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  • Agenda and draft minutes

    Council - Thursday, 22 April 2021 6.00 pm

    Venue: Teams video conferencing

    Contact: Michelle Beaumont  Email: m.beaumont@spelthorne.gov.uk

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

    Items
    No. Item

    100/21

    Minutes silence in remembrance of His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh

    Minutes:

    The Council observed a minutes silence in remembrance of His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

    101/21

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 453 KB

    To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the Council meeting held on 25 February 2021 and the Extraordinary meetings held on 4 and 25 March 2021.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the Council meeting held on 25 February 2021 and the Extraordinary meetings held on 4 and 25 March were agreed as a correct record.

     

    102/21

    Disclosures of Interest

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

    Minutes:

    There were no disclosures of interest.

    103/21

    Announcements from the Mayor

    To receive any announcements from the Mayor.

    Minutes:

    The Mayor made the following announcements.

     

    ·         I was honoured to be able to stand on the steps of this office to give condolences to Her Majesty, the Queen, and the Royal family on behalf of the Council and residents of this borough for the sad loss of His Royal Highness Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

     

    ·         I was also honoured to be invited to Guildford Cathedral on Friday 16 April to attend a socially distanced service of condolence held in honour of His Royal Highness. The service was extremely moving and was attended by other Mayors, The Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Deputy Lieutenants and the High Sheriff of Surrey.

     

    ·         It was a privilege to be invited to visit the 2nd Sunbury Brownies last Friday afternoon and I intend to visit a number of Brownie, Guide, Scout and Cub packs and groups over the next couple of months. As members will know, they are one of my chosen charities so please do let me know if you would like me to visit any groups within your wards.

    104/21

    Announcements from the Leader

    To receive any announcements from the Leader.

    Minutes:

    The Leader made the following announcements:

     

    This Council would like to put on record its expression of sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family following the sad passing of the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday 9th April.

     

    This Borough, along with the rest of England is slowly emerging from the recent lockdown, with non-essential retail shops and outdoor hospitality opening on 12 April. I know this continues to be a very difficult time for many of our residents and businesses in the Borough. It has been 13 and a half months since Spelthorne was the first Surrey council to declare a Borough-wide emergency and, during this time, we have made over 17,000 welfare calls, visits and checks to vulnerable residents, made over 28,500 phone calls to residents through our community helpline and delivered over 39,000 meals on wheels. Neighbourhood Services have collected over 31,500 tonnes of waste and recycling and cleared over 2,000 fly-tips. The Council continues to support business in Spelthorne and to date and have provided nearly £40million in relief and grants during the pandemic so far. A new walk-through coronavirus testing facility has opened for those with symptoms to book appointments at Kingston Road Car Park with residents encouraged to get twice weekly tests.

     

    Spelthorne Borough Council can continue to pride itself on its strong financial performance and is able to report that its commercial investment portfolio remains robust and is performing well ahead of the wider national average. Furthermore, for the 12-month period from March 2020, despite the UK experiencing the worst economic downturn for more than three hundred years, it has only written off 0.02% of the commercial rent due for 2020-21.

     

    A further 55 homes will become available in the Borough from April with the delivery of the first phase of Spelthorne Council's new housing development in Sunbury. 44 homes will be affordable with 11 of these also dedicated to key workers. The project is part of the Council's plans to relieve housing pressure in the local area by providing good quality and affordable housing. The development converted disused commercial offices at Benwell House in Green Street into 55 one and two-bedroom apartments. The Council have also approved their new key worker policy, which can be viewed on our website.

     

    To-date, Spelthorne has received over 100 emails from residents and of these 90% were in support of Spelthorne to remain as an independent Borough. Additionally, and as part of the Leader's residents’ forums, many concerns have been raised on what it would mean for the Borough if the unitary proposals went ahead.

     

    Spelthorne Borough Council is refreshing and realigning its corporate plan which will earmark four 'CARE' priorities; Community wellbeing, Affordable homes provision, Recovery and Environment for delivering services and supporting residents in the Borough. The proposals will refocus the Council's priorities overseen by the administration in tandem with the management team, reinforcing the strength of relationship between Councillors and Officers.

     

    The swimming pools at Sunbury Leisure Centre were closed last  ...  view the full minutes text for item 104/21

    105/21

    Announcements from the Chief Executive

    To receive any announcements from the Chief Executive.

    Minutes:

    There Chief Executive made the following announcements.

