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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Council held on 16/10/2001
Executive Report (9/10) to Council

Executive 83



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

Items D and W 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 I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 indicated:-

Item D

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 W

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)

PART I – Reports containing recommendations for decision by the Council

[Wards Affected: N/A]

A.1 The Government guidance on new Council Constitutions states that a key function of overview and scrutiny committees is to hold the executive to account for discharge of its functions. It sets out four principal elements:-

1. Scrutinising decisions which the executive is planning to take (for example, those on the Forward Plan);

2. Scrutinising executive decisions before they are implemented (a so-called “call-in” mechanism);

3. Scrutinising executive decisions after they have been implemented, whether shortly afterwards or as part of a wider review of policy, to measure their effect; and

4. Reviewing the performance of the executive and the local authority's senior officers.

A.2 The Guidance states it is a matter for local choice whether the scrutiny and policy development roles should be carried out by the same committee.

A.3 The New Constitution Special Interest Group (SIG) has met several times and has started to work through the documents which will make up Waverley’s Constitution.

A.4 The majority group has put forward a proposal for change, attached as Annexe 1 (with 1A), as updated by a paper tabled at the meeting from the Leader of the Council amplifying this – Annexe 1B.

A.5 The principal minority group has responded to the initial proposal as set out in Annexe 2.

A.6 The submission to the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) included the Overview and Scrutiny Protocol (see Annexe 3) adopted by the Council at its meeting on 19th June 2001.

A.7 Officers would need to inform the DTLR of any change to the structures and protocol which would separate the roles of overview and scrutiny and would have to modify Waverley’s Constitution submission accordingly. Initial informal advice from the Department’s Modernisation Team is that should the Council want to do this, it would be acceptable once the Full Council has agreed the changes.

A.8 The proposed separation of the two roles of overview and scrutiny should not, in itself, produce an additional workload, generate more paper or impact on printing budgets. However, it is difficult to quantify the resource implications of the possible creation of more committees or the research requirements needed to support the redefined scrutiny mode identified as select committee-type work. In previous reports, officers have highlighted the cumulative effects of the new Executive arrangements. The staff in Member Services, by their additional effort and commitment, have avoided the need for any additional resources to date.

A.9 It is not possible to predict if proposed changes would add to the resourcing workload to the point where additional staffing resources will be needed.

Discussion by the SIG on 5th October 2001

A.10 Your Committee was advised that the SIG had met again on 5th October to consider the arguments for and against the proposed changes to the structure and protocol for managing Overview and Scrutiny in the Council’s new Constitution. It had been agreed at that meeting that there were deficiencies in the current arrangements for dealing with Overview and Scrutiny, some of the problems being perceived as: -

(a) the uneven distribution of workload between the three Overview and Scrutiny Committees;
A.11 There was general agreement on the part of the SIG that the overview role needed to be developed. It was considered important that the overview and review of policy became the focus of activity, in contrast to what could appear as the more negative role of call-in. The SIG agreed that if key issues and policy were fed through the Overview and Scrutiny Committee prior to their consideration by the Executive Committee, the requirement to call-in items would diminish. With the commencement of the pilot, timescale issues had occasionally precluded this from happening as it took time to tie in the Executive’s four-month rolling programme of key decisions with the individual work programmes for overview and scrutiny. Now that the programmes were operational, it was hoped that the problem would be overcome.

A.12 There was no consensus at the SIG on support for the specific proposal put forward by the Leader of the Council at the meeting on 29th August that the current structure should change from three combined Overview and Scrutiny Committees to one dealing with Scrutiny alone and two to operate in Overview mode. Some Members felt that the proposal would be a positive step towards addressing some of the problems, which have been identified in the current arrangements. In contrast, others felt that the proposal would be a retrograde step and would not provide adequate solutions to the problems identified above. Some members felt that a separate Scrutiny would lead to a lack of continuity in considering major topics. These members felt that the problems identified above were best dealt with by improving processes within the existing structures. All members felt that SIGs were performing a valuable role, but were possibly carrying out some of the overview and scrutiny roles. The Chairman also tabled an alternative proposal for two overview committees with two corresponding scrutiny committees. This was not considered in detail as the Party Groups had discussed only the first proposal.

A.13 The SIG, at the meeting of 5th October, had agreed that: -

1. the way the Overview and Scrutiny current system operates could be improved;

2. there was a need for a greater feeling of participation by backbench members in decision making;

3. the positive contribution that the overview function can make should be emphasised; and

4. improvements could be made to the scrutiny function to emphasise the more positive select committee role in preference to the call-in role.

A.14 After discussion and in light of the further information supplied, your Committee


38. the structure and protocol for managing the overview and scrutiny elements of the Council’s Constitution be amended to create two Overview Committees and one or two Scrutiny Committees;

39. the Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of the Overview Committees should be majority group nominees and that the Scrutiny Committee(s) be chaired by the principal opposition group nominees; and

40. officers be instructed to revise the Overview and Scrutiny Protocol and Constitution submission accordingly and to inform the DTLR.

Background Papers (CEx)

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

[Wards Affected: N/A]

B.1 At the previous meeting of the Committee, and following a request from a number of members, officers undertook to report on the scope of the Monitoring Officer role, and the processes and procedures relating, for example, to complaints received by the Monitoring Officer.

B.2 The Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (LGHA 1989) introduced the statutory office of Monitoring Officer which until recently has been with the Chief Executive.

B.3 As part of the Modernising Agenda, the role of the Monitoring Officer has substantially changed. By virtue of the Local Government Act 2000 (LGA 2000), the role under Section 5 of the LGHA 1989 has been modified and substantially extended to cover both the new ethical framework and the Executive arrangements under Part II and Part III of the LGA 2000. This Act also excludes the Chief Executive from continuing in the role of Monitoring Officer.

