Agenda and minutes

Executive
Thursday, 6th June, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking, Surrey GU21 6YL

Contact: Julie Northcote  on 01483 743053 or email  julie.northcote@woking.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 28 March 2019 as published.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 28 March 2019 be approved and signed as a true and correct record.

2.

Apologies for Absence pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Bittleston and Councillor Harlow.

3.

Urgent Business

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of Urgent Business under Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

4.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary and other interest from Members 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 have declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Items 7 and 9 arising from their positions as Directors of the Thameswey Group of Companies.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor D J Bittleston has declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 9 arising from his position as a Director of Victoria Square Woking Limited.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor D J Bittleston has declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 9 arising from his position as a Director of Rutland Woking Limited.

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor G S Cundy has declared a non-pecuniary interest in Agenda Item 9 arising from his position as a Director of Woking Necropolis and Mausoleum Limited, Brookwood Park Limited and Brookwood Cemetery Limited.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Chief Executive, Ray Morgan, the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, and Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, have declared an interest in Agenda Items 7 and 9 arising from their positions as Directors of the Thameswey Group of Companies.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Chief Executive, Ray Morgan, has declared an interest in Agenda Item 9 arising from his position as a Director of Victoria Square Woking Limited.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, and Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, have declared an interest in Agenda Item 9 arising from their positions as Directors of Woking Necropolis and Mausoleum Limited, Brookwood Park Limited and Brookwood Cemetery Limited.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Chief Executive, Ray Morgan, and the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, have declared an interest in Agenda Item 9 arising from their positions as Directors of Export House Limited.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, and the Finance Director, Leigh Clarke, have declared an interest in Agenda Item 9 arising from their positions as Directors of Dukes Court Owner T S a r l.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, has declared an interest in Agenda Item 9 arising from his position as Council appointed alternate Director of Rutland Woking Limited.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct, Councillor A Azad and Councillor C S Kemp declared a non-pecuniary interest in minute item 7 – Woking Borough Council Single Use Plastics (SUP) Policy and minute item 9 – Performance and Financial Monitoring Information arising from their positions as Directors of the Thameswey Group of Companies.  The interests were 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 minute item 9 – Performance and Financial Monitoring Information 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 voting and speaking was permissible.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Chief Executive, Ray Morgan, Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, and Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, declared an interest in minute item 7 – Woking Borough Council Single Use Plastics (SUP) Policy and minute item 9 – Performance and Financial Monitoring Information arising from their positions as Directors of the Thameswey Group of Companies.  The interest was such that speaking was permissible.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Chief Executive, Ray Morgan declared an interest in minute item 9 – Performance and Financial Monitoring Information arising from his position as a Director of Victoria Square Woking Limited.  The interest was such that speaking was permissible.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, and Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, declared an interest in minute item 9 – Performance and Financial Monitoring Information arising from their positions as Directors of Woking Necropolis and Mausoleum Limited, Brookwood Park Limited and Brookwood Cemetery Limited.  The interests were such that speaking was permissible.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Chief Executive, Ray Morgan, and the Deputy Chief Executive, Douglas Spinks, declared an interest in minute item 9 – Performance and Financial Monitoring Information arising from their positions as Directors of Export House Limited.  The interests were such that speaking was permissible.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, and the Finance Director, Leigh Clarke, declared an interest in minute item 9 – Performance and Financial Monitoring Information arising from their positions as Directors of Dukes Court Owner T S a r l.  The interests were such that speaking was permissible.

In accordance with Officer Employment Procedure Rules, the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, declared an interest in minute item 9 – Performance and Financial Monitoring Information arising from his position as Council appointed alternate Director of Rutland Woking Limited.  The interest was such that speaking was permissible.

5.

Questions

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No written questions have been submitted under Section 3 of the Executive Procedure Rules.

6.

Notice of Motion - Cllr A-M Barker - Review of Committee Structure EXE19-040 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Reporting Person – Corporate Management Group

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At its meeting on 20 May 2019, the Council referred the following Notice of Motion to the Executive for consideration.

 

Councillor A-M Barker

 

“Council notes that

 

The Localism Act 2011 gave local authorities power to choose the committee system over their current system of governance and that the modern committee system may offer advantages over the current Strong Leader and Executive model.

 

Council supports

 

The setting up of a task group to consider whether it would be beneficial to the Council to move to a committee system.”

 

Councillor Barker attended the meeting and spoke in support of the Motion.  Councillor Barker commented that a move to a modern committee system would increase transparency and involve more Councillors in decision making.  The Executive was supportive of reviewing the current Strong Leader and Executive model and was in favour of forming a task group to explore the advantages and disadvantages of the Council moving to a committee system.  It was suggested that the task group consist of two Conservatives, two Liberal Democrats, one Labour and one Independent and that names be put forward at Council on 25 July 2019.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council

 

That the Motion be supported.

