Agenda item

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.


The Leader gave the following announcements:


“Thank you Chairman, good evening to you all.


In survey after survey, the people of this district select the appearance of the district as one of their top priorities.  As you know, our grounds maintenance team does a wonderful job in satisfying that priority and once again they have had recognition of this as Kingsnorth Gardens has been awarded a Green Flag, which is our fourth, Radnor Park, the Lower Leas Park, and Hythe Canal being the other three. Congratulations to them all.


Councillor Mrs Jenny Hollingsbee has been out and about, she and two of our officers have been holding equality and diversity sessions at the Turner Free School and the Folkestone academy. She also went to the Honorary Artillery HQ to receive on behalf of the council the Armed Forces Covenant “Gold” award, and here is the certificate to prove it (the Leader held up the certificate).  We are very proud to have achieved the level of commitment to the Covenant that this award recognises. Well done.


Oportunitas has had a great boost taking possession of 18 apartments at RVH site earlier this month. They are built to an extremely high standard as those of you who took the tour of them will know. I am pleased to report that fifteen of the eighteen have already been let.


As this is the last Full Council meeting before Christmas, I wish all of you and our officers a very Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year”.


Councillor Keutenius, on behalf of the opposition, thanked the Leader for his announcements, and stated that she would like to start by wishing all staff, officers and Councillors a safe and Happy Christmas and New Year. A time we can take stock of how lucky we are in our country, and take a moment to think of those across the world less fortunate.


She also welcomed yet another award, for the tireless work of our grounds maintenance staff and teams.  She also recognised the work of the many local young people from the Beacon School and Folkestone College, who have played a part in the transformation of Kingsnorth Gardens. The students are continuing the project by creating a Japanese style space for relaxation and reflection. She asked Members to visit Kingsnorth Gardens to see it progressing.


She stated that while the district has 4 of these green flag parks, (5 if you count the KCC run Brockhill Country Park) there is more to do. The KPI for this objective has been met, but she was hopeful this would increase in the next review, perhaps to extend to Romney Marsh, where there are none of this standard.


She commended the work of Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee and the team promoting such an important subject, and stated that she hoped this work continues, not just in the community but in our own houses, of our officers and Councillors, to value and recognise equality and diversity in all our people, so we might live together with a sense of togetherness and community. She also offered congratulations on the well-deserved Armed Forces Covenant Gold Award.


She stated that Oportunitas is a curious entity in that it provides housing in the district, but does so at market value which preclude many residents. It is important that as many homes as possible are under the council’s control rather than unknown developers and landlords. She added that it would be nice to see the wheels turn faster on council housing, Highview School being one of those, as there are many people waiting.


She once again wished for a safe and inclusive festive period for everyone, and looked forward to a new year of progress, respect and good health for us all.


The Leader then thanked Councillor Keutenius for her positive response, and added that Oportunitas also helped create a revenue income, which was needed to provide our services and employ officers who were working on supplying more council homes.


Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and




That the announcements of the Leader be noted.


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