Agenda and minutes

Venue: Magnet Leisure Centre

Contact: Karen Shepherd  01628 796529

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Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Carwyn Cox, David Evans, Dr Lilly Evans, Charles Hollingsworth, Andrew Jenner, Paul Lion, Philip Love and Asghar Majeed.

2.

Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 342 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2015 (pages XX)

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2015 be approved.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To receive declarations of interests in respect of any item to be considered at this meeting.

Minutes:

Members noted that legal advice received had confirmed that no dispensation was required in relation to the item ‘Members’ Allowance Scheme – Full Review and Proposed Amendments’.

 

Councillor Dudley declared an interest in the item ‘Petition for Debate’ (Holyport College safe walking route) as the founder and Chair of Governors at the school. His wife was also a founder and governor.

 

Councillor Bicknell declared an interest in the item ‘Petition for Debate’ (Holyport College safe walking route) as his son was Director of Sport at the school.

 

Councillor Smith stated that he had no interest in the item ‘Petition for Debate’ (Holyport College safe walking route) but wished it to be recorded that his wife worked at the school in administration.

 

Councillor Smith stated that he had no interest in the item ‘Petition for Debate’ (RMRE) but wished it to be recorded that he was a substitute Member of the Maidenhead Development Control Panel. Councillors Kellaway, D. Wilson, Bullock, Clark, Dudley, Mrs Hunt, Ms Stretton and Walters declared the same interest as Members of the Maidenhead Development Control Panel. Councillors Brimacombe, Burbage, Carroll, Coppinger, Ilyas, Mrs Mills and Saunders declared the same interest as substitute Members of the Maidenhead Development Control Panel.

 

Councillors Burbage, Dudley, D. Wilson, Walters and M. Airey declared interests in the item ‘Delegation of Planning Functions Within Bray Parish’ as Members of Bray Parish Council.

 

 

4.

Order of Business

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the order of business as detailed in the agenda be amended.

5.

Petition for Debate

An e-petition containing 552 signatories, accompanied by a paper petition containing over 500 signatures, was submitted to the Council on 1 November 2015. In accordance with the provisions of the Council’s Constitution, it was requested by the lead petitioner that the petition be reported to, and debated at, a full Council meeting.

 

The petition reads as follows:

 

‘We the undersigned petition The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to create a safe route to school for children that live within a mile of Holyport College’

 

The Constitution provides for a maximum time of 30 minutes to debate such petitions; this can be overruled at the Mayor’s discretion.

 

In accordance with the Constitution, the order of speaking shall be as follows:

 

 

a)        The Mayor may invite the relevant officer to set out the background to the petition issue.

b)        The Lead Petitioner to address the meeting on the petition (5 minutes maximum)

c)         The Mayor to invite any relevant Ward Councillors present to address the meeting. (Maximum time of 3 minutes each for this purpose)

d)        The Mayor to invite the relevant officer to provide any further comment.

e)        The Mayor will invite all Members to debate the matter (Rules of Debate as per the Constitution apply) 

 

 

 

Minutes:

An e-petition containing 552 signatories, accompanied by a paper petition containing over 500 signatures, was submitted to the council on 1 November 2015. In accordance with the provisions of the council’s constitution, it was requested by the lead petitioner that the petition be reported to, and debated at, a full Council meeting. The petition read as follows:

 

‘We the undersigned petition The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to create a safe route to school for children that live within a mile of Holyport College’

 

The petition was introduced by Simon Fletcher, the Strategic Director of Operations. Mr Fletcher explained that a petition had been created requesting that a safe route to Holyport College be established for children that live within a mile of the school giving them the choice to safely walk or cycle if they choose. Jane Brocklebank was the lead petitioner and he thanked her for her hard work and efforts in securing in 1,065 signatures supporting the request. Additionally, he understood that the request was supported by Bray Parish Council.

 

Due to the location of Holyport College a majority of access was by car or mini-bus with limited safe walking or cycle routes linking to the local area. In general terms, the Royal Borough promoted and encouraged walking and cycling to school and was supportive of creating routes which were deliverable and cost effective. Officers had reviewed the aims of the petition and undertaken an initial feasibility study which looked at creating a safe route from Holyport (to the north), from Touchen End (to the south) and from Moneyrow Green (to the east).

 

Whilst the principle was supported there were a number of physical constraints and issues which would make the request challenging to deliver. For example:

 

·         Limited land available to build a new footway

·         Drainage ditches in close proximity to the road which may require ‘filling in’ to enable the path to be built

·         Potential routes were secluded and currently unlit which may create safety and personal security issues

·         Urbanisation of a rural area

 

In summary, he welcomed the petition from Jane Brocklebank and, subject to support from Council, would be very happy for officers to develop potential schemes for discussion with the Lead Petitioner; Members and Bray Parish Council.

