Agenda

Councillors Present

Cllr J Burrell

Cllr M Mitchell

Cllr P Cutler

Cllr K Kelly

Cllr S Thredgle

Cllr J Hoadley

Cllr L Canham

Cllr S Martin

Cllr M Garford

Cllr E Morley

 

51/01/19CL: TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr C Pearce & Cllr S Cummings, who had requested that the council formally considers approving reasons for absence for non-attendance to prevent disqualification under S85 of the Local Government Act 1972.

Members were advised that Cllr Cummings had been unable to attend meetings in a six-month period due to ill health and that the need to provide care to Cllr Cummings, along with attendance at a family funeral on one occasion, had also prevented Cllr Pearce from attending a meeting in a six-month period.

Members discussed the request, with some expressing concern that Cllr Cummings and Cllr Pearce had been disqualified for non-attendance within the past year, had sought re-election and were now in a similar position facing disqualification. The ability for both members to effectively serve their electorate was questioned.

Members felt it regrettable that Cllr Cummings was suffering from poor health and members agreed it was important to show support in times of need. Some members recounted that the council had shown similar consideration to them when they had been required to care for relatives or at times of ill health.

It was confirmed that Cllr Cummings did not intend to seek re-election in May due to his ongoing health.

Members agreed unanimously to grant this dispensation.

52/01/19CL: TO RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No declarations of interest were received

53/01/19CL: TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 17 OCTOBER 2018
The minutes of the Council Meeting held on Wednesday 17 October 2018 were accepted as a true record by the Council and signed by the Chairman.

54/01/19CL: TO DISCUSS MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES
There were no matters arising from previous minutes.

55/01/19CL: TO RECEIVE REPORTS FROM OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS AND AGENCIES
1. Kent County Councillor’s Report
Cllr Penny Cole told members that the government has provided more money for social care and highways. There is a pothole blitz planned with reports on how many have been done and more money will be spent on keeping footways clear from overgrowth.
Cllr Cole reported that the waste stations were at capacity after Christmas but after extra work they are now caught up.
The traffic issues on Hill House Road were reported and a consultation of the locals was done to determine the feasibility of making it one way traffic only. The response received was 100% in favour but only 17 responses were received. Discussions will be had over whether this response is enough to go forward with these plans.
2. Dartford Borough Councillors’ Reports for Stone and Castle
Cllr Burrell informed members that there is an evening for potential candidates looking to become councillors being held in Dartford at 6pm on 9th March.
3. Kent Police
PCSO Tom Horton gave members the crime statistics of 124 reported crimes for Stone Ward in November and 135 in December. Theft of motor vehicles was high but not high for the borough. Residents are being warned not to leave car keys hanging on hooks near their front door as thieves have used coat hangers to go through the letter box to unhook them and steal cars.

56/01/19CL: TO RECEIVE A PROGRESS UPDATE ON THE STONE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN AND APPROVE DRAFT PLAN FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION
Chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan Mr P Winchester thanked the directors who have stuck with the neighbourhood plan and thanked them for their hard work, particularly the Clerk, J Thomas. Members were encouraged to read the plan as a lot of work has been done on it. Mr Winchester informed members that the plan, if approved, would then go to consultation for 6 weeks and encouraged members to help promote it locally.
Members thanked Mr Winchester for his work and it was unanimously agreed to approve the draft plan for consultation.

57/01/19CL: TO DISCUSS PROPOSALS FROM STONEPIT RESTORATION LTD FOR AN EMERGENCY ENTRANCE VIA THE RECREATION GROUND
Quotes for the fencing work were received and members unanimously agreed that they would confirm a counter offer of £40,000 to Stonepit Restoration Ltd.

58/01/19CL: TO RESOLVE THE OPTION TO TAX LAND AT COTTON LANE
As part of the agreement in relation to Council’s development at Cotton Lane, the Council is required to approve a formal Option to Tax on the multi-use hall and camping site. We are required to have made this submission to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
Members unanimously agreed to approve the option to tax land at Cotton Lane

59/01/19CL: FINANCE
1. Approval of Annual Budget for 2019-20 and submission of precept request.
Following consideration and approval by the Finance & Audit committee, the annual council budget for 2019-20 was presented for ratification and adoption

The budget proposed a precept sum of sum of £379,378.

The council tax base for 2019-20 was confirmed as 4174.46. The Council Tax Support Grant was confirmed at £7,021, reduced from £7,490 in 2018-19. The S136 Grant was confirmed at £4151, reduced from £4430 in 2018-19.

Taking into account the respective sums, the budget represented an annual charge of £90.88 for a Band D property, representing an increase of £3.39 or 3.88%.
Resolved:
• Approval and adoption of the council’s budget as outlined for 2019-20
• Submission of the precept request of £379,378 to Dartford Borough Council

2. To Authorize payments
Payments were authorized by the members

60/01/19CL: PLANNING ENVIRONMENT & TRANSPORT
To consider new applications
18/01611/FUL
Members discussed the wording of the planning application and resolved to confirm that they support the plan whilst it includes the medical centre but are worried about putting it as a d1 without any stringent restrictions. Members asked the clerk to speak to the planning officers and to draft a response confirming that the Council approves the plan providing it will be a medical centre.

To note withdrawal of application
18/01377/FUL
Members noted the withdrawal of the application

There being no further business, the chairman closed the meeting at 20:11.