Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Thursday, 9 December 2021 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Gary Lelliott  Email: g.lelliott@spelthorne.gov.uk

Link: Members of the public may watch the proceedings by tuning into the Council's YouTube channel

Items
No. Item

643/21

Minutes pdf icon PDF 449 KB

To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the Council meeting held on 14 October 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes of the Council meeting held on 14 October 2021 were agreed as a correct record.

 

644/21

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.

645/21

Announcements from the Mayor

To receive any announcements from the Mayor.

Minutes:

The Mayor made the following announcements:

 

“Since the last Full Council on 14th October the Mayoress and I have attended numerous events, both in and outside of Spelthorne and whilst it would be unfair to mention favourites, a particular highlight was the Youth Speaks competitions organised by Shepperton Aurora Rotary Club last month, where the standard of public speaking by those young people was outstanding.

The Spelthorne Business Awards dinner was an outstanding event and the attendees were clearly keen to let their hair down, many I believe for the first time in 18 months.

 

What has been especially rewarding for me has been the recent opening of three significant brand new Spelthorne properties. These were in each case the culmination of projects started under my Council leadership, and really demonstrate what we are about, caring for and meeting the needs of our residents.

 

Since the last Council meeting and following on from the opening of the White House Single Homeless Hostel at the end of September, we have opened the Harper House emergency Family accommodation, which now provides emergency accommodation for up to 20 families. We no longer have to send homeless families to locations outside the Borough, as far away as Croydon and Wembley, as we used to.

 

Furthermore, just last Friday we opened the newly completed converted West Wing, just behind us here at Knowle Green. This will provide 25 families with long term high quality accommodation at affordable rents.

In each case these developments have been completed to a very high standard and we can all be very proud of them. I would like to thank all Spelthorne officers involved in delivering these projects, including Assets, Housing, Planning and Legal.

 

Looking forwards we have the charity film night next Wednesday, at the Koda Theatre, Shepperton, showing “Love Actually”, kindly hosted by Shepperton Studios, and if you would like to come along, please book soon. You should all have received an invitation.

 

Also next week the Mayoress and I will be visiting both Fordbridge and Greeno Day Centres to enjoy lunch with their day guests, as well as other Mayoral events throughout the Christmas period.

I will be delivering my Mayors Christmas message at the end of the meeting.”


 

 

646/21

Announcements from the Leader

To receive any announcements from the Leader.

Minutes:

The Leader made the following announcements:

 

“An online awards ceremony was held on 7 December to celebrate the achievements of 30 very special young people, aged between 5 and 19. Organised by the Council, the Spelthorne Youth Awards recognise the outstanding talents and successes of local young people and the contributions they make to their communities. Many congratulations to all the nominees and winners.

 

Planning permission has been granted for the Council’s development of key-worker and affordable homes on Victory Close in Ashford. The approved design was modified to achieve double the energy savings proposed under the initial design, demonstrating the Council’s commitment to sustainable homes. The development will comprise 127 dwellings, including 5 family homes, 8 three-bedroom family flats, 78 two-bedroom flats and 36 one-bedroom flats, all with car parking and amenity space.

 

We recently issued an urgent appeal to landlords to help fulfil our pledge to house Afghans who supported the UK in Afghanistan. Following approval by the Community Wellbeing and Housing Committee, we have pledged to resettle up to five families under the Government’s Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy scheme. The Council is looking for homes with a minimum of 3-bedrooms, close to local amenities and good transport links.  These homes will be funded by the government scheme and will not impact on those already on the Council’s housing list.

 

A campaign is underway to let residents know about the Household Support Fund scheme. Under the programme, we will provide financial grants of between £50 and £80 for households in need of help with food, energy and water costs. To qualify, households must receive certain benefits, such as Universal Credit or Pension Credit.

 

The hard work and achievements of local businesses was celebrated at the Spelthorne Business Awards at the Holiday Inn in Shepperton on 11 November. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners, and in particular Taste Creative which was named ‘Best Business in Spelthorne’.

