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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Council held on 24/04/2007
Minutes of the Executive 27/3/07



Executive 247
27.03.07
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE – 27TH MARCH 2007

SUBMITTED TO THE COUNCIL MEETING – 24TH APRIL 2007

(To be read in conjunction with the Agenda for the Meeting)

*
Miss G B W Ferguson (Chairman)
*
Mr C H Mansell
*
Mrs C E Savage (Vice-Chairman)
*
Mr K T Reed
*
Mr S D Edge
*
Mr J E Robini
*
Mr B Grainger-Jones
*
Mr V K Scrivens
*
Mr P Haveron
* Present
Mr R J Gates and Mr D C Inman were also present

270. MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 6th March 2007 were confirmed and signed.

271. DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

The following members declared personal interests in the Community Partnerships Fund item (Agenda Item 8):-

Mr J E Robini Waverley representative for Haslemere Museum

272. QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

In accordance with Procedure Rule 10, the following question was received from Mr J Hyman of Farnham:-

“With up to 200 million worth of developments 'on hold' in Farnham, I am sure you'll agree that it is important that the Council approaches the Habitats Directive appropriately. There are challenges that must be addressed:

The Executive Portfolio Holder for Planning and Major Developments replied as follows:-

“Your question falls into three parts. I shall deal with each part separately:
PART I – RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNCIL

273. COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS FUND - APPLICATIONS FOR 2007/2008 (Agenda Item 8; Appendix D)

273.1 The purpose of this item is to consider the applications submitted to the Community Partnerships Fund for 2007/08, including the Community Buildings Grant Scheme applications for 2007/08, and to recommend the level of grant for each organisation to the Council.

273.2 The total Community Partnerships Fund allocation for 2007/08 is 300,000; of which 260,000 is available for the main bidding round and 40,000 is available for the small grants applications which are considered throughout the year. An unallocated balance of 33,254 has also been brought forward from the 2006/07 funding round. The total funding requested in the main bidding round for 2007/08 is 343,510. Members may wish to leave an amount aside again for urgent applications that arise during the year.

273.3 A total of 16 applications to the Community Partnerships Fund were received requesting grants of 269,368. A further three applications were received under the Community Buildings Grant Scheme for 2007/08 requesting grants totalling 38,842. In addition, Waverley’s commitment to funding the Sandy Hill Community Action Project and the Implementation of the Action Plan for the Cranleigh and Haslemere Healthchecks also needs to be met from the 260,000 available.

273.4 A list of all the applications is included at Annexe 1. For each application the total project costs and the grant requested are provided, together with the level of any grant recommended (high priority, medium priority or not recommended). To assist Members in considering the bids, applications are presented in the table by geographical area under the relevant Community Strategy theme to show how the projects contribute to the Strategy.
273.5 Waverley’s Matched-Funding Provision was established in 1998 with the aim to ‘maximise the opportunities for generating funds from external sources both by proactively seeking partnerships with outside organisations and by reacting to requests from outside bodies’. A comprehensive review of the scheme was undertaken in 2003 to ensure that the grant scheme continues to meet the Council’s priorities and to reflect the new Community Strategy aims and action plan.

273.6 In 2006, the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed that an in-depth review of the Community Partnerships Fund criteria should be carried out. A Sub-Committee was established in the Autumn and the findings were endorsed by the Executive on 5th December 2006. In December 2006 Members approved the criteria and timetable for the 2007/08 bidding round. The closing date for applications was 7th February 2007. Applicants will be notified of the results after the Council meeting on 24th April 2007. 273.7 Officers have assessed each application against the approved grant criteria. Details of each application and a summary of the assessment are included in Annexe 2.

273.8 In carrying out their detailed review of the Community Partnerships Fund in the Autumn, the Sub-Committee considered the Community Partnerships Fund criteria, the process undertaken when assessing grant applications and carried out a comparison of Waverley’s scheme with other authorities. The Sub-Committee’s recommendations, endorsed by the Executive, have been implemented in the 2007/08 bidding round.

273.9 In December, the Executive agreed to continue the Area Partnership Groups’ involvement in assisting with grant assessments in 2007/08. The Area Partnership Groups consist of representatives from Town and Parish Councils and voluntary organisations. Each group has considered the applications within their geographical area and provided an assessment based on local knowledge. The outcome of this assessment is included in the table attached at Annexe 1. The Area Partnership Groups completed full assessments of each application in their area and their reports can be sent to members on request.

273.10 Each application has been assessed on the degree to which the project meets the following key criteria:

PARTNERSHIP - The project has been developed in partnership with local communities and with appropriate local, regional or national organisations; COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT - The project demonstrates community participation and consultation to determine support for the project; COMMUNITY NEEDS - The project meets a clearly identified need within Waverley and will benefit Waverley residents; COMMUNITY BENEFIT - Projects that provide a clear community benefit particularly those that benefit communities in greatest need will be given priority; PARTNERSHIP FUNDING – the level of partnership funding from either local efforts, or regional or national grant-giving organisations will be considered; WAVERLEY’S PRIORITIES – Projects that meet Waverley’s priorities and Community Strategy objectives, including community and parish plans.

