Cabinet - Thursday 23 March 2023, 6:30pm - Start video at 1:38:17 - Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Webcasting

Cabinet
Thursday, 23rd March 2023 at 6:30pm 

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good evening,
my name is Councillor Ben Schaeffler and I'm the leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, and I will be chairing this meeting of the Cabinet this evening, welcome to this meeting of Cabinet on Thursday, the 23 of March 2023 before we start the meeting please give your full attention to the following safety and broadcasting announcements.
thank you Chair. In the event of the fire alarm ringing continuously, he must immediately evacuate the building at walking pace officers were escorted by the most direct available route. This is a public meeting, proceedings are being webcast live online 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 very important that the outcomes of the meeting are clear
at the end of each agenda item, the Chair will ask whether the matter is agreed in the absence of a clear majority of the Chair decided to full, Vitous desirable. A vote will be taken by a show of hands. Members should raise their hand to indicate their vote when called and keep their candidate until the count has been announced. Members requesting a recorded vote must do so before the vote is taken. Thank you Chair,
thank you
for the benefit of the recording. The following members of the cabinet are present, Councillor Luke, Everett, Councillor Wendy Fitzsimons, Councillor David Hayward Councillor Chris Hall, Councillor Hugo Pound Councillor Justin Rutland, Councillor Nancy Waun and Councillor Ben Chappel are. In addition, we have the following members of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council staff, William Benson Lee Collier, Paul Taylor, is expected bizarre apologies, Claudette valuable Jane Fineman, Pamela Grover, Morgan, Terry Hughes, Alan Gilbert, Carlos Hone and Caroline Brit
okay
for the benefit of any members of the public who may be watching. I would like to explain a couple of things each item on the agenda today has previously been considered by the reveled relevant Cabinet Advisory Board and the views expressed by the 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 the council staff ahead of tonight's meeting when each agenda item is being considered, the Cabinet Member will provide an overview of the report, members of staff who have written the report will be available to answer questions will we will then move into member discussion and I will first ask for questions before opening the floor to the bait. 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 recommendations and vote.
thank you very much

1 Leaders Introduction and Announcements

2 Apologies

agenda item number 1 announcements from the Leader and Cabinet, I don't have any particular announcements to make at this stage, can I ask if other members of cabinet have got any announcements, like thank you very much, so we are going to go to Item 2 which are apologies for absence and we have none
thank you.

3 Declarations of Interest

item number 3 is declarations of interest members are asked if they have any declarations of interest to make on items in this evening's items on the agenda, does anybody have any declarations of interest

4 Notification of Visiting Members wishing to speak

no, I see none okay item number 4 notification of visiting persons since registered to speak, we have no members of the public or visiting councillors who have registered to speak

5 Questions from Members of the Council

item number 5 questions from members of the Council.
we have no members questions from members of the Council

6 Questions from Members of the Public

Item number 6. we have a questions from members of the public this evening, we have none.

7 Consideration of the Forward Plan as at 6 March 2023

and question sorry item number 7, a consideration of the Forward Plan as at the 6th of March.
is to consider the Forward Plan. Do members of the cabinet have any comments to make

