Agenda and decisions

Executive - Thursday, 30th July, 2020 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Anne Hunter  Democratic and Electoral Services Lead Specialist

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence

2.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 515 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Executive Meeting held on 28 May 2020.

 

3.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

4.

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

 

4.1

Philip Challis had asked the Leader of the Council the following question but as he was unable to attend the meeting a written response was provided:

 

Question

Would you agree that Taylor Wimpey have done a good job in creating the Loddon Countryside Amenity Area adjacent to Loddon Park (Sandford Farm) development, including a path with extends right up to an old bridge over the River Loddon which for safety reasons is closed off.  Would you further agree with resident's disappointment that despite £250,000 funding from Taylor Wimpey and the willingness of Sustrans to provide further funding that the Council have failed to upgrade this bridge over the Loddon and provide the envisaged good links into the wider network of footpaths and provide a pedestrian/cycle link to Twyford. Would he explore the possibility of completing the reinstatement of this bridge given the current emphasis the Government are placing on walking and cycling.

 

4.2

Elizabeth Mayers asked the Leader of the Council the following question:

 

Question

Following your social media posts incorrectly linking Black Lives Matter with the atrocious killings in Forbury Gardens do you accept that you have destroyed the trust and confidence of black, anti-racist residents and staff at WBC, failing in your duty to foster good relations and, some would say, inflaming racial division.  As a result will you be considering your position?

 

4.3

Beth Rowland asked the Executive Member for Finance and Housing the following question:

 

Question

The enforced lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that a considerable portion of our residents will have been furloughed from their jobs on 80% of their normal salary.  Some will have lost their jobs altogether – over the next few months many more will be unemployed as companies are forced to stop trading.  That means that many more of our residents and their families will be forced to live on benefits with the problems that brings to children and young people.  Will this Authority work with local charities and organisations including Berkshire Credit Union to support families living in poverty and debt?

 

4.4

Carol Jewell had asked the Executive Member for Resident Services, Communications and Emissions the following question but as she was unable to attend the meeting a written answer was provided:

 

Question

Woodley Town Council declared a Climate Emergency in October 2019 and a working group was formed to monitor the effects of climate change on the Town and its carbon footprint. Nine months later the committee has still not met as its Chairman, the leader of the Town Council, is awaiting action from this Borough Council. The forced lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic has seen much reduced traffic especially on our road network.  How is this Council going to work with both local Town and Parish Councils to take advantage of this to maintain the reduced levels of pollution that have been seen throughout the country and to encourage walking and cycling?  

 

4.5

James Vyvyan-Robinson asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

What action is the Council Executive going to take to rectify the A33 road surface noise bearing in mind the severe and life changing impact the increased noise is having on the mental health and wellbeing of local residents?

 

4.6

Colin Brooks asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:

 

Question

In respect of the resurfacing of the A33 bypass near the village of Riseley, please can you explain the criteria used in the decision making process. I am interested to understand if the decision was purely financial and if the increased environmental noise pollution, impact on health, wellbeing and enjoyment of local residents or the potential devaluation of property (and subsequent negative equity position for newer residents) were included in the process or completely overlooked?

 

5.

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

 

5.1

Michael Firmager asked the Executive Member for Environment and Leisure the following question:

 

Question

What can we do through the Arts and Culture Strategy to help lift Wokingham Borough out of the coronavirus emergency?

 

5.2

Paul Fishwick asked the Executive Member for Environment and Leisure the following question:

 

Question

There have been a number of street trees that have been removed, but not replaced, in the last few years and in many cases the verge is wide enough and conditions suitable to enable replacements to be planted.

 

Wokingham Borough Council does not have a tree replacement Policy but has planted new trees elsewhere. The loss of these trees has changed the street scene making it look more ‘urban’. Will the Council ensure street trees are replaced wherever feasibility possible including locations where trees have been lost in the last 5 years?

 

5.3

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

 

Question

When are you planning to restart the Local Plan Update Committee, since Grazeley is non-viable without the DCLG funding according to a statement by the Housing Executive at an Executive Committee Meeting and most other sources are not available due to the spending on the Pandemic?

 

5.4

Gary Cowan asked the Executive Member for Planning and Enforcement the following question:

 

Question

From time to time I see planning applications with Officer recommendations approving the removal of trees while other planning applications approve increased traffic on already busy roads.

