Finance and Governance Cabinet Advisory Board - Tuesday 11 July 2023, 6:30pm - Start video at 1:32:24 - Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Webcasting

Finance and Governance Cabinet Advisory Board
Tuesday, 11th July 2023 at 6:30pm 

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Good evening, everybody, my name is Councillor Christopher Hall, chair of the finance and governance Cabinet Advisory Board, welcome to this evening's meeting before we start the meeting. There are a number of procedural light issues to go through, for which I'd be very grateful for your attention. I'll now pass over to the Clark
Lewis column
thank you good evening, everybody, in the event of a fire alarm rang continuously must immediately evacuate the building at walking pace officers will direct you via the most direct available routes, and no one is to use the lift, and we will make our way to the fire assembly point by the entrance to the Town Hall Yard, car park or Munson Way once outside a check will be made to ensure everyone has safely left and no one is to re-enter the building until advised that it is safe to do so.
this is a public meeting and proceedings are being webcast live online. A recording will also be made available for playback on the council's website shortly afterwards.
Can I remind everyone to use the microphones when speaking the red light indicates that the microphone is on any comments that are not recorded for the webcast will not be included in the minutes of the meeting.
It is very important that the outcomes of a meeting are clear. At the end of each substantive item, the Chairman will ask whether the matter is agreed in the absence of a clear majority, or if the Chairman decides that both the full vote is desirable. A vote will be taken by show of hands. Members should raise the hast indicate their vote when called and keep their hands up until the count has been announced. Members requesting a recorded vote must do so before this vote is taken
members are members of the public who have registered to speak at the meeting, will have three minutes to address the Committee.
thank you very much.
for the benefit of the recording, we're going to take a roll call, the clock will call your name and if you are present, please introduce.
Councillor dwellings
present
Councillor Ellis
prisons.
Councillor Frances,
present.
councillor, good ship, Brazil.
Councillor Moon.
present Councillor Osborne
present
Councillor Sankey,
present Councillor
Hall,
present
and upstairs Lee Collier, present Jayne Fineman, present David Candlin present, and Peter Benfield
present.
thank you very much, thank you.
members of the committee should be familiar with the process, but for the benefit of any members of the public who may be watching, I would like to explain a couple of things committee members have had their agendas for over a week and have had the opportunity to ask any factual questions of the officers ahead of the meeting. when we come to the substantive items on the agenda this evening, members or members of the public who have registered to speak will be asked to read their statements, they will have a maximum of three minutes, each,
the relevant officer will then set out their report will then move into member discussion at the end of discussion I remind members that without prejudice to any other comments that may be raised, the Committee is asked to come to one of the following positions.
1, that the recommendations to Cabinet are supported by the Committee to the recommendations to Cabinet would be supported, subject to a particular issue being addressed, or 3, that the recommendations to Cabinet are not supported, and if this is the case reasons should be stated.
so I think we move straight on to first item, which is apologies for absence.

1 Apologies

are there any apologies?
yes, apologies had been received from Councillors, McMillan, Knight and Holden thanks to.

2 Declarations of Interests

thank you at agenda item 2 is to receive any declarations of interest in items on the agenda, does anyone have any declarations to make?

3 Notification of Persons Wishing to Speak

I see no wrong, so I will proceed on to item number 3, which is notification of visiting persons wishing to speak agenda item 3, so no, any members of the public or visiting Members of the Council who are registered to speak, I can see that we have to could you confirm that please,
yes, Chair Councillor Sharon O'Connell and Martin buyers have registered to speak on agenda item 8 regarding the northern part consultation response.

4 Minutes of the meeting dated 6 June 2023

thank you, so we now have. agenda item 4 minutes of the meeting dated 6th of June 2023.
are there any amendments that members wished to make these minutes?
now I see none, so can I ask members, are we agree to?
until the minute.
a great UK
motion is carried.

5 Forward Plan as at 23 June 2023

item number 5, the Forward Plan, as at the 23 of June 2023.
do Members have any comments on the forward plan?
no OK
in that case, are we agreed
and very
excellent? Thank you. Members motion is carried.

6 Strategic Risk Register

The next item is the strategic risk register and I will now present a handover to the presenting officer, Leslie Collier, Director Finance Policy and Development, to introduce the report. Thank you.
Thank you, Chairman. At the beginning of each municipal year, cap Cabinet are asked to consider and note these treated risk register oversight with them, posse audit and governance committee, who will consider the risk pressure each meeting they hold and also invites the letter risk owners to present their risk. This is a live document and risk owners can amend this at any time and also new risks may be added at any time. Happy to take any questions to him.
OK, thank you. are there any questions from members?
think we may have one Councillor Moon,
thank you Chair.
I or my apologies to a point, because I haven't had opportunity since
the weekend to come back with any prior questions, but I'd just was interested reading through the risk register and item sees his staff in
there's no cross cutting issues.
but I would have thought there
would have been
some cross cutting issues with relation to staffing and addressing that issue,
as his you know, there are other connecting.
drivers.
thank you, so the cross cutting issues in this case relate to the report itself, I have a consideration of the risk register, not the individual components, which would obviously include the street at risk around staffing that would be addressed within the register, the cross cutting is just to deal with the cover report in this instance.
are there any other questions?
I don't believe so.
does anyone want to raise anything in debate?
no, in that case. let's move to the recommendations that will go forward to Cabinet, which are that the committee considers and notes the strategic risk register and the arrangements for managing strategic risk are we agreed?
re OK, thank you, Members, the motion is carried.

