Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 25th February, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices

Contact: Hanna Taylor, Democratic Services Officer, Ext 3056, Email 

Webcast: View the webcast

No. Item



To approve the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 21 January 2019 as published.

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The Vice-Chairman, raised a few points from the minutes of the last meeting including the comparisons between Boroughs in regards to the Waste Management Contract.  The Committee was informed that Woking Borough Council Waste Management was performing well.



That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on Monday, 21 January 2018 be approved and signed as a true and correct record.


Urgent Business

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

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There were no items of Urgent Business.


Declarations of Interest

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

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Work Programme (OSC19-007) pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Reporting Person: Councillor I Johnson

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The Chairman reviewed the Work Programme, discussed the upcoming items and noted that the next meeting on 25 March 2019 would be the last meeting of the Committee in the current Municipal Year.  The Committee’s Annual Report would be considered at the meeting.  The local play areas were discussed, notably West Byfleet, where praise was given to the members of the public who were supportive and involved in the re-development.  It was confirmed that the play area would be operational from April 2019.


It was agreed that an Operational Performance Review of Freedom Leisure would take place at the next meeting of the Committee on 25 March 2019.




That the Work Programme be noted.


Support Services for those Discharged from Hospital

Reporting person: Julie Meme

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[Note: The Chairman declared a non-pecuniary interest in the following item following reference to the Woking Foodbank arising from his position on the Woking Foodbank Steering Group.  The interest was such that Councillor Johnson could speak and vote.]

The Chairman introduced Julie Meme, Independence Living Manager, and Jade Buckingham, Health and Wellbeing Manager, who gave a presentation on the support services for those discharged from Hospital. 

Julie provided information on the Homesafe Plus, Community Meals, Social Prescribing, Home2Home Scheme and Careline.  The need for these services was emphasised and the Committee was updated on the newly implemented system to synchronise the data within each area and made accessible to a variety of teams.  It was noted that the other newly launched service, Falls Responder Service, had improved the response time from a resident falling from up to 6 hours from an ambulance  down to 45 minutes until assistance arrived, which would then be followed up by a visit from the Social Prescribing Team to identify additional support to help reduce future falls.

Questions were raised on the Community Meals Service, which catered for all dietary requirements, providing vegan, vegetarian, gluten free and halal options for residents.  Julie also explained the role of the Case Worker and the process of referrals of residents to other services they would benefit from.  The challenge to obtain further funding was identified, and funders had been approached. 

Concern was raised in regard to the Foodbank at the Lighthouse, amid reports that the facility was being misused by a member of the public.

The Chairman thanked Julie and Jade for their informative presentation and expressed the Committee’s support for the many services provided by the Team.




Health and Well-Being and the Role of Leisure Activities (OSC19-008) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Reporting person: Sylvie Marshall

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The Chairman introduced Sylvie Marshall, Community Development Manager, and reviewed the report on the link between Health and Wellbeing and the role of leisure activities.

The Committee discussed the local needs and opportunities within the Borough and Councillors offered their support, and were particularly interested in the method of identifying isolated and vulnerable individuals. Sylvie informed the Committee on the procedures in place and advised that the classes in Community Centres were well subscribed due to the referral scheme.

The Chairman thanked Sylvie for her report.



Communication to Councillors on Planning Applications Submitted by Thameswey Companies

Following consultation with the Leader of the Council, the Thameswey companies have been asked to notify all Councillors of major planning applications before they are submitted to the local planning authority. This will ensure that Councillors are aware of applications if ward residents contact them following registration of the planning application.  These arrangements will be formally reported to the next Board meeting of Thameswey Limited on 26 March 2019.


Under the Thameswey Group Protocols, all Councillors continue to have access to Thameswey Board agendas and reports (and can attend Board meetings), subject to having signed a non-disclosure agreement.


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The Chairman summarised the arrangements for Planning Applications that were submitted by Thameswey Companies,  noting one particular application regarding a development within the town centre. The item linked with a previous item on Confidentiality and Part II to ensure transparency for Councillors.




Performance and Financial Monitoring Information

To consider the current publication of the Performance & Financial Monitoring Information (Green Book).

Reporting person: Councillor I Johnson

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The Chairman introduced the performance and financial monitoring information report for December 2018  (the ‘Green Book’) which was reviewed by the Committee.

A suggestion was made to include Woking Borough Council’s notes of commitments and contingent liabilities in the Green Book, even where funding had not been finalised.  It was also suggested that complaints statistics could be included.

The Members of the Finance Task Group had requested that the details of the Sheerwater Regeneration Project should be included in the Green Book from March onwards along with builds such as Victoria Square Developments and any other Council owned or predominately Council owned builds.

The Chairman requested an update from the Sheerwater Regeneration Project at a future meeting.


That the Green Book be noted.



Freedom of Information - Overview of the Council's Management System (OSC19-009) pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Reporting person: Hanna Taylor

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The Chairman introduced the report on system developed by Woking Borough Council to manage Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.  The Committee reviewed the statistics in the report, and were advised of the regulations and protocols.


The Committee suggested that details of complaints raised through the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) should in future be brought to the Committee to enable the Members to scrutinise the outcomes.


It was added that it would be useful to include information on FOIs as part of the induction process for new Members of the Council.




That   (i)    the FOI statistics be reviewed by the Committee bi-annually; and

(ii)   the report to set out details of any findings from the Information Commissioner’s Office following formal complaints by FOI applicants.



Task Group Updates pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To receive an update following the recent meeting of the Finance Task Group.


Reporting person: Councillor K Davis

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The Committee reviewed the update report from the Chairman of the Finance Task Group.  The report included information on the Capital, Investment and Treasury Management strategies and referred to the importance of documents arriving in the correct timeframe to allow effective scrutiny.