did you hear me there, I've got quite a voice anyway?
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:00:08 please remain standing if you can, for prayers to open the meeting and read tonight by my minister Reverend Anita McKenzie.
councillor and guests.
Microphone Forty - 0:00:25 it's an honour to be invited again to offer an interfaith blessing for this meeting after speaking.
blessed are you holy one, god of our understanding, whose goodness fills our hearts with joy and our minds with clarity
blessed are you who has brought us here together this evening to work in harmony and peace,
strengthen us with your grace and wisdom for seeking the truth and to find common humanity
lest or you who offer us your guidance and support as we begin this important meeting we ask for your help as people who have been called upon to lead the community. to be people of compassion and understanding as we engage in meaningful discourse and decision making tonight
blessed are you who nurtures our skills and expertise which allow us to grow closer as a group and to deepen the bonds of leadership and community.
you may nelson's.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:01:34 so before we start, in the interests of gender neutrality and the fact that I am a woman, after all I would hear on like to be referred to as Chair,
not Chairman, I understand that many people have been using the term chairman for a while so minor slips of the tongue our excuse for now. thank you,
OK, so we'll go to our first item, apologies, absence
1 Apologies for Absence
chief executive, are there any apologies to note?
evening, councillors, colleagues and members of the public, we just have one apology this evening and that's from Councillor Lockwood, thank you.
2 Declarations of Interest
Thank you right welcome to the meeting of the 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 speakers 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 distracting I like to remind members that, although we all have strong opinions on matter 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 we move on to item 2 declarations of interest, does anyone have any interest to declare in relation to any of the matters that they are are being discussed in this meeting,
Cllr Gary Fuller - 0:03:17 thank you, Chair, and I should declare an interest in Item 10 because I live in an HRA owned property.
intolerance, non-pecuniary interest I saw can still stay in the room.
thank you for that information
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:03:31 supplemented. thank you OK item 3 minutes are we agreed that the minutes of the last meeting are a correct record of what transpired?
agreed, thank you,
4 Chair's Communications
that is Members, that is unanimous, I will sign the minutes now.
Key item for
so kind of today, on 4th Estate and Battle of Britain, memorial celebrations provided me with an opportunity to commemorate both the past and present service personnel of this district and beyond at each service it was my great honour to lay a wreath on behalf of our district I attended a charity event in Peine, the civic church services of both,
hive and fix the Mayor's welcome Princess Anne to the district and met the tall ships. and its crew of both British and French children in Berlin at the end of their voyage, from fixed in harbour. It was wonderful to see the joy and jubilation of the children, parents and guardians after being reunited. Joy is truly international and nobody could distinguish between the nationalities when they arrived. I assure the children who took part will remember the skills they gained and the friends they made for the rest of their lives. My focus is representing the whole district to the best of my ability and making the role of chair as transparent and as inclusive as possible. Thus, instead of having one consort, I'm inviting local charities and charitable organisations to attend with me as a means of signposting their work and services, but also allowing them to network with people who may be able to advance their aims. I would also like to extend the invitation to councillors of any political persuasion. Please feel free to invite me to events, local to you and come with me to share the history, traditions and delights of your towns and villages. Finally, I now have an Instagram and Twitter account at F Stone Hives' C H R account. Where I share all of my engagements, you can use that to see what events I've attended and which causes I've been celebrating and supporting,
please direct message me or post about any events you'd like me to attend, along with contact details, and I'll send you details onto my PhD to confirm my attendance if it's important to people of our towns or villages, then it's important to me, thank you
moving on to Item 5, there are no petitions.
6 Questions from the Public
ITEM 6 public questions are no questions from members of the public.
7 Questions from Councillors
item 7 questions, Councillor questions, there were 15 questions from members which are set out in schedule 2 on the Members' desks.
so the first question is from Councillor Cooper, to Councillor Jim Martin, leader of the council and cabinet member for author Paul Park, and planning policy, Councillor Cooper, please speak, and Councillor Cooper told me before the meeting that he would like me to speak on his behalf so.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:06:45 with the proposed forthcoming boundary changes, can the District Council use this opportunity to change its name from Folkestone and Hythe district council to Folkestone, Hive and Romney, Marsh District Council, to make it abundantly clear it serves and is inclusive of all residents of the district?
Councillor Jim Martin,
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:07:05 thank you, Councillor Cooper
for your excellent question
indeed I was considering as the ward councillor for high
that perhaps Hive Folkestone and Romney Marsh district council has a certain ring about it,
just joking joking.
personally, I was very attached to the historic name of Shepway, I'm told by officers that a last name change from Shepway to Folkestone and Hythe District Council was driven by a lack of geographical recognition for the place name, essentially no one outside the district knew where Shepway was. the cost of that name change costs over 10,000 pounds and if we changed the name again, it is likely to be over 15,000 pounds.
I am very happy to join a debate on a name change if the majority of Councillors wish this to happen.
I think, however, the underlying point in your question is to give Romney Marsh the recognition it deserves as part of folks and Hyde District Council, and I share that objective with you,
the people of the Marsh have felt that for too long they were overlooked by this Council and I hope to change that perception I am very willing to work with you and with other councillors from the Marsh to make this Council more Romney Marsh inclusive.
thank you very much, Councillor Cooper, do you have a related supplementary questions funnily
Cllr Tony Cooper - 0:08:48 blacks, and I look forward to meeting with you because it is and as far as I'm going to and the people in the Marsh, as you say quite rightly we feel ignored and abandoned and it shouldn't be correct that the matter thank you.
Councillor and Martin, do you have a further response?
