Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Tuesday, 7 July 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Remote

Contact: Amelia Christopher, Email: amelia.christopher@surreycc.gov.uk 

Note: The meeting will be live streamed: https://surreycc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcasts 

Media

Items
No. Item

25/20

CHAIRMAN pdf icon PDF 46 KB

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    1. To elect a Chairman for the Council Year 2020/21.

    2. The Chairman to make the statutory declaration of acceptance of office.

     

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Under the motion of Mr Gardner, seconded by Mr Botten, it was unanimously:

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That Mr Anthony Samuels be elected Chairman of the Council for the Council Year 2020/21.

     

    STATUTORY DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE:

     

    Mr Samuels made the statutory declaration of acceptance of office.

     

    The newly elected Chairman expressed his thanks to the Members of the Council for electing him as Chairman and gave a short speech, attached as Appendix A.

     

    The Chairman led a one-minute silence for the Executive Director of Children, Lifelong Learning and Culture, Dave Hill CBE who recently passed away

     

26/20

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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    The Chairman to report apologies for absence.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

     

    Apologies were received from Mrs Mason, Mr Nuti and Mrs Rush.

     

27/20

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 99 KB

28/20

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

    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:

    Dr Andrew Povey declared a non-pecuniary interest as he was a trustee for the Surrey Hills Society.

     

29/20

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

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    Despite the restrictions this country has faced over the past weeks, activities and events have still occurred - not quite ‘as usual’ - but I was proud to be involved virtually in:

     

    • Armed Forces Week – The week commencing 22 June celebrated Armed Forces Week. During a virtual flag raising ceremony, we paid tribute to this country’s extraordinary men and women who continually put their country and others before themselves and who keep Britain safe and free. We are all forever in their debt.

     

    • Young Mayor – In forging strong links between Surrey County Council and the Young Mayor, the Vice-Chairman attended a Youth Council meeting at the end of June, to listen to the views, opinions and questions of the young people of Surrey. The Vice-Chairman will continue to work with the Young Mayor in order to make sure young people’s voices are heard and we look forward to sharing more with you in due course.

     

    • Pride – 27 June saw Surrey County Council’s second annual Pride flag raising ceremony, albeit virtually this year. The LGBTQ+ community in Surrey plays an important role in shaping the county’s vibrant and diverse culture and I am pleased to hear that the LGBTQ+ staff network at the council is continuing to grow even as many of our staff work remotely.

     

    • Eikon Charity – On 29 June I was invited by Eikon Charity’s Chief Executive, Chris Hickford to attend a full staff video briefing. It was an invaluable insight into how charities have responded to the serious challenges that the Covid-19 crisis has created for them. The Eikon team has shown real passion, dedication, creativity and care as they’ve pursued new ways to connect with children they support, focusing on those children and young people most at risk or in need of their help.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chairman:

    ·         Highlighted to Members that the Chairman’s Announcements were located in the agenda front sheet.

     

30/20

VICE-CHAIRMAN

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    1. To elect a Vice-Chairman for the Council Year 2020/21.

    2. The Vice-Chairman to make the statutory declaration of acceptance of office.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Under the motion of Mr Darby, seconded by Mrs Muir, it was unanimously:

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That Mrs Helyn Clack be elected Vice-Chairman of the Council for the Council Year 2020/21.

     

    STATUTORY DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE:

     

    Mrs Clack made the statutory declaration of acceptance of office.

     

    The newly elected Vice-Chairman expressed her thanks to the Members of the Council for electing her as Vice-Chairman and gave a short speech.

     

31/20

LEADER'S STATEMENT pdf icon PDF 78 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:

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

     

    Members raised the following topics:

     

    ·         Paid tribute to Dave Hill CBE, Executive Director of Children, Lifelong Learning and Culture:

    -          What he had achieved was truly transformational during a time of crisis in Children’s Services, he was a pillar to the Council committed to improving the lives of children.

    -          He identified talented people who could help Children’s Services and it was vital to continue to strive alongside the officer team that he created.

    -          That school leaders reflected on the strong foundations that he laid to transform Children’s Services and were determined to build on them.

    ·         Praised the Council’s leadership and thanked staff for their work and response to the pandemic, noting that partnership work with residents through employing local knowledge and solutions remained effective.

