ModernGov

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre Folkestone

Contact: Jemma West 

Items
No. Item

25.

Declarations of Interest

Members of the Council should declare any discloseable pecuniary interest or any other significant interests in any item/s on this agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor Whybrow made a voluntary declaration in respect of questions from Councillors (question number 1), in that she was a volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureaux.  

26.

Minutes

To receive the minutes of the meeting of the council held on 26 June 2019 and to authorise the Chairman of the Council to sign them as a correct record.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2019 were submitted, approved and signed by the Chairman.

 

 

27.

Chairman's Communications

Minutes:

The Chairman advised on the following:

 

“During the last 6 weeks we have lost another two members of the District. Although not members of this District Council they were members of Town Councils within the District. As we know Town and Parish councillors are all volunteers who put themselves forward to serve their towns and parishes. Two of those past councillors that we have lost recently are:  Reg Belcourt and John Heasman.

 

RegBelcourt past member of Hythe Town Council who died  after a tragic accident whilst on holiday, As well as serving on the Hythe Town Council he was a member of Hythe Rotary and was a prime mover in getting the Christmas Lights in Hythe.  Reg and his wife Keren did an amazing amount of fund raising with their quiz nights and popular Curry lunches they also fostered around 80 children.

 

John Heasman past Mayor of Hawkinge who served as a Councillor for 43 years.  His input into the community of Hawkinge was phenomenal, He was one of the prime movers for the new Community Centre and in recent days he was awarded the freedom of the Town of Hawkinge. He served them well.

 

Let us take a moment to remember them

 

Since the last council meeting on the 26th June the Vice-Chairman and myself have attended the following functions;

 

On 27th June I was invited by Folkestone Creative to attend the opening of the Gas works exhibition at the Folkestone town hall.

 

Sunday 30th June was Armed Forces day held on the leas. This year it was an all day event which brought in thousands of visitors. The Princess of Wales Royal Regiment Band started the opening by marching from the Arch along the leas to the bandstand. There were many charity stalls and events put on for every ones enjoyment, highlight at the end of the afternoon was the Red Arrows who put on the most breath taking spectacular display. 

 

Monday July 1st Canada day. We all gathered at the Shorncliffe Canadian Graves for the annual memorial service. Children from most of the primary schools in the area were in attendance and laid flowers on the graves there. This is something that has been done since 1920. Next year will be another important year for this commemoration.

 

From Thursday 4th July the Deputy Mayor fulfilled many of my duties. He has advised me of the following:

 

“During the Chairman’s absence I have been privileged to represent her on the Council’s behalf at a number of events.

 

On 4th July I attended the Ramsgate Annual Civic Service, where the Town Mayor presented a number of awards to many individuals who had made huge contributions to the town in various ways making significant improvements to many lives.

 

 On 5th July I accepted an invitation to the Official Opening of the new Canelian Bar in Hythe in the company of a number of local councillors and business owners and it was very  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.

28.

Petitions

There are no petitions to be presented.

 

Minutes:

There were no petitions to be presented.

29.

Questions from the Public

 

1.    From Mr Rylands to Councillor Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and special projects

 

How much has P & R Installation Company Ltd overcharged Folkestone & Hythe District Council during the lifetime of the contract?

 

2.    From Mr Deane to Councillor Monk, Leader of the Council

 

Do you believe it is right that this council should be wasting it’s time and council tax payers money on a loss making council owned property development company, Oportunitas, when the real need is for a far greater number of council homes for people of this district than currently are being built or planned?

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The questions asked, including supplementary questions (if any), and the answers given are set out in Schedule 1, appended to these minutes.

30.

Questions from Councillors

(Questions can be found on www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk from noon 2 days before the meeting, on Modern.gov, under the agenda for this meeting).

 

Up to 45 minutes is allowed for questions from councillors.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The questions asked, including supplementary questions (if any), and the answers given are set out in Schedule 2, appended to these minutes.

 

30a

Answers to supplementary questions

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Please note, these responses did not form part of the meeting proceedings.

