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                                                                        Cabinet




Members of the Cabinet of Gravesham Borough Council are summoned to attend a meeting to
be held at the Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent on Monday, 11 February 2008 at
7.00 pm when the business specified in the following agenda is proposed to be transacted.




                                                                                S A Whatmough
                                                                     Head of Democratic Services


                                              Agenda

                                               Part A
                              Items likely to be considered in Public
1. Apologies

2. Minutes                                                                      (Pages 1 - 10)

3. Declarations of Interest

4. To consider whether any items in Part A of the agenda should be
   considered in private or any items in Part B in public

5. Delegated Decisions - Cabinet Members                                        (Pages 11 - 12)
     To consider any decisions made by Cabinet Members under their
     delegated powers.

Corporate Plan Priority – Community Led Regeneration

6. Community Engagement Strategy                                                (Pages 13 - 28)

7. Gravesham Local Development Framework (LDF) - Core Strategy Key              (Pages 29 - 80)
   Issues and Options Consultation

8. Planning Delivery Grant (PDG) - report herewith.                             (Pages 81 - 92)

9. Land holding at Springhead Road - disposal of                                  (Pages 93 -
                                                                                     100)

10. Parking Enforcement - Legislative Changes                                    (Pages 101 -
                                                                                     108)

Civic Centre, Windmill Street, Gravesend Kent DA12 1AU
Corporate Plan Priority – Healthy and Diverse Community

11. Stray Dogs - revised duties of local authorities                                (Pages 109 -
                                                                                        112)

12. St George's Day Celebrations                                                    (Pages 113 -
                                                                                        116)
Corporate Plan Priority – Excellent Housing

13. Term Contracts for responsive repairs works to Council houses                   (Pages 117 -
                                                                                        122)

14. Housing Strategy Review                                                         (Pages 123 -
                                                                                        200)
Corporate Plan Priority – An Excellent Council

15. The new Corporate Plan                                                          (Pages 201 -
                                                                                        234)

16. Business Transformation Strategy                                                (Pages 235 -
                                                                                        240)

17. Council Building - Required Repairs and Maintenance Backlog                     (Pages 241 -
                                                                                        254)

18. Quarter 3 Performance Update (July/September 2007 to                            (Pages 255 -
   October/December 2007)                                                               288)

19. Concessionary Travel Scheme                                                     (Pages 289 -
                                                                                        296)

20. Capital Strategy and Asset Management Plan 2008                                 (Pages 297 -
                                                                                        344)

21. Housing Revenue Account Estimates 2008/09 and Housing Capital                   (Pages 345 -
   Programme                                                                            364)

22. General Fund Revenue Estimates and Capital Programme 2008/09                    (Pages 365 -
                                                                                        480)

23. Housing Capital                                                                 (Pages 481 -
                                                                                        488)

24. Any other business which by reason of special circumstances the
   Chairman is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.

25. Exclusion
      To move, if required, that pursuant to Section 100A (4) of the Local
      Government Act 1972 that the public be excluded from any items
      included in Part B of the agenda because it is likely in view of the nature
      of business to be transacted that if members of the public are present
      during those items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt
      information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.

                                              Part B
                             Items likely to be considered in Private
26. Insurance Contract                                                       (Pages 489 -
                                                                                 492)

27. Any other business which by reason of special circumstances the
   Chairman is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.

     a)    Town Pier                                                         (Pages 493 -
                                                                                 496)



Members

Cllr Michael Snelling (Chairman)
Cllr David Turner (Vice-Chairman)

Councillors:        Anthony Pritchard
                    Bryan Sweetland
                    Adrian Warburton
This page is intentionally left blank
                                         Page 1                  Agenda Item 2


                                         Cabinet

                        Monday, 14 January 2008            7.00pm


Present:

Cllr Michael Snelling (Chairman)
Cllr David Turner (Vice-Chairman)

Cllrs:             Anthony Pritchard
                   Bryan Sweetland
                   Robin Theobald
                   Adrian Warburton


Note: Councillors Ronald Bowman, John Burden, Lee Croxton, John Cubitt, Glen Handley,
      Makhan Singh and Andrea Webb were also in attendance

Glyn Thomson                        Acting Managing Director
Nick Brown                          Director (Service Improvement)
Kevin Burbidge                      Director (Regeneration and Regulation)
Cheryl Russell                      Director (Housing & Operational Services)
Melanie Norris                      Director (Organisational Improvement)
Shirley Whatmough                   Head of Democratic Services
S Sangha                            Head of Commercial Services
Bill Williams                       Head of Financial Services
Christopher Woodley                 Head of Policy and Partnerships
Nick Channon                        Democratic Services Officer
Graham Cole                         Communications Manager
Paul Gibbons                        Parking Services Manager



79.      Minutes

The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 19 November 2007 were signed by the
Chairman.

80.      Declarations of Interest

No declarations of interest were made.

81.      Dartford and Gravesham Local Compact

Members considered the Dartford and Gravesham Local Compact which was required to be
formally adopted by the Council.

The Compact had been endorsed by the Local Strategic Partnership and set out an
understanding of how the public sector and the voluntary and community sectors would work
together for the benefit of their local growing communities. The Compact was not a legally




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Cabinet                                                                                   14.01.2008




binding document and is intended to have "moral force" in all parties that have signed up to it
and agreed to honour its commitments.

          Recommended to Council that the Compact be adopted.

          Resolved that the Head of Policy and Partnerships be authorised to implement the
          provisions of the Compact as set out in section 9 of the report.

82.       Town Centre Electricity Supplies

The Cabinet was advised on the needs, costs and phasing for providing electricity supplies
to the town centre for the Christmas lighting scheme, events and information activity.

          Resolved that the use of the Safer Streets Initiative capital budget (2007/08 and
          2008/09) to undertake the project as set out in section 3 of the report be approved
          and officers be requested to arrange for implementation at the earliest opportunity
          and before the electricity supplies are required to serve the 2008/09 Christmas
          lighting displays.

83.       Kent Thameside Strategic Tariff

The Cabinet was apprised of the results of the consultation on the Kent Thameside Strategic
Tariff and the future approach to be adopted.

Members analysed the issues raised and explored the future course of action which needed
to be agreed jointly with Dartford Borough Council and/or Kent County Council as
appropriate. It could be seen that a number of issues needed further consideration and
discussion.

The Department for Communities and Local Government are seeking commitment from local
authorities for the various elements of the tariff scheme as part of the process of providing
their element of the funding. The objective of the tariff is to fund a transport programme
which will allow the delivery of development set out in the South East Plan for Kent
Thameside, taking into account schemes that are being delivered.

          Resolved that

          (1)    the current policy on the Kent Thameside Strategic Tariff be re-affirmed,
                 subject to resolution of the issues set out in (2) below;

          (2)    further discussions be held with Dartford Borough Council and Kent County
                 Council in relation to:-

                 (a)      lowering the residential tariff threshold to cover all net gains of one
                          unit or more;

                 (b)      agreeing the process and the level of tariff for commercial uses along
                          the lines of that set out in appendix B to the report;




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Cabinet                                                                               14.01.2008




                (c)    developing a formal text for a Memorandum of Understanding on the
                       formal operation of the scheme;

                (d)    refinement of the list of transport schemes and their costs.

          (3)   legal advice be sought in relation to the circular 05/2005 issues raised by the
                consultees;

          (4)   a Supplementary Planning Document approach be adopted, subject to
                discussion with Dartford Borough Council, and discussions being held with
                the Government Office for the South East on amending the Local
                Development Scheme;

          (5)   authority be given to the Leader of the Executive to agree the resolution of the
                issues above following discussions with Dartford Borough Council and Kent
                County Council and other relevant parties to ensure consistency and
                approach across Kent Thameside.

84.       Building Control Partnership - Business Plan

The Cabinet was requested to endorse the Business Plan for 2008/09 for the South Thames
Gateway Building Control Partnership.

Cabinet was reminded that previous reports were submitted to both the Cabinet and the
Overview Scrutiny Committee during the development of the Building Control Partnership
arrangements between Gravesham, Swale and Medway Councils. The Partnership was
launched on 1 October 2007 under the name of STG Building Control Partnership, i.e. South
Thames Gateway Building Control Partnership.

A short term business plan was put in place for October 2007 to March 2008 which primarily
focussed on ensuring the partnership achieved a high quality of service, keeping existing
clients and commencing pro-active marketing.

          Resolved that the proposed Business Plan for 2008/09 for the South Thames
          Gateway Building Control Partnership be endorsed.

85.       A2 Sandwich Lands

Further to minute 66 of the Cabinet meeting held on 19 November 2007, this item had been
called in and considered at the meeting of the Overview Scrutiny Committee on 4 December
2007, when it had been referred back to Cabinet for further consideration in light of the new
information on funding for a feasibility study and tight timescales on the highway contract
works.

Members were informed that since this had last been reported to Cabinet progress had been
made on a number of issues. In particular, the funding has been forthcoming from the
Department of Communities and Local Government and other sources, to examine the
preparation of a more refined potential design, prepare an outline business case and carry
out some initial public consultation.

The Leader of the Executive has held a high level meeting with Kent County Council to
discuss the concept of the outdoor activity centre and coach park-and-ride. In the context of



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the studies currently underway and the forthcoming public consultation exercise it was
agreed that the project should be taken forward to establish its feasibility. This now
presented an exciting opportunity in both sport and recreation terms, as well as for transport
provision. If an acceptable scheme can be created, the project can then bid for funds from
sources that have already been identified. Both Councils should be in a position to judge
this in the spring and are concerned to avoid any revenue implications.

          Resolved that

          (1)    Cabinet adhere to its original decision on this item;

          (2)    the support of Kent County Council for the overall concept in developing the
                 scheme be welcomed;

          (3)    support be given to the public consultation exercise and other exercises being
                 undertaken to assist in driving forward the concept.

86.       Parking Charges

A cross party group of Members met on 17 December 2007 to consider changes to the
pricing structure and operation of the parking service in Gravesham.

The portfolio holder for Commercial Services had directed any changes or increases must:-

      •   ensure that shoppers are not unduly penalised by price increases;
      •   ensure that commuter parking remains competitive at a selection of suitable
          locations, offering a range of charges;
      •   ensure town centre workers receive a fair deal;
      •   give stability to the pricing structure.

The cross party group of Members proposals were that:-

      •   three hour parking band is removed;
      •   charges be increased, as per the revised appendix B circulated, with on-street car
          parking fees to remain competitive;
      •   offer free parking in council car parks for Christmas shoppers for three Saturdays in
          December prior to Christmas 2008 and review the impact on town centre shopping
          with a view to continuing this offer for December 2009.

          Resolved that

          (1)    the tariff increases as set out in the revised appendix B be approved;

          (2)    the removal of the current three hour charge to be replaced with a two/three
                 hour charge band be approved;

          (3)    free parking on three Saturdays in December 2008 preceding Christmas be
                 introduced;

          (4)    the town centre workers parking scheme be re-launched and extended to
                 include all Council car parks;




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          (5)    car parking charges be set for a period of up to two years, subject to review of
                 the impact of Ebbsfleet;

          (6)    the commuter parking strategy be reviewed over the coming year to take into
                 account the potential impact of the high speed commuter train service starting
                 in 2009.

87.       Gravesham Joint Transportation Board

The Cabinet received the minutes of the Gravesham Joint Transportation Board meeting
held on 4 December 2007.

          Resolved that the minutes be noted and the resolutions contained therein be
          endorsed.

88.       Customer Contact Centre

The Cabinet considered a request for two temporary customer services posts to be made
permanent.

The Management Team had endorsed the recommendation for these posts to be retained
on a permanent basis.

          Resolved that the two temporary posts within the customer services contact centre
          be made permanent and the required funding be made available in the budget for
          2008/09 and subsequent years.

89.       Taxi Tariff - Review

The Cabinet considered a report which reviewed tariffs in respect of fares for hackney
carriages.

The Cabinet was informed that the last increase was effective from April 2005 at which time
three new rates were introduced to specifically cover the carrying of more than four
passengers.

The taxi trade through the United Taxi Group, together with the Senior Licensing Officer,
have canvassed the trade through a full consultation exercise of all taxi drivers. The majority
vote was for the option that included a flat fare of £2.40 rising by 20 pence every 200 yards.

          Resolved that

          (1)    the tariff schedule in appendix C to the report be approved;

          (2)    the Head of Regulatory Services be authorised in conjunction with the Head
                 of Financial Services to proceed with and complete the tariff setting process
                 in the minimum time frame allowed by legislation;

          (3)    the appropriate lead member be given authority to consider and decide any
                 modification to the tariff as may arise from the consultation process;




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Cabinet                                                                                14.01.2008




          (4)    taxi tariffs be reviewed at intervals no greater than 24 months, or sooner if
                 changing circumstances require.

90.       Performance Indicators 2005/06 to 2006/07: Direction of Travel
          Comparison

The Cabinet examined the national comparison data for all of the statutory best value
performance indicators and considered the direction of travel for the Council between
2005/06 and 2006/07.

Every year the Audit Commission publish national comparison data for the statutory best
value performance indicators to enable local authorities to compare their performance and
strive for top quartile. In respect of 2006/07 the Audit Commission published its audited data
in December 2007. The data showed that Gravesham has improved in a large percentage
of the performance indicators where comparative data is available and that more than a
quarter were in the top quartile.

Although the Council is showing good progress and improving in many areas the key risk
facing the authority is that it may not be improving at the same pace as other authorities. All
authorities are striving to achieve top quartile and focus must be maintained to ensure
continued improvement.

          Resolved that

          (1)    the performance and improvement of the Council in 2006/07 be noted;

          (2)    portfolio holders be requested to raise concerns regarding performance with
                 Directors and Heads of Service in their performance management framework
                 meetings and to discuss any action to be taken.

91.       Comprehensive Performance Assessment - Re-catergorisation

Members were informed that the Audit Commission has removed the October 2008
Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) re-categorisation inspection round.

The Cabinet considered whether a submission should be made to the Audit Commission
requesting CPA re-assessment in what will be the final CPA re-categorisation round in June
2008.

If the Council does not apply for CPA re-categorisation this will prevent the Council from
improving its score of "fair" awarded in July 2004 as the new Comprehensive Area
Assessment (CAA) inspection regime will not examine individual Councils in their own right.

Application for CPA re-categorisation did not automatically mean that the Audit Commission
will undertake a re-assessment of the Council in July 2008.

          Resolved that approval be given for a formal application to be made to the Audit
          Commission a seeking a CPA re-categorisation inspection in June 2008.




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Cabinet                                                                               14.01.2008




92.       CAPS IT System

The Cabinet was informed of a projected project overspend in respect of the CAPS IT
System.

The project relates to systems for the planning (development control, Local Development
Framework and enforcement), private housing, environmental health, licensing and land
charges services. The project binds together these related functions and uses a GIS base
thereby improving cross-discipline working. It also enables the public to access information
via the internet in respect of planning applications and decisions and eventually the Local
Development Framework.

In looking at ways to reduce the overspend there is £46,500 agreed funding from Planning
Delivery Grant unspent which if diverted to this project would reduce the anticipated
overspend to £28,075. Also the consultant project manager services could be dispensed
with following the appropriate hand over and the project could be finished off in-house.

          Resolved that the use of previously allocated Planning Delivery Grant funding to
          reduce the impact of the project overspend be approved.

93.       Interim Strategic Statement (ISS): Monitoring Report

Further to minute 19 (9.07.07) the Cabinet was advised of the progress being made in
implementing the Interim Strategic Statement.

Although a small number of items require affirmative action nearly all the targets are on track
for successful conclusion.

          Resolved that

          (1)    the good progress being made in implementing the Interim Strategic
                 Statement and the items that require affirmative action be noted;

          (2)    the proposed actions set out in the monitoring report be endorsed.

94.       Budget Setting Process - Revenue

The Cabinet considered a proposed process to be followed for developing and setting the
general fund revenue budget to ensure that the financial planning, corporate and services
planning are clearly linked. This includes the direction of resources to priority areas. The
Cabinet noted that an annual review of the process is included to enable the approach to be
the subject of on-going improvement to reflect good practice and changing requirements.

The role of the Overview Scrutiny Committee is limited in the overall process at the moment
and it was therefore recommended that that committee review its involvement in the budget
setting process with consideration being given to good practice elsewhere. The procedure
could be amended for the process to be pursued for the setting of the budget for 2009/10.

          Resolved that

          (1)    the budget setting process for the general fund revenue budget as set out in
                 the report be approved;



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Cabinet                                                                                14.01.2008




          (2)    the Overview Scrutiny Committee be requested to consider carrying out a
                 review of the involvement of that committee in the process.

95.       Land at Hartshill Road, Northfleet

This item was withdrawn due to no objections being received.

96.       Superannuation Fund - Actuarial Variation

The Cabinet was apprised of the latest actuarial valuation in respect of the superannuation
fund which detailed the overall position and the Council's element of the fund.

Investment income was greater than anticipated in the 2004 valuation. The actuary
assumed a return of 6.3 per cent per annum whereas the Kent fund achieved an above
average return of 14.1 per cent which improved the valuation level in 2007 by around 16 per
cent. However, on the liability side, the actuary has updated the financial assumptions
including future inflation since the 2004 valuation to reflect the changes in market conditions.
Inflation was assumed to be 2.9 per cent at the last valuation and has been updated to 3.2
per cent at this valuation. This together with a fall in guild yields has led to an increase in the
value placed on liabilities.

The other key issue for the actuary is that mortality rates have been improving because on
average people are living longer which in turn increases liabilities and hence the deficit.
Allowance has been made for the introduction of the new Local Government Pension
Scheme on 1 April 2008 which increases the deficit as some of the new benefits have a
retrospective effect and have increased the accrued liabilities. Overall the improvement in
the funding level is to be welcomed but unfortunately the increase in the value of the
liabilities means that the full benefit of the higher investment returns has not been reflected
in the overall position.

          Resolved that the phasing period for adopting the outcome of the 2007 valuation be
          four years.

97.       Inspection and Regulation of Prescribed Processes - Contract

The Cabinet was informed of the current service contract arrangements in respect of the
inspection and regulation of prescribed polluting processes. A new service contract needed
to be put in place for three years commencing 1 April 2008.

          Resolved that a three year contract be let to Kings Environmental Research Group,
          including the provision of a website, from 1 April 2008 and that the necessary budget
          provision be made on the basis that the cost is likely to be fully offset by fee income.

98.       Cultural priorities for Gravesham

The Cabinet considered a report which outlined the existing cultural provisions in
Gravesham and its immediate surrounding area. The report proposed cultural priorities for
Gravesham to focus on over the next five years.




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Cabinet                                                                              14.01.2008




          Resolved that

          (1)    the cultural priorities detailed within the report be approved;

          (2)    the Head of Public Health and Community Wellbeing be authorised to
                 develop a cultural strategy incorporating these priorities;

          (3)    the priorities be taken into account in the preparation of the Local
                 Development Framework Core Strategy, the Corporate Plan and the
                 Sustainable Community Strategy.

99.       Private Sector Housing Stock Condition Survey 2006

The Cabinet considered the results of the stock condition survey which had been
commissioned by the Council in 2006.

The key findings and recommendations were detailed for Members. The survey had been
undertaken by Michael Howard Associates Ltd. and had been designed following good
practice guidance published by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The purpose of the research was to collect accurate and up-to-date information on the
private housing stock which will be used to:-

      •   inform the Council's housing strategy;

      •   measure progress in meeting the decent homes standard in the private sector;

      •   provide statistics required by central government;

      •   meet the requirements of the Home Energy Conservation Act.

The survey will also assist in directing grants and loans to areas of greatest need and has
already been of assistance in producing the bid application for Regional Housing Board
funding from the Government Office of the South East.

          Resolved that

          (1)    the report be accepted and the amended key recommendations set out in
                 appendix 2 be endorsed;

          (2)    account will be taken of the key findings when progressing the Local
                 Development Framework and the Housing Strategy Review.

100.      Exclusion

          Resolved pursuant to Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the
          public be excluded during the following item of business because it was likely in view
          of the nature of business to be transacted that, if members of the public were present
          during this item, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.




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Cabinet                                                                            14.01.2008




101.      Fee for Counsel

The Cabinet was updated on the litigation case relating to the dispute concerning air cooling
in the communications room within the IT department.

          Resolved that the Head of Legal Services be authorised to employ Counsel due to
          the technical complexity of the case.

          Close of meeting

The meeting ended at 8.00 pm.




                                              10
                                          Page 11                  Agenda Item 5




                             Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                     Cabinet

Date:                          11 February 2008

Reporting officer:             Head of Democratic Services

Subject:                       Delegated decisions – Cabinet members

Purpose and summary of report:
to inform the Cabinet about decisions taken under delegated powers by individual Cabinet
members.
Recommendation:
that the report be noted.



1.   Land adjacent to the Veteran’s Club, Clarence Place, Gravesend

     1.1   The Lead Member for Communities, Health and Leisure took the following
           decision on 13 November 2007 under powers delegated to him at the Cabinet
           meeting on 9 July 2007.

     1.2   To place the land in an auction sale, at a suitable reserve, on an unconsented
           basis.

     A decision notice was issued on 15 November 2007.

2.   CAMS project – restoration and conversion of a historic barn at South Lodge,
     Cobham

     2.1     The Leader of the Executive took the following decision on 31 January 2008
           under powers delegated to him at the Cabinet meeting on 9 July 2007.

     2.2     To appoint B W May and Sons of Sittingbourne to undertake the contract.

     A decision notice was issued on 31 January 2008.




 Background papers: officer reports to the Lead members. Requests to see the papers
  must be directed, in the first instance, to the Committee Section of the Democratic Services
  Department.
           Page 12




This page is intentionally left blank
                                          Page 13                   Agenda Item 6




                              Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                     Cabinet

Date:                          11 February 2008

Reporting officer:             Chief Executive

Subject:                       Community Engagement Strategy

Purpose and summary of report:
to present the draft Community Engagement Strategy. The report highlights the progress the
council has made in recent years in improving its contact and engagement with local people
and sets out the principles that will underpin the programme to build on that success.
Recommendations:
that Members
    1. endorse the general thrust of the Community Engagement Strategy and the
       programme therein; and
    2. approve that it be made available for consultation within the council and with key
       partner organisations.


1.   Background

     1.1   In recent years we have made excellent progress in developing the ways in which
           we engage with the community. This includes investing in a Customer Contact
           Centre, establishing a Residents’ Panel and a Tenants’ Forum, the Disability
           Equality Reference Group and the Northfleet Area Forum. We have also
           implemented an effective communications strategy that has enabled the council to
           become an outward-facing organisation. Considerable expertise has been gained
           in community development, particularly through the work of the Gr@nd, one of our
           key community facilities in the town centre.

     1.2   We need to build on these and other achievements so that we can get even closer
           to communities and neighbourhoods. Our aim is to ‘live with local people’ – in
           order to help them achieve a better quality of life. This draft strategy attached to
           this report sets out a programme of activities aimed at making a step-change in
           our relationship with the community-at-large. It also details our service standards
           through which we will seek to engage with local people in a fair and equitable
           manner, taking into account the diversity of communities in the borough.

2.   Living with local people in The Place of Choice

     2.1   At the heart of the strategy is a commitment to making Gravesham The Place of
           Choice, with strong community leadership and engagement. It is recognised that
           the council cannot achieve that ambition on its own. We will therefore seek to
                                         Page 14


            ensure that there are robust mechanisms in place to enable meaningful
            participation in consultation and engagement. To achieve this we will work to the
            following principles.

            2.1.1    Access - providing a wide variety of opportunities for local people to
                    influence what happens in their communities, localities and
                    neighbourhoods.

            2.1.2   Sustainability – ensuring that the mechanisms and procedures for
                    managing and co-ordinating community engagement activities are
                    practical, realistic, equitable and fair.

            2.1.3   Equality of opportunity – taking effective measures to ensure that those
                    groups that have not usually been involved in community engagement
                    activities are able to fully participate in ways that meet their specific needs.

            2.1.4   Dialogue – becoming a listening organisation. We will respond to the
                    outcomes of engagement events and initiatives in a timely and efficient
                    manner, and in ways that reflect the needs of the community.

            2.1.5   Organisational excellence – learning from our own good practice, and
                    that of other organisations in order to develop more innovative, effective
                    and exciting ways of putting local people at the heart of local decision-
                    making.

3.   Risk

     3.1    Without this strategy the council would be at risk of not complying with its statutory
            duty to engage local communities in delivering its Vision for the area, through the
            Sustainable Community Strategy and the Corporate Plan. The council also has a
            statutory duty to participate in the Kent Local Area Agreement (LAA), which
            includes demonstrating that meaningful engagement with the community has
            taken place in the development of the LAA.

4.   S.17 Crime and Disorder Act, 1988

     4.1    Effective community engagement is essential for involving local people in tackling
            crime, the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour. Through the Crime & Disorder
            Reduction Partnership the council will work with other agencies to ensure that
            communities contribute to development of initiatives, services and facilities aimed
            at making the borough a safer place for everyone.



     There are no background papers to this report.




                                                  2
                  Page 15



Gravesham Borough Council
         Living with Local People:

 Community Engagement Strategy 2008-2012




                     1
                                       Page 16



                                    Leader’s Introduction

I am very pleased to present this Community Engagement Strategy. It is one of a suite of
documents through which we set out the council’s priorities for the borough. In our Corporate
Plan Gravesham 2012: The Place of Choice we set out six goals:

1:   Environment – to achieve a safe, clean and green Place of Choice;
2:   Communities – to foster vibrant and cohesive communities that promote engagement;
     diversity, social inclusion, health and well-being, leisure and culture;
3:   Housing – to seek to provide and work with others to ensure quality and affordable
     housing;
4:   Business – to secure a sustainable and buoyant economy, particularly in the town
     centre and Ebbsfleet, with attractive investment opportunities and a developing tourism
     market;
5:   Regeneration – to maximise regeneration opportunities for the benefit of existing and
     new communities;
6:   Transformation – to transform the council into an economically sound organisation
     delivering excellent accessible services that provide value-for-money.

It is recognised that the council cannot achieve these goals on its own. We need to work
closely with communities and neighbourhoods, listen to what they have to say and work with
them to develop the services that best meet their needs. That is why we have introduced this
community engagement strategy. It will provide the context for ensuring everyone who wants
to have their say has an opportunity to do so, in a setting where they are comfortable and at
times that fit with people’s busy lives.

In recent years we have made excellent progress in developing the ways in which we
engage with the community. This includes investing in a Customer Contact Centre,
establishing a Residents’ Panel and a Tenants’ Forum, the Disability Equality Reference
Group and the Northfleet Area Forum. We have also implemented an effective
communications strategy that has enabled the council to become an outward-facing
organisation. Considerable expertise has been gained in community development,
particularly through the work of the Gr@nd, one of our key community facilities in the town
centre.

We need to build on these and other achievements so that we can get even closer to
communities and neighbourhoods. Our aim is to ‘live with local people’ – in order to help
them achieve a better quality of life. This strategy sets out our service standards which detail
how we will seek to engage with local people in a fair and equitable manner, taking into
account the diversity of communities in the borough.

An important element of how will engage with the community is through partnership-working.
The council has in place a Partnership Framework which sets out how we will collaborate
with other organisations and agencies to achieve the best for local people. We have also
adopted the Dartford & Gravesham Local Compact which was developed through the
Dartford & Gravesham Local Strategic Partnership (LSP). The Compact details how the
council will work with the community and voluntary sector, recognising its important role in
the development and delivery of quality services.

Throughout the life of this strategy we will engage with local people in the development and
implementation of the Dartford & Gravesham Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS). This
will be the mechanism through which the council will participate in the Second Kent Local
Area Agreement. The SCS will be overseen by the LSP. Through taking a leading role in this
organisation the council will seek to work with key agencies in the area – such as Kent

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Police, the Primary Care Trust and Kent County Council – to ensure that a joined-up
approach to engaging with local communities.

I commend the Community Engagement Strategy to you.


Cllr Michael Snelling
Leader of the Executive




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Our Vision, Values and Objectives

Our Vision
We wish the borough to become The Place of Choice: A great place
      to live, work and relax in and to visit;
      to be proud of, with a strong sense of identity;
      that is safe, clean and green;
      that is good to do business in and to invest in;
      with good quality and affordable housing;
      with vibrant, inclusive communities celebrating cultural diversity and;
      where the council strives for excellence and value-for-money;
      with strong community leadership and engagement;
      The Place of Choice for many reasons.

Our Values
Our core value will be ‘Excellence in all that we do’. We will work to achieve:
       Excellent customer care;
       Excellent services;
       Excellent value for money;
       Excellent engagement with communities;
       Excellent partnership-working; and an
       Excellent place to work.

Our Objectives
The objectives below identify how we will contribute to the Council’s vision. They will ensure
that the Community Engagement Strategy delivers an effective and co-ordinated approach
to community engagement, for the benefit of the diverse communities of Gravesham.

   •   To achieve a high level of community engagement through “living with our
       community” and being responsive to their needs.

   •   To engage with a wide range of citizens and take particular steps to include those
       groups not in regular contact with the council.

   •   To ensure that the opportunities we provide and methods we use reflect the diverse
       needs of the community.

   •   To listen carefully and treat with respect the diversity of views and opinions.

   •   To ensure that opinions and feedback received influence the decision-making
       process, and that this is supported by a clear audit trail.

   •   To provide stakeholders, customers and citizens with timely and useful feedback on
       community engagement events and to effectively promote changes which have
       occurred as a result of citizen feedback.

   •   To support the development of self-organised community groups and to facilitate
       their participation in community engagement activities.

How will we achieve the objectives?
Our Action Plan sets out how we aim to achieve the objectives above. This will be regularly
monitored and reviewed to ensure that it remains fit for purpose. We aim to deliver our
objectives through the following means;



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• Access - providing a wide variety of opportunities for local people to influence what
   happens in their communities, localities and neighbourhoods.

• Sustainability – by ensuring that the mechanisms and procedures for managing and co-
   ordinating community engagement activities are practical, realistic, equitable and fair.

• Equality of opportunity – taking effective measures to ensure that those groups that
   have not usually been involved in community engagement activities are able to fully
   participate in ways that meet their specific needs.

• Dialogue – to become a listening organisation. We need to respond to the outcomes of
  engagement events and initiatives in a timely and efficient manner, and in ways that
  reflect the needs of the community.

• Organisational excellence – We must learn from our own good practice, and that of
  other organisations, in order to develop more innovative, effective and exciting ways of
  putting local people at the heart of local decision-making.




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                                       Our Priorities

In pursuit of our objectives we will undertake the following programme.

   1. Development of Local Boards for Northfleet, the eastern side of Gravesend and the
       rural areas.
   2. Strengthening the arrangements for the Gravesham Youth Council (GYC), the Older
       People’s Forum, disabled people, faith communities and minority ethnic communities.
       The arrangements for the Youth Council will include the ‘shadowing’ of one or more
       Cabinet Members by GYC members.
   3. Development of relationships with businesses through the Town Centre Initiative and
       other arrangements.
   4. Improved engagement with tenants of council homes through a range of initiatives,
       including the Tenants’ Forum.
   5. Exploring the possibility of web-casting of Council meetings and other events.
   6. Consideration to be given to the introduction of an annual ‘state of Gravesham’
       debate.
   7. Further development of consultation on the council’s budget, including exploring a
       joint venture with Kent County Council.
   8. Introduction of a scheme to ask every household to identify their top three priorities
       for action, using postcards.
   9. We will consult widely on the development of the Local Development Framework.
   10. Extend our work on Community Safety via local action groups.
   11. Further development of the Residents’ Panel so as to seek regular feedback on
       specific issues.
   12. Explore the use of the Customer Contact Centre as a channel for community
       engagement.
   13. Ensure appropriate community input to the development of the Dartford &
       Gravesham Sustainable Community Strategy, which will include the council’s
       contribution to the Second Kent Local Area Agreement. [added by CW]
   14. Strengthen relations between the council and the Third Sector through the
       Gravesham & Dartford Local Compact. [added by CW]
   15. Take steps to ensure that where community engagement activities entail the
       establishment of specific partnerships they take account of the requirements
       of the council’s Partnership Framework. [added by CW]




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                  Current Arrangements for Community Engagement

In recent years the council has put in place a number of mechanisms for consultation and
engagement. The following examples are representative of the arrangements that are in
place.

   ♦ Formal consultation
         o A Residents’ Panel comprising 1,200 residents, broadly representative of the
            demographics of the borough. The Panel is facilitated by BMG.
         o Staff Survey.

   ♦ Event-specific
        o An innovative consultation exercise at the 2004 Big Day Out, to seek views
            on the council’s strategy for Quality Public Spaces.
        o Cabinet Roadshows. Customers resident in the area where the Cabinet
            meeting is taking place are invited to submit questions, in advance, for
            Members. Those attending the meeting also have an opportunity to ask
            questions.

   ♦ Project-specific
         o Key stakeholders were consulted on the development on the Northfleet
             Neighbourhood Renewal Action Plan, using a methodology developed
             nationally in the 88 NRAs.
         o The council has developed the Gravesham People Project to foster greater
             understanding of the different cultures and communities in the borough. A
             website has been created to publish the results of the first phase of the
             project.
         o consult@gravesham.gov.uk was developed to canvass residents’ views on
             the government’s proposal for an international airport at Cliffe. It is being
             brought back into use for consultation on council’s next corporate plan.

   ♦ Service/function-specific
         o A number of mechanisms have been developed to involve tenants in
             improving the delivery of Housing Services. These include: Tenants’ Forums;
             SIAGs; a Reading Panel; and the People Bank.
         o A formal Code of Practice is in place for resident consultations and
             communication.
         o Regular ‘mystery-shopping’ exercises are undertaken. These are acted upon
             to improve customer care.

   ♦ Target group-specific
         o ME communities – at least two consultation events annually, around the Race
             Equality Scheme.
         o Young people – the Gravesham Youth Council.
         o The Older People’s Forum.
         o DDA - a Disability Equality Reference Group has been established.

   ♦ Responding to the ‘localism’ agenda
        o Northfleet Area Forum established. Provision for up to 10 co-optees drawn
           from local communities. If successful there is the potential to devolve
           decision-making to the local area – part of the ‘double devolution’ deal.
        o A Communities Consultation Reference Group is being established. It is
           anticipated that its role could include acting as a sounding-board for the next
           corporate plan – and a long-term strategy for the council.

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Using feedback from consultation and engagement

  ♦ There has been extensive consultation with tenants on the redevelopment of Christian
    Fields. This has been crucial to securing support for this major project that will
    transform the quality of life for people in that area.

  ♦ A persistent theme in consultation with ME communities was the lack of affordable
    places to meet. In response the council has provided a Community Room within the
    Gravesham Advice and Resource Centre (ARC). The Community Room was
    managed by the North West Kent Racial Equality Council (REC) on behalf of the
    council. The facility has now been transferred to the Civic Centre.

  ♦ Further facilities are being provided as part of the Accommodating Excellence
    programme. These facilities are being part-funded by the DCLG and will be operated
    by a trust that is being established specifically for that purpose. It is anticipated that
    any surplus generated by the trust would be re-invested in the community.

  ♦ There have been six consultations around council tax-setting. The results, which have
    been reported to Cabinet, have been used to help set spending priorities. In particular,
    we have acted on the consistent message that the main priorities for residents are
    community safety and the environment. Where possible extra resources have been
    allocated to those area – or we have sought to avoid any reduction in services. The
    outcomes from each consultation have been feedback to consultees.

  ♦ A stock options exercise was undertaken in 2006. This offered council tenants and
    lease-holders an opportunity to decide the future direction of housing management in
    the borough. Work with Tenants’ Forums has been an integral part of engaging
    customers in the process.

  ♦ We have recently refreshed our systems for handling complaints. Residents have
    been consulted on the procedures and on our target response times.

  ♦ Consultation was carried out on the establishment of a Licensing Service to ensure
    that the service addresses minority community issues and concerns around licensing.
    Two additional languages (Greek & Turkish) have been identified as requiring
    specialist translators.

  ♦ We have consulted with the Ethnic Health and Social Care Forum and other
    community groups on the development and implementation of the Public Health
    Strategy. A Strategy has been adopted by all agencies which aim to reduce childhood
    obesity and youth crime, and any work that is done on theses targets either through
    HAG or the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership delivers services in culturally
    accepted ways.

  ♦ Preliminary consultation has been undertaken with the REC and ME community
    groups on the council’s Decent Homes standard. With regard to the Private Sector
    Housing Renewal Strategy, a review of the effectiveness of meeting ME needs to
    target grant assistance to the town centre area has been carried out.

  ♦ Consultation has been carried out with ME community groups on the new Local
    Development Framework and Statement of Community Involvement, as well as major
    developments in Gravesham, and more work is planned on this. A consultation
    meeting was held at Guru Nanak Sports Centre on the Northfleet Embankment East

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  development. The borough’s inclusive approach to regeneration has been recognised
  through the Deputy Prime Minister’s Award for Sustainable Communities. The citation
  noted that our approach has made Gravesend a town with ‘the highest civic pride’.

♦ An on-going review is in place, with the REC and ME community groups, to ensure
  that the council is moving towards its target of reaching a fully representative
  workforce by 2008. The percentage of the Council’s workforce from an ethnic minority
  community is up from 7.6% in 2004/05 to 8.8 in 2006/07.

Managing complaints

♦ We have just completed our review of the complaints procedure which now has three
  clear stages. As noted above residents have been consulted about the procedure
  along with our target response times.

♦ The system for recording complaints is being enhanced to enable further monitoring
  including ethnicity of complainant, whether complaints were justified and learning
  opportunities.

♦ We will be undertaking satisfaction questionnaires to test how well complainants
  considered we handled the complaint.

♦ Quarterly reports, which include details of complaints received etc., are presented to
  Management Team who monitors performance and consider learning opportunities.

♦ The council also responds to complaints received through the Ombudsman. His
  Annual letter for 2006-07 confirms that there is a relatively low level of complaints
  about the council. He is satisfied that where they do occur we deal with them properly.




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              Service Standards: How we will work with local communities

The standards below will help to ensure consistency throughout the delivery of this
Community Engagement Strategy and are designed to operate alongside the Consultation
Toolkit. They inform the way we carry out community engagement activities and help
improve the experience of all participants. By ensuring we adhere to these standards we will
support the council’s commitment to achieving:

• Access & Inclusion
     We will…..
        o Ensure that we take into account particular needs of communities and
            individuals to assist in overcoming any difficulties individuals or groups may
            have in participating. An Equality Impact Assessment will be carried out to
            ensure that due regard is given to promote equality of opportunity to avoid
            unlawful discrimination.
        o Ensure appropriate locations. Where possible we will try to meet with citizens
            at a time and place convenient to individuals or groups. However, there
            maybe times when this is not possible and a central location might be
            appropriate.
        o Provide information in accordance with the council’s agreed policies.
        o Where appropriate, seek to reimburse participants for reasonable travel
            expenses and time involvement. Separate guidance will be provided.
        o Ensure feedback is given both on the results of consultation and on how the
            outcome has influenced policy or services.
        o Ensure that consultation takes place at the most appropriate time.
            Consultation processes must also ensure that there is adequate time for
            people to respond and express their views.

• Coordination and Partnership
     We will……
         o Co-ordinate community engagement activities with partners to avoid
            duplication and consultation fatigue caused by too much consultation, too little
            action and not enough feedback.
         o Provide leadership from the top to ensure that community engagement
            influences services and plans.

• Confidentiality
     We will……
         o Ensure awareness of confidentiality issues in community engagement
             activities, with particular regard to the Data Protection Act.

• Integrity, openness, fairness
      We will…..
          o Ensure that community engagement activities are voluntary and that
              participants can withdraw at any time.
          o Ensure that information obtained from community engagement activities is
              honestly interpreted.
          o Ensure that the rights and dignity of all participants are respected at all times.
          o Respect the rights of participants to decide how much to reveal about
              themselves.
          o Give careful consideration to activities, information and questions to ensure
              that they do not offend, cause distress or embarrassment.




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• Clarity of Purpose
      We will….
          o Ensure that the purpose of an engagement activity is clear to all individuals
              involved. Any consultation should contain a clear statement describing why it
              is being carried out and how the results will be used.
          o Only use community engagement processes when there is a real opportunity
              for people to influence and change decisions and services.
          o Be open and honest about the aims of community engagement activity and
              what it hopes to achieve.
          o Ensure that community engagement activities are realistic and that
              expectations are not raised unnecessarily.
          o Ensure participants know what they are agreeing to take part in and how the
              information they give us will be used.

•   Visibility
    We will…..
            o Make it clear to citizens who are taking part in engagement activities who our
               officers are if another organisation is engaging with customers on our behalf
               who they can contact before hand to ensure that it is a genuine enquiry.
            o Ensure that those most directly affected by plans and decisions are
               aware of opportunities for community engagement.
            o Engage with key stakeholders and/or representative groups in
               advance of specific community engagement activities.

• Communication
     We will…..
       o Provide informative and useful feedback to participants and citizens of the
            borough on community engagement activities.
       o Ensure rights of access to information. The Freedom of Information Act came
            into force on 1 January 2005. The act promotes a culture of openness and
            accountability among public sector bodies. It helps build a better
            understanding of how public authorities carry out their duties, why they make
            the decisions they do and how public money is spent. As part of the Act
            every public authority is required to adopt and maintain a publication scheme
            which is a commitment to routinely and proactively provide information to the
            public. The scheme is available on our website.
       o Generally the council has 20 working days to respond to requests. Certain
            information cannot be made public. This includes information covered by the
            Data Protection Act 1998, information used as criminal evidence, security
            information and data bound by so called public interest tests. This is a test
            that Freedom of Information requests are judged against and certain
            exemptions apply unless it is in the public interest to release that information.
       o Adherence to the corporate standards as set out in the Communications
            Strategy to ensure that we engage effectively with local residents and other
            stakeholders.




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                              Strategic Connections


                                      Thames Gateway Strategic Plan
     Kent Commitment

                                             KTDB Regeneration Framework




            Vision for Kent           D&G Sustainable Communities Strategy




            Kent LAA2                 D&GLAA                D&LSP




  Community Engagement Strategy       ------------------- GBC Corporate Plan
Dartford & Gravesham Local Compact
 Gravesham Partnership Framework




                                             GBC Service Plans




                                       12
                                          Page 27


                                   Explanation of Terms

D&G LAA
          Dartford & Gravesham Local Area Agreement will be the council’s ‘contract’ with
          the county council to participate in the second Kent Agreement.

D&G Local Strategic Partnership
        Dartford & Gravesham Local Strategic Partnership will be the body that will
        oversee the development, management and delivery of the D&G LAA.

D&G Sustainable Communities Strategy
        Dartford & Gravesham Sustainable Communities Strategy is a statutory
        requirement, setting out how the council will secure the well-being of the
        community, through developing sustainable communities. The definition of a
        ‘sustainable community’ was codified in the Egan Review, published in 2005.

Kent Commitment
         An agreement between all the local authorities in the administrative area of Kent,
        i.e. not including the Medway Unitary Authority. The agreement is a commitment to
        delivering improved ‘two-tier’ services in the county, in order to secure the best
        local government in the UK.

KTDB Regeneration Framework
        Sets out the strategic objectives of the Kent Thameside Delivery Board.

Thames Gateway Strategic Plan
        The blue-print for the Thames Gateway

Vision for Kent
           The community strategy for Kent – a long-term vision for improving the quality of
          life in the county.




                                             13
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This page is intentionally left blank
                                           Page 29                   Agenda Item 7



                               Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                      Cabinet

Date:                           11 February 2008

Reporting officer:              Director (Regeneration and Regulation)

Subject:                        Gravesham Local Development Framework – Core Strategy
                                Key Issues and Options Consultation
Purpose and summary of report:
To report back on the Core Strategy Key Issues and Options consultation exercise
undertaken between 10 October and 20 November 2007
Recommendations:
     1. Members be requested to note the responses to the Core Strategy Key Issues and
        Options document, as set out in the attached Consultation Statement and
        summarised in this report ; also, the generally favourable conclusions in the
        Sustainability Appraisal.
     2. These responses be taken into account when formulating the Council’s Core Strategy
        Preferred Options document.
     3. The responses on the Allocation of Sites also be noted and used to inform the
        preparation of the Site Specific Development Allocations document.


1.   Introduction

     1.1    The Core Strategy is the key part of the Gravesham Local Development
            Framework. It will set out the broad pattern of development across the Borough
            over the next 20 years and how this will be achieved. The Key Issues and
            Options Report is the starting point in preparing the Core Strategy, although it has
            been informed by two other rounds of more general consultation. The responses
            to this document will be used in the preparation of the Borough Council’s Core
            Strategy Preferred Options Report. As part of the process, it is necessary to show
            the range of options that have been examined and why some of them have been
            rejected and to evaluate their overall environmental impact. The Key Issues and
            Options Report also forms part of taking forward the public engagement strategy
            set out in the approved Statement of Community Involvement (March 2007).

2.   Background to the Consultation

     2.1.   The Key Issues and Options consultation was advertised in the local press and
            letters were sent to previous respondents and statutory consultees – English
            Nature, the Environment Agency and English Heritage. Also, the Highways
            Agency. There was also ”in-house” publicity for Members and officers.

     2.2.   The Key Issues and Options report was a substantial document of 210 pages and
            it was therefore decided to provide it on a strictly limited basis. In the first
                                         Page 30


            instance, copies were sent out to statutory consultees and Members only but
            subsequently, on specific request.

            However, the document and accompanying questionnaire were available on the
            Council’s website.

     2.3.   With regard to engaging “hard to reach” groups, contact was made with the
            Gravesham Youth Council, the North Kent Race Equality Council and Gravesend
            Age Concern. Documents and questionnaires were distributed and meetings
            offered. It was emphasised that meetings did not have to be within the time-frame
            of the consultation period, if it was more convenient to arrange something at a
            later date.

3.   Key Findings

     3.1.   The Key Issues and Options report included 16 Topic Papers and each of these
            had a Key Spatial Objective and an initial draft preferred option.

     3.2.   A detailed breakdown of responses is attached in the Consultation Statement but
            this report highlights a number of the key findings. It also sets out the conclusions
            of the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) which is an independent assessment of the
            Council’s draft preferred options.

     Key Spatial Objectives

     SA Conclusion: Broadly the majority of objectives are very positively compatible with
     the SA objectives in the SA framework, addressing the key issues identified as important
     to make the vision a reality. The objectives will have long-term and cumulative positive
     impacts on the communities, economy and environment of Gravesham Borough Council.
     The key will be to ensure that all LDF strategic objectives are integrated to ensure that
     one is not overlooked in favour of another, although in certain circumstances there may
     be objectives that are not relevant.

     Topic Papers

            1.   Delivering the Major Development Sites

            •     strong support for sequential approach when deciding where growth should
                  be located.

            •     clear preference for urban forms of development based on public transport
                  orientated mixed use communities.

            •     strong endorsement for seeking to achieve a balance between housing and
                  employment on the major sites.

            SA Conclusion: the draft preferred options would positively progress
            sustainability in the Borough, particularly in terms of accessibility, public health, air
            quality and climate change.

            2.   Employment

            •     respondents favoured a balanced approach providing a range of job
                  opportunities across the Borough.



                                                  2
                                 Page 31


•     some support for prioritising riverside sites for port uses.

SA Conclusion: The balanced approach will have positive impacts for
communities and health and provide the basis for a diverse economy able to
respond to change.

3.   Housing

•     strong backing from respondents for a variety of dwelling types within site
      constraints.

•     clear support for retaining the existing Borough-wide affordable housing
      target of 30 per cent and the existing urban/rural thresholds.

SA Conclusion: developing a range of dwelling types will positively progress
sustainability in the Borough. A 30 per cent affordable housing target is the most
realistic option, although this approach does not perform well against social and
housing-related objectives. A single new threshold should be introduced, as
recommended by the Housing Needs Survey.

3a Gypsies and Travellers

•    a clear majority of respondents supported the following objective set out in the
     report:-

     “As an integral part of the overall housing strategy for the area, to plan for and
     identify sites in suitable sustainable locations to meet the permanent and
     transit pitch requirements for gypsies and travellers as a special needs
     group.”

•    backing for the level of permanent pitch provision set out in the Gypsy and
     Traveller Accommodation Assessment ; with regard to the level of transit pitch
     provision,a majority of respondents favoured allocating land following the
     KCC/SEERA survey work.

•    endorsement for assessing the suitability of sites on the basis of factors set
     out in Circular 01/2006.

•    divided opinion about where gypsy and traveller sites should be located. Most
     support for sites within the urban area and rural settlements only/in the rural
     area away from existing settlements.

•    in terms of what type of sites the Borough Council should provide, majority of
     respondents in favour of small family sites.

SA Summary: the overall objective set out above is endorsed as it is strongly
compatible with SA objectives. However, with regard to pitch provision the
Council’s preferred option is not supported. The SA concludes that it would seem
prudent to make some additional pitch allowance which could be allocated on a
priority basis to those on the road in need of legal accommodation and then to
those who are living in houses.

The approach to transit sites is generally supported, as is the method of assessing
the suitability of sites, based on factors set out in Circular 01/2006. However, the
SA takes the view that site/pitch availability is often a deciding factor and could be

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                             Page 32


specifically singled out as an overriding factor when all other issues have been
assessed.

In respect of the location of permanent pitches, the SA supports a sequential
approach but concludes that as provision within the urban and rural settlements is
likely to be hard to find due to land values, it would be better to start with the urban
fringe or adjacent to rural settlements with good facilities.

In the case of size of sites, small sites generally perform better than larger sites
against SA objectives. They are more easily accepted by existing communities
and easier to incorporate into the rural landscape and urban environment.

4.   Retail

•    respondents generally supported the hierarchy of provision for increased retail
     floorspace – Gravesend Town Centre, edge of Town Centre, local centres.
     Some backing for Ebbsfleet having major retail role.

•    the Imperial Retail and Business Park was the preferred location for retail
     warehousing.

SA Conclusion: the choice about the respective roles of Gravesend Town
Centre and Ebbsfleet should be informed by the availability of sustainable
transport modes, town centre health studies and retail catchment area studies.
The choice between the Imperial Retail and Business Park and a possible new
site for retail warehousing should depend on which has the best transport links.

5.   Culture Leisure and Tourism

•    endorsement for the baseline strategy put forward to address the key issues
     in relation to culture, leisure and tourism in the Borough.

•    a number of specific variations to this strategy received little backing.

Note: the baseline strategy is set out in full on pages 79 and 80 of the Core
Strategy Key Issues and Options document. In summary, it states that the LDF
Core Strategy will recognise the importance of culture in the regeneration of
Gravesham, particularly in terms of delivering the Community Strategy vision for
the area and establishing a sense of local identity. The Local Planning Authority
will undertake further work with regeneration partners to establish the likely level
of demand and most suitable locations for development related to culture, leisure
and tourism.

SA Conclusion: the baseline strategy will have long-term positive impacts on
sustainability objectives relating to communities, cultural heritage and the
economy.

6.   Community Infrastructure

Respondents expressed support for a number of draft preferred options as
follows:-

•    providing a wide range of new community infrastructure.

•    protecting and retaining existing infrastructure.

                                      4
                                 Page 33


•    providing community infrastructure in line with major new development.

•    conducting Health Impact Assessments for major development proposals.

•    locating community facilities in existing or planned local centres.

•    encouraging community facilities as part of mixed use development.

•    expanding use of school buildings and facilities for community uses.

•    co-locating new utility services with existing services.

•    encouraging provision of new telecommunications development and
     infrastructure.

•    resisting the erection of new pylons and overhead lines.

SA Conclusion: the above range of draft preferred options generally performed
well against the SA objectives and were commended. However, with regard to the
best location for community facilities, the SA states that residential areas should
not be ruled out as sustainable locations for such development. It therefore
recommends an option which combines local centres and residential areas.

7.   Built Environment

There was a range of views about what the Council should do to improve the
overall quality of the public realm and to promote a better use of public open
space. Respondents indicated support for:-

•    a major new town square.

•    creating a number of smaller open spaces.

•    improving existing open spaces.

•    promoting “shared-pavement” streets rather than roads.

With regard to the kind of development and building heights, there was a clear
preference for medium rise – medium coverage.

In terms of the most appropriate locations for taller development, opinion was
divided between the “nodes”, along transport “corridors”, within large urban
regeneration sites and at the waterfront along the Thames at Gravesend and
Northfleet. As to the most appropriate uses for such tall development, again there
was no clear preference, with support split between office/commercial ( no
residential), and mainly residential (office/commercial on ground floor).

SA Conclusion: a combination of the options for improving the public realm
would best progress sustainability objectives. The SA recognises that the built
environment of the Borough varies considerably but it comments that a mix of low
rise and medium rise development would positively progress the SA objectives.

In respect of the location and use of tall buildings, the SA is not prescriptive.
However, it expresses the view that tall buildings can meet SA objectives,
particularly if they are commercial development but other factors are also relevant.

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                             Page 34


Any meaningful assessment will be dependent on detailed design and
construction information.

8.   Heritage and Historic Environment

•    respondents supported the proactive approach whereby heritage is central to
     the regeneration of the area and used as a means to promote the identity of
     Gravesham within Thames Gateway.

SA Conclusion: the proactive approach would have long term positive impacts
against a number of SA objectives, especially those relating to heritage, the
economy and communities.

9.   Green Infrastructure

•    strong backing for the option proposing that the Council champions
     improvements to green infrastructure, to support regeneration of the area.

SA Conclusion: if Gravesham takes on the role of green infrastructure
champion, this would have long term positive impacts on SA objectives relating to
communities, health, landscape, biodiversity, water quality and flooding.

10. Transport and Air Quality

•    strong support for promoting public transport orientated development,
     achieving a balance between housing and employment growth, reducing out-
     commuting and promoting Ebbsfleet.

•    with regard to the transport funding gap, respondents split between
     introduction of a transport levy and continuing with site by site negotiations.

•    endorsement of approach seeking to minimise impact of increasing traffic
     levels, applying measures developed in the Air Quality Action Plan.

SA Conclusion: generally in support of Council’s draft preferred options but with
regard to transport funding gap, suggests combining levy and site negotiation
approaches.

10a. Town Centre Transport and Major Sites

•    strong backing for transport objectives set out on page 134 of the Core
     Strategy Key Issues and Options report ; also, for key criteria for the future of
     the Town Centre Transport Network – modernising public transport access,
     achieving efficient highway network, providing access to car parks and
     servicing of premises, upgrading the Town Centre environment and reducing
     air quality issues.

•    endorse approach to developing the Transport and Heritage Quarters and the
     Imperial Retail and Business Park.

•    various responses on what approach should be taken to Town Centre
     parking. Majority of respondents favoured managing existing and new stock
     efficiently for long/short stay parking with new residential development
     expected to provide on average 1 parking space per dwelling. However,


                                     6
                                Page 35


    some support for meeting car parking demand by additional provision or for
    reducing car parking provision, particularly long stay.

SA Conclusion: generally supportive of the Council’s approach but with some
qualifications, if SA objectives are to be met. On the Town Centre car parking
issue in particular, whilst acknowledging that the preferred option has the potential
for positive impact and to meet sustainability criteria, the SA points out that many
local planning authorities have adopted a policy of car free developments in
designated town centres and including this option would score even better against
the SA objectives.

11. Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy

•   clear endorsement of the suggested proactive approach, with the Borough
    Council taking the lead on climate change, sustainability and the
    use/production of renewable energy.

SA Conclusion: support for the Council taking a lead role, as this is the most
sustainable option and complies with Government policy.

12. Flood Risk – Location of New Development and Managing Flood Risk

•   strong backing for the option which suggests making best use of previously
    developed land and only allocating sites where the level of flood risk is
    acceptable in relation to the type of development proposed and residual risk
    can be adequately managed.

SA Conclusion: support for adopting the PPS25 sequential approach to the
release of development land, with brownfield land developed in advance of
greenfield sites.

13. Water Supply and Quality

•   clear endorsement of the suggested proactive approach, with the Borough
    Council taking the lead on water supply and quality issues.

SA Conclusion: support for the Council taking a lead role as this option would
positively progress a number of the SA objectives, having long term positive
impacts on water, communities, public health and sustainable design and
construction.

14. Thames Riverside

Key Issues and Options

The report divided the Thames Riverside into a number of character zones.

•   North Kent Marshes – support fairly evenly split between maintaining and
    enhancing nature conservation interest and improving access and reinstating
    Thames and Medway Canal (See SA Conclusions).

•   Denton Shipways to Metropolitan Police Training Centre – support fairly
    evenly split between retaining river related/commercial uses and promoting
    mixed use development along the riverfront to Denton Wharf and then
    retaining existing river-related uses ; also, strong endorsement of proposal to


                                    7
                           Page 36


    build a new bridge over the Canal and railway to assist in regeneration and
    take heavy traffic out of the Town Centre/Canal Basin Area.

•   Northfleet Embankment East – support split between promoting mixed use
    redevelopment of the site and retaining employment uses to west and
    retaining all of area in industrial use.

•   Northfleet Embankment West – support split between reinstating and
    enhancing links along the Ebbsfleet and relocating river-related businesses to
    Swanscombe Peninsula.

•   Swanscombe Peninsula – support split between accepting river-related
    businesses and enhancing local assess links.

SA Conclusions: North Kent Marshes – the two options are not mutually
exclusive and both meet SA objectives; Denton Slipways – backing for approach
which combines mixed use development and retention of existing river-related
uses; Northfleet Embankment East – support for mixed use redevelopment and
retention of existing employment uses; Northfleet Embankment West – the two
options are not mutually exclusive and both meet some SA objectives;
Swanscombe Peninsula – the two options are not mutually exclusive and both
meet some SA objectives.

15. The Countryside

•   strong support for giving priority to Green Belt and other conservation policies.
    However, also some backing for rural diversification with small/large Green
    Belt releases.

•   clear endorsement of current policy on extensions to residential properties in
    the Green Belt.

•   split response to options for dealing with urban/rural fringe in Gravesham.
    Considerable support for adopting a positive management strategy but also
    significant backing for continuing the current restrictive approach.

SA Conclusions: supports the Council’s preferred option seeking to encourage
the diversification and enhancement of the rural economy. Positive management
of the urban/rural fringe would positively progress SA objectives.

15a Culverstone Valley Area (CVA)

•   a clear majority of respondents supported the following objective set out in the
    report:-

    “To identify a policy approach that is consistent with national and regional
    policy yet enables substandard dwellings within the Culverstone Valley Area
    to be improved.”

•   opinion was equally divided between there being a separate policy for the
    CVA until all authorised plots are developed and the application of normal
    Green Belt policy with an allowance for adequate amenities.

•   a majority of respondents favoured caravans being treated in the same way
    as elsewhere in the Borough.

                                    8
                                           Page 37


           •   with regard to retaining the existing floorspace limit, in the event of a separate
               policy approach for the CVA being maintained, there was a fairly even division
               of opinion between maintaining the existing floorspace limit of 92.9m2,
               allowing one third expansion, as normal in the Green Belt or increasing the
               floorspace limit.

           SA Summary: support for the application of normal Green Belt policy as this
           approach is considered to better progress the SA objective of providing suitable
           accommodation for all by including a wider area. The SA also favours the
           preferred policy option because it refers to minimising the impact of any additional
           development and therefore should not have an adverse impact on landscape
           quality.

           16 Rural Settlements

           •   respondents were divided in their attitude to what should be the Council’s
               approach to the planning of rural settlements over the next 20 years. Whilst
               there was a majority in favour of continuing with existing policies, there was
               also a degree of support for reviewing village envelopes and for limited
               extensions to village boundaries.

           SA Conclusions: qualified support for continuing with existing policies because
           this provides for a limited amount of private development in villages and supports
           a rural exceptions policy for the provision of affordable housing. However,
           recognises that further work and clarification needed on other options.

4.   Consultation on the Allocation of Sites

     4.1. As part of the Local Development Framework, the Borough Council will also be
          producing a Site Specific Development Allocations document. It was therefore
          decided to invite consultees to put forward proposals for allocating specific sites
          for a particular use or uses, as this would be helpful in informing the future
          preparation of the Site Allocations document.

     4.2. A list of allocated sites is included in the attached Consultation Statement (see
          pages 35 and 36) and a file containing the representations and accompanying
          plans will be available for inspection in the Members’ Room.

     4.3. The proposed site allocations vary considerably in size and scale and it is not
          possible to go into detail on all of them in this report but the following are of
          particular significance:-

           Residential Development

           •   Land north of Wallis Park between Grove Road and College Road, Northfleet
               – high density residential development as part of the comprehensive
               regeneration strategy for Northfleet Embankment.

           •   Imperial Retail and Business Park (Imperial Wharf) – introduction of
               residential development. Opposition to use of site for retail warehousing
               (bulky goods), wharfage and multi-storey B1 use.

           •   Land north of Longfield Road, Hook Green, Meopham – sheltered and/or
               affordable/low cost housing on a site of approximately 16 acres.


                                               9
                            Page 38


•   Land adjoining A2 and to west of Thong Lane – residential development on
    large Green Belt site.

•   Land West of Wrotham Road and north of Coldharbour Road – residential
    development on greenfield site.

•   Land lying east of the railway bridge at Longfield Hill – extension to village of
    Longfield Hill in Dartford Borough to include land in the Green Belt within
    Gravesham. Proposed uses include starter-homes, mixed family-sized
    housing, a retirement/care home, a village community hall, sheltered housing
    and local shops.

Extensions to Village Boundaries/Release of plots at Culverstone Valley
Area

•   A number of sites are put forward as suitable for residential development.
    These vary in size from plots in the Culverstone Valley Area to a 6.7 hectare
    site at Warren Farm, Swiller`s Lane, Shorne.

Mixed Use Development

•   Gravesend Police Station, Windmill Street – redevelopment of existing site.

•   Heritage Quarter, Gravesend Town Centre – allocation of area to include a
    range of town centre uses, including residential, retail, leisure, hotel and office
    uses.

•   Land lying between Mark Lane, Denton and the Clubbs Aggregate Terminal –
    area currently used for warehousing and storage. Proposed that it could be
    redeveloped for a more appropriate use, as part of a strategy for mixed uses
    on the North East Gravesend riverside.

•   Industrial land to the east of Gravesend Town Centre, alongside the River
    Thames, including Albion Quayside – current planning application for
    comprehensive residential-led mixed use development, including over 800
    new residential units, live work units and a range of retail, leisure and
    business uses.

•   Northfleet Works Site – planning application expected this year for an
    aggregates import terminal at 42 Wharf and for major mixed use development
    on the remainder of the site.

Leisure , Culture and Tourism

•   Ordnance Road/Milton Road Triangle – Virginia Square, incorporating the
    Princess Pocahontas Monument. The proposal is for a 183 metre high
    monument which would form the centrepiece of Virginia Square.

    In support, it is argued that the monument would provide Gravesham with a
    global landmark. Furthermore, Virginia Square would indirectly provide a
    significant increase in retail revenue, employment and further regeneration of
    Gravesend Centre (particularly the Milton/Town Centre east commercial
    area), plus a full enhancement of the Gordon Promenade, New Tavern Fort
    and Gravesend Embankment.


                                    10
                                            Page 39


                 It should be noted that this is a very detailed submission and supporting
                 documentation can be viewed in the Members’ Room

             Employment/Commercial Development and Leisure Culture and Tourism

             •   Land West of Wrotham Road and South of Coldharbour Road – part of the
                 site (adjacent to Morrisons Superstore) already has planning permission for
                 an Enterprise Centre, comprising high quality office suites, studios, light
                 industrial, workshop, storage, warehouse and distribution spaces.

                 Proposals for the remainder of the site include employment development
                 (Classes B1 and B8), as an extension to the Enterprise Centre, a hotel or a
                 restaurant.

5.   Risks

     5.1. Continuous public/stakeholder consultation is a fundamental part of the new LDF
          process and will be an important consideration when the Planning Inspectorate
          tests the soundness of documents at Public Examination.

     5.2. Failure to record the outcome of this consultation exercise, to indicate how it will
          influence the next Preferred Options stage of the LDF process and to make clear
          the means by which all interested parties have been kept informed and engaged,
          would jeopardise the final adoption of LDF documents.

     Background Documents

     Responses to the Core Strategy Key Issues and Options document.



     Note:       These are available for inspection in the Planning and Regeneration
                 Department and in the Members’ Room at the Civic Centre.




                                                11
           Page 40




This page is intentionally left blank
                                       Page 41


 Consultation Statement for the Core Strategy Key Issues and Options
                             Report 2007


1. Introduction

A total of 109 representations have been received for the Core Key Issues and
Options report, including allocation of sites.

2. Key Spatial Objectives

Below is a list of the key spatial objectives set out in the Core Strategy report and the
number of respondents that agree or disagree with each objective. Please note that
not all respondents completed this section and some respondents chose to select an
answer for only some of the objectives.

                                                              Agree          Disagree

SO 1 – Delivering the Major Development Sites                 22             9
SO 2 – Employment                                             24             1
SO 3 – Housing                                                18              7
SO 4 – Retail                                                 18              7
SO 5 – Culture, Leisure and Tourism                           24              1
SO 6 – Community Infrastructure                               25              3
SO 7 – Built Environment                                      17              3
SO 8 – Heritage and the Historic Environment                  19              0
SO 9 – Green Infrastructure                                   22              1
SO 10 – Transport and Air Quality                             18              3
SO 11 – Climate Change and Renewable Energy                   21              0
SO 12 – Location of New Development and                       18              3
        Management of Flood Risk
SO 13 – Water Supply and Water Quality                        15              0
SO 14 – Thames Riverside                                      18              6
SO 15 – The Countryside                                       23              4
SO 16 – Rural Settlements                                     21              3

3. Key Options

Below are the responses received for the key policy options set out in the Core
Strategy report and details of other issues raised. Again, please note that not all
respondents chose to select an answer for all key policy options and multiple options
were selected by some respondents.

Please refer to pages 36-39 for details of respondents and accompanying reference
numbers.

1. Delivering the Major Development Sites

1. Where should growth be located?

a. Sequential approach
STA003          STA023              STA083             STA035            OTH023
OTH045          OTH048              OTH053             OTH066            OTH074
OTH173          DEV003              DEV040             DEV041            DEV042



                                                                                        1
                                    Page 42


DEV051            DEV052             DEV074          DEV189        RES100
RES130            RES195             RES331          RES415        RES444
RES541            RES596             RES602          RES604        MEM003
INT001

b. Prioritise sites at least risk from flooding
STA083             COM049             DEV003         DEV037        DEV042
DEV067             DEV074             DEV129         RES194        RES237

c. New settlement pattern by means of Green Belt boundary review
OTH061         DEV15            DEV037           DEV129          RES237
RES514

2. What sort of Development should be encouraged?

a. Urban forms based on public transport orientated, mixed use communities
STA003          STA008           STA023            STA083         COM049
OTH023          OTH045           OTH048            OTH053         OTH066
OTH074          OTH169           OTH173            DEV003         DEV037
DEV041          DEV042           DEV051            DEV052         DEV067
DEV074          DEV129           DEV189            RES047         RES100
RES194          RES195           RES331            RES415         RES444
RES541          RES596           RES602            RES604         MEM003
INT001

b. Emphasis on car usage


3. Is it necessary to achieve a balance between housing and employment on the
   major sites?

a. Balance between housing and employment uses (South East Plan)
STA001         STA003          STA083         COM049           OTH023
OTH045         OTH048          OTH066         OTH074           DEV003
DEV041         DEV042          DEV051         DEV052           DEV074
DEV129         DEV189          RES100         RES331           RES415
RES444         RES541          RES596         RES602           RES604
INT001

b. Housing growth given priority over employment
DEV037         DEV172             RES194         RES237            RES514
MEM003

c. Employment growth given priority over housing
OTH053         DEV067           RES047           RES195

Other issues relating to Major Development Sites:

Outline how and where additional housing is to be delivered
STA001          STA023

Key policy options 2 add little value and could be deleted
STA001



                                                                                2
                                      Page 43


Development on marshland that has ecological value is opposed
STA008

Ensure that major new developments avoid harm to existing nature conservation
interests and maximises opportunities for biodiversity gain and climate change
resilience
OTH067

Consider the release of greenfield sites for development
STA083           DEV003            DEV009            DEV015            DEV042
DEV074           DEV153

Bus services should be enhanced to serve new development at Christianfields and
Southfields
STA021

Key policy options 2 - neither of the options offered are relevant a balanced approach
is needed to both ensure that new development is located close to facilities and are
accessible for non-car modes
DEV009           DEV153

Extend Dering Way to improve vehicular access to Canal Basin
STA083         DEV003           DEV042            DEV074

Focusing development on previously developed land may not be the most
sustainable approach
STA024

Object to the background text – the character, mix and distribution of development
will also be influenced by compatibility with existing patterns of land-use and how
issues of land-use juxtaposition and conflict can be appropriately handled / mitigated
 OTH046

Reference to Swanscombe Peninsula (page 24) - object on the basis that this area is
where any relocated Stema / other cargo-handling uses are proposed
OTH046

Main growth areas (page 26) – object – there is reference to the balance between
wharfage and residential development but nothing further is made of this issue or any
attempt at resolution
OTH046

Promote Sport England’s Active Design guidance and principles within major new
development proposals
OTH128

Take measure to ensure the timely delivery of services such as car parking inline
with new development
RES234          RES334

Any future development in the North East Gravesend area should not prejudice the
operation of FACT and the associated rifle range, which is in use by the Metropolitan
Police Service


                                                                                     3
                                  Page 44


DEV056

2. Employment

1. What sort of employment structure should the Borough seek?

a. Appropriate balance across types of jobs
STA001          STA003           STA023              STA083            COM049
OTH023          OTH046           OTH066              OTH074            DEV003
DEV037          DEV041           DEV042              DEV051            DEV052
DEV067          DEV074           DEV129              DEV189            RES195
RES331          RES415           RES444              RES514            RES541
RES596          RES602           MEM003              INT001

b. Office employment


c. Industrial/commercial employment
RES047           RES100

d. Prioritise riverside sites for port uses
OTH045             OTH048             OTH053         OTH066            OTH169
DEV037             DEV067             RES194         RES604

Other issues relating to Employment:

There is a need to identify sites of major employment potential in the Core Strategy
STA021

Gravesend Town Centre is a good location for new employment development given
its existing and planned public transport links
 STA021

Include reference to opportunities for office development in Gravesend Town Centre
DEV039

The Core Strategy should recognise that different sites will be appropriate for
different employment uses
DEV052

Attract more trade / businesses into the Borough
RES130            RES234            RES334

New roads will be required for increased local traffic which will be created by more
local employment provision
RES234           RES334

Take measures to ensure that at least a proportion of the jobs created at Ebbsfleet
are reserved for local people, where applicants are available with the necessary skills
DEV129




                                                                                       4
                                       Page 45


3. Housing

1. What sort of housing should be developed in Gravesham?

a. Variety of dwelling types within site constraints
STA003           STA023             STA024             STA083         COM049
OTH023           OTH053             OTH066             OTH074         DEV003
DEV037           DEV039             DEV041             DEV042         DEV051
DEV052           DEV074             DEV129             DEV172         DEV189
RES047           RES100             RES194             RES237         RES331
RES415           RES444             RES514             RES541         RES596
RES602           RES604             MEM003             INT001

b. Increased proportion of flats/apartments
RES195

c. Maintain the current proportion of flats in total housing stock
DEV067

2. What should be the percentage of affordable housing in the Borough?

a. Retain existing target of 30%
STA003           STA023             STA083             OTH023         OTH066
OTH074           DEV003             DEV037             DEV041         DEV042
DEV051           DEV052             DEV074             DEV129         DEV189
RES047           RES331             RES415             RES444         RES514
RES541           RES602             RES603             MEM003         INT001

b. Increase target from 30% to 40%
COM049          OTH053           DEV067                RES100         RES194
RES195          RES237           RES596

3. Should the thresholds which apply to the target for affordable housing be lowered

a. Lowered to 0.5 ha/15 units urban; 50% on 2 or more units rural
OTH074          DEV051            RES100          RES194              RES195
RES415          RES596            RES602          MEM003

b. Introduce new single threshold
DEV037          DEV067            RES047               RES331

c. Retain existing thresholds
STA083           COM049             OTH023             OTH053         OTH066
DEV003           DEV041             DEV042             DEV074         DEV189
RES444           RES541             INT001

Other issues relating to Housing:

Identify the contributions of different types of affordable housing to the overall
requirement e.g. shared equity, key worker and other forms of intermediate housing
STA023




                                                                                       5
                                   Page 46


The threshold of affordable housing to be provided should be based on the specific
circumstances of individual sites

DEV014            DEV039

The provision of affordable housing should be allowed ‘off site’ in certain
circumstances
DEV039

It is important that design of housing conform to the Life Time Home standard to
enable the increasing aging population to remain in their own homes
STA023

The Core Strategy should specifically target the creation of sheltered housing for the
elderly within rural communities
OTH171

More suitable housing is needed for elderly persons, couples or singles
RES547

Seek to provide accommodation for both employers and employees operating new
facilities in the Borough
DEV009              DEV015      DEV153

The provision of housing in Gravesham should be informed by the Housing Market
Assessment
DEV009            DEV052          DEV153

Do not limit housing provision to a specific mix or size of housing units
DEV014            DEV015            DEV040             DEV041             DEV051
DEV189

Individual sites may be more appropriate for particular types of development
DEV052

Planning policy should not cap the number of dwellings to be provided at Gravesham
DEV052

There is a need to address shortfall of housing in both rural and urban areas equally
DEV129

Increase biodiversity alongside housing development
STA023

3a. Gypsies and Travellers

1. Do you agree/disagree with the Objective set out on page 46 of the report?

a. Agree
STA023            STA023            STA035            OTH074            DEV037
DEV067            RES047            RES100            RES194            RES308
RES331            RES541            RES602            MEM003

b. Disagree


                                                                                        6
                                        Page 47


COM020            RES237             RES415             RES444             RES514

2. How many permanent pitches, on the evidence set out in the Gypsy and Traveller
  Accommodation Assessment, should the Council provide?

a. 15 permanent pitches
STA035         OTH074                DEV067             RES194             RES308
RES415         RES514                RES541

b. As above but with additional for those in permanent housing
COM020          COM049             DEV037          RES047                  MEM003

3. To determine the level of transit pitch provision required in the Borough, should the
   Council

a. Allocate land following the completion of the KCC/SEERA work
STA023           STA035           COM049            OTH074                 RES047
RES194           RES308           RES415            RES514                 RES541
MEM003           INT001

b. Safeguard land on the basis that some provision will be needed
COM020          DEV037            DEV067           RES100                  RES444
RES602

4. Should the factors for assessing the suitability of the site reflect those set out in
   Circular 01/2006?

a. Yes
COM020            COM049             DEV037             DEV067             RES047
RES194            RES308             RES415             RES541             MEM003

b. No
RES444

5. Where should Gypsy and Traveller sites be located?

a. Sites within the urban area and rural settlements only
STA035            STA038          STA084             OTH074                RES308
RES541

b. As above plus Green Belt sites on the edge of built up areas
STA023          COM020            MEM003

c. Accessible Green Belt sites in urban fringe or next to villages
COM020          DEV037             RES194

d. In the rural area away from existing settlements
DEV067            RES047           RES237           RES514                 RES596
RES602

6. What type of site(s) should the Borough Council provide to meet the
   accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers?

a. A number of small family sites


                                                                                           7
                                   Page 48


COM020            COM049            OTH074            RES047             RES100
RES308            RES415            RES541            RES602             MEM003
INT001

b. A single site for many families
STA023            STA035           DEV067             RES194

Other issues relating to Gypsies and Travellers:

Ensure provision of transit accommodation is met where a Gypsy and Traveller
Accommodation Assessment identifies need
STA001           STA002

Give consideration to Gypsies and Travellers wishing to establish their own sites i.e.
self-build schemes, let to buy schemes and shared ownership
COM020

Negotiate the provision of accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers within Section
106 agreements
COM020

Gypsy and Traveller sites should be located in a mixture of all the locations for sites
outlined in key policy option 5.
COM049

Mobile homes in the flood plain are opposed
STA008

The Council should not be responsible for providing permanent pitches for Gypsy
and Traveller communities
RES234          RES237           RES334

Gypsy and Travellers should not be allowed to pitch and live in the Green Belt and
areas within nationally recognised designations
RES234            RES334

4. Retail

1. Where should the demand for increased retail floorspace be met?

a. Gravesend Town Centre, edge of centre, local centres hierarchy
STA003         STA023          STA083             STA035                 COM049
OTH053         OTH066          OTH074             OTH170                 DEV003
DEV039         DEV041          DEV042             DEV067                 DEV067
DEV074         DEV189          RES047             RES100                 RES195
RES331         RES415          RES444             RES602                 INT001

b. As above but major retail role for Ebbsfleet
OTH023          DEV051              DEV052            RES194             RES514
RES541          MEM003

c. Allow unrestricted location
DEV062           RES596



                                                                                          8
                                      Page 49


2. Given its specific location requirements, where should retail warehousing be
   located?

a. The Imperial Business and Retail Park
STA003          STA021          STA023               STA035            OTH023
OTH066          OTH074          OTH170               DEV051            DEV067
DEV067          RES100          RES194               RES195            RES331
RES444          RES602

b. A new retail park on a major site
COM049           OTH053            RES047            RES195            RES514
RES541           MEM003

c. Ad hoc permissions on sites in the urban area
DEV052         RES596

Other issues relating to Retail:

The key policy options for retail are inadequate
STA001

There is insufficient consideration as to how local centres can be maintained in
villages
STA038             STA084

Clarify what is meant by ‘retail warehousing’ in the Core Strategy
OTH170

The impact from the potential extension of the Imperial Retail and Business Park on
existing road networks must be assessed and minimised
STA021

Imperial Retail Park should not be restricted to bulky goods only
OTH170            DEV172

Identify Gravesend Town Centre as an appropriate location for additional food
floorspace
OTH170

The Core Strategy should be flexible to allow appropriate retail provision in response
to market demand
DEV062

An appropriate level of supporting retail and leisure uses should come forward as
part of mixed use development
DEV041           DEV189             DEV189

The Core Strategy should convey ‘town centre’ status to Ebbsfleet
DEV052

5. Culture, Leisure and Tourism

1. Which options do you support for the provision of culture, leisure and tourism?



                                                                                      9
                                   Page 50


a. The baseline strategy as set out in the issues paper
STA003          STA023            STA083            COM049                OTH023
STA066          OTH074            OTH172            DEV003                DEV042
DEV045          DEV051            DEV074            RES047                RES195
RES331          RES415            RES541            RES596                RES602

b. As ‘a’ but with location more dependent on the car
RES541

c. As ‘a’ but with hotels allowed away from town centre
STA035            STA066           RES514          RES541

d. As ‘a’ but with Ebbsfleet taking a more major role
STA066            DEV052            DEV067           RES194               RES514
RES541            MEM003

e. As ‘a’ with main indoor sport provision focussed on one site
STA035           OTH053            RES047           RES444                RES514
RES541

f. As ‘a’ but with no rural sports hub at Meopham
RES541

g. As ‘a’ but no support to specialist sports provision
RES541

h. As ‘a’ but no support for Ebbsfleet United
RES100            INT001

i. As ‘a’ but no support for tourism development
RES541

Other issues relating to Culture, Leisure and Tourism:

The key policy options for culture, leisure and tourism are inadequate
STA001

More focus on outdoor leisure pursuits
STA008

Proposals for new sports facilities must be assessed to ensure that they do not
generate significant amounts of additional traffic
STA021

A specific mention of sport should be made in the title of this section
OTH128

The role of libraries in culture, leisure and tourism could be recognised within the key
policy options
STA021

The protection and restoration of ecology of the wider area and the creation of local
nature reserves will provide improved opportunities for leisure activities



                                                                                      10
                                        Page 51


STA083            DEV003             DEV042             DEV074

Culture, leisure and tourism development should be focused in a mixture of different
locations
COM49

More focus should be given to the development of culture, leisure and tourism uses
by the river
COM49

Include a policy which promotes, protects and retains existing community, cultural
and leisure facilities
OTH132

The Core Strategy should aim to support exiting theatres and provide new spaces for
theatres within community centres, schools and throughout town centres
OTH132

Negotiate the provision of arts and cultural facilities within Section 106 agreements
OTH132

The key tourism issue is to provide better quality tourist accommodation
OTH174

The Core Strategy should promote the evening economy in Gravesend Town Centre
DEV039

