Agenda and draft minutes

Ashford Local Board
Tuesday, 17th November, 2009 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford

Contact: David Geoghegan - Community Liaison Manager  Email: david.geoghegan@kent.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome to the meeting - Mr M Angell Chairman

Minutes:

Paul Clokie welcomed everyone to the meeting.  In particular he welcomed Ann Sutton (Chief Exec), Amanda Harrison, Alison Davis and GP Jack Jacobs; who together were representing the NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent. Sixth Formers from the Norton Natchball school were also welcomed.

2.

Declarations of Interests by Members in Items on the Agenda for this Meeting

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest

 

3.

The future of Kings Avenue and services to Ashford update - Amanda Harrison, Director of Assurance and Strategic Development from NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent and colleagues.

Minutes:

Amanda Harrison gave a presentation, which set out the case for why Kings Avenue Heath Centre, which was once considered a priority, is not now going ahead. The early implementation of some service proposals, particularly in local GP practices, and the shortfall in revenue needed for the Kings Ave made the project no longer viable. This does not mean health services in Ashford will be reduced. The decision does not affect the commitment to ensuring new health care provision improves as the town grows; including the use of new service providers. It was recognized that some out- patients services were still required and further work was needed to ensure that the local population do not usually have to travel outside the area.  In addition, the PCT wanted to develop a one-stop service for older people and develop some aspects of dental care. Having now decide that Kings Ave is not feasible St Stephen’s and other health centres will be further developed.

 

4.

General Questions from Councillors - To comment and question

Minutes:

Q:- Only three months ago we saw plans and design proposals for the development of Kings Ave and there was no question that it would not go ahead. We are alarmed that plans got that far advanced but now the building stops and we would like a fuller explanation of why the project has now been pulled.

A:- In developing the business case full consultation had to take place; including engagement events with local residents to discuss the plans and service provisions. However, the project does not now represent value for money for the local health economy. The scheme now is financially unworkable.

Q. There have been meetings about Kings Ave for at least four years. The shortfall in revenue funding was identified in 2008. The amount of time and money already spent is a disgrace.  Didn’t you have doubts about the project before now?

A.   The service requirements have changed and services are being delivered elsewhere.  However, a number of things identified in health care provision will be of use whether or not we went ahead with Kings Ave.

Q. What action did the non-executive members take?

A. When we inherited the project from Ashford PCT we were very optimistic and of course everyone is now disappointed. The whole Board decided that the scheme is not viable. They recognized that we can’t invest in a new building when existing buildings are not fully utilized. 

Q.How much have you spent to date?

A. Over the years £1.5m has been spent on the project but over £1m would have been spent anyway to dispose of the old hospital and clear the site. Also much of the consultancy work has been salvaged for use elsewhere in providing services.

Q. What services would have been better provided if you had not wasted that money?

A. That money will come back into the public purse once the site is sold.

Q. We can’t believe the scheme was going ahead while at the same time you were enhancing the services with local GPs and you did not know this would have an adverse impact on the viability of the Kings Ave.

A. Expanding and offering services to meet health needs in GP surgeries and community settings like the Gateway and Stour Centre

was planned but there are other reasons which also informed the PCT Board’s decision to stop the proposed development like the revenue gap, the capital requirement, the impact of the economic downturn as well as less activity required at Kings Ave.

Q. Where was plan “b” for the revenue shortfall? And will Costain the contractor get compensation for the broken contract?

A. The process meant there was no formal contract with Costain. It was thought that there would be value in delivering services in one place however there are now alternative locations providing this and we face new financial challenges. The figures did not add up and there was no advantage to just scaling back some of the proposed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Announcement of KCC Small Community Capital Project Grants and Local scheme Grants for Ashford

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Local Board read out the list of recommended LSG grants as follows:

 

Outdoor Adventure

Towers School

£2,900

Notice Boards

Kennington Forum

£1,000

After School Club

Hothfield Parish Council

£3,200

Launch of support group

Breathe Easy Ashford and Tenterden

£3,000

Next step forward

Tenterden Youth Project

£2,900

Cinema

Woodchurch

£2,900

Notice Boards

CACF Orchard Heights

£750

Fresh fruit  & football

Furley Park Primary School

£1,250

Fresh Fruit Scheme

The John Wesley C of E School

£1,650

Bockhanger Project

Kent Youth Service

£1,150

 

The KCC Local Board members all agreed to these recommendations

now going forward for Cabinet decision.

 

The Chairman then read out the Small Community Capital Projects as

follows:

              

 

 New Courts

 Wye Tennis Club

£5,500

 New Vehicles

 Whealden Wheels

£5,500

 IT equipment

CanterburyOast Trust

£2,000

 Disabled Facilities

 Appledore Parish hall

£3,800

New Equipment

 Biddenden Boys FC

£1,000

Refurbishment of hall

 Christchurch

£2,000

Youth Lounge

 X:cess Youth Club Willesborough

£1,900

Promotion Equipment

 Volunteer Bureau

£2,800

Dog Bin

 Central Ashford Community Forum

£243

New facilities at Farm

 The North School

£1,995

Cinema

Woodchurch Memorial Hall

£5,500

Coffee Shop

Godinton Primary School

£500

Brockhanger Youth

Towers Community Youth project

£2,800

New Allotment

Singleton and Great Chart Allotments

£5,462

 

 

The KCC Local Board all agreed to these recommendations now going forward for Cabinet decision.