Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 25th July, 2019 7.00 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 Meetings of the Council held on 16 May, 20 May and 13 June 2019, as published.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the Meetings of the Council held on 16 May, 20 May and 13 June 2019 be approved and signed as a true and correct record.

2.

Apologies for Absence.

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Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Claire Storey, Independent Co-opted Member.

3.

Mayor's Communications.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor provided a brief overview of the events and activities she had participated in since the last meeting of Council.  The Mayor had attended a number of events to mark the 75th anniversary of the D Day Landings and had visited a wide range of schools, charities, fetes and shows.  The Mayor advised Members that a Facebook page had been established to record all the activities undertaken during the Mayoral year and to give an indication to Members of Public of what the role of Mayor entailed.

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 D Harlow 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 D J Bittleston will declare a non-pecuniary interest in any items under which Rutland Woking Limited is discussed, arising from his position as a Director of Rutland 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 the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor D J Bittleston, Councillor D E Hughes and Councillor K Howard will declare a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9f – Recommendations of the Executive – Royal Horticultural Society (Wisley) – Application for Financial Assistance, arising from their Membership of the Royal Horticultural Society.  The interest is such that speaking and voting are permissible.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor K M Davis will declare a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9f – Recommendations of the Executive – Royal Horticultural Society (Wisley) – Application for Financial Assistance, arising from his wife’s and daughter’s Memberships of the Royal Horticultural Society.  The interest is not a formal interest under the Members’ Code of Conduct so speaking and voting are permissible.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Chief Executive, Ray Morgan, the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, and the Director of Housing, Louise Strongitharm, will declare a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items under which the Thameswey Group of Companies is discussed, arising from their positions as Directors of the Thameswey Group of Companies.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Chief Executive, Ray Morgan, will declare a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) 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 is permissible.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, the Leader of the Council, Councillor D J Bittleston, Councillor A Azad, Councillor D Harlow 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 D J Bittleston declared a non-pecuniary interest in any items under which Rutland Woking Limited was discussed, arising from his position as a Director of Rutland 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 the Members’ Code of Conduct, the Mayor, Councillor Mrs B A Hunwicks, Councillor S Ashall, Councillor G W Elson, Councillor D J Bittleston, Councillor G G Chrystie, Councillor K Howard, Councillor D E Hughes and Councillor L M N Morales declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9f – Recommendations of the Executive – Royal Horticultural Society (Wisley) – Application for Financial Assistance, arising from their Membership of the Royal Horticultural Society.  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 agenda item 9f – Recommendations of the Executive – Royal Horticultural Society (Wisley) – Application for Financial Assistance, arising from both his and his wife’s Membership of the Royal Horticultural Society.  The interest was such that speaking and voting were permissible.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor N Martin declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9f – Recommendations of the Executive – Royal Horticultural Society (Wisley) – Application for Financial Assistance, arising from both her and her husband’s Membership of the Royal Horticultural Society.  The interest was such that speaking and voting were permissible.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor M A Whitehand declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 9f – Recommendations of the Executive – Royal Horticultural Society (Wisley) – Application for Financial Assistance, arising from her husband’s Membership of the Royal Horticultural Society.  The interest was not a formal interest under the Members’ Code of Conduct so speaking and voting were permissible.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor I Johnson declared an interest in Item 8 –  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Petition - The Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum. WBC19-017 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a petition which requested the Authority to recognise the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum and area at the meeting.  A report setting out the details of the petition noted that a report appeared later on the agenda proposing the approval of the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum and Neighbourhood Area. 

The Mayor welcomed Mr Mirza to the meeting who spoke in support of the petition on behalf those who had signed it.  Following the presentation of the petition, Members were invited to ask questions before moving to the debate.

The Mayor thanked Mr Mirza for attending the meeting and drew the Council’s attention to the recommendation in the report which proposed that the wording of the petition and the comments of Mr Mirza should be taken into account in consideration of Agenda Item 7, the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum and Neighbourhood Area Designation.

