Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive
Thursday, 30th July, 2015 7.30 pm

Venue: Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham, RG40 1BN

Contact: Anne Hunter  Service Manager, Democratic Services

Items
No. Item

24.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted from Councillor Philip Mirfin.  The Leader confirmed that Councillor Mark Ashwell would be attending the meeting on behalf of Councillor Mirfin however in accordance with legislation he could take part in any discussions but was not entitled to vote.

25.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 234 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 June 2015.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 25 June 2015 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

26.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Anthony Pollock declared a personal interest in Item 31, Council Owned Companies Business, by virtue of the fact that he was an unpaid Non-Executive Director of Optalis.  Councillor Pollock remained in the meeting during discussions and voted on the matter.

 

Councillor Pauline Jorgensen declared a personal interest in Item 31, Council Owned Companies Business, by virtue of the fact that her husband was a paid Non-Executive Director of WBC Holdings Ltd.  Councillor Jorgensen remained in the meeting during discussions and voted on the matter.

 

27.

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

Minutes:

In accordance with the agreed procedure the Chairman invited members of the public to submit questions to the appropriate Members.

 

 

27.1

Gill Purchase had asked the Executive Member for Children's Services the following question:

 

Question

Could the Lead for Children's Services please tell parents in the South of Wokingham the names of the preferred Education providers that have been put forward to the DfE to run the secondary school along with the reasons why they were considered to be the best?

 

Minutes:

 

Question

Could the Lead for Children's Services please tell parents in the South of Wokingham the names of the preferred Education providers that have been put forward to the DfE to run the secondary school along with the reasons why they were considered to be the best?

 

In light of Gill Purchase being unable to attend the meeting the following written answer was provided:

 

Answer

The field of shortlisted providers was strong and the decision by the panel of six was unanimous.

 

From the initial six expressions of interest, five applications were received and following the withdrawal of Waingels, four trusts were interviewed:

 

  • Bohunt Education Trust;
  • Kings Group;
  • Maiden Erlegh Trust; and
  • GLF Schools.

 

The interview panel consisted of two senior Officers from WBC’s Learning and Achievement Service, two councillors (Executive and Deputy Executive Members for Children’s Services) and two parents. It was chaired by WBC’s Head of Strategic Commissioning, Brian Grady.

 

All four Trusts gave very strong presentations and interviews. However, Bohunt’s submission and vision was truly inspiring and included the following features:

 

·         The early appointment of leadership in advance of the selection of the provider;

·         Secondly being prepared to challenge pupil performance and setting stretching targets;

·         Innovative and exciting approaches to pedagogy and curriculum;

·         Analysis of local data and understanding of community needs;

·         As well as a detailed and comprehensive application.

 

Bohunt Education Trust was also particularly strong in business management and they had considered all the issues and views raised by parents well.

 

Bohunt Education Trust clearly understood the timetable for the delivery of our new school and demonstrated how they would ‘hit the ground running’ and provide dedicated leadership from the outset”. 

 

27.2

Sam Dredger had asked the Executive Member for Children's Services the following question:

 

Question

It has been reported on the Project 16 Facebook page there is a delay in the start of building work for the South of Wokingham School.  Could she offer an explanation as to why and will this delay have an impact on the delivery of the school for September 2016.

 

Minutes:

Question

It has been reported on the Project 16 Facebook page there is a delay in the start of building work for the South of Wokingham school. Could she offer an explanation as to why and will this delay have an impact on the delivery of the school for September 2016.

 

In light of Sam Dredger being unable to attend the meeting the following written answer was provided:

 

Answer

The Facebook site reported and I quote: “To date the Project is progressing albeit with some delays on site handover. This is due to need to clear topsoil from the site before the builders can take over the site and commence groundworks. Whilst this early delay is unhelpful, it is not critical at this time”.

 

This is correct. There have been some delays associated with the remediation of the school site which is not unusual when working on brownfield sites such as this. As with any construction project the programme is monitored weekly and the timetable is under continuous review. As work progresses there will, I suspect, be a variety of issues that might arise, the impact of each will be considered within the overall project timetable. However the Council and the provider, the Bohunt Trust remain committed to and confident of the opening of this new secondary school in September 2016.  It will be the first new secondary school that this Borough has built for over 40 years.

27.3

Philip Meadowcroft had asked the Executive Member for Planning and Highways the following question:

Minutes:

Question

Will the Executive please tonight defer the adoption of the revised LPEP until after the next Corporate Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting in September?

 

Why?

