ModernGov

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre Folkestone

Contact: Jemma West 

Items
No. Item

68.

Declarations of Interest

Members of the Council should declare any discloseable pecuniary interest or any other significant interests in any item/s on this agenda.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest at the meeting.

69.

Minutes

To receive the minutes of the meeting of the council held on 19 December 2018 and to authorise the Chairman of the Council to sign them as a correct record.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 December 2018 were submitted, approved and signed by the Chairman.

 

70.

Chairman's Communications

Minutes:

The Chairman reported the following:

 

“A few words only from me this evening as we have other excitements ahead!

 

Firstly, I would like to mention Holocaust Memorial Day and the observation of this by Folkestone Town Council. Holocaust Memorial Day is an internationally recognised day to remember the millions who were murdered by the Nazis during the Second World War.  It also recognises other genocides including those more recently in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and currently in Darfur, Sudan and Syria.  Pupils from Folkestone Academy, Folkestone School for Girls, Harvey Grammar School and Brockhill Park Performing Arts College researched each of these atrocities and made moving presentations to the assembled guests.  While many Towns and Cities observe Holocaust Memorial Day, Folkestone is apparently the only town in the UK to have a permanent Holocaust Memorial Stone.

 

Back at the end of January, I was pleased to welcome a group of students from Stella Maris Primary School Folkestone to the Civic Centre. I think that this was the third time that they had visited, the first visit having been suggested by Councillor Mrs Jeffrey who if I may digress for a moment, has I understand a milestone birthday today which she is spending here with us this evening rather than with her family!  To return to the School visit, the children are all Members of their School Council and I was able to explain how this council works. They tried on the Civic Chain for photographs. I then chaired a debate here in the Chamber on the subject of “Should the lunch break be extended from 45 minutes to 1 hour?”. I am pleased to report that democracy was seen to take place and it was wonderful to see the level of debate that was achieved. Voting was unanimously in favour!

 

For a number of years, the Chairman of this council has regularly attended the AGM of the Shepway Volunteer Centre to acknowledge this council’s recognition of the voluntary sector here in our district.  The past month has seen the announcement of a new organisation, Kent Coast Volunteers.  Our local group have now therefore merged with similar organisations in Thanet and Dover with a streamlined management structure. Kent Coast Volunteers are part of the Stronger Kent Communities consortium who have the KCC contract to deliver community support in our Area. I have spoken of my strong support for the Voluntary sector before, and it was a pleasure to re-demonstrate this on this occasion.

 

Thank you”.

71.

Petitions

There are no petitions to be presented.

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions to be presented to the meeting.

72.

Questions from the Public

1.         From Mr Rylands to Councillor Berry, Cabinet Member for Transport and Commercial

 

What are the numbers of FoI/EiR requests which have not been made applicant blind when sent onto the relevant departments and the number which have for the period April 1st 2017 through to present?

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The questions asked, including supplementary questions (if any), and the answers given are set out in Schedule 1, appended to these minutes.

73.

Questions from Councillors

(Questions can be found on www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk from noon 2 days before the meeting, on Modern.gov, under the agenda for this meeting).

 

Up to 45 minutes is allowed for questions from councillors.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The questions asked, including supplementary questions (if any), and the answers given are set out in Schedule 2, appended to these minutes.

74.

Announcements of the Leader of the Council

To receive a report from the Leader of the Council on the business of the cabinet and on matters that the leader considers should be drawn to the council’s attention. The leader shall have 10 minutes to make his announcements.

 

The opposition group will have an opportunity to reply to the leader’s remarks.  The opposition group leader shall have 5 minutes to respond after which the Leader of the Council will have a right of reply.  Any right of reply will be for a maximum duration of 5 minutes.

Minutes:

The Leader made the following announcements:

 

“Good evening to all,

 

The first thing I must do is to congratulate Councillor Rory Love on the award of his OBE that was given in recognition of his service to Local Government. I must say that it is well deserved with his long service to South Eastern Employers and of course currently his chairmanship of the CCA. Well done Rory!

 

As you have just heard in the answer to Councillor Goddard’s question, our Area Officer Team is making a tremendous impact on the appearance of the District. I am pleased to announce that they have made it to a short list for this year’s iESE Awards in two categories: “Community Focus – Place” and “Transforming Environmental Services”.  The awards will take place on 6 March in London and I am sure that we all wish them well.

 

On the subject of the Area Officers, we are recommending to the council that the team is made permanent and is included in the base budget. We are also in negotiation with KCC to take over the cleansing of the road traffic signs that are so often dirty or obscured and so detract from the appearance of the District.

