Cabinet - Thursday 9 February 2023, 6:30pm - Start video at 1:21:49 - Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Webcasting
Thursday, 9th February 2023 at 6:30pm
Agenda item : Start of webcast
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Agenda item : 1 Leaders Introduction and Announcements
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Agenda item : 2 Apologies
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Agenda item : 3 Declarations of Interest
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Agenda item : 4 Notification of visiting Members wishing to speak
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Agenda item : 5 Minutes of the meeting dated Thursday 8 December 2022
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Agenda item : 6 Questions from Members of the Council
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Agenda item : 7 Questions from Members of the Public
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Agenda item : 8 Consideration of the Forward Plan as at 31 January 2023
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Agenda item : 9 Borough Partnership Plan: Building a Better Borough
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Agenda item : 13 *Asset Management Plan 2023/24
Agenda item : 10 *Budget 2023/24 and Medium Term Financial Strategy
Agenda item : 11 Procurement Process and Policy Updates
Agenda item : 12 Property Transaction Report July to December 2022
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Agenda item : 13 *Asset Management Plan 2023/24
Agenda item : 14 Disposal of Land and Public Conveniences in Brenchley and Matfield
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- Brenchley and Matfield Disposal report Cabinet
- Appx A Plan of land and public conveniences at High Street, Brenchley
- Appx B Plan of land and public conveniences at Maidstone Road, Matfield
- Appx C Business Case provided by Brenchley and Matfield Parish Council
- Appx D Climate Emergency Impact assessment Brenchley & Matfield PC disposal
Agenda item : 15 *Capital Strategy
Agenda item : 16 *Treasury Management Policy and Strategy
Agenda item : 17 Temporary Suspension of the Housing Register
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Agenda item : 18 Household Recycling and Waste Collection Service
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Agenda item : 19 Urgent Business
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Agenda item : 20 Date of Next Meeting
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Disclaimer: This transcript may contain errors. Please view the webcast to confirm whether the content is accurate.
good evening, my name is Councillor Ben Chapelard and I'm the leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, and I will be chairing this evening's meeting of the Cabinet, so welcome to the meeting of the Cabinet on Thursday the 9th of February 2023 and before we start please can I ask you to give your full attention to the following safety and broadcasting announcements.
thank you Chair. In the event of a fire alarm ringing continuously, you must immediately evacuate the building at walking pace officers will escort you via the most direct available route. This is a public meeting, proceedings have been webcast live online or recording will also be available for playback on the council's website shortly afterwards. You should all be aware that any third party is able to record or film council meetings unless exempt or confidential information is being considered, the council will not accept liability for any third party recordings
in order to ensure there is continuous live stream slid Street, can I ask everyone not to connect to the Wi-Fi while we'll broadcasting?
is very important that the outcomes of the meeting, a clear at the end of each agenda item, the Chair will ask whether the matter is agreed in the absence of a clear majority or if the chair decides a full vote is desirable about will be taken by a show of hands. Members should raise their hands to indicate their vote when called and keep their hand up until the count has been announced. Members requesting a recorded vote must do so before the vote is taken. Members or members of the public who have or who have registered to speak at the meeting will have three minutes to address the Committee. Thank you, Chair
for the benefit of the recording the following members of the Cabinet at present Councillor Luke, every councillor Wendy Fitzsimons, Councillor David Hayward Councillor Chris Hall, Councillor Hugo pound Councillor Justin Rutland, Councillor MANCEY, worn and Councillor Venner Chapel are also present are the following members of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council staff William Benson lie Collier, Paul Taylor, David Candlin, Gary Stevenson, Max Haughan ban Hutchings, Stuart Clifton and Claudette valuable.
for the benefit of any members of the public who may be watching, I would like to explain a couple of things, each report that a cannot will be looking at today has been previously considered by the relevant Cabinet Advisory Board, and the views of that Cabinet Advisory Board have been taken into consideration.
members of the cabinet have had their agendas for over a week and we've had the opportunity to study the papers and ask any factual questions of members of staff ahead of the meeting when each agenda item is being considered, the cabinet member will provide an overview of the report
members of staff had written a report will be available to answer any questions, we will then move into cabinet member discussion.
and I will first ask the questions before opening the floor to debate at the end of the debate, I will ask Cabinet Members to confirm they have fully understood the matter and are content that any proposals and or actions have been fully captured, we will then proceed to the recommendation and votes.
will stop item number 1.
1 Leaders Introduction and Announcements
introduce announcements by the Leader and the Cabinet, and I just like to say this is the first cabinet meeting of 2023 and like to wish everybody a belated new year to anybody online who is not listening, who is listening, sorry and thank you for joining us and Councillor Nancy worn.
thank you, and I just like to give an update on the Council's Community support Fund 100,000 pounds Community support Fund was created by amateurs Borough Council in response to the cost of living crisis, which is directly impacting upon many of the most vulnerable households in the borough.
in order to distribute the founder of the charities and similar organisations, were invited to apply for grants for specific projects or to expand existing services for offer newly identified needs, six applications were received and the Community Grants Panel met on the 31st of January 2023 to consider the applications, I'm pleased to announce that grants from the Council's new Community support Fund have been awarded to Charlie's Angels kitchen,
who will use the grant to provide additional hot meals and ingredients for people to make their own meals at home nourish, who will be able to continue to distribute food fuel vouchers to those in need of emergency support.
number one, Community Trust will increase their offer of subsidised hot meals for children and extended their opening hours to to provide a warm space for anyone who needs it, as well as continuing their preschool provision and family and holiday support.
the volume Tunbridge Wells volunteer Bureau, who will provide access to online services to elderly and vulnerable people in their own homes, Parish coladas, will continue their existing provision during this period of inflation and increased demand for their services and finally, West Kent mind applied to the fund in order to be able to increase their capacity to provide free fast-track access to counselling services for vulnerable people experiencing domestic abuse who are in or on the edge of a mental health crisis.
the Council will contact these organisations in April 2 2 or sent to provide information on what they have delivered from their grants, thank you.
thank you, monsoon, well done to you for seeing that, through into all the members of staff who were involved behind the scenes to make it happen, 100,000 pounds will make a difference to, and leaders residents do any other members of cabinet have any announcements I wish to make.
why cinema, so we will move on to item number 2, which is apologies for absence, and I'm pleased to say that we have none, and I'm Chair, thank you item number 3, which are declarations of interests members of the Cabinet ask if they have any declarations of interest to make on any of the items.
3 Declarations of Interest
4 Notification of visiting Members wishing to speak
on tonight's agenda, does anybody haven't declaration of interest to make there are no declarations of interests make item number 4 is notification of visiting persons registered to speak and we have Councillor Kent County Councillor Sarah Hamilton.
Catherine richer Jeremy Thompson Nigel Stratton, Councillor Ray Moon, Councillor Suzi Weightman and Councillor Matthew Bailey, or registered, to speak on agenda Item 13, which is the Asset Management Plan, and we also have registered to speak Mr. Robert banks on Item 10,
which is a budget 2023 2024 and medium term financial strategy.
5 Minutes of the meeting dated Thursday 8 December 2022
moving on to item number 5, minutes of the meeting dated the 8th of December 2022.
are there any amendments of these minutes?
6 Questions from Members of the Council
there are none, so I am going silos and accurate record of the cabinet meeting on the 8th of December 2022 are we agreed, thank you very much item number 6 is questions from members of the Council and we have received no questions from members of the Council.
7 Questions from Members of the Public
8 Consideration of the Forward Plan as at 31 January 2023
item number 7 is questions from members of the public and we have received no questions from any member of the public, so we'll move on to item number 8, which is a consideration of the Forward Plan as at the 31st of January 2023, do any Members have any comments on the forward plan?
9 Borough Partnership Plan: Building a Better Borough
nobody, thank you, are we agreed, thank you very much and item number 9, which is the Bob borrow partnership plan, building a better borough.
is our first substantive item tonight, this is actually become the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Plan for 2022 to 2024, and it lays out the priorities and for the Council, known as a focus on 5 and under each of those priorities there are some key projects and actions that the Council wishes to take in 2022 2024.
as well as setting out the context that we operate in and our operating principles as a council.
it has gone through overview and scrutiny and 3 comma advisory boards and the May, the two main pieces of feedback we received were one that the name of the Borough Partnership Plan wasn't supported, because it actually is a Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Plan, some cabinet as listened to that and reviewed it and then the second one is whilst it's a a short light document which gives the overview of those projects.
other councillors said that they would like to see more feedback and detail on those individual projects, so we will try and accommodate that as best we can in once it is goes through to Full Council and is online, so there is a lot more detail, but behind each of those bullet points.
but that's all I have to say it is very much an interim plan whilst we produce a longer corporate plan for the next time frame and we hope to have a draft of that corporate plan in about 12 to 14 months.
are there any questions from members of the Cabinet on that item?
