• Calendar
  • Committees
  • Constitution
  • Decisions
  • Election results
  • ePetitions
  • Forthcoming Decisions
  • Forward Plans
  • Library
  • Meetings
  • Outside bodies
  • Search documents
  • Statistics
  • Subscribe to updates
  • Your councillors
  • Your MPs
  • Your MEPs
  • What's new
  • Work to do
  • Agenda and draft minutes

    Council
    Thursday, 19 December 2019 7.30 pm

    Venue: Council Chamber. Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames TW18 1XB

    Contact: Gill Scott  Email: g.scott@spelthorne.gov.uk

    Items
    No. Item

    Audio Recording - Part 1 MP3 33 MB

    Additional documents:

    327/19

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 152 KB

    To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the Council meeting held on 24 October 2019.

     

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the Council meeting held on 24 October 2019 were agreed as a correct record.

     

    328/19

    Disclosures of Interest

    To receive any disclosures of interest from Councillors in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct for Members.

    Minutes:

    There were no disclosures of interest.

    329/19

    Announcements from the Deputy Mayor

    To receive any announcements from the Deputy Mayor.

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Mayor recounted a number of events he had attended in December on behalf of the Mayor.  Details of upcoming events had been sent with the Mayor’s Christmas card.

     

    330/19

    Announcements from the Leader

    To receive any announcements from the Leader.

    Minutes:

    The Leader made the following announcements:

     

    “Firstly let me express our best wishes to our Mayor who has recently had an operation and is continuing to recover at home. I’m sure all Members will join me in wishing Madam Mayor a continued and speedy full recovery.

     

    Please let me spend a couple of minutes mentioning last week’s events.

     

    Congratulations to our excellent MP, and good friend to many of us, Kwasi Kwarteng on his resounding victory with an increased majority, and also for Conservatives nationally in last week’s General Election. We can now get on and fulfil the will of the people, not hamstrung by undemocratic parties and indeed individual former MPs who thought they knew better than the electorate. For those who demanded a “People’s Vote”, well they have had it and the electorate has spoken. Now we can safely say that nationally, as well as in Spelthorne, Conservative administrations mean business.

     

    Many will be aware that Kwasi is finally taking the marital plunge, and I am sure all Members will join me in wishing Kwasi and Harriet all best wishes on their wedding on Saturday.

     

    In the words of Boris, we were hoping to be Corbyn neutral by Christmas. Well it seems we will have to wait a little longer. Talking of such matters, Members will recall that at the October Council meeting Councillors Siva, Doerfel and Nichols all stated that the target we adopted for being carbon neutral by 2050, the same as central government, was “unambitious” and “we should instead adopt 2030 to be carbon neutral”. You will recall that I responded by inviting them to jointly present their plan tonight as to how we may achieve this in an economically viable manner. Given that, as I understand it, even the Labour party, or what’s left of them, have recently abandoned 2030 as being unrealistic, it is unsurprising that they have not produced this, unless they are saving it as a surprise for us later tonight.

    Members will also recall that we undertook to form a Leader’s Climate Change Task Group and I am happy to confirm that this has been formed and will shortly be meeting for the first time. It will consist of four Conservatives, and one each from Liberal Democrats, Labour and Greens. It will be chaired by Councillor Noble.

     

    Members will recall that we launched the Local Plan consultation on 5  November.  By statute these consultations need to be open for a minimum of six weeks, and in recognition of the interruption of the Election, which was not known when we set the dates, has now been extended until 21 January, a total of 11 weeks.  Many residents will understandably have concerns and I urge everyone to submit their responses by 21 January.  There is a lot of misinformation being promulgated by what I have come to think of as the “traffic light alliance” of Reds Amber and Green, and a statement of repudiation has just been published.

     

    Unfortunately we may ultimately  ...  view the full minutes text for item 330/19

    331/19

    Announcements from the Chief Executive

    To receive any announcements from the Chief Executive.

    Minutes:

    The Chief Executive made the following announcement:

     

    “Thank you Mr Deputy Mayor. As this is the last Council meeting that Michael Graham will attend as Head of Corporate Governance I should like to thank him for his many years of service and wish him success in his new role at Reading Borough Council.

