Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 13th February, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

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 6 December 2018, as published.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Council held on 6 December 2018 be approved and signed as a true and correct record.

2.

Apologies for Absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors A C L Bowes and I Johnson, and Claire Storey, Independent Co-Opted Member.

3.

Mayor's Communications

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor reported on events he had attended following the meeting of Council in December 2018.  Over the Christmas period he had visited a number of organisations, including the Fire Service, the Police, the Hospice and the Hospital in recognition of their services over the holidays. 

During January the Mayor had also attended a number of award ceremonies, including one to acknowledge the role played by the British Red Cross first aiders on the evening of Fireworks night in Woking Park.  The Mayor’s Charity – The York Road Project – had held an open day and the Mayor had taken part in the Chinese New Year celebrations with the Chinese Association of Woking.

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.

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary and other interests from Members and Officers in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, the Leader of the Council, Councillor D J Bittleston, Councillor A Azad, Councillor Mrs B A Hunwicks and Councillor C S Kemp will declare a non-pecuniary interest in any items under which the Thameswey Group of Companies is discussed, arising from their positions as Directors of the Thameswey Group of Companies.  The interest is such that speaking and voting are permissible.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor D J Bittleston will declare a non-pecuniary interest in any items under which the Victoria Square Development is discussed, arising from his position as a Director of Victoria Square Woking Limited.  The interest is such that speaking and voting are permissible.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor G S Cundy will declare a non-pecuniary interest in any items under which the Brookwood Cemetery is discussed, arising from his position as a Director of Woking Necropolis and Mausoleum Limited, Brookwood Park Limited and Brookwood Cemetery Limited.  The interest is such that speaking and voting are permissible.

In accordance with Officer Procedure Rules, the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, and Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, will declare an interest in any items under which the Thameswey Group of Companies is discussed, arising from their positions as Directors of the Thameswey Group of Companies.  The interest is such that speaking is permissible.

In accordance with Officer Procedure Rules, the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, will declare an interest in any items under which Export House is discussed, arising from his position as a Director of Export House Limited.  The interest is such that speaking is permissible.

In accordance with Officer Procedure Rules, the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, and Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, will declare an interest in any items under which Brookwood Cemetery is discussed, arising from their positions as Directors of Woking Necropolis and Mausoleum Limited, Brookwood Park Limited and Brookwood Cemetery Limited.  The interest is such that speaking is permissible.

In accordance with Officer Procedure Rules, the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, and the Finance Director, Leigh Clarke, will declare an interest in any items under which Dukes Court is discussed, arising from their positions as Directors of Dukes Court Owner T S a r l.  The interest is such that speaking is permissible.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, the Leader of the Council, Councillor D J Bittleston, Councillor A Azad, Councillor Mrs B A Hunwicks and Councillor C S Kemp declared a non-pecuniary interest in any items under which the Thameswey Group of Companies was discussed, arising from their positions as Directors of the Thameswey Group of Companies.  The interest was such that speaking and voting were permissible.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor D J Bittleston declared a non-pecuniary interest in any items under which the Victoria Square Development was discussed, arising from his position as a Director of Victoria Square Woking Limited.  The interest was such that speaking and voting were permissible.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor G S Cundy declared a non-pecuniary interest in any items under which the Brookwood Cemetery was discussed, arising from his position as a Director of Woking Necropolis and Mausoleum Limited, Brookwood Park Limited and Brookwood Cemetery Limited.  The interest was such that speaking and voting were permissible.

In accordance with Officer Procedure Rules, the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, and the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, declared an interest in any items under which the Thameswey Group of Companies was discussed, arising from their positions as Directors of the Thameswey Group of Companies.  The interest was such that speaking was permissible.

In accordance with Officer Procedure Rules, the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, declared an interest in any items under which Export House was discussed, arising from his position as a Director of Export House Limited.  The interest was such that speaking was permissible.

In accordance with Officer Procedure Rules, the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, and the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, declared an interest in any items under which Brookwood Cemetery was discussed, arising from their positions as Directors of Woking Necropolis and Mausoleum Limited, Brookwood Park Limited and Brookwood Cemetery Limited.  The interest was such that speaking was permissible.