OK, that's good right, so the matter is open for debate.
would anybody like to comment?
OK, thank you very much OK, so the recommendation is that the Borough Partnership Plan, which we can now amend to the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Plan at Appendix A is noted and referred to Full Council on the 1st of March 2023 are we agreed. Thank you very much OK at this point I'm proposing that we move Item 13, which is the asset management plan for 2023 2024.
I ahead because we have a number of registered speakers.
so we're just waiting for one of those speakers so.
is your home?
I, I'm just saying it's it's your call them at them at the meeting starts at 6.13, it's your promises to move things around, we have got a number of speakers, it is entirely up to you.
so before us Councillor Chris Hall, to introduce the item, can I ask Councillor Sarah Hamilton to present she's not currently presence on gonna ask Caroline to read out her statement, please.
thank you Chair,
just Councillor Hamilton was supposed to be here, but she's tied up at a KCC, but eating I am KCC Member for T Thomas was rural and Chairman of.
HB W, and member of PW TC.
and offer her support for the previous speakers in line with my letter to the Times of Tunbridge Wells. I express grave concern that the Wesley Centre in Paddock Wood, which I believe should be listed under the category of community as the day centre, is, it is surprising. The Wales centre faces the risk of potential disposal in the current times and many are rightly very concerned. It is protected on the town's Neighbourhood Plan which the Borough Council has not challenge. Facilities are not just needed in Royal Tunbridge Wells, they are needed more real rural areas. To Paddock Wood is at the Prix de proposal to dispose of it now in the post covert period. When needs revolving and where green space and emotional health and wellbeing becomes even more important for all ages, heritage and the arts deliver on. That has been the aspiration of heritage of heritage. Pettitte worded to protect the Wellesley Centre for the benefit of the community and local area for a long time. That is why it is based there. The community store houses a valuable tenant and its customers, for Sir, from surrounding areas benefit from the central location that it would. Community advice Centre is nearby, location is ideal and sustainable. We want to find a viable way to keep the last historic public building Paddock Wood, doing what it has always done and has always intended to do attended for serving the community. Now the Amelia can service serve as an inspiration and direction and I hope you will be open to constructive discussions about the potential of this valuable, valuable facility in line with what you're 5 point plan promises
I ask your Cabinet remove the Wesley Centre from any risk of disposal at this time all the near future, using some words from your documents, I asked you to explore, develop and exploit opportunities for collaborative working with bodies such as KCC and partner aid agencies to build on existing relationships and facilitate the viable opportunities to be outgoing enable enabling an optimistic in line with your own aspirations and the strategic direction of both authorities, thank you leader,
thank you, I'll makes registered speakers Katharine, original of Unit lever for the fourth pallet, what Brownlees and I'm going to ask Caroline's read out her statement, please, thank you Chair.
the before the Paddock Wood brownies currently meet every Wednesday at the Wesley Centre for our meetings, we originally at the suggested the church but had a notice to quit after the Montessori nor nursery demanded they had sole access, it was incredibly hard to find another meeting venue, so we are so grateful that we could we could have the Wesley Centre if we didn't find this, I don't think we could have continued, we've been at the Wesley Centre for many years now and it is ideal the area doesn't pose any risk to safeguarding whatsoever the gate locks and the Brown is completely play outside on the grass, the venue has ample storage for all at the amenities we need. We did look into moving to the new community centre, but the risks there are far higher than they are at PRH than at present.
this is because the toilets pose a risk. If the children want to go to the toilet from any of the horse and adult would have to go with them, as the toilet doors cannot be can't be seen from the hall. Furthermore, there is no secure play area dedicated to use his which is fenced off. Anyone can walk freely amongst the children at any time. Neither of these safeguarding risks posed any threat to the Wesley Centre. Therefore, after we had seen the plans, we made the decision to say at the Wesley Centre as it meets our needs, we urge you to reconsider your proposal for selling off this vital building. We use it and we needed. Thank you, Chair
thank you, Caroline, our next Speaker is Jeremy Thompson from a heritage, palette would.
good evening, councillors and officers, I represent Heritage Paddock Wood.
we rent a small room in the Wesley Centre from the borough and this is used to store and display some of our large archive collection of photographs and other items, as well as our merchandise,
it seems fitting that Heritage Paddock Wood makes use of this oldest public building in Paddock Wood town centre.
13 *Asset Management Plan 2023/24
it dates back to 1988 and we are keen that it's not lost to further housing, development Heritage, Paddock Wood is building a website to showcase the history of Paddock Wood and the surrounding villages we want to work with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and create a satellite, the very successful Amelia the Wesley Centre this will include the remodelling of the garden to enhance this safe green space in the heart of our town.
we know that green spaces like this are essential to the health and wellbeing of our residents.
I need to ask you, firstly, the Wesley Centre is protected by the Paddock Wood Neighbourhood Plan and also by the local plan, so why is it appearing on this list, secondly, why was the public consultation not completed before this issue was discussed by the Cabinet Advisory Board and thirdly, did you write to all the users and tenants of the Wesley Centre to advise some of these plans, I might add that the online consultation excludes anyone without access to the internet.
I will say this.
that the Wesley Centre is not a surplus asset, in fact, it is becoming more important than ever as a benefit to the lives of the town's increasing population.
Paddock Wood has helped the borough to achieve its housing target with three greenfield sites giving over 1,000 new homes, plus there is an application for a further 500 houses in East Paddock Wood and more are planned in this area.
now is not the time to consider selling off our oldest public building with its green space, which was previously saved for the residents of Paddock Wood by roof Baker, a former Mayor of Tunbridge Wells and her husband, Dr John Baker, who was my GP, how forward looking Ruth and John were.
you need to invest in the Wesley Centre, not divest, this building is very valuable and the green space must not be lost to our community.
Councillor Ben Shepherd, you said we have come together to form this administration with one single and only objective, doing the best for our residents and Barrow.
from your focus on five, you also said, vibrant and safer towns and villages are a priority.
so please do listen to the residents of Paddock Wood, who know their town, thank you.
thank you, and next as Speaker is Nigel Stratton.
good evening, thank you, my colleagues have talked to lighting, will talk about the use of the centre at the moment and how valuable it is due to pat it would, and the disease is the last green space where the in in the centre of Paddock Wood, with all the development going on,
but only want to concentrate on two points, one more legalistic than the other.
the history of the Wisley centre is well set out on a
information that's contained on the planet would can cancel site.
and the Wesley Centre is the oldest remaining building in Paddock Wood.
it fell into this repair and the people of pad, it would wish to save it for the future.
as I understand it, in 1996 it was purchased by the Borough Council, but it wasn't purchased by the Borough Council to do whatever you decide you might like to do a back with it, it wasn't there as an asset to simply be traded on the open market, it was there to preserve for the people of Paddock Wood both of the count people and for the future.
in my view, it with the vested the legal title, was vested in the baroque cancel. As crazy trustees, you are trustees of this building, you are not owners that can do with it, what you like and in my view, it would be a complete betrayal of the residents of Paddock Wood, who allowed the building and in the sense to be vested if you had said to them at the time, well will keep it for as long as we like to. But if it becomes a bit difficult will get rid of it and sell it often use the managers at whatever purpose. We we so desire, then the building would never have been vested in the borough council in the first place, and I think that is a very important point. You are the custodians of this building for the future
the second point I wish to make is that the land and the centre are one, and the same, I am well aware that in the past there have been planning applications on the land to be sold off for housing development.
that again, in my view, would be a complete betrayal of the reason that the centre and the land was vested in the Borough Council.
so there's no question in my mind about you might leave out, possibly apply, might be that you might say, Well, we'll save the centre but will sell the land that would that wouldn't, as well as the people of Pat it would they want both the centre and we want both the centre and the land preserved for the future and that is what I believe you have a duty to do.
thank you for our next speaker is Councillor Ray Moon.
thank you Chair.
we've been the assessment plan 2023 24, the Wesley Centre is a site to be reviewed, the development and sale the Wesley Centre is not a surplus at it, it's a vibrant and use asset by the Paddock Wood community the I MP is an annual assessment and each year is on its own merit at that time it's not an ongoing assessment,
each year should be based on certain criteria in that report.
with that in mind, the use of the w c by groups and organisations is clearly a working asset Paddock Wood and the bar.
to clear users come to mind when I think of the Wesley Centre first to community storehouse, basically, if you're not aware a food bank two days a week to the Paddock Wood Children's Centre based centrally from KCC two days a week, many other organisations use the Wesley Centre.
evidence of the bookings clearly suggests it's for or use and not a surplus asset.
at present, free children's centres in Tunbridge Wells, a threatened with closure by KCC, the selling off of the WSC centre would see the centre impact with the children's centre being closed as a result of a Cabinet Barra decision.
it's not a simple argument to assume the new community centre will attract bookings from the Wesley Centre, each booking as its own requirements and own decisions, not forced by Barra suddenly of.
it's wrong to assume the Wesley Centre will be surplus in the future, that will be the role of the I MP, or I look at it for 2024 to 25, if required, if that does kick in, then the Parish child District cooking where we should start talking to Paddock Wood Town Council and the local Paddock Wood residents, one thing that concerns me, as well as the consultation that the I MP ends today, 9th February and cabinet, is asked to make a decision tonight after a verbal report there's no set report from the from the consultation to the Cabinet my last count was 33 comments on the Wesley Centre, the consultation deserves more than a verbal report, a detailed assessment should be provided bike to Cabinet not on the deadline date. The future of the wealthy centre should not be top down but should be based on those that live in Paddock Wood and actually use the Wesley Centre.
the I am not be just a piece of paper.
a consultation in our time and then ignored.
actions will always speak louder than words, so tonight I ask the Cabinet to review the inclusion of the Wesley Centre initially as I MP 23 24 and its status as a surplus assessment, we comments already May is clearly not a surplus assessment, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you next speakers Councillor Suzi Weightman.
