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  • Agenda and draft minutes

    Cabinet
    Wednesday, 6 November 2019 7.30 pm

    Venue: Goddard Room, Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames

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

    Items
    No. Item

    2644.

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 124 KB

    To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 25 September 2019 as a correct record.

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 25 September 2019 were agreed as a correct record.

     

    2645.

    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 none.

    2646.

    Leader's announcements

    To receive any announcements from the Leader.

    Minutes:

    The following are the latest service updates from various Council departments.

     

    The Council is consulting on a new Local Plan for the Borough which will set out how much development we need for the next 15 years and where it should go. Residents are being asked for their views on the proposed draft policies and possible development sites set out by the Council and have until 7 January 2020 to respond. The consultation is being promoted on the Council’s website, on social media, in the Bulletin magazine, via the press, on the notice boards and in libraries.

     

    The hard work and achievements of local businesses was celebrated at the Spelthorne Means Business Awards dinner at Shepperton Studios on 17 October. Awards were presented in twelve categories from a short-list of finalists and the accolade of ‘best business in Spelthorne’ was given to  Quality Fruit Veg and Flowers from Shepperton.

     

    The Council has announced the purchase of the Oast House in Staines-upon-Thames. Comprising of a historic Grade II listed building and car park, the property sits adjacent to Staines Railway Station with fast links to London Waterloo. The purchase represents another significant step in the Council’s wider plan to rejuvenate Staines-upon-Thames.

     

    The Council has announced that the multi-storey car park in Ashford will continue to be free to use until the beginning of next year following the disruption caused by development work at the former Brooklands College site.

     

    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 the country’s parks and green spaces. A grant of £15,000 has been received from the London Marathon Charitable Trust for the creation of a fitness trail in the park plus an additional £5,000 from Fields in Trust for other improvements.

     

    A planning application has been approved to build a new emergency accommodation facility in Ashford on the site of the former Harper House. The new facility will provide significantly improved facilities for up to 20 local families. The target for completion is early 2021.

     

    Meadhurst Primary School won this year’s Spelthorne schools quiz in a close contest which tested the contestants’ knowledge on everything from politics to harry potter. Runners-up were Staines Preparatory School in 2nd place and Riverbridge Primary School in 3rd place.  

     

    Leisure Services hosted four creative workshops during the October school holidays togive young people a flavour of the skills and techniques used in the creative industries. The full-day workshops were run by industry professionals and subsidised by Better Neighbourhood grants from Cllr Colin Barnard, Cllr Nichola Cornes, Cllr Susan Doran, Cllr Vivienne Leighton and Cllr Robin Sider BEM.

     

    The Council has appealed for information following the vandalism of the ‘silent soldier’ in Memorial Gardens in Staines-upon-Thames.

     

    2647.

    A Masterplan for Staines - Key Decision pdf icon PDF 143 KB

    Councillors I.T.E. Harvey, A.C. Harman, M.M. Attewell and O. Rybinski

     

    To consider a report on the production of a Masterplan for Staines-upon-Thames.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered a report on a proposal for a Staines-upon-Thames Masterplan.

     

    Proceeding with a Masterplan brings a number of advantages, as set out in Paragraph 2.4 of the report, including setting out an ambitious and deliverable overall vision for the transformation and regeneration of the whole town.

     

    Alternative options considered, and rejected, by Cabinet:

    ·           Do nothing and continue with ad-hoc decision making

    ·           Deliver masterplan using in-house resource

     

    Resolved to:

    1.    agree to go out to tender for a Staines-upon-Thames Masterplan; and

     

    2.    agree that the Deputy Chief Executive (Finance), in consultation with the Leader, be given delegated authority to enter into a contract to appoint the external advisors.

     

    Reasons for Decision

    The production of a Masterplan for Staines-upon-Thames will help shape and develop the town alongside the new Local Plan which is being reviewed, and which will be adopted in 2021.

     

    It will set a clear vision and strategy for the transformation and regeneration of the centre of the town, focusing on deliverable outcomes and policies in an holistic way.

     

    It will set out our expectations of developers, investors and the local community and will be rooted in commercial reality. 

     

    2648.

    Council Tax Exemption for Young People Leaving Care pdf icon PDF 110 KB

    Councillor M.M. Attewell

     

    To consider a report on a proposal for Spelthorne Borough Council to provide a council tax exemption to care leavers living in independent accommodation from 18 up until the age of 25.

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered a report on a proposal to provide a council tax exemption to care leavers living in independent accommodation from 18 up until the age of 25.

     

    Alternative options considered, and rejected, by the Cabinet:

    ·         A variance on the scheme could be proposed i.e. a different level of discount, or for a shorter time.

    ·         Do nothing

     

    Resolved:

    1.    that Care Leavers living in independent accommodation be exempt from Council Tax until the age of 25 from April 2020; and

     

    2.    to note that from January 2020 Everyone Active, who operate Spelthorne and Sunbury Leisure Centres, will provide free swimming for children in care and care leavers up to age of 25

     

    Reason for Decision

    Care leavers who are living independently for the first time find managing their own finances extremely challenging, due to issues such as limited family support.  This can mean that care leavers may fall into debt and financial difficulty.  

    2649.

    Public Space Protection Orders - Unauthorised Mooring pdf icon PDF 135 KB

    Councillor R. Barratt

     

    To receive a report on the consultation responses on unauthorised Mooring and a proposed Public Space Protection Order.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet received a report on the responses to consultation on unauthorised Mooring and a proposed Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

     

    Spelthorne, Elmbridge and Runnymede Borough Councils are considering options along a specified area of the River Thames due to the unreasonable and persistent nature of mooring without consent, which is having a detrimental effect on those living in the locality.

