Agenda and minutes
Venue: Civic Centre, Gravesend, Kent
Contact: Committee Section
No apologies for absence were received.
The Chair advised the Committee that the recommendations around Member IT equipment from minute 35 - Response to Member Survey - December 2020 were presented to Cabinet and in due course it would be good to revisit this matter and request a progress report back to the Overview Scrutiny Committee. The Chair will liaise with the relevant Director on this matter.
The minutes of the meeting of the Overview Scrutiny Committee held on 1 April 2021 were signed by the Chair.
Declarations of Interest
Cllr Jordan Meade declared an ‘other interest’ in Item 6. Consideration of the Recommendations of the Maritime Strategy Scrutiny Review in that he is a National Trustee and Director of the Maritime Volunteer Service.
The Committee Services Manager presented Members of the Committee with the draft report for the review of GBC’s Maritime Strategy and invited Members to consider and comment on the review report with a view to agreeing a final set of recommendations for
submission to Cabinet.
The Committee considered each of the seventeen recommendations in turn and made the following comments / amendments:
1. The lead Cabinet member should consider dedicating the Community & Leisure Committee agenda to the ‘river’ once per year and invite representatives along from various groups to update members on activity throughout the year and how such groups could work better together in events or bid funding.
The purpose of the Group would be to encourage a joined up approach to the recreational and tourism aspects of the Thames - providing The Executive with a reliable group of stakeholders from which the Council may develop a better understanding of the needs of the river community
The Committee agreed Recommendation 1.
2. The Leader of the Executive consider adding the oversight of matters relating to the River, under the portfolio of a single Cabinet Member
This will demonstrate the Council’s desire to have a key-point of entry for members of the public, organisations and businesses whom wish to engage on maritime matters.
The Committee agreed the ‘r’ in ‘river’ should be lower case in Recommendation 2.
3. The Council should improve its engagement with Young People in matters relating to the river.
The Council should work with the Port of London Authority and RNLI, acting as a facilitator to better communicate messages around River Safety to schools and local organisations.
The Executive Member for Young People should ask the Youth Council to appoint a “youth representative for the River” who will act as a stakeholder for the Cabinet to engage and consult with on matters concerning the recreational use of the Thames.
Councillors and Youth Councillors be provided with a tour (when conditions allow) of Northfleet Harbour and the Northfleet River frontage so that they can be better aware of the issues and opportunities.
The Executive engages and consults with the Youth Council on the Lower Thames Crossing giving young people a chance to feed into the mitigation process.
The Committee agreed Recommendation 3.
4. The Cabinet Member for Community & Leisure ensures that greater consideration is given to recreational/sport activities on the Thames and that these opportunities are communicated to young people across the Borough as part of the annual sports programme and listed on the Visit Gravesend website.
The Committee agreed Recommendation 4.
5. The Council consider passing a motion (in the name of the Leader and seconded by the Leader of the Opposition) which communicates the unanimous desire of Members to protect and enhance the river.
Whilst this could not be attached as an annex to the Council’s Planning Polices it could be referenced as evidence to help inform planning decisions in the future.
The Committee agreed Recommendation 5.
6. The Council start to consider ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
· To agree the Draft Terms of Reference and Composition of the sub-group
The Committee were invited to revisit the Scrutiny Review of Street Cleanliness, littering, and Fly-tipping throughout the Borough and agree the terms of reference and composition of the review sub-group.
The Chair explained that the original Terms of reference were agreed back in September 2019 but the review was postponed due to the pandemic. The new Terms of Reference had been amended in consultation with the Director (Housing & Operations) and reflect work that has already been done and current workstreams.
· The Terms of Reference, as detailed in Appendix 2, be agreed
· The review Sub-Group will comprise of:
- The Vice-Chair of the Overview Scrutiny Committee (Cllr Baljit Hayre) who will Chair the Sub-Group
- Two Conservative Councillors (Cllr Gurjit Bains and Cllr Diane Morton)
- Two Labour Councillors (to be confirmed by Cllr Hayre outside of the meeting, in consultation with the Chair of the Overview Scrutiny Committee).
· The review is expected to take 6 months to complete but this will be monitored carefully in relation to the pandemic and officer resources.