Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive
Thursday, 26th July, 2018 7.30 pm

Venue: David Hicks 1 - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

Contact: Anne Hunter  Democratic & Electoral Services Lead Specialist

Link: Watch the video of this meeting

Items
No. Item

20.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence

Minutes:

An apology for absence was submitted from Councillor Philip Mirfin.

21.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Executive Meeting held on 28 June 2018.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 28 June 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

22.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillor Norman Jorgensen declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 24 Shareholders’ Report by virtue of the fact that his wife was a paid Non-Executive Director of WBC Holdings Ltd.  Councillor Jorgensen remained in the meeting during discussions and voted on the matter.

 

Councillors Pauline Jorgensen and Stuart Munro declared personal interests in Agenda Item 24 Shareholders’ Report by virtue of the fact that they were paid Non-Executive Directors of WBC Holdings Ltd.  Councillors Jorgensen and Munro remained in the meeting during discussions and voted on the matter.

 

Councillor Anthony Pollock declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 24 Shareholders’ Report by virtue of the fact that he was a paid Non-Executive Director of Optalis Holdings Ltd.  Councillor Pollock remained in the meeting during discussions and voted on the matter.

23.

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.

 

 

23.1

Trevor Sleet asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

I would like to ask a question regarding the loss of the lollipop lady in Murray Road. 

 

Has a published cost benefit analysis been carried out regarding the cost of the lollipop lady v's that of a installing a pedestrian crossing at this location?

 

Minutes:

 

I would like to ask a question regarding the loss of the lollipop lady in Murray Road. 

 

Has a published cost benefit analysis been carried out regarding the cost of the lollipop lady v's that of installing a pedestrian crossing at this location?

 

Answer

Broadly speaking yes however this site is subject to a redesign following my intervention in the last few weeks and therefore the cost benefit will be recalculated following the redesign.  This information will be made public.

 

Supplementary Question

I have a copy of the road safety audit report that was based on the decision to remove the lollipop lady in Murray Road and in that safety audit report the site visit was done on the 13th February when the schools were on half term.  So it is no wonder that there was no traffic at that time.

 

My question will be therefore will Wokingham Borough Council accept the failings of this report and reinstate the lollipop lady?

 

Supplementary Answer

I attended the site on Monday, along with our Road Safety Auditor, and I observed the activity outside the school and he was with me during that time so I think the Council has viewed that site during school times with school pupils going in and out of the school.

23.2

Jenny Lissaman had asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport a question which was withdrawn following publication of the agenda.

 

Question

In the Wokingham District Local Plan 1996 - 2006 Policy WT 12: Additional Railway Stations states that: The Council will seek the provision of additional railway stations at Thames Valley Park, and other locations that can serve development and reduce car usage without resulting in net environmental degradation . Interchange facilities and car and cycle parking will be provided as appropriate to each location. Why was the principle of that policy dropped from WBC's 2010 Core Strategy?

 

23.3

Sally Cairns asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Can the decision about the school crossing patrollers be considered on a site by site basis? The number of consultation responses from the different sites indicates very different levels of concern, and the full Council meeting debate highlighted that the situation is very different outside the different schools – in terms of how helpful a crossing will be given the road layout, and whether there are likely to be other groups of people wanting to cross the road at different times of the day. Does this have to be an all or nothing decision, or can the best solution be chosen for each location?

 

Answer

I have visited each of the sites concerned along with Officers and the crossings have been designed with specific reference to each site.  That is what we have already done.  We have taken into account the different characteristics of each site.  We have done surveys of numbers of cars and numbers of children accessing school so I think we have done that and certainly I have tried to look for solutions that will work at each site taking into account each sites’ characteristics.

 

Supplementary Question

That seems to be a decision about what type of crossing in each location and I suppose my question is it might be that a crossing is the best for some and keeping the school crossing patroller is the best for others and it is whether there can be that flexibility in the decision?

 

Supplementary Answer

As we have decided to withdraw the funding for the crossing patrollers a number of years ago I am looking at what we put in to those sites to make them as safe as we can.  So I think the answer to that is probably no.

23.4

Annette Medhurst had asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question which in her absence was asked by Sally Cairns:

Minutes:

 

Councillor Pollock - having observed the situation at the Murray Road crossing on Monday morning – and the constant fluctuation in the numbers of people waiting to cross, the queues of cars needing to get through, and the somewhat random parking behaviour – would you agree that a school crossing patroller – who can constantly adjust to what is happening, is a better solution than any kind of formal crossing – and that although a fixed crossing may seem like a reliable long-term solution, in many ways it is a very risky solution, since you don’t know how well it is going to work, particularly when the weather changes, or there are roadworks on surrounding streets – and if additional measures are needed, it could all become much more expensive than the current efficient and adaptable school crossing patroller.

