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  • Agenda and minutes

    Council
    Thursday, 24 October 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 - Council Part 1 MP3 72 MB

    Additional documents:

    261/19

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 146 KB

    To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the Council meeting held on 18 July 2019.

     

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the Council meeting held on 18 July 2019 were agreed as a correct record.

     

    262/19

    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.

    263/19

    Announcements from the Mayor

    To receive any announcements from the Mayor.

    Minutes:

    The Mayor had circulated details of upcoming charity events and mentioned, in particular, the Ladies Lunch to be held at the Thames Lodge Hotel on Wednesday 20th November 2019 with Russell Grant as the guest speaker.

    264/19

    Announcements from the Leader

    To receive any announcements from the Leader.

    Minutes:

    The Leader made the following announcements:

     

    “The Council submitted a detailed response to Heathrow’s final consultation, which closed in September, making it clear that we can only continue to support expansion if a) the 16 requirements outlined by the O&S Committee are adequately addressed b) impacted communities are properly compensated via the Wider Property Offer Zone and c) the Heathrow West proposal is explored further. 

     

    The application to develop a hostel for single homeless people on the site previously occupied by the White House on Kingston Road in Ashford has been approved by the Planning Committee. The facility, which will be completed in 2021, will provide modern purpose-built accommodation with 24 hour cover and space for training courses. It will be operated by the Salvation Army which has a wealth of experience in managing supported housing facilities. In addition, plans to demolish and rebuild Harper House in Ashford to provide emergency accommodation for up to 20 local families has also been approved. These are important developments and demonstrate our determination to deliver good quality housing for the Borough’s more vulnerable residents.

     

    Sunbury Cemetery was declared the overall winner of Cemetery of the Year at the South East in Bloom awards, with Ashford and Staines Cemeteries also picking up Gold awards in the same category. There was also more good news for Sunbury, with the ever-popular Sunbury Walled Garden claiming Gold in the Small Park category.  Congratulations to the Neighbourhood Services team for these fantastic achievements.

     

    The Council has protected Staines Park for current and future generations to enjoy by signing a ‘Deed of Dedication’ with Fields in Trust, an independent charity which champions and supports the country’s parks and green spaces by protecting them for people to enjoy in perpetuity. I am pleased to have worked alongside Staines Park Residents Association to achieve this special status for Staines Park. Residents are understandably very protective of their local open spaces and I hope this announcement gives everyone reassurance that the park will remain unspoilt for future generations to enjoy. I am also delighted to announce that we have been awarded a grant of up to £15,000 from the London Marathon Charitable Trust for the creation of a fitness trail in the park and an additional £5,000 from Fields in Trust for other improvements.

     

    An article was recently published which placed Spelthorne bottom in a league table of ‘most climate-friendly councils’. The Council disputes the findings as the scoring for the table was based on data obtained from the 2011 census and does not reflect the current picture. For example, it showed Spelthorne as having 10 electric vehicle charging points when in fact the Borough has 32 public charging units, enabling 53 electric vehicles to simultaneously charge. The Council has approached Friends of the Earth, who compiled the table, for more details on the methodology of their study. 

     

    We celebrated the hard work and achievements of local businesses at the Spelthorne Means Business Awards gala dinner at Shepperton Studios on 17  ...  view the full minutes text for item 264/19

    265/19

    Announcements from the Chief Executive

    To receive any announcements from the Chief Executive.

    Minutes:

    The Chief Executive thanked Neighbourhood Services staff for the Borough’s success in the South and South East in Bloom Awards and recognised the huge amount of work and commitment which went into the upkeep and maintenance of our parks and open spaces.  He commented that the awards were a tribute to the dedication of our staff and participating communities who created lasting improvements to their local environment for the benefit of all.

     

    266/19

    Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 47 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 17 October 2019.

     

    Minutes:

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

     

    Question from Mrs. Shadia Doerfel:

     

    “When will the Council consult with residents about the full plans Arora Group have for a Heathrow Expansion, known as "Heathrow West", which were so clearly supported by the Leader and Cllr Helen Harvey following Arora's "last minute" presentation at a Council meeting attended by the public on I believe the 3rd of September 2019, prompting even Cllr Smith-Ainsley to have said “We didn’t know anything about it at all and it’s been put upon us.”