 

My question is with regard to the Council flagship policy on climate emergency what specific directions has the Council given to its Planning, Environment and Highway departments to take climate emergency into consideration when dealing with all planning applications?

 

5.5

Sarah Kerr asked the Leader of the Council the following question:

 

Question

Does the Leader of this Council acknowledge that poverty exists within the Borough?

 

5.6

Andrew Mickleburgh asked the Leader of the Council the following question:

 

Question

The fact that poverty is multi-dimensional, and that some of its elements and manifestations are intangible, are just two of the challenges that make poverty complex to measure and track. Notwithstanding, it is vital that this is done in order to serve our residents – to help to reduce numbers falling into poverty, and to help to lift others out of poverty; and to ensure a timely, efficient and effective use of scarce resources.  What processes and procedures are in place in our Borough to ensure timely, meaningful and comprehensive data on poverty, in all its manifestations wherever it might exist in our community, is being collected and used to good effect?

 

5.7

David Hare asked the Leader of the Council the following question:

 

Question

Charities are amongst the many organisations raising alarm that large numbers of people in all parts of the UK are falling into poverty as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of these charities have also seen their own financial resources slashed, and thus their ability to help people in need, suffer as a result of the pandemic. What is WBC’s strategy for ensuring that key local charities engaged with tackling poverty in our Borough will be able to meet the increasing demand for vital services provided by charities, despite the current funding crises that some of these charities face.

 

5.8

Bill Soane asked the Executive Member for Finance and Housing the following question:

 

Question

In view of the Government announcement regarding recompense to assist local authorities in their shortfall in income at their leisure centres during the Covid-19 pandemic, will this grant assist the Council in any way, and if so how?

 

5.9

Chris Bowring had asked the Executive Member for Environment and Leisure the following question. Due to time constraints the question was not asked and the following written answer provided:

 

Question

Would the Executive Member tell me how the ‘Tackling Racism Matters’ survey is progressing?

 

6.

Shareholder's Report pdf icon PDF 631 KB

Decision:

That the budget monitoring position for the financial year up to 30 June 2020 (Quarter 1) be noted.

7.

Revenue Budget Monitoring report FY2020/21 - Quarter 1 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)        the Council's strong financial standing leading up to the COVID-19 crisis as illustrated in the Executive Summary, as set out in the report, be noted;

 

2)        the significant financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis as illustrated in the Executive Summary be noted;

 

3)        the overall forecast of the current position of the General Fund revenue budget, Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG), illustrated in the Executive Summary and appendices attached to the report, be noted;

 

4)        the ongoing work to manage the budget and ensure the financial viability of the Council, as set out in the Executive Summary, be noted;

 

5)        the revenue implications of capital borrowing for £288k for the purchase of hessian sacks, which  will have the effect of increasing recycling levels and generating a beneficial financial impact far in excess of the cost of borrowing, be approved.

8.

Capital Monitoring 2020/21 - end of June 2020 pdf icon PDF 440 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)        it be noted that the Council’s Capital Programme will continue to be reviewed throughout the year in the context of the impact of Covid-19 on funding sources and service requirements, and that any changes will be presented to Executive for approval;

 

2)        the proposed rephasing to parts of the Capital Programme following the ‘in-year’ review including the impact of Covid-19, as set out in Appendix B, be approved;

 

3)        £600k additional budget funded by borrowing for the Dinton Pastures Activity Centre (DAC), for changes necessitated as an outcome of public consultations and planning requirements be approved. The cost of borrowing estimated at £27k p.a.will be covered from expected additional incomes generated by the new activity centre, as set out in paragraph 6 of the Executive Summary of the report;

 

4)        a reduction of the Schools Devolved Formula grant budget in the capital programme to £302k, due to the Council receiving £87k less than originally budgeted, as set out in paragraph 7 of the Executive Summary, be noted;

 

5)        borrowing of £288k for the purchase of hessian sacks which will have the effect of increasing recycling levels and generating a beneficial financial impact far in excess of the cost of borrowing, as set out in paragraph 8 of the Executive Summary, be approved;

 

6)        it be noted that consultants will be engaged within existing budgets to review the noise levels and options with regards to recent major resurfacing works, as set out in paragraph 9 of the Executive Summary;

 

7)        the quarter one position for the capital budgets, as set out in Appendix A to the report as summarised in the Executive Summary, be noted.

