Agenda and minutes

Council - Thursday, 20 January 2022 7.00pm

Venue: St George's Centre, Pembroke Road, Chatham Maritime, Chatham ME4 4UH. View directions

Contact: Wayne Hemingway, Head of Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

626.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

During this period, it was informally agreed between the two political groups, due the Coronavirus pandemic, to run Medway Council meetings with a reduced number of participants. This was to reduce risk. The apologies given reflect that informal agreement of reduced participants.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ahmed, Barrett, Browne, Clarke, Cooper, Fearn, Griffin, Howcroft-Scott, Hubbard, Lammas, Lloyd, Mahil, McDonald, Opara, Paterson, Pendergast, Price, Purdy, Andy Stamp, Tejan, Thompson, Thorne, Tranter, Mrs Elizabeth Turpin, Rupert Turpin and Williams.

627.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 371 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct.  Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 2.

 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

Councillor Osborne declared an interest in agenda item number 12 (Annual Review of the School Place Planning Strategy 2018-22 - Addition to the Capital Programme) as he is a member of staff at Leigh Academy Trust. Councillor Osborne left the room during discussion and consideration of the item.

 

Other significant interests (OSIs)

 

There were none.

 

Other interests

 

There were none.

628.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To approve the record of the meetings held on 7 October 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In relation to the minutes of agenda item number 2 (Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Interests) of the ordinary Council meeting held on 7 October 2021, it was noted that Councillor’s Cooper’s interest had been recorded in the minutes as the Chair of the Rivermead Inclusive Trust. Councillor Cooper was in fact the Vice Chair of the Rivermead School Governing Body.

 

Subject to the amendment highlighted above, the records of the meetings held on 7 October 2021 were agreed by the Council and signed by The Worshipful The Mayor of Medway as correct.

 

629.

Mayor's announcements

Minutes:

The Worshipful Mayor of Medway said that Members would be sadly aware of the passing of Councillor Nick Bowler in October 2021, which was not long after Councillor Steve Iles and Councilor Tashi Bhutia.

 

Having initially served on Rochester Upon Medway City Council between 1997-98, Councillor Bowler had been one of the Council’s most long serving Members, having sat on the Council since 2000, initially representing the residents of Troy Town and then Rochester East since 2003. Councillor Bowler had served as Mayor of Medway during the 2003-2004 municipal year, and then as Deputy Mayor during the 2007-2008 municipal year.

 

The Mayor highlighted that Councillor Bowler had been passionate about planning, having served on the Planning Committee since 2000 and as spokesperson for the Labour and Co-operative Group since 2001.

 

The Mayor had attended the memorial service held on 19 January 2022 at Rochester Cathedral and was pleased that so many people had attended. The Mayor considered that this had been a fitting tribute.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, said that Councillor Bowler had performed his role very well, which had included being Planning Spokesperson for many years. He had worked on the cross party group looking at the Local Plan. Councillor Jarrett said that Councillor Bowler had been particularly open minded and had been a keen fan of Arsenal FC. He had previously been Mayor of Medway and his good humour would be much missed.

 

The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Maple, said that Councillor Bowler had been one of a kind who was not afraid to voice his opinion. He had a passion for a diverse range of things, such as American football and music. It was particularly sad that the Council had now lost three serving Councillors in such a short space of time.

 

Other Members of the Council added their tributes to Councillor Bowler. Tributes included his committed and diligent work as ward councillor and planning spokesperson and the strong working relationships that he built with colleagues across the Council. Councillor Bowler’s bravery in dealing with illness over a long period of time was acknowledged and that he had worked hard despite this. His integrity and commitment were also highlighted.

 

A minute’s silence was held in memory of Councillor Bowler.

 

The newly elected Councillor Edwards was welcomed to the meeting by the Mayor. The Mayor wished her well in her role.

630.

Leader's announcements

Minutes:

With reference to the Motion agreed by the Council at the October 2021 meeting to call on the Government to ban virginity testing and hymenoplasty, in order to tackle violence against women and girls, the Leader informed the Council that the Government had supported the request. MPs had since voted to ban virginity testing and would vote on banning hymenoplasty during January 2022. The Council’s voice had, therefore, made a difference on this important matter.

 

 

631.

Petitions

Minutes:

Public:

 

There were none.

 

Member:

 

There were none.

632.

