Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive
Thursday, 30th March, 2017 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Anne Hunter  Service Manager, Democratic Services

Items
No. Item

125.

Minute Silence

Minutes:

Prior to the commencement of the meeting, the Leader of the Council paid tribute to Councillor Roger Croft, Leader of West Berkshire Council and his wife who had passed away following an accident, and led the meeting in a minute of silence.  

 

126.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted from Councillors Mark Ashwell and Charlotte Haitham Taylor.

 

Councillor Chris Bowring attended the meeting on behalf of Councillor Ashwell.  Councillor Richard Dolinski attended the meeting on behalf of Councillor Haitham Taylor.  In accordance with legislation Councillors Bowring and Dolinski could take part in any discussions but were not entitled to vote.

127.

Minutes of Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 211 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 23 February 2017 and the Extraordinary Meeting held on 15 March 2017.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 23 February 2017 and the Extraordinary Executive held on 15 March 2017 were confirmed as correct records and signed by the Chairman.

128.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Pauline Jorgensen declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 130, 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.

 

Councillor Anthony Pollock declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 130, 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 Anthony Pollock declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 131, Update on Expansion of the Council Owned Company Optalis by virtue of the fact that he was an unpaid Non-Executive Director of Optalis.  Councillor Pollock left the meeting during discussions and did not vote on the matter.

 

129.

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.

129.1

Guy Grandison asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

One of the major issues that has been raised with me again recently has been inconsiderate and sometimes illegal parking around our local schools such as Loddon and Hawkedon with yellow lines being ignored, could you explain how Civil Parking enforcement will help put a stop to inconsiderate parking around our local Schools?.

 

Minutes:

Question

One of the major issues that has been raised with me again recently has been inconsiderate and sometimes illegal parking around our local schools such as Loddon and Hawkedon with yellow lines being ignored, could you explain how Civil Parking enforcement will help put a stop to inconsiderate parking around our local Schools?.

 

Answer

Civil Parking Enforcement or CPE will firstly ensure that vehicles parked in contravention of yellow lines or across dropped curbs/private drives or any restrictions like that, will be issued penalties.  The penalties serve as a reminder to drivers of the rules that are in place and they are of the benefit to all and encourage a change in behaviour, and not to keep breaking the rules and parking badly.  Secondly, enforcement officers that are inspecting in the areas around schools and other areas are also a very public face of the Council and they can help to further encourage a behaviour change through discussions with the public about the safety impact and the regulations of following the parking rules.

 

Supplementary Question

I notice yesterday that the consultation went live; regarding the specific schools, the local schools in the area, would you consider proposals to extend specific regulations for waiting times etc. just to fill in some obvious gaps which have become obvious to people?

 

Supplementary Answer

Firstly CPE is in the process of being sent off and applied for at the moment and we hope that it will be sorted in the last quarter of the year.  That will be with all the regulations that currently apply, so all the yellow lines and restrictions will be there.  It is not really practical to put new ones in before the existing ones go live, but once CPE is there, that will already provide improved coverage.  If there are any areas with schools and the like where they would want variations either along the yellow lines or different restrictions, they can discuss it with us and they could end up with a brand new Traffic Regulation Order that will meet their needs.

129.2

Michael Jones asked the Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing the following question:

Minutes:

Question

Regarding the re-development of Gorse Ride South given that council documentation shows major concern for residents for the lack of certainty of this project, why is there no firm commitment for the ability to continue the project after phase one and the monies required for completion should surely be allocated before commencement?

 

Answer

The Executive Report commits the Council to delivering and funding Phase 1 and to undertaking feasibility work to develop the proposals for the later phases.  The feasibility work will identify the scale of the redevelopment and therefore its likely cost.  Until this work is completed, the Council cannot allocate funding for later phases.  The report is clear that a firm proposal will come back to the Executive by March 2018.

 

Supplementary Question

In particular the owner occupiers are in a bit of a cleft stick because they have got no opportunity to sell or move within the area certainly. Why are you not looking at the whole project as one rather than in separate phases?

 

Supplementary Answer

Because of the way the funding works for a redevelopment of this size, we have to look at it in phases.  We cannot come up with that much money to do the whole thing in one go but we are committed actually to the redevelopment of Gorse Ride.  We have to work through a framework so that we can allocate the money as things come up, but we are committed to doing that.

