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NORTH DORSET DISTRICT COUNCIL - DOC

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					                        NORTH DORSET DISTRICT COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE CABINET HELD ON THURSDAY, 31 JULY 2003
IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER, NORDON, SALISBURY ROAD, BLANDFORD FORUM
                             AT 9.00 AM

Present:     I A Campbell      (Chairman)
             Col D C Whitehead (Vice Chairman and Sustainable Communities Member)
             G E Hine          (Economic Development Member)
             J M Roake         (Environment & Recreation Member)
             P Webb            (Finance Member)

Also         Councillors
Present      J P L Tory          (Chairman of Overview & Scrutiny)
             S G Hitchings
             M Jeffery
             Lt Col M D Oliver
             Mrs C E K Bone

Apologies:   M J C Oram (Corporate Services Member)

53.   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

      The following declarations of personal interest were made by Councillors:

      G E Hine     Minute 60: active member of Steam Fair organisation
      J M Roake    Minute 60: family member married to traveller
                            : had worked on exit gate at Steam Fair for several years.

54.   MINUTES

      The minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 17 July 2003, as circulated, were
      confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


URGENT BUSINESS

55.   STOUR MEADOWS SECURITY

      Following the Cabinet’s decision at its previous meeting to defend Stour Meadows
      from unauthorised use, the Chairman reported that a quantity of soil suitable to form
      a bund restricting vehicular access to Stour Meadows had become available. The
      bund would create a narrower access which could be temporarily blocked by a
      laden skip. These measures would cost £700, which was considered by officers to
      be a reasonable cost. The Chairman had considered this to be an urgent matter on
      the basis that the soil was available immediately and that it was suitable timing for
      the placement of defensive measures. Following consultation with other members
      of the Cabinet and Group Leaders, he had given consent for the purchase and use
      of the soil to construct a bund for the defence of Stour Meadows.




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56.   HOMELESSNESS STRATEGY 2003 - 2008

      The Cabinet received the amended consultation draft of the North Dorset
      Homelessness Strategy and an accompanying report prepared by the Policy
      Manager (Housing & Community Safety). The Sustainable Communities Member
      commended the Strategy to the Cabinet. The Cabinet had approved the draft
      strategy for consultation on 5 June 2003. Responses to the consultation had been
      favourable, with the only two additions being made to the draft, as set out in the
      report. The Cabinet discussed several issues relating to the implementation of the
      strategy, including progress towards one-stop needs assessment, housing surveys
      of hard-to-reach groups, defining ‘intentionally homeless’ and the scale of the
      homelessness problem in the district.

      The Cabinet thanked the Policy Manager (Housing and Community Safety) and his
      colleagues for their hard work in preparing this important strategy.

      The General Manager (Policy) reported that Dr Gill Lewendon had been appointed
      as Joint Director of Public Health, a post funded jointly by the Council and the
      Primary Care Trust. She would be invited to address Cabinet on her work at a later
      date.

      Resolved

      To approve the Homelessness Strategy 2003 – 2008 for North Dorset, including the
      additions generated by the consultation as follows:

                Rough sleeper counts have been undertaken in the recent past and there
                 remains little or no evidence of extensive or chronic rough sleeping in the
                 district.

                Carry out research into the housing needs of the district’s black and
                 minority ethnic population.

      Reason for Decision

      The adoption of a Homelessness Strategy for North Dorset was a statutory
      requirement and was key to the efforts of the Council and other partners to
      minimise the incidence of homelessness and its impact on local people and to
      promote social inclusion.


57.   FRAUD TEAM PARTNERSHIP

      The Cabinet received an update report on the progress of the Fraud Partnership
      with West Dorset District Council and a proposed three-way partnership which
      would include Purbeck District Council. The two-way partnership had been
      successful in strengthening the Fraud function, and it was felt the addition of
      another partner would lead to increased operational efficiency and cost
      effectiveness. The Cabinet was assured that all decisions on fraud would still be
      authorised by the individual authorities.




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      FRAUD TEAM PARTNERSHIP (cont)

      Resolved

      To progress towards a three-way partnership with North Dorset District Council,
      West Dorset District Council and Purbeck District Council to cover the Fraud
      function as one team.

      Reason for decision

      To make the most effective use of the specialist skills available within the team and
      to foster good partnership working.


58.   PORTFOLIO HOLDERS’ REPORTS

      Sustainable Communities

      The Sustainable Communities Member reported that an interesting presentation on
      drugs rehabilitation at Guys Marsh Prison had been made to the North Dorset
      Community Safety Partnership on 23 July. The Partnership had also commented
      on a consultation on additional measures to tackle anti-social behaviour. At the
      next meeting, there would be a presentation on speed reduction in villages, which
      the partnership would be considering including within its remit.

      Finance

      The Finance Member welcomed the cross party support the Capital Programme
      had received at Council on 25 July.

      Environment & Recreation

      The Environment and Recreation Member reported that the Cultural Strategy, which
      had been approved in principle by Cabinet on 3 July 2003, had been finalised for
      consultation.

59.   EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

      Resolved

      To exclude the public and press from the meeting during consideration of minutes
      60 and 61 as they involved the disclosure of exempt information as defined in
      paragraph 14 (minute 60) and paragraph 12 (minute 61) of Part 1 of Scheduled 12A
      to the Local Government Act 1972.


60.   SECURITY AT CAR PARKS AND AMENITY LAND
      (A confidential version of Minute 60 is attached to the signed minute book)

      The Cabinet received a report prepared by the Policy Manager (Conservation &
      Design) on security at Council-owned car parks and amenity land, including Stour
      Meadows.


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      SECURITY AT CAR PARKS AND AMENITY LAND (cont)

      Stour Meadows

      Following discussion on the security issues at Stour Meadows, and in the light of
      the information specified in Minute 55, the Cabinet agreed that additional measures
      at the car park entrance would be installed to try to prevent unauthorised access to
      the land.

      Car Parks and Amenity Land

      In respect of proposals to increase security at other vulnerable sites, the Cabinet
      felt that these should be approached on an individual basis, as and when a need
      arose. Officers were asked to bring forward a priorities list for vulnerable sites.

      Resolved

      i.     To carry out additional physical works at the car park entrance to Stour
             Meadows.

      ii.    To consider appropriate and environmentally sensitive security measures at
             vulnerable amenity areas and car parks as these become necessary.

      Reasons for decision

      i.     To attempt to prevent unauthorised vehicular access to Stour Meadows.

      ii.    The Cabinet did not wish to undertake expenditure on unnecessary or
             potentially unsightly works and wished to consider protection of each site on
             its merits.


61.   FAILURE TO FOLLOW TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING PROCEDURES
      (A confidential version of Minute 61 is attached to the signed minute book)

      The Cabinet received a report by the Legal Services Manager on the possible
      payment of compensation in respect of the District Council’s failure to follow Town
      and Country Planning procedures.

      Resolved

      To approve the payment of compensation to the owner of the property concerned
      for his trouble and inconvenience caused by the Council’s failure to follow proper
      Development Control procedures, to the specified sum plus reimbursement of the
      agent’s fees reasonably incurred in making the complaint to Council. The
      Monitoring Officer to be delegated responsibility to agree such fees before
      payment.

The meeting ended at 11.50 am

                                         CHAIRMAN



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