Mr Jake Hamilton - 0:00:00 and welcome to the first meeting of Overview and Scrutiny,
the first item of business is to appoint a chair, so you do we have any nominations.
like to nominate Councillor Davidson Davidson, and we have a proposal, a seconder.
and we have any other nominations at all.
one can have a show of hands or all in favour of.
Councillor Davies in his chair,
that's what we've been.
OK, so Councillor Davidson is duly appointed as Chair.
1 Appointment of Chair
if you'd like to Emma.
well, thank you very much. Everybody, and I look forward to working
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:01:48 with everyone on the committee and bringing all of your skills and experience to bear in scrutinising the important things that come before us as a committee
so good evening and welcome to the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. This meeting will be webcast live to the internet. For those of you who do not wish to be recorded or filmed, you'll need to leave the chamber for members officers and other speaking at the meeting. It's important that the microphones are used, so viewers on the webcast and others in the room may hear you would anyone with a mobile phone, please switch it to silent mode as they can be distracting I'd like to remind members that, although we all have strong opinions on matters under consideration, it's important to treat members officers and public speakers with respect.
so we are moving on to Item 2 appointment of the vice chair,
Cllr Anita Jones - 0:02:48 are there any nominations for Vice Chair of the Committee?
I'd like to nominate Councillor John Wyn.
thank you is that seconded
I like to second John, when
Cllr James Butcher - 0:03:01 thank you, Councillor Butcher, are there any other nominations?
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:03:04 no, all those in favour.
think that is unanimous.
congratulations, Councillor wing.
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:03:56 OK,
so the next item is apologies for absence, do we have any apologies for absence?
Mr Jake Hamilton - 0:04:05 no apologies, Chair,
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:04:08 thank you very much, and are there any declarations of interest?
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:04:18 knoop Kay,
so the next item is item 5 appointment of the members and election of the Chair to the Finance and performance Scrutiny Sub-Committee, and if he said Chairman, then it was Chair to the Finance and performance Scrutiny Sub-Committee, we can just amend the language.
are there any nominations?
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:04:47 through the Chair, I would like to nominate Councillor McConville.
and is that seconded?
Cllr John Wing - 0:04:55 thank you, Councillor, when
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:04:57 are there any other nominations?
no, all those in favour.
Cllr Connor McConville - 0:05:05
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:05:07 I think that's unanimous, thank you very much.
Cllr Connor McConville - 0:05:13
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:05:15 and we have nominations in front of us for the makeup of the finance performance scrutiny subcommittee.
is the committee happy to agree those nominations,
I think that deals with item 5,
so moving on to the minutes of the last meeting, I know that not all members would have been present there, but are there any comments on the minutes counselling
Cllr John Wing - 0:05:48 for future on on page 2 of the minutes it speaks about which is talking about the 7 Walter?
cabinet member, who was then Councillor, Whybrow after questions of what measures were in place to create capacity at the folksy seafront development,
we actually also included Sandgate Road, but and then
it was replied Dan Bomberg page that they would
look into it and come back.
Councillor Akbar was contacted once to regarding how much information was required and said that they will get back to her hadn't this far, so no BIS committee has never received the information, so basically we haven't been supinely feedback from Southern Water about capacity when folks in seafront with the new development and we're very can cope with it and, I think these things should be chased up, I mean, I think it's important that any questions asked are answered.
yeah, thank you, Councillor wing.
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:06:48 is it possible, through the Committee, to follow up so that we have answers back to the committee and getting nods, so that will be very helpful, thank you thanks for raising that Councillor being other any other comments on the minutes.
Cllr Connor McConville - 0:07:03
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:07:06 thank you, is there a seconder for the minutes?
Cllr John Wing - 0:07:07 I don't have the discipline
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:07:10 to thank you, Kay is that agreed, everybody
agreed, thank you.
and moving on then to the other set of minutes in front of us for the Finance and performance Scrutiny Sub-Committee, are there any comments
Cllr Connor McConville - 0:07:25 on those minutes, Councillor McConville?
happy to confirm them as a correct record, thank you, thank you,
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:07:33 and is there a seconder for those
Cllr Elaine Martin - 0:07:35 second, thank you, Councillor Martin, is that agreed?
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:07:39 OK, thank you, everybody.
moving on to Item 8, this is a new.
item on the Committee agenda cabinet member update and we're delighted to be joined this evening by the first cabinet member to take up this.
this kind offer to come before the committee, so we're very grateful to Councillor Schofield for stepping forward
and would like to invite Councillor Scotland to speak for perhaps five minutes, Councillors Goffin in terms of giving us an update on your portfolio and decisions made in your portfolio thanks
Cllr Stephen Scoffham - 0:08:23 well, thank you very much for the introduction and I'm absolutely delighted to talk about the carbon reduction plan, the district wide carbon reduction plan which is, a really important document, but a difficult one to write, because so much of the carbon reduction activities will lie outside the direct control of the district council, you're probably picked up from the documentation that 99 point
for 99.6 I think it's like 9.6% of the carbon emissions that,
affect the district, are not in the direct control of the council, so this means that we're looking at a policy which requires
public cooperation public.
behaviour change in many ways and cooperation with businesses, with local groups, and
whoever it is who we can work with across the district to make a difference on carbon, so there is indirect input rather than a direct input, and that's probably a little bit unusual for some of the work which the the district council has done in the past, so
there are two main.
initiatives, the carbon innovation lab and the sustainable futures forum, both of which are underway, and I pay tribute to the people, my predecessors, who set this up dot this moving, and particularly to the officers who done the work on on all this groundwork to get us to this point. So we're at an interesting point, a valuable point, and it's the right if you've read the appendices and the various other documents that are in front of us. The larger issue, which is COPD 26 comma 2 27, the understanding which is now widely accepted across international communities, that the decisions that we make in the next 10 years are going to be crucial for many hundreds of years, maybe thousands of years. This is a critical moment and carbon reduction is a key part of this. It's a really important agenda, but it's one which is, as I say, coming a little bit left of centre, so the recommendations that are receiving to note the report
do look at the work and a note of the work of the carbon innovation lab and that futures forum and the proposal to approach the public for engagement. So in a nutshell, that's where we are with this, and I hope that introduction just to give you a flavour of of where we are
thank you, Councillor Schofield, and I think we're coming to that item on the agenda item 11, and so that's a helpful introduction. When we, when we get to that point, is there anything that you wanted to say more generally in relation to your portfolio at this moment in time, or I could invite members if they have any questions about
links, but what I'd like to say is that when I introduce myself and say Well, I'm responsible for climate change and biodiversity, to
people who have been talking to rugby and talking very widely, both to the local community and to expert agencies
as being responsible for climate change is not a very good place to be so maybe what I'm looking at is trying to identify some priorities and achievable priorities and ways of working with the local community so that we can harness. I suspect that
from the work that we've done and the campaigning that we've done, talking to local groups, that there is a considerable amount of energy in different communities across the district people who are aware that there's a problem, and some people don't acknowledge it, and some people they had in the sand, but other people say, Well, what can we actually do about this and there's a lot of enthusiasm and energy for doing something, but for doing what and harnessing that energy isn't going to cost very much money, a little bit of pump-priming money would help, but a lot more obviously and would be very valuable and important and a certain amount of officer time would be needed in it, but that there's a a big game for a small outlay on focusing on community action, which will enable the agenda that we've got in front of us to happen and finding ways of doing that and finding ways of letting the grassroots grow up words rather than the leadership coming downwards will be an interesting challenge. I think, but it could be very rewarding so that setting viable targets where do we want to go to what can we reasonably achieve?
It's an open agenda. and we can't tackle it all at once, and we're not going to make
a worldwide difference, but doing what we can in our own district and having an impact is really important is good for people is good for the area and it sets an example which others will be hopefully looking at and inspired by and the electric charging point that what we rehearse in them in this room this morning talking about the electric charging points with an inspiring example and the
just CEO of the company concerned was saying how interested he was, what we were doing in Folkestone and how we had decided as a key
council, which I wasn't involved at the time. I paid tribute to the decisions that were made in the past and got on with it and are now leading the way in a really exciting in a really exciting in a community which is diverse rather than a community that is privileged, and that was one of the points that came across this morning. So meaningful targets, meaningful priorities, working with the local community upwards and and maximising the gains that we can get from the concerns and enthusiasm which are out there. If we can find the right way to
focus them and maybe a set of of sustainability hubs across the district would provide that sort of umbrella where people and communities can come together,
thank you for this opportunity to expand,
thank you very much, I think that's very helpful introduction,
does anyone on the committee have any comment or thought or question in response to what Councillor Scotland has said without putting him on the spot too much in his first appearance Councillor Butcher?
thank you Chair, and thank you, Councillor Schofield, for that really helpful introduction and very encouraging to hear.
about that idea of harnessing community groups community energy, and I just wonder how that is to be initiated, laid supported whether by ward councillors or officers, I just wonder if any thinking has happened so far about that.
question to me, so just put it in a nutshell, James
can you just repeat the question for me?
yes, I'm just wondering how that community action community energy can be harnessed, lane supported in practical terms whether that's through officers, ward councillors
or yes, yeah yeah, thank you for
giving me the chance to expand on it a little bit further yeah, I think again being a new to this particular role. I'm
feeling my way on this, but simply showing interest where ward councillors
are available and willing to turn up for events which seem to be under the umbrella of carbon reduction, sustainability and one of the things I would like to
remind myself, apart from anything else, is that the emergency declaration was was climate change and biodiversity, and that's why the title Sustainability gives us a bigger umbrella under which to work and given the fact that the environmental problems that we're facing are not individual but all very closely interrelated and reinforce each other in all sorts of unexpected ways. I think that brings up bigger umbrella of sustainability brings together that emergency declaration of biodiversity and climate change, so I think in many ways the lead can come from different places, but it can come from ward councillors who are engaging with this and enabling local communities to do what they want to do anyway, and just opening doors being there,
maybe pointing them in the right direction for funding.
supporting them in public and giving them the feeling that this is a direction which is one that is really worth pursuing, I think it is early days yet.
so I wouldn't have been able to put on the table a fully fledged programme for this, but if the opportunity arose, I'd certainly like to develop that thinking further and come up, perhaps I don't know the forum which was to be presented but in a more detailed outline of how this would work and the possible financial support that we could.
hopefully this may be from the climate change reserve would be a really interesting thing to do.
thank you very much any other thoughts or comments from members of the committee.
thank you Chair only briefly yesterday evening where the very interesting talk from the officers of on housing, and I think it's interesting about. that aiming for a PCC by 2030 one day excitingly MPC A by 2050. They're very honest about. This, obviously is within the constraints of the Housing Revenue account, but I think the work done by the housing team they are trying their best to achieve is nothing that will help us achieve our climate aims.
I think it's exactly right, I think there isn't there's no one stop solution, that's the example of a really important one, and I think social wellbeing is very much part of this bigger agenda. So
I'm treading carefully here because.
if your input rings a fence round it, you find that this carbon reduction and sustainability agenda flows into too many things and becomes hard to pin down so.
yes, tread a little bit carefully on the social welfare because that's a slightly different issue, but food banks and the well being of a community, a resilient community, and a community which is flourishing will be a community that cares for its environment and cares what it does and that that will mean that they will want or naturally be interested in doing the type of carbon reduction work that we want to do but haven't got the direct influenced.
power to initiate, so it's working indirectly but flourishing communities. lead to a flourishing environment and impoverished communities on bike or, conversely, a larval to lead to impoverished environments.
thank you very much, Councillor Schofield, and we may well come back
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:19:31 to you later in the meeting when we come to Item 11 talking about the carbon reduction plan, but for now thanks very much for
your contribution to the meeting and joining us this evening,
9 Levelling Up fund delivery
so I think we're gonna move on to Item 9 which is the levelling up funds delivery
we don't have.
a kind of formal report or paper in front of us, but I think we have officers who joined us this evening to talk through the presentation.
why I believe the slides that we're going to see are also on.
if people are following along on the webcast available for people to look at,
so if officers would like to take us through, that would be really helpful, so introductions might be useful for us all if we've not met before and also perhaps just to clarify to the committee what you're seeking from Members this evening because we don't have formal proposals in front of us that will be useful to get some guidance, I think for the committee as we're listening to the presentation.
thank you Chair.