    If Arora appears to be the new midwife the Leader supports to deliver a Heathrow expansion, residents deserve to be fully consulted on their plans and have the opportunity to engage with that consultation as they have been able to with the previous and recent Heathrow Consultations.

    So far all residents know about Arora from information in the public domain is that they already had property transactions with Spelthorne council around 2017 to the value of around £47.45mio on which the Leader is quoted on their website as describing Arora Group's Grove Developments team as "a pleasure to work with", and that Arora and/or its affiliates has been a Runnymede and Weybridge Conservative Party donor.”

     

    Response from the Leader, Councillor Ian Harvey:

     

    “Thank you for your question Mrs Doerfel.

     

    The Council will not be consulting with residents about any Heathrow developments.  That’s not how it works.  It is for Heathrow Airport Limited or Arora Group to consult with residents if they intend to make an application for a Development Consent Order.

     

    The Arora Group’s proposals have been in the public domain for several years. They initially announced their intention to seek rights to undertake the expansion of Heathrow during the government’s consultation on the draft Airport National Policy Statement (ANPS) back in 2017. This was followed by the initial launch of their Western Hub proposals in May 2018, two months before the government confirmed its support for the third runway and an expanded Heathrow in the final version of the ANPS.  There was a formal presentation of their proposals to all authorities adjoining Heathrow in September 2018. Direct contact was made with the Council via their consultant team back in November 2018, when we were asked for views as part of their first round of informal stakeholder engagement.

     

    They carried out public consultation events in Spelthorne in May 2019, specifically Stanwell Moor on 9 May and Stanwell Village Hall on 11 May.

    They also carried out a non-statutory stage 1 public consultation on their Heathrow West scheme in April 2019 and we responded to it. We also publicised the consultation on our own website. A further presentation was made to an internal Heathrow Expansion Working Group on 3 June 2019. 

     

    Their website states they will be undertaking a statutory consultation in January 2020. Again, it will be for the scheme's promoter to undertake the consultation but we  ...  view the full minutes text for item 266/19

    267/19

    Petitions

    To receive any petitions from members of the public.

    Minutes:

    There were none.

    268/19

    Proposed new extension to Fordbridge Day Centre

    Minutes:

    The Council considered the recommendation of Cabinet from its meeting on 25 September 2019 to approve a supplementary capital estimate of £130,000 for the proposed extension at the Fordbridge Centre, and its inclusion in the 2019/20 capital programme.

     

    The extension at the Fordbridge Centre would increase seating capacity in the dining room from 81 seats to 101 and offer a flexible area for other activities such as classes, games or exercise to take place.  It would also enable the Opal Group to be more integrated into the wider community.

     

    Resolved to approve the supplementary capital estimate of £130,000 for the proposed extension at the Fordbridge Centre, and its inclusion in the 2019/20 capital programme.

     

    269/19

    Appointment of Independent Remuneration Panel member

    Minutes:

    Council considered a recommendation of Cabinet from its meeting on 25 September 2019 to approvethe appointment of Alison Osmond to the Independent Remuneration Panel.

     

    The Independent Remuneration Panel provides advice to the Council on the type of its members’ allowances and the amounts to be paid.  Two candidates were interviewed and both were considered to be suitable and well-qualified for the role.

     

    Alison Osmond was recommended due to her long HR experience in the field of compensation and benefits and in the interpretation of comparative data and economic trends in that field.

     

    Resolved to appoint Alison Osmond to the Independent Remuneration Panel.

     

    270/19

    Report from the Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 77 KB

    To receive the report from the Leader of the Council on the work of the Cabinet at its meetings on 11 and 25 September 2019.

     

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor I.T.E. Harvey, presented the reports of the Cabinet meetings held on 11 and 25 September 2019, which outlined the matters the Cabinet had decided since the last Council meeting.

     

    271/19

    Report from the Chairman of the Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 70 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.R. Sexton, presented her report which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

     

    272/19

    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.

     

    273/19

    Report from the Chairman of the Members' Code of Conduct Committee pdf icon PDF 59 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 Murray Litvak, Chairman of the Members’ Code of Conduct Committee, Councillor C.F. Barnard presented a report which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

     

    274/19

    Report from the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 75 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.

