Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Thursday 11th March, 2021 6.30 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

C142/20

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence, all Councillors were present. 

C143/20

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.

C144/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the Farnham Town Council meeting held on 21st January at Appendix A.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 21st January were approved as a correct record.

C145/20

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:

Isobel Robson provided an overview of Plastic Free Farnham. The focus of the group is single use plastic. Ms Robson would like to work with the Town Council to reach out to more residents in Farnham.

 

In response the Town Clerk advised the focus on climate change is through the work of Community Enhancement Working Group. FTC made a declaration to be plastic free in June 2019. It was proposed that Ms Robson meet with the Lead Member of the Community Enhancement Working Group, following the April Council meeting.  

C146/20

Town Mayor's Announcements

To receive the Town Mayor’s announcements.

Minutes:

 

The Mayor announced that the funeral of the late Brigadier Paddy Blagden CBE had taken place. Due to the current restrictions, attendance at the funeral was limited and the Town Council was represented by the Town Clerk.  Paddy had a distinguished military career after which he was asked by the United Nations to set up their mine clearance office and served as Mayor of Farnham in 2013-14. The Mayor extended the Council’s warmest wishes to his widow and family.

 

Since the last meeting, The Mayor had attended 45 virtual zoom meetings and 2 outside Farmer’s Markets. A virtual reception was held the Surrey nominees for The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The Mayor’s virtual coffee mornings were underway, covering three wards at each meeting with residents invited on a random basis.

 

The Mayor marked Commonwealth Day on Monday 8 March by raising the Commonwealth Flag outside the town council offices. She was joined by Colour Sergeant Dean Smith from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.

 

The Mayor was presented with 200 face marks made by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association to mark International Women’s Day on Tuesday 9 March.

 

Subject to the lifting of restrictions, the Annual Meeting and Mayor Making has been put back to the 20th May in the hope that a physical meeting may be held.

C147/20

Questions by Members

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

Minutes:

There were no Questions by Members.

 

C148/20

Working Group Notes

C149/20

Community Enhancement pdf icon PDF 193 KB

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

i)           Community Enhancement held on 27th January 2021       Appendix B

ii)         Cemeteries and Appeals held on 28th January 2021         Appendix C

iii)        Tourism and Events held on 3rd February 2021               Appendix D

iv)        Strategy and Finance held on 2nd March 2021                  Appendix E

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

i) Community Enhancement

 

Cllr Hesse chaired the meeting on 27 January and presented the notes of the Working Group at Appendx B.

 

He reported that the ‘Design a Carpet Bed’ competition was won by a third- year student at South Farnham School and would be placed in a new bed in Gostrey Meadow.

 

Council noted that alternative film makers for Farnham in Bloom as John Collins had moved from the area. Cllr Hesse extended the groups thanks to Mr Collins for his work to help make Farnham in Bloom as success.

 

Cllr Hesse reported that a generous donation of £700 had been received from former resident Mr Richard Pettigrew who had moved back to the US.  Members agreed a specimen tree with a hand-crafted metal guard to protect it, would be planted in Gostrey Meadow.

 

Council noted that £3,000 has been allocated from the 2020/21 budget to plant a mix of specimen and British Native Trees in Gostrey Meadow, Evelyn Borelli Garden and Batting’s Garden.


Cllr Hesse advised that the Working Group proposed that the Memorial Bench in Gostrey Meadow, made by a graduate of UCA, be moved to the Evelyn Borelli Garden.

 

Cllr Hesse advised that the criteria for the Famous Names Wall has been reviewed and updated to enable those who had made a significant contribution to the Town to be recognised following a review of a nomination for Sir John Verney to be included.   The proposal was that:

 

Those nominated must fall into three of the four following criteria: -

       They must either be born, lived for a significant period of time or died in Farnham.

       They must have contributed to the local community of Farnham in a remarkable

       way.

       Their achievements will or have outlived them.