B.4 The legislation also reinforces the role of the Council’s Director of Finance as Chief Finance Officer and, in particular, the need for the “Chief Finance Officer” and “Monitoring Officer” to work closely together in the key roles of providing advice on vires issues, maladministration, financial impropriety, probity and policy framework and budget issues to all members of the local authority.

B.5 The full extent of the Monitoring Officer’s role and how it will work in practice is still awaiting government guidance and Regulations. A further report will be made when full guidance has been received. The following section of this report outlines the changes as these are currently understood.

B.6 Under Section 5 of the LGHA 1989, the Monitoring Officer had the duty both to report to the Council on any proposal, decision or omission by the Council, or any committee or officer, which had (or seemed likely to) given rise to any contravention of law or statutory code of practice. The LGA 2000 has removed a part of this duty in relation to statutory codes of practice. In respect of the duty in relation to contraventions of law, the Monitoring Officer is not required to search for or find contraventions of law, but the Monitoring Officer must act when circumstances come to the Monitoring Officer’s attention, and at the point when the Monitoring Officer is satisfied as to the legal position. New Government guidance on reporting procedures is expected later this year.

B.7 In addition, under Section 5, there is the duty for the Monitoring Officer to consider and report on any acts of maladministration or injustice. This duty has now been extended to include circumstances where the Ombudsman has carried out an investigation. Thus, a report will be required even where the Ombudsman has found no maladministration, or maladministration but no injustice, in order to give the Monitoring Officer the opportunity to take a wider view on processes within the organisation, and make recommendations.

B.8 Every Councillor is entitled to receive a copy of a Section 5 report. Under the LGHA 1989, the Council must meet to consider the report within 21 days of it being issued. New Regulations will provide that where the Monitoring Officer’s report relates to executive functions, the report should be made to the Executive Committee, although all members of the Council would receive a copy. It is proposed that the Executive Committee, when reaching decisions, should have regard to any relevant advice provided by the Monitoring Officer in a Section 5 report and that members should either accept the guidance, or only reject it on clear and reasonable grounds.

B.9 In addition to the Section 5 duties, under Part II of the LGA 2000 – covering the ethical framework- the Government has sought to establish a strong external regime for dealing with serious misconduct.

B.10 As part of this, the Monitoring Officer has been given the key role in supporting the Standards Committee, the constitution of which is discussed in Item C of this report. In effect, the Monitoring Officer, in partnership with the Standards Committee, will be the source of advice and training for members and officers on the conduct and the adoption of a local Code of Conduct. In this respect, all local authorities will be required to adopt a Members’ Code of Conduct, based on a national model, which will set stringent standards of conduct and which all Councillors must sign up to. This Code of Conduct, which will have statutory force, is expected to be issued in late Autumn, to be fully operational by early 2002. The Council will have six months to adopt its own Code of Conduct from the date of issue. A further report will be made when the model is received and the Standards Committee will have the task of adopting the Model Code to reflect the culture of Waverley.

B.11 Attached at Annexe 4 are the principles which are to govern the conduct of members. It should be noted that only paragraphs 2 and 8 have effect in relation to the activities of members that are undertaken other than in an official capacity.

B.12 The Government has also set up a national Standards Board which is empowered to investigate complaints referred directly to it either by Councillors or the public. This includes complaints/concerns relating to allegations of misconduct and failure to observe the Council’s adopted Code of Conduct. They have the option of referring the matter to an independent Ethical Standards Officer, or direct to the Council’s Monitoring Officer. In practice, it is expected that the Standards Board would first refer the matter direct to the Monitoring Officer to investigate, and require the Monitoring Officer, if circumstances dictate, to either report directly back to the Standards Board or to report through the Ethical Standards Officer to the Standards Board.

B.13 Complaints or concerns may be received direct by the Monitoring Officer from members of the public, or other persons who do not wish, at least at that stage, to make a formal written complaint to the Standards Board. Any Councillor may raise issues of potential concern with the Monitoring Officer who, following consideration of the matter, will, if appropriate, report to the Standards Board.

B.14 Again, there is currently no guidance on reporting processes, although it is understood that Regulations are expected to be made later in the year which will cover the conduct of any investigation, the reports to the Standard Board, and other related procedures. If, as is expected, the Regulations do enable Monitoring Officers to formally conduct investigations, there could be a significant resource implication.

B.15 The same high standards of conduct will be expected from Town and Parish Councils and, therefore, they will also be subject to Codes of Conduct. Many of the Monitoring Officers’ functions under the ethical framework will apply to all Parishes in the local authority’s area. The Monitoring Officer does not have the responsibility to report on contraventions of law by Town or Parish Councils or maladministration investigations under Section 5 LGHA 1989.

B.16 As with Part II of the LG Act 2000, the Monitoring Officer has a key role in relation to the new constitutions and executive arrangements under Part III of the Act, in particular the provision of advice on vires issues, maladministration, financial impropriety, probity, policy framework and budget issues to all members of the local authority. The guidance, however, sees the Monitoring Officer’s role as more proactive than reactive. So far as possible, the Monitoring Officer’s role should not be a judgmental one. In other words, the Executive and the Overview and Scrutiny Committees should consult with relevant officers, including, if appropriate, the Monitoring Officer before decisions are taken, or are called-in, in respect of those issues mentioned above. To facilitate this, local authorities are required to ensure that all decisions made by the Executive and Overview and Scrutiny Committees are based on sound professional advice from Officers.

B.17 The Monitoring Officer is also to be the recipient of whistle-blowing notifications from Members. The Standards Board must also be notified. Currently, it is not clear who will investigate. The Government is being encouraged to allow the Monitoring Officer to investigate in all but the very serious cases.