6. Community Infrastructure

1. Should the provision of new community infrastructure be supported?

a. Wide range of community facilities
STA003          STA023            STA083                STA035          COM049
OTH023          OTH053            OTH066                OTH074          OTH102
OTH173          DEV003            DEV037                DEV041          DEV042
DEV051          DEV052            DEV067                DEV074          DEV189
RES047          RES195            RES331                RES514          RES541
RES596          RES601            MEM003

b. Only key services
RES100          RES194

c. Only within major new development sites
RES308          RES415          RES444                  INT001

d. No new provision
RES602

2. Should existing community infrastructure be protected and retained?

a. Loss of existing facilities will be to be resisted
STA024            STA035              COM049            OTH053          OTH066
OTH074            DEV037              DEV051            DEV067          RES194



                                                                                        11
                                  Page 52


RES195           RES331            RES415            RES541           RES596
RES601           MEM003

b. Retention to be determined by operational/market forces
STA083           DEV003          DEV042           DEV052              DEV074
RES100           RES308          RES444           RES602              INT001

3. Should new community infrastructure be provided in line with major new
   developments?

a. Major new development only with adequate facilities
STA003         STA023          STA035             STA078              COM049
OTH053         OTH066          OTH074             OTH102              OTH173
DEV037         DEV051          DEV052             DEV067              RES047
RES100         RES195          RES308             RES331              RES415
RES444         RES541          RES596             RES601              RES602
MEM003         INT001

b. Major new development not dependent on facilities
DEV041         DEV189          RES514

4. Should proposals for major new development be required to conduct a Health
   Impact Assessment (HIA)?

a. HIA required for major sites
STA023           COM049            OTH053            OTH066           OTH074
DEV067           RES047            RES195            RES308           RES331
RES415           RES444            RES541            RES596           RES601
RES602           MEM003            INT001

b. No HIA required
DEV037          DEV041             DEV051            DEV052           DEV189
RES100

5. Where should new community facilities (e.g. schools, hospitals and post offices)
   located?

a. Community facilities at nodal transport points/local centres
STA024         COM049              OTH023            OTH066           OTH074
DEV041         DEV051              DEV052            DEV067           DEV189
RES047         RES195              RES331            RES415           RES444
RES596         MEM003              INT001

b. Community facilities in residential areas
STA035         OTH053              OTH066            DEV037           DEV052
RES100         RES194              RES308            RES541           RES601
RES602

6. Should community facilities be encouraged as part of mixed-use development?

a. Community facilities should be part of mixed use development
STA003         COM049             OTH023            OTH053            OTH066
OTH074         DEV037             DEV041            DEV051            DEV052



                                                                                      12
                                      Page 53


DEV067           DEV189            RES047            RES100            RES194
RES195           RES308            RES331            RES415            RES444
RES596           RES602            MEM003            INT001

b. New facilities not to be encouraged as part of development
RES541

7. Should school sites be expanded to create additional community uses?

a. School facilities should be available to the whole community
STA003            STA035            COM049            OTH023           OTH053
OTH066            OTH074            DEV051            DEV052           DEV067
DEV104            RES047            RES100            RES195           RES308
RES331            RES415            RES444            RES596           RES602
MEM003            INT001

b. School facilities should remain focussed on education
DEV037            RES194           RES541

8. Should new utility services be co-located with existing services?

a. Co-location of utility services where possible
STA035          COM049              OTH023           OTH053            OTH066
OTH074          DEV037              DEV051           DEV052            DEV067
RES047          RES100              RES194           RES195            RES308
RES331          RES415              RES444           RES541            RES596
RES602          MEM003              INT001

b.   No co-location


9. Should new telecommunications development and infrastructure be supported?

a. Encouragement for full provision for whole Borough
STA003        STA059              COM049           OTH053              OTH066
DEV051        DEV067              RES047           RES100              RES194
RES195        RES444              RES541           RES596              MEM003
INT001

b. Provision concentrated in major new development
OTH074          DEV037            RES415

c. No support
STA035           RES194            RES331            RES602

10. Should erection of new pylons and overhead lines be resisted and existing
    redundant lines removed?

a. Resist new overhead lines and underground if feasible
STA035          COM049           OTH066           OTH074               DEV037
DEV051          DEV067           DEV104           RES047               RES100
RES195          RES331           RES415           RES444               RES541
RES602          MEM003           INT001


                                                                                13
                                   Page 54


b. New pylons/overhead lines to follow line of existing
OTH053         RES194            RES601

c. New lines supported
RES596

Other issues relating to Community Infrastructure:

Set out the extent of community infrastructure required
STA001            STA023

Set out how the levels of growth proposed will be provided with community
infrastructure (e.g. funding delivery)
STA001

Consider the risk of flooding in the provision of community facilities
STA008

Set out whether a planning charge will be used to secure community infrastructure
STA023

Developer contribution to the provision of community facilities should be assessed on
a case-by-case basis
STA083           DEV003             DEV014          DEV042              DEV074

Developers should only be expected to provide facilities which are made necessary
by the development proposed
DEV015          DEV052

The Core Strategy should require new developments to contribute towards police
services, where developments increases demand on these services
OTH102

Establish an approach to secure new sport and recreation provision to meet the need
arising from new development
OTH128

Ensure that capacity is maximised for provision of sport and active recreation on
educational sites
OTH128

Section 106 agreements adjacent to Swanscobe and Greenhite should include
assistance to the Town Council’s Community Assets
STA041

Court Service should be recognised as a planning obligation for future major
developments within Gravesham
OTH173

Extend the list of community facilities to include Court Service
OTH173

For key policy options 3 define ‘major development’



                                                                                    14
                                      Page 55


STA023

Be flexible when considering locations for community facilities
STA023

A telecommunications policy must be clear and flexible
STA059

Ensure that on-site and off-site sewers serving new developments of ten or more
dwelling are constructed to adoptable standards
STA078

7. Built Environment

1. What should the Council do to improve the overall quality of the public realm and
   to promote a better use of public open space?

a. Propose a major new town square
STA066         OTH066          OTH074                DEV039           DEV051
RES047         RES100          RES195                RES331           RES541
RES596         MEM003          INT001

b. Create a number of smaller open spaces
COM049         OTH023            OTH074              DEV039           DEV041
DEV051         DEV052            DEV189              RES601           RES602
INT001

c. Improve existing open spaces
STA035           OTH023            OTH053            OTH066           OTH074
DEV039           DEV041            DEV051            DEV052           DEV067
DEV189           RES194            RES331            RES415           RES444
RES541           MEM003            INT001

d. Promote ‘shared-pavements’ streets rather than ‘roads’
OTH074          DEV037          DEV039             DEV051             DEV052
RES331          RES541

2. What kind of development and building heights would you consider to be most
   appropriate to fit into the image and local character of Gravesham

a. High rise – low coverage
STA024           DEV041            DEV172            DEV189           MEM003

b. Low rise – high coverage
STA024           RES100            RES596            RES601           RES602
INT001

c. Medium rise – medium coverage
STA024          STA035         COM049                OTH023           OTH053
OTH066          OTH074         DEV037                DEV039           DEV041
DEV051          DEV067         DEV189                RES047           RES194
RES195          RES331         RES415                RES444           RES541




                                                                                   15
                                    Page 56


3. Where would be the most appropriate locations for taller development and, in
   exceptional circumstances, a land mark building?

a. At the “nodes”
STA024          OTH053               OTH066             OTH074             DEV041
DEV052          DEV189               RES331             RES596             MEM003

b. Along transport “corridors”
STA024          OTH023               DEV041             DEV052             DEV189
RES100          RES541

c. Within the design scheme of large urban regeneration sites
STA024           OTH023           DEV037          DEV039                   DEV041
DEV051           DEV052           DEV067          DEV189                   RES047
RES195           RES444           RES601          INT001

d. At the waterfront along the Thames at Gravesend and Northfleet
STA024           DEV041           DEV051         DEV172           DEV189
RES194           RES415           RES602

4. What land uses would you consider the most appropriate for tall and landmark
   buildings?

a. Mix of office/commercial etc but non-residential
OTH053            OTH066          DEV037            RES331                 RES415
RES596

b. Mix of office/commercial etc including residential use
STA024            COM049           OTH074             DEV051               DEV052
DEV067            RES195           RES444             MEM003

c. Mainly residential but ground floor office/commercial
OTH023          DEV041              DEV172          DEV189                 RES194
RES541          RES602              INT001

Other issues relating to Built Environment:

Key policy options presented for mixed uses vertically / horizontally and the public
realm options add little value
STA001

A more spatial approach would be helpful to asses what role design will play in the
different parts of the Borough
STA001

Issues of density and locations for tall buildings should be considered on a site by
site basis or as part of wider vision / masterplan
STA003

Object to location of tall buildings (page 102) – the location of tall buildings on the
riverfront must not interfere with the Port of London’s navigation aids
OTH046




                                                                                          16
                                       Page 57


Tall buildings should be focused in Gravesend Town Centre
COM049

Reference should be made in regard to the Heritage Quarter being an appropriate
location for a tall building
DEV039

Consider the loss of views when planning tall buildings
OTH074

A criteria-based approach to the assessment of proposals for tall buildings is
supported
DEV041            DEV189

Adopt a proactive approach to the assessment of tall buildings to ensure that
opportunities are taken to maximise the densities of development
DEV041            DEV189

Tall buildings of flats should be avoided
RES234              RES334

With key policy option 7 (2) - option a is supported but a balanced approach with
elements of both options b and c will help deliver flexible and diverse accommodation
STA024

A landmark building should be focussed at the Civic Centre
COM049

Use heritage information to contribute to local distinctiveness and design of the public
realm
STA025            RES234           RES334              RES547

Maximise opportunities to build in biodiversity or geological features as part of good
design
OTH067

Developers should contribute towards the provision of new open space where
relevant
DEV015

A site by site approach to considering the appropriate mix of building uses is
supported
DEV039

Improve the street scene in the Borough
RES047

Streets should be more spacious
RES234           RES334

8. Heritage and Historic Environment




                                                                                     17
                                   Page 58


1. What should the approach be to the Borough’s heritage and historic environment?

a. Proactive use of heritage as central to regeneration
STA001          STA003            STA025             STA035             OTH045
OTH048          OTH053            OTH066             OTH074             DEV037
DEV051          DEV052            DEV067             RES047             RES100
RES195          RES308            RES331             RES415             RES444
RES541          RES596            RES602             RES604             MEM003
INT001

b. Adopt a minimalist approach compatible with legislation
COM049

c. Give greater priority to other objectives over heritage
RES601

Other issues relating to Heritage and Historic Environment:

The Public Rights of Way network has a role to play in heritage as it represents a
memory of movement and activities of people, forming a historic asset and should be
included in the Core Strategy
STA023

The Core Strategy should encourage developers to make contributions towards long
term storage costs of archaeological archives
STA025

Include reference to the Thames and Medway Canal in the section, as if restored it
would become a major contributor to heritage and historic environment in the
Borough
OTH045           OTH048

Heritage (preferred option) - object - the creation of a Thames Path will not be
appropriate
OTH046

Include a policy which gives protection to sites on the English Heritage Register of
Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest and the local list of historic designed
landscapes including public parks, cemeteries and gardens
OTH062

9. Green Infrastructure

1. What approach should the Borough Council adopt toward the provision of Green
   Infrastructure

a. Reduce commitment to green infrastructure


b. Continue existing policy
STA083          STA035              OTH066            DEV003            DEV042
DEV074          RES194              RES602            MEM003

c. Champion improvements to green infrastructure/open space etc. to support


                                                                                     18
                                        Page 59


  regeneration of area
STA003         STA008                STA024            STA025             COM049
OTH045         OTH048                OTH053            OTH067             OTH074
OTH128         DEV041                DEV051            DEV052             DEV067
DEV189         RES047                RES100            RES195             RES308
RES331         RES415                RES444            RES541             RES596
RES601         RES604                INT001

Other issues relating to Green Infrastructure:

Champion improvements to blue infrastructure to support the regeneration of the
area
STA008         STA025

New development should contribute towards the enhancement of the green
infrastructure
STA023

Major sites should ensure they contribute towards local access improvements to
green infrastructure
STA023

Give fuller recognition of the contribution of the green infrastructures to protecting
and enhancing biodiversity
STA023

There is a need for a core policy on biodiversity consideration and enhancement for
the area
STA023

Include a policy which encourages green roofs
STA023

Consider the historic dimension and time and depth of the landscape, countryide and
blue elements within the topic of green infrastructure
STA025

Provide new open spaces to meet the demands of the growing population
RES130

10. Transport and Air Quality

1. From the transport perspective what should the physical form of development be?

a. Promote public transport orientated development
STA003          STA008            STA023          STA083                  STA035
COM049          OTH023            OTH053          OTH066                  OTH074
DEV003          DEV009            DEV041          DEV042                  DEV051
DEV052          DEV067            DEV074          DEV153                  DEV153
DEV189          RES100            RES195          RES308                  RES331
RES415          RES444            RES596          RES601                  MEM003
INT001



                                                                                         19
                                  Page 60


b. Plan for private car growth
RES047            RES194           RES541           RES602

2. What should the housing / employment balance be given the transport implications
   from commuting?

a. Reduce out commuting and promote Ebbsfleet
STA003         STA021          STA023               STA083            OTH023
OTH066         OTH074          DEV003               DEV042            DEV051
DEV052         DEV074          RES194               RES195            RES331
RES415         RES444          RES596               RES601            RES602
MEM003

b. Priority on housing growth
DEV041           DEV172            DEV189

c. Priority on employment growth
OTH053           RES047          RES100             RES541

3. How should the transport funding gap be addressed?

a. Introduction of a transport levy
STA003           STA023             COM049          OTH066            OTH074
DEV051           DEV052             DEV067          RES195            RES415
RES444           RES596             MEM003          INT001

b. Site by site negotiations on transport contributions
OTH053            OTH023            DEV039            DEV041          DEV189
RES047            RES100            RES331            RES541

3. How can the management of air quality be taken forward?

a. Seek to minimise impact of increasing traffic levels
COM049          STA023            OTH023             OTH053           OTH066
OTH074          DEV041            DEV051             DEV052           DEV067
DEV189          RES047            RES100             RES194           RES195
RES331          RES444            RES541             RES596           RES602
MEM003          INT001

b. Apply tariff approach to generate additional funds
STA083            DEV003           DEV042            DEV074           RES415
RES601

Other issues relating to Transport and Air Quality:

Key policy options 1 and 2 are inadequate
STA001

Charging for car parking at developments in addition to associated improvements to
public transport services, may lead to a shift from car to more sustainable modes of
transport and potentially an improvement in air quality
STA021




                                                                                   20
                                       Page 61


There is an opportunity to develop a zero emission public transport network in
conjunction with the regeneration of the former industrial sites between Dartford and
Gravesend i.e. the trolleybus system
RES596

10a. Town Centre Transport and Major Sites

1. Do you agree/disagree with the Objective set out on page 134 of the report?

a. Agree
STA003            STA023            STA035            OTH023          OTH066
OTH074            DEV051            DEV067            RES100          RES195
RES331            RES415            RES444            RES541          RES596
RES602            MEM003

b. Disagree
OTH053            DEV041            DEV189

2. Key criteria for the future town centre transport network?

a. Maximise public transport access etc
STA003         STA023            STA083               STA035          COM049
OTH023         OTH053            OTH066               OTH074          DEV003
DEV041         DEV042            DEV051               DEV074          DEV189
RES047         RES100            RES195               RES331          RES415
RES444         RES596            RES601               RES602          MEM003

b. Give priority to free flow on existing network
DEV067            RES194             RES541

3. Transport Quarter objectives should be to?

a. Maximise public transport access and interchange
STA003         STA083            STA035           COM049              OTH023
OTH053         OTH066            OTH074           DEV003              DEV039
DEV041         DEV042            DEV051           DEV067              DEV074
DEV189         RES047            RES100           RES195              RES331
RES415         RES444            RES596           RES601              RES602
MEM003

b. Allow piecemeal development and existing car parking
RES194         RES541

4. Approach to town centre car parking should be to?

a. Managing existing and new stock efficiently for long/short stay parking with new
   residential development expected to provide on average 1 parking space per
   dwelling.
COM049           OTH066          OTH074              DEV051           DEV067
RES100           RES195          RES331              RES415           RES444
RES596           RES602          MEM003

b. Attempt to meet car parking demand by additional provision



                                                                                   21
                                   Page 62


STA035            RES047            RES130            RES541

c. Reduce car park provision, particularly long stay
OTH023            OTH053           DEV041            DEV189           RES194
RES601
5. Proposals for the Heritage Quarter should be?

a. Comprehensive quality mixed use development of both sites
STA003        STA023            COM049          OTH023                OTH066
OTH074        DEV039            DEV051          DEV067                RES047
RES195        RES331            RES415          RES444                RES541
RES596        RES602            MEM003

b. Piecemeal development of the sites
STA035         OTH053

c. Concentrate initially on either eastern or western site
RES100          RES194

6. On Imperial Site, proposals should seek to?

a. Explore options for mixed use development
STA003          STA023            STA035              COM049          OTH023
OTH053          OTH066            OTH074              OTH170          DEV051
DEV067          DEV172            RES100              RES195          RES331
RES415          RES444            RES541              RES596          MEM003

b. Allow piecemeal development in response to market demand
RES047         RES194           RES602

Other issues relating to Town Centre Transport and Major Sites:

Key policy options for town centre transport and major sites are inadequate
STA001

Support the extension of Fatstrack linking existing centres to new development in
North East Gravesend
STA021           STA023            STA083             OTH170           DEV003
DEV042           DEV074

To meet the proposed objectives, improvement will also need to be made to key bus
services other then Fastrack
OTH023

Allow the provision of shared parking i.e. car parking for commercial uses during the
day and residential uses in the evening and at weekends
DEV039

Separate car parking spaces should be created per number of dwellings to allow car
parking for visitors
 RES234            RES334




                                                                                    22
                                      Page 63


Ensure that new development does not have a negative impact on the vitality of other
parts of town centres or have an adverse effect on other locations of primary
shopping frontage
DEV190

11. Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy

1. What approach should the Borough Council adopt toward the questions of climate
   change, sustainability and use/production of renewable energy?

a. Do nothing/minimum required under legislation
RES541

b. Adopt a proactive approach with the Borough Council taking a lead on climate
   change, sustainability and use/production of renewable energy
STA003          STA008            STA023            STA083         STA035
COM49           OTH053            OTH065            OTH066         OTH074
DEV003          DEV037            DEV041            DEV042         DEV051
DEV067          DEV074            DEV189            RES047         RES100
RES194          RES195            RES308            RES331         RES415
RES444          RES596            RES602            MEM003         INT001

Other issues relating to Climate Change, Sustainable Development and
Renewable Energy:

Maximise opportunities for non-vehicular traffic such as walking and cycling to help
tackle climate change
STA023

Adopt adaptation measures that enable biodiversity to adapt to climate change
STA023           OTH067

Policies for climate change should seek standards that are achievable and flexible,
taking into consideration the viability of development
DEV039

Adopt a flexible target based approach for Climate Change, Sustainable
Development and Renewable Energy
STA083             STA065          DEV003           DEV042          DEV074

Include a prescriptive micro-generation policy in the Core Strategy
STA065

Greater focus on sustainable design and constructions methods
STA003           OTH065

Adopt minimum efficiency standards for extensions, change of use conversions and
refurbishments / listed building restorations
STA065

Standards concerning insulation, types of building material and use of solar panels
should be enforced and made a condition for commercial developers
RES547



                                                                                       23
                                   Page 64


With regard to energy efficiency - focus attention on improvements to the existing
built stock
DEV015

12. Flood Risk

1. In terms of location of new development

a. Making best use of previously developed land so as to avoid fresh land take but
   taking into account ability to defend against flooding whilst managing residual risk
STA003           STA023              STA024           STA083           STA078
OTH023           OTH045              OTH048           OTH066           OTH074
DEV003           DEV041              DEV042           DEV051           DEV074
DEV189           RES100              RES195           RES308           RES331
RES415           RES444              RES541           RES602           RES604
INT001

b. Prioritise sites least likely to flood
STA024             OTH048               OTH053       DEV037            DEV067
RES047             RES194               RES237       RES596            MEM003

c. Emphasis on new settlement pattern
STA024         COM049          DEV037

Other issues relating to Flood Risk:

Encourage the submission of flood risk assessments with all planning applications
STA023

Include a policy on Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)
STA023            STA078           DEV015

Where SUDS are not available alternative arrangements must be made to reduce the
risk of flooding of the sewage system
STA078

The restoration of the Thames and Medway Canal could contribute to sustainable
drainage issues
OTH045            OTH048

The sequential approach outlined in PPS25 may not be the most sustainable
approach for the Borough, as development sites in the Borough are based on the
construction of higher flood defences and need
OTH046

Include a policy based on the sequential approach to flood risk set out in PPS25
DEV015            RES194

13. Water Supply and Quality

1. What approach should the Borough Council adopt to questions of water supply
   and water quality?




                                                                                     24
                                       Page 65


a. Do nothing/minimum required under legislation
RES602

b. Adopt a proactive approach with the Borough Council taking a lead on water
   supply and quality issues
STA003          STA023           STA035          COM049            OTH048
OTH053          OTH066           OTH074          DEV041            DEV051
DEV067          DEV189           RES047          RES100            RES194
RES195          RES237           RES308          RES331            RES415
RES444          RES541           RES596          MEM003            INT001

Other issues relating to Water Supply and Quality:

Collect rainwater to use for toilet flushing within new build houses
STA035

Include a policy which expresses the Council’s intentions for standards of water
efficiency
STA078

Include a policy which protects the amenity of residents from wastewater treatment
works
STA078

Ensure that public water resources are protected from contamination
STA078

Include reference to water supply and sourcing in the Core Strategy
OTH066           OTH074

Include reference to waste and sewage in the Core Strategy
OTH066           OTH074

14. Thames Riverside

1. North Kent Marshes east of Metropolitan Police Training Centre

a. Improve access and nature conservation interest
STA035         OTH045           OTH048            OTH023               OTH053
OTH066         OTH074           OTH169            RES047               RES100
RES195         RES308           RES331            RES415               RES541
INT001

b. Reinstate Thames and Medway Canal (including reinstatement of the urban
   section from Canal Basin to Mark Lane)
COM049          OTH045           OTH048        OTH066            OTH074
OTH169          DEV067           RES308        RES331            RES444
RES596          RES602           RES604        MEM003

c. No change
DEV041            DEV189            RES194            RES601

2. Denton Slipways to the Metropolitan Police Training Centre (1)



                                                                                     25
                                 Page 66


a. Retain river related/commercial uses along frontage from Canal Basin along
   riverfront to Denton Wharf
STA035            OTH053          OTH066            OTH074          OTH169
DEV067            DEV067          RES047            RES100          RES194
RES415            RES444          RES541            RES601          MEM003

b. Promote mixed use development along riverfront from Canal Basin to Denton
   Wharf then retain existing river related uses
COM049          OTH023              OTH045       OTH048           OTH074
DEV040          DEV041              DEV189       RES195           RES331
RES596          RES602              RES604       INT001

3. Denton Slipways to the Metropolitan Police Training Centre (2)

a. Build a new bridge over the canal and railway to assist in regeneration and take
   heavy traffic out of Town Centre/ Canal Basin area
STA035            OTH023          OTH045            OTH048            OTH066
OTH074            OTH169          DEV041            DEV067            DEV189
RES047            RES100          RES194            RES195            RES331
RES444            RES541          RES601            RES602            RES604
MEM003            INT001

b. Limit development to traffic capacity of Ordnance Road junction
OTH053          OTH074             RES047           RES415           RES596

4. Northfleet Embankment East

a. Promote mixed use redevelopment of eastern/central part of site, retaining
   employment uses to west at Kimberley Clark etc
STA003         OTH023           OTH048            OTH074             DEV051
DEV062         RES195           RES331            RES415             RES444
RES596         RES602           MEM003            INT001

b. Retain all of area in industrial use
COM049            OTH053             OTH066         OTH169           DEV067
RES047            RES100             RES541         RES601

5. Northfleet Embankment West

a. Reinstate and enhance links along Ebbsfleet
STA024          OTH023           OTH048             OTH074           OTH169
DEV051          DEV052           RES047             RES100           RES195
RES331          RES415           RES444             RES596           RES602
MEM003

b. Relocate river businesses to Swanscombe Peninsula
STA024           COM049          OTH048         DEV051               DEV052
RES100           RES194          RES331         RES541               INT001

c. No change
OTH053           OTH066           DEV067            RES601

6. Swanscombe Peninsula


                                                                                  26
                                      Page 67


a. Accept relocated river related businesses
STA003          STA024             OTH023            OTH048            OTH074
DEV052          DEV067             RES047            RES195            RES331
RES415          RES541             RES601            RES602            INT001

b. Enhance local access links
COM049         DEV052              DEV067            RES194            RES331
RES444         RES596              MEM003            INT001

c. No change
OTH053           OTH066

Other issues relating to Thames Riverside:

Less emphasis on increasing public access to the river at Nothfleet Embankment
East and greater emphasis on redevelopment of the area
STA003

More emphasis on increasing public access to the river
COM049         RES047

The impact from development sites on existing road networks must be assessed and
minimised
STA021          RES047

A building of similar height and mass of the former power station at Northfleet
Embankment could potentially generate high levels of traffic to the area
STA021

Recognise Kent Marshes for their heritage value as well as for their nature
conservation importance
STA025

Development of Ebssfleet needs to consider the sensitive nature of important buried
archaeological sites along the valley
STA025

Key policy options, Royal Clarendon Hotel / Clarendon Lawn to Town Pier – ensure
that redevelopment schemes enhance the historic environment
STA025

Key policy options, Baltic Wharf to Imperial Wharf – redevelopment of this area
provides an opportunity to enhance the local character and the surviving historic
assets such as the piers
STA025

Key policy options, Northfleet Embankment West – highlight the potential for
important below ground remains associated with development of the Portland
Cement industry
STA025

Key policy options, Swanscombe Peninsula – there is a need for suitable
assessments of heritage issues such as the early cement industry works


                                                                                    27
                                   Page 68


STA025

The approach to redevelopment of Northfleet Embankment West needs to be
integrated with the general redevelopment of Ebbsfleet Valley
 STA025

Include more information on the redevelopment of Ebbsfleet
STA025

The proposal for a new bridge over the railway at Denton is supported, subject to it
being extended across the Kent and Medway Canal with sufficient clearance for
navigation and a continuous towpath
OTH045           OTH048

The restoration of the Thames and Medway Canal should be priority as part of the
Canal Basin development
OTH045            OTH048

Mixed-use developments do not require a riparian location
OTH046

Object to development at Northfleet Embankment West – because of the possible
implications for cargo handling capacity at the operational, viable terminals
OTH046

Object to the allocation of Imperial wharf for retail development, within the Baltic
Wharf to Imperial Wharf area
OTH046

At Northfleet Embankment East - the existing aggregates facility at Red Lion Wharf
operated by Stema Shipping must be either retained or relocated to a comparable
location
OTH046

Seacons operations at Tower Wharf must be retained
OTH046

Improvements to infrastructure are required in Swanscombe Peninsula West,
Northfleet Embankment Central Industrial Area and east of Denton Slipways
OTH046

Canal Basin regeneration area – essential to provide additional lock gates to provide
maximum flexibility for boats entering and departing the Basin
OTH169

The Thames and Medway Canal and Northfleet Embankment West (new) should be
expanded for boating
OTH169

Adopt a flexible approach to the reinstatement of the Thames and Medway Canal -
development should not be frustrated by a requirement for its full reinstatement
DEV041            DEV189



                                                                                       28
                                       Page 69


A key consideration in the redevelopment of Northfleet Embankment is maintaining
the existing level of flood protection
DEV051

In terms of the wider River Ebbsfleet, no mention is made of the hydrology of the
river and the need for pumping to maintaining supplies
DEV051

Object to the Core Strategy as it focuses on the development of residential / office
use and does not seek to utilise the river facilities currently available
DEV067

Object to page 168 – there is no reference to the support for cargo-handling or
support infrastructure
OTH046

Land at Grove Road, Northfleet Embankment West will not be taken forward as a
new primary school facility as indicated previously
DEV0115

15. Countryside

1. How do we protect and enhance the countryside whilst ensuring that it remains
   vibrant and that people living in the rural areas have appropriate access to
   services?

a. Support rural diversification with small scale Green Belt release
STA003           STA083             DEV003           DEV009             DEV042
DEV062           DEV074             DEV153           RES195             RES596

b. Support rural diversification with larger scale Green Belt release
DEV037           RES047              RES179           RES194            RES237
RES514           MEM003

c. Give priority to Green Belt and other conservation policies
STA035            STA038           STA084           COM049              OTH053
OTH066            OTH074           DEV067           RES100              RES308
RES331            RES415           RES444           RES541              RES602
INT001

2. The current policy on extensions to residential properties in the Green Belt allow
   an increase of one third over original floor area. Should this allowance change?

a. Be maintained at existing level
STA035         COM049              OTH053             OTH074            RES047
RES100         RES179              RES194             RES195            RES308
RES331         RES541              RES596             RES602            MEM003
INT001

b. Be increased
OTH066          DEV037              DEV129            RES237            RES601




                                                                                        29
                                   Page 70


c. Be reduced
DEV067        RES415                RES444

3. What should be the role of the urban/rural fringe in Gravesham?

a. Adopt a positive management strategy
STA003           STA023         STA083                 COM049          DEV003
DEV009           DEV037         DEV042                 DEV062          DEV067
DEV074           DEV153         RES047                 RES179          RES195
RES237           RES331         RES415                 RES596          MEM003

b. Continue the current restrictive approach
STA035          OTH053              OTH074             RES100          RES194
RES308          RES444              RES514             RES541          RES602
INT001

Other issues relating to Countryside:

Protect and enhance public right of way
STA023

Always give priority to protection of the Green Belt
STA035            RES444

There is danger that the release of Green Belt in very special circumstances will
become a normal occurrence, with planning permission being too readily given
OTH061

15a. Culverstone Valley Area

1. Do you agree/disagree with the Objective set out on page 197 of the report?

a. Agree
OTH066            OTH074            DEV067             RES179          RES194
RES195            RES308            RES331             RES415          RES541
RES596            RES603            MEM003

b. Disagree
DEV037            RES199            RES237             RES444          RES599


2. How should development within the Culverstone Valley Area be controlled?

a. Separate policy until all authorised plots are developed
OTH066          DEV037              DEV172            RES047           RES179
RES199          RES415              RES596            RES603

b. Normal Green Belt policy with allowance for adequate amenities
COM049        OTH053             OTH074           DEV067          RES194
RES308        RES331             RES541           MEM003          INT001

3. If a separate policy approach is maintained should authorised caravans continue
   to be allowed to be replaced with a permanent dwelling?


                                                                                    30
                                       Page 71



a. Caravans should be treated as elsewhere in the Borough
OTH074         DEV067            RES047           RES179                RES194
RES415         RES541            RES603           MEM003                INT001

b. The exceptions policy for caravans should be retained
OTH053          OTH066            DEV037           RES237               RES308
RES596

4. If a separate policy approach is maintained, should the existing floorspace limit for
   replacing or extending authorised chalets be retained?

a. Maintain the existing floorspace limit of 92.9m2
RES194           RES415            RES541           RES603              MEM003
INT001

b. Allow one third expansion as normal in the Green Belt
OTH053           OTH066          OTH074           DEV067                RES047
RES179           RES596

c. Increase the floorspace
COM049           DEV037             RES199            RES237

Other issues relating to Culverstone Valley Area:

Strongly object against changes to the Culverstone Village boundaries
COM061            RES263           RES355           RES438           RES439
RES589            RES590           RES591           RES592           RES593
RES594            RES595           RES597

Strongly object to Rhododendron Avenue and Beechwood Drive being considered to
be excluded from the Culverstone Valley Area
COM061            RES263         RES355         RES438          RES439
RES589            RES590         RES591         RES592          RES593
RES594            RES595         RES597

Strongly object to 6 acres of land at the end of Conifer Driver being considered to be
included in the Culverstone Valley Area
COM061            RES234            RES263            RES334            RES355
RES438            RES439            RES589            RES590            RES591
RES592            RES593            RES594            RES595            RES597

Protect and enhance the reaming ancient woodland in the Culverstone Valley Area
COM061          RES603

The Culverstone Valley Area should be removed from the green belt
DEV037

The Culverstone Valley Area should not be removed from the green belt
RES594

Authorise all plots to be developed in the Culverstone Valley Area
DEV037             RES226           RES472           RES514             RES586


                                                                                      31
                                   Page 72


RES599

The plots which have previously had dwellings or are between authorised plots
should have normal building planning rules as a developed area
RES199

Authorising buildings on all plots would present a stable neat outlook for the
Culverstone Valley Area
RES199            RES514

Unauthorised plots in the Culverstone Valley Area should remain undeveloped
RES603

The Culverstone Valley Area needs a better standard for development
RES237          RES226          RES514            RES586

The objectives set out on page 197 are inappropriate due to variable rules for land
owners
RES199

The policy for the Culverstone Valley Area has resulted in unfairness for plot owners
RES226             RES472          RES514            RES586            RES599

A policy should be devised to bring Culverstone Valley Area within the village
envelope of Culverstone Village
RES514            RES599

Access should be improved in the Culverstone Valley Area
RES603

16. Rural Settlements

1. What should be the approach of the Council to the planning of rural settlements
   over the next 20 years?

a. Continue with existing policies
STA035          STA038             STA084             OTH023            OTH053
OTH074          RES195             RES331             RES444            RES541
RES602          RES603             MEM003

b. Reviewing village envelopes with the aim of identifying small parcels of land
   for specific forms of development
COM049             OTH053         OTH066           DEV037             RES179
RES237             RES601

c. Limited extensions to village boundaries
OTH053          DEV067             RES047             RES308            RES415
RES596          RES600             INT001

Other issues relating to Rural Settlements:

Ensure that small scale development in villages will not conflict with the Green Belt



                                                                                        32
                                        Page 73


STA035            STA084

Review needs and requirements for housing, business accommodation, and
community facilities in rural areas
DEV129

Stop the re-definition of village boundaries
RES234            RES334

Support and protect existing farms in the Borough
OTH074

Other Issues:

Greater emphasis on sustainable development is needed in the Core Strategy
STA001          DEV039

The Core Strategy is too dependent upon the success of Ebssfleet Valley which is
unlikely because of the high risk of flooding in the valley
OTH053

Improve opportunities for passenger transportation by river
OTH046          RES047            RES547

Transport (general) – object – there is little mention of freight transport and the
potential for the increased use of the River Thames for the transhipment of freight
OTH046

Improve the quality of roads, highways and motorways in the Borough
RES130

Reduce the number of traffic lights in the Borough as it stops of the flow of traffic
RES130

The use of more then 2 cars per family should be discouraged
RES234           RES334

Remove reference to drive-through restaurants to encourage minimal car usage in
the LDF
OTH074

Speed cushions should be planned more carefully within new roads
RES541

Improve access for elderly person to Arrie Stores
RES194

A CHP/energy-from-waste facility should be provided, adjacent to the retained
Lafarge plant to deal with increased amounts of waste
OTH066




                                                                                        33
                                  Page 74


The objectives in respect of health and well being are too vague and should be cross
referenced to the suitability of housing
OTH071

Expand upon an existing objective or create a new objective, which promotes sports
activity and relates this to the need to embrace preventive measures to address
causes of ill health and inactivity
OTH128

The objectives for Life-Long Learning on page 10 should be expanded so that the
Council recognises the value of having mixed education providers within the Borough
i.e. including the private sector
DEV009             DEV153

Objective SO1 is inadequate
STA001

Objectives SO1 – S013 add little value
STA001

A further objective should be included in SO1 to plan the location of development
according to flood sensitivity
STA024

In reference to Objective SO1 - do not encourage more people or jobs into the area
STA038           RES547

Objective SO1 – include a reference to the location of new developments being close
to existing or proposed facilities
DEV009             DEV153

Objective SO1 – given the status of Ebbsfleet Valleys it should be progressed as a
priority over other development sites within Gravesham
DEV052

Objective SO2 – small firms will require small accommodation through conversions
or studios etc in the Borough
DEV129

Objective SO3 – there is a need to provide a wide range of housing
DEV129

Objective SO7 - include a reference to the Environment Agency’s design
requirements
STA024

Objective S10 – more emphasis is needed on travelling north south to link rural
communities on the main transport arteries and the urban areas
DEV129

Objective SO13 – include a reference to the need for increased water capacity
OTH074



                                                                                     34
                                      Page 75



Objective SO14 – include a reference to the use of the Thames Riverside for cargo-
handling and preserving operational capacity for port uses within the Borough
STA046

Objective SO14 – there is a need to protect deep water berths and employment sites
that can utilise river freight transport
DEV129

Objective SO15 should be re-drafted as it does not recognise the key spatial issues
of the countryside within Gravesham
DEV009            DEV153

Objective SO15 - should facilitate the changing need of agricultural businesses and
the need to diversify the rural economy
DEV129

Objective SO15 – improve opportunities for access to recreation including walking,
cycling and safe use of rural lanes
DEV129

Objective S015 - All green belt land should be protected not just special areas
RES444

Objectives SO15 and SO16 – include a reference to noise or light intrusion
OTH074

Objective SO16 should set out what future is being sought for rural areas
STA001

4. List of Allocated Sites

Representations have been received for the following sites.

Residential Development:

•   Land north of Wallis Park between Grove Road and College Road, Northfleet
    (STA024)
•   Land adjoining 64 Downs Road, Istead Rise (RES207)
•   Imperial Wharf (DEV172)
•   Land at White Post Lane, Sole Street, Cobham (DEV037)
•   Land east of Conifer Drive, Culverstone Green (DEV037)
•   Land north of Longfield Road, Hook Green, Meopham (DEV054)
•   Land adjoining A2 and Westside Thong Lane (DEV190)
•   Wrotham Road, Gravesend (DEV009) (DEV153)
•   Ward Boundary Commority Road, Culverstone, Meopham (RES237)
•   Whitehorse Wood, Commority Road, Culverstone, Meopham (RES237)
•   Land lying east of the bridge at Longfield Hill (RES389)

Extensions to Village Boundaries for Residential Development / Usage:

•   90 Down Road, Istead Rise (RES143)
•   Land formally part of the See-Ho, Pear Tree Lane, Shorne (RES580)


                                                                                     35
                                Page 76


•   Site at Warren Farm, Swiller’s Lane, Shorne (RES587)
•   Buckland Farm, Lower Higham (RES600)
•   Land at Meadow Lane, Culversone (RES600)
•   Land adjoining See-Ho, Peartree Lane, Shorne (RES600)
•   Land at junction at Sole Street and Gold Street (RES600)
•   Land adjacent to 16 Lower Higham Road, Higham (RES600)
•   Land at Wrotham Road, Culverstone (RES600)

Release of plots at Culverstone Valley Area for Residential Development:

•   Plot No 4, Heron Hill Lane (RES017)
•   Fairoak Rhododendron Avenue (RES179)
•   Vacant plots at Rhododendron Avenue (RES514)

Mixed-Use Development:

•   Gravesend Police Station, Windmill Street (DEV102)
•   Gravesend County Court, 26 King Street (OTH173)
•   Heritage Quarter, Gravesend Town Centre (DEV039)
•   Land lying between Mark Lane, Denton and the Clubb’s Aggregate Terminal
    (DEV040)
•   Industrial land to the east of Gravesend Town Centre alongside the River
    Thames, including Albion Quayside (DEV041) (DEV189)
•   Northfleet Works site (DEV051)

Leisure, Culture and Tourism Development:

•   Ordnance Road / Milton Road Triangle, Gravesend (RES598)
•   Land at Coldharbour Road, Gravesend (DEV033)

Employment / Commercial Development:

•   Land at Coldharbour Road, Gravesend X 2 (DEV033)

Industrial Development:

•   Northfleet Works site (DEV051)

5. List of Respondents

Statutory Consultees:

STA001        South East England Regional Assembly
STA002        Government Office for the South East
STA003        South East England Development Agency
STA008        Environment Agency
STA021        Highways Agency
STA023        Kent County Council Strategy & Planning Division
STA025        Kent County Council Heritage Conservation
STA024        Kent County Council Property Group
STA083        Kent County Council Estates
STA035        Cobham Parish Council
STA038        Meopham Parish Council (1)
STA085        Meopham Parish Council (2)


                                                                               36
                                   Page 77


STA041       Swanscombe & Greenhithe Town Council
STA059       Mobile Operators Association
STA078       Southern Water

Community and Voluntary Organisations:

COM020      Friends, Families & Travellers
COM049      Gravesend Access Group
COM061      Culverstone Action Group

Other Consultation Bodies:

OTH023       Arrival Southern Counties
OTH045       Inland Water Association
OTH046       Port of London Authority
OTH048       Thames & Medway Canal Association
OTH053       Gravesham Friends of the Earth
OTH061       London Greenbelt Council
OTH062       Garden History Society
OTH065       British Wind Energy Association
OTH066       Kent Federation of Amenity Societies
OTH067       Kent Wildlife Trust
OTH074       Campaign to Protect Rural England (Kent)
OTH102       Kent Police
OTH132       The Theatres Trust
OTH128       Sport England
OTH169       River Thames Society (Central Tideway and Estuary Branch)
OTH170       Railway Pension Trustees Co Ltd
OTH171       SJP Group
OTH172       Thames Gateway North Kent Cultural Partnership
OTH173       HMSC
OTH174       Kent Planning Officers Group

Development Industry:

DEV003       Barratt Homes (Eastern Counties)
DEV009       Bovis Homes
DEV014       Fairview New Homes Ltd
DEV015       House Builders Federation
DEV033       Capital Enterprise Centres Limited
DEV037       Mrs C Stanley
DEV039       Edinburgh House Estates
DEV040       Ensign Properties Ltd
DEV042       Fort Knight Group
DEV041       Feabrex Limited
DEV045       Gad’s Hill School
DEV051       Lafarge Cement UK
DEV052       Land Securities Ltd
DEV054       London & Oriental Properties Ltd
DEV056       Metropolitan Police Authority
DEV062       Sainsbury’s Supermarket
DEV067       Stema Shipping (UK) Ltd
DEV074       Rochester Bridge Wardens Trust
DEV104       DAC Architects
DEV115       DPDS Consulting


                                                                         37
                                 Page 78


DEV129       Graham Simpkin Planning
DEV153       Persimmon Homes
DEV172       Tribal MJP (on behalf of client)
DEV189       Barratt Homes
DEV190       Phillip Jeans Homes

Residents:

RES017       Sheila Bristow
RES047       Mr R G Chandler
RES100       Peter Day
RES119       Dr Michael Harvey
RES130       R W Elford
RES143       Ken Evans
RES179       Mr M Granieri
RES194       Harold Harding
RES195       Peter Harding
RES207       R J Heddon
RES226       Mr Raymond Holmes & Mrs Hazel Elmes
RES234       R W Houghton & O M Houghton
RES237       Mr Kevin & Mrs Sheila Howe
RES263       A G Johns
RES308       Ronald F Makewell
RES331       David Mead
RES334       S Medonos
RES355       T Mummery
RES389       J D Phelps
RES415       Val Reader
RES438       David M Rose
RES439       Shelia Rose
RES444       Robert Rudge
RES472       Mrs M Shepherd
RES514       Mr P Thomas
RES541       B Wade
RES547       Peter Wakeman
RES580       Mr J F Wood
RES586       Mr & Mrs K Rogers
RES587       Sheena Down
RES589       Geoffrey Framer & Susan Farmer
RES590       Mr Nunns
RES591       A R & D Sims
RES592       D Continito
RES593       Mr & Mrs Algar
RES594       Richard & Patricia Sutch
RES596       John R Fuller
RES595       Anthony Chamberlain
RES597       Mrs L Wenham
RES598       Andy Clement-Bishop
RES599       Various Residents 1 (c/o Graham Simpkin Planning)
RES600       Various Residents 2 (c/o Graham Simpkin-Graham Planning)
RES601       D Shaw
RES602       Kenneth Jones
RES603       Max and Ron Bramer
RES604       John Epton



                                                                        38
                                  Page 79


Council Members:

MEM003      Cllr Ron Bowman

Gravesham Borough Council Departments:

INT001      Regulatory Services




                                            39
           Page 80




This page is intentionally left blank
                                            Page 81                    Agenda Item 8
     Updated to take account of CLG letter of 07/02/08 confirming 2nd tranche allocations




                               Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                       Cabinet

Date:                            11 February 2008

Reporting officer:               Director (Regeneration and Regulation)

Subject:                         Planning Delivery Grant (PDG)

Purpose and summary of report:
To advise Members of funding received to date, expenditure, commitments and allocations to
date, and to review budgeted and future expenditure.
Recommendations:
Members are requested to note possible implications for the 2009/10 General Fund budget
set out at para. 2.2, support the prudent approach to future use of funds and agree to the
remaining existing funding being put towards the costs incurred in bringing forward the Local
Development Framework (LDF) in 2007/8.


1.   Planning Delivery Grant 2007/08

     1.1   This issue was reported upon last on 12 March 2007, when Members were
           advised of a ‘first tranche’ allocation of £50,517. Since that time, the ‘first tranche’
           allocation was confirmed at a marginally lower figure (£50,463) and ‘second
           tranche’ allocations made, the sum for Gravesham being £278,738, giving an
           overall total of £329,255.

     1.2   The grant aims to provide additional funding to enable local authorities to improve
           their planning resources and introduce the many changes which the Government
           is bringing in as part of its programme to reform planning. PDG is not ring-fenced
           but the DCLG strongly encourages local authorities to invest the money in their
           planning services. A total of 25% of the authority’s award must be used for capital
           expenditure.

     1.3   In terms of future years, Government has previously consulted on proposals for a
           Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (H&PDG) which will reward local planning
           authorities for the delivery of their local development frameworks and sustainable
           development outcomes. A consultation is currently taking place concerning
           allocation mechanisms for this funding, and a briefing note prepared for the Kent
           Planning Officers’ Group (KPOG) is attached at Appendix B. We are working to
           position ourselves to maximise the potential for further grant income from this
           source.
                                      Page 82


2.   Allocations 2003/04 to 2007/08

     2.1   The level of PDG received is based upon a variety of factors as set out above.
           With section 1 in mind, allocations are set out below.
            Year                                    PDG Allocation
            2003/4                                     £124,878
            2004/5                                     £169,620
            2005/6                                     £217,542
            2006/7                                     £448,276
            2007/8                                     £329,255
            Total                                     £1,289,571

     2.2   To date, £1,261,541 of this sum had been spent / committed to the end of 2007/8,
           or is committed / allocated for future years, as set out in Appendix A. Thus there
           remains a sum of approximately £28,000 currently unallocated in the PDG ‘pot’.
           However, it should be remembered that there is an ongoing revenue requirement
           for staff costs of almost £200,000 per annum which will need to be found from
           general budgets from 2009/10 onwards if further grant funding does not cover it.



3.   Review of 2007/8 funding allocations

     3.1   Expenditure previously approved for 2007/8 was as follows:

            Item                      Budget                         Commentary

            Computer upgrades         £2,500          Only £165 has been spent to date but
                                                      more may be required for the forthcoming
                                                      round of computer replacements
                                                      (upgrade from desktop to laptop, etc.)
            Data capture              £40,000         This has not been committed yet and
                                                      Cabinet agreed (14/1/08) that this is used
                                                      to offset the overspends on the CAPS
                                                      capital budget.
            Digital cameras, etc.     £1,000          This has not been committed yet and
                                                      Cabinet agreed (14/1/08) that this is used
                                                      to offset the overspend on the CAPS
                                                      capital budget.
            Staff                     £20,000         Whilst a permanent appointment has not
                                                      yet been made, support has been bought
                                                      in through use of a temporary
                                                      appointment. An appointment will be
                                                      considered in thee light of proposed
                                                      changes to the structure of the
                                                      development control team.

            Contribution              £40,000         Included within GF revenue budgets.
            towards LDF



                                                2
                                           Page 83


             Item                      Budget                      Commentary

             Licences for and          £30,000       Included within GF revenue budgets.
             maintenance of
             CAPS-Uniform system
             Contribution              £60,000       Already utilised
             towards
             Accommodating
             Excellence

             IT Consumables             £100         Some expenditure incurred

             Staff Training            £5,500        This has not been committed yet and
                                                     Cabinet agreed (14/1/08) that this is used
                                                     to offset the overspend on the CAPS
                                                     capital budget.

     3.2    Members agreed to utilise the identified £46,500 to reduce the anticipated IT
            system capital overspends at their meeting on 14 January 2008.



4.   Proposed future expenditure

     4.1    With an ongoing need for staff salaries funding, uncertainty over future funding
            (the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant proposals are still at the consultation
            stage – with current proposals indicating provisional allocations in the summer and
            payments in the autumn) and with little remaining in the ‘pot’, it would not appear
            prudent to rely upon this source for any ‘new’ funding in 2008/9.

     4.2    It is suggested that the fund remaining from past allocation (£28,000) is put
            towards costs incurred in bringing forward the Local Development Framework
            (LDF) in 2007/8.



5.   Conclusions

     5.1    Members are requested to note possible implications for the 2009/10 General
            Fund budget set out at para. 2.2, support the prudent approach to future use of
            funds and agree to the remaining existing funding being put towards the costs
            incurred in bringing forward the Local Development Framework (LDF) in 2007/8.



6.   Section 17, Crime & Disorder Act 1998

     6.1    There are no community safety issues relating to this proposal.



7.   Risk

     7.1    In the event of H&PDG allocations being insufficient to meet salary commitments


                                                 3
                          Page 84


from 2009/10 onwards, there would be a significant impact upon the General Fund
revenue budget, which would have to be managed.




                                 4
                                         Page 85
    Updated to take account of CLG letter of 07/02/08 confirming 2nd tranche allocations


                                                                             Appendix A

PDG expenditure, commitments and allocations (including 2007/8 salaries) to date

Expenditure, commitments and allocations, to date, can be summarised as follows:

Year       Item                          Expenditure 1   Comments

2003/4     Salaries & oncosts               £6,029
           Training                          £250
           Kent Design                      £3,000
           IT Enhancements                  £3,741

           Sub total                       £13,020

2004/5     Salaries & oncosts              £65,288
           Training                          £116
           IT Enhancements                  £5,812

           Sub total                       £71,216

2005/6     Salaries & oncosts              £89,167
           Training                         £1,550
           IT Consumables                    £117

           Sub total                       £90,834




                                                                              / continued




1
    Includes commitments / allocations
                                           Page 86
    Updated to take account of CLG letter of 07/02/08 confirming 2nd tranche allocations


Year         Item                               Expenditure       Comments


2006/7       Salaries & oncosts                   £128,169
             Conservation Area                    £25,000 2       Total of £125,000 over 5 years
             Appraisals
             Computer package                     £206,542        Budget allocation
             Data Capture                          £75,000        Budget allocation
             LDF Contribution                      £59,490
             Training                                £200
             Digital Cameras                         £553
             IT Consumables                          £193
             IT Services Recharge                   £8,989
             Consultants Fees                       £9,889
             Advertising                            £3,861
             Training & Recruitment                £10,000
             Accommodating Excellence              £65,000

             Sub total                            £517,961

2007/8       Salaries & oncosts                   £154,820
             Conservation Area                     £25,000        Total of £125,000 over 5 years
             Appraisals
             IT Purchases                           £2,500
             IT Consumables                          £100
             CAPS IT System                        £46,500        As approved by Cabinet on
                                                                  14/01/08
             LDF Contribution                      £40,000
             CAPS Licenses                         £30,000

             Sub total                            £298,920




                                                                                             / continued




2
    This sum was inadvertently set against the Development Control budget for consultants rather
    than being retained for conservation area appraisal work. Subject to the overall cost of this work it
    may be necessary to add to the remaining £100,000 in due course
                                      Page 87
  Updated to take account of CLG letter of 07/02/08 confirming 2nd tranche allocations


Year      Item                        Expenditure    Comments


2008/9    Salaries & oncosts            £185,490
          Conservation Area              £25,000     Total of £125,000 over 5 years
          Appraisals
          Staff Training                 £5,500
          Digital Cameras, etc.          £1,000
          IT Purchases                   £2,500
          IT Consumables                  £100

          Sub total                     £219,590

2009/10   Salaries & oncosts                ?
          Conservation Area              £25,000     Total of £125,000 over 5 years
          Appraisals

          Sub total                      £25,000

2010/11   Salaries & oncosts                ?
          Conservation Area              £25,000     Total of £125,000 over 5 years
          Appraisals

          Sub total                      £25,000


          Grand Total                  £1,261,541
                                        Page 88
    Updated to take account of CLG letter of 07/02/08 confirming 2nd tranche allocations


                                                                                    Appendix B

Housing and Planning Delivery Grant: Consultation on allocation mechanism

1. The Barker review of housing supply recommended increased local incentives to help
stimulate housing delivery. The proposal to introduce a Housing and Planning Delivery Grant
(HPDG) from April 2008 is one of a suite of measures to secure this and to help facilitate the
Government’s target to provide 240,000 homes per year by 2016.

2. HPDG is intended to:

     •   Strengthen the incentive for local authorities to respond to local housing pressures
         by returning the benefits of growth to communities

     •   Incentivise efficient and effective planning procedures

3. HPDG will replace Planning Delivery Grant (PDG) which has run for three years. Much
PDG funding has incentivised improved performance in development control with the
remainder shared between plan making, housing delivery and top slicing for planning
support and advisory bodies. In future funding for development control will be supported by
proposed increases in planning fees3. HPDG will focus on two areas – plan making and
housing delivery.

4. The principle of the HPDG has been the subject of previous consultation. In response to
this CLG notes that:

    -    HPDG will not be ring fenced and can be used according to local priorities
    -    It is not intended as an infrastructure fund or as a substitute for it – other funding
         streams and the proposed planning charge will be available for this
    -    HPDG needs to respect the primacy of the planning system and should serve to
         incentivise local areas to deliver against the level, type and design of housing agreed
         through the planning process
    -    HPDG will not be based on the average level of housing affordability as
         previously envisaged but be available to all local areas demonstrating ‘ambitious
         housing delivery’

5. HPDG will provide £510million nationally over 3 years (2008-2011). In comparison with
PDG the housing element will expand six fold to £316m and the plan making element almost
five fold to £194m. Funding will be front ended towards planning and back ended towards
housing in recognition of the respective delivery timescales. However the funding stream will
also reflect substantial annual variation (£100m in Year 1 rising to £250m in Year 3). The
housing delivery element of HPDG will provide the major part of overall funding (62%)

6. For the planning element of HPDG authorities would be rewarded for progress against
delivery of ‘sound’ plans and delivery of land for housing including a 5 year supply of ‘ready
to develop housing sites. Three components are envisaged:

    -    40% for assessment and identification of land for housing over a 5 year timescale
         and measured against National Indicator 159 (supply of ready to develop housing
         sites). Demonstration of a 15 year supply ( as assessed through Strategic Housing
         Land Assessments ) will attract enhanced grant


3
  CLG proposals envisage a 23% increase in most fees and a significant increase in the maximum fee
from April 2008
                                            Page 89


   -    48% for plan making based on delivery of Core Strategies and DPDs which ‘allocate ‘
        more than 2,000 dwellings. A baseline grant of £10,000 is envisaged. Progress
        would be measured against local development schemes with staged payments allied
        to submission and adoption of DPDs. Reductions would be made in the grant
        payable where delays occur to submission and adoption delivery milestones e.g. a
        delay of more than 6 months would reduce grant eligibility to only 20%.

   -    10% for joint working ( 6% for preparation of joint LDDs; 4% for preparation
        and publication (by March 2009) of Strategic Housing Market Assessments based on
        sub regional Housing Market partnerships

    -   2% for Minerals and Waste Core Strategies produced by County Councils

Abatement

7. To ensure a continuing incentive to deliver on development control the planning element
of HPDG would be abated where the performance of the development control service falls
below the national standard included in National Indicator 157 (processing of planning
applications against targets for major, minor and other applications).

8. For the housing element of HPDG:

   •    local authorities will need to demonstrate average annual delivery of net additional
        housing equivalent to at least 0.75% of their housing stock.
        Awarding grant on the basis on delivery against existing targets in current plans seen
        as inequitable at this point as targets are under revision through the RSS process.

   •    In each year the per unit grant available will be determined on the basis of the total
        funding available for that year divided by the total number of homes completed
        nationally above the 0.75% threshold. The per unit grant will then be divided by the
        specific number of homes above the delivery floor for each authority to give individual
        allocations.

9. In addition to the criteria for the allocation of the elements of HPDG Government is also
seeking views on:

   •    whether design quality should be included in HPDG;
   •    whether HPDG should be used to support the building of more family homes e.g. via
        different amounts of grant for different types of home;
   •    whether and how performance in tackling empty homes could be included in HPDG;
   •    whether use by a local authority of the Register of Surplus Public Sector Land should
        be an eligibility criterion for receiving HPDG.

Initial Comments

10. The proposed structure and eligibility criteria for HPDG, including the plan making
element, show an overwhelming emphasis on provision for housing rather than plan making
in the round. Non housing DPDs produced by other authorities would not be recognised for
grant purposes .Counties are only eligible for 2% of the planning element and then only for
Minerals and Waste Core Strategies – separate site allocation documents would not be
eligible.

11. The eligibility threshold for housing DPDs is set at a relatively high level – allocation of
2000+ dwellings. This ignores the scale of need to allocate land given both the totality of


                                                9
                                       Page 90


existing supply (i.e. other commitment established through planning consents) and the
relationship between existing housing land supply and total provision proposed in RSS. It is
also not clear whether the threshold relates solely to new allocations or may include previous
allocations that are carried forward in new DPDs.

12. Grant allied to progress with Core Strategies is not related to the scale of housing
delivery e.g. through identification of strategic sites. Such provision may curtail the scope of
housing allocations to be made through non Core Strategy DPDs.

13. Despite the support for the primacy of the planning system the proposals for the housing
element of the HPDG are based on additions to the housing stock above a minimum
percentage. This is rationalised on the basis that housing targets in plans (RSS) are
currently being revised and are in a state of flux. This approach is misplaced – assessment
based on levels of existing stock takes no account of the outcomes of the plan process for
housing provision and the judgements that have been made about the full range of
influences on this. In the South East LDFs are being prepared in the knowledge of provisions
made in the draft South East Plan and provision for housing should be assessed on its
terms. Awaiting the outcome of a further review of the South East Plan which responds to
the Government’s 2007 Green Paper housing targets would delay a plan based assessment
until well into the HPDG 3 year period.

14. Local authorities do not directly deliver housing - delivery is by the private sector or
RSLs in respect of affordable housing. Beyond the allocation of land, the granting of
planning consent and removal of infrastructure constraints, which may be in the gift of local
authorities, the influence is indirect and subject, inter alia, to the commercial and marketing
decisions of landowners and developer interests. The housing completions based allocation
mechanism does not sit well with this. What is important is that local authorities are
incentivised to plan fully and expeditiously for their proposed (plan led) levels of housing
provision and that delivery, including expectations of short term future delivery, are
rigorously monitored.

15. The completions based allocation mechanism does not recognise progress with
affordable housing and its relationship with regional or local targets for the rate of affordable
housing delivery.

16. Alongside incentivising overall delivery, consideration should be given to supporting the
form in which new housing is provided – notably the performance achieved in securing the
reuse of previously developed land and the efficient use of land overall. This would serve to
reinforce established planning policies and guidance (PPS3).

17. Apart from the plan making component of the planning element of HPDG which would
be based on a baseline grant there would be considerable uncertainty for local authorities in
the level of grant available – for example the housing delivery element will depend on a per
unit grant that is determined by the overall scale of housing completions nationally and their
pattern in relation to housing stock change above the set threshold. Similarly the grant
available for the identification of land for housing over a 5 and 15 year timescale will depend
on the number of authorities that qualify in any one year. Might not this element also be
based on a baseline grant?

18. Staged payments of the plan making element of HPDG should take into account that
beyond the submission stage progress to Examination and final adoption lies beyond the
direct control of the planning authority.

19. Government should acknowledge that its aspirations for the improvement of planning
performance and provision for housing can only be maintained by establishing a new

                                               10
                                          Page 91


financial stream to add to RSG. The uncertainty that arises from annual grant assessments
(with an unknown shelf life) militates against investment in capacity for the long term. The
HPDG proposals themselves indicate significant variability year on year albeit on a rising
curve.



Strategy and Planning Division
KCC
December 2007




                                             11
           Page 92




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                                           Page 93                    Agenda Item 9




                                Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                      Cabinet

Date:                           11 February 2008

Reporting officer:              Director (Regeneration and Regulation)
                                Director (Organisational Improvement)

Subject:                        To consider potential disposal of surplus land holding at
                                Springhead Road, Northfleet
Purpose and summary of report:

To seek authority to investigate alternative uses of surplus land at Springhead Road,
Northfleet, including its use as a Gypsy and Traveller site, and to investigate methods of
disposal.

Recommendation:
1    Further investigation is carried out on the potential for using the surplus land at
     Springhead Road, Northfleet for commercial or residential use, including affordable and
     special needs housing and a Gypsy and Traveller site.

2    Further investigation is carried out on the methods of disposal of the site.


1.      Introduction

        1.1    In November 2006 Cabinet received a report on the Council's Asset
               Management Plan. This report highlighted the need to continually challenge
               the effectiveness of the Council's property portfolio. At Gravesham this
               process is achieved by means of "The Ideal Property Portfolio" which links
               back into Service Planning and the Corporate Plan objectives of the Council.

        1.2    Recently the Director (Housing & Operational Services) identified a piece of
               land, for which the cemetery service has no further operational need. The
               land at Springhead Road, shown on the attached plan, has been held for
               cemetery purposes and used as non-statutory allotments for many years. In
               September 2007 the Cabinet received a detailed report on cemeteries and
               burials provision which highlighted the difficulties expressed by the
               Environment Agency in using land the reserved for cemetery purposes at
               Hartshill Road. Similar difficulties pertain to this site, which is classed as
               zone 1 in terms of groundwater protection - see attached appendix 1. In
               order to assess the risk of groundwater contamination if the site were to be
               used for cemetery purposes, the Environment Agency will require boreholes
               which the Council does not have the finance to undertake. As such, the land
               at Springhead Road is surplus to requirements for cemetery provision. The
               meantime use as allotments can be accommodated elsewhere within
                                  Page 94


           underused statutory allotment sites, such as Painters Ash and Harden Road,
           Northfleet.


2.   Current position and options

     2.1   As the land is surplus to service requirements and there are no direct links
           with the Council's "Ideal Property Portfolio" it is proposed that the land be
           considered for potential development/disposal. This is supported by the
           Council’s Asset Management Group who regularly considers land disposals.

     2.2   No formal planning advice has yet been sought, although preliminary
           discussions have indicated that the land could be suitable for commercial or
           residential development, including affordable or special needs housing,
           (including a Gypsy and Traveller site), subject to the usual caveats on access,
           title, services and the market, etc. It will also be necessary to consider how
           the site relates to existing and future uses of the surrounding area.

     2.3   Market housing or commercial development is likely to produce the highest
           return. At present the site is better related to commercial uses given the
           relationship with the new Police Station and Brookevale Depot.

     2.4   In addition to market housing the Council needs to consider other forms of
           housing such as affordable housing and special needs housing (including
           Gypsy and Traveller site provision) to ensure that a range of housing is
           delivered in the Borough to meet the needs of all sections of the community.
           Such uses generally generate a lower rate of return, although Housing
           Associations have been known to purchase in the open market.


3.   Gypsy and Traveller Sites

     3.1   In respect of Gypsy and Traveller sites, current government guidance is
           seeking to reduce the backlog of permanent site provision caused by past
           national policies and to improve the education and health of this section of the
           community by locating sites in locations accessible to local services and
           facilities.

     3.2   New legislation set out in the Housing Act 2004 (s225) now makes it a duty of
           each local authority to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and
           Travellers in their area and to set out a strategy to meet those needs. The
           Planning and Compulsory Purchase Order Act 2004 requires local authorities
           to allocate land to meet the accommodation needs of this community.

     3.3   As Members will recall, a Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment
           (GTAA) was carried out in August 2006 as part of the General Housing Needs
           Survey, to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers in the
           Borough. This identifies a need to provide an additional 15 pitches in the
           Borough over the next 5 years.

     3.4   In order to meet this need, the guidance set out in Circular 01/2006 “Planning
           for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites” on identifying sites for Gypsies and
           Travellers advises local authorities to look at their own landholdings and other
           publicly owned land with a view to meeting any identified need.




                                          2
                                        Page 95


     3.5    In the light of the current government requirements to meet the specific
            accommodation needs of this section of the community and the advice set out
            in the Circular about site identification, it is considered appropriate to examine
            the potential of using surplus local authority land, including this site, to meet
            some of the identified need set out in the GTAA.


4    Next Steps

     4.1    It is proposed to assess further the potential of using this site for the range of
            uses set out in paragraph 2.2 and to explore methods of disposal, with a view
            to reporting back to Members as necessary.


5.   Risks Management/Whole Life Costs/Section 17 Considerations

     5.1    With no long term use presently defined for the site there is a risk of abuse
            and the potential for adverse possession if held vacant for a long period.

     5.2.   A site which is unused could be subject to anti-social behaviour and adverse
            report by the District Auditor in terms of inefficient use of resources.

     5.3    The site could, in the longer term, require maintenance at a cost to the
            Council. Assuming minimum maintenance at say £500 per year, even this
            could amount to a whole life cost of £10,000 (negative) against the potential
            opportunity cost of say £1,000,000 (positive) for residential development
            subject to the caveats outlined in 2.2 above.

     5.4    There is some risk of abortive costs if negotiations fail to achieve a sale or
            lease of the site.




              There are no background papers relating to this report




                                            3
           Page 96




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                                           Page 101                   Agenda Item 10



                              Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                      Cabinet

Date:                           11 February 2008

Reporting officer:              Operations Manager (Parking and Amenities)

Subject:                        Legislative changes to parking enforcement

Purpose and summary of report:
1.      To inform members and raise awareness of the change in legislation due on the 31
        March 2008.
2.      To request members consider the new charging structure for Penalties under the new
        legislation
Recommendations:
1.      That the tariffs for traffic and parking enforcement penalty charge notices issued
        under the provisions of part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004 be agreed at £70
        for the higher rate contraventions and £50 for the lower rate contraventions.

2.      That funds from within existing budgets are allocated for expenditure on the minor
        changes which need to be made, as per paragraph 2.2



1.   Introduction

     1.1   Parking enforcement has been undertaken by the Council under the provisions of
           the Road Traffic Act 1991 (RTA 91) since January 2000. For some time, there
           have been proposals by Government for changes in highway management that
           better reflect the demands for and expectations of the management of traffic on
           the highway network. The Government also suggests that the severity of
           contraventions of traffic or parking orders needs to be reflected in the levels of
           penalty charge notices issued. Therefore a two tier penalty process will be
           introduced. The Government has introduced the new Act to make parking and
           traffic enforcement more accountable, open and transparent.

     1.2   To address these and other related issues, the Traffic Management Act (TMA 04)
           was introduced. Part 6 of the Act deals specifically with civil enforcement of traffic
           contraventions. The TMA 04 replaces the RTA 91

     1.3   The RTA 91 transferred the power to enforce parking restrictions to Local
           Authorities from the Police and in the process decriminalised parking enforcement,
           making it a civil matter and not criminal. From 31 March 2008, parking
           enforcement will be carried out under the provisions of part 6 of the TMA 04 which
           will require a number of changes.
                                      Page 102
2.   Changes

     2.1   Major Change

           2.1.1   The major change is that the TMA04 is a change in legislation, and the
                   Council will need to set the level of penalty charges and to agree that
                   additional contraventions should be enforced.

     2.2   Minor Changes

           2.2.1   There are also a number of minor changes the are required by the Act:

           2.2.2   Review Traffic Regulation and Off Street Parking Place Orders, to ensure
                   that they are compliant with the new legislation.

           2.2.3   Ensure traffic signs and road markings conform to the new legislation and
                   are consistent with the Orders.

           2.2.4   Advise the public of changes to enforcement and the penalty levels.

           2.2.5   Make changes to uniforms and change staff titles from Parking Attendant
                   to Civil Enforcement Officer.

           2.2.6   Ensure printed stationary and standard letters are updated to reflect the
                   new wording and codes.

           2.2.7   Ensure that all appropriate staff are properly trained and aware of the new
                   legislation.

           2.2.8   There are recommendations that all civil enforcement officers hold a
                   nationally accredited qualification such as a level 2 certificate in parking
                   offered by City and Guilds or an NVQ. All staff, new and existing may also
                   need to be CRB checked.

           2.2.9   Officers have explored these changes and feel the expenditure can be
                   kept below £15,000 which will be found from within existing budgets.

     2.3   Software Changes

           2.3.1   There will need to be some software changes to the system currently
                   used, as the TMA 04 requires a different way of processing the notices,
                   whilst at the same time income recovery work will still need to be carried
                   out under the RTA 91 Act for those penalty charge notices issued prior to
                   31 March 2008.

           2.3.2   The Council has offered itself as a pilot site to the software provider to
                   enable early testing of the new system and reduce costs.

           2.3.3   With the Council being a pilot site for testing it does help reduce the cost to
                   the council to around £1600. Funds from existing budgets can be used to
                   fund this expenditure.

     2.4   Administrative Changes

           2.4.1   Part 6 of the TMA also requires authorities to publish, in the form of an
                   annual report, certain items of financial and statistical information, which
                   should include the following:


                                                2
                                             Page 103

           •    Total income and expenditure of the on street and off street parking account

           •    A breakdown of income by source (pay and display, permits etc)

           •    The total surplus or deficit of the on street parking account

           •    Numbers of PCNs issued and at what rate

           •    Number of PCNs paid at the discounted rate

           •    Number of PCNs against which a formal or informal representation has been
                made

           •    Number of PCNs cancelled

           •    Number of PCNs written off

           2.4.2   Officers will work with the communications team to ensure that the items
                   listed above are published annually.

           2.4.3   In addition the Act also provides for cases to be referred back from
                   Adjudicators to a Local Authority for further consideration and review. The
                   Government suggests that this should be to the Chief Executive’s office.

           2.4.4   The TMA may impose stricter demands on the administration process, but
                   precise details are not yet available, guidelines are expected from the
                   Department for Transport in January 2008. Tasks within the administration
                   team are currently being changed in line with the proposed draft
                   recommendations.

           2.4.5   There are other minor amendments to administrative procedures
                   contained within the legislation that have not been documented in this
                   report.

3.   Charging

     3.1   Current situation

           3.1.1   Currently PCNs are £60 reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days. This is the
                   maximum charge that Authorities outside of London may charge at this
                   time.

     3.2   The proposed changes

           3.2.1   The new level of charging will fall into two bands, a higher and lower band.
                   Examples of which contraventions fall into which band are listed in
                   appendix A.

                   3.2.1.1 The new higher band has an upper tariff of £70 and a lower tariff
                           of £50. A 50% reduction will still exist for payments made within
                           14 days.

                   3.2.1.2 The lower band has an upper tariff of £60 and a lower tariff of
                           £40. A 50% reduction will still exist for payments made within 14
                           days.




                                                 3
                                              Page 104
     3.3     All districts in Kent are recommending to their respective cabinets the new higher
             charge band.

4.   Financial impact

     4.1     Officers have carried out financial modelling, (as shown in appendix B) based on
             data from 2006/07 and found that 51% pf PCNs issued would fall into the higher
             (£70) bracket whilst 49% would fall into the lower (£50) rate. Officers found from
             the modelling that the service would be cost neutral based on these bands.

5.   Risk Assessment

     5.1     Legal – the risk would be that if the changes were not implemented Gravesham
             Borough Council would be breaking the law by continuing with enforcement under
             an expired Law.

     5.2     Financial – There may also be additional costs not yet specified, which are being
             researched by officers in conjunction with other districts in Kent and Kent County
             Council to bring in the Act in the most cost effective way.

     5.3     Consideration has also been given to section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act
             and the continued role parking enforcement has within community safety does not
             change with this new legislation.

6.   Conclusion

     6.1     A decision by Members is required to determine the levels of PCN tariffs that will
             apply in the borough.

     6.2     A minimum period of two weeks advertising is required to highlight the changes to
             the public. Officers would work closely with colleagues in the communications
             team.

     6.3     A lot of officer time will be need to be invested to bring in the Act in the form of:

             6.3.1     Testing of the software

             6.3.2     Changing documents to make sure they comply with the new Act.

             6.3.3     Training courses to bring staff up to the required level of the Act.




F:\Cheryl Shared\Reports\Cabinet Reports - 2008\cabinet report on the TMA04 Feb 08.doc




                                                           4
                                     Page 105


                                                                     APPENDIX A

Contraventions for which a penalty charge notice may be issued at
the higher tariff rate
  •   Parked in a restricted street during prescribed hours
  •   Parked or loading/unloading in a restricted street where waiting and
      loading/unloading restrictions are in force
  •   Parked in a residents' or shared use parking place without clearly displaying
      either a permit or voucher or pay and display ticket issued for that place
  •   Parked in an electric vehicles’ charging place during restricted hours without
      charging
  •   Parked in a permit space without displaying a valid permit
  •   Using a vehicle in a parking place in connection with the sale or offering or
      exposing for sale of goods when prohibited
  •   Parked in a loading gap marked by a yellow line
  •   Parked in a suspended bay/space or part of bay/space
  •   Parked in a parking place or area not designated for that class of vehicle
  •   Parked in a loading place during restricted hours without loading
  •   Vehicle parked more than 50 cm. from the edge of the carriageway and not
      within a designated parking place
  •   Parked adjacent to a dropped footway
  •   Parked in a designated disabled person’s parking place without clearly
      displaying a valid disabled person’s badge
  •   Parked in a parking place designated for diplomatic vehicles
  •   Parked in a parking place designated for police vehicles
  •   Parked on a taxi rank
  •   Stopping where prohibited (on a red route or clearway)
  •   Stopped on a restricted bus stop/stand
  •   Stopped in a restricted area outside a school
  •   Parked wholly or partly on a cycle track
  •   A commercial vehicle parked in a restricted street in contravention of the
      Overnight Waiting Ban
  •   Parked in contravention of a commercial vehicle waiting restriction
  •   Parked in contravention of a coach ban
  •   A heavy commercial vehicle wholly or partly parked on a footway, verge or
      land between two carriageways
  •   Parked with one or more wheels on any part of an urban road other than a
      carriageway (footway parking)
  •   Stopped on a pedestrian crossing and/or crossing area marked by zig-zags
  •   Parked in a loading area during restricted hours without reasonable excuse
  •   Using a vehicle in a parking place in connection with the sale or offering or
      exposing for sale of goods when prohibited
  •   Parked in a restricted area in a car park
  •   Parked in a permit bay without clearly displaying a valid permit
  •   Parked in a disabled person’s parking space without clearly displaying a valid
      disabled person’s badge


                                         5
                                Page 106

  •   Vehicle parked exceeds maximum weight and/or height and/or length
      permitted in the area
  •   Parked in a car park or area not designated for that class of vehicle


Contraventions for which a penalty charge notice may be issued at
the lower tariff rate

  •   Parked without clearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket
  •   Parked after the expiry of paid for time
  •   Parked in a meter bay when penalty time is indicated
  •   Parked with payment made to extend the stay beyond initial time
  •   Parked at an out-of-order meter during controlled hours
  •   Parked displaying multiple pay & display tickets where prohibited
  •   Parked with engine running where prohibited
  •   Parked without clearly displaying two valid pay and display tickets when
      required
  •   Parked without payment of the parking charge
  •   Parked in a resident’ parking space without clearly displaying a valid residents
      parking permit
  •   Parked in a residents' or shared use parking place displaying an invalid
      permit, an invalid voucher or an invalid pay & display ticket
  •   Re-parked in the same parking place within one hour of leaving
  •   Not parked correctly within the markings of the bay or space
  •   Parked for longer than permitted
  •   Parked in a disc parking place without clearly displaying a valid disc
  •   Parked in a disc parking place for longer than permitted
  •   Parked without payment of the parking charge
  •   Parked for longer than the maximum period permitted
  •   Parked after the expiry of paid for time
  •   Parked in a car park without clearly displaying a valid pay & display ticket
  •   Parked with additional payment made to extend the stay beyond time first
      purchased
  •   Parked beyond the bay markings
  •   Re-parked within one hour of leaving a bay or space in a car park
  •   Parked in car park when closed
  •   Parked in a pay & display car park without clearly displaying two valid pay and
      display tickets when required
  •   Parked in a parking place for a purpose other than the designated purpose for
      the parking place.




                                          6
                                           Page 107

                                                                       APPENDIX B

The table below shows the income prediction for 2008 onwards
under the new Act using statistics taken from PCN figures for
2006/7
                                                No of Issued
  Contraventions                         Code PCNs     Higher Lower
  Restricted street                        1    6,981    6,981
  Loading/Unloading                        2    1,054    1,054
  Paid time expired                        5      964            964
  No valid ticket                          6    2,168          2,168
  No valid residents permit               15    1,772          1,772
  No valid permit                         16        0        0
  Suspended bay                           21        0        0
  Re-parked                               22        2              2
  Wrong class of vehicle                  23        2        2
  Not within markings                     24        0              0
  Parked in a loading place               25    1,568    1,568
  Parked for longer than permitted        30      791            791
  Disabled persons bay                    40      440      440
  Parked on taxi rank                     45       80       80
  Restricted bus stop/stand               47       68       68
  School restriction                      48       70       70
  CP Parked longer than permitted         80       11             11
  CP Restricted area                      81       15       15
  CP Time expired                         82    1,459          1,459
  CP No valid ticket                      83    2,486          2,486
  CP No valid permit                      85        0        0
  CP Outside markings                     86      213            213
  CP Disabled bay                         87      169      169
  CP obstruction                          92        9        9
                                         Total 20,322   10,456 9,866
                                                    %    51.45 48.55

 2006/7 Contraventions highlighted
 within the Higher or lower band based
 on TMA 2004 guidelines




Back ground papers

File   Traffic Management Act 2004




                                              7
          Page 108




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                                           Page 109                   Agenda Item 11




                              Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                      Cabinet

Date:                           11 February 2008

Reporting officer:              Head of Regulatory Services

Subject:                        Revised duties of local authorities in respect of stray dogs

Purpose and summary of report:
To outline to Members the change in the responsibility for providing a reception point for stray
dogs from the Police to Local Authorities and an out of hours collection service from 06 April
2008 under revisions made by Section 68 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act
and the proposals by the Head of Regulatory Services to meet this duty to provide this
service to the public. To authorise the associated budgetary implications.
Recommendations:
(1) Members to agree that a section of the basement be used to provide a secure compound
for temporary housing of two dogs to be available from 06 April 2008.
(2) Members to agree that necessary procedures are put in place to enable the receipt of
stray dogs at the Civic Centre.
(3) Members to agree the proposed arrangements for out of hours collection of stray dogs.
(4) Members to agree an increase in the Stray Dog’s Transportation and Kennelling Budget
for 08/09 from £3000 to £4900


1.   Introduction

     1.1   Local Authority and Police statutory duties for stray dogs are contained in s149
           and s150 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Environmental
           Protection (Stray Dogs) Regulations 1992.

     1.2   Local Authorities have a duty to collect dogs that are reported to them and to
           accept any brought to them. In addition the Police must also accept stray dogs
           brought to them.

     1.3   In order to comply with the statutory duty under the Environmental Protection Act
           1990, whilst local authorities typically provide a stray dog collection service during
           office hours, many LAs have relied on a reception point being provided by Police
           stations, including out of hours.

     1.4   The Police do not normally go out and collect stray dogs that are reported to them
           although they can do at their discretion.
                                       Page 110


2. Current Arrangements

    2.1     The current arrangement in Gravesham is that the Council offers a collection
            service from the finder of the stray dog between the hours of 9.00 to 17.00
            Monday to Friday with no out of hour’s arrangements. The dog is then detained at
            kennels until collected, re-homed or destroyed as per the legal requirements.
            Collection and detention of dogs is carried out by Viking Oak Kennels on
            Gravesham BC’s behalf. Transportation and kennelling fees are paid by the
            owner when claiming the dog, or borne by Gravesham if the dog goes unclaimed.

    2.2     The Police provide a place for stray dogs to be taken during the station’s opening
            hours which are 8.00 to 20.00 seven days a week. The Police have no out of
            hour’s arrangements.

3   Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act

    3.1     Section 68 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act commences on 06
            April 2008. On commencement all statutory duties for Police in relation to stray
            dogs will be repealed from existing legislation and local authorities will be solely
            responsible at all times for all functions on stray dogs. Although the police will still
            be responsible for dealing with dangerous dogs they will no longer collect, or
            accept stray dogs.

    3.2     From commencement Gravesham BC will be solely responsible for all functions
            for all stray dogs in the borough as such the Council will have to provide a
            reception point for stray dogs. Gravesham BC will also be expected to make
            arrangements deal with strays out of hours.

