Decisions

Decisions published

11/02/2020 - Declaration of Interest ref: 3512    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Operational Services Cabinet Committee

Made at meeting: 11/02/2020 - Operational Services Cabinet Committee

Decision published: 18/02/2020

Effective from: 11/02/2020

Decision:

No declarations of interest were made.   

 


11/02/2020 - Minutes ref: 3511    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Operational Services Cabinet Committee

Made at meeting: 11/02/2020 - Operational Services Cabinet Committee

Decision published: 18/02/2020

Effective from: 11/02/2020

Decision:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2019 were signed by the Chair.

 


11/02/2020 - Abandoned Vehicles Process ref: 3513    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Operational Services Cabinet Committee

Made at meeting: 11/02/2020 - Operational Services Cabinet Committee

Decision published: 18/02/2020

Effective from: 11/02/2020

Decision:

The Committee was provided with the process officers followed when dealing with vehicles which might be classified as abandoned. Attached at appendix two was a flowchart that would help Members to understand the stages the abandoned vehicle process had to work through before a car could be removed. 

 

The Assistant Director (Operations) guided Members through the report outlining the key points of the process at Section Two:

 

  • For a car to be classified as abandoned, a vehicle must meet three of the Council’s abandonment criteria which is taken from government guidance on abandoned vehicles; the criteria is listed at 2.4 of the report
  • The car has to meet three of the criteria to ensure the Council’s confidence that the car has been abandoned and hasn’t just been parked while the owner is away on holiday or part of a neighbourly dispute etc
  • If it meets the criteria, then an abandonment notice will be affixed to the vehicle and the keeper details requested from the DVLA; the three types of notices are listed at 2.6 of the report
  • Once the notice has expired, if the vehicle has not been removed and/or the owner has not claimed the vehicle, then removal of the vehicle will be arranged. The removal of abandoned vehicles is arranged under a contract procured by Kent County Council as it is their legal duty to dispose of abandoned vehicles
  • If the vehicle did not have a valid road tax or was SORN and was parked on the public highway then it would be reported to the DVLA who have the responsibility to remove untaxed vehicles
  • If the vehicle in question was parked dangerously then it would be reported to Police as they have the powers for immediate removal

 

The Assistant Director (Operations) fielded questions from the Committee:

 

  • No complaints had been received recently about the car business in Higham parking their vehicles on the grass verges however it was hard to deal with the problem as the owner usually removed the cars before the notice had expired. Unless a witness can link the parked cars to the business then there isn’t much that can be done as bollards could be installed but that would be detriment to the residents who also park their cars there
  • The Council manage the day to day administration of creating and distributing the notices; once the notice has expired and a further visit conducted then  the removal contractor have five working days to remove the vehicle
  • Within Kent, there are only two contractors that are used to remove abandoned vehicles but GBC have built a strong relationship with the contractors that KCC utilises
  • A vehicle not having a valid MOT certificate was not one of the classifications of the abandonment criteria
  • Typically the longstanding 21 days’ criteria  will only be used if the vehicle doesn’t tick three boxes of the abandonment criteria however if someone can prove that the vehicle has been there for at least 21 days via dated photos or CCTV etc then it can be removed. Otherwise , the 21 day notice period starts from when the first report was received
  • KCCs abandoned vehicle contract with GBC came with the condition that GBC would remove all rubbish from within the abandoned vehicle before it was removed; usually the team will remove the rubbish the same day it is collected
  • 95% of suspected abandoned vehicles are reported through the website by the public or Councillors however if Council staff see any while they are on the streets then they will report  with them directly
  • Some referrals are received from the Police; the PCSOs  are active in patrolling the Borough and will contact the team if they see any suspected abandoned vehicles
  • Of the 399 vehicles reported to the Council as potentially abandoned during 2019, only 88 were actually classified as abandoned under the established criteria

 

A Councillor reported a suspected abandoned vehicle parked outside the British Heart Foundation as it had been there for a couple of weeks and had been issued several FPN’s. The Assistant Director (Operations) agreed to investigate the vehicle to see if a notice had been issued.  (Upon checking the vehicle had gone away)

 

The Chair thanked the Assistant Director (Operations) for an informative update and praised the clarity of the flowchart attached at appendix two.