     

    275/19

    Report from the Chairman of the Planning Committee pdf icon PDF 63 KB

    To receive the reports from the Chairman of the Planning Committee on the work of his Committee at its meetings between July and September 2019 (copy attached) and 16 October (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.

    276/19

    Motions

    To receive any motions from Councillors in accordance with Standing Order 19.  The following 5 motions were received by the deadline of Monday, 14 October 2019.

     

    1.    “This council supports the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of Anti-Semitism (decided on 26 May 2016 at Bucharest) and henceforward adopts this definition and the illustrative examples for all relevant aspects of Council policy particularly in the field of anti-discrimination and the promotion of human rights.”

     

    Proposed by Councillor I.T.E. Harvey

    Seconded by Councillor R.W. Sider BEM

     

    2.    “The Council is currently working on the development of its new Corporate Plan to cover the next three years of this administration.  In doing so it will be reaffirming its four Corporate Priorities of:

    1.    Housing

    2.    Economic Development

    3.    Clean and Safe Environment

    4.    Financial Sustainability

     

    This Council notes that many other Councils have recently declared a “climate emergency”. We understand that there is rightly much concern about climate change and that urgent action is needed.  This Council is committed to its priorities including a clean and safe environment.  It is the right thing to do to tackle climate change for future generations and to further community wellbeing.  

     

    Therefore, this Council commits to establishing a Leader’s task group to work towards delivering a strategy in 2020 that clearly outlines how we plan to deliver the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We are also committed to delivering to our residents safe and secure homes, and secure employment, as sustainably as possible.”  

     

    Proposed by Councillor I.T.E. Harvey

    Seconded by Councillor A.C. Harman

     

    3.    “This Council caveats its support for a third runway and appropriate and proportionate expansion, subject to Heathrow meeting:

    a)   the 16 requirements as recommended by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its extraordinary meeting on 3 September 2019; and

    b)   our demands that our impacted communities be properly compensated via the Wider Property Offer Zone scheme.”

     

    Proposed by Councillor I.T.E. Harvey

    Seconded by Councillor J.R. Boughtflower

     

    4.    “Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the UK will eradicate its net contribution to climate change by 2050:

    This Council resolves to:

    1.    Commit to working closely with the Government, the Environment Agency, our County colleagues, local businesses, our residents and other partners in meeting this target;

    2.   Deliver a strategy in 2019/20 that clearly outlines how we plan to deliver the target; and

    3.   Write to the government asking them to confirm what support will be made available to local authorities to help achieve this goal.”

     

    Proposed by Councillor R.A. Smith-Ainsley

    Seconded by Councillor J.R. Boughtflower

     

    5.    “The Council notes the position of Spelthorne at the bottom of the Friends of the Earth table of the most climate-friendly areas in England and Wales. It is resolved that Spelthorne Borough Council will take steps to become a national leader in addressing carbon emissions and climate change. To achieve this aim, it is recognised that it is essential that there is genuine engagement across all segments of society.

    In order to become a leading  ...  view the full agenda text for item 276/19

    Minutes:

    In accordance with Standing Order 17 the Council received five written Notices of Motions.

     

    Councillor I.T.E. Harvey moved and Councillor R.W. Sider BEM seconded the following Motion:

     

    “This Council supports the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of Anti-Semitism (decided on 26 May 2016 at Bucharest) and henceforward adopts this definition and the illustrative examples for all relevant aspects of Council policy particularly in the field of anti-discrimination and the promotion of human rights.”

     

    Councillor S.M. Doran, proposed the following amendment (additional words have been italicised) which was seconded by Councillor C.L. Bateson:

     

    “This council supports the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of Anti-Semitism (decided on 26 May 2016 at Bucharest) and henceforward adopts this definition and the illustrative examples for all relevant aspects of Council policy particularly in the field of anti-discrimination and the promotion of human rights.

     

    Additionally, Council welcomes, endorses and hereby adopts, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) definition of Islamophobia including all of its examples, again for all relevant aspect of Council policy particularly in the field of anti-discrimination and the promotion of human rights.

     

    Spelthorne is rightly proud of its diverse community and recognises the valuable part played by the communities of all faiths and beliefs.

     

    The amendment was not carried and the original Motion put to the vote.

     

    The original Motion was carried.