In accordance with Officer Procedure Rules, the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, and the Finance Director, Leigh Clarke, declared an interest in any items under which Dukes Court was discussed, arising from their positions as Directors of Dukes Court Owner T S a r l.  The interest was such that speaking was permissible.

inaccordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, declared an interest in Item 8 – Questions – in respect of Question 2 arising from (i) being a member of the Cards Trust, the supporters club for Woking Football Club and (ii) providing occasional unpaid assistance to Woking Football Club, e.g. acting as Returning Officer for the election of directors.  The interest was such that speaking was permissible.

inaccordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Finance Director, Leigh Clarke, declared an interest in Item 8 – Questions – in respect of Question 2 arising from her  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Presentation of the Charter Award for Elected Member Development

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor welcomed Councillor Rory Love OBE, Chairman of South East Employers, to the meeting to formally present Woking Borough Council with the Charter mark for Elected Member Development, which recognised the importance placed on the continuous development of Councillors through training, briefings and learning opportunities.  Councillor Love noted that the Council had held the charter recognition since 2008 and drew attention to some of the initiatives introduced including mandatory training and Member Development Framework.

The Mayor thanked Councillor Love for attending the meeting and drew attention to wide support South East Employers provided to the Council.

7.

Petition - Protection of the Green Belt in Byfleet and West Byfleet WBC19-001 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a report on a petition seeking the protection from development of the Green Belt in Byfleet and West Byfleet.  The Mayor welcomed Alan George to the meeting who was given the opportunity to present the petition on behalf of those who had supported it.  Following the presentation, the Councillors were given an opportunity to ask questions of Mr George for clarification before the matter was debated.  Mr George reiterated the concerns of residents over the loss of the Green Belt, the increase in traffic that would result from the development of the land for housing and the lack of infrastructure such as schools and health care to support new developments.

In considering the petition, the Council noted that it had arisen in response to the Council’s consultation on the Site Allocations Development Plan Document (DPD) which had taken place between 5 November and 17 December 2018.  As part of the development of the DPD, the Council had been required to review the Green Belt by the Secretary of State, noting that approximately 62% of the Borough was defined as Green Belt. 

The Site Allocations DPD would be submitted to the Secretary of State by the end of July 2019 once the Council had had the opportunity to review all the representations received during the consultation.  In view of this, the report before the Council recommended that the petition should be taken into consideration as part of the review of the representations received.  It was further noted that residents would have a further opportunity to comment on the proposals through the Secretary of State.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Bittleston, moved and Councillor Azad seconded the suggestion set out in section 3.1 of the report, namely that the petition should be taken into account as part of the review of the responses received in respect of the consultation on the DPD. 

In accordance with Standing Order 10.8, the names of Members voting for and against the motion were recorded.

In favour:                                Councillors H Addison, S Ashall, A Azad, D Bittleston, G Chrystie, G Cundy, K Davis, D Harlow, Mrs B Hunwicks, S Hussain, C Kemp, N Martin, R Mohammed, C Rana and M Whitehand.

Total in favour –                     15

Against:                                  Councillors M Ali, J Bond, A Boote, M Bridgeman and M I Raja

Total against –                       5

Present not voting:                 A-M Barker, I Eastwood, K Howard, D Hughes, L Lyons, L Morales.

Total present not voting –      6

The motion was therefore carried by 15 votes in favour to 5 votes against.

RESOLVED

That the petition be taken into account as part of the review of the responses received in respect of the consultation on the Site Allocations Development Plan Document.

8.

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.

The Mayor advised that questions with elements that were considered to contain, or relate to, information deemed exempt were set out in a supplementary report which would be considered under Part II of the agenda.

9.

Council Tax 2019-20 WBC19-002 pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor set out the procedure to be adopted in determining the Council Tax for 2019-20 and the Recommendations of the Executive.  The Mayor would take the report on Council Tax first, together with the recommendations of the Executive on 7 February 2019 relating to the General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators, Housing Revenue Account Budgets, the Investment Programme and the Capital, Investment and Treasury Management Strategies.

The remaining recommendations from the meeting of the Executive on 7 February 2019 would be considered once the Council Tax for 2019-20 had been determined.  A procedure note had been prepared which clearly set out all the recommendations before the Council.

Councillor D J Bittleston moved and Councillor A Azad seconded the reception and adoption of the report and recommendations of the meeting of the Executive held on 7 February 2019.