RESOLVED

That the wording of the petition and the comments of Mr Mirza be taken into account in the consideration of Agenda Item 7, the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum and Neighbourhood Area Designation.

7.

Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum and Neighbourhood Area Designation. WBC19-004 pdf icon PDF 109 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a report on the application for the establishment of a Neighbourhood Forum and the designation of a Neighbourhood Area for the purposes of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the Hoe Valley.  It was noted that, in accordance with the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations (2012) (as amended), the two applications were to be determined as distinct and separate applications.  The applications had been made in a single document to be determined in parallel with each other.  The applications had been consulted on and 116 individuals had submitted representations, details of which were set out in the report.

Councillor Cundy presented the report, drawing the Council’s attention to the key points of the proposals and the stages going forward.  The Council acknowledged the significant work undertaken by local residents in establishing a local Neighbourhood Forum and drawing up the proposals for the Neighbourhood area.

RESOLVED

That  (i)    pursuant to Section 61F(5) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) the Council approves the designation of the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum for the purposes of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan;

          (ii)   pursuant to Section 61G of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) and the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 (as amended) the Council approves the Neighbourhood Area for Hoe Valley as included in Appendix 2 of the report;

          (iii) the effective date for the designation of the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Forum and the Hoe Valley Neighbourhood Area should be the date of the Council’s decision on the two applications, in this regard, 25 July 2019.

8.

Questions. pdf icon PDF 102 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.

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Minutes:

(NOTE: In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, Peter Bryant (Head of Democratic and Legal Services) declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in the following item – Questions – 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 it did not prevent Mr Bryant from advising Council on this matter.)

(NOTE: In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, Leigh Clarke (Finance Director) declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in the following item – Questions – arising from her husband having a small shareholding in Woking Football Club.  The interest was such that it did not prevent Mrs Clarke from advising Council on this matter.)

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.

It was noted that a number of the questions would be dealt with under Part II of the agenda – Press and Public Excluded – in light of the information covered.

9.

Recommendations of the Executive. WBC19-020 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To receive and consider recommendations from the Executive.

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Minutes:

The Mayor reported that it was intended to deal with the proposals in respect of Temporary Accommodation under Part I of the agenda.  In the event any Members wished to discuss any elements deemed confidential, the discussion would be deferred to Part II of the agenda – Press and Public Excluded.  Furthermore, the Council was advised that the recommendation from the Standards and Audit Committee in respect of the External Audit Report to Those Charged with Governance would be dealt with under agenda item 8, Statement of Accounts 2018/19.

Councillor D J Bittleston moved and Councillor A Azad seconded the reception and adoption of the report and recommendations from the meetings of the Executive held on 6 June and 11 July 2019. 

9a

Notice of Motion - Cllr A-M Barker - Review of Committee Structure. EXE19-040

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Minutes:

The next item dealt with a Notice of Motion from Councillor A-M Barker seeking the establishment of a task group to consider whether it would be beneficial to change the existing governance structure to a committee system.  Councillor Bittleston introduced the recommendation of the Executive and welcomed the proposal for a review, suggesting the establishment of a six member Task Group comprising two Conservative Councillors, two Liberal Democrat Councillors, one Labour Councillor and one Independent Councillor.

RESOLVED

That (i)    the Motion be supported and a Governance Review Task Group be established, comprising six Members; and

          (ii)   the Task Group membership for the 2019/20 Municipal Year to comprise Councillor Ashall, Councillor Aziz, Councillor Barker, Councillor Bond, Councillor Forster and Councillor Whitehand.

9b

Woking Borough Council Single Use Plastics (SUP) Policy. EXE19-039

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor K M Davis, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, introduced the recommendation of the Executive for the adoption of a policy on Single Use Plastics (SUP).  Councillor Howard, Shadow Portfolio Holder, further welcomed the proposals.

