ModernGov

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Zoom - remote meeting

Contact: Jemma West 

Items
No. Item

17.

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.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Meyers made a voluntary declaration in respect of agenda item 5 (Opposition business) relating to Napier Barracks, due to his employment. He indicated that he would not speak or vote on the item.

 

Councillor Rolfe made a Declaration of Pecuniary interest in respect of agenda items 10 (Update to the General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme), 11 (Capital Strategy 21/22) and 12 (Investment Strategy 21/22) due to her role as Chairman of Oportunitas. She advised that a dispensation had been granted.  She also made a voluntary declaration due to her role as Town Councillor on New Romney Town Council.

 

Councillor Miss Carey made a voluntary declaration in respect of agenda item 5 (Opposition Business), relating to Napier Barracks, due to her husband’s employment.

18.

Chairman's Communications

Minutes:

The Chairman gave the following communications:

 

It has been a fairly quiet period regarding attending functions since the last Full Council.

 

Nevertheless on 27 January 2021, Holocaust day, I visited the Holocaust Memorial in the Garden of Remembrance. As this was not advertised I read out a prayer that I had taken along and laid a wreath on behalf of the Folkestone & Hythe District Council. A few other people gathered as they usually do to lay their wreaths and flowers and place a stone on the Memorial.  Social distancing and wearing of masks was observed.

 

Also on 27 January 2021, I was pleased to be invited to attend the Zoom meeting of the Installation of the new Priest at St John’s Church Folkestone, Reverend Adam Denley. The service was conducted by the Bishop of Dover, Rose Hudson–Wilkin.

 

The Deputy Chairman, Councillor Philip Martin, and I continue to thank all those Officers, Staff, Councillors, Emergency Services, National Health Service and Volunteers who continue the hard and oft time-difficult task of managing the ever changing face of the Covid 19 Pandemic. It has been heartening to see how many have given their time and donations to feed those less fortunate than ourselves and to make sure that many children received a gift at Christmas.

 

We now look forward to seeing the ease of lockdown continue”.


19.

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 gave the following announcements:

 

“Good evening to you all.

 

We continue to help all of our businesses that are eligible to receive the Government business support grant by getting that grant to them quickly. In the six weeks up to 15 February our officers distributed a further £2.125m to around 950 businesses. If you have had your own business you will know how critical cash flow is, and how helpful these timely payments will have been. There are other councils around the country that have not even paid out the 2020 grants, so once again I thank our officers for their assiduity in setting up these grants.

 

I along with our MP, Damian Collins, and Dr Priest have had meetings with both the Home Secretary and separately the Archbishop of Canterbury about the unsuitability of using Napier Barracks as a holding centre for asylum seekers. As you may imagine the Archbishop is of the same opinion as us that it is not suitable.  I do not know what the eventual outcome of these meetings will be.  

 

You will have probably seen from our recent press release that the new business centre at Mountfield Road, a joint venture between us and the East Kent Spatial Development Company, assisted with funding from NDA, has had the first concrete poured and should be operational from January next year which will be a welcome boost for encouraging small businesses.

 

Across the district the NHS-led vaccination centres have done a wonderful job although they might slow down a little over the next couple of weeks due to appointment difficulties and an uncertain supply of vaccine. 

 

Which brings me nicely on to the Road Map for Recovery. It would seem, barring a spate of bad data, that all restrictions on public meetings will be lifted by June so I have asked Dr Priest to arrange a physical Council Meeting for the latter part of June”.

 

The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor McConville, stated that he echoed the praise for staff who are working with local business to ensure they can reopen when allowed to. Also to those staff working tirelessly behind the scenes with duties to do with the upcoming census and May local elections. He agreed that Napier Barracks are indeed unsuitable and looked forward to the outcome of the inspection. He indicated that he hoped Leader would support asking the Overview and Scrutiny Committee to do whatever they could within their powers to provide accountability and offer answers to the questions of both the council and the community. He stated that vaccination is the route to normality, and he was pleased to see that some early teething problems at Folca have been ironed out. He stated that he was looking forward to be able to sit in a restaurant again, and have a haircut, but also missed being in the chamber and hoped to be back in it soon.

 

The Leader stated that he agreed with the points raised.  

 

Proposed by Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Opposition Business

The Labour Group has raised the following matter:

 

Council Notes

-          That Napier Barracks was commissioned by the home office for the purpose of accommodating those awaiting the processing of their asylum claims.

-          That over 400 people were living in the barracks recently.

-          That ClearSprings Ready Homes was commissioned by the home office to run the barracks.

 

Council Believes

-          That the residents of the barracks have received limited provisions of food, water, medical supplies and treatment.

-          That Covid has severely exacerbated the problems in the barracks and many of the residents have contracted the virus. 

-          That the additional restrictions in place due to the presence of Covid has turned the barracks into a prison, not its original function.

-          That many questions still remain unanswered with regards to the establishment of the barracks, the role of the organisation contracted to operate them and causes of a number of events that have occurred on the site.