 

The officers’ response, and their consequent revisions, to the LPEP arising from measured comments in the public consultation require a diligent review and assessment by the Corporate Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee.    Since the public consultation the Committee has not had any further discussion on the LPEP.

 

There are a number of material and serious omissions; here are two examples.   Firstly, nowhere in the revised LPEP is there any reference to Green Belt. This is an extraordinary omission given the impact of Green Belt on planning issues especially in the northern parishes of the Borough.  Secondly, in seeking to clarify “planning harm”, the revised LPEP incorporates some, but not all, of the framework developed by Tendring Borough Council (which was suggested in consultation responses).     Specifically, the omissions are “irreversible harm” and “special exercises”. The revised document, as well as the omissions I have mentioned, need to be appropriately overviewed and scrutinised and that is not the purpose or function of an Executive meeting like tonight’s with a very full agenda.

 

It would thus be a material failure of sound and proper governance by the Executive to adopt the revised LPEP tonight.   The Executive needs the assurance – which it presently does not have - that the revised LPEP has passed through a proper assessment procedure by the Corporate Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee prior to the LPEP being formally submitted to the Executive for adoption.

 

In light of Mr Meadowcroft being unable to attend the meeting the following written answer was provided:

 

Answer

The Council is keen to adopt the LPEP in its current state to be able to set out to local residents the level of service that can expect from the planning enforcement service. The LPEP has been 18 months in preparation and considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on four separate occasions. The OSC has influenced the content of the document which has received wide support from elected members and should be implemented as soon as possible.

 

There is no reference to the Greenbelt in the LPEP because the LPEP sets out procedures for planning enforcement and the level of service that will be provided. Greenbelt designation is a specific planning policy and it is not appropriate to refer to specific planning policies in the plan. Planning policy is assessed as part of the tool to assist with assessing harm (appendix 1 of the LPEP). This tool has been adopted from the model used by Tendring District Council and adapted to meet circumstances within Wokingham Borough.

 

As a result of the enforcement review, the planning enforcement service has received a greater level of resource at a time when many councils have reduced the enforcement activity considerably. However, there are still limited resources to deal with the 700 cases that the authority receives each year and the LPEP sets out how these resources  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.3

27.4

Tom Berman had asked the Executive Member for Highways and Planning the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

In the revised LPEP officers have not addressed the issue of ward members being given a deadline of only 48 hours to challenge an expediency report proposing that an identified breach not be pursued and the case (concerning enforcement) be closed.

 

Will the Executive please agree that this matter should be revisited by the Director of Environment and the LPEP further amended to allow ward members a more reasonable deadline in such cases?

 

In light of Mr Berman being unable to attend the meeting the following written answer was provided:

 

Answer

48 hours notification is given to ward members about the closure of enforcement cases and this issue is addressed in both the report to Executive and summary of consultation responses attached to this report.  The majority of the closures of cases are due to there is no breach of planning legislation or due to voluntary compliance. In less than 0.1% of cases is the closure due to it not being expedient to take action.

 

The majority of ward members feel that the 48 hour timescale is adequate as there are opportunities through the whole investigation process forward members to become involved in enforcement cases. There has been wide support from ward members for the LPEP which has been 18 months in preparation. It is important that this document is adopted as soon as possible to set out the level of service and the process for planning enforcement in the Borough.

27.5

Ian Clarke asked the Executive Member for Environment the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

Agenda Item 41:  Will Wokingham Borough Council consider broader options for the proposed new pavilion, to provide additional streams of income, such as a hireable space for social events, in order to give the site a better chance of being self-financing?

 

Answer

Just to confirm that we are talking about the Ryeish Green Pavilion as opposed to any other ventures that we are progressing. 

 

Ensuring the long-term viability of a local community asset is a key consideration when delivering new facilities within the Borough, which includes opportunities to generate income in different ways over time.   The type of pavilion we would expect to deliver within the Shinfield Sports Hub will be built to conform to Sport England guidelines and would include a club room which would be able to accommodate a variety of other uses, in addition to the primary purpose of supporting outdoor sports.

 

We would be very open to ideas of how best we can provide a facility to meet local needs within the context of overall financial considerations.  We will of course look closely at any ideas put forward.  When assessing whether to introduce new ways to generate income, the Council will always want to understand the views of local residents and service users alongside the potential income or profits which can be achieved.

 

Supplementary Question

You know the pavilion at Charvil Farm Park are you talking about that sort of size because they have a meeting room there with changing rooms etc?