 

James Blunden, a 14- year old pupil at the school, spoke on behalf of the Lead Petitioner.  He stated that he spoke also as a member of the Holyport village community. Like many others, his family had been hugely excited by the new free school and he felt incredibly privileged to attend it. There was probably no safe route from the village to the school. Each morning he had to fight the rush hour traffic on a dangerous bend on the Ascot Road before crossing the road on a three-way junction on a very busy route, and the same on the return route. It was dangerous for pupils, staff and their families. He had been shocked by the figures published by the government in relation  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Public Questions

a)    Andrew Hill will ask the following question of Councillor Burbage:

 

Does the Council believe in the principle that as wide a range of people as possible are able to participate as School Governors - and if so what steps are taken to achieve this?

 

 

b)   Andrew Hill will ask the following question of Councillor Burbage:

 

What does the Council's company called "Two5Nine" Ltd do?

 

 

c)    Rachel Cook will ask the following question of Councillor Mrs Bateson:

 

As the council strives to be open and transparent then please explain why I have not been provided with the data (apart from resident’s names and addresses of course) from the latest RBWM survey which, over the summer,  asked residents to nominate local green spaces for protection in the Borough Plan?  I have already requested this in my voluntary capacity as a member of the working group on the Maidenhead and Cox Green local plan and so far I have been unable to obtain this data.  I think it is important that we have this evidence to demonstrate what residents consider are important local green spaces.

 

 

d)   Rachel Cook will ask the following question of Councillor D. Wilson:

 

Paragraph 73 of the NPPF states that open space makes an important contribution to the health and wellbeing of communities.

 

Paragraph 74. Of the NPPF states that existing open space should not be built on unlessan assessment has been undertaken which clearly shows the open space, to be surplus to requirements

 

Therefore can you publically provide the assessment (as required by the National Planning Policy Framework, section 74) that clearly shows why this council considers the public open space at Ray Mill Road East (Deerswood Meadow) surplus to requirements, allowing it to be sold off? 

 

 

e)    Craig McDermott will ask the following question of Councillor D. Wilson:

 

Your ward at Riverside has been recognised as having a deficit of public open space both within the council's 2008 open space audit and the current Infrastructure Delivery Plan (2013 - 2030) and so how can you justify losing more of it, which will happen, if the council sells off the public open space at Ray Mill Road East?

 

Natalie Hillwill ask the following question of Councillor Dudley:

 

Your ward at Riverside has been recognised as having a deficit of public open space both within the council's 2008 open space audit and the current Infrastructure Delivery Plan (2013-2030) and so how can you justify losing more of it, which will happen, if the council sells the public open space at Ray Mill Road East?

 

Jan Stannard, will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley:

 

The latest council studies show that your ward has a deficit of open space, so I would like to ask what you think about the fact that building on this open space would make this deficit worse?”

 

Kate Jesseman will ask the following question of Councillor D. Wilson:

 

My question is simple when will Maidenhead Council stop  ...  view the full agenda text for item 6.

Minutes:

c) Rachel Cook asked the following question of Councillor Mrs Bateson:

 

As the council strives to be open and transparent then please explain why I have not been provided with the data (apart from resident’s names and addresses of course) from the latest RBWM survey which, over the summer, asked residents to nominate local green spaces for protection in the Borough Plan? I have already requested this in my voluntary capacity as a member of the working group on the Maidenhead and Cox Green local plan and so far I have been unable to obtain this data. I think it is important that we have this evidence to demonstrate what residents consider are important local green spaces.

 

Councillor Mrs Bateson responded that earlier in the year the Borough Council had run an online survey to obtain residents’ views on certain policy questions. This was to feed into the preparation of the new Borough Local Plan and the results from each question were only analysed at the point they were required for policy formulation.

 

One question asked residents if they wished to nominate any areas for Local Green Space designation. The results of that question had now been collated:

 

In summary, 263 suggestions were made with the most popular being:

 

  • Poundfield: 88 nominations
  • Ray Mill Road East / Deerswood Meadow: 55 nominations
  • Braywick Park: 11 nominations.
  •  

No other piece of land received more than 8 nominations with many only being mentioned once.

 

The Borough Council would consider whether the areas nominated passed the legal tests for designation and also whether any designations were planned in emerging neighbourhood plans. If the Borough Council nominated any areas as Local Green Space then this would be done through the Borough Local Plan

 

Ms Cook, by way of a supplementary question, asked what was the procedure residents would have to follow to nominate Deerswood as a Local Green space?

 

Councillor Mrs Bateson responded that this nomination had already been done in the summer. A motion later would deal with open space; the intention was to update the audit last undertaken in 2008.

