Agenda and minutes

Annual meeting, Council - Tuesday, 27th April, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: ZOOM MEETING - Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Fiona Cameron  Democratic Services Manager & Deputy Monitoring Officer

No. Item



The Mayor to report apologies for absence.


1.1       Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs David Else and Jenny Else.




2.1       The Mayor reflected on her year in office, during which she had been greatly restricted in what she had been able to do compared to a normal mayoral year. She had, however, still been able to get involved in a matter close to her heart which was promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. The pandemic had highlighted clearly the inequality still present in society, particularly in terms of health where people from Black and Asian communities, and those economically disadvantaged had been hardest hit.


2.2       The Mayor had begun her year in office with a statement on Black Lives Matter, and the hope that Waverley would be able to put in place things to promote better practices in work, and to remove any discrimination that may occur. She had attended the Council Staff Corporate Equality Group and was pleased to report that a great deal had happened, including establishing a race equality focus group to find out more about the experiences of Black and Asian colleagues and the micro-aggressions they faced in their daily lives. Waverley had joined the Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum, and designed an Active Citizens programme; the refreshed Corporate Strategy emphasised the value and worth of all residents with opportunities for all regardless of race, age, disability, religion, gender or sexual orientation, income or wealth; recruitment policies had been reviewed to ensure they are fair and avoided unconscious bias.


2.3       The Mayor had a particular interest in promoting a better understanding of different cultures and religions and had deliberately decided not to have one chaplain, but to have several from all the different religions and denominations in Waverley. She thanked them for their time and contributions to the council’s meetings.


2.4       The Mayor updated councillors on her “100 + 100 + 100” challenge to raise money for her three charities – Waverley Homestart, 40 Degreez, and Farnham Sea Cadets – all of which helped young parents and young people. She had now completed her challenge of walking 100 miles, 100 lengths of swimming, and 100 km of static biking, with the swimming and biking having been done at leisure centres around the borough. The Mayor planned to continue to raise money for her charities by learning to ride a bike over the next month.


2.5       The Mayor concluded by thanking the officers who had supported her throughout her year, and her family and in particular her Consort for the year, Cllr Peter Marriott.


Election of Mayor 2021/22


3.1       The Mayor called for nominations for the position of Waverley Borough Mayor for 2021/22.


3.2       Cllr Peter Nicholson proposed Cllr John Robini as the Mayor for 2021/22. The Mayor had two distinct roles requiring very different qualities, as Chairman of Council and as the public face of Waverley, both of which Cllr Robini was well equipped to carry out. Having served his apprenticeship in a local engineering company, he had joined Surrey Police and served in a number of roles including civilian management. At the same time, he had served as a member, and latterly Chairman, of Witley Parish Council; and then as a Waverley Borough Councillor including as an Executive Member for four years. Since 2019 he had been a Town Councillor as well, and current Town Mayor, so his life and work had been committed to public service. Cllr Nicholson commended Cllr Robini to the council as the next Mayor of Waverley.


3.3       Cllr Maxine Gale seconded the nomination of Cllr Robini. She had known him for many years, as the village policeman in Witley, and then as a Witley Parish Councillor and Chairman, then as a Haslemere Town Councillor, and Waverley Borough Councillor. Whatever he was involved in, he had always fulfilled those roles with passion and commitment, finding ways to make situations better for others. Cllr Robini was always willing to listen and help wherever he could, qualities which made him and ideal candidate to be Mayor and an ambassador for Waverley Borough.


3.4       There being no other nominations, Cllr John Robini was duly declared the Waverley Borough Mayor for 2021/22.


3.5       The new Mayor, Cllr John Robini, read and signed the declaration of acceptance of office, and was presented with the Chain and Robes of Office.


3.6       The Mayor thanked Cllrs Nicholson and Gale for their words of nomination, and councillors for electing him and giving him the honour of representing Waverley for the next year. He congratulated Cllr Marriott on what she had achieved as Mayor despite the constraints of the Covid pandemic, and hoped for the gradual lifting of restrictions so that he could support his charities and fulfil the usual mayoral duties and engagements. The Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr Jacquie Keen, were looking forward to their year ahead, and the opportunity to serve Waverley.


Election of Deputy Mayor 2021/22


4.1       The Mayor called for nominations for the role of Deputy Mayor for 2021/22.


4.2       Cllr Peter Clark proposed Cllr John Ward as Deputy Mayor, and Cllr Jerome Davidson seconded the nomination.


4.3       There being no other nominations, Cllr John Ward was duly declared the Deputy Mayor of Waverley Borough for 2021/22.


