Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:00:10 good evening and welcome to the meeting of Full Council. This meeting will be webcast live to the internet. For those 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 is 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 distracted. Distracting
I would like to remind members that, although we all have strong opinions on matters under consideration, it is important to treat members officers and public speakers with respect, please note, I appreciate that some Members might not be able to stand when addressing the meeting and therefore I will of course permit those members to speak without the need to stand at meetings of Full Council.
OK, so I would like to introduce my minister, Reverend Anita McKenzie, who will lead us with prayers.
Microphone Forty - 0:01:14 Hurley 1.
known by many names, to many people and beyond all names, spirit of life, spirit of love, spirit of community spirit of justice,
and this summer, solstice day we come together,
asking for your guidance, wisdom and support as we begin this meeting.
we ask for your blessings for the people, on the people who have been called to lead the community in which we live, work and play,
may we engage in meaningful discussion and allow us to grow closer as a group and to nurture the nurture the bonds of community I'm in.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:02:09 so the first item is apologies for absence
1 Apologies for Absence
there, any apologies.
thank you, Chair and evening Councillors, colleagues and members of
Dr Susan Priest - 0:02:19 the public, we've got two
apologies for absence this
evening from Councillors Schofield and Womble, thank you.
2 Declarations of Interest
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:02:29 thank you very much, so we move on to item number 2 declarations of interest, are there any declarations of interest?
OK, thank you, that's noted, OK, so we move on to item number 3 minutes.
am I, as is everyone agreed on the minutes that they have in front of them?
OK, thank you, so I shall sign them in.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:03:03 k the minutes assigned right, we move on to item number 4, Chairman's Communications.
4 Chair's Communications
so in the period since becoming chair, I have attended a number of engagements throughout the district and beyond, including my first ever event as chair, which was the unveiling of the portrait of the king at the Nepalese community centre. I've also been the guest of mayors of both Lydd and Dartford and have attended two flag-raising events one day after the other, actually so that's how excited I was to commemorate our armed forces. I am looking forward to the armed forces Day celebrations this weekend and the opening of an art project to observe refugee Week, which I'm attending on Friday. I say true to my word and met with town and parish councillors across the district and have promised to attend their events, but also to provide a link between them and the District Council and ensuring that all parts of this district are represented
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:03:59 OK, so we move on to Item 5. there are no petitions.
ITEM 6 public questions there is one question from Mary Laws to read out.
6 Questions from the Public
thank you Chair,
Microphone Forty - 0:04:21 my question is to to Jim Martin, leader of the council, will, Leader of this Council, meet with harbour, residents, association, local residents and businesses of the State to discuss with all other partners required in how to resolve all matters of concern and how we can improve the gridlock safety, the look ambience enjoyment for locals, businesses and visitors.
thank you very much for that question.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:04:47 well, thank you very much. for your question,
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:04:54 I'm delighted to say that our will be very, very pleased to meet with residents from Lee excuse me residents from the state I am liaising with the Ward Councillors, Councillor Keane and Councillor Chapman,
I have often discussed these topics with Councillor Kane
in the past, and I know that there's work to do so, thank you very much for drawing this to my attention and I look forward to meeting all of the residents
from the State and and the harbour ward
We really need to do something down there. Thank you
so yes, you may ask a related supplementary question.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:05:42
Microphone Forty - 0:05:44 I know things won't happen overnight, so I appreciate what you're saying. Thank you very much for that.
Would you ask,
but I would ask if, if a serious parking issues that the serious parking issues with some urgency as residents are unable to park and even if they do they get blocked in, as do Harbour, Point flats which is at Sunny Sands, there's a barrier and people are parking in front of their is becoming absolutely nowhere else to park that is the only safe cease to zone. Is there in how in the state and that's it, so they have nowhere else to park so they've been getting fines over the years which we've quashed,
but still they shouldn't be getting that should be able to and even their visitors the Congo visitors passes because the visitors can't park
can I ask him what was the supplementary question?
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:06:27
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:06:30 seriously.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:06:33 the problems with the parking in a state
OK, thank you,
Microphone Forty - 0:06:37
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:06:40
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:06:43 I'm happy to answer very much in a positive are we'll be taking this seriously, I've already had discussions with Councillor Polly Blakemore and, as I say in the past Councillor Keane and I have often discussed the problems of parking vendors, visitors, Rush residents there, so
rest assured this is something that there's not going to be an easy solution, but it's something we're taking very seriously.
thank you very much,
7 Questions from Councillors
Microphone Forty - 0:07:12
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:07:15 OK, we move on to item 7 Councillor questions, there were six questions from members which are set out in schedule 2 on Members' desks. I invited the first Member to speak.
Cllr Jackie Meade - 0:07:30 thank you Chair, and this is to Councillor Speakman, cabinet member for assets and operations
during summer months we find that the state and the leaves literally drown in litter. I previously requested that extra bins and collections take place, but put could the Cabinet Member, please look at arranging extra litter enforcement officers to patrol during the area's busiest times, please?
thank you very much for your question
Cllr Jeremy Speakman - 0:08:00 as a resident who lives near the promenade, I am personally very interested in how it looks
the level of service we receive from the contractors, Veolia and minimising impact of litter, obviously on the wider environment.
in answer to your specific question about extra litter enforcement, I know that the Environmental
Enforcement officers are already deployed over the summer weekends and also additional staff have been employed,
I will certainly continue to discuss where these patrols take place and if there can be more focus on the harbour
just to add looking forward to the summer, I will continue to be working closely with officers to ensure that the contract is robustly monitored and where we can really redeploy resources to meet seasonal seasonal demands. This will be done.
