Your Councillors

Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, High Street, Maidstone

Contact: Caroline Matthews  01622 602743

Items
No. Item

6.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.  However, it was noted that Councillor Mrs Blackmore was delayed.

7.

Notification of Substitute Members

Minutes:

Councillor Mrs Ring indicated that she was substituting for Councillor Mrs Blackmore until she arrived.

 

8.

Urgent Items

Minutes:

The Chairman stated that in her opinion the updates from Officers for Agenda Item 13 – Economic Development Strategy should be taken as an urgent item as they had been received after the agenda was published. 

 

Members were also reminded  that they had been emailed a version of Appendix A to Agenda Item 15 – Installing Renewable Energy Technology which had been originally omitted from the papers.  The Chairman also intended to take this as an urgent item.

9.

Notification of Visiting Members

Minutes:

Councillor Mrs Gooch indicated her wish to speak on Agenda Item 13.  Councillor Ash indicated he was just observing and Councillor Mrs Ring reserved her right to speak on Agenda Item 13.

 

10.

Disclosures by Members and Officers

Minutes:

There were no disclosures by Members or Officers.

 

11.

Disclosures of Lobbying

Minutes:

It was noted that the majority of the Committee had been lobbied on Agenda Item 13.

12.

Presentation of Petitions (if any)

Minutes:

There were no petitions.

 

13.

Questions and answer session for members of the public

Minutes:

It was noted that no questions had been received from members of the public.

 

14.

Exempt Items

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the items on the agenda be taken in public as proposed.

15.

Minutes of the meeting held on 26 May 2015 pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the Minutes of the meeting held on 26 May 2015 be approved and signed subject to some amendments made to those present.

16.

Reference from Council - Cycling Infrastructure pdf icon PDF 39 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

DECISION MADE:

 

1)  That the progress made to date be noted; and

2)  That any future reports should be taken to the Strategic Planning,
  Sustainability and Transport Committee on the cycling
  infrastructure for consideration unless there is a delay on the
  funding, in which case it should come back to this Committee.

 

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Officer advised Members that this Reference from Council related to a project that the Economic Development Team had secured some funding for to improve the tow path along the River Medway between East Farleigh and Aylesford.  As part of the Integrated Transport Strategy Spatial Policy were also refreshing their approach to cycling routes in the borough and were working closely with the re-energised Cycling Forum. 

The Regeneration and Economic Development Manager then appraised Members of the progress made to date with regard to the funding for the cycle path along the Medway from Allington Lock to Barming or Teston Bridge.

It was noted that Tonbridge and Malling had originally indicated that they would not be able to provide any funding for this project, however they would be reviewing the situation and would consider it as part of their capital programme in September. It was noted that Kent County Council (KCC) were keen to see the scheme progressed and were carrying out some design work. 

RESOLVED: 

1)  That the progress to date be noted; and

2)  That any future reports should be presented to the Strategic
  Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee on the cycling
  infrastructure for their consideration unless there is a delay on the
  funding, in which case it should come back to this Committee.

17.

Annual Performance Report 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

DECISION MADE:

 

1)  That the performance against the 2014/15 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the end of year Strategic Plan action updates, as set out in Appendix A to the Report of the Head of Policy and Communications be noted;

2)  That the new Key Performance Indicators set and targets for the Strategic Plan 2015-20 set out in Appendix C to the report be agreed subject to the following amendments:-

(a) Outcome 4: Ensuring there are good Leisure and Cultural 
  Attractions

 
Remove - MCL Number of people attending the Mela (NEW)

  Include –User satisfaction with the Hazlitt Arts Centre (NEW)

(b) Outcome 7: Promoting a range of employment
  opportunities and skills required across the borough

 
Include – Number of new businesses using the Business
  Hub in the Gateway Terrace (NEW)

3)  That the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee be
  recommended to monitor the performance of the Commercial
  Waste Service.

Minutes:

The Head of Policy and Communications presented her report on the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the end of year Strategic Plan action dates, together with new Key Performance Indicators set and targets for the Strategic Plan 2015-20.

Members noted where good performance had been achieved and the action being taken by Officers for areas where performance had declined.

In response to Members’ questions relating to areas where no KPIs existed, it was noted that Service Committees could take on the monitoring of those areas under their remit, of particular relevance was the Commercial Waste Service which had been in operation for some time now.  It was agreed that this should be reviewed by the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee. 

Members were also keen for a satisfaction performance target to be created for the voluntary organisations that the Council had contractual relationships with.  The Director of Regeneration and Communities undertook to discuss this with the Head of Policy and Communications.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1)  That the performance against the 2014/15 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the end of year Strategic Plan action updates, as set out in Appendix A to the Report of the Head of Policy and Communications, be noted;

2)  That the new Key Performance Indicators set and targets for the Strategic Plan 2015-20 set out in Appendix C to the report be agreed subject to the following amendments:-

(a) Outcome 4: Ensuring there are good Leisure and Cultural 
  Attractions

   
Remove - MCL Number of people attending the Mela (NEW)

  Include – User satisfaction with the Hazlitt Arts Centre (NEW)

(b) Outcome 7: Promoting a range of employment
  opportunities and skills required across the Borough

 
Include – Number of new businesses using the Business
  Hub in the Gateway Terrace (NEW)

3)  That the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee be
  recommended to monitor the Commercial Waste Service in relation
  to its performance.

 

Voting:  For – 14  Against – 0  Abstain - 0

18.

