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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Council held on 16/10/2001
Executive Committee Report to Council



WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
24TH JULY, 6TH AND 28TH AUGUST AND 18TH SEPTEMBER 2001

REPORT TO THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL ON
16TH OCTOBER 2001

Note pursuant to Section 100B(5) of the Local Government Act 1972

The items referred to below contain exempt information by virtue of which the public is likely to be excluded. The information is as specified in those paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 indicated :-

Item L

Information relating to any particular applicant for, or recipient or former recipient of, any financial assistance provided by the authority (Paragraph 5).

Items L, BB, GG

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (other than the authority) (Paragraph 7).

Item Z

Information relating to any particular occupier or former occupier of, or applicant for, accommodation provided by or at the expense of the authority (Paragraph 3).

Items V, DD, NN, PP

The amount of any expenditure proposed to be incurred by the authority under any particular contract for the acquisition of property or the supply of goods or services (Paragraph 8).

Items H, V, AA, CC, DD, NN, JJ,PP

Any terms proposed or to be proposed by or to the authority in the course of negotiations for a contract for the acquisition or disposal of property or the supply of goods or services (Paragraph 9).

Item GG

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

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

(b) the determination of any matter affecting the authority

(whether, in either case, proceedings have been commenced or are in contemplation) (Paragraph 12).

Item GG

Information which, if disclosed to the public, would reveal that the authority proposes:-

(a) to give under any enactment a notice under or by virtue of which requirements are imposed on a person; or

(b) to make an order or direction under any enactment,

as disclosure to the public might afford an opportunity to a person affected by the notice, order or direction or defeat the purpose or one of the purposes for which the notice, order or direction is to be given or made (Paragraph 13).

PART I – Reports containing recommendations for decision by the Council

A. CAPITAL STRATEGY
[Wards Affected: N/A]
A.1. The statutory requirement to produce Capital Strategies stems from the introduction of the Single Capital Pot as a means of providing a new cross-service allocation for the bulk of Central Government Capital support to local authorities. All local authorities are required to submit Capital Strategies, together with their Asset Management Plans and HIPs bids, by 31st July 2001.

A.2. Waverley, having recently acquired debt-free status, is unlikely to seek credit approvals for borrowing in the foreseeable future, but nonetheless has to comply with the requirements. Your Committee concurs with the officers’ view that it is in the Council’s interest to produce a comprehensive Capital Strategy document in accordance with Best Practice.

A.3. In common with other authorities, Waverley was required to submit a “Dry Run” Capital Strategy to the DETR by 31st July 2000. This was approved by Management Board and by Policy and Resources Committee and submitted by the due date.

A.4. Waverley’s Capital Strategy as submitted for the “Dry Run” process has been updated to take account of recent development, in particular the outcome of the LSVT vote and achievement of debt-free status. Your Committee has approved the draft Capital Strategy, attached at Annexe 1, at its meeting on 24th July last, as an appropriate basis for submission to the DTLR, given the timescale involved for the submission.

A5. Several aspects of the Capital Strategy seek to achieve environmental benefits. As stated above, having recently acquired debt-free status, Waverley is unlikely to seek borrowing approval in the near future. However, should it seek to do so in the future, its ability to achieve an allocation from the Single Capital Pot will, in part, be dependent on the ability to demonstrate that Waverley has a comprehensive Capital Strategy. A6. Your Committee has approved the draft Capital Strategy, for submission to the DTLR, and

RECOMMENDS that

29. the action taken in this matter be endorsed.

Background Papers (DoF)

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

B. HOUSING STRATEGY STATEMENT 2002 AND BEYOND
AND HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT BUSINESS PLAN 2002 AND BEYOND
[Wards Affected: All]

B.1 Each year, the Council is required to formulate a Housing Strategy Statement and a Housing Revenue Account Business Plan. Your Committee, at its meeting on 24th July, received a draft Housing Strategy Statement, a draft of the HRA Business Plan and the Housing Investment Programme Bid.

B.2 The Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee considered a report on the development of these documents when it met on 4th June 2001. The views and comments of that Committee were taken into account in formulating these documents, which the Council is required to present to the Government Office of the South East by 31st July 2001, at least in draft form.

B.3 Each year, the Council is required to prepare a number of documents as part of the annual Housing Investment Programme (HIP round), which are:

Housing Strategy Statement (Annexe 2)
Housing Revenue Account Business Plan (Annexe 3)
Housing Investment Programme (HIP) Bid (Annexe 4)

B.4 It is also required to prepare the Home Energy Conservation Act Annual Report later in the year and, if necessary, a separate report will be presented to your Committee at a later date.

B.5 Over recent years, the Department of Transport, Local Government and Regions (DTLR) has been encouraging local authorities to develop housing strategies which have a 3 - 5 year span of forward planning. The DTLR takes the view that strategy statements should not necessarily be re-written in their totality every year.

B.6 Housing Strategy Statements are expected to be comprehensive documents which address a range of housing-related matters, and to take into account national policy issues.

B.7 Your Committee has noted that, as from 2000, local authorities which retain housing stock in the Housing Revenue Account are required to draw-up HRA Business Plans outlining the strategic and investment plans for their landlord account and properties. As a consequence, there is less emphasis on the Council’s role as a landlord in the Housing Strategy Statement but there are cross-references to the HRA Business Plan.