7 Budget Projection and Strategy 2024/25

we now move on to Item number 7 in the agenda, budget projection and strategy for 24 25.
and now hand over to Lee again to present this report,
thank you Chairman. This is the first report in the process of setting the 24 25 budget. The current year's budget has been used as a base upon which updated inflation has been used, demand changes and also importantly last year is an audited outturn is all reflected within the update forecasts for next year's budget. The major assumption changes are that and as for those, the establishment costs will increase by 5% rather than 3%, reflecting the current difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff, and also high levels of inflation and cost of living, also the vacancy factor will now be 500,000 pounds that is a saving that the council receives by virtue of the even time delay between filling vacant posts
and also the fact that new recruits are appointed on a lower pay scale than those who may have left so that 500,000 pounds is an increase over the current year's forecast of 340,000 and again that's reflecting continued difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff. also, investment interest is now forecast to be 2 million pound for next year rather than the current forecast of 1.5 million pound again. That's reflecting higher interest rates. Also the fair funding review that is the government process of considering how much I'm grant each council is likely to receive and the retention of their business rate baseline, that funding review has now been assumed to take effect in the year 26 27 has been put back,
so the all these changes taken together mean that the updated mean top actual forecast is for a budget deficit of next year of 889,000 pound. But you'll see from reading the report that it also includes an emerging savings plan which at this stage includes savings of 443,000 pounds which, if all delivered out, would then leave a savings gap to find a 446,000 pound, which is an achievable gap given the history of this Council in extracting further savings and efficiencies, and also we've got the rest of this year we've which for further, decisions on new income and savings to come forward, and the savings plan will also be considered by the on incomes committee to demonstrate the council is addressing the improvement recommendations made as part of the value for money conclusion
there are risks associated with this budget. Firstly, they the significant risk of not having sufficient staffing in post and also the pressure that places on our remaining staff to cover those vacancies, there's also a risk that should inflation, not fall as projected by the Bank of England throughout the rest of this year, then the contract indexation, which drives our external contracts, particularly in October and January, if that indexation has not fallen there will be additional costs, but I don't want to factor those in yet it's too soon, but that I'm just flagging that could be an issue later on a year. and the full budget preparation timetable is appended, as well as the medium term budget projections with changes to those major assumptions, I've highlighted those in the appendix to make it clearer advertising questions Chairman.
thank you very much the.
although questions from members
to
things which, thankfully
Town Hall occupation costs, is this the co-working arrangements for the Town Hall?
yes, I, when that agreement comes into force, the Council will be able to reduce its occupational costs, we pay less business rates, less cleaning costs and other elements, so this is taking into account those reduced occupational cost by virtue of the council occupying a far lesser footprint than it currently does at the moment.
yeah,
I mean it doesn't seem quite enough in ocean, shouldn't it be two thirds of the rates, the the utility cars, and then there's income, of course, that we should be generating from.
from our co-working partner.
yeah, so there's there's two components of the financial benefit from the co-working arrangement, the first is a reduction in this Council's occupational costs, and that's what I've reflected that
the council would also receive rent from a co-worker that's not reflected here because that rent will be needed to repay the capital costs associated with the works required to bring this building up to the standard for which it could be. Let,
yeah OK, I'm
I believe right, I think you're next.
thank you Chair.
just two elements here,
1.7 you indicate.
government grant remained frozen and we may need to obviously balanced the revenue budget, but without
recourse to reserves now
reserves, I've always considered
there for reserves for emergencies at Exeter, and considering the element of unknown cost possibly to recruit new staff probably may be
increased salaries etc
we may need to address or go to reserves and, and I do note that under the Riza, as at present, 18 million would go down to 7,002,024, so where is that guy?
so the intention is for all councils to try to balance their revenue budgets without recourse to reserves, and that's a strategy tried to achieve, and that hasn't been possible in the last couple of years due to the impact of the pandemic,
but now the pandemic has settled. The council is aware of how much income it is likely to get from government. It needs to try to balance its its budgets in accordance with the income it as available and other demands on its services. If it can't do so, it still has the option to temporarily dip into reserves,
but issued dipping into reserves in the table that you refer to under 2.3 to list the Council's reserves. Yes, the reserves will fall to 7.3 million by the 29 30. But if you look at the schedule below that, there's also a number of
internal borrowings that the Council has been using.
I think I made the wrong reference to.
it's on the 2.5 0,
so you've got total reserved 7.9 million.
but below that you've got the council repaying its internal borrowing, so that's the use of its reserves for capital acquisitions that need to be repaid, if you let those two of you're getting quite close to the Council's minimum level, reserves, which it has decided it's prudent to hold.
that's what I notice, but looking at the levels of reserves we do get interest. on that reserves that changed offsets the boundary I'm assuming.
and obviously that.
yeah, yeah yeah, absolutely right all the time, the council's hallways, we are working on daily basis to invest that money to generate returns and, as I said earlier, we've updated the interest forecasts to 2 million pound for next year, because the intention is to use those reserves to fund the capital programme then the cash balance will start to fall and so will the interest start to fall also.
we have a thank you very, we have a question from Mark,
thank you Chair,
my question is collection we have.
employment POS now looking at why stood out for me that the
compared private sector will look at 8% below the private sector pay in the south-east, the trolley breakdown with fervour that isn't include in things such as pension scheme contributions as well, and has that been a long term regression over the last 10 15 years at Southease has always been we'd be underpaid.
so that just reflects per ward, and the reason for showing this graph is it's often presented sometimes that public sector pay is running ahead of the private sector, but it is quite different in the south-east, and it's the south-east within which we have to source our pool of talent.
sorry, we face particular challenges in trying to recruit and retain staff that makes it more expensive
in relation to pension costs, the Council's pension costs have actually held pretty stable,
mostly because of the increase in government gilts the returns, the actress made on the pension funds and local government is quite unique in how it funds pensions. Central government civil service tend to fund pensions out of daily taxation. Local government hasn't done that. It has quite sensibly used the revenues from pension contributions to acquire assets, those assets grow, those assets generate returns and thus far those returns have been sufficient to meet the liabilities associated with the pension scheme. So they don't come. Pension scheme is not an increasing drain on our finances, it is a relatively stable expense that we are able to incorporate in our budget.
yes,
thank you lean, just a way to follow up on the base of fat, that's recruitment is a massive issue at moments in their salaries, then it probably not going to get any better,
do feel we could have high pressure that the Council here to review some of our staff pay rises to be more in line with what the private sector repay.
so fortunately, this Council took decisions come out of national pay bargaining, so I greatest cost has been within our control. So therefore this Council is unable to determine the appropriate level of pay that that is an appropriate amount, reflecting its taxpayers' money. That's funding. It also appropriates retain the right calibre of staff that we need mostly professional staff to deliver services. We also have a very good union representation here and we have a good relationship with them. We're very transparent in the cost of our salaries and we bring a report to Full Council about pay policy so
at this stage I've set out a 5% increase in all establishment costs, that's not a 5% increase in pay, that's just up a perimeter which we need to start to plan our budgets, but these discussions will be ongoing, we regularly check against the local market local market for the public sector within the south-east, not for profit excluding London, so we do the benchmarking to make sure that we are competitive but also mindful of the fact that this is taxpayers' money we're having to to deploy here.
John, please go ahead.
I
am very interested in the 729,000 pounds increase in.
in employment costs.
because I keep wondering to myself about if we've got, however many staff we've got now, and then there's, however many staff that we want to have, there's gonna be.
a build up from one to the other.
in the projections that you've made, is this a steep build up, or is it a gradual curve, or is there a general assumption, because we is it, 35 people were short, is it were you're thinking of take, it's in the projection that we're gonna get another three people a month I mean what's the how does it work?
thank you.
So we we, we set the budget on the basis of anaphora complimentary for staff or Heads of Service and the portfolios of determined the establishment needed to deliver the services to the required level so that establishment is costed within the base budget. But we know that we're we will struggle to recruit up to that level and there will be changes in staff, and that is where we net of the vacancy factor and that vacancy factor I've increased. It doesn't relate to any individual staff numbers, it is a monetary amount and at 500,000 pounds for next year that's the highest. I can remember we set the vacancy factor, so we're already taking into account
inability to recruit and retain the required numbers of staff, we we need
the question from you, John or John, to
allow someone else OK, that that is interesting, so
it's just a
a monetary.
amount
which?
Even being
unkind is or is just a really good guess based on experience.
also, the another
estimate based on experience is that the investment income I see you put up by 508,000 pounds looking at the
my own experience of inflation and a experience.
what's going on? a female inflation is very unlikely to reach the government's target,
so therefore, if it doesn't reach the government's target, the interest rates will stay high and the if the interest rates stay high, our investment will be worth more.
them we expect,
so
when in your prediction, do you think that the interest rate rates will peak because?
I would have thought that they will peak next year rather than this year,
because even if we do get inflation down,
even if the government is successful in getting inflation down, it will keep the higher bank rate up to stop it recurring, so therefore the
the the the return on our investment should be higher.
is that a fair question?
what I would say a better place to look at the forecast for interest rates is in the quarterly Treasury Management reports that will come to this committee each quarter. We will obviously say what the current interest rate is, also what our treasury advisers are forecasting over the next three to four years.
The forecast I put in for the budget is not directly linked to interest rates per se, because, of course, we're making investment decisions all the time and every time we make an investment decision and we've tied funds up longer term, we know what yield we're likely to achieve and when we bring all that together and we come up at this stage of a working forecast of around 2 million pound for interest, that we, we are pretty confident we will be able to achieve by virtue of the current deals we already have in place and I'm calculating their maturity profiles
thank you
Mary, do you want to ask a question,
thank you Chair.
the
the thing that is
to solve the problem of
staff recruitment isn't just about the money.
it's about you may have to seek people that may not add to direct training or experience within that particular role, so to encourage them
we
need to have a robust training
regime or schedule to train these new people, and you cannot with as you get reduced staff
normally you would say Well we get why we badly.
someone could shadow
which are not necessarily going to be able to do that, so we need
a focus, I think, on the training space to try and solve the issue of recruitment, the other question really is obviously with town councils, parishes clocks are set with set pay grades by their representatives, maybe unions, whatever, and there are set grades and set salaries. now I am
assuming that applies to as well to
council staff as well within no set grades, incremented, shall we say,
but we have flexibility to increase those
without detriment to the existing grades, because that's the other issue, you recruit new people and the people that are already there.
would not necessarily be morale-boosting 9 or someone coming in is getting more doing the same role.
thank you for a multitude of reasons why staff choose or not choose to work for a local authority. Pay is just one of those who actually write there's a whole plethora of other reasons why people choose to work here, and that is why the Council needs a HR strategy, and there's a Member briefing on Friday from the head of HR to start to explain how the council is going about addressing its recruitment and retention issues and following that one, the recommendations from the external auditors was. This Council must produce a workforce plan and that report will then be coming forward for the Council's decision making process so that an informed debate could be had. Members have got many helpful ideas to how to help the council in its recruitment issues, but we also need a report on the professional advice of our HR team and Head of Paid Service of what
methods already put in place, what ones they would like to deploy in future and in terms of pay scales. Your right and the public sector tends to work on a set of quite rigid pay scales were no exception to that. You can see those scales on our website as part of our local papers, but what we do have we have flexibility to come up with a new set of scales. and that is something that will be looked at as part of the HR strategy, what is the appropriate set of scales which this Council needs in order to retain and recruit the right calibre of staff and to be an attractive place for in employment, so all these issues are coming together in a new HR strategy in due course.
thankfully.
thank you very much,
are there any other questions?
yes,
thank you, they, I figured at some point, it would get to the recruitment issue, so I kind of sat quiet considering as I'm not normally banging on about it,
but just to point to one here says the Council intends to review and I think we've kind of had phrasing like this and you mention your billing or HR strategy together do we have any ideas of when that's gonna be kind of
in play?
yeah sorry, the first draft is scheduled to come forward in September.
thank you
any further questions don't.
on seeing the the car parking income
is assumed to remain frozen from 24 25,
why don't we inflate car parking income with at least project inflation projection?
because it is politically contentious and it requires a political decision with which to alter the charging structure, so that's not
within an office as gifts sorry, while I do, I assume that the charges remain the same and I update for the actual income,
so we as car parking income has recovered. that is factored in, but what I want to do is factor in an assumption that the car park charges would increase with inflation, because that is a decision for for councillors to take.
thank you.
any other questions.
I don't see that there are any other questions from Members, so the matter can proceed now to debate,
would anyone like to begin discussion?
any comments to make.
this is a.
well-trodden path to budget preparation, I think which it should just note the report, as the recommendations suggest.
I think everyone agrees with you around the room, so yes, so shall we just proceed to the recommendations,
the recommendations to go forward to Cabinet are as follows, the officers continue to work towards reducing the projected budget deficit, in line with the budget strategy and report back in October with proposals prior to public consultation on the draft budget in December, and secondly, that Cabinet supports the emerging savings plan and members are we agreed.
yes, should we emphasise the staffing issue? they should look at that. They probably are, but we should emphasise that benefit the public and for the other, mechanisms may not even be on this continent birthing just to emphasise the importance, and it's quite clear in the reports we've seen tonight that it is a big issue, yeah,
I totally agree with you, it is a significant issue and you know this is something that Cabinet discuss re, discusses regularly, in which I will emphasise in my feedback from the Cabinet Advisory Board to Cabinet, but and
I think it probably
doesn't need to be
re
well for openness and transparency.
I think it should be a sunny mountain you'll be
captured in the minutes, I mean there's been some discussion already from yourself and and Councillor Sankey about the importance and critical importance of having an HR strategy in place and that we end we've had that you know that will be ready by September so I think it will be captured in the minute
that's fine, but I just felt the remit of this CAB was to refer back to Cabinet to consider issues that we discuss,
your points are definitely noted at all verbally through feedback.
OK so onto agenda item 8, which is the
I do sorry,
so I think.
I think I did hear that we were agreed.
before first question.
are we agreed on the the report, a great thing which I think I did hear that, and so therefore the motion is carried yeah.
so, yes, agenda item number 8 is the northern park.