 

 

d) Rachel Cook asked the following question of Councillor D. Wilson:

 

Paragraph 73 of the NPPF states that open space makes an important contribution to the health and wellbeing of communities. Paragraph 74. Of the NPPF states that existing open space should not be built on unless an assessment has been undertaken which clearly shows the open space, to be surplus to requirements. Therefore can you publically provide the assessment (as required by the National Planning Policy Framework, section 74) that clearly shows why this council considers the public open space at Ray Mill Road East (Deerswood Meadow) surplus to requirements, allowing it to be sold off?

 

Councillor D. Wilson responded that proposals for Ray Mill Road East would be the subject of a planning application in mid to late 2016 which would be submitted by the council’s development partner, yet to be procured. The application would need  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Petition for Debate

An e-petition containing 1392 signatories was submitted to the Council on 8 October 2015. In accordance with the provisions of the Council’s Constitution, it was requested by the lead petitioner that the petition be reported to, and debated at, a full Council meeting.

 

The petition reads as follows:

 

‘We the undersigned petition The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to retain all the land at Ray Mill Road East, Maidenhead, currently designated as public open space, under council ownership and ensure that the majority of the land remains so designated and incorporates nature as an integral feature for the benefit of future generations’

 

The Constitution provides for a maximum time of 30 minutes to debate such petitions; this can be overruled at the Mayor’s discretion.

 

In accordance with the Constitution, the order of speaking shall be as follows:

 

 

a)        The Mayor may invite the relevant officer to set out the background to the petition issue.

b)        The Lead Petitioner to address the meeting on the petition (5 minutes maximum)

c)         The Mayor to invite any relevant Ward Councillors present to address the meeting. (Maximum time of 3 minutes each for this purpose)

d)        The Mayor to invite the relevant officer to provide any further comment.

e)        The Mayor will invite all Members to debate the matter (Rules of Debate as per the Constitution apply) 

 

 

 

Minutes:

 

An e-petition containing 1392 signatories was submitted to the Council on 8 October 2015. In accordance with the provisions of the Council’s Constitution, it was requested by the lead petitioner that the petition be reported to, and debated at, a full Council meeting. The petition read as follows:

 

‘We the undersigned petition The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to retain all the land at Ray Mill Road East, Maidenhead, currently designated as public open space, under council ownership and ensure that the majority of the land remains so designated and incorporates nature as an integral feature for the benefit of future generations’

 

The petition was introduced by Mark Shephard, Development & Property Manager. He explained that the 6 acre site (former playing fields to St Luke’s School) was acquired from Berkshire County Council in February 1997 for future residential development.

 

The majority of the site was bounded by residential property. The site could be accessed via an open pedestrian pathway leading from Blackamoor Lane.  It could also be accessed to the side of the council owned Mill House Family Centre on Ray Mill Road East (RMRE). The site was split west to east with two different zones of flood risk.  The western part of the site was the lower Flood Risk Zone 2 (3.7 acres) while the eastern part of the site was the higher Flood Risk Zone 3 (2.3 acres).

 

Options for the future use of the site were considered at Cabinet in October 2013.  Options included the provision of adult social care, a new school and residential development.  Residential development was the preferred option. Cabinet updates were provided in February 2014 and July 2014.  Commercial property consultants, GVA, were appointed to undertake an initial feasibility assessment of the site. The feasibility study confirmed the suitability of the site for residential development.  The report discussed delivery options available to the Council including self development or a direct land sale of the site (subject to Council conditions as to the form of development). The indicative scheme layout from the feasibility study included 64 dwellings comprising 26 four bed houses, 22 three bed houses, 12 two bed flats and 4 one bed flats. It is proposed that approximately 50% of the site (32 units) would be developed for private sale housing, 20% as shared ownership (12 units) and 30% retained by the Council as private rented units (20 units).

 

In March 2015 Cabinet recommended a Development Manager be appointed to market the lower flood risk site and identify a suitable development partner to the Council. The remaining 2.3 acres of the site (contained in the higher risk flood zone 3) would be professionally landscaped to provide high quality public open space. A development partner was expected to be confirmed in the first quarter of 2016. The site would be subject to a full planning application.

 

Jan Stannard spoke on behalf of the Lead Petitioner. She stated that the land at RMRE should eb taken out of the Borough Local Plan for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Public Questions

Minutes:

a) Andrew Hill asked the following question of Councillor Burbage:

 

Does the Council believe in the principle that as wide a range of people as possible are able to participate as School Governors - and if so what steps are taken to achieve this?