 

Lisa O’Sullivan was named overall winner of the Capture Spelthorne photography competition on 2 December at Shepperton Studios. Congratulations to Lisa and all the category winners and nominees. The standard of photography was outstanding this year and the winning photographs can viewed on the Council’s social media streams.

 

The Council was presented with the Gold Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme at an event in London last month. The award is the Ministry of Defence's highest badge of honour in recognition of an organisation’s support for the Armed Forces community.

 

Last week saw the formal opening of 25 affordable apartments built here in the West Wing of the council offices. The redevelopment has made our offices much more efficient and, together, with our digital investments, gained us a national public sector transformational award in 2020. All the apartments will be let through the Council’s Housing Options team to ensure those who most need the accommodation are prioritised. The tenants will also be offered five-year tenancies to provide more stability than they would receive in the private rented sector.

 

An event  ...  view the full minutes text for item 646/21

647/21

Announcements from the Chief Executive

To receive any announcements from the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

The Deputy Chief Executive, Terry Collier read out the announcements from the Chief Executive.

 

“On behalf of the Corporate Management Team, I would like to make a few comments.

 

2021 has been yet another extremely challenging year, with extraordinary service pressures in the ongoing context of dealing with COVID-19 and its

Impact on the Council, our communities and businesses across the Borough. At the same time we have transitioned, within a very tight timescale, from the Cabinet governance system to the Committees system which is generating additional workloads for both councillors and staff. I am sure councillors would like to like to join me in thanking staff for their fantastic service and commitment in these challenging times.

 

On top of the pressures I have just highlighted, our staff and voluntary partners have stepped up and welcomed Afghan families in their hour of need

Into the Borough. Since the initial families arrived in August in the Borough on a holding basis, 15 families have been relocated on a longer term basis across the country. Once family has been received, from elsewhere in the country, last week and housed within the Borough on a longer term basis. A

second family is being housed in the Borough next week. The Home Office are providing the funding to cover the costs we are incurring. So, we are making progress in working towards accommodating up to five families approved by councillors within the Borough on a longer term basis.

 

To conclude, despite the latest challenges with the new variant and the tighter COVID-19 regulations, I would like to wish all councillors, staff and our partners seasonal greetings and hope that we can look forward to a healthier and prosperous year in 2022.”

 

648/21

Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 145 KB

The Leader, or his nominee, to answer any questions raised by members of the public in accordance with Standing Order 13.

Minutes:

The Mayor reported that, under Standing Order 14, three questions had been received from a member of the public.

 

1.    Question from Kath Sanders

 

 “Regarding the Local Green Space assessment being carried out as part of the Local Plan process, I understand that the current 71 Protected Urban Open Space (PUOS) sites will go forward for assessment (together with any others suggested in response to Q5 of the Issues & Options consultation in June 2018).

As part of the Call for Green Spaces and given the importance of Open Space identified in the Council's own Open Space Assessment (Nov 2019), will the Council themselves be proposing some or all of the sites with the outgoing Protected Urban Open Space designation for the new Local Green Space designation OR perhaps certain 'functional' categories (such as allotments, cemeteries and churchyards, school playing fields and public parks and recreation grounds), regardless of ownership status? This would hopefully ensure that current levels of provision are at least maintained.

Failing that, and to give many valuable sites the best chance of success, please could the Council make the 'long list' of potential LGS sites public once the Stage 1 "Desktop review and first sieve" has been completed with the opportunity for the community to provide any further evidence required to successfully complete the Stage 2 "Detailed Analysis"? This would again help to ensure that communities don't inadvertently lose out.”

 

Response from Councillor Ian Beardsmore, Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee

 

“This matter will be discussed further when we get to the motions to Council, but I can advise that all Protected Urban Open Spaces (PUOS) will be considered for the designation of Local Green Space (LGS). Each space will be reviewed against the guiding principles within the Local Green Space Assessment methodology.  This is regardless of whether each PUOS was submitted by members of the public.