B.8 The Housing Strategy Statement, HIP Bid and the HRA Business Plan were required to be with the Government Office of the South East by 31st July 2001. Your Committee has approved the draft Housing Strategy Statement and HRA Business Plan so that both draft documents could be sent to the Government Office by 31st July. It has agreed that the Council will formally consider the documents in the autumn, after which the Government Office will be supplied with a final copy of each.

B.9 The Housing Investment Programme (HIP) now comprises a more straightforward recasting of the current year and future year's provisions within the various Housing Capital Programmes. As the Council is now ‘debt free’, it is not expected to seek borrowing approvals in respect of its Housing Revenue Account or LA SHG Programme. In respect of the General Fund Programme, the Government continues to support, by means of Specified Capital Grant, the Disabled Facilities Grants. The new provision for 2002/03 is in respect of a DTLR requirement to undertake a regular private sector survey.

B.10 The Housing Strategy Statement, HIP Bid and the HRA Business Plan have regard to the Council’s financial strategy currently in place and are based on the likely level of available resources. The estimate for 2001/02 takes account of the 2000/01 out-turn and changes to schemes and timings for the HRA and LA SHG programmes. The Housing Strategy and HRA Business Plan reflect the Council’s priorities in relation to ‘Opportunities for All’; Crime and Disorder Strategy and the LA 21 Strategy.

B.11 Your Committee has approved the draft Housing Strategy Statement, HIP Bid and HRA Business Plan for submission to the Government Office of the South East to meet the deadline date and

RECOMMENDS that

30. the action taken in this matter be endorsed.

Background Papers (DoH)

Housing Investment Programme Guidance Papers issued by the DETR May 2001.

C. IMPLEMENTING ELECTRONIC GOVERNMENT STATEMENT: PROGRESS REPORT
[Wards Affected: All]

C.1 At its meeting on 24th July last, your Committee was informed that the DTLR/LGA had issued a consultation paper entitled “e-Government - Delivering Local Government Online” in February 2001 in which it stated that Central Government would make the following funds available to support Local Government in the introduction of electronic service delivery (ESD):

2001/02 - 25m
2002/03 - 135m
2003/04 - 190m

C.2 The consultation paper stated that the 25m identified for 2001/02 would be distributed to a small number of “Pathfinder Authorities” and invited Councils to submit bids for consideration.

C.3 The paper also stated that the sums identified for years two and three would be allocated “on a broadly flat rate to all principal authorities of the order of 250,000 in each year as a contribution to the capital costs of setting up partnerships”. It specifically stipulated that Councils would only be considered for such funding if they had submitted an “Implementing Electronic Government (IEG) Statement” to the DTLR by 31st July 2001.


C.4 Officers were advised by the DLTR that the “new money” identified in the consultation paper would only take the form of borrowing approvals and therefore be of no benefit to debt-free authorities such as Waverley. After receiving this advice, officers were informed that the DTLR changed its funding policy with respect to “Pathfinder Authorities” and had, in fact, offered “real money” to some debt-free Councils that had submitted successful bids. This information offers some hope that the Government’s proposed funding for year’s two and three might take the form of “real money” and therefore be of significance to Waverley. Consequently, your Committee that it is important that Waverley submits an IEG Statement to the DTLR by the deadline of 31st July 2001 in order to be eligible for funding.

C.5 The consultation paper “e-Government - Delivering Local Government Online” states that access to the funds allocated for 2002/03 and 2003/04 will be conditional upon local Authorities producing an “Implementing Electronic Strategy” (IEG) statement by 31st July 2001. Officers are currently working on a draft IEG Statement, based upon the template stipulated by the DTLR and other sources, including SOCITM and IDeA. Waverley has been working in partnership with the other Surrey Districts and the County Council in developing an over-arching joint IEG Statement. This will eventually take the form of an appendix to Waverley’s IEG Statement.

C.6 Your Committee has been informed that subsequent advice received from the IDeA has recognised the short timescale that was imposed and has stated that an IEG Statement could be submitted even though not all stakeholders had yet been consulted and approval not yet obtained from Members. However, the IEG Statement should include details of its status and a schedule for completion of consultation and member approval.

C.7 The resource implications of implementing electronic government will be considered as part of the budget process. The submission of an IEG Statement to the DTLR provides an opportunity for the Council to receive government funding of 250,000 in each of financial years 2002/3 and 2003/4.

C.8 The ability to undertake transactions electronically, thereby reducing the use of paper and transportation, suggests that the implementation of e-Government could have beneficial environmental implications. The potential for electronic service delivery to reach isolated and vulnerable sectors of society means that the implementation of e-Government could support “opportunities for all”.

C.9 Your Committee has agreed that a draft “IEG Statement” be submitted to the DTLR before the deadline of 31st July 2001 to satisfy the Government’s requirements.

C.10 Subsequently, at its meeting on 28th August last, the Committee endorsed the Implementing Electronic Government Statement which had been submitted, and also asked the officers to organise an Awareness Seminar on implementing e-Government, for all members of the Council, to be arranged for the autumn of 2001 . The IEG Statement is attached at Annexe 5.