I would also emphasise our regular public messaging on this and signage that if a litter bin is full to please take your litter home, thank you very much.
OK, thank you, we have another question, thank you.
thank you, Councillor, that's good news for the residents at the Stade
and also delays what I would ask is going forward with your conversations with the owner if we can look at increased litter pickups as well as from the bins, because we're seeing visitors coming along with actually they bring bin bags with them. and then just dumped them by the litter bins as opposed to taking them home, so we've obviously got a bit of a problem there and especially when we've had events, if you ever go down to this area after events, it looks like Armageddon sometimes, so. Thank you
if I can speak personally,
I actually have a lot, I think we're going for last when we had all that warm weather, I went around first thing in the morning and it was like a bomb site. I totally accept what you're saying, I don't like it in more than you do
and we are looking very closely at the tracking information to make sure that the collections are happening later in the evening they should be, so there is no problem,
obviously with moment, etc
after thank you very much indeed.
thank you, we move on to our second question.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:10:19 thank you Chair. this is to Councillor Blakemore cabinet member for
Cllr Jackie Meade - 0:10:24 transport, regulatory service services and building control some areas of the district seem to be becoming the dog poo capital of Kent.
can the new Cabinet Member, please look into launching a strong public campaign, reminding the admittedly small number of irresponsible dog owners who do not clear up after their pets of the dangers to children from dogmas, and that in fact it is a formidable offence, thank you.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:11:03
Cllr Polly Blakemore - 0:11:05 thank you Chair, and thank you for the question, Councillor Mead,
as a responsible dog owner myself, I agree wholeheartedly that dog fouling is completely unacceptable, a potential hazard to health and offenders should be held to account
in terms of action on this issue. I know that last year the Council updated and renewed its dog control public space protection order this is enforced through patrolling by the Environmental Enforcement Team
the council has also previously conducted publicity campaigns around dog fouling and indeed a new campaign pause for thought is launching this week and enforcement team will be running an event on Sunny Sands on Friday to publicise the campaign. Rest assured I will be working with the regulatory services team to keep attention on this issue and to make sure irresponsible dog owners have no excuse for dog fouling.
thank you, you have the right to reply.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:12:03 thank you. That's good news, and if we could maybe
Cllr Jackie Meade - 0:12:07 go into the schools and spread that word as well, because quite often when you speak to the children they'll go home and if they see their parents doing something they shouldn't do, they
will pull them up.
We really need to take this seriously because it's not just around the beaches, we've got alleyways where children walk to school, where I'm continually being contacted by residents, because it's really dangerous for the children to walk down there, so any work you can do at all would be gratefully received. Thank you
Cllr Polly Blakemore - 0:12:40 thank you now, I completely understand that it's important to get the message across to young people
and the team, the enforcement team has shared with me that, as it won't be just to be on the beaches, they're going to other hotspots around the district as well to spread that same message but yeah I'll make sure we particularly areas that younger people,
thank you for that question, we move on to our third question.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:13:02
Cllr Jackie Meade - 0:13:05 this is to Councillor Jim Martin, leader of the council and cabinet member, for a tipple and planning policy now that Princess Parade has been saved from development, can we please have an update on actions, in particular when the hideous hoardings will be removed?
thank you very much,
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:13:27 Councillor made for your very current and important question and, as you know, it's a topic very close to my heart.
following the ground investigations carried out for
the Prince's Pride development, the council now have a better understanding of the contamination present within the buried landfill material. As such, the site cannot simply be reopened to the public, as the council has a duty of care to protect residents and visitors to Princes Parade Form from coming in direct contact with the contaminants. At this time, I can give you no definitive date for the removal of the holding.
However, officers will present a report to Cabinet in July outlining the resources required to establish what work the Council needs to undertake to make the site safe and remove the holding. I know please not.
I am counting the days
thank you, Councillor Martin, and my I said all power to your elbow to
Cllr Jackie Meade - 0:14:41 get this done, I know the residents are extremely happy
that we're possibly looking at rewarding and turning Prince's prey back into a public space, or maybe when we get to the time where we can open it again could we work with local schools for them to maybe put posters together and actually have their own designs
and maybe have an input into what they would like to see on Prince's Parade.
thank you very much,
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:15:14 yes, is is the answer, yes, yes and yes to to your two or three questions. The paper that are referred to will also include a next steps in terms of
opening the consultation for a potential parkland
and open space on, I'm reluctant to to say the word park because that very much depends on the density of the contaminants in particular areas, but certainly rewilding open space. For me, the key thing is to get views across the space, so I will get the holding down and will replace it with lower level fence so that people can actually see a cross at the site, thank you.
thank you, Councillor Mead, I note that you have a supplementary question,
OK, thank you.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:16:04 OK, we move on to question 4.
Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee - 0:16:14 thank you for that, thank you, Chairman, and my question is to Councillor Martin, leader of the council and cabinet member for article park and planning policy.
as Labour Group members now hold chairman of the Council, Chair and Vice Chair of Planning and Licensing, chair of audit and governance, and chair of personnel and cabinet is made up of Greens and Lib Dems', could you please tell us who is running this administration?
thank you very much for your excellent question, Councillor Hollins Big.
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:16:50 the simple, more simple answer to your question, who is running this administration, the answer is emphatically me.
I do show, however, with the great support of my Deputy Leader,
Councillor Prater, my coalition cabinet, and with the cooperation of our friends in Labour Group for too long, in my opinion, the party politics has got in the way of the efficient running of this Council, I hope to begin an era of a more inclusive co-operative politics.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:17:37 thank you have an opportunity to ask a supplementary, thank you,
Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee - 0:17:42 Chairman, so is this a three colour coalition?
sadly, this is a to colour coalition, however, as you see from later
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:17:52 in on the agenda, Councillor.
