1 – Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence.

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act 1972, s 85.

 

2 – Disclosure of Pecuniary Interests

To receive disclosure of any pecuniary interests relating to meeting agenda items.

Having declared an interest, a member must not participate in discussion on the matter and must not take part in any vote unless an appropriate dispensation has been granted.

Relevant Legislation: Localism Act 2011, s 31.

 

3 – Public Participation

The council meets and makes its decisions in public. A council meeting is not a public meeting. It is a meeting held in public and there is no requirement in law which allows members of the public to speak at such meetings.

However, the council is is keen to encourage public attendance at meetings and will therefore provide an opportunity to local registered electors to show it is committed to community engagement.

A maximum of 3 minutes is allowed per person to speak and the total length of time afforded for public participation at each meeting shall be no more than 15 minutes, subject to an extension of this time, in exceptional circumstances, being agreed by the Chairman.

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act, s 100.

 

4 – Approval of Minutes

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the council held on Wednesday 28th September and the Special Council meeting held on Wednesday 12th October 2022.
(These minutes were circulated in draft form on 30th September 2022 and 19th October)

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act 1972, Sch 12, para 41 (1).

 

5 – Presentation of Recognition Award to Neighbourhood Plan Directors

In July, the council resolved awards to Neighbourhood Plan Directors Paul Winchester, Valerie Winchester, Garnet Johnson and Dorothy Bartlett in recognition of the considerable time and effort they had given to the parish through development of the Stone Parish Neighbourhood Plan, which received support of 90% of electors at referendum.

A gift and statement of recognition will be presented to directors in attendance at the meeting by the Vice-chair.

 

6 – Dartford Constituency Boundary Review

The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) is redrawing constituency boundaries in order to rebalance the number of electors represented by each MP, and a final consultation on proposed new constituencies is now open. A new revised map of constituency proposals, which takes into account feedback sent in by the public on the initial proposals, has been published on the consultation website.

The BCE would like to hear from local councils in this final consultation, which is open until 5 December.

Resolution: To note or form a response to the boundary review as appropriate

 

7 – Kent Fire & Rescue Safety & Wellbeing Plan 2023

The Kent Fire & Rescue Service has published a Safety & wellbeing Plan for 2023.
The purpose of the plan is to inform everyone across Kent and Medway, about changes that KFRS intend to make or would like your views on.
This is a shorter plan than usual and provides information on what KFRS has been working on recently, current safety campaigns and how KFRS has performed.

KFRS has also provided a summary of what residents receive for the money paid as part of council tax to help run the fire and rescue service.
KFRS welcomes comments through a survey on a number of options regarding council tax levels for 2023/24.

Please note – the survey closes on Friday 13 January 2023 at 9am.
> View the Plan and respond to the survey…

Resolution: To note the Kent Fire & Rescue Safety & Wellbeing Plan for 2023 or form a council response as appropriate.

 

8 – National Highways & Transport Network Satisfaction Survey

Kent County Council is taking part in the NHT Public Satisfaction Survey on highways and transport services. Whilst the main survey is being carried out by Ipsos MORI, who will be sending forms to a representative sample of households, KCC has also opted to take part in six web-based surveys on specific issues:

  • Highway maintenance
  • Accessibility
  • Walking and cycling
  • Public transport
  • Road safety
  • Tackling congestion

These surveys are publicly available online and will remain open until the end of February 2023. They may be accessed via KCC’s website.

The greater the take-up of the surveys, the more useful they will be in helping KCC to understand the priorities and concerns of people who live or work in Kent, so they invite completion of the surveys which interest you, and encourage other people to take part.

Council officers will formulate a response on relevant subjects that relate to objectives in the Strategic Plan or Neighbourhood Plan as appropriate.

Resolution: To note the National Highways & Transport Network Satisfaction Survey and members individual invite to complete surveys of interest.

 

9 – Civility & Respect Project

Throughout the sector, there have been growing concerns about the impact bullying, harassment, and intimidation are having on local (parish and town) councils, councillors, clerks and council staff and the resulting effectiveness of local councils. The National Association of Local Councils (NALC), One Voice Wales, the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) and county associations responded to this by setting up a Civility and Respect Working Group to oversee the Civility and Respect Project.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC), the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC), and One Voice Wales (OVW), believe now is the time to put civility and respect at the top of the agenda and start a culture change for the local council sector. By our council signing up to the civility and respect pledge we are demonstrating that our council is committed to treating councillors, clerks, employees, members of the public, representatives of partner organisations, and volunteers, with civility and respect in their role.

Signing up is a simple process, which requires councils to register and agree to the following statements:

– Our council has agreed that it will treat all councillors, clerk and all employees, members of the public, representatives of partner organisations, and volunteers, with civility and respect in their role.

– Our council has put in place a training programme for councillors and staff

– Our council has signed up to Code of Conduct for councillors

– Our council has good governance arrangements in place including, staff contracts, and a dignity at work policy.

– Our council will commit to seeking professional help in the early stages should civility and respect issues arise.

– Our council will commit to calling out bullying and harassment when if and when it happens.

– Our council will continue to learn from best practice in the sector and aspire to being a role model/champion council e.g., via the Local Council Award Scheme

– Our council supports the continued lobbying for the change in legislation to support the Civility and Respect Pledge, including sanctions for elected members where appropriate.

Definition of Civility and Respect
Civility means politeness and courtesy in behaviour, speech, and in the written word. Examples of ways in which you can show respect are by listening and paying attention to others, having consideration for other people’s feelings, following protocols and rules, showing appreciation and thanks, and being kind.

Resolution: To sign up to the Civility & Respect Pledge and note the guides to Roles & Responsibilities and Social Media.

 

10 – NJC Pay Deal Conclusion

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has been notified by the Local Government Association (LGA) that it has come to an agreement on the 2022/23 pay offer with the unions representing local government employees

The unions met on 1 November 2022 and agreed to accept the offer. The terms of that agreement include the following:

  • With effect from 1 April 2022, an increase of £1,925 on all NJC pay points 1 and above.
  • With effect from 1 April 2023, an increase of one day to all employees’ annual leave entitlement.

A NALC briefing note and updated pay scales is attached for review.

Resolution: To note the recent conclusion to the negotiations on local government pay and implementation of new pay scales, backdated to April 2022, with immediate effect.

 

11 – Authorisation of Payments

A schedule of proposed supplier payments is attached.

Resolution: To resolve authorisation of payment of supplier invoices.

 

12 – Planning Applications

To resolve observations to Major Planning Applications affecting the parish
Relevant legislation: Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

1.  22/01120/VCON
Land Adjacent To The Old Rectory, St Marys Road, Stone
Erection of 4 storey building to provide 12 x 2 bed apartments and associated parking/amenity (incorporating variation of condition 2 to alter external materials).
> View the Design & Access Statement…opens PDF file

 

13 – Exclusion of Press & Public

To resolve, pursuant to section 1 (2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, that because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the public and the press leave the meeting during consideration of the following items.

 

14 – Bar Provision at Stone Pavilion, the Claire Tiltman Centre & community events

The attached report provides a comprehensive overview regarding the approach to bar provision at council venues and community events and seeks council consideration of service provision post-expiry of the current Service Level Agreement.
The report sets out the background, analysis of issues and benefits, and concludes the recommendation on the basis of consideration of these factors.

Resolution: To consider the information provided in the report and approve the recommendation for service provision beyond expiry of the current Service Level Agreement