Agenda and minutes

Council
Tuesday, 12 July 2016 10.00 am

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

Contact: Angela Guest  020 8541 9075

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

39/16

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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MINUTES pdf icon PDF 207 KB

    To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 17 May 2016.

     

    (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 17 May 2016 were submitted, confirmed and signed.

     

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CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS pdf icon PDF 57 KB

    The Chairman to report.

     

    A list of Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List 2016, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 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:

     

    She informed Members of the recent deaths of former county councillors:

     

    Ø  Mr Graham Lambert, who was the County Councillor for Frimley Green and Mytchett from 1981 to 1985, had passed away on 16 May.

    Ø  Mrs Elizabeth Compton, who was the County Councillor for St John’s and Brookwood from 1997 until 2011, had passed away on 30 June.

    Ø  Mr Jim Smith, who was the County Councillor for Bookham and Fetcham West from 1997 until 2009, had passed away on 28 June.

     

    Members stood in silent tribute.

     

    Recent events that were mentioned were:

     

    ·         HM Queen’s celebration – County Service at Guildford Cathedral

    ·         Local Government lunch with the new Mayor and Chairmen of Surrey

    ·         SCC Long Service Awards

    ·         Cross Border Military meeting with LGA

    ·         Launch of Lingfield Community Library

    ·         'Over the Top’ Battle of the Somme commemoration

    ·         Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust event at Loseley Park

     

    Clare Curran and Paul Bowen recently attended a Duke of Edinburgh event held at Buckingham Palace.  At the event a plaque was awarded to the County Council in recognition of our status as a long-standing Department of Education (DofE) licensed organisation. The Chairman presented the award to Clare and to Frances Trench, who has worked in the county’s DofE team for more than 30 years.

     

    Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2016 and the Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service – the full lists were included within the agenda. However, the Chairman drew attention to the honours received by:

     

    ·         Wendy Varcoe, Executive Director, Community Foundation for Surrey

    ·         John and Wendy Palczynski, Surrey foster carers

     

    On behalf of the County Council, the Chairman congratulated the Chief Executive and his wife on their recent wedding.

     

    Attention was drawn to David Munro’s resignation as County Councillor for Farnham South, which took effect on 23 June.

     

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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:

    Mr Will Forster declared a non-pecuniary interest in items 6.1, 6.2 and 8(ii) as he was employed as a staff member for a Member of the European Parliament.

     

    Mr Robert Evans declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 8(ii) as he was a lecturer at Royal Holloway College.

     

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LEADER'S STATEMENT pdf icon PDF 190 KB

    The Leader to make a statement.

     

    There will be an opportunity for Members to ask questions.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader made a statement.  A copy of his statement is attached as Appendix A.

     

    Members raised the following topics:

     

    ·         Issues regarding gaps in the budget and a lack of ideas on how to make further savings.

    ·         Requesting that the new Police Crime Commissioner provides more mobile speed cameras.

    ·         Hope that the new PM listens to the public following Brexit.

    ·         That local government members and officers will have a role following any devolution.

    ·         That everyone actively encourages people to foster children in care.

    ·         Rail transport issues and try to get better service and look at franchises with a view to having more control over who gets them and how to take them away if they don’t perform.

    ·         Tribute paid to volunteers around the county.

     

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MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME pdf icon PDF 181 KB

    1.    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 Angela Guest in Democratic Services by 12 noon on Wednesday 6 July 2016).

     

    2.    Cabinet Member Briefings on their portfolios

     

    These will be circulated by email to all Members prior to the County Council meeting, together with the Members’ questions and responses.

     

    There will be an opportunity for Members to ask questions.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Notice of nine 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:

     

    (Q1) Mrs Coleman asked if the county council would work with the boroughs, Network Rail and the train operators in looking at issues of commuter parking/traffic.

    Mrs Turner-Stewart asked that the Cabinet Member bear in mind the Magna Carta site, which is close to zone 6, and to negotiate its inclusion in zone 6.

    Mr Pitt asked if a Cabinet Member could sit on the Blackwater Valley Advisory Committee to increase its status, which he felt was lacking, especially considering that council officers, bus and train operators all attended the meetings regularly.

    Mr Essex asked that stations outside of zone 6 also be considered as, for example, stations up to Gatwick had more expensive ticket prices than those inside zone 6.

