Agenda and minutes

County Council
Thursday, 19th October, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone

Contact: John Lynch  03000 410466

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

27.

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The General Counsel reported apologies from Mr Bowles, Miss Dawson, Mr Horwood and Mr Pugh.

28.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in items on the agenda

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       Dr Sullivan declared an interest in item 7 (Autumn Budget Statement) as her husband was employed by the County Council in the Early Help and Prevention Team.

 

(2)       Mr Bartlett declared an interest in item 10 (Treasury Management Annual Review 2016/17) as an employee of the Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM); a fund managed by an entity of BNYM was listed as a deposit taker in Appendix 2. He stated that it was a voluntary announcement for transparency purposes and he did not intend to participate or vote on the item.

 

(3)       Mr Lewis declared an interest as his wife was employed by the County Council.

29.

Minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2017 and, if in order, to be approved as a correct record pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2017 be approved as a correct record.

30.

Chairman's Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)           Mrs Molly De Courcy

(1)       The Chairman stated that it was with regret that he had to inform Members of the death of Mrs Molly De Courcy on Thursday 3 August.   Mrs De Courcy was a former KCC Member for Canterbury East between 1981and 1993.

(2)       Mrs De Courcy’s funeral had taken place on 24 August.

(3)       Mr Gibbens and Mrs Dean paid tribute to Mrs De Courcy.

(b)           Mr John Cubitt

(4)       The Chairman stated that it was with regret that he had to inform Members of the death of Mr John Cubitt on 15 August.   Mr Cubitt was a former Conservative Member for Gravesham East from 2009 until 2013.

(5)       Mr Cubitt’s funeral had taken place on 8 September.

(6)       Mr Sweetland, Mr Chittenden, Dr Sullivan and Mr Dhesi paid tribute to Mr Cubitt.

(c)           Mr Bill Newman DL

(7)       The Chairman stated that it was with regret that he had to inform Members of the death of Mr Bill Newman on 20 August.   Mr Newman was a former Labour Member for Dover Central/Town from 1995 until 2009. 

(8)       He became an Honorary Alderman of the County Council in 2010 and was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant in 2001.

(9)       Mr Newman’s funeral had taken place on 5 September.

(10)     Mr Carter and Mr Hook to give a tribute to Mr Newman. 

(d)           Mr David Marwood

(11)     The Chairman stated that it was with regret that he had to inform Members of the death of Mr David Marwood on Friday 15 September, former Conservative Member for Tonbridge West between 1985 and 1991.

(12)     Mr Marwood’s funeral had taken place on Friday 29 September.

(13)     Mr Rayner and Mrs Dean paid tribute to Mr Marwood.

 

(e)           Mr Charles Findlay

(14)     The Chairman stated that it was with regret that he had to inform Members of the death of Mr Charles Findlay on Monday 9 October, former Conservative Member for Ashford Rural East between 1997 - 2009.

(15)     Mr Findlay’s funeral would take place on Monday 30 October at 2pm at St. Gregory and St. Martin’s Church, Wye, Ashford.

(16)   Mr Hill, Mr Brazier, Mr Carter and Mr Koowaree paid tribute to Mr Findlay.

(f)             Mr Ken Gregory

(17)     The Chairman stated that it was with regret that he had to inform Members of the death of Mr Ken Gregory on Monday 16 October, Conservative Member for Birchington & Rural from May 2017. 

(18)     Members would be informed of the funeral arrangements for Mr Gregory in due course.

(19)     Mr Marsh, Mr Hotson, Mr Bird and Mr Lewis paid tribute to Mr Gregory.

(20)    At the end of the tributes all Members stood in silence in memory of Mrs De Courcy, Mr Cubitt, Mr Newman, Mr Marwood, Mr Findlay and Mr Gregory.

 (21)    After the one minute silence the Chairman moved, the Vice-Chairman seconded and it was resolved unanimously that:

(22)    This Council records the sense of loss it feels on the sad passing of Mrs De Courcy,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Questions pdf icon PDF 136 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with Procedure Rule 1.17(4), 10 questions were asked and replies given.  A record of all questions put and answers given at the meeting are available online with the papers for this meeting.  Questions 11 to 15 were not put in the time available but written answers were provided.

 

32.

Report by Leader of the Council (Oral)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       The Leader updated the Council on events since the previous meeting.

(2)       Mr Carter stated that his report would focus on the autumn budget statement and the progress in delivering the strategic outcomes which were both substantive items being considered later in the meeting.

(3)       Mr Carter noted that there had been continuous improvements to the delivery of services and progress had been made towards achieving the three strategic outcomes: children and young people in Kent getting the best start in life, older and vulnerable residents being safe and supported with choices to live independently; and Kent communities feeling the benefits of economic growth by being in-work, healthy and enjoying a good quality of life.