    3.3     Kent Police have clarified that they are not prepared to continue providing a
            reception point within Gravesham.

4   Proposed way forward

    4.1     The current arrangements for daytime collection services will remain as existing.

    4.2     A reception point for strays to be received during office hours will be created at the
            Civic Centre as follows:-

          4.2.1   It is intended that the Civic Centre will become a reception point for stray
                  dogs during normal office hours Monday to Friday only. Stray dogs will not be
                  received at the Civic Centre at any other time.

          4.2.2   A secure compound will be provided in a part of the basement between bay
                  nos. 73 and 74. The compound will be purpose built and will be 2.0m x 4.0m
                  divided into two 2.0m square compounds. Each will have a large plastic cage
                  suitable for the purpose of a size of 120cm x 80cm x 88cm which will be
                  situated on a raised platform. Whilst the compound will be provided for the
                  temporary housing of two dogs, in an emergency up to four dogs may be
                  housed.

          4.2.3   It is proposed that procedures will be introduced to deal with a dog being
                  brought into the Civic Centre. The Meeters and Greeters should request that
                  the member of the public keep the dog outside of the building and if possible
                  that they secure it to a tether point. Regulatory Services will then be informed
                  who will come down and take the dog down to the basement via the outside


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                  of the building via the ramp to the compound. The dog will be secured within
                  the compound and given water to drink.

          4.2.4   The Kennelling Service will be notified by Regulatory Services and the dog
                  collected within a maximum of two hours which will be set in a Service Level
                  Agreement with the kennelling service. It is proposed that the kennelling
                  service will be provided with a swipe card to allow them access to the
                  basement.

    4.3     During out of hours it is impractical to operate a reception point therefore a
            collection service similar to our current day time service is proposed. Members of
            the public will call the Council’s main telephone number 01474 56 44 22 and go
            through to the Invicta Lifeline Service who will ascertain if the dog is in custody
            and if so will pass the caller’s details to the kennelling service for collection. The
            kennelling service will then collect the dog within a two hour period at an increased
            ‘out of hour’s collection fee’ payable by the owner when claiming the dog or
            Gravesham BC by default.

    4.4     Written procedures covering the reception of dogs from the public will be drawn up
            in conjunction with the Council’s Health and Safety Officer and relevant training
            given to the individuals which will include the Meeters and Greeters in the Foyer
            and also Regulatory Services staff.

    4.5     The Police will be expected to inform the public about the arrangements for stray
            dogs including advertising in Police stations any information given to them by local
            authorities such as the locations where strays may be taken and any phone
            numbers for offices or information, with particular reference to out of office hour’s
            contact and the cover provided.

    4.6     A programme of articles in the paper and Your Borough will go ahead to notify the
            public about this change in addition to any publicity the Police arrange.

5   Financial Implications

    5.1     The cost of the compound etc as described in point 4.2.2 is £897+VAT.

    5.2     The Facilities Manager has obtained a quote of £695 + VAT for the extension of
            the ceiling lighting into the area.

    5.3     Setting up the reception compound will be a one-off cost and will be funded from
            existing 07/08 budgets.

    5.4     Kennel collection fees for the daytime will remain as existing ie £27+VAT per dog
            whereas the out of hours fee will be £50+VAT per dog.

    5.5     The number of stray dogs collected by the kennelling service on behalf of
            Gravesham BC in 06/07 was 97. The percentage of dogs which remained
            unclaimed was approx 56%. The expenditure for the transportation and kennelling
            of unclaimed dogs in 06/07 was £2910.49+VAT.

    5.6     The number of stray dogs collected by the kennelling service on behalf of
            Gravesham BC in the first 3 quarters of 07/08 was 58.

    5.7     The Police station in Gravesend took in approx 60 dogs in 06/07.



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    5.8   Using the figures for stray dogs detained by both Gravesham BC and the Police in
          06/07 the number of stray dogs predicted to be collected by the kennelling service
          in the year 08/09 is approx 160. If the same percentage remain unclaimed i.e.
          56% by the owner the predicted cost of the transportation and kennelling service
          will be approximately £4850.

    5.9   Local Authorities in England and Wales will be funded a total of £4 million a year
          through the Revenue Support Grant. This funding is intended to cover the
          additional costs of providing an out of hours service for stray dogs. There will be
          no extra funding for provision of a reception point during the day time.

6   Corporate Plan.

    6.1   The control of stray dogs in the borough links to the Clean, Green objective of the
          corporate plan and supports key elements of Local Agenda 21.

7   Risk Assessment.

    7.1   Not providing a reception point for stray dogs within the borough or to set up an
          out of hours arrangement will be a failure by Gravesham BC to meet its statutory
          duties leaving the Council open to criticism and intervention by Defra.

    7.2   There is also a risk that if Viking Oak Kennels no longer offered Gravesham BC a
          kennelling service new arrangements would have to be made however there has
          been no indication that this is their intention.

8   Section 17 Crime and Disorder Act 1998

    8.1   Stray dogs running loose within the community give the perception of crime and
          disorder. Thus to have a proper arrangement to deal with them gives a sense of
          community wellbeing.



Background Papers

Defra Letter to Local Authorities 19 October 2007

Defra Guidance on Stray Dogs Oct 2007

All enquiries to view these papers must in the first instance be made to the Committee
Section of the Democratic Services Department.




                                              4
                                        Page 113                  Agenda Item 12




                               Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                       Cabinet

Date:                            11th February 2008

Reporting officer:               Head of Public Health & Community Wellbeing

Subject:                         St Georges Day Celebrations

Purpose and summary of report:
To advise the Cabinet on the proposals to celebrate St Georges Day, and budget
implications

Recommendations:

Members support the principle of the children’s educational outreach workshops, parade and
theatre presentation and a budget allocation of £708 is made to cover costs in hiring the
Woodville Halls.

Members support the principle of the St Georges Day parade in association with the Scout
Association and a budget allocation of £1.5k is made for infrastructure costs.

1.    Introduction

1.1          The incoming administration is committed to celebrate St Georges Day
             within the borough. Since taking office members have indicated that they
             wish to support the celebrations in 2008 although no budget allocation has
             yet been made within the 2008/09 financial year.

1.2          Officers from the council, North Kent Racial Equality Council (NKREC)
             and the Scout Association have met to discuss possible events and
             outreach educational programmes which are detailed below.

2.    Educational Programme

2.1          Members will be aware that the NKREC have in the past presented
             successful outreach educational workshops to schools linked to the Sikh
             Vaisakhi Festival and more recently the Big Day Out.

2.2          A proposal currently being considered is to invite up to 10 local schools to
             participate in a project centred around the St Georges Day theme. Same
             Sky, an arts organisation based in Brighton, would over two – three week
             period involve the schools in presenting a performance led programme
             culminating in the school taking part in a parade and theatre presentation
             at the Woodville Halls on 23 April 2008.




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                                  Page 114


2.3         The parade would follow the route from the Towncentric to Jury Street to
            High Street to Windmill Street to the Woodville Halls.

2.4         Funding in the past for this type of project has mainly been achieve
            through the Arts Council England grant system and an application has
            recently been submitted to support the educational aspect of this
            programme estimated at £6k. A six week turnaround period is expected
            before a decision is made on this application.

2.5         The figure above does not include the hire charges for the use of the
            Woodville Halls and its supporting facilities which, under the community
            and art activities rate, amounts to £708. The NKREC are requesting, as
            in previous year’s promotions, that the Woodville Halls is made available
            free of charge in support of the event as outlined.

3.    St Georges Day Parade


3.1         Each year the local Scout Association presents, on the nearest Sunday
            date to St Georges Day, a parade through the Town Centre followed by
            church service. The service also allows for scouts to reconfirm their oath
            to the scouting movement.

3.2         Discussions have been held with the representatives of the Scouting
            Association with an idea for the council to link into their existing event but
            also involving other local voluntary organisations to join in the St Georges
            celebrations. The next meeting is to be held on 22 January 2008.

3.3         Permission has been obtained from the management of The St Georges
            Shopping Centre for the parade to congregate on the roof top loading
            area and for the parade to follow the route from here to New Road, High
            Street, Crooked Lane, The Terrace into the Fort Gardens.

3.4         The Fort Gardens and bandstand area will then be the focal point for drum
            head service. Initial discussions with the Salvation Army band and the
            Borough Band in providing musical accompaniment have been
            favourable.

3.5         Due to the late Easter school holidays the date set for the 2008 parade is
            Sunday 27 April. Although this is the same date for Rotary Club’s “On
            Your Bike Event” which also use the Riverside Leisure Area, it is felt that
            there will be no conflicting issues to address.

3.6         No budget allowance has been made in support of this event although
            certain infrastructure items such as a PA system, transportation costs and
            themed stage decorations etc will be necessary at an estimated cost of
            £1.5k

4.    Policing

4.1         Members will be aware that as from 1 April 2008 the Police intend to fully
            recover their costs in supporting events. However indications suggest
            that both parades will full under the category of Statutory Events and will
            not attract any Policing costs.




                                                                                          2
                                        Page 115



5.    Summary and Recommendations


5.1         It is felt that the proposal for the two events will ensure that a wider range
            of the community can participate. The Schools event will raise awareness
            with young people and then allow them to impart their knowledge to a
            wider audience as well as giving them the opportunity to participate in a
            parade.

5.2         The Schools parade also has the benefit that it can take place on the
            actual Saints day, whilst the more traditional scout parade will be on the
            nearest Sunday, but will allow those who are at work on the 23rd April to
            participate.

5.3         It is recommended that Members endorse the proposals and £2,208 be
            put in the budget as outlined in paragraphs 2.5 and 3.6 to support them.



6.    Risk assessment

6.1         The proposals outlined in the report present opportunities to promote
            further community cohesion which assists with the safety, health and
            wellbeing of the community.



7.    Crime and Disorder Act Section 17 implications

7.1         Community cohesion plays an important role in the reduction of crime
            and antisocial behaviour and the proposed programme will bring together
            all communities in Gravesham to celebrate.




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                                           Page 117                  Agenda Item 13




                               Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                      Cabinet

Date:                           11 February 2008

Reporting officer:              Director (Operations and Housing)

Subject:                        Term contracts for responsive repairs works

Purpose and summary of report:
To inform Members of interim results of tender evaluations and to make decisions on how the
contracts are to be awarded.

Recommendations:
1.       That, in principle, Cabinet approves the approach to tender evaluation and agrees
         the lists of winning tenders for each area of work activity (shown in Appendix 1),
         subject both to references and to a mutual acceptance of resultant requirements for
         tenderers following final evaluations.

2.       That Cabinet approve delegated authority to the portfolio holder for Housing and
         Operational Services, in consultation with officers, to amend the ranking of winning
         tenders shown in Appendix 1 to this report, if necessary, as a result of the matters
         raised in (1) above or arising from the EC Procurement legislation.

3.       That the Head of Legal Services be authorised to enter into contracts with successful
         tenderers in the finalised lists.




1.    Introduction

1.1     Operational Services were successful in winning the TPC2001 Partnering Contract for
        Responsive Repairs which commenced on I April 2005.

1.2     A proportion of the works within the above contract for responsive repairs needs to be
        undertaken by contractors, to cover variations in work volumes and shortages in
        certain skills within the “in-house” operation.

1.3     Existing term contracts for such works need to be renewed with effect from 1 April
        2008 and tenders have been sought for a period of 2 years with the possibility of a
        further two annual extensions.


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                                      Page 118


1.4     The works cover the following areas of activity:

                 •   Bricklaying

                 •   Carpentry

                 •   Electrical

                 •   Fencing

                 •   Plumbing

                 •   PVCu windows and doors

                 •   Disabled Works

                 •   Voids

1.5     A ranked list of up to three successful tenderers for each activity is needed to ensure
        continuity of service when volumes of allocated works, at any given point in time, are
        greater than the “first-ranked” contractor has capacity to carry out. Works would then
        be allocated to the “second-ranked” contractor until their capacity is reached, and so
        on.

2.    The process for reletting the contracts

2.1     The estimated total annual value of contracted works is £1.9 million. This exceeds the
        threshold for the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 and, in consequence, the
        reletting is subject to the European procurement legislation.

2.2     As required, notice was published in the European Journal in August 2007 inviting
        expressions of interest for contractors to be appointed to carry out the work for the
        period of two years commencing 1 April 2008, together with an option for the Council
        to extend for two further periods of one year each. Expressions of interest were
        received during October and, following evaluation, 28 companies were invited to
        tender. Tenders were returned on 4 January 2008.

3.    Evaluation of tenders

3.1     A total of 69 Tenders were returned and have been evaluated to determine the most
        economically advantageous offers, based on award criteria for price (75% weighting),
        technical ability (15% weighting) and quality (10% weighting, to be ascertained
        through references).

3.2     A scoring matrix has been used to determine overall ranking within work specialties.
        This mechanism for evaluating the tenders has been given approval by the Internal
        Audit Section of the council. The matrix has yet to be recalculated to reflect the final
        10% attributable to qualitative aspects, which will be determined through responses to
        a questionnaire sent to referees, returnable by 8 February.

3.3     The table attached at Appendix 1 therefore shows the ranking of those successful
        tenders based only on price and technical ability. The table includes the current 6 top
        tenderers for each activity, identifiable by a separate key which translates their “alpha
        notation”. Once the evaluations have been fully completed to include results from



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                                             Page 119


        references, it is proposed to appoint the top 3, in order of their final ranking, as the
        “select list” for each activity.

3.4     During the period between the above final selection and the awarding of contracts,
        discussions will take place with all those companies that have been ranked in the top
        3 of the above “select lists”. The discussions will determine whether any of these
        companies may wish to decline the offer because, for example, the total volumes of
        work that they might expect from their ranking would not be economically sufficient for
        them. Such a scenario would then prompt the company previously ranked in fourth
        position to “move up” into the top three.

3.5     In view of the possible outcomes outlined in paragraphs 3.3 and 3.4 above, authority
        is sought for the portfolio holder for Housing and Operational Services, in consultation
        with the Director (Housing and Operations) and the Head of Financial Services, to
        determine which tenderers shall be awarded the work based on the tables shown in
        Appendix 1.

4.    Standstill period

4.1     The European procurement legislation requires that an awarding authority, once it has
        made its decision to award, must notify tenderers of its decision as soon as possible.
        It must allow a period of 10 days from the notification to allow tenderers to seek
        further information. Contracts must not be awarded until the 10 day period has
        elapsed. It is possible, although unlikely, that in consequence of further enquiries by a
        tenderer during this period, a decision to award may have to be amended.

4.2     Authority is therefore sought for the portfolio holder for Housing and Operational
        Services, in consultation with the Director (Housing and Operations) and the Head of
        Financial Services and the Head of Legal Services, to amend the decision to award, if
        necessary, due to representations made by a tenderer during the standstill period.

5.    Risk

5.1     For reasons already outlined in this report, there is a potential risk of disrupted work
        continuity if some contracts have not been put in place when existing contracts expire
        on 31 March 08.

5.2     There is also the same potential risk associated with possible representations during
        the standstill period.

6.    Conclusion

6.1     The tender evaluation process has arrived at “select lists” of the top 6 successful
        tenderers for each activity. Although the lists may be subject to some final
        amendments for reasons outlined in this report, it is felt that they are representative of
        the most likely rankings from which a final “select list” of the top 3 companies can be
        chosen for each activity.




                                                 3
                                                                                               APPENDIX 1

Summary of Tendered Lots

            Voids                    Carpentry                  Bricklaying                  Plumbing
Rank   Contractor      Overall %   Contractor     Overall %   Contractor      Overall %   Contractor      Overall %

  1    Contractor F     90.0%      Contractor B    89.0%      Contractor I     87.9%      Contractor A     88.0%
  2    Contractor J     87.3%      Contractor F    86.6%      Contractor G     87.1%      Contractor B     80.6%
  3    Contractor C     82.5%      Contractor I    86.2%      Contractor V     87.0%      Contractor D     78.6%
  4    Contractor H     80.9%      Contractor G    85.1%      Contractor H     82.2%      Contractor C     78.4%
  5    Contractor K     79.6%      Contractor C    83.2%      Contractor J     81.7%      Contractor F     76.6%
  6    Contractor O     78.3%      Contractor L    81.5%      Contractor R     80.6%      Contractor E     73.6%




                                                                                                                      Page 120
                                                                                             Disabled
          Electrical                   PVC-U                     Fencing                    Adaptations
Rank   Contractor      Overall %   Contractor     Overall %   Contractor      Overall %   Contractor      Overall %

  1    Contractor S     90.0%      Contractor F    90.0%      Contractor R     89.0%      Contractor A     88.0%
  2    Contractor B     85.5%      Contractor I    82.0%      Contractor F     75.3%      Contractor E     84.0%
  3    Contractor M     71.3%      Contractor T    81.4%      Contractor B     75.1%      Contractor B     80.7%
  4    Contractor J     67.7%      Contractor J    80.6%      Contractor I     69.9%      Contractor J     80.4%
  5    Contractor N     66.2%      Contractor N    76.7%      Contractor H     67.9%      Contractor C     78.8%
  6    Contractor I     64.0%      Contractor U    74.7%      Contractor N     67.5%      Contractor I     78.6%
Page 121




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                                           Page 123                  Agenda Item 14



                              Gravesham Borough Council

 Report to:                      Cabinet

 Date:                           11 February 2008

 Reporting officer:              Director (Regeneration and Regulation)

 Subject:                        Housing Strategy Review 2007

 Purpose and summary of report:

 To review the strategic priorities contained within the Council’s current Housing Strategy
 2005–09 in light of more recent research, policies and information.

Recommendations:

 (i)     To note that the Housing Strategy Review 2007 seeks to review and, where
         necessary, elaborate upon the Council’s current Housing Strategy 2005-09 priorities
         in the light of more recent research, policies and information.

 (ii)    To approve the Council’s reviewed Housing Strategy priorities as follows:

         •   Priority 1 – To deliver an excellent housing service for all residents of
             Gravesham (that is excellence in housing management, excellence in strategic
             planning, excellence in “place shaping”).
         •   Priority 2 – To improve the quality of housing in both the private and social
             sectors.
         •   Priority 3 – With partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing.
         •   Priority 4 – To tackle and prevent homelessness and address the needs of other
             vulnerable groups.

 (iii)   To approve the publication of a Summary of the Housing Strategy Review 2007
         (based upon the full review in Appendix 1), which will form the basis of consultation
         with partners, stakeholders and residents for the production of the Housing Strategy
         2009-13. The Summary will also include an update of progress in implementing the
         current strategy and the timetable for the production of the Housing Strategy 2009-
         13 (in Appendix 2).



 1.      Background

 1.1     The Council’s current Housing Strategy 2005–2009 was published in 2006. The
         direction set out in the strategy remains the foundation for the Council’s funding
         priorities. However, given that 2007 is halfway through the existing strategy and the
                                   Page 124


      recent completion of the Gravesham Housing Needs and Private Sector House
      Condition Surveys, there is a need to ensure that the way forward takes into account
      the outcomes of more recent research, policies and information, and builds upon the
      current strategy. Achievements from the current strategy also need to be reviewed
      and the emerging priorities identified.

1.2   The Housing Strategy Review 2007 examines current priorities, gathers and
      interprets data, monitors achievements and provides the springboard for stakeholder
      consultation, appraisal of options, agreement of priorities, delivery and evaluation.
      Promoting choice, independence, decency and equality for all sectors of the
      community, whilst recognising particular needs and aspirations, are all
      “expectations” which need to be examined against the Council’s current Housing
      Strategy priorities.

1.3   Consequently, the review is based on a robust analysis of the issues the Council
      faces and current performance and will be the first phase in the production of the
      new post-2009 Housing Strategy. The full review is attached as Appendix 1 and a
      timescale for the production of the post-2009 Housing Strategy is attached as
      Appendix 2.


2.    Existing Housing Strategy Priorities

2.1   The Council’s existing priorities contained within the Housing Strategy 2005-09 are:

      •      Priority 1 - To deliver an excellent housing service for all residents of
                          Gravesham.

      •      Priority 2 – To improve the quality of housing in both the private and social
                         sectors.

      •      Priority 3 – With partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing.

      •      Priority 4 – To tackle and prevent homelessness.


3.    New Housing Strategy Challenges

3.1   The challenges for housing strategy vary across the country. The major issue that
      most areas face is a shortage of affordable housing which in many urban and rural
      areas now threaten the sustainability of communities. In recent years, the housing
      market has made it increasingly difficult to obtain a home to own or to rent. As
      affordability worsens, more people are pushed either into the private rented sector,
      driving up rents, or into the already hard-pressed social rented sector. These
      shortages have a number of economic and social consequences, creating difficulties
      and hardship for many people who may find themselves living in inappropriate
      accommodation. There is also a problem for key workers who are priced out of the
      market in the area where they work.

3.2   The Gravesham Housing Needs Survey 2006 identified a total annual affordable
      housing shortfall of 669 units (ie 577 shortfall plus 92 assumed new units)
      representing a total shortfall of 6,690 units over the ten years to 2016. In 2006/07,
      the Council undertook 374 decisions on households presenting themselves as
      homeless. 258 households were accepted as eligible, unintentionally homeless and


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                                        Page 125


      in priority need of which 153 were households with dependent children.
      Consequently, the Council’s existing priorities concerned with maximising the supply
      of affordable housing (Priority 3) and tackling and preventing homelessness
      (Priority 4) continue to be major priorities. However, in light of a review of other
      sub-strategies, the “tackling and preventing homelessness” priority should be
      expanded to include addressing the needs of other vulnerable groups.

3.3   The Council’s existing priority concerned with improving the quality of housing in
      both the private and social sectors recognises that by making best use of the
      existing housing stock, the need for new housing, including new affordable housing,
      will be reduced. The repair, improvement or adaptation of existing housing to ensure
      it is useable, or preventative work to enable people to continue to occupy their
      homes also reduce the need for more housing. Consequently, this form of
      intervention continues to make it a major priority (Priority 2).

3.4   The Council’s remaining priority is concerned with delivering an excellent housing
      service for all of the borough’s residents (Priority 1). How well the Council assesses
      housing needs, tackles homelessness, works towards the Decent Homes Standard,
      helps residents to access a home suitable for their needs and makes critical links
      with support services all influence its excellence in recognising diversity across the
      borough’s residents and offering opportunities and choices over where they live.
      Consequently, this priority underpins all the Council’s other housing priorities and
      likewise, should continue as a major priority.

3.5   However, the developing priorities apparent in the existing Housing Strategy 2005-
      2009 action plans, the achievements to date and the recent Service Plans 2007-
      2008 reveal an evolutionary trend from seeking excellence in the management of the
      Council’s existing housing stock to seeking excellence in the strategic balancing of
      the local housing market to seeking excellence in “place shaping”.

3.6   “Place shaping” is anticipated to be the big challenge over the next few years. It
      starts with creating a vision for how a place should look and feel, including creating
      attractive places and good quality affordable housing in all tenures, that attracts
      investment and workers for a vibrant economy. It is also about offering people
      opportunities and choices over where they live, creating high quality well-connected
      homes, enhancing people’s life chances, making positive impacts on health and
      wellbeing, connections to skills and employment and an improved environment.
      Consequently, housing organisations will need to work alongside other service
      providers in their areas, taking account of user preferences and user engagement,
      taking an active role in Local Strategic Partnerships and influencing local area
      agreements. Local partnerships will need to work together to ensure that new and
      existing housing has both the physical and social infrastructures to create welcoming
      and sustainable communities and neighbourhoods.

3.7   Excellence in place shaping will reinforce the Council’s strategic housing role in
      influencing the nature of the housing outcomes within the borough. For example,
      are the housing products the right ones for the borough’s residents? Is the best use
      being made of the existing housing stock across all tenures? Are all possible
      appropriate affordable housing options being provided? What is the quality of the
      local service providers and landlords? Is housing contributing to community
      wellbeing through linkages with support services?

3.8   Strong performance in the strategic housing role is recognised in the recent Housing
      Green Paper, “Homes for the Future”, (DCLG, July 2007) as requiring vision,
      leadership, planning and delivery at a strategic level to:

                                            3
                                    Page 126



       •      Assess and plan for the current and future housing needs of the local
              population across all tenures.
       •      Make the best use of the existing housing stock.
       •      Plan and facilitate new supply.
       •      Plan and commission housing support services which link homes to the
              support and other services that people need to live in them.
       •      Work in partnership to secure effective housing and neighbourhood
              management on an ongoing basis.

3.9    Consequently, it is crucial that the Council’s “delivering an excellent housing service”
       priority takes full account of these developments in providing choice, affordability,
       independence, decency and equality for the borough’s tenants, residents and
       communities. Emerging plans for achieving this priority could include the following:

       •      Effective sub-regional working through constructive and productive
              partnerships with neighbouring authorities.
       •      Establishing and maintaining a range of internal and external partnerships
              based on a shared vision of sustainable communities (eg externally with local
              developers, housing associations, private landlords, health and educational
              authorities, voluntary organisations, residents’ groups, etc and internally with
              planning, finance, environmental, legal, property, corporate policy, etc).
       •      Realising efficiencies through the joint procurement with neighbouring local
              authorities of housing need surveys, co-ordinating their timing, quality and
              frequency, removing duplication and ensuring that the most urgent needs are
              met.
       •      Effective mechanisms for understanding and acting on residents’ concerns
              and aspirations for their neighbourhoods.
       •      Inclusion of housing in the Local Area Agreement and Local Strategic
              Partnership.
       •      Effective action-planning with clear responsibilities, monitoring and evaluation
              of outcomes.
       •      Using excellence to promote peer review and challenge and engaging users
              in service design and preferences.

3.10   Furthermore, the achievement of this priority will impact upon the achievement of the
       other priorities, exemplified as follows:

       •      Better understanding of the housing market place and the commercial risks
              faced by housing associations and developers.
       •      Working with housing associations and developers in providing a clear
              message to local communities about the need for affordable housing and
              involving people in how developments might be designed and delivered.
       •      Speeding up delivery by sharing good practice and resources, working with
              partners, reducing the time taken to negotiate s106 agreements, etc.
       •      Encouraging all stakeholders to become more involved in the production of
              local housing strategies (eg information exchange and listening events).
       •      Increasing the understanding of diversity and the vulnerability of customers.
       •      Developing housing solutions that facilitate independent living in the
              community and meet the needs of vulnerable groups.
       •      Achieving wider social, economic and environmental aims, in particular by
              tackling homelessness, overcrowding, unemployment, etc and promoting
              social mix.


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      •      Developing formal protocols with other agencies to clarify responsibilities and
             ensure effective co-ordination.
      •      Better tracking of performance to help demonstrate value for money.


4.    Reviewed Housing Strategy Priorities

4.1   Taking account of these challenges, the Council’s reviewed Housing Strategy
      priorities become:

      •      Priority 1 – To deliver an excellent housing service for all residents of
                           Gravesham (that is excellence in housing management,
                           excellence in strategic planning, excellence in “place shaping”).

      •      Priority 2 – To improve the quality of housing in both the private and social
                           sectors.

      •      Priority 3 – With partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing.

      •      Priority 4 – To tackle and prevent homelessness and address the needs of
                           other vulnerable groups.


5.    What next?

5.1   The reviewed Housing Strategy priorities will inform the production of:

      •      The various Housing Service Plans 2008-09 (ie Housing Services, Housing
             Strategy and Development, Repairs and Maintenance, Regulatory Services
             and Planning and Regeneration) by taking account of emerging plans, “gaps”
             in the existing Housing Strategy and recent achievements.
      •      The various sub-strategies (eg affordable housing, homelessness, empty
             homes, private sector housing, older people, value-for-money, etc).
      •      The Local Development Framework as the basis for securing the sustainable
             development of the area.
      •      A Consultation Plan providing an update of progress in implementing the
             current strategy and inviting comments from partners, stakeholders and
             residents on how they would wish consultation on the draft Housing Strategy
             2009-13 to be undertaken and how they would wish to be involved in
             monitoring its progress.
      •      The Housing Strategy 2009-13.

5.2   Further monitoring and development of the existing Housing Strategy 2005-09 will
      continue to evolve.


6.    Risk Assessment

6.1   The Housing Strategy Review 2007 examines the strategic priorities contained within
      the Council’s current Housing Strategy 2005–2009 in light of more recent research,
      policies and information. Achievements from the current strategy are reviewed and
      the emerging priorities identified.




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6.2   The borough had 1479 households on the housing waiting list at 1 April 2007 and
      258 homeless applicants were found to be eligible, unintentionally homeless and in
      priority need during 2006/07. The implications of the Council’s housing priorities not
      being in tune with the issues and expectations facing the Council and current
      performance would be apparent in the increase in the number of applicants on the
      Council’s housing waiting list and the increased number of homeless households.




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                                Appendix 1



     GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL




     HOUSING STRATEGY
        2005 – 2009



                2007 REVIEW
                  DRAFT




November 2007


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      HOUSING STRATEGY 2005 – 2009

                            2007 REVIEW

                                 Contents

                                                            Page No



Strategic Housing Context                                     3



National, Regional and Local Strategic Housing Priorities     5



Existing Gravesham BC Strategic Housing Priorities           15



Achievements to date                                         27



Key Priorities – What we plan to do                          30



Housing Service Plans 2007-08                                34



References                                                   40



Appendices                                                   42




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       HOUSING STRATEGY 2005 – 2009

                             2007 REVIEW
1.   Strategic Housing Context

The Council’s current Housing Strategy was published in 2006. The direction set out in the
strategy remains the foundation for the Council’s funding priorities. However, there is a
need to ensure that the way forward takes into account the outcomes of more recent
research and information, and builds upon the current strategy. Achievements from the
current strategy also need to be reviewed and the emerging priorities identified.

Housing strategies have been a lever for economic and social change in many areas;
reflecting a shift towards ensuring local housing markets meet local demands, rather than a
narrow focus on directly providing social housing. Going far beyond achieving purely
housing outcomes, the strategic housing role makes an important contribution to achieving
the social, economic and environmental objectives that shape a community and create a
sense of place (DCLG White Paper, “Strong and Prosperous Communities”, October 2006).

Given the need for housing strategies to be co-ordinated with other important strategies and
processes, it is no longer appropriate for a housing strategy to be characterised by a stand-
alone document. It should comprise and be expressed through a number of local
documents. These include other core strategies, such as the Local Development
Framework and the Supporting People Strategy, as well as sub-strategies, such as
strategies for lettings, preventing homelessness and improving the private rented sector.
The links between housing and planning in particular need to be robust; housing market
assessments are an important element of common evidence that should underpin both
housing and spatial strategies (CIH and IDeA Briefing Paper, February 2007).

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has articulated the strategic housing process in
terms of three core ongoing elements:

Vision and strategy development
•    Setting a long-term (15 year) vision for housing (co-ordinated with other local authority
     strategies) that supports the Sustainable Community Strategy
•    Gathering and interpreting data
•    Engaging and listening to stakeholders
•    Agreeing priorities, including those that are to be included in the Local Area Agreement
•    Appraising different options

Action planning and delivery
•    Drawing up an action plan with internal and external partners
•    Enabling and working with a range of partners to deliver – drawing on the expertise of
     other groups, negotiating and providing incentives, agreeing protocols and managing
     contracts
•    Delivery through the local authority’s own operations

Monitoring and evaluating
•   Monitoring delivery of the action plan
•   Evaluating community outcomes


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•    Accountability of local authority and partners
•    Involving partners and getting feedback
•    Adjusting the vision and improving the action plan

Furthermore, “local authorities are the only parties at the local level with a cross-cutting remit
and the democratic legitimacy to intervene to ensure that all the aspects of the housing
market in their area operate effectively” (ODPM, 2005).

The main purpose of this review is to ensure that the Council’s current Housing Strategy
(2005-2009) takes into account the outcomes of recent research, policies and information.
Achievements from the current strategy will be reviewed and the emerging priorities
identified. The review will address some of the elements outlined in the structured approach
above (ie data interpretation, reviewing current priorities, monitoring the action plan) and the
outcomes will provide the springboard for the remaining elements (ie stakeholder
consultation, appraisal of options, agreement of priorities, delivery and evaluation).
Consequently, this review will be based on a robust analysis of the issues the Council faces
and current performance and will be the first phase in the production of the new post-2009
Housing Strategy (ie see Appendix 1 timetable).




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2.    National, Regional and Local Strategic Housing Priorities


2.1   National Priorities

The Government believes that everyone should have the opportunity to live in a decent
home, at a price they can afford, within a sustainable community. Through its policies, the
Government aims to ensure:

•     A wide choice of housing, both affordable and market, to meet the needs of all sectors
      of the community.
•     Improvements in the affordability of market housing (both owner occupied and rented)
      by means of a better balance between the supply of and demand for housing.
•     An increase in the condition of housing in all sectors to the decent homes standard,
      coupled with regeneration of the most deprived areas.
•     The creation and maintenance of sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities in all
      areas – both urban and rural.

The aim of Planning Policy Statement 3 (PPS3) published in November 2006 is to ensure
that the planning system is used in a positive way to deliver an identified level of growth
having taken into account need and demand. It seeks to ensure that there should be high
quality homes that are well designed, make the best use of land, are energy efficient,
employ sustainable methods of construction and contribute to the wider goal of a more
sustainable pattern of development.

The Government introduced a Planning Gain Supplement (PGS) as a mechanism through
which a greater proportion of the uplift in land value through development is recovered by
society.

The Housing Corporation launched its Homelessness Strategy in November 2006 with its
emphasis as much on homelessness prevention measures as new affordable housing
provision.

Ruth Kelly’s (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) launch of the Hills’
Report into Social Housing on 20th February 2007 reaffirmed that building more social
homes was her “number one priority” though “hand in hand” with that investment was a
need for reform. Social housing in the 21st century must be about three things:

•     Providing improved security for the most vulnerable.
•     Treating people more as individuals, being more flexible to each household’s needs.
•     Acting as a springboard from which people can progress in other walks of life –
      whether at work, gaining new skills or by getting a foot on the ownership ladder.

A new vision is emerging of social housing underpinned by the values of decency and
equality, but with a new accent on social mobility. Four policy areas emerge for reform:

•     Increase the attention given to existing stock and tenants.
•     Support more of an income mix within existing communities.
•     Support the livelihoods of tenants and others in housing need.
•     Offer a “more varied menu” for prospective and existing tenants.

More recently, Yvette Cooper’s (Minister for Housing and Planning) speech to the Fabian
Society on 15th May 2007 highlighted the need to go further to meet the higher demand for
home ownership and the growing need for more supported homes for those on lower


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incomes. Local councils needed to do more to identify good sites for new homes and Arm’s
Length Management Organisations or Special Purpose Vehicles would be able to build new
homes to rent and buy on council-owned land. The private sector needed to do more to
develop the market in equity loans to help first-time buyers take the first step onto the
housing ladder, build more affordable housing and contribute through planning gain.
Housing associations needed to make better use of their assets in building more homes.

The Housing Green Paper, “Homes for the Future”, (DCLG, July 2007) sets out the
Government’s proposals to increase the supply of housing with 3 million more homes by
2020, and to provide well-designed and greener homes that are supported by infrastructure
and more affordable homes to buy or rent. The Government has also made a commitment
to build at least 70,000 affordable homes a year by 2010/11. This includes 45,000 new
social homes a year and a goal of 50,000 social homes a year in the next spending review.

The Green Paper is built around three key principles:

•     Increasing housing supply.
•     More affordable homes.
•     Greener, better designed homes.

Local authorities will have new opportunities to build and manage new houses as well as
housing associations and the private sector. Local councils will be able to establish new
local housing companies (in partnership with the new Homes and Communities Agency) to
deliver shared ownership homes and homes for first time buyers on local authority land.
The private sector will be expected to develop more competitive products in shared equity
mortgages or shared ownership homes.


2.2   Regional Priorities

The South East Regional Housing Board’s (February 2007) proposed priorities for funding
over the period 2008-2011 are as follows:

•     Maintain a strong focus on delivering affordable housing.
•     Maintain a commitment to provide funding for improvements to ensure decent homes.
•     Maintain focus on investment in urban areas.
•     Increased emphasis on providing the right size and type of housing.
•     Maintain support for programmes that assist key workers.
•     Invest in pump-priming, innovative delivery mechanisms, such as Brownfield Land
      Assembly Trust and the Regional Infrastructure Fund, that will unlock housing
      potential.
•     Maintain a commitment to invest in accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers.


2.3   Dartford and Gravesham Community Strategy

The Dartford and Gravesham Local Strategic Partnership 2007-2008 has identified the
following aims:

•     Build strong and sustainable communities.
•     Help local people achieve their potential and ensure that they can compete in the local
      economy as it develops.
•     Make Dartford and Gravesham a cleaner and greener place to live.
•     Ensure a supply of high quality, affordable housing.


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•     Ensure that the people of Dartford and Gravesham can lead healthy and active lives.
•     Make Dartford and Gravesham a safer place to live and work in.
•     Preserving the heritage of Dartford and Gravesham, while developing a thriving leisure
      and cultural centre.
•     Involve the people of Dartford and Gravesham in the decisions which affect their lives
      and ensure all communities benefit from regeneration in the area.


2.4   Corporate Priorities

The Council’s existing strategic aims are:

•     Strategic Aim 1 - A safer place.

•     Strategic Aim 2 - A cleaner and greener environment.

•     Strategic Aim 3 - Healthy and diverse communities.

•     Strategic Aim 4 - Excellent housing.

•     Strategic Aim 5 - Community-led regeneration.

•     Strategic Aim 6 - An excellent Council.


2.5   Housing Strategy Priorities

The Council’s existing priorities contained within the Housing Strategy 2005-2009 are:

•     Priority 1 - To deliver an excellent housing service for all residents of Gravesham.

•     Priority 2 – To improve the quality of housing in both the private and social sectors.

•     Priority 3 – With partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing.

•     Priority 4 – To tackle and prevent homelessness.


2.6   Other Service Priorities

Other core strategies, such as the Local Development Framework and the Supporting
People Strategy, as well as sub-strategies, such as strategies for lettings, preventing
homelessness and improving the private rented sector, will need to underpin the Housing
Strategy. The major priorities arising from these other services are as follows:

Local Development Framework

The South East Plan sets out the number of new dwellings which are required to be built
over the period 2006–2026. In the case of Gravesham, the figure is 9,300. On the basis of
the 2006 Housing Information Audit, which is prepared jointly with Kent County Council, the
identified housing potential in Gravesham exceeds the South East Plan requirement by 743
units. However, it needs to be borne in mind that the number of dwellings that can actually
be delivered will be limited by flood risk, transport infrastructure capacity and other essential
or consequential infrastructure.


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Private Sector Housing

The Council’s Private Sector Housing Renewal Strategy 2006–2009 aims to increase the
proportion of vulnerable households living in decent homes within the private sector, take
action to bring empty homes in the private sector back into use, ensure that unfit Houses in
Multiple Occupation are made safe and where appropriate are licensed, and tackle fuel
poverty (GBC, 2005). As such, the following property types are targeted:

•    Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
•    Empty homes (ie a wasted resource, a deterrent to neighbourhood renewal, the
     highest incidence of unfit housing).
•    Homes which are unsafe and / or do not reach the Decent Homes standard.
•    Least energy efficient homes.

In addition, homes occupied by those eligible for Disabled Facilities Grants are a priority for
the service in terms of resource allocation.

The Gravesham Housing Needs Survey 2006 recommended promoting the growth of the
private rented sector in order to provide a more balanced housing market.

Supporting People

The Kent Supporting People Programme aims to improve the quality of life for vulnerable
people by enabling them to live more independent lives in their communities, or maintaining
their capacity to do so (KCC, March 2005). The Five Year Strategy identifies the following
client groups with the highest priority for developing new housing-related support services:

•    People with multiple / complex needs (including single people who are homeless / at
     risk of homelessness with mental health, alcohol and drugs needs, a history of
     offending).
•    Young people at risk (including homeless 16 and 17 year olds).
•    People who misuse alcohol and drugs).
•    Frail older people.

However, an updated needs analysis conducted in 2007 concluded that the priority groups
identified for service development in the Five Year Strategy needed to be reviewed (KCC,
November 2007). The reconfiguration of Floating Support, following the strategic review of
all such services, goes some way towards meeting the needs of particular priority client
groups, such as Ex-Offenders, People Misusing Substances, and People with Mental Health
problems. Similarly, the commissioning of a countywide Outreach and Resettlement
services for Rough Sleepers, following the strategic review of short–term supported
accommodation, will meet, to some extent, the needs of some homeless people with highly
complex needs.

The analysis concluded that there remains the need for accommodation–based supported
housing in particular for Young People at Risk across Kent and in some areas for People
with Mental Health Problems, People Misusing Substances and People with Dual Diagnosis.
In the short to medium–term and to meet Kent’s current strategic priorities, should funding
become available, the following service developments should be considered in addition to
the already agreed commissioning of new short–term, accommodation–based services:

•    Specialist Floating Support services for particularly hard to reach groups, such as
     Gypsies and Travellers and People from other Minority Ethnic Asian communities in



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     North Kent (where such groups make up relatively high percentages of the population
     and are not proportionately represented in services)
•    Increase in the Floating Support for People with Mental Health Problems in East Kent.

Older People

The White Paper, “Our health, our care, our say” (Department of Health, 2006) gives a
renewed focus on well-being, giving service users more choice, control and a voice in the
way services are planned and delivered. The White Paper emphasises collaboration
between local health and social services, effective commissioning and underlines new
opportunities for the voluntary sector.

A recent speech by Baroness Andrews (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State) to the
Fabian Society on 13th June 2007 highlighted the following principles in providing housing
for an ageing society:

•    Independence and control at home, supported by coherent services.
•    Progressive support in dependency - choice and quality enabling dignity.
•    In lifetime communities that are inclusive and mutually self-supporting.
•    Higher priority for prevention and low-level intervention.

The challenges are to:

•    Plan and build new homes which are truly sustainable and inclusive for all ages, in
     neighbourhoods which are properly desined for inclusion. This will mean moving
     beyond lifetime homes to lifetime neighbourhoods which are properly designed so that
     space can be shared and enjoyed equally across the ages.
•    Ensuring the suitability of the existing housing stock (where the majority of people will
     continue to live) making it fully adaptable as circumstances change and recognising
     the essential role it plays in promoting and sustaining independence and good physical
     and mental health.
•    Building the right sort and range of specialist housing to reflect the fact that people will
     choose to live and be cared for in different ways in the future.
•    Providing the right information and services for people to make positive housing
     choices, whether that is in the way they use their assets and resources, organise or
     access opportunities and services, and prepare for changing circumstances.

Homelessness

The Council’s Homelessness Strategy 2003-2007 includes the following priorities for
tackling homelessness and providing housing advice:

•    Making better use of the existing Council housing stock.
•    Raising the standard of temporary accommodation.
•    Providing outreach services.
•    Providing clear, relevant and in-depth housing advice.
•    Addressing Housing Benefit payment delays.
•    Offering support to sustain tenancies.
•    Offering longer term options.
•    Ensuring a speedy decision-making process.
•    Improving the appeals procedure.
•    Emphasising the prevention of homelessness.
•    Improving multi-agency working and partnership.



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•    Addressing the particular homelessness needs of BME communities, ex-offenders,
     refugees and persons with either mental health problems or suffering from HIV/Aids or
     drug problems.

Lettings

In order to meet the government’s target of introducing Choice Based Lettings (CBL) in all
local authority areas by 2010, a consortium of local authorities and RSLs in Kent
successfully bid for DCLG funding to implement CBL. This group formed the Kent CBL
Partnership. The initial partnership has grown to incorporate all Kent local authorities and all
RSLs working in Kent, to a total of 27 partners. The Kent CBL scheme seeks to
encapsulate the following principles:-

•    A common banding system for assessing and prioritising housing need, although local
     differences may be incorporated, subject to legal scrutiny.
•    All local authority and RSL lettings will be subject to choice, although there will be
     clearly defined circumstances where a landlord can exclude a property from the
     scheme.
•    Traditional nominations agreements with RSLs may be replaced with an expectation
     that vacant properties will be included in the CBL scheme.
•    A percentage of lettings will be available to promote mobility between different local
     authority areas. This will be monitoring closely to ensure equity between areas.
•    The bidding and advertising process will be managed by a contracted service provider
     who will develop and manage ICT links with landlords and local authorities.
•    In each bidding / lettings cycle, usually fortnightly, each landlord will upload details of
     properties available for letting to the service provider. The provider will translate this
     data into advertising media (eg website and free sheets) for applicants to submit bids
     (using telephone, coupon, SMS and email).
•    The provider will process the bids made for each property and provide the landlord
     with a shortlist based on the priority level of the bidders.
•    Feedback will be available to service users on the outcome of previous adverts to
     enable them to judge their prospects of rehousing.

Young People Leaving Care

Research by the Rainer Foundation (2007) - a national charity for under-supported young
people – reported that 16% of young people leaving care were placed in unsuitable, and
sometimes unsafe, accommodation. Vulnerable young people tended to be channeled into
accommodation for general homeless acceptances and, in the worst cases, were being
placed in housing that was physically unsecured and where they were subjected to
harassment and discrimination by other tenants and staff.

The report recognised that problems with housing could undermine progress made in
education, employment or other aspects of an individual’s life. Almost one-third of rough
sleepers have experienced local authority care as a child and 61% of young people have
moved more than three times since leaving care.

According to the report, a lack of coordination between leaving care and housing teams
could lead to a breakdown in the provision of “suitable accommodation”. 32% of young
people surveyed felt that their accommodation did not meet their needs.

Key action points for Housing include:




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•    Housing for care leavers should be included within housing and homelessness
     strategies and should cover a range of accommodation from high-support to
     independent living.
•    There should be a presumption against declaring any care leaver intentionally
     homeless. This should only be done in cases of serious anti-social behaviour or other
     extreme circumstances.
•    Young people should be able to veto housing that does not address their needs as set
     out in their Pathway Plan.
•    Local authorities should maintain a list of approved properties for use in housing care
     leavers up to the age of 21 (including temporary and emergency accommodation).

Disabled People

In June 2005, the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) launched a consultation on putting
disability issues at the heart of public policy, and on priorities for creating a society where
disabled people participate fully. Following detailed discussions with a range of
stakeholders, the DRC identified 10 priority areas for action focused on resolving the
deepest and most persistent social and economic exclusion faced by disabled people and
their families (DRC, March 2007).

Housing should:

•    Undertake comprehensive surveys of housing need across different tenure and
     impairment groups and use this to inform the development of housing strategies.
•    Develop a register of accessible housing (including private rented sector) and
     integrating these into choice based lettings.
•    Ensure information contained on the planned “National Register of Social Housing” is
     accurate, sufficiently detailed, up to date and locally available.
•    Set targets to narrow the gap in home ownership between households with disabled
     adults and other households.
•    Address homelessness as a cross-cutting issue with multiple causes and effects,
     including joint planning and resourcing across social services, housing, the NHS and
     the voluntary sector.

Black and Minority Ethnic Groups

The Gravesham Housing Needs Survey 2006 analysed separately the 256 returns from
Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups to give an insight into the specific housing needs of
BME households within the borough. The survey concluded that the BME population, in
general, had similar incomes and housing requirements to the borough as a whole and
therefore, their housing needs should be met through those initiatives aimed at addressing
the needs of the whole population. However, there were particular needs for larger units of
accommodation for BME households and independent accommodation for BME elders
(though the latter should be considered alongside the needs of all older people in the
borough).

Kent County Council (May 2007) examined the numbers of BME groups accessing the
mainstream housing-related support services in order to identify the gaps in service
provision. In general, BME groups were represented proportionally in seeking access to
and accessing housing–related support services. However, when comparing the
background of particular groups against Census data, some Asian groups were under-
represented in accessing services delivered in North Kent. There were clear cultural
barriers to vulnerable members of the South Asian communities in North Kent in accessing
the currently funded mainstream services and there was a need for a specialist Floating



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Support service covering North Kent (Gravesham and Dartford). Such services need to
clearly meet the distinct cultural and linguistic needs of the communities.

The Council’s Tenants’ Satisfaction Survey 2006 revealed that whereas 78% of the
Council’s tenants were satisfied with the overall housing service, the level of satisfaction for
BME groups was only 64%. Similarly, there were differences between BME respondents
and all respondents in those services considered to be most problematic and in need of
improvement (see section 2.7).

Gypsies and Travellers

The Housing Act 2004 requires local authorities to include Gypsies and Travellers in their
accommodation assessments and to take a strategic approach, including drawing up a
strategy demonstrating how their accommodation needs will be met as part of the wider
Housing Strategy.

In May 2006, Dartford, Gravesham, Medway and Swale Councils commissioned DCA to
carry out a sub-regional study of the accommodation needs and aspirations of gypsies and
travellers housed or living on authorised or unauthorised sites within the study area (DCA,
2006). Some of the key action points for Housing include:

•    Accommodation for 97 households on permanent site pitches across the study area
     between 2006 and 2011, with 12 of these pitches being provided in Gravesham.
•    Smaller sites (15 or fewer pitches) are preferred for both permanent and transit sites,
     with most gypsy and traveller families preferring to live in the countryside on sites
     owned by the gypsy and traveller community.
•    In line with the preferences expressed through the survey, 88% of new approvals
     should be on private sites. New private sites should have the capacity to
     accommodate both visitors and future family growth.
•    New sites should be developed with larger plots to accommodate an average of two
     living units per household, visitors and additional vehicles, and larger pitches to
     accommodate modern mobile homes.
•    Financial options should be developed to enable gypsy and traveller households to
     access finance for site development, either independently or in partnership with a
     housing association.
•    Systems should be put in place to monitor the number of gypsy and traveller
     households living in social housing locally.
•    Good practice in site management should be supported and further developed.
•    A local code of guidance should be developed and promoted to enable gypsy and
     traveller households to access adaptations to their home.

Kent County Council’s examination of the numbers of BME groups accessing mainstream
housing-related support services identified a need for specialist Floating Support services
for gypsies and travellers required not only for meeting the housing–related support needs
of vulnerable people in permanent housing but also to build up links with communities living
on all sites to meet identified unmet needs (KCC, May 2007).

Migrant Workers

Appendix 2 reveals that Gravesham’s East European migrant workers tend to be employed
in the cleaning and domestic staff sectors (38%). Many are male (67%) and young (42%
aged 18-24 and 30% aged 25-34). They are likely to have few dependents with them and
so, a low need for public services. Their main housing impact is in the private sector.




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Locally, it is becoming especially difficult to cope with the increased numbers of HMOs that
are accommodating migrant workers and where conditions may be particularly poor (ie
complaints, health and fire risks, etc) and consideration needs to be given to an additional
HMO licensing scheme for properties used for this purpose.

More generally, the Chartered Institute of Housing and Housing Associations Charitable
Trust (CIH / HACT, June 2006) have identified the following key housing points for new
migrant workers:

•     Rapid expansion in the numbers of new migrant workers needing affordable private
      rented accommodation and an increase in tenant turnover.
•     Material impact on local housing markets and local neighbourhoods.
•     Widespread concerns about housing conditions for some migrant workers but local
      authorities often lack a strategic approach to conditions in the private rented sector.
•     Migrants who lose their jobs can become homeless and destitute.

In addition, new research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has revealed that Eastern
and Central European migrants are opting to stay in Britain longer than they intended. Just
under a quarter of the 307 respondents who provided information about their long-term plans
as of April 2004 said that they intended to settle permanently in the UK (JRF, May 2007).

2.7   Tenants’ Priorities

The government’s overall vision is that the state should empower citizens to shape their own
lives and the services they receive. Social housing represents one of the most powerful
areas for community empowerment. There is a very clear relationship between whether
tenants feel that the landlord takes account of their views and overall tenant satisfaction.
Empowering tenants, for example through Tenant Management Organisations, can also
contribute to service improvements (DCLG, June 2007a).

The Council’s Tenants’ Satisfaction Survey 2006 revealed that 78% of the Council’s tenants
were satisfied with the overall housing service (ranging from 39% for the 16-24 age group,
93% for the 75+ age group and 64% for the BME groups). 66% were satisfied with the
opportunities for participation in decision making (ranging from 23% for the 16-24 age group,
78% for the 65-74 age group, 76% for the 75+ age group and 63% for the BME groups)
(QCL Market Research (2007)).

Appendix 3 identifies vandalism, litter / rubbish in the streets, graffiti, dogs and noise from
people as the five main problems perceived by all the respondents. Although the sample
sizes are small, significantly higher percentages of BME respondents than “all respondents”
considered racial harassment and people causing damage to homes to be “serious
problems” and racial harassment, noise from people and traffic and dogs to be “slight
problems”.

Similarly, repairs and maintenance, overall quality of homes, value for money for the rent,
keeping tenants informed and taking tenants’ views into account were considered by all
respondents to be the five most important services. Of these, overall quality of homes,
repairs and maintenance and taking tenants’ views into account were considered to be the
three services most in need of improvement. Significantly higher percentages of BME
respondents than all respondents considered overall quality of homes, repairs and
maintenance, involving tenants in the management of housing and value for money to be
the services most in need of improvement.




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2.8   Conclusions - What are the developing priorities?

Housing’s fundamental principles are that everyone should have the opportunity to live in a
decent home, at a price they can afford, within a sustainable community. Promoting choice,
independence, decency and equality for all sectors of the community whilst recognising
particular needs and aspirations, all need to underpin the Housing Strategy and other core
strategies and sub-strategies.

Housing has a critical role to play in building integrated, cohesive and sustainable
communities. Problems with housing can cause community breakdown and tension and
undermine progress made in education, employment and other aspects of an individual’s
life. Consequently, housing organisations need to work alongside other service providers in
their areas, taking an active role in their Local Strategic Partnerships and influencing their
local area agreements. Local partnerships need to work together to ensure that new and
existing housing has both the physical and social infrastructures to create welcoming and
sustainable communities and neighbourhoods. “Place shaping”, taking account of user
preferences and user engagement, will be the big challenge over the next few years.

The following sections will examine these “expectations” against the Council’s existing
Housing Strategy 2005-2009 priorities.




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3.   Existing Gravesham BC Strategic Housing Priorities


Priority 1 – To deliver an excellent housing service for all residents of Gravesham


Why this priority?

Excellent housing organisations get the basics right. They have: ambitious leadership;
strong financial management; good communication with their customers; and effective
performance management, supported by accurate, timely and localised information. They
have a culture that is open to peer review and challenge. They learn from success and
listen to and engage users in service design (O’Higgins, 2007).

The Audit Commission’s Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE) for assessing and measuring the
effectiveness and efficiency of local authority strategic housing services encompasses
housing strategy and related strategies such as private sector renewal, homelessness and
enabling the provision of new housing and planning. Descriptions of “excellent” and “fair”
services are provided against each of the following criteria:

•    Access, customer care and service user focus
•    Diversity
•    Strategic approach to housing
•    Making the best use of existing housing
•    Enabling the provision of more housing to meet needs
•    Value for money

The KLOE for the “strategic approach to housing” differs from many of the others as it does
not cover a discrete service. It is designed to establish the overall corporate effectiveness of
the Council’s strategic approach to housing in balancing the local housing market through
partnership working and planning powers. Consequently, the Council’s Housing Strategy
priorities will determine the framework within which “excellence” is assessed. This Housing
Strategy Review is concerned with the ability of the Council’s existing Housing Strategy
priorities to take on board emerging housing needs and policy issues. This will determine
the excellence of the framework within which the excellence of the service will be assessed.

Professor Martin Cave’s Review of regulation across the social housing sector (2007)
proposed a new regulatory system based on the following three objectives:

•    To ensure continued provision of high quality social housing.
•    To empower and protect tenants.
•    To expand the availability of choice of providers at all levels in the provision of social
     housing.

And the following two principles:

•    To achieve these objectives with a minimum degree of intervention.
•    To apply the same approach where possible across all providers of social housing.

Key recommendations of the Cave Review include:

•    Regulation of housing associations and investment in new social housing to be
     separate.



                                            15
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•    Regulator to be independent of Government, but subject to strategic directions on rent
     levels and standards.
•    Regulator has objective to empower and protect tenants.
•    Less regulation for housing associations who perform well.
•    Tenants and local authorities can trigger investigation by regulator by providing
     evidence of poor performance.
•    Wider range of intervention powers to deal with poor performance.
•    Duty for landlords to engage constructively with local authorities in their place-shaping
     function,
•    National tenant voice to be set up.

More recently, the Lyons’ Inquiry (2007) identified the following housing issues that local and
central government will need to pursue in the future:

•    A clear challenge to local government to take a strategic view of housing provision in
     their area, including market as well as social and affordable housing.
•    A question mark over whether local government will have to take a more active role in
     supply, given the difficulties of provision for older people, and continuing problems in
     supply, especially of affordable housing and in some rural communities.
•    The importance of ensuring that investment in social housing delivers the best value
     for money, both with regard to local action and to the impact of the Housing Revenue
     Account Subsidy arrangements (ie local authority-owned housing is still a £98 billion
     asset, and one which needs to be used to full effect).
•    A danger that current arrangements are too fragmented both locally and nationally and
     a need to engage housing associations, particularly the larger organisations, more fully
     in place shaping. The Government should consider whether extending the duty to co-
     operate to housing associations would have advantages.


What are the implications for the existing priority? (taking account of the above and the
Council’s corporate priorities)

The Council’s existing priority to “deliver an excellent housing service for the borough’s
residents” requires:

•    Excellence in the management of the existing housing stock.
•    Excellence in the strategic balancing of the local housing market through partnership
     working and planning powers.
•    Excellence in “place shaping” in helping to create welcoming and sustainable
     communities and neighbourhoods taking account of user preferences and user
     engagement.


What are the existing Housing Strategy plans? (see Appendix 7)

•    Ensuring action is taken in all cases of anti-social behaviour within Council housing
     stock.
•    Improving the leaseholder service.
•    Balloting tenants on stock transfer.
•    Establishing a new Housing IT system.
•    Maximising opportunities for residents to participate in the delivery of the service and
     formulating policies and practices, particularly with regard to hard to reach groups.
•    Achieving upper quartile performance on all Best Value Performance Indicators.



                                            16
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Where are the gaps? (taking account of the various Service Plans, etc)

•    Delivering an excellent housing service that provides vision, choice, affordability,
     independence, decency and equality to customers.
•    Working in partnership (both internal and external) to achieve welcoming, safe and
     sustainable communities and neighbourhoods (eg “place shaping” through inclusion in
     Local Area Agreements and Local Strategic Partnerships).
•    Robust mechanisms for collecting, analysing and presenting information about trends
     and requirements relating to housing markets, residents’ concerns and aspirations and
     related matters.
•    Increasing the understanding of the diversity and vulnerability of customers, for
     example, through customer profiling, surveys, consultation and service involvement.
•    Strengthening customer involvement in the services delivered by offering effective
     consultation and structures for tenant involvement.
•    Optimising and managing resources effectively to plan and meet the needs and
     aspirations of customers.
•    Pursuing a best practice approach to improving performance and value for money and
     achieving Best Value through effective monitoring, evaluation, feedback and
     involvement (eg reducing overheads by 10% across housing repairs contracts).
•    Implementing a programme for achieving Management Excellence and providing a
     staff development programme to provide all employees with opportunities to develop
     their potential, consistent with the needs and priorities of the Council.




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Priority 2 – To improve the quality of housing in both the private and social sectors


Why this priority?

     Private Sector

The Council commissioned Michael Howard Associates (MHA) in June 2006 to undertake a
boroughwide Private Sector Stock Condition Survey. The key points emerging from the final
report include:

•    The Decent Homes Standard was introduced in order to deliver a government
     commitment to encourage the improvement of housing standards.
•    Overall, 29.0% of occupied private sector (all tenures including RSLs but excluding
     Local Authority) dwellings in Gravesham fail to meet the Decent Homes Standard.
•    27.5% of owner-occupied households in Gravesham are Non-Decent Homes under the
     Decent Homes Standard; the privately rented sector is consistently worse by a
     significant degree where 44.8% of privately rented households in Gravesham fail to
     meet the Decent Homes Standard.
•    13.7% of households in the RSL sector in Gravesham are Non-Decent Homes under
     the Decent Homes Standard; all of these must be made Decent by 2010 to meet the
     PSA 7 (Public Service Agreement 7) target.
•    The most common reason for failure to satisfy the Decent Homes Standard was for
     “unacceptable” category 1 hazards, at 19.8% of all private sector (all tenures including
     RSLs but excluding Local Authority) households, followed by those not providing a
     reasonable degree of thermal comfort, at 15.1%, those not in a reasonable state of
     repair, at 14.7%, and those lacking modern facilities and services, at 1.2%.
•    17.0% of (non-social) private sector (owner-occupied and privately rented only)
     households in the Borough are vulnerable households.
•    39.1% of all (non-social) private sector vulnerable households in the Borough are living
     in Non-Decent Homes; thus 60.9% of all (non-social) private sector vulnerable
     households are living in Decent Homes, meaning that the figures in Gravesham fall
     short of the PSA 7 target for 2006 by 4.1%.
•    The Council needs to increase the proportion of vulnerable households in the (non-
     social) private sector living in Decent Homes by 9.1% (some 442 households) to meet
     the PSA 7 target of 70% for 2010 (ie an average of 111 properties per annum from
     2006/07–2009/10).

The report also summarised the costs involved in repairing and improving the borough’s
private sector (owner-occupied, RSLs and privately rented) housing stock, as follows:

•    In the borough, £13.19m is needed to remedy backlog or immediate disrepair.
•    £28.97m is needed to deal with remedying unfitness and urgent repairs in the borough.
•    The average cost to deal with immediate, urgent and non-urgent disrepair alone
     equates to £1,654 per dwelling.
•    To tackle immediate, urgent repairs and non-urgent disrepair would cost £55.14m
     across the borough.
•    £30.25m is required to remedy all recordable hazards in the borough, which equates to
     an average cost of £907 per dwelling, or £2,056 per dwelling with one or more
     recordable hazards.
•    To tackle category 1 hazards only, £9.94m is needed across the borough, which
     equates to an average cost of £298 per dwelling, or £1,550 per dwelling with one or
     more category 1 hazards.



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•    £23.78m is required to make all Non-Decent Homes in the borough meet the Decent
     Homes Standard, which equates to an average cost of £733 per household, or £2,528
     per Non-Decent Home.
•    £7.23m is needed to remedy all Non-Decent Homes occupied by vulnerable
     households in the borough, at an average cost of £1,484 per vulnerable household, or
     £3,798 per Non-Decent Home occupied by a vulnerable household.
•    £0.76m is needed to meet the PSA 7 target for vulnerable households living in Decent
     Homes for 2006, and £1.68m may be needed to meet the PSA 7 target for 2010.

     Local Authority Sector

The Housing Strategy 2005-09 reported that at 1st April 2005, 262 of the Council’s 6132
homes failed the Decent Homes Standard with a further 1,143 expected to fail the standard
during 2005/06. The Business Plan Annual Monitoring Returns 2006 and 2007 reported
worsening situations with 486 homes failing the standard at 1st April 2006 and 572 homes
failing the standard at 1st April 2007.

The Housing Strategy 2005-09 reported that the stock condition information reveals that
£26.2m of investment would be needed to meet the Decent Homes Standard (not all
kitchens and bathrooms would be replaced) and a further £2.9m required to meet the locally
defined Decent Homes Plus Standard by 2010. With resources of £26.6m, it was estimated
that the Government’s Decent Homes Standard could be achieved by 2010 though the local
Decent Homes Plus Standard would be unable to be achieved.

In October 2006, a ballot was undertaken on the transfer of the Council’s housing stock to a
new registered social landlord. 70.4% of tenants voted, with 86% of those participating
voting against a transfer resulting in the Council resolving in December 2006 to continue to
own and manage its homes. The offer document made it clear that the Council would focus
its resources on meeting the basic Decent Homes Standard and would not be able to
provide new kitchens or bathrooms.

What are the implications for the existing priority? (taking account of the above and the
Council’s corporate priorities)

The Council’s existing priority to “improve the quality of housing in both the private and
social sectors” requires:

•    Achieving the Decent Homes Standard, particularly in the private sector.
•    Addressing the needs of the private sector vulnerable households.
•    Optimising and managing resources effectively to plan and meet the needs and
     aspirations of customers.


What are the existing Housing Strategy plans? (see Appendix 7)

•    Achieving Decent Homes.
•    Undertaking a Housing Needs and Private Sector Stock Condition Survey.
•    Tackling empty homes.
•    Securing the regeneration of the Christian Fields Estate in partnership with Moat
     Housing and Countryside Properties.




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Where are the gaps? (taking account of the various Service Plans, etc)

•    Setting up a Corporate Housing Group initially involving Housing Strategy, Housing
     Development, Housing Policy, Planning Policy and Private Sector Housing
     representatives to promote a “joined up” approach to addressing housing needs.
•    Developing other partnerships (both internal and external) to achieve welcoming, safe
     and sustainable communities and neighbourhoods (ie “place shaping”).
•    Reviewing the Housing Strategy Statement 2005–09 following the outcome of the
     Housing Needs Survey, Gypsy & Traveller Needs Survey and Private Sector Stock
     Condition Survey.
•    Utilising the review to inform the Housing Strategy Statement and Private Sector
     Housing Renewal Strategy Updates.
•    Optimising and managing resources effectively to plan and meet the needs and
     aspirations of customers.
•    Reviewing the resources available to meet the Decent Homes Standard following the
     results of the tenants’ ballot not to transfer the Council’s housing stock.
•    Reviewing expenditure on emergency repairs.
•    Evaluating the regeneration of the Christian Fields scheme.
•    Spending annual DFG and Housing Renewal budgets.
•    Establishing and implementing a system for monitoring grant conditions to comply with
     audit recommendations.
•    Processing all applications for HMO licences in accordance with procedures and
     instituting prosecution proceedings against all landlords operating unlicensed
     premises.
•    Reviewing the criteria for grant / loan eligibility to target properties housing vulnerable
     households which fail the Decent Homes Standard.




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Priority 3 – With partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing


Why this priority?

The housing market has become more expensive to enter in the last decade. The
Chartered Institute of Housing and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (March 2007)
highlighted those factors driving the rising housing markets.

The study found that four factors appear to influence where people move to:

•    Their resources
•    Residential perceptions and understandings
•    Notions of place
•    Identity and dispositions

People’s aspirations are a particular important driver of residential mobility. Their
aspirations may be categorised into two groups: those concerned with buying into a lifestyle,
and those concerned with their personal status and, in particular, the household’s position
on the housing ladder and in society. Some people appear to like living with others like
themselves.

In some areas, investors are driving the housing market.

More recently, the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHPAU) (June 2007) has
highlighted the frustrations of the increasing numbers excluded from the housing market. As
affordability in the market sector worsens, more people are pushed either into the private
rented sector, driving up rents, or into the already hard-pressed social rented sector.
Deprivation will increase and the situation will worsen in already deprived areas. The
economy suffers from the consequent impediments to labour mobility and an increasing
quantity of taxpayers’ money is required to deal with the social problems generated both by
increasing deprivation and the inability of numerous key workers to find somewhere to live in
the area where they work.

The NHPAU concludes that between 2000 and 2007, the affordability position has
deteriorated significantly. The demand for housing will continue to increase while the
number of new dwellings completed remains too low. Initial analysis shows that “all other
things being equal, current plans will lead to a further deterioration in the lower quartile
house price to earnings ratio from seven to around ten by 2026”.

     Housing Needs Survey 2006

The Gravesham Housing Needs Survey 2006 undertaken by David Couttie Associates
(DCA) showed a total affordable housing need of 1,019 units within the borough. The major
means of addressing this need are the net relets of the existing social stock, which, after
Right-to-Buy sales, average 350 units. After allowing for the existing stock net relets, there
will still be a total annual affordable housing shortfall of 669 units (ie 577 shortfall plus 92
assumed new units) representing a total of 6,690 units over the ten years to 2016.

Based on the average new unit supply of around 92 units over the last three years, this level
of annual need is nearly eight times the number of units able to be provided from new
delivery and conversions resulting in growing levels of unmet need each year.




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Additionally, 78 existing and 63 concealed households intend to leave the borough over the
next three years because of a lack of affordable rented housing. These are not included in
the needs assessment calculation.

The previous Housing Needs Survey was undertaken in 2001. The following trends are
apparent over the period 2001-2006 (see Appendix 4):

•    Households in unsuitable housing increased from 3548 to 4722.
•    Households in unsuitable housing and needing to move increased from 888 to 2535.
•    Households unable to afford to buy or rent increased from 597 to 1273.
•    New household formation increased from 388 to 426.
•    Proportion unable to access the private market increased from 49.9% to 76.2%.
•    Supply of social relets decreased from 454 to 354 though the committed units of new
     affordable supply increased from 0 to 92.
•    Overall annual shortfall increased from 409 to 577 (though note the differences
     between the two models, eg absence of in-migrant households in the 2001 model).

The Housing Needs Survey 2006 recommended:

•    Providing a mix of house types in both the market and social sectors, but mainly flats,
     to meet the needs for smaller units.
•    Promoting the growth of the private rented sector to provide a more balanced housing
     market.
•    Negotiating with prospective developers towards achieving subsidised affordable
     homes from all the suitable sites coming forward for planning consent over the period
     of the Local Plan.
•    Consideration within the Local Development Framework to affordable housing targets
     of up to 40% within the borough.
•    Within the overall target, consideration to a broad balance of 50% for social rent and
     50% as intermediate market housing.
•    In anticipation of a new lower site threshold of 15 units or 0.5 hectares in the new
     Planning Guidance, promoting the lowest threshold considered viable and which will
     deliver additional affordable units.
•    Developing an Older Persons Housing Strategy to assess needs, the suitability of
     existing sheltered stock and the need for “extra care” accommodation.
•    Continuing to promote disabled adaptations, developing a register of adapted property
     and the needs of disabled people and considering the adoption of Lifetime Homes
     standards for new housing.

     Balancing Housing Markets Analysis 2006

The Housing Needs Survey 2006 provided a very large database on both supply and
demand by location within the borough and on the planned movement of households over
the next five years. The Balancing Housing Markets Analysis 2006 undertaken by DCA
provides detailed information on:

•    Size, type and tenure of the existing dwelling stock in each of six sub-areas (see
     Appendix 5).
•    Supply / demand impact on stock flow of all moving households to 2009 in each of six
     sub-areas analysed by house type and size.




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The key conclusions arising from the analysis are as follows:

     Private Sector
•    Demand for 1-bed stock (particularly 1-bed flats) exceeds supply in the Rural,
     Northfleet North and Gravesend Outer East sub-areas. Surpluses of 1-bed stock are
     evident in Gravesend Central and Northfleet South, with oversupply wholly relating to
     flats in these areas.
•    All areas have a shortfall of 2-bed stock, except Gravesend Central and Northfleet
     South, where surpluses exist. In areas of 2-bed deficit, generally shortfalls exist for 2-
     bed flats, while for other areas, deficits more generally relate to both 2-bed flats and 2-
     bed houses.
•    3-bed units are generally in net surplus, particularly in areas such as Gravesend Outer
     West and Northfleet North. Shortfalls do exist, however, in Gravesend Outer East,
     mainly relating to 3-bed houses.
•    Shortfalls of 4+ bed stock (predominantly houses) exist in all areas of Gravesham,
     apart from Gravesend Central where small surpluses of 4+ bed houses exist. The
     largest deficits of 4+ bed stock exist in Gravesend Outer West and Rural areas.

     Affordable Sector
•    There is a stock shortfall of 1-bed properties; mostly prominent in Gravesend Central,
     Northfleet South and Gravesend Outer West. The overall net deficit relates mainly to
     houses (78%) followed by bungalows and flats.
•    Around 44% of the overall net shortfall of affordable housing across the borough arises
     in the Gravesend Central and Rural areas. The majority of the net total shortfall in this
     area relates to 1 and 2-bed accommodation.
•    3-bed deficit is significant in Gravesend Central, Northfleet South, Rural and
     Gravesend Outer East. Surpluses of 3-bed flats, however, exist in Northfleet North.
•    Demand exceeds supply for 4+ bed affordable accommodation (predominantly
     houses) in all areas across the borough.


The implications of this stock imbalance are that further difficulties are created for new
forming households attempting to access the housing market in Gravesham. For example,
around 81% of new forming households are looking to occupy 1 or 2-bed units which
represent only 33% of the housing stock. Clearly, the rate of turnover required is excessive.

The analysis recommends that despite the scale of future demand, it would not be
sustainable or deliverable in market terms to build all new stock in one or two sectors of the
market. There is a need, however, for new low-cost market housing and planning policies
and site development briefs should continue to address the shortage of 1 and 2-bed
affordable houses and modern flats in the current stock.

Sustainable development is believed to be the key issue in determining the type and size of
stock mix requirements. Account should be taken of existing surrounding or local stock,
existing service provision, school utilisation, access to shops and medical facilities, etc so
that the local area would become more balanced and sustainable after the completion of the
development. Regeneration initiatives provide major opportunities for achieving balanced
communities.


What are the implications for the existing priority? (taking account of the above and the
Council’s corporate priorities)

The Council’s existing priority to “maximise the supply of affordable housing” requires:



                                           23
                                   Page 152



•    Excellence in the strategic balancing of the local housing market through partnership
     working and planning powers.
•    Delivery of the Local Development Framework as the basis for securing sustainable
     development. Promoting sustainable development in determining the size and type of
     stock mix requirements.
•    Encouraging the development of Parish Plans that include Design Statements to guide
     development in rural areas.
•    Providing affordable homes on sites suitable for development that reflect local housing
     needs and aspirations. Responding to local trends in terms of increasing levels of new
     household formation and unsuitable housing and declining levels of affordability and
     social housing relets, etc.
•    Promoting the growth of the private rented sector to provide a more balanced housing
     market.
•    Participation in the planning and delivery of strategic developments, including
     applications for funding and the establishment of Special Delivery Vehicles.


What are the existing Housing Strategy plans? (see Appendix 7)

•    Delivering new affordable housing.
•    Enhancing the under-occupation policy.


Where are the gaps? (taking account of the various Service Plans, etc)

•    Progressing the delivery of the Local Development Framework as the basis for
     securing sustainable development and affordable stock mix requirements.
•    Encouraging the development of Parish Plans that include Design Statements to guide
     development in the rural areas.
•    Reviewing the Housing Strategy Statement 2005–09 following the outcome of the
     Housing Needs Survey, Gypsy & Traveller Needs Survey and Private Sector Stock
     Condition Survey.
•    Undertaking feasibility studies on the regeneration of Council-owned estates.
•    Negotiating the most effective and efficient delivery of affordable housing through the
     s106 process.
•    Investigating the implications of the proposed Planning Gain Supplement for both
     affordable housing and s106 agreements.
•    Reviewing existing partnership working with RSLs for gaps and duplication in
     delivering affordable housing, clear nomination agreements and the effective
     monitoring of performance (eg s106 performance, developments without public
     subsidy, commuted sums. etc).
•    Reviewing (in conjunction with Dartford, Medway and Swale Councils) the role of the
     North Kent Housing Partnership in achieving best practice in the provision of
     affordable housing.
•    Reviewing the Asset Management Plan to assess development potential.
•    Promoting the growth of the private rented sector to provide a more balanced housing
     market.




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Priority 4 – To tackle and prevent homelessness


Why this priority?

The Council has a number of statutory responsibilities for tackling this extreme form of
housing need. The Council’s Homelessness Strategy 2003-2007 seeks to work in
partnership with key partners to prevent homelessness and, wherever possible, to assist
people in finding suitable accommodation which meets their needs before homelessness
arises.

The Council’s approach matches the steady trend by local authorities over the last two years
in refocusing homelessness resources towards prevention (DCLG, June 2007b). The DCLG
survey found that 71% of local authorities had more staff employed in preventing
homelessness than in its administration. The five most successful prevention measures
were reported as rent deposit schemes, mediation, advice on housing options, dialogue with
landlords and home visiting. However, the most frequently refused prevention measures, by
those facing homelessness, were reported as mediation, private renting, rent deposit
schemes, dialogue with landlords and supported lodging schemes. This suggests that some
authorities are successful with measures (eg mediation and rent deposit schemes) that
others are struggling with, thus highlighting a need to share key success factors and good
practice.

In 2004/05, the Council undertook 357 decisions on households presenting themselves as
homeless. 222 households were accepted as eligible, unintentionally homeless and in
priority need of which 119 were households with dependent children. In 2005/06, the figures
decreased to 287 decisions, 190 acceptances and 106 households with dependent children;
thus, underlining the importance of the Council’s homelessness prevention strategy. In
2006/07, the figures increased to 374 decisions, 258 acceptances and 153 households with
dependent children; which resulted in a review of the Council’s homelessness strategies.
The respective figures for the first and second quarters of 2007/08 already show an
improvement over the fourth quarter of 2006/07.


      Year               Total          Eligible, unintentionally      Households with
                       Decisions        homeless and in priority         dependent
                                                   need                   children

 2002/03                  353                      215                        122

 2003/04                  664                      356                        252

 2004/05                  357                      222                        119

 2005/06                  287                      190                        106

 2006/07                  374                      258                        153

 Total (2002/03          2035                     1241                        752
 – 2006/07)

 2006/07 (Qtr 4)           85                       60                        27

 2007/08 (Qtr 1)           58                       32                        15
         (Qtr 2)           62                       40                        24
Source: P1e returns



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A survey of single homelessness in the Kent boroughs and districts undertaken by the Joint
Policy and Planning Board (Housing) in 2007 revealed the following:

•       13 respondents in Gravesham compared with 731 respondents overall
•       10 were male, 0 were aged under 18, 5 were aged 18-25 and 12 were English
•       7 had slept in a hostel the previous night and 7 would be sleeping in a hostel that night
•       5 had slept rough in the past year
•       6 had a drug problem and 5 had an alcohol problem
•       12 had a local authority care or prison background
•       5 had not had a settled home for 1-5 years
•       11 were planning to stay in Gravesham Borough Council
•       10 had first become homeless because of a family dispute
    •   11 had been prevented from finding another home because of a lack of a deposit or
        the payment of rent in advance
•       9 needed help in finding a home, 7 in finding a job, 7 in receiving training and 6 in
        receiving support in life skills
•       13 were registered with a GP


What are the implications for the existing priority? (taking account of the above and the
Council’s corporate priorities)

The Council’s existing priority to “tackle and prevent homelessness” requires:

•       Securing the positive outcomes identified in the Homelessness Strategy and Private
        Sector Renewal Strategy, including action to bring empty homes back into use.
•       Preventing homelessness, wherever possible.
•       Providing advice and support to access affordable accommodation, sustain tenancies
        or enable progress in other walks of life.
•       Improving the availability of good quality accommodation in the private rented sector.
•       Improving and sustaining effective partnerships across the public, private and
        voluntary sectors to tackle homelessness.


What are the existing Housing Strategy plans? (see Appendix 7)

•       Preventing more homelessness.
•       Reducing the use of bed and breakfast accommodation.
•       Assisting more households from the Common Housing Register into housing.


Where are the gaps? (taking account of the various Service Plans, etc)

•       Securing the positive outcomes identified in the Homelessness Strategy and Public
        Sector Renewal Strategy, including action to bring empty homes back into use.
•       Providing housing options and advice (eg rent deposits, mediation, home visits, etc).
•       Supporting people to access and maintain accommodation.
•       Improving access to private sector housing stock.
•       Effective partnership working.
•       Ensuring the Home Improvement Agency service is reviewed and available from April
        2008 in conjunction with other local authority partners and Kent CC Supporting People
        Team.



                                              26
                                          Page 155


4.   Achievements to date (based on Performance Plan and Service Plans)


A review of the achievements to date for each of the existing Housing Strategy priorities
provides a useful indication of developing priorities when compared with the original
Housing Strategy 2005-2009 Action Plan (Appendix 7).