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:09:05 OK, thank you very much, we move on to question 2 from Councillor Womble to Councillor Holgate, Cabinet Member for Place plan heritage, tourism and district economy,
thank you, madam chair and good evening to Councillor Holgate, I'd
Cllr David Wimble - 0:09:23 like to inquire about the rumours circulating regarding the potential scrapping of Folkestone Air Show next year is it true that the current administration is considering this action based on concerns about the event's compatibility with the green credentials given the carbon footprint associated with thousands of people attending and whether the economic benefits to the local community justify this continuation?
possible gate, could you speak, thank you.
Cllr Rich Holgate - 0:09:53 thank you, Councillor Womble excellent question that folks there display will be held on the 20th of August this year and is largely funded from the Council's General Fund revenue budget.
to date, there have been no discussions or proposals put forward by the administration as to the future of this or other events funded by the Council. all events or activities of this nature are subject to the Council's annual budget setting process, which will start this autumn, and, at that point, will begin to consider the future of the event any decisions will be taken against a four and a half million deficit inherited from the previous administration.
thank you, Councillor, when bought you have a related supplementary question.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:10:35 thank you, madam Chair, not until we find out what happens with the budget, thank you.
Cllr David Wimble - 0:10:39 Councillor, OK, thank you very much. We'll move on to the next
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:10:46 question, then OK, so. Question number 3 from Councillor Windward Councillor Jim Martin, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Triple Park and Planning Councillor Womble.
Thank you, Councillor, Madden Chair, and good evening to Councillor Martin. Originally, I sent this question for Councillor Prater was
Cllr David Wimble - 0:11:02 told it had to go to Councillor Marsden. Can you provide the reasons, Romney March, with a concrete timeline regarding the commit or commencement of construction for the new swimming pool at Martillo lights? It's been over five years since the promise was made in campaign pledges, which included building a larger, more functional pool on the land that could be purchased for a mere 1 pound anticipation in the community is palpable and we look forward to the potential benefits of this facility could bring to the whole district
thank you, Councillor Will Womble for your excellent question.
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:11:41 The swimming pool proposal at Martello likes has received much support over the years, including support from Sport England. You will recall, however, that that support was withdrawn when the council decided to build the pool at Princess Parade. Sport England withdrew their support because they felt that sports and leisure facilities are in short supply on the Marsh and a pool was better located at Martello likes. I have always campaigned for the pool to be located at motto likes. I do not recall suggesting that a larger or more functional pool could be provided. Indeed, I cannot recall ever promising anything because I've never been in a position before to influence the location of the pool.
I can confirm that I have asked officers to investigate if the possibility of locating the pool at Martello likes is still possible, and after some extensive research, I'm happy to confirm that the start, the site, is still available to the council for 1 pound, as you so rightly state
with regard to a timeline
with so many other unknowns, I cannot confirm anything except if the 4.5 million pound that had been wasted on Princes per April had been spent building a poll on its original site at Martello likes, it would be full of happy smiling children this evening.
Councillor Wayne Ball, do you have a related supplementary question?
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:13:23 Yeah, I'm
delighted to hear that Councillor Martin wants to build the pool
Cllr David Wimble - 0:13:31 there. I am worried about the fact that our current poll, in two years, will be 50 years old, has proven to be a huge money pit to keep serviceable now that running is well beyond its original lifespan. Does the Council plan to keep putting sticking passes over this, to keep the council running
Councillor Martin yeah, I can confirm that the hyper will be
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:13:56 maintained, however, you're quite right, there will come a point where maintenance or future maintenance is impossible,
the cancer treatment we visited the pool last week and
we were hugely impressed by the dedication and commitment of the staff that keep that pool running,
so it is, it is more
really odd attributable to their enthusiasm
to keep the pool open then the building fabric.
all I can say is watch this space, there's this, we're hoping to make active progress on this
and I'll be able to update you in a while.
thank you question 4 from Councillor Womble to Councillor Martin,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:14:49 thank you once again, madam Chair, last one from the dire Way
Cllr David Wimble - 0:14:54 regarding the proposed construction of a new nuclear power plant at Dungeness, which enjoys the support of the majority of people at the Romney Marsh are likely to inquire about the position of the Council a former Green party leader Councillor Lesley Whybrow express opposition to the project, citing concerns over nuclear waste is this view shared by the current Green administration, if so, how does the council plan to compensate for the 50 million pound plus contribution to the district's economy from Magnox and idiot plants?
thank you, Councillor Womble for another excellent question apologies
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:15:32 in advance, but there is much to say about this and I thank you for the opportunity.
There is currently a government competition to provide suitable sites for 10 small modular reactors nationally.
The small, modular reactors will generate carbon free energy, but they also generate nuclear waste. I don't think there's a single person in the whole country who is not concerned about the management of nuclear waste. It's the fuelling its transportation and its storage for over 500 years, so I share x Councillor Whybrow has concerns about nuclear waste.
The Green party's position is very clear.
Nuclear waste, coal and incineration of waste will be phased there. The question we all have to wrestle with is how quickly can we phase out damaging power generation while at the same time providing the power to people's homes and industry? Clearly we can only save our planet by phasing out fossil fuels immediately, but we have to be careful that in our switch to Zero carbon power generation. We do not give future generations a major problem to solve with nuclear waste.
I think the first thing to say is that Dungeness was ranked 16th out of 16 sites considered for a new nuclear plant a few years ago. This was largely because the proposed plant would have encroached into an area of special scientific interest.
The government's current competition is for sites able to accommodate this new innovative technology of small modular reactors. The operators of Dungeness. The French company ATF, are keen to put their site forward as one of the 10 possible sites in the country to accommodate small, modular reactors. the site for the small modular reactor will not encroach on the site of special scientific interest. I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Bowery, the parliamentary Under secretary of state for nuclear and networks at Dungeness. Recently, I was able to tell the Minister that the power station is the only large scale
provider of highly paid professional engineering jobs in the district. I was also able to tell him that the majority of the people of Romney Marsh are not only nuclear tolerant, but most are enthusiastic nuclear supporters.
