Agenda, decisions and minutes

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

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

Items
No. Item

380.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Councillor Baldock.

381.

Substitute Councillors

Minutes:

Councillor Wilson was present as a substitute for Councillor Baldock.

382.

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:

Councillor R Thomas made a voluntary announcement that he was a Kent County Councillor and, in relation to the East Kent Housing item, that he had family who lived in social housing.

383.

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 eleven speakers and they were be heard before consideration of the relevant agenda items.

384.

Minutes of the meetings held on the 10 and 17 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

TO CONFIRM as a true record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 10 and 17 July 2019 were agreed by general assent as a true record.

385.

Local Development Scheme for the Local Plan pdf icon PDF 96 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Head of Planning.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: 

(a)    That the Local Development Scheme (Annex 1) be adopted with immediate effect.

(b)  That a public consultation be carried out on the draft Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment Scoping Report.

 

Reason for the decisions: Changes to national policy mean that there was a need to review the adopted Local Plan and a legal requirement to prepare, approve and publish an up to date Local Development Scheme. A consultation on the draft Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment Scoping Report would give the community and other stakeholders the opportunity to have their say on the early technical preparation of documents relating to the development plan.

 

Minutes:

The Head of Planning introduced the report which highlighted a number of national policy changes, which meant that a review of the Canterbury District Local Plan should take place. It recommended that the Local Development Scheme, which set out the proposed timetable of the review, be adopted.

 

In addition the Local Development Scheme included the need for the Council to carry out aSustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment at each stage of the process. The report recommended that, although not a legal requirement, the Council consulted with the public on the draft scoping report as to how these documents will be prepared.

 

The Committee considered the report and its recommendations were proposed, seconded and when put to a vote agreed.

 

RESOLVED: 

(a)    That the Local Development Scheme (Annex 1) be adopted with immediate effect.

(b)  That a public consultation be carried out on the draft Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment Scoping Report.

 

Reason for the decisions: Changes to national policy mean that there was a need to review the adopted Local Plan and a legal requirement to prepare, approve and publish an up to date Local Development Scheme. A consultation on the draft Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment Scoping Report would give the community and other stakeholders the opportunity to have their say on the early technical preparation of documents relating to the development plan.

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Clark, Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Edwards, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, Ricketts, R Thomas, Todd, Wilson and Wilson-Hamilton (13) 

Against the proposal: None

Abstaining from the proposal: None

386.

Statement of Community Involvement pdf icon PDF 82 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Head of Planning.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the Statement of Community Involvement be adopted.

 

Reason for the decisions: The Council were legally required to prepare an SCI and review it at least once every five years. Consultation had been undertaken, and changes made in the light of responses to that consultation to ensure the SCI would be effective for the local community and stakeholders.

 

Minutes:

The Chairman drew attention to the additional information set out in supplement for the meeting.

 

The Head of Planning introduced the report which sought the adoption of the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI). The statement set out how the Council aimed to involve the community in the planning decisions that would shape the future of the District.

 

The Committee considered the report and made comments. The recommendations as set out in the report were proposed, seconded and when put to a vote agreed.

 

RESOLVED: That the Statement of Community Involvement be adopted.

 

Reason for the decisions: The Council were legally required to prepare an SCI and review it at least once every five years. Consultation had been undertaken, and changes made in the light of responses to that consultation to ensure the SCI would be effective for the local community and stakeholders.

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Clark, Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Edwards, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, Ricketts, R Thomas, Todd, Wilson and Wilson-Hamilton (13) 

Against the proposal: None

Abstaining from the proposal: None

387.

Planning Enforcement Plan pdf icon PDF 61 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Head of Planning.

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED: The adoption and implementation of the draft Planning Enforcement Plan as its policy and procedure for enforcing planning control in the district.

 

Reason for the decisions: The Plan would support the Council’s enforcement function and its effectiveness in prioritising planning enforcement action to ensure that public money was spent efficiently on protecting the local environment and the quality of life for local residents from the harmful effects of unauthorised developments. 

 

 

Minutes:

(Prior to the consideration of the item Councillor Vickery-Jones spoke as a member of the public.)

