Agenda and draft minutes

AGM, Council - Tuesday, 24 May 2022 10.00 am

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

Contact: Amelia Christopher 

Media

Items
No. Item

28/22

CHAIR

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    1.    To elect a Chair for the Council Year 2022/23.

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

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Under the motion of Clare Curran, seconded by Will Forster, it was unanimously:

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That Helyn Clack be elected Chair of the Council for the Council Year 2022/23.

     

    STATUTORY DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE:

     

    Helyn Clack made the statutory declaration of acceptance of office. She expressed her thanks to the Members of the Council for electing her as Chair for a second year and gave a short speech.

     

29/22

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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    The Chair to report apologies for absence.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Apologies for absence were received from John Beckett, Amanda Boote, Natalie Bramhall, Paul Follows, Marisa Heath, Ernest Mallett MBE, Jan Mason, Alison Todd.

     

    Members who attended remotely and had no voting rights were Keith Witham.

     

30/22

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 438 KB

31/22

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.

32/22

CHAIR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

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    Welcome

    Welcome everyone to today’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). I find it hard to believe that a whole year has passed since we were either elected or re-elected as County Councillors of our great county – and what a year it has been. We and our residents have all faced many challenges over the past twelve months and we have more challenging times ahead of us. From the terrific work I have seen over the past year, I am confident that we can meet these challenges head on and continue to provide excellent service to our residents and our county. I look forward immensely to continuing to work with each and every one of you.

     

    Queen’s Platinum Jubilee ‘Thank You’ Party

    On the topic of service, at the end of June I am hosting a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee ‘Thank You’ Party for the extraordinary volunteers of Surrey who worked so tirelessly – often at great personal risk – to provide invaluable service and support to some of our most vulnerable residents throughout the pandemic.

     

    Earlier this month you all received an email from my office kindly requesting that you nominate the phenomenal volunteers in your areas. I do hope you have all taken the time to nominate your residents who did – and continue to do – so much to help others in less fortunate positions.

     

    If you have not yet nominated but wish to do so, please drop my office a line with the details. All nominations must be received by 10am tomorrow morning so please get nominating!

     

    Ukraine

    Of course, the terrible, terrible situation in Ukraine continues at devastating cost. We remain shoulder to shoulder with our friends in Ukraine and will continue to do all that we can to support them. I am greatly heartened that so many Surrey residents have stepped forward and opened their homes to displaced Ukrainians who have suffered so enormously. I am very proud of our residents who have done so and invite everyone to consider whether they too could offer their home to help someone very much in need.

     

    I am also exceptionally proud to say that Surrey County Council has played its part with Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) donating essential equipment and our firefighters volunteering to help with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) distribution of equipment in Ukraine. Of the many firefighters who volunteered, six were selected to help deliver this equipment to Ukraine:

     

    ·         Rory Coulter – Logistics Lead  

    ·         Robert Clark – Firefighter – Training & Development 

    ·         Chris Clinnick – Crew Commander – Haslemere Alpha Watch  

    ·         Tom Westcott – Crew Commander – Dorking Red Watch  

    ·         Karl Jones – Firefighter – Egham Alpha Watch  

    ·         Matt Oakley – Fire investigation  

     

    Among others, I waved them off from Woodhatch earlier this month and was relieved and delighted to hear of their safe return. I am sure you join with me in offering them our grateful thanks and respect.

     

    Sad News – Cllr John Carruthers

    It is my sad duty to inform  ...  view the full agenda text for item 32/22

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

33/22

VICE-CHAIR

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    1.    To elect a Vice-Chair for the Council Year 2022/23.

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

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Under the motion of John Furey, seconded by Rachael Lake, it was unanimously:

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That Saj Hussain be elected Vice-Chair of the Council for the Council Year 2022/23.

     

    STATUTORY DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE:

     

    Saj Hussain made the statutory declaration of acceptance of office. He expressed his thanks to the Members of the Council for electing him as Vice-Chair for a second year and gave a short speech.

     

    Joanne Sexton arrived 10.19 am.

     

     

34/22

LEADER'S STATEMENT pdf icon PDF 203 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 of the Council made a detailed statement. A copy of the statement is attached as Appendix A.

     

    Members raised the following topics:

     

    ·           Welcomed the increased highway allocation and spend.

    ·           Welcomed Liz Bruce the Council’s new Executive Director for Adult Social Care and Integrated Commissioning, who has joined at a challenging time with significant issues to be addressed around the Health and Social Care Levy, staffing and funding.