31.

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.

Minutes:

The Leader made the following announcements:

 

“Good evening to you all.

 

I will start by saying that Cllr Peter Gane has brought to my attention a miscommunication from the Dartford Gravesham and Swanley clinical commissioning group. They have sent a letter to our residents who use the White House Surgery in Folkestone regarding the merger of the Forge Surgery Gateway Medical Practice and the Whitehorse Surgery into one GP practice called Springhead Health in Northfleet. You can see how the error came to be made as the White Horse is synonymous with Folkestone. So if you are approached by anybody worried that they might have to go to Northfleet to see a doctor, you will be able to reassure them that it is not the case. Peter has been in touch with the Whitehorse Surgery and they have said that they will send out an apology.

 

Talking to members of our group about Overview and Scrutiny, it became obvious that members felt that they did not have enough information on, what I shall call, legacy projects, that is, projects that were started before this administrative year. So I have asked officers that when a legacy project is brought before the committee, any relevant previous reports or decisions are also tabled so that the context of the current report is more easily understood.

 

Last Friday it was my great pleasure to attend the opening of the wheelchair swing facility in Radnor Park. It was wonderful to see the enjoyment of the two young ladies who tried it out. The swing is available for use by any wheelchair user that has a Radar key, and they and their chair together weighs less than 250kgs, that is 39 stone in old money, the chairs do need to be anchored down and the straps to do this are kept in the Radnor Park Tea Room. The funding for this swing mainly came from Councillors Dick Pascoe and Ann Berry.  Tomorrow will see the start of the Outdoor Gym installation that will feature both Callisthenic and Cardio Stimulation equipment and additional funding was allocated by Councillors Rory Love and Carol Sacre. Once the gym is installed it will make Radnor Park one of the best equipped leisure areas in Kent and I for one will be using it”.

 

The Leader of the Green Group responded and stated that it was exciting news to hear about the wheelchair swings in Radnor Park. She added that she was grateful for the Leaders request for previous reports to be tabled with regard to legacy projects.

 

The Leader of the Labour group responded and stated that he also welcomed the wheelchair swings, and it was great to see ward grants being used in this way.  He raised concerns that other children in our district were not so lucky, and some playgrounds were in a state of disrepair.

 

Councillor Prater, the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group responded and thanked the Leader for improving the context of reports  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Opposition Business

The Labour Group has raised the following matter:

 

Council notes:

 

That while it is one of the district’s leading employers, it can always look to improve.

 

That paying staff above the minimum requirement improves work ethic, productivity, loyalty and retention.

 

Council believes:

 

That in offering a minimum of £10 an hour to its staff it sends a strong message to other local employers, with the aim of leading to a more economically secure community.

 

That it should be able to offer competitive salaries to senior officers to attract the most capable people to work for our district, although also believe that those on the highest grades should still be measurable to those at the bottom.

That in having a fixed limit between top and bottom grades of pay promotes fairness, equality, transparency and sense of working as a team.

 

Council resolves:

 

To recommend to the personnel committee that a minimum of £10 an hour or £19,300 per annum be awarded to all permanent and temporary staff.

Also that a fixed pay ratio be incorporated into the next pay policy statement”.

 

 

Debates on opposition business shall be limited to 15 minutes.  If the time limit is reached or the debate concludes earlier, the leader of the group raising the item shall have a right of reply.

 

The Council shall:

 

a)         Note the issue raised and take no further action;

b)         Refer the issue to the cabinet or relevant overview and scrutiny committee, as the case may be for their observations before deciding whether to make a decision on the issue;

c)         Agree to examine the matter as part of a future scrutiny programme;

d)         Adopt the issue raised by opposition business provided that the decision so made is within the policy framework and budget.

Minutes:

Councillor McConville, on behalf of the Labour Group outlined the Opposition business, which asked the Council to recommend to the Personnel Committee that a minimum of £10 per hour or £19,300 per annum be awarded to all permanent and temporary staff. Also that a fixed pay ratio be incorporated into the next pay policy statement.

