Agenda and minutes

Standards Committee
Monday, 11th June, 2018 5.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, Council Offices, The Burys, Godalming

Contact: Ema Dearsley  Democratic Services Officer

Items
No. Item

STD 1/18

Appointment of Chairman for 2018/19

To confirm the appointment of Cllr Michael Goodridge as Chairman of the Standards Panel for 2018/19.

Minutes:

Councillor Michael Goodridge was confirmed as Chairman of the Standards Panel for the Council Year 2018/19.

STD 2/18

Minutes pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting which took place on 29 January 2018 (to be laid on the table 30 minutes before the meeting commences)

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 29 January 2018 were agreed as a correct record of the meeting.

STD 3/18

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

STD 4/18

Disclosures of Interests

To receive from members, declarations of interests 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 disclosures of interests.

STD 5/18

Questions by Members of the public

The Chairman to respond to any questions received from Members of the public in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public.

STD 6/18

Questions from Members

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

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.

STD 7/18

Membership of the Standards Panel

The Membership of the Standards Panel is currently described as 9 members, comprising 8 from the Conservative Group and the Leader of the Principal Opposition Group on an ex officio basis.

 

The Standards Panel is invited to consider whether the Constitution should be amended in order to confirm that the membership of the Standards Panel falls within the scope of the political proportionality rules.

 

The effect of this change for 2018/19 would be that the membership allocation would be 8 members from the Conservative Group and 1 member from the Farnham Residents Group, which is the Principal Opposition Group, although this would no longer necessarily have to be the Group Leader.

 

Recommendation

 

That the Standards Panel recommends to Council that Article 9 of the Constitution be amended to clarify that the Membership of the Standards Panel should satisfy the usual political balance rules for the council.

Minutes:

The Standards Panel noted that there had been an enquiry from a Member of the Council why the Standards Panel fell outside of the ‘principal committees’ to which political proportionality regulations applied. The suggestion had been that, given the remit of the Panel, it would be more equitable for the membership to be allocated in proportion to the political balance of the Council.

 

The Panel noted that the remit of the Panel had changed in 2017/18 with the addition to the terms of reference the responsibility to keep the Council’s Constitution and Scheme of Delegation under review. The Panel was now meeting on a regular basis and had evolved into a more traditional Standards Committee, rather than just a standing group of members from which a panel would be drawn to determine the outcome of an investigation into a Member Code of Conduct complaint.

 

The Panel noted that the immediate effect of making the membership of the Panel politically proportional would be that the Farnham Residents Group would be allocated a seat by entitlement rather than the ex officio  Leader of the Waverley Opposition Group.

 

Having considered the proposal, the Standards Panel agreed that it would be more equitable to all Members of the Council if the Panel was re-designated as Waverley’s Standards Committee, with the membership falling within the scope of political proportionality regulations.

 

Therefore, the Standards Panel

 

RESOLVED to recommend to Council that Article 9 of Waverley’s Constitution be amended to designate the Standards Panel as the Standards Committee, and the membership of 9 Waverley members be allocated on a politically proportional basis.

STD 8/18

Constitution - Responsibility of Functions - Joint Planning Committee

The Constitution requires that certain Planning applications must be referred to the Joint Planning Committee for determination:

 

(a.1) To review all housing schemes which propose a net increase of more than 25 dwellings, where the recommendation is for permission to be granted

 

(a.2)    To consider applications defined as major, as defined by the Government (10 or more units of residential accommodation, more than 1,000 sqm commercial floorspace and site area of more than 1 hectare)  and which, in the judgement of the Chief Executive, after consultation with the Head of Planning and the appropriate Area Planning Committee Chairman, meet the following criteria

 

i.          have a significant planning impact beyond the Area in which they are situated, and/or

ii.         are of strategic importance, and/or

iii.        involve new planning issues for the Borough; or

 

(a.3)    where within three weeks of the application appearing on the Waverley weekly list of planning applications, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the relevant Area Planning Committee and the ward member request that it be referred to the Joint Planning Committee and put forward relevant grounds as set out in c (i) to (iii) above, the Chief Executive and Head of Planning will normally submit the application to the Joint Planning Committee;

 

Following the recent consideration by the Joint Planning Committee of application WA/2017/1362 (Amlets, Amlets Lane, Cranleigh), the Standards Panel is invited to consider an additional criteria to ensure that amendments to planning applications previously considered by the Committee are automatically referred back to Joint Planning Committee.

 

Officers will provide the Committee with a suggested form of words at the meeting.

 

Recommendation

 

The Committee to recommend to Council an amendment to the Constitution (Part 3) relating to the functions of the Joint Planning Committee to ensure that amendments to planning applications previously considered by the Committee are automatically referred back to Joint Planning Committee (final wording to be agreed at the Committee).

