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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Council held on 17/02/2004
Executive - 3rd February 2004 - Report to the Meeting of the Council on 17th February 2004



WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 3RD FEBRUARY 2004

REPORT TO THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL ON 17TH FEBRUARY 2004

Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972

The following report items contain exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded. The information is as specified in those paragraphs of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, indicated:-

Item D

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (other than the Authority). (Paragraph 7)

Items D and F

Any instructions to Counsel and any opinion of Counsel (whether or not in connection with any proceedings) and any advice received, information obtained or action to be taken in connection with:-

(a) any legal proceedings by or against the authority; or

(b) the determination of any matter affecting the authority

(whether, in either case, proceedings have been commenced or are in contemplation). (Paragraph 12)

Item O

Information relating to a particular employee, former employee or applicant to become an employee of, or a particular office-holder, former office-holder or applicant to become an office-holder, under the Authority. (Paragraph 1)

PART I – Reports containing recommendations for decision by the Council

A. SPONSORED ORGANISATION SCHEME – APPLICATIONS FOR REVENUE FUNDING IN 2004/05
[Wards Affected: All]

A.1 A total of 44 applications for revenue funding in 2004/05 have been received from existing Sponsored Organisations with a further 8 applications from organisations applying for both sponsored organisation status and funding. In total, the funding requested for 2004/05 is 924,626, a total of 325,161 more than the value of awards made last year.

A.2 The grants recommended by officers are shown in the last two columns of the table at Annexe 1. The second to last column (Grant Recommended (1)) details the grants recommended for each organisation based on initial officer assessments as detailed in paragraphs A.3 and A.4 below. However, as these recommendations resulted in a total increase of 51,661 on the grants awarded last year, officers have provided a second recommendation based on no increase in overall funding for the Sponsored Organisation Scheme. This is shown in the last column of the table (Grant Recommended (2)). This level of funding provides no allowance for inflation which will be particularly difficult for those larger organisations where there are higher salary costs. This report has been considered in conjunction with the budget report, referred to elsewhere on the Council agenda.

A.3 Each application has been assessed against the Sponsored Organisation Scheme grant eligibility and criteria by the relevant “Link Officer” within each service area. In addition, Waverley’s accountants have undertaken a financial assessment of each organisation’s annual accounts. The results from these financial assessments have been taken into account by the Link officers as part of assessing the grant applications.

A.4 Due to the increasing demand for revenue funding, both from existing Sponsored Organisations and those organisations applying to join the scheme, officer recommendations are based on the degree to which they meet the grant criteria. Priority has been given to those organisations delivering key services which are in greatest need. Those organisations which already have funding within their own reserves to cover their expenditure for 2004/05 have not been given high priority for funding.

A.5 Of the 8 new organisations applying to join the Sponsored Organisation Scheme, one is recommended for approval. This is the Waverley Community Mediation Service and a grant of 3,000 is recommended.

A.6 Godalming Volunteer Bureau received an annual Sponsored Organisation Scheme grant of 3,000 but in 2002/03 did not request funding due to operational problems. The Bureau has now been re-established and a grant of 3,000 is recommended to support them in 2004/05.

A.7. Officer assessments have resulted in recommended grants for 11 of the organisations being reduced from last year’s awards. This is based either on the organisation’s level of reserves, a change in the organisation’s operations or an assessment of the organisation’s need for the grant in comparison to the need of other organisations also applying. These reductions provide a 13,750 saving.

A.8 The organisations where a reduction in grant is recommended are as follows:-

Churt Community Centre;
DisCASS;
Farnham Voluntary Transport Association;
Four Villages Day Centre;
Haslemere Educational Museum;
Haslemere Hall;
Hurtwood Control Committee;
Rural Life Centre;
Surrey BCTV;
Surrey Law Centre; and
Surrey Wildlife Trust.

A.9 An increase in grant from 20,000 to 27,750 is recommended for Cranleigh Arts Centre.

A.10 Those organisations awarded a grant of 10,000 or above in 2004/05 will also receive an in-principle commitment to fund in 2005/06 and 2006/07. The funding awarded for each year will be dependent on an annual appraisal of the organisation’s financial position and its performance. A total of 12 organisations are recommended to receive an SOS grant of 10,000 and above. These are as follows:-

Waverley Community Transport;
Age Concern Cranleigh and District;
Age Concern Farncombe;
Age Concern Haslemere and District;
Brightwells Gostrey Centre;
Milford and Villages Day Centre;
Cranleigh Arts Centre;
Farnham Maltings;
Age Concern Waverley;
Farnham CAB;
Godalming CAB; and
Haslemere and Cranleigh District CAB.