RESOLVED

That (i)    the proposal for a Woking Borough Council Single Use Plastic (SUP) Policy be agreed, subject to amendments by the Executive;

          (ii)   the final policy be supported and published on the website;

          (iii) delegated authority be given to the Green Infrastructure Manager, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, to approve future updates to the Borough Council’s SUP Policy;

          (iv) formal support be given to the Surrey Environment Partnership SUP Strategy and Action Plan;

          (v)   local initiatives to address SUP reduction in Woking Borough be supported, such as Plastic Free Communities; and

          (vi) the Council removes all single use plastics from its estate, and the services it provides directly, by the end of 2020, as far as is practicable.

9c

Children's Centres. EXE19-038 pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it the recommendation of the Executive in respect of the proposal for Woking Borough Council to become the lead provider for Family Centres in Woking and develop the vital outreach support to families.  Councillor Kemp introduced the report, outlining the objectives that would be achieved by the proposals and advising that the changes would give the residents of Woking the best possible service through a targeted approach.

Councillor Hughes, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, introduced a report which set out a series of recommendations which had been drawn up following a review of the proposals by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  Councillor Kemp noted that some of the recommendations to emerge from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee were statements and that some would be undeliverable.  In view of this, Councillor Kemp undertook to work with the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee outside of the meeting on the points raised by the Committee.

RESOLVED

That  (i)    Woking Borough Council to be the lead provider for Woking Family Centres in a partnership arrangement with Surrey County Council; and

          (ii)   the recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee as set out below be taken forward by the Portfolio Holder in consultation with the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee:

(i)      O&S review how the transition embeds later in the municipal year (assuming that the Council agrees to WBC managing the new service. This is apparently the first time the service will be provided in this way so no precedent to refer to;

(ii)      a review of the funding envelope is undertaken by WBC at a later date, and that a flexible approach is made to the provision of funds. A 43% cut in funding is reported by the Children’s Centres in this borough and it is uncertain whether the funding allocated will be sufficient;

(iii)     any impact on social isolation is considered due to the cut to the universal offer and the move to a more targeted approach;

(iv)    a self-entry point to the service be considered for those families with on-going needs;

(v)     there is some monitoring of the group for which there is no formal provision (tier 1); concern expressed that the preventative element of the existing universal offer will be lost and that there could be an increase in late referrals and interventions. Also additional pressure on stretched school and other services could be felt;

(vi)     there is robust liaison with the voluntary and faith sectors who may be asked to fill this early gap. Also a monitoring of issues presented at schools where children are not in the Family service, but would previously have been accessing the universal offer;

(vii)    support and training be provided to the voluntary and faith sectors to assist in the identification of needy families with referral routes into the targeted services; and

(viii)   matching of the areas of need to local provision we understand is feasible. It will be interesting to see how this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9c

9d

Temporary Accommodation. EXE19-041

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it the recommendations of the Executive following a review of the existing temporary accommodation schemes which had identified the need for urgent and significant investment to refurbish the accommodation to an acceptable standard.  Included in the recommendations was the acquisition and conversion of a Woking town centre site to use as temporary accommodation, improvement in the standards of the existing temporary accommodation and disposal of a property formerly used as temporary accommodation.

RESOLVED

That (i)    the acquisition and conversion of a Woking town centre site for the use as temporary accommodation be approved for a total project cost of circa £4,600,000;

          (ii)   the proposal to improve the housing standards of the Council’s current temporary accommodation properties, at a total cost of circa £152,000, be approved to ensure that the provision is fit for purpose;

          (iii) the vacant property at 37 St Johns Road (formerly used as temporary accommodation) be disposed of and the capital receipt re-invested towards implementing recommendations (i) and (ii) above;

          (iv) in the event that the acquisition of the identified site falls through, the Director of Housing, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing Services and the Portfolio Holder for Asset Management, be authorised to identify and proceed with the purchase of an alternative town centre site for use as temporary accommodation, providing the financial business case is broadly similar; and

          (v)   the Director of Housing be authorised to take all necessary actions to achieve the outcomes referred to in (i) – (iv) above.