273.11 In December, the Executive agreed two priorities for the 2007/08 bidding round, namely:

projects which improve opportunities for children and younger people; and
projects which support and provide services and facilities which enable older people to live their lives to the full may be given priority over other types of projects. Members may also wish to consider the geographical spread of projects within Waverley, and the balance of different types of projects under each of the Community Strategy themes.

273.12 The approved criteria specifically state that ongoing running costs, such as salaries, insurance etc. are not eligible for grant from the Community Partnership Fund. However, where these costs are part of a one-off project, particularly projects that will bring long-term benefits to an organisation, the Council can consider awarding funding. Only projects that fall within Waverley’s area of responsibility are eligible. Applications for projects within schools or churches can be eligible provided that there is a wider community benefit and involvement in the project.

Implementation of Action Plan for the Cranleigh and Haslemere Healthchecks 273.13 Waverley worked with the Cranleigh and Haslemere Initiatives in developing funding bids to the former Countryside Agency to undertake Market Town Healthchecks in each community. The Healthchecks and first stage of the implementation of the projects were supported through the Community Partnerships Fund in 2004/05 with a grant of 15,000.

273.14 The first phase of the implementation of the Action Plans concluded in March 2006. The second phase of the implementation started in the Spring of 2006 and the Co-ordinators’ posts were extended for a further two years in order to continue to deliver the Action Plan agreed as part of the Healthchecks.

273.15 The Council approved, on 25th October 2005, the continued employment of the two part-time Co-ordinators and approval was given for 15,000 (7,500 per annum towards the budgeted costs of 20,000 per annum for each post) to be allocated from the Community Partnerships Fund in 2006/07 and 2007/08. Officers are seeking matched-funding of the same value from Cranleigh Parish Council and Haslemere Town Council towards the posts.

Community Building Grants Scheme 273.16 The Council has previously participated in the Surrey-wide Community Buildings Grants Scheme and has administered applications received in accordance with Councils’ Community Partnerships Fund.

273.17 The Grant Scheme is based on funding for approved projects of one third from the Borough & District Councils, one-third from Surrey County Council and one-third from the organisation. The Grant Scheme is managed by the Village Halls Advisor at Surrey Community Action who undertakes the promotion of the Scheme and administers and assesses the applications for Surrey County Council. Copies of the application forms are supplied to the Borough and District Councils who undertake their own assessments and make recommendations to Surrey County Council in preparation for their consideration of all the applications within Surrey.


273.18 Three applications requesting funding in 2007/08 were received under the Community Buildings Grants Scheme. These have been assessed and the recommended grants are tabled in Annexe 1 for information. The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered these Community Buildings Grants Scheme applications on 12th March 2007.

273.19 In addition to the three projects, Surrey Community Action has requested a contribution of 2,000 in 2007/08 towards the costs of 27,000 for the Village and Community Halls Adviser post. Surrey County Council will provide funding of 9,000 with a request of 2,000 from each Borough Council.

273.20 The loss of Countryside Agency grant has led to a deficit of 8,000 in the total budget for the post in 2007/08. Surrey County Council funding has decreased from 10,000 to 9,000 in 2007/08; therefore, Surrey Community Action has requested that all participating authorities increase their contributions from 1,000 to 2,000 in 2007/08.

273.21 In addition to administering the grant scheme, the post-holder also provides a number of key support services to Village Halls and Community Buildings in Waverley. The key benefits include: Ongoing training and briefings to topical subjects to groups of village hall/community buildings management committee members/trustees; One to one advice and support to individual halls via telephone and personal visits on issues such as legislation and regulations, recruiting committee members, finance and maintenance.

273.22 With regard to Cranleigh Baptist Church, officers recommended a grant of 15,000 to match the amount being offered by Surrey County Council. At the Executive, members agreed to recommend the full 20,000 requested because of the improved community facility for the elderly and young people, in line with the priorities for the scheme set out in paragraph 273.11.

Funding Allocation

273.23 The total Community Partnerships Fund allocation for 2007/08 is 300,000 including Community Buildings Grants Schemes and 40,000 for the small grants scheme. In addition a balance of 33,254 is available from last year’s allocation which is explained below.

273.24 When the Council agreed the funding for the 2006/07 round, Members agreed to leave the unallocated balance of 33,254 to fund high priority projects that may emerge during 2006/07. No enquiries to support urgent projects were received during the year. However, Members did indicate that it would welcome an application from the Hambledon Football Club for their new changing room project, provided that certain additional information was provided. An application has now been received and officers have suggested that Members consider it alongside the main round for 2007/08 but have regard to the recognition given to this project previously.

273.25 The total Community Partnership funding requested by all the applicants is 269,368, with additional requests of 38,842 under the Community Buildings Grant Scheme. In addition, Waverley is committed to funding the Sandy Hill Community Action project and the Implementation of the Action Plans for the Cranleigh and Haslemere Healthchecks. The total funding requests for 2007/08 are 338,815 compared to a total amount available of 293,254.