A.11 The Executive has given detailed consideration to this matter and has also taken account of (i) the organisations that received other financial support from Waverley, as well as those in receipt of mandatory and discretionary rate relief and (ii) the views expressed by each of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

A.12 The Executive accordingly

RECOMMENDS that

Background Papers (DoF)

Sponsored Organisation Scheme applications.
B. TREASURY MANAGEMENT POLICY
[Wards Affected: N/A]

B.1 In September 2002, the Council adopted the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy‘s (CIPFA’s) Code of Practice on Treasury Management in the Public Services. Included within the Policy was that an annual review would be undertaken and reported to the Executive. Waverley had 26 million invested at 1st April 2003.

B.2 The new Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities requires that the annual investment strategy includes a set of specific prudential indicators.

B.3 In December 2003, the government published draft guidance on local government investments. This changes the rules that determine how Waverley can invest its surplus cash and it requires an annual investment strategy. Therefore, the limits and procedures relating to investments in the approved Treasury Management Policy now need reviewing.

B.4 The policy continues to be robust and complies with good practice guidance. The Treasury Management Policy will continue to give priority to security and liquidity of investment, rather than yield although, officers will always seek the highest yield provided that the necessary safeguards are in place.

B.5 In September 2002, the Executive approved the employment of treasury advisors on a self-financing basis. Now that the new rules on investments and capital finance are clearer, it is considered to be the appropriate time to seek external advice and it is proposed to undertake this exercise in the near future. This will include particular reference to the assessment of credit ratings of investment institutions.

B.6 The Regulations require the Council to determine a number of new limits and guidelines for its investment activity including for “specified” and “non-specified” investments. Specified investments are held in sterling with a maturity of no more than a year and must be with the UK Government, UK local authority or a “high” rated institution. Non-specified investments are any investments that do not meet the above criteria.

B.7 To meet the requirements of the Regulations, it is proposed that the following policy and limits apply to all of Waverley’s investment activity in 2004/2005:-

• “High” credit rating means AAA rating for sterling money market funds or A rating for banks and building societies.

B.8 These policies and limits update those stated in the approved Treasury Management Policy. They are intended primarily to maximise the security and liquidity of Waverley’s investments but they must also enable flexibility in investment options and allow for the practicalities of day-to-day investment dealing. Whilst maximising the interest earned on investments is of secondary importance behind security, it is nevertheless a high priority and the limits set must enable both security and high yield to be achieved.

B.9 In 2004/05, account needs to be taken of the position of current investments as these were committed before the start of the financial year under the “old rules”. The opening position may exceed the above limits until the investments are realised.

B.10 The following prudential indicators are required under the Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities:-

• The upper limit on fixed rate exposures for 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07 of 100% of net outstanding principal sums.

• The upper limit on variable rate exposures for 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07 of 40% of net outstanding principal sums.

• The maturity structure of borrowing in 2004-05 is 100% under 12 months.

• The upper limit of principal sums invested for periods of more than 365 days is 10 million.

B.11 The Executive

RECOMMENDS that

82. the review of the current policy be noted;

83. the annual investment strategy, as set out in paragraph B.7 above, be approved; and

84. the prudential indicators, as set out in paragraph B.10, be approved.

Background Papers (DoF)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

C. A Playing Pitch Strategy for Waverley
[Wards Affected: All]

C.1 In April 2003, the Council appointed PMP Consultancy to produce a borough-wide playing pitch strategy.

C.2 The strategy is primarily concerned with voluntary participation in competitive association football (referred to in this document as “football”), cricket, rugby and hockey, by adults and young people and presents the key findings arising from extensive survey work and consultation, highlighting areas of both concern and opportunity.

C.3 It is important to note that this strategy is primarily concerned with the provision of playing pitches and not playing fields nor open spaces (which include grass or other areas which are not used for sport). This is an important distinction as some of the areas surrounding pitches are not used for sport but are important in terms of open space.

C.4 Provision was analysed on a borough wide basis and was also considered at both sub-area and ward level. For the purposes of the strategy, the four local sports council areas, i.e. Cranleigh, Farnham and district, Godalming and Haslemere, have been used.

C.5 A full copy of the report by PMP, “A Playing Pitch Strategy for Waverley”, is available for perusal in the Members’ Room.

C.6 The aim of the Playing Pitch Methodology (PPM) is to determine the number of pitches required for each activity based on demand in an actual or predicted set of circumstances. The essential difference between this methodology and previous approaches based on standards is that, instead of using land area per head of population as the basic unit, it measures demand (at peak times) in terms of teams requiring pitches and then compares this with the pitches available, thus enabling a tangible measure of the adequacy of existing supply.

