Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

109.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bhatti, Bowden, Burbage, Da Costa, Dr L Evans, Muir, Pryer, Rankin, Shelim, Smith and Stretton.

110.

Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 332 KB

To receive the Part I minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 26 February 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 26 February 2019 be approved.

 

111.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

None received

112.

Mayor's Communications pdf icon PDF 86 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 placed on record his thanks, on behalf of the council, to all those councillors who were not standing for re-election in May. He highlighted three long serving councillors: Councillors David Burbage and Lynda Yong who were first elected in 2000, and Councillor Malcolm Beer, who was first elected in 1995. He also highlighted four past Mayors: Councillors Colin Rayner, Richard Kellaway, John Lenton and Asghar Majeed.

 

Councillor Jones placed on record her thanks to Councillor Beer for the 24 years he had spent as a councillor for Old Windsor. It had been an honour to serve alongside him for the past 8 years.  She thanked him for his diligence, knowledge and friendship.

 

Councillor Dudley echoed Councillor Jones’ comments about Councillor Beer; he had been a true public servant and his contribution would be greatly missed. Councillor Dudley thanked all councillors who were not standing in the local elections for their contribution to Windsor and Maidenhead, including the Mayor.

113.

Public Questions

a)    Jo Smith of Belmont Ward will ask the following question of Councillor N. Airey, Lead Member for Children’s Services:

 

Despite a Freedom of Information request being submitted, residents still do not know who made the decision to change the SEN funding formula which resulted in all of RBWM's central additional SEN support fund going to just 7 schools instead of being proportionally split according to actual numbers of SEN pupils as was previously the case. Can you now advise who proposed this change and which body made the decision, including which named Councillors approved the change, and how residents can challenge/change the formula for future years?

 

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

 

A first responder reported to Councillor Dudley deep alarm that RBWM is permanently closing the right turn out of Queen St. Why did you decide to do no consultations with emergency services, or residents in Boyn Hill, before agreeing to this detrimental change and do you agree that it will add time to medical interventions and is potentially dangerous?

c)    Andrew Hill of Boyn Hill ward will ask the following question of Councillor Targowska, Lead Member for HR, Legal and IT:


What are the key reasons you had to justify banning (from May) the long standing constitutional public right to ask supplementary questions of Lead Members at full Council meetings? 

 

d)   Sharon Bunce of St Mary’s ward will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council:

 

Firstly are the new Nicholson's owners, Tikehou Capital, to be the sole funders of the Nicholson re-development, if so are they under contract to complete this project, and secondly what liabilities would the council have to pick up if the development is not completed?

 

e)    Jacob Cotterill of Oldfield ward will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council.

 

What steps has the council taken - and will it take in future - to oppose the punitive cuts imposed on the budgets of all local authorities by central Government?

 

f)     Tom Baker of Furze Platt ward will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council:

 

Following the motion passed in this chamber, a year ago tomorrow, to future proof the services of Maidenhead Community Centre in a new location. I would like to know the progress made towards; Free parking to retain existing volunteers, accessibility for existing users and a drop off point for the guardians to see young users entering the premises.

 

(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)    Jo Smith of Belmont Ward asked the following question of Councillor N. Airey, Lead Member for Children’s Services:

 

Despite a Freedom of Information request being submitted, residents still do not know who made the decision to change the SEN funding formula which resulted in all of RBWM's central additional SEN support fund going to just 7 schools instead of being proportionally split according to actual numbers of SEN pupils as was previously the case. Can you now advise who proposed this change and which body made the decision, including which named Councillors approved the change, and how residents can challenge/change the formula for future years?

 

Councillor N. Airey responded that the questioner had referenced the ‘SEND funding formula’ as a single item.  It was far from that straight forward therefore she would explain: The Royal Borough received about £114m every year to fund education in the borough. About £80m of that went straight to mainstream schools to meet the needs of their pupils, including a contribution to the costs of every child with additional needs (known as the ‘Notional SEN Budget’).  A further £18.5m was described as the ‘high needs block’ and every penny (and more) was spent to support children with additional needs through a range of services such as behaviour and wellbeing support; provision of special schools such as Manor Green; specialist places for the most complex children, and so called “top ups” for those pupils with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) in mainstream schools.

 

Schools were expected to provide £6,000 of support to every child with an EHCP from their delegated budget. The question related to £105,000 (or 0.5%) of the High Needs Block budget which was allocated to support schools where the delegated ‘Notional SEN budget’ was higher than the budget formula allocated.  Any leftover was distributed in support of inclusion, which was historically on a straight pro-rata basis.

 

The budget line was part of the annual budget setting process for schools which took place through the statutory meeting called the Schools Forum, which was involved in every decision.  The regulations in this area were manifold and complex and there were a range of decisions that fell to the Schools Forum, some Forum Members or to the local authority through the Director of Children’s Services (DCS) and the whole set was monitored by the Department for Education.

