Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday 17th March, 2022 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

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

Items
No. Item

C110/20

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Dunsmore, Ward and Edmonds.

 

Councillors Cockburn, Merryweather and Mirylees attended remotely

C111/20

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, Hesse, Macleod, Martin, Merryweather, Mirylees, Neale, Ward and Wicks.

(ii)        The following councillors have made a general non-pecuniary interest declaration in relation to being a councillor of Surrey County Council: Cllr MacLeod and Cllr Martin.

(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:

Other than what was noted on the agenda there were no disclosures prior to the meeting.

 

In terms of item 8ii Paragraph 5, point 6, Cllr Sally Dickson indicated during the meeting that she had a pecuniary interest and she would not take part in the this matter as an organiser of the Farnham Fringe Festival.

 

C112/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 199 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the Farnham Town Council meeting held on 27th January at Appendix A.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 27th January 2022 were agreed for the signature of the Mayor.

 

C113/20

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:

Mr Mark Stinson asked about the Runfold recreation ground and improving the facilities which were looking tired and under-maintained. Cllr Martin advised that the Crooksbury Residents’ Association was looking into it and there may be a possibility of CIL funding. It was not clear whether or not it lay within the Waverley Boundary (possibly Guildford) but the Town Clerk would clarify with Waverley Borough Council. 

 

A further question was put forward regarding the white lines on the road of the Sands junction where there had been a recent accident which could have been avoided. Cllr MacLeod offered to take this up with Surrey County Council Highways as it was part of his ward.

C114/20

Town Mayor's Announcements

To receive the Town Mayor’s announcements.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that it had been a very busy time since the last Council meeting. A reminder was given regarding COVID and to take precautions. Numbers in Waverley were again increasing and it was important that everyone still took the advice and encourage having the booster vaccination.

 

In terms of the Ukraine situation, the Mayor advised that the Council was being very active in supporting the welcome for refugees to the town. This would be discussed further on the agenda.

 

The inaugural first literacy festival had taken place and had been very successful. Congratulations and thanks were given to all that were involved in its organisation.

 

The Mayor was pleased to announce that Farnham in Bloom chosen as finalists in RHS Britain in Bloom and would be representing the South East in the Large Town Category. The Mayor announced that 40 trees were planted by the community at the Riverside opposite Hatch Mill on a special tree planting day for the Queen’s Green Canopy on the 70th day of the 70th year of her reign. A list of all those involved was being included in a book of the national planting project.

C115/20

Questions by Members

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

Minutes:

There were no questions from Members

C116/20

Ukraine

To consider endorsing the statement by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) condemning the multiple attacks and violations of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.  This statement has already been endorsed by the National Association of Local Councils and the Local Government Association.

 

“We, local and regional leaders across Europe, strongly condemn the multiple attacks and violations of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We express our full support and solidarity to the Ukrainian people and our peers in local and regional government. We will not accept that our European values and integrity be attacked again by the Russian Federation after the violation of Georgian territories by Russia in 2008. We are firmly opposed to the dismemberment of a free and democratic state in Europe.

The escalation of violence, repeated bombings and attacks on Ukrainian cities and territories are a serious threat to the preservation of peace and democracy across Europe. We call on the Federation of Russia to cease its attack, to leave the national territory of Ukraine, to respect all international treaties and fundamental principles of international law and to recognise the full sovereignty of Ukraine over all its territories, including Donbas and Crimea.

Firmly convinced of local democracy and city diplomacy, based on the values of peace that unite our municipalities across Europe since 1951, we stand by the Ukrainian municipalities, cities, hromadas, districts, raions and their representative associations. They are in the front line to protect the population and provide basic services to offer them good quality living conditions and daily survival. The destruction of infrastructure by the belligerents jeopardises the efficient and safe maintenance of basic public services provided by Ukrainian local and regional governments to their citizens.

As European local and regional governments, representing 60 national associations across 40 European countries, including Ukraine, we will continue to work to support them in their efforts. Not only are we ready to support our peers in the country with the materials and expertise they may need in the days and weeks to come. Municipalities and regions will probably have to face soon the human consequences of such a tragedy for Europe, probably resulting in a flow of humanitarian refugees. Coordination with our national governments will be essential.“

Minutes:

Council received a statement by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) condemning the multiple attacks and violations of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. The statement, outlined in the agenda papers, had already been endorsed by the National Association of Local Councils and the Local Government Association.

 

It was noted that a lot had already been done from the community and Members were asked that if they had any associations with charities to make contact. The Town Council was doing a lot already and the response from the community had been brilliant. There were already 30 families that would be coming to the town and they would be made most welcome to the community. There would be some people coming with skills to work from home remotely. 

