Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent

Contact: Nick Channon 

Items
No. Item

14.

Apologies

Minutes:

An apology was received from the Vice-Chairman, Cllr David Turner.

15.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 1 June 2010 were signed by the Chairman.

16.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

17.

Delegated Decisions - Cabinet Members

To report any decisions made by Cabinet Members under their delegated powers.

Minutes:

No decisions have been taken by Cabinet Members under their delegated powers.

18.

Sex Establishments and Sexual Entertainment Venues pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed that:-

 

(1)       the putting of a resolution before full Council on 5 October to adopt the amendment to Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, as introduced by the Policing and Crime Act 2009, so as to allow for the licensing of sexual establishment venues under a strictly controlled regime be endorsed;

 

(2)       the setting of the operational date (1st appointed day) such that a licensing policy may be developed, consulted upon and adopted by Council well in advance of the operational date be endorsed;

 

(3)       delegating sex establishments licensing (this delegation to include all categories of sex establishment), to the Licensing Committee established for the purposes of the Licensing Act 2003; so that this delegation may be made by Council and the Constitution updated accordingly;

 

(4)       a draft policy relating to sex establishments licensing be presented to the Licensing Committee at the earliest opportunity; and

 

(5)       the Assistant Director (Communities), in consultation with the Assistant Director (Transformation & Finance), be requested to prepare a comprehensive fee structure for the licensing of sex establishments, including sexual entertainment venues, so as to ensure that the service is self-financing.

Minutes:

The Cabinet was advised that changes had been made to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 introduced by the Policing and Crime Act 2009 in respect of sexual entertainment venues.  Members were reminded that the powers the Council has to regulate sex establishments are contained within Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and in order to be able to use these powers a local authority has to adopt them through a prescribed process.  Gravesham formally adopted the provision on 20 December 1982 and delegated the licensing function to a Sub-Committee of Regulatory Board.

 

The types of premises currently falling within the criteria for licensing are sex shops and sex cinemas and Gravesham currently licence two sex shops in Queen Street and Parrock Street, Gravesend.  There are no sex cinemas.  These premises are not given rise to complaint or required enforcement action.

 

Members were informed of the sexual entertainment venues defined as "any premises at which relevant entertainment is provided before a live audience for financial gain of the organiser or the entertainer".  The meaning of relevant entertainment was outlined to the Cabinet.

 

Venues that provide lap dancing, pole dancing and the like do not currently require a separate licence, needing only to have included music and dancing on the premises licence granted under the Licensing Act 2003.  The effects of the new legislation were detailed together with the transitional arrangements and the options the Council could take.

 

Resolved that

 

(1)        the putting of a resolution before full Council on 5 October 2010 to adopt the amendment to Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, as introduced by the Policing and Crime Act 2009, so as to allow for the licensing of sexual establishment venues under a strictly controlled regime be endorsed;

 

(2)        the setting of the operational date (1st appointed day) such that a licensing policy may be developed, consulted upon and adopted by Council well in advance of the operational date be endorsed;

 

(3)        delegating sex establishments licensing (this delegation to include all categories of sex establishment), to the Licensing Committee established for the purposes of the Licensing Act 2003; so that this delegation may be made by Council and the Constitution updated accordingly;

 

(4)        a draft policy relating to sex establishments licensing be presented to the Licensing Committee at the earliest opportunity;

 

(5)        the Assistant Director (Communities), in consultation with the Assistant Director (Transformation & Finance), be requested to prepare a comprehensive fee structure for the licensing of sex establishments, including sexual entertainment venues, so as to ensure that the service is self-financing.

19.

Grants, commissioning and participatory budgeting for voluntary organisations pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed that the council defines grants into three categories and adopts the way forward as recommended in Sections 3 and 4 of the report.

Minutes:

The Cabinet was reminded that historically the Council has awarded grants to a number of organisations in the voluntary section ranging from a few hundred pounds to several thousand pounds.  The last round of awards was for a three year period covering 2007/2010.