 

Supplementary Answer

We have not determined the size of that yet so that will be part of what we will be considering.

 

Councillor Keith Baker commented as follows:

I think the basic principle of any community facility, whether it is sporting or otherwise, being self-financing is absolutely essential.  It has to be that way because we cannot go to our tax payers, being it parish or Borough, to continue to subsidise some of these facilities.

 

27.6

Andrew Grimes asked the Executive Member for Planning and Highways the following question:

Minutes:

 

Agenda Item 42:  Shinfield Parish Council understands that the outline specification of this community centre was:

    originally determined by Wokingham Borough Council;

    approved on appeal for the West of Shinfield development;

    and that Wokingham Borough Council entered into a S106 variation agreement with the University of Reading last year. 

 

It is, therefore, with some concern, we note that, only after the questioning by Shinfield Parish Council, that a funding gap has only recently been recognised.  Please could you explain the details concerning how the level of funding was originally obtained and agreed, and why does it not appear to cover present day costs?"

 

Answer

The mechanism for funding and the process for going forward in partnership with the Borough Council has been discussed between the two Councils over the past few months.

 

In summary the legal agreement for Shinfield West facilitates the option for us to take a cash alternative to the new community building proposed near to the existing village hall by the applicant so that we can enable the Parish Council’s preference for an extended Parish Hall on the Royal British Legion site.

 

The scope of the project is now greater than the originally secured on-site provision which was to serve the new development proposed. In acknowledgement that the extension to the existing Village Hall would be more valuable to both existing and future residents, in addition to the dedicated sum secured, flexibility was built into the agreement which enables us to use our discretion over the commuted sums to deliver the SDL related infrastructure where the need arises. This together with the commitment the Parish Council was originally intending to make in purchasing the British Legion site will enable us together to provide what I hope will be a superb facility.

 

What I am basically saying here is that the original S106 was based around the development of the community centre on the SDL upon the request of the Parish Council.  Now the shortfall is in your hands because we are not designing it; it is your design.  If you wish to design a smaller building or a larger building that is the situation.

 

Supplementary Question

Does that imply that we can come to an agreement on the total budget of the scheme and the funding of it over the next couple of months?

 

Supplementary Answer

There are no estimates yet and so talking about overspends and underspends is a bit premature because until we see the plan and the business case that you are putting forward we will not know those details.  But this is very much in your hands.

 

Keith Baker commented as follows:

There is no extra money other than the SDL money so whatever is designed has to fit in within that budget.  If you want to go over that budget then there has to be alternative methods.  But unfortunately the Borough does not have cash that we can add anywhere in the Borough I am afraid.

 

 

 

 

27.7

Dawn Peer asked the Executive Member for Planning and Highways the following question:

Minutes:

 

Question

Agenda Item 42:  Shinfield Parish received 73% of all new homes in the borough between 2001 and 2011 (Source:  Census data) without any material infrastructure improvements. Please could you explain and justify the reasons why Wokingham Borough Council considers that the ratepayers of Shinfield Parish should contribute to the shortfall of construction costs of this centre, when it is intended that this building is part of the mitigation of the development of some 2,500 new homes in the parish?

 

Answer

I don’t think that anyone would disagree that Shinfield has been subject to historic under investment in infrastructure and this was very much due to the policies during the time prior to the current Local Plan. The current SDL developments are based on our new policies and they are designed to wash their own face. This is the basis on which planning applications must be determined; they cannot make up for historic deficit, though they do prevent the impact being compounded through ongoing, unplanned incremental growth. As such all SDL developments have achieved about £28k per dwelling payment towards the provision of local infrastructure and 35% affordable housing.

 

In the case of Shinfield, the Parish Council wished to secure a different means of delivering their Community Building than that anticipated when the planning consent was approved. The Parish has been working with the Borough to deliver this enhanced alternative. The Parish was proposing to acquire the Royal British Legion site to do this. This Council has however secured a route by which the acquisition cost is covered by the University of Reading and it is therefore only fair that the original investment continues to be committed to the scheme by the Parish. Flexibility does exist within the legal agreement and developer contributions to deliver a new and extended community provision in Shinfield Village Centre in partnership with the Borough.  I would say again, as I have just said to Andrew, that it is in your hands.  It will be your community centre.  You will decide what design you want.  So if you want to build the Taj Mahal then obviously you will be paying a lot more money.  So it is very much in your hands.

 

Supplementary Question

I think basically your response and Keith’s response has overwritten my supplementary question but I would assume that we can still talk to the Officers and carry on negotiating the best we can?

