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  • Agenda and minutes

    Council - Thursday, 27 February 2020 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 - Items 1-8 including public questions MP3 21 MB

    Additional documents:

    44/20

    Minute's Silence

    The Mayor will invite all present to join her in a Minute’s silence in respect for the late past Mayor Denise Grant who passed away on 15 January 2020 and for Mrs Joan Paterson-Borland, past Mayoress who also passed away in January 2020.

     

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Mayor invited all those present to stand in a minute’s silence as a mark of respect and in memory of former Mayor, Denise Grant and also Mrs Joan Paterson-Borland, past Mayoress, who both passed away in January 2020.

    45/20

    Application of six-months' rule to Councillor M. Madams pdf icon PDF 92 KB

    To consider the report of the Interim Monitoring Officer.

    Minutes:

    The Council considered a report on the application of the six month’s rule, as set out in Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972, to Councillor M. Madams, the Mayor.

     

    Resolved to approve Councillor Madams’ absence from attendance at meetings from 25 October 2019 until the Annual Meeting of the Council on 21 May 2020.

    46/20

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 130 KB

    To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the Council meeting held on 19 December 2019.

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the Council meeting held on 19 December 2019 were agreed as a correct record.

     

     

    47/20

    Disclosures of Interest

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

    Minutes:

    Councillor T. Fidler disclosed a conflict of interest in item 10c Pay Policy Statement as a family member works for the Council and would be impacted by the decision. He would not take part in the decision on this matter.

     

    48/20

    Announcements from the Mayor

    To receive any announcements from the Mayor.

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Mayor circulated a list of past and forthcoming events, he had attended or would be attending on behalf of the Mayor, for councillors’ information.

    49/20

    Announcements from the Leader

    To receive any announcements from the Leader.

    Minutes:

    The Leader made the following announcements:

     

    “You may have read in the press that the Council recently purchased the Elmsleigh Centre in the heart of Staines-upon-Thames which provides around one third of all the retail space in the town. This purchase is a major step forward in Spelthorne Council’s wider plan to regenerate Staines-upon-Thames. Along with our other recent acquisitions which include the Oast House, Communications House, Thameside House and Hanover House, the Council is now firmly in the driving seat to deliver the revitalisation of Staines-upon-Thames.

     

    I am pleased to announce that we have launched a four week consultation for a new leisure centre which will run from 28 February – 27 March. We are inviting residents to come along to the public exhibition events we are holding at the current Leisure Centre on 28 and 29 February to give them the opportunity to find out more. As well as being online, consultation documents are also available at the Council offices, at the leisure centres and in local libraries. To feedback their views, residents can come along to the public event, complete our online survey, email or write to us. Paper copies of the questionnaire are also available.

     

    Local businesses are the lifeblood of our Borough and I am looking forward to recognising their achievements at this year’s Spelthorne Means Business Awards. We have award categories to suit all businesses - large or small - so if you are proud of your company’s achievements, let us know! Entries open on 4 March. 

     

    It was a pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Boris Johnson and MP Kwasi Kwarteng to the Charter Building in Uxbridge in January. Spelthorne purchased the Charter Building as an investment in August 2018 and it is now home to a community of local, national and global businesses. The PM said he was impressed with our investment and was very interested to hear about the Council’s commercial strategy.

     

    Spelthorne Council held a special memorial event on 27 January to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. The commemoration began with a flag raising ceremony during the day and continued in the evening with music, poems, readings and a heartfelt account from Holocaust survivor Marion Strehlow who witnessed the horrors first-hand. Representatives from six religions lit candles to show unity in keeping with this year’s theme, ‘Stand Together’.

     

    The Council has fulfilled its commitment to plant a tree in memory of every local soldier killed during the First World War. The commitment was made in 2018 as part of the centenary commemoration events, with the first 100 trees being planted at the Centenary Wood by Laleham Park. Since then, the planting has continued and all 851 trees – one for every soldier lost – have now been planted as a tribute to the fallen.

     

    This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The commemorations for VE Day on 8 May and VJ Day on 15 August are significant milestones and provide an opportunity to reflect on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49/20

    50/20

    Announcements from the Chief Executive

    To receive any announcements from the Chief Executive.

    Minutes:

    The Chief Executive, Daniel Mouawad, recorded his appreciation to the IT team for minimising the impact of a significant power outage at the Council offices on Sunday 16 February.  To restore power, a generator was brought on site and the IT team worked late into Sunday night to restore the Council’s servers to maintain business continuity.  He thanked the IT team for their continued commitment in supporting a first class public service provision that supports our communities.

    51/20

    Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 81 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 20 February 2020.