 

Answer

As you say I attended the school on Monday morning along with our Road Safety Auditor.  I attended from 8.15am to approximately 9.15am.  The first 20 minutes or so was without the school crossing patroller being present and I was particularly impressed by the curtesy of drivers towards the children crossing or seeking to cross the road.  I didn’t see any driver speed through the crossing when a child was there.  I particularly saw one car very carefully stop and let the child and parent cross so my impression was generally speaking that the motorists were behaving particularly well.  I do accept that there was a problem further down the road where a couple of cars met each other as one came down and one went up but I think that is nothing to do with school crossing patrollers and something to do with parking generally and maybe that needs to be addressed or looked at.  So that is separate from the school crossing patroller and I don’t think the school crossing patroller sited where she was could have intervened with those two cars that were arguing with each other over a piece of road space.

 

So as far as the crossings themselves we have replaced school crossing patrollers with crossings throughout the Borough over the last 10 years or so and I don’t think any of them are more dangerous now than they were before and in some instances where the traffic was of a higher speed than they are here it was actually beneficial.

 

As I have said I am going to look at this site particularly.  Since I visited it when I was Chair of the Education Committee there are more children going to the site so there may be some issues on that front but the principal is that I don’t see that the crossing itself is inherently less safe than a school crossing patroller.

23.5

Keith Malvern asked the Executive Member for Adult Social Care, Health and Wellbeing the following question:

Minutes:

 

In the People Services Section of Item 25 (Revenue Monitoring - end of June) I would like to congratulate the Council on "...the number of individuals living longer..." as this demonstrates the Council's Underpinning Principles of Looking after the Vulnerable and Improving Health.

 

As the driver within Adult Social Care is need and not cost it is easy to understand budget difficulties. The Government has been kind enough to allow Local Authorities to raise a special precept, so can I ask what percentage increase for this you have applied for 2018/19, and to further understand costs can you tell me what the national living wage has increased to, to have an impact on placement prices?

 

Answer:

I am pleased that you have highlighted the Council’s principle of looking after the vulnerable and improving health.  You are absolutely right need, and may I add demand, places budgetary pressures on our services. 

 

In 2018/19, at the February 2018 budget setting Council, the Council raised an additional adult social care precept of 2.5%, which actually equated to £2,461,600. 

 

As the National Living Wage has increased to: £5.90 per hour for those 18-20; £7.38 per hour for 21-24 year olds; and then £7.83 per hour for those 25 years and over. That has meant a total of £480,636 was awarded to 43 providers as a result of their request to increase their fees for 2018/19.

 

Supplementary Question

Thank you that is very helpful.  You have the same figures for the National Living Wage that I have so about a 4.4% increase.  I have looked at other councils and I am keen to know what the Council’s intention is to deal with adult social care in 2019/2020 which is the last of the three years that the Government has been kind enough to allow you to increase by 6%.  Other authorities have gone for 2% or 3%.  You have ended up with 5.5% so you only have 0.5% available for next year.  So recognising as you did the need, which will rise, how are you going to deal with this additional need? 

 

Which option will you decide to use:  will you press the Government to give the Council more money; press them to increase adult social care by a further 3%?  In the absence of these options will the Council consider a successful referendum early next year to get the electorate to approve a larger council tax increase?  A, B or C or maybe D if you have a D?

 

Supplementary Answer

We haven’t set a figure for next year but there is a D, there is always a D, and that is actually to reduce the demand on services and that is why I have called for colleagues across the Borough Council, cross party Members, to get together with me to look at ways we can actually address some of these issues you have raised.

23.6

Diane Burch asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Tony Johnson reported in the local Wokingham Paper (dated July 19th), that the Council Leader said; “The residents sent us a clear message on 3rd May -  If our residents feel that they are not being listened to, then we need to redouble our efforts to show that we have taken on board what they have to say”.

 

Bearing this in mind; why does it appear that they not listening to the parents and children at least at the Keephatch and Murray Road crossings – who realise not only how dangerous these alternative crossings will be at their particular locations but, according to the survey undertaken by the independent Road Safety Experts in April of last year, the conclusion was (on the Murray Road crossing) that: “Under the justification criteria outlined in Section 6, this location does not require a pedestrian facility.” 

 

Might I also point out that according to these figures, between the hour of 5pm and 6pm only 10 pedestrians crossed the road at the crossing.  Announcing that “other road users can safely cross the road using the automated crossings" doesn't apply to this site so to the untrained eye – it does look like needless and unwanted expense.