    ·           Suggested that now might be the time for the Government to pause the process on reassessing county deals in light of the context around high inflation, rising food and energy costs, Covid-19 recovery, the war in Ukraine and movement of refugees, and the difficulty faced by local authorities in attracting and retaining staff.  

    ·           Welcomed the continued discussion by the Leader with the Borough and District Councils around Surrey’s County Deal, however Members’ scrutiny over the detail of what deal is proposed and the full costings would be essential; improvements needed to be made to the Council’s current services.

    ·           Stressed that Members, officers and foster carers had a collective corporate parenting responsibility to ensure that Surrey’s Looked After Children are fully cared for; however noted that two of Surrey’s children's homes faced issues which surfaced through the press whereby one closed and a change of culture was required in the other.

    ·         Noted that as part of the Council’s improvement through scrutiny, welcomed the extraordinary meeting of the Children, Families, Lifelong Learning and Culture Select Committee to take place in June which Members might wish to attend.

    ·         Noted that Members should be told immediately of any issues as well as positives concerning children’s homes as reported by Ofsted, before they are informed via the press as Members require transparency and for the Council to have a willingness to understand and learn from issues.

    ·         Highlighted the positive results for the Liberal Democrats in the recent local elections in Surrey, in contrast to the results for the Conservatives.

    ·         Hoped the Leader genuinely listens to the concerns of voters and learns lessons from the results to change his party's approach as residents feel increasingly left behind by the Conservatives and the Council.

    ·         Regarding the cost-of-living, worried that the Council was making the situation worse by increasing residential parking permits by up to 60%, and hoped that the Leader and the Cabinet would reconsider the increase. 

    ·         Noted concern about a lack of school places available for the refugees coming from Ukraine, Member question two highlighted that over half of the children from Ukraine in Surrey already do not have school places and more children were incoming; a step-change was needed.

    ·         Welcomed the highways proposal announced by the Leader on the doubling of Member’s allocation from £50,000 to £100,000 and suggested that it would be useful for the Leader to circulate a briefing on where that in-year budget would come from.

    ·         Highlighted that the Independent Review of Children's Social Care was published yesterday, real investment in the social care workforce was needed to stop placing 16- to 17-year-olds  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34/22

35/22

CHANGES TO CABINET PORTFOLIOS pdf icon PDF 10 KB

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    Recommendation:

     

    Council is asked to note the updated Cabinet Portfolios (Annexes 1 and 2).

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader introduced the report, noting that the changes were to ensure that the Council’s priorities were being addressed. He highlighted that the Cabinet Member for Transport, Infrastructure and Economy’s portfolio would include economic development whilst retaining the strategic oversight of infrastructure, transport and planning; the Deputy Cabinet Member for Highways would have the day-to-day responsibility for delivering the new highways contract and budget. He highlighted that the Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Families and the Cabinet Member for Adults and Health would take on the specific responsibility for the mental health prevention and early intervention agenda, working with partners to improve the system and overseeing the spending of the mental health budget. He explained that the Cabinet Member for Adults and Health would also lead on the Council’s equality, diversity and inclusion agenda with the Deputy Cabinet Member for Levelling Up in support. He concluded that the Council’s priorities had been refreshed and the work plan for the next year would be shared at the upcoming meeting of Select Committee Chairs and Vice-Chairs’ Group; he welcomed Members’ input.

     

    A Member sought clarification on whether the non-road public rights of way fell into the transport portfolio or the environment portfolio.

     

    The Leader responded to an earlier Member comment made under the Leader’s Statement, noting that the intention in the first year would be to invest as much money as possible into the more minor roads. Regarding public rights of way, the Leader clarified that those fell within the environment portfolio; the determination of those would move away from the Local and Joint Committees.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That Council noted the updated Cabinet Portfolios (Annexes 1 and 2) (Appendix B).

     

36/22

ANNUAL REVIEW OF POLITICAL PROPORTIONALITY pdf icon PDF 286 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 2022/23.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair noted that officers had advised her that the percentages had been inverted between the Residents’ Association & Independent Group, and the Liberal Democrat Group in the table under paragraph 4. The correct percentage was 20% for the Residents’ Association & Independent Group and 18% Liberal Democrat Group.

     

    The Leader introduced the report and noted the amendments.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That the committee sizes and scheme of proportionality as set out in Annex 1 (including the amended table under paragraph 4) be adopted for 2022/23 (Appendix C).

