ModernGov

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Zoom - to be streamed live to Youtube.

Items
No. Item

1.

Questions from the public

This session is limited to 30 minutes.

 

 

1.    From Mr G Kirby to Councillor Collier, Cabinet Member for Property Management and Grounds Maintenance

 

What specific and immediate initiatives is the Council starting to support the Kent County Council Plan Bee pollinator action plan launched in November this year?

 

2.    From Mr M Brophy to Councillor Monk, Leader of the Council

 

Building a new leisure centre for Hythe at Martello Lakes has become far more viable due to a shortening of timescales when compared with Prince's Parade. There is increasing evidence that Prince's Parade is more complex, more expensive, under threat from flooding (particularly due to more frequent extreme weather events) and is overall a problematic site to develop. So I would like to ask the leader if he would instruct a proper investigation into the merits of the Martello Lakes site in preference to Prince's Parade considering recent changes in relevant factors.

 

3.    From A Dakin to Councillor Monk, Leader of the Council

 

In light of the Prime Minister’s commitment to preserving green spaces and wildlife habitats, will the council follow his example and withdraw the hugely unpopular plans for the development at Princes Parade?

 

 

Minutes:

 

1.    From Mr G Kirby to Councillor Collier, Cabinet Member for Property Management and Grounds Maintenance

 

What specific and immediate initiatives is the Council starting to support the Kent County Council Plan Bee pollinator action plan launched in November this year?

 

ANSWER:

 

Thank you for your question.

 

1)    In winter 2019 FHDC Grounds Maintenance instigated a meeting between KCC, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and FHDC’s contractor to discuss a reduction in grass cutting regimes in the New Romney Marsh area. It was agreed that 36 km of B roads would be piloted. The project has proved very successful with all parties, and the area covered under the new ecology management is now 70km.

 

The plan is:

70km continuous Bee Road network =  37 Bee Roads

Rural verge cutting delayed to autumn

3 year trial (commenced 2019)

Monitoring improvement to pollinator habitat and populations

Builds on project carried out by Bumblebee Conservation Trust

 

This is now being used as an example to other local authorities across the country.

 

2)    Many initiatives were already in place before the launch:

 

·         Minimal use of pesticides. Pesticide trial was planned for summer 2020 but was postponed due to Covid19

·         GM managers have been working on identifying areas owned by FHDC where cutting regimes can be reduced to help increase biodiversity and reduce all environmental impacts (cemeteries, parks and open spaces)

·         The Coastal Park and Radnor Park has its own wildlife zone, meadow and bee border.

·         The Royal Military Canal has been managed to increase the species count for the last 15 years.  A biological survey will be carried out this coming summer to show the results of this management programme. The GM teams have been closely working with the Bumblebee and Butterfly and Moth Trusts and spent many volunteering hours planting moth, butterfly and bumble bee friendly habitat.

·         Sedum matting has been trialled at the Coastal Park on the new operational depot roof, one of the many benefits is the provision of important microclimate for insects.

·         Seasonal bedding is designed with pollinator friendly factor in mind ( variety of pollen- rich single-petalled flowers for ‘easy access’, bright colours, different shapes and scent, prolonged flowering period)

 

The team are always open to discussing new initiatives and working with volunteers and other interested stakeholders wherever possible.

 

2.    From Mr M Brophy to Councillor Monk, Leader of the Council

 

Building a new leisure centre for Hythe at Martello Lakes has become far more viable due to a shortening of timescales when compared with Prince's Parade. There is increasing evidence that Prince's Parade is more complex, more expensive, under threat from flooding (particularly due to more frequent extreme weather events) and is overall a problematic site to develop. So I would like to ask the leader if he would instruct a proper investigation into the merits of the Martello Lakes site in preference to Prince's Parade considering recent changes in relevant factors.

 

ANSWER:

 

Thank you for your question.

 

In terms of the issue of the comparative timescales the Princes  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

Questions from Councillors

This session is limited to 45 minutes.

 

1.    From Councillor J Martin to Councillor Monk, Leader of the Council

 

Can the Leader tell me how many waivers for procurement standing orders have been signed during this administration to date?

 

2.    From Councillor Treloar to Councillor Monk, Leader of the Council

 

     When selecting the master planners and architecture firm for Otterpool, did the council specifically look for firms with experience designing zero-carbon dwellings and settlements and use this as a selection criteria? 