 

Councillor Burbage responded that the council believed that school governors should be drawn from all communities across the Borough so that a rich variety of views were considered to further improve the quality of education in schools. The council encouraged local people to register their expressions of interest via the RBWM website which also listed current vacancies and our team would work with governing bodies to make appropriate appointments.  The Governor Services team works closely with the One Borough volunteer group to raise awareness and provides extensive training support for all governors throughout their tenure so that no experience was needed to get started. 

 

Mr Hill, by way of a supplementary question, referred to the Peter Clarke report (‘Report into allegations concerning Birmingham schools arising from the ‘Trojan Horse’ letter, July 2014), in particular Recommendation 12:

 

"Recommendation 12: Unless there are genuinely exceptional circumstances, there should be a presumption that an individual will only be a governor at a maximum of two schools at any one time. All local authorities and multi-academy trusts should review their current governor arrangements, and where they identify an individual holding multiple positions they should consider the appropriate steps to ensure that a wider range of people are able to hold governor positions and that no single individual has undue influence over a number of schools."

 

 Mr Hill stated that the report had been accepted in Parliament by the Secretary of State for Education. He also highlighted that the duty imposed was placed upon councils themselves and not merely Academies.

 

Councillor Burbage responded that he was not familiar with the detail but he was confident that the decisions taken on local authority representative appointments were taken very seriously. Mr Hill’s comments would be taken on board in relation to future appointments. He highlighted that it was not always the council making the decision, many were appointed by the school.

 

The Mayor commented that Governor Services worked with schools to ensue they have the best quality governors. If Mr Hill wished for further information he should put it in writing.

 

 

b) Andrew Hill asked the following question of Councillor Burbage:

 

What does the Council's company called "Two5Nine" Ltd do?

 

Councillor Burbage responded that Two-5-Nine had been set up to generate income from non core activities to support the Council’s low tax manifesto commitments and financial position.

 

Currently the two main activities that had been transacted through Two-5-Nine had been:

 

·          a series of social care training courses held in partnership with Buckinghamshire New University held in a property owned by the council in Ray Mill Road East;

 

·         the letting of 8 private rented sector flats in York Road Maidenhead (the council does not have the power to directly offer the sort  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Mayor's Communications pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To receive such communications as the Mayor may desire to place before the Council

Minutes:

The Mayor submitted in writing details of engagements that she and the Deputy Mayor had undertaken since the last meeting, which were noted by the Council.  The Mayor commented that a large number of events had been attended over the last ten weeks. Christmas would also be a busy time.

 

The Mayor placed on record her thanks to Christabel Shawcross who was attending her last meeting as Strategic Director for Adults, Culture and Health. Christabel had also been Deputy Managing Director and Interim Managing Director for  a period of time. The Mayor wished her all the best for the future.

10.

Petitions

To receive any petitions presented by Members on behalf of registered electors for the Borough under Rule C.10.

 

          (Any Member submitting a petition has up to 2 minutes to summarise its contents)

 

 

Minutes:

No petitions were presented

11.

Approval of an Amended Pay Policy Statement 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 257 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered an amended Pay Policy Statement. Councillor Burbage explained the updated policy included information including the ratio of highest paid employee to lowest and pay settlements.

 

Councillor Beer made the following comments:

 

·         Paragraph 2.1 – he believed the job title should read ‘Strategic Director of Adult Services, Culture and Health.’

·         Paragraph 2.4c – he asked if this referred to just 2.4 or also 2.2 and 2.3.

·         Paragraph 3.12 – he asked why other routes than Great Western were not included, such as First Buses

 

Councillor Burbage commented that the references to Chief Officer titles were due to change in January 2016 anyway. The section on benefits was a statement of fact rather than a wish list. He did not have the answer to the question in relation to paragraph 2.1. He proposed a delegation to himself in consultation with Councillor Beer to amend the policy before being published on the council website in ten working days.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Burbage, seconded by Councillor Bicknell, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Council delegate authority to the Leader of the Council in conjunction with the Interim Opposition Leader to approve the amended 2015/16 Pay Policy Statement and as required by the Localism Act 2011, publish it on its website within 10 working days of this approval.

 

12.

Members' Allowance Scheme - Full Review and Proposed Amendments pdf icon PDF 951 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered recommendations from the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) following a full review of the Members’ Allowance scheme. Councillor Burbage explained that the IRP had been advised by an expert. He thanked the Members of the IRP for their many hours of work and comprehensive report. Councillor Burbage highlighted the Public Service Discount which demonstrated that whatever level or remuneration Councillors received, 49% of their time was given voluntarily. He paid tribute to all Members for the work they undertook on behalf of residents and visitors to the borough. Without their dedication the borough would not be in such a good state. He highlighted that RBWM’s basic allowance was relatively low and the IRP had proposed a marginal upward increase. He proposed three amendments to the IRP’s recommendations:

 

1)    Principal Members to be remunerated at the same level as Lead Members i.e. the SRA will be £11,880 not £9,504.

