Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead. 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

38.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Alexander, Burbage, Majeed, Pryer, Sharma and Smith.

39.

Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To receive the Part I minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 19 July 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Part I minutes of the meeting held on 19 July 2018 be approved.

40.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Hill declared a Prejudicial Interest in the item ‘Broadway Car Park’ as he owned a property opposite the site. He would make representations but take not further part in the debate or vote on the item.

 

Councillors McWilliams, Bateson and Hilton declared Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in the Motion on Notice as Principal Members. They would take no part in the debate or vote on the item.

 

Councillors M Airey, Love, D. Wilson, Bowden and Gilmore declared Disclosable Pecuniary Interests in the Motion on Notice as Deputy Lead Members. They would take no part in the debate or vote on the item.

 

Councillor Dudley declared a Personal Interest in the item ‘RBWM Property Company – Investments reports’ as Chairman of Riverside Primary School.

 

 

41.

Public Questions

a)    Mark Hollands of Cox Green ward, will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council:

 

In light of last month's tragic double road death in Sunninghill, will the Council write again to the Lord Chancellor seeking a response to their 2-month+ old letter, and urging the Chancellor to publicly commit to an urgent timetable for action; in particular, will the Lord Chancellor commit to action before Thomas Burney, the killer of Bryony Hollands, is released from prison in August next year?

 

(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)    Mark Hollands of Cox Green ward, asked the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council:

 

In light of last month's tragic double road death in Sunninghill, will the Council write again to the Lord Chancellor seeking a response to their 2-month+ old letter, and urging the Chancellor to publicly commit to an urgent timetable for action?; in particular, will the Lord Chancellor commit to action before Thomas Burney, the killer of Bryony Hollands, is released from prison in August next year?

 

Councillor Dudley responded that he was disappointed that the Lord Chancellor had not yet responded to the letter. He would be delighted to write again, attaching a copy of the original letter. The latest tragic accident in the borough related to the death of two men who were mowed down shortly after 11.30pm. This accentuated the need for a change in the law, so that others did not have to suffer what both the Hollands family and those in the latest accident had had to suffer.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Mr Hollands stated that at the last meeting the Leader had indicated he would raise the issue directly with the Prime Minister. Had he had the opportunity to do so and if so, was there any feedback?

 

Councillor Dudley responded that the letter to the Lord Chancellor has been copied to the Prime Minister. She usually responded when copied to such correspondence. He expected she had not done so as a substantive response was awaited for the Lord Chancellor. He would raise the issue with the Prime Minister at the Conservative conference the following week.

42.

Mayor's Communications pdf icon PDF 88 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.

43.

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:

None received.

44.

Panel Memberships pdf icon PDF 5 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Dudley highlighted to Members that a revised recommendation had been circulated.

 

Councillor Dudley took the opportunity to congratulate Councillor Rankin on being selected as the prospective Parliamentary candidate for Warwick and Leamington. Councillor Rankin would continue to fulfil his role as a councillor but would step down from Cabinet at the end of the meeting. His Executive position would be taken by Councillor McWilliams, excluding Deputy Finance but including Housing. Councillor Targowska had also moved from being a Principal Member to a Lead Member, retaining the same portfolio. Principal Members currently received a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) equal to that of a Lead Member.  He would be requesting the council’s Independent Remuneration Panel consider an immediate reduction in the SRA for Principal Members to that currently received by Deputy Lead Members. Additionally, the IRP would be asked to consider the deletion of both Principal Member and Deputy Lead Member SRAs from May 2019.

 

The changes, including the accelerated deletion of the higher SRA for the two remaining Principal Members, would reduce the annualised cost of the Executive by circa £40,000. There was a continued effort to deliver a more efficient Executive, make local politics cheaper and services better for residents, encapsulated by the Boundary Review and overall reduction in the number of councillors.

 

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

 

RESOLVED: That:

 

i)             Councillor N. Airey be appointed as Chairman of the School Improvement Forum for the remainder of the municipal year.

ii)            Councillor D Evans be appointed as Vice-Chairman of the School Improvement Forum for the remainder of the municipal year.

iii)          Councillor Bateson be appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Windsor Rural Development Management Panel for the remainder of the municipal year.

iv)          Councillor Pryer be appointed as Chairman of the Tourism Development Forum for the remainder of the municipal year.

v)            Councillor Grey be appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Tourism Development Forum for the remainder of the municipal year.

