Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Tuesday, 13 July 2021 10.00 am

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

Contact: Amelia Christopher  Email: amelia.christopher@surreycc.gov.uk; 020 8213 2838

Note: This meeting will be held in public, however numbers will be limited in order to adhere to Covid-19 social distancing requirements. If you would like to attend, please contact Amelia Christopher. 

Media

Items
No. Item

43/21

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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    The Chair to report apologies for absence.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Apologies for absence were received from Paul Deach, John Furey, Jeffrey Gray, Alison Griffiths, Nick Harrison, Rebecca Jennings-Evans, David Lewis (Camberley West), Cameron McIntosh, Julia McShane, Sinead Mooney, John O’Reilly, Penny Rivers and Joanne Sexton.

     

44/21

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 245 KB

45/21

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:

    Robert Hughes declared an interest as he was the Chief Executive for the charity, Sight for Surrey, which operated two contracts for Surrey County Council for adult social care and one contract for education; and stated that he would not participate in items concerning the above.

     

    John Robini declared an interest regarding item 8: Original Motions, 8 (i) concerning street lighting as he worked for Surrey Police as a Crime Prevention Design Advisor and helped Surrey to plan its present policy.

     

46/21

CHAIR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS pdf icon PDF 7 KB

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    The Chair to report.

     

    Please find the list of the Queen's Birthday Honours2021 for Surrey attached.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair:

     

    ·           Referred to her announcements as published in the supplementary agenda and led a minute’s silence to remember Donald Thwaites and Dorothy Mitchell.

     

47/21

LEADER'S STATEMENT pdf icon PDF 296 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 A.

     

    Members raised the following topics:

     

    ·         Noted highways as an area of concern which affected all residents and on which Members received a large volume of correspondence; further noted concern that Members were not consulted upon regarding the major changes proposed in the Highways Service noting concern in the loss of local knowledge in the Highways team and the lack of information provided by the Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure.

    ·         Highlighted Your Fund Surrey as an area of concern, that proper governance was critical noting that the rules setting out the detail on the spend of the £100 million had been delayed and queried when the change in the Advisory Panel making the final decision on shortlisted applications was made.  

    ·         Noted supported living units as an area of concern, ensuring value for money was vital; further noted Cabinet’s recent approval for a feasibility costs for four sites of which £1 million of the £1.9 million feasibility costs was for demolition and queried why no formal valuation report was taken to Cabinet on the £16 million purchase of the Dakota building in Brooklands.

    ·         That as a ‘critical friend’ it was right to highlight the above issues of concern to the Council’s current Conservative Party administration recognising the balance with Covid-19 recovery and looking out for the disadvantaged.

    ·         That with the upcoming lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, questioned whether the Leader would encourage residents to continue to wear face masks in the absence of legal requirements.

    ·         Welcomed the Leader’s mention of the recent Ofsted visit and full inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services of Surrey Fire & Rescue Service, hoping that the relevant select committees would review the reports.

    ·         Disagreed that the public would struggle to meet the Council’s climate change commitments as many members of the public were urging local and national authorities to tackle the climate emergency; offered cross-party support to meet that commitment and hoped that the ambitions set out in the updated Surrey Transport Plan - LTP4 would be followed up with action and funding.

    ·         Noted that Covid-19 showed the need to get ahead of the curve, crucial with the upcoming lifting of Covid-19 restrictions on 19 July as infection rates and hospital admissions increase; asked the Council to lobby the Government to ensure that the vulnerable were protected.

    ·         That early intervention was in health was vital by reversing the Council’s underfunding of public health querying what plans there were to support those with long Covid-19 and the wider mental health needs in Surrey.

    ·         Queried how the Leader’s call to encourage more residents to ‘join up and join in’ applied to children’s early intervention, supporting families and the provision of universal youth support.

    ·         Asked how the social care system would be transformed from an early intervention approach, addressing the systemic underfunding of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

    ·         On early intervention regarding roads, asked whether the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47/21

48/21

MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME pdf icon PDF 518 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 7 July 2021).