8 Dunorlan Parking Consultation Response

a presenting officer to introduce the report is going to be Jane Fineman, head of finance procurement and parking, but before
we hear from Jane I'd like to invite our registered speakers to come forward.
so I think first of all we have Councillor Sharon O'Connell.
so if you'd like to come forward, please move on and take a seat.
then we'd love to hear from you.
quite good evening, everyone,
I'm here this evening to ask you to reject recommendation 2 in the report and to add a recommendation 5, to retain free parking at Norton.
why?
because that is what residents have said they want last year through a well-supported petition and in the responses to our own talking point consultation
50% of the thousand and 8 respondents opted to keep parking free, it is worth noting that keeping parking free was not one of the options but could be added under other
an important issue is at stake here, how to we as a council consult residents effectively, and how do we respond to their views?
we actively encourage residents to use talking point, so what is the status of the results, they are obviously not binding on the council, but it is important that residents' views are given due weight in our decision-making.
otherwise, consultation becomes an exercise in box-ticking,
are we now going to ignore the 50% of respondents who said keep parking in ddarllen free,
I sincerely hope not, however, I am glad to see that charging option B does at least take notice of the 34% who opted for a period of free parking followed by charging.
if the Cabinet does decide to introduce a charging regime, it is absolutely essential that the option in para 3.8 to give free parking to volunteers and businesses is adopted.
the free-form comments make interesting reading residents are passionate about keeping parking free and I had similar arguments and strength of feeling on the doorsteps of Park Ward.
an argument raised in supported parking charges is they will deter all day parking by commuters
if this becomes a problem, my colleague Councillor Nick Pope, has suggested a longer period of free parking, for example for hours followed by charging at a rate to deter all day parking.
I know there are very significant challenges facing our council finances, but rather than continue our heavy reliance on income from car parking, surely this is a time to diversify and look for innovative solutions for raising revenue, Councillor
O'Connor, just to let you know that many to wrap up if you want to make a quick off the ramped-up, I was going to allow you a few more seconds just to wrap up.
if it's not very long,
it is very short
episodes to remind you and nearly it's just
please listen to the views of our residents and recommend Cabinet that we keep dental and carpets free, thank you.
thank you.
the next speaker is Councillor Brice Martin, would you like to come forward, please?
lingo
I should say first of all that I'm a regular user of the park and I run there every weekend, but on I have
familiar with the friends, but I am not here to represent any organisation that is connected to the park and I have not been asked to go.
to come here tonight and speak
on their behalf.
I am representing the residents of Colvin, Walk cold and water, some of whom live in within 20 minutes' walk of the park, and I think it's entirely correct to introduce car parking charges is daft that done all and is the only free car park in the town, and this should have been done years ago by previous administrations, and it would have had a significant contribution to the deficit, and it's a nonsense to expect people who live locally and do not use cars because they are so close to the park that they could walk there, that they should subsidise other people to park,
and this argument applies not only to covenant people but also, of course, to the residents of Park Ward and Sherwood, who are near enough to the park to walk there so option. A is my preferred method is my preference. and so, when we talk about the
the consultation, it's 50% of respondents, it's not 50% of residents, these people, who responded were far more likely to be car drivers, and if you say to a car driver, do you want a part for nothing? They're always say yes, please,
but me more. Everybody else has to pay for it, so my options prefer my preferred options I and when you raise this money from the car parking charges, would it please be possible for this Cabinet Advisory Board tonight to suggest to the cabinet that it might possibly think that some monies could be allocated from this car parking
charges to improvements to the park? My own particular bugbear, I've got many but biggest one, I think, is the need to sort out the permanent poo flooding problem at the end of the large lake because if that's not fixed is done on an Park which is a gold medal winner in the south and south-east in Bloom, competition and a Green Flag award, it's possible that it will know.
not something that either local residents
or friends of the park would wish to see, finally, we're aware that Axa has closing office in the town centre, it's moving employs about 2000 people, it's moving them all up to Hawkenbury, and there's a danger that they will finish up parking all day there.
which means, of course you won't be able to park at all and use the park, so I would ask the CAB tonight to recommend to Cabinet that they keep an eye on sales of all day charges all day tickets and come back to it in six months' time.
as evidence that all day occupancy is by people who are parking all day is blocking people using it
anyway, it's a great park, let's go for option, A spend some of that money on the park and keep it a lovely place.
thank you very much, Martin
16 seconds over sorry,
that's all right,
we will allow that
up.
thank you very much, Martin.
so now
we will go over to Jane Fineman to present the report, so and I'll hand over to thanks.
thank you.
yes, this report is further to the in year budget review paper from July 2022, where we were trying to close the budget deficit of 943,000 pounds
and it considers the responses to the consultation.
and explains those at quite some length,
and it gives some options for introducing parking charges
in in the two car parks in the park.
it asks Members to consider whether they wish to introduce charges full stop
and, if so, what level they should do this at
and at what point in time.
I won't go into any more more detail, it's quite a lengthy paper and it's got quite a lot of detail in it, but I'm very happy to answer any questions that anybody might have, but I'm already included thank you,
thank you very much.
questions.
there are questions ahead of service.
can you confirm with the proposed fees
they're being proposed to be introduced in in this agenda item, will they be ring fenced for just cop-out maintenance or with abuse for maintenance of any aspect of the park,
thank you.
yes, as I've explained in in the report,
the car park the car park itself.
we will raise some income,
but the car, but the park costs about 175,000 pounds a year to maintain. so therefore, whatever income we can make from the car park will go towards maintaining the park itself, it will cover the revenue costs and, depending upon what the members decide.
it can be some of the money can be refit ring fenced for capital purposes if that's what they choose, but essentially
the report is suggesting, and indeed the in year budget review
is is still trying to cover the the budget deficit that we've got it at the moment so it would go towards the revenue costs of running the park. Yes,
thank you, Chair,
did you refer to them,
I just like to request to be able to speak in debates and to have a recorded vote
yes, thank you noted, thank you, I think, Mark you radiant thanks.
thank you, Chairman, thank you Jane as well,
obviously thrown a park, my understanding and books bins to parks to maintain the 195,000 I know has checked, Elton John's parking is a fraction of the cost of. the Nolan,
on the basis of the Tivoli contracts, and also it's gonna be reviewed in 2026 and the likelihood that that's going to be increase in cost, could you break down actually, what likelihood of increased costs will be of next couple of years and how we are actually going to finance that without actually increase in bond charges?
so we were just discussing,
we think that the increases are based upon a combination of the retail price index and the labour price index and different aspects of the contract price are based upon different indices, so on the basis that
inflation will continue to rise and not necessarily labour costs will rise at the same rate as the general RPI
at the moment it's it's running around eight, nine, 10%, it has been at 1.00 point, but now it's around about 8 8%, I put the exact figure, in the report I think
sadly, little.
yeah, the the CPI is 8.7, but the RPI is 11.3 at the moment, so let's say somewhere between the two, at around 10.
so based this figure is nice enough to calculation earlier, so my sunshiny, we will take it up from B, which was the repair of pocket age but would actually be taken up purely just with the
increases in central costs of mansion that park just out spare, sir.
yes, all bar, about 10,000 pounds of it, yes.
thank you thanks Jane
any other questions remembers David.
to win in the consultation, 76% of respondents drove to the park,
do we know how many users actually drive to the park did we have the breakdown of park users between those who drive and those that don't drive?