 

The Cabinet was informed that the current process was being reviewed in order to demonstrate that:-

 

  • the Council is working closely with the local voluntary sector and community groups to support the work they undertake to fulfil local need;
  • the need to support these groups to maintain their viability;
  • the need to re?structure what the Council does so that the process demonstrates more accountability;
  • the need to link what the Council does to the system of participatory budgeting which happens particularly through the three Neighbourhood Forums.

 

The Cabinet was asked to adopt a two tier process which rationalises its "grant giving" activities.  The Cabinet was apprised of the Council's current list of grant funding into the two categories under the two tier process.

 

Resolved that the Council defines grants into three categories and adopts the way forward as detailed in Sections 3 and 4 of the report.

20.

Scrutiny of Partnerships pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed:-

 

(1)       the pilot programme of partnership reviews contained within this report;

 

(2)       the protocol and review process set out in appendices one and two to the report; and

 

(3)       the changes to the terms of reference of Policy Overview Committees.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a draft protocol and review process for undertaking scrutiny reviews of partnerships, together with a pilot programme of reviews for 2010/11.

 

Following the Cabinet meeting in March 2010 the summary of the significant partnerships allocated across the five Policy Overview Committees was circulated to the Cabinet and Chairmen of Policy Overview Committees and a pilot programme of one partnership per Policy Overview Committee has been suggested as follows:-

 

18 November 2010     Community Safety & Environment     Community Safety Partnership (previously CDRP)

 

19 January 2011         Community & Young Gravesham       Arts Council

 

8 November 2010       Housing                                               InTouch Home Improvement Agency

 

11 January 2011         Business                                             Dartford & Gravesham Local Strategic Partnership

 

9 February 2011          Transformation                                   Kent Connects

 

Members considered a draft protocol for the scrutiny of partnerships together with the draft process which details how the review will be undertaken and how the findings of the review were recorded and reported.  In developing this review process views were sought from officers, the Lead Member for Communities (who chaired the scrutiny review) and also best practice obtained from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.

 

The report is also being considered by the Overview Scrutiny Committee on 22 July 2010.

 

Resolved that

 

(1)        the pilot programme of partnership reviews contained within the report be approved;

 

(2)        the protocol and review process as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report be approved;

 

(3)        the changes to the terms of reference of Policy Overview Committees be approved.

21.

Procedure for dealing with unreasonable or unreasonably persistent complaints pdf icon PDF 206 KB

Decision:

The Cabinet approved the procedure.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a proposed procedure for dealing with unreasonable or unreasonably persistent complaints.

 

The procedure is based upon guidance provided by the Local Government Ombudsman together with procedures in place at other local authorities.  The aim of the procedure is to:-

 

  • support the overall aim for dealing with complaints in a consistent, fair and reasonable way;
  • provide officers with examples of unreasonable or unreasonably persistent complainants which authorities often find problematic;
  • provide guidance as and when and how to invoke the procedure and implement action;
  • provide options for action;
  • set out the decision making process and responsibilities;
  • ensure new complaints are considered on their merits and services do not take a blanket approach or fail to investigate new complaints correctly.

 

Resolved that the procedure be approved and adopted.

22.

Draft Housing Strategy 2009/13 pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet approved the draft Housing Strategy 2009-2013 subject to any required amendments and that authority for amendments to finalise the strategy is delegated to the Director (Business) and Director (Housing and Environment) in consultation with the Leader and Lead Member (Housing and Environment).

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet was updated on the progress of the Draft Housing Strategy 2009/13.  The Cabinet was reminded that the Housing Strategy Review 2007 sought to re?evaluate and where necessary elaborate on the Council's Housing Strategy 2005/09 priorities in the light of more recent research, policies and information.  The review also formed the basis of consultation with partners, stakeholders and residents for the production of the Housing Strategy 2009/13.

