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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Council held on 17/12/2001
Report of Executive Committee - 12th November and 4th December 2001



WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE - 13TH NOVEMBER 2001 AND
4TH DECEMBER 2001

REPORT TO THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL ON 17TH DECEMBER 2001

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

The follow 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 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 viz:-

Item C

Information relating to any particular applicant for, or recipient or former recipient of, any service provided by the authority (paragraph 4)

Information relating to any particular applicant for, or recipient or former recipient of, any financial assistance provided by the authority (paragraph 5)

Items D, R, Q, V, W, Y, Z, AA

The amount of any expenditure proposed to be incurred by the authority under any particular contract for the acquisition of property or the supply of goods or services (paragraph 8)

Items D, Q, R, W, Y, Z, AA, AAA

Any terms proposed or to be proposed by or to the authority in the course of negotiations for a contract for the acquisition or disposal of property or the supply of goods or services (paragraph 9)

Item BBB

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (other than the authority) (paragraph 7)

Item JJ

Any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime (paragraph 14)

PART I – Reports containing recommendations for decision by the Council

A. REVIEW OF OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY ARRANGEMENTS – REPORT OF DISCUSSION BY THE NEW CONSTITUTION SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
[Wards Affected: N/A]

A.1 Your Committee has considered the Council’s Draft Constitution at each of its meetings covered by this report in the light of the work done by the New Constitution Special Group (SIG). At the meeting on 13th November, it was agreed that proposals for process improvements put forward by the SIG be adopted, as amended at the meeting, and that the issue of questions by the public be reconsidered by the
A.2 The Draft Constitution is circulated under separate (blue) cover and forms part of this report. Members should bring this with them to the meeting. The Constitution is intended to be both the guide to the Council's procedures, its Standing Orders and a means by which members of the public can understand and have access to the Council's decision making process. It has to be made available for public inspection and officers propose including it on the Waverley website.

A.3 The SIG has discussed in great detail the most significant of the Articles, such as the Executive Article and those relating to the roles of Councillors, and has also noted that in certain cases, work on drafting articles such as the new Members Code of Conduct has not been possible because of delays by Government in issuing the model code.

A.4 The Government has still not released the model Code of Conduct for Members, and is still working on the draft Code of Conduct for officers. Accordingly, the work on drafting these by the Standards Committee will have to begin in January 2002, with a view to the Member code being adopted by the Council in April and the officer code as and when it is available. The Member/Officer protocol, which builds on these two codes, can then be drafted.

A.5 Certain of the documents, such as the Contract Procedure Rules, are an interim update of the Council's current Contract Standing Orders. These will be revised in full once the Procurement Strategy, mentioned elsewhere in this report, has been finalised so that they reflect the Council’s new approach. Similarly, the Council's financial procedures will be updated fully as the financial strategy is implemented.

A.6 Work on appointing an Independent Panel to review Members’ allowances has been in abeyance, but a public advertisement for membership of a Waverley Independent Panel has now been placed and a report is expected from the Panel in Spring 2002.

A.7 Your Committee accepts that there is a significant cultural as well as procedural change involved in working within a new Constitution and that this has challenged traditional ways of working for both Members and officers and, inevitably, the change process will be made easier with training. Nevertheless, the Council's pilot established last February has proved invaluable in refining the Council's processes.

A.8 The Council has already held Member seminars and used the Institute of Local Government Studies to do a one-day workshop on Overview and Scrutiny, but it is felt that a much fuller training programme should be implemented as soon as possible for both Members and officers.

A.9 The guidance from the DTLR is that the Council should not make frequent changes to the articles of its Constitution, which form its foundation. However, it does encourage Councils to review and refine processes continually and, it is considered therefore that there should be a review of the Constitution after six months of operation of the new Executive arrangements. In the meantime, any issues raised by Members or officers should be notified to the Chief Executive so that a running record can be kept of process matters which might need to be reviewed.


A.10 Interim arrangements made for officers to support the Overview and Scrutiny process have helped the process get off to a good start in Waverley. However, no other resource changes have been made to support new executive arrangements. As explained in previous reports, there have been very significant staffing implications in terms of drafting the changes to decision making arrangements, processing them through the SIG and implementing them. It is still difficult to assess if this increase in workload will continue beyond the transitional stage of these radical changes.

A.11 It may prove necessary at the six month review to come forward with proposals for coping with what is likely to be a very much changed workload.

A.12 Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that:-

56. the Council moves from the pilot arrangement to the new Executive arrangements on 18th December 2001 and that the Constitution (incorporating the drafting changes agreed by the Executive) be adopted, subject to approval of the amendments set out below:-

(a) the Council at its meeting on 17th December 2001 reviews the membership of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees, and each of the party groups submit its proposed memberships to the Chief Executive;

(b) the existing membership of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee continue until after the meeting on Waste Management on 18th December to ensure continuity on this issue;

(c) Council procedure rule 23.1 on suspension apply only to Rule 14.4 (content and length of speeches);

57. a training programme be established for both Members and officers on helping adapt to the changes in decision-making arrangements; and

58. continuation of the interim staffing arrangements for supporting the Overview and Scrutiny process 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.

B. MILFORD HOSPITAL : PROPOSED SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING GUIDANCE
[Wards Affected: Busbridge, Hambledon
and Hascombe, Godalming Wards, Witley]

B.1 The Green Belt contains a number of developed sites, such as hospitals and research and educational establishments, which pre-date the Green Belt designation. Planning Policy Guidance Note (PPG) 2 indicates that where such sites are specifically identified in a local plan, whilst Green Belt policies and the Green Belt notation continue to apply, limited infilling or redevelopment is not inappropriate.

B.2 Milford Hospital lies within the Green Belt about a mile and a quarter south of Godalming Station and about a mile east of Milford. There are footpath links from the site into Godalming to the north and to Milford station to the southwest.

B.3 The Milford Hospital site is identified as a Major Development Site within the Replacement Local Plan.

B.4 Policy RD6 of the Replacement Local Plan sets out the Council’s policy regarding Major Developed Sites and states that infilling should:-

(i) have no greater impact on the purposes of including land in the Green Belt than the existing development;

(ii) not exceed the height of the existing buildings;

(iii) not lead to a major increase in the developed proportion of the site.

and that redevelopment should:-

(i) have no greater impact than the existing development on the openness of the Green Belt and the purposes of including land within it, and where possible have less;

(ii) contribute to the achievement of the objectives for the use of land in Green Belts;

(iii) not exceed the height of the existing buildings;

(iv) not occupy a larger area of the site than the existing buildings (unless this would achieve a reduction in height which would benefit visual amenity.)

B.5 The Policy specifies that:-

“infilling means the filling of small gaps between built development;

the relevant area for defining (iv) above is the aggregate ground floor area (footprint) of the existing buildings, excluding temporary buildings, open spaces, with direct external access between wings of a building and areas of hardstanding.

B.6 This Policy was thoroughly examined by the Inspector at the Local Plan Inquiry and the Council is not proposing any further modifications. The Policy therefore carries considerable weight.

B.7 The whole site measures some 15.29 ha (37.77 ac), of which 13.14 ha (32.5acres) has been declared surplus. The surplus area contains some 26 dwellings together with a three-storey former nurses’ home of about 925 sq m and a range of mainly single storey buildings extending to some 4,560 sq m and some 1,030 sq m storage and workshop space.


B.8 The supporting text indicates that:-

particular attention should be paid to the external appearance and design of new buildings, the landscape setting and the spaces between the existing buildings;

particular attention should be paid to traffic generation and access and that a Transportation Impact Analysis should be submitted as part of any development proposal together with proposals to mitigate the impact of traffic, particularly on the northern part of Tuesley Lane;

the site is suitable primarily for housing purposes and that subsidised affordable housing and low cost market housing should be secured;

development should be concentrated in the central parts of the site;

as local schools are close to capacity, a financial contribution from potential developers should be secured through a planning obligation to assist in the provision of school places.

B.9 Two applications have been submitted for the redevelopment of the surplus land. Your officers have had serious reservations about both schemes and both schemes generated considerable public comment. Both have been withdrawn.

B.10 In view of this, and in order to give clear guidance to future applicants/developers, it is considered that the best way forward is for Supplementary Planning Guidance to be prepared in the form of a Development Brief.

B.11 The SPG will seek to maximise, through development, the best and most effective use of the land whilst avoiding unacceptable and traffic impacts by:-

amplifying the guidance set out in RLP Policy RD6 and the supporting text;

identifying the key environmental and traffic/transportation issues, opportunities and constraints;

providing clear development principles for the future development of the Milford Hospital Site;

clarifying those objectives that must be achieved and those that are desirable;

providing the basis for the consideration of planning applications.

B.12 The SPG will also:-

have regard to the principles of sustainability;

have regard to the ecology of the site and its flora and fauna

integrate any proposed development with Health facilities that are to remain on the site;

have regard to community benefits, including affordable housing, recreational, educational and social needs


B.13 The SPG must conform generally with Regional Planning Guidance (RPG), Structure Plan and adopted and Replacement Local Plan.

B.14 The SPG will recognise that the site is visually prominent and is located in a sensitive position adjacent to an area of high visual amenity (AGLV).

B.15 In view of the highway and traffic implications and constraints there will be continuous liaison with the County Highways Authority during the preparation of the SPG.

B.16 The landowners, acting through their agents, have agreed to prepare the draft SPG in conjunction with officers. The work will be carried out at no financial cost to the Council. Whilst this is the first time that this Council has entered into such a partnership, such partnerships have been undertaken elsewhere and are encouraged by Government and the Best Value process.

B.17 In order to ensure that the Council retains control of the content and outcome of the SPG throughout, it is proposed that the terms of reference of the Replacement Local Plan Special Interest Group be expanded to include the consideration of the draft Milford Hospital SPG. The SIG would act as a “sounding board” during the key stages of the preparation of the SPG. The final draft of the SPG would be considered by the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Executive Committee prior to public consultation. The Local Plan SIG would also consider the results of the public consultation prior to reporting back to the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Executive Committee for adoption by the Council.

B.18 Subject to there not being any serious problems during the final stages of the Local Plan process and the Plan proceeding to adoption by Easter 2002, the work will be carried out within existing resources.

B.19 The proposed timetable is as follows:-

November/December 2001: Project Brief Report to Executive Committee/Council
Specification, objectives and timetable to be agreed with consultants
Dec 2001- May 2002: Preparation of SPG as basis for public consultation
May/June 2002 Public consultation
June/July 2002 Consideration of response to public consultation
late Summer 2002 Council adopts SPG

B.20 In view of the considerable public interest in this site, a substantial period of public consultation is proposed. It is proposed that this consultation takes place during a six-week period during May and June 2002. Comments on the draft SPG will be reported back to the Replacement Local Plan SIG, Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Executive Committee together with recommended changes to the document before it is finally adopted in August 2002.

B.21 Your Committee has agreed that, in order to progress this matter, the terms of reference of the Replacement Local Plan Special Interest Group be expanded to include consideration of the draft Milford Hospital SPG, with local members to be included on the SIG where appropriate, as agreed by the Chief Executive, after consultation with the Portfolio Holder.


B.22 Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that

59. the principle of the approach to the creation of Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) be agreed; and

60. the owners of the site, through their agents, be encouraged to prepare the draft SPG in partnership with the Council.

Background Papers ( DoP&D)

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

C. REPAYMENT OF RENOVATION GRANT
[Wards Affected: All]

C.1 When a renovation grant is paid, there is a condition that if the property is sold within five years following completion of the works, the grant has to be repaid in full unless it is an “exempt disposal”. This requirement is detailed in Section 45 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996. Sub-sections 4 and 5 of that Section then give local authorities specific discretion not to demand repayment in certain circumstances.

C.2 One of the circumstances referred to is where the owner of the dwelling “is elderly or infirm and is making the disposal with the intention ... of going to live in a hospital, hospice, sheltered housing, residential care home or similar institution as his only or main residence.”

C.3 The other circumstances detailed in the Act relate to a move to some other place where care will be provided, for example to live with relatives, or where somebody is moving to live with an elderly or infirm relative in order to care for that person.

C.4 A resident of Cranleigh received a renovation grant from Waverley Borough Council to carry out home repairs. The owner is shortly to move into a residential care home and, through a solicitor, has asked that Waverley exercise its discretion, under Section 45, not to demand repayment of the grant.

