Decisions

Use the below search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies.

Alternatively you can visit the officer decisions page for information on officer delegated decisions that have been taken by council officers.

Decisions published

28/05/2020 - The Transfer of Ashford College to the East Kent College Group ref: 237    Recommendations Approved

To inform Members of the outcome of the negotiations and delegated decision made by the Chief Executive. The report will also inform members about East Kent College taking over the operation of the Ashford College campuses from the 1st April 2020.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 24/06/2020

Effective from: 28/05/2020

Decision:

 

The Leader introduced the exempt report which advised of the transfer of the Ashford College to the East Kent College Group.

 

Resolved:

 

That the delegated decision made by the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader, Portfolio Holders for Finance and IT and Regeneration and Corporate Property, and the Directors of Finance and Economy and Law and Governance, as set out in Section 9 of the exempt report, be noted.

 

Lead officer: Andrew Osborne


28/05/2020 - Chilham Conservation Area Management Plan ref: 235    Recommendations Approved

To summarise the contents of the Chilham CAMP within the context of the Council’s statutory requirements. To also reflect and respond to the comments received during the consultation process.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 24/06/2020

Effective from: 28/05/2020

Decision:

The Portfolio Holder introduced the report which advised that Local Planning Authorities were obliged to designate, as Conservation Areas, any parts of their own area that were of special architectural or historic interest, the character and appearance of which it was desirable to preserve or enhance. There were 43 Conservation Areas in the Borough and the appraisals that supported them were mostly completed in the 1980s and 1990s. In the context of updated guidance on appraisals by Historic England, and the need to remain consistent with both the changing nature of Conservation Areas and with the National Planning Policy Framework in its requirement for an up to date evidence base, a programme of updating the appraisals continued. As part of the process, management plans for future preservation and enhancement were suggested based on a clear understanding of the qualities that gave an area its distinctiveness. Adoption of this Plan would provide solid evidence to support development management decisions, and enable better defence of the Council’s case at planning appeals. The Portfolio Holder considered the content of the report, in terms of the research that had been undertaken and the consultation with the community, was outstanding.

 

Resolved:

 

That the content of the Chilham Conservation Area Management Plan be agreed.

 

Recommended:

 

That the Chilham Conservation Area Management Plan be adopted.

 

Lead officer: Daniel Carter


28/05/2020 - Anti-Social Behaviour Policy ref: 234    Recommendations Approved

To approve an ASB policy in order to ensure a clear organisational approach and commitment to managing and addressing ASB within the Borough.  The policy will set out the obligations of all stakeholders including the CSU, Housing, Kent Police and Members.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 24/06/2020

Effective from: 28/05/2020

Decision:

The Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Wellbeing introduced the report which presented for approval the Ashford Borough Council Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Policy. The policy provided clarity on how the Council met its responsibilities under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

 

The Deputy Leader said he strongly supported this policy and agreed that it was important that the Council continued to send the message that ASB would not be tolerated. The Council had recently invested in new deployable CCTV cameras which would be of great advantage to the Borough. They were very light and easily moveable to sites of ASB and should be easy to fix to street lampposts. Work was ongoing with KCC to ensure this was done and the Council was in a position to feedback information to the Police.

 

Recommended:

 

That the Ashford Borough Council Anti-Social Behaviour Policy be approved.

 

Lead officer: Tim Naylor


28/05/2020 - Annual Pay Policy Statement (Including Review for 2020/21) ref: 233    Recommendations Approved

A review of the annual Pay Policy Statement and Ashford Living Wage Allowance.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 24/06/2020

Effective from: 28/05/2020

Decision:

The Portfolio Holder introduced the report which advised that the Localism Act 2011 required the Council to publish an Annual Pay Policy Statement. The report reviewed the current statement, ensuring it was up to date and reflected the Council’s approach to pay. He advised that the Council also took the annual review as an opportunity to review the rates of the Ashford Living Wage Allowance and the Ashford Apprentice Wage Allowance. The report therefore provided recommendations on rates for the 2020/21 allowances.

                                                                                          

Recommended:

 

That    (i)        the updated Pay Policy Statement be approved.

 

(ii)        the Ashford Living Wage Allowance be increased to £9.18 for 2020/21 and it be noted that due to recent unforeseen Cabinet meeting cancellations, the increase has been implemented using the Chief Executive’s delegations.

 

(iii)       the Ashford Apprentice Wage Allowance be maintained at 15 pence per hour over the National Minimum Wage rate applicable to the age of the apprentice, and it be noted that due to recent unforeseen Cabinet meeting cancellations, this recommendation has been implemented using the Chief Executive’s delegations.

 

Lead officer: Michelle Pecci


28/05/2020 - Ashford's Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) Adoption 2019 - 2029 ref: 236    Recommendations Approved

To seek approval for the adoption of the LCWIP and to commit to working in partnership with KCC and others to deliver a range of projects.

