Agenda

Council
Thursday, 10 October 2019 7.00pm

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

Contact: Julie Keith, Head of Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

2.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 211 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.

3.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 365 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 18 July 2019.

4.

Mayor's announcements

5.

Leader's announcements

6.

Petitions

7.

Public questions pdf icon PDF 91 KB

7A)

Alan Clarke of Strood asked the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe, the following:

I refer to the reply set out below to my complaint about Strood Sports Centre not employing enough cleaners to maintain a healthy and clean environment in the men's changing rooms, showers and toilet and possibly throughout the centre. 

 

“Thank you for your comments about Strood Sports Centre Changing rooms and their cleanliness on your recent visit.

Unfortunately we did have one cleaner on leave and one off on long term sick so the rest of the staff will pick these jobs throughout the day. As it is staff that are on shift and would normally be lifeguarding the pool, we have to get these tasks done when the time is available on the day.

Please accept our apologies for the area not being up to our normal standards and we will endeavour to keep up with the tasks.”

 

Is it Council policy to leave these sorts of areas without a cleaner, therefore treating those that have paid and wish to use the facilities at Strood Sports centre with utter contempt?

7B)

Janita King of Rochester asked the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe, the following:

Has the Council ever considered rebuilding the bandstand in the castle gardens?

 

After recently attending Deal Memorial Bandstand and listening to our very own local brass band playing from BAE Systems, I thought how great it would be to have ours back. It was such an enjoyable event and especially enjoyed by the elderly. This would also surely fit in well with our City of Culture bid.

7C)

Ian Walton of Wigmore had submitted the following question to the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation, Councillor Chitty:

The motion passed at Full Council in April, regarding Uber, stated that the Council would meet with the Medway Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (MLTDA) to discuss these legal opinions in a constructive manner in the interest and spirit of working together.

 

Why hasn’t Medway Council’s opinion been shared in full with the MLTDA and only a summary provided?

 

The MLTDA believes this approach is not constructive to assist the trade in any future litigation and request the full report is shared.

7D)

Nigel Jackson of Strood had submitted the following question to the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation, Councillor Chitty:

Medway licensed taxi and private hire drivers have been put forward as Medway Champions by the Chief Executive in the upcoming City of Culture bid.

 

I assume that Medway Council is not happy for Uber to consider Medway a part of Greater London which would allow our streets to be flooded by hundreds of vehicles licensed by Transport for London and to allow Uber to operate in Medway outside of licensing control, potentially putting Medway residents at risk.

 

Therefore, would the Portfolio Holder and all Councillors now agree it is time to act on the advice received from counsel and publicly show their support for the licensed trade?

7E)

Mike Smith of Twydall had submitted the following question to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett:

Does Medway Council agree that their independent legal advice on the operations of Uber in Medway now confirms that the London licensed operator Uber is operating unlawfully in Medway in contravention of section 46(1)(d) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976?

8.

Leader's report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

9.

Overview and scrutiny activity pdf icon PDF 284 KB

10.

Members' questions

10A)

Councillor Tranter asked the Portfolio Holder for Resources, Councillor Gulvin, the following:

We have many beggars on our High Streets, often causing disturbances or intimidating residents and visitors and adversely affecting traders. Some retailers have contacted me in great distress. Many residents do not understand why this situation continues. We have helped considerable numbers on the streets, but in every individual case I have enquired about recently, with Council officers or the police, those still begging or camping have declined or abused accommodation or support, choosing instead to stay on our streets and often living in tents in our public areas. We are, it seems, powerless to move them since they remain technically homeless.

 

Furthermore, our streets are littered with blankets and items left for the purpose of marking the begging spot, under the direction of handlers; some we believe are linked to county lines. Professionals in commissioned services, our officers, and managers at the DWP tell me that increasing voluntary support – i.e. handing out food, drinks, clothing, bedding, tents, hygiene products and other comforts is a contributory factor attracting more people to come to Medway.

 

How can we manage this support better and what further actions are planned to help those in genuine need, whilst protecting citizens from those who decline all help?

10B)

Councillor Johnson asked the Portfolio Holder for Children's Services (Lead Member), Councillor Mrs Josie Iles, the following:

Given the rising demand on children's services and the falling resources from central Conservative government, the Director's dual role as Director of Children's Services and Director of Adult Services and the loss of one of the Assistant Directors, does the Portfolio Holder feel that there is sufficient leadership and management capacity to ensure the rapid and effective improvement in children's services that is needed following the ‘Inadequate’ rating which resulted from the recent Ofsted report and what plans does she have to provide the resources to strengthen and support that capacity?

10C)

Councillor Curry asked the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe, the following:

Following Labour's successful motion asking the Council to support a climate change emergency, can the Portfolio Holder assure me that the Committee set up to tackle this issue will have the resources it needs to act on any recommendations?

10D)

Councillor Browne asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, the following:

The Labour Group welcomes the Council's intention to bid to be a City of Culture.

 

Is the Leader prepared to set up a Community Trust to make the bid in order to ensure our talented and creative community play their part in helping the bid to be successful?

10E)

Councillor Hubbard asked the Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment, Strategic Regeneration and Partnerships, Councillor Rodney Chambers OBE, the following:

It is clear from the experiences of residents living near the Strood Waterfront development and others that building development can have a detrimental impact on the lives of our residents.

 

Can the Portfolio Holder tell me what actions he is taking to protect the health of people in Medway when building happens near their homes?

10F)

Councillor Prenter asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, the following:

In view of the detailed preparation and planning for Brexit undertaken by other local authorities, and the potential impact of leaving the EU without a deal, does the Leader now regret his obstinate refusal to plan effectively, for instance in identifying the numbers of EU citizens who may be valued residents of Medway or who may be important employees of Medway companies and services, such as the Universities at Medway?

10G)

Councillor Murray asked the Portfolio Holder for Adults' Services, Councillor Brake, the following:

The NHS in London recently announced their intention to ration some drugs, does the Portfolio Holder know whether this is likely to happen in Medway and if so what will he be doing to protect patients?

10H)

Councillor Maple asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, the following:

Operation Yellowhammer lays out the scenario for Kent in the event of a no-deal Brexit, which includes maximum delays of 2.5 days for HGVs attempting to cross the border. The implications of this are far reaching, could result in a shortage of fuel, medicine and food and long traffic delays which would contribute to poor air quality.

 

Despite your repeated claims that Medway Council won’t prepare for Brexit, what is this Council doing to protect Medway residents from the scenario laid out in Operation Yellowhammer? 

10I)

Councillor Andy Stamp asked the Portfolio Holder for Resources, Councillor Gulvin, the following:

Can you confirm whether Medway Council’s energy providers source their gas and electric from renewable sources and if not will the Council commit to switching to a green energy provider as soon as is practically possible?

10J)

Councillor Chrissy Stamp asked the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe, the following:

Could the Portfolio Holder confirm the total number of trees planted and the number of trees removed in Medway for each of the financial years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19?

10K)

Councillor Mahil had submitted the following question to the Portfolio Holder for Resources, Councillor Gulvin:

Does the Portfolio Holder agree with me that when the Council has received legal advice stating an organisation is breaching the law that they should take urgent action?

10L)

Councillor McDonald had submitted the following question to the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation, Councillor Chitty:

Taxi drivers are a key element of making Medway a cohesive community. Would the Portfolio Holder agree with me, if organisations are acting illegally, putting the livelihoods of taxi drivers at risk, that the Council has a duty to bring that illegal activity to a halt using all available methods accessible to them?

10M)

Councillor Adeoye asked the Portfolio Holder for Children's Services (Lead Member), Councillor Mrs Josie Iles, the following:

How does the Portfolio Holder intend to strengthen the work of the Social Work Academy in order to improve recruitment and retention of staff, cut the social worker vacancy rate and cut the use of expensive agency staff?

