Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead. View directions

Contact: Karen Shepherd  01628 796529

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Items
No. Item

19.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for Absence were received from Councillors Burbage, Luxton, Sharp, Stretton and Targowska.

20.

Order of Business

Minutes:

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

21.

Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 158 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 26 June 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 June 2018 be approved.

22.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Brimacombe declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in the item ‘Maidenhead Golf Course – Development Partner Procurement’ as he owned property and ran a business close to the site. He made representations, then withdrew from the debate and vote on the item.

 

Councillor Diment declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in the item ‘Maidenhead Golf Course – Development Partner Procurement’ as she was a member of the Golf Club. She withdrew from the debate and vote on the item.

 

23.

Mayor's Communications pdf icon PDF 35 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 Deputy Mayor had undertaken since the last meeting, which were noted by Council.

24.

Public Questions

a)    Carole Da Costa of Clewer North ward will ask the following question of Councillor Grey, Lead Member for Environmental Services:

 

What was the total cost, including assessments, officer time and, the clean-up and repair or remediation of dealing with the unauthorised encampments on Whiteley in August 2017 and recently at Dedworth Manor?

 

b)   Andrew Hill of Boyn Hill ward will ask the following question of Councillor Natasha Airey, Lead Member for Children’s Services:

 

Last year Desborough and Newlands wrote to RBWM proposing relocation to a joint campus on Golf Club land. However, paragraph 2.36 of the Newlands June Cabinet paper states that co-siting would be "difficult to achieve" alongside 2000 dense dwellings, and considers Newlands could move on its own. Is RBWM therefore saying that Desborough College is unlikely to co-site there?

 

(Sources Response letter and Cabinet)

 

c)    Andrew Hill of Boyn Hill ward will ask the following question of Councillor McWilliams, Principal Member for Housing:

 

The Council's BLP states 434 additional new affordable homes are needed in the Borough every single year. However RBWM's 2017/18 Annual Report states that the Council had a target for a mere 20 affordable homes (4.6%), delivering 32 (7.4%). Why is RBWM setting itself a miserable target that is less than 5% of the known affordable housing need?

 

(Sources Housing assessment and RBWM Annual Report 2017/18)

 

d)   Brian Millin of Bray ward will ask the following question of Councillor Coppinger, Lead Member for Planning:

 

I am a member of the Care Services Board for BEN, a charity based in Sunningdale who submitted an application in December 2016 for replacements of aging stock currently rented at social rents a total of 32 units. Frustrated by delays BEN has withdrawn the application and diverted some of the funds to other projects not in RBWM.

 

Is it acceptable for RBWM to lose such valuable investment in housing stock due to this long delay in determining this application?

 

 

(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 put the supplementary question)

Minutes:

a)    Carole Da Costa of Clewer North ward asked the following question of Councillor Grey, Lead Member for Environmental Services:

 

What was the total cost, including assessments, officer time and, the clean-up and repair or remediation of dealing with the unauthorised encampments on Whiteley in August 2017 and recently at Dedworth Manor?

 

Councillor Grey responded that the allocation of cost to specific responses such as this was not logged to this level of detail, however it was estimated that the cost for dealing with both encampments referred to was in the region of £5,000.

 

By way of a supplementary question Mrs Da Costa asked how and when would Whiteleys and Dedworth Manor be made secure to prevent further illegal and unauthorised encampments, and at what cost?

 

Councillor Grey responded that this would normally be dealt with by service budgets when an incident occurred, however a capital budget of £80,000 had been put aside to identify areas that might need reinforcing; the council would look at the areas referred to, to see if they needed shoring up.

 

b)   Andrew Hill of Boyn Hill ward asked the following question of Councillor Natasha Airey, Lead Member for Children’s Services:

 

Last year Desborough and Newlands wrote to RBWM proposing relocation to a joint campus on Golf Club land. However, paragraph 2.36 of the Newlands June Cabinet paper states that co-siting would be "difficult to achieve" alongside 2000 dense dwellings, and considers Newlands could move on its own. Is RBWM therefore saying that Desborough College is unlikely to co-site there?

 

Councillor N. Airey responded that at the moment nothing was off the table but configurations would be challenging for the site to ensure it was viable. Discussions were still ongoing.

 

By way of a supplementary question Mr Hill commented that the report only talked about two options: the temporary move to the golf course followed by a complete rebuild or perhaps a permanent move to the golf course. Paragraph 2.38 talked about the school effectively moving to the edge of town, disadvantaging parents who currently lived near Newlands. Some of the parents suggested a third option could be considered. Would it be possible for Newlands and Desborough to open a joint campus site for the sixth form only closer to the town centre, potentially on the old Claires Court site for example in the way some grammar schools had opened satellite sites?

