Agenda, decisions and minutes

Elmbridge Local Committee
Monday, 21 March 2016 4.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Elmbridge Civic Centre, High Street, Esher, KT10 9SD

Contact: Cheryl Poole, Community Partnership & Committee Officer  Elmbridge Civic Centre, High Street, Esher, KT10 9SD

Items
No. Item

1/16

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

2/16

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 181 KB

3/16

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

    To receive any declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests from Members in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.

     

    Notes:

    ·        In line with the Relevant Authorities (Disclosable Pecuniary Interests) Regulations 2012, declarations may relate to the interest of the member, or the member’s spouse or civil partner, or a person with whom the member is living as husband or wife, or a person with whom the member is living as if they were civil partners and the member is aware they have the interest.

     

    ·        Members need only disclose interests not currently listed on the Register of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests.

     

    ·        Members must notify the Monitoring Officer of any interests disclosed at the meeting so they may be added to the Register.

     

    ·        Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest.

     

    Minutes:

    There were no declarations of interest.

4/16

THE ROLE OF ELMBRIDGE BOROUGH COUNCIL HOUSING and BENEFIT SERVICES [FOR INFORMATION] pdf icon PDF 279 KB

    Julie Cook, the Head of Housing Services at Elmbridge Borough Council, will give a presentation about the Service and particularly the current challenges it faces with welfare reforms.

    Minutes:

    Julie Cook, the Head of Housing Services at Elmbridge Borough Council, introduced her presentation about the Service, which is attached as Annex A.

     

    The current service is made up of 3 teams, Housing Benefit & Council Tax Support, Housing Options and Private Sector Housing with 45 full time equivalent (FTE) posts. The Housing Benefit & Council Tax Support team process the housing benefit claims. It is important to note that Council Tax support is a benefit and different from the Council Tax discount some residents receive. Approximately 1800 households are on the register for social housing, but only 200-250 units become available each year.

     

    Universal Credit is being rolled out in stages.  Once it is rolled out to other working age households including families which is expected to be in 2017/18 then the EBC benefit service will change, but will still deal with pension age households and Council Tax support will remain local.

     

    When the benefit ‘cap’ is lowered to £20,000 later in 2016 the number of families affected is expected to increase to 200.  The importance of the discretionary housing payment (dhp) is likely to increase and families will need more help to get them into work which will exempt them from the benefit ‘cap’.

     

    Affordable housing is a challenging area with the numbers available in Surrey not near the level of need.

     

    Members raised the following points:

     

    ·         Whether brand new carpets needed to be fitted for each new tenant

    ·         The standard of the green areas around the Paragon social housing sites

    ·         The valuation of the right to buy housing

    ·         The links between housing and the family support programme

     

    In response Julie Cook explained that it is the responsibility of the tenants to provide their own carpets, that Councillors can approach Paragon directly to discuss any issues, but that a session is run with Borough Councillors and Paragon to which County Councillors could be invited.  She explained that the BC has a responsibility to house vulnerable people and children, but not single people or couples.  The service is working to help the 200 families not in work who will be affected by the £20,000 ‘cap’ through close links with the Family Support Programme and also it has put in a bid to the DWP.

     

    Tenants with a tenancy of over 3 years wishing to take up the ‘Right to Buy’ opportunity will receive a discount of approximately £75,000 but with the current Elmbridge house prices they will still need to raise a significant sum.

     

5/16

CHAIRMAN'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

6/16

LOCAL COMMITTEE DECISION TRACKER [FOR INFORMATION] pdf icon PDF 89 KB

7/16

PETITIONS

    To receive any petitions in accordance with Standing Order 68.  Notice should be given in writing or by e-mail to the Community Partnership and Committee Officer at least 14 days before the meeting.  Alternatively, the petition can be submitted on-line through Surrey County Council’s e-petitions website as long as the minimum number of signatures (30) has been reached 14 days before the meeting.

     

    Minutes:

    No petitions had been received for this meeting.

8/16

PETITION RESPONSE [FOR INFORMATION] pdf icon PDF 115 KB

    To provide Members with an Officer response to a petition with 32 signatures requesting for Fleet Close, West Molesey to be resurfaced, submitted to the Local Committee on 7 December 2015.