Peter is a moving emotion where we will hopefully move towards a committee system which again reinforces my hope and ambition for a more inclusive kind of politics, thank you.
we move on to question 5.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:18:19 thank you, Chairman.
and again this is to Councillor Martin, leader of the council and
Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee - 0:18:27 cabinet member for article part 10 planning policy, and I do apologise that I I got the wrong date there, I don't know what I was thinking about the on the 4th of April 2023 all opposition party members at the time as a Green party Lib Dem and Labour voted against the article part new garden town planning application,
Will this project go ahead or will this be cancelled, like Princess Parade?
another excellent question,
thank you very much, Councillor Holland speak.
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:19:05 I was indeed one of the councillors who voted against the grant of planning permission for a typical park,
but you will recall from what I said at the committee meeting, the article park garden village should be greener, more sustainable and have greater biodiversity.
it now falls to me to deliver what I clearly stated at the Committee meeting, and that is my intention.
it is impossible to Council a typical park
if the land was sold, it would be sold with a current planning permission for 8,500 homes and would almost inevitably be developed by others if we retain the land and chose not to develop it, the council would be so far in debt we would be bankrupt like Woking or Croydon.
this administration is fully committed to transparency and scrutiny for all key decisions, as a triple Park moves into its delivery phase, we will ensure that members are able to take fully informed decisions and work proactively with Ospel Park, LP partners and stakeholders to deliver a high quality new garden village, of which we can all be very proud.
you're welcome to ask a relevant supplementary
question, and I like to thank you for for that report or for that answer, and it's very, very positive, can I just ask that it is done
Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee - 0:20:45 at pace and is not delay after delay that will increase the costs and make it unaffordable, thank you.
thank you very much for the supplementary and I can
state the then.
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:20:59 how half of every day that I've spent, as leader has been involving discussions about a typical park, and there are multiple decisions to be made,
there are areas that need to be accelerated, there are areas where action needs to be taken,
and I will do my utmost to move that forward as quickly as I possibly can.
thank you very much, we move on to question 6, which is a question
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:21:37 from Councillor Cooper, I'm going to read that out.
on behalf of Councillor Cooper,
because he gets short of breath from for reading, so this is from Councillor Cooper to Councillor and Jim Martin, I'm leader of council and cabinet member of the multiple park and planning policy, will the council work with me to address the eyesore which is a former stands a motel on a 2 5 9 in St Mary's Bay included potential options for enforcement and or compulsory purchase as well as other any other action needed to bring the land back into use for the benefit of the whole community. visitors to the Marsh and to improve its visual impact
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:22:22 well, thank you very much, Councillor Cooper, for your question,
I have huge sympathy for local residents who rightly want the site finished and to add value to the already beautiful St Mary's by area.
the situation at the site of the former sense motel is very unfortunate and I am happy to further explore with officers what options are open to the Council, having had initial discussions with officers, it is clear, however, that the issues involved are quite complex, I need careful thought I will provide you with an update.
as soon as possible or when, in consultation with you,
we may be able to consider further ideas proposed body officers, thank you.
thank you very much
8 Announcements of the Leader of the Council
Cllr Tony Cooper - 0:23:17 thank you for the questions and we move on to Item 8 announcements of
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:23:23 the Leader of the Council, and we'll start with the leader of the council speaking Councillor Jim Martin.
well, thank you very much, Chair and good evening and welcome everyone.
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:23:36 I have been extremely busy
meeting all of the senior officers and directors of the council,
I have also held meetings with Roger Goff, the leader of KCC or Roger Jehan, regarding the seafront development in Folkestone, I met with Damian Collins, our MP, I have several I have had several meetings with the Ospel Park LP team,
I have also had many meetings with residents, partners, schools and other stakeholders. The subject of these meetings can generally be grouped as follows. Finance governance, Princess Parade, article Foca, the levelling up fund, folks in seafront Romney, Marsh and Folkestone town centre.
I've been delighted to meet many of the 422 people employed by folks in Hyde district council and they asked to present the recognition awards for customer service. I have attended the Kent leaders' forum, the Kent and Medway economic partnership meeting and a meeting of the East Kent leaders Forum. I joined Luke Douglas Hume, known as the coastal runner from Folkestone to hive on World Ocean Day as look continue, he continues his run around the UK coastline collecting litter.
I was delighted to open the Marsh inspires career fair at the Marsh Academy.
I will be meeting Stagecoach on Friday to discuss the impact of their cuts to bus services in the district, my diary is currently footfall with more meetings, visits and discussions with residents, partners and stakeholders in Folkestone and Hythe District Council, thank you Chair.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:25:34 now, the leaders of the opposition have an opportunity to speak in response and Councillor McConville, you may speak
Cllr Connor McConville - 0:25:41 congratulations on your your appointment, gym and look forward to working with you, where possible, challenging you where needed,
and obviously there's there's not too much to say at this point obviously I'm sure it'll get more more meetings as the municipal year goes on. I will just say that in your meeting with Stagecoach, I think just just to stress how important
those well small and possibly seemingly insignificant routes are to some of the very vulnerable
people in our in our town, in the town of Folkestone.
areas like the East Cliff and Broadmead Village, which which have no other way
of transporting people into the town, and I think it would be.
a great opportunity to find out exactly what Stagecoach would need
to keep those services running in some form, so I look forward to some feedback on that in due course, thank you.
thank you for that and Councillor Holland's be you have a right to speak as well.