 

(48 Councillors voted for the motion: Councillors N. Airey, Bateson, Beer, Bhatti, Bicknell, Bowden, Brimacombe, Bullock, Carroll, Clark, Coppinger, Cox, Da Costa, Diment, Dudley, D. Evans, L. Evans, Gilmore,  Grey, Hill, Hilton, Hollingsworth, Ilyas, Kellaway, Lenton, Lion, Love, Luxton, McWilliams, Mills, Muir, Quick, Rankin, C. Rayner, S. Rayner, Richards, Saunders, Sharp, Sharpe, Shelim, Story, Stretton, Targowska, Walters, Werner, D. Wilson, E. Wilson and Yong.  1 Councillor abstained: Councillor Hunt.)

 

45.

Members' Allowances Scheme - Proposed Amendments pdf icon PDF 532 KB

To consider the above report

 

Minutes:

Members considered recommendations from the council’s Independent Remuneration Panel in relation to maternity, paternity and adoption benefits for elected Members.

 

Councillor Dudley explained that the main thrust was to ensure that there was no disincentive for people who may wish to start a family, have children or adopt, in being an elected Member.  He wished to see more women in politics and to allow this to happen an enabling environment was required.

 

Councillor N Airey spoke in support of the motion, not only because she herself had a 9 month old daughter. She had attended her fist council meeting just three weeks after giving birth. Councillor N Airey highlighted that all councillors were Corporate Parents to the circa 110 Children in Care in the borough. She had participated in the Maidenhead Half Marathon team highlighting the importance of fostering and adoption. The proposals were a step in the right direction to level the playing field for women and ensure the wellbeing of children.

 

Councillor S Rayner commented that as a woman in politics it was important for her to encourage others to come into the political arena. She was proud that the borough was taking steps to encourage this to happen.

 

Councillor M Airey joined the meeting.

 

Councillor Stretton commented that it was important to equalise the chamber; she was pleased the arrangements were being brought in line with employers’ legislation.

 

Councillor Saunders applauded the proposals presented; it was time to ensure all procedures were blind to differences.

 

It was confirmed that the Members’ Allowance Scheme already included a dependant’s carer’s allowance.

 

Councillor Bicknell commented that no doubt the whole chamber would be behind the proposals.

 

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

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: ThatFull Council notes the report and considers proposals detailed in Appendix A by the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP):

 

i)          The Basic Allowance should continue to be paid during any period of maternity, adoption or paternity leave, noting that any period of absence from qualifying meetings greater than six months would require special dispensation by Full Council.

 

ii)        For maternity and adoption leave, the Member to continue to receive SRA payments on the following basis:

 

·            Six weeks at 90% of actual SRA level

·            Twelve weeks at 50% of actual SRA level

 

iii)       For paternity leave, the Member to continue to receive SRA payments in full for a period of two weeks.

 

iv)       The principle of one SRA only per Member be retained.

 

v)        No qualifying period to apply for entitlement to receive either the Basic Allowance or SRA payments during a period of maternity, adoption or paternity leave.

 

vi)       If a Member chose to resign in the three month period following a return from maternity or adoption leave, they would be required to pay back the 12 weeks at 50% allowance.

 

 

vii)     If the individual ceased to be a Member in the three months following a return from maternity or adoption leave because they stood, but were not selected as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.

46.

Constitutional Amendments pdf icon PDF 942 KB

To consider the above report

 

Minutes:

Members considered a number of constitutional amendments

 

Councillor Targowska explained that the proposals were administrative as the policies had been agreed by council in June 2018. Members were now being asked to bring them into effect immediately rather than waiting until May 2019. The proposal had been brought forward following helpful conversations with the Opposition Leader.

 

Councillor Stretton commented that at Council in June Members of the Opposition had suggested the policies should come into effect immediately. She was pleased that the administration now accepted the rationale.

 

Councillor Dudley commented that the proposals were being brought forward because of continued indiscretions on social media by Councillor Da Costa.

 

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

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: ThatFull Council notes the report and approves the date of 25 September 2018 for bringing into effect changes to:

 

i.    Member’s Code of Conduct and Complaints process, including the new Employment and Members Standards Panel, see Appendix 1 and 2.