 

Councillor Baker suggested that Mr Jones and Councillor McGhee-Sumner meet outside of the meeting to discuss the matter further.

129.3

Peter Must asked the Executive Member for Resident Services the following question:

Minutes:

Question

Since the proposed relocation of Wokingham Library, probably the major public community facility in the town, is posited on an improved service for residents, is it not vital to consult local people to discover their views on the proposal, a measure that could be achieved by for example amending the Recommendation to read: 1) that a public consultation be held about the proposal to relocate Wokingham Library to a new building on the Carnival Phase II site: 2) that any proposal to relocate the Library be then submitted to the Executive by the Executive Member for Resident Services, with a summary of the responses to the consultation, together with a full impact assessment and detailed business case?

 

Answer

Firstly, I would like to preface this answer by saying that I would not support this proposal if I did not think it provided a real opportunity to further enhance our library offer and I hope that by the end of the process that we are going to go through, that residents will be as excited as I am about the opportunities that the relocation could provide.

 

The Council conducted its extensive consultation in 2016 about the proposed Library Offer for the Borough; I have got a copy of it here if you would like to see it, including the guiding principles of the service and the way it would be delivered.  These views were the cornerstone of the new Library Offer that was adopted by the Council in 2016.

 

The proposed relocation of Wokingham Library to the Carnival Phase 2 site will not result in a reduction of service or fundamental change to the core services that are available to residents.  From the consultation held last year, it was clear that residents wanted the library to retain books as a primary stock type, to offer facilities that support learning and achievement, and to continue to meet residents’ expectations for utilising and embracing new technology.

 

The consultation also showed that there was overwhelming support for our libraries to be able to adapt to the changing needs of our residents and to offer access to other Council services and to broaden the range of activities and events that people can enjoy.  Furthermore, there was strong support for collocating library services alongside other services, including sports facilities.

 

Over a thousand people responded to the consultation on the library offer and only 25% of them did not agree with colocation.  Our residents have already provided the Council with a strong statement about their preferences and aspirations.  The proposed new site for Wokingham Library will offer more usable space and greater flexibility being located on one floor, which means you only have one entrance and you have vastly improved parking facilities, being adjacent to a destination leisure facility.  We think that will also attract people of all ages.  Being able to offer all of these improvements on a site that is less than 300m away and clearly visible from the entrance of the current library  ...  view the full minutes text for item 129.3

129.4

Keith Malvern asked the Executive Member for Resident Services the following question:

Minutes:

Question

Agenda Item134 - Proposed Relocation of Wokingham Library

The first time I was aware of this proposal was when the Executive agenda was published last Wednesday although the Town Council and local members were made aware of this on the 22nd of February - more than a month ago.

 

Have you had any response from the Town Council or local members to give support to the view expressed at the start of the report that this proposal will offer better access and parking to existing users of the library, and will allow them to combine visits with other activities.

 

Answer

The Town Council and local Members were advised on 22 February as you say.  Oviously quite a lot of people do ask Members for support for them, but in addition we have got a response from Lynn Forbes who is one of the independent Members from Wokingham Town Council who said that she was very happy to support the proposal

 

Supplementary Question

Obviously you have accepted the principle of consultation.  It is unfortunate that you have not extended any further than that, giving people a wider opportunity.  You referred already to the outcome of the library offer, which is an extract of the thing we have been sent, together with a bill for £2,000.  This was published around the same time.

 

What I do not understand is why no opportunity was taken at this stage to notify people that there is a proposal to relocate Wokingham Library from where it is? You make an assumption and you make this statement that this will offer improved access without talking to the users.  I am not a great fan of multi-storey car parks, for example.  I am prejudiced - I drive badly so I do not want to park my car there.  I would much rather have a one level car park.  So it is no good for me.  My mobility scooter which will coming soon I think, does it offer me better access?  These are just examples where I feel you have given no thought whatsoever. 

 

Supplementary Answer

As I said I have had a good conversation with you earlier and I am very interested in your feedback.  The actual car park for the swimming pool will be single floor so you need not worry about your parking abilities or your mobility scooter.  As I say, there will be plenty of opportunity both through the planning process and also prior to that, for people to provide views and ideas about the design and actually try and get some input as to what the future facility will look like.  If we get this right it could really be an asset for the whole Borough and also Wokingham itself.