     

     

    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:

    Questions:

     

    Notice of twenty-two questions had been received. The questions and replies were published in the supplementary agenda on 12 July 2021.

     

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

     

    The Chair explained that in light of the unique set-up of the meeting due to Covid-19, the supplementary questions were to be grouped by the relevant Cabinet Member who would respond to all the supplementaries together:

     

    MARK NUTI, CABINET MEMBER FOR COMMUNITIES

     

    (Q5) Catherine Powell askedwhether the Cabinet Member could provide the Council with a map of the applications for Your Fund Surrey (YFS) overlaid on a colour-coded map of the Lower layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs)to highlight the deprived areas at greatest risk of being left behind, so intervention can be targeted.

     

    She further asked whether the Cabinet Member could provide a list of all of the applications that had been made to YFS including an additional column on the Index of Multiple Deprivation. 

     

    In response the Cabinet Member noted that he would look to get the requested information and explained that YFS was not designated specifically for deprived areasbut for communities as a whole recognising that some areas required more help and services than others.

     

    He urged Members to talk to their communities and to help them with projects that would benefit their areas. There were at present over one hundred and forty applications to the YFS website, a low number in respect of the aim of YFS to get communities involved. Whilst it was too early to provide data with the funding process to start later in the month, over the next year the applications would be monitored and areas would be identified where greater resources were needed to bring forward projects. 

     

    (Q8) Robert Evans noted that even before the last round of cuts to the SFRS under the Making Surrey Safer Plan, Home Office statistics showed that Surrey had seen the sharpest rise in the number of deaths in house fires. He asked the Cabinet Member whether it was the case that there were no plans to restore the number for firefighters in Surrey or if he could rule out further cuts in the numbers over the next few years.

     

    In response, the Cabinet Member explained that there were more firefighters coming through with a passing out ceremony taking place on 25 July.The combination of more firefighters, ensuring a service fit for purpose, utilising new and effective technology meant that Surrey was safe and was getting safer daily, he reassured Members and residents that the SFRS protected Surrey and prevented fires from happening.

     

    Robert King asked whether the Cabinet Member could rule out further closures to fire stations across the county in the future.

     

    The Cabinet Member explained that since the 2018 report which stated that SFRS was not fit for purpose, SFRS over the past eighteen months had been revamped but noted that there was more work to do. He emphasised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 48/21

49/21

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 12 July 2021).

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Keith Witham made a statement on the illegal waste site at Stoney Castle in Pirbright, urging the Council to continue to work with partners to decontaminate the site and bring those responsible to justice.

     

    Jan Masonmade a statement on the lack of youth provision in West Ewell, referring to the Watersedge Estate and the local Edge Youth Centre noting concern that it was only open one evening a week; Youth Centres were vital to health of young people.

     

50/21

ORIGINAL MOTIONS

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    Item 8 (i)

     

    Eber Kington (Ewell Court, Auriol & Cuddington) to move under standing order 11 asfollows:

     

    This Council notes that:

     

    • Following the tragic murder of Sarah Everard on the evening of 3 March 2021, ensuring the right to feel safe walking our streets at night has become a major requirement for political action across the country.

     

    • Women have made their voices heard, and too many of them express the view that they do not feel safe walking alone in public places.

     

    • Speaking in March, Dame Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said, “Right now, 80% of women report being harassed in public spaces, but 90% of them don't bother reporting it because they don't think anything will happen if they do."

     

    • The immediate Government response to Sarah’s murder included an additional £25 million to councils around the country to help enhance street lighting in areas of poor illumination, as well as improving CCTV coverage.

     

    • The issue of feeling safe at night has also been raised by Surrey residents who are night-time workers, late night commuters out of London, those attending late night music venues, and those walking home after meeting family and friends.

     

    This Council further notes that:

     

    • Surrey County Council has a policy that sees Surrey streetlights switched off at night, at a time when the political debate and majority opinion is clearly calling for streetlighting to be improved as one of the positive moves that can be taken towards residents feeling safe in our streets.