    The Cabinet Member responded that there needed to be a business case for including any area in zone 6 and that he would continue to work with transport operators.  He said that parking was not an easy problem to resolve and that he would like to see more buses linking up with stations.  He also stated that it was not appropriate for a Cabinet Member to sit on the Blackwater Valley Advisory Committee but that with the work taking place, of which this group was a part, many improvements had taken place.  He understood the issue of franchises and would continue to work with transport operators and boroughs to improve the service for residents.

     

    (Q2) Mrs Watson was disappointed with the Cabinet Member’s written response to her question and asked that she be given details of EU funding that the county council currently received.

    Mrs Searle sought assurances that charities would be kept in mind for future funding as a response to the withdrawal of any EU funding they received.

    The Leader said that details of EU funding were in the council budget book and would have this extracted and sent to Mrs Watson.  He also said that the Secretary of State believes that whatever EU funding is currently being used to fund local areas should be redirected through to councils.

     

    (Q4) Mr Cooksey asked for details of the roads where night lighting would be reduced and sought clarification regarding residents and members having an opportunity to have their say on proposals. 

    Mr Harrison requested details of savings gained by cutting night lighting.

    The Leader asked if the Cabinet Member would agree that Mr Cooksey did not understand the budget pressures that the council was under.

    The Cabinet Member responded that dimmed lights had been used in certain areas for the past two and a half years with no comments or problems. He confirmed that there would be full consultation.  £240k of savings were sought for this year but that would not be achieved due to the consultation.  He said the Liberal Democrats had not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44/16

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STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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ORIGINAL MOTIONS

    ITEM 8(i)

     

    Mr Will Forster (Woking South) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:

    ‘This Council welcomes the principles outlined in the Bus Services Bill and the opportunity it could give local councils to improve services. These include powers that will allow authorities to set standards of service, incorporating branding, ticketing and frequency.

    This Council remains concerned that powers to franchise services, similar to those of Transport for London, will only be made available to areas that have chosen to have a directly elected mayor, unless they get special permission from the Transport Secretary.

    This Council believes that:

    ·                these powers should be accessible for all councils, including Surrey County Council which manages bus services which are of crucial importance for people who live in isolated and rural areas of the county, which are of crucial importance for countering traffic congestion in our towns, and which are of crucial importance for improving connectivity across the county;

    ·                these reforms, particularly over franchising, are a golden opportunity to halt the decline in bus usage and help ensure that services are sustainable and should be made available to all councils by default;

    ·                the Government should ensure that councils are given support to enable the costs of setting up a franchise to be met;

    and calls upon the Cabinet to make representations to Surrey’s MPs and the Secretary of State for Transport for this Council to have the power to franchise without having to have a directly elected mayor.’

    ITEM 8(ii)

     

    Mr Jonathan Essex (Redhill East) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:

     

    ’This Council notes that whilst Surrey voted 52 - 48% to remain in the European Union, the UK as a whole voted the opposite way. We respect the fact that five of Surrey’s eleven districts voted to leave, with six to remain and that the younger generation voted far more heavily to remain.

    This Council believes that following this referendum, there is a need for a listening exercise to repair the divisions, and with tolerance and respect, to try to re-unite the people of Surrey.

    Therefore this Council resolves to:

     

    ·                explore ways of bridging divisions in our communities, through inter-generational dialogue and increased understanding.

    ·                seek reassurance from the Government that the four-year funding deal offer to local government is ring-fenced from any future budget changes following this referendum vote.

    ·                ask the Government to take steps to ensure that staff and students from EU countries can continue to work and study at our three universities, Surrey, Royal Holloway College and the University of the Creative Arts.

    work with all the boroughs and districts to ensure that no racist or xenophobic behaviour is tolerated.’

    ITEM 8(iii)

     

    Mr Robert Evans (Stanwell and Stanwell Moor) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:

     

    This Council congratulates Sadiq Khan on his election as Mayor of London and urges him to work closely with Surrey County Council on all cross-border issues of joint interest and mutual benefit to all our residents.’  ...  view the full agenda text for item 46/16

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    ITEM 8(i)

     

    Under Standing Order 12.3 the Council agreed to debate this motion.