        Their achievements are nationally or internationally renowned.

 

It was RESOLVED nem con that:

1. The revised criteria for including into the Famous Names Wall is adopted.

2. Sir John Verney MC Bt is added to the list of Famous Names.

3. The Gostrey Meadow Memorial bench be moved to the Evelyn Borelli Garden

 

The notes were received and accepted from Community Enhancements.

 

C150/20

Cemeteries & Appeals

Minutes:

Cllr Cockburn presented the notes of the Working Group held on 28th January, 2021 at Appendix C.

 

Cllr Cockburn reported an appeal is proceeding advising that since the procedures had been regularised there were very few to consider.

 

Cllr Cockburn advised the Working Group is progressing proposals for the Hale Chapels. As a long-standing issue, a number of options had been explored over a number of years, including for Columbaria. The Group would be coming to a decision and recommendation to Council, which was welcomed by Councillors.

 

Cllr Cockburn reported the Cemetery regulations had been updated to reflect children’s grave sizes.

 

It was RESOLVED nem con that:

Council adopts the two additions to the Rules and Regulations regarding children's grave sizes.

 

The notes were received and accepted from Cemeteries and Appeals.

C151/20

Tourism & Events

Minutes:

Cllr Earwaker presented the notes of the Working Group held on 3rd February at Appendix D.Cllr Earwaker presented the notes of the Tourism and Events Working Group as Appendix D.

 

Cllr Earwaker reported the Events Manager had been busy organising the forthcoming events and projects, as set out in the Notes. He advised that the Farnham Residents’ Guide 2021 includes a calendar of events for the coming year and is delivered to every household.

 

Two new leaflets had been produced to support businesses in the Town.  ‘Open for Business’ provided useful information and ‘We are Farnham’ provided more assistance in setting up for an online market space. 

 

 

The future events and projects (detailed on page 2,1 item 6 of the notes) are being organised by the Events the Manager. The Farnham Guide, currently being delivered to all residents includes ( page 32)  the coming events.

 

Two leaflets have been produced and are now available. The March edition of ‘Open for Business’ has information to support businesses and ‘We are Farnham’ that provides a guide to accessing the online marketplace.

 

The notes were received and accepted from Tourism and Events.

 

C152/20

Strategy & Finance

Minutes:

 

Cllr Neale introduced the notes of the Strategy & Finance Working Group at Appendix E to the agenda.

 

Strategy & Finance had considered a full range of financial documents for Income and Expenditure reports were discussed noting the outturn would be in surplus as a result of additional grants received, the management of activity budgets to expenditure during the year along with reduced activity because of Coronavirus, and the management of vacancies.         

Cllr Neale advised the Working Group had discussed and reviewed the Investment Strategy 2021/22 at Annex 1 to the notes.

 

The Working Group received a request from the Trustees of the Wrecclesham Community Centre to waive the second half of the year’s rent given the ongoing closure as a result of Covid-19.

 

C152a/20

It was RESOLVED nem con that:

1. The Investment Strategy 2021/22 at Annex 1 to these Minutes be adopted.

2. The 2020/21 rent for the Wrecclesham Community Centre be waived.

 

Cllr Neale advised that the Working Group considered the grants for 2021/22 detailed at Annex 2.  Cllr Neale reported there had been some discussion about larger grants funded by service level agreements, and it was agreed that these would be reviewed in the forthcoming year. The Town Clerk advised these were revenue grants generally above £2,000.

 

A point of clarification on the grant allocation to Space to Grow was raised. The Town Clerk advised the project funding supported 15 people and Officers considered that it was a reasonable contribution from Town Council’s resources for the benefits that would accrue. The Town Clerk further commented the Council supports Space to Grow in other ways and other applicants included work with Space to Grow.  After discussion, it was agreed to agree the grant proposed but make an additional contribution in-kind from the In Bloom budget.

