Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN. View directions
Contact: Anne Gowing 020 8541 9938
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
The Chairman to report apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Bramhall, Mrs Frost, Mr Fuller,
Mr Goodwin, Mrs Hammond, Mr Harrison, Mrs Hicks, Ms Le Gal, Mrs Marks (am only) and Mr Sydney
To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 15 October 2013.
(Note: the Minutes, including the appendices, will be laid on the table half an hour before the start of the meeting).
Two amendments to the minutes were requested:
(i) Item no. 70/13, the name of the Children and Education Select Committee was corrected.
(ii) Item no. 74/13, re. the recorded vote - the name of Mrs Selleck was corrected to Mr Selleck.
The minutes of the County Council held on 15 October 2013, as amended, were submitted, confirmed and signed.
The Chairman to report.
The Chairman made the following announcements:
· Mr Michael Gosling and Dr Joe McGilligan were recently awarded NHS Partnership / System Leader of the Year as part of the NHS Leadership Recognition Awards 2013.
· Ms Mary Hendrick, from Adult Social Care was recently named as runner up in the Guardian’s Public Servant of the Year Award 2013 for her work with People with Learning Disabilities. In recognition of this outstanding achievement, the Chairman presented her with a certificate from the Council.
· That he had asked the Vice-Chairman of the Council to chair a task group, with representatives from the three largest political groups, to review the Standing Orders relating to the Council and committee processes in the Council’s Constitution. He said that, as part of this work, all Members would be surveyed for their views and that the aim was for the report to be considered at the County Council’s AGM in May 2014.
· That Members would also shortly be surveyed on the timings for future Council meetings and their views on the current lunchtime arrangements.
· The Chairman’s reception would be a summer event, rather than at Christmas and this would be a gala occasion and opportunity to thank partners and others. He also reminded Members that their Christmas lunch was on Thursday 19 December.
· Long Service Awards – he was pleased to attend and give awards at two separate events: for staff that had completed 25 years service and also for those staff who had completed 40 and 45 years service with Surrey County Council.
· The lunchtime speaker was Dr Helen Bowcock, the current High Sheriff.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests from Members in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.
· Each Member must declare any interest that is disclosable under the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012, unless it is already listed for that Member in the Council’s Register of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests.
· As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner).
· If the interest has not yet been disclosed in that Register, the Member must, as well as disclosing it at the meeting, notify the Monitoring Officer of it within 28 days.
· If a Member has a disclosable interest, the Member must not vote or speak on the agenda item in which it arises, or do anything to influence other Members in regard to that item.
There were none.
The Leader to make a statement.
To report the changes to the Cabinet Associates.
There will be an opportunity for Members to ask questions.
The Leader made a statement. A copy of his statement is attached as Appendix A.
Members were invited to make comments, ask questions and made the following points:
· The campaign to tackle litter was welcomed
· That residents were concerned about the on-going Surrey Fire & Rescue Service dispute. The Leader confirmed that he did respond, in confidence, to residents’ correspondence.
· An invitation to state what quality of Nelson Mandela’s he most admired. He said that it would be to lead by example.
· Praise that he was working for fairer funding for Surrey and that the Government should be reminded of Surrey’s needs and the efficiencies made by the County Council over the last four years.
To consider the report and the matters to which the Chief Executive draws attention.
The Leader presented the Surrey County Council Progress Report – July - December 2013, the ninth of the Chief Executive’s six monthly reports to Members.
Two Members made the following comments:
· The Cabinet Associate for Children, Schools and Families drew attention to examples of where technology had been used to improve the way that the County Council worked – such as Patchwork, currently being implemented through Shift to support the Surrey Family Support Programme and also being tested out in Mole Valley – another example of partnership working.
· The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care congratulated the Leader for the excellent report and highlighted the work of the Employability team who helped people with learning disabilities to secure paid employment, voluntary work or work experience. He hoped that the County Council would be able to provide increased employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities.
(1) That the report of the Chief Executive be noted.
(2) That the staff of the Council be thanked for the progress made during the last six months.
(3) That the support for the direction of travel be confirmed.
The Leader of the Council or the appropriate Member of the Cabinet or the Chairman of a Committee to answer any questions on any matter relating to the powers and duties of the County Council, or which affects the county.
(Note: Notice of questions in respect of the above item on the agenda must be given in writing, preferably by e-mail, to Anne Gowing in Democratic Services by 12 noon on Wednesday 4 December 2013).
Notice of 22 questions had been received. The questions and replies are attached as Appendix B.
A number of supplementary questions were asked and a summary of the main points is set out below.
(Q2) Mr Robert Evans made reference to the Conservative election leaflet of Mrs Saliagopoulos and suggested that there was a discrepancy between their policy and her campaign literature. Mr Beardsmore said that the proposed changes would result in the response times in the Spelthorne area being longer. Mr Norman said that overall Surrey Fire & Rescue provided a top quartile performance.
