1 – Apologies for Absence 

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr D Mote, Cllr J Burrell and Cllr P Harman

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act 1972, s 85.  

 

2 – Disclosure of Pecuniary Interests 

There were no disclosures of pecuniary interests.

Relevant Legislation: Localism Act 2011, s 31.  

 

3 – Public Participation 

No members of public were present at the meeting. 

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act, s 100.  

 

4 – Approval of Minutes 

The minutes of the meeting of the council held on Wednesday 22 November 2023 were approved.

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

 

5 – Reports from outside organisations 

  1. Kent Police
    Stone House Crime MapStone Castle Crime Map
    Members discussed the crime maps provided by Kent Police and requested that more clarification be given on this so that members can be more informed when discussing with members of the public.

Members resolved to note the report from Kent Police.  

  1. Kent County Council

Members received a written report from Kent County Councillor Penny Cole which outlined difficulties with the KCC budget and made members aware of a plan for sheltered accommodation to be provided for asylum-seeking children. One of the properties identified was that of The Limes on Brent Lane. This proposal has created some concern among local people for various reasons. 

Members were keen to ensure that all relevant checks were being carried out on any asylum seekers being housed in the area, particularly regarding purported age to ensure minors were not put at any risk, but felt above all it was important to treat them with kindness and decency. 

Members thanked Councillor Cole and resolved to note her report.
 

6 – Dispensation 

To resolve dispensation for Councillor Burrell for non-attendance at meetings.

Under the Local Government Act 1972 Section 85 (1), councillors who do not
attend a meeting of the Council during a six-month period will cease to be a
member of the Council unless the Council has approved reasons for absence before the expiry of that period. 

It was recommended that the council resolves dispensation for Cllr J Burrell who, for reason of ill-health, is unlikely to be able to attend a meeting of the Council prior to end of a six-month period.  

Members resolved to approve dispensation for Cllr Burrell due to ill health. 

 

7 – Notice of Extraordinary Meeting 

To resolve addition of Extraordinary Council Meeting on 21 February 2024 prior to the scheduled People & Performance Committee Meeting.

Members were informed that it would be necessary to call an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council to resolve award of the tender for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan. It was proposed that this meeting be on Wednesday 21 February 2024 at 7pm and the People & Performance Committee meeting take place following this.

Members were requested to resolve the addition of this meeting to the Calendar of Meetings.  

Members resolved to approve the addition of an extraordinary Council Meeting on 21 February 2024. 

 

8 – Lads of the Village 

To receive a verbal update on the closure of the Lads of the Village Public House and Community Asset submission. 

Members were informed that the submission of the nomination of the Lads of the Village Public House as a Community Asset was with Dartford Borough Council, but as yet they had not provided any update as to the outcome.

Members that also serve on Dartford Borough Council confirmed that this would be chased up at Dartford. 

Members resolved to note the update.
 

9 – Kirby Road Allotments 

Members were presented with a report detailing the Kirby Road Allotment site service provision to ensure that they are fully informed regarding the current strategic and financial position and level of ongoing subsidy. 

Members felt that more marketing should be done to ensure the allotment site is fully tenanted. Members also suggested arranging a day in the spring, where Councillors, tenants and volunteers could help to clear the site.  

It was recommended that grant funding be sought by officers that could help with the allotment site improvements. 

Members resolved to note the contents of the Kirby Road Allotments Report. 

 

10 – Council Budget 2024-25 

To Consider and resolve the Council Budget for 2024-25

Members are requested to resolve the annual precept request for 2024-25. Members were presented with a budget recommendation report. 

Members discussed the proposed budget and the reasoning behind the proposals. 

Members voted 9 to 1 in favour of resolving the proposed budget, with one member abstaining. 

The budget proposes a precept sum of sum of £504,844. 

The council tax base for 2024-25 is confirmed as 4297.61 . The Council Tax Support Grant is confirmed at £7,021, unchanged from 2023-24. 

Taking into account the respective sums, the proposed budget maintains an annual charge of £117.47 for a Band D property, representing an increase of £6.48 . 

Members resolved to confirm the precept request as outlined. 

 

11 – Exclusion of Press & Public 

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 the consideration of the following items.  

 

12 – Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan 

To receive an update regarding the conclusion of the advertisement of tender for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan.   

Members were presented with a provisional report by the council’s QS regarding tenders received for construction of phase 1 of the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan, which sought to provide an initial summary prior to contractor interviews and final analysis. Members were also provided with details of the likely timeframe for finalization of planning matters and commencement of construction.  

Members resolved to note the update on the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan. 

 

There being no further business, the Chairperson closed the meeting at 20:20