ModernGov

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre Folkestone. View directions

Contact: Jemma West 

Items
No. Item

12.

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.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest at the meeting.

13.

Minutes

To receive the minutes of the meetings of the council held on 19 February, 16 September, 21 October and 25 November 2020, and 24 February 2021, and to authorise the Chairman of the Council to sign them as a correct record.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 19 February, 16 September, 21 October and 25 November 2020, and 24 February 2021 were submitted, approved, and signed by the Chairman.

14.

Chairman's Communications

Minutes:

The Chairman gave the following communications:

 

“Since the easing of some of the COVID restrictions, I have visited a number of businesses in the Folkestone area, to see how they have been coping during such difficult times. I have been pleased and well assured that they all appreciated the funding received through both local and central Government grants etc.

 

I attended the Canada Day Memorial service, at the invitation of the Folkestone Town Council Mayor where I met several veterans and British legion members.

 

I was also pleased to be at the Armed forces day raising of the flag ceremony at the Civic Centre.

 

I was invited to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Kent Coast Electrification and had an enjoyable trip on the train to Sandwich where I learned a great deal about railway history, which I wouldn’t have had an opportunity to do otherwise.

 

Included in other recent events was the Normandy landings anniversary at Folkestone Memorial Gardens”.

15.

Petitions

There are no petitions to be presented.

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions to be presented.

16.

Questions from the Public

The following questions have been received:

 

1.    From Ms S Batchelor to Councillor Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Special Projects

 

There is not enough affordable and social housing available now.  As future generations of local workers won’t be able to afford to buy or even rent property in the district. What assurance can the councillor give that those individuals won't be forced to seek jobs and affordable homes many miles away from their home town, isolated from their families and friends? 

 

2.    From Mrs M Lawes to Councillor Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Special Projects

Due to the lack of house building over last 30/40 years by FHDC, the fact that London Councils, KCC renting properties through Clear Springs, Police, Probation service and other local authorities have had residents housed in East Folkestone and Harbour Ward, that young people with mental health are being housed in sheltered accommodation for 55’s and over, this is disproportionate in such a small area of the district and has left no affordable accommodation for locals to rent. Does this council agree that their policy to deliver 300 homes over 10 years is woefully inadequate and should be adjusted to reflect local need?

 

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.

17.

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.

18.

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 gave the following announcements:

 

“Thank you Chairman, and good evening to you all.

 

It is nice to be meeting in person again.

 

You, like me, will be appalled at the deterioration of the waste service and I can only echo Councillor Peall’s apology to all of our residents that have been affected and assure you and them that we are doing everything that we can to try and resolve the situation.  Unfortunately, just as we thought that things were going to improve, self-isolation among Veolia’s staff increased dramatically, and that, along with the country wide driver shortage means that we have had to suspend the garden waste collection service to give priority to the main household collection streams. Not a situation that we want to be in, so we will have to continue to try to find solutions as quickly as we can. I thank Councillor Jim Martin for his support.

 

On a lighter front, I am happy to report that our Revenues and Benefits teams have been short listed in 4 out of the 5 categories for the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation Awards (IRRV), wonderful recognition of the sterling work they have done, and continue to do.

 

Another piece of good news is that we have achieved the Gold Award under the Armed Forces Covenant Scheme. Well done to the team.

 

Also, the Triennial is due to start on 22 July, and will be extended until 2 November, to bring business to schools. There is some interesting art work on display.

 

Finally, the NHS have announced that this coming Saturday, from 10am, the Folca vaccination centre will be open for anyone over 18 to drop in to get either their first or second jab. I will ask you to pass this information on, especially to our younger adults.

 

Councillor McConville, on behalf of the opposition, responded to the Leader’s announcements and advised that he echoed the Leader’s feelings on the Veolia situation. He suggested that more proactive communications would be helpful for residents.  Information should be available on the council’s website, ensuring honesty and openness. Residents would then be more understanding.  He looked forward to the Task and Finish meeting scheduled for Monday. He echoed the Leader’s congratulations to the Revenues and Benefits Team, and the praised the success in the Armed Forces Covenant Scheme.  He then advised he had now received his second jab. He added that Folca were also offering a drop in for second vaccinations on this coming Friday (23 July).

 

The Leader then replied that he agreed with regard to the point on communications, but he added that it was a fast moving situation, and communications could quickly become out of date.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the announcements of the Leader be noted.

19.

Opposition Business

The Labour Group has raised the following matter:

 

Council Notes

·       That there were 1360 incidents of fly tipping in the district in 2019/20

·       That a charge on bulky waste collection is a barrier to some households disposing of their unwanted items by official means.

·       That a significant amount of council resource is used to remove items from the kerbside.

·       Areas that contain a higher number of low-income households such as parts of Folkestone and Romney Marsh, require more of that resource than other parts of the district.

 

Council also notes that many other councils across the UK have a varied approach to bulky waste collection.

·       Many councils offer free collection slots during the year to low income households

·       Many councils offer discounted rates to low-income households.

·       Many council's websites include signposting on their bulky waste collection page to organisations such as the British Heart Foundation, to inform residents of other means to dispose of unwanted items.

 

Council Resolves

·       To request that cabinet consider a report that looks to address fly tipping across the district by means of amending the Bulky Waste Collection Scheme. This report should consider a number of options weighed against allocation of resources. These options should include

·       A minimum of 1 free collection per year for households in receipt of

·       Council tax support

·       Housing benefit

·       Income related job seekers allowance

·       Pension credit (guaranteed rate)

·       Income support

·       Universal credit (the housing element)

·       A reduced rate for additional collections (capped per year) for those in receipt of the support schemes listed previous.

