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.
2. Cabinet Member Briefings on their portfolios
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 12 November 2018.
A number of supplementary questions were asked and a summary of the main points is set out below:
(Q1) Mr Robert Evans highlighted that Central Government had announced that an additional £42m would be allocated to repair potholes in the country and asked the Leader of the Council to confirm how much of this would be used in Surrey.
Cllr Essex asked for details of the Council’s contact with parliament to request fairer funding on Surrey’s roads.
The Leader confirmed that the Council would be receiving an additional £7.4m to repair potholes on Surrey’s roads. He further highlighted that he had written to Central Government numerous times to make Surrey’s case for fairer funding.
(Q2) Mr Will Forster asked the Cabinet Member for Children if she would write to borough and district councils who had not yet taken action to take young care leavers out of council tax to promote and support the scheme. The Cabinet Member noted the schemes benefits to those transitioning to adulthood and confirmed that she was happy to take the request forward. The Cabinet Member went on to ask Members of the Council who also had responsibilities with borough and district councils to support the scheme in their council meetings.
(Q3) Mrs Hazel Watson asked the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport if he was aware of the wider issues relating to parking displacement due to the car parking changes implemented in the countryside estate.The Cabinet Member noted these concerns and highlighted that there was a process to follow for any concern of parking displacement. He asked that Members contact him direct to outline issues relating to car parking as they can be passed on the appropriate officer.
(Q4) Mrs Barbara Thomson asked the Cabinet Lead Member for People what role local and joint committees had to support the efforts outlined in the response. The Cabinet Member highlighted the key roles of local and joint committees as well as other partners, which included the Community Safety Partnership and the Health and Wellbeing Board.It was further noted that Surrey Police would be providing seminars for front line workers to highlight ongoing work to prevent serious and organised crime.
(Q6) Mrs Hazel Watson asked the Cabinet Lead Member for Place to confirm the location of the 14 sites outlined in the question response.The Cabinet Member informed the Member that details of the 14 sites could be found in the relevant Cabinet papers.
(Q7) Mr Robert Evans asked the Cabinet Member for Corporate Supportif awarding contracts based on their value for money was in line with the Council’s ethos and principles relating to Fairtrade. He further asked for confirmation on whether the products provided by Commercial Services were Fairtrade. The Cabinet Member noted the Members comments relating to value for money contracts and agreed to provide a response to the query relating to the use of Fairtrade produce by Commercial Services outside the meeting.
Cabinet Member Briefings: these were also published with the supplementary agenda on 12 November 2018.
Members made the following comments:
Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Prosperity: on the opportunity to fund tourism in the county to further develop the industry and increase its benefits for residents.The Cabinet Member highlighted that the University of Surrey had the third highest rated hospitality department in the world and informed Members that work was ongoing with the university to produce a mutual agreement for joint working. He further stated that discussions were ongoing with other progressive authorities to better understand the opportunities available.
Cabinet Lead Member for Place: on the Council’s considerations to relocate its headquarters from Kingston upon Thames to a more central location in Surrey. The Cabinet Member stated that there were currently no formal plans and that work was ongoing to better understand the possible benefits of certain locations.
Members also raised concerns relating to the contracts available to mitigate flash flooding and its effects in the county.
Cabinet Member for Children: on the ongoing consultation relating to Children’s Centres and the opportunity to schedule further drop-in sessions to increase consultations to better reflect the views of residents. The Cabinet Member agreed to speak to officers to discuss the opportunities available to increase engagement. It was further highlighted that the drop-in sessions also related to the consultations for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Library proposals.
Cabinet Member for All-Age Learning: on the transfer of £3.1m from a total £650m schools budget to support the £15m overspend on the High Needs SEND budget. The Cabinet Member highlighted that only schools entitled to additional funding would be affected by the decision and asked Members and School Governors to understand the rationale on why this was needed.
Cabinet Member for Adults: confirmed that the budget envelope for Adultshad been red/amber/green rated in the financial strategy and stated that it would be shared with Members.
Cabinet Member for Community Services: on Trading Standards and the opportunities to broaden the ongoing work to prevent the scamming of residents.