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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 11/07/2006

Executive 79


(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-JonesMr V K Scrivens
*Mr P Haveron
* Present
Mr B A Ellis and Mr R J Gates also attended the meeting.

Mr A E B Taylor-Smith spoke on Agenda Items 21.
Mrs E Cable and Mr Taylor-Smith also spoke on Agenda Item 33.

60. MINUTES (Agenda Item 1)

The Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive held on 27th June 2006 were confirmed and signed.


Apologies for absence were received from Mrs C E Savage and Mr V K Scrivens.


Mr J E Robini declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 12, Appendix H, Police Restructuring. He remained in the Chamber during the consideration of this item.


Financial Strategy - Checkpoint (Agenda Item 6.1, Appendix B.1)
[Wards Affected: N/A]

63.1 The Council’s Financial Strategy was updated as part of the 2006/07 budget process. The 2005/06 draft final accounts have now been reported to Council and allow for initial consideration of the Financial Strategy for 2007/08 – 2009/10. The latest position will be presented to Members at the 2006 Finance Seminar in October 2006.

63.2 The Executive considered the current position of Waverley’s Medium Term Financial Strategy and current headline issues.

63.3 The Strategy draws out the following main issues that the Council will need to focus on:-

General Fund Revenue

The impact following the outcome of the tenants’ ballot
Council Tax Increase and capping criteria
Focus on Service Priorities
Underlying revenue deficit on General Fund
Additional Income
Maintaining service levels in planning when Planning Delivery Grant ceases and changes to the fee income regime
New General Fund service pressures Housing Revenue Account (HRA)

How to achieve Decent Homes following the outcome of the tenants’ballot
Identifying savings on the revenue account
Maintain Housing Revenue Account balance at 1m
Service levels
Rent levels

Selecting Priorities against resources in line with the agreed Corporate Strategy
Funding affordable housing
Maintaining and improving assets
Partnership Funding for 2008/09 onwards
Prudential Borrowing

63.4 The Council should agree its priorities for capital investment before moving on to the budget process. The proposed General Fund priorities are set out below.

Health & Safety
Disabled Facilities Grants
Disability Discrimination Act works
Maintaining Income Stream or reducing revenue costs
Maintaining Council Assets
Maintaining Services
Implementing Electronic Government initiatives to improve customer service
Farnham Maltings Grant
Partnership funding and other Service Developments*
*Officers will continue to seek additional sources of funding.

63.5 The Government encourages local authorities to consult on council tax levels. Members have included a budget of 10,000 in its 2006/07 budget for this purpose. However, given that the Government has limited local authorities’ opportunity to increase council tax beyond 5%, and the Council agreed on a low council tax increase of 2.4% in 2006/07 without making major changes to services, Officers asked the Executive to consider whether there was any merit in undertaking extensive consultation on council tax levels within this narrow range.

63.6 The Financial Strategy was agreed when the budget was approved in February and had a forecast General Fund balance of 1.1m at 31st March 2009 and a forecast Revenue Reserve of 1.0m at 31st March 2009. Since that time the draft final accounts have been completed and the forecast balances are now 2.0m and 1.6m respectively.

63.7 Officers confirmed that the reasons for the increased balance of 1.1m were reported to the Executive on 27th June. In summary the reasons were:-

Net underspend for 2005/06
Additional Housing Benefit Grant in 2005/06
Prior year adjustment for Housing Benefit in 2004/05
Total underspend
63.8 Whilst many elements of the predicted underspend in 2005/06 and the estimated additional Housing Benefit Grant were reflected in the 2006/07 budget, 110,000 of continuing savings arose since the budget was completed. This will be included in the 2006/07 Budget Monitoring Report and in the 2007/08 budget.

Revenue Reserve

63.9 The main reasons for the increase in the Revenue Reserve Fund balance of 0.6m reported on 27th June were:-

Local Authority Business Growth Incentive Grant (LABGI)
Interest on balances and capital receipts

63.10 LABGI was announced in February 2006 after the Executive recommended the 2006/07 council tax. Whilst LABGI is a 3 year grant, it is not known whether the Council will receive any grant in future years.

General Fund Pressures

63.11 Whilst the precise costs of many of the potential variations on the General Fund in the next 3 years are unknown it is useful at this stage of the year to give an early indication of the amounts of those items to help determine what strategy might be adopted for the 2007/08 budget and the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

Estimated Variations From 2006/07 Budget
Godalming Leisure Centre
Other leisure contracts
Abatement of capital expend
Alternative weekly saving
External Funding (2.7%, 2.5%, 2.5%)
Inflation (2.7%, 2.5%, 2.5%)
2005/06 Recurring underspends
PDG falling out
Other net service increase
HRA/General Fund salary allocations
2006-07 Variations
Concessionary Fares

63.12 The above estimates will be developed in the coming months, but for now represent a reasonable starting point against which the Medium Term Financial Strategy can be considered.

63.13 During 2006/07, the Council agreed to use:

General Fund Balance
Revenue Reserve
-abatement of capital
- other contribution
- one-off funding of Hoppa costs

63.14 Whilst the Council considered this position sustainable in the short term, the Financial Strategy assumed a withdrawal of the 330,000 abatement and a reduction in the general contribution of 125,000 to give:

Use of balances 2007/08
General Fund Balance
Revenue Reserve

63.15 The Revenue Reserve is used to fund one-off expenditure both of a capital or revenue nature. It is the account that is used to finance most of the General Fund Capital Programme and additionally to contribute to the General Fund to reduce council tax. As reported in February, for the 3 years, 2006-07 to 2008-09 the approved Capital Programme has been balanced. The main pressures in the next few years are likely to be:

Any one-off costs of restructuring
Funding the Capital Programme in the longer term, and
In particular, the Community Partnerships Fund
Contributions to the General Fund However, there could be further LABGI grant in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

63.16 The HRA is a ring-fenced account which is financed by council tenants and is not capable of contributing to, or receiving contributions from, the General Fund. In 2006/07, the HRA has targeted savings of 212,000 to find. The housing restructuring helps reduce the remaining balance still to be found.

63.17 Assuming that the full saving is found in 2006/07, the pressures on the HRA are still significant in that there is currently no external decorations budget. Whilst it is possible to manage without this expenditure in the short term, this position cannot be repeated indefinitely if expensive capital replacements of windows and doors are to be avoided. It is likely that some provision will have to be made in the 2007/08 budget.

63.18 With continued negative Housing Subsidy of over 8m per annum, the pressure on the HRA to find savings will remain. The Housing Special Interest Group (SIG) will be considering and presenting a number of alternative budget reductions in the coming months.

HRA Capital

63.19 In order to fund the Decent Homes target and carry out essential health & safety works, the HRA needs to identify capital funding of 37m by 2010/11. With capital receipts pooling, whereby 75% of capital receipts are paid to the Government, the potential to complete these works is a major difficulty.

63.20 The Housing SIG has been considering a number of alternative ways to make the limited capital resources as effective as possible and has looked at the detail around Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) funding.

63.21 The Executive considered the current position of Waverley’s Medium Term Financial Strategy and current headline issues as outlined above.

63.22 The Executive


Background Papers (DoF)

64. Introduction of an Audit Committee or Equivalent (Agenda Item 6.2, Appendix B.2)
[Wards Affected: All]

64.1 The District Auditor, in his Annual Audit Letter, has made comment that Waverley’s internal control arrangements would be enhanced and brought up to date with the introduction of an audit committee. Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) scores are improved by the existence and the sound working of such a committee.

64.2 A report was presented to the Executive on the 27th June. The Executive asked that the Constitution Special Interest Group (SIG) consider the options and make its recommendations to its meeting on the 11th July.

64.3 An audit committee is regarded as a sound means of bringing independent, effective assurance into the Council’s corporate governance arrangements and it would also have a role in challenging the work of both the Executive and the various committees, including overview and scrutiny.

64.4 Both CPA and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Code of practice for Internal Auditors in Local Government refer to an audit committee “or equivalent”. This acknowledges that some authorities might consider that such a committee might not be necessary and the roles could be fulfilled by alternative means. At the meeting of the Executive on 27th June, the District Auditor stated that his recommended approach would be to have an independent committee, but he also acknowledged that alternative arrangements could achieve the desired results provided careful consideration was given to all aspects of an audit committee’s role

64.5 The considerations of the Constitution Special Interest Group from its meeting on 7th July 2006 were tabled at the meeting of the Executive.

64.6 The Executive agreed with the considerations of the Constitution Special Interest Group and accordingly


Background Papers (DoF)

[Wards Affected: All]

65.1 With the recent redundancy of the post of Chief Executive, it is necessary to make amendments to the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules, Financial Regulations and Scheme of Delegation. The Executive considered updated sections which are now attached at Annexe 1, 2 and 3. Officers confirmed that it was necessary to make it clear as to which officers are to take actions in the absence of a Chief Executive. This is to avoid ambiguity and enhance transparency and accountability.

