Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

82.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Burbage, Carroll, Clark, Cox, Da Costa, Dr L. Evans, Lenton, Pryer and  Saunders.

83.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillors S Rayner, Alexander, Shelim, M Airey, Bicknell, Quick and E Wilson would leave the room for the duration of the discussion and vote on the item ‘Petition for Debate – Alma Road’ as Members of the Windsor Urban Development Management Panel who would be considering a related item on 30 January 2019 at a Panel meeting.

 

Councillor Bowden declared a personal interest in the item ‘Petition for Debate – Alma Road’ as he lived adjacent to the conservation area and his property would be overlooked by the development. He would address the meeting in relation to the item but would not take part in the vote.

84.

Petition for Debate - Alma Road

An e-petition containing 1140 signatories was submitted to the Council on 22 August 2018. In accordance with the provisions of the Council’s Constitution, it was requested by the lead petitioner that the petition be reported to, and debated at, a full Council meeting.

 

The petition reads as follows:

 

‘We the undersigned petition The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to defend the unanimous decision of the Windsor Urban Development Management Panel with whatever resource (legal and otherwise) necessary to fully and adequately protect our town from the proposed gross overdevelopment at the forthcoming appeal of planning application 18/00095/FULL.’

 

http://petitions.rbwm.gov.uk/AlmaRoadAppeal/

 

The Constitution provides for a maximum time of 30 minutes to debate such petitions; this can be overruled at the Mayor’s discretion.

 

In accordance with the Constitution, the order of speaking shall be as follows:

 

 

a)        The Mayor may invite the relevant officer to set out the background to the petition issue.

b)        The Lead Petitioner to address the meeting on the petition (5 minutes maximum)

c)         The Mayor to invite any relevant Ward Councillors present to address the meeting. (Maximum time of 3 minutes each for this purpose)

d)        The Mayor to invite the relevant officer to provide any further comment.

e)        The Mayor will invite all Members to debate the matter (Rules of Debate as per the Constitution apply) 

 

 

Minutes:

Members debated the following petition:

 

‘We the undersigned petition The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to defend the unanimous decision of the Windsor Urban Development Management Panel with whatever resource (legal and otherwise) necessary to fully and adequately protect our town from the proposed gross overdevelopment at the forthcoming appeal of planning application 18/00095/FULL.’

 

Jenifer Jackson, Head of Planning, explained that a planning application for the redevelopment of the site was received by the council on 12 January 2018.  The application sought a mixed re-use of the site, including 217 apartments in buildings ranging from 1 to 7 storeys in height and for around 16,000 square metres of office floor space.  This was a major planning application which had a target determination period of 13 weeks; the Council had not reached a decision within that period and, in late May 2018, the applicant chose to appeal direct to the Planning Inspector for non-determination.  To respond to the appeal submission council officers would need to know what the grounds for the council’s case at appeal would be and a report was therefore brought to the Windsor Urban Development Management Panel in June 2018.  Following the resolution of the meeting the council’s position on appeal was then communicated to the appellant and officers had proceeded on this basis.

 

Officers had been engaged in ensuring the resource necessary was available to defend the appeal, as they would do for any appeal against refusal of permission in the borough. 

 

Councillor Rankin spoke as lead petitioner. He explained that hundreds of Windsorians, in unprecedented numbers, wrote to object to the gross overdevelopment in question. Over a thousand had signed the subsequent petition, which was the largest in Royal Borough history originating from Windsor. Members from Windsor would already know of its significance, others may not. The extant permission granted on the sensitive site was contentious and litigious, ending up in the Court of Appeal. At that session, which the Borough insufficiently resourced, it lost, leaving local residents with the possible fall-out. That application was now not deemed enough by the developers and they had come back for more.

 

In June last year, with officer recommendation, Windsor Members refused the new application unanimously, to the great relief of the community. However there was now another appeal; this time the council must robustly defend it as the large number of petitioners did not want a rerun of history. The council must understand how damaging the development would be and the petitioners demanded the Royal Borough defended it as robustly as possible.

 

Councillor Rankin explained that Alma Road was set within a conservation area and made an attractive contribution to the town, a low density of attractive late Victorian and Edwardian properties. The wider setting of the site was the listed Victorian churches of St Edward’s and Holy Trinity Garrison Church, Vansittart Recreation Ground and its green open space for the community. In comparison seven storeys of buy-to-let flats were proposed here, at a density  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

85.