We also discussed the increasing electricity demands from the Port of Dover and the ports future need for hydrogen,
which is easily harnessed by
sorry is an easily harnessed by-product of power generation from small modular reactors, we discussed the ease of connection to the national grid. which is a distinct advantage for dangerous because all of the infrastructure is in place.
For me, the prospect of providing 500 well-paid professional long-term jobs in one of our most deprived areas to produce carbon-free energy, and possibly large scale hydrogen, is attractive, but it must be weighed against the undeniable risk of nuclear power generation. I am on a steep learning curve. Personally, I'm talking to everyone involved, I have visited Dungeness twice rates recently, and I have been impressed with the people I've met and the culture of safety while I have observed, but that investment in safety in is in safety and the culture of safety that has been developed at Dungeness is because nuclear generation is so potentially dangerous. The nuclear waste issue remains unresolved. In my mind,
this administration's position is very clear.
we are committed to working with stakeholders to explore any new technology initiative that has the potential to ensure that a significant number of well-paid jobs are created in a Romney, Marsh area which will grow the local economy and provide new career opportunities for young people, and that is exactly what I'm doing.
thank you, Councillor, Nelson, Councillor Windmill, do you have any related supplementary questions,
yes, thank you.
personally, I know that most of the people on the Marsh are very much for this, so I'm pleased to hear that you at least looking into it.
on 22 of March last year, Adrian Ramsay, the Green party co-leader recently said, nuclear energy is an expensive distraction at a time when we face dual challenges of spiralling energy costs and concerns
Cllr David Wimble - 0:20:50 over energy security. And Caroline Lucas, only last month and Radio Four's today programme said Nucla new nuclear would be a disaster for the country and the rest of the world if the government is putting money into nuclear, it gives a sign to investors that still serious about nuclear and this is total madness. So my supplementary question is for the people who voted for this administration. do they want a party that goes on for the said national guideline, or do they want a maverick party that's going to go against what the Green party sample?
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:21:25 there was a question at the end, so could you please answer the question?
you have to ask them
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:21:30 please just ask the question at the end, please.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:21:34
Cllr David Wimble - 0:21:37 do you, as a party, the Green party, follow the national guideline have been anti-nuclear, or you can be merry in go a different direction?
there was no supplementary question chamber
that was one of the questions.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:21:50
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:21:53 can you really ask the question you asked me what you asked was did the people who voted for us?
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:22:02 OK, so my supplementary question as it's written down here is the people who voted for this administration surely wanted a party that
Cllr David Wimble - 0:22:06 followed the national policy.
so basically you are either great where you eat green or you're not going.
is that OK,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:22:17 consummate is there anything you want to add?
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:22:26 or just reiterate my my answer, and that is that a council will have
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:22:31 to ask them,
OK, thank you, we'll move on from that, thank you very much.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:22:37 OK, we'll move on to our next question, then, from Councillor Thomas to Councillor Speakman, cabinet member for assets and operations, Councillor Thomas, please,
Cllr Paul Thomas - 0:22:50 OK, thank you, manager wants to support the principle of no May. Could I ask that an exception is made, the New Romney cemetery and other cemeteries across the district. The basis for this request is theirs as an older cemetery, with many grave etchings and group grave ornaments that have been laid on the ground for safety reasons. The long grass increases the risk of a fall due to these unseen tripping hazards. This is a particular problem for residents were ability, issues and those who are vision. Impaired
thank you, Councillor Speakman.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:23:20
Cllr Jeremy Speakman - 0:23:21 thank you, Councillor Thomas, for your question,
actually the council doesn't actually participate in, though May.
with over 2 million square metres of grass to cut across the district,
if we were to leave all the grass for a month, it would have severe consequences for the rest of the growing season, we do how have many areas across our open spaces and parks that are managed for biodiversity with regards to grass cutting in New Romney and the other cemeteries and closed churchyards, the grass cutting at the start of the season was particularly challenging this year. there were high levels of rainfall and warm temperature, causing grass to grow at a very fast rate.
the grounds maintenance team has been struggling to recruit seasonal operatives this year, which has had an effect on a resource levels of the team, these factors led to the grass being longer than we would have liked during May. but I'm pleased to tell you that the team are back on top of the grass cutting and the cemeteries are back to looking how they should. Thank you very much.
Councillor Thomas, you have a related supplementary question.
just in terms of the access to the cemetery, not just in New Romney but other ones as well, with regards to the people with disabilities, so specifically in the wrong the gate latch, could it be replaced one bit easier for all the residents and those with disabilities to gain access to the symmetry? This should also be viewed with regard to disabled access to the cemetery and those across the district and the amendment of the HDC cemetery policy to allow blue badge holders to take their vehicles. in this case to the roundabout at the top of the cemetery, but to other seventies, to make it easier for people with disabilities to access the rave sites,
thank you, Councillor Speakman,
thank you, Councillor Thomas, for your excellent supplementary question and I entirely sympathise
officers will be taking a look
at the go to haven't done so already and see what can be done, the gate hinges have just been replaced which hopefully should make the opening and closing easier, but obviously we'll look at the
the the luxurious you.
with regards to the secretary post in allowing blue badge holders to park on the roundabout at the top of century cemetery, I have asked officers to consider this and I would might have me talk with your officers that just to clarify there is actually no designated parking within the cemetery as an older cemetery was only designed for vehicles belonging to undertakers and maintenance vehicles for access purposes, the roadways are narrow and if multiple vehicles are parked at the same time we can make it very difficult for maintenance vehicles to access the cemetery.
the 70 regulations do state that the heckler access may be permitted for disabled visitors by prior arrangement with and at the discretion of, the so much as offers no access both to the secretary's office, and so there have been no problem as far as they're concerned, it's just that I think
if there's going to be a funeral or whatever it might be useful to have a debate with them first.