     

    At this time of year, I should also like to put on record my appreciation to colleagues across this authority, from Accountancy and Audit to Strategic Planning and Streetscene, for their support in 2019 that has ensured our communities remain at the very heart of everything we strive to accomplish.  I wish all staff a Happy Christmas and look forward to another productive year of public service commitment in 2020.”

     

    332/19

    Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 49 KB

    The Leader, or his nominee, to answer any questions raised by members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 14.

     

    Note: the deadline for questions to be considered at this meeting is 12 noon on Thursday 12 December 2019.

     

    Minutes:

    The Mayor reported that, under Standing Order 14, four questions had been received from members of the public.

     

    Question from Caroline Nichols:

    “As the building known as Ceaser Court One grows upwards to dominate the skyline in Green Street, I am wondering why the site never went to public consultation for complete redevelopment. The site could have accommodated a lower broader housing development more in keeping with the street scene and providing better privacy to the homes on the Benwell Estate. Why was there no public involvement in deciding the form and function of the development when the site was first acquired?”

     

    Response from the Leader, Councillor Ian Harvey:

    “Thank you for your question Mrs Nichols. As we are both aware your husband Councillor Nichols spent approximately 30 minutes discussing the project on Friday 17 May and you spent a further 45 minutes, well past finishing time the next day, also discussing this with Mr Richard Mortimer, our senior Property Manager. There is no record or recollection of either of you mentioning this proposal at those discussions.

     

    I am frankly astonished that you would even think this a possibility. The financial cost, extended construction period, local disruption and perhaps most fundamentally of all the impact to the environment of destroying a perfectly sound structure, increasing footprint and waste of materials and unnecessary consumption of new materials makes this a non-starter.”

     

    Question from Caroline Nichols:

    “The next Great British Spring Clean is scheduled for 20th March to 13th April 2020 and the Keep Britain Tidy campaign gives awards to the best performing councils. In Spelthorne there are many local groups and individuals who support the Council with litter picks but there is still more to do. Would the Council be agreeable to raising the profile of the next Great British Spring Clean and publish it prominently in the next edition of the Borough Bulletin with a view to competing for an award?”

     

    Response from the Leader, Councillor Ian Harvey:

    “The Spring Clean involves the community and we are fortunate in Spelthorne to have so many residents that are passionate about their environment and working with us to keep the borough a wonderful place to live.  We support them by supplying litter picking equipment and helping them clear up.  The River Ash is a great example of the Council and residents working together with over a dozen litter picking events happening in the last year all over Spelthorne.  We also provide equipment and bags for scout groups that carry out annual litter picks in our parks and town centres.  The annual Keep Britain Tidy campaign is something we participate in every year where we look at how we can improve specific places and areas in the borough to enhance our public spaces.

     

    I can therefore confirm that the Keep Britain Tidy campaign will be advertised in the next edition of the Borough Bulletin and the Neighbourhood Services team will be discussing entering for an award with our community groups.”

     

     

    Question from Martin  ...  view the full minutes text for item 332/19

    333/19

    Petitions

    To receive any petitions from members of the public.

    Minutes:

    There were none.

    334/19

    Review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations pdf icon PDF 139 KB

    To consider the report from the Returning Officer on a review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council received a report from the Returning Officer following a review of the polling stations.  The report recommended a number of changes to be incorporated in the next electoral register revision.  Alternative venues to schools were proposed where this was possible which would significantly reduce the number of schools used.

     

    Councillor T. Fidler had commented on the Halliford and Sunbury West site during the review but this had not been included in the report.  The Head of Corporate Governance apologised for the error.  The Deputy Mayor advised that there would be an opportunity to make further comments before the review was completed on 31 January 2020.

     

    Resolved to

    (a)  Note the report of the Returning Officer

    (b)  Request the Electoral Services Manager to incorporate the changes in the next revision of the electoral register

    (c)  Authorise the Electoral Services Manager to implement the changes outlined in the report of the Returning Officer with effect from the next election.

     

    Reason for decision:

    To ensure that all voters have equal access to polling places and all polling stations are suitable for electors. To select alternative venues to schools for polling stations where possible.