C.11 Your Committee accordingly

RECOMMENDS that

31. the submission of a draft IEG Statement to the DTLR before 31st July deadline be supported.


D. DEVELOPMENT CONTROL – WORKLOADS AND RESOURCES
[Wards Affected: N/A]

D.1 Your Committee was advised at its meeting on 28th August of the continuing rise in workloads in the Development Control Service. This includes not only planning applications but also planning appeal Inquiries and implications for land searches. The staffing resources available to the Development Control service were considered in March 1999 and more recently as part of the Fundamental Service Review of the Development Control section.

D2. In March 1999 it was agreed that additional staffing resources should be allocated to Development Control. 2,100 planning applications were received in 1998 and since this time there has been a continuing increase. The table below sets out the number of planning applications received each year since 1995. The first six months’ figures for this year compared to last year represent an increase in applications of some 17%. Since the increased resources were agreed in March 1999, application numbers have increased by 12% to the year 2000 and potentially will increase by 21% by the end of 2001
D.3 Prior to March 1999, the Development Control and Administrative Sections were staffed to deal with the levels of applications that prevailed in the early 90s (around 1,700). Since March 1999, agreement has been given to an additional post in the Administrative Section and the Fundamental Service Review has identified the need
D.4 The problem of resources allocated to processing applications has been highlighted by the fact that the Planning Officer appointed on the temporary two year contract as part of the March 1999 proposals has indicated that she has been offered a post with another Authority and intends handing in her notice shortly. She has been in the post for around 18 months. In addition, one of the Administration Assistants responsible for the registration of applications has resigned. Given the continuing increase in planning applications and appeals your Committee has considered the following measures:- D.5 Your Committee has agreed that officers be allowed to work overtime, reviewable on a six monthly basis, up to a limit on the total expenditure for the whole department of 10,000 in any one year. It has also agreed that the Administration Assistant’s post should be filled and that any vacancy arising through redeployment of existing staff should also be filled, the Temporary Trainee Administration Assistant’s post be refilled on a one year contract, and the salary be a maximum of 10c. It has asked the Director of Planning and Development to report on the long-term strategy for delivery of the service following the Best Value Inspector’s report.

D.6 The remaining proposals seek, firstly, to replace the existing Planning Assistant post when vacated. In order to recruit an appropriate officer it is considered that a new two-year contract should be offered. Secondly, it is planned employ a Part Time Planning Officer for up to 15 hours a week. An officer has been employed during the Best Value Fundamental Service Review along with two other Part Time Officers to provide cover for the Area Planning Officer (APO) who undertook the lead officer role for the Review. The Officer providing the principal cover during this period used to be employed full-time as an Area Planning Officer by the Authority.

D.7 The Council has a performance indicator in relation to the speed of determining planning applications. The indicator is that 70% of planning applications should be determined in eight weeks. At present on average the performance is falling slightly below that figure and the 12 month running total is currently 67%. There is a clear relationship between staff resources in Development Control and the speed of determining applications and meeting other service targets. In order to meet the performance targets, your Committee agrees with the officers’ report that the extra resources proposed above are necessary. It has taken into account that the increasing workload is mirrored by a proportionate increase in planning appeals. The current budget for legal services to Inquiries is 20,000 and this may be exceeded based on current workload trends. This matter will be considered during the revised budget process.

D.8 The estimated full year costs of the all of the proposals would be as follows:-

a) Planning Officer at pay band 8c (23,112) (including employers National Insurance, superannuation and travelling allowance);

b) Part Time Planning Officer at pay band (14,034) (including employers National Insurance, superannuation and travelling allowance);


D.9 Fees for planning applications are set by the Government. There has been no increase in fees since October 1997. Fee income has, however, increased recently as a result of increased applications but has not kept pace with the estimated budget forecasts. However, it is anticipated the Government will soon announce a fee increase. Fee income over recent years has been as follows:-

1998/1999 418,785.56
1999/2000 418,532.12
2000/2001 425,743.95

D.10 Whilst there has been a significant increase in application numbers, that increase has not been mirrored by a significant increase in fee income, because of the higher proportion of householder applications that have recently been submitted. Such applications whilst not generating high fee income can nevertheless be time consuming to process properly.

D.11 Your Committee recognises that that the measures mentioned above are short term and that there is a need to re-evaluate the Planning Service in the light of the report from the Best Value Inspection, workload trends, customer needs, etc, and reshape the service in accordance with a longer term strategy for service delivery. It has therefore asked for a further report to be presented following the Best Value Inspection Report. It now

D.12 At its meeting on 18th September, your Committee agreed to incorporate the observations of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee call-in meeting, and to clarify that overtime in respect of planning officers will be capped at a total of 10,000 for all staff in the department in any one year. In addition, your Committee has reaffirmed its decisions in respect of the remaining four resolutions relating to workloads and resources, which had been the subject of call-in. It now

RECOMMENDS that

32. the Planning Officer short-term contract post be refilled on the basis of a new two-year contract, reviewable at the end of the employment contract or at the end of two years whichever is the sooner; and

33. a Part Time Planning Officer (Area Planning Officer level) be appointed to work up to 15 hours a week on a short term contract for two years reviewable at the end of the employment contract or at the end of the two years whichever is the sooner

Background Papers (DoPD)

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


E. COUNCIL OFFICES - CLEANING
[Wards Affected: N/A]

E.1 Following the agreement to terminate the Council Offices cleaning contract which was given at the meeting of your Committee on 20th March 2001, the Committee has now considered, at its meeting on 28th August last, a report on continuation of the present arrangements for cleaning the Council Offices, using directly employed staff. (In brief, the termination was a consequence of the failure of the contractor, despite many meetings and many exhortations, to provide sufficient staff with the appropriate commitment in order to be able to carry out the contract.) The offices accommodation should be regarded as part of the benefits package for staff and a good standard of cleaning not only contributes to the well being of staff but also contributes to the statutory requirement, placed upon the Council, to provide a safe place of work.