I would suggest that anyone who requires vehicular access to the centre makes contact with the cemetery's office, who'll be able to assist and maybe very helpful, thank you very much, thank you, thank you,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:26:33 and we now move on to question 6 from Councillor Thomas to Councillor
and people are more Cabinet Member for Transport regulatory services and building control.
Councillor Thomas Street
Cllr Paul Thomas - 0:26:44 application manager, in the last few months there have been three significant car accidents at the junction of the High Street and Ashford Road, in New Romney, there are over 200 new homes being built or all built on Ashford Road. and the traffic at this junction is in, is increasing significantly. One major contributor to these accidents is the inconsiderate and unlawful parking on single yellow lines between this junction and the high street shops, which severely restricts the vision of drivers entering the high street. Can parking enforcement please be directed to take a 0 tolerance approach to parking offences in this area and increase the frequency patrols, particularly at peak times when the local school traffic is at its highest? Thank you.
Thank you, Councillor Blake,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:27:29
Cllr Polly Blakemore - 0:27:30 thank you Chair, and thank you for the question, Councillor Thomas.
I understand that this junction has been a source of concern for some years and that the development along this stretch of Ashford Road has averted the situation here. I can assure you that there will be frequent and stringent enforcement patrols in this area, particularly during peak times, and it is worth mentioning, however, that loading and unloading is allowed from yellow lines, so vehicles actively engaged in such activities will continue to be permitted to do so.
thank you, Councillor Thomas, you haven't released a supplementary question.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:28:05 thank you Manchester
Cllr Paul Thomas - 0:28:13 Academy restrictive parking design be applied to disjunction, in line with that proposed by New Romney Town Council in their parish highway improvement plan, which already has the support Kent County Council and the local KCC member. and could we engage the services of the folks in Hart District Council specialists to support
the changes to that
junction, please, thank you.
thank you, Councillor Blackburn.
yeah, we are aware of New Romney, town council's highway improvement
Cllr Polly Blakemore - 0:28:39 plan, Kent County Council as the Highway Authority are responsible for safety restrictions, but our officers are liaising with the county council to establish the scope for further restrictions in the area, and I will continue to make sure that the District Council does continue that liaison.
However, as mentioned, vehicles delivering to businesses on the high street do tend to park on the inner lines. So this is a different issue. Therefore, officers are looking into the possibility of introducing loading restrictions in parts of the high street and Ashford Road, where temporarily parked vehicles can cause an obstruction on hazard.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:29:18 thank you. question 7 from councillor Alan Martin to Councillor Jim Martin, Councillor Alan
thank you Chair.
I must say, following
Cllr Alan Martin - 0:29:25 the Leader's extensive and very positive response to Councillor Wimbledon's question, I'm struggling to find any unanswered aspects to either my question or my supplementary question,
but I would like to reiterate the fact that
for those of us on the Marsh this is a really important topic and we'd like to support you in any way we can.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:29:53
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:29:55 it doesn't really know an answer, but.
suffice to say that,
whatever my personal views are on nuclear power generation, I am under a duty as Leader of the Council
to pursue any opportunities that will provide 500 well-paid engineering jobs in this district, there are, there are bridges to be crossed, there are things to consider, but I would be failing in my duty if I didn't take every opportunity to try and secure those jobs.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:30:32 thank you very much, Councillor Martin, are you satisfied, thank you OK, we move on to. question number 8 from councillor David Godfrey to Councillor Jim Martin, Councillor, Godfrey.
thank you very much Chair, my question is,
Cllr David Godfrey - 0:30:47 firstly, leader's proclamation that Princess Bride is saved at the annual Council meeting on the 25th of May is announced, an extension of planning permission and quite properly expressed caution over the swift removal of hoardings now that he has had time to fully absorb the implications of completely abandoning the Prince's Bray project and potential loss of an estate worth more than 20 million to the residents of the whole district. can you categorically confirm that no development will take place on Prince's Parade,
thank you, Councillor Martin.
thank you Chair,
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:31:20 thank you very much, Councillor Godfrey. for your question, as you know, this topic is very close to my heart and I am grateful, as ever, for the opportunity to discuss the Prince's Pride project, having spent so many years being ignored as a fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors offering an expert opinion that the project was not viable, I do find it quite flattering that so many people analyse every word I now speak. on The Princess Bride project as a layperson, and this administration inherited the Prince's pride project, which had been paused.
The contractor ban had ceased work and had removed their sites set up porta cabins offices storage, etc there was no work taking place and the site was inactive. The construction of the project, including the proposed swimming pool which I agree, may have had an asset value of 20 million pounds, was going to cost 50 million pounds to construct,
so if I can be credited with saving, not only Princes Parade, but also saving this Council 30 million pounds. I will gladly accept the acolyte.
The current work on Prince's pride, as approved by cabinet, is to undertake an environmental report to ascertain the work that is needed to complete
to be completed, to enable the holdings to be removed. When this work is completed, it is confirmed any is confirmed that it is safe to take the holdings down and replace it with a lower level fence. There will be a public consultation to consider the possible options for the site. This will allow the public to share their views on the future use of Princes Parade. Thank you
thank you, Councillor Godfrey, do you have a related supplementary question?
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:33:28
Cllr David Godfrey - 0:33:31 thank you Chair, I was going to ask about the poor, but that's already been done, so thank you.
if you are satisfied OK, thank you, we'll move on to the next
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:33:40 question, question 9 from Councillor Cooper to Councillor hey Blake, more cabinet member of transport, regulatory services and building control, do you like me to read that OK?
so I will read that on behalf of Councillor Cooper.
residents are concerned, the fire hydrant in Aspen Close St Mary's Bay is being obstructed by inconsiderate parking and making it difficult to for large delivery, refuge and vehicles, refuse vehicles and residents to access their properties, never mind turn around, it's an accident waiting to happen and given Kent County Council.
have refused to paint any yellow lines due to the lack of crash stage data, would she please use her discretion to enable double yellow lines to be installed at this location as soon as possible, Councillor Blake more?
thank you Chair, and thank you for the question, Councillor Cooper.
