Agenda and minutes

Cabinet - Monday, 20th July, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual

Contact: Denise Fitch  Tel: 03000 416090, Email:

Note: In response to COVID-19, the Government has legislated to permit remote attendance by Elected Members at formal meetings. This is conditional on other Elected Members and the public being able to hear those participating in the meeting. This meeting of the Cabinet will be streamed live and can be watched via the Media below 


No. Item


Apologies and Substitutes

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There were no apologies for absence.


Declaration of Interests by Member in Items on the Agenda for this meeting

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There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the Meetings held on 22 and 29 June 2020 pdf icon PDF 136 KB

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Resolved that the minutes of the meetings held on 22 and 29 June 2020 are a correct record, and that they be signed by the Chairman.


Cabinet Member Updates

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(1)          Mrs Bell said the authority, as part of its public health responsibilities, regularly reviewed its care settings to identify any issues that might contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.  She also said that on Friday 17 July East Kent Hospitals Trust announced its intention to test its workforce over the following five days to get a snapshot of the number of staff across all sites who might be carrying the Covid-19 virus asymptomatically and to help Public Health England understand more about the spread and prevention of the virus.  The Trust intended to publish the results of the staff testing.


(2)          Mrs Bell said the government had announced new powers for local authorities to impose restrictions on movement to deal quickly with local outbreaks of Covid-19. Upper tier councils now had the power to close premises, public outdoor spaces and prevent specific events taking place without having to make representations to a magistrate.


(3)          Mrs Bell said the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics indicated that the number of smokers in Kent continued to fall and was at a record low. The number of smokers in Kent had dropped from 15% in 2018 to 13.7% in 2019 which was below the national average.  She was pleased that more people than ever were quitting, and young people were not taking up smoking in the first place.  Although the number of smokers in Ashford, Canterbury, Folkestone, Swale, Tonbridge and Malling, and Tunbridge Wells had fallen, work was underway to understand why some parts of the county, including Dartford, Dover, Gravesham, Maidstone, Sevenoaks and Thanet, had shown an increase.  She said KCC commissioned the One You Smoke Free Service through the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation and was  taking part in the national #QuitforCovid campaign.


(4)          Mrs Chandler said that since the 1 June, 70 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children had been transferred to other parts of the country under the National Transfer Scheme, however, in the same period there had been 116 new arrivals including 12 over the weekend.  Mrs Chandler said she had attended the opening of a new facility, The Nest, which provided short breaks for 13-17-year-olds who were in Tier 4 accommodation.  The original idea for the facility had come from parents, the building was operated using NHS funding and the aim was to prevent young people from going into secure accommodation.


(5)          Mr Long said all children would return to school in September and work was underway to create a socially distanced environment.  He said there were practical difficulties to overcome and that announcements would be made when solutions were identified, and decisions made.  He said he planned to make a decision on a proposal to postpone the Kent Test to mid-October. (Post meeting note: this decision was made on 22 July).  Mr Long also said that, from the beginning of September and to an extent over the summer holiday, schools would be working to help children catch up on education lost as a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 157.


Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring Report - May 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 191 KB

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(1)          Mr Gough thanked officers for the new format of the report which improved its transparency and clarity.  Mr Oakford introduced the report which set out the revenue and capital budget monitoring position as at 31 May 2020.  He welcomed the new format and drew attention to the fact that it took account of the financial impact of the authority’s response to Covid-19. He said that, excluding the impact of Covid-19, there was an overspend of £14.6 million on the revenue budget and a re-phasing of £48 million on the capital budget.  Since the report had been published an additional £10 million Covid-19 Financial Support grant had been received which would reduce the overspend by £10 million and increase the grants received to date from £66.9 million to £76.9 million. He drew attention to the overspend of £30.5 million in the Dedicated Schools’ Grant (DSG), as well as to the overspends in the revenue budget of £7.7 million in Children’s Young People and Education Directorate (CYPE) and £3.8 million in Adult Social Care Directorate.  In response to his invitation to  comment on the report, Emma Feakins (Chief Accountant) described in greater detail the structure of the report. 


(2)          Mrs Bell said that before the outbreak of Covid-19 there had been a  trend towards older people receiving care in their own homes and a decline in demand for residential and nursing care.  When the cost of care for these users and new users was projected forward for the full twelve months, there was an increase to the original budget forecast. In addition, there was some evidence that older people had received increased levels of support in their own homes, rather than moving into a social care setting, during the Covid-19 pandemic. The forecast position assumed that demographic pressures would result in an increase in client numbers during the rest of the year. Mrs Bell also said that demand for supported living services had increased and was likely to increase further as young adults with disabilities were more likely to maintain their independence at home with support rather than entering residential settings.  She also referred to pressures on Adult Mental Health and Physical Disability Community Budgets and directed Members to appendix 1 of the report which set out detailed information.


(3)          Mrs Chandler said the most significant element of the overspend in CYPE was the £5.2 million that related to an increase in the number of externally purchased placements for looked after children (LAC). She said other authorities were in a similar position, and efforts were being made to recruit additional foster carers.  She said the number of LACs in Kent was low relative to the population, which could be attributed, in part, to investment in early help services, and this should be a matter of celebration.  Mrs Chandler also referred to the expenditure on Special Educational Needs and the work being done as a result of the Written Statement of Action following last year’s Ofsted/CQC Local Area SEND Inspection. She anticipated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 158.