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 0:20:40 starting with the instructions in my name is Roger lean on the chief officer for place and growth, and I'm also accompanied tonight by my esteemed colleague.
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 0:20:58 shall I introduce him and that's probably easier, isn't it, so Amat rain?
Mr Matt Rain - 0:21:12 thanks her, I take it personally from the tech mon hazmat rain on the ODI and engagement senior specialist.
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 0:21:21 going seamlessly, isn't it at the moment, so they're totally through the levelling up exciting levelling up project
and to answer your question really keen to get your views, any concerns you have with what is being proposed and you have to as I talk you through the the slides, you'll see that we're kind of starting out on the kind of more detailed design of of the projects, so there's lots of opportunities to engage and and add comment and critique as as we go through the process so really keen just to get your overview over. your sort of view of it really at this stage in any kind of observations or concerns that you may have, that you want us to kind of consider would be really useful,
so if I start off with the background, so I've got a clicker here,
the backgrounds of the office of the project,
we had an opportunity, through the central government, to lodge a bid for the levelling up fund, there's different rounds of funding
and at the time they gave a priority rating to the at various towns that were quite deprived in the area that would benefit from the funding,
as with a squadron of government, funding is quite a quick turnaround, and they want a lot of key evidence to back up the the the scheme, and I think at that particular point in time I think we felt we weren't quite ready for lodging a bid, so we decided to develop the the the kind of proposal we wanted to put together. So we commissioned
a project which formulated in the place plan that basically looked at some blue sky thinking. If you like, for folks, in town centre, we had a an urban appraisal,
which basically then delivered kind of an outcome of 70 different interventions that we that folks and would benefit from
from a funding if it if it was lucky enough to get it
so from that 70 projects, as you can imagine, if we were to implement all of those projects, we would probably take up the whole of the allocated or levelling up fund for the for the country, so we had to rationalise that down, so some work was carried out and then a cabinet paper went in September 21 to rationalise the projects down and select the six priority projects, and those you can see on the screen there with a station arrival we had the improved town centre gateway and the road layout,
we at the Foca Sandgate Road and the town centre public realm and then were the F 51, which is the skateboard. The new skateboard provision
and the environment around that and pay us park, and then we had hotline and Tramroad, which it was the old sort of line onto the harbour on there, and then there was Sunny Sands, some interventions there, so we as part of that approval we managed to then do some further work on those particular schemes to kind of, it gives a more detailed costings, and also during that period we had the levelling up round, too, it is really important that guidance comes out with the next round, so when that eventually came out, we were then able to kind of align which projects of those six we felt were best placed to take advantage of that funding so in June 22 we then,
to try to narrow those down to the projects you see there, which has a station arrival and town centre connections, the improved town centre gateway and road layouts and the bus station, and then the Foca thank a rose and a town centre public realm, so those were the sort of projects that we then chose to lodge.
and I'll talk a little bit more about the sort of funding in in a second but wanted to show you the area that would therefore we lodged it as a bit, so this is the overall project area, so you can see in that in the north or west there is the substation Central station and the aim is to draw people from that into the town centre and help with the navigation. I'll come on to a little bit more detail down Sherrington Road in this Shepperton garden, say and try and
overcome some of the legacy highway issues there as a result of the ferry port that was once in in Folkestone, and then there's the public realm works as you go down to the south south-west corner of Sandgate, Road and focus, so that's the sort of project area as a total.
the this isn't a bit more detail, so really the station approach, as you can see there on a screen, is these are. The plans amateurs caveat that these are the plans that we submitted as part of the of the application, so as part of the work that we're doing at the moment, these have changed slightly, but not fundamentally, but obviously I didn't do more detail. They have altered, so the these are not the plans that await we're kind of going with David evolved, but essentially the rationale for this area here was about improving the sense of arrival as you come off the trains, the train and come into the station area as I'm sure most of you know when you go there, so it's not a particularly pleasant area, so much needed improvement there, so it's obviously the first experience for a new visitor coming into the town, so we wanted to improve that and then we were looking at the wayfinding so you get off the train, you have a nice experience and then how do you get to the town centre or various other locations within Folkestone, so we're very keen to improve the wayfinding make it much more intuitive because there are quite a lot of junctions as you go from that point down at a town centre which are not overly clear and therefore that was kind of a key point that was raised earlier that earlier piece of work was carried out of the place plan.
this is the improved town centre gateways of his talks around the Sherratt and Road and Sheridan Gardens, which are the two sort of roads that lead back to the station, you have middle Berg Square there with the with the saga building in the centre and then you have the the railway or a bus station you might see in which move from which is gonna move from the that where it is now and is gonna be more of a linear,
feature along Middle Bogue South, so come on to that again and a bit more detail, so again it was to introduce more green into the area to make it a more pleasant environment to slow traffic down and give more a more pleasant environment for both pedestrians and cyclists. So we take advantage of that, taking on part of the biodiversity, trying to get people to walk and any sort of cycle into the town centre,
and then we're looking to restore, which was once a lovely town square. We're looking to restore that again, which is currently the the bus station, and I was the the bus station itself, talking to Stagecoach, actually operate from an operational point of view, isn't particularly successful as it currently exists, so they were quite pleased that we were looking to to suggest that the more linear approach.
then come on to the the sort of other scheme, which is a focus on Gate Road and the town pub town centre public realm. So this is looking at really trying to improve that that town centre, with sort of enhancements to the public realm
also, and quite importantly, trying to not only improve the hard area but also try and improve the the way we kind of and animate the space. There's gonna be quite a bit of work on the softer elements to improve how people can put on events, how we can kind of improve the the area that ensures the vibrancy in the town centre, try and encourage people up from the very popular area at the moment, which is the creative quarter. So it's really trying to to fix that sort. Of course, out core town centre area
so so what's happened to date, so we had the announcement which was initially in October, I think where they were and wanting to do it in October 22, the announcement didn't come until the tail end of January 23.
and then there was a whole series of of little hoops that we had to get through, not least the subsidy control check which with quite an interesting exercise. we had to do that first, and then the memorandum of understanding which is at MOU was then
signed on the 17th of of March, and that enabled us then really to sort of crack on with confidence in terms of appointments, etc
the delivery deliverability of the projects, as you can see, there is a very tight time frame in terms of March
that is is an interesting timeframe that says we're challenging, so we're looking to to meet that as best we can, but I think a lot of the other local authorities are kind of finding a challenge as well, but we are looking to strive to that date,
but we we we when we are in discussions with with D-lock which is the Department for livening up and community housing and communities,
we had an inception meeting with them on the 17th of April which is very interesting so they can talk through the whole.
reporting mechanisms of a programme, what they expect to the program, how you sort of deal with all the financial changes, if you need to make changes or any financial any project changes as a whole mechanism there that we have to get to grips with and fully understand.
and just the sort of backtracks slightly. We had KCC, who've been a great partner on this, this programme. To date,
we decided at risk to sort of start the procurement process for the appointing
AQIM, the design consultant and eventually one. We wanted to do that because we knew that if there was a delay, that we would be even more pressed if we didn't have that exercise undertaken, so we took the decision to do that at risk, but we didn't appoint until we had the MOU signed, so that was a critical point there, but at least we could press the button as soon as we. We got that agreement confirmed, so that's enabled us to really plough on now with the with the design, in total has been a whole raft of work that's been going on from those designs. I just showed you, they've petite those that's really important because you go in at a quite high level and you've got a very quickly get into the detail and look at the key risks and the Kyllachy, deliverable risks as well, and financial risk. So the a candid account of a review of all of those areas and highlighted some of the key issues and also suggestions on how we can overcome it, so we received that back in April and that enabled us to really plough on with the designs going forward, so there's a whole series of design meetings that have taken place and we've now got to the point where we've got
some designs ready to to show to the public.
we also, as you know, well if you've read the bid documents,
there was quite a lot in there about the artistic partner bringing somebody in to create that sort of thread if you like, of creative industry that sort of happened in and around the creative quarter and to weave that through because it's a really key unique selling point of Folkestone having wanted to make sure that that was kind of harness through to create really holistic design that connected all the areas together so after a tender and procurement exercise rather we appointed creative Folkestone
and they are now in the throes of really analyzing. and how we implement that and give the wow factor if you like, to a kind of a normal regeneration rep programme.
and then, as part of any project management, especially with that time frame, you really need robust management and good governance arrangements in place. So again that that's all into I'll talk a bit more about that later, on
the budget overall budgets, to just shy of 22 million,
and you can see they are the breakdown of those three restrict respective projects, those Toplis. There also include the delivered sort of fees and investigation works, and all the other elements you expect to do as part of the delivery and there's lots of contingency in there because, as you all know, the
the market has been quite fluctuating in terms of materials and bill costs, so we've got to be quite smart with that as well.
that there, you very, very small, is the sort of governance structure, and essentially, that is a kind of a tiered, so we got the programme steering group at the bottom there, which is the day-to-day sort of management. If you like, author of the programme and as issues and and situations arise because of escalate that up through those different boards
so that the top board, as you can see, is a Cabinet Member briefings that will come through in a timely fashion and they're being programmed in
they're already programmed in, so you'll you'll get to see those one and, as I mentioned earlier, there's a there's a whole raft of kind of.
engagement, opportunities as well, to to look at the programme
and then, and that's a timely hand over to my colleague Matt.
Mr Matt Rain - 0:34:09 yeah thanks Rod, so
up with the communications and engagement strategy and that very much builds on the work that we've done to date in the development of the place plan, already in the priority areas for the project,
and these are the objectives of that strategy and hopefully ones that you'd expect so we want insight provided by stakeholders and the community in relation to things like project activity milestones and
and the impacts
we want a voice as interest as possible
in the programme for its purpose and it's expected dot com
and outcomes, we
also want to ensure a voice for all that's enabled through creative and innovative means of engagement, so Rudd talk to them about our
creative us peers or
as a town, we really want to build on that with some of our engagement activities as well which we'll talk about in just a second. no.
create an environment to promote that genuine two-way
communication communication with our community in terms of public engagement with them
and, of course, our communication platforms internally will be.
keeping the community abreast of how we're getting on.
giving opportunities for feedback and letting them know of key milestones too,
so we have identified a number of audiences in terms of our strategy, so we have our internal stakeholders, such as yourselves and our strategic partners, like State Stagecoach, for example,
we've got through our wider stakeholder engagement which will be looking at that. people who are probably going to be more impacted by this than others are those people within the project area, businesses, for example, and those with a vested interest in that area, and then we've got our wider public engagement, which is for everybody within our community.
and then, as if to the further stream, we've got our our staff engagement, and I think Rudolph and myself will talk a bit about folk to next
and that might be part of that, the engagement around that.
OK, so we've got a couple of consultations in the in the pipeline, one one very soon is planned for next week, so phase one of our project area isn't on that map there, but it's the area that Rogers highlighted from Folkestone Central down towards Chirton Road, and then we're Cheriton, Road and Cheriton Gardens split, and it stops just before middle beg square there. So that's gonna be on what we're calling phase 1 for our first public engagement events, so that's next week and you'll be we'll be hearing much more about that by the end of this week with some communication that we've got coming out.
a second public consultation. That's where the you know the Folkestone us p of being innovative and creative hopefully reflects here, because we're gonna look to procure
a virtual reality partner in effect, we're gonna be looking to build a digital twin of Folkestone itself
and looking to map the project area in virtual reality so that people can enjoy an immersive experience when they're looking at engaging with the project and can really see and bring it to life.
So I want to show you a video. I don't know if it's going on how well it's going to work that will give it a go, so bear with me for just two sex
OK so that the sound isn't on this, but this is an example of what we will create with the folks and digital twin, this is an area of Wirral. which is Birkenhead just next to the river Mersey, and from this you can see that we'll have a 3D overview
which is very adaptable and that we can zoom down into as well if he wanted to, his model also allows for things like gamification, which has worked really successfully in a one or two other local authorities or local authority areas, or actually people would have an opportunity to comment on the public engagement within the virtual reality environment. So you can actually ask them questions and they can answer yes or no in terms of the placement of things for example, how how much they think a road junction is gonna be successful?