Petition for Debate - Braywick Crossing pdf icon PDF 274 KB

An e-petition containing 1039 signatories was submitted to the Council on 16 October 2018. In accordance with the provisions of the Council’s Constitution, it was requested by the lead petitioner that the petition be reported to, and debated at, a full Council meeting.

 

The petition reads as follows:

 

We the undersigned petition The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to install a pedestrian crossing on Braywick Road, leading to Braywick Park.’

 

http://petitions.rbwm.gov.uk/BraywickCrossing/

 

The Constitution provides for a maximum time of 30 minutes to debate such petitions; this can be overruled at the Mayor’s discretion.

 

In accordance with the Constitution, the order of speaking shall be as follows:

 

 

a)        The Mayor may invite the relevant officer to set out the background to the petition issue.

b)        The Lead Petitioner to address the meeting on the petition (5 minutes maximum)

c)         The Mayor to invite any relevant Ward Councillors present to address the meeting. (Maximum time of 3 minutes each for this purpose)

d)        The Mayor to invite the relevant officer to provide any further comment.

e)        The Mayor will invite all Members to debate the matter (Rules of Debate as per the Constitution apply) 

 

 

 

Minutes:

Members debated the following petition:

 

We the undersigned petition The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to install a pedestrian crossing on Braywick Road, leading to Braywick Park.’

 

Ben Smith, Head of Commissioning – Communities, explained that the online petition had received just over 1000 signatures. The request for a pedestrian crossing had previously been requested and investigated but not taken forward at that stage because of low levels of demand, although it had been recognised that the road was difficult to cross. The situation had changed with the new leisure centre coming online and the potential for development on the golf course site. The report proposed consultation with residents and stakeholders on the location and final design of a crossing and the commitment of £150,000 of funding in 2020/21 to install a crossing to coincide with the opening of the leisure centre.

 

John Hudson spoke on behalf of the lead petitioner Rachel Clapp. He explained that he was the Chairman of the Rushington Avenue Residents Association (RARA). He and Rachel had held a number of protest meetings with local residents from the association and adjoining roads during the summer. The petition had been ably and enthusiastically supported by the three ward councillors. Mr Hudson explained that he had moved to the area 8 years previously and had been staggered to discover it had been a matter of appeal to the council for 18 years.

 

Mr Hudson read out a statement from Rachel Clapp, the lead petitioner. Ms Clapp apologised that she was unable to attend the meeting in person. She thanked Mr Hudson for representing her, and Councillors Hill and Majeed for helping the petition to get such great support. What was being requested was straightforward; a safe way to cross a busy and dangerous dual carriageway. The issue had been first raised 18 years previously by concerned residents but had never been given the attention it deserved.  She struggled to see how it could not now be a priority given the increase in the population in Maidenhead. In addition to the green spaces, a crossing would give access to the brand new leisure centre and Braywick Court school. Ms Clapp’s daughters loved the nature centre but were not old enough to see the irony that it was in walking distance but they needed to be driven there because of the dangerous road.

 

Councillor D. Wilson thanked Mr Hudson and Ms Clapp. He commented that the proposal had been part of developer obligations for a substantial amount of time; he had been the councillor who had included it originally. The council had been awaiting further development to get it secured. He was therefore delighted with the recommendation. Safety was paramount as although the road had a 40mph limit traffic was often in excess of this speed.

 

Councillor Hill stated that he fully supported the proposal which was much overdue. He thanked Rachel Clapp for collecting signatures and submitting the petition. He thanked Councillor Dudley for his signature and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 85.

86.

Polling District and Polling Places Review 2018 pdf icon PDF 511 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered the recommendations of the cross-party polling district and polling places working group and the Returning Officer for reviewing the boundaries of the Borough’s parliamentary polling districts and designation of polling places for all types of elections.

 

Councillor Gilmore, Chairman of the working group explained that the polling district scheme appeared as the Appendix to the report, which set out the details of the polling district names and codes, and corresponding polling places for each of the 62 polling districts. The electorate figures referred to the local government electorate at September 2018.


The 2018 polling district review had been a mandatory exercise following the redrawing of the boundaries of the borough’s electoral wards by the Local Government Boundary Commission. One of the effects of the review was that polling districts now crossed multiple wards. It was not possible to administer an election under these arrangements, and polling districts must be contained in one ward.


The objective of the polling district review working group had been to recommend change to the polling districts only where it was necessary. The report stated that change was recommended for 31 polling districts, either a change to the boundary and/or polling place. It should be noted that where change was proposed to the polling district boundary, for the vast majority of polling districts this was a simple change to make the existing polling district boundary coterminous with the new ward boundary. New polling districts had not been drawn from scratch.