 

ii.  Adoption of the Members’ Social Media Protocol, see Appendix 3.

 

iii.  Adoption of the Partnership Protocol, see Appendix 4.

 

iv.  Delegate to the Monitoring Officer (in consultation with the Principal Member for HR, Legal and IT) to make minor editorial and consequential changes to other parts of the existing Constitution to ensure consistency with the new changes.

47.

Constitutional Amendments - Planning pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To consider the above report

 

Minutes:

Members considered the findings of the Planning and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Panel Task and Finish Group (TFG).

 

Councillor Kellaway, Chairman of the TFG, proposed two changes to the recommendations in the report: 

 

·         Paragraph 3.4 - Delete all words after '….should continue to be permitted,' including recommendation 3.  The sentence in brackets in 9.B summary would therefore also be deleted.

·         Paragraph 3.9 - second paragraph in the box to read: 'The initial decision as to whether an application falls into this category will be taken by the Head of Planning in consultation with the Lead Member for Planning, the Borough Wide Panel Chairman and the relevant Area Panel Chairman'.

 

The reasoning for the second change was that there was a strong feeling among Members that wherever possible applications should be considered by the relevant area panel, by Members who would have local knowledge. Only genuinely strategic applications should be considered by the Borough-wide Panel. All other recommendations in the report remained.

 

Councillor Kellaway commented that the proposal to move to monthly meetings rather than four-weekly meetings, from May 2019, would also fit with Parish Council meeting schedules.

 

Councillor Beer suggested that substitutes should be appointed the weekend before a meeting, to ensure they would have sufficient time to look at the sites as visiting a site was very different to just reading the written report. He urged those who could not attend a meeting to make every effort to find substitutes as early as possible. He requested that TFG members be included on the list of those involved on page 100. He highlighted that the list of Ward include on page 105 for Windsor should include Old Windsor.

 

Councillor Werner stated that he was pleased that Rights of Way issues were not being subsumed into Development Panel meetings as they were different issues. He expressed concern that despite the inclusion of Area Panel Chairman, there was a danger that the leadership could still deliberately push applications to a Borough-wide Development Panel meeting where there was less local representation than an area panel. 

 

Councillor Stretton commented that this was the third time the section relating to Borough-wide panels had been before Full Council. She was pleased that there was finally a proper process being proposed. The previous versions had been put together with haste and had wasted officer time when already overstretched.

 

Councillor Hunt commented that she had been a member of the TFG, which had run very well. Officers had been very co-operative and the chairman had done a stupendous job.

 

Councillor Coppinger highlighted that as Lead Member for Planning he had remained outside of the TFG. He commended the work of the TFG. Officers had been delighted to support the discussions and had not seen it as additional labour.

 

Councillor Kellaway highlighted that section 8 of the report detailed those outside the TFG who were involved or consulted. Proposals in relation to public speaking at Development Management Panels would come through on a separate report to Full Council.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.

48.

An Inclusive Borough pdf icon PDF 746 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered the adoption of an inclusion charter which had been developed by young people, parents and carers, schools, health and social care professionals as part of the area’s response to the inspection of services for young people with additional needs by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission in 2017.

 

Councillor N. Airey explained that the council was committed to building a borough that worked for everyone. Over the last 15 months families, schools, health practitioners and council officers had been working together to improve the experience of families with children with additional needs. Councillor N. Airey welcomed the members of Pacip (the Parent and Carers Forum) and took the opportunity to thank them for all their hard work, advocacy and contributions, particularly over the past 15 months.

 

This partnership working had been wide-ranging in scope and reflected in the area action plan which was being monitored by Ofsted and the DfE, who reported “excellent leadership” in their report during the summer. Part of that leadership had been the development of the Inclusion Charter which set out the principles that would help every child with additional needs be more included in all aspects of their lives.

 

Schools had received the Charter, along with materials to bring it to life in assemblies. These included some excellent videos made by pupils for pupils. During this year schools would be asked to assess how well they were set up for inclusion and the Charter would guide them. The Clinical Commissioning Group were adding the Charter’s principles to the expectations they had of health providers. Families and the young people would have a wallet sized card to enable them to raise inclusion, if they needed to, with services of all types.

