Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 9 February 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN. View directions

Contact: Anne Gowing  020 8541 9938

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1/16

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

2/16

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 233 KB

    To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 8 December 2015.

     

    (Note: the Minutes, including the appendices, will be laid on the table half an hour before the start of the meeting).

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The minutes of the meeting of the County Council held on 8 December 2015 were submitted, confirmed and signed.

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CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS pdf icon PDF 51 KB

    The Chairman to report.

     

    A list of Her Majesty the Queen’s New Year Honour’s List 2016 is included within the agenda papers. The Chairman has written letters of congratulations to all those who have received awards for services to Surrey communities.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman made the following announcements:

     

    (i)         Her Majesty the Queen’s New Year Honours List:

    A list was included within the agenda. She informed Members that she had written letters of congratulations to those people who had received awards for services to Surrey communities. She drew the following names to Members’ attention:

     

    ·      Rhona Barnfield CEO and Executive Head of Howard of Effingham School = CBE for services to Education

    ·      Jacqueline Gold, CEO and Founder of Ann Summers = CBE for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.

    ·      John Surtees, Motorcycling and Formula 1 World Champion = CBE for services to Motor Sport

    ·      Robin Roland, CEO of Yo Sushi! - OBE for services to the Restaurant and Hospitality Industry

    ·      Lady Anabel Stilgoe = OBE for services to charity

    ·      Trudi Harris, former chairman of trustees at Cherry Trees Respite Care = MBE for services to Children with Special Educational Needs

    ·      Sally Varah, High Sheriff of Surrey (2008) and Chairman of GASP Motor Project = MBE for voluntary services to the community in the county

    ·      Also, a member of Surrey staff, Alison Wrigley of Surrey Arts, received the British Empire Medal for services to education, having set up the Just So Singerschoir for children with special needs and The High Notes choir, which accommodates adults with varying degrees of special needs and learning difficulties

    (ii)        She informed Members of two particular events that she had attended recently:

    ·      Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January 2016

    ·      Opening of a new Watts Gallery Artist’s Studio on 23 January 2016

     

    (iii)       Related Party Disclosures – she reminded Members that it was a legal requirement to complete their forms and return them to Finance by the 31 March 2016 deadline.

    (iv)       Finally, she invited the Leader of the Council to make a short statement relating to Surrey and Sussex devolution plans (attached as Appendix A)

     

4/16

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

    To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests from Members in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.

     

    NOTES:

     

    ·           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. 

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    There were none.

5/16

Revenue and Capital Budget 2016/17 to 2020/21 and Treasury Management Strategy pdf icon PDF 647 KB

    This report is for County Council to approve:

    1.   the draft revenue and capital budgets for the five year period 2016-21, which is collectively known as the council’s Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP); and

    2.   the level of the council tax precept for 2016/17; and

    3.   the revised treasury management strategy, including the borrowing and operation limits (prudential indicators) for 2016/21; the policy for the provision of the repayment of debt (minimum revenue provision (MRP)) and the treasury management policy.

    The information in the report is based on the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement (Provisional Settlement) with final figures not expected till early February 2016. There has been considerable ‘shock’ in the Provisional Settlement figures over those that were reasonably expected. This is due to late Government changes, which means that while the Council is able to present a balanced budget for 2016/17, this does assume full delivery of significant savings, use of a significant level of reserves, use of capital receipts and provision of transitional relief from Government to compensate for the degree of ‘shock’ in the Provisional Settlement. The same applies for 2017/18. Without the assumed transitional relief, the Council is not able to present a sustainable budget and even with this, requires an unprecedented programme of transformation to balance future years.

    Additionally, the best available information on service price rises and demographic demand have been reflected in the service cash limits, but there is inherent uncertainty in these, given the changes in national and local circumstances.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman said that the papers for this item were included in the agenda and the supplementary report of the Cabinet circulated last week. She asked Members to note that the recommendations before them today, numbered (1) to (21) were set out in the Council agenda papers. These included a reference to Annex 3, which set out the Council Tax requirements.

     

    She said that the debate on the Budget would be conducted in accordance with the County Council’s Standing Orders.

