maidstone.gov.uk

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone

Contact: Debbie Snook  01622 602030

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

43.

Prayers

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Prayers were said by the Reverend Elizabeth Attaway of Boxley Church.

 

44.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Barned, Mrs Blackmore, Brice, English, Fermor, Garland, Harwood and Pickett.

 

Councillor Perry informed Members that Councillor Mrs Blackmore had been taken ill earlier during the week.

 

RESOLVED:  That Members’ best wishes for a speedy recovery be sent to Councillor Mrs Blackmore.

 

45.

Dispensations

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no applications for dispensations.

 

46.

Disclosures by Members and Officers

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hastie said that the subject of Councillor Boughton’s motion set out at agenda item 17 was sufficiently close to her area of work that she had taken advice from the Head of Legal Partnership, and, to remain impartial, it had been agreed that she would take no part in the discussions and withdraw from the meeting for that item.

 

47.

Disclosures of Lobbying

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of lobbying.

 

48.

Exempt Items

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

49.

Minutes of the meeting of the Borough Council held on 20 July 2016 pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the Minutes of the meeting of the Borough Council held on 20 July 2016 be approved as a correct record and signed.

 

50.

Mayor's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor congratulated Councillor Barned, in his absence, on his return to the Council following the Shepway South by-election, making reference also to the decision of Councillor Newton to switch from Independent to UKIP.

 

The Mayor then updated Members on recent/forthcoming events, and thanked them for their support.

 

51.

Petitions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no petitions.

 

52.

Question and Answer Session for Members of the Public

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Questions to the Chairman of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee

 

Mr Neil Hollands asked the following question of the Chairman of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee:

 

Since moving to a property within Maidstone Borough Council a year ago, my partner and I have become increasingly frustrated with the fly tipping and litter in our Road (Wildfell Close) and surrounding areas of Walderslade Woods/Lordswood.  We’d like to know what the Council is planning to do to combat/deter the increasing problem of litter and fly tipping.

 

The Chairman of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee replied that:

 

The Council takes a zero tolerance approach to environmental crime and actively encourages responsible waste management through a combination of education and enforcement.  The Council carries out educational workshops in schools as well as attending local events to raise awareness.  Notices warning of the penalties for fly tipping are also displayed in hotspots to act as a deterrent and cameras are used where possible.  The Council has also started issuing new fixed penalty notices for fly tipping which enables a swifter response for smaller offences. 

 

Walderslade is on a regular cleansing regime and we strive to respond to all fly tips within 2 working days.  Wildfell Close has not been identified as a fly tipping hotspot as we have received very few reports over the past 6 months.  However the Enforcement Team will continue to monitor the situation and use cameras where possible to identify those responsible and take action.  Warning notices will also be displayed in the area.

 

The Mayor then asked if any Group Leader/representative present would also like to respond.

 

Councillor Mrs Wilson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, and Councillor Perry, on behalf of the Leader of the Conservative Group, responded to the question.

 

Mr Hollands asked the following supplementary question of the Chairman of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee:

 

We have reported fly tipping at least five times over the last year but there seems to be an issue with the online system used to report fly tipping instances; it does not recognise Wildfell Close as an area.  A large number of UK local authorities allow the reporting of fly tipping and littering by members of the public through social media apps such as Littergram and FixMyStreet, and it seems that Maidstone Borough Council is in a minority by not supporting these methods of reporting.  Surely, Maidstone Borough Council wants to make it as easy as possible for everyone to report such issues so is there a reason why it does not subscribe to these particular apps and online social media?

 

The Chairman of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee replied that:

 

The Council does the best it can with its technology and it is noted that across the country Councils have different systems in place for reporting littering and fly tipping.  The issue was discussed at the meeting of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee last night when Members received good feedback from the Officers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52.

53.

Questions from Members of the Council to the Chairmen of Committees

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Questions to the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee

 

Councillor Newton asked the following question of the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee:

 

Will the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee confirm that at the present time the Maidstone Borough-Wide Local Plan 2000 together with its saved objectives and policies remains extant and being used by MBC Planners in determining planning applications or are the DRAFT policies in the DRAFT Local Plan consistently being used ahead of the Public Examination by the Inspector in the determination of planning applications?