EXECUTIVE – 7 FEBRUARY 2019

GENERAL FUND, SERVICES PLANS, BUDGETS AND PRUDENTIAL INDICATORS 2019-20, HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT BUDGETS 2019-20, INVESTMENT PROGRAMME 2018-19 TO 2022-23, CAPITAL, INVESTMENT AND TREASURY MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES AND COUNCIL TAX 2019-20

The Council had before it the recommendations of the Executive for the General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators 2019-20, Housing Revenue Account Budgets 2019-20, Investment Programme 2018-19 to 2022-23, and Capital, Investment and Treasury Management Strategies.  A report on the 2019-20 Council Tax was also before the Council.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor D J Bittleston, made a statement on the Budget for 2019-20.  Councillor A-M Barker, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor M I Raja, Leader of the Labour Group, and Councillor J Bond, Leader of the Independent Group, were invited to respond to the budget statement.

Councillor Hughes moved and Councillor Barker seconded a proposal to amend recommendation (iii) of the General Fund, Service Plans, Budgets and Prudential Indicators 2019/20 by deleting the words “and the exemption available for unfurnished vacant properties be reduced to 7 days”.  The Portfolio Holder raised no objections to the amendment and on being put to the Council it was agreed nem con to amend (iii) to read “a long-term empty premium of 100% be added to the Council Tax payable for properties empty and substantially unfurnished for 2 years or more”.

The Council now had before it the recommendations of the Executive and the proposals for the Council Tax levels in 2019/20.  In accordance with Standing Order 10.8, the names of Members voting for and against the recommendations were recorded.

In favour:                                Councillors H Addison, M Ali, S Ashall, A Azad, A-M Barker, D Bittleston, J Bond, A Boote, M Bridgeman, G Chrystie, G Cundy, K Davis, I Eastwood, D Harlow, K Howard, D Hughes, Mrs B Hunwicks, S Hussain, C Kemp, L Lyons, N Martin, R Mohammed, L Morales, M I Raja, C Rana and M Whitehand.

Total in favour –                     26

Against:                                  None

Present not voting:                 None

The recommendations, as amended, were therefore carried by 26 votes in favour to 0 votes against.

GENERAL FUND, SERVICE PLANS, BUDGETS AND PRUDENTIAL INDICATORS 2019-20  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Recommendations of the Executive WBC19-003 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To receive and consider recommendations from the Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The remaining recommendations from the Executive held on 7 February 2019, aside from those considered as part of the Council Tax 2019-20 recommendations, were before the Council.

EXECUTIVE – 7 FEBRUARY 2019

PETITION – ICE-CREAM VAN IN WOKING PARK

The Council had before it the recommendations of the Executive in respect of the petition considered by the Council at its last meeting.  The petition had sought the reinstatement of the ‘Mr Carlos’ ice-cream van in Woking Park following the award of the contract to run a refreshment kiosk in the Park to Freedom Leisure.  The Executive had reviewed the background to the award of the contract and the decision to remove the licence for the ice-cream van.  It had been advised that Freedom Leisure did not have any objection to the ice-cream van operating in a suitable location in the park and the Executive had accordingly recommended that the owner of the van, Mr Bellanca, should be offered a licence for 2019 to trade in both Woking Park and Goldsworth Park Recreation Ground.

Councillor Hughes moved and Councillor Lyons seconded an amendment to the recommendations before the Council to have the effect of awarding a licence to Mr Bellanca to trade up until 2021, rather than 2019.  Following debate of the amendment, and in accordance with Standing Order 10.8, the names of Members voting for and against the amendment were recorded.

In favour:                                Councillors M Ali, A-M Barker, J Bond, A Boote, M Bridgeman, I Eastwood, K Howard, D Hughes, L Lyons, L Morales and M I Raja.

Total in favour –                     11

Against:                                  Councillors H Addison, S Ashall, A Azad, D Bittleston, G Chrystie, G Cundy, K Davis, D Harlow, Mrs B Hunwicks, S Hussain, C Kemp, N Martin, R Mohammed, C Rana and M Whitehand.

Total against –                       15

Present not voting:                 None

The amendment was therefore lost by 11 votes in favour to 15 votes against.

The Council debated the substantive recommendations from the Executive and, following further clarification by the Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Cultural Services, Councillor Kemp, the recommendations were put to a vote.  In accordance with Standing Order 10.8, the names of Members voting for and against the recommendations were recorded.