I am greatly concerned that the Wesley Centre is on the list of assets declared surplus for 23 and 24 and identified for disposal Paddock Wood appears to be bearing the brunt of new housing development within the Borough of Tunbridge Wells, along with this comes the need for more community space not less, the Wesley Centre has been and is providing much of this would impact it would,
not only is the centre occupied by the community storehouse, which is much needed in busy during these hard times, the hall and garden at used by the Children's Centre, as well as other community groups, many of these for young people, it is also the oldest publicly owned building in the town, the oldest first world war memorial bearing the names of Paddock Wood men who gave their lives for their country.
of course, all our assets should be reviewed annually and we have followed our focus on 5 pledge with the transparency by ensuring this is public. The Wesley Centre has been on this list under previous administrations and I understand that the cabinet member responsible for transparency will be rewriting the way that this is presented in order to be clear on what the status is in future years, I would ask if we the Borough partnership have no intention of disposing of or selling this great asset could be, please publicly make this known, thus ending the speculation and M Wickes and anxiety.
thank you, Councillor, Matthew Bailey, please.
thank you Chair.
like the other speakers here today, I would like to register my opposition to any sale or redevelopment of the Wesley Centre in Paddock Wood.
other speakers have set out the history of the building and the important benefits it brings to local community groups.
I spoke at the recent Finance Cabinet Advisory Board and set out my own view to WBC, provides only a very modest amounts of community space in Paddock Wood and losing the community centre will leave the town with only the day centre are building roughly the size of a large committee room here in the Town Hall.
this is clearly insufficient for town that has expanded and that will continue to expand rapidly in the coming years.
I also believe developing the small plots of green space to the rear of the building is completely inappropriate, given the amount of new building already taking place, the expansion of the town is not popular with the rest local residents, not only because of the loss of green space but also because of the noise pollution and congestion that the conduct can construction process brings.
New homes also put more stress on creaking infrastructure and local services, leaving many people wondering how the town can absorb all the plan new homes.
so any move by to WBC to sell off the small patch of green space behind the Wesley Centre for yet more housing will really be viewed with despair by local residents and will further damage trust in the Borough Council.
I would also like to raise concerns about the consultation process and, in particular, some claims made by members of the coalition, while the process has been ongoing, contrary to these inaccurate, inaccurate claims, it is not common practice for the council to declare a long list of assets or surplus every year and then do nothing about them.
Last year's asset management plan did not contain any list of assets deemed surplus and did not mention the Wesley Centre, where most of the other assets now deemed surplus to requirements.
it did, however, state that the gateway building in Tunbridge Wells would be surplus once the Emilia Scott building was open through to the council's word, the gateway building is now for sale, so the Council does not deem assets a surplus just for fun, and assets deemed a surplus will are invariably sold when market conditions allow.
the comments by coalition Councillors suggesting otherwise may have discouraged residents from taking part in the council's consultation, I would therefore respectfully ask Cabinet to extend the consultation period and FWBC to make it very clear to local residents that this is an important new strategy that will have serious consequences for them and for the Borough thank you Chair.
thank you, Councillor Baillie, can't just thank all seven speakers from for coming tonight to speak to us about the Wesley Centre, I think cabinet members of Bryn, quite a lot of notes and listened to your points and or I hope you feel that we've listened, I'm now going to ask Councillor Crystall cabinet member for finance and performance to introduce formally introduced the item, thank you.
thank you very much Chair.
and just on on some of the points that were raised, I think.
I'd like to acknowledge that all of the speakers who spoke about the Wesley Centre, I certainly found all of those speeches.
by coach into the point, invaluable and a really sort of brought to life how important that is to the community, and I do want to thank the first of all and acknowledge or your comments.
one point that was raised at the finance and governance Cabinet Advisory Board meeting I'd Vice Chair actually Councillor Sankey, was that it just to make it clear in the report that this is for potential disposal and the fact that a property is listed on the Asset Management Plan does not mean it is being disposed of or that the Council believes that these need to be disposed of those a process that will be followed with a property or property oversight panel which will review each one individually and and,
meeting the views expressed this evening would certainly be taken to account and that process, so please don't think that these are automatically being scheduled for for disposal that that isn't the case, but I'll now introduce Sir David Candlin Head of economic Development property who will introduce the report, thank you.
thank you, Councillor Hall, thank you Chairman the asset management plan is item 13 on the agenda, pages 113 to 168 of the agenda, pack just so clear in terms of this being brought forward on the agenda.
the report sets out the draft Asset Management Plan for 23 24, the Asset Management Plan details the principles, procedures and mechanisms for the management of the property asset portfolio, and how we intend to address that during the course of the year.
the draft Asset Management Plan was approved for consultation by Cabinet in November 20 22, and consultation on the enclosed today, with the Asset Management Plan being available for comment on the council's consultation portal talking point.
a verbal update on consultation responses was given to the finance and governance Cabinet Advisory Board on the 24th of January just to advise where we'd got to, because the consultation was ongoing.
the F and G cab agree the recommendations set out in the report should be supported, comments at the F and G CAB sought, let clarity and disposals as made in appendix 4 and Councillor Hall, has eluded and and made a statement regarding that this amendment has been made. The sentence now reads, the following assets have been declared surplus identified for potential disposal in 23 24, that is on page 140 of the report pack or if looking
generally on the Asset Management, it's page 21 of the draft Asset Management Plan.
it was reported to the finance and governance CAB that some minor amendments had been made already to the text paragraph 1.11 lists those amendments, that's page 115 of the report pack and we have added further clarity in the Cabinet report that the car parks for review will be in tandem with a car parking strategy as that was one of the points it was coming out while we had that in the F and G CAB version we've actually added that to the covering report to make it clearer.
the full details of consultation will not be available until tomorrow, however, as a snapshot of responses up to noon today, there were 285 responses to the Asset Management Plan.
109 people going onto the portal confirmed that they had actually read the Asset Management Plan, why some 76 going onto the portal didn't read the asset management plan.
in total, 165 people have left comments on the plan until today, there will be a revision, obviously when start to review tomorrow, when our full results, who left comments on the plan, mostly on individual subjects, as a summary for Cabinet, the comments received can be broken down in summary as being merely focused on individual potential disposals or on the approach to disposals.
49 comments were received related to car parks in well Tunbridge Wells and the dispose of potential disposal of those 101 comments regarding the Wesley Centre.
for comments were received on other assets, it comments received on the policy of potential disposals and the process, including the property asset oversight Panel, and a those one one of those comments was actually on national strategy.
there has been one comment on future use of the solar panels and not been given in the Asset Management Plan and to a more general comments on the clarity and length of the Asset Management Plan.
it is a draft it, it has been out to consultation, the report in front of us is seeking Cabinet asking to agree to the
Asset Management Plan 22 23 24 and submitting that to Full Council for approval, as highlighted in the report, will try to ensure that the the consultation responses are in the report that goes to full Council so that those can be seen by by full Council.
thank you, David, that's very informative, that's a big response right, can I ask Members of Cabinet if they have any questions on the David or Chris?
Councillor Nancy wall,
thank you, Chairman, I wonder if I could ask David how the consultation responses compared to previous years, firstly and whether, if you could confirm whether the Wesley Centre has been on previous MPs?
disposal disposal all list, and in which is that we'll see if you know or for how long thank you.
thank you in in terms of the volume of responses, and it might be just that the Council PAPs has talking point, is slightly more accessible.
but it's a little bit higher than normal, about 160 for written responses more than normal in terms of the asset management plan might received one response, it hasn't necessarily picked up that level of response in terms of specifically,
listed properties in terms of for disposal, not in previous years, have we been quite buffet in terms of the list of properties that were necessarily looking at these at some of the larger ones, Wesley hasn't necessarily been directly mentioned, but has been an asset that we have been looking at and has been mentioned on a couple of cabinet reports.
from August 2013, when it was first aired started to be looked at and it was highlighted in July.
