To include updates on:
- Waste Services Contract
- Public Conveniences Consultation
- Local Plan
The Chairman (in his role as Leader of the Borough Council) provided context for the setting of council tax and his presentation illustrated the services in Tonbridge supported/funded by the special expenses element. These included responsibility for the closed churchyards at St Peter and St Paul and St Stephen; maintaining open spaces, parks and play areas; sports grounds and running and supporting local events.
Particular reference was made to the seven allotment sites in Tonbridge owned by the Borough Council, which were managed and maintained by the Tonbridge Allotments and Gardens Association. It was noted that the Association was a well organised, not for profit community group and had a very positive relationship with the Borough Council. The current arrangements were considered to be a very efficient and cost effective approach to the management of these Borough Council owned facilities.
The Borough Council were currently consulting residents on the Management Plan 2019-23 for Tonbridge Racecourse Sportsground. The deadline for responses was Friday 22 March 2019 and all were encouraged to submit comments.
Members were advised that the Borough Council had made provision in its Capital Plan for the replacement of the Swimming Pool Bridge, funded in part by developer contributions. Liaison was currently being undertaken with the two utility companies whose pipes and cables were attached/adjacent to the bridge. Both companies had agreed to relocate their services by drilling under the river bed which would then enable the Borough Council to proceed with the installation of the new bridge. It was hoped that the utility companies would complete their works in late spring/early summer enabling the new bridge to be in place before the school summer holidays. The timing of the works was determined by the utility companies and every effort would be made to enable the timescale to be met.
In response to a question from the floor regarding financial support for local events and were costs allocated to specific events, the Chief Executive indicated that the biggest cost related to administration and staff and these would be shared across all events. However, there could also be some event specific costs, subject to the type of event being organised.
The following updates were also provided:
Waste Services Contract:
A new contractor Urbaser had been appointed and an introductory leaflet would be sent to all residents in the next couple of weeks. The new contract would start on 1 March and up until the end of September would mirror the current service arrangements. The new service arrangements would be rolled out across the whole borough from 30 September.
Following a review of the Borough Council’s facilities by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee consideration was being given to a number of recommendations. The main focus would be on parished areas.
This had been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 23 January 2019.
All representations received during the Regulation 19 Consultation in November 2018 would be published as soon as was practically possible on the Borough Council’s website. It was noted that this would take time to complete as personal information would have to be removed in accordance with General Data Protection Regulations. However, it was estimated that this would not be complete before the end of March 2019.
Two Planning Inspectors had been appointed but no date for the Public Examination had been confirmed.
Further information regarding the next stages would be published on the website as soon as it was available.