Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 10th February, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices

Contact: Frank Jeffrey  on 01483 743012 or email  frank.jeffrey@woking.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes.

To approve the minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 2 December 2021, as published.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Council held on 2 December 2021 be approved and signed as a true and correct record.

2.

Apologies for Absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor M Ali, Councillor T Aziz and Councillor R Mohammed.

3.

Mayor's Communications.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor reported on the many events he had attended over the Christmas period including the annual Christmas tree festival in West Byfleet, the turning on of the Christmas lights in Sheerwater, numerous carol services and Christmas markets in Byfleet and Horsell.  In the new year, the Mayor had attended a number of musical events, including the Pianothon in The New Victoria Theatre and the Woking Young Musician competition.

As part of the celebrations of Her Majesty The Queen's platinum jubilee, the Mayor had attended a special service at Guildford Cathedral hosted by the Lord Lieutenant and the High Sheriff.

4.

Urgent Business.

To consider any business which the Chairman rules may be dealt with under Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No items of Urgent Business were considered.

5.

Declarations of Interest. pdf icon PDF 50 KB

(i)         To receive declarations of interest from Members and Officers in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.

(ii)        In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor A Azad declares a non-pecuniary interest in any items concerning the companies of which she is a Council-appointed director.  The companies are listed in the attached schedule.  The interests are such that speaking and voting are permissible.

(iii)      In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor K M Davis declares a non-pecuniary interest in any items concerning the companies of which he is a Council-appointed director.  The companies are listed in the attached schedule.  The interests are such that speaking and voting are permissible.

(iv)      In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor D Harlow declares a non-pecuniary interest in any items concerning the companies of which she is a Council-appointed director.  The companies are listed in the attached schedule.  The interests are such that speaking and voting are permissible.

(v)       In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor C S Kemp declares a non-pecuniary interest in any items concerning the companies of which he is a Council-appointed director.  The companies are listed in the attached schedule.  The interests are such that speaking and voting are permissible.

(vi)      In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Chief Executive, Julie Fisher, declares a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items concerning the companies of which she is a Council-appointed director.  The companies are listed in the attached schedule.  The interests are such that Mrs Fisher may advise the Council on those items.

(vii)     In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Director of Legal and Democratic Services, Joanne McIntosh, declares a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items concerning the companies of which she is a Council-appointed director.  The companies are listed in the attached schedule.  The interests are such that Mrs McIntosh may advise the Council on those items.

(viii)    In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Director of Planning, Giorgio Framalicco, declares a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items concerning the companies of which he is a Council-appointed director.  The companies are listed in the attached schedule.  The interests are such that Mr Framalicco may advise the Council on those items.

(ix)      In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Director of Neighbourhood Services, Geoff McManus, declares a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items concerning the companies of which he is a Council-appointed director.  The companies are listed in the attached schedule.  The interests are such that Mr McManus may advise the Council on those items.

(x)       In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Director of Housing, Louise Strongitharm, declares a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items concerning the companies of which she is a Council-appointed director.  The companies are listed in the attached schedule.  The interests are such that Mrs Strongitharm may advise the Council on those items.

(xi)      In accordance with the Officer  ...  view the full agenda text for item 5.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor A Azad declared a non-pecuniary interest in any items concerning the companies of which she was a Council appointed director. The companies were listed in an attached schedule. The interests were such that speaking and voting were permissible.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor K M Davis declared a non-pecuniary interest in any items concerning the companies of which he was a Council appointed director. The companies were listed in an attached schedule. The interests were such that speaking and voting were permissible.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor D Harlow declared a non-pecuniary interest in any items concerning the companies of which she was a Council appointed director. The companies were listed in an attached schedule. The interests were such that speaking and voting were permissible.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor C S Kemp declared a non-pecuniary interest in any items concerning the companies of which he was a Council appointed director. The companies were listed in an attached schedule. The interests were such that speaking and voting were permissible.

In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Chief Executive, Julie Fisher, declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items concerning the companies of which she was a Council-appointed director. The companies were listed in an attached schedule. The interests were such that Mrs Fisher could advise the Council on those items.