 

Following the joint area SEND review by Ofsted and the CQC in July 2017, the council recommitted to its local priority of inclusion in mainstream schools.  As a result options to support those leading the way were discussed with a number of schools and at the Schools Forum, and as a result the Director made the final decision to implement this support in financial year 2017/18. 

 

At the October 2018 census there were 350 pupils in RBWM mainstream schools with EHCPs.  At £6,000 each, that was £2.1m of school budget.  It was then logical that the impact of this cost on a school was impacted by the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 113.

114.

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

 

115.

Appointment of Statutory Scrutiny Officer pdf icon PDF 188 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered the appointment of a Statutory Scrutiny Officer. Members noted that, in line with Section 9FB of the Local Government Act 2000, county and unitary authorities were required to designate an Officer to undertake the following statutory functions:

 

·         Promote the role of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees

·         Provide support to the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committees and the members of those bodies

·         Provide support and guidance to Members and Officers of the Council and the Executive on the functions of its Overview and Scrutiny Committees

 

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

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Full Councilnotes the report and appoints Nabihah Hassan-Farooq, Democratic Services Officer, as the council’s Statutory Scrutiny Officer.

 

116.

Members' Questions

a)    Councillor E. Wilson will ask the following question of Councillor M. Airey, Lead Member for Environmental Services:

 

Thames Valley Police have recently reported an increase in burglary in the Dedworth area.  Has the Council received any requests from Thames Valley Police for additional CCTV in the area?

 

b)   Cllr Sharma will ask the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader

            of the Council:

 

A November 2018 letter to Housing Minister James Brokenshire signed by more than dozens of Conservative council leaders, Mayors and MPs had called for the ‘Overhaul of Compulsory Purchase laws’ so that local authorities can buy up agricultural land at dramatically reduced prices to help to solve housing crisis. Residents want to know, is he also one of the signatories?

 

c)    Councillor C. Rayner will ask the following question of Councillor Bicknell, Lead Member for Highways:

 

Following another road traffic death of a pedestrian on Wraysbury Road on 17 March, when will funding be available for CCTV cameras and Auto Number Plate Recognition cameras, operated by Thames Valley Police but which can be part-funded by the RBWM Council in Horton and Wraysbury. I have been campaigning for this since the last pedestrian death on Staines Road.

 

d)   Councillor C. Rayner will ask the following question of Councillor Bicknell, Lead Member for Highways:

 

Please can you list all the accidents causing injury or death on roads in Wraysbury and Horton, including Staines Road and Wraysbury Road, since 5th June 2005?

 

(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 E. Wilson asked the following question of Councillor M. Airey, Lead Member for Environmental Services:

 

Thames Valley Police have recently reported an increase in burglary in the Dedworth area.  Has the Council received any requests from Thames Valley Police for additional CCTV in the area?

 

Councillor M. Airey responded that the council had not received any requests from Thames Valley Police for additional CCTV coverage in the Dedworth area.

 

The council was implementing a £1.3m project to build a state of the art CCT facility including an upgraded control room; 200 cameras had been upgraded or relocated. The current Thames Valley Police strategy was to encourage people to improve home security and promote general awareness of security around properties. We will continue to work closely with TVP on a joint approach to community safety and we continue to monitor the incidence and type of crimes throughout the Borough.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Councillor E. Wilson commented that, notwithstanding that fact that no formal request had been received, would the Lead Member ask officers to review the need in Dedworth. There was a very real need in the view of a majority of residents to make them feel safer and reduce the incidence of crime.

 

Councillor M. Airey responded that he would work with ward councilors and officers to review the situation.

 

b)   Cllr Sharma asked the following question of Councillor Dudley, Leader of the Council:

 

A November 2018 letter to Housing Minister James Brokenshire signed by more than dozens of Conservative council leaders, Mayors and MPs had called for the ‘Overhaul of Compulsory Purchase laws’ so that local authorities can buy up agricultural land at dramatically reduced prices to help to solve housing crisis. Residents want to know, is he also one of the signatories?

 

Councillor Dudley responded that, no he had not signed the letter.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Councillor Sharma commented that residents feared if the proposed law passed it would begin the end of farmland and Green Belt in the borough. He asked if the Lead Member would write to the Minister to say that the council was against the proposed changes in the current law?

 

Councillor Dudley responded that there were no proposed changes to the law and any such arrangements would be a violation of private property interests.

 

c)    Councillor C. Rayner asked the following question of Councillor Bicknell, Lead Member for Highways:

 

Following another road traffic death of a pedestrian on Wraysbury Road on 17 March, when will funding be available for CCTV cameras and Auto Number Plate Recognition cameras, operated by Thames Valley Police but which can be part-funded by the RBWM Council in Horton and Wraysbury. I have been campaigning for this since the last pedestrian death on Staines Road.

 

Councillor Bicknell responded that the project to upgrade the CCTV network across the Royal Borough was well advanced with existing cameras and back-office systems replaced with new technology and functionality.

 

In Wraysbury there were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 116.