Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead

Contact: Karen Shepherd  01628 796529

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Items
No. Item

84.

Urgent Item

Minutes:

The Mayor announced that in accordance with Part 2C of the constitution, paragraphs 6.2 and 13 (s), she had agreed to an additional report being added the agenda. The item was considered urgent as the timescales meant that the extra three months between now and the next meeting in December 2016 would help support a review being completed on time for any recommendations to be implemented for the next borough elections in May 2019.

85.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bowden, Bullock, D. Evans, Grey, Jones, Lenton, Lion, Muir, C. Rayner, Richards, Saunders, Sharma and Walters

86.

Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To receive the Part I minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 10 August.

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 10 August 2016 be approved.

87.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

The Deputy Monitoring Officer advised Members that there was no requirement to declare an interest in relation to item 9, even if their property was affected by flooding.

 

Councillor Bicknell declared an interest in Member question A as his son was Director of Sport at Holyport college.

 

Councillor Smith declared an interest in Member question A as his wife was Manager of Admissions at Holyport College.

 

Councillor Dudley declared an interest in Member question A as he was a founder and the Chair of Governors, and his wife was a founder and governor, at Holyport College.

88.

Mayor's Communications pdf icon PDF 92 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 highlighted her recent trip to Kortrijk in Belgium for the Twin Town Youth Festival. She had been proud of the very well-behaved children and the excellent teachers and coaches who had accompanied them. The team had won the overall Gold trophy. In the coming months the Mayor would be holding receptions for the borough’s Olympians and Paralympians, and also for the participants of the Twin Town event. The Mayor invited all councillors to two upcoming events; a concert for the Mayor’s Fund on 8 October 2016 and an afternoon tea to raise money for the Household Cavalry on 26 October 2016.

89.

Public Questions

Ewan Larcombe, of Datchet Ward will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council:

 

Press reports suggest the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and Maidenhead Golf Club (MGC) have signed a contract which will see the council buy back Maidenhead Golf Club’s lease, opening up the opportunity for the site to be brought forward for development and help to make a town for everyone.

 

Now that MGC has been selected for development what provision within the site is being allocated for the traveller community?

 

Andrew Hill of Boyn Hill Ward will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council:

On March 9th the Monitoring Officer David Scott incorrectly interpreted statute regarding decision notice 5.15-6.15 (Councillor Dudley’s alleged bias). On August 30th the ICO stated it was unlawful for RBWM to publish the political affiliations of members of the public simply because they made a complaint against Councillors – this is "sensitive" data, and no schedule 3 criteria had been satisfied.

Why were my technical questions about the Data Protection Act not answered by the Data Protection Officer, but instead passed to the Monitoring Officer who proved to have an inadequate understanding, and what steps have now been taken following the letter from the ICO to ensure that this type of unlawful publication never happens again ?

Andrew Hill of Boyn Hill Ward will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council:

 

The Information Commissioner's Office wrote to RBWM on 18th April giving 28 days to explain alleged breaches of Data Protection policy. The ICO had no response and issued further deadlines on June 2nd and July 8th. It took four months to answer simple data protection questions, which the ICO stated was not “…as quickly as we expected”.

 

Why did RBWM fail to co-operate with multiple requests for information from the Information Commissioner’s Office and does RBWM really believe it is acceptable to simply ignore official requests over many months from statutory appointed protection agencies?

 

Melanie Hill of Boyn Hill Ward will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council:

 

Continuing to build thousands of new homes in Maidenhead will require significant increases to the infrastructure such as new schools, Doctor's surgeries and extended minor injuries hours. I have personally already suffered the consequence of being turned away from St Marks minor injuries within opening hours !!

Does the Council have representation within local clinical commissioning groups, or specific powers itself to be able to ensure that sufficient healthcare is provided as the town expands;  and can the Council directly or indirectly ensure that minor injuries at St Marks Hospital similarly expands to cope with the substantial rise in resident numbers?

