The Chairperson began the meeting by thanking the previous Councillors for their service. Members unanimously approved to include this in the minutes. 

 

1 – TO ELECT THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE COUNCIL FOR 2023-24 AND RECEIVE CHAIRPERSON’S DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE 

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

Councillor McQueen was nominated as Chairperson for the Council for 2023-24. Members unanimously voted to approve the nomination. The Chairperson declared Councillor McQueen the successful nominee to be duly elected as Chairperson of the Council for the ensuing year. 

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

Councillor McQueen thanked the members for the nomination and said she looked forward to serving the members of the Parish and hoped that the Council would continue to represent the Parish and its best interests. With many important projects on the horizon, she looked forward to working with the Councillors and staff to improve the Parish of Stone. 

Councillor McQueen then took over as Chairperson for the remainder of the meeting. 

 

2 – TO ELECT THE VICE-CHAIRPERSON OF THE COUNCIL FOR 2023-24 

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

Councillor Thredgle was nominated as Vice-Chairperson for the Council for 2023-24. Members unanimously voted to approve the nomination. The Chairperson declared Councillor Thredgle to be duly elected as Vice-Chairperson of the Council for the ensuing year. 

 

3 – APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Peter Harman.

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act 1972, s 85.  

 

4 – DISCLOSURE OF PECUNIARY INTERESTS
There were no disclosures of pecuniary interests.

Relevant legislation: Localism Act 2011, s 31.  

 

5 – PUBLIC PARTICIPATION 

Kent County Councillor Penny Cole told the members that she looks forward to working with the Parish Council over the next term. 

The Chairperson thanked Councillor Cole.

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act, s 100.  

 

6 – APPROVAL OF MINUTES 

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on Wednesday 22 March 2023 were approved.

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 the conduct of council business and appoint membership of committees for 2023-24.  

Members were provided with a revised scheme of delegation with amendments to the Committee structure. A forecast of council business was also provided that 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 would 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 was proposed these are contained within council terms of reference, and that the Strategy & Finance Committee be dissolved.  

It had also been noted that members’ desire to examine certain areas of council activity in more depth and have sufficient time for meaningful discussion had been restricted when part of a full agenda. It was therefore proposed that a new Scrutiny Committee be formed. 

Members were presented with the draft Terms of Reference for the Committees accompanied by an annual work plan which outlined the business that had already been identified for 2023-24 in relation to existing council projects and strategy. 

Members discussed the purpose of the proposed Committees and which items would be discussed. Members felt that the frequency of the Scrutiny and the Community Engagement, Wellbeing and Events Committees should be increased. 

Members resolved to approve the Scheme of Delegation, pending amendments to the frequency of these Committees. It was resolved that a reworked Calendar of Meetings would be distributed to members ahead of resolution at the next Full Council meeting on 21 June 2023. 

 

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 

Members resolved to nominate Councillor Thredgle and Councillor Howes as representatives on 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. 

Members resolved to nominate Councillor Howes, Councillor Oliver and Councillor McQueen to the 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).  

Members resolved to note the representatives to the Borough and Parish/Town Council Forum. 

 

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 

Members resolved the membership of the Community Engagement, Wellbeing & Events Committee as follows: 

  • Councillor Thredgle 
  • Councillor Hoadley 
  • Councillor Canham 
  • Councillor Howes 
  • Councillor Burrell 
  • Councillor Oliver 
  • People & Performance Committee – six including Chair/Vice Chair 

Members resolved the membership of the People & Performance Committee as follows: 

  • Councillor McQueen 
  • Councillor Howes 
  • Councillor Mote 
  • Councillor Olaadedini 
  • Councillor Thredgle 
  • Councillor Cutler 

Appeals Board – Members discussed the importance of the Discipline and Grievance Appeals Board and recommended that all members receive the Disciplinary and Grievance Training provided by ACAS to allow any member to serve on this board if required. 

  • Scrutiny Committee – six including Chair/Vice-Chair 

Members resolved the membership of the Scrutiny Committee as follows: 

  • Councillor Harman 
  • Councillor Suter 
  • Councillor Mote 
  • Councillor Canham 
  • Councillor Cutler 
  • Councillor McQueen

10 – STANDING ORDERS & FINANCIAL REGULATIONS 

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

Members were presented with a revised set of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations for 2023-24. The Responsible Finance Officer advised that the most significant change was that the list of payments would now be distributed electronically to members on a monthly basis rather than being contained on agendas for Council Meetings. 

Members resolved to approve the Standing Orders & Financial Regulations for 2023-24 as presented. 

 

11 – GENERAL POWER OF COMPETENCE 

To declare eligibility to use General Power of Competence 

The Clerk explained the remit of the General Power of Competence to members and confirmed that the Council had a statutory obligation to re-declare this after each election. 

Members resolved to confirm that the Council meets the requirements to use the General Power of Competence. 

 

12 – CALENDAR OF MEETINGS 

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

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

Members resolved to approve the first Community Engagement, Wellbeing and Events Committee meeting on Wednesday 7 June 2023 and the Full Council Meeting on Wednesday 21 June 2023. 

Members resolved that a revised calendar of meetings would be resolved at the Full Council Meeting in June to reflect the increased frequency of Committee meetings. 

 

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. 

Members unanimously resolved to approve the subscription to NALC and KALC. 

 

There being no further business, the Chairperson closed the meeting at 19:55