In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Director of Legal and Democratic Services, Joanne McIntosh, declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items concerning the companies of which she was a Council-appointed director. The companies were listed in an attached schedule. The interests were such that Mrs McIntosh could advise the Council on those items.

In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Director of Planning, Giorgio Framalicco, declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items concerning the companies of which he was a Council-appointed director. The companies were listed in an attached schedule. The interests were such that Mr Framalicco could advise the Council on those items.

In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Director of Neighbourhood Services, Geoff McManus, declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items concerning the companies of which he was a Council-appointed director. The companies were listed in an attached schedule. The interests were such that Mr McManus could advise the Council on those items.

In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Director of Housing, Louise Strongitharm, declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items concerning the companies of which she was a Council-appointed director. The companies were listed in an attached schedule. The interests were such that Mrs Strongitharm could advise the Council on those items.

In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Director of Finance, Leigh Clarke, declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items concerning Woking Football Club and/or the GolDev Woking Limited  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Questions. pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To deal with written questions submitted by Members under Standing Order 8.1.  Copies of the questions and of the draft replies (which are subject to amendment by the Leader of the Council) will be laid upon the table.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Copies of questions submitted under Standing Order 8.1 together with draft replies were laid upon the table.  The replies were confirmed by Members of the Executive, supplementary questions were asked and replies given.

7.

Council Tax WBC22-002. pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor set out the procedure to be adopted in determining the Council Tax for 2022-23 and the Recommendations of the Executive. 

The Mayor would take the report on Council Tax first, together with the recommendations of the Executive on 3 February 2022 relating to the Medium Term Financial Strategy, General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators, Housing Revenue Account Budgets, the Investment Programme and the Capital, Investment and Treasury Management Strategies.

The recommendations from the meeting of the Executive on 20 January 2022 would be considered once the Council Tax for 2022-23 had been determined. A procedure note had been prepared which clearly set out all the recommendations before the Council.

Councillor Ayesha Azad moved and Councillor Simon Ashall seconded the reception and adoption of the report and recommendations of the meetings of the Executive held on 20 January 2022 and 3 February 2022.

The Council had before it the recommendations of the Executive for the Medium Term Financial Strategy, General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators 2022-23, the Housing Revenue Account Budgets 2022-23, the Investment Programme 2021-22 to 2025-26, and the Capital, Investment and Treasury Management Strategies.  A report on the 2022-23 Council Tax was also before the Council.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Azad, made a statement on the Budget for 2022-23.  Councillor A-M Barker, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor M I Raja, Deputy Leader of the Labour Group, and Councillor A Boote, Leader of the Independent Group, were invited to respond to the budget statement.

Following the statements by the Group Leaders, there was an opportunity for Councillors to raise any points in respect of the Council Tax proposals and associated recommendations of the Executive.  Following discussion, the Council was directed to the recommendations set out in items 8A to 8D, together with the Council Tax 2022-23 proposals. 

In accordance with Standing Order 10.8 the names of Members voting for and against the recommendations, as set out in the reports before the Council, were recorded.

In favour:                           Councillors S Ashall, A Azad, J Brown, K Davis, S Dorsett, G Elson, D Harlow, S Hussain, C Kemp, N Martin, C Rana and Whitehand.

Total in favour:                  12

Against:                             None.

Total against:                     None

Present not voting:            The Mayor, Councillor Lyons, and Councillors A-M Barker, A Boote, M Bridgeman, W Forster, K Howard, D Hughes, I Johnson, A Kirby, R Leach, L Morales, E Nicholson, M I Raja, D Roberts and J Sanderson.

Total present not voting:   15

The recommendations were therefore carried by 12 votes in favour to no votes against.

RESOLVED

That  (i)    the revenue estimates for 2022/23, as submitted, be approved;

          (ii)   it be noted that the Chief Financial Officer, in accordance with the terms of his delegated authority, has calculated the following amount for the year 2022/23 in accordance with regulations made under Section 31B (3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended (the Act) as:-

a)      41,519.00 being the amount calculated by the Council, in accordance with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Recommendations of the Executive and Committees WBC22-004. pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To receive and consider recommendations from the Executive.