9e

Woking Borough Council Street Naming and Numbering Policy. EXE19-036

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Davis, Portfolio Holder, introduced the recommendations from the Executive in respect of the adoption of a Street Naming and Numbering Policy for Woking as part of the Council’s statutory responsibility to assign addresses to properties in the Borough.

RESOLVED

That (i)    the Street Naming and Numbering Policy, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved;

          (ii)   the Street Naming and Numbering Policy be published on the Council’s website; and

          (iii) the Green Infrastructure Manager, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, be given delegated authority to approve future updates to the Street Naming and Numbering Policies to reflect new information.

9f

Royal Horticultural Society (Wisley) - Application for Financial Assistance. EXE18-124

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(NOTE:  Following reference to Citizens Advice Woking during the debate, and in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor I Johnson declared an interest in the following item arising from his wife’s employment by the charity. The interest was such that Councillor Johnson would have left the Council Chamber if there had been any further discussion of Citizens Advice Woking.)

The Council had before it a recommendation from the Executive to award grant funding of £100,000 to the Royal Horticultural Society (Wisley) to assist with the costs of building a Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning.  In introducing the proposal, Councillor Azad, Portfolio Holder for Grants, referred to the joint work that had been undertaken between Woking Borough Council and the RHS.

A number of concerns over the proposal were raised, in particular the level of award proposed, the financial position of the RHS, and the potential funding of an organisation outside of the Borough of Woking.  Whilst the proposal to grant aid the RHS was not welcomed, the Council acknowledged the importance of the Society and the work it undertook.

In view of the concerns raised and in accordance with Standing Order 10.8, the names of Members voting for and against the recommendation were recorded.

In favour:             Councillor Bittleston.

Total in favour:                       1

Against:                                  Councillors M Ali, S Ashall, T Aziz, A-M Barker, J Bond, A Boote, M Bridgeman, G Chrystie, G Cundy, K Davis, G Elson, W Forster, K Howard, D Hughes, S Hussain, I Johnson, R Leach, L Lyons, N Martin, R Mohammed, L Morales, M Raja, J Sanderson and M Whitehand.

Total against:                         24

Present not voting:                 Councillors A Azad, D Harlow, C Kemp and C Rana,

Total present not voting:        4

The recommendation was therefore lost by 1 vote in favour to 24 votes against.

RESOLVED

That the application for funding by the Royal Horticultural Society (Wisley) be not supported.

10.

Statement of Accounts 2018/19. WBC19-025 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor outlined the approach to be taken in dealing with the Statement of accounts and the recommendation of the Standards and Audit Committee in regard to the Report to those Charged with Governance (ISA 260) 2018/19.  On behalf of the Standards and Audit Committee, Councillor Johnson moved and Councillor Whitehand seconded the receipt of the Committee’s recommendation.

Councillor Azad introduced the Statement of Accounts and drew the Council’s attention to the key points arising from the accounts. It was noted that the ISA 260 report was a good report and that the auditor had indicated that they anticipated issuing an unqualified opinion by 31 July 2019 in accordance with the statutory timetable.

The accounts of the Thameswey group of companies, the Brookwood Cemetery companies and the Dukes Court holding company for the year ended 31 December 2018 had been consolidated into the Council’s Statement of Accounts to present the Council’s full group accounts.  Following approval by Council and receipt of the audit opinion, the final Statement of Accounts would be published on the Council’s website, together with associated documents.

The Council was asked to agree the recommendation in the report before them together with the recommendation of the Standards and Audit Committee.

          RESOLVED

That (i)    the Statement of Accounts for 2018/19 be approved; and

          (ii)   the Report To Those Charged with Governance (ISA 260) 2018/19 and the Management Representation letter be received.

11.