2021, that it was a site that was actively being looked at in terms of reuse and disposal.
prefer not to say yes, Co, has there been previous interest in the asset is for community use at all, thank you.
for as an Asset of Community value.
yeah, the asset has been on the list of assets of community value, it was if, if it's nominated as an Asset of Community value and it put on the list, it's on their for 5 years, it was only there for five years and came off the list in 2020.
the Council, as the owner of the asset, had not made a notification in 2018 to undertake, perhaps the disposal of the Land to the rear.
and there is a process there, but there were no responses in terms of someone who actually wishing to take up and purchased the the asset the council has for a, while being offering the opportunity for heritage, Paddick would come forward with a business plan.
but we haven't seen one as yet.
thank you very much.
thank you, Nancy, does anybody else have any questions of David or Chris now I see Nancy the matter is open for debate, Councillor Hugo pound?
thank you Chair.
rather like Councillor Hall has said. I am also grateful for the speakers who have spoken this evening. I just wanted to pick out one or two points that sort of leapt out from some of the commentary that we've had, so I take on board that clearly part of the Asset Management Plan, which is essentially it's a management strategy for how we manage our assets. So we're not making decisions this evening, we are recognising that there are assets that need to be looked at and considered one, and there is a strategy then to to go through that process, but the advocacy that we should be exploring development and facilitating a viable opportunities which someone said, I think it's right. I'm particularly interested in the comment about the safeguarding risk, which is significantly less at the Wesley Centre than it is suggested. It might be at the new community centre and that needs to be looked at anyway.
the idea of it being a satellite to the Amelia. The fact that there is obviously significant green space in the centre of town, which is important to many people, that when we took ownership and responsibility for the Centre for the Wesley Centre, someone described it Mr. Stratton described as as we were the custodians of the centre for the future, we can't sell off the land and keep the centre and then that it is a working asset. The food bank is there, and I am also involved in a food bank to understand that relationships significantly the Children's Centre, and I do agree that we need to recognise the Tunbridge Wells agreement and ensure that we are in dialogue with the Town Council.
but I reiterate, because there was an incorrect comment in one of the statements we are not making a decision tonight about any asset and its potency and its disposal, we are either agreeing to or not agreeing to a management strategy for how the Council will manage its assets.
and that is all that we are currently doing, my view is that the list that has been provided by the officers needs to be looked at, and we will clearly take on board many of the comments that have been made tonight.
thank you, does anybody else wish to to speak on the item Councillor Justin Rutland?
thank you, Chair, yes, I just wanted to say about the car parking strategy, I did ask for an update today.
I do want to reiterate, we will have to have a agreed car parking strategy, but it will be necessary to finalise that before we can look at any disposals of any car parks, the parking strategy will be very high level and the parking team are currently looking at the format and the scope of the strategy along with, for example, the Local Plan transport strategy and are permanent policy and we would hope to have an early draft sometime in the spring, I just wanted to reiterate that no one is rushing into any decisions and second point I'd like to make, I don't know whether we can do this.
and David may be out and ask you, but the issue at the moment we have all the list of car parks, and I think the casual reader could think that we were going to get rid of all of them, I don't know whether we should be thinking about a way of some saying it will be some of them.
perhaps it's something we can look into in the next few weeks, thank you, yeah course, frankly Hugo's gonna come to you because there's been some incorrect information in the public about the team to Centre about the the lease, could you just update us on on that please?
I can briefly
tonnages Borough Council essentially has a long lease with the freeholder of of the T and T community centre, which is the YMCA, and there are some not yet formal but still fairly firmly informal discussions taking place with the YMCA about whether they might allow us to relinquish the lease so that they are able to then provide the five significant services that they provide in communities around youth work, Muslim mother and children groups.
and other forms of support and wellbeing in a number of their centres, and I think the view is that the Tea in 2 centre does need a reinvigoration and some regeneration and the YMCA, as the owners of that property may be the most appropriate people to do it on our behalf. therefore it is listed there to surrender the lease, and that is a discussion, and it will be part of the management strategy that we discussed, whether we should proceed with that or not.
thank you, as anybody asked wish to say anything else to stage during combat, yes, I just wanted to say again, thank you to the speakers about the Wesley Centre thought out quite a few things that I wasn't aware of its unfair to be helpful.
I think we should perhaps decouple the Wesley, I'm not saying we have coupled it, but we should definitely decouple a decision about the Wesley Centre with any sort of assumptions about the new community centre, look at it entirely in its own right, that's what we will do thanks.
Councillor Chris Hall yeah, I would actually second that but Councillor Rutland is just said. I totally agree, I think, just looking at it with a Finance lens, no with a capital expenditure budget of about a million pounds a year in David, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's about a million pounds. I think residents would expect the Council to assess whether all of its assets are still delivering value and act responsibly to find ways to review and potentially dispose any that are no longer in the best interests of the Council, but delivering value can mean community value as well. It's not just a financial consideration, so I think we, we just be, were being as open and transparent as we can by listing them, and I think that's a good thing and it doesn't mean that they're all going to be disposed of at all, but it does mean that we're being transparent with the public about those that we will be reviewing and acting responsibly with the finances
thank you, does anybody asks wish to comment?
Councillor Nancy warm, I accept what Councillor Hall said in terms of you know, we we said we wanted to be more transparent, but I'm slightly concerned that in that we've caused alarm amongst residents in Paddock Wood.
and in Tunbridge Wells over this list, but would like to just say, well, you know, it's there and one that could be subject to further conversations, obviously in our decision tonight it's as Councillor Pounder said, it's about a strategy, not the particularity is off the list itself.
and there is the opportunity for the community to put together or a.
a submission to her at to the to the board on the assets of Community value in the future.
as it's no longer listed on that, so just like to to point that out to both speakers have come to light and given submissions.
frankly, there's anybody else wishes to speak most all up, all I wanted to add was when we say surplus to requirements that means for the council to deliver its services, doesn't mean there isn't a need for that building elsewhere and as Hugo's illustrated Sherwood set to earn 2 Centre is actually very much underused as a public building and by being intelligent with what assets we've got, we can actually derive greater value for residents, and I just want to reiterate what Justin said is what has been put out in some places.
we're not going to get rid of car parks overnight, we won't do that until we have assessed and reviewed our car parking strategy to see if actually we do need these car parks or indeed if we ever need more car parks, potentially,
but those are the things are these that tonight is not about giving a green light to get rid of them, it's about exploring and being intelligent, where the assets that we've got, as as Councillor Baillie mentioned the gateway we do need the gateway because we've got the Amelia Scott, so why are we keeping it can we do use it more intelligently, that's all we are doing and let me
I reassure Paddock Wood that as a new administration, if we, when we get to looking at the Wesley Centre, we will of course come to people to discuss and look at how we can make best use of that asset.
not saying that you know.
we won't look at it, but we will, of course, County.
that might if I can provide you with that reassurance and again, thank you very much for for coming to speak to us tonight.
if we can move to the recommendations, there is one recommendation that Cabinet recommends that full Council approves and adopts the assessment as.
the assessment management plan for 23 24 are we agreed that should have read asset apologies were are agreed unanimously on Item 13, thank you very much for coming, we're now going to revert back to item 10.