I think that's an important point, which is gonna be owned by us, as well as a local authority so I saw ownership and how we want to use this in the future, certainly very much up to us as well, and there will be opportunities for us to use this in other ways, not just for public engagement events.
so that's the sort of macro view of our digital twin and just one more, if I may just give you an example of what it might look like.
in a virtual reality, environment.
so this is a fly-through example from Berwick-upon-Tweed where
they develop the 3D model, but then
you can actually go into further detail and this is what we're gonna be looking to do with the Phase 2 project area we're gonna be looking to go into this detail will be able to produce these fly-through videos and also to create an immersive experience for people who come to our engagement events where they can actually walk cycle jetpack and Folkestone.
and be able to really experience what the what the future of Folkestone looks like, so we are really hoping to.
quakes are quite special, with the leveraging of virtual reality and digital technology for this,
and that will be when we get on to phase two.
OK, so I just touched on those legacy opportunities that we think this kind of approach will bring, he's just a summary of them, so
we can share our model with other stakeholders, so there might be opportunities in the town for other stakeholders to once a plug in their buildings or their networks into this model and actually use it for their own reasons.
perhaps if you've got architects, for example, working on buildings in the in the town centre, they might want to upload their drawings into the model and use it to visualise how those are going to look at, certainly happened in other local authorities or local authority areas where this has been used Watford, for example, may actually require
to be uploaded to the digital model with the pre applications and then I can use that as an income generation strategy as well.
this was gonna be relevant and upskilling as well, certainly with within staff, and we hope to create a bit of a legacy within the town, perhaps where we can upskill some of our community in somebody's digital skills that will need to to run and operate this model.
and there's just a quote there from contacts at the Wirral,
and they found that actually, given that the entire district at the Wirral in 3D and they found it's invaluable for informing development projects, improving design, assisting with consultation engagement and supporting also business development as well as a showcase for their their district and what it looks like so they've really found it's helped with that.
back to you, thank God.
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 0:41:34 next match.
So really this is the final slide, which basically just gives you the the programme schedule, and you can get a view there that we've got sort of phase 1 and phase 2.
The the aim of this sort of phasing really is to enable the kind of logistics of transferring the bus station, which has one of the key elements onto them Middlebrook South, so we need to get the Middlebrook south than first in order to to shift the bus station successfully and then we need to very quickly move with the Bouverie Square design. So the you can see the the outline of the design. There are also the the timeline there. We are just getting that updated at the moment, just to ensure that where we're kind of on track and you'll notice there, those of you who can see that we've got September 25 and not March 25, on the and that's because we want to do a realistic timeframe to actually see how long it takes, we're obviously looking at smart ways to reduce that down, but we do get a chance to go to D-lock to talk about what they call a project adjustments.
process so we can go there and we've been advised to try and minimise that, so we want to go there in one hits rather than doing it several times to ensure that
we we can give them the correct information. So so were we, that's kind of give you a bit of an overview there that probably will change a little bit, but I don't think too much, so that just gives you an indication of where we are. So it is very quick, timely projects, quite a lot to do.
We've also got other schemes that are sort of showing interest in starting as well in terms of middle Berg house, so we want to make sure that we don't compromise that when we're doing our work as well, so you don't want to try and work with those sort of key stakeholders, so it's really critical that we get tiny responses as well, and obviously there's different processes that we have to go through in terms of all the safety audits that happen with all of these design. So again, you have an enormous amount of different consultees that have to come back to you, so again, is how you keep that all on track,
so a good challenge, but an exciting outcome. I think hopefully you'll agree, but I'm happy to to feel some questions. Thank you
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:43:48 thank you very much, and there's a lot, obviously there for people to take in, I think and the fact that it's moving at pace, you know obviously presents challenges,
and I think one of the things that I would say through the through the Chair is that in the earlier stages of this there was still a lot of people who didn't know that it was happening, that the work on the place plan was happening. They didn't find ways to kind of contribute to the consultation. I think they were quite low levels of participation in some of the surveys that were carried out and so on, so one of the concerns would be moving at this speed.
How do we make sure that there is genuine kind of community engagement on on these plans as they move forward and that that's a diverse engagement
so that would be something that I'd want to to cover in any response, but I'll open it up to the floor if there's any other comments or questions at this point people want to raise.
Cllr Elaine Martin - 0:44:50 however, I just wondered if there is any plans for dealing with the her disused empty shops in the High Street down the sort of will Cohen did the
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 0:45:05 I thank you for your question and well, unfortunately, not directly, but we hope for indirectly through the work that we're doing, that that'll encourage inward investment to come down because they see this confidence as investment going into into that area, so that's part of stimulating what we're doing in terms of the regeneration, so we're aiming to do that and by creating a vibrant centre that was talking about in the area that you're referring to, we're hoping that will kind of add as more credence raise the profile. Hopefully, people wanna get involved and can see that if the footfall starting to increase, they'll see that as an opportunity to open open up what we are doing, a test trading
angel as well. In terms of we're looking to just test a few ideas, and I am sure you know her in terms of Folkestone. There's quite a few areas that little bit deficient at the moment in terms of leisure offer, etc so we're trying to see if we can try and put together some form of test lab to enable people to trial,
trialled during the project period, a kind of
a new product and new service
that they can have a go, do it for free, get some confidence, and then maybe they will then Dover into one of those empty shops, so we're trying to have a very kind of.
as a holistic overview of not just the hard but also the soft side, which allegedly is really important.
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:46:28
Cllr Anita Jones - 0:46:30 I wonder if you could just expand a little bit more on your work with the bus companies, I think that's been a little bit, the concerns of C. they're talking about a lot of cuts at the moment
and, obviously, if we want to bring people into Folkestone, we need that to function well and how that's gonna function of the not having a bus station as we have at the moment, so if you could tell us a bit more about that,
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 0:46:54 thank you for the question yeah, so it's a really important point we've engaged, as you can imagine, quite extensively, with Stagecoach
and Stagecoach have had their own challenges, I think they since then Covid sort of ended they've got a still 20% down on their on their passenger numbers and the costs have gone up 20% so that they're having to really think quite dynamically about how their business evolves and obviously Shelton Road Dapple closure was announced recently, so that's obviously as a result of that.
speaking to to their the director, I think, will win the actual station itself as it currently operates is isn't brilliant, there's a lot of issues there, a lot of potential for four dangers, after all, a banks person their kind of ensuring that people don't cross the inappropriate time so actually having it in a more linear fashion is actually a much better way to operate so he was really kind of all for that and much preferred that rather than the kind of current,
way they operate. The in terms of chronic connections, which I know is a key point as well. The very keen to make sure those connection points work well, so when people come in for one bus to connect to another, there isn't too long a distance so that's all being tested and will be tested and continually tested.
We were also have also asked that when it does evolve and happen, that they come to the engagement processes so they can talk through how the changes are, but more importantly, when it does happen that they have a kind of here to help approach as well. So people are actually, you know, especially come some of the older generation where they might find it difficult with change and will have, hopefully, some people there to help from Stagecoach in order to tell people this is the bus you need to connect, so they get them used to the new route routine, because that's gonna be the big, the big difficulty there,
but we are very mindful of the concerns there and we're even trying to future-proof, so I think there is going to be a reduction, I think in bus stops, that's required at this stage, but Matthew is very keen that we future-proofed it, so we didn't lose the opportunity in this design phase to make sure, as buses, hopefully increase, and people get onto the bus in future, there's opportunity then to to not ruin what we've done as part of the levelling up that we can actually uncover an allocated space ready for a new bustle
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:49:08
Cllr Bridget Chapman - 0:49:12 yeah, it's two questions, really one is, I just wanted to echo what Councillor Davidson said about really making sure that we engage with the community, I think that's really important. and the second one seems a bit minor, I think, but
when I first arrived in Folkestone in 2014, I worked for the Folkestone Triennial and I spent a lot of time in a giant seagull on Sandgate Road outside Debenhams,
and I can tell you that it's a wind tunnel doesn't get a lot, sun can be cold, I would love to see that area being really well used, but I wondered if you'd given that any thought,
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 0:49:50 two excellent questions, and rightly not to refer to to reflect your question earlier on.
in terms of engagement, I think matters probably outline some of the engagements that we're doing, and we've gone that extra yard, if you like, in terms of the VAR, because we are very mindful that we tend to engage with the same people they tend to find where we're where the engagement
can hubs are and I think we're really mindful to try and get other young people interested and get kind of people or work they can easily access it and trial it and see and get people interested, so I think the VAR is a really fantastic way to to enable that to happen, so we hope by doing that that that will that will help and there will be a lot of opportunity. I think the first engagement which is next week has not said that's kind of important in terms of its it's some basic changes and then just to improve the signage. If you like, I think the more interesting phase is the bus station move Sharon star Sharon Rowe. The current new linear park that we're putting in there and also Bouverie Square, and I think that's the bit that we really want to make sure we get plenty of involvement with, because there's an opportunity there with the art and play facility that we're aiming to put in there
that we want to make sure that we get all those views, but we also we also must put aside, as we always had, to have one eye on the maintenance, because that's an important emphasis in terms of cost and and how we run it in the future. So in terms of all, the design will take into consideration or that's and would like to feed back, but I think maintenance also has to bear kind of constraints. If you like, on on what we can achieve
wind-tunnel. Thank you, a wind tunnel absolute again as part of good design, again Van the back actually on middle beg, if you walk round the back of the shopping centre again as a wind tunnel, we're trying to break that up with trees and clever interventions. The issue we have in some of the areas is services underground. There is a plethora of services then how we can navigate those, so we're gonna, we're not going to not do it, we're gonna really kind of see how we can get interventions in there to break back, because that is a key point that we've already raised at the project team have raised, so it's it's something that we're definitely on our radar.
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:51:56 thank you, we have the Cabinet Member with us this evening, so, Councillor Holgate, would you like to come in
Cllr Rich Holgate - 0:52:04 brigade? I just put the chip in and contribute from the engagement point. Just would benefit the counters. I
empathise with a concern around engagement and ensuring that there is every opportunity, so I just wanted to ensure that that's down there was noted that sentiments felt I've already met Matt today we had a very good or good conclusion this afternoon and I did not change his to maximise engagement both in the July consultation and future and so I just wanted to ensure that I was recognised and acknowledged that an Executive Member point of view.
there's been actively apparatus,
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:52:42 thank you, and I think one of the things is, it's quite short notice, isn't it between this week and next week, so in terms of really getting the word out to people, that's gonna be important, and also I think it's too weak days as Nate and I know they go on into the evening I think until seven o'clock, but obviously there will be people who are not able to make that, so whether there's the possibility to look at other engagement, events at a weekend or just broadening that out, so more people can get involved, that would be positive. I think and also I wanted to ask whether we're looking at reconstituting
the town centre working group, which was a kind of standing group under the previous administration, so there was a kind of group of councillors that could be called on various kinds of more regular way to to give feedback on things, so I'd be interested in whether that's going to return thanks
Cllr Rich Holgate - 0:53:31 picture just to speak to both boys and that you'll have eyeglasses chip if I get any longer. but the first point around the the building. to date, the days of the week and the times
the the there are being mitigated by, for example, 4,000 leaflets going to print tomorrow, they'll go out to the to the immediate local area, there is online presence in around their consultation in July as well, I think we're going to push it for two weeks longer than KCC recommendation.
so we are looking to mitigate the day the
day the week concerned by year, I elevating other opportunities so
yet again noted, but hopefully addressed through through other methods,
as the folks in turn, working group, absolutely,
that is something I'm looking to pick up with you in the relevant office around offices around how are working groups not just isolated that one,
are effective and adding value and continue to have a forum
with the board.
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:54:34 it would be great to see those meeting in public
Cllr Rich Holgate - 0:54:37 going forward, I think that works absolutely be the case where appropriate course
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:54:42 thank you, Councillor Holgate, any other contributions, Councillor Godfrey.
yeah, thank you Chair.
Cllr David Godfrey - 0:54:51 firstly, I want to congratulate the team with the speed they worked in, getting the bid going in successfully and the amount of time we were given at that stage, I think there was very well done
and speedy put this programme together,
the one thing that does concern me little is at the beginning of the presentation he talked about at delivery date.
and delivering this in that time is really tight, as you've already pointed out, one of the penalties for not actually showing we can deliver by that time.
are we likely to get stuck halfway through a project and have some money withdrawn?
