Agenda and minutes

Venue: Usually held at the Civic Centre in Gravesend

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No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Cllr John Cubitt (Chair), Gravesham Borough Council and Cllr Robin Theobald attended as his appointed substitute.


The Vice Chair, on behalf of the Board, expressed a wish to send Councillor Cubitt the Board’s very best wishes for a speedy recovery.


Apologies for absence were also received from Tomasz Kozlowski, Assistant Director

Physical & Cultural Regeneration, Medway Council and Andrew Lawson, Finance Business Partner, Medway Council.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 68 KB


The Minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2016 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



Renewal of STG Partnership for a 3rd Term pdf icon PDF 96 KB


The Director (STG) presented the Committee with a report highlighting some of the achievements of the Partnership during the second term (from 1 October 2012) to inform the decisions required of the three authorities to agree a third term from 1 October 2017 or exit the agreement.


A particular aim of the Partnership was to build resilience into the service which had been demonstrably achieved, operating successfully though the economic downturn and slow recovery.  During the second term the Partnership had focused on improvements to service delivery achieved through the adoption of a new IT system and the consequent development of agile and mobile working.  A third income stream to augment the building regulation and public protection services had been introduced by developing a consultancy to deliver complementary services to the construction industry.


The focus for the next 5 years will be on putting the customer at the heart of the working of the Partnership, driving up performance through improved use of technology and continued investment in staff training and development to deliver a value for money service to all partner authorities.


Resolved that Members recommend to Gravesham, Medway and Swale Councils that the South Thames Gateway Building Control Partnership continues for a third term from 1 October 2017 and requests that the Director of the Partnership, in consultation with the Officer Steering Group, submit reports to the respective authorities together with the Business Plan 2017/20 incorporating the financial plan up to 2020.



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.



Resolved that the public be excluded from the following item of business since it contained exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.



STG Business Plan 2017-2020


The Joint Committee was presented with a report detailing the proposals for the South Thames Gateway Building Control Draft Business Plan and Delivery Plan 2017-2010 prepared following consultation with partner authorities.


The Plan details four agreed objectives:


·         Meet customer needs

·         Maximise technology to reduce cost and improve delivery

·         Improve the way we work

·         Value, support and develop staff



The Director outlined the key projects for 2017/18 aimed at delivering a first class service to customers and stakeholders.


Board Members asked that the % contribution from partner authorities be reviewed to ensure a continuing fair and equitable balance. The Director (STG) advised that the original contributions were based on population and hereditaments and proposed that a review during preparations for a third term of the partnership would be the best approach.


Resolved that            The Joint Committee approves the updated version of the Draft Business plan for submission to the Cabinet of each partner authority to approve the Final Draft Business Plan.


                                    The Joint Committee asked that the % financial contribution figures be reviewed prior to any entry into a third term of the partnership.



Monitoring Report August to October 2016


The South Thames Gateway Building Control Partnership Monitoring Report (August to October 2016) was presented to the Committee. 


The Director advised Members of the progress made with Canterbury City Council which fell outside the monitoring period but had significant implications.  The previous problems encountered which had prevented progress in 2015 had now been resolved.  The Director had been informed that Canterbury City Council’s Chief Executive and Members supported joining the Partnership.  Due diligence tests were needed in respect of legal, finance, IT and operations but it was highly probable that the Partnership would be extended in 2017 resulting in reduced contributions for current partnership authorities.


Members of the Committee asked the Director for further clarification regarding the problems with the new website and online payments.  The Director reported that the proposed online payment module now required extra work and consequent additional payment for full development.  As this was not within the current year’s budget the Director considered it an unacceptable pressure and had put developments on hold.  However, if the work was progressed he would try to mitigate any financial pressures and report back to the Committee.  Members expressed their concern at the inability of clients to submit plans and pay for the service at the same time and considered that the development of online payments at the time of submission of plans should be progressed.  It was further considered that this work was likely to provide savings in the future and the cost would therefore be recovered.


Resolved that            The Joint Committee noted the report including the possible admission of Canterbury City Council into the South Thames Gateway Building Control.


                                    The Joint Committee requested the Director to progress the development of the website to enable online payments at the time of submission and report any consequent financial shortfall and mitigation achieved at the end of the financial year.