C.5 The house has been improved and is now fit for human habitation in line with the Council’s housing strategy. The details of this particular case have been considered by the Executive Committee which examined three options which are available to the Council, i.e.:-

1. To demand full repayment of the grant; or

2. To make no demand for repayment; or

3. To demand a sum less than the full amount of the grant.

C.6 Your Committee has agreed that, in the circumstances of the case, the renovation grant paid to the applicant should be recovered in full.


C.7 Turning to what should be done in the future, your Committee has been advised that Waverley does not have an established policy for this type of situation and that it would be appropriate to establish a policy for the future guidance of officers and for information to grant applicants.

C.8 Accordingly, your Committee

RECOMMENDS that

61. a policy be affirmed demanding the full repayment of renovation grants where the dwelling is sold within the 5 year grant condition period, in accordance with Section 45 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, such policy, in future, to be implemented by officers using delegated authority and that, where officers consider repayment in full to be inappropriate, having considered the merits of any such case, the matter be referred to the Executive Committee for decision.

Background Papers (DoE&L)

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

D. HOUSING DEPARTMENT RESPONSIVE REPAIRS SERVICE – MEASURED TERM CONTRACT (MTC) 2001
[Wards Affected: All]

D.1 Your Committee has considered a detailed report on the tendering process for the Measured Term Contract and on the evaluation and selection process for the successful contractors. The report indicated that, in terms of this year’s tendering process, the agreed basis for evaluation was that of most economically advantageous to the Council taking account of quality and price and not price alone. Accordingly, your Committee has agreed that:-

1. the preferred contractors, as selected by the Interview Panel, be awarded the Measured Term Contract for responsive repairs to Waverley Borough Council’s housing stock, for a minimum of three years, subject to an annual review of targets achieved;

2. the Council enter into a formal JCT(MTC) contract with the selected contractors in accordance with the advice of Ridge and Partners; and

3. the Draft Housing Revenue Account estimates for 2002/03 and subsequent years be adjusted to reflect the increase in costs outlined in the agenda report.

D.2 Within Standing Orders, the current maximum limit up to which a responsive repairs order through the Schedule of Rates can be issued is 3,500. Over that sum a minimum of two competitive quotes need to be obtained.

D.3 Within the conditions of the new contract all the contractors were asked to include within their bids, a discount percentage on works over 1,000. This potentially builds a better value into the agreement without the need to test the market further.
D.4 Your Committee therefore

recommends that

62. the upper limit for responsive repairs orders to be issued through the Schedule of Rates under the Measured Term Contract be raised to 10,000 and Standing Orders be amended accordingly.

Background Papers (DoH)

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

E. SETTING OF COUNCIL TAX BASE 2002/2003
[Wards Affected: All]

E.1 Under the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, the Council is required to pass the necessary resolution determining the Council Tax base for 2002/2003 before approval of the Council's Budget for 2002/2003. The Council Tax base is a calculated sum used for tax setting purposes to produce the actual level of the Council Tax necessary to raise the amount required by the Council to meet both its own expenditure requirements and the precepts of other local authorities. The Council Tax base is thus the measure in the Council Tax system of the relative taxable capacity of different areas. The Council will be determining the actual level of the Council Tax for each of the eight property valuation bands in each of the Town/Parish areas throughout the Borough at its meeting on 13th February 2002 and such levels will be determined using the Council Tax base approved by the Council.

E.2 Full details of the calculation of the Council Tax base for Waverley for 2001/2002 have been circulated to all members of the Council with the budget papers for the Informal Meeting of Council on 13th December.

E.3 Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that

63. in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) Regulations 1992, the Council Tax base for Waverley and for each of the Town/Parish Council areas for the year 2002/2003 shall be as shown in Annexe 1 to this report.

Background Papers (DoF)

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

F. BEST VALUE – PERFORMANCE INDICATORS AND TARGETS
[Wards Affected: All]

F.1 The Council is required to produce an annual Best Value Performance Plan which reports on its performance during the current year and sets targets for the coming year.

F.2 For the first two years of the Best Value regime, all local authorities were required to report their performance against a series of indicators that fell into three categories:
`
Audit Commission Performance Indicators (ACPIs) – set by the Audit Commission Best Value Performance Indicators (BVPIs) – Set by then Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) and now by the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR). Local Performance Indicators (LOPIs) – set by the authority.

F.3 Audit Commission Indicators (ACPIs) were first introduced in 1993/94, and since then all local authorities have been under a statutory obligation to publish their ACPIs annually, initially by 31st December and more recently by 31st October each year. In Waverley, the ACPIs have been published in the annual report edition of the Link Magazine, and the final outturn figures for both ACPIs and BVPIs for 2000/01 were due to be published in the November edition of The Link. However, given the Audit Commission’s decision to cease specifying performance indicators with effect from 1st April this year, there will be no future requirement for local authorities to publish their performance indicators each autumn, leaving the Best Value Performance Plan as the main vehicle for publicising an authority’s performance. Some ACPIs have become BVPIs with the remainder ceasing to exist from the end of 2000/01.

F.4 The Government has encouraged local authorities to develop and use their own local indicators (LOPIs), the precise nature of which can be determined by each authority. LOPIs are considered to be an important measure of local performance and of how the authority is meeting the needs of its residents and achieving the corporate objectives. Local indicators also provide managers with better information about local circumstances and give observers an indication of performance in areas that are particularly relevant to the nature of what the authority does. It is therefore anticipated that, as in the case of the statutory indicators, local indicators will be subject to amendment from time to time to reflect changing priorities and circumstances.

F.5 Waverley’s first local indicators were published in its Performance Plan for 2000/01 and since then other local indicators have been developed by individual service areas. However, it is clear from feedback provided by District Audit following their audit of Waverley’s Best Value Performance Plan for 2001/02, that there is scope to improve Waverley’s LOPIs in terms of their adequacy, relevance and clarity. This is one of the issues currently being addressed by the recently established Performance Improvement Group, which will be advising Management Board on the appropriate criteria to be used in developing LOPIs.


F.6 The Council has a statutory requirement to set targets for all those BVPIs for which there is historical data, and for those targets to be published in the annual Best Value Performance Plan. For a small number of BVPIs, the Government is requiring authorities to set targets that are consistent with reaching (over a period of five years starting in 2000/01) the performance level of the top 25% of authorities at the time at which the targets were set. The “top quartile” indicators are as follows:

F.7 It is also considered to be good practice to set targets for local indicators.

F.8 Waverley had no formal mechanism for setting targets until last autumn when targets for 2001/02 were set by each committee for the BVPIs and LOPIs falling within their respective remits. However, it is clear from the feedback from District Audit following their audit of the 2001/02 Best Value Performance Plan that there is considerable scope for improving target setting in Waverley.

F.9 Target setting is key, and needs to be well documented to enable the authority to demonstrate that it is achieving best value. Targets should take into account the performance of other authorities in Waverley’s Audit Commission family, as well as the performance of neighbouring authorities, and should reflect the aims and objectives of the authority’s Corporate Plan.

F.10 Targets must be challenging in order to demonstrate that the authority is seeking continued improvement, and that steps are being taken to try to meet the performance of top quartile authorities where this is relevant. Consideration also needs to be given to setting targets for more than one year at a time so that it is clear what levels of performance the authority is seeking to achieve over the next three to five years.

F.11 Annexe 2 to this report sets out the following information:-

A description of all the BVPIs and LOPIs which will be published in Waverley’s next Best Value Performance Plan. The Council’s estimated and actual performance in respect of each service/activity for 2000/01. (NB the estimated figures may differ quite significantly from the actual outturn figures). Comparative data in respect of performance of top quartile authorities. An estimate of the Council’s performance in each service/activity for the current financial year based on performance during the first six months of the year and projected forward to the year-end plus the target for 2001/02 and, where necessary, an explanatory note on poor or very good performance. A suggested target for 2002/03, and possibly for the following two to three years, together with some explanatory notes about the target(s).

F.12 The Overview and Scrutiny Committees have each considered the Indicators within their remits and the newly established Best Value Performance Plan Special Interest Group has also fed in comments. These have been incorporated into the attached Annexe.

F.13 Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that
Background Papers (CEx)

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

G. PROCUREMENT STRATEGY
[Wards Affected: N/A]

G.1 The District Auditor and the Best Value Inspectorate are both now actively reviewing Procurement Strategies when they visit local authorities. They are looking for a set of rules, which are systematically applied within an authority to produce sound and consistent conclusions.

G.2 Members may recall that on 7th December 1999, the Council adopted a Procurement Strategy for construction contracts, the central features of which included the need for clarity over roles, rigorous and on-going risk assessment and renewed emphasis on the project planning stage to avoid risks and to achieve better quality.

G.3 The purpose of a Procurement Strategy is much wider. The Local Government Act 1999 calls for authorities to improve the way in which its functions are exercised.

G.4 Section 5(5)(b) of the Local Government Act 1999 says that the Secretary of State may issue guidance on “the procedure for a review”. The relevant Guidance Circular calls for authorities to have “clear strategies for community consultation, procurement and staff development”. To date, the District Auditor and Best Value Inspectors have concentrated on consultation and procurement, and have said very little about staff development. Staff development is, of course, central to the improvement of service delivery.


G.5 The definition of procurement goes beyond simple purchasing decisions. It encompasses the decision as to the way in which services are to be provided. This is where the familiar options for procurement as cited in the Guidance become relevant:-

I. Cease delivery of a service in whole or in part
II. Restructuring or repositioning the in-house service
III. Joint delivery and/or commissioning
IV. Market testing all or part of the service
V. Transfer or externalisation of the service
VI. Re-negotiate with existing providers as far as is possible
VII. Creation of a public-private partnership.

G.6 The Guidance Circular calls for the selection of these options to be made in the context of an authority’s Community and Corporate Strategies. However, other issues such as e-procurement, selection of suppliers/partner organisations and the use of other procurement facilities are also relevant.

G.7 Procurement itself can be defined in a variety of ways. It is, therefore, important to understand exactly what is to be covered by the Procurement Strategy.

G.8 A best value authority will be expected to take into account a range of issues. Procurement decisions are not to be simply about the “compete” and “challenge” elements of best value, but also about putting into practice a wide range of Council policies and priorities.

G.9 Environmental and Ethical procurement issues should be one of the major issues encompassed by the Procurement Strategy. The Council is implementing its own LA21 Strategy’s aims and priorities, and the Procurement Strategy framework will form an important part of the overall direction of environmental and ethical policy. The detailed work that will follow adoption of the framework will be aimed at providing a practical guide for staff to aid them in the selection of, for example, the most appropriate product. Where an external supplier provides a Council service, the Procurement Strategy will also give guidance on the approach to be taken in the Council’s management and direction of that external service provider in terms of influencing their purchasing policies to bring it into compliance with the Council’s policies.

G.10 It is envisaged that decision matrices will be devised to record the evaluation of:

the appropriate procurement route (most commonly for use in Fundamental Service Reviews) – using those options set out in the report that are favoured by Waverley as a starting point
the most appropriate product (for the day-to-day procurement activities).
whole life evaluation methodologies, including delivery issues, running issues, length of life issues and, finally, disposal and recycling issues.

G.11 Challenge is equally important as it is seen as being key to significant improvements in performance. It is about both how and why a service is delivered, and calls for consideration of the fundamental matters of services.


G.12 The criteria to be used will be defined so as to accord with Council policies, aims and priorities. Again, using environmental issues as an example, guidance will be given on selecting products, which have been made using recycled materials, and evaluation of the most advantageous product. This will not necessarily be the cheapest simply to buy but will be assessed looking at the whole life cycle of a product including other costs that would need to be borne.

G.13 Work on the Procurement Strategy started earlier this year with an information-gathering exercise. Key members of staff were interviewed to gain their views on the current rules and practices concerning procurement at Waverley.

G.14 This was followed by the development of the Procurement Strategy framework. Given the corporate nature of procurement, the views of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees and of the Executive Committee have been sought and each has expressed satisfaction with the report.

G.15 The Procurement Strategy will lead to selection of procurement options that follow consistent criteria, which need to look not only at the present but also to the future. Therefore, any factors that currently, or may in the future, affect the market or the ability of the Council to provide a service need to be taken into account in evaluating the options.

G.16 There will be a number of key policy issues that will have to be addressed which include identifying core services and appropriate procurement models and a staff development strategy, which is central to underpin the procurement process.