273.26 It is recommended that all High Priority schemes are awarded funding in accordance with the schedule in Annexe 1. There are three applications where officers are recommending an award of grant, subject to further information being received.

273.27 In accordance with the current agreed practice, it is proposed to ring-fence any unallocated balance from the 2007/08 available amount for urgent high priority schemes that may emerge during the year.

273.28 A summary of the proposed funding allocations for 2007/08 is set out below:

      2007-08 Funding allocation for main bidding round
260,000
      Balance available from previous years
33,254
      Total funding available
293,254
      Implementation of the Action Plans for the Cranleigh and Haslemere Healthchecks
15,000
      Sandy Hill Community Action Project
14,460
      Total funding available after existing commitments
263,794
      Community Partnerships Fund - Officer
      Recommended High Priority projects (See Annexe 1)
166,640
      Community Buildings Grants (see Annexe 1)
38,842
      AMOUNT REMAINING FOR URGENT SCHEMES *
58,312
Timetable for Future Rounds

273.29 In future years, it is the intention for the date for the final award of Community Partnerships Fund grants to revert back to the February Executive and Council meetings. This will enable Members to consider this alongside the overall capital programme and it will meet Surrey County Council’s timetable for the award of Community Buildings grants. Currently, Surrey County Council delay their timetable for Waverley’s approval date. Officers will reflect this in the draft timetable submitted to Members in the Autumn.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee Observations

273.30 The Community and Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committees considered this report at their meetings in March and agreed to pass the following observations to the Executive:-

Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee

273.31 Members were reminded of the review undertaken last autumn by the Community Partnerships Fund Review Sub-Committee of the Grants Criteria and noted that the main conclusions and findings were included in the criteria for this bidding round. The Committee also noted the positive effect that funding had had on the applications within its remit, especially at Sandy Hill, Farnham.

Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee

273.32 With regard to Haslemere Museum, the Committee noted that an in-depth review was being undertaken and that it would be appropriate to give consideration to possible further funding of the Museum beyond the recommended sum once the review had been completed.

273.33 Members agreed to recommend to the Executive that it would be appropriate for the Community Partnership Fund criteria to be reviewed to look particularly at climate change and environmental issues. It was suggested that the Waste Management and Climate Change Special Interest Group could undertake this review.

273.34 The Executive

RECOMMENDS that

174. approval be given to the recommended high priority grants under the Community Partnerships Fund for 2007/08, as detailed in Annexe 1, totalling 196,100, subject to the conditions of grant being met by each applicant;
Background Papers (DoF)

Community Partnerships Fund and Community Buildings Grant Scheme applications for 2007/2008.

274. ANNUAL REVIEW OF FINANCIAL REGULATIONS AND CONTRACT PROCEDURE RULES (Agenda Item 9; Appendix E)

274.1 In February 2003, the Council approved a major revision of Waverley’s Financial Regulations (FRs) and Contract Procedure Rules (CPRs). Officers undertook to review the adequacy of these documents each year and report back to Members, along with any proposed changes. Consequently annual reviews have taken place, and the most recent approved changes came into effect on the 1st April 2006.

274.2 The consequence of having held an annual review since 2003 is that the number of changes that are now recommended in any one year is low. It is important that the annual review is continued in order to ensure that the Council’s rules are kept up-to-date and relevant. They form a central part of the internal control environment, and thus have a direct relevance to the Statement on Internal Control.

274.3 The proposed changes to the FRs are detailed in Annexe 3 and the proposed changes to the CPRs are shown in Annexe 4. The changes are highlighted by underlining new text and crossing through existing text where a deletion is proposed.

274.4 The changes to CPRs reflect the Council’s statutory responsibilities in respect of continuity planning and seek to address clauses where officers have identified potential for misunderstanding or misuse.


274.5 As approved in February 2003, in addition to these changes, the main financial thresholds in the Contract Procedure Rules are increased by the Retail Price Index each year and then all limits, including those in the Financial Regulations, will be reviewed every five years. The amounts will increase by 4.2% (rounded) with effect from 1st April 2007.

274.6 Following approval by the Council, a full updated set of both documents will be sent to all members to update their copy of the Members’ Handbook. All officers will be notified that the updated documents are held on the intranet and appropriate training will be offered to officers in 2007/08. Additionally, the revised CPRs will be amalgamated with some notes providing practical guidance, which have been prepared by the Director of Finance, so that officers only need to refer to one document.

274.7 The Executive

RECOMMENDS that

Background Papers (DoF)

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

275. LOCAL GOVERNMENT PENSION SCHEME - EARLY RETIREMENT, COMPENSATION AND SEVERANCE POLICY (Agenda Item 12; Appendix H)

[Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972: this item contains exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded. The information is as specified in paragraph 1 of the revised Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely:-

Information relating to any individual.]

275.1 Since 1976, local authorities have had powers available to them to make discretionary payments to employees whose employment has been terminated early either on grounds of redundancy or in the interest of the efficient exercise of the employing Council’s functions. 275.2 These Regulations do not apply to employees whose employment is terminated early on health grounds for which there are separate, non-discretionary, provisions. Further, the Government has now published draft Regulations on a ‘new look’ Local Government Pension Scheme (the [Draft] Local Government Pension Scheme (Benefits, Membership and Contributions) Regulations 2007 the provisions of which, when agreed, are is due to come into effect from 1st April 2008. As written, these Regulations may have implications for the Council’s early retirement, compensation and severance policy.