 

Bearing all this in mind, would the Council please consider delaying the installation of automated crossings (at least at these two sites) until a further (and perhaps more detailed) survey can be completed, instead of (what appears to be) trying to rush through these unwanted and expensive alternatives?

 

Answer

Formal crossings such as zebra and puffin controls are safe forms of crossing facilities and the designs for the proposed crossings have been through an independent road safety audit to confirm this.

 

The assessment process you refer to uses the Department for Transport’s guidance to establish if a pedestrian crossing is required.  This guidance assumes no existing crossing is provided and considers pedestrian demand and traffic over the entire day.  As you have highlighted because the maximum demand is during two relatively short periods of the day and the assessment considers the demand throughout the day, the survey results when analysed showed that no crossing was necessary. 

 

However recognising that the demand is focused over two short periods of the day, we used the Road Safety GB guidance for establishing if a crossing patroller would be justified.  This assessment would also identify whether a formal crossing could be considered rather than providing a patroller. 

 

The assessment for both Murray Road and Keephatch identified a patroller would be justified.  Where the assessment identified one would be justified we have proposed to install a formal crossing as an alternative. 

 

Delaying the delivery of the crossings and undertaking further surveys is not considered necessary as it will not change the outcome of the assessment. 

 

However, as a result of the concerns you and the public have raised the designs of both crossings are being reconsidered with a view to providing traffic signal controlled crossings instead.

 

Supplementary Question

We heard of the death a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.6

24.

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

24.1

Gary Cowan asked the Leader of the Council the following question:

 

Question

It is very confusing for Members never mind the Public to establish the exact payments in total received by members of the Executive and their Deputy’s for all the various roles in which they receive payments from within the Council and on outside bodies for example the Fire Service and NED payments.  Can the Leader of the Council provide all this information now please?

 

Minutes:

 

It is very confusing for Members never mind the Public to establish the exact payments in total received by members of the Executive and their Deputy’s for all the various roles in which they receive payments from within the Council and on outside bodies for example the Fire Service and NED payments.  Can the Leader of the Council provide all this information now please?

 

Answer

The information is not collated in a way that puts it in one single place, and this is only done at the end of the financial year. Non-Executive Director (NED) payments are recorded separately, for each company as you probably know. All of this is available on the Council’s website. Rather than reading these out, here is a printout of the 2017/18 Special Responsibility Allowance payments, outside body notifications, and NED payments also. For obvious reasons payments such as Special Responsibility Allowances will be for those roles held up until the end of the 2017/18 period and for the others they obviously get put on at the end of the year because things can change mid-year also.

 

Supplementary Question

You did say at the last local elections “you sent a clear message that we are listening” and I think you even made an observation about “painting all the rooms at the same time” which really comes back to this type of thing.  To me it is a very simplistic request that everybody within the Council as Members who get a source of income it should be very simple and easy for the residents to be able to say what as Councillors we each get and they just go to the Councillor area and go bang, bang, bang what does Councillor Cowan get bang, bang, bang and it is not that way.  It is all there and I appreciate that and I thank you for that but it is very, very muddled and I would like to ask would it not be possible for the Council to look at a more simplistic way so that residents could be able to look at their individual Councillors and see how much they are being paid and be aware of it?

 

Supplementary Answer

I note that one of the members of the IRP is probably keenly listening to this this evening.  It was tried to be simplified last year and believe there have been some issues in terms of trying to get it all in one place on the website and as I said in the first part of my question we can ask again in terms of trying to make it simpler on one page but as I said the information needs to come at the end of the year in case things change so we have to take into consideration.  We can try and simplify it of course.  The more transparent we are about that obviously the better.

24.2

Imogen Shepherd-DuBey asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

Recently, the Local Government Ombudsman upheld a complaint against Wokingham Borough Council where it had failed to provide suitable transport for a child with additional needs. From what I saw of the case, there seemed to be a number of serious failings in understanding the needs of that child and I would like to know what training and advice is provided to the drivers who provide these school transport services, especially when working with children who need specific care?

 

Minutes:

 

Recently, the Local Government Ombudsman upheld a complaint against Wokingham Borough Council where it had failed to provide suitable transport for a child with additional needs. From what I saw of the case, there seemed to be a number of serious failings in understanding the needs of that child and I would like to know what training and advice is provided to the drivers who provide these school transport services, especially when working with children who need specific care?

 

Answer

All licenced taxi drivers undergo criminal checks, medicals and knowledge checks. In so far as specific training, school transport drivers and passenger assistants are provided with safeguarding training and guidance which includes roles and responsibilities, conduct, expected behaviour, standards and guidelines for passengers with additional needs. In addition should a child require specific care then training for the driver and passenger assistant for medical or behavioural issues can be provided up to and including the provision of NHS nursing staff.