Cllr Polly Blakemore - 0:34:39 and fallout me to the parking issues in Aspen Close, as mentioned in my answer to Councillor Thomas, safety restrictions are the responsibility of the Highway Authority, so Kent County Council but Folkestone Haven district council is responsible for controlled parking zones and will deal with safety restrictions within them they will, however, highlight the Aspen Close issues with Kent County Council, but unfortunately we cannot decide on the schemes that Kent county council chooses to implement.
Councillor Cooper, you satisfied, thank you, we will move on to question 10 from Councillor Mrs. Helen, Speed to Councillor
J Martin, Councillor Hornsby,
thank you, Chair. At the recent personnel committee, the Chief Executive listed the priorities of your administration. In addition to maintaining the delivery of frontline services with budget pressures and time constraints on moving to a committee system of governance by next May, can you assure me that the health and wellbeing of staff will not be compromised?
Thank you, Councillor Martin,
thank you for your excellent question, Councillor Holland, the which is very relevant.
the council is currently projecting a 4.5 million pound deficit for 24 25.
which this administration has inherited, so our budget pressure has little to do with a move to a committee system.
your question quite rightly focuses on the health and wellbeing of our staff, all 461 of them.
we as a Council are very lucky to have such a committed and dedicated group of individuals who choose to work for us in delivering frontline services to the people who we serve.
Their health and wellbeing is my highest priority, because if we lose their dedication and commitment we, the council, will fail.
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:36:49 The chief HR officer has recently reported to a personnel committee on a wealth of health and wellbeing initiatives which are part of the people strategy. These include running internal sessions on health and wellbeing, managing stress, personal resilience, moan mindfulness, financial wellbeing, menopause awareness and men's mental health with bespoke sessions for teams such as customer services and ground maintenance. In addition, all staff bracket and councillors close bracket have access to the F and which rewards online platform, which has a large selection of dedicated,
has a large selection dedicated to health and wellbeing, we also have a team of 35 trained mental health, first aiders who are available
for staff to access across the council.
councillors may already be aware of the Kent, and Mid Wales Health work places award in October 2022 we received the bronze level award and this was increased to the Gold Level award from March 2023.
The high child team constantly review and increase the wellbeing provision here at the council and ensure that elements such as via ball-carriers trauma support that was identified during the customer services excellent reaccreditation is implemented to provide appropriate support to relevant groups of staff I can therefore categorically state that the health and wellbeing of our staff will not be compromised.
thank you very much indeed for that response and I'm very pleased to
Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee - 0:38:56 hear that I mean my question arose because also at the personal meeting,
the adviser to the job to the MoU, the change from the cabinet system to
committee actually said that or it was reported that.
there was insufficient staff to actually carry out some of the work, and that's really what what brought me to ask that question.
did you have a related supplementary question or
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:39:25 no
thank you, we'll move on then.
Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee - 0:39:32
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:39:35 question 11 from councillor keen to Councillor Speakman, please, Councillor Campbell, please be
Cllr Nicola Keen - 0:39:40 returning Councillor statement
in view of the economic climate and the fact that if HTC are under financial pressure, could we not look to freezing the beach hut project in favour of services supplied to the residents of the district.
Councillor Speakman, thank you Chair.
thank you again for your question, the Coast Drive coastal destination
Cllr Jeremy Speakman - 0:40:05 project is being delivered for a number of reasons.
It will provide a brand new facility on the Marsh, providing beach huts a boardwalk for all inclusive access to the beach, a classroom and teaching facilities for a war sports club and a cafe kiosk concession as well as changing places toilet facility. This will help to increase tourism on the Marsh and generate income to the council and neighbouring businesses. The revenue income from the rental of the beach huts the car parking, the cafe, key yours, concession and rent from the watersports business will be used to the council to help the alleviate the financial pressures she felt she had of receiving and fund essential services to risk.
thank you, Councillor Keynes, who had related
such as I do,
can you tell me what percentage of those beach huts will be earmarked for the people and residents of the a Bromley, no Romney and the Marsh and Folkestone, and can that be set into the minutes as a said
and acted on
Councillor speeding, regrettably, I don't have that information to hand, but I can obviously provide that item that you have that thank you very much.
thank you very much.
we move on to question 12 from councillor keen to Councillor Prieto,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:41:27 Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for finance and governance, Councillor King.
Cllr Nicola Keen - 0:41:33 can we please have some clarity around how much growth and revenue we as a council make from the parking enforcement service?
thanks to your question, Nicola,
sadly there's not going to be a simple answer, but I'll do my best
or found on-street parking enforcement, both house income you can quantify.
and also income that you can't quantify, and it has many costs outside of just the cost of the wardens themselves. So for income there is clearly fine income the amount that you've actually issued tickets for, but also without parking enforcement. Fewer people would pay for their parking in the car parks or on on streets, etc because the act of enforcement actually encourages people to pay, to make sure that they're not going to get a fine, but you can't quantify that income quantify how many tickets you sold because people bought a ticket because they were worried. There can be a fine
or they can quantify the benefit of enforcement to stop vehicles blocking roads with obstructive parking, for instance. So the aim of parking enforcement is not just to maximise income or is not to maximise income, but it's to improve the traffic management for the benefit of the community,
so the quantifiable benefit of parking enforcement and the fines issued. But there are many more unquantifiable ones.
Cost of parking enforcement or not just traffic wardens, other lines and the signs and the machines and the servicing and other staff time and fine collection and cash collection from machines and all that stuff,
traffic wardens report of that, but they're actually not even the biggest part of the enforcement costs,
so in bald terms it contains 70,160 pounds was spent on parking enforcement, including some of the parking services direct costs in the last year. That's not just the direct cost of wardens. That's the
Cllr Tim Prater - 0:43:23 cost of all of that stuff.