65.2 A service director will now for a two-month period have to make decisions as Managing Director in respect of the services for which he is responsible. Officers confirmed that they felt it expedient to appoint a deputy Managing Director to ensure that there is adequate cover and continuity in the conduct of business.

65.3 At the meeting of the Executive on 6th September 2005, it was agreed that decisions to achieve savings in the staffing budget could be made by the Chief Executive (after consultation with the Leader and the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Human Resources). Now that the post of Chief Executive has been deleted, there is a need to replace this delegation. The Council’s Management Team recommends that such decisions should be undertaken by the Executive.

65.4 Officers advised that instances in the Scheme where a director or one of their members of staff are required to consult the Chief Executive where legal action is required, that references to the Chief Executive be replaced with Solicitor to the Council with the proviso that that officer consults the Managing Director. Officers also advised that it be prudent to standardise references to “Head of Legal Services” to “Solicitor to the Council” throughout the Scheme of Delegation.

65.5 In respect of licensing matters, the Scheme refers to the Chief Executive for some of the items Officers advised that the scheme should be amended to read “Head of Committee and Member Services”, who is responsible for the licensing service.

65.6 Since the last review of Contract Procedure Rules (CPRs) in March 2006, the Chief Officer Group has been renamed Management Team and it was confirmed by Officers that it was necessary that this also be updated.

65.6 The Executive


30. the changes to the Scheme of Delegation, as set out in Annexe 1 to the report, be approved;

31. all references in the Scheme of Delegation to “Head of Legal Services” be replaced by “Solicitor to the Council”;

32. the changes to Contract Procedure Rules, as set out in Annexes 2 and 3 to the report, be approved;

33. references to the “Chief Executive” as contained in Financial Regulations C403 and D203 be replaced by “Managing Director”;

34. the previous specific delegation to the Chief Executive on savings to be achieved from the staffing budget be delegated, in future, to the Executive; and

35. the Director who is next due to serve as Managing Director fulfils the role of deputy Managing Director.

Background Papers (DoF)

66. BRIGHTWELLS BOWLS CLUB (Item 9, Appendix E)
[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]

Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings (Paragraph 5)]

66.1 At its meeting on 13th June 2006, the Executive considered five options for the future of the Bowls Club and requested more detail on the options, but highlighting a preference for the option of relocating the Brightwell Bowls Club in Farnham to a new location (by investigating opportunities for merging with another club and providing new or improved facilities). The Executive has now received the detailed findings in relation to this option and additional information relating to the other four options for the Bowls Clubhouse.

66.2 The report set out the detailed background, which was that the Brightwell Bowls Club was established in 1925 and currently has 80 members with membership fees of 50 per year. Brightwell Bowls Club is situated on land owned by the Council. As part of the historic arrangements the club are required to make available a rink to the public on a pay and play arrangement, however to officers’ knowledge the general public have not requested this facility. The Council currently charges the Brightwell Bowls Club 2,800 p.a. rent for the exclusive use of 5 rinks weekdays and whole use on Sundays. The Council also meets the costs of the annual maintenance programme for the green, which is carried out by the Council’s Grounds Maintenance Contractor. The annual cost of the maintenance is approximately 5,100 (excluding irrigation maintenance and any additional works which may arise).

66.3 Within Farnham Town there are in total four bowls clubs, Farnham, Gostrey and The Bourne Royal British Legion. The Officers had met the three other clubs and established that Farnham and the Bourne had capacity for new members. Both of these clubs recognised the importance of attracting new members in the future to maintain their future viability.

66.4 The Executive noted that Waverley did not have a statutory duty to provide sports facilities, however the Waverley Cultural Strategy key aims included improving access to cultural and leisure facilities and maximising resources by working in partnership, proactively and strategically. Given the current level of provision and the increasing costs and complexities associated with the retention of the Brightwell facility within the development, members have requested an investigation into alternative proposals relating to the provision of bowls within Farnham .

66.5 Options
66.6 The programme presented by the developer (See (Exempt) Annexe 4) highlights a minimum period of two and a half years during which the green will be unavailable for use. The Executive noted that the club had stated that if a closure were to be for longer than one playing season then this is likely to result in the disintegration of the existing Brightwell Bowls club.

66.7 Option 2 Provide a bowls green within the scheme on the current site with an artificial surface and new clubhouse.

66.8 Whilst the time taken to install an artificial playing surface would be shorter than that of a turf surface, given the logistics associated with the scale of construction in particular the creation of underground car parking there will still remain a significant period of closure associated with this option beyond one season.

66.9 Option 3 Relocate the existing club to a new facility at Riverside.

66.10 The Council is being recommended under minute 13 of the report of the June Executive to agree to the provision of 300 parking spaces on the Riverside site. This significantly reduces the capacity of this site and therefore in order to relocate the bowls club onto this site it would be necessary to build both the pavilion and the green above the flood level. This would require the existing ground levels to be raised and flood compensation works to be carried out and possibly further contamination remediation works, this could add in the order of 250,000 (note this figure is an estimate and could be more depending upon site investigations) to the overall costs.

66.11 Option 4 Relocate the existing club to a new location (investigate opportunities for merging with another club and providing new or improved facilities).

66.12 The Bourne Royal British Legion Club (BRBLC) operates as a registered charity with limited liability status. It is a non-profit making company that exists as a communal centre for ex-servicemen and civilian members alike of which there are about 150 members at present. The Club wholly owns the freehold building and land on Burnt Hill Road, Lower Bourne. 66.13 Last year the BRBLC submitted a planning application for an enabling development on their existing site. The aim of this development was to provide a capital receipt to be used to replace the clubhouse. The existing club house given its age and type of construction needs to be replaced, the club does not have the resources to replace or upgrade the building to meet its future needs therefore needed an enabling development (in this case a residential element) to fund their costs. Given the scale of the proposed development and the constraints of the site this planning application was rejected. 66.14 The club now faces an uncertain future and with declining numbers needs to find ways to a) secure its future in terms of providing a suitable building, which can be maintained, and b) to attract new members to the club. If no solution can be found then it is likely that this valuable social provision could be lost to the local area. 66.15 In relation to bowls, the club has a small dedicated bowls clubroom specifically for the use of the bowls section but is not feasible to consider the joint use of the site by two separate clubs. There are also significant issues relating to the capacity within the locality in relation to car parking and traffic and additional members would compound these existing problems. 66.16 The Club have indicated that they would like to consider relocating to another site in the Lower Bourne locality. Their proposal would be to realise a capital receipt from the sale of their freehold, which could be used to fund the development of new facilities on an alternative site. However to date no alternative sites have been identified by the club. 66.17 The Club Chairman has indicated that if a suitable site could be found then BRBLC may be prepared to enter into an agreement relating to the provision of shared clubhouse and playing facilities with Brightwell Bowls Club. It is assumed that the cost of developing the new facilities for the BRBLC on a new site would be met by the BRBLC from the receipt of their existing site. 66.18 Officers have identified a site within its ownership, which could potentially be considered as an alternative location for the new BRBLC facilities. The site identified is Langhams Recreation Ground situated on the Ridgeway. There would be a need to negotiate some form of value in the lease of any land offer to protect the future integrity of the BRBLC but this could form part of the offer between both parties if this project were to proceed. 66.19 The Recreation Ground is not currently used for formal recreation purposes. There is one set of swings and the area is mainly used for dog walking. The site has capacity to accommodate a bowling green and built facility and still provide a sizeable area for dog walking. There are also issues relating to parking along this stretch of the Ridgeway but if a small area of off-road parking could be accommodated at the entrance to the recreation ground this may assist in addressing some of the local congestion. 66.20 Whilst this is an initial possibility there would be significant work required to develop this proposal into a feasible plan. There are a number of factors, which would need to be resolved for this proposal to be realised including some significant planning and property matters. 66.21 Farnham Bowls Club currently has approximately 60 members at their green in Bear Lane. The club state they have capacity to accommodate an additional 40-50 members however, like The Bourne they have significant parking difficulties which they believe are impacting on the membership and their ability to attract new members. The membership fees for the club are 75 per annum. This is a well-established club with a long history. The club indicated that whilst they may be able to accommodate new members within their club it would not be feasible for two clubs to share facilities given the size and the facilities and nor would they wish to accommodate another club either on their existing site or any new site. 66.22 The club is also looking to relocate to a new location where parking provision could be improved. To date they have had discussions with a developer for their current site but have yet to find a suitable alternative site for their club facilities. 66.23 This club was established in 1913 and unlike the other bowls club has a relatively small green (only 3 rinks in size) and a very small pavilion. The membership is currently 27 and its capacity is only 30, it therefore has limited capacity to absorb new members.

66.24 Officers have raised option 4 with Brightwell Bowls Club but at the time of writing this report the club was not in a position to give a view.
65.25 Option 1 and 2 will not provide the opportunity to generate the additional value from the development that would potentially be received from commercial rent from the new bowls clubhouse area. The cost of an artificial surface, as described in Option 2, is not included in the east Street financial appraisal and the Council would have to identify the necessary budget within its capital programme. Option 3, to relocate the facility to Riverside would require additional costs to be deducted from the East Street capital premium. The financial implications of Option 4 would depend on the outcome of the investigations undertaken. Members would receive full financial details as appropriate. 66.26 The Executive also noted the exempt legal advice and the legal issues around the clubs use of the green and pavilion.