275.3 Up to this recent change, the discretionary powers were consolidated into the Local Government (Early Termination of Employment) (Discretionary Compensation) (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 – known of as the DCR.

275.4 In summary, the key powers available have been to:-

Remove the statutory weekly pay ceiling, under the Employment Rights Act 1996, for calculating redundancy payments (currently 290 a week); Award added years of pensionable service on top of the employee’s actual pensionable service, in the case of those whose services are terminated on redundancy or efficiency grounds and who are between the ages of 50 years and 65 years (and whose earned pensionable service is less than 40 years). Award a one-off lump sum of up to 66 weeks’ pay (inclusive of the statutory redundancy provision) based on a service and age-related formula for employees below the age of 50 years and/or not a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). 275.5 The Council has had a policy statement in respect of its application of these policies. In summary, these provided for: -

a. In cases of redundancy:-

compensation up to the maximum permissible (up to 66 weeks’ pay inclusive of not in addition to the statutory redundancy provisions); compensation to be paid on actual weekly earnings; for staff aged over 50 years, immediate access to pension benefits plus compensatory added years (of pensionable service), normally up to 6 2/3rd years (subject to age and length of service) but potentially up to 10 years (subject to age and length of service) but any period in excess of 6 2/3rd would result in a reduction in the redundancy (effectively it would give the employee greater pension and a lower lump sum).

b. In cases of efficiency:-

As above but, for staff aged over the age of 50 years who had immediate access to pension benefits, a more flexible arrangement based upon each case on its merits with, in particular, compensatory added years being wholly discretionary. The Council’s policy on discretionary payments on early termination of employment has the effect of being a condition of service for staff.

275.6 The Government believed it to be necessary to revoke the DCR 2000 in order to comply with the age-related provisions of the European Employment Directive which have been implemented in the UK through the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 which came into force on 1st October 2006.

275.7 Those DCR provisions have age and length of service considerations that the Government has concluded would be discriminatory in a way that could not be objectively justified.

275.8 In summary these new Regulations:-

Retain the discretionary power to waive the statutory weekly pay ceiling when calculating redundancy payments; Remove the powers to award added years of pensionable service on early retirement (see below in relation to augmenting pensionable service); and Provide a new discretionary power to make a one-off lump sum payment of up to, but not exceeding, two years’ pay (104 weeks). This would be inclusive of, not in addition to, the statutory redundancy payment.

275.9 The amount of the payment would not be based upon a pre-determined age or on a service-related formula. Instead the employing authority would have the discretion to decide, within 6 months of the employee’s date of termination, to make a lump sum payment of up to a maximum of 104 weeks’ pay.

275.10 Local authorities will continue to have, by virtue of Regulation 52 of the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations 1997, the discretionary power to augment an employee’s local government pension through the award, at any time during active membership of the LGPS, of an additional period of membership. This represents a cost to the employing authority. However, unlike the (former) DCR which limited the scope to award added years to those over the age of 50 years and only on early retirement, this discretionary power can be applied to a member of staff of any age and at any time, whilst in employment with the local authority, thereby avoiding the potential of age discrimination.

275.11 The Regulations came into force on 29th November 2006 and have retrospective effect from 1st October 2006. However, the Regulations also contain transitional provisions to the end of 2006/07 financial year. These mean that the employer can choose either to use the DCR (the 2000 Regulations) or the new 2006 Regulations for a person whose employment with them commenced before 1st October 2006 and whose termination date is on or after 1st October 2006 and before 1st April 2007.

275.12 After 31st March 2007, the DCR (2000) will no longer apply and Waverley now needs to adopt a policy under the new Regulations. In the event of any early terminations by Waverley on grounds of redundancy or efficiency, the application of either of the compensation Regulations would be so as not to disadvantage the employee.

275.13 The new Regulations provide that, when formulating this policy, a local government employer must: -

Have regard to the extent to which the exercise of their discretionary powers in accordance with the policy, unless properly limited, could lead to a serious loss of confidence in the public service; and Be satisfied that the policy is workable, affordable and reasonable having regard to foreseeable cost.

275.14 Also, it is critical, given the basis under which these Regulations have been introduced, to adopt a policy that would not be subject to challenge on the grounds of age discrimination. However, it is noted that the Government has deemed that, with the removal of lower and upper age limits in terms of entitlements to statutory redundancy payments, the existing formula for statutory redundancy payments of age and service would be permitted under the EU Directive on Age, i.e. as set out in Regulation 33 of the Age Discrimination Regulations.

275.15 Specifically, the statutory entitlement to a redundancy payment, although the lower and upper age limits are now removed, would still be calculated as: -

0.5 week’s pay for each year of service under the age of 22 years; rising to: - 1 week’s pay for each year of service between age 22 and 41 years; rising to: - 1.5 weeks’ pay for each year of service over age 41 years.