     

    Under Standing Order 12.1, Mr Will Foster moved the motion, which was:

     

    ‘This Council welcomes the principles outlined in the Bus Services Bill and the opportunity it could give local councils to improve services. These include powers that will allow authorities to set standards of service, incorporating branding, ticketing and frequency.  This Council remains concerned that powers to franchise services, similar to those of Transport for London, will only be made available to areas that have chosen to have a directly elected mayor, unless they get special permission from the Transport Secretary.

     

    This Council believes that:

    ·                these powers should be accessible for all councils, including Surrey County Council which manages bus services which are of crucial importance for people who live in isolated and rural areas of the county, which are of crucial importance for countering traffic congestion in our towns, and which are of crucial importance for improving connectivity across the county;

    ·                these reforms, particularly over franchising, are a golden opportunity to halt the decline in bus usage and help ensure that services are sustainable and should be made available to all councils by default;

    ·                the Government should ensure that councils are given support to enable the costs of setting up a franchise to be met;

     

    and calls upon the Cabinet to make representations to Surrey’s MPs and the Secretary of State for Transport for this Council to have the power to franchise without having to have a directly elected mayor.’

     

    The motion was formally seconded by Mr Cooksey.

     

    Mr Forster said that:

    ·         Surrey was the poor cousin to London with regard to bus services and received a second rate service. This was because bus services in London were regulated, unlike outside of London, and that led to inequalities.

    ·         Bus operators had no democratic accountability and cherry picked which services to provide, choosing services that suited them and not their customers.

    ·         London buses come into the fringes of Surrey along its border but only take those residents into London, therefore damaging the economy of Surrey’s town centres.

    ·         Whilst he looked forward to the Bus Bill as a good thing he was totally opposed to the requirement of a directly elected mayor in order to obtain devolution.

     

    Mr Goodman moved an amendment, which was tabled at the meeting. 

     

    This was formally seconded by Mr Hall.

     

    The amendment was as follows (with additional words underlined and deletions crossed through):

     

    ‘This Council welcomes the principles outlined in the Bus Services Bill and the opportunity it could give local councils to improve services. These include powers that will allow authorities to set standards of service, incorporating branding, ticketing and frequency.

     

    This Council remains is concerned that powers to franchise services, similar to those of Transport for London, will only be made available to areas that have chosen to have a directly elected mayor, unless they get special permission from the Transport Secretary.

     

    This Council notes the good working  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46/16

47/16

REPORT OF THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 147 KB

    To receive the report of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 24 May 2016 and 21 June 2016.

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader presented the report of the Cabinet meetings held on 24 May 2016 and 21 June 2016.

     

    Reports for Information / Discussion

     

    The following reports were received and noted:

     

    A)   Travel Assistance Policies for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

     

    B)   Annual Report of the Shareholder Board

    (Mr Harrison declared disappointment on the lack of information within the report and in particular requested more information on lending, especially to Surrey Choices, and urged the Cabinet and Board to set targets and work to them.  These comments were repeated by Mrs Watson.)

     

    C)   Sustainability and Transformation Plans

     

    D)   Quarterly Report On Decisions Taken Under Special Urgency Arrangements: 1 April – 30 June 2016

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the report of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 27 October and 24 November 2015 be adopted.

     

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Report of the Audit and Governance Committee pdf icon PDF 167 KB

    i.        To approve the Risk Management Strategy, for inclusion in the Constitution (Annex A to the report)

    ii.        To approve the updated Code of Corporate Governance, for inclusion in the Constitution (Annex B to the report).

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee introduced the report and commended the updated strategies, Risk Management Strategy (Annex 1 to the submitted report), plus the updated Code of Corporate Governance (Annex 2 to the submitted report) to Members.  In response to a Member question about why he was not inclined not to take up the four year funding deal from Government the Leader of the Council explained that the fourth year’s funding drops significantly.  The Leader further explained that negotiations were still taking place with the Exchequer and there would be further debate and discussion at the Council meeting in October.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.       That the updated Risk Management Strategy, attached as Annex A to the submitted report, be approved for inclusion in the Constitution.

     

    2.       That the Code of Corporate Governance, attached as Annex B to the submitted report, be approved for inclusion in the Constitution.