Additional documents:

8a

Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS), General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators 2022-23 EXE22-001

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That (v)     the Revenue Estimates and Human Resource requirements for 2022/23 be approved;

          (vi)    a Band D Council Tax for the Borough of Woking for 2022/23 of £255.46 be approved; and

          (vii)   the Prudential Indicators at Appendix 3 to the report be approved, subject to any changes arising from consideration of the Investment Programme, revenue budgets and Final Government Settlement.

8b

Housing Revenue Account Budgets 2022-23 EXE22-002

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That (i)    the draft Housing Revenue Account budgets for 2022/23, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report, be agreed; and

          (ii)   with effect from 4 April 2022, rents be increased by 4.1%.

8c

Investment Programme 2021-22 to 2025-26 EXE22-003

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That (i)    the Investment Programme 2021/22 to 2025/26 be approved subject to reports on projects where appropriate; and

          (ii)   the proposed financing arrangements be approved.

8d

Capital, Investment and Treasury Management Strategies EXE22-004

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RECOMMENDED to Council

That (ii) the Capital and Investment Strategies for 2022/23 be approved; and

          (iii) the Treasury Management Prudential Indicators set out in table 1 of Section 4 of the Treasury Management Strategy and the MRP policy set out in Appendix A be approved, subject to any changes arising from consideration of the Investment Programme, revenue budgets and Government Funding Settlement.

8e

Notice of Motion - Cllr M Whitehand - Women's safety in public places EXE22-020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Harlow, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, introduced the recommendation of the Executive to support the Motion submitted by Councillor Whitehand, which sought the adoption of policies which would seek to ensure that women felt safe in Woking’s public places.

The motion was welcomed by the Council and it was

RESOLVED

That the Motion be supported.

8f

Notice of Motion - Cllr E Nicholson - Male violence against women EXE22-021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive had considered the Motion by Councillor Nicholson which dealt with the issue of violence against women, and recognised the importance of the White Ribbon Campaign.  The Motion recommended that the Council should raise awareness of the White Ribbon Campaign, make White Ribbon Day part of the civic calendar and host annual awareness training for elected Members.  Councillor Harlow introduced the recommendation of the Executive to support the Motion, welcoming the objectives of the proposals.

RESOLVED

That the Motion be supported.

8g

Notice of Motion - Cllr A-M Barker - Goldsworth Park lake footpath lighting EXE22-022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Barker had submitted a Motion with proposed that the footpath lighting around Goldsworth Park lake should be updated to an LED system, recognising that the existing lighting had suffered from several failures in recent times and that LED lighting would lead to benefits in terms of cost effectiveness and energy use.

The Executive had considered the Motion at its meeting on 20 January 2022 and had supported the proposals, noting that Officers would continue to explore funding options.  Councillor Kemp introduced the recommendation of the Executive and encouraged the Council to support the Motion.

RESOLVED

That the Motion be supported.

8h

Phase 2 – Infrastructure Capacity Study and Delivery Plan (IDP) - East of the Borough and Borough-wide Study EXE22-014. pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Elson, Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy, introduced the recommendation of the Executive in respect of the proposals for the future infrastructure requirements of the east of the Borough, drawn up through a joint study with other local authorities.  The Infrastructure Delivery Plan had also reviewed the borough-wide infrastructure needs to support the delivery of the Core Strategy and the Site Allocations DPD.  In light of the comments received at the meeting of the Executive, the Delivery Plan had been updated and included with the papers before the Council.

Follow discussion of the proposals, Councillor Elson responded to the points raised and recommended that the documents should be noted and approved.

RESOLVED

That the contents of the Infrastructure Capacity Study and Delivery Plan be noted and approved.

8i

Review of the Outlook, Amenity and Daylight Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) EXE22-012. pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the recommendations of the Executive in respect of the Outlook, Amenity and Daylight Supplementary Planning Document and the representations received during the consultation.  An updated version of the paper, identifying changes made following the discussions at the meeting of the Executive had been included with the agenda papers.

