Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2DN
Contact: Joss Butler 020 8541 9702
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
The Chairman to report apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from John Furey, Richard Wilson, Stephen Spence, Penny Rivers, Mark Brett-Warburton, Mike Bennison, Marsha Mosley, Jeff Harris and Matt Furniss.
To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 10 October 2017.
(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 10 October 2017 were submitted, confirmed and signed.
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)
Mr Will Forster declared a non-pecuniary interest in Question 6 of Members’ Questions as he worked for the European Union.
Mrs Fiona White declared a personal interest in item 8 (ii) as her grandson was a special education needs student at Guildford College.
Mrs Angela Goodwin and Mr David Goodwin declared a personal interest in item 8 (ii) as their daughter received a Surrey County Council care package and attended Guildford College.
Rachael I Lake declared a non-pecuniary interest for item 8(iv) as her son worked for Surrey County Council.
The Chairman to report.
· The Chairman paid tribute to Ann Charlton, Monitoring Officer and Director of Legal, Democratic and Cultural Services, who would be retiring after nearly 30 years of service at the Council.
· He highlighted the spectacular light display of falling poppies that lit the front of County Hall as an act for remembrance on 10 November 2017.
· Members were reminded to nominate a resident for the Chairman’s Volunteer Award which was for those who they believe deserve recognition for their services in the Voluntary Sector. The deadline for nominations had been extended to 8 December 2017.
· He reminded those present of the Members’ Christmas Lunch on 14 December 2017.
· A silent tribute was held in remembrance of Mr Denis Bailey, a previous County Councillor.
The Leader to make a statement.
There will be an opportunity for Members to ask questions.
The Leader made a detailed statement. A copy of the statement is attached as Appendix A.
Members raised the following topics:
· How to engage residents with a new approach.
· Actions taken to ensure the use or let of vacant Council owned properties.
· Implications to the Investment Strategy following the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) consultation on the proposed changes to prudential framework on capital finance.
· What the Council are doing to support unaccompanied asylum seeking children.
· Changes to providing services with a new approach.
· Unhelpful responses from MPs after requesting extra funding for the Council.
· The potential use of Pond Meadow in Guildford for better health and youth services in the community – the Leader confirm that they were currently out to tender.
· How the place agenda will be different and how Members can play the role of game changers.
· Current progress of extra care accommodation within Adult Social Care.
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 Democratic Services by 12 noon on Wednesday 29 November 2017).
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 17 questions had been received. The questions and replies were published as a supplementary agenda on 1 December 2017.
A number of supplementary questions were asked and a summary of the main points is set out below:
(Q2) Mr Andrew Povey asked the Leader if he felt tax payers’ money was spent in the best possible way. It was highlighted that a large number of high street businesses were forced to close and that Government was pressing for 300,000 houses to be built. The Leader of the Council expressed the need for affordable housing in the County and highlighted the importance of building a variety of house sizes.
(Q3) Mr Jonathan Essex asked if it would be appropriate for the Council to respond to the consultation of the Revised Airports National Policy Statement in order to reassert the importance of following commitments and ensuring that they are reflected in the forthcoming strategy. The Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport highlighted that there would be a Member Seminar on the Heathrow Airport expansion on 11 December 2017 and stated that the Council would consider its reply to the consultation.
(Q4) Mrs Hazel Watson asked if details of the settlement would ever be made public and if the Cabinet Member for Health would agree to a scrutiny investigation to ensure flaws are identified and did not reoccur. The Cabinet Member reaffirmed that she could not comment.
(Q5) Mr Stephen Cooksey asked for clarification on timescales and requested that the report be considered by the Environment and Infrastructure Select Committee. The Cabinet Member for Highways confirmed that the report would be considered by Cabinet in early 2018 and that he would be happy for it to be considered at Select Committee.
(Q6) Mr Chris Botten asked the Cabinet Member for Highways to confirm if he trusted Parish Councillors to honour a five year agreement for street lighting. The Cabinet Member expressed that he did trust the work of Parish Councillors but could not exclude Parish Councils from Part Night Lighting due to various issues associated with area boundaries and driver visuals.
(Q8) Mr Will Forster asked if the Leader was concerned that there would not be sufficient certainty for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and County Councils in order to plan for infrastructure if consultations were to take place in spring 2018, and if he would agree to write to Government to bring forward the consultation. The Leader of the Council stated that if Government gave him the opportunity then he would do so.
(Q10) Mr Jonathan Essex asked if plans would be revisited if the removal of £4 million of recycling credits did not accelerate recycling rates in the County. The Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport stated that he did not believe that it would lead to a decrease in recycling and expressed the importance of working together with Boroughs and Districts.
(Q11) Mrs Fiona White asked the Cabinet Member for Adults if he was disappointed that Government did not ... view the full minutes text for item 73/17
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 Democratic Services by 12 noon on Monday 4 December 2017).
There were none.
Dr Andrew Povey (Cranleigh & Ewhurst) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:
That the wording of the Financial Framework for Members’ Allocations contained in Part 5 of the Council’s Constitution, be modified in the section “What we cannot consider”, point 7, to replace the word “core” with the word “statutory”.