 

Councillor Baker added that a facility which was on one floor must be better than a facility which was on multiple floors for those with mobility issues.

130.

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:

In accordance with the agreed procedure the Chairman invited Members to submit questions to the appropriate Members

130.1

Prue Bray asked the Executive Member for Resident Services the following question:

Minutes:

Question

Why the lack of consultation with residents on the proposed relocation of Wokingham Library?

 

Answer

I think I have answered that.  We did a lot of consultation as part of the library offer and it was quite clear from that, that people were keen on collocation of facilities which allows us and will allow us to reduce the cost of running facilities and as we have done previously, just recently, increase the opening hours and increase the provision of libraries.  We are one of the few councils in the country that has actually managed to improve our library service rather than reducing it or shutting libraries.  You know I am very passionate about libraries.  I believe this is a great opportunity and I look forward to emails from anybody and everybody, plus a proper opportunity to comment on the proposals as they become published in the next few weeks.  Expect to have something on the Council’s website in about a month’s time which will give more detail.

 

Supplementary Question

The previous consultation did not refer to any specific library moving so perhaps you would like to comment on that.  I think I would like to pick up the comment you made earlier this evening which is about this not being a formal consultation but informal consultation apart from the planning bit of it which is a formal planning consultation, which is an entirely different thing.  How will library users know that there is a consultation and how to respond to it and will they actually be given an opportunity to influence the outcome?

 

Supplementary Answer

I can guarantee they will have the opportunity to influence the outcome.  We will be putting posters up around the area and also within the libraries and we will be providing the opportunity for people to feed back.  We will make sure it gets plenty of publicity as I am sure our friends in the Press will, and I am very much looking forward to people getting involved in the project and actually telling us a bit about what they want as well.

130.2

Imogen Shepherd-DuBey asked the Executive Member for Resident Services the following question which due to her inability to attend the meeting was asked by Rachelle Shepherd-DuBey:

Minutes:

Question

Agenda Item 134 - Relocation of Wokingham Library

Why was this proposal kept secret from many Wokingham Borough Members until now?

 

Answer

I would like to reassure Members and the public that there has been no “secrecy” around proposals to relocate Wokingham library.  The proposal to consider moving the library is a further step towards improving local services, and in line with the feedback we have received in support of exploring ways to provide greater flexibility within our library services whilst still retaining the core elements that residents clearly value. 

 

This proposal is another step in the realisation of the Library Offer and the Carnival Phase 2 development, as the Council now begins to look at more detail at the land uses that could make up this exciting development and the proposed layout and design of the facilities.

 

The principal of moving the library has become public at the expected time and it is now the correct time to ask residents and users what they think.  Everyone will have the opportunity to have their say on the detailed proposals for the Carnival Phase 2 scheme during next month’s public engagement.

 

The decision to be taken tonight is one of a matter of principal and, should Executive agree this evening, this principal will be subject to further design and feasibility work.  The library will not be moving until 2021 if the design and feasibility work is successful and there is plenty of opportunity for Members and the public to contribute to the detailed design processes between now and then.

130.3

Clive Jones asked the Executive Member for Resident Services the following question:

Minutes:

Question

How much have you just spent on updating the existing Wokingham Library?

 

Answer

We have just put in four self-service kiosks and new RFID scanners for the staff, a new counter, and some associated installation and decorated works.  In total these improvements are budgeted to cost £47,000.

 

In making this investment, it should be understood that it is expected that the self-service kiosks and the RFID scanners will still be in use in 2021 and will therefore be redeployed within the new library site in the Carnival Phase 2 development.  The new library counter is a modular design and can also be reused in another location.

 

As is stated the adoption of the Library Offer saved us around about £130,000 per year and allowed us to increase our opening times by 17.5 hours a week.  I think that is very important because I believe very strongly that libraries are used by large numbers of the population and I think that they are a very valuable asset, particularly for school children and also the elderly.  So I am very proud of the fact that we have managed to increase the use of libraries and invest in new technology and move them forward and I am looking forward to this proposal and helping that further. 

 

Supplementary Question

Do you think that it would have been better to wait until 2021 to spend the £47,000 and do you consider that this money has been well spent now that you are relocating the library, or do you think that it is a waste of the Council’s scarce resources?