 

Through the Call for Green Spaces, we provided the opportunity for those wishing to nominate particular spaces to submit evidence and information which could support this nomination. If any further information is required to help inform the decision-making process in respect of specific spaces, then the Council will contact the nominators to ask if they can supply any additional evidence that may be of use. The proposed list of designations will then be considered by the Local Plan Task Group, which comprises a councillor from every ward in the Borough. Once agreement has been reached as to which spaces will be designated, we will publish the full list of spaces that were assessed, including those put forward by the public, and give reasons why they are proposed for designation or discounted. There are likely to be varied reasons why a space has not been considered suitable and did not meet the assessment criteria, but we will explain those reasons and what other protections are in place, such as playing pitch legislation, Green Belt designation or the operational requirements of a statutory undertaker.  It is important to note that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 648/21

649/21

Petitions

To receive any petitions from members of the public.

Minutes:

No petitions were received from members of the public.

 

650/21

Replacement of Spelthorne Leisure Centre pdf icon PDF 233 KB

To consider the proposed replacement of Spelthorne Leisure Centre.

 

Appendix A to this report contains exempt information within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006 Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) and in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information because, disclosure to the public would prejudice the financial position of the authority and potentially the preferred bidder in a competitive procurement process by allowing other bidders to know the financial position of the Council and the preferred bidder. This in turn prejudices the Council by (i) distorting the procurement process and (ii) prejudicing the opportunity for the Council to achieve a competitive price and good value for money and (iii) might dissuade organisations bidding for the Council's tenders if their commercial information was put into the public domain.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The Chamber agreed that the agenda order be changed in accordance with Standing Order 17.(c) to enable Councillor H. Harvey to ask her question submitted in accordance with Standing Order 15.

 

“In view of the opposition to bringing forward the Council’s planned developments and the consequential impact on revenue streams, can the Leader advise this chamber where exactly the revenue stream to cover the £17 million unfunded element of the capital costs of the new Spelthorne Leisure Centre will come from.”

 

Response from the Leader, Councillor L Nichols:

 

When, in October 2020, the Council approved the decision to include the new Leisure Centre on the Council’s Capital Programme, it was made clear to councillors at that time that the additional income generated by the new centre with its mix of facilities would not fully cover the cost of financing the scheme. The precise proportion of the funding cost which will not be fully covered will depend on two factors: a) the income generating potential of leisure centres post the COVID-19 pandemic, and b) the prevailing interest rates at time the finance is fixed. It is still relatively early to fully understand the longer-term impacts the pandemic will have on people’s behaviour and what impact this will have on leisure centres’ income in Spelthorne and across the UK.  With regards to interest rate costs of financing the scheme, whilst the base rate is expected to rise between now and the scheme completing, the long-term gilt rates which drive the Public Works Loans Board interest rates which the Council access have in recent months fallen to new historic lows (the 50 year certainty rate is currently 1.29%). It is therefore clear, that although it is not possible to precisely calculate the Revenue Budget impact of the funding shortfall, pressing ahead with construction of the centre as soon as possible could help reduce the financing shortfall. Similarly, as outlined in the report presented to Council this evening, it is in Spelthorne’s interest to fix the build price as soon as possible if we are to minimise the anticipated increase in material and construction costs, otherwise that shortfall may rise to the point where it would be more difficult to address.

 

In the Outline Budget Report approved by November Corporate Policy and Resources Committee, officers have estimated that the funding shortfall could equate to a £750,000 per annum pressure on the Revenue Budget, commencing from 2024-25 following the completion of the scheme.

 

The Outline Budget report which went to Corporate Policy and Resources indicated that there are potential Revenue Budget gaps in each of the next four financial years which the Council will need to work to close through its medium-term financial strategy. For the years 2024-25 and 2025-26, these gaps projected include the anticipated impact of the Leisure Centre financing gap. As the Outline Budget report highlighted, a mix of strategies can be pursued to close the funding gap which include:

 

o        Maximising income streams from across our property portfolio and their  ...  view the full minutes text for item 650/21

651/21

Referral of a decision of the Development Sub-Committee on 15 November 2021 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Thameside House - Staines Ward Councillors Development Meeting - Update

 

Councillors C Bateson, M Beecher and S Mooney have referred the following decision for consideration by the Council, in accordance with the Council’s Reservation Scheme.