     

    335/19

    Appointment of Monitoring Officer pdf icon PDF 111 KB

    To consider a report on the appointment of a Monitoring Officer.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council considered a report from the Chief Executive regarding the appointment of a Monitoring Officer following the departure of the current post holder on 7 February.  The Monitoring Officer has a number of statutory duties and responsibilities relating to the Council’s Constitution and arrangements for effective governance. 

     

    As it was likely that there would be a period of up to six months until a new appointment could take up the post, it was considered prudent to make arrangements for cover in the interim.

     

    Resolved:

    (a)          To delegate authority to the Chief Executive to make an interim appointment as Group Head of Corporate Governance

    (b)          To designate Karen Limmer as Monitoring Officer (on an interim basis) from 7 February 2020

    (c)          To delegate authority to the Appointments Committee to designate the next Group Head of Corporate Governance as Monitoring Officer.

     

    Reason for decision:

    To comply with the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.  It is the legal duty of the Council to have a Monitoring Officer and to designate one of its officers as such.  Arrangements therefore need to be in place for the interim period until the next permanent appointment.  

     

    336/19

    Redevelopment costs for Harper House - Key Decision

    Minutes:

    The Council considered the recommendation of Cabinet at its meeting on 6 November 2019 to approve a supplementary capital estimate of £400,000 to increase the existing capital programme provision for the demolition and rebuild of Harper House.  This would enable the Council to take advantage of a time-limited grant funding programme, improve the quality and quantum of accommodation within the Borough for vulnerable homeless households and align the Council with the requirements of the Homelessness Reduction Act.

     

    Resolved to approve the supplementary capital estimate of £400,000.

     

     

     

     

     

    337/19

    Calendar of Meetings

    Minutes:

     

    Council considered a recommendation of Cabinet on the proposed Calendar of Meetings for 2020/2021.  The meetings have been programmed to ensure that the Council makes decisions in a timely way.

     

    Resolved to approve the Calendar of Meetings for 2020/21 as attached to the agenda.

     

    338/19

    Report from the Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 67 KB

    To receive the reports from the Leader of the Council on the work of the Cabinet at its meetings on 6 November and 4 December 2019.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor I.T.E. Harvey, presented the reports of the Cabinet meetings held on 6 November 2019 and 4 December 2019, which outlined the matters the Cabinet had decided since the last Council meeting.

     

    339/19

    Report from the Chairman of the Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 61 KB

    To receive the report from the Chairman of the Audit Committee on the work of her Committee.

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Audit Committee, Councillor J. Sexton, presented her report which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

     

    340/19

    Report from the Chairman of the Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 57 KB

    To receive the report from the Chairman of the Licensing Committee on the work of his Committee.

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Licensing Committee, Councillor R.W. Sider BEM, presented his report which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

     

    341/19

    Report from the Chairman of the Members' Code of Conduct Committee pdf icon PDF 65 KB

    To receive the report from the Chairman of the Members' Code of Conduct Committee on the work of his Committee.

    Minutes:

    In the absence of the Chairman of the Members’ Code of Conduct Committee, Councillor R.A. Smith-Ainsley, presented the Chairman’s report which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

     

    He also advised members that the Members’ Code of Conduct Committee unanimously agreed at its meeting in November for all members to have further Planning training which would be mandatory for all councillors (not just those on the Planning Committee). The training had provisionally been arranged for 4 February 2020.

     

    342/19

    Report from the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 66 KB

    To receive the report from the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on the work of her Committee.

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor V.J. Leighton, presented her report which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

     

    343/19

    Report from the Chairman of the Planning Committee pdf icon PDF 61 KB

    To receive the reports from the Chairman of the Planning Committee on the work of his Committee at its meetings held on 13 November 2019 (attached) and 11 December 2019 (to follow).

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Planning Committee, Councillor R.A. Smith-Ainsley, presented his reports which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

    344/19

    Motions

    To receive any motions from Councillors in accordance with Standing Order 19.

     

    Note: The deadline for motions to be considered at this meeting was Monday 9th December 2019 and one was received as follows:

    “This motion highlights Spelthorne Council’s existing Code of Conduct for electedcouncillors as expressed in the Council’s Constitution, Part 5, which all councillors are required to adhere to when they are elected.

