Venue: Council Chamber, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions
Contact: John Armstrong, Democratic Services and Elections Manager Tel: (01483) 444102
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Yves de Contades and Lizzie Griffiths, and from Honorary Aldermen Catherine Cobley, Jayne Marks, Tony Phillips, Lynda Strudwick and Jenny Wicks.
Disclosures of interest
To receive and note any disclosable pecuniary interests from councillors. In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda. Any councillor with a DPI must not participate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must also withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.
If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.
Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.
There were no disclosures.
To confirm the minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council held on 10 May 2023 (to follow).
The Council confirmed, as a correct record, the minutes of the Annual Meeting held on 10 May 2023. The Mayor signed the minutes.
Appointment of Deputy Mayor 2023-24
Following the Annual Meeting, nominations had been invited, and Councillor Sallie Barker MBE had been nominated.
Upon the motion of Councillor Philip Brooker, seconded by Councillor Matt Furniss, the Council unanimously
RESOLVED: That Councillor Sallie Barker MBE Mayor for the municipal year 2023-24.
Councillor Barker made the statutory Declaration of Acceptance of Office, took the Oath of Allegiance, and took her seat on the dais.
To receive any communications or announcements from the Mayor.
The Mayor thanked everyone who had attended the Annual Meeting on 10 May, and the Civic Service on Sunday 14 May 2023.
Election of the Leader of the Council
To receive the report of the Democratic Services and Elections Manager on nominations received in respect of the election of the Leader of the Council.
Under the Council’s current executive arrangements and in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 21(a), the Council shall elect the Leader for a four-year term of office ending on the day of the next post-election annual meeting of the Council. A councillor proposing to nominate another councillor as Leader must notify the Democratic Services and Elections Manager of their nomination, and the name of the councillor seconding the nomination before the meeting at which the election is to be held.
Details of nominees and their proposers and seconders will be included on the Order Paper for the meeting. If more than one councillor is nominated, the election of the Leader shall be by show of hands.
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 21(d), the newly elected Leader of the Council may announce the appointment of the Deputy Leader and Lead Councillors on the Executive and the titles of the portfolios assigned to them.
The Council noted that, in respect of the election of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Julia McShane had been nominated.
Upon the motion of Councillor Catherine Houston, seconded by Councillor George Potter, the Council unanimously
RESOLVED: That Councillor Julia McShane be elected Leader of the Council for a period ending on the day of the next post-election annual meeting of the Council.
Councillor McShane took her seat on the dais.
To receive any communications or announcements from the newly elected Leader of the Council.
Councillor McShane congratulated Councillor Barker on her appointment as Deputy Mayor.
Councillor McShane expressed thanks to the Council for her election as Leader. As Leader she highlighted the new administration’s focus on making the borough greener, fairer and thriving for all communities.
The Leader indicated that the administration would always seek to work collaboratively with those who were interested in working to make the borough an even better place to live. The significant challenges facing the Council were understood, with performance issues in planning the pressure on finances and recruitment issues impacted by housing affordability. The Council would continue to be committed to the collaboration with Waverley Borough Council and to driving forward
proposals to enable more effective working across both councils.
The Council needed to ensure that its finances were sustainable and that public services were protected, particularly those that had a direct and positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable residents.
The Council’s housing stock and services to tenants would continue to be a high priority, as would the determination to ensure homes were available for those who needed safe, secure and affordable places to live
The Leader indicated that the Council would strengthen further the already strong relationships with other authorities and organisations such as the University of Surrey, the Royal Surrey Hospital and Surrey County Council.
By continuing to work together better provision could be made for more affordable homes, access to GP and dental provision, sustainable transport such as improved bus and train services, walking and cycling routes, and improvements to air quality.
The Council would continue to support and develop the positive working relationships with parish councils and residents' groups, and would create more opportunities to engage with other groups who had interests in areas of culture, heritage and sport, which contributed so much to the life of Guildford and the villages.
The Leader expressed a wish to create a new Younger Persons’ Champion, and Diversity and Inclusion Champion.
The Leader was confident that all councillors had the best interests of the borough at heart and that councillors could work constructively together for the next four years in a culture of positive, collaborative and respectful relationships.
The Leader announced that the following councillors would serve on the new Executive:
· Councillor Tom Hunt (Deputy Leader of the Council)
· Councillor Angela Goodwin
· Councillor Catherine Houston
· Councillor Richard Lucas
· Councillor Carla Morson
· Councillor George Potter
· Councillor Merel Rehorst-Smith
The Leader would announce details of their portfolio responsibilities next week.
To receive questions or statements from the public.
(a) Ruth Stone, Founder of Burpham Wellbeing made a statement to the Council in respect of the need for greater access to public facilities in Burpham to enable more community use and connections. Ms Stone made the following points:
· Grateful to the Council for supporting Burpham Wellfest with grants for the past two years
· Following difficulties in hiring Sutherland Memorial Hall, the Burpham Community Hub was established, and it recently secured a lease to manage the Hall pending final agreement of terms and conditions.
· From its inception the Burpham Community Hub had applied to manage all of Sutherland Memorial Park's facilities for the benefit of the community, including three tennis courts, the Hall and a cricket pavilion.
· The tennis courts are not used most days because they need to be booked by an e-mail system which operates during office hours only.
· Since Wellfest was established, three years ago, the cost of hiring the Park had increased by 400%.
· If the Council did not have the resources to manage these assets, there was a committed community body that could manage them for the community’s benefit.
The Leader of the Council responded by stating that she had listened carefully to the representations made. The Leader was in the process of putting the new administration together, and that the new Lead Councillor for this area, once appointed, would wish to look into these matters and communicate with Ms Stone and the local community.
(b) Gavin Morgan, Guildford Heritage Forum made a statement to the Council in respect of seeking the Council’s continued commitment to supporting Guildford’s heritage. Mr Morgan made the following points:
· Whilst events such as Heritage Open Day and Car Free Day were good examples of how the Council and the community could work together in a meaningful way, it was clear that an honest partnership was needed between the Council and the community, drawing on the community’s considerable experience and knowledge.
· The Council was urged not to focus on just the heritage itself but on the value that heritage could bring to the town
The Leader of the Council responded by referring to her earlier statement that the Council would create more opportunities to engage with other groups who had interests in areas such as culture and heritage. The Leader welcomed the creation of a partnership between the Council and the community to take this further and would be happy to organise some meetings in that regard.
(c) Charlie Pope, representative of Burpham Football Club made a statement to the Council in respect of Football Facilities in Burpham and, in particular, Sutherland Memorial Park. Mr Pope made the following comments:
· Sutherland Memorial Park pitch facilities were widely considered among the worst pitches in the area.
· Fees for hiring the pitches were to increase by nearly 20% next season.
· The changing facilities were in desperate need of updating. The Football Foundation Guildford report had described them as “poor quality”. The position had been compounded by the loss ... view the full minutes text for item CO17
Questions from Councillors
To hear questions from councillors of which due notice has been given.
(a) Councillor Philip Brooker asked the Leader of the Council the following question:
“Can the Leader confirm what her plans are to increase social housing in the Borough? How many social houses do you intend to provide on a year-on-year basis over the next four years, what sites have been allocated for this, and how will it be financed?”
(b) Councillor Bilal Akhtar asked the Leader of the Council the following question:
“Can the Leader confirm the number of staff currently employed in the Council’s planning enforcement team and also outline any intention to recruit additional staff to the Council’s planning enforcement team?”
(c) Councillor Bob Hughes asked the Leader of the Council the following question:
“Can the Leader please confirm how much the Council has so far spent on agency and temporary staff in 2022/23 across the organisation? What is the projected budget for 2023/24? And can you confirm how much the Council has spent so far on consultants in 2022/23? What is the projected budget for 2023/24?”
As notice of the above questions was received on Friday 12 May, and that the Council had elected Councillor McShane as Leader at this meeting, the Mayor informed the Council that the newly elected Leader would circulate to all councillors a written response to each question.
The Council considered a report on the appointment of councillors to committees for the municipal year 2023-24. Councillors noted the political composition of the Council following the Borough Council elections on 4 May 2023, and the details of each of the political groups on the Council, which were set out in the Order Paper circulated at the meeting.
Details of the proposed committees and their respective size and terms of reference were set out in the report submitted to the Council, including details of the numerical allocation of seats on the committees to the political groups. The Order Paper also included details of each group’s nominations to fill those seats (and substitutes where appropriate), together with the nominations for election of committee and sub-committee chairmen and vice-chairmen.
Upon the motion of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Julia McShane, and seconded by the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Tom Hunt, the Council:
(1) That, for the 2023-24 municipal year and subject to paragraph (2) below, the Council agrees to appoint the committees referred to in the table set out in paragraph 4.1 of the report submitted to the Council, and agrees their respective size referred to therein and the proposed terms of reference, as indicated in Appendix 1 to the report.
(2) That the Service Delivery Executive Advisory Board be re-named the “Community Executive Advisory Board” and the Strategy and Resources Executive Advisory Board be re-named the “Resources Executive Advisory Board” and that their respective remits be aligned with the current Joint Management Team structure as indicated below:
“Community EAB” to cover the following service areas:
· Communications and Customer Services
· Community Services
· Environmental Services
· Housing Services
· Regulatory Services
· Commercial Services
“Resources EAB” to cover the following service areas:
· Planning Development
· Regeneration and Planning Policy
· Legal & Democratic Services
· Organisational Development
(3) That the following numerical allocation of seats on committees to each political group on the Council be approved for the 2023-24 municipal year:
(4) That the nominations for membership and (where applicable) substitute membership of the committees, Executive Advisory Boards, and the joint committees, for the 2023-24 municipal year, be approved in accordance with the wishes of the political groups as indicated below:
Corporate Governance and Standards Committee
The Council considered a report on a nomination received for the appointment of Mr David John Goodwin as Honorary Freeman of the Borough. Councillors were reminded that, under the Council’s adopted Protocol on the appointment, role, status, rights and obligations of Honorary Freemen and Honorary Aldermen, a person shall be deemed eligible for appointment as an honorary freeman provided that they met all of the following requirements:
The person shall:
· be a person of distinction
· have given eminent service to the borough; and
· have a strong and continuing connection with and commitment to the borough of Guildford, or have made a major contribution to national life and in doing so have enhanced the reputation of the borough.
Details of Mr Goodwin’s eminent and distinguished service to the Borough, were appended to the report submitted to the Council.
Upon the motion of Councillor Fiona White, seconded by Councillor Julia McShane, the Council
RESOLVED: That a special meeting of the Council be convened on Thursday 1 June 2023 at 7pm at the Guildhall for the purpose of conferring upon Mr David Goodwin the title of Honorary Freeman of the Borough.
To recognise formally Mr Goodwin’s eminent and distinguished service to the Borough of Guildford.
Note: By reason of the special circumstances described below, the Mayor considered that this item should be dealt with at this meeting as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B 4 (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.
Special Circumstances: To enable the Council to consider as expeditiously as possible the nomination submitted.