 

Supplementary Answer

I think it is the right time to do it. The only resources that we spent on Wokingham Library that will be ‘wasted’, is a bit of paint and that will probably be requiring repainting in 2021, so I think that what we have done is quite correct and I am quite happy to stand behind it and I am really looking forward to moving this project forward.

130.4

Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey asked the Executive Member for Resident Services the following question:

Minutes:

Question

Will the Elevate Hub be included in the proposal for the new Library site?

 

Answer

The honest answer Rachelle is I do not know yet.  The Elevate Hub is funded by time-limited Government and EU subsidy funds.  Work is ongoing to look at longer term options for this service in that context and the future funding availability and the 21st Century Council programme.

 

The specific details of which services will be available or located with the proposed library within the Carnival Phase 2 development is still to be determined.  It is four years between this ‘in principle’ decision and the actual relocation.  I think the Elevate Hub provides very important services for NEETs and to increase the employment in the area, but at the moment we just do not know.  It depends on the funding.

 

Supplementary Question

Will the money made from selling the Carnival Pool car park and the library site itself be used for youth services or to prop up the Carnival Pool development?

 

Supplementary Answer

I cannot answer the question on the Carnival Pool development other than I think that it is funded and therefore does not require sale of other facilities.  If anyone disagrees with it, could they possibly correct me?  The long term options for the site really have not been looked at yet.  There is no guarantee that we will sell it all.  I do not know what we are going to do with the current site.  Once we decide what we are going to do with the current site and I have a view about what we are going to do about the current site we will of course consult on that separately.

 

It was clarified that Councillor Shepherd-DuBey’s supplementary question had referred to the car park on the current library site as opposed to the Carnival Pool car park.  Councillor Pollock commented that the car park would continue to generate income via car parking charges until or unless it was redeveloped.

131.

Council Owned Companies' Business pdf icon PDF 399 KB

Decision:

That:

 

1)        the budget monitoring position for the month ending 31 January 2017 be noted;

 

2)         the operational update for the period to 28 February 2017 be noted;

 

3)        the recommendation of WBC Holdings Board that the company and reporting structure for the Optalis group will be the same for both Councils with Optalis Holdings reporting directly to the Council Executives be noted;

 

4)        the operational funding facility for Wokingham Housing Limited of £500k, charged at an interest rate of base plus 5.5% be approved.

Minutes:

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

The Executive considered a report setting out the budget monitoring position for the Council Owned Companies for the month ending 31 January 2017 and the operational update for the period to 28 February 2017.

 

The Leader advised that Suffolk Lodge had been removed from the Care Governance Framework due to the extensive improvements that had been achieved.  He congratulated those who had been involved in this achievement.

 

With regards to Wokingham Housing Limited, the Fosters Extra Care Home project was on time and to budget and Phoenix Avenue was well under way.

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)        the budget monitoring position for the month ending 31 January 2017 be noted;

 

2)         the operational update for the period to 28 February 2017 be noted;

 

3)        the recommendation of WBC Holdings Board that the company and reporting structure for the Optalis group will be the same for both Councils with Optalis Holdings reporting directly to the Council Executives be noted;

 

4)        the operational funding facility for Wokingham Housing Limited of £500k, charged at an interest rate of base plus 5.5% be approved.

132.

Update on Expansion of the Council Owned Company Optalis pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Decision:

That:

 

1)         the update report and the progress made be noted;

 

2)        the appointment of Councillors Anthony Pollock, Simon Weeks and David Lee to the Shareholder Reference Group, that will exercise governance over the Optalis Board, be noted;

 

3)        the formal establishment of the new company, Optalis Ltd, owned jointly by Wokingham Borough Council and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, which will go live and start to trade on 3 April 2017 be supported.

 

Minutes:

(Councillor Anthony Pollock declared a personal and prejudicial interest in this item and left the room for the discussion of this item)

 

The Executive considered a report setting out the progress of the merger with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) that accommodates Adult Social Care Services within Optalis Ltd.

 

The Leader clarified that Councillor Pollock had left the room during the discussion of the report due to the fact that he was currently Chairman of the Optalis Board and therefore potentially had a prejudicial interest.  He went on to advise that Councillors Pollock and Weeks who were currently non-Executive Directors of Optalis, would be resigning from this position in order to sit on the Shareholder Reference Group.

