• 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, 30 July 2020 6.00 pm

    Venue: Skype for Business video conference

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

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

    Items
    No. Item

    164/20

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 99 KB

    To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 18 June 2020 and the Extraordinary Council meetings held on 25 June and 2 July 2020.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the Council meetings held on 18 June 2020 were agreed subject to the inclusion of Shooting Star Chase as a charity supported by the Mayor in his announcements.

     

    The minutes of the Council meetings held on 25 June and 2 July 2020 were agreed as a correct record.

     

     

    165/20

    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.

     

     

    166/20

    Announcements from the Mayor

    To receive any announcements from the Mayor.

    Minutes:

    The Mayor announced that he had been pleased to virtually attend the Surrey Chairman’s Mayoral civic meeting.  Participants had been addressed by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey and the High Sherriff of Surrey and encouraged to seek out those who in their charity work have gone the extra mile and deserve recognition in the Queens honours’ list.

     

    He had also been delighted to be able to present the Spelthorne Civic Awards to those nominated at their homes, observing social distancing of course, and reported that they were delighted that he had made the effort to do so.

     

     

    167/20

    Announcements from the Leader

    To receive any announcements from the Leader.

    Minutes:

    The Leader made the following announcements:

     

    ““Good evening everyone and welcome to this Full Council Meeting and the first Leader’s Announcements of the new Administration.

     

    My administration wishes to make a clean break with Mr Harvey’s administration and promote a different kind of local politics in Spelthorne - the announcements we will make this evening will evidence this commitment.

     

    I want it to be known that we are no longer a property investment speculator who happens to provide Council services.  We are a local Borough Council which is there to serve our Residents; a Council that will help families, the young, the elderly and the needy; a Council that will help protect the environment and our Green Belt. A Council that is there to promote and help grow the local economy; a Council which will provide critical front-line services to all Residents.

     

    Our objective now is to press this Council’s reset button.

     

    We will - where possible - seek residents’ views, listen to what they have to say, and where appropriate incorporate their views into our plans.

     

    This Council will become more aware of our reason for being, of who we are, and how we are perceived by Residents, business, and the public at large.

     

    At the earliest opportunity we will drop SBC’s strapline “Spelthorne Means Business”.  We will obviously support businesses where we can – after all they provide jobs, career and growth opportunities for our Residents, and income security - but we will always put “Residents First”.

     

    “Residents First” will be the philosophy which underpins everything we do.

     

    My next announcement is about the Multi-Party Task Group on Governance

     

    I have previously made public my Administration’s wish to establish a Multi-Party Task Group to review this Council’s governance processes and it’s constitution, including whether we should be moving to a Committee-based system from 2021.

     

    All four elected party leaders have accepted invitations to join this group and I look forward to working together. Our first meeting is in the next couple of weeks.

     

    The move to a committee system will be designed by members for the Monitoring Officer to implement after a full member vote within the chamber.

     

    This is a key priority for the new Administration and again signals a clear break from the historic secretive decision-making practices of Mr Harvey. Once established I will report back to Full Council on next steps.

    Colleagues, please understand, this will be an inclusive process and there will be an opportunity for members to participate in this critical process.

     

    Full details of this group and all the other Task Group will be published in the next few days.

     

    My next announcement is the Multi-Party Property Investment Task Group

     

    Since becoming Leader, I have reflected on the property acquisitions and the concern of Residents and others outside Spelthorne.

     

    As a result of these concerns, I am pleased to confirm that my Administration is inviting the Local Government Association (LGA) to undertake, in the autumn, an independent Peer Review into our corporate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 167/20

    168/20

    Announcements from the Chief Executive

    To receive any announcements from the Chief Executive.

    Minutes:

    The Chief Executive made the following announcement:

     

    “Whilst we all feel the profound impact of coronavirus, not just on ourselves, but on our loved ones and our communities, we also have a great deal to be thankful for.  For the dedication and professionalism of hundreds of essential workers from this Borough, I want to place on record my personal thanks and heartfelt appreciation to all my fellow colleagues who have worked flat-out for the past four and a half months of this emergency to safeguard our most vulnerable and to maintain the public services our communities rely on.”

     

     

     

    169/20

    Update on the Council's Emergency Response to COVID-19

    To receive a verbal update on Spelthorne Borough Council’s emergency response to COVID-19 and the resulting financial impact.