Fines income alone total 569,808 pounds but the income from charges and permits was much more than that again.
The perky accounts are published annually on the council's website.
Folks and Hive dot gov dot uk slash council dash transparency slash parking dash accounts, which is catchy
and that's got much more detail than even I can give you this evening.
thank you, as it was a very comprehensive answer,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:43:58 Councillor Keane, do you have a related supplementary question, no, I don't.
Cllr Nicola Keen - 0:44:02
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:44:08 thank you moving on our question 13 from councillor keen to Councillor Shu cabinet member for housing and homelessness.
Cllr Nicola Keen - 0:44:15 it can Councillor Sheard with recent publicity around the rat-infested council properties in the district, while we charging our tenants for pest control
thank you Chair, and thank you Councillor Keane,
unfortunately, common pests such as flies rats, mice, ants wasps, etc are part of everyday life and can cause huge distress in all types of dwellings.
the reason why someone may have a problem with pests in their home are varied, and it's often not as a result of any problems with the house or flat itself.
as such, it's council procedure that is the responsibility of the tenant or residents to deal with pests in their own home.
in regard to reports of pests in Council owned and managed properties
Cllr Rebecca Shoob - 0:45:10 where property maintenance issues are a contributing factor, such as missing brick work, for example, that may be allowing access for rodents, then the council, as landlord, will make any necessary repairs as part of a normal repairing obligations
where the communal areas, for example of a block of flats, are infested with pets pests or where there are problems in the communal areas which may be a contributing factor to pests in individual properties.
Then the council, housing landlord service will carry out any necessary treatment or works.
In a recent example of this in Folkestone, the landlord service has arranged for bait boxes to be laid in the communal areas and is carrying out some ground works to prevent rodents entering the building via the sewage system.
Advice has been given to all tenants on best ways to avoid attracting pests such as rats and mice, the council website gives advice and recommends residents to utilise the services of our preferred supplier agencies, pest control, who are for all residents of Foakes and Hyph district reduced rates,
thank you, Councillor Keens, you have a related supplementary question,
so I know
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:46:28
Cllr Nicola Keen - 0:46:30 where are residents, especially in council properties are on low incomes and benefits, can there not be some means tested by of dealing with this because it's the poorest families again in our district who will suffer because they haven't got the money to pay for pest control?
thank you Councillor Shoot,
thank you, I'm so, as mentioned there are, there is the the pest
Cllr Rebecca Shoob - 0:46:54 control which offers reduced rates to residents, but very happy to discuss if you got some budget ideas about how we can
further subsidies but omits as said it's it's a it's a problem in that the people's houses unfortunately it is a tenant or property owners' responsibility.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:47:19 move on to question 14 from councillor keen to Councillor Shoe. councillor Keane.
Cllr Nicola Keen - 0:47:31 how many families that are on our housing register have been accommodated out of the district and how many families have been placed in bed and breakfast in the last 12 months?
Councillor Shoot, please.
thank you for your question.
so the Council does not accommodate people from our housing list outside the district, the list contains the households who are looking to access council and housing association homes within the district.
with approximately 1,540 households on the housing list at present, some households may themselves choose to move into the private rented sector, including homes in other districts, rather than wait on the council housing list.
during 2022 to 23 92 households were accommodated in B&B type accommodation, whilst long term homes were identified for them and this.
the use of B&B accommodation by the council is reported as part of the council's quarterly performance process and the Council only uses this form of accommodation in emergency situations.
councillor Keynes, you have a related supplementary Minister, thank you.
we'll move on to question.
Councillor Kane, can you switch your thank you,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:49:06 question 15 from Councillor Chapman to Councillor P Blakemore Councillor Chapman,
Cllr Bridget Chapman - 0:49:10 thank you
good evening, Councillor Blake, or
the number one issue that residents in Folkestone Harbour ward raise with me is the issue of parking.
could council increased the presence of its civil enforcement officers to deter the inconsiderate parking which is affecting people's enjoyment of their homes,
additionally, can more be done to deter the pavements from being blocked in Harbour ward because parents with pushchairs the elderly and those with mobility issues are being forced to walk into the road and traffic simply to go about their business?
Councillor Blake, please.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:49:52 thank you Chair, and thank
Cllr Polly Blakemore - 0:49:54 you for the question Councillor,
the council is aware of the parking problems experienced by residents in Folkestone Harbour and has already increased patrols there, two officers now patrol its locality regularly throughout the day, a consultation has just started on amending the existing traffic regulation order to introduce further restrictions on the state and fish market. The proposed loading restrictions will ban waiting and loading on existing yellow lines.
In addition, blue badge holders will not be permitted to park on areas with a loading ban and in the proposed loading bays, which should further ease the situation for residents
to your next point. There is no blanket ban on pavement parking outside of London, so restrictions have to be applied locally for a traffic regulation order, the Department for Transport is considering overhauling the rules to bring the rest of the country in line with the capital, and we have brought pressure on them to do so, but unfortunately there has been little progress on this so far.
Our current footway ban traffic regulation order does include some of the roads within cardboard. So we have instructed officers to ensure enforcement action is taken on vehicle scene parks, in breach of the order. Or please alert me
if there are votes or pavement parking problems, so I could let the Council's Highway engineer know he will then carry out an assessment and, if satisfied, that restrictions are necessary, will make recommendations to the council's joint transportation board.
finally, I am aware that parking is an ongoing issue right across the district, so councillors should feel free to raise issues with me as they occur, rather than waiting for the next full council.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:51:42 thank you, we run out of time on full questions, so that's the end of this section, thank you,
8 Announcements of the Leader of the Council
we move on to Item 8 announcements of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jim Martin, please provide us with your announcement.
thank you very much Chair.