 

The committee agreed to proceed on the basis of Block A being 11, 9 and 7 storeys in height and Block B being 8, 6 and 5 storeys in height.

 

Appendices 2 to 4 of the report contain exempt information within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985 and by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006 Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) and in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information because, disclosure to the public would prejudice the financial position of the authority in the bidding process for future construction works by allowing other bidders to know the position of the Council.  This in turn prejudices the Council by (i) distorting the bids process and (ii) prejudicing the opportunity for the Council’s future regeneration in the Borough.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a decision made by the Development Sub-Committee on 15 November 2021 on the Thameside House Development:-

 

“The Development Sub-Committee agreed to proceed on the basis of Block A being 11, 9 and 7 storeys in height and Block B being 8, 6 and 5 storeys in height.”

 

Council voted on whether to either:

 

1.    Note the decision of the Development Sub-Committee (Note)

2.    Refer the decision back to the Development Sub-Committee (Refer)

3.    Withdraw the decision of the Development Sub-Committee (Withdraw)

 

 

Proposed by Councillor S. Mooney

Seconded by Cllr V. Leighton

 

Councillor H. Mooney  requested that a recorded vote be taken.

 

Note: Councillors I. Harvey, A. Brar, H. Harvey, R. Noble, O. Rybinski and B. Spoor (6)

Refer: Councillors S. Doran, M. Attewell, C. Barratt, R. Barratt, C. Bateson, I. Beardsmore, J. Boughtflower, R. Chandler, J. Doran, R. Dunn, S. Dunn, T. Fidler, N. Gething, M. Gibson, K. Grant, A. Harman, N. Islam, T. Lagden, V. Leighton, J. McIlroy, A. Mitchell, S. Mooney, J. Sexton, R. Sider BEM, V. Siva and J. Vinson (26)

Withdraw: Councillors M. Beecher and D. Saliagopoulos (2)

Abstain: Councillors S. Buttar, L. Nichols and R. Smith-Ainsley (3)

 

Council resolved to:

 

Refer the decision back to the Development Sub-Committee.

 

The meeting was adjourned 22:23

The meeting reconvened 22:29

652/21

Corporate Plan 2021-2023 pdf icon PDF 231 KB

The Corporate Policy and Resources Committee has recommended that the Council adopt the proposed Corporate Plan for 2021-23.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered the recommendation from The Corporate Policy and Resources Committee that the Council adopt the proposed Corporate Plan for 2021-23.

 

Council resolved to agree and adopt the Spelthorne’s proposed Corporate Plan for 2021-23. 

 

 

Cllr V Siva left the meeting at 22:55

Cllr A Harman left the meeting at 22:55

Cllr N Islam left the meeting at 22:56

Cllr R Chandler left the meeting at 22:56

Cllr D Saliagopoulos left the meeting at 22:56

 

653/21

Re-tender of External Audit Contract - opt in of National Public Sector Audit Appointments scheme pdf icon PDF 187 KB

To consider the recommendation of the Audit Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council considered a recommendation from the Audit Committee that Council opt into the national scheme managed by Public Sector Auditor Appointments as the ‘Appointing Person’.

 

Proposed by Councillor J Boughtflower

Seconded by Councillor T. Fidler

 

Council resolved that the Council opt into the national scheme as outlined in the report.

654/21

Appointments

Minutes:

a)            Council considered the appointment of an independent person on the Audit Committee, following the recent interview panels.

 

b)            Council considered the appointment of a Chair for the Development Sub-Committee.

 

c)            Council considered the appointment of a Vice-Chair of the Development Sub-Committee.

 

 

654/21a

Appointment of Independent Person for the Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To consider the appointment of Mr Sandeep Sehmi as the independent person on the Audit Committee, following the recent interview panels.

Minutes:

Council considered the appointment of Mr Sandeep Sehmi as the independent person on the Audit Committee, following the recent interview panels.

 

Proposed by Councillor J Boughtflower

Seconded by Councillor R. Noble

 

Council resolved to appoint Mr Sandeep Sehmi as the independent person on the Audit Committee.