     

    Reason for decision:

     

    To maintain the annual review and update of these strategies.

     

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Review of Code of Conduct for Members pdf icon PDF 111 KB

    To agree revisions to the existing Member Code of Conduct following review by the Constitution Review Group.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Constitution Review Group introduced the report and particularly highlighted the need to improve openness by declaring significant personal interests as well as the disclosable pecuniary interests.  He was asked if this would also refer to partners/spouses, to which he replied that the test was whether or not that interest could skew the debate and it was up to individual Members to make that decision.

     

    Resolved:

     

    That the revised Member Code of Conduct, attached at Annex 1 to the submitted report, be agreed so that:

     

    (a)     Members are required to register pecuniary interests as outlined in Schedule B and significant personal interests as outlined in Schedule E.

    (b)     Members are required to register gifts and hospitality to the value of £100 or more that they have accepted.

    (c)     Where a Member has a disclosable or non disclosable interest that is prejudicial in any matter to be considered at a meeting of the Council, the Cabinet, a committee, sub-committee or joint committee of the Council, he or she is required to declare it at the meeting or to notify the chairman of the reason for withdrawing from that meeting. 

     

    Reason for decision:

     

    To promote local rules to ensure that there is confidence that councillors are putting the public interest first and demonstrating transparency about their financial affairs

     

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Appointment of Independent Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 88 KB

    To agree the arrangements for the appointment of an Independent Remuneration Panel to review the existing Members’ Allowances Scheme.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council introduced the report by stating that, in line with Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003, a new independent remuneration panel needed to be appointed to review the existing Scheme and make recommendations to Council in order for a new Scheme to take effect from May 2017.

     

    The Cabinet Member for Business Services supported the recommendations.

     

    Resolved:

     

    1.That an Appointments Panel, consisting of the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Council and the Conservative, RA/Independent and Surrey Opposition Forum Group Leaders be established to appoint a new Independent Remuneration Panel in line with the timetable set out in paragraph 7 of this report.

    2.That the Independent Remuneration Panel should consist of three members.

     

    3.    That, for the 2016/2017 review of Members Allowances, a fee of £1,500 plus travel expenses be paid to the Chairman of the Independent Remuneration Panel, and a fee of £1,000 plus travel expenses be paid to the other Panel members.

     

    Reason for decision:

     

    To comply with the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003.

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Revised Treasury Management Strategy 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 292 KB

    To approve changes to the treasury management strategy 2016/17, specifically in relation to the borrowing strategy.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Cabinet Member for Business Services presented the report and stated that the revised Treasury Management Strategy has come about as a result of changes in the economic environment, specifically the combination of increased counterparty risk and a longer than predicted lower interest rate environment. This has resulted in consideration of a more focused strategy of internal borrowing over the short term, combining a move away from long term borrowing towards short term borrowing to maintain cash balances above zero. Such a strategy would require monitoring to ensure that the Council can act responsively in the event of a sustained change in the economic forecast.

     

    Resolved:

     

    That changes be approved to the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy for 2016?21 (shown as Annex 1 to the report), which include:-

     

    Ø  the revised borrowing strategy for long term capital funding;

    Ø  the revision of the Council’s minimum cash balance to above zero,

     

    Reason for decision:

     

    Changes that have developed over the medium term to the economic and financial environment in which the Council operates has led to a review of the existing borrowing strategy. An increased opportunity in relation to an expectation that interest rates will remain lower for longer than initially anticipated and investment security have resulted in a proposal to amend the Council’s borrowing strategy with immediate effect to ensure it reacts appropriately and with flexibility to these changes in conditions.

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Report back from Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Board Scrutiny Report pdf icon PDF 165 KB

    A petition was submitted to the Council on 17 May 2016 to improve road safety on Bridge Street. It was resolved by Council that this issue and any proposals should be scrutinised by the Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Board.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman of the Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Board introduced this report for information.  A petition was submitted to the Council on 17 May 2016 to improve road safety on Bridge Street where it was resolved that this issue and any proposals should be scrutinised by the Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Board.  It was mooted that this was a good example of when petitions should be referred to the appropriate scrutiny board.

     

    Resolved:

     

    That the report the Economic Prosperity, Environment and Highways Board be noted.

     

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Minutes of Cabinet Meetings pdf icon PDF 4 KB