Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Executive - Tuesday, 5th October, 2021 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Louise Fleming  Democratic Services & Business Support Team Manager

Items
No. Item

EXE 28/21

MINUTES

To confirm the Minutes of the Meetings held on 7 September and 22 September 2021.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 September and the Special Meeting held on 22 September 2021 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.

EXE 29/21

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 30/21

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 Tuesday 28 September 2021 at 5pm.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public.

EXE 31/21

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL

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

 

The deadline for receipt of questions is Tuesday 28 September 2021 at 5pm.

 

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the Council.

EXE 32/21

Leader's and Portfolio Holders' Updates

Minutes:

The Leader and Portfolio Holders gave brief updates on current issues not reported elsewhere on the agenda:

·         The Leader welcomed the recent Pride in Surrey event which had been held in Godalming town centre at the end of September.  It had been well attended by over 8,000 and he thanked the Waverley staff and Councillors who had supported the event.  The event had emphasised the values held by the Council and provided an economic boost to the town centre.  The Leader also thanked the staff involved in supporting the forthcoming by-elections in Cranleigh East and Dunsfold Parish and the Haslemere Neighbourhood Plan referendum.

·         Councillor Peter Clark, Portfolio Holder for Business Transformation and IT advised that a recent attack on the server by “bad bots” had brought the Council’s planning portal to a standstill.  As a result a new layer of protection had been purchased in the form of software which could detect IP addresses of bot attacks and block them instantly.

·         Councillor Andy MacLeod, Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy, Services and Brightwells advised that the consultation on LPP2 had opened on 1 October.  The Planning Policy team were currently working on two important supplementary planning documents, one for Dunsfold Park and one for Climate Change and Sustainability and it was hoped to get these out to consultation in November and February/March respectively for adoption in the Spring/Summer 2022.  The Brightwells development was due for a grand opening in 2022 and the South Street car park upgrade had been delayed to early next year to avoid interfering with Sainsbury’s Christmas shopping period.

·         Councillor Mark Merryweather, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services advised that on 7 September the Government had announced a new health and social care levy which would take the form of a 1.25% increase in national insurance contributions which are paid by both employees and employers.  The Council had been assessing the impact of the levy on its own finances, which was likely to be around £130,000 annually before inflation.  This was equivalent to a 1.2% increase in Council Tax or the entire budget for apprentices and trainees.  There had been no additional funding from the Government announced and therefore the burden would fall on the Council to identify further efficiency savings.  It was noted that Surrey County Council’s national insurance liability was expected to be around £2.4m, Surrey Police’s around £2m and there would be an impact on parish and town councils.

·         Councillor Kika Mirylees, Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing and Culture advised that local company had been engaged to carry out an options appraisal on the museum.

·         Councillor Anne Marie Rosoman, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety advised that Bracknell Forest Borough Council would be the Council’s new out of hours contractor.  They were currently running the out of hours service for Guildford Borough Council and therefore had geographical knowledge of Surrey.  The new contract went live on 1st October and the Business Transformation team was working on having one number which would  ...  view the full minutes text for item EXE 32/21

PART I - RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNCIL

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 33/21

Review of the Members Allowances Scheme: Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 120 KB

The Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 (as amended) provide that it is for each local authority to decide its Members Allowances Scheme, and the amounts to be paid under that Scheme. Councils are required to establish an Independent Remuneration Panel to provide advice on its Allowances Scheme, and to carry out periodic reviews of the Scheme. Council must have regard to the recommendations of the IRP before making any changes to the Members Scheme of Allowances.

 

A review of the Waverley Scheme of Members’ Allowances by the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) was carried out on 21 and 27 July 2021, and the IRP’s report is attached at Annexe 1.

 

Having considered the report and recommendations of the IRP, the Executive is asked to make appropriate recommendations to Full Council on changes to the Members Allowances Scheme.

 

Recommendation

 

Executive recommends to Full Council that:

 

1.    The report and recommendations of the IRP are noted.

2.    In view of the continuing significant pressure on the Council’s budgets, there is no change to the Members Allowances Scheme until after the next Borough elections in May 2023, at which time the Scheme should be reviewed again by an independent remuneration panel.

3.    The annual indexation of Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances in line with the percentage increase in staff salaries continues from 1 April 2022 for up to three years.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the Executive recommends to Full Council that:

 

1.    The report and recommendations of the IRP are noted.

2.    In view of the continuing significant pressure on the Council’s budgets, there is no change to the Members Allowances Scheme until after the next Borough elections in May 2023, at which time the Scheme should be reviewed again by an independent remuneration panel.

