Agenda and minutes

Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee - Monday, 5 December 2022 10.00 am

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

Contact: Kunwar Khan, Scrutiny Officer  Email:


No. Item



    To report any apologies for absence and substitutions.

    Additional documents:


    Apologies were received from Colin Cross.




    To agree the minutes of the previous meeting of the Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee as a true and accurate record of proceedings.


    Additional documents:


    The minutes of the Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee held on 6 October 2022 were formally agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting.




    All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or

    as soon as possible thereafter:


    i. any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or;


    ii. other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting.




    ·         Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item

    where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest;


    ·         as well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of

    which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or

    civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a

    spouse or civil partner); and


    ·         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:


    None received.



    To receive any questions or petitions.



    1.    The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (29 November 2022).


    2.    The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting(28 November 2022)


    3.    The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.


    The public retain their right to submit questions for written response, with such answers recorded in the minutes of the meeting; questioners may participate in meetings to ask a supplementary question. Petitioners may address the Committee on their petition for up to three minutes. Guidance will be made available to any member of the public wishing to speak at a meeting.


    Additional documents:


    1.    There were three Members questions and responses were published as a supplement to the agenda.


    2.    With regards to the third question, Fiona Davidson asked if performance information against Key Performance Indicators (KPI) in relation to highways delays would be made available to all Councillors on a year-to-date basis. As costs continue to rise, any outstanding estimates for schemes would disadvantage Members whose estimates have been delayed. The Director of Highways and Transport confirmed that performance data was now being collected for this transition year and would be shared with the Select Committee as committed to previously. The focus was on efficient delivery of the scheme between Ringway and Surrey County Council (SCC) and the Director of Highways and Transport invited any specific concerns from Members if this was not the case. The Chairman suggested that prior to the KPIs being reported to the Select Committee, a session in January 2023 between the Highways Reference Group, Ringway and the Highways department to discuss the points raised should take place.




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    Purpose of the report: This report presents an update on Your Fund Surrey and is presented for scrutiny.

    Additional documents:




    Denise Turner-Stewart, Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety

    Marie Snelling, Executive Director of Customer and Communities

    Nikki Tagg, Your Fund Surrey Programme Manager

    Jane Last, Head of Community, Partnerships & Engagement


    Key points raised during the discussion:


    1.    The Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety provided a summary of the work that had taken place following the constructive suggestions and recommendations provided by the Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee (CEHSC) in March 2022.


    2.    The Chairman, in referring to paragraph 11 of Annex 1 of the report noted that there had been no funded applications in the first decile and queried if the new Community Link Officers, dedicated to working in the more deprived areas of Surrey, had reported any interest or identified areas of capacity building for future approval. The Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety said that the impact of the Community Link Officer (CLOs) and their targeted focus on those key areas had been felt immediately with one application within decile one expected at Advisory Panel this week. The Head of Community, Partnerships and Engagement added that interest from these areas had increased following ‘Let’s Talk’ events to encourage residents to consider which projects could benefit their communities and how to organise themselves to achieve their aims with the support of Your Fund Surrey officers. The ‘let’s Talk events will take place in 21 key areas.


    3.    A Member asked how officers expected Your Fund Surrey (YFS) to develop over the five-year period since it was launched two years ago. The Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety said it was evident that the flow of the programme is increasing, partly due to complex projects, which had applied at the beginning of the programme, now being ready to be assessed.


    4.    A Member queried the scope to reduce the lower limit for applications to £1,000 to allow more groups to apply for smaller projects and to address the gap between the current Member Community Allocation (MCA) grant of £5,000 a year and the starting point for Your Fund Surrey applications of £10,000. The Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety explained that the minimum for the new smaller projects fund would be £1,000 and as such, bridged the gap between Members Community Allocation and the Your Fund Surrey large projects fund. The smaller projects fund was designed to enable a more flexible and simpler local allocation. A Member asked that applications made during the last two years be revisited with the new lower limit in mind and requested that all Members be notified regarding the new £1,000 minimum for smaller projects. The Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety Confirmed that a report to Cabinet was planned for late December 2022 followed by a full briefing to all Members adding that all previous unsuccessful applications would be revisited.


    5.    A Vice Chairman, in referencing that 16 per cent of current live applications were valued at £50,000 or less, queried the percentage of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49/22



    Purpose of report: Scrutiny of the Draft Budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy.

    Additional documents:




    David Lewis, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources

    Denise Turner-Stewart, Cabinet Member for Communities and Community Safety

    Kevin Deanus, Cabinet Member for Highways and Community Resilience

    Natalie Bramhall, Cabinet Member for Property and Waste

    Dan Quinn, Chief Fire Officer

    Marie Snelling, Executive Director of Customer and Communities

    Katie Stewart, Executive Director for Environment, Transport and Infrastructure

    Lucy Monie, Director of Highways and Transport

    Carolyn McKenzie, Director of Environment

    Rachel Wigley, Director of Finance- Insight and Performance

    Nicola O’Connor, Strategic Finance Business Partner

    Tony Orzieri, Strategic Finance Business Partner

    Nicola Kilvington, Director of Corporate Strategy and Policy

    Louise Lawson, Strategic Finance Business Partner

    Steve Ruddy, Head of Trading Standards

    Sarah Bogunovic, Head of Customer Strategy


    Key points raised during the discussion:


    1.    A Member asked where interest and depreciation costs were located in the budget. A Strategic Finance Business Partner explained that interest payable costs sat within the central income and expenditure budget which is treated as a separate Directorate budget and that capital borrowing costs form part of the calculation of the budget envelopes.