    ·         Welcomed the recent statement by the head of NHS England that the pandemic was a catalyst to drive improvements and reform in adult social care.

    ·         That the Council and local government needed to work closely with central Government to ensure that they were supported financially during the pandemic.

    ·         Welcomed the recommencement of services such as road repairs and the reopening of facilities such as high streets, Community Recycling Centres (CRCs), with libraries forthcoming.

    ·         Noted that the transformation plan regarding the provision of extra care places and units for those with autism and learning difficulties to get people back into community was behind schedule.

    ·         Noted that there had not been any updates on the detailed review of Surrey property that had been undertaken eighteen months ago.

    ·         Welcomed the Leader of the Council outlining the proposals for Surrey’s future concerning the devolution White Paper which was to be published in the autumn and welcomed the opportunity to scrutinise the Council’s options.

    ·         Concerned that future options for Surrey on devolution, were a consuming distraction for the Council which was dealing with a number of crises regarding the care home sector, the vulnerability of the county’s children including the prevalence of domestic abuse; and the impact the pandemic was having on the airline, retail and hospitality sector and the Council’s future prosperity - suggesting the establishment of a business development board.

    ·         Highlighted the gaps in schools concerning children with Special Educational needs and Disability (SEND) and families without IT or broadband. A recovery plan including input from headteachers and specialists should be developed.

    ·         Welcomed the Leader of the Council’s statement outlining the opportunities and challenges ahead, highlighting that the Council’s ambition had not dimmed and its transformation work had not stopped.

    ·         Supported the Leader of the Council’s exploration into the Council’s future options in advance of the White Paper on devolution and asked what additional powers he would like to see for Surrey; noting that a new unitary system could provide savings for services and be good for business due to less bureaucracy.

    ·         Noted that Members must be consulted on the matter of devolution before plans were shared with the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31/20

32/20

ANNUAL REVIEW OF POLITICAL PROPORTIONALITY pdf icon PDF 75 KB

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    To formally review the proportional political allocation of places on committees and to adopt a scheme of proportionality for the Council Year 2020/21.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The report was introduced by the Leader of the Council.

     

    RESOLVED (with no Members voting Against):

     

    That the scheme of proportionality and committees seat allocations be adopted for 2020/21.

     

33/20

APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES pdf icon PDF 114 KB

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    To appoint Members of the various Committees of the Council for the Council Year 2020/21.

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council introduced the report.

     

    The following correction was made at the meeting:

     

    ·         People, Performance and Development Committee: Natalie Bramhall to replace Mike Goodman under Substitutes - Cabinet Members.

     

    Noting the above amendment, the report was agreed. A copy of the finalised version is attached as Appendix C.

     

    RESOLVED (with no Members voting Against):

     

    The Council agreed:

     

    1.    To appoint Members to serve on the Committees of the Council for the Council year 2020/21 in accordance with the wishes of political groups.

    2.    To authorise the Chief Executive to make changes to the membership of any of the Council’s Committees as necessary during the Council year in accordance with the wishes of political groups.

    3.    To appoint the County Councillors representing divisions in the Woking borough area to serve on the Woking Joint Committee for the Council year 2020/21.

    4.    To appoint the County Councillors representing divisions in the Spelthorne borough area to serve on the Spelthorne Joint Committee for the Council year 2020/21.

    5.    To appoint the County Councillors representing divisions in the Runnymede borough area to serve on the Runnymede Joint Committee for the Council year 2020/21.

    6.    To appoint the County Councillors representing divisions in the Guildford borough area to serve on the Guildford Joint Committee for the Council year 2020/21.

    7.    To appoint the remaining County Councillors for each district/borough area to serve on the appropriate Local Committee for the Council year 2020/21, and to authorise the Chief Executive to appoint an equal number of district/borough councillors to the Local Committees following nominations by the district and borough councils, which they should be requested to make politically proportional to their Membership.

    8.    To appoint the Council’s representative to the Surrey Police and Crime Panel for the Council year 2020/21.

    9.    To appoint four Members (one of whom must be a Cabinet Member and the others County Councillors representing divisions that include the Basingstoke Canal) to the Basingstoke Canal Joint Management Committee.