E.2 Your Committee has recognised the difficulty of recruiting and retaining staff. Currently ten members of staff are employed on temporary, part-time contracts (two members of staff are also employed on casual contracts to provide cover as necessary) although the proposed establishment is for 11 part-time staff. In the period since the cleaning contract was terminated in mid-February, six members of staff have been recruited and have subsequently left the service.

E.3 Changes have been made to the way the cleaning is carried out. Essentially this has been to operate a floor-by-floor flow cleaning system in which staff work in teams and provide cover and support to each other, to vary the working times, and to make arrangements in rubbish collection to increase the rate of recycling.

E.4 Notwithstanding the level of turnover, as the current staff adjusts to the new system, clear improvements in the standard of cleaning are starting to be achieved. This is confirmed through the outcome of a staff satisfaction survey dealing with the standard of office cleaning.

E.5 In February 2001, a survey (the outcome of which contributed to the conclusion that the cleaning contract should be terminated) resulted in 140 responses and showed a 66% dissatisfaction rate. In July, a similar survey resulted in 69 responses and showed 30% dissatisfied. Staff Representatives have also been consulted and have expressed satisfaction that there has been a significant improvement in standards since the work was taken back in-house. It is clear that the marked improvements achieved in a relatively short space of time strongly indicate that the work should be retained ‘in-house’ until such time that it becomes appropriate to re-contract the work. There is still progress to be made as 30% of the staff remain dissatisfied and it is expected that improvements will continue to be made as the new staff gain experience.

E.6 Clearly, the most significant challenge to whoever operates office cleaning is to find staff to carry out this relatively low-paid work with any enthusiasm at this time of low unemployment locally. As regards recruitment of such staff, it has been seen to be an advantage to have local management who know the area and who have contacts amongst the local community. Also, there is no doubt that to be an employee of the Council carries a greater sense of pride in and commitment to the work. To reinforce that sense of pride, given that the initial agreement was on the basis that new staff would be employed on temporary contracts, it is proposed that staff should be offered ‘permanent’ contracts of employment. The staffing structure would be:-


Morning Shift (7am to 9.30am): 1 x supervisor (part-time)
2 x cleaner (part-time)

Evening Shift (6.00pm to 9.00pm): 1 x Supervisor (part-time)
7 x cleaner (part-time)

E.7 Your Committee was informed in March that the service would be operated ‘in-house’ for an interim period at no additional cost and that has been achieved. However, the financial analysis shows that, in a full year, there would be an increase in cost over the current budget year’s provision. That needs to be balanced against the fact that, the cleaning contract would have been re-tendered this year. It is unreasonable to suppose that the new contract price would have been contained within the current provision. Further, the proposal to give the staff ‘permanent’ contracts of employment would not prejudice a future decision to contract the work. Your officers have advised that, under current interpretation of the law, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 would apply and that, as a consequence, any future contractor would be required to accept those staff as a condition of taking on the work.

E.8 There are not considered to be any specific human rights considerations arising out of this proposal. In relation to the impact of this report as part of the section 17 requirements of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, it has been identified that although a limited application, the presence of a regular, committed workforce is likely to improve the security of the Council Offices at those times when the building is, of necessity, open to the public but when very few staff are present. Also, it needs to be recognised that cleaning staff have all but unlimited access to the secure parts of the building where papers and equipment such as telephones is readily accessible. The implied term of trust and confidence that exists in an employment relationship should give the Council more reassurance that such access will not be abused.

E.9 The estimated full cost of directly employing the offices cleaning staff is 56,268 a year. This figure presumes that all staff directly employed will take up the option of membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme. However, it is likely that there will be some saving in the full cost due to the anticipated level of turnover. At an estimated saving level of 5%, this maximum cost is likely to be in the region of 53,500. This reduced estimate is consistent with the current level of on-going expenditure. In addition, the cost of cleaning materials is estimated at 2,000 a year giving a total expenditure of 55,500. This compares with the contract cleaning budget provision in the current year of 49,232. In the current year, savings from the terminated contract, which have been brought forward into the current year, will offset the additional expenditure.

E.10 Appropriate budget provision for offices cleaning will be made in the (draft) estimates for the year 2002/03. However, as mentioned earlier the cleaning contract would have been re-tendered this year with the probable consequence that the cost of the contract would have risen.