G.17 The final Strategy will be submitted to the Council for adoption. The detailed consequential work can then be completed and approved by the Council, and changes will be required to the Council’s Standing Orders with respect to Contracts, and possibly also to Financial Regulations. The Standing Orders are currently written on the presumption that the lowest price tender or quotation will always be accepted. This may not be appropriate once the Strategy is in place. It is clear that quality and economically most advantageous considerations also need to be applied.

G.18 Members will appreciate that the Council needs to have a comprehensive Procurement Strategy to ensure that there is thorough preparation for commissioning or procuring supplies, works and, in particular, services. It will enable the Council to ascertain fully both the nature of the works, supplies or services it wishes to buy, whether these will meet the needs of the community and to evaluate the nature of the obligations and liabilities the Council will be expecting the contractor to take on.

G.19 Further reports will be submitted relating to the Procurement Strategy, the aim being to ensure that the Procurement Strategy and guidance is fully in place early in 2002 to enable it to be included within the Best Value Performance Plan and to inform Year 3 Fundamental Service Reviews.

G.20 Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that H. DISTRICT AUDITOR’S VALUE FOR MONEY REPORT ON THE WAVERLEY CITIZENS’ ADVICE BUREAUX
[Wards Affected: N/A]

H.1 Earlier this year the Council commissioned a District Audit review to establish:

whether the Council is achieving value for money from the level of financial support it is providing to the CABx, and

the extent to which the CABx as currently structured are delivering and developing services, which meet the Council’s strategic objectives, and funding criteria.

H.2 The District Auditor worked with Council Members and Officers, CABx representatives and the National Association for the CABx, (NACAB). All CABx received the draft report and commented on its accuracy, prior to final publication.

H.3 The Council received the final District Auditor’s report on 1st October 2001. This report has been circulated to members of both the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which considered a report on this matter at its last meeting, and the Executive Committee. A copy has also been placed in the Members’ Room.

H.4 The Council’s revenue funding for the four CABx totals 192,000 in 2001/02 and an estimated 8,856 for car parking reimbursements at three of the CABx. In addition, the Council has agreed to rent under-utilised accommodation at Godalming CAB up to 31st March 2002. This will help alleviate the surplus space referred to in the Godalming CAB Development Plan and meet the Council’s additional accommodation needs arising from the Modernising Agenda. A licence was signed on 14th November 2001.

H.5 The basis of the above funding stems from informal historic agreements. There is no standard assessment of the grant application in terms of assessing against funding criteria or specific service requirements. Additionally, there is no service level agreement, terms and conditions, or outcomes set as a basis for the grant.

H.6 The Council’s current monitoring arrangements include:-

CABx annual reports received by the Council;

A Council representative sits on each of the Management Committees; and

The Council’s link officer has been based in the Treasurer’s department

H.7. The key findings highlighted below are extracts from the District Auditor’s report:-

no monitoring information is requested from the CABx;


as no targets or objectives are set, there is no way the Council can be assured it is achieving a service that meets its strategic objectives and funding criteria;

the cost to Waverley Borough Council per client contact at the four Bureaux varies from 5 to almost 9 with an average of 7.35;

there is not enough reliable information available to make a sound judgement on value for money. However, on the basis of comparative information supplied by NACAB and the Waverley CABx, it appears that the income the Waverley CABx receive per head of population is high compared to the average for the CIPFA ‘nearest neighbours’ group; and

the number of client contacts reported is key to the calculation of cost per client contact. A high number of contacts decreases the cost per client contact. A high percentage of the Waverley population appear to visit the CABx compared to the average for other authorities in the ‘nearest neighbours’. This is unexpected considering the socio-economic profile of the Borough.

H.8 The following is a summary of the District Auditor’s recommendations:

The Council should consider what type of CABx service it wants to support to best meet strategic priorities. A number of possible funding options are considered below. The Council should also look for any duplication of services being funded – for example, with housing advice and benefits advice. Performance targets and expected service levels should be set so that the expected use of Waverley’s grant aid is clear and the performance of the CABx can be evaluated and compared with other advice services. This will need to include reliable information on the number of clients, where they live and the services provided. Monitoring arrangements need to be established to ensure that funding is used as intended. The standard grant funding system as agreed for the sponsored organisation scheme, should apply to funding of the CABx so that the system is seen to be fair and equitable. Consistency needs to be addressed, for example application forms should be completed by all voluntary organisations applying for funding, including the CABx, and the same assessment criteria used. The Council should identify someone at senior level in Housing or Leisure to be the link officer for regular consultation and liaison with the CABx. Other advice services funded by the Council come within the Finance Department’s remit. Similarly, consideration should be given to transferring the budget to the same Executive Portfolio Holder. Opportunities to realise efficiency savings, such as bureaux operating from other locations rather than having their own permanent offices, should be investigated.


H.9 The funding options listed below, as extracted from the District Auditor’s report, are:-

There are a number of possible options that Waverley Borough Council could consider. Whilst the current situation with four independent bureaux provides good access for the people of Waverley to the services of the CABx, it is at a significant cost as shown by NACAB’s comparative data.

The four bureaux could be organised differently and they have been considering alternative structures with the NACAB regional office since January 2000. Haslemere and Cranleigh are currently sharing a manager. It is likely each bureau will be too small individually to win any CLS contracts.

Waverley Borough Council will need to consider what type of CABx service they wish to fund, taking into consideration their strategic priorities and any alternative services they may wish to fund. District Audit are unable to make a firm recommendation.

H.10 The recommendations are an objective assessment by the District Auditor of where Waverley and the CABx currently stand. It is recognised by Members and Officers that the CABx provide a valuable service for the Borough’s residents. However, the amount of financial support and treatment afforded to the CABx is not necessarily consistent with the treatment afforded to other organisations in the Council’s Sponsored Organisation Scheme, who provide equally valuable services.

H.11 The District Auditor’s Action Plan highlighted the key recommendations, together with a response from the officers. The key issue is at R1, which refers to alternative funding options to determine what type of CABx service the Council wishes to support. In response, officers have suggested:-

In accordance with other Sponsored Organisations, the Council’s future financial support should be based on a Partnership Agreement with defined outcome targets. Support should not be linked or based on specific accommodation or specific costs.

H.12 If Members feel that this is an appropriate way to develop funding for CABx, officers will need to develop a set of outcome targets which meets the Council’s key themes of supporting the community as identified in the Performance Plan. It is essential that the outcome targets are developed in conjunction with the CABx.

H.13 The District Auditor identified the following measures for possible inclusion in future agreements:-

number of clients could be broken down according to type of service and whether new or repeat clients;

number of client contacts;

number of enquiries;

amount of debt and gains i.e. amount of debt recovered;

Benefits obtained i.e. financial gain to clients;

subject areas of enquiries;

workload analysis;

VFM – cost to number of enquiries;

NACAB approved audits;

type of service provided and level of service;

client contact method e.g. bureau visit, telephone, letter, email;

client profile;

how many cases require follow-up i.e. complexity of cases;

third party contacts;

client satisfaction survey.

H.14 Some of the above measures could form the basis of a partnership agreement in 2002/03, but a useful quality standard is emerging and is being used by a number of other Councils. This is the Community Legal Services Quality Mark, which is being developed as part of the Community Legal Services Partnership of which Waverley is an active member. The Quality Mark requires registered bodies to meet standards on information provided to customers, general help and specialist services. Once obtained, it will allow organisations the chance to secure funding from other sources. This would be particularly useful for the CABx in Waverley as they are reliant primarily on support from the Borough Council with contributions from two of the Town Councils.

H.15 A copy of the final report has been distributed to each of the Waverley CABx. In addition, the Chief Executive, Director of Finance and Assistant Director of Housing met with representatives of all Waverley’s CABx to discuss some of the key themes in the report, together with details of future working under the Sponsored Organisation Scheme.

H.16 It should be noted that the current licence at Queen Street, Godalming, expires on 31st March 2002. Members therefore need to decide whether they wish to continue using the accommodation beyond that date and, if so, what additional facilities they require. It is suggested that the decision be considered as part of the Review of Members’ Support Services, which is being considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. Officers will liaise with Group Leaders during this review.

H.17 Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that I. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) STRATEGY
[Wards Affected: All]

I.1 Waverley’s current “IS/IT Strategy” was approved by the Council in 1995. The Strategy served the Council well during the period of down-sizing from the mainframe to servers and the uncertainty of CCT. However, increases in the sophistication, penetration and processing power of new technology and the expectations of customers and users has led the IT Strategy officers group to revisit and revise the Strategy, a copy of which is attached at Annexe 3 to this report.

I.2 The Council has recently endorsed Waverley’s “Implementing Electronic Government (IEG) Statement”, which was submitted to the DTLR on 30th July 2001. As stated previously, the “IEG Statement” is about service delivery, not technology. However, it does recognise the potential of the technology to support the delivery of responsive, customer-focused, best value services and includes a commitment to complete the revision of the Council’s ICT Strategy and e-Government Strategy by the end of this year.

I.3 The IEG Statement, e-Government Strategy and ICT Strategies are therefore not the same thing, but they are inextricably linked:
The e-Government Strategy sets out the Council’s approach to the electronic delivery of its services (including local democracy). In spite of the “e” this strategy is about service delivery and the potential of information and communications technology (ICT) to focus the means of delivery on the needs of the customer. As such, it is implicit within the IEG Statement and work is currently under way to extrapolate it as a free-standing document.

I.4 As identified above, the changes in customer expectation, advances in the processing power of information and communications technology and its penetration into most areas of the way we now live and work has required the Council to revisit its ICT Strategy.

I.5 In order to ensure that the impact of these social and technological changes was recognized, the IT Strategy Group used the disciplines of SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technological) analyses as part of the revision process. This was followed by the identification of a comprehensive range of Critical Success Factors relating to the development of a revised ICT Strategy.

I.6 The Group then prioritised these factors from which key words were extracted to form the basis of the ICT Strategy’s primary objectives. These key words and phrases were then expanded to produce “Statements of Intent” expressing the Council’s aspirations for delivering its ICT service in accordance with its primary objectives.

I.7 The ICT Strategy does not identify specific areas of development or prescribe technical standards, nor does it set out any timetables for implementation or estimate the resources required. The ICT Strategy exists to inform the IEG Statement and it is this latter document that will contain the resource and management implications of the Council’s ICT Strategy. This is in accordance with the approach taken by the Council, in its submission of its IEG Statement to the DTLR, that it is a working document subject to continuous review and revision - such reviews and revisions being aware of the primary objectives of the ICT Strategy.

I.8 The resource implications of the adoption of the revised ICT Strategy will be considered as part of the budget process.

I.9 The commitment to support the delivery of e-Government, implicit in the revised ICT Strategy, thereby reducing the use of paper and transportation, suggests that the adoption of the Strategy could have beneficial environmental implications.

I.10 The adoption of an ICT Strategy could have had certain Human Rights implications (e.g. the right to a private family life or the right not to be discriminated against could have been affected). However, these interests have been effectively safeguarded by the ways, made explicit in the Strategy, in which data will be processed and made available.

I.11 The potential for information and communications technology to reach isolated and vulnerable sectors of society means that the adoption of the ICT Strategy could support “opportunities for all”.

I.12 The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee received this report at its last meeting and commended the Strategy to the Executive Committee.

I.13 Your Committee


RECOMMENDS that
J. CRANLEIGH ARTS CENTRE – REQUEST FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
[Wards Affected: Cranleigh East and Cranleigh West]

J.1 Cranleigh Arts Centre represents one of the most significant lottery funded developments in the Borough. A 1.056 million lottery award transformed a run-down Arts Centre in an old school building into a “state of the art” building which caters for a large range of artistic and cultural activities for Cranleigh and the surrounding area, which cannot be accommodated elsewhere in the village.

J.2 The lottery application envisaged a full time Manager and this is funded by Waverley as its revenue contribution. Initially, it was not possible to make this commitment and the Centre under-achieved, even with considerable support from a wide range of volunteers. This was rectified last year with the full-time appointment of a Manager. Unfortunately, his tenure was only short lived and failed to deliver the significant turnaround hoped for. Helen Cundy was appointed Manager this year and, since her arrival, has addressed the reality of the situation facing the Arts Centre, as well as taking a strenuous commercial line with its activities and uses.

J.3 However, the Manager has requested help on two fronts. First, a grant to overcome the current financial difficulties and, second, an appropriate level of annual grant in order to avoid a re-occurrence. Her letter to Waverley is attached at Annexe 4 to this report. The accounts for the Centre are also attached at Annexe 5.