    The code is based on the principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership and is stated in point 9 as follows:

    ‘You must treat others with respect. This means treating people fairly and equitably and with courtesy, compassion and sensitivity. You should treat other people equally as you yourself would expect to be treated. You must never use behaviour which a reasonable person would consider as offensive, overbearing, intimidating, malicious, insulting or humiliating.’

    This Council agrees the existing code comprehensively promotes human rights and condemns all forms of discrimination, and the Council reiterates its commitment to the code and its onus on all elected members.”

    Proposed by Councillor Vivienne Leighton

    Seconded by Councillor Richard Smith-Ainsley

     

    Minutes:

    In accordance with Standing Order 17 the Council received written Notice of a Motion.

     

    Councillor V.J. Leighton moved and Councillor R.A. Smith-Ainsley seconded the following motion:

     

    “This motion highlights Spelthorne Council’s existing Code of Conduct for elected councillors as expressed in the Council’s Constitution, Part 5, which all councillors are required to adhere to when they are elected.

    The code is based on the principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership and is stated in point 9 as follows …

     

    ‘You must treat others with respect. This means treating people fairly and equitably and with courtesy, compassion and sensitivity. You should treat other people equally as you yourself would expect to be treated. You must never use behaviour which a reasonable person would consider as offensive, overbearing, intimidating, malicious, insulting or humiliating.’

     

    This Council agrees the existing code comprehensively promotes human rights and condemns all forms of discrimination, and the Council reiterates its commitment to the code and its onus on all elected members.”

     

    Councillor R.A. Smith-Ainsley requested a recorded vote.

     

    The voting was as follows:

     

    FOR

    (32)

    Councillors: I.T.E. Harvey, A.C. Harman, M.M. Attewell, C. Barnard, C. Barratt, R.O. Barratt, C.L. Bateson, I.J. Beardsmore, J. Boughtflower, A. Brar, S. Buttar, R. Chandler, N. Cornes, J.H.J. Doerfel, R.D. Dunn, S.A. Dunn, T. Fidler, N. Gething, K. Grant, N. Islam, T. Lagden, V.J. Leighton, A.C. Mitchell, L.E. Nichols, R. Noble, O. Rybinski, D. Saliagopoulos, J. Sexton, R.W. Sider BEM, V. Siva, R.A. Smith-Ainsley and J. Vinson.

     

    The motion was carried unanimously.

     

    Resolved that the Council’s existing Code of Conduct for elected councillors comprehensively promotes human rights and condemns all forms of discrimination and the Council reiterates its commitment to the code and its onus on all elected members.

     

    345/19

    Questions on Ward Issues

    The Leader, or his nominee, to answer questions from Councillors on issues in their Wards, in accordance with Standing Order 15.

     

    Note: the deadline for questions to be considered at this meeting is 12 noon on Thursday 12 December 2019.

     

    Minutes:

    There were no questions on Ward issues.

    346/19

    General questions pdf icon PDF 48 KB

    The Leader, or his nominee, to answer questions from Councillors on matters affecting the Borough, in accordance with Standing Order 15.

     

    Note: the deadline for questions to be considered at this meeting is 12 noon on Thursday 12 December 2019.

     

    Questions have been received from Councillor R.W. Sider BEM and Councillor L.E. Nichols.

     

    The following questions have been received from Councillor R.W. Sider BEM:

     

    Question 1

    “Will the Leader and members of this council join me in thanking Michael Graham for his outstanding service as Head of Corporate Governance of this Council over the past 14 years, and wish him well and every success in his new appointment of Assistant Director for Legal and Democratic Services at Reading Borough Council.”

     

    Question 2

    “The week commencing 25 November was designated as National Tree Week. Trees have a crucial role to play in tackling the climate emergency and apart from drawing down carbon dioxide, trees create more spaces for nature, supporting hundreds of species of insects, birds and mammals. Trees are also great for public health, helping clean air, and providing access to nature that is important for our wellbeing. That said, ‘ Given the space and economic viability in our borough, will the Leader support the doubling of tree cover in Spelthorne by the year 2045’.

