Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Tuesday, 12 July 2022 10.00 am

Venue: Woodhatch Place, 11 Cockshot Hill, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 8EF

Contact: Amelia Christopher 

Media

Items
No. Item

45/22

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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    The Chair to report apologies for absence.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Apologies for absence were received from Liz Bowes, Paul Deach, Marisa Heath, Victor Lewanski, Jan Mason, Sinead Mooney, Penny Rivers, Richard Tear, Alison Todd.

     

46/22

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 296 KB

47/22

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

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    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

    NOTES:

    ·         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)

    ·         Members with a significant personal interest may participate in the discussion and vote on that matter unless that interest could be reasonably regarded as prejudicial.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    There were none.

     

48/22

CHAIR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS pdf icon PDF 88 KB

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    Surrey Civic Network

    This month I was delighted to host the Surrey Civic Network. All the Mayors and Chairs from our District and Borough Councils who have recently been ordained, came together here at Woodhatch Place to share their chosen charity and their plans for the forthcoming year. This included our very own Vice-Chair, Saj Hussain who is now officially the Mayor of Woking. Congratulations Saj! It is wonderful to have you and all our Mayors and Chairs on board.

     

     

    Queen’s Awards for Surrey residents - Birthday Honours 2022

    The Surrey Lieutenancy was delighted to congratulate the Surrey residents who have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022. These residents were honoured for their selfless work in communities across our county during the Covid pandemic, for the benefit of their fellow citizens. A full list of our worthy Surrey residents is contained in Annex 1. Congratulations to them all!  

     

     

    Queen’s Platinum Jubilee ‘Thank You’ Party

    I also had the honour this month to thank our Surrey Volunteers who worked so tirelessly and selflessly to help fellow residents throughout the pandemic at our Queen’s Platinum Jubilee ‘Thank You’ Party. A big ‘thank you’ to those of you who nominated these volunteers from your patch. It was a fabulous day, there were smiles all round and it was a pleasure to talk to each of them and hear of their personal experience during the hardest times. I am sincerely grateful to have such strong and resilient residents on our County. Thank you all!  

     

     

    Armed Forces Week

    On 22 June, as Chair of the Surrey Civilian-Military Partnership Board and of Surrey County Council, it was a privilege to welcome Reservists, Veterans, Ex-Service Personnel, representatives from the Royal British Legion, SSAFA and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, for a flag raising and one minute silence in our Memorial Garden at Woodhatch Place. We remembered those brave men, many from the Welsh Guards, Pirbright who lost their lives or were severely wounded liberating the Falkland Islands. We will remember them.

     

     

    NHS

    Last but certainly not least, we marked the second NHS National Annual Celebration of our frontline workers, those extraordinary men and women who for Surrey County Council, do so much to protect us and keep our country going. It is absolutely right that, as a nation, we pause, reflect, give thanks and celebrate those who time after time step up and step forward to help others. Although all restrictions have lifted, the after-effects of the pandemic are still felt today by many - and will continue to do so, sadly for weeks, months and years to come. It is only right that we remember our front-line workers who continue to carry on helping and serve the nation.

     

     

    Thank You

    As ever, I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Surrey County Council’s officers who do such a fantastic job of setting up and running our Council meetings, all of which would not be possible without your continuing hard work. Thank you!  ...  view the full agenda text for item 48/22

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair:

     

    ·         Noted that her full announcements could be found in the Council agenda front sheet.

     

49/22

LEADER'S STATEMENT pdf icon PDF 202 KB

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    The Leader to make a statement.

     

    There will be an opportunity for Members to ask questions and/or make comments.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    George Potter arrived at 10.05 am.

                     

    The Leader of the Council made a detailed statement. A copy of the statement is attached as Appendix A.

     

    Members raised the following topics:

     

    ·         Referring to the Surrey Pay Policy Statement 2022/2023 and in light of the cost-of-living crisis,welcomed the percentage increase to be granted to the Council’s staff on the lower end of the pay scale.

    ·         Despite the Council’s recent contact with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), noted concern by the lack of any increase in over ten years in the 45p per mile travel allowance and noted that there seemed to be an unwillingness to argue for the urgent changes needed.