3.    The annual indexation of Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances in line with the percentage increase in staff salaries continues from 1 April 2022 for up to three years.

 

[This matter is recommended to Council for decision and is not subject to the call-in procedure.]

Minutes:

The Leader presented the report which set out a review of the Waverley Scheme of Members’ Allowances carried out by the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) which the Council was required to establish under the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 (as amended).  He thanked the Panel for their work and their engagement on the issue of remuneration.  Considering the current position with rises to national insurance contributions, cuts to Universal Credit and potential national and local tax rises to pay for the cost of the pandemic it would be improper for the Council to recommend any rise to the current Members’ Allowances Scheme.  Therefore it was proposed to note the report but to recommend to the Council that there be no increase at this time and it was

 

RESOLVED that the Executive recommends to Full Council that:

 

1.    The report and recommendations of the IRP are noted.

2.    In view of the continuing significant pressure on the Council’s budgets, there is no change to the Members Allowances Scheme until after the next Borough elections in May 2023, at which time the Scheme should be reviewed again by an independent remuneration panel.

3.    The annual indexation of Basic and Special Responsibility Allowances in line with the percentage increase in staff salaries continues from 1 April 2022 for up to three years.

 

Reason: To comply with the requirements of The Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 (as amended). A council can only rely on the agreed form of indexation for a maximum of 4 years before further review of the Scheme by the IRP.

EXE 34/21

Property Matter: Wey Court East proposal

Recommendation

 

That the Executive agree the recommendations set out in the Exempt report.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the Executive recommends to full Council that the recommendation as set out in the exempt report be approved.

 

[This matter is recommended to Council for decision and is not subject to the call-in procedure.]

Minutes:

At 6.55pm it was, on the recommendation of the Leader, the Executive RESOLVED that, pursuant to Procedure Rule 20, and in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public Page 5 be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item on the grounds that it was likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during this item, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information (as defined by Section 100I of the Act) of the description specified in the report in the revised Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972; namely Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

RESOLVED that the Executive recommends to full Council that the recommendation as set out in the exempt report be approved.

 

Reason: The reasons are set out in the exempt report.

PART II - MATTERS OF REPORT

The background papers relating to the following items are as set out in the reports included in the original agenda papers.

EXE 35/21

Comments from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees

Recommended that the Executive consider the comments made by the Overview and Scrutiny Committees as set out below.

 

Value for Money and Customer Service Overview and Scrutiny Committee, 13 September 2021

 

The Committee asked for decisive action to resolve the issues with one of the property matters contained in the exempt annexe to the Property Investment Advisory Board Activity Update report.

 

Community Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee, 15 September 2021

 

The Committee made comments and recommendations on the New Funding Process and Arrangement for Voluntary Sector Organisation 2022 / 2025 and these have been incorporated into the consultation and engagement section of the report at item 9 on this agenda.

Decision:

RESOLVED that the comments of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees be noted.

Minutes:

The Leader thanked the Overview and Scrutiny committees for their comments and advised that both the comments related to an exempt item which would be coming forward at a later date and an item later on the agenda and the comments would be addressed as part of those discussions.

 

RESOLVED that the comments of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees be noted.

EXE 36/21

Afghan Resettlement in Waverley pdf icon PDF 229 KB

For the Executive to agree Waverley Borough Council’s plans and commitment to support Afghan refugees through the Home Office Resettlement Programmes.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Executive:

·         supports the commitment to secure five to ten homes, in the Borough, to assist Afghan refugees, through the Home Office resettlement programmes over a two-year period, subject to the availability of suitable homes,

·         agrees to recruit a designated support worker, for up to three years, costs expected to be met by central government funding, and

·         approves the addendum to the Housing Allocation Scheme to allocate homes directly to eligible Afghan refugees for a two-year period as set out at Annexe One.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

1.         That the commitment to secure five to ten homes, in the Borough, to assist Afghan refugees, through the Home Office resettlement programmes over a two-year period, subject to the availability of suitable homes, be supported;

2.         That the recruitment of a designated support worker, for up to three years, be agreed and the costs expected to be met by central government funding; and

3.         That the addendum to the Housing Allocation Scheme to allocate homes directly to eligible Afghan refugees for a two-year period as set out at Annexe One be approved.

