Agenda item

Business Rates Retention (Pilot) Additional Projects


The Committee considered the report on Business Rates Retention (Pilot) Additional Projects which detailed the income generated from Business Rates growth and retained locally as part of the Business Rates Retention pilot in 2018/19. 


The Director of Finance and Improvement advised that :-

·  There were 13 projects originally funded from the Business Rates Retention (Pilot) Pool in 2018/19.

·  A shortlist of 15 further projects (totalling £700,000) had been drawn up by the Corporate Leadership Team for 2019/20 and considered by Councillors at a Workshop held in June 2019.

·  A revised list of 13 projects totalling £667,950 was detailed in the report for consideration.

Councillor Garten re-entered the room at 19.48 p.m. during the discussion on this item.


Councillor Mrs Joy put forward a proposal for St Philip’s Community Hall which was adjacent to the Church in which she requested that £17,000 be approved to match-fund the amount already raised by the community for the refurbishment of the toilet facilities.


Councillor English asked that funding be given for Conservation Area Appraisals/Conservation Management Plan.

Councillor Mrs Blackmore requested that funding be given to the Sense of Place review that the Economic Regeneration and Leisure Committee wished to undertake.

In response to a question from a Member, the Director of Finance and Business Improvement advised that the Urban Trees bid was separate to the Climate Change Commission as the Urban Trees project would attract match funding from central government.  The Director of Finance and Business Improvement undertook to investigate whether the monies would include the ongoing maintenance and replacement of the trees.


The Committee expressed their concern about the amount of the bid for the Arterial Route Improvements (A20) and felt that this should be reduced by 50% and Officers be asked to revisit their proposals with a view to utilising other initiatives that could be provided at minimal cost and ensuring that other bodies were held to account to carry out work on their own areas rather than the Council undertaking the works for them.


The Chief Executive advised that information would be included in the quarterly budget report for July on how the Council could work with  stakeholders who could access funding and voluntary labour to take forward some of the works.


The Leader undertook to make contact with Vinters Park Nature Reserve to see if there was anything that they needed funding for from that particular bid proposal.



1)  The funding for the projects set out in Appendix 1 to the report of the Director of Finance and Business Improvement be approved subject to the inclusion of the additional proposals agreed at the meeting and the reduction of 50% to the bid for the Arterial Route Improvements (A20) as follows:-

Arterial Route Improvements (A20) - £74,000
CCTV Live Monitoring (Waste Collection) - £30,000
Go Green Go Wild (Community Fund) - £20,000
Lower High Street Master Plan - £80,000
Archbishop’s Palace Options Appraisal - £60,000
Phoenix Park Regeneration - £75,000
Invicta Park Planning Guidance - £15,000
Inclusion Through Enterprise - £67,500
Cycle Parking Infrastructure - £60,000
Floodlighting for Jubilee Field, Staplehurst - £36,000
Domestic Abuse Awareness - £6,200
Climate Change Commission - £40,000
Urban Trees - £50,000
St Philip’s Community Centre - £17,000
Sense of Place - £22,000
Conservation Area Appraisals/Conservation Management Plan - £24,000

2)  If there was a shortfall in resources from the Financial Sustainability Fund, that it delegates authority to the Director of Finance and Business Improvement, in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, to identify funds from within unallocated resources for the agreed projects.

Voting:  For:  Unanimous

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