thank you, thank you,
Cllr Connor McConville - 0:26:44
Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee - 0:26:45 and I'd just like to congratulate Councillor Martin on being elected as leader.
and thank you for your report and I was very pleased to hear that you're having meetings with our partners and stakeholders very, very important that we work with partners and stakeholders, and that's how we have changed some very good results, I was particularly pleased about the Marsh inspire
I have a great
affection for the Marsh, as you probably know, I spent 20 years teaching at the Marsh Academy, so I I were, I used to go to the Marsh, obviously every day, so I have a lot of affection for it as obviously as well as my North Down West Ward.
and I look forward to hearing further reporting further decisions and sure at your next leader's announcements, thank you.
thank you, and Councillor and Giamatti have a right to reply,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:27:39 thank you Chair, yes, indeed Councillor Holmes Bay, and indeed the last time I attended that event I was invited by you, I seem to
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:27:48 remember so so, and it's each grant it is it was it was a terrific event.
I take on board all of Councillor McConville's appointee, he happily shared some very good ideas with me before we came into the
chamber, and I will certainly be communicating them in possibly a calmer at Shah's dinner that I was going to bring to my meeting with Stagecoach, but
nevertheless we will, we will see what the response is from them, thank you very much, Chair,
thank you, so we need a proposer for the announcement.
and I'm happy to move them,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:28:34 Councillor Martin, and we need a seconder,
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:28:38 thank you, Councillor Prieto, and we need a vote of affirmation,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:28:40 please all in favour, thank you.
9 Portfolio Holder reports
OK, so we move on to Item 10 opposition business.
OK, I jumped the gun there, so we don't put failure reports item 9.
or they're just not there to note, so we move on then and there are no debate, no debate or vote on this,
so now we move on to.
10 Opposition Business
ITEM 10 opposition business
and Councillor McConville is to present this
Cllr Connor McConville - 0:29:25 there are another useful year, another
another, another another idea.
obviously we as a Council we we currently do a lot for our community,
but it's not always as open and transparent, as maybe we would like
we have various pools and pots of money. within the budget, that go towards a various number of initiatives.
citizens advice Bureau Bureau Academy, affirm our our fantastic community hubs,
all these sorts of things, but they all just sort of they'll just go, we approved a budget in February and these monies go out
appointed by officers, some go through Cabinet, obviously,
but I would like in moving to a more inclusive system.
I would like to see us have some sort of
member led control over some of that funding as a lot of other councils do so, I would like to at least have a discussion through the Overview and Scrutiny Committee about the possibility of setting up some sort of committee or it could possibly be a sub-committee of one of our new committees that we hopefully have from next May in terms of how we deliver these this funding,
that's generally the essence of it, and it will also be a good opportunity just to have a look about.
what do we, what do we fund in the community and is the is the is the amounts we're giving to these organisations appropriate for what they need, what they do,
this isn't to say that I'm thinking about
removing certain funding for certain organisations, not at all this is just about having a bit of a review and and possibly coming up with a better system that works in tandem with officers and members.
on paper, it obviously seems great, but we'll wait until we get into the debate another another reason.
that I wanted to bring this is just to try and bring a bit more balance to our district
especially with this area, if you think about community funding,
if you look at Folkestone,
so Folkestone has a town council and that town council currently gives out 54,000 pounds a year in community funding through its own internal ward grants and its individual councillor ward grants, and there are 12 of us in the room here that represent that same area
so that is another
36,000 pounds so Folkestone gets 90,000 pounds of community funding a year through councils and councillors
HEIF does reasonably well. with its with its councillors and a little bit from its town council just under 40,000 but down on the Marsh
there's not a lot and obviously they have less councillors that represent them, so having some sort of community wealth fund whatever we might want to call it could be a way to
bring the brings some more initiatives to life in other parts of the district that obviously don't have easy access to funding that that some other places like Folkestone currently do so that's a key driver for this as well.
so yeah, obviously, just to option B, refer this to overview and scrutiny within the new with, within the near future, to have a reasonable good debate about it. Thank you
OK, thank you. So there are four options to choose from as an ASM
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:33:11 Councillor McConville is just said, he's he has spoken on option B, so we can have a proposer for that one, unless thank you and do we have a seconder for that? Thank you, Councillor Keane, and do we are we in agreement
Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee - 0:33:29
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:33:32 already I can hear there is a debate, so go ahead, Councillor,
Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee - 0:33:35 I would just like to say I, I've got no.
no sort of argument against sack, but I I it just amazes me that you talk about how much money for Folkestone, because Folkestone is the centre of our district to see a day. The Academy F, in all those organisations are actually within
within focuses and obviously one of the community hubs as well. So
years ago we used to run a community chest where we did have a budget for that, but I do worry that certain facilities and certain services that we provide either the Citizens' advice Bureau, where there is a three year rolling programme, want programmes so that we know we must not lose sight of that are very happy for it to go to scrutiny. I've got no problem with that. I just wanted to make that point and also, of course, it is another committee that officers have to
I note that, councillor, thank you provide. I note that Councillor Peter would like to speak,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:34:41
Cllr Tim Prater - 0:34:43 thank you, and thank you for your motion, Conor you're absolutely pushing an open door, as you know,
it is one that I hope that we can build into the review of the standing orders and the constitution
that I hope we're gonna be launching under our next item of business, I'm very happy to support it very happy to look when we're discussing a constitution, those standing orders where that then sits and what committee and how we make that happen so that those decisions are much more open and much more democratic, which is absolutely where we're trying to get to.
