Your Councillors


Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone

Contact: Debbie Snook  01622 602030

Items
No. Item

130.

Prayers

Minutes:

Prayers were said by the Reverend Canon Ian Parrish.

 

131.

Minute's Silence

Minutes:

The Council stood in silence for one minute in memory of John Verrall and Hugh Laing, former Members of the Borough Council, who had passed away recently.

 

132.

Recording of Proceedings

Minutes:

Councillor McKay reserved his right to record the proceedings.

 

133.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

It was noted that apologies for absence had been received from Councillors M Burton, Fermor, Field, Fissenden, Garland, Greer, Harwood, Munford, Mrs Ring, Springett and Wilby.

 

134.

Dispensations

Minutes:

There were no applications for dispensations.

 

135.

Disclosures by Members and Officers

Minutes:

There were no disclosures by Members or Officers.

 

136.

Disclosures of Lobbying

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of lobbying.

 

137.

Exempt Items

Minutes:

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

138.

Minutes of the meeting of the Borough Council held on 27 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the Minutes of the meeting of the Borough Council held on 27 February 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed subject to the addition of the following note after the resolution in Minute 121 (Report of the Policy and Resources Committee held on 23 January 2019 – Council Tax Long Term Empty Property Premium):

 

Note:  Councillor Hastie left the meeting after consideration of this item.

 

139.

Mayor's Announcements

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 on

2 May 2019 and to thank those Councillors who would be standing down for their services over the years.

 

The Mayor then called upon Councillor Cox who wished to pay tribute to Councillor Mrs Wilson who had served as a Borough Councillor for over 20 years and would not be seeking re-election on 2 May 2019.  After Councillor Cox had spoken, the other Group Leaders (Councillors Perry, Mrs Gooch, McKay and Powell) paid tribute.

 

Councillor Mrs Wilson responded to the sentiments expressed in the speeches.

 

The Mayor then wished Councillor Mrs Wilson all the very best for the future.

 

The Mayor then called upon Councillor Perry who wished to pay tribute to Councillors Greer and Mrs Stockell, long serving Members of the Borough Council, and Councillor Boughton all of whom would not be seeking re-election on 2 May 2019.

 

After Councillor Perry had spoken, the other Group Leaders (Councillors Cox, Mrs Gooch, McKay and Powell) paid tribute.

 

Councillors Mrs Stockell and Boughton responded to the sentiments expressed in the speeches.  Councillor Greer had submitted his apologies for non-attendance.

 

Note:  Councillor Rose entered the meeting during the Mayor’s announcements (6.50 p.m.).

140.

Petitions

Notice has been given pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12 of the intention to present a petition in the following terms:

 

"We support the implementation of a 20mph speed limit across Fant in the roads bounded by Tonbridge Road and the River Medway.  We believe that this will make our environment safer for all residents and people who travel through our communities."

 

Minutes:

Councillor Harper presented a petition in the following terms:

 

We support the implementation of a 20mph speed limit across Fant in the roads bounded by Tonbridge Road and the River Medway.  We believe that this will make our environment safer for all residents and people who travel through our communities.

 

In presenting the petition, Councillor Harper said that:

 

·  The petition was self-explanatory.  Discussions had been taking place within the Council about 20 mph speed limits in residential areas for a long time.  The petition had grown out of the frustrations of the residents of Fant about the need for action.  It was hoped that the petition would help the Council to press for 20 mph speed limits in residential areas in the discussions at the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board. 

 

·  The arguments in terms of safety for the elderly, children and people with disabilities were well known, but most casualties were motorists in areas where traffic travelled too fast on unsuitable roads.

 

·  Fant also suffered from rat running, and residents believed that a 20 mph speed limit would discourage rat running from Glebe Lane to the gyratory system in the town centre.  Only nine roads led into Fant.  It was a well-defined community and one which was eminently suited to introducing this type of speed control, so perhaps the Council might want to look at Fant as a 20 mph speed area pilot study.

 

A factual briefing note prepared by the Officers with input from KCC Highways was circulated to assist Members in the discussion on the petition.

 

During the discussion, Members made a number of points, including:

 

·  Strongly support the petition, but this is not just about Fant.  There are many other areas in the Borough including a number of rural village centres which could benefit from 20 mph speed limits.  A wider debate is required as the petition raises issues across the Borough, including High Street, North and East Wards and parts of Staplehurst, Headcorn, Harrietsham and Lenham.

 

·  In Fant there is nowhere to park so 20 mph speed limits and parking issues need to be looked at in parallel.  As part of the Local Plan review, consideration should be given to ways to solve parking problems in urban areas.