 

Members considered the Draft Strategy together with the Action Plan which sets out various management actions and target dates for achieving each of the four housing strategic priorities, which were amended as follows:-

 

  • Priority 1 - to deliver an excellent housing services for all residents of Gravesham (that is excellence in housing management, excellence in strategic planning, excellence in "place shaping").
  • Priority 2 - to improve the quality of housing in both the private and social sectors.
  • Priority 3 - with partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing.
  • Priority 4 - to tackle and prevent homelessness and address the needs of other vulnerable groups.

 

The Cabinet was informed that the major change is             Priority 1 which reflects the evolutionary trend from seeking excellence in the management of the Council's existing housing stock to seeking excellence in the strategic balancing of the local housing market to seeking excellence in "place shaping".  Priorities 2 and 3 remain the same in recognising the continuing importance of both improving the quality of the borough's existing housing and maximising the supply of affordable housing.  Priority 4 expands the "tackling and preventing homelessness" priority to include the needs of other vulnerable groups.

 

Account has been taken of all comments and the Draft Housing Strategy was developed and following a report to Cabinet on 9 February 2009 the Draft Strategy was approved for consultation with partners, stakeholders and residents.

 

The consultation was undertaken during July/August 2009 with 101 responses being received from residents, service users, service providers and members of staff and comments fed into the Draft Strategy.

 

The Draft Strategy was presented to the Corporate Housing Group for consideration and updated by all relevant officers prior to presentation of the final draft now before Members and had also been amended to reflect the outcomes of the North Kent Strategic Housing Market Assessment.

 

The Draft Housing Strategy 2009/13 sets key targets and provides an Action Plan for their delivery.  Monthly monitoring of the Housing Strategy Action Plan progress against objectives and targets will commence upon approval of the Strategy.

 

The Housing Strategy is intended to be a "live" document enabling required amendments to be made throughout the life of the Strategy.  At present the Draft Housing Strategy contains reference to regional strategic priorities as set out in the South East Plan, although recent government proposals set out the intention to abolish regional strategies and return decision making powers on housing and planning to local Councils.  However, any reference to the South East Plan in the Draft Strategy would be retained until all necessary legislative provisions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Budget Monitoring Report 2010/11 pdf icon PDF 168 KB

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed that Cabinet portfolio holders work with Directors to take necessary management actions to bring variances back into line with budgets.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the budget monitoring report against the 2010/11 original estimates for the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account and Capital Budgets.

 

Members were advised that the level of working balances brought forward as at 1 April 2010 were £2,606,000 on the General Fund and £2,280,000 on the Housing Revenue Account.

 

Members were reminded that the level of General Fund Account working balances brought forward is supplemented by specific reserves which had been created to assist with future funding obligations and initiatives.  Members were informed that notwithstanding the known variances to the 2010/11 original budget, there was one other item which potentially could have a beneficial financial effect upon the General Fund working balances in respect of VAT reclamations.  The authority has submitted several VAT reclamation claims during 2008/09 which have not yet been settled, together with claims for compound interest to be paid on the amounts already reclaimed.  However, these additional reclamations are dependent upon the current "Isle of Wight" legal challenge and other current on-going legal cases.  Given that reclamation of additional monies is by no means certain no allowance had been made within the budget report and further information will be presented to Members once it becomes available.

 

Members were informed that the Medium Term Financial Plan was constantly being reviewed in order to take into account long term assumptions of inflation rates, central government grants and energy prices, together with building in all known variances to the Council's budget as a result of Management Team and Cabinet decisions during 2010/11.

 

The Medium Term Financial Plan now reflects one significant change to the assumptions which underpin the plan, namely the increase in council tax for 2011/12 has been reduced from an assumed 2.5 per cent to nought per cent in line with recent government announcements.

 

The government has stated that its most urgent priority is to tackle the UK's deficit and of its intention to save over £6bn from spending during 2010/11, which includes the £1.165 billion in local government savings by reducing local authority grants.

 

The current Medium Term Financial Plan projections, which take into account variances in the current year, show net savings to be identified in 2010/11 of £119,540, 2011/12 of £270,120 and 2012/13 of £99,910. 