The Cabinet Member for Community Services informed Members that no decision had yet been made in relation to the arrangements for the Spelthorne area. The feedback from the consultation was being analysed and would be discussed at the Communities Select Committee prior to the Cabinet’s decision. She also confirmed that she was willing to discuss the matter with Mr Beardsmore outside the meeting. She also referred to the fire which had occurred at Ewell Court House in the early hours of the morning and the excellent response of the Surrey Fire & Rescue Service. Mr Kington, local Member for Ewell Court, Auriol and Cuddington made a statement in relation to this incident and this was attached as an annex to the minutes.
(Q3) Mr Cooksey asked the Cabinet Member for Transport, Highways and the Environment whether there was a timescale, including completion, for the footway programme. The Cabinet Member referred to the permit scheme, launched on 11 November 2013, which would enable the Council to control the work of utility companies and confirmed that all utility repairs to pavements would be inspected. Mrs Coleman asked if Members could also see the survey results. The Cabinet Member said that the information would be shared with local committee chairman and therefore Members should contact them.
(Q4) Mrs Windsor expressed surprise that Skanska was fulfilling its contract, given the issues with unlit bollards and the length of time taken for repairs. The Cabinet Member for Transport, Highways and Environment said that maintenance of the bollards was part of the Highways Budget and he accepted that there were issues with the current arrangements. Mr Walsh also asked the Cabinet Member for Transport, Highways and Environment for his views on how Members could smarten up their local areas. He suggested that this was a matter for local committees and reminded Members to use their local allocations before the end of this financial year.
(Q5) Mr Essex requested details of the County Council’s policy and procedures for assessing potential school sites in the Green Belt. The Cabinet Member for Transport, Highways and Environment said that he already had this information. Mrs Coleman considered that the last line of the response relating to land being restored and reverted to its former condition was incorrect. The Cabinet Member said that the County Council had an agreed minerals and aggregates plan. Also, the EU had recently praised the Council for the quality of restoration of these ... view the full minutes text for item 82/13
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
Any Member may make a statement at the meeting on a local issue of current or future concern.
(Note: Notice of statements must be given in writing, preferably by e-mail, to Anne Gowing in Democratic Services by 12 noon on Monday 9 December 2013).
There were three statements by Members:
· Mrs White in relation to a community library at Kings College, Guildford (Appendix Ci)
· Mr Young in relation to road closures for the Prudential Ride-London cycle race
· Mr Kington in relation to fire at Ewell Court House (Appendix Cii)
Mr Robert Evans (Stanwell and Stanwell Moor) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:
recognises the huge contribution made to the County by its
therefore, resolves that the London Living Wage should be the
minimum paid to any person, directly or indirectly employed by
Surrey County Council.’
Mr Stephen Cooksey (Dorking South and the Holmwoods) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:
‘This council notes:
a) the current consultation on Surrey County Council's Home to School Transport Policy, the stated intention of which in advance was that "Surrey County Council is not proposing any change to its home to school transport policy for 2015."
b) concerns by Surrey residents including:
i) the discouragement that the present system gives to parents returning to full time work, given the Coalition Government's focus on getting people off benefits and into work. At present if parents cease to receive maximum Working Tax Credit or a child ceases to qualify for free school meals, Home to School Transport stops immediately.
ii) the difficulties in obtaining school transport by children living in rural parts of Surrey, especially for pupils wanting to go to their nearest school within the Borough or District where they live, where there are community ties, but who live close to Borough or District or County boundaries.
iii) the difficulties caused by the nearest school to a child's home being denominational when a child is of a different religion.
iv) people being denied free Home to School Transport when the shortest practical route is far longer than the distances used under the qualifying criteria because there are major physical obstacles (such as railway lines, major roads and reservoirs).
v) the difficulties caused to children who live more than 3 miles from any school but who are denied free transport to the parent's school of choice because the parents have not opted for the nearest school.
vi) the difficulties caused when a child does not live in a school's catchment area, even though it is their nearest school.
Council calls for a Members' Start and Finish Task Group to be established to assess the findings of the consultation, the concerns above and any other relevant concerns with the aim of reaching recommendations to resolve as many of the concerns as possible and report back to the Children & Education Select Committee.’
Mr Ian Beardsmore (Sunbury Common and Ashford Common) to move under Standing Order 11 as ... view the full agenda text for item 84/13
ITEM 9 (i)
Under Standing Order 12.3, the Council agreed to debate this motion.
Under Standing Order 12.1, Mr Robert Evans moved the motion which was:
recognises the huge contribution made to the County by its
This Council, therefore, resolves that the London Living Wage should be the minimum paid to any person, directly or indirectly employed by Surrey County Council.’
The motion was formally seconded by Mr Essex.