·       Improved signposting on the council website to other organisations that may be able to help residents remove unwanted household items.

·       Consider the appropriateness of the current pricing structure of the bulky waste collection as compared to other neighbouring authorities.

 

Debates on opposition business shall be limited to 30 minutes.  If the time limit is reached or the debate concludes earlier, the leader of the group raising the item shall have a right of reply.

 

The Council shall:

 

a)         Note the issue raised and take no further action;

b)         Refer the issue to the cabinet or relevant overview and scrutiny committee, as the case may be for their observations before deciding whether to make a decision on the issue;

c)         Agree to examine the matter as part of a future scrutiny programme;

d)         Adopt the issue raised by opposition business provided that the decision so made is within the policy framework and budget.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor McConville, set out his Opposition Business which asked the council to address fly tipping across the district by means of amending the Bulky Waste Collection Scheme.

 

Proposed by Councillor McConville,

Seconded by Councillor Keen; and

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Option (b) (refer the issue to Cabinet, for their observations before deciding whether to make a decision on the issue) be agreed for the business below.

 

To request that cabinet consider a report that looks to address fly tipping across the district by means of amending the Bulky Waste Collection Scheme. This report should consider a number of options weighed against allocation of resources. These options should include:

·       A minimum of 1 free collection per year for households in receipt of

·       Council tax support

·       Housing benefit

·       Income related job seekers allowance

·       Pension credit (guaranteed rate)

·       Income support

·       Universal credit (the housing element)

·       A reduced rate for additional collections (capped per year) for those in receipt of the support schemes listed previous.

·       Improved signposting on the council website to other organisations that may be able to help residents remove unwanted household items.

·       Consider the appropriateness of the current pricing structure of the bulky waste collection as compared to other neighbouring authorities.

 

(Voting figures: 27 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

20.

Motions on Notice

There are no motions on notice.

 

Minutes:

There were no motions on notice at the meeting.

21.

Pay policy statement 2021/22

This report considers the recommendation from the Personnel Committee and presents an updated pay policy statement for 2021/22 for approval.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report considered the recommendation from the Personnel Committee and presented an updated pay policy statement for 2021/22 for approval.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.     That report A/21/08 be received and noted.

2.          That the recommendations of the Personnel Committee be approved.

3.          That the updated Pay Policy Statement appended to the report for 2021/22 be approved under S38(1) of the Localism Act 2011.

 

(Voting figures: 27 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

22.

Report to Council on a key decision made in accordance with the constitution's call-in and urgency rule

The constitution provides that, when an urgent key decision is made by the Cabinet, for which any delay in implementation, likely to be caused by the call-in process, would seriously prejudice the Council’s or public interest, then the ‘Call-in Rules of Procedure’, Part 6.3, rules 1-6 do not apply.  Key decisions, taken as a matter of urgency, must be reported to the next available meeting of the Council, together with the reasons for urgency. 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The constitution provides that, when an urgent key decision is made by the Cabinet, for which any delay in implementation, likely to be caused by the call-in process, would seriously prejudice the Council’s or public interest, then the ‘Call-in Rules of Procedure’, Part 6.3, rules 1-6 do not apply.  Key decisions, taken as a matter of urgency, must be reported to the next available meeting of the Council, together with the reasons for urgency. 

 

As part of the debate, Councillor Monk gave his answer to Councillor question 15, as the time limit had expired during the Councillor Questions item.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee;

 

RESOLVED:

That report A/21/09 be received and noted.

 

(Voting figures: 29 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

23.

Report from the Independent Remuneration Panel on Members' Allowances and Expenses

This report recommends the consideration of the proposals of the Council’s Independent Remuneration Panel and the comments of the Governance Working Group that the Members’ Allowance Scheme for  members of Folkestone and Hythe District Council be amended.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report recommended the proposals from the Council’s Independent Remuneration Panel with the comments of the Governance Working Group that the Members’ Allowance Scheme of Folkestone and Hythe District Council be amended.

 

Proposed by Councillor Prater,

Seconded by Councillor Godfrey; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.    That report A/21/10 be received and noted.

2.    That the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel and the views of  the Governance Working Group as set out in paragraph 2.3 (a) - (h) of the report be noted, and that the Members’ Allowance Scheme be amended to adopt the views of the Working Group as set out in bold in paragraph 2.3 (a) – (h) of the report

3.    That the amendments come into effect on 22 July 2021.

4.    That the Parental Leave Policy as set out in Appendix 2 be adopted.

 

(Voting figures: 29 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

24.

Romney Marsh Coastal Destination including Beach Chalet Project

This report seeks Full Council approval for additional funding to deliver the Cabinet approved proposal of the Romney Marsh Coastal Destination including beach Chalet project. The project will deliver new beach huts, toilet facilities including a changing places toilet, a concession/café, upgraded car parking facilities and public realm improvements that will link with New Romney Town Councils “The Green” area to create a true visitor destination.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report sought Full Council approval for additional funding to deliver the Cabinet approved proposal of the Romney Marsh Coastal Destination including beach Chalet project. The project will deliver new beach huts, toilet facilities including a changing places toilet, a concession/café, upgraded car parking facilities and public realm improvements that will link with New Romney Town Councils “The Green” area to create a true visitor destination.

 

Proposed by Councillor Collier,

Seconded by Councillor Wimble;

 

RESOLVED:

1.         That report A/21/11 be received and noted.

2.         That the recommendations of Cabinet Report C/21/13 (Attached as appendix 4 of the report) be noted. .

3.         That additional borrowing of £518k to be added to the Council’s Capital Programme.

 

(Voting figures: 20 for, 0 against, 7 abstentions).