 

The authority's annual investment strategy is now incorporated in the Treasury Management Strategy Statement and outlines the authority's investment priorities. 

 

The government's budget announcement in April 2009 made an increase target for efficiency savings of an extra one per cent from 2010/11.  This is in addition to the year on year efficiency target of three per cent in line with comprehensive spending review 2007, with all savings recycled back to front line services.  Local authorities had now been tasked to make £1.165 billion savings and the situation is being closely monitored by the authority to determine efficiency targets beyond 2010/11.

 

The current position for the General Fund Revenue Budget was detailed for Members, together with the General Fund Revenue items carried forward from 2009/10 and the effects  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

General Fund , Housing Revenue Account and Capital Out-turn Report for 2009/10 pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed that:

 

(1)       the 2009-10 outturn for the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account, together with the Council’s overall capital programme be noted;

 

(2)       the carry forward requests totalling £297,340 (General Fund Revenue), £2,040 (Housing Revenue Account), £1,683,350 (General Fund Capital) and £1,046,880 (Housing Capital) as detailed in Section 6 of this report, as approved by the Assistant Director (Transformation & Finance) be endorsed; and

 

(3)       any recommendations to be made to officers for implementation during 2010-11 as a consequence of the out-turn position reported (over and above those approved by the Cabinet on 1 June 2010), such as;

 

·        The council continues to retain a minimum level of working balances equal to £1,000,000 for both the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report on the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account and Capital Out-turn for 2009/10 against the probable budgets, together with requests to endorse carry forward budgets into 2010/11.  The report outlined a saving of £635,000 on the General Fund Budget and £711,000 on the Housing Revenue Account Budget compared to the Probable Budget.

 

The Cabinet was informed that the report highlights in respect of both the General Fund Services and the Housing Revenue Account the main differences that have contributed towards the reduction in revenue expenditure for 2009/10 when compared to the probable estimate and also sets out the out-turn for the Council's Capital Programme. 

 

Further to Minute 12 (1.6.2010), the report now before Members expands upon the preliminary out-turn report to include all variances amounting to the variance on the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account Budgets for the financial year 2009/10.

 

Given that the out-turn position for both the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account is known the authority's Statement of Accounts has been prepared in accordance with the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in United Kingdom 2009; A Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA).  The Statement of Accounts 2009/10 were approved by the Finance & Audit Committee on 24 June 2010. 

 

Resolved that

(1)        the 2009/10 out-turn for the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account, together with the Council’s overall Capital Programme be noted;

 

(2)        the carry forward requests totalling £297,340 (General Fund Revenue), £2,040 (Housing Revenue Account), £1,683,350 (General Fund Capital) and £1,046,880 (Housing Capital) as detailed in Section 6 of this report, as approved by the Assistant Director (Transformation & Finance) be endorsed;

 

(3)        the Cabinet considers any recommendations to be made to officers for implementation during 2010/11 as a consequence of the out-turn position reported (over and above those approved by the Cabinet on 1 June 2010), such as;

 

·         the council continues to retain a minimum level of working balances equal to £1,000,000 for both the General Fund and Housing Revenue Account.

25.

Kent Thameside Strategic Transport Programme (STP) pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet reconfirmed its support for the Kent Thameside Strategic Transport Programme and to authorise the Assistant Director (Business and Law), in consultation with the Leader of the Executive and Director (Business), to complete and sign the documents, described in Section 6 of this report, on behalf of the Council.

Minutes:

The Cabinet was informed that following initial confirmation of a £23 million funding contribution by the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) with the Kent County Council (KCC) acting as the accountable body, it is necessary for legal agreements to be entered into between the various partners.  It could be seen that the delivery of the Kent Thameside Strategic Transport Programme is essential to support the growth of housing and jobs in Kent Thameside and fully accords with the Council's current policy objectives.

