Agenda and minutes

Executive
Monday, 8th October, 2018 6.45 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming

Contact: Fiona Cameron  Democratic Services Manager

Items
No. Item

EXE 30/18

MINUTES

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 July 2018.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 10 July 2018 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

EXE 31/18

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Jenny Else.

EXE 32/18

DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS

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.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest raised under this heading.

EXE 33/18

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

The Chairman to respond to any questions received from members of the public for which notice has been given in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.

 

The deadline for receipt of questions is 5pm on Monday 1 October 2018.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public.

EXE 34/18

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS

The Chairman to respond to any questions received from Members in accordance with Procedure Rule 11.

 

The deadline for receipt of questions is 5pm on Monday 1 October 2018.

Minutes:

There were no questions from Members.

PART I - RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNCIL

Background Papers

 

Unless specified under an individual item, there are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to the reports in Part I of these minutes.

EXE 35/18

New Economic Development Strategy 2018-2023 for Waverley Borough Council pdf icon PDF 72 KB

The Council’s 2016 Strategic Review recommended that the council’s Economic Development Strategy should be updated to ensure it reflected the new realities of the changing funding climate and set a clear framework for existing and future projects with alignment to all council strategies.

 

The draft Economic Development Strategy is the result of engagement with key stakeholders and partners to produce a strategic vision for the borough.

 

Recommendation

 

That the Executive endorses the proposed Strategy’s vision, six themes and corresponding targets, and recommends it to Council for adoption.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

35.1    Cllrs Seaborne, Gray and Hyman had registered to speak on this item. First, the Leader invited Cllr David Beaman, Chairman of the Value for Money and Customer Service Overview & Scrutiny Committee to make a statement on behalf of the Committee, that had undertaken thorough scrutiny of the draft Strategy.

 

35.2    Cllr Beaman advised that as he had only recently taken over as the Chairman of the Committee, he would be reading a statement from Cllr Stephen Mulliner who had led the Committee’s work on the Economic Development Strategy.

 

“The first draft of the Economic Development Strategy (EDS) was published in June 2018.  Many Councillors expressed significant reservations about both the approach and the content of the document.  The principal criticisms related to its lack of realism about the capacity of WBC to deliver an economic vision for the borough and the lack of clear, measurable deliverables in the Action Plan.

 

The comments led to the holding of a workshop with councillors, officers and Atkins, the advising consultants, on 13 August 2018.  This was a frank and useful meeting which led to some significant revisions.  The revised EDS was considered at the VfM & CS O&S meeting on 10 September 2018 where the improvement was noted and endorsed but with the decision that a small Task & Finish Group should be established to provide final comments in the following week.  This was welcomed by Cllr. Edwards, the Portfolio Holder for Economic and Community Development.  Cllrs. Mulliner and Seaborne met with Catherine Knight on 13 September 2018 and provided a final round of comments designed to ensure that the EDS made realistic statements about WBC’s capacity and role in influencing economic change and to address the difficulties in applying SMART methodology to the Action Plan constituents.

 

The revised EDS represents a considerable improvement over the previous versions.  The language is tighter and grammatical.  The revised Foreword on pages 3 and 4 and the Background and Purpose on pages 10 and 11 now present a measured and realistic statement about what WBC can and cannot do.  Perhaps the key words are on page 11 at the start of the Purpose section, namely:

 

“The Economic Development Strategy recognises that the Council is not able to deliver the Economic Development Vision on its own. With the exception of its role as a local planning authority, a borough or district council is not designed, equipped or financed to act as a direct major stimulant to the local economy. However, the Council is well placed and equipped to work in partnership with other economic stakeholders which can exercise more direct influence by investing in the local economy, safeguarding existing jobs and creating new employment opportunities.”

 

The Committee recognises that the Action Plan is intended to be a live document which will be amended over time in the light of changing circumstances.  It also recognises the difficulty in devising actions that are genuinely SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound).  It looks forward to working with officers to  ...  view the full minutes text for item EXE 35/18

EXE 36/18

Treasury Management Framework - Capital Strategy pdf icon PDF 60 KB

The Council is required to have in place a Capital Strategy that sets out how capital expenditure and investment decision are made and reviewed.  This strategy is required to be approved by Council.