E.11 Notwithstanding the current year’s position, your Committee has noted that additional expenditure on the cleaning function would be chargeable to the sum of 3,500 in the Housing Revenue Account for the cleaning of Montrose House, Farnham. This will no longer be required once the Housing staff at Montrose have been relocated to the Council Offices in Godalming. Although there will be some reliance on “word of mouth” recruitment, the Council’s formal recruitment procedures will apply to the

appointment of staff to ensure that the Council’s Equal Employment Opportunities Policy is adhered to. Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that


Background Papers (CEx)

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

F. ELECTORAL REVIEW OF FRENSHAM PARISH
[Ward Affected: Frensham, Dockenfield and Tilford]

F.1 As Members may recall, following a request from Frensham Parish Council, an electoral review was held in Frensham Parish, with the Parish Council meeting the cost of the undertaking, to establish the local support for a separate parish for the Churt area.

F.2 Waverley has the power under the Local Government and Rating Act 1997 to carry out a review of parish arrangements but in the case of creation of a parish, the request would have to be submitted to the Secretary of State for an Order to be made.

F.3 As reported to your Committee on 24th July, the review process set out in the Local Government and Rating Act 1997 required Waverley to ensure that persons who may be interested in the review are informed of:-

(i) the decision to conduct the review;
(i) the subject matter of the review; and
(iii) the period within which representations about the subject matter of the review may be made.

F.4 It was agreed that the consultation should be in the form of:-

(i) a leaflet drop to every household affected;
(ii) advertisements in the local press and display posters;
(iii) a public meeting; and
(iv) an informal parish poll, which was held on the same day as the County and General Elections, 7th June 2001.

F.5 A public meeting was held on 15th May when Waverley officers and Frensham Parish Councillors met the local residents in Churt Village Hall to explain the Electoral Review process and receive the views of the residents. A leaflet drop was made to every household in the three wards of the Parish of Frensham, of approximately 1,149 households, informing electors of the informal Opinion Poll to be held on 7th June, the location of the polling stations serving the three wards of Churt, Frensham and Rushmoor and advising them of the question to be asked:
“Do you wish the Village of Churt to have its own Parish Council?”

F.6 Press coverage was also given in the Farnham Herald and the Parish Council produced an information leaflet setting out the advantages and disadvantages of the case for a separate Parish Council for Churt village.

F.7 The informal Opinion Poll was in the form of a ballot paper which was offered to every elector voting at the three polling stations that served Churt, Frensham and Rushmoor Parish wards at the Parliamentary and County Council elections on 7th June. The counting of the ballot papers took place on Monday, 11th June, in the Council Chamber at the Godalming Offices. There were 82 spoilt papers and the results were as follows:-
F.8 The estimated cost for the electoral review was 1,500 and Frensham Parish Council has agreed to meet these costs. They do not, however, include officer time, and this will be accommodated within existing budgets.

F.9 Your Committee recognises that the result of the Informal Parish Poll indicates strong support of the residents of Frensham Parish for the creation of a separate parish for the Churt Parish ward area. It is proposed therefore that, subject to the approval of Waverley, a public notice of the Council’s intention to make an application to the Secretary of State for the making of an Order should be placed in the local press and displayed in the parish, inviting local residents to make any further representation which would be submitted with the application to the Secretary of State.

F.10 The Council will need to consider, at a future meeting, the financial implications to Waverley arising from the creation of a new parish and, if the Secretary of State agreed to the making of an Order, the membership of the proposed new parish council. There may also be a need to review the membership of Frensham Parish Council which, should a new Churt Parish be created, would then comprise the remaining Frensham and Rushmoor wards.

F.11 Your Committee

RECOMMENDS that

37. an application be submitted to the Secretary of State for an Order to create a new parish for the Churt Parish Ward area of Frensham Parish.

Background Papers (CEx)

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

PART II - Matters reported in detail for the information of the Council

There are no matters falling within this category.

PART III – Brief Summaries of Other Matters Dealt with

Background Papers

The background papers relating to the following report items in Part III are as specified in the agenda for the meetings.

G. FOUR-MONTH ROLLING PROGRAMME
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee, at each of its meetings, adopted its four-month rolling programme of key decisions, which are referred to the three Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

H. EAST STREET REGENERATION
[Wards Affected: All Farnham]

H.1 At its meeting on 24th July, your Committee agreed that:-

1. the draft development brief be accepted;

2. the necessary arrangements be put in hand, as described in the report, for the de-listing of Brightwells House;

3. the Director of Planning and Development negotiates on the outstanding issues covered in (Exempt) Annexe 2 to the report and reports back to the Executive Committee meeting on 28th August; and

4. the terms of reference of the SIG be extended to the end of October 2001.

H.2 At its meeting on 28th August last, your Committee approved the appointment of Messrs Lawrence Graham to act on behalf of the Council in connection with the East Street regeneration scheme. The Committee also agreed that fees for the pre-development stage will be met from the Development Consultancy Budget for Regeneration Projects and thereafter, fees will be recovered from the Developer appointed.

H.3 The Committee also reconsidered its previous decision on this matter in light of the observations and recommendation from the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee and that Committee’s support for the revised recommendation from the East Street Special Interest Group. Your Committee has agreed that the resolution of the SIG be supported, as follows:

That the Committee supports the proposal to de-list but requests that any developer should recognise the significance of the remaining parts of Brightwells House and its surroundings and setting; and that they be required to produce a design which is of high quality and sensitive to the setting and surroundings, including the flower gardens, lawns and Cedars of Lebanon.