J.4 The officers’ financial appraisal of the Centre does indicate a turnaround in profitability of the Centre’s more recent activities and the Manager and the Accountant have clear evidence of falling costs and increasing both charges and throughput. A continuation of this robust attitude will be essential to their survival and is understood and communicated by the Centre.

J.5 This leads your officers to conclude that the problem could very well be 'one-off' and the new management style, combined with an appropriate annual grant, could well effect a turnaround. It is felt that a one-off grant of 20,000 could be made available to overcome the current difficulties. This would cover the revenue difficulties and introduce some minor capital improvements. It is considered appropriate that Waverley could fund 15,000 of this and that the Parish Council could be requested to provide the additional 5,000. It will also be necessary to increase the annual grant from the current proposed level of 17,700 to 20,000.

J.6 The draft revenue budget for 2002/03, Sponsored Organisations Scheme, shows a provision of 17,700. As part of a previous Project Plan, the Council assumed that the contribution would fall to 12,700 in 2002/03. In order to increase this to 20,000 an arts operation budget will need to be reduced by 2,300 and this is proposed in the first instance.


J.7 As a result of the Tourist Officer post being held vacant in the Environment and Leisure Department, pending the outcome of the Tourism Best Value Review, it has been possible to save the whole of the Project Plan and half the promotion budget. In addition to this, 29,000 has been saved in relation to the post itself. However, there was a budgeted reduction of 5,000 against the Tourism budget, reducing this saving to 24,000 This saving can be used to fund the one-off payment of 15,000 to Cranleigh Arts Centre. By some standards, this 15,000 could simply be met by virement from these collective savings which will increase the balance on the General Fund, but it is felt more appropriate to identify this specifically as a supplementary estimate. Cranleigh Parish Council will be asked for the additional 5,000 contribution.

J.8 The Executive Committee, having debated the matter, considers that it would be appropriate to support Cranleigh Arts Centre in their current difficulties and their aspirations to turn the Centre into profit. This will require a one-off grant on the one hand and a more appropriate level of annual grant on the other.

J.9 Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that
Background Papers (DoE&L)

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

K. CAPITAL REFURBISHMENT AT FARNHAM MALTINGS
[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]

K.1 In January 2001, The Maltings submitted an application to the Arts Capital Lottery Programme of the National Lottery for 2 million towards a 4 million substantial capital refurbishment. Waverley committed to fund 1 million, i.e. 25%, under the circumstances that the application was successful. It was not successful because of the huge competition for limited funds, rather than anything to do with the quality of the application or project. In June, The Maltings were informed of this and since that time, have reconsidered their position.


K.2 A revised application for funding has now been received by Waverley. In summary, this proposes a significantly less costly scheme (2.112 million) whilst at the same time concentrating on the main public areas of the building. The full application is reproduced at Annexe 6 to this report. Waverley is asked to consider contributing 750,000 i.e. 36% towards this new scheme.

K.3 The proposed contribution from Waverley represents around 36% of the total cost and at a time when the other 64% of the cost remains unidentified. It is easy enough to support the scheme in principle: it is a reduction from the earlier scheme and it does concentrate on the most significant areas. It would be simple to propose that the contribution be made, subject to the rest of the funding emerging, but this alone may not be helpful.

K.4 The Maltings envisage identifying and securing the balance through the services of a professional fundraiser. This is perhaps where Waverley could assist most in the first instance. If a loan of up to 50,000, funded from the 2002/03 Capital Programme, repayable over five years, was made available to The Maltings, this would enable the appointment of a fundraiser to occur immediately.

K.5 There would need to be some further commitments in principle about matched funding under the circumstances that the fundraiser’s activities were successful. Perhaps the range of contributions of between 25% and 33% would be reasonable, allowing for ultimate schemes in the range of 2.2 - 3 million to emerge, but all the while any contribution from Waverley would be capped at a maximum of 750,000 and be payable over not less than three years.

K.6 The ability of The Maltings to fund this initial step themselves is limited, as is apparent from their Annual Report, attached as Annexe 7 to this report.

K.7 The Council’s previous commitment to fund 1 million for The Maltings, had the Lottery Bid been successful, did not involve the Council earmarking specific capital resources. Whilst this is again possible, it must be noted that the Draft Capital Programme for 2002/03 and the next two years currently exceeds new resources. Depending on the Capital Programme approved by the Council, a commitment of up to 750,000 can again be shown as a note to the Capital Programme on the basis that it will be funded from future capital receipts. If the receipts are not available, any shortfall will have to be met from the Revenue Reserve.

K.8 It is felt that the best way to safeguard the Council's position, whilst not stifling The Maltings’ enthusiasm, is to loan sufficient cash for the appointment of a fundraiser and to commit in principle to supporting, up to a maximum of 750,000, any fully funded scheme that emerges.

K.9 Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that
L. SUPPORTING PEOPLE SCHEME – PROVIDING SUPPORT TO COUNCIL TENANTS
[Wards Affected: All]

L.1 The Supporting People Scheme is a Government Initiative designed to change the way in which packages of support for vulnerable people living in the community are funded. Your Committee has considered a report outlining possible courses of action that the Council might take in the period leading up to April 2003 when the scheme comes into operation.

L.2 Broadly speaking, the Council provides general needs accommodation to tenants and its housing management staff deal with day-to-day landlord and tenant matters. The Council provides rather more staff/tenant contact in respect of community warden schemes for the elderly. The only accommodation provided by the Council which includes reasonably high level of support for tenants, is in sheltered housing schemes for the elderly. The Council has a small number of tenants and applicants for housing who require relatively low levels of support and contact to enable them to maintain their tenancies successfully. At present, these people are likely to be housed in community warden schemes or in general needs accommodation.

L.3 Some tenants have particular difficulties which result in them requiring regular assistance to ensure that all is well, that household bills are paid, that the full range of benefits to which they are entitled is successfully claimed and perhaps some assistance and encouragement given with domestic tasks and personal hygiene. Set out below are details of how it would be possible for Council-owned accommodation to be allocated to tenants in this situation with the opportunity for them to receive services from appropriate organisations who are able to provide a level of support to cater for their needs.

L.4 Under the new arrangements from April 2003, Surrey County Council will have the lead responsibility for administering the Supporting People Scheme which will ensure that individuals have appropriate funding to meet their needs for support in day to day life. The County Council will be able to award contracts to appropriate agencies and organisations to provide the right level of support to a range of clients. The County Council will also have a ring-fenced fund from which to allocate financial support packages. Members will be aware that the County Council is working in partnership with the Borough/District Council, Health and Probation Services to ensure that the implementation of this initiative is successful.


L.5 The difficulty arises in the transitional period between now and April 2003. The Government has proposed that vulnerable people who need support at present should be able to access funding through Transitional Housing Benefit. Under this proposal, Housing Benefit would be available to cover the cost of providing the necessary support in conjunction with the accommodation occupied by the tenant, in addition to the usual housing benefit payment which covers the cost of rent and other service charges connected purely with the property. A tenant in need of support services could claim Transitional Housing Benefit for the cost of being provided with those services over and above the cost of the rent.

L.6 Generally speaking, people who need support packages are likely to be in receipt of Housing Benefit. Under the transitional arrangements, it would be possible for the landlord to include within the weekly charge, an additional element for the appropriate level of support. However, under Housing Benefit Regulations, any charges made by the landlord for this additional support must be covered by the tenancy agreement – in other words, it must be a condition of tenancy that the tenant receives the support service from the landlord or his agent.

L.7 It is not essential that the landlord personally provides the support service as it is possible for a landlord to arrange for a third party to provide the support services to the tenant. It would, therefore, be possible under the Transitional Housing Benefit arrangement for the Council to enter into an agreement with a tenant for the provision of support services and to enter into a further agreement with an appropriate provider to make provision of the support services to the tenant. The tenant would then be in a position to claim Transitional Housing Benefit and the element received to cover the cost of the support service could be paid by the Council to the support provider.

L.8 An alternative mechanism for providing accommodation, together with support services for tenants in need, would be for the Council to lease certain properties to appropriate organisations and for those organisations to sub-let those dwellings to tenants in need and at the same time to provide support services. The tenants could then claim Housing Benefit which could be paid to the support organisation to cover the cost of the accommodation and the support services. In turn, the support organisation would pay a rent to the Council.

L.9 The Council currently leases some of its properties to certain organisations who then sublet the accommodation to appropriate tenants from the Council’s statutory register. Tenants in this situation are assured tenants rather than secure tenants, as organisations which are not local authorities are not legally able to let properties subject to secure tenancies.

L.10 It would be possible to lease selected properties to relevant organisations, subject to relatively short term leases, which would not be renewable unless the Council agreed to renew them after the end of the term. If an organisation gave up the lease or did not wish to renew the lease, the tenant would become a direct tenant of the Council and his or her tenancy would be converted to a secure tenancy with the benefit of all the usual rights of a secure tenant.

L.11 The difficulty with this proposal is that some organisations consider it to be less satisfactory having regard to the dignity, respect and equality of rights of the individuals being accommodated. The organisations see themselves as standing between the tenant and the true landlord – i.e. the Council – and of depriving the tenant concerned of a secure tenancy and the full rights which are applicable to all other tenants of the Council generally.


L.12 Although this point of view can be appreciated in some respects, it is common for the Council to nominate prospective tenants to accommodation managed by registered social landlords where they will be offered an assured tenancy rather than a secure tenancy. Existing tenants who have already been granted a secure tenancy could not be required to move to another property or to give up their secure tenancy in return for an assured tenancy without their full agreement.

L.13 It may be the case that some organisations would not consider there to be any difficulty in granting an assured tenancy to a person as a sub-tenant and, indeed, some people requiring accommodation and support services may not have any objection to being offered an assured tenancy rather than a secure tenancy. It may therefore be appropriate to lease properties to support organisations in appropriate circumstances.

L.14 There are several organisations, well known to the Council, which provide the appropriate type of support services to tenants in need, some of which might also be willing to manage the accommodation in addition to providing the support services. Examples of such organisations are Surrey Community Development Trust, Leonard Cheshire Homes, Mencap, Whitmore Vale Housing Association and Thames and Chiltern Trust.

L.15 As mentioned earlier, the Council has a small number of tenants and applicants for housing who require relatively low levels of support which could be provided by organisations such as those mentioned above. In most cases, these people have mild learning difficulties and require regular assistance to ensure that their lives are managed successfully. The type of assistance required would vary from person to person, but support is not generally required on an intensive basis and most people in this situation are able to work and lead relatively normal lives in many respects.

L.16 In the past, Surrey County Council may have funded packages of care and support to enable people to live independently in the community, but currently the County Council only tends to support people at high or medium risk due to changes in eligibility criteria. Therefore, people deemed only to be at low risk do not receive any funding. However, as mentioned to above, the Transitional Housing Benefit route is available up to April 2003 when the Supporting People Scheme comes into operation.

L.17 Your officers are aware that there are existing tenants and some applicants for housing who require support and they are aware of one existing tenant in particular who requires a solution to her support needs as quickly as possible.

L.18 In order for the Council to arrange for support services to be provided for appropriate tenants, it would be helpful if the officers were authorised to enter into appropriate agreements with relevant organisations as and when the need arose to provide support in the best possible way, having regard to the circumstances. The two main options are to enter into agreements with tenants and support organisations or to lease properties to support organisations in order for them to sub-let the accommodation to tenants and provide support services at the same time.

L.19 With regard to the possibility of entering into agreements with tenants and support organisations, the issue can be resolved by entering into a supplementary tenancy agreement with the tenant concerned, agreeing that a support service be provided for the tenant. At the same time, the Council would enter into a further agreement with the support provider whereby the provider would agree to provide the relevant level of support to the tenant. The agreement could only be reached with the full
L.20 Alternatively, your officers could negotiate with an appropriate provider to lease particular properties, subject to the provider agreeing to sublet the property to a tenant in need of support and making provision of the relevant support services. As mentioned above, the lease would only be for a relatively short period and would be subject to the relevant legal safeguards to prevent the organisation having any rights to renew the lease at the end of the term. The organisation would be required to covenant to let the property to a tenant in need nominated by the Council and to make provision of the support services required. The support organisation would be responsible for ensuring that the tenant applied for housing benefit to cover the cost of the rent and the support service. The support organisation would make payment of a monthly rent to the Council.