Public questions pdf icon PDF 153 KB

This report sets out the public questions received for this meeting. 

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

The Mayor stated that as Council Member and public attendance at the meeting was reduced due to COVID-19, it was proposed that everyone who had submitted a public or Member question would have their question answered during the meeting, irrespective of whether they were present, within existing time limits.

 

The Mayor, supported by Councillor Kemp, proposed that Council rules 8.6 and 9.1 be suspended for the duration of the meeting.

 

Decision:

 

The Council agreed to suspend Council rules 8.6 and 9.1 for the duration of the meeting.

 

Public Questions Asked:

 

Question A – Giovanni Nasillo of Gillingham asked the Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment, Strategic Regeneration and Partnerships Councillor Rodney Chambers OBE, the following:

 

“Gillingham is almost forgotten about in the Council’s 2035 regeneration document, there is a lack of vibrancy in the High Street that the Council says it hopes to maintain. Councillors should look at Gillingham on the Nextdoor social media site.

 

Why is the Council treating Gillingham residents with such contempt?”

 

Councillor Chambers said he appreciated that the current climate was challenging for most town centres due to the changing retail trends and the advent of online shopping. 

 

In Gillingham, regeneration sites in the High Street area had been identified at Britton Farm Mall, the Railway Station public realm and the Riley’s building in Green Street. The Council was also undertaking extra general cleaning and maintenance of the general public realm.

 

At Britton farm, a £850,000 project had been completed to convert the former supermarket into office accommodation and this was now occupied by the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust. It was hoped that this would positively impact on the local economy with 170 staff members using and supporting the high street businesses.

 

Medway Council had worked hard to secure £1.99million of Government funding for the upper floor of Britton Farm Mall to create an Adult Learning Skills Employment Centre. This would have flexible classroom space with high quality digital training equipment.

 

Councillor Chambers said the project also included funding towards 44 affordable homes at the rear of Britton Farm, alongside additional public realm improvements within the mall. This included greening, new flooring and the installation of new gates. These developments all aimed to bring more people into Gillingham High Street to shop.

 

Gillingham High Street was a priority for external investment and the Council’s external investment officers were working closely with the town centre team to ensure that advantage was taken of future funding opportunities.

 

Question B - Keith Slucock of Halling asked the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation, Councillor Chitty, the following:

 

“In response to the above proposals [Cuxton Winery Development] the Kent Downs AONB unit sent Medway Council a detailed and strongly worded objection.

 

Yet, at the planning meeting held on 8th December, it was clear that few of the most significant objections raised by the Kent Downs AONB unit had been considered by Medway Council's Planning Department, whose head spoke passionately in favour of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 632.

633.

Leader's report pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members received the Leader’s report and the following issues were raised:

 

·       Covid-19, the now decreasing numbers of cases and hospitalisations and the end of Plan B measures.

·       The Council’s summer programme of events held in 2021, such as the Gaming and Creative Festival and the Medway Mile.

·       The second Future Hoo Consultation that had recently finished.

·       Phases 1 to 3 of the Rochester Riverside development which was nearly complete. Design meetings were now being held in relation to Phase 4.

·       The Garrison Point apartment development which was nearing completion.

·       The opening of the Woolwich to Grain section of a costal path. Medway Council had completed significant work on its section of the route.

·       The Brook Theatre’s successful bid to the Levelling Up Fund.

·       Improvement work planned for St John’s Church.

·       A public engagement survey had been undertaken from December 2021 to January 2022 in relation to the public realm Paddock scheme.

·       In order to improve the centre of Chatham a report would soon be considered by Cabinet in relation to acquisition of the former Debenhams building.

·       The refurbishment of two hangars at Rochester Airport.

·       Progress on the development of Innovation Park Medway.

·       The significant and continued progress made to improvements to Children’s Services and new funding secured.

·       Serious concerns about Covid-19 rule breaking by officials at national level, the message this gave and the unfairness for people in Medway who had followed the rules.

·       Concerns around delays to development of the new Local Plan, the future of Chatham Docks and whether it was a particular concern to the people of Medway. 

·       A suggestion that climate change work was not progressing quickly enough.

·       The rebuild of Splashes Leisure Centre.

·       The rising cost of living and the affordability of council tax.

634.