B.18 It is the responsibility of the Monitoring Officer to establish and maintain a register of interests of members and co-opted members of the Council. This responsibility also extends to Town and Parish Councils. It is understood that the application is very wide and will include, for example, club membership. Members will shortly be requested to provide the Monitoring Officer with notification of their interests to enable the Register to be reviewed and updated. There will be “grey” areas and in the absence of guidance at this stage the need, or otherwise, to register a particular interest can be resolved in discussion between the Member and the Monitoring Officer. This also applies to the Register for gifts and hospitality.

B.19 By law, the Council must provide the Monitoring Officer with such staff, accommodation, and other resources as are sufficient to allow the duties to be performed.

B.20 To date, no additional resources are required for the Monitoring Officer role. Many of the requirements are statutory duties and, as such, are new and potentially time-consuming responsibilities imposed upon the Council. Not unsurprisingly, the extent of the resources that will be needed to fulfil the role is difficult to quantify at this stage. This will depend on a number of factors, not least the requirements under new guidance and Regulations, and the overall workload, which will also depend on how extensively the Monitoring Officer’s services are called upon.

B.21 Members are reminded that Constitutional, Probity and Budget related matters are currently dealt with by the Chief Executive, Director of Finance and the Head of Committee and Member Services. This will continue. It is only where there is a continuing uncertainty over how a matter should progress that the Monitoring Officer needs to be consulted.

B.22 Similarly, any issues, such as potential contravention of Council policy, should, so far as possible, be dealt with by the Executive and Overview and Scrutiny Committee, as appropriate, having first sought the view of relevant officers, including the Monitoring Officer. This avoids the Monitoring Officer being placed in a judgmental position.

B.23 The Monitoring Officer is required by law to appoint a Deputy Monitoring Officer who is empowered only to act in the Monitoring Officer’s absence. There will be some guidance on this in due course, but is likely to cover circumstances where the absence of the Monitoring Officer is a prolonged one.

B.24 Members are invited to note that Mark Hill, Audit Manager, has been appointed as the Deputy Monitoring Officer for the Council.

B.25 This report has set out with some detail the areas of work that the Monitoring Officer is now required to undertake, effective from 28th July 2001. For ease of reference for Members, a summary of the functions and responsibilities is set out at Annexe 5. Apart from a Section 5 report, which mainly covers issues of unlawfulness and maladministration under the LGHA 1989, there is currently no guidance as to, in particular, reporting procedures and processes. It is hoped these will be available in late Autumn, with Regulations coming into effect in January 2002.

B.26 Matters such as reporting procedures are to the greater extent more relevant to the Monitoring Officer’s role in relation to the Standards Board and the work of the independent Ethical Standards Officer. It is quite clear from the guidance that, generally, matters relating to the ethical framework and the Executive arrangements should be dealt with as early as possible in the decision-making process thereby obviating the need for “judgmental” type reports by the Monitoring Officer. This in turn should reduce the need for complicated and time consuming processes which could have a potentially high “resources” cost for the Council.

B.27 In the event of the need for a formal Referral to the Monitoring Officer, as an interim measure, pending receipt of Government guidance, a formal procedure for a Referral to the Monitoring Officer is set out at Annexe 6.

B.28 Your Committee


41. the role of the Monitoring Officer be noted;

42. the appointment of the Deputy Monitoring Officer be noted; and

43. the “interim” Procedure for Referrals to the Monitoring Officer be adopted.

Background Papers (CEx)

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

[Wards Affected: N/A]

C.1 Part of the Government’s Modernising Agenda relates to establishing a new ethical framework. The Council is under a duty under the Local Government Act 2000 to have a Standards Committee which it has already begun to establish. This has by necessity been done in several stages as Government guidance materialises.

C.2 At its meeting on 6th April 1999, the former Policy and Resources Committee recommended to Council that Officers should be instructed to do the necessary detailed work to set up a Waverley Standards Committee as soon as possible. This was endorsed by Council on 27th July 1999. Members are reminded of the current terms of reference of the Standards Committee, which are attached at Annexe 7 to this report. The New Constitution Special Interest Group is currently addressing the possibility of additional roles for the Committee.

C.3 Members will recall that eight Waverley Councillors have been appointed to the Standards Committee. The final Regulations have specified proportions of membership, in particular that 25% of the Committee should be independent members. This has required the composition of the Standards Committee to be revisited which will necessitate a reduction in the number of Waverley members from eight Councillors to six, unless Waverley appoints three independent members.

C.4 In January 2001, the Policy and Resources Committee further agreed to arrangements for the appointment of two independent members, details of which are discussed in paragraph C.6 below.

C.5 Additionally, the Standards Committee must include, within its membership, a Town or Parish Councillor who is not also a Waverley Borough Councillor. This is discussed further in paragraphs C.7 and C.8 below.

C.6 Following a selection process carried out during the summer by the Leader and the two other Group Leaders, your Committee has been informed of the Selection Panel’s recommendation that Mr N Davies and Mr P A Wickens be appointed as the Independent Members on the Standards Committee.

C.7 Town and Parish Councils are also included in the new ethical framework. However, they are not required to set up their own Standards Committees. Instead, this Council’s Standards Committee will be responsible for the Town and Parish Councils in its area, but there is a requirement for a Town/Parish Council representative to be on the Committee. That member will represent the interests of all the Town/Parish Councils in Waverley. Where Town/Parish issues are being discussed, the Town/Parish member has to be present for the Committee meeting to be quorate.

C.8 To enable the Council’s Standards Committee to be fully constituted, therefore, there is a need to put in hand a selection process for the Town/Parish Council representative. It is proposed that, initially, the Clerks to each Town and Parish Council should be invited to nominate one elected member candidate to be the Town/Parish representative. Once the nominations have been received, each Town and Parish will then have one vote to elect the Standards Committee representative.