(4)       Mr Carter referred to unfairness in the current methodology used by the Department for Communities and Local Government and central government in distributing grants to support local government particularly to county councils such as Kent.  He reported that he had been lobbying for additional help, in the form of a two- year transitional fund, prior to the introduction of a new funding methodology for local government in 2020/2021 and the full repatriation of business rates.

(5)       Mr Carter stated that the existing two-year transitional grant, which had provided an additional £6 million of funding a year, would conclude at the end of the financial year; in addition to other grant reductions including the Revenue Support Grant. He reported that good progress had been made in terms of the authority’s submission, in conjunction with the borough and district councils, to become one of the 100% business rate retention pilot areas; the pilot would bring £6 – 7 million of additional funding over the next two years.

(6)       Mr Carter provided figures to highlight the variation in reductions to the Revenue Support Grant. He noted that the average council tax paid per head of population was £185 in Inner London, £241 in Outer London, £260 in metropolitan areas, £290 in unitary areas and £360 in county council areas; £360.09 per head was paid in Kent. He outlined the estimated Revenue Support Grant per head in 2018/19: £109 in Inner London, £58 in Outer London, £87 in metropolitan areas, £54 in unitary areas and £24.31 in county council areas; it was estimated that Kent would receive £24.69 per head.  He stated that there had been a 58.6% reduction to the Revenue Support Grant in Inner London over the past four years, in contrast to county councils in particular Kent whose grants had reduced to 94.6% and 94.4% respectively.  Further, county councils did not fully benefit from the New Homes Bonus, like unitary authorities did, as the bonus was split 80:20 between district and county councils.

(7) Mr Carter stated that despite grant reductions, Kent had modernised and transformed services, so that it delivered the same or better outcomes for less money, through commissioning and procurement; whilst providing a range of non-statutory services such as the £80 million Freedom Pass, £6 million subsidised bus routes and £16  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Autumn Budget Statement pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)     The Chairman reminded Members that any Member of a Local Authority who is liable to pay Council Tax, and who has any unpaid Council Tax amount overdue for at least two months, even if there is an arrangement to pay off the arrears, must declare the fact that they are in arrears and must not cast their vote on anything related to KCC’s Budget or Council Tax.

(2)     The Chairman moved and the Vice-Chairman seconded that:

(a)          Procedure Rule 1.28 be suspended in order that the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Finance be allowed to speak for a maximum of 12 minutes in total  and the Leaders of the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Independent Groups speak for 6, 5 and 4 minutes respectively.

(b)          Procedure Rule 1.35 (1) be suspended in order to allow Members to speak more than once during the debate, at the discretion of the Chairman, the Cabinet Member for Finance, as seconder of the motion be allowed to speak again at the end of the debate. 

Agreed without a formal vote

(3)       The Chairman then invited Mr Wood, Corporate Director Finance and Procurement, to give a presentation to provide context for this item.

(4)       Mr Carter moved and Mr Simmonds seconded the following motion:

 

“The County Council is asked to:

a)    AUTHORISE Corporate Directors to make the necessary arrangements to be able to deliver savings once the final budget has been approved in February, and to develop further proposals to resolve the unidentified gap and resolve the uncertainties should these arise. 

b)    AGREE, in principle (not the amount) to the policy savings set out in table 2 (and appendix A) relating to:

(i) KCC’s policy in relation to discretionary subsidies for uneconomic bus routes

(ii) In-house social care services

(iii) Kent Support and Assistance Service

(iv) Housing Related Support for offenders

c)    RECOGNISE the progress made towards setting a balanced budget for 2018-19 based on robust estimates and on reducing the unidentified gap”

(5)       Ms Constantine proposed and Mr Farrell seconded the following amendment:

 

“The County Council is asked to:

a)    AUTHORISE Corporate Directors to make the necessary arrangements to be able to deliver savings once the final budget has been approved in February, and to develop further proposals to resolve the unidentified gap and resolve the uncertainties should these arise, both in meaningful consultation with trade unions.

b)    Note, in principle (not the amount) to the policy savings set out in table 2 (and appendices 1 and 2) relating to:

(i)            KCC’s policy in relation to discretionary subsidies for uneconomic bus routes

(ii)          In-house social care services

(iii)         Kent Support and Assistance Service

(iv)         Housing Related Support for offenders

c)    RECOGNISE the progress made by officers towards setting a balanced budget for 2018-19 based on robust estimates and on reducing the unidentified gap despite disgracefully inadequate funding from central government.”

(6)       Following the debate the Chairman put the amendment set out in paragraph (5) above to the vote and the voting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Kent Safeguarding Children Board – 2016/17 Annual Report pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       Mr Gough and Mrs Prendergast seconded the following motion:

 

“County Council is asked to:

(a)       COMMENT on the progress and improvements made during   2016/17, as detailed in the Annual Report from Kent Safeguarding Children Board

(b)       NOTE the 2016/17 Annual Report attached.”

