ModernGov

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre Folkestone. View directions

Contact: Jemma West 

Items
No. Item

25.

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.

26.

Minutes

To receive the minutes of the meeting of the council held on 21 July 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 21 July 2021 were submitted, approved, and signed by the Chairman.

27.

Chairman's Communications

Minutes:

The Chairman gave the following communications:

 

“Since our previous council meeting on 21 July, I have continued to visit local businesses to see how they are recovering following the lifting of most of the COVID-19 restrictions.  It was evident that there still exists a certain nervousness amongst the public getting out, mixing with people, and being out to support the local economy. However, there were encouraging signs of optimism about business returning to pre-COVID levels but this would take some time.

 

Events I have attended on behalf of the council included:

 

·         A visit to Brooklands, Sandwich on 20 August, by invitation of Councillors Paul and Mrs Sue Graeme.

·         Raising Royal Ensign on Navy Day on 3 September.

·         Arlington Castle on 3 September.

·         Tenterden Annual Town Service on 5 September.

·         Visit to Chatham Dockyard on 7 September.

·         Visit to Ashford Mayor’s post COVID “Getting back together ceremony” on 14 September.

·         Margate caves tour courtesy of the Town’s Mayor on 17 September.

 

My Vice-Chairman Councillor Tony Hills was able to attend the New Romney Mayor’s event on 19 September, and I would like to thank him for standing in, as I had other commitments.

 

I hope to be in a position to organise a fund raising event of our own early next year, when we will be inviting dignitaries from the neighbouring towns”.

28.

Petitions

There are no petitions to be presented.

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions to be presented.

29.

Questions from the Public

The following questions have been received:

 

1.         FromMrs M Lawes to Councillor Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Special Projects

 

FHDC has allowed young people with mental health issues, into Council owned Sheltered Housing for over 55 or over 60 years old. . Which brings its own problems to places that were thought to be safe for the elderly.

 

Is it now Councils policy to reduce sheltered housing for the elderly especially in the deprived areas of East Folkestone & Harbour Ward?

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.

 

30.

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.

 

31.

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.

 

I would like to start by highlighting the tremendously good service this council delivers to its customers.

 

As you know, to assess our interaction with our customers and partners, we engaged the Centre for Assessment to assess our performance in these areas under the ‘Customer Service Excellence’ certification scheme.

 

From the start, we were found to be compliant on all 250 of the basic parameters and year on year have continued to win Compliance Plus awards. These awards are given for exceptional and innovative delivery with strong emphasis on engagement inside and outside of the council.

 

I am very pleased to announce that after the recent follow up assessment we have gained another two awards, bringing our total to a magnificent 17.

 

What is particularly gratifying is that we have done this despite the COVID 19 pandemic. Indeed, the assessor remarked that unlike a lot of other councils that he assesses, we have not allowed it to majorly disrupt our service delivery and had this to say:

 

“Given the times we are in, I think this is remarkable that you have been able, not only to sustain what you have been doing, but to improve on it, and I think the whole staff team should be really proud of this”. A sentiment which I whole heartedly echo.

 

To keep the Compliance Plus awards require us to continue to raise the bar and next year we will be reassessed so you can see that the scheme is a strong driver for continuous improvement.

 

When I say the council, I am talking about both members as well as officers because without the cooperation across the whole piece, we would not win these awards.

 

Finally I would like to praise Karen Everett who flawlessly arranges for the assessor to see the evidence of our performance, to meet our partners and get an oversight of our projects. Thank you Karen.

 

On to other matters, I have been contemplating what simple things I can do to help combat climate change. Which led me to reflect that when I was young, before the days of central heating, if I was feeling cold at home, I would put on another jumper or cardigan. Well I have now started to do that again, the result being that so far this year, I have not had to put any form of heating on and if I continue to do so will not need to turn the thermostat up as high as I have been doing.  I have read that if we were all to do the same it would save around 300kg of CO2 being produced for every degree we turn the thermostat down as well as saving money on the fuel bill. There ends my public service announcement.