C.9 The Waverley Standards Committee will now be composed of:-

Six Waverley Councillors (cannot include the Leader, and can only have a maximum of one other Member from the Executive Committee);

Two Independent Members;

One elected member of a Town or Parish Council in the Council’s area who cannot also be a Borough Councillor

C.10 It should be noted that at least one Town or Parish Member must be present when matters relating to those Councils or their respective areas are being discussed.

C.11 It should also be noted that a member of the Executive Committee may not chair the Standards Committee.

C.12 The legislation also makes provision for Town and Parish Council matters arising under the ethical framework to be dealt with by a Sub-Committee of the Standards Committee. The issues as to whether or not there should be a Standards Sub-Committee is a matter of local choice for the Council. However, the Council is required to consult with the local Town and Parish Councils should it decide that a Sub-Committee would be appropriate.

C.13 Your Committee


44. the appointment of Mr N Davies and Mr P A Wickens as Independent Members on the Standards Committee be approved;

45. six Council members be re-appointed to the Committee on the basis of three majority group members and three members from the two opposition groups, the names to be agreed at the Council meeting;

46. the selection process for the appointment of the Town/Parish Council elected member representative onto the Standards Committee, as set out in paragraphs C.7 and C.8 above, be approved; and

47. the Council should not set up a Standards Sub-Committee to deal with Town and Parish Council matters, but authorise consultation with the Town and Parish Councils.

Background Papers (CEx)

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

[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]

D.1 At the special meeting of the former Operations Committee held on 6th October 1998, the Council resolved, with various conditions, to transfer four cemeteries in Farnham from its ownership to the ownership of Farnham Town Council. However, subsequent discussions with the Town Council encountered certain difficulties which officers had been unable to resolve and at a further meeting of the Operations Committee held on 18th January 1999, the Council resolved to ask the officers to do further work in due course on the transfer of cemeteries and the burial function.

D.2 More recent discussions with the Town Clerk have proved productive and it is now possible that the Council could have an agreed way forward to transfer to the Town Council the cemeteries it owns in Farnham and for the Council to take over the burial function. Members are reminded that the transfer to the Town Council of the allotment function and land used for allotments has occurred recently and successfully.

D.3 The officers have discussed with the Town Council the cemeteries involved (see plans at Annexe 8). These are:-

The West Street cemetery which includes a Chapel of Rest.

The Green Lane cemetery which includes a Chapel of Rest.

The Alma Lane cemetery which includes two small Chapels of Rest.

The Badshot Lea cemetery.

D.4 On the basis of disposal at the market valuation (see (Exempt) Annexe 9), the proposed terms of transfer are as follows:-

Nil consideration. It is proposed that the transfer would occur without payment in either direction on the basis that the Town Council were to accept all the four cemeteries and all the Chapels of Rest with the exception of the Green Lane Chapel of Rest.

Transfer including the Green Lane Chapel of Rest. Valuations have indicated that a positive value to the transfer would need to be recognised if this Chapel of Rest were included in the transfer and details of the value that would need to be obtained, should this transfer go ahead, is contained in the (Exempt) Annexe.

Legal costs. It is proposed that in relation to these transfers each side bears its own legal costs.

Capital Improvements. Whereas it is acknowledged that some aspects of the cemeteries are in poor or reasonable condition only, it is proposed that the transfers occur without further capital improvements, i.e. on an as is basis.

Restrictive Covenants. Where the land is not already subject to restrictive covenants, it is proposed that restrictive covenants are introduced into the transfers relating to the continued use of the cemeteries as cemeteries. If the Town Council proposed to use the cemeteries for other purposes these restrictive covenants would need to be released.

D.5 At present, the administration of the cemeteries function is carried out through the Locality Offices in Farnham and the staff who are involved in this part of the function have a high level awareness of the processes involved and acquired skills with the work they do. Under the circumstances that the transfer were to proceed, it is proposed that the administrative function through the Farnham Locality Office would be continued by the existing staff who would act on an agency basis for the Town Council and their time and other costs associated with acting in this way would be recharged to the Town Council. Officers of the Town Council are supportive of this approach.

D.6 The grounds maintenance contract deals with both the day to day maintenance of the cemeteries and the grave digging function. When the current grounds maintenance contract was negotiated it was considered possible that this transfer could occur and regard was had to this possibility in so far as the contract has provisions for this portion of the work to be removed from the contract or to be assigned to another statutory or other public body. As the contract was awarded by competitive tender and awarded to the lowest tenderer, it is considered that the work is done as cost effectively as possible and Farnham Town Council may wish to have this portion of the contract assigned to them. Under the circumstances that this was the way that the Town Council wished to proceed, they would be charged for the on-going grounds maintenance of the cemeteries on the basis agreed in the contract, including the cost of digging graves at the rates agreed in the contract. This would result in a reduction in Waverley's budget for cemeteries.

D.7 An analysis of the financial consequences of transferring the cemetery function to Farnham Town Council are contained in Annexe 10 to this report. The effect on Waverley staff would be minimal, as outlined in paragraph D.5 above.

D.8 The figures are based on the 2001/02 estimates and indicate that annual savings to Waverley in the region of 11,300 would be achieved. Administrative and support costs amounting to a further 12,000 would be re-allocated to reflect the redirection of officer manpower resources to other services. The special expense, amounting to 1.54 at Band D for 2001/02, in respect of cemeteries costs would cease to be levied on Council taxpayers in the Farnham Town Council area. The Shottermill Cemetery would be the only cemetery continuing to be operated by Waverley Borough Council, for which a special expense would continue to be levied on Council Taxpayers in the Haslemere Town Council area.

D.9 There are crime and disorder issues in relation to the cemeteries functions. However, in respect of the proposed transfer, these issues are neutral.