275.16 The calculation is limited to a maximum of 20 years service, i.e. the maximum statutory redundancy payment is 30 weeks’ pay (20 years service x 1.5 weeks’ pay).

275.17 Finally, it is relevant to recognise that the existing policy, of which only limited use has been made in Waverley since 1999, has been necessary and very effective in: -

supporting organisational change; achieving change in a cost neutral way; and maintaining good employee relations.

275.18 In changing the policy to reflect the new Regulations, so far as is reasonably possible, the new policy should ensure that the above outcomes are maintained. To that end, in formulating the policy, the views of Staff Representatives should be taken into account. The potential for new LGPS Regulations being agreed some time in 2007 that may impact on the Council’s early retirement and severance arrangements creates uncertainty, in both parties, on the best way forward.

275.19 One particular issue that has existed under the DRC 2000 where age has been a material consideration, is the ‘cliff’ that appears between severance at age 49 years and below, and those at 50+ (soon to rise to 55+). The severance payment has been calculated in the same way in both cases but the employee at age 50+ has also had immediate access to pension benefits. In seeking to avoid age discrimination in applying this policy, the opportunity should be taken to smooth out this significant difference.

275.20 Up to now, the DCR have made no distinction between cases of redundancy and cases of efficiency although the application of the DCR in Waverley, based on limited experience, has been to exercise the maximum discretion in cases of redundancy but to deal with efficiency cases on an ‘each case on its merits’ basis. It is felt that, under the new Regulations, there should be a clear distinction between redundancy cases and efficiency cases.

275.21 The following proposals are put forward;

REDUNDANCY

EFFICIENCY CASES

275.22 Although the Council could continue not to make a formal distinction between redundancy and efficiency cases in respect of compensation, the legal protection that the Government says that Regulation 33 of the Age Discrimination Regulations affords to cases of redundancy will not apply to efficiency cases. The linking of compensation cases in efficiency cases to age and service would need to be objectively justified. This may prove problematic, and it is therefore considered that to reduce legal challenge, and to give the Council the flexibility to deal with individual cases, each case of termination on grounds of efficiency should be treated on its merits. (This accords with the Audit Commission’s overall approach to compensation payments generally.) 275.23 It is therefore felt that in efficiency cases consideration should be given to making a one-off payment, based on the merits of each individual case. This, if paid at all, should not exceed what would be paid in redundancy cases, i.e. subject to a normal upper limit of 66 weeks’ pay. However, it is felt that, for exceptional cases, the potential to pay up to the maximum permitted under the new regulations (i.e. 104 weeks’ pay calculated on a sum up to the employee’s actual week’s pay) should be retained. Factors to be taken into account in awarding compensation would include: -

Overall reasonableness, including benefits to the Council tax-payer by the employee leaving the Council’s service.
Direct financial savings to be incurred as a result of the employee leaving the Council’s service.
Employee relations considerations
The perceived consequential efficiencies in service delivery of the proposed termination
The likelihood that the employee will find alternative employment at a similar level.
Whether the employee is of an age that would enable immediate access to retirement benefits. 275.24 Employees who are members of the Local Government Pension Scheme would be given the option of converting compensation payments into additional pensionable service on a strictly cost-neutral basis, in accordance with the formula published by the Government.

275.25 Under Section 52 of 1997 Regulations, the total amount of augmented service that can be given cannot exceed the shorter of: -

6 2/3rd years; or

275.26 A statutory (non-enhanced) redundancy payment, but including the calculation of the payment based on actual weekly pay, can be paid in addition to the award of augmented service but enhanced payments cannot. Employing authorities that augment service have to pay the cost of so doing.

275.27 Waverley has decided against making use of the power to augment service and it is proposed to continue that approach on the grounds that it would be difficult to apply a consistent objectivity test and difficult to avoid an age discrimination challenge.

275.28 The Council needs to introduce a revised early retirement/severance policy by April 2007 without which it cannot take action in such cases. The draft ‘new look’ Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations may impact upon the application of the early retirement/severance policy.

275.29 Interim arrangements should be adopted pending adoption of the ‘new ‘look’ pension scheme. The revised policy should not be materially different from the existing policy to avoid a negative impact on the employee relations climate. The Council’s interim policy should, as far as it reasonably can, be free from challenge under age discrimination legislation. As such, the focus should be on service-related rather than age-related severance payments.
275.30 The agreed interim policy should be subject to consultation with Staff Side in the context of the revised Local Government Pension Scheme when adopted. The criteria of acceptability and affordability need to be met. With the above issues in mind, your officers consider that the option at paragraph 275.21 e. above would best meet the Council’s needs whilst maintaining the essence of the existing policy.