 

The Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee replied that:

 

The word “consistently” did not form part of your original question, but I will answer it anyway.  This is a grey area because Maidstone Borough Council’s emerging Local Plan does carry weight in respect of existing planning applications and that weight has increased recently with the submission of this document for Independent Examination by a government Planning Inspector.  However, full weight cannot be given to this document until it has successfully passed Independent Examination (with any associated modifications) and subsequently been adopted by the Council.  In the meantime, the existing Local Plan documents, including the Maidstone Borough-Wide Local Plan 2000, retain weight where they are in conformity with government guidance and policy.

 

So I could say to you that you can interpret that as you wish because as we move forward our draft Plan gains weight, our existing Plan has not gone but it does have to comply with all the planning rules and a lot of those have changed since the original Plan came into force.

 

Councillor Newton asked the following supplementary question of the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee:

 

Although it is claimed that the draft Local Plan is carrying weight has that been written down anywhere because the Local Plan 2000 is written down and I believe it is being skirted over in many planning applications; ENV28 in particular.  Although it is claimed that it is carrying weight do we have documentary evidence from the Inspector that it is carrying weight?

 

The Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee replied that:

 

The answer is that you only have to keep an eye on planning applications up and down the country and what is happening with appeals and what Inspectors are saying and doing.  It is quite clear, if you have been following the situation like Councillor David Burton and I have over the past eighteen months or so, that Inspectors are taking the tack that you have got a Local Plan, it is still extant but carrying less weight if not in conformity with the NPPF and other legislation and that the draft Local Plans that people have are being taken into account to a greater or lesser degree.  That is like all law in this country, a great deal of it is based on results from previous law.

 

Councillor Boughton asked the following question of the Chairman of the Policy and Resources  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council submitted her report on current issues.

 

After the Leader of the Council had submitted her report, Councillor Perry, on behalf of the Leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Mrs Gooch, the Leader of the Independent Group, Councillor Powell, the Leader of the UKIP Group, and Councillor Harper, the Leader of the Labour Group, responded to the issues raised.

 

A number of Members then asked questions of the Leader of the Council on the issues raised in her speech.

 

55.

Report of the Policy and Resources Committee held on 7 September 2016 - Medium Term Financial Strategy and Efficiency Plan pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Mrs Wilson, seconded by Councillor Perry, that the recommendations of the Policy and Resources Committee relating to the Medium Term Financial Strategy and Efficiency Plan be approved.

 

RESOLVED:  That the draft Medium Term Financial Strategy and Efficiency Plan be agreed, and that the Government’s offer of a four year funding settlement be accepted, subject to the following:

 

That authority be delegated to the Chief Executive and Section 151 Officer, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, to make any amendments to the Efficiency Plan, within the parameters of the agreed Medium Term Financial Strategy, that may be required based on emerging new information between now and the submission deadline.

 

56.

Oral Report of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee held on 13 September 2016

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no report from the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee on this occasion.

 

57.

Oral Report of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee held on 19 September 2016

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no report from the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee on this occasion.

 

58.

Oral Report of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee held on 20 September 2016

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no report from the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee on this occasion.

 

59.

Notice of Motion - Grammar Schools

Notice of the following motion has been given by Councillor Boughton, seconded by Councillor Mrs Blackmore:

 

"In view of the Government’s recent announcement to allow Grammar Schools to expand, this Council would like to express its support for Maidstone's four Grammar Schools, and all other Secondary Schools in the Borough.  This Council calls on all national parties to support this move, which enables children from deprived areas of the Borough the best possible opportunity to achieve a good education."

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following motion was moved by Councillor Boughton, seconded by Councillor Perry:

 

In view of the Government’s recent announcement to allow Grammar Schools to expand, this Council would like to express its support for Maidstone's four Grammar Schools, and all other Secondary Schools in the Borough.  This Council calls on all national parties to support this move, which enables children from deprived areas of the Borough the best possible opportunity to achieve a good education.

 

Amendment moved by Councillor Cox, seconded by Councillor Mrs Wilson, that the second sentence of the motion be deleted and the following inserted:

 

This Council calls upon Government to ensure that all schools give all children the best possible chance to achieve a good education by providing a fair funding formula that is equitable between all schools; that admission criteria is transparently clear and fair and that other bars to children accepting a school place, such as cost of travel, are removed.

 

Note:  The first sentence of the motion to remain the same.

 

AMENDMENT CARRIED

 

A request by Councillors Boughton and Perry for permission to withdraw the substantive motion was refused by the Council.

 

The substantive motion was then put to the vote.

