Woking Strategic Partnerships EXE22-059
Reporting Person – Giorgio Framalicco
The Executive received a report which set out a new framework for working with partners in order to support the Council’s strategic priorities. Councillor Barker set out the proposed new arrangements following the County Council’s decision to end the Woking Joint Committee arrangements.
The Council’s strong relationship with health partners through the North West Surrey Alliance was noted. It was proposed that, alongside the North West Surrey Alliance, a new Woking Strategic Partnership Board would be established to provide collective leadership and strategic direction to improve outcomes for residents, focusing on issues where joint working was essential. The Executive heard that the Partnership Board would include infrastructure delivery, climate change, improving health outcomes and keeping residents safe. It was noted that the Partnership Board would need to meet both in public and private. In addition, a new Woking Place Board was proposed to drive forward inclusive economic growth and be business led.
Discussion ensued on membership of the proposed Boards and public engagement. The Executive was advised that plans were still being worked up however likely membership of the Partnership Board would include the Leader, Deputy Leader, a member from each political group which would ideally be Group Leaders, Senior Officer representation, Surrey Police representation and a member of the health Alliance team. It was noted that meetings with wider partners would need to be held privately. It was suggested that the Woking Strategic Partnership Board membership include Woking schools representation. Cllr Barker noted that the potential for Surrey County Councillors to sit on Woking’s Greener Woking Working Group was being explored. It was hoped that the Partnership Board would have its first meeting in February 2023 and that the Place Board would be active in Summer 2023.
Councillor Barker provided an update on the County Deal, commenting that the Council welcomed a joint submission between the County and district and boroughs. The Executive was informed that Surrey district and borough leaders and chief executives had met on 22 October 2022 to understand the County’s position. Councillor Barker confirmed that the district and boroughs leaders response had been sent to the Leader of Surrey County Council for incorporation into the proposals to be taken forward for negotiation with Government. Discussions were ongoing and further information would be reported to the Executive when available.
The arrangements for CIL applications were confirmed noting that a cross party group met on the first Monday of each month, as required, to consider applications below £10k. It was highlighted that any requests for funds of £10k or more would be considered by the Executive.
That (i) a Woking Strategic Partnership Board be established with key partners;
(ii) the Council works with key businesses and major employers to create a “Woking Place Board” and a business lead place brand for Woking; and
RECOMMENDED to Council
That (iii) the positive work underway to pursue a County Deal for Surrey be noted;
(iv) the current Woking Joint Committee arrangements for small scale neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) ... view the full minutes text for item 8
Partnership Landscape OSC22-052 (Verbal Update)
For the Committee to review the upcoming item for the Executive.
Reporting Person: Giorgio Framalicco
Giorgio Framalicco, Strategic Director of Place, presented to the Committee the most recent developments to Woking Borough Council’s Strategic Partnerships.
Surrey County Council (SCC) was due to submit a Level 2 County Deal proposal to the Government, which was expected to change the relationship between Woking Borough Council and SCC.
The Woking Joint Committee was set to end and two Boards had been proposed to replace it; the Strategic Partnership Board would oversee infrastructure, climate change, health outcomes and safety; the Place Board would consider businesses and stakeholders, while ensuring that decisions considered the Master Plan and Corporate Strategy. Neither Board would have decision-making powers. Each would meet several times a year and report to the Executive.
The Committee discussed the need for the Boards to balance engagement with residents, to replace the direct engagement of the Woking Joint Committee, but also allow the Council and Partners to discuss items not ready for public consumption.
Members discussed the possibility of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee could be used as a forum for the public to directly engage with the Council once the Woking Joint Committee ended. It was recognised that to be effective relevant parties would need to attend the meetings to be able to respond to questions.
Several Delivery Groups were also proposed that focussed on specific sectors: Woking Wellbeing Group, Safer Woking Partnership, Joint Infrastructure, Green Woking, CIL, and Place Brand. Each Group would meet several times a year with CIL potentially meeting monthly. The Groups would report to the two new Boards as well as the NWS Alliance Board. Several of the Groups would replace those that already existed under the Woking Joint Committee.
Kevin Foster, Strategic Director of Corporate Resources, presented an update to the County Deal and Woking Borough Council’s plans to work with SCC. The Deal would see a number of powers devolved to SCC and the need to work constructively going forward was emphasised.
A Level 2 County Deal would encompass Local Enterprise Partnerships and an aspect of the Place Board would be to attract SCC to invest in the Borough.
Members noted the need to balance a focus on the Town Centre, where there was a concentration of businesses and connections to attract investment, while ensuring the wider Borough was still considered. It was emphasised that attracting investment by promoting culture was relevant across the Borough and not limited to the Town Centre.
The Committee noted the need to understand how the County Deal would affect infrastructure and planning in the Borough and that it would be of keen interest to residents.