     

    Question 3

    The Local Plan has identified proposed sites in Charlton Village, Shepperton  to accommodate developments of some 380 dwellings. The total number of homes in Charlton Village at present is around 420, and the Local Plan proposal would mean that there would be an increase of 90% in housing. Whilst the Local Plan is subject to consultation, and residents have already submitted a petition to the Council appended with 609 names against the identified sites for development, would the Leader agree with me, and share my concerns, that such an increase in this village would destroy its character in entirety.”

     

    The following question has been received from Councillor L.E. Nichols:

     

    Question 4

    “In August, Spelthorne Borough Council advertised for non-executive directors for Knowle Green Estates.  How many applications were received and how many candidates were interviewed?  Have any appointments been made?” 

    Minutes:

    The Mayor reported that six general questions had been received, in accordance with Standing Order 15, from Councillors Sider, Nichols, S. Dunn and Doerfel.

     

    Question 1 from Councillor R.W. Sider, BEM:

     

    Will the Leader and members of this Council join me in thanking Michael Graham for his outstanding service as Head of Corporate Governance of this Council over the past 14 years, and wish him well and every success in his new appointment of Assistant Director for Legal and Democratic Services at Reading Borough Council”

     

    Response from the Leader, Councillor I.T.E. Harvey:

    “Thank you for your question Councillor Sider. As I have already mentioned we are very grateful for the outstanding support advice and service to Spelthorne afforded by Mr. Graham and I certainly join you in wishing him a very successful future. Thank you Michael.”

     

    Question 2 from Councillor R.W. Sider, BEM:

    “The week commencing 25 November was designated as National Tree Week. Trees have a crucial role to play in tackling the climate emergency and apart from drawing down carbon dioxide, trees create more spaces for nature, supporting hundreds of species of insects, birds and mammals. Trees are also great for public health, helping clean air, and providing access to nature that is important for our wellbeing. That said, given the space and economic viability in our borough, will the Leader support the doubling of tree cover in Spelthorne by the year 2045.”

     

    Response from the Leader, Councillor I.T.E. Harvey:

    “The Council is fully aware of the climate change situation and the importance of trees in helping to address the situation. I am pleased to say that we will have planted 851 trees in 2019 and are further reviewing where we can further plant in the coming year, always whilst bearing in mind the ongoing costs of maintenance.  In addition, we are also promoting initiatives to work with schools, in order to encourage them to plant fruit trees, the produce from which is used in their cooking classes.  This not only enhances their environmental and biodiversity knowledge, but makes them more aware of health and wellbeing at a time when obesity rates are on the increase amongst primary school children.”

     

    Question 3 from Councillor R.W. Sider, BEM:

    The Local Plan has identified proposed sites in Charlton Village, Shepperton to accommodate developments of some 380 dwellings. The total number of homes in Charlton Village at present is around 470, and the local plan proposal would mean that there would be an increase of 88% in housing. Whilst the local plan l is subject to consultation, and residents have already submitted a petition to the council appended with 609 names against the identified sites for development, would the Leader agree with me, and share my concerns, that such an increase in this village would destroy its character in entirety.”

     

    Response from the Leader, Councillor I.T.E. Harvey:

    “The two sites at Charlton Village are proposed as allocations in the new Local Plan, which is currently undergoing public consultation.  There  ...  view the full minutes text for item 346/19

    347/19

    Urgent Action

    To note an urgent action undertaken by the Chief Executive.

     

    On 9 November 2019 the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader, agreed to designate the Running Horse Public House as a new polling place in the Sunbury Common ward for the 12th December General Election. This is not a Key Decision. The matter was considered as an urgent action because the venue previously used as a polling station in this ward had declined its use at this election and it was necessary to ensure there were sufficient polling places in the district before the Council was next due to meet.

     

    Minutes:

    Council noted the urgent action taken on 9 December 2019 by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader to designate the Running Horse Public House as a new polling place in the Sunbury Common ward for the General Election on 12 December. This was not a Key Decision.

     

    The matter was considered as an urgent action because the venue previously used as a polling station in this ward had declined its use at this election and it was necessary to ensure there were sufficient polling places in the district before the Council was next due to meet.