 

Supplementary Answer

I put a paper to our Group just the other day which actually talked about negotiation and business plans.

 

28.

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

Minutes:

 

There were no Members’ questions received.

29.

Revenue Monitoring 2015/16 - end of June 2015 pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the forecast outturn position of the revenue budget and the level of forecast balances in respect of the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Schools Block and the Authority’s investment portfolio be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report setting out the forecast outturn position of the revenue budget and the level of forecast balances in respect of the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Schools Block and the Authority’s investment portfolio.

 

The Executive Member for Economic Development and Finance went through the report and highlighted that although current estimates showed an overspend at the end of the year of £450k work would be carried out throughout the year to ensure a balanced budget.  In addition it was noted that the Council had significant reserves to cover unforeseen items.

 

Members’ attention was drawn to the budget pressures included in the report including the fact that the DoE had withdrawn a grant after the budget had been approved.  It was also noted that the Housing Revenue Account was predicting a net underspend of £115k and there was a net planned deficit this year on the schools budget of just under £700k and this would cause a reduction in the Council’s reserves next year.  Councillor Pollock advised that given the rise in birth rate in the area and austerity measures this was an area that needed to be reviewed on a regular basis as it would impact on all budgets.

 

RESOLVED:  That the forecast outturn position of the revenue budget and the level of forecast balances in respect of the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Schools Block and the Authority’s investment portfolio be noted.

30.

Capital Monitoring 2015/16 - end of June 2015 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Capital Monitoring report for the first quarter of 2015/16 be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report setting out the Capital Monitoring report to the end of June 2015.

 

The Executive Member for Economic Development and Finance informed the meeting the end of the first quarter forecast a small overspend of £4,000, which given that the Capital Budget was in excess of £106m was a very small percentage.  It was noted that a significant amount of the Capital Budget was being spent on schools, roads and the infrastructure for the Strategic Development Locations.

 

Councillor Pollock clarified why the spend profile was split between year 1 and 2 which was due to the fact that often a lot of preparatory work was required after a project was approved but before it actually started.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Capital Monitoring report for the first quarter of 2015/16 be noted.

31.

Council Owned Companies' Business pdf icon PDF 429 KB

Decision:

That:

1)        the budget monitoring position for the month ending 30 April 2015 be noted;

 

2)         the operational update for the period to mid June 2015 be noted.

 

 

Minutes:

(Councillors Pauline Jorgensen and Anthony Pollock declared personal interests in this item)

 

The Executive considered a report relating to an update on the operational and budget monitoring position for the month ending 30 April 2015.

 

The Leader of Council highlighted the changes in directorships of Wokingham Housing Ltd (WHL) and Loddon Homes which included Councillor John Jarvis, who had a strong background as a charted surveyor, being made a director of WHL and Councillor Gary Cowan, who had previously been a director of WHL, being appointed as a director and chairman of Loddon Homes Ltd. 

 

RESOLVED that:

1)        the budget monitoring position for the month ending 30 April 2015 be noted;

 

2)         the operational update for the period to mid June 2015 be noted.

 

32.

Health and Safety Annual Report 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

1)         the corporate health and safety performance for 2014/15 be noted; and

 

2)        the approach described and the health and safety priorities for the current municipal year be endorsed.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered the Health and Safety Annual Report for 2014/15 which relates to occupational health and safety in respect of the Council’s services and schools.

 

The Executive Member for Resident Services informed the meeting that although the number of incidents reported had increased significantly this was mainly due to a new recording system which made it easier to report health and safety incidents.  Also one special school, who always reported a high number of incidents, had reported even more incidents in 14/15 which again it was felt was due more incidents being reported rather than an increase in incidents.

 

Councillor Jorgensen also highlighted that the Council had been supporting local schools with the provision of external defibrillators, following the tragic death of young person in Woodley, by providing advice and encouraging the purchase of them.  In relation to next years’ priorities it was noted that the intention was: to revise procedures and health and safety manuals to make them easier to use; to continue to develop the reporting system; to add extra training for management contractors; and to improve health and safety induction for service managers and elected Members.

 

The Executive Member for Children’s Services advised that although the amount of reported school incidents had nearly doubled from the previous year this was due to better report and she hoped that there would be more continuity throughout all the schools.  With regards to the provision of external defibrillators Councillor Haitham Taylor reported that work was being carried out to support schools which included looking at working with different charities that could provide the equipment. 