     

    The 13th March 2021 marked the one-year anniversary of this Council moving onto an emergency footing due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This presented possibly the biggest challenge ever faced by this authority, with our staff having to ramp up a rapid response to support people in need, safeguard life by supporting over 17,000 vulnerable residents and implementing a plethora of Government Regulations and guidance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  As part of our programme to keep Councillors informed throughout this period, officers have provided over 70 virtual briefings for Members.

     

    During that time, officers have also had to deal with 18 non-COVID related Extraordinary Council meetings, 66 non-COVID related motions to Council and over 115 non-COVID related Council questions. This is on top of the extensive work necessary to deliver this Chamber’s desire to move the Council towards a Committees system of governance at accelerated speed, work which has also included the need to consult our residents on these proposals, work with the Committee System Working Group and draft all the necessary constitutional changes required.

     

    Additionally, our officers have also organised and participated in a Local Government Association Financial Peer Review during this time, the first virtual peer review the LGA have undertaken anywhere in the country.

     

    I would again like to put on record my deep appreciation for all the hard work our staff have had to put in over this period to respond to these incredible challenges and to thank Councillors for their continued understanding and support throughout this period in recognising that we have rightly had to focus on prioritising more pressing matters, whilst also maintaining all the routine essential services our residents rely on so much.

     

    In response the Mayor expressed his thanks to the Chief Executive and his team for their hard work.

    106/21

    Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 233 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 15 April 2021.

     

    At the time of publication of this agenda two questions were received.

     

    Question from Mr A. McLuskey

    In the light of the ‘scorched earth’ policy being pursued by gravel company Cemex at Stanwell Quarry in clear opposition to information in the public domain and also totally against the tenor of the recent ‘Green’ messages in the Spelthorne Bulletin - will the Council use its good offices to represent to both Cemex and Surrey County Council that the spoilation of this beautiful location cease forthwith?

     

    Question from Mr A. Woodward

    Given that the Council has committed to sustainable development defined as, "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." and to “using sound science responsibly”, will the Council ensure that the Local Plan and the Staines upon Thames Development Framework take account of the latest science indicating that global warming is on track to exceed safe limits, including measures such as; restricting any new large scale construction, refurbishing existing structures and protecting the remaining greenbelt?

     

     

     

     

    Minutes:

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

     

    1.    Question from Mr A McLuskey

    In the light of the ‘scorched earth’ policy being pursued by gravel company Cemex at Stanwell Quarry in clear opposition to information in the public domain and also totally against the tenor of the recent ‘Green’ messages in the Spelthorne Bulletin - will the Council use its good offices to represent to both Cemex and Surrey County Council that the spoilation of this beautiful location cease forthwith ?

     

    Response from Councillor R. Noble

    Surrey County Council (SCC) are the responsible authority for ensuring that restoration schemes that have been approved on waste and minerals sites are implemented according to the permission as granted. Spelthorne Borough Council regularly discuss with SCC’s planners and environment officers the relevant schemes and the progress of implementation of these. SCC officers visit the sites where these schemes are being implemented on a regular basis and any enforcement action against non-compliance can be taken by the County. Spelthorne BC submit representations on proposed and on-going restoration schemes as well as planning applications relating to waste and mineral sites to ensure the Borough’s views are taken account of in the decision-making process.

     

    In relation specifically to the Cemex site at Stanwell Place, officers from Spelthorne have met with officers from SCC to discuss the on-going works.  SCC officers have conducted visits to the site and are satisfied with the works being undertaken.  Spelthorne are aware that SCC are in discussions with Cemex to ensure that the approved landscaping scheme is being implemented in a accordance with the submitted plans.  Spelthorne will continue to engage with Surrey to ensure that the scheme continues to be implemented by Cemex as agreed. 

     

    2.    Question from Mr A. Woodward

    Given that the Council has committed to sustainable development defined as, "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." and to “using sound science responsibly”, will the Council ensure that the Local Plan and the Staines upon Thames Development Framework take account of the latest science indicating that global warming is on track to exceed safe limits, including measures such as; restricting any new large scale construction, refurbishing existing structures and protecting the remaining greenbelt?

     

    Response from the Deputy Leader, Councillor J. McIlroy

    Spelthorne must plan for around 611 new homes per year over a 15-year period as part of the Government's aim to see more housing built and as such it will not be possible to restrict large scale construction in the borough. In order to find sites for this number of new homes, we do need to consider whether some Green Belt should be released, however these decisions will be made by the Council’s Local Plan Task Group and referred to the Cabinet. Sustainability Appraisal (often known as SA) is an integral element to the development of the new Local Plan. Its purpose  ...  view the full minutes text for item 106/21

    107/21

    Petitions

    To receive any petitions from members of the public.