Cllr Tony Cooper - 0:35:14 Councillor Cooper glad
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:35:16
Cllr Tony Cooper - 0:35:19 that fit is part of this debate a as early as we mentioned it, you didn't envisage below. There is no surely needed advice bureau on the Marsh, and I would suggest that when we look at these proposals that will look at with a view to extending or upon something from the CIB and Marsh, I don't really fear that people have to travel from New Romney, St Mary's Bay didn't schedule it always felt, and if you do get advice with people living here can get on the doorstep, so I think we should be returned for not simply into
the community and I'm looking
at that as policy. It's part of the process
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:35:50 thank you very much and Councillor Mead,
thank you Chair. I honestly believe anything that gives councillors
Cllr Jackie Meade - 0:35:56 more visibility of where the money is going to has got to be applauded, and that in turn gives our communities and our residents more visibility as well.
I think this is
an absolutely vital motion for us going forward because I do believe it will highlight areas such as the Marsh, and we didn't know about the CIA. I certainly didn't know about that so that we can look at where we do have, maybe a community chest for want of a better word
of money that we can actually pinpoint, where those services over and above what we're already funding are needed, so I would urge everyone, let's have a good debate at
the Committee and let's get this working, thank you.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:36:49 thank you Chair again, I'd just like to echo what Councillor Mead and
Cllr Paul Thomas - 0:36:53 others have said this evening. If you look at the Marsh, there's been a huge investment in the business of the there's opportunity if we can to share some of the services across the district that I think the what's been proposed this evening would go some way to look at and something we need to consider is that if we can share the services then we should certainly look to do that. So thank you very much, a supportive
thank you, Councillor ordered, please, thank you, Chairman
Cllr Clive Goddard - 0:37:22 only in 5 River, but also if we can protect the Ward, wants that the members get a wedding no, I think more important for the smaller groups and a pretty successful one, and every councillor saw him for the money out each year, so I think they are important cables, obviously support my fellow Marsh councillors about more searches on the Marsh and making shorter Marr stays on the map but I think mainly protecting the ward budgets which individual councillors thank you.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:37:55 looks like there's no one else to speak, OK, so we did actually have a
the proposer and a seconder, so we'll go again for a vote on an agreement
agreed, OK, so that's carried, thank you very much
11 Motions on Notice
OK, so we move on to Item 11 motions on notice and Councillor Pritchard will be speaking on that.
thank you, the motion
is in front of you call committee, governance for folks and Hyde
Cllr Tim Prater - 0:38:21 district council,
and now it's no secret, the annual administration believes our council and, most importantly, our residents are better served by a committee system than a cabinet,
the reason that the Committee the reason is that the committee system hears all parties views in making key decisions. but often the cabinet locks some out, as we had looked with some bitter experience over the course of the last month
over the last four years, when I've been proposing moving to a committee system it's felt like being a fly, aiming repeatedly at the windscreen in the hope that one day the fly will break that windscreen and the windscreen one in 2019 and 20 and 22, finally, maybe today that fly winds.
much as I'd like to read the speeches of the last twice, I move this motion and I know Jenny would like to hear them, I'll cut to the chase.
previously, when I proposed this motion, it was to allow parties of all colours to have a share in the administration in a proportional way.
I might be accused of self-interest in that
I've been told that people in opposition always say that and I'm told that they always changed their mind when they're a position of power,
so here's the news we're different.
we believed in this as a minority and we still believe in it when we have the votes. it's called principle and it's called commitment, and it's called listening to the people that elected us,
so no group would be locked out, all groups will get to have their say on those key decisions and to make their proposals and have their vote, and I'll be locked in to our Standing orders and our constitution legally.
the last council, prompted by my 2019 motion, did background work on the committee system and what might work for us,
it shows it's perfectly possible to have a dynamic, streamlined, inclusive committee system with a limited number of committees and retain our scrutiny structure.
committee systems can have quick decisions, named responsible officers, scrutiny and democratic balance and accountability, it doesn't have to be speed or democracy,
and now there is going to be a lot of hard work to deliver this by May 2024, but with this motion to start it we can get to work and we can make it work.
we're creator working group and one that meets in public and publishes its discussions and findings which will, representing all parties, will get down to the detail or bring back to this Council, a committee system that we believe will work for this Council
and, let's be fair, there's going to be some compromise that,
because tonight we have easy jobs, we vote for the principle, I hope we all, like the principle like voting for ice-cream, very few people are going to vote against ice-cream, that is always one.
there's always five.
then that working group will choose the flavours and will bring that back to this Council, and that's where we'll need to work together because there are a million versions of the committee system, there are a million different flavours, we won't pick everyone's absolutely favourite flavour, but I hope that we can come up with something that everyone will like
and accept that it's much better than no ice-cream at all
and we're ready to get to work.
and yes, as I'm sure someone is about to pick up on this, it's going to cost us some money.
everything does, but this motion is clear about that, and this is an investment in getting our rules right, to win the prize that we all want
principle, commitment, listening, all groups involved and no one excluded,
so Council tonight please vote for the fly.
please vote for ice-cream, please support this motion and let's finally get this done.
thank you very much, Councillor Prater, so can I ask them, I assume
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:42:24 that you're the proposer, would you yes and we have a seconder, thank you, and we open up for debate now, yes, Councillor Goddard, thank you
to be honest, I don't know where to kick off talking about flaws,
Cllr Clive Goddard - 0:42:36 always trying to
get authorities of colour mention chocolate or realise you mention Everton
no consulting, I no good. no match between Tottenham this year, so we're going to get on to football
what concerns me about this obviously is 100,000 pounds.
it's a lot of Lola money.
and presented in here, and you know what you
spent on Prince's Parade on them.