10 *Budget 2023/24 and Medium Term Financial Strategy
which is on our agenda this evening, which is a budget for 2023 2024 and medium term financial strategy, we have one registered speaker on this item, sod like to ask Mr. Robert banks to come and speak to us, please, thank you.
thank you, Mr. Chairman.
the main areas where the respondents to the public consultation of the draft budget wish to reduce the budget for discretionary support services for Band D country to those proposed by the council where there Melia scope, poverty and development and the Assembly Hall, the respondents may reductions in all but one of the other areas and relocated them to increase in the funding for recreation and climate change incentives.
although these results have been presented to the Audit and Scrutiny CIB it does not appear that the proposed budget has been modified to incorporate these suggestions, the Committee did recommend the responses to this consultation were considered at this meeting and I will be interested to learn what transpires respondents were not requested to give their views on the budget for the statutory services but deemed that rubbish and recycling collections whether the most valid,
however, the respondents would have been unaware of the subsequent proposal for the new collection amounts to be introduced and for the budget for waste and street sweeping to increase by 798,000, which in fact represents 85% of the gap to be funded from reserves, this increase will cover the cost of indexation which will be 600,000 and the possibility of contributing a maximum of 150,000 pounds towards the cost of terminating the number of existing collecting vehicles list of facilitate provision of a new fleet of 44 vehicles.
in 223 24, on an 8 year lease.
this leaves will exceed the length of oversized contract, which terminates in March 2027 the annual cost of the current contract cut by this time of increased by 2 million pounds the management contracts and contractors is rated as high on strategic risk register.
thus, the surprising that no details are being given at the annual cost of the new contract, the criteria for assessing any resulting improvement in the service or whether any other Councillors adopted a similar business model.
of the 2027 TWB say, will be responsible for a further four years lease on half of this fleet of diesel vehicles, which, even if converted to biofuel.
will still sign will cut, will continue to produce a carbon footprint that will need to be offset, this may not be acceptable to future providers who may deem them obsolete, as electric powered vehicles may then be available.
the alternative of setting up an in-house service may not be financially viable, with the ever increasing funding deficit and diminishing reserves, that is it prudent to embark on this arrangement without evaluating the potential detrimental consequences and encouraging further public engagement, thank you for your attention.
thank you Mr. Banks are now going to ask Councillor Chris Hall to introduce his second of many items on tonight's agenda over to Chris.
thank you very much, Chair, yes, there are several items on the agenda this evening, and this this one is one, probably reserve any comments.
On for the actual discussion little bit latest, I'll just go straight really to to lie Collier who will introduce the the report, thank you very much, thank you, Councillor Hall. This is the final report in the process of setting the budget for the year 23 24, the development of the budget has been informed by the in year budget review back in July.
I budget projection and strategy report in September and a budget update report in October, which also included results of financial benchmarking exercise which, compared this Council's unit costs with its new geographical as statistical neighbours.
in November, myself and Councillor Hall also appeared before the overview and scrutiny committee and the draft Budget was issued for consultation in December, I've given presentations to parishes and also the towel form, and tend to get more presentations to members prior to the setting of the budget terms of the revenue budget, the major variances over the current budget as set out in the table at 2.00.3 1
the additional income from in year, budget review and investment decisions have, in effect, been wiped out by inflationary pressures on expenditure, leaving a near identical deficit to the current year, this would indicate that after the pandemic.
this Council has a residual structural deficit of around about 1 million pound and it needs to eliminate this, as income is not sufficient to cover the cost of the current range of local services. The budget gap is illustrated on the graph at 1.00.4, which shows the widening divergence between income, which is largely kept around 3%, and rising expenditure. This gap widens considerably in the year 27 28 as the major contracts mature and the cost of procuring these in an uncompetitive market could result in needing to buy in additional 2 million pound for the waste contract to 100,000 pounds on the grounds maintenance contract and no longer receiving 290,000 pounds of income as a management fee from the leisure contract. The capital program, the assets also continued to require substantial investment, with gross additional expenditure required 620,000 pounds. In addition to rolling through the cut for the current existing programme, there are no capital receipts in progress which to help fund the capital programme
the first 500,000 pounds from business rate growth processes has been used to fund the capital programme schemes in terms of the adequacy of reserves, the need for savings plan and a steady supply of capital receipts is mentioned in the section 25 statement along with the robustness of the estimates and adequacy of the reserves levels, the forecast level of reserves is set out at 2.00.5 6 and assumes that no further use reserves occurs in balancing the revenue budget as otherwise the minimum 4 million pound threshold will be breached.
in terms of engagement, a budget survey was undertaken and generate an impressive response rate of 1,160, this makes the survey statistically significant, the large response rate was down to the sterling work of the Council's Communications Team.
the survey asked the public which statutory services they buy, the most waste and recycling coming, top, followed by housing, and then speak concern the public were then asked to allocate funding across discretionary services to see how they their allocations compared to the draft Budget, the areas where the public would like the to reduce the budget and those are the media Scott property and the Assembly.
the public were also asked to wait the focus on 5 and vibrant safe towns and villages, and safeguarding finances came out top, the public were also asked whether the Council provides value for money and 68% said yes, on Council Tax 57% of respondents supported an increase, the responses were received across the borough and covered a broad representation to public in Sarah in summary cabinet,
these are challenging times across local government, where the centralised control of income at a time of high inflation as resulting budget gaps across the country, this Council is not alone in needing to accept the cold reality that savings need to be made to secure the future vitality of the Council.
since the publication of this report, the government has published the final Local government Settlement and, despite the widespread consultation, there are no changes from the settlement to that which was published for this Council and chairman when we get to recommendation five, I'd like to amend the council tax rate by 1 pence sorry respite pounds 71 rather than 5 pounds 72 reputable questions.
thank you, do we have any questions from members of the cabinet?
on the budget.
no, I see now, so it's open for debate.
they are very much lie. I think I think the budget survey was an excellent response to the budget survey. We tried something different with it this year. I'm not saying perfect and some people may have some feedback on how to improve it in future years, but I thought it was they did a tremendous job to increase a response rate and I think we've got some valuable feedback and a steer from the public as to
extent, which I think is is really important, I mean the the way I see it, I think this, this three key things.
no, to reiterate what Lee said, this is a very serious situation in which we find ourselves, and we can we do need to take action, and I think that's just three key key areas that Cabinet are looking at, that is to increase revenue and finally, revenue streams is to look at the revenue budget and find ways that we we can make savings and this is something that we are actively engaged in the members of the public we are looking at savings.
but this will take some time, I think there was some feedback at F and G that they would like to see more detail of those savings which is understandable, but it will take some months to to work through those and to produce the savings plan that we are actively working on and which we began work on before the
the report we recently had on on producing the savings plan, so and also looking at.
yeah, obviously I, the Asset Management Plan is critical as well and looking at our capital expenditure and the assets we have those literary key streams for me as to how we're going to work on the Medium Term financial Strategy, so I'd just like to mention also I think that some of that we had some feedback at F and G from members who wanted to go on record to state that the 2022 23 budget,
was awaiting see budget to see, if not not to affect services or look at things that we're having to look at now, but to pause and to wait until the impact of Covid on the local economy could be established and and what the recovery the economic recovery would look like well at that period has now well and truly passed, and I think we we know clearly now that there are some very real structural issues, as pointed out by Lee of approximately 1 million pounds in in the budget so yeah, to safeguard the Council's finances and to respond to the orders as best value report. We, we are actively working on on points raised, including savings plan
I think that's probably what I want to say on the matter. Thank you very much. Chair
thank you, Chris, does anybody else have anything to say, Councillor Hugo pounds an hour, come to Council together?
thank you Chair, I was going to impart, reiterate what Councillor Hall has just said, which is you know, we as a Cabinet and as a Council, are in a dilemma in that this year and in subsequent years currently we are looking to use nearly a million pounds of reserves because we have a structural deficit which requires the budget to be propped up in that way and the reality is from all the conversations that we've had at Cabinet that, for instance the car parks that we have across the borough.
and the discussion we had in relation to the Asset Management plan. If we have car parks that are crumbling and are not fit for purpose or won't be at some point in the future, then as a council we have to look at them and think will actually, if we dispose of them in some form, we are both saving money because we don't have to maintain them and it is a huge cost to maintain some of our car parks and it might provide us with income, and so that is the dilemma that every administration has is that you have to look at your assets, you have to look at what you've got
and I think that we are doing that very actively, and I hope people understand that part of the process that we're going through is to try and work out ways in which we can get rid of the things that cost us a lot to run or manage and make sure that we provide services efficiently and effectively which is our headline statement.
and I think that sometimes gets lost in some of the jousting that takes place both in this room and on social media.
thank you, Councillor Luke ever, thank you, Chair, just to I just want to express my gratitude for Mr. Banks for speaking on the item, some of the questions raised are addressed more in an item on the agenda this evening, they'll be.
so not score over ground that will be discussed later, that, in a nutshell.
some of the questions he raised were raised at the previous economic development, a Cabinet Advisory Board.
and the the additional.
payment for the contract will bring about a number of efficiencies that also bring some opportunities in terms of carbon reduction.
not only the chance to use more modern feels, but, equally, the re, rounded itself will prove more efficient and the vehicles will be more today, so there is a lot opportunities in this development, equally, it's not the entire fleet that will have a lease for diesel vehicles, there will be opportunities to change other parts of our collection fee.
to be electric vehicles in the future, it will have implementation
in terms of are carbon modelling, and we will have to produce new carbon models to take account that decision, but at this time there is a potential to use offsetting to deal with our carbon emissions at the end of 20.
30, something that I've always expressed as a council, that we should avoid any decision we make will have potential to either increase or reduce that need for an offset, I think as a Council, and everyone here agrees, that we want to avoid offsetting all costs, but there are a number of measures not only relating to the waste contracts that we can take that will reduce the reliance on offsetting,
thank you look as anybody else wish to add anything on the budget item.
