Agenda and draft minutes

Sevenoaks Local Board
Wednesday, 12th March, 2008 6.30 pm

Venue: Sevenoaks Town Council Offices, Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks TN13 3QG

Contact: Tom Phillips  01195 495713

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome to the meeting – Mr D Brazier, Chairman

Minutes:

Mr David Brazier welcomed everyone to the meeting, and briefly outlined the role of the Local Boards in Kent. He thanked the Sevenoaks Town Council for allowing the use of their Council Chamber for the Local Board meeting.

2.

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

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

3.

Notes of Local Board meeting held on14 November 2007 and progress on any actions agreed.

Minutes:

The notes of the meeting held at the New Ash Green Library were agreed. There were no matters arising.

4.

Secondary Education in Sevenoaks - Provision and Performance

Chris Lay, Area Education Officer for Sevenoaks & Tunbridge Wells, and Pippa Doran, Secondary Link Advisor for West Kent will describe the framework for secondary education across the Sevenoaks District area and discuss the performance of schools and pupils.

Minutes:

Chris Lay and Pippa Doran described the organisation of secondary education in the Sevenoaks area.  The District had four secondary schools, each a popular local school, but was unique in having such a large percentage of children who attended schools in other Districts – particularly in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.  As an example, 47% of secondary school children in Sevenoaks travelled daily to Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells grammar schools.  43% of students in schools in Tonbridge, and 27% in Tunbridge Wells had home addresses in the Sevenoaks District.

 

There were many new developments in the secondary school curriculum. Significant amongst these were the growth of strong links with West Kent College and Hadlow College, and the establishment of significant opportunities for vocationally based studies, and curriculum enrichment for pupils following a very traditional school curriculum.

 

The presentation made to the Local Board (a copy of which has been placed with the official record of the meeting) looked briefly at the circumstances of each secondary school in the Sevenoaks District, including an assessment of where its pupils came from.

 

Questions following the presentation raised numerous issues, including:

 

·              The balance being struck between vocational studies and traditional academic content

·              Opportunities for Kent pupils in schools in Surrey and Sussex, and vice versa

·              The size of the independent school sector in Sevenoaks;

·              The role and independence of the Connexions Service, and the difficulties pupils have in accessing up to date on-line information about sixth form and college options.

5.

Question Time – Your opportunity to ask questions about local public services

Minutes:

Following the questions raised under the previous item, no further matters were raised.

6.

Kent County Council's Budget for 2008/09

David Brazier, in his role as one of the County Council’s Lead Members on Finance, will describe the key features of the County Council’s 2008/9 Budget.

Minutes:

Chairman of the Local Board, David Brazier, in his role as one of the County Council’s Lead Members for Finance, gave a presentation covering the key issues within KCC’s Revenue and Capital budgets for the 2008/9 financial year, which had been agreed recently by the County Council.

 

The County Council was in the first year of a three year grant settlement for local government. Including schools finance, KCC’s budget was now £2.2 billion a year. The presentation compared Kent’s position with that of other types of local authority, and Kent’s relative position amongst County Councils.

Aspects of the 2008/9 budget mentioned included:

 

·              £5.8 million of support for the achievement of KCC’s “Towards 2010” targets;

·              A further £4 million being put in to the widening across the County of the “Kent Freedom Pass”;

·              A further £0.3 million for regeneration;

·              Further investment in services for the elderly and vulnerable without the alterations to eligibility criteria for assistance that had been seen in some other local authority areas;

·              Support to voluntary organisations maintained;

 

The Capital budget for 2008/9 as Kent’s largest ever, including continuing provision for extensive renovation and re-building of secondary school premises in many parts of Kent, and a PFI scheme jointly with ten District Councils to provide independent living accommodation for adults.

 

Questions raised after the presentation covered:

 

·              The balance between KCC borrowing and reserves;

·              Charges for some domiciliary care services;

·              The delay in repayment to KCC by the Government of costs related to services for young unaccompanied asylum seekers.

7.

Future Local Board Meetings in 2008 – Dates, venues and possible agenda topics.

Minutes:

The Chairman would discuss these with the Community Liaison Manager. It was hoped that the next meeting of the Local Board might take place in the Edenbridge area.

 

Action: Tom Phillips

8.

Any Other Business notified to the Chairman prior to the meeting.

Minutes:

None had been notified.