Priority 1 - To deliver an excellent housing service for all residents of Gravesham

•    Ballot undertaken on the transfer of the Council’s housing stock to a new registered
     social landlord. 70.4% of tenants voted, with 86% of those participating voting against
     a transfer resulting in the Council resolving in December 2006 to continue to own and
     manage its homes.
•    Improved performance on rent collection following development of new procedures in
     partnership with tenants which focused on preventing tenants getting into arrears.
•    Revised former tenant arrears procedure developed and agreed in September 2006 in
     partnership with tenants. Target for recovering £550,000 of former tenants’ arrears
     achieved.
•    Improved housing void turnaround rates following the establishment of a Voids
     Performance Review Group, helping tenants to be housed more quickly.
•    Appointments made for housing repair work increased to 90% of all jobs.
•    Leaseholders’ Handbook published in October 2006.
•    Performance within Housing Services enhanced through modern methods of
     procurement for the supply of materials and services (ie repairs and maintenance
     partnering contracts and cash collection contract).
•    Estate Inspection procedures improved in conjunction with residents. Improvements
     made to the layout of forms, including the feedback mechanism to tenants present
     during estate inspections.
•    Joint Public Safety Unit established between the Council and the Police. Two Housing
     officers joined the Community Safety Team to deliver more joined-up working between
     Community Safety and Housing Services. Standard anti-social behaviour (ASB)
     reporting procedures drafted and corporate database launched.
•    Capital finance allocated to provide CCTV to blocks of flats where incidences of ASB
     experienced.
•    3 yearly STATUS survey undertaken which provided more in depth information with
     regard to customer profiles. The headline figures were 78% satisfaction with overall
     services, 64% satisfaction by BME tenants and 79% satisfaction amongst non-ethnic
     minority tenants.
•    Targeted approach undertaken to increase the number of BME community members
     participating. Targets of 3% involvement for BME communities achieved with 4.76%
     participation for both minority ethnic and Irish or non-UK white.
•    New Residents Association set up at Shears Green Court. Two new estate
     representatives at Lorton Close and St Benedict’s Avenue.
•    ODPM (now DCLG) award received in recognition of the Council’s Beacon award for
     promoting racial equality.
•    In partnership with Moat Housing, a multi-game area provided at King’s Farm to
     encourage younger members of the community to become more active.
•    Monthly updates of Service Plan actions produced and performance reported every
     month. Performance information used to benchmark with other local authorities
     through CIPFA and HouseMark.
•    Regular 1 to 1 and team meetings held with Section Heads and staff.
•    Annual performance appraisals completed with all staff, including a review of training
     needs. Continuing Professional Development facilitated.


                                           27
                                    Page 156


•    55 staff trained in Customer Care in September 2006 to help ensure an effective
     customer focus.
•    ISO 9001 Quality Assurance achieved for repairs and maintenance services.
•    Complaints Policy reviewed and revised in July 2006 in consultation with tenants.
     Target time to visit complainants of anti-social behaviour reviewed and revised to 3
     days to provide a more challenging target.
•    Accommodating Excellence delivered with a new Civic Centre reception being opened
     to the public following refurbishment and the moving back of the Housing staff into the
     Civic Centre.


Priority 2 – To improve the quality of housing in both the private and social sectors

•    Ballot undertaken on the transfer of the Council’s housing stock to a new registered
     social landlord, resulting in the Council resolving to continue to own and manage its
     homes.
•    Various agreements completed for the delivery of the Christian Fields regeneration
     project, planning permission granted, land transfer completed in March 2007 and
     works commenced in May 2007. Planning of Phase 2 commenced.
•    Housing Corporation allocation supporting the development of 328 units of affordable
     housing over the period 2006-08.
•    Purchase of 4 “street properties” by Registered Social Landlords partly-funded from
     the Council’s capital funds.
•    81 private sector homes brought back into use during 2006/07 exceeded the annual
     target of 39 homes.
•    18 HMOs licensed under statutory requirements.
•    Annual Private Sector Landlords’ Forum held with partners to provide assistance,
     legislative updates and advice.
•    In Touch Home Improvement Agency agreement in place until March 2008.
•    Private Sector Housing Renewal Strategy 2006-09 produced.
•    Private Sector Stock Condition Survey undertaken and draft report issued.


Priority 3 – With partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing

•    Housing Needs Survey undertaken and draft report issued.
•    Gypsy and Traveller Needs Survey undertaken in partnership with Dartford, Medway
     and Swale Councils and draft report received for further discussion.
•    Maintained the policy of achieving 30% affordable housing on urban sites of more than
     25 units taking into account that on occasions, the Council receives commuted sum
     monies instead of delivering affordable units on site.
•    Negotiation of affordable housing contributions on new developments continued to
     secure both on-site units and commuted sums. Section 106 agreements finalised for
     Southfields, Christian Fields and the Heritage Quarter.
•    Utilisation of Council-owned sites for new affordable housing (eg Lawrance Square,
     Newton Abbot Road and various single plots).
•    Housing Corporation allocation supporting the development of 328 units of affordable
     housing over 2006-08 to assist more households from the Common Housing Register.
     Up to December 2006, 31 affordable units had been completed.
•    305 new homes delivered during 2006/07 exceeded the annual target of 300 (GPI
     041).
•    Proportion of “affordable” homes delivered during 2006/07 (36%) exceeded the annual
     target of 30% (GPI 042).



                                          28
                                        Page 157


•    82% new homes built on previously developed land during 2006/07 exceeded the
     annual target of 75% (BVPI 106).
•    Social rented housing on the southern part of the Lord Street / Eden Place / Parrock
     Street development occupied in December 2006. Private housing sales progressing
     well.
•    First rural affordable housing schemes completed at Isis Cottages, Higham and
     Evenden Road, Meopham in May 2006. A further scheme commenced at School
     Lane, Higham and a planning application was submitted for the development of 5 flats
     at Scratton Fields.
•    Further consultation events undertaken on the Local Development Framework.
     Statement of Community Involvement approved.
•    Assistance given to Meopham Parish Council in bringing forward a Parish Design
     Statement. This approach will be promoted with other Parish Councils in the borough.
•    Development of a uniform Section 106 agreement for use county-wide by other Kent
     local housing authorities.
•    “Sustainability” promoted within new and existing communities (eg Heritage Quarter,
     Parrock Street, etc).


Priority 4 – To tackle and prevent homelessness

•    Housing Needs Team restructured to ensure a full range of advice and options is
     available to homeless clients.
•    Increased emphasis placed on the prevention of homelessness.
•    Rent Deposit Scheme proved to be an excellent housing option for cases where the
     Council would be accepting a full housing duty.
•    Basildon Mediation utilised on a case by case referral basis.
•    Numbers of people in temporary accommodation decreased during 2006-07 from 160
     to 42.
•    Bed and breakfast and hostel accommodation ceased to be used for homelessness
     cases. Instead, a flat within the Council’s housing stock is used specifically for
     emergency short-term temporary accommodation out of hours.
•    305 new homes delivered during 2006/07 exceeded the annual target of 300 (GPI
     041).
•    Proportion of “affordable” homes delivered during 2006/07 (36%) exceeded the annual
     target of 30% (GPI 042).
•    81 private sector homes brought back into use during 2006/07 exceeded the annual
     target of 39 homes.
•    In Touch Home Improvement Agency agreement in place until March 2008.




                                         29
                                     Page 158


5.   Key Priorities – What we plan to do


The Council’s existing priorities contained within the Housing Strategy 2005-2009 are:

•    Priority 1 - To deliver an excellent housing service for all residents of Gravesham.

•    Priority 2 – To improve the quality of housing in both the private and social sectors.

•    Priority 3 – With partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing.

•    Priority 4 – To tackle and prevent homelessness.

The challenges for housing strategy vary across the country. The major issue that most
areas face is a shortage of affordable housing which in many urban and rural areas now
threaten the sustainability of communities. In recent years, the housing market has made it
increasingly difficult to obtain a home to own or to rent. As affordability worsens, more
people are pushed either into the private rented sector, driving up rents, or into the already
hard-pressed social rented sector. These shortages have a number of economic and social
consequences, creating difficulties and hardship for many people who may find themselves
living in inappropriate accommodation. There is also a problem for key workers who are
priced out of the market in the area where they work.

The Gravesham Housing Needs Survey 2006 identified a total annual affordable housing
shortfall of 669 units (ie 577 shortfall plus 92 assumed new units) representing a total
shortfall of 6,690 units over the ten years to 2016. In 2006/07, the Council undertook 374
decisions on households presenting themselves as homeless. 258 households were
accepted as eligible, unintentionally homeless and in priority need of which 153 were
households with dependent children. Consequently, the Council’s existing priorities
concerned with maximising the supply of affordable housing (Priority 3) and tackling and
preventing homelessness (Priority 4) continue to be major priorities. However, in light of
the earlier review of other sub-strategies, the “tackling and preventing homelessness”
priority should be expanded to include addressing the needs of other vulnerable groups.

The Council’s existing priority concerned with improving the quality of housing in both the
private and social sectors recognises that by making best use of the existing housing stock,
the need for new housing, including new affordable housing, will be reduced. The repair,
improvement or adaptation of existing housing to ensure it is useable, or preventative work
to enable people to continue to occupy their homes also reduce the need for more housing.
Consequently, this form of intervention continues to make it a major priority (Priority 2).

The Council’s remaining priority is concerned with delivering an excellent housing service for
all of the borough’s residents (Priority 1). How well the Council assesses housing needs,
tackles homelessness, works towards the Decent Homes Standard, helps residents to
access a home suitable for their needs and makes critical links with support services all
influence its excellence in recognising diversity across the borough’s residents and offering
opportunities and choices over where they live. Consequently, this priority underpins all the
Council’s other housing priorities and likewise, should continue as a major priority.

However, the developing priorities apparent in the existing Housing Strategy 2005-2009
plans, the achievements to date and the recent Service Plans 2007-2008 reveal an
evolutionary trend from seeking excellence in the management of the Council’s existing
housing stock to seeking excellence in the strategic balancing of the local housing market to
seeking excellence in “place shaping”.



                                           30
                                            Page 159


“Place shaping” is anticipated to be the big challenge over the next few years. It starts with
creating a vision for how a place should look and feel, including creating attractive places
and good quality affordable housing in all tenures, that attracts investment and workers for a
vibrant economy. It is also about offering people opportunities and choices over where they
live, creating high quality well-connected homes, enhancing people’s life chances, making
positive impacts on health and wellbeing, connections to skills and employment and an
improved environment. Consequently, housing organisations will need to work alongside
other service providers in their areas, taking account of user preferences and user
engagement, taking an active role in Local Strategic Partnerships and influencing local area
agreements. Local partnerships will need to work together to ensure that new and existing
housing has both the physical and social infrastructures to create welcoming and
sustainable communities and neighbourhoods.

For example, the added value of neighbourhood management in contributing to place
shaping has been summarised in the following terms (DCLG, August 2007):

•    Promoting and supporting a local “customer perspective” in public service provision,
     identifying local problems, communicating these to providers and pursuing “joined up
     solutions”.
•    Promoting the greater involvement of local people in decision-making and consultation
     about services, particularly the greater use of deliberative processes.
•    Supporting networking, relationship building and joint working between providers at a
     neighbourhood level.
•    Bringing residents, community groups and providers together at a neighbourhood level
     in a way that improves providers’ understanding of local problems and ability to target
     services on local needs (ie improving the targeting, tailoring and take up of services)
•    Promoting and supporting innovation in working practices by service providers.
•    Facilitating a more active community and voluntary sector, and contributing to the
     development of social capital in the community.

Excellence in place shaping will reinforce the Council’s strategic housing role in influencing
the nature of the housing outcomes within the borough. For example, are the housing
products the right ones for the borough’s residents? Is the best use being made of the
existing housing stock across all tenures? Are all possible appropriate affordable housing
options being provided? What is the quality of the local service providers and landlords? Is
housing contributing to community wellbeing through linkages with support services?

Strong performance in the strategic housing role is recognised in the Housing Green Paper,
“Homes for the Future”, (DCLG, July 2007) as requiring vision, leadership, planning and
delivery at a strategic level to:

•    Assess and plan for the current and future housing needs of the local population
     across all tenures.
•    Make the best use of the existing housing stock.
•    Plan and facilitate new supply.
•    Plan and commission housing support services which link homes to the support and
     other services that people need to live in them.
•    Work in partnership to secure effective housing and neighbourhood management on
     an ongoing basis.

Consequently, it is crucial that the Council’s “delivering an excellent housing service” priority
takes full account of these developments in providing choice, affordability, independence,
decency and equality for the borough’s tenants, residents and communities. Emerging
plans for achieving this priority could include the following:


                                            31
                                    Page 160



•    Effective sub-regional working through constructive and productive partnerships with
     neighbouring authorities.
•    Establishing and maintaining a range of internal and external partnerships based on a
     shared vision of sustainable communities (eg externally with local developers, housing
     associations, private landlords, health and educational authorities, voluntary
     organisations, residents’ groups, etc and internally with planning, finance,
     environmental, legal, property, corporate policy, etc).
•    Realising efficiencies through the joint procurement with neighbouring local authorities
     of housing need surveys, co-ordinating their timing, quality and frequency, removing
     duplication and ensuring that the most urgent needs are met.
•    Effective mechanisms for understanding and acting on residents’ concerns and
     aspirations for their neighbourhoods.
•    Inclusion of housing in the Local Area Agreement and Local Strategic Partnership.
•    Effective action-planning with clear responsibilities, monitoring and evaluation of
     outcomes.
•    Using excellence to promote peer review and challenge and engaging users in service
     design and preferences.

Furthermore, the achievement of this priority will impact upon the achievement of the other
priorities, exemplified as follows:

•    Better understanding of the housing market place and the commercial risks faced by
     housing associations and developers.
•    Working with housing associations and developers in providing a clear message to
     local communities about the need for affordable housing and involving people in how
     developments might be designed and delivered.
•    Speeding up delivery by sharing good practice and resources, working with partners,
     reducing the time taken to negotiate s106 agreements, etc.
•    Encouraging all stakeholders to become more involved in the production of local
     housing strategies (eg information exchange and listening events).
•    Increasing the understanding of diversity and the vulnerability of customers.
•    Developing housing solutions that facilitate independent living in the community and
     meet the needs of vulnerable groups.
•    Achieving wider social, economic and environmental aims, in particular by tackling
     homelessness, overcrowding, unemployment, etc and promoting social mix.
•    Developing formal protocols with other agencies to clarify responsibilities and ensure
     effective co-ordination.
•    Better tracking of performance to help demonstrate value for money.

The Council’s reviewed Housing Strategy priorities become:

•    Priority 1 – To deliver an excellent housing service for all residents of Gravesham
                  (that is excellence in housing management, excellence in strategic
                  planning, excellence in “place shaping”).

•    Priority 2 – To improve the quality of housing in both the private and social sectors.

•    Priority 3 – With partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing.

•    Priority 4 – To tackle and prevent homelessness and address the needs of other
                  vulnerable groups.




                                          32
                                           Page 161


What next?

The reviewed Housing Strategy priorities will inform the production of:

•    The various Housing Service Plans 2008-09 (ie Housing Services, Housing Strategy
     and Development, Repairs and Maintenance, Regulatory Services and Planning and
     Regeneration) by taking account of emerging plans, “gaps” in the existing Housing
     Strategy identified earlier (section 3) and recent achievements (section 4).
•    The various sub-strategies (eg affordable housing, homelessness, empty homes,
     private sector housing, older people, value-for-money, etc) taking account of the
     priorities highlighted in section 2.
•    The Local Development Framework as the basis for securing the sustainable
     development of the area.
•    A Consultation Plan providing an update of progress in implementing the current
     strategy and inviting comments from partners, stakeholders and residents on how they
     would wish consultation on the draft Housing Strategy 2009-13 to be undertaken and
     how they would wish to be involved in monitoring its progress.
•    The Housing Strategy 2009-13.

Further monitoring and development of the existing Housing Strategy 2005-09 will continue
to evolve.




                                           33
6.     Housing Service Plans 2007-08


The Housing Strategy 2005-09 is being implemented through the Council’s housing-related Service Plans.

The following table highlights the major actions within the Housing Services, Housing Strategy and Development, Repairs and
Maintenance, Regulatory Services and Planning and Regeneration Service Plans 2007-08. The five Service Plans contain more detail
though their collective actions demonstrate the Council’s current housing directions. They will need to be reviewed against the “gaps”
identified in the existing Housing Strategy 2005-2009 Action Plan (section 3 above), the achievements to date (section 4 above) and the
reviewed priorities (section 5 above) in the development of the Service Plans 2008-09.


 Object   Management Action                     Target Date     Completion      Lead                           Comments
 ive                                                            Date            Section
 No.




                                                                                                                                          Page 162
 Housing Strategic Priority 1: To deliver an excellent housing service for all residents of Gravesham (ie excellence in housing
 management, excellence in strategic planning, excellence in “place shaping”)


 1.1      Pursue a Best Value approach that       Ongoing                        All sections
          is in keeping with best practice,
          undertaking an assessment of unit
          costs and consulting with
          customers on the relative costs and
          quality of the service provided
          Develop benchmarking and
          exchange information and work
          practices with high performing
          organisations in order to improve
          services

 1.2      Increase the understanding of the       Ongoing                        All sections
          diversity and vulnerability of
          customers, for example, through
          customer profiling, surveys,
          consultation and service



                                                                  34
Object   Management Action                      Target Date   Completion   Lead                          Comments
ive                                                           Date         Section
No.

         involvement
         Using the results above, review
         services to ensure that they are
         effectively tailored to the needs of
         customers

1.3      Effective use of the Performance       March 2008                  All sections
         Management Framework to
         improve performance across the
         council

1.4      Implement a programme for                Ongoing                   All sections
         achieving Management Excellence
         and provide a Staff Development




                                                                                                                    Page 163
         Programme to provide all
         employees with opportunities to
         develop their potential, consistent
         with the needs and priorities of the
         council
Housing Strategic Priority 2: To improve the quality of housing in both the private and social sectors


2.1      Review the Housing Strategy             Dec 2007                    Housing
         Statement 2005–09 following the                                     Strategy
         outcome of the Housing Needs
         Survey, Gypsy & Traveller Needs
         Survey and Private Sector Stock
         Condition Survey

2.2      Review the Private Sector Housing       July 2007                   Private
         Renewal Strategy in the light of                                    Housing
         Stock Condition Survey 2006 and
         annually thereafter


                                                               35
Object   Management Action                     Target Date   Completion   Lead           Comments
ive                                                          Date         Section
No.


2.3      Set up a Corporate Housing Group       June 2007                   Housing
         to promote a “joined up” approach                                  Strategy
         to addressing housing needs


2.4      Ensure the effective and timely        Phase 1                     Housing
         delivery of the regeneration of the    May 2008                   Services /
         Christian Fields estate                                           Planning &
                                                                          Regeneration

2.5      To agree and implement a               July 2008                   Housing




                                                                                                    Page 164
         Sustainable Estates programme to                                   Services
         secure the long-term sustainability
         of Gravesham’s council housing
         estates


2.6      Bring empty properties back into      March 2008                    Empty
         use (BVPI 64 target of 39 homes                                   Properties
         over 2007/08)                                                      Working
                                                                             Group
                                                                            (EPWG)

2.7      Review the Decent Homes                June 2007                  Repairs &
         programme for 2007/10 to reflect                                 Maintenance
         current and future funding


2.8      Spend the annual DFG and               April 2008                  Private
         Housing Renewal budgets                                            Housing




                                                              36
Object   Management Action                      Target Date    Completion   Lead            Comments
ive                                                            Date         Section
No.


2.9      Process all applications for HMO        June 2007                    Private
         licences in accordance with                                          Housing
         procedures and institute
         prosecution proceedings against all
         landlords operating unlicensed
         premises

Housing Strategic Priority 3: With partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing


3.1      Progress the delivery of the Local        Core                      Planning &
         Development Framework (LDF) as           Strategy                  Regeneration
         the basis for securing the             submitted to
         sustainable development of the         Sec of State




                                                                                                       Page 165
         area                                    July 2008

3.2      Encourage the development of             2007/08                    Planning &
         Parish Plans that include Design                                   Regeneration
         Statements to guide development
         in the rural areas

3.3      For new developments, maintain a       March 2008                    Housing
         policy of seeking 30% of the units                                 Development
         that are affordable on sites of 25
         units or more

3.4      Undertake feasibility studies on the    May 2007                     Housing
         regeneration of council-owned                                       Services /
         estates                                                              Housing
                                                                            Development




                                                                37
Object   Management Action                      Target Date   Completion   Lead                     Comments
ive                                                           Date         Section
No.


3.5      Negotiate the most effective and         Ongoing                    Housing
         efficient delivery of affordable                                  Development
         housing through the s106 process


3.6      Review existing partnership            March 2008                   Housing
         working with RSLs for gaps and                                    Development
         duplication in delivering affordable
         housing, clear nomination
         agreements and the effective
         monitoring of performance




                                                                                                                    Page 166
3.7      Review (in conjunction with            March 2008                   Housing
         Dartford, Medway and Swale                                        Development
         Councils) the role of the North Kent
         Housing Partnership in achieving
         best practice in the provision of
         affordable housing

Housing Strategic Priority 4: To tackle and prevent homelessness and address the needs of other vulnerable groups


4.1      Secure the positive outcomes           March 2008                   Housing
         identified in the Homelessness                                     Services /
         Strategy and Public Sector                                          Private
         Renewal Strategy, including action                                 Housing /
         to bring empty homes back into                                      EPWG
         use

4.2      Review and update the                  March 2008                   Housing
         Homelessness Strategy 2003-2007                                     Services




                                                               38
Object   Management Action                    Target Date   Completion   Lead         Comments
ive                                                         Date         Section
No.


4.3      Ensure the Home Improvement          March 2008                   Private
         Agency service is reviewed and                                   Housing /
         available from April 2008 in                                     Housing
         conjunction with other local                                     Strategy
         authority partners and Kent CC
         Supporting People Team


4.4      Avoid the use of bed and breakfast    April 2008                  Housing
         accommodation                          (Monthly                   Services
                                                reviews)

4.5      Monitor the numbers in temporary      April 2008                  Housing
         accommodation on a weekly basis                                   Services




                                                                                                 Page 167
         as part of monitoring the
         Homelessness Improvement Plan


4.6      To contribute towards the review     March 2008                   Housing
         and update of the Five year                                       Services
         Supporting People Strategy as a
         commissioning partner in the Kent
         Countywide Supporting People
         partnership




                                                             39
                                  Page 168


References


•   Audit Commission, “The Future Regulation of Housing”, February 2007
•   Cave Review, “Every Tenant Matters: A Review of Social Housing Regulation”, June
    2007
•   Chartered Institute of Housing and Improvement and Development Agency,
    “Developing Housing Strategy through Local Area Agreements”, February 2007
•   Chartered Institute of Housing and Improvement and Development Agency,
    “Developing Strategic Housing Capability”, July 2007
•   Chartered Institute of Housing and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, “Understanding
    Housing Demand”. March 2007
•   Chartered Institute of Housing and the Housing Associations Charitable Trust,
    “Lessons from National Studies and Policy Reviews on New Migrants”, June 2006
•   DCA, “North Kent Gypsy and Traveller Study”, Draft Final Report, 2006 (Version 3)
•   DCA, “Gravesham - Housing Needs Survey”, 2006
•   DCA, “Gravesham – Balancing Housing Markets / Housing Stock Analysis”, 2006
•   Dartford and Gravesham Community Strategy, Update 2007-2008
•   Department for Communities and Local Government, “Strong and Prosperous
    Communities”, October 2006
•   Department for Communities and Local Government, “Housing Investment in the
    Regions”, November 2006
•   Department for Communities and Local Government, “Launch of Hills Report into
    Social Housing”, February 2007
•   Department for Communities and Local Government, “Local Authorities and Gypsies
    and Travellers: A Guide to Responsibilities and Powers”, May 2007
•   Department for Communities and Local Government, “Tenant Empowerment”,
    Consultation Document, June 2007a
•   Department for Communities and Local Government, “Homelessness Statistics June
    2007 and Local Authority Survey of Homelessness Prevention”, Policy Briefing 19,
    June 2007b
•   Department for Communities and Local Government, “Delivering Housing and
    Regeneration: Communities England and the Future of Social Housing Regulation”,
    Consultation Document, June 2007c
•   Department for Communities and Local Government, “Homes for the Future: more
    affordable, more sustainable”, July 2007
•   Department for Communities and Local Government, “Neighbourhood Management:
    empowering communities, shaping places: Review 2006/07”, Research Report 37,
    August 2007
•   Department of Health, “Our health, our care, our say: a new direction for community
    services”, January 2006
•   Disability Rights Commission, “New Disability Agenda - creating an alternative
    future”, March 2007
•   Gravesham Borough Council, “Homelessness Strategy 2003-2007 – Providing
    Housing Opportunities”, 2003
•   Gravesham Borough Council, “Private Sector Housing Renewal Strategy 2006-
    2009”, 2005
•   Gravesham Borough Council, “Housing Strategy 2005-2009”, 2006
•   Gravesham Borough Council, “Annual Monitoring Report”, December 2006
•   HM Treasury, “PSA Delivery Agreement 20: Increase long term housing supply and
    affordability”, October 2007
•   Housing Quality Network, “Performance Indicators relating to the Strategic Housing
    Function”, 2007


                                       40
                                       Page 169


•   Improvement and Development Agency, “Community Leadership and the Strategic
    Housing Role in Local Government”, May 2007
•   Joint Policy and Planning Board (Housing), “Kent Single Homelessness Survey
    2007”, August 2007
•   Joseph Rowntree Foundation, “Migrants’ Lives beyond the Workplace: the
    experience of Central and East Europeans in the UK”, May 2007
•   Kent County Council, “ Kent Supporting People Five Year Strategy 2005-2010”,
    March 2005
•   Kent County Council, “The Housing–Related Support Needs of Minority Ethnic
    Groups in Kent”, Kent Supporting People Team, May 2007
•   Kent County Council, “Updated Needs Analysis”, Kent Supporting People Team,
    Draft Report, November 2007
•   Lyons’ Inquiry Report, “Place-shaping: A Shared Vision for the Future of Local
    Government”, March 2007
•   MHA Ltd, “Gravesham Borough Council – House Condition Survey 2006”, Final
    Report, October 2007
•   Michael O’Higgins, Chairman of the Audit Commission, “Providing and Funding
    Public Services”, Speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing Conference, 20 June
    2007
•   National Housing and Planning Advice Unit, “Affordability Matters”, June 2007
•   National Housing and Planning Advice Unit, “Developing a target range for the
    supply of new homes across England”, October 2007
•   Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, “Sustainable Communities: Homes for All”, 2005
•   QCL Market Research Ltd, “Gravesham Tenants’ Satisfaction Survey”, 2007
•   Rainer Foundation, “Home Alone – Housing and Support for Young People Leaving
    Care”, April 2007
•   South East Regional Housing Board, “Regional Housing Strategy Review – Draft for
    Consultation”, February 2007




                                        41
                               Page 170



                           APPENDICES

Appendix 1   Housing Strategy 2005-09 Review 2007 and Housing Strategy 2009-13
             Timetables


Appendix 2   Worker Registration Scheme – Gravesham 2004-2006



Appendix 3   GBC Tenants’ Satisfaction Survey 2006



Appendix 4   Housing Needs Assessment Model 2001 and 2006



Appendix 5   GBC Sub-areas and Wards



Appendix 6   Performance Indicators 2005/06 – 2009/10



Appendix 7   Housing Strategy Action Plan 2005-09




                                     42
                                     Page 171


                                                               Appendix 1



HOUSING STRATEGY 2005-09 REVIEW 2007

HOUSING STRATEGY 2009-13


TIMETABLES (DRAFT)



                      Action                         Date    Achieved

Housing Strategy 2005-09 Review 2007

Commence drafting of the Housing Strategy Review April      1st draft
2007 by taking account of:                       2007       completed
   • Policy developments (national / regional /             29th June
      local)                                                2007
   • Housing Needs Survey 2006
   • Housing Markets Assessment 2006
   • Gypsies and Travellers Survey 2006
   • Private Sector Stock Condition Survey 2006
   • GBC Stock Condition Survey (???)
   • LDF consultations and linkages
   • Special needs (BME, elderly, disabled,
      young people, East European migrant
      workers, homeless, Supporting People)
   • Housing Strategy 2005-09 achievements and
      performance
   • Service Plans (Housing Services, HSD, PRS,
      Regulatory Services)

Relate above findings to the existing Housing     July      1st draft
Strategy 2005-09 priorities and revise            2007      completed
                                                            6th July 2007

Draft the Housing Strategy Review 2007 Action     July      1st draft
Plan which will identify the major elements for   2007      completed
incorporation into the various housing-related              13th July
Service Plans 2008-09                                       2007




                                     43
                                 Page 172


                       Action                               Date       Achieved

Corporate Housing Group (CHG) to consider the           10th August   Revised
options for meeting the revised priorities (including   2007          priorities
updating / drafting of sub-strategies covering                        considered
affordable housing, homelessness, empty homes,                        on 10th
private sector housing, older people, value-for-                      August 2007
money, etc) (CHG to oversee production of sub-                        together with
strategies) (separate timetables required)                            leads for
                                                                      production of
                                                                      sub-
                                                                      strategies

Complete the draft Housing Strategy Review 2007         September     2nd draft
                                                        2007          completed
                                                                      27th Sept
                                                                      2007

CHG to consider the draft Housing Strategy Review       5th October   2nd draft
2007                                                    2007          agreed by
                                                                      CHG 5th Oct
                                                                      2007

Submit draft for colleagues’ consideration              November      Circulated
                                                        2007          for final
                                                                      comments
                                                                      on 26th Oct
                                                                      2007

Submit draft for Members’ consideration                 December
                                                        2007

Obtain Cabinet approval to the Housing Strategy      11th
Review 2007 (including approval to the timetable for February
the production of the Housing Strategy 2009-13       2008
below)

Publish a Summary document together with the         March 2008
timetable for the production of the Housing Strategy
2009-13 below (including copies to GOSE and other
partners and stakeholders). Also, invite partners’,
stakeholders’ and residents’ comments on how they
would wish consultation on the draft Housing
Strategy 2009-13 to be undertaken and how they
would wish to be involved in monitoring its progress

Housing Strategy 2009-13

Undertake consultation with partners, stakeholders April / May
and residents on the Housing Strategy Review 2007 2008


                                       44
                                      Page 173


                       Action                               Date      Achieved

with respect to:
    • Objectives
    • Policy developments
    • Vision
    • Priorities
    • Opportunities
    • Resources

CHG to consider feedback from the consultation          June / July
                                                        2008

Complete the draft Housing Strategy 2009-13             December
(assume drafted in-house)                               2008

CHG to consider the draft Housing Strategy 2009-        January
13                                                      2009

Submit draft for colleagues’ consideration (including   February
GOSE)                                                   2009

Submit draft for Members’ consideration                 March 2009

Obtain Cabinet approval to the draft Housing            April / May
Strategy 2009-13 (subject to the results of further     2009
consultation)

Undertake consultation with partners, stakeholders      June / July
and residents on the draft Housing Strategy 2009-       2009
13

CHG to consider feedback from the consultation          August 2009

Complete research into any further issues arising       September
from the consultation for consideration by CHG          2009

CHG to consider priorities and options within the       October
draft Housing Strategy 2009-13 (involving partners,     2009
stakeholders and residents)

Complete the final draft Housing Strategy 2009-13       December
                                                        2009

Arrange proof reading of the final draft Housing        January /
Strategy 2009-13 to ensure it meets the Plain           February
English standards                                       2010




                                       45
                                 Page 174


                       Action                            Date       Achieved

CHG to consider the final draft Housing Strategy     January
2009-13 (subject to any proof reading changes)       2010

Submit final draft for colleagues’ consideration     February
(including GOSE) (subject to any proof reading       2010
changes)

Submit final draft for Members’ consideration        March 2010

Obtain Cabinet approval to the final draft Housing   April / May
Strategy 2009-13                                     2010

Submit the final draft Housing Strategy 2009-13 to   June 2010
GOSE for “Fit for Purpose” approval

Launch the Housing Strategy 2009-13 and              July
Summary (including contact details)                  2010

Monthly monitoring of the Housing Strategy 2009-     Commence
13 Action Plan progress against objectives and       August 2010
targets

Undertake Annual Reviews of the Housing Strategy     Complete 1st
2009-13 (Return to START)                            Review July
                                                     2011




                                      46
                                         Page 175


                                                                           Appendix 2



Worker Registration Scheme – Gravesham 2004-2006

 Nationality   May 2004      Jan 2006 Apr 2006     Jul 2006    Oct 2006   Total
               Dec 2005      Mar 2006 Jun 2006     Sep 2006    Dec 2006

 Czech Rep          23           6        11           2           3          45
 Estonia             6           1         0           0           1           8
 Hungary             5           0         0           1           2           8
 Latvia            44           12        19           8          20         103
 Lithuania        248           20        21           8          19         316
 Poland           173           61        58          61          60         413
 Slovakia         226           31        45          53          40         395
 Slovenia            0           0         0           0           0           0
 Total            725          131       154         133         145        1288




 Occupation       May 2004    Jan 2006   Apr 2006 Jul 2006 Oct 2006       Total
                  Dec 2005    Mar 2006   Jun 2006 Sep 2006 Dec 2006

 Cleaner,            284          54       51           54        54          497
 domestic
 staff
 Packer               85          31       28           20        48          212
 Process              72          20       27           12        10          141
 operative
 (other factory
 worker)
 Warehouse            58          15       11          19          9          112
 operative
 Kitchen and          44             1     16              8       7              76
 catering
 assistant
 Driver,              35             0     11              2       9              57
 delivery van
 Labourer,            22             1         0           6       0              29
 building
 Launderer,           27             1         0           0       0              28
 dry cleaner,
 presser
 Process                 4           0         0           5       0              9
 operative
 (textiles)
 Butcher /               0           0         5           0       2              7
 meat cutter
 Others               94          8         5           7          6         120
 Total               725        131       154         133        145        1288



                                          47
                            Page 176




Gender   May 2004   Jan 2006 Apr 2006   Jul 2006   Oct 2006   Total
         Dec 2005   Mar 2006 Jun 2006   Sep 2006   Dec 2006

Male        510        87      105          75        87         864
Female      215        44       49          58        58         424
Total       725       131      154         133        45        1288




Age      May 2004   Jan 2006 Apr 2006   Jul 2006   Oct 2006   Total
         Dec 2005   Mar 2006 Jun 2006   Sep 2006   Dec 2006

<18           3         1        0          0          0           4
18-24       320        54       49         77         51         551
25-34       217        44       56         31         49         397
35-44       122        19       34         15         24         214
45-54        54        13       14          9         20         110
55-64         9         0        1          0          1          11
65+           0         0        0          1          0           1
Total       725       131      154        133        145        1288




                               48
                                Page 177


                                                                Appendix 3

GBC Tenants’ Satisfaction Survey 2006



   How Much of a Problem?            % Respondents       % Respondents
                                     consider to be a    consider to be a
                                     “slight problem”   “serious problem”
                                      All        BME       All      BME
Vandalism                            37%        38%       22%       19%

Graffiti                             34%        36%       15%       12%

Dogs                                 24%        35%       13%       15%

Litter / rubbish in streets          35%        35%       23%       27%

Neighbour problems                   15%        8%        7%        12%

Racial harassment                     5%        19%       3%        19%

Noise from people                    23%        38%       9%         8%

Noise from traffic                   21%        38%       8%         0%

People causing damage to home        11%        0%        5%        15%

Drug dealing                         15%        19%       13%        4%

Other crime                          23%        15%       12%       12%




                                49
                                   Page 178




 Services considered to          % Respondents        % Respondents % Respondents
 be the “most important”         consider to be       consider “some consider “much
                                   important           improvement”   improvement”
                                                          needed         needed
                                   All         BME       All      BME    All   BME
 Keeping tenants informed         48%          38%      32%        38%   7%    12%

 Overall quality of home          60%          54%      45%        38%   12%   31%

 Taking tenants’ views into       36%          42%      33%        35%   13%   15%
 account

 Repairs and maintenance          88%          81%      39%        27%   13%   38%

 Involving tenants in              9%          15%      27%        35%   6%    12%
 management of housing

 Value for money for rent         55%          58%      30%        27%   8%    19%


Sample sizes:         All respondents (716)     BME respondents (26)




                                          50
                                          Page 179


                                                                                     Appendix 4


 HOUSING NEEDS ASSESSMENT MODEL                              2001            2006


 B – BACKLOG OF NEED

 Households in unsuitable housing                                   3548                  4722
 MINUS Council / RSL tenants                                -                 1213
 MINUS cases where in-situ solution is the most          2660                  974
 appropriate
                                                         2660       2660      2187        2187
 Households in unsuitable housing and need to                        888                  2535
 move
 TIMES proportion unable to afford to buy or rent       67.2%         597    50.2%        1273
 MINUS Social renting tenants                             189         408                    -
 PLUS Backlog – homeless households                                   148                    6
 TOTAL BACKLOG NEED                                                   556                 1279
 TIMES Quota to progressively reduce backlog              20%                 20%
 ANNUAL NEED TO REDUCE BACKLOG                                        111                  256


 N – NEWLY ARISING NEED

 New household formation                                              388                  426
 TIMES Proportion unable to access private market        49.9%        194    76.2%         325
 PLUS Ex-institutional population moving into                           0                    0
 community
 PLUS Existing households falling into need                           253                    -
 PLUS Existing households falling into priority need                  305                  299
 PLUS In-migrant households unable to afford                            -                  139
 market housing

 TOTAL NEWLY ARISING NEED                                             752                  763


 S – SUPPLY OF AFFORDABLE UNITS

 Supply of social relets                                   454        454      342         354
 Supply of Shared Ownership re-sales                         -                  12
 MINUS Increased vacancies and units taken out of                        0                   4
 management (eg RTB)
 Net social relets                                                    454                  350
 PLUS Committed units of new affordable supply                          0                   92
 AFFORDABLE SUPPLY                                                    454                  442
 Annual needs to reduce backlog (B)                        111                 256
 Newly arising need (N)                                    752                 763
 TOTAL AFFORDABLE NEED (B+N)                                          863                 1019
 MINUS Affordable supply (S)                                          454                  442


 OVERALL ANNUAL SHORTFALL (B+N) – S                                   409                  577
Note: Headings in italics highlight the differences between the two models



                                          51
                       Page 180


                                                         Appendix 5



GBC Sub–areas and Wards


Sub - area                     Wards contained within:

Gravesend Central              Pelham
                               Riverside
                               Central

Gravesend Outer East           Chalk
                               Riverview
                               Westcourt

Gravesend Outer West           Singlewell
                               Whitehill
                               Woodlands

Northfleet South               Northfleet South
                               Coldharbour

Northfleet North               Northfleet North
                               Painters Ash

Rural                          Istead
                               Meopham North
                               Meopham South incl Vigo
                               Higham
                               Shorne / Cobham / Luddesdown




                          52
                                                    Page 181


                                                                                                          Appendix 6



    Performance Indicators (PIs)
    The table below shows service improvements in those performance indicators having a strategic
    housing significance.


       BVPI / GPI / LPI            2005/06       2006/07                      2007/08       2008/09       2009/10
       PI description
                                   Top           Target         Actual        Target        Target        Target
                                   Quartile                     Outturn
                                   National
                                   Perform-
                                   ance

       Housing Strategic Priority 1: To deliver an excellent housing service for all residents of
       Gravesham


         BVPI 16b (for info)
     The percentage of                 N/A         13.35%        13.35%         13.35%        13.35%        13.35%
     economically active
     disabled people in the
     authority area 1


         BVPI 17b (for info)
     The percentage of                 N/A         10.91%        10.91%         10.91%        10.91%        10.91%
     economically active
     minority ethnic
     community population in
     the authority area 2


          BVPI 164 (for info)
     Does the authority                Yes           Yes           Yes            Yes       Yes           Yes
     follow the Commission
     for Racial Equality's
     code of practice in
     rented housing AND
     does the authority follow
     the Good Practice

1
    As the data for this performance indicator comes from the 2001 Census, performance against this indicator
    will not change until the 2011 Census is carried out. The data collected in this performance indicator is used
    to set the context for part ‘a’, which looks at the same representation issue for the council’s workforce.
    Therefore ‘targets’ are the same as the performance for 2003/4 as it will not change.
2
    As the data for this performance indicator comes from the 2001 Census, performance against this indicator
    will not change until the 2011 Census is carried out. The data collected in this performance indicator is used
    to set the context for part ‘a’, which looks at the same representation issue for the council’s workforce.
    Therefore ‘targets’ are the same as the performance for 2003/4 as it will not change.



                                                    53
                                       Page 182



 BVPI / GPI / LPI            2005/06     2006/07                 2007/08      2008/09      2009/10
 PI description
                             Top         Target      Actual      Target       Target       Target
                             Quartile                Outturn
                             National
                             Perform-
                             ance
Standards for social
landlords on tackling
harassment included in
the Code of Practice for
Social Landlords:
Tackling Racial
Harassment


 Housing Strategic Priority 2: To improve the quality of housing in both the private and social
 sectors


         BVPI 63
 The average SAP                69          71          71           72           72           73
 rating of local authority
 owned dwellings


          BVPI 64
Number of non-local             77          39          81           39           39           39
authority owned vacant       dwellings   dwellings   dwellings    dwellings    dwellings    dwellings
dwellings returned to                                            (Based on
                                                                 average of
occupation or                                                    2005/06 &
demolished during the                                             2006/07
financial year as a direct                                        outturns)
result of action by the
local authority


    BVPI 184a (for info)
The proportion of local        16%          4%       Collected      4%           4%
authority dwellings                                  annually
which were non-decent
at the start of the
financial year


   BVPI 184b (for info)
The percentage change         28.3%        16%       Collected      17%          17%
in the proportion of non-                            annually
decent dwellings
between the start and
the end of the financial
year




                                           54
                                                 Page 183



       BVPI / GPI / LPI          2005/06       2006/07                    2007/08      2008/09       2009/10
       PI description
                                 Top           Target       Actual        Target       Target        Target
                                 Quartile                   Outturn
                                 National
                                 Perform-
                                 ance

         GPI 088 (for info)
     Number of properties            N/A           25            56
     which had Category 1
     hazards which no longer
     have Category 1 hazards


     Housing Strategic Priority 3: With partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing


        BVPI 106 (for info)
     Percentage of new             96.47%         75%           82%          75%           75%          75%
     homes built on
     previously developed
     land 3


        BVPI 109a (for info)
     Percentage of major           74.90%         62%         66.67%         66%           72%          75%
     planning applications
     determined within 13
     weeks


         GPI 041 (for info)
     Number of new homes             N/A          300           305          300            295          295
     delivered


          GPI 042 (for info)
     Proportion of homes             N/A          30%           36%          30%           30%          30%
     delivered that are                                                                               (subject to
     ‘affordable’                                                                                        LDF)



     Housing Strategic Priority 4: To tackle and prevent homelessness


       BVPI 183a (for info)
     The average length of         1 week       Below 3       2 weeks      0 weeks       0 weeks      0 weeks
     stay in bed and                             weeks

3
    The Council invariably grants permission on previously developed land, with greenfield site development
    being a rarity, mainly due to the fact that outside the urban areas and rural settlements is Green Belt.
    However, the Ebbsfleet development will impact upon this and the targets seek to reflect this.



                                                  55
                                     Page 184



 BVPI / GPI / LPI          2005/06    2006/07                2007/08    2008/09    2009/10
 PI description
                           Top        Target      Actual     Target     Target     Target
                           Quartile               Outturn
                           National
                           Perform-
                           ance
breakfast
accommodation of
households that are
unintentionally
homeless and in priority
need


  BVPI 183b (for info)
The average length of       0 weeks    4 weeks     0 weeks    0 weeks    0 weeks    0 weeks
stay in hostel
accommodation of
households that are
unintentionally
homeless and in priority
need


   BVPI 202 (for info)
The number of people           0       Below 10       3          0          0          0
sleeping rough on a
single night within the
area of the authority


   BVPI 203 (for info)
The percentage change      -15.84%      -10%      +63.36%      -10%       -10%       -10%
in average number of
families placed in
temporary
accommodation


   BVPI 213 (for info)
Number of households           5       Above 1        1          5          6          6
per thousand who
considered themselves
as homeless who
approached the local
housing authority’s
housing advice
service(s) and for whom
housing advice
casework intervention
resolved their situation




                                        56
                                           Page 185



   BVPI / GPI / LPI          2005/06     2006/07                   2007/08      2008/09      2009/10
   PI description
                             Top         Target       Actual       Target       Target       Target
                             Quartile                 Outturn
                             National
                             Perform-
                             ance

    BVPI 214 (for info)
 Proportion of                0.32%        Below        0.67%         0.4%        0.3%           0.3%
 households accepted as                    2.05%
 statutorily homeless
 who were accepted as
 statutorily homeless by
 the same Authority
 within the last two years



The tables below show those performance indicators identified by Housing Quality Network (2007)
as having a strategic housing significance.


 Planning                                                                                        BVPI

     1        Total number of new homes developed
     2        Target number of new homes within structure plan
     3        Average density of new housing developments
     4        Percentage on previously developed land                                            106
     5        Percentage “secure by design”
     6        Major planning applications processed in 13 weeks                                  109a
     7        Up to date development plan                                                        200a
     8        Up to date proposals on deposit                                                    200b
     9        Successful appeals against refusal of planning permission                          204
     10       Score against a quality of planning service checklist                              205
     11       Target percentage of affordable housing being required on sites in excess of the
              threshold size
    12        Percentage of affordable housing being achieved on sites in excess of the
              threshold size
 Additional indicators
              Proportion of “minor” planning applications determined within 8 weeks              109b
              Proportion of “other” planning applications determined within 8 weeks              109c
              Applicants and commentators satisfied with the planning service                    111
              Was an annual monitoring report published by December of the last year?            200c
 Enabling

     13       Total number of affordable rented homes completed
     14       Total number of shared ownership or other forms of low cost home ownership
              completed
     15       Total number of below market rented homes developed
     16       Total number of affordable homes developed (ie 13+14+15)
     17       Number of homes achieved through s106 agreement



                                            57
                                    Page 186


    18     Number of grant-free affordable housing completions
    19     Number of grant-free affordable rented housing completions
    20     Number of homes completed on rural exception sites
    21     Number of rural housing needs surveys / village appraisals undertaken
    22     Number of homes with eco-excellent ratings or including low energy features
           above current HC requirements
   23      Number of new supported housing units
   24      Number of key worker homes
Housing Needs

    25       Number of homelessness applications
    26       Number of those threatened with homelessness for whom advice and support
             prevented the occurrence of homelessness
   27        Number of homelessness acceptances
   28        Number of families in B&B at 31 March
   29        Number of families in other temporary accommodation at 31 March
   30        Number of single people in B&B
   31        Average number of weeks spent in B&B by families                                   183a
   32        Average number of weeks spent in hostels by families                               183b
   33        Reduction in numbers of families placed in temporary accommodation                 203
Additional indicators
             Number of people sleeping rough on a single night in the area                      202
             Number of homeless households per 1000 households in the area for whom             213
             housing advice casework resolved the situation
             Proportion of households statutorily registered as homeless, who were accepted     214
             as such on another occasion within the last 2 years
Use of existing affordable housing

    34      Number of low demand affordable homes
    35      Number of 2, 3 or 4 bedroom properties vacated through transfer incentive
            schemes
    36      Percentage of LA homes nor meeting the decent homes standard
    37      Percentage of RSL homes nor meeting the decent homes standard
    38      SAP rating for the social rented stock
    39      Refuge places per 10,000                                                            176
Private Housing

    40      Percentage of private sector homes that are unfit or in need of major repair
    41      Percentage unfit homes made fit or demolished                                       62
    42      Percentage of vacant homes returned to use (ie BVPI 64 actual number not            64
            percentage)
    43      Number of homes vacant for 6 months or longer
    44      Percentage of private sector homes occupied by vulnerable people that do not
            meet the Decent Homes standard
    45      Number of homes improved through the use of disabled facilities grants
    46      Number of households to whom advice on repairs and improvements were
            provided
    47      Number of informal actions taken that have resolved unfitness in the private
            rented sector
    48      Number of formal actions taken that have resolved unfitness in the private rented
            sector
    49      Number of high risk HMOs registered
    50      Number of HMOs that meet the HHSRS standard following intervention


                                          58
                                  Page 187


51   SAP rating for the private sector housing stock
52   Days taken for new HB claims                      78a
53   Days taken for changes to HB claims               78b
54   Accuracy of HB calculations                       79a




                                   59
                                                                                                                        Appendix 7



Housing Strategy Action Plan 2005 – 2009


Action                        Context                                  Target                     Resources            Lead
                                                                                                                       Officer




                                                                                                                                     Page 188
Housing Strategic Priority 1: To deliver an excellent housing service for all residents of Gravesham

Ensuring action is taken in   Local                                    To have two ASBO           Existing resources   HOM
all cases of anti-social      Community Strategy, Towards the Future   Officers who will solely
behaviour within Council      Place                                    deal with ASB by April
Housing Stock                                                          2006.
                              Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear
                                                                       To fully support and       Existing resources   HOM
                              Housing Service Plan 2005/6              work with all agencies
                                                                       within the ASB group +
                              Community Safety Strategy 2005 to 2008   the Racial Harassment
                                                                       Case Group.
                              HRA Business Plan 2005 to 2008
                                                                       All Racial Harassment      Existing resources   HEPHS
                                                                       cases to be dealt with
                                                                       Corporately by the
                                                                       Community Safety
                                                                       Team in 2005/6.

                                                                       To develop further a       Existing resources   HOM
                                                                       Mobile Community




                                                                       60
Action                       Context                            Target                   Resources            Lead
                                                                                                              Officer

                                                                Warden Service to all
                                                                the ‘hot spots’ within
                                                                Council Housing Stock
                                                                in 2005/6.

Improvement to the           Local                              To introduce a lease-    Existing resources   HOM
leaseholder service          Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear   holder handbook and
                                                                mediation service by
                             Housing Service Plan 2005/6        February 2006

                             HRA Business Plan 2005 to 2008




                                                                                                                        Page 189
Ballot of tenants on stock   Local                              A ballot of tenants on   Existing resources   HPPM
transfer                     Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear   stock transfer to take
                                                                place in May 2006
                             Housing Service Plan 2005/6

                             HRA Business Plan 2005 to 2008

Establish a new Housing      Local                              To implement a new IT    £70k 2005/6          HHS
IT system                    Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear   system for Private
                                                                Housing and Housing
                             Housing Service Plan 2005/6        Needs in 2005/6.

                             HRA Business Plan 2005 to 2008     To Implement a new       £430k by 2007/8      HHS
                                                                Housing Management
                                                                IT system in 2007/8
                                                                subject to Stock
                                                                Transfer Ballot.




                                                                61
Action                        Context                                Target                    Resources                 Lead
                                                                                                                         Officer

Maximise opportunities for    National                               Undertake a Gypsy and     £15k 2005/6 and £45k      HSM
residents to participate in   Housing Act 2004                       Traveller Housing         in 2006/7 (for complete
the delivery of the service                                          needs assessment in       range of housing needs
and formulation of policies   Regional                               2006/7.                   assessments).
and practices particularly    South East Regional Housing Strategy
with regards to hard to                                              Ensure all new policies   Existing resources        HPPM /
reach groups.                 Local                                  are taken through the                               HPAMS
                              Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear       racial equality
                                                                     screening.




                                                                                                                                       Page 190
                              Housing Service Plan 2005/6
                                                                     Increase membership       Existing resources.       NDM
                              HRA Business Plan 2005 to 2008         base of the Tenants’
                                                                     Forum and Service
                                                                     Improvement Advisory
                                                                     Groups, as per the
                                                                     Tenants’ Compact.

                                                                     By 2007, ensure all       Existing resources        NDM
                                                                     tenant consultation
                                                                     mechanisms comprise
                                                                     at least 3%
                                                                     representation from
                                                                     both the BME and white
                                                                     non British
                                                                     communities.

Achieve upper quartile        Local                                  Achieve upper quartile    Existing resources        HHS / HSM /
performance on all Best       Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear       performances on all                                 HOM / HPPM
Value PI’s                                                           BVPIs by 2005/6
                              Housing Service Plan 2005/6




                                                                     62
Action                     Context                                  Target                   Resources                 Lead
                                                                                                                       Officer


Housing Strategic Priority 2: To improve the quality of housing in both the private and social sectors

Achieve Decent Homes       National                                 Meet Governments         Existing resources and    HOS / HHS
                           Housing Green Paper                      target of achieving      partnership working.
                                                                    Decent Homes in          £8,214,000 in 2006/7.
                           Quality and Choice: Housing Act 2004     Social Housing by        Potential LSVT in
                                                                    2010.                    2006/7.
                           Regional
                           South East Regional Housing Strategy     Introduce the Housing    £500,000 pa for Private   HSM
                                                                    Act 2004.                Sector Renewal.
                           Local




                                                                                                                                   Page 191
                           Community Strategy, Towards the Future   Implement action plans   Existing resources.       HSM
                           Place                                    for affordable, warmth
                                                                    and home energy
                           Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear         efficiency.

                           Housing Service Plan 2006.               Revise Private Sector    Private Sector and        HSM
                                                                    Renewal Strategy in      Stock Condition
                                                                    line with Stock Condi-   Survey. £15k in 2005/6
                                                                    tion Survey and          and £45k in 2006/7
                                                                    Housing Act 2004.

Undertake a Housing        National                                 Complete the Housing     Existing Resources and    HSM
Needs and Private Sector   Housing Green Paper                      Needs and Private        Partnership working.
Stock Condition Survey                                              Sector Stock Condition   £120k across 2005/7
                           Quality and Choice: Housing Act 2004     Survey by 2006           for Housing Needs
                                                                                             Survey & Stock
                           Regional                                                          Condition Survey.
                           South East Regional Housing Strategy




                                                                    63
Action                       Context                                     Target                    Resources                 Lead
                                                                                                                             Officer

                             Local
                             Community Strategy, Towards the Future
                             Place

                             Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear

                             Housing Service Plan 2006

                             Local Development Framework.




                                                                                                                                       Page 192
Empty Homes                  National                                    Bring 39 Private Sector   Existing Resources and    HSM
                             Sustainable Communities; Building for the   homes back into use in    Partnership working
                             Future                                      2005/6

                             Local                                       Revise Private Sector     £100k pa for action on    HSM
                             Community Strategy, Towards the Future      Renewal Strategy          Empty Homes
                             Place

                             Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear

                             Housing Service Plan 2006

Secure the regeneration of   National                                    Commence Phase 1 of       Nil Social Housing        HPPM
the Christianfields Estate   Quality and Choice: Housing Act 2004        the development           Grant and nil Land
in partnership with Moat                                                 programme by 2006         Value Transfer of
Housing and Countryside      Regional                                                              council-owned site.
Properties                   South East Regional Housing Strategy                                  £10m from English
                                                                                                   Partnerships. Private
                             Local                                                                 finance from Moat
                             Community Strategy, Towards the Future                                Housing Group and
                             Place                                                                 Countryside Properties.




                                                                         64
Action                   Context                                     Target                    Resources                Lead
                                                                                                                        Officer


                         Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear

                         Housing Service Plan 2006


Housing Strategic Priority 3: With partners, to maximise the supply of affordable housing

Deliver New Affordable   National                                    To enable our partners    S106 developer           HSM
Housing                  Sustainable communities; Homes for all      to build up to 698 new    contributions, Housing
                                                                     units of affordable       Corporation Social
                         Building for the future, Barker Review      housing by 31/3/08.       Housing Grant and




                                                                                                                                  Page 193
                                                                                               GBC Housing Capital
                         PPG3                                                                  Programme. GBC
                                                                                               Housing Capital
                         Regional                                                              Programme up to
                         Sustainable Communities; Building for the                             £500k per annum.
                         Future
                                                                     Maintain a policy of      As above.
                         Local                                       seeking 30% of the
                         Community Strategy, Towards the Future      units in urban and 50%
                         Place                                       in rural areas that is
                                                                     affordable.
                         Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear
                                                                     Contribute to the Local   Existing resources.
                         Housing Service Plan 2006                   Development
                                                                     Framework to maximise
                                                                     affordable and
                                                                     sustainable housing.




                                                                     65
Action                  Context                                     Target                      Resources                 Lead
                                                                                                                          Officer

Enhance Under           National                                    The pilot of a revised      In 2005/6, £20,000 has    HOM
Occupation Policy       Sustainable communities; Homes for all      under occupation            been allocated.
                                                                    scheme in 2005/6
                        Building for the future, Barker Review      targeting under
                                                                    occupiers in three and
                        PPG3                                        four bedroom houses.

                        Regional                                    Work with Housing           From within existing      HOM / HSM
                        Sustainable Communities; Building for the   Associations to develop     resources. Contribution




                                                                                                                                      Page 194
                        Future                                      this scheme across the      may be sought from
                                                                    social housing stock.       North Kent Housing
                        Local                                                                   Partnership.
                        Community Strategy, Towards the Future
                        Place

                        Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear

                        Housing Service Plan 2006.


Priority 4: To tackle and prevent homelessness

Prevent More            National                                    To fully utilise the Rent   £34,000 through           HSM
Homelessness            ‘More than a roof’ ODPM Report              Deposit Scheme              homelessness
                                                                    providing at least 30       directorate funding
                        Regional                                    units.
                        South East Regional Housing Strategy
                                                                    To maintain a               £3k within existing       HSM
                        Local                                       mediation service for       resources in 2005/6.
                        Community Strategy; Towards the future      16/17 year olds in
                        place                                       partnership with




                                                                    66
Action                      Context                                  Target                    Resources                  Lead
                                                                                                                          Officer

                                                                     Basildon Mediation
                            Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear

                            Housing Service Plan 2006

                            Homelessness Strategy 2003 – 2007

Reduce the use of bed and   National                                 To provide a Private      Within current             HSM
breakfast accommodation     ‘More than a roof’ ODPM Report           Sector Leasing Scheme     resources
                                                                     in partnership with
                            Regional                                 Avenue Lettings using
                            South East Regional Housing Strategy     empty properties on the




                                                                                                                                    Page 195
                                                                     Christian Fields Estate
                            Local                                    (2005/6).
                            Community Strategy; Towards the future
                            place                                    To provide a PSL          Within existing            HSM
                                                                     Scheme within the         resources, making best
                            Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear         private sector stock in   use of housing benefits.
                                                                     partnership with
                            Housing Service Plan 2006                Avenue Lettings.

                            Homelessness Strategy 2003 – 2007        Delivery of 50 units of   Revenue funded via         HSM
                                                                     high quality temporary    homelessness
                                                                     accommodation in          directorate funding of
                                                                     partnership with GCHA.    £23k for GCHA to
                                                                                               manage the TA.

                                                                     Minimising the time       Using a commuted sum       HSM
                                                                     spent in B&B (target of   of £440k in 2006/7
                                                                     8 days for 2005/6) by
                                                                     providing alternatives




                                                                     67
Action                    Context                                  Target                     Resources                Lead
                                                                                                                       Officer

                                                                   forms of temporary
                                                                   accommodation,
                                                                   including the provision
                                                                   of a Homeless Initiative
                                                                   Leasing Scheme (HILS)
                                                                   in partnership with L&Q
                                                                   in 2006/7.

Assist more households    National                                 The provision of 698       S106 developer           HSM




                                                                                                                                  Page 196
from the Common Housing   ‘More than a roof’ ODPM Report           affordable homes up        contributions, Housing
Register into housing                                              until 2008.                Corporation Social
                          Regional                                                            Housing Grant and
                          South East Regional Housing Strategy                                GBC Housing Capital
                                                                                              Programme. GBC
                          Local                                                               Housing Capital
                          Homelessness Strategy 2003-2007                                     Programme up to
                                                                                              £500k per annum.
                          Community Strategy; Towards the future
                          place                                    Better use of our own      In 2005/06, £20,000      HOM
                                                                   stock through a revised    has been allocated.
                          Corporate Plan: Moving Up a Gear         under occupancy policy

                          Housing Service Plan 2006

                          Homelessness Strategy 2003 – 2007



Key: HSM – Housing Strategy Manager, HHS – Head of Housing Services, HOM – Housing Operations Manager, HPPM – Housing Policy &
Projects Manager, HOS – Head of Operational Services, HEPHS – Head of Environmental and Public Health Services, HPAMS – Head of
Personnel and Asset Management Services




                                                                   68
                                     Page 197


                                                               Appendix 2



HOUSING STRATEGY 2005-09 REVIEW 2007

HOUSING STRATEGY 2009-13


TIMETABLES (DRAFT)



                      Action                         Date    Achieved

Housing Strategy 2005-09 Review 2007

Commence drafting of the Housing Strategy Review April      1st draft
2007 by taking account of:                       2007       completed
   • Policy developments (national / regional /             29th June
      local)                                                2007
   • Housing Needs Survey 2006
   • Housing Markets Assessment 2006
   • Gypsies and Travellers Survey 2006
   • Private Sector Stock Condition Survey 2006
   • GBC Stock Condition Survey (???)
   • LDF consultations and linkages
   • Special needs (BME, elderly, disabled,
      young people, East European migrant
      workers, homeless, Supporting People)
   • Housing Strategy 2005-09 achievements and
      performance
   • Service Plans (Housing Services, HSD, PRS,
      Regulatory Services)

Relate above findings to the existing Housing     July      1st draft
Strategy 2005-09 priorities and revise            2007      completed
                                                            6th July 2007

Draft the Housing Strategy Review 2007 Action     July      1st draft
Plan which will identify the major elements for   2007      completed
incorporation into the various housing-related              13th July
Service Plans 2008-09                                       2007




                                      1
                                 Page 198


                       Action                               Date       Achieved

Corporate Housing Group (CHG) to consider the           10th August   Revised
options for meeting the revised priorities (including   2007          priorities
updating / drafting of sub-strategies covering                        considered
affordable housing, homelessness, empty homes,                        on 10th
private sector housing, older people, value-for-                      August 2007
money, etc) (CHG to oversee production of sub-                        together with
strategies) (separate timetables required)                            leads for
                                                                      production of
                                                                      sub-
                                                                      strategies

Complete the draft Housing Strategy Review 2007         September     2nd draft
                                                        2007          completed
                                                                      27th Sept
                                                                      2007

CHG to consider the draft Housing Strategy Review       5th October   2nd draft
2007                                                    2007          agreed by
                                                                      CHG 5th Oct
                                                                      2007

Submit draft for colleagues’ consideration              November      Circulated
                                                        2007          for final
                                                                      comments
                                                                      on 26th Oct
                                                                      2007

Submit draft for Members’ consideration                 December      Lead
                                                        2007          Member
                                                                      meeting 19th
                                                                      Dec 2007

Obtain Cabinet approval to the Housing Strategy      11th
Review 2007 (including approval to the timetable for February
the production of the Housing Strategy 2009-13       2008
below)

Obtain Council approval to the Housing Strategy      4th March
Review 2007 (including approval to the timetable for 2008
the production of the Housing Strategy 2009-13
below)

Publish a Summary document together with the         March 2008
timetable for the production of the Housing Strategy
2009-13 below (including copies to GOSE and other
partners and stakeholders). Also, invite partners’,
stakeholders’ and residents’ comments on how they
would wish consultation on the draft Housing


                                        2
                                      Page 199


                       Action                               Date      Achieved

Strategy 2009-13 to be undertaken and how they
would wish to be involved in monitoring its progress

Housing Strategy 2009-13

Undertake consultation with partners, stakeholders April / May
and residents on the Housing Strategy Review 2007 2008
with respect to:
    • Objectives
    • Policy developments
    • Vision
    • Priorities
    • Opportunities
    • Resources

CHG to consider feedback from the consultation          June / July
                                                        2008

Complete the draft Housing Strategy 2009-13             December
(assume drafted in-house)                               2008

CHG to consider the draft Housing Strategy 2009-        January
13                                                      2009

Submit draft for colleagues’ consideration (including   February
GOSE)                                                   2009

Submit draft for Members’ consideration                 March 2009

Obtain Cabinet approval to the draft Housing            April / May
Strategy 2009-13 (subject to the results of further     2009
consultation)

Obtain Council approval to the draft Housing            April / May
Strategy 2009-13 (subject to the results of further     2009
consultation)

Undertake consultation with partners, stakeholders      June / July
and residents on the draft Housing Strategy 2009-       2009
13

CHG to consider feedback from the consultation          August 2009

Complete research into any further issues arising       September
from the consultation for consideration by CHG          2009




                                       3
                                 Page 200


                       Action                             Date       Achieved

CHG to consider priorities and options within the     October
draft Housing Strategy 2009-13 (involving partners,   2009
stakeholders and residents)

Complete the final draft Housing Strategy 2009-13     December
                                                      2009

Arrange proof reading of the final draft Housing      January /
Strategy 2009-13 to ensure it meets the Plain         February
English standards                                     2010

CHG to consider the final draft Housing Strategy      January
2009-13 (subject to any proof reading changes)        2010

Submit final draft for colleagues’ consideration      February
(including GOSE) (subject to any proof reading        2010
changes)

Submit final draft for Members’ consideration         March 2010

Obtain Cabinet approval to the final draft Housing    April / May
Strategy 2009-13                                      2010

Obtain Council approval to the final draft Housing    April / May
Strategy 2009-13                                      2010

Submit the final draft Housing Strategy 2009-13 to    June 2010
GOSE for “Fit for Purpose” approval

Launch the Housing Strategy 2009-13 and               July
Summary (including contact details)                   2010

Monthly monitoring of the Housing Strategy 2009-      Commence
13 Action Plan progress against objectives and        August 2010
targets

Undertake Annual Reviews of the Housing Strategy      Complete 1st
2009-13 (Return to START)                             Review July
                                                      2011




                                       4
                                          Page 201                 Agenda Item 15




                             Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                     Cabinet

Date:                          11 February 2008

Reporting officer:             Chief Executive

Subject:                       The New Corporate Plan

Purpose and summary of report:
to present the Draft Corporate Plan for endorsement. The report sets out the key features of
the Plan, through which the council will deliver its Vision to make Gravesham The Place of
Choice.
Recommendations:
that Members
    1. endorse the Draft Corporate Plan, subject to any amendments that may be required;
    2. approve that the text be finalised by the Chief Executive, in consultation with the
       Leader of the Executive; and
    3. approve that the final version of the document be submitted to full Council for
       adoption, as part of the council’s policy framework.



1.   Background

     1.1   The council’s previous corporate plan came to an end in July 2007. An Interim
           Strategic Statement was put in place to allow the new administration time to
           develop a programme to implement its ambitions for the borough and the council.
           The attached Draft Corporate Plan sets out that programme.

2.    Key features of the Draft Corporate Plan

     2.1   The council’s Vision is to make Gravesham The Place of Choice – a place where
           everyone can enjoy a good quality of life a great place in which to bring up a
           family, a place of opportunity, and a place that is open for business. We wish to
           make Gravesham a clean, green and safe place where diverse and vibrant
           communities can flourish and live together, bound by a strong sense of belonging.
           The key features of this Vision are:

           2.1.1   the determination to pursue Excellence in all that we do;

           2.1.2   a programme for change focussing on –

                   2.1.2.1 Environment
                                      Page 202


                   2.1.2.2 Communities

                   2.1.2.3 Housing

                   2.1.2.4 Business

                   2.1.2.5 Regeneration

                   2.1.2.6 Transformation

           2.1.3   a commitment to capitalise of the attributes of the area - Gravesham as a
                   unique place - through its history, its location, its people;

           2.1.4   the promise to use to its full extent the council’s statutory power to secure
                   the social, economic and environmental well-being of the community;

           2.1.5   matching resources to priorities;

           2.1.6   to create and maintain a culture of continuous performance improvement;

           2.1.7   participation in the Second Kent Local Area Agreement, through a
                   Sustainable Community Strategy.

3.   Listening to the public and responding to community priorities

     3.1   In terms of consulting on the draft document three events were organised to seek
           the view of local residents. The first of these was not well attended; there was also
           a poor response from the invitation for the other two – which prompted a decision
           to cancel them. However, the consultation and engagement activities over four
           years have shown that the cleaner, greener, safer agenda remains the top priority
           for local people. The outcome from the recent consultation on the council’s budget
           for 2008-09, using the Residents’ Panel, has underlined the community’s wish for
           more to be done to tackle crime (and the fear of crime) and anti-social behaviour –
           and the promotion of responsible and sustainable lifestyles. That is why we have
           placed those issues at the forefront of our programme for change.

     3.2   It is clear from the demand for services provided by the council that local people
           expect the best. They also want to access services in a manner and at times that
           their needs. We are determined to meet those expectations by undertaking a
           programme of service transformation that will seek to make optimum use of
           resources to deliver improved value-for-money. Where appropriate we will work in
           partnership to develop the strategic alliances and collaborative working
           arrangements that will help us to achieve a step change in service provision.

     3.3   To support the long-term prosperity of the borough we will seek to work closely
           with local businesses. We know that people want to shop locally so we will seek to
           make it as easy as possible to do so – by implementing a robust strategy for car
           parks – and as enjoyable as possible, through a range of promotional activities.

4.   Listening to our staff

     4.1   There has been significant staff input to the development of the corporate plan,
           through a number of workshops. Many of their ideas have been incorporated in to
           the plan:



                                                2
                                             Page 203


            4.1.1   the authority becoming more open and outward-facing, engaging with the
                    community in a more attractive way, responding to what is real for local
                    people;

            4.1.2   ensuring that as the area develops (particularly at Ebbsfleet) we do not
                    create separate communities;

            4.1.3   ensuring that the relationship between the council, the County Council,
                    Police, Health Authorities and other partners work in the best interest of
                    local people;

            4.1.4   encouraging people to refrain from aggressive behaviour, dropping litter
                    and anti-social behaviour in general; and

            4.1.5   providing community leadership for promoting environmental sustainability.

5.   Risk

     5.1    It is imperative that the council adopts this corporate plan: without it the authority
            would be exposed as lacking strategic direction as an organisation, clarity about
            its priorities and any sense of providing community leadership. Once it has been
            adopted the corporate plan will replace the Interim Strategic Statement that has
            been in placed since July 2007.

6.   S.17 Crime and Disorder Act, 1998

     6.1    The corporate plan is one of the key mechanisms through which the council will
            discharge its statutory duties in respect of the Act. As the programme for change
            is implemented any specific implications relating to S.17 will be addressed, as
            appropriate.



     There are no background papers to this report.




                                                 3
          Page 204




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                                      Page 205
CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


Gravesham 2012: The Place of Choice

Gravesham Borough Council’s Corporate Plan: 2008 – 2012




                                 DRAFT




                                                          1
                                     Page 206
CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


Message from the Leader of the Council

I am delighted to present Gravesham Borough Council’s Corporate Plan for 2008 – 2012. It
sets out our vision to make Gravesham The Place of Choice – a place where everyone can
enjoy a good quality of life a great place in which to bring up a family, a place of opportunity,
and a place that is open for business. Our ambition for Gravesham is to make it a clean,
green and safe place where diverse and vibrant communities can flourish and live together,
bound by a strong sense of belonging.

We wish local people to have access to the best services the council can provide whilst
achieving value-for-money. That is why we are embarking on a programme of business
transforming. In our pursuit of excellence we will aim to provide a brilliant customer
experience wherever and whenever residents come into contact with the council.

Today we live in a rapidly changing world, with many challenges and opportunities. Tackling
climate change will require everyone to play their part; the council will lead by example to
promote responsible and sustainable lifestyles. The borough is part of the Thames Gateway
regeneration initiative; we will provide leadership to ensure that the benefits of the changes
taking place are enjoyed equally by existing and new communities.

It is recognised that the council cannot achieve the best for local people on its own. We need
to work closely with communities and neighbourhoods, listen to what they have to say and
work with them to develop the services that best meet their needs. That is why we plan to
introduce a community engagement strategy. It will provide the context for ensuring
everyone who wants to have their say has an opportunity to do so, in a setting where they
are comfortable and at times that fit with people’s busy lives.

We also need to work in partnership with other public sector service providers, local
businesses, the voluntary and community sector and regional agencies. It is essential to
ensure that access to services is as seamless as possible, that local traders have access to
the support the need to flourish, and that we can take full advantage of the investment
opportunities needed to secure the long-term prosperity of the area.

Within Kent we will work with our partners to get the most from the Kent Commitment,
particularly in terms of achieving efficiencies through joint-working and shared services. We
are fully committed to participating in the Second Kent Local Area Agreement (LAA), to build
on the success of the first LAA and to support the drive to secure a better quality of life for
everyone in the county. Through the Dartford & Gravesham Local Strategic Partnership
(LSP) we will develop and implement a Sustainable Community Strategy, through which we
will deliver our commitment to the LAA.

As a public authority our aim is to provide first class local government for Gravesham. That
means being open and transparent in our activities and exemplary behaviour from
councillors and officers. Over the next four years we will ensure that appropriate training and
development is provided for all councillors and officers, to enable them do their best for local
people – and to ensure that the council remains a great place to work.

Finally, I commend this Corporate Plan to you. It is based on a clear understanding of the
needs of local communities, through analysis, consultation and engagement. It builds on our
achievements over the past four years and sets out a challenging programme for the next
four years. Through implementing this programme our aim is to provide purposeful
community leadership to shape Gravesham into The Place of Choice.

Cllr Michael Snelling
Leader of the Executive

                                                                                                2
                                          Page 207
CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


Gravesham 2012

Our Vision
We wish the borough to become The Place of Choice: A great place
      to live, work and relax in and to visit;
      to be proud of, with a strong sense of identity;
      that is safe, clean and green;
      that is good to do business in and to invest in;
      with good quality and affordable housing;
      with vibrant, inclusive communities celebrating cultural diversity and;
      where the council strives for excellence and value-for-money;
      with strong community leadership and engagement;
      The Place of Choice for many reasons.

Our Values
Our core value will be ‘Excellence in all that we do’. We will work to achieve:
       Excellent customer care;
       Excellent services;
       Excellent value for money;
       Excellent engagement with communities;
       Excellent partnership-working; and an
       Excellent place to work.

Our Goals
1: Environment – to achieve a safe, clean and green Place of Choice.
2: Communities – to foster vibrant and cohesive communities that promote engagement,
    diversity, social inclusion, health and well-being, leisure and culture.
3: Housing – to seek to provide and work with others to ensure quality and affordable
    housing.
4: Business – to secure a sustainable and buoyant economy, particularly in the town
    centre and Ebbsfleet, with attractive investment opportunities and a developing tourism
    market.
5: Regeneration – to maximise regeneration opportunities for the benefit of existing and
    new communities.
6: Transformation – to transform the council into an economically sound organisation
    delivering excellent accessible services that provide value-for-money.




                                                                                          3
                                    Page 208
CABINET VERSION_11.02.08



THE PLACE OF CHOICE - creating a sense of place

How we will aim to achieve our ambition
      By delivering the goals set out in this plan.
      By creative partnership-working to secure significant inward investment, a step-
      change in the quality of services we provide, and enhanced value-for-money.
      By leadership of economic development, with a strong focus on tourism, and the
      promotion of the arts, leisure, culture and sport.
      By working towards being a green, ethical and open organisation, leading by
      example to tackle the effects of global warming and promoting local sustainability.
      By promoting equality, diversity and community cohesion (within both the council and
      in the wider community), ensuring that all our customers are fairly treated, and that
      we meet our statutory duties and responsibilities in respect of race and ethnicity,
      gender, disability, age, faith and belief, and sexuality.
      By active engagement with the community, to encourage good citizenship, respecting
      the rights of others, honouring their responsibilities and upholding the law.
      By maintaining the council’s reputation as an employer providing a first-class working
      environment for staff, exemplary human resource management and a workforce that
      reflects the make-up of the local community.

In seeking to make Gravesham The Place of Choice we will build on the key attributes of
the area.

       Gravesham as a unique place - through its history, its location, its people.

       A maritime and industrial heritage set alongside an Area of Outstanding Natural
       Beauty, a world-class literary heritage, a trans-historical nexus with the Americas,
       Asia and Africa.

       A commercial centre that has moved from decline to recovery, to sustainability: a
       regeneration exemplar, with prestigious national awards.

       Characterised by vibrant, cohesive and culturally-diverse communities: nationally-
       recognised as a place that actively strives to promote racial equality and good
       relations between people from different backgrounds.

       A place where communities are encouraged to take pride in their area, to value its
       heritage and to participate in the civic life of the borough.

       At the heart of the Thames Gateway regeneration initiative, a strategically important
       area of regional, national and international significance: well-placed to capitalise on
       and benefit from a wide range of investment opportunities.

The council has a statutory power to secure the social, economic and environmental well-
being of the community. In taking forward our ambition for The Place of Choice we will seek
to utilise that power to its full extent.




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                                           Page 209
CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


                                 GRAVESHAM’S GOALS
                    To deliver our Vision we will pursue six key goals

Goal 1: Environment – to achieve a safe, clean and green Place of Choice

Our priorities
1.1    Community Safety: to deliver four key objectives, through the Community Safety Plan
       of the Dartford & Gravesham Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership ( CDRP)
           A. Reduce the level of violent crime and burglaries by March 2009.
           B. Investigate the development of a Drugs Court by December 2008 and, if
               agreed, set a date for its introduction.
           C. Finalise and commence implementation of the new Community Safety plan
               by May 2008.
           D. Implement a drugs intervention programme from April 2008.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 15 Serious violent crime rate.
       NI 21 Dealing with local concerns about anti-social behaviour of their children in the
             area.
       NI 24 Satisfaction with the way the police and local Council dealt with anti-social
             behaviour.
       NI 27 Understanding of local concerns about anti-social behaviour and crime by the
             local Council and police.
       NI 38 Drug-related (Class A) offending rate.
             NI 42 Perceptions of drug use or drug dealing as a problem.

1.2    Envirocrime: continue to protect the natural and built environment from envirocrime
       through education and using powers available under the Clean Neighbourhoods and
       Environment Act (CNEA) and other environmental legislation.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 195 Improved street and environmental cleanliness (levels of graffiti, litter, detritus
              and fly posting).
       NI 196 Improved street and environmental cleanliness - fly tipping.

1.3    Environmental Excellence: undertake a series of initiatives, through the work
       programme of the Safe, Clean & Green Group including signing Nottingham
       declaration on climate change by April 2008.

       Key Performance Indicator
       NI 185 CO2 reduction from local authority operations.
       NI 186 Per capita CO2 emissions in the local authority area.
       NI 188 Adapting to climate change.
       NI 194 Level of air quality - reduction in NOx and primary PM10 emissions through
              the local authority’s estate and operations.

1.4    Local Air Quality Management (LAQM): continue with review and assessment of air
       quality in the borough as required by the Department for Environment, Food and
       Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Deliver the Air Quality Strategy and Action Plans in respect of
       declared Air Quality Managements Areas (AQMAs)

       Key Performance Indicators
       No National Indicators. Continue to deliver air quality management review and
       assessment in accordance with statutory timescales provided by DEFRA.


                                                                                                5
                                     Page 210
CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


1.5    Waste: to deliver the Waste Strategy and achieve 40% recycling by 2012.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 191 Residual household waste per head.
       NI 192 Household waste recycled and composted.

1.6    To embrace the regulatory reform agenda so that inspections of local businesses are
       risk-based and focussed in accordance with national priorities, working effectively
       within partnerships with other regulators. Priority areas are air quality, alcohol
       licensing, hygiene of food businesses and improving health in the workplace.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 182 Satisfaction of businesses with local authority regulation services
       NI 184 Food establishments in the area which are broadly compliant with food
       hygiene law

Notable achievements with our previous corporate plan
  The creation of a joint CDRP with Dartford Borough Council and the establishment of a
 Public Safety Unit, based in the Civic Centre.
  An overall reduction in crime, with a 20% reduction achieved in 2006-07.
  An improvement in the perception of crime and anti-social behaviour – the General User
 Satisfaction Survey published in September 2007 recorded a reduction from 60% to 32%.
  Excellent progress in implementing the Action Plan for A2 Trunk Road AQMA and
 Northfleet Industrial (AQMA) by working effectively with partners and stakeholders to
 significantly improve air quality in the borough, this deemed ‘exemplary’ by DEFRA.
  The declaration of three urban AQMAs, where good progress is being made
 implementing the Action Plans.
  An Air Quality Strategy is in place; the first progress report is due April 2008.
  Prestigious awards for environmental excellence, including a national Green Apple
 Awards for an innovative scheme to improve recycling from flats.
  The Waste Management Service gained a Good rating from a Best Value inspection. This
 was the best result ever achieved by any council service.
  Establishment of effective licensing service for the borough in respect of the Licensing Act
  2003 and the Gambling Act 2005, including sign-up to the Kent and Medway Licensing
  Enforcement Protocol.
  Successful participation in a Kent-wide project to deliver Safer Food Better Business
  (SFBB) food safety management model to local caterers and retailers, including a
  Cantonese language course. Funded through a successful bid to the Food Standards
  Agency.
  Joint warranting arrangements in place for health and safety inspectors from Gravesham,
  Medway, Dartford and Swale and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to enhance
  effective partnership and project-working in delivering health and safety initiatives to local
  workplaces.




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  Goal 2: Communities – to foster vibrant and cohesive communities with affirmative
  action to promote meaningful engagement, diversity and social inclusion, health
  and well-being, leisure and culture

Our priorities
2.1    A Cultural Strategy: finalised by April 2008, with implementation by specified target
       dates.

       Key Performance Indicator
       Adoption of the Cultural Strategy and its targets by May 2008.

2.2    The Leisure Centres: to develop and implement a strategy to secure their long-term
       viability.

       Key Performance Indicator
       Strategy agreed by May 2008 and implemented by January 2010.