Statement by the Portfolio Holder for the Environment.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Davis, Portfolio Holder for the Environment, read out a statement on Climate Change which proposed that the Council should reaffirm its policies which in themselves recognised the climate change emergency.  Councillor Davis proposed that the Council’s Woking 2050 and Natural Woking Strategies should recognise that there was a climate and ecological emergency and that the Council should formally declare a climate emergency.  Furthermore, the Portfolio Holder proposed that the Climate Change Working Group should be requested to bring forward proposals to accelerate the delivery of the Woking 2050 and Natural Woking Strategies.  In considering the proposals, it was noted that Surrey County Council had itself declared a climate change emergency earlier in the month.

Councillor Davis moved and Councillor Howard, Shadow Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Chairman of the Climate Change Working Group, seconded the recommendations, welcoming the statement and reiterating the concerns of the impact of climate change.

The proposals were discussed in detail and the Council noted that the proposals were similar to those set out in a Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Forster which appeared later on the agenda.  The Councillors were advised that any decisions in respect of the proposals submitted by Councillor Davis would not impact on the consideration of Councillor Forster’s Notice of Motion.  The work the Council had undertaken in the face of climate change was discussed and it was felt that the Council could have publicised its work more widely, raising awareness of the issues involved and the actions individuals could take in helping to mitigate the impact.

RESOLVED

That  (i)    the Council’s Woking 2050 and Natural Woking Strategies recognise that there is a Climate and Ecological Emergency and that the Council formally declares a Climate Emergency; and

          (ii)   as requested by the Leader of the Council, the Climate Change Working Group be requested to bring forward proposals to accelerate the delivery of the Woking 2050 and Natural Woking Strategies.

12.

Site Allocations Development Plan Document. WBC19-021 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(NOTE: In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor I Johnson declared an interest in the following item – Site Allocations Development Plan Document – in respect of references to Woking Football Club, arising from his wife’s position as Chairman of Woking Football Club.  The interest was such that Councillor Johnson left the Chamber during the determination of the item.)

Councillor Chrystie, Chairman of the Local Development Framework Working Group, presented the report and recommendations in respect to the Site Allocations Development Plan Document.  It was noted that the draft Document had been approved for consultation by the Council in October 2018.  The consultation had ended in December 2018 and based on the analysis of representations received, a schedule of modifications had been drawn up.  Subject to the proposed modifications being approved, Officers were satisfied that the Document was defensible, justified by evidence and could withstand scrutiny at the Examination by the Secretary of State.

The proposals were debated and concerns were expressed over the impact on the Green Belt in Byfleet and the need to provide adequate transit sites in the Borough for gypsies and travellers.  Councillor Chrystie responded to the points made and directed the Council to the recommendations before it.  In doing so, Councillor Chrystie drew the attention of Councillors to the extensive work of Officers in preparing the Site Allocations Development Plan Document.

In accordance with Standing Order 10.8, the names of Members voting for and against the recommendations (i), (iv), (v) and (vi) were recorded as follows.

In favour:                                Councillors S Ashall, A Azad, T Aziz, A-M Barker, D Bittleston, G Chrystie, G Cundy, K Davis, G Elson, D Harlow, D Hughes, S Hussain, C Kemp, R Leach, L Lyons, N Martin, R Mohammed, L Morales, M Raja, C Rana, J Sanderson and M Whitehand.

Total in favour:                       22

Against:                                  Councillors J Bond, A Boote, M Bridgeman and W Forster.

Total against:                         4

Present not voting:                 Councillors M Ali and K Howard.

Total present not voting:        2

Recommendations (i), (iv), (v) and (vi) were therefore carried by 22 votes in favour to 4 votes against.

RESOLVED

That (i)    the various responses to the Regulation 19 consultation on the Site Allocations DPD and its supporting Sustainability Appraisal report, Habitats Regulations Assessment and the Proposals Map together with Officers’ response and recommendations be noted (copy in Members’ Lounge);

          (iv) authority be delegated to the Deputy Chief Executive in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning, to approve any minor changes to the Site Allocations DPD and the other Submission Documents to reflect new information, including national guidance before they are sent to the Secretary of State. This will also include overseeing the presentation of the documents;

          (v)   authority be delegated to the Deputy Chief Executive in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Planning to agree changes that might be proposed by the Inspector during the Examination process; and

          (vi) authority be delegated to the Deputy Chief Executive to ensure the preparation and participation of the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Elections Review 2019. WBC19-018 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Bittleston introduced a detailed report which reviewed the electoral work of the Council to-date, including the voter id pilot and both the Borough and European elections.  It was noted that the report had been reviewed by the Council’s Elections and Electoral Registration Review Panel which had met on 4 July 2019.

