Agenda and minutes

Sandwich Neighbourhood Forum, Sandwich Neighbourhood Forum
Thursday, 5th February, 2009 7.00 pm

Venue: Worth Village Hall, The Street, Worth, Nr Deal, Kent CT14 0DE

Contact: Anne Charman  01622 696389

Items
No. Item

2.

Welcome - Cllr Mrs Sue Chandler (Chair)

1a        Apologies

1b        Matters arising and approval of notes from last meeting

1c        Any Declarations of Interest

 

3.

Sandwich Neighbourhood Forum

Minutes:

Notes of the meeting of the SANDWICH Neighbourhood Forum held on

5 February 2009 at Worth Village Hall, The Street, Worth at 7.00pm

 

Present:          DDC Cllr Sue Chandler                      Chairman

                        Worth PC Cllr Ian Martin                     Vice-Chairman

                         

Other Councillors and members of the public.                     

 

An apology for absence was received from KCC  Cllr Leyland Ridings

 

1.         Chairman’s welcome

Cllr Sue Chandler welcomed those attending and apologised to those individuals who had not received an electronic copy of the Notes of the previous meeting.

 

2.         Notes of previous meeting

            Were approved as a correct record and there were no matters arising.

 

3.         Dover District Council’s Budget setting process

3.1   DDC Councillor Ian Ward, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources and Performance, gave a presentation on where Councils’ money came from and where it was spent, illustrating it with tables of income sources for KCC, DDC and Towns/Parishes together with expenditure for the three tiers.

 

3.2  Of total £55,086m raised by Council Tax in 2008/09 KCC received £39,887m, DDC £5,881m, Police £5,103m, Fire £2,539m and towns/parishes £1,676m.

 

3.3  Central government grant to DDC of £10m would be increased by 0.5% next year and not at all year after. However budget pressures continued to increase but shortfalls could not all be met by increasing Council Tax as  maximum level was ‘capped’ by government at 5%.

 

3.4  DDC had third lowest rate of Council Tax in Kent and, like others, was being hit by reduced income from interest rates.  Steps already taken included:

·         reducing establishment and recruitment freeze

·         on-line advertising

·         reduced Audit Commission fees

·         better procurement

·         pre-planning advice

·         joint working with other districts

 

3.5 Prioritising services  to see where savings could be made is a key part of DDC processes as doing nothing is not an option.

 

4.         Question and answer session

·         What’s happening with shared landlord services?  Housing Revenue Account is ring fenced and separate from Council’s General Fund; cost of meeting Decent Homes Standard is a pressure, have closed 5 sheltered schemes; are sharing services with Shepway, Thanet, Canterbury and Ashford resulting in total of 20,000 properties to be managed by one organisation (has no name yet). This will not alter relationship between tenants and their own Council landlord, only one central organisation to manage and driven by efficiency.

·         With interest rates so low isn’t it a good time to encourage more tenants to buy Council houses as would generate income?  Huge discounts available under Right to Buy scheme in 1980s no longer exist so is not so attractive to tenants; best properties have already been sold. 75% of sale price goes to central government and only 25% to DDC therefore constant rent income is often better than one-off 25%.  DDC has about 4,500 properties left.

·         We’ve heard about public toilets, what other non-statutory services are you looking at?  This is purpose of exercise to follow. Have told officers that some are not acceptable  e.g. charging for green waste, bin tax, fortnightly refuse collections.  Have stated parking charges will not increase again during  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Cllr Ian Ward, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Resources and Performance

DDC,will speak about the budget setting process and the 2009/10 budget (this will include slides from Kent County Council as well).

5.

Question and Answers

6.

Group Budget Exercise

To discuss setting a budget and deciding priorities

7.

Summary of the evening:

Feedback on discussions and any actions to be taken away from the meeting

8.

Future Discussion Topics: What do you want to discuss?

(Community suggestions requested)