C.7 The particular advantage of this methodology is that it is related precisely to the local situation and the very task of collating and analysing the information highlights problems and issues from which policy options and solutions can be explored. In line with this revised methodology, this playing pitch strategy focuses exclusively on pitch provision for football, rugby union, hockey, and cricket. It also considers the role that synthetic turf pitches (STPs) can play in meeting the needs of residents of the area.

C.8 The success of the methodology depends largely on obtaining as accurate a tally as possible of the number of teams and pitches within Waverley. To achieve this, a full audit of pitches, users and providers within the borough’s boundary was conducted.

C.9 Overall, the research identified 245 playing pitches in Waverley which includes all known public, private, school and other pitches whether or not they are in secured public use. This equates to circa one pitch for every 388 adults in the borough. This ratio compares very favourably with both the estimated equivalent national figure of one pitch for every 989 adults (Source: The 1991 Playing Pitch Strategy), and the majority of other local authorities for which data is currently available.

C.10 Of the 245 pitches identified, 169 (69%) are secured for the local community, i.e. available for public community use; again this figure is considered high when compared to other local authorities nationally.

C.11 The key issues emerging from supply and demand data are:-

the LEA is the secondary provider supplying 37% of the pitches available

C.12 The research findings lead to the following components as a basis for maintaining and enhancing playing pitch provision in Waverley:-

protecting existing provision

enhancing existing provision

overcoming identified deficiencies and planning for new provision

dealing with identified surpluses

developing a local standard.

C.13 The current and projected (by 2013) future deficiencies identified emphasise the necessity of protecting all existing areas of playing pitch land in public, private and educational ownership located in each sub-area with a current or projected future shortfall in particular sports. It is recommended that all existing playing fields are protected, with consideration given to disposal only where alternative high quality provision is made available.
C.14 Securing the use of a number of school sites not currently available for community use is recommended. Formal agreements should be drawn up with schools that currently accommodate community teams at weekends. Formal agreements must not compromise curricular physical education.

C.15 A key priority for the future should be to place greater emphasis on improving the quality of pitches and ancillary facilities in Waverley. Improvement of existing provision will contribute significantly towards improving overall pitch provision in Waverley by increasing the carrying capacity of the sites. Both the supply and demand analysis and the consultation process identifies the need to improve the quality of a number of existing facilities as opposed to providing land for new ones.

C.16 A site specific list of pitches/ facilities requiring further investigation for upgrading/improvements (identified through site visits, consultation and user surveys) is presented in Annexe 2. This list requires further detailed investigation as part of the key actions arising from the strategy. It is intended that the list will be prioritised and will then form the basis of future service planning and delivery.

C.17 Where possible, any new provision should be considered in multi-pitch site format so as to benefit from cost savings in maintenance and provision of ancillary facilities. In the long term, it is also recommended that one hard surfaced multi-pitch junior and one mini soccer site is provided in each Catchment Area (the former possibly achieved by utilising/converting underused tennis courts in the borough).

C.18 It is recommended that contributions from developers should be sought under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 from all housing developments. Provision should also be made for subsequent maintenance costs.

C.19 It is important to recognise that open space performs many functions as well as pitch provision. It may be simply a case of stopping the specialist maintenance operations required for sports pitch provision.

C.20 An important outcome from a playing pitch study is the development of local standards of provision, in accordance with national planning policy. Such standards will:-

underpin negotiations with developers over their contributions for new pitch provision to meet the needs of new residential developments

provide an additional overview of the general supply of pitches/level of provision

assist in protecting land in playing field use

assist in benchmarking with other areas/authorities.

C.21 The Council’s Local Plan states that for every 1,000 people, 1.6 hectares of playing pitches should be provided. The NPFA 6-acre standard (the benchmark for this standard) states that for every 1,000 people, 1.2 ha of playing pitch should be provided. Waverley’s current provision is 1.3 ha per 1,000 population available for community use. Having undertaken the detailed calculations and given future deficiencies in supply coupled with anticipated increases in the population, the PPM recommends that the current local standard of 1.6 hectares per 1000 population continues to be the adopted standard for Waverley.