L.21 Clearly, the Council has no particular experience or expertise in the field of providing packages of low level support and it is therefore proposed that each individual case involving a tenant requiring support should first be referred to Surrey County Council for an assessment to be carried out. The Council would need to be satisfied that the results of the assessment were acceptable and that it was necessary to provide support to enable the tenant to manage his or her tenancy before proceeding any further.

L.22 Apart from contact with organisations such as those mentioned above, the Council does not have any particular experience in dealing with appropriate support providers and your officers would not necessarily be able to determine which agency or contractor could provide the most appropriate service to the tenant concerned. It is therefore suggested that the Council should make use of Surrey County Council’s approved list of contractors and make any decision regarding the provider in conjunction with the tenant and his or her social worker.

L.23 It is proposed that contracts for the provision of services or leases of properties should be for a period expiring not later than 31st March 2003 on the assumption that the Supporting People Scheme will become operational on 1st April 2003 and any new arrangements under the Supporting People Scheme will come into effect on that date.

L.24 In view of the fact that there are relatively few suppliers of the relevant support services and that the supplier selected in each case must be appropriate to the needs of the particular individual concerned, it is proposed that the arrangements be exempt from Standing Order (Contracts) 103.

L.25 As the arrangements will result in additional management and administration duties for which the Council has no additional resourcing, it is proposed that each arrangement only be put into effect subject to Surrey County Council agreeing that the tenant’s social worker will monitor the situation and provide regular reports to enable your officers to be satisfied that the tenant is managing his or her tenancy effectively and that the services provided are appropriate to the tenant’s circumstances.


L.26 The financial implications are referred to earlier in this report with regard to the payment for the services and rental payments in respect of the accommodation, whether or not leased to an outside organisation. If a tenant claims Housing Benefit to cover the cost of the support service and rent there should be no additional cost to the Council for making the arrangements. The Housing Department has no additional resourcing to cover the management and administrative duties connected with the proposals and it is certain that the arrangements will lead to additional work for Housing and Legal Officers.

L.27 There are implications for tenants arising out of the Human Rights Act 1998. In particular, the following rights of tenants are relevant:-

L.28 It will be necessary for the Council to ensure that tenants do not suffer any possible breaches of their rights by entering into an arrangement only subject to the consent of the individual tenant concerned. It is not proposed that any existing tenants be deprived of their existing secure tenancies or other rights or that any individual be forced to enter into an arrangement to receive support services without his or her consent.

L.29 If a tenant in need of support entered into an arrangement to receive support services, but then declined to continue with the services, he or she would be treated as any other tenant. The Council would only need to take action to resolve any difficulties in circumstances in which the tenant was not managing his or her tenancy effectively and was adversely affecting neighbours and other residents. Any action taken would be in accordance with all legal requirements.

L.30 Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that

79. subject to satisfactory arrangements being agreed with Surrey County Council:
M. SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL REVIEW OF LOCAL HIGHWAY SERVICES
[Wards Affected: All]

M.1 A Best Value Review of the delivery of Local Highway Services was carried out by Surrey County Council’s Audit and Review Committee and agreed for consultation purposes in July 2000. Following discussion with the Districts and with potential new partners such as the Parish Council’s and the Police, the County Council published a document entitled: “Review of Local Highway Services - Final Report January 2001”. The County Council agreed that report on 20th March 2001 and resolved that detailed discussions should take place with the Districts on how best to implement the new arrangements.

M.2 The report considered at the meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 2nd April 2001 set out the main proposals and recommendations of the Review of Local Highway Services. In summary, the County Council had come to the conclusion that the current diverse arrangement of Agencies, Partnership Area Transportation Committees (PATS) and a Joint Transport Committee (in Reigate and Banstead) is no longer best suited to the delivery of the County Council’s future responsibilities as a strategic Transportation Authority, and should be replaced by a common framework of decision making arrangements that retain some flexibility to recognise local needs.


M.3 The existing Agency Agreements between Surrey County Council and six of the Surrey Districts are to be terminated from 1st April 2002. The Review proposed that County and District highway functions would be delivered by Joint Transport Committees (the existing Waverley PATS would be terminated). However, in the event that not all Districts and Boroughs wanted a Joint Transportation Committee, there would be an alternative arrangement of a Partnership Area Transportation Committee of the County Council with voting rights for District Members.

M.4 The Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee received a presentation on 27th June from the officer leading the Surrey County Council Best Value Review, Bob Moodie. In his presentation, Mr Moodie indicated that Surrey County Council had resolved on 18th June 2001 to establish 11 Area Committees based on District Council boundaries. The Area Committees would consider a range of matters delegated by Surrey County Council’s Executive, including highways and transportation issues. In the light of the developments described by Mr Moodie, the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee resolved to return to the transport issues at a later meeting once the wider corporate implications had been considered.

M.5 Since the presentation, the County Council has continued to develop its ideas relating to its new political management arrangements. An organisational strategy document, entitled ‘People First’, sets out in detail fundamental changes to the internal structure of Surrey County Council in order to respond more effectively to local needs. Originally published for consultation in March 2001, the ‘People First’ strategy was approved by the County Executive on 15th October 2001.

M.6 In September, the County Council published a consultation paper on ‘Establishing Area Committees’. This paper sets out the County Executive’s proposals for Area Committees and invites responses by 31st October from District/Borough Councils on specific issues, including those relating to highway matters. The paper states that the information gathered from consultation responses will be used to prepare a report for a meeting of the County Executive in December when the final decisions on Area Committees will be made. A copy of the consultation paper was recently sent to all Members to inform this Council’s response to the County.

M.7 The County Council intends to establish Area Committees not later than April 2002. It anticipates that this will result in some rationalisation of existing structures, including the termination of the existing Partnership Area Transportation Committees.

M.8 Area Committees will deal with a wide range of County services, such as education, social services, fire and rescue, trading standards, waste disposal and highways and transportation. It is suggested in the County Council’s consultation paper that, initially, it may be more practical for meetings of the Area Committees to alternate between highways and non-highways matters, although the aim would be to integrate the work of the Committees across all services. The Area Committees will have the following four main roles:-

deciding how resources delegated to them should be used locally;
influencing the way in which County Council services are tailored to meet local needs;
monitoring the performance of County Council services locally; and
engaging with the community and arguing their case with Surrey County Council.


M.9 In relation to highways and transportation issues, it is proposed that each Area Committee would have a budget of 100,000 to spend on local highways improvements. However, the Area Committees would have the ability to vire resources between different services. The local Area Committee would make decisions currently made by Waverley PATS, such as Traffic Regulation Orders, variations to Rights of Way and decisions on the design of highway schemes.

M.10 In addition, the Area Committee would review the Annual Maintenance Plan and would influence local priorities for implementation of the Surrey Local Transport Plan. The Area Committee would have a monitoring role and would be able to compare performance with that in other districts, for example in relation to data on accidents, traffic flows, bus passenger use etc. There is also a suggestion that it could have a possible right of “call in” for defined categories of planning application dealt with by Surrey.

M.11 Members have received a copy of the County Council’s consultation paper, which summarises political representation on the proposed Area Committees and their relationship with District Councils. For information, these details are set out in Annexe 8 of this report.

M.12 The original consultation in respect of the County Council’s Best Value Review of Local Highway Services has now been overtaken by events. It is no longer an option to continue with the existing Partnership Area Transportation Committee model. Although the County Council is carrying out consultation in respect of its proposals for Area Committees, it is clear that the decision has already been taken to go ahead with the changes spelt out in the ‘People First’ document. Consultation is now focused on the details of Area Committees and the extent of District Council involvement rather than on the principle of introducing the new structure.

M.13 At this stage of the process, it is considered that the most appropriate role of this Committee would be to form a view on the main principles relating to partnership work with Surrey County Council on highways and transportation issues, together with any specific comments on the operation of Area Committees. The matters to be considered are:

c) Are there any particular comments that should be conveyed to the County Council about the operation of the Area Committee in relation to highways matters?

M.14 A formal response to the County Council’s consultation paper ‘Establishing Area Committees’, had been sent in advance of the consideration of this report by the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee. This identified that members were supportive of the area proposals, on the basis that they would like to maintain a culture in line with the current Waverley PAT process. However they did not wish to devolve budgets to bring additional resources to the Surrey Area Committees, although this position might be reviewed at an appropriate time in the future.

M.15 Your Committee, having also considered this matter,

N. CAR PARKING – PAY-ON-DEPARTURE TRIAL
[Wards Affected: All]

N.1 The Council manages 35 off-street car parks of which 24 are operated, in whole or in part, on a Pay and Display (P&D) basis. The remaining car parks are either dedicated to contract parking or are free to users. P&D operation requires the customer to pre-select the length of parking time required and make payment for that period on arrival in the car park. Charging periods range between 45 minutes and 10 hours, in one hour increments after the first period.

N.2 P&D is the most efficient and economic method of charging for parking time in the small and medium sized car parks which Waverley operates. A small number of simple, low cost, secure, ticket dispensing machines which can be located in any convenient area of each car park is the only hardware required. The machines accept coinage only to secure strong boxes, the contents of which can only be
N.3 Experience has shown that a very effective enforcement operation can be maintained by a very small number of peripatetic patrol attendants who can effectively monitor parking violations throughout the four main centres of Waverley by constantly varying random patrols. A significant income to the parking revenue account is generated by the Excess Charge Notices (ECN's) issued for parking violations. This income continues to increase, year on year, following the increased diligence of the Council's parking contractor and the more determined rejection of spurious appeals. Cash collection is a simple safe and secure operation. The coinage is not accessible to the collectors.

N.4 The income to the parking revenue account in the year ending 31st March 2001 was 2.13 million. The cost of the patrolling, enforcement and cash collection in the 27 fee paying car parks, which is contracted to Sureway Parking Services Limited was 180,000 for year ending 31st March 2001. The in-house operational staff managing the whole car park operation is 3.2 full time equivalent employees. Support staff to the operation is 1.9 full time equivalent.

N.5 The majority of the car parks have multiple ticket dispensing machines. Isolated machine failures may inconvenience customers who may need to walk further to the nearest functioning machine but do not affect the revenue income of that car park. Only major power failures which extend beyond the battery back-up period would result in significant loss of income.

N.6 Many customers find P&D convenient, fair and manageable. However, there is a perception, particularly by some traders, that, in an effort to buy just sufficient parking time, and not to sacrifice too much unexpired parking time, their customers are deterred from lingering in the shopping areas which limits their purchasing activities. P&D is very convenient for long-stay parkers who are more able to predict their time of return to the car park. However, shopping and town centre social activity is often motivated by impulse and the length of stay at hairdressers, dentists and doctors for instance, is often difficult to predict. Customers must either be constantly mindful of the expiry time of their P&D ticket or must purchase more parking time than might normally be needed. Shoppers in particular, therefore, would prefer a payment system which removes this constraint on their town centre activities and would be seen to be fairer. In practice, however, the parking tariffs take account of the element of 'over-purchase' of parking time. If all of our parking customers used their full entitlement of the ticket time purchased there would be a reduced turn-over of spaces in the car park and tariffs would need to increase to generate the same revenue.

N.7 Many users of the Council's car parks are accustomed to Pay-on-Departure (PoD) systems in major town centres, airports and major event venues where the number of paid spaces can support the infrastructure and staffing necessary for its management. Smaller car parks which operate on this basis will normally be managed in conjunction with larger multi-storey car parks nearby. Many major town
N.8 All Pay-on-Departure (PoD) systems require that entry to the car park be controlled by an automatic barrier which issues a ticket recording the time of entry. Departure is barred by an automatic exit barrier which can be activated, depending on the system adopted;

Pay-On-Foot

The driver, upon returning to the car park, visits an automated pay station located close to the pedestrian entry point to the car park and inserts the ticket received on entry. The parking fee calculated on the time of stay, is displayed by the pay station and upon payment of the amount due, the ticket is automatically validated. This will then activate the barrier when it is inserted into the card reader at the exit. The number of pay stations required will depend on the transaction demand, the physical size of the car park, and the number of pedestrian entry points. Normally at least two pay stations will be required to prevent queuing and to allow flexibility in the case of breakdown, damage, coin-jams or other difficulties.

As customers will not always have the precise payment due in coins and bank notes, and are otherwise trapped in the car park, pay stations must normally have provision for giving change and receiving bank notes. Credit and debit card systems are now also available but add to the cost of the pay stations and result in longer transaction times.

