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)
Present J P L Tory (Chairman of Overview & Scrutiny)
S G Hitchings
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
FRAUD TEAM PARTNERSHIP (cont)
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
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.
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
59. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS
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
SECURITY AT CAR PARKS AND AMENITY LAND (cont)
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
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.
i. To carry out additional physical works at the car park entrance to Stour
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
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.
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
The meeting ended at 11.50 am