 

I am also pleased to announce that finance having done some calculations after the Government lifting the cap on HRA borrowing, we are now able to revert to our target 300 new council homes in ten years up from 200 that the rent reduction caused us to adopt.

 

Now for an update on Otterpool Park Green Town. I am promised that outlined planning permission will be applied for before the end of this month.  Formal consultation will start about mid-March. It seems to be taking forever, but I am assured that in fact we are doing extremely well when compared to the other green towns.  This is probably reflected in the further £1.25million grant the Government has given us to assist our Masterplanning.

 

Finally, hot off the press, our Head of Paid Service has managed to negotiate an extra £136,000 over and above the original £35,000 for Brexit Planning.  Well done!”

 

The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Meyers, responded and stated that as usual, there was little in the Leaders announcements which he could disagree with. He passed his personal congratulations on to Councillor Love for a well-deserved award, and added that Councillor Love had spent a lot of time serving the community, both as a politician and as a community champion.

 

He stated that the lifting of the cap on the HRA borrowing was welcomed, as was the reversion to the new target of 300 Council homes. He hoped that they could be delivered.

 

With regard to Otterpool Park, although it would not be good news for everyone, but for young families seeking a home, it would be good news.

 

Regarding Brexit, a lot of people were nervous as what was to come, and living in close proximity to the EU made the potential impact  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

Opposition Business

There is no Opposition Business.

Minutes:

There was no opposition business submitted to the meeting.

76.

Motions on Notice

There are no motions on notice.

Minutes:

There were no motions on notice.

77.

Empty Homes Premium

From 1 April 2019, billing authorities will be given the ability to amend long term empty home Council Tax premiums. This report reviews these proposals and recommends that some changes are introduced from the new financial year 2019/20.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

From 1 April 2019, billing authorities will be given the ability to amend long term empty home Council Tax premiums. The report reviewed these proposals and recommended that some changes be introduced from the new financial year 2019/20.

 

Proposed by Councillor Dearden,

Seconded by Councillor Ewart-James; and

 

ReSOLVED:   

1.      That report A/18/18 be received and noted.

2.      That the new Council Tax empty home premiums from the 2019/20 financial year onwards as demonstrated in Table 1 of the report be adopted.

3.      That the exemption of a property when it is ‘actively marketed’ if it meets the premium criteria rules (3.3 to 3.5), be removed.

 

(Voting figures: 23 for, 0 against, 2 abstentions).

78.

Update to the General fund Medium Term Capital Programme and Budget Monitoring 2018/19

This report updates the General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme for the five year period ending 31 March 2024. The report provides a projected outturn for the General Fund capital programme in 2018/19, based on expenditure to 30 November 2018. The General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme is required to be submitted to full Council for consideration and approval as part of the budget process. This report also sets out both the Prudential Indicators for capital expenditure and the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2019/20 to be approved by full Council. Overview and Scrutiny Committee were due to consider this report on 19 February ahead of Cabinet approving it earlier today to be submitted to full Council.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report updated the General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme for the five year period ending 31 March 2024. The report provided a projected outturn for the General Fund capital programme in 2018/19, based on expenditure to 30 November 2018. The General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme was required to be submitted to full Council for consideration and approval as part of the budget process. The report also set out both the Prudential Indicators for capital expenditure and the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2019/20 to be approved by full Council. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet had both considered the report to be submitted to Full Council.

 

Proposed by Councillor Dearden,

Seconded by Councillor Monk; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.        That report A/18/19 be received and noted.

2.        That the updated General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme as set out in appendix 2 to the report be approved.

3.        That the Prudential Indicators for capital and borrowing set out in the appendix 3 to the report be approved.

4.        That the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Policy Statement for 2019/20 set out in appendix 4 to the report be approved.

 

(Voting figures: 22 for, 3 against, 0 abstentions).

 

79.

General Fund Budget & Council Tax Requirement 2019/20

This report concludes the budget setting process for 2019/20. It sets out recommendations for setting the council tax after taking into account the district’s council tax requirement (including town and parish council requirements and special expenses in respect of the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds Charity), the precepts of Kent County Council, the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner and the Kent & Medway Fire & Rescue Service.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report concluded the budget setting process for 2019/20. It set out recommendations for setting the council tax after taking into account the district’s Council Tax requirement (including town and parish council requirements and special expenses in respect of the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds Charity), the precepts of Kent County Council, the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner and the Kent & Medway Fire & Rescue Service.