    Minutes:

    There were none.

    108/21

    Calendar of Meetings 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 211 KB

    To consider the draft calendar of meetings for 2021 to 2022.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    It was proposed by Councillor J.R Boughtflower and seconded by Councillor J. McIlroy that the  draft calendar of meetings for 2021 to 2022, as set out in Appendix 1a to the report, be approved.

     

    Resolved to approve the Calendar of Meetings for 2021-2022 as attached to the agenda.

    109/21

    Report from the Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 97 KB

    To receive the report from the Leader of the Council on the work of the Cabinet at its ordinary meeting on 24 March, its extraordinary meeting on 29 March 2021 (attached) and its extraordinary meeting on14 April (to follow).

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council, Councillor J. Boughtflower, presented the reports of the ordinary Cabinet meeting held on 24 March 2021 and extraordinary Cabinet meetings held on 29 March and 14 April 2021, which outlined the matters the Cabinet had decided since the last Council meeting.

     

    110/21

    Report from the Chairman of the Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 187 KB

    To receive the report from the Chairman of the Audit Committee on the work of his Committee.

    Minutes:

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

    111/21

    Report from the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee pdf icon PDF 201 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.

    112/21

    Report from the Chairman of the Planning Committee pdf icon PDF 180 KB

    To receive the report from the Chairman of the Planning Committee on the work of his Committee.

    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.

    113/21

    Motions pdf icon PDF 108 KB

    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 12 April 2021 and two were received.

     

    Motion 1

     

    To Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill  (the background information provided with this Motion is attached)

     

    That Council resolves to:

     

    i.        Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

    ii.        Inform the local media of this decision;

    iii.        Write to Mr Kwasi Kwarteng asking him to support the CEE Bill; and

    iv.        Write to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, expressing its support (campaign@ceebill.uk).

    Proposer: Councillor J. Doerfel
    Seconder: Councillor T. Lagden

     

    Motion 2 – Project Delivery Fund

     

    The Council notes:

     

    ·         that the Forecast Outturn for 2021/22 shows that £497k can be released from the Project Delivery Fund for other projects as stated at section 2.4 of the Revenue Monitoring Report 2020/2021.

    ·         that these are "savings" in the 2020/21 Forecast Outturn and hence would not have any impact on the 2021/22 Budget as presented to Council on 25th February.

    The Council herewith decides to allocate these funds (to the value of £497k) to the £250k identified in the Budget for 2021/22 as seed funding for Green Initiatives (including projects to tackle the climate emergency) bringing the total to £747,000 for both capital and revenue grants available to local organisations.

     

    Proposer: Councillor J. Doerfel

    Seconder: Councillor T. Lagden

     

     

     

    Minutes:

    In accordance with standing order 19(d) the Leader, Councillor J.R Boughtflower, moved a motion without notice that the two motions on the agenda be referred to the Environment and Sustainability Committee to enable full, detailed and informed discussions to take place on these important matters.

     

    The motions on the agenda were as follows:

     

    Motion 1

     

    To Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill  (the background information provided with this Motion is attached to the agenda)

     

    That Council resolves to:

     

    i.        Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

    ii.        Inform the local media of this decision;

    iii.        Write to Mr Kwasi Kwarteng asking him to support the CEE Bill; and

    iv.        Write to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, expressing its support (campaign@ceebill.uk).

     

    Proposer: Councillor J. Doerfel
    Seconder: Councillor T. Lagden

     

    Motion 2 – Project Delivery Fund

     

    The Council notes:

     

    ·         that the Forecast Outturn for 2021/22 shows that £497k can be released from the Project Delivery Fund for other projects as stated at section 2.4 of the Revenue Monitoring Report 2020/2021.

    ·         that these are "savings" in the 2020/21 Forecast Outturn and hence would not have any impact on the 2021/22 Budget as presented to Council on 25th February.

     

    The Council herewith decides to allocate these funds (to the value of £497k) to the £250k identified in the Budget for 2021/22 as seed funding for Green Initiatives (including projects to tackle the climate emergency) bringing the total to £747,000 for both capital and revenue grants available to local organisations.

     

    Proposer: Councillor J. Doerfel

    Seconder: Councillor T. Lagden

     

    The motion was seconded by Councillor J. McIlroy.

     

    The motion was put to the vote and carried.

     

    Resolved that the two motions on the agenda be referred to the Environment and Sustainability Committee to enable full, detailed and informed discussions to take place on these important matters.

    114/21

    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 15 April 2021.