I would just like to say that on the 25th of May 2022, when this new administration took control at Tunbridge Wells, the deficit for this year, which is 23 24, stood at 2.00.6 4 9 million pounds and it's in the office on my board and I just want to remind Cabinet that we took the brave, courageous, urgent decision to do an in year budget review and looking at the chart that lie mentioned on 2.3 1.
if you add up the fees and charges that we've had reluctantly to do to safeguard the finances over a year that will raise 890,000 pounds and if we had not taken that urgent action back in July, some of benefit will have for the current financial year which ends in in April we would be in an even worse situation and I think we need to remember that it was 2 point for 6 4 9 million pounds and is currently projected to be 9 4 3 at the end of that year so,
that's my comments on that once.
right if we could move to the recommendations, these are quite long.
recommendation number 1 that Cabinet considers the changes to the base budget, along with the assumptions and approach detail throughout the report.
recommendation 2 that Cabinet considers the responses to the budget consultation 3, that Cabinet proposes to Full Council the use of 943,000 pounds from reserves to balance a revenue budget, a recommendation for the Cabinet proposes to full Council approving the rolling forward of the capital programme, including additional gross cost funding of 620,000 pounds for new schemes listed within the report item recommendation 5 is slightly changed that will now read that Cabinet proposes that Full Council approves an increase in the basic amount of Council Tax of 5 pounds 71. It was previously 5 pounds 72, which is 2.95% for 22 23 for a band D property and
sorry, 23 24, thank you and recommendation 6, that Cabinet proposes, at Full Council's, approves, the implementation of council tax premiums on second homes from the 1st of April 2024 and to approve the application of the hundredth per cent Council tax premiums on properties that have been empty for at least one year, currently two years from April, the first 2024 should the regeneration and levelling up Bill received Royal Assent are we agreed
11 Procurement Process and Policy Updates
so item 10 is agreed unanimously, we're going to move on to Item 11, which is the procurement process and policies updates, and I'm going to ask Councillor Chris Hall Cabinet Member for finance and performance to introduce the item please.
thank you very much Chair.
the belief on it will be lie, you'll be introducing this item next.
no, sorry, it's Dan Hutchings, Dan sorry, my mistake, yes, sorry, yes, it would be done done will be introducing the this item and I'll hand over to in thank you.
thank you, Councillor Hall, and good evening to the Member's my report outlines two documents that we would like to propose are implemented.
the first document being a sustainable procurement policy for the Council and the second being a modern slavery statement.
both of these documents are considered to be quite important for us moving forward, particularly with our aims of obviously net carbon by 2030 and will provide our officers and Members and Hendrie's with much-needed guidance and support in terms of what we expect from them in our processes, a hope at all of the rest of the report is self-explanatory by I am very happy to take questions on them.
thank you, are there any questions for Dan?
OK, so the matter is open for debate.
Councillor Hugo pounds just to say they are both a good thing and thank you then for the work that you have put into drafting enforce, I find the term modern slavery slightly anomalous in the supply chain procurement, but I think that the content of both those policies is absolutely right, thank you.
thank you, anybody else wish to speak on the item.
now, so we move to the recommendation, so recommendation 1, that Cabinet recommend the approval of the proposed sustainable procurement policy and modern slavery statements statement recommendation 2, that Cabinet note the proposed changes to the contract Standing orders, C S O's approved by the constitutional Review working party on the 7th of December 2022 pending final improvements from audit and governance committee and full council are we agreed,
12 Property Transaction Report July to December 2022
thank you very much, we are going to move on to Item 12.
which is the property transaction report for July to December 2022, before I ask Councillor Chris Hall to introduce the item, David Cameron, the Head of economic Development and property, will introduce this report be before I passed to him, I would like to note that this item contains an exempt appendix which is set out in the restricted papers,
agenda Item 21, the report may be discussed and decided on in public session, provided that none of the exempt in information is disclosed and Cabinet Members are happy to take the exempt information as red or, alternatively, if members wish to discuss anything which appears in exempt appendix please indicate during the discussion the then the decision will then need to be held over and discuss in private in a later session at the end of this meeting.
Chris can you introduce the item before passing onto David, please, yeah, I think that nothing to sound this item are passed straight over to David, thank you.
thank you, Councillor Hall property transactions report Item 12 report informs Cabinet of property transactions completed in the period 1st of July 2022 to the 31st of December 2022 under delegated authority.
the report sets out the nature of delegation in accordance with the Constitution, as outlined in paragraphs 1 point for and 1.5, while section 2 of the report outlines the transactions, along with the exempt appendix A during this six-month period, we've had no disposals.
that had been completed.
however, leases and licences are three lettings licences with a value of 14,807 pounds had been approved and for rent reviews with a net revenue increase of 5,997 pounds and for other matters have been completed for information the report an exempt item also highlights at Tunbridge Wells property Holdings limited has granted nine new assured shorthold tenancies within its portfolio.
details of these are available to members in the exempt appendix A, and the report is for Cabinet to note, Mr. Chairman.
thank you, David, does anybody have any questions on this item, Councillor sugar pounds?
I only have one question, I'm sorry, I should have asked it before the meeting and I completely forgot to do so, could you advise us who the directors of Tunbridge Wells property Holdings limited are currently, are you able to do that?
I may need to declare an interest at this point as the three there are three directors of tumble driers property holdings, I am one of them in terms of the officer representative and the other two members that have been nominated and place on the board by the council, are Councillor Beverley Palmer and Councillor Godfrey.
thank you, does anybody else have any questions, no sum can I open the item up for debate if Cabinet Members are satisfied with the report without discussing any of exempt items?
then we can proceed now, if not will have to hold the discussion over, are we happy to discuss it in open session, yes, OK, does anybody wish to comment on the property transaction, no OK, thank you very much so.
13 *Asset Management Plan 2023/24
14 Disposal of Land and Public Conveniences in Brenchley and Matfield
we're going to move to the recommendation, which is very short recommendation 1 that the reports be noted are we agreed, thank you very much item number 13 was dealt with previously in the meeting, so we're going to jump to item 14, which is a disposal of land and public conveniences in Brenchley and Matfield and I'm going to come to Councillor Chris Hall again.
cabinet Member for Finance and performance, thank you very much Chair, yes, this this report was discussed at Finance and governance and I'd like to introduce her Max Hogan, who will be introducing this item, and I will reserve any comments until later thanks.
thank you Chair, thank you, Councillor.
the good evening councillors, the purposes report is to obtain authority for the transfer of two public convenience sites, in Brenchley and Matfield to Brenchley and Matfield Parish, Council, the land and public conveniences to be transferred in Brenchley is shown in Appendix A on page 1 7 7
and Appendix B on page 1 7 9 shows the land and public conveniences Matfield to be transferred.
these two sites were previously declared surplus to the Council's requirements on the 21 of December 2022.
f and g Advisory Board supported the recommendations when they were consulted on the 24th of January.
the Parish Council previously enquired as to whether the Borough Council would consider transferring these two sites to upon expiry of the Management Agreement in March 2022.
the Council has previously transferred 6 public convenience sites to parish councils since 2010.
property and Estates officers recommend that both sides should be transferred to potentially Maple Parish Council for 1 pound each each transfer would be subject to a 100% claw back in perpetuity if either side is converted into another planning use apart from community use.
further, furthermore, if he the site is sold and the proceeds of the sale I not used for community uses, the Council would receive this clawback payment.
the trend, the transfer of these two sites would be beneficial to the Council as a potential annual saving would be 9,500 pounds this figure comprises of utility costs, operating costs and maintenance costs.
please see Appendix C on page 180, which is a business case prepared by the Parish Council is document shows that the Parish Council were able to manage these assets into the future.
the recommendation would be to approve the transfer by public convenience size for 1 pound, each subject to inappropriate puppet to subject to the appropriate clawback clauses being inserted into both transfer documents these transfers would allow the parish council to manage these essays within that locality and would keep these public convenience operational for public benefit in the future.
please let me know if you've got any questions.
thank you, do any members of the cabinet have any questions on the item, no, therefore item is open for debate, if anybody wishes to comment.
not as seen on, so will move to the recommendation, which is a very long paragraphs, so please bear with me recommendation number 1.
to approve the freehold transfers of the land and public conveniences are high street Brenchley as identified on the attached plan showed in Appendix A and the land and public conveniences at Mason Road Matfield is identified on the attached plan shown in Appendix B the key terms of the transfers are detailed in option 1 below the other terms of the transfers are to be agreed under delegated authority to the Head of economic Development and property in consultation with the Director of Finance Policy and Development, and the Cabinet Member for Finance and performance recommendation 2 to delegate to the Head of economic Development and property, in consultation with the Director of Finance Policy and Development, the Head of legal Services and the Cabinet member for finance and performance, the authority to complete all necessary negotiations, legal processes and legal documentation to complete these transfers are we agreed,
15 *Capital Strategy
thank you very much item 15 is the Capital Strategy and I'm going to ask without any surprise, Councillor Chris Hall, Cabinet Member for finance and performance to introduce the item, please Chris.
