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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 09/01/2007
Minutes




Executive 183
09.01.07
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE – 9TH JANUARY 2007

SUBMITTED TO THE COUNCIL MEETING – 20TH FEBRUARY 2007

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

*
Miss G B W Ferguson (Chairman)
*
Mr C H Mansell
*
Mrs C E Savage (Vice-Chairman)
*
Mr K T Reed
*
Mr S D Edge
*
Mr J E Robini
*
Mr B Grainger-Jones
*
Mr V K Scrivens
*
Mr P Haveron
* Present
Mr B A Ellis, Mrs M V M Hunt and Mr D C Inman were also in attendance.
Mr R J Gates was present and spoke on Items 5 and 10 (Minutes 217 and 221 refer).

211. MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 5th December 2006 were confirmed and signed.

212. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were no apologies for absence.

213. DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

Mrs C E Savage and the Director of Environment and Leisure declared personal and prejudicial interests in Agenda Item 18 relating to Codling Cottage, Chiddingfold as the applicant was a friend/acquaintance. Both left the Chamber during consideration of the item.
PART I – RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE COUNCIL

214. POLICY FOR THE CONDUCT OF INVESTIGATIONS INVOLVING COVERT SURVEILLANCE TECHNIQUES (Agenda Item 8; Appendix D)

214.1 The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) introduced controls over investigative procedures where “directed surveillance” is used in a particular investigation. An example of directed surveillance would be the installation of a sound recording device in a complainant’s property in order to monitor noise from an alleged perpetrator’s property.

214.2 RIPA also authorises the use of “covert human intelligence sources”. A member of the public acting as a test passenger in a taxi licensing investigation would be one such example. The use of such covert human intelligence sources by Waverley officers is, and would be, rare, and in any event would likely be undertaken in partnership with other agencies such as Surrey Police.

214.3 In June 2002, the Executive approved the designation of particular officers who may authorise the use of direct surveillance techniques, and a list of those officers is as follows:-

Head of Committee and Member Services
Head of Personnel and Central Services
Environmental Health Manager
Assistant Director of Finance
Audit Manager
Administration and Insurance Manager
Chief Revenues Officer
Assistant Director of Housing
Development Control and Policy Manager
214.4 Those officers, and investigating officers who may be authorised by them, have received training in order to give a common understanding of the procedures to be used for authorising and conducting the use of directed surveillance and covert human intelligence source techniques. Further ‘RIPA training’ is due to take place in April 2007 for all officers referred to above.

214.5 The amended Policy is attached at Annexe 1, and the proposed amendments are highlighted in bold italics for ease of reference. The amendments are minor, but expand the ‘legitimate aims’ so as to more correctly reflects the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998.

214.6 In particular it has become necessary to review the Policy, and amend it where appropriate, as a result of an upcoming initiative to be undertaken by the Housing Department. The initiative will employ covert CCTV in an attempt to monitor and identify anti-social behaviour, and those responsible for it, in and around Council properties. Given that this is the first occasion where the Housing Department has needed to operate investigations involving such surveillance, officers are keen to ensure that the Policy correctly reflects the legislation so as to be clear for those officers who are new to conducting such investigations. All officers involved in investigations as part of the initiative will receive the training referred to above.

214.7 The cost of processing authorisations in each investigation will be absorbed as procedural costs in initiating the investigation of the individual case. As such, the cost of implementing the provisions of the Act will, to some extent, depend on the number of relevant investigations involving directed surveillance.

214.8 The amended Policy is now presented for the approval of the Council. The Policy will continue to guide the practice of Council officers in conducting investigations where regulated covert surveillance techniques are used.

214.9 The Executive

RECOMMENDS that

Background Papers (MD)

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

215. LEASES OF COMMON LAND TO PARISH COUNCILS (Agenda Item 12; Appendix H)

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

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

215.1 Waverley owns 451 hectares of common land, some of which form greens within village centres. Four Parish Councils (Dunsfold, Chiddingfold, Elstead and Wonersh) have had leases for areas of common land within their boundaries. These leases were drawn up many years ago and their terms and conditions no longer reflect modern management practices. All of them have now expired, but as the leases have not been formally terminated, it is assumed that the lessees are `holding over` under the original terms.

