Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday 21st January, 2021 7.00 pm

The full agenda with individual reports can be viewed on this page below.

The full agenda with all reports can be downloaded from the Agenda reports pack.

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Email: Town.Clerk@farnham.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

C126/20

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

C127/20

Disclosures of Interest

To receive from members, in respect of any items included on the agenda for this meeting, disclosure of any disclosable pecuniary or other interests, or of any gifts and hospitality, in line with the Town Council’s Code of Conduct.

 

NOTES:

 (i)        The following councillors have made a general non-pecuniary interest declaration in relation to being councillors of Waverley Borough Council: Cllrs Beaman, Blishen, Cockburn, Dickson, Edmonds, Gray, Hesse, Macleod, Martin, Merryweather, Mirylees, Neale, and Ward.

(ii)        The following councillor has made a general non-pecuniary interest declaration in relation to him being a councillor of Surrey County Council: Cllr Macleod.

(iii)        Members are requested to make declarations of interest, on the form attached, to be returned to customer.services@farnham.gov.uk by 5pm on the day before the meeting.

 

Members are reminded that if they declare a pecuniary interest they must leave before any debate starts unless dispensation has been obtained.

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest beyond those for dual and triple hatted-councillors

C128/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 253 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the Farnham Town Council meeting held on 10th December 2020 (Appendix A).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 10th December were approved as a correct record.

C129/20

Questions and Statements by the Public

In accordance with Standing Order 10.1, the Town Mayor will invite members of the public present to ask questions or make statements.

 

At the discretion of the Town Mayor, those members of the public, residing or working within the Council’s boundary, will be invited to make representations or ask questions in respect of the business on the agenda, or other matters not on the agenda, for a maximum of 3 minutes per person or 20 minutes overall.

Minutes:

Cllr Jerry Hyman (Waverley BC) spoke of the new housing numbers published in December which allocated an additional 1971 homes to Waverley with a consequent impact on Farnham of 650.  He asked whether FTC considered it time to impose a limitation on housebuilding to protect Farnham.

 

In response, Cllr MacLeod advised that Cllr Hyman was right under the new standard calculation method but that the numbers would not apply until 2023 and the Local Plan revision (every five years) would also come into play. 

 

The Mayor thanked Cllr Hyman for his question and confirmed the matter would be considered by the Infrastructure Planning Group.

C130/20

Town Mayor's Announcements

To receive the Town Mayor’s announcements.

Minutes:

The Mayor provided an update since the last meeting.  In between the new lockdown had been implemented with increased restrictions and the vaccination programme had commenced. Locally the community owed its grateful thanks to the NHS and also to volunteers at the vaccination centre at Farnham Hospital who were also being supported by FTC staff.

 

The Mayor extended condolences to the family of Brian Pittuck who had led the Farnham Walks for many years and was remembered for his contribution to the Farnham community.

 

C131/20

Questions by Members

To consider any questions from councillors in accordance with Standing Order 9.

Minutes:

There were no Questions by Members.

C132/20

Reports from Working Groups

C133/20

Strategy & Finance pdf icon PDF 301 KB

To receive the notes and any recommendations of the following Working Groups:

i)           Strategy and Finance held on 12th January 2021               Appendix B

ii)         Any relevant updates from the Tourism and Events, Community Enhancement and Cemeteries and Appeals Working Groups

 

Minutes:

Cllr Neale introduced the notes of Strategy & Finance Working Group held on 12th January, at Appendix B to the agenda.

1)      Strategy & Finance had considered a full range of financial documents for Income and Expenditure at the 9th month stage noting that income with additional grants was just above target, whilst expenditure with reduced events and activities was running at just over 60% with savings on the staffing budget as well as service area and that there was forecast to be an underspend overall in the current year.

            Council noted the position in terms of investments and reserves ahead of discussing the precept requirement for the year ahead later in the agenda.