thank you very much, yeah, this was report to note for finance and governance and were supportive, and it's for Cabinet Members to note all handover to leave to introduce the item, thank you, Councillor Hall, this report provides a strategy for the high level long term over your capital expenditure and financing and the report was fully supported by the Cabinet Advisory Board.
happy to take any questions.
thankfully, does anybody have any questions of lie on this item, I see none at that, there's anybody wished comment on the item I see none, so will move straight to the recommendation, which is very brief recommendation 1 that Cabinet recommend to Full Council that the Capital Strategy for 2023 24 as set out in Appendix A to the report be adopted are we agreed,
16 *Treasury Management Policy and Strategy
thank you very much item number 16, Treasury Management Policy and Strategy, no surprises, Chris, it's you again please.
thank you, Chair yeah, in this this was also a report and really to to note for Members so.
like the previous one, I'll hand over to Lee again to comment on the report.
thank you, Councillor Hall, this report provides the annual strategy for policies in managing the Council's investment and borrowing the budget for investment interest for the year 23 24 is 1 point for 2 million and that compares the current budget of just 445,000 pounds this report was fully supported by the Cabinet Advisory Board and goes on to full Council happy to take questions channel.
thank you, and does anybody have any questions of lie on this item, I see none.
would anybody like to comment on the item?
OK, so we'll move straight to the recommendation.
item 16 Treasury, treasury, Management Policy and Strategy recommendation 1 that Cabinet recommend to Full Council that the Treasury Management Policy and Strategy for 2023 2024 as set out in Appendix A to be reported and be adopted
are we agreed, thank you very much.
17 Temporary Suspension of the Housing Register
item number 17 is a temporary suspension of the housing register and, amazingly, this is not Chris Hall to present, but this is Councillor, she go pound Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning Authority who go, thank you Chair, so before you this evening we have the temporary suspension of the housing register with with three recommendations, first, that we tend to release the spend the housing register for a period of one month.
second one is that the existing housing register applicants that we have on our list should reapply to the housing register for reasons that will be explained by the Officer in a moment, and the third recommendation is that the Head of Housing, Health and Environment should be enabled to make future decisions should the date for the closure of the housing register need to be moved because the circumstances to do with IT or other pressures so I'm going to hand over to Stuart Clifton to give a brief summary of the process and the reasoning behind the suspension of the register and the implications for residents, thank you.
thank you, Councillor LB.
Tommy Wells is a member of the Homechoice partnership, a county wide partnership of local authorities and housing associations to provide a Kent, choice-based, letting system and expanded housing options IT system.
the partnership is managed by a partnership manager hosted by don't the district council in July 2022, following a re-tender exercise. Do the council's cabinet agreed to award the contract for the IT housing for the housing IT system to hum replacing existing locator system which contract finishes in July 2023
to enable the Housing Register and housing options IT systems to be moved from the existing provider locator to the new Hume system ahead of July 2023, it is necessary to temporarily suspend the housing register for a period of one month from June to July. The intention is also to go go live with a new allocation scheme previously approved by Cabinet at the same time is implementing the new housing system
it has been recommended that approval was given to temporarily suspend the housing register for that one month period and to require existing applicants to reapply to remain on the Housing Register.
whereby they can be assessed against the new allocation scheme using new, up-to-date application information it is proposed the changes to the allocation scheme, as set out in the Cabinet report had been considered and supported by the Housing Advisory Panel and the communities and economic Development Cabinet Advisory Board
recommendations made by cat can be found in section 4 in the report.
in particular, paragraphs 4.2 to 4 point for Band on page 2 5 1 of the report pack.
recommendations made by cab emerge in relation to the additional reassurances him to how existing applicants will be informed, how to reapply and the support available will be provided in order to be provided to unaware applicants within this process is detailed in paragraphs 1.1 to 1.1 4 in the report on page 2 4 9 and further detailed in the equalities process cross-cast in section at Section 7 within the report happy to take any questions.
thank you Stuart, does anybody have any questions of Stewart I do, and at the Cabinet Advisory Board there was quite a lot of concern that people might accidentally fall off the register as they transfer from one to the other just to reassure anybody who's listening to this, what kind of what measures are we putting in place to make sure that those people who are on the register transfer without losing their place or falling off the register entirely please?
thank you Chair, say, since the Cabinet Advisory Board, the report has been updated to provide some further details, this is to ensure that further communication strategies in place to protect vulnerable existing applicants.
so this is detailed within the report,
section paragraph 1.10 to 1.14 it details that updated a communication strategy involving both e-mailing and writing directly to existing applicants reminders. We've been the three-month window for applicants to reapply in order to retain their existing party date and additionally to keep a register of applicants who haven't applied and to make further contact via telephone within that particular window to ensure that all applicants have been contacted through a variety of means. This, in addition to the various campaigns that will be available within the can HomeChoice system both on the website itself and when
applicant's look into their came home to us accounts and by communications on our council website.
thank you Stuart, and I think that's really helpful for people who might be listening online, who have not read the report.
to explain actually we are, we've put in a a very big safety net to make sure that nobody is disadvantaged and nobody falls off the register.
are there any other questions on that item in that case I'm going to open the debate, Councillor should go pounds.
thank you, Chair yeah, just to reiterate that point,
Stuart and and I am Gary students and to have had conversations about ensuring that the the process is a smooth one. The important thing to recognise also is that we introduced a new allocation scheme recently, which has been through Cabinet, and what we need to ensure is that no one is disadvantaged by being transferred across at their current allocation status into the new scheme when they may actually come out in a in a different place, nor that anyone is advantaged or disadvantaged and therefore that is why we have to go through the process of ensuring that everybody, both new and existing applicants, are considered. The other element that Stewart has talked about it is that most of our applicants are going onto the current Homebase website very regularly to look at
potential bids and and what is available and within that there will therefore be the opportunity for
for us to remind them or advise them of the need to re-apply, I have the feeling that the process will actually be much less complex than most people are anticipating, because it has been reasonably well prepared already.
thank you, does anybody asks us to comment on the item?
now, and just wanted to say and Stuart thanks', going back, listening to those concerns as a Cabinet Advisory and explaining it so well that actually we are, we have listened and we're making sure that nobody falls through the cracks because there weren't going and they're not going to be any thank you so we're going to move to the recommendations for item 17 which is a temporary suspension of the housing register.
the recommendations read as follows cabinet approves a temporary suspension of the housing register for a period of one month so that the new IT system can be implemented in Tunbridge Wells and across Kent recommendation to Cabinet approves the recommendation, existing housing register applicants are required to reapply to the housing register to enable reassessment of their application against the Council's new allocation scheme.
recommendation 3 Authority is delegated to the Head of Housing, Health and Environment to make future decisions should the date for closure of the housing register need to be any later than the 1st of June 2023 are we agreed, thank you very much.
we're gonna move on to Item 18, which is the household recycling and waste collection service
18 Household Recycling and Waste Collection Service
and that's Councillor Luke, Everett
thank you Chair, I would like to.
personal just give my sincere thanks to the officers that term draws Borough Council, but also those of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.
as this is a partnership contract, their debt for specialist knowledge and their tenacity in aiming to deliver the best possible service for our residents has produced the developments contained within this report.
this report has been reviewed by the Communities and economic development Cabinet Advisory Board.
who fully supported the recommendations and is also reviewed by the climate emergency advisory panel.
questions raised by members were provided with answers, the resolve, their queries, these questions related to the implementation of the rounding given the past performance of the contract, something that this report seeks to improve and has already been undertaken successfully for our garden waste collection.