 

 

654/21b

Appointment of Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Development Sub-Committee for the remainder of the municipal year

Councillor R Noble has been nominated as Chair of the Development Sub-Committee.

 

Councillor R Smith-Ainsley has been nominated as Vice-Chair of the Development Sub-Committee.

Minutes:

 

Council considered the appointment of Councillor R. Noble as Chair of the Development Sub-Committee.

 

Proposed by Councillor L. Nichols

Seconded by Councillor R. Sider BEM

 

Council resolved to appoint Councillor R. Noble as Chair of the Development Sub-Committee.

 

 

Council considered the appointment of Councillor R. Smith-Ainsley as Vice-Chair of the Development Sub-Committee.

 

Proposed by Councillor R. Noble

Seconded by Councillor L. Nichols

 

Councillor J. Boughtflower requested a recorded vote.

 

 

For: Councillors I. Harvey, S. Doran, C. Bateson, I. Beardsmore, M. Beecher, A. Brar, J. Doran, R. Dun, S. Dunn, T. Fidler, M. Gibson, K. Grant, H. Harvey, T. Lagden, L. Nichols, O. Rybinski, J. Sexton, R. Smith-Ainsley, B. Spoor and J. Vinson (20)

 

Against: Councillors M. Attewell, C. Barratt, R. Barratt, J. Boughtflower, S. Buttar, N. Gething, V. Leighton, J. McIlroy, A. Mitchell, S. Mooney, R. Noble and R. Sider BEM (12)

 

Abstain (0)

 

Council resolved to appoint Councillor R. Smith-Ainsley as Vice-Chair of the Development Sub-Committee.

 

 

Councillor T. Lagden left the meeting at 23:09

Councillor C Barratt left the meeting at 23:10

Councillor R. Barratt left the meeting at 23:10

Councillor J. McIlroy left the meeting at 23:10

 

 

 

 

 

654/21c

Appointment of a representative Trustee

None.

Minutes:

There was no appointment considered.

655/21

Report from the Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To receive the report from the Leader of the Council on the work of the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee at its meetings on 19 October 2021 and 29 November 2021.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor L. Nichols, presented the report of the Corporate Policy and  meetings held on 19 October 2021 and 29 November 2021, which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

 

656/21

Report from the Chair of the Administrative Committee pdf icon PDF 192 KB

To receive a report from the Chair of the Administrative Committee on its work at the meetings on 7 October 2021.

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Administrative Committee, Councillor T. Mitchell, presented the report of the Administrative Committee meeting held on 07 October 2021 which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

 

657/21

Report from the Chair of the Community Wellbeing and Housing Committee pdf icon PDF 292 KB

To receive a report from the Chair of the Community Wellbeing and Housing Committee on its work at the meeting on 23 November 2021.

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Community Housing and Wellbeing Committee, Councillor S. Dunn, presented the report of the Community Housing and Wellbeing Committee meeting held on 23 November 2021 which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

 

 

658/21

Report from the Chair of the Economic Development Committee pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To receive the report from the Chair of the Economic Development Committee on its work at the meeting on 16 November 2021.

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, Councillor C. Barnard, presented the report of the Economic Development Committee meeting held on 16 November 2021 which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

 

659/21

Report from the Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To receive a report from the Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee on its work at the meetings on 3 November 2021 and 9 November 2021.

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Environment and Sustainability Committee, Councillor I. Beardsmore, presented the report of the Environment and Sustainability Committee meetings held on 03 November 2021 and 09 November 2021, which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

660/21

Report from the Chair of the Neighbourhood Services Committee pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To receive a report from the Chair of the Neighbourhood Services Committee on its work at the meeting on 11 November 2021.

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Neighbourhood Services Committee, Councillor A. Brar, presented the report of the Neighbourhood Services Committee meeting held on 11 November 2021 which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

 

661/21

Report from the Chair of the Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To receive a report from the Chair of the Audit Committee on its work at the meeting on 25 November 2021.

