1 – To elect the Chairperson of the Council for 2023-24 and receive Chairperson’s declaration of acceptance of office

The Chairperson asks for nominations for election of the Chairperson of the Council for the ensuing year.

If there is more than one nomination, a vote will commence by a show of hands in the order in which persons have been nominated.

The Chairperson will then declare the successful nominee to be duly elected Chairperson of the Council for the ensuing year.

The newly elected Chairperson signs the Declaration of Acceptance of Office, which is then passed to the Clerk for countersignature.

 

2 – To elect the Vice-Chairperson of the Council for 2023-24

The Chairperson asks for nominations for election of Vice-Chairperson of the Council for the ensuing year.

If there is more than one nomination, a vote will commence by a show of hands in the order in which persons have been nominated.

The Chairperson will then declare the successful nominee to be duly elected Vice-Chairperson of the Council for the ensuing year.

 

3 – Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence.

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act 1972, s 85.

 

4 – 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.

 

5 – 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.

 

6 – Approval of Minutes

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the council held on Wednesday 22 March 2023.

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

 

7 – Scheme of Delegation to Committees and Officers

To review and resolve delegation arrangements to Committees and Officers

Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972 enables the council to delegate authority for decision making to appointed committees or council officers. The council is required to annually review delegation arrangements to support conduct of council business and appoint membership of committees for 2023-24.

A review of the twenty-one Council and Committee meetings scheduled between May 2022-Apr 2023 was carried out, which identified the following:

  • only three committee meetings contained items that required decisions, meaning much of the information noted could have been disseminated to members without the need for a meeting;
  • four committee meetings were cancelled as there was no business to discuss, however two special council meetings needed to be called to allow strategic decisions to be made that can only be authorised by the full council
  • only one decision was made by the Strategy and Finance Committee during this period.

Further to the above, a forecast of council business (outlined in the attached annual work plan) shows that, due to the decisions to be made in relation to key council projects and CIL expenditure which can only be legally authorised by the full council, council meetings will need to be more frequent in 2023-24 to enable required business to be transacted without causing delay. As most of the financial decisions must be made by the full council, it is proposed these are contained within council terms of reference, and that the Strategy & Finance Committee be dissolved.

The review also noted the desire of members to examine certain areas of council activity in more depth, and have sufficient time for meaningful discussion without the pressure of a full agenda. It is therefore proposed that a Scrutiny Committee be introduced, in place of the Strategy and Finance Committee, to support this.

As such, It is proposed in the Scheme of Delegation that the council delegate specific areas of activity to the following committees;

  • Community Engagement, Wellbeing & Events Committee
  • People & Performance Committee
  • Scrutiny Committee

View the proposed Scheme of Delegationopens PDF file

 

View the Annual Work Plan Documentopens PDF file

Terms of Reference for committees have been drafted or updated as appropriate and are contained at Appendix B of the Scheme of delegation for review by members.

Please note: the attached annual work plan is a live document and outlines business that is already identified for the 2023-24 year in relation to existing council projects and strategy. Other business will be added as appropriate as activity progresses.

8 – Council representatives to Outside bodies

To Appoint Council representatives to represent the Council on outside bodies and committees.

Members are requested to appoint individuals to represent the council on the following outside bodies:

1. Members are requested to resolve two representatives to attend the Bluewater Community Forum

2. Members are requested to resolve at least two representatives to the Kent Association of Local Councils (KALC) Dartford Area Committee.

3. Members are requested to note representatives to the Borough and Parish/Town Council Forum. These representatives are the Chairman (substituted by the Vice-Chairman if necessary) and the Parish Clerk (substituted by another Council Officer if necessary).

 

9 – Committee Membership

To Appoint Proposed Membership of Committees.

Members are required to appoint membership of committees for 2023-24 as per terms of reference.

  • Community Engagement, Wellbeing & Events Committee – six including Chair/Vice
  • People & Performance Committee – six including Chair/Vice Chair
  • Scrutiny Committee – six including Chair/Vice-Chair

 

10 – Standing Orders & Financial Regulations

To review and adopt Standing Orders & Financial Regulations for 2023-24.

View the proposed Standing Orders 2023-24opens PDF file

 

View the proposed Financial Regulations 2023-24opens PDF file

11 – General Power of Competence

To declare eligibility to use General Power of Competence

Following the recent election, the council is required to re-declare its eligibility to use the General Power of Competence by confirming the requirements that at least two thirds of the members of the council hold office as a result of being declared elected and the Clerk is appropriately qualified through having passed the certificate in local Council Administration (CiLCA) and completed training in the exercise of this power.

View the information regarding the General Power of Competenceopens PDF file

 

12 – Calendar of Meetings

To confirm the calendar of Council and Committee meetings for 2023-24

Members are presented with a draft calendar of Council and Committee meetings for 2023-2024.

View the Draft Calendar of Meetings 2023-24opens PDF file

 

13 – Finance

13.1 – Kent Association and National Association of Local Councils Subscription 2023-24

The council is required to approve renewal from 1st April 2023 and confirm subscription of fees of £1,695.00 for the Kent Association for Local Councils and National Associations.

View the KALC Membership Benefitsopens PDF file

View the NALC Membership Benefitsopens PDF file

View the KALC Invoice 2023-24opens PDF file