36. option 5 of serving notice on the Brightwells Bowls Club be pursued in the first instance; and

37. officers be instructed to carry out further investigations relating to Option 4 relocation and report back at a future meeting.

Background Papers (DoEL)

67. BRIGHTWELLS GOSTREY CENTRE – (Item 9A, Previously Item 26)
[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]

67.1 The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee had asked officers to undertake some work to ascertain the potential costs of providing a new building for the Brightwells Gostrey Centre in Farnham, and to look at alternatives. The Executive has considered the issues raised by the Committee and an Officer update on the issues raised.

67.2 At its meeting on 17th May, the Council instructed officers to make formal reports to the Council on 18th July about a range of matters concerning the proposed East Street Regeneration scheme, which would include, inter alia, options for the Brightwells Gostrey Centre.

67.3 Whilst the East Street Regeneration Project gave an opportunity to consider the needs of the Brightwells Gostrey Centre in Farnham, the Council also needed to make strategic decisions about its future role in relation to day centres.

67.4 The Executive noted that Council had no statutory duty to provide specialist day centres for older people, but had done so as part of a wider agreement with Surrey County Council. The basis of that earlier agreement many years ago (some 30 years) no longer applied. The statutory responsibility for day centres remained with Surrey County Council.

67.5 In the Waverley context, funding for day centres came from this Council and the day centre committees secure additional income through fees and charges, grants from charitable trusts, the Waverley Voluntary Grants Panel, and other fund-raising events. Other day centres in Surrey benefit from grant-aid from the County Council, but for historic reasons the Waverley centres do not fare well by comparison.

67.6 An alternative approach that Waverley could adopt would be to support older people in the community. Waverley could focus its resources on developing activities and services for older people in various facilities – such as leisure centres, parks and gardens, sheltered housing schemes etc that it owns and/or manages.

67.7 There was therefore a clear issue of principle that needs to be determined, before the Council commits considerable resources – should Waverley Borough Council continue to support day centre activities as it has previously, when there are other priority areas that the Council is clearly responsible for that also need investment?

67.8 The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the wide range of needs, requirements, aspirations and expectations of the wide and diverse group of older people, defined as people over 50. The Government’s ‘Better Government for Older People’ project decided that an ‘older person’ was someone over the age of 50. ‘Older People’ therefore can be anyone aged from 50 – 100+. Given this wide age range it is not possible for services aimed at ‘older people’ to manage to cover all of the needs, requirements, aspirations and expectations of such a wide and diverse group of people.

67.9 The Executive considered the alternative approaches to providing day services for older people.

67.10 The Executive noted that the Brightwells Gostrey Centre – like most of the Waverley day centres – provided services for people who are becoming more frail and elderly. To meet the needs of this group it is helpful to have a settled location with which customers are familiar. A catering kitchen that meets health and safety requirements is a prerequisite, and specialist facilities – like a specialist bath/shower room, medical room and administrative offices are necessary. Other facilities – lounge area, dining room, quiet room and activities room/area are normal features. Good access was necessary.

67.11 However, the cost of a new day centre would be inconsiderable and if the Council was to make a significant investment into a new building, it is important to optimise the use of the building. Most day centre activities for the present client group tend to take place in the morning to the mid-afternoon. Day Centres tend to be less well used in the late afternoon and evening – though some day centres let out the premises to generate income. There is a case to develop a more ‘community centre’ approach, as has been adopted at Haslemere at the Haslewey Centre, where Age Concern Haslemere and District is the most regular and major user of the Centre, but the centre is open to other groups as well. This affords the opportunity for the building to be used by more people from a wider age range. However, it should be noted that with mixed use of buildings conflicts could arise between the different user groups.

67.12 When the Council first gave consideration to the proposals for the redevelopment of the East Street area of Farnham, it agreed that the Brightwells Gostrey Centre (BGC) should be re-provided on a ‘like-for-like basis’. The Masterplan, to which the Council has given landlord sanction, proposed that the BGC should remain on its current site.

67.13 Some time ago, Crest Nicholson provided plans for public consultation, which gave rise to either a remodelling of the existing centre, or the possibility of a new-build replacement in South Street, Farnham, with a floor size comparable to the existing centre – in line with the Council’s stated requirement.

67.14 The BGC Committee was disappointed by the proposals for replacement on a like-for-like basis. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee felt that the redevelopment of East Street offers a unique opportunity to provide a new build community centre appropriate to the 21st century.

67.15 The desire of the BGC Committee for larger new premises runs counter to the Council’s initial decision that any re-provision of these facilities should be on a ‘like for like’ basis. Thus far, the Council had not agreed to change its brief with its development partner – Crest Nicholson - in this respect.

67.16 The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered this matter further at its meeting on 1st February 2005 and asked the Executive to support the provision of a new centre for the BGC. The Executive subsequently resolved that

the Brightwells Gostrey Centre be provided with a new-build development on or near its existing site, having regard to the reasonable needs of the Brightwells Gostrey Committee; and

officers be requested to undertake a feasibility study, based on the level of facilities provided at Haslewey and Milford and Villages Day Centres, draw up plans and make a financial appraisal for the provision of a new day centre, including continuing financial viability.

67.17 Since that time, the architect who designed both Milford and Villages Day Centre and Haslewey had worked-up plans to re-build the BGC on the existing site (in the absence of other land being identified) taking into account their need to adapt and develop their service to meet the changing needs of older people in the future. The site was constrained and it is assumed that there is no opportunity to extend the site further.

67.18 Officers had concluded that to meet the aspirations of the BGC and taking account of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s decision (of 1st February 2005), and that of the Executive’s subsequent decision, it was not practicable to provide a satisfactory new build centre on the existing site, whilst requiring a facility that was of a similar size to Haslewey or Milford and Villages Day Centre. Both these other centres had reasonable car parking facilities, and there was no scope for much car parking space at the Brightwells Gostrey site, if redeveloped to maximise internal floor space.

67.19 Capital costs estimates for a new build centre are detailed in the (Exempt) Annexe 5.

67.20 Officers have been trying to identify other potential sites in Farnham, which might be suitable for a new-build day centre development. However, this has not borne fruit.

67.21 The BGC is now showing its age and is in need of investment. The building is also poorly configured to serve as a modern centre.

67.22 In spring 2006, and following the decision of Sainsbury’s to refurbish its store in South Street, Farnham, Crest Nicholson had produced further plans. The proposal in respect of the Brightwells Gostrey Centre is that it should remain in situ and be slightly extended, with a new frontage.

67.23 The plans issued by Crest Nicholson show that the Brightwells Gostrey Centre is to be maintained in its current position. The Brightwells Gostrey Centre block on the corner of South Street and Brightwells Road has been reduced in width, without reducing the overall space available to the centre. Major works to the building will be required to make the changes that Crest Nicholson is proposing.

67.24 It should be made clear that the proposals put forward by Crest Nicholson are entirely in accordance with the Council’s Master Plan and Brief.

67.25 The proposal to refurbish the Brightwells Gostrey Centre as part of the Council’s East Street Regeneration project would not have capital implications, as these costs are already incorporated within Crest Nicholson’s regeneration proposals.

67.26 However, should the Council decide that it wants to provide a new larger day centre in Farnham there would be significant capital implications. A new day centre facility, akin to that at Milford or Haslemere, would cost in excess of 1,000,000 (excluding land acquisition).

67.27 Thus far, the Brightwells Gostrey Centre Committee has indicated that it believes it could contribute towards the capital cost of a new centre through fund-raising and making application to various grant making trusts. The Council would need to fund this shortfall and be prepared to underwrite any further shortfall in funds should the BGC not be successful in securing its target figure. An alternative to this would be for the Council and the BGC to agree not to start any new-build works until such time as the BGC had raised its element of the capital resources.

67.28 In order to successfully fund-raise and be eligible for capital grants, the BGC Committee will need to be able to demonstrate a legal interest in the property and so the Council will need to enter into a long-lease arrangement with the BGC Committee, as has been the practice elsewhere.

67.29 Informal discussions with officers at Surrey County Council and the Primary Care Trust indicate that capital contributions from these sources are unlikely. However, it may be that the local county councillors may be prepared to contribute from their budget allocation.

67.30 A larger facility would give rise to additional revenue costs, although a new or refurbished facility may give rise to the opportunity to generate further revenue income.

67.31 Potentially there are both capital and revenue implications arising from this report.

67.32 The Council’s brief, in respect of the East Street Project, was for Crest Nicholson to provide the Brightwells Gostrey Centre with facilities on a like-for-like basis, which will be funded within the cost envelope for the redevelopment scheme.

67.33 However, the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee is suggesting that the Council should go beyond this by providing larger and better facilities, in a new build centre on another part of the East Street Redevelopment area. It appears that a new build on the current site is not a viable option as it does not actually generate much additional useable space. So the alternative would be to find an alternative site. This option will give rise to an significant capital requirement of well over 1,000,000 – however, the Brightwells Gostrey Centre could be disposed of to help defray the costs of a new centre.

