Agenda and minutes

Full Council - Wednesday, 25th July, 2018 6.30 pm

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Venue: Council Chamber, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1RS

Contact: Mathew Jefferys  Democratic and Electoral Services Manager

Note: Please note that the public proceedings of the meeting will be recorded and made available for playback on the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council website 

Items
No. Item

FC10/18

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Bland, Mrs Cobbold, Elliott, Ellis, Nuttall, Oakford, Stanyer, Stewart and Mrs Thomas.

 

Councillors Hannam and Holden were not present.

FC11/18

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest by members in items on the agenda. For any advice on declarations of interest; please contact the Monitoring Officer before the meeting.

Minutes:

No declarations of pecuniary or significant other interest were made.

FC12/18

Announcements

To receive announcements from the Mayor, the Leader of the Council, members of the Cabinet and the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised members that they had a summary of his activities since 23 May 2018.

 

Councillor Jukes expressed his gratitude and thanks to everybody that had sent him sympathy cards and letters after the passing of his wife and former Mayoress Wendy Jukes.

 

Councillor March spoke about the launch of the £13.3 million Tunbridge Wells Cultural and Learning Hub.

 

Lee Colyer, Director of Finance, Policy and Governance had two announcements on behalf of the Chief Executive. The first, to confirm as of 21 May 2018 the council had completed on the contract with British Land to acquire the long leasehold interest on the Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre.

 

The second, regarding Negative Revenue Support Grants. Mr Colyer said that the Council’s government grant had been cut to zero but that next year it would be negative as £606,000 would have to be paid back to central government, to then be spent elsewhere in the country. This, he said was unacceptable.

 

Mr Colyer said that after spending three years raising this issue at all levels of government he was now pleased to report that the government had issued a technical  consultation document that proposes to completely remove negative revenue support grants, with the costs of doing so being met from central government.

FC13/18

Minutes of the meeting dated 25 April 2018 pdf icon PDF 252 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 25 April 2018 as a correct record. The only issue relating to the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting dated 25 April 2018 be approved as a correct record.

FC14/18

Minutes of the meeting dated 23 May 2018 pdf icon PDF 183 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 23 May 2018 as a correct record. The only issue relating to the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting dated 23 May 2018 be approved as a correct record.

FC15/18

Questions from members of the public

To receive any questions from members of the public, of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8, to be submitted and answered.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that no questions from members of the public had been received under Council Procedure Rule 8.

FC16/18

Questions from members of the Council

To receive any questions from members of the Council, of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10, to be submitted and answered.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that there were two questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.

 

1. Question from Councillor Chapelard

 

“In April 2018 a magazine called View Point was published, in collaboration with TWBC. The magazine featured the civic development on the front cover and an article from Cllr Moore. Did this use of Council resources during an election breach purdah rules?”

 

Answer from Councillor Moore

 

“No.”

 

Supplementary question from Councillor Chapelard

 

“According to the Monitoring Officer’s advice, it would appear that this did actually contravene purdah rules and can you therefore give an assurance that Tunbridge Wells Borough Council won’t be publishing this kind of material during an election period in future.”

 

Response from Councillor Moore

 

“The Council was requested to provide information and editorial content to One Media magazine in January 2018. As with any other media company, the Council provided the required information prior to the purdah period at no expense to the Council and on the understanding that the article would be published prior to purdah.  One Media delayed publication without any involvement from the Council.

 

Therefore, steps taken by officers and Members of the Council were in accordance with the publicity restrictions and were not in breach of the requirements of the Local Government Act 1986, section 2.

 

Section 2 of the LGA provides that “a local authority shall not publish or assist others to publish material which, in whole or in part, appears to be designed to affect public support for a political party”.

 

Councillor Chapelard appears to be alleging that the Council facilitated publication of the material in April 2018 during purdah which breaches the above requirement. The response notes that the info was provided in January on the understanding that the magazine would be published prior to purdah.”

 

2. Question from Councillor Lidstone

 

“Flooding of the Pantiles and bottom of Mount Pleasant in July 2017 forced local businesses to close and saw residents suffer catastrophic damage to their homes. Following the meeting between Greg Clark, local agencies and local authorities, what actions were agreed to prevent this situation recurring?”

 

Answer from Councillor Dr Basu

 

“Can I preface my response by expressing my sympathy and regret to those businesses and residents affected by the flash flooding.

 

The amount of rainfall that fell on 5 July was intense. Coupled with the dry weather and the topography of the town, the drainage and sewerage system were unable to cope. That said, there have now been four episodes of serious flooding in the past six years and this is simply not acceptable.

 

Various bodies are involved in preventing and responding to flooding:

·         KCC is the lead local flood authority for Kent and the highway authority. They have a duty to maintain a strategic overview of local flooding and for some flood-risk management functions including: investigating flooding, drainage strategies and, as the highways authority they are responsible for the maintenance and operation of drainage gullies and pipework connecting these to the public sewers.

·         TWBC is responsible for street  ...  view the full minutes text for item FC16/18

FC17/18

Audit and Governance Committee Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Scott moved, and Councillor Barrington-King seconded, the recommendation set out in the report.

 

Members took account of the following additional matters:

·         The Committee was an essential part of the corporate checks and balances, independent from the Cabinet and with the power to refer any matters it feels were relevant to any part of the Council.

·         The committee consisted of members of the Council along with two town and parish councillors and two independent members.

·         The Council had received a clean audit for the seventh year in a row. Continued record of external and internal audit had re-enforced that there was rigorous and appropriate procedures in place.

 

RESOLVED – That the Annual Report of the Audit and Governance Committee 2017/18 be noted.

FC18/18

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Dawlings moved, and Councillor Mackonochie seconded, the recommendation set out in the report.

 

Members took account of the following additional matters:

·         The Committee performed a number of functions including statutory responsibilities on Community Safety, Health and the Council’s budget.

·         The Civic Development had been a standing agenda item.

·         Member led working groups had been formed and provided recommendations on tackling excessive speed on rural roads and the planning application process. Current group were looking into reducing the use of plastic and the Local Government Transparency Code 2015.

·         Any member could put forward topics for future work.

·         The Licensing Committee would be looking to influence policies concerning businesses and their use of plastic.

·         The value of the call-in procedure had been demonstrated following the reconsideration of the decision concerning monitoring of CCTV earlier in the year.

 

RESOLVED – That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Annual Report 2017/18 be noted.

FC19/18

Urgent Business

To consider any other items which the Mayor decides are urgent, for the reasons to be stated, in accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

The Mayor confirmed there was no urgent business to consider within the provisions of Council Meetings Procedure 2.1.12.

FC20/18

Common Seal of the Council

To authorise the Common Seal of the Council to be affixed to any contract, minute, notice or other document arising out of the minutes, or pursuant to any delegation, authority or power conferred by the Council.

Minutes:

RESOLVED That the Common Seal of the Council be affixed to any contract, minute, notice or other document arising out of the minutes or pursuant to any delegation, authority or power conferred by the Council.

FC21/18

Date of next meeting

To note that the date of the next meeting is Wednesday 26 September 2018.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting of the Full Council would take place on Wednesday 26 September 2018 at 6.30pm.