12 *Community Safety Partnership 2023/24

now, OK, we'll move swiftly on to the first proper agenda item, I'm proposing to move agenda item number 12, which is a Community Safety Partnership for 2023 to 24 up the agenda, and I'm going to ask Councillor Nancy Wall as a cabinet minister responsible to introduce the item. Please,
thank you.
Thank you, Chairman
said the report before you is about will be presented by community safety manager, Terry Hughes, includes the Community Safety Partnership Strategic Assessment for 22 23 as well as the Community Safety Partnership Plan, the 23 24, which sets setting out both the reported crime figures for last year and the priorities for the forthcoming year the papers before you have been presented and discussed at length by at the communities and economic Cabinet Advisory Board on Wednesday the 8th of March and the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday, the 13th of March also in attendance at these meetings was Inspector Ian Jones from Kent police who, along with Terry was able to answer questions from members.
this was a lengthy process in both committees, an hour in the first one, an hour and a half in the second committee,
and during that time inspector Jones did get the opportunity to inform members of some of the details of the forthcoming changes to policing with the introduction of the new neighbourhood policing model for Kent in the summer.
both members of the board and and the committee were very engaged in the reports I've said they, you know with lots of questions
and there were a few things that came out of that which I can perhaps discuss during the debate.
so without further ado, I'll pass you over to Terry but his report, thank you.
thank you, Councillor, thank you Chair,
yes it, so it's been a challenging year, though the last year
lots of anti-social behaviour in distinct parts of the borough. crime itself. There was a 2% increase
during the this, the Leicester calendar year, but that was the the lowest overall reported crime in Kent. Drugs, hate and shoplifting are being our highest crime types, but we would assume some welcome. Reductions in sexual offences and violence against the person.
Domestic abuse second lowest in Kent and a decrease on 2019 rates and complex or high need cases. The still coming in via the dabs helpline, but in lower numbers
calls to the helpline do remain high, but the domestic abuse service have retained the six hours a day, five days a week, helpline availability, which were very grateful, for which they doubled up during Covid
we also achieved last year a White Ribbon accreditation for the council and we run a West Kent domestic abuse conference
on white ribbon day for stakeholders and service providers and there was very well attended and it focused on positive masculinity and healthy relationships.
The domestic abuse Act 2021 brought in some new responsibilities for local authorities, including KCC as a local authority, with some new burden funding for the provision of supporting safe or accommodate secure accommodation, which may be anything from a victim's home having been made secure to a refuge. We do provide significant funding through the PCC and three West Kent local authorities, supporting both female and male victims of domestic abuse and providing a perpetrator programme for those who have demonstrated a commitment to change, so we recommend retaining domestic abuse a priority
substance and alcohol possession of controlled substances are down on last year, but up on 2019,
so big increases seen across Kent more broadly and likewise with trafficking.
up doubled over 2021 less of an increase against 29 teen data or data. A pattern also that's reflected across Kent
the committee police and team busy as usual, stopping cars and crushing grow rooms attending locations were for want of a better phrase, a lower level. Drug abuse is taking place in public areas,
so misuse in public in open spaces is still prevalent and has been widely reported and is closely linked to other reports of anti-social behaviour too, including at several allotments at the moment where we seem to have displaced them from other public spaces. We still have some work to do in the night-time economy, with alcohol abuse related to issues of violence and in particular violence against women and girls, so we would recommend retaining substance, misuse and supply and alcohol related behavior as a priority.
such behaviour, a reduction on last year and 2019 again, another similar pattern of reductions seen across Kent, however, has just stated some persistent anti-social behaviour in Paddock Wood, in Southborough, in Cranbrook, in the town centre and some of our parks.
pleased to say that some of the key individuals are currently or will soon be taken out of the equation, but this potential for continued anti-social behaviour from small groups of young people with larger gatherings, also an issue
and social behaviour is going to be a strong focus for this year with my team and our partners and the inspector and I have been discussing better communication with councillors and other local reps around issues and actions are being taken where there is persistent anti-social behaviour that is damaging to local communities,
so we would recommend retaining anti-social behaviour as a priority
road safety 30% increase on 2021, but down on 2019 that the last pre COVID year and that's the same with most local authorities and Tunbridge Wells, I'm pleased to say is the lowest encounter overall,
we do have now have two years' worth of near miss data on our database KCC cross-reference that with their crash data, which we're very grateful for, we've received that report. This is a piece of work that still needs to be completed and we know there are ongoing issues with poor or inconsiderate parking, particularly around schools.
We do have fewer opportunities to make a positive impact on road safety stats than we do with our other priorities, especially given how low the numbers are, but it's an important theme for residents and for members, and we would recommend retaining road safety
violence against women and girls, a small rise or reduction in some of the key crime types of soaps associated with VAWG. And I would direct members, if you haven't already do so, to review the data on page 34 of the to 36 of the strategic assessment for a national view that takes in more than just the incidents reported to the police and that's principally from the Crime Survey of England and Wales locally, very few night-time economy report related to spiking and sticking lots of night-time economy, related activities and operations have been undertaken instead, including Best Bar non where we've got seven or at least six of our key hostelry is on and another one, but six six good ones right in the centre of town they fully fully adopted the the best bone on protocols.
We did some Vogue surveys as well, including by the SA optimist and the Safe Town Partnership. We promoting aspect Angela and we've run some operations, including grip Blitzen heart and goalie last year for the various events that were going on year when the town is more thronging
and the CCTV team, the Safe Town Partnership and the business improvement district
working well together to improve safety and to improve any pores poor perceptions of the town
there will be a violence duty for local authorities with the police and crime commissioners excellent voluntary reduction unit tasked with undertaking a strategic needs assessment this year.
there's some violence related workshops being held by the VPU, the violence reduction unit
was won a couple of weeks ago that
I attended over in Maidstone and KCC's Community Safety Unit, providing a similar role for violence against women and girls.
that's next week, I believe there's one over in Detling an engagement event
and we're all set for partners that is we're also considering a West Kent action plan for Vogue to run alongside the domestic abuse action plan that is currently being drafted.
more to be done in the public realm and in the night-time economy, using that data that we've collated from the various surveys, so we would recommend violent behavior, including violence against women and girls, and the night-time economy is a priority for this forthcoming year, thank you Chair.
thank you, Terry, as any member of cabinet have any questions for Terry.
CNN, OK, so the matter is open for debate. he would like to comment Councillor Hugo pounds.
thank you, Terry again,
not sure if this is the second or third time that we've been through this this. report, but I'm always grateful to be at the CAB.
and which has as Nancy identified, you went through an hour and a half of a fairly robust grilling. I think
so all I wanted to say, which is not a question it is part of the debate is that I very much appreciate, particularly this year. It seems to be more clear than ever the joined up nurse if that's a true noun between statutory and voluntary sectors services, and you do name them in here, so we've we've got the street pastors and we've got the Kenwood Trust one and another organisations, as well as having D I Jones sitting next to you at that meeting, and I think that that is much appreciated by us all. and the sense is that that sense of community safety is is being strongly reinforced, for which I'm grateful, thank you.
Betsy,
thank you Chair.
I absolutely agree, it's been that and I have remained a privilege really to be and able to you know within this role, learn about other work, much more in much more detail of the Community Safety Unit.
and all the partners in in the partnership and how they will work together in its appreciation of that makes you really realise how much work goes on behind the scenes that we're not aware about that really keep you know are safe, the businesses safe, the community safe and the people who want to come and visit so that I'm really really grateful.
and I think the message really coming through from Kent police's that we, you know, we're part of that partnership and we, you know, we have a role to play as well to reach out to our communities and say you know you can be part of the eyes and ears of the police and report staff if it happens so it's really really important that stuff gets reported because otherwise you know there is no evidence and police can only act on the evidence that they have, so I think that message came through really clearly. they were there were a few things that came out of that without the Cabinet Advisory Board,
one of the councillors was concerned about the level of fly-tipping in the borough and how that was being managed or soda married up with.
are all of our other departments and how you know how that was working, so that's something perhaps we can look at going forward and at the Cabinet Advisory Board there was a request, really for the reports to include data of. You know, arrests and convictions, so that's something else that we we can look at going forward
and there was one other thing was there was there was a lot of concern about road safety and the work that the community, the Speedwatch groups do so again, you know there was thinking about how we could perhaps support those groups if they're not feeling fully supported by the police. So those are some of the things and there are others as well that I've taken notes of, and we both have and taken notes that came out of those meetings that we will take forward with Inspector Jones. We do actually have a meeting tomorrow, so if anybody else has got anything that they, you know want us to be thinking about talking about, please do let me know so yeah, apart from that, I would absolutely recommend that we
except these these priorities for the forthcoming year and the Partnership Plan.
thank you.
thank you, does anybody else wish to say anything Councillor Justin ruckman,
yes, thank you, thank you, Terry and I just want to say personal thank you to you and the team for always being there and having an answer, no matter what problem I'm thinking particularly about the young people on the scaffolding.
that you seem to be all over it already.
and I just wanted to say that I think I'm really happy, these are the priorities because it reflects the messages I get from my residents.
that's really
yeah, I'm just very grateful for that, thank you very much.
thank you just being a pot-luck, just like to say it's Harry I've met in my role, two very senior police officers and Kent police who work across different boroughs, and they were unsolicited comments from me, but they were very praise, worthy of Thomas Ross, yes, you being one of the best in Kent,
I was asking fishing for compliments, it just came quite naturally in the conversation and I'm very grateful
to you as well as I've met with Ian Jones, so I've seen that side of the CFU.
I very kindly let me sit in on one of your kind of multi-agency briefings which was kind of fascinating, because you've got all these people chipping information and also went out with the local police team and unmarked unmarked police car looking for people that needed to be brought into custody
and actually those people's at that team is working with is really complex because it's not just you've done something bad, we need to arrest you, but actually the whole social economic reasons be why these people behave like that is so complex and actually they also need support in many ways as well, so thank you very much
OK, so let's proceed to the the recommendations recommendation 1 is that the community safety partnership plan for 2023 2024 be approved are we agreed
agreed, we agreed unanimously.