C.22 All organisations responsible for providing/developing pitch sports in the study area should consider the following actions:-

all providers in the public, voluntary, commercial and education sectors should strive to protect all existing areas of playing pitch land and open space providers should seek to retain a degree of spare capacity of pitches. This is an integral part of playing pitch provision and sports development, to accommodate latent and future demand and allow for rest and recovery of pitches the major deficiency throughout the study area is for junior football pitches. The Council should seek to address this shortfall through:- - re-designation of adult pitches to junior/mini pitches - negotiation with schools to secure facilities for junior community use - development of changing and ancillary accommodation in line with Football Association and Football Foundation datasheets and guidance - conversion of pitches currently out of use to junior football facilities

shortfalls should be met firstly through the upgrading of existing facilities and pitches rather than the acquisition of new land. Provision can be increased through schemes which:- - improve drainage of sites - improve changing facilities, including dedicated provision for women and children - improve access, spectator facilities and car parking following quality improvement schemes, the second priority to meet shortfalls is to acquire, by agreement or negotiation, community access to private sports pitches and school sites, or securing leasing agreements with existing landowners - partners should seek to secure funds from their own resources through re-designation of surplus adult pitches to open space, thus saving pitch maintenance costs

C.23 As a planning authority, the Council should seek to:-

support the principle that the new pitch facilities should be developed, wherever possible, in locations where ancillary facilities are acceptable (in planning and licensing terms) in order that the fullest use can be made of the investment required and clubs can maximise revenue and become self-sufficient

when determining planning applications, adopt the minimum standard of playing pitches as set out in this report
consult with Sport England on any planning application relating to the potential loss of playing fields

give favourable consideration to voluntary sports clubs wishing to relocate their pitches to a new site providing that all proceeds are reinvested in the club and that there is no assessed deficiency of overall open space in the area being vacated

seek to enter Section 106 agreements under the Town and Country Planning Act for the provision of the pitches and ancillary facilities, and for subsequent maintenance, in new developments and, if appropriate, to provide compensatory facilities where existing provision is under threat.

C.24 Issues relating to the implementation of the strategy through Section 106 agreements will be the subject of further cross departmental work and will be reported to Members in due course.

C.25 In the meantime, the Executive

RECOMMENDS that

85. the findings of the strategy be endorsed and the Waverley Playing Pitch Strategy be adopted as the basis of future service delivery; and

86. officers, working in partnership with key partners, seek to deliver the recommendations set out in the strategy.

Background Papers (DoE&L)

Waverley Playing Pitch Strategy

D. LAND DRAINAGE AND FLOOD DEFENCE – POLICY AND PROGRAMME REVIEW
[Wards Affected: All]

D.1 The Land Drainage Flood Defence function of the Council was included in the 2002/03 (year 3) tranche of Fundamental Service Reviews and that review was in progress when the Government announced the findings of its own Flood and Coastal Defence Funding Review in March of this year. Arising from the Government’s Review are major changes to flood defence funding nationally and to the institutional arrangements for the delivery of flood defence services which may have significant implications for the Council’s own policy and spending plans. This report considers those implications.

D.2 Public responsibility for ensuring the effective drainage of land and providing flood defence measures, in England and Wales, is currently poorly defined. A number of public bodies, including this Council, are empowered by legislation to undertake this function but are not bound by statute to do so. Overall control of flood defence is retained by Central Government which, through its Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), devolves operational powers to regional and local drainage bodies. The Government expects and encourages those bodies to “act responsibly” by using those powers to reduce the risk and effects of flooding in their areas. Waverley is one of those bodies.

D.3 The Environment Agency (EA) is charged by DEFRA with “exercising general supervision over all matters relating to flood defence” and is defined as the principal flood defence operating authority. It has statutory responsibility for flood warning but its powers to carry out maintenance works and improvement schemes currently only apply to designated main rivers, such as the arterial parts of the River Wey in Waverley. The “operating authority” for all other Ordinary Water Courses (which includes all ditches) in the Borough, is currently defined as the District Council. The County Council has some powers, to assist its duty to drain highways effectively, but these are more limited than those granted to District Councils. Currently, the principal body which has the power to construct flood defence works on any land, public or private, in the Borough, and to raise public finance to do so, is this Council. Most local flood defence, maintenance and improvement works are therefore undertaken by the District Council for the area.

D.4 Although civil law emphasises the right of individuals to protect their land from flooding, in practice, the steps which an individual owner can take are normally quite limited unless substantial areas of land, or lengths of watercourse, are in his/her control. Recognising that security against flooding hazards to life and property are public concerns, and that flood defence measures can most effectively and efficiently be provided when a collective, rather than an individual, approach is adopted, the case for public intervention is strong; e.g. where a deficient watercourse passes through a number of ownerships, the design, planning, construction and funding of a co-ordinated and effective flood defence scheme can best be delivered by a public body with the requisite statutory powers and resources to do so. Often there will be wider community benefits in the reduction of flooding to highways, footways, other public areas and property remote from the site of the improvement works. Often, riparian ownership cannot be established, and if the Council did not act to maintain or improve that length of watercourse, no other person or agency has the power to do so. Consequently the flooding risk would continue to grow.