     

     

    Minutes:

    Nick Healey, the Area Highway Manager (NE), presented the response which detailed that the road would be kept safe, but currently was not on any programme to be resurfaced.

9/16

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME pdf icon PDF 145 KB

    To answer any questions from residents or businesses within the Elmbridge Borough area in accordance with Standing Order 69.  Notice should be given in writing or by email to the Community Partnership and Committee Officer by 12 noon four working days before the meeting.

     

    Minutes:

    Seven public questions had been received for this meeting and the questions and responses are attached as Annex B.

     

    Question 1

     

    Clare Hillman said she appreciated the information provided in the response, spoke about her experience in the Netherlands and asked as a supplementary question whether a feasibility study could be carried out for Ember Lane.

     

    Comments from local Members included that:

     

    ·         Ember Lane should be included in the cycling strategy

    ·         For an effective solution funding from Government was needed

     

    Nick Healey responded by explaining that the culture and approach to town planning was very different in the Netherlands and in addition much of the town planning had been done from scratch which had led to the building of good quality, wide segregated cycle lanes. In the UK there also exist different groups of different types of cyclists.  The Local Committee has prioritised the development of a cycling strategy and expects to reach Ember Lane, but is focussing on Weybridge to start.

     

    Question 2

     

    As a supplementary question Cllr Barry Fairbank asked why the officers don’t identify the shortcomings of the contractors and why we have to wait for months for the lines to be replaced.

     

    Nick Healey explained that the service was already aware of the lines which the Councillor had identified in his original question, but due to the cost of the mobilisation of the road marking gang and the materials it is more efficient to do a number of roads at one time. He also confirmed that the re-doing of the road marking is included in the cost of the resurfacing, but as a batch not individually.

     

    Councillor Dorothy Mitchell reminded the officers of the marking error in Freelands Road Cobham which still has not been resolved.

     

    Question 3

     

    David Bellchamber thanked County Councillor Mary Lewis for her help with this issue. As a supplementary question he asked why the public had not been made aware earlier of the matters holding up the work and what confidence they can now have in the current promises.

     

    Mike Bennison asked what is happening as regards the contractor breaking its permit and whether the Police are happy to do the 30 mile trial once the work is finished, which Nick Healey confirmed they were. 

     

    Richard Parr, the SCC Network Co-ordinator, explained that the contractor is being paid a price to do the whole job and is not paid on a daily rate so there is no benefit to the contractor to extend the time taken to complete the work. Once the ground was dug up plant not shown on plans was found and the work had to stop as other services cannot be ‘knocked out’.  A new route for the main has been identified which will not impact on the A245.  A further meeting is taking place on Thursday 24 March which will provide more details of timescales and the work involved.  He added that by law SCC need to give access to the utility company and that it is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9/16

10/16

MEMBER QUESTION TIME

11/16

HIGHWAYS UPDATE [EXECUTIVE FUNCTION] pdf icon PDF 231 KB

    This report summarises progress with the Local Committee’s programme of Highways works for the current Financial Year 2015-16 and provides an update on the preparations, which are well advanced, to deliver the Local Committee’s programme of Highways works for the Financial Year 2016-17.  In addition it requests appointments to a Member Task Group to steer the Esher Transport Study.

    Additional documents:

    Decision:

    The Local Committee resolved to:

     

    (i)            Appoint a member Task Group, comprising of both Borough and County Members, County Councillors Stuart Selleck and Mike Bennison and Borough Councillor Tim Oliver, to steer the Esher Transport Study (paragraphs 2.29 and 2.30 refer)

    (ii)           Approve the recommended budget allocations for the next Financial Year 2016-17 as detailed in Table 5, now that the Local Committees’ Highways budgets have been confirmed (paragraphs 2.31 to 2.34 refer)

    (iii)          Authorise the Area Highway Manager in consultation with the Chairman, vice Chairman, and relevant Divisional Member(s) to undertake all necessary procedures to deliver the agreed programmes

     

    Reason for decision: to establish a Member task group to oversee the Esher Transport Study for which Elmbridge Borough Council has allocated £50,000 of CIL funding, to approve the allocation of the confirmed Local Committees’ Highways budgets and to provide the necessary authorisation to deliver the already agreed programmes of work without the need to revert to the Local Committee as a whole.

