Agenda

Council
Thursday, 19th September, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

Contact: Anne Hunter  Democratic and Electoral Services Lead Specialist

Items
No. Item

29.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence

30.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 722 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 18 July 2019

 

31.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

32.

Mayor's Announcements

To receive any announcements by the Mayor

33.

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 Council

 

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

33.1

Daniel Hinton had asked the Executive Member for Business and Economic Development the following question:

 

Question

What action is WBC taking to safeguard our local economy following the shameful retaliation of a local landowner who has closed the Denmark Street car park and cut off a local amenity simply because planning consent wasn't granted for the overly expensive flats on the site?

 

33.2

Teresa Caswell had asked the Executive Member for Environment and Leisure the following question:

 

Question

What is being done to re-open the external toilets at the Wokingham Waterside Centre? These toilets are important facilities for general park users and attendees of Reading parkrun.

 

33.3

Jim Swann had asked the Executive Member for Climate Emergency the following question:

 

Question

Following the declaration of a climate emergency in Wokingham, will the Council please confirm when they will implement a campaign to stop parked cars from idling unnecessarily, which causes local hotspot air pollution and increased emission?

 

33.4

Anthony Walker had asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

This question concerns road safety issues for children attending Floreat Montague Park School. Prior to August 2018, parents were told that a work plan had been agreed between Wokingham Borough Council and the builder, David Wilson Homes to install zebra, toucan or pelican crossings in place for September 2018 to enable children to cross William Heelas Way on the way to and from school. None of these crossings have been installed and despite numerous requests to both WBC and the builder, no satisfactory responses have been given.

 

We understand that the road is un-adopted, which appears to have put us in a 'It's not my responsibility zone', however this is in essence a public road being used by young school children to cross from the houses to their school and their safety must be paramount. Therefore could WBC confirm what action is being taken and give a definitive timescale for a resolution?

33.5

John Hutt had asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

Safe access paths to Floreat Montague Park School, located by the island crossing adjacent to Baker Crescent, have been arbitrarily closed by the builder, David Wilson Homes for the entire school year 2018/2019 and remain closed to date. This necessitates children taking a diversion involving the crossing of two additional roads. What actions and when can WBC ensure that the developer opens the footpaths again within a reasonable date from the, now, new school term, bearing in mind the weather and lighting conditions are going to be changing soon and thus increase the associated risk to our children?

33.6

John Bailey had asked the Executive Member for Environment and Leisure the following question:

 

Question

For some time the exterior public toilets at the Waterside Centre at Thames Valley Park have not been open, causing considerable inconvenience for people visiting this popular Thameside recreational area. Please could you advise me of the plans for the cleaning, maintenance and ongoing improvement of this important facility?

33.7

Peter Dennis had asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

Montague Park is a relatively new development within Wokingham however it appears that several important infrastructure things have been neglected.  For example the promised community centre is due to be handed over as an empty shell, no finish and fitting. This is not useful for anyone, the road crossing are incomplete and in poor repair (lines on road are worn) and one of which is dangerous (I nearly flattened a jogger one weekend). What is the Council doing to rectify this situation?

34.

Petitions

To receive any petitions which Members or members of the public wish to present.

35.

Presentation of the Tenants' Charter pdf icon PDF 354 KB

To receive a video presentation from Steve Bowers, Chairman of the Tenant and Landlord Improvement Panel (TLIP), on the Tenants’ Charter which has been developed by the Involved Tenants and has been subject to review and approval by the TLIP.

 

The presentation is expected to be approximately 10-20 minutes in duration after which there will be an opportunity for Member questions of no more than 10 minutes in duration.

 

RECOMMENDATION

The Involved Tenants would like to:  

 

1)         ask the Council to note the aspirations outlined in the Tenants Charter and continue to work in partnership with them to achieve these; 

 

2)         recommend that Wokingham Borough Council’s progress in terms of addressing this Charter is formally reviewed in two years’ time.

.

 

Additional documents:

36.