 

Since the Local Government Ombudsman’s decision was upheld against Wokingham Borough Council specific appeals process training has been provided by an external law firm to the 12 Officers and 4 Members that have an involvement in the appeals process and appeals panel. All Officers and staff that received the specific training now have the knowledge, information and ability to deal with further appeals especially appeals that are high in complexity.

 

Supplementary Question

What you talked about was appeals rather than helping the people deal with the children. 

 

On page 45 of your report it talks particularly about continued pressures to school transport reflected in the increasing cost for SEN services out of borough placements.  I would like to know more about what is being done and what you are going to do in the next year to ensure that the school placements within the Borough locally for every child that is possible to place locally?

 

Supplementary Answer from the Executive Member for Children’s Services

It will come into the context of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Strategy that we are going to be producing later this year.  Already there has been an SEN Strategy Group set up to have a look at solutions to the cost (which is what Councillor Bray’s question is about) of sending children outside the Borough which is very, very, big indeed and it is something I am keeping a very close eye on. 

 

One of the possible solutions that this Group might come up with will be to bring more children back inside the Borough.  That might possibly be to involve building a new school, which obviously cannot happen overnight, but that could be one of the solutions.  Certainly it is absolutely key to bring children back into the Borough, where they can be brought back into the Borough, because it is very expensive and it does have the transport problems.  There will obviously be some children whose needs can only be met outside the Borough and they will continue to be met  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.2

24.3

Lindsay Ferris asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

I have considerable concerns that the financial information presented for the closure of the School Crossing Patrol Service (see pages 21/21 of this Agenda) are inaccurate and omit a number of ongoing Revenue costs associated with the provision and future running of the crossing facilities proposed to be provided.

 

Why have these ongoing revenue costs been excluded, as it gives a false impression of any supposed savings?

 

Answer      

I believe the costs you are referring to relate to any interest payments associated with capital borrowing and the ongoing maintenance and operation costs once the sites have been installed.

 

I can confirm that the majority of the capital funding has been allocated from grants with a very small proportion from developer contributions.  Therefore there are no additional costs associated with borrowing in this part.

 

As for maintenance and operation these costs are relatively small and will be absorbed within the existing maintenance budgets.   The new lights will all be LED so power consumption and therefore cost will be very low and in terms of faults the most common fault is bulbs requiring replacement.  With LED this is no longer a regular issue.  As these installations will be new any maintenance or faults during the first few years will be covered under warranty.  For new traffic signal installations the approximate annual cost is less than £600 per site.

 

Supplementary Question

I beg on the debate to differ if necessary on the interest payments because not all your money will be coming from that because it is a question of how the money is funded.  So I will query that later.

 

I will also just make a comment before I get to my question.  You mentioned that the decision was made a little while ago about this.  My understanding is that it was on the first phase that the decision was made and that the paper presented said it would review the second phase so I have an issue with that.   Also you were asked about not being able to do something about keeping any school patrollers.  You know you can do that via a supplementary estimate so that is not an issue.

 

The issue I now have is there is an ongoing replacement cost for these control systems.  They last somewhere between 10-15 years.  So somewhere in the costs will need to be a replacement cost and I also do believe that the maintenance of seven new crossings, which is what you are putting here, would actually be quite a significant increase on the number so I will be asking you to come up with a specific issue regarding how you are going to increase the contract associated with the maintenance of the crossings that we have in the Borough and how that will come as I think the figures you mentioned of £600 a year is actually low but I would like you to provide that and if you could provide it by a written answer I am happy for you  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.3

24.4

Prue Bray asked the Executive Member for Children's Services the following question:

Minutes:

 

The Revenue Monitoring Report shows a predicted overspend in the Schools Block of over £1 million this year, on top of over £500,000 last year. The overspend is in the part of the budget that covers children with special educational needs.  There is reference in the report (p 43) to an invitation to the Department for Education to visit WBC in mid-July to discuss the budget pressures and potential solutions.  What was the outcome of that meeting?

 

Answer     

You are quite right Councillor Bray and the meeting did indeed take place.  The DfE were sympathetic to the issues but did not have any solutions in terms of financial help. They are aware of the concerns raised by Wokingham Borough Council and they did listen to what we said. They informed us that many councils are facing the same pressures and that other areas have even greater financial issues. They are currently touring the country to gain views of many councils and the concerns and issues that face them regarding the high needs funding. A statement or consultation will be made later in the autumn term.

 

Supplementary Question

I think we all know that school budgets in this area are clearly under pressure generally not just in the high needs block, which is why the schools rejected the Council’s proposal that the funding should be cut to them to help meet the deficit in the high needs block.  In the light of the DfE’s not exactly helpful visit what else are you going to do to help Wokingham schools to get a fair share of funding?