D.5 In recognising its responsibility as the one organisation with the statutory power to construct and maintain works on Ordinary Water Courses and the power to raise public funds to do so, the Council has, in common with most district authorities, maintained a continuing programme of capital expenditure on flood defence schemes, since its inception in 1974. An annual rolling programme has, from time to time, been supplemented by additional capital expenditure for larger schemes, such as the Cranleigh Flood Defence Scheme in 1986/87. Several million pounds, at current values, has been invested in reducing the major identified flooding risks across the Borough. The annual Rolling Programme of capital provision for flood defence is now 30,000 per annum. However, at the meeting of the Executive on 6th January 2004, it was agreed that the accumulated allocation for 2002/03 and 2003/04 be applied to assisting with the balancing of the Council’s general budget for the current year. The available capital provision for flood defence is, therefore, currently zero, but 20,000 has been allocated in the draft budget for 2004/05.

D.6 Schemes which progressively reduced the number of properties at risk of flooding continued to be constructed until 2002. At that point, the expenditure of this allocation on the highest priority scheme, in terms of flood risk, was questioned by the Chief Officer Group on the grounds that in the strictest legal sense the proposed works could be argued to be the responsibility of riparian owners. That scheme, and the implications for Waverley of participating in it, are set out in Annexe 4 of this report. The Chief Officer Group therefore resolved to give Members the opportunity to review and redefine the Council’s policy on flood defence expenditure. That decision has become more pertinent following the Government announcement in March 2003, of major changes to flood defence funding and institutional responsibilities, which are described below.

D.7 The Government announced a review of flood defence funding mechanisms, in July 2000, following a series of nationwide flooding emergencies which identified the need for more funds for flood defence activities and more certainty over their delivery. The review, therefore, also considered whether the current institutional arrangements could be revised to ensure more efficient, effective and workable arrangements involving all of the agencies with powers and/or responsibilities in flood defence.

D.8 On 12th March 2003, the DEFRA Minister with responsibility for Flood and Coastal Defence announced the results of that review. One of its key findings was that the EA would become responsible for those watercourses, which are not currently designated as main river, but which present the greatest risk of flooding to people and property. These watercourses are defined as “Critical Ordinary Watercourses (COWs)”, a number of which are included in those on which Waverley has carried out improvement works and currently carries out maintenance works.

D.9 On 9th July 2003, the EA issued a consultation to each District Council, on the implications of the transfer of jurisdiction for COWs from the Council, as the local operating authority, to the EA. The consultation and the Council’s recommended response is described at Annexe 3 to this report. The transfer of responsibility has implications for the Council’s own Land Drainage and Flood Defence Review and for the determination of the Council’s response to the St Christopher’s Road, Haslemere capital works proposal described in Annexe 4.

D.10 The need for a fundamental review of the Council’s flood defence policy was established following:-

widespread flooding across the Borough in the autumn of 2000, which stretched our resources to the limit;

serious flooding events in the previous two years and an event in July 2001, which is described in Annexe 4;

pressure from the EA and DEFRA to respond to the Government’s High Level Targets for flood operating authorities which seek “to ensure a more certain delivery by operating authorities of the Government’s policy aims and objectives in flood defence”, which required a greater role for local authorities in flood defence activity; and

the reluctance of the Chief Officer Group to make recommendations on the expenditure of the Land Drainage Capital Programme allocation for 2002/03 and 2003/04, in compliance with the policy which has been exercised by the Council since 1974, without a fundamental review of that policy.

D.11 The detailed arrangements for the enmainment (designation as main river and therefore responsibility of the EA) of COWs in its area and the future ownership and liability for structures constructed thereon by Waverley, are currently under review by the EA. It is likely that Waverley may be relieved of certain risks and liabilities which its current management of those watercourses attract. Local authorities will continue to have a significant role in flood defence but the level and type of activities which they provide will be influenced by the transfer of responsibility for COWs and on their decisions to be involved, or not, in contracting back the day-to-day maintenance activities thereon. In the light of the changes in responsibility emerging from the Government’s Spending Review it would be premature for the Council to bring its own Land Drainage Fundamental Service Review to a conclusion at this time. It is therefore proposed that the Council’s review be extended to 2004/05 to take into account the timing of the expected enactment for enmainment. It is proposed, however, that the Council determines its position, in the interim, in relation to those flood defence issues which are awaiting a resolution as set out in Annexe 3 and Annexe 4 of this report.