 

Minutes:

The Standards Panel noted that at a recent meeting of the Joint Planning Committee, Members had been concerned that the application being considered (WA/2017/1362,  Amlets, Amlets Lane, Cranleigh) had fallen outside of the criteria for automatic referral to the Joint Planning Committee despite it being a significant amendment to the original Amlets Lane planning application that would increase the total number of dwellings on the site from 125 to 133.

 

The more recent planning application had been described only in relation to the sub-plot within the overall scheme, and therefore only referred to a net increase of 8 in dwelling numbers from 22 to 33 dwellings. As a result, Members had had to call the application into Joint Planning Committee, and had requested that this situation was addressed within the specification of the remit of the Joint Planning Committee.

 

The Standards Panel reviewed a form of words suggested by the Planning Development Manager, and

 

RESOLVED to recommend to Council that the wording shown below in bold be added to the Joint Planning Committee Responsibility for Functions in Part 3 of Waverley’s Constitution:

 

The proposed role of the Joint Planning Committee as distinct from the Area Planning Committees would be to consider applications or issues referred to it for the following reasons:

a.    To make decisions on the administrative and procedural matters affecting the processing of applications. E.g. report formats, information specifications etc.

b.    To review all housing schemes which propose a net increase of more than 25 dwellings, where the recommendation is for permission to be granted

c.    To consider applications defined as major, as defined by the Government (10 or more units of residential accommodation, more than 1,000 sqm commercial floorspace and site area of more than 1 hectare)

 

and which, in the judgement of the Chief Executive, after consultation with the Head of Planning and the appropriate Area Planning Committee Chairman, meet the following criteria

 

i.          have a significant planning impact beyond the Area in which they are situated, and/or

ii.          are of strategic importance, and/or

iii.         involve new planning issues for the borough; and/or

iv.        is a revised application for parcel of land within a development with an extant planning permission previously determined by Joint Planning Committee that increases the total number of dwellings on the total site; and/or

v.         where a revision to an extant planning permission brings the total number of dwellings on a site to 25 or more; or

 

d.    Where within three weeks of the application appearing on the Waverley weekly list of planning applications, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the relevant Area Planning Committee and the ward member request that it be referred to the Joint Planning Committee and put forward relevant grounds as set out in c (i) to (iii) above, the Chief Executive and Head of Planning will normally submit the application to the Joint Planning Committee.

 

 

PART II - MATTERS OF REPORT

STD 9/18

Scheme of Delegation update pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Scheme of Delegation – Planning

 

Further to the discussion at the meeting in January 2018 regarding the wording of paragraph 43, the Standards Panel is asked to note the final wording as shown on the attached Annexe 1.

 

Scheme of Delegation – Licensing and Closure of Streets

 

The Standards Panel is asked to note that in accordance with the Scheme of Delegation, the Monitoring Officer has amended the Scheme in relation to Licensing and Closure of Streets (Annexe 2), to reflect the organisational transfer of these responsibilities from the Head of Policy & Governance to the Head of Environmental Services.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Scheme of Delegation for Planning

 

The Panel noted that, further to their discussion at the meeting on 29 January 2018, the wording of paragraph 43 of the Scheme of Delegation for Planning had been clarified and was shown on the attached schedule (Item 8, Annexe1).

 

The Panel RESOLVED to note the revised wording.

 

Scheme of Delegation for Licensing and Closure of Streets

 

The Standards Panel RESOLVED to note that in accordance with the Scheme of Delegation to the Monitoring Officer, the Scheme of Delegation for Licensing and Closure of Streets had been transferred from the Head of Policy and Governance to the Head of Environmental Services, reflecting the same organisational transfer of these responsibilities.

 

STD 10/18

Waverley Borough Council Constutition (February 2018) pdf icon PDF 903 KB

The Standards Panel to note and endorse the attached formatted version of Waverley’s Constitution. Please note that this is the current version of the Constitution, approved February 2018.

Minutes:

Following previous criticisms of the format of the Waverley Constitution, the Panel had received a formatted and branded version for comments.

 

Whilst noting that this was a work in progress, the Panel agreed that it was a great improvement, and improved navigation through the document. Members had noticed some missing cross-references within the text, and had some specific suggestions for further improvements, including adding a Glossary of technical terms.

 

The Panel agreed that any specific comments should be passed to the Democratic Services Manager by email so that work could continue on improving the appearance and usability of the document.

 

The Constitution was an important document, and the Panel felt that its appearance should reflect that, and that in May 2019 all new Councillors should be provided with a hard copy.

STD 11/18

Monitoring Officer Update

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer advised that following a query raised by Cllrs Stephen Mulliner and John Gray, he was drafting a guidance document on the Access to Information Rules which he would bring to the next meeting of the Panel for consideration.