 

The Chairman drew attention to the additional information set out in supplement for the meeting.

 

The Head of Planning introduced the report. The Enforcement Plan had been amended following changes in legislation, relevant enforcement guidance and the Council’s procedures and had been subject to a public consultation.

 

The Committee considered the report and made comments. There was concern at the low number of responses to the consultation and the importance of implementing the plan was stressed. The recommendations as set out in the report were proposed, seconded and when put to a vote agreed.

 

RESOLVED: The adoption and implementation of the draft Planning Enforcement Plan as its policy and procedure for enforcing planning control in the district.

 

Reason for the decisions: The Plan would support the Council’s enforcement function and its effectiveness in prioritising planning enforcement action to ensure that public money was spent efficiently on protecting the local environment and the quality of life for local residents from the harmful effects of unauthorised developments. 

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Clark, Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Edwards, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, Ricketts, R Thomas, Todd, Wilson and Wilson-Hamilton (13) 

Against the proposal: None

Abstaining from the proposal: None

 

388.

Housing Revenue Account Business Plan pdf icon PDF 178 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: The adoption of the draft HRA Business Plan 2019 and the draft Disabled Adaptations Policy (Appendix D) subject to a review in a year’s time.

 

Reason for the decisions: The plan addressed the important financial and policy

challenges facing the HRA and sought to return the HRA to a stable financial position and improve the quality and performance of housing management and maintenance delivery.

Minutes:

(Prior to the consideration of the item Martin Vye spoke as a member of the public.)

 

The Deputy Chief Executive responded to points made by the speaker in regard to the homelessness service.

 

The Strategic Housing Manager introduced the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan which was the Council’s strategic plan for its housing stock and had been reviewed for the first time since 2014. He explained that the Council had to balance the need to spend to maintain existing homes with the desire to acquire new stock. There were also serious financial issues and the plan reflected the need to address the long-term financial health of the HRA. £22milion had been invested in 81 new homes over the previous two years.

 

The Committee considered the report making comments and asking questions. The Strategic Housing Manager and Deputy Chief Executive gave points of clarification where necessary including the following additional matters:

 

1.    The council were currently only replacing the right to buy housing as the current financial situation was a limiting factor. Once the budget was brought under control, the HRA may be in a position to fund an increase in its housing stock.

 

2.    There was already work underway to assess the land in the council’s ownership to see where more homes could be built.

 

3.    The HRA was one aspect of the housing picture, more homes were being provided by other means including the 180 housing association properties at Kingsmead site and other affordable housing set out in the Local Plan.

 

4.    A full options appraisal, consultation and report to councillors on the rent setting policy were a part of the housing action plan.

 

5.    In the past four years rent reductions have had a big impact on the council HRA financial position, but had limited beneficial effects for those in receipt of housing benefit, since their rent was paid for by central government.

 

The alternative options were set out in the report as follows:

 

·         Accept the HRA Business Plan 2019

·         Refuse to accept the Business Plan

·         Accept the Business Plan in part

 

RESOLVED: The adoption of the draft HRA Business Plan 2019 and the draft Disabled Adaptations Policy (Appendix D) subject to a review in a year’s time.

 

Reason for the decisions: The plan addressed the important financial and policy

challenges facing the HRA and sought to return the HRA to a stable financial position and improve the quality and performance of housing management and maintenance delivery.

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Clark, Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Ricketts, R Thomas, Todd and Wilson-Hamilton (10)

Against the proposal: None

Abstaining from the proposal: Councillors Edwards, Kenny and Wilson (3)

389.

Wincheap Park and Ride Expansion pdf icon PDF 333 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED: That the matter be deferred to the next meeting of Council.

 

Reason for the decisions: The decision has wide implications and would benefit from the input of more councillors.

 

Minutes:

(Prior to the consideration of the item the following members of the public spoke, Richard Norman, Professor Peckham and Sian Pettman.)

 

The Chairman drew attention to the additional information set out in supplement for the meeting.