 

Proposed by Councillor McConville,

Seconded by Councillor Davison;

 

That Option (d) (That the Council adopt the issue raised by Opposition business provided that the decision, so made, is within the Policy Framework and Budget and is within the power of the Council to make the decision) be agreed.

 

Proposed by Councillor Gane,

Seconded by Councillor Monk; and

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the wording of the business be amended to read “That the Council ask the Personnel Committee to consider that a minimum of £10 per hour or £19,300 per annum be awarded to all permanent and temporary staff. Also that a fixed pay ratio be incorporated into the next pay policy statement”.

 

In accordance with the council procedure rule 17.5 five members present demanded a recorded vote.

 

FOR: Councillors Mrs Berry, Brook, Miss Carey, Collier, Field, Gane, Goddard, Godfrey, Hills, Mrs Hollingsbee, P Martin, Meyers, Monk, Mullard,  Peall, Rolfe, Shoob and Wimble (18).

  

AGAINST: Councillors Davison, Dorrell, Fuller, J Martin, McConville, Meade, Prater, Treloar, Wade, Whybrow and Wing (11)

 

ABSTENTIONS: Councillor Keen (1).

 

(Voting figures: 18 for, 11 against, 1 abstention).

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Option (d) (That the Council adopt the issue raised by Opposition business provided that the decision, so made, is within the Policy Framework and Budget and is within the power of the Council to make the decision) be agreed.

 

(Voting figures: 30 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).

33.

Motions on Notice

The following motions have been placed on the agenda in the order received; up to 60 minutes shall be allowed for debates on motions on notice:

 

1.         From Councillor McConville, Leader of the Labour Party

 

This Council moves to, under part 4 section 25.2 amend the constitution in regards to part 4 section 12.6. “Time-limit debates on opposition business shall be limited to 15 minutes”. This should be amended to read 30 minutes. As per the constitution it is resolved that this motion stand adjourned, without discussion until the next ordinary meeting of the Council.

 

2.         From Councillor Treloar, Green Party

 

Climate and ecological emergency.

 

Full council notes that:

 

1.         Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world; extreme weather, wildfires, droughts and floods are already affecting millions. 

 

2.         The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global heating of 1.5°C and increase significantly with 2°C. [1] 

 

3.         Humans have already caused 1°C heating and global temperatures are currently on track for 3-5°C heating. We have a 1 in 20 chance of reaching 5°C heating – this presents an existential threat to humankind. [2]

 

4.         The IPCC states we have until 2030 to act to keep global heating under 1.5 degrees. This requires a swift and dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors and ambitious action by all levels of government.

 

5.         Direct risks to our district include: sea level rises of up to 2 meters by the end of the century [3], putting the whole of Romney Marsh at severe risk; water shortages within 25 years [4]; coastal erosion and subsequent risk to property and infrastructure [5]; an increased number of heat-related deaths and biodiversity loss. 

 

6.         Folkestone and Hythe is the district most at risk of flooding in Kent. In a recent report, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government stated that our district has a significantly higher risk of flooding than any other area in Kent, with a 43.4% risk of flooding. [6]

 

7.         We have a duty to act to protect our residents and future residents and to do everything we can to curb the risk of runaway climate breakdown.

 

8.         The severity of this crisis has led parliament and more than 100 local government authorities across the country to declare a climate emergency. The Irish parliament has declared a climate emergency, as has the Welsh Assembly. Within our district, Hythe Town Council is to discuss a climate emergency motion that sets a carbon neutrality date of 2025. Medway, Swale, Maidstone and Gravesham have declared a climate emergency.

 

9.         By committing to becoming carbon net zero by 2030, we will not only demonstrate our commitment to national and international targets, but most importantly – to the safety, wellbeing and property of our residents.

 

10.       The broader economic case for acting is compelling: the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 33.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

1.       From Councillor McConville, Leader of the Labour Party

 

Councillor McConville set out his motion which proposed an amendment to the constitution.