     

    Question from Mr A. McLuskey

     

    “Given the recent report by the British Heart Foundation indicating that Spelthorne suffers  from 11.08 micrograms of ‘particulates’ per cubic metre in its air will the Council reciprocate by -

     

    a)    Bringing in, as a matter of urgency, a Clean Air Zone for the Borough.

    b)    Opposing Heathrow’s potentially immensely polluting 3rd runway plan?”

     

    Minutes:

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

     

    1.    Question from Andrew McLuskey

     

    “Given the recent report by the British Heart Foundation indicating that Spelthorne suffers  from 11.08 micrograms of ‘particulates’ per cubic metre in its air will the Council reciprocate by -

     

    a)  Bringing in, as a matter of urgency, a Clean Air Zone for the Borough.

    b) Opposing Heathrow’s potentially immensely polluting 3rd runway plan?”

     

    Response from the Deputy Leader, Councillor Tony Harman

     

    “Thank you for your question, Mr McLuskey. The air quality level quoted in the question is taken from central Government modelling. Measured levels at monitors in Oaks Road, Stanwell and Sunbury Cross in 2018 were lower and below the World Health Organisation’s guideline. Full details will be provided in the written response.

     

    A Clean Air Zone defines an area where targeted action is taken to improve air quality to deliver health benefits whilst supporting economic growth. Action includes access restrictions to encourage cleaner vehicles and a particular focus on measures to accelerate the transition to a low emission economy. There can be two categories:

     

    1. Non-charging Clean Air Zones: Which are defined geographic areas used as a focus for action to improve air quality; and
    2. Charging Clean Air Zones: Where in addition to the above, vehicle owners are required to pay a charge to enter, or move within a zone if their vehicle does not meet specified emissions standards. Implementation of such zones require at least a three to five year lead-in to allow businesses and individuals to adjust.

     

    Spelthorne is not able to establish a Charging Clean Air Zone as the power to introduce such a zone rests with Surrey County Council as the Highways Authority. In addition, Spelthorne already has a whole Borough Air Quality Management Area which has a similar function to a Non-Charging Clean Air Zone. Details of progress with air quality actions can be found in our 2019 Annual Status Report to Defra, which is available on our website (link provided in written response): https://www.spelthorne.gov.uk/article/17839/Air-quality-reports

     

    The Council is currently participating in a joint project with Surrey County Council to pilot electric vehicle charging infrastructure at 20 on-street parking bays across the Borough and we are currently recruiting a temporary Air Quality Officer to develop the Council’s new Air Quality Action Plan.

     

    The Council’s position on Heathrow Expansion was recently decided at the Full Council meeting of 24 October 2019 (Item 276/19). A motion was put forward and carried that:

     

     “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.”

     

    Our demands include requirements in respect of air quality impacts and impacts on other environmental issues and these can be viewed in the minutes of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51/20

    52/20

    Petitions pdf icon PDF 56 KB

    The Council has received a petition with 5,270 signatories requesting that Spelthorne Borough Council does not release 19 Green Belt areas currently identified in the Local Plan for building or other commercial purposes and to protect the entire existing Green Belt in Spelthorne for generations to come.

     

    The matter is referred to Council for consideration and a response.  In accordance with Standing Order 16.4 in the Constitution, the options available to Council are:

     

    (a) to take the action the petition requests; or

    (b) not to take the action requested for reasons put forward in the debate; or

    (c) to note the petition and keep the matter under review.

     

    Minutes:

    The Council had received a petition with 5,270 signatories requesting that Spelthorne Borough Council did not release 19 Green Belt areas currently identified in the Local Plan for building or other commercial purposes and to protect the entire existing Green Belt in Spelthorne for generations to come.

     

    The following statement accompanied the petition:

     

    “Green Belt land fulfils important functions. Its fundamental aim is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open - and Spelthorne’s Green Belt boundaries have remained largely unchanged since WW2. Nonetheless, as part of its New Local Plan consultation, Spelthorne Borough Council is putting forward 19 Green Belt sites across the whole of Spelthorne for building/housing and commercial purposes. [1] This would mean a loss of 53ha of Green Belt with a risk of further erosion of our Green Belt in the future. It will result in smaller remaining Green Belt sites which will be weakened as a result and – in turn – become vulnerable to development.

     

    Even though Green Belt boundaries should only be altered where “exceptional circumstances” are fully evidenced and justified and where strictly necessary, the Council has decided to reject 29 urban (brownfield) sites for development opting for Green Belt sites instead which are strongly preferred by developers and Green Belt owners as these greatly maximise profit margins. Once stripped of Green Belt status, the value of land can raise 2500 fold (250,000%) and more. The release of the Green Belt will lead to significant changes to the character of the areas where they are located and will have a significant impact on local residents as these plots of land have an amenity, biodiversity value, a visual benefit and/or carbon capture value – which is now more important than ever during a time of Climate Emergency when more (not fewer) green spaces and re-wooded areas are required to counteract carbon emissions.”