 

Councillor N. Airey highlighted Reuben's case study. She asked Members to imagine they were this brilliant little four year old boy with significant medical needs that affected physical development. You were told you were going to your local leisure centre which also had the park out the back, but instead of feeling the excitement most children would, you feel scared. You worry because the disabled bathrooms are not easy to get to and are not child friendly. The play park equipment is not safe for you to use as you are getting bigger, so soon you will not be able to play in the park, or any park, at all.

 

Councillor N. Airey stated that there was a need to change expectations and the culture of individuals. She was asking councillors for their help across everything the council did: from parks and leisure centres, to parking and housing services. For both children and adults with additional needs, councillors must encourage officers to think about and plan for appropriate inclusion. The same was true outside of the council; when Members were trustees of voluntary groups, active in local communities, societies, churches and other organisations, councillors could and should raise their voices for inclusion. The Charter gave a simple and clear way to raise the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48.

49.

Eton and Eton Wick Neighbourhood Plan - Formal Making of the Plan pdf icon PDF 392 KB

To consider the above report

 

Minutes:

Members considered adoption of the Eton and Eton Wick Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Councillor Bateson explained this was the third Neighbourhood Plan to come before council for adoption. The first stage of the Eton and Eton Wick Neighbourhood Plan was started by community groups undertaking consultation. Once sufficient material and evidence had been gathered a plan was drafted, which was then checked by the planning department to ensure compatibility with the NPPF and Borough Local Plan (BLP). Following a final consultation the plan went to examination. The Examiner recommended a few minor changes and then it was put to referendum. Of the 411 votes cast, 360 were in favour of the plan.

 

Councillor Bateson thanked those involved for the many hours of voluntary time given to bring the plan to fruition.

 

Councillor E. Wilson congratulated all those involved for the many hours spent designing policies for the community and ensuring a bridge between the NPPF and what was needed on the ground. He had two reservations. On the face of it there was a conflict between H06 in the BLP and T12. He asked why projects were listed in the plan that were already completed, or were not eligible for CIL or S106 funding, or were not being conducted by the council.

 

Councillor Da Costa acknowledged the thousands of hours put in by the volunteers. He asked if the minor changes allowed under the proposed delegation would be made only with the approval with the Neighbourhood Plan Group.

 

Councillor S Rayner, as Ward Councillor, thanked the team of volunteers in the local community who had been working since October 2013. Both communities had a strong heritage background. In the future both communities would face challenges; the work already undertaken would make them more resilient. The plan included 17 aspirations. As the plan had been progressing for the last five years some had inevitably been achieved including bicycle way funding and the bus service. Finances were being gathered for a visitor centre. Some projects were outside the borough scope but it was important they were included as they related to issues such as healthcare.

 

Councillor Stretton congratulated the Neighbourhood Plan group. She was concerned to hear of the conflict with the BLP and hoped this could be resolved. She requested assurances from the administration that the Neighbourhood Plan would not be ignored in the way substantial parts of the Ascot and Sunnings plan had been ignored in the emerging BLP?

 

Councillor Coppinger highlighted that Neighbourhood Plans were about localism; as a result some areas were outside the scope of the borough. This should not stop people achieving aims in their local area. It was the council’s job to support these aspirations.

 

Councillor Hilton highlighted that the NPPF supported Neighbourhood Plans where they were presenting policies in areas where the borough policies were not strategic. He commented that the Ascot and Sunnings plan included a long-term aspiration for a bus service. This may not come to fruition but it was important that it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49.

50.

Broadway Car Park pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered the investment case for the redevelopment of the car park and approval for an increase in the budget allocation from £8,150,000 to £35,313,163and delegated authority to progress a single stage procurement route.

 

Councillor Dudley commented that everyone could see the regeneration plans were picking up pace. An essential part of the plans was to ensure sufficient public parking in the town. Broadway car park (otherwise known as Nicholson’s) was a keystone for Maidenhead. The car park currently comprised 750 spaces and was at the end of its useful life. The new car park would comprise 1333 spaces over eight storeys, a vehicle management system and a fantastic exterior. Five percent of spaces would be active for electric vehicles, with a further five percent could be brought on in future. The new car park would include an enhanced entrance into the Nicholson’s shopping centre. Site enabling works were underway for the Vicus Way car park to ensure completion before the demolition of the Broadway car park began. The council was looking to work with local employers to move their business parking to Vicus Way to fee up spaces in the town centre for shopper parking. At no point during the regeneration would there be less spaces available than currently.