2)    The Chair of the Pension Fund Panel to be remunerated at the same level as the Audit Panel i.e. £4,752.

3)    Members attending Licensing sub-committees to be remunerated as per the Appeals Panel (£30 to 3 hours, £60 for over 3 hours).

 

It was noted this would require the following amendment to recommendation c):

An additional £26,000 to be added to the Members’ Allowance budget for 2015/2016, increasing to £87,000 for all subsequent years, to fund the changes in the scheme.

 

Councillor Burbage commented that in expanding the Cabinet by four Members, equal in responsibility and remit, it would be rather undermined if the allowances paid to the Principal Members were to be any different to the Lead Members. It would not be fair to create an arbitrary difference because the law restricted a Cabinet to ten voting Members in Cabinet meetings. It was also considered that there was a large and meaningful financial responsibility on the Pension Fund Panel and by extension on the Chairman. With a fund in the low billions, decisions at the Panel could affect funds in the millions and consequently the council tax payer. In relation to Licensing Panel Sub Committees, meetings did take place and often took a long time out of a councillor’s day. He therefore did not see the difference between this and the Appeals Panel and therefore proposed the remuneration be the same.

 

Councillor Mrs Jones stated that she understood that the IRP had identified the basic allowance was lower than other councils and she was aware that councillors put in a lot of time and effort however she was very concerned with the proliferation of extra Special responsibility Allowances (SRAs) which did not reflect the savings culture of the borough. She would not be able to support a motion that awarded councillors themselves extra money.

 

Councillor Beer supported the fine tuning, particularly in relation to the Licensing Panel Sub Committee. However, the Opposition were of the view that the role of Principal Member should not exist. The law stated a Cabinet was restricted to ten Members and this should not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Statement of Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 530 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered a revised Licensing Policy statement. Councillor D. Wilson explained that the Licensing Act required every council to publish a statement. The borough’s current policy lasted until 5 January 2016. The process to update the policy was undertaken by the licensing Panel, which started discussions in July 2014. The process involved a statutory consultation period and the council took on board the views of interested parties including Members and Thames Valley police as well as seeking legal advice. Various re-drafts of the policy were discussed at Panel meetings from July 2014 onwards until November 2015 when the Panel endorsed the version before Council.

 

Members noted there were two main changes to the current policy:

 

·         The introduction of a ‘Framework Hours Policy’. During the consultation process Members of the council and Thames Valley Police had expressed their concerns about the effects of late night opening hours on residents and on crime and disorder in the area, particularly in Windsor town centre. As a result the policy had a more strategic approach to licensing hours and included a schedule of the expected opening and closing hours for different types of licensed premises. The hours were not set in stone and if an applicant wished to depart for them, the reasons for this could be considered by a Licensing Panel Sub committee.

·         Specific reference to the issue of child sexual exploitation and what the council expected of licence holders in reference to safeguarding.

 

Councillor Mrs Airey endorsed the proposals. It was important that child sexual exploitation was addressed in the area of licensing and it was clear it was not just a Children’s Services issue.

 

Councillor Beer highlighted a typographical error on page 111 which should read ‘rationale’ rather than ‘rational’.

 

Councillor E. Wilson commented that the framework hours gave a clear indication to the night time economy in Windsor. He welcomed the clarity.

 

It was proposed by Councillor D. Wilson, seconded by Councillor Alexander, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Council adopt the attached Licensing Policy Statement for a 5 year period beginning on 5th January 2016, subject to the amendment of the third paragraph on page 111 to read ‘rationale’.

 

14.

Statement of Principles - Gambling Act 2005 pdf icon PDF 509 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered a revised Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles. Councillor D. Wilson explained that the Gambling act required every council to have in place a statement, which must refer to the following objectives:

 

·         To prevent gambling from being a source of crime and disorder

·         To ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way

·         To protect children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling

 

The council’s current statement had been in effect since 2013 and lasted until the end of December 2015. Gambling was a relatively low level activity in the borough. There were 22 bookmakers, two racetracks and one adult entertainment centre. There had been no problems associated with any of the premises over the past three years and no complaints about licensable activities at these premises.

 

Members noted that the process for updating the statement lay with the Licensing Panel. At the July 2015 Panel the draft statement was approved based on the existing statement with no significant changes. No relevant responses were received during the consultation period and therefore at the October 2015 meeting the Panel approved the version for full Council consideration.

 

Councillor Werner stated that he supported the proposals. He commented that gambling was not a low level activity at Ascot twice a year. He was surprised that there had been no complaints. Councillor Hilton commented that although there was some over-indulgence by racegoers there were no incidents relating to gambling itself. Councillor Bicknell commented that Windsor Racecourse was a very well-run operation and he was pleased to see it continue.

