Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent

Contact: Committee Section 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Lee Croxton (Vice-Chair) and the Director (Corporate Services).

 

2.

To sign the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Cabinet held on Monday, 22 March 2021 were signed by the Chair.

 

3.

To declare any interest members may have in the items contained on this agenda. When declaring an interest a member must state what their interest is.

Minutes:

Cllr Lenny Rolles declared a non- prejudicial interest for agenda item 8 as he was a Director on and the Chair of the Rosherville Ltd Board as well.

Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox pointed out that many Members were appointed to Outside Bodies that were referenced in the report; Cllr John Burden advised that the Member appointments to Outside Bodies had already been declared and were available on the public website.

 

4.

Delegated Decisions - Cabinet Members

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

Minutes:

There were no further decisions for Cabinet to be updated on.

 

5.

Review of the Working in Partnership Framework pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Working in Partnership Framework be approved for submission to Full Council for formal adoption

Minutes:

The Cabinet were presented with an updated Working in Partnership Framework for

Gravesham Borough Council.

The Chief Executive apologised on behalf other lead officers that could not be in attendance due to the meeting occurring during half term; the Chief Executive agreed to present their reports.

 

The Chief Executive advised that Appendix two to the report set out the revised Framework (and accompanying appendices) for the Council and the specific changes were made were outlined in full, at 2.2 to the report. Since those changes were made, the Framework had been taken to P&A Committee where it was discussed, given full support by Members of the Committee, and recommended for approval by Cabinet. 

 

The Chair directed Members attention to page 12 of the covering report where the eight changes were listed in full.

 

Resolved that the Cabinet approved the Working in Partnership Framework for the

Council, as attached at appendix two, for submission to Full Council for formal adoption.

 

6.

Recent Member Survey – Responses pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet were provided with the findings from the recent Member Survey, specifically in relation to technology and future Member requirements, as discussed at the meeting of the

Overview Scrutiny Committee on 01 April 2021.

The Chief Executive advised that in December 2020, a Member survey was undertaken. The main purpose of the survey was to explore the ways in which Members engaged with their constituents in order to inform the Council’s submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission, relating to Council size.

 

A number of areas of concern/consideration were raised by Members which were listed at 2.1 to the report; appendix two provided a detailed response from officers regarding each of the areas raised, along with identification of specific actions where necessary. The results of the survey had been taken to Overview Scrutiny Committee in April 2021 and a summary of the discussions held at that Committee along with responses from officers was attached at appendix three.

 

The Chair supported the survey and its findings and explained that many of the concerns would be addressed by the rollout of the new telephony system as well as the migration of Members over to Microsoft 365. Those two areas of IT had failed in the past, but they should be completed within the next six months and improve services for Members, officers, and the public. Training would be given to Members on the new systems, but officers would receive access to the new systems first as they were vital to improving the day-to-day services. Current Members would receive the benefits of the iPads, Microsoft 365, and the new telephony system but additional cost would also be built into the budget to fund better equipment and services in future years which would greatly benefit the new Members taking office in 2023.

 

Cllr Wallace thanked the officers for taking Members views on board and welcomed the plans for improvements.

 

The Cabinet agreed to note the findings set out in the report and subsequent appendix.

 

7.

Q4 Performance Report 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet was presented with an update against the Performance Management

Framework, as introduced within the Council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter Four 2020-21

(January to March 2021).

The Chair informed Members that each of them would be able go through their Portfolios corporate performance in length at their respective Cabinet Committees and asked that only performances that they thought were worth noting were drawn to Cabinets attention.

The Chief Executive advised Cabinet that he was proud of the report as despite the challenges from Covid-19, 57% of reported indicators improved or maintained their level of performance and only 43% of reported indicators had fallen in their level of performance. It was worth noting that the improvements were seen across a number of areas such as crime reduction, waste & recycling, housing delivery, commercial activity and turn around time for planning applications. Whereas the reductions were largely contained to areas that were outside of the Council’s control such as leisure, where lockdown forced many events to be postponed or cancelled and vacancies in retail units where businesses had ceased trading.

The Chair was also happy with the quarterly four figures but raised concern over PI 57: member attendance for Committee meetings, as attendance had decreased. The Chair was hopeful that those attendance figures would increase now that Committee meetings were being held in the Council Chamber again.

Cllr Mochrie-Cox directed the Cabinets attention to PI 13: total number of environmental enforcement actions taken as the amount of environmental enforcement had risen sharply since the team was invested in. The team was also boosted by officers redeployed during the lockdown which really helped carry out enforcement in the Borough and prosecute further people who had littered/fly tipped. Cllr Mochrie-Cox added that despite Leisure being affected badly by Covid-19 there were still a few PI’s within Leisure that had increased. 

The Chair reemphasized that environmental enforcement was a priority, and the Council would prosecute anyone caught littering or fly tipping in the Borough.

The Chair welcomed Cllr Sullivan to her first Cabinet meeting and informed Members that she would be taking over Cllr Sangha’s portfolio.

Cllr Sullivan thanked Members for the opportunity to serve on the Cabinet and paid tribute to Cllr Sangha who had worked very hard in his role and during his time saw an increase in planning application turnaround time from 60% to nearly 100%. Cllr Sullivan had learnt a lot from Cllr Sangha while being his Vice-Chair and was eager to focus on youth employment and working with businesses in the local area.

The Chair also paid tribute to Cllr Sangha as well as Kevin Burbidge who had recently retired as Director for Planning & Development.

Cllr Rolles drew attention to PI 53: % gender pay gap across Council staff as a lot of progress had been made to equalize the gap and it would be monitored closely moving forward.

The Chair agreed with Cllr Rolles and described the benefits of having close ties with UNISON and GMB.

The Cabinet noted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Minutes of meeting of Gravesham Joint Transportation Board pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet were provided with the minutes of the meeting of Gravesham Joint Transportation Board on Wednesday, 10 March 2021.

The Cabinet noted the minutes.

 

9.

Minutes of meeting of Crime & Disorder Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Minutes:

The Cabinet were provided with the minutes of the meeting of Crime & Disorder Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, 21 April 2021.

Cllr Mochrie-Cox raised the issue of E-Scooters to Cabinet Members as he was aware it had been spoken about at various Committees and most Members had received many emails about it. E-Scooters were classified as vehicles and were not allowed on the road without a licence and insurance, and they were definitely not allowed to be ridden on the pavement but there classification meant that they were a Police issue. The matter had been raised recently with the Chief Inspector and he confirmed it was a Police issue; the Council did not have powers to enforce but could support Police enforcement.

The Cabinet noted the minutes.