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Audit Committee, Councillor J. Boughtflower, presented the report of the Audit Committee meeting held on 25 November 2021, which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

 

 

662/21

Report from the Chair of the Licensing Committee

There have been no meetings of the Licensing Committee since Council met on 14 October 2021.

Minutes:

No meeting of the Licensing Committee had taken place since the last Council meeting on 14 October 2021 so no report was presented.

 

663/21

Report from the Chair of the Planning Committee pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To receive a report from the Chair of the Planning Committee on its work at the meetings on 10 November 2021 and 8 December 2021.

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chairman of the Planning Committee, Councillor R. Smith-Ainsley presented the report of the Planning Committee meetings held on 10 and 17 November 2021, which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

 

 

 

664/21

Report from the Chair of the Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 98 KB

To receive a report from the Chair of the Standards Committee on its work at the meeting on 20 October 2021.

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Members’ Code of Conduct Committee, Mr I. Winter, presented the report of the Standards Committee meeting held on 20 October  2021, which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

 

 

 

 

665/21

Motions pdf icon PDF 432 KB

To receive any motions from Councillors in accordance with Standing Order 16.

 

Motion 1

 

Proposed by Councillor Smith-Ainsley

Seconded by Councillor Malcolm Beecher

 

There has been real concern amongst residents and councillors about the lack of a Vision for Spelthorne.  In order to create one, three important Visioning sessions were held and the councillors attending worked hard to produce a Vision.  An opportunity has been given to all councillors to review it and it has also been checked by officers to ensure it is sound.

 

I therefore move that:

 

Council incorporate the Vision into the new Local Plan and from the next meeting of the Local Plan Task Group use it to review existing policies and inform future ones.

 

Motion 2

 

Proposed by Councillor Sandra Dunn

Seconded by Councillor Malcom Beecher

 

This Council seeks to clarify its position in respect of the Local Green Spaces’ consultation. This consultation is designed to give extra protection to the Local Green Spaces where possible.

 

Our current scheme for this - Protected Urban Open Space (PUOS) has failed completely to offer any extra protection. After we introduced PUOS the government produced a new standard to add protection to smaller Green Spaces ‘Local Green Space’. (LGS). LGS can only be protected as part of the local plan process, such as we are undertaking currently.

 

This Motion therefore urges all Councillors to support the following:

 

1.    That all existing PUOS sites be submitted for possible inclusion in the list of proposed new Local Green Spaces sites

2.    That after consultation held with Spelthorne residents finishes that further individual sites are discussed through the Local Plan Task Group as potential LGS sites

Minutes:

The two written Notices of Motions were considered and voted on after the  Replacement of Spelthorne Leisure Centre item.

666/21

General questions pdf icon PDF 118 KB

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

Minutes:

General questions were considered as part of Agenda Item 9 – Replacement of Spelthorne Leisure Centre.

667/21

Mayor's Christmas message

Minutes:

Council received the Mayor’s Christmas message as follows:

 

“Obviously 2021 has not been the year that most of us had hoped for. Many of us have suffered, be it loss of loved ones, or significant COVID related illness, jobs, finances or other family or personal impacts. However, we have seen recovery and I would suggest that compared to this time last year, and in spite of the current Omicron spike, we do appear to be heading in the right direction. All of us have now had the opportunity to receive protective vaccines.

 

Spelthorne Council has been able to continue its outstanding endeavours in supporting those who have suffered, as well as continuing our work in providing the community with the services they need and rightly expect. We have not had to make any cuts to services here. I would like to thank all Council staff for their hard work and commitment to the Borough and its residents.

 

It is important to reflect on the meaning of Christmas. As it comes at the end of our year it should be a time for reflection, renewal and refreshment. It is a time to spend with family and loved ones, cherishing what we have. I think this is particularly poignant this year, as indeed it was last year.

For Christians it is the time to remember the birth of Jesus Christ and why he came to this Earth. We reflect on this as the precursor to our ultimate redemption and forgiveness.

 

Let us enter 2022 with a new spirit of peace, gratitude, hope and optimism.

Together with the Mayoress, I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and blessed Christmas and a safe, prosperous and healthy New Year 2022.

 

Happy Christmas.”