 

It was proposed by Councillor D. Wilson, seconded by Councillor Alexander, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Council adopt the attached Gambling Act 2005 “Statement of Principles” for a 3 year period beginning on 1st January 2016.

 

15.

Constitutional Amendments pdf icon PDF 253 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered a number of amendments to the constitution. Councillor Burbage explained that the report proposed a number of amendments as set out in the report.

 

Councillor Beer highlighted that the reference to Part 2B A3 on page 149 should actually refer to Part 4A. In relation to the Crime and Disorder Panel he commented that in the past DALC had been represented. He suggested that wording be added to page 150 to state that parish representatives would be expected to liaise with relevant parishes on a regular basis. Councillor Hilton, as Chairman of the Panel stated that of particular interest to him was the essential clarification and formalisation of the process for the co-option of Parish Councillors to the Panel. This was a dynamic Council with, in this changing world, the ambition to create the most effective organisation and processes possible to best manage the operation and deliver quality services to residents.  All this lead to change such as the formation of a Cabinet Regeneration Sub Committee and the Area and Joint Development Control Panels which rightly were presented to council for consideration and approval. There were very many more trivial changes that the council would not challenge and did not merit referral to full Council.  The proposal to delegate authority to the Constitution Sub Committee to make such minor changes was both logical and sensible. Of importance to all was the safeguard that this delegation did not include powers expressly reserved for full Council or Cabinet in the Constitution or in law.  He urged Members to support the motion.

 

Councillor Werner asked why the parish representatives on the Crime and Disorder Panel were not allowed to vote. Councillor Hilton commented that this was historical and that he allowed parish representatives to speak and ask questions at the meeting. Borough councillors were elected and this gave them a different position. There had been no, or at most very few, actual votes in the time he had been Chairman. He did not believe that this diminished the role of the parish representatives.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Burbage, seconded by Councillor Hilton, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Council

 

i.                Approves the amendments to the Constitution set out in Appendix 1, subject to:

 

·         The reference to Part 2B on page 149 of the report be amended to Part 4A.

·         Additional wording to page 150 of the report to read ‘The parish representatives be expected to liaise with relevant parishes on a regular basis.’

ii.               Requests the Constitutional Subcommittee to undertake a thorough review of the Code of Conduct with a view to making recommendation to Council by July 2016.

 

16.

Community Governance Review Bray Parish - Approval of Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 6 MB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered approval of the draft the Terms of Reference for a Community Governance Review of Bray Parish and the area known as The Fisheries which was currently outside Bray Parish area in Oldfield Ward.

 

The Returning Officer addressed Council to explain that the process to be followed was a national process and was detailed in the report. A series of two month periods of consultation would take place. Any changes were not needed until the next parish elections, which were some years away anyway.

 

Councillor M. Airey commented that the report was simply requesting council to follow due process following the receipt of a valid petition.

 

Councillor Mrs Hunt left the meeting at 9.32pm.

 

Councillor Coppinger stated that as the longest serving ex Bray Parish Councillor he knew the emotive concern for the Fisheries. Whilst the council was being asked to approve the process, this had been driven by residents.

 

Councillor Beer commented that urban areas could become parished areas if a petition of just ten members was presented, which would prompt a referendum.

 

It was proposed by Councillor M. Airey, seconded by Councillor Coppinger, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Council agrees:

 

i)             to conduct a review of Bray Parish in accordance with the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.

ii)            the details outlined in the Terms of Reference and publishes these so that the review can begin.

iii)           to conduct the review in accordance with the timetable set out, and that if the outcome of the review is that it is recommended to support the inclusion of the area of the Fisheries into Bray Parish, a Reorganisation Order will be made to bring the changes into effect in May 2019 at the next Parish elections.

17.

2015/16 Budget Decisions: Adults Social Care pdf icon PDF 137 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered a request to recast the 2015-16 Revenue Budget to reflect the additional unplanned expenditure currently being incurred in Adults Social Care.

 

Councillor Dudley explained that a number of councils across the country had encountered difficulties in the course of the financial year, leading to a significant overspend. It was therefore proposed to add an additional £2.084m be added to protect the most vulnerable residents. He was confident this would address the full-year out-turn situation. Without prudent finances this would have presented the borough with significant issues; the council was in a better position than others that it was able to recast the budget.  Budget setting for 2016-17 had already built in a minimum of £3m for Adult Social Care.

 

Councillor Dudley explained that £600,000 would come from savings in the Operations directorate; he congratulated the Director. A further £1.484m would come from the Development Fund. The Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) was a revenue expenditure which went through the council’s accounts in order to assist with paying debt in the future. Fortunately it was not necessary that the council incurred the ongoing revenue charge because of significant assets the council could realise, in particular land holdings.

