Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Community Wellbeing - Wednesday, 20th January, 2021 7.00 pm

Contact: Kimberly Soane  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item



To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th November 2020 and published on the Councils website.


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th November 2021 were confirmed as a correct record and signed.



To receive apologies for absence and note any substitutions.


There were no apologies for absence submitted for this meeting.



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


There were no declarations of interests in connection with items on the agenda.



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


The deadline for receipt of written questions is 5pm on Tuesday 12th January 2021.


There were no questions from members of the public submitted for this meeting.



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


The deadline for receipt of written questions is 5pm on Tuesday 12th January 2021.


Question from Cllr Sally Dickson:


Please can you confirm that during our discussions on the meeting on June 30th about the future of Wilmer House, 38 West Street, the current home of Farnham Museum.

  • It was decided the O&S would recommend to the Executive Option 1 & 2, specifically
  • Option 1 The Council (Waverley Borough Council) pays for the repairs and continues to offer the Wilmer House as a Museum
  • Option 2 The Council (Waverley Borough Council) pays for the repairs to Wilmer House irrespective of future use 



A question was submitted by Cllr Sally Dickson and attached to the agenda. The response to this question was then read out. (see attached)



The Community and Wellbeing Overview & Scrutiny Committee is responsible for managing its work programme.


A Scrutiny Tracker has been produced to assist the Committee in monitoring the recommendations that have been agreed at its meetings. The Tracker details the latest position on the implementation of these recommendations and is attached as Part C of the work programme.


Louise Norie outlined the forward work programme. Highlights outlined and discussions were:


·         Service Plans delayed until the March meeting.

·         Cranleigh Leisure Centre had dropped off the programme but will be reinstated.

·         Cllr Mary Foryszewski will lead on the Mental Health issue.

·         Farnham Museum item will have more clarity in work programme.


Cllr Wilson asked if it was in the committees remit to scrutinise the overnight coverage from Surrey Fire and Rescue.  The chairman advised that it was not in the committees power to scrutinise outside bodies.  He suggested that Cllr Wilson could ask the Executive to write to SCC to raise his concerns.



Recovery, Change and Transformation Projects (Community Resilience and Economic Recovery) pdf icon PDF 386 KB

To update the Committee on the progress of the two RCT Projects.


Community Resilience


Andrew Smith, Head of Housing Delivery and Communities, updated the committee on the current priorities the Community Resilience Project were focussing on.  They were advised that the group were working with partners to meet the needs of the community during the pandemic.


Key areas:


·         Finalising the action plan which is due to come to committee in March;

·         Digital inclusion;

·         Support for carers;

·         Mental Health of the community;

·         Partnership working with health, Surrey County Council and the voluntary sector; and,

·         Supporting the community coming out of Covid.


Also developing the Safe and Settled Project, which helps people when they are discharged from hospital to ensure they have everything they need.


The voluntary sector are helping with shopping, prescriptions, befriending, reducing loneliness and isolation.


Food banks say they are well stocked and we have been able to provide extra funding. Community meals continue to be delivered, hardship fund available for residents and we have a Waverley Helpline.


The Committee registered their thanks to the teams for the work they have done and it is a good legacy for the future.


Economic Resilience


Zac Ellwood, Head of Planning and Economic Development, outlined the action plan that had been circulated with the agenda. At the beginning of 2020 the team were planning to update the 2018 Economic Development Strategy, however when Covid hit it was apparent that a short term strategy was needed and therefore the action plan was developed to take us through the next 12 months. This includes embedding economic development and business support across the Council and developing performance targets.


A key function of the project has been to provide targeted business support to businesses who are suffering through the pandemic, promoting the grants available and administering them appropriately and working with the finance team to deliver them.


Action: Zac Ellwood to be invited back to a future meeting to give a more in-depth update.


A member of the committee asked if Covid had impacted the footfall counters? They were advised that it had delayed the project a little but it was being pushed forward.


RCT Project


Kelvin Mills, Head of Commercial Services, commented that the RCT programme had established 10 projects in March 2020. These had created strands of work and greater resilience. He wished to express his thanks to all the staff who have carried out this work on top of their existing work.




Farnham Museum pdf icon PDF 241 KB

To receive an update on Farnham Museum.


The Chairman reminded the Committee that their role was to scrutinise and as much as they would like to make a decision, they can't.  Hopefully if they scrutinise and put some good options and good recommendations the Executive and Council will see them through.


There had been some confusions as to the recommendations made at the last meeting.  The recommendation had been to split the decisions on the building and the museum itself and deal with them as separate entities.  It was hoped this report would lead on from the last report and recommendations.