 

RESOLVED that:

1)         the corporate health and safety performance for 2014/15 be noted; and

 

2)        the approach described and the health and safety priorities for the current municipal year be endorsed.

 

33.

Local Planning Enforcement Plan pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Local Planning Enforcement Plan (LPEP) be approved for adoption.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to a proposed Local Planning Enforcement Plan (LPEP) which sets out the Council’s policy and procedures in respect of planning enforcement in order to preserve and enhance the build and natural environment and protect public amenities.

 

The Executive Member for Planning and Highways advised the meeting that the focus in the first instance would be on negotiations to resolve breaches of planning control; to encourage local residents to talk to each other and developers to resolve issues.  The Council also recognised that town and parish councils had an important part to play as the eyes and ears on the ground.

 

It was recognised that it was not always possible to resolve issues informally and the Council would monitor development and investigate reported breaches and when these gave rise to planning harm the Council would look to enforce using all legal powers at its disposal.  This would include prosecution via the courts whilst at the same time looking to recover the cost incurred in pursuing such cases.  It was noted that there were around 700 breaches reported per year; there was normally a workload of around 120 cases; and that approximately 1 in 8 of those reported actually ended up as breaches.

 

Councillor Kaiser further advised that the LPEP was a living document and it would be updated if issues arose that required it to be modified.

 

Councillor Jorgensen praised the Planning Enforcement Team for the work they had recently undertaken on developments in her ward.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Local Planning Enforcement Plan (LPEP) be approved for adoption.

34.

Treasury Management Annual Report 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

1)        it be noted that the report was presented to the Audit Committee on 23 June 2015;

 

2)         Council be recommended to approve:

a)         the Treasury Management Annual Report for 2014/2015; and

 

b)         the actual 2014/2015 Prudential Indications within the report.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered the Treasury Management Annual Report which covered the treasury activity during 2014/15 and the actual Prudential Indicators for 2014/15.

 

The Executive Member for Economic Development and Finance went through the report and highlighted a number of areas including:  the fact that the low borrowing rates had enabled the Council to finance projects at a reasonable rate; there were some capital schemes that the Council was unable to fund due to the large number of high priority schemes and the finite amount of budget; the Council’s debt and investment position and the fact that the in-house investment team had continued to outperform the external fund managers. 

 

RESOLVED that:

1)        it be noted that the report was presented to the Audit Committee on 23 June 2015;

 

2)         Council be recommended to approve:

a)         the Treasury Management Annual Report for 2014/2015; and

 

b)         the actual 2014/2015 Prudential Indications within the report.

35.

Travel Planning for Major Development Sites (SDLs) pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Decision:

That the release of appropriate S016 funding totalling £263,000 to support an annual programme of sustainable transport initiatives within the Strategic Development Locations be approved.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to Travel Planning for Major Development Sites (SDLs) which will provide effective planning on these sites enabling residents to make informed, safe and sustainable travel decisions from a range of transport options and help to manage the impact of congestion.

 

The Executive Member for Planning and Highways explained that as part of any planning application developers were required to detail how they would promote sustainable travel to new residents.  Generally these travel plans were limited by time, content and the area of influence and the developer had little interest in the success of the plan therefore they were often considered amongst other things to be ineffective and expensive and do little to promote sustainable travel.  The Council was proposing an alternative approach whereby a charge of £450 would be taken for every new SDL house build and this would be used to undertake the management of residential travel plans on behalf of the developers and provide travel planning initiatives. 

 

Councillor Kaiser further advised that this initiative would also provide revenue of £5.6m for the period of the Core Strategy up to 2026. 

 

Councillor Haitham Taylor welcomed this proposal and asked if during the planned workshops an understanding of the profile of the new residents could be ascertained including where they worked and why they were moving to the Borough in order that this information could inform the new travel plans.   In addition Councillor Jorgensen asked that information on where people were starting their journey from and where they would be going to within the Borough or outside the Borough be collected to ensure that the wider affects, and not just those of the particular development, were considered.  Councillor Kaiser confirmed that this was the intention.

 

Following a query by the Leader on the recommendation and whether it meant that periodically additional reports would come forward requesting the release of S106 funds Councillor Kaiser clarified that the Council had already been collecting a charge on new homes in the SDLs and the purpose of the request was to use these funds.  He asked that consideration be given to allowing future charges on new homes to be used without the need to come back to the Executive.  The Executive Member for Economic Development and Finance believed that in future years spending of this money would be part of the Medium Term Financial Plan but for this year the Executive would need to agree any further release of funds for the project.  To clarify the process that would be adopted for further release of funds the Leader of Council asked that the Executive Member and the lead Officers consider a workable proposal and provide the Executive with a report on how the Council would approve the release and utilisation of these funds.