9.

Treasury Management Outturn 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 500 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)         the report be recommended to Council;

 

2)        it be noted that the report was presented to Audit Committee on 29th July 2020;

 

3)        the managed repayment of debt over time which illustrates the increased borrowing required to fund key Council priorities, which in turn generate income streams (to repay debt) and provides revenue funding for vital statutory services (as set out in the graph in table 2 of the report), be noted;

 

4)        the asset value created through the Council’s capital investments compared to the debt required to generate the asset value (as set out in the graph in table 2 of the report) be noted;

 

5)        the capital investments made in the Council’s priorities for its community, by category (as set out in table 1 of the report) be noted;

 

6)        the Treasury Management report in Appendix A, that shows that all approved indicators have been adhered to and that prudent and safe management has been adhered to, be noted.

10.

Wokingham Outbreak Control Plan Summary pdf icon PDF 434 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)        the scale of preparation in a short timescale to develop an outbreak control plan jointly with Public Health England and other partners be noted;

 

2)         the impact of the Plan for the public be noted.

11.

Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan: Duty to Cooperate pdf icon PDF 549 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)        the following Statements of Common Ground, as part of on-going Duty to Cooperate requirements, be approved:

 

I           South East Waste Planning Advisory Group (SEWPAG) Statement of Common Ground concerning Strategic Policies for Waste Management (see Appendix A).

 

ii.         Statement of Common Ground between the Central and Eastern Berkshire Authorities and Buckinghamshire Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Hampshire County Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Surrey County Council, South Downs National Park Authority, West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council concerning Soft Sand Supply (see Appendix B).

 

iii.        Statement of Common Ground between the Central and Eastern Berkshire Authorities, and Buckinghamshire Council, Hampshire County Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Surrey County Council, West Berkshire Council and Wiltshire Council, concerning Sharp Sand and Gravel Supply (see Appendix C).

 

iv.        Statement of Common Ground between Central and East Berkshire Authorities and the South London Waste Plan Boroughs concerning Strategic Policies for Waste (see Appendix D).

 

v.         Statement of Common Ground between Westminster City Council, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham concerning strategic waste matters (see Appendix E).

 

2)        delegated authority be given to the Director of Place and Growth, in consultation with the Executive Member responsible for Strategic Planning, to enter into future Statements of Common Ground;

 

3)        any minor changes to the Statements of Common Ground be delegated to the Director of Place and Growth, in consultation with the Executive Member for Planning and Enforcement.

12.

Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan: Proposed Submission Plan pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the following be recommended to the Special Council Executive Committee:

 

1)        approve the Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan: Proposed Submission Plan and supporting documentation for publication and public consultation under Regulation 19;

 

2)        authorise community engagement on the Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan: Proposed Submission Plan and associated supporting documents to take place for 6 weeks from Thursday 3rd September 2020;

 

3)        authorise the submission of the Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan: Proposed Submission Plan, and supporting documents to the Secretary of State for independent examination in public, under Regulation 22;

 

4)        authorise the Director of Place and Growth, in consultation with the Executive Member for Planning and Enforcement, to agree minor amendments necessary to the Central and Eastern Berkshire Joint Minerals and Waste Plan: Proposed Submission Plan and other supporting documents prior to consultation. Any minor modifications would consist of non-material amendments such as rewording and correction of typing errors;

 

5)        request the appointed Inspector to recommend modifications to the submitted Joint Plan, in the event that the Inspector considers that such modifications would make the plan sound.

13.

Climate Emergency Action Plan – Dinton Activity Centre (DAC) Project pdf icon PDF 458 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)        the proposals and the anticipated outcomes as set out in the report be noted;

 

2)        the decision to invest in the carbon neutrality proposals in Dinton Activity Centre and Addington School to significantly reduce the carbon emission of the new buildings in line with the Council’s net zero carbon by 2030 target be confirmed;

 

3)        an additional capital budget of £483,900 financed by borrowing and fully repaid from savings generated through reduced energy costs be approved;

 

4)        it be noted that the annual financial cost reductions in excess of the capital financing costs will be set aside to provide for component replacement in future years.