15 Horsmonden Neighbourhood Development Plan

Thank you we're going to change the order again, so we're going to go straight to item number 15, which is the horseman, then neighborhood development plan and I'm going to ask Councillor Hugo Pound cabinet member for housing and planning to introduce the item. Please
thank you very much
I'm very pleased to be able to bring to Cabinet
the husband and neighbourhood development plan, which needs to progress now to a referendum which is set for the 8th of June 2023,
and, if it, if positively received and voted on by the
residents of Horsmonden, then that plan will progress to full Council on the 5th of July of this year.
and therefore, after which adoption will take place.
I have I'm a great fan as I think people know of neighbourhood development plans, I think that they are the right way of representing.
communities and their interests,
such that they get recognised within all the activity of the council in a broader planning and design perspective.
and this one, this development plan, noted her husband, Dan parish council, has developed, I think, is exceptionally good in well prepared and presented, which is. huge positive, if you go to 4.1 in the accompanying report, I'll just publicly make note
that the examiner, because the
the plan has now gone through examination, the examiner, has congratulated oarsmen and parish council on producing this locally, distinctive neighborhood plan. he concludes that the plan will sit comfortably alongside the emerging Tunbridge Wells Borough Local Plan and that it is allowed the local community to be able to shape the development that will take place in the parish over the next few years, it's clear that a huge amount of hard work has gone into this plan by volunteers on behalf of the local community and the Examiner is pleased to recognise their sterling work
I'll hand over to officers to briefly. explained the plan as it is currently, but I would hope for an endorsement of the work so far, thank you.
OK, thank you, thank you, Councillor LB and good evening members, so the report begins on page 3 8 5 of the committee pack and sets out the progress made on the Horsmonden Neighbourhood Plan, the production of which began at the end of 2017, so the report explains the background to the night plan and the weight to be given to the policies within it
as it progresses towards being made
so as Councillor Pound has already identified that once made the policies become part of the development plan
for the neighbourhood area which in this instance is the parish of Horsemen Den.
so the policies actually carry full weight upon a successful referendum.
so section 2 of the report it sets out details of the previous stages of the preparation of the plan, which has included consultation with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council at both the Regulation 14 and 16 stages of the Neighbourhood Plan process,
the plan has been through examination, which was undertaken by the written representations procedure which is the typical way in which neighbourhood development plans are examined so Mr. Slater, the independent examiner has issued his final report which is attached at Appendix A to the papers. the purpose of the examination process is to examine the LDP to establish whether or not it meets what are referred to as the basic conditions.
and if it doesn't to recommend modifications to ensure that the basic conditions are met,
the basic conditions set out at paragraph 2.9 of the report,
so in this instance Mr. Slater has put forward modifications in his examination examiner's report to ensure that the basic conditions are met and that the nature of these modifications, the nature of these modifications have been discussed with the Parish Council and Tunbridge Wells officers, and the the Neighbourhood Plan group has agreed to the the suggestions being made,
so the reported appendix P B attaches a table setting out the modifications and the the context and the reasons for those and we have a referendum version of the Neighbourhood Plan attached at Appendix
D of the the report pack, which have included the modifications recommended by Mr. Slater,
so the the formal decision statement is attached at Appendix C of the report.
so the recommendations are set out at pages 3 8 5 and 3 8 6 of the agenda pack, and the report has been through planning and transportation Cabinet Advisory Board
early on on the 23 of January who approved the the recommendations that are are set out at the front of the report. so if the recommendation today is accepted, the next step would be to arrange the Neighbourhood Plan referendum and the planning officers already in discussion with the elections team to to get that up and running, so it will be an important step in the the production of the Neighbourhood Plan.
which was Councillor Pound has already referred to, this had considerable amount of hard work undertaken by the local community, and it's actually recognised you know, various points throughout the the independent examiner's report, and it's clear that you know there's been a lot of hard work put into it, thank you.
thank you, Helen, as for any questions for members of stone,
no mercy none.
we'll go straight to the debate. does anybody wish to say anything?
Nancy
think of them, one of the biggest challenges of a neighbourhood plan is actually to to bring something extra to to planning policy, it's very easy just to repeat what's already a national or local policy, but to actually identify what makes your parishes specific, and you know the specificity and character of that's important on what and what it is you want to.
encouraging what you want to protect, I think it's really important to do that is is does take hard work, but you know it's done by the people who know their place best, so
I think this this is a good plan, it's managed to do that so it adds value to to what already exists.
thank you, does anybody else wish to comment?
most of OK, so we'll move to the recommendations which are lengthy.
there are five recommendations recommendation number one reads that the independent examiner's report on the all horsemen, their Neighbourhood Development Plan h n d p, received on the 28th of November 2022 at Appendix A be noted and published recommendation to the H M D P be modified in part as set out in Appendix B according to the examiner's recommendations following discussion with discussion with Horsemen then Parish Council and furthermore include changes to policy for point 4 of the H N D P as explained at paragraphs 2.2 0 to 2.2 2 in the report below.
recommendation 3 reads that Cabinet agrees the publication of a decision statement at Appendix C and decides to progress the h n d p as set out at Appendix D to referendum, to ensure the community has the final say on whether the Neighbourhood Plan comes into force or not. the referendum area is that of a Neighbourhood Area I horsemen then parish.
recommendation 4 reads that the plan forms part of a statutory development plan for the Neighbourhood Area horseman then parish immediately following a positive referendum outcome on the h n d p, with more than 50% of the vote, and it was not have to wait until it is made accordingly, cabinet recommends to Council that in the event that the referendum rests on the n h n d p is positive, the Council formally makes the H in the P as set out in Appendix D which will subsequently be considered at the next Full Council post referendum.
recommendation 5 reads that the referendum will be held on the 8th of June 2023 and, if passed, will then go through Full Council on the 5th of July 2023 Tunbridge Wells Borough Council planning is in contact with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council elections team to start arrangements for the referendum,
all we agreed,
thank you very much, we're now going to revert back sorry element, Carlos thank you very much.