4.4       Cllr Ward read and signed the declaration of acceptance of office, and was presented with the Chain of Office.


4.5       Cllr Ward thanked councillors for their support, and thanked the members of the Executive for the magnificent gift marking the end of his time as Leader of the Council.




Vote of thanks to the retiring Mayor


5.1       A vote of thanks to the Retiring Mayor, Cllr Penny Marriott, was moved by Cllr John Ward and seconded by Cllr Paul Follows. They commended her for carrying out her role in such extraordinary times, taking on the challenge of chairing virtual Council meetings over Zoom, and devising her own physical challenge to raise funds for her charities.


5.2       RESOLVED that the vote of thanks to the Retiring Mayor, Cllr Penny Marriott, be agreed.


5.3       The new Mayoress, Cllr Jacquie Keen, presented Cllr Marriott with the Past Mayor’s badge and a gift to mark her year as Mayor.



To receive from Members, declarations of interest in relation to any items included on the agenda for this meeting in accordance with the Waverley Code of Local Government Conduct.


6.1       There were no interests declared under this heading.


New Mayor's Announcements


7.1       The Mayor advised that he was still finalising the details of his charities for the year and would announce these at a later date. He had asked the Rev’d Chris Bessant St Bartholomew’s in Haslemere to serve as his Chaplain.


7.2       The Mayor was conscious that there had been some very lengthy Council meetings lately, and he asked all councillors to avoid repeating one another unnecessarily so that meetings could be conducted efficiently without restricting freedom of speech and expression of a range of views.


Election of Leader 2021 - 2023


8.1       The Mayor called for nominations for the Leader of the Council for the period 2019-2023, following the election of Cllr Ward as Deputy Mayor.


8.2       Cllr Penny Rivers proposed Cllr Paul Follows as Leader of the Council, and Cllr Andy MacLeod seconded the nomination. There were no other nominations.


8.3       Cllr Julia Potts, Leader of the Principal Opposition Group, in accordance with Procedure Rule 17, requested a recorded vote on the election of the Leader and was supported by Cllrs Penny Marriott, Carole Cockburn, Steve Cosser, Michael Goodridge and Jerome Davidson.


8.4       The vote was carried, with 35 votes in favour, no votes against, and 18 abstentions; therefore it was RESOLVED that Cllr Paul Follows be elected as Leader of the Council, 2021- 2023.


For: 35

Cllrs Christine Baker, David Beaman, Roger Blishen, Peter Clark, Richard Cole, Martin D’Arcy, Jerome Davidson, Sally Dickson, Brian Edmonds, Paul Follows, Maxine Gale, Joan Heagin, George Hesse, Daniel Hunt, Jerry Hyman, Jacquie Keen, Andy MacLeod, Penny Marriott, Peter Marriott, Michaela Martin, Mark Merryweather, Kika Mirylees, John Neale, Peter Nicholson, Nick Palmer, Ruth Reed, Paul Rivers, Penny Rivers, John Robini, Anne-Marie Rosoman, Liz Townsend, John Ward, Michaela Wicks, Steve Williams, George Wilson


Against: 0


Abstentions: 18

Cllrs Brian Adams, Carole Cockburn, Steve Cosser, Kevin Deanus, Simon Dear, Patricia Ellis, Jan Floyd-Douglass, Mary Foryszewski, Michael Goodridge, John Gray, Val Henry, Chris Howard, Anna James, Peter Martin, Stephen Mulliner, Julia Potts, Trevor Sadler, Richard Seaborne


Leader's announcements


9.1       Cllr Follows congratulated the new Mayor and Deputy Mayor on their elections, and thanked Cllr Penny Rivers and Cllr MacLeod for their words of nomination.


9.2       Cllr Follows thanked the retiring Leader, Cllr Ward, who had led the Council since May 2019 and through the pandemic; it had been his honour to serve as Deputy Leader during this time. On behalf of the Executive and members of the Administration Groups, he thanked Cllr Ward and looked forward to working with him in his new role, and in his ongoing role as Leader of the Farnham Residents Group.


9.3       In embarking on the second leg of the council’s four-year term, the Administration was recommitting efforts to post-Covid recovery, tackling the climate emergency, providing quality and sustainable services to residents, and to engagement with residents and communities.