 

·  There are many wards where similar petitions might be forthcoming so the scope of any review should be opened up to enable other areas to contribute.  A speed survey has already been undertaken in Staplehurst and some serious speed incidents were recorded.  Fant residents should consider undertaking a survey to support their case.

 

·  The 30 mph speed limit in residential areas should be reduced to 20 mph but should be enforceable and accompanied by some form of traffic calming infrastructure.

 

·  Most cars are very inefficient when travelling at 20 mph so if 20 mph zones were to be rolled out over a wider area there could be an impact on air pollution.  Speed limits need to be enforced and traffic calming measures should be provided to reduce traffic speeds.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 140.

141.

Question and Answer Session for Members of the Public

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public.

 

142.

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.

 

143.

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

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council submitted his report on current issues.  The Leader of the Council took the opportunity to wish the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mrs Ring, a speedy return to good health.

 

After the Leader of the Council had submitted his report, Councillor Perry, the Leader of the Conservative Group, Councillor Mrs Gooch, the Leader of the Independent Group, Councillor McKay, the Leader of the Labour Group, and Councillor Powell, the Leader of the Independent Maidstone Group, responded to the issues raised.

 

A number of Members then asked questions of the Leader of the Council and the Leader of the Labour Group on the issues raised in their speeches.

 

Note:  Councillor Mrs Wilson left the meeting during consideration of this item (8.12 p.m.), but returned shortly afterwards (8.19 p.m.).

 

144.

Report of the Democracy Committee held on 13 March 2019 - Committee Structure Review pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Mrs Wilson, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gooch, that the recommendations of the Democracy Committee relating to the Committee Structure Review be approved subject to:

 

A.   The amendment of recommendation 1 to read:

 

  That the Committee Structure Review report, attached as Appendix 1 to the report of the Democracy Committee, be agreed subject to the amendment of references to the membership of the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board to reflect the actual Borough Council membership (9 Councillors); AND

 

B.  The amendment of recommendation 2 to read:

 

That the draft Constitutional Changes, attached as Appendix 3 to the report of the Democracy Committee, be agreed subject to the addition of the following:

 

2.2.6 LICENSING COMMITTEE

 

Membership: 13 Councillors

 

Amendment, moved by Councillor Perry, seconded by Councillor Webb, that the recommendations of the Democracy Committee relating to the Committee Structure Review, as amended, be approved subject to the further amendment of recommendation 2 to read:

 

That the draft Constitutional Changes, attached as Appendix 3 to the report of the Democracy Committee, be agreed subject to:

 

A.  The addition of the following:

 

2.2.6 LICENSING COMMITTEE

 

Membership: 13 Councillors

 

AND

 

B.  The following amendment to the functions of the Policy and Resources Committee and the delegation of those functions:

 

2.2.1 POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE

 

FUNCTIONS

DELEGATION OF FUNCTIONS

b) To review annually the performance of the Chief Executive and Directors, to agree targets for the coming financial year, and agree any corrective action which may be required relating to the previous financial year.

Panel comprising 5

Councillors (to include

the Group Leaders of

the 5 largest parties)

 

 

The mover and the seconder of the original motion indicated that they accepted this change to the motion.

 

The substantive motion was then put to the vote.

 

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION CARRIED

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

1.  The Committee Structure Review report, attached as Appendix 1 to the report of the Democracy Committee, be agreed subject to the amendment of references to the membership of the Maidstone Joint Transportation Board to reflect the actual Borough Council membership (9 Councillors).

 

2.  The draft Constitutional Changes, attached as Appendix 3 to the report of the Democracy Committee, be agreed subject to:

 

  A.  The addition of the following:

 

2.2.6 LICENSING COMMITTEE

 

Membership: 13 Councillors

 

AND

 

B.  The following amendment to the functions of the Policy and Resources Committee and the delegation of those functions:

 

2.2.1 POLICY AND RESOURCES COMMITTEE

 

FUNCTIONS

DELEGATION OF FUNCTIONS

b) To review annually the performance of the Chief Executive and Directors, to agree targets for the coming financial year, and agree any corrective action which may be required relating to the previous financial year.

Panel comprising 5

Councillors (to include

the Group Leaders of

the 5 largest parties)

 

 

Note:  During consideration of the next agenda item (Report of the Democracy Committee proposing amendments to the terms of reference of the Planning Committee), a Member expressed concern that although he had indicated that he wished to speak on recommendation 10 of the Committee Structure Review report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 144.

145.

Report of the Democracy Committee held on 13 March 2019 - Planning Committee Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Mrs Wilson, seconded by Councillor Mrs Gooch, that the recommendation of the Democracy Committee relating to the Planning Committee Terms of Reference be approved.