2.3    Sports Development: to establish a sports community trust during 2008 and to
       support local sports clubs and teams.

       Key Performance Indicator
       Investigate possibility by June 2008.

2.4    Ebbsfleet United: to help secure a new ground, to support the club’s long-term
       ambitions.

       Key Performance Indicator
       No National Indicator

2.5    An Annual Outdoor Festival Programme: to support the social inclusion, community
       cohesion and the economic well-being of the borough.

       Key Performance Indicator
       Programme completed by March 2008.

2.6    The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: to work with partners and communities to
       ensure that the borough secures a lasting legacy through the Cultural Olympiad.

       Key Performance Indicator

2.7    Community leadership: to ensure there is practical and purposeful engagement with
       local communities.

       Key Performance Indicator

2.8    Community cohesion: to achieve Level 4 of the Local Government Standard for
       Racial Equality, by 2009.

       Key Performance Indicator

2.9    Tackling obesity: to work with partners to halt the year on year rise in obesity in
       children under 11, by 2010.

       Key Performance Indicator


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       A sample of Body Mass Indicator measurement taken from each cohort of children
       who participate in the programme. Target will be to reduce the body mass index of all
       participants.

2.10   Healthy living: to promote positive lifestyles, through implementing the Active
       Gravesham Strategy adopted in January 2007.

       Key Performance Indicator
       Increase in participation year-on-year, in Sport England’s Active People Survey.

Notable achievements with our previous corporate plan
   Implementation of a programme of community cohesion initiatives, including Big Day
  Out, Pride in Gravesham Awards and Gravesham People Project. The 2007 Big Day Out
  was highly successful, attracting an estimated 20,000 visitors; over 10,000 people took
  part in Active Gravesham Activity Area.
   Development of successful approaches to promoting healthy living and community well-
  being, linked to the government’s Choosing Health strategy. Through the Health Action
  Gravesham initiative funding has been secured to tackle obesity (Don’t Sit Get Fit), drug
  and alcohol abuse and health inequalities among minority ethnic communities.
   Leadership in the promotion of sport, leisure and recreation, through the council’s own
  facilities and in the wider community, development activity, partnership-working and grant
  funding. In 2007 the Active Gravesham Strategy was adopted to build on the success of
  the past four years.
   Investment in the Woodville Halls to improve facilities and the maintenance of a varied
  programme of arts and cultural events that meets the needs of local people.
   Development of a Gravesham Play Strategy which has secured external funding for
  improvements to play facilities, including environmental play-scheme activities, in
  partnership with Groundwork Kent & Medway.
   Improved arrangements for consultation and engagement with the community, including
  the establishment of a Residents’ Panel.




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Goal 3: Housing – to secure the housing needs of the borough

Our priorities
3.1    Review the Housing Strategy Statement 2005–09 following the outcome of the
       Housing Needs Survey, Gypsy & Traveller Needs Survey and Private Sector Stock
       Condition Survey, and utilise the review to inform the Housing Strategy Statement
       Update in 2008. The Homelessness Strategy to be reviewed by July 2008.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 156 Number of households living in temporary accommodation.
       NI 158 percentage decent council homes.
       NI 160 Local Authority tenants’ satisfaction with landlord services.
       BVPIs retained as local indicators, including BVPI 64 – private sector vacant
       dwellings returned to occupation.

3.2    Housing Renewal: to progress the Christian Fields development, with Phases one
       and two completed by March 2011, and to bring empty properties back into use.

       Key Performance Indicators
       As per 3.4

3.3    Decent Homes: to aim to secure the investment needed to achieve and sustain the
       Standard by 2010 and to tackle the condition of private sector housing stock.

       Key Performance Indicator
       NI 158 percentage decent council homes.

3.4    Affordable Housing: to use the Housing Needs Survey to address the needs of
       diverse communities. For new developments, maintain a policy of seeking 30% of the
       units that are affordable on sites of 15 units or more.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 154 Net additional homes provided
       NI 155 Number of affordable homes delivered (gross)
       NI 159 Supply of ready to develop housing sites
       NI 170 Previously developed land that has been vacant or derelict for more than
              five years

3.5    Aim for excellent tenant engagement by achieving Beacon Status for neighbourhood
       development when Government programmes allow, and increase the understanding
       of the diversity and vulnerability of customers, for example, through customer
       profiling, surveys, consultation and service involvement

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 160 (as per 3.1)

Notable achievements with our previous corporate plan
  A robust Stock Options Appraisal process, where the tenants expressed a wish for the
  council to remain their landlord.
  Significant improvement in service performance, including reducing the number of people
  in temporary accommodation by over 800% and achieving an increase in rental income
  that is within the top quartile.
  Major regeneration partnership projects to secure quality homes and affordable housing
           o The redevelopment of Christianfields.

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          o   Southfields mixed tenure scheme of 211 homes, which will deliver 64
              affordable homes.
           o Lawrance Square - 20 affordable units on council-owned land.
           o Springhead Quarter, which will deliver 94 units of affordable housing.
  Putting place the key strategies to achieve our ambitions for the area.
           o Significant progress with the Local Development Framework, including the
              development of the Core Strategy and the Kent Thameside Strategic
              Transport Programme (KTSTP).
           o Completion of the Draft Housing Strategy Review, the Draft Empty Property
              Strategy Housing Needs Survey, Gypsy and Traveller Needs Survey and the
              Private Sector Stock Condition Survey
  Development of the Low Cost Home Ownership scheme.
  Improved engagement with tenants, typified by a successful tenants’ conference in
  September 2007.
  Creation a Corporate Housing Group to promote a “joined-up” approach to addressing
  housing needs.
  81 private sector vacant dwellings returned to occupation in 2006-07 as a result of the
  council’s action.




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Goal 4: Business – to create and sustain a buoyant economy within the borough,
particularly in the town centre and Ebbsfleet, with attractive investment opportunities
and a developing tourism market

Our priorities
4.1    Economic Development and Tourism: to facilitate a strong ‘knowledge-based’ and
       enterprise-focused economy, to develop the Dickens trail across north Kent; and to
       work with Kent Tourism Alliance and other councils on cross-Kent action to increase
       international and domestic tourism.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 151 Overall employment rate
       NI 152 Working age people on out of work benefits
       NI 153 Working age people claiming out of work benefits in the worst performing
              neighbourhoods
       NI 166 Average earnings of employees in the area

4.2    Local Development Framework (LDF): to ensure that it is completed by June 2009.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 170 Previously developed land that has been vacant or derelict for more than five
              years

4.3    The Town Centre: to attract new investment to sustain its attractiveness and viability;
       and to extend and improve the retail offer.

       Key Performance Indicator
       No National Indicator

4.4    Asset Management: to use the council assets, as appropriate, to help drive the
       social, economic and environmental development in the borough.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 171 VAT registration rate
       NI 172 VAT registered businesses in the area showing growth
       NI 174 Skill gaps in the current workforce reported by employers
       NI 182 Satisfaction of businesses with local authority regulation services

Notable achievements with our previous corporate plan
  Promotional activity – such as Splash of Colour and South East in Bloom, International
  and Farmers’ Markets, Tour de France, Christmas celebrations and Discover Gravesham
  Heritage Festival – to attract more shoppers into the town centre and visitors to the
  borough.
  Tourism and inward investment – including twinning with Chesterfield County in Virginia,
  prestigious national awards for Towncentric (such as the Enjoy England Award for
  Excellence 2007), Thames Gateway funding for the Riverside Leisure Area, Thames &
  Medway Canal and Northfleet Urban Country Park.
  Skills and business services – an established Careers Convention and Town Centre
  Recruitment Fair, Business Master-classes, SkillSmart Retail initiative, Dartford &
  Gravesham Business Awards and a partner in Employ Kent Thameside.
  Infrastructure – a sustainable car park strategy, key commercial projects (such as the
  Town Pier bar and restaurant, the focus on the High Street) and the introduction of
  Fastrack.



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  Significant partnership-working to bring investment to the borough – Land Securities,
  Edinburgh House Estates, South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Kent
  Tourism Alliance, Kent Thameside Delivery Board, Kent County Council.
  Asset management – using the council’s assets to retain essential businesses, services
  and skills in the area.




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Goal 5: Regeneration – to maximise the regeneration opportunities for the benefit of
existing and new communities

Our priorities
5.1    The Heritage Quarter: subject to planning permission, to secure the completion of the
       eastern phase and to facilitate detailed planning permission for the western phase.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 5 Overall satisfaction with local area
       NI 157 Processing of planning applications as measured against targets for “major”,
              “minor” and “other” application types
       NI 170 Previously developed land that has been vacant or derelict for more than 5
              years

5.2    The Transport Quarter: to secure a collaboration agreement for the scheme,
       planning permission, and work underway by 2011.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 5 Overall satisfaction with local area
       NI 157 Processing of planning applications as measured against targets for “major”,
              “minor” and “other” application types
       NI 170 Previously developed land that has been vacant or derelict for more than 5
              years

5.3    Northfleet and Ebbsfleet: to support the development of the Northfleet Embankment.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 5 Overall satisfaction with local area
       NI 157 Processing of planning applications as measured against targets for “major”,
              “minor” and “other” application types
       NI 170 Previously developed land that has been vacant or derelict for more than five
              years

5.4    A2 ‘Sandwich land’: to ensure that a full range of options are considered and that the
       schemes chosen are delivered by an agreed target date.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 5 Overall satisfaction with local area
       NI 157 Processing of planning applications as measured against targets for “major”,
              “minor” and “other” application types
       NI 170 Previously developed land that has been vacant or derelict for more than five
              years

5.5    High Speed 1 and Fastrack: to address the issues associated with the introduction of
       domestic Services from Gravesend by December 2009

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 167 Congestion – average journey time per mile during the morning peak
       NI 176 Working age people with access to employment by public transport

5.6    Canal Basin and North East Gravesend: to secure the completion of Sub-phase One,
       Phase One and Sub-phase Two by March 2012, with planning permission and
       Compulsory Purchase Agreement process completed; to secure development
       decisions for Phases Two and Three.


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       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 5 Overall satisfaction with local area
       NI 157 Processing of planning applications as measured against targets for “major”,
              “minor” and “other” application types
       NI 170 Previously developed land that has been vacant or derelict for more than five
              years

5.7    Cobham & Ashenbank Management Scheme (CAMS): to ensure the completion of
       all work necessary for hand-over to the National Trust, by September 2008; and to
       pursue wider integration with Shorne Country Park, etc.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 5 Overall satisfaction with local area
       NI 157 Processing of planning applications as measured against targets for “major”,
              “minor” and “other” application types
       NI 170 Previously developed land that has been vacant or derelict for more than five
              years

5.8    The Gurdwara: to support the arrangements for a successful opening in April 2009.

       Key Performance Indicators
       No National Indicator

Notable achievements with our previous corporate plan
  A major contribution to the development of Ebbsfleet International Station.
  Successful lobbying for the CTRL Domestic Services.
  Securing a development agreement for the Heritage Quarter.
  Canal Basin and North East Gravesend developments underway.
  Masterplanning for Northfleet Embankment in progress.
  Significant funding secured to deliver the Cobham & Ashenbank Management Scheme
  (CAMS).
  Successfully managed the development process for the new Gurdwara.
  Re-vitalisation of several of the borough’s heritage assets through the Heritage Economic
  Regeneration Scheme (HERS).
  Brought the Town Pier back into use to help re-establish the link between the river and
  the town centre.




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Goal 6: Transformation – to turn the council into an economically-sound organisation
delivering excellent accessible services that provide value-for-money

Our priorities
6.1    Financial excellence: to achieve robust financial management and the best Use of
       Resources. This will be supported by a sound Medium Term Financial Strategy and
       a reformed budgeting process.

       Key Performance Indicator
       NI 179 Value for Money – total net value of on-going cash-releasing value for money
       gains that have impacted since the start of the 2008-09 financial year (CLG DSO).

6.2    Strategic partnership-working: to work with partners, to put in place arrangements to
       deliver the council’s contribution to the Kent Commitment, the Second Kent Local
       Area Agreement (KA2) and a Sustainable Community Strategy, by target dates.

       Key Performance Indicators
       There are 35 NIs relating to KA2.

6.3    Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) Re-categorisation: to apply for CPA
       re-categorisation in 2008.

       Key Performance Indicator
       No National Indicator. The council will seek to achieve a least a ‘Good’ rating.

6.4    Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA): to make robust arrangements for the
       introduction of the new local government inspection regime.

       Key Performance Indicator
       No National Indicator.

6.5    To use effective performance management processes to drive up performance and
       increase value for money across all services – PIs, benchmarking and options
       appraisals.

       Key Performance Indicator
       No National Indicator

6.6    Service and Organisational Transformation: to
       A. implement the transformation strategy, via work streams and delivery plans
          agreed by the Cabinet;
       B. explore collaboration, shared services and outsourcing with neighbouring
          authorities;
       C. deliver Business Process Improvement in key services;
       D. actively seek and participate in appropriate joint procurement activity and to
          deliver e-Procurement;
       E. enhance the council’s website through programmed improvements.

       Key Performance Indicators
       No National Indicators

6.7    Customer Services: to
       A.    deliver high quality services to meet the needs of our customers;
       B.    identify customer needs for accessing and using council services;
       C.    adapt service provision to meet needs; and

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       D.     ensure resources are targeted to areas of high customer demand.

       Key Performance Indicators
       Average waiting time for personal visitors to the Civic Centre Customer Service desk.
       The percentage satisfaction with the Customer Contact Centre (telephone).

6.8    Aim to provide a high quality revenues and benefits service.

       Key Performance Indicators
       NI 180 Changes in Housing Benefit / Council Tax Benefit entitlements within the
       year (DWP DSO)
       NI 181 Time taken to process Housing Benefit / Council Tax Benefit new claims and
       change events (DWP DSO)
       The percentage of council tax collected by the authority in the year
       The percentage of non-domestic rates collected by the authority in the year

Notable achievements with our previous Corporate Plan
      Pursued a best practice approach to achieving Best Value.
      Establish mechanisms for the practical involvement of residents in the development
      of services.
      Strengthened strategic resilience through the effective implementation of our
      strategies for Risk Management, Procurement and Financial Management.
      Effective use of the Performance Management Framework to improve performance
      across the council.
      An effective Performance Management System is in place.
      Formulated and implemented a Communications Strategy to position the council as
      an outward-facing authority.
      Encouraged the take-up of benefits and tax credits.
      Significant improvement in Customer Service through targeted investment.
      Managers of Tomorrow – programme for future workforce development delivered.




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FINANCING OUR AMBITIONS – matching our resources to our priorities

Introduction
It is essential that the aspirations and priorities for action within the Corporate Plan have the
required financial provision. Whilst striving to make Gravesham The Place of Choice the
backcloth includes tough financial settlements from the government and increased costs and
pressures in areas such as raw materials, fuel and contracts. The council has sought to
respond positively by directing the resources to priorities such as community safety, the
environment and leisure, exceeding efficiency targets set by government in the drive for on-
going improvements in value for money and the embracing of the transformation agenda.

Managing the resources
A clear budget-setting process has been established for the general fund revenue account
incorporating business planning techniques. This is coupled with a proactive approach to
engaging with communities in the borough to identify and wherever possible meet their top
needs. Priorities will be reviewed on an annual basis against the Medium Term Financial
Plan which is formally updated twice a year.

The council appreciates the need for regular and robust monitoring of its budgets with
responsibility being given to those who directly manage individual accounts on a day to day
basis. Monthly monitoring by the Management Team, regular reports to the Finance and
Audit Committee and quarterly accountability of managers to their piers on financial,
performance and risk management is to be the practice from the beginning April 2008.

Budget provision
Set out below is a brief overview of the estimated financial provision within each of the main
budgets of the council.

General Fund Review
The estimates for 2008/09 show a net budget provision of £ [TBA]. A major concern is that
the level of reserves is just above the £1 million requirement the council has agreed to keep
set aside to respond to emergencies. One of the priorities over the next two years is to
improve this situation.

General Fund Capital
The capital programme for 2008/09 is £ [TBA]. Initially it has been thought that it would be
necessary to borrow money to balance the programme for 2007/08 and 2008/09 but tight
financial management and income from the sale of assets, which has exceeded original
estimates, has enabled the shortfall to be managed.

The two major challenges facing the council on the capital programme are the absence of
reserves and the limited availability of resources for on-going requirements and new
initiatives to address priorities. Action to address these includes prioritisation and the pursuit
of recognised good practices in asset management.

Housing Revenue Account
The net budget provision within the estimates for 2008/09 is £ [TBA]. Within this is an
acceptable level of reserves and it is anticipated that there will be sufficient resources within
this budget to meet requirement over the next four years.

Housing Capital
The total provision available for the three financial years 2008 to 2011 is estimated to be £
[TBA]. As set out in the offer document which was issued to all tenant of the council’s
housing stock during the ballot in 2006, this budget provision will enable the basic level of
the Decent Homes Standards to be met but not the full requirements. The council will

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therefore fulfil the commitments it made in the offer document to tenants. It is, though, a
matter of real concern that this basic provision could lead to an increasing deterioration of
the housing stock.

Action to seek to mitigate this unacceptable situation is being taken and the council will be
working with tenants over the forthcoming years to agree the appropriate options to pursue.

Asset Management
Budget provision for the programmed maintenance and improvement of the council’s assets
and to progressively address a backlog of work has been established. In keeping with
previous years the assets are being critically appraised to ensure that the portfolio is
adjusted to meet actual requirements. Sharing of premises is being actively pursued with
other organisations, examples being the joint Public Safety Unit and town centre customer
services for the Police and the magistrates’ court now being located in the Civic Centre.
Work is progressing on the provision of a joint gateway to services with the County Council.
In line with the Quirk Report possible arrangements with the voluntary sector are being
explored.

Transformation
A business transformation strategy has been agreed by Cabinet and delivery plans finalised
to drive forward action on efficiency savings, procurement, value-for-money, collaboration
and shared services over the forthcoming years. Opportunities through information
technology have been programmed to maximise transformation.

Summary
The financial situation of the council is tight with some crucial pressure points, but a range of
action is underway to ensure as far as practicably possible that the provisions within the
corporate plan can be delivered.




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ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE – the key areas of focus in our drive for continuous
improvement


As a forward-looking authority we wish to create and maintain a culture of continuous
performance improvement. That means being realistic about the challenges we face and
being clear about what can be achieved. We have identified the following themes as those to
which our energies should be directed. They will shape our approach to delivering our key
priorities for improvement.

   Service Delivery – focusing on the interests of our customers.
   Human and Organisational Resources – nurturing the knowledge, skills and expertise of
   our staff to drive innovation.
   Financial Management – securing value-for-money for local people.
   Community Cohesion – promoting equality, diversity and social inclusion.
   Good Governance – openness and transparency, robust decision-making, exemplary
   standards.

Our drive for continuous and sustainable improvement we will be guided by effective and
transparent performance management. We will need to change the way we do business,
with greater emphasis given to joint-working, shared services and greater flexibility to
respond to the shifting social, economic and political landscape. The principles we will adopt
to help achieve the cultural change needed to meet our own and government targets will be
those set out in the National Improvement and Efficiency Strategy.

   Focus on improving value for money to meet the national 3% efficiency target.
   Increase our capacity for innovation, through becoming an organisation that learns from
   others and develops its own best practice.
   Provide effective community empowerment, giving communities a strong voice enabling
   them to play a role in reforming services so that they genuinely respond to the needs of
   local people.
   Provide leadership for economic growth and development as the catalyst for making
   Gravesham The Place of Choice.

The council has a statutory duty to participate the Kent LAA (The Kent Agreement), the
purpose of which is to secure better outcomes – a better quality of life - for everyone in the
county. The LAA is a legal agreement between Kent County Council and the government. It
comprises 35 National Indicators (NIs), to which the council and its partners are expected to
commit, and 16 statutory NIs for education – which will be the responsibility of the county
council. The targets attached to the NIs will be ‘stretch-targets’. This means that all parties
will work to exceed current performance expectations and that the improvements achieved
will be sustainable.

Whilst the programme set out in this Corporate Plan will make a contribution to the LAA, our
formal commitment to the 35NIs will be through the Sustainable Community Strategy (SCS)
for Dartford and Gravesham. Statutory responsibility for the SCS rests with the two borough
councils but it will be a partnership document. As such it will be ‘owned’ by the Dartford &
Gravesham Local Strategic Partnership. The action plan for the SCS will form the ‘local
chapter’ for the LSP within the LAA.

The tables below set out the themes and priorities around which the SCS will be developed
and their links to Gravesham’s Goals.



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     Theme           Headline Priorities        Provisional NII Agreement                        GRAVESHAM’S GOALS
Economic           Improving enterprise,      NI163 Working age population            GOALS 4: Business – to create and sustain
Success –          competitiveness and        qualified to at least level 2 or        a buoyant economy within the borough,
Opportunities      productivity               higher                                  particularly in the town centre and Ebbsfleet,
For All                                       NI171 VAT registration rate             with attractive investment opportunities and a
                   Promoting pathways to      NI152 Working age people on             developing tourism market.
                   economic                   out of work benefits
                   independence                                                       GOALS 5: Regeneration – to maximise the
                   Creating a low carbon      NI 188 Adapting to climate              regeneration opportunities for the benefit of
                   and climate change         change                                  existing and new communities.
                   resilient economy

    Theme             Headline Priorities        Provisional NII Agreement                      GRAVESHAM’S GOALS
Learning For       Raising aspirations and    NI161 Learners achieving an              GOALS 5: Regeneration – to maximise the
Everyone           transforming skills for    Entry Level 3 qualification in          regeneration opportunities for the benefit of
                   young people and           literacy                                existing and new communities
                   adults                     NI162 Learners achieving an
                                              Entry Level 3 qualification in
                                              numeracy
                   Reducing the impact of     Subject to final views being
                   child poverty on           considered
                   children’s lives
                   Enhancing education,       NI117 16-18 year olds who are
                   employment and             not in education, training or
                   training opportunities     employment (NEET)
                   16 Statutory DCSF          NI72, NI73 or 76, NI74 or 77,
                   Indicators                 NI75 or 78, NI83, NI87, NI92,
                                              NI93, NI94, NI95, NI96, NI97,
                                              NI98, NI99, NI100, NI101

    Theme            Headline Priorities         Provisional NII Agreement                      GRAVEHSAM’S GOALS
Improved           Reduce inequalities in     NI120 All-age all cause mortality       GOAL 2: Communities – to foster vibrant and
Health, Care &     health and wellbeing       rate                                    cohesive communities with affirmative action
Wellbeing                                     NI55 Obesity among primary              to promote meaningful engagement, diversity
                                              school children in reception year       and social inclusion, health and well-being,
                   Reducing drug and          NI40 Drug users in effective            leisure and culture
                   alcohol misuse and the     treatment
                   harm it causes             NI39 Alcohol-harm related
                                              hospital admission rates
                   Helping people live life   NI125 Achieving independence
                   independently              for older people through
                                              rehabilitation/intermediate care
                   Improve mental health,     NI51 Effectiveness of child and
                   care and wellbeing         adolescent mental health
                                              (CAMHs) services
                   Improving the lives of     Subject to final views being
                   young people including     considered
                   through effective
                   parenting

     Theme            Headline Priorities        Provisional NII Agreement                     GRAVESHAM’S GOALS
Environmental      Sustainable water and      NI189 Flood and coastal erosion         GOAL 1: Environment – to achieve a safe,
Excellence         flood risk management      risk management                         clean and green Place of Choice
                   Reducing Kent’s carbon     NI186 Per capita CO2
                   footprint                  emissions in the LA area

                                              OR

                                              NI185 CO2 reduction from Local
                                              Authority operations
                   Sustainable                NI191 Residual household
                   management of waste        waste per head
                   Protecting and             NI197 Improved local
                   enhancing biodiversity     biodiversity – active
                   and landscape in Kent      management of local sites

     Theme           Headline Priorities         Provisional NII Agreement                      GRAVESHAM’S GOALS
Stronger & Safer   Improving the quality      NI195 Improved street and               GOAL 2: Communities – to foster vibrant and
Communities        and appearance of the      environmental cleanliness               cohesive communities with affirmative action
                   street scene and open      (levels of graffiti, litter, detritus   to promote meaningful engagement, diversity
                   spaces                     and fly posting)                        and social inclusion, health and well-being,
                                                                                      leisure and culture


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                Reducing crime and the       NI21 Dealing with local
                perception of crime          concerns about anti-social
                                             behaviour and crime by the local
                                             council and police
                                             NI15 Serious Violent Crime
                                             Rate
                Reducing the levels of       NI111 First time entrants to the
                offending                    Youth Justice System aged 10-
                                             17
                Reducing domestic            NI32 Repeat incidents of
                abuse                        domestic abuse
                Increasing community         NI3 Civic participation in
                cohesion, participation      the local area
                and shared sense of          NI6 Participation in regular
                belonging                    volunteering

    Theme          Headline Priorities         Provisional NII Agreement                       GRAVESHAM’S GOALS
Enjoying Life   Improving play, cultural,    NI11 Engagement in the arts            GOALS 2: Communities – to foster vibrant
                arts, learning and                                                  and cohesive communities with affirmative
                leisure opportunities for                                           action to promote meaningful engagement,
                all people in Kent                                                  diversity and social inclusion, health and
                Increasing involvement       NI8 Adult participation in sport       well-being, leisure and culture
                in active lifestyles,
                participation in sport for
                all ages and maximising
                the legacy of the 2012
                Olympic and
                Paralympic Games
                Improving the                NI110 Young people’s
                participation and            participation in positive activities
                engagement of all
                children and young
                people in community
                activities

    Theme          Headline Priorities         Provisional NII Agreement                      GRAVESHAM’S GOALS
Keeping Kent    Reducing the need to         NI198 Children travelling to           GOAL 5: Regeneration – to maximise the
Moving          travel and making            school – mode of travel usually        regeneration opportunities for the benefit of
                better use of existing       used                                   existing and new communities
                strategic transport
                infrastructure and
                reducing the impact of
                international traffic on
                Kent and it’s
                communities
                Improving accessibility      NI175 Access to services and
                to jobs and essential        facilities by public transport,
                services by sustainable      walking and cycling
                modes of travel
                Saving lives and             NI47 People killed or seriously
                reducing injuries on the     injured in road traffic accidents
                roads and pavements




    Theme        Headline Priorities          Provisional NII Agreement                        GRAVESHAM’S GOALS
High Quality    Creating sustainable         NI170 Previously developed             GOAL 3: Housing – to secure the provision
Homes           communities/                 land that has been vacant or           of quality and affordable housing
                Promoting social and         derelict for more than 5 years
                physical regeneration

                Delivering sustainable       NI187 Tackling fuel poverty –
                homes incorporating          people receiving income based
                high quality design          benefits living in homes with a
                                             low energy efficiency rating
                Increasing the supply of     NI154 Net additional homes
                housing of all types and     provided
                tenures                      NI155 Number of affordable
                                             homes delivered (gross)




                                                                                                                              21
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CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


           Improving access to        NI141 Number of vulnerable
           high quality housing for   people achieving independent
           all                        living




                                                                     22
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CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


RISK MANAGEMENT

The council has in place a Risk Management Strategy. It is based on best practices in the
identification, evaluation and cost-effective control of risk. This is intended to ensure that
risks are eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level, thereby safeguarding the council’s
assets, employees and customers and the delivery of services to the local community. The
register outlines the key strategic risks facing the council and the controls currently in
place to respond to these risks – the register also highlights any further action
required by the council to properly manage these risks.

In addition to managing risk we will underpin our drive for continuous improvement by
strengthening the council’s strategic resilience. This will be done through implementing our
strategies for asset management and the capital programme, procurement and financial
management. The council does not tolerate fraud. We will tackle all forms of fraud corruption
through the arrangements set out in our Anti-fraud and Corruption Strategy.

As a council we are already embracing the agenda to transform the services we provide,
choosing the best options that are available. Best practice processes are in place to deliver
value-for-money to the people of Gravesham.




                                                                                             23
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CABINET VERSION_11.02.08



Strategic Connections


                                          Thames Gateway Strategic Plan
      Kent Commitment

                                                 KTDB Regeneration Framework




              Vision for Kent             D&G Sustainable Communities Strategy




              Kent LAA2                   D&GLAA                D&LSP




   Community Engagement Strategy -------------------------- GBC Corporate Plan
 Dartford & Gravesham Local Compact
  Gravesham Partnership Framework




                                                  GBC Service Plans
                                          Medium Term Financial Strategy
                                   Asset Management Plan and Capital Strategy
                                          Anti-fraud and Corruption Strategy
                                               Risk Management Strategy




                                                                                 24
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CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


                                   Explanation of Terms

D&G LAA
          Dartford & Gravesham Local Area Agreement will be the council’s ‘contract’ with
          the county council to participate in the second Kent Agreement.

D&G Local Strategic Partnership
        Dartford & Gravesham Local Strategic Partnership will be the body that will
        oversee the development, management and delivery of the D&G LAA.

D&G Sustainable Communities Strategy
        Dartford & Gravesham Sustainable Communities Strategy is a statutory
        requirement, setting out how the council will secure the well-being of the
        community, through developing sustainable communities. The definition of a
        ‘sustainable community’ was codified in the Egan Review, published in 2005.

Kent Commitment
         An agreement between all the local authorities in the administrative area of Kent,
        i.e. not including the Medway Unitary Authority. The agreement is a commitment to
        delivering improved ‘two-tier’ services in the county, in order to secure the best
        local government in the UK.

KTDB Regeneration Framework
        Sets out the strategic objectives of the Kent Thameside Delivery Board.

Thames Gateway Strategic Plan
        The blue-print for the Thames Gateway

Vision for Kent
           The community strategy for Kent – a long-term vision for improving the quality of
          life in the county.




                                                                                           25
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CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


TRACKING PERFORMANCE

Goal one:       Environment – to achieve a safe, clean and green Place of Choice
NI Ref      Description                                                             Polarity             Target
                                                                                                        2008-09

NI 15       Serious violent crime rate                                           Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 16       Serious acquisitive crime rate                                       Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 17       Perceptions of anti-social behaviour                                 Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 20       Assault with injury crime rate                                       Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 21       Dealing with local concerns about anti-social behaviour and          High values are
            crime by the local council and police                                     good

NI 27       Understanding of local concerns about anti-social behaviour          High values are
            and crime by the local council and police                                 good

NI 29       Gun crime rate                                                       Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 30       Re-offending rate of prolific and priority offenders                 Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 32       Repeat incidents of domestic violence                                Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 34       Domestic violence – murder                                           Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 35       Building resilience to violent extremism (checklist)                 High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 36       Protection against terrorist attack                                  High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 41       Perceptions of drunk or rowdy behaviour as a problem                 Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 42       Perceptions of drug use or drug dealing as a problem                 Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 185      CO2 reduction from local authority operations                        Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 186      Per capita reduction in CO2 emissions in the LA area                 High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 188:     Adapting to climate change                                           High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 189      Flood and coastal erosion risk management                            High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 191      Residual household waste per head                                    Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 192      Household waste recycled and composted                               High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 193      Municipal waste land filled                                          Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 194      Level of air quality – Reduction in NOx and primary PM10             High values are
            emissions through local authority’s estate and operations                 good

NI 195      Improved street and environmental cleanliness (levels of graffiti,   Low values are
            litter, detritus and fly posting)                                        good

NI 196      Improved street and environmental cleanliness – fly tipping          Low values are
                                                                                     good



                                                                                                   26
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CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


NI Ref      Description                                                            Polarity             Target
                                                                                                       2008-09

NI 197      Improved local biodiversity – active management of local sites      High values are
                                                                                     good


Goal two:       Communities – to foster vibrant and cohesive communities with
                affirmative action to promote meaningful engagement, diversity and
                social inclusion, health and well-being, leisure and culture
NI Ref      Description                                                            Polarity             Target
                                                                                                       2008-09   2

NI 1        % of people who believe people from different backgrounds get       High values are
            on well together in their local area                                     good

NI 2        % of people who feel that they belong to their neighbourhood        High values are
                                                                                     good

NI 3        Civic participation in the local area                               High values are
                                                                                     good

NI 4        % of people who feel they can influence decisions in their          High values are
            locality                                                                 good

NI 5        Overall/general satisfaction with local area                        High values are
                                                                                     good

NI 6        Participation in regular volunteering                               High values are
                                                                                     good

NI 8        Adult participation in sport                                        High values are
                                                                                     good

NI 10       Visits to museums and galleries                                     High values are
                                                                                     good

NI 22       Perceptions of parents taking responsibility for the behaviour of   Low values are
            their children in the area                                              good

NI 23       Perceptions that people in the area treat one another with          Low values are
            respect and consideration                                               good

NI 37       Awareness of civil protection arrangements in the local area        High values are
                                                                                     good

NI 118      Take up of formal childcare by low-income working families          High values are
                                                                                     good

NI 119      Self-reported measure of people’s overall health and wellbeing      High values are
                                                                                     good

NI 120      All-age all cause mortality rate                                    Low values are
                                                                                    good

NI 121      Mortality rate from all circulatory diseases at ages under 75       Low values are
                                                                                    good

NI 122      Mortality rate from all cancers at ages under 75                    Low values are
                                                                                    good

NI 137      Healthy life expectancy at age 65                                   High values are
                                                                                     good

NI 138      Satisfaction of people over 65 with both home and                   High values are
            neighbourhood                                                            good

NI 139      The extent to which older people receive the support they need      High values are
            to live independently at home                                            good

NI 140      Fair treatment by local services                                    Low values are
                                                                                    good




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CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


Goal three:      Housing – to secure the provision of quality and affordable housing
NI Ref       Description                                                            Polarity             Target
                                                                                                        2008-09   2

NI 154       Net additional homes provided                                       High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 155       Number of affordable homes delivered (gross)                        High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 156       Number of households living in temporary accommodation              Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 158       % decent council homes                                              High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 159       Supply of ready to develop housing sites                            High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 160       Local authority tenants’ satisfaction with landlord services        High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 187       Tackling fuel poverty – People receiving income based benefits      Low values are
             living in homes with a low                                              good



Goal four:       Business – to create and sustain a buoyant economy within the
                 borough, particularly in the town centre and Ebbsfleet, with attractive
                 investment opportunities and a developing tourism market
NI Ref       Description                                                            Polarity             Target
                                                                                                        2008-09   2

NI 151       Overall Employment rate                                             High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 152       Working age people on out of work benefits                          Low values are
                                                                                     good

NI 172       VAT registered businesses in the area showing growth                High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 182       Satisfaction of business with local authority regulation services   High values are
                                                                                      good

NI 184       Food establishments in the area which are broadly compliant         High values are
             with food hygiene law                                                    good



Goal five:     Regeneration – to maximise the regeneration opportunities for the
benefit of existing and new communities
NI Ref       Description                                                            Polarity             Target
                                                                                                        2008-09   2

NI 157       Processing of planning applications as measured against             High values are
             targets for “major”, “minor” and “other” application types               good

NI 170       Previously developed land that has been vacant or derelict for      Low values are
             more than 5 years                                                       good



Goal six:        Transformation – to turn the council into an economically-sound
                 organisation delivering excellent accessible services that provide value
                 for money
NI Ref       Description                                                            Polarity             Target
                                                                                                        2008-09   2

NI 14        Avoidable contact : The average number of customer contacts         Low values are
             per resolved request                                                    good


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CABINET VERSION_11.02.08


NI 173   People falling out of work and on to incapacity benefits          Low values are
                                                                               good

NI 179   Value for money – total net value of ongoing cash-releasing
                                                                           High values are
         value for money gains that have impacted since the start of the        good
         2008-09 financial year
NI 180   Changes in Housing Benefit/ Council Tax Benefit entitlements      High values are
         within the year                                                        good

NI 181   Time taken to process Housing Benefit/Council Tax Benefit         Low values are
         new claims and change events                                          good




                                                                                             29
          Page 234




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                                           Page 235                  Agenda Item 16




                              Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                      Cabinet

Date:                           11 February 2008

Reporting officer:              Director (Service Improvement)

Subject:                        Business Transformation Strategy

Purpose and summary of report:

To present Members with a Business Transformation Strategy for the council.

Recommendations:
     1. Members are requested to approve the Business Transformation Strategy attached at
        appendix one, subject to any amendments agreed by the Cabinet.


1.   Introduction

     1.1   The Value for Money (VFM) and efficiency agenda was initially outlined in the
           Gershon Review in 2004 and subsequent efficiency targets were confirmed on 7
           March 2007 by the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG).
           The Audit Commission ‘Use of Resources’ assessment also adds weight to the
           efficiency agenda and provides specific guidance in respect of the external audit
           judgement on value for money.

     1.2   The 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR07) requires councils to
           increase their efficiency to ensure that they deliver enhanced service quality whilst
           remaining within spending limits. Subsequent to the Local Government White
           Paper published in October 2006, the CLG published VFM guidance, ‘Delivering
           Value for Money in Local Government: Meeting the Challenge of CSR07’, to assist
           councils in meeting this challenge.

     1.3   In light of the developing VFM agenda it is recommended that the VFM Strategy
           that was approved by the former Cabinet in November 2006 is updated to reflect
           the new transformational agenda outlined by the CLG.




                                           1
                                     Page 236



2.   Developing the Business Transformation Strategy

     2.1   The existing VFM Strategy was used as the basis for the new strategy. Relevant
           government guidance has been taken into account in updating the VFM Strategy
           into the Business Transformation Strategy attached to this report.

     2.2   The main changes to the strategy centre around the introduction of eight specific
           delivery plans, identified in the strategy. The VFM Strategy had a clear link to the
           council’s Corporate Plan strategic aim “to deliver a best practice approach to
           achieving Best Value”. The council is currently developing a new Corporate Plan
           that will set the council’s vision and goals for the next three years. The new
           Business Transformation Strategy will support the transformation goals within the
           new Corporate Plan and evidences the council’s continued commitment to VFM
           and the new transformation agenda.

     2.3   The draft Business Transformation Strategy was discussed at the internal
           Business Transformation Group prior to being presented to the Commercial
           Services Policy Overview Committee (POC) for discussion and comment on 13
           November 2007. Following some minor amendments to the strategy the next
           meeting of the Commercial Services POC supported the proposed Strategy and
           recommended that the Cabinet be informed that the Business Transformation
           agenda needs to be moved forward.

     2.4   The draft Business Transformation Strategy attached to this report is the result of
           review, discussion and debate and the Cabinet is requested to consider and
           approve the strategy subject to any amendments required.

3.   Risk Assessment

     3.1   Failure to respond effectively to the new transformation agenda will restrict the
           council’s ability to improve and enhance its services in line with Government and
           community expectations. The Business Transformation Strategy together with the
           associated delivery plans mitigates this risk through a well and considered
           planned programme of transformation work.

4.   Section 17, Crime and Disorder Act 1998

     4.1   Whilst there is no single delivery plan that directly relates to Community Safety
           each of the delivery plans makes a contribution to this council priority by helping to
           improve efficiency and effectiveness across all council services.




     Background papers pertaining to this report:

     “Delivering Value for Money in Local Government: Meeting the Challenges of CSR07” –
     CLG October 2007


                                                2
                                            Page 237
       Gravesham Borough Council – Business Transformation Strategy




1. Aim of the Business Transformation Strategy

The aim of this Transformation Strategy for Gravesham Borough Council is to deliver
outcomes and products that allow us to offer high quality services in the most economic,
efficient and effective manner.

This definition is embedded within goal six of the authority’s Corporate Plan1 “Transformation
- to turn the council into an economically sound organisation delivering excellent accessible
services that provide value for money”.
The CSR 07 spending review will target at least 3% net cash-releasing savings per annum
from 2008-09 to 2010-2011. This amounts to councils achieving £4.9 billion cash releasing
efficiency by 2010–2011.

2. Business Transformation Strategy Actions

The Value for Money Delivery Plan2 published by the Communities and Local Government
Department (CLG) has outlined specific actions in relation to the ‘Transformational’ agenda
(see below). These will reflect the comprehensive spend review targets as described in
CSR07.



                                          Business Process
                                           Improvement
                            Leadership                         Collaboration &
                             & Skills                          Shared Services


                                                                          Use of
                    User                                                Technology
                    Focus


                                                                   Competition &
                    Innovation                                     Market Shaping



                       Performance                           Procurement & Asset
                       Framework                                 Management

                                         Benchmarking &
                                          Good Practice




At Gravesham these actions have been grouped into eight work streams which will be
developed to outline a three year strategic programme in line with the efficiency targets of
3% per annum, and in line with the Medium Term Financial strategy of the authority.




1
 Gravesham 2012: The Place of Choice. Gravesham Borough Council’s Corporate Plan 2008 – 2012.
2
 Delivering Value for Money in Local Government: Meeting the challenge of CSR07. Communities
and Local Government. October 2007.
                                      Page 238

Gravesham work        1- User Focus          2- Procurement          3- Asset Management
stream
CLG Actions           User Focus             Procurement             Asset Management
                                             Competition and
                                             Market Shaping

Gravesham work        4- Collaboration       5- Challenge (VFM       6- Leadership and
stream                                       Review)                 Innovation
CLG Actions           Collaboration          Benchmarking and        Leadership and Skills
                      (including shared      Good Practice           Innovation
                      services)
                                             Service Redesign
                                             Business Process
                                             Improvement
                                             Performance
                                             Framework
Gravesham work        7- Increasing          8- Use of Technology
stream                Revenue
CLG Actions                                  Use of Technology




The work streams aid prioritisation of the work to be completed and a separate Delivery Plan
will be prepared for each work stream. Progress against each Delivery Plan will be
monitored on a regular basis by the Business Transformation Group via its Transformation
Action Plan.

In summary:




                          Terms of Reference
                          For the Business Transformation Group



                  Transformation Strategy
                  Outlines the long term aim, and outlines responsibilities
                  across the authority.



                  Delivery Plans
                  Outlines the programme of work around eight work streams
                  (based on CLG’s VFM Delivery Plan). Aids prioritisation of:



                 Transformation Action Plan
                 (formally VFM Action Plan)
                 Outlines the specific actions to be taken forward




                                             2
                                           Page 239

3. Delivery of the Strategy – Roles and Responsibilities

3.1. Members

The Cabinet will approve the Business Transformation Strategy and consider the actions to
be completed on at least an annual basis, submitted by the Business Transformation Group.

3.2. Directors and Heads of Service

The Directors and Heads of Service will ensure VFM is incorporated into service delivery
through their service planning process and also report on any outcomes to the Business
Transformation Group. This is to ensure that all outcomes in relation to efficiency and
Transformational Government are properly recorded in the Delivery Plans, and also to
demonstrate that efficiency gains are recorded as part of the authority’s 3% planned
efficiency gains, whilst maintaining or improving the provision of services.

3.3. Business Transformation Group

The Business Transformation Group operates as a ‘programme office’ to co-ordinate the
planning and realisation of actions in relation to efficiency and Transformational Government
for the authority. In particular the Group will:

•   expand existing, established relationships and programmes of work to target and
    transform council services.

•   Incorporate costs, performance and the customer into planning and delivery of all
    services via a programme of VFM reviews.

•   develop the potential for the use of technology in achieving savings, particularly through
    electronic procurement.

•   lead on the development of the Terms of Reference and Transformation Strategy, and
    work with all service areas regarding implications for corporate policies (e.g. more
    intergrated service planning).

•   engage proactively with other local government and public sector partners, to extend the
    scope of activity into shared services and shared transformational delivery.

•   monitor Annual Efficiency Statements and any other efficiency indicators.

•   ensure that the council can demonstrate Value for Money in the delivery of its services
    by the use of a benchmark approach.

3.4. Financial Services

Linking cost with performance is an important consideration for demonstration of VFM. The
relevant finance officer will provide the benchmark case studies with timely, explicitly stated
costs wherever applicable.




                                               3
          Page 240




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                                            Page 241                  Agenda Item 17




                                Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                       Cabinet

Date:                           11 February 2008

Reporting officer:              Director of Organisational Improvement

Subject:                        Required Repairs and Maintenance Backlog

Purpose and summary of report:

To consider the setting of a priority list for backlog of repair and maintenance work.

Recommendations:
(1)     To consider the proposed weighting and confirm priorities as set and agree allocation
        of budgets (repairs and renewals).

(2)     In view of anticipated contribution towards cost from the church special consideration
        be given to elevating the St Georges clock to be the top priority for 2008/09




1.      Introduction

        1.1     Members will be aware that for a number of years bids have been made for
                resources to carry out works to address the required maintenance backlog to
                Council buildings.

        1.2     The allocation of monies has not met the ongoing requirements. At present
                current staffing resources could not deal with the current backlog in one
                financial year.

        1.3     Allocation of the work to be done has therefore not been systematic and jobs
                have been done on an ad-hoc basis to meet day to day necessities. The
                setting of priorities has recently been considered by the Asset Management
                Group and Management Team with the benefit of advice from condition
                surveys.

2.      The Process

        2.1     Attached at Appendix A is the latest priority list as agreed by the Asset
                Management Group. The list is made up of all known work which has been
                collated by the Civic Building Manager based on condition surveys and
                requests for work from Departments.
                                  Page 242


     2.2   The list was considered by the Asset Management Group based upon the
           criteria listed below:-

                   Health and Safety
                   Maintenance
                   Security
                   Service Need
                   Listed Building

           Each of the above was given a weighting as to their importance and need and
           then also scored against that weighting as to priority. This has resulted in the
           scoring.

     2.3   The resultant list gives details of the current backlog of work identified and
           only prioritises work for this year. There may well be other projects which are
           planned to come in future years but these will be included at a future date.

     2.4   It is anticipated that the budget for this year will be insufficient to deal with the
           total backlog and so it is suggested that a figure should be set within the
           budget that could be allocated and a line is drawn at that level. For example
           if £150,000 were allocated then the works down as far as the Rent Offices on
           sheet 1 could be covered. The remainder of the works would have to be
           done as and when budget is available. If no budget is available then any
           works will be carried over to next year and set against priorities in that year.
           During this time it may be necessary to close buildings if for example they
           become unsafe. It is estimated that there will be an ongoing requirement for
           a budget of £150,000 per annum to 'catch up' and thereafter to maintain
           buildings to a reasonable standard. At current staffing levels this is a level
           that is sustainable within existing resources. It is considered that some of the
           funding can be capitalised, other sources of revenue funding could include
           rent increases identified from property, any NNDR windfalls and new income
           from any telecoms. agreements.

     2.5   There will always be items below the cut off line that will for many reasons be
           considered for action outside the priority list, but it is suggested that the Asset
           Management Group should consider any such requests at the time, referring
           on to Management Team as required. This will avoid the maintenance team
           being sidetracked from set priorities.

3.   St. Georges Church Clock

     3.1   Particular attention is drawn to the St. Georges clock. The Council is
           responsible for the clock mechanism and face dial at St. Georges Church.
           (The St. Georges Church Clock) from time to time referred to as one of the
           four 'icons' within Gravesend Town Centre.

     3.2   A specialist condition survey has been undertaken by Smiths of Derby and
           findings are attached at Appendix B together with proposed options and
           costs. The clock was last refurbished by the Council in 1992.




                                             2
                                       Page 243


     3.3    Repairs and restoration to the Church clock as opposed to the clock are
            scheduled for Spring 2008 by the Church's architect. This requires complete
            scaffolding for the building including all faces of the clock tower. There would
            appear merit in considering restoration of the clock at the same time to save
            on scaffolding works estimated at between £10,000 - £12,000.

     3.4    The proposed restoration is recommended as a priority item since some
            protection work will be required anyway as part of the church's work to avoid
            damage either by contractors or vandalism. In addition, advantage should be
            taken of the 'free' scaffolding to be paid for by the Church in 2008.

     3.5   The Council’s external funding officer is investigating other potential sources
           of external funding towards this project.

4.   Furniture

     4.1    Although not strictly a maintenance issue the Council has an ongoing
            requirement for replacement furniture in its various offices. The principle item
            is chairs which were only partially replaced as part of Accommodating
            Excellence. It is estimated that £10,000 is the requirement for an on going
            central furniture budget.

5.   Leisure Centres

     5.1    A separate sheet detailing outstanding repairs at the Leisure Centres is
            attached at Appendix C. Total backlock is in the region of £1.3m.

6.   Disability Discrimination Act

     6.1    The Council is in the upper quartile of performance indicator 156 -
            accessibility to public buildings which has enabled positive actions such as
            the Disability Awareness Conference held last summer. This however
            remains something of a moving target as test cases continue to emerge
            under the legislation. 2007/08 sees the end of the programme agreed some
            years ago. So as to maintain progress and avoid slippage in the PI it is
            considered that funding in the region of £50,000 per annum is needed for the
            next three years. A draft programme is attached at Appendix D which can be
            further refined if required.

7.   Risk Management and Whole Life Costing/S17 Considerations

     7.1    The risks associated with poor maintenance are well documented including
            health/safety and public image. These can be balanced with a planned
            approach together with continuous review of the portfolio against suitability
            and value for money criteria.

     7.2    The perception of a poorly maintained public estate may contribute to a
            general lack of respect and increased vandalism etc.




                                            3
                                 Page 244



8.   Conclusions

     8.1   Cabinet is asked to consider the priority list and agree the adoption of the list
           as a priority for works next financial year. Management Team is also asked
           to consider what level of budget can be made available to meet the backlog
           repair schedule.

     8.2   Cabinet is also asked to agree the methodology of the calculation and accept
           it as the basis for future allocations of budget for repair and maintenance
           work.

     8.3   Cabinet is also asked to note the position on Leisure Centres and to further
           consider a furniture and DDA budget.




              There are no background papers relating to this report




                                           4
GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL REQUIRED MAINTENANCE BACKLOG PRIORITY SCORE SHEET                                                                                                                                                                                                       30/01/08 16:25



                                                                                                             Weighting                                                                             10            8            8          10           5        10
                                                                                                             1-5 per bid




                                                                                                                 Type
             Code                    Premises                              Narrative                                       2008                                    COMMENTS                      Health &    Maintenance   Security    Service      Listed   Political   Total
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Safety                                Need       Building Expediency   Score

Cemeteries                  Gravesend                       Structural survey & report on catacombs             H&S               2,000 To check structural stability of catacombs
                                                                                                    Fees                                                                                                50            40                      50          25                165
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                            Opening up & sealing of catacombs              H&S               8,000 To check structural stability of catacombs                      50            40                      50          25                165
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                                    Tanking to top of catacombs            H&S               6,000 From engineers report see above                                 50            40                      50          25                165
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                             Investigate ground below Chapel &             H&S               2,000 Boundary walls unstable
                                                                                         boundary walls                                                                                                 50            40                      50          25                165
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                        Rebuild & repair boundary walls(phased             H&S               7,500 Boundary walls unstable
                                                                                   ongoing every year)                                                                                                  50            40                      50          25                165
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                                                Repairs to Oblisks       G2 listed       10,000    Gravesend grade 2 listed                                        50            40                      50          25                165
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                                 Structural Engineers Fees          H&S             2,000                                                                    50            40                      50          25                165
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                    Structural repairs to vaulted brickwork         H&S            10,000    Structural                                                      50            40                      50          25                165
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                         Safety work to steel access ways           H&S             5,000    Safety                                                          50            40                      50          25                165
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                                       Repairs to filler joists     H&S             5,000    Structural                                                      50            40                      50          25                165
Parks (Various) GBC         Fort Gardens public toilets                   Repairs after electrical tests       H&S             3,500    Safety                                                          50            40                      50          25                165     61,000
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                    Corroded structural steel strengthening          H&S             5,000    See structural engineers report DW3775a PBA Consulting
                                                                                                   works                                                                                                50            40                      30          25                145
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                        Renew obsolete main entrance door               H&S           10,000 New detectors, motors & safety screen one inoperable
                                                                                      operating system                                                                                                  50            40                      50                            140
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                  Renew exhaust & safety cage to generator             H&S             5,000    Business continuity & emergency planning                        50            40                      50                            140
Woodville Halls             Woodville Halls                            Catering kitchen refurbishment          H&S            30,000    Urgently needs bringing up to date for lettings etc             50            40                      50                            140
Springhead Pavillion        Springhead Pavillion                       Rewire of electrical installation       H&S             6,000    Safety                                                          50            40                      50                            140
Towncentric                 Towncentric                                           Electrical system test       H&S             1,200    Mandatory                                                       50            40                      50                            140
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                  Repair stained glass windows           H&S             2,000    structural stabilty to frame etc                                50            40                      50                            140    120,200
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade                                   Replace road lighting lanterns         H&S             2,170    Vandalised and very little light for safety                     50            40                      50                            140
Parks (Various) GBC         Parks - Management                            Repairs after electrical tests       H&S             2,500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                                              Re-roofing café        Maint          20,000    Leaks, beyond economic repair.                                  50            40                      50                            140




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Page 245
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                                                 Electrical test     H&S             2,500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
The Healthy Living Centre   The Grand                                                  Electrical testing      H&S               500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Brookvale                   Depot                             Brookvale Workshops Electrical testing           Maint           3,500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Rent Offices                Kitchener Ave. Area Office                                 Electrical testing      Maint             500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Rent Offices                Lawrence Sq. Area Office                                   Electrical testing      Maint             500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Rent Offices                The Hive Area Office                                       Electrical testing      Maint             500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Rent Offices                Dickens Road Area Office                                   Electrical testing      Maint             500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140    153,370
Public Clocks & Memorials   Generally clocks                                             Electrical tests      H&S             1,000    Electrical regulation                                           50            40                      50                            140
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                              Repairs to clock face        Maint          12,500    Survey from clockmaker Scaffold by Church in 2008               40            40                      50           5                135
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                                  Repairs to hands         Maint           3,150    Survey from clockmaker Scaffold by Church in 2009               40            40                      50           5                135
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                                    Reinstate strike       Maint           3,250    Survey from clockmaker Scaffold by Church in 2010               40            40                      50           5                135
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                        Reinstate access to hands          Maint           2,000    Survey from clockmaker Scaffold by Church in 2011               40            40                      50           5                135
Heritage Centre             The Chantry                                Rewire of electrical installation       H&S             5,000    Electrical regulation                                           40            30                      40          25                135
Public Conveniences         The Hill                                              Demolish gents toilet        H&S            12,000    If not sold to adjacent owner                                   50            40                      40                            130    192,270
Parks (Various) GBC         Woodlands park                             Install security shutters to cafe      Security        10,000    Security to site & equipment                                                  40          40          50                            130
Heritage Centre             The Chantry                                               Works from FRA           H&S             2,500    Safety                                                          50                                    50          25                125
Heritage Centre             The Chantry                                   Installation of intruder alarm      Security         1,800    To protect priceless artifacts                                                            40          50          25                115
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                              Repair iron bands to front columns         G2 listed        3,000    Structural repair                                                             40                      50          25                115
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                              Repair structural cracks to Chapel         G2 listed        3,000    Structural repair                                                             40                      50          25                115
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                       Renewal of stolen lead to roof of Chapel          G2 listed        3,500    Stolen twice                                                                  40                      50          25                115
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                                       Tanking to walkways          Maint           8,000    Structural                                                                    40                      50          25                115
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                                Re pointing boundary walls          Maint           8,000    Structural                                                                    40                      50          25                115
Parks (Various) GBC         Bandstand Fort Gardens                    Concrete repairs. Redecoration           Maint           2,500    Structural                                                                    40                      50          25                115
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                    Emergency lighting to Under Ground Car             H&S             6,000    Localised power failure
                                                                                                     Park                                                                                               50            40                      20                            110
Woodville Halls             Woodville Halls               Renewal of ventilation plant consultant fees         Maint           2,500    Obsolete & uneconomical ventilation system.                     20            40                      50                            110
Heritage Centre             The Chantry                                               External painting        Maint           4,500    Maintainance                                                                  40                      40          25                105    247,570
Springhead Pavillion        Springhead Pavillion                 Upgrading of sanitory accomodation            H&S            10,000    Health                                                          30            24                      50                            104
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                   Steel access steps & bridge to plant room           H&S             2,750    Fire risk assessment related                                    50                                    50                            100
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                       Steel access steps & handrails across           H&S             3,500    Fire risk assessment related
                                                                                                parapets                                                                                                50                                    50                            100
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                                    Additional CCTV cameras             H&S            3,500    Security to forecourt & foyer                                   20                        40          40                            100
Woodville Halls             Woodville Halls                         Provision of additional fire escape         H&S           25,000    From Fire risk assessment                                       50                                    50                            100
Springhead Pavillion        Springhead Pavillion                                  Internal redecoration         Maint          2,750    Unhygenic                                                       10            40                      50                            100
Springhead Pavillion        Springhead Pavillion                             Renewal of floor covering          Maint          4,250    Unhygenic                                                       10            40                      50                            100




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                                                                                                           Type
            Code                     Premises                             Narrative                                2008                                     COMMENTS                                  Health &    Maintenance   Security   Service    Listed   Political   Total
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Safety                               Need     Building Expediency   Score

Parks (Various) GBC         CD Bunker                                            Fire precaution work     H&S             2,500 Remedial work after FRA                                                      50                                 50                            100
Brookvale                   Depot                           Repairs / rebuilding of blockwork walls to    Maint           4,200 Outer skin of hollow wall collapsed
                                                                  rear of vehicle workshop & garage                                                                                                          20            40                   40                            100
Brookvale                   Depot                                        Repairs to pavement barrier      Maint        2,000 Danger of falling                                                               30            40                   30                            100    308,020
Public Clocks & Memorials   Public Clocks and Memorials      Cleaning & repairs to Clocktower stone       Maint       25,000 Following Inspection report from 2007
                                                                                             structure                                                                                                       30            40                             25                   95
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                                    Handrail to car park ramp     H&S          1,250      Fire risk assessment related                                               40                                 50                             90
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                                 Sunshades to finance office     Improve       5,750      To help reduce overheating in summer                                       50                                 40                             90
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                                       Sunshades to pyramid      Improve      30,000      To help reduce overheating in summer                                       50                                 40                             90
Woodville Halls             Woodville Halls                                      Internal redecoration    Maint       15,000      To continue the improvements to the theatre                                              40                   50                             90
St Andrews Art Centre       Chapel                                     Repairs to River embankment        Maint       32,000      To prevent potential collapse of Grade ll listed building (budget
                                                                                                                                  only)                                                                                    40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                  Lodge window replacement          Maint        8,500      Domestic residence windows rotted and will not open                                      40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                       External Redecorations       Maint        7,000      Lodge                                                                                    40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                                 Reroof Lodge       Maint       20,000      Slates in bad condition                                                                  40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                          West Chapel repairs       Maint        2,500      Plaster & decs. Public building.                                                         40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                          East Chapel repairs       Maint        7,000      Northfleet - vestry, toilets, eaves & gutters etc                                        40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                       Repair Boundary Walls        Maint        5,000      Gravesend - Pointing & repairs                                                           40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                         Re-roof main Chapel        Maint       32,000      Northfleet - Bell tower & chapel                                                         40                   50                             90
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                           General Repairs to Prom Café         Maint        3,000      general sundry repairs                                                                   40                   50                             90
Rent Offices                Kitchener Ave. Area Office  Repairs and redec of water damaged office.        Maint        2,300      Maintainance
                                                                                     External repairs                                                                                                                      40                   50                             90    504,320
Towncentric                 Towncentric                                                 New matwell       H&S             1,500   Safety                                                                     20            24                   40                             84
The Healthy Living Centre   The Grand                                          Replacement matwell        H&S             1,400   Safety                                                                     20            24                   40                             84




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Page 246
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                 AMACLAD DADO rails to meetiung rooms            Improve          4,000   To protect walls from chair damage                                                       40                   40                             80
Brookvale                   Depot                          Repairs / recoating vehicle wash station       Maint           3,500   Maintainance                                                                             40                   40                             80
Public Clocks & Memorials   Public Clocks and Memorials Cleaning Gravesend War Memorial bronze            Maint           2,750   Bronze needs cleaning and polishing on an annual basis.
                                                                                               Statue                                                                                                                      40                   20                             60
Public Clocks & Memorials   Princess Pocahontas                              Clean & re-wax bronze       Maint         4,250      Recommendation by restorer over & above normal wash & wax                                40                   20                             60
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade                                Tidy up after toilet demolished     Maint         9,000      ground & railings                                                                        30                   30                             60
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                                           New Borough flag      Maint         1,200      New GBC flag                                                                              8                   50                             58
Community Centres           Shears Green                                          Curtains and track     Maint         6,800      Improvement to use of hall                                                               16                   40                             56
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                               Repairs to pond & fountains       Maint        10,000      Pond vandalised                                                                          40                   10                             50
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                      Renewal of defective mastic pointing       Maint         5,000      Waterproofing to cladding                                                                40                   10                             50
Public Clocks & Memorials   Public Clocks and Memorials           Repairs to lettering on memorials      Maint         3,250      (or £3,250 05/06, 06/07) Names eroding away                                              40                   10                             50
Public Clocks & Memorials   Higham Obelisk                                          Structural survey    Maint         1,250      To check stability                                                         10            24                                                  34
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                        Renovation work to Mayoral boards        Maint         1,800      To protect old boards                                                                     8                   10                             18
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                   Provision of railings to forecourt & pond     H&S          10,000      Danger of falling                                                          10                                                                10




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                                                                                                         Type
               Code                  Premises                         Narrative                                  2008                                 COMMENTS               Health &   Maintenance   Security   Service    Listed   Political   Total
                                                                                                                                                                              Safety                              Need     Building Expediency   Score

Admin Buildings             44/45 Windmill Street                        Renewal of fencing at rear     Maint              Broken & poor. Omitted from main contract                                                                                     0
Admin Buildings             44/45 Windmill Street                               Resurface rear yard     Maint              Uneven & floods in rain                                                                                                       0
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                           Security film to interview rooms    Improve             New item                                                                                                                      0
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                    Installation of voltage power perfector     Maint       25,545 Pay back period 2years & every year after        Capitol                                                                      0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                            Reinstate chime         Maint                Survey from clockmaker                                                                                                      0
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                    Upgrade time mechanism          Maint                Survey from clockmaker                                                                                                      0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Woodville Halls             Woodville Halls                           Renewal of ventilation plant     Maint                 Obsolete & uneconomical ventilation system.                                                                                 0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Springhead Pavillion        Springhead Pavillion                          External Redecorations        Maint                Springhead Pavilion - External Redecorations                                                                                0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Community Centres           Shears Green                                 Renewal of roof covering       Maint                Maintainance                                                                                                                0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Towncentric                 Towncentric                                   Replace display lighting      Maint              Domestic quality fitted.                                                                                                      0
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                        External paving & brick repairs       Maint              Safety                                                                                                                        0
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                        Repointing briackwork phase ll        Maint              Maintainance                                                                                                                  0
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                    Installation of fire alarm to tunnels    H&S          2,500 Safety                                           Already budgeted                                                             0
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                    Works from Fire Risk Assessment          H&S         50,000 Safety                                           Already budgeted                                                             0
Parks (Various) GBC         Gordon Lodge                              Renewal of boundary fence         Maint              Security to site & equipment                                                                                                  0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Brookvale                   Depot                      Recoating of cladding to vehicle workshop        Maint                Maintainance
                                                                                     and garaging                                                                                                                                                        0




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Page 247
Brookvale                   Depot                         Recoat cladding / external decorations        Maint                Maintainance                                                                                                                0
Brookvale                   Depot                                  Internal redecoration to offices     Maint                Maintainance                                                                                                                0
Rent Offices                Dickens Road Area Office   Replace pallisade fencing to side with gate      Maint                Maintainance
                                                        so that rear of property can be inspected
                                                          and maintained. Sundry external works                                                                                                                                                          0




                                                                                                                   648,065                                                                                                                                    648,065




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                                            Page 249


                                                                                  Appendix B

Smiths Report and Costs

Smiths report covered the existing conditions and repairs required in some detail. This
included an assessment of each individual dial face, the dialworks mechanism (drive to the
hands). They also looked at the work involved in bringing back the strike side of the clock
mechanism back into operation together with reinstatement of the chime. Finally, they
recommended that the time side to the clock (control unit) be replaced with an electronic
unit.

The costs based on using the Churches scaffolding can be presented as follows:-

Option 1

Dialworks Servicing                          £ 3,150.00
Dials Restoration                            £12,120.00
Re-instatement of strike only                 £ 3,250.00 (optional - clock could remain silent)

                                Total        £18,520.00 net plus VAT

Optional upgrade of timeside - Additional    £ 2,700.00


Add a provisional sum of £2,000 for improvements to dial hand access from the inside of the
clock tower. (GBC item and only if required).

Option 1      Total £23,220 net plus VAT
Note scaffolding costs not included.



Option 2

With inclusion of both strike and chime (£11,500) together with items as Option 1, including
the timeside. Less re-instatement of strike only.


Option 2      Total £31,370 net plus VAT
Note scaffolding costs not included.
          Page 250




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LEISURE CENTRES - REQUIRED MAINTENANCE BACKLOG                                                                                                                                           APPENDIX C




                                                                                           Priority
Code      Premises                                          Narrative      2,008                                                                COMMENTS




                                                                                    Type




                                                                                                         2009




                                                                                                                    2010




                                                                                                                              2011




                                                                                                                                        2012
Leisure Centres
           Cascades LC                        External Redecorations      10,000   Maint    1          15,000     10,000    10,000    10,000    Could be phased
           Cascades LC   Renew broken & relay uneven paving slabs          2,200   Maint    1          2,000      2,000     2,000     2,000     Dangerous & uneven
           Cascades LC                                  New drop kerb
           Cascades LC                Full electrical and plant testing   10,000   Maint    1                                                   Electrical regulation
           Cascades LC     General roof sweep, clear gutters, rplace         750   Maint    1           750        750       750       750      Maintenance
                                                    missing cowls etc
          Cascades LC     Clearance and external repairs to area to                Maint    2          3,500
                                     rear football change/plant room
          Cascades LC       Repairs redecorations to squash courts                 Maint    2                     8,000
          Cascades LC                                  Fencing repairs     1,100   Maint    2          4,500      1,000     1,000     1,000
          Cascades LC           Repairs after M&E condition survey                 Maint    1         600,000
          Cascades LC                        Fencing to east car park      5,500   Maint    1
          Cascades LC                             Upgrade Fire alarm               Maint    1          10,000
          Cascades LC                         Upgrade Intruder alarm               Maint    1                     15,000
          Cascades LC                               Upgrade showers                Maint    1          4,800
          Cascades LC                                 Reline Car Park              Maint    1                     5,000
          Cascades LC                         Renewal of light fittings            Maint    2          5,000
          Cascades LC                  Upgrade football change area                Maint    1                     10,000
          Cascades LC     Repairs to suspended ceiling in sports hall              Maint    2          5,000
          Cygnet LC                               Upgrade Fire alarm               Maint    1          10,000
          Cygnet LC                           Upgrade Intruder alarm               Maint    1                     15,000




                                                                                                                                                                                                            Page 251
          Cygnet LC                    Redecorate mens dry change                  Maint    1          4,500
          Cygnet LC                 Redecorate womens dry change                   Maint    1                     4,500
          Cygnet LC          Recoat cladding External Decorations                  Maint    2          10,000     10,000    10,000    10,000
          Cygnet LC                Recoat all metalwork to pool area               Maint    1          35,500                                   Paint peeling & humidity in roof space
          Cygnet LC             Roof repairs to pool and glazed roof               Maint    1                               10,000
          Cygnet LC                   Full electrical and plant testing   10,000   Maint    1                                                   Electrical regulation
          Cygnet LC             Repairs after M&E condition survey                 Maint    1          400,000
                                                                          39,550                      1,110,550    81,250    33,750    23,750




                                                                                                                                                                                            11/1/08 17:07
                           Page 252




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DRAFT                                                               Disability Discimination Act Programme 2008/2011                                                                                                APPENDIX D
                                                                                                   0        1        2         3         4
                   Site Works                                                           Year     2007     2008     2009      2010      2011      Notes
       Brookvale Depot Accessible toilet                                                 0        3514                                           Complete
          Cascades LC Installation of automatic doors to main entrance                   0        6584                                           Complete
          Cascades LC DDA adaptations to reception counter                               0        3000                                           Due in January
           Civic Centre Installation of automatic doors to Committee Suite               0        2100                                           Complete
           Civic Centre Hearing loops to suite                                           0        3005                                           Complete C100/C0031
           Civic Centre Mirrors to DDA toilets                                           0          170                                          Complete
             Cygnet LC Installation of automatic doors to main entrance                  0        6535                                           Complete
             Cygnet LC DDA adaptations to reception counter                              0        3000                                           Due in January
        Woodville Halls Installation of automatic doors to Basement                      0        2100                                           Complete C009/C0031
   Northfleet Cemetery Tactile Paving to external slopes & steps                         0       13000
   Higham Public Toilet Upgrade DDA toilet                                               0        6000                                           Quote on plumbing
       Brookvale Depot Ramp & Tactile Paving to external slopes & steps                  1                11,500
        Woodville Halls Stage level backstage accessible toilet & dressing room          1                25,000                                 Convert redundant servery at stage left front
Lawrance Square office Staff Accessible toilet                                           1                 7,500
Chantry Heritage Centre DDA Survey                                                       1                 2,000

        Culverstone CC DDA Survey                                                        1                 3,500
       Brookvale Depot Access to first floor                                             2                         30,000
   Gravesend Cemetery Accessible toilet                                                  2                         20,000                        There are no public toilets suitable for conversion, therefore staff toilet will be
                                                                                                                                                 converted
    Fort Gardens Toilet Accessible toilet                                                3                                   12,000
         The Hive office Staff Accessible toilet                                         3                                    3,500




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Page 253
    Northfleet Cemetery Accessible toilet                                                3                                   23,000              There are no public toiets suitable for conversion, consider change of use to
                                                                                                                                                 office
       The Arts centre Accessible toilet                                                 3                                   12,000
 Wombwell Park Cricket Access ramps                                                      4                                              6,000
                Pavillion
 Northcourt Rent Office Staff Accessible toilet                                          4                                              3,000
  Windmill Hill Gardens Accessible toilet                                                4                                             25,000
        Gordon Lodge DDA Survey                                                          4                                              6,500
      Woodlands Park Accessible toilet                                                   4                                              3,500


                                                           Brought forward from 2006
                                                                                        Total    49008    49,500   50,000    50,500    44,000

                                                                                       Budget    50000       0           0         0         0
                                                                                       Balance     992 -49,500     -50,000   -50,500   -44,000

                                                                           Key: RED not surveyed, BLUE figures: Budget estimate, BLACK figures: Quotation




                                                                                                                                                                                                                             11/1/0817:05
                           Page 254




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                                              Page 255                  Agenda Item 18




                                   Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                             Cabinet

Date:                                  11 February 2008

Reporting officer:                     Director (Service Improvement)

Subject:                               2007-08 : Quarter 3 Performance Update (July-September
                                       2007 to October-December 2007)
Purpose and summary of report:
     i)         To update the Cabinet with progress made against the Corporate Plan and the
                statutory best value performance indicators (BVPI’s).
     ii)        To provide Members with additional performance, communication and risk
                management information.
Recommendations:
1. Members are requested to note the positive work of the council within the third quarter of
   2007-08 and to note the organisation’s performance against the 2007-08 statutory BVPIs
   and GPIs.
2. Portfolio holders are requested to raise concerns regarding performance with Directors
   and Heads of Service in their Performance Management Framework meetings and to
   discuss any action to be taken.

1.           Overall Picture


                    Good News                                         Challenges

 •         Crime figures reduced overall by four     •     Announcement in December of
           per cent during the quarter. Reduced            provisional grant settlement for the next
           by 25 per cent compared with same               three years which shows a provisional
           quarter in 2006-07.                             grant increase in cash terms of 2.3 per
                                                           cent year and 1.3 per cent the following
                                                           two years.



                                   Overall Summary of Performance
 Improved:             25 indicators       38.5%     Top Quartile:        17 indicators      33.3%
 Stayed Same:          21 indicators       32.3%     Upper Median:        13 indicators      25.5%
 Declined:             19 indicators       29.2%     Lower Median:        11 indicators      21.6%
 N/A                   22 indicators         --      Bottom Quartile:     10 indicators      19.6%
 Missing                2 indicators         --      N/A:                 38 indicators        --



                                            Page 1 of 34
                               Page 256



                                          Radar
o   Community Safety inspection by the Audit Commission – onsite week commencing 3 March
    2008
o   White Paper – Strong and Prosperous Communities – new performance framework and suite
    of indicators due for release from 1 April 2008.




                                   Page 2 of 34
                                       Page 257


2.     Leader and Community Safety – Councillor Mike Snelling

 General Update
 Key Developments                                                             Date
 Community Profiling – crime data from the Police is being loaded onto        Ongoing
 the council’s Geographical Information system (GIS) to enable trends
 to be identified for types of crime in different areas. This was initially
 trialled and was successful and is now uploaded on a monthly basis.



 Risk Management (Corporate Risk Register)
 Note: Risk Register reviewed and approved in November 2007
 The Risk                      Progress
 Challenging financial         Details of the grant settlement appear within the budget
 position (risk no. 1)         report elsewhere on the agenda. That report also details the
                               savings that have been built into the budget for 2008/09
 Crime and the fear of         Crime figures reduced overall by four per cent during the
 crime (risk no. 8)            quarter. Reduced by 25 per cent compared with same
                               quarter in 2006-07.
                               Autumn GUSS survey figures showed a drop from 60 per
                               cent to 32 per cent of people who perceived that there was
                               a high level of anti social behaviour in the borough.
                               The Public Safety Unit continues to undertake intense
                               community engagement to reassure the public.
 Governance (risk no. 9)       The Audit Manager and Performance Manager attended a
                               CiPFA organised conference in November 2007 which
                               provided updates on the new Governance Framework for
                               local authorities. This will assist with the preparation of the
                               council’s Annual Governance Statement which has replaced
                               the Statement of Internal Control.
 Business Continuity           Management Team have carried out a desktop business
 Resilience (risk no. 10)      continuity exercise to test the council’s Business Continuity
                               Plan.



 Improvement Activity
 Key improvements                                                             Date
 First tranche of staff trained and authorised to service Fixed Penalty       December 2007
 Notices in respect of Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act and
 related legislation – so as to deal effectively with low level
 environmental crime.
 Use of new powers commenced in accordance with published GBC
 enforcement policy.




                                      Page 3 of 34
                               Page 258


Consultation and Engagement
Key initiatives                 Progress                                  Date
Council Tax Consultation        The sixth council tax consultation took   November 2007
                                place in November 2007, hosted by         – report in
                                external consultancy company, BMG.        January 2008
                                A total of 27 volunteers attended to
                                discuss general issues before
                                deciding how they would tackle the
                                financial reality of balancing charges,
                                using optional services, making cuts,
                                proposed improvements and other
                                factors which make up the council tax
                                bill.
Older Persons Forum             The forum was held with a specific        November 2007
                                agenda to discuss community safety
                                issues for the older person.
Young people survey – fear      All but one of the schools involved has   Ongoing – full
of crime                        received information and the              report by 31
                                completion of the survey has now          March 2008
                                begun. Completed survey forms from
                                one of the schools have been
                                received and are being analysed.



Communications
Key press issues                                                          Date
Urban Thames Gateway funding of £59,000 received which will be            October 2007
matched by a combination of the council, the Police, the CDRP and
Taxi drivers to fund security cameras in cabs in the borough. More
than 100 taxi and private hire drivers have already signed up to have
CCTV in their cars. Drivers will only have to pay about a fifth of the
cost of the CCTV as a contribution towards the cost of the in-cab
equipment.
Ongoing publicity in respect of fixed penalty notices for CNEA            Nov/Dec 2007
offences – ‘Bin there, done that, fine – just fine’




                                   Page 4 of 34
                                                    Page 259


Leader and Community Safety
Councillor Mike Snelling

PI No. &    Description                  Outturn    Target   Quarter 2   Quarter 3   Direction       TQ        BQ
resp.                                    2006-07   2007-08   2007-08     2007-08     of travel     2006-07   2006-07
                                                                                                     Q3        Q3
BVPI 126    Domestic burglaries per       20.32     14.25         5.64     8.89      * See Notes
                                                                                                    4.35      9.90
HPHCW       year, per 1,000
            households in the local
            authority area.
BVPI 127a   Violent crime per year,       24.36     21.09     10.89       15.53      * See Notes    9.82      17.17
HPHCW       per 1,000 population in
            the local authority area.
BVPI 127b   Robberies per year, per       1.99       1.75         0.68     0.89      * See Notes    0.22      0.97
HPHCW       1,000 population in the
            local authority area.
BVPI 128    The number of vehicle         14.49     13.91         6.17     8.88      * See Notes
                                                                                                    5.25      10.42
HPHCW       crimes per year, per
            1,000 population in the
            local authority area.
BVPI 174    The number of racial          8.40      18.00         1.03   Data not    Data not        n/a       n/a
HPHCW       incidents reported to the                                    available   available
            Local Authority, and
            subsequently recorded,
            per 100,000 population.
BVPI 175    The percentage of racial     100.0%    100.0%    100.00%     Data not    Data not      100.00%   99.99%
(HPHCW)     incidents reported to the                                    available   available
            local authority that
            resulted in further
            action.
BVPI 218a   Percentage of new            87.05%    90.00%     93.67%      95.12%                   98.55%    82.00%
D (RR)      reports of abandoned
            vehicles investigated
            within 24 hours of
            notification.
BVPI 218b   Percentage of                97.76%    98.00%     91.81%      94.54%                   97.87%    75.50%
D (RR)      abandoned vehicles
            removed within 24 hours
            from the point at which
            the authority is legally
            entitled to remove the
            vehicle.
BVPI 225    Overall provision and        36.4%      54.6%     36.4%       36.4%                      n/a       n/a
HPHCW       effectiveness of the local
and HHS     authority services
            designed to help victims
            of domestic violence
            and prevent further
            domestic violence.

BVPI 8      Percentage of invoices       96.35%    97.50%     97.79%      97.47%                   96.98%    91.00%
HFS         for commercial goods &
            services paid by the
            authority within 30 days
            of receipt or within the
            agreed payment terms.

                                                   Page 5 of 34
                                                 Page 260


PI No. &        Description               Outturn       Target    Quarter 2   Quarter 3     Direction     TQ        BQ
resp.                                     2006-07      2007-08    2007-08     2007-08       of travel   2006-07   2006-07
                                                                                                          Q3        Q3
BVPI 226a       Total amount spent by     £138,790     £139,840       n/a          n/a         n/a        n/a       n/a
HFS             the local authority on                            Collected   Collected     Collected
                advice and guidance                               Annually    Annually      Annually
                services provided by
                external organisations.
BVPI 226b       Percentage of monies       61.16%      62.52%         n/a          n/a         n/a        n/a       n/a
HFS             spent on advice and                               Collected   Collected     Collected
                guidance services                                 Annually    Annually      Annually
                provision which was
                given to organisations
                holding the CLS Quality
                mark at 'General help'
                level and above.
BVPI 226c       Total amount of advice    £4,589,410   £3,998,1       n/a          n/a         n/a        n/a       n/a
                and guidance in the                       20
HFS                                                               Collected   Collected     Collected
                areas of housing,                                 Annually    Annually      Annually
                welfare benefits and
                consumer matters which
                is provided directly by
                the authority to the
                public.


Notes:
   •     The direction of travel indicator for the crime statistics (BVPIs 126, 127a, 127b and 128) and the racial
         incidents statistics (BVPI 174) are based on an average for the number of incidents:
            o     BVPI 126 – the average number of burglaries during the first two quarters of 2007-08 was 2.82
                  and the average number of incidents during the first three quarters of 2007-08 was 2.96.
            o     BVPI 127a – the average number of violent offences during the first two quarters of 2007-08
                  was 5.45 and the average number of incidents during the first three quarters of 2007-08 was
                  5.18.
            o     BVPI 127b – the average number of robberies during the first two quarters of 2007-08 was 0.34
                  and the average number of incidents during the first three quarters of 2007-08 was 0.30.
            o     BVPI 128 – the average number of vehicle crime incidents during the first two quarters of 2007-
                  08 was 3.09 and the average number of vehicle crime incidents during the first three quarters of
                  2007-08 was 2.96.
   •     BVPI 174 does not have quartile data as, in publishing the 2006-07 national comparison data, the
         department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) decided that it was not appropriate to
         provide quartile data for this indicator.