 

The Head of Transportation and the Environment responded to points made by the speakers including the following matters:

 

1.    The land was indicated in the Local Plan and was the subject of the Local Plan examination.

 

2.    Park and ride would play its part in reducing the traffic issues. Although train and bus would be better, Park and Ride provided an alternative to people driving into the City centre.

 

3.    It was important to site the park and ride next to the strategic road network.

 

4.    The Serco site could not provide all of the spaces that projections suggested should be provided.

 

5.    The boundary at the Serco site would be the A28 not the road that was currently there, as the road layout would have changed.

 

6.    The multi storey option would be more expensive. As the park and ride was a subsidised service there would be no way for the service to pay back this extra spending.

 

7.    The multi-storey would allow the facility to take up a smaller footprint and be set further back from the river but it was likely to have a greater visual impact.

 

The Chairman proposed that the decision to approve the continuation of the project be deferred to the Council meeting, in the knowledge that the Planning Committee would have first taken a decision on whether or not the planning permission be granted based solely on its planning merits. This was seconded and, when put to a vote later in the debate, AGREED.

 

The Committee considered that matter and made comments. The Chief Executive and Head of Transportation and the Environment gave points of clarification where required. The following additional matters were covered:

 

1.    Where a single decision involved consideration of matters that would usually be considered by multiple committees the decision was referred to Policy and Resources who had a remit to consider cross cutting issues.

 

2.    When considering the environmental impacts of the project it was important to take a holistic view rather than just considering the effect of the change in traffic movements.

 

3.    There was no master plan setting out the approach to the development of Wincheap.

 

4.    The original decision to approve the project was taken as part of the bigger transportation picture. The decision related to the local plan and the transport strategy. Alternative sites were looked at and ruled out. The Wincheap site was not chosen in isolation.

 

RESOLVED: That the matter be deferred to the next meeting of Council.

 

Reason for the decisions: The decision has wide implications and would benefit from the input of more councillors.

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Clark, Cook, Dekker, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, R Thomas, Todd and Wilson-Hamilton (8)

Against the proposal: Councillors Dixey, Edwards, Kenny, Ricketts  ...  view the full minutes text for item 389.

390.

Review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations pdf icon PDF 87 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(During the debate Councillor Clark made a voluntary announcement that he was a member of a church that was used as a venue by the council)

 

The Chairman drew attention to the additional information set out in the supplement for the meeting.

 

The Chairman of the cross party Working Group introduced the report which outlined the steps the council had taken to comply with the compulsory review and the consideration of representations made during the consultation, together with a recommended scheme for adoption.

 

The Elections Manager and her team were thanked for their years of hard work.

 

The Committee considered the report and made comments. The Chief Executive gave points of clarification where necessary. The follow matters were discussed:

 

1.    It was desirable to avoid places of worship or those with a license to sell alcohol. However, it was not always possible to do so and consideration needed to be given to the facilities available, particularly access arrangements.

 

2.    It had been necessary to write to a school in Whitstable to advise them that if they were not able to agree to facilitate a polling station it may be necessary for the Council to use its powers and compel them to do so.

 

3.    It was not always possible to use a preferred location particularly when there was short notice of an election.

 

RECOMMENDED (to Full Council):

 

(a)  That the proposed scheme for polling districts and polling places, as suggested at Appendix 2 and amended by the information contained in the agenda supplement, be approved and adopted and used for the revised Register of Electors for 2019, to be published on 1 December 2019.

 

(b)  That when any future review is undertaken on ward boundaries by the Local Government Boundary Commission, they be requested to include polling district RBF5 within their work.

 

Reason for the decisions: The proposed scheme had been developed based on comments received during the consultation process and recommendations from the Councillor Working Group, and is considered to represent the best arrangements presently available.

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Clark, Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Edwards, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, Ricketts, R Thomas, Todd, Wilson and Wilson-Hamilton (13)

Against the proposal: None

Abstaining from the proposal: None

391.

Council Representatives on Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 72 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Chief Executive.

Decision:

RESOLVED: That Councillor Flack be the Council’s representative on the Quality Bus Partnership.