 

 

(2)       Ms Gill Rigg, Independent Chair of the Kent Safeguarding Children Board, addressed the meeting and answered a number of questions from Members.

 

(3)       Following the debate, the motion was agreed without a formal vote.

 

(4)       RESOLVED that the 2016/17 Annual Report from Kent Safeguarding Children Board and the comments made by Members be noted.

35.

Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes - Strategic Statement Annual Report pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       Mr Carter moved and Mr Hotson seconded the following motion:

County Council is asked to approve the ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes’ Annual Report 2017 (Appendix 1).”

(2)       Following the debate the motion set out above was agreed without a formal vote.

(3)       RESOLVED that the ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes’ Annual Report 2017 (Appendix 1) be approved.

36.

Treasury Management Annual Review 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       Mr Simmonds and Mrs Crabtree seconded the following motion:

“Members are asked to note the report.”

(2)       Following the debate the motion set out above was agreed without a formal vote.

(3)       RESOLVED that the report be noted.

37.

Motion for Time Limited Debate

Kent, the Customs Union and Free Flowing Trade

 

Proposed by Mr Hook and seconded by Mr Bird

 

“This Council notes:

 

1.     The high importance of cross Channel trade for Kent’s economy, a major part of which is around 11,000 lorries travelling through Dover and other Kent Ports, to or from other member states of the European Union;

2.     The observations made by the Chancellor of Exchequer to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on 12 September that Dover “operates as a flow-through port and volumes of trade at Dover could not be accommodated if goods had to be held for inspection even, I suspect, if they were held for minutes, it would still impede the operation of the port.”

3.     The finding that a lorry from within the EU typically takes 2 minutes to clear Customs at Dover and a lorry from outside the EU takes 20 minutes.

4.     Whenever there is a problem with the free flow of freight through Dover and other Kent ports, serious disruption results to the travel and lives of residents all over the county.

 

This Council therefore believes that it is essential to the economic and social well-being of the people of Kent for our county to continue to enjoy free flowing trade across the Channel, at least as seamlessly as present due to the UK’s membership of the Single Market and Customs Union.

 

This Council calls for:

 

a.      The UK government to take all necessary steps to ensure the continued free flow of cross channel freight between Kent and continental Europe, at least as seamlessly as present;

b.     Parliament to consider all legal possibilities for Kent and the UK outside the EU, including retaining membership of the Single Market and/or Customs Union;

c.      The Leader to write to the Prime Minister and Kent MPs setting out the action requested in this motion.”

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(1)       Mr Hook moved and Mr Bird seconded the following motion:

 

“This Council notes:

 

1.    The high importance of cross Channel trade for Kent’s economy, a major part of which is around 11,000 lorries travelling through Dover and other Kent Ports, to or from other member states of the European Union;

2.    The observations made by the Chancellor of Exchequer to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on 12 September that Dover “operates as a flow-through port and volumes of trade at Dover could not be accommodated if goods had to be held for inspection even, I suspect, if they were held for minutes, it would still impede the operation of the port.”

3.    The finding that a lorry from within the EU typically takes 2 minutes to clear Customs at Dover and a lorry from outside the EU takes 20 minutes.

4.    Whenever there is a problem with the free flow of freight through Dover and other Kent ports, serious disruption results to the travel and lives of residents all over the county.

 

This Council therefore believes that it is essential to the economic and social well-being of the people of Kent for our county to continue to enjoy free flowing trade across the Channel, at least as seamlessly as present due to the UK’s membership of the Single Market and Customs Union.

 

This Council calls for:

 

a.    The UK government to take all necessary steps to ensure the continued free flow of cross channel freight between Kent and continental Europe, at least as seamlessly as present;

b.    Parliament to consider all legal possibilities for Kent and the UK outside the EU, including retaining membership of the Single Market and/or Customs Union;

c.     The Leader to write to the Prime Minister and Kent MPs setting out the action requested in this motion.”

 

(2)       Mr Dance proposed and Mr Holden seconded the following amendment:

 

“This Council notes that several thousand lorries a day travel through Dover and other Kent ports and handling that traffic is an important industry within the county, notwithstanding that the vast majority pass straight through without adding to Kent’s economy.

The Council also notes that it has worked, and will continue to work, to maintain the free flow of that trade given the damage to the economic and social well-being of the people of Kent when Operation Stack has been invoked because of disruption on the French side.

Consequently, this Council expresses its support for the government’s present negotiating position for a Brexit deal which we hope will see a continuation of the seamless flow of cross-Channel freight in the interests of the people of Kent, the country and our European partners.”

 

(3)       Following the debate the Chairman put the amendment set out in paragraph (2) above to the vote and the voting was as follows:

 

For (55)

Mrs A Allen, Mr M Angell, Mr P Barrington-King, Mr P Bartlett, Mrs C Bell, Mrs P Beresford, Mrs R Binks Mr T Bond, Mr D Butler,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.