 

Council Resolves

-          To ask the leader of the council to write to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, asking for the immediate closure of Napier Barracks as it is not fit for purpose. A sentiment also shared by the local MP, Damian Collins.

-          To publish any correspondence sent and received as a result of the letter.

-          To refer to the Overview and Scrutiny committee a request to establish an enquiry session where representatives of the home office, ClearSprings Ready Homes, local charities, local residents and residents of the barracks can provide evidence in response to questions from both members and the general public.

 

 

Debates on opposition business shall be limited to 30 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:

The Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor McConville, set out his Opposition Business which asked the council for various actions in relation to Napier Barracks.

 

Proposed by Councillor McConville,

Seconded by Councillor Keutenius, and

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Option (b) (Refer the issue to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, as the case may be for their observations before deciding whether to make a decision on the issue) be agreed for the business below;

 

·       To ask the Leader of the Council to write to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, asking for the immediate closure of Napier Barracks as it is not fit for purpose. A sentiment also shared by the local MP, Damian Collins.

·       To publish any correspondence sent and received as a result of the letter.

·       To refer to the Overview and Scrutiny committee a request to establish an enquiry session where representatives of the home office, ClearSprings Ready Homes, local charities, local residents and residents of the barracks can provide evidence in response to questions from both members and the general public.

 

(Voting figures: 23 for, 2 against, 4 abstentions).

 

21.

Motions on Notice

There are no motions on notice.

Minutes:

There were no motions on notice at the meeting.

22.

Corporate Plan - Creating Tomorrow Together 2021-2030

This report sets out the proposed Corporate Plan which provides strategic direction to the Councils activities for the period 2021 – 2030.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report set out the proposed Corporate Plan which provided strategic direction to the Councils activities for the period 2021 – 2030.

 

Proposed by Councillor Prater,

Seconded by Councillor Whybrow;

 

That the following recommendation be inserted as recommendation two (and subsequent recommendations be renumbered):

 

To remove the words “at Princes Parade” from page 12 of the proposed Corporate Plan.

 

(Voting figures: 13 for, 16 against, 0 abstentions).

 

The motion was therefore LOST.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and

 

ReSOLVED:

1.         That report A/20/10 be received and noted.

2.         That the Corporate Plan – Creating Tomorrow Together 2021 – 2030 be approved.

 

(Voting figures: 16 for, 13 against, 0 abstentions).

23.

General Fund Budget and Council Tax 2021/22

This report concludes the budget setting process for 2021/22. It sets out recommendations for setting the council tax after taking into account the district’s council tax requirement (including town and parish council requirements and special expenses in respect of the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds Charity), the precepts of Kent County Council, the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner and the Kent & Medway Fire & Rescue Service.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report concluded the budget setting process for 2021/22. It set out recommendations for setting the Council Tax after taking into account the district’s Council Tax requirement (including town and parish council requirements and special expenses in respect of the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds Charity), the precepts of Kent County Council, the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner and the Kent & Medway Fire & Rescue Service.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.         That report A/20/08 be received and noted.

2.         That the District Council’s budget for 2021/22 as presented in Appendix 1 to this report and the Council Tax requirement for 2021/22, to be met from the Collection Fund, of £13,128,209, be approved.

3.         That the following amounts be now calculated by the Council for the year 2021/22 in accordance with sections 31 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (the Act) be approved:

a)    £101,485,462 – being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(2) (a) to (f) of the Act (as in Appendix 2).

b)    £88,357,253 – being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A(3) (a) to (d) of the Act (as in Appendix 2).

c)    £13,128,209 – being the amount by which the aggregate at 3(a) above exceeds the aggregate at 3(b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act, as its council tax requirement for the year (as in Appendix 2).

d)    £341.13 – being the amount at 3(c) above divided by the tax base of 38,484.69 calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B(1) of the Act, as the basic amount of its council tax for the year.

e)    £3,152,977 – being the aggregate of all special items (including parish precepts) referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act.

f)     £259.20 - being the amount at 3(d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at 3(e) above by the tax base of 38,484.69.15 calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act, as the basic amount of its council tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which no special item relates, ie Old Romney and Snargate.

g)    Part of the Council’s area

 

Folkestone

 355.70

Being the amounts given by adding to the amount at 3(f) above the special items relating to dwellings in those parts of the Council area mentioned here divided in each case by the appropriate tax base calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(3) of the Act, as the basic amounts of its council tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which one or more special items relate.

 

Sandgate

337.12

 

Hythe

318.49

 

Lydd

317.99

 

New Romney

390.28

 

 

 

 

Acrise

261.49

 

Elham

321.57

 

Elmsted

271.29

 

Hawkinge

385.19

 

Lyminge

318.84

 

Lympne

314.58

 

Monks Horton

269.08

 

Newington

308.09

 

Paddlesworth

270.02

 

Postling

288.16  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Housing Revenue Account Revenue and capital original budget 2021/22

This report sets out the Housing Revenue Account Revenue and Capital Budget for 2021/22 and proposes an increase in weekly rents and an increase in service charges for 2021/22.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report set out the Housing Revenue Account Revenue and Capital Budget for 2021/22 and proposed an increase in weekly rents and an increase in service charges for 2021/22.