 

C152b/20

It was RESOLVED nem con that:

1)      The 2021/22 Grants at Annex 2 be approved;

2)      Any pledges for projects not yet confirmed be retained in earmarked reserves;

3)      The Town Clerk allocate funding from the returned grants from 2020/21 to maximise support for the agreed applications; and

4)      A review of the organisations supported by Service Level Agreements be undertaken in 2021.

 

Cllr Neale reported the Working Group considered the appointment of a new Internal Auditor, following an external tender process.

 

C152c/20

It was RESOLVED nem con that:

Mike Platten of Farsight Consulting be appointed as Internal Auditor for an initial period of three years.

 

Cllr Neale reported on the Risk Management Report at Appendix 3, which was reviewed annually. Each year, the Council reviews a range of risks affecting the organisation in each of the service areas and as a corporate body.

 

C152d/20

It was RESOLVED nem con that:

1)      The Risk Management report for 2020/21 be adopted.

2)      The updated Fire Safety, Health & Safety and Environmental Policies be adopted.

 

Cllr Neale advised Standing Orders were reviewed by the Working Group to take account matters that had emerged from remote meetings.

 

Consideration was also given to the structure of the Working  ...  view the full minutes text for item C152/20

C153/20

Planning and Licensing Applications pdf icon PDF 319 KB

To receive the minutes of the Planning & Licensing Consultative Group meetings held on 1st and 15th February and 1st March 2021  at Appendices F, G, and H.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Cllr Edmonds introduced the notes of the Planning & Licensing consultative Group at Appendixes F, G and H. 

 

Cllr Edmonds highlighted a long-standing issue regarding the effectiveness of Waverley Borough Council’s planning website. He advised Councillors and Officers spent a significant amount of time trying to access and download planning documents. Relating to this, information had been requested on the design and performance of the website, its level of reliability and the page download speed.

 

Councillors had highlighted the issues with Waverly Borough Council on several occasions and contrasted the performance of Waverley’s website with that of neighbouring authorities which did much better.

 

Cllr Edmonds also highlighted the difficulties Farnham Town Council’s Planning Officer experienced reporting the Council’s concerns and observations.  Councillors commended Jenny de Quervain for her perseverance, commitment and knowledge and valuable contribution to the Consultative Group.

 

It was RESOLVED nem con that:

The Town Clerk write a letter to Waverley Borough Council expressing these concerns.

 

C154/20

Actions taken under the Scheme of Delegation

Minutes:

Actions were discussed in the earlier part of the agenda.

C155/20

Reports from Other Councils

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

 

Minutes:

Cllr Ward reported the Boundary Commission are reviewing Waverley. The Borough Council had a compromise figure of 50 Councillors, a reduction of 7, although there had been a wide division of views. 

C156/20

Reports from Outside Bodies

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

 

Minutes:

Cllr Cockburn reported the robustness of Farnham Neighbourhood Plan was being challenged by a Developer at the Appeal of Lower Weybourne Lane. The decision was pivotal in terms of the Plan’s ability to defend other sites in the Town. 

 

Cllr Cockburn reported on the work of the Biodiversity Action Plan Group which had now drafted a Biodiversity Action Plan that, when finalised, would go forward as Farnham’s Policy Statement.

 

Cllr Cockburn commented there was a problem of anti-social behaviour at Langham’s in terms of broken glass and dangerous litter which is part of a wider issue in the Town Council’s green spaces.  

C157/20

Date of Next Meeting

To note the date of the next meeting as Thursday 29th April 2021.  Also to note that Mayor Making may move from Thursday 13th to Thursday 20th May assuming Step 3 of the Covid-19 Roadmap progresses as hoped to allow for a physical rather than virtual ceremony to take place.

 

Minutes:

The Mayor proposed and Cllr Earwaker seconded that the meeting be adjourned to Wednesday 17th March 2021 at 6.30pm. This was agreed nem con.

 

The date of the next scheduled meeting was agreed as Thursday 29th April 2021 at 6.30pm.