 

Recommendation

 

That the Executive agrees to recommend the proposed Capital Strategy to Council for approval.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

36.1  Cllr Hyman had registered to speak on this item, and the Leader invited him to make his statement. Cllr Hyman referred to paragraph 2.2 of the Strategy, on Project Initiation, which described the review process for capital projects, and asked if this would apply to projects already underway, or only projects initiated after the Strategy was adopted. Cllr Hyman also noted the references to risk assessment in paragraph 2.4 and expressed some concern that the Audit Committee had not been asked to review the Strategy.

 

36.2  The Leader invited Graeme Clark, Strategic Director, to respond to Cllr Hyman’s question. Mr Clark advised that the draft Strategy was aspirational, in that it set out the approach the Council would be adopting. It had been reviewed by the Value for Money and Customer Service Overview & Scrutiny Committee, which had made some useful contributions that had been reflected in the version of the Strategy now recommended for approval by Council. The Strategy incorporated the good work of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on reviewing the capital expenditure process, led by Cllr Mike Band. The recommendations from that review had been agreed by the Executive, and the Capital Strategy provided a formal link to the Treasury Framework.

 

36.3  The approach set out in the Strategy was being used for capital bids coming forward now for 2019/20, and there was also a new framework for project management being rolled out. However, current projects and those approaching their conclusion would not be fully compliant with the approach due the stage they had reached.

 

36.4  With regard to risk, the Strategy made an explicit link between the ongoing work on risk, the Risk Register and specific projects that reflected that they were typically high-value, resource intensive, and run over a number of years.

 

36.5  Cllr Hall confirmed that the approach set out in the Strategy would not apply to projects already underway. The Strategy complemented the investment framework, which included the Treasury Management Strategy approved by Council on 24 April 2018. Property and asset investments were outside the scope of the treasury management strategy, and the Capital Strategy would provide the context for capital expenditure and investment decisions of this type. The contribution of Overview & Scrutiny Committee was appreciated and the Strategy was recommended for approval by the Council.

 

The Executive RESOLVED to

 

RECOMMEND that Council approves the proposed Capital Strategy.

EXE 37/18

Delivery of the Housing Capital and Cyclical Works Programme from 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 71 KB

The housing capital and cyclical works programme is currently delivered by five officers within the planned works team. There is a need to recruit an additional four officers to make sure the housing capital and cyclical works programme from the financial year 2019-20 onwards is fully delivered within the required timescale and budget.

 

This report seeks approval to increase the planned works team within the Housing Service by four officers. This will mean the team comprising a total of nine officers.

 

Recommendation

 

That the Executive recommends to Council that:

 

1.    the planned works team is increased from five to nine officers.

2.    the associated costs required to increase the team by a further four officers are agreed.

Minutes:

37.1  Cllr King reminded the Executive that one of the strategic objectives of the HRA Asset Management Strategy was ‘to maximise the council’s assets, minimise liabilities, and develop a capital programme that meets tenants’ aspirations’. This objective had only partially been met as the 1% pa reduction in council housing rents from April 2016 had limited the programme of capital works the Council could undertake, with a priority on basic maintenance and day to day repairs. There had been a direct impact on tenant satisfaction, which had remained static at 79% in the 2017 survey of tenants and residents.

 

37.2  The new rent standard that was expected to be implemented, would permit rent increases by up to Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 1% each year for a period of at least 5 years from April 2020. This would allow the Housing Service to catch up on the capital and cyclical works programmes frozen since 2016, and additional resources were needed to ensure the enhanced work programme would be delivered.

 

37.3  The Leader added that the Council had ambitions to deliver more houses and provide affordable homes for local people, and there was wide cross-party support for this. It was important that our housing stock was maintained and fit for the future, and these proposals would ensure the capital programme was adequately resourced.

 

The Executive RESOLVED to

 

RECOMMEND to Council that:

 

1.    the planned works team in Housing is increased from five to nine officers.

2.    the associated costs required to increase the team by a further four officers are agreed.

PART II - MATTERS OF REPORT

Background Papers

 

The background papers relating to the following report items in Part II are as specified in the agenda for the Committee.

EXE 38/18

Playing Pitch Strategy pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To seek approval to adopt the new Playing Pitch Strategy 2018.

 

The evidence within the strategy will be used as a basis to seek developer contributions to contribute towards future sports facility improvements throughout the borough; including Council-owned facilities, areas that are leased out and those facilities managed by other providers such as Schools and Local Clubs.

 

The strategy provides the Council with a clear understanding of the overall picture of sports facility provision and the needs of the clubs and pitch providers in the borough.