Councillor Golton, thank you, Chairman yeah, that's my main concern on our team, you know, I've got used to his speech and on public or a copy somewhere in the vein when he's been going on about his committee system for the last four years even our team has been on the cabinet for the last four years on the previous administration along with a growing so four years or four years,
so demand does concern me, I must admit,
I and more I'm not sure if it's not broke, why fix it?
well, give him a chance, so if you score it
so in my view it is the money issued on the side, United get another 100,000.
the cough is just where we have just been talking about, perhaps putting money into the community, etc etc are small and mine can you know position on it really, this is strictly the finances and I believe the cabinet system worked.
in order to win on this Council and work for one last year and we had greens yellows and we have agreed
a couple of independent so yeah, that's more,
thank you very much for that anybody else, yes, Councillor Key
think I need to remind you Councillor Goddard, that when we rebranded both in and out of district council Shepway we did worry about the cost, this is a democratic move and I think it's gonna be the best
Cllr Nicola Keen - 0:44:33 thing the people of Folkestone and the Marsh
so let's not worry about 100 pounds because we spent a hell of a lot more on other projects but didn't take off this one well.
yes, Councillor, Godfrey.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:44:49 thank you Chairman, well,
you would think you'll find myself in this unusual position of
Cllr David Godfrey - 0:44:56 minority opposition party, I've been working in this move,
but I have some doubts, some serious doubts, I researched the committee system but versus the
the cabinet system and I did find very little to convince me one way or the other, to be honest, I didn't see the merits in the met in in the committee system overall do those of the cabinet system, I went further and I spoke to councillors from other authorities that have tried both
and I didn't get a lot of positive reaction while it did get. Was we found that it delays decisions and it gets bogged down in too many committees not reaching agreement on anything, and that does concern me and I will say, despite that we may have spent however much it was on on Brie, Brown in Folkestone or 100,000 pounds at this time with the fiscal constraints we got, I just don't see that we are serving the community as well, as you think I wonder how many of them understand the difference or whether they even care they want their council to work for them so that we're having to convince them that satisfying what I consider to be a minority of councillors it doesn't necessarily benefit all of our residents, as you can see, despite me thinking there might be an advantage for us, I had not been keen on moving this motion, thank you,
thank you, Councillor Cooper,
thank you, thank you, I'm sure
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:46:26
Cllr Tony Cooper - 0:46:27 I've got no issue in respect of the funding, what might concierges this, the previous council and the council before that I'm a counter before now but impervious to public criticism by the members of the public out there who were supposed to serve.
I personally think if we move on to this system, that means each of the members are going to be more accessible to the public and can have more of an input and what the Council is doing sane and acting, whereas previously. on the committee system, we've seen members of the public came here and was at all sorts of questions and get nowhere, even that emotion, divided member rightly in the first meetings, 2019, where 16 to 15 votes in respect of the Princess Bride, I think it was and the
demolition officer with the terminal and said Well the Constitution said that's a decision that's going to be made by the cabinet that's not for people we're not at a particular time let's get, let's get this done, and see how much he changes 100,000 pounds is, I think, a sensible figure, because what we do want to be doing is sitting in 12 months' time and it's going to spend 250,000 or more innuendos if you've got to forget their trip to focus people's attention on, I think we should have no problem at all and that's all we say
thank you, Councillor Coupar, Councillor Mead.
thank you Chair.
Cllr Jackie Meade - 0:47:43 I think at least three of the parties here put in their election leaflets about going to a committee system,
we've had petitions
from residents asking us to go to committee systems, and the reason is that they don't want to leave it up to maybe seven people to make such important.
decisions on behalf of their area by having every single one of us in a committee of voices heard for our areas, that's actually upholding what I see democracy in this area, and now we won't always get the agreements that we want, but that's what we're here for we're here to persuade each other we're here to debate the pros and cons we here to bring forward ideas and unfortunately the cabinet system doesn't allow that across the whole board, so I will 100% be supporting this tonight. Thank you.
thank you, it's Councillor Thomas next
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:48:55 I thank you Chairman.
Cllr Paul Thomas - 0:48:59 what Councillor Procter said is that he wants us to consider this. In principle, the formation of the Constitution working party is the first step towards understanding the impact of this is likely to have, so I think it. I fully support the formation of the Constitution working party. Let's have a look at what is required, what do we need to do and how much is going to cost? I think then we'll be in an informed position to say how do we go forward, but I certainly support the formation of the Constitution working party and let's see what the next steps are going to be and then we can make that informed decision. The other thing is, I would like to see whatever work has been done previously by the previous administration on doing this comparison between a committee and a cabinet system, so at least we can go into that with some recent information with regard to what the pros and cons of this approach are. So I would certainly like to see that if that's at all possible, thank you Chair,
thank you Councillor Jones.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:49:59
Cllr Anita Jones - 0:50:00 thank you, so I'm fully in support of investigating this and putting this into place,
the people of Hive, I think, felt very unrepresented.
with the previous council we were largely ignored a lot when
people have high, wanted things done and they were overawed, perhaps by a lot of members of the cabinet, so by putting in this place it means that all people will be represented and that is so important in a democracy and that is right across the district, thank you.
Councillor Holland speed.
Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee - 0:50:39 I know I don't know about the ice cream, but I know that some people in here voted against an ice-cream van so.
wait for it, it doesn't always work like that and what about the fly on the wall as well, so so I think that's
I am, and I'm probably old enough to have worked under a previous committee system, and that's why we actually changed to a cabinet
and anise one of the things that really bothers me is that it is another task that we are going to put on to officers, officers who are already under stress with a lot of decisions to to to work through and we are now going to put another episode or another task in their way and it requires resources it requires a lot of resources. 100,000 pounds is equivalent to a 1% increase in council tax
do we need to actually do that at this moment in time, I I ask you all, is it a necessity, is it a necessity, and actually the committees are made OK in, in proportion to the number, you know the the result of an election so you could have as the Green party and the Labour party Conservative party, as the largest per roof on that care on that committee, and then you're you're going to end up with a similar kind of situation, so I I think that Councillor Prater is good as it is very good at persuading people he can talk he can solve, we know that, but at the end of the day I I believe it is unnecessary at this stage and it costs
100,000 pounds, it was going to cost 100,000 pounds equivalent to 1% in Council Tax and a lot of work or officers, so I won't be voting for this motion.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:52:51 thank you Chair.
Cllr Alan Martin - 0:52:53 I genuinely looked at this with a with an open mind, I Boston in the previous administration I've not been in council before, but I have spoken to some people who have worked within committee systems, both here in the past
and elsewhere nationally and I think it's over simplistic to assume that just because you're including more people within a committee system that you are being more democratic, you're certainly being more inclusive to the members but the extent to which it actually changes transparency in decision making, I'm really less sure
what is clear to me, and I gave it some thought earlier today, but this is actually going to deflect an enormous amount of council time and money this year, as we think through a new system and frankly, we've got many other things that we should be considering.
as as Jenny mentioned just now, this does come at an immediate costs.
of possibly more than 100,000 pounds.
and that's just over the first 12 months. Whilst we try and execute this,
there will be an ongoing burden on the council from an admin perspective and a financial perspective, this one questionably slow down decision-making,
and I mean in my mind it enables the administration to be less accountable for the decisions that are made and they come behind. Hide behind a collective view of the council. Overall, Jenny also mentioned that the the short term cost is equivalent to a 1% raise in council tax. It's no insignificant amount of money that we should be sniffing at the ceiling, and it just feels like a step in the wrong direction and, frankly, bad timing and the council's got other more important things to be looking at.
Thank you. Thank you, Councillor Butcher,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:54:51
Cllr James Butcher - 0:54:55 thank you, and I see 100,000 pounds as an investment in making better quality decisions that will avoid this wasting far larger sums of money in the future and, as someone said earlier, we stood on election on this very issue and I don't
decisions are necessarily better ones, so more inclusive, more consulted decisions, I think will be better ones,
thank you very much, Councillor McConville.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:55:18
Cllr Connor McConville - 0:55:20 totally agree to disagree with that point I sit here, I see it as an investment, I mean a 1% increase in council tax as about 107,000 pounds so slightly less,
obviously it's a maximum of 100,000 pounds. We will do everything we can to ensure that the work that is undertaken to bring this forward will be as well as much below that as we as we absolutely possibly can. Please rest assured on that and appreciate what Councillor Hollingsworth says in terms of working under a system previously, we're not tied to assist any system that exists now or existed previously,
we will take advice from from from our consultants and we might create something that is that is totally new to us, that works for what we need.
so I think you know
trying to look at it through through.
Old glasses is is is completely pointless wait and see what we put together
to bring back to the top to bring back to this Council, and then we can we can see we can say, even if we think it all, it'll work or not that entrepreneurs kindness, thank you.
thank you very much, Councillor Davidson, please.
thank you, Chair and Councillor Hollingbury didn't mention the flies
Cllr Laura Davison - 0:56:35 in the ointment.
these proposals have come before the council before and were blocked by the previous administration, and I think we have to ask ourselves why that was the case and I think it was about retaining a concentration of power
what we are seeking to do with these proposals. In my view, we should be as a decentralisation of that power and an involvement of all councillors who have brilliant skills and experience to bring to bear in this Council, and I think it was a shame that that wasn't utilised in the best way possible in the previous four years, and I really hope that we'll have a council of all the talents under this these proposals and when we make this decision. So I fully support this
thank you, Councillor Jim Martin.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:57:23 thank you very much Chair.
it will come as no surprise
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:57:31 when I tell you that I'm not a constitutional expert,
I think I'm I'm listening to all the points that have been made on.
Councillor Martin, I thought.
or made some very relevant points,
but Councillor made was quite correct in that it was part of
and but our very much picked up on on what
Councillor Cooper said.
2019 there was a vote in this Chamber.
to Councillor the Princess Parade.
now that vote was successful, the voice of the people had been heard and.
the there was, there was a lot of shouting at the end of the meeting, I remember it very well,
but that decision never came to Cabinet to be ratified
because it was the leader's prerogative, what went on the agenda for Cabinet,
so so here we had a clear expression of the people's voice and it wasn't listened to so so here we are four and a half million pound later.
so you know what, or what I would say is that it was it was Prince's parade that brought me to this Chamber, but it was that failure of democracy that made me stand again,
so I very much support this motion.