I. ANNUAL ACCOUNTS 2000/2001 – OVERALL EXPECTED REVENUE OUTTURN (GENERAL FUND, HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT AND COLLECTION FUND)
[Wards Affected: N/A]

At its meeting on 24th July, your Committee agreed that the report on this matter be received and slippage of 70,400 from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002 be approved.

J. CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2000/2001 OUTTURN (GENERAL FUND, HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT AND LA SOCIAL HOUSING GRANT)
[Wards Affected: N/A]

At its meeting on 24th July, your Committee agreed that:-

1. the financing proposals for the 2000/2001 financial year summarised in paragraph 3 and detailed in Annexe 1 of the agenda report be approved;

2. the determinations in the report for the financial year 2000/2001 be approved;

3. slippage totalling 823,700 as detailed in Annexe 2 of the report from the 2000/2001 General Fund Capital Programme to the 2001/2002 General Fund Capital Programme be approved;

4. slippage totalling 275,790 as detailed in Annexe 2 from the 2000/2001 to the 2001/2002 Housing Revenue Account Capital Programme be approved; and

5. slippage totalling 570,510 as detailed in Annexe 2 from the 2000/2001 to the 2001/2002 LA SHG Capital Programme be approved.

K. GUILDFORD, MOLE VALLEY AND WAVERLEY COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICE PARTNERSHIP
[Wards Affected: All]

At its meeting on 24th July, your Committee agreed that:

1. the terms of reference, aims, objectives and activities of the Guildford, Mole Valley and Waverley Community Legal Service Partnership be endorsed and the potential links to Best Value and the Community Strategy be noted;

2. the Leader of the Council, Waverley’s Assistant Chief Executive and Waverley’s Partnership Funding Officer represent Waverley on the Guildford, Mole Valley and Waverley Community Legal Service Partnership; and

3. payment of members’ allowances relating to attendance at steering group meetings be approved.

L. LANDFILL TAX CREDIT SCHEME – SITA SOUTH WEST SURREY PARTNERSHIP
[Wards Affected: All]

At its meeting on 24th July, your Committee noted the success of the three year SITA South West Surrey Partnership initiative, together with the value of grants benefiting communities within Waverley. It also agreed that Dr R A Thomas be appointed to represent Waverley Borough Council on the SITA South West Surrey Partnership for the final year up to April 2002. M. MATCHED FUNDING PROVISION – APPLICATIONS IN RESPECT OF SAYERS CROFT, EWHURST; CRANLEIGH VILLAGE HALL; GLOBAL GRANTS; WEYDOWN ROAD, HASLEMERE; AND FRENSHAM COMMON.
[Wards Affected: All]

At its meeting on 24th July, your Committee approved the following:
N. BEST VALUE : DISTRICT AUDIT STATUTORY REPORT ON THE PERFORMANCE PLAN FOR 2001/02
[Wards Affected: All]

At its meeting on 24th July, your Committee noted the Best Value Audit Report on the Best Value Performance Plan for 2001/2002, which includes an unqualified opinion. It also approved the action plan at Annexe 2 of the report as the Council’s statutory response to the audit recommendations.

O. SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING GUIDANCE: REVITALISATION OF HINDHEAD PROJECT BRIEF
[Wards Affected: Hindhead]

Your Committee agreed, at its meeting on 24th July, that the potential beneficial effects of carrying out the study at this time be recognised. It has also approved the project brief and timetable.

P. PROVISION OF BUS SHELTERS
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee agreed, at its meeting on 24th July, that:

1. the Council continues to maintain and replace the existing bus shelter stock and be mindful of the budget position for this function when it determines the spending priorities in the General Fund Revenue Estimates;

2. town and parish councils be encouraged to provide shelters at new sites in their areas and to assist with the cost of replacement shelters;

3. the Director of Environment and Leisure be authorised to enter into agreement with Adshel, or other appropriate suppliers, for the provision of advertising shelters, initially at Dogflud Way, Farnham, and subsequently at any other locations in the Borough (including existing locations), subject to planning approval;

4. the Property and Development Manager be authorised to seek a licence from D C Leisure for the use of land at Dogflud Way for the erection of an advertising bus shelter for the remainder of the period of their lease and subsequently exclude that area from the future lease;

5. the Property and Development Manager be authorised to permit the erection and maintenance of a bus shelter by Adshel on the Council’s land at Dogflud Way without payment to the Council of any part of the advertising income;

6. Farnham Town Council’s decision to enter into its own agreement with a private partner for provision of advertising shelters in its area be supported;

7. the participation of Waverley in the “Bus Quality Partnership” be approved; and

8. Surrey County Council be encouraged to provide Local Transport funding for the provision of additional bus shelters in Waverley.

Q. LICENCE FOR FOOTPATH, CROWN COURT, GODALMING
[Ward Affected: Godalming South East]

It was agreed by your Committee at its meeting on 24th July that Godalming Properties Limited be offered a licence of up to 30 years for access to the rear of 32 High Street, Godalming, via the footpath shown hatched on the submitted plan, and for upgrading and maintaining the footpath, and a car parking bay be repositioned at the applicant’s expense and to the satisfaction of the Director of Environment and Leisure on terms and conditions to be negotiated by the Property and Development Manager.