8 Revenue Management Report Quarter 3

thank you, we're now going to revert to the agenda items in back in the original order, which is.
item 8, which is the sort of insider
revenue management report quarter 3, and I'm going to ask Councillor Chris Hall to introduce his first of many items tonight at Chris is cabinet member for
finance and performance over to Chris.
thanks Ben, although I'm relieved that it's only for this evening that this is not bad in anomalous about eight, so I think. we've got some other interesting items on the agenda tonight as well, so including these, of course,
so yeah, I think I just wanted to say that this came before the
finance and governance Cabinet Advisory Board on the 7th of March and I think the key headline here is that
that we are now on course, we still got quarter four to go, but we now have a 350,000 pounds surplus for the financial year 2022 to 2023.
and and this is driven by some unique circumstances that you'll hear about as an unplanned and and forecasted that couldn't really have been predicted, but I think, but it was also pleasing and interesting is some of the things that we have planned like the in-year budget review and to see the revenue starting to flow through from that now and you'll hear more about that and from Jane who I believe is going to introduce the report and give us more detail, thank you.
yes, thank you,
so the actual expenditure to the end of December was 10.3 6 1 million, which is 741,000 under budget.
and as Councillor Hall his has just said, I'm really pleased to be able to report that we're now forecasting a small forecast outturn surplus on services of 144,000.
this is mainly due to reductions in forecast staff costs of just over a million
to 160,000 of this is needed to meet the budgeted contribution to the vacancy factor, but the remainder is close to offsetting the increase in energy costs of 840,000 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
whilst this has been positive for the Councils finances, the current shortfall of 34 full time equivalent staff is putting pressure on the delivery of services, and capital projects are needing to be deferred.
there have been some notable rises in income forecast this quarter.
there is an additional 220,000 in waste recycling performance payments and 180,000 additional parking income, some of which is due to the increases in prices on the 1st of December last year.
planning income is forecast to increase by another 95,000 and crematorium income by another 65,000.
this has been offset, though, by additional financial assistance and bank holiday payments for waste collection services of 215,000 and the 100,000 pound cost to finance the Community support Fund.
there has also been another 100,000 reduction in court cost income from council tax and an 80,000 pounds reduction in income from garden waste.
as detailed in the later Treasury Management report, it's projected that there will be an increase of 1.1 5 million in investment interest,
this can be used to finance the 944,000 pounds budget deficit with which we started the year
overall, therefore we are now forecasting a budget surplus of 350,000 which can be added to the General Fund.
as can be seen in Appendix D. the council had 32 point for 9 million of usable reserves, as at the 1st of April 22,
however, 6.9 million held in the ground volatility reserve will be used to fund the collection fund deficit, so cannot be used for other purposes
another 4 million will be used to fund the capital programme in 22 23.
it can also be seen that the council forecasts a total of 5.9 million of internal borrowing by the end of 22 23, which means that it's using its working capital to finance debt rather than using its reserves or borrowing from the public Works Loan Board.
so our finances are in good order now until the end of 22 23,
but this has been through good fortune, with interest rates and significant staff vacancies, which are affecting the ability of the Council to deliver services and the capital programme.
in 23 24, the increases in interest are already included in the budget and vacancies will need to be filled, so the current 943,000 revenue budget will need to be addressed, along with the sale of capital assets to fund the capital programme.
and finally, approval is sought for a change in the fees and charges for parking based suspensions, and this is following a review of the service which was instituted instigated by the retirement of the council officer who previously carried out this well,
thank you very much.
thank you, Jane, does anybody have any questions to join?
I can't say I'm sorry, sugar,
sorry, just just a brief one at.
2.5 of the usable reserves and my maths may be dodgy.
am I right in therefore understanding that?
we only have 10 million pounds worth of usable reserves which has not yet not already been earmarked for other projects.
Is that right,
not quite
actually, all of your reserves have already been allocated, and I think there's an overall allocation of 1 million at the present time. This is if you include, all of them, all of the internal borrowing that we have set aside as well.
Theoretically, we should be funding all of our expenditure, whether HRA, revenue related or capital related from our reserves, but we can fund from what we call a minimum revenue requirement, which is internal borrowing, which means that internal borrowing we have to pay off over a period of years over the life of that asset and that then impacts upon the revenue budget going forward.
So
we've got a 5.9 million forecast of internal borrowing and if you include that, we've spent all of our reserves. Everything is planned to be spent
thank you,
thank you, does anybody else have any questions?
the matters open for debate,
who would like to comment,
Chris.
yeah, I think I probably just like to comment at.
I think it was brought up at the
the Cabinet Advisory Board that,
although it's welcome news, it's it's a double-edged sword, really because we were, we were not fulfilling our vacancies and well knows organisation ever completely fulfilled all its vacancies and runs at full capacity. We would expect there to be a budget vacancy saving of around 250,000 pounds a year, so you know for there to be an extra 750,000 pounds a vacancy savings is not where we want to be. It's not place where we want to be one to fill those vacancies and ensure that we that delivery services don't suffer. You know, had we filled those vacancies. The fact is that we would would still be projecting a deficit, not not a surplus, so I think it's welcome news. In one sense, I think I'd also like to
to say that it's good to cease the in year budget review revenue starting to flow through, and it appears that this, especially with parking, is not having a detrimental effect on parking and visitors to the town, which I think we hoped would be the case and appears to be the case from this first first report.
but I think I'd also probably like to say that.
it doesn't mean we've tackled the problems and that we face, we still need to review our HR and recruitment strategy still need to deliver a savings plan,
we've still got significant expenditure on contract inflation and capital expenditure to come, so I think although this is this is positive in one sense our challenges are still very much before us and not behind us.
thank you, Chris
Hugo.
thank you, yes,
one or two comments that Chris has already covered, so I won't repeat them,
this has also had a fairly robust grilling at CAB before, so I don't think we need to repeat too many of the same points.
but just one or two things.
You know the the investment interest forecast.
It's just fortuitous, it wasn't I think we have to admit that it's probably something to do with one of the three Tory prime ministers that we had last year,
so we should be grateful for that. At least
at Appendix H.
There was some uplifts in income. I just didn't want to acknowledge that you know, despite all of the issues that we have in terms of staffing and ensuring that we're able to provide service, that has been some significant work obviously being done by officers, and my particular interest in planning the courses that, despite some of those resourcing problems, they are dealing actually with more applications, more viability assessments, more monitoring of the Section 1 0 6 process,
which has made an impact of sorts, and there have been other departments as well, which I haven't mentioned, who've made a significant impact this year, and I think that should be recognised. the only other thing I wanted to say is that 2.2 2 and 2.2 3
again and it, and it's happening, I think because
partly because we're probably in an election period now and you get comments from residents about I pay all this council tax and I don't get anything in return.
and it is worth reiterating that of the council tax, which this borough collects on behalf of a number of different statutory bodies.
the borough council only gets 10 p in the pound,
and I think that that constantly gets overlooked, and it is mentioned within the report and similarly within the business rates which we also are involved in, the collection of we only get 4.7 p in the pound, which is less than 3 million pounds a year.
and I just want to put on public record that too often people assume that all of the money that they're paying in their council tax comes to this borough, and I can absolutely assure them that it doesn't.
thank you, Councillor Luke, Everett.
thank you, Chair, just to just to add to Chris's point about.
therefore pictures, staff, recruitment and retention, I think it has to the point, has to be made, it's not really necessarily a peculiarity to this Council, and there's a wider issue in terms of local governance related to issues with long-term,
proper, substantial funding of local government.
that this put a squeeze inevitable squeeze on wages
and what the recruitment and promotion prospects of local government sector as a whole, so just to make clear you know, it's
it's really another indictment against
the many other issues we're facing as a nation related to current national government policy.
Wendy
thank you, Chair, and I just also like to point out that, as you will see from the health inequalities action plan, our unemployment has gone down
in this borough, it's well well below the national
average, so
finding staff is is difficult
thank you. Does anybody else wish to say anything
less?
I would just like to say for people who died who might not understand what vacancy factor is,
if we were saving a million pounds in my day job as a teacher by not recruiting teachers, it would get probably noticed a lot more than in local government, and I think it's a tribute to the council staff that whilst their short staff they keep the council going and those public services that residents have come to expect and enjoy and
we can run a school without with a million pounds worth of teach savings because those kids still need to be taught those planning applications still need to be validated, those bins still need to be collected, etc etc so thank you, and I hope that we we can make progress on recruitment so everybody can have a bit of a breather,
OK, so we're moving on to the recommendations,
there are three recommendations recommendation, one reads that Cabinet note, the quarter 3 net expenditure on services year to date was 10.361 million that 741,000 pounds less than budget.
recommendation to raise at Cabinet note that the year end, the Council anticipates next expenditure net expenditure of 15.278 million pounds on services. This forecast is 144,000 pounds under budget and improvement of 656,000 on quarter. Two recommendation 3 that Cabinet note that by year end the Council anticipates receiving an increase in funding of 1.150 million pounds due to additional investment interest and improvement of 400,000 since quarter 2. Overall, this means that underspend compared to budget of 1.294 million pounds an improvement of 1.056 million pounds since quarter 2.
This will fund the budget deficit of 944,000 pounds that was to be met from reserves, with the additional 350,000 pounds being available to be transferred to reserves. Recommendation 4 that Cabinet approve the new charge for Base suspensions to be implemented from the 1st of April 2023 are we agreed,

9 Capital Management Report Quarter 3

thank you very much, we're moving on to item number 9, which is Capital Management report Quarter 3, and I'm gonna pass back to Chris Hall.
thank you very much Ben
this also was discussed at finance and governance on the
7th of March.
I don't get attracted too much comment.
you'll see and you'll get an update shortly, that it's a rolling programme, much of it has been rolled into next year and the year after, but I'll hand over now I think, to Jane again to give you an update thanks to
thank you.
cabinet originally approved capital expenditure of 10.4 0 2 million for 22 23.
since then, a net handwritten 54,000 pounds of projects have been rescheduled from 21 22. approved into the programme or deferred into 23 24, bringing the revised forecast outturn to 10.5 5 6 million
approvals requested in this report. bring the total spend for 22 23 to 8.3 7 4 million, which is a net decrease of 2.1 8 2 million.
this consists of a decrease of 1.8 4 4 million in spending rescheduled to 23 24 and a net decrease in forecast projected spend of 338,000.
the net decrease that's 338,000, for which approval is sought, mainly consists of 292,000, which is a reduction for affordable housing grants and 9,000 for a reduction in the costs for the Town Hall. and assembly hall roof refurbishments,
but this has been partially offset by 115,000, which is an increase for the Warwick Road car park.
the rescheduling of 1.8 for 4 million into 23 24 mainly consists of 730,000 for the Royal Victoria Place car park refurbishment.
half-a-million for the Town Hall conversion
to 111,004 9, 10, Calverley Terrace, refurbishment and 177,000 for the Benholm Mill Dépôt.
new capital schemes totalling 593,000 for 23 24 and 1.6 3 5 million in 24 25 were approved by Full Council on the 1st of March 23 and are now included in the report,
the main project was repairing the cladding on the Crescent Road car park that was just over 2.5 million.
a capital receipt of 40,000 pounds, I know it's small, but it all helps
was received this quarter for land at Barnett Way, and this will be transferred into the capital receipts reserve and used to finance some of the capital programme, thank you.
thank you join, does anybody have any questions to join?
none
would anybody like to come in on the item.
Chris
I just a very brief coming, I think if anyone wanted any reassurance about the cabinet's attitude or the Councillors asked you towards, it confirms his commitment to them, I think you know, and providing enough composting capacity for residents and ensuring that they meet health and safety requirements, I think they'd be 2 million over 2 million budgeted for the Crescent Road car park
is it a sort of evidence of that?
and how we put the safety of our residents in our is of paramount importance to it.
thank you good point, does anybody else wish to comment?
now, OK, so we'll move to the recommendations, there are four recommendations recommendation, 1 rates that the Cabinet note the actual gross and net expenditure for the year, and the sources of finances, as shown in Appendices B to D recommendation 2 reads that Cabinet approve the proposed variations to the capital programme set out in Note 4.3 to 4.9.
recommendation 3 reads that Cabinet note the inclusion of new schemes into the capital programme, as set out in notes 4.1 0 to 4.1 1,
recommendation 4 that Cabinet approve the proposed movement between years, set out in Note 4.1 to are we agreed.

