Highlights from Cabinet – Monday 4th March

We have detailed some key highlights from the Cabinet meeting, held on Monday 4th March 2024.

New Local Plan to go out to consultation

Members discussed the requirement for an up-to-date Local Plan to be published by the Council.

The proposal is for a consultation to be carried out on a new 20-year plan – covering the period from 2020 to 2040.

Once implemented, the Local Plan guides the work of the council when dealing with planning and development across the district.

Photo of Cllr Teresa Killeen

Cllr Teresa Killeen, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: “It’s crucial that we have an up-to-date Local Plan to support our communities, to maintain control of how we address housing need, the location of proposed development sites, and how we determine planning applications.”

Cabinet agreed to a 12-week consultation on the proposed new Local Plan to be carried out from April 2024.

PSPO aims to address anti-social behaviour on beaches

The issue of anti-social behaviour on beaches was discussed by Cabinet.

Councillors heard that the current Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) has not been effective in controlling the nuisance caused by vehicles and caravans being driven and parked on beaches.

Photo of Cllr Kathryn Field

Cllr Kathryn Field, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Licensing, Community Safety, Climate Change and the Waste Contract, said: “Last summer 20 vehicles and caravans were parked on the beach at Herbrand Walk, Bexhill. The situation had a negative impact on local people with some caravan occupiers leaving waste, creating a fear of crime, and being aggressive to council staff and contractors.

“We have listened to residents who have been upset and frightened by anti-social behaviour on the beach. We believe the current PSPO isn’t effective, and we want to consult residents and businesses on a new Protection Order aimed at tackling the problem.”

Cabinet agreed to a consultation being carried out on a new PSPO controlling vehicles and camping on beaches.

New Grounds Maintenance Contract on the cards

Members debated the issue of a new contract for Rother District Council Grounds Maintenance.

Councillors were informed that the current contract expires on the 30th of November 2024.

Photo of Cllr Hazel Timpe

Cllr Hazel Timpe, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services, Tourism, and the Joint Waste Contract, said: “Parts of the Grounds Maintenance Contract are discretionary and with a budget deficit of £3.8m for 2024/25, we need to make savings – including with this contract.

“It’s proposed that the new contract will include funding for routine work, some non-routine work and for the maintenance of cemeteries. However, it won’t cover some areas such as sports grounds, pitches and bowling greens as these are no longer affordable. Our officers are now working with the clubs and groups concerned to handover maintenance to them from November onwards”.

Cabinet agreed to the proposal for the Cabinet Portfolio Holder to be given delegated powers to procure a new contract from 1st December 2024 to provide grounds maintenance within the agreed budget.

Local communities receive Community Grants

Members approved the award of over £66,000 in the latest round of Rother District Council’s Community Grants.

Six applicants – Little Gate Farm, Bexhill Family Collective, Bexhill Heritage, Crowhurst Parish Council, Icklesham Parish Council, & Three Oakes Village Hall – are set to benefit from this round of grant funding.

Photo of Cllr Teresa Killeen

Cllr Teresa Killeen, Portfolio Holder for Planning, said: “This funding has positive social and economic impacts right across the district. It’s very good news for the six applicants who will receive grants to help fund projects that will provide a real boost to local communities.”

New Depot needed for future food waste collection service

Cabinet members discussed a proposal to a purchase the former Sidley Highways Depot at Elva Way and complete all the work needed to make the site operational as a waste depot.

The plan is to use the site to enable a food waste collection service to operate from the 1st of April 2026. However, the future use of the site would still be subject to planning approval.

Photo of Cllr Hazel Timpe

Cllr Hazel Timpe, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services, Tourism, and the Joint Waste Contract, said: “In order for us to comply with the UK Environment Bill food waste legislation we have to introduce a food waste collection service and our aim is to have that operational from April 2026.

“Current depot arrangements do not allow for a food waste collection service – hence the need to purchase this site.”

Cabinet approved the recommendation to purchase the site.

Published: 8th March 2024

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