     

    • Surrey County Council is investing £19.9 million over a 3-year period to convert all Surrey’s streetlights to LED, with a target saving of £2 million a year.

     

    In light of the factors listed above, this Council calls upon to the Cabinet:

     

                   I.         To make a commitment to end the streetlight switch-off as soon as is practicable, but as a matter of urgency.

     

                 II.          To fund the additional costs out of the £2 million saving on the switch to LED streetlights.

     

     

    Item 8 (ii)

     

    Will Forster (Woking South) to move under standing order 11 asfollows:

     

    This Council notes that:

     

    In Boris Johnson’s first speech as Prime Minister in July 2019, he promised to fix the crisis in social care once and for all “with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve.”

     

    This Council also notes that:

     

    In October 2019 it unanimously passed a motion proposed by Lib Democrat Members that spoke to the situation in Surrey:

     

    “With concern that, owing to Government policy, Surrey residents who pay for their own elderly care significantly subsidise the residents who rely on County to pay for their care. This is a result of an unjust and inequitable funding regime which is itself a result?of inadequate government funding.”

     

    With the corresponding resolution (I.):

     

    “This council accordingly calls on the government to bring forward urgently a sustainable solution so that councils can restore equity and enable a sustainable market for social  ...  view the full agenda text for item 50/21

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Item 8 (i)

     

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

     

    Under Standing Order 12.1 Eber Kington moved:

     

    This Council notes that:

     

    ·         Following the tragic murder of Sarah Everard on the evening of 3 March 2021, ensuring the right to feel safe walking our streets at night has become a major requirement for political action across the country.

     

    ·         Women have made their voices heard, and too many of them express the view that they do not feel safe walking alone in public places.

     

    ·         Speaking in March, Dame Cressida Dick, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said, “Right now, 80% of women report being harassed in public spaces, but 90% of them don't bother reporting it because they don't think anything will happen if they do."

     

    ·         The immediate Government response to Sarah’s murder included an additional £25 million to councils around the country to help enhance street lighting in areas of poor illumination, as well as improving CCTV coverage.

     

    ·         The issue of feeling safe at night has also been raised by Surrey residents who are night-time workers, late night commuters out of London, those attending late night music venues, and those walking home after meeting family and friends.

     

    This Council further notes that:

     

    ·         Surrey County Council has a policy that sees Surrey streetlights switched off at night, at a time when the political debate and majority opinion is clearly calling for streetlighting to be improved as one of the positive moves that can be taken towards residents feeling safe in our streets.

     

    ·         Surrey County Council is investing £19.9 million over a 3-year period to convert all Surrey’s streetlights to LED, with a target saving of £2 million a year.

     

    In light of the factors listed above, this Council calls upon to the Cabinet:

     

                           I.    To make a commitment to end the streetlight switch-off as soon as is practicable, but as a matter of urgency.

     

                         II.     To fund the additional costs out of the £2 million saving on the switch to LED streetlights.

     

    Eber Kington made the following points:

     

    ·         Noted the failure by the Council’s administration to put forward a speaker to defend its part-night lighting policy on BBC Radio Surrey, instead providing a statement.

    ·         That it had taken tragic events to highlight the injustices and fears faced by many and for their voices to be heard to inspire national and international action; noting the political and social movements following the sexual abuse cases brought against Harvey Weinstein - #MeToo - and murders of George Floyd - Black Lives Matter - and Sarah Everard - Reclaim These Streets. 

    ·         That the right to feel safe on the streets had become a major requirement for action by the Government providing an additional £25 million for councils to enhance street lighting and improve CCTV, the Metropolitan Police deployed twenty-five female neighbourhood officers in Lambeth and Southwark to hear the common concerns of women.

    ·         Noted national action to address the issue of better street lighting and disappointment with the Council’s response to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50/21

51/21

REVIEW OF CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES - REMOTE MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 280 KB

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    Council is asked to review the measures put in place and recommendations made for Council decision making by 31 July 2021 as agreed at its meeting on 16 March 2021.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader introduced the report:

     

    ·         Which set out the review of the recommendations and removal of delegations put in place in respect of remote meetings as agreed by Council on 16 March 2021.

