Agenda

Executive - Thursday, 29th October, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Anne Hunter  Democratic and Electoral Services Lead Specialist

Media

Items
No. Item

33.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence

34.

Minutes of Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 418 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Executive Meeting and the Extraordinary Executive Meeting held on 24 September 2020.

 

Additional documents:

35.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

36.

Public Question Time

To answer any public questions

 

A period of 30 minutes will be allowed for members of the public to ask questions submitted under notice.

 

The Council welcomes questions from members of the public about the work of the Executive

 

Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Council or an item which is on the Agenda for this meeting.  For full details of the procedure for submitting questions please contact the Democratic Services Section on the numbers given below or go to www.wokingham.gov.uk/publicquestions

36.1

Keith Kerr asked the Leader of the Council the following question:

 

Question

The Equalities Act 2010 subsection 149 Public Sector Equality Duty [in particular sub paragraphs 1,3,5,6 & 7], must be complied with;

 

  1. A public authority must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to:

A.   eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act;

B.   advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;

C.   foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

 

As the Leader of a Public Authority you have recently made postings and statements on Black Lives Matter (BLM), do you believe you have complied with the letter or the spirit of the law?

36.2

Ian Shenton asked the Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Services the following question:

 

Question

What specific challenges does the provision of mental health services in our Borough face so that they can respond to the outcomes of Covid-19 and all of its consequences, and what new and additional actions is WBC taking to bolster mental health provision to tackle these Covid-related challenges?

 

36.3

Mike Smith asked the Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Services the following question:

 

Question

Prevention and treatment services for non-communicable diseases have been severely disrupted during the pandemic. In addition, many people have been skipping tests and check-ups as well as not contacting health services from fear of infection.

 

Are there any groups that WBC has identified that appear to be particularly ‘hard to reach’ with public health messaging about the importance of getting tests and treatments and, if so, what additional action could be taken to reach out to these vulnerable groups? 

36.4

Philip Cunnington asked the Executive Member for Resident Services, Communications and Emissions the following question:

 

Question

Recommendation 7 of the Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group calls on the Council to include progress of measures aimed at reducing Consumption Emissions coming into the Borough. Other than asking residents to buy less, what can be done to reduce emissions that seem to me to sit outside of the Council's control?

36.5

Anne Chadwick asked the Executive Member for Resident Services, Communications and Emissions the following question:

 

Question

As part of the Council’s commitment to planting 250,000 new trees, has Wokingham Borough Council considered applying for Tree Cities of the World status and cementing the roll of tree planting and maintenance in the Council’s annual activities?

 

37.

Member Question Time

To answer any member questions

 

A period of 20 minutes will be allowed for Members to ask questions submitted under Notice

 

Any questions not dealt with within the allotted time will be dealt with in a written reply

 

37.1

Gary Cowan asked the Executive Member for Finance and Housing the following question:

 

Question

I note that the forward plan for WBC’s Executive calls for discussion on the Housing Strategy 2020-2024: and the notice of proposed decision was first published: 27th August 2019.

 

The reason for consideration: To approve the Council's Housing Strategy for the next 3 years.

 

I also notice that the decision was deferred from November Executive in order that additional data regarding specialist housing can be accommodated and the decision is now due on 29th October 2020 by Executive.  Reference Number: WBC1087.

 

The document in question is the Housing Strategy 2019 - 2022 and although there are many references to previous housing strategies on the Councils website it would appear that the key document Housing Strategy 2019 - 2022 is not mentioned.

 

My question is as a three year housing strategy, 2019-2022 is a crucial document that will require considerable thought and deliberation by Members and the public at large.   Why has the Council not put it on the Council website so one can have proper sight of it?

 

37.2

Andrew Mickleburgh asked the Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Services the following question:

 

Question

Mental health issues do not discriminate. We are all potentially vulnerable. Yet, mental health issues remain a taboo subject for many people. There is the potential for this ‘taboo’ to become even more so as people cope with increasing and varied forms of hardship resulting from the pandemic. I applaud the initiatives taken by WBC with Citizens Advice to expand mental health supports. However, I am concerned that the cultural diversity, which is so important to our Borough, creates challenges when it comes to responding effectively to culturally specific mental health needs. Are there any specific concerns that WBC is particularly worried about regarding this matter and if so, how is WBC responding?   

 

37.3

Tahir Maher asked the Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Services the following question:

 

Question

A number of cities and towns, including Glasgow, Leeds and Cheshire, for example, have established ‘Poverty Truth Commission’. Primarily, it empowers people living in poverty to work with local leaders to tackle poverty.  

 

Ordinary people struggling with poverty are given a chance to relate their personal experiences by creating safe spaces for people to tell their stories and opportunities for those making and influencing decisions to listen. 

 

With rising numbers of individuals and families in our Borough facing significant hardships as a consequence of the pandemic, which in some cases has the potential to do irreversible harm, the need to examine all potentially helpful courses of action becomes all the more urgent. 

 

Is Wokingham Borough Council prepared to participate in the Poverty Truth Commission to build on a principle of collective decision-making to create meaningful and longer-term solutions and tackle poverty between those people with lived experience of poverty and those in positions of influence?

 

37.4

Caroline Smith asked the Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Services the following question:

 

Question

Covid-19 is unquestionably having widespread and significant impacts on mental health everywhere, through increased exposure to stressors, loss of coping mechanisms for many, and reduced access to supports.

 

Awful ‘vicious circles’ and downward spirals are all too evident.  For instance, issues such as unemployment, unexpected financial hardship, housing concerns and for those in work changing work practices to cope with, are contributing to poor mental health.

 

In turn, practical issues such as these make it harder to improve mental health and can prevent those who need support from seeking help. This include people of all ages.

 

What age specific strategies and actions does WBC have in place to identify and support the pandemic related mental health needs of rising numbers of our residents?   

 

37.5

Chris Bowring asked the Executive Member Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

Could the Executive Member for Highways and Transport give a brief summary of how the programme of road resurfacing in the Borough is progressing?

 

38.

To consider any reports from the Overview and Scrutiny Committees

38.1

Officer Response to the Recommendations from the Climate Emergency Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 333 KB

Additional documents:

Matters for Consideration

39.

Revenue Budget Monitoring report FY2020/21 - Quarter 2 pdf icon PDF 347 KB

Additional documents:

40.

Capital Monitoring 2020/21 - end of September 2020 pdf icon PDF 302 KB

Additional documents:

41.

Draft Housing Strategy 2020-2024 pdf icon PDF 327 KB

Additional documents:

42.

WBC Carers Strategy 2020-2025 pdf icon PDF 317 KB

Additional documents: