Agenda and minutes

Regeneration, Culture and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 15 June 2023 7.00pm

Venue: Meeting Room 9 - Level 3, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham ME4 4TR. View directions

Contact: Nicola Couchman, Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Doe and Councillor Etheridge.



Record of Meeting pdf icon PDF 348 KB

To approve the Record of the Meeting held on 21 March 2023 and the Record of the Joint Meeting of Committees held on 24 May 2023.

Additional documents:


The record of the meeting held on 21 March 2023 and the record of the Joint Meeting of Committees held on 24 May 2023 were agreed and signed by the Chairperson as correct records.



Urgent matters by reason of special circumstances

The Chairman will announce any late items which do not appear on the main agenda but which he/she has agreed should be considered by reason of special circumstances to be specified in the report.


There were none.



Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests and Whipping pdf icon PDF 471 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 4.


Disclosable pecuniary interests


There were none.


Other significant interests (OSIs)


There were none.


Other interests


There were none.



Petitions pdf icon PDF 157 KB

This report advises the Committee of petitions received by the Council which fall within the remit of this Committee including a summary of the responses sent to the petition organisers by officers.


Additional documents:



Members considered a report which advised the Committee of petitions received by the Council which fell within the remit of the Committee, including a summary of the responses sent to the petition organisers by officers. One petition had been referred to the Committee for consideration. This related to parking in Baron Close, Gillingham.


The lead petitioner and Councillor Price as Ward Member were invited to speak to explain why the Council’s response to the petition had been referred to the Committee. The following points were made:


• Residents in Pier Road were unable to park in front of their properties due to the topography and their only available parking and access by vehicle was at the rear of the properties on Baron Close.


• The available space for parking in Baron Close had been eroded by the number of dropped kerbs installed over recent years and this has impacted on residents some of whom were disabled.


• There are several garages in Baron Close and it was requested that a reduction in the number of garages be explored by looking at usage and size of the garages as this could assist in improving the availability of parking in Baron Close.


The Parking Business Manager informed the Committee that to date four dropped kerbs had been installed and whilst this had reduced the kerb space it had allowed the residents of those properties to park on the front of their properties rather than on the road.


The Assistant Director, Culture and Community confirmed that the garages were in decent condition and 12 of the 15 garages were currently being let.  No further information about usage of these garages was currently available.


In discussing the petition, the following responses were made to questions from Members:


Members were concerned about the lack of sufficient parking available particularly for disabled residents. Questions were also raised about the garages.  It was proposed that a feasibility study should be undertaken. This would consider parking accessibility issues and the garages.



The Committee:


a)    Noted the petition responses and appropriate officer action in paragraph 3 of the report.


b)    Considered the petition referral request in paragraph 4 and the Director of Place and Deputy Chief Executive’s response.


c)    Requested a feasibility study in relation to parking accessibility for residents on Baron Close and Pier Road, including a review of the use of the garages. This would be undertaken in consultation with ward councillors and the petitioner.



Council Plan Performance Monitoring Report and Strategic Risk Summary Quarter 4 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Medway’s Council Plan 2022/23 sets out the Council’s three priorities and the measures used to monitor performance. This report and appendices summarise how we performed in Q4 2022/23 on the delivery of these priorities and the actions we are taking to improve performance.


This report also presents the Q4 2022/23 review of strategic risks (Appendix 3).


Additional documents:



The Committee received a report setting out performance for Quarter 4 against the Council's two priorities Place and Growth insofar as they fell within the remit of this Committee, along with a review of the Council’s Risk Register.


The following issues were discussed:


Citizens’ Panel – In relation to the indicator showing satisfaction with parks and green spaces, Members commented on the composition and number of residents on the Citizens Panel. A Member said that it would also be useful to have a breakdown of the data by ward Officers responded to explain that the Citizens’ Panel is a standing group of individual residents in Medway, which could be used to gain feedback on particular issues and used a well-established methodology. It was suggested that a Briefing Note could be provided to set out further details.


Street and environmental cleanliness – A Member questioned the green rating of this indictor in view of the littered streets they had seen and asked how this indictor is measured. Officers explained that the process for monitoring cleanliness of streets was consistent with the national approach and was a snapshot. An offer was made to show Members the methodology used in further detail. Officers also explained that there could be a number of contributing factors that impacted on street cleanliness but that if Members reported areas of concern including any particular patterns of litter, then officers would look at these. Members acknowledged the role that they and residents could play in reporting any arears of concern to Front Line Services.


In response to a question regarding the timing of refuse collections and road sweeping and whether this aligned, officers responded to confirm that it generally did but they would look at the sequencing of road sweeping and refuse collections in more detail.


Fly tipping and dog fouling enforcement – It was asked why  a low number of Fixed penalty Notices had been issued for dog fouling.  Officers explained that it was very difficult to enforce as offenders must be caught in the act. A Member also suggested it would be useful to see the number of fly tipping incidents reported as well as sanctions used.


S106 funded park improvements at the Esplanade and Jacksons Field – The reason for the delay in receipt of the S106 payment was queried.


Safe Spaces Scheme – It was suggested that this should be expanded to the night-time economy and officers confirmed they are looking to expand this going forward.


Anti-idling project – In response to a question about why Rainham was chosen for the project officers would provide the rationale for this.


Number of jobs created and safeguarded – Officers were requested to provide data on the quality, sustainability, full time equivalent and levels of pay in relation to the Number of Jobs Created and Safeguarded (Cumulative) performance indicator.  


Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) – The potential withdrawal of the HIF funding was discussed, and officers clarified that no final decision had yet been taken by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.


Work programme pdf icon PDF 120 KB

This item advises Members of the current work programme and allows the Committee to adjust it in the light of latest priorities, issues and circumstances. It gives Members the opportunity to shape and direct the Committee’s activities over the year. 


Additional documents:



The Committee received a report setting out the current work programme.


Members requested the addition of hyperlinks to the Briefing Notes listed in Appendices C, D and E.



The Committee:


Agreed the proposed work programme, set out in Appendix A to the report, including the addition of a report on Building Control Surveys, as set out in paragraph 3.2 of the report.