Pay on Exit

The driver will return to his car and drive to the exit barrier where the ticket received on entry may either be presented to an attendant in the kiosk or will need to be inserted into a ticket reader. With the manned system the attendant will advise the payment due and will perform the cash transaction and activate the barrier. With the unmanned system the payment due will be displayed and the driver must insert the fee into the exit pay station to activate the barrier. The exit pay station can give change or accept other forms of payment but adds to its cost and adds to delays at the car park exit.

N.9 All of Waverley's off-street car parks, except South Street, Farnham, are surface car parks, not decked. The majority of our town centre car parks, where the demand for alternative payment systems is greatest, have been inherited or acquired on a piece-meal basis and are encumbered by numerous agreements and prescriptive rights which give access over or through them to a multitude of third parties. The introduction of entry and exit barriers will restrict many of these rights. Where those third parties are resident or regulars, pass cards which activate the barriers can be issued. However, preventing their misuse would not be practicable.

N.10 P&D systems normally only require single traffic lanes for entry and exit as there is no physical constraint on traffic movements and no opportunities for obstruction by drivers dropping or misplacing tickets, or payment, or being confused by barrier operating mechanisms. Barrier controls require reservoirs to be provided for vehicles to wait without affecting the internal operation of the car park or traffic flows on the
N.11 Pay-on-Foot and Pay-at-Exit machines need to offer change-giving facilities which need cash replenishment. They will also need to contain sufficient change at the commencement of each charging period, unlike P&D machines which are emptied at the end of every charging day. There is accordingly the increased risk associated with cash handling and the risk of forced entry in the knowledge that the machines will contain an amount of change at all times. Alternatively the machines will need to be replenished before the start of each charging period. There are cost and operating implications of this. If a manned Pay-on-Exit system is adopted there is some security risk to cash handing by the car park personnel and their vulnerability to attack. More labour intensive monitoring and auditing systems would need to be introduced. Change-giving machines have a high capital cost and increased maintenance requirements.

N.12 Both Pay-on-Exit and Pay-on-Departure systems controlled by automatic barriers require a permanent staff presence to deal with equipment malfunctions and to assist members of the public, as well as providing a security presence. This requirement is strongly emphasised by JMP who are specialist consultants in this field. A percentage of drivers will have problems with the equipment or will have lost or damaged their tickets, will have insufficient cash for the payment required, or have vehicle failures at the entry or exit barrier. A 'help' button must be provided which can summon assistance within a few minutes. Unlike P&D systems, any problems with the entry barriers will make the car park inaccessible and problems at the exits will result in vehicles being trapped.

N.13 Regardless of the daily charging period, pay on departure barriers will need to be in operation for an extended period of the day. If the barriers were operated only from 08.00 hours until 18.00 hours, in common with the current P&D charging period, long-stay parkers would be able to arrive at any time and leave at any time after 18.00 hours without payment. Motorists arriving before 08.00 hours would not have a ticket recording their entry time and would therefore need to pay the maximum charge to exit, in common with those who have lost their tickets. The barriers will therefore need to be in operation from at least 07.00 hours to 20.00 hours to receive payment from the majority of parkers. They would need to be in operation, and therefore attended, for 24 hrs a day to guarantee payment by all users. Residents and other long stay users would still be able to leave their cars for extended periods without charge, provided they exited the car park outside of these periods. All the time the barriers are in operation an attendant must be available to be summoned. Charging is in operation six days a week. At least two full-time operatives will therefore need to be employed to cover the operating period. Holidays and lunch cover would also be needed.

N.14 The Council's 27 fee-paying and 13 free car parks are very effectively monitored and policed by four peripatetic car park attendants and two part-time cash collectors, under a contract let to Sureway Parking Services, in the sum of 180,000 per annum. The cost of staffing one Pay-on-Departure car park is estimated to be 45,000 per annum. There will be increased staff costs associated with the management and monitoring of the more complex and more prone-to-failure pay-on-departure machinery. There will be additional costs in the monitoring and auditing of cash recharging operations.

N.15 P&D parking is regarded as an 'honour' system where payment is on trust, subject to the risk of penalty in the form of an excess charge notice (ECN). In practice, revenue is lost both due to non or under payment for time parked and as a result of tickets with unexpired parking time being transferred between motorists. There is also over-payment for time not used due to early return.

N.16 The revenue advantage of pay on departure systems is that all time used is paid for. There remains an element of over-payment of unused time as tickets are sold, typically, in one hour increments. The Consultant's report, the conclusions of which are reproduced at paragraph N.19 below, suggests that P&D systems collect payment for 60-80% of the time actually parked, even with high enforcement levels. Where exit is contingent upon payment this should rise, in theory, to 100% but due to fraud, barrier breakage, 'tail-gating' and breakdowns 90% is more realistic.

N.17 Conversion from P&D to Pay-on-Departure would generate greater payments but over purchase would largely be eliminated. It is estimated that a 10% increase in revenue would be achievable. However, income from ECN's would also be eliminated and this generates a significant income. Where car parks operate close to their capacity there would also be a revenue effect from the loss of the spaces needed for the construction of the twin-stream exits and vehicle queuing areas.

N.18 The principal demand for alternative payment systems is from shoppers and traders and therefore the trial should be undertaken in a town centre car park. The operating constraints require that it be a car park which has the minimum of shared use by third party users gaining access to private property, and the minimum number of pedestrian entrances/exits. The security implications of change giving machines or cashier systems would be best addressed by a car park which can be monitored by closed-circuit television. It is proposed therefore, that a trial pay on exit system be introduced, into a Farnham town centre car park.

N.19 Transportation specialists, JMP Consultants, were engaged to carry out a feasibility study into the alternative payment options to pay and display. The car park chosen, as typical of a Waverley town centre car park, for their study was Crown Court, Godalming, as this was previously identified for a trial and much of the statistical information was more readily available. Crown Court is now considered unsuitable due to the number of third party accesses and the absence of cctv surveillance. The study's conclusions are summarised below with particular reference to Crown Court but would be equally applicable to any similar sized car park in Waverley.

Study Conclusions

N.20 Budget quotations have been sought from parking equipment suppliers for the provision of duplicate entry and exit controls and Pay-on-Foot machines, with coin, bank note and change-giving facilities, complete with electronic management systems. The budget cost is 65,000.

N.21. The civil engineering accommodation works to construct the necessary entry and exit lanes, secure sites for the equipment, weather-proof housings for the payment machines, the cabling and communication systems is estimated to be 25,000. Capital salary costs for the design, tendering and supervision of the works is estimated to be 10,000. (Total capital cost 100,000).

N.22 The table below shows the annual income for a typical Farnham town centre car park to year ending 30th March 2000:
N.23 The cost of patrolling such a car park on a basis pro rata to the number of chargeable spaces throughout the Borough is 9,000. However, with just four patrol attendants to cover the remaining 26 P&D car parks, savings on patrol costs would be minimal.

N.24 The Consultant estimates that the increase in revenue by the introduction of Pay-on-Departure, which eliminates non-payment for parking, would be approximately 10%, i.e. 10,150. The loss of ECN income would be approximately 7,500. Seven parking spaces would be lost in construction of the entry and exit lanes and barrier control. The average income per space in this car park is 618 per annum, i.e. 4,326 for the seven spaces. There is accordingly no net revenue income gain in conversion to pay on departure.

N.25 The cost of permanent attendance on site and additional cash handling procedures is estimated to be 45,000 per annum. There will be additional management, monitoring and auditing required by the Council at an estimated cost of 5,000 per annum. The net revenue cost of conversion to Pay-on-Departure is therefore estimated to be 50,000 per annum.

N.26 There are proven advantages both in economic terms and in ease of management and maintenance in charging for parking space on a Pay and Display basis, particularly in the modest size of car parks in Waverley Borough. The year on year increase in parking revenue, despite the short term (shopper) parking charge being frozen, regardless of inflation, for the last four years, demonstrates that the popularity of the car parks continues to grow. There are significant capital and revenue cost implications in the adoption of alternative payment systems. However, there is a perception by shoppers and particularly by traders that pay and display charging is inequitable and militates against shoppers freedom and peace of mind and thereby constrains their spending activities in our town centres. In response to public demand therefore the Council has committed, in its car parking strategy, to reviewing the payment system and to considering the introduction of a pay on departure trial.

N.27 Many Waverley town centre car parks are ill-suited to payment systems controlled by barriers, due to the lack of unencumbered possession of the sites. It is unlikely, therefore, that if the proposed trial was successful, the system would be an achievable option for many other car parks.

N.28 Pay-on-Foot has the advantage that the cash transaction takes place before returning to the car and to exit the car park requires only the insertion of a validated ticket in a barrier ticket reader. This reduces the delays occasioned by the searching for coinage whilst other motorists await their turn to exit.

N.29 The additional income from Pay-on-Departure resulting from longer stays and the elimination of non-payment will not compensate for the loss of income from Excess Charge Notices and loss of spaces. The cost of managing this payment system is estimated to be 50,000 per annum.

N.30 Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that

O. CHRISTMAS PARKING CONCESSIONS
[Wards Affected: N/A]

O.1 Since 1992, the Council has provided free all-day parking in all of its pay-and-display car parks, for two consecutive Saturdays in December, for free pre-Christmas shopping purposes. The dates were chosen in consultation with the Chambers of Trade and Commerce, but at their request, normally excluded the Saturday immediately prior to Christmas. The reasoning was that the majority of shoppers would need little incentive to meet their (last-minute) shopping needs locally on that day. It was argued that, on the preceding Saturdays, customers would be more likely to seek the greater variety of shopping facilities outside of the borough and that any incentive to change that temptation would benefit the local trading vitality.

O.2 The review of public spending priorities, in January of this year in the budget-making process, resulted in the recommendation to remove this concession. This was agreed by the Environment and Planning Committee on 23rd January 2001 and subsequently endorsed by the Policy and Resources Committee and Council.

O.3 An informal petition protesting against this move was subsequently presented to the Council by the Godalming and District Chamber of Trade. Other traders and shoppers throughout Waverley expressed their disappointment at this decision.

O.4 As a result of numerous approaches from the Waverley business community and listening to individual business people it would be clearly advantageous to them to have a period of free car parking prior to Christmas. They believe that free car parking attracts shoppers to the towns.

O.5 It is planned to conduct a survey of car park usage prior to Christmas and the opportunity to compare paid car parking with free car parking is thought to be advantageous to the survey and will give Waverley a good indication of usage prior to Christmas.

O.6 It is thought to be advantageous to the business community in Waverley to grant two periods of free car parking on the two Saturday afternoons prior to Christmas. The cost of this operation within the current climate indicates a very small loss of revenue.

O.7 It is proposed that free parking be provided in all of the pay-and-display car parks on two Saturday afternoons in December this year, on 15th and 22nd December between the hours of 2.00 p.m, and 6.00 p.m. To have the maximum effect, parking concessions need to be well publicised, easily understood by locals and visitors alike and simple to implement. There are 75 pay-and-display tariff boards and machines distributed across the 27 car parks in the four main population centres.

O.8 The operational advantage of free parking all-day is that it can be implemented by covering each P & D machine with a hood bearing a pre-prepared notice indicating free parking on that day. The disadvantage of free all-day parking is that it may encourage some shop staff, residents and other long-term parkers, some of whom may be travelling outside of the Borough by public transport, to use the town-centre
O.9 The proposal for free parking after 2.00 p.m. on the two Saturdays preceding Christmas largely overcomes the problem described in the preceding paragraph. However, it requires more resources to put into effect and consequently has additional costs. It is also less easily understood by the public. It is impracticable to cover over each of the 75 machines across the borough at or within a reasonable period after 2.00 p.m. on each of the relevant days. This proposal would, therefore, require widespread and clear publicity and notices affixed to each tariff board and machine which would need to be in place from before 15th to after 22nd December.

O.10 The total daily pay-and-display income from the off-street car parks is currently running at 7,500. The daily income from Excess Charge Notices is approximately 600. The advertising, printing and signing costs for last year’s concession was 1,800. The total cost of one whole day of free park, or its equivalent, is therefore approximately 10,000.

O.11 The cost of four hours free parking in a ten hour charging period is difficult to determine definitively, but on the basis that the large majority of customers on a Saturday park between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. i.e. an eight hour period, it is estimated that four hours of free parking might result in a reduction of 50% or more in daily income. As the number of enforcement patrols would be half of that on a normal Saturday, the number of ECN’s issued is estimated to be 50% of normal. The additional signing of two free afternoons is estimated to result in advertising, printing and signing costs of up to 2,000.

