Agenda and minutes

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

FC67/18

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Mrs Cobbold, Hannam and Stewart.

FC68/18

Minutes of the meeting dated 27 February 2019 pdf icon PDF 423 KB

To approve the minutes of a previous meeting 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 27 February 2019 be approved as a correct record.

FC69/18

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:

Councillor Lewis noted that he worked for Community Learning and Skills which occupied the Adult Education building. The building was part of the development referred to in the motion on notice at FC77/18.

FC70/18

Announcements

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

Minutes:

The Mayor announced:

·         The team in the Mayor’s Office had won the National Civic Office of the Year award.

 

Councillor Jukes announced:

·         Tunbridge Wells had recently been voted the thirteenth best place to live in the UK.

·         Caution should be used as a fake email address purporting to be his had been circulating.

·         Councillor Weatherly would be stepping down at the end of the municipal year. Her service was highly valued.

 

Councillor March announced:

·         548 children from 13 schools had benefitted from free art provision through free illustration workshops on the Advent Calendar Project.

·         25 schools, a 56 per cent increase, attended the pantomime.

·         125 people from 7 community groups helps create the panto art display.

·         The Council’s first work experience programme had been delivered, providing opportunities for 5 students.

·         Nearly 21,500 tickets had been sold for the pantomime and a further 38,000 tickets had been sold for the ice rink.

·         Two previous recipients of the Civic Medallion had formed the Local and Live Charity which would help develop an even stronger community role and local music scene.

·         Work at Grosvenor and Hilbert Recreation Ground had been completed and signed off by the Heritage Lottery Fund, display boards were available outside the Council Chamber.

·         Entries had opened for the Britain in Bloom competition.

 

The Chief Executive announced:

·         Related Party Transaction forms must be completed for the end of year accounts.

FC71/18

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.

FC72/18

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 no questions from members of the Council had been received under Council Procedure Rule 10.

FC73/18

Community Safety Partnership Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Weatherly moved, and Councillor March seconded, the recommendations set out in the report.

 

The debate included consideration of the following matters:

·         The reporting period showed a 37 per cent rise in crime. However, taking account of the latest figures the overall rate fell to 22 per cent.

·         Tunbridge Wells remained the safest district in Kent.

·         Part of the increase was due to improved reporting and Kent Police were rated nationally as being the most accurate in recording crime. Whilst this distorted year-on-year comparison figures it ensured better support for victims.

 

RESOLVED – That the Community Safety Partnership Plan 2019/20, as set out at Appendix A to the report, be approved.

FC74/18

Review of the Constitution April 2019 pdf icon PDF 311 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Reilly moved, and Councillor Scott seconded, the recommendations set out in the report.

 

The debate included consideration of the following matters:

·         The report set out a number of changes which broadly fell into two categories, firstly from the outcome of a ‘page-turn’ exercise which would help the Council operate more smoothly; the second were related to the disciplinary policy for senior statutory officers, which came about at a result of legislative changes.

·         All bar one of the recommendations were supported by the Constitution Review Working Party on 21 March 2019. Following further clarification, all recommendations were supported by the Audit and Governance Committee on 2 April 2019.

·         It was disappointing that such a bureaucratic process for disciplining a senior officer had been imposed by the legislation.

·         The Constitution Review Working Party had done an excellent job in preparing the recommendations.

·         The changes also allowed for electronic delivery of documents.

·         If approved the changes would take effect immediately and relevant documents would be updated in due course.

 

RESOLVED –

 

1.    That Part 2, Article 10 (Suspension, Interpretation and Publication of the Constitution), Paragraph 10.3 be amended so that the words: “The Monitoring Officer will give a printed copy of this Constitution to each member of the Council upon delivery to him of that individual’s declaration of acceptance of office on the member first being elected to the Council” be replaced with: “All members are referred to the up to date version of the Constitution, which is maintained online. The Monitoring Officer will give a printed copy of the Constitution to a member of the Council if that member requests a copy”;

 

2.    That Part 3, Section 7 (Audit and Governance Committee), Paragraph 7.1 be amended so that the words “5 independent members” be replaced with: “2 independent members”;

 

3.    That Part 3, Annex C (Officer Scheme of Delegations), Table 1 (General Delegations to All Chief Officers), Paragraph 13 be amended so that the words: “Monitoring Officer £250” be replaced with: “Monitoring Officer £500”;

 

4.    That Part 3, Annex C (Officer Scheme of Delegations), Table 2 (Delegations to the Chief Officers) be amended to add a new clause after paragraph 51 that reads: “To settle employment claims and other staff related payments in consultation with the Head of Paid Service and the Head of Human Resources, Customer Services and Culture, where it is in the best interests of the Council to do so.” and the subsequent paragraphs be renumbered as appropriate;

 

5.    That Part 3, Annex C (Officer Scheme of Delegations), Table 2 (Delegations to the Chief Officers), Paragraph 60 be amended so that the words: “exceeding £50,000” be replaced with: “between £50,000 and £250,000”;

 

6.    That Part 5, Annex 4 to the Code of Conduct (Code of Conduct for Employees) be amended to add a new clause after paragraph 11.4.2 that reads: “Any gift up to a de minimis equivalent financial value of £25, which can be accepted and does not need to be declared, up to a cumulative maximum  ...  view the full minutes text for item FC74/18

FC75/18

Appointment of Parish Representatives to the Audit and Governance Committee pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Jukes moved, and Councillor McDermott seconded, the recommendations set out in the report.