     

     

     

    Conservative

    Residents’ Association &
    Independent

    Liberal Democrats

    Labour

    Green

    Number of Council seats

    47

    16

    14

    2

    2

    Number of seats on committees

    53

    18

    16

    2

    2

    Percentage

     

    58%

    18% 20%

    20% 18%

    2%

    2%

     

     

37/22

APPROVAL OF COUNTY COUNCILLOR ABSENCE pdf icon PDF 79 KB

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    The purpose of this report is to request that the County Council considers whether to agree that County Councillor Alison Todd may continue to be absent from Council meetings by reason of ill health. 

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leaderintroduced the report and hoped that Councillor Alison Todd would rejoin Members in the near future, he noted that he would pass on Members’ best wishes.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    That Alison Todd may continue to be absent from meetings until December

    2022 by reason of ill health. The Council looked forward to welcoming her back

    in due course.

     

38/22

APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES pdf icon PDF 432 KB

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    To appoint Members of the various Boards / Committees of the Council for the Council Year 2022/23 subject to any changes of membership to be reported to the meeting by Group Leaders.

     

    (Note: report to follow).

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Chair referred to the nominations in the second supplementary agenda (revised items 11 and 12), issued due to last-minute changes to the membership of the Resources and Performance Select Committee and the Audit and Governance Committee - changes were marked in bold.

     

    RESOLVED:  

     

    That the Council agreed: (Appendix D)

     

    1.      To appoint Members to serve on the Committees of the Council for the Council year 2022/23 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 and Councillor Matt Furniss to serve on the Woking Joint Committee for the Council year 2022/23.

    4.      To appoint the County Councillors representing divisions in the Spelthorne borough area to serve on the Spelthorne Joint Committee for the Council year 2022/23.

    5.      To appoint the County Councillors representing divisions in the Runnymede borough area to serve on the Runnymede Joint Committee for the Council year 2022/23.

    6.      To appoint the County Councillors representing divisions in the Guildford borough area to serve on the Guildford Joint Committee for the Council year 2022/23.

    7.      To appoint the remaining County Councillors for each district/borough area to serve on the appropriate Local Committee for the Council year 2022/23, 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 2022/23.

    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.

     

39/22

ELECTION OF COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN AND VICE-CHAIRMEN pdf icon PDF 180 KB

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    To elect Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Committees for the Council Year 2022/23.

     

    (Note: report to follow).

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    As with the previous item, the Chair referred to the nominations in the second supplementary agenda (revised items 11 and 12), issued due to last-minute changes to one of the Select Committee Task Group Leads for the Resources and Performance Select Committee and the Vice-Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee - changes were marked in bold.

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    That the Members listed (Appendix E) are duly elected as Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen respectively of the Select Committees and Regulatory Committees as shown for 2022/23.

    2.    That the Members listed (Appendix E) are duly elected as Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen respectively of the Local and Joint Committees as shown until 31 October 2022.

     

40/22

AMENDMENTS TO THE COUNCIL'S CONSTITUTION pdf icon PDF 357 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 Standing Orders and also includes executive and non-executive functions set out in the Scheme of Delegation and these are brought to Council for information and formal approval.

     

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader introduced the report and highlighted the three main areas of change. Firstly, regarding the highways functions of the Local and Joint Committees and due to the changes to the Local and Joint Committees, the Officer Scheme of Delegation had been updated and approved, as a result the Council was asked to note the consequential amendments to the Constitution. He explained that the intention was to give six months’ notice to the Local and Joint Committees. Secondly, regarding the Members’ Allowances Scheme the changes reflect the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel previously approved by Council. Thirdly, regarding digital sealing the changes permit the electronic sealing of documents.

    A Member referred to the Local and Joint Committees noting that residents were deeply disappointed about the changes and withdrawal of the highways responsibilities, it was difficult to understand what was happening and the changes were seen as a backward step.

     

    RESOLVED: (with one Member voting Against)

     

    1.    That the executive function changes to the Officer Scheme of Delegation in relation to highways functions approved by the Leader in March 2022 be noted (Annex 1).

    2.    It is recommended that the consequential amendments to the Terms of Reference for Local and Joint Committees as set out in Section 2 –Responsibility of Function and Scheme of Delegation be noted (Annex 2).

    3.    That the consequential amendments to the Joint Committee Constitutions

    for Guildford, Runnymede, Spelthorne and Woking Joint Committees be

    noted (Annexes 3-6).

