Agenda and minutes

Venue: Desborough Suite - Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Karen Shepherd  01628 796529

Audio-recording: To listen, click here or to download and listen later, right click and save as an mp3

Items
No. Item

7.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Councillors N. Airey, Alexander, Bateson, Burbage, Cox, Da Costa, Diment, Gilmore, Hilton, Jones, Lenton, Majeed, Pryer, Richards and Walters submitted apologies for absence.

8.

Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 288 KB

To receive the minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 24 April and 22 May 2018.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meetings held on 24 April and 22 May 2018 be approved.

9.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Hill stated that, later in the agenda, he would be asking a question in relation to a proposed roundabout near Braywick. He informed Council that he owned property in the town centre, however he had been advised by the Monitoring Officer that as none of his properties were very near the proposed roundabout, that there was nothing to prevent him asking the question.

 

Councillor C Rayner declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in motion a), as he was trustee of a trust that owned land with riparian rights in the borough. He left the meeting for the duration of the discussion at the voting on this item.

 

Councillor S Rayner declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in motion a), as her husband was trustee of a trust that owned land with riparian rights in the borough. She left the meeting for the duration of the discussion at the voting on this item.

 

10.

Mayor's Communications pdf icon PDF 84 KB

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

Minutes:

The Mayor had submitted in writing details of engagements that the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor had undertaken since the last meeting, which were noted by Council. The Mayor highlighted that the former Mayor, Councillor Sayonara Luxton, had worked hard on the War Horse Memorial project; he congratulated her on her successful efforts. The Royal Borough had provided funds of £100,000 for maintenance.

 

11.

Public Questions

None received

Minutes:

No public questions were received

12.

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.

13.

Constitutional Review pdf icon PDF 596 KB

To consider the above report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a review of the constitution.

 

Councillor Targowska introduced the report. She explained that, following the Local Government Association (LGA) Peer Review and the Boundary Review, the decision had been taken to review the constitution. As Chairman of the Constitution Sub Committee she had been asked to lead the review. The Constitution Review Working Group had included members of the Constitution Sub Committee, but all Members had been able to attend and put their views forward. Briefing sessions were also held for all Members.

 

Councillor Beer joined the meeting at 7.35pm.

 

Councillor Targowska highlighted the main high-level changes proposed to take effect from May 2019:

 

·         The number of panels and forums would be simplified. A number of bodies that were not formal council meetings would be moved out of the constitution They would continue to be detailed on the borough website be supported by the council.

·         The Working Group recommended the number of Overview and Scrutiny Panels should reduce from seven to four, with five members on each Panel. This was in light of the reduction in the number of councillors and the current duplication in effort across panels. The Working Group was of the view that the Panels should set their own agenda and not by default look at each and every Cabinet report. This would allow the panels to focus on key issues and look at policy development to support the Cabinet and Council to deliver its strategic priorities. The working Group had looked at the time and effort by the Panels over the last year and in comparison to other local authorities.

·         The roles and duties of Cabinet members would be included; this was a statutory requirement.

·         The definition of confidentiality was to be included in the Code of Conduct.

·         The Working Group had looked at the complaints process used in other authorities and the LGA Peer Review comments. The borough was the only council in the country without any Member involvement in the process. The remit of the Employment Panel would be extended to allow a sub panel to determine breaches of the Code of Conduct.

·         A Partnership Protocol had been developed in light of the major changes to the council in recent years.

·         A Social Media Protocol had been developed.

 

Councillor Targowska explained that two proposals were for immediate implementation:

 

·         Amendments to the Contract Procedure Rules, as recommended by the Senior Management Team, to align with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

·         Amendments to the terms of reference for the Borough Wide Development Management Panel to clarify which applications the Panel would consider.

 

Councillor Targowska thanked all the officers involved in the review, including Sean O’Connor, Mary Severin and Karen Shepherd. A huge amount of work had been put in to redraft the constitution and canvass views. Councillor Targowska was aware that a number of the changes were substantive and not all would agree with everything; this was inevitable for a paper of this size. She encouraged Councillors to come forward to her with recommendations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Order of Business

Minutes:

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

15.