Overview and scrutiny activity pdf icon PDF 231 KB

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members received a report on overview and scrutiny activity and raised the following issues during debate: 

 

·       The development of the Council’s People Strategy was welcomed and its importance highlighted.

·       Ongoing improvements to Children’s Service were welcomed and the importance of implementation and monitoring acknowledged. The Child Friendly Medway engagement events were also highlighted.

·       The development of the Children and Young People and Young Adults’ Emotional Health and Wellbeing Transformation Plan and the urgent need to address lengthy treatment delays.

·       Concern around plans to move some mental health services away from Medway following relocation of some other services away from Medway.

·       A request for information in relation to Medway Development Company, previously requested at a meeting of the Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to be provided to the Committee.

·       Progress in the sale of property at the Garrison Point housing development and whether the Chatham Waterfront development would be viable going forward.

·       Members thanked Council officer, Anna-Marie Lawrence, who would shortly be leaving the Council, for her service.

·       The impact of Covid-19 in schools and the excellent work by staff to keep them open in the face of the Omicron variant.

·       The importance of cybersecurity and the Member Briefing note that would be provided on this topic.

·       Medway Norse and the maintenance of bin collections over the Christmas period despite the Covid challenge.

·       The importance of combatting climate change, the rollout of electric vehicle charging points and tree planting.

 

Decision:

 

The Council noted the report.

635.

Members' questions pdf icon PDF 159 KB

This report sets out the Members’ questions received for this meeting. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Question A – Councillor Tranter asked the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation, Councillor Chitty, the following:

 

“In October 2021 the Local Plan was withdrawn from the Council agenda because (a) it was not complete and (b) because a majority of members had made it very clear they will not support it. Public consultation would have changed nothing in the plan and so it was pointless until there is agreement. Three months have passed and still Members have not seen a complete plan; also there appears to be no attempt to discuss or resolve Members’ key concerns, such as the proposed mixed use designation of Chatham Docks which will destroy an important local industry.

 

Are the Cabinet still hoping this current plan will be accepted by this Council, or will they amend it in order to reach agreement?”

 

Councillor Chitty thanked Councillor Tranter for his question. She said that the Draft Local Plan had been withdrawn from the Full Council meeting in October 2021 as there was work that was still needed to be completed. Considering that, Councillor Chitty felt that it was appropriate to withdraw the draft Plan from the Council agenda and to come back when all the necessary work on the draft Plan, supported by all the required evidence, had been completed.

 

Officers were continuing to work on the draft Plan and were following national planning policy and guidance, as was required. Once that work had been completed, a decision would be made on the appropriate timing to bring the Plan to Full Council.

 

Engagement had been taking place with representatives of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) and officers had met with an experienced Planning Inspector recommended by the Department.

 

Feedback provided had stated that the Council should be positive about the position reached with the Plan and that there were no significant weaknesses in the work that had been undertaken. These comments were reiterated by the Inspector, who was encouraged by Medway’s emerging Spatial Strategy, which she advised was consistent with National Planning Policy and guidance. The Inspector advised that to move from that position would carry greater likelihood of the Plan being found to be unsound.

 

It was important that Council officers and their consultants completed the work being undertaken and that the draft Plan that emerged being led by the evidence base.

 

The PAS had been very clear in a presentation to Members of the Council that the consequences of the Council not agreeing a Plan that had evolved from the evidence base and that had been developed in accordance with National Planning Policy and guidance and of the implications of moving to a different spatial strategy.

Question B – Councillor Rupert Turpin asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, the following:

 

“The current target for Medway’s housing need is an eye watering 27,000 homes by 2037. However, this is based on out of date population statistics which go all the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 635.

636.

Public Space Protection Orders Extension pdf icon PDF 149 KB

This report requests Council approval of the boundary extension of the existing three town centre Public Space Protection Order schemes in Chatham, Rochester and Strood, as recommended by the Cabinet when it considered the report on 14 December 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report set out that Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) were an order created in relation to areas within the local authority’s jurisdiction, where activities were taking place that were, or were likely to be, detrimental to the local community’s quality of life. PSPOs imposed conditions or restrictions on people within that area.