 


11/02/2020 - Street Cleansing Update ref: 3514    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Operational Services Cabinet Committee

Made at meeting: 11/02/2020 - Operational Services Cabinet Committee

Decision published: 18/02/2020

Effective from: 11/02/2020

Decision:

The Assistant Director (Operations) ran through the report giving Members an update on the following successful initiatives, listed in detail on pages 14-17, carried out by the Waste Management Team to improve the cleanliness of the Borough:

 

  • Reducing fly-tipping in St Marks Avenue
  • Deep clean of Pier Road river viewing platform
  • Removal of tree guards in Wellington Street area
  • Reduction in fly-tipping at Cascades and Morrison’s recycling sites
  • Issuing of fixed penalty notices in Snelling Avenue and Gwynn Road

 

The Assistant Director (Operations) fielded questions from the Committee:

 

  • The probation service has been used several times before for clearance jobs that the Council wouldn’t usually carry out themselves such as clearing rubbish from private access ways. The probation team have also been utilised by the Housing Service carrying out a variety of different work projects; working with the probation service allows their workforce to be upskilled and provided opportunities for development
  • Fly-tipping on private land was a problem and a difficult situation for the Council as the responsibility for clearing the rubbish lies with the owner of the land. However, the Council will always attempt to work with land owners to remove small amounts of rubbish such as a fridge or a few bin bags. But if the amount of rubbish dumped was  too large then the Council couldn’t justify spending a significant amount of money to clear waste from private land
  • Mobile CCTV cameras were not used much in Gravesham as to deploy covert CCTV a RIPA has to be issued by a judge.. However, if signage was erected in hotspots then cameras could easily be set up as  people had been informed of their presence
  • Certainly in some cases with the biggest amounts of fly-tipping the cameras had caught licence plates of the offending vehicles and following a number plate check it had been revealed that the plate had been cloned and no action could be taken
  • As part of a County Project, GBC identified hotspots around the Borough from reports, information from Parish Councils and patrol data from PCSOs. Later this month warning signage, stating ‘CCTV in Operation’, will be erected in those hotspots to see if it makes any difference to the high levels of fly-tipping

 

The Chair stated that he had seen the probation team in action at St Andrews Gardens and was very impressed with the work they had done and hoped that their services would continue to be enlisted in the future in both the Housing and Operations teams.

 

The Committee were advised by a Member that if they wanted to increase their community litter picks then they should talk to Tracey Marshall in Housing who could request assistance from the probation service.

 

The Vice-Chair formally commended the work of the Operations Team and thanked them for taking a different approach to the problems in his ward which ultimately lead to a very successful resolution.

 

In conclusion, the Chair explained that report was very important and would be a regular report to the Committee that showcased before and after case studies of areas in the Borough that had been improved by the Councils Operational Teams. Additionally, discussions had been held with Communications and senior officers to broadcast the case study work through social platforms demonstrating to the public that the Council were taking a proactive approach to cleaning up the Borough. 

 


12/02/2020 - Allocations Policy Review ref: 3510    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Housing Services Cabinet Committee

Made at meeting: 12/02/2020 - Housing Services Cabinet Committee

Decision published: 12/02/2020

Effective from: 22/02/2020

Decision:

To commence wider consultation on the proposed significant changes to the council’s housing allocations policy.


05/02/2020 - Apologies for absence ref: 3509    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Regulatory Board (Planning)

Made at meeting: 05/02/2020 - Regulatory Board (Planning)

Decision published: 05/02/2020

Effective from: 05/02/2020

Decision:

An apology for absence as received from Cllr Bob Lane and Cllr Frank Wardle attended as his substitute.


05/02/2020 - 20190717 - Courtlands. Gravesend Road, Shorne DA12 3JR ref: 3503    For Determination

Decision Maker: Regulatory Board (Planning)

Made at meeting: 05/02/2020 - Regulatory Board (Planning)

Decision published: 05/02/2020

Effective from: 05/02/2020

Decision:

Resolved that application 20190717 be PERMITTEDsubject to the planning conditions set out in the main and supplementary report, which would more closely define and control the use of the approved buildings in the specific use for which permission is now given, to be set out in the decision notice issued by the Planning department and made available on the following link: https://www.gravesham.gov.uk/planning-search.


05/02/2020 - 20190834 - Garage Block south of Rembrandt Drive, Northfleet- Revised Description and Plans ref: 3502    For Determination

Decision Maker: Regulatory Board (Planning)

Made at meeting: 05/02/2020 - Regulatory Board (Planning)

Decision published: 05/02/2020

Effective from: 05/02/2020

Decision:

Resolved that application 20190834 be REFUSED on following grounds that the proposal was contrary to local and national planning policy and the benefits of the proposal (most significantly relating to the provision of affordable housing) did not outweigh the wider harm to the street scene and potential impact on the existing mature Sycamore tree on the site.


05/02/2020 - 20190833 - Garage Block and Part of Amenity Space adjacent to Constable Road and Rembrandt Drive, Northfleet - Revised Description and Plans ref: 3501    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Regulatory Board (Planning)

Made at meeting: 05/02/2020 - Regulatory Board (Planning)

Decision published: 05/02/2020

Effective from: 05/02/2020

Decision:

Resolved that application 20190833 be PERMITTEDsubject to the planning conditions and informatives, which would include conditions with regard to the detailed shape / form of the Gabion wall, planting and landscaping to ensure public safety and protect the privacy of the proposed dwellings and provide for semi-mature trees to be planted in the greenspace, to be set out in the decision notice issued by the Planning Department and made available on the following link: https://www.gravesham.gov.uk/planning-search.