Motion b

Minutes:

Councillor McWilliams introduced his motion. He explained that he had brought the motion following a highly emotional and affecting meeting he had had with two of his residents, Mark and Alison Hollands, in their home at Cox Green. They had told him their story and it had completely broken his heart. He believed that one of the most important jobs for a representative was ensuring that residents’ stories were heard in the chamber:

 

Bryony Hollands was studying Music at the University of Sheffield and was looking to pursue a career in music; she was an accomplished musician playing the French horn, trumpet and piano, as well as performing ballet and in local plays and pantomimes. Whilst during her time at Sheffield University, she also helped provide soup and sandwiches to the homeless and helped decorate a remote village school in India. She was loved by her friends and family and had a bright future ahead of her, bringing her own ‘sunny disposition and mischievous humour’ as one of her teachers described her, who ‘would light up the room’. 

 

Almost three years ago in August, Bryony was walking home when a car mounted the curb and hit Bryony and her boyfriend. Bryony was killed instantly; she was 19. Her boyfriend survived but has been left permanently deaf in one ear.  The driver got out of the car and immediately proceeded to try to dispose of a syringe and other drug paraphernalia, delete data from his phone and babbled for ‘no police’. It was later found that the driver had taken cocaine and was three times over the drink drive limit.

 

The driver was promptly arrested and in October 2015 was jailed for causing death by dangerous driving. The maximum sentence available to the judge was 14 years. The judge said that he had to reserve this maximum sentence for cases even more serious than Bryony’s, he said he would have sentenced the driver to 12 years had he been found guilty after trial. However, he was sentenced to just 8 years after having pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity.

 

Councillor McWilliams had recently discovered that an inmate was usually released after serving half of their sentence, which meant the selfish, callous and ultimately stupid individual would serve just four years for killing Bryony. In recent months there had been confusion added to the situation when the Hollands received an email suggesting that the driver would be moved to a low security prison for the final two years of his sentence. He was also being considered for overnight release on temporary licence in August, just 3 years after killing Bryony. 

 

Councillor McWilliams stated that this just did not feel right; it felt wrong for someone to serve more time in prison for fraud than for killing another human being. He questioned how anyone could feel that justice had been served.

 

Following the shock of such a short sentence, the Hollands became involved in the Brake campaign, fighting for longer sentences. The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Family Friendly Policy for Elected Members pdf icon PDF 193 KB

To note the above report

Minutes:

Members noted that the council’s Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) would be asked to consider family friendly policies as part of the Members’ Allowance Scheme.

 

Councillor Dudley commented that all wished for more women to be involved in the democratic process. Inevitably there were some challenges therefore the intention was to explore opportunities to make the environment more conducive to women. A number of other councils had adopted such policies.

 

Councillor S Rayner stated that she wholeheartedly supported the motion.

 

Councillor Werner supported such an important piece of work. All parties needed more women involved. He also welcomed the inclusion of support for dependent carers.

 

Councillor Bicknell commented that as both he and his partner were councillors it was often difficult to juggle childcare. The council would not be seen in a good light if it did not have a policy.

 

Councillor M. Airey explained that Councillor N. Airey, as Lead Member for Children’s Services, was keen to include adoption parental leave. He believed a new policy was very much needed.

 

It was proposed by councillor Dudley, seconded by Councillor S Rayner, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: ThatCouncil notes the report.

 

17.

Members' Questions

a)    Councillor Hill will ask the following question of Councillor Coppinger, Lead Member for Planning and Health:

 

Oldfield Ward housing growth is set to spiral from 5,500 to 9,500 dwellings, a 72% increase in 15 years under the Borough Local Plan, more than any other ward.  What special provision will be made for Maidenhead Town Centre from the recently published infrastructure analysis funds to avoid gridlock, parking chaos, lack of schooling and doctors etc?

b)     Councillor Hill will ask the following question of Councillor Bicknell, Lead Member for Highways and Transport:

 

When Oldfield School was proposed on Braywick Park a roundabout was deemed necessary at the entrance on Braywick Road.  Looking at the popular times of use of the existing Leisure Centre it is clear that they coincide with morning and particularly evening traffic peaks. Why is no roundabout being proposed?

 

(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:

 

a)    Councillor Hill asked the following question of Councillor Coppinger, Lead Member for Planning and Health:

 

Oldfield Ward housing growth is set to spiral from 5,500 to 9,500 dwellings, a 72% increase in 15 years under the Borough Local Plan, more than any other ward.  What special provision will be made for Maidenhead Town Centre from the recently published infrastructure analysis funds to avoid gridlock, parking chaos, lack of schooling and doctors etc?

 

Councillor Coppinger responded that he wished to clarify some points. The question referred to growth ‘spiralling’. By Councillor Coppinger’s calculations the growth was 4.4% over the period, which included the 2000 dwellings on the golf course. Secondly the question stated that the growth was in Oldfield. Following the report of the Electoral Commission a new ward structure would come in to place, therefore Oldfield would not be growing. Councillor Coppinger questioned whether Councillor Hill’s calculations included the dwellings he had recently approved by overturning the officer’s recommendation that a site be kept for employment.