    Minutes:

    Nick Healey introduced the report and explained that up to paragraph 2.12 was a summary of the work for 2015/16.  He added he would like a task group to oversee the Esher Transport Study, for which £50,000 from Community Infrastructure Levy fund had been allocated.  Three Members, County Councillors Stuart Selleck and Mike Bennison along with Borough Councillor Tim Oliver, were proposed by Margaret Hicks and seconded by Rachael Lake, to sit on this group.

     

    Nick continued that when the Local Committee agreed the allocation of the 2016/17 budget in September 2015, it was based on an assumed budget of £460,050.  The budget has now been confirmed as £548,700. As per table 4 it was the Pooled Revenue which was reduced in the assumed budget so the recommendation was to increase the Pooled Revenue to make it broadly similar to the 2015/16 budget.

     

    Stuart Selleck said he did not agree with the recommendation to increase the Pooled Revenue, but proposed that the extra budget to be divided between the nine Members.  Ernest Mallett seconded this proposal.  A vote took place and the Local Committee voted to agree recommendation (ii).

     

    Ernest Mallett left the meeting.

     

    In response to a question about carried forwards, Nick said he hoped to be able to report on any at the meeting in June.  He also confirmed that the list of Horizon footways and the year 4 roads will be circulated soon.  Roads not listed in year 4 will be included in year 5 of the Project Horizon programme.  In addition he pointed out an error in the papers – Old Esher Rd in table 7 is no longer a reserve scheme.

     

     

    The Local Committee resolved to:

     

    (i)            Appoint a member Task Group, comprising of both Borough and County Members, County Councillors Stuart Selleck and Mike Bennison and Borough Councillor Tim Oliver, to steer the Esher Transport Study (paragraphs 2.29 and 2.30 refer)

    (ii)           Approve the recommended budget allocations for the next Financial Year 2016-17 as detailed in Table 5, now that the Local Committees’ Highways budgets have been confirmed (paragraphs 2.31 to 2.34 refer)

    (iii)          Authorise the Area Highway Manager in consultation with the Chairman, vice Chairman, and relevant Divisional Member(s) to undertake all necessary procedures to deliver the agreed programmes

     

    Reason for decision: to establish a Member task group to oversee the Esher Transport Study for which Elmbridge Borough Council has allocated £50,000 of CIL funding, to approve the allocation of the confirmed Local Committees’ Highways budgets and to provide the necessary authorisation to deliver the already agreed programmes of work without the need to revert to the Local Committee as a whole.

12/16

ELMBRIDGE JOINT YOUTH STRATEGY UPDATE [FOR INFORMATION] pdf icon PDF 150 KB

    The purpose of this report is to update the Local Committee on the current status of the Elmbridge Joint Youth Strategy and the work it is doing to improve outcomes for young people in the borough of Elmbridge.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Chris Beck, the Services for Young People Elmbridge Team Manager, introduced the report.

     

    Members raised the following points:

     

    ·         Whether the youth service access into schools will be the same if all schools become academies

    ·         A preference for a one page report providing more clarity and summarising what has been achieved

    ·         A need for the organisations involved to state clearly a starting point for their work, what is being done and the current position

    ·         The suggestion that 10 key performance indicators are identified at the youth task group meeting

     

    In response Chris Beck explained that the schools had been successfully contacted with a combined ‘youth’ offer of pooled resources and a clear route has now been established.  In addition a baseline data document was being put together and an outcomes document will follow.  Emily Pentland added that the consultation was still at an embryonic stage, but would feed into the Joint Youth Strategy action plan.

     

    The Local Committee noted:

     

    (i)            How the Joint Youth Strategy has been working in partnership across the borough to achieve the goal of improving outcomes for young people in Elmbridge including a focus on those young people experiencing inequality and social exclusion.

13/16

MEMBERS' ALLOCATIONS UPDATE [EXECUTIVE FUNCTION - FOR INFORMATION] pdf icon PDF 150 KB