 

Supplementary Answer

This overspend as you will understand is something I inherited but it is something that I am very concerned about and it is something that I am, as I said earlier, keeping a close eye on.  I do not want to repeat myself too much but the essence of what we are doing is to establish this SEN Strategy Group, in fact it has already been established, and it is doing service planning in the light of pressure on resources.  One reason being that there are more children around in the Borough who have special educational needs.  One of the reasons being that there are more houses being built and more families are moving into the area. 

 

That Strategy Group is going to identify all possible actions to reduce that overspend and one of them, as I mentioned earlier, could possibly be by building a new special needs school in the medium term.  There are other examples that they might possibly come up with and you can read more of them on page 43 of this agenda. 

 

The outcome of these discussions will come forward in a new SEND Strategy later in the year but it is currently being worked on and we are looking at all possible angles.

 

24.5

David Hare had asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question. Due to his inability to attend the meeting a written reply was provided:

Minutes:

 

The Council designed a zebra crossing for Murray Road which was due to be installed on 25th July – before any decision was finally made about the effectiveness of these controls.  It has now been delayed, but would it have been pulled if the anger of local residents had not been expressed at the last Council meeting, with questions about the validity of this idea abounding.  An uncontrolled crossing on Murray Road would cause traffic chaos and might well lead to injury of the crossing users.

 

Answer

Following a site meeting with the local ward Member on the 10 July 2018, Officers have been considering a request to change the original proposed zebra crossing to a Puffin Crossing.  The scheme will now be redesigned.  I visited the school on 23rd July and observed the children arriving at school with their parents, and spoke to parents, a teacher and Mrs Birch which provided additional information on other issues beyond the issue of a school crossing patroller.  I will take these into account during the redesign process.

24.6

Rachel Burgess asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

The School Crossing Patrol consultation raises a significant number of safety concerns. With regard to the Keephatch Road crossing these concerns are backed up by the independent road safety audit. The audit states that the proposed site of this zebra crossing is not safe for two reasons: poor visibility and, more crucially, proximity to the roundabout. The audit states that “the close proximity of the proposed zebra pedestrian crossing to the...roundabout…could result in an increased risk of…collisions”. Are the findings of the road safety audit going to be ignored at the Keephatch Road site?

 

Answer

No not all.  All findings from a Road Safety Audit are an integral part of the design process and where applicable recommendations that have been identified have been adopted and included in the final scheme design.

 

The Road Safety Audit did not identify that the design would provide an unsafe crossing facility but highlighted recommendations that if implemented would improve safety further.

 

With regard to the hedgerow, clearance has started on site.  The final design for the crossing has been proposed as far north as possible without taking pedestrians away from the desire line.

 

Supplementary Question

I would just like to focus on the location of the crossing.  I don’t believe that the crossing should be placed where it was originally proposed because of what it says in the Road Safety Audit.  It cannot be placed much further north, as the Road Safety Audit suggested, because that is not practical and I don’t think anyone thinks it would be.  It cannot be placed at the south side of the roundabout because of the dropped kerbs and houses there.  So do you not agree with me that the only safe solution, in this particular setting, is a school crossing patroller on the south side of the roundabout?

 

Supplementary Answer

I am advised that it is safe on the north side of the roundabout at a suitable distance from the roundabout to ensure that there is safety.

24.7

Andy Croy asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

Minutes:

 

Clearly, the main driver to cut the School Crossing Patrollers (SCPs) is financial – the cut first appears in the 2015 Medium Term Financial Plan and if safety were an issue I am sure the Borough would have replaced these SCPs years ago.

 

The financial information provided in the report excludes:

·         Any attempt to quantify the value of non-core services (e.g. road safety training to children, a pillar of community cohesion, an extra set of official eyes and ears) provided by the SCPs;

 

·         Maintenance costs of the proposed crossing sites, including, for example, maintenance of any high friction road surfaces which will need to be added.

           

Why are the Executive making a financial decision based on incomplete financial information?

 

Answer    

The decision being made today is not based on financial considerations.  That decision was made in 2015 and we are today deciding on whether we continue to implement that decision.

 

Supplementary Question

The decision was made in 2015 and indeed you said earlier that it was decided to withdraw the funding in 2015 and that is why we are where we are today.  So what you are saying is that there are no revenue implications for the maintenance of the high friction road surface and no revenue implications for the continued clearance of the vegetation on, for example, the Keephatch site and there are no revenue implications, for example, in the changes in the parking markings that you have eluded to all over these sites?  There are revenue implications that are not included in the financial assessment.

