The Executive had considered a framework for working with partners following the County Council’s decision to end the Woking Joint Committee arrangements. The Leader of the Council explained that a Woking Strategic Partnership Board would be established to lead on improving outcomes for residents on issues where joint working was essential. Key areas to be covered by the Board included climate change, infrastructure delivery, improving health outcomes and keeping residents safe.
It was further proposed to establish a Place Board which would be responsible for driving the economy, involving the larger employers in the Borough. The third strand of the proposals within the Executive report dealt with the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, and the County Council’s ambitions to bid for a Level 2 County Deal which would see more powers devolved from Government to Surrey County Council. Whilst discussions were ongoing, it was intended by the Borough and District Authorities to seek the devolution of key powers from the County Council and the report noted the positive work undertaken to-date.
Reference was made to the proposal within the report for major Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) applications to be determined by the Executive, whilst applications for sums under £10,000 would be determined by a newly established cross-party Group. Councillor Azad proposed that all CIL applications should be determined by the new Group and accordingly moved the following amendment to recommendation (v) before Council. The motion was seconded by Councillor Kemp.
“(v) from the start of the Municipal Year 2023/24, a new party-proportional Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Committee be created with delegation to determine all of the allocation and spend of CIL Neighbourhood funds.”
The Mayor invited Members to debate the amendment. A concern was expressed that the amendment would lead to a lack of transparency if the CIL Group meetings were held in private. It was argued, however, that the meetings could be held in public. The Leader of the Council sought to address the points raised, noting that Members of the Opposition would be able to attend meetings of the Executive at which the larger CIL applications would be determined. It was also emphasised that the determination of CIL applications could not be considered political in nature.
The amendment was put to a vote in accordance with Standing Order 10.8 and the names of Members voting for and against the amendment were recorded as follows:
In favour: Councillors A Azad, J Brown, K Davis, S Dorsett, C Kemp, and M Whitehand.
Total in favour: 6
Against: Councillors A-M Barker, A Boote, A Caulfield, G Cosnahan, W Forster, P Graves, I Johnson, D Jordan, A Kirby, R Leach, L Lyons, L Morales, J Morley, E Nicholson, S Oades, D Roberts, J Sanderson and T Spencer.
Total against: 18
Present not voting: The Mayor, Councillor S Hussain, and Councillors T Aziz and M I Raja,
Total present not voting: 3
The motion was therefore lost by 6 votes in favour and 18 votes against.
The Mayor referred the Members to the recommendations from the Executive and in accordance with Standing Order 10.8 the recommendations were put to a vote. The names of Members voting for and against the recommendations were recorded as follows:
In favour: Councillors T Aziz, A-M Barker, A Boote, A Caulfield, G Cosnahan, W Forster, P Graves, I Johnson, D Jordan, A Kirby, R Leach, L Lyons, L Morales, J Morley, E Nicholson, S Oades, M I Raja, D Roberts, J Sanderson and T Spencer.
Total in favour: 20
Against: Councillors A Azad, J Brown, K Davis, S Dorsett, C Kemp and M Whitehand.
Total against: 6
Present not voting: The Mayor, Councillor S Hussain.
Total present not voting: 1
The recommendations of the Executive were therefore carried by 20 votes in favour and 6 votes against.
That (iii) the positive work underway to pursue a County Deal for Surrey be noted;
(iv) the current Woking Joint Committee arrangements for small scale neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and the Health and Wellbeing Task Group and the Community Safety Task Group will continue to the end of March 2023, and that CIL Neighbourhood funds to a value over £10k will be approved by the Executive; and
(v) from the start of the Municipal Year 2023/24, a new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Committee be created with delegation to determine of the allocation and spend of small scale CIL Neighbourhood funds to the value up to £10k.