10 Treasury and Prudential Indicator Management Report Quarter 3

thank you very much item 9 is agreed unanimously, we're moving on to Item number 10, which is the Treasury and Prudential indicator management report for quarter 3, and I'm going to pass
to Chris again.
thank you very much, Chair, this, I'll be very brief about this, I think, is going to be very, very positive news again financially in terms of return on investment income, but I'll now pass over to Jane again to give you an update.
indeed, it is very, very positive news.
the forecast interest from investments and bank interest for this year is now 1.5 9 5 million. and that's an increase of 1.1 5 million from the approved budget, which was just 445,000. and it's a form, it's a further 400,000 from that that we forecast in quarter 2,
and this is due to an increase in the funds being available to invest as the capital programme has been deferred
and an increase in the interest rates that have been available to us.
whilst the bank interest rate was cut to just point 1 of a per cent in March 2020 at the start of the Covid pandemic, the Bank of England has been steadily increasing the base rates again to manage inflation,
and this has resulted in a base rate of 3.5% by December 22
the council has forecast an average interest rate of 2 point to 9% compared to the budget of 1.0 9.
and we're working really really hard.
looking for short term, low risk opportunities in which to invest our available cash.
the monetary policy committee raised interest rates to 4% on the 1st of February, and you've no doubt seen in the media today that they've raised it again to 4.25%, so this will be reflected in the actual interest received at the end of the year.
the property fund investment has paid net dividends for the three quarters of the year to December of 4.81%.
the 9 million pound investment with the property fund is valued at 10.00.4 2 4 million as at the 31st of December 22 the value has decreased by 1.8 million this financial year. the value does fluctuate from time to time, but is clearly still in surplus,
this is held in a reserve until it's withdrawn, however, so it doesn't impact upon the overall cost of services and, as I've already explained, the interest rate of dividends effectively of 4.81% is still very attractive.
and finally, just to confirm that none of the prudential indicators were breached in quarter 3, thank you.
thank you join, does anybody wish to ask any questions of Jane?
some more mundane standing journalists grateful the council, but if you're a mortgage payer on a house, it's really bad news.
during is nothing
thank you, okay, I'm matters open for debate.
Nancy
it's.
very welcome to get some good news, that's all I've got to say thank you.
Chris it probably would just say that yeah is very welcome news and I am grateful to the team for their very shrewd.
and yes, speedy. an agile way that they manage the investments. I think, although it is welcome,
this extra investment income has, I believe, been baked into our budget projections already, so
we can't rely on this necessarily next year,
so it doesn't really affect. You know the the revenue budget
shortfall that we we put forward of 943,000 because we're already projecting to get this kind of
return on our investments next year.
thank you, yeah, so we can't rely on a kamikaze prime minister to succeed rishi Souillac and put them trace further up,
but yeah, I OK, thank you and we'll move over to the recommendations, so recommendation 1 reads a cabinet note, the treasury, management and prudential indicator position for 2022 2023 recommendation number 2 reads that Cabinet note, the forecast for investment and bank interest is 1.595 million pounds an increase of 1.150 million pounds from the approved budget of 444 sorry 445,000 pounds and the further improvement of 400,000 pounds from quarter 2 projection. are we agreed,

11 Performance Summary Quarter 3

thank you very much, we're going to move on to Item number 11, which is performance summary for Quarter 3, and I'm going to ask Chris Hall to introduce the item, please.
thank you very much, Chair
yeah, this is is the next set of performance indicators
and a report on the state of our major projects
we be familiar with the reports by now,
so I'll now hand over to Pamela to present you with Kesa of headlight thanks very much Pam.
OK.
this report.
as for no tail me, so I will escape through the highlights, please let me know if you want any more detail
in terms of projects,
the big thing to note is that the Paddock Wood Community Centre was up complete at the time that the report was written and due to be handed over.
in terms of performance indicators, there were nine and are performing indicators in quarter 3, up from 7 in quarter 2 these are listed in the report, but you will see two dropped off and for were added, these changes were processing major planning applications within time so that dropped off. and percentage of national non domestic rates collected business rates dropped off as well.
additions to underperforming indicators where the number of homelessness acceptances the percentage of recycled and composted household waste, working days lost to sickness within the council, and the percentage of council tax collected.
turning to Appendix B.
in the pack, the highlights of quarter 3 performance indicators were
housing, there's been a national increase in homelessness, acceptance and households in temporary accommodation
for us, the number of households in temporary accommodation is up by 8% from 72 78 in quarter 3 15 of these 78 householders were individuals who were rough sleepers housed and discretionary rather than statutory powers.
and they've been included in this indicator only since 2020, so if you remove this, then for temperature's Q3 figures look like those from 2018 2020.
the number of homeless acceptances has increased from 16 to 19 and last quarter, just missing its target at 18 listed traceable in part to some targeted casework, yielding an increase in homelessness relief duties coming to an end and that had the effect of increasing the number of applicants who are accepted as being owned owed the main statutory housing duty in Q3 as compared to previous quarters there's more detail available in recovery plans appendices C D,
both environment indicators are measured on the previous quarter's figures, you'll remember this from the last report, so these are Cutie's figures, the kilograms per waste collected per household indicators who then target but the percentage for the indicator of household waste re-used, recycled or composted in quarter 2 was 47.8 4 which is just below the 48% target however, performance over the first half of 22 2020 22 23 was 49.08% which was overall above the target. and higher than the average figure for the second half of the previous year, so that was 46.9 3,
you'll find more detailed Appendix C.
in terms of economic development, the number of contacts from businesses to the council has doubled to 182, due largely to pick your team in that area, giving capacity to organise or to organise mud business events.
those figures do not include hits on the business portal on the website.
both finance indicators look strong
in terms of planning the planning team has been meeting its targets and most of its indicators, despite ongoing staff shortages, performance has gone up and quarter 3
with respect to major planning applications with extensions, minor planning applications with extensions, other planning applications with extensions and major planning applications and performance on a few appeals for major, works, however, staff shortages are still impacting the planning team in two ways, first, the positive effects are the highest that were brought on in November 23, because November's halfway through quarter 3, what start to be seen for another quarter or so yet? Second, there are four vacancies remaining in the parts of the team that process and register applications and the result is said several indicators for planning fell short of their targets in the last quarter but even so all of them saw increases in performance over quarter 2
finally, revenues
the percentage of council tax collected collected is point 3 8%, below target. of 83.5 to, and that's due to the increased cost of living,
the council is balancing, carrying out recovering recovery actions and assisting residents in on low incomes as appropriate Becky.
thank you, Pamela, does anybody have any questions on the item?
OK.
the matter is open for debate,
anybody would like to say anything.
she got.
thank you very much.
anything with graphs, I tend to look at with with interest, and I've done quite a lot of looking at both Appendix B and and Appendix C, and I think that Appendix C and the explanations, and particularly all verbal explanation this evening, are helpful, I think that Appendix B is too blunt an instrument.
and I think that as a Council, we probably need to reflect upon that, I mean, I'm just looking at 1.00 or two of the numbers which you mentioned, like the household waste sent for reuse, recycling and composting is underperforming, it missed its target by 0.16%
and yet it's defined as underperforming, which I understand it means that we can focus upon it but,
there's a gradation of under performance, that scene seems to be rather missing, similarly, households in in temporary accommodation, which is something that particularly got got a view over, as you say, because of the manner in which those data have now been collected actually in any other year if we weren't accounting for homeless
individuals then that target would have been achieved, it would be only 63, not 50, not 78,
so I I I feel slightly uncomfortable about Appendix B, but I think that somehow we need to work out a way of better explaining to the public and perhaps to our officers.
both the content within Appendix C and and the manner in which that is communicated.
thank you, does anybody else wish to make comment, Chris?
I'd just like to follow up on the point that he got made actually, and I think I think one of the reasons, yeah, the reasons why the patchwork wasn't
any concern expressed in the finance and governance Cabinet Advisory Board meeting around some of these performance indicators, I think people understand all too well as the lead very marginally out, as you go said, I personally don't have any concerns over the performance of many of these KPI eyes because there really is not not much in it so yeah, I just wanted to sort of reinforce her, but he gets it.
thank you, does anybody else wish to comment Justin?
thank you Chair, yes, I just like to put on record how grateful I am to the economic development team, it is really wonderful, the we're doing on, and I'm really pleased that. we tried to be very outward looking and clearly businesses are getting in touch
more and more, and I hadn't actually realised it didn't include the figures by the portal says doubly pleasing, thank you.
thank you.
all lodge surfing eventually when we or we settle in and we got a little bit more time is probably as a council we strategically as part of our new corporate plan next year may well be that we actually need to look at which Capie eyes. We want to report as a bigger package than what might be in there, but that's work ongoing,
okay, so unless anybody else wishes to to make any other comments or move over to the recommendations so item 11, that there are two recommendation, the first one reads that Cabinet notes a summary of predicted performance over quarter 3
for 2022 2023 at Appendix A recommendation, to read that the Cabinet notes the summary of service performance over quarter 3 for 2022 to 2023 and Appendix B.
recommendation 3 that the Cabinet notes a recovery plans for the quarter 3 2022 2023 and Appendices C to K are we agreed?