 

Public consultation had been undertaken in relation to proposals to extend the boundaries of the existing PSPOs, which covered the consumption of alcohol in Chatham, Rochester, and Strood. The consultation responses were set out in Appendices 3, 4 and 5 to the report. The proposed extensions to these PSPO areas were shown in the maps at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

The report sought Council approval to make the extensions to the PSPO areas, as recommended by the Cabinet on 14 December 2021.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Resources, Councillor Gulvin, supported by the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe, proposed the recommendations set out in the report.

Decision:

 

The Council:

 

a)    Noted that although the response rate was low, those that responded to the consultation were in favour of the boundary extensions as was the Police and Crime Commissioner and Kent Police’s Borough Commander.

 

b)    Approved the boundary extension of the existing town centre PSPO in Chatham, as shown in the map at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

c)    Approved the boundary extension to the existing town centre PSPO in Rochester, as shown in the map at Appendix 1 to the report.

 

d)    Approved the boundary extension to the existing town centre PSPO in Strood, as shown in the map at Appendix 1 to the report.

637.

Annual Review of the School Place Planning Strategy 2018-22 - Addition to the Capital Programme pdf icon PDF 2 MB

This annual summary report provides an update on the progress made against the School Place Planning Strategy 2018-22. It highlights areas of demand for school places and makes recommendations to ensure that appropriate levels of good quality school places are available.

 

The report seeks Council approval to make an addition to the Capital Programme in support of the proposals that were agreed by the Cabinet on 19 October 2021.

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report provided an update on the progress made against the School Place Planning Strategy 2018-22, highlighting areas of demand for school places and action taken and made recommendations to ensure that sufficient good quality school places were available.

 

The annual review report, and its recommendations were based upon the annual round of forecasting undertaken in April 2021, using the latest available data. 

 

The report sought Council approval to make an addition to the Capital Programme in support of the proposals that were agreed by the Cabinet on 19 October 2021.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Education and Schools, Councillor Potter, supported by the Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services – Lead Member, Councillor Mrs Josie Iles, proposed the recommendations set out in the report.

Decision:

 

The Council agreed to add £1,870,500 to the Capital Programme to complete the resourced provision projects at the Howard School, Strood Academy and Victory Academy, together with the special school expansion at Bradfields, as set out in paragraphs 8.11 to 8.13 to the report.

638.

Appointment of External Auditor pdf icon PDF 182 KB

This report sets out the options for the Council to appoint an external auditor for the 2023/24 financial year onwards, following the end of the current contract arrangement with Grant Thornton.

 

The report seeks Council approval to ‘opt-in’ to a Sector Led Body appointed by the Secretary of State under the Act, as recommended by the Audit Committee when it considered the report on 11 November 2021.

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report set out the options for the Council to appoint an external auditor for the 2023/24 financial year onwards, following the end of the current contract arrangement with Grant Thornton.

 

The report sought Council approval to ‘opt-in’ to a Sector Led Body appointed by the Secretary of State under the Act, as recommended by the Audit Committee when it considered the report on 11 November 2021.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, supported by the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe, proposed the recommendations set out in the report.

Decision:

 

The Council:

 

a)    Noted the comments of the Audit Committee, as set out in section 5 of the report.

 

b)    Noted the future implications for external audit procurement arrangements.

 

c)    Agreed option 3 (opt into a sector led body), as set out in section 3 of the report.

 

d)    Agreed, under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Local Audit (Appointing Person) Regulations 2015, to accept Public Sector Audit Appointments’ invitation to become an opted in authority for the purposes of the appointment of external auditors for five financial years commencing 1 April 2023.

639.

Appointments to the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 153 KB

This report recommends that the Council agrees the appointment of a teacher representative, a named substitute for the same position and a Church of England Diocese – Rochester Diocesan Board of Education representative, to the Council’s Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report requested that the Council agree the appointment of a teacher representative, a named substitute for the same position and a Church of England Diocese – Rochester Diocesan Board of Education representative, to the Council’s Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

Councillor Kemp, supported by Councillor Etheridge, proposed the recommendations set out in the report.

Decision:

 

The Council agreed the following appointments:

 

a)      Vicky Aspin be appointed as the teacher position on the Committee for a two year term.

 

b)      Hannah Roberts be appointed as the named substitute for the teacher position on the Committee for a two year term.

 

c)      Lenny Williams be appointed as the Church of England Diocese representative (representing the Rochester Diocesan Board of Education).

640.