no, we we don't know,
and we we don't have very much empirical evidence at all, actually
we've got some from the survey.
we've got some from our observed going up there and counting the number of cars at different times on different days, but that's all we have.
and indeed by putting in some sort of charging structure, it will give us lots of really interesting data
in order to inform what we should do going forward, and indeed we've we've had different men, we've had Councillor Brice see with eras suggesting that we carry on looking going forward at what the all day take-up is and indeed that's exactly what we would do to see if that was appropriate still and of course we have the opportunity by the fees and charges setting to make amendments, but at the moment it's very, very difficult to tell because we haven't got very much empirical data to go on.
thank you.
any further questions,
I don't see any further questions at this stage, so we proceed to discuss the item.
I know Lance, I think you wanted to speak specifically on the site and to go over to first. if you don't mind,
OK, thank you to.
Reading the report, it seems clear to me that the user pays principle. is being incorrectly used to justify the fee introduction
for the Nolan Park,
only proposing to charges of the Park who can't afford to live across the road seems grossly unfair.
The friends in Olen Park have voted unanimously to reject the fee introduction and they understand the park the best in terms of upkeep and engage far more extensively with use of the park than the council.
the council has approved new income streams that are untapped, such as co-working which should have been realised by now if they haven't been allowed to drift in terms of delivery,
it's not right or fair, I think, to double tax residence for using to Northern Park to try and fill this income gap.
I can't accept the cabinet recommendations in this agenda item, and I would propose an alternative recommendation back to Cabinet, as per page 82, option 1, which is to leave the car parks free of charge.
and that would be the motion that I propose to raise.
thank you Chair.
thank you so.
I believe that is one of the options in the in the report, so members will have the opportunity to to vote on that,
could that's could we clarify
that because it's its list as an option considered, but not as a recommendation we're voting on at the top of the agenda item.
yeah, I'm happy to clarify it, I mean that.
no, depending on
what other Members want to do, I think if that's something that you want to to vote on, I'm happy for you to vote on that item as well, so.
as a as a specific amendment,
yes, but let's let's just see it from other members, let's debate the debate, the issue I want to hear from as many Members as possible to inform Cabinet before I go back to them with your view, so
I note it will perhaps come back to it.
thank you, Chair, and I want to make a contribution later in relation to the point May is quite clear, the options are A or B, not A B or C A by you would expect may be free, put for dot 1 in options considered as part of the going back to Cabinet and that's not clear it's just a and b
John support the comment made.
OK, thank you, we will come back to that point, I think,
when we've had a little bit more from from members about what they think of the options that are on the table, I think I think that would be sensible to do first, so
does anyone else, we should go next and make a contribution, not sure whether it was you John or Mark for think I saw John first.
I find the whole idea of
as charging for the park quite distasteful, but unfortunately.
I think we need the money, so if we're going to have to have the money, I'd rather go for option B. than option A
I'd rather not do anything at all, but I don't think that's a
an honest thing if we're going to.
b
good councillors, we've got to balance the books and this has helped towards balancing the books. so I would go for option B
OK, thank you, marketing units and a J W object counter view, I'll be staked an option A, and it's interesting, really because,
unlike the national government, there's no magic money tree out there in local than we had to make some hard decisions of which way we want to go if you're going to try and ensure we balance the books and particularly the revenue budget there as it is. we need to think about how we are going to raise the money now I do agree with user pay models and indeed Thomson born encounters certain Brown actually went along with that as well when they actually raised charges in Haysom Park which is just a similar distance away from centre Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells now there were similar concerns or criticisms at Haysden when they would look into these plans and,
they implemented many way ahead of pay in 2 pounds directly from the first hour, and that's what they do up to four hours and the movement on after that now you'd think that the number of visits to the park would actually drop as a result of that indeed it hasn't I mean you cannot get into Asian Park during the summer months you can hardly park there anyway so, in reality, I think this discussion, when we're talking about.
asking?
residents were prepared to pay or not is quite right mean, if you're going to do that, the people who drive them will immediately say we don't want to place free parking, but we are actually
representative more delegates, we've got to look at the full information and make an informed decision which way we go, so we've had years of an basically council tax being held at a capped rate and certainly for Tunbridge Wells, we do tend to find that we get lower revenue, dozens of accounts and local area, and we have actually, unfortunately, relied on parking, particularly town centre, things that make up the revenue budget now at some point, particularly when you look at things like costs rising, particularly things like the tiddly contract with the bat going up, we need to find that money somewhere in order to maintain a box. and on the basis of this, I absolutely believe we should be actually bidding for him from the one option B, as mentioned earlier, Larsson's questions are things we're not going to generate any real revenue from the option B. It's it's
to me, it's a non-starter and I also read the points because I worked for AXA and are very much aware when I did on Friday was actually I parked in the as the on Park to see, I'd walk long to see how long it took me to get there now, and
it's basically half the distance from Crescent Road car park, which is a lot nicer walk, and certainly if I was in this situation there, but it's unfortunate I'm not going to be able to get a parking space. for reasons
I certainly be choosing to actually pop there as opposed to the centre of town, so in reality I think we should be actually making amendments to this to actually monitor what's going on are we need charging, nor to do that, as Jane quite rightly said, and so I'll be support in option A here.
OK, thank you very much, more
Tom, would you like to go?
thank you, Chris. I have a lot of problem with them. John and Daniel were.
I don't think it goes along with the principle of the use it pays.
it's the principle of the motorist pay and I think people driving to Loren should expect to pay for making a contribution to the costs of done Laura, when people who walk there or cycle there don't have to.
I am picking up on Mark's point
if people are parking there all day,
when I don't think a 5 pound charge is out again or prevent them, I do believe in parking fees for managing car parks, managing parking not not revenue generation
so that if people want to use the park fine yet for as long as perfectly sound as one of the speakers suggested perfectly sound basis for,
making sure that that is not all day parking make it prohibitive for people who are going to park all days they can park elsewhere.
I also don't think we want to look at this this fee income in isolation, there are plenty of other ways of raising fees and I think raising fees of people who want to come in and enjoy the town. is is is a strong basis for doing it, and I'm
I think we have to be very careful as to
what we do for car park fees in the town in general. I think that.
you know, we do not want to do anything that adversely impacts on on the businesses in the town and people come into them.
and I take the view that
people come into our parks is something we should encourage as far as we possibly can and parking fees.
should only be
only be considered for parking management purposes and not for revenue generation purposes.
thank you terms and conditions,
but can I just say something and you have there's an option to say that.
in it either option A or A or B,
what I want to go is along with the outcome of the consultation. which effectively says we don't charge for the car parks, but recognising that we might have to charge from a
couple car parking management point of view
thanks, I'm I think.
I think the only thing I would say is that
there is the option that the Cabinet Advisory Board
could say that the recommendations to Cabinet are not supported, and so I just want to clarify what of the options available, what's your, what's your view?
is it not to support I,
I don't support, but I do accept I do accept that we might need to manage parking there so that it is just available for the people who want to use the park and not for long term parking.