 

Proposed by Councillor Godfrey,

Seconded by Councillor Monk; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.    That report A/21/09 be received and noted.

2.    That the Housing Revenue Account Budget for 2021/22 be approved (Refer to paragraph 2.1 and Appendix 1).

3.    That the increase in rents of dwellings within the HRA on average by £1.27 per week, representing a 1.5% increasewith effect from 5 April 2021 be approved (Refer to paragraph 3.2).

4.    That the increase in service charges be approved (Refer to section 3.5).

5.    That the Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme budget 2021/22 be approved (Refer to paragraph 4.1 and Appendix 2).

 

(Voting figures: 24 for, 0 against, 5 abstentions).

25.

Update to the General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme and budget monitoring 2020/21

This report updates the General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme for the five year period ending 31 March 2026. The report provides an updated projected outturn for the General Fund capital programme in 2020/21, based on expenditure to 30 November 2020. The General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme is required to be submitted to full Council for consideration and approval as part of the budget process. The Finance and Performance Scrutiny Sub-Committee considered this report on 12 January 2021 ahead of Cabinet approving it for submission to full Council on 20 January 2021.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report updated the General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme for the five year period ending 31 March 2026. The report also provided an updated projected outturn for the General Fund capital programme in 2020/21, based on expenditure to 30 November 2020. The General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme is required to be submitted to full Council for consideration and approval as part of the budget process. The Finance and Performance Scrutiny Sub-Committee considered this report on 12 January 2021 ahead of Cabinet approving it for submission to full Council on 20 January 2021.

 

Proposed by Councillor Prater,

Seconded by Councillor Whybrow;

 

That the following recommendation be inserted as recommendation two (and subsequent recommendations be renumbered):

 

The Princes Parade (Princes Parade Leisure and Housing development) future allocated budget of £28.358m be deleted and that a future capital programme considers the required budget for a leisure centre on an alternative site, probably at Martello Lakes.

 

(Voting figures: 13 for, 16 against, 0 abstentions).

 

The motion was therefore LOST.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.         That report A/20/06 be received and noted.

2.         That the updated General Fund Medium Term Capital Programme as set out in appendix 2 to the report be approved.

 

(Voting figures: 16 for, 13 against, 0 abstentions).

26.

Capital Strategy 21/22 and Minimum Revenue Provision Statement 2021/2022

This report sets out the Council’s proposed strategy in relation to capital expenditure, financing and treasury management in 2021/22 to be approved by full Council. The report also sets out the Prudential Indicators for capital expenditure and the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2021/22 to be approved by full Council. The report is due to be considered and approved by Cabinet for submission to full Council earlier today.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report set out the Council’s proposed strategy in relation to capital expenditure, financing and treasury management in 2021/22 to be approved by full Council. The report also set out the Prudential Indicators for capital expenditure and the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement for 2021/22 to be approved by full Council. The report was considered and approved by Cabinet at their meeting on 24 February 2021.

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.         That report A/20/05 be received and noted.

2.         That the 2021/22 Capital Strategy, including the Prudential Indicators, set out in appendix 1 to the report, be approved.

3.         That the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Statement for 2021/22 set out in appendix 2 to the report, be approved.

 

(Voting figures: 19 for, 9 against, 1 abstentions).

27.

Investment Strategy 21/22

This report sets out the Council’s proposed strategy for its service and commercial investments in 2021/22 to be approved by full Council. The report is due to be considered and approved by Cabinet for submission to full Council earlier today.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The report set out the Council’s proposed strategy for its service and commercial investments in 2021/22 to be approved by full Council. The report was considered and approved by Cabinet for submission to full Council on 24 February 2021.

 

Proposed by Councillor Whybrow,

Seconded by Councillor Prater; and

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the recommendations be amended to include the addition of a clause to the Investment Strategy to state that in accordance with the climate and ecological emergency motion that was passed in Full Council on 24 July 2019 all new investments will be assessed to ensure that they are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030.

 

(Voting figures: 14 for, 12 against, 3 abstentions).

 

Proposed by Councillor Monk,

Seconded by Councillor Mrs Hollingsbee; and

 

RESOLVED:

1.         That report C/20/07 be received and noted.

2.         That a clause be added to the Investment Strategy to state that in accordance with the climate and ecological emergency motion that was passed in Full Council on 24 July 2019 all new investments will be assessed to ensure that they are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030.

3.         That the 2021/22 Investment Strategy, including the Investment Indicators, set out in the appendix to the report, be approved.

(Voting figures: 25 for, 0 against, 4 abstentions).