Adoption of the Kent Mineral Sites Plan and modifications to the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2013 - 2030 resulting from the Early Partial Review pdf icon PDF 370 KB

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(1)         Mr Gough welcomed the report and said its length and comprehensiveness were a strong argument in favour of electronic papers.  Mr Oakford introduced the report which set out the Inspector’s Report on the examination of the Early Partial Review (EPR) of the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan and the Kent Minerals Sites Plan (MSP).  He said it was important to recognise the considerable efforts of Sharon Thompson and her team in progressing this work.  Mr Oakford also said that, following publication of the pre-submission drafts, for the statutory period between January and March 2019, 405 representations had been received.  Ms Thompson said the final phase of the Minerals and Waste Local Plan work would be the adoption of the Plans by the County Council.  She also said the Inspector had found both Plans satisfactory subject to the modifications set out in paragraph 2.2 of the report and in the appendices to the Inspector’s report (Appendix A of the papers). Ms Thompson updated the Cabinet on the outcome of the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee’s consideration of a similar report at its meeting on 17 July and said all but one member, of that Committee had endorsed the recommendations.


(2)          Mr Gough and Mr Oakford thanked Ms Thompson and her team for the comprehensive report. 


(3)         Resolved to:


(i)            note the Inspector’s Report on the examination of the EPR and MSP and note his recommended modifications


(ii)          note the recommendations of the Sustainability Appraisals of the EPR and MSP and


(iii)         endorse the adoption of:

(a)     the Kent Mineral Sites Plan (as modified by the Inspector’s recommendations) at Appendix B of the report; and

(b)     the modifications to the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan as set out by the Early Partial Review (as modified by the Inspector’s recommendations) at Appendix C of the report.

(iv)    note that the decision to adopt the Kent Mineral Sites Plan and modifications to the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan is a matter for County Council and request the County Council to:

(a)          accept the modifications recommended by the Inspector to the Kent Mineral Sites Plan and modifications to the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan (as set out by the Early Partial Review); and

(b)          adopt the Kent Mineral Sites Plan and modifications to the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan (as set out by the Early Partial Review) (as modified); and

(c)          delegate powers to the Corporate Director for Growth, Environment and Transport to approve any non-material changes to the text of the MSP and modifications to the KMWLP (as set out by the Early Partial Review) in consultation with the Deputy Leader prior to their publication.

(v)        note and agree the future work activities on mineral and waste planning activities as set out in paragraph 5.5 of the report as the basis for a revised Local Development Scheme.


COVID-19 Multi-Agency Recovery pdf icon PDF 243 KB

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(1)                  Mr Gough said that the work carried out by the Kent Resilience Forum was governed by the Civil Contingencies Act and that upper tier authorities, such as Kent County Council were designated as the lead agency for the recovery phase of any emergency.  Mr Hill said the Kent Resilience Forum (KRF) was a partnership that brought category 1 and category 2 responders together, however its actions were subject to the individual governance arrangements of each partner organisation.  Oversight of the KRF by KCC Members included weekly meetings between the relevant Cabinet Member and corporate director, regular briefings to the Growth Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee and the Scrutiny Committee and monthly reports to the Kent Leader’s Group.  nationally prescribed organisation chaired by KCC which had a statutory responsibility to lead the recovery phase of an emergency.  David Whittle (Chair of Kent Resilience Forum’s Recovery Co-ordinating Group) introduced the report which provided an update on multi-agency recovery arrangements.  He also gave a presentation which is attached as an appendix to these minutes.  He drew attention to the short timescale in which the recovery plan had been drafted, the consultation underway with partners, Kent Leaders, Kent Chief Executives and others prior to its final consideration by Kent Leaders on 6 August and the KRF Strategic Go-ordination Group on 12 August.


(2)               Members were supportive of the report and commented on the high level of partnership working.  In addition, Mrs Bell said that some elements of Covid-19 response, such as enabling decision making close to the point of the issue, should continue.  She also said technology had enabled agile decision making, and its use to support older residents should continue in the recovery phase.  She said disabled people were more likely to depend on voluntary hubs which would be wound down and it would be shame if the goodwill, kindness, and enthusiasm displayed by volunteers during the response phase was lost.  She expressed concern at the increase in the number of male suicides and highlighted the importance of the Suicide Prevention Strategy. Mrs Chandler said she had paid close attention to the recovery cell dealing with issues relating to children and young people and drew the Cabinet’s attention to the increase in inequalities among children and young people during the lockdown.  She also said that she hoped that actions relating to opportunities and mitigating actions would be inter-linked and not be considered in silos.  Further support for the report was expressed by Mr Whiting and Mr Hill.  Mr Hill also said the co-located Kent Resilience team and the Kent Community Safety Partnership had created opportunities to build relationships between partner organisations which meant that Kent was well-placed to responded to the crisis caused by the pandemic.  In response to comments, Mr Whittle said that efforts were being made to capture the positive aspects of lockdown and the agile ways of working developed during the response phase. This included working with the NHS to continue the involvement of the voluntary sector in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 160.