Venue: Civic Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN
Contact: Neil Carr Principal Democratic Services Officer
To receive any apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were submitted by Councillors Clark, Helliar-Symons, Jarvis and Richards.
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.
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 this committee.
Subject to meeting certain timescales, questions can relate to general issues concerned with the work of the Committee 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
There were no public questions.
Member Question Time
To answer any Member questions.
There were no Member questions.
To consider the Call-In of the Executive decision to introduce evening and Sunday charges for Wokingham Borough Council car parks and charges for the Shute End Council offices car park.
The Committee considered the Call-In of the decision taken by the Executive, at its meeting on 31 March 2016, relating to the introduction of evening and Sunday charges for Wokingham Borough Council car parks and charges for the Shute End Council offices car park. The decision had been called in by Councillors Prue Bray, Lindsay Ferris, Tom McCann, Beth Rowland and Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey.
The Executive decision had been called in on the following grounds:
· The action proposed was not proportionate to the desired outcome;
· Due consultation had not taken place;
· A presumption in favour of openness had not been observed;
· Clarity of aims and objectives had not been achieved;
· Only one option was presented and no details of other any other options considered had been presented.
The following witnesses were invited to submit evidence and answer questions in order to assist the Committee in its deliberations:
· Councillor Lindsay Ferris to set out the reasons behind the Call-In;
· Councillor Richard Dolinski to represent the views of Woodley Town Council and the Woodley Town Centre Management Initiative;
· Keith Malvern and Peter Must to challenge the reasons underpinning the Executive decision;
· Matt Davey (Head of Highways) to provide facts and figures relating to the Executive decision;
· Councillor Julian McGhee-Sumner to represent the views of the Leader of the Council and the Council’s Executive;
· Andrew Moulton (Monitoring Officer) and Mary Severin (Borough Solicitor) to answer any legal/procedural questions relating to the Executive decision and subsequent Call-In process.
Councillor Tim Holton (Chairman) welcomed the witnesses and explained the format of the meeting. Each witness would be invited to make a short presentation to the Committee followed by a question and answer session. Following the witness session the Committee would consider all the evidence and decide upon any appropriate recommendations.
Councillor Lindsay Ferris addressed the Committee on the reasons behind the Call-In and made the following points:
· Proportionality – a blanket charge had been proposed for all car parks except one, no matter what their location or usage.
· Consultation – the consultation which took place was on the tariff, not on the principle. No specific consultation had taken place with affected businesses, organisations or individuals. Additionally, professional advice appeared to have been provided by Highways Officers only.
· Openness – there had been no warning about the proposal prior to the consultation on the level of charges.
· Clarity of aims and outcomes – during the Executive meeting it was suggested that the new charges would not be introduced in Woodley and that daytime charges would be increased instead. However, the original recommendations were voted through.
· Options – only one option was presented to the Executive and no details of other options considered have been presented.
· The Call-In challenged the decision making process rather than the introduction of new charges. The decision was originally due to be an Individual Executive Member Decision until the process was challenged and it was referred to the Executive. The survey which produced key information was not carried out until after the ... view the full minutes text for item 78.