 

Councillor N. Airey responded that the borough was open to options although she was not sure what Newlands’ and Desborough’s views would be of such a proposal. If Mr Hill would like to send her further details she would discuss with the education team.

 

c)    Andrew Hill of Boyn Hill ward asked the following question of Councillor McWilliams, Principal Member for Housing:

 

The Council's BLP states 434 additional new affordable homes are needed in the Borough every single year. However RBWM's 2017/18 Annual Report states that the Council had a target for a mere 20 affordable homes (4.6%) , delivering 32 (7.4%). Why  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.

25.

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.

26.

Members' Questions

Minutes:

a)    Councillor Da Costa asked the following question of Councillor Grey, Lead Member for Environmental Services:

 

Following the distress and damage caused to residents and Council property when travellers illegally accessed Dedworth Manor, can you tell me how many vulnerable sites exist across the Borough?

 

Councillor Grey responded this was a difficult question to answer. Firstly, there was no strict definition for a vulnerable site. Unauthorised encampments could occur, in theory, on any piece of land. Open spaces, village greens,  and private land could all become vulnerable if violated.

 

The council was  aware of those sites that the Royal Borough owned and the council was constantly looking at those places that could be improved with bollards, ditches and walls.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Da Costa asked what measures could be taken to secure sites, including pre-emptive legal measures, when would the sites be secured to reduce heartbreak for residents and costs for the council?

 

Councillor Grey responded that £80,000 had been allocated to undertake measures such as bollards, ditches and walls. The council would also encourage landowners to secure their own properties and liaise with parish councils to ensure they were aware.

 

b)   Councillor Da Costa asked the following question of Councillor Coppinger, Lead Member for Planning and Health:

 

 Given the criticism by the Borough Local Plan Inspector of the Council’s continued failure to produce a “Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Local Plan”, can the Lead Member tell me when such a plan will be produced, as such provision should help alleviate pressures on residents and the costs of dealing with illegal camps in the Borough?

 

Councillor Coppinger responded that he did not think that Councillor Da Costa was paying attention at the hearing. The Inspector did not criticise the Council with regard to the work being done on its plan for Travellers. Councillor Da Costa was confusing the legitimate right  of travellers to have a permanent home and the needs of travellers seeking short term accommodation, which was the case in Dedworth, Holyport and Bray.

 

As part of the first stage of the examination officers were able to update the Inspector on progress with this work. A Gypsy Traveller Accommodation assessment had been published and was available on the council website; it set out the need for 26 pitches for traveller accommodation in the borough for the plan period to 2033. There was also a need to plan for 14 permanent plots for Travelling Showpeople. Most importantly, the council would also consider with its neighbouring authorities an interim sites which could be enforced by the police. There were strict rules about deposits and rents that had to be paid.

The Local Development Scheme had been updated with the timetable for progressing the Traveller Local Plan. Most importantly a Traveller call for sites was initiated by officers on 13 July 2018; this was similar to the call for sites for other uses but specifically to meet the needs of gypsies and travellers. He encouraged Members to make  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.

27.

Appointment of Independent Person pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered the appointment of an Independent Person to the Royal Borough, following the death of the former independent Person Gary Flather. Councillor Dudley placed on record his thanks to Mr Flather for all his service to the council as an Independent Person.

 

Members noted the CV of Mr David Comben, the proposed candidate.

 

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

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Council notes the report and agrees that:

 

i) David Comben be appointed as an Independent Person under s28(7) of the Localism Act 2011, increasing the number of the Council’s Independent Persons to two, including Mr. Peter Hills.

 

ii) That an allowance of £1,000 per annum be paid for this position.

28.

Annual Performance Report pdf icon PDF 101 KB

To consider the above report

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered an overview of the council’s performance for 2017/18.

 

Councillor Dudley highlighted that the report included 25 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set around the council’s six strategic priorities, with a further 68 indicators below. All were reported quarterly to relevant Overview and Scrutiny Panels. Of the 25 KPIs, 17 were meeting or exceeding the target, 6 were just short and two were off target. Benchmarking against other local authorities showed a number of the KPIs were challenging, stretch targets. This was the first year the council had provided an annual report in this format, which looked to present information to residents in an easily digestible manner. The report would be delivered to every household along with the current edition of Around the Royal Borough. Previously a courier company had been used for delivery however there had been concerns that some areas were not being reached. It had proved more reliable and cheaper to post via Royal Mail (£6,000 compared to £9,000).