     

    Minutes:

    The Chief Finance Officer provided the following update to Council on the impact of COVID-19 on the Council’s Revenue Budget for the current financial year:

     

    “As promised to Councillors at the Extraordinary Council Meeting (ECM) of 21 May when the Council received a detailed report on the initial estimates impacts on the Council’s 2020-21 Revenue Budget, this is a further update on the estimated impact of COVID-19 on the Council’s Revenue Budget. As the impacts of the pandemic become clearer there will be further updates to councillors. We will also highlight COVID-19 impacts in the normal budget monitoring reports which will go to future Cabinet and Overview and Scrutiny meetings.  For the 2021 -22 Budget we will be looking at how we can provide greater opportunities to scrutinise draft budget assumptions and options, clearly COVID-19 will have very considerable impacts on the 2021-22 and future budgets. 

     

    The focus of this update is primarily on the 2020-21 (i.e. current financial year)  Revenue Budget. In the autumn the Government will undertake the next Comprehensive Spending Review setting the high level spending parameters for the public sector for the next three financial years for revenue and next four years for capital. These parameters will be very much driven by the financial impacts of COVID-19. This will in turn drive the 2021-22 Finance Settlement for local government, which hopefully we should receive by Christmas, in which we also await to see if the proposals for negative grant, which would hit this council, have been postponed a further year. The Surrey districts and boroughs are taking some expert advice with respect to the option the Government has provided to Councils to choose whether to bear business rates and council tax COVID-19 related deficits in 2021-22 or spread over three years. In a two tier area the impacts are more complex.

     

    This update is based on our most up to date estimates of the financial impacts of COVID-19 on this Council, as we have been updating those estimates in order to submit a COVID-19 financial impacts return to Government required by end of tomorrow. So the Accountancy team have been liaising with service managers across the Council to confirm impacts to date and their latest estimates for the year.

     

    As presented to the Extraordinary Council Meeting on 21 May due to the uncertainties as to how the pandemic may evolve and the scale of economic impacts we have projected a range of estimates from a pessimistic set of scenarios through a mid range “realistic” to an optimistic case. We are using the realistic figures in our returns to Government.  The figures are likely to continue to change as the economic impacts on the residents of our borough become clearer. In particular we await to see the impact of the ending of the furlough scheme and the scale of job losses at the airport and in associated sectors. The Economic Development team are drawing together an economic recovery plan whose initiatives and resourcing will draw on funds  ...  view the full minutes text for item 169/20

    170/20

    Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 64 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 23 July 2020.

     

    Question from Mr. A. Woodward

     

    In answer to my earlier question about why Spelthorne Borough Council had not declared a Climate Emergency I was informed that “we do not feel that we must declare a climate emergency in order to deliver meaningful action. We believe in action not words.” Could the leader detail the meaningful actions that have been taken in the first half of 2020 to address the Climate Emergency?”

     

    Question from Mr. A. McLuskey

     

    In the light of the Green Jobs Challenge Fund recently established by Government to create new jobs in conjunction with local councils and aimed at improving the landscape - will Spelthorne Council commit to seeking funding from this source to enable extra, desirable elements (such as the rebuilding of the West Lodge) to be added to the scheme for a historically themed Nature Reserve on the former Lord Knyvett estate in Stanwell?”

     

    Question from Mr C. Hyde

     

    At the Council meeting on 27 February 2020, the Council was asked to consider and respond to a petition which requested “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 petition had 5,270 signatories when it was received by the Council and the number of signatories has now risen to over 6100.  On the basis of a 13:13 Council vote and the Deputy Mayor’s casting vote, the Council voted to support a motion “that the Council notes the petition and keeps the matter under review”.  Five months have now passed since the decision to keep the matter under review.  What work has been carried out by the Council to take the review forward, what decisions have been reached and, in the event that no decision has been reached to date, when will a decision be forthcoming on the action requested in the petition?”

    Minutes:

    The Mayor reported that, under Standing Order 14, questions had been received from nine members of the public.  In view of the number of questions and the fact that several related to the Green Belt and raised the same or similar issues, the Mayor directed that similar questions would be grouped together and one response provided to those.

     

    Question from Mr. A. Woodward

    “In answer to my earlier question about why Spelthorne Borough Council had not declared a Climate Emergency I was informed that “we do not feel that we must declare a climate emergency in order to deliver meaningful action. We believe in action not words.” Could the Leader detail the meaningful actions that have been taken in the first half of 2020 to address the Climate Emergency?”

     

    Response from the Leader, Councillor J. Boughtflower:

    “Thank you for your question.  The Council sees climate change as an important issue to address in relation to our community and estate.  The emergency response on COVID-19 has placed considerable demands on the Council, however, it did not stop us continuing to take actions to reduce our own emissions. We have purchased two electric bikes and two electric pool cars for staff to use, plus two electric vans for use by our operations team.  We have also installed a solar array on the West Wing of Knowle Green.  In looking at further measures we had solar PV surveys carried out on several more buildings and undertook energy surveys on eight of our buildings to identify energy saving opportunities which we will put to Council to take forward as appropriate.  We are currently preparing a tender in conjunction with LASER to ensure our future electricity supply is solely from renewable energy.