For polling places, the working group had again endeavoured to follow the principle of minimal change. The group was recommending the adoption of six new polling station venues, one of which was a temporary building on St Leonard’s Hill. The proposed new polling stations (with the exception of the mobile unit), had been visited by officers and deemed to be suitable polling locations.

 

Councillor Gilmore referred to the specific situation in Pinkney’s Green. He had proposed a more central location for a polling station to reduce the distances people would have to travel, but the new location had access issues therefore the group had agreed to retain the original station at Pinkney’s Green Youth and Community Centre.

RBWM as the local authority responsible for administering the review, was required to carry out public consultation on the proposed scheme. Modifications had been made to the scheme in light of feedback from residents, Members, parish councils and local community groups. Public engagement in the review had been very high, with over 50 responses received to the first consultation in October 2018.

 

Councillor Gilmore thanked officers, members of the working group and residents who had responded to the consultation. Council was being asked to endorse the adoption of the polling district scheme in full so that the 2019 local elections could be administered under the new ward boundaries.

 

Councillor Hilton highlighted that the report referred to changes in 31 out of 62 areas. In some cases voters would need to go to a new polling station  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

87.

Appointment of Managing Director and Head of Paid Service pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered appointment of the Managing Director and Head of Paid Service.

 

Councillor Targowska explained the recommendation was being put to Council following an extensive recruitment process. She highlighted the fantastic work of officers, including the Head of HR and Corporate Projects, in finding the best possible candidate. The process had begun in August 2018 with the appointment of Solace. The advert had received 39 applications which was reduced to a short list of 11 following a technical assessment by a former London borough Chief Executive. A shortlist of five candidates attended an assessment day which included psychometric testing, a panel discussion with external stakeholders and one on one meetings with the Leader and Deputy Leader. Two candidates had attended a final panel selection interview. The panel comprised the Leader, Deputy Leader, and Lead Members for HR, Children’s Services, Adult Services and Planning. The panel unanimously agreed to recommend the appointment of Duncan Sharkey.

 

Councillor Jones stated that she had not been allowed to attend the Part II element of the Employment and Member Standards Panel meeting that had established the process. She understood the reasons for this, however she was subsequently surprised that no Opposition Members had been invited to participate  in the selection or shortlisting process. Without this participation she did not feel that she had enough evidence to make a decision and would therefore abstain.

 

Councillor Stretton echoed the comments of Councillor Jones. It sounded like a robust process but she had no evidence. Councillor Hunt commented that all councillors would have liked to have been involved but she understood it was left in the best hands to decide the process.  Councillor Stretton responded that she did not expect all to be involved, but she would have expected at least one representative from the Opposition to have been included.

 

Councillor Hill commented on ‘the incredible HR mystery’ that had led to the loss of a credible Head of Paid Service. He felt that questions from councillors on this had gone unanswered. He had attended the Employment and Member Standards Panel as a substitute and had tried to raise concerns in the Part I section of the meeting but had been stopped. He would abstain due to a lack of information.

 

Councillor Dudley stated that the recruitment had been an enormously rigorous process. The advert had been placed in the Sunday Times, the MJ and via Linked In. a significant number of applicants had come forward. Six members of Cabinet were involved in the last part of the process with the two final candidates. All panel members had independently recommended Duncan Sharkey and therefore the decision was unanimous. On behalf of all Members, Councillor Dudley placed on record his thanks to Russell O’Keefe who was an extremely skilled and competent local government officer and had done an excellent job as Acting Managing Director. He also thanked Andy Jeffs, Executive Director and other senior officers.  Duncan Sharkey was joining the borough from Milton Keynes. He had already dealt with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87.

88.

Review and Republishing of RBWM's Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles pdf icon PDF 705 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered approval of the revised Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles 2019-2022.

 

Councillor M. Airey explained that the report was a procedural one. The borough was required, as a Licensing Authority under the Act, to produce a statement of principles and update it every three years. The appendix detailed the proposed changes which were mainly administrative in nature. The statement had been unanimously agreed for recommendation to Full Council by the Licensing Panel on 8 January 2019. The only query raised had related to the requirement for door supervisors to be SIA licensed.

 

It was proposed by Councillor M. Airey, seconded by Councillor Bicknell, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Full Council notes the report and endorses the recommendation from the Licensing Panel that the RBWM Gambling Act 2005 Statement of Principles 2019 – 2022 be approved for immediate implementation.