 

Councillor Jones commented that many councils produced such a report; it was good to keep residents informed. For future reports, she suggested that the RAG ratings should be reviewed and actual numbers provided where only percentages were currently given, to provide context.

 

Councillor E. Wilson commented it was important to tell residents what the council was doing with their money. He would like to see copies available in libraries. He felt the council was very bad at telling people what it had done, for example the Old Court in Windsor had been rumoured to be closing, which had been fake news as it was now thriving.

 

Councillor Smith suggested, as he had already done so at a recent Audit and Performance Review Panel, that the report should include the source of funds. Given the costs quoted per councillor in relation to elections, he was keen to see how these may reduce in future with the reduction in the number of councillors. He highlighted a typographical error on page 17.

 

Councillor S. Rayner highlighted that the percentage of residents reporting satisfaction with the borough’s parks and open spaces was 85.2%. She was pleased to report that the percentage of calls answered within 60 seconds had now risen to 73.8% following some changes in the organisation of the team.

 

Councillor Beer commented that he did not understand why the document had not been incorporated in Around the Royal Borough.  There was nothing included in relation to Heathrow in the last edition yet the council was spending money to defend its position. He asked how much the Annual Report had cost over an additional six pages in Around the Royal Borough? A lot of people would see it as a waste of money as they just wanted the job to be done rather than shouted about.

 

Councillor Bateson commented that as residents were council taxpayers they would lie to see something that told them what the council was doing.

 

Councillor Bicknell commented that the information provided helped residents to hold the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Highways Investment pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered an increase to the capital programme for 2018/19 to deliver a supplementary road resurfacing programme.

 

Councillor Bicknell explained that the report came recommended by Cabinet. The borough had approximately 650 kilometres of road network, which was valued at £1.2bn. Therefore maintenance was always a good investment for the future. The graphs on page 39 showed the huge reductions in the percentage of roads needing to be considered for maintenance.

 

The council was positioned at eight place overall in the list of over 113 councils around the country that used a standard bench mark method of scoring the condition of highways. That was again a position of excellence that this council had risen to over the last 10 years. This was the result of close partnership working with contractors and officers and for that he thanked them on behalf of the residents.

 

Paragraph 2.3  of the report detailed the methods which were used to get to an indicative, prioritised highways programme. Councillor Bicknell explained that SCRIM and SCANNER surveys were both trade brands for surveying for skid resistance and profiling of the surface of the roads and footpaths, which were owned by WDM Ltd of Bristol, whom the council contracted for the data. He highlighted Appendix A which included about 16 of the current wards in the borough. The biggest scheme for £259,000 was for Old Windsor, along with the other new schemes of work in the area amounting to £317,000..

 

The Find and Fix fund of £200,000 was new to the council as the contract with Volker highways currently included a fix time of up to 3 months for fixing non urgent items. Now the council could deal with such unsightly or aesthetic issues, particularly in high profile areas, within 10 days.

 

Councillor Jones welcomed the investment in the borough’s roads. She had previously raised the problems with the A308 gyratory, which had deteriorated recently. She therefore welcomed the repairs before winter.  She requested clarification on the costs of borrowing over the life of the loan period.

 

Councillor Coppinger thanked the Lead Member on behalf of the residents of Bray for the work undertaken in the ward.

 

Councillor Da Costa commented that he was disappointed that the report had not been considered by the Highways, Transport and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Panel, however he welcomed the money being spent on assets especially as a number of roads and pavements had been in an appalling state for a number of years. The 2015 Highways Asset Management Report stated that to improve roads the figure of £3.3m  would have to be spent each year to bring the roads up to standard. He asked how much had been planned to be spend on resurfacing alone in 2018/19 and when would the suggestion of £3.3m per year be taken?

 

Councillor Saunders commented as the report could be scrutinised at Full Council by all Members there was no need for it to go to an Overview and Scrutiny Panel. He explained that all  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.

30.

Vicus Way Car Park pdf icon PDF 378 KB

To consider the above report

 

Minutes:

Members considered approval for the construction of a new car park at Vicus Way, Maidenhead, creating 513 permanent car parking spaces for the use by local businesses, residents and commuters.

 

Councillor D. Evans explained that the proposal would have an important part to play in the wider regeneration of Maidenhead. The car park would be very convenient for commuters and season ticket holders. It was anticipated that work would start on site by the end of the year to enable the council to move forward with the next phase, the demolition of the Broadway car park and replacement with a new structure providing over 1200 spaces. At the end of the regeneration period in excess of 1000 additional spaces would be provided across the town. At no time during the regeneration would the number of spaces be below the current number, to ensure the town kept working. The proposal would also reduce the need for a number of temporary car parking spaces, which were a cost to the council with no return.