Charlotte Hall, Community Development Officer, outlined the report and the potential options going forward with the methodology to be used to assess those options.


The Chairman highlighted an inaccuracy in paragraph 1 as it stated that there was a decision to move out of Wilmer House. 


It was felt:

·         the museum options should read internal and external funding not just external;

·         that the methodology should recommend looking at alternative funding not just the ACE project funding should this fail: and

·         consultation should also include the community.


Kelvin Mills indicated that the options should be guided by the Montague Evans report.


Key comments from the committee members were:


·         Montegue Evans report should be made available as soon as it was available not left till June.

·         Whether the building was fit for purpose, accessibility issues.

·         Concern that the options document may preclude us from applying for the ACE funding as some options are to move out the museum.

·         Researching other funding opportunities.

·         Key to being successful would be political commitment.

·         Timetable should include that we accept there could be additional time scales involved for funding applications.


The Committee ENDORSED the recommendations set out in the report, subject to the suggested amendments.


AGREED to consider having a dedicated meeting to discuss this issue in depth.



Service Level Agreement Working Group Update

To receive an update from the working group regarding its progress and findings.


The committee were advised that the working group had met recently and agreed that, as the Council were in the process of setting budgets and we were in unprecedented times, they would delay any decisions until the budget was agreed and it was known what moneys were available.  


Mental Health in Waverley

To discuss the current provision of mental health services in Waverley and agree the approach the Committee would like to take in addressing the issue.


Louise Norie, Corporate Policy Manager, advised that at the last meeting it had been agreed she would carry out some research into mental health provision in the Borough with a particular emphasis on looking at the County's Suicide Prevention Strategy and whether this would be something this committee would like to recommend to the executive that we could adopt.


They were advised that the research on mental health provision is still ongoing but the committee would receive an update, along with Councillor Foryszewski’s input on the Suicide Prevention Strategy and the role the council could play in this.  They were advised that the strategy that the County had put together in 2019 builds on a previous strategy.


It was highlighted that the details are upsetting:

·         there are 13 suicides a day in England and whilst these figures are lower in Surrey than elsewhere in the country every single death is a tragedy and the effect on family friends and the community is devastating.

·         It is the leading cause of death for men under 50 and for young people

·         there's now evidence that high rates of suicide are also occurring in older people 69 plus

·         key factors are things like isolation, poor health and recent loss of partner or spouse and


It was highlighted that there are new challenges coming forward such as:

·         rising rates of self-harm in children and young people;

·         the influence of social media on mental health and well-being;

·         economic changes such as recession; and

·         most recent of all the impact of Covid particularly on mental health.


In 2018 the secretary of state announced that nationally they were aiming for a zero suicide ambition for mental health in patients. However Surrey's ambition is greater than that. They want to aim in their strategy for zero suicides throughout the whole community so the strategy is organized under six key priorities and they follow the national suicide prevention strategy.


The priorities are:

·         understanding suicide and preventing suicide in Surrey;

·         tailoring approaches to improve emotional well-being in particular groups;

·         reducing access to the means of suicide by promoting suicide safer communities;

·         reducing attempted suicide and self-harm especially amongst children and young people including those who have experienced adverse events;

·         providing better information and support to those bereaved by suicide; and

·         prevention of suicide among identified high risk groups particularly those with mental ill health.


The latest figures from CCG’s are that North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG have the highest suicide rates in the county whilst the Guilford and Waverly CCG area have one of the lowest.


The strategy makes the point that no organization is able to directly influence any of these priorities and therefore a multi-agency approach is absolutely vital and so a strategy group has been set up to deliver the plan and it's made up of 45 partners. One of the main thrusts of the strategy is making training available for organizations including Boroughs and Districts that have contact on a regular basis.

Councillor Foryszewski and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.



The Corporate Performance Report provides an analysis of the Council’s

performance for the second quarter of 2020-21 The report, set out at Annexe 1,is being presented to each of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees for

comment and any recommendations they may wish to make to the Executive.


It was AGREED that, as the Corporate Performance report set out was only up to September 2020, the committee members would raise any queries with the relevant heads of service.  



To consider the following recommendation of the motion of the Chairman:




That pursuant to Procedure Rule 20 and in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items on the grounds that it is 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 the items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information (as defined by Section 100I of the Act) of the description specified in the appropriate paragraph(s) of the revised Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act (to be specified at the meeting).


As there were no items to discuss in exempt session the Chairman closed the meeting.