Schedule of Meetings 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

This report asks the Council to consider a provisional programme of meetings for the 2022/23 municipal year, as set out in Appendix 1, for recommendation to the Annual Meeting of the Council on 18 May 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report asked the Council to consider a provisional programme of meetings for the 2022/23 municipal year, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, for recommendation to the Annual Meeting of the Council on 18 May 2022.

 

The report also provided an update on the future of the Kent and Medway Joint Health and Wellbeing Board, a report on which would be considered at the next meeting of the Medway Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

It was noted that meetings of the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee would now be scheduled to have a start time of 6pm in 2022/23 rather than the time of 6:30pm set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

 

Councillor Kemp, supported by Councillor Etheridge, proposed the recommendations set out in the report, subject to the start time of the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee being changed to 6:00pm.

Decision:

 

The Council agreed a provisional programme of Council and Committee meetings for 2022/23, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, subject to start time of the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny being amended from 6:30pm to 6pm, for recommendation to the Annual Meeting of the Council on 18 May 2022.

641.

Use of Urgency Provisions pdf icon PDF 114 KB

This report provides details of recent usage of urgency provisions contained within the Constitution.

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report provided details of recent usage of urgency provisions contained within the Constitution.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, supported by the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe, proposed the recommendations set out in the report.

Decision:

 

The Council noted the report with regards to the use of urgency provisions set out in the report.

642.

Motions

642A)

Councillor Mrs Josie Iles, supported by Councillor Gulvin, submitted the following:

Care Leaver Covenant

 

This Council notes that in July 2016, the Government published a major policy document ‘Keep on Caring’ to support young people from care to independence.

 

A key policy commitment in the paper is a strategic pledge to introduce a Care Leaver Covenant. The Covenant is a promise made by the private, public and voluntary sectors to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25 to help them to live independently.

 

The aim of the Care Leaver Covenant, to which organisations commit, is to provide additional support for those leaving care; making available a different type of support and expertise from that statutorily provided by local authorities.

 

This Council is committed to ensuring our care leavers receive the best possible support once they leave the care system. The Council has placed a significant focus on this, as the Leader of the Council announced in his April 2021 Council speech and have created a new service dedicated to the matter.

 

This Council has the same aspirations for a Care Leaver as a good parent would have for their own child. It means providing them with the stability and support they need to make progress, and helping them to access new opportunities and experiences that inspire them to set ambitious goals for themselves.

 

This Council is committed to rethinking how services are delivered and what support is provided, with a strong focus on finding new and better ways of helping care leavers.

 

This Council will continue to strengthen the culture of corporate parenting, so that they better respond to care leavers’ needs.

 

This Council requests the Cabinet to receive a report which will set out proposals to formulate a formal agreement for how everyone in the Council can be involved in upholding and developing this pledge to ensure it is as successful as possible and make sure the Council supports everybody leaving care post 16.

Minutes:

“Care Leaver Covenant

 

This Council notes that in July 2016, the Government published a major policy document ‘Keep on Caring’ to support young people from care to independence.

 

A key policy commitment in the paper is a strategic pledge to introduce a Care Leaver Covenant. The Covenant is a promise made by the private, public and voluntary sectors to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25 to help them to live independently.

 

The aim of the Care Leaver Covenant, to which organisations commit, is to provide additional support for those leaving care; making available a different type of support and expertise from that statutorily provided by local authorities.

 

This Council is committed to ensuring our care leavers receive the best possible support once they leave the care system. The Council has placed a significant focus on this, as the Leader of the Council announced in his April 2021 Council speech and have created a new service dedicated to the matter.

 

This Council has the same aspirations for a Care Leaver as a good parent would have for their own child. It means providing them with the stability and support they need to make progress, and helping them to access new opportunities and experiences that inspire them to set ambitious goals for themselves.

 

This Council is committed to rethinking how services are delivered and what support is provided, with a strong focus on finding new and better ways of helping care leavers.

 

This Council will continue to strengthen the culture of corporate parenting, so that they better respond to care leavers’ needs.

 

This Council requests the Cabinet to receive a report which will set out proposals to formulate a formal agreement for how everyone in the Council can be involved in upholding and developing this pledge to ensure it is as successful as possible and make sure the Council supports everybody leaving care post 16.”

 

Decision:

 

On being put to the vote, the motion was agreed.