7.

Woking Borough Council Single Use Plastics (SUP) Policy EXE19-039 pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Reporting Person – Douglas Spinks

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor K M Davis, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, introduced the report which sought approval of the Executive to recommend to Council the adoption of a Woking Borough Council Single Use Plastics (SUP) Policy.  Councillor Davis advised that the Climate Change Working Group had been consulted on the proposed Policy at its meeting on 14 March 2019.  Attention was drawn to paragraph 5.1 of the report which set out the positive steps taken by the Borough Council to reduce the amount of avoidable single use plastics, such as the launch of Refill Woking in the Town Centre and the installation of two new bottle filling stations in Albion Square.

Councillor Davis proposed an additional recommendation to the report in order to strengthen the Council’s commitment regarding single use plastics.  The proposed additional recommendation, which was seconded by Councillor Kemp, to read “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”.  The Executive agreed the additional recommendation.

Following a question regarding the term ‘Council estate’ used in the report, it was explained that the term referred to areas which the Council had control over at an operational level and which were directly owned by the Council.  The Portfolio Holder suggested that the Climate Change Working Group consider what could be included under ‘Council estate’ in terms of single use plastics.

Following a question regarding littering from vehicles, the Executive was advised that further work was required around identification of perpetrators and enforcement.  However, a reference to this would be incorporated into the Policy before it was considered by Council.

REcommended to Council

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.

Reason:   To seek support for these policies and initiatives as part of delivery of the Borough’s climate change and sustainability strategy – Woking 2050.

8.

Children's Centres EXE19-038 pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Reporting Person – Douglas Spinks

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive received a report which sought approval of the Executive to recommend to Council that Woking Borough Council become the lead provider for Family Centres in Woking and develop the vital outreach support to families.  Councillor Kemp, Portfolio Holder for Family Support Programme, explained that the proposal followed the County Council’s review of children’s services and the development of the Family Service to support families with children aged 0 to 11 that were the most vulnerable.  It was noted that service delivery would move from a centre based approach to a more flexible community based approach.  Two Family Centres would be established in Sheerwater and Goldsworth Park and Borough-wide support from Family Centre staff would continue to be delivered by outreach staff in family homes and appropriate community venues.

Following a question concerning direct services with health, the Executive was informed that Officers were aware of the need to rehouse those services and that it would be part of the process going forward.

Regarding referrals, the Portfolio Holder advised that research had demonstrated that the majority of referrals came from GPs, social workers and other professional and voluntary services and not from children’s centres.

The Executive welcomed the positive proposal for Woking Borough Council to become the lead provider for Family Centres in Woking in partnership with Surrey County Council, noting that it would be the first such arrangement in Surrey.

REcommended to Council

That Woking Borough Council will be the lead provider for Woking Family Centres in a partnership arrangement with Surrey County Council.

Reason:   To ensure the continued provision of children’s services in the Borough.

9.

Performance and Financial Monitoring Information

Please bring to the meeting your copy of the Performance and Financial Monitoring Information (Green Book) March 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive considered the Performance and Financial Monitoring Information (Green Book) March 2019.  Members discussed delivery against housing targets such as number of affordable homes delivered and net additional homes provided, noting the need for the Council to deliver more homes at a quicker rate whilst balancing the concerns of residents.

Regarding empty properties, Officers reported that Council Tax records showed that there were currently 85 properties in the Borough which had been empty for over two years and it was noted that Officers would work proactively with those properties.  Following a question on the proportion of affordable homes to be provided, the Executive was informed that 80%-85% of the affordable homes would be flats.  It was highlighted that the proportion was well-matched to the Council’s Housing Register, with over 80% of those on the Register requiring one or two bed properties.  Regarding routine repairs, it was reported that discussions had been held with New Vision Homes and an action plan was in place to improve performance.

As reported at the last Executive, it was confirmed that the Council had paid compensation of £145,000 to Freedom Leisure in respect of loss of profit arising from the technical issues suffered and the waterslides being out of action.  On page 37 of the Green Book, it was noted that a long-term loan of £905,000 had been provided to Freedom Leisure in order to enable Freedom Leisure to invest in facilities.  The loan was included in the Council’s Investment Programme.

Members also discussed fly tipping on page 11 of the Green Book.  The Portfolio Holder for Waste and Recycling, Councillor Davis, advised that the Council used prosecutions to prevent fly tipping.

RESOLVED

That the Performance and Financial Monitoring Information, March 2019, be received.