275.31 Specifically, your officers have concluded that: -

a. In redundancy cases:-

The period of redundancy pay should be capped at 66 weeks’ pay to maintain the existing maximum level of compensation;

In cases where the employee has immediate access to pension benefits, the capitalised cost of the employer’s decision to trigger in early payment, the amount of compensation paid should be reduced by the amount of the capitalised cost subject to the payment being calculated on not less than the statutory redundancy payment period (at maximum, 30 weeks);

To recognise the removal of the ability to grant compensatory added years to staff who are at an age at which they are eligible to receive immediate access to pension benefits on early retirement (at age 50+ or 55+ when the Regulations change), in exceptional cases, an additional lump sum may be paid subject to the total lump sum compensation not exceeding 104 weeks’ pay as provided for in the new DPR;

criteria to help identify what constitutes an exceptional case should be determined, after consultation with Staff Representatives, and put forward for agreement when the final version of Waverley's compensation arrangements are submitted for adoption.

b. In efficiency cases:-

Each case should be determined on its merits; compensation paid should not exceed the compensation that would have been paid in a case of redundancy.

275.32 The Executive agreed to two early retirement proposals, set out in an (Exempt) Annexe to the agenda report and also

RECOMMENDS that

Background Papers (MD)

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

276. AFFORDABLE HOUSING - SANDY HILL, FARNHAM (Agenda Item 19; Appendix O)

[Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972: this item contains exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded. The information is as specified in paragraph 3 of the revised Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely:-

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

276.1 The Council’s Housing Needs Register demonstrates a significant need for affordable housing, especially in the Farnham area. As at 7th February 2007, 2,215 households were seeking accommodation. 483 of these households indicated Upper Hale as one of their preferred areas for re-housing. 276.2 Supply is limited, with Waverley Borough Council owning 1,322 homes in Farnham (as of 1.4.06) and Registered Social Landlords owning some 752 homes. Of course, all these homes are occupied and it is not until a vacancy arises that a household from the Council’s Housing Needs Register can be re-housed in one of these dwellings.

276.3 Pavilion Housing Association intends to purchase six three bedroom houses on the Sandy Hill estate to let to people on the Council’s Housing Needs Register. According to the Council’s Housing Needs Register, (as of 6.2.07) 53 households have expressed an interest in a three-bedroom home in the Upper Hale area. The Council was only able to re-house 1 family into a three bedroom Council property in Upper Hale during 2005/6. 276.4 The only scheme for affordable housing with planning permission in the Farnham area is at Farnham Hospital, which includes 6 x 3 bed rented homes. Completion of these homes is still some way off. Therefore, the purchase and refurbishment of these six properties provides an opportunity which would enable an additional six families in housing need to be re-housed in the near future.

276.5 The properties will all be owned and managed by Pavilion Housing Association, who has an existing management presence in the local area. A charge of 104 pw rent will be charged for each of the six homes. This is within the Housing Corporation’s Target Rent Levels.

276.6 Pavilion Housing Association will be using private finance to help fund the development but requires 240,000 of subsidy to find the balance of the scheme.


276.7 The association has already approached the Housing Corporation for grant funding. Competition between associations for allocations is fierce, the programme is heavily over-subscribed and Pavilion’s bid was unsuccessful on this occasion. Pavilion has approached the Council for a grant of 240,000 in order to make this scheme financially viable. This works out at a subsidy from Waverley of 40,000 per rented unit, which is comparable to sums being awarded by the Housing Corporation and represents good value for money.

276.8 The sum of 240,000 can be met from capital provision held by the Council for supporting new affordable housing. 276.9 Historically, Waverley Borough Council had made available Local Authority Social Housing Grant and was reimbursed by the Housing Corporation for these grant payments to RSLs. The Local Government Act 2003 abolished this mechanism of reimbursement although under Section 25 of the Local Government Act 1988, Local Authorities can continue to give Social Housing Grant to Registered Social Landlords to achieve affordable housing provision. Pavilion Housing Association will fund cost over-runs and will return to the Council any underspend.

276.10 A contribution from the Council would support the refurbishment of 6 affordable family houses for rent, which will be available for local families in housing need. Combined with private finance, the project represents good value for money for the Council. Without subsidy, the homes will have to be provided as shared ownership, which will not go towards meeting the most pressing housing need in Farnham.

276.11 The Executive accordingly

RECOMMENDS that

181. a grant of 240,000 be made to Pavilion Housing Association to support the refurbishment of six properties on Sandy Hill, Farnham.

Background Papers (DoH)

Correspondence from Pavilion Housing Association.

277. SURREY PLANNING COLLABORATION PROJECT - CODE OF PRACTICE FOR SECTION 106 AGREEMENTS (Agenda Item 22; Appendix R)

277.1 This Code of Practice was prepared as part of the collaboration project amongst the 11 Surrey Districts and Surrey County Council. Its purpose is to set out common practice and procedures for capturing infrastructure improvements across the Surrey districts in accordance with adopted policies and recommended best practice. It is suggested that Districts will use it as an interim administrative measure and eventually incorporate the work into a Supplementary Planning Document.

277.2 The principal innovation is the codifying of certain infrastructure contributions for smaller ‘windfall’ schemes, e.g. up to 14 dwellings. Previously, these have escaped any charges in Surrey, resulting in a significant shortfall in potential contributions to public services. It is proposed that the Code of Practice be implemented from 1st July 2007. The report was considered by the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 13th March 2007 and its comments are set out below.

