Reporting Person – Leigh Clarke
The Executive received the Investment Programme 2021-22 to 2025-26 which set out the capital and one off investments required to deliver the Council’s key strategies and objectives. The Portfolio Holder, Councillor Ashall, informed the Executive that a review of the temporarily suspended projects had been undertaken. It was noted that some projects had moved onto the pipeline projects list and others had been removed from the Investment Programme as they were no longer required. Councillor Ashall highlighted that the Government Settlement, announced in December 2021, was only for one year which made medium term financial planning difficult.
Councillor Ashall provided an update on the status of the flood alleviation schemes, including Byfleet. The Executive heard that the projects had moved to the suspended list in 2020/21 whilst the Council sought funding to ensure the delivery was affordable. It was noted that the projects remained in the Investment Programme and were shown in the pipeline list to be brought into the funded Programme when an affordable funding proposal was identified.
Following a question regarding Opportunity Purchases, it was highlighted that such Purchases would be assumed to be neutral to the revenue budget.
Playground improvements were discussed and the Executive was informed that a future refurbishment programme was currently being prepared by Officers in discussions with the Portfolio Holder. It was noted that Officers would continue to progress with the refurbishment of the remaining three play areas identified in the current programme for which funding had been identified.
Following a query regarding payment to Rutland in respect of the Robin Hood site, it was explained that the payment was the balance remaining from the original approved loan facility relating to the acquisition of the Robin Hood site.
In answer to a question concerning the acquisition of the Victoria Square car park element by the Council, the Portfolio Holder confirmed that it had always been planned that the car park would be bought back by the Council to ensure that the Council benefited from the revenues.
Members discussed the Investment Programme process and it was explained that the Leader exercised proper authority when making decisions on projects, generally through consultation with the Portfolio Holder and responsible Officers. It was noted that the Investment Programme was subject to Council approval.
Members also discussed Celebrate Woking and Woking Gymnastics Club.
REcommended to Council
That (i) the Investment Programme 2021/22 to 2025/26 be approved subject to reports on projects where appropriate; and
(ii) the proposed financing arrangements be approved.
Reason: To recommend to the Council that it approves the capital resources for 2022/23 onwards considered necessary to support its service plans and objectives.