Agenda and minutes

Sheppey Local Engagement Forum - Tuesday, 20th October, 2009 7.00 pm

Venue: De Lacey Hall (next to Sheppey Leisure Complex), Broadway, Sheerness

Contact: Bill Ronan  01622 696889 or 07710 339894

No. Item


Apologies for Absence





MINUTES of the Meeting held in the De Lacey Hall, Broadway, Sheerness on Tuesday 20th October 2009 from 7:00 pm to 9:05 pm.




PRESENT: Swale Borough Councillors: Councillor John Morris (Vice-Chairman), Councillors Mark Ellen, David Garside, Harrison, Paul Hayes, Lesley Ingham, Paul Sturdgess and Worrall. Kent County Councillors: Mr Kenneth Pugh (Chairman) and Mr Adrian Crowther. Kent Association of Local Councils: Mr Ingleton.




OFFICERS PRESENT: Philippa Davies, Eric Fisher, Martin Goodhew, Louise Matthews, Bob Pullen, Pete Raine and Jean Wood (Swale Borough Council) and Bill Ronan (Kent County Council).




ALSO IN ATTENDANCE: Ted Pye (Queenborough Town Council), Peter Macdonald (Minster Parish Council), Mike Brown (Eastchurch Parish Council), Chief Inspector Tony Henley and Inspector Applegate (Kent Police), Mick Durkan (Kent Fire and Rescue), Eileen Martin (AmicusHorizon), Sarah Williams (Swale Council for Voluntary Service), John Hopkinson and Liz James (Voluntary Action Within Kent), Mr Brown (Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club), Mr Deal, Mrs Francis, Mrs Hurkett, Mrs Pomeroy, Miss Risdon, Mr Kemp and Mr Smith (local residents).




APOLOGIES: Councillors Andy Booth, Pat Sandle and David Sargent and Abdool Kara, Chief Executive (Swale Borough Council).



430    WELCOME


The Chairman welcomed Pete Raine, the newly appointed Interim Regeneration Director (Swale Borough Council), to the meeting.



Minutes from Previous Meeting


431    MINUTES


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 21st July 2009 (Minute Nos.196 - 206) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record, subject to the following amendments:

(i) That Mr Mick Durkan (Kent Fire and Rescue) and Jean Wood (Swale Borough Council) attended the meeting.

(ii) The inclusion of additional comments from Minster Parish Council in relation to Minute No. 203/07/09 (loss of youth work provision on Sheppey):

'Mrs Codrington (Clerk to Minster Parish Council and also Local Resident) raised concern that KCC had not liaised with either Minster-on-Sea Parish Council or Minster Community Centre on their business plan for youth provision in Minster and queried if any business plan existed. She pointed out that Minster-on-Sea Parish Council had asked all 5,600 plus households in Minster for their views on whether or not Minster had adequate youth provision and advised KCC that this was an ideal opportunity to liaise with the Parish Council to find out what the Public wanted. She also reminded KCC that Minster residents contribute 12% to its overall annual council tax budget and that some of this money should be invested in youth provision in Minster'.

(iii) That Minute No. 201 (public session) be amended to read: 'He asked that both Swale Borough Council (SBC) and Kent County Council (KCC) assert pressure on Kent Highway Services (KHS) to action the erection of appropriate signage along the A249'.

(iv) That the resolution at Minute No. 206/07/09 (Funding for Sheppey LEF) be amended to read 'that applications for funding that met the criteria be agreed by the Vice-Chairman and when different, the Executive Member for Community Services'.



Declarations of Interest

Members who have an interest to declare must declare the existence and nature of it at the start of the meeting.


Members are reminded that even if an interest has been declared in the Members’ Interests Register, it should still be disclosed at the start of each meeting.  Members are encouraged to seek advice in advance of the meeting if in any doubt.




No interests were declared.



Welcome to Members of the Public and Opportunity for Questions

During public session, members of the public living in the Borough of Swale may make a statement, submit a petition, or ask the Chairman any question on any matters falling within the remit of the LEF.


Questions or statements shall be read at the meeting and shall not last more than three minutes.  An answer from the Chairman may take the form of a direct oral answer or be in writing.  Questions submitted to the Democratic Services section in writing (including email) at least three days before the meeting will be taken first.






Questions were raised at the meeting on the following topics. Members requested that answers to questions be included in the minutes of the meeting or in an addendum should responses not be available at the time the minutes are published.









The Chairman brought the Forum's attention to the tabled response to a question raised in Minute No. 201 at the meeting held on 21st July 2009. This related to the use of the old bait and tackle kiosk and stores at Neptune Terrace. A report had been requested on the condition and possible uses of the building. Councillor Ellen, a Ward Member, welcomed the response and considered that the plan was an interim measure.




(1) That the report be noted.





Mr Moore, a local resident, explained that with regard to Minute No. 873 (28th April 2009), he had not yet received a response to his question regarding the public toilets at Bridge Street. The Chairman advised that this would be followed up and a response sent to Mr Moore.


Democratic Services Officer






Mr Deal asked what SBC's policy was for letting vacant commercial Council property. The Interim Regeneration Director confirmed that this question would be forwarded to the Estates Surveyor for a response.


