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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone

Contact: Debbie Snook  01622 602030

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Items
No. Item

130.

Minute's Silence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council stood in silence for one minute in memory of John Morrison, a former Member of the Council, and his wife Marina, both of whom died recently.

 

131.

Prayers

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Prayers were said by the Reverend Ian Parrish.

 

132.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Adkinson, Ells, Garland, Mrs Grigg, Lewins, McLoughlin, Mrs Robertson, J Sams, T Sams, Webster, de Wiggondene-Sheppard and Wilby.

 

133.

Dispensations

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no applications for dispensations.

 

134.

Disclosures by Members and Officers

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no disclosures by Members or Officers.

 

135.

Disclosures of Lobbying

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of lobbying.

 

136.

Exempt Items

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Minutes:

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

 

137.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Borough Council held on 7 March 2018 pdf icon PDF 196 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the Minutes of the meeting of the Borough Council held on 7 March 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed.

 

138.

Mayor's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Mayor said that he would like to take the opportunity to wish all the very best to those Members who would be seeking re-election in May and to thank those Councillors who would be standing down for their services over the years.  The Mayor specifically thanked Councillor Derek Butler, a fellow Boxley Ward Member, and a former Mayor, for working tirelessly as a Councillor over the years.

 

The Mayor then called upon Councillor Harper who wished to pay tribute to John Morrison, a former Member of the Borough Council, and his wife Marina, who had devoted their time and energy to public service, and who had passed away recently.

 

139.

Petitions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no petitions.

 

140.

Question and Answer Session for Members of the Public

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public.

 

141.

Questions from Members of the Council to the Chairmen of Committees

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Question to the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee from Councillor D Mortimer

 

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

 

Can the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee update Members on her recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on Permitted Development Rights?

 

The Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee replied that:

 

A few weeks ago, I went with David Jukes, the Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, and Councillor Nick Heslop, the Leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, to see Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, specifically to discuss Permitted Development Rights.  They are affecting several Boroughs quite adversely in Kent, and Maidstone is one of the most severely affected at the moment.

 

We are losing office blocks in large quantities, especially in the town centre, to residential development, and this has a double effect.  First of all we are losing the business rates, and increasingly we are having to rely on business rates and the local tax to cover the cost of our services, so we can ill-afford to lose office premises to residential development, and yet we are losing a lot.

 

The figures are compiled by Ward, and as High Street Ward is probably the worst affected, I have the figures for that.  We have had 289 homes completed and we have another 300 under development at the moment in this area.

 

In addition to the loss of business rates, because it is permitted development, we are not getting the S106 contributions for infrastructure which would have been forthcoming under the normal development process.

 

I asked the Officers if they could give me a ball park figure for what that actually means, and if you take what has happened and what is in the pipeline, and compare that with a similar development under normal circumstances, the ball park figure for that 589 homes is £710k in S106 monies will have been lost for education, youth services, libraries and health services and that does not take into account contributions that would potentially also be forthcoming for highways, affordable housing and off-site open space.

 

That is the background as to why we thought it was really important to go to speak to Sajid Javid.

 

All three Boroughs have applied for the removal of Permitted Development Rights through the placement of an Article 4 Direction, and all three have been refused.  We have got an additional issue in Maidstone in that London Boroughs which have been given additional funds to assist with their own homeless situation have managed to outbid Maidstone and are either purchasing or leasing many of these properties themselves without any of these additional monies being pass-ported to us here to assist with the infrastructure necessary to support these incoming families.  So, you can imagine the strain that has been put on our already overstretched schools and health facilities such as doctors’  ...  view the full minutes text for item 141.

142.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mrs Wilson, the Leader of the Council, submitted her report on current issues.

 

In presenting her report, Councillor Mrs Wilson said that she wished to thank the Mayor for his work over the past year and all Members and Officers who had worked hard to find common ground to move the Council forward.  She also said that she would like to thank those Members who would not be seeking re-election in May for their contribution, and, in particular, to thank Councillor James Willis for his assiduous approach.

 

After the Leader of the Council had submitted her report, Councillor Perry, the Leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Mrs Gooch, the Leader of the Independent Group, Councillor Barned, the Leader of the Independent Maidstone Group, and Councillor Harper, the Leader of the Labour Group, responded to the issues raised.  They all wished to thank Councillor Mrs Wilson for her work as Leader of the Council over the last three years.

 

A Member then asked a question of the Leader of the Council on the issues raised in her speech.

 

143.

Report of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee held on 6 February 2018 - Planning Service Improvement Project (PSIP) pdf icon PDF 33 KB

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Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor D Burton, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gooch, that the recommendation of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee relating to changes to the Constitution arising from the Planning Service Improvement Project be approved.  Councillor D Burton said that the changes related to the public speaking arrangements at meetings of the Planning Committee and the revised wording would be included in the updated version of the Constitution to be reported to the Annual Meeting of the Council for adoption.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Monitoring Officer be instructed to amend the Constitution to reflect the changes agreed by the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee, set out in Appendix 1 to the report of the Committee, effective from the new Municipal Year 2018/19.

 

144.

Report of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee Acting as the Crime and Disorder Committee held on 13 February and 20 March 2018 - 2013-18 Community Safety Partnership Plan Refresh and 2018-19 Strategic Assessment pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Barned, seconded by Councillor D Mortimer, that the recommendation of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee acting as the Crime and Disorder Committee relating to the adoption of the 2013-18 Community Safety Partnership Plan refresh and the 2018-19 Strategic Assessment for implementation by the Safer Maidstone Partnership and its priority sub-groups be approved.

 

RESOLVED:  That the 2013-18 Community Safety Partnership Plan refresh and the 2018-19 Strategic Assessment, attached as Appendices A and B to the report of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee acting as the Crime and Disorder Committee, be adopted for implementation by the Safer Maidstone Partnership and its priority sub-groups.

 

145.

Oral Report of the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee held on 10 April 2018

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

146.

Notice of Motion

Notice of the following motion has been given by Councillor B Mortimer, seconded by Councillor D Mortimer:

 

In view of the recent press coverage of pot holes within the Borough of Maidstone, I am getting very upset, if not angry, that as a Borough Councillor, and I am sure that I speak on behalf of many other Borough Councillors, at many times we the Borough Council are blamed for the bad state of our roads, which as we are all aware is the responsibility of Kent County Council.

 

My motion is that we instruct Officers to investigate possible options which will include the Highway Act of 1980 Section 42, which could give us the ability to change the existing dire situation.  Once that report is complete, it should be presented at the earliest opportunity to Policy and Resources Committee and their recommendation should go to Full Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following motion was moved by Councillor B Mortimer, seconded by Councillor D Mortimer:

 

In view of the recent press coverage of pot holes within the Borough of Maidstone, I am getting very upset, if not angry, that as a Borough Councillor, and I am sure that I speak on behalf of many other Borough Councillors and Officers, at many times we the Borough Council are blamed for the bad state of our roads, which as we are all aware is the responsibility of Kent County Council.

 

My motion is that we instruct Officers to investigate possible options which will include the Highway Act of 1980 Section 42, which could give us the ability to change the existing dire situation.  Once that report is complete, it should be presented at the earliest opportunity to the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee and their recommendation should go to Full Council.

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 17.4, the motion having been moved and seconded, was referred to the Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transportation Committee.  The Mayor said that since the desired outcome at this stage was the preparation of a report, he did not consider that a debate was necessary.

 

147.

Duration of Meeting

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6.30 p.m. to 7.35 p.m.

 

 

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