(A Member responding to a question shall be allowed up to five minutes to reply to the initial question and up to two minutes to reply to a supplementary question. The questioner shall be allowed up to 1 minute to  ...  view the full agenda text for item 89.

Minutes:

Ewan Larcombe, of Datchet Ward asked the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council:

 

Press reports suggest the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and Maidenhead Golf Club (MGC) have signed a contract which will see the council buy back Maidenhead Golf Club’s lease, opening up the opportunity for the site to be brought forward for development and help to make a town for everyone.

 

Now that MGC has been selected for development what provision within the site is being allocated for the traveller community?

 

Councillor Dudley responded that he agreed that this was a fantastic opportunity.  The council needed to build a town for everyone and the site would create housing for local residents in the heart of the community.  It needed to be made clear that there were two separate strands of work.  The Council as landowner has entered into a contract to buy back the Golf Club’s lease: this was separate to the role of the Council as local planning authority.  As landowner the Council had put the Maidenhead Golf Course and land to the south of Harvest Hill forward as sites available for development within the plan period in response to the planning authority’s call for sites.  The site had not been selected for development at this stage, it was one of around 400 sites in the Borough that the planning authority would consider through the Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment it would shortly complete and then further assess through sustainability appraisal work to inform the Borough Local Plan. 

 

The council commissioned a Gypsy Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) from ORS which was completed in draft just as Government changed the definition in planning of “a traveller”.  The Berkshire authorities would be jointly commissioning a GTAA based on the new definition which would inform a Traveller Local Plan as identified in the Council’s Local Development Scheme.  It was too early in the process to consider sites for allocation.

 

Mr Larcombe confirmed he did not have a supplementary question.

 

b) Andrew Hill of Boyn Hill Ward asked the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council:

 

On 9th March the Monitoring Officer David Scott incorrectly interpreted statute regarding decision notice 5.15-6.15 (Councillor Dudley’s alleged bias). On August 30th the ICO stated it was unlawful for RBWM to publish the political affiliations of members of the public simply because they made a complaint against Councillors – this is "sensitive" data, and no schedule 3 criteria had been satisfied.

 

Why were my technical questions about the Data Protection Act not answered by the Data Protection Officer, but instead passed to the Monitoring Officer who proved to have an inadequate understanding, and what steps have now been taken following the letter from the ICO to ensure that this type of unlawful publication never happens again ?

 

Councillor Dudley responded that the decision of the Information Commissioner’s Office, received on 30 August 2016, had been challenged by RBWM as it appeared to be incorrect.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

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 received

91.

Adoption of the Statement of Community Involvement pdf icon PDF 744 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered adoption of the Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) a document setting out how the council would engage with the public and other stakeholders in the production of planning documents and when making decisions on planning applications.  The Council needed to update the 2006 version of the document to comply with government guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (March 2012), and relevant regulations; Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

Councillor D. Wilson highlighted that if the document was not adopted, the council would not have an up to date SCI and would therefore not comply with current legislation. The document was needed to move forward with the Borough Local Plan. Councillor D. Wilson highlighted an amendment he wished to make to paragraph 3.19 at page 43 to remove the words ‘with significant impacts’ as he felt it should relate to all major applications. Councillor Smith questioned whether the wording relating to Tier 1 in paragraph 3.2 should also therefore be amended. Councillor Bateson suggested that Neighbourhood Planning Delivery Groups and other similarly constituted bodies should be included on page 42 of the document.

 

Councillor Hilton commented that the document set out how the council would consult with residents on all aspects of the planning process. He had attended planning meetings in adjacent boroughs and believed that the Royal Borough brought more democracy into the process than others. Three DC Panels allowed time for rigorous debate and community groups in the Windsor Rural area had up to 7 minutes to address the Panel, which was more than most councils gave. When he had chaired a Local Action Group 12 years previously he had been told by the then Head of Planning that it would not be possible to discuss an imminent significant development until an application had been submitted. The SCI showed how (albeit for a fee) pre-application advice was available to developers to identify strengths and weaknesses and increase the likelihood of first time approval. All applicants should be encouraged to engage with the local community even if this was not required by law.