 

To finish on another piece of good news, you should have all received an email this afternoon informing you that we are in advanced talks  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Opposition Business

The Labour Group has raised the following matter:

 

Council Notes:

·         That this council received £75,000 as part of the national Covid Winter Grant Scheme and these funds were shared out to local organisations to help provide food and cover heating costs for some of the district's residents.

·         That there is growing concern across the UK regarding the forecast rising energy prices ahead of winter.

·         OfGem report that a 50% increase in energy costs will see the October price cap for prepay customers set at £1309, the cap for October 2020 was £1070.

 

Council Resolves:

·         To highlight, via the website, the services available to residents to assist with fuel expenses, including but not limited to: Winter Fuel Payment, Cold Weather Payment, Warm Home Discount Scheme, grants from suppliers trusts or funds.

·         To bring forward a report that addresses the need for an amount of funding, relative to last year, that addresses the level of support required by our residents to stay warm and fed this winter.

·         This report should consider, but not limited to, the following:

o   Potential sources for external funding

o   Additional streams of internal funding

o   Framework for distribution of funds

o   Monitoring and evaluation of delivery.

 

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 related to the provision of support for fuel expenses.

 

Proposed by Councillor McConville,

Seconded by Councillor Davison; and

 

RESOLVED:

 

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

 

·       To highlight, via the website, the services available to residents to assist with fuel expenses, including but not limited to: Winter Fuel Payment, Cold Weather Payment, Warm Home Discount Scheme, grants from suppliers trusts or funds.

·       To bring forward a report that addresses the need for an amount of funding, relative to last year, that addresses the level of support required by our residents to stay warm and fed this winter.

·       This report should consider, but not limited to, the following:

o   Potential sources for external funding

o   Additional streams of internal funding

o   Framework for distribution of funds

o   Monitoring and evaluation of delivery.

 

(Voting figures: 26 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

33.

Motions on Notice

The following motions have been placed on the agenda in the order received; up to 60 minutes shall be allowed for debates on motions on notice:

 

1.    From Councillor Whybrow, Leader of the Green Group

 

In order to cap the contaminated land at Princes Parade it will be necessary to remove all the vegetation. Although the reptiles should have been moved to an alternative habitat by then and the badgers will have been excluded and provided with a new sett, this work will nevertheless result in serious harm to the other non protected animals living on the site.

 

It is therefore vital that this work is not started until the council has all the necessary permissions to begin the development. If the work is carried out prematurely there is a high risk of causing unnecessary death and injury to the animals living on the site as well as the council incurring unnecessary costs.

 

Therefore this council resolves that :

the vegetation will not be cleared from Princes Parade until the result of the public inquiry into the stopping up of the road is declared and planning permission for the surface water drainage works has been granted"

Minutes:

The Leader of the Green group, Councillor Whybrow, introduced her motion, which related to vegetation clearing at Princes Parade.

 

A debate took place, and then Councillor Whybrow was invited to sum up the motion.

 

Proposed by Councillor Whybrow,

Seconded by Councillor Prater;

 

That the vegetation will not be cleared from Princes Parade until the result of the public inquiry into the stopping up of the road is declared and planning permission for the surface water drainage works has been granted.

 

In accordance with the council procedure rule 17.5, five members present demanded a recorded vote.

 

FOR: Councillors Davison, Fuller, Gane, Keen, J Martin, McConville, Meade, Prater, Shoob, Wade, Whybrow and Wing (12).

 

AGAINST: Councillors Mrs Berry, Miss Carey, Collier, Field, Goddard, Godfrey, Hills, Mrs Hollingsbee, P Martin, Meyers, Monk, Mullard, Peall and Wimble (14).

 

ABSTENTIONS: None (0).

 

(Voting figures: 12 for, 14 against, 0 abstentions).