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 0:55:28 to answer your question, I'd like to think not
purely because I think every other local authorities in the same position, so they'd be clawing back the whole of in the round, to which I think would be, we would be quite interesting where we're ahead of quite a lot of local authorities as well because of the points I raised earlier in terms of trying to crack on with the procurement and some of the great work that was done even before I was here in terms of the the place plan and that we're which has really helped and shape what we're gonna deliver, so
we had discussions, as I mentioned earlier with with.
with central government they are not going to announce, they're going to extend it, but just to say that round one has got an extension to 26 March 26, so round 2 you'd think, but I can't comment really on that until we have that conversation but all I know is be I am keeping contact with other local authorities and they're all in the in the same boat.
I mean you only can deliver what you can to live in the time you've given and the fact they slipped the the programme initially from the initial M October deadline to to January and then there was the raft of
surprises let's say in terms of little questions they asked around subsidy control which was supposed to be small exercise but it wasn't
that then delayed it until March so we lost quite a lot of time there so one would hope they'll be quite empathetic.
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:56:51
Cllr James Butcher - 0:56:54 and yet, given this is a levelling-up project, how do we evaluate in the longer term whether it's had the impact
livening up the that we hoped plan, that it would?
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 0:57:07 yeah, they had, we basically have a whole series of about puts and outcomes that we want to try and deliver through this programme.
you have what's called a baseline that you kind of put together says footfall at 70 shops, that's the kind of
vibrancy, rent, values, etc
and what we do, then is we assess that later on, as you will appreciate, when you deliver something like this. Not only are you putting in the hard elmar, but you've got that softer element. That really is the key bit as I keep emphasising that take there's a lag before you actually get that benefit coming through so the way central government kind of operate at the moment there is kind of they understand. There's a lag to the reporting mechanism after that, so we've had quite a lot of interesting
other factors economically in terms of what's happened locally, so in Ostend, so when you started out on this it wasn't quite there. The cost of living issue inflation was in quite as high as it is and we've got interest rates are rising as well. So what we've put in our original bid that needs to be factored. It is a well, which is what they're doing, so to answer your question that you know, we've got a series of outcomes and outputs which we said we would achieve and they can be seen in the document and we've got a baseline element of work. We've carried out and one that will be evaluated at a point appropriate, I think, after delivery to ensure that they kind of compared in the
the interventions and the kind of the benefits of what we're doing,
but picking on the outer elements, and that's quite critical as well, that Matt was talking earlier on engagement and skills. The are all of those things, added-value, so people learn new skills, we bring in new partners, etc so it's for added value, the test trading lab, that's again added-value, where people can test radon and see if it works, and that kind of word gets out there and we get more interest in terms of inward investment. So there's there's plenty of, I think, other opportunities outside even the the
the outputs and outcomes we put in the bid
OK, Councillor McConville,
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:59:04 thank you.
Cllr Connor McConville - 0:59:06 a couple of sort of, I guess, maybe strategic sort of questions and then a couple of more detailed questions on the actual.
in terms of you mentioned a little bit about the current financial climate and obviously, when everything was sort of costed out for the project, and he said you've got some contingency in there,
is you know? we're without a risk register, or anything like that you know, is there is, there is there that the opportunity, the possibility, for example, that we look at this lovely 3D model and you know, and it all looks all bells and whistles and then you know this cost 2 March or we we have to we have to cut corner there or whatever you know what sort of risk is there for us not getting?
exactly what we want, we want, all you know,
is low medium high.
another good question,
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:00:04 as part of the bid process. We did factor that incurs a, it was just starting to creep up, so, and there was a lot of government's advice actually in terms of ensuring you got a robust contingency there in place, so and then we had to put together a whole risk register in terms of how you'd cost control the whole project. So there's obviously mechanisms there in terms of value engineering, so that's when you look at the design, you get it costed and then you can't afford it, so you have to value engineer down, which is the point you're making, so you don't just end up with a lamp column that's your achievement for 20 million you you,
you know, you have to
you kind of look at it in a pragmatic way, so I think we've got enough flex in the budget to allow us to deliver a lot of what we want. There are a few areas that are kind of slightly concerning at the moment, but we are looking at ways round some of those in terms of some of the legacy aspects of of tunnels and other things in terms of the tunnel Middlebrook Square
and, obviously the safety, health and safety audit as well, so where we had some of those outline designs there. As you get into that detail, there's there's kind of the kind of health and safety audits will look at that and then we're going through the whole tactical attack process, which is the traffic assessment process
they kind of then start to say we need to do this, you need to do that, so as part of that process we're obviously keeping an eye on costs, so we're getting a cost consultant into continually look at those or anything that goes in the view of, for example, we will make sure that we have got that within within scope.
and that's it the
I would say to all of that, of course, until you put it out to tender,
you never know what those prices will come back, but I feel fairly confident because we did all that good work at the outset and really testing those those.
those cost assumptions and also the inflationary element, so you got inflationary kind of contingency in there, as well as contingency, so if we tried to offer it as best we can, thank you that one
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:02:01 of the overall budget, just a rough sort of percentage, how much is sort of capital and how much is sort of admin delivery sort of side of things.
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:02:14 sure so in terms of capital, the whole projects capital, so we got the project management fees and the pressure on fees that we have to bring in, so you're looking at about probably three 3.2 million, in terms of professional fees, on investigation, works, surveys and in the management of the programme itself designs etc so there's a whole raft of different professionals we've got to bring into to ensure we deliver something that's safe and and and works
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:02:40 obviously you know this project massively hinges on on KCC and are working with KCC, obviously in the the diagram there, where you look at the different sort of meetings that you have, I mean, is there someone at KCC, a specialist that is assigned purely to this Authority or is it sort of because obviously there's lots of authorities in Canada that are currently working on their own bids? it is that resource sort of split around, obviously of people who meant to be attending fortnightly meetings, or they attending for fortnightly meetings with all different councils, I'm just thinking about how that resource from them there ends is could possibly be stretched and how that could possibly sort of influenced the you know the level of risk and the level of possible delay in the project etc
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:03:23 absolutely yeah, we've got dedicated people from KCC in there which is costed into that money that I mentioned earlier
they they will see it right through from implementation of from design right through to implementation, so there's no deviation there.
any change they said we've got and we've got what's called a delivery agreement, that's just kind of been drafted nearly there. Now that kind of spells out all the roles and responsibilities has a very clear who's doing, what and where, so there's no grey areas because what you don't want in a project like this is something quite fundamental. We thought they were looking after it, so we want to make sure it's quite does tie down in an agreement, so we're very confident and the team we have, I have to say, are excellent and KCC, they've been brilliant and any time you called on their specialists, within their organisation, traffic specialist for them, for the buses or whatever we wanted. They generally pull them into those meetings as well, so they're very accommodating so conquer
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:04:18 Good take, especially when either having their their own their own issues.
in terms of the artistic partner, how many many organisations or bodies applied to for that for that tender roughly?
a 5 5
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:04:35
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:04:37 applied yeah. the thanks and is the work that they're going to do specifically for the town centre, or will they have interventions in all three projects?
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:04:45 yeah, it's for the whole project, overseen whole projects and looking at interventions around there yeah.
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:04:54 just a couple, I guess, more, on the on the the projects themselves, which could you go back to the slide of the sort of the road layout?
yeah that one, if you could just talk a little bit about this in terms of
we know, I know, obviously what it is now, but maybe a little bit of what it is now for people who aren't familiar
any possible the way, anything we're looking at things changing in terms of one way to way or or how that how the traffic will flow around that sort of diagram.
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:05:37 I went, so it's kind of one way down here and we kind of got almost this race track and then back up there as well, so what we're trying to do is create a two way at the top here. that's that's quite critical, we've obviously got caught by a car park entrance here at the moment in the site, and that site is probably going to be developed sometime in the future, but they still need access in there, so we've got to consider that.
there is obviously the buses that are gonna go along here, so the aim is to really slow this traffic down and really the only traffic that needs to come through here is the traffic that sort of needs to go to the shopping centre and the rest of it really should be buses, so we are looking at even this little access road here, this little joints here we're actually looking at that and seeing whether we could take potentially take that and make people go round the roundabout but we're looking at that in terms of, the shopping centre and the buses as well, because that lead time to their operations, but that's something that would help that that whole system there, so that's something that we're working on all of these again with the access points we're trying to improve the sweep Sinn
when trying to improve the crossing points as well along all of these different junctions here to make it again pedestrian friendly we're raising a kind of hoping to have a raised platform here so that kind of again gives a bit of a slows the traffic down and creates a connection which will probably become housing here so that has created housing to bring draw customers into the town into the town centre.
we got the try here which is very highly protected, and therefore we've designed around that to ensure that is protected and part of the methodology in terms of construction will also look to protect that so again that that's created a few problems for us but we've overcome that because we know it's very important so again there's there's a slightly different layout now with a design that we've got that will be showing imminently here which you got slightly a row access road coming through here. but essentially that's the layout, this will continue to be one way and that would continue to be one way we were looking at 2.00 way on those, but actually, I think, with the parking which again was quite important in terms of residential parking we felt that actually the key was to try and slow the traffic down through mechanisms, so
so for us for so for a motorist coming up Sheldon Street
there we go now to way at the back of Middlebrook Square
is that would there be scope for them then to sort of come round and head up Bouverie Road West as they would normally now do in the natural flow of traffic? yeah yeah there,
yeah, absolutely, and they can go that way as well, so there's there's. There's gonna be a crossing point here so again, at the frustratingly for you, the the the design isn't, quite as it is at the moment, because he'd done all this testing and modelling etc to make sure it works, so absolutely we're trying to keep, and all the traffic modelling is really important that we do. We can just traffic model that and then you won't actually look at all the wider scope to actually 20 the wider island as well, because that will have a cause effect on that. It's really important that we consider how what we do here doesn't create issues here, so that's really important as well, so that's been considered
can I ask a follow-on question, thanks contacts, really helpful,
would you mind pointing, if you know where they are, for the steps that come up from Ford Road south
up to she so Shannon Street is at New Street,
do you know whether it is lasers
I don't drive, I have a driving licence, I walk everywhere and it is taking you take your life in your hands crossing over there.
because it's a one-way system and I think people think they can go
yeah they can whizz round, so would the is there any other any plans for a crossing in that sort of area? Yeah yeah,
we've got some so again we've got all the that's been looked into because that again has been raised before yeah, so we're looking to try and draw people down from here in a safe manner, people, as you say, take their life in their own hands crossing there. So again we're looking to create a crossing here.
shaky home there so.
sorry, so essentially we were putting a crossing there and there's a bus state of bus
stop as coming in here is not how they have to have a crossing point near there, so you can imagine the health and safety around ensuring people yet to and from their so yeah that's been addressed. Thank you thank you do look at the new designs when they come through so that one won't be ready in this consultation that come in the next phase.
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:09:56 yeah, I think you know just thinking about the the use of the VAR, and that I think if someone could sort of just pretend they're in their car and they could do no sort of drive around the site, I think I think that go a long way to sort of showing people exactly
what it was or what it would look like feel like, etc
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:10:17 and then the last point for me, just in terms of the town centre.
although mainly the domains of Sandgate Road bit, I mean, what's is what's the thinking in terms of the current market provision, and you know how how involved is that in terms of the stakeholders, alongside, obviously I mean, I don't know how many of the the owners of the actual main sort of shops in the one in the High Street will get involved but definitely the market traders and and the future of the of that moving forward.