215.2 The current leases delegate to the Parish Council, the functions of the Council under the Commons Regulation Scheme. However, over the years, changing environmental practices and increased litigation has made the terms of these leases increasingly irrelevant. With the request of Chiddingfold Parish Council to renew its lease, it is considered an opportunity to reassess all similar leases to ensure that they both meet present requirements and are capable of amendment over the period of the lease to take account of changing practices and needs.

215.3 At the beginning of 2004, Waverley entered into a lease of Blackheath Common. This lease sets out a framework of responsibilities; with a management plan setting out in detail the work that will be undertaken. The management plan is designed to be updated every five years to keep in line with the requirements of the site. This type of lease allows for flexibility, ensuring that it does not become obsolete over its term. It also ensures that the lease can be of a sufficiently long period for grants to be obtained for any improvement projects.

215.4 It is proposed that a similar lease structure is produced for Parish Councils. Details within the leases may vary to take account of the differing requirements of each party. The basic principle of the lease, however, should remain the same.

215.5 Following the request of Chiddingfold Parish Council to renew their lease, it would appear an opportunity to reconsider the leases of all such land, both those that have been granted in the past and those that may be sought in the future. It would appear appropriate to grant leases in similar form to that granted to Waverley in respect of Blackheath Common in order to ensure that the lease does not become obsolete over its term. The lease would therefore be in two parts: a) the basic framework of the responsibilities set out in the lease, b) a management plan, reviewed every 5 years, to implement them.

215.6 The Executive has authorised officers to enter into negotiations for leases of common land with Parish Councils, on the basis of the terms and conditions set out in an (Exempt) Annexe to the report, other terms and conditions to be agreed by the Countryside Management Officer and the Property and Development Manager and also

RECOMMENDS that

Background Papers (DoEL/DoPD)

216. ACCESS TO SERVICES OFFICER POST (Agenda Item 17; (Exempt) Appendix I)

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

Information relating to any individual.]

216.1 The Executive considered the report at (Exempt) Annexe 2 and

RECOMMENDS that

148. the recommendations contained in (Exempt) Annexe 2 be approved.
PARTS II AND III – MATTERS OF REPORT

Background Papers

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

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

There were no matters falling within this category.

Part III – Brief Summaries of Other Matters Dealt With

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

218. BUDGET UPDATE (Agenda Item 6; Appendix B)

218.1 General Fund (Appendix B.1)

The Executive gave further consideration to the General Fund Budget for 2007/2008, along with the suggested budget reductions set out at Annexe 2. Having had a detailed discussion on this, particularly the Exercise and Mobility Post, the Executive

218.2 Housing Revenue Account Draft Revenue Estimates (Appendix B.2)

219. BUDGET MONITORING - NOVEMBER 2006 (Agenda Item 7; Appendix C)
220. URGENT WORKS NOTICE - UNDERSHAW, HINDHEAD (Agenda Item 9; Appendix E)

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

Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.]

RESOLVED that
221. INTERIM MINIPLAN (Agenda Item 10; Appendix F)

222. BLACKHEATH, SHAMLEY GREEN AND WONERSH VILLAGE DESIGN STATEMENT (Agenda Item 11; Application G)


223. HEALTHCARE COMMISSION SIG FOR WAVERLEY (Agenda Item 13)

RESOLVED that

224. SURREY LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION - SUPPORTING PEOPLE COMMISSIONING BODY (Agenda Item 14)

[At this point in the meeting, Mr C H Mansell declared a personal and prejudicial interest as the husband of the proposed nominee].

225. EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

226. JUDICIAL REVIEW PROCEEDINGS - CODLING COTTAGE, CHIDDINGFOLD (Agenda Item 18; (Exempt) Appendix J)

This item was considered in (Exempt) Session at 9.19 p.m.
The meeting commenced at 7.00 p.m. and concluded at 9.50 p.m.




Comms/exec/2006-07/293