D.12 The total manpower allocation for the Land Drainage function is 1.7 full time equivalent inclusive of managerial and administrative support. Practising engineers equate to 1.2 f.t.e. The Engineering Service, which includes the Land Drainage function, is delivered by a total resource of 2 engineers. There is always more demand for engineering services from within the Council than can be met with this resource level. This is also the minimum staffing required to manage day-to-day drainage issues and liaison with the EA on planning applications, and other matters, as set out in Annexe 3. The transfer of responsibility on COWs may reduce some of the out-of-hours demands on staff (for which no financial provision is made as staff are neither paid nor receive time off in lieu for this duty) but it is not expected to significantly reduce the workload of general flood defence management.

D.13 A core staff level must be maintained to respond to flooding emergencies. Following a succession of years of unusually high rainfall levels, one exceptionally wet period in the autumn of 2000 resulted in over 400 calls for assistance in one 10-day period. Over 100 properties across the Borough suffered internal flooding. At these times, the Land Drainage staff need to be supplemented by staff whose core duties lie elsewhere and functions, such as car park management (the income from which is vital to the Council) must be subordinated to the flooding emergency response.

D.14 The regular maintenance of critical flood risk sites and provision of the emergency response service is contracted out to the incumbent contractor for the Environmental Cleaning Contract. Occasional maintenance of watercourses is procured through other term contract arrangements. The Government, EA, other agencies and the public will expect the Council to still maintain an emergency flooding response, but routine maintenance on some sites will become the responsibility of the EA. It is estimated that savings of between 3,000 and 5,000 per annum might result, in an average year. However, this expenditure is directly related to variations in weather patterns which are, by their nature, unpredictable. The extreme conditions of autumn 2000, for instance, resulted in costs of double the normal annual expenditure of 35,000, some of which was reimbursed by Government as a result of the exceptional circumstances.

D.15 There are significant changes, in flood defence funding and responsibilities, which will result from the Government’s funding review. The particular watercourses in the Borough and structures thereon, which may become the responsibility of the Environment Agency, are under consideration by the EA. The Council will continue to have a leading role in flood defence, as detailed in Annexe 3, but its extent and nature may not be determined until the EA has completed its enmainment programme. It would be premature for the Council to conclude its Fundamental Service Review on its Land Drainage function until the Council’s role in flood defence has been redefined following publication of the detailed proposals of the Government and the EA.

D.16 The enmainment programme will result in a reduction of the risks and liabilities of the Council for some watercourses, and structures thereon, which it currently manages and maintains. The resources which the Council applies to the management and maintenance of Critical Ordinary Watercourses is minimal and the operational work is contracted out. The out-of-hours response to Critical Watercourse failures is provided by the goodwill and availability of a very few volunteer engineering staff members. It is concluded, that the EA would be better resourced to maintain COWS and provide an emergency response to their failures, and that therefore the Council should offer no objection to the enmainment of any watercourse in the Borough. It is further concluded that there would be no benefit to Waverley, or the community at risk of flooding, in contracting back the day-to-day operational activity.

D.17 The Council is aware of a flooding risk at St Christopher’s Road, Haslemere, the resolution of which is currently within its power, and is consistent with the policy which it has operated in flood defence throughout its 30 year existence. The risk relates to a watercourse which has been proposed by the Council for enmainment under the Government’s proposals for an improved flood defence service. In the event that it is accepted as a Critical Ordinary Watercourse, the responsibility for addressing its flooding risk will rest with the Environment Agency, from the date that the enmainment process is completed, which is estimated to be the 31st March 2006. The EA will, however, have national and regional flood defence scheme priorities and may not be in a position to address risks at this site or elsewhere in the Borough in the foreseeable future. The Council must therefore determine the most responsible reaction to this flooding risk given the circumstances detailed in the report and in consideration of its spending priority. The owners’ response to the Council’s proposal that they might fund the necessary flood relief scheme, in whole or part, is set out at (Exempt) Annexe 5. The determination of this matter must have regard to both the current budget position outlined in this report and to the expected ongoing revenue difficulties for the Authority in the future.

D.18 The Executive accordingly

RECOMMENDS that

87. the completion of the Council’s Fundamental Service Review of its Land Drainage/Flood Defence function be postponed until the detailed outcome of the Government’s Flood and Coastal Defence Funding Review is established;

88. no objection be made to the enmainment by the Environment Agency of any Critical Ordinary Watercourse in Waverley Borough;

89. the Environment Agency be informed that the Council does not wish to contract back the day-to-day management of the enmained watercourses;

90. the Council’s current policy of managing flood risk in the Borough by constructing and funding flood relief works, on land which it neither owns or on which it has previously carried out such works, be ended; and

91. the Council does not undertake, or fund, the works necessary to reduce the flooding risk at St Christopher’s Road, Haslemere, by replacement of the deficient culvert.