    ·         Welcomed the announcement of early engagement with Members on the 2023/24 budget, however further detail on the Council’s pressures and efficiencies and detail from the Government on the adult social care costs remained unclear.

    ·         That whilst the Local and Joint Committees would be discontinued, the detail on their replacement had yet to be agreed.

    ·         Welcomed the increase in Member’s allocation for highways for their division, however noted that the changes were confusing.  

    ·         Understood the need to review Home to School Transport, however noted disappointment in the recent delays and the delay in Member involvement concerning the M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley Interchange work.

    ·         Welcomed the recent email from the Cabinet Member concerning the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) timing, however noted that Surrey’s residents faced being left behind.

    ·         Regarding the recent water damage at Quadrant Court, queried whether the Council should sell the building or stay, queried whether it was an example of neglected repairs over the last fifteen years; further scrutiny was needed concerning the Agile Office Programme.

    ·         Noted the significant resident opposition concerning the Reigate Priory Junior School and delay of at least one year for the move.

    ·         Queried the difference in cost between the purchase of Woodhatch Place and the sale of County Hall.

    ·         Noted the repair delays and that all children's homes must be fit for Surrey’s children.

    ·         Noted the tax cuts proposed by the national Conservative Party leadership contenders which go against what the Council has been saying cross-party that local government and public services require extra funding, particularly for social care and roads and to tackle the aging population; asked whether the Leader would be raising the issues with the leadership contenders.

    ·         As a result of the flux in Government, asked how likely it was that the county deal and levelling up proposals would continue and what the Council’s relationship should be with the district and borough councils; asked whether the Leader had spoken to the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on those matters and what the Council’s bargaining points were.

    ·         That one of the last official acts of the previous Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities was to allow oil drilling in Dunsfold, previously refused by the Council's Planning and Regulatory Committee. Asked whether the Council would be lobbying the Government and new Secretary of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49/22

50/22

MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME pdf icon PDF 381 KB

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    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 6 July 2022).

     

    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:

    Becky Rush left the meeting at 10.39 am.

     

    Questions:

     

    Notice of twenty-three questions had been received. The questions and replies were published in the supplementary agenda on 11 July 2022.

     

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

     

    (Q1) Trefor Hogg noted that given the food within its use by date can often be frozen, he asked the Cabinet Member for Property and Waste to ensure that space to accommodate freezers on the Council’s premises for food banks is mandated wherever possible.

     

    Catherine Powell asked whether theCouncil could look to use apps such as OLIO which allow food that cannot be used on the day to be advertised online and distributed on the day to those in need free for collection.

     

    In response, the Cabinet Member for Property and Waste noted that the food service was currently contracted out to Selecta UK. She would look into Trefor Hogg’s request with the Facilities Management team and would look into Catherine Powell’s request.

     

    (Q3) Robert King asked whether the Cabinet Member for Education and Learning was confident that meals and the nutrition of meals in all schools in Surrey in a year's time would be the same they are today.

     

    In response, the Cabinet Member for Education and Learning explained that both the funding and the nutrition of meals would be sustained for Surrey’s children. She noted that the funding from the Department for Education was maintained for the next three years for the provision for school holidays. She highlighted that the Council continued to provide assistance to families with children eligible for free school meals during school holidays and provision had continued during the academic year. Regarding the summer holidays, families would be provided with holistic support such as supermarket vouchers and activities for children.

     

    (Q4) Robert Evans referring to the comparative figures of the Council budget over the same period, asked whether the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources was aware that since the last census the Consumer Price Index had increased by nearly 20%. He asked how she felt that had impacted on the Council’s services and budget.

     

    In response, the Leader, in the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources’ temporary absence, noted that he would ask the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources to provide a written response. The Leader noted that the Council’s budgeting process considers anticipated inflation and he noticed from the census that there had been a reduction in the number of older people in the county, which could make a difference to Adult Social Care.

     

    (Q6) Nick Darby asked whether the Cabinet Member for Transport, Infrastructure and Economy could provide his thoughts in relation to corridors to allow resident access to the M3 and two local hospitals. 

     

    Will Forster noted that the response states that fines generated in Surrey would be retained in Surrey. He noted that was nonsensical as fines would be generated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50/22

51/22

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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    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 11 July 2022).