 

Councillor E. Wilson raised a number of concerns about the complaints process. It seemed to suggest that there would be no acknowledgement of a complaint at stage 1; that a full response would be given in 10 working days form the date the complaints team agreed to specific issues; and did not say what would happen if the proposed resolution was not to the liking of the complainant.

 

Councillor Burbage highlighted that South East Water was referenced twice on page 49. Councillor D. Wilson agreed this typographical error could be removed under the proposed delegation.

 

Councillor Beer commented that the title was misleading and should explain that it related to all planning matters, as was detailed in the report summary. He had been unable to see any reference to parish councils, other than the Parish Conference which only met four times a year, and Eton Town Council.

 

Councillor M. Airey  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91.

92.

Budget Decision: Windsor Leisure Centre Changing Room Refurbishment 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered a request to add to the 2016/17 Capital Programme £300k to finance a refurbishment project on the poolside changing rooms at Windsor Leisure Centre. The proposal was being handled outside of the Council’s annual budget approval process as the opportunity to undertake the work in conjunction with an unplanned  close down of the swimming pool had only recently been programmed.

 

Councillor S. Rayner commented that since she had become Lead Member in May 206 she had become aware of resident complaints about the state of the changing rooms. It was recognised that it was difficult for Parkwood to achieve the high standards of cleanliness expected if the changing rooms were worn out. A major leak in the supply side of the pool also needed to be repaired and would result in a close-down for 4-6 weeks. December was the quietest period for the leisure centre. As the council would have to pay compensation to Parkwood for the close-down it was proposed that the changing room work take place at the same time to avoid duplication of costs. The new facilities would include 7 family size changing rooms and large lockers. New floor and wall tiles would also be fitted.

 

Councillor E. Wilson stated he was pleased to support the proposal as the facility was very popular. The £300,000 was in addition to the £650,000 already in the programme for the Magnet Leisure centre. He thanked the Lead Member for her personal interest in the issue. Windsor councillors often received complaints therefore action was needed. The proposals would be good for both those who lived in and those who visited the borough.

 

Councillor Stretton commented that she hoped the new design would enable changing rooms to be closed off in blocks for continual cleaning during the day.

 

Councillor Beer questioned the rental income figures in the report. Councillor Dudley confirmed that the figures related to an annual rent therefore profiling would be included.

 

Councillor Beer also commented that in his professional life he had been involved in pool design the at Montem Sports Centre and Magnet Leisure Centre. Both had used a revolutionary design with open access. If the design of the Windsor pool was similar it may be near the end of its life. He suggested the use of melamine wall tiles which would be cheaper and quicker to install. He was concerned at the closure over the school holidays when families may want to visit; in addition many building companies closed over this period.

 

Councillor S. Rayner confirmed that the new design would allow mops to go under the changing room sides to improve efficiency. Parkwood had been involved in the design. She hoped the works to be undertaken would extend the life of the pool. In relation to tiles, Parkwood had preferred tiles as they would be more hygienic than melamine. December was the quietest time for the leisure centre and the contractors had agreed to the time period.

 

It was proposed by Councillor S Rayner,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 92.

93.

Mapping of Fluvial Flood Risk pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To note the response from the Environment Agency following the motion passed at Council on 21st June 2016:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That this Council:

i)                   Notes with concern how unreliable flood mapping can impede planning and cause mispricing of insurance, and:

ii)                  Calls on the Environment Agency to revise its flood maps in Maidenhead to take account of evidence accumulated since the ‘Jubilee River’ flood relief scheme was commissioned in 1999, including the heavy local flooding in January and February 2014.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Dudley referred Members to the motion passed at Full Council in June 2016. As a result, a letter had been sent to the Environment Agency on 4 August 2016 and a response received on 15 September 2016, both were noted by Full Council.  Councillor Dudley requested that the letter be available on the borough website and circulated to all members of the Development Control panels. The letter indicated the EA was nearing the end of its flood mapping work. He hoped this would result in a positive outcome for affected areas of the borough, in terms of reduced insurance costs and an easier process for planning applications.