 

The Kent Thameside Strategic Transport Programme is a complex arrangement in terms of funding and delivery but to achieve the desired impact it is important that a comprehensive package of schemes, such as those currently contained in the programme, are delivered.  The complexity involved has inherent risks but adequate checks and balances had been built into proposals for government to actively manage risks during the life time of the programme. 

 

Growth in Kent Thameside will require provision of transport infrastructure and this will be required at a variety of levels, be it site specific, local or sub-regional scale.  It will be necessary to identify what is needed, where, when and by what means and this needs to be provided in a transparent manner.

 

Kent County Council has agreed to act as an accountable body for the Kent Thameside Strategic Transport Programme.  Since that decision was taken work has focussed on the submission of an economic appraisal to HM Treasury aimed at securing a £23 million contribution from Communities and Local Government (CLG) towards the programme.  Members were informed that the STP currently consists of eleven schemes that provide improvements to both the Strategic and Local Road Network.  The location of the schemes was detailed for Members and the current estimated cost of the STP is £200,000,000 (at 2009 prices) and includes a contingency to allow for unforeseen costs that may present themselves as schemes are developed and administrative costs associated with the management of the STP.  The Cabinet was apprised of the delivery of the programme together with the policy framework and the implications involved, including current funding uncertainties and policy issues.

 

Resolved that support be re-confirmed for the Kent Thameside Strategic Transport Programme and the Assistant Director (Business and Law) be authorised in consultation with the Leader of the Executive and Director (Business), to complete and sign the documents as described in Section 6 of the report on behalf of the Council.

26.

Responses to the Regulation 25 Core Strategy and Development Management Policies DPD pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed:

 

(1)       the proposed officer responses to the representations received at the Regulation 25 consultation on the stage Gravesham Core Strategy and Development Management Policies DPD;

 

(2)       the caveats, in section 3 of this report, highlighting the current uncertainty in the planning system. These caveats are to be published in tandem with the responses; and

 

(3)       to give delegated authority to the Director (Business) in consultation with the Lead Member (Regeneration and Business Portfolio) to agree the final responses to the representations for publication through the Limehouse consultation software. Final responses will be agreed following consultation with LDF Steering Group.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet was advised of the responses received to the Regulation 25 Core Strategy and Development Management Policies DPD and the subsequent responses made by officers.  The responses would be considered in detail by the Local Development Framework Steering Group at its meeting on 12 July 2010. 

 

Resolved that

 

(1)        the proposed officer responses to the representations received at the Regulation 25 consultation on the stage Gravesham Core Strategy and Development Management Policies DPD be agreed;

 

(2)        the caveats, in Section 3 of this report, highlighting the current uncertainty in the planning system be published in tandem with the responses;

 

(3)        delegated authority to the Director (Business) in consultation with the Lead Member (Regeneration and Business Portfolio) to agree the final responses to the representations for publication through the Limehouse consultation software with final responses being agreed following consultation with the Local Development Framework Steering Group.

27.

Corporate Plan Review 2010 pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed that:

 

(1)       the Look Back at 2009-10 document (appendix one) and the Moving Forward in 2010-11 document (appendix two) be approved and the Chief Executive be authorised to make any required amendments to the document in consultation with the Leader of the Executive; and

 

(2)       the National and Local Indicators document (appendix three) be approved and the Director (Transformation and Finance) be authorised to make updates to the document once missing data is available, in conjunction with the Lead Member for Transformation.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the latest draft of the Corporate Plan Review documents.

 

The Corporate Plan Review is set out in three separate elements:-

 

  • Look Back at 2009/10:  This element provides a summary of the Council's achievements in 2009/10 against each of the Corporate Plan priorities.  The focus on what has actually been achieved and outcomes for the local community as a result of the work of the Council during 2009/10.
  • Look Forward to 2010/11:  This element sets out revised Corporate Plan targets as required to focus on outcomes for the local community.
  • National and Local Indicators:  This element summarises the performance for all national (NIs) and local indicators (LIs) that the Council reports on in 2009/10 as well as providing targets for the next three years 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13.