D.10 Members are reminded that the transfer of the allotment function and land used for allotments to Farnham Town Council occurred successfully and that this proposal for transferring the cemeteries is a continuation of the previously expressed desire by elected members to transfer a reasonable level of functions from Waverley to Farnham Town Council. It is also apparent that other Town Councils and Parish Councils manage the burial function and it seems appropriate that Farnham Town Council should do the same. This proposal is consistent with the long term objectives of this Council.

D.11 Your Committee


48. the Director of Environment and Leisure be authorised to conclude negotiations with Farnham Town Council in relation to the transfer of cemeteries and to effect the transfer of the four cemeteries involved on terms and conditions approved by the Property and Development Manager.

Background Papers (DE&L)

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

[Wards Affected: N/A]

E.1 The Council agreed proposed modifications to the Replacement Local Plan after considering the Inspector’s Report. They were published in June 2001 for a six-week consultation period that closed on 20th July 2001. 133 representations were received, comprising 60 comments of support, and 73 objections.

E.2 The schedule at Annexe 11 sets out the objections to the modifications, and a response and recommendation for each. The schedule is in the order of “Modification Reference Number” which is the same as the order of the Plan. Where objections were received to the Council going against the Inspector’s recommendation, these are dealt with at the end of the schedule.

E.3 Several comments of support were received, notably from the Council for the Protection of Rural England and the Farnham Society. Comments of support are noted, but are not written out in full unless they relate to a modification where the Council went against the Inspector’s recommendation.

E.4 In response to the objections, most recommendations are that no changes be made to the Plan. In some cases it is suggested that a change is made in light of the objection where it would improve clarity.

E.5 No change is proposed to the Farnham-Aldershot Strategic Gap (Policy C4) despite objections that the Council went against the Inspector. GOSE and Surrey County Council objected to Policy M15 (car parking standards), to which a further change is recommended.

E.6 The Environment Agency has recommended that areas of flood risk are shown on the Proposals Map. The Agency did not formally object to the lack of floodplains on the Proposals Map, but it is becoming established practice to show them, especially since the publication of PPG25 (Development and Flood Risk). Areas of flood risk will be shown on the Proposals Map unless cartographical problems prevent it.

E.7 Originally it was hoped that the Plan could be adopted following the Proposed Modifications stage. However, a small number of important and necessary changes mean Further Modifications need to be published. Another six-week consultation period will follow, then the consideration of any objections.

E.8 In addition to the Further Changes that are required, the supporting text needs updating in places. It is also prudent to check the Proposals Map prior to adoption. Authority is sought to use delegated powers to make factual updates and any corrections, prior to adoption of the Plan at a later date. Costs of publishing the Further Changes can be contained within the Planning and Development budget.

E.9 At the meeting of your Committee, an addendum to the report was tabled relating to Objections 013/1M (Mr R Stubbs) and 030/02M (Robert Shaw and Partners) (pages 48 and 49 of the Schedule also refer). This addendum is reproduced as Annexe 12.

E.10 Your Committee accordingly


49. the following course of action be endorsed:-

(a) the responses to the representations in the schedule at Annexe 11 be agreed and that Further Modifications be published, as amended by the Committee in the light of the tabled addendum paper; and

(b) the Director of Planning and Development be authorised to make factual updates and corrections to the text and Proposals Map as necessary.

Background Papers (DoPD)

Waverley Borough Replacement Local Plan Deposit Draft 1999
Schedule of Proposed Modifications to the Waverley Borough Replacement Local Plan Deposit Draft (June 2001)
Schedule of Inspector’s Recommendations and the Council’s Response (June 2001)

[Wards Affected: All]

F.1 Recently, the Council has been informed that several further applications for external partnership funding of specific schemes have been successful. These schemes are funded largely from external sources, with Waverley’s contribution being met from existing budgets and, therefore, the schemes may be undertaken at no additional cost to the Council. The Capital Programme will be adjusted to reflect the proposed allocations from existing budgets.

F.2 The following schemes may now be included within the Council’s Revised Capital Programme for 2001/02.

F.3 Brief notes of the schemes and their funding are as follows:

Rowcliffe Drinking Fountain
This scheme covers the restoration of the Rowcliffe drinking fountain near Dunsfold, improvement of the footpath access and replacement of adjacent fencing.

Funding has been approved on the following basis:-
This scheme will form part of Waverley’s Enhancement Programme covering small capital projects for which the existing provision in 2001/02 is 7,500.

Green Waste Shredding Service
This project is a one-year trial to provide a green waste shredding service to private households throughout the Waverley area. The estimated costs of the project include the capital cost of the shredder/chipper and the revenue cost of the operator to run the green waste shredding service.

Funding has been approved on the following basis:

The revenue costs estimated at 21,500 will be met from the existing budget for the Waste Minimisation Project Plan. The costs will include purchase of collection bags, publicity leaflets and subsidiary composters as well as the equipment operators.

Barhatch Road Pond Restoration Project
This scheme will enable much needed restoration work to be carried out to a pond on common land owned by Waverley adjacent to Barhatch Road, Cranleigh.

In recent years the pond has become badly overgrown and silted up resulting in a loss of wildlife and amenity value. It is planned to cut back trees and vegetation, excavate and remove silt, widen the verge and involve local conservation volunteers in the future management and monitoring of the pond and its wildlife.

The following funding has been approved, subject to obtaining planning permission:-

Waverley's element will be met by a revenue contribution of 650 from the Countryside budget.

Springfield Estate Play Area Improvements
The project consists of a new children's playground and environmental improvements, including planting of trees and shrubs on amenity land in the Springfield housing estate.

Funding has been approved on the following basis:
Waverley's contribution of 2,000 is to be allocated from the Parks and Open Spaces Improvements Capital Programme provision.

Roman Way Landscape Improvements
The project consists of the addition of play equipment for older children, comprising a football and basketball combination goal unit at Roman Way housing estate. Additional planting at Hadrians, an elderly persons housing scheme and planting of trees and shrubs around the estate.