okay, I think I've got that, thank you.
within an hour last night, speaking of anything David's next, and then I'll go back to you, Lance David.
I mean to me, it seems only fair and equitable. the people who use the car park to pay for it, as with every other car park in the town, seems quite perverse to have a situation where people who can't afford to own a car are being asked to subsidise those that have cars who wish to try to the park 50% of the people who drive to the Park were told by this information.
live within three miles, and I think it was a council, we're trying to encourage people to walk and cycle.
having free parking and people who have been living right by the park driving to the park seems to me to go against everything that we're trying to to achieve,
so I would certainly support option A, I think it's fair and equitable to say, but I think it's also required
as with any charging structure to manage the use of the car park
the first thing you're told in economics is that you manage supply and demand by charging now.
as Jane agreed, most of the data does come out of the server, he is just complete rubbish all the stuff about how much people want to pay, who wants to pay is nonsense, like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas, however, the data that is useful is data about and most of the date has come from people who are parking is able to they think about parking. and people who are parking, saying that 70%
in Pembury have find it difficult to get a parking space, 61% on
porthole road, find it difficult, so the car parks are becoming full, the way of controlling that is by introducing charging charging from the time at which people park their car. So I fully support option A. It makes sense in terms of raising revenue, it's fair and it also starts to manage the overuse of those car parks which is resulting in people not being able to find parking spaces.
thank you do, and I think Lance you had your hand raised and then got Matthew.
thank you, Chair, just on a
to extend on a few points, so we talked about user pays the other justification. There is about managing the car park
and I think it's already been raised that we don't know what the impact is on people moving to park in residential streets, how they'll all be managed. There's nothing catered for in the plan
that the third
aspect they use is around safeguarding finances. That principle 5.
We were sitting here back in July 22, when this was first introduced, it was first introduced without a consultation and then withdrawn in that cab,
as it was pointed out that it's not legal to introduce new parking controls without public consultation. For additionally, within that meeting we discussed the justification that this is being used to plug a forecast deficit,
and we made the argument at the time that actually, if you put back in the standard income categories, there are there yeah, we talked about business rates, we talked about the fact that the interest income was gonna be a lot higher than forecast. It was clear that there wasn't going to be a deficit. There's gonna be a surplus, which is what we've got this year when those were added back in March
and that actually gave us a seven figure surplus to transfer into their capital reserves capital maintenance, so we not just had a surplus on the revenue, but in the capital, and if you look at how the deficit forecast has moved from 2.6 million to 900,000 with really no significant new income in, I mean
the the small amount of income introduce it to at the tail end of the last financial year. Wasn't significant enough Devon, being the
NHS to clarify everything quickly with the Lance. Is this related to going to be related to the Northern Park
charger because,
as I say, this is because quite a lot of information about the EU budget generally that you're giving me, but is this going to lead towards the rather silly question about
so all points that other members of Radiohead want to address your
three justifications in the report?
I've covered user-pays and I'm making that argument around the finances. I'm saying both for those don't hold up
there might be a minor argument around
controlling the car park and in terms of usage,
but the core arguments, user pay and plugging the financial gap, I don't think or doubt that those are the points I just want to make a debate which I think reinforces the option and the that I'd like to go for.
thank you now, thanks for clarifying that I think it's to my left next and Matthew, and then I've seen that Ray and Mark Altintop's quest contribute to the debate next.
thank you Chair,
I have a couple of concerns and
kind of a bit separate, but the first one is that this this whole Parking Strategy, stuff, we've got a drug dangerous setting a precedent here with within coupled with putting the charges and dominant part where we're looking at each car park individually we keep doing that
we should be looking at parking in the entire borough as a as a strategy and I know that's on the full plan at some point but it keeps getting delayed as far as I'm concerned.
so I'm a bit concerned that we kind of say, yeah, we're happy with doing this that we're saying it's absolutely fine to keep sticking sticky bandages on car parks
whenever we fans here are.
so that I'm a bit concerned about that, the other thing that always concerns me or has concerned me is is how these recommendations are put together, and no help is going to how we then vote on them because we've only got since recommendation number 2 is that Cabinet agrees the car parking charges should be introduced. in the tunnel and car parks and the charging option A or B we adapted, we haven't got an option here where we can, as a as a group say, will actually we recommend option A or we recommend option B, even though that keeps getting brought up with what people want to recommend that isn't available to us and I'm not entirely sure I'm very pleased with that.
what do you have a suggestion?
and that we that we vote on it.
we put a motion together now and I'm not proud of this and also quite tired.
that allows us to do that and work out what this
cabinet Advisory Board would like to recommend, because I think we're going round in circles a little bit now.
Well, I think well I'd like to hear from everybody and see what everybody's preferences are in terms of the the options, and I think that's an important thing to do, and I haven't heard yet from Councillor Moon about what his position is by think I've heard from everybody else now, so I mean tendered your your preferred option, just I think you get an idea of where you sit as a Cabinet Advisory Board, which what are you suggesting that you would support, so let a cabinet
where I am here is an I would prefer, we look at option B.
afflict town, but yeah, my actual preference isn't anywhere on here is that we put this into the the whole parking strategy so into the parking strategy as a whole and not deal with it individually.
So review at a later date perhaps come back to it as part of a wider public car parking strategy that we're working on. That's correct okay, okay, I'll get you OK, fine, but in the interim option B.
OK.
I think essentially, Councillor Moon,
I'd appreciate your your views on where you stand on this one thing thank you Chair,
there are numerous implications here and issues relating to charges in Dunholme Park
and the first thing that leapt out at me and it's been mentioned was the principal user-pays
because that in itself can be discriminate today on certain,
people in work in the borough,
if you take part, would say
to get to him visit, that I consider Donald and a jewel in the crown, in the borough,
we have other
spaces in Paddock Wood and I know in other areas of the borough but it is I see the job in the ground if I want to visit an organ I have to drive,
I have no other option I have to drive so. it is a bit unfair when I play like a numerous amount of other residents, we pay our rates on a global aspect, not necessarily
user-pays on that, because we do subsidise other services, maybe childcare or other elements that we do in the borough, so to actually don't put it that use. pies, I think it's in a way.
you are charging twice for the car users, say the rural areas to visit, Donal, and we have no option we have to drive
and the the point that was made and the 50% of the respondents.
might need to be car owners, there's no evidence of that. within the consultation it may be an assumption,
and it's
it's really a force to some, should you cannot say, the 50%.
we're all car drivers or car owners, you cannot say pay 4%, we're maybe looking for a free element, rural car drivers, that's that's completely false, if you want to do that, then you structure the consultation, a bit better, to be more focus on what you're after.
let's face it, this charge is not necessarily about the maintenance of done organ, you admit it's 1 7 5
100,000 which all the residents in the borough pay within their rights and whatever you charge in the car parks no way is it going to meet that that cost in the future. it's to subsidise the deficit
within the budget
and I think there are other ways of doing that, and I've already mentioned that in other council meetings,
so when I
look at the proposals,
my first immediate reaction is,
you know, don't charge at the northern
maybe focus the come siltation bit better or what you're asking the residents.
I think you are in a way.