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:10:46 yes, again, that's wrapped up into that softer element there, so there's quite a lot of key point saying around that Sangay area, in terms of
the parking down the bottom on Guildhall Street there so when they are able to move their cars at 10.00 and that creates a bit of a bit of a conflict between the market traders, so we're looking to see how we can you know overcome that
the as part of the programme we're looking to bring in a specialist to help with some of the softer side so that's looking at linking up with the businesses along there doing that test trading that I mentioned earlier. and also looking at the operating model as well, to try and improve the mechanism for people. As I said earlier on, to put events or
I wanna come on and then have a stall, etc that's all part of it and also the market improvement programme. We've got that in the background, so we're trying to work on that, so we've got limited resources or trying to do all these elements, but we are. We are mindful of all those and we haven't taken our eye off those either, so that the market is quite an important one, but I think he probably just needs a little bit of enhancement. I think we probably all agree to just try and to try and improve it and just add add some new potential concessions so that that particular commission that we we aim to do
soon will hopefully start to build it in and by all means, if you want to be part of and have discussions with that person which will make sure we do, it'll be really good to hear your views as well, if that's OK,
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:12:10 thank you, I think that's been a really useful discussion, hopefully that's given some good feedback, and there are any kind of specific proposals that anybody wants to put forward in relation to this at this stage.
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:12:25 I don't know
that's hard to say what the that I mean so.
what would you want what is the next?
I guess recommendation that you would be asking Cabinet to go on just on, obviously just on this on this piece, and when would that lightly come about?
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:12:45 I think the the key on the first bit of work, which is Sheraton Garden, Cheriton Road and the station approach is really just to look at that design and we're getting local people just to critique it, we haven't got the the the are set up yet so we can't get the drive through as you mentioned earlier, but getting those local viewpoints is really critical and we're moving at pace so we do have to be mindful of getting decisions,
kind of agreed, but we do, we are also mindful that as we get into that detailed design, so after this phase of works now they'll go into the detail design on those sense
projects and then that will then have probably one more critique, and then that'll be it and then we'll go to tender on on those sort of work so that's how it how it's working. and we is trying to balance ensuring that we don't create any creates problems, that's really big, big, big bugbear of mine delivering projects in the past, I want to make sure that everybody has that opportunity, so the engagements really important and there's different ways to engage as Matt mentioned earlier so so were any to hopefully get
some good and that's that's specifically that phase 1 the station approach
there's still quite a bit of scope for for this phase two, and that
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:13:56 will sorry that that will come that come back. I mean it might even be possible after the that consultation on that with you know the the responses and hopefully it's you know a very good event, then you know there could be scope for for it to come back to this committee before
those more detailed decisions, especially around I think what the public would see as more contentious the bus station, this piece of work Foca the sangat road, then I think,
depending on what comes out of that consultation, then I think it would be quite possible that it could come here before going to Cabinet again and then there might be a scope for for for more formal things, but if it's just phase one then,
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:14:34 so that is that a proposal, Councillor Campbell, that it comes back to
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:14:36 the committee. The next kind of milestone, if you like, decision point
I would I would be quite
yeah, I'd quite like to see it come back to this committee before cabinet approves anything to do with changes to the bus station after the after that second round of consultation.
is that seconded as a proposal?
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:15:01
Cllr John Wing - 1:15:02 I was second at last, so would it also include architecture, and there was lots of Conservative in the community, especially Foca of the change of the architecture of this field that we've lost a lot of the architecture in the town and folk before could lose a beautiful building. There's lots of rumours going around about bits being knocked about, so it be nice to have it that to risk committee before deciding the fervour of access possible.
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:15:25 I think we're coming on to discuss Volcker next, so we may need we may get into some of that, but thank you for seconding is that is everyone in agreement with that as a way forward
yeah agreed, OK, thank you.
and I would just add, in terms of kind of thinking about other things that might be useful,
perhaps Councillor Holgate has to think about whether there might be merit in having a kind of standing representative group in the community that could feed into the levelling up projects as it goes forward
so that you also have people to call on.
to help with the kind of timeliness of it.
10 Folca 2 proposed Works and Civic Centre Relocation
Cllr Rich Holgate - 1:16:10 OK, I think we're gonna move on, then to item 9 or 10 so Faulkner 2
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:16:13 proposed works and the Civic Centre relocation, I think we're passing back to your good selves on this, thank you, you
are the freeze,
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:16:22 God is against it, the matter RoJ show and that's just putting it on.
so yeah, this this presentation is the talk about Fokker 2, which is the art deco elements of the the old Debenhams, building this
plan or shows you really the location of it, and you will know the location of it to be considered quite central to so Folkestone quite important. part of
Folkestone, sort of town centre.
and that kind of brings us onto why. White Folkestone is now in the ownership of the council, and these are some of the kind of key
reasons as to why things are very keen to make sure that it didn't get taken up by a scrupulous developer, who will then develop it out and do something not so pleasant and and, useful for the town centre. We're keen that we, we wanted, to have control of that through a gateway building
to make sure that what we do put in there adds value, add sort of vibrancy to the town centres of magnet sort of a foot for can revitalise the town centre for some of the the the links
and improvements to Bouverie Place there. So as part of the overall levelling up which when I mentioned earlier, it's how we kind of join the two together to make sure they harmonise.
and and it's the usual stuff to make it a nicer place to live, work and enjoy, so
and and picking up your points, Councillor Wing, in terms of the architecture and making sure the attractive buildings are making the most of that as well and trying to enhance that art deco element.
that just this graphic really just shows you. The sort of split between Faulkner 1 and Faulkner 2, so Faulkner 1 is the sort of Edwardian elements and in folk too, as the
is the art deco, as you can see, it's a really wide building as well, so you've got the can just see it there right in the centre which has that sort of light well, which goes down on to a nice staircase there to help with circulation, but it's a really wide space or lights really kind of critical in terms of how we get lighting into that. That building
the net floor space of Foca to is 4,500 square metres so again a big, a big space,
and we that includes a roof.
sorry, a basement, and it also has a roof terrace as well, and the terraces is reasonably small at this stage, but there's opportunities and if any of you been to the top of that building, but you can actually see the sea,
so I think it's a really fantastic.
some contrasting views up there
on the back there, which is
the point here
there, that's the back end, I'll be amused, you've got two access points there, which are kind of.
the, if you like, the fire escape and a kind of a service yard,
the old demons again, it's quite an untidy and unsightly area, so again compared to the front, that's something that we need to address and try and improve
also this is in a part of the service yard as well, which services the Bouverie shopping shopping place so weak, so shopping centre, sorry so the aim really is to try and improve that, at the same time being mindful of the sweeps and all the other kind of key operating elements that needs to remain so, it's genetic, it's as you will know again from the shopping centre, is quite a strong thoroughfare, as well says how we improve that and build that into the levelling up.
and that's the front there, which again very big statement building the art deco so Crittall windows at the top there
and some really large
sort of space at the front there window, a sort of a yeah display area there, the front there, which we think is quite critical for the committee, either for the commercial aspects of the buildings or come onto a bit later on.
and, as I mentioned earlier, there's a staircase within the building, which are no excuses quite well liked locally, so where we're looking at, that is not listed or kind of has got any special merit, but actually we do do see that as potentially has merit in terms of helping with the circulation but again and that's something we'll come on to later on.
in terms of the background, her as part of the kind of appraisal, if you like, or what we do with that building, we brought in a company called Colliers International to look at different options for Foca and it's use. A lot of this was done pre the October
interesting period we had
in terms of
Liz Truss and some of the who, the the the the changes there in economically, so that kind of, and I know it's not with wider than that there was a kind of do. The cost of living was starting to bite and interest rates worldwide are starting to go up, but essentially that started to change the options that we'd had looked into here, but essentially they looked at for us originally. How if we could develop the site and make and create flats above making to a mixed use development,
whether we kind of build to rent, etc or we sell, and then there's refurbishment as well and all those options believe it or not, none of them are really viable and, as such, the least
least most viable if you like, was the was the riff with the kind of a big development, if you put in 80 80 units, I think he was at the time, we think she must, you should be able to make money out of that, but actually we just work that the the maths didn't add up at all and I think it was something like a 30 million
financial gap there so that's quite significant.
and then the the the scope of the best option really was the refurbishment which is the option we're going for, which was a run or 2 million funding gap, and that's kind of what helps with the shaping of the levelling up bed in terms of the amount of money that we put in into that so that was to try and get the building up to a standard, which we can have improved the brew for and improves the some of the leaks that were there, the walls and and some of the real major issues there, the enter, what's called the M and E or the electrical and water issues within the building, so that's kind of what we're looking to to try and do so that the the shell, if you like in the core of the building was was good another report there you can look at as well to kind of look at the more imminent in more detail. and how we kind of agreed to put that in as part of the levelling up fund,
we also submitted a bid into the changing places and scheme and were successful with three toilets, one of which is coming into Foca,
and for those of you who do are not familiar with changing places, toilets there for people who got complex needs so it gives them a dignity to change one toilet etc so it's a fantastic thing to have in a town centre and will add value straightaway in terms of an asset and making people come to the town centre.
the there was a an approval, then, in terms of
looking allowing officers to look at the towns to the looking at the building, if you like, as a as a civic offices, so that's what we were, we were going to talk about next
and I think Matt it's just gonna come in here to start talk about some of the backgrounds of the Civic relocation in general.
Mr Matt Rain - 1:23:42 yeah thanks Rod.
so, back in January 2021, a cabinet report was submitted to consider the potential relocation of the civic offices these offices here,
and the view was then to look at or possibly a new facility within or at a table park
the idea, then was to.
sell this building and use that to fund any new development it possible Park
had a look at the strategic business case and potential contribution to the green agenda as well, making it
a good building in terms of its carbon credentials
and then cabinet agreed to progress, work and produce a more detailed proposal for a later cabinet decision on that.
so the key objectives as part of that report were these.
a big part of that was
in terms of reducing the carbon footprint, this building is
not particularly energy efficient and a new building would be better,
we have that was outlined.
also to look at to help with channel
shift as well
to try, and there was gonna be a customer access point still within Folkestone, possibly at Falco at that time,
but also some of the maybe our back office functions perhaps didn't need as bigger office office spaces we, as we currently have also, perhaps that could help with some of our channel shift objectives too.
we wanted to make sure that new facilities were sustainable and efficient. we wanted to relocate to something that at that time, we thought more appropriate appropriately, provided access to the the wider district and not perhaps just Folkestone.
also to develop a new centre which allows more agile and hybrid working, and because our ways of working were changing at that time pretty quickly, if you remember back at at that time as well.
also to allow for maybe a smaller footprint in terms of our staff travel, we did and we still do have a number of car users, that's the main way in which people get to work here
there was a good opportunity there,
we thought possibly
for joint community use a possible park, maybe use it for other reasons as well or have other businesses perhaps join us in any new building.
and finally, then just to offset as much of the new building capital cost as possible from the sale of this this building here.
so we did quite a lot of staff engagement around this
and we looked at. and conducted a staff survey back in November 2020 to garner staff views who?
mainly very supportive of a move.
we also developed a new staff working group with people who, as part of that survey, said that they had an interest in this one, and that Mead met periodically in 2021 and 2022
on the right there, you'll see some pictures that we,
we use to try and prioritise what was important to various groups so that staff group we looked with we talked about this with CEO T at different directorate director level. and other specific staff groups who have specific needs within within the building,
so this was really important to us and it's really good work that was done and it's still there, and it still remains, there's a lot of work has been done in terms of a move away from this building in terms of what's important to staff the space that we need.
storage needs and things like that and teams needs
and, as Rudd said, things then changed economically
in late 2022 and the under project paused, so I'm going to hand back to you on four taken over them.