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:51:59 I have been very busy since my last update, I have had many meetings with representatives of government Kent, county council, parish, councils and local stakeholder groups, I have held many meetings with a tipple park all pay,
I joined many other runners in the regular weekly Parkrun on our fantastic Folkestone lease which must right as the Parkrun with the most far-reaching views in the country.
I attended the flag-raising ceremony at the Civic Centre on Monday, the 19th of June on Saturday, the 24th of June, I was proud and honoured to be invited by the Mayor of Hive to join her in the celebration of the incredible men and women of our armed services during armed forces die, I was equally pleased to attend the armed forces Day celebration on Sunday the 25th of June with the mayor of Folkestone.
following their announcement of cuts to local bus services, I convened a meeting with Stagecoach to discuss, I can report a positive response and discussions continue, the Stagecoach managing director will be considering my further views and coming back to me.
I attended the Local government Association conference to learn what other local councils are doing to overcome similar problems to those we had in Folkestone and Hyde.
I have visited Dungeness power station twice to join the discussions regarding the government's competition to find sites for 10 small modular reactors, I attended the Tall ships event in Folkestone harbour,
I have attended two meetings of the Kent leaders' forum and also a meeting of the East Kent leaders.
I have an appeal, this, I hope, will be an inclusive council, and we all know that the problems of our district are often complex than multilayered. and I therefore have a have a plea or a call for ideas from individual councillors to make propositions, suggestions or offer proposals that can advance. our objective in making the district the best place to live or visit
I want to cut across political boundaries and ask members from all parties to make your suggestions to the relevant portfolio holders so they can be properly discussed with officers.
and I'm sure the resulting improvements, however small, will benefit everyone in the district. Thank you Chair
thank you, Councillor Martin, Councillor McConville, please provide us with your response.
thank you again, I'm sure
Cllr Connor McConville - 0:55:08 very happy to engage with you on on that last point, Chairman, hopefully we can we can all work together to do what's needed,
obviously you've been very busy, so it's good that you are earning a rare pennies, so thank you very much for that.
and while most of your meetings, while I'm sure very important.
obviously there's a lot more going on in our town, so I thought I'd just share a couple of other fantastic things that have been going on that. that you might have missed, due to a pressing at pressing engagements, the fantastic Cherry Berry which this Council supports year on year, but probably the best community engagement for for the for the district, in terms of its noise, its colour, the there was more people there than I've seen there in the last six or seven years easily.
maybe even 10,000 it was, it was, the streets were full.
the we Sunday just gone, we had a fantastic and other fantastic community day on the lease.
filmed by the BBC, so hopefully everyone will look forward to to seeing Folkestone on the television some time late this year or early next year when that production is finalised and the great work that local community people do putting these events together and just last night the fantastic students from across the turn of schools put on their art exhibition and it's clear that we have some really good emerging talent coming up in the district.
there has also been a number of consultation events, so I think it's great that we as a council can do whatever we can to try and continue to facilitate and allow residents to engage in the many proposals, either directly by us or through partners that are impacting the district, thank you.
thank you, Councillor McConville, Councillor Hollings, please provide your response,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:57:01 thank you, I didn't actually have a copy, although presumably it was
Cllr Jennifer Hollingsbee - 0:57:07 part of the updating the report.
I would certainly like to welcome your last point in terms of members taking part and and offering suggestions, and I'm sure my my small group will be very willing to do that.
delighted that the
previous administration, the toilets down in the coastal park, have now been opened, which was from the previous administration, I also like to say, in terms of the tall ships project, very close to my heart, a very important project I feel for the district well received and I I liked the Chairman the Chair's comments
on the Tall Ship and and and echo those comments.
yes, of course you've been very busy, I think probably many of us also have been been busy and it's great to hear that you are again meeting number stakeholders are very keen of stakeholders and partners, I think that's really important to this district, so thank you.
thank you, Councillor Martin, you now have the right of reply,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:58:18 but nothing really to add the Chair accept that.
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:58:27 I'm unsure that, with the experience and expertise in this room, we can come together to to make
small, incremental improvements or large, significant improvements, but if we all work together, the synergy that we will have will be extraordinary.
excellent. Thank you,
Councillor Martin, can you confirm that you're the proposer
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:58:50 very happy to propose
thank you, and we have a seconder
Cllr Jim Martin - 0:58:54
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 0:58:57 Councillor Prater, thank you, and are we all agreed,
9 Portfolio Holder reports to Council
thank you, thank you, members as unanimous that vote is carried and we move on to Item 9 Portfolio reports though there is no debate or vote the portfolio holder reports are included in the agenda.
we move on to opposition business.
10 Opposition Business
Councillor McConville, could you please speak on this matter and identify which of the four options you are speaking to
Cllr Connor McConville - 0:59:26 the manager, I won't take up too much of your time, but obviously this is something that the Council will be considering quite soon in due course in terms of the current contract with the people that deliver our council housing maintenance and repairs work, namely Mears.
and it is really just to
put on the on the on on the into the into the the fairly thinking of that, to look seriously at an in house to live at service with regards to that
most of us will remember
not in the not too distant past we had issues with our housing provider, East Kent Housing, and due to due to a number of failures, we had to bring that in house and not without its challenges obviously, but we are delivering largely a very good housing service because because of that and for me the logical next step is is to then
bring in the in the in house maintenance repairs and all that work that goes alongside that as well. Obviously we know financially, it's a very difficult time in a very difficult period,
but at least having that option there could open the door to other options. that could combine the best of the best ever at the best of everything we have to offer, I think when we need, when we think about these things, costs shouldn't always be the determining factor in in what we are, who we choose or how we choose to deliver. These services,
obviously that once this work is underway, it will, it will obviously come through Overview and Scrutiny and then onto Cabinet, and this is really just making sure that that Cabinet paper
has that option on it. Explores it with a good good level of due diligence to to give members the knowledge that that work, that that option has been reasonably considered, so it's it's option B that that I move and I hope this Council will support it, thank you,
thank you, thank you, could I please have a seconder.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:01:36 I thought, Councillor Godfrey.