 

Councillor Dudley commented that the council was truly creating an asset, which could be sold in the future if desired. In relation to the question about borrowing levels earlier in the meeting, he highlighted that this was such an asset that could be disposed of to ensure a capital receipt.

 

Councillor Hill congratulated Councillor D. Evans as the proposal was very welcome and was overdue. He believed this to be the right investment at the right time.

 

Councillor Brimacombe thanked the Lead Member for sending the paper to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel and answering a number of technical questions. About five of six years ago Stafferton way had been a derelict, sad area. There was now a supermarket, flats, a  storage business and a throughway. A large capital asset was the best thing the council could do with the last piece of land.

 

Councillor Werner commented that it was a tremendous decision and he was glad the administration had listened to the advice to take Crossrail seriously and provide further commuter parking. It was a potential asset therefore borrowing to save was sensible; the asset could also generate income which he hoped would be considered in future.  

 

Councillor E. Wilson commented that the people of Maidenhead were seeing action from the council. The report was excellent in content and detail.

 

It was proposed by Councillor D Evans, seconded by Councillor Dudley, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Council notes the report and approves:

 

i)             The development of a permanent multi storey car park at Vicus Way.

ii)                 Approves an additional capital budget of £3,687,249.

31.

Additional budget for Braywick Leisure Centre pdf icon PDF 549 KB

To consider the above urgent report

 

In accordance with Part 2 C6.2 of the Constitution the Mayor agreed to add the urgent item to consider approval of an immediate resource investment to progress the necessary works within the timetable.

Minutes:

Members considered approval for an additional capital allocation of £2,630,000 to cover the removal of 5,650m3 waste material found during the secondary groundwork investigations and the cost of archaeological work

 

Under Part 2 c6.2 of the constitution, the Mayor had agreed to add the urgent item to consider approval of an immediate resource investment to progress the necessary works within the timetable.

 

Councillor S. Rayner explained that during the archaeological excavations that were required as a planning condition, an Iron Age ditch had been found. It was proposed that signs be erected in the car park area of the leisure centre to identify the location. Fragments of Saxon pottery had also been discovered. These were currently being preserved and carbon dated and would be displayed in the borough museum.

 

Unfortunately part of the survey had also revealed asbestos which had not been discovered as part of the initial ground investigations that had included 60 boreholes. It was critical the asbestos was removed in a controlled and safe manner. Contingency funding of 14% had been included in the budget however this now sat at £0.5m which was required for the building stages of the project.

 

Councillor Hill stated that he was a supporter of the leisure centre, however he questioned how such a large amount of asbestos, on a site known to contain landfill, had not been identified previously. He was concerned that the initial survey of 60 boreholes did not reveal the asbestos and asked if the surveyor should pay the additional costs?

 

Councillor Majeed asked whether, before spending the £2.6m, were there plans to undertake more boreholes to determine if there was any other hazardous materials present? He also asked whether a planning application would be required for the controlled removal as there had been for Badnell’s Pit?

 

Councillor Smith commented that there were different risks associated with different types of asbestos; white asbestos was a lower risk. HSE rules needed to be applied but the council should also ensure it did not overspend.

 

Councillor DaCosta asked for the value of the contingency if the report was approved.

 

Councillor Saunders commented that this was an extremely common situation. His company had dealt with a large site near Liverpool Street Station that had uncovered 750 bodies; the archaeological excavations had delayed the project by three years.  It would be important to determine if the survey had been performed as intended and whether the surveyor was obliged to cover any costs. When the original budget had been set, the contingency had been set at two times the normal level because of a number of uncertainties. Contamination of the site had been found on the eastern side which records had demonstrated was a likely area for hazardous deposits. The area to the west had been expected to contain regular refuse material however because of uncertainties a full survey had been commissioned. There was an unambiguous obligation to put in place a programme to deal with the issue; he expected Councillor S.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Members' Questions

a)    Councillor Da Costa will ask the following question of Councillor Grey, Lead Member for Environmental Services:

 

 Following the distress and damage caused to residents and Council property when travellers illegally accessed Dedworth Manor, can you tell me how many vulnerable sites exist across the Borough?

 

b)   Councillor Da Costa will ask the following question of Councillor Coppinger, Lead Member for Planning and Health:

 

 Given the criticism by the Borough Local Plan Inspector of the Council’s continued failure to produce a “Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Local Plan”, can the Lead Member tell me when such a plan will be produced, as such provision should help alleviate pressures on residents and the costs of dealing with illegal camps in the Borough?