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:27:30 thanks Matt.
so yeah, as Matt said, the service appall paused and we looked at Faulkner, so so why Faulkner, we think it offers a potential interim and permanent or permanent Civic Centre location,
the aim would be to design it in a flexible, adaptable way so that if we were to move out later on an affordable works
come back on line on an
online then we could easily adapt that space and rental all so that the work that we do wouldn't be abortive.
it's a council for the asset and we think the public sector, her use, could really catalyse the town centre regeneration and then build on the back of the the El-youssef,
I must add into this is not going to be purely sort of a council. as a council sector building, we are looking to put in a his of a commercial angle to it as well, so that the frontage there is perfect, so we want to try and ensure that we create that into a appear vibrant and how we can help we kind of divide that up or will be telling as weak as we go through the project, but the aim really is to have that as a commercial facing
part of the building and then the kind of either the council
building or the council sector element would be the back end and the upper floor so that's that's kind of how we're looking at it in the in the early stages and we're also
engaging with Kent County Council, which I will come on to later on.
so I think it's driving the footfall there is doing something with that building and, as I mentioned earlier, due to the economics or down for, we were having interest in the building for other uses prior to us looking at it for council use but that really did dry up and when we rang people back who are very interested they just said they were consolidating so we were keen to try and but in a do something with the building and try and still remain with our original vision of having a commercial but then I think the they public sector angle really added value to it.
so in terms of the approach to this is, as I mentioned earlier, in the earlier presentation, we got very tight timetable with levelling up and we have obligations within levelling up to deliver on that, so we split it into sort 2 areas, if you like, to give us more time slower time in terms of the Civic Office relocation project,
so what we're aiming to do is is kind of get the envelope of the building sorted as part of the levelling-up that's fixing the roof, maybe sorting out the windows or comes back down to what we can afford, but we're hoping that we can afford a reasonable amount to ensure we have a good shell of a building ready to then be adapted inside
in the meantime where we'll be, and we're just about to commission an architect to start doing some of the concept design work on that building as well as having a business case modelling done on the economic value as well off of a spacing ourselves here and producing a building. That is that sort of multi use so that will come through, and that looks at the gross value added in terms of what that will bring to the town centre, so that those reports will then come back to to cabinet or committee in terms of a decision, whether we go ahead or not and that that would be the sort of face to end if you like, and then if it were to go ahead, then we would look to the to the next phase
so progress to date, we've commissioned killings as part of the earlier F Kanye work to, to look at the building, get all the surveys carried out, so we've had a whole raft of different surveys that we've had procured and commissioned and they produce now kind of a report that will kind of help us decide what we do with the the levelling up 2 million.
it's actually 100% complete now, not 95%, so we can, we can safely say that
we, the other key key dependency here, is the changing places toilet now part of that.
bid, and the successful outcome of that is that we have to deliver it by March 24, so that has to go somewhere in that building, so that is a little puzzle where we're having to contend with at the moment,
but the aim is that we have that not doesn't have to be open to the public, but it has to be functional and working. So so the aim is to to kind of really focus on that that very quickly with the architect when we appoint them
the procurement exercise to appoint the contract for the construction works the bit that I mentioned earlier in terms of the core of the building that is well under way, we get the specification put through at the moment, there's a few decisions that were kind of just mulling over at the moment
but again that should be going out the tail end of of July
and then we'll kind of hear back how that went and will award the contract probably around the sort of September time. with the aim, then that will have construction works happening thereafter, so 2020 weeks, and that will be nothing special, nothing grand, it'll be just dealing with the core of the building, but are a good starting point so to get that building underway
phase 2, as I mentioned earlier, this is the progress done to date. We've had KCC have been looking at their own assets rationalisation programme so they've been in contact with us over possibilities and moving some of their services into into the building, and that includes the new Library, which I know is
has had some discussion at the moment
we had a spatial study also carried out very, very high level. I might add, just to look and see whether we could fit in KCC. All of our services plus have enough space for the commercial side of things as well, and that kind of demonstrated we do, which was positive so that that stats helped in terms of the architectural brief that we just prepared, so they're going to hopefully build on that that work that was carried out and and take us up to concepts I stage which is at the RIBA stage 2 so that will be costed added outlines
but that'll give us a really good indication of what that will cost,
and we've got kind of an indication we know in terms of square metres which you can apply to it anywhere between 7 and 11 million, so it's not a cheap cheap fix there.
a number of I mentioned earlier, we've got the consultant appointed for the business case and modelling it's really important, I think, it should in to ensure the viability, so when we presents later on her in autumn, we hope to have.
a good, viable project, but indeed we might have something that isn't viable and then we'll have to sort to take stock, so we are thinking about a plan B as well Justin in terms of if that were to were the case.
so the the next steps, when he mentioned about the the architects and then the costings options, will hopefully be inspected in autumn, I always put autumn to give me a bit of flex, because very often things slightly slipped, so we're looking at autumn, but we do want to try and get on with that quite swiftly in terms of getting a decision made.
that's the kind of key next steps and a nice header some of the concepts that were we're kind of looking at you knowing a mixed use developments. where we can have shared space with KCC, for example, in terms of offices, maybe the chamber that if we are to put it in there, rather than being used sort of infrequently during the
but that she might have more occupancy in committee, have community use in there as well, so trying to be innovative as well about the space and sweat the asset essentially,
and yeah, you can see from some of the elements of their work that went on from through and is obviously the the roof terrace is quite an interesting one. I find it quite interesting because you've got a fantastic view there's potential there to do something with it, what that is
hopefully what that all come through as we develop that sort of stage to RIBA
work, and I think that is it. Thank you
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:35:40 thank you very much for that, can you just? clarify again what it is that's being sought from the committee this evening in terms of the the presentation,
what sort of input?
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:35:51 I suppose it is the general kind of approach that we're taking to, we've got a, we were kind of moving along, looking at the
the building as a public sector, so it's kind of I guess, endorsement, and and reaffirming that any ideas in terms of what you'd like to see, I suppose in that commercial side would be really useful there's opportunities.
there would be a sort of third sector that might be going to commercial entities that you're aware of, that would work well in that building in that location.
you might want to see community community use, etc so it's that it's those kind of things we're keen just to understand, and we will be engaging again as part of that architectural
phase and making sure that stakeholders, including ourselves, have a chance to kind of input into that
thanks for clarifying that,
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:36:38 I suppose what I'd say is straight away, and that is just the the community consultation around the uses of the building, because
that people have got lots of ideas as to what that part of the building could be used for.
and as it stands there hasn't been a kind of consultation with people about about that
through any kind of developed process, so, and I know that was something that was discussed through the discussions in the levelling up
place plan making process but as yet I don't think people have had that opportunity to really feed in as to what they would see the building being used for from a community point of view so,
that would be good to kind of to build that into the plans,
I'll open it to the floor, Councillor McConville.
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:37:30 OK.
not that I'm totally against the possibility of the Civic Center moving to the folk building.
that has to be a lot more and have to be sold a lot a lot more on that I mean, if we look at it, we look in the the agenda pack. It says that Foca was purchased
to ensure the future head or the future of the site as a positive outcome for the town centre. I think if you spoke to a lot of people in the town centre we bought this building, it's been sat there for a very long time. Covid aside,
I think if
they found out it's just going to be our officers and maybe a bit of commercial space, I think that it.
so I think that there has to be a lot of work on engagement if, if this is definitely going to be the way.
that that we do, we move forward with, it
said not that and I'm totally undersold, obviously it's it's still the still these to be quite a bit of work done, but just my first impressions was that it's a bit like a cinema on the seaside,
are we are, we know, are we making the absolute maximum potential out of that space that we possibly can by by putting by putting our officers in their
I don't think so at the moment.
but I'm very much in favour of.
using the money that we have available to to get the building into a into into a good shape to to do whatever we we, we end up doing with it.
and that might well be
what we're sort of thinking currently, but obviously
I think that that phase 2, I think doesn't need to be as rushed as as as it is, it is my understanding that phase one is the levelling up bid which we have the deadline on and phase 2, I think we have a lot more time and scope to sort of see
what we what we do with that building and I hope we do take
that time and really do
in engaging and ask people what we want, obviously you know the light of this building is is is limited.
and obviously you still mentioned in the slides that you know all the pool was it was, it was a possibility,
it be, I'd really have to be sold on how the multipurpose use of it, how easily it could be sort of transformed it transformed into something else if we didn't if wasn't working and we and we we, we relocated somewhere else and possible costs involved with that.
yeah, just there's just so so many questions, I'd be more than more than I really need to science being here, but
I look forward to this this evolving and coming back as it sort of develops but as I said you know very much in favour of getting that building sort of fabric first ready just questions on in terms of that phase, one work
how much how much scope is there within that, but that budget seems quite small
in terms of sort of future-proofing that building sustainability, you know you know energy, all that sort of thing.
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:40:49 thank you.
in terms of bureaucracy, right 2 million isn't a massive amounts of money, I think the roof alone we've got estimated over 90 900,000 just to sort the roof and get a brand new roof in there
and to strip out alone that's a lot of money but the aim really is to try and get the windows now there's a debate about secondary glazing or there's a
or you can replace the whole of the acquittal with a similar.
a style, but actually it's energy efficient, which is something that we're quite keen to do, but again these are. These are things that we want to try and in or talk through. We've got. As I mentioned, it's very quickly gone. It is quite swiftly so we are putting out specification, but I'm trying to put options in that specification so that when money when it comes back in terms of a costed
tender, we can actually then look at and see what we can afford, but at the moment we think we can do the Windows, potentially the the walls, insulating the walls strip out and roof that's
kind of it really
as well as the loan, is quite critical, we need to have some services in there, but we do need to tag kept some of those services off
and into in terms of energy, so MOU is there is a scope there to move
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:42:04 away from from from gas or or changing the heating or that have to come as part of a for a further phase of of work later down the line.
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:42:14 so I didn't answer that question and yes, that would be a further piece of work we are looking at that in terms of the sales funding at the moment
that's something we're just working through there is opportunity for us to bid into that it's quite you have to spend some money to get the money off you if that makes sense as a risk factor to that, so that's something that we we need to to really talk through internally to see whether that's going to work and then if we think that is an option then we will look to do that swiftly. there are different mechanisms, as you know, for heating, etc ground ground source, heat pumps, etc
there's also the practicalities of how that's implemented as well we need to kind of.
be careful and put on what we do, what we can do this incredible methodologies and how he could do it, but let's, but we want to look at it fully, we have done a decarbonisation plan, so we have got that already there, which is,
which is really useful, so we've got the makings to start on that Salix journey and that'll give us, I think it's up to 700,000 towards towards extra works, so not a huge amount of money, but every penny counts.
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:43:21 Councillor Jones,
Cllr Anita Jones - 1:43:25 thank you, so a couple of questions first was about the toilet, which sounds like a great thing, but you said it wouldn't necessarily be open by next year, I think it would be a real shame if it wasn't if we had it in place so I think be really nice to see that prioritised that's a good thing for the community sounds like a really positive positive thing.
it is an interesting space, I grew up in Folkestone and know the building very well
used to shop there a lot,
so it would be nice to see it given back to the community. I think a lot of people are quite passionate about it in Folkestone,
I think a mixture of community use and some council use would be really positive and certainly
it would be good for the public to have more access better access to the council, so I think that would be a good thing if we could have some of that element in there. because you've got the bus connections and obviously people will tend to go to the town easier to access them, perhaps over here and they might fill it becomes part of part of their shopping centre,
but yes, it would be lovely to see it more of a community space and there's lots of exciting things I think we could look at and I think a really good public engagement with that you'll get some fantastic ideas from the community so. I'd like to see a big consultation on that possible.
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:44:44
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:44:46 thank you, sorry, children, come,
I was just going to too come back on the toilet, so I do think it's to bring the tone down,
essentially that is it's a kind of a bespoke set-up as its design, its design a particular way, so the the for fund has asked us to have that in place kind of plumbed, ready to go, but on set necessarily open to the public, the reason why would hesitate to open to the public as if there's works going on in their there, some health and safety issues would have to be mindful also,
but all of that is gonna be in the kind of though the Mullingar aura that over at the moment, so in terms of the next phase of work, the architectural work that all come out in the mix and if we can we'll try and get it open but it is we have to think of the health and safety because if we have got a core of a building and we're still undecided in terms of where that buildings going, you can't get people to go into a building that's been stripped out completely and hasn't got any basic function so we will be mindful of that
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:45:44 Councillor Butcher
thanks Chair, but it was a reference to Faulkner, one one in one of
Cllr James Butcher - 1:45:51 the slides, could you just confirm another timescales about how building will look once it's redeveloped as a medical centre?
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:46:03 as you know, we're co-living dialogue at the moment, with two GP practices and a company called Ashura, who's a developer there, or see looking at the medical centre, and they have to go through a kind of a process with the ICB which is part of the NHS and they're the ones that kind of fund the rental if you like for the developer builds it and they fund the rent then pays for that back to the developer and so that that's all going through the mill at the moment, so we're looking at the spatial arrangement and that has not scrutinised very carefully in terms of
the ICB so they're going through that at the moment I think they're getting there in terms of how and won't go in there
it has been quite slow process and at this stage I can't give you any timeframes on that at all, suffice to say it'll be post 25 March 25, it will be before that because they've got the whole
architectural design and all other planning etc which is gonna be quite rigorous, so there's a long long way to go, I think on on that scheme at the moment,
isn't that behind the existing facade or is this?