277.3 Both Government and the Audit Commission recommend the preparation of detailed planning policy on planning obligations. The latter audited a number of Councils and found that those without a detailed policy secured substantially fewer community benefits than others in similar circumstances.

277.4 The Surrey Collaboration Project was set up in 2006, and comprises a number of groups of officers and Members working under a series of subjects which it was recognised would benefit from joint working practices. As well as S106 Agreements, these include Local Development Frameworks, training, new guidance and legislation, enforcement services, conservation services and joint advice.

277.5 The issue of Section 106 Agreements was chosen because it was evident that the existing situation in Surrey is unsatisfactory, and does not follow current best practice. Very few authorities have any formal guidance on handling S106 contributions, and those that do relate mainly to larger developments. There are a vast number of smaller schemes that escape any contributions, despite cumulatively adding significantly to the population and the infrastructure burden.

277.6 Government advice in Circular 05/05 ‘Planning Obligations’ is that local planning authorities should include general policies about the principles and use of planning obligations in their new-style Development Plan Documents (the Local Development Framework). It adds that more detailed policies applying these principles ought then to be included in Supplementary Planning Documents.

277.7 It is likely that the revised Core Strategy will eventually include an appropriate general policy about the principles and use of S106 obligations. More detailed policies will be included in a stand alone ‘Planning Contributions’ SPD. It is likely that this will be produced before the Core Strategy, and will therefore be derived from the Local Plan Policy D14: Planning Benefits.

277.8 The collaboration project has produced the draft Code of Practice attached as Annexe 5 with the intention that this is brought into use at the earliest opportunity across the county. The current working assumption is that it will be used for all applications submitted after 1st July 2007.

277.9 Work has concentrated in three areas, starting with the development of formulae and standard charges for smaller developments (the 'tariff'). This is an innovation in Surrey and will capture contributions from those smaller schemes that make up the majority of housing and commercial applications.

277.10 Second, the simplification of the application procedure, using a flow chart and standard documents. This is important because the preparation of a S106 obligation has historically been a time consuming process, resulting in applications failing to meet the delivery grant targets. It is essential that the many smaller applications that will now be covered by S106 obligations continue to be dealt with quickly.

277.11 Finally, the development of a robust monitoring system, to ensure that funds are collected and then spent. At the time of writing there is still work to be done on this element, but it is anticipated it will be ready before first implementation of the code. A number of developers were consulted on the Draft Code at the end of 2006, but few comments received. It was considered that developers were expecting this practice to begin in Surrey as it has been in other South East districts, and that they would build the tariffs into their costs. Counsel’s advice has also been sought and incorporated into the Code of Practice.

277.12 Given that much of the content of the Code is administrative and is based on existing policy there is no reason why early implementation is not possible. However, Government advice is that such policy statements are best embedded in the LDF. As a result, taking into account the specific advice and recommendations in Circular 05/05, the best option is for it to be processed individually by each district and adopted as an Interim Supplementary Planning Document. In principle that can be done relatively quickly and it is not necessary to wait for the adoption of the emerging Core Strategy policies.

277.13 Further detailed recommendations will be made by the Collaboration working group on how this should be progressed in detail. The important task at this stage is to add the work to the current Local Development Scheme to allow the adoption process to move forward in accordance with the regulations.

277.14 The work to produce the final Code is still ongoing, and it is likely that further amendments or enhancements, with particular emphasis on avoidance will need to be made. It is anticipated that this will be achieved by 1st March. It is requested that these minor amendments may be delegated to officers.

277.15 Launch information will be prepared in April and districts will circulate this to stakeholders, regular applicants and prospective developers to alert them of the need to include the tariff payment in their cost calculations. It will also be displayed on the Council’s web site and attached to application packs. A similar note will need to be circulated to prospective beneficiaries to alert them to the commencement of an enhanced income stream. Both developers and beneficiaries will be involved in the statutory consultation as part of the SPD process and the code may need to be amended in the light of that before final adoption.

277.16 It is also anticipated that by 1st April the group will have provided a separate Tariff Justification document addressing the main principles and county tariffs, and this is seen to be particularly necessary in relation to the larger charges for education and highways. Each district will need to develop programmes for spending the smaller district tariffs, and will need to add their individual authority’s local tariff justification. 277.17 Details of the Tariffs and Monitoring Costs are set out in the attached Code. To summarise, the likely tariff levels currently proposed will result in a payment of about 8,000 per unit for a 2 bed flat and 11,500 for a 4-bed house. When fully operational there will be significant additional monitoring workload so a monitoring charge of 5% will be added. This would be likely to generate sufficient funds in each district to employ a dedicated S106 monitoring officer.

277.18 The Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered this report at its meeting on 13th March 2007. Members were concerned about transparency of accounting, particularly in respect of County issues such as highways and schools and were keen that monies raised would be spent on infrastructure in the villages/towns/wards where the development was situated. Officers confirmed that it was the aim for monies raised to go to specific local infrastructure and that how the collected monies were spent would be monitored. It was also confirmed that affordable housing would be excluded.

