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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 26/01/2004
Minutes




21
MINUTES of the MEETING of the CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE held on 26th January 2004

(To be read in conjunction with the agenda for the meeting)
*Mr P D Harmer (Chairman)*Mr D C Inman
*Mr M J D Allan (Vice-Chairman)*Mr P B Isherwood
*Mr M H W Band*Mrs S R Jacobs
*Capt P G Burden*Mrs A E Mansell
*Mr M A Clark*Mr M W Marshall
*Mrs C CockburnMr P S Rivers
Mr M A Edgington*Ms M Taylor
*Mr B A Ellis*Mr K Webster
Mr P Haveron
* Present
Mr M J Blower, Mr V Duckett and Mrs P N Mitchell attended as substitutes
Mr R J Gates and Mr A Taylor-Smith attended to speak on Agenda Item 8

57. MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 13th January 2004 were confirmed and signed.

58. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS (Agenda Item 2)

Apologies for absence were received from Mr M A Edgington, Mr P Haveron and Mr P S Rivers. Substituting at the meeting were Mr M J Blower, Mr V Duckett and Mrs P N Mitchell.

59. DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS (Agenda Item 3)

Mr M J Blower declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 8 regarding East Street as President of the Farnham Society.

60. EXECUTIVE FOUR-MONTH ROLLING PROGRAMME (Agenda Item 5; Appendix A)

RESOLVED that the Executive Four-Month Rolling Programme of key decisions be received.

61. COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME (Agenda Item 6)

The Committee received clarification that additional information was awaited with regard to the Gaming Bill and that as soon as practicable it would be made available to members. With regard to CPA and Best Value, an update was given which included details of a presentation and briefing to all Members of the Council which was due to take place on 24th February 2004, a letter relating to which was soon to be sent by the Leader of the Council.

RESOLVED that, subject to noting the updates, the Committee Work Programme be agreed.


62. REVIEW OF THE ROLE OF THE MAYOR (Agenda Item 7; Appendix B)

The Committee agreed that before taking any decisions on the future role of the Mayor, it was important to consult with the people of Waverley to evaluate what they believe the purpose and role of the Mayor should be.

The Committee therefore

RESOLVED that

1. the matter be included on the Committee's Work Programme as a review for this year and next;

2. a questionnaire be sent to Waverley residents through the Citizens' Panel seeking views on the purpose and role of the Mayor, with the questions to be included in the survey being considered by the Committee at its next meeting;

3. a separate questionnaire be sent to Members asking for their views on the function of the Mayor, and more specifically on the future provision of the Civic Dinner and Civic Day;

4. former Waverley Mayors be invited to attend a future meeting of the Committee in "Select Committee" mode;

5. former Mayors from elsewhere in Surrey be invited to submit any comments on their time as Mayor or to attend the Committee in person should they so wish; and

6. the Executive be recommended to give consideration to an appropriate budget for 2004/2005 which could be used to fund the Mayor's annual Volunteers Garden Party.

63. EAST STREET DEVELOPMENT – LANDOWNER SANCTION (Agenda Item 8; Appendix C)

During consideration of this item, at 8.13 p.m. the Committee

RESOLVED that, pursuant to Procedure Rule 20 and in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information (as defined by Section 100I of the Act) of the description specified in Paragraph 12 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely:-

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

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

(b) the determination of any matter affecting the authority;

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

At 8.14 p.m. the meeting was briefly adjourned whilst the press and public left the Chamber. The meeting reconvened, in exempt session, at 8.18 p.m. to receive legal advice from the Solicitor to the Council, and a copy of an exempt Counsel's opinion was tabled for the Committee.

The meeting resumed in open session, with the press and public present, at 8.59 p.m.

Having specifically requested members of the Committee representing Farnham wards to provide guidance on whether they believed that the Masterplan for East Street was acceptable to the people of Farnham, the following points were raised as elements of the scheme which the Committee considered should be changed:-

a. that an evaluation of the 30% affordable housing provision should be undertaken in accordance with the Borough Housing Strategy with a view to perhaps transferring some affordable housing to elsewhere in Farnham and the Borough, in exchange for some form of tariff;

b. that a reasonable reduction in the number of residential units, in the order of between 30 and 50, be sought, by the deletion of the residential block (D5) identified on the ground floor plan, for example;

c. that there may be merit in discussing with Crest Nicholson Sainsburys (CNS) the roofline, architectural appearance and height of buildings to give an indication of the potential impact on the area; and

d. greater consideration be given to access to and within the site for people not using cars, by way of improved transport infrastructure arrangements, possibly with the inclusion of a bus station.

The Committee also RESOLVED that the following observations be passed to the Executive, that:-

1. more information was required;

2. the Executive delays the granting of Landowner Sanction on the East Street Redevelopment Scheme in order to explore with the developers a scheme more in line with that which the people of Farnham want, even if this means a reduction in the currently proposed financial benefit to Waverley Borough Council, and brings the scheme back to the Committee in due course;

3. should the Executive be minded to concur with the proposal to delay the granting of landowner sanction, the Committee wished to ask the Executive to examine the points raised at a-d above with a view to using any additional time taken in the landowner sanction process to establish a position with CNS on those items;

4. officers re-examine the exempt nature of the annexe to the report containing the text of the Masterplan and release to the public those elements of the report which might be made available to the public, as soon as practicable; and

5. the exempt legal advice which was tabled at the meeting by the Solicitor to the Council be circulated to all Members of the Council.

64. CONTINUATION OF MEETING

During consideration of the above item, in accordance with Procedure Rule 9, at 9.50 p.m. the Chairman proposed and the Committee concurred with a half an hour extension to the meeting until 10.30 p.m.

65. ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE DELIVERY – LOCALITY OFFICES PROJECT (Agenda Item 9; Appendix D)

Due to time pressures at the meeting, the Committee was unable to make any observations to be passed to the Executive for consideration.

66. BEST VALUE AND LOCAL PERFOMANCE INDICATORS: REVIEW OF WAVERLEY'S PERFORMANCE WITHIN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF 2003/04 AND PROPOSED TARGETS FOR 2006/07 (Agenda Item 10; Appendix E)

Due to time pressures at the meeting, the Committee was unable to make any observations to be passed to the Executive for consideration.

67. WORK PROGRAMME – HASLEMERE LOCALITY OFFICE (Agenda Item 12)

RESOLVED that this item be deferred until the next meeting of the Committee.

The meeting concluded at 10.30 p.m.




Chairman


comms/o&s1/2003-04/056