Treasury Management - Outturn Report pdf icon PDF 244 KB

To consider the Treasury Management Outturn Report for 2018-19 as recommended by the Executive.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  The Executive recommends that Council approve:

 

1)        the Treasury Management Outturn report for 2018/2019; and

 

2)        the actual 2018/2019 prudential indicators within the report.

Additional documents:

37.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 286 KB

To consider proposed changes to the Constitution as recommended by the Constitution Review Working Group.

 

RECOMMENDATION:  That the following changes as recommended by the Constitution Review Working Group be agreed:

 

1)         that Sections 4.4.23 and 4.4.43 [Wokingham Borough Wellbeing Board] be amended as set out in paragraph 1 of the report;

 

2)         that Section 5.5.7  Arrangements for the Meeting [Individual Executive Member Decision] be amended as set out in paragraph 2 of the report;

 

3)        that additions be made to Section 13.2.1 Application and Scope, as set out in paragraph 3 to the report.

38.

Member Question Time

To answer any member questions

 

A period of 30 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


38.1

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

 

Question

Can the Executive Member for Highways guarantee that the works on the Winnersh Relief Road Part 2, including the roundabout for the NWDR (needed for access for residents of Woodward Close), be completed and opened first before other parts of the roads projects so Winnersh and Wokingham residents can see the benefits of the road projects, especially if they are hopefully completed on time and on budget? 

 

38.2

Chris Smith had asked the Executive Member for Finance and Housing the following question:

 

Question

Can the Executive Member provide an update on the annual statement of the accounts?

 

38.3

Michael Firmager had asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

Can the Executive Member for Highways provide me with a status update on the Council’s plans to ease congestion? 

 

38.4

Alison Swaddle had asked the Executive Member for Climate Emergency the following question:

 

Question

You have stated publicly that you intend to ask residents for their ideas on how Wokingham Borough can reach Carbon Neutrality by 2030, please can you update us on when this consultation will begin and what form it will take?

 

38.5

Graham Howe had asked the Executive Member for Environment and Leisure the following question:

 

Question

Food waste recycling has been in place for some months now. Can the Executive Member please update me on the progress made thus far?

 

38.6

UllaKarin Clark has asked the Executive Member for Planning and Enforcement the following question:

 

Question

Could the Executive Member for Planning please give me the results of the Housing Target Consultation?

 

38.7

Pauline Helliar-Symons had asked the Executive Member for Business and Economic Development the following question:

 

Question

Can you please confirm to Council, in light of the recent acquisition of the Waitrose property asset in Twyford, the performance of the Property Investment Portfolio as a whole?

38.8

Gary Cowan had asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

How many Staff/Members have received Penalty Charge Notices since the scheme was introduced?

38.9

Charles Margetts had asked the Executive Member for Children's Services the following question:

 

Question

Could the Lead Member for Children’s Services agree to make representations to our local Members of Parliament and Government concerning the need to ensure that our schools are effectively funded?

 

38.10

Abdul Loyes had asked the Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Services the following question:

 

Question

How do we support the providers of care to our vulnerable adults in the Borough?

38.11

Paul Fishwick had asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

I understand that the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan funding only covers the Wokingham Town area. What plans are in place to cover the rest of the Borough?

 

38.12

Andrew Mickleburgh had asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

The 4 and X4 bus services provide a frequent and well-used service between Wokingham Town Centre and homes in Earley close to Wokingham Road. However, the absence of direct connections between most of Maiden Erlegh and Lower Earley and Wokingham Town Centre makes it very difficult for residents who depend on public transport when they need to visit the Council Offices to access services, and to use the many other facilities in Wokingham Town Centre. 

 

Is there any planning underway that would address this issue?

38.13

Sarah Kerr had asked the Executive Member for Climate Emergency the following question:

 

Question

Along with yourself and Cllrs Burgess and Croy, I attended Extinction Rebellion's first public meeting in Wokingham at the beginning of the month.  You in fact were the guest speaker at the event.  We all know the climate crisis we face.  Extinction Rebellion exists to ensure we act and we act now.  It makes three demands of governments:

 

              Tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency

              Act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025

              Create and be led by a citizen’s assembly on climate and ecological justice.