    ·         Noted that the Government was consulting on local authority remote and hybrid meetings and the Council would await the outcome, in the meantime it was appropriate that the Council reverted back to the previous delegations set out in its Constitution in which all formal committees requiring decisions would take place in public.

    ·         Noted that since 7 May 2021 the officer delegated decisions had only been used once for the meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board - Informal in June.

    ·         Flagged that the special dispensation for all Members concerning the non-attendance of Council meetings for a six-month period in light of Covid-19, would be reviewed by the Council on 12 October 2021.

     

    Members made the following comments:

     

    ·         Thanked the Leader for listening to the concerns made by the Residents' Association and Independents Group regarding the measures.

    ·         Highlighted that the reversal of the Constitutional changes did not stop the practice of removing decision-making items from formal committee meeting agendas and holding virtual meetings excluding the public from seeing key information; he sought reassurance that such a practice would not continue.

    ·         Noted that millions of fellow individuals aged under thirty were still awaiting their second Covid-19 vaccination and were unable to be fully vaccinated despite having to attend in person committees or working at a Council office.

    ·         Welcomed the extension of the special dispensation for the non-attendance at Council meetings until October, asking whether the Leader would consider making a further provision so that any Members who felt unable for safety or health reasons to attend meetings during that time could still participate virtually even if not able to vote.

    ·         Queried what Covid-19 related risk assessment or rules would be in place for in person meetings after the national restrictions were to be lifted on 19 July 2021. 

     

    In response the Leader explained that all formal committee meetings held in public previously would continue to be held in public and that where the technology allowed a hybrid option would be possible for Members to join remotely although they would not be allowed to vote. That the Public Health team (SCC) would issue further guidance on Covid-19 risk assessments in due course.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That Council agreed:

     

    1.    To redefine the definition within the Council’s Constitution to define Cabinet as a formal meeting of Cabinet.

     

    2.    To remove the delegation for all non-executive decision making to be delegated to the Proper Officer in consultation with the relevant committee chairman and for any non-executive decision making to be undertaken in line with the Council’s Scheme of Delegation.

     

    3.    To review the dispensation for non-attendance at meetings in relation to the six-month rule as set out in section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 at 12 October Council meeting.

     

    4.    To note that the Council has provided a full response to the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51/21

52/21

CHANGES TO CABINET PORTFOLIOS AND APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES

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    Recommendations:

     

    1. Council to note Luke Bennett’s appointment by the Leader as the Cabinet Member for Health on 29 June 2021.

     

    1. As a result of the above, appointments are to be made to the Resources and Performance Select Committee, the Planning and Regulatory Committee and the Surrey-Wide Commissioning Committees in Common for the remainder of the 2021/22 Council Year:

    ·         Rebecca Jennings-Evans to be appointed to the Resources and Performance Select Committee.

    ·         Bernie Muir to be appointed to the Planning and Regulatory Committee as a substitute.

    ·         Luke Bennett to be appointed to the Surrey-Wide Commissioning Committees in Common in place of Tim Oliver.

     

    3.    Council to delegate authority to the Monitoring Officer to make the necessary changes to the Terms of Reference for the Surrey-Wide Commissioning Committees in Common and to update the Constitution accordingly.

    1. Council is asked to note the following changes to the committee memberships for the remainder of the 2021/22 Council Year:

     

    CHILDREN, FAMILIES, LIFELONG LEARNING AND CULTURE SELECT COMMITTEE

     

    Andy Lynch in place of Lesley Steeds.

     

    RESOURCES AND PERFORMANCE SELECT COMMITTEE

     

    Lesley Steeds in place of Andy Lynch.

     

    SURREY PENSION FUND COMMITTEE

     

    Mark Sugden in place of John O’Reilly.