94.

Constitutional Amendments pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To consider the above report

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a number of proposed amendments to the Constitution.

 

Councillor Targowska highlighted the six key changes:

 

·         Expansion of the powers of the Cabinet Regeneration Sub Committee (CRSC) so that it could take timely and efficient decisions on behalf of the Cabinet.

·         Revision of financial thresholds Council must approve for consistency, so that the figure for revenue matched that for capital (£500,000).

·         Amendments to the terms of reference of the Investment Working Group to formalise arrangements relating to day to day fund management.

·         Deletion of the Admissions Forum, which was no longer a statutory requirement.

·         Additional levels of sign off if the council agreed a contract involving was Members or a close member of their family. This was a very rare occurrence but would improve transparency.

·         Changes as a result of the joint arrangements for Adopt Berkshire

 

Councillor Werner stated that he was shocked to think that the council would have contracts with Members. Although he welcomed that change, he felt it should go further and no contracts be allowed. He agreed the change should be made but the issue should be referred to the Constitution Sub Committee to see if it could be strengthened. He also requested that a list of contracts with councillors over the last 12 years be passed to him or published. He referred to the discussion at the last meeting about adding reference to bullying in the code of conduct and asked why this was not included in the report.

 

Councillor Dudley commented that individuals should not be put off becoming a councillor if they would have to shut down their business interests. The change was proposed to ensure extra checks and balances and absolute transparency.

 

Councillor Beer asked whether the change to the CRSC had been considered by the Constitution Sub Committee or not. A very small group of people would be taking on decisions about large land disposals. He did not feel this was right for a Sub Committee and should remain with the Cabinet which met regularly anyway. Councillor Dudley highlighted that the CRSC consisted of a large number of the Cabinet members. He expected the Sub Committee to be making many decisions over the coming years and this would make the main Cabinet agenda more manageable. It was noted that all CRSC decisions were open to the call-in process.

 

Councillor Dudley stated that he would be happy for a list of contracts over the last 20 years with councillors to be put together, provided to Councillor Werner and published on the website.

 

Councillor Targowska commented that she was confident the changes in relation to contracts were in the best interests of residents. She had approved changes to the Code of Conduct in relation to bullying in the previous week and these would be included with the updated Constitution. The issues had not been discussed at Constitution Sub Committee as they were of such significance that they needed to come to Full Council.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Targowska, seconded by Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 94.

95.

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Electoral Review

Minutes:

Members considered a request for an electoral review of the Borough’s wards and the overall numbers and distribution of Councillors, to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (GBCE), in the light of recent and future borough population changes.

 

Councillor Dudley apologised for the late circulation of the report. The Conservative Group had agreed the previous night that the report should be brought to Council. In light of this he had called the Leader of the Opposition to explain the proposal; Councillor Mrs Jones had been supportive of the idea although she had not viewed the actual report.

 

Councillor Dudley explained that West Berkshire, with 52 Councillors, had requested a review and it was expected the review would recommend a reduction to 40 councillors. Table 1 highlighted that the Royal Borough was the least efficient in East Berkshire. This was not right when officers were being asked to make efficiency savings, therefore he proposed a request be made to the GBCE to conduct a review of wards and councillors and the outcomes be implemented. As the town grew the metrics would likely be breached anyway therefore it made sense to get on with the process now. The review would factor in housing increases in specific areas.