 

The draft review documents were discussed at the Overview Scrutiny Committee on 10 June 2010 where Members provided very constructive and useful feedback which has been taken into account in the documents attached to the report.  The comments from Overview Scrutiny were fed back to the relevant officers and where applicable amendments have been made to the review documents.

 

Resolved that

(1)        the Look Back at 2009/10 document and the Moving Forward in 2010/11 document be approved and the Chief Executive be authorised to make any required amendments to the document in consultation with the Leader of the Executive;

 

(2)        the National and Local Indicators document be approved and the Director (Transformation & Finance) be authorised to make updates to the document once missing data is available, in conjunction with the Lead Member for Transformation.

28.

Transformation - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed the Transformation Annual Report and provide feedback via their regular performance management meetings with Directors regarding further areas for potential consideration within the council’s transformation agenda.

Minutes:

The Cabinet was apprised of the progress made in relation to the Council's Transformation Agenda.  

 

Consideration was given to further potential areas within the Council for future transformation.  

 

The Annual Report provides an update covering the progress that has been made in respect of specific transformation areas during the year and Members were reminded that progress against the Transformation Plan is routinely monitored by the Council's Transformation Group which is chaired by the Chief Executive.  Members were reminded that the update condensed the contents of the previous detailed Delivery Plans into sharper more focussed areas for attention, highlighting just one or two key actions for attention together with expected outcomes for each of the transformation areas.  The aim of this approach is to ensure that focus is maintained on actions that will be genuinely transformational for the authority rather than on numerous actions that are now being carried out as part of day-to-day business plans.

 

Members recognised that whilst progress has been made in a number of areas, the anticipated demands facing local government, particularly in respect of the need to manage finances and make savings, will place increased pressure on the Council's Transformation Agenda for the future.

 

The need to capitalise on shared service opportunities will be key in delivering efficiencies and future savings whilst maintaining good standards of service delivery.  For this reason increased focus and resources will be directed towards the "collaboration" section of the Transformation Plan as this incorporates shared services and other joint working initiatives.  It could be seen therefore that other areas within the Transformation Plan, such as Value for Money Reviews, use of technology, procurement and asset management, also provide good opportunities for delivering efficiencies and savings.  Resources will therefore be targeted towards these functions as well as to help maximise the opportunity for efficiencies.

 

Resolved that the Transformation Annual Report be endorsed and Lead Members provide feedback via the regular performance management meetings with Directors regarding further areas for potential consideration within the Council’s Transformation Agenda.

29.

NI.179 - Efficiency reporting up to 2009/10 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet:-

 

(1)       approved the NI 179 figure in this report;

 

(2)       delegated authority to Director (Transformation and Finance) in consultation with the Lead Member Transformation Portfolio to make any final adjustments. (A final cumulative figure for 2009-10 must be reported to the CLG by 23 July 2010).

Minutes:

The Cabinet was updated on the progress made regarding NI.179 (Value for Money Gains).  The current performance was detailed for Members and efficiency targets set by the Communities Local Government (CLG) had been exceeded by this authority for 2009/10.

 

Resolved that

 

(1)        the NI.179 figure be approved;

 

(2)        authority be delegated to the Director (Transformation & Finance) in consultation with the Lead Member (Transformation) to make any final adjustments (a final cumulative figure cumulative figure for 2009/10 must be reported to the CLG by 23 July 2010).

30.

Exclusion

To move, if required, that pursuant to Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the public be excluded from any items included in Part B of the agenda because it is likely in view of the nature of business to be transacted that if members of the public are present during those items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

Minutes:

Resolved pursuant to Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the public be excluded during the following items of business because it was likely in view of the nature of business to be transacted that, if members of the public were present during these items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

31.