13 Draft air quality Action Plan for Hawkhurst AQMA

Thank you very much item 12, which is a community safety partnership we've already covered, so we're going to skip to Item 13, which is the draft air quality action plan for hawkers A Q M A and I'm going to ask Councillor Luke Everett to introduce the item please.
thank you Chair, I want to
start by thanking the officers for their time, and particularly the expertise in creating this draft action plan, I'm sure Cabinet agrees that this is a prime example of local government working well to take action to improve public health and reduce air pollution within our borough the draft. equality action plan for forecast is a products not only of highly technical work by officers, but also a product of the input of the local community. For a consultation that ran between the 29th September and the 27th of November
and a range of relevant concerned bodies through a steering group, and that steering group can was comprised of Kent County Council, our own councils, economic development, Development Management Planning Policy and Parking Services team and finally, the Hawkhurst Parish, Council and council members so substantial exercise in terms of consultation.
This report was well received by the relevant communities, CAB, and I'll hand over to the relevant officer to report
thank you, Councillor Everett, not a great deal to add, really other than to say that, since the deadline for publication of the report passed, Defis awarded Mid Kent Environmental Health Service with temperatures Wells Borough Council is the lead and Canterbury City councillor grant of 170,000 pounds to develop an air quality resource aimed at GPs and health professionals to educate them about the dangers of air pollution, with a particular emphasis on how they can help their vulnerable patients to protect themselves and limit their exposure to air pollution.
There are a couple of medical practices in very close proximity to what is a small air quality management area in Hawkhurst, and therefore it was suggested that a ninth action to the cab, which would be added to to the eight actions in the plan and to prioritise the roll-out of this resource in Hawkhurst, and this was also improved by the CAB, final thing to say is really that hopefully once this has been approved by Cabinet then it will be submitted to DEFRA for final approval the recommendation to approve the plan is set out on page 2 3 2 thank you.
thank you Paul, for are there any questions for Paul on the report?
I see no, OK, would anybody like to make any comments?
on the
I think it's very much
the right thing to do and it ties into our focus on five priorities, which is carbon reduction, so I think it's
very much a step in the right direction. there is one recommendation recommendation 1 the Cabinet approves that the draft action plan given as Appendix A is formally adopted as the air quality action plan for the hawkers A Q M A R we agreed,

14 Re-tender Tunbridge Wells Car Club

thank you very much, that is good news we're going to move on to item number 14 which is the re-tender of Tunbridge Wells car club and I'm going to ask
cabinet member Luke, Everett
in charge of environment sustainability and carbon reduction to introduce the item, please, thank you.
thank you Chair.
I think we should all be proud of the success of the car club in our borough and it is correct that we should continue this initiative which keeps cars off of our overcrowded roads, this is
what I see as a little slice of the alternative and less emissions heavy means of transport that we need to introduce to create the lower carbon transport future that we all want and should have. In February this year we agreed that the uptake of the car club has been good enough to warrant an increase in the number of cars available to users. and I think this shows that our residents have a desire for a greener means of transport and we should support their. design,
this was well received. by the communities card and no issues were raised, I'll hand over to pool to present the report.
thank you again, Councillor Everett, the report seeks permission from cabinet to re-tender, as Councillor ever to said, the extremely successful Tunbridge Wells Court Club. as the current contract comes to an end. In July this year, since its launch in 2014, the car clubs expanded and proved to be very popular with now, I think 550 members registered.
The data shows again as Councillor Evans said, as there is clearly significant interest in appetite with the community to continue to utilise the Cork club, members' subscription has continued to increase steadily throughout
the provision of the Cork club. Supports the council in meeting its targets related to carbon reduction, improving air quality, easing parking pressures, reducing congestion and enabling suitable sustainable transport choices to be made. So there are two recommendations which are set out on page 3 6 7. Thank you Chair, thank you. Councillor effort,
thank you Paul, does anybody have any questions for Paul on the retendering?
OK, so the matters open for debate, Councillor Hugo pounds.
thank you all, I would say, is that I am a signed up member of the of the club and we are planning to get rid of a second car in the next month or so, and if other people do the same in greater numbers than we already have, it would make a significant difference I think to pollution and traffic in Tunbridge Wells right across the borough.
so I would urge people to get involved, it is a good move, thank you.
thank you,
that's good news, Wendy
thank you, Ben, and I'd also like to say that I think the car clubs
can, if they use properly, can reduce a parking congestion, because people in my ward who have to
drive round and round looking for a parking place outside their own house, if we had more of these.
multi
owner for the car.
it takes up a lot less space because a lot of people have two cars and one just fits in the drive you know all week.
and it's just not used, so
I'm really really in favour of it, and they did do seem to be small cars rather than great big gas-guzzlers that
take a full of pavements.
thank you. begged, I would help
yes, thank you for that was this is a marvellous thing, wouldn't it be so much better if we had better public transport and there were more buses and people could use the bus instead of having to have to, because thank you,
Fair point.
and maybe eventually we'll be able to expand the car club out to Pembury.
as well as adjusting.
thank you, I just want to say I'm a big fan of the car club and then he nets a good thing when you got people from outside of the town saying we want to call club in our ward so.
I am really pleased to see the three new cars coming on stream in hopefully not too long year late to support
this item.
thank you, does anybody else wish to comment
I can so I will move to the recommendations
Item 14 of there are two recommendations recommendation, one reads that cabinet approve and authorise a re-tender the Tunbridge Wells car club in accordance with the criteria set out in Appendix C with a new contract start on the 1st of August 2023 recommendation to reads that Cabinet gives authority to the Head of Housing, Health and Environment to award the contract to the preferred bidder, subject to the proposal from the preferred bidder meeting the criteria as setting out in Appendix C and being within the limits of the delegate delegated authority
we agreed.
thank you very much