    10.  To appoint up to two Members to the Buckinghamshire County Council and Surrey County Council Joint Trading Standards Service Committee, one of whom must be a Cabinet Member; the other in an advisory non-voting role.

    11.  To note the Leader’s appointments to the Council’s Executive Committees as outlined above.

     

34/20

ELECTION OF COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN AND VICE-CHAIRMEN pdf icon PDF 66 KB

35/20

MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME pdf icon PDF 164 KB

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    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 1 July 2020).

     

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Member Questions:

    Notice of thirteen questions had been received. The questions and replies were published in a supplementary agenda on 6 July 2020.

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

    (Q1) Mrs Hazel Watson asked if the Leader of the Council would formally write to the event organisers London Marathon Events, stating that the Council finds it unacceptable for them not to have addressed the serious accident and to discuss the measures going forward to protect local residents within one year of accident.

    Rachael I. Lake asked if the Leader would organise a meeting with all Members whose division the Prudential RideLondon cycle event goes through.

    The Leader of the Council responded that he was happy to write to London Marathon Events to ask them to confirm that there would be suitable safety measures in place, it was not however appropriate to involve the Council with an individual claim as the insurers of London Marathon Events were dealing with the matter. He encouraged Members with any specific issues to liaise with him and commented that the Cabinet Member for Communities was in discussion with the event organisers to discuss the event post 2021.

    (Q2) Mr Robert Evans noted that the response was confusing and asked if the Cabinet Member for Adults and Health had received any indication from the Government that they would offer to reimburse schools or other organisations for the costs incurred from adhering to the two metre rule and the subsequent change to one metre plus.

    The Cabinet Member for Adults and Health responded that she was not aware of any Government commitment to reimburse schools or other organisations at present.

    (Q5) Mr Stephen Cooksey asked the Cabinet Member for Transport about the timetable for both the first tranche and second tranche of the Active Travel funding, particularly when there might be implementation on the first tranche and further detail provided on the second tranche.

    Mr Jonathan Essex if the Council would confirm that plans were in place to employ a full-time cycle planner and that sufficient walking and cycling skills would be sought externally if needed to ensure that the full amount from the phase one bid could be secured. He also asked if the cost breakdown for the measures funded or not in phase one.

    Mr David Harmer noted the money set aside for verge vegetation control in rural areas, explaining that allowing the vegetation to grow in certain areas was a good traffic calming measure, it protected endangered species and was less costly. He asked if local parish councils could be invited to nominate areas where verge vegetation could be left to grow.

    Mr Will Forster commented that the answer noted that Sustrans and Create Streets were involved in the second tranche, asking if they were also involved in tranche one and if the relevant divisional councillors would be consulted before the second tranche bids were submitted.

    Mr Nick Harrison asked if the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35/20

36/20

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 6 July 2020).

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    There were none.

37/20

REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT REMUNERATION PANEL pdf icon PDF 76 KB

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    Council is invited to consider the Independent Remuneration Panel’s report on the review of Members’ Allowances for 2020-21 and the Panel’s resulting recommendations.

     

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council thanked the Chairman and members of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) as well as the Member Services Manager for their work in producing the comprehensive report and conducting an extensive set of interviews.

    The Leader noted that discussions around Member remunerations was a sensitive issue and recognised the personal and financial sacrifices made by Members when undertaking their civic duties. He noted that his preferred approach was to consider the report and its recommendations in its entirety, which would deliver a three per cent reduction in the total allowances resulting in a net saving to the Council.

    Members made the following comments:

    ·         That the Leader of the Council rightly emphasised the sensitivity of the matter, but it was vital to residents that Members’ remunerations were scrutinised particularly as the pandemic had highlighted the socio-economic difficulties faced by many residents.

    ·         Thanked the IRP for its work in producing the final report, noting that the removal of the twenty-two per cent planned uplift for select committee chairmen and the introduction of the new Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) for the Select Committee Task Group leads (interim title) was welcome as the resultant saving to the Council was a three per cent or £38,000 net reduction.

    ·         Disagreed with the proposed abolition of the SRA for committee Vice-Chairmen, as for instance there was a large amount of work required for the Planning and Regulatory Committee which often took decisions that had a dramatic impact on local communities.

    ·         That the allowances for committee Vice-Chairmen had not been looked into properly as second to committee Chairmen, they put in additional hours compared to ordinary committee members.