 

During the discussion, it was confirmed that provision would be made in the Democracy and General Purposes Committee work programme for a review of the operation of the amended Terms of Reference in six months’ time.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Planning Committee Terms of Reference, attached as Appendix 1 to the report of the Democracy Committee, be approved.

 

146.

Report of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee Acting as the Crime and Disorder Committee held on 19 March 2019 - Community Safety Plan 2019-22 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Mortimer, seconded by Councillor Powell, that the recommendation of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee acting as the Crime and Disorder Committee relating to the adoption of the Maidstone Community Safety Partnership Plan 2019-22 be approved.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Maidstone Community Safety Partnership Plan 2019-22, attached as Appendix A to the report of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee acting as the Crime and Disorder Committee, be adopted.

147.

Oral Report of the Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee held on 2 April 2019

Minutes:

There was no report from the Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee on this occasion.

 

148.

Notice of Motion - Climate Change

Notice of the following motion has been given by Councillor Harper, seconded by Councillor McKay:

 

This Council notes with concern the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on global climate change impacts* and the recent Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)** reports on global species and habitat loss.


Further to this, Council:

(1) Declares its recognition of global climate and biodiversity  emergencies;

(2) Requests the Policy & Resources Committee to:

 

·  undertake a short review of MBC governance policies and progress aimed at addressing locally these twin threats and to report on findings;

·  consider a target date of 2030 for the whole of the Borough of Maidstone to be carbon neutral;

·  consider how the Council can strengthen local protection and enhancement of species, habitats and ecosystems services under available powers;

(3) Requests the Chief Executive to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer stating the concern of the Council with respect to the above, the likely national impact on the economy and on the wellbeing of citizens, and requesting government funding be made available to implement swift appropriate actions in response.

 

For information:

 

* https://www.ipcc.ch/2018/10/08/summary-for-policymakers-of-ipcc-special-report-on-global-warming-of-1-5c-approved-by-governments/

 

** https://www.ipbes.net/news/media-release-biodiversity-nature%E2%80%99s-contributions-continue-%C2%A0dangerous-decline-scientists-warn

 

Minutes:

The following motion was moved by Councillor Harper, seconded by Councillor McKay:

 

This Council notes with concern the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on global climate change impacts and the recent Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) reports on global species and habitat loss.


Further to this, Council:

(1) Declares its recognition of global climate and biodiversity  emergencies;

(2) Requests the Policy & Resources Committee to:

 

·  undertake a short review of MBC governance policies and progress aimed at addressing locally these twin threats and to report on findings;

·  consider a target date of 2030 for the whole of the Borough of Maidstone to be carbon neutral;

·  consider how the Council can strengthen local protection and enhancement of species, habitats and ecosystems services under available powers;

(3) Requests the Chief Executive to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer stating the concern of the Council with respect to the above, the likely national impact on the economy and on the wellbeing of citizens, and requesting government funding be made available to implement swift appropriate actions in response.

 

The Mayor said that he considered it to be convenient and conducive to the despatch of business that the motion be dealt with at the meeting, and that a factual briefing note had been circulated.

 

Amendment moved by Councillor Perry, seconded by Councillor Brice, that the motion be amended as follows:

 

Paragraph 2 – Sub-section 2 – first bullet point – put a full stop after “findings” and add the following sentence:

 

This would include, inter alia, a review of the current provision of electric charging points throughout the Borough and bring forward an ambitious plan to make Maidstone Borough the friendliest place in the country for driving electric or hybrid vehicles.”

 

Paragraph 2 – Sub-section 3 - include at the beginning of the proposed letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer the following additional sentence:

 

“This Council welcomes the Chancellor’s recent announcement that a “future homes standard” will mandate the end of fossil-fuel heating systems so as to “lower carbon and lower fuel bills too.”

 

The mover and the seconder of the original motion indicated that they accepted these changes to the motion.

 

The substantive motion was then put to the vote.

 

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION CARRIED

 

RESOLVED:  That this Council notes with concern the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on global climate change impacts and the recent Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) reports on global species and habitat loss.


Further to this, Council:

(1) Declares its recognition of global climate and biodiversity emergencies;

(2) Requests the Policy & Resources Committee to:

 

·  undertake a short review of MBC governance policies and progress aimed at addressing locally these twin threats and to report on findings. This would include, inter alia, a review of the current provision of electric charging points throughout the Borough and bring forward an ambitious plan to make Maidstone Borough the friendliest place in the country for driving electric or  ...  view the full minutes text for item 148.

149.

Duration of Meeting

Minutes:

6.30 p.m. to 8.55 p.m.

 

 

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