penalising the car driver, and no one has actually mentioned this tonight, I think this will have a dramatic impact on the two businesses that actually function within Dunholme and I, the boat and the cafe, I think they will find a dramatic decrease in customers using their services and I think we are actually determining their business outcome and I don't think that our decision to make,
so on that basis are within argue we don't charge
in that first instance now comparative across the borough, that is true.
and some of it is an historical such as impact with himself for.
and not a you know option B is an element of the first Alfre.
but even with that in Paddock Wood, the second area I think is a pound a third hours, 2 pounds, but the option B is actually signed a second hour is 2 pounds so really applying a pound for the first hour anyway, so you're not really getting it free so not really been open and honest to the public you're actually saying well we'd make it like it's free but it really isn't so overall. I think it's a bad decision that this time
cost of living crisis inflation going up people struggling to pay their bills, it's a wrong time to introduce charges the novel during the lockdown Covid it was
a godsend to people to go in there they may even feel it that to drive in May outside in the rural areas could drive in there and feel they can have a bit of a well-being time. if they have got it in their own
wards
and where they live, so I think it's a wrong decision, I think cabinet should re re look at it and my option would be in relation to
the first option, which
is one
which will be I
in relation to the two other options in the report,
thank you.
thank you, thank you.
thank you very so, can I just clarify
what your
recommended position is.
while the forward made that clear my
position is, I don't think at this stage will review should be charging.
charges for car parking in Donal,
okay, so.
effectively, you don't support the recommendation,
not a, albeit not in that instance, no, I mean I might abstain on be, but if I've got the option to
go for another option,
I'll go for that.
OK.
whether any of the points that people want to raise in discussion, I think I've got everybody's views down, so I've kind of got a view before we go to mark that we've got two supporters for option, A we've got to support his for option B and not supporting the recommendation either other recommendations. We've got three at the moment so and this doesn't include my vote as well, so I've not included that so at the moment it's looking like the majority of the camp support either cabinet, considering option A or B
for probable 4 votes to 3,
not supported at all.
just as an observation at this stage, but then we'll go over to to mark and impacts, we can discuss how we want to vote on it.
thank you.
one of the things I'm obviously reason why I think now is important time to look at parking, doner parking because of this move, who are what second largest private employer in the town to one location town centre to national park. So that's something I feels quite important, as I mentioned earlier, with Haysden there's a business there and their business hasn't dropped off, based on charging at all, if bats are set, the park car park is rammed as welder
type and I don't agree with that. What I do want to do is make an amendment to the recommendation that both option A and option B as well. So I could read out to you
the Committee recommends that we monitor people purchasing auto, or date tickets at the park for a period of six months is evidence, a significant order frequency cabinet should increase all day part can take the same level as Great Hall in Taunton Road car park.
thank you, would anyone wish to comment on that amendment?
I think Ma raises a very good point
and obviously I think.
monitoring should take place, and Ms Jackson says, we've got virtually no data on anything at the moment concerning the use of the car park, but I think I think we should have my own views, leave it at that, because certainly I could see a situation where I'm taking my own family when I used to take my children to 10 all in park, you might want to stay there all day. with your family so saying that if you go beyond four hours it's suddenly gone up to 10 pounds, I think it is a lot for a family looking for a sort of free day out in has raised the beautiful surroundings of Dunning Park, so I agree entirely with Mark because it's something new that's happening with access we should monitor it.
but I wouldn't go as far as saying we need to make a formal amendment at this stage because I think people who use the park beyond four hours as a park shouldn't suddenly find themselves into a very expensive charging zone.
to recommend to you Mark, I think Ray might want to raise a point and then perhaps we can come back,
thank you Chair, just in response to the comic May and it's already been made it
if you're going to monitor, say all day,
at a particular time, or you're basing this on the assumption that a company in Tunbridge Wells is going to have all their
employees parking in done olden wood, which not a valid point of view, is it's not a valid argument,
even some people admitted tonight
Donald and car park can be
particularly busy at certain times maybe people walking their dogs.
so it shouldn't be based on that and if you can have charges, you should try and be uniform across the Barrett bat and insert that and you know I come from and it would is that each area as its own particular historical elements would be parking parking in Paddock Wood where,
a commuter station, so if we don't have our child parks set at a certain level, then all the commuters parking our car parks and block a map, so you know you can't always have a can formed sort of strategy on parking charges, it has to be based on particular elements within that area not highlighted them and it's wrong to dismiss these companies disabling it's not affecting them at the moment.
I haven't looked at their accounts or whatever, but footfall is is is dropping spitty in the
sort of
cafes and that type of of
industry or business and in the leisure business and providing those services our struggling and what makes a difference is footfall, and I doubt I can be confident that increasing charges in
Donald will make any difference, it will make a difference and it will make a difference, particularly to that cafe.
thinking back to Mark yeah,
she will come back to that point right.
when we talk about parking all day, what I'm talking about is how a business sector works. There's a shift pattern
that doesn't necessarily mean over four hours. We can start chart charging the full day's rate, but we could very much easily do is say, Look above 7 hours, which is an awful long time the park. That's the point where we can actually do that now. The reason why we need to monitor these things and time-wise is to wish you know if those people are parking just for taking dogs walk or that you're parking all day the only way to monitor that is the charge, because you no reliable way of of those we can't just rock up generally to see what's happening on a flashpoint and see whether things are occupied or not. So this is where you look at the manuals of things properly and make a decision accordingly, so almost ask them to do, is review it. They may mean that you need to have an extra tier to ensure that the all day, parking, I over say seven hours, would be something scripted, or make it more expensive to do.
thank you so.
you've proposed an amendment,
I just need to get a sense of. whether we need to go for a vote on that amendment, and whether members want that, or are you happy to just add that to?
the proposal to cabinet as it stands.
I'm just looking for, do you want to vote on it or do you want to?
just agree to it.
government.
that's a proposal for
all
the option, A and B amendment about
why,
because it wouldn't apply to a maybe option A and no charges.
I think he died suddenly, but we only discussing option A B, I think I
think it is to monitor that situation, I think that's what he's saying.
from a provider understood of what you said Mark so probably would apply just as an amendment, an extra
piece of text to go to the recommendation to Cabinet if I've understood that current
nothing and I'm slightly confused now raised confusing me
despite me agreeing with a lot of bodies saying tonight
option A RE is for full charging it's not for no charging.
this is nice, caring confusing.
the
OK, while he's not even big
up money not even
considered so
I just want to OK, I just want to get a sense of, are you happy for that to be added to the
the motion as it stands and we hear it.
do I read out again now?
this is a recommendation and advice to cabinet, so it's not and is not binding, that that would be the charge or anything like that so.
can I just confirm this, so you actually suggest in the instead of 7 pound it be 12 pounds.
at the same level as great orange zones Road Car Park, which which is, I think, is 10 pounds 20. That's double 14 yeah, it's
it's roughly that yeah, I think we could get bogged down in discussing different rates here. I think the
cabinet would be bound to set us a certain rate. I think it's just a recommendation that we consider and monitor it if you agree to add it Tom
look, I think we all agree that
people, the car park, is there for people to use the park if there's evidence to suggest that people are there, they're not using the park, either using it for all day parking, then clearly an approach has got to be to try to prevent that, and I think this is too much detail for the point of principle that we're trying to get over here.
