Agenda and draft minutes

General Purposes Committee - Tuesday, 18th July, 2023 6.30 pm

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Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services Team 


No. Item


Apologies for Absence pdf icon PDF 28 KB

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Apologies were received from Councillor Barrington-King.


Councillor Holden was not present at the meeting.


Councillor Barrass arrived at the meeting at 18:33, after the roll call.


Councillor Opara arrived at the meeting at 18:48.  


Declarations of Interest: pdf icon PDF 67 KB

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.


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No declarations of interest were made by members at the meeting.




Notification of Persons registered to speak (in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18 or 19): pdf icon PDF 30 KB

Councillors and Members of the Public should indicate which item(s) they wish to speak on and the nature of their concern/question/request for clarification.


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No persons had registered to speak at the meeting.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 151 KB

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Members reviewed the minutes.  No amendments were proposed.


RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting dated 5 December 2022 be approved as a correct record.



Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places pdf icon PDF 214 KB

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Richard Beesley, Consultant from the Association of Electoral Administrators, introduced the report he had authored for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.


Questions and discussion from Members included the following:

-       Following the consultation, the final report was to be circulated to the General Purposes Committee online for comments before being sent to Full Council. 

-       The proposals were deemed sensible by Members, and any feedback provided by the consultation would be useful to identify any issues.  

-       Members were asked by the Chair to go back to their Groups and encourage participation in the consultation, as experts in their own wards/areas. This included any positive feedback as this was often missed. 



1.     That the General Purposes Committee agrees to launch the public consultation on polling districts and polling places as set out in the report.

2.     That the General Purposes Committee agrees that, following completion of the Review, Full Council shall receive and determine the final report for decision on 4 October 2023; Members of the General Purposes Committee shall receive the draft report and have the opportunity to respond prior to Council.


Recommended change to ward name pdf icon PDF 163 KB

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William Benson, Chief Executive and Returning Officer, presented the report as set out in the agenda.


There were no questions from Members.


Comments and discussion from Members included:

-       It was noted that this had been an issue for some time and Members were supportive of this resolution to the matter.

-       Disappointment was expressed that the process to change the name back to what was initially proposed in the draft was so lengthy and at cost to the Council, but it was understood and accepted that the process had to be followed.

-       Ward Councillors had spoken with Parish Chairs and Group Leaders with unanimous support of the proposal.

-       The Chief Executive was thanked for his work on the matter.



1.    That the General Purposes Committee agrees to launch a consultation on the proposed change to the Goudhurst, Lamberhurst & Horsmonden ward as set out below.

2.    That the General Purposes Committee agrees that, following completion of the consultation, an Extraordinary Meeting of Full Council should be convened in October 2023 to consider the results of the consultation.


Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 28 KB

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There was no urgent business.



Date of Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 28 KB

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The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday 17th October 2023.