Cllr James Butcher - 1:47:09 New Bill will once again look like
Folkestone & Hythe Officer - 1:47:14 well in terms of I think it's been out in the public that's in order to put that new medical facility there they'd have to demolish, sadly, the Edwardian section to enable that building to function for a modern kind of use, the medical centre use the NHS, the got very particular specifications and unfortunately, where they live, work quite hard to see if they can retain that,
but they just said to the data kind little flaws the structure of the building and everything else they just couldn't be couldn't handle it so that's kind of where they are at the moment.
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:47:48 any other councillors had to come in.
Cllr John Wing - 1:47:55 Just briefly, yes, obviously agree that it must be shored up, and we don't want to see the building fall into disrepair because it costs us more money in the end, so obviously most most important thing, it's make it secure and I agree about community centre, I think it would work some sort community help and I'm sure the public will become engaged and will help you to I do project natural action
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:48:18 thanks Councillor wing.
yeah, I mean just you mentioned the library and I think it would be remiss if we didn't say, obviously there's a big community campaign to retain the library in its existing
I hope any dialogue with KCC's taking that into
account when thinking about how that might move forward.
and it's really good to see it here about the changing places toilet, because I remember when that was raised in one of the initial consultations during the place plan process, very passionately from a resident, so it's really good to hear that's coming through and I think if it if it can be got open to the public as part of that processes you know sooner rather than later that would be that would be really good.
alright well just other any kind of formal proposals coming forward from the committee in relation to this this evening, I think it's been said that there's a there are two phases, so we, I think we'd assume that it would come back to this committee prior to any of the Phase 2
things taking place is that is that
the kind of will of the committee yeah,
yeah, that is that agreeable, yeah, OK, that's good
Kay if there's no more comments on that, then thank you very much for the presentations and the spelling the time with us this evening
how is the committee do we need a short break is everybody OK if you prefer to move on or,
take a take, a short break.
Cllr Bridget Chapman - 1:49:59 I'd rather just crack on, but I don't know what everybody else thinks.
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:50:05 please, please, do Councillor Jones.
11 Draft District-Wide Carbon Plan
K we'll just get ourselves sorted out.
Cllr Laura Davison - 1:53:16 OK, we shall recommence this as
our final item this evening, but a really important one, so item 11 is the draft district-wide carbon plan and we do have some recommendations before us this evening to receive and note the report to note the work on the carbon innovation lab and sustainable futures forum that's already underway and to comment on the draft district-wide carbon plan and the proposed approach to public engagement,
so I think Adrian is going to introduce the item to us this evening thanks Adrian
Adrian Tofts - 1:53:51 yes, thank you very much and good evening members.
Councillor Schofield has already given a very good introduction, so
I won't keep you too long, but.
as set out in the report, this came from the climate change declaration in 2019.
part of that declaration called for us to work with the wider community to address carbon emissions that arise from across the district.
this is what we've been working on and is outlined in this report, we gave a more general update on the broad portfolio of of carbon reduction, work to overview and scrutiny in April this year, so this is just a small part of the work we're doing really but,
there's been questions earlier about community engagement, and in this report we've set out the work we're doing with the carbon innovation lab.
it's a small group, but it is dedicated and has some really enthusiastic members, and they've helped to steer us through the process, and the purpose of the carbon innovation lab is to identify actions for carbon reduction throughout the district and to understand the opportunities there are, but also some of the barriers there may be
and to from there to develop a collaborative plan to look at. carbon reduction across Folkestone and Hythe district
emerging from that work has been the sustainable futures forum.
and that a brief overview of that is also set out in in the committee report.
there's been a lot of work.
leading up to an event on the 29th of April,
and that was a kind of Tadić style event with. participants from
green groups and also businesses, to to let the let the district know about the the wonderful work they're doing and.
there were nine speakers there on that event.
a theme emerged really about.
suitable for reducing food waste and reducing waste in general, that, in terms of
that received some very positive feedback, and that is set out in the report
also included in Appendix 1 is and is an impact report which gives some of the facts and figures behind that that date pull event.
there were about 150 participants at that event and there was a real buzz about it, so we're hoping we could perhaps make that an annual thing. we've we've maybe small, smaller catch-up events quarterly,
that's some of the background, so moving on to the district wide plan itself.
as Councillor Schofield said in his introduction, it is, it will be a very different kind of document for the district, it's
we have very limited powers in this area, we can't enforce change, we can't direct change, so we have to see what's already been done see the great work that we can build on and hopefully take people with us on our journey to a carbon neutral district.
so what we've got in the report is Appendix 2 is a draft of the
of the district wide carbon plan
we've set out some of the background and the scale of the problem that faces us as a District in terms of the carbon emissions
and, as Councillor Schofield said in his introduction, the the emissions that we generate as a folks and Hive District Council is is less than half of 1% of all of the emissions that are arising from the district as a whole.
which kind of reinforces the point I made that we have to engage with people and try and take them with us on the journey, really,
the draft plan sets out the main areas to address it also points to some of the good work and the active groups that are already working away within the district that hopefully we can build on.
and so it sort of identifies key areas to to address,
and it will be a prompt, hopefully that people can
will spark some interest during the consultation and then our job will be to bring together all of the different threads and to produce a final plan with an action plan and
and, a way forward, really.
in the final part of the report, we've were set out briefly what the consultation might look like.
I think it's important that we don't just get the views of people who are already interested and and active in this area, so we are proposing that we do a targeted questionnaire to households who are directly representative or of
of the demographic split across the district.
we did something similar as a council in 2020 4 2 to inform them the corporate plan, so we're proposing to use the the expertise of Canterbury City Council to to do that for us, and then we can compare the results of that with the results of the general consultation and and see what that tells us.
so in terms of what we're asking the committee for, we're asking for your comments on the draft document and the approach.
from here it will go to Cabinet on the 12th of July.
and with the
comments so of this committee and the comments of cabinet.
we can make changes.
in in collaboration with the cabinet member
and then go out to public consultation.
we would hold a public consultation over the over the summer
and then we can bring back the results of that consultation to this committee later on in the year,
and the plan will hopefully
make its way through the committee process to adoption by Cabinet
at the end of the year so,
at say a brief outline and
happy to answer any questions committee members may have, thank you,
Cllr Laura Davison - 2:01:01 thank you for setting that out so clearly in terms of what is the helpful input from the Committee this evening, and thank you for the work that you've been doing on this because there's obviously a lot of good work that has been taking place so.
OK, I shall open it to the floor, Councillor Jones, your hand was first, then Councillor Martin.
Cllr Anita Jones - 2:01:18 and also of the behaviour change is what we're looking for from residents.
and this usually comes from all the bottom up, so from children,
could you just outline what your plans are to work with schools and young people, because that often then influences behaviour change in adults and families?
Adrian Tofts - 2:01:42 yes, my my colleague who has already made contact with a number of schools and
we are looking at
we're looking at how we can build on that for consultation on the on the plan,
and we have had the
climate change working group, and
when that sat we we had schoolchildren who presented their ideas to that group and.
they were particularly concerned about
plastic pollution and the impact that had on their environment, so we've also got those kinds of comments that we we can take on board, but. if?
if members of the committee have
you know those contacts with schools, we will be happy to try to make those contacts and and see.
you know how we can involve schoolchildren in in the consultation,
Cllr Anita Jones - 2:02:41 thank you, I just think that would probably have more impact if we did engage a lot of the younger people, so I think perhaps that should have a bigger presence within a plan like this because, as you said before, you get a lot of people who are already interested in this taking part and what we need is the other people.
who needs to perhaps learn and have become more engaged with it so yeah, I would really support
some more education policies within this
Cllr Laura Davison - 2:03:06
Cllr Elaine Martin - 2:03:08 thank you got a couple of questions
as to sell Fender Councillor Scott and pointed out a lot the actions are going to be completed by organisations outside the control of them.
what are the plans for coordinating those actions and
who that who will carry that out?
Adrian Tofts - 2:03:32 yeah, I'm not sure we have,
we've got that far yet with it, but that there would have to be some kind of group or
that looks over it and reviews the plan and sees if it needs to change,
and it's possible that the climate change and environment working group might fulfil that function.
going into the future.
Cllr Elaine Martin - 2:04:00 thank you and the other you mentioned the CIA lab, and I was wondering what the role of that was going to be going forward.
Adrian Tofts - 2:04:09 yeah, that's a sort of informal group that has
met fairly regularly over the last year or so, and that has given us informal comments that have informed that the draft that forms Appendix 2 to this report, so I think that would continue.
and we'd have to look at refreshing that, as I said, it's.
it's quite a select group of people at the start,
my colleague on you did a lot of cold-calling of kind of every group and organisation we could think of to to try and get them engaged, so.
hopefully the the consultation itself this summer would would
reveal more groups that we could invite on to the onto the carbon innovation, lab and sort of reinvigorate that group.
Cllr Elaine Martin - 2:05:10
Cllr Laura Davison - 2:05:13 I can see that Councillor Scotland his indication to come in Councillor Scotland, you want to come in now, she here carries
Cllr Stephen Scoffham - 2:05:18 literature. All comment, less remorse
in the paper. The main paper talks about empowering local businesses and communities and very much aware that that is something that is difficult to control. It's not going to be that sort of operation, it's more a matter of. As I mentioned earlier, Hanna, I suspect
harnessing the enthusiasm and the energies which are available in the community and they will vary from one set of group, one group to another and one place to another, and therefore will perhaps be divergent, and that will be the strength of the difficulty form of point of view on this side of the table is to say, well, how do you how do you control it
and and that's a fine balancing act for suspect, but
we're in uncharted territories in many ways in doing this type of work so empowerment harnessing energies there, letting people respond to their needs and their circumstances, because certainly I wouldn't want to be in the position of telling somebody how to behave and so behaviour change can't be done that way, I don't know if that sort of opens up a further discussion but I just thought through that thought in,
Cllr James Butcher - 2:06:37 thank you, Chair, and it's a really comprehensive piece of work is now a real kind of survey of all the challenges we face, it doesn't feel much like an action plan at the moment, I got the impression saying that there will be more of an action plan following the consultation. but at the moment it's not at all clear to me if we were having this conversation in the years time, what progress we might expect, and it feels like that. That's what we really need is to get to that that level of detail about what actually we setting out to do realistically, because there's a huge scope of things in here, so I'm very interested to hear about that
building on what Councillor Jones and Councillor Martin was saying that there's a real aspiration here, a thank you note says about taking a leadership role, but actually what does that look like in practice and as well as having an action plan for things to be achieved, it feels like we need an action plan for how we bring about such radical change. I think it's easy enough to put those things down in the document but to actually make a realistic
offer to our community that we've really gripped this issue. I think we're gonna need to see a lot more about that, the howl of it
and just the final thing about risks there's things in there about risk, and I just wonder what the process is for really identifying what the risks are, whether that's to do with temperature or water supply or whatever it might be, and what are the practical steps we're going to take to mitigate those risks?
Adrian Tofts - 2:07:59 yes, that's so good points, I think.
as I tried to say it, it's very difficult to kind of direct.
or specify actions at this point in time, and
given that it's so wide ranging and will involve so many different groups and
different parts of the community so.
we will bring, as I said, we will bring the results of the consultation back, and hopefully by that time we would have
be able to give a clear idea of the actions and the monitoring and the leadership as though those questions that you that you ask
in in terms of,
the areas with the biggest impact.
as, as was we've tried to set out in, the report of
domestic energy is is a major contributor, and although other parts of
of the the carbon emissions have have reduced
over the last, you know 10 to 15 years, domestic energy hasn't reduced by that much and transport as well as it is a major contributor
you can see by those that
tackling those problems will be
very tricky, it will need the the actions of individual homeowners and also other organisations who we work with, for example, like Kent county council or on the transport side,
and the county council is consulting at the moment on its true local transport plan so we can also have an influence through through
through those channels.
and and the risks are as as well, I think
the risks kind of depend on on the actions we identify, but
we will have to look in more detail at producing a risk register when the window more fully fleshed out plan comes comes back,
injected on on the scale of the document, because it's quite unwieldly
Cllr James Butcher - 2:10:16 to to kind of read and make sense of, and whether we could end up with no people of to whether plan on a page something that really crystallises. what are the key challenges, risks and the steps that we're taking, and just one very small thing on language you got in there about the opportunities of climate change, which seems a slightly unfortunate bit of language to be easing?