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Clare Curran(Bookham and Fetcham West)made a statement on Mole Valley Connect, a Surrey County Council funded new demand responsive door-to-door electric minibus service. The service takes passengers to their local destination in the north of Mole Valley or to several nearby locations. She highlighted the

    travel times, affordable fares and accessible booking service and explained that its aims were to encourage the shift to a sustainable form of transport for shorter journeys and to keep people connected.

     

52/22

ORIGINAL MOTIONS

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    Item 8 (i)

     

    Fiona White (Guildford West) to move under standing order 11 as follows:

     

    This Council notes that:

    ·         On 1 April 2022, Ofgem increased the energy price cap by 54 per cent.

    ·         In light of the increased energy price cap, the average standard tariff energy bill will increase by £693 per year. The average pre-pay meter energy bill will increase by £708 per year (Ofgem, 2022).

    ·         On 6 April 2022, the Government increased National Insurance by 1.25 percentage points, which is projected to cost the average family in Surrey an additional £600 a year.

    ·         The Government has suspended the pensions ‘triple lock’ for 2022/3, meaning Surrey’s over 209,000 pensioners will see a rise of 3.1 per cent this year (instead of 8.3 per cent under the triple lock formula). This year, this will cost individual pensioners in the county hundreds of pounds.

    ·         Evidence shows that use of foodbanks across Surrey has increased by 300% compared with the same month in 2019 including use by households who are working and have never had to ask for help until now.

    This Council further notes:

    The decision taken in June 2022 to impose a ‘Windfall Tax’ on the super-profits of oil and gas companies and to redistribute this as a one-off payment of £400 to households later this year. Though the Windfall Tax is welcome, Council believes it does not go nearly far enough and the Government should be doing much more to support local people through the Cost-of-Living crisis.

    This Council resolves to:

     

    1. Call for a Surrey Cost-of-Living Emergency Summit, with stakeholders including Citizens Advice, Surrey Welfare Rights Unit, Food Banks, Local Trades Unions and Chambers of Commerce to draw up a joint plan to alleviate the impact on Surrey residents, especially those in the most vulnerable households, and invite local MPs to attend this meeting.

     

    1. Welcome the increased Household Support Fund from the Government which has enabled ringfenced funding to pensioners who are struggling financially and additional support to foodbanks and voluntary, community and faith organisations.

     

    1. In addition to the funds in resolution II. above, to provide further funding to meet the increased demand on foodbanks and community fridges and provide more money to the Surrey Crisis Fund to expand its remit to emergency purchase of such things as fridges and washing machines.

     

    1. Increase efforts to provide advice and practical help to enable residents to insulate their homes and make them more energy efficient especially those experiencing fuel poverty.

     

    1. Continue to review the support given to residents as the crisis deepens especially with the further increase in fuel costs in the autumn.

     

    1. Call on the Government to:

                                  i.        immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent for one year, saving the average household in Surrey a further £600 this year.

                                 ii.        Immediately re-introduce the pensions triple lock to support Surrey’s pensioners.

                                iii.        Immediately restore the Universal Credit supplement of £20, which was cancelled by the Government in September 2021.  ...  view the full agenda text for item 52/22

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Item 8 (i)

     

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

     

    Under Standing Order 12.1 Fiona White moved:

     

    This Council notes that:

    ·         On 1 April 2022, Ofgem increased the energy price cap by 54 per cent.

    ·         In light of the increased energy price cap, the average standard tariff energy bill will increase by £693 per year. The average pre-pay meter energy bill will increase by £708 per year (Ofgem, 2022).

    ·         On 6 April 2022, the Government increased National Insurance by 1.25 percentage points, which is projected to cost the average family in Surrey an additional £600 a year.

    ·         The Government has suspended the pensions ‘triple lock’ for 2022/3, meaning Surrey’s over 209,000 pensioners will see a rise of 3.1 per cent this year (instead of 8.3 per cent under the triple lock formula). This year, this will cost individual pensioners in the county hundreds of pounds.

    ·         Evidence shows that use of foodbanks across Surrey has increased by 300% compared with the same month in 2019 including use by households who are working and have never had to ask for help until now.