A number of points were made in respect of the voter id pilot, including the costs involved and the range of acceptable forms of ID under the pilot.  Councillor Bittleston addressed the points raised before referring the Council to the recommendation before it.

RESOLVED

That the outcome of the 2019 voter ID pilot be noted.

14.

Report on Executive Decisions of Urgency. WBC19-016 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report before Council set out the details of the urgent decisions taken by the Executive in March 2019 in accordance with the provisions of Procedure Rule 15 (h) of the Overview and Scrutiny Rules, as set out in the Constitution.  It was noted that full details of the decision taken in respect of School Place Provision were set out in Part II of the agenda, Press and Public Excluded.

RESOLVED

That the use of the provisions of Procedure Rule 15(h) of the Overview and Scrutiny Rules be noted.

Adjournment

At 10.25pm, following determination of Agenda Item 15 – Report on Executive Decisions of Urgency, the Mayor announced a short adjournment of ten minutes.

Additional documents:

15.

Sheerwater Regeneration Oversight Panel. WBC19-022 pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report before the Council dealt with the governance arrangements for the Sheerwater Regeneration Scheme.  In May 2019 the Council had agreed to disband the Sheerwater Regeneration Project Board and replace it with a Sheerwater Regeneration Delivery Board.  The Sheerwater Regeneration Oversight Panel would continue in its role, focusing on the social, environmental and economic issues for the residents and businesses in Sheerwater.  Group Leaders had subsequently proposed that the Oversight Panel should be disbanded and that the Delivery Board should explore expanding its remit to include those matters previously overseen by the Oversight Panel.  The report formally recommended that the Oversight Panel should be disbanded and that its responsibilities should be transferred to the Delivery Board.

Councillor Barker moved and Councillor Aziz seconded the following amendments to the recommendation:

(i)      The relevant responsibilities of the Sheerwater Regeneration Oversight Panel and Sheerwater Regeneration Delivery Board be combined in a new Sheerwater delivery and oversight panel.

(ii)      The terms of reference for a new Sheerwater delivery and oversight panel be provided to councillors by Friday 6 September.

(iii)     The chair of the new panel to be an opposition member.

(iv)     The Portfolio Holder for the Development to be an ex-officio member of the panel

Councillor Bittleston welcomed the proposals.  The Council was advised that, if the proposals were agreed, draft terms of reference would be prepared and circulated to Group Leaders and Deputy Group Leaders for agreement.  The proposals would be based on a membership of 7, comprising 3 Conservative Councillors, 2 Liberal Democrat Councillors, 1 Labour Councillor and 1 Independent Councillor.  The Chairman of the new Group would be elected at the first meeting, and non-member Ward Councillors for Canalside would be able to attend.

RESOLVED

That  (i)    the relevant responsibilities of the Sheerwater Regeneration Oversight Panel and Sheerwater Regeneration Delivery Board be combined in a new Sheerwater Delivery and Oversight Panel;

          (ii)   the terms of reference for a new Sheerwater Delivery and Oversight Panel be provided to Councillors by Friday 6 September;

          (iii)  the Chair of the new Panel to be an opposition member; and

          (iv)  the Portfolio Holder for the Development to be an ex-officio member of the Panel.

16.

Notices of Motion. pdf icon PDF 64 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:

Councillor I Johnson

The following motion was moved by Councillor Johnson and seconded by Councillor Barker and referred to the Executive on 12 September 2019 in accordance with Standing Order 5.7.