 

Councillor McGhee-Sumner advised the meeting that given the progress being made and the significance of the step he wished to add a third recommendation which was asking the Executive to support the establishment of the new Optalis going live on 3 April.  The revised recommendation was tabled and agreed by the Executive.

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)         the update report and the progress made be noted;

 

2)        the appointment of Councillors Anthony Pollock, Simon Weeks and David Lee to the Shareholder Reference Group, that will exercise governance over the Optalis Board, be noted;

 

3)        the formal establishment of the new company, Optalis Ltd, owned jointly by Wokingham Borough Council and the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, which will go live and start to trade on 3 April 2017 be supported.

133.

Discretionary Land Acquisitions Policy pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Decision:

That the Discretionary Land Acquisition Policy for Highways Works be approved.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report setting out a proposed Discretionary Land Acquisitions Policy which would ensure that there was a clear, fair and consistent approach to considering requests to purchase property that was significantly impacted by future road schemes.

 

The Executive Member for Highways and Transport went through the proposals.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Discretionary Land Acquisition Policy for Highways Works be approved.

134.

Policy for Revisions/Additions to the List of Buildings of Traditional Local Character pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Decision:

That:

 

1)        the procedure detailed in the revised Appendix 2 and 3 as tabled be adopted for determining a Building of Traditional Local Character;

 

2)        the Interim Director of Environment, together with the Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration, be delegated to designate and de-designate Buildings of Traditional Local Character in line with the adopted procedure;

 

3)        the Interim Director of Environment, together with the Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration, be delegated to make changes to the procedure for determining a Building of Traditional Local Character in line with national and local policy and guidance.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report setting out a proposed Policy for Revisions/Additions to the List of Buildings of Traditional Local Character which included a procedure that would allow the Council to review the existing list and designate new buildings of Traditional Local Character. 

 

The Deputy Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration explained that the Planning Committee would consider any objection to a designation decision.

 

Councillor Bowring drew Members’ attention to the revised Appendices 2 and 3 as tabled, which had been updated for clerical reasons, and asked the Executive for their agreement to the changes.  Recommendation 1 was amended accordingly.

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)        the procedure detailed in the revised Appendix 2 and 3 as tabled be adopted for determining a Building of Traditional Local Character;

 

2)        the Interim Director of Environment, together with the Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration, be delegated to designate and de-designate Buildings of Traditional Local Character in line with the adopted procedure;

 

3)        the Interim Director of Environment, together with the Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration, be delegated to make changes to the procedure for determining a Building of Traditional Local Character in line with national and local policy and guidance.

 

Buildings of Traditional Local Character report - revised Appendix 2 and 3 pdf icon PDF 187 KB

135.

Relocation of Wokingham Library pdf icon PDF 191 KB

Decision:

That:

 

1)        it be agreed in principle to relocate Wokingham Library to a new building on the Carnival Phase II site;

 

2)        approval to relocate is subject to a full impact assessment and detailed business case being agreed by the Executive Member for Resident Services;

 

3)        the proposal be publicised as soon as practical to enable feedback on these proposals and subsequently the design.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to the Relocation of Wokingham Library to the Carnival Pool site which would provide the Library Service with greater flexibility and adaptability in its service delivery.

 

The Executive Member for Resident Services outlined the rationale for the proposed relocation and advised that she wished to add a third recommendation which was asking the Executive to agree to the proposal being publicised as soon as practical to enable feedback on these proposals and subsequently the design.  Councillor Jorgensen felt that feedback from users and other residents on what they would like to see was a vital part of the process.

 

Members agreed that the proposed co-location was an exciting proposal.  Councillor Pollock commented that it would allow people to take advantage of the leisure offer and that the possibility of some business related work space could be considered.

 

Councillor Dolinski commented that he hoped that schools would be encouraged to participate in the consultation and that the opportunities which the proposal could bring would be highlighted.  Councillor Jorgensen commented that continued good access to libraries was important particularly for young children and school children.  Library staff had worked hard to improve footfall and initiatives such as ‘Read with Dad,’ ‘Rhyme Time’ and the ‘Summer Reading Challenge’ had helped contribute to this success.  She went on to comment that the current library had a lot of wasted space as a result of the stairs and being on two levels and that access could be improved.