Adrian Tofts - 2:10:39 yeah, in terms of the document itself, I take the point, it is quite a wordy document at the moment, but we have talked about having an executive summary may be, as you say on on a page.
we're also going to work with. the Council's communications team to to
make it more visually interesting and you know add, graphics and and. photographs and things, and things like that to hopefully,
hopefully, make it more more readable.
and yeah, on perhaps a rather clumsy language talk about the opportunities of climate change, but
we were conscious that
we didn't want to.
we didn't want to make it all about people kind of sacrificing or giving things up, and that might, in its in its own way, be
a kind of deterrent, you know, particularly, where
a lot of our population are struggling with other problems of the cost of living or whatever, so it was to try and,
to try and
highlight that there might be opportunities as part of the transition to internet 0, but we can certainly look at improving that language before it goes out to consultation, so
I think it is the benefits of tackling climate change, things about
Cllr James Butcher - 2:12:02 air quality and the fact that of people bringing up their children in air quality that breaches UN.
instead, it's all of those things, I think there are lots of benefits to tackling it, and maybe it's just refining that that that language.
Cllr Laura Davison - 2:12:31 Councillor McConville was next
and then Councillor Chapman.
Cllr Connor McConville - 2:12:33 thank you.
obviously, sitting on the working group for the last few years, it's been great to see this, this work does slowly evolve, I think, when we declared the climate emergency, this was by far the trickiest and most idealistic aspect of what we were trying to achieve.
I think there's in terms of the in terms of the consultation, obviously it's quite a is quite a large wordy
sort of questionnaire
I really do hope there's scope to try and break that down, and
you know small, small, smaller surveys, targeted surveys perhaps on specific issues such as waste
energy, you know,
those various things you know, do you recycle, your food waste, you know, do, do you have to have a smart meter, I don't know, you know what it, whatever those questions you know for for the general public, they're not, they're not going to probably not engage with that, and I know you're going to do targeted work in and that would give you some idea, but it would have to have that extra those shorter things give you a new or a much bigger picture overall, and I think if you just look at you know your focus in terms of that resident section, I think you can come up with a few sort of key sort of overarching themes and come up with four or five targeted questions within each of those and that should hopefully resonate quite easily with with local residents.
in terms also in terms of the the the focuses your table there, both for the residents and for commercial businesses,
there's no mention of sort of waste and recycling, whereas obviously that was a key sort of part of the sustainable futures forum, so it seems likely you know it seems that should be in there, you know, I think that that is part and parcel obviously, and it's we're focusing a lot on sort of energy and transport. in this, because we are, we identify them at the start, but I think I think, reducing waste all those all those little things, all the work that happens in terms of you know, reducing food waste and being more aware.
they, I think they definitely have a place in those in those tables as those sort of key focuses
in terms of
where we were we move forward from this, obviously, as you know, as you say, is very tricky,
but I think there are some
things that we should be able to to achieve
You know in an example, you know our green business grants, for example,
you know, we should be able to say Right, we're giving this business X amount of money and they have reduced their carbon footprint by this much and that's quite quantifiable and we can you know we can see that and how much damage data we get from from our partners in, I think you know will take a bit of work, but I think those sorts of things you could you can clearly see right we were here and now we're here through the work that we're doing and their that they're the messages that had the really sort of key impacts, you know the resonate really well, making, you know just make it quite quite crystal clear in terms of you know where we started from where we are together.
you mentioned solar solar together.
I've got, I've still got seven days to decide if I accept my quote 8,302 pounds for solar panels.
but compared to some of the other things, I was doing some research and that you know, and it is, is quite a, it is quite a good scheme in terms of comparable, comparable price. I don't think we identify, we
communicate that enough to all our residents and I don't really see it,
you know in our in our sort of communications and I think our communications, you know if you're having that meeting, I wouldn't want just focus on the questionnaire. I just focus on
the whole the whole package and anything that sort of runs through this, and it should constantly be feeding out through our social media feeds.
You know any any scheme that people can get involved with or anything like that be you know, that's the sort of thing that it will. It will pick up on because only nudges. I just did. It is a test really just to just to trial it just to see what it was about and I'm probably 75% certain. I'm gonna, take it up so
public transport is an interesting one, obviously we spoke about buses earlier this evening.
we want to increase
sort of people using public transport, whereas we got Stagecoach, obviously, cutting routes in the town.
in the in in the report, in full point 2.3, it says we will continue to influence Kent County Council as well as rail and bus companies that provide a service, so what does that, what does that influence look like I mean it, could you could you quantify what that influences and how how that how that works?
it is it is, or is it just, or is it just a conversation, or
are we in a position to say that Stagecoach's possible, pending actions in terms of cutting bus services, is detrimental to our ambitions of towards sustainability and climate change will be quite interesting to just have your thoughts on that.
Adrian Tofts - 2:17:55 yes,
thank you, yeah, a lot of points
I get the point about a targeted questionnaire.
and we can certainly talk with Canterbury City Council who, who helped us with the Corporate Plan, consultation, to see her how best to do it.
with we have already had started that conversation with with.
the point about waste it again, it is a good one, the the categories we have in the in the plan that the pillars we called them came from come from.
a data set that's produced by government.
the many different data sets produced by government, but this one is what they badge, as within the scope of local authorities to influence,
and I think some of that is is kind of debatable really, but we've gone with that and they have specific
categories that we have reflected in the
in in the plan and we've gone for one as well which we've called other which is perhaps rather not very descriptive we we can have. you can have a think about how how that could be better expressed, but the point about that really is to have a kind of baseline of of what the statistics are telling us because that government data set is is published every year and it goes back about 16 years so we can track climate change emissions carbon emissions over that time, which is why we've we've kind of based it around those pillars as we call them relevant.
solar together, Kent, yes.
I will, I can speak to our communications team and I think that they did quite a bit on social media leading up to the kind of
the auction was held this spring, there be a second tranche of that project for the autumn, so there will be further communications going out about that later on in the year.
it's been very successful,
a lot of people have signed up and it's it's, I think it's delivering.
savings of around 20% on on them, on what you might get a few approached a. and install a directly,
but that success does bring its own problems in terms of.
installing panels in in a timely manner so that all of the potential
outcomes are taken up on the offer year.
yes, so the there will be more communications go going out about the about that one.
Green business cards, yes,
that again has has been quite a successful scheme and I think enlarge part most of the
most of the budget set aside for it has is is accounted for.
public transport so far in terms of our influence, it's tended to be through responding to consultations when, when we get them,
whether that is from
the companies themselves or through Kent County Council, so I guess you may say it's more of a reactive influence but we could look at how we could
how we could do do that.
more more actively, certainly in the future.
Cllr Connor McConville - 2:21:50 Thanks Emma last point, I guess it was just under, but I guess the future of the sustainable futures forum
I was a sadly couldn't make the event, but obviously I know I know a lot of the especially the food related people,
though there were there, so I had very good accounts of the event.
Personally, I'd like to see events continue that again, maybe in a much more targeted way,
so you know
food waste specifically or community energy, or it was people said it was, it was a good overall sort of thing, but you didn't get in get quite get the time we wanted to sort of drill down on your particular sort of area that you really wanted to to know about and get involved in so.
yes, I don't know if there was anything in the plans, obviously that the PAC mentions that there was some work going on the other month, it's probably still going on, but if there is anything in terms of what's next, that'll be quite helpful.
Adrian Tofts - 2:22:45 we can certainly look at how we might do it differently next time
I think we had about nine speakers and they were kind of self-selecting because they were people who wanted to put themselves forward and we did a sort of training programme with them and
you know to improve their confidence about public speaking because not all were we're used to it and,
they range from very small kind of community groups to businesses as well there was a
a persona from a construction firm who was doing a lot of work in terms of reducing waste construction.
but we could think about how it might be fit, seemed next time.
provided we get.
innocent or willing participants from from from the local community around that theme.
yeah, I think
it was a success and we had a lot of positive feedback.
and I think partly that was because we, we had a specialist who helped us with the social media and and the
the communications and and a sort of filming part of it, so we would, we would see if we could use a similar approach next time because that
that made it feel quite different from your your perhaps your your standards, sort of consultation or engagement event.
Cllr Laura Davison - 2:25:23 Councillor Chapman.
there's obviously been loads of work that has gone into this, so thank
Cllr Bridget Chapman - 2:25:29 you very much for that. It's much appreciated.
I just wanted to back up Councillor Jones' point about
changing behaviour. You you, you, get you, get the kids, you get, the adults
love the Tadic's idea, I couldn't go, but I had lots of good things about it. I'd really like to see and forgive me, I'm not trying to suck eggs, you might have already thought of this, but I'd really like to see a kids' TEDx
I think there's a lot, I think there could be there's especially
and I think when we do engagement with schools a lot of the time this is
across the area not not used, specifically, that it seems to be the same schools that get involved
and I'd like to see a real effort to target the kids from the schools from the more deprived areas I think there's loads of benefit that they could get from that kind of skilling up in in.
building up their confidence to speak publicly, I think that would be transformative,
and I think we could possibly look at youth champions for certain areas, so you've champion for food waste or youth champion for air quality and young people who could take that on and really run with it and I think that that could really feed in in a positive way.
Adrian Tofts - 2:26:47 for Sansa at that that sounds a really good idea we can explore that.
and see how we can make it work, yes, thank you.
the idea is, unless you want to come in.
Cllr Laura Davison - 2:26:56 I
Cllr Bridget Chapman - 2:27:15 I can forgive me, but one of the town councillors, Councillor Dickinson, has got a lot of contacts with schools, so maybe we could put you in touch and you could use possibly some of her contacts, she'll kill me for saying this,
don't care, thank you.
Councillor O'Connor, just some
Cllr Connor McConville - 2:27:33 if you're not aware, I'm obviously a climate change
rip at my work, the college, they have a a very large sort of climate change working group, there is student representation on that group as well.
so there's there's always an avenue there, if you're trying to engage with, maybe not.
primary legislation, students, but 16 to 18 19 year olds
there is a lot of work going on there as well.
Cllr Laura Davison - 2:28:14 great lots of really good ideas.
I think from from my perspective, it's this. This is a massive opportunity and it to engage people, so the more that we can do to make it something that's accessible for people in engaging and interesting and colourful,
I think the better
or maybe I was having a look at our website and I think some of these kind of opportunities to access funds and and so on or to look at
changes in in housing, for example, they're a bit siloed on the website at the moment they're in different places, so if there was a way to kind of pull some of that together and then use this as a way to really
you know, engage people in in in change, I think that that would be excellent as well,
and another group that I was thinking it would be good to link in with is trades unions in the area because obviously there are a lot there be lots of contacts into workplaces and
that would be another way to engage a whole network and I don't think that's mentioned at the moment as an idea within the within the scheme.
are there any other comments from councillors on this one?
hopefully that's given some good input as you take it forward.
Adrian Tofts - 2:29:29 I thank you very much and that's very helpful.
surely we need to formally
Cllr Connor McConville - 2:29:35
Cllr Laura Davison - 2:29:37 approve the recession about to go back to the recommendations.
sadly, just after half past eight.
OK, so we have the recommendations in front of us or are we happy to take those as a whole,
is that agreed by everybody those recommendations, yeah, OK, I think that's unanimous.
I think that closes the meeting then, apart from just to say the date of the next meeting, which did make a note of beforehand, is confined at now September.
somebody will have to help me, but what I was going to say on that was it's proposed as a 6 o'clock start time if there's any Councillor. that's gonna pose a difficulty for kind of moving forward, perhaps I could just contact me outside the meeting and then we could have a look at that.
Cllr Elaine Martin - 2:30:36 Councillor Martin, on September 26th, thank you very much, September,
Cllr Laura Davison - 2:30:42 the 26th all right thanks very much, everybody have a good evening.