     

    JOINT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE FOR THE SURREY HILLS AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY (“SURREY HILLS BOARD”)

     

    Marisa Heath in place of Denise Turner-Stewart.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader introduced the recommendations, highlighting the appointment of Luke Bennett as the new Cabinet Member for Health. He noted the importance of the focus on health in light of the Health and Care Bill to be granted royal assent next year, the Bill would re-structure the health and social care system and would introduce Integrated Care Boards and Integrated Care Partnerships.

     

                         RESOLVED:

     

    1.    Council noted Luke Bennett’s appointment by the Leader as the Cabinet Member for Health on 29 June 2021.

     

    2.    That as a result of the above, appointments were made to the Resources and Performance Select Committee, the Planning and Regulatory Committee and the Surrey-Wide Commissioning Committees in Common for the remainder of the 2021/22 Council Year:

    ·         Rebecca Jennings-Evans was appointed to the Resources and Performance Select Committee.

    ·         Bernie Muir was appointed to the Planning and Regulatory Committee as a substitute.

    ·         Luke Bennett was appointed to the Surrey-Wide Commissioning Committees in Common in place of Tim Oliver.

     

    3.      Council delegated authority to the Monitoring Officer to make the necessary changes to the Terms of Reference for the Surrey-Wide Commissioning Committees in Common and to update the Constitution accordingly.

     

    4.    Council noted the following changes to the committee memberships for the remainder of the 2021/22 Council Year:

     

    CHILDREN, FAMILIES, LIFELONG LEARNING AND CULTURE SELECT COMMITTEE

     

    Andy Lynch in place of Lesley Steeds.

     

    RESOURCES AND PERFORMANCE SELECT COMMITTEE

     

    Lesley Steeds in place of Andy Lynch.

     

    SURREY PENSION FUND COMMITTEE

     

    Mark Sugden in place of John O’Reilly.

     

    JOINT MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE FOR THE SURREY HILLS AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY (“SURREY HILLS BOARD”)

     

    Marisa Heath in place of Denise Turner-Stewart.

     

53/21

REPORT OF THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 372 KB

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    To receive the report of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 1 June 2021 and 29 June 2021.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader presented the report of the Cabinet meetings held on 1 June 2021 and 29 June 2021.

     

    Recommendations on Policy Framework Documents:

     

    29 June 2021:

     

    A.    Variation to Admission Arrangements for Surrey’s Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools for September 2021 and September 2022

     

    Reports for Information/Discussion:

     

    1 June 2021:

     

    B.    Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Public Report Regarding the End of Life Care Provided by a Commissioned Care Home

    C.   Pendell Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) Camp, Merstham

     

    29   June 2021:

     

    D.   Surrey County Council Strategy and Delivery – 2021 and Beyond

    E.    Improving Mental Health Outcomes, Experiences and Services in Surrey

    F.    Supported Independent Living - Feasibility Study

     

    G.   Quarterly Report on Decisions Taken Under Special Urgency Arrangements: 25 May 2021 - 13 July 2021

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    That Council approved the admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled schools and co-ordinated schemes (as set out in the Cabinet paper from 29 June 2021):

    That, subject to the new School Admissions Code coming into force on 1 September, the admission arrangements for community and voluntary controlled schools for 2021 and 2022 are varied to give top priority for children adopted from state care outside England, alongside looked after children and other previously looked after children.

    2.    That Council noted that there had been one urgent decision in the last two months.

    3.    That the report of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 1 June 2021 and 29 June 2021 be adopted.

     

54/21

MINUTES OF CABINET MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 430 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 12 July 2021.

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    One notification of a question on the minutes had been received, Jonathan Essex submitted an amendment to change the wording on item 128/21: Surrey’s Greener Futures Climate Change Delivery Plan (CCDP), page 64/487 which had been agreed.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet on 29 June 2021 would be updated:

     

    Item 128/21, page 64/487: ‘The delay to the plan was welcomed noted’.

     

    Chair’s concluding remarks:

     

    The Chair thanked Members for their patience and cooperation, welcomed the interesting debates held, urged all to take a break over the summer and hoped that the October meeting of the Council would be held in the new Council Chamber.