    ·         The IRP should look to encourage a greater diversity of Members with a salary to match the work undertaken.

    ·         That positions that had their SRA abolished were devalued as they had the same responsibilities without the allowance. Members had differing financial circumstances so to some Members the SRA was vital.

    ·         That it was not appropriate for Members to vote on their remunerations as beneficiaries of the SRAs and a freeze in allowances was suggested in light of Covid-19 and the economic crises.

    ·         Proposed that recommendation eight was amended to state ‘that the role description, title and remuneration for the Deputy Cabinet Member role is updated’ in order that it was clearer.

    ·         That it was important that allowances were to keep pace with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and the level of responsibility involved.

    ·         Stressed that it was important that Members were paid adequately and incentivised so the Council could attract people from less wealthy backgrounds in order to have a mix of diverse Members.

    ·         That it did cost to be a Member, urging caution to avoid putting Members in embarrassing positions where depending on their financial circumstances they accepted or could reject their allowance. The Council and IRP must be practical especially considering how much Members used to get and the continuous reduction in pensions.

     

    RESOLVED:

    Relating to the Basic Allowance (65 Members  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37/20

38/20

AMENDMENTS TO THE COUNCIL'S CONSTITUTION pdf icon PDF 89 KB

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    Surrey County Council has a Constitution which is agreed by Members and sets out how the Council operates, how decisions are made and the procedures to be followed to ensure that they are efficient, transparent and accountable to the residents of Surrey.

     

    Council is asked to consider the following changes to the Constitution:

     

    ·         To add new officer delegations to the Scheme of Delegation relating to the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme.

    ·         To approve a change to Standing Order 41(g) to permit substitutes on the Surrey Local Firefighters’ Pension Board.

    ·         To note that the Coroner’s Service now sits within the remit of the Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee.

    ·         To set out how the Council will meet its requirements to implement a Local Authority member led engagement board for outbreak management in line with Government guidance as a sub-committee of the Health and Wellbeing Board.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader of the Council introduced the report. Regarding the establishment of the Surrey Local Outbreak Engagement Board, he noted that the Surrey Local Outbreak Control Plan and the NHS Test and Trace Communications Plan for Surrey had been circulated to Members.

    A Member commented that the Surrey Local Firefighters’ Pension Board had sought to assign and clarify the responsibilities concerning the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme for some time. The identification of a specific person to take on the Scheme Manager responsibilities which had previously alternated between different individuals and services was welcomed and the Board looked forward to working with Sally Wilson. The Member’s comments were endorsed by another Member and he was thanked for pursuing the identification of the Scheme Manager.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

39/20

REPORT OF THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 125 KB

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    To receive the report of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 31 March 2020 (Leader Decisions with Cabinet Members - acting as Cabinet), 28 April 2020, 26 May 2020 and 23 June 2020.

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader presented the report of the Cabinet meetings held on 31 March 2020 (Leader Decisions with Cabinet Members - acting as Cabinet), 28 April 2020, 26 May 2020 and 23 June 2020.

    Reports for Information/Discussion:

    31 March 2020:

    A.    Returning the Countryside to Residents

    B.    Digital Strategy 2025

     

    A Member commented that Members had been forgotten regarding their role in taking the lead on connecting their communities and their ability to access the data needed that the Council held. In response, the Leader noted that Members were a central part of the strategy and he would clarify any unclear areas with the Member.

     

    28 April 2020:

    C.   Surrey Climate Change Strategy

    D.   New Tree Strategy

     

    26 May 2020:

    E.    Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) Capital Strategy

     

    23 June 2020:

    F.    Housing Infrastructure Fund Forward Funding – Funding Allocation of £41.8 Million to the A320 North of Woking

    G.   Rethinking Waste - Surrey County Council's Waste Commissioning Strategy

    H.   Quarterly Report on Decisions Taken Under Special Urgency Arrangements: 1 March – 23 June 2020

     

    RESOLVED:

    1.    That Council noted that there had been two urgent decision in that quarter.

    2.    That the reports of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 31 March 2020 (Leader Decisions with Cabinet Members - acting as Cabinet), 28 April 2020, 26 May 2020 and 23 June 2020 be adopted.

     

40/20

MINUTES OF CABINET MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 87 KB