 

Councillor Baker emphasised that no other local authority in Berkshire had built a new library, increased footfall and put in new technology.

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)        it be agreed in principle to relocate Wokingham Library to a new building on the Carnival Phase II site;

 

2)        approval to relocate is subject to a full impact assessment and detailed business case being agreed by the Executive Member for Resident Services.

 

3)        the proposal be publicised as soon as practical to enable feedback on these proposals and subsequently the design.

136.

Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) In-Principle Decision pdf icon PDF 505 KB

Decision:

That:

 

1)        It be agreed to authorise in-principle the making of a compulsory purchase order ("CPO") to acquire the necessary interests in the land shown indicatively by the hatched area on the annexed plan required to deliver the proposed regeneration of the Site pursuant to section  226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) and, in the case of any new rights, pursuant to section 13 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, because it considers that:

 

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

 

(b)          the development, redevelopment or improvement of the land 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 Wokingham.

 

2)        the Chief Executive, in conjunction with the Leader and Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration, be authorised to take all necessary steps to commence the process for the making, confirmation and implementation of the CPO, including securing the appointment of suitable external advisors and preparing all necessary CPO documentation;

 

3)        a further report will be put before the Executive to approve the final extent of the land to be acquired following the finalisation of the necessary preparatory work.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to the steps to be taken to secure the acquisition of all necessary land interests to deliver the regeneration of the Carnival site.

 

The Deputy Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration went through the report and highlighted that the Compulsory Purchase Order in principle, indicated the Council’s intentions.  Negotiations with the relevant landowner had been ongoing for three years with no resolution reached.

 

Councillor Pollock commented that this was a tried and tested approach.

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)        It be agreed to authorise in-principle the making of a compulsory purchase order ("CPO") to acquire the necessary interests in the land shown indicatively by the hatched area on the annexed plan required to deliver the proposed regeneration of the Site pursuant to section  226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) and, in the case of any new rights, pursuant to section 13 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, because it considers that:

 

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

 

(b)          the development, redevelopment or improvement of the land 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 Wokingham.

 

2)        the Chief Executive, in conjunction with the Leader and Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration, be authorised to take all necessary steps to commence the process for the making, confirmation and implementation of the CPO, including securing the appointment of suitable external advisors and preparing all necessary CPO documentation;

 

3)        a further report will be put before the Executive to approve the final extent of the land to be acquired following the finalisation of the necessary preparatory work.

 

137.

Public Sector Equality Duty pdf icon PDF 200 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)        progress in relation to the Council’s duties under the Equality Act 2010 be noted;

 

2)        the proposed Equality Objectives, as set out in Section 9 of the report, be approved;

 

3)         the findings of the Equality Monitoring Workforce report be noted;

 

4)        an update report on achievement against the Equality Objectives and the Council statutory Equality duties to be received on an annual basis.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to the Public Sector Equality Duty which set out the Council’s equality objectives and provided details of progress made on equalities issues in relation to service delivery and work carried out with partners across the Borough.

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)        progress in relation to the Council’s duties under the Equality Act 2010 be noted;

 

2)        the proposed Equality Objectives, as set out in Section 9 of the report, be approved;

 

3)         the findings of the Equality Monitoring Workforce report be noted;

 

4)        an update report on achievement against the Equality Objectives and the Council statutory Equality duties to be received on an annual basis.

138.

Strategic Review of Voluntary Sector Services pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Decision:

That:

 

1)        a strategic review of Voluntary and Community Sector services be approved funded by Wokingham Council which will be founded on the following principles:

 

·                The development of measurable outcomes for each voluntary sector provider to achieve which will focus on the difference made to the service user

·                The formation of a clear relationship between the council’s contracting and/or grant funding of voluntary sector services and the achievement of measurable outcomes

·                The increased use of longer term contracts rather than annual grants for voluntary sector services in order to provide longer term stability for funded organisations;

 

2)        authority be delegated to the relevant Director and Lead Member to approve outcomes from individual voluntary sector reviews.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report setting out proposals for undertaking a strategic review of the voluntary and community sector.

 

Members were advised by the Leader of Council that the review would have certain objectives including determining whether the voluntary organisations were providing the benefits that the Council would want for its residents, what those benefits should be and the capacity of organisations for delivery.