 

So the question is why are you making a decision based on incorrect financial information?

 

Supplementary Answer

I do not agree with you that there are missing revenue implications because I think that what we are doing is actually spending capital money to make these places safe.

25.

School Crossing Patrol Service - Consultation Report 2018 pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)         WBC continue with its proposal to provide safe, permanent crossings at the seven locations that currently have a school crossing patroller, and, following their installation, remove the school crossing patrol service once the permanent crossings are complete as set out in Option 2, Appendix 1 of the report;

 

2)         all affected schools be reminded that they have access to the Council’s road safety and My Journey teams who can facilitate further road safety training for pupils if requested.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report setting out the findings from the Safe School Crossing consultation.

 

The Executive Member for Highways and Transport advised the meeting that following consultation with local Ward Members it was intended to redesign the crossings proposed at four of the sites: Murray Road, Norreys Avenue, Keephatch Road and Hurricane Way.  Officers would then come back with redesigns and as the new crossings would take 3-5 weeks to build it would therefore be necessary to reprogramme the delivery of these sites.

 

Councillor Pauline Jorgensen commented that she had received a lot of positive feedback in relation to the Silverdale Road site as residents were looking forward to the crossing.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)         WBC continue with its proposal to provide safe, permanent crossings at the seven locations that currently have a school crossing patroller, and, following their installation, remove the school crossing patrol service once the permanent crossings are complete as set out in Option 2, Appendix 1 of the report;

 

2)         all affected schools be reminded that they have access to the Council’s road safety and My Journey teams who can facilitate further road safety training for pupils if requested.

26.

Shareholders' Report pdf icon PDF 592 KB

Decision:

That:

 

1)        the budget monitoring position for the month ending 31 May 2018 be noted;

 

2)        the operational update for the period to 31 May 2018 be noted.

 

 

Minutes:

(Councillors Norman Jorgensen, Pauline Jorgensen, Stuart Munro and Anthony Pollock declared personal interests in this item)

 

The Executive considered a report which provided the budget monitoring position and the operational update for the Council Owned Companies for the period ending 31 May 2018.

 

During his introduction of the report the Executive Member for Finance drew Members’ attention to the fact that Wokingham Housing Ltd (WHL) had transferred 123 new homes to either Berry Brook Homes or Loddon Homes generating a profit of £600k. WHL had also paid off £1million of its operational loan back to the Council. 

 

Councillor McGhee-Sumner also highlighted the good work that was being delivered by Optalis.  Councillor Dolinski wished to congratulate Optalis on the delivery of their savings whilst continuing to provide excellent service.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)        the budget monitoring position for the month ending 31 May 2018 be noted;

 

2)        the operational update for the period to 31 May 2018 be noted.

27.

Revenue Monitoring 2018/19 - Quarter One Update pdf icon PDF 107 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)        the quarter one position of the revenue budget and the level of balances in respect of the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Schools Block and the Authority’s investment portfolio be noted;

 

2)         there are no Carry Forwards estimates to the general fund identified at this stage as shown in Appendix B to the report;

 

3)         a supplementary estimate of £15,780 for 2018/2019 in relation to the decisions agreed at Personnel Board on 19th June 2018 in relation to the recruitment of the Chief Executive post be approved, and the ongoing full year effect at a cost of £49,120 per year for 2019/2020 onwards be noted;

 

4)         a supplementary estimate of £67,580 for 2018/2019 in relation to the recommendations at Personnel Board on 19th June 2018 in relation to the restructuring staffing at Tier 2 in People Services be approved, and the ongoing full year effect at a cost of £94,240 per year for 2019/2020 onwards be noted;

 

5)         the updates on the Adult Social Care action plan and the High Needs Block action plan be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report setting out the position of the revenue budget and the level of balances in respect of the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Schools Block and the Authority’s investment portfolio to the end of June 2018.  The requested supplementary estimates and the fact that no carry forwards had been identified were noted.

 

That:

 

1)        the quarter one position of the revenue budget and the level of balances in respect of the General Fund, Housing Revenue Account, Schools Block and the Authority’s investment portfolio be noted;

 

2)         there are no Carry Forwards estimates to the general fund identified at this stage as shown in Appendix B to the report;

 

3)         a supplementary estimate of £15,780 for 2018/2019 in relation to the decisions agreed at Personnel Board on 19th June 2018 in relation to the recruitment of the Chief Executive post be approved, and the ongoing full year effect at a cost of £49,120 per year for 2019/2020 onwards be noted;

 

4)         a supplementary estimate of £67,580 for 2018/2019 in relation to the recommendations at Personnel Board on 19th June 2018 in relation to the restructuring staffing at Tier 2 in People Services be approved, and the ongoing full year effect at a cost of £94,240 per year for 2019/2020 onwards be noted;

 

5)         the updates on the Adult Social Care action plan and the High Needs Block action plan be noted.