I'd also some questions regarding the length of the new lease and its relations were carbon modelling, following an answer to these questions, no follow up queries have been received and therefore satisfactory answers have been provided, no suggestions were made to change, the recommendations contained in the report is before Cabinet ceiling and I hope that Cabinet does supports one or possibly two.
thank you, Chairman, thank you, Councillor, ever it so as we've had this.
report relates to joint contract with the emerging morning Borough Council for our street cleansing and waste collection services at contracts Nakia, contract running to 2027 the report on page 255 and 200 56 sets out some very detailed recommendations to enable the decisions made to be fully implemented and authority to enter into the various legal agreements and financial payments that are needed and the apologies Mr. Chairman of your happy to read those out in a moment.
the report is in there were to to kind of elements to the report, one relates to making some time limited additional payments to a better to reflect the exceptional circumstances that have occurred in the HTB driver market over recent times and they have sought additional help to contribute towards the extra cost of employing and retaining their staff, the changes they made to the terms and conditions have been very successful, enabling some recruit and retain staff so that they rely very in a very limited weight now on on agency staff but have a a full nearly a full set of permanent staff which has worked well.
our view is that the indexation for next year and in future years, and has Mr. Collins said in the budget, there's an allocation for a significant sum next year contractually for the indexation, but those future indexation will take account of the current labour market and those circumstances, so the recommendation is that we only make those time-limited payments until the end of March 2023
we had taken legal advice about the application of those and also will be issuing a procurement latest to enforcement of the market that those changes are happening.
no decisions will be implemented into the procurement notice period has expired, the other element of the report is a proposal from a better to carry out a rounding and re fleeting exercise
to review the rounds that they currently have they have, I retired, become fish inefficient?
as we've had property growth and changes in take up of the services has an opportunity to to review those to make sure, as Councillor ever had mentioned earlier, that those routes are as efficient as possible and therefore users limited amount of fuel as possible.
in comparison to, in conjunction with that, to optimise those changes about are also proposing to change the configuration of their vehicles, so most of the borough has food waste collections that are collected Peu on the same vehicles either refuse or recycling in separate pods and the proposal here is to have a separate food waste vehicle to a vehicles serving the areas and in refuse being collected solely in a refuse vehicle and the recycling two streams being collected in a recycling vehicle, the
days of collection will stay the the the same. In terms of you know, you will have your refuse and your food on the same day as well, recycling same day of the week over the two weekly fortnightly cycle. However, we do expect that a significant number of residents will see changes to either their collection day or their collection week, and that's really to optimise and say that the collection rounds to get those to reflect a growth and view them. Future growth will make sure that there is a an extensive communication campaign to all residents so that they are aware of when those changes are going to take place and what that means in terms of their collection days. It's a real opportunity to to to
almost we launched the food waste collection service.
we still find a significant amount of food waste is being disposed of in the refuse bin,
it is not the most appropriate place to visit, so by having a in a kind of dedicated separate food waste service that gives us a real opportunity to increase the amount of participation in the service and, hopefully, the capture rate for that material as well we take his beneficial for our disposal costs that we share with KCC and so the Kent taxpayer will will be better off by that.
those proposals will see us subjects that isn't contributing some of the termination costs that that will be experiencing as they changed their fleet.
so they are proposing to lease the vehicles for period of about years that gives us some certainty around the price of those vehicles moving forwards so that when we get to reprovisioning the service in we're not too far away when we start looking at it but from 2027 date when the contract expires. Prior to that the council will make a decision about its future service provider and one of the benefits here is that there will be a set of vehicles available to that service provider, so if it is considered to be an in-house service and there will be vehicles available from day one and we won't be competing in a market for for new vehicles at that particular time,
equally, to address one of the points that was raised earlier in terms of future contractors, if that were to be the case that for letting the service, the invitation to tender and contract documentation will recur repayment requirement for the new contractor to take those vehicles on, so it's not a choice they will be taking those on and as the report sets out that we recognised as a risk there,
we need to make sure that the vehicles are are adequately maintained so that any use of the new service provider is fully aware of the condition of the vehicle that they're getting, and it's an appropriate condition for a 4 year old vehicle until we'd be doing their checks during the period during the tender process and for those vehicles are handed over there will be independent checks to make sure so that they're up to scratch and,
better off, no service from correctly, so that the risk is mitigated for the next service provider, in the same way as the first proposal, this has also taken legal advice and we can we will be issuing a procurement notice to notify the market of that is an opportunity to challenge and again no decisions will be implemented in 2 after that challenge period.
our partner council to merge mauling are considering the similar report at their Cabinet meeting on the 14th February and both Councils full council meetings where budgets are agreed are at the beginning of March, so one stepped process has completed, will be able to the initially agreement notices and move forward with the decisions.
as Councillor ever mentioned, the Cabinet Advisory Board ha a series of questions and then subsequently fully supported the recommendations
that have stayed questions.
thank you, what what can we might not realised as Gary's summaries, months and months of forensic work into it, and just to echo what Lucas said, we are very grateful, I know more about bin lorries and I'll ever wish, I'd known.
I suppose the consolation is will have 44 brand new names to find for these lovely trucks, which could be quite fun, there's anybody wish to add a scary any questions on the item.
thanks to just a quick question, one of the points raised by Mr. Banks was was Deputy Head of precedent about council managing a loose directly, and I think I believe there is understand in recent history there has been.
locally within the south-east council has decided to leased vehicles directly.
thank you. So I think the the center looked very recently locally, the Mid Kent Partnership on way, so Ashford swale and makes don't have recently procured their new contract with an external supplier. The Council was, there, have made the decision that they will purchased a big was actually, rather than leasing them, so that they would be purchasing these in their finance and then providing them put it to the to the operator to use in terms of our arrangement. I spent the actually the Council, I suppose, won't be taking on those leases as they contractually. When it gets the 2027, we will be transferring the list from Urbaser to the school at the new service provider if its contractor at the contractor, or if the Council's establishes a Local Authority trading company. Those leases would be vested in in the company, so the Council itself won't actually take responsibility for the leases in those two circumstances.
Councillor David Howard, yes, thank you very much for the report, as a heck of a lot of work went into that for thank you, yeah, Dr banks actually asked a question and very straightforward question about whether the fleet would be able to run on on on on on biofuel.
so yes, this is as they are, the next generation vehicle, they all the engines would be able to use what's called HBO fuel if we decide site is at 1.00 that can reduce carbon emissions by about 90%, so that's an option at the other would be available in 2027. If we wish to take that option at that stage, and there's we've highlighted in the Council's commitment to net-zero was 2030, these vehicles would take us the kind of just over into 2020 31 and again as Councillor ever as mentioned, will we will have to review the common descent plan that we've got, but we we do that in a kind of pretty much every year, so will take into account any decisions that are made
by both Councils on this contract.
thank you and I'll go question Gary.
particularly keen to get more food waste recycled, can you just confirm if I put it in my normal, been that's that four times more expensive than if I put it in the recycling food caddy is that right?
thank you might be more than that actually.
it's how I can come back in the budget is about possibly six times more expensive is in the teams, in terms of the pounds 2 transport it from north, from transfer station inhibited process at blaze Farm versus the 117 pounds if it's in your green bin and it is incinerated at Arlington so it's a significant difference to your every every tonne of food waste we can get out people's beans into the food caddies.
assist the Kent taxpayer, and I, both KCC and ourselves, share that benefit,
thank you so pleased to residents were listening online if you can shift it into the food caddy facts six times cheaper for residents, thank you any other questions for Gary at all, no matters open for debate.
OK so that reading the recommendations will be longer than the Bank say, I'll proceed or recommendations, we got 5 recommendation, a recommendation 1 that Cabinet gives authority to the Head of Housing, Health and Environment to extend for the period November 2022 to March 2023, the provision of limited financial assistance to amass a limited and Urbaser essay in respect of the contract originally procured recommendation to the Cabinet approves a one off contribution to Basel limited of up to 150,000 pounds towards the cost of terminating a number of existing collection vehicle listens to facilitate the provision of a new fleet of collection vehicles in 2023 2024.
recommendation 3 that Cabinet gives authority to the Head of Housing, Health and Environment, in consultation with the Director of Finance Policy and Development and the Head of legal Services, to complete all necessary negotiations, legal processes and legal documentation to enter into an agreement with Urbaser limited to allow for the transfer of the new vehicle leases to the council in conjunction with Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council or to the organisations or organisation contracted to provide the two councils household waste collection service on the expiry of the current joint recycling and waste collection and street cleansing contract.
item 4 sorry recommendation for that Cabinet gives authority to the Head of Housing, Health and Environment, in consultation with the Director of Finance Policy and Development and the Head of legal Services, to complete all necessary negotiation.
legal processes and legal documentation, and enter into an agreement with Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council.
to share the liability for the new vehicle fleet from the end of the current Joint household recycling and waste collection and street cleansing contract, and finally, recommendation 5 that Cabinet notes that the voluntary Ex Ante transparency notice will be published containing details of the proposed changes set out in recommendation 1 2 and 3 to cover the high the items highlighted above cabinet are we agreed?
thank you very much item 18 is agreed.
19 Urgent Business
20 Date of Next Meeting
item 19 urgent business, and I'm pleased to say that we have no such business, so we'll move on to Item 20, which is the date of the next meeting, which will be held on Thursday, the 23 of March at 6.30, and just before I close the meeting, can I just remind residents is six times cheaper to put the food in the food caddy please.
let's get an update on the 23 of March to see that we've increased it, thank you very much, good night.