67.34 Once it is known when the works to the Brightwells Gostrey Centre are likely to start and their duration, an assessment of the revenue costs associated with its temporary relocation can be assessed and budget provision made.

67.35 The East Street Regeneration project as previously proposed means that part of the Brightwells Gostrey Centre would have demolished and, in order to replace the toilets, bathing facilities and entrance lobby Crest Nicholson intended to undertake significant refurbishment works. However, the new plan displayed avoided the need for this.

67.36 At the instruction of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee officers have explored the possibility of other sites on which to develop a new-build centre. No sites are readily available. If this option is to be explored further, it is clear that this option has, of necessity, to be a medium – longer term project, because the East Street Regeneration project, if it proceeds, will move forward faster than the time required to find a new site for the BGC and undertake a new build project.

67.37 The Council’s formal position is that some years ago, it requested Crest Nicholson to make re-provision plans for the BGC on a like-for-like basis. The Council has not made any formal resolutions to the contrary since then.

67.38 However, since that time, the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee has expressed a wish to support the development of a much better and larger facility – more akin to those provided at Haslewey in Haslemere and Milford and Villages Day Centre in Milford. The Executive has also agreed that the implications of such an approach be fully appraised by officers and this report contributes to that appraisal exercise.

67.39 As yet there is no capital provision in the Council’s budget for such aspirations.

67.40 The desire to support the re-provision of a new day centre/community centre in Farnham should not be seen in isolation. The committee of Age Concern Cranleigh is considering its position in respect of the Cranleigh Day Centre and whether those facilities are fit-for-purpose into the future; and Farncombe Day Centre (owned by the Council) will also need capital works in the coming years.

67.41 Any new facilities need to take into account changing demographics, and be in tune with the local and national agendas in order to be fit for purpose now and into the future.

67.42 The Officers proposed to the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee that before any decisions on capital investment in a new centre, the Council should review its whole approach to supporting day centres and providing services for older people. There was considerable strength of feeling that there should be a new community centre provided for Farnham. The Committee made the recommendations to the Executive as set out below:-

The Officers reported to the Executive that there were three options:-

The Executive


Background Papers (DoH)

[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]

68.1 The Executive has considered detailed reports on a range of issues including: an updated project programme, options for the Bowls Club and the Brightwell Gostrey Centre, the level of current car park demand and future provision (reported to the June meeting), and the form in which the planning application for Riverside should be submitted, as agreed at the Council meeting on 17th May 2006.

68.2 The Council also required Crest Nicholson Sainsburys to provide an updated programme to include planning and subsequent contractual stages. Attached as (Exempt) 4 are the latest programme and explanatory phasing plan. CNS have stressed that this programme is subject to revision as circumstances change and the scheme develops and should be treated as Exempt.

68.3 In accordance with Council’s instruction, Officers and Consultants have begun negotiations on contractual matters and a report on the outcome will be submitted to a subsequent meeting of Executive.

68.4 A final meeting of the Development Control Consultative Forum was held on 21st June 2006. The notes of the meeting are available at: http://www.waverley.gov.uk/devcontrol/forum.asp 68.5 Also in accordance with Council instruction, an appropriate contractual commitment regarding completion of improvements to the South Street frontage of Sainsburys has been requested. The Council's consultant lawyers are currently working on this. 68.6 The Executive noted the comments of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny on 3rd July 2006 which were as follows:-
68.7 The Executive also considered the issue of public art. The Cobbett Clock is an identified “required element” within the scheme. The Cobbett Clock sculpture was chosen by the Farnham Public Art Trust in 1996 to be a major attraction which would increase the numbers of visitors coming to Farnham.

68.8 The kinetic artist Michael Chaikin was selected after a lengthy and carefully structured competition process, in which the brief specified that the feature should be a free-standing clock sculpture with moving parts, illustrating aspects of Farnham's history. The clock was to be unique and create a new feature which would be a focal point and especially attractive to children.

68.9 When complications arose over the originally selected site in the Woolmead, Waverley was approached by the Trust and it was agreed at that time to include it as a major feature in the East Street redevelopment scheme, and was therefore included in the development brief for the scheme.

68.10 The Executive acknowledged that the cost of the clock has risen very considerably, and whilst in principle there is a need to provide an element of public art within the East Street scheme, there is a consensus that the clock as a single project should not absorb the bulk of the amount allowed for the CNS financial model for public art generally. It has been suggested that it may be possible to consider a scaled down version of the Cobbett Clock along with other elements of commissioned public art. Another option may to be consider the alternative financing of the Clock through public appeal or private donation.

68.11 The Farnham Public Art Trust support this principle and outlined their views at the recent Development Control Consultative Forum on 21st June 2006. They state “The East Street development offers a remarkable opportunity for public art of all kinds to create a unique sense of place. Themes drawn from Farnham's history and people should be featured. Artists and craftspeople, especially local ones, should be commissioned for a range of projects large and small, and architectural features, ground surfacing and paving, street furniture, lighting and landscaping, should also be included”.

68.12 Officers supported this proposal and also recommended that in developing alternative public art proposals for the East Street Scheme that the developer establishes a working group to shape the proposals including representatives from the Farnham Public Art Trust, University College of Creative Arts, Advisors specialising in public art from Arts Council England South East and the Council’s Arts Officer.

68.13 Members are asked whether they wish to consider varying the decision to make the Cobbett Clock a required element of the East Street Scheme to allow for a wider range of public art to be developed with the estimated amount allowed in the CNS model for the Cobbett Clock.

68.14 Since the granting of landowner sanction for the CNS masterplan at the special meeting on 17th May 2006, a number of elements of the scheme could be proposed for change – subject to the views of the Executive and the Council following the further investigation instructed by the Council. Some of these relate to “required elements”.

68.15 The conditional contract agreed by the Council in 2003 sets out the required elements as being:-

Cobbett Clock
400 car parking spaces
public conveniences
Brightwell Gostrey Centre
Bowling Green
Bowling green clubhouse
Retention of Brightwell House
Multi Screen included in masterplan
See paragraphs above
Included in Masterplan
Included in Masterplan
Alternative new premises provided on South Street
See Item 9A
See Item 9
See Item 9
Refurbishment and new use included in masterplan

68.16 As suggested by required elements were all intended in the negotiations culminating in the 2003 contract to be integral parts of any scheme. Since that time, circumstances have changed and the Council should now consider whether it is reasonable to vary what are included as required elements.

68.17 Reflecting the way the contract is expressed [para. 5.3], if the Council no longer requires one of the above items to be provided, it can review and if appropriate vary the “required elements”.

68.18 Following the Executive meeting on the 13th. June 2006 it was agreed that the necessary documentation be prepared for a Planning Application for the Riverside site. Progress had previously been halted until the landowner sanction had been granted so as to reduce abortive expenditure on the preparation of the scheme.

68.19 This application will be based on FM Modern Designs drawing No. 5002 rev. B, which shows the tennis pavilion, 5 tennis courts and 300 car parking spaces. This scheme with 300 car parking spaces brings the issue of contamination and flood compensation works very much back into the frame.

68.20 A meeting was held at the end of June with the Councils’ consultants and Planning Officers in order to discuss the required documentation for this proposed scheme, together with a programme of works.

68.21 The following topics where discussed; Agree current layout, contamination, further SI, remediation, flood risk assessment, flood compensation, EA consultations, car park levels construction and drainage, traffic impact assessment, highways, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Archaeology, lighting impact study (car park and tennis courts), Environmental Impact Study, and the pre application consultations with Planning.

68.22 After agreeing the amount of information required for this application, the consultants estimated that the documentation could be collated by the end of September. However this was very much dependant on the duration of the EA consultation, which is key to this scheme.

68.23 Progress meetings have been set with the consultants and other key players including the Lawn Tennis Association and the Brightwells Tennis Club.

68.24 Officers are also discussing the merits of asking CNS to submit and project manage the planning application. This is because of the themes that would be common to the East Street scheme – such as flood risk assessment and traffic impact assessment.

68.25 This then leads on to consideration of how the works are to be procured. Should they be pursued as a separate contract or what would be the costs and benefits of CNS managing the contract? Further reports will follow on these issues.

68.26 (a) Required elements

(b) Riverside

68.27 The Officers have carried out the detailed investigations into key parts of the required elements of the scheme as instructed by Council. The Executive will have given detailed consideration to the evolving situation regarding the Brightwell Bowls Club and the Brightwell Gostrey Centre under Items 9 and 9A above.

68.28 The Officers conclude that the Council should respond positively to the changing circumstances presented by the conclusions of detailed work on the construction programme. The retention of a flourishing Brightwells Bowls Club on the present site is no longer a realistic option given the length of time that the green will not be available and Officers recommend that the Council now concentrates its efforts on helping find a new home ground for the club. This will release the green as a public open space for use by the whole community, and offers new possibilities for community use of the site allocated for the club house.

