and council tax for 2020/21 are set.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive set out the issues surrounding the remaining savings to be found and  drew attention to the affect increased borrowing costs.

 

The report set out that when considering its options for council tax levels for next year, the Council had three options:

  • freeze council tax;
  • increase council tax up to £5 or two percent whichever is the higher (subject

to confirmation in the Finance Settlement); or

  • increase council tax by more than two percent or £5, which would require a

local referendum.

 

The Committee debated the report and the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive gave points of clarification as necessary. Matters including the following were covered and some detailed questions would be dealt with outside of the meeting:

 

  1. The financial contribution to the costs of moving of the Wincheap park and ride had been approved four years previously.

 

  1. The recommendations as set out in the report were proposed seconded and when put to a vote agreed.

 

  1. The £23million for the riverside development would be financed by a short-term loan initially. Once the development was complete and the council was receiving regular income a long term loan would be arranged.

 

  1. The museums were the largest remaining subsidised service. The Beaney could not charge for entry but other museums had to be more commercial.

 

  1. There was a cost per transaction which had not been fully understood at the point the automatic number plate project was started. However, the additional cost was more than paid for by the increased income that had resulted from the project.

 

RESOLVED:

i)              that the Committee endorses the budget assumptions and strategy set out in the report;

ii)             that the public consultation be used to seek views on the significant proposals in Appendices 1 to 7 (as amended to reflect decisions taken at this meeting);

iii)            that the car park charges and order proposals set out be advertised; [see minute 467]

iv)           that it be noted that officers will use delegated powers to implement operational savings contained in the proposals;

v)            that for the cost recovery fees and charges (highlighted in amber in Appendix 7), officers are able to increase or decrease charges during the year by up to 5% if costs vary, in consultation with the Chairman of the Policy and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 469.

470.

Draft Housing Revenue Account budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Deputy Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: To approve the Housing Revenue Account revenue and capital budgets set out in appendices A to C to the report.

 

Reason for the decision: It ensures that the council can continue to provide services to vulnerable tenants and meet its legal responsibilities as a landlord. This budget is based on the most robust data currently available to the council.

Minutes:

The Deputy Chief Executive introduced the report which sets out proposals for the revenue and capital budgets of the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) for 2020/21. Overall expenditure in 2020/21 was projected to exceed income by £525,000 and the business plan agreed by the committee in October was intended to address the ongoing shortfall.

 

The options were set out in the report as follows:

  • Recommend the housing revenue and capital budget. 
  • Amend the housing revenue and capital budget. 
  • Not to recommend the housing revenue and capital budget.

 

The Committee debated the report and the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive gave points of clarification as necessary. Matters including the following were covered:

 

  1. The introduction of universal credit had resulted in a need to put more resources into the council’s debt collection service.

 

  1. All four partner councillors were putting additional resources to monitor East Kent Housing whose ability to retain staff and to recruit new staff had been significantly affected by its damaged reputation.

 

  1. The proposed rent rise would still be fully covered by housing benefit.

 

  1. The costs of converting the Parham Road properties from student accommodation to social housing had been significant.

 

  1. The Riverside project was expected to deliver over a 180 housing association homes.

 

RESOLVED: To approve the Housing Revenue Account revenue and capital budgets set out in appendices A to C to the report.

 

Reason for the decision: It ensures that the council can continue to provide services to vulnerable tenants and meet its legal responsibilities as a landlord. This budget is based on the most robust data currently available to the council.

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Baldock, Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Edwards, Fitter-Harding, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, Ricketts, I Thomas, R Thomas and Todd (13)

Against the proposal: None

Abstaining from the proposal: None

 

471.

Date of next meeting

7pm 4 December 2019, the Guildhall, St Peter’s Place, Canterbury.

Minutes:

7pm on the 4 December 2019, at the Guildhall, St Peter’s Place, Canterbury, CT1 2DB.

472.

Any other urgent business to be dealt with in public

Minutes:

There was no urgent business for the meeting to consider.

473.

Any other urgent business which falls under the exempt provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or both

It will be necessary to pass a resolution to exclude and the press and public if it is necessary to take business under this item.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business for the meeting to consider.