 

The concept of an annual grant was being moved away from.  Grants would typically be for three years which would allow better planning of services provided.

 

Councillor Ross emphasised the need for a partnership between the Council and the voluntary sector.  He stated that areas within the Council, such as the country parks which already used volunteer groups to help care for the country parks, needed to be linked in. 

 

Councillor Baker commented that the budget for the voluntary and community sector would be maintained for at least the next year. 

 

RESOLVED That:

 

1)        a strategic review of Voluntary and Community Sector services be approved funded by Wokingham Council which will be founded on the following principles:

 

·                The development of measurable outcomes for each voluntary sector provider to achieve which will focus on the difference made to the service user

·                The formation of a clear relationship between the council’s contracting and/or grant funding of voluntary sector services and the achievement of measurable outcomes

·                The increased use of longer term contracts rather than annual grants for voluntary sector services in order to provide longer term stability for funded organisations;

 

2)        authority be delegated to the relevant Director and Lead Member to approve outcomes from individual voluntary sector reviews.

139.

Gorse Ride South pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the feasibility work on the Gorse Ride South estate be supported (the outcome of which will be presented to a future Executive) and the following be approved:

 

1)        the rehousing of tenants and the subsequent demolition and redevelopment of Cockayne Court, 97-107 (odd numbers)Arnett Avenue and 154 Barkham Ride, Finchampstead as Phase 1 of the wider regeneration project;

 

2)        the selection of Wokingham Housing Limited (WHL), or another  Council owned Local Housing Company, as the development partner for Phase 1;

 

3)        that the Council transfers the Phase 1 site to Wokingham Housing Limited (WHL), or another  Council owned Local Housing Company, on terms to be agreed by the Director of Corporate Services in consultation with the Leader of the Council;

 

4)        that the Phase 1 site is appropriated for planning purposes under Section 227 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and Section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972;

 

5)        the proposed funding model, including the allocation of Section 106 receipts for the provision of affordable housing towards Phase 1, in accordance with Part 2 Report;

 

6)         the indicative development brief for Phase 1;

 

7)        that the transfer of land and funding for Phase 1 will be subject to WHL securing a planning consent for the scheme;

 

8)        the Council’s long-term intent to regenerate the Gorse Ride South Estate (subject to funding.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report setting out proposals for the Gorse Rice South estate in Finchampstead Wokingham.

 

The Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing advised the meeting that this was something which residents had been talking to Members about for some time.

 

Councillor Pollock supported the proposal and commented that he expected that the Council would try to find ways of financing future phases.  Councillor McGhee-Sumner explained that due to the size and nature of the project it would need to be undertaken over a number of phases.

 

Councillor Baker read a statement from Councillor Simon Weeks, a ward Member for Finchampstead South, supporting the proposal.

 

Councillor McGhee-Sumner wanted to ensure that people were aware that the Council’s intention was to develop the whole of the Gorse Ride South estate and therefore proposed an additional recommendation (8) which was agreed.

 

RESOLVED:  That the feasibility work on the Gorse Ride South estate be supported (the outcome of which will be presented to a future Executive) and the following be approved:

 

1)        the rehousing of tenants and the subsequent demolition and redevelopment of Cockayne Court, 97-107 (odd numbers)Arnett Avenue and 154 Barkham Ride, Finchampstead as Phase 1 of the wider regeneration project;

 

2)        the selection of Wokingham Housing Limited (WHL), or another  Council owned Local Housing Company, as the development partner for Phase 1;

 

3)        that the Council transfers the Phase 1 site to Wokingham Housing Limited (WHL), or another  Council owned Local Housing Company, on terms to be agreed by the Director of Corporate Services in consultation with the Leader of the Council;

 

4)        that the Phase 1 site is appropriated for planning purposes under Section 227 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and Section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972;

 

5)        the proposed funding model, including the allocation of Section 106 receipts for the provision of affordable housing towards Phase 1, in accordance with Part 2 Report;

 

6)         the indicative development brief for Phase 1;

 

7)        that the transfer of land and funding for Phase 1 will be subject to WHL securing a planning consent for the scheme;

 

8)        the Council’s long-term intent to regenerate the Gorse Ride South Estate (subject to funding).