 

Members asked if there was any intention to get contributions from Bracknell Forest to mitigate the effects of developments on the boundary of the two Boroughs?  Councillor Kaiser agreed to include discussions on this matter  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Library Service Management System pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Decision:

That the current provision of the library service management system be extended for up to two years.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to the extension for up to two years of the Civica IT management system used by the Library Service.

 

The Executive Member for Resident Services informed the meeting that the current IT system managed book stock, hire charges, wi-fi, etc.  A review was being undertaken on how the libraries would be managed in the future eg scope and products provided and therefore it was proposed to extend the current management system rather than tender for a replacement until the Council was clear what scope any replacement was required to cover.  Also following an internal benchmarking exercise the current system was found to be 25% cheaper than the available alternatives.

 

Councillor Haitham Taylor brought to the meeting’s attention that the summer reading scheme had started and the theme was “record breakers” and asked that everyone encourage children and young people to get involved in the scheme.

 

In response Councillor Jorgensen highlighted that Wokingham was one of the few areas in the country where the libraries have increased in usage and not only had the footfall increased but they had become more cost effective.

 

RESOLVED:  That the current provision of the library service management system be extended for up to two years.

37.

Future Delivery Options for Operational Property pdf icon PDF 557 KB

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to the Future Delivery Options for Operational Property which proposed the establishment of a shared Building Service/Operational Property Service with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to be hosted by Wokingham Borough Council.

 

The Deputy Executive Member for Regeneration and Communities highlighted the benefits of the proposed shared service which included a substantial saving per annum and a future profit share.  Councillor Ashwell confirmed that the proposed shared service would be responsible for a number of areas including:  reactive maintenance; repairs to make good unplanned issues; planned maintenance; proactive repairs and maintenance of the Council’s estate; letting management of contracts etc.  It was noted that the proposed structure would allow other bodies to join in the future.

 

Councillor Ross asked that “blue light services” be added to recommendation 2 as there was a lot of synergy with these services.  This amendment was agreed.

 

RESOLVED that:

1)        a formal arrangement be sought with Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) Council for the establishment of a shared Building Service / Operational Property Service;

 

2)        the shared service be structured in such a way that it can form the basis for a wider, technical shared service with other Berkshire authorities or with other neighbouring authorities or the blue light services;

 

3)        authority be delegated to the Director of Finance and Resources and Executive Member for Regeneration and Communities, to enter into discussions required to finalise the business case and to establish the shared service, with a view to the new service being established as soon as practicable.

 

38.

Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That consideration of the Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan be deferred to the September Executive.

 

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Planning and Highways advised that following a request from Shinfield Parish Council he intended to defer consideration of this item until the September Executive.  This deferment was agreed.

 

RESOLVED:  That consideration of the Shinfield Neighbourhood Plan be deferred to the September Executive.

39.

Ground Lease to the South East Reserve Forces and Cadet Association (SERFCA) on land at Elizabeth Park, Wokingham pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Decision:

That a new 25 year ground lease be granted to The South East Reserve Forces and Cadet Association (SERFCA) on Land at Elizabeth Park, Wokingham which will replace their existing facilities on the Carnival Pool site.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to the granting of a new 25 year ground lease to the South East Reserve Forces and Cadet Association (SERFCA) on land at Elizabeth Park, Wokingham which would replace their existing facilities on the Carnival Pool site.

 

The Deputy Executive Member for Regeneration and Communities advised that following approval of the planning application for the carnival Pool site redevelopment as a leisure quarter for Wokingham Town, which included the introduction of a new multi-storey car park, there was a need to find an alternative location for the Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps who currently occupy the cadet compound on Carnival Field. 

 

Following work carried out with SERFCA, the MODs managing body, a new site had been found at Elizabeth Park which would be a co-location with the existing football club.  Both the Cadets and the football club were happy with the proposal.  In response to a query Councillor Ashwell confirmed that the lease would be provided on a peppercorn rent and it would be the responsibility of the Cadets to pay for any building on the site.  In addition if the lease came to an end then the site would be put back to its original state or the Council would take over the building.

 

RESOLVED:  That a new 25 year ground lease be granted to The South East Reserve Forces and Cadet Association (SERFCA) on Land at Elizabeth Park, Wokingham which will replace their existing facilities on the Carnival Pool site.

40.

Regeneration of Peach Place Compulsory Purchase pdf icon PDF 243 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

1)         the Council should make a compulsory purchase order ("CPO") to include the land required to deliver the proposed regeneration of land known as Peach Place, Peach Street, Wokingham as shown indicatively edged red on the draft plan at Appendix 1 of the report ("the Site") pursuant to section  226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) because it considers that:

 

(a)          the acquisition of the land will facilitate the carrying out of the development, redevelopment or improvement of the Site; and

 

(b)          the development, redevelopment or improvement of the Site is likely to contribute to the achievement of any one or more of the promotion or improvement of the economic, social and environmental well-being of the borough of Wokingham;

 

2)        the Council should include within the CPO the acquisition of new rights within the Site as necessary under section 13 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 to facilitate the development, redevelopment or improvement on or in relation to the Site;

 

3)        the Chief Executive, in conjunction with the Leader and Executive Member for Regeneration, be authorised to:

 

(a)          take all necessary steps in relation to the Site to secure the making, the confirmation and, in accordance with a programme approved by the Executive, the implementation of the CPO including publication and service of all relative notices and the presentation of the Council's case at any Public Inquiry; and

 

(b)          approve terms for the acquisition of legal interests (including rights) by agreement including for the purposes of resolving any objections  to the CPO;

 

4)        if the CPO is confirmed, to the extent that it is not already held for such purposes, that that part of the Site already within the Council's ownership as shown shaded green on the plan at Appendix 2 of the report be appropriated for planning purposes as described in section 226 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) on the date immediately before the Council implements the confirmed CPO by the making of a vesting declaration or service of notice to treat/notice of entry, such land being then no longer required for the purpose for which it is currently held.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to the regeneration of Peach Place compulsory purchase order (CPO) which would enable the compulsory acquisition of all necessary land interests to deliver the regeneration of Peach Place.

 

Members were advised by the Deputy Executive Member for Regeneration and Communities that a CPO was a legal function available to local authorities to obtain land, property or associated rights and was often used in regeneration projects where land ownership and rights were complex.  Final approval of any CPO would be made by the Secretary of State and the process consisted of a series of stages that could potentially last up to a year.  Ahead of the process it would be necessary for the acquiring authority to demonstrate that they had attempted to acquire all property and rights by private treaty.  It was noted that the Council had been successful in acquiring property and rights over recent years.

 

Councillor Ashwell also confirmed that the proposal also included the appropriation of all of the land that the Council owned for planning purposes.

 

RESOLVED that:

1)         the Council should make a compulsory purchase order ("CPO") to include the land required to deliver the proposed regeneration of land known as Peach Place, Peach Street, Wokingham as shown indicatively edged red on the draft plan at Appendix 1 of the report ("the Site") pursuant to section  226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) because it considers that:

 

(a)          the acquisition of the land will facilitate the carrying out of the development, redevelopment or improvement of the Site; and

 

(b)          the development, redevelopment or improvement of the Site is likely to contribute to the achievement of any one or more of the promotion or improvement of the economic, social and environmental well-being of the borough of Wokingham;

 

2)        the Council should include within the CPO the acquisition of new rights within the Site as necessary under section 13 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 to facilitate the development, redevelopment or improvement on or in relation to the Site;

 

3)        the Chief Executive, in conjunction with the Leader and Executive Member for Regeneration, be authorised to:

 

(a)          take all necessary steps in relation to the Site to secure the making, the confirmation and, in accordance with a programme approved by the Executive, the implementation of the CPO including publication and service of all relative notices and the presentation of the Council's case at any Public Inquiry; and

 

(b)          approve terms for the acquisition of legal interests (including rights) by agreement including for the purposes of resolving any objections  to the CPO;

 

4)        if the CPO is confirmed, to the extent that it is not already held for such purposes, that that part of the Site already within the Council's ownership as shown shaded green on the plan at Appendix 2 of the report be appropriated for planning purposes as described in section 226 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

Ryeish Green and Gray's Fruit Farm Sports Hub Projects pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Decision:

That:

1)        the release of S106 funding be agreed to progress a planning application for the co-located Wokingham Sports Hub facility at Grays Fruit Farm in South Wokingham to serve the North and South Wokingham Strategic Development Locations (SDLs);

 

2)        the release of S106 funding be agreed to progress a planning application for the Sports Hub to serve the South of the M4 SDL and implement any proposals which may be authorised within the budget identified in the “Financial Implications” table within the report;

 

3)       authority be delegated to the Director of Finance and Resources to forward fund the Ryeish Green Sports Hub scheme through short term borrowing where needed.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to the proposed Ryeish Green and Grays Fruit Farm Sports Hub projects which would provide a much improved outdoor sports offer for both existing and new residents of Wokingham and Shinfield.