Funding has been approved on the following basis:-
Waverley's contribution of 5,000 is to be allocated from the Parks and Open Spaces Improvements Capital Programme provision.

Hale Recreation Ground Play and Environmental Improvements
The scheme comprises providing additional play equipment aimed at a wider age group than currently provided and resurfacing the multi-sport area, remarking it for a number of youth sports. Additional park benches and litter bins will be installed and a programme of tree and bulb planting will be carried out.

Funding has been approved on the following basis:-
Waverley’s contribution of 10,000 is to be allocated from the Capital Programme Recreation Ground Pitch Replacement provision.

Waverley’s Partnership Funding Officer is seeking potential additional funding of this project from SITA South West Surrey Partnership.

Disabled Access and Countryside Interpretation at Frensham Common
This project will extend and improve access and facilities for disabled visitors to Frensham Common. Environmental and site interpretation will be enhanced adding to the enjoyment and education of all visitors.
Work will include passing places and information boards on the boardwalk, improvements to path surfaces, ramps for wheelchair and pushchair access to the visitor building, new and extended environmental interpretation incorporating interactive, tactile and audio features and a new separate toilet for disabled visitors.

Funding has been approved on the following basis:-
The allocation of 15,000 from Waverley’s Matched-Funding provision was approved by the Executive on 24th July 2001. Officers, including Waverley’s Partnership Funding Officer, are actively investigating alternative sources for the balance of 20,900 funding still required to enable successful completion of all elements of the project.

F.4 Waverley will be contributing to these schemes on a partnership funding basis. However, these contributions will be met by allocations from existing budgets as identified in the report and, therefore, the schemes may be undertaken at no additional cost to the Council.

F.5 Whilst there are obvious environmental benefits associated with all of these projects, several of the schemes have significant “Opportunities for All” benefits. In particular, the Disabled Access and Countryside Interpretation project at Frensham will extend and improve access and facilities for disabled visitors to Frensham Common. The Springfield Estate, Roman Way and Hale Recreation Ground schemes, will provide much needed additional facilities for the younger members of the community.

F.6 The only direct community safety issues concern Barhatch Pond, which is situated close to the carriageway of Barhatch Road. The proposal includes the removal of a large overhanging willow tree and some vegetation which will increase visibility for walkers and drivers. The verge will also be widened to improve safety for pedestrians. In order to obtain maximum benefit for wildlife, the edge of the pond will be gently shelving and it is felt that the depth of the pond will not pose a significant danger.

F.7 The success of Waverley’s Officers in obtaining funding from the SITA South West Surrey Partnership will enable these very beneficial environmental schemes to be undertaken at no additional cost to Waverley Borough Council.

F.8 Your Committee accordingly


50. the Revised 2001/02 General Fund Capital Programme be amended to include the partnership projects detailed in this report.

Background Papers (DoF)

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

[Ward Affected: Milford]

G.1 For a number of years, Witley Parish Council has been aware of the need for an affordable housing scheme for local people. A number of sites have been considered but due to various reasons were not found to be suitable.

G.2 In 2000, a site was identified in Old Elstead Road, Milford which is owned by Waverley Borough Council (see location plan at Annexe 13).

G.3 Following discussions with the Rural Housing Trust (RHT) and the Parish Council, it was agreed that plans should be drawn up for a small development to meet local needs.

G.4 A local Housing Needs Survey was carried out in November 2000 by the RHT which identified 41 households with an established local connection who considered themselves to have a housing need and required accommodation in their ‘home’ village.

G.5 The accommodation required by local people was :-
G.6 The Rural Housing Trust (RHT) is the lead organisation providing expert advice and guidance to Parish and Borough Councils in relation to rural housing schemes. The RHT has a development subsidiary called English Villages Housing Association and has a close relationship with English Rural Housing Association, a registered social landlord which owns and manages homes for rent and shared ownership. English Rural Housing Association is one of the Council’s preferred RSL partners in respect of rural housing structures. Members will be aware that the Association already has housing schemes in the Borough at Chiddingfold, Dunsfold, Hambledon and Tilford.

G.7 It is proposed that 2 two bedroomed bungalows, 6 two bedroomed houses and 7 three bedroomed houses are built to reflect local needs, the mix of shared ownership and rented has yet to be determined. Outline plans were displayed at the meeting.

G.8 The site in question lies outside the defined village boundary of Milford in countryside beyond the Green Belt. Additionally, the land is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Area of Great Landscape Value. The proposals will be assessed by the relevant Planning Committees against the ‘Rural Exceptions’ Policy HS3 of the 1993 Local Plan (as updated by Policy H6 of the Replacement Local Plan).

G.9 Rural housing schemes on exception sites are only entertained because of the unique opportunity to provide affordable housing for rent or shared ownership for people with an identified established local connection.

G.10 As the proposed scheme at Milford is an exception to planning policy, should the scheme be granted planning consent, such permission would only be given subject to a Section 106 Agreement restricting occupancy to local people.

G.11 People purchasing under shared ownership terms would be limited to an equity purchase of 80% to ensure that the properties remain ‘affordable’ in the longer term.

G.12 The Council will receive 100% nomination rights to the accommodation at first letting and 75% thereafter.

G.13 The development will be subject to a Section 106 Agreement (which will have the effect of a restrictive covenant) which will require all occupants to have an established local connection to the Parish of Witley.

G.14 The rent for the rented properties will be in the region of 76 per week for the 2 bedroom houses and 82 per week for the 3-bedroom houses This compares favourably with the private sector where monthly rent for a 3-bedroom house is anything upwards from 850 per month.

G.15 The properties to be sold on shared ownership terms are anticipated to have an open-market value in the region of 130,000 for the two-bedroom properties and 150,000 for the three bedroom properties. Shared owners will be able to acquire a 50% share in the properties.

