Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 15th July, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices

Contact: Hanna Taylor, Democratic Services Officer, Ext 3056, Email  Hanna.Taylor@woking.gov.uk 

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

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Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 17 June 2019 as published.

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Minutes:

RESOLVED

That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on Monday, 17 June  2019 be approved and signed as a true and correct record subject to the following amendment under item 3 Matters Arising from the Minutes, noting the independent Councillor for the Housing Task Group would be Councillor Bridgeman not Councillor Bond as stated in the previous minutes.

3.

Matters Arising from the Minutes pdf icon PDF 312 KB

Environmental Health – Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

 

A copy of Councillor Johnson’s letter to the local MP Jonathan Lord is attached.  That was sent on behalf of the Committee seeking a change in the legislation to require all food premises to display their Food Hygiene Rating.

 

Surrey County Council Consultation – Closure of Children’s Centres (OSC19-020)

 

The Chairman’s report is attached, following on from the discussion at the previous meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, detailing recommendations to Council.

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Minutes:

Environmental Health – Food Hygiene Rating Scheme

 

It was reported that the letter had been sent to Jonathan Lord MP, and ensured a chaser would follow if no response was received.

 

Surrey County Council Children’s Centres Consultation

 

Councillor Bond welcomed the recommendations to Council from the Chairman’s report, and an update would be brought to the Committee later in the municipal year to discuss the impacts and transitional changes from the closure of Children’s Centres.  The recommendations would be reviewed for approval by Council on the 25 July.

 

 

4.

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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Minutes:

There was no urgent business to discuss.

5.

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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Minutes:

None.

6.

Flood Risk Management Update - OSC19-017 pdf icon PDF 8 MB

Reporting Person: Katherine Waters

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Minutes:

The Chairman introduced Katherine Waters, Drainage and Flood Risk Engineer, and Alex Jones, Drainage and Flood Risk Officer, who reported and presented on the Flood Risk Management Scheme and updated the Committee on the following items:

·         Project Updates including work on Watercourses, Rainwater Garden, Hoe Stream restoration,

·         Work with organisations – Environmental Agency, Highways England etc

·         Impacts of climate change and planning for the future,

·         The input the team has on planning applications, appeals and the decision making process,

·         Flood Alleviation Scheme Updates – in Byfleet, Old Woking and Sutton Green.

 

The importance of educating residents on the current and long-term projects was emphasised, and a tour of the Hoe Stream was offered to the Committee, if interested, to view the work undertaken to enhance the biodiversity of the River Wey. 

 

The Chairman and Committee thanked the team for their presentation and hard work and would be interested to receive an updated report on the projects within the next two years.

 

7.

Work Programme - OSC19-019 pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Reporting Person: Councillor D Hughes

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Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the Work Programme, and discussed the upcoming items such as Community Infrastructure Levy proposals and further clarification was requested regarding the review of Services Provided by Partner Organisations under Suggested Additions.

 

Resolved

That the Work Programme be noted.

8.

Housing Infrastructure Fund - Application Summary pdf icon PDF 81 KB

The Chairman’s report on the HIF Application Summary is attached as report OSC19-021. Also for information, following on from the Woking Joint Committee on 26 June 2019, where the £95m HIF bid was discussed and the documentation that was tabled (Briefing Paper and Development Site Map) have been attached for the attention of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

Reporting Person: Councillor D Hughes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) Application Summary Report, noting the background to the item that was raised under Urgent Business at the previous meeting of the Committee following an article in Woking News and Mail.

 

Councillor Chrystie introduced the Chairman’s report, and raised concerns regarding project timescales and management, competitive tender process and the plans for 4555  new properties – approximately 3000 more than estimated in the Site Allocation DPD (Development Plan Document).  Another concern raised was the long term effects the project could have on the Healthcare and Educational services in the borough, and in particular to the area around the proposed new developments, due to increased housing and therefore increased need.

 

Ernest Amoako, Planning Policy Manager, provided some background to the work previously undertaken to improve the infrastructure regardless of the bid, which had been reported in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan.  It was also noted that Councils were sometimes unaware of successful bids due to the highly competitive bidding process and it was believed that it was reported on so quickly in the press as only two boroughs would receive the grant, Woking and Truro (Cornwall).

 

It was emphasised that the bid was for Housing Infrastructure and would improve transport within the Borough, which in turn would unlock development sites for housing developments.  Major improvements would include developing Victoria Arch, Station/Railway line and areas surrounding and within the Town Centre. It was explained that the bid would assist with the Site Allocations DPD and the Core Strategy over the coming years, as the current infrastructure delays and sometimes prevents further housing developments.

 

The Committee were informed that the grant was subject to a set of conditions that had only recently been received, which would be reviewed and scrutinised over the coming weeks by Officers.  Due to the nature of the early stages of the project, the Project Manager had not yet been determined however the Joint Committee were monitoring the application and suggested that a Members Group was created to oversee the implementation of the scheme.  Healthcare and Educational services were reactive, and provisions would be made to ensure that the needs of the borough would be met. 

 

It was concluded that an update on the conditions to the bid would be brought to the Committee in September, including the views of Officers and whether the conditions were acceptable and manageable.  The Chairman and Committee thanked Ernest for his time.

 

9.

Performance and Financial Monitoring Information

To consider the current publication of the Performance & Financial Monitoring Information (Green Book).  Members are asked to bring their copy of the Green Book to the meeting.

 

Reporting Person: Councillor D Hughes

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the latest version of the green book that was tabled – June 2019.

 

Councillor Sanderson was working to produce a framework for scrutiny on Victoria Square which would be looked into further at the Finance Task Group and reported back to the Committee.

 

The number of appeals allowed against decisions was raised as concerning, and more details would be sought for feedback to the Committee with an update from Councillor Chrystie at the next meeting.