 

Members were advised by the Executive Member for Environment that S106 funding would cover the cost of the work.  In relation to Grays Fruit Farm although the Council would not take control of the site until September 2017 it was important to start the process of consultation on the project including what facilities and sports would be provided.

 

With regard to Ryeish Green Councillor Ross advised that a lot of the consultation process had already been undertaken over the last few years and contributions had already been received from the Strategic Development Locations (SDLs) and the most important thing was the phasing of the project.  It was noted that the phasing would require taking up some existing sports facilities at Ryeish Green to undertake drainage work and some of this work may require forward funding. 

 

Councillor Ross also confirmed that in addition to the proposals for Grays Farm and Ryeish Green there were outdoor and indoor facilities being developed for all of the SDL developments and an internal working group was currently considering what specific types of provision should be offered in all these areas and these would be matched to the needs of each area and the communities therein.

 

RESOLVED That:

1)        the release of S106 funding be agreed to progress a planning application for the co-located Wokingham Sports Hub facility at Grays Fruit Farm in South Wokingham to serve the North and South Wokingham Strategic Development Locations (SDLs);

 

2)        the release of S106 funding be agreed to progress a planning application for the Sports Hub to serve the South of the M4 SDL and implement any proposals which may be authorised within the budget identified in the “Financial Implications” table within the report;

 

3)       authority be delegated to the Director of Finance and Resources to forward fund the Ryeish Green Sports Hub scheme through short term borrowing where needed.

 

 

42.

Community Facility at SM4 Strategic Development Location pdf icon PDF 363 KB

Decision:

That:

1)        the University of Reading be advised that WBC elect to accept a cash contribution in lieu of direct provision of a community building for Shinfield Village Centre, pursuant to the Shinfield West S106 agreement;

 

2)        agreement in principle be given to develop the new community facilities to serve the South of the M4 SDL on the Royal British Legion site in Shinfield Village Centre subject to the Director of the Environment and Executive Member for Planning and Highways receiving from Shinfield Parish Council (SPC) a satisfactory form of

 

a)        business case for erection of a community facility and its ongoing operation;

b)        agreement to contribute funds towards the project (to be determined);

c)         agreement to suitable governance arrangements with WBC to enable provision of services which are consistent with ‘Shaping Our New Communities’ principles;

d)         evidence of wider community support for the community facility

 

3)        subject to 2) being satisfactorily concluded, initial feasibility, costings and other details to be worked up and reported back to the Executive to enable a planning application to be progressed;

 

4)        in the event that resolution 2 is not met by 31 December 2015 that the community S106 will be released to WBC to implement community/leisure projects to support the South of the M4 SDL.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to proposed community facilities in Shinfield Village Centre.

 

Councillor Haitham Taylor highlighted that the proposed timescale of completion by 31 December 2015 was very tight and wanted to ensure that Shinfield Parish Council would be supported in order to meet this deadline and bring forward the proposals that would meet the community and leisure needs for both the current community in Shinfield and the wider area and also the future community that would be moving into the area.  The Executive Member for Planning and Highways stated that there would be an element of flexibility as there was with all negotiations.

 

RESOLVED that:

1)        the University of Reading be advised that WBC elect to accept a cash contribution in lieu of direct provision of a community building for Shinfield Village Centre, pursuant to the Shinfield West S106 agreement;

 

2)        agreement in principle be given to develop the new community facilities to serve the South of the M4 SDL on the Royal British Legion site in Shinfield Village Centre subject to the Director of the Environment and Executive Member for Planning and Highways receiving from Shinfield Parish Council (SPC) a satisfactory form of

 

a)        business case for erection of a community facility and its ongoing operation;

b)        agreement to contribute funds towards the project (to be determined);

c)         agreement to suitable governance arrangements with WBC to enable provision of services which are consistent with ‘Shaping Our New Communities’ principles;

d)         evidence of wider community support for the community facility

 

3)        subject to 2) being satisfactorily concluded, initial feasibility, costings and other details to be worked up and reported back to the Executive to enable a planning application to be progressed;

 

4)        in the event that resolution 2 is not met by 31 December 2015 that the community S106 will be released to WBC to implement community/leisure projects to support the South of the M4 SDL.