Webcasting

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed:

 

(1)       the webcasting of meetings of the Council and other events but in view of the current financial challenges facing the public sector the proposals outlined in the report be deferred for a year and further consideration be given at that stage as to whether to proceed; and

 

(2)       for the time being webcasting of meetings of the Council and other events continue on an occasional basis when appropriate.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report on the webcasting of key Gravesham Borough Council meetings and other events.  The Cabinet was reminded that two events had been webcast by the Council by Public-i Ltd. in which some of the cost had been covered from the Kent County Council Webcasting Contract.  These were the State of the Borough Council meeting held in March 2010 and the Special Meeting of the Regulatory Board to discuss the Heritage Quarter Development application held on 19 April 2010.

 

Resolved that

 

(1)        the Cabinet supports the webcasting meetings of the Council and other events, but in view of the current financial challenges facing the public sector, the proposal outlined in the report be deferred for a year and that further consideration be given at that stage as to whether to proceed;

 

(2)        for the time being webcasting of meetings of the Council and other events continue on an occasional basis when appropriate.

32.

Housing and Planning Delivery Grant

Decision:

The Cabinet authorised the allocation of Housing and Planning Delivery Grant funding for the items of work set out at 4.1 of the report.

Minutes:

The Cabinet was advised on the current budgetary provision in respect of Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG).

 

Members were reminded that the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant has been operated by the government since 2003/04 and rewards local authorities for planning related performance and housing delivery.

 

The grant aims to provide additional funding to enable local authorities to improve their planning resources and introduce the many changes which the government has brought in as part of its programme to reform planning.

 

The majority of items agreed for funding via the Housing and Planning Development Grant had been completed and those outstanding are the Local Development Framework and the Rural Conversation Area Appraisals and Management Plans.  In addition, the need for some additional work relating to the operation of the CAPS Development Management System has recently been identified. 

 

The current HPDG budget stands at £121,181 which includes the 2009/10 grant payment of £73,000 and an allocation of £36,000 for LDF work.  The balance, net of the LDF contribution, is £85,181.

 

Resolved that authority be given to allocate the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant funding to the items set out in paragraph 4.1 to the report.

33.

Gravesend Transport Quarter pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Cabinet agreed that:-

 

(1)               the actions that have been carried out to date;

 

(2)       the Assistant Director (Business & Law) in consultation with the Assistant Director (Special Projects) and the Leader of the Executive be authorised to enter into contracts with:

 

·        hardscape Products Ltd for the supply of granite paving and materials to the contract value of £376,333;

·        Lakehouse Contracts Ltd to complete the works for the re-configuration of the Woodville Halls scenery store to the contract value of £326,159 and;

·        the successful tenderer for carrying out the improvements to, and around, the Civic Centre forecourt and sensory gardens including the changes to the highway network to facilitate these works, to an estimated contract value of £2m;

·        the KCC as highway authority.

 

(3)       all costs for the recommendations above to be underwritten by the grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

 

Minutes:

The Chairman stated that a report on the Transport Quarter would be considered and stated that the special circumstances were that the contracts needed to be tendered by 6 July 2010 and the urgency is as a result of needing to meet the timescales of HCA funding requirements.

 

The Cabinet was updated on the progress for the Transport Quarter project and was asked to approve entering into the necessary contracts and agreements to implement the first phase of the works which include the re?routing of the traffic around the Civic Centre and the forecourt improvement works.

 

Resolved that

 

(1)        Members endorse the actions that have been carried out to date;

 

(2)        the Assistant Director (Business & Law) in consultation with the Assistant Director (Projects) and the Leader of the Executive be authorised to enter into contracts with:-

 

(i)         Hardscape Products Ltd. for the supply of granite paving and materials to the contract value of £376,333;

(ii)        Lakehouse Contracts Ltd. to complete the works for the re?configuration of the Woodville Halls scenery store to the contract value of £326,159;

(iii)       the successful tenderer for carrying out the improvements to, and around, the Civic Centre forecourt and sensory gardens including the changes to the highway network to facilitate these works, to an estimate contract value of £2m;

(iv)       the Kent County Council as highway authority.

 

(3)        all costs for the recommendations above to be underwritten by the grant funding from the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA).