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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone

Contact: Debbie Snook  01622 602030

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Items
No. Item

101.

Minute's Silence

Minutes:

The Council stood in silence for one minute in memory of Councillor Mrs Wendy Hinder, a long-serving Member of the Borough Council and Maidstone’s Deputy Mayor, who had passed away on 15 February 2020.

 

102.

Prayers

Minutes:

Prayers were said by Major Wesley Dinsmore of the Salvation Army.

 

103.

Recording of Proceedings

Minutes:

Councillor McKay indicated that he would be recording the proceedings.

 

104.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

It was noted that apologies for absence had been received from Councillors McLoughlin, Purle, M Rose and Wilby.

 

105.

Dispensations

Minutes:

There were no applications for dispensations.

 

106.

Disclosures by Members and Officers

Minutes:

There were no disclosures by Members.

 

The Chief Executive, on behalf of all members of staff present, disclosed an interest in the report of the Democracy and General Purposes Committee relating to the Pay Policy Statement 2020.

 

107.

Disclosures of Lobbying

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of lobbying.

 

108.

Exempt Items

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the items on the agenda be taken in public as proposed.

 

109.

Minutes of the meeting of the Borough Council held on 18 December 2019 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the Minutes of the meeting of the Borough Council held on 18 December 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed.

 

110.

Mayor's Announcements

Minutes:

The Mayor updated Members on recent engagements and thanked them for their support.

 

The Mayor, Councillor Cox, the Leader of the Council and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, and Councillors Perry, Harper, Mrs Gooch and Powell, on behalf of their respective Political Groups, paid tribute to Councillor Mrs Wendy Hinder who had passed away on 15 February 2020.

 

Councillors Mrs Brindle, Mrs Joy and Mrs Blackmore also paid tribute to Councillor Mrs Hinder.

 

Councillor Bob Hinder then responded to the sentiments expressed about the sad loss of his wife.

 

111.

Petitions

Minutes:

There were no petitions.

 

112.

Question and Answer Session for Members of the Public

Minutes:

Question to the Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee from Mr Robert Atkin

 

On 18th December 2019 this Council debated slowing down the Call for Sites process in favour of pushing back on the housing numbers to Government and undertaking a proper assessment of infrastructure needed across the borough.  Councillors voted instead for a motion that sped the Call for Sites process up to avoid the Local Plan Review being extended.  The Save Our Heath Lands Action Group learnt on 5 February that you have now decided to slow the process down.  Can the residents of Maidstone really trust and have confidence that this Council has proper control of its Local Planning process?

 

The Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee responded to the question.

 

Councillor Cox, the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor Powell, the Leader of the Independent Maidstone Group, and Councillor Perry, the Leader of the Conservative Group, responded to the question.

 

Mr Atkin asked the following supplementary question of the Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee:

 

Is this Council’s Local Planning process Member-led or Officer-led?

 

The Chairman of the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee responded to the question.

 

Question to the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee from Mr Steve Heeley

 

The Save Our Heath Lands Action Group were expecting your long overdue letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government to robustly push back on the housing numbers determined for Maidstone.  We were therefore disappointed that instead the general thrust was 'give us a break now and we'll deliver more for you later'.  Is this an admission that this Council actually accepts the new housebuilding targets set by Government but can’t politically agree its strategy on how to deliver its next five-year housing supply?

 

The Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee responded to the question.

 

Councillor McKay, the Leader of the Labour Group, and Councillor Newton, on behalf of the Leader of the Independent Maidstone Group, responded to the question.

 

Mr Heeley asked the following supplementary question of the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee:

 

Also in that letter to the Secretary of State, you referred to wide-spread community resistance with a firm anti-house building sentiment making positive consultation/engagement extremely difficult to achieve.  Our MP, Helen Whately, has undertaken consultation/engagement on your Council-led garden community proposal in the absence of anything done by this Council.  96% of respondents to that survey said that they did not support the proposals.  64% of the people that responded to that survey said that they did not support a garden community approach in any form.  Is the anti-building sentiment and community resistance actually a result of this Council’s failing to listen to its own residents?

 

The Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee responded to the question.

 

Councillor Mrs Gooch, the Leader of the Independent Group, and Councillor Powell, the Leader of the Independent Maidstone Group, responded to the question.

 

Question to the Chairman of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 112.

113.

Questions from Members of the Council to the Chairmen of Committees

Minutes:

There were no questions from Members of the Council to the Chairmen of Committees.

 

114.

Current Issues - Report of the Leader of the Council, Response of the Group Leaders and Questions from Council Members

Minutes:

There was no report from the Leader of the Council on this occasion.

 

115.