     

    The Leader presented the Report of the Cabinet on the Revenue and Capital Budget 2016/17 to 2020/21, the Council Tax Requirement for 2016/17 and the Treasury Management Strategy and made a statement in support of the proposed budget.  A copy of the Leader’s statement is attached as Appendix B.

     

    The Director of Finance presented her report to Council. A copy of her statement is attached as Appendix C.

                                 

    Each of the Minority Group Leaders (Mr Harrison, Mrs Watson and Mr Johnson, who announced that Mrs Windsor would speak on his behalf) were invited to speak on the budget proposals.

     

    Key points made by Mr Harrison were:

     

    ·         That inflation was about 1% and therefore an increase of 3.99% on the council tax would be difficult for those residents on low incomes.

    ·         The ’shock’ of the Provisional Settlement Figures and the level of transitional funding.

    ·         The reduction of the Revenue Support Grant, which would disappear completely by 2018/19.

    ·         Concern that a Conservative Government continued to favour northern counties, even though Surrey had an increasing population and huge demand for school places.

    ·         The reduction in grants would affect services, plus the need for the Council to use substantial reserves to balance the budget.

    ·         There would be a need to implement service transformation on an unprecedented scale.

    ·         There had been a lack of opportunity for Scrutiny Boards to examine the proposed savings and make further proposals.

    ·         Concern that the Adult Social Care budget would continue to be overspent.

    ·         Surrey residents would be angry about the proposed level of increase in council tax.

    ·         There should be a further review of fees, charges and other non ring-fenced grants.

    ·         Other suggestions for review were:  staffing numbers and management teams, pensions, use of agency staff and the cost of empty care beds (PFI contract).

     

    Key points made by Mrs Watson were:

     

    ·         Support for the increase proposed to the council tax, including the Adult Social Care element but opposition to the budget.

    ·         The Adult Social Care budget was repeatedly overspent and therefore the additional funding would be a lifeline.

    ·         Concern about the level of funding for other vital services such as Youth Services, Buses, Road Safety and Drainage.

    ·         That operational changes at Community Recycling Centres could result in increased fly tipping.

    ·         More funding was urgently needed to improve Surrey’s footways and wetspots.

    ·         Suggestions for areas to review included: (i) reducing the Communications Budget, (ii) discontinuing Surrey Matters, (iii) reviewing the use of agency staff, (iv) eliminating Cabinet Associate posts, (v) stop investing in property outside Surrey, (vi) considering energy  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5/16

6/16

MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME pdf icon PDF 252 KB

    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 3 February 2016).

     

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Notice of 11 questions had been received. The questions and replies are attached as Appendix D.

     

    A number of supplementary questions were asked and a summary of the main points is set out below:

     

    (Q1) Mr Witham asked the Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Flooding to monitor closely how the Flood Re scheme worked to ensure that residents entitled to insurance received it. The Cabinet Member confirmed that the County Council would be working in close partnership with the National Flood Forum.

     

    (Q2) Mr Robert Evans said that the County Council had paid out a significant sum of money for pothole damage to vehicles and considered that the figure could have been much higher, except that many people were deterred from claiming due to the lengthy process. He asked the Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Flooding if he agreed with him that it would be better to invest more in road infrastructure, thereby preventing pothole damage. The Cabinet Member said he would like more funding for Highways, however the County Council had to prioritise its budget and it was unlikely that additional funding would be available for roads. He drew attention to a recent survey for Surrey roads, where the percentage of residents satisfied had increased from 27% to 42%.

     

    (Q3) Mr Young asked the Cabinet Member for Localities and Wellbeing if he would facilitate appropriate branded high visibility jackets for Members, possibly using their local allocation funding, to enable them to get involved in keeping the county litter free. The Cabinet Member welcomed the suggestion and said that much was being done already but that he would investigate this suggestion and report back to Members.

     

    (Q4) Mrs White queried the figures given in the Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Flooding’s written response relating to her question about the cost of pelican crossings. She quoted figures from Wiltshire County Council and added that the cost of providing pelican crossings in Kent was also substantially less than in Surrey. She asked the Cabinet Member what action he would be taking to ensure that Surrey obtained better value for money for this work. The Cabinet Member referred to the last paragraph of his written response in which he had explained the reasons for higher costs in Surrey.