 

c)     Councillor Brimacombe will ask the following question of Councillor S Rayner, Lead Member for Culture and Communities:

 

Maidenhead Library, St Ives Road, enjoyed the excellent and popular,  privately run Narrative café until RBWM raised the rent so high as to price this enterprise out of the market, with no sign as yet of a competitor taking over. Is this representative of commercial decisions by RBWM and is the loss of this community facility now regretted by RBWM?

 

d)   Councillor Bhatti will ask the following question of Councillor Grey, Lead Member for Environmental Services:

 

Please can the Lead Member let me know what more can be done to prevent unauthorised encampments like the one that occurred in Whiteleys and on Dedworth Manor/Sawyers Close?

 

e)    Councillor Bhatti will ask the following question of Councillor Grey, Lead Member for Environmental Services:

 

Will the council publish guidance on how the Borough deals with unauthorised traveller encampments to explain the processes involved?

 

f)     Councillor E Wilson will ask the following question of Councillor Grey, Lead Member for Environmental Services:

 

Following the recent unauthorised encampment in Dedworth how will the Lead Member ensure that residents in the Royal Borough are kept up to date on illegal traveller encampments?

 

g)   Councillor Jones will ask the following question of Councillor Coppinger, Lead Member for Planning:

 

Could the Lead Member give us an update on the Borough Local Plan and the next steps?

 

h)   Councillor Jones will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of Council:

 

Could the Leader detail the recommendations from the Peer Review that have been implemented to date and the recommendations that will be implemented during this municipal year

 

(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:

c)          Councillor Brimacombe asked the following question of Councillor S Rayner, Lead Member for Culture and Communities:

 

Maidenhead Library, St Ives Road, enjoyed the excellent and popular,  privately run Narrative café until RBWM raised the rent so high as to price this enterprise out of the market, with no sign as yet of a competitor taking over. Is this representative of commercial decisions by RBWM and is the loss of this community facility now regretted by RBWM?

 

Councillor S Rayner responded that there appeared to be some misunderstanding around why the Narrative had closed. The Licence Fee was not increased this year; the RPI inflationary charge was waived.

 

With support from Property and Shared Legal Services, a licence to occupy was agreed by the council and the occupiers for a ‘Coffee Cart’ for the period 20 April 2015 - 19 April 2016, for an area 3x3m within the foyer entrance. 

 

The ‘Coffee Cart’ shared the location with other library business such as charity cards, exhibitions, Festival of Learning and Family Festival of Learning, and arts and crafts activities. On 8 Feb 2016 the request for exclusive use of the foyer was expressed by the occupier. Research of the local rental market suggested a figure between £25,000 and £30,000, inclusive of utilities and cleaning.

 

Following negotiations, a new licence to occupy was drawn up in 2016, incorporating the increase in space. The annual fee agreed was lower than the amount suggested by the local rental market research because the council recognised the importance of the community cafe. The agreed increase took place in 2016/17, with a further increase of £3,000 for 2017/18, followed by an annual RPI % increase until 29 March 2019, when a full tender process would be undertaken.

 

In early 2018 a request was received to reduce the amount paid to the council. The council agreed to waive the standard RPI inflationary increase that was due to be applied from 1 April 2018. The council received no reply from the occupier. Then on 27 February 2018 notice was served to terminate the licence to occupy and the café closed in May 2018.  The Narrative Café was enjoyed by those who used it, both residents and staff, and options to seek alternative coffee vendors continued to be explored

 

Councillor Brimacombe confirmed he did not have a supplementary question.

 

g)   Councillor Jones asked the following question of Councillor Coppinger, Lead Member for Planning:

 

Could the Lead Member give us an update on the Borough Local Plan and the next steps?

 

Councillor Coppinger responded that, as all were aware the first stage of hearings were very different to a normal form of hearings as the Inspector was only trying to understand things she did not understand at this stage. The council was currently expecting a letter from the Inspector setting out her interim findings, the work the council needed to do and dates of the next hearings, expected to be held in the autumn. The letter would be added to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Motions on Notice

None received.

 

Minutes:

No Motions on Notice had been received.

34.

Local Government Act 1972 - Exclusion of Public

To consider passing the following resolution:-

 

“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting whilst discussion takes place on items 14-16 on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1-7 of part I of Schedule 12A of the Act"

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting whilst discussion takes place on items 14-16 on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1-7 of part I of Schedule 12A of the Act.

35.

Vicus Way Car Park

To consider the Part II appendices

36.

RBWM Property Company - Investments Report

To consider the above report

 

37.

Maidenhead Golf Course - Development Partner Procurement

To consider the above report