 

2)      Cllr Neale advised that no councillors has made any suggestions for the draft Licensing Policy, and Cllr Hesse advised that any comments could be made direct to Waverley Borough Council by twin-hatted councillors.

 

3)      Cllr Neale highlighted the steps that the Town Council makes in terms of meeting transparency requirements and that details were both on the Council’s website and in the Councillors’ handbook. 

Task Groups

1)      Cllr Cockburn reported on the draft supportive letter in response to the Local Plan Part 2 attached at Annex1. Whilst there were concerns, the juxtaposition with the Neighbourhood Plan was key and the test was of one of ‘soundness’.  There was still time for additional comments from councillors but the draft was agreed for

2)      Cllr Attfield reported on the Assets Task Group and provided an update on matters being progressed which were set out in the agenda.  There had been a significant water leak in the council offices which was being dealt with by the insurer’s loss adjuster.

3)      In terms of the Younger People Task Group, it was noted that a meeting was scheduled with Waverley Borough Council over a site for a new Youth Shelter on Borelli Walk.

4)      Cllr Neale introduced the proposal for a Cultural Task Group which would look at options for a suitable iconic attraction for Farnham as part of the Brightwell’s Scheme or elsewhere which could complement the World Craft Town status. It was suggested that the Task Group comprise representatives of Waverley Borough Surrey County and Farnham Town Councils and a series of relevant external inputs including the Director of the Crafts Study Centre, the recently retired Managing Director of the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Director of the Farnham Maltings and the President of World Crafts Council.

It was RESOLVED unanimously that a new Cultural Task Group be created to look at options for a suitable iconic attraction for Farnham as part of the Brightwell’s Scheme or elsewhere which could complement the World Craft Town offer.

 

 

 

C134/20

Farnham Infrastructure Programme.

Minutes:

Council noted that Chris Tunstall, Programme Director at Surrey County Council, andJonathan Foster-Clark, Alkins, had been invited to attend the Strategy & Finance meeting to providean update on the programme.  The Optimised Infrastructure Plan was about to be published and would be open for a further period of consultation until mid March.

 

The OIP wouldbe a multi-modal package that showed how traffic could be better managedin the town. It had a balanced approach so that improvements to one areadid not create a problem elsewhere.  The proposal for an HGV ban had been discussed and Chris Tunstall said that it would likely restrict throughtraffic on an access only basis but  morework would need to be done on this in the consultation phase.

 

Farnham Town Council’s views would be welcomed once the OIP had been published and further Local Liaison Forum meetings would be held.

 

C135/20

Other updates from Working Groups

Minutes:

Council noted the following:

1)     The continued support for the Farnham Coronavirus response being managed by the Town Council and other partners and the excellent work of the volunteers.

2)     The cancellation of the winter programme of Music in the Vineyard because of the ongoing restrictions.

3)     The deferment of the Services to Farnham Awards.

4)     The 30th anniversary of the friendship and twinning with Andernach and the formal invitation to the OberBurgermeister to be invited to be involved in marking the anniversary (covid restrictions permitting).

5)     Arrangements for the centenary of the War Memorial in Gostrey Meadow.

C136/20

Precept 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 203 KB

To consider the report at Appendix C from the Strategy & Finance Working Group and agree the level of precept for 2021-22.

Minutes:

Cllr Neale introduced the Precept report attached at Appendix C.  He noted that the indications were that Waverley would be increasing its precept by 2.7%, Surrey by 2.49% and the Police Authority by 5.5%. Farnham Town Council had been delivering excellent value for money and been prudent in the way it had managed resources over many years. Council noted that Farnham had seen rises less than the average of town and parish councils in each of the last six years and its average precept over that time had increased by £8.50 compared to the sector average of £15.77. 