277.19 The Executive

RECOMMENDS that

Background Papers (DoPD)

Government Circular 05/2005; DCLG Planning Obligations: Practice Guidance; Audit Commission ‘Securing Benefits Through the Planning Process’.
PARTS II AND III – MATTERS OF 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 Executive.

Part II – Matters Reported in Detail for the Information of the Council

278. REPORT OF THE WASTE MANAGEMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP (Agenda Item 26; Appendix V)

The Waste Management and Climate Change SIG had met earlier in the day on 27th March 2007 and a summary note of its meeting was tabled.

RESOLVED that

4. the demonstrated recycling box lifting trolley be made available to residents on request at a cost equivalent to Waverley’s net cost plus any delivery costs, estimated at 11.75 plus delivery (50% reduction for residents in receipt of statutory means tested benefit) limited to one trolley per household;

5. officers be asked to investigate further the potential to increase the frequency of collections from the cardboard bring sites as well as the number of sites in the Borough and to report to the next meeting of the SIG. The SIG recommend that a sum of 80,000 be provisionally identified for this purpose, 70,000 from the balance of the 100,000 budget and 10,000 from the 2007/08 PEG budget;

6. officers further investigate, with partners, the implications and feasibility of introducing bio-diesel for refuse freighters, battery recycling and kitchen waste collection;


[Following the Executive meeting, this decision was called-in by four members of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The Committee will give consideration to the item at its meeting on 17th April 2007. If the Committee agrees to make any observations to the Executive, a special meeting of the Executive may be held in advance of the Council meeting on 24th April 2007].

Part III – Brief Summaries of Other Matters Dealt With

279. FOUR-MONTH ROLLING PROGRAMME (Agenda Item 5; Appendix A)
280. ANNUAL AUDIT AND INSPECTION LETTER (Agenda Item 6; Appendix B)

281. ARREARS WRITE-OFFS FOR DECISION (OVER 5,000) (Agenda Item 7; Appendix C)

RESOLVED that approval be given for the sum of 70,161.93 to be written-off.

282. MUSEUM OF FARNHAM GARDEN CLASSROOM (Agenda Item 10; Appendix F)

283. HASLEMERE LEARNING CENTRE (LIBRARY) SCHEME - PROGRESS REPORT (Agenda Item 11; Appendix G)

[Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972: this item contains exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded. The information is as specified in paragraph 3 of the revised Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely:-

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

RESOLVED that

1. the Executive welcomes the progress that is now being made on this important scheme which will provide significant benefits to the local community in and around Haslemere; and

2. Surrey County Council be requested to keep Haslemere Town Council and Waverley Borough Council involved in the progress and purpose of the layout of the proposed building.

284. GENDER EQUALITY SCHEME FOR WAVERLEY (Agenda Item 13; Appendix I)

RESOLVED that

1. the content of the report be noted;

285. EMERGENCY PLANNING: (BUSINESS) CONTINUITY PLANNING IN WAVERLEY - PROGRESS REPORT (Agenda Item 14; Appendix J)

[Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972: this item contains exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded. The information is as specified in paragraph 7 of the revised Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely:-

Information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime].

286. BEST VALUE AND LOCAL PERFORMANCE INDICATORS: REVIEW OF WAVERLEY’S PERFORMANCE AT Q3 (OCT - DEC) 2006/2007 (Agenda Item 15; Appendix K)

287. LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM UPDATE (Agenda Item 16; Appendix L)

RESOLVED that the Executive

2. re-affirms the Council’s commitment to working in partnership with any appropriate partners offering possibilities of savings and service improvement, and

288. ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY - MOVING FORWARD (Agenda Item 17; Appendix M)

RESOLVED that

289. DECENT HOMES STRATEGY (Agenda Item 18; Appendix N)

RESOLVED that

1. the Decent Homes Strategy be endorsed; and. 2. the revised Repairs and Maintenance Strategy Statement, as set out in Annexe 1 to the report, be approved.

290. FURTHER IMPROVEMENTS TO THE PLANNING SERVICE AND CHARGING FOR PLANNING SERVICES (Agenda Items 20 and 21; Appendices P and Q)

291. WAVERLEY BOROUGH LOCAL PLAN 2002 - APPLICATION TO EXTEND ‘SAVED’ POLICIES BEYOND THREE YEARS (Agenda Item 23; Appendix S)

This item was included in a separate minute to the Special Council meeting held on 28th March 2007 (Minute No. 268 refers).

292. REVIEW OF LOCAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEME PROCESSES (Agenda Item 24; Appendix T)

This item was included in a separate minute to the Special Council meeting held on 28th March 2007 (Minute No. 269 refers).


293. EASEMENT OF ACCESS TO PIPPINS, GUILDFORD ROAD, SHAMLEY GREEN (Agenda Item 25; Appendix U)

[Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972: this item contains exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded. The information is as specified in paragraph 3 of the revised Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, namely:-

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

294. EQUAL PAY (Agenda Item 27)

RESOLVED that the current situation regarding Equal Pay be noted.
The meeting commenced at 7.00 p.m. and concluded at 9.31 p.m.




Comms/exec/2006-07/349