 

28.

Capital Monitoring 2018/19 - end of June 2018 pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the quarter one position for the Capital Budget, as set out in Appendix A to the report, be noted

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report setting out the quarter one position for the Capital Budget as at the end of June 2018.

 

RESOLVED: That the quarter one position for the Capital Budget, as set out in Appendix A to the report, be noted.

29.

Treasury Management Outturn 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)        it be noted that the report was presented to the Audit Committee on 6 June 2018;

 

2)         the following be recommended to Council for approval:

 

            (a)       the Treasury Management Annual Report for 2017/18; and

 

            (b)       the actual 2017/18 prudential indicators within the report.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to the Treasury Management Outturn for 2017-18 which showed that the Council had successfully adhered to all agreed prudential indicators in that year.

 

The Executive Member for Finance reminded Members that the Council had internal and external treasury management teams and between them they had achieved during the last financial year an average investment return rate of 1.68% which when considering that the average return from external financial institutions was 0.21% was very pleasing.

 

Councillor Pollock was pleased to note that no new external borrowing had been taken.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)        it be noted that the report was presented to the Audit Committee on 6 June 2018;

 

2)         the following be recommended to Council for approval:

 

            (a)       the Treasury Management Annual Report for 2017/18; and

 

            (b)       the actual 2017/18 prudential indicators within the report.

30.

Neighbourhood Planning Wokingham Area Designation Sign off Procedure pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)         Twyford Parish be designated as a Neighbourhood Area;

 

2)         Wokingham Without Parish be designated as a Neighbourhood Area;

 

3)         delegated authority be given to the Director of Locality and Customer Services, in consultation with the Executive Member responsible for strategic planning and the relevant ward members, to determine future applications for Neighbourhood Area designation.

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to the designation of Twyford Parish and Wokingham Without Parish as Neighbourhood Areas and also proposals for future determining future applications for Neighbourhood Area designations.

 

The Executive Member for Business, Economic Development and Strategic Planning explained that the neighbourhood planning process provided communities with the power to develop a shared vision for their area and the Council had a duty to consider any applications that were received.  One of the benefits of going through this process was that the relevant parishes would be entitled to a greater share of developer contributions and have a say on where those funds would be targeted.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)         Twyford Parish be designated as a Neighbourhood Area;

 

2)         Wokingham Without Parish be designated as a Neighbourhood Area;

 

3)         delegated authority be given to the Director of Locality and Customer Services, in consultation with the Executive Member responsible for StrategicPplanning and the relevant ward members, to determine future applications for Neighbourhood Area designation.

 

31.

Draft Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan pdf icon PDF 707 KB

Decision:

That:

 

1)           the Draft Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan be approved for public consultation;

 

2)           community involvement on the Draft Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan and associated supporting documents to take place between August - October 2018 be authorised;

 

3)           the Director of Corporate Services and Director of Locality and Customer Services, in consultation with the Executive Member for Environment and the Executive Member for Business and Economic Development and Strategic Planning be authorised to agree minor amendments necessary to the Draft Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan and other supporting documents prior to consultation. (Any minor modifications would consist of non-material alterations such as rewording and correction of typing errors).

 

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report seeking approval to commence a public consultation on the Draft Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan and associated supporting documents.

 

Members were informed by the Executive Member for Environment that the Council was preparing a Joint Minerals and Waste Plan with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Bracknell Forest and Reading Borough Councils using the services of Hampshire County Council who having produced their own plan recently had the requisite expertise. 

 

Councillor Norman Jorgensen highlighted the two sites that were being proposed within Wokingham Borough following a ‘call for sites’ and assessment process:  Bridge Farm, Arborfield for mineral extraction and Star Works, Knowl Hill for waste processing. 

 

Members were advised that the report was seeking permission to go out to consultation in order that the views of members of the public could be taken into account in further drafting the Plan before a further version was brought back in due course.  It was noted that the consultation was proposed from early August-October and in order to receive as many comments as possible this period had been extended in order to take into account the holiday period.

 

Councillor Pollock, as ward Member where one of the sites was based, was concerned about a number of issues relating to transport, roads and capacity, and wanted to ensure that before work was carried out at these sites that the road network would be assessed and improvements required would be implemented.  He also wanted to ensure that specific consultation would be carried out with local people and they would be advised of the implications for them.  In response Councillor Jorgensen advised that public meetings had been held recently in the affected areas to alert the local communities to the fact that the consultation was about to commence and seeking their engagement in that process. 