    This Council further notes:

    The decision taken in June 2022 to impose a ‘Windfall Tax’ on the super-profits of oil and gas companies and to redistribute this as a one-off payment of £400 to households later this year. Though the Windfall Tax is welcome, Council believes it does not go nearly far enough and the Government should be doing much more to support local people through the Cost-of-Living crisis.

    This Council resolves to:

     

                            I.        Call for a Surrey Cost-of-Living Emergency Summit, with stakeholders including Citizens Advice, Surrey Welfare Rights Unit, Food Banks, Local Trades Unions and Chambers of Commerce to draw up a joint plan to alleviate the impact on Surrey residents, especially those in the most vulnerable households, and invite local MPs to attend this meeting.

     

                           II.        Welcome the increased Household Support Fund from the Government which has enabled ringfenced funding to pensioners who are struggling financially and additional support to foodbanks and voluntary, community and faith organisations.

     

                          III.        In addition to the funds in resolution II. above, to provide further funding to meet the increased demand on foodbanks and community fridges and provide more money to the Surrey Crisis Fund to expand its remit to emergency purchase of such things as fridges and washing machines.

     

                         IV.        Increase efforts to provide advice and practical help to enable residents to insulate their homes and make them more energy efficient especially those experiencing fuel poverty.

     

                          V.        Continue to review the support given to residents as the crisis deepens especially with the further increase in fuel costs in the autumn.

     

                         VI.        Call on the Government to:

     

                                               i.         immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent for one year, saving the average household in Surrey a further £600 this year.

                                              ii.        Immediately re-introduce the pensions triple lock to support Surrey’s pensioners.

                                             iii.        Immediately restore the Universal Credit supplement of £20, which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 52/22

53/22

SURREY PAY POLICY STATEMENT 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 230 KB

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    For the approval of the Surrey Pay Policy Statement for the period 2022/2023.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader as Chairman of the People, Performance and Development Committee (PPDC) introduced the report and highlighted that the three main areas it covered related to the remuneration of Chief Officers, the responsibility of the PPDC in relation to the appointments of Chief Officers and the Council’s policy on equal pay, redundancy and severance. He noted that the Statement reflected the positive outcome of the negotiations with the Trade Unions: UNISON and GMB, resulting in the agreed pay settlement. In addition to the inflation increase awards to those at the lower end of the pay scale, the incremental pay progression would continue with effect from 1 April 2022 for staff with headroom within their individual grade.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That Council agreed the Pay Policy Statement for 2022/2023.

     

54/22

SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL'S DRAFT 2021/2022 MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT pdf icon PDF 560 KB

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    For Council to approve the Draft Modern Slavery Statement.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources introduced the report and noted that the impending changes to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 meant that local authorities would soon become subject to Section 54 of the Act requiring the publication of an annual Modern Slavery Statement. She noted that modern slavery is a heinous practice affecting millions of people worldwide and in line with the Council's ethos of no one left behind, the Council should care how its services are procured and delivered. The Council was being asked to approve the Council’s first Statement to be published in September in accordance with the Home Office’s timeframe. She explained that the Statement was developed by an officer with prior experience on the matter and had been developed using best practice ensuring that the Council’s policies and practices mitigate the risks of modern slavery in its supply chains.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That Council approved Surrey County Council’s draft 2021/2022 Modern Slavery Statement (see Annex).

     

     

55/22

ANNUAL REPORT TO COUNCIL - MEMBER DEVELOPMENT pdf icon PDF 286 KB

56/22

ONGOING IMPROVEMENTS TO COUNCIL OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY pdf icon PDF 230 KB

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    For Council to review and approve the new protocol on the scrutiny of Council owned (wholly or majority owned) companies for addition to the Constitution of the Council and to note the trajectory for further improvements to the function as set out in the report including the appointment of the Statutory Scrutiny Officer.

     

     

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair of the Select Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs’ Group introduced the report and highlighted that scrutiny had developed in the Council over the last few years. He noted that it was taken more seriously, the select committees were undertaking in depth preparation with officers, the chairs and the vice-chairs and with Members, and experienced officers had helped drive scrutiny forward. He noted that Members of the opposition parties had been more involved than ever before and select committees were challenging each other to ensure that they were making a greater number of recommendations.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    That Members noted and commented on the future improvement work identified within this report.