 

Councillor McWilliams commented that in the autumn statement the government had suggested that councils could raise additional funding for adult social care by increasing council tax. Council tax was regressive. In this borough the strong economy and strong processes had mitigated the need to increase council tax.

 

Councillor Ilyas, as Chairman of the Adult Services & Health Overview & Scrutiny Panel, warmly welcomed the injection of additional funds. Making accurate forecasts was not an easy task. The country was extremely fortunate to have the NHS which was successful due to the hard work and dedication of its workers. Due to this the population had better health and lived longer. Those who were less fortunate relied on Adult Social Care services for a better quality of life. The borough had made necessary provisions through the expertise of officers and the Lead Member. He wholeheartedly supported the recommendations for all residents.

 

Councillor Mrs Jones stated that she completely supported the proposals. However, on page 218 of the budget proposal for 2015/16 was a graph produced by the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance. It indicated that, as far as to 2019/20, central funding would continue to reduce and the costs relating to Adult Social Care would continue to rise.  At the time she highlighted that the Independent Commission indicated further central government funding reductions and cost growth and it had called into question the decision to cut council tax. Her comment had been ‘With the budget detail noting these risks, would it not be more prudent to freeze council tax, still collect the freeze bonus and not put additional unnecessary pressure on both officers and services?’ There were senior officers that now spent an inordinate amount of time trying to achieve savings targets set by the administration.

When she had mentioned this in her response at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Council Strategic Plan 2016-2020 pdf icon PDF 7 MB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered approval of the Council’s Strategic Plan 2016-2020. Councillor Bathurst explained that it was five and half years since the last plan had been produced, when resident satisfaction with services had been less than 80%. In five years the council had cut £45.8m from council tax bills and put that money back into the economy. At the same time satisfaction levels had risen to almost 90%.

 

Councillors C and S Rayner left the meeting at 9.55pm.

 

Councillor Bathurst highlighted that the plan detailed how the council would act to deliver the four strategic objectives. Councillor Targowska commented that the document clearly set out commitments to residents. Councillor Brimacombe commented that the plan needed to last a long time therefore it needed a rigid framework to be useful but flexible enough to be relevant. He felt the document before Members achieves this balance.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Bathurst and seconded by Councillor Targowska and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Council:

 

i.       Approve the near final draft Council Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and

 

ii.      Delegates authority to the Managing Director and Leader of the Council in consultation with the Principal Member for Policy to make final minor alterations to the plan as may be necessary.

 

19.

Delegation of Planning Functions within Bray Parish pdf icon PDF 207 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered the establishment of a Bray Parish Development Control Sub-Committee to consider certain types of planning application made within Bray Parish for a 12 month period. Councillor Burbage explained that at the moment the parish could decide in favour of an application only for a borough officer to turn it down in private. Decision making was better in the hands of people who had been elected to serve their local residents. A sub committee of borough Parish Councillors would be created for this purpose.

 

Councillor D. Wilson supported the idea of delegation to the local level. He highlighted that the call-in facility would remain in place. He was aware that Cox Green was also keen to be receive delegated powers.

 

Councillor Werner gave his conditional support to the proposal. He asked who would bear the costs of lost appeals. Councillor M. Airey commented as Vice Chairman of Planning at Bray Parish Council this had been done to promote a greater understanding for parish councillors as to why the borough may overturn a decision of the parish. Councillor Hilton commented that he had tried to get his parish (Sunninghill and Ascot) interested but there was a clear fear factor. A pilot may help overcome this issue. An analysis of decisions made on small householder applications showed there were very few difference between the parish recommendation and the final decision. Councillor Burbage agreed with this and commented that there was scope for more than just householder applications. The costs were the same as when the borough turned down an application and it went to appeal. By definition the applications to be considered were small and unlikely to have lengthy appeal processes.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Burbage and seconded by Councillor D. Wilson, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Council:

 

i.Approve the principles of delegation for an initial 12 month period and the basis of the establishment of the Bray Sub-Committee

 

          ii. Delegate to Constitution Sub-Committee the ability to agree the final details the Sub-Committee including the ability to extend the duration of the term and any consequent changes to the Constitution and

 

          iii. Approve suspension of the political balance rules in respect of the Bray Parish Sub-Committee

 

20.

Continuation of Meeting

Minutes:

At this point in the meeting, and in accordance with Rule of Procedure Part 4A 23.1 of the Council’s Constitution, the Mayor called for a vote in relation to whether or not the meeting should continue, as the time had exceeded 10.00pm.

 

 RESOLVED: That the meeting should continue.