9.4       In recognition of the continuity of the multi-party administration, the Leader confirmed that Cllrs MacLeod and Michaela Martin (Farnham Residents), Cllrs Rosoman, Merryweather and Townsend (Liberal Democrat), Cllr Williams (Green Party) and Cllr Palmer (Labour) would continue to serve as Executive members in their current roles.


9.5       Cllr Penny Marriott would fill the vacant Farnham Residents seat, with a Portfolio for Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion. Cllr Peter Clark (Farnham Residents) would serve as Deputy Leader in addition to his current portfolio.


Review of political proportionality of the Council and appointment of committee memberships pdf icon PDF 222 KB

The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 requires local authorities, where Members are divided into political groups, to review annually the representation of the political groups on their principal committees to ensure that the seats are allocated in the same proportion as that in which the council as a whole is divided.


This report recommends that the Council establish committees, allocate the seats on those committees to political groups represented on the Council in accordance with the statutory proportionality rules, and agree to the appointment of the groups’ nominees.




It is recommended that Council:


i.              Note the political balance of the Council, as set out in paragraph 4.4.

ii.            Approve the constitution of committees, the allocation of seats, the appointment of members to those seats in accordance with Groups’ nominations, and the nomination of chairman and vice-chairman positions, as set out in Annexes 1 and 2.

iii.           Approve the allocation of seats and appointments to the Surrey County Council Local Committee.


Additional documents:


10.1     Council received the report setting the political proportionality of the new Council and the Group Leaders’ nominations for appointments to committees.


10.2     Council RESOLVED unanimously to:


i.              Note the political balance of the council;

ii.             Approve the constitution of committees, the allocation of seats, the appointment of members to those seats in accordance with Groups’ nominations, and nominations for chairman and vice-chairman positions; and

iii.            Approve the allocation of seats and appointments to the SCC Local Committee.


EXE 74/20 Affordable Housing SPD pdf icon PDF 283 KB

To continue consideration of the Affordable Housing SPD, which was deferred at the meeting on 22 March 2021.

Additional documents:


11.1     The Mayor reminded councillors that they had begun consideration of the Affordable Housing SPD at the meeting on 22 March. At that meeting Cllr Mulliner proposed an amendment which revised the wording of paragraphs 93 and 94, and that amendment had been seconded by Cllr Foryszewski. As Planning and Legal officers had not had an opportunity to consider whether the proposed wording was a feasible alternative Council agreed to defer further discussion until Officers had an opportunity to review and comment on the amendment.


11.2     The Mayor referred councillors to pages 17 and 18 of their agenda and the schedule showing the original wording of paragraphs 93 and 94; Cllr Mulliner’s proposed wording submitted under his amendment; and, in the final column the officers’ comments and proposed alternative wording to these paragraphs.


11.3     The Mayor resumed the debate by asking Cllr Mulliner whether he wished to withdraw his amendment in favour of the alternative wording put forward by Officers, or whether he wished to proceed to a vote on his amendment.


11.4     Cllr Mulliner agreed that the proposed alternative wording put forward by the officers was a step in the right direction. However, he hadn’t been able to establish whether officers had appreciated that there were two scenarios of concern. One was where the applicant made it clear from the start that they wished to avoid their affordable housing obligations on a suitable site, and the new wording was certainly better than the old wording for dealing with that particular situation. The other situation which occurred was where applicants obtained planning permission and agreed to provide the full affordable housing contribution and then later come back to the council seeking a variation under S73 of the TCPA to relieve themselves of all or part of that obligation on the grounds of viability.


11.5     Cllr Mulliner was not clear that the alternative wording protected the council’s position in such a situation. However, he appreciated the progress made and agreed to withdraw his amendment and to support the alternative wording now proposed. Cllr Wilson seconded the alternative wording as set out in the schedule.


11.6     Council RESOLVED to agree the revised wording for paragraphs 93 and 94, as submitted by Officers and set out in the schedule in the agenda papers.


11.7     Cllr Seaborne welcomed the opportunity for Council to approve the Affordable Housing SPD, which had been in development for a number of years. It had been to the Housing Overview & Scrutiny Committee early in 2019, and the O&S committee members had had subsequent opportunities to comment on the SPD as it progressed through the consultations stages of its development. Council could be assured that the Affordable Housing SPD had been thoroughly scrutinised, and that changes had been made to it as a result of that scrutiny and also the public consultation. In his view, the Affordable Housing SPD was a good document that had been further improved by the amendments agreed in response to the challenge by Cllr  ...  view the full minutes text for item CNL11/21