 

Recommendation

 

That the Executive approves the Playing Pitch Strategy 2018, including the findings and action plan within it.

Minutes:

38.1  Cllr Hyman had registered to speak on this item, and the Leader invited him to make his statement. Cllr Hyman asked for clarification on a number of detailed points about the strategy for different types of playing pitch, and also how the Strategy would be used to support the policies in the Local Plan and securing contributions from developers for leisure facilities.

 

38.2  The Leader thanked Cllr Hyman for his comments and asked that, as they were so detailed, it would be best if he emailed them to Kelvin Mills, Head of Community Services and Major Projects, after the meeting so that a full response could be provided.

 

38.3  Cllr Deanus reported that the Playing Pitch Strategy was a very comprehensive and substantial document, that reflected the importance the Council placed on sport in support of the health and wellbeing of residents. Only the Executive Summary had been included in the Executive papers.

 

38.4  The Strategy provided an evidence-base that highlighted sports provision and demand and would support developer contributions for sports facility improvements around the borough through S106 agreements and CIL. It also dealt with maintenance, quality improvements and additional pitch provision to meet demand from development.

 

The Executive RESOLVED to approve the Playing Pitch Strategy 2018, including the findings and action plan within it.

EXE 39/18

Budget Management Report pdf icon PDF 59 KB

This report provides a review of the 2018/19 budget for the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account against the forecast to 31 March 2019, based on the latest information available.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Executive:

 

1.      notes the latest position against budget in 2018/19;

 

2.      approves the rescheduling of £720,000 for the Frensham Redevelopment project into 2019/20, as detailed in paragraph 4, and

 

3.      agrees the buy-back of the property identified in Exempt Annexe 1 at a price to agreed by the Strategic Director and the Portfolio for Housing, and funded from the budget agreed in July 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

39.1  Cllr Hall presented the Budget Management Report, which reviewed the position against budget to date for the General Fund, the Housing Revenue Account, and capital programme. There were no significant variances to bring to the attention of the Executive, but Cllr Hall highlighted the need to reschedule part of the capital budgets for the Frensham Redevelopment project and delivery of Site A at Ockford Ridge into 2019/20 to reflect the respective revised project plans.

 

39.2  Executive approval was also sought for the buy-back of a property from the budget agreed in July. Council had agreed a budget to enable the buy-back of two properties. One of these had fallen through, but another property had been offered to the Council which would enable the addition of up to 7 units of affordable accommodation on a future development site.

 

The Executive RESOLVED to

 

1.      note the latest position against budget in 2018/19;

 

2.      approve the rescheduling of £720,000 for the Frensham Redevelopment project into 2019/20; and

 

3.      agree the buy-back of the property identified in Exempt Annexe 1 to the agenda report, at a price to agreed by the Strategic Director and the Portfolio Holder for Housing, and funded from the budget agreed in July 2018.

EXE 40/18

Lease of Cricket Square, Nets and Score Box, Grayswood Green pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Authority is sought to grant a lease of 40 years to the Grayswood Cricket Club of the cricket square, nets and score box on Grayswood Green.  The club’s present lease of 10 years will expire this year and this is an opportune time to grant a longer lease to the club.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that a lease of 40 years be granted to Grayswood Cricket Club for the cricket square, nets and score box on Grayswood Green on terms and conditions as set out in the (Exempt) Annexe, other terms and conditions to be agreed by the Estates and Valuation Manager.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

40.1  Cllr Deanus introduced the report and advised that Grayswood Cricket Club was an active club with a strong youth side. They had been playing at Grayswood Green for a number of years and the current lease was due to expire at the end of the year. Granting a long lease, for 40 years, would provide the club with greater opportunities to obtain grants to improve their facilities and increase local participation in sport. The terms were usual for this type of lease, and were set out in the Exempt Annexe to the report.

 

40.2  Cllr Hall  reminded the Executive that the Council had a great track record of supporting community sports clubs in this way, and there would be more requests coming forward. It underlined the Council’s recognition of the importance of active sports clubs to local communities, and commitment to ensuring sport in our communities was supported and expanded.

 

The Executive RESOLVED that a lease of 40 years be granted to Grayswood Cricket Club for the cricket square, nets and score box on Grayswood Green on terms and conditions as set out in the (Exempt) Annexe to the agenda report, other terms and conditions to be agreed by the Estates and Valuation Manager.