68.29 The Brightwells Gostrey Centre's aspirations for a new centre that reflects older peoples changing needs and expectations might now be met in the site that had been allocated for the Bowls Pavilion, if additional space could be found to enhance this. This will however need more detailed investigation, and as an interim measure the existing site could continue in use ,subject to minor modifications ,with the current access virtually unchanged. (Officers have had oral assurances from CNS and are pursuing this)

68.30 The previous concentration on the Cobbett Clock as the focus for public art provision could now be broadened to include a role for young people from the University College of Creative Arts (former SIAD).

68.31 In conclusion, Officers’ detailed investigations have opened up opportunities for responding to changes in community aspirations and needs, and to speed up the development project on the site and thus achieve the overall regeneration benefits of the East Street project earlier. The required elements no longer reflect the current position, in particular the CAB having been found a suitable new location.

68.32 The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee received an interim progress report at its meeting in July 2006 and made the following comments:-

68.33 The Executive reviewed the changes in circumstances of some of the key required elements and

44. Officers be authorized to review with CNS the following required elements of the scheme on a case by case basis in the light of the recommendations on the Bowls Club and Green and the Cobbett Clock:-

Cobbett Clock
Background Papers

69. A CONSULTATION STRATEGY (Agenda Item 11, Appendix G)
[Wards Affected: All]

69.1 A Consultation Strategy for Waverley has been developed, as suggested by the Audit Commission in their Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) report.

69.2 The consultation strategy attached at Annexe 6, aims to:-

Set the standards for consultation to be followed consistently across the authority; Provide a system to produce a joined-up, strategic approach to consultation; and Deliver practical guidance on planning and delivering effective consultation.
Background Papers

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

70. POLICE RESTRUCTURING (Agenda Item 12, Appendix H)
[Wards Affected: All]
70.1 In September 2005, Central Government announced its intention to reduce the existing 43 police forces in England and Wales to 17 Forces, with a view to creating bigger strategic forces.

70.2 An approach was made by the Home Office to the Surrey Police Authority to consider a voluntary merger with Sussex Police. 70.3 Surrey Police Authority, in consultation with stakeholders, advised that it could not support a voluntary merger on the grounds of its serious concern about ongoing funding facilities, in particular:

there has been no attempt by the Home Office to address the long-term under funding of Surrey Police; merging Surrey and Sussex won’t strengthen resilience without the appropriate funding to back it up;

any savings achieved by a merger would go towards closing the funding gap, rather than improving the “protective services”, the very reason, the Home Office says, for creating a bigger force;

a merger which is insufficiently funded could jeopardise the service provided, meaning that there is no guarantee that resources currently deployed here will remain in the future; and

there will be fewer police resources Surrey in the future and, given that the Surrey Police Authority will be the smaller of the two areas, Surrey representatives will be in the minority. 46. Surrey Police be supported in objecting to the Home Office on the proposed merger of Surrey and Sussex Police for the following reasons;

Background Papers

71. CORPORATE PLAN (Agenda Item 13, Appendix I)
[Wards Affected: All]

71.1 The Corporate Plan (sometimes referred to as the Corporate Strategy) is the key policy document for the organisation, and is used as a basis for planning resource allocations and performance improvements. Annexe 8 is the final draft of the 2006/07 Corporate Plan.

71.2 The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered the draft of the Corporate Plan at its meeting in July 2006. The Committee recognised the priorities as worthwhile aspirations, but suggested that these aspirations needed to be more closely reflected in detailed action plans with clear timescales and milestones to enable progress in achieving them to be monitored.

The Executive


48. that the 2006/2007 Corporate Plan be adopted.

Background Papers

72. REVIEW OF CUSTOMER SERVICES (Agenda Item 14, Appendix J.1 and J.2)
[Wards Affected: All]

72.1 The Executive considered a report which set out the information gathered by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee as part of its in-depth review of Customer Services.

72.2 The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee carried out visits to neighbouring authorities and draw on results of the Customer satisfaction survey carried out in February 2006. It had also appointed a Customer Services Review Sub-Committee to undertake a series of interviews with frontline customer service staff.

72.3 Based on the information obtained from the review the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee draw conclusions and made recommendations.

72.4 The review carried out by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee identified elements of good practice in Waverley, but also showed that the approach to customers is compartmentalised in departments. The Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee was pleased to see that customers felt that they were given a very good service on queries at the Locality Offices, with staff having access to information covering all Council services. However, the experience for customers visiting The Burys was less coordinated and reception and cash office staff would welcome the opportunity to offer a similar service. The Committee felt that consideration should be given on how to achieve this improvement, but recognised this would have workload implications.

72.5 Accordingly, the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee recommended to the Executive :-

72.6 The Executive agreed that the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee be thanked for the work which they have carried out and was pleased with the generally good level of satisfaction with customer service standards in Waverley. However, from the work that has been done, the Executive did not think that customer service was in need of radical improvement and that, whilst a restructured organisation must deliver good customer service, there was not a case for identifying such radical improvement as a major objective of restructuring, nor a case for an early implementation of a comprehensive Customer Relationship Management System.

The Executive

Background Papers

73. GAMBLING ACT 2005 – DRAFT GAMBLING POLICY (Agenda Item 17, Appendix L)
[Wards Affected: All]

73.1 The Gambling Act 2005 is due to be introduced in September 2007, and the Council will have to be ready to receive advance applications from 31st January 2007, when the Policy will come into effect. The legislation will transfer the licensing of various types of gambling (such as premises licences for betting and gaming establishments, permits for gaming machines in pubs and clubs, etc., lotteries registration) from their various sources to district councils, to be dealt with in a similar way as with the Licensing Act applications which the Council has been handling for over a year now. The new Act will again be very different in essence from existing law, and involves the Council in producing a Statement of Policy for Gambling, against which premises licence applications will be assessed. The licensing of Operators, and Personal Licences, under this legislation will be dealt with nationally by the newly set up Gambling Commission.

73.2 The Draft Statement is attached at Annexe 9.

73.3 The Licensing and Regulatory Committee considered, in detail, the Draft Gambling Policy for Waverley at its meeting on 11th July 2006 and requested the following changes.

Page 3, paragraph 1.1 – The Licensing Objectives

Move the following paragraphs to directly under the first paragraph:
“Waverley Borough Council … the Act”

Bullet point 8: Registering small societies’ lotteries. Government guidance does not give any detail under this heading. The Committee considered that it would be helpful to include a list of exemptions, if appropriate, and requested this be added to the document, particularly as there are a number of activities undertaken by small clubs and societies in the Borough where they would be uncertain as to whether a licence would be required.

Page 5, paragraph 1.5 – Responsible Authorities

The names of the Responsible Authorities to be added to the document as well as being available on the Council’s website.

Page 6, paragraph 1.7 – Exchange of Information

Add the following to the second paragraph: “… of the Act and other Government legislation which may require the sharing of information.”

Page 7, paragraph 2.1 – Decision Making – General

Include a statement on the Scheme of Delegation, once established for this Act.

During the discussion on the Draft Policy, the Committee also made observations regarding the following points.

The Committee was concerned that the policy would only remain in force for no more that 3 years and could be reviewed at any time (para 1.3). Officers advised that the Government wished to ensure that policies reflect any changes made to legislation and incorporated lessons learnt during the implementation of the Act. The Act obliges the Licensing Authority to review the Policy within three years, in any case.

The Committee was concerned (paragraph 1.4) that the policy “would not override the right of any person to make an application”. Officers advised that the Council would only consider premises licences, and an applicant would be required to already hold a personal or operator’s licence. It is the responsibility of the Gambling Commission to issue these licences and to ensure applicants are considered ‘fit and proper’.

The Committee discussed the inclusion of Point-to-Point meetings under Tracks (para 2.8). Officers advised that the only meeting they were aware of in the borough was held annually and as such was expected to be covered by a Temporary Use Notice or similar provision in the legislation.

List of Consultees – Annexe 2; the Committee considered it inappropriate to include Residents’ Associations and Village Societies in a policy consultation. However, they would be made aware of the consultation and could comment through the Council’s Website.

The Committee expressed disappointment that the problems experienced with the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003 as a result of late guidance and inadequate information from government were happening again with this legislation. The Committee also suggested making representations to the Gambling Commission to request them to simplify and minimise any administrative processes for voluntary organisations that might be caught by this legislation.

The Committee was also disappointed that there was no information yet on fee levels which would enable Officers to estimate if these would cover the extra administrative burden involved in implementing and operating the new legislation.

In conclusion, the Committee requested that their thanks be conveyed to Guildford Borough Council’s Licensing Solicitor, Adrian Stanfield, who had prepared the draft policy for adaptation by Waverley and other Surrey Local Authorities.

73.4 The Executive


Background Papers

[Wards Affected: All]

74.1 The Local Development Scheme sets out the Local Development Documents that are to be produced as part of the Local Development Framework. It includes the Statement of Community Involvement, which was the first document to be published. This is now attached at Annexe 10. This sets out how the consultation with the public and organisations will be carried out for all the other documents and for planning applications.