Report of the Democracy and General Purposes Committee held on 29 January 2020 - Pay Policy Statement 2020 pdf icon PDF 43 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Webb, seconded by Councillor English, that the recommendation of the Democracy and General Purposes Committee relating to the Pay Policy Statement 2020 be approved.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Pay Policy Statement 2020 attached as Appendix I to the report of the Democracy and General Purposes Committee be approved for publication on the Council’s website by 31 March 2020.

 

116.

Report of the Policy and Resources Committee held on 12 February 2020 - Medium Term Financial Strategy and Budget Proposals 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Cox, seconded by Councillor Mrs Blackmore, that the recommendations of the Policy and Resources Committee relating to the Medium Term Financial Strategy and budget proposals 2020/21 be approved.

 

Amendment moved by Councillor McKay, seconded by Councillor Perry, that the recommendations of the Policy and Resources Committee relating to the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Budget Proposals 2020/21 be approved subject to the addition of the following:

 

18.  That it be noted that the Policy and Resources Committee has agreed that any unused Members’ Community Grants for 2019/20 and the first call on any other unused resources from 2019/20 be used to create a one-off provision for Members’ Grants of up to £750 for each Councillor for use in 2020/21.

 

19.  That a further £13,750 be allocated from 2019/20 unused resources to the extent that these are available from the budget surplus, being a further £250 per Councillor, to bring the Members’ Community Grant to up to £1,000 per Councillor on a one-off basis for 2020/21.

 

AMENDMENT CARRIED

 

The substantive motion was then put to the vote in two parts.  Firstly, recommendations 1-17 and secondly, recommendations 18-19.

 

As a consequence of the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014, a named vote was taken on each part of the substantive motion as follows:

 

Recommendations 1-17

 

FOR (44)

 

Councillors Adkinson, Mrs Blackmore, Brice, Brindle, D Burton,

M Burton, Chappell-Tay, Clark, Cox, Cuming, Daley, English, Eves, Fermor, Fissenden, Fort, Garland, Garten, Mrs Gooch, Mrs Grigg, Harper, Harvey, Harwood, Hastie, Mrs Joy, Khadka, Kimmance, Lewins, McKay, Mortimer, Munford, Naghi, Newton, Parfitt-Reid, Perry, Mrs Ring, Mrs Robertson, D Rose, Round, Spooner, Springett, Vizzard, Webb and Young

 

AGAINST (3)

 

Councillors Powell, J Sams and T Sams

 

ABSTENTIONS (0)

 

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION (PART 1) CARRIED

 

Recommendations 18-19

 

FOR (38)

 

Councillors Adkinson, Brice, Chappell-Tay, Clark, Cox, Cuming, Daley, English, Fermor, Fissenden, Fort, Garland, Garten, Mrs Grigg, Harper, Harvey, Harwood, Hastie, Mrs Joy, Khadka, Kimmance, Lewins, McKay, Mortimer, Munford, Naghi, Parfitt-Reid, Perry, Powell, Mrs Robertson, Round, J Sams, T Sams, Spooner, Springett, Vizzard, Webb and Young

 

AGAINST (9)

 

Councillors Mr Blackmore, Brindle, D Burton, M Burton, Eves, Mrs Gooch, Newton, Mrs Ring and D Rose

 

ABSTENTIONS (0)

 

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION (PART 2) CARRIED

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.  That the revised Revenue Estimates for 2019/20, as set out in Appendix A to the report of the Policy and Resources Committee, be agreed.

2.  That the minimum level of General Fund Balances be set at £2 million for 2020/21.

3.  That the Strategic Revenue Projection, as set out in Appendix A to the report of the Policy and Resources Committee, be endorsed as the basis for future financial planning. 

 

4.  That the proposed Council Tax of £265.59 at Band D for 2020/21 be agreed. 

5.  That the Revenue Estimates for 2020/21, as set out in Appendix A to the report of the Policy and Resources Committee, be agreed. 

6.  That the Statement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 116.

117.

Report of the Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service - Business Rates Retail Relief pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Cox, seconded by Councillor English, and:

 

RESOLVED:  That the amended Business Rates Retail Relief Policy, attached as Appendix 1 to the report of the Head of Revenues and Benefits Shared Service, be adopted.

 

118.

Report of the Head of Policy, Communications and Governance - Calendar of Meetings 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Cox, seconded by Councillor Mrs Joy, and

 

RESOLVED:  That the Calendar of Meetings for 2020/21, attached as Appendix A to the report of the Head of Policy, Communications and Governance, be approved.

 

119.

Duration of Meeting

Minutes:

6.30 p.m. to 9.45 p.m.

 

 

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