    2.    That Members reviewed the new protocol on scrutiny of Council companies and agreed to add it to the Constitution of the Council.

    3.    That the Scrutiny Business Manager is appointed as the Statutory

    Scrutiny Officer for Surrey County Council to cover the Governance Lead Manager’s maternity leave.

     

57/22

MEMBER CONDUCT PANEL REPORT pdf icon PDF 170 KB

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    To notify Council of the outcome of a decision made by the Member Conduct Panel following a meeting on 23 May 2022.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair as Chairman of the Member Conduct Panel introduced the report and explained that the Panel had noted that the Member had fully co-operated with the investigation and had voluntarily admitted and apologised for his conduct.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That Council noted the decision sheet of the Member Conduct Panel of 23

    May 2022 attached as an appendix.

     

58/22

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION pdf icon PDF 341 KB

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    It is the Council’s responsibility to approve changes to the Council’s Constitution. This includes the Scheme of Delegation regarding non-executive functions, while amendments to executive functions are the responsibility of the Leader and are brought to County Council to note.

     

    This report sets out proposed changes to the Constitution’s executive and non-executive functions set out in the Scheme of Delegation and these are brought to Council for information and formal approval.

     

    These changes are brought to Council in accordance with Articles 4.10, 5.02 and 11.02 of the Council’s Constitution.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair noted that an addendum report had been published in the supplementary agenda and included an additional recommendation seeking special dispensation for Jan Mason.

     

    The Leader introduced the report and noted that the amendment to the Scheme of Delegation related to the Stage Two Travel Assistance Appeals, it was proposed that officers be allowed to sit on that Panel.

     

    The Leader and the Chair wished Jan Mason a speedy recovery.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    That the executive function changes to the Officer Scheme of Delegation in relation to home to school transport reviews approved by the Leader in June 2022 be noted (as set out in Annex 1).

    2.    That the amendments to the Terms of Reference for the Appeals and Representation Panel be noted (as set out in paragraph 6).

    3.    That Jan Mason may continue to be absent from meetings until December 2022 by reason of ill health. The Council looks forward to welcoming her back in due course.

     

     

     

59/22

REPORT OF THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 301 KB

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    To receive the report of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 31 May 2022.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader presented the report of the Cabinet meeting held on 31 May 2022.

     

    Recommendations on Policy Framework Documents:

     

    A.    The Surrey Transport Plan (Fourth Edition) – Adoption (as set out in the Cabinet paper from 31 May 2022)

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    That Council approved the Surrey Transport Plan including launch of new related Surrey website pages on the 13 July 2022.

     

    That the Council agreed:

     

    2.    That the Cabinet noted the efforts that have gone into extending the engagement with communities and partners over the new Surrey Transport Plan including analysis and feedback received from the statutory public consultation and subsequent additional targeted engagement.

    3.    That Cabinet noted how delivering the Surrey Transport Plan associated policies, strategies and measures will support the Climate Change Delivery Plan.

    4.    That Cabinet noted the capital investment required to deliver the plan as set out in the 2022/23 budget and beyond in line with the Medium-Term Financial Plan.

    5.    That Cabinet recommended to Council that authority be delegated to the Executive Director, for Environment, Transport & Infrastructure, in discussion with the Cabinet Member for Transport & Infrastructure for any final changes that may be necessary to allow publication of the plan on 13 July 2022 and any key changes thereafter to comply with new government policy.

    6.    That Cabinet thanked the Members of the Greener Futures Reference Group for their work in developing the Plan thus far.

     

    Reports for Information/Discussion:

     

    B.    Surrey Infrastructure Plan - Phase 2 Schemes

    C.   Minerals and Waste Development Scheme 

    D.   2021/22 Outturn Financial Report

     

    E.    Quarterly Report on Decisions Taken Under Special Urgency Arrangements: 14 May 2022 - 1 July 2022

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    That Council noted that there had been no urgent decisions in the last two months.

    2.    That the report of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 31 May 2022 be adopted.

     

60/22

MINUTES OF CABINET MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 249 KB

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    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 Monday 11 July 2022.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    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.