74.2 The Executive


51. the Statement of Community Involvement be formally adopted.

Background Papers (DoPD)

[Wards Affected: All]
75.1 The Council agreed to keep under review issues that arise from the new Development Management Committee structure, which was implemented in January 2006. Within the last two months both Members and staff have expressed concern about the late finish of the development management meetings. The Modernising Planning (MP) SIG, at its meeting on 3rd July 2006, considered a discussion paper about how this issue might be managed.

75.2 The MP SIG also considered a concern raised by a Member that the public speaking scheme is currently only triggered by letters of objection and not by letters of support.

75.3 The SIG considered the matters arising from the report and agreed the following:-

75.4 The Executive reviewed the refinements to the Development Management Committees as proposed by the SIG. Officers, following the consideration of the issue by the MP SIG, produced a report on the amendment to the delegation scheme and the delegation of applications which have been re-submitted and where variations are being sought to an existing planning permission and are minor in nature. This was considered by the Executive and the wording as detailed below was agreed:- 75.5 Proposed amendment to delegated powers to Director of Planning and Development.

'Authority, where applications for renewal of, or amendment to a previously approved application are for a development sufficiently similar to the previously approved development, to grant such applications provided that, in the opinion of the Director of Planning and Development

1. There are no material change in circumstances from that at the time of the original decision, 2. Any variations or amendments contained in the application under consideration are minor or small scale in nature; and 3. The development is not in conflict with the Council’s planning policies.'

75.6 The Executive


52. Development Management Committees meetings should commence at 6.30pm;

53. the public speaking scheme be amended so that receipt of five letters of support also triggers the public speaking scheme; and

54. the scheme of delegation be amended as set out above.

Background Papers (DoPD)

76. RIGHT TO BUY CAPITAL RECEIPTS (Agenda Item 25, Appendix T)
[Wards Affected: All]

76.1 The Member Tenants’ Special Interest Group (SIG) at its meeting on 26th June 2006 received a report reminding them of the Council’s policy of reinvesting all capital receipts from the Right to Buy (RTB) scheme in housing projects. In the past, the capital receipts had been equally divided between meeting the Decent Homes Standard (DHS) and Affordable Housing. In future, officers explained that the Government would take 75% of capital receipts from RTB, leaving the Council with only 25% for DHS which would work out at around 500,000. The report suggested that all RTB capital receipts of up to 500,000 should be applied to the HRA for decent homes and any extra to the Affordable Housing programme.

76.2 The SIG agreed that meeting the DHS and providing Affordable Housing were both important priorities. However, the SIG felt that the DHS should be the key priority, given that the Council had a duty to meet existing tenants’ needs and there was a possibility that Affordable Housing could be funded through other means such as the planning system. The SIG therefore felt that all resources from RTB Capital receipts should be used for meeting the DHS.

76.3 The Executive


55. the existing policy for new Right-to-Buy capital receipts be modified, so that 100% of usable RTB capital receipts of up to 500,000 be applied to the HRA Capital Programme and any excess of receipts over 500,000 be applied to the affordable housing programme for meeting the Decent Homes Standard in future.

Background Papers (DoH)

[Wards Affected: All]

77.1 The Council has agreed to implement Choice Based Lettings (CBL) and has previously received reports on the progress being made in Waverley, and of the Council’s participation in a sub-regional CBL scheme with Guildford, Rushmoor and Hart. This sub-regional approach had resulted in an award of 100,000 to contribute towards the setting-up of CBL across the four boroughs using a common approach and technology.

77.2 The introduction of a CBL scheme necessitates a revision of the Council’s current Allocations Policy in order for a CBL approach to work. One of the advantages of CBL is that Allocation Policies need to be simpler than many of the detailed ‘points based’ policies that have tended to be used in the past to prioritise applicants. Many other Councils, which have introduced CBL have, of necessity changed their policies with the aim of making them easier to understand.

77.3 A copy of the draft Allocations Policy (scheme) is attached as Annexe 11 to this report.

77.4 Under Waverley’s proposed new scheme housing applicants will be placed into one of 5 bands viz: Bands A to E. Applicants in Band A have the greatest priority, those in band E the least.

BandAEmergency & High Priority
BandBUrgent Need to Move
BandCIdentified Housing Need
Band DLow Housing Need
BandEAll other applicants or no local connection
77.5 Within each of these bands the applications will be placed in date order. The date will normally be when the applicant originally applied for housing. If their circumstances change they may become eligible for a higher band. If this happens the date will normally be the date that we were notified of this change. 77.6 The banding scheme ensures that applicants with similar circumstances are in the same band, and that the applicant with the earliest date has the highest priority.

77.7 When assessing which band an application is placed in, the scheme will also take into account whether an applicant has a local connection with Waverley and if so, to what extent.

77.8 The draft Allocation Policy was considered by the Member/Tenant Special Interest Group in June and also the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee. No changes or revisions to the draft Allocations Policy were made by these groups. 77.9 At the meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee as part of the discussions the Committee stated that the CBL scheme was website based and that this could possibly limit tenants unable to use or without access to a computer. It was confirmed by Officers that there would be measures that would be taken to prevent this. This included relatives and friends acting as proxy bidders and the locality offices and council staff were there to assist. The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed the draft Allocation Policy (Scheme) and that it be passed to the Executive and Council for adoption

77.10 The Member Tenants’ Special Interest Group (SIG) received a presentation on Choice Based Lettings at its last meeting. Several issues were raised including questions about the implications of the new banding system, and the proportions of people likely to fall into each band. Officers underlined the point that it was important to strike the balance between applicants’ choice and assessment of need. The issue of under-occupation was also raised and it was confirmed that this was being reduced wherever possible. It was agreed that the current figures on under-occupancy would be checked before the Executive. There were other questions on the process, including the definition of ‘bids’ for housing. It was confirmed that leaflets had been sent to the Tenants’ Panel explaining the process in more detail. 77.11 The SIG noted the draft allocation policy.

77.12 The Executive


56. the draft Housing Allocation Policy be adopted.

Background Papers (DoH)

[Wards Affected: All]
78.1 The Housing Special Interest Group at its meeting on 23rd June 2006, received a report which outlined the opportunity for the Council to make a bid to set-up an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) to manage its homes and secure additional funding in order to meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard. It identified both the opportunities and risks associated with setting-up an ALMO to secure capital funding through this route. It invited members to consider whether the Council should make a bid to set-up an ALMO, following the Government announcement of the ‘Round 6’ ALMO bidding programme.

78.2 The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has produced guidance on the ALMO bidding process. It states that local authorities interested in setting up an ALMO can only do so if the Stock Options Appraisal (SOA) concluded that it is the preferred option. Waverley’s SOA concluded that consulting on Stock Transfer was the preferred option as it met decent homes, tenant aspirations and provided funds for additional affordable homes. However the initial appraisal indicated that there were two potential options available to the Council to deliver decent homes – Stock Transfer or ALMO. Officers are seeking guidance from the DCLG on whether an application from Waverley would be accepted.

78.3 To make a bid a detailed application providing information on the ALMO proposal and a Building Cost Model must be produced. Officers will need to re-engage consultants to prepare the Model and there is budget provision of 30,000 for consultants.

78.4 Successful authorities receive a conditional offer of funding. The funding is only released if the ALMO demonstrates that it is providing a high standard of service. This is done by means of an inspection conducted by the Housing Inspectorate (which is part of the Audit Commission) at least six months after the ALMO is established. In order to qualify for the extra funding the ALMO's services have to be rated as 3 star (excellent) or 2 star (good). If the ALMO does not achieve the necessary rating it may be possible to give it more time to improve its performance. Otherwise the local authority will have to reconsider its options.

78.5 Setting-up an ALMO has costs attached. The Council would effectively be setting-up an independent company to manage its housing stock. Costs include:

Putting together a bid
Advertising for Independent Board Members
Recruiting Tenant Board Members
Appointing Councillors to Board
Registering and incorporating a company
Legal Advice
Appointment of a ‘Managing Director’ to lead the ALMO
Investing in service improvements to secure at least 2 star at a Best Value Inspection
Board Training
Governance Arrangements and secretariat
Separate Corporate Identity
Consultation with tenants

78.6 It is estimated that the cost of setting-up an ALMO and preparing for inspection would be in the order of 300,000 - 400,000, which would be have to be found from within the Housing Revenue Account. As members are aware, officers have been charged with identifying 212,000 of savings during 2006/07 in order to balance the HRA budget. The costs of setting-up an ALMO have not been included in the 2006/07 HRA budget and were they to be so, this would increase the savings target to 512,000 – 612,000, which would have a considerable impact on services. This is before the additional ongoing costs of some 100,000 to run the ALMO and additional revenue requirements for external decorations costing up to 600,000.

78.7 The ALMO route provides both opportunities and risks for the Council.

The opportunities are:

providing the landlord service with greater operational flexibility and independence from the Council;
an ALMO Board would provide greater focus on the landlord service;
the explicitly clear separation of the landlord service from the Council’s strategic landlord role; and
most importantly a potential capital injection of c24 million in order to meet the Decent Homes Standard.