     

    In accordance with the Council’s Petition Scheme, the matter was referred to Council for consideration and a response.

     

    Malcolm Beecher presented the petition to the Council referring to the effects of destroying forest and woodland on climate change and the part the Green Belt plays not only in preventing urban sprawl but as a vital carbon sink. He stated that the health of the Borough’s residents was as important as their need for housing and claimed that with the use of innovative design the Council could deliver the homes it needed by developing the brownfield sites in the Borough. He also stated that Local Authorities had responsibility for assessing the number of homes they needed, not the government, whose targets were not mandatory.

     

    Councillor I.J. Beardsmore responded to the petition as follows:

     

    Firstly I believe residents deserve more than a series of facts when it comes to answers, so with this in mind I will split my response in two - the answer itself which I shall provide now and an evidence base to sustain that answer which will be provided following the meeting. Otherwise we are going to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52/20

    53/20

    Treasury Management Strategy Statement

    Minutes:

    Council considered the recommendation of the Cabinet on the Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2020/21.

     

    The proposed Strategy represented an appropriate balance between risk management and cost effectiveness.

     

    Resolved to approve the Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2020/21.

     

    54/20

    Housing Strategy 2020/2025

    Minutes:

    Council considered the recommendation of Cabinet to approve the Housing Strategy for 2020/2025.

     

    The Housing Strategy sets out how the Council will ensure that local residents have an affordable range of housing options to meet their needs.  The strategy sets out the key areas of focus, and is based upon the findings of an independent review of the Council’s performance in affordable housing delivery.

     

    Resolved to approve the Housing Strategy 2020/2025.

     

     

     

    55/20

    Pay Policy Statement 2020/21

    Minutes:

    Council considered a recommendation from Cabinet to approve the pay policy statement for 2020/21. Pay Policy statements must be agreed by full Council and published by 31 March each year to apply to pay decisions during the next financial year.

     

    Resolved to approve the Pay Policy Statement 2020/21.

     

     

     

    56/20

    Capital Strategy 2020/2025

    Minutes:

    Council considered the recommendation of the Cabinet on a Capital Strategy for the period 2020 to 2025.

     

    The 2020 Strategy is a refreshed and revised version of the first Capital Strategy adopted in 2019, taking account of activity in the last year, and reflecting the Council’s greater emphasis on the performance of the investment portfolio, refined and improved governance arrangements and the need to embed sustainability.

     

    Resolved to approve the Capital Strategy for 2020-2025.

     

    57/20

    Capital programme 2020/21 to 2023/24

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered the recommendation of Cabinet on the Capital Programme for the period 2020/21 to 2023/24 in the light of the available resources and the corporate priorities.

     

    The potential cost of the schemes proposed in the 2020/21 programme totalled £65,636,700. All bids on the Capital Programme were critically assessed and reviewed by Management Team and Cabinet to reflect the level of capital resources now available to finance future capital expenditure.

     

    Resolved to:

    1.    Approve the Capital Programme for 2020/21 to 2023/24

    2.    Approve the Prudential Indicators for 2020/21 to 2023/24.

     

     

     

    58/20

    Pay Award 2020/21

    Minutes:

    Council considered the recommendation of the Cabinet on the Pay Award 2020/21. 

     

    The proposed pay award of 2.5% to all staff, including those on protected salaries, personal salaries and apprentices had been subject to consultation and negotiation with Unison and was made to help attract and retain staff.

     

    Resolved to approve the 2020/21 pay award of 2.5% to all staff.

     

    59/20

    Members' Allowances Scheme 2020/21

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Council considered the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel on the Members Allowance Scheme for 2020/21.

     

    Resolved to approve the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel in relation to the Members’ Allowances Scheme 2020-2021, as set out below and in the Approved Duties list attached to these minutes:

     

    Allowance

    Current amount

    Number

    Recommended Allowance for 2020/20211

     

    Basic:

    £6200

    39

    £6355

     

     

     

     

    Special Responsibility:

     

     

     

     

    Leader of the Council

     

    £14259

    1

    £14616

    Deputy Leader

     

    £9412

    1

    £9647

    Cabinet Members

     

    £7130

    72

    £7308

    Cabinet member for Strategic Planning

    N/A

    -

    £5846

    Spelthorne Joint Committee Chairman/Vice-Chairman

    £4999

    1

    £5124

    Planning Committee Chairman

     

