Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Karen Shepherd  01628 796529 or Email: karen.shepherd@rbwm.gov.uk

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Items
No. Item

52.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Price.

53.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Rayner declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest on item 7 as her husband was a trustee of a trust that had submitted land in the original call for sites for the Borough Local Plan. She left the room for the duration of the discussion and voting on the item.

54.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 302 KB

The deadline for receipt of public questions (which must relate directly to an item on the agenda) is 9am Monday 21 October 2019.

 

(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 one minute to put the supplementary question)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

a)    Tim Veale of Bisham and Cookham ward asked the following question of Councillor Coppinger, Lead Member for Planning and Maidenhead:

 

Why has Lower Mount Farm greenbelt been included in the plan and the farm itself not been considered instead as this is already used for industrial purposes?

 

A written response was provided:

 

The plan has to be based on evidence, this includes requirements to meet the Borough’s need for housing, employment and other uses. The proposed allocation site (AL37) was assessed as making only a moderate contribution to green belt purposes. The farm itself provides important employment floor space.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Mr Veale asked what qualified as a modest contribution to the Green Belt and how this was assessed?

 

Councillor Coppinger agreed to respond in writing as this was a technical question.

 

Councillor Werner commented that Members needed to hear the answers to the supplementary questions. The Managing Director explained that the public questions did not form part of the report on the Borough Local Plan. It would be wrong to try to give a detailed answer to a supplementary questions that the council had not previously seen; this would be just as risky to do so in terms of decision-making. Members of the public would have the opportunity to provide feedback in the consultation, if the report were approved.

 

b)   The Mayor, on behalf of Andrew Hill of Boyn Hill ward, asked the following question of Councillor Coppinger, Lead Member for Planning and Maidenhead

 

Paragraph 3.4.6 notes access to hospitals and GP's is often "...a cause for concern in public consultations". Yet the revised plan adds 100+ residences on King Edward & St Marks Hospital sites. With thousands of new residents planned for, and a move away from cars, why is RBWM promoting a plan that reduces the best accessible land for hospital expansion?

 

A written response was provided:

 

The PCT and CCG are responsible for planning for healthcare needs. The Council has worked closely with both organisations in the development of the BLP. The PCT/CCG has provided the following information in reply to your question:

 

For St Marks: ‘The part disposal of site will allow the current Health & Social Care activity to be reconfigured and expanded, therefore creating additional jobs in line with the national increase of care.

It is planned to retain and expand the current Health & Care activity on a retained part of the site, serving the community, providing jobs and releasing space to reinvest in fit of purpose modern healthcare facilities.

 

For King Edward: ‘The part disposal of site will allow the current Health & Social Care activity to be reconfigured and expanded, therefore creating additional jobs in line with the national increase of care. The service transformation plans should mean that health and social care services are considerably enhanced’

 

By way of a supplementary question, the Mayor asked the following question on behalf of Andrew hill:

 

The same paragraph (3.4.6) also points out that there is no A&E service  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.

55.

Appointment of Panel Chairman

To consider the following appointment:

 

RECOMMENDATION: To appoint Councillor Haseler as Chairman of the Maidenhead Area Development Panel for the remainder of the municipal year.

Minutes:

Members considered the appointment of Chairman to the Maidenhead Area Development Panel.

 

Councillor Johnson thanked the outgoing Chairman, Councillor Stimson, who would now be able to focus on her new lead member role. Councillor Carroll commented he had known Councillor Haseler for two years; he was a robust individual in terms of planning matters. Councillor McWilliams commented that he had worked with his Cox Green colleague for three years on local issues. Councillor Haseler had undertaken exemplary work as a community leader and he would ensure all planning applications would be put through their paces. Councillor Walters also endorsed the appointment.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Johnson, seconded by Councillor Carroll, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANMIOUSLY: That Councillor Haseler be appointed as Chairman of the Maidenhead Area Development Management Panel for the remainder of the municipal year.

56.

Appointment of Statutory Officer pdf icon PDF 397 KB

To consider the above report

Minutes:

Members considered the appointment of an Interim S151 Officer.

 

Councillor Hilton explained that Council was required to appoint a S151 office to ensure proper administration of its affairs. Following the departure of the former post-holder, council was being asked to appoint an interim S151 officer whilst a recruitment process to identify a permanent replacement was carried out. Members who attended the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Panel the previous evening had met the proposed candidate, Terry Neaves. His responsibilities would include working with the finance team, officers and cabinet to develop an affordable revenue budget and capital programme. Another element would be to ensure the finance team were supported to understand the financial position and that there were realistic the expectations about what they could do to deliver sound council finances. He would ensure there was a plan to manage staff vacancies, and develop recruitment and retention plans to stabilise the team.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Hilton, seconded by Councillor Rayner, and:

 

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That Councilnotes the report and appoints:

 

i)          Terry Neaves as the Council’s Section 151 Officer on an interim basis pending permanent recruitment.

 

57.

Modern Workplace Project pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To consider the above report

 

Minutes:

Members considered the Modern Workplace Project proposals.