 

Reason: The Government has two initiatives to assist Afghan refugees the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) launched April 2021 for former locally employed staff and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), launched August 2021 to assist vulnerable refugees who assisted the UK efforts and stood up for values e.g. democracy, women’s rights, rule of law, freedom of speech.

 

The Government has committed to welcoming around 5,000 people from Afghanistan in the first year of the resettlement programme and up to 20,000 over the coming years.  Local Authorities have been requested to assist the programme by providing homes and support services for integration.

 

Waverley Council Members and residents have recognised the plight of and risk to Afghan refugees and have pledged to support the humanitarian initiative.

 

[HOUSING OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE]

 

Minutes:

Councillor Anne Marie Rosoman, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety presented the report which set out the Council’s plans and commitment to support Afghan refugees through the Home Office Resettlement Programmes.  A support officer had been appointed and would be in place from the following week.  They would help to set up the pilot scheme and work with the local community on integration.  The pledge to support Afghan families was in line with the Council’s vision to ensure housing was available to all in need.  

 

At the invitation of the Leader, Councillor John Ward welcomed the report and encouraged the Executive and officers to keep up the pressure on the Government to ensure the funding continued.

 

The Leader welcomed the report and echoed the comments on the Government funding.  He thanked all those involved and it was

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         That the commitment to secure five to ten homes, in the Borough, to assist Afghan refugees, through the Home Office resettlement programmes over a two-year period, subject to the availability of suitable homes, be supported;

2.         That the recruitment of a designated support worker, for up to three years, be agreed and the costs expected to be met by central government funding; and

3.         That the addendum to the Housing Allocation Scheme to allocate homes directly to eligible Afghan refugees for a two-year period as set out at Annexe One be approved.

 

Reason: The Government has two initiatives to assist Afghan refugees the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) launched April 2021 for former locally employed staff and the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), launched August 2021 to assist vulnerable refugees who assisted the UK efforts and stood up for values e.g. democracy, women’s rights, rule of law, freedom of speech.

 

The Government has committed to welcoming around 5,000 people from Afghanistan in the first year of the resettlement programme and up to 20,000 over the coming years.  Local Authorities have been requested to assist the programme by providing homes and support services for integration.

 

Waverley Council Members and residents have recognised the plight of and risk to Afghan refugees and have pledged to support the humanitarian initiative.

 

EXE 37/21

The Burys Development Options Appraisal Stage 1 pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Obtain approval from the Executive to progress to the next governance stage of the Burys Development project and authorise funds to enable the project to progress to Stage 2.

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Executive

 

·         Note the progress made on the Burys Development Project to date, as detailed in Annexe 1.

·         Approve a further budget of £15,000 to progress to Stage 2, to be met from the balance on the original approval and the Property Investment Reserve.

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

1.         That the progress made on the Burys Development Project to date, as detailed in Annexe 1, be noted; and

2.         That a further budget of £15,000 to progress to Stage 2 be approved, to be met from the balance on the original approval and the Property Investment Reserve. 

 

Reason: To comply with approval and governance arrangements as defined within the PID.

 

[VALUE FOR MONEY & CUSTOMER SERVICES OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE]

 

Minutes:

Councillor Mark Merryweather, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Assets and Commercial Services presented the report which sought approval from the Executive to progress to the next governance stage of the Burys Development project and authorise funds to enable the project to progress to Stage 2. Stage 1 had considered options for the three sites of the Burys, the Crown Court car park and the Wharf car park.  The objectives for the project embodied the Corporate Strategy and took into account the views of officers and Borough and Town Councillors.  Three options had emerged which would be explored in more detail in stage 2.  Dedicated channels would be established for elected representatives to feed into the project and he thanked all those who had contributed so far.  The Leader thanked the Portfolio Holder for engaging with Godalming Town Council.

 

At the invitation of the Leader, Councillor John Ward welcomed the proposals.  Councillor Liz Townsend welcomed the report and the recognition of changes in ways of working and the weight given to climate change considerations.  The Leader reiterated that the proposals were grounded in the Corporate Strategy.  Councillor Andy MacLeod sought clarification on the meaning of the phrase of a “hotel style development” and the Portfolio Holder responded.

 

Councillor Steve Williams endorsed the sustainability elements of the proposals and welcomed the opportunity for a development which was in line with the Council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency.