G.16 The properties sold on shared ownership terms will have a condition imposed on them that at no time can an owner occupier acquire a share in the property greater than 80% - this retains the properties for local people in perpetuity.

G.17 In recommending this proposed scheme at Milford, officers have adopted the approach outlined in the report agreed by the Council on 17th July 2001 relating to land disposals to RSL’s.

G.18 The options outlined in that report, namely:-

(a) do nothing;

(b) sell at full market value to the private sector;

(c) dispose of land at nil value; and

(d) dispose of land with restrictions requiring social housing;

have been considered by officers in reaching the conclusion that disposal of the land with restrictions requiring social housing is the most appropriate option.

G.19 The planning policy position and the use of Section 106 Agreement mean that the land can only be developed in this particular way.

G.20 The resource implication arising from this report is the disposal of the land for a modest capital receipt on terms to be determined by the Council’s Property and Development Manager.

G.21 Funding for the scheme in the form of Social Housing Grant will be provided by the Housing Corporation as part of its Approved Development Programme.

G.22 The proposal to enable a rural housing scheme of affordable housing is in line with the Council’s Housing Strategy and consistent with the Council’s ‘Opportunities for All’ policy.

G.23 It is generally acknowledged that rural housing schemes contribute towards the sustainability of villages and are considered to be consistent with Agenda 21 principles.

G.24 The scheme will be designed taking account of current best price to address Crime and Disorder issues.

G.25 Your Committee


51. Witley Parish Council’s and the Rural Housing Trust’s proposal to provide fifteen houses in the parish of Witley be supported;

52. the land in question be disposed of to the English Rural Housing Association to enable (subject to planning permission) the development of affordable housing for local people in perpetuity on terms to be determined by the Council’s Property and Development Manager; and

53. a nomination agreement be entered into with English Rural Housing Association.

Background Papers (DoH)

Correspondence from the Rural Housing Trust, English Villages Housing Association and Witley Parish Council of various dates.

[Wards Affected: All]

H.1 There are three brickworks sites within Waverley. Two of these, Ewhurst and Hambledon are disused, whilst brick working continues at the Cranleigh Brickworks. The Hambledon Brickworks lie within the Green Belt, AONB and AGLV; the Ewhurst Brickworks lie within the rural area beyond the Green Belt and within the AGLV and the Cranleigh Brickworks lie within the rural area beyond the Green Belt. The Ewhurst and Hambledon Brickworks are shown on the Approved and Replacement Local Plans (RLP) as being subject to Landscape Enhancement Policies and the Cranleigh Brickworks is identified on the RLP as a Site of Nature Conservation Importance subject to Policy C10. The Cranleigh Brickworks has extensive pollution problems and has been identified as a Special Site under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 by the Environment Agency.

H.2 Informal proposals have been received for the development/redevelopment at Cranleigh, Ewhurst and Hambledon Brickworks. Your officers have given no commitment or view on the planning merits or otherwise of these proposals.

H.3 A recent Secretary of State call-in decision in Tandridge District has implications for the consideration of development proposals on disused brickworks in Waverley. A copy of this decision is attached at Annexe 14. This decision indicates that:-

(a) special circumstances, including reduction in footprint of development, landscape improvements, recreation and nature conservation improvements are not sufficient in themselves to outweigh harm to Green Belt;

(b) the re-opening of brickworks would not have a greater long-term adverse impact than redevelopment for housing purposes;

(c) if clay working resumed, the Mineral Planning Authority would have the opportunity to impose up-to-date restoration/landscaping and aftercare conditions;

(d) Green Belt/rural area locations do not mean that lower densities are acceptable: it is up to architects and developers to devise imaginative schemes which achieve PPG3 densities without compromising the quality of the environment or the openness of the Green Belt.

H.4 It is therefore appropriate to prepare SPG for the consideration of proposals for redevelopment of Brickworks sites in the Borough. The SPG will relate to Replacement Local Plan Policies C1 (Development in the Green Belt outside Settlements), C2 (Countryside beyond the Green Belt), C3 (Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Area of Great Landscape Value) and C10 (Sites of Nature Conservation Importance and Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites).

H.5 The SPG is not intended to be a Development Brief, but rather its main purpose will be to set out:-

(a) the procedure for the consideration of development proposals; and

(b) the criteria against which such proposals will be considered.

H.6 The SPG must conform with Regional Planning Guidance (RPG), relevant Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs), the Surrey Structure Plan and the Adopted and Replacement Local Plans. It must also take into account relevant advice from the Environment Agency and relevant guidance regarding sites of Special Scientific Interest/important Geological/Geomorphological Sites.

H.7 There will, therefore, be full liaison with the Government Office for the South East, Surrey County Council, as Strategic Planning Authority, as Mineral Planning Authority and as Highway Authority. Liaison with other Surrey Districts and neighbouring authorities in Hampshire and West Sussex will also take place given the existence of brickworks elsewhere in the sub-region.

H.8 The SPG will include:-

a summary of the relevant planning policy context;

an outline of the planning process, including Environmental Assessment and Departure procedures;

the identification of the criteria against which planning proposals will be considered and the weight to be given to those criteria. (This will be based on an assessment of the policy context together with lessons learnt from the Tandridge decision.)

Suggested Timetable

October 2001: Project Brief Report to Executive Committee and Council
October – December 2001: Consultation with GOSE, SCC, Environment Agency, other Surrey Districts, neighbouring authorities and other agencies
January 2002 Draft SPG to O&S3 and Executive Committee
February Publication of Draft SPG
February/March 6-week period of Public Consultation
late March Analysis of representations
April Report to Environment O&S Committee and Executive Committee
April Adoption by Council

H.9 Subject to there not being any serious problems during the final stages of the Local Plan process and the Plan proceeding to adoption by the end off the year, the work will be carried out within existing resources.

