Agenda and decisions

Executive - Thursday, 29th July, 2021 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Anne Hunter  Democratic and Electoral Services Lead Specialist

Media

Items
No. Item

13.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence

14.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 456 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Executive Meeting held on 24 June 2021.

 

15.

Statement by the Leader of Council

16.

Declaration of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

17.

Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 133 KB

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

 

17.1

Pamela Jenkinson had asked the Executive Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities the following question but as she was unable to attend the meeting the following written response was provided:

 

Question

Would you please confirm that Cranstoun, who are to replace Berkshire Women's Aid's refuges for abused women, actually have refuges available in Wokingham, ready for the changeover of funding and services, in order to ensure the safeguarding of the vulnerable women, concerned?

17.2

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

 

Question

This time last year I was party to a group complaint, submitted by 76 Wokingham residents, about your conduct with regards your statement, comments and posts about Black Lives Matter and the tragic murders in Reading.  The complaint was first mislaid, then mixed up with other similar individual complaints and generally mis-handled.  Finally, part of the resolution was you would under-go training about the key messages of your equality policy.  When did that happen, and what did you learn?

17.3

Kiran Nar had asked the Leader of the Council the following question which was asked in his absence by Pol Exeter:

 

Question

The Sewell report claims that there is no racism in the UK and last week we saw this was a lie following the appalling response from racists towards black footballers.  We know racism exists and continues to exist in all walks of life including in Wokingham Borough.  It has been over a year since I made a formal complaint relating to WBC’s response to BLM and your response was that Equality is hardwired in WBC's DNA and you were committed to equality.  I note today that there is a no team leading equality initiatives anymore, the BME Forum has been disbanded and there has been no real commitment to understand the lives and experience of 155,000 of the non- white population in WBC.  What are you really doing to foster good community relationships and eliminate racism in the Borough?

17.4

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

 

Question

The Black residents of Wokingham are suffering from the weight of discrimination they endure in their daily lives, going about their business of living and working in Wokingham.  What contact have you had with representatives from the Black community of WBC and what tangible or practical action have you taken to assuage these discriminations?

18.

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

 

18.1

Jackie Rance asked the Executive Member for Planning and Enforcement the following question:

 

Question

Could the Executive Member for Planning, please tell me how many houses have been granted planning permission in the past 10 years for the Wards of Hurst, Shinfield, Arborfield and Winnersh?

18.2

Rachel Bishop-Firth asked the Executive Member for Health, Wellbeing and Adult Services the following question:

 

Question

How many public health funerals has Wokingham Borough arranged during the last two years, ensuring that all residents are treated with dignity in death even if they or their relatives cannot afford a funeral?

19.

Revenue Budget Monitoring report FY2021/22 - Quarter One pdf icon PDF 480 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

That: 

 

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

 

2)               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;

 

3)               a supplementary estimate of £31,500 for Tone of Voice project be approved.

 

20.

Capital Monitoring 2021/22 - Quarter 1 pdf icon PDF 437 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

That:

 

1)               the proposed rephasing to the Capital Programme following the annual budget profiling review from the Medium Term Financial Plan, to get more realistic profiling for financial management and cashflow purposes, as set out in paragraph 3 and Appendix B of the report be approved and noted;

 

2)               the position of the capital programme at the end of Quarter 1 (to 30 June 2021) as summarised in the report below and set out in detail in Appendix A to the report be noted;

 

3)               additional budget added to the capital programme for a parcel of land at Winnersh Triangle Station, for the Park and Ride project, to the value of £175k be noted and approved. Funded by a transfer of a nearby parcel of land to the same third party, also for £175k. 

21.

Local Development Scheme 2021 pdf icon PDF 430 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

That the Local Development Scheme 2021, attached as enclosure 1 to the report, be adopted.

 

22.

Commercialisation Strategy pdf icon PDF 490 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)           the Commercial Strategy attached at Appendix A to the report be adopted;

 

2)           the Chief Finance Officer be delegated authority to revise and update the Strategy as required to ensure legislative compliance and delivery of best practice in the Council’s commercial ventures and activities. 

 

23.

Procurement Strategy pdf icon PDF 420 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)           the adoption of the Procurement Strategy, attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be agreed;

 

2)           the Chief Finance Officer be delegated authority to revise and update the Strategy as required to ensure legislative compliance and delivery of best practice in procurement and commissioning. 

24.

Investing in our Community pdf icon PDF 674 KB

Decision:

That:

 

1)              the refocusing of the existing Investment Strategy and criteria, as set out in Appendix A, be noted;

 

2)              it be noted that the delegated authority already given to the Deputy Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader, Executive Member for Finance and Housing and the Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, applies to this refocused policy;

 

3)              the changes to the delegated authority with regard to investment criteria, as set out in Appendix A, be agreed.

25.

New Contract for Heating Services pdf icon PDF 427 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the business case to enable the Housing Service to procure a suitably qualified, experienced, and competent contractor for the delivery of heating services required for the Council’s housing stock be approved.

26.

Home to School Transport Policy (inc. SEND) pdf icon PDF 526 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That:

 

1)              the two Travel Assistance policies (statutory school age, and Post-16) as appended to the report be approved;

 

2)       implementation of the new Travel Assistance Policies be from the academic year commencing September 2022.

27.

School Meals Managed Catering Service pdf icon PDF 441 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the proposed business case for procurement of a new contract for school meals and kitchens maintenance be approved to commence in August 2022, noting that the updated traded services offer will no longer deliver the same level of income but still represents a viable option. 

28.

Climate Emergency Community Deliberative Processes pdf icon PDF 461 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That: 

 

1)               the extensive review that has been undertaken regarding community deliberative processes in climate emergency (as set out in Appendix A to the report) be noted; 

 

2)               progressing the development of focus groups and e-panels to engage the community with climate emergency be supported;  

 

3)               it be noted that a fully worked-up proposal with financial implications will be presented to Executive in October 2021.

29.

Proposed Solar Farm - Barkham pdf icon PDF 491 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

That, subject to securing the necessary planning consents, Council be asked to: 

 

1)               recommend the capital expenditure of the £20,283,000 funded from borrowing as previously set out in the Medium Term Financial Plan;

 

2)               approve delegation of decisions around the final extent and configuration of the Solar Farm to the Deputy Chief Executive (S151 Finance Officer) in conjunction with the Lead Member for Resident Services, Communications and Emissions where scheme amendments will not result in the average annual net income after capital financing costs falling below £200k;

 

3)               note the estimated net income (after running costs and capital financing costs) of £12.0m over 25 years (equal to £480k per year on average) will be introduced into the Councils annual budget using an equalisation reserve. 

 

4)               approve commencement of the Solar Farm at Barkham.

30.

Carbon Capture via the Planting of 250,000 New Trees pdf icon PDF 718 KB

Decision:

That:

 

1)               Officers be given approval to begin phase 1 of the project, including the recruitment of a project manager, completion of a feasibility study and tree strategy, and start-up of the small woodland planting and community garden planting initiative;

 

2)               £350,000 of capital borrowing be approved to fund the first phase of the project. The £350,000 requested will ultimately be funded as part of the invest to save scheme for the overall capital project (preliminary calculations show these costs can be comfortably accommodated); 

 

3)               It be noted that the estimated pay back of the full cost of the scheme is likely to be within 4 years of project completion, with an annual surplus thereafter to be confirmed with updated business case;

 

4)               It be noted that a further report, including a full Business Case and additional funding requirements, will be presented to the Executive for approval early next year.