 

Councillor Rayner explained that this was the second time the item had come before full Council. A thorough debate had taken place at the September meeting and it had been agreed that further clarification was needed. She thanked the Executive Director for his work on the report since then. Councillor Rayner explained that the current desktop environment had been in place for seven years and was at the end of its useful life, with the impact on staff already clear. The proposals would allow a phased replacement by March 2020 with significant benefits as detailed in paragraph 2.3. Procurement would take place under a framework.

 

Members noted that approval had previously been given for funding of £530,000 including £69,000 for a pilot. The pilot had identified a number of requirements:

 

·         16GB of RAM

·         Larger screens with high definition

·         Docking stations at each desk to allow direct network access rather than via Wi-Fi

·         More devices (originally it had been assumed that 100 devices could be re-used)

·         The addition of 67 Optalis staff

·         An increase in basic costs of 30%

 

The total funding requirements were therefore now £935,000.

 

Councillor Rayner referred to a number of points that had been raised at the September meeting. Comments about specification had been assessed but it was clear that the pilot had identified an appropriate, revised specification. The council had a policy of depreciation between 4-10 years. It was agreed that a four year period was more reflective for the replacement of IT equipment. The council ran over 300 applications, a number of which required high memory capacity.

 

Councillor Rayner explained that the current Microsoft Windows version was not supported after January 2020. All licences would be up for renewal in March 2020. If the council carried on under its current licences, this would cost £900,000 more over the next three years.

 

Councillor Reynolds commented that after his speech at the last meeting he was pleased that other councillors agreed improvements were needed and that some had been made. He believed a different situation could have occurred if a collegiate approach had been taken, however he was only contacted the day before by the Lead Member. Councillor Reynolds accepted that new equipment was needed but felt it could have been done in a better way. The changes did not address the issue of additional borrowing of £403,000. He felt that docking stations, at a cost of £79,560, where nice to have but not if you did not have the money. Monitors, with the same resolution as the current ones, would cost £65,520. The total extra costs could negate the cost savings put forward.

 

Councillor Reynolds proposed an amendment to the capital funding level in recommendation ii to read:

 

ii)      Approves additional capital funding of £259,920 in 2019/20.

Councillor Werner seconded the amendment. Members debated the proposed amendment.

 

Councillor Davey commented that the council was looking for 495 laptops and 72 desktops, which was 567 machines plus 97 for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

RBWM Borough Local Plan Submission Version – Proposed Changes pdf icon PDF 328 KB

To consider the above report

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered proposed changes to the Borough Local Plan Submission Version (BLPSV).

 

Councillor Coppinger stated that he was delighted to put before full Council one of the most important and exciting papers he had ever presented. He explained that the planning system was plan led and making a development plan for a local authority area was a statutory duty. The current plan dated back to 1999 and in many areas was obsolete.

 

In June 2019 the Secretary of State for Housing said “The Government wants to see every community covered by an up to date plan for sustainable development meaning that communities are in control of development and not exposed to speculative development.”

 

There was an enquiry being held this week in Maidenhead for such speculative development in Holyport, because there was not an up to date Plan. Without a current plan the borough was exposed to such attacks.

 

The submission version was approved by Council in June 2017, submitted in January 2018 and had been subject to examination by a planning inspector Mrs Louise Phillips. A plan had three distinct and sequential stages. The first was preparation, which was controlled by the Local Planning Authority and must include consultation under regulations 18 and 19 of the 2012 regulations. The second stage was examination. The purpose of the examination stage was to determine whether the plan was sound and legally compliant and also whether the Authority had complied with its duty to cooperate.

 

In this stage the inspector controlled the process, not the council, and she would decide how the examination would proceed. The examination stage ended when the Inspector delivered her final report. The council would expect the inspector to propose major modifications to make the plan sound and legal.  The decision whether to adopt the changes would be made by the full Council.

 

After the stage one hearings in June 2018 the Inspector asked for certain work to be done which the council had been doing in the pause period. The council provided the Inspector with a comprehensive update on 2 July 2019. Proposals included convening an extraordinary Council meeting to secure Members’ endorsement to the proposed changes prior to consultation, which she agreed.

 

The key work that the Inspector asked the council to do was:

 

·         A review of all site allocations including using the latest Environment Agency data for flooding

.

·         A review of employment evidence

 

·         To explore additional options for Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANG)

 

·         Review representations received in the earlier stages

 

The proposed changes would be subject to a further consultation for six weeks between 1 November and 15 December 2019, clearly avoiding the Christmas period which had upset people in the earlier consultation.

 

For the current stage representations must focus on whether the proposals were sound and legal.

 

Councillor Coppinger highlighted the changes that were proposed:

 

·         The borough had many constraints; 83% was Green Belt and large areas were either subject to flooding or were protected Crown Land. In the original plan the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 58.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
RBWM Borough local Plan Submission Version - Proposed Changes - motion to defer Motion Rejected
RBWM Borough Local Plan Submission Version – Proposed Changes Motion Carried
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