78.8 Balanced against these opportunities are the risks:

not being successful with the bid to the DCLG;
being successful with an ALMO bid, but there being too many other local authorities competing for scarce resources and not being funded;
being successful with an ALMO bid, but not securing 2 stars at inspection and therefore not having access to the additional funding;
being entirely successful with the ALMO and securing funding but:
- then having to manage the diseconomies arising from the TUPE arrangements and needing to re-deploy General Fund staff;
- managing challenges to costs currently being charged to the HRA from the General Fund and making these more competitive;
- loss of work currently undertaken by other departments e.g. personnel, finance, legal, cash collection.
Opposition from tenants to the ALMO proposal.
Uncertainty over long-term future of ALMOs.

78.9 The Director of Housing, in consultation with the Director of Finance, is reviewing services and staffing to meet the on-going savings required to balance the HRA. The Housing Service staff have had to adjust to the recent decision in the ballot by tenants and its implications. Setting-up and reorganising for an ALMO would require further corporate management and clear political support as well as clear leadership. The views and support from tenants would need to be demonstrated to support the ALMO bid.

78.10 Officers expect that Round 6 will be very competitive as it is the last round for Decent Homes and a number of London and Metropolitan councils will be bidding. No details have been published regarding the total amount of funding available for the Round 6 programme. The funding allocations will only be for one year 2007/08, rather than two years previously, as there will be a Comprehensive Spending Review in 2007.

78.11 To pursue an ALMO there is an extremely tight timeframe for Officers. The submission deadline is 31 July 2006 with the announcement of successful bids and conditional funding allocations in October 2006

78.12 The bid must have a realistic timescale and take into account the current performance and likely time for the ALMO to reach 2 star standard. If successful the Council must also show tenant support for the option when applying for section 27 consent (to enter into ALMO arrangement). The Council must consider how to illustrate this and whether a tenant ballot is appropriate. The DCLG will consider agreeing timetable over two years from s27 consent to achieving inspection rating if it is satisfied that an appropriate project plan and robust improvement plan is in place.

78.13 At its meeting on 23rd June 2006, the Housing SIG considered matters arising from the report and the following was agreed:-

78.14 The Executive


57. the Council should not submit a bid for inclusion in the current round.

Background Papers (DoH)

Arms Length Management Organisation - Housing SIG paper 1 March 2006
Guidance to Arms Length Management of Local Authority Housing 2004 Edition (ODPM)
Supplement to the Guidance on Arms Length Management (DCLG)
Review Of Arms Length Housing Management Organisations (DCLG)
From Decent Homes to Sustainable Communities (DCLG)

[Wards Affected : All]

79.1 In the light of the Council tenants’ decision to retain the Council as their landlord and the ongoing review of Corporate Management Structure this report provides an interim response to the review of Housing Services.

79.2 The Council is undertaking a re-appraisal of all available options, through the Housing Special Interest Group (SIG), following the tenants' decision to stay with the Council as landlord. The Council has to balance its obligations as a landlord and strive to meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard by the target date of 2010, whilst working to meet the needs of people who need affordable housing. In doing so the Council has to ensure it has a sustainable Housing Revenue Account (HRA) in balance each year. To do so the Housing SIG has looked at ways of reducing its capital liabilities and optimising its capital assets.

79.3 At the same time the Council is reviewing its Corporate Management Structure and considering how the Housing Service sits in any new structure.

79.4 The Council is deemed by Department Communities and Local Government (DCLG) as a ‘red light’ authority because of its inability to meet DHS by 2010. This is likely to provoke a Best Value Inspection during 2007/08.

79.5 A significant number of housing services are under review to effect reductions in costs, whilst trying to maintain standards. A number of these reviews will take some time to complete and will require a Corporate response to effect reductions in allocations in respect of Manpower or Recharges.

Repairs and Maintenance
Choice Based Lettings
Careline Service }
Sheltered Housing } Supporting People part funded
Community Housing }
Direct and Indirect Manpower Allocations
Corporate Management
Rent Collection 79.6 All of these areas will be examined as part of 2007/8 budget process from an HRA and General Fund perspective.

79.7 It was proposed by Officers to examine support cost and other recharges in detail in the 2007/08 budget process and challenge service providers to justify allocations. Thus resulting in changes to current levels of budget between the HRA and General Fund.

79.8 The Council has, in recent years, treated certain staff costs and savings according to historically agreed policies. These include the impact of the annual pay award and the treatment of vacancy savings. Whilst these policies have met accounting requirements with the significant pressures on the HRA Officers stated that it was an appropriate time to review these practices to ensure that they meet current best practice and deliver precise and justifiable allocations of costs in the future. Officers will undertake the review and the outcome will feed into the budget process.

79.9 The Executive considered proposals that sought Members agreement in principal in order to bring about savings to the HRA as soon as possible. At this stage of the review it is proposed that three establishment posts – all of which are vacant - in the HRA should be deleted and the savings accrue as follows:
Senior Clerk of Works30,2403,360-
Admin Trainee8,6102,870-
Sheltered Housing Manager*33,820330
* Retiring end of July 2006 79.10 The first two posts not to be filled during 2006/07 and therefore to constitute a full year saving.

79.11 The Manager of Shepherds Court, Farnham is retiring and at the same time, Rowland House in Cranleigh is being decommissioned. In order to avoid potential redundancies, it has been agreed that the Manager of Rowland House will move to Shepherds Court. She will provide support and assistance to the staff remaining at Rowland House until such time as it closes.

79.12 In relation to the Senior Management it was proposed, with the postholders agreement, to make the post of Head of Housing Management voluntarily redundant. Costs and options for the Council to consider are set out in (Exempt) Annexe 12. Subject to this redundancy being agreed it is also proposed to make an adjustment to the responsibilities of the Housing Services Manager and to introduce a new post of Housing IT Projects Officer. These proposals should save the Council around 21,000 per annum with nearly all being saved from the HRA. One off redundancy costs, to be agreed by the Council, would need to off-set against this saving. These are also detailed in Exempt Annexe 1 and provide for a payback in 1.4 years. 79.13 The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered this report at its meeting on 19th June 2006. The officer recommendation as detailed below was agreed.

79.14 The Housing Special Interest Group considered this report at its meeting on 23rd June 2006 and also agreed the recommendation as set out below.

The Executive


58. the posts identified at above be deleted from the establishment;

59. the post HA08 detailed at paragraph 12 be made redundant by agreement, on the terms set out in the Exempt Annexe 14;

60. subject to 2. above, a new post of Housing IT Projects Officer be introduced together with increased responsibility for the post of Housing Services Manager, on the terms set out in the Exempt Annexe 1; and

61. Officers be instructed to review the accounting practices detailed at paragraphs 79.7 and 79.8. Background Papers (DoH)

80. DORLCOTE, WITLEY (Additional Agenda Item 33, Appendix Z.1)

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

80.1 The report considered by the Executive advises of an opportunity to redevelop the site of the former sheltered housing scheme at Dorlcote in Witley. The proposal could result in 20 affordable homes provided by Thames Valley Housing Association, and also a capital receipt for the Council, which would be invested in the Housing Revenue Account’s Decent Homes Standard programme.

80.2 Having considered alternative options, the Officer report proposed the disposal of the Dorlcote site, Witley, to Thames Valley Housing Association, in order to enable 20 affordable homes and also generate a capital receipt for the Council.

80.3 Thames Valley Housing Association was successful in securing funding from the Housing Corporation for a development of 20 homes in the Waverley area and is seeking a site for development. The Dorlcote site has capacity for a similar number of dwellings. As there is a demonstrable housing need for affordable from within the Parish of Witley, it is therefore suggested that this site should be used to take advantage of this opportunity, and by doing so meeting some of that need.

80.4 The site has been valued on the basis of an open market disposal and this valuation figure is detailed in the (Exempt) Annexe 13 attached. This Annexe also details the figure that Thames Valley Housing Association would be able to pay to the Council in order for an affordable housing scheme to be undertaken.

80.5 The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered this matter at its meeting in May. It concluded that the site should be developed for affordable housing.

80.6 The Executive considered the following options and their implications:-

1. retain the site as an open space;
2. dispose of the site on the open market; or
3. develop as affordable housing.

80.7 An option would be for the site to be retained as open space. Once the Dorlcote sheltered housing scheme had been vacated, the property was demolished to ensure that the property did not become an eyesore or subject to vandalism. As a result, a pleasant green area has now been created.

80.8 The site is within the developed area and has previously been developed. It is clearly a site that has development potential and therefore a value as developable land, rather than as open space.

80.9 The land is held by the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) for housing purposes. The Council has two potential options as a landlord – one is to maximise the land value and reinvest the capital receipt in its existing housing stock to help meet the Decent Homes Standard; or the other, to use the land to meet its wider objective of addressing local housing need.

