Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 15 November 2016



Councillor Mrs Ring (Chairman), and

Councillors Barned, Mrs Blackmore, M Burton, Joy, D Mortimer, Mrs Robertson, Webb and Webster



Also Present:

Councillor Mrs Gooch




92.        Apologies for Absence


It was noted that apologies had been received from Councillor Perry.




93.        Notification of Substitute Members


It was noted that Councillor Mrs Blackmore was substituting for Councillor Perry.




94.        Urgent Items


There were no urgent items.




95.        Notification of Visiting Members


It was noted that Councillor Mrs Gooch indicated her wish to speak on Agenda Item 14 – Review of CCTV – Findings and Options.




96.        Disclosures by Members and Officers


There were no disclosures by Members and Officers.




97.        Disclosures of Lobbying


There were no disclosures of lobbying.




98.        Exempt Items


RESOLVED:  That all items be taken in public as proposed.




99.        Minutes of the Meeting Held on 18 October 2016


RESOLVED:  That the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2016 be approved as a correct record and signed subject to the following changes:-


Minute 82 – Report of the Head of Environment and Public Realm – Community Toilet Scheme:-


Under ‘During the debate, the following comments were made by Members’, a bullet point should be added:-


·         That Officers would circulate a copy of the Agreement to all Members of the Committee


In addition, the voting for this item should read:-


For:  5  Against:  4   Abstentions:  0




100.     Presentation of Petitions (if any)


There were no petitions.




101.     Questions and answer session for members of the public (if any)


There were no questions from members of the public.




102.     Committee Work Programme


It was noted that the Air Quality Working Group would be having their first meeting on 22 November 2016.  Therefore it was agreed that a report would come to the February Committee meeting on their findings.


The Crime and Disorder Committee would meet prior to the normal Communities, Housing and Environment Committee meeting in December.


RESOLVED:  That the work programme be noted.




103.     Report of the Director of Finance and Business Improvement - Second Quarter Budget Monitoring 2016/17


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Finance and Business Improvement which related to the Second Quarter Budget Monitoring 2016/17.


Members noted that the report provided an overview of the revenue budget and outturn for the second quarter of 2016/17.  It also highlighted significant variances against the budget.

The Chief Accountant advised that a major contributor to the overspend on the budget was the temporary accommodation.  Members were advised that the report coming to the December Committee would set out how the Council intended to tackle this issue.


Members were made aware that increased controls had been introduced across the Council, and would be closely monitored by the Corporate Leadership Team, in the following areas:-


·         Recruitment

·         Temporary Staff

·         Discretionary Spending

·         Contractual commitments


In response to enquiries from Members, Officers advised:-


·         That the grounds maintenance section carried out work for Parishes but were looking to generate income undertaking more external work

·         That the street cleansing overspend occurred mainly as a result of a lack of resources.  A second review of the operation would take place in April/May next year.   

RESOLVED:  That the revenue position at the end of the second quarter and the actions being taken or proposed to improve the position where significant variances have been identified be noted.




104.     Report of the Head of Policy and Communications - Strategic Plan Performance Update Quarter Two


The Committee considered the report of the Head of Policy and Communications on the Strategic Plan Performance Update

Quarter 2 2016/17.


Members noted that 82% of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for this Committee were on target for Quarter 2. 


The Policy and Information Manager highlighted the areas where performance was on or above target. 


In response to questions from Members, the Policy and Information Manager advised that:-


·         All KPIs were reviewed on a regular basis and if it was considered that they should be amended or deleted, this would come back to the Committee for decision

·         In terms of flytipping, Quarter 2 showed an expected increase from Quarter 1 due to a seasonal increase. This had been borne out by a 200% increase in construction and demolition waste and a 150% increase in garden waste.

·         The Parish Liaison Officer’s post was only funded for a year which would finish in December and it was noted that most of the objectives had been achieved.




1)           That the summary of performance for Quarter 2 of 2016/17 for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and corporate strategies and plans be noted;

2)           That the progress of strategic plan action plan at Appendix III to the report of the Head of Policy and Communications be noted;

3)           That where complete data is not currently available, this be noted; and

4)           That the performance of Key Performance Indicators from Quarter 1 of 2016/17 for which data was not available at Policy and Resources Committee on 26 July 2016 be noted.




