Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN. View directions
Contact: Anne Gowing 020 8541 9938
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APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
The Chairman to report apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Bramhall, Mr Ellwood, Mr Tim Evans, Mrs Hicks, Mr Johnson, Mrs Searle, Mrs White and Mr Witham.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 12 July 2016.
(Note: the Minutes, including the appendices, will be laid on the table half an hour before the start of the meeting).
The minutes of the meeting of the County Council held on 12 July 2016 were submitted, confirmed and signed.
Election of County Councillor
The Chief Executive formally to report the election of a new County Councillor for the Farnham South division at the election held on 18 August 2016.
The Chief Executive formally reported that Mr Wyatt Ramsdale was duly elected as the new County Councillor for the Farnham South division following the by-election held on 18 August 2016.
The Chairman to report.
The Chairman made the following announcements:
She informed Members of the death of former County Councillor, Mr Richard Butcher, who was the County Councillor for Caterham Hill from 1989 until 1992. Members stood in silent tribute.
Recent events that were mentioned:
· Her hospice fundraising event, which so far had raised £18,000 to support to hospices of Surrey. The Chairman's Surrey Cow Parade cow was yet to be auctioned but had so far achieved a bid of £10,000 and therefore, nearly £30,000 has been raised.
· The official opening of Woking Fire Station
· Volunteer Reception where Members’ nominated 'local heroes' were honoured at an evening reception last month
· She had taken part in the Service for the Judiciary in Guildford, hosted by the High Sheriff, on Friday 7 October
· HRH Countess of Wessex had visited Moor House School in Oxted, a specialist school for children and young people with speech and language difficulties, on Monday 10 October to open the three new residential houses
· On Wednesday 12 October, that she would receive, on behalf of the county, the Military of Defence 'Employer Recognition Gold Award'. Surrey was the only Council to receive the Gold award and joined organisations such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Nationwide & Keir Group in receiving this award.
· She welcomed Cllr Michael Ensor, Chairman of East Sussex Council to the meeting.
· The Vice-Chairman had officially opened: Camberley Library's new services, Cranmere Primary School's new building and nursery school and the 'Surrey Prepared' conference in Leatherhead which had focused on community resilience in the event of flooding.
Finally, she informed Members that the authority was in the process of recruiting a new Independent Person to assist the authority and Members in allegations and investigations about councillor conduct and asked Members to publicise this role if they knew of any potentially suitable candidates.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter
(i) Any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or
(ii) Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting
· Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest
· 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)
There were none.
The Leader to make a statement.
There will be an opportunity for Members to make comments and ask questions.
The Leader made a statement. A copy of his statement is attached as Appendix A.
Members raised the following topics:
· He was asked how long it would be before this local authority ceased to exist and that there was a three southern counties Mayor.
· Mrs Watson welcomed the initiative to integrate health and social care and declared that she would be willing to work with the Leader to move it forward, for the benefit of Surrey residents.
To consider the report and matters which the Chief Executive draws to attention.
The Leader presented the Surrey County Council Progress Report, the fourteenth of the Chief Executive’s reports to Members. He said that included in the report were some outstanding examples of Surrey County Council achievements.
Members made the following comments:
· The report highlighted the excellent work of the County Council, particularly for Looked After Children and young care leavers. It was hoped that this work would help enable them to achieve a good start in life.
· The Health and Social Care Integration Plans would be a topic for a future Member seminar, and that Borough / District councillors would be invited.
· Congratulations to the Chief Executive and his wife on their wedding which had taken place in July at County Hall.
· Attention was drawn to one of the case studies concerning the Streets Ahead programme in Elmbridge and the need to secure Government funding for these projects.
· That the innovative work being undertaken to divert and reduce the number of women being prosecuted in the criminal justice system was welcomed.
· Members enjoyed the case studies.
· A request that the Leader kept all Members informed about the progress being made in the Children’s Service, as the implementation of changes following the Ofsted report from June 2015 came to fruition.
· The importance of recognising the quality of staff at the County Council and that staff were thanked for their work.
(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.
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 Anne Gowing in Democratic Services by 12 noon on Wednesday 5 October 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.
Notice of 18 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) Mr Robert Evans drew attention to the following indices in the Prudential Survey on the Quality of Retirement Index: (i) Disability Free Life Expectancy,
(ii) Access to Health Care, and (iii) Crime Levels, and asked the Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Health to consider options to improve these areas for Surrey residents. The Cabinet Member made reference to the Health and Wellbeing Board, which she considered had done an excellent job in the last two years. She agreed to take the points raised by Mr Evans into account when the Surrey Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy was refreshed.
(Q2) Mr Kington asked the Leader of the Council for details of any opposition Member who had requested that the Council produced a summary version of the Annual report. Mr Young asked the Leader of the Council if he agreed that the booklet reflected the views of all councillors.
The Leader of the Council said that the County Council has a duty to produce this information and considered that it was a useful document for Members to use when engaging with residents in their divisions.
(Q4) Mrs Watson said that she remained concerned about certain aspects of risk relating to the County Council’s investment in commercial buildings and their residual value. She asked the Cabinet Member for Business Services and Resident Experience for more information. The Cabinet Member provided a detailed response, including stating that capital appreciation was not taken into account in these assessments.
