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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 14/07/2003
Minutes




7
MINUTES of the MEETING of the CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE held on 14th July 2003

(To be read in conjunction with the agenda for the meeting)
* Mr P D Harmer (Chairman)* Mr D C Inman
* Mr M J D Allan (Vice-Chairman)* Mr P B Isherwood
* Mr M H W Band* Mrs S R Jacobs
* Capt P G Burden* Mrs A E Mansell
* Mr M A Clark* Mr M W Marshall
Mrs C Cockburn* Mr P S Rivers
Mr M A Edgington* Ms M Taylor
* Mr B A Ellis* Mr K Webster
* Mr P Haveron
* Present

Mr R J Gates and Mrs J R Keen attended as substitutes
Mr M J Blower, Mr C H Mansell and Mr C C E Slyfield were also in attendance

15. MINUTES

The Vice-Chairman proposed a motion amending the minutes of the meeting held on 16th June 2003 to reflect, in greater detail, the early start time of that meeting. At 18.32 p.m. the Chairman adjourned the meeting to discuss the ensuing implications of amending the minutes.

The meeting was reconvened at 7.02 p.m. when the proposal was seconded by Ms Taylor to amend the minutes as follows:-

1. STARTING TIME OF MEETING (New Minute)

The meeting opened 6 minutes early, at 18.24, in the absence of the entire Liberal Democrat Group.

2. Current Minute 1 recording election of Mr Harmer as Chairman of the Committee.

3. LIBERAL DEMOCRAT MEMBERS' ARRIVAL (New Minute)

The Liberal Democrat Group entered the Chamber at 18.28, for a punctual start to the meeting.

The following minutes to be renumbered accordingly until current Minute 12, which will be renumbered 14 to read:

(Replace first paragraph of existing 12 [new 14] with:

14. Prior to the closing of the meeting, the Vice-Chairman expressed displeasure that the meeting had been opened early, in the absence of the whole of the Liberal Democrat Group, and hoped that, in future, meetings would open on correct time, and not that shown by an antique clock of dubious time keeping qualities.

(The existing second paragraph [of new Minute 14] starting "The Chief Executive…" remains.)

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

Apologies for absence were received from Mrs C Cockburn and Mr M A Edgington. Mr R J Gates and Mrs J R Keen attended as substitutes.

17. DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS (Agenda Item 3)

There were no interests raised under this heading.

18. EXECUTIVE FOUR-MONTH ROLLING PROGRAMME (Agenda Item 5, Appendix A)

RESOLVED that the Executive Four-Month Rolling Programme of Key Decisions, adopted by the Executive at its meeting on 23rd June 2003, be received.

19. COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME – ORAL UPDATES (Agenda Item 6.1)

At its meeting on 16th June, the Committee had asked to receive oral updates on the latest position on the following two issues:-

1. East Street, Farnham Redevelopment Scheme

The Director of Finance updated the Committee on the current situation with regard to East Street, Farnham. Crest Nicholson Sainsbury were in discussions with all adjacent landowners, including Greene King and St Nicholas Property Company. Waverley Borough Council was also in discussions with the Health Trust and Surrey County Council.

The Executive Portfolio Holder for East Street, Mr C H Mansell, was present at the meeting and also updated the Committee. A summary of the conditional contract had now been published in the press as part of the communication strategy for the scheme and results of the consultation exercise had now been published. 20,000 copies would be distributed and it would also be made available on the East Street website. It was reported to the Committee that there were many detailed changes to the Master Plan since the Council last met in March. These included reconfiguring the height and density of buildings and balancing the east and west sides of the scheme.

Crest Nicholson Sainsbury had stated that they hoped to be submitting a planning application later this year and that prior to this, a revised Masterplan would be submitted for Council consideration, along with traffic implications and other important aspects.

2. Housing Capital Receipts

The Director of Finance set out the implications of the Government taking 75% of receipts of sales of housing assets (land and Council houses) and redistributing it around the country and the fact that Local Authority Social Housing Grants were no longer available to subsidise affordable homes. Waverley currently receives an income of 3.2m each year from such sales, 50% of which could be used for affordable housing in partnership with housing associations, and 50% helping to achieve Decent Homes Standards.

It was noted that the Government had agreed to transitional arrangements which would reduce the impact of the changes to be implemented probably in April 2004. Waverley would therefore need to review its Financial Strategy to consider how these services could be achieved. Members would begin to consider options to address these issues at the Finance Seminar which was due to take place in September.

20. OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY – PREFERRED WAYS OF WORKING (Agenda Item 6.2)

Following the last meeting of the Committee, a questionnaire was circulated inviting members to comment on their preferred ways of working for the Overview and Scrutiny function. Six responses were received which identified a preference towards continuing in the current style. Members were comfortable with the level of formality that existed in the Committee and felt that there was good visibility for all in the current venue, although it was considered helpful to the public if Committee members sat around the inner circle only. Members were also happy to experiment with workshops and site visits, where appropriate, although traditional committee working was also considered to be most suitable for undertaking business.

RESOLVED that meetings continue in the Council Chamber and that all members sit around the inner circle for future meetings.

21. OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY – FUTURE WORK PROGRAMME (Agenda Item 6.3)

The Chairman of the Committee invited the Leader of the Council to comment on how policy matters would be dealt with by the Overview and Scrutiny Committees. It was noted that the process of feeding appropriate items through Overview and Scrutiny in advance of the Executive was still being discussed. With regard to items for the future work programme, Minute 24 below also refers.

22. A RACE EQUALITY SCHEME FOR WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL (Agenda Item 7, Appendix B)

RESOLVED that the Executive be asked to consider

1. whether the process could be speeded up to aim for completion in advance of April 2005;

2. the removal of the word 'positive' from the second bullet point under the sub-heading of employment (page 20 of the agenda refers); and

3. specific budgeting for matters such as the Race Equality Scheme in the future.

23. EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC (Agenda Item 8)

RESOLVED that, pursuant to Procedure Rule 20, and in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the public were present during the item(s), there would be disclosure to them of exempt information (as defined by Section 100I of the Act) of the description specified in Paragraph 11 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act, namely:-

Information relating to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated consultations or negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matters arising between the authority or a Minister of the Crown and employees of, or office-holders under the authority.

24. OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY – FUTURE WORK PROGRAMME (Agenda Item 6.3)

RESOLVED that the Committee receive a report on the Haslemere Locality Office.

The meeting concluded at 8.27 p.m.



Chairman
comms/o&s1/2003-04/008