Summary of performance:
 Improved:            5 indicators                      Top Quartile:         1 indicator
 Stayed Same:         1 indicator                       Upper Median:         4 indicators
 Declined:            2 indicators                      Lower Median:         2 indicators
 N/A                  3 indicators                      Bottom Quartile:      --
 Missing              2 indicators                      N/A:                  6 indicators




                                                       Page 6 of 34
                                                 Page 261


Key to Abbreviations:
   •   HPHCW – Head of Public Health and Community Well-being – Patricia Jefford
   •   D (RR) – Director (Regeneration and Regulation) – Kevin Burbidge
   •   HHS – Head of Housing Services – Andy Chequers
   •   HFS – Head of Financial Services – Bill Williams




                                                Page 7 of 34
                                  Page 262


3.     Communities, Health, Leisure and Organisational Services – Councillor David Turner

 General Update
 Key Developments                                                             Date
 In October the council sponsored the launch of a learning resource           October 2007
 developed through an oral history initiative called ‘Before we came to
 Gravesham’ The initiative involved students from six schools – and
 their patents – and was designed to foster greater understanding on
 the different cultures and nationalities that are represented in the
 borough.
 The council sponsored the launch of a learning resource developed            October 2007
 through an oral history initiative called ‘Before we came to
 Gravesham’ The initiative involved students from six schools – and
 their patents – and was designed to foster greater understanding on
 the different cultures and nationalities that are represented in the
 borough.
 The council hosted a Black History Month event in October, in                October 2007
 partnership with Kent Police and the Racial Equality Council. The
 focus of the event was poetry competition based on the theme of
 ‘Black has many different colours – what does it mean to you?’ in
 addition to prize-giving there was also recitation of some of the
 winning entries. The event had a national and international dimension
 with contributions from Andrea Reynolds (Race & Diversity Portfolio,
 Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary) and Ron Hampton, (Chair
 of the National Black Police Association, USA).
 Breaking The Chains event took place in October. It marked the 200th         October 2007
 anniversary of the ending of the slaver trade in British territories. This
 was a partnership event with Kent County Council and the Racial
 Equality Council. A roster of high profile speakers gave presentations
 to an audience that included local schools, local organisations, staff
 and Members of the Council.
 External funding (Choosing Health) obtained for three strands of work        Ongoing
 though the GR@ND: Drugs and Alcohol, Childhood Obesity, Ethnic &
 Minorities Health Work.
 Leisure Options Appraisal commissioned to ascertain future delivery          Ongoing
 of Leisure Centres services.



 Risk Management (Corporate Risk Register)
 Note: Risk Register reviewed and approved in November 2007
 The Risk                           Progress
 Capacity (risk no. 2)              The Managers of Tomorrow programme has been
                                    successful in providing an additional corporate resource
 Succession Planning (risk no.      and those on the programme are currently working on
 7)                                 two corporate projects; management of the Woodville
                                    Halls and Civic Suite and the development of core
                                    competencies for Managers.



                                             Page 8 of 34
                                     Page 263


Improvement Activity
Key improvements                                                          Date
Corporate working group set up to take forward the outcomes of the        Ongoing
staff stress audit. Training set up via ACAS for staff and all managers
regarding workplace bullying



Consultation and Engagement
Key initiatives                 Progress                                  Date
Disability Equality             Took place in October, to improve the     October 2007
Conference                      profile of the disability agenda in
                                Gravesham. The conference drew
                                practitioners from across Kent and
                                attracted local agencies to form
                                stronger networks, and to develop
                                stronger links with community
                                cohesion partners. The Disability
                                Equality Group was fully involved in
                                the development of the event and tool
                                part on the day, acting in a variety of
                                roles. A post-conference pack was
                                produced and the key issues from the
                                day are being followed-up by the
                                Community Cohesion Steering Group.




                                          Page 9 of 34
                                                Page 264


Communities, Health, Leisure and Organisational Improvement
Councillor David Turner

PI No. &    Description                 Outturn       Target   Quarter 2   Quarter 3   Direction       TQ        BQ
resp.                                   2006-07      2007-08   2007-08     2007-08     of travel     2006-07   2006-07
                                                                                                       Q3        Q3
BVPI 170a   The number of visits          625         670        515         671       * See Notes    800       135
HPHCW       to/usage’s of local
            authority funded or part-
            funded museums in the
            year per 1,000
            population.
BVPI 170b   The number of those           625         670        515         671       * See Notes    465        78
HPHCW       visits to local authority
            funded, or part-funded
            museums that were in
            person, per 1,000
            population.
BVPI 170c   The number of pupils          404         500        137         137       * See Notes    6,649     623
HPHCW       visiting museums and
            galleries in organised
            school groups.

BVPI 2a     The level of the Equality    Level 3     Level 5        n/a       n/a         n/a          n/a       n/a
D (OI)      Standard for local                                 Collected   Collected   Collected
            government to which the                            Annually    Annually    Annually
            Authority conforms in
            respect of gender, race
            and disability.
BVPI 2b     The quality of an            100%         100%          n/a       n/a         n/a        100.0%    90.0%
D (OI)      Authority’s Race                                   Collected   Collected   Collected
            Equality Scheme (RES)                              Annually    Annually    Annually
            and the improvements
            resulting from its
            application.
BVPI 11a    Percentage of top-paid      25.81%       29.00%     26.67%      30.00%                   43.56%    24.11%
D (OI)      5% of local authority
            staff who are women.
BVPI 11b    The percentage of the        9.68%       9.68%      13.33%      13.33%                   4.53%     0.00%
D (OI)      top 5% of local authority
            staff who are from an
            ethnic minority.
BVPI 11c    Percentage of the top        9.68%       6.45%      10.00%      10.00%                   5.49%     0.00%
D (OI)      paid 5% of staff who
            have a disability
            (excluding those in
            maintained schools).
BVPI 12     The number of working       7.61 days     7.00     4.33 days   6.64 days   * See Notes    6.07      8.05
D (OI)      days/shifts lost to the                   days                                            days      days
            local authority due to
            sickness absence.
BVPI 14     The percentage of            0.32%       0.32%      0.33%       0.33%                    0.18%     0.97%
D (OI))     employees retiring early
            (excluding ill health
            retirements) as a
            percentage of the total
            work force.
                                                    Page 10 of 34
                                                         Page 265


PI No. &        Description                  Outturn     Target   Quarter 2   Quarter 3   Direction     TQ        BQ
resp.                                        2006-07    2007-08   2007-08     2007-08     of travel   2006-07   2006-07
                                                                                                        Q3        Q3
BVPI 15         The percentage of local      0.48%      0.33%      0.00%       0.17%                  0.00%     0.32%
D (OI)          authority employees
                retiring on grounds of ill
                health as a percentage
                of the total workforce.
BVPI 16a        The percentage of local      4.00%      5.60%      4.16%       3.98%                  4.43%     1.90%
D (OI)          authority employees with
                a disability.
BVPI 17a        The percentage of local       8.8%       9.0%       7.3%        7.3%                   5.2%      1.0%
D (OI)          authority employees
                from ethnic minority
                communities.

BVPI 156        The percentage of            86.67%     93.33%     86.67%      86.67%                   n/a       n/a
D (OI)          authority building open
                to the public in which all
                public areas are suitable
                for and accessible to
                disabled people.


Notes:
   •     The direction of travel indicators for BVPIs 170a, 170b and 170c are based on an average:
            o     BVPI 170a – the average number of visits to museums during the first two quarters of 2007-08
                  was 257.5 visits and the average number of visits during the first three quarters of 2007-08 was
                  223.7 visits.
            o     BVPI 170b – the average number of visits to museums in person during the first two quarters of
                  2007-08 was 257.5 and the average number of visits during the first three quarters of 2007-08
                  was 223.7 visits.
            o     BVPI 170c – the average number of visits by school groups during the first two quarters of
                  2007-08 was 68.5 and the average number of visits during the first three quarters of 2007-08
                  was 45.7 visits.
   •     The direction of travel performance indicator for BVPI 12 is based on how the performance is in
         comparison to the same period of the previous year i.e. the performance in December 2007 is worse
         than the performance in December 2006.
   •     BVPIs 2a and 156 do not have quartile data as, in publishing the 2006-07 national comparison data,
         the department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) decided that it was not appropriate to
         provide quartile data for these indicators.

Summary of performance:
 Improved:             1 indicator                         Top Quartile:        4 indicators
 Stayed Same:          5 indicators                        Upper Median:        5 indicators
 Declined:             6 indicators                        Lower Median:        1 indicator
 N/A                   2 indicators                        Bottom Quartile:     1 indicator
                                                           N/A:                 3 indicators




                                                       Page 11 of 34
                                           Page 266


Key to Abbreviations:
   •   HPHCW – Head of Public Health and Community Well-being – Patricia Jefford
   •   D (OI) – Director (Organisational Improvement) – Melanie Norris




                                               Page 12 of 34
                                      Page 267


4.     Commercial Services – Councillor Bryan Sweetland

 General Update
 Key Developments                                                          Date
 The council was a partner in the ‘Moving Forward Together’ business       October 2007
 conference, held in October. There were presentations on legal
 issues, public sector procurement, access to business support, the
 London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and the environment.
 Comprehensive review of town centre car parking carried out to            October 2007
 identify a sustainable car parking strategy that provides for the needs   and ongoing
 of residents and supports the commercial viability of the town.
 Following a recommendation from the car parking review, a cross
 party group of members has been set-up to consult and carry out a
 review of car parking charges. The group held its inaugural meeting
 early 2008 and recommended a new pricing structure - that balanced
 the needs of the residents, shoppers and businesses – and reported
 to Cabinet on 14 January 2008.
 Farmers’ Market on a monthly basis in the High Street significantly       October-
 increasing footfall in the town centre.                                   December 2007
 Extended Christmas promotion in the town centre with a new package        November-
 of Christmas lights, sponsorship from Edinburgh House Estates Ltd         December 2007
 and associated events to attract shoppers into the town, including
 Christmas Lights switch-on, Christmas Market and a Celebration of
 Christmas Music. Father Christmas Post Room brought new footfall
 into the High Street and received 1300 visitors.



 Improvement Activity
 Key improvements                                                          Date
 The Occupational Health Service contract continues to deliver service     1 April 2007 –
 enhancements. One third more pre-employment checks and referrals          31 March 2010
 are being realised than under the previous arrangement and at no          –option to
 additional financial cost. An on-site occupational health advisor,        extend for
 effective management reporting and a simplified appointment system        further 24
 are amongst the service improvements.                                     months



 Risk Management (Corporate Risk Register)
 Note: Risk Register reviewed and approved in November 2007
 The Risk                     Progress
 Value for money              A Business Transformation Strategy has been developed
                              which sets out delivery plans designed to drive Value for
 (Partnership working,        Money across the organisation and will prioritise
 business transformation
                              benchmarking work (current benchmarking work is being
 and shared services)         carried out in respect of the Community Safety function).
 (Risk no. 3.)                This strategy is being presented to Cabinet on 11 February
                              2008.



                                           Page 13 of 34
                               Page 268


Consultation and Engagement
Key initiatives        Progress                                          Date
Careers                Kent Thameside Careers Convention was             October 2007
Convention             again hosted at the Woodville Halls. In total
                       there were 27 exhibitors, 900 students and 12
                       schools.
Winter Talks           Programme of fully booked monthly Winter          October-
                       Talks on Saturday mornings and interactive        December 2007
                       talks on Wednesday mornings at Towncentric.



Communications
Key issues                                                               Date
High Street Farmers’ Market held in the town centre with two further     October 2007
markets planned for November and December to encourage members
of the public to come to the town centre.
Fastrack bus service won two awards for innovation and infrastructure    November 2007
and was runner-up in the street transit award and commended for
winning new customers
Opening of Father Christmas’ Post room in the High street which was      December 2007
a massive success with more than 250 children visiting the Post Room
on the first day.
The Gravesham Christmas lights and full events calendar for the          December 2007
festive season sparked a huge interest in town centre shopping;
footfall in New Road was 35 per cent up on a normal Saturday.



Value for Money
Key issues                                                               Date
The new South Thames Building Control Partnership will generate a        October 2007
‘non-cashable’ saving through the reduction on overheads at
Gravesham. The partnership approach also provides additional
resilience within this service which improves the effectiveness of the
service for customers.




                                          Page 14 of 34
                                       Page 269


5.     Housing and Operational Services – Councillor Tony Pritchard

 General Update
 Key Developments                                                            Date
 Major development of Lawrance Square comprising 20 affordable               October 2007
 housing units on council owned land (i.e. six, three bed flats, 12 two
 bed flats and two bungalows for disabled tenants) handed over in
 July/August 2007. Scheme now fully occupied with official opening
 taking place on 5 October 2007.
 The draft Housing Strategy Review 2007 was signed off by the                October 2007
 Corporate Housing Group on 5 October 2007 for wider consultation            and ongoing
 prior to consideration by Cabinet.
 A funding bid was submitted to South East England Regional Housing          October 2007
 Board for renewal of private sector properties with partners from West      and ongoing
 Kent. The submission date was 14 October 2007 with expected
 outcome in February 2008.
 The draft Empty Property Strategy has been circulated for comment           November 2007
 prior to consideration by Corporate Housing Group and Cabinet.              and ongoing
 Private Sector Housing Stock Condition Survey completed - report            December 2007
 and recommendations submitted by consultant. Paper prepared for
 January 2008 Cabinet to receive the report and agree
 recommendations. This can now be used to inform review of Private
 Sector Renewal Strategy.
 Enforcement of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act                 December 2007
 began.
 The council agreed a glass recycling trial which involves the kerbside      December 2007
 collection of glass.



 Improvement Activity
 Key improvements                                                            Date
 Joint Working Focus Group of Kent boroughs with retained housing            October 2007
 stock to explore the options and opportunities for joint working.
 GBC participated in a joint regional housing bid by 8 West Kent             October 2007
 authorities The bid contains a number of innovative initiatives totalling
 approximately £11.9 million, of which Gravesham has bid for
 £848,500. If successful this will benefit at least 200 households,
 enabling them to meet the decent homes standard and Gravesham
 Borough Council meet its PSA 7 targets for the year 2010.
 Outcome of bid awaited – due February 2008.
 GBC has signed up to a Kentwide enforcement protocol between local          October 2007
 authorities (Private Sector Housing Teams) and the fire authority. This
 relates to fire safety within Houses in Multiple Occupation and is
 based on a national model.
 A review of Gravesham’s and Medway Council’s respective s106                December 2007
 agreements in order to learn from the way in which both council’s are
 delivering these agreements.

                                           Page 15 of 34
                                Page 270


Improvement Activity
Key improvements                                                           Date
The performance of the borough in relation to the percentage of            December 2007
household waste recycled has increased to 25 per cent.
Performance in relation to clearing land and highways of graffiti is at    December 2007
its lowest ever level with only 4 per cent of land and highways
surveyed showing unacceptable levels of graffiti.
In relation to the performance indicators which contribute to the          Ongoing
council’s direction of travel assessment (BVPIs 66a and 212), the
council is on schedule for top quartile performance by year-end.
The council met the CLG’s target of halving temporary                      Ongoing
accommodation use ahead of schedule. The target date was 2010
and this has been achieved ahead of schedule. This will continue to
be monitored to sustain the number in temporary accommodation at
24 or less.



Consultation and Engagement
Key initiatives             Progress                                       Date
Revised Tenants             Ongoing consultation with the Service          Ongoing
Handbook                    Improvement Action Groups (SIAGs) and
                            the Reading Group. Draft chapters of the
                            handbook have been completed and the
                            handbook will be published in February
                            2008.
Private Landlords’          Private Landlords’ Forum held on 10            October 2007
Forum                       October 2007 at Riverside in conjunction
                            with Dartford BC. The forum was opened
                            by Cllr Pritchard with speakers from the
                            National Landlords Association and
                            Avenue Lettings. . Positive feedback
                            received. In future regular newsletters will
                            be produced in addition to the forum
                            meetings in order to engage more widely.
Gypsy and Traveller         Kent-wide approach adopted for South           October 2007
Community                   East England Regional Assembly
                            (SEERA) review of Gypsy and Traveller
                            accommodation needs strategy.
                            Stakeholder engagement events held on
                            10 August and 4 October 2007.
                            Presentation of Gypsy and Traveller            December 2007
                            Accommodation Assessment results at
                            Civic Centre on 12 December 2007.
                            Gypsy and Traveller communities involved
                            in the fieldwork were invited to the event.
Glass recycling             Residents were consulted on their views        December 2007
scheme                      and on whether they would participate in a
                            new recycling scheme.

                                          Page 16 of 34
                                        Page 271


Consultation and Engagement
Key initiatives               Progress                                         Date
Clean Neighbourhoods          Residents were consulted, via an                 December 2007
and Environment Act           education programme, on the Clean
                              Neighbourhoods and Environment Act.
Registered Social             Gravesham, along with other local                December 2007
Landlords                     authorities participated in a survey from
                              the Housing Corporation on the
                              performance of Registered Social
                              Landlord (RSL) partners.



Communications
Key issues                                                                     Date
Event to promote energy efficiency and conservation within the home            October 2007
carried out in Civic Centre foyer. Advice and leaflets available. Free
energy efficient light bulbs and other promotional items available on
completion of a HECA questionnaire.
The council’s recycling team were presented with a prestigious                 November 2007
national Golden Apple Award for its innovative recycling scheme for
blocks of flats which was trialled at Park Place.
The residents of Christianfields produced a DVD entitled “Bricks and           November 2007
Roses” recording their lives during the £60m regeneration scheme.
This was featured in South East Housing News as well as receiving
press coverage on the local television.
Launch of an awareness campaign by the council to inform members               December 2007
of the public that from January 2008 the council will be issuing fixed
penalty notices for dropping litter, graffiti and fly-tipping in the borough
as part of the implementation of the Clean Neighbourhoods and
Environment Act.
Public conveniences at Parrock Street received the ‘Loo of the Year’           December 2007
Award for the best lavatories in the country without formal toilet
attendants. The previous week the public conveniences won an
award at the Kent Design Awards for the best small project in the
public building category.



Kent LAA- District Leads
Key initiatives                  Resp.           Progress                      Date
Outcome 14 - Increase            Kent Waste      A perception survey is        Ongoing
perception of Kent as a          Forum           due to be undertaken in
clean county                                     March 2008.
Outcome 17 - To improve          Kent            Regular attendance at         Ongoing
Kent residents' access to        Housing         Kent Housing Group,
homes of excellent quality,      Group           Kent Housing Strategy
in the right place, at the                       and Enabling Group and
right time and at the right                      North Kent Housing

                                            Page 17 of 34
                                Page 272


Kent LAA- District Leads
Key initiatives                 Resp.          Progress                      Date
cost                                           Partnership.                  November 2007
                                               Development of a
                                               Sustainable
                                               Communities Protocol by
                                               the Kent Housing Group
                                               (comprising LAs and
                                               RSLs), GOSE and the
                                               Housing Corporation.
                                               Proposals for new
                                               affordable housing
                                               developments will be
                                               measured against a
                                               sustainability checklist to
                                               ensure developments
                                               provide a mix of
                                               household type and
                                               tenure and meet the
                                               housing needs of local
                                               people.



Value for Money
Key issues                                                                   Date
Research into the possibility of sharing a Housing Management                Ongoing
System with either Dartford Borough Council or Medway council is
underway.
Investigating implementing workflow via Anite which will result in a         Ongoing
reduction in paperwork and storage costs. This is likely to tie into the
procurement of a new Housing Management System.




                                           Page 18 of 34
                                                       Page 273


Housing and Operational Services
Councillor Tony Pritchard

PI No. &    Description                  Outturn       Target    Quarter 2   Quarter 3   Direction       TQ          BQ
resp.                                    2006-07      2007-08    2006-07     2006-07     of travel     2006-07     2006-07
                                                                                                         Q3          Q3
BVPI 63     The average SAP rating          71          72           n/a        n/a         n/a           72          65
D (OH)      of local authority-owned                             Collected   Collected   Collected
            dwellings.                                           Annually    Annually    Annually
BVPI 64     Number of non-local            68           39         23          37        * See Notes    71.25         6
            authority-owned vacant       dwellings    dwelling   dwellings   dwellings                 dwellings   dwellings
HHS
            dwellings returned to                        s
            occupation or
            demolished during the
            financial year as a direct
            result of action by the
            local authority.
BVPI 66a    Rent collected by the        98.54%       98.80%      98.00%      98.22%                   98.57%      97.07%
HHS         local authority as a
            proportion of rents owed
            on Housing Revenue
            Account (HRA)
            dwellings.
BVPI 66b    The number of local           7.52%       7.00%       7.67%       7.05%                     3.89%       7.60%
HHS         authority tenants with
            more that seven weeks
            of (gross) rent arrears as
            a percentage of the total
            number of council
            tenants.
BVPI 66c    Percentage of local          23.75%       20.00%      13.46%      19.32%     * See Notes   12.41%      24.74%
HHS         authority tenants in
            arrears who have had
            Notices Seeking
            Possession served.
BVPI 66d    Percentage of local           0.42%       0.42%       0.23%       0.38%      * See Notes    0.15%       0.37%
HHS         authority tenants evicted
            as a result of rent
            arrears.
BVPI 183b   The average length of        0 weeks     0 weeks     0 weeks     0 weeks                   0 weeks       14
HHS         stay hostel                                                                                             weeks
            accommodation of
            households that are
            unintentionally homeless
            and in priority need.
BVPI 184a   The proportion of local        8%          10%           n/a        n/a         n/a          13%         42%
D (OH)      authority dwellings                                  Collected   Collected   Collected
            which were non-decent                                Annually    Annually    Annually
            at the start of the
            financial year.
BVPI 184b   The percentage change         -18.1%      -13.0%         n/a        n/a         n/a         31.5%       5.2%
D (OH)      in the proportion of non-                            Collected   Collected   Collected
            decent dwellings                                     Annually    Annually    Annually
            between the start and
            the end of the financial
            year.

                                                     Page 19 of 34
                                              Page 274


PI No. &   Description                 Outturn       Target    Quarter 2    Quarter 3    Direction       TQ          BQ
resp.                                  2006-07      2007-08    2006-07      2006-07      of travel     2006-07     2006-07
                                                                                                         Q3          Q3
BVPI 202   The number of people        3 people      0-10          n/a         n/a          n/a        0 people    4 people
HHS        sleeping rough on a                      people     Collected    Collected    Collected
           single night within the                             Annually     Annually     Annually
           area of the authority.
BVPI 212   Average time taken to       39 days      28 days    24 days      24 days                    26 days     46 days
HHS        re-let local authority
           housing.
BVPI 213   Number of households            1           5           3            11                         5           2
                                       household   household   households   households                 household   household
HHS        who considered
           themselves as
           homeless, who
           approached the local
           housing authority's
           housing advice
           service(s), and for whom
           housing advice
           casework intervention
           resolved their situation.

BVPI 82a   Percentage of                24.55$      30.00%      24.61%       25.07%                    22.88%      15.79%
(i)        household waste
D (OH)     arisings which have
           been sent by the
           authority for recycling.
BVPI 82a   Total tonnage of            8523.83      10,000     4,277.85     6,491.92     * See Notes   12,646.69   4,213.80
                                                                                                        tonnes      tonnes
(ii)       household waste              tonnes      tonnes      tonnes       tonnes
D (OH)     arisings which have
           been sent by the
           authority for recycling.
BVPI 82b   The percentage of            0.00%       0.00%       0.00%        0.00%                     15.53%       5.49%
(i)        household waste sent by
D (OH)     the authority for
           composting or treatment
           by anaerobic digestion.
BVPI 82b   The tonnage of              0 tonnes    0 tonnes    0 tonnes     0 tonnes                   8.096.89    1,962.09
                                                                                                        tonnes      tonnes
(ii)       household waste sent by
D (OH)     the authority for
           composting or treatment
           by anaerobic digestion.
BVPI 84a   Number of kilograms of       364.76      360.16      184.97       267.72      * See Notes   296.25      360.07
D (OH)     household waste               kgs         kgs         kgs          kgs                       kgs         kgs
           collected per head of the
           population.
BVPI 84b   Percentage change from       -1.28%      -1.00%      10.56%       -5.38%                    -1.78%       2.51%
D (OH)     the previous financial
           year in the number of
           kilograms of household
           waste collected per
           head of the population.
BVPI 86    Cost of waste collection     £23.43      £25,22         n/a         n/a          n/a        £42.04      £55.81
D (OH)     per household.                                      Collected    Collected    Collected
                                                               Annually     Annually     Annually



                                                   Page 20 of 34
                                                        Page 275


PI No. &    Description                     Outturn     Target   Quarter 2   Quarter 3   Direction     TQ        BQ
resp.                                       2006-07    2007-08   2006-07     2006-07     of travel   2006-07   2006-07
                                                                                                       Q3        Q3
BVPI 91a    Percentage of                   100.0%     100.0%     100.0%      100.0%                 100.0%    95.4%
D (OH)      households resident in
            the authority's area
            served by a kerbside
            collection of recyclables
            (one recyclable).
BVPI 91b    Percentage of                   100.0%     100.0%     100.0%      100.0%                 100.0%    93.5%
D (OH)      households resident in
            the borough served by a
            kerbside collection of at
            least two recyclables.

BVPI 199a   The proportion of               10.0%       8.0%      10.0%       10.0%                   7.0%     17.0%
D (OH)      relevant land and
            highways (expressed as
            a percentage) that is
            assessed as having
            combined deposits of
            litter and detritus that fall
            below an acceptable
            level.
BVPI 199b   The proportion of                5.4%       4.0%       4.0%        4.0%                   1.0%      5.0%
D (OH)      relevant land and
            highways (expressed as
            a percentage) from
            which unacceptable
            levels of graffiti are
            visible.
BVPI 199c   The proportion of                0.0%       0.0%       0.0%        0.0%                   0.0%      1.0%
D (OH)      relevant land and
            highways (expressed as
            a percentage) from
            which unacceptable
            levels of fly-posting are
            visible.
BVPI 199d   The year on year                  2          1            n/a       n/a         n/a        n/a       n/a
D (OH)      reduction in total number                            Collected   Collected   Collected
            of incidents and                                     Annually    Annually    Annually
            increase in the total
            number of enforcement
            actions taken to deal
            with fly-tipping

GPI 021     The percentage of public        33.33%     50.00%     58.33%      58.33%                   n/a       n/a
D (OH)      convenience sites
            provided by the authority
            normally throughout the
            year which provide
            baby-changing facilities
            accessible to both sexes
GPI 022     The percentage of public        58.33%     66.67%     58.33%      58.33%                   n/a       n/a
D (OH)      convenience sites
            provided by the authority
            throughout the year
            which provide access for
            people with disabilities
                                                      Page 21 of 34
                                                     Page 276


PI No. &        Description                 Outturn       Target    Quarter 2   Quarter 3   Direction       TQ        BQ
resp.                                       2006-07      2007-08    2006-07     2006-07     of travel     2006-07   2006-07
                                                                                                            Q3        Q3

GPI 083         Percentage of               90.37%       95.00%      95.31%      95.75%                     n/a       n/a
D (OH)          responsive (but not
                emergency) repairs
                during the financial year
                being reported on for
                which the authority both
                made and kept an
                appointment
                (cumulative).
GPI 084         Urgent repairs              99.72%       99.70%      99.92%      99.45%                     n/a       n/a
D (OH)          completed within
                government time limits
GPI 085         Average time taken to        13.72        13.50      10.04       10.43                      n/a       n/a
D (OH)          complete non-urgent          days         days       days        days
                responsive repairs
GPI 086a        The proportion of             61%         70%           n/a        n/a         n/a          n/a       n/a
D (OH)          planned repairs and                                 Collected   Collected   Collected
                maintenance                                         Annually    Annually    Annually
                expenditure on HRA
                dwellings compared to
                responsive maintenance
                expenditure on HRA
                dwellings.
GPI 086b        Proportion of                 7%           6%           n/a        n/a         n/a          n/a       n/a
D (OH)          expenditure on                                      Collected   Collected   Collected
                emergency and urgent                                Annually    Annually    Annually
                repairs to HRA dwellings
                compared to non-urgent
                repairs expenditure to
                HRA dwellings.
GPI 087         Average weekly cost of       £15.86      £16.12         n/a        n/a         n/a          n/a       n/a
HHS             management.                                         Collected   Collected   Collected
                                                                    Annually    Annually    Annually
GPI 088         The number of                 56           25         62          70        * See Notes     n/a       n/a
                properties containing       dwellings   dwellings   dwellings   dwellings
HRS
                Category 1 Hazards that
                are rectified through the
                action of the council.


Notes:
   •     The direction of travel indicators for BVPI 64, 66c, 66d and GPIs 041 and 083b are based on an
         average:
            o     BVPI 64 – the number of dwellings returned to occupation during the first two quarters of 2007-
                  08 was 11.5 dwellings and the average number of dwellings returned to occupation over the
                  first three quarters of 2007-08 was 12.3 dwellings.
            o     BVPI 66c – the percentage of tenants served with an NSP during the first two quarters of 2007-
                  08 was 6.73% and the average percentage of tenants served with an NSP over the first three
                  quarters of 2007-08 was 6.44%.
            o     BVPI 66d – the percentage of tenants evicted during the first two quarters of 2007-08 was
                  0.12% and the average percentage of tenants evicted over the first three quarters of 2007-08
                  was 0.13%.
                                                        Page 22 of 34
                                                  Page 277


          o   BVPI 82a(i) – the tonnage of household waste recycled during the first two quarters of 2007-08
              was 2138.93 tonnes and the average tonnage of household waste recycled over the first three
              quarters of 2007-08 was 2163.97 tonnes.
          o   BVPI 84a (i) – the number of kilograms of waste collected during the first two quarters of 2007-
              08 was 92.49 kgs and the average number of kilograms of waste collected over the first three
              quarters of 2007-08 was 89.24 kgs.
          o   GPI 088 – the number of dwellings with Category 1 hazards resolved during the first three
              quarters of 2007-08 was 31 dwellings and the average number of dwellings with Category 1
              hazards resolved over the first two quarters of 2007-08 was 23 dwellings.
   •   BVPI 199d does not have quartile data as, in publishing the 2006-07 national comparison data, the
       department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) decided that it was not appropriate to
       provide quartile data for this indicator.
   •   The GPIs are local performance indicators hence there is currently no national comparison information.



Summary of performance:
Improved:         10 indicators                      Top Quartile:        9 indicators
Stayed Same:      10 indicators                      Upper Median:        3 indicators
Declined:         4 indicators                       Lower Median:        4 indicators
N/A               9 indicators                       Bottom Quartile:     3 indicators
                                                     N/A:                 14 indicators


Key to Abbreviations:
   •   D (OH) - Director (Operations and Housing) – Cheryl Russell
   •   HHS – Head of Housing Services – Andy Chequers




                                                Page 23 of 34
                                 Page 278


6.     Planning and Regulatory Services – Councillor Robin Theobald

General Update
Key Developments                                                       Date
The South Thames Gateway (STG) Building Control Partnership            October 2007
commenced operation as a partnership arrangement between
Medway Council, Swale Borough Council and ourselves.
Northfleet Urban Country Park – a study is currently underway to     October 2007
report by March 2008 on options. The study is looking at wider
connections with Ebbsfleet master-planning work for Land Securities,
South East England Development Agency (SEEDA)/La Farge work
on cement works and Northfleet/Ebbsfleet link study for Kent
Thameside Delivery Board.
A £140k underspend from the department for Communities and             October 2007 and
Local Goevrnment (CLG) enabled funding to be secured for               ongoing
preparation of a restoration scheme for the Dell and for a detailed
scheme for the northern part of the Riverside Leisure Area, to be
completed by March 2008. Further discussions are taking place
around the inclusion of the Riverside Leisure Area Gravesend
Riverside for major CLG funding with Greening the Gateway Kent
and Medway and with Green Grid. A scoping study is being
completed in the current financial year on which to base the bid for
implementation funding in CLG spending round 2008-11.
Eurostar Services commenced from Ebbsfleet International Station       November 2007
on 19 November 2007
A total of up to £5m CIF money has been allocated to enhance           December 2007
Northfleet Station. The contract for works is being let to the
Architecture Centre/Burns + Nice.
CLG funding approval for Cobham and Ashenbank Management               Ongoing
Scheme (CAMS) Phase 2 confirmed. Together with additional
funding, this will complete the barn restoration as warden
accommodation and the visitor centre and complete the mausoleum,
at which point Gravesham will hand over the mausoleum, South
Lodge and the barn and woodland to National Trust.
The restaurant on Gravesend Town Pier, RIVA, opened. Funding           Ongoing
has also been secured for pontoon design and submission for
planning permission.



Risk Management (Corporate Risk Register)
Note: Risk Register reviewed and approved in November 2007
The Risk              Progress                                            Date
Regeneration (risk    A number of regeneration schemes are now on         Ongoing
no. 4)                site, unlike some other areas of the Gateway, and
                      Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) services are
                      due to come on stream towards the end of the
                      year. Dialogue continues with agencies and
                      developers to ensure existing communities benefit
                      from development.
                                           Page 24 of 34
                                      Page 279


Improvement Activity
Key improvements                                                              Date
Joint warranting arrangement in place for health and safety purposes –        October 2007
between Health and Safety Executive, Gravesham, Dartford, Swale and
Medway.
‘Moving Goods Safely’ project utilising joint warranting was delivered as
a launch event, focusing on the carpet trade. This included inspection of
48 premises across four boroughs, seven of these in Gravesham. Five
formal enforcement notices were served in Gravesham as a result.
School wildlife area and free tree schemes open for applications. Free        Ongoing until
tree scheme closed at end of October 2007 with the trees being                October 2007
delivered in November 2007. School Wildlife Area grants are offered
through the financial year.



Consultation and Engagement
Key initiatives                        Progress                               Date
Transport tariff                       Consultation process on                October 2007
                                       proposed Kent Thameside
                                       Strategic Transport tariff in
                                       October 2007. Joint policy
                                       approach to be agreed with
                                       Dartford. Report on tariff
                                       outlining way forward submitted
                                       to Cabinet on 14th January
                                       2008.
Local Development Framework            Stakeholder involvement in LDF         November 2007
                                       process (ie results of Statement
                                       of Community involvement).
                                       Combined consultation
                                       undertaken on two documents –
                                       Core Strategy Key Issues and
                                       Options and Kent Thameside
                                       Strategic Transport Programme.
                                       Consultation period ended on
                                       20th November 2007.
                                       Responses to be reported to
                                       Cabinet.
Taxi tariff                            Consultation with trade                Consultation
                                       regarding review of taxi tariff,       completed
                                       including attendance at United         November 2007
                                       Taxi Group AGM in Oct 2007
                                       and subsequent mailshot to all
                                       licensed drivers and operators.
                                       Paper prepared for Cabinet
                                       2008 to endorse the process
                                       thus far and to proceed to public
                                       consultation before tariff is fixed.
Gravesend Conservation Area            Conservation Area Appraisal            November 2007
                                       stakeholder meeting held on 5          and ongoing
                                       September 2007. Draft
                                          Page 25 of 34
                                   Page 280


Consultation and Engagement
Key initiatives                           Progress                           Date
                                          proposals to POC on 7
                                          November 2007 followed by
                                          public consultation until 7 Jan
                                          2008 for first package of nine
                                          town centre areas. Stakeholder
                                          meeting for second package of
                                          remaining urban areas held on
                                          29 November 2007.
Review of statement of licensing          Draft statement put before         Sept-Dec 2007
policy under Licensing Act 3003           Licensing Committee in Sept
                                          2007.
                                          Broad consultation of statutory
                                          consultees, stakeholders and
                                          the general public carried out
                                          Oct/Nov 2007.
                                          Revised draft then put before
                                          Licensing Committee (Nov
                                          2007) and then adopted by
                                          Council (Dec 2007) in keeping
                                          with required statutory
                                          deadlines.
Statement of policy for Hackney           Consultation with the trade has    Ongoing – with
carriage and Private Hire                 commenced to assist in drafting    projected end
Licensing                                 a revised policy statement –       date of March
                                          prior to a broad consultation      2008
                                          exercise.



Communications
Key issues                                                                   Date
Chinese language Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) seminar                   October 2007
organised and delivered jointly with Dartford Borough Council. Positive
feedback received.
Health and Safety newsletter sent to all business ratepayers in the          October 2007
borough highlighting topical Health and SafetyS issues.
Local Business Partnership newsletter sent to all business ratepayers in     October 2007
borough – including articles on Licensing policy consultation, Health
and Safety at Christmas, Health and Safety joint warranting and
‘Moving Goods Safely’ project, Cantonese language Safer Food Better
Business course and other topical issues submitted by partner
agencies.
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire newsletter sent to all taxi                October 2007
businesses and drivers in the borough highlighting CCTV grant aid
initiative, taxi tariff consultation, and the opportunity to apply to work
from the rank at Ebbsfleet International Station
Christmas catering food safety promotional event held over a two-day         November 2007

                                              Page 26 of 34
                                       Page 281


Communications
Key issues                                                                 Date
period with stands in local supermarkets
Owner of a property in Grange Road was prosecuted for the second           November 2007
time for failure to maintain the upkeep of his property. The gentleman
had ignored a previous order and was prosecuted in May 2007. He
again ignored the order and was again prosecuted in November 2007
and ordered to pay a £2,500 fine with £800 costs.
Council wins fight to protect Green Belt – story of a gentleman who        December 2007
converted a disused outhouse without planning permission. His appeal
to the Planning Inspectorate was turned down and he must now remove
the roof to the building or face legal prosecution.



Value for Money
Key issues                                                                 Date
Three year contract agreed and put in place for servicing of the two air   December 2007
quality monitoring stations in the borough – saving money over annual
contracts, and at a slightly cheaper price than the previous three year
contract despite the fact that the equipment is nearing the end of its
useful life.




                                           Page 27 of 34
                                                  Page 282


Planning and Regulatory Services
Councillor Robin Theobald

PI No. &    Description                   Outturn       Target   Quarter 2   Quarter 3   Direction     TQ        BQ
resp.                                     2006-07      2007-08   2006-07     2006-07     of travel   2006-07   2006-07
                                                                                                       Q3        Q3
BVPI 16b    The percentage of the         13.35%       13.35%         n/a       n/a         n/a        n/a       n/a
D (RR)      economically active                                  Collected   Collected   Collected
            population in the local                              Annually    Annually    Annually
            authority area who have
            a disability.
BVPI 17b    The percentage of the          10.9%       10.9%          n/a       n/a         n/a        n/a       n/a
D (RR)      economically active                                  Collected   Collected   Collected
            (persons aged 18-65)                                 Annually    Annually    Annually
            population from ethnic
            minority communities in
            the local authority area.

BVPI 166    Score against a               100.0%       100.0%     100.0%      100.0%                 100.0%    90.0%
HRS         checklist of best practice
            for Environmental Health
BVPI 216a   Number of 'sites of           346 sites     413           n/a       n/a         n/a        n/a       n/a
HRS         potential concern' [within                  sites    Collected   Collected   Collected
            the local authority area],                           Annually    Annually    Annually
            with respect to land
            contamination.
BVPI 216b   Number of sites for             2%           2%           n/a       n/a         n/a       10%        2%
HRS         which sufficient detailed                            Collected   Collected   Collected
            information is available                             Annually    Annually    Annually
            to decide whether
            remediation of the land
            is necessary, as a
            percentage of all 'sites of
            potential concern'.
BVPI 217    Percentage of pollution        100%         93%        47%         67%                    100%      93%
HRS         control improvements to
            existing installations
            completed on time.

BVPI 106    Percentage of new             81.18%       75.00%     85.07%      84.09%                 96.92%    65.93%
D (RR)      homes built on
            previously developed
            land.
BVPI 109a   Percentage of major           66.67%       69.00%     63.64%      68.42%                 80.65%    65.22%
D (RR)      planning applications
            determined in 13 weeks.
BVPI 109b   Percentage of minor           78.03%       80.00%     68.12%      68.66%                 83.38%    71.40%
D (RR)      planning applications
            determined in 8 weeks.
BVPI 109c   Percentage of other           88.44%       90.00%     87.14%      87.22%                 92.46%    84.81%
D (RR)      planning applications
            determined in 8 weeks.
BVPI 200a   Did the local planning          Yes         Yes           n/a       n/a         n/a        n/a       n/a
D (RR)      authority submit the                                 Collected   Collected   Collected
            Local Development                                    Annually    Annually    Annually
            Scheme (LDS) by 28

                                                      Page 28 of 34
                                                          Page 283


PI No. &        Description                 Outturn       Target   Quarter 2   Quarter 3   Direction       TQ        BQ
resp.                                       2006-07      2007-08   2006-07     2006-07     of travel     2006-07   2006-07
                                                                                                           Q3        Q3
                March 2005 an
                thereafter maintain a 3-
                year rolling programme?
BVPI 200b       Has the local planning         No         Yes           n/a       n/a         n/a          n/a       n/a
D (RR)          authority met the                                  Collected   Collected   Collected
                milestones which the                               Annually    Annually    Annually
                current Local
                Development Scheme
                (LDS) sets out?
BVPI 204        The number of planning      15.00%       20.00%     18.2%        0.0%                    25.6%     37.9%
D (RR)          appeal decisions
                allowed against the
                authority’s decision to
                refuse on planning
                applications, as a
                percentage of the total
                number of planning
                appeals against refusals
                of planning applications.
BVPI 205        The local authority’s       94.40%       94.40%     94.4%       94.4%                    100.0%    88.9%
D (RR)          score against a ‘quality
                of planning services’
                checklist.

BVPI 219b       Percentage of                4.17%       58.33%     4.17%       4.17%                    43.63%    5.00%
D (RR)          conservation areas in
                the local authority area
                with an up-to-date
                character appraisal.

GPI 041         The number of new           340 units     300      175 units   245 units   * See Notes     n/a       n/a
D (RR)          homes delivered.                          units


GPI 042         The proportion of new       20.59%       30.00%     28.00%      22.86%                     n/a       n/a
D (RR)          homes delivered that are
                'affordable'
GPI 043         The percentage of           100.00%      100.00     100.0%      100.0%                     n/a       n/a
HLS             standard searches                          %
                carried out in ten
                workings days.


Notes:
   •     BVPIs 200a, 200b, 200c, 204 and 219 do not have quartile data as, in publishing the 2006-07 national
         comparison data, the department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) decided that it was
         not appropriate to provide quartile data for these indicators.
   •     The direction of travel indicators for GPI 041 is based on an average:
            o     GPI 041 – the average number of new units built during the first two quarters of 2007-08 was
                  87.50 units and the average number of new units built over the first three quarters of 2007-08
                  was 81.67 units dwellings.
   •     GPIs 041, 042 and 043 are local performance indicators hence there is currently no national
         comparison information.

                                                        Page 29 of 34
                                          Page 284


Summary of performance:
 Improved:      5 indicators                        Top Quartile:      2 indicators
 Stayed Same:    4 indicators                       Upper Median:      1 indicator
 Declined:       3 indicators                       Lower Median:      3 indicators
 N/A             6 indicators                       Bottom Quartile:   3 indicators
                                                    N/A:               9 indicators


Key to Abbreviations;
   •   D (RR) – Director (Regeneration and Regulation) – Kevin Burbidge
   •   HRS – Head of Regulatory Services – Sarah Kilkie
   •   HLS – Head of Legal Services (Mike Hayley)




                                              Page 30 of 34
                                       Page 285


7.      Audit, Performance and Service Improvement – Councillor Adrian Warburton

General Update
Key Developments                                                            Date
Work has begun on the streamlining of the investigating of creditors        Ongoing
invoices. All supporting papers for invoices are in the process of being
scanned onto ANITE which will allow officers to look up information
relating to specific invoices via their PC rather than having to manually
look through batches. It is intended that the full benefits of this new
approach will be realised between April and July 2008.



Risk Management (Corporate Risk Register)
Note: Risk Register reviewed and approved in November 2007
The Risk                            Progress
Project and Programme               Three staff are trained to Prince2 Foundation level.
Management (risk no. 5)
                                    The council is also developing a training course and
                                    guide on running projects. This will balance the need to
                                    run projects in accordance with Prince2 but without
                                    creating unnecessary admin.
                                    It is estimated that the training programme and guide
                                    will be ready in April 2008.
Managing Performance (risk no.      Monthly and Quarterly performance reporting is still
6)                                  underway to Management Team and Cabinet.
                                    Following the introduction of the national suite of
                                    indicators in February 2008 (in preparation for 1 April
                                    2008) the council’s performance management
                                    framework will be reviewed to ensure that performance
                                    is still being managed consistently across the council



Improvement Activity
Key improvements                                                            Date
Following a restructure, the council’s Internal Audit Team is now fully     December 2007
staffed with an Audit Manager, Senior Auditor, Auditor and Assistant
Auditor.
For the first time, service specific risk registers have been developed     Ongoing
with key service managers. This will be key in informing service plans
but has also enabled the council to increase risk awareness amongst its
operational managers.


Consultation and Engagement
Key initiatives            Progress                                   Status
Consultation on            During November/December 2007 the          December 2007
National Indicator         department for Communities and Local
Suite                      Government (CLG) consulted on the
                           methodology for calculating the new
                                           Page 31 of 34
                                Page 286


Consultation and Engagement
Key initiatives           Progress                                   Status
                          suite of national performance indicators
                          which come into force on 1 April 2008.
                          Gravesham provided its response on
                          time. One of the main areas of concern
                          was the extra work that would be
                          required for some of the indicators.



Communications
Key issues                                                                 Date
Via the council’s data-matching process, a benefit claimant was            November 2007
identified as fraudulently claiming council tax benefit as she did not
declare the existence of two bank accounts amounting to £50,000. The
claimant was prosecuted and sentenced to 60 hours of unpaid work in
the community as well as being ordered to pay £915 court costs. In
addition the claimant made an initial payment of £1000 and will make
monthly repayments of £500 to clear the fraudulently claimed amount.



Value for Money
Key issues                                                                 Date
Server Virtualisation – the council has been through the research,         Ongoing
tender and selection phase of this project and are in the implementation
phase. This project allows the council to reduce the number of servers
it operates from 53 to five. It is anticipated that the reduction in
electricity and air-conditioning will save the council between £20,000
and £30,000 per year. Maintenance costs will also reduce and the
council will be reducing its carbon footprint.




                                          Page 32 of 34
                                                      Page 287
Audit, Performance and Service Improvement
Councillor Adrian Warburton

PI No. &   Description                  Outturn       Target   Quarter 2   Quarter 3   Direction       TQ         BQ
resp.                                   2006-07      2007-08   2006-07     2006-07     of travel     2006-07    2006-07
                                                                                                       Q3         Q3
BVPI 9     The percentage of            94.01%       97.50%        n/a        n/a         n/a        98.48%     96.49%
D (SI)     council tax collected by                            Collected   Collected   Collected
           the authority in the year.                          Annually    Annually    Annually
BVPI 10    The percentage of non-       98.91%       99.40%        n/a        n/a         n/a        99.30%     98.43%
D (SI)     domestic rates collected                            Collected   Collected   Collected
           by the authority in the                             Annually    Annually    Annually
           year.

BVPI 76b   The number of fraud            0.29        0.38         0.38      0.38                      n/a        n/a
D (SI)     investigators employed
           by the Local Authority,
           per 1,000 caseload.
BVPI 76c   The number of Housing         66.16        55.89       23.33     37.17      * See Notes     n/a        n/a
D (SI)     Benefit and Council Tax
           Benefit (HB/CTB) fraud
           investigations carried
           out by the Local
           Authority per year, per
           1,000 caseload.
BVPI 76d   The number of Housing          1.79        5.10         3.30      3.80      * See Notes     n/a        n/a
D (SI)     Benefit and Council Tax
           Benefit (HB/CTB)
           prosecutions and
           sanctions, per year, per
           1,000 caseload, in the
           Local Authority area.
BVPI 78a   The average processing       50.2 days     33.0     28.1 days   24.5 days                  24.5       33.8
D (SI)     time taken for all new                     days                                            days       days
           Housing and Council
           Tax Benefit (HB/CTB)
           claims submitted to the
           Local Authority, for
           which the date of
           decision is within the
           financial year being
           reported.
BVPI 78b   The average processing       33.7 days     18.0     9.3 days    13.1 days                 7.8 days    15.6
D (SI)     time taken for all written                 days                                                       days
           notifications to the local
           authority of changes to a
           claimant’s circumstance
           that require a new
           decision on behalf of the
           authority.
BVPI 79a   The percentage of cases      89.00%       97.00%       94.40%    96.80%                   99.20%     97.00%
D (SI)     within a random sample
           for which the authority’s
           calculation of Housing
           and Council Tax Benefit
           (HB/CTB) is found to be
           correct.
BVPI 79b   The amount of housing        55.96%       60.00%       57.93%    50.71%                   80.61%     63.01%
(i)        benefit overpayments
D (SI)     (HB) recovered during
           the period being

                                                  Page 33 of 34
                                                 Page 288
PI No. &         Description                Outturn       Target   Quarter 2   Quarter 3      Direction     TQ        BQ
resp.                                       2006-07      2007-08   2006-07     2006-07        of travel   2006-07   2006-07
                                                                                                            Q3        Q3
                 reported on as a
                 percentage of HB
                 deemed recoverable
                 overpayments during
                 that period.
BVPI 79b         HB overpayments            35.09%       36.00%       16.00%    21.13%                    38.38%    26.80%
(ii)             recovered during the
(D (SI)          year as a percentage of
                 the total amount of HB
                 overpayment debt
                 outstanding at the start
                 of the period plus
                 amount of HB
                 overpayments identified
                 during the period.
BVPI 79b         Housing Benefit (HB)       0.91%        4.50%        0.00%         0.04%                   n/a       n/a
(iii)            overpayments written off
D (SI)           during the period as a
                 percentage of the total
                 amount of HB
                 overpayment debt
                 outstanding at the start
                 of the period, plus
                 amount of HB
                 overpayments identified
                 during the period.


Notes:
    •     The direction of travel indicators for BVPIs 76c and 76d are based on an average:
             o     BVPI 76c – the average number of fraud investigations during the first two quarters of
                   2007-08 was 11.67 investigations and the average number of fraud investigations over the
                   first three quarters of 2007-08 was 12.39 investigations.
             o     BVPI 76d – the average number of prosecutions/sanctions during the first two quarters of
                   2007-08 was 1.65 and the average number of prosecutions/sanctions over the first three
                   quarters of 2007-08 was 1.27.
    •     BVPIs 76b, 76c, 76d and 79b(iii) do not have quartile data as, in publishing the 2006-07 national
          comparison data, the department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) decided that it
          was not appropriate to provide quartile data for these indicators.



Summary of performance:
 Improved:             4 indicators                       Top Quartile:        1 indicator
 Stayed Same:          1 indicator                        Upper Median:        --
 Declined:             4 indicators                       Lower Median:        1 indicator
 N/A                   2 indicators                       Bottom Quartile:     3 indicators
                                                          N/A:                 6 indicators


Key to Abbreviations:
    •     D (SI) – Director (Service Improvement) – Nick Brown




                                                      Page 34 of 34
                                            Page 289                  Agenda Item 19
                                                                             Agenda item no




                               Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                       The Cabinet

Date:                            11 February 2008

Reporting officer:               Head of Financial Services

Subject:                         CONCESSIONARY TRAVEL SCHEME

Purpose and summary of report:
To update Members on the extension of the current free concessionary travel scheme to
incorporate free nationwide travel in respect of local bus services announced by Government
in the 2006 Budget and due to come into effect on 1 April 2008.
Recommendations:
That in respect of the new national scheme for concessionary travel starting on 1 April 2008:

     1. this Council will revert to the statutory minimum hours for which a pass is valid;
     2. standard passes be valid for the maximum period of five years;
     3. this Council will continue to issue companion passes but their use be contained to
        journeys made within the borough boundary only and the period for which they are
        valid be set as one year;
     4. companion passes that have been issued by another authority are not accepted for
        free travel journeys starting within the borough boundary;
     5. no charge be made for companion passes at this point in time but this decision be
        reviewed after the scheme has been operational for a period of time as part of the
        budget process for 2009/10
     6. eligible individuals continue to be given the choice of receiving either a concessionary
        travel permit or a rail voucher but not both; and
     7. to enable the purchasing power of the rail vouchers to be maintained their value be
        increased to £15 with effect from 1 April 2008.


1.   Introduction

     1.1    The existing Concessionary Travel Scheme for Kent and Medway is operated
            jointly by all Kent District Councils, Medway Council and Kent County Council.
            Kent County Council co-ordinates and manages the central administration of the
            scheme. Through the current Scheme, a travel permit is available free of charge to
            all eligible people within Kent, thus meeting the statutory requirements of the
            Transport Act 2000.

     1.2    The duty to deliver the concessionary fares scheme rests with those district and
            unitary councils who are defined as the Travel Concession Authorities (TCAs) in
            the 2000 Transport Act. As a TCA itself, the costs for administering the scheme
            within Gravesham is met by this Council and, as far as the existing scheme is
                                     Page 290


           concerned, with financial assistance from Government through the revenue
           support grant mechanism. The element relating to concessionary fares within this
           mechanism is not easily identifiable. The Probable Budget for the Concessionary
           Free Travel Scheme in 2007/08 is £886,040.

     1.3   The free travel scheme currently in existence applies to elderly people and those
           with disabilities (who had both previously benefited from the half fare scheme) and
           was introduced on 1 April 2006 as a result of proposals in the Government’s 2005
           Budget.

     1.4   The Government’s Budget for 2006 then outlined changes (to take effect on
           1 April 2008) to the free travel scheme, upgrading the statutory minimum to free
           nationwide travel anywhere in England. The Concessionary Bus Travel (CBT) Act
           2007 provides for this further improvement.

     1.5   In addition to the countywide bus scheme, senior citizens of Gravesham have the
           choice of forfeiting their right to a concessionary bus permit to opt instead for the
           local discretionary alternative, a voucher worth £11.00 which can then be taken to
           any railway station and used in part-payment for a Senior Citizens Railcard. This
           entitles the holder to one third off most standard rail fares during the day for a year
           from the date of issue. Under existing rules, a Gravesham resident can choose to
           be in receipt of either a concessionary bus permit or a rail voucher, not both.

2.   Discretionary Enhancements of the Current Free Travel Scheme

     2.1   The present statutory minimum requirements would have allowed this authority to
           operate a limited statutory minimum scheme that applied to the area solely within
           the boundaries of the Borough of Gravesham. However through the existence and
           continuation of the Kent Scheme in recent years, eligible residents of Gravesham
           have historically received discretionary benefits significantly greater than the
           statutory minimum:

              •   Free travel throughout the County of Kent rather than just within the
                  Gravesham Borough boundaries;

              •   Free travel between 9am and the last bus of the day on a normal weekday
                  compared to the statutory minimum times of between 9.30am and 11pm;

              •   The provision of ‘companion’ passes for those with specific disabilities that
                  make it essential for both the pass holder and a companion to receive free
                  bus travel as a result of the pass holder’s need for assistance from that
                  companion to board and dismount the bus.

     2.2   Although Government guidance has encouraged the operation and administration
           of multi-authority based schemes such as that currently operating across Kent,
           under the terms of the Transport Act 2000, this has not been a statutory duty. It
           has been the historic opinion of all Kent TCAs that the existence of the Kent
           Countywide Scheme not only provided greater benefits for their pass-holders but
           was also a far more cost effective approach for each authority to deliver the
           statutory function (through avoidance of much of the duplication of administrative
           workload that would occur if each TCA within Kent operated its own scheme).

     2.3   It was also considered that, once established, any break-up of the existing
           countywide scheme would impose additional workload on bus operators



                                                2
                                           Page 291


           throughout Kent which, in turn, would be likely to have adverse cost implications
           for the Kent TCAs.

     2.4   It is currently possible for senior citizens residing in Gravesham to retain the
           choice of receiving either a concessionary bus permit or the rail voucher (a local
           discretionary alternative offered by this Council) since they will have at least been
           offered the statutory minimum but was their choice to take the alternative of a
           lesser value.

3.   Requirements under the National Scheme

     3.1   The statutory minimum that Travel Concession Authorities will have to provide
           from 1 April 2008 is a pass issued free of charge allowing free travel :

              •   To people meeting the same eligibility criteria as the existing scheme, that
                  is disabled people and those aged 60 years and over;

              •   On an eligible local bus service

              •   At any time on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday and during the period
                  of 9.30am to 11pm on any other day

              •   On a journey anywhere within England.

     3.2   The decision to offer enhancements in excess of the statutory minimum
           concession under the National Scheme is once again entirely at an authority’s
           discretion. It should be noted that the issuing of companion passes is not a
           statutory function of the National Scheme and it is therefore for each TCA to
           decide whether it continues to issue companion passes beyond 31 March 2008.
           All discretionary add-ons must be funded locally by the TCA and therefore be
           based on an authority’s assessment of local need and their overall financial
           priorities.

     3.3   The introduction of the national bus concession in April 2008 also brings a change
           in reimbursement responsibilities. Under the present scheme (as in previous
           years), each local authority (or TCA) is responsible for reimbursing bus operators
           for the concessionary trips made by its residents. However Section 3 of the CBT
           Act will mean that from 1 April 2008 a TCA will be responsible for reimbursing
           operators for all eligible journeys starting within its boundary, regardless of
           where the eligible person is resident. This was seen by Government as the only
           practical way of implementing England-wide travel without a comprehensive
           smartcard system covering the whole country.

     3.4   Local authorities will still be permitted to provide an alternative concessionary
           travel scheme to the National Concession whereby a person eligible to receive the
           statutory bus concession may agree to forego this entitlement in order to accept
           the alternative concession even if this is of a lower value than the statutory
           minimum.

     3.5   MCL, the consultants used in Kent to administer the scheme, have supplied
           projections of the cost of the impact of the new scheme. These projections are
           heavily qualified by MCL as they say the base position cannot be established with
           the desired level of reliability. Consequently, MCL have advised authorities that
           they should be prepared to call upon contingencies to meet out-turn commitments,
           if these run ahead of the projections they have used.

                                                3
                                      Page 292


     3.6   The additional cost of the new scheme is being funded through a special grant
           from the Department for Transport as agreed by Government, for which
           £212 million will be made available in 2008/09. The allocation to individual
           authorities is by way of a formula which reflects data on eligible population, bus
           patronage, overnight visitors and retail floor space. It is designed to direct funding
           towards ‘hotspot’ areas such as coastal towns, urban centres and other local
           authorities likely to experience an increase in concessionary bus journeys as a
           result of the new concession. Notwithstanding that, there are concerns from
           individual local authorities that the grant will not cover the additional cost of the
           new concession. For this authority the grant for 2008/09 has been notified as
           £274,000.

     3.7   The position is further complicated because bus operators continue to push for a
           higher level of reimbursement rate. However the worse case scenario supplied by
           MCL is currently within the envelope of the grant and would allow some
           contingency against costs turning out much higher in practice.

4.   Considerations for each Local Authority

     4.1   At a meeting of the Kent Chief Executives on 22 November 2007 the discretionary
           elements of the new National Concessionary Travel Scheme were widely
           discussed and, with a view to standardising this new Scheme to as great an extent
           as possible throughout Kent, it was generally agreed that all local authorities
           within Kent would revert to the statutory minimum hours from 1 April 2008, i.e. a
           pass would be valid at any time on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday and during
           the period of 9.30am to 11pm on any other day.

     4.2   At this meeting of 22 November, a general consensus could not be agreed with
           regard to the discretionary element of companion passes and it was therefore
           decided that it would be left to the discretion of each individual Kent local authority
           to make its own decision on whether or not it would continue to issue companion
           passes.

     4.3   Table 1 (overleaf) shows the current intentions of Kent local authorities (where
           known) in respect of companion passes. Eight Kent authorities have so far
           indicated that they intend to continue issuing companion passes under the
           National Scheme. To date, only Dartford Borough Council and Maidstone Borough
           Council have decided that from 1 April 2008 they will be providing their residents
           with the basic statutory minimum national concession, thereby not issuing
           companion passes and not accepting the use of equivalent passes issued by
           other authorities within their borough boundaries. Consequently, this means that
           someone holding a companion pass that had been issued by another Kent local
           authority would, for example, on a bus journey that starts from within their own
           local authority area to Dartford (with no connections) be eligible to receive free
           travel for both themselves and a companion on their outward trip. On boarding the
           equivalent bus in Dartford for the journey home however it would, as dictated by
           the statutory minimum, only be the pass-holder who would be eligible to receive
           the free travel (their companion would, unless in possession of a pass of their
           own, have to pay the appropriate single fare to travel back).




                                                4
                                           Page 293


            Table 1 – The Companion Pass Discretion

Kent TCAs               Continuing        Valid in All TCAs       Charge for        No. of     No. of
                           with          issuing companion        Companion          years      years
                       Companions in    passes or confining to     passes?         statutory   comp.
                        April 2008?       solely within own                         passes     passes
                                                area?                                valid      valid

Ashford BC                  Yes            No decision yet           £21.25           5          1

Canterbury CC               Yes            No decision yet             No             5          1

Dartford BC                  No         Companions not valid          n/a             5         n/a

Dover DC                    Yes         Within own TCA only          £70.00           5          1

Maidstone BC                 No         Companions not valid          n/a             5         n/a

Medway Council              Yes             No indication           £75.00?         TBC         TBC

Sevenoaks DC                Yes         Within Own TCA only      No indication        3         TBC

Shepway DC                  Yes         Within Own TCA only          £15.00           5          1

Swale BC                    Yes             No indication        No indication        5          5

Thanet DC                   Yes         Within Own TCA only          £30.00           5          1

Tonbridge & Malling         Yes            No decision yet       At least £10.00      5          1

Tunbridge Wells BC          Yes             No indication        No indication        3         TBC



   4.4      The impact and therefore costs of the National 2008 Concession in terms of
            additional journeys generated are largely unknown. As at 25 January 2008, there
            were 11,566 bus permits in circulation that have been issued by Gravesham
            Borough Council where solely the pass-holder is entitled to free countywide bus
            travel. In addition to these, the Council has issued 87 companion passes to
            eligible residents, largely on the grounds of these people either being registered
            blind or being permanently in a wheelchair and therefore requiring the assistance
            of a companion when travelling by bus.

   4.5      Of the Kent local authorities still intent on issuing companion passes under the
            National Scheme, early indications from those who have clarified their proposals
            are that the use of their companion passes is being contained to journeys made
            entirely within their local borough boundaries. A decision of this nature means that
            these local authorities are, with the changes in the way concessionary travel
            journeys will be reimbursed to operators from April 2008 onwards, not allowing
            their companion pass-holders to incur travel costs for those neighbouring local
            authorities who are also continuing to issue companion passes. Since companions
            travelling on a companion pass will definitely be denied free travel in the
            Maidstone and Dartford regions from 1 April, it is believed that restricting the
            allowance of a companion to travel free alongside the bearer of a companion pass
            within the confines of the issuing local authority only will be potentially less
            confusing as a principle to be understood by the travelling public.


                                                5
                                      Page 294


     4.6    Introducing a small but significant charge for each concessionary pass issued is
            for the first time being seen by some Kent local authorities as an effective tool for
            ensuring that only those who are in need and will make use of this discretionary
            element will apply for it. Members may wish to consider this option for Gravesham
            Borough Council at a later date when information on the use of companion passes
            under the National Scheme becomes more readily available and the grounds for
            the introduction of a charge be better justified.

     4.7    Although the majority of bus operators do not currently have equipment fitted on
            their vehicles that is able to read smart cards, it is a new requirement of the
            National Scheme that the bus permit issued should be an ITSO compliant
            smartcard. (The present permit is just a basic plastic pass which has the bearers
            name and photograph on the front of it.) ITSO is one particular specification for
            how smartcards and their systems communicate with each other to make an
            electronic scheme work. ITSO is an “open specification” which means the details
            of how to encode (write) data to smartcards and how readers need to
            communicate with other readers is public information available to any equipment
            supplier, operator or local authority.

     4.8    In recognition that every TCA has had imposed the type and format of new pass to
            be issued under the National Scheme, Gravesham Borough Council has in
            2007/08 received a one-off grant from the Department for Transport covering the
            cost of the new smart cards to be issued in the Scheme’s first year. The
            Government has made it clear that no further contribution towards the cost of
            renewal smart cards issued in subsequent years will be made and it will be up to
            each TCA to bear that cost in future.

     4.9    Although left as a decision for the TCAs, it has also been recommended that the
            permits issued under the National Scheme have a maximum period of validity of
            five years before being renewed. Smartcards (circa £1 each) are more expensive
            to replace than the previous plastic cards (circa 40 pence each). Since there is no
            requirement to renew the new national passes annually, it makes sense from both
            a cost and administrative perspective to make the life of the majority of these new
            national passes as long as possible, i.e. the full five years. Table 1 above
            indicates that the majority of local authorities in Kent are opting for the maximum
            five year lifespan for their standard (statutory minimum) passes.

     4.10   Table 1 also shows that those Kent TCAs continuing with companion passes from
            April 2008 are, for companion passes only, tending to restrict the life of these
            passes to a period of one year. Companion passes are a discretionary add-on and
            the full impact of their associated costs is not yet known. Limiting the validity
            period of companion passes to one year allows their use in the first year to be
            monitored and will provide this Council with an opportunity to reconsider whether it
            is still financially viable for companion passes to be offered in later years and, if
            so, whether the introduction of a charge for companion passes is worthwhile.

5.   Rail Voucher Local Discretion

     5.1    For those over 60 years of age who are eligible to receive the statutory minimum
            concession but consider they would not personally benefit from acquiring the free
            bus travel permit, Gravesham Borough Council can provide them instead with a
            voucher worth £11 which is then used by the applicant as part-payment towards
            the cost of the Senior Railcard.




                                                6
                                      Page 295


5.2   A total of 745 rail vouchers were issued in 2006/07 costing this Council £7,162.
      Although the voucher value is £11.00, the Council currently receives from ATOC
      Trade Warrant Service (the company supplying the vouchers) a discount of 15%
      per voucher making this a net cost to the Council per voucher issued of £9.35.
      From the 1 January 2008 this discount is being reduced to 7.5%, making a revised
      net cost of an £11 voucher to the Council of £10.18.

5.3   On the 1 January 2008, the full cost of a Senior Railcard increased from £20 to
      £24. Prior to 1 January 2008 a person over the age of 60 opting for a Senior
      Railcard, having applied to Gravesham Borough Council for their voucher, then
      had to pay just the remaining £9 in order to receive it. Following the price rises
      that took effect from January this year, a person in the same circumstances now
      has to pay a balance of £13 to receive the same Railcard.

5.4   There have been 422 applications for a rail voucher so far in 2007/08 with a
      projection for the year as a whole that approximately 560 vouchers will be issued
      this financial year. Over 700 applications for rail vouchers were processed in
      2006/07 and this reduction may be attributable to the fact that, with the increasing
      general awareness of the National Scheme soon to be introduced, the free travel
      bus permit is being viewed by the public as being of potentially greater value to
      them particularly when the scheme extends nationwide.

5.5   Table 2 shows the estimates of various scenarios relating to the cost of provision
      of these Rail Vouchers based on:

      1. No increase in financial support being made (i.e. the applicant with a voucher
         pays £13 for the Railcard).

      2. The same level of financial support prior to the January price increase (i.e. the
         applicant with a voucher pays £9 for the Railcard)

      3. Shows the cost of providing 100% support (i.e. the applicant pays nothing
         towards the cost of the Railcard).

      Table 2 – The Cost of Discretionary Rail Vouchers

       Rail Voucher Value remains at £11.00 as now
                                2007/08 To Date    2007/08 Total         2008/09 Total
                                     (As at Dec 2007)
       Vouchers Issued                   422                560               560
       Approx. Cost to Council          £3,946             £5,350            £5,698

       Increase Rail Voucher Value to £15.00 on 1 April 2008
                                 2007/08 To Date    2007/08 Total        2008/09 Total
       Vouchers Issued                 422                560                560
       Approx. Cost to Council        £3,946             £5,350             £7,770

       Increase Rail Voucher Value to £24.00 on 1 April 2008
                                 2007/08 To Date    2007/08 Total        2008/09 Total
       Vouchers Issued                 422                560                560
       Approx. Cost to Council        £3,946             £5,350            £12,432



                                           7
                                     Page 296


     5.6   Members are reminded that each time an eligible resident opts for the local
           discretionary rail voucher rather than taking the statutory minimum of a free travel
           bus pass, a saving is made to the Council. In 2006/07, £835,000 was paid to Kent
           County Council as reimbursement to operators for the use of these passes. With
           approximately 12,000 free travel passes in circulation, this equates to this Council
           paying around £70 per free travel bus pass for the year.

6.   Financial implications/risks

     6.1   Although cost projections have been produced for the new concession they are
           heavily qualified and there is the risk that the cost will exceed the grant from the
           Department for Transport. To counter this, a contingency sum has been allowed
           for in the estimates for 2008/09.

     6.2   Although only a comparatively very small proportion of the passes issued by this
           Council are companion passes, by restricting the lifespan of these passes under
           the National Scheme to one year allows for monitoring of use and review of their
           existence in future years.

     6.3   Limiting the allowance of companions to gain free travel when accompanying the
           bearer of a Gravesham Borough Council companion pass only for journeys that
           start within the borough boundary only ensures no other Kent local authority bears
           a financial burden relating to Gravesham Borough Council’s discretionary
           enhancement.

     6.4   Similarly by not allowing companions who are accompanying holders of a
           companion pass that has been issued by another local authority to free travel for
           journeys starting within the Borough of Gravesham, there will not be a financial
           burden placed on this Council as a result of a discretionary enhancement offered
           by another local authority.

     6.5   In terms of reference to Section 17, it should be noted that if a concessionary free
           travel permit is lost by the holder who subsequently makes a request for a
           replacement pass to be issued in its place, an administration charge of £5.00 is
           currently levied. If however it is reported that the pass was stolen (as part of the
           contents of a handbag or wallet for example), a replacement permit is issued free
           of charge provided the pass-holder can supply a Crime Report Number for the
           theft and which has been supplied by the Police to register the particular crime.




     Background Papers

     “Concessionary Travel for Older and Disabled People: Guidance on Reimbursing Bus
     Operators” – Guidance issued by the Department for Transport in December 2007.




                                                8
                                         Page 297                 Agenda Item 20




                            Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                    Cabinet

Date:                         11 February 2008

Reporting officer:            Director (Organisational Improvement)
                              Head of Financial Services

Subject:                      Capital Strategy and Asset Management Plan

Purpose and summary of report:
To consider updated Capital Strategy and Asset Management Plan of 2008.

Recommendations:
That the updated Capital Strategy and Asset Management Plan for 2008 be approved subject
to editing in consultation with the Lead Member.




1.      Introduction

        1.1   The 20 November 2006 meeting of the Cabinet received a report on the
              Capital Strategy (CS) and Asset Management Plan (AMP) for Gravesham
              Borough Council which subsequently formed part of the Audit Commission’s
              assessment of Use of Resources in particular Key Line of Enquiry 2.3. The
              score achieved was Level 2 which aligned with the Council's overall scoring.

        1.2   Although there is no statutory requirement for such plans an update was
              considered timely with the benefit of the draft Corporate Plan - Gravesham
              2012: The Place of Choice. A further review of the plans will take place in
              late summer to align with further updated Service Plans.

2.      Draft Capital Strategy and Asset Management Plan

        2.1   The Capital Strategy (prepared by the Head of Financial Services and
              attached at Appendix 1) and the Asset Management Plan (prepared by the
              Director (Organisational Improvement) and attached at Appendix 2) have
              close links. Linkages are also identified with other Council Strategies, in
              particular the draft Corporate Plan, Housing and Procurement Strategies. Full
              copies of the appendices to the Asset Management Plan which are somewhat
              bulky can be made available to individual Members of the Cabinet on request.
              A copy of both plans will be placed in due course in the Members' Room and
              on the web-site.
                                Page 298


     2.2   In relation to the Asset Management Plan Members attention is drawn to the
           draft maintenance plan at Appendix 3 which is currently subject to
           consideration as part of next years budget. This plan has been informed by
           condition surveys of all the non-housing portfolio and recent work by the
           Asset Management Group to determine priorities is reported elsewhere on
           this agenda.

3.   Risk Management and S.17 Considerations

     3.1   The risks associated with not having such plans in place and implemented is
           that opportunities will be lost to transform services through effective capital
           and asset management. In addition, the Council will be unable to focus other
           than in an ad-hoc way on the future development and management of its
           asset base and any opportunities arising. A well managed and appropriately
           resourced public estate can make an important contribution towards dealing
           with crime and disorder issues.




     THERE ARE NO BACKGROUND PAPERS RELATING TO THIS REPORT




                                          2
                          Page 299




              CAPITAL STRATEGY 2008 UPDATE

   Updated Feb 2008 to incorporate new action plan and the
Council's Corporate Plan – Gravesham 2012: The Place of Choice




                  CAPITAL STRATEGY 2008


                           Page 1
                                          Page 300

1 INTRODUCTION
 1.1 The Capital Strategy outlines the principles and framework that shape the council’s longer - term
     investment and expenditure proposals. It defines how the capital programme, use of assets and
     bidding regime are formulated to support the delivery the council’s priorities, as set out in the
     Corporate Plan – Gravesham 2012: The Place of Choice. It thus forms a framework for more
     operational strategies within particular services, such as Housing. The Head of Financial Services
     has developed the Capital Strategy in conjunction with the Asset Management Group (AMG),
     which is chaired by the Director of Organisational Improvement and works corporately to promote
     good practice in Asset Management. Member input is through the Lead Member for Property and
     the Cabinet.

2 KEY PRIORITIES OF THE COUNCIL

2.1   The council’s Vision for the community is to make Gravesham The Place of Choice – a place
      where everyone can enjoy a good quality of life, a great place in which to bring up a family, a place
      of opportunity and a place that is open for business. Our ambition for Gravesham is to make it a
      clean, green and safe place where diverse and vibrant communities can flourish and live together,
      bound by a strong sense of belonging.

 2.1 To achieve this Vision we have adopted six strategic aims for the council.
      1. Environment – to achieve a safe, clean and green Place of Choice.
      2: Communities – to foster vibrant and cohesive communities that promote engagement,
          diversity, social inclusion, health and well-being, leisure and culture.
      3: Housing – to seek to provide and work with others to ensure quality and affordable housing.
      4: Business – to secure a sustainable and buoyant economy, particularly in the town centre
          and Ebbsfleet, with attractive investment opportunities and a developing tourism market.
      5: Regeneration – to maximise regeneration opportunities for the benefit of existing and new
          communities.
      6: Transformation – to transform the council into an economically sound organisation delivering
          excellent accessible services that provide value-for-money.

 2.2 Within Kent, we will work with our partners to get the most from the Kent Commitment, particularly
     in terms of achieving efficiencies through joint-working and shared services. We are fully
     committed to participating in the Second Kent Local Area Agreement (LAA), to build on the
     success of the first LAA and to support the drive to secure a better quality of life for everyone in
     the county. Through the Dartford & Gravesham Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) we will develop
     and implement a Sustainable Community Strategy, through which we will deliver our commitment
     to the LAA.


 2.3 The capital programme is affected by the needs identified by these Service Plans as well as by the
     outcome of reviews by the Audit Commission and other Inspectorates.

3 THE CORPORATE PLAN AND THE CAPITAL PROGRAMME

 3.1 The council is seeking to achieve the key aims of the Corporate Plan through use of its revenue
     and capital resources and by working with other organisations. Appendix A shows how all of the
     items in the capital programme relate to the council’s priorities.

 3.2 Housing represents the most significant element of the capital programme and reflects the
     objectives of the Housing Strategy. One of the most important targets for the Housing Strategy is
     the achievement of the Decent Homes Standard – a national standard that all social housing
     landlords have to achieve by 2010.




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3.3 The Housing Strategy was developed with input from the community, in line with best practice. As
    well as the links to the Corporate Plan it also reflects wider strategic ambitions for the area, as set
    out in the Dartford & Gravesham Community Strategy. At the time that the Housing Strategy was
    being developed the future ownership of the council's own housing stock had yet to be decided.
    However, through a robust Stock Options Appraisal process, culminating in a ballot in November
    2006, tenants expressed a wish to for the council to remain their landlord.


3.4 The council is committed to ensuring that there is a unified approach in asset management for
    Housing and other services. The Director of Operations and Housing ensures that the Housing
    Strategy and Asset Management Plan are an integral part of the central Asset Management Plan
    and this Capital Strategy. The Director of Operations and Housing is in consultation with CLG and
    GOSE to ensure that assets are better utilised.

3.5 Appendix B demonstrates the importance of Housing with reference to the council’s assets.

    Environment
3.6 Over a number of years, the council has targeted areas of the borough where street lighting,
    footway improvements and traffic calming schemes have improved pedestrian safety. We have
    responded to the needs of the public by addressing improvements to the quality of pavements in
    local shopping areas, extra street lighting and replacement railings that would not normally be
    funded by the Highways Authority.

3.7 The council recognised, through consultation with the public, that there was a need to improve the
    standard of public conveniences. A programme for refurbishing a number of public conveniences
    was agreed by The Executive in 2001. Since then, refurbishments have successfully taken place
    and recently Parrock Street has won a special Kent design award for the best small project in the
    public building category. A rolling programme was agreed in 2001 in response to the Governments
    White Paper on Urban parks. Parks across the borough have been improved over the years.

    Communities

3.8 The council has made provision for a rolling programme of activities for young people as part of its
    capital programme. Funding has been targeted towards providing strategically placed facilities
    throughout the borough, in consultation with a range of partners – including local young people.
    Some of the funding has been provided through external contributions, such as that provided by
    Moat Housing for Kings Farm, to provide a range of facilities relevant to the needs of that
    community.

3.9 Other areas that have benefited from improved or new facilities include Culverstone Recreation
    Ground (skate ramp), Istead Rise Recreation Ground (skate ramp), Kings Farm Playing Fields
    (multi play equipment) and the Riverside Family Learning Centre (multi-play equipment). Through
    additional funding from the Big Lottery Fund (Play Strategy Application 2007) there have been
    improvements to facilities for young people at Rosherville Open Space, Wombwell Park, St
    Gregory’s Open Space and The Warren. The capital projects are anticipated to be fully completed
    within 2007/08 with exception to specific projects funded through the Big Lottery Fund, in particular
    at Vigo Village and partnership activities with Groundwork Kent & Medway.




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3.10 £300,000 has been aside for a replacement sports pitch and changing accommodation, following
     the disposal of the land for the police station headquarters at Springhead Recreation Ground, in
     line with the relevant planning condition. Discussions with the Lead Member and relevant officers
     have taken place to look at a number of projects that would help to sustain and in some
     circumstances improve the portfolio of local leisure provision within the next one to two years.

      Housing

3.11 The authority has long-standing capital programmes that were developed to meet the need of
     achieving the Decent Homes standard and to maintain the value of the council’s assets. Capital
     funding is generated principally through direct Government grant, in the form of the Major Repairs
     Allowance, and from the receipts generated from Right-to-Buy sales of council dwellings. Over
     recent years, however, levels of capital funding have reduced because of a substantial reduction in
     Right-to-Buy sales. It is estimated that only 24 such properties are likely to being sold in 2008-09.
     This can be compared with the sale of 149 properties in 2003-04, when the Right-to-Buy
     mechanism reached its peak. In anticipation of not being able to meet the needs of its residents,
     the council balloted its tenants in 2006

3.12 As noted above the tenants decided that the council would remain their landlord. In choosing to
    stay with the authority the tenants accepted the level of provision the council would provide, as set
    out in the Offer Document. The council is still on target to deliver the commitment to meet the
    Decent Homes target.

       Regeneration

3.13 The Council has been successful in securing funding for regeneration of the Thames Gateway.
     The projects consist of:
  •    Cobham Ashenbank Management Scheme Phase 2 – completion of internal restoration of the
       Mausoleum and completion of South Barn;
  •    Gravesend Riverside Leisure Area Phase 2 – the design and restoration scheme of the Dell and
       design of a restoration scheme for the northern part of the area in accordance with the
       Conservation Plan.
  •    Thames and Medway Canal Stage 2, Rural Section – to restore water to the canal between Mark
       Lane and Shornemead Crossing.
  •    Northfleet Green Grid and Northfleet Urban Country Park – restoration of country park.

      Transformation

3.14 Through the Accommodating Excellence project the council is providing good value-for-money
    by maintenance costs – there is only one main building instead of two – cutting-down on utilities
    costs and having more effective use of space (not maintaining and heating unused areas). As part
    of the project the council has also been able to work in partnership with Kent Police, providing a
    town centre base for some of their services (a new Police Station will be out of town) and enabling
    members of the Community Safety unit and the police to work in the same space. As well as
    supporting one of the council’s key priorities for improvement (a safer place), the space given over
    to the Police also provides the council with a revenue stream.

3.15 The project also attracted funding from the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now
    CLG): £500,000 was secured from the Connecting Communities initiative. The grant was awarded
    in recognition of the work the council is doing to encouraging local people to use the council’s Civic
    Centre as a town centre community centre and not to regard it solely as a place to pay bills or visit
    when they have problems. The scheme incorporates self-help areas, which includes a cash
    payment machine. (Over the next three years we plan to reduce the amount of cash payments
    received and have implemented a scheme to promote alternative methods of payment).