(Q5) Mr Forster expressed disappointment that nearly £10K had been spent on fifty Blackberry devices which were now not used and asked the Cabinet Member for Children and Families Wellbeing for the current location of the devices. She agreed that the outcome for their use had been disappointing and confirmed that the devices were held by the Council but were unsaleable.
(Q6) Mr Forster considered that it was unacceptable that Surrey residents had such short notice to alterations to the bus service provision in North West Surrey. The Cabinet Member for Environment and Planning sympathised with the situation, which he said was not the fault of the County Council. He said that Abellio had decided to terminate nine bus services with effect from 31 December 2016. The County Council had now re-tendered the routes but the timescales were challenging and there would be insufficient time for a full consultation. However, he provided assurance that he would be working to obtain a satisfactory solution for Surrey residents.
(Q7) Mr Beardsmore requested that the Leader of the Council re-considered his response and said that he had already approached his MP to press for a more balance transition for changes to state pension arrangements for this group of women.
(Q8) Mr Sydney said that he had not seen a copy of the ... view the full minutes text for item 61/16
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 10 October 2016).
There was one local Member statement, from Mrs Pat Frost, concerning traffic congestion in Farnham.
Mrs Hazel Watson (Dorking Hills) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:
i) the important role that the County Council’s youth centres have to play in providing positive activities and support for young people to help overcome their problems, as well as a safe space for them to meet and socialise
ii) the role that youth centres play in providing early help and preventative support for children and young people that Ofsted has identified as lacking in Surrey, following its report into Surrey’s Childrens’ Services published in June 2015
i) the poor use of County Council resources in maintaining youth centres that are closed for many hours a week and the reduction in budget that the Youth Service has suffered in recent years
Council calls for:
The Cabinet Member for Children and Families Wellbeing to urgently review Youth Service provision in the county with a view to extending youth centre opening hours where appropriate, and consideration being given to either voluntary providers or other community organisations sharing buildings so that greater and more efficient use is made of County Council resources.
Mr Jonathan Essex (Redhill East) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:
Restoration-led Minerals Planning
This Council notes that Surrey County Council is now recognised by the minerals industry, the nature conservation organisations and other councils as being a lead in best practice achieved through restoration-led planning and enhancement of mineral sites.
This Council believes that it is vital that such full restoration following mineral operation, as a temporary use of sites, is an important part of the way we plan to protect and enhance our Green Belt and countryside going into the future.
This Council agrees to ensuring such proactive approaches and high standards are supported and sustained on all sites across Surrey County Council in the future.
Under Standing Order 12.3 the Council agreed to debate this motion.
Under Standing Order 12.1, Mrs Hazel Watson moved the motion, which was:
i) the important role that the County Council’s youth centres have to play in providing positive activities and support for young people to help overcome their problems, as well as a safe space for them to meet and socialise;
ii) the role that youth centres play in providing early help and preventative support for children and young people that Ofsted has identified as lacking in Surrey, following its report into Surrey’s Childrens’ Services published in June 2015.
i) the poor use of County Council resources in maintaining youth centres that are closed for many hours a week and the reduction in budget that the Youth Service has suffered in recent years.
Council calls for:
The Cabinet Member for Children and Families Wellbeing to urgently review Youth Service provision in the county with a view to extending youth centre opening hours where appropriate, and consideration being given to either voluntary providers or other community organisations sharing buildings so that greater and more efficient use is made of County Council resources.’
Mrs Watson made the following points:
· The important role of youth centres because they provided a safe place for young people.
· The Ofsted report into Surrey’s Children Services in June 2015 and its comments relating to youth provision.
· The reduction in the youth service budget and the £200k underspend.
· That the Council’s youth centres were only open for a limited number of hours, which could result in difficulties in meeting young people’s needs - she considered that the centres should be open for longer.
· Vacancies within the service were also an issue.
· Missing IT equipment and the need to ensure that resources were not misused.
· Finally, she urged the Cabinet Member for Children and Families Wellbeing to review the current arrangements and extend the opening hours of its youth centres.
The motion was formally seconded by Mr Forster, who reserved his right to speak.
The Cabinet Member for Children and Families Wellbeing made the following points:
· That she was disappointed that this motion was on the agenda because the County Council had moved away from a ‘place based’ youth provision – she highlighted the positive outcomes achieved and gave reasons for rejecting the motion.
· The county had a low rate of both NEETs and first time entries into the criminal justice system.
· There had been an increase in the number of apprenticeships.
· Surrey’s youth service had received both national and international recognition and the service had received visitors from other authorities wishing to learn from the Surrey model.
· During the re-commissioning of services, officers had ensured that the views of the young people had been included and had shaped the service provision.
Nine Members spoke on the motion and made the following comments:
· Agreement with the views of the Cabinet Member.
To receive the report of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 14 July and 20 September 2016 and:
(i) to agree the recommendations in respect of the formation of the Spelthorne Joint Committee.