R. CONSULTATION ON NHS PRIMARY CARE TRUSTS
[Wards Affected: All]

R.1 It was agreed by your Committee at its meeting on 24th July, that the Director of Housing should draft a Waverley response to the Department of Health based on comments made by Members. This was submitted to the 28th August meeting of the Committee and was adopted by members subject to additions agreed at the meeting.

R.2 Your Committee, on 28th August, supported the creation of the Waverley Primary Care Trust, as proposed by the West Surrey Health Authority and Waverley Primary Care Group. It has also agreed the terms of a response to the consultation paper, to be sent to the West Surrey Health Authority, based on paragraphs 12-17 in the body of the report, with the addition of concerns expressed at its meeting about the local democratic deficit in the proposed membership of the Trust.

S. SOUTH WEST SURREY PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCY - BOUNDARY REVIEW : FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS
[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has noted the Final Recommendations of the Boundary Commission for England, as reported in the agenda for its meeting on 24th July last.

T. DO-IT-YOURSELF SHARED OWNERSHIP
[Wards Affected: N/A]
Your Committee agreed, at its meeting on 24th July, that the DIYSO budget for 2001/2002 be increased by 120,000 to 220,000, to be funded from the Local Authority Social Housing Grant (LA SHG) Capital Programme. It has also authorised the officers to spend LA SHG on the DIYSO scheme up to the proposed new budget, subject to:

- a satisfactory completed LA SHG application which satisfies the Housing Corporation’s funding criteria; and

- confirmation of reimbursement of the LA SHG paid by WBC from the Housing Corporation.

U. BUDGET MONITORING REPORTS
[Wards Affected: N/A]

It was agreed by your Committee on 24th July last that the potential variations to the budget, referred to in its report, be accepted. The following reports were noted by your Committee at its meeting on 28th August:-

1. Mortgage Arrears
2. Cash Collection and Write-Offs
3. National Non-Domestic Rates – Arrears Write-Off

V. DISPOSAL OF HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT PROPERTY
[Ward Affected: Farnham Waverley]

Your Committee, at its meeting on 24th July, agreed to the disposal of the property referred to in the (Exempt) Annexe to its agenda report. It has authorised the Director of Housing to negotiate the terms and conditions of disposal of the property on the open market at the best price obtainable and, subject to the terms negotiated, the property is to be disposed of.


W. NATIONAL NON-DOMESTIC RATES – HELP FOR BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE
[Wards Affected: N/A]

It was agreed by your Committee at its meeting on 24th July, that those businesses that are already benefiting from the hardship relief in Waverley should be advised of the extension to the scheme, so that they can apply for a continuation of relief if their financial circumstances merit it.

X. ACTION TAKEN SINCE LAST MEETING

Your Committee has noted the action taken by the Chief Executive after the appropriate consultation, as reported in the agenda for each of its meetings.

Y. REPORTS OF MEETINGS OF OUTSIDE BODIES ATTENDED BY THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has received information reports from the Leader of the Council, at its meetings on 24th July and 28th August last, on meetings of outside bodies.

Z. RE-ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY IN HASLEMERE
[Ward Affected: Haslemere North & Grayswood]

Your Committee has considered, at its meeting on 24th July, an (Exempt) report on this matter and has approved the recommendations contained in the report

AA. KILNFIELDS, HASLEMERE – REGENERATION SCHEME – RE-APPOINTMENT OF PRINCIPAL ADVISER
[Ward Affected: Haslemere North and Grayswood]

Your Committee, at its meeting on 24th July, considered an (Exempt) report on this matter and has approved the recommendations contained in the report.


BB. NATIONAL NON-DOMESTIC RATES – APPLICATION FOR RATE RELIEF
[Ward Affected: N/A]
Your Committee, at its meeting on 24th July, considered an (Exempt) report on this matter and has approved the recommendation contained in the report.

CC. PROPERTY IN HASLEMERE – STRUCTURAL REPAIRS
[Ward Affected: Haslemere South]

Your Committee, at its meeting on 24th July, considered an (Exempt) report on this matter and has approved the recommendations contained in the report.


DD. TELEPHONE REPLACEMENT SYSTEM
[Wards Affected: N/A]
DD.1 It was agreed by your Committee, at its special meeting on 6th August last, that the proposal to migrate and upgrade from the Siemens Omni system to the Siemens Realitis telephone system be approved and that Standing Orders (Contracts) be waived for this to take place. The officers have been instructed to place an order for the installation of the basic system configuration at a cost of 64,600 to be met from the capital programme provision of 120,000 for Information Management.

DD.2 The officers are also to investigate further options for the introduction of a Voicemail facility, subject to the approval of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee. A further report is to be presented to your Committee on the telephone number change, with details of the publicity campaign proposed and cost implications.

EE. NATIONAL LAND AND PROPERTY GAZETTEER
[Wards Affected: All]
Your Committee, at its meeting on 28th August last, agreed that the expenditure of 27,750 from the IT 2001/2002 capital programme for Information Management to implement the creation of a gazetteer be approved. It also agreed, subject to approval in the budget process, that a new post be funded under new legislation within the Planning and Development Department, with effect from 1st April 2002.