     

    On a wider scale we are progressing an on-street Electric Vehicle (EV) charging point trial with Surrey County Council, which will provide 20 on-street charge points in the Borough.  We also have a feasibility study being undertaken to assess opportunities for EV charge points in Council car parks.

     

    We actively engaged, albeit remotely, in the development of the Surrey climate change strategy and its proposed actions, which we will now look at in relation to our own estate.   Just prior to lockdown a working group on climate change was initiated to drive forward the climate change agenda in the Borough.  As I outlined earlier in my Leader’s announcements, I am looking to kick-start this working group again, with a view to the Group making recommendations for more challenging targets and actions for the Council, which will help deliver zero net carbon emissions much sooner than the 2050 target set by the previous administration.”

     

    Question from Mr. A. McLuskey

    ‘In the light of the Green Jobs Challenge Fund recently established by Government to create new jobs in conjunction with local councils and aimed at improving the landscape - will Spelthorne Council commit to seeking funding from this source to enable extra, desirable elements (such as the rebuilding of the West Lodge) to be added  ...  view the full minutes text for item 170/20

    171/20

    Petitions

    To receive any petitions from members of the public.

    Minutes:

    There were none.

     

     

    172/20

    Report from the Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 56 KB

    To receive the reports from the Leader of the Council on the work of the Cabinet at the following meetings:

     

    Extraordinary Cabinet – 8 April 2020 (2 meetings)

    Cabinet – 15 July 2020

    Extraordinary Cabinet – 22 July 2020 (to follow)

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor J. Boughtflower, presented the reports of the Cabinet meetings held on 8 April, 15 July and 22 July which outlined the matters the Cabinet had decided since the last Council meeting.

     

     

    173/20

    Report from the Chairman of the Audit Committee

    To receive the report from the Chairman of the Audit Committee on the work of the Committee at its meeting held on 23 July 2020.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Audit Committee, Councillor L. Nichols, presented his report which outlined the matters the Committee had considered since the last Council meeting.

     

     

    174/20

    Report from the Chairman of the Licensing Committee

    To receive the report from the Chairman of the Licensing Committee on the work of the Committee at its meeting held on 22 July 2020.

    Additional documents:

    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.

     

     

    175/20

    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 at its meeting held on 7 July 2020.

    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.

     

    Council noted the report subject to the amendment of the reference to the Surrey County Council Parking Task Group which was actually the Spelthorne Joint Committee Parking Task Group.

     

     

    176/20

    Report from the Chairman of the Planning Committee pdf icon PDF 65 KB

    To receive the report from the Chairman of the Planning Committee on the work of the Committee at its meetings held between March and July 2020.

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Planning Committee, Councillor T. Lagden, presented his report which outlined the matters the Committee had decided since the last Council meeting.

     

     

    177/20

    Appointment of a representative Trustee

    To consider the reappointment of Matthew Calvert as a representative trustee of the Laleham Charities – Village Hall and Recreation Ground for a further four year period to February 2024.

     

     

    Minutes:

    In view of the length of the agenda and as this item had previously been listed to be heard at the Council meeting in April which was postponed, it was agreed that this item be brought forward to be heard before the Motions listed as agenda item 15.

     

    It was proposed by Councillor J. Boughtflower and seconded by Councillor J. McIlroy and

     

    Resolved that Matthew Calvert be appointed as a Council representative trustee to serve on the Laleham Charities – Village Hall and Recreation Ground for a further four year period to February 2024.

     

     

    178/20

    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 20 July 2020 and 5 were received as follows:

     

    Motion 1.

     

    This Council resolves to implement a change in decision-making governance arrangements, comprising the cessation of the current Leader and Cabinet model of governance and the implementation of a Full Committee model of governance. This is to be developed during 2020 with a view to the arrangements taking effect at the earliest opportunity, but no later than the commencement of the next Council Municipal Year in May 2021, subject to a legally and constitutionally robust process. The changes are to be led by the Monitoring Officer and the Members Code of Conduct committee and agreed by the Council.”

     

    Proposed by: Cllr Helen Harvey 

    Seconded by: Cllr Olivia Rybinski

     

     

    Motion 2.

     

    The Leader said he would be more inclusive when he was elected and yet has not demonstrated this so under Standing Order 28.2 I propose a variation to Council Standing Order 8.3 little f.   