 

Reason for the decisions: Having a Council representative on an outside body provides councillors with the opportunity to interact with the local community and help build a vibrant and sustainable community and provides the outside body with a contact within the Council.

Minutes:

(Earlier in the meeting the Committee had unanimously agreed to defer the matter of the appointment to the Herne Bay Pier Trust).

 

The Monitoring Officer spoke prior to the meeting to advise those present on a point of law.

 

(Prior to the consideration of item the following members of the public spoke; Andrew Harvey, David Townsend, Lyn Baker, Doreen Stone, Colin Barker and Tamsin Stone.)

 

The Chief Executive introduced the report which put forward the recommendations the Appointment to Outside Bodies Working Group.

 

RESOLVED: That Councillor Flack be the Council’s representative on the Quality Bus Partnership.

 

Reason for the decisions: Having a Council representative on an outside body provides councillors with the opportunity to interact with the local community and help build a vibrant and sustainable community and provides the outside body with a contact within the Council.

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Clark, Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Edwards, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, R Thomas, Todd, Wilson and Wilson-Hamilton (12)

Against the proposal: None

Abstaining from the proposal: Councillor Ricketts (1)

392.

Military Road Council Offices Site pdf icon PDF 1 MB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

 

(Please note that further information is contained later on in this agenda as it is exempt from publication).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Chief Executive introduced the report which explained that the council had completed a feasibility study to assess the use of the current council office site.

 

Efficiency savings would be achieved by moving to a smaller, sustainable, fit-for-purpose, accessible building and would contribute to the achievement of the Council’s target of reducing its net carbon emissions to zero by 2030.

 

Twenty alternative sites for the council office accommodation had been considered and a site in Wincheap was recommended. The Wincheap option allowed the Military Road and Station Road West sites to be developed for housing.

 

Wincheap was also more successful when compared with the other sites when looking at non car transport links and so it would have reduced parking and measures would be put in place to help staff transition to new modes of transport.

 

The Committee wished to debate the finances which were exempt from publication and so the debate took place in the private session, detailed at minute 398.

393.

The Future of East Kent Housing pdf icon PDF 200 KB

TO CONSIDER the report of the Director of Commissioned Services

 

(Please note that further information is contained later on in the agenda as it is exempt from publication).

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  That in principle the Council’s preferred option for landlord services in Canterbury should be to withdraw from East Kent Housing and that the services currently provided by EKH should be delivered directly by the Council, subject to a similar agreement by each individual client council.

(b)  To approve the commencement of a formal consultation exercise with all tenants (and leaseholders, as required) on the preferred option to satisfy the requirements of Section 105 of the Housing Act 1985.

(c)  To agree that the consultation results should be presented to this Committee for consideration and a final decision on the preferred option in early 2020.

(d)  To delegate to the Chief Executive the authority to make amendments to the suggested consultation process, so as to secure, if possible, a common approach to tenants across all four Councils, and to comply with the requirements of the Social Housing Regulator.

 

Reason for the decisions: Following a period of serious performance and health and safety compliance failings by EKH, it was an appropriate point to reassess how to most effectively deliver the four council’s housing management services. Bringing the service in-house would provide the best opportunity to make improvements and provide each council with the strongest levels of control. It would put the housing management service in a better position in relation to each council’s wider corporate plan priorities to secure improved outcomes for residents.

 

(Information contained in the annex exempt from publication was considered when the Committee made its decisions).

 

Minutes:

The Chief Executive updated Committee on the compliance issues which had first emerged in May. Work by the East Kent Audit Partnership had revealed that the issues related to a number of areas of safety.

 

The original issue was gas safety and this had been resolved. In regards to the other areas of non-compliance action was being taken across the board and they were being monitored closely.

 

The four Councils had self-reported to the housing regulator who had subsequently issued a regulatory notice. The Council would continue to work with them.

 

Officers of all councils were recommending that the housing service should be bought back in house. Consultation with the tenant and the wider public would need to take place and the process would take a couple of months to complete.

 

Alternative options were set out as follows:

·         Retain and refocus the current East Kent Housing (EKH) Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) arrangement.