 

Councillor Hill made representations before withdrawing from the debate and vote on the item. He stated that a new car park was needed, however he had reservations. He was concerned that if the additional new spaces could not be filled it would not generate sufficient revenue to finance the project. He asked if the debt could be maintained based on the current scale. He was also concerned at the capital outlay which had begun at £8.1m but was now £35.3m. The capital programme for 2018/19 mentioned a sum of £2m but nothing was projected going forward. The only way to clear debt would be to sell major assets. With the Borough Local Plan on the rocks and the redevelopment of the golf course stalled, broken or failed he was worried whether Members should commit further funding.

 

Councillor Brimacombe thanked the administration for the public consultation held at the Nicholson’s Centre, which had been well attended and well supported by officers. Something as ambitious as the project proposed was bound to raise questions. It was a judgement call for the administration as they would be accountable. While affordable housing was mentioned he regretted the absence of a strategic affordable housing paper. He had, however, had a constructive exchange of views on this issue with Councillor Saunders. He hoped to hear more in response to the Member Question later in the agenda.

 

Councillor Da Costa expressed concern that the demolition could cause chaos in the town even if nothing went wrong. He was in favour of the rebuilding but felt there was not enough information. He needed assurances from various professionals on any aspect that was outside his skill set and also outside the skill set of many councillors. Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.

51.

RBWM Property Company - Investments Reports pdf icon PDF 210 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered three Council owned assets which were or would become vacant shortly and were potentially available for redevelopment.

 

Councillor Rankin reminded Council that at the last meeting Members had unanimously supported the addition of £8.43m of capital to build seven social rented homes and 13 shared ownership. He had spoken about the council’s strategy of utilising its redundant property assets for social good as affordable housing, creating revenue streams to support vulnerable adults and children, whilst maintaining the council’s asset base. This was good for the community and sensible for the council finances.  The report was consistent with the strategy and in line with the RBWM Property Company business plan.

 

The first site for approval was Mokattam, which was currently used as a care home but would be vacant by December as the care home was coming to the end of its useful life. All existing residents were being transferred to more appropriate accommodation. On the site it was proposed to develop two social rented homes and four shared ownership properties.

 

The second site was the old caretaker’s home at Riverside Primary school. The plan was for two socially rented homes and two shared ownership properties. The third site was involved reinvesting part of the capital receipt from Ray Mill Road East where the council would be receiving 20 homes already. The proposal was for a further 17. As a result 47% of homes on the site would be affordable.

 

Councillor Rankin stressed that the Part II investment reports had been through the independent and high-calibre board of directors. He thanked officers for their work on these proposals, in particular the Executive Director - Place and the RBWM Property Company Managing Director.

 

Councillor Carroll explained that Mokattam currently provided 24 hour care to six adults with severe learning difficulties. The CQC had rated the home as ‘good’ but it was not a building designed for adult social care therefore it was a good opportunity to relocate the six individuals. All six had tenancy with Housing Solutions, and care provided by Optalis. They would be transferred to ground floor flats with a communal space. The council had worked with the families to plan the move and ensure a smooth transition.

 

Councillor M. Airey commented that the Property Company mechanism was an innovative way to use the council’s assets to develop affordable housing. He thanked the officers involved.

 

Councillor Hilton commented that the council had been talking about utilising its assets ten years ago. The establishment of the Property Company was crystallizing these thoughts into a revenue stream and the availability of affordable housing. He thanked the Managing Director of the Property Company and the Lead Member.

 

Councillor Stretton thanked Councillor Carroll for his reassurances regarding Mokattam. The proposals were very interesting but she noted that no pre-application planning advice had been taken to identify any issues, therefore she believed it was premature to ad money to the budget.

 

Councillor Beer commented that when he had been on the Local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51.

52.

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 Chairman called for a vote in relation to whether or not the meeting should continue, as the time had exceeded 10.00pm.

 

Upon being put to the vote, those present voted in favour of the meeting continuing.

 

53.