 

This Council has already declared a climate emergency and thus taken the first step towards action.  Will the Executive Member for Climate Emergency consider taking the next step by giving his full support to Extinction Rebellion’s ethos and all of its aims by setting up a local citizen’s assembly within the next 3 months to inform local policy on how to tackle this crisis?

38.14

Adrian Mather had asked the Executive Member for Climate Emergency the following question:

 

Question

In order to objectively track progress towards this Councils declared goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and to be able to continuously and accurately monitor total CO2 emissions levels compared to the current base level.

 

Can the Executive Member confirm the current monitoring mechanisms that are in place now and include in his answer any that may need to be urgently added or upgraded to enable the Council to accurately monitor total CO2 emissions levels?

38.15

Maria Gee had asked the Leader of Council the following question:

 

Question

The closure of the Denmark Street Car Park at the end of the August Bank Holiday came as a surprise to residents.  However, there had been rumours circulating in the media about its closure since the middle of July.  This car park is used by many visitors and is preferred to multi storey car parks by wheelchair users and other blue badge holders due to its proximity to the town centre and the flat access.  Its loss is therefore both the residents and the town’s loss.  Given the rumours that were circulating about closure, can you please confirm the individual dates when each member of the Executive became aware of this decision?

38.16

Rachel Bishop-Firth had asked the Executive Member for Environment and Leisure the following question:

 

Question

The new estate on Montague Park has been provided with a community centre.  This community centre is, unfortunately, a completely empty shell.  There are no floors, toilets, or heating – never mind chairs, tables, an area to plug in a kettle or anything else which would make this community centre useable by the community.

 

A very dedicated church group are looking at how they could turn this empty shell into a functioning community centre.  They estimate that the cost of doing so will be around £260,000.  They are actively seeking grants, but raising this amount of money is clearly a major challenge for any local voluntary organisation.

 

If it’s possible to raise this kind of money and get the building fitted out, there is then another problem.  There will be substantial running costs. 

 

The empty shell which has been provided is directly underneath flats.  This means that it could be suitable for running quiet daytime events, for example a prayer group, parent and toddler group, or a coffee morning for the elderly.  These groups are unlikely to raise the level of funds which would be needed to keep the centre going.  The community centre would not be suitable for parties or most other evening events, which limits the amount of income that it can generate.

 

What does the Council now plan to do with this facility, in order to provide Montague Park residents with a community centre?

38.17

Clive Jones had asked the Leader of the Council the following question:

 

Question

Can the Leader of the Council let us know what has happened with the responses to the Council’s recent Housing Consultation whilst confirming what the next steps in the consultation process will be?

 

38.18

Imogen Shepherd-DuBey had asked the Executive Member for Planning and Enforcement the following question:

 

Question

We are very glad to see that the Berkshire Concrete business that was operating from Toutley Depot, has finally moved out. This was a sub-let tenant that moved in without the appropriate planning permission and it then took WBC a year and a half of considerable effort to evict them.  Please can you advise what measures Wokingham Borough Council is going to put into place to ensure that this does not happen on Wokingham Borough Council property again?

38.19

Andy Croy has asked the Leader of the Council the following question:

 

Question

Could the Leader give me the dates of Executive or Corporate Leadership Team meetings at which the close of the private car park in Denmark Street has been on the agenda?

38.20

Caroline Smith had asked the Executive Member for Environment and Leisure the following question:

 

Question

Elevate is a service to help young adults into work, further education, training, work experience or just work - it has been surpassing all expectations in delivering on its main aim, helping 321 young adults over the last 3 years, which is great for the young adults of Wokingham.

 

I understand it has received some funding from the EU.  Please can the Councillor concerned confirm if WBC will be keeping this very valuable service operating in the future regardless of EU funding?

39.

Minutes of Committee Meetings and Ward Matters

A period of 20 minutes will be allowed for Members to ask questions in relation to the latest circulated volume of Minutes of Meetings and Ward Matters

40.