·         Withdraw from EKH and return the provision of housing management services back in-house under direct management of each council

·         Withdraw from EKH and form a new shared housing service with one or more of the other councils (this would not be an ALMO)

·         Outsource the service to one or more external providers

 

Chairman proposed and seconded that the resolutions in the report and these were unanimously agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(a)  That in principle the Council’s preferred option for landlord services in Canterbury should be to withdraw from East Kent Housing and that the services currently provided by EKH should be delivered directly by the Council, subject to a similar agreement by each individual client council.

(b)  To approve the commencement of a formal consultation exercise with all tenants (and leaseholders, as required) on the preferred option to satisfy the requirements of Section 105 of the Housing Act 1985.

(c)  To agree that the consultation results should be presented to this Committee for consideration and a final decision on the preferred option in early 2020.

(d)  To delegate to the Chief Executive the authority to make amendments to the suggested consultation process, so as to secure, if possible, a common approach to tenants across all four Councils, and to comply with the requirements of the Social Housing Regulator.

 

Reason for the decisions: Following a period of serious performance and health and safety compliance failings by EKH, it was an appropriate point to reassess how to most effectively deliver the four council’s housing management services. Bringing the service in-house would provide the best opportunity to make improvements and provide each council with the strongest levels of control. It would put the housing management service in a better position in relation to each council’s wider corporate plan priorities to secure improved outcomes for residents.

 

(Information contained in the annex exempt from publication was considered when the Committee made its decisions).

 

Record of the voting

For the proposal: Councillors Clark, Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Edwards, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, Ricketts, R Thomas, Todd, Wilson and Wilson-Hamilton (13)

Against the proposal: None  ...  view the full minutes text for item 393.

394.

Date of next meeting

7pm on 13 November 2019, the Guildhall, St Peter’s Place, Canterbury.

Minutes:

7pm on the 13 November 2019, at the Guildhall, St Peter’s Place, Canterbury, CT1 2DB.

395.

Any other urgent business to be dealt with in public

Minutes:

There was no urgent business for the meeting.

396.

Exclusion of the press and public

TO RESOLVE – That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that there would be disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act or the Freedom of Information Act or both.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items of business on the grounds that there would be disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act or the Freedom of Information Act or both.

397.

The Future of East Kent Housing - exempt annex

(This information is exempt from publication as it is subject to legal professional privilege. As such paragraph 5 of part one of of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 applies.)

 

TO NOTE

Minutes:

This information was born in mind when the committee made its decision at minute 393.

398.

Military Road Council Offices Site Annex Exempt from Publication

(This report contains information the disclosure of which is likely to prejudice the commercial interest of both the Council and other bodies (section 43 Freedom of Information Act 2000). The Council considers that at present the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing it. Paragraph 3 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 also applies.)

 

TO CONSIDER

Minutes:

The Committee members discussed matters making points and asking questions. The Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Executive gave points of clarification as necessary.

 

It was agreed that the matter be referred to the Council meeting to consider and the Committee chose to make recommendations in regard to two of the proposals in the report.

 

It was agreed by general assent that the Chief Executive would work with the political group leaders to ensure that the relevant additional information was provided when the remaining matters brought back to Committee.

 

RECOMMENDED (to Full Council):

 

(a)  That the Council should construct new administrative headquarters, to be as environmentally friendly as possible, as a replacement for the current premises at Military Road.

 

(b)  That the Guildhall remained the main venue for Council and committee meetings

 

Record of the voting for recommendation (a)

For the proposal: Councillors Clark, Cook, Dekker, Edwards, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, Kenny, R Thomas, Todd, Wilson and Wilson Hamilton (11)

Against the proposal: Councillor Dixey (1)

Abstaining from the proposal: Councillor Ricketts (1)

 

Record of the voting for recommendation (b)

For the proposal: Councillors Clark, Cook, Dekker, Dixey, Glover, L Jones-Roberts, R Thomas, Todd and Wilson-Hamilton (9)

Against the proposal: Councillors Kenny, Ricketts and Wilson (3)

Abstaining from the proposal: Councillor Edwards (1)

399.

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

Minutes:

There was no urgent business for the Committee to consider.