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 3.16 A key enhancement provided by the government funding is the café. This attractive space has
     provided a high-quality leisure destination for local people – and has added a significant resource
     to the facilities and services provided by the Woodville Halls entertainment complex. Whilst the
     Accommodating Excellence project has seen a significant capital investment, it has also
     ensured that the council has a well-designed and maintained headquarters that will give at least
     another 30 years of service.

4 GENERATION AND OPTION APPRAISAL OF CAPITAL PROJECT PROPOSALS

 4.1 In setting its key objectives and whilst considering asset management, the council recognises that
     there needs to be a corporate approach to resource prioritisation and have adopted the following
     criteria:
   • the extent to which they contribute to meeting the key aims of and objectives of the Corporate
       Plan;
   • their cost-effectiveness in meeting those objectives;
   • their compliance with the council’s Asset Management Plan.

4.2   An evaluation of each capital project is undertaken to establish the whole-life costs of the scheme.
      At the same time any current years’ and future years’ revenue costs are also calculated. These
      revenue costs are reflected in service plans and form part of the budget process. Evaluation of
      each scheme is undertaken through the CP1 Form (Appendix D).

 4.3 The council’s capital programme covers a three-year period. We also have a three-year medium
     term revenue plan that incorporates any revenue affects arising from the capital programme. The
     medium term revenue plan is reported to Members annually as part of the budget-setting process.

 4.4 The Cabinet consists of the Leader of the Executive and five Lead Members. The portfolios for
     each member of the Cabinet are cross-cutting and are aligned with the ambitions and priorities of
     the council rather than based on the departmental structure. The revenue and capital budgets
     reflect the cross cutting Cabinet portfolios. One Cabinet Member has responsibility for Asset
     Management.

 4.5 The Management Team consists of the Chief Executive, four Directors and the Head of Financial
     Services, who provide the interface between the Cabinet and the officers.

 4.6 The Director of Organisational Improvement chairs the AMG and reports on progress to the
     Management Team who in turn report to the Cabinet. The AMG works corporately to promote
     good practice in Asset Management, and is currently dealing with land and property issues. It is
     also examining other issues such as performance and data management. However, the council
     has a relatively large in-house direct services organisation headed the Director of Housing and
     Operations, who is responsible for the council’s operational fleet and who advises the Cabinet on
     matters such as replacements.

  4.7 The Use of Resources Corporate Group consists of The Director of Performance Improvement,
     Director of Organisational Improvement, Head of Financial Services, Property Services Manager,
     Senior Auditor and is chaired by the Accounting Manager. As part of a rigorous exercise of self-
     assessment of the council’s KLOE for Use of Resources, the Capital Strategy and Asset
     Management Plan have been reviewed by this group.

4.8   All Heads of Service complete annual Service Plans, which will be affected by external inspections,
      legislative changes, the Corporate Plan and other strategies adopted by the council, and these,
      may generate the need for additions or amendments to the capital programme. The Heads of
      Service, (in consultation with Lead Members where necessary), identify key budget priorities
      (within the policy framework adopted by Members) from their Service Plans, which they submit to
      the Management Team. When proposing new capital projects, Heads of Service are required to
      submit reports covering the following information:
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      •   the Head of Service and project officer responsible for the project;
      •   projected expenditure for current and future years (at least for three years);
      •   revenue costs for current and future years;
      •   start and completion dates;
      •   objectives of scheme;
      •   how the scheme meets the council’s strategic aims in the Corporate Plan and objectives of Asset
          Management Plan and Capital Strategy.

    4.9 These schemes are authorised by the relevant Director and considered by the Management
        Team, then by the appropriate Lead Members. The Management Team assess the likely
        resources and may negotiate changes, prior to their submission to the Cabinet.

    4.10 The Cabinet then discusses the capital proposals, together with details of capital funding and the
         financial position of the authority. As a result, Members may make amendments, deletions and
         additions to the schemes, depending on corporate objectives and available resources.

    4.11 The capital programme is further reviewed as part of the budget process. Any comments as a
         result of the budget consultation exercise (see section 5) and Government announcements on
         grant, etc. are considered. The revised capital programme is submitted to Members with details of
         the original estimate.

    4.12 The council is mindful of the integration necessary between revenue and capital planning when
         considering the overall resource requirements. For instance, there is the need to examine the
         revenue consequences of capital projects and to weigh the effect of these against other revenue
         pressures. Furthermore, on scheme approval, the Finance Department reflects the revenue effects
         in the plans for future years. There is also the need to consider proper exit strategies for
         partnership activities that receive time-limited external funding. Consequently, it is the current
         policy that the council's Management Team examines on a corporate basis all major capital
         projects, which are likely to result in significant policy or resource implications, before submission
         to Members for approval.

5     CONSULTATION


    5.1 The priorities the council has chosen to address have emerged through consultation on the
        Community Strategy and from other consultation exercises such as that on the council tax, with
        the Residents’ Panel. The two main priorities that consistently cited as the most important for local
        people are community safety and a cleaner, greener environment. This consultation builds upon
        that already in place for industrial and commercial ratepayers. The council has also taken account
        of the outcomes from Best Value reviews and external inspections.

6 MONITORING AND EVALUATION OF PROGRESS

    6.1 The authority’s financial monitoring arrangements are set out below.

    6.1.1 The Head of Financial Services reports on the capital outturn for every financial year to Members.
          The report highlights significant variations to the budgeted programme and provides
          explanations for the differences.

    6.1.2 The capital programme is reviewed, amended and reported to Members with any significant
          variances explained as part of the budget process to produce a “revised” version of the budget
          for the current financial year.

    6.1.3 The council’s Financial Procedure Rules state that any new capital project that is not in the
          current capital programme, or any potential variance from the estimate in the capital programme

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       for an existing project, must be the subject of a report to the Cabinet. Lead members are allowed
       to vire capital expenditure of up to £40k.

 6.1.4 Quarterly monitoring reports are presented to the Finance and Audit Committee with
       explanations of variances by budget-holders. As a result of this Members may request reports
       explaining projected variances in more detail.

 6.1.5 There is monthly monitoring to the Management Team. This improved monitoring has resulted in
       the early identification of potential areas of high spending over budget, and has resulted in
       management action to address the issue.

 6.2 In 2006-07, the council spent £10,562,000 on General Fund capital schemes compared to the
     original estimate of £11,641,000, an underspend of £1,079,000. Slippage occurred mainly on
     Private Sector Grants, Project Denton, Heritage Regeneration Schemes and Environmental
     improvement. Similarly, for HRA services, expenditure was £5,844,000 against an Original
     Estimate of £6,410,000, an underspend of £566,000. This was due largely to slippage on Energy
     Efficiency works. These variances were reported to Members.

 6.3 The council is a member of the South East Branch of the Association of Chief Estates Officers
     (SEACES) and the Kent Property Managers Group.


7 CAPITAL FUNDING

 7.1 Appendix C shows the resources for funding the capital programme for 2007-08.

 7.2 The report on the 2006-07 Estimates submitted to Cabinet on 13 February 2006, included a
     recommendation that: “where non-housing capital receipts are received by the council in 2007-08
     then the first call on these receipts be to repay any unsupported borrowing that has taken place in
     2006-07”. Therefore, with regard to the 2007-08 treasury operations, the strategy will be to
     continue to reduce investments where possible to limit the new borrowing, and the Head of
     Financial Services will monitor the interest rate market and adopt a pragmatic approach to any
     changing circumstances. The Head of Financial Services will continue to ensure that, over the
     medium term, net borrowing will only be used for a capital purpose. In 2007-08 there was no
     unsupported borrowing.

 7.3 The Government provides support for HRA capital borrowing through the subsidy system. The
     Government supported HRA borrowing in 2007/08 to £403,000. The Housing Revenue Account
     showed an underlying deficit of £251,580 in 2006-07, which gives little scope for the Account to
     service debt charges associated with unsupported borrowing. Since 2004-05 the number of
     properties sold under the right to buy scheme has declined quite sharply. This has had a
     detrimental effect on the level of housing useable receipts which are predominantly used to fund
     the Housing capital programme. The Authority also received the following allocations for 2007-08:

     7.3.1.1.    £4,252,340 in respect of the Major Repairs Allowance (MRA) which can be used to
              finance any type of capital expenditure on HRA assets, including expenditure on property
              other than dwellings;
     7.3.1.2.    £312,000 in respect of Government grant towards disabled facilities grant expenditure;
     7.3.1.3.    £204,300 earmarked for funding expenditure on non decent homes within the private
              sector.

 7.4 The AMG focuses on asset management by reviewing landholdings, including those of housing
     (other than the dwelling stock itself). The principal aim is to ensure that the opportunity cost of
     financial resources tied up in land and buildings is minimised and that capital and revenue
     expenditure is directed efficiently and effectively to provide value for money. As part of this
     process, the AMG reports to Members any sites that it has identified as having potential for
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      disposal. The Cabinet considers whether to offer any surplus sites that are suitable for residential
      development in the first instance to Housing Associations for the development of new affordable
      housing.

 7.5 The council has discussed PFI as a potential method of achieving certain objectives, but as yet no
     firm proposals have been identified for detailed consideration.

8 KEY PARTNERS

 8.1 The council’s overall approach to partnership-working is set out in the Partnership Framework
     adopted by Council in 2006.

 8.2 Work is underway to compile a register of all partnership arrangements. This will provide a clear
     understanding of the breath of the council’s involvement in collaborative-working and ensure that
     robust governance arrangements are in place to protect the council’s interests.


 8.3 The council’s key partnerships are listed below:

8.3.1 Gravesend Delivery Board: the overall aim of the Delivery Board is to promote and secure the
      regeneration of Gravesend Heritage Quarter and adjoining town centre areas through a
      programme of restoration, redevelopment and environmental improvements of defined buildings,
      sites and spaces - and to take responsibility for ensuring key projects are delivered. Partners
      include Kent County Council (KCC) and commercial representatives. The work of the Delivery
      Board is financed by GBC, KCC, DCLG and grants from the European Union’s URBAN and
      Interreg programmes and from national sources such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and English
      Heritage.

8.3.2 Kent Thameside is a key development hub at the heart of the Thames Gateway Growth Area with
      the opportunity to deliver 30,000 new homes and 50,000 new jobs. Regeneration proposals cover
      22 square miles of the urban areas of Gravesham and Dartford, focusing on redundant former
      industrial sites. The Kent Thameside Delivery Board has developed a Regeneration Framework to
      provide a clear strategic vision for the area and a Project Framework, which reports progress to
      achieving the vision. Kent Thameside already has an enviable record to date, delivering 12,000
      jobs and award winning developments such as Ingress Park and Bluewater. Membership of the
      Delivery Board includes GBC, KCC, Dartford Borough Council, English Partnerships, the Housing
      Corporation, Government agencies and the West Kent Primary Care Trust.

8.3.3 Dartford & Gravesham Local Strategic Partnership (LSP): this is the ‘partnership of
      partnerships’ for Kent Thameside. The council has played a leading role in developing the LSP so
      that it is better placed to make a positive contribution to improving the quality of life for local
      people. At its meeting on 28 June 2006 the Partnership adopted a programme of Interim Projects
      that will form its Community Strategy Action Plan for 2006–08. As noted above a new Sustainable
      Community is being developed through which the council will participate in the second Kent Local
      Area Agreement.

8.3.4 North Kent Area Investment Framework: developed in partnership with the South East England
      Development Agency (SEEDA), north Kent local authorities, KCC and other public, private and
      voluntary sector bodies, this work seeks to prioritise regeneration priorities for the area and is
      used by SEEDA and others when determining the allocation of funding.




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8.3.5 Gravesend Town Centre Initiative: through partnerships with others, the council is able to build
      upon its own efforts to help local businesses prosper and improve job and educational
      opportunities. The Gravesend Town Centre Initiative was formed in 1991 in response to the
      opening of the Lakeside Regional Shopping Centre. It is a partnership between the council and a
      range of local businesses, with support and encouragement from KCC.

8.3.6 Housing Associations: the council, through its enabling role, is supporting Housing Corporation
      allocations to Housing Associations of £12 million over 2006-07 and 2007-08, which represents
      the provision of an estimated 498 homes.

8.3.7 North Kent Housing Partnership: this is a partnership including the council, the Housing
      Corporation, Dartford Borough Council, KCC and Housing Associations. In 2005-06 101 affordable
      homes were completed.

8.3.8 The Dartford & Gravesham Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP): this was
      created in 2006 through the merger of the community safety partnerships for Dartford and
      Gravesham. Since then it has achieved significant success in reducing crime, anti social
      behaviour and the fear of crime in the area.

8.3.9 Health Action Gravesham: this was established in 1998 and comprises of representatives from
      the local Primary Care Trust, KCC and the Community and Voluntary Sector. This partnership
      provided the Gr@nd Healthy Living Centre in Gravesend, which opened on 15 May 2002,
      supported by funding from the New Opportunities Fund. It is now funded by partnership funding.

8.3.10 Sure Start: the council’s lead officer for communities chairs the Sure Start Board.

8.3.11 The Council is also working with a range of other partners including North West Racial Equality
       Council, Citizens Advice Bureau and Gravesham Arts Council.


9     PROCUREMENT STRATEGY

9.1     The council’s Procurement Strategy, adopted in 2005, is updated annually to reflect
        developments and policy changes.

9.2     Recent developments include the establishment of a fully searchable electronic database of
        corporate contracts. This register is published on the council’s Intranet and is updated every
        month. One of the register’s key functions is to serve as a resource to alert officers to forthcoming
        contract renewals.

9.3     A Procurement Plan, showing known and anticipated procurements, during the coming five-year
        period, is updated annually and published on the Council’s Internet. Its purpose is to provide
        information to prospective tenderers and interested persons.

9.4     There is a developing procurement website resource for staff and interested external parties such
        as prospective suppliers and contractors. The website provides guidance and procurement
        related information, which includes the Contract Procedure Rules, a Supplier Guide and
        information about the Council’s approach to supplier accreditation.

9.5     The Council uploads information concerning its existing contracts into the South East
        Improvement and Efficiency Partnership’s Business Portal. The Portal will be used for the
        advertising of tender opportunities. This is a part of the Council’s commitment to collective
        working across the region.

9.6     The Procurement Manager represents the council at the Kent Buying Consortium, which is
        comprised of the Kent District, and Borough Councils along with the County Council and Medway
        Council. The Consortium delivers opportunities for joint tendering and procurement networking.
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      The council is a member of the recently formed North Kent Procurement Partnership along with
      and Dartford and Medway councils. The Partnership is designed to share procurement
      experiences and identify opportunities for collective working.

9.7   The council’s participation in collective arrangements includes procuring services for cash
      collection, recruitment advertising and occupational health. All have realised service
      improvements and financial savings.

9.8   The Procurement Manager is a member of the council’s corporate Business Transformation
      Group and continues to be engaged in a number of transformational initiatives, which use
      procurement practices to deliver service, process and financial efficiencies. The implementation
      of a corporate risk based procurement process will change the procurement culture by delivering
      compliancy, regulation, option appraisal and value for money. Initiatives are underway to
      implement a number of e-procurement related initiatives, during 2008 including, electronic
      ordering and invoicing, consolidated invoicing and procurement cards.




                                              Page 10
                                                                                                         APPENDIX A
                                           GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL
                      CAPITAL STRATEGY 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, AND FUTURE YEARS

                                                 TOTAL                                                 RELEVANT
                                                                                             Future
                  PROJECT                        COST        2006-07     2007-08   2008-09   Years     STRATEGIC
                                                                                                          AIM
                                                   £                        £        £
Financial Management IT system                  363,000       55,430     46,030                       Transformation
Revenues/ Benefits IT System                    854,790      123,780                                  Transformation

Planning etc IT                                  405,030      374,800                                 Transformation
Accommodating Excellence                        5,860,470    4,512,350   50,000                       Transformation
Brookvale Depot Accommodation works              196,620       2,600                                  Transformation
Roof                                              36,710       36,710                                 Transformation

Civic Buildings:
  Asbestos removal                              225,050      120,440     69,100    23,000             Transformation




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  Removal of hazardous mtrls                     75,000       25,000     25,000    25,000             Transformation
E Govt Implementation                           871,870       11,070                                  Transformation
Electoral Registration I T System Postal Vote    27,500       22,500      5,000                       Transformation
Facilities for the Disabled                     391,770       80,280     73,330                       Transformation


Children's Play Strategy                        199,000                  199,000                      Communities
Gordon Lodge refurbishment                       45,400       8,220                                   Transformation
Gravesend Cemetery - extension                   70,000                  35,960                       Regeneration
Playsites - programme of improvements           190,860                  23,230    30,000             Communities
Promenade Toilets - improvements                400,020       9,690                                   Environment
Public Conveniences
 - programme of refurbishment                    80,000                            80,000             Environment
Quality Public Space                            481,840                  60,620    60,000             Environment
Recreational Activities for young people        310,000      140,810     123,900                      Communities
Sea Wall – repairs                               35,000                  35,000                       Environment
Vehicle Parks:
 Milton Place extension                          21,500       3,000                                   Environment
 Milton Place improvements                       50,000       50,000                                  Environment
 Milton Place Lighting                           20,000       20,000                                  Environment
Vehicles and Plant                              978,830      366,000     350,000                      Transformation

                                                          Page 11
                                                                                                                 APPENDIX A
                                                   GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL
                                 CAPITAL STRATEGY 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, AND FUTURE YEARS
                                                        TOTAL                                                  RELEVANT
                                                                                                     Future    STRATEGIC
                             PROJECT                    COST        2006-07   2007-08      2008-09   Years        AIM


            Sports Pitches                             300,000                300,000                         Communities
            Woodville Halls:
            Programme of improvements                   24,970       12,500                                   Communities
            Main Hall Works                             90,000       58,500    31,500                         Communities


            Camer Parade                               113,320       91,000                                   Regeneration
            Gravesend Delivery Board Projects:
            Heritage Quarter                           438,480      110,290                                   Regeneration




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            Town Centre Traffic/Transport
              Development Work                          94,050       60,000                                   Regeneration
            Transport Quarter                          100,000       41,700                                   Regeneration
            Gravesend High Street CPO                  365,130       27,720                                   Regeneration
            Heritage Quarter regeneration              190,580      190,580                                   Regeneration
            Regeneration Studies Fund                   94,130       93,010                                   Regeneration
            Lord Street/Parrock Street:
              Option Appraisal                         384,020       30,000                                   Environment
            Parrock St. Car Park
               - environmental enhancement             1,060,000    663,850                                   Environment
            Parrock St. Car Park
              -new toilet block                        358,940      277,060                                   Environment
            Car Parks – real time signage              140,000      140,000                                   Environment
            Other Environmental Imps                   252,410      232,410    20,000                         Environment
            Ordinance Road
              - acquisition of land                    350,000    350,000                                     Regeneration
            Impact                                     666,400    122,350                                     Regeneration
            Heritage Economic Regen Scheme 2           561,000    193,080     144,750        7,750            Regeneration
            Project Denton                            4,071,080    45,000     20,000        20,860            Communities
            Safer Streets Initiative                   548,800     14,780     10,500        23,000            Environment
            Town Pier pontoon - design/appraisal        50,000     33,300     16,700                          Regeneration
            Cobham Park Heritage Project Ph 1         4,420,240  3,819,980                                    Regeneration
Sub-total                                             26,863,810 12,569,790   1,639,620   269,610
                                                                 Page 12
                                                                                                                    APPENDIX A
                                                  GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL
                                  CAPITAL STRATEGY 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, AND FUTURE YEARS

                                      TOTAL                                               FUTURE       RELEVANT
                PROJECT               COST       2006-07     2007-08       2008-09        YEARS        STRATEGIC
                                                                O RI G I N A L E S T I M A T E            AIM
Housing
   Decent Homes                     20,497,210  4,375,210   3,410,000   3,102,000 9,610,000        Housing
   Health & Safety                   8,422,710  2,002,710   1,220,000   1,300,000 3,900,000        Housing
   Minor / Other Works               3,843,830    813,830     646,000     581,000 1,803,000        Housing
   Housing Associations              1,745,430    234,430     751,000     180,000    580,000       Housing
   Private Sector Grants             5,214,230    913,760   1,100,470     800,000 2,400,000        Housing
   Empty Properties                    660,000    130,000     130,000     100,000    300,000       Housing
   Denton/Southfield Shaw               17,020     17,020           0           0          0       Housing
   Community Safety Initiatives        100,000          0     100,000           0          0       Environment
   Housing Computer System             475,220          0     475,220           0          0       Transformation
Sub-total Housing                   40,975,650  8,486,960   7,832,690   6,063,000 18,593,000




                                                                                                                                 Page 311
Total Capital Programme             67,839,460 21,056,750   9,472,310   6,332,610 18,593,000
Summary
   Environment                       3,932,530  1,440,790     226,120 163,000            0
   Communities                       5,185,910    256,810     697,630    50,860          0
   Housing                          40,400,430  8,486,960   7,257,470 6,063,000 18,593,000
   Regeneration                      7,513,330  5,133,010     197,410     7,750          0
   Transformation                   10,807,260  5,739,180   1,093,680    48,000          0
Total Capital Programme             67,839,460 21,056,750   9,472,310 6,332,610 18,593,000




                                                                  Page 13
                                                                                                                          APPENDIX C
                                                GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL
                                                   CAPITAL STRATEGY 2008



                                     Council     Other    Vehicles     Infra-    Comm-     Non-op    Intangible   Total
                                    Dwellings    Land      Plant     structure    unity     Land       Assets
                                                & Bldgs   & Equipt    Assets     Assets    & Bldgs
                                     £'000       £'000     £'000       £'000      £'000     £'000      £'000      £'000
Net book value at 31 March 2007      342,772     26,756      1,456        236      2,604     6,966         632    381,422

% Net book value at 31 March 2007      89.8%       7.0%       0.4%       0.1%       0.7%      1.8%        0.2%    100.0%




                                                                                                                                       Page 312
                                                             Page 14
                                             Page 313
                                                                                     APPENDIX C
                             GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL
                                  CAPITAL STRATEGY 2008



      RESOURCES FOR FUNDING THE CAPITAL
                PROGRAMME
                                                             ESTIMATE
                                              2006-07         2007-08       2008-09      Future Years
                                               £’000           £’000         £’000          £’000
  General Fund Capital Programme                  12,570           1,640         270                    0
  Funding Available
        Unsupported borrowing                       459                0         263                    0
        Capital Receipts                          5,690              997           3                    0
        Reserves                                    206                5           0                    0
        Grants and Contributions                  5,849              288           4                    0
        Leasing                                     366              350           0                    0
  Total Funding                                  12,570            1,640         270                    0

  Housing Capital Programme                          8,487         7,833       6,063            18,593
  Funding Available
        Supported borrowing                         403              403         403             1,209
        Capital Receipts                          1,418             1893         719             2,260
        Commuted Sum                                  0              751         250               750
        Major Repair Reserve                      6,132             4252       4,289            13,168
        Grants                                      534              534         402             1,206
  Total Funding                                   8,487            7,833        6063            18,593
  Total Capital Programme                        21,057            9,473       6,333            18,593



  BREAKDOWN OF GENERAL FUND SOURCES OF
  FUNDING FROM GRANTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS
                                                             ESTIMATE
                                              2006-07                      2008-09       Future Years
                                                              2007-08
                                               £’000                       £’000            £’000
                                                               £’000
HERS 2 (Eng. Heritage)                                  97       72                  4                  0
Town Pier pontoon (KCC)                                 33       17                  0                  0
Children’s Play Strategy (Big Lottery)                   0      199                  0                  0
Cobham Park Heritage Project(HLF/CLG)                3,820       0                   0                  0
Revenues/ Benefits IT system (DWP)                     114       0                   0                  0
Planning IT system (Planning Deliv Grant)              257       0                   0                  0
Ordnance Road (SEEDA)                                  324       0                   0                  0
Gravesend Delivery Board (CLG)                         212       0                   0                  0
Parrock St Car Park (CLG)                              112       0                   0                  0
Accommodating Excellence (CLG)                         500       0                   0                  0
Other                                                  380       0                   0                  0

Total Grants and Contributions                       5,849      288                  4                  0




                                            Page14
          Page 314




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                                            Page 315
                                                                      APPENDIX D

Guidelines in Completing Capital Programme Item Form CP1

This form must be completed for all new Capital Schemes. Please consult with Paul Saunders in
Finance to determine the capital funding and assess any revenue implications.

The aim of this form is to meet the Key Aims of the Interim Strategic Statement and objectives of the
Asset Management Plan and Capital Strategy.

Completed forms should have an authorised signature from your Director before forwarding this to
Paul Saunders.




J Gibbs
Accounting Manager                                 29/01/2008




Page 1
                                           Page 316

                       CAPITAL PROGRAMME SCHEME                                       cp1


                     TABLE TO BE COMPLETED FOR EVERY NEW CAPITAL ITEM WITH A BUDGET


Date

Scheme Title

Responsible Head of Service

Responsible Project Manager

Description of Scheme

Contractor
Please describe how the scheme
meets the key strategic aims (refer
to number below) and objectives of
the Capital Strategy and the
Corporate Plan/Interim Strategic
Statement.


Compliance of Asset Management
Plan
Best Value Service Review Date
(if applicable)

Expected Outcomes (Measurable
Indicators where applicable)

Supporting Justification
(Origin, Cabinet Minute Nos, etc.)

Start Date

Latest Completion Date

Reasons for delay if any (e.g. staffing,
technical reasons, partners, etc.)



Consequences of the scheme not
going ahead




                                       KEY STRATEGIC AIMS
                1- Environment                                     2- Communities
                   3- Housing                                        4- Business
                5- Regeneration                                   6- Transformation




Page 1of 2
                                                                               Budget   Last Reported
                                                 Budget    Budget    Budget                               Estimated
NAME OF SCHEME                                                                 Future   Projected Total                Comments
                                                 2007-08   2008-09   2009-10                              Total Cost
                                                                               Years         Cost
                                                   £         £         £         £             £              £
FMS CODE:
GROSS COST OF SCHEME
Cost of contractor, grant, etc.
SUB-TOTAL CONTRACTOR/ GRANT
COSTS
Estimate of Support Costs for staff recharging
their time to this code
        1)Funded by project
        2)Not funded by project
TOTAL COST OF SCHEME INCLUDING
SUPPORT COSTS
FUNDING OF SCHEME
PARTNERSHIP FUNDING (Source of Funding)




                                                                                                                                  Page 317
        1)
        2)
GBC FUNDING
        1)
        2)
TOTAL FUNDING
(Equal to total above)
REVENUE IMPLICATIONS
(excluding Capital Charges)
Expenditure - Staffing Costs
Expenditure - Non-Staffing Costs

Total Expenditure
Income      (Credit)
Explanation of Revenue Implications



Sign by Project Officer…………………………………..                        Date……………………

Authorised by Director……….…………………………………..                     Date……………………

Page 2 of 2
          Page 318




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                                      Page 319



                                                                       Appendix 2




           ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN 2008 UPDATE
               Updated Feb 2008 to incorporate new action plan and the
            Council's Corporate Plan - Gravesham 2012: The Place of Choice




JRM/SMC
AMP
Feb 2008
                                   Page 320


1.   ORGANISATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR CORPORATE ASSET
     MANAGEMENT

     1.1     Structure

             1.1.1   The diagram below explains the relationship between the Council's
                     Cabinet, Corporate Management Team, Corporate Property Officer
                     and The Asset Management Group.




                                                The Cabinet




                                            Lead Member




           Asset Management                    Director                        Corporate
                 Group                      (Organisational                   Management
                                             Improvement)                       Team




             1.1.2   The terms of reference of the Corporate Property Officer are "to act as
                     the Council's principal adviser in relation to all land and property
                     assets throughout their "life cycle", which are comprised of the
                     following elements:-

                         •   Acquisition;
                         •   Building and alterations (Project Management);
                         •   Management comprising:-

                                return from portfolio
                                energy management
                                maintenance/upkeep
                                data management
                                space utilisation
                                facilities management.

                         •   Property review;
                         •   Disposal.




                                            1
                                   Page 321


        1.1.3   This role is re-enforced through the Council's Performance
                Management Framework. This includes regular meetings with the
                Lead Member for Resources, bi-weekly one-to-one meetings with the
                Council's Property Services Manager and monthly meetings with the
                Property Services Management Team. Regular agenda items are the
                departmental service plan which includes objectives relating to asset
                management, property review, data management, disposals, facilities
                management and through the above ensuring that the benefits of the
                Council's "working without walls" Accommodating Excellence Project
                are realised and embedded.

        1.1.4   The Asset Management Group is one of several corporate officer and
                member groups. It comprises two Directors, the Head of Financial
                Services, and the Property Services Manager, together with Housing,
                Regeneration and Leisure Services representatives. From time to
                time others, including Cabinet Members, attend the group for specific
                issues (e.g. Head of I.T. Services, Head of Town Centre Projects).
                The group meets on the last Tuesday of every month and minutes are
                circulated with action items in accordance with the Council's
                Performance Management Framework. This circulation includes the
                Lead Member. The Corporate Property Officer reports on a regular
                basis to the Corporate Management Team on matters relating to the
                work of the group, e.g. facilities management, business continuity and
                the "required maintenance backlog".

        1.1.5   The adopted terms of reference for the Asset Management Group
                are:-

                   •   To be responsible for ensuring that the asset management
                       plan is developed and to contribute to its content and
                       implementation;
                   •   To provide strategic guidance on policy and issues underlying
                       asset management;
                   •   To co-ordinate and assess property disposal and maintenance
                       programmes;
                   •   To consider and review the operational use, viability and
                       management of property holdings. This involves a process of
                       challenging the current provision and performance of Council
                       assets so as to create and maintain "an ideal property
                       portfolio";
                   •   To monitor consultation with staff members and other
                       stakeholders;
                   •   To monitor the authority's accommodating excellence project
                       and development of facilities management;
                   •   To monitor and give advice concerning the authorities
                       implementation of data management in relation to property and
                       links with financial systems.

1.1.6   Occasional attendance at the Asset Management Group by external agencies
        is encouraged. One of the Council's consultants presented a paper on
        "creating asset value from real estate solutions" and a visit from a Housing
        Association partner took place in 2007. In 2008 future work with KCC Asset
        Management is planned. With the aim of further informing Members,




                                       2
                             Page 322


       Directors and Service Heads these meetings have been "opened up" to
       broaden knowledge of Asset Management within the authority.

       1.1.7   A feature of asset management within the authority has been a series
               of working groups reporting into the AMG and this continues with the
               regular Property Services/Housing group which meets monthly to
               progress land disposals that relate to the provision of affordable/social
               housing on Council owned sites. A further group has been formed to
               deal with the Council's leisure portfolio which is also meeting on a
               bi-monthly programme.

1.2.   Links with Corporate Plan - Gravesham 2012: The Place of Choice

       1.2.1   The Council's Vision for the community is to make Gravesham The
               Place of Choice - a place where everyone can enjoy a good quality of
               life, a great place in which to bring up a family, a place of opportunity
               and a place that is open for business. Our ambition for Gravesham is
               to make it a clean, green and safe place where diverse and vibrant
               communities can flourish and live together, bound by a strong sense
               of belonging.

       1.2.2   To achieve this Vision we have adopted six strategic aims for the
               Council:-

               1.     Environment - to achieve a safe, clean and green Place of
                      Choice;
               2.     Communities - to foster vibrant and cohesive communities that
                      promote engagement, diversity, social inclusion, health and
                      well-being, leisure and culture;
               3.     Housing - to seek to provide and work with others to ensure
                      quality and affordable housing;
               4.     Business - to secure a sustainable and buoyant economy,
                      particularly in the town centre and Ebbsfleet, with attractive
                      investment opportunities and a developing tourism market;
               5.     Regeneration - to maximise regeneration opportunities for the
                      benefit of existing and new communities;
               6.     Transformation - to transform the Council into an economically
                      sound organisation delivering excellent accessible services
                      that provide value-for-money.

       1.2.3   Within Kent we will work with our partners to get the most from the
               Kent Commitment, particularly in terms of achieving efficiencies
               through joint working and shared services. We are fully committed to
               participating in the Second Kent Local Area Agreement (LAA), to build
               on the success of the first LAA and to support the drive to secure a
               better quality of life for everyone in the county. Through the Dartford
               and Gravesham Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) we will develop and
               implement a Sustainable Community Strategy, through which we will
               deliver our commitment to the LAA.

       1.2.4   This plan will be updated again in late Summer 2008 in response to
               revised Service Plans. Through the Council's service planning
               process the Corporate Property Officer seeks to identify how the
               Corporate Plans six strategic aims link with the Council's Asset
               Management Plan and an extract from the Council's Ideal Property



                                       3
                   Page 323


portfolio is attached at Appendix 1 to illustrate this. This Appendix
now shows an example of the enhanced Ideal Property portfolio which
is initially being developed around the Housing portfolio. Further
Asset Management links to the Council's Corporate Plan which relate
to specific projects (with an update in italics) include:-

Environment:

   •   CCTV - enhanced facilities enabled through accommodating
       excellence project (further camera provided on Civic Centre
       forecourt to focus on public areas, street scene and car parks);
   •   Scheme for combined Police and Council Community Safety
       Unit - enabled through more flexible accommodating
       excellence project. Police and Courts also to be
       accommodated within "surplus" accommodation at Civic
       Centre during 2008 - start of embryo Gateway Project (shared
       services/property);
   •   Surestart - the Property Services team helped kick start this
       project with temporary accommodation and support. Surestart
       remain in one, hard to let property in a deprived ward ;
   •   Fleet Leisure - this strategic acquisition with enabling
       communities fund grant secured 11 acres of “green lung”
       space and a revitalised community facility (partnership with
       local football club). Partnership continues - now investigating
       potential for enhanced five-a-side facilities and sharing with
       other Clubs to release other Council land holdings for
       development;

Communities:

   •   44/45 Windmill Street. Project to accommodate voluntary
       sector with links to Beacon Council award. Relocation of
       accommodation has enabled savings on a leased in property
       (£20,000 per annum) and all Voluntary Sector are now
       accommodated under one roof ;
   •   Healthy Living Centre - strategic acquisition of premises now
       operating as community enterprise hub using health issues as
       conduit. 17,500 individuals worked with by main partners
       GBC, KCC, PCT and Ethnic Health and Social Forum. This
       property will form key plank in embryo Gateway Project;
   •   Leisure Centres - the Council is considering procurement of
       future Leisure provision. A consultancy is presently advising
       on the various options having regard to need and other
       developments in the area Ebbsfleet (Land Securities), Building
       Schools for the Future etc.;
   •   War Memorials - the Council has entered into partnership with
       a voluntary organisation - see Appendix. It is hoped that this
       partnership can be developed to take advantage of new
       Community Assets fund;
   •   Woodlands Park - although a popular and cherished local park
       it has suffered in recent years with vandalism to its cafe and
       public toilets. An embryo partnership scheme to develop out
       an exemplar building to house these and other arts related




                       4
             Page 324


       facilities currently housed in unsuitable Council buildings is
       being progressed in liaison with the Kent Architecture Centre.

Housing:

   •   Medical centres, two disposals to PCT have enabled enhanced
       medical facilities in areas of need linked with other projects.
       Further disposal in negotiation linked with affordable housing
       scheme. Although affordable housing progressed (20 homes),
       due to funding difficulties (PCT) MC did not. Site being looked
       at again in context of Ideal Property Portfolio;
   •   Affordable housing - Council owned land used for
       development, see Appendix 3. All schemes now developed or
       being developed out. Shift of emphasis to wider regeneration
       projects - see below;
   •   Christian Fields - a corporate project using landholdings
       strategically and grant from English Partnerships to achieve
       significant area renewal and replacement of defective housing
       stock in partnership with private sector and other agencies
       (213 social housing units+214 market). This project now on
       site. Further urban regeneration schemes being investigated
       in liaison with Kent Architecture Centre. Pro-active acquisition
       already underway to secure viability of schemes;

Business:

   •   Town Pier - strategic acquisition and subsequent disposal on
       long lease (with rights reserved for public access) to secure
       restoration of popular iconic building ("the peoples pier") in
       town centre with sustainable future. This is a Grade II Listed
       Building and the oldest cast iron pier in the world. This facility
       now open as a bar/restaurant which is helping earlier
       regeneration of Gravesend High Street;

Regeneration:

   •   CAMS - strategic acquisitions enabled by Heritage Lottery
       Fund have secured long term "green lung" for Gravesham
       citizens in historic parkland setting previously under threat.
       Partnership scheme with KCC, National Trust and other local
       partners. Recent acquisitions by Council in an enabling role to
       underpin wider sustainability using external new communities
       funding (DCLG). Tenancies will generate further revenue;
   •   Lord Street - strategic disposal of Council owned land enabling
       development of market and affordable housing in town centre
       together with rationalisation of car parking provision. Resolved
       major maintenance backlog issue. Phase 1 now developed
       out. Phase 2 still pending market conditions;
   •   Canal Basin - under utilised marine facility owned by Council
       used as focus for wider regeneration including affordable and
       market housing. The facility has been licensed to a developer
       who is now improving and running it on behalf of the Council.
       Negotiations continue with developer on long-term property
       option;




                        5
                                        Page 325


                    Transformation:

                        •   Accommodating Excellence - see section 2.2
                        •   Council has adopted energy policy. Surveys undertaken on
                            major buildings by Carbon Trust. Introduction of calorifier at
                            leisure sites will reduce risk of legionella and energy
                            consumption.

     1.3.   Links with Capital Strategy

            1.3.1   The linkages set out above are further expanded upon in the Council's
                    Capital Strategy. The main links with the Capital Strategy relate to:-

                    •   The capital programme - in the main these relate to improvements
                        to retained portfolio and health and safety issues;
                    •   Option appraisals of capital project proposals - the Capital
                        Strategy explains that one Cabinet Member is now specifically
                        responsible for Asset Management and that two Directors sit on
                        the Asset Management Group which reports on such issues to
                        either the Management Team or the Cabinet;
                    •   Consultation - as with the Capital Strategy the Asset Management
                        Plan has close links with the Housing Strategy, in particular with
                        the delivery of affordable housing. Should an asset be surplus to
                        requirements and suitable for residential development the Council
                        has had an adopted policy whereby the site is considered for the
                        development of new affordable housing as the "default option" for
                        such disposals.
                    •   Capital funding - the Capital Strategy outlines the arrangements
                        for partnership working with other organisations and the level of
                        external funding. A notable success in 2006 was the securing of
                        ODPM funding (£500,000) towards the Accommodating
                        Excellence project. It also notes the focus of the Asset
                        Management Group on the Ideal Property Portfolio;
                    •   Currently projects are being considered which may have
                        application to the Community Assets Fund;
                    •   The capital strategy also refers to the first call on non housing
                        capital receipts being for the payment of any unsupported
                        borrowing and this strategy will continue in the medium term.

2.   CONSULTATION AND PLANNING

     2.1    Departmental Service Plan

            2.1.1   Objectives and actions concerned with Asset Management are
                    incorporated in the Departmental Service Plan (see extract at
                    Appendix 5) a major feature of which in recent years has been the
                    Accommodating Excellence programme now replaced by a drive for
                    disposals to generate capital and save revenue.

            2.1.2   Departmental Service Plans are presented to Management Team on
                    an annual basis and are available on the Council's "F" drive for all
                    officers and members with access.




                                            6
                           Page 326


2.2   Accommodating Excellence and Shared Use of Property

      2.2.1   In the last review of the Asset Management Plan this section was
              dominated by the major project Accommodating Excellence and a
              "review" of that scheme is now attached at Appendix 6. The scheme
              was one of six finalists in the Municipal Journal Local Government
              Achievement Awards 2007(Facilities and Asset Management
              Category).

      2.2.2   Benefits continue to flow from the scheme which was a forerunner to
              the government's "Working without Walls" programme. Highlights
              include:-

                 •   Consultation has continued post scheme with staff through the
                     "Housekeeping Groups" - see Appendix 7 which deals with
                     FM issues at source and continues to reinforce the FM
                     guidelines introduced at the start;
                 •   An FM action plan identified several areas of concern such as
                     recycling and cleaning standards - now dealt with. This links
                     back to the Housekeeping Groups;
                 •   The project is enabling shared use of accommodation and
                     opportunities for revenue saving/generation. Examples
                     include:-

                             Use by Courts service;
                             Use by Police;
                             Availability of community room;
                             Several rooms now licensed for civil weddings;
                             Conferences - e.g. Disability Awareness Conference
                              Proposed accommodation for Racial Equality Council
                             (in lieu of previous grant);
                             Proposed highways concordat.

      2.2.3   The above are a precursor to a wider Gateways project designed to
              facilitate the sharing of accommodation and "joined up" accessibility to
              services with KCC and other agencies.

      2.2.4   Following a review/consultation on playing field provision within the
              Borough a partnership was formed in 2004 with the local football club -
              Gravesend and Northfleet (The Fleet) to acquire the former
              Beauwaters site. The Council in an enabling role acquired the site's
              freehold with grant aid from the Communities Fund and have
              subsequently leased on to The Fleet to secure the site in open space
              and community use. This strategic acquisition supports the Council's
              environment and communities aims through the continuing grant
              agreement and lease with Fleet Leisure. Regular meetings continue
              with this partnership at Member level with a view to securing further
              community benefits.

      2.2.5   The major Heritage Quarter redevelopment project which resulted
              from early consultation about town centre regeneration has seen a
              major milestone reached with the signing of the Development
              Agreement which will enable the project to actually start on site on
              2008/09 with 600 + new dwellings , an enhanced retail/leisure offer




                                      7
                                       Page 327


                   and public realm. Consultation with local residents and stakeholders
                   continues on this major regeneration scheme.

           2.2.6   A regular item of consultation on Asset Management issues continues
                   at the Council's Joint Staff Consultative Committee which provides
                   useful feedback on "user concerns". The Corporate Property Officer
                   attends this forum together with other Directors. This aligns with the
                   Council's core value contained within the Corporate Plan of an
                   excellent place to work.

           2.2.7   The ideal property portfolio is being further updated to incorporate the
                   most recent Performance Plan objectives and is used for consultation
                   and as a working tool, in particular by Housing Strategy where several
                   sites have been identified for affordable housing - see Appendix. The
                   portfolio informs consultation with other services and is being used
                   around some of the topic areas identified in the emerging local
                   development framework.

           2.2.8   A further update of the ideal property portfolio is underway with further
                   disposals identified and reported on to the Asset Management Group
                   for action. These relate at present specifically to the Housing Service.

           2.2.9    With the local development framework underway the Corporate
                   Property Officer continues to be involved in the core strategy and site
                   specific allocations documentation to enable opportunities for the
                   council’s portfolio to be identified.

3.   PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND MONITORING

     3.1   National Performance Indicators:

           3.1.1   The following BVPI related to Asset Management is reported quarterly
                   to Members:-

                   BV156 - the percentage of local authority buildings open to the public
                   in which all public areas are suitable for inaccessible to disabled
                   people. This figure of 88.24% remains in the top quartile of all local
                   authorities, subject to verification of 2006/2007 national comparison
                   data from the Audit Commission.

     3.2   Local and Other Performance Indicators

           3.2.1   The local performance indicators (in Appendix ) were last reported to
                   Members in 2006. Following a corporate review of local indicators it
                   was agreed that such indicators would not form part of the Council's
                   local performance reporting mechanism as the aim of the review was
                   to reduce the number of local indicators reported, resulting in a
                   smaller more focussed suite of local indicators. However, it is
                   intended that an appropriate set of indicators based on the national
                   COPROP indicator (see Appendix 8) be further developed and
                   reported on as this plan is progressed.




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                                  Page 328


     3.3.   Suitability of assets

            3.3.1   From 2000 onwards surveys were sent to stakeholders (mainly staff)
                    in relation to the standard of office accommodation, results of which
                    formed part of the business case for Accommodating Excellence.

            3.3.2   During the Accommodating Excellence programme further surveys of
                    staff were undertaken to monitor both the suitability of the new
                    accommodation and satisfaction with the moving process, including
                    performance of the various teams involved.

            3.3.3   Consultation with staff continues through the mechanism of the
                    Housekeeping Groups and Joint Staff Committee.

            3.3.4   Suitability surveys of the wider portfolio by services/users are now in
                    train.

4.   PROGRAMME AND PLAN DEVELOPMENT

     4.1    Portfolio Management:

            4.1.1   The Council needs to continue to manage its portfolio effectively to
                    ensure that properties are:-

                    •   Performing well financially;
                    •   Fully occupied wherever possible;
                    •   Suitable for current use;
                    •   Properly maintained and in good condition with minimal
                        maintenance backlog;
                    •   Held for reasons based on rational criteria rather than purely
                        historic ones;
                    •   Regular reviewed as the purpose for holding property can change
                        over time

            4.1.2   In particular the need for property must be aligned with the potential
                    risks outlined in reviews of the medium term financial plan.

     4.2    Decision making:

            4.2.1   The Council needs to make effective and justifiable decisions in
                    relation to property. It has adopted some basic procedures for
                    consideration of its property asset together with reporting forums, such
                    as the Asset Management Group and these assist with clear decision
                    making. The Council makes decisions relating to the management
                    and disposal of property mindful of corporate planning and in
                    accordance with sound Asset Management principles. The
                    fundamentals are:-

                        •   The fundamental service review presumption (Best Value
                            2002) that the Corporate Property Officer should be the Officer
                            with overall responsibility for Asset Management within the
                            authority;
                        •   The review of the Constitution giving the Lead Member for
                            Resources delegated authority to approve certain disposals so




                                            9
                                  Page 329


                      as to streamline the realisation of certain assets. It also
                      maintained existing officer delegation in relation to property
                      management and valuation;
                 •    The general presumption within the Housing Strategy to
                      initially favour disposal of surplus assets which are suitable for
                      residential use for social housing;
                 •    A Management Team authorisation for the Facilities
                      Management Plan in relation to the Council's central office
                      accommodation now implemented with appropriate staff in
                      post;
                 •    The approval of the Asset Management Plan by the Council in
                      2006 establishing the principles for examining the need and
                      use of assets at an operational level, as set out in section 1 of
                      this Plan.

      4.2.2   The decision making process is clearly set out in the Council's
              Constitution and in the case of property related matters supported by
              clearly defined delegations down to Corporate Property Officer level.
              Principles and significant details are decided by Members in relation to
              major transactions with day-to-day details being resolved by officers.
              Every significant decision resulting in a formal report requires linkage
              with the Corporate Plan and other significant plans or strategies,
              including Risk Management, Crime and Disorder and where
              appropriate appraisal of options and consideration of whole life
              costing. It is considered that the Council's approach to the
              management and disposal of its assets has improved through the
              adoption of the ideal property portfolio which links individual sites with
              broader strategic issues and key corporate objectives and this practice
              must be continued.

4.3   Corporate Planning targets:

      4.3.1   Corporate Planning identifies a number of specific priorities that it
              hopes can be achieved for the wider community in the plan period.
              These include:-

                  •   Reduce the level of violent crime and burglaries by March
                      2009 (environment);
                  •   Undertake a series of initiatives through the work programme
                      of the Safe, Clean and Green Group including signing
                      Nottingham declaration on climate change by April 2008
                      (environment);
                  •   The Leisure Centres: to develop and implement a strategy to
                      secure their long-term viability (communities);
                  •   Decent Homes: to aim to secure the investment needed to
                      achieve and sustain the standard by 2010 and to tackle the
                      condition of private sector housing stock (housing);
                  •   Housing Renewal: to progress the Christian Fields
                      development with Phases one and two completed by March
                      2009 and to bring empty properties back into use (housing);
                  •   The Heritage Quarter: subject to planning permission to
                      secure the completion of the eastern phase and to facilitate
                      detailed planning permission for the western phase
                      (regeneration);




                                      10
                            Page 330


                  •   Northfleet Ebbsfleet: to support the development of the
                      Northfleet embankment (regeneration);
                  •   Asset Management: to use the Council's assets as
                      appropriate, to help drive the social economic and
                      environmental development in the borough (business).

              To achieve some of these targets the Corporate Plan is relying on
              either the continued identification or availability or more efficient use of
              appropriate property assets to be progressed through the action plan -
              see Appendix 12. Some of these are identified in the Capital Strategy
              and the Asset Management Plan also needs to demonstrate how it will
              contribute to delivery by increasing income or from the sale of assets
              or land. The current action plan has been updated in italics and a new
              action plan is proposed at Appendix 13.

4.4   Building Repair and Maintenance:

      4.4.1   The Council needs to actively address its required maintenance
              backlog (See summary at Appendix 10). It owns a significant number
              of property assets, including deteriorating historic structures which are
              potentially a large burden to maintain. A significant number of the
              core properties will continue to require cyclical repairs e.g. plant,
              including heating and ventilation, lifts, roof renewals etc. Some assets
              may periodically require significant capital works e.g. the Leisure
              Centres and car parks. Currently the maintenance back log for all
              land and buildings is increasing, this in spite of the disposal of
              significant assets such as the multi-storey car parks in the early 2000's
              to deal with certain high risk areas. There is therefore an ongoing
              need to identify and prioritise maintenance and servicing requirements
              for buildings on a planned maintenance cycle, balancing immediate
              needs against long term work. Recent work on condition surveys has
              enhanced data and budget provision is to be made in 2008/09 to align
              with prioritisation of maintenance around key themes - see Appendix
              11. In addition there are separate budgets for e.g. on-going asbestos
              removal and removal of hazardous materials so that the Council can
              meet relevant legislative requirements. As indicated above savings
              can be made by reducing the size of the portfolio and recycling some
              of the resultant proceeds towards the maintenance backlog. This
              methodology will be used in part to fund future year’s expenditure in
              this area.

4.5   Energy Efficiency:

      4.5.1   The Council has established an energy policy and is auditing its
              principle assets for energy efficiency. Energy is purchased in bulk
              through the Kent-wide Laser scheme and billing is monitored through
              them. Currently procurement arrangements for future purchase are
              being considered by that organisation in light of rises in energy costs.
              With renewed emphasis on the environment, energy is a priority,
              reflected in the Corporate Plan, for meeting government targets on
              reducing carbon emissions and as a means of avoiding rising energy
              costs.




                                       11
                                      Page 331


     4.6   Health & Safety:

           4.6.1   The Council needs to be mindful about investing to improve health
                   and safety. As indicated above budgets have been established to
                   deal with the major sources of legislative concern relating to asbestos
                   and legionella. The Council has a Health & Safety Officer and a
                   Health & Safety Policy established together with an Asbestos
                   Management Plan and a legionella treatment programme.
                   Continuous training in health and safety issues is required to further
                   update relevant disciplines.

     4.7   Disability access:

           4.7.1   The Council has historically invested significantly in improving
                   disability access from a separate budget allocation for a continued
                   programme of work. The audit of the main buildings to demonstrate
                   public accessibility for BVPI 156 has shown 88.24 per cent DDA
                   compliant. Through the Accommodating Excellence programme
                   independent accessibility audits have been carried out to ensure the
                   future proofing of that scheme to modernise the Council's offices in
                   DDA terms. Further practical advice was sought through the Local
                   Access Liaison Group with visits from members to test installations
                   such as accessible toilets. The Council is committed to maintaining its
                   position in the vanguard of accessibility and hosted a Disability
                   Awareness Conference at the Civic Centre in 2007..

5.   MEETING THE CHALLENGES

     5.1   The delivery and success of the Asset Management Plan will be achieved by
           the adoption of the following principles:-

           Challenge: Portfolio Management:

           5.1.1   To ensure the portfolio can support the service delivery needs of the
                   Council whilst maintaining it to a sustainable and affordable level,
                   having regard to whole life cost.

           5.1.2   To address this challenge the various holdings within the Property
                   Portfolio need to be justified. Through the mechanism of the ideal
                   property portfolio this work has already commenced and continuously
                   sharing this document with Service Managers and Management Team
                   will enable management decisions to be targeted on properties
                   according to their contribution towards corporate objectives. The
                   Asset Management Group wants to assist all Services Managers to
                   progress such actions. Currently this work is being concentrated on
                   the Housing portfolio.

           5.1.3. There is currently no incentive scheme to enable the Council to
                  declare under-used or under-achieving property surplus to
                  requirements. Officers and Members are currently considering use of
                  "savings" whereby some proportion of capital receipts are recycled
                  into dealing with the Council's maintenance backlog on retained
                  property. However, the general policy is to pool receipts for the
                  common good and to justify expenditure through the bidding process
                  for property and capital budgets as explained in the capital strategy.



                                          12
                                 Page 332


                   The Council has adopted a concise group of key property
                   performance indicators as recommended by CIPFA. They are set out
                   at Appendix 8.

           Challenge, Decision Making:

           5.2.1   To implement an explicit and co-ordinated approach to Asset
                   Management across the Council by continuously challenging and
                   reviewing the need for ownership and retention of property by setting
                   out clear criteria for the retention, disposal, acquisition and investment
                   in property.

           5.2.2   This approach will allow decision making to take place within the
                   sometimes highly sensitive and complex environment of the Council.
                   To address this challenge the mechanism of the ideal property
                   portfolio has been developed to show a clear audit trial for decisions
                   linked back to Corporate Planning. Further work will be required on
                   more detailed criteria related to capital receipts, community benefit
                   and maintenance costs once new Service Plans emerge later in 2008.

           Challenge, Meeting Corporate Plan Objectives:

           5.3.1   To use the portfolio effectively to meet the strategic priorities of the
                   Council in terms of service delivery income regeneration and
                   community benefit.

           5.3.2   To meet this challenge a disposals programme is in place which is
                   regularly reviewed by the Asset Management Group. Links with the
                   Capital Strategy and medium term financial plan will ensure that the
                   property portfolio contributes towards meeting corporate objectives
                   wherever possible. The medium term financial planning process may
                   result in further service reviews which will in turn require review of
                   assets currently employed. Currently resources are being
                   concentrated for example on the Housing portfolio. In the meantime
                   various individual property initiatives are being pursued at different
                   stages e.g. a review of industrial estates has just started, together with
                   an ongoing review of allotment and garage sites.

           Challenge, Portfolio Maintenance (Building Repair and Maintenance):

           5.4.1   To ensure buildings are suitable, accessible and maintained to an
                   agreed corporate standard. To meet this challenge revenue budgets
                   will need to be maintained at appropriate levels.

           5.4.2   Building condition surveys now completed have helped to inform the
                   budget setting process. This in turn will set the parameters for the
                   annual repair and maintenance programme for the next five years
                   (now prioritised). It is hoped that the principle of using "savings" will
                   assist in this process as will the ongoing disposal of certain assets to
                   reduce maintenance liabilities.

6.   RESOURCES

     6.1   The Capital Strategy guides the Council's programme of capital expenditure
           to ensure that it contributes to the achievement of the Council's objectives as



                                            13
                                        Page 333


            stated in its Corporate Plan. The Strategy forms a framework for the more
            operational strategies within services. The Head of Financial Services has
            developed the Strategy in conjunction with the Asset Management Group,
            which is chaired by the Corporate Property Officer and works corporately to
            promote good practice in Asset Management. Members approve both the
            Capital Strategy and Asset Management Plan at a meeting of the Cabinet.

     6.2    The Council's capital programme projects expenditure and the resources
            required to fund it for the current and for at least three years into the future.
            As part of the budget process, the Council's Management Team, lead
            members and the Cabinet all consider competing capital schemes. Members
            prioritise schemes according to how far they meet the aims of the Corporate
            Plan, their cost-effectiveness and their compliance with the Council's Asset
            Management Plan. Housing is a key area of Council capital expenditure and
            the Capital Strategy notes this. The Capital Strategy also notes the process
            of offering any surplus sites for residential development in the first instance to
            Housing Associations for affordable housing.

     6.3    The Capital Strategy details the sources of funding for the capital programme
            including borrowing, capital receipts, reserves, leasing, grants and
            contributions. However, when non housing capital receipts are received by
            the council in 2007-08 then the first call on these receipts will be to repay any
            unsupported borrowing that has taken place in 2006 -07. The strategy will be
            to continue to reduce investments where possible to limit the new borrowing.
            Members receive quarterly monitoring reports, a revised budget report and an
            out-turn report on the capital programme.


7.   ACTION PLANS AS APPENDIX 12/13




8.   MONITORING AND EVALUATION

     As with all strategies it is important to monitor progress to ensure that the aims and
     actions are delivered. The Asset Management Plan will be monitored through the
     Council's Performance Management Framework and the Council's Asset
     Management Group. It is planned to fully review the plan again in late summer 2008
     in response to revised Service Plans and annually update thereafter.




                                            14
          Page 334




This page is intentionally left blank
ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN - ACTION PLAN UPDATE (Updates shown in italics)


 Rec.      Challenge        Responsible                                    Action                                  Delivery Date
 No.                          Officer


  1        Portfolio          Property        Continue to input relevant data into the Technology Forge           March 2007 and
          Management      Services Manager    System to enable meaningful analysis of property                       ongoing
                                              performance and establish firm links to Radius System. All
                                              properties entered and system in use. Input continues with
                                              maintenance items [service contacts etc.] Links with Radius
                                              raised again with new Accounts Manager.

  2        Portfolio          Director        Establish an Energy Policy. Survey principal properties for           March 2007
          Management       (Organisational    Energy Efficiency. Consider establishment of an Energy                and annually
                            Improvement)      Efficiency Fund. Implement a programme of Energy
                                              Efficiency. Continue to purchase Energy through Laser and
                                              if housing remains 'in-house' expand to all their portfolio and




                                                                                                                                     Page 335
                                              to monitor consumption expenditure and consider carbon
                                              emissions through Carbon Trust. Energy policy approved at
                                              Cabinet September 2007. Carbon Trust reported on Civic
                                              Centre and Brookvale. Depot surveys. Chlorine Dioxide
                                              System installed at Leisure Sites and Civic Centre. Housing
                                              sites being steadily upgraded to LASER.

  3        Portfolio     Service Managers/    To review the various sections of the ideal property portfolio    Review existing
          Management     Property Services    to ensure unused, underused and unnecessary properties            disposals by Dec
                              Manager         are used efficiently or disposed of. Consider any larger          2006 with target
                                              sites in context of LDF, together with review of S106             dates. Review new
                                              implications for GBC land ownership. Various disposals            disposals by March
                                              reported to Cabinet. Further review of IPP underway with          2007 with target
                                              emphasis on housing. Discussions ongoing re LDF and               dates.
                                              S.106 implications.

  4        Portfolio      Property Services   To establish COPROP P.I.'s and to benchmark through                   March 2007
          Management          Manager         SEACES and/or KPMG. PI's established. Data collection
                                              ongoing.
Rec.     Challenge          Responsible                                      Action                                   Delivery Date
No.                           Officer


 5     Decision making/       Director        To continue to apply test of Ideal Property Portfolio through              Annually
        Corporate Plan     (Organisational    AMG and develop further criteria. IPP is agenda item at
          Objectives        Improvement)      AMG and latest review contains refined criteria.

 6     Decision making    Service Managers/   Establish "fit for purpose" criteria within the Ideal Portfolio to   November 2006 and
                          Property Services   assess relevance and need in relation to Service Provision.              Ongoing
                               Manager        See (5) above. Also suitability surveys commenced with
                                              services/users.

 7         Meeting        Asset Management    Monitor progress of service reviews and other initiatives to          Annually (to align




                                                                                                                                          Page 336
          Corporate             Group         determine action in respect of assets affected by changes             with Service Plan
       Plan Objectives                        arising from those reviews and initiatives. Major review on             Programme)
                                              car parking undertaken with input from Asset Management.
                                              Allotments, garages and amenity sites currently being
                                              reviewed.

 8       Portfolio        Property Services   Condition reporting on three year cycle. Continue to assess           Annually, completed
        Maintenance           Manager         the condition of property, calculate the backlog of                  by October each year
                                              maintenance and bid for funds to eliminate or keep the
                                              backlog at an acceptable level. Condition surveys
                                              completed, backlog calculated and reported to Cabinet
                                              February 2008.

 9       Portfolio            Director        Maintain the DDA fund and prioritise a programme for                     March 2007
        Maintenance        (Organisational    achieving BVPI target. Programme reported on to Members
                            Improvement)      February 2008.

10       Portfolio            Director        Maintain the asbestos and hazardous substances funding                     Ongoing
        Maintenance        (Organisational    and arrange expenditure of the fund to the Health & Safety
                            Improvement)      Adviser's requirements including training. Funding
                                              maintained. Advice on training sought from Personnel/
                                              Regulatory Services.
Rec.    Challenge         Responsible                                   Action                            Delivery Date
No.                         Officer


11     All challenges   Asset Management   Continue to hold AMG meetings to monitor progress of the        Monthly/Bi
                              Group        Asset Management Plan. Meetings held monthly.                    Annually

                                           AMG to report bi-annually to Management Team on
                                           progress. Regular reports on Asset Management issues to
                                           Management Team.

12     All challenges       Director       To implement actions from recent Asset Management Audit.          Various
                         (Organisational   All actions implemented save for re-write of
                          Improvement)     disposals/acquisition policy.

13     All challenges       Director       To complete AE build programme and decant. To seek              March 2007




                                                                                                                          Page 337
                         (Organisational   other opportunities for sharing of properties with partners.     Ongoing
                          Improvement)     Completed. Sharing with Courts, Police, Registrar (Civil
                                           Weddings), KCC Highways in place or imminent.
          Page 338




This page is intentionally left blank
ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN - NEW ACTION PLAN 2008

 Rec.     Challenge          Responsible                                    Action                              Delivery Date
 No.                           Officer


  1       Portfolio         Corporate Policy   Maintain Technology Forge database. Renew efforts to            March 2008 and
         Management         Officer/Property   make linkages with Civica System to enhance analysis of            ongoing
                           Services Manager    performance.

  2       Portfolio        Corporate Policy    Implement Energy policy.                                          March 2008
         Management            Officer         Survey further properties for energy efficiency.                  and annually
                                               Support Council's Sustainability Proposals.
                                               Continue to target Housing Portfolio for Laser bulk purchase
                                               of energy.
                                               Comply with government requirements on energy
                                               certification and display.




                                                                                                                                   Page 339
  3       Portfolio         Corporate Policy   Complete housing review of IPP.                                  Summer 2008
         Management         Officer/Property   Continue dialogue on LDF.                                          Ongoing
                           Services Manager    Complete S106 work with planning.                                Summer 2008

  4       Portfolio        Property Services   Revisit main IPP in context of new Corporate Plan.             Autumn/Winter 2008
         Management            Manager         Continuous update review of disposals.                              Ongoing
                                               Complete PI data collection.                                      Summer 2008
                                               Raise benchmarking through KPMG/SEACES                             Autumn 208


  5     Decision making/   Corporate Policy    AMG to consider "robust asset testing" before next review of     Summer 2008
         Corporate Plan        Officer         IPP/Asset Management Plan
           Objectives
                                               Review Asset Management Plan in context of new                 Late Summer 2008
                                               Corporate Plan and resultant service plans.

  6     Decision making    Service Managers/   Roll out suitability surveys to other services/users.               Ongoing
                           Property Services
                                Manager
Rec.     Challenge         Responsible                                    Action                               Delivery Date
No.                          Officer


 7         Meeting       Asset Management    Complete current reviews with services.                           Summer 2008
          Corporate            Group         (allotments, garages and amenity areas).
       Plan Objectives
                                             Commence review of industrial estates.                            Spring 2008

 8       Portfolio        Corporate Policy   Implement repairs/improvements identified in February 2008          2008 and
        Maintenance           Officer        report to Cabinet.                                                   ongoing

 9       Portfolio        Corporate Policy   Start Implementation of DDA programme identified in                 2008 and
        Maintenance           Officer        February 2008 report to Cabinet.                                     ongoing




                                                                                                                               Page 340
10       Portfolio        Corporate Policy   Implement any hazardous substances works.                           2008 and
        Maintenance           Officer                                                                            Ongoing

                                             Health and Safety - Identify update training for relevant staff   Spring 2008
                                             and implement.

11     All challenges    Asset Management    Hold monthly AMG.                                                   Monthly
                               Group         Group to review terms of reference and make-up.                   Summer 2008

                                             Continue reporting on progress to Management Team                  Bi-annually
                                             bi-annually.

12     All challenges     Corporate Policy   Complete actions arising from Asset Management audit -            Spring 2008
                              Officer        disposals/acquisitions policy.

13     All challenges     Corporate Policy   Civic Centre: Complete all external letting arrangements and      Summer 2008
                              Officer        contribute to further opportunities for site sharing.

                                             Enter dialogue with other agencies re "mapping" of public         Autumn 2008
                                             sector land/buildings.
GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL REQUIRED MAINTENANCE BACKLOG PRIORITY SCORE SHEET                                                                          Appendix 3                                                                                                                   05/02/08 16:23



                                                                                                             Weighting                                                                             10            8            8          10           5        10
                                                                                                             1-5 per bid




                                                                                                                 Type
             Code                    Premises                              Narrative                                       2008                                    COMMENTS                      Health &    Maintenance   Security    Service      Listed   Political   Total
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Safety                                Need       Building Expediency   Score

Cemeteries                  Gravesend                       Structural survey & report on catacombs             H&S               2,000 To check structural stability of catacombs
                                                                                                    Fees                                                                                                50            40                      50          25                165
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                            Opening up & sealing of catacombs              H&S               8,000 To check structural stability of catacombs                      50            40                      50          25                165
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                                    Tanking to top of catacombs            H&S               6,000 From engineers report see above                                 50            40                      50          25                165
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                             Investigate ground below Chapel &             H&S               2,000 Boundary walls unstable
                                                                                         boundary walls                                                                                                 50            40                      50          25                165
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                        Rebuild & repair boundary walls(phased             H&S               7,500 Boundary walls unstable
                                                                                   ongoing every year)                                                                                                  50            40                      50          25                165
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                                                Repairs to Oblisks       G2 listed       10,000    Gravesend grade 2 listed                                        50            40                      50          25                165
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                                 Structural Engineers Fees          H&S             2,000                                                                    50            40                      50          25                165
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                    Structural repairs to vaulted brickwork         H&S            10,000    Structural                                                      50            40                      50          25                165
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                         Safety work to steel access ways           H&S             5,000    Safety                                                          50            40                      50          25                165
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                                       Repairs to filler joists     H&S             5,000    Structural                                                      50            40                      50          25                165
Parks (Various) GBC         Fort Gardens public toilets                   Repairs after electrical tests       H&S             3,500    Safety                                                          50            40                      50          25                165     61,000
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                    Corroded structural steel strengthening          H&S             5,000    See structural engineers report DW3775a PBA Consulting
                                                                                                   works                                                                                                50            40                      30          25                145
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                        Renew obsolete main entrance door               H&S           10,000 New detectors, motors & safety screen one inoperable
                                                                                      operating system                                                                                                  50            40                      50                            140
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                  Renew exhaust & safety cage to generator             H&S             5,000    Business continuity & emergency planning                        50            40                      50                            140
Woodville Halls             Woodville Halls                            Catering kitchen refurbishment          H&S            30,000    Urgently needs bringing up to date for lettings etc             50            40                      50                            140
Springhead Pavillion        Springhead Pavillion                       Rewire of electrical installation       H&S             6,000    Safety                                                          50            40                      50                            140
Towncentric                 Towncentric                                           Electrical system test       H&S             1,200    Mandatory                                                       50            40                      50                            140
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                  Repair stained glass windows           H&S             2,000    structural stabilty to frame etc                                50            40                      50                            140    120,200
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade                                   Replace road lighting lanterns         H&S             2,170    Vandalised and very little light for safety                     50            40                      50                            140
Parks (Various) GBC         Parks - Management                            Repairs after electrical tests       H&S             2,500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                                              Re-roofing café        Maint          20,000    Leaks, beyond economic repair.                                  50            40                      50                            140




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Page 341
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                                                 Electrical test     H&S             2,500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
The Healthy Living Centre   The Grand                                                  Electrical testing      H&S               500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Brookvale                   Depot                             Brookvale Workshops Electrical testing           Maint           3,500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Rent Offices                Kitchener Ave. Area Office                                 Electrical testing      Maint             500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Rent Offices                Lawrence Sq. Area Office                                   Electrical testing      Maint             500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Rent Offices                The Hive Area Office                                       Electrical testing      Maint             500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140
Rent Offices                Dickens Road Area Office                                   Electrical testing      Maint             500    Electrical regulations                                          50            40                      50                            140    153,370
Public Clocks & Memorials   Generally clocks                                             Electrical tests      H&S             1,000    Electrical regulation                                           50            40                      50                            140
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                              Repairs to clock face        Maint          12,500    Survey from clockmaker Scaffold by Church in 2008               40            40                      50           5                135
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                                  Repairs to hands         Maint           3,150    Survey from clockmaker Scaffold by Church in 2009               40            40                      50           5                135
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                                    Reinstate strike       Maint           3,250    Survey from clockmaker Scaffold by Church in 2010               40            40                      50           5                135
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                        Reinstate access to hands          Maint           2,000    Survey from clockmaker Scaffold by Church in 2011               40            40                      50           5                135
Heritage Centre             The Chantry                                Rewire of electrical installation       H&S             5,000    Electrical regulation                                           40            30                      40          25                135
Public Conveniences         The Hill                                              Demolish gents toilet        H&S            12,000    If not sold to adjacent owner                                   50            40                      40                            130    192,270
Parks (Various) GBC         Woodlands park                             Install security shutters to cafe      Security        10,000    Security to site & equipment                                                  40          40          50                            130
Heritage Centre             The Chantry                                               Works from FRA           H&S             2,500    Safety                                                          50                                    50          25                125
Heritage Centre             The Chantry                                   Installation of intruder alarm      Security         1,800    To protect priceless artifacts                                                            40          50          25                115
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                              Repair iron bands to front columns         G2 listed        3,000    Structural repair                                                             40                      50          25                115
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                              Repair structural cracks to Chapel         G2 listed        3,000    Structural repair                                                             40                      50          25                115
Cemeteries                  Gravesend                       Renewal of stolen lead to roof of Chapel          G2 listed        3,500    Stolen twice                                                                  40                      50          25                115
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                                       Tanking to walkways          Maint           8,000    Structural                                                                    40                      50          25                115
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                                Re pointing boundary walls          Maint           8,000    Structural                                                                    40                      50          25                115
Parks (Various) GBC         Bandstand Fort Gardens                    Concrete repairs. Redecoration           Maint           2,500    Structural                                                                    40                      50          25                115
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                    Emergency lighting to Under Ground Car             H&S             6,000    Localised power failure
                                                                                                     Park                                                                                               50            40                      20                            110
Woodville Halls             Woodville Halls               Renewal of ventilation plant consultant fees         Maint           2,500    Obsolete & uneconomical ventilation system.                     20            40                      50                            110
Heritage Centre             The Chantry                                               External painting        Maint           4,500    Maintainance                                                                  40                      40          25                105    247,570
Springhead Pavillion        Springhead Pavillion                 Upgrading of sanitory accomodation            H&S            10,000    Health                                                          30            24                      50                            104
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                   Steel access steps & bridge to plant room           H&S             2,750    Fire risk assessment related                                    50                                    50                            100
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                       Steel access steps & handrails across           H&S             3,500    Fire risk assessment related
                                                                                                parapets                                                                                                50                                    50                            100
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                                    Additional CCTV cameras             H&S            3,500    Security to forecourt & foyer                                   20                        40          40                            100
Woodville Halls             Woodville Halls                         Provision of additional fire escape         H&S           25,000    From Fire risk assessment                                       50                                    50                            100
Springhead Pavillion        Springhead Pavillion                                  Internal redecoration         Maint          2,750    Unhygenic                                                       10            40                      50                            100
Springhead Pavillion        Springhead Pavillion                             Renewal of floor covering          Maint          4,250    Unhygenic                                                       10            40                      50                            100




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GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL REQUIRED MAINTENANCE BACKLOG PRIORITY SCORE SHEET                                                                    Appendix 3                                                                                                                           05/02/08 16:23




                                                                                                           Type
            Code                     Premises                             Narrative                                2008                                     COMMENTS                                  Health &    Maintenance   Security   Service    Listed   Political   Total
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Safety                               Need     Building Expediency   Score

Parks (Various) GBC         CD Bunker                                            Fire precaution work     H&S             2,500 Remedial work after FRA                                                      50                                 50                            100
Brookvale                   Depot                           Repairs / rebuilding of blockwork walls to    Maint           4,200 Outer skin of hollow wall collapsed
                                                                  rear of vehicle workshop & garage                                                                                                          20            40                   40                            100
Brookvale                   Depot                                        Repairs to pavement barrier      Maint        2,000 Danger of falling                                                               30            40                   30                            100    308,020
Public Clocks & Memorials   Public Clocks and Memorials      Cleaning & repairs to Clocktower stone       Maint       25,000 Following Inspection report from 2007
                                                                                             structure                                                                                                       30            40                             25                   95
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                                    Handrail to car park ramp     H&S          1,250      Fire risk assessment related                                               40                                 50                             90
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                                 Sunshades to finance office     Improve       5,750      To help reduce overheating in summer                                       50                                 40                             90
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                                       Sunshades to pyramid      Improve      30,000      To help reduce overheating in summer                                       50                                 40                             90
Woodville Halls             Woodville Halls                                      Internal redecoration    Maint       15,000      To continue the improvements to the theatre                                              40                   50                             90
St Andrews Art Centre       Chapel                                     Repairs to River embankment        Maint       32,000      To prevent potential collapse of Grade ll listed building (budget
                                                                                                                                  only)                                                                                    40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                  Lodge window replacement          Maint        8,500      Domestic residence windows rotted and will not open                                      40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                       External Redecorations       Maint        7,000      Lodge                                                                                    40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                                 Reroof Lodge       Maint       20,000      Slates in bad condition                                                                  40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                          West Chapel repairs       Maint        2,500      Plaster & decs. Public building.                                                         40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                          East Chapel repairs       Maint        7,000      Northfleet - vestry, toilets, eaves & gutters etc                                        40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                       Repair Boundary Walls        Maint        5,000      Gravesend - Pointing & repairs                                                           40                   50                             90
Cemeteries                  Northfleet                                         Re-roof main Chapel        Maint       32,000      Northfleet - Bell tower & chapel                                                         40                   50                             90
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                           General Repairs to Prom Café         Maint        3,000      general sundry repairs                                                                   40                   50                             90
Rent Offices                Kitchener Ave. Area Office  Repairs and redec of water damaged office.        Maint        2,300      Maintainance
                                                                                     External repairs                                                                                                                      40                   50                             90    504,320
Towncentric                 Towncentric                                                 New matwell       H&S             1,500   Safety                                                                     20            24                   40                             84
The Healthy Living Centre   The Grand                                          Replacement matwell        H&S             1,400   Safety                                                                     20            24                   40                             84




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Page 342
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                 AMACLAD DADO rails to meetiung rooms            Improve          4,000   To protect walls from chair damage                                                       40                   40                             80
Brookvale                   Depot                          Repairs / recoating vehicle wash station       Maint           3,500   Maintainance                                                                             40                   40                             80
Public Clocks & Memorials   Public Clocks and Memorials Cleaning Gravesend War Memorial bronze            Maint           2,750   Bronze needs cleaning and polishing on an annual basis.
                                                                                               Statue                                                                                                                      40                   20                             60
Public Clocks & Memorials   Princess Pocahontas                              Clean & re-wax bronze       Maint         4,250      Recommendation by restorer over & above normal wash & wax                                40                   20                             60
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade                                Tidy up after toilet demolished     Maint         9,000      ground & railings                                                                        30                   30                             60
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                                           New Borough flag      Maint         1,200      New GBC flag                                                                              8                   50                             58
Community Centres           Shears Green                                          Curtains and track     Maint         6,800      Improvement to use of hall                                                               16                   40                             56
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                               Repairs to pond & fountains       Maint        10,000      Pond vandalised                                                                          40                   10                             50
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                      Renewal of defective mastic pointing       Maint         5,000      Waterproofing to cladding                                                                40                   10                             50
Public Clocks & Memorials   Public Clocks and Memorials           Repairs to lettering on memorials      Maint         3,250      (or £3,250 05/06, 06/07) Names eroding away                                              40                   10                             50
Public Clocks & Memorials   Higham Obelisk                                          Structural survey    Maint         1,250      To check stability                                                         10            24                                                  34
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                        Renovation work to Mayoral boards        Maint         1,800      To protect old boards                                                                     8                   10                             18
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                   Provision of railings to forecourt & pond     H&S          10,000      Danger of falling                                                          10                                                                10




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GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL REQUIRED MAINTENANCE BACKLOG PRIORITY SCORE SHEET                                                              Appendix 3                                                                                                          05/02/08 16:23




                                                                                                         Type
               Code                  Premises                         Narrative                                  2008                                 COMMENTS               Health &   Maintenance   Security   Service    Listed   Political   Total
                                                                                                                                                                              Safety                              Need     Building Expediency   Score

Admin Buildings             44/45 Windmill Street                        Renewal of fencing at rear     Maint              Broken & poor. Omitted from main contract                                                                                     0
Admin Buildings             44/45 Windmill Street                               Resurface rear yard     Maint              Uneven & floods in rain                                                                                                       0
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                           Security film to interview rooms    Improve             New item                                                                                                                      0
Admin Buildings             Civic Centre                    Installation of voltage power perfector     Maint       25,545 Pay back period 2years & every year after        Capitol                                                                      0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                            Reinstate chime         Maint                Survey from clockmaker                                                                                                      0
Public Clocks & Memorials   St. Georges Church clock                    Upgrade time mechanism          Maint                Survey from clockmaker                                                                                                      0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Woodville Halls             Woodville Halls                           Renewal of ventilation plant     Maint                 Obsolete & uneconomical ventilation system.                                                                                 0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Springhead Pavillion        Springhead Pavillion                          External Redecorations        Maint                Springhead Pavilion - External Redecorations                                                                                0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Community Centres           Shears Green                                 Renewal of roof covering       Maint                Maintainance                                                                                                                0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Towncentric                 Towncentric                                   Replace display lighting      Maint              Domestic quality fitted.                                                                                                      0
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                        External paving & brick repairs       Maint              Safety                                                                                                                        0
Parks (Various) GBC         Promenade Café                        Repointing briackwork phase ll        Maint              Maintainance                                                                                                                  0
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                    Installation of fire alarm to tunnels    H&S          2,500 Safety                                           Already budgeted                                                             0
Parks (Various) GBC         New Tavern Fort                    Works from Fire Risk Assessment          H&S         50,000 Safety                                           Already budgeted                                                             0
Parks (Various) GBC         Gordon Lodge                              Renewal of boundary fence         Maint              Security to site & equipment                                                                                                  0
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         0
Brookvale                   Depot                      Recoating of cladding to vehicle workshop        Maint                Maintainance
                                                                                     and garaging                                                                                                                                                        0




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Page 343
Brookvale                   Depot                         Recoat cladding / external decorations        Maint                Maintainance                                                                                                                0
Brookvale                   Depot                                  Internal redecoration to offices     Maint                Maintainance                                                                                                                0
Rent Offices                Dickens Road Area Office   Replace pallisade fencing to side with gate      Maint                Maintainance
                                                        so that rear of property can be inspected
                                                          and maintained. Sundry external works                                                                                                                                                          0




                                                                                                                   648,065                                                                                                                                    648,065




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                           Page 344




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                                          Page 345                  Agenda Item 21




                            GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL

REPORT TO:                     Cabinet

DATE:                          11 February 2008

REPORTING OFFICERS:            Director (Operations & Housing)
                               Director (Planning and Regeneration)
                               Head of Financial Services

SUBJECT:                       Housing Revenue Account Estimates 2008-09 and
                               Housing Capital Programme


PURPOSE AND SUMMARY OF REPORT: To report on the Housing Revenue Account
estimates and the proposed Housing Capital Programme.



RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. It is recommended that the draft Revenue and Capital estimates for 2008-09 be
   approved.

2. That the Housing Revenue Account minimum working balance be increased from
   £500,000 to £1,000,000

3. That Members have due regard to the risks potentially impacting upon the HRA in
   future years


1.   INTRODUCTION

     1.1   Details of the estimates for the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and the Housing
           capital programme are attached for Members consideration.



2.   HRA BUSINESS PLANNING

     2.1   Within the strategic framework of the overall Housing Strategy, the HRA Business
           Plan 2005–2008 sets out the four HRA priorities as being;

           •   To deliver an excellent housing service for all our customers

           •   To meet the Decent Homes Standard by 2010


                                               1
                                         Page 346


               •   To keep tenants at the heart of the service: setting standards, monitoring
                   performance, suggesting improvements and participating in key decisions

               •   To ballot our tenants on whether they want to transfer to a Registered Social
                   Landlord

     2.2       Following the ballot of tenants during 2006, and the resulting majority decision to
               stay with the council, it has been necessary to re-address the likely levels of
               capital and revenue resources over the coming years and as such revise
               expectations of what can be achieved within those resources.