 

The debate included consideration of the following matters:

·         The matter was largely house-keeping to replace two retiring parish members.

 

RESOLVED –

 

1.    That Parish Councillor Barry Edwards (Chairman, Rusthall Parish Council) be appointed as one of the parish/town council representatives on the Audit and Governance Committee, for a four-year term of office, ending on 24 May 2023; and

 

2.    That Parish Councillor Charles Mackonochie (Capel Parish Council) be appointed as one of the parish/town council representatives on the Audit and Governance Committee, for a four-year term of office, ending on 24 May 2023.

FC76/18

Appointment of the Deputy Mayor 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Jukes moved, and Councillor McDermott seconded, the recommendation set out in the report.

 

The debate included consideration of the following matters:

·         Councillor McDermott had previously been mentioned as the nominee for Deputy Mayor, however he would continue in his current post to focus on delivering the Local Plan.

·         Councillor Podbury had served for many years on Speldhurst Parish Council during which time she was the driving force behind the effort to replace the village hall. Since joining the Borough Council she had served with distinction.

·         Councillor Podbury was supported by a large family and enjoyed many outside activities.

 

Councillor Podbury returned thanks for the nomination.

 

RESOLVED – That Councillor Podbury be appointed as Deputy Mayor for the municipal year 2019/20.

FC77/18

Motions on Notice pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To consider one Motion on Notice, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11, submitted by Councillor Ellis.

Minutes:

Councillor Ellis moved, and Councillor Lidstone seconded, the motion:

“The new Cultural and Learning Hub be officially named, in full, the Amelia Scott.”

 

The following points were raised by Councillor Ellis in moving the motion:

·         The concept of the Cultural and Learning Hub was strongly supported.

·         Other institutions, whilst using an abbreviation for branding purposes, were formally named in full. For example, the ‘V&A’ was formally the Victoria and Albert Museum.

·         The meaning behind a relatively common name such as ‘Amelia’ could be lost over time. Branding could be refreshed regularly whereas formal names tended to be permanent.

·         The full name had been used by the Council and by the press and had enjoyed much public support. This had subsequently and quietly been changed.

·         Even if services were branded ‘Amelia’, the formal name should be ‘Amelia Scott’.

 

Caroline Auckland, Vice President of Tunbridge Wells Soroptimists, had registered to speak in support of the motion, which included the following comments:

·         Conservative party local election material used the full name.

·         Amelia Scott’s work was reflected in many aspects of the current project and she deserved full recognition.

·         The motivation behind the change of name was questionable.

·         A motion passed unanimously by the AGM of the Tunbridge Wells Soroptimists supported the use of the full name.

 

Carol Wilson, Tunbridge Wells Labour Party Women’s Officer and Chair of the Labour Women’s Forum, had registered to speak in support of the motion, which included the following comments:

·         The change of name on the grounds of unspecified advice was disappointing.

·         In a recent survey of members, the name ‘Amelia’ received 1 vote whilst ‘Amelia Scott’ received 73 votes.

·         Whilst of significant local value, Amelia Scott was not sufficiently well-known to be recognised by first name alone.

·         A lack of consultation, particularly with women, and a lack of transparency of decision making was concerning.

 

Janet Sturgis, of the Royal Tunbridge Wells Civic Society, had registered to speak in support of the motion, which included the following comments:

·         A recent meeting of the Civic Society had voted unanimously to support the use of the full name.

·         Considerable consultation and engagement with stakeholder groups had lead to the name Amelia Scott, there had been no such effort with the new name.

·         Experience as a school teacher would suggest that trying to use an abbreviation would not stick, nicknames were organic.

·         Amelia Scott’s contribution was one of the greatest of the 42 people commemorated by burgundy plaques, yet there was no other memorial to her. She deserved to be recognised.

 

Michael Holman, of the Royal Tunbridge Wells Town Forum, had registered to speak in support of the motion, which included the follow comments:

·         Following a presentation to the Town Forum, members were dissatisfied both with the name ‘Amelia’ and the process by which the name had been decided.

·         Until the change of name, the cultural hub was perhaps the only significant development in the town centre that was universally welcomed.

·         Initial consultation was welcomed and appeared to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item FC77/18

FC78/18

To Record the Council's Appreciation for the Mayor

Minutes:

Members recalled the Mayor’s achievements during his mayoral year and thanked him and the Mayoress for their service.

 

The Mayor returned thanks.

 

RESOLVED – That the Borough Council formally records its appreciation of the valuable services rendered by the Mayor and the assistance given to him by the Mayoress during his period of office.

FC79/18

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:

There was no urgent business.

FC80/18

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.

 

FC81/18

Date of next meeting

To note that the date of the next meeting is Wednesday 22 May 2019.

Minutes:

It was noted that the next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday 22 May 2019.

 

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