Estates Surveyor






Mr Macdonald, speaking as a local resident, raised concern with the bad state of buildings, gardens, war memorials and roads in Sheerness. These comments were forwarded to the Greenspaces Officer for a response


Greenspaces Officer




   Mr Macdonald welcomed the work that had been carried out on the windmill in the town centre. He suggested that more money was spent on the upkeep of the town and that Sheerness should have a Town Council.


The Chairman confirmed that he would take Mr Macdonald's comments regarding the state of the roads back to KCC and suggested that residents in Sheerness start a petition to progress the move towards having a Town Council in Sheerness.








A local resident raised concern that towns signs had not yet been provided for Bluetown.


Regeneration Manager






Mr Smith raised a query regarding the process for responding by telephone and internet to the voter registration form. The Chairman advised that this query would be forwarded to the Electoral Services Department for a response. Post meeting note: Electoral Services have responded direct to Mr Smith, but assurance was given that telephone and internet registration was working correctly and was a secure way of responding.


Electoral Services Officer






Mr Brown raised concern with a report that had been written by Kent Highway Services regarding the re-instatement of the B2231 as an 'A' road. He suggested the report was factually incorrect and considered the road to be busy, dangerous and in need of repair.


The Chairman advised that he had attended a meeting regarding this and explained that discussions on this matter were currently  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club

An information item on the development of sailing and water sports on the Isle of Sheppey and the work of the Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club.  This item will be presented by Mr Brown, Vice-Commodore.


Questions from members of the public are welcome.




Mr Brown gave a presentation on the Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club. He explained that the club had been in existence since 1965 and that there had always been a problem with insufficient parking space for boats. He gave some background information on the club and considered the site was a good one with excellent, safe sailing conditions and there was potential for it to expand further. He reported on the use of the club and outlined the events that took place, which included the round the Island race which attracted around 500 people to the club each year. Space and lack of resources restricted further development of the club, its racing schedule and its use as a training centre. Mr Brown reported on the benefits that sailing had brought to him. He explained that running costs for the club were high and because of the size of the club, members were restricted. The club's long term viability was dependent on increased membership. Mr Brown explained that in order for the club to continue running, it was important to keep the momentum going and raise capital.


The Chairman advised Mr Brown to put his proposals for the club together and to come back to the Forum at a future date.



Update from Partners

An opportunity for Partners to update the Local Engagement Forum on anything they consider relevant within the Terms of Reference for the Forum.


Questions from members of the public are welcome.




Inspector Applegate updated the Forum on Police matters on the Isle of Sheppey. He advised that crime statistics could also be found on the Kent Police website.


He explained that open air surgeries had been held in various areas and the Police hoped to increase engagement with local residents.


Chief Inspector Henley advised that the Police had become 'more visible' and wanted to instill confidence in the community.


Mick Durkin, Kent Fire Brigade, explained that the Fire Brigade had a busy period in the summer dealing with grass fires. He also requested that people parked sensibly to allow the Fire Brigade access through streets in an emergency.



Swale Borough Council Budget Consultation 2010/2011

To receive information on the consultation process for Swale Borough Council’s 2010/2011 budget.


Questions from members of the public are welcome.




The Head of Policy introduced her report which outlined the budget consultation with members of the public, local businesses and key partners to find out what peoples' opinion was on SBC's priorities for spending for the 2010/2011 budget. She distributed paper copies and explained that the consultation would also be available on the Council website at The deadline for responses was 30th November 2009.


Members of the public were encouraged to respond to the consultation.


The Head of policy introduced the supplementary item on the Broadband Survey for Leysdown, Warden and Eastchurch. She explained that the Local Strategic Partnership had funding available to enable a better Broadband provider to be used. She welcomed residents' views on Broadband use in these areas. Copies of the survey were made available at the meeting. The deadline for responses was 30th November 2009.



Swale Centre for Voluntary Service

Sarah Williams from the Swale Centre for Voluntary Service will introduce a round-table discussion on the work of the Swale Centre for Voluntary Service in the community.


Questions from members of the public are welcome.




Sarah Williams introduced this item and gave an overview on the work that the Swale Council for Voluntary Service carried out. She explained the importance of engaging with public, private and voluntary services in order that they could all work together.


John Hopkinson explained the importance of engaging with decision makers to get an informed debate and transparent decisions. He stated that value for money was the key issue.


Sarah Williams invited the Forum to have a round-table discussion to get ideas on how groups could engage better, what they were doing at the moment and how this could be improved.


The Forum split into groups from 8:40 pm to 8:55 pm.


Ideas from the groups included: get out there and get peoples' views; 'can do' attitude was needed; link with projects; funding issues; apathy; communication; support elected Members in their leadership role; Local Strategic Partnership as tool for information; Member briefings; share information; share resources for greater impact; increase link with Parish Councils; one-stop-shop; raise aspirations of local people; potential opportunities for fund raising; and more awareness of the voluntary sector.


Sarah explained that the voluntary sector was not solely about volunteering and they wanted to be on a par with other organisations within the community.



Venue for next meeting

To agree a venue for the next meeting of the Sheppey Local Engatement Forum on 26 January 2010.


Suggestions from members of the public are welcome.






(1) That the next meeting on 26th January 2010 would be held in Eastchurch Village Hall.