Summary of Estimated Costs – Two Half Days Free Parking O.12 Your Committee has agreed that


O.13 Your Committee also

RECOMMENDS that

83. a further supplementary estimate of 5,100 to cover the proposed concession on 22nd December be approved.

P. HOUSING AND COUNCIL TAX BENEFIT – ANTI-FRAUD STRATEGY AND PROSECUTION POLICY
[Wards Affected: N/A]

P.1 For many years local authorities have been under a statutory duty to administer two national benefits – Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit – which assist claimants to meet their housing costs. With that duty has come the responsibility to ensure that the public funds awarded are fairly calculated and paid, and that potentially fraudulent claims are investigated. Where abuse is found appropriate action should be taken to stop it and prevent its recurrence.

P.2. The environment of local authorities anti-fraud work is changing and the Government are looking for local authorities to be much more pro-active in preventing fraud entering the system in the first instance, and then taking tougher action, including prosecutions, against offenders when found. In order to encourage and foster this approach the Government have introduced new measures and a change to the fraud subsidy arrangements from next April. In order to ensure that local authorities are complying with these requirements, the Government has also introduced the Benefits Fraud Inspectorate (BFI) which is charged with visiting every local authority at least once in a 5 year period.

P.3 The measures that have been introduced aim to tighten the procedures and raise standards of administration across the country. To achieve this, a range of procedures, which are collectively known as the Verification Framework (VF), have been introduced to make it harder for individuals to make a fraudulent claim in the first instance. These include:

Claimants having to prove their identity and provide a National Insurance Number.

Only original documents can be entered as evidence to support any claim.

All claims must be assessed and classified within designated “risk” categories. These categories then dictate when that claim is to be reviewed.

Certain new claims (those designated as the highest risk) must be visited within 8 weeks of the claim being made.

All other claims are subject to a series of in-claim postal checks and visits in order to ensure continuing entitlement to the benefits being paid. Again these are linked to the risk group categories.


P.4 Waverley is committed to implementing VF and a number of new procedures have already been introduced, e.g. a new combined claim form, proof of identity, asking for original documents, etc and it is planned that the Council becomes fully VF compliant by 31st March 2002. The Government is providing funds for local authorities, by way of additional annual subsidy, to adopt VF. The indication is that for Waverley, these will be a one-off contribution of 29,290 towards the set-up costs and 56,677 towards the continuing costs, although a further announcement is due from the DWP in the next few weeks. A further report on the cost of implementing VF and the increased level of subsidy that will be due to Waverley will be submitted to your Committee as soon as the revised funding arrangement is known.

P.5 Alongside the VF initiative, the Government is expecting local authorities to be tougher on those claimants who are then found to have made fraudulent claims. To encourage this they have legislation that increases and simplifies the range of offences committed in making a fraudulent claim, including the imposition of an “administrative penalty” (a form of fine) where an offence is admitted but it is not felt appropriate to actually prosecute. It is also expected that action will be taken against offenders to pursue repayment of any fraudulent claims.

P.6 This is one of the key areas that any BFI inspection will concentrate on and, in addition, the Government has introduced a Best Value Performance Indicator (BVPI76) asking whether the authority has introduced a written and pro-active strategy for combating fraud and error that embraces specified initiatives. An authority will be required to show that it:

has clear Policy Statements;

has detailed frameworks and arrangements for the investigation of suspect cases;

has clearly defined decision making processes for determining further action after detection;

will rigorously pursue and prosecute offenders where appropriate;

will recover any overpayments detected; and

will arrange for suitable publicity of the culture and reporting of action taken against offenders.

P.7 The first step in creating this new culture is for the Council to adopt an “Anti-Fraud Strategy” and “Prosecution Statement”. The proposed strategy and statement are set out at Annexe 9 to this report. The intention is to send a clear warning of the intent of the Council to take strong and positive action against detected offenders.

P.8 The current investigation team within the Finance Department is required, under the revised measures, to carry out all investigations to a higher standard, automatically preparing a case file and proceeding with their investigation as if a prosecution will be undertaken as a conclusion. Whilst it is not intended to prosecute every offender, case files and investigations will have to be carried out under the strict requirements of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and the Rules of Evidence in order that the Council’s position and ability to take a prosecution, where appropriate,
P.9 As the Best Value Performance Indicator requires that the Council has a written and pro-active strategy for combating fraud and error in place by 31st December in each year, it is proposed that the strategy and Statement, as set out in the Annexe, is adopted by the Council. A further report on the administrative processes and other procedural changes that will be introduced to ensure that the appropriate action is taken in each case, together with details of the costs and funding arrangements (including procedural and resource implications for all relevant areas of the Council), will be submitted to a future meeting of your Committee. Some amendments or additions to the strategy may be required when these further implications have been fully analysed.

P.10 Your Committee has agreed that a further report on the changes to the administrative processes and procedures, together with the funding details required as a result of implementing Verification Framework be submitted to the Committee at the earliest opportunity. Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that

84. the Anti-Fraud Strategy and Prosecution Policy, as set out in Annexe 9 to this report, be formally adopted by the Council.

Background Papers (DoF)

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

Q. KILNFIELDS REGENERATION SCHEME
[Ward Affected: Haslemere North and Grayswood]

Q.1 Your Committee has considered the regeneration project for the Kilnfields Estate in Haslemere at each of its meetings covered by this report. Kilnfields (and the adjacent playing field bungalows) comprises 47 dwellings built mainly in the 1920’s. There are currently eight owner-occupiers left on the estate with the remaining properties being in Council ownership.

Q.2 In 1988, a survey was carried out with a view to instigating a major refurbishment programme to bring all the properties up to modern-day standards. However, a feasibility study carried out in 1999 indicated that a redevelopment programme could replace the existing Council and owner-occupied properties and produce a further 31 properties, 20 of which could be used for social housing.

Q.3 The resultant layout plan provided for a new estate of 78 dwellings, 36 of which would replace the existing Council dwellings, with 20 being developed by a partner Housing Association for shared ownership with the balance being built for owner/occupiers.

Q.4 After consultation with the project advisors, Airey Miller Partnerships, the report presented to the meeting on 13th November advocated that the procurement of the Kilnfields redevelopment project could best be served by a partnering approach.


Q.5 Although the actual building of the units could be carried out using a traditional design and build contract, the preparation of the design, price, specification and liaison with the residents would need to be done in consultation and partnership with a skilled and committed contracting firm. To achieve this, it is necessary to appoint the contractor at the beginning of the project preparation.

Q.6 The report also set out the process carried out for the recruitment of the preferred contracting partner.

Q.7 After the original advertisement, the 20 applications received were received to five for interview. The interviewing panel consisted of the Director of Housing, two representatives from Airey Miller Partnership (The Project Advisors), the Project Leader from the Housing Department and a representative from Waverley’s Audit Section.

Q.8 The contractor’s approach was then assessed on the following criteria:-

Q.9 The names of the contractors who scored the highest marks are contained in (Exempt) Annexe 10 to this report.

Q.10 At the meeting on 13th November, your Committee agreed that:-

Q.11 The redevelopment of Kilnfields is a major scheme for Waverley Borough Council as it involves the building of social housing, shared ownership and owner-occupiers properties as well as houses for sale. It also involves the rebuilding of a leisure property and the landscaping of a central recreation ground.

Q.12 It is extremely important that the successful contractor partner is able to perform several roles and following a presentation at the meeting on 4th December by the two firms who scored highest at interview to undertake this project, your Committee

RECOMMENDS that

85. a pre-Contract development agreement be entered into with the preferred contractor, as shown in (Exempt) Annexe 10, to work up detailed proposals in accordance with the advice of the Project Advisor, the costs of such works to be borne from the revised HRA 2001/02 Capital Programme provision of 200,000.

Background Papers (DoH)

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

Background Papers

The background papers relating to the following report items in Parts II and III are as specified in the agenda for the meetings of your Committee.

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

R. PROPOSED AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN CRANLEIGH
[Ward Affected: Cranleigh East]

R.1 Your Committee has considered a comprehensive report on proposals for an affordable housing development in Cranleigh and has received the views and recommendations put forward by the Joint Corporate and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 1st November when Members discussed the merits of taking the proposals further given the level of housing need in Cranleigh.

R.2 Your Committee has been advised that officers have been working with Downland Housing Group, which already owns property for rent in Cranleigh to work up plans for the proposed development adjacent to Wyphurst Road. Downland is one of the Council’s preferred RSL partners for operating in the Cranleigh area. Downland has entered into a ‘partnering arrangement’ (in line with the Egan Report) with Osborne Housing, who are builders with a good track record of providing affordable housing in partnership with RSLs. Downland would expect Osborne Housing to be the development partner in connection with this scheme, should it proceed.

R.3 The current proposal is for 47 dwellings:-

13 x 2-bedroom houses
11 x 3-bedroom houses
2 x 4-bedroom houses
5 x 2-bedroom bungalows
10 x 1-bedroom flats
6 x 2-bedroom flats

R.4 The scheme is intended to help meet the needs of people who are local to the village of Cranleigh. It would be expected that were a planning application to be approved, it would contain a Section 106 planning condition that the dwellings would be made available to people with a local connection.

R.5 It is considered that there should be a mixture of dwellings for rent and for shared-ownership in order to meet a range of local housing needs, particularly those who currently are overcrowded in small shared-ownership properties because family composition has changed.

R.6 It is expected that the Housing Corporation would provide funding to the RSL to finance the scheme.

R.7 Waverley controls the proposed access to the site and in line with previous authorities, the Council has entered into a conditional contract to purchase the site (the Council would acquire 12 acres of land, of which 3 acres would be used initially for development and the remaining 9 acres retained for agricultural use). Under this conditional contract, the Council and the owner have agreed that the transfer of the site to the Council would take place, subject to the granting of detailed planning permission for the proposed development. Should a planning application be unsuccessful, the Council would expect to recover the deposit, together with interest. Should the Council determine not to proceed at this stage, it is possible that the vendor would expect to retain the deposit.

R.8 The Local Plan shows the whole of the land the subject of this proposal to be outside the developed area of Cranleigh. The land forms part of the Rural Area beyond the Green Belt and the planning policy for such areas provides a presumption against residential development. It follows that any planning application to develop this land with housing will constitute a major departure from the Development Plan. Section 54A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requires that:-

"Where in making any determination under the Planning Acts, regard is to be had to the development plan (i.e. the Structure and Local Plan) the determination shall be made in accordance with the Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise."

R.9 Clearly, the need for affordable housing and any special opportunity which this proposal may offer to achieve affordable housing will be an important material consideration that the Council will wish to take into account in its Development Control role in considering whether it is prepared to permit a development which would represent a major departure from the Development Plan.

R.10 In addition to the principle of a conflict with Development Plan policy, the Council would need to consider the environmental implications of development and the views of local residents. Other issues which would need to be considered include the implications of additional traffic on the local residential road network; the need to deal with any other infrastructure implications, e.g. water supply, foul and surface water drainage (both on and off-site) and the loss of agricultural land.

R.11 By way of opening the debate with local people, a Public Consultation Exhibition was held at the Cranleigh Arts Centre in October when there was a mixed response to the proposals, although few questioned the need for affordable housing.


R.12 Officers, and the Joint Corporate and Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee, consider there is a strong housing case to be made for an exception to planning policy in the Cranleigh area and that there is merit in progressing the proposal further.

R.13 Your Committee, having heard these views, has agreed that:-

1. there is a need for affordable housing in Cranleigh to warrant pursuing this project further;

2. it is appropriate for the Council as Housing Authority to support New Downland Housing Association’s proposals in respect of land adjacent to Wyphurst Road, Cranleigh;

3. the financial and land transactions, in accordance with the proposed recommendation as set out in the (Exempt) Annexe to the agenda report, be approved, subject to planning permission being obtained;

4. the cost of any off-site works, which may be a requirement of the Planning Authority, be met by New Downland Housing Association; and

5. the remaining nine acres of land be leased or licensed for agricultural purposes, subject to appropriate legal safeguards in the best interests of the Council.

S. BUDGET STRATEGY 2002/2003
[Wards Affected: All]

[The informal meeting of the Council was to debate this matter further on 13th December in light of the RSG settlement for 2002/2003, announced late on the afternoon of 4th December when the Committee met in the evening].

S.1 General Fund

Your Committee has given consideration to the Council's overall budget provision. Reports giving the current position on the draft Revenue Estimates and draft Capital Programme for the General Fund have been circulated to all members.