     

    Resolved that this Council supports the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of Anti-Semitism (decided on 26 May 2016 at Bucharest) and henceforward adopts this definition and the illustrative examples for all relevant aspects of Council policy particularly in the field of anti-discrimination and the promotion of human rights.

     

    The second Motion was moved by Councillor I.T.E. Harvey and seconded by Councillor A.C. Harman:

     

    “The Council is currently working on the development of its new Corporate Plan to cover the next three years of this administration.  In doing so it will be reaffirming its four Corporate Priorities of:

    1.         Housing

    2.         Economic Development

    3.         Clean and Safe Environment

    4.         Financial Sustainability

     

    This Council notes that many other Councils have recently declared a “climate emergency”. We understand that there is rightly much concern about climate change and that urgent action is needed.  This Council is committed to its priorities including a clean and safe environment.  It is the right thing to do to tackle climate change for future generations and to further community wellbeing. 

     

    Therefore, this Council commits to establishing a Leader’s task group to work towards delivering a strategy in 2020 that clearly outlines how we plan to deliver the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.   We are also committed to delivering to our residents safe and secure homes, and secure employment, as sustainably as possible.”

     

    Councillor I.T.E. Harvey spoke and gave a commitment that the proposed task group would be a members’ cross-party group which would report back to Cabinet regularly on proposed actions on climate change, monitoring and delivering on carbon neutrality by 2050 in line with current Government policy.  The target date would be continually reviewed and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 276/19

    277/19

    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 17 October 2019.

     

    Minutes:

    There were no questions on Ward issues.

    278/19

    General questions pdf icon PDF 43 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 17 October 2019.

     

    The following questions were received by 16 October 2019.

     

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

     

    Will the Leader and Members of this Council join me in congratulating the Group Head for Neighbourhood Services and her staff in achieving what can only be described as phenomenal and outstanding awards in the South and South East in Bloom awards of 2019, these being Sunbury Cemetery declared as the overall winner of Cemetery of the Year, Ashford and Staines Cemeteries receiving Gold awards, and Sunbury Walled Garden yet another Gold in the small park category.”

     

    Question 2 from Councillor R.W. Sider, BEM

     

    “At the meeting of the Full Council on July the 18th 2019 I placed a motion before the Council which read ‘ That officers investigate whether it is feasible to enter into a reciprocal agreement with Surrey County Council for Spelthorne Borough Council to act on their behalf to remove Traveller encampments when on the highway, and append such charges involved to Surrey’. In view of the fact that since the 18th of July there has been a further encampment by Travellers on the highway in Old Charlton Road Shepperton in September, can the Leader inform me of the progress that officers have made in their investigations with Surrey County Council with regard to the statement in my motion of the 18th July 2019.”

     

    Question 3 from Councillor L.E. Nichols

     

    The Redmond review is an “independent review into the arrangements in place to support the transparency and quality of local authority financial reporting and external audit in England”.  Will the Council be making a formal submission in response to the Call for Views which closes on 22nd November 2019?”

     

    Question 4 from Councillor C.L. Bateson

     

    “Given the Council’s decision to abandon building a new Leisure Centre on Staines Park, can we be updated as to the Council’s proposals for an alternative site, timescale for announcement and proposed means of consultation with Local Residents. Do these include rebuilding on the existing site or refurbishing the current Leisure Centre?”

    Minutes:

    The Mayor reported that five general questions had been received, in accordance with Standing Order 15, from Councillors R.W. Sider BEM, L.E. Nichols, C.L. Bateson and J.H.J. Doerfel.

     

    1.    Question from Councillor R.W. Sider BEM

     

    “Will the Leader and Members of this Council join me in congratulating the Group Head for Neighbourhood Services and her staff in achieving what can only be described as phenomenal and outstanding awards in the South and South East in Bloom awards of 2019, these being Sunbury Cemetery declared as the overall winner of Cemetery of the Year, Ashford and Staines Cemeteries receiving Gold awards, and Sunbury Walled Garden yet another Gold in the Small park category.”

     

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

     

    “We are happy to join you in congratulating Neighbourhood Services and the parks team for achieving these prestigious awards year after year. It is evident that there is a high level of commitment, not just from management but also from the operational staff who keep up the high the standards in our parks, open spaces and cemeteries.”