     

    At the time of publication no questions had been received.

     

    Minutes:

    There were no questions on Ward issues.

    115/21

    General questions pdf icon PDF 184 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 15 April 2021.

     

    At the time of the publication of this agenda one question had been received.

     

    Question from Councillor J. Doerfel

    On 20 October 2020, this Council passed a motion on idling. What has this Council done in the last 6 months to "declare a no idling zone as a matter of urgency", to "encourage all residents and businesses to stop engine idling", to raise awareness in Council publications, communications, and Council campaigns about the harm of idling, to "encourage and assist schools, businesses, and other partners in the Borough to highlight the health hazards and environmental impact of idling and to take measures to combat idling through signage and other measures", to write to Surrey County Council urging the Council to proactively address the declaration of a Clean Air Zone and combat idling as a matter of urgency including through the implementation of a Traffic Regulation Order to this effect, increased use of custom signage, idling penalties and increased enforcement resourcing for monitoring of idling hotspots including in busy shopping areas, car parks, near schools and in residential areas and to write to the Government for legislative reform?

     

     

    Minutes:

    The Mayor reported that three general questions had been received, in accordance with Standing Order 15, from Councillors J.H. Doerfel, L.E Nichols and T Lagden.

     

    1.    Question from Councillor J. Doerfel

    On 20 October 2020, this Council passed a motion on idling. What has this Council done in the last 6 months to "declare a no idling zone as a matter of urgency", to "encourage all residents and businesses to stop engine idling", to raise awareness in Council publications, communications, and Council campaigns about the harm of idling, to "encourage and assist schools, businesses, and other partners in the Borough to highlight the health hazards and environmental impact of idling and to take measures to combat idling through signage and other measures", to write to Surrey County Council urging the Council to proactively address the declaration of a Clean Air Zone and combat idling as a matter of urgency including through the implementation of a Traffic Regulation Order to this effect, increased use of custom signage, idling penalties and increased enforcement resourcing for monitoring of idling hotspots including in busy shopping areas, car parks, near schools and in residential areas and to write to the Government for legislative reform?

     

    Response from Councillor R. Noble

     

    Thank you Cllr Doerfel for your question.

     

    1.    In terms of declaring a no idling zone we need to consult with and involve others especially Surrey Highways Authority and organisations such as Highways England who have responsibility for the strategic road network, which is the primary source of emissions in Spelthorne. Obtaining views from such organisations takes time but must be undertaken prior to the declaration. of any “no idling zones”.

     

    2.    This has not prevented us from undertaking various activities to address the issue and encourage others to stop or prevent idling.  For example, as a planning condition on new developments in the Borough, signage is required in all parking and set down areas instructing drivers to switch off engines for the prevention of air pollution.

    3.    Communications are also key to encouraging drivers to switch off when parked.  Work is in its early stages to produce a ‘No idling’ campaign which will:

    • encourage drivers to switch off their engines when parked up and waiting (idling) outside schools, shops, train stations, parks and recycling centres.

    ·         draw attention to the health risks of continued idling.

    The council will use a variety of Council platforms including signage, social media and the Bulletin magazine. We will also be looking to engage with residents, schools and businesses across the Borough.

     

    Posters for community notice boards and the use of Vehicle Messaging Signs messaging will be implemented once the need for COVID-19 related messaging is reduced. A further measure that was considered and postponed due to COVID-19 was the use of a banner on Spelthorne Borough Council emails which are currently displaying COVID-19 messaging. If appropriate, such a banner could be used regarding the Climate Emergency and reducing emissions of both greenhouse gases and air pollutants.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 115/21

    116/21

    Appointment of a representative Trustee

    To consider the appointment of Council representative Trustees to the Ashford Relief in Need (ARIN) Charity.

     

    Councillors Tony Harman and Robin Sider BEM for a four year period ending in April 2025.

     

     

    Minutes:

    It was proposed by Councillor Boughtflower and seconded by Councillor McIlroy that Councillors Tony Harman and Robin Sider BEM be appointed as Council representative trustees to the Ashford Relief in Need Charity until April 2025.

     

    It was proposed by Councillor Saliagopoulos and seconded by Councillor Smith Ainsley that that Councillors Joanne Sexton and Robin Sider BEM be appointed as Council representative trustees to the Ashford Relief in Need Charity until April 2025.

     

    A vote was held on the nominations.

     

    Resolved that Councillors Tony Harman and Robin Sider BEM be appointed as a Council representative trustee to serve on the Ashford Relief in Need Charity for a four year term of office until April 2025.