    4.    That the Members Allowances Scheme be approved (Annex 7).

    5.    That the changes to the Council’s Constitution in relation to digital sealing

    be approved (as set out in paragraph 18).

     

41/22

MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME pdf icon PDF 367 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 18 May 2022).

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Questions:

     

    Notice of thirteen questions had been received. The questions and replies were published in the first supplementary agenda (items 11, 12, 14) on 23 May 2022.

     

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

     

    (Q1) Nick Darby referred to the adjustments to be made at all of the Council’s offices, noting that particular attention should be given to further adjustments at Woodhatch Place including travel arrangements from the various stations. He asked the Cabinet Member for Property and Waste what the proposed changes were and when those would be implemented.

     

    In response, the Leader in the Cabinet Member for Property and Waste’s absence,would look to provide a response in due course.

     

    (Q2) Lance Spencer noted that the student referred to in his question had started school yesterday however the school was a forty-minute journey away. He noted concern on the volume of school aged children likely to be arriving from the Ukraine in Surrey - around 1,000 - and noted that there would be a shortfall of places available. He asked the Cabinet Member for Education and Learning whether she believed that the Council and the Government were doing enough to ensure that all schools, including academies, make places available with reasonable travel distances for the Ukrainian children from the host homes. With such a large volume of children arriving in such a short space of time he asked whether there would be sufficient qualified resource to support them properly in those schools.

     

    Jonathan Essex highlighted that compared to the response the recent Ukraine update received by Members included figures which were more than double for primary-aged and secondary-aged children arriving from Ukraine. He noted that the challenge was greater than stated in the response and queried what the plan would be to address the huge deficit in school place requirements.

     

    In response to both Members, the Cabinet Member for Education and Learning provided assurance that the resources to support Ukrainian families within Surrey’s schools was growing daily. The Council updated the Surrey Education Services Hub regularly with new resources including briefing documents produced by the International Rescue Committee aimed at schools and new daily consultation sessions to offer bespoke support to school leaders - to go live at the beginning of half term and would be delivered by the Council. The Council was regularly updating its FAQs for in-year school admissions, transport and pastoral support; and was working closely with its head teachers in the areas with the greatest number of Ukrainian children taking a coordinated approach to school admissions and enabling the children to settle quickly as close to their host home as possible.

     

    (Q3) George Potter noted that there were some aspects of the response which appeared to be contradictory and he sought clarification. He noted that the response said that there would not be any retrospectively applied cap, however two paragraphs further down stated that the new approach would affect existing clients  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41/22

42/22

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 23 May 2022)

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Catherine Powell (Farnham North) made a statement on the transformation of a disused nursery into a new youth centre in the Sandy Hill estate, thanking the Council for its support and welcomed the funding secured by the Hale Community Centre. She continued to work with officers and local voluntary organisations to get the Hale family centre back into use, expanding the groups and services provided. She thanked the Deputy Cabinet Member for Levelling Up for visiting the three centres.

     

    Mark Sugden (Hinchley Wood, Claygate and Oxshott) made a statement on the improvement works to the M25 junction 10/A3 at the Wisley Interchange to last for a minimum of two years, noting the concerns of his residents around further increased and potentially hazardous traffic levels and disruption. He thanked David Lewis (Cobham) for raising the matter under Member question five.

     

43/22

REPORT OF THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 455 KB

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    To receive the report of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 29 March 2022 and 26 April 2022.

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Leader presented the report of the Cabinet meetings held on 29 March 2022 and 26 April 2022.

     

    Recommendations on Policy Framework Documents:

     

    There were no reports with recommendations for Council.

     

    Reports for Information/Discussion:

     

    29 March 2022:

     

    A.        Our Radical Agenda for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Surrey and Surrey County Council - One Year On

    B.        Adoption of Moving Traffic Enforcement Powers

     

    26 April 2022:

     

    C.     A Devolution Deal for Surrey

    D.     Home to School/College Travel Assistance Policy Refresh

    E.      Surrey's Greener Futures Grant Programmes

     

    F.      Quarterly Report on Decisions Taken Under Special Urgency Arrangements: 15 March 2022 - 13 May 2022

     

    RESOLVED:

     

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

    2.        That the report of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 29 March 2022 and 26 April 2022 be adopted.

     

     

44/22

MINUTES OF CABINET MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 377 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 23 May 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.