     2.3       In keeping with the statements made by the Council in the offer document it sent
               to all tenants during the ballot process, capital resources are being channelled into
               bringing all council housing stock up to the Communities and Local Government
               Department’s (CLG) basic Decent Homes Standard by the deadline of 2010. This
               standard requires that homes must;

           •   Meet the statutory minimum standard for housing

           •   Be in a reasonable state of repair

           •   Have reasonably modern facilities and services

           •   Provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort

     2.4       Members should note that the Housing Capital Programme (appended to this
               report) has been developed to reflect achievement of the reduced level of the
               Decent Homes Standard for all properties by 2010. This is in keeping with the
               offer document sent to tenants during the ballot process in 2006.



3.   HRA WORKING BALANCES

     3.1       The Local Government Act 2003 introduced a requirement for the Chief Finance
               Officer to report on the adequacy of reserves as part of the budget setting
               process. Members will note below the level of HRA working balance (reserve)
               between 2007-08 and 2008-09;

                                                                          £
               HRA Working Balance (B/Fwd from 2006-07)               (1,192,000)

               Budgeted (Surplus)/Deficit – 2007-08                     (400,460)
               Budgeted (Surplus)/Deficit – 2008-09                       461,770

               HRA Working Balance (C/Fwd to 2009-10)                 (1,130,690)


     3.2       Following a recommendation on 12 February 2007 to the Cabinet by the Head of
               Financial Services (after consultation with the Director (Operations and Housing)),
               members determined that the minimum working balance on the HRA should not
               decrease below £500,000.




                                                    2
                                           Page 347


     3.3   In light of the estimated £461,770 deficit in 2008-09, and after having due regard
           to the increased financial risks represented by the 2008-09 subsidy determination,
           the Head of Financial Services (after consultation with the Director (Operations
           and Housing)) is looking to maintain a minimum working balance of £1,000,000 on
           the Housing Revenue Account in 2008-09 and beyond. In order to achieve this,
           officers are committed to producing a balanced budget within the next two
           financial years, with the aim of delivering a sustainable Housing Revenue Account
           in the medium term. The “excess” working balance above the minimum
           requirement of £1,000,000 will be used where necessary to facilitate this, for
           example by funding efficiency measures that result in future savings.

     3.4   As can be seen in the table below, preliminary medium term projections have
           been adjusted to reflect the higher than anticipated negative subsidy payment due
           in 2008-09 (being the main cause of the 2008-09 deficit), as discussed in
           paragraph 5.1.13 to 5.1.18 below. This has resulted in the initial projection now
           being for a return to a near break-even situation on the Housing Revenue Account
           by 2010-11, with a projected surplus being achievable in 2011-12;

                                          2008-09         2009-10        2010-11        2011-12
                                         Estimated       Projected      Projected      Projected

           Housing Revenue Account
                                            £462,000        £85,000      (£15,000)     (£280,000)
           (Surplus)/Deficit

           Working Balance B/Fwd         (£1,593,000)   (£1,131,000)   (£1,047,000)   (£1,062,000)

           Working Balance C/Fwd         (£1,131,000)   (£1,047,000)   (£1,062,000)   (£1,342,000)




4.   HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT 2007-08

     4.1   The probable out-turn for 2007-08 reflects a closing working balance of
           £1,592,460 after allowing for an estimated surplus of £400,460 against an original
           estimated deficit of £248,670 on the account. This is attributable mainly to a
           saving in salary and wages (due to higher than anticipated levels of vacancies),
           together with higher than anticipated levels of internal interest receivable from the
           General Fund (partly due to lower than anticipated use of HRA resources) and
           additional income generated through the charging of leaseholders.

     4.2   These and other variances are noted below and will also be reported to the next
           Finance and Audit Committee on 21 February 2008;

            No     Variance     Explanation
                                Lower than anticipated employee’s costs due to higher than
             1      -£398,000
                                expected general staff vacancies.
                                Higher than anticipated internal interest credited from the
                                General Fund due to slower use of HRA working balances
             2      -£162,000
                                and slippage from 2006-07 to 2007-08 in the Housing
                                Capital Programme.
                                Additional income generated through service charging of
             3       -£90,000
                                leaseholders.
                                Reduction in Playgrounds budgets to reflect slower than
             4       -£18,000
                                anticipated expenditure during the year.


                                               3
                                     Page 348


                                 Reduction in Neighbourhood Development budgets to
             5       -£16,000
                                 reflect slower than anticipated expenditure during the year.
                                 Additional income generated through charging of tenants for
             6       -£16,000
                                 damage caused to properties.
                                 Reduction in Anti-Social Behaviour budget to reflect slower
             7       -£21,000
                                 than anticipated expenditure during the year.
                                 Additional income received from higher than anticipated
             8       -£19,000
                                 Court Costs recovered.
                                 Reduction in Independent Tenant Consultants budget – no
             9       -£28,000    longer necessary due to commencement of demolition
                                 programme at Christianfields.
                                 Reduction in Training budget to reflect slower than
            10       -£11,000
                                 anticipated expenditure during the year.
                                 Reduction in Tenants Removal/Disturbance budget to
            11       -£25,000
                                 reflect slower than anticipated expenditure during the year.
                                 Increase in Lighting of Staircases budgets to reflect actual
            12        £35,000    increases in charges for electricity usage within Housing
                                 Estates.
                                 Reduction in Rent charges raised during the year due to
            13        £28,000    long term void status of Phase 2 properties at the
                                 Christianfields Estate in advance of hand-over to developer.
                                 Reduction in Service Charges raised during the year due to
            14        £36,000    long term void status of Phase 2 properties at the
                                 Christianfields Estate in advance of hand-over to developer.
                                 Increase in bad-debts provision in respect of Rents and
            15        £41,000    Service Charges to meet higher than anticipated levels of
                                 write-offs during 2007-08.




5.   HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT 2008-09

     5.1   With regard to 2008-09, the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) is showing a
           projected deficit of £461,770 resulting in a closing working balance of £1,130,690.
           The main items to note are as follows:


             Dwelling Rents

           5.1.1   Rents and Service Charges for 2008-09 have been determined by the
                   Head of Housing Services, in consultation with the Lead Member for
                   Housing and Operations and the Head of Financial Services, under
                   delegated authority given to him by the Cabinet in January 2003. The
                   increases are in keeping with the government guidance below.

           5.1.2   Income in respect of rents from council dwellings has increased by
                   £1,065,900 in comparison to the original 2007-08 estimate. Members are
                   reminded that rent restructuring reforms were introduced in April 2002, and
                   that councils and registered social landlords (rsl’s) are expected to move
                   the rents of each of their dwellings towards a ‘formula rent’. This is to be
                   worked out in accordance with a formula provided by the Government and
                   is expected to be achieved within a 10-year period (subject to certain



                                               4
                                Page 349


        exceptions). The average rent charged for the Authority’s dwellings in
        2007-08 is £63.32 whilst the average formula rent in 2007-08 is £69.20.

5.1.3   Following a review of the rent restructuring process by the Office of the
        Deputy Prime Minister in July 2004, members may recall that formula rents
        increased sharply in 2005-06. The Government maintained safeguards
        within the system to prevent actual rents from rising too steeply in order to
        achieve these higher formula rents. The requirement that actual weekly
        rents should not increase by more than RPI+0.5%+£2 (RPI being 3.9% as
        at September 2007) in comparison to the previous year continues to be
        used but a new ‘capping’ limit was introduced with effect from 2006-07
        which required that the Authority’s average rent should not increase by
        more than 5% on the previous year’s figure. From 2008-09, this 5%
        capping requirement has been removed by the government, but has in part
        been replaced by an extension to the rent convergence deadline (from
        2011-12 to 2016-17).

5.1.4   It has been neither promised nor implied that an extension to the rent
        convergence deadline will be replicated beyond 2008-09 for rent setting
        purposes. The extension has only been guaranteed for 2008-09 as a
        means of reducing the impact upon local authority finances following the
        withdrawal of the Rental Constraint Allowance which was present in 2006-
        07 and 2007-08.           Official Communities and Local Government
        correspondence states that “the rent convergence deadline date will be
        reviewed for future determinations given that Ministers are considering the
        possibility of wider reform of the HRA subsidy system”.

5.1.5   Having taken account of the rent restructuring formula and the rent
        convergence extension mentioned above, the authority’s average rent will
        increase to £67.32 in 2008-09, representing an increase of 6.3% on
        average. This increase will generate an additional £1,065,900 in 2008-09
        over that originally estimated for 2007-08. It is worth mentioning that had
        the rent convergence deadline not been extended for 2008-09 rent setting
        purposes, Gravesham’s average rent for 2008-09 would have been
        £67.58, representing a 6.7% increase on average on 2007-08 rent levels.



    Service Charges

5.1.6   As with rent increases, the Government expects Authorities to protect
        tenants against sharp rises in service charges. The Government have
        stated that ‘the increase between 2007-08 and 2008-09 in the service
        charge of an individual property should not exceed RPI +0.5%’ with the
        RPI figure as at September 2007 being 3.9%. By adhering to this policy
        the authority’s average service charge is capped at £2.69 for 2008-09, with
        the actual average service charge being £2.68; however this does mean
        that the authority will be under recovering costs of around £165,000.

5.1.7   Whilst setting charges in accordance with rent restructuring rules is not
        mandatory, with local authorities having the power to decide upon their
        own charges, in practice the Government are able to exert a considerable
        amount of financial pressure through the HRA subsidy system. Official
        guidance can be found within the Housing Revenue Account Manual
        which states;

                                    5
                                    Page 350


                 “It is for each authority to decide on the rents that they should charge their
                 tenants. The powers of local housing authorities to set rents are laid down
                 in the Housing Act 1985 (Section 24);

                 1. A local authority may make such reasonable charges as they may
                    determine for the tenancy or occupation of their houses.

                 2. The authority shall from time to time review rents and make changes,
                    either of rents generally or of particular rents, as circumstances may
                    require.

                 The new method (i.e. the Rent Restructuring Formula) is non-statutory, but
                 the HRA subsidy is calculated upon the assumption that it is being
                 introduced by authorities….

                  … local authorities will remain free to determine their rents by other
                 means if they so wish, provided that they comply with section 24 (of the
                 1985 Act) and the requirement that they budget for a balanced HRA.”

         5.1.8   Members are therefore advised to note that whilst the original budgeted
                 income from rental charges to tenants is based upon following the rent
                 restructuring formula, the decision as to the exact level of rent increase
                 given to each of the authority’s tenants can be determined at a local level.
                 However, through the “rent cap” mechanism (i.e. the combined rent and
                 service charge figure above which the government will no longer
                 reimburse any housing benefit receivable by the tenant) the authority is
                 limited as to the additional income that could be generated through
                 increasing rents at above rent restructuring levels. An illustration of this
                 can be seen in the table below;

                              6.4%        7.0%        7.5%        8.0%        8.5%        9.0%
                              Ave.        Ave.        Ave.        Ave.        Ave.        Ave.
                            Increase    Increase    Increase    Increase    Increase    Increase
Average Rent                    67.32       67.70       68.02       68.33       68.65       68.96
Additional Income
Generated                         n/a    115,200     212,700     307,200     404,700     499,100
Less; Effect of the "Rent
Cap" (Estimated)                  n/a          0           0           0     (53,000)   (109,700)

Net additional income
received                          n/a    115,200     212,700     307,200     351,700     389,400


         5.1.9   It is likely that the “rent cap” will remain in force for the foreseeable future
                 and authorities breaching this limit will incur a subsidy penalty. The
                 Authority’s “rent cap” for 2008-09 is £69.74 compared with the average
                 combined rent and service charge of £68.66 for the purposes of the
                 subsidy calculation.


              Supporting People

         5.1.10 The supporting people programme has been in operation since April 2003
                with the aim of providing housing related support to vulnerable groups,
                including those residing in sheltered and semi sheltered accommodation.

                                               6
                               Page 351


       Following a review by the Commissioning Body, Kent County Council
       (KCC) have stated that support service providers can increase their
       support charges by 2.0% for 2008-09 if they wish to do so. Having factored
       such increases into the budget for 2008-09 as appended, the old and
       revised charges are identified below.

                                                       2007-08          2008-09
                                                         (£)              (£)
        Transitional Tenants-Sheltered                        6.63             6.76
        Non Transitional Tenants-Sheltered                   11.78            12.02
        Non Transitional Tenants-Semi Sheltered               1.98             2.02


5.1.11 Members are reminded that following an internal audit review of the
       Service in 2005-06, a decision was taken at that time by the Lead Member
       for Housing and Neighbourhood renewal (under delegated powers) to
       enter into a ‘capped funding’ agreement with KCC. KCC have also
       allowed an inflationary uplift of 2.0% on the capped funding payable to this
       Authority in 2008-09. All things remaining equal therefore, after the effects
       of increasing employee costs, this means the authority will effectively be
       receiving a reduction in the levels of funding from KCC.

5.1.12 The effect of the above changes identified in paragraphs 5.1.10 and 5.1.11
       is to increase the income received by this authority towards the Supporting
       People function by around £13,900.



    HRA Subsidy

5.1.13 Members may recall that in order to calculate an authority’s subsidy
       ‘entitlement’ the DCLG constructs a model of its housing revenue account
       identifying how much it estimates an authority should spend and how
       much income it should raise however, this subsidy account will not
       necessarily reflect an authority’s true financial position. The term ‘HRA
       subsidy’ these days is probably a misnomer for many councils following
       the removal of rent rebates from the HRA to the general fund, which has
       resulted in a notional surplus in the subsidy calculation that is required to
       be paid to a national pool for redistribution.

5.1.14 The basic formula for calculating the subsidy payment in 2008-09 has
       remained largely unchanged from that of 2007-08 except for the removal
       of the Rental Constraint Allowance and extension of the rent convergence
       deadline mentioned in paragraphs 5.1.3 and 5.1.4 above. Within the
       subsidy calculation the Government makes assumptions about authority
       rent levels. The subsidy rent figure, which may be greater or less than the
       authority’s actual rent, has to move towards the formula rent in the same
       way as the authority’s actual rent charges.

5.1.15 A summary of the key elements of the Housing Subsidy calculation can be
       seen below;




                                    7
                         Page 352


                                         2007-08         2008-09
                                                                        Difference
                                         Probable       Estimated
        Assumed Income;
        Subsidy Rent                     £19,892,72     £20,693,830       (£801,110)
        Interest on Receipts               £16,1100         £10,990           £5,120

        Assumed Expenditure;
        Management & Maintenance         £9,515,600      £9,554,290          £38,690
        Major Repairs Allowance          £4,255,640      £4,237,180        (£18,460)
        Rental Constraint Allowance        £428,910               £0      (£428,910)
        Charges for Capital                £902,470        £911,400           £8,930

        Total                            £4,806,210      £6,001,950     (£1,195,740)


5.1.16 As can be seen above, the Government is assuming that the Authority will
       have an additional net surplus of £1,195,740 on the above items, and
       therefore this is the additional amount that the Council will have to pay to
       central government in the form of negative housing subsidy in 2008-09,
       representing an increase of 24.88% over the equivalent amount payable in
       2007-08.

5.1.17 A consultation response to the above subsidy determination was sent to
       the Communities and Local Government Department outlining the financial
       pressures that such a large increase in negative subsidy will pose to this
       authority and the ability to deliver a housing service that the tenants both
       rightly demand and expect, however the final determination has remained
       unaltered. Indeed, it should be highlighted that an average rent increase
       to tenants of 6.3% in 2008-09 generates an additional £1,065,900, which is
       exceeded by an increase in negative subsidy equal to £1,195,740.

5.1.18 Members are therefore asked to note the potential future impacts upon
       Gravesham’s Housing Revenue Account should such large increases in
       negative subsidy be replicated in future years.



    Supervision and Management Costs

5.1.19 The Supervision and Management budget for 2008-09 has increased by
       £10,760 in comparison with the 2007-08 original estimate with the 2008-09
       budget including the items outlined below.

5.1.20 Whilst the estimate includes a provisional pay award allowance of 2.5%
       (together with an allowance for a 4.5% vacancy saving), the overall
       decrease in Salaries and Wages budgets amounts to £12,550 in 2008-09,
       due to the deletion of several vacant posts from the Housing establishment
       list.

5.1.21 Other major variances between 2007-08 and 2008-09 include an increase
       in the budgeted provision for electricity used to light communal areas and

                                   8
                               Page 353


       staircases to reflect the increase in charges experienced during 2007-08
       together with a reduction in the budget for use of independent tenant
       consultants which is not longer necessary following the commencement of
       demolition and redevelopment at the Christianfields site.


    Repairs and Maintenance

5.1.22 The partnering arrangements as introduced from 1 April 2005 continue to
       deliver higher levels of customer satisfaction and cost saving efficiencies.

5.1.23 The fixed price contract awarded to Operational Services in 2008-09 has
       been reduced to £3,928,510 from £4,137,810 in 2007-08 (a reduction of
       £209,000) as agreed under the terms of the partnering contract. It should
       be noted however that not only has this reduction been offset in part by
       increases in other areas such as cyclical painting, servicing contracts and
       fire risk assessments required by law, but of significant importance is an
       anticipated increase in the cost of works to be undertaken by Operational
       Services in 2008-09 following the recent re-tendering exercise for sub
       contracted works within the Operational Services partnering agreement.
       Such financial issues are likely to place increasing pressure on the
       authority’s Housing Capital programme to deliver a sustainable
       programme of improvement and replacement within the authority’s
       Housing Stock as a means of potentially minimising future demand for
       responsive repairs.

5.1.24 Overall therefore, this has resulted in an increase in the direct works
       element of the repairs and maintenance budget of around £361,000 in
       comparison with the 2007-08 original estimate.

                              2006-07        2007-08       2007-08        2008-09
                               Actual        Original      Probable      Estimated
        Day to Day
                             £4,564,230     £4,532,900     £4,490,300     £4,503,500
        Repairs
        Cyclical Repairs       £478,970       £500,000       £515,000       £750,000
        Servicing
                               £952,810       £930,000       £970,000     £1,040,000
        Contracts
        Estate
                                £99,700       £103,000       £118,000       £133,000
        Management
        Repairs
                               £602,400       £699,600       £555,300       £556,100
        Administration
        Total                £6,698,110     £6,765,500     £6,648,600     £6,982,600


5.1.25 As shown by the table above, the increased cost of the direct works has
       been offset to an extent by a reduction in the cost of repairs administration
       in 2008-09 of £143,500, largely due to greater staff time being recharged
       out to capital schemes (rather than revenue) and unfilled vacancies during
       the year within the Housing Contracts team. This has therefore resulted in
       a net increase of £217,000 in the cost of providing the repairs and
       maintenance service to Gravesham’s tenants.

5.1.26 Members are particularly asked to note the increases being experienced
       between 2007-08 and 2008-09 within the cyclical repairs and servicing

                                    9
                                     Page 354


                  contracts elements of the housing repairs and maintenance budget.
                  Therefore, a detailed explanation for these increases can be seen below;

                  Scheme                 Increase                  Explanation
                                                    Due to the increased cost of painting
                                                    caused by changes in the Health and
                  Cyclical Repairs         £250,000 Safety regulations requiring erection of
                                                    scaffolding at each site prior to
                                                    commencement of works.
                                                    Due to increases in ongoing
                                                    commitments to service new additions
                                                    to smoke alarms, boilers, fire
                  Servicing Contracts      £110,000 equipment, CCTV equipment, together
                                                    with regulatory changes requiring water
                                                    testing to be carried out annually in all
                                                    communal areas.




6.   HOUSING CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2007-08

     6.1   The Housing capital programme currently shows a projected out-turn of
           £6,339,490 against an original estimate of £7,832,690. The major variances are
           noted below and will also be reported to the next Finance and Audit Committee on
           21 February 2008;



            No    Variance     Explanation
                               Identified slippage in expenditure from 2007-08 to 2008-09
             1     -£407,000
                               and beyond on major void and improvement works.
                               Slippage in funding of the Housing Computer System from
             2     -£475,220   2007-08 to 2008-09 due to ongoing evaluation of potential
                               suppliers.
                               Virement from Private Sector Renovation Grants scheme
                     £90,000
             3                 slippage to the Coldbusters scheme, due to increase in
                    Virement
                               demand for Coldbusters grant payments.
                               Identified slippage in assistance to Housing Associations
             4     -£721,000   from 2007-08 to 2008-09, through use of commuted sum
                               monies in respect of Baltic Wharf and Leigh Park Road.


7.   HOUSING CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2008-09 AND BEYOND

     7.1   The Housing capital programme for 2008-09 totals £8,200,220 of which
           £2,021,000 is in respect of non-HRA capital schemes and £475,220 is in respect
           of new housing computer systems.

     7.2   The HRA capital programme continues to focus on bringing all of the Council’s
           stock up to the basic Decent Homes Standard by 2010, with £3,689,000
           earmarked for this purpose in 2008-09.

     7.3   The Housing capital programme includes the provision of £475,220 in respect of
           new computer systems to meet the needs of the Housing Department, which has

                                            10
                                          Page 355


           been slipped from 2007-08 when it was originally budgeted to be expended. The
           original budget for the scheme, at £500,000, has been reduced accordingly by
           £24,780 in respect of the new Private Housing System which was implemented
           during 2005-06.

     7.4   The non-HRA capital programme for 2008-09 continues to reflect a higher than
           normal disabled facilities grant programme (normal budget £300,000) to meet the
           surge in demand caused by the KCC clearing the backlog of cases, with a budget
           of £520,000 therefore being allocated. The programme is being monitored by both
           councils at officer and director level, to ensure it is controlled as effectively as
           possible.

     7.5   The remainder of the Housing capital programme will be used to maintain the
           housing association enabling, private sector renewal (including minor works) and
           empty properties programmes, at similar levels to those detailed in the Housing
           Strategy Statement 2005 to 2009.



8.   CAPITAL FINANCE 2008-09 AND BEYOND

     8.1   Following the introduction of the Prudential Capital Finance System, the decision
           as to how much to borrow (supported and unsupported) for capital expenditure
           has become the responsibility of the Authority, which will take into account the
           requirements of the Prudential Code in setting its affordable borrowing limits. The
           Government provides support for HRA capital borrowing through the subsidy
           system. The Government supported HRA borrowing in 2007-08 to the value of
           £403,000 with the corresponding figure in 2008-09 also being £403,000 and these
           figures have been reflected in the estimates. Members will note that the Housing
           Revenue Account is currently showing an underlying deficit of £461,770 in
           2008-09 which gives little scope for the Account to service debt charges
           associated with unsupported borrowing.

     8.2   As from April 2004, the concept of ‘pooling’ of capital receipts was introduced
           whereby a proportion of the receipts have to be paid over to the Government.
           Capital receipts from the sale of dwellings under the right to buy scheme have to
           be pooled at the rate of 75%. For other assets the pooling rate is 75% for dwelling
           sales and 50% for sales of other assets although concessions are made if the
           receipts are used for affordable housing or regeneration purposes. In 2008-09 the
           Authority has an estimated pooling requirement of around £1,890,000 based upon
           the sale of 24 council dwellings, leaving £630,000 in useable capital receipts for
           the authority to utilise.

     8.3   Since 2003-04 the number of properties sold under the right to buy scheme has
           declined quite sharply, with 35 properties being sold in 2006-07. Current
           projections are that around 32 properties will be sold in 2007-08 with 24 estimated
           for 2008-09. This has had a detrimental effect on the level of useable housing
           capital receipts which are predominantly used to fund the Housing capital
           programme.




                                              11
                               Page 356


                                                                  2007-08       2008-09
                         2003-04   2004-05   2005-06   2006-07
                                                                  Probable     Estimated
      Sales of Council
                             149        62        30         35           32          24
      Houses (RTB)
      Sales of Council
      Houses (Non-             7         1         1          2            6           0
      RTB)
      Total                  156        63        31         37           38          24



8.4   Capital receipts received by the authority can be used to finance either the HRA or
      the Housing GF capital programmes. Of the £630,000 useable capital receipts
      anticipated in 2008-09, £208,000 is being used to fund the Housing GF
      programme, with the remaining £422,000 financing the HRA capital programme.

8.5   The Authority has received an allocation of £4,237,000 in respect of the Major
      Repairs Allowance (MRA) in 2008-09 compared to £4,256,000 in 2007-08 (a
      decrease of £19,000). This represents a real increase of 0.43% on the MRA
      allocation per property between 2007-08 and 2008-09 before allowing for the
      reduction in the numbers of council dwellings sold during the year. The MRA can
      be used to finance any type of capital expenditure on HRA assets, including
      expenditure on property other than dwellings.

8.6   In addition, the Authority has also received an allocation (maximum) of £312,000
      in respect of Government grant towards disabled facilities grant expenditure for
      2008-09, the same amount as receivable for 2007-08. As in previous years, this
      represents 60% of the total budget for Disabled Facilities grants (the maximum
      permissible level of direct funding) with the remaining 40% being funded by
      useable capital receipts.

8.7   Furthermore, the Authority has also received an allocation of £204,300 earmarked
      for funding expenditure on non decent homes within the private sector.

8.8   The Authority also has commuted sum monies of £901,000 in respect of the
      Ebbsfleet, Baltic Wharf and Leigh Park Road developments, which are being used
      in 2008-09. This money is ring fenced to be spent on the provision of affordable
      housing. The authority is anticipating receiving a further £1.1m in commuted
      sums between 2008 and 2013, with these resources also being utilised for the
      provision of affordable housing.

8.9   The financing of the Housing Capital Programme between 2008-09 and 2012-13
      is summarised in the table below;




                                        12
                                          Page 357


                                                                                     2010-11
            TOTAL RESOURCES USED                     2008-09          2009-10          to
                                                                                     2012-13

            HRA Capital Expenditure                  5,704,000        5,600,300     15,424,000
            Non HRA Capital Expenditure              2,021,000        2,250,000      3,360,000
            Housing Computer Systems                   475,220                0              0

            TOTAL CAPITAL PROGRAMME                  8,200,220        7,850,300     18,784,000

            FINANCED BY;

            Commuted Sums                              901,000        1,130,000                0

            Useable Capital Receipts (HRA)           1,802,350        1,446,740       2,708,540

            Useable Capital Receipts (GF)               30,000           30,000          90,000

            Direct Revenue Funding                              0               0              0

            Major Repairs Reserve                    4,547,570        4,324,260     13,227,560

            Specified Capital Grants                   516,300          516,300       1,548,900

            Supported Borrowing                        403,000          403,000       1,209,000

            TOTAL RESOURCES USED                     8,200,220        7,850,300     18,784,000

            NB: TOTAL RESOURCES
                                                    (1,679,950)       (876,960)        (99,670)
            UNUSED AT YEAR END


     8.10 From this Members will note that the Housing capital programme is fully funded
          between 2008-09 and 2012-13, leaving only £99,670 in unused resources at the
          end of 2012-13. However, members should be aware that this level of capital
          investment will only fund a reduced Decent Homes standard, therefore leading to
          a deterioration in the condition of the council’s housing stock.



9.   RISK MANAGEMENT ISSUES

     9.1   A summary of the perceived risks associated with production of the Housing
           Revenue and Capital estimates is as follows;

Perceived Risk                    Seriousness      Likelihood       Preventative Action Taken

Expenditure or Income                  High           Low           Regular budget monitoring
patterns are materially                                             meetings with Housing
different to the Budget                                             Managers and utilisation of
                                                                    most up to date information
                                                                    when setting budgets



                                              13
                                Page 358



HRA Subsidy Determination is     High          Low     Latest calculation of
altered materially by                                  applicable subsidy is used
Government                                             for budgeting purposes, with
                                                       final budget situation being
                                                       based upon final subsidy
                                                       determination

Further reductions in Capital   Medium        Medium   Estimates of likely levels of
Receipts from the sale of                              Capital Receipts based upon
dwellings through the RTB                              prudent assumptions and
scheme                                                 accurate records of current
                                                       levels of RTB applications

Removal of extension to rent     Low           High    Current medium term
convergence deadline in                                projections suggest that the
2009-10                                                HRA working balance will
                                                       remain at sufficient levels to
                                                       off-set any adverse effects
                                                       caused by the withdrawal of
                                                       the rent convergence
                                                       extension

Withdrawal of Capital Grants    Medium         Low     No feedback from central
towards Housing Capital                                government to date has
Expenditure                                            suggested a material decline
                                                       in levels of government
                                                       support. Commitment by
                                                       officers to re-evaluate the
                                                       capital programme should
                                                       there be a material change
                                                       in grant allocations

Removal of direct government    Medium        Medium   Estimates of likely levels of
funding through supported                              Supported capital
capital expenditure                                    expenditure based upon
                                                       prudent assumptions and
                                                       capital programme
                                                       predominately financed by
                                                       Major Repairs Allowance
                                                       and Capital Receipts




         THERE ARE NO BACKGROUND PAPERS PERTAINING TO THIS REPORT




                                         14
                                        Page 359                            APPENDIX A

HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT
2007-08 & 2008-09
                                ORIGINAL       PROBABLE       ORIGINAL
                                ESTIMATE       ESTIMATE       ESTIMATE
                                 2007-08        2007-08        2008-09

                                     £              £            £
RENTS OF DWELLINGS              (19,331,400)   (19,262,300) (20,386,800)
SERVICE CHARGES                    (812,600)      (776,100)    (816,800)

SHOP RENTAL INCOME                (184,340)      (173,700)      (172,710)
LESS MGT & MAINT EXPENSES            99,310         98,350         86,910
                                   (85,030)       (75,350)       (85,800)

OTHER RENTS AND INCOME            (295,670)      (393,790)      (367,950)
INTEREST ON HOUSES SOLD            (12,100)       (14,320)       (10,190)
INTEREST ON INTERNAL BALANCES       105,600       (56,450)       (28,180)
                                  (202,170)      (464,560)      (406,320)


GENERAL FUND CONTRIBUTION            (7,400)        (7,050)       (6,740)

TOTAL INCOME                    (20,438,600)   (20,585,360) (21,702,460)

SUPERVISION & MANAGEMENT
- GENERAL EXPENSES                3,240,350      3,087,790     3,224,780
- WARDEN SERVICES                   395,800        294,370       397,870
- COMMUNITY HALL                     29,610         28,190        26,960
- OTHER SPECIAL EXPENSES          1,010,640        928,170     1,037,550
                                  4,676,400      4,338,520     4,687,160

SUPPORTING PEOPLE FUND              112,680         75,760       138,720

REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE
-DIRECT WORKS                     6,065,810      6,093,310     6,426,510
-REPAIRS ADMINISTRATION             699,640        555,330       556,130
-DEPRECIATION                     4,358,050      4,360,770     4,376,640
                                 11,123,500     11,009,410    11,359,280

HRA SUBSIDY PAYMENTS              4,803,610      4,806,220     6,001,960
                                  4,803,610      4,806,220     6,001,960

CAPITAL FINANCING COSTS
- DISCOUNTS                         (1,890)        (1,890)        (1,890)
- INTEREST CREDIT                  (62,420)       (69,790)       (44,050)
- PREMIUM ON LOANS                   99,610         99,610         95,250
- DEBT MGT EXPENSES                  41,490         32,190         32,930
- DEPRECIATION OF ADJ             (105,710)      (105,130)      (105,130)
                                   (28,920)       (45,010)       (22,890)


TOTAL EXPENDITURE                20,687,270     20,184,900    22,164,230

DEFICIT/(SURPLUS)                   248,670      (400,460)       461,770

STATEMENT OF WORKING BALANCES
-WORKING BAL B/FWD               (1,157,730)    (1,192,000)   (1,592,460)
-DEFICIT/(SURPLUS) FOR YEAR         248,670      (400,460)       461,770
WORKING BAL C/FWD                 (909,060)     (1,592,460)   (1,130,690)
          Page 360




This page is intentionally left blank
                                              Page 361                                           APPENDIX B

                              HOUSING CAPITAL PROGRAMME
                                     INVESTMENT PLANS

                                                                                                         Total Cost
                                           Probable       Original       Original        Original
REF                                                                                                       2007-08
                    PROJECT                 Budget        Budget         Budget          Budget
No                                                                                                           to
                                           2007-08        2008-09        2009-10        Future Yrs
                                                                                                          2012-13


      Strategic Partnering;

A     Decent Homes                         1,573,000      1,770,000      1,871,300        5,044,000      10,258,300

B     Health & Safety                       969,330        895,000        895,000         2,685,000       5,444,330

C     Minor / Other Works                   225,000        150,000        150,000          450,000          975,000


      Non Strategic Partnering;

D     Decent Homes                         1,393,460      1,919,000      1,919,000        4,950,000      10,181,460

E     Health & Safety                       452,790        555,000        405,000         1,215,000       2,627,790

 F    Minor / Other Works                   426,000        415,000        360,000         1,080,000       2,281,000


      Other;

G     Housing Computer System                         -    475,220                  -                -      475,220


      Sub-Total (HRA Capital Programme)    5,039,580      6,179,220      5,600,300      15,424,000       32,243,100


H     Denton / Southfield Shaw                 7,590                 -              -                -        7,590

 I    Housing Associations                   30,000        901,000       1,130,000                   -    2,061,000

 J    Private Sector Grants                1,032,320      1,020,000      1,020,000        3,060,000       6,132,320

K     Community Safety Initiatives          100,000                  -              -                -      100,000

 L    Empty Properties                      130,000        100,000        100,000          300,000          630,000


      Total (HRA & GF Capital Programme)   6,339,490      8,200,220      7,850,300      18,784,000       41,174,010


      Note;
      Decent Homes - Expenditure           2,966,460      3,689,000      3,790,300        9,994,000      20,439,760
                                            Page 362                                       APPENDIX B

                          HOUSING CAPITAL PROGRAMME
                                           INVESTMENT PLANS

                                                                                                Total Cost
                                             Probable     Original    Original     Original
REF                                                                                              2007-08
                   PROJECT                    Budget      Budget      Budget       Budget
No                                                                                                  to
                                             2007-08      2008-09     2009-10     Future Yrs
                                                                                                 2012-13

      Strategic Partnering
      - Decent Homes Expenditure

 1    - Improvements & Conversions             143,000     280,000     280,000        540,000    1,243,000
 2    - Replacement Doors & Windows            250,000     250,000     250,000        750,000    1,500,000
 3    - Various Roofing Schemes                700,000     700,000     801,300      2,404,000    4,605,300
 4    - Electrical Improvements                300,000     540,000     540,000      1,350,000    2,730,000
 5    - Emergency Lighting                      50,000           -           -              -       50,000
 6    - Earthing Works                          30,000           -           -              -       30,000
 7    - Electrical Imp's Arising Needs         100,000           -           -              -      100,000

                                              1,573,000   1,770,000   1,871,300     5,044,000   10,258,300
      Strategic Partnering
      - Health & Safety Works

15    - Structural Repairs-Flatted Dvts        350,000     350,000     350,000      1,050,000    2,100,000
16    - Obsolete Materials Replacement         200,000     250,000     250,000        750,000    1,450,000
17    - Tank Replacements                       30,000      50,000      50,000        150,000      280,000
18    - Fire Precaution Works                  177,940     150,000     150,000        450,000      927,940
19    - Stair Treads & Com. Areas Floors        30,000      80,000      80,000        240,000      430,000
20    - Warden Call Systems Upgrade             15,000      15,000      15,000         45,000       90,000
21    - CCTV                                    26,390           -           -              -       26,390
22    - Miscellaneous Structural Works         140,000           -           -              -      140,000

                                               969,330     895,000     895,000      2,685,000    5,444,330

      Strategic Partnering
      - Minor / Other Works

23    - Various Door Entry Systems              60,570      30,000      30,000        90,000       210,570
24    - St Patrick's Steel Doors                16,000           -           -             -        16,000
25    - Communal Aerial Upgrades                20,000      20,000      20,000        60,000       120,000
26    - Estate Improvements                    128,430     100,000     100,000       300,000       628,430

                                               225,000     150,000     150,000       450,000       975,000
                                               Page 363                                       APPENDIX B

                          HOUSING CAPITAL PROGRAMME
                                         INVESTMENT PLANS

                                                                                                      Total Cost
                                           Probable       Original    Original        Original
REF                                                                                                    2007-08
                   PROJECT                  Budget        Budget      Budget          Budget
No                                                                                                        to
                                           2007-08        2008-09     2009-10        Future Yrs
                                                                                                       2012-13



      Non Strategic Partnering
      - Decent Homes Expenditure

33    - Energy Efficiency Improvements      1,000,000     1,300,000   1,300,000        3,600,000       7,200,000
34    - Major Voids & Improvements            393,460       619,000     619,000        1,350,000       2,981,460

                                            1,393,460     1,919,000   1,919,000        4,950,000      10,181,460


      Non Strategic Partnering
      - Health & Safety Works

35    - Obsolete Materials Replacement       302,790       235,000     235,000          705,000        1,477,790
36    - Fire Risk Assessments                 30,000       200,000      50,000          150,000          430,000
37    - Major Lift Refurbishments            120,000       120,000     120,000          360,000          720,000

                                             452,790       555,000     405,000         1,215,000       2,627,790


      Non Strategic Partnering
      - Minor / Other Works

38    - Disabled Adaptations                 275,000       280,000     300,000          900,000        1,755,000
39    - Rear Accessway Fencing                60,000        60,000      60,000          180,000          360,000
40    - Replacement Palladin Bins             16,000             -           -                -           16,000
42    - Sheltered Housing                     75,000        75,000           -                -          150,000

                                             426,000       415,000     360,000         1,080,000       2,281,000


      Housing Computer Systems

43    - Housing Computer System                       -    475,220               -                -      475,220

                                                      -    475,220               -                -      475,220
                                         Page 364                                             APPENDIX B

                HOUSING GF CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2007-08
                                        INVESTMENT PLANS

                                                                                                      Total Cost
                                          Probable     Original       Original        Original
REF                                                                                                    2007-08
                    PROJECT                Budget      Budget         Budget          Budget
No                                                                                                        to
                                          2007-08      2008-09        2009-10        Future Yrs
                                                                                                       2012-13



      Denton / Southfield Shaw

44    - Denton Miscellaneous Works            7,590               -              -                -        7,590
45    - Southfield Shaw Sewer Pumps               -               -              -                -            -

                                              7,590               -              -                -        7,590


      Affordable Housing Schemes

      - Baltic Wharf                              -     411,000              -                    -      411,000
      - Leigh Park Road                           -     310,000              -                    -      310,000
      - Ebbsfleet Commuted Sum                    -     180,000        580,000                    -      760,000
      - Heritage Quarter                          -           -        550,000                           550,000
      - Architects Fees                      30,000           -              -                    -       30,000

                                             30,000     901,000       1,130,000                   -    2,061,000


      Renovation Grants

51    - Private Sector Renewal Grants       287,810     370,000        370,000         1,110,000       2,137,810
52    - Coldbusters Phase 2                 126,240     130,000        130,000           390,000         776,240
53    - Disabled Facilities Grants          618,270     520,000        520,000         1,560,000       3,218,270

                                           1,032,320   1,020,000      1,020,000        3,060,000       6,132,320


      Community Safety Initiatives

55    - Community Safety Initiatives        100,000               -              -                -      100,000

                                            100,000               -              -                -      100,000


      Empty Properties Programme

55    - Empty Properties Programme          130,000     100,000        100,000          300,000          630,000

                                            130,000     100,000        100,000          300,000          630,000
                                         Page 365                 Agenda Item 22




                             Gravesham Borough Council

Report to:                     Cabinet

Date:                          11 February 2008

Reporting officer:             Leader of the Executive
                               Chief Executive
                               Head of Financial Services
Subject:                       General Fund Revenue Estimates and Capital Programme
                               2008/09.
Purpose and summary of report:
To consider the draft revenue and capital estimates for the General Fund services in
2008/09, an update to the Medium Term Financial Strategy, and to recommend to Council
the level of council tax to be levied.
Recommendations:
The Cabinet recommends that:

   1. the draft revenue estimates for 2008/09 be approved;
   2. the draft capital estimates for 2008/09 be approved subject to detailed reports coming
      forward on new schemes where applicable;
   3. the changes to the arrangements for financial assistance to community organisations,
      as set out in the report, be agreed together with the allocations to individual
      organisations;
   4. on 1 April 2008 £100,000 be transferred from the General Fund Balance to a new
      reserve, the purpose of which will be to assist with funding the backlog of repair and
      maintenance work itemised elsewhere on the agenda, with the operation of that
      reserve delegated to the Director (Organisational Improvement) in consultation with
      the Head of Financial Services;
   5. on 1 April 2008 £40,000 be transferred from the General Fund Balance to a new
      reserve, the purpose of which will be to assist with funding matters of a community
      safety nature, with authority delegated to the Leader of the Executive, in consultation
      with the Chief Executive and the Head of Financial Services, to authorise expenditure
      to be funded from that reserve;
   6. no change be made to the current policy of preserving £1 million pounds of general
      reserves to safeguard against unforeseen future events;
   7. in respect of the revised Medium Term Financial Strategy, any amendments be
      finalised by the Head of Financial Services in consultation with the Leader of the
      Executive and the Chief Executive before it is submitted to the Council for adoption;
      and
   8. arrangements be made for a resolution to be placed before the meeting of the Council
      to be held on the 4 March 2008 specifying the council tax to be levied in the Borough
      of Gravesham, including the tax to be levied for this Council’s purposes being £154.08
      for a band D property.
                                     Page 366


1.   Introduction

     1.1   The main features of the budget are:

           •   it has been developed alongside and in support of the new corporate plan, a
               draft of which appears elsewhere on the agenda;

           •   provision for a new post of Community Safety Officer and a new reserve,
               initially totalling £40,000, to assist with tackling community safety issues;

           •   the inclusion of revenue resources of £100,000 and capital resources of
               £50,000 to tackle a backlog of repairs and maintenance;

           •   there is a balanced General Fund revenue budget for 2008-09 with no draw
               down from the General Fund balance; and

           •   a planned increase in the overall General Fund balance following its projected
               diminution in the current financial year largely as result of costs awarded
               against the Council following a planning inquiry.



2.   The Medium Term Financial Strategy

     2.1   The current Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) was agreed by Cabinet on
           12 March 2007 and by Council on 24 April 2007. This MTFS reflected the 2003-
           2007 Corporate Plan.

     2.2   An interim corporate plan for 2007/08, the Interim Strategic Statement was
           adopted in the current financial year and following that an update on the Medium
           Term Financial Plan (MTFP), which forms part of the MTFS was presented to the
           Cabinet in September 2007.

     2.3   An updated MTFS is appended to this report and this has been developed in the
           knowledge that a draft of a new corporate plan would also be presented to the
           Cabinet at this meeting.

     2.4   As part of the MTFS, the MTFP contains forward projections for three financial
           years commencing 2009/10. Although Formula grant can now be ascertained with
           greater certainty following the three-year settlement arising from the
           Comprehensive Spending review 2007, financial year 2011/12 falls outside that
           envelope. The MTFP will be used for budget planning purposes in respect of
           2009/10 onwards.

3.   Consultation

     3.1   The Council’s sixth budget consultation exercise was held on 10 November 2007
           and was facilitated and moderated by BMG Research, with whom the council has
           an arrangement for managing the Residents’ Panel. The Cabinet is grateful to the
           Residents’ Panel for participating in the exercise. Their input to the proceedings
           and the suggestions they have put forward is much appreciated. The help and
           support from BMG Research in planning the day also contributed greatly to a
           successful event. Arrangements are being made to provide feedback to the
           participants once Council has approved the budget and for the full report of the
           event to be made public.

                                                2
                                            Page 367


     3.2   Participants were generally happy living in Gravesham. However, they had little
           knowledge of the range of services provided by the Borough Council or the
           County Council. There were also issues with the way in which the Council groups
           and labels services, with many residents confused as to what services were
           actually provided.

     3.3   As in previous years the two most important issues for participants were
           community safety and the environment. With regard to the former it was felt the
           council should adopt preventative measures, alongside directly tackling the
           problem. Preventative measures include activities that help to create community
           cohesion and activities aimed at keeping people off the streets. Consideration was
           given to the proposal to create an additional post of Community Safety Officer to
           help combat fear of crime, and it was felt that such a post should be actively
           involved in the community rather than being purely office-based. To respond to
           this issue the Cabinet has agreed provision for a new post of Community Safety
           Officer and will establish a reserve to target additional resources to improve
           community safety in the borough.

     3.4   In terms of the environment, participants believe that recycling could be increased
           through awareness-raising activities and by continually informing residents of
           recycling procedures and the benefits of recycling. Members and officers will
           consider how best to respond to this suggestion, within the budget proposed for
           waste management services.

     3.5   Participants praised the council for providing a good range of sporting activities;
           however residents feel that more could be done to cater for the community
           through increasing the provision of non-sporting activities. More could also be
           done to encourage involvement in sporting activities in order to make best use of
           the facilities available. Participants favour selling-off one leisure centre in order to
           invest in the remaining centre. To respond to this latter issue the Cabinet is
           exploring all options to secure the long-term viability of the services provided
           through the leisure centres.

     3.6   Finally, participants felt that particular services could be made cost neutral by
           generating greater revenue through sponsorship, fundraising, fines and charges,
           and through making better use of the council’s buildings. Members and officers
           will consider how best to address these issues and bring forward appropriate
           measures. In doing so consideration will also be given to a report from the Audit
           Commission published in January 2008 which deals with maximising the benefits
           of local public service charges.

4.   Revenue Estimates for the Authority – Probable 2007/08

     4.1   Members will see from the summary attached to this report that the projected
           deficit for the year is £290,750. The Cabinet will be aware that the most significant
           factor contributing towards this deficit was the need to fund an award of costs
           against the Council following a planning inquiry: following a negotiated settlement
           the sum agreed was £225,000.

     4.2   Notwithstanding the award of costs, several other cost pressures have arisen
           since the material variances occurring in the first half of the year were reported to
           the Finance and Audit Committee on 23 October 2007. The next monitoring report
           to the Finance and Audit Committee, which is due to meet on 20 February 2007,
           will detail the major changes since then; however the most significant of these are
           dealt with below.

                                                 3
                                      Page 368


     4.3   An overclaim of £165,000 in respect of the 2006/07 housing benefits subsidy
           claim only came to light in January 2008 when staff from Revenues and Benefits
           clarified the position with the District Auditor following the completion of the audit.
           The main problem was directly connected to the data conversion from the old
           ‘Flex’ IT system to the new ‘Northgate’ system and arose from manual input of
           data that didn’t get converted, which subsequently didn’t get reversed out of the
           claim.

     4.4   In respect of the interest due to the HRA, the change between the Original
           Estimate for 2007/08 and the Probable is £162,000: an adverse variance as far as
           the General Fund is concerned. This arose partly because of an error in the
           Original estimate and partly because of changes in the level of the HRA revenue
           balance and higher interest rates.

     4.5   In addition to the three significant areas detailed above, there have been other
           cost pressures, for example repairs and maintenance, servicing contracts and
           electricity costs.

     4.6   Whilst accepting that the award of costs against the Authority would need to be
           funded from the General Fund balance, the Management Team in consultation
           with the Cabinet have worked towards a position whereby the current policy of
           preserving £1 million pounds of general reserves has been maintained in practice.
           This has meant cutting back on any non essential expenditure for the remainder of
           this financial year. It also meant introducing temporarily a recruitment freeze in
           respect of vacancies not deemed essential in providing front line services.

5.   Revenue Estimates for the Authority – Estimate 2008/09

     5.1   Provision has been made in the estimates for a salary award of 2.5%. An
           allowance has also been made for vacancies as per existing practice but based on
           experience this now represents a 4.5% reduction in the costs of employing a full
           establishment, an increase of 1% on the allowance made in 2007/08.

     5.2   In respect of investment income, the advice of the Council’s treasury management
           advisor was to use 5% for quarter one and 4.75% for the remainder of the year

     5.3   The cost of the services performed by the DSO have been consolidated within the
           General Fund and hence the ‘DSO surplus’ is no longer shown as a separate
           budget line. This has been done to provide greater transparency.

     5.4   On 1 April 08 the current concessionary travel scheme is extended to incorporate
           free nationwide travel in respect of local bus services, further details of which
           appear in a report elsewhere on the agenda. The additional cost of the new
           scheme is being funded through a special grant from the Department for
           Transport. Although cost projections have been produced they are far from certain
           and there is the risk that the additional cost will exceed the grant; therefore, to
           manage this risk a contingency sum has been allowed for in the estimates for
           2008/09.

     5.5   Members will see from the attachments to this report that the total external
           support (RSG and NNDR) for 2008/09 totals £8,224,010, an increase of £183,250
           (2.3%) on 2007/08. However, using the adjusted figure for 2007/08 supplied by
           the Department for Communities and Local Government, the increase in total
           support between years is only 1.6%. The adjusted grant position for the current



                                                 4
                                      Page 369


      year is in order to facilitate a like-for-like comparison between 2007/08 and
      2008/09, it does not change the actual grant paid in 2007/08.

5.6   As this year there is a three-year settlement, provisional figures have been
      received for 2009/10 and 2010/11: these show an increase of 1.3% in both years.

5.7   The grant settlement is particularly hard on Shire Districts, as the grant floors have
      been set below inflation: 1% in 2008/09 and 0.5% in both 2009/10 and 2010/11. In
      2008/09 there will be 94 Districts at the floor and 144 above, with this Council in
      the latter group. Nevertheless, the grant floor is paid for by scaling back the grant
      increase above the floor for those authorities in that class, which results in a
      “reduction” of approximately £137,000 for this Council.

5.8   In terms of growth, allowance has been made for a new reserve, initially totalling
      £40,000, to assist with tackling community safety issues. In addition provision has
      been made for a new post of Community Safety Officer. To assist in dealing with
      the problem of a backlog of repairs and maintenance, a report on which appears
      elsewhere on the agenda, £100,000 has been built into the revenue estimates
      alongside £50,000 in the capital programme. In terms of capacity, two additional
      staff have been allowed for in the Council Tax section and provision has been
      made for converting two temporary customer service posts to permanent: in total
      these two items amount to approximately £93,000.

5.9   In addition, allowance has been made for taking forward the improvements to the
      IT services for members that were reported to the Cabinet in October 2007. The
      changes to the members’ allowances scheme agreed at the meeting of the
      Council on 29 January 2008 have also been incorporated. In connection with this,
      the Leader of the Executive has declined making his allowance pensionable and
      has therefore agreed that the resultant saving be made in the estimates for
      2008/09.

5.10 Notwithstanding the growth items listed above, the Comprehensive Spending
     review 2007 has led to a tightening of finances across the public sector as was
     expected when the update on the MTFP was reported to the Cabinet in
     September 2007. Consequently, the following savings or increased revenue have
     been identified by officers working alongside the Cabinet during the preparation of
     the 2008/09 Estimates:

       Financial Services                                                             Total
       Rationalise payroll and correction of error                 £22,000
       Increasing Debt Collection                                  £55,000            £77,000

       Legal Services
       Reduction in cost of books                                    £4,000            £4,000

       MD / Policy & Projects
       Reduction of 1.5 admin posts                                £40,600
       Community Cohesion – civic awards etc                        £4,000            £44,600

       Operational Services
       Increase in operational income.                             £80,000
       Increase trade income                                       £30,000


                                          5
                        Page 370


Additional income accruing to vehicle parks              £140,000   £250,000



Organisational Improvement
Move Volunteers Bureau into Windmill Street               £20,000
Reduce mobile phones by 50%                               £24,000
Charge for payments by credit card                        £25,000
Remove tea and coffee allowance for staff                  £8,000
Use on line job applications                               £3,000
Merge reprographic/print room (£15,000 in Serv Imp)       £15,000
Reduction in cash collections                             £37,000
Delete IT post                                            £15,890
Out door events                                            £6,000
Servers - virtualisation project                          £20,000   £173,890

Regeneration and Regulation
Engineering administration                                £10,000
Planning Microfilming and Conference Expenses              £5,900
Consultants fees and planning registers                   £13,000
Additional Planning Applications fees                    £109,000
Traffic Count and maintenance of surveying equipt            £750
Community Chest                                            £7,000
Environmental school wildlife                              £1,500
Staff Time on externally funded schemes                    £5,750
Subscription to Environmental technical indexes            £4,000
North Kent Mediation (retain £1,000)                       £1,500
Local Business Partnership                                 £2,000
Charges for Housing Act notices                           £10,000   £170,400

Service Improvement
I wp operator/post room rationalisation(£15,000 in Org
Imp)                                                      £15,000
Newspapers and periodicals Democratic Services             £1,000
Reduction of one post in Performance Management           £24,000
Printing Performance Plan                                  £4,000
Catering                                                     £200
Comms conference expenses                                    £600
Woodville Halls - Court and City Praise                   £60,000
Woodville Halls income from additional show                £7,500
Woodville Halls re-grade Catering Manager post             £5,000
Woodville Halls miscellaneous                              £5,000
Housing Benefits - reduce postage by using BACS            £5,000
Improve recovery of housing benefit overpayments          £10,000
Court costs                                                £1,000
Reduce cash collection costs by increasing DD              £2,000
Procurement: Recruitment Advertising Services             £14,000


                                  6
                                             Page 371


               Procurement; Corporate stationery                          £12,500
               Procurement: Temporary Staff Agency Services               £14,000          £180,800

               Total                                                                       £900,690


     5.11 By incorporating these changes it has been possible to fund the growth items
          described above whilst maintaining a balanced budget. Furthermore, there is also
          a planned increase in the overall General Fund balance as it is felt prudent to at
          least partially offset the estimated reduction that will take place in the current
          financial year. Further details relating to balances appear in a later section of this
          report.

6.   Financial Assistance to Community Organisations

     6.1   For the past three years the Council has operated two funding mechanisms for
           community organisations: the Community Inclusion Fund (CIF), through which a
           limited number of groups were guaranteed an allocation linked to a Service Level
           Agreement (SLA); and the Community Support Fund (CSF), which provided small
           grants on an annual basis. As the SLAs have become due for renewal the
           opportunity has been taken to review those arrangements, in line with the
           Council’s overall budget strategy. Alongside the review consideration has been
           given to streamlining the CSF. From 1 April 2008 the CIF and the CSF will be
           amalgamated to form a single funding scheme and the following arrangements will
           cease:

           •      the uprating, based on the Retail Price Index, of funding linked to SLAs; and

           •      the open application process linked to the CSF.


     6.2   It is proposed that for 2008-09 the following arrangements should apply to the
           principal allocations:

           •      Citizens’ Advice Bureau: a three-year SLA, to be reviewed annually. Funding
                  for the first year - £85,430.

           •      North West Kent Racial Equality Council (REC): a three-year SLA, to be
                  reviewed annually. Funding for the first year - £12,360. In addition an
                  allocation of £5,800 will be made to the REC, to be used as a ‘community
                  chest’. The operation of this scheme to be detailed in the SLA.

           •      Gravesham Arts Council: a three-year SLA, to be reviewed annually. Funding
                  for the first year - £8,000.

           •      Kent Children’s University: a three-year SLA, to be reviewed annually.
                  Funding for the first year - £10,000.

     6.3   All other allocations will be guaranteed for three years but will not be linked to
           SLAs. The full allocations are set out below:

               Gravesend Borough Band                            £1,500
               Gravesham Access Group                              £500


                                                 7
                                      Page 372


            Thames Defence Heritage                                 £600
            Citizens' Advice Bureau                              £85,430
            Royal British Legion                                    £150
            Gravesham Crime Prevention Panel                        £500
            Racial Equality Council                              £12,360
            Asian Women's Refuge                                  £5,000
            House of Mercy                                        £3,000
            Gravesend Regatta Committee                             £600
            Guru Nanak Sports Festival                              £750
            Gravesham Arts Council                                £8,000
            Northfleet Carnival                                     £700
            Kent Children's University                           £10,000
            Town Twinning Association                               £500
            Disabled Persons Acc. Agency                            £750
            Community Chest                                       £5,800
                                                          Total £136,140


7.   Working Balance and Reserves

     7.1   To fulfil the requirements of the Local Government Act 2003, the chief financial
           officer is obliged to conclude that the level of reserves is sufficient for the Authority
           and therefore it is necessary to bring to members’ attention the estimated
           balances pertaining to the General Fund’s revenue reserves during 2007/08 and
           2008/09:

                                                       Budgeted    Budgeted     Budgeted     Budgeted
                                       Balance
                                                        Deficit/   Balance 1     Deficit/    Balance 1
                     Fund               1 April
                                                       (Surplus)     April      (Surplus)      April
                                         2007
                                                        2007-08      2008        2008-09       2009
                                        £000             £000        £000         £000          £000
            General Fund Balance        (1,307)             291       (1,016)        (84)        (1,100)
            Insurance Excess -
            Vehicles                        (15)               0        (15)             0             (15)
            DSO - Insurance
            Excess                          (10)               0        (10)             0             (10)
            Building Control
            Reserve                       (207)             207            0             0               0
            Decriminalisation
            Technology Reserve              (14)               0        (14)          (10)             (24)
            Performance
            Improvement Reserve             (21)             21            0             0               0
            Renewal and Repairs
            Reserve                            0               0           0        (100)          (100)
            Community Safety
            Reserve                            0               0           0          (40)             (40)
            Decriminalisation
            General Reserve                (64)              43         (21)            8          (13)
            Total                       (1,638)             562      (1,076)        (226)       (1,302)


                                                   8
                                            Page 373



     7.2   In accordance with the MTFS, the current policy of preserving a minimum of £1
           million of General Fund general reserves to safeguard against unforeseen future
           events has been reviewed by the Head of Financial Services with the
           recommendation for the purpose of the budget process for 2008/09 that no
           change be made to that policy. The level and adequacy of all General Fund
           revenue reserves will continue to be reviewed annually.

     7.3   Notwithstanding that, it is acknowledged that the level of reserves not earmarked
           for specific purposes is estimated to be only just above this minimum level at the
           end of 2007/08; therefore, it is considered prudent to redress at least some of the
           reduction that has occurred in the current financial year by way of a planned
           appropriation to the General Fund balance in 2008/09 to restore additional
           flexibility in managing the budget for that year.

     7.4   In addition, two new reserves will be created in 2008/09 as detailed above.

8.   Collection Fund

     8.1   In respect of the Collection Fund, it is estimated that there will be a deficit of
           £1,414,170 as at the end of the current financial year, which is shared between
           the major preceptors for the purpose of setting the council tax for 2008/09. This
           Council’s share is just over 11% (£160,410).

     8.2   There are three reasons for the deficit. First of all, there was the need to take into
           account the actual deficit from 2006/07 which arose from the sharp rise in arrears
           at the end of that year. Secondly, the number of chargeable properties in 2007/08
           is less than originally estimated following an increase in exemptions and
           discounts. Lastly, based on current performance the provision for bad debts will
           need to be increased further in respect of the debt relating to 2006/07 and the
           years prior to that.

9.   Council Tax to be levied

     9.1   The calculation of the council tax base, as approved by the Head of Financial
           Services under delegated powers, is attached for information.

     9.2   The Council’s budget requirement, after the deduction of Parish Precepts, external
           support and the transfer to the Collection Fund is £5,386,300. This results in a
           council tax requirement in respect of a Band D property for this Council of £154.08
           compared with £146.88 for the current year, an increase of 4.9%. This represents
           an increase of £7.20 per annum for a Band D property, which is equivalent to 14p
           per week.

10. Council Tax to be levied by other bodies

     10.1 At the time of writing this report, no figures were available from the County
          Council, the Police Authority or the Fire & Rescue Authority.

     10.2 In terms of the parishes, their precepts are met from the Authority’s General Fund.
          However, for the purposes of calculating council tax they treated as ‘special
          items’, that is attributable only to part of the Authority’s area. Consequently, the
          equivalent charges per Band D property to meet the precepts notified by the
          parish councils are shown on the relevant summary attached.


                                                9
                                      Page 374


11. Capital Estimates for the Authority

    11.1 The General Fund capital programme is set out in the civic budget attached. The
         Housing capital programme and its funding is the subject of another report on this
         agenda.

    11.2 A summary of the total capital expenditure and funding is shown below:

                                                                                  2010-11
              TOTAL RESOURCES USED                    2008-09      2009-10          to
                                                                                  2012-13

              General Fund Capital Expenditure        1,151,840      109,110              0
              HRA Capital Expenditure                 5,704,000    5,600,300     15,424,000
              Non HRA Capital Expenditure             2,021,000    2,250,000      3,360,000
              Housing Computer Systems                  475,220            0              0

              TOTAL CAPITAL PROGRAMME                 9,352,060    7,959,410     18,784,000

              FINANCED BY;

              Commuted Sums                             901,000    1,130,000                0

              Useable Capital Receipts                2,357,550    1,476,740       2,798,540

              Capital Grants/Contributions
                                                         29,120       29,110                0
              (General Fun)

              Major Repairs Reserve                   4,547,570    4,324,260     13,227,560

              Specified Capital Grants (Housing)        516,300      516,300       1,548,900

              Supported Borrowing                       403,000      403,000       1,209,000

              Unsupported Borrowing                     197,520       80,000                0

              Leasing                                   400,000              0              0

              TOTAL RESOURCES USED                    9,352,060    7,959,410     18,784,000


    11.3 The revised General Fund capital programme for the current year has taken into
         account slippage from 2006/07, together with any anticipated spending that will
         carry over to the new financial year.

    11.4 2008/09 sees the continuation of many existing programmes. The new items in
         the General Fund capital programme for 2008/09 are:

          •      Town Centre Electricity Supplies (Cabinet decision 14 January 2008).

          •      Enhancements to Civic Buildings (report elsewhere on the agenda).




                                               10
                                          Page 375


          •    Woodville Halls – replacement seating (detailed report to be presented to a
               future meeting of the Cabinet).

    11.5 The Local Government Act 2003 introduced the prudential regime, which gave
         freedom to borrow for capital purposes within prudent and sustainable limits. The
         Finance and Audit Committee will consider a report on these limits at their meeting
         on 21 February.

    11.6 In 2008/09 members will see that it is estimated that to fund the General Fund
         capital programme £197,000 of unsupported borrowing will be required. However,
         this will be carefully managed with the objective of negating it either through
         slippage occurring on schemes within the programme or where possible using
         future capital receipts which may arise and as yet haven’t been allowed for in the
         budget planning process.

    11.7 This shortfall in resources places a limitation on the ability to pursue new
         initiatives that would further the objectives of the new corporate plan.

    11.8 In terms of planning the resources that are likely to be available to fund the
         General Fund capital programme in 2008/09 and beyond, it has been considered
         prudent to disregard any capital receipt arising from the Heritage Quarter scheme
         until the timing of that scheme can be estimated with more certainty. Again this
         has placed a limitation on pursuing new initiatives. Furthermore, for the
         foreseeable future this also places uncertainty as to exactly when the £313,000 of
         housing capital receipts used initially to fund “start up” costs relating to the Lord
         Street / Parrock Street redevelopment and then aspects of last year’s capital
         programme will be “returned” to fund the housing capital programme in
         accordance with the decision of the Cabinet in February 2007.

12. Risk Management

    12.1 The risks associated with the General Fund revenue and capital estimates are
         dealt with in the MTFS which is attached.




                                              11
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         Page 425




GRAVESHAM BOROUGH
     COUNCIL


MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL
      STRATEGY


  2008-09 TO 2010-11
                                                         Page 426

                                  GRAVESHAM BOROUGH COUNCIL

                              MEDIUM TERM FINANCIAL STRATEGY

                                                    2008-09 TO 2010-11


1 CONTENTS


1    CONTENTS........................................................................................................................................ 1
2    INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................ 2
        KTDB Regeneration Framework ................................................................................................... 3
3    CURRENT AND STRATEGIC CONTEXT .........................................................................................15
4    GENERAL FUND REVENUE ACCOUNT ..........................................................................................19
5    HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT .....................................................................................................23
6    PARTNERSHIPS...............................................................................................................................27
7    CAPITAL PROGRAMME ...................................................................................................................31
8    TREASURY MANAGEMENT.............................................................................................................38
9    RESERVES .......................................................................................................................................41
10   APPENDICES ...................................................................................................................................47




                                                                         1
                                                   Page 427

                                            INTRODUCTION

2 INTRODUCTION

2.1     Definition

2.1.1    The council approved the original Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) in March 2004 with a
         revision agreed by Cabinet on 20 November 2006. A new MTFS was agreed by Council on 24 April
         2007 with a revised format designed to make the MTFS comprehensive, and to ensure that all
         necessary aspects of the council’s financial planning are covered. This review of the MTFS has
         been developed alongside and in support of the new Corporate Plan ‘’The Place of Choice’’. This
         MTFS takes into account our vision, our values and our goals as detailed within the new Corporate
         Plan.

2.2     Content

2.2.1    This document is designed to provide an integrated view of the whole of the council’s finances and
         outlook. It covers both revenue and capital spending by the council, highlighting the inter-
         relationships between the two, and the resultant implications. It also considers all of the financial
         accounts, or Funds, operated by the council.

2.2.2    In May 2007 a new administration came into power and the original Sustainable Budget Group was
         dispanded. In January cabinet approved a revised budget setting process. The revised budget
         process will ensure rigorous and robust scrutiny are in place by cabinet and overview committee.
         This document will be reviewed annually as part of that budget process.

2.2.3    The MTFS also incorporates the Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) – a three year projection of
         the budget submitted to Cabinet for the next financial year.

2.3     Corporate Policy and Planning Framework

2.3.1    The Corporate Plan states that: “It is essential that the aspirations and priorities for action within
         the Corporate Plan have the required financial provision” The Medium Term Financial Strategy
         helps the Council allocate resources to those priorities.

2.3.2    The Corporate Risk Register’s risk number one is the council’s challenging financial position which
         recognises that the three forthcoming financial years covered by the Government’s Comprehensive
         Spending Review 07 will be challenging with the council expecting to make some significant
         savings over the medium term to meet these challenges.

2.3.3    The role of the MTFS is to strengthen the council’s strategic financial resilience by assessing and
         dealing with the financial implications of the council’s approved priorities and thereby reduce the
         medium term risk to the council’s financial position. The MTFS will assist the council in achieving its
         objectives by developing financial projections to determine the achievability and sustainability of
         the council’s plans.

2.3.4    The MTFS includes all the long term financial implications arising from the following:

 2.3.4.1 changes in local priorities as expressed in, for example, the Corporate Plan, Housing Strategy,
         Capital Strategy and Service Plans;

 2.3.4.2 the Workforce Development Plan adopted by Personnel Services to assist with workforce
         planning: although currently a document for use within Personnel Services it was envisaged that
         it would be adopted as a corporate policy in 2007/08; however, because of other pressures this
         hasn’t been progressed but in due course the Management Team will be reviewing progress
         against the plan. An important aspect arising from the Plan has been the consideration of

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           managerial succession planning with reports considered by the Cabinet in November 2005 and
           December 2006, the financial effects of which have been built into the MTFS;

 2.3.4.3 changes in local conditions (e.g. overall level of population, demographic composition of local
         population);

 2.3.4.4 the three – year Formula Grant settlement arising from the Comprehensive Spending Review
         2007 (CSR07).

 2.3.4.5 changes in national policies and conditions, which may lead to increased spending pressures
         (e.g. new national free bus pass scheme, increasing maximum grant claimable for disabled
         facilities grants, pay awards, inflation etc.);

 2.3.4.6 assessments of risks and uncertainties and their consequences.

2.3.5   Policy development is wider than the financial strategy itself. The MTFS provides a financial
        foundation for delivering the council’s policy objectives by enabling resourced plans to be put in
        place and this is demonstrated in the table below:


Strategic Connections


                                              Thames Gateway Strategic Plan
        Kent Commitment

                                                     KTDB Regeneration Framework




               Vision for Kent                       D&G Sustainable Communities Strategy




               Kent LAA2                      D&GLAA                 D&LSP




   Community Engagement Strategy ------------------------GBC Corporate Plan
 Dartford & Gravesham Local Compact                      (BVPP, Capital Strategy, AMP,
  Gravesham Partnership Framework                         Risk Management Strategy)




                                                          GBC Service Plans

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2.4     Decision Making Process

2.4.1    The table below outlines who is responsible for taking decisions within the Medium Term Financial
         Framework. Clear responsibility is critical to ensure that corporate initiatives such as cross cutting
         savings are achieved. The table provides a useful summary and further details can be found within
         the council’s Constitution

2.4.2                 BODY                           ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
            Council                  • Approves the Corporate Plan setting out the strategic objectives
                                     of the Authority. • Approves Medium Term Financial Strategy. •
                                     Determines Council Tax levels for the year. • Determines the
                                     Revenue and Capital Budgets. • Approves the Policy on Reserves.
                                     • Considers any review of the council’s constitution carried out by
                                     the Standards Committee (e.g. Contract Procedure Rules).
            Finance and Audit        • Scrutinises and approves the Final Accounts • Receives the
            Committee                External Auditors Annual Governance Report • Monitors the
                                     overall state of the council’s finances on a quarterly basis and
                                     advises the cabinet of any action it recommends.

            Overview Scrutiny        • Considers Cabinet’s budget proposals.
            Committee

            Cabinet                  • Recommends the MTFS to Council for approval. • Recommends
                                     the Budget to Council. • Approves virement requests over
                                     £40,000. • Considers the sustainability of the budget.
            Management Team          • Contributes to the Medium Term Financial Strategy. • Monitors
                                     progress against budget and new budget process • Promotes
                                     strong financial management within the authority. • Considers
                                     growth bids for both Revenue and Capital and savings through
                                     efficiency or otherwise.


            Head of Financial        • Section 151 Officer - Responsible for the administration of the
            Services                 Council’s financial affairs. • Setting and monitoring compliance
                                     with financial standards. • Advising on the corporate financial
                                     position. • Providing financial information • Undertaking Treasury
                                     Management activities of the Council.
            Service Managers         • To submit requests for new monies in accordance with the
                                     budget timetable • To manage income and expenditure against
                                     approved budget and submit monthly budget monitoring returns. •
                                     To comply with Financial Procedure Rules and Contract
                                     Procedure Rules. • To actively search out efficiency savings.
            Asset Management         • To prepare and update the Asset Management Plan. • To identify
            Group                    potential sites for disposals. • To provide a schedule of
                                     maintenance for all Council owned assets.
            Internal Audit           • Independently monitors controls and procedures to minimise risk,
                                     fraud and corruption and enhance value for money.
            Business                 • Co ordinates Council’s work in relation to Business
            Transformation           transformation, including procurement, value for Money,
            Corporate Group          Efficiencies and Shared Services.
            Use of Resources         • To embed the criteria for Use of Resources judgement into the
            Corporate Group          organisation beyond simply trying to achieve a higher score.




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2.5     Consultation

2.5.1    Consultation with the citizens of Gravesham has repeatedly shown that their top priorities are
         community safety and the environment. The Corporate Plan reflects these priorities. The update of
         the MTFP reflects the annual budget for which the council carries out consultation with its
         Residents’ Panel. The survey results are considered by the Overview Scrutiny Committee and are
         reported in full to Council. Feedback is provided to the Residents’ Panel.

2.6     The Role of Financial Services

2.6.1    Financial Services needs to both support planning in services and challenge their plans in a
         positive and constructive way. The responsibilities for Finance are:

 2.6.1.1 providing three year projections of the council’s financial position;

 2.6.1.2 supporting and working with Councillors and Managers to develop the policy framework;

 2.6.1.3 assisting in the identification, development and “Whole Life “ costing of options;

 2.6.1.4 acting as a gatekeeper for the allocation and stewardship of resources;

 2.6.1.5 advising on affordability, prudence and sustainability of the council’s plans;

 2.6.1.6 assisting in obtaining and demonstrating value for money;

 2.6.1.7 communicating the decisions made on options and their financial implications;

 2.6.1.8 putting in place structures to help the delivery of the council’s financial plans;

 2.6.1.9 leading and co-ordinating the budget monitoring processes of the council;

 2.6.1.10 advising on the minimum level of reserves;

 2.6.1.11 developing financial systems to their full potential for the authority as a whole.

2.7     The Role of Directors and Service Managers

 2.7.1.1 Identifying changes to service provision and assessing their financial implications,

 2.7.1.2 Having accountability and responsibility for budgetary control within their service area

 2.7.1.3 Understanding a wider perspective of financial standing across the Authority

 2.7.1.4 Budget Setting Process

 2.7.1.5 The budget setting process was agreed at Cabinet on 14th January 2008.

2.7.2    The table below illustrates the key dates within the council’s budget setting process.




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                                                   INTRODUCTION
BUDGET SETTING PROCESS - REVENUE
What                                                Who                                When
Corporate Plan and Local Area Agreement
•    review of progress of previous year;           Managing Director to co-ordinate    April/May but in election
                                                    report with the Head of Policy &   years any changes may
•     review of priorities and proposals for        Partnerships.                      be deferred until
   forthcoming years of the plan with                                                  May/June.
   changes made where agreed by cabinet             Cabinet to decide on changes
   taking account of the MTFP
Medium Term Financial Plan
•     following the review in March                 Cabinet Briefing                   April/May but in election
   discussions made on the priorities to be                                            years could be
   funded in the following financial year.                                             May/June
Growth items
•     unavoidable growth items for the              Directors                          May
   following financial year arising from new
   legislation, decisions by the government or
   council and external factors with major
   financial impacts to be identified and
   reports submitted to the management
   team;

•     financial risk analysis and prioritisation    Management Team & Cabinet          May/June
    of growth items                                 Briefing

•     recommended items to be considered to          Management Team                   May
    be met on a corporate basis to be
    submitted to Cabinet for consideration;          Cabinet Briefing                  June

•     the agreed items to be incorporated into      Head of Financial Services         June
    the positional statement on finance;

•     Service plans – development of draft           Cabinet Members, Directors and    June
    proposals for the following financial year      appropriate managers
    taking account of required savings and
    growth items and the need to stay within
    cash limits.

•     all other growth items to be contained
    within the cash limited budgets.                 Directors & Cabinet members       July to mid September

Cash limited budgets
•     produce a positional statement for the        Head of Financial Services         June
   following financial year with the proposed
   cash limits for directorate budgets;

•     consideration by management team with         Management Team                    June
    recommendations to Cabinet;



•     consideration and decision by cabinet         Cabinet                            Mid July
    on the proposed cash limits for budgets




Proposals to stay within cash limits                Head of Financial Services,
•    review of fees and changes                     Directors & appropriate managers   July to September


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•     Directors and Cabinet Members develop           Directors & Cabinet Members           July to mid September
    proposals for their portfolio budgets for the
    following financial year;

•     the proposals will deliver the priorities
    for action agreed by cabinet, and stay
    within the cash limits and be signed off by
    the cabinet members;

•     this will include a financial risk analysis     Directors & Cabinet Members with      July to September
    of any proposed savings                           Head of Financial Services

•     half year review of progress on current         Directors, Service Heads & other      September/October
    service plans                                     appropriate managers with Cabinet
                                                      Members

•     autumn budget statement to Cabinet              Cabinet Member for finance,           September/October
                                                      Managing Director and Head of
                                                      Financial Services
•    consideration of the proposals by a joint
    meeting of the Cabinet Members and                Cabinet Members & Management          Mid September
    management team;                                  Team

•     challenge to proposals by the Managing
                                                       The Cabinet Member and Director      September / October
    Director and Head of Financial Services;
                                                      for each portfolio to meet with the
                                                      Managing Director and Head of
                                                      Financial Services
•     cross cutting reviews to be carried out,
                                                      Appropriate Cabinet Members,          September / October
    where considered appropriate, on
                                                      Directors and other managers and
    priorities for action with corporate
                                                      staff as appropriate
    implications.
Consultation
(the approach will change if joint consultation
with KCC and other Districts is developed)
•     approximately 40 members of the public,
    which should as far as possible provide a         Head of Financial Services and        Organise in September
    representation of people and communities          Policy & Partnerships with an
    across the borough, to participate in a           external consultancy
    consultation event;

•      the morning sessions will provide               The Cabinet Member for finance,      Hold the event on a
    information on the financial position plus        the Managing Director and the         Saturday before mid-
    the priorities of the Council. In the             Heads of Financial Services and       October
    afternoon three or four groups will act as        Policy & Partnerships
    mini Cabinets developing their proposals
    for a budget and identifying what they
    would not fund;

•     other options for consultation to be             Management Team & Cabinet with       October
    considered and used as agreed                     other appropriate Managers


•     feedback to be provided to the Cabinet          Report the feedback from the day
    and Management Team for consideration.            with the proposals the mini Cabinet   November
                                                      submitted by the external
                                                      consultancy
Finalising the proposed budget
•      review of draft Service Plans to take          Cabinet Members, Directors &          October/November
    account of budget process and                     appropriate managers
    consultation with the draft programmed
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                                                INTRODUCTION
    action sections to Management Team and
    Cabinet Briefing

•    second review of the Medium Term                Head of Financial Services to     November/December
    Financial Plan taking account of the final      submit report to the Cabinet for
    accounts for the previous financial year,       consideration.
    information on the Government settlement
    etc.

•      adjustments to the proposed cash             Cabinet Members and                November to January
    limited budgets and the priorities for action   Management Team
    to be delivered taking account of the
    Medium Term Financial Plan and
    feedback from the consultation;

•     review of Medium Term Financial                Head of Financial Services to     February
    Strategy & Plan                                 submit the review to Cabinet

•     proposed budget and final finance
    settlement information submitted to and                                            February
    considered by:-                                                                    February
         - Cabinet;
         - Overview Scrutiny                                                           March
           Committee;
         - full Council
         for consideration and final decision

•     review of this budget setting process         Directors & Head of Financial      March
    plan with amendments as considered              Services with report to Cabinet
    appropriate                                     Briefing
Service Plans
•     Finalised in light of approved budget.        Cabinet Members, Directors &       End of first week of
                                                    appropriate managers               March
•     The programmed actions sections
    submitted to Management Team and                Cabinet Members, Directors &
    Cabinet Briefing for final ratification.        appropriate managers               By the end of March




•     Implementation commenced                                                         Beginning of April of the
                                                                                       new financial year.




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2.8     Limitations of the MTFS

2.8.1    Clearly the further the MTFS looks to the future the more uncertainties become apparent.

2.8.2    The current MTFS will be reviewed to take into account any significant changes within the Authority
         and will be presented to Cabinet.

2.8.3    The 2008/09 budget requires no draw down from balances.

2.9     Key Objectives of the MTS

2.9.1    The key objectives of the strategy for the General Fund (GF) and HRA are:

 2.9.1.1 to align the council’s available resources to its priorities;

 2.9.1.2 to maintain a sustainable revenue budget (in respect of the HRA no later than 2010-11). This
         means meeting recurring expenditure from recurring resources but conversely non-recurring
         resources, such as reserves and balances, can be used to meet non-recurring expenditure;

 2.9.1.3 that due to the risks outlined in the MTFS, the presumption will be for no growth in the
         underlying recurring expenditure. This means that expenditure on expanding or improving
         services should be accommodated by omissions and reductions from elsewhere within the
         council’s budget;

 2.9.1.4 to continue to make efforts to identify efficiency savings with the emphasis being on realising
         “cashable” savings, that is savings which can be redirected towards priority services;

 2.9.1.5 to review relevant fees and charges comprehensively as a means of generating additional
         funding for re-investment in priority services;

 2.9.1.6 to preserve a minimum of £1 million of GF balances and £1million in Housing Revenue Account
         (HRA) balances to safeguard against unforeseen future events;

 2.9.1.7 to ensure the council is in a position to set future council tax rises that are reasonable and meet
         the expectations of the public in relation to the level of services provided;

 2.9.1.8 to actively engage stakeholders in the financial choices facing the council;

 2.9.1.9 to ensure value for money is achieved in the delivery of all services.

2.10      Developments on MTFS

2.10.1 The issue of addressing the frequency of financial reporting was considered once the new FMS
       system was implemented in 2005-06. As a result, quarterly reporting to members now takes place
       together with enhanced monthly monitoring for officers and the Management Team. Consideration
       is also being given to more frequent monitoring for members.

2.10.2 Consultation regarding the budget proposals has now become an integral part of the process from
       which evolves the Cabinet’s recommendations concerning a particular year’s budget. By the same
       token, fees and charges are considered on an annual basis.

2.10.3 Whilst the need to continuously seek out efficiency savings has always been a priority for the
       council, this has been given the added impetus of having to meet Government set efficiency
       targets since 2005-06. CRS 07 set a challenging new efficiency target in line with those in the rest
       of the public sector. Councils will need to secure cash-releasing efficiency gains amounting to £4.9
       billion a year by 2011 in line with the 3% target set for the whole sector.

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2.10.4 To increase budget flexibility (virement, etc.) the cabinet agreed in July 2007