FF. BEST VALUE: ANNUAL REVIEW UPDATE AND THE BEST VALUE REVIEW PROCESS
[Ward Affected: N/A]
1. the priorities, aims and objectives set out at Annexe 1 to the agenda report be noted and endorsed as the views of the Executive Committee and referred to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration as part of the Annual Review process;

2. the priorities, aims and objectives set out at Annexe to the report complement rather than replace the Council’s current aims and objectives identified in A Fresh Future: The Four-Year Corporate Plan 1999-2003;

3. the five-year programme of Best Value reviews be revised by bringing forward the reviews of Housing Benefits, the Corporate Support Unit and Information and Communication Technology into Year 3, as set out in Paragraph 7 of the report; and

4. the Council’s approach to Best Value reviews adopts a light touch where appropriate, whilst ensuring that each review is conducted in accordance with statutory requirements and the principles of Best Value.

GG. CRITICAL WATERCOURSE FAILURE – ST CHRISTOPHER’S ROAD, HASLEMERE
[Wards Affected: Haslemere North
and Grayswood; Shottermill]

It was agreed by your Committee at the meeting on 28th August that the Director of Environment and Leisure be authorised to undertake the required short-term remedial works to the culvert at Ct Christopher’s Road, Haslemere, the cost to be met from the existing Land Drainage Budget provision for 2001/2002. The Director of Environment and Leisure has also been authorised to develop a plan and investigate the cost of the rehabilitation or renewal of this length of culvert and report back to your Committee. HH. CONSULTATION PAPER ON TELEPHONE KIOSK GLASS ADVERTISING
[Wards Affected: All]
II. LEASE OF LAND ADJACENT TO 1 OAKLEY HOUSE, LONG GORE, GODALMING
[Ward Affected: Godalming North West]
JJ. LAND ADJACENT TO 10 WINDRUSH CLOSE, BRAMLEY
[Ward Affected: Bramley]
KK. WASTE MANAGEMENT REVIEW SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
[Wards Affected: All]

LL. PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS TO PARKHOUSE GREEN POND, BARHATCH ROAD, CRANLEIGH
[Ward Affected: Cranleigh East]

MM. COMMUNITY TRANSPORT IN GODALMING
[Wards Affected: All]

NN. STRUCTURAL WORKS TO PROPERTIES IN FARNHAM
At its meeting on 28th August, your Committee approved the structural repair work identified in (Exempt) Annexe 1 to the report and has agreed that the cost of the work be met from within the approved HRA Revenue Repairs and Maintenance budget for 2001/02.

OO. WAVERLEY PARTNERSHIP AREA TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE – WAVERLEY REPRESENTATION
[Wards Affected: All]

It was agreed by your Committee on 28th August that the County Council be informed that Waverley would wish to retain its existing membership of eight voting representatives on the Waverley Partnership Area Transportation Committee, and that this decision would be supported by letters to their corresponding colleagues from Waverley’s Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council.

PP. FARNHAM DEPOT – TENDERS TO FORM STORAGE AREA
[Wards Affected: N/A]
QQ. STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee, at its meeting on 18th September, approved the Statement of Accounts for the financial year ended 31st March 2001.

RR. DOCUMENT IMAGE PROCESSING FOR DEVELOPMENT CONTROL
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee, at its meeting on 18th September, approved the expenditure of 20,250 for the purchase of hardware, software and services to implement phase I of the proposed project, the cost to be met from the 2001/02 IT Capital Programme Budget of 50,000 for Image Processing.

SS. BLACKWATER VALLEY NETWORK: STUDY TO ASSIST IN OPTIMISING FUTURE ECONOMIC GROWTH
[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]

SS.1 Your Committee, at its meeting on 18th September, agreed to continue supporting the work of the Blackwater Valley Network, set up to enable local authorities in the area to develop joint working and a co-ordinated approach to land use, transportation and associated issues.

SS.2 It was agreed that a protocol be endorsed setting out the management arrangements to steer the strategy for optimising economic growth in the Blackwater Valley area. A small group of members, supported by a small group of officers, will manage and co-ordinate the study. Lastly, the Committee approved the context and terms of reference for the study, as set out in the agenda report.

TT. LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION - ANNUAL CONFERENCE
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee, at its meeting on 18th September, agreed that, as in previous years, the Leader of the Council (or reserve) and the Chief Executive attend the Local Government Association Annual Conference and Annual Meeting of the General Assembly, at Bournemouth from 3rd-8th July 2002.

UU. SURREY ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AND INTERMEDIARY BODY - APPOINTMENTS / NOMINATIONS 2001/2002
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee, at its meeting on 18th September, agreed that the Leader of the Council, Mr P D Harmer, be Waverley’s appointed nominee to the SLGA for the position on the Intermediary Group for the distribution of Global Grant funding. It was further agreed that no name be put forward in respect of the position on the Surrey Economic Partnership.

VV. REPORT OF THE MONITORING OFFICER
[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee, at its meeting on 18th September, agreed that the report of the Monitoring Officer's investigation into Brightwell House, Farnham and the decision to de-list, be received. Additionally, your Committee has noted that a report on the protocols and procedures which need to be put in place to ensure that the role of the Monitoring Officer and the framework is clear to members, will be presented to the next meeting of the Executive Committee.