    2.    A Member, in referencing outcomes from the 2021 research noted in paragraph 8, asked what changes had taken place to facilitate resident’s requests for a more active role around what happens in their localities. The Director of Corporate Strategy and Policy said that involving and informing residents to address the findings from the research included the ‘Make it Happen’ campaign where opportunities to get involved locally were shared, online engagement tools to allow residents to find out what was happening in their area in addition to efforts to look at priority neighbourhoods and locality working.


    3.    A Member asked if the research completed in 2021 would be compared against the research conducted in November 2022 so that the effects of the work undertaken could be evidenced. The Director of Corporate Strategy and Policy explained that there was not a direct comparison available as the qualitative element of the research conducted in 2021 had not been repeated in November 2022 due to the costs involved. However, the quantitative element of the research was currently taking place and would be compared to the 2021 data.


    4.    A Member queried Surrey County Councils current intention on increasing Council Tax through the Adults Social Care precept. The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources said that the draft budget had been set against assumptions made regarding the possible funding formula and levels of efficiencies required. Final decisions would be made following the Local Government Finance Settlement, expected on 21 December 2022; however the Leader of the Council had been clear that the Council did not anticipate taking the full amount of Council tax and Adults Social Care precept permissible without a referendum.


    5.    A Member asked what lobbying could take place to encourage more of the business rates paid in Surrey to stay in Surrey. A Strategic Finance Business Partner said the review of business rate retention formed part of the fair funding reforms  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50/22



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    Purpose of report: This report outlines the background to and drivers for the initiation of a county-wide housing, accommodation and homes strategy and sets out the initial findings of a baseline assessment exercise, upon which key priorities and action will be derived, through a partnership-based, collaborative deliberation programme.


    Additional documents:




    Sinead Mooney, Cabinet Member for Children and Families

    Michael Coughlin, Executive Director of Prosperity, Partnerships and Growth


    Key points raised during the discussion:


    1.    A Vice Chairman asked for practical examples to show where the strategy would not infringe on the work of districts and boroughs. The Cabinet Member for Children and Families said that there were opportunities where areas of land owned by multiple partners that did not fall in the district or borough remit. This type of element would benefit districts and boroughs housing waiting lists and housing plan targets without undermining their sovereignty with housing or the planning process.


    2.    A Member explained that leaders and chief executives of the districts and boroughs had recently met to discuss the approach and how to move forward whilst considering a range of issues. The leaders for the districts and boroughs had expressed their concerns around the aims, objectives and progression of the strategy in a letter to go forward to the housing summit on 8 December 2022. The Cabinet Member for Children and Families noted the strategy had not yet been written and would include a response to the baseline assessment and feedback provided at a recent housing meeting which had included all the districts and boroughs. The Executive Director of Prosperity, Partnerships and Growth added that the statutory functions of the districts and boroughs would not be affected.


    3.    A Member reiterated that SCC needed to accept and address the serious concerns expressed by the districts and boroughs for progress to be made. The Cabinet Member for Children and Families confirmed that the strategy was not a statutory document and that engagement with districts and boroughs would continue on the strategic priorities and benefits.


    4.    A Member noted the requirement for Surrey County Council to champion good quality housing to help the delivery of better health, social and environmental outcomes across Surrey. The Cabinet Member Children and Families summarised the aim to engage with multiple housing providers and registered social landlords across Surrey to encourage good quality new as well as existing housing. The housing strategy would attempt to address gaps in equalities with the possibility of lobbying central government to open funding opportunities to enable essential improvements to existing housing stock.


    5.    A Member queried the cost of the consultancy in this phase, the costs expected for phase two and the number of full-time equivalent staff involved. The Executive Director of Prosperity, Partnerships and Growth confirmed the total budget of £80,000 had not yet been fully spent and all costs were expected to be met within this amount with no requirement for any additional full-time equivalent staff.


    6.    A Vice Charman in referencing chapter 4.1, paragraph 3 and the quote “many participants pointed to a lack of partnership between key players across the county in relation to the provision of housing and accommodation” asked how the case for investment in housing was currently being made and by whom. The Cabinet Member for Children and Families confirmed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51/22





    The next public meeting of the Committee will be held on 8 February 2023 in the Council Chamber, Woodhatch Place, Reigate.

    Additional documents:


    The Committee noted its next meeting would be held on 8 February 2022.








    Meeting ended at: 1.29pm

    ________________________________________________________________                                                                                                                                         Chairman