Economic Development Strategy pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

DECISION MADE:

That the changes to the Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan as set out in Appendix 3 to the report of the Director of Regeneration and Communities be agreed and that the draft Economic Development Strategy is adopted as the Council’s Strategy to support economic growth and prosperity for the Borough.

Minutes:

Members were presented with some urgent updates and the meeting was adjourned for several minutes in order that the papers could be read.

After the meeting was reconvened the Economic Development Manager presented his report.  It was noted that the previous Economic Development Strategy was produced prior to the recession in 2008 and it was therefore vital for a new Economic Development Strategy to be produced to give Maidstone a direction of travel in terms of jobs and economic growth.

Members heard from members of Shared Intelligence who were commissioned to assist in the preparation of the Strategy and Facts International who carried out the residents’ consultation.

It was noted that the Strategy would formulate a programme of actions to take forward the journey to deliver the Council’s vision by 2031.

 

In response to concerns from some Members that Junction 8 had been specifically identified in paragraph 6.21 of the Strategy, it was emphasised that this had been included to demonstrate where suitable sites had been identified and also because it was in the Local Plan.

It was proposed by Councillor Mrs Stockell and seconded by Councillor Round that paragraph 6.21 of the draft Economic Development Strategy be removed from the Strategy.  When put to the vote this proposal was lost.

Voting:    For – 4   Against – 11   Abstain – 0

RESOLVED:  That the changes to the Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan as set out in Appendix 3 to the report of the Director of Regeneration and Communities be agreed and that the draft Economic Development Strategy be adopted as the Council’s Strategy to support economic growth and prosperity for the Borough.

Voting:  For – 11  Against – 3  Abstain – 1

Councillor McKay left the meeting after this agenda item had concluded.

19.

Risk Management Process Refresh pdf icon PDF 352 KB

Decision:

DECISION MADE:

 

1)  That the Committee approved moving ahead with the process to build and maintain a comprehensive risk register as set in Section 4 and Appendix 1 to the report of the Director of Environment and Shared Services;

2)  That delegated authority is given to the Chief Executive (as the accountable officer) to take operational decisions necessary for the ongoing maintenance and review of the risk register; and

3)  That the Committee receive and consider bi-annual summary risk register reports for review, scheduled for January and July.


Minutes:

The Head of Audit Partnership presented his report on the Risk Management Process Refresh.

 

Members noted that the proposed changes to the risk management process were driven by a review that had been undertaken by Mid Kent Audit of risk management processes at another authority.

 

RESOLVED:

 

1)  That the Committee approved moving ahead with the process to build and maintain a comprehensive risk register as set in Section 4 and Appendix 1 to the report of the Director of Environment and Shared Services;

2)  That delegated authority is given to the Chief Executive (as the accountable officer) to take operational decisions necessary for the ongoing maintenance and review of the risk register; and

3)  That the Committee receive and consider bi-annual summary risk register reports for review, scheduled for January and July.

Voting  13 – For  0 – Against  0 - Abstain

20.

Installing Renewable Energy Technology pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

DECISION MADE:

1)  That the purchase, installation and operation of photovoltaic technology  be approved on the following buildings with the Council’s estate:-

  (a)  Lockmeadow Market Hall – 50kw Array
  (b)  Vinters Park Crematorium – 10kw and 4kw Array
  (c)  Magnolia House – 24kw Array

2)  That the purchase of renewably generated electricity from a third party at Maidstone House be approved;

3)  That a budget of £125,000 to implement the recommendations be 
 approved;

4)  That delegated authority be given to the Commercial Projects Manager to spend the budget and enter into the appropriate contracts to implement the recommendations;

5)  That delegated authority be given to the Commercial Projects Manager to obtain the necessary permissions and licences to implement the recommendations including the registration for Feed in Tariff; sale, export or purchase of electricity; and appropriate agreements with the District Network Operator; and to assign those permissions and licences as appropriate;

6)  That the progression of the work towards entering into an assignable power purchase agreement with a generator of renewable energy be approved and the trial for Maidstone House and the Gateway be agreed.


 

Minutes:

The Commercial Projects Manager presented his report on the installation of renewable energy technology.

Members were advised that solar panels had been installed at the Council’s depot as a trial in March this year and had exceeded all expectations in terms of projected energy savings.

Following this success, a feasibility study of some of the Council’s other sites was undertaken and five sites were identified.  This would enable a wider take up of renewable energy across the Council’s estate, and the wider Borough.

RESOLVED:

1)  That the purchase, installation and operation of photovoltaic technology be approved on the following buildings with the Council’s estate:-

  (a)  Lockmeadow Market Hall – 50kw Array
  (b)  Vinters Park Crematorium – 10kw and 4kw Array
  (c)  Magnolia House – 24kw Array

2)  That the purchase of renewably generated electricity from a third party at Maidstone House be approved;

3)  That a budget of £125,000 to implement the recommendations be 
 approved;

4)  That delegated authority be given to the Commercial Projects Manager to spend the budget and enter into the appropriate contracts to implement the recommendations;

5)  That delegated authority be given to the Commercial Projects Manager to obtain the necessary permissions and licences to implement the recommendations including the registration for Feed in Tariff; sale, export or purchase of electricity; and appropriate agreements with the District Network Operator; and to assign those permissions and licences as appropriate; and

6)  That the progression of the work towards entering into an assignable power purchase agreement with a generator of renewable energy be approved and the trial for Maidstone House and the Gateway be agreed.

Voting:    For – 14  Against – 0  Abstain - 0


 

21.

Duration of Meeting

Minutes:

6.30 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.