 

            40 Councillors voted in favour of the motion – Councillors Michael Airey, Natasha Airey, Malcolm Alexander, Christine Bateson, George Bathurst, Hashim Bhatti, Phillip Bicknell, John Bowden, Paul Brimacombe, Clive Bullock, David Burbage, Stuart Carroll, Gerald Clark, John Collins, David Coppinger, Simon Dudley, Marius Gilmore, Jesse Grey, Geoffrey Hill, David Hilton, Mohammed Ilyas, Richard Kellaway, John Lenton, Sayonara Luxton, Marion Mills, Gary Muir, Nicola Pryer, Eileen Quick, Jack Rankin, Wesley Richards, MJ Saunders, Hari Sharma, Shamsul Shelim, Adam Smith, John Story, Claire Stretton, Lisa Targowska, Derek Wilson, Ed Wilson and Lynda Yong.

 

            Three councillors voted against the motion – Councillors Beer, Mrs Jones and Werner.

 

 

 

 

21.

Members' Questions

(The Member responding has up to 5 minutes to address Council. The Member asking the question has up to 1 minute to submit a supplementary question. The Member responding then has a further 2 minutes to respond.)

 

a)    Question submitted by Councillor Pryer to Councillor Cox, Lead Member for Environmental Services

 

 Puppy Farming has received significant media coverage recently, I am sure members will join me in never condoning such businesses that are operated with little, or no, regard for the health and welfare of the puppies or their parents but with the main intent of making a profit.  Is the council aware of any such premises operating within the Borough?

 

b)   Question submitted by Councillor E. Wilson to Councillor Cox, Lead Member for Environmental Services

 

What steps will be taken to ensure that those who litter our streets in Dedworth are caught and fined accordingly?

 

 

Minutes:

 

 

a) Question submitted by Councillor Pryer to Councillor Cox, Lead

Member for Environmental Services

 

Puppy Farming has received significant media coverage recently, I am sure Members will join me in never condoning such businesses that are operated with little, or no, regard for the health and welfare of the puppies or their parents but with the main intent of making a profit. Is the council aware of any such premises operating within the Borough?

 

Councillor Alexander, on behalf of Councillor Cox, responded that he absolutely supported the position of not condoning such cruel businesses. the Environmental Health team had confirmed that they were unaware of any puppy farm businesses being operated within the Royal Borough.  There was currently one licensed dog breeder located in the area and seven licensed animal boarding establishments.

 

Councillor Pryer confirmed she did not wish to ask a supplementary question.

 

 

b) Question submitted by Councillor E. Wilson to Councillor Cox, Lead

Member for Environmental Services

 

What steps will be taken to ensure that those who litter our streets in Dedworth are caught and fined accordingly?

 

Councillor Alexander, on behalf of Councillor Cox, responded that he could confirm that the council’s Community Wardens currently undertook patrols across the Borough (including Dedworth) and did issue fixed penalty notices where littering was evidenced. Wardens would continue to work alongside councillors in Dedworth and Members generally across the area to tackle environmental issues  and ensure the Royal Borough remained a good place to live and visit.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Councillor E. Wilson commented that in correspondence with officers, he had not received a conclusion on allocation of resources.

 

Councillor Alexander responded that as Deputy Lead Member he would be happy to take this on and ensure a conclusion was reached.

 

 

 

22.

Motions on Notice

a)    By Councillor Dr L Evans:

 

This Council, concerned about the impact of traffic movements from the Former DERA site currently under development, resolves to:

 

- model the impact on Ascot and the Sunnings

 

- request that the Department for Transport/Highways Agency considers a spur on the M3 to alleviate traffic congestion on adjoining roads

 

- request an appropriate infrastructure contribution from Surrey County Council

 

 

b)   By Councillor Smith:

 

This council values the importance of open spaces in making the Borough a great place to live, visit and work, and seeks to protect it, particularly in more urban areas where access to an alternative open space is some distance away and seeks to balance need to protect open spaces and the greenbelt with meeting our identified need for sustainable development.

 

This council resolves to:

 

-       update the Open Space Audit, which was last published in 2008, and identify actions for the future;

 

-       include a feature on the various RBWM-operated open spaces in Around The Royal Borough to raise awareness;

 

-       continue to market and promote spaces in all parts of the Royal Borough that are open to the public.

 

 

 

Minutes:

a)    Members noted that Councillor Dr L Evans had withdrawn her motion.

 

b)   By Councillor Smith:

 

It was proposed by Councillor Smith, seconded by Councillor Dudley, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That this Council resolves to:

 

- update the Open Space Audit, which was last published in 2008, and identify actions for the future;

- include a feature on the various RBWM-operated open spaces in Around The Royal Borough to raise awareness;

- continue to market and promote spaces in all parts of the Royal Borough that are open to the public.