    £5703

    1

    £5846

    Licensing Committee Chairman

     

    £4991

    1

    £5116

    Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairman

     

    £4991

    1

    £5116

    Audit

    Committee Chairman

     

    £3566

    1

    £3654

     

     

     

     

    Opposition Group Leader

     

    £3322

    1

    £3405

     

     

     

     

     

    Co-Optees’ Allowance

    £1000 (Chair)

    £500 (Vice-Chair)

    1

    1

    £1500 (Chair)

    £750 (Vice-Chair)

    Total Budget

    £346,735

     

    £359,621

     

    1 On an assumption of a 2.5% staff pay award

    2 Based on the existing Cabinet and excluding the Leader, Deputy Leader and Strategic Planning Portfolio

     

    Allowance for expenditure incurred in relation to Approved Duties (Schedule 1 to Scheme)

    Unchanged allowances for 2020/21

     

    Dependants’ Carer’s Allowance

     

    Reimbursement of actual costs incurred

     

     

     

    Travelling and Subsistence Allowances

     

    Motor Mileage Allowance (per mile)

     

    Cars

     

     

     

    Motorcycles

     

    Cycle

     

     

     

     

    Up to 999cc – 46.9p

    1000cc – 1199cc – 52.2p

    1200cc and over – 65p

     

    24p

     

    Nil

     

    Day Subsistence Allowance

     

     

    Reimbursement of actual costs incurred

     

    60/20

    Detailed Revenue Budget 2020/21

    The Budget Book (green cover) will be issued in a supplementary agenda and will reflect the recommendations considered at the meeting of the Cabinet on 26 February 2020.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Council considered the recommendation of Cabinet on the detailed Revenue Budget for 2020-21 and the proposed Council Tax for 2020-21. The Mayor referred councillors to the Budget Book (green cover) reflecting the decisions and recommendations made by Cabinet on 26 February 2020, including the precepts being levied by Surrey County Council and the Surrey Police.

     

    It was moved, seconded and 

    Resolved to agree that in accordance with Standing Order 20.4, the respective Budget speeches of the Group Leaders may each exceed 10 minutes in length if necessary.

     

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor I.T.E. Harvey made a statement on the Budget and the Council Tax and moved the recommendations on the detailed Budget for 2020-21 as set out in the report circulated in the Budget Book.  The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Group, Councillor S. Dunn then made a statement.

     

    A copy of Councillors Harvey’s and Dunn’s speeches are attached to these minutes as Appendices A and B respectively.

     

    During the debate on this item, it was moved, seconded and

    Resolved to suspend Standing Order 5, Duration of Meeting, to allow the meeting to continue until the completion of this item of business.

     

    At the conclusion of the debate on the Revenue Budget, the Mayor explained it was a legal requirement to record in the minutes of the proceedings the names of the persons who cast a vote for the decision or who abstained from voting.

     

    Councillor J. Boughtflower left the meeting before the vote was called.

     

    The voting was as follows:

     

    FOR (13)

    Councillors I.T.E. Harvey (Leader); A.C. Harman (Deputy Leader); C. Barnard; I.J. Beardsmore; A. Brar; S. Buttar; H. Harvey; V.J. Leighton; O. Rybinski; D. Saliagopoulos; J. Sexton; R.W. Sider; R.A. Smith-Ainsley;

    AGAINST (8)

    Councillors N. Cornes; R. Dunn; S.A. Dunn; T. Fidler; K. Grant; T. Lagden; L.E. Nichols; B.B. Spoor

    ABSTAIN (5)

    Councillors C.L. Bateson; J.H.J. Doerfel; J.T.F. Doran; S. Doran; V. Siva.

    The motion was carried.

     

    Resolved to:

     

    1. Continue the Council’s Local Council Tax Support Scheme with the current rules and regulations;
    2. Continue the complete disregard of war pension / armed forces pension income from benefit calculations;
    3. Agree the growth and savings items as set out in the report’s appendices;
    4. Note the Chief Finance Officer’s commentary in section 4 of the report on the robustness of budget estimates and levels of reserves under sections 25 and 26 of the Local Government Act 2003;
    5. Agree the Council Tax Base for the whole council area for 2020/21. [Item T in the formula in Section 31b(3) of the local government Finance Act 1992, as amended (the “act”)] should be 40,085.00 band D equivalent dwellings and calculate that the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purpose for 2020/21 is £205.05 Per Band D equivalent dwelling;
    6. Approve a 1.29% increase on Band D in the Spelthorne Borough Council element of the Council Tax for 2020/21. Moreover:

    a)    The revenue estimates as set out in Appendix 1 be approved.

    b)    No Money, as set out in this report is appropriated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60/20