 

Councillor Beer stated that he was not opposed to the review, but he was concerned at the late issuing of the report and felt it could have waited until the next meeting. He had spoken to Councillor Jones who was under the impression the council had no choice but to undertake the review. Councillor Beer highlighted that Elmbridge was a district council rather than a unitary authority and therefore a direct comparison could not be made. The council had an enormous number of committees which often verged on being inquorate. This issue would need to be considered in future.

 

Councillor D. Wilson stated that he was supportive of the proposal, particularly given officers were being asked to make reductions. At the last review, a number of streets had been removed from the Oldfield ward area. Since then there had been significant population increases as a result of the regeneration in the town centre. The Oldfield ward had been at 23.9% at the time of the last election, close to the breach threshold. If Oldfield reached 30% this would necessitate a review across the whole borough anyway. It was therefore perfectly reasonable to undertake the review now.

 

Councillor Brimacombe commented that when officers reviewed services, in some instances this had resulted in an increase in resources. He was supportive of the review if it was not prejudged that it would result in a reduction in the number of councillors. He looked forward to seeing the baseline criteria that were used at the 2003 review and the changes considered for the review to come.

 

Councillor Dudley referred to the statement made by the Mayor at the beginning of the meeting and highlighted that the additional three months gained by not waiting until the next meeting would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95.

96.

Members' Questions

a)    Question submitted by Councillor Jones to Councillor Bicknell, Lead Member for Highways and Transport:


Cabinet has taken the decision to allow the spending of an additional £140,000, 
for a safer route to school, of which Holyport School is utilizing £83,000 assigned by a planning condition for a possible future junction upgrade.

Can the Lead Member explain where the budget of £83,000 will be sourced from should that junction need to be upgraded?

 

b)   Question submitted by Councillor E. Wilson to Councillor Rankin, Lead Member for Economic Development and Property:


 Will the Lead Member advise what marketing materials his department has in place to promote investment in areas outside of our town centres such as Dedworth?

 

c)    Question submitted by Councillor E. Wilson to Councillor S. Rayner, Lead Member for Culture and Communities:

 

Will the Lead Member show her support for the Big Draw Festival by creating a borough wide drawing competition in 2017?

 

d)   Question submitted by Councillor Beer to Councillor D. Wilson, Lead Member for Planning

 

The decision to discontinue notification of neighbours of planning applications relating to work to TPO'd trees is causing unnecessary distress to our residents.  In the spirit of openness and transparency please could this optional procedure be reinstated as a core part of the planning service to residents?

 

(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.)

Minutes:

Question submitted by Councillor Jones to Councillor Bicknell, Lead Member for Highways and Transport, asked by Councillor Beer:

 

Cabinet has taken the decision to allow the spending of an additional £140,000, for a safer route to school, of which Holyport School is utilizing £83,000 assigned by a planning condition for a possible future junction upgrade.

 

Can the Lead Member explain where the budget of £83,000 will be sourced from should that junction need to be upgraded?

 

Councillor Bicknell highlighted that the £83,000 could be used for the safer route but the legal agreement would need to be varied by the school and the council because it was assigned  to a planning condition for possible future junction upgrades. Proper budgeting approvals would apply for spending capital monies going forward.

 

Councillor Beer, on behalf of Councillor Jones, confirmed there was no supplementary question.

 

b) Question submitted by Councillor E. Wilson to Councillor Rankin, Lead Member for Economic Development and Property:

 

Will the Lead Member advise what marketing materials his department has in

place to promote investment in areas outside of our town centres such as Dedworth?

 

Councillor Rankin responded that it was important to support all businesses. He encourage councillors to signpost them to the support services offered via the investwindsorandmaidenhead.co.uk website, which included links to Berkshire Business Hub and Grow Our Own. He highlighted that the annual Good Business neighbour award that was now in its second year in Dedworth provided good press coverage. He would be happy to work with ward councillors to look into potential opportunities to increase the provision of support and increase investment in areas outside the town centres.