Item 8 (ii)
Mr Chris Botten (Caterham Hill) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:
This Council notes that:
Item 8 (iii)
Mrs Hazel Watson (Dorking Hills) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:
This Council notes that the
County Council does not currently have a road sign inspection
policy and that it relies upon members of the public to notify the
County Council of missing and damaged road signs.
Item 8 (iv)
Mr Robert Evans (Stanwell and Stanwell Moor) to move under Standing Order 11 as follows:
Surrey Council recognises the
huge contribution made to the County by all its employees.
· local government pay is amongst the lowest in the public sector;
· in real terms, basic pay across local government has fallen by around 21% since 2010;
· Surrey CC workers have now had eight years of below-inflation pay increases;
there are growing equal and fair pay risks resulting from this
This council recognises that
local government pay should not be allowed to fall further behind
other parts of the public sector, so therefore supports the aim of
restoring fair pay on behalf of council and school workers and
calls for an immediate end to public sector pay restraint.
Rachael I Lake declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 8(iv) as her son worked for Surrey County Council
The Leader of the Council proposed that this motion be referred to the Audit and Governance Committee due to there not being sufficient information for debate.
Dr Povey agreed to the referral of the motion.
Therefore it was:
To refer the motion to the Audit and Governance Committee meeting on 22 January 2018.
Under Standing Order 12.3 the Council agreed to debate this motion.
Mr Botten proposed a revised motion which was agreed and therefore, it became the substantive motion.
Under Standing Order 12.1 Mr Botten moved the revised motion (with additional words underlined and deletions crossed through): which was:
‘The Council notes that:
(i) Significant numbers of children who are either in the care of the County Council or children with special educational needs are being placed in residential care or special schools outside Surrey. This means that children are either living a long way from family and friends or have to travel long distances to get to and from school which is detrimental to children and their families and;
(ii) The County Council is projecting to overspend its special needs transport Budget by £1.2 million in 2017/18.
(iii) This Council supports plans to develop travel training for young people with special educational needs and to encourage the take up of the parental travel allowance.
This Council agrees that there
is a lack of County Council provided residential place and special
needs places for children within Surrey and the County Council
Mr Botten made the following points:
· That the Council had not provided sufficient care for children in need.
· The current efforts had resulted in a lot of stress for children.
· Cabinet had previously agreed to support children to travel more independently.
· There was growing demand for special needs services in the County.
· That the motion was asking for it to be actioned ‘as soon as practicable’.
· The Council needs to be more demanding with service providers and not accept inadequate service.
· Members have the responsibility to be game changers.
Members should endorse good practice and not tolerate long waiting times.
The motion was formally seconded by Mrs Goodwin who made the following points:
· Many families experience an uphill struggle when dealing with various services.
· Each stage resulted in less support from the Council.
· The Local Authority should be more proactive and invest in quality services for children.
· There should be more provision for carers so they can have their own lives outside of caring.
· Investment in special needs education needs to be holistic.
Eight Members spoke on the motion and made the following comments:
· As corporate parents Members should not accept the current situation for children.
· Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) should be receiving the right support at the right time. ... view the full minutes text for item 75/17
To receive the report of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 31 October and 28 November 2017 and to:
· Agree one recommendation in respect of approval of the changes to the Procurement Standing Orders
· Note the local government ombudsman report with a finding of maladministration
The Leader presented the report of the Cabinet meetings held on 31 October 2017 and 28 November 2017.
Recommendations on Policy Framework Documents
A – Procurement Standing Orders
The Cabinet Member for Property and Business Services introduced the report and outlined the amendments to the Procurement Standing Orders.
That the proposed changes to Procurement Standing Orders be approved, as set out in Annex A to this item.
Reports for Information / Discussion
The following report was received and noted:
B – Local Government Ombudsman Report.
That the report of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 31 October 2017 and 28 November 2017 be adopted.
At its meeting on 27 October 2017 the People, Performance and Development Committee considered a Motion in the name of Jonathan Essex referred to it by Council on 10 October 2017.
Members noted the report.
To approve a revised Pay Policy Statement for 2017/2018.
The Leader of the Council presented the report.
That the Council agree the Pay Policy Statement for 2017 - 2018.
To approve the appointment of Chief Executive.
The Leader of the Council introduced the report and highlighted that a long process had been carried out in order to identify a high calibre Chief Executive. It was noted that the People, Performance and Development Committee had agreed the salary of £220,000 per annum.
Members made the following comments:
· It was important to recognise the rigorous process carried out in order to identify a new Chief Executive.
· Hope that the new Chief Executive was able to enhance and strengthen the Council’s delivery of services.
· The salary of the new Chief Executive was a good deal in return for her experience and skill.
That the appointment of Joanna Killian as Chief Executive and Head of the Council’s paid service be approved.
To approve the appointment of Interim Monitoring Officer.
The Leader of the Council presented the report and highlighted that the appointment will take effect from 11 December 2017.
That the County Council appoints Sarah Baker as Interim Monitoring Officer of Surrey County Council with effect from 11 December 2017.
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 Democratic Services by 12 noon on 4 December 2017.
No notification had been received by the deadline from Members wishing to raise a question or make a statement on any matters in the minutes.