 

The motion was therefore LOST.

34.

Folkestone and Hythe Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Plan 2021-24

The District Council has a statutory duty to address Crime and Disorder and as a responsible authority participate in the activity of the Folkestone and Hythe Community Safety Partnership (CSP). The CSP is required to produce a CSP plan following a strategic assessment of crime trends and issues facing the District. The annual strategic assessment (SA) document is a restricted document but the CSP plan is a public facing document that sets out the work of the partnership, identified priorities and actions to focus on. This report presents the new three year (2021-24) partnership plan (reviewed annually) to Council for approval.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The District Council had a statutory duty to address Crime and Disorder and as a responsible authority participate in the activity of the Folkestone and Hythe Community Safety Partnership (CSP). The CSP is required to produce a CSP plan following a strategic assessment of crime trends and issues facing the District. The annual strategic assessment (SA) document is a restricted document but the CSP plan is a public facing document that sets out the work of the partnership, identified priorities and actions to focus on. This report presents the new three year (2021-24) partnership plan (reviewed annually) to Council for approval.

 

Proposed by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee,

Seconded by Councillor Monk; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.         That report C/21/12 be received and noted.

2.         That the new 3 year CSP Plan 2021-24 be approved.

 

(Voting figures: 26 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

35.

Accelerating Delivery of the council's Corporate Plan - use of reserves

Subject to consideration and the views of cabinet, this report recommends the use of Reserves in to the current budget framework to accelerate delivery of the council’s corporate plan specifically relating to: (1) regeneration and housing activities and; (2) those relating to the council’s climate change activities.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report recommended the use of Reserves in to the current budget framework to accelerate delivery of the council’s corporate plan specifically relating to: (1) regeneration and housing activities and; (2) those relating to the council’s climate change activities.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.         That report A/21/16 be received and noted.

2.         That the recommendations to Cabinet, set out in report C/21/32 (included as appendix 1) be noted.

3.         That the use of Reserves & Capacity Fund for the purposes outlined in report C/21/32, be agreed for inclusion within the current budget framework.

 

(Voting figures: 26 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

36.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) - Policy

This report sets out the Council’s policy on the use of directed surveillance and covert human intelligence sources under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report sets out the Council’s policy on the use of directed surveillance and covert human intelligence sources under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.       That report A/21/15 be received and noted.

2.       That the RIPA policy and procedure in appendix 1 to the report be approved.

 

(Voting figures: 26 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

37.

Pay Policy - salary and severance packages

This report sets out director salaries and a severance package to Council, as required by the Pay Policy Statement.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report sets out director salaries and a severance package to Council, as required by the Pay Policy Statement.

 

It was proposed by Councillor McConville and seconded by Councillor Monk that an additional third recommendation be considered (as shown below). This was agreed, and formed part of the final resolution.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.         That report A/21/13 be received and noted

2.         That the salaries and a severance package, set out respectively in paragraphs 2.3 and 2.5 – 2.6 of the report, be noted.

3.         That the Personnel Committee be asked to consider the possibility of ensuring any staff employed at Grade L or above requires the approval of Full Council.

 

(Voting figures: 26 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

38.

Amendment of delegation arrangements by the Leader of the Council

Under the Council’s constitution the Leader of the Council decides on the delegation of cabinet functions. The Leader may amend the delegations at any time by giving written notice to the Head of the Paid Service. Where such a notice is received the Head of the Paid Service must submit a report on the amendments to the next ordinary meeting of the Council. This report sets out the amendments made by the Leader.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Under the Council’s constitution the Leader of the Council decides on the delegation of cabinet functions. The Leader may amend the delegations at any time by giving written notice to the Head of the Paid Service. Where such a notice is received the Head of the Paid Service must submit a report on the amendments to the next ordinary meeting of the Council. The report sets out the amendments made by the Leader.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Godfrey; and

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1.         That report A/21/14 be received and noted.

 

(Voting figures: 26 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).