RESOLVED

That  (i)    the various representations to the Outlook, Amenity and Daylight Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) consultation together with Officer’s responses and recommendations as set out in Appendix 1 to the report be noted;

          (ii)   the revised Outlook, Amenity and Daylight SPD included in Appendix 2 to the report be adopted as Supplementary Planning Document for the purposes of managing development across the borough and other planning decisions;

          (iii)  Appendix 2 of the SPD which relates to examples of separation distances of other local authorities be deleted; and

          (iv)  the requirements of the SPD should apply from the date of adoption, in this case 10 February 2022.

8j

Review of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Areas Avoidance Strategy EXE22-013. pdf icon PDF 7 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Elson introduced the recommendations of the Executive in respect of the responses to the public consultation on the draft Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Areas Avoidance Strategy.  The proposals for additional cycle accessibility were welcomed, though disappointment was expressed over the level of disabled access to the SANGS.  Councillor Elson highlighted the importance of improving accessibility and advised that proposals to increase accessibility were being considered.

RESOLVED

That  (i)    the various representations to the consultation on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Areas Avoidance Strategy together with Officer’s responses and recommendations as set out in Appendix 1 to the report be noted;

          (ii)   the revised Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Areas Avoidance Strategy in Appendix 2 to the report be adopted as Supplementary Planning Document for the purposes of avoiding harm to the integrity of the Special Protection Areas due to development pressures;

          (iii)  the requirements of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Areas Avoidance Strategy should apply to all relevant decisions from the date of adoption, in this case 10 February 2022; and

          (iv)  Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council work in partnership to ensure access to SANGs and other parts of the Borough by all modes are considered, and this to be added to the remit of the Infrastructure Task Group.

8k

Review of the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) EXE22-011. pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the recommendations of the Executive arising from the review of the Statement of Community Involvement.  Whilst the report was welcomed, it was noted that the response to the consultation had been low.  Councillor Elson, Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy, advised that Officers were reviewing the consultation arrangements with a view to increasing responses to future reviews.

RESOLVED

That  (i)    the various representations to the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) consultation together with Officers’ responses and recommendations as set out in Appendix 1 to the report be noted;

          (ii)   the revised Statement of Community Involvement included in Appendix 2 to the report be adopted for the purposes of setting out how the Council wishes the local community to be involved and engaged when preparing key planning policy documents and determining of planning applications; and

          (iii)  the requirements of the Statement of Community Involvement should apply from the date of adoption, in this case 10 February 2022.

9.

Dr GIfty Edila's Report and Local Government Association Corporate Peer Challenge - Update to Council on Recommendations WBC22-007 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a report which outlined the measures taken by the Authority to ensure that improvement in all areas of public life continued, particularly across the areas identified through Dr Gifty Edila’s report and the Local Government Association’s Corporate Peer Challenge.  The progress achieved was welcomed by the Council, with key elements highlighted during the discussion, including the role of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

RESOLVED

That the report be received.

10.

Annual Report of the Elections and Electoral Registration Review Panel WBC22-006. pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Claire Storey, Independent Co-Opted Member and Chairman of the Elections and Electoral Registration Review Panel, introduced the Annual Report of the Panel.  The report set out the election and electoral registration activities undertaken in 2021, including the annual canvass, maintenance of the Electoral Register and the Woking Borough Council, Surrey County Council and Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner Elections.  The hard work of the Elections Team was acknowledged, noting the successes of the year.

RESOLVED

That the Annual Report of the Elections and Electoral Registration Review Panel be received.

11.

Designation of Polling Place - Ward of St Johns WBC22-008. pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council was presented with a proposal to designate the Surrey History Centre as a new Polling Place for the Ward of St Johns.  The venue had two large meeting rooms, was fully accessible and had off-street parking, providing an ideal location for a polling station in future elections.  The proposal had recently been considered by the Elections and Electoral Registration Review Panel and been supported by the Ward Councillors. 

In outlining the proposal, the Chairman of the Panel, Claire Storey, expressed appreciation for the support of the Al Asr Community Centre which had served as the Polling Place in recent years.

RESOLVED

That  (i)    the Surrey History Centre be designated as the polling place for the St John’s East polling district (K3) in the St John’s Ward; and

          (ii)   the Council’s appreciation be expressed to the Al Asr Centre for its assistance in recent years.

12.