105.     Report of the Head of Housing and Communities - Review of CCTV - Findings and Options


The Committee considered the report of the Head of Housing and Communities which summarised the findings from the review of CCTV funding carried out June – October 2016 and recommended what options should be developed in more detail to be reported back to the February Committee meeting.


It was noted that the CCTV operation costs the Council in the region of £340,000 a year, the operation of the 95 static cameras are monitored 24/7 and maintained by Medway Council at a cost to the Council of £315,000.  The Council also operates 28 mobile cameras which are administered by a PCSO, the Council pays half of the salary of the postholder.  The cost of the mobile CCTV service was in the region of £25,000.


Officers advised that at present Medway Council maintain the CCTV system on behalf of the Council as part of a partnership agreement with Medway, Swale and Gravesham Councils.  The CCTV partnership agreement expires on 31 March 2017 and discussions had been held with the other councils and the provider with a view to extending the partnership agreement for 12 months and the consideration of what level of service is required. 


Members’ attention was drawn to the key findings of the review set out in the report. The review found that CCTV by itself was not particularly effective in preventing crime and disorder, although it was more effective when used with other interventions.


It was noted that Kent Police and the Police Crime Commissioner had made it clear that they would not be able to contribute towards the annual ongoing revenue cost of CCTV. 


Councillor Mrs Gooch addressed the Committee as a Visiting Member and as the Council’s representative at the Kent and Medway Police and Crime Panel.  She advised that in attending the Panel she had taken the opportunity to ask the Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) what impact it would have on the police service in their investigation of crime if the Council reduced its CCTV operation. 


In his response the PCC stated that in reviewing the CCTV operation Councils should be mindful to consider the value that each camera provided in terms of how often it had been used for evidence gathering.  He added that both he and the Police valued it and it was an example of where there should be collaborative working on non-statutory services to ensure that the best is being done by the public.

He did confirm that he could not commit any funding for the CCTV operation and neither could the Police.  However he did suggest that the Council may be able to get funding from the Safer Maidstone Partnership.


In response to comments from Members, it was noted that:-


·         The data provided by Medway is the same kind of data the Council received when the service was carried out in-house.

·         A review of the cameras was carried out in 2014 and a number were de-commissioned.  A regular review would continue to be carried out.

·         There is a duplication of CCTV within the town centre where businesses are putting in their own equipment and the Police and our own Enforcement teams are now wearing body worn cameras.

·         The Council would investigate the use of new technologies as part of the review.

·         An option for local businesses to purchase the existing hardware may be an alternative to de-commissioning some of the cameras.

·         Detailed site maps would be produced with the next report on where the CCTV cameras are currently situated.

·         In terms of the Urban Blue Bus, their views would be taken into account as part of the stakeholder engagement.

During the discussion Councillor Mrs Blackmore proposed and Councillor Webster seconded that Recommendation 3 be amended to:


3)      That the options be agreed for the use of CCTV funding to be developed further and a final recommendation to be made to this Committee in February 2017:-

* review the CCTV service – considering reduced camera numbers
   and reduced hours of active monitoring of the static CCTV
   cameras and mobile cameras

* explore other funding or commercial opportunities

* better use of new technology

The motion was lost.

Voting:  For:  4   Against:  0   Abstentions:  5




1)           That the intention be noted to re-negotiate the service provided by Medway and extend the CCTV partnership agreement for one year to 31 March 2018;

2)           That it be noted that a review of the current provision and siting of static cameras would be carried out to ensure the Council complies with the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice 2013; and

3)          That the options be agreed for the use of CCTV funding to be developed further and a final recommendation to be made to this Committee in February 2017:-

* reduce the CCTV service – considering reduced camera numbers
   and reduced hours of active monitoring of the static CCTV
   cameras and mobile cameras

* explore other funding or commercial opportunities

* better use of new technology

Voting:  For:   5   Against:  0    Abstentions:  4




106.     Duration of Meeting


6.30 p.m. to 8.45 p.m.