 

Proposed by Councillor McConville,

Seconded by Councillor Monk;

 

That this Council moves to, under part 4 section 25.2 amend the constitution in regards to part 4 section 12.6. “Time-limit debates on opposition business shall be limited to 15 minutes”. This should be amended to read 30 minutes.

 

As per rule 25.2 of the constitution it is resolved that this motion stand adjourned, without discussion until the next ordinary meeting of the Council.

 

2.       From Councillor Treloar, Green Party

 

Councillor Treloar set out her motion relating to climate change which was set out in the agenda.

 

Proposed by Councillor Treloar,

Seconded by Councillor McConville;

 

That Full council:

1.      Declares that we are in a state of climate and ecological emergency.

2.      Commit to reduce Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s estate and operations to zero net carbon by 2030.

3.      Ensure that all strategic decisions, policy, budgets, investments, contracts, approaches to planning decisions and the council’s own developments are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030.

4.      Ensure that all future council reports, where appropriate, include a climate impact statement.

5.      To develop a strategy for Folkestone and Hythe District Council to play a leadership role in promoting community, public and business partnerships for this Carbon Neutral 2030 Commitment throughout the District.

6.      To achieve this, create a Carbon Action Plan based on practical frameworks and advice such as provided by the Carbon Trust. 

7.      Establish a cross-party working group of full council to draw up, steer and monitor progress of the Carbon Action Plan, reporting back to full council in 6 months, then annually.

8.      Call on the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible, and ask local MPs to do likewise.

9.      Request that Cabinet shows leadership and adopts the matters raised in 1 – as above.  

 

Proposed by Councillor Hills,

Seconded by Councillor Wimble;

 

RESOLVED:

That the first point of the motion be amended to read:

 

“That Full Council recognises that we are in a climate emergency, and that the issue be referred to Overview and Scrutiny Committee to get the best way forward, and price it”.

 

In accordance with the council procedure rule 17.5 five members present demanded a recorded vote.

 

FOR: Councillors Mrs Berry, Brook, Miss Carey, Collier, Gane, Goddard, Godfrey, Hills, Mrs Hollingsbee, P Martin, Meyers, Monk, Mullard,  Peall, Rolfe and Wimble (16).

  

AGAINST: Councillors Davison, Dorrell, Field, Fuller, Keen, J Martin, McConville, Meade, Prater, Shoob, Treloar, Wade, Whybrow and Wing (14)

 

ABSTENTIONS: None (0).

 

(Voting figures: 16 for, 14 against, 0 abstentions).

 

          RESOLVED:

 

That Full council:

1.    Recognises that we are in a climate emergency, and that the issue be referred to Overview and Scrutiny Committee to get the best way forward, and price it.

2.     Commit to reduce Folkestone and Hythe District Council’s estate and operations to zero net carbon by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Members' Allowances - Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP)

This report recommends that the Council commences the process of recruiting members to the Independent Remuneration Panel and to establish that panel also as the Parish Remuneration Panel.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report recommended that the Council commence the process of recruiting members to the Independent Remuneration Panel and to establish that panel also as the Parish Remuneration Panel.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Hollingsbee; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.       That report A/19/10 be received and noted.

2.       That the existing members of the Independent Remuneration Panel for be thanked for their work since their appointment;

3.       That four members be appointed to the Council’s Independent Remuneration Panel under the provisions of the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 with a four year term of office from the 1 December 2019;

4.       That a Parish Remuneration Panel be established under the regulations, the members of which shall be identical to the members of the Independent Remuneration Panel;

5.       That the Head of Paid Service be authorised to draw up role descriptions for the members of the Independent Remuneration Panel;

6.       That an advert for candidates be placed in the press and electronically;

7.       That a selection panel be formed comprising the Chairman of the Council, the Leader of the Council, the Leader of the Labour Group, the Leader of the Green Group and a further panel member appointed by the Head of Paid Service.

 

(Voting figures: 30 for, 0 against, 0 abstentions).