 

3.    From Councillor Treloar to Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities

 

     Whilst I appreciate that the questions relating to Napier Barracks on the council's website came directly from the community, they are unduly weighted towards a tone that amplifies and perpetuates fear and prejudice – those with the most extreme views often shout the loudest. Can the council please revise this page and provide a more sensible list of questions/answers/statements that allay reasonable concerns in a way that doesn't amplify fear and demonstrates the council's responsibility to be a calm, collected, caring and compassionate voice in the community?

 

4.    From Councillor Whybrow to Councillor Monk, Leader of the Council

 

To confirm the council's commitment to reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2030 and to working with our residents and businesses to bring our wider communities' emissions in line with net zero as soon as possible would you agree to sign up as a member of UK100?

(UK100 | An ambitious network of 100+ UK local authorities | UK100)

 

5.    From Councillor Meade to Councillor Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Special Projects

 

I have had some concerned residents in our council Warden supported housing (Where at present more than 40% of the residents are self-isolating as elderly or vulnerable, due to Covid) raising an issue regarding the Warden never wearing a face mask when dealing with residents - they find this very frightening. Could you please clarify what advice the Council has given its Supported Housing Warden's regarding interaction with elderly / vulnerable residents please?

 

6.    From Councillor Meade to Councillor Collier, Cabinet Member for Property Management and Grounds Maintenance

 

Earlier this year the District Council agreed to maintain the hanging flowers troughs along the dual carriage way that runs parallel with Fleming Way in East Folkestone. It brightened the whole area but now I am being informed that District are finding it too hard to maintain these troughs and they have been emptied and are standing bare. For information there is a slip road either side of the dual carriageway where it is easy to park and gain direct access to the troughs. Can you please clarify whether these troughs will be replanted (as are part paid for by Folkestone Town Council) in keeping with the rest of Folkestone's flowers troughs including the Roundabout fencing troughs at the roundabout just down from the Civic Centre where it is more difficult to park or is East Folkestone  ...  view the full agenda text for item 2.

Minutes:

 

1.    From Councillor J Martin to Councillor Monk, Leader of the Council

 

Can the Leader tell me how many waivers for procurement standing orders have been signed during this administration to date?

 

            ANSWER:

 

Thank you for your question.

 

The Contract Standing Orders allow exemption from normal procurement processes in specific circumstances, in specific circumstances, including:

 

·                the work, supply or service or grant of service concession is required as a matter of urgency and a delay would be likely to lead to financial loss, personal injury or damage to property; or

·                If the goods or materials to be purchased are available from only one manufacturer / supplier; or

·                Where the work is of a specialist nature, the skill of the contractor is of primary importance, and the supply market has been tested and found to be limited; or

·                Where the supply is for maintenance to existing IT equipment or software, including enhancements to current software, which can only be performed by the licensed developer or owner of the system.

 

Officers seeking an exemption must follow the waiver request process to document the justification for the exemption and obtain approval to proceed.

 

Between 2 May 2019 and 11 December 2020, a total of 48 waivers were approved.

 

SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION:

 

As you know, I have concerns regarding the procurement practises, but I am reassured by your commitment to open auditable and transparent processes. However, with the gargantuan amounts of money being spent by the council in pursuit of Otterpool Park, can you tell us what steps you are taking to ensure the procurement process is corruption free?

 

ANSWER:

 

We take this potential matter seriously and the council has very strong anti-corruption policies in place.  In light of your concerns, I will personally take it on myself to double check that they are as strong as they could be.

 

2.    From Councillor Treloar to Councillor Monk, Leader of the Council

 

      When selecting the master planners and architecture firm for Otterpool, did the council specifically look for firms with experience designing zero-carbon dwellings and settlements and use this as a selection criteria? 

 

      THIS QUESTION WAS NOT ANSWERED, AS THE QUESTIONER WAS NOT PRESENT AT THE MEETING.

 

3.    From Councillor Treloar to Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities

 

      Whilst I appreciate that the questions relating to Napier Barracks on the council's website came directly from the community, they are unduly weighted towards a tone that amplifies and perpetuates fear and prejudice – those with the most extreme views often shout the loudest. Can the council please revise this page and provide a more sensible list of questions/answers/statements that allay reasonable concerns in a way that doesn't amplify fear and demonstrates the council's responsibility to be a calm, collected, caring and compassionate voice in the community?

 

      THIS QUESTION WAS NOT ANSWERED, AS THE QUESTIONER WAS NOT PRESENT AT THE MEETING.

 

4.    From Councillor Whybrow to Councillor Monk, Leader of the Council

 

To confirm the council's commitment to reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.