     

    (Q5) Mrs Watson considered that the quality of life for Surrey residents had not been considered when the Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways (EPEH) Board had rejected her motion and asked the Leader of the Council to comment. He considered that he had nothing further to say and referred Mrs Watson to item 9 on the agenda, the report of EPEH Board on the referred motion.

     

    (Q7) Mr Robert Evans asked the Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning if he had been aware that the Mayor of London would be making an announcement on 21 January 2016 about potential changes of control to several suburban rail routes into London and whether he thought that working with Transport for London (TfL)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6/16

7/16

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

8/16

REPORT OF THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 160 KB

    To receive the report of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 15 December 2015 and 2 February 2016 and to agree two recommendations in respect of:

     

    (i) Confident in Surrey’s Future: Corporate Strategy 2016 - 2021

     

    (ii) Admission Arrangements for Surrey’s for Surrey’s Community & Voluntary Controlled Schools and Co-ordinated Schemes for all schools for September 2017.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader presented the reports of the Cabinet meetings held on 15 December 2015 and 2 February 2016.

     

    Recommendations on Policy Framework Documents

     

    A     Confident in Surrey’s Future, Corporate Strategy 2016 – 2021

     

    The Leader of the Council said that the Corporate Strategy set out the Council’s overarching priorities for 2016/21.

     

    Members made the following points:

     

    ·         That the Corporate Strategy set out a good set of strategic goals and aims in a single page document but it was questioned whether the Council was confident in Surrey’s future because this may depend on the transformation programme and the Cabinet’s decisions.

    ·         That the document set out the key aims at a high level. The Leader confirmed that Scrutiny Boards would be receiving detailed service budgets which they would have the opportunity to scrutinise.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That Confident in Surrey’s Future, the Corporate Strategy 2016 - 2021, as set out in Appendix 1 to the submitted report, be agreed.

     

     

    B       Admissions Arrangements for Surrey’s Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools and Co-ordinated Schemes that will apply to all schools for September 2017

     

    The Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Educational Achievement presented the report and responded to questions. She confirmed that distances to schools were always carefully considered when allocating school places. She also said that she fully supported recommendation 5: That the start date to the primary admissions round is changed from 1 September to the first day after the Autumn half term (31 October 2016 for 2017 Admissions) and gave assurance that this change would be widely publicised.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the following Admissions Arrangements for September 2017 for Surrey’s Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools and Co-ordinated Schemes for all schools be approved:

     

    Recommendation 1

    That admission criteria are introduced for Year 3 entry to Beacon Hill Primary School for September 2017 as follows:

     

    a.                Looked after and previously looked after children

    b.                Exceptional social/medical need

    c.                Siblings

    d.                Children for whom the school is the nearest to their home address

    e.                Any other children

     

     

    Recommendation 2

    That a new criterion for Chennestone Primary School is introduced for Year 3 in September 2017, to provide priority for children attending Beauclerc Infant School as follows:

     

    a.                Looked after and previously looked after children

    b.                Exceptional social/medical need

    c.                Siblings

    d.                Children attending Beauclerc Infant School

    e.                Children for whom the school is the nearest to their home address

    f.            Any other children

     

     

    Recommendation 3

    That admission criteria are introduced for Year 3 entry to Cranleigh CofE Primary School for September 2017 as follows:

     

    a.                Looked after and previously looked after children

    b.                Exceptional social/medical need

    c.                Siblings

    d.                Children for whom the school is the nearest to their home address

    e.                Any other children

     

     

    Recommendation 4

    That the Published Admission Number for West Ewell Infant School is reduced from 90 to 60 for September 2017.

     

     

    Recommendation 5

    That the start date to the primary admissions round is changed from 1 September to the first day after the Autumn half term  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8/16

9/16

Report back from the Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Scrutiny Board on the Referred Motion pdf icon PDF 320 KB

    At its meeting on 26 January 2016, the Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Scrutiny Board considered a motion in the name of Mrs Hazel Watson, referred to it by Council on 8 December 2015.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman reported that the motion from the Council meeting on 8 December 2015, standing in the name of Mrs Watson, and which was referred to Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Scrutiny Board for consideration was lost, as detailed in the report set out in the agenda.

     

    Mrs Watson was given the opportunity to address the Council and expressed her disappointment that the motion had not been supported.

     

     

     

10/16

Minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 54 KB