 

RESOLVED

 

1.         That the progress made on the Burys Development Project to date, as detailed in Annexe 1, be noted; and

2.         That a further budget of £15,000 to progress to Stage 2 be approved, to be met from the balance on the original approval and the Property Investment Reserve. 

 

Reason: To comply with approval and governance arrangements as defined within the PID.

 

EXE 38/21

New funding process for voluntary organisations 2022 to 2025 - Thriving Communities Commissioning Fund pdf icon PDF 321 KB

This report sets out the proposed Thriving Communities Commissioning Fund process and documentation to operate the scheme.  The scheme will replace the current Service Level Agreement scheme. 

 

Recommendation

 

It is recommended that the Executive, after considering comments from the Community Wellbeing Overview & Scrutiny Committee:

 

1.    Agrees to launch the Thriving Communities Commissioning scheme as set out in the report.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the launch of the Thriving Communities Commissioning scheme as set out in the report be agreed.

 

Reason: To ensure that the Council’s funding mechanism and approach to not-for-profit organisations meets the Council’s corporate priorities, evidence-based community needs and takes into account the views of the Community Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Overview & Scrutiny Service Level Agreement Working Group.

 

[COMMUNITY WELLBEING OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE]

 

Minutes:

Councillor Kika Mirylees, Portfolio Holder for Health Wellbeing and Culture, presented the report which set out a proposed Thriving Communities Commissioning Fund process and documentation to operate the scheme.  The scheme would replace the current Service Level Agreement scheme.  Cllr Mirylees thanked the Community Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee for its help in shaping the priorities of the scheme.  Applications for funding would be assessed by an assessment panel against an agreed criteria to ensure funding decisions were made fairly and transparently.  The Council had a strong track record of working in partnership with voluntary organisations in the delivery of services to the community.

 

The Leader thanked the Portfolio Holder and the officers involved for their work on this scheme.  At the invitation of the Leader, Councillor Jenny Else expressed concern that she had not been involved in the assessment document as a member of the independent panel; and that dates for the panel meetings had not been set up as it was likely to be a lengthy process.  Councillor Else also expressed concern over ringfenced funding for youth provision, as this was the responsibility of the County Council; and the future of the community meals service in the event that any of the buildings used by the service did not receive funding.

 

In response, the Leader reminded those present that it was not usual for meetings to be scheduled before the process had been agreed by the Council.  The Council had a duty to explore what it could do to help young people when it was felt that the statutory duty to provide youth services by the County Council was not being met.  However she highlighted the work of the Friday Night Project which she felt was sufficient to meet the youth provision.

 

In response, Councillor Mirylees advised that ringfencing was not being proposed, however if organisations came forward who wanted to provide services to young people then they would be given consideration.  She drew the Executive’s attention to the report which set out the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on the 16-34 age range and this section of the community needed support.  The community meals on wheels service would be retained and the Council would explore how to support organisations to deliver this more efficiently.

 

At the invitation of the Leader, Councillor John Ward congratulated the Portfolio Holder for her work on the proposals and welcomed the focus on youth provision.  Councillor Liz Townsend also congratulated the Portfolio Holder and the officers involved, welcoming the proposals which would make the process more transparent and also highlighting the success of the Friday Night Project.  The Leader and Councillor Steve Williams echoed the comments made regarding youth provision and support for the proposals.  In conclusion, Councillor Mirylees highlighted the enthusiasm of the officers involved.

 

The Leader echoed the comments made and it was

 

RESOLVED that the launch of the Thriving Communities Commissioning scheme as set out in the report be agreed.

 

Reason: To ensure that the Council’s funding mechanism and  ...  view the full minutes text for item EXE 38/21

EXE 39/21

Property Matter: Tices Meadow, Farnham

Recommendation

 

That the Executive agree the recommendations set out in the Exempt report.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED that the recommendation set out in the exempt report be approved.

 

Reason: For the reasons set out in the exempt report.

 

[VALUE FOR MONEY OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE]

Minutes:

At 6.55pm it was, on the recommendation of the Leader, the Executive RESOLVED that, pursuant to Procedure Rule 20, and in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public Page 5 be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item on the grounds that it was likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during this item, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information (as defined by Section 100I of the Act) of the description specified in the report in the revised Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972; namely Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

RESOLVED that the recommendation set out in the exempt report be approved.

 

Reason: For the reasons set out in the exempt report.