 

The Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Dearden, advised on the following amendments to the recommendations set out in the report:

 

·        Recommendation 3(h) had contained a minor formatting error, and a replacement table had been provided and put before Members.

·        Recommendation 5 had contained some minor rounding errors, and a replacement table had been provided and put before Members.

·        At the Cabinet Meeting held earlier that evening, Cabinet had resolved to add an additional recommendation to report C/18/74 as follows:

“To agree the establishment of an earmarked reserve titled “High Streets Regeneration” to support the delivery of regeneration projects within the Folkestone and Hythe district area. To earmark £3 million to be transferred from the Council’s forecast general reserve balance”.  This recommendation would replace recommendation 2 of the Council report.  The revised recommendation read “To approve the District Council’s budget for 2019/20 as presented in the revised Appendix 1 to this report and the Council Tax requirement for 2019/20, to be met from the Collection fund, of £12,598,350”.  The revised appendix 1 had been put before Members at the meeting.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Lawes,

Seconded by Councillor Miss Govett;

 

That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had not had an opportunity to consider the additional recommendation put forward by Cabinet, and therefore the report should be rejected, and put back before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration.

 

(Voting figures: 3 for, 22 against, 0 abstentions).

 

The motion was therefore LOST.

 

Proposed by Councillor Dearden,

Seconded by Councillor Monk; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.        That report A/18/22 be received and noted.

2.        That the District Council’s budget for 2019/20 as presented in the revised Appendix 1 to the report and the Council Tax requirement for 2019/20, to be met from the Collection Fund, of £12,598,350, be approved.

3.        That the following amounts be now calculated by the Council for the year 2019/20 in accordance with sections 31 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (the Act), be approved:

a)    £97,090,012 – being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) (a) to (f) of the Act (as in Appendix 2).

b)   £84,491,662 – being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) (a) to (d) of the Act (as in Appendix 2).

c)    £12,598,350 – being the amount by which the aggregate at 3(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 3(b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act, as its council tax requirement for the year (as in Appendix 2).

d)   £322.56 – being  ...  view the full minutes text for item 79.

80.

Housing Revenue Account Revenue and Capital Original budget 2019/20

This report sets out the Housing Revenue Account Revenue and Capital Budget for 2019/20 and proposes a decrease in weekly rents and an increase in service charges for 2019/20.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report set out the Housing Revenue Account Revenue and Capital Budget for 2019/20 and proposed a decrease in weekly rents and an increase in service charges for 2019/20.

 

Proposed by Councillor Ewart-James,

Seconded by Councillor Dearden; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.    That report A/18/20 be received and noted.

2.    That the Housing Revenue Account Budget for 2019/20 (refer to paragraph 2.1 and Appendix 1) be approved.

3.    That the decrease in rents of dwellings within the HRA on average by £0.83 per week, representing a 1.0% decrease with effect from 1 April 2019 (refer to paragraph 3.2), be approved.

4.    That the increase in service charges (refer to section 3.5), be approved.

5.    That the Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme budget 2019/20 (refer to paragraph 4.1 and Appendix 2), be approved.

 

(Voting figures: 24 for, 0 against, 1 abstentions).

81.

Capital Strategy 2019/20

This report sets out the council’s proposed strategy in relation to capital expenditure, financing and treasury management in 2019/20 to be approved by full Council.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report set out the council’s proposed strategy in relation to capital expenditure, financing and treasury management in 2019/20.

 

Proposed by Councillor Dearden,

Seconded by Councillor Monk; and


RESOLVED:

1.        That report A/18/23 be received and noted.

2.        That the 2019/20 Capital Strategy set out in the appendix to the report be adopted.

 

(Voting figures: 23 for, 2 against, 0 abstentions).

 

82.

Investment Strategy 2019/20

This report sets out the council’s proposed strategy for its service and commercial investments in 2019/20 to be approved by full Council. Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered this report on 29 January 2019 ahead of Cabinet approving it on 30 January 2019 to be submitted to full Council.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report set out the council’s proposed strategy for its service and commercial investments in 2019/20. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee had considered the report on 29 January 2019 ahead of Cabinet approving it on 30 January 2019.

 

Proposed by Councillor Dearden,

Seconded by Councillor Monk; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.        That report A/18/21 be received and noted.

2.      That the 2019/20 Investment Strategy, including the Investment Indicators, set out in the appendix to the report be approved.

 

(Voting figures: 23 for, 0 against, 2 abstentions).