In favour:                                Councillors H Addison, S Ashall, A Azad, A-M Barker, D Bittleston, J Bond, A Boote, M Bridgeman, G Chrystie, G Cundy, K Davis, I Eastwood, D Harlow, K Howard, Mrs B Hunwicks, S Hussain, C Kemp, L Lyons, N Martin, R Mohammed, L Morales, C Rana, M I Raja and M Whitehand.

Total in favour –                     24

Against:                                  Councillors M Ali and D Hughes.

Total against –                       2

Present not voting:                 None

The recommendations were therefore carried by 24 votes in favour to 2 votes against.

Resolved

That (i)    Mr Bellanca be offered a licence to trade in Woking Park at the location identified near to the bandstand from 1 March – 31 October 2019 under the same terms as in previous years;

          (ii)   Mr Bellanca be also offered  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Annual Report of the Elections and Electoral Registration Review Panel WBC19-005 pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Whitehand, Vice-Chairman of the Elections and Electoral Registration Review Panel, presented the annual report of the Panel.  It was noted that a report on the 2018 Borough elections and the voter ID pilot had been received by the Council in July 2018.  The report now before the Council set out the details of the 2018 annual canvass and the County Council By-Election in December 2018.

RESOLVED

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

12.

Pay Policy Statement 2019/20 WBC19-006 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Bittleston introduced the report on the Pay Policy Statement for 2019/20 and the gender pay gap data, noting that the gender pay gap data was based on the snap-shot date of 31 March 2018.

RESOLVED

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

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

13.

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 and a copy of the list will be tabled at the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor reported that several Notices of Motion had been received from Councillor Ali and advised that elements within one of the Notices of Motion were considered to contain, or relate to, information deemed exempt under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.  The Notice of Motion would therefore be deferred to Part II of the meeting.

Councillor Ali

The following motion was moved by Councillor Ali and seconded by Councillor Raja and referred to the Executive on 28 March 2019 in accordance with Standing Order 5.7.

“Our ambitions for the town and the plans are noble. But with huge problems on fly tipping and drugs we will never be able to have the town we aspire for. We know due to unnecessary cuts the police are overstretched. Residents contact the police but they are not able to help them. I have residents coming with evidence of shady affairs in their streets but we are helpless.

So I propose that as part of the monies allocated for developments we install security cameras later on to be managed and maintained by residents.  We consider cameras especially in areas:

a. Grove

b. Walton road alleys

c. Princess road shops

d. Few spots in sheerwater

e. Other such ‘popular’ spots”

Councillor Ali

The following motion was moved by Councillor Ali and seconded by Councillor Raja and referred to the Executive on 28 March 2019 in accordance with Standing Order 5.7.

“Increased rents for local business – despite our promises and pledges and claims of supporting local business we have seen many shut and now we have seen their rents and insurances gone up. As an example I have been informed by some council tenants that:

a.       The building insurance has been forced upon them which normally a landlord pays. But WBC has put it on them with no option to shop around and the cost is as much as approximately £800 / year

b.       The rent in some cases was increased by approximately 31% when the lease was renewed! This is exorbitant! Small business can’t afford this. For some this means they must have almost 30 extra customers / month to enable them to pay for this. How can they cope? So in line with our claims let’s review these increases and bring them in line with CPI.”

14.

Announcement of Deputy Mayor 2019-20

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor D J Bittleston, announced the intention to nominate Councillor Saj Hussain as Deputy Mayor for the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

15.

Exclusion of Press and Public

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor moved and The Deputy Mayor seconded that the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items.

RESOLVED

That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of Items 16 and 17 in view of the nature of the proceedings that, if members of the press and public were present during these items, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A, to the Local Government Act 1972.

Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

16.

Questions

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that elements within two questions received from Members were considered to contain, or relate to, information deemed exempt under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

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.

17.

Notices of Motion

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that elements within a Notice of Motion received from Councillor Ali were considered to contain, or relate to, information deemed exempt under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.  The Notice of Motion was therefore considered under Part II of the meeting.  A report setting out the wording of the Notice of Motion was tabled.

Councillor Ali

The motion was moved by Councillor Ali and seconded by Councillor Raja and referred to the Executive on 28 March 2019 in accordance with Standing Order 5.7.