Statements by the Leader of the Council, Executive Members and Deputy Executive Members

To receive any statements by the Leader of the Council, Executive Members and Deputy Executive Members.

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule 4.2.23 the total time allocated to this item shall not exceed 20 minutes, and no Member shall speak for more than 5 minutes

41.

Statement from Council Owned Companies

To receive any statements from Directors of Council Owned Companies.

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule 4.2.24 the total time allocated to this item shall not exceed 10 minutes, and no Director, except with the consent of Council, shall speak for more than 3 minutes.

42.

Motions

To consider any motions

 

In accordance with Procedure Rule 4.2.11.2 a maximum period of 30 minutes will be allowed for each Motion to be moved, seconded and debated, including dealing with any amendments.  At the expiry of the 30-minute period debate will cease immediately, the mover of the Motion or amendment will have the right of reply before the Motion or amendment is put to the vote


42.1

Motion 420 submitted by Paul Fishwick

National statistics indicate that emissions from transport continue to grow - increasing by four percent overall since 1990, including by six percent since 2013.

 

Road transport is the primary source of this increase. Whereas vehicles have become more fuel efficient this has been offset by increased travel demand.

 

These emissions are a key pollutant to the air that we breathe, causing major environmental and health issues.  The negative impacts on the environment include the direct effects of pollutants on vegetation, and indirect effects on the acid and nutrients status of soils and ground and surface water.

 

In terms of health,  in 2016 a landmark report  published by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health suggested that ‘…every year in the UK, outdoor pollution is linked to around 40,000 deaths’ … and that ‘…air pollution can have a damaging effect from when a baby is in the womb and continue throughout life to older age, playing a role in many chronic conditions such as  cancer, asthma, heart diseases and neurological changes linked to dementia’.

 

This report concluded that "Real change will only occur when everyone accepts this responsibility and makes a concerted effort."

 

As the Highway Authority, Wokingham Borough Council has a specific duty to bring forward measures to improve air quality.

 

Wokingham Borough Council has three declared Air Quality Management Areas but tackling the overall poor air quality across our Borough is the key objective.

 

There are significant opportunities for sustainable transport options to simultaneously support clean economic growth, increase physical activity, and reduce emissions contributing to local air pollution.

 

This Council commits to introduce a Low Emissions Transport Strategy that will sit under the Local Transport Plan and will include clearly stated objectives, SMART targets, strategies and tactics.

42.2

Motion 421 submitted by Ian Pittock

This Council does not support the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

42.3

Motion 422 submitted by Gregor Murray

Full Council on 18th July voted unanimously to declare a Climate Emergency across Wokingham Borough and to commit itself to being carbon neutral by 2030.

 

In order to achieve this crucial aim, and to live up to our environmental responsibilities it is essential we take immediate steps to reduce the amount of carbon we either directly or indirectly use each year.

 

It is clear that no responsible council can take action on climate change without seeking to drastically reduce the amount of single use plastics consumed by the council in it’s every day operations.

 

We acknowledge that single use plastics can be preferential in the care and wellbeing of disabled and other vulnerable residents. However, wherever possible and practical, we should seek to remove all non-essential single use plastics from Council operations.

In face of the overwhelming evidence about the impact that single use plastics have on the environment including contributing to carbon emissions in its manufacture, Wokingham Borough Council commits to leading our residents by example by ensuring that all non-essential single use plastics are eliminated from use within the Council Shute End building, and all Council controlled environments, as soon as possible. 

 

This would be achieved by:

 

  • Phasing out the purchase of single-use plastic products through services commissioned by the council and as soon as practicable
  • Bringing regular reports to future Climate Emergency committee meetings, describing the Council’s plans to eliminate single-use plastic from the organisation, including a timetable for doing so.
  • Working with Council staff, Wokingham Borough's businesses, community groups and residents to share advice, ideas and best practice on using sustainable alternatives
  • Working with local schools to support the aspiration of Wokingham Borough’s young people to eliminate plastic waste from our environment
  • Seeking to work with neighbouring councils to tackle single use plastic used across the wider Berkshire area.