642B)

Councillor Osborne, supported by Councillor Van Dyke, submitted the following:

This Council notes that:

 

1.      There were 29,652 recorded crimes (April 20 – March 21, Kent Police Data November 2021).

 

2.      There were 106 crimes per 1000 people according to the Community Safety Partnership report agreed in December 2021.

 

3.      The Victim Based Crime Statistics highlight Medway is the fifth highest Unitary Authority area for reported crime per 1,000 people. Higher than other major urban areas like Bristol, Nottingham, Darlington, Thurrock and Brighton & Hove.

 

4.      There were 9574 incidents between Apr 20 - Mar 21 of anti-social behaviour representing a 59% increase or 3551 additional incidents on the prior reporting period representing a significant spike in anti-social behaviour.

 

5.      That Medway has had a relatively high level of crime for a sustained period; and that the Community Safety Partnership annual report does not provide sufficient contextual benchmarking data for Member scrutiny.

 

This Council also believes that:

 

1.      That several inner urban Medway wards are amongst the highest level of reported crime in the South East region.

 

2.      That Medway is not getting sufficient resources from the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner and this needs to become a strategic priority for Kent Police.

 

Therefore, this Council resolves to:

 

1.      To ensure the next Community Safety Partnership Annual Update report includes datasets with peer-based authority comparisons; victim based crime data (per 1,000) and local authority heat map comparisons.

 

2.      To write to the Kent PCC to request allocation of an additional 80 Police officers to Medway from April 2022 in light of additional Kent Police budget capacity, ensuring a visible deterrent to crime.

Minutes:

This Council notes that:

 

1.      There were 29,652 recorded crimes (April 20 – March 21, Kent Police Data November 2021).

 

2.      There were 106 crimes per 1000 people according to the Community Safety Partnership report agreed in December 2021.

 

3.      The Victim Based Crime Statistics highlight Medway is the fifth highest Unitary Authority area for reported crime per 1,000 people. Higher than other major urban areas like Bristol, Nottingham, Darlington, Thurrock and Brighton & Hove.

 

4.      There were 9574 incidents between Apr 20 - Mar 21 of anti-social behaviour representing a 59% increase or 3551 additional incidents on the prior reporting period representing a significant spike in anti-social behaviour.

 

5.      That Medway has had a relatively high level of crime for a sustained period; and that the Community Safety Partnership annual report does not provide sufficient contextual benchmarking data for Member scrutiny.

 

This Council also believes that:

 

1.      That several inner urban Medway wards are amongst the highest level of reported crime in the South East region.

 

2.      That Medway is not getting sufficient resources from the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner and this needs to become a strategic priority for Kent Police.

 

Therefore, this Council resolves to:

 

1.      To ensure the next Community Safety Partnership Annual Update report includes datasets with peer-based authority comparisons; victim based crime data (per 1,000) and local authority heat map comparisons.

 

2.      To write to the Kent PCC to request allocation of an additional 80 Police officers to Medway from April 2022 in light of additional Kent Police budget capacity, ensuring a visible deterrent to crime.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Resources, Councillor Gulvin, supported by the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe, proposed the following amendment (see marked changes):

 

This Council notes that:

 

  1. There were 29,652 recorded crimes (April 20 – March 21, Kent Police Data November 2021).

 

  1. There were 106 crimes per 1000 people according to the Community Safety Partnership report agreed in December 2021.

 

  1. The Victim Based Crime Statistics highlight Medway is the fifth highest Unitary Authority area for reported crime per 1,000 people. Higher than other major urban areas like Bristol, Nottingham, Darlington, Thurrock and Brighton & Hove.

 

  1. There were 9574 incidents between Apr 20 - Mar 21 of anti-social behaviour representing a 59% increase or 3551 additional incidents on the prior reporting period representing a significant spike in anti-social behaviour.

 

  1. That Medway has had a relatively high level of crime for a sustained period; and that the Community Safety Partnership annual report does not provide sufficient contextual benchmarking data for Member scrutiny.

 

This Council also believes that:

 

  1. That several inner urban Medway wards are amongst the highest level of reported crime in the South East region.

 

2.    That Medway is not getting sufficient resources from the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner and this needs to become a strategic priority for Kent Police. 

 

2.    Kent Police has recruited a record number of new police officers, with 788 being gained since 2016 with plans for an additional 185 new officers,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 642B)