     

    I move the following:-

     

    “8.3 little ‘f’ be amended to prevent the Leader assigning all the Outside Bodies to his own party as opposed to the councillors best suited to carry out these roles.”

     

    Proposed by: Cllr Richard Smith-Ainsley

    Seconded by: Cllr Denise Saliagopoulos

     

    Motion 3.

     

    This Council seeks to consider a constitutional change away from a Leader and Cabinet form of government as specified in the current constitution.

    Consideration may be given to a full committee-based system, but all options as to change should be considered. In accordance with Article 15 of the current constitution the monitoring officer (as appropriate seeking advice from members’ code of conduct) is asked to prepare a report on the proposal to contain:

    • A full explanation of the committee-based system using specific council examples
    • The benefits of a change to such a system
    • Other options as to change whether by retaining the current system but limiting powers
    • Resources needed to rewrite the constitution
    • Resources needed for public consultation
    • Costs implications of all options
    • Time frame for implementation
    • Other extraneous obstructions (i.e. Unitary proposals by Surrey CC)

     

    Proposed by: Cllr John Boughtflower

    Seconded by: Cllr Jim McIlroy

     

     

    Motion 4.

     

    “The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee published its report on Local authority investment in commercial property on 13th July 2020.  The Council notes the following conclusions arising from the report:

     

    -  That in the view of the PAC, Spelthorne Borough Council borrowing from the Public Works Loans Board since 2016 has been excessive and undertaken against DHCLG and CIPFA guidance.

    -  That in some authorities there have been failings in transparency, with decision making by small groups and inadequate scrutiny.

     

    The Council resolves to take the following actions in response to the PAC report:

     

    - To require greater member involvement in all future investment related decisions above a defined transaction value.

    - To make available to members full information on significant portfolio expenditures, lettings and  ...  view the full agenda text for item 178/20

    Minutes:

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

     

    Councillor H. Harvey moved and Councillor O. Rybinski seconded the following motion:

     

    “This Council resolves to implement a change in decision-making governance arrangements, comprising the cessation of the current Leader and Cabinet model of governance and the implementation of a Full Committee model of governance. This is to be developed during 2020 with a view to the arrangements taking effect at the earliest opportunity, but no later than the commencement of the next Council Municipal Year in May 2021, subject to a legally and constitutionally robust process. The changes are to be led by the Monitoring Officer and the Members Code of Conduct committee and agreed by the Council.”

     

    Councillor J. Doerfel, proposed the following amendment which was seconded by Councillor V. Siva:

     

    “This Council resolves to implement a change in decision-making governance arrangements, comprising the cessation of the current Leader and Cabinet model of governance and the implementation of a Full Committee model of governance. This is to be developed during 2020 with a view to the arrangements taking effect at the earliest opportunity, but no later than the commencement of the next Council Municipal Year in May 2021, subject to a legally and constitutionally robust process. The changes are to be led by the Monitoring Officer and the Members Code of Conduct committee  debated and agreed by the Council.”

     

    The amendment was carried and the new substantive motion put to the vote.  A recorded vote was requested by Councillor R.A. Smith-Ainsley. The recorded vote was as follows:

     

    FOR (20)

    Cllrs Bateson, Beardsmore, Brar, Cornes, Doerfel, R. Dunn, S. Dunn, Fidler, Grant, H. Harvey, I. Harvey, Lagden, Nichols, Rybinski, Saliagopoulos, Sexton, Siva, Smith-Ainsley, Spoor, Vinson

    AGAINST (17)

    Cllrs ~Boughtflower, McIlroy, Attewell, Barnard, C. Barratt, R. Barratt, Buttar, Chandler, Gething, Gibson, Harman, Islam, Leighton, Madams, Mitchell, Noble, Sider,

    ABSTAIN (2)

    J. Doran, S. Doran

     

    The substantive motion was carried.

     

    The second motion was proposed by Councillor R.A. Smith-Ainsley who, under Standing Order 28.2, proposed a variation to Council Standing Order 8.3.and moved “8.3 little ‘f’ be amended to prevent the Leader assigning all the Outside Bodies to his own party as opposed to the councillors best suited to carry out these roles.”

     

    This was seconded by Councillor D. Saliagopoulos and, in accordance with Standing Order 28.2, was adjourned without discussion, to the next ordinary meeting of the Council.

     

     

    It had been moved by Councillor I. Beardsmore and seconded by Councillor R.A. Smith-Ainsley to suspend Standing Order 5.1 and continue the meeting until the end of the business. 

     

    The motion was lost and the meeting adjourned at 9.00pm with the remaining business to be carried over to the next ordinary meeting.