(ii) Financial Sustainability and Budget Planning 2017 – 2022: Following this report being presented to Cabinet on 20 September 2016, the Cabinet would welcome the views of Members, prior to the Leader of the Council taking a decision on whether to accept or decline the Government’s four year settlement offer. The Council’s Constitution makes provision for this, under Standing Order 8.2(c).
The Leader presented the report of the Cabinet meetings held on 14 July and 20 September 2016.
Recommendations on a Policy Framework Document
A Formation of Spelthorne Joint Committee
1. That it be agreed to establish the Spelthorne Joint Committee to deal with both executive and non-executive functions from 1 December 2016 in place of the current Local Committee in Spelthorne, which will cease to function from that date.
2. That the following changes to the scheme of delegation be approved:
· to delegate the executive functions to the Spelthorne Joint Committee as set out in Appendix A of the submitted report
· to delegate the non-executive functions to the Spelthorne Joint Committee as set out in Appendix A of the submitted report
· the advisory functions that will come under the remit of the Spelthorne Joint Committee as set out in Appendix A of the submitted report.
3. That the functions that Spelthorne Borough Council has agreed to delegate to the Spelthorne Joint Committee, as set out in Appendix A of the submitted report, be noted.
4. That the Spelthorne Joint Committee Terms of Reference, including the Standing Orders under which it will operate, as set out in Appendix A of the submitted report be agreed, and authority be delegated to the Director of Legal, Democratic and Cultural Services to agree to any minor amendments to the Terms of Reference that may be required.
5. To recommend the appointment of a Chairman of the newly formed Spelthorne Joint Committee from 1 December 2016 (refer to item 12).
The meeting adjourned for lunch at 12.35pm and resumed at 1.45pm with all those present who had been in attendance at the morning session except for Mrs Barton, Mr Beckett, Mrs Clack, Mrs Coleman, Mr Robert Evans, Mr Goodwin, Mr Kington, Ms Le Gal, Mr Mallett, Mrs Mountain, Mr Norman, Mrs Ross-Tomlin, Mr Young and Mrs Young.
Reports for Information / Discussion
· Financial Sustainability and Budget Planning 2017 – 2022
The Cabinet at its meeting on 20 September 2016 considered this report and agreed that prior to the Leader taking a decision on whether to accept or decline the Government’s four year settlement offer, it would welcome the views of all Members.
Members made the following comments:
· That the proposed final Local Government settlement for Surrey was the worst one that Members had seen.
· That Surrey was handicapped by the formula and its calculation, which did not support the demographic changes in the county.
· The recent Member seminar on the financial issues facing the Council had been well received by Members.
· The County Council needed to publicise to its residents the reasons for declining the Government’s four year settlement and that the fourth year of the settlement would be a negative RSG for the Council.
· That this Council was an important provider of revenue for the Conservative Government.
· The Authority should refuse the offer, however, there were concerns about any possible adverse implications for the Council.
· That this Council should ... view the full minutes text for item 64/16
Appointment of Chairman for Spelthorne Joint Committee
To appoint the Chairman for Spelthorne Joint Committee, with effect from 1 December 2016 and for the remainder of this Council Year.
The Chief Executive announced that he had received one nomination, Denise Saliagopoulos, for Chairman of the Spelthorne Joint Committee.
That Mrs Saliagopoulos be appointed as Chairman of the Spelthorne Joint Committee, with effect from 1 December 2016 and for the remainder of this council year.
This report sets out the changes to the arrangements for the appointment of the council’s external auditors. County Council is required to approve the decision on how the council will appoint its external auditor from the 2018/19 financial year. The report recommends that the Council’s external auditor is appointed through opting into the sector-led appointment.
The Leader of the Council introduced the report, which recommended that the Council’s external auditor was appointed through opting into a sector led appointment provided by Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd.
That opting in to the sector led appointment for the appointment of the Council’s external auditors be approved.
To ratify the appointment of members of the Council’s Independent Remuneration Panel and agree its Terms of Reference.
The Chairman of the Council introduced the report and informed Members that she had chaired the interview panel for the positions on the Council’s Independent Remuneration Panel. She drew attention to the update on the successful candidates tabled at the meeting (Appendix D).
1. That the appointment of the Independent Remuneration Panel members, Carolyn Deakins (Chairman), Paul Eaves and Bryan Ingleby, agreed by the Appointments Panel, be approved.
2. That the Terms of Reference of the Independent Remuneration Panel, as set out in the Annex to the submitted report, be approved.
To receive an update from the Chairman of the Wellbeing and Health Scrutiny Board.
The Chairman of the Wellbeing and Health Scrutiny Board presented this report. He also drew Members’ attention to the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) and said that Surrey was covered by three STPs: Surrey Heartlands, Frimley and Sussex & East Surrey. He said that all Members of the Council would be welcome to attend the next meeting of the Wellbeing and Health Scrutiny Board on 10 November 2016, where there would be presentations on the STPs.
That the report of the Wellbeing and Health Scrutiny Board be noted.
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 Anne Gowing in Democratic Services by 12 noon on Monday 10 October 2016.
No notification had been received by the deadline from Members wishing to raise a question or make a statement on any of the matters in the minutes.