 

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision published: 24/06/2020

Effective from: 28/05/2020

Decision:

The Portfolio Holder for Culture introduced the report which presented the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) 2020 – 2029, summarised its development and sought Cabinet approval for adoption. This would enable the Council to bid for appropriate funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) and other appropriate sources as it became available. The report also updated Members on consultation as part of the Council’s adoption of the Ashford Cycling and Walking Strategy, which demonstrated strong support for this approach. The DfT also supported the strategy and the emerging Ashford LCWIP and had allocated £500,000 to help deliver those local plans. Both documents would inform actions which the Heads of Planning and Development and Culture, in consultation with their Portfolio Holders, would prioritise, monitor and review.

 

The Deputy Leader commended the report and the work that had gone in to producing it and considered that Ashford Town Centre would be a much better place if more walking and cycling could be encouraged. He noted that KCC had been awarded £1.6m to spend on these types of projects, and one of the schemes highlighted in the press release had been Ashford’s Community Cycling Scheme which had provided 50 refurbished bicycles for NHS workers at the William Harvey Hospital. He considered that the report would be a launchpad for an even more comprehensive walking and cycling network across the town centre, as well as cycle safety, working with schools, the education sector and the Community Forums and Councils in the urban area. Another Member said he understood that the KCC money was an initial tranche of a wider £8m for their Active Travel Plan and he asked what steps the Portfolio Holder had taken to ensure Ashford got the maximum possible from that fund? The Leader advised that there were already one or two schemes in the pipeline to make a bid for that money and the Portfolio Holder assured that discussions were ongoing with KCC. This obviously fell outside the remit of the report on this agenda, but would build on the good work within in.

 

Other Members wanted to applaud the depth of work undertaken by the Officers and the Portfolio Holder over a number of years in producing this report. It was recognised as a work in progress in the sense that the town had a number of cycleways and footpaths, but they didn’t all necessarily join up, and one of the thrusts of the report was to start the journey to ensure a cohesive network for residents in the future.

 

A Member asked if there were any plans to look at the rural areas and Tenterden as she knew there was an appetite for such a plan there as well. Another Member asked about the decision not to include schools as ‘strategic locations’ and the rationale behind that. The Community Project Manager said that Officers had asked the same questions about schools when drawing up the strategy over a year ago and at that time the DfT had not included schools, but now they did. So, as the plan was a working document, it could now be reflected that schools were ‘trip attractors’ for staff, children and parents. This happened after the report was submitted last October, but would be reflected going forward. In terms of rural areas, the Portfolio Holder for Culture advised that the LCWIP was limited to the town area outlined on page 199 of the agenda, but he would be happy to share experiences with Tenterden Town Council and others who were interested.

 

Resolved:

 

That    (i)         the Ashford Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan 2020 –      2029 be approved.

 

(ii)        the outcome of the consultation for the Ashford Cycling and Walking Strategy 2019 – 2029 be noted.

 

(iii)       delegated authority be granted to the Heads of Planning and Development and Culture, in consultation with their Portfolio Holders, to put in place all measures that will enable the effective delivery of the Ashford Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan and Ashford Cycling and Walking Strategy 2019 – 2029, developing action plans accordingly; and in consultation with the Director of Finance and Economy, and their Portfolio Holder, to allocate external spending that has or will be secured.

 

Lead officer: Simon Harris


21/05/2020 - Business Discretionary Grants Scheme ref: 232    Recommendations Approved

In response to the Coronavirus Pandemic and following the launch of the Small Business Grants and Retail, Leisure and Hospitality grants schemes, central government announced the Discretionary Grants schemes to be administered by lower tier Local Authorities. Ashford Borough Council has been awarded £1.4 million to support small businesses within the borough that are being impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The government awarded Council’s a 5% top up to the original Small Business, and Retail and Hospitality Grants schemes, and provided guidance recommending some priorities to support small businesses not able to access funding through the original schemes, but also allowing Council’s to provide their own discretion in agreeing local policies.

Government have asked councils to administer the grants following the Government guidance, and have asked councils to award grants quickly to support businesses during these unprecedented times.

Decision Maker: Director of Finance & Economy

Decision published: 23/06/2020

Effective from: 21/05/2020

Decision:

The Director for Finance and Economy agreed the Ashford Discretionary Grants policy on the 21st May 2020, following consultation with officers, the Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance and IT, with the grants scheme going live for applications from the 28th May 2020. This decision was made using the delegated authority agreed by Cabinet to administer government grants schemes in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

The Director for Finance and Economy subsequently agreed an amendment to the policy on the 4th June 2020, removing the Kent Community Foundation Emergency Coronavirus Grant scheme from the list that if received would exclude applicants from applying to the Discretionary Grants Scheme. This change was agreed for the following reasons:


•This brings Ashford Borough Council into alignment with the majority of Kent Councils schemes, providing equal opportunity to charities across the county.

•The Kent Community Foundation funding has been targeted at additional project responses in relation to CV-19 supporting the vulnerable community and not the maintenance of day to day activity of charities. This Discretionary Grants fund is to resolve the inequalities of the government small business grants scheme which was to support day to day operations.

Lead officer: Ben Lockwood