16 Grounds Maintenance Contract Extension

item number 15, which is a horseman, then neighbourhood development plan has already been dealt with, so we're going to move to Item 16, which is the grounds maintenance contract, and I'm going to ask
Councillor Wendy Fitzsimmons to introduce the item, please thank you Wendy
and thank you.
the
the parts contracts expired and we're now looking for a two year extension to a will 3 year extension to December 2026 would just like to say there's been.
the cost of this contract has skyrocketed, and I would like to
express my appreciation to the officers who've done all they can to
drive down the cost of this service without leaving
reducing quality for our residents.
I'd also like to say that I'm very impressed with Tivoli who have taken over the contract from Sodexo,
and I hope you all notice.
the
the improvement in our parks,
and I would like to say also
that
there was them one day when the whole team, including me, walked round virtually all the parks, trying to find out where we could cut you know.
10 pence really, but I do feel that if this contract does make
a silk path onto the Pixies, they are just a couple to give the report, thank you.
thank you, Councillor,
so this report seeks authority to take advantage of the opportunity to extend the existing Grounds Maintenance contract to the 31st of December 2026 working together, the parks, team and Tivoli colleagues have identified a number of opportunities to alter the nature of the operations and minor amendments to the specification that will reduce the level of the increase in the contract costs, as the council has already said. importantly, also, the proposals will reduce the carbon emissions generated by the operation of the service and increase the opportunities for biodiversity, and these proposals are set out in detail at 1.00.10 in the report. The grounds maintenance contract accounts for around 2% of our overall carbon emissions based on the data in 2021 2022, while it seems like a small percentage. Given the importance of aiming to reduce as much of our emissions as possible and the proposals to reduce the amount of mowing and introduce battery operated handheld tools will contribute to the carbon reduced emissions that are measured as part of our annual calculation. Equally, the change from the annual bed into herbaceous planting will also have positive benefits, assisted in reducing water consumption and the carbon emissions associated with growing and transportation. Finally, extending to 2026 provides a longer period of price certainty in a period of significant inflation, it also coincides with the reprocurement of our other major contracts for the sports centre management, recycling and waste collection street cleaning, which may provide other opportunities to recommendations set out on page 533, thank you, Chair.
thank you Paul, does anybody have any questions upon?
I see that a case that the matter is open for debate and I attended the Cabinet Advisory Board.
and presented that item at the only concern that was expressed was POS about the possibility of removing poo bags for dogs.
so the solution was, as was suggested was to have a poo bags sponsor, so if anybody's out there listening and you would like to sponsor tomorrow's Borough Council poo bags, please get in touch that'd be great
Wendy
thank you Ben I have to completely disagree with you OK and
I'm afraid I think I think it's 5,000 pounds a year to provide poo bags every responsible dog owner in this borough should never walk their dog that Leith two or three bags in their pockets.
and there's a huge.
misuse of the system, people just go in and grab a whole bat, a whole handful of them shuffling in that pockets, they
is one at the time, so I'm afraid I disagree.
thank you, I stand corrected by the Cabinet Member for Parks.
Fair point, Nancy.
I just like to raise the tone of this debate away from
it.
dogs
and although this isn't really Cavan my area of rural areas, because all the parks within Tunbridge Wells, I've been following this with keen interest to see,
as I am a member of the climate emergency action panel,
the how we are, what we are doing to address, you know our carbon emissions and our by bad Vesty crisis, I'm really pleased to see.
the proposed changes within this report to do that and that it is, you know, actually helping the finances as well, and that the parks, team and Tivoli have worked together so well to produce this, I think it needs a really good, positive move in the right direction.
and also there was, there is some concern about you know when people see an error in their park off, you know what is left to grow, that they don't understand why it's not been pristinely, kept so various, I understand to be some interpretation around those areas so that people do understand the reasons why they're being managed like they are, so I think this is all very positive
thank you.
thank you, Mounsey, Wendy,
thank you by not just would also like to say
that, despite huge economic pressures on our parks, team have secured on many prizes, our parks were incredibly successful in Britain in Bloom last year, so I'd like to thank them and congratulate them.
thank you does any Justin
and following on from that, I just like to. thank all the friends teams who work in the parks, nice support and the grounds maintenance team, so thank you to them.
thank you
Luke.
following on from Nancy's points of fellow longtime member of Siac. It is Saudi and buried in the report, but the introduction of a pesticide and herbicide usage policy is a really positive step towards some of the
lesser
discussed at times parts of our original climate emergency recognition, which is which is biodiversity, and I think it's it's something that once it is
introduced in black and white and past,
I think it's something we need to make a lot of noise about as a Council, because it does start wider discussions about what people using their own garden, because obviously we don't control all of the green areas in this Barra, but those that we do, we could make exemplary, and there are the accreditation that we can pursue off the back of that for our parks. That again will heighten that
heighten the conversations around are no use because a lot of people don't know
the damage they inflict in a white. Why are I'm biodiversity
in this country promising, as recent documentaries have shown, we actually perform pretty poorly, but people don't realise as a nation in terms of our green spaces and biodiversity, so this is a positive step and is the first
time a has a pesticide and herbicide policy will be introduced in this Council and Simon we should celebrate as a new administration.
and lo well done to you because I know you, you've wanted that since the borough partnership started last May so
yeah well done OK unless anybody else wishes to comment,
we'll move to recommendations for item 16, there are two recommendations recommendation 1 that the Cabinet give the Head of Housing, Health and Environment delegated authority to enter into a contract extension with Tivoli Group limited to end on the 31st of December 2026, in consultation with the council's monitoring officer and section 1 5 1 Officer recommendation 2 reads that Cabinet give delegated authority to the council's monitoring officer and section 1 5 1 Officer to under the k, take all legal and financial requirements necessary to complete the extension of the grounds maintenance contract. Are we agreed