Cllr Rebecca Shoob - 1:01:40 OK, thank you, this item of business is now open for the debate.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:01:44 Councillor Godfrey.
thank you very much,
Cllr David Godfrey - 1:01:52 as the previous book Hodor Hodor, under the old administration I was privileged to oversee the bringing back into House of the Service to very difficult times, actually the pandemic it has in the first couple of years.
and the officer has done a wonderful job, and I think we've made some sterling improvements, and I'm pleased to see that in Councillor Schutte's report she mentions and supports the officers, incredible work
we had discussed this over the period of time to debate the portfolio holder with the intention of actually looking at this very subject at some stage and therefore I'm very happy to support the proposal to move to option B. Thank you.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:02:35 that's a quick debate before OK, the debate is now closed, Councillor McConville, can we have a summing-up of the motion
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:02:43 no need to no need to sum up now, ones that once had a pop at me, so
I again appear to formally proposed and seconded so OK, vote or agree we
please have a show of hands.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:02:56 excellent. Thank you, Members. That is unanimous, that vote is carried excellent. I was very quick,
11 Motions on Notice
OK, we move on to Item 11 motions on notice. It
in the paperwork, and it's Councillor McConville, but it's actually Councillor Chapman. Would you please present the opposition business? Thank you.
Thank you Chair,
Cllr Bridget Chapman - 1:03:19 when I was
when I was campaigning before the elections, I was approached by somebody who lives in my ward,
a woman called Fabiana, I don't you should mind me naming her who is from Brazil, she has lived and worked in Folkestone and Huyghe's area for three years, and she asked me if she could vote in the local elections
and I said I was pretty sure she couldn't, but I was going to check and when I checked I found that if she had been an EU citizen I as I understand it, she could have voted if she'd been from a Commonwealth country, she could have voted in the local elections but because she was from Brazil she wasn't able to vote
and that bothered her and to be quite honest, it bothered me, she's a part of this community and she should be able to have a vote.
I talked to people about this and I became aware of the migrant democracy project and a campaign they're running called our home. Our vote and this is their model motion and I
must beg the my fellow Councillors forgiveness, because I didn't update it with the name of the district, so if you could please assume that where it refers to the local authorities referring to Folkestone highs
and I said that I would be very happy to put this before this Council.
as I understand it, in Scotland and Wales they implement residents resident based voting rights where all residents with lawful immigration status have the right to vote in local and devolved national elections. I think that should be the case for
Mike residents, here in Folkestone and Hythe clearly we're not national government. This is more signalling what we would like to happen,
and part of the motion resolves to ask the Leader of the Council to write to the Minister of State for levelling up in communities to ask that this is noted that this is what we would like for our residents. A number of local authorities have already passed this motion I would be really proud if the chamber and my fellow Councillors would vote in favour of this motion this evening, thank you,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:05:49 thank you, do we have a seconder Councillor McConville, this motion is now open for debate, Councillor McConville,
Cllr Connor McConville - 1:05:56 fully support the sentiment behind this motion, I think it's it's ludicrous, really that the whole of the UK doesn't operate under the under the same model for me and no taxation without representation.
if you live in the district and you pay council tax. no one at you should have a say in what goes on in this Chamber in this Council,
definitely you know, obviously you know. we cannot change national policy, but joining the number of councils that are hopefully putting pressure on Westminster to work to bring us into line with other parts of the UK that recognise that fact is a very good thing.
Cllr Rich Holgate - 1:06:44 I just like to actually support, I think, along with voter ID anything we can do to remove barriers between our electorate and democracy, we must do everything we can to remove so wholly support this.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:07:01 OK, I do not see any further hands, all Councillor Martin.
Cllr Jim Martin - 1:07:06 thank you, Chair, just to confirm that, if the Council so decides, I will be very happy to write.
excellent, thank you very much, so let's go for a vote, then all in favour.
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:07:18 and I have all those against.
so that's 24 4 0
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:08:05 against and five abstentions, so this vote is carried,
12 Committee Membership Changes
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:08:17 right we move on to Item 12 committee membership changes,
can we please have a proposer?
thank you, Councillor Prieto and a seconder
for the second Chair,
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:08:30 thank you, Councillor Martin.
Cllr Jim Martin - 1:08:33 can we have a show of hands?
13 Urgent item of business - Extension of term of office of Independent member of the Audit and Governance Committee
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:08:40 agreed OK, so that voters isn't unanimous, that's carried. Thank you item 13, urgent item of business extension of Andy van grins, of apologies for Adam Broome, if I am said his name incorrectly term, on A and G, I've allowed this, as this is an urgent item that has to be resolved before the next meeting of the Full Council. Can I have a proposal, please,
Cllr Liz McShane - 1:09:07 Councillor Martin, Womble, sorry, Councillor Womble,
can I have a seconder?
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:09:17 can I have a vote, please all in favour.
Cllr Liz McShane - 1:09:21 all in favour, yes, OK then, so that voted unanimous Saudis carried.
nobody wants to speak on, it, go ahead, please Councillor McShane,
brief summary of why it's on the agenda, them. Basically, the
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:09:35
Cllr Liz McShane - 1:09:37 appointment of an independent member was agreed back in
November, but the point was agreed to envisaged to last for four years, from November 20 to May 23. Obviously the pandemic hit, and it delayed the recruitment process. So the
the independent member didn't start until a year later, so the recommended report last week of the A and G meeting was to extend his appointment, which we agreed unanimously,
excellent. Thank you. Councillor McShane right, and lots of people
Cllr Abena Akuffo-Kelly - 1:10:07 were very eager for this, but I now call this meeting to a close, thank you very much conference.