 

By way of a supplementary question Councillor E. Wilson asked if the Lead Member would be willing to meet with Dedworth councillors to discuss marketing in the short and long term.

 

Councillor Rankin responded that he would be happy to attend a meeting.

 

c) Question submitted by Councillor E. Wilson to Councillor S. Rayner, Lead Member for Culture and Communities:

 

Will the Lead Member show her support for the Big Draw Festival by creating a borough wide drawing competition in 2017?

 

Councillor S Rayner responded that it was important that the council encouraged creative opportunities for residents and the council had run or supported many competitions in the past such as the Magna Carta 800 art and creative writing competitions last year, the En Plein Air event and working with the Windsor Festival who ran an annual arts competition, which received entries from every school in the Borough.

 

RBWM had in the past, in the museum and libraries, staged low key events around the national theme proposed by The Big Draw Festival.  There would be a similar one at the Museum during the October half term.  Entitled ‘Full Steam Ahead’ the activity tied into local railway engineering and technology history and covered a drawing opportunity within a fun learning framework promoting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths).  It would provide opportunities for children and young people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96.

97.

Motions on Notice

a)    By Councillor Beer

 

This Council wholeheartedly endorses and publicises the letter of the RBWM Lead Member for Planning to the Prime Minister and Minister for Housing and Planning which opposed an additional runway at Heathrow and emphasises that this would negate a previous Government decision regarding an airport monopoly

 

Minutes:

Councillor S Rayner left the meeting at 9.15pm as she had a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in the item. She left the room for the duration of the discussion and voting on the item.

 

Councillor Beer introduced his motion. He stated that there was no clear-cut opinion on whether in two or three weeks time Parliament would overrule the Airports Commission’s strong recommendation that there should be another Heathrow runway about a mile closer to Windsor than at present.  Environmental groups and Councils such as RBWM had had a wealth of noise, air quality and health research and statistics to make strong objections. there had been no comparable objections on housing and infrastructure implications because of a confusing lack of data to balance employment prospects against housing and infrastructure demands had resulted in a reluctance of almost everyone to commit themselves to commenting due to other immediate pressures.

 

The Commission seemed to have had the same problems as its first report only gave one page on housing out of 140 on each runway.  Other than suggesting distribution of more housing it omitted its duty to consider its viability, only saying it would be a big challenge for local councils.

 

He was very grateful for Councillor Wilson’s edit of his suggestions in his letter, but with respect to him as a very busy person in current and future planning, there had been a totally inadequate borough consideration of the long term housing and infrastructure risks.

 

Councillor Beer had picked up a more few clues than most during many hundreds of hours spent rubbing shoulders with senior officers within and around Heathrow over 17 years and a working life involving 500 house contracts, which gave rise to his huge concern about the tsunami-like impact of a far bigger Heathrow.

 

He urged Members to consider the facts:  The developing Local Plan anticipated 13,000 more houses on top of the present 60,000, squeezing in around 20% more somewhere; another 5,000 would approach 30%, while only 17% (one seventh) was non Green Belt. The staggering figures demand that the letter be sent and reinforced immediately as it may yet tilt the decision and save enormous legal costs, as well as avoiding the nightmare and cost of another Local Plan.

 

He submitted the motion and particularly asked that an accompanying letter reinforced and updated Councillor Wilson’s letter, and that publicity included full page announcements in all three local newspapers and actively considered public meetings to encourage residents to write to MPs.

 

Councillor Dudley seconded the motion as detailed in the agenda, but stated that he could not support the other requests made in Councillor Beer’s introduction. A lot of work had been undertaken by officers and the council’s position was crystal clear in terms of protecting residents.

 

Councillor Hilton commented that Councillor Dudley had clearly set out the council’s position in that if a third runway was approved, the council would take the issue to the courts. He supported the essence of the motion which reflected views  ...  view the full minutes text for item 97.