Background Papers (DoE&L)

1. The Flood and Coastal Defence Funding Review published by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

2. Waverley Borough Council – Policy Statement of Flood Defence (April 2001).

3. Waverley Borough Council Performance Plan 2003/04: Environment.

E. STANDARDS COMMITTEE – APPOINTMENT OF TOWN AND PARISH COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE
[Wards Affected: All]

E.1 In accordance with Article 9 of the Waverley Constitution, the Council is required to appoint one member of a Town or Parish Council to the Standards Committee. This member must be present at the Committee when matters relating to their Parish/Town Council or its members are considered, except where they have an interest. Following a ballot of all Town and Parish Councils, Mr M R Goodridge, has been selected as the representative and was invited to attend his first meeting of the Committee on 19th January 2004.

E.2 The Executive

RECOMMENDS that

92. the appointment of Mr M R Goodridge to the Standards Committee as the Town and Parish representative be endorsed.

Background Papers (CEx)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

F. PROPERTIES IN WITLEY – OUTSTANDING CLAIM
[Wards Affected: Witley and Hambledon]

F.1 The Executive has considered a report relating to this matter. The report and the Executive’s conclusions are contained in (Exempt) Annexe 6 to this report.

F.2 The Executive

RECOMMENDS that

93. the recommendations contained in (Exempt) Annexe 6 to this report be endorsed.

Background Papers (DoH)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

PART II –Matters reported in detail for the information of the Council

There are no matters falling within this category.

PART III – Brief summaries of other matters dealt with

Background Papers

The background papers to the following reports in Part III are as specified in the Agenda for the meeting of the Executive.

G. FOUR MONTH ROLLING PROGRAMME
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Executive has considered and approved the four month rolling programme of key decisions for Waverley.

H. NATIONAL NON-DOMESTIC RATES (NNDR) – DISCRETIONARY RATE RELIEF
[Wards Affected: N/A]

H.1 The Executive has considered a report which sought its views on the level of discretionary rate relief it feels is appropriate for Waverley during the period 2004/05 to 2007/08. The observations of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee have also been taken into account in reaching conclusions on the options put forward.

H.2 The Executive has agreed options (b) and (d) and therefore supports:-

(i) the principle of moving sports organisations to Community Amateur Sports Club status; and

(ii) Discretionary Rate Relief being offered to any organisation over and above the Mandatory Rate Relief.

H.3 It has also agreed that, where Discretionary Rate Relief is granted, the current policy be retained.

I. MATCHED FUNDING PROVISION 2003/04 – HAMBLEDON CRICKET GREEN PAVILION
[Wards Affected: Witley and Hambledon]

The Executive has considered a report giving further details of the Hambledon Cricket Green Pavilion project which was awarded a Matched-Funding provision grant in 2003/04. Following an unsuccessful bid for funding from the Foundation for Sport and the Arts, the Trust has had to reduce the specification of the building with the result that the total cost of the scheme is now 70,000. The Executive is satisfied that, in this instance, the existing Matched-Funding grant offer from Waverley of 20,000 in 2003/04 towards the amended total project costs should be maintained.

J. PRUDENTIAL CODE FOR CAPITAL FINANCE IN LOCAL AUTHORITIES
[Wards Affected: N/A]

J.1 The Executive has given consideration to a report outlining a set of capital finance prudential indicators, as required by the Prudential Code adopted by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). The detailed requirements of the Code were reported to the Executive in January 2004.

J.2 The indicators, described in more detail in the agenda report, are as follows:-

Indicator 1 - Estimates of Capital Expenditure

Indicator 2 - Estimates of the ratio of financing costs to net revenue stream

Indicator 3 - Capital Financing requirement

Indicator 4 - Authorised limit for external debt

Indicator 5 - Operational boundary for external debt

Indicator 6 - Incremental impact of current capital investment decisions

J.3 The Executive has approved these indicators to fulfil the requirements of the Prudential Code.

K. BUDGET MONITORING REPORT – DECEMBER 2003
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Executive has received the regular monitoring report with details of the anticipated outturn position based on the actual expenditure and income position at the year end. It has agreed to endorse the action outlined in the report that is designed to reduce the projected overspend.

L. BEST VALUE AND LOCAL PERFORMANCE INDICATORS : REVIEW OF WAVERLEY’S PERFORMANCE WITHIN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2003/04 AND PROPOSED TARGETS FOR 2006/07
[Wards Affected: All]

The Executive has considered a report on this matter and has received the comments of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees. The targets for 2004/05 and 2005/06 having been approved by the Executive in June 2003, it has now approved the proposed targets for 2006/07.

M. ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE DELIVERY – LOCALITY OFFICES PROJECT
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Executive has considered a report on this matter and has agreed to:-

1. support the development of the electronic government pilot at the Locality Offices in line with the report, but on the basis that any additional manpower at Farnham is offset by reductions elsewhere in Waverley’s manpower budget; and

2. endorse the approach to future developments, as set out in paragraph 36 of the report.

N. REVIEW OF THE ROLE OF THE MAYOR
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Executive has received a report on this matter and has decided to defer further consideration of the request for funding for the Volunteers Garden Party and to ask the officers to investigate alternative sources of funding this valued event.

O. RE-FOCUS OF RESOURCES IN REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE
[Wards Affected: All]

The Executive has considered a report, referred to it from the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee, outlining proposals that are designed to lead to an enhanced focus on customers and service delivery in the area of repairs and maintenance, within existing budgets. It has agreed that:-

1. the proposal to re-focus the Repairs and Maintenance Service to ensure customer focus and delivery of services and a more strategic asset management of the stock be approved;

2. the revised structure outlined in the (Exempt) Annexe to the agenda report be approved within the current approved staffing costs budget of 890,000, to be implemented from 1st April 2004; and

3. officers report further on partnership working with contractors as part of the outcome to the Options Appraisal process.

P. CITIZENS’ ADVICE BUREAUX OPERATION IN WAVERLEY
[Wards Affected: All]

The Executive has considered a brief report informing it that the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee has initiated a strategic review of the Citizens’ Advice Bureaux in Waverley and that, in due course, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will make recommendations to the Executive in so far as the future delivery of the service is concerned. In the meantime, however, the Executive has endorsed a proposal from Community Overview and Scrutiny that representations be made to secure additional Government funding, specifically ring fenced for Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, for additional work undertaken by them.

Q. LEISURE SERVICES BEST VALUE FUNDAMENTAL SERVICE REVIEW
[Wards Affected: All]

The Executive has considered a report on this matter, referred to it by the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee and has agreed that:-

1. the report (and Annexes 1 and 3 to that report) detailing the findings of the review be accepted; and

2. the Action Plans appended at Annexes 2 and 4 of the report be adopted as the basis for improving services.

R. CAR PARKING STANDARDS FOR SURREY – DESIGNATION OF PARKING ZONES
[Wards Affected: All]

The Executive has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that the proposed parking zones identified on the submitted plans be approved as the basis for public consultation and that, following discussions with GOSE, officers report back on the proposed consultation process.

S. LEASE OF LAND TO HASLEMERE LAWN TENNIS CLUB
[Ward Affected: Haslemere East and Grayswood]

The Executive has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that the land shown outlined on the submitted plan be leased to Haslemere Lawn Tennis Club for a term of 27 years on similar terms and conditions as their existing lease with the exception of the rent, any further terms and conditions to be negotiated by the Property and Development Manager.

T REPORT OF THE MEMBER/TENANTS’ PANEL SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Executive has received a report from the Member/Tenants’ Special Interest Group and has agreed to endorse the course of action outlined in the report relating to the item, Options Appraisal 2003/2005 – Delivery of Decent Homes. It has also noted the information items referred to in the report.

U. ANNUAL AUDIT LETTER 2002/03
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Executive has received and noted the report on this matter.

V. 2004 PAY CLAIM
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Executive has been informed that no agreement has yet been reached with Staffside regarding the 2004 pay claim.

W. FRENSHAM PAROCHIAL CHARITY TRUST – APPOINTMENT OF ADDITIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
[Ward Affected: Frensham, Dockenfield and Tilford]

The Executive has appointed Mr L C Bate to serve as an additional Waverley representative on the Frensham Parochial Charity Trust.

X. DRAFT CALENDAR OF MEETINGS 2004/05
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Executive has approved the draft calendar of meetings for the 2004/05 Council year.

Y. WEBCASTING
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Executive has received a brief demonstration of the webcasting system and has agreed that the three month pilot should continue for the Executive, Council and other appropriate Committees. A report will be presented to the next meeting with proposals for protocols.

Z. COUNCIL TAX – DISCOUNTS FOR SECOND HOMES AND LONG TERM EMPTY PROPERTIES
[Wards Affected: N/A]

The Executive has received a report on this matter and has agreed that, in accordance with Section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972:-

1. the Council Tax discount under Section 11A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 for properties in Classes A and B be reduced from 50% to 10%;

2. the Council Tax discount under Section 11A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 for properties in Class C be removed, thus reducing the discount from 50% to 0%; and

3. subject to a satisfactory scheme being agreed with Surrey County Council and Surrey Police Authority, a budget provision of 19,000 be included in the draft revenue budget for 2004/05.

AA. ACTION TAKEN SINCE LAST MEETING

There has been no action to report under this heading.

comms/council/2003-04/051