1 – Apologies

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Lucy Canham, Councillor Paul Cutler, Councillor Jeanne Hoadley and Councillor Margaret Mitchell

2 – Disclosure of Pecuniary Interests

There were no disclosures of pecuniary interests.

3 – Public Participation

No members of the public wished to speak in the meeting.

4 – Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan

  1. Members were requested to review and resolve final designs for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan to support submission of reserved planning matters.

Members were provided with various documents outlining the final designs and Lead designer Becki Smith was present to articulate the changes that had been made following site visits and recent public and stakeholder consultations.

Members were informed that following approval of these designs, One Ltd would be preparing the detailed designs for the planning application.

Members were provided with a corresponding cost plan that indicated any changes in indicative cost as a result of recent design changes. BS confirmed the cost plan was still very indicative and would become much clearer as further decisions are made regarding materials and finishes.

The Clerk confirmed that officers will be focusing on activity to secure funding while planning is administered to identify the budget available so that resolutions can be made on the appropriate phasing of the plan and prioritization of elements.

Members unanimously resolved to approve the final designs for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan to support submission of reserved planning matters.

  1. To note the updated Cost Plan for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan.

Members were presented with an initial Cost Plan from Liberty QS, based on the final designs. The Clerk confirmed that as the detailed plans were produced, more accurate costings for each element would be able to be provided to the members.

Members resolved to note the updated Cost Plan for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan.

 

5 – Cost of Living Crisis

To resolve Council’s initial response to the Cost-of-Living Crisis.

Following the previous meeting, members had resolved to defer this item to give them sufficient time to discuss the matter.Members were presented with a revised report outlining current proposals to assist the Cost-of-Living Crisis for discussion and resolution.

A discussion was had regarding the Cost-of-Living Crisis. Members felt the full impact had not yet been realized but noted that increased energy costs were already affecting many residents and that variable rate mortgages were soon to rise, likely to affect a high number of borrowers.

Members felt there would not be sufficient resourcing and expertise available to open the two new weekly clubs that had been proposed to provide warm spaces and support. There were concerns regarding the level of supervision and knowledge that would be required to manage these.

Members, mindful that Kent County Council and Dartford Borough Council were yet to announce any specific support action, were concerned there may be a duplication of effort and felt in the short term, the focus of the Parish Council should be to provide information to help signpost residents to the most appropriate places to receive assistance. This would be facilitated via leaflets, the parish Newsletter, social media and Parish Noticeboards.

Members were keen for officers to explore opportunities to host satellite food bank sessions by existing local providers, as well as potential advice surgeries.

Members agreed that should a group wish to use the hall to help or provide advice around the Cost-of-Living Crisis, then Council staff could provide this for free.

It was felt that more research and data should be gathered in coming weeks to confirm actual local needs, with the help of the Community Wardens and other tiers of local government to identify those who were vulnerable or needed assistance to establish how best the Parish Council could help them.

Following much discussion, Members resolved to reject instatement of two new weekly community groups to provide warm spaces and amenities as well as Community Warden / Councillor surgeries.

Members resolved to focus support through provision of information, signposting and potential pop-up service by existing support services.

Members resolved to approve prioritization of grant funding applications from local groups or organisations that seek to address, or alleviate the effects of, the Cost-of-Living Crisis.

Members resolved to note the mid/long term objectives/provision that staff will be working on, to tackle the Cost-of-Living Crisis and await further information as more data is obtained.

 

There being no further business, the Vice Chairperson closed the meeting at 20:42.