Members' Questions

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

 

The graveyard of St Michael’s Church, Horton, is reaching capacity, causing issues for residents. Horton Parish Council and St Michael’s Church Parish Council believe three acres of land adjacent to the existing graveyard would be suitable for an extension. The landowner has agreed in principle to sell at market value.  Would the council purchase the land for the municipal graveyard?

 

b)   Councillor C Rayner will ask the following question of Councillor Grey, Lead Member for Environmental Services:

 

With reduced police presence in Horton village, like most of villages we have had problems with anti-social behaviour and increased levels of crime. On behalf of the Parish Council, I would like to ask the Lead Member to consider installing CCTV in the centre of Horton village to monitor the village hall and parish council playing fields.

 

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

 

The Times reported that councils have spent more than £43 million in five years to settle legal claims brought by cyclists and motorists injured on Britain’s deteriorating roads. Although, under the pothole challenge, we have fixed most reported potholes within 24 hours there have probably been some successful claims. Please advise how many there have been and the financial consequences?

 

d)   Councillor Brimacombe will ask the following question of Councillor McWilliams, Principal Member for Housing:

 

Councillor McWilliams gave a written reply to Council in April that he would conduct wide and meaningful consultations before publishing a Housing Strategy, a Homelessness Strategy and an updated Allocations Policy in the Autumn. As Autumn has arrived, can he now give specific details on those consultations he has conducted and the intended publication dates for those documents?

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

 

The RBWM website advises that there is a 3-5 year waiting list for any Allotment within Maidenhead. Considering the known benefits of Allotments for topical subjects such as a healthy diet, exercise and social interaction; why has this Administration done so very little in recent years to improve the availability of Allotments in order to reduce the waiting list?

 

f)     Councillor Hill will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council / Maidenhead Regeneration and Maidenhead:

As RBWM is now responsible for delivery of the Maidenhead Waterways project and you have taken over the portfolio for Maidenhead Regeneration please detail exactly how you intend to resolve the appalling situation whereby the Maidenhead Waterways Project requires significant further funding to make it fully navigable by a wide variety of craft by lowering the channel under Chapel Arches.

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

I would like to thank officers for all their hard work and their quick response to the threat of another encampment at Whiteleys  ...  view the full agenda text for item 53.

Minutes:

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

 

The graveyard of St Michael’s Church, Horton, is reaching capacity, causing issues for residents. Horton Parish Council and St Michael’s Church Parish Council believe three acres of land adjacent to the existing graveyard would be suitable for an extension. The landowner has agreed in principle to sell at market value.  Would the council purchase the land for the municipal graveyard?

 

Councillor S Rayner responded that the borough recognised the importance of residents being able to be buried in appropriate space near to where they lived and for relatives to be able to visit them.  Officers were happy to look at extending the graveyard in Horton. A capital bid had been submitted for 2019/20. Any extensions would be subject to budget approval, agreement with the landowner, a planning application and all preliminary investigations including discussions with the local parish council.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Councillor C Rayner commented that the cost of the graveyard would be equivalent to six parking spaces in the Broadway car park. He believed the return on burial grounds in the borough was better than a car park therefore he hoped it would be seriously considered.

 

Councillor Saunders left the meeting.

 

b)   Councillor C Rayner, in his capacity as Ward Councillor,  asked the following question of Councillor Grey, Lead Member for Environmental Services:

 

With reduced police presence in Horton village, like most villages we have had problems with anti-social behaviour and increased levels of crime. On behalf of the Parish Council, I would like to ask the Lead Member to consider installing CCTV in the centre of Horton village to monitor the village hall and parish council playing fields.

 

Councillor Grey responded that the borough had already corresponded and consulted with Horton Parish Council and provided advice on the location of CCTV cameras in the village. Legislation and a code of practice by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner set out the principles to ensure the use of CCTV in public spaces was properly regulated. Officers had already consulted with the Parish Council, residents and business on the location of cameras in Horton village; the village hall and playing fields. As ward councillor, if Councillor Rayner disagreed with the Parish Council he would be happy to revisit the issue.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Councillor C Rayner stated that Ward Councillors had not been consulted. He had had a meeting with the Parish Council a week ago. He was Vice Chairman of Horton Parish Council and he was not aware of any of the negotiations and asked for copies of the correspondence. Why did Datchet have a number of CCTV cameras and Horton did not?