10N)

Councillor Paterson asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, the following:

In view of the Leader's continued boast that his administration has been in control in Medway for sixteen years, would he like to take this opportunity to apologise for his administration's failure adequately to support vulnerable young people in Medway, a failure that has resulted in two Ofsted judgements on children's services of 'Inadequate'?

11.

Medway Council Strategy pdf icon PDF 311 KB

The Council Plan 2016/21 was agreed at Full Council in February 2016 and covers the Council’s strategic objectives up to 2021. It sets out the Council’s three priorities and three ways of working which aim to deliver these priorities.

 

This report proposes the introduction of a new overarching Council Strategy; which will be a shorter, more outcomes focused document than the current Council Plan, without all of the detailed performance measures and delivery plans explaining how the strategic objectives are to be met. 

 

Following consultation with directorates and initial consideration by the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Cabinet, this report presents the draft Medway Council Strategy for approval.

Additional documents:

12.

Medway - City of Culture 2025 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Medway has an aspiration to become the next City of Culture in 2025, which is supported by the Medway Place Board and Medway Cultural Partnership. This report sets out the reasons why this is a great opportunity for Medway as well as the support required for a successful bid.

13.

Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) Project - Additional Funding pdf icon PDF 361 KB

This report is to update Members on the risk that the decision for the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) bid could be delayed until November 2019.  With this in mind, it is proposed that additional funding from reserves are allocated to complete the planned works within the programme to continue to meet the 2024 spend deadline.

 

The Cabinet has recommended to Full Council the addition of £850,000 to the Revenue Budget, initially funded from reserves subject to the Council being awarded the HIF bid.

14.

Treasury Management Strategy Mid-Year Review Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 705 KB

Full Council approved the Treasury Management Strategy for 2019/20 alongside the Capital and Revenue Budgets on the 21 February 2019. In accordance with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountancy’s (CIPFA) Code of Practice for Treasury Management, there should be a review of that strategy at least half yearly. This report represents the mid-year review of the Treasury Management Strategy 2019/20.

15.

Electoral Arrangements Review pdf icon PDF 174 KB

This report sets out the recommendations of the Electoral Review Working Group on the Councils submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) on Council size as part of the review of the electoral arrangements in Medway. It also provides the electorate forecast for 2025 and other information that has already been submitted to the LGBCE.

Additional documents:

16.

Independent Remuneration Panel - Report on Members' Allowances Scheme pdf icon PDF 367 KB

The report and recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel (the Panel) are submitted for Members’ consideration.

Additional documents:

17.

Approval of Reason for Absence of a Councillor from Meetings pdf icon PDF 97 KB

This report asks the Council to approve the reason for failure to attend meetings by Councillor Trevor Clarke owing to ill health.

18.

Use of Urgency Provisions pdf icon PDF 285 KB

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

19.

Motions

19A)

Councillor McDonald, supported by the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation, Councillor Chitty, has submitted the following:

Council welcomes the unanimous position taken at Full Council regarding the operator Uber in April 2019.

 

Council notes with interest the QC legal advice obtained by Medway Council which indicates Uber would have a case to answer to in the High Court.

 

Council therefore agrees that Medway Council should proceed with the appropriate legal action against Uber. Medway Council will work with the Medway Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (MLTDA) in proceeding with the appropriate legal action.

19B)

Councillor Maple, supported by the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Concillor Doe, submitted the following:

Council thanks the more than 4,700 personnel currently serving in the UK Armed Forces from Commonwealth countries.

 

Council notes currently if at the end of their service to our country they wish to remain in the UK they face a bill of £2,389 per person. A family of four would have to pay almost £10,000.

 

Council therefore calls on the government to remove Indefinite Leave to Remain fees for Commonwealth Armed Forces personnel who have served at least 4 years and asks the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Defence.

 

Audio Recording of the Meeting MP3 225 MB

Note: To listen to this audio recording, you can either “open” this file or “right click and save target as” which will allow you to save the file your computer (e.g your desktop).

 

Please note that the meeting starts at 1m 55s.