“That this Council:

(1)     Notes the UK Government’s invitation in May 2019 for market-led proposals for a new rail link connecting Heathrow Airport from the south and Waterloo and Surrey/Hampshire and this Council’s long-term aspiration for a direct rail link to Heathrow Airport,

(2)     supports action to benefit the environment by minimising traffic and pollution by transferring journeys from road to rail,

(3)     welcomes the initiative of Heathrow Southern Railway to propose a project involving a direct rail link from Woking to Heathrow Airport including significant sections via tunnels to minimise environmental impact and

(4)     asks the Council to write to the Member of Parliament for Woking to press the Secretary of State for Transport to expedite the process of approving a project and selecting a preferred developer, and to advise members when this has been done.”

Councillor G Cundy

The following motion was moved by Councillor Cundy and seconded by Councillor Ashall and referred to the Executive on 12 September 2019 in accordance with Standing Order 5.7.

This Council should introduce a policy at the earliest opportunity whereby any new planning application for development over 15 storeys should have at least 20% of its total surface area as living wall , garden terrace or roof garden . Where the Council has ownership , control or interest this policy should be adopted prior to formal policy introduction as a matter of internal policy.”

Councillor A-M Barker

The following motion was moved by Councillor Barker and seconded by Councillor Forster and referred to the Executive on 12 September 2019 in accordance with Standing Order 5.7.

“This council supports the work of the Fiery Bird Venue/Phoenix Cultural Centre CIC and calls for a permanent space to be found for this project in Woking Town Centre.”

Councillor M Ali

The following motion was moved by Councillor Ali and seconded by Councillor Aziz.  The Mayor noted that, in the Motion, Councillor Ali had requested that the matter be debated at Council, rather than referred to Council, and invited Councillor Ali to move that Motion be determined on the evening.  Councillor Ali indicated a preference for the matter to be referred to the next meeting of the Executive and accordingly it was agreed that the Motion would be referred to the Executive on 12 September 2019 in accordance with Standing Order 5.7.

“The democratic system works best with checks and balances and distributed decision making as opposed to centralized and single source authority. As such it’s important that the chairs of the over sight panels including but not limited to Victoria Square and Sheerwater are elected by the councillors who are the members of the respective panel and shall as a recommendation not be the relevant portfolio holders. This serves democratic practices best.

Following the approval of this motion immediate election for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Exclusion of Press and Public.

The Mayor will move, and the Deputy Mayor will second:-

"That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of items 18 and 19 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).

 

 

PART II – PRESS AND PUBLIC EXCLUDED

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor moved and Councillor Hussain 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 Agenda Item 18 – Recommendations of the Executive, Agenda Item 19 – Report on Executive Decisions of Urgency, and those questions raised under Agenda Item 8 which had been deferred to Part II of the agenda, in view of the nature of the proceedings that, if members of the press and public were present during this item, 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).

17a

Questions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(NOTE: In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, Peter Bryant (Head of Democratic and Legal Services) declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in the following item – Questions – 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 it did not prevent Mr Bryant from advising Council on this matter.)

(NOTE: In accordance with the Officer Employment Procedure Rules, Leigh Clarke (Finance Director) declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in the following item – Questions – arising from her husband having a small shareholding in Woking Football Club.  The interest was such that it did not prevent Mrs Clarke from advising Council on this matter.)

As had been reported earlier in the meeting, a number of questions submitted by Members of the Council had to be dealt with under Part II of the agenda – Press and Public Excluded – in light of the information covered.

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.

18.

Recommendations of the Executive. WBC19-023

18a

Temporary Accommodation. EXE19-042

Minutes:

This matter had been fully dealt with under Agenda Item 9 and no further discussion was held.

19.

Report on Executive Decisions of Urgency. WBC19-019

Minutes:

The report before the Council provided additional information in connection to Agenda Item 14 which outlined the decisions taken by the Executive in March 2019 as matters of urgency and therefore not subject to the Council’s Call-in procedure.  No further discussion was held.

RESOLVED

That the use of the provisions of Procedure Rule 15(h) of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules be noted.