 

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION CARRIED

 

RESOLVED:  That in view of the Government’s recent announcement to allow Grammar Schools to expand, this Council would like to express its support for Maidstone's four Grammar Schools, and all other Secondary Schools in the Borough.  This Council calls upon Government to ensure that all schools give all children the best possible chance to achieve a good education by providing a fair funding formula that is equitable between all schools; that admission criteria is transparently clear and fair and that other bars to children accepting a school place, such as cost of travel, are removed.

 

Note:  Councillor Hastie left the meeting whilst this item was discussed.

 

60.

Report of the Head of Legal Partnership - Appointment of Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Mrs Wilson, seconded by Councillor Cox, that the recommendations set out in the report of the Head of Legal Partnership relating to the appointment of an Interim Head of Legal Partnership and Monitoring Officer for the Council be approved.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.  That Estelle Culligan be appointed as the Interim Head of Legal Partnership and Monitoring Officer for the Council with effect from 3 October 2016.

 

2.  That the Interim Head of Legal Partnership be authorised to exercise the Head of Legal Partnership’s delegated functions and responsibilities in the Council’s Constitution with effect from 3 October 2016.

 

61.

Mr John Scarborough - Head of Legal Partnership

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that this would be the last Council meeting that John Scarborough, Head of Legal Partnership, would attend before taking up an appointment at another local authority.  Members thanked Mr Scarborough for his services to the Council over the last few years.

 

62.

Report of the Head of Policy and Communications - Review of Allocation of Seats on Committees pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Mrs Wilson, seconded by Councillor

B Mortimer, that the allocation of seats on Committees be as set out in amended Appendix A to the report of the Head of Policy and Communications.

 

RESOLVED:  That the allocation of seats on Committees be as set out in amended Appendix A to the report of the Head of Policy and Communications (copy attached as Appendix A).

 

63.

Membership of Committees

(a)  Policy and Resources Committee

(b)  Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee

(c)  Communities, Housing and Environment Committee

(d)  Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee

(e)  Planning Committee

(f)  Licensing Committee

(g)  Employment Committee

(h)  Joint Transportation Board

(i)  Democracy Committee

(j)  Audit, Governance and Standards Committee

(k)  Planning Referrals Committee

(l)  Urgency Committee

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Mrs Wilson, seconded by Councillor Perry, that the wishes of the Group Leaders with regard to the membership of Committees and Substitute membership, as set out in the lists circulated, be accepted.

 

RESOLVED:  That the wishes of the Group Leaders with regard to the membership of Committees and Substitute membership, as set out in the lists circulated, be accepted.

 

64.

Report of the Head of Policy and Communications - Review of Allocation of Seats on the Cobtree Manor Estate Charity Committee pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Mrs Wilson, seconded by

Councillor McLoughlin, that the allocation of seats on the Cobtree Manor Estate Charity Committee be as follows:

 

Conservative

2

Liberal Democrats

2

Independent

1

 

RESOLVED:  That the allocation of seats on the Cobtree Manor Estate Charity Committee be as follows:

 

Conservative

2

Liberal Democrats

2

Independent

1

 

65.

Membership of the Cobtree Manor Estate Charity Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Mrs Wilson, seconded by Councillor Ells, that the wishes of the Group Leaders with regard to the membership of the Cobtree Manor Estate Charity Committee and Substitute membership, as set out in the lists circulated, be accepted.

 

RESOLVED:  That the wishes of the Group Leaders with regard to the membership of the Cobtree Manor Estate Charity Committee and Substitute membership, as set out in the lists circulated, be accepted.

 

66.

Report of the Head of Policy and Communications - Review of Allocation of Seats on the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Trust Committee pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Mrs Wilson, seconded by Councillor

B Mortimer, that the allocation of seats on the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Trust Committee be as follows:

 

Conservative

2

Liberal Democrats

2

UKIP

1

 

RESOLVED: That the allocation of seats on the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Trust Committee be as follows:

 

Conservative

2

Liberal Democrats

2

UKIP

1

 

67.

Membership of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Trust Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Mrs Wilson, seconded by Councillor Mrs Ring, that the wishes of the Group Leaders with regard to the membership of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Trust Committee and Substitute membership, as set out in the lists circulated, be accepted.

 

RESOLVED:  That the wishes of the Group Leaders with regard to the membership of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum Trust Committee and Substitute membership, as set out in the lists circulated, be accepted.

 

68.

Duration of Meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6.30 p.m. to 8.50 p.m.

 

 

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