H.10 Your Committee


54. the project brief and timetable be approved.

Background Papers ( DPD)

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 are as specified in the agenda for the meeting.

[Wards Affected: All]

The Committee has considered and approved its four month rolling programme.

[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a detailed report on the role and medium-term strategy for Waverley’s involvement in economic development activities. It has noted the outcomes of the 2000/01 Economic Action Plan (as set out at Annexe 1a to the report at Appendix K of the Agenda). In addition, it has agreed that:-

(i) the framework for the Economic Opportunities Strategy for 2001-2005 and the actions set out in the agenda report be noted and be used as a basis for further discussions;

(ii) a Member Workshop be organised in the near future to seek Members’ views on the future direction of economic strategy; and

(iii) in accordance with paragraph 9 of the Agenda report, the activities carried out under economic development be reviewed and the budget for economic strategy implementation be the subject of consideration as part of the 2002/03 budget process.

[Wards Affected: All Godalming Wards]

Your Committee has considered a report on issues relating to the Godalming Leisure Centre and a proposal to allocate a capital sum as an interim investment in facilities at the Centre. It has endorsed the principle of reasonable investment in the existing Godalming Leisure Centre as proposed by the John Stanley Jeffries Trust and has agreed to include a provision of 100,000 for consideration as part of the Draft 2002/03 Capital Programme to enable a grant not exceeding this amount to be made to the John Stanley Jeffries Trust, subject to the approval of a detailed scheme by the Executive Committee. It has, in addition, instructed the officers to submit a detailed report on development proposals to the Executive Committee at the earliest opportunity.

[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered a comprehensive report, considered also by the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, on the priorities, aims and objectives for the final year (2002/03) of the four year Corporate Plan. It has agreed that:-

(i) the priorities, aims and objectives set out in Annexe 1 of the Agenda report, endorsed by the Executive Committee on 28th August 2001, be noted and that the following proposal from Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee be the subject of a scoping report by the officers, to be submitted to the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Executive Committee:

(a) a further objective be added to the list of objectives under the heading of Environment, as follows:-

“to minimise the problems caused by graffiti”;

(ii) it be noted that the five year programme of Best Value reviews had been revised by the Executive, bringing forward the review of the Corporate Support Group from Year 5 to Year 3; and

(iii) the issue of abandoned vehicles be added to the work programme on the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a report on the key points contained in the Homelessness Bill, currently before Parliament, and discussed by the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee at a meeting on 10th September last. It has noted the content of the Bill and the Order in Council and has agreed that this important direction in Government policy be borne in mind, both when housing matters are considered in the future and when consideration is given to the 2002/03 budget.

[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a report on the task of carrying out Conservation Area appraisals. The project brief for the work has the support of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee and has now been endorsed by the Executive Committee.

[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered a brief interim report on this matter, noting that the District Auditor’s report has now been received and that there will be a full report to the next meeting.

[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered a report on this matter and has agreed that a Special Interest Group be established, made up of eight Members under the chairmanship of the Executive Portfolio Holder for Best Value, that will ensure the Council meets its statutory responsibility to publish the Performance Plan for 2002/03. The membership is to be agreed at the Council meeting.

[Wards Affected: All]

Your Committee has considered a report on a proposal whereby the Council, in its Housing Landlord role, could assist its partner organisations to address the issue of discharges from hospital being held up due to lack of suitable support facilities in the community. It has agreed with the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee that the details of a Waverley “Step Down” scheme be developed in partnership with other agencies and that a further detailed report be submitted for Members’ consideration in due course.

[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has considered and approved the annual report of the Internal Audit Team covering the financial year 2000/01.

[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has appointed the Members to the Employers' Negotiating Team for 2001/02, comprising the following:-

Captain P G Burden Mr P D Harmer
Mr M J Downes Mr F G R Lambert
Mrs P M Frost Mr C C E Slyfield

Reserves: Mr H Denningberg
Mr D H Darbishire

[Wards Affected: N/A]

T.1 Your Committee has made the following appointments:-

Mrs P Hibbert to continue to serve as a Waverley representative on the Frensham Parochial Charity Trust for the period 2001-2005; and

Mrs J M Harris to continue to serve as a Waverley representative on the Hale Cottage Trust for the period 2001-2005.

T.2 Your Committee has also agreed to authorise the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Group Leaders, to appoint the Waverley representative on the Brightwells Gostrey Centre Management Committee for the remainder of the current Council year.

[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has received the Budget Monitoring Statement, monitoring the progress of revenue expenditure and income to the end of August 2001. It has accepted the potential variations to the budget referred to in the report.

[Wards Affected: N/A]

Your Committee has received the regular six-monthly report on this matter and has agreed that:-

1. the “local average rate” for the period 1st October 2001 to 31st March 2002 be declared at 5.0% p.a.;

2. the rate of interest chargeable on mortgages under the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act 1958 (Section 43) be 5.0% p.a. for the period 1st October 2001 to 31st March 2002; and

3. the rate of interest chargeable on mortgages under the Housing Act 1985 (Schedule 16) be 6.06% p.a. for the period 1st October 2001 to 31st March 2002.


Your Committee has noted decisions taken by the Chief Executive, after consultation with the Leader of the Council and the relevant Portfolio Holder, as set out in the Agenda for its meeting.

[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]

Your Committee has received an update report on the position in respect of Brightwell House and has agreed that the officers report further if supporting information and plans for the proposed redevelopment are submitted and the applications for planning permission and Listed Building Consent are registered.

[Wards Affected: All]

A report on this matter (Appendix I to the Agenda) was withdrawn and consideration deferred pending further discussions between the Director of Environment and Leisure and the Portfolio Holder for Environment.