Councillor Blake was.
just follow on from what
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:59:22
Cllr Mike Blakemore - 0:59:24 Jane was saying, that when we were knocking on doors for the campaign, it was very disappointing how suspicious people were about the decisions being made behind closed doors in their council, and I think,
a lot of the impression that people had of the Council was probably very unfair, but a lot of it did bake date right back to Princess Parade, which came up in charity, and it wasn't just a hive issue where I was campaigning and that suspicion was born properly that day in 2019 when that vote was ignored
and I think this I'm
completely open-minded about exactly what a new system of governance looks like for the council, but we have to do something to address that mistrust that people have for their council, we want people to feel that this is their council, that it listened to them and does things with them, not to them and for them and I think looking at this with an open mind examining the options finding the best system has got to be the right way forward.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:00:29 I would like to speak on this motion as well in agreement because when people vote for us that elections they don't vote for people, a few people are going to be sitting on cabinet, they vote for every single one of us and they believe that all of us are going to be representing their interests if we are in a cabinet system we don't have the level of power that they expect us to have and therefore we're not actually representing them in the way that they intended, they expect all of us to be of equal access to decision making and this will allow us to be able to actually represent all of the people who voted for us in the way that they expected us to represent them.
right, Councillor Prater, you have the right to reply,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:01:09 thank you, and I'd like to wholeheartedly agree with you Chair, that's
Cllr Tim Prater - 1:01:17 exactly the point is that some decisions of this Council are reserved to the Cabinet to the Executive and not every group is represented on it are or can be.
and the committee system you can,
so you will all have a say in all of the decisions at different levels in this Council as opposed to being locked out.
I was to be interesting about this debate, is if you throw enough metaphors at someone you can destroy that concentration,
which may or may not have been my plan.
when you talk about the budget, it is exactly as Connor says, it's up to 100,000 pounds it gives cover, gets a top limit to it, and yes, we are going to try and come in below that we will try and spend as ever as little as possible and delivering what this Council wants
but has also been noted 100,000 pounds in terms of the four and a half million pounds this Council wasted on not listening to people and not listening to the full Council in June 2019 we would have saved 44 time 44 times that amount of money so it strikes me as a solid investment for the future, listen to the people and do it properly.
I was right, some people clearly don't like ice-cream.
the people you've spoken to. have sat on committee systems in their councils,
there are a million different committee systems, as I said, we're going to pick one that works, that's how we're going to try and pick one that is streamlined and does allow to make fast decisions where it's needed and can do so collectively
but actually still in allows us to have that proper democratic debate.
I love the conversation about only a minority of councillors are interested, 23 out of 30 of us in this Council were elected on the basis of standing on a committee system manifesto, and only the minority in this Council are who very much lost didn't stand on that manifesto where, as a majority in favour of this which is why the flies feeling chipper, perhaps there is a magnet
this. Could this motion will bind us to be doing that work, so these findings in spending money in terms of developing, coming forward and bringing forward that new committee system and doing the work on that and working with all of the groups and bring forward the shape to this Council to do so. I really hope that when we bring that forward that shape, then in the early in 2024
we don't have two bites at this. We have, or will have a pretty much up debt straight up. The yes no vote on that, but I hope we're gonna be involved in that work and we can be involving all members in that work as we come forward to come forward. As I said, it's not going to be exactly everybody's favourite flavour, but it's going to have moved us a long way forward and we were in the committee system and we've actually got that in place that which we feel that we need to tweak. We can tweak in running, we will, we will make sure that we've listened to people and continue to do so,
we will build the committee system that works for Folkestone and Hythe, and not the committee system of the people that you spoke to didn't like very much will build something that works for all of us and it will take time and it will take some of that 100,000 pounds, but we're doing it for the reasons we discussed, it's not a distraction it's because it's a principle, it gets a commitment we made to people, we listened to people, they voted for us on that basis and we're going to do what they said and we're going to involve everyone in this Council. Please vote for the motion
Councillor Mead, you've already spoken, I'd like to call for a recorded vote, please, Chair, OK.
Cllr Jackie Meade - 1:05:10 we have never been settled.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:05:13 OK, fine, we need five people right, thank you,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:05:19 OK
right, so we'll start to vote them, so thank you.
councillor, A Cocu Kelly.
Mr Jake Hamilton - 1:05:32 Councillor Mike Blake, for
Councillor Polly Blakemore.
Councillor Cooper, 4
Councillor Davidson, 4, Councillor filler for Councillor Goddard,
Councillor Holgate for Councillor Follingsby
Councillor Caine 4,
for Councillor Alan Martin, for
Councillor Elaine, Martin
Councillor Jim Martin,
Councillor McConville for Councillor McShane for Councillor Mead,
Councillor Prater, for
Councillor Shu for Councillor Speakman,
Councillor Thomas 4, Councillor Walker for Councillor Wyn
OK, so it's 26 for two against and no obsession abstentions, so it's carried, thank you.
12 Amendment of delegation arrangements by the Leader of the Council
OK, so we move on to Item 12 amendment of delegation arrangements by the Leader of the Council.
thank you, so,
Councillor Jim Martin, to propose anybody to
second Councillor Rebecca shoe,
and it's open for debate, if needs be.
agreed excellent, that's carried OK, so we move on to Item 13 committee or member membership changes
we need a proposer Councillor Keogh, Councillor Jim Martin, a seconder, second.
I saw Councillor Prater first
Cllr Polly Blakemore - 1:08:07 okay, and it's open for debate, if needs be, or we can
13 Committee Membership Changes
as one team.
I have to.
winning a wingless, yes, we are all very excited.
we need a proposal for them to receive OK.
agenda item 13 to receive and note report, A 2 3 1 0 2, we have a proposal for that Councillor Jim Martin and a seconder.
councillor Haurant Collins B, and then are we all agreed
OK and then two, to approve the appointment of Councillor Womble to the vacant seat on the audit and governance committee, and we have a proposal
Councillor Thomas and.
a seconder, Councillor Hornsby and agreed.
agreed OK, and the next one to appoint a vice chair of the audit and governance committee for the municipal year 2023 to 24.
OK, so who are you proposing
Councillor Jones, which
Councillor Jones Butcher, OK, do we have a seconder?
Councillor Keane, are we agreed agreed, thank you.
OK, thank you, that ends the meeting.