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 13 March 2019).
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.
Notice of seven questions had been received. The questions and replies were published in a supplementary agenda on 18 March 2019.
A number of supplementary questions were asked and a summary of the main points is set out below:
(Q3) Mr Robert Evans not did ask a supplementary question.
Mr Mallet asked the Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste to circulate the relevant documents outlined in the response.
The Cabinet Member stated that he would ensure the latest information was available to Members but noted it would take time as the consultation feedback was still being reviewed.
(Q5) Mrs Fiona White asked the Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Fire & Resilience if feedback from Fire & Rescue staff would be given additional weight due to their experience and knowledge on the subject.
The Cabinet Member stated that the consultation was being taken seriously and that all views would be taken into consideration. It was noted that extensive staff engagement was being conducted and that staff recognised the value of the proposals.
(Q6) Mrs Hazel Watson did not ask a supplementary question.
Mr Townsend asked the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families for further clarification on the section of the response which stated that the Council would maximise the potential of youth centre buildings wherever possible.
Mr Essex asked if the Cabinet Member agreed that at least some of the gaps referred to in the response were due to the service halving the number of youth workers in the county and, in order to address this, the Council would need to reinstate some youth workers in Surrey.
Mr R Evans asked if the Cabinet Member shared his concerns on the reduction in youth services at a time when young people faced increasing issues related to knife crime and radicalisation.
Mrs Curran urged the Cabinet Member to look into re-providing youth services at the Bookham Youth Centre.
Mrs Jan Mason asked if the Cabinet Member had fully understood the implications of the withdrawal of youth centres on deprived areas.
The Cabinet Member highlighted that there was an ongoing review of the service so she was therefore unable to give extensive details. The Cabinet Member went on to state that the youth offer review was a review in partnership with key stakeholders and would be shaped around the things that young people value the most. It was confirmed that there would be a meeting on 1 April 2019 with the Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector (VCFS) to discuss the future of the Edge Youth Centre in Watersedge, Epsom. It was further confirmed that a drop-in session would be held on 16 April 2019 for Members to discuss with officers the youth offer in their individual divisions.
(Q7) Mr Robert Evans asked the Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Fire and Resilience if they shared his concern that reducing fire cover at night time would lead to a higher risk of danger to citizens. He further asked for confirmation on when the Fordbridge Fire Station was due to open and its cost to the Council.
The Cabinet Member assured the Member that mitigation work was underway to reduce the impact of proposals which included the reallocation of resources. The Fire & Rescue Service was also working to better protect residents with a number of activities related to prevention. It was further confirmed that the Fordbridge Fire Station was due to open either at the end of April or in May. Due to ongoing minor works, Members would be informed of the station’s costs following its opening.
Cabinet Member Briefings: these were also published with the supplementary
on 18 March 2019.
Members made the following comments:
Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste: received thanks for the work that was carried out to find a replacement bus operator following an issue with functionality in the previous week. The Cabinet Member confirmed that, to avoid any further issues, the service would monitor providers business plans to ensure they were sustainable.
Members made further comments related to the third runway at Heathrow Airport and the potential for increased flights over Epsom & Ewell. The Cabinet Member stated that consideration of the responses to the recent consultation on Heathrow expansion was still underway and that no decisions had yet been made. It was further noted that Members would be informed on how they could be involved in the next phase of consultation.
Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Fire and Resilience: on the risks the Fire & Rescue Service faced when dealing with emergencies and the significance of correct allocation of resource when considering need.
Cabinet Member for Highways: was thanked for the work untaken to re-surface a road in Guildford.
Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health: on the savings achieved in older people’s services and how they would directly impact service users. The Cabinet Member confirmed that savings had been found by considering the number of service users as well as keeping costs of care minimal in residential and nursing homes.
Cabinet Member for All-Age Learning: on the success of the Surrey Performing Arts Library and its work to support various cultural activities in the county.
Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families: on the Edge Youth Centre in Epsom & Ewell and the work that was needed to identify provision to support its efforts. The Cabinet Member highlighted that there was ongoing engagement with young people to identify their needs and how best they can be supported.