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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Council held on 21/02/2006
Minutes of the Meeting held on 19th December 2005

MINUTES of the Extraordinary
Council Chamber, Council Offices,
Godalming on 19th December 2005 at
8.19 pm

* Mrs J R Keen (Mayor)
* Mr D C Inman (Deputy Mayor)
*Mr M H W Band*Mrs M V M Hunt
*Mr L C Bate*Mr P B Isherwood
Mr P Betlem*Mrs S R Jacobs
Mr M J Blower*Dr M-G Lane
Dr J F A Blowers*Mr J C S Mackie
Captain P G Burden*Mrs A E Mansell
*Mr M W Byham*Mr C H Mansell
*Mrs E Cable*Dr P M Marriott
Mrs S J Campany*Mr W M Marshall
*Mr M A Clark*Mr P J Martin
*Mrs C Cockburn*Mrs P N Mitchell
*Mr V Duckett*Mr P J Nicholson
*Mr S D Edge*Mr A Rayner
Mr M A Edgington*Mr K T Reed
*Mr B A Ellis*Mr P S Rivers
*Mrs P Ellis*Mr J E Robini
*Miss G B W Ferguson*Mr J R Sandy
*Mrs M E Foryszewski*Mrs C E Savage
*Mrs P M Frost*Mr J M Savage
*Mr R D Frost*Mr V K Scrivens
Mr D R GallacherMr B G Shelley
*Mr R J Gates*Mr C C E Slyfield
*Mr B Grainger-Jones*Mrs J A Slyfield
*Mr P D HarmerMs M Taylor
*Mr P Haveron*Mr A E B Taylor-Smith
*Mrs P HibbertMr R C Terry
Mrs L S R Hodgson*Mr K Webster
Mr R H Worby
* Present


The Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 13th December 2005 were confirmed and signed.


Apologies for absence were received from Mr P Betlem, Mr M J Blower, Dr J F A Blowers, Capt P G Burden, Mr M A Edgington, Mr D R Gallacher, Mrs L S R Hodgson, Mr B G Shelley, Mr R C Terry and Mr R H Worby.


Mr M A Clark, Mrs C Cockburn, Mr R D Frost, Dr P M Marriott and Mr V K Scrivens declared personal interests in the Executive report relating to East Street as members of Farnham Town Council. They informed the meeting that they were considering the matter afresh. Mrs P M Frost declared a similar interest as a member of both Farnham Town Council and Surrey County Council.

Mr V Duckett declared a personal interest in the same item as his partner is a member of Farnham Town Council and Chairman of the Farnham Youth Project. Mrs A E Mansell declared a personal interest as the East Street scheme falls within her ward, she is married to the Portfolio Holder for East Street and is the Waverley representative on the Gostrey Club Committee.


The Mayor informed the Council that she had received a letter from Mr D Bennett thanking members for the gifts he had been presented with at the Council meeting on 13th December and wishing members a Happy Christmas.


The following questions to the Leader of the Council had been received in accordance with Procedure Rule 10:-

i. Question received from Mr Steel of Farnham:-

"When the conditional contract was drawn up between Waverley and Crest Nicholson/Sainsbury safeguards were inserted to provide protection to both the Council and the Waverley tax payers. This was almost certainly after taking advice from legal counsel.

These safeguards included a time limit to December 2006 to achieve full planning consent, to achieve full land assembly, and complete a viability test, including the costs of land assembly, to show that the development would produce an acceptable return to both parties. Only then would the contract become unconditional.

The question is, should this council consider giving up even part of this protection on a huge 100m development project that is so contentious, so bedevilled with problems and time delays, and one which is totally rejected by Farnham Town Council – the elected representatives of the local people – merely to benefit Crest Nicholson?"

The Portfolio Holder for East Street replied as follows:-

"Thank you for your question, although you will agree that events earlier in the evening have provided many of the answers. Waverley members who took the decision to enter into the conditional contract were fully advised. With regard to the second and third paragraphs of your question, you have a better answer due to the resolutions of the Executive set out before you. In your final paragraph you imply that Waverley Borough Council was willing to accept a higher risk, to benefit Crest Nicholson Sainsburys. This is an odd notion and no organisation would consciously do such a thing. Changing a contract to mutual benefit is quite normal.

With regard to your statement that Farnham Town Council has rejected the development, their position has been sent to all members in a letter dated 18th November 2005".

ii. Question received from Mr M Murphy of Farnham:-

"In view of the constant slippage and delays that have occurred since the start of the partnership with Crest Nicholson and Sainsburys, is this the time to admit that the choice of this development partner was wrong and that ignoring the conclusive advice given in the CABE report was a mistake?

What policy or good reason drove Waverley Borough Council to pick CABE's number three of the last seven competing developers instead of their recommended first choice?"

The response of the Portfolio Holder for East Street was as follows:-

"The answer to your basic question is encompassed in recommendation 105. Time will reveal if that is the Council's, as well as the Executive's view.

I am advised that CABE was not commissioned in February 2002 to make a selection on Waverley's behalf, but to offer advice. The CABE input was but a part of the selection process which considered all aspects of all seven submissions. This was a rigorous and fair process and concluded in the selection in October 2002 of CNS as a clear winner."


The Executive had met prior to the Extraordinary meeting of the Council to consider a report on matters relating to the conditional contract and financial position with regard to East Street, Farnham. A copy of the tabled report is attached to these minutes. Members' instructions were sought on how to respond to requests from Crest Nicholson Sainsburys to review the phasing of the contract and extend the contract period.

It was moved by the Chairman of the Executive and duly seconded that the tabled report of the meeting held earlier on 19th December 2005 be approved and adopted.

As a point of clarification, it was moved and duly seconded that recommendation 105 should refer to the East Street 'scheme' rather than 'project'. This was agreed. The Leader also gave an undertaking that the reports referred to in the recommendation would be in writing and would be circulated to all Members of the Council.

RESOLVED that the report of the meeting of the Executive held on 19th December 2005 be approved, as amended, and the recommendations contained therein adopted.


RESOLVED that approval be given to the continuing absence of Captain P G Burden through ill health and that a letter be sent conveying the best wishes of the Council.

Having wished those present a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year, the Mayor closed the meeting at 8.36 p.m.