Your Committee has agreed that:

S.2 Housing Revenue Account

Your Committee has given consideration to a report which sets out the draft 2002/2003 and the revised 2001/2002 HRA and LA SHG Capital Programmes and the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Revised Revenue Estimates for 2001/2002 and draft Revenue Estimates for 2002/2003. The report (circulated to all members) also shows the overall position on the HRA in light of the Government’s new subsidy arrangements and the effect this will have on Council house rents next year.

Your Committee has agreed that:
PART III – Brief Summaries of other Matters Dealt with

T. APPOINTMENTS TO OUTSIDE BODIES
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that:-

1. consideration of the appointment of a Council representative to serve on the Corporation of Godalming College be deferred; and

2. Mr P D Harmer be the Waverley nominee to serve as Surrey Local Government Association representative on the South East England Cultural Consortium.


U. FOUR MONTH ROLLING PROGRAMME
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered and approved at each of its meetings the four month Rolling Programme of Key Decisions.

V. REPLACEMENT PLANNING COMPUTER SYSTEM
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a report on the proposed upgrading of the planning computer system and has agreed that:-

1. the letting of the contract to supply a development control system, associated software and services to the company and at the cost referred to in (Exempt) Annexe 1 to the agenda report, be approved; and

2. the purchase of a file server at the cost detailed in (Exempt) Annexe 1 to the report, be approved.

W. COMMUNAL TELEVISION AERIAL SYSTEMS
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a report on the outcome of a tendering exercise to select consultants to carry out a survey of communal aerials within the Council owned stock with a view to future updating or replacement. It has agreed that:-

1. the tender submitted by the firm referred to in (Exempt) Annexe 1 to the agenda report, for carrying out a survey of communal television aerials owned by Waverley Borough Council, be accepted; and

2. the cost of this work be met from within the existing budget set out in the capital programme.

X. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOSTEL – SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT
[Wards Affected: All]

The Council has agreed to work in conjunction with Guildford Borough Council and Mole Valley District Council, together with a Registered Social Landlord, to enable the development of a Refuge for Victims of Domestic Violence. Your Committee has now considered a report dealing with the formal (contractual) Service Level Agreement for the scheme and has authorised the Director of Housing to enter into such Agreement prepared by Guildford Borough Council in respect of the Domestic Violence Refuge, the other parties being Waverley Borough Council, Mole Valley District Council and the Registered Social Landlord concerned.

Y. HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT PLANNED MAINTENANCE 2001/2002 – ELECTRICAL REWIRING CONTRACT
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that the tender identified in (Exempt) Annexe 1 to the agenda report, for the electrical rewiring programme that forms part of the approved Housing Revenue Account Planned Maintenance programme for 2001/2002, be accepted and that the additional costs be contained within the approved HRA Programmed Maintenance (MRA) budget provision for 2001/2002.

Z. PLANNED MAINTENANCE 2001/2002 – VEHICULAR ACCESS AND PARKING IN HASCOMBE
[Wards Affected: Busbridge, Hambledon and Hascombe]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter at each of its meetings and has agreed that the ‘grasscrete’ proposal, as described in the Director of Housing’s presentation, be pursued at the estimated cost indicated, to be met from within the approved HRA Planned Maintenance Budget for 2001/2002. To facilitate this, it has agreed that a first resolution be made in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992 to allow a planning application to be made and, subject planning permission being obtained, tenders be sought for the work.

AA. HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT PLANNED MAINTENANCE 2001/2002 – REPLACEMENT HEATING TO A DWELLING AT HASCOMBE
[Wards Affected: Busbridge,
Hascombe and Hambledon]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that:-

1. approval be given to the installation of a liquid petroleum gas fired central heating and hot water system at the dwelling referred to in (Exempt) Annexe 1 to the report, at the estimated cost identified, this to be contained within the approved HRA Programmed Maintenance (MRA) budget provision for 2001/2002; and

2. in accordance with Regulation 3 of the Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992, a planning application be submitted to site a liquid petroleum gas storage tank at the dwelling in question.

BB. A3 THURSLEY JUNCTION SLIP ROADS AND SIDE ROADS ORDERS
[Wards Affected: Elstead, Peper
Harow and Thursley; Witley]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that:-

1. subject to the deletion of all words between “SSSI” and “The Side Roads Order” in the third bullet point of the agenda report, the comments in paragraph 19 of the report be endorsed as the views of this Council;

2. the Highways Agency be requested to review priority at the junction of the slip road off the A3 southbound carriageway with the French Lane link road; and

3. the Director of Planning and Development be authorised to respond to the Highways Agency in the light of any additional comments and/or amendments made by the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 14th November 2001, unless such amendments materially change the position.

CC. HISTORIC BUILDINGS GRANT APPLICATION – BRICK WALL AND FRIEZE, LYTHE HILL PARK, HASLEMERE
[Ward Affected: Haslemere South]

Your Committee, having considered a report on this matter, has agreed that:-

1. a grant of 1,500 be offered to the Lythe Hill Park Management Company for the preparation of a specification of works required to the gateway, wall and frieze at Lythe Hill Park, Haslemere, and the subsequent implementation of the necessary repairs, the cost to be met from the 2001/2002 Historic Buildings Grant budget; and

2. the grant be paid on completion of the work to the satisfaction of Waverley’s Historic Buildings Officer.

DD. PLANNING SERVICES SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered a report referring to the organisational changes proposed to the Planning Service. It has agreed that a Planning Services Special Interest Group (SIG) be set up to oversee and shadow the changes currently the subject of a consultation process, and to consider other service issues as may be required in connection with the development of the Service Plan. The membership of the SIG is as follows:-

Mr M W Byham Mr D G Kinsella
Mrs C Craig Mrs J M Mansley
Mr D H Darbishire Mrs A Mugford
Mr B A Ellis Dr R A Thomas

EE. REPORT FROM GODALMING LEISURE NEEDS SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
[Wards Affected: All Godalming Wards]

Your Committee has considered the proposals suggested by the Godalming Leisure Needs Special Interest Group in order to address Godalming’s Leisure Needs and has agreed that:-

1. the draft master plan, including all options prepared by Parklife Ltd, be the basis for consultation with interested parties;

2. the outcome of those consultations be reported back to the Godalming Leisure Needs Special Interest Group by the end of November; and

3. officers report back to the SIG on the potential approach(es) for procuring any capital assets related to this project.

FF. REPORT FROM MEMBER/TENANTS’ SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has received a report from the Member/Tenants’ Special Interest Group and has agreed that:-

1. in respect of the Waverley Tenant Participation Compact, tenders be invited from specialist consultants to prepare the Compact, building on the information which already exists, and involving the Tenants’ Panel in the preparation of and evaluation of such tenders; and

2. with regard to Council owned garages, the procedure outlined in paragraph B.10 of the agenda report for the management and planning for major works to garage areas be approved.

GG. ACTION TAKEN BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Your Committee has noted the decisions taken by the Chief Executive, after the appropriate Member consultation, as set out in the Agenda for its meetings.

HH. HOUSING SERVICE : EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES MONITORING
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has endorsed a report summarising the Housing Authority’s duty to promote equality of opportunity and to provide monitoring information about housing applications in 2000/2001 in relation to race, gender and disability.

II. OTHER MONITORING REPORTS

Your Committee has noted latest monitoring reports with regard to:-

(i) Mortgage Arrears; and

(ii) Cash Collection and Write-Offs.

JJ. SECURITY IN WAVERLEY CAR PARKS
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and the attached (Exempt) Annexe 11 sets out the Committee’s decisions.

KK. A DROP-IN CENTRE FOR FARNHAM
[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]

Your Committee has considered a report on the potential for providing a drop-in centre for young people in Farnham. It has agreed that

LL. MONITORING OFFICER – PROTOCOL AND UPDATE
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that in order to provide a framework for the Council's Monitoring Officer to discharge the functions of the post:


MM. EXCEPTION TO STANDING ORDERS (CONTRACTS)
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered a report outlining the circumstances by which officers in an emergency situation, had effectively waived Standing Orders (Contracts) in order to commission urgent works to a privately owned house in Farnham (which the Council leased for use as temporary accommodation for the homeless) to be carried out by a certain date. Your Committee accepts that the action taken by the Director of Housing was the right one in order to minimise the Council's risks and costs and to protect its reputation and preserve confidence in the private sector leasing scheme. Accordingly it has endorsed such action.

NN. CRONDALL LANE, FARNHAM – AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT – REVISED LA SHG REQUIREMENT
[Wards Affected: Farnham Castle]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter which refers to an earlier decision to dispose of a small parcel of Council owned land at the junction of Waynflete Lane and Crondall Lane in Farnham to enable the development of four one-bed flats for single young people. It has now agreed that an additional 43,803 be identified within the General Fund LA SHG Capital Programme to enable Surrey Community Development Trust to develop the site in question.

OO. Legal and Land Charges Best Value Review - Progress on Action Plan
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that:

PP. Progress Report on Best Value Action Plan for Facilities Management
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has agreed that the progress on the Best Value Action Plan for Facilities Management be noted.

QQ. Best Value in Housing: Proposed Changes to the Programme of Fundamental Service Reviews
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that:-
RR. MEALS-ON-WHEELS BEST VALUE REVIEW - PROGRESS ON ACTION PLAN
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that the draft Meals-on-Wheels Eligibility Criteria, as outlined in the report, be adopted.

SS. PROGRESS REPORT ON BEST VALUE ACTION PLAN FOR DISABLED ADAPTATIONS TO THE COUNCIL’S HOUSING STOCK
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that:

1. the draft Policy and Criteria as set out in the report, be approved, subject to consultation by Officers with tenants and stakeholders;

2. the results of consultation with Tenants and Stakeholders on the draft Policy and Criteria be brought back to the Executive Committee for finalisation in January/February 2002;

4. the Director of Housing be authorised to seek tenders for a specialised Measured Term Contract i.e. a single tendering exercise based on a schedule of rates for a specific period of time, for the installation of "flush floor showers" and other minor works and that the Measured Term Contract be entered into for a three year period, subject to annual performance reviews from 1st April 2002; and

5. the preventative approach to disabled adaptations be supported and that the Haslemere Bathing Assessment Service quotation for the extension of the service for Council tenants at a cost of 10,390 per annum, be accepted.

TT. HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT - PLANNED MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENTS TO THE HOUSING STOCK - YEARS 2-5
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that:

1. the proposals for a programme of works over the next four years to deal with the high priority Backlog Repairs, as identified by the recent Housing Stock Condition Survey, be adopted (subject to available resources) following further consultation as required by the Best Value regime; and

2. the working surplus of resources, currently standing at 220,000 within the current year’s expenditure, be utilised for Disabled Adaptations.

UU. MATCHED FUNDING PROVISION: ROUND 5 APPLICATIONS 2002/2003
[Wards Affected: N/A]
VV. SPONSORED ORGANISATION SCHEME: FUNDING APPLICATIONS 2002/03
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has decided that, in the light of the Government's provisional Revenue Support Grant Settlement for 2002/2003, announced on the same day as the Executive meeting on 4th December, consideration of both these matters be deferred to enable the officers to submit further reports.


WW. NEW TELEPHONE SYSTEM – VOICEMAIL FACILITY

[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that the Xpressions voicemail system be purchased at a cost of 8,500, to be accommodated within the overall 2001/2002 Capital Programme provision of 120,000 for Information Management.

XX. TREASURY MANAGEMENT - BORROWING AND INVESTMENT TRANSACTIONS AND PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has received and accepted a report on the borrowing and investment transactions for the half year period 1st April 2001 to 30th September 2001 and the return on the Council's investments for the same period.

YY. REPRESENTATION ON THE BOARD OF FIRST STEP HOUSING COMPANY
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that Mrs C Cockburn, Mr H Denningberg and Mr J H Wootton be nominated to serve on the Board of First Step Housing Company and that the period of office extends to May 2003, after which the Council will have the opportunity to renew its representation.

ZZ. SALARY NEGOTIATIONS
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has been advised that salary negotiations are continuing.

AAA. THE WHARF DEPOT AND KEY SITE, GODALMING
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has received a report on this matter ((Exempt) Appendix HH to the Agenda for its meeting on 4th December) and has agreed that the action taken by the officers be endorsed and that a further report be made in the New Year.

BBB. APPLICATIONS FOR RATE RELIEF
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter ((Exempt) Appendix II to the agenda for its meeting on 4th December) and has endorsed the recommendations contained in the report.