 

The Council had planned growth through the Borough Local Plan process and was required to demonstrate what the infrastructure capacity was currently and then calculate what may be required for the future to 2033.  This was all set out in the infrastructure delivery plan (IDP)which was first produced in 2016 and had now been updated twice, most recently at the end of 2017.  It was available on the borough website.  The IDP had been produced working with colleagues in highways, education, health and social care and that work continued, it was a live document to be updated continually.  Sat alongside was evidence which underpinned the plan and the IDP including the recent transport modelling.

 

In Maidenhead the Council was also proposing 251 temporary parking places whilst redevelopment takes place which would ensure no net loss.  After that development around 1,300 permanent new public parking spaces for use by residents, retail, local businesses and the Elizabeth Line would be provided with further private car parking to support individual development schemes, subject to planning permission.  Further detailed transport modelling work was currently underway to ensure that the pinch points and local junction improvement works already committed, along with the missing links project for the station, were not in conflict with future development proposals from the private sector.

 

Councillor Coppinger stated that this was not about special provision. The development expected was planned development and the IDP responded to it; the planned development would not be able to happen if there was not supporting infrastructure; you could not have one without the other.  The Council would continue to pursue funding sources to assist in bringing forward infrastructure in line with development and the capital programme in future years would align to the IDP through an infrastructure investment strategy

 

Councillor Hill confirmed he did not have  supplementary question.

 

b)     Councillor Hill asked the following question of Councillor Bicknell, Lead Member for Highways and Transport:

 

When Oldfield School was proposed on Braywick Park a roundabout was deemed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Motions on Notice

a)    By Councillor Beer

 

This Council:

 

i)             Notes that there is evidence that the progression of the River Thames Scheme is in doubt as several riparian Councils cannot commit to its funding. 

 

ii)            Urges the Government to fully fund the essential project as it is totally unjustified to burden a few communities to fund the safe disposal of water from such a vast catchment area.    

 

b)   By Councillor McWilliams

 

This Council:

 

i)             Requests the Leader of the Council to write to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice urging him to find time in this parliamentary session to bring forward legislation to introduce life sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving, and for careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs, as per the government's response to the Ministry of Justice's consultation in October 2017;

ii)            Recognises the pain and suffering caused by death by dangerous driving or careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs to family, friends and wider community;

iii)           Believes that the current sentences for death by dangerous driving and careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs should be strengthened.  

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Beer introduced his motion. He explained that at a recent Flood Forum the Environment Agency (EA) representative had said that the River Thames Scheme was hitting problems as many local authorities could not afford to put their share of funding into the pot, this included Surrey County Council.  Communities in Surrey had worse, or equally as bad, problems as in Wraysbury and Datchet.  The key point was that the water came down from the entire Thames catchment area including tributaries such as the Cherwell. It was unfair and unjust that local authorities who happened to be located on the banks of the lower reaches had to pay enormous sums to safely discharge someone else’s water. This was a national problem and a national injustice. The council should lobby the government to fund the scheme at the national level.  Floods could be life-ruining; once a property had claimed on flood risk, the insurance companies would no longer offer cover.

 

Councillor Dudley commented that there had been extensive meetings on the scheme. Central government had been asked to fund the scheme but the Treasury had declined. The council would continue to bang the drum. The Royal Borough had already agreed to contribute £10m to the scheme. Surrey County Council had indicated they would make a significant contribution but there was still a funding gap.

 

Councillor Grey commented that, as the borough’s representative on the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, he was very close to the scheme. The Committee was working closely with the EA and other partners. The overall cost of the project was £588m. Funding for channels one and two was in place, however funding for the third channel, which would be the one to protect Datchet, Horton, Wraysbury and Old Windsor, was under threat. The government needed to facilitate a way forward.

 

Councillor Hill stated that he supported the motion. he had himself been flooded; insurance was possible but with a very high excess. Once such a scheme was in place, insurance excesses would reduce. The scheme would be of huge benefit to residents and business in the borough.

 

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

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That this Council:

 

i)             Notes that there is evidence that the progression of the River Thames Scheme is in doubt as several riparian Councils cannot commit to its funding. 

 

ii)            Urges the Government to fully fund the essential project as it is totally unjustified to burden a few communities to fund the safe disposal of water from such a vast catchment area.    

 

 

Motion b had been dealt with earlier in the meeting.