 

In December Council approved a reduced gross budget of £1,399,850 and, after discretionary income of £204,870 was taken into account, there was a revised net budget of £1,194,980, a shortfall of £47,459.  In determining the level of precept Council should consider whether it wished to use any of its reserves; increase further the income targets for services, or set unallocated in-year savings targets.    These matters had been considered in detail by the Strategy & Finance Working Group and it was proposing that the shortfall be partly met from reserves (£25,150 ) and partly by a small increase in the precept of 1.94%. This would result in a Band D equivalent amount of £67.37 per annum, (just under £1.30 per week) for the Farnham element of the Council Tax.

 

It was RESOLVED nem con with one abstention that the 2021/22 precept be £1,169,830 representing a Band D equivalent amount of £67.37.

 

C137/20

Planning and Licensing Applications pdf icon PDF 218 KB

To receive the minutes of the Planning & Licensing Consultative Group meetings held on 14th December 2020, and 4th January and 18th January 2021 at Appendices D, E, F.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Edmonds introduced the notes of the Planning & Licensing consultative Group at Appendixes D, E and F.  He said that Covid-19 had not affected demands on the Planning Group which were extensive but the Consultative Group always tried to be succinct and precise in its comments.

 

Cllr Cockburn highlighted the upcoming Appeal at Lower Weybourne Lane and it was agreed that she should represent the Town Council.  Cllr Merryweather expressed gratitude to Cllr Cockburn for the considerable contribution she made to planning matters and proposed a vote of thanks which was agreed.

 

C138/20

Actions taken under the Scheme of Delegation

To receive details of any actions taken under the scheme of delegation not already reported.

Minutes:

There were no matters to report that had not already been covered.

C139/20

Reports from Other Councils

To receive from Councillors any updates on matters affecting Farnham from Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council.

 

Minutes:

1)     Cllr Dickson reported that the Waverley Overview and Scrutiny (O&S) Committee had discussed the Farnham Museum.  Waverley was focussing on repairs that had been outstanding since 2014 and were looking to find funding and the new MEND fund. It was hoped that a solution would be found that was fair and equitable.

2)     Cllr Ward added that the Borough was determined to do something useful with the building but that consideration was also being given to whether the exhibits and building were irrevocably entwined. He noted that the O&S Committee did not have any budgetary responsibility and wondered if councils should own Grade 1 listed buildings with the obligations that brings.

3)     Cllr Neale advised that the question of the Museum was an issue locally and there would be an informal FTC on 11th February.

4)     Cllr Ward reported that the KPMG report commissioned by the District and Borough councils as a result of the County Council bid for unitary status had now been published. It looked at other options but recommended that areas begin co-operating on service delivery and joint arrangements now. 

5)     Cllr Ward reported on the new Fibre Spine that the Local Enterprise Partnership was developing to link Basingstoke and Guildford for a very fast broadband network. It has been agreed that it would pass through Farnham and Elstead.

6)     Cllr MacLeod reported on the upcoming County Council elections which were progressing as scheduled in May. He also advised that the County Council Headquarters had now closed in Kingston and had moved to Reigate.

7)     Cllr Attfield raised the issue of the Library and was concerned that valued assets in the town get sold off for the benefit of taxpayers elsewhere.  Cllr Mirylees agreed with Cllr attfield and felt that Principal authorities should have a duty of care on buildings and how they are used to benefit the local community.  Cllr Hesse raised the issue of the Library Garden and how it should be kept with public access even if the buildings were repurposed.

 

C140/20

Reports from Outside Bodies

To receive from Members any verbal reports on Outside Bodies where they represent Farnham Town Council.

 

Minutes:

1)     Cllr Cockburn congratulated Daryll Morgan for his OBE and the excellent work that he and the Ridgeway School does.

2)     Cllr Cockburn commended the New Ashgate Gallery for the new David mayne sculptures that had been unveiled.

 

C141/20

Date of Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting of Full Council will take place on Thursday 11th March 2021 at 6.30pm.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was agreed as Thursday 11th March at 6.30pm.