 

Councillor Grey responded that Councillor Rayner could of course have copies of the correspondence. He would speak to officers and revisit the issue.

 

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

 

The Times reported that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Motions on Notice

a)    By Councillor Brimacombe:

 

In response to mounting financial pressures within local government generally and disclosed budgetary pressure of £1.4 million within RBWM in particular, officers are being required to restructure and rationalise management of the organisation. In June 2018 Council received a constitutional changes report that anticipated a reduction in the number of Councillors receiving Special Responsibility Allowances from May 2019.

 

This Council:

i)             Believes that Councillors should lead and set an example to officers, they should not adhere to “Do as I say, not as I do” behaviour

ii)            Notes that in June 2011 the Cabinet had a total of only 8 Members including four who still serve today, with no remunerated deputies.

iii)           Requests the council’s Independent Remuneration Panel consider reducing the number of Special Responsibility Allowances by deleting all paid Principal Member and Deputy Lead Member posts with immediate effect, signalling to officers and residents that the Executive will take its share of the rationalisation and not leave it to others to bear alone.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Brimacombe introduced his motion.  He began by acknowledging the changes to Cabinet announced by Councillor Dudley as a result of Councillor Rankin’s selection as a Parliamentary candidate. He had received the notification at 17:12 that evening and it was certainly a step in the right direction. Councillor Dudley had picked up the ball and was running with it and for that he was grateful. He noted the potential reduction in allowances for the two remaining Principal Members. At the same time the Motion went significantly further and was therefore worthy of debate. The £40,000 potential saving announced by Councillor Dudley indicated the scale of savings promoted by the motion.

 

Council had already agreed the earlier constitutional amendments item arising from the recommendations of the Constitutional Working Group so ably led by Councillor Lisa Targowska, and which was last discussed at Council on 26 June 2018.  Another recommendation was the removal of Principal Members and Deputy Lead Members and this had been agreed from May 2019 onwards.  So the question now was ‘why wait? New information was that the council had mounting financial pressures that had caused a reassessment of the officer management structure with a view to streamlining to reduce costs.

 

Councillor Brimacombe asked that should the council not show leadership and bring the reductions in their own numbers forward? The argument that the SRAs were need because there was so much work to do made a nonsense of officer rationalisation. The Executive may only have 21 Councillors to call on in total in May 2019 and in June 2011 it only had eight members in the Cabinet and no deputies. He hoped that it would not prove to be the case either stated or implicit in the debate and voting that Members simply wanted to hold on to their allowances.

 

Councillor Dudley stated that the council was continually striving to cut the costs of democracy; this had been the driver for the boundary review. The reduction in the number of councillors to 41 would reduce the cost of local politics by at least £250,000. The administration was looking to make the council efficient in all areas but did not support the motion as proposed.

 

Councillor Hill commented that he was disappointed that such little leadership had been shown. The overall budget was overspent by £1.4m just four months into the current financial year. This was poor budgeting. The council was going to lose some very capable officers that would be needed to take the council forward. Officers were taking the pain for the failure of the administration.

 

The motion was proposed by Councillor Brimacombe and seconded by Councillor Hill, however upon being put to the vote, the motion fell

 

(29 Councillors voted against the motion: Councillor  N. Airey, Bhatti, Bicknell, Bullock, Carroll, Clark, Coppinger, Cox, Diment, Dudley, D. Evans, Grey, Hunt, Ilyas, Kellaway, Lenton, Lion, Mills, Muir, Quick, Rankin, C. Rayner, S. Rayner, Sharpe, Shelim, Story, Targowska, Walters and E Wilson.  7 Councillors voted for the motion: Councillors  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

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 18-22 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 18-22 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.

 

 

56.

Minutes

To receive the Part II minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 19 July 2018.

57.

Broadway Car Park (Appendix)

To note the Part II appendix to the earlier Part I report.

58.

RBWM Property Company - Investments Reports (Appendices)

To note the Part II appendices to the earlier Part I report

59.

Urgent Decision - Purchase of Farm Land off Lower Cookham Road

To consider the above report

 

60.

Sale of Freehold interest in Statesman House, Stafferton Way, Maidenhead

To consider the above report