80.10 The Council, as a landlord, also needs to demonstrate that it is achieving ‘Best Value’ for its asset.

80.11 In order for the site to be used as an open space, the Council’s General Fund would need to appropriate the land at a value that compensates the HRA for the loss of a valuable parcel of land. Given the pressures on the General Fund capital programme, this would be difficult to achieve.

80.12 Witley Parish Council have offered this Council an alternative parcel of land in exchange for the Dorlcote site. The land being offered is on the outskirts of Milford, outside the developed area and with a planning presumption against development. This land is therefore worth considerably less than the Dorlcote site. Were the Council to pursue this course of action, the Parish Council would have to make up the shortfall between the value of the Dorlcote site and its site with a cash sum. The Parish Council’s published annual accounts suggest that it would not have the magnitude of resources necessary to fund the purchase of the Dorlcote site.

80.13 Officers considered that retaining the land as open space is not an option that the Council can afford at this time.

80.14 An option would be for the Council to dispose of the site on the open market.

The advantages of this option are that:

80.15 The disadvantages are:

80.16 The third option would be to develop the site for affordable housing for local people.

80.17 The Council has two housing roles – of strategic housing authority/enabler and also that of landlord. These two roles have to be held in balance. The Government Office of the South East have made it clear that whilst it recognises that the Council cannot meet the Decent Homes Standard and Waverley must strive to do so, the Council must not forget its wider responsibilities for contributing to meet local affordable housing need.

80.18 There is significant housing need across the Parish of Witley (which comprises Brook, Milford, Sandhills, Witley, and Wormley) with 154 households on the Housing Needs Register who currently live in the Parish and would like to remain in the area.

80.19 Thames Valley Housing Association has approached the Council looking for a site on which 20 affordable homes could be developed. The Association was successful in securing a grant from the Housing Corporation, but the site to which this grant was to be applied is no longer available. The Association, which has worked in this Borough for a long period, wondered whether the Council might have a site available in which to invest the grant to provide affordable homes. As it so happened, the Dorlcote site was vacant pending a decision about its future. The approach was therefore timely and gives the Council an option of delivering affordable homes with grant aid and secure a capital sum (though more modest than a sale on the open market). Members will be aware that the Council has, from time to time, transferred land at nil value to housing associations in order to secure affordable housing where grant from the Housing Corporation has not been available.

80.20 The proposal made is that the site should be developed to provide the following mix of homes:

14 homes for rent viz: 10 x 2-bed houses; 2 x 2-bed bungalows; 2 x 3-bed houses; and
6 homes for sale on shared ownership terms viz: 2 x 1-bed flats and 4 x 2-bed flats.

80.21 This mix reflects local housing need and also the fact that there are already a number of 1-bedroom flats adjacent to the site.

80.22 The advantages of this Option are that:

a. the proposed development of affordable housing meets a local housing need;

b. the Council would receive nomination rights to these homes;

e. the Council would be fulfilling two of its key Corporate Objectives.

80.23 The disadvantages are:

80.24 Thames Valley Housing Association has secured funding from the Housing Corporation, which can fund the proposed development. In these circumstances the Council can dispose of the site and generate a value from the site – whereas on other occasions the Council assists housing association partners by providing a subsidy either through a payment of capital grant or by transferring land at nil value.

80.25 The financial implications are that the Council would receive a capital receipt, which it could reinvest in its retained housing to contribute towards meeting the Decent Homes Standard. As members will recall, in order for the Council to retain all of the capital receipt, the Council has to formally resolve to reinvest the receipt in meeting the Decent Homes Standard or in a specific regeneration initiative.

80.26 It should be noted that a disposal on the open market would generate a larger capital sum than sale for an affordable housing development. However, balanced against this are the wider objectives of the Council to help meet local housing need.

80.27 The Executive considered the matters arising from the report. The Officers updated the Executive on the feedback from the public information day held on 10th July 2006. A summary sheet of the comments was circulated at the meeting.

80.28 The Executive

Background Papers (DoH)

Correspondence from Thames Valley Housing Association


Background Papers

The background papers relating to the following items in Parts II and III are as specified in the agenda for the meeting of the Executive.

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

81. NEW STREET LIGHTING IN SURREY (Agenda Item 18, Appendix M)
[Wards Affected: All]

81.1 The Executive considered a report which explained the new street lighting scheme proposed by the County Council. The report expressed concern about the project.

81.2 Surrey County Council (SCC) is proposing to replace approximately 85% of the public street lighting across the County through a 25 year Private Finance Initiative contract. (PFI) The contract, funded partly by the Department for Transport PFI Credits, includes the maintenance of these assets until 2031.

RESOLVED that Surrey County Council be advised that the PFI lighting scheme is not regarded as acceptable as it stands, for the reasons given in this report, and that a revision of the scheme is sought.

Background Papers (DoPD)

82. CLIMATE CHANGE (Agenda Item 19, Appendix N)
[Wards Affected: All]

82.1 The overwhelming view of the scientific community is that climate change is a reality – it is already occurring and will continue to occur into the future. The costs to society, the economy and the environment, locally and globally, could be enormous. The UK Government is now encouraging all local authorities to sign the ‘Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change’ to publicly show their commitment to addressing climate change. A Climate Change Action Plan has been produced which shows how Waverley is and will be meeting the challenge of climate change.

Background Papers (DE&L)

[Wards Affected: All]
83.1 The Executive considered a report which explained two projects that could be brought forward with the use of the capital element of the Planning Delivery Grant awarded for 2006/2007.

83.2 The projects were:-

a) A Visioning Workshop for Farnham to support the Town Councils' Urban Safety Management Initiative and future planning policy work on the Council's own Local Development Framework. b) Surveys of urban areas that might be under threat from tree loss with a view to protecting such important character through the creation of new Tree Protection Orders. 83.3 Authority was sought from the Executive to commit funding to these projects from the capital element of the 2006/7 Planning Delivery Grant.


Background Papers (DoPD)

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


84.1 The report, which was also considered by the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its meeting on 19th June 2006, provided an update on the resultant development of the new district based CAB service for Waverley.

RESOLVED that the report be noted and that the introduction of the new Waverley wide CAB service, Waverley Citizens’ Advice, be welcomed and that the national body, Citizens’ Advice, be thanked for their work and support in helping create the new organisation.

Background Papers

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

[Wards Affected: All]

85.1 The Executive considered a report which advised Members of proposals which are being advanced to introduce a single non-emergency number, 101, across the whole of Surrey. It outlines funding sources, potential delivery mechanisms and the consequences for Waverley.


1. Waverley’s agreement for a joint application in partnership to implement SNEN 101 in Surrey be endorsed; 2. the Director of Environment and Leisure be nominated as lead officer;
3. Local Strategic Partnership views be sought on the proposed roll-out of SNEN 101 in Surrey and especially in relation to Waverley; and

Background Papers (DoEL)

E.information supplied at the Wave 2 seminar on 29.6.06
Surrey Partnership letter of commitment.
[Wards Affected: All]

86.1 The Home Office published the Crime and Disorder Act Review and the Police and Justice Bill in January 2006. On 21st June 2006 the Home Office held a regional stakeholder consultation event to obtain opinions on the best way to implement the reviews recommendations. The consultation period is very tight and the Home Office is asking for comments by no later than the end of July 2006.

86.2 The Executive considered a report which is to bring to members' attention the main recommendations of the Crime and Disorder Act Review and the timescales related to the implementation of its recommendations.

86.3 The report invited members to consider the issues raised by the Crime and Disorder Review and the Police and Justice Bill, and to make comments and suggestion to the Home Office and/or senior officers.

Background Papers

Part III – Brief Summaries of Other Matters Dealt With


RESOLVED that the four-month rolling programme of key decisions for Waverley Borough Council be adopted.

[Wards Affected: N/A]


RESOLVED that the improvements in the Security function performance achieved thus far and the plans for further service improvements be noted.


The Executive received an oral update from the Head of Personnel and noted the work being done on Waverley Training Services and further contingency planning for a range of scenarios including a possible bird flu epidemic


RESOLVED that the report of the Waste Management Special Interest Group be noted.

[Ward Affected: Cranleigh West]

RESOLVED that a deed of easement be granted on terms and conditions as set out in the Exempt Annexe to the report, other terms and conditions to be negotiated by the Property and Development Manager.


In accordance with Procedure Rule 9, at 9.55 p.m. the Executive agreed to continue the meeting until the business on the agenda had been transacted.


The County Council requested that Waverley nominates to a number of Task/Sub-Groups of the Waverley Local Committee. The Group Leaders were consulted and the following nominations were agreed:-

Farnham Transportation Task Group

Mr R D Frost
Mr C H Mansell
Mr V K Scrivens
Mrs C Cockburn (reserve)

Godalming, Milford and Witley Transportation Task Group

Mr M W Byham
Mr A Rayner
Mr K Webster (reserve - tbc)

Haslemere and Western Villages Transportation Task Group

Mr P B Isherwood
Mr J E Robini

Cranleigh and Eastern Villages Transportation Task Group

Mr B A Ellis
Mr K T Reed

The meeting commenced at 7.00 p.m. and concluded at to 10.15 p.m.