17 Health Inequalities Action Plan 2023-25

item 16 is agreed unanimously. We're going to move on to Item 17, which which is the health inequalities action plan for 2023 to 2025, and I'm going to ask Wendy Fitzsimmons to introduce the item, please, when the thank you,
thank you, Ben. Yes, I'd like to introduced the health inequalities action plan for 23 to 25, which replaces with new priorities
the health
inequalities action plan for
2015
to 19.
Rebecca Bowes.
has worked very
hard
as Chair of the Health action team
and with stakeholders from around the borough.
five new priority areas have been established, which I'm sure Paul will mention so I went carry on.
thank you, I will indeed mention the five priority areas, and they are mental health, loneliness and isolation, addictions, obesity and physical inactivity and people with disabilities and older people. The only real thing left to say really and it just to echo what's already been said that it's been developed in partnership with members of the Health action team who will share the responsibility for monitoring and updating the plan and it was agreed unanimously by the Cabinet Advisory Board there is only one recommendation which is to adopt the plan pink jet
thank you Paul, does anybody have
any questions for Paul?
Justin
thanks Paul and.
I was terribly familiar with this until this week, so can I just ask you am? it just occurred to me.
is there a reason why we've had people with disabilities and older people in one group?
but that's a very good question actually.
and the short transfers, I don't really know, it actually doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to have them in one group to be honest.
but it's not something Councillor May will know the answer to happen.
sorry, Wendy, can you put your my garden on please,
yes, I'm when we in the health action team we had stakeholders from a meeting in this Chamber, was full of people from Age, UK mind or thoughts of agencies and we all split up into groups to say what we thought.
major priorities were for improving health in the borough
and we just didn't want to go on, I think, really to six or seven you know there was so older people with Duck in
at the very last minute, really I am one of them and am, obviously.
and
they looked at the data for falls and injuring themselves, and that's that's just why
it just because I think it was like a focus on five
rather than effects on six or seven or eight
just for neatness, but there was no, there was no question of calling older people to disable
in any way or having any disability
that's all. I'm sorry
sorry, I, I wonder, whether it might be worth thinking about having six, but this just
obviously backs something yeah, I mean happy with five, but it seems to me.
and not ideal grouping comma
can I just say that.
older people also fit into loneliness and isolation.
as well as an isolation doesn't mean that you're just sitting at home by yourself.
older people suffer from
and other people fuss from digital isolation.
I don't know, perhaps we would you prefer it, we have we have six, but I think then older people become.
one issue, definitely, whereas there not really.
sorry, Paul.
you could split them out,
but if you actually look at an 5 8 1, if you look at the table
which identifies the actions, they are reasonably cross, cutting and, for example, inactivity that could be an issue that affects older people, people with disabilities, loneliness and isolation again that could affect various different groups of people while she could split it out, I think if you look at that table it probably gives you a good indication that those actions cover a number of different groups really, but we can certainly take that back to Rebecca in the team for Friday a few
thank you pal yeah, I didn't want to set a budget at the last minute and make big changes, just kind of just stood out a bit to me, thank you for considering.
it seems to me by having that category that you've got people who may well be in two separate categories, but may have similar needs, which might be why they've been group like that.
have does anybody have any other comments or questions
does anybody wish to say anything
should go?
Thank you very much for the report, which I think is extremely interesting, I just want to say that we are just at the point as a council of signing off on the Kent County Council, Community Services consultation
in which we make some responses about particularly children's centres and closure and different use of assets across the borough, and I have to say personally that I have some doubt as to Kent county council's commitment
to this whole programme based upon their proposals for the use of their assets going forward, particularly in relation,
to child obesity and the and the measurement and weight of children at children's centres across the borough, I think it is, as we are expressing, I think, to Kent County Council, we are against those proposals and I think that that go flies in the face of what we're trying to achieve here.
thank you finance fair point, and
I know Hugo that you've submitted the council's response and Nancy and I've written separately in our roles to Roger Gough leader of Kent county council, to express our strong reservations about what's being proposed in the borough as well,
OK unless there are any other comments can we move to the recommendations for?
ITEM 17, health inequalities, action plans, 2023 the recommendation reads that Cabinet adopt the health inequalities plan for 2023 to 2025 are we agreed?
thank you very much, we're moving on to Item 18, the ice rink

18 The Ice Rink

before we ask Porter as director of changing communities to introduce this report, I would like us first to note this, this item contains an exempt appendix which is set out in the restricted papers,
after Eid item 21, the report may be discussed and decided in public session, provided that no exempt information is disclosed and members of the Cabinet are happy to take the exempt information as read. alternatively, if we feel as members of the cabinet that we wish to discuss anything which appears in exempt appendix
please could we indicate during the discussion the decision will then be taken.
at a later private session.
OK.
so I'm going to ask Wendy Fitzsimmons to introduce the item on the ice rink,
thank you, Ben
Tunbridge Wells has been lucky enough to have an ice rink over the festive period for the past 12 years and the last contract had been tendered for five years now run out and
so we now have to
take a decision
as to whether to,
go out to tender again, I would just like to say that 43,000 tickets were sold last year and it's a huge community asset, and I think adds to the town in many, many ways,
but Paul's going to give us report.
thank you.
yes, the benefits are set out in the report.
43,000 ticket holders and, probably significantly more visitors, boosting the local economy, creating local jobs, income for local businesses and producers, but of course each year is heavily weather dependent and this year also there's been the challenge of significant increases in fuel costs, staffing costs and security costs, all of which have impacted upon the income and the budget. Wasn't achieved this year, so the report as set out four options
and the recommended option option 4 is to provide a pared down events or reducing the time with which the event is on by by 2 weeks,
with extra peripheral experiences running for a shorter period, will see if, on fuel and staffing, it will reduce the amount of disruption to residents
and we will explore if Members are happy we will explore different options to see if we can increase the dwell time. it was raised at the CAB that there was some concern around potential additional noise
don't as manage the ice rink for 12 years now and is very well versed at reducing the amount of noise working closely with with neighbours and residents, and we will be very mindful of any potential disruption should members electrical with with that option. thank you Chair.
thank you Paul.
does anybody have any questions
at this stage on the ice-rink note
can ask Cabinet, do we need to move into exempt to discuss
the two last pages of our item?
No, I see nobody, so we'll take this
item in open session, OK would anybody like to comment on the ice-rink, please?
Chris
yeah, I think there is clearly a really strong case for option 4, which I fully fully support. I think it benefits the residents, it benefits local economy and council finances, so I completely agree I agree with the enhanced offering and I agree with a slightly shorter window that would just really focus on the peak periods
where the ice rink is at its most popular so. we have no reservations in supporting this.
thank you, does anybody else wish to say anything
Justin?
yes, just like to say, I agree with Chris, I think it's integral to the Christmas offering in Tunbridge Wells, it means that we can attract people who would otherwise go to other and retail centres, so I think it's incredibly important.
for our visitor experience, as well as our residents gives us something unique to offer, so I'm also supporting option 4.
thank you, does anybody else wish to say anything, David you wanna say anything about father Christmas?
I'm I'm not sure
he exists really, but no.
no, I have nothing to add.
thank you now, I think I think it's a very good thing for for Thomas Wells,
just we need to remind ourselves of it is a non-statutory service that, but we are investing in it so that for our focus on 5, which is safer and more vibrant town centres and village centres, so I think it's a good thing to do and long may it continue, OK, so let's move on to the recommendations. There are three recommendations on Item 18, the ice-rink
recommendation number 1 that Cabinet confirm their preferred option for the future of the ice rink, which is option 4, as laid out in the papers recommendation 2 reads that Cabinet delegate authority to the Head of HR customer service and culture, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Leisure Wellbeing and culture, to take such action and is as is necessary to give effect to the preferred option as confirmed by Cabinet which is option 4.
recommendation number 3 that, depending on the option chosen, which is option for the head of Mid Kent legal services be authorised to negotiate and complete all necessary legal documentation and formalities, including any precautionary procurement processes, in consultation with the Council's procurement manager and the award of any contracts to give effect to these recommendations are we agreed.
that means the ice rink is back in 2023.
item number 19.
urgent business,

19 Urgent Business

20 Date of Next Meeting

I'm told that there is no urgent business item number 20 is a date of the next meeting and after two weeks of Cabinet meetings, the next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, the 22 of June 2023 at 6.30, and the venue is to be confirmed.
that is the meeting concluded, thank you very much for listening and have a good evening, thank you.