Mr Evans said that:
· There were two parts of the motion: (i) zero hours contracts, (ii) London living wage but that both parts were about Surrey County Council being a better employer.
· Surrey had pockets of poverty and food banks were opening up in the county and this motion was a modest attempt to improve the matter for the poorer people living in Surrey.
· That ‘zero hours contracts’ had been rebranded by the County Council as ‘bank contracts’ and employees on these contracts were only paid for the hours actually worked and were expected to be available as/when the Council required them – he urged Members to decide today to end this practice.
· On the London living wage, he quoted hourly rates and also referred to the salary paid to Surrey’s apprentices and said that paying the London living wage made good business sense, was morally right and was supported by the Mayor of London and also the Prime Minister.
Mr Martin responded and made the following points:
· That the motion was in three parts and that the Conservatives would endorse the huge contribution made to the County by its employees.
· The County Council had 1900 staff on the bank but when schools were included, the figure rose to nearly 6000, which was about 18% of the workforce.
· Bank staff covered vacancies and the practice worked well for covering unplanned activities.
· These contracts were part of the flexible working policy, many people preferred this way of working and the practice could be in both parties interest.
· The County Council used bank contracts responsibly and staff on these contracts were paid the same hourly rate as permanent staff in the same position but just paid for the hours that they worked. They were also entitled to the same basic terms and conditions of employment as permanent staff on a pro-rata basis.
· These arrangements made good business sense and he did not support ending this practice.
· Referring to the ‘living wage’, he said that there were three different rates in the UK for the living ... view the full minutes text for item 84/13
To receive the report of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 22 and 30 October and 26 November 2013 and to agree one recommendation in respect of:
Youth Justice Strategic Plan
The Leader presented the reports of the Cabinet meetings held on 22 and 30 October and 26 November 2013.
(1) Statements / Updates from Cabinet Members
The Cabinet Member for Children and Families tabled a statement relating to Maureen Giles, the Headteacher of Surrey’s Virtual School, who retired on 18 December 2013 (Appendix D).
(2) Recommendations on Policy Framework Documents
A Youth Justice Strategic Plan
The Cabinet Member for Children and Families highlighted the key points from the Youth Justice Strategic Plan. In particular, that Surrey continued to be a very low user of custody, the Restorative Youth Justice programme had delivered outstanding results and was nationally recognised and that the numbers of entrants to the youth justice system had fallen dramatically over the last two years.
She thanked both staff for their work and also Mrs Hammond who had previously had responsibility for this area in her former portfolio.
That the Youth Justice Strategic Plan, as set out in Annex1 to the submitted report, be agreed.
(3) Reports for Information / Discussion
The following reports were received and noted:
· Public Service Transformation
· Fairness and Respect Strategy 2013 - 2018
That the report of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 22 and 30 October and 26 November 2013 be adopted.
To receive the report from the Planning and Regulatory Committee, which includes a recommendation to Council following revisions to the Scheme of Delegation.
The Chairman of the Planning and Regulatory Committee presented the report of his committee. He confirmed that the proposals were agreed unanimously by the Planning and Regulatory Committee.
That the following revisions to
the Scheme of Delegation be approved:
P1 – amend to state “Where fewer than 5 objections have been received and no request has been made by the local member or a member of the Planning & Regulatory Committeefor the application to be determined by that Committee, to determine planning applications for minerals, waste development and County Council development which comply with the development plan and national policies”.
P2 – amend to state “Where fewer than 5 objections have been received and no request has been made by the local member or a member of the Planning & Regulatory Committee for the application to be determined by that Committee, and after consultation with the Chairman or, in his/her absence,Vice-Chairman of the Planning & Regulatory Committee, to determine planning applications for minerals, waste development and County Council development which do not comply with the development plan and national policies”.
P6 – amend to state “To determine all details pursuant applications (applications relating to a previously granted permission) irrespective of the number of objections unless a request has been made by the local member or a member of the Planning & Regulatory Committee for the application to be determined by that Committee”.
P7 – amend to state “(i) To determine whether county development applications and minerals and waste applications constitute a ‘non material amendment’ within section 96A of the TCPA, and (ii) To determine such applications, irrespective of the number of objections, unless a request has been made by the local member or a member of the Planning & Regulatory Committee for the application to be determined by that Committee.”
To agree amendments to the Scheme of Delegation consequential on recent legislative changes.
That the amendments to the Scheme of Delegation, as set out in the submitted report, be approved.
Any matters within the minutes of the Cabinet’s meetings, and not otherwise brought to the Council’s attention in the Cabinet’s report, may be the subject of questions and statements by Members upon notice being given to the Democratic Services Lead Manager by 12 noon on Monday 9 December 2013.
No notification had been received from Members wishing to raise a question or make a statement on any of the matters in the minutes, by the deadline.