OK, I think I'm going to probably have to find a way of wrapping this up, but yet go on the subject,
it is
one of her lower,
I think it's it's is getting confusing what with to vote on, so what I've heard tonight is,
there's members here who vote for the report recommendations as they stand either A or B there's there too, without the Councillor analysis proposed,
there's a a motion, the proposed motion from Councillor Sankey that we should park us now
put it into the parking strategy
and should be considered, there shouldn't be progressed at this point
and then is the the proposed motion I put, which is to say,
the option
that has been presented in the report, but is not available to vote on on page 82 option 1 is leave the car park free of charge as a recommendation, so I think those are the for you, are you proposing to look at a consensus interest, give us one
one of those for two to vote on.
oral votes on each
of them, but initially I think I'm just trying to deal with the amendment proposed by Councillor Ellis, I don't know, Councillor, think it was an amendment proposed to vote on, I just part I thought it wasn't and I thought it was part of the the debate and as far as the get out,
the as far as your recommendation
goes, Lyons
at the moment is looking like you know, not supporting the continuation of free parking in the northern is in the minority 3 votes to 4 votes that support one of the two options, so wouldn't be necessary to take a vote on that one I don't think,
so I think we just need to quickly move on from Councillor Ellis's proposed amendment
deal with that, and then we'll go back to the main item which will be, you know, do you support the recommendations to Cabinet or not, and we can have a recorded vote as you as you
request just to clarify on that point Chair,
the three options, so yes, I just said at the beginning of into the discussion
committee is asked to come to one of the following positions, one that the recommendations to Cabinet are supported too, that the recommendations to Cabinet would be supported subject to a particular issue being addressed or three of the recommendations to Cabinet and not supported, so I think from that sort of discussion it would either be a
the whole recommendation is supported as one the there is any additional areas of interest to recommend cabinet will see their recommendations are supported in title.
they understood thank you very much cleverer than nothing, 3 is is not an option, so I think we are left with option 1 and 2.
because there isn't a majority in the room for option 3,
we've only got three votes for that, so I don't I don't think that one is is
something that we need to consider, I think it's just option 1 or 2 it's either you support cabinet considering option A or B or that you want to amend that further.
so
where do you want to vote on?
on that now, are you prepared to vote on it now or do you want to suggest that there is something that you want to say and that you would all support as a majority as option 2?
I challenge your assumption on that with within the free options that we discussed, because if I have an option of saying no charges,
how do I vote on,
say the other two options
when I have an opinion, the only other option is to vote against, and that's not necessarily what I said in mind about
the kind of my contribution,
so the way you are suggesting, that is that I had no other option and I feel that's a bit unfair.
I would disagree, or you can always I'm staying.
I mean we could always have a vote now.
just to get it to clear the air and get it out the way so
we could vote and you could participate in that vote to have continue with free parking and Alan.
well,
I wish to discussion will not on this no no ruling,
but I I do I haven't got that in front of me, so what I've got is that would be three votes and there will be four votes and then if you include my vote that will be five votes in favour of some form of charging into northern, so I think actually disagree with you. I think you have had your chance to have your say and
there there isn't an opportunity to vote on that
because it's not supported by the majority of the committee majority that committee seats are on
charge. It is wrong to assume
that
I would support B or T I first down free in Donald and on the basis my contribution. That's not on it's the public of had my contributions
in which makes it very difficult the way you're structuring the voting on this.
to be fair. I accept what is that what you're saying and?
OK all right,
while I think.
I think it's time, probably unless anyone has any further amendments to propose that we, we vote on the options.
from my point of view, I'm I'm very much in favour of option A, I think it is fair and reasonable to expect people to charge
to pay to park. at the park, I think that's that's what any visitor or resident does when they park in in any other area of the town, and I think I think it will help manage the usage of the park and it will encourage turnover of people wanting to use the park.
I think you know going back to Lancers his point you know it is, it is valid that you know things changed during that financial year with increased investment income and a vacancy saving, but those have been factored into the medium term financial outlook and we still have some significant challenges to to rise to savings to find our income to find and I think this is a a fair way of raising some further income to essentially continue to support and provide
the discretionary services services that our residents clearly want so. I'm in favour of option A,
but I think we do have a majority to charge
in the northern one way or another, either with a first free hour or charging from the first hour, so I think I'd now like to just put this
to a recorded vote as Lance requested
on the motion so shalrie that the motion before we start,
yeah
OK, so I think that it's used to be chairman, I think there are other issues here, I mean if you're going to introduce charges, you're going to introduce charging that'll be for the volunteers who
help help with the park, I think that's wrong, I'm nodding I'm not I personally would like
you to actually take a vote and say who is against charging in dunlin and,
and I think
I would like that vote minuted and then, if you want to then pursue those other options, people could then decide if they're against the charge which of those other two options that might be in favour of I will abstain because I'm not in favour of either of them
I mean I just think that there is a message that needs to get back and I think the way the recommendations have been presented is poor because you don't have the right really have had a recommendation to reject you have rejected a recommendation to accept one of two options and I don't think that's the right way of going about it.
so I do I will take on board the points that you've raised about the wording and how you think it would have been better presented to the committee, however, I do not think it's necessary for us to take a vote on what you've requested, I think it's clear everyone's been able to express their views, everyone who is in favour of continuing with free parking has been able to express that view here and there isn't. there isn't a majority
in favour of continuing with free parking into Northern Park, so I don't I don't think it's necessary, and that's not what we're here to do. We're here to vote on the the actual options that are on the table,
but I'll take away what you said about the fact that you and others, including Councillor Moon, would have preferred them to be presented differently with option 3 to continue with free parking in the northern park. I can only take that away, perhaps consider it
for future papers, but that's not the issue at stake tonight. The issue at stake tonight is the proposal as it's written down, so I'm I'm going to proceed to the the recommendations now and then we can take that recorded vote
so the recommendations
are as follows.
to go to Cabinet that
cabinet considers the responses from the consultation house held in November 2022 and notes the mitigations in the report the Cabinet agrees that car parking charges should be introduced in the Norman Park, car parks and charging option A or B will be adopted, as agreed at their meeting
the Cabinet agrees or charges to be implemented on the 16th of October 2023 with the exception of blue badge holders parked in disabled spaces which will be free of charge. and that Cabinet gives authority to the portfolio holders for finance and performance and economic development in conjunction with the head of finance, procurement and parking, to make minor amendments to the proposal resulting from the comments received during the formal consultation process required to create the parking places order or further operational issues that may arise, so I think now we will will put it to a vote.
so, as Chairman stated, is and being requested, this is a recorded vote, it's our call, your name, you say for or against, or abstain, Councillor Dorling's.
abstain
councillor Ellis.
option A
yet to support.
Councillor Frances.
for
Councillor good ship against.
Councillor Main
against.
Councillor Rob
Osborne.
Paul
councillor Sankey.
against
and Councillor Hall. for
it's 4 for 3 against
and 1 abstention.
thank you very much, there is, in that case the motion is carried.