     

    Resolved to:

    1.    note the Consultation responses; and

     

    2.    agree that the results of the initial stakeholder consultation are considered with Elmbridge BC and Runnymede BC to propose next steps and thereafter to report back to Cabinet. 

     

    Reasons for Decision

    To engage with the community on a proposed change to enforcement on the River Thames.

    To work in partnership with other councils to achieve a consistent approach to mooring enforcement in this area.

    2650.

    Decision making in respect of Council property and the role of the Property and Investment Committee pdf icon PDF 123 KB

    Councillor I.T.E. Harvey

     

    To consider a report on a proposal to set up a Property and Investment Committee as a Cabinet Sub-Committee.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Cabinet considered a report on a proposal to set up a Property and Investment Committee as a Cabinet Sub-Committee.

     

    The existing process of decision making has been appropriate and sufficient

    for many years, but due to dramatic changes in the Council’s property portfolio over the last few years it is now apparent that it is no longer ‘fit for purpose’. Cabinet considered how decision making is structured in the future to ensure that the Council can make fully informed and transparent decisions but at a speed that is acceptable within a fast moving and commercial environment.

     

    Alternative options considered, and rejected, by the Cabinet:

    ·         Leave arrangements as they are

     

    Resolved to approve the set up and Terms of Reference of the Property and Investment Committee as a Cabinet Sub-Committee.

     

    Reason for Decision

    To update and streamline the decision making process for dealing with asset transactions whilst providing a clear audit trail for decisions

    2651.

    Urgent Action

    To note urgent action undertaken by the Chief Executive.

     

    On 8 October 2019 the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader, agreed a letting within the Porter Building, Reading. This is not a Key Decision. The matter was considered as urgent action because the proposed tenant required completion of the letting before the Cabinet was next due to meet.

     

     

     

    Minutes:

    Cabinet noted the urgent action taken on 8 October 2019 by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader, to agree a letting within the Porter Building, Slough. The matter, which was not a Key Decision was considered as urgent action because the proposed tenant required completion of the letting before the Cabinet was next due to meet.

     

    2652.

    Urgent items

    To consider any items which the Chairman considers as urgent.

    Minutes:

    The Leader welcomed Councillor Ian Beardsmore to the Cabinet as the special portfolio holder for Strategic Planning. Councillor Beardsmore commented on the Local Plan consultation which had opened on 5 November and how the housing requirement policy set by government would impact the Borough. He provided feedback on a meeting that he and the Leader had attended with Housing ministers in an attempt to reduce the impact on Spelthorne of what the government was asking the Council to deliver.

    2653.

    Exempt Business

    To move the exclusion of the Press/Public for the following items, 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 items 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.

     

    2654.

    Exempt report: Redevelopment Costs for Harper House - Key Decision

    Councillor M.M. Attewell

     

    To consider an exempt report seeking approval of the costs for the demolition and rebuild of Harper House and make a recommendation to Council.

    Reason for Exemption

    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 it would put the Authority at a competitive disadvantage to disclose the anticipated contract sum to the market prior to the tender submission and this may distort the tender process.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

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

     

    Cabinet considered an exempt report seeking approval of the costs for the redevelopment of Harper House.

     

    A revised capital programme provision and an increased net financing cost was required as a result of the redesign of Harper House following feedback from Homes England.

     

    Alternative options considered, and rejected, by the Cabinet:

    ·         Delay works

    ·         Do nothing

     

    Resolved to:

    1.            recommend to Council the approval of a supplementary estimate of increase in the existing capital programme provision of £400k for the demolition and rebuild of Harper House, for the reasons set out in the report, and in line with the Order of Costs Estimate in Appendix 1;

     

    2.            authorise the Chief Financial Officer to make prudent financing arrangements for the project;

     

    3.            authorise the Head of Corporate Governance to enter into any legal documentation necessary to implement this construction project, including any legal agreements required in order to receive grant funding from Homes England; and

     

    4.            authorise the Portfolio Holder for Community Wellbeing and Group Head for Regeneration and Growth to authorise the appointment of a suitable contractor to undertake these works.

     

    Reasons for Decision:

    To take advantage of a time-limited grant funding programme.

    To improve the quality and quantum of accommodation within the Borough for vulnerable homeless households.

    To align Spelthorne Borough Council with the requirements of the Homelessness Reduction Act.

    2655.

    Exempt report: Procurement of provider of housing management and resident support services at Harper House

    Councillor M.M. Attewell

     

    To consider an exempt report on the procurement of a third party to provide a housing management and resident support service at Harper House.

     

    Reason for Exemption

     

    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 2 – Information relating to any individual and in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information because such information amounts to personal data under the Data Protection Act 2018.

     

    Minutes:

    (Paragraph 2 – Information relating to any individual)

     

    Cabinet considered an exempt report on the procurement of a provider of housing management and resident support services at Harper House.

     

    Alternative options considered, and rejected, by the Cabinet:

    ·         Recruit internally to provide a housing management and resident support service in-house

    ·         do nothing and manage Harper House on existing resources available to Housing

     

    Resolved to:

    1.         note the benefits of procuring a managed service provider to provide a housing management and resident support service at the rebuild Harper House;

     

    2.         authorise the Group Head for Community Wellbeing to determine the provider to be appointed, in consultation with the Corporate Procurement Manager, the Portfolio Holder for Community Wellbeing & Housing and the Chief Financial Officer; and

     

    3.         authorise the Head of Corporate Governance to enter into any legal documentation necessary to appoint the new provider.

     

    Reason for Decision

    To allow sufficient time to appoint the provider up to six months prior to the anticipated practical completion of the rebuilds, so as to be party to key decisions to be made on the furniture, fixtures and fittings, as well as the operational logistics of running the accommodation.