Pay Policy Statement 2022-23 and Gender Pay Gap Data WBC22-003. pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Azad introduced the report on the Pay Policy Statement for 2022/23 and the gender pay gap data, noting that the gender pay gap data was based on the snap-shot date of 31 March 2021.

RESOLVED

That (i)    the Pay Policy Statement be approved for publication;

          (ii)   the Gender Pay Gap data be approved for publication; and

          (iii)  the Ethnicity Pay Gap data be noted.

13.

Appointment of Independent Director(s) to Council Companies WBC22-005. pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report which dealt with the appointment of an Independent Director to a number of Council companies to provide strategic oversight, skills and knowledge.  The report recommended the appointment of Terry Price to Thameswey Maintenance Services Limited and the Energy Centre for Sustainable Communities Limited.  It was noted that the appointments were an interim measure whilst the Council undertook a review of the governance of the Council’s Companies.

RESOLVED

That Terry Price be appointed as Independent Director of the following Companies:

o      Thameswey Maintenance Services Limited; and

o      Energy Centre for Sustainable Communities Limited.

14.

Notices of Motion. pdf icon PDF 54 KB

To deal with anymotions received in accordance with Standing Order 5.0.  Any motions received before the deadline has passed for the receipt of motions will be published in advance of the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor W Forster

Councillor Forster moved and Councillor Nicholson seconded the following motion, proposing that the Motion should be determined on the night rather than referred to the next meeting of the Executive in accordance with Standing Order 5.7.

“Woking Borough Council notes that the Prime Minister has misled Parliament and lied to the residents of our Borough.

This Council notes that while the Prime Minister attended Downing Street parties, residents of Woking Borough obeyed the lockdown rules, often at huge personal cost or sacrifice.

This Council notes the significant financial impact upon local businesses who have been closed due to the lockdown or tier regulations.

This Council calls upon the Leader of the Council to write to the Prime Minister stating that the Council has no confidence in his leadership and calls for him to resign.

This Council also calls upon the Leader of the Council to write to Woking’s Member of Parliament requesting that they represent this Council’s view in Parliament and call for the Prime Minister to resign.”

Councillor Forster spoke in support of his Motion, stating that the Prime Minister was under a Police investigation, had broken the law and had failed to uphold the law.  The Motion was debated by the Council before a vote was held.  In accordance with Standing Order 10.8 the names of Members voting for and against the motion were recorded.

In favour:                           Councillors A-M Barker, A Boote, M Bridgeman, W Forster, D Hughes, I Johnson, A Kirby, R Leach, L Morales, E Nicholson, M I Raja, D Roberts and J Sanderson. 

Total in favour:                  13

Against:                             None.

Total against:                     None.

Present not voting:            The Mayor, Councillor Lyons, and Councillors S Ashall, A Azad, J Brown, K Davis, S Dorsett, G Elson, K Howard, D Harlow, S Hussain, C Kemp, N Martin, C Rana and Whitehand

Total present not voting:   14

The Motion was therefore carried by 13 votes in favour to none against.

RESOLVED

That the Motion be supported.

 

Councillor A Kirby

The following motion was moved by Councillor Kirby and seconded by Councillor Hughes and referred to the Executive on 24 March 2022 in accordance with Standing Order 5.7.

“Easy access to Council recordings

This Council resolves that all video recordings of public meetings of Council and its Committees will henceforth be made available for public viewing on demand, in perpetuity.

Archive recordings of all previously public meetings of Council and Council Committees will also be made available for public viewing on the same platform, wherever this is legally and technically possible.”

 

Councillor S Dorsett

The following motion was moved by Councillor Dorsett and seconded by Councillor Ashall for consideration by the Executive at its meeting on 24 March 2022 in accordance with Standing Order 5.7. 

“This council recognises the importance of democratic choice at the ballot box, of fair representation of our communities and that every person should have the greatest possible opportunity to vote positively for a party that represents their values and viewpoint.

Parties deciding to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

Councillor K Howard

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At the end of the meeting, Councillor Leach made a statement in respect of Councillor Ken Howard, who was standing down as a Councillor at the forthcoming elections after serving the Borough for over twenty years.  The Council thanked Councillor Howard for his service and, noting that he would be unable to attend the last Council meeting of the Municipal Year, extended the Council’s best wishes for the future.