9 Property Transaction Report January to June 2023

so we now move to agenda item 9, which is the property transaction report January to June 2023, and the presenting officer for this will be David Candlin, head of economic development and property.
thank you, Mr. Chairman report in front of members, which starts on page 104 of the agenda, pack is property transactions, the report sets out any property transactions completed between the 1st of January and the 30th of June 2023, in accordance with the constitution, those completions being undertaken through delegated authority in respect of commercial properties. paragraph 1.4 to 1.5 sets out the delegations outlined in the constitution and also set
also under 250,000 pounds that have been made during the period, we also provide information provided by Ave P regarding some lettings and an update on the Tunbridge Wells property Holdings, limited es teas
section 2 sets out a summary. of the detail, complete containing both appendix A and exempt appendix A
the report is for Members to note these transactions completed
between the 1st of January and the 30th of June, and Chairman to report to 0 thank you.
thank you, David.
are there any questions with it?
I do need to just mention thank you for reminding Lewis that there is an exempt appendix so if anyone wished to discuss any
aspect of that exempt.
appendix you'd need to request that the meeting goes into exempt and looking at members, I don't think there's any desire to do that, so as this is for information purposes only there are no questions are members just happy to agree.
yeah yeah.
OK, that's fine, the motion is carried.
so.

10 Urgent Business

11 Date of the Next Meeting

item 10 is urgent business, I can confirm there is no such business, so we move to the date of the next meeting Item, 11, next meeting is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, the 5th of September 2023 at 6.30 p.m.
The meeting is now closed.