     

    2.    Question from Councillor R.W. Sider BEM

     

    At the meeting of the Full Council on July the 18th 2019 I placed a Motion before the council which read ‘That officers investigate whether it is feasible to enter into a reciprocal agreement with Surrey County Council for Spelthorne Borough Council to act on their behalf to remove Traveller encampments when on the highway, and append such charges involved to Surrey’.  In view of the fact that since the 18th of July there has been a further encampment by Travellers on the highway in Old Charlton Road Shepperton in September, can the Leader inform me of the progress that officers have made in their investigations with Surrey County Council with regard to the statement in my motion of the 18th July 2019.”

     

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

     

    “Thank you for your question Councillor Sider.  Officers have given consideration to the matter.  You are correct that the site in Old Charlton Road is a difficult site and we have to be alert to all possible ways to deter unlawful encampments and then remove them swiftly should they occur.  The site in question is a quiet location which is part highway and part off-street parking.  Having considered ways in which to deal with future encampments officers have considered a variety of ways to best deal with the problem.  First by taking on Surrey’s legal responsibility, as was suggested, or alternatively by instituting parking and waiting restrictions in the area to make enforcement easier.  It was concluded that both options had drawbacks.  The current proposal is to seek the agreement of the County Council and get that portion of Highway put in the Borough’s application for a High Court injunction against unlawful encampments.  This would mean that any person camped there in breach of the injunction would be liable to arrest.  This is considered the best deterrent in this location.  I will ask  ...  view the full minutes text for item 278/19

    279/19

    Appointment of representative Trustees

    Staines Parochial Charity

    To consider the appointment of Jean Pinkerton as a trustee of Staines Parochial Charity for a four year term expiring 31 October 2023.

     

    Laleham Parish Lands Trust

    To consider the appointment of Dominic O’Malley as a trustee of Laleham Charities – Village Hall and Recreation Grounds for a four year term expiring 31 October 2023.

    Minutes:

    Staines Parochial Charity

    It was proposed by Councillor I.T.E. Harvey and seconded by Councillor A.C. Harman and

     

    Resolved that Mrs Jean Pinkerton OBE be appointed as a trustee of Staines Parochial Charity for a four year term expiring 31 October 2023.

     

    Laleham Parish Lands Trust

    It was proposed by Councillor I.T.E. Harvey and seconded by Councillor A.C. Harman and

     

    Resolved that Dominic O’Malley be appointed as a trustee of Laleham Charities – Village Hall and Recreation Grounds for a four year term expiring 31 October 2023.

     

    280/19

    Exempt Business

    To move the exclusion of the Press/Public for the following item, in view of the likely disclosure of 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.

     

    Minutes:

    Resolved to move the exclusion of the Press and Public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of 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.

     

    281/19

    Exempt report - Supplementary Capital estimate for property acquisition V

    To consider an exempt report requesting a supplementary capital estimate in relation to property acquisition V.

     

    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 (a) the report contains details of a proposed procurement, and to publish details of the Council’s intentions in advance would prejudice a best value deal for the Council and (b) the report contains confidential details of a proposed acquisition and publication of the details of this would prejudice the ability of the Council to conclude this negotiation on the best terms possible.

     

     

    Minutes:

    Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

     

    Council considered a recommendation from Cabinet for approval of a supplementary Capital provision of £85.7m for the design team and the contractors for the development of the site known as ‘Property Acquisition V’.

     

    The development of this site seeks to support the Council to deliver its ambitious housing and regeneration programme across the Borough to help meet the needs of its residents. The site is also a key element in the emerging regeneration plans for Staines town centre.

     

    Resolved to approve the supplementary Capital provision of £85.7m for the design team and the contractors for the development of the site.

    282/19

    Investment Acquisition 'X'

    Minutes:

    Paragraph 3 – Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

     

    Council considered a recommendation from Cabinet to approve a supplementary Capital provision of £42m to provide sufficient headroom in the Capital Programme for the acquisition of a property known as ‘Property Acquisition X’.  This was considered a strategic asset with potential to improve the environmental and economic well-being of the area.  The site was likely to be considered for numerous diversified uses all of which have the potential to help the Council achieve its strategic objectives outlined in the Corporate Plan.

     

    Resolved that Council approves a supplementary Capital provision of £42m to provide sufficient headroom in the Capital Programme for the acquisition and for the appointment of the design team and the contractors for enhancement projects.