 

In response to Councillor Pollock’s other comments Councillor Jorgensen advised that before anyone actually wanted to undertake work they would have to come forward with a planning application.  Therefore all the normal processes associated with planning applications eg consultations with the various relevant departments in the Council in order to look at the impact of road movements and adequacy of roads would all be studied in detail at that point.  The planning application may or not be approved depending on the outcome of the process..

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)           the Draft Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan be approved for public consultation;

 

2)           community involvement on the Draft Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan and associated supporting documents to take place between August - October 2018 be authorised;

 

3)           the Director of Corporate Services and Director of Locality and Customer Services, in consultation with the Executive Member for Environment and the Executive Member for Business and Economic Development and Strategic Planning, be authorised to agree minor amendments necessary to the Draft Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan and other supporting documents prior  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

SDL Community Facility, North Wokingham Matthewsgreen pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the item be withdrawn.

Minutes:

Due to Kings Church Wokingham no longer wishing to be considered as the potential operator of the Matthewsgreen Community Facility the item was therefore withdrawn.

 

RESOLVED: That this item be withdrawn.

33.

Health and Safety Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)         the corporate health and safety performance for 2017/18 be noted; and

 

2)        the approach described and the health and safety priorities for the current municipal year 2018/19 be endorsed.

Minutes:

The Executive considered the Health and Safety Annual Report for 2017/18 which is a high level report that looks back at internal health and safety performance during the twelve month period, highlights the main achievements over the year and outlines the key priorities for the current year.

 

The Executive Member for Environment presented the report and highlighted that the reportable injury rate was significantly lower than the national average for similar organisations and that the Council encouraged employees to come forward with any concerns/near misses in order that they could be dealt with and improvements required made.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)         the corporate health and safety performance for 2017/18 be noted; and

 

2)        the approach described and the health and safety priorities for the current municipal year 2018/19 be endorsed.

34.

New Primary School Provider Recommendation pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Decision:

That authority be delegated to the Acting Director for Children’s Services, in consultation with the Lead Member for Children’s Services, to determine which Academy Trusts should be recommended to the Regional Schools Commissioner to run new primary schools in Shinfield (Shinfield West), Arborfield (Arborfield Green) and Wokingham Town (Matthews Green).

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report setting out a process to determine which Academy Trusts should be recommended to the Regional Schools Commissioner to run new primary schools in Shinfield, Arborfield and Wokingham Town which would ensure that decisions could be made in a timely manner.

 

Members were informed by the Executive Member for Children’s Services that it was the Council’s role to seek expressions of interest for running new schools and make recommendations to the Secretary of State who was responsible for making the final decision.  The benefit of doing so was that the Council had some control over who was chosen to run schools in the Borough.  The priority for doing so at the current time was the new Shinfield West School in order that over the academic year it would be clear who would be running the School so that parents could make their preferences.

 

Councillor Pollock, as the ward Member for Shinfield, wanted to ensure that publicity related to the opening of the School would be improved and he offered to assist with this either through the Parish Council or through his fellow ward Members.  He stated that publicity surrounding the opening of Shinfield West School last year was not perceived to be particularly good and therefore parents did not apply for places as they were not aware that they could do so.  Because parents did not apply for places the numbers were not sufficient to make the School viable and it therefore did not open. 

 

RESOLVED:  That authority be delegated to the Acting Director for Children’s Services, in consultation with the Lead Member for Children’s Services, to determine which Academy Trusts should be recommended to the Regional Schools Commissioner to run new primary schools in Shinfield (Shinfield West), Arborfield (Arborfield Green) and Wokingham Town (Matthews Green).

35.

Developing a Memorandum of Understanding for Wokingham Integrated Partnership on Health and Social Care pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the following partners: Wokingham Borough Council, Berkshire West CCG (Wokingham Locality), Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Wokingham GP Alliance and Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust be agreed and endorsed.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report relating to a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the following partners: Wokingham Borough Council, NHS Berkshire, Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Wokingham GP Alliance and Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, setting out how the Wokingham Integrated Partnership would work together over the next year within a ‘shadow’ Partnership.

 

The Executive Member for Adult Social Care advised the meeting that the purpose of the MoU was to set out how the Wokingham Integrated Partnership would work together which would build on and strengthen the strong partnership that already existed between the various partner organisations, in order to continue to deliver excellent health and wellbeing outcomes for residents. 

 

It was noted that the MoU, which sets out broad principles, was not legally binding but was just a statement of joint intent.

 

RESOLVED: That the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the following partners: Wokingham Borough Council, Berkshire West CCG (Wokingham Locality), Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Wokingham GP Alliance and Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust be agreed and endorsed.