 

It was noted that the Rotary Club was taking donations and that there would be a Farnham Connects meeting to share information with other community groups..

 

It was proposed by Cllr John Neale, seconded by Cllr Pat Evans andRESOLVED nem con that the statement be supported.

 

C117/20

Working Group Notes pdf icon PDF 106 KB

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

i)            Community Enhancement held on 3rd March 2022                                                  Appendix B

ii)           Strategy and Finance held on 8th March 2022  Appendix C

Additional documents:

Minutes:

i)                 Community Enhancement – 3rd March 2022

 

Cllr Sally Dickson introduced the report to Council from the Community Enhancement Working Group which had taken place on 3rd March 2022. It was positive news regarding the Farnham in Bloom Launch and the tree planting day. It was an honour to be chosen again as finalists in RHS Britain in Bloom for the South East Region. The Working Group would be looking at possibly changing the route to show out-of-town projects/initiatives moving forward.

 

ii)               Strategy and Finance – 8th March 2022

Cllr John Neale introduced the report to Council of the meeting of 8th March 2022.

 

In terms of contracts and assets a number of recommendations were made. These were noted in the minutes of the meeting but to summarise the main points: It was proposed to switch to a modern combined radio/smart phone with a dedicated app to ease the flow of information and increase safety when working alone. This would be beneficial for the management of the outside workforce and at a reasonable cost over two years.

 

The Working Group had reviewed options for replacement grass cutting machines and there were options for battery powered alternatives but these were disproportionately costly. A like-for-like replacement was considered the best alternative until costs for battery operated machines lessened.

 

Other recommendations were supported but it was noted that they were waiting for assurance from the insurers regarding the use of personal equipment to confirm whether the use of personal equipment by the outside workforce was permitted and to ensure that the Council was covered for any risk. The Council would want to inspect and service any machinery if permitted to be used on an ad-hoc basis.

 

Council noted the Working Group would be revisiting the options for solar panels. Cllr Paula Dunsmore was also working  with officers on options for the remodeling of the Hale Chapels into a Community Garden.

 

In terms of the review of Council Policies, the Model Code of Conduct developed by the Local Government Association in discussion with NALC was considered. It had been adopted by Waverley Borough Council and it was proposed that it be adopted by the Town Council with changes relating to referring issues to the Town Clerk rather than the Monitoring Officer for Town Council matters. The Town Clerk would be arranging a training session tailored for Town and Parish Councillors in due course.

 

Detailed debate on the Farnham Infrastructure Programme (FIP) would be taken in exempt session. In summary, Surrey County Council had prepared  sifted options detailed in the exempt papers. Councillors wanted to ensure that there was appropriate consultation on the options before  finalizing the any option that was taken forward. It was noted a meeting outlining the options had only taken place the proceeding day and a paper tabled (and circulated by email) for consideration.

 

Council was presented with some potential signage for the 20mph zone in Castle Street, although the quality of what was shared was poor.  ...  view the full minutes text for item C117/20

C118/20

Planning and Licensing Applications pdf icon PDF 267 KB

To receive the minutes of the Planning & Licensing Consultative Group meetings held on 7th and 21st February and 7th March at Appendices D, E, and F.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr ‘Scotty’ Fraser introduced the report and the Minutes of the meetings of the Planning and Licensing Consultative Group held on 7th and 21st February and 7th March. There had had been around 151 applications considered with 10 being controversial and 34 needing more detailed review.

 

Council noted there continued to be issues with the Waverley Planning Portal to access information and that there was also not enough time from receiving applications to comment on them adequately. Council noted that without the Local Plan Part 2 being agreed the Town continued to be at risk.

 

C119/20

Actions taken under the Scheme of Delegation

To receive details of any matters exercised under the scheme of delegation, including the implementation of the National Pay Award effective from 1st April 2021, as reported in the Strategy & Finance Working Group, and the award of a contract for the Craft Town Trail App to AT Creative funded by the Welcome Back Fund.

Minutes:

There were no actions to report.

C120/20

Reports from Other Councils

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

 

Minutes:

i)                  Cllr MacLeod advised that following a recent OFSTED inspection SCC Children & Families service was no longer ‘in Intervention’.  He also advised that SCC Members were concerned about removing highways matters from the Local Committee and were making representations.

 

ii)                 Cllr Cockburn advised that there had been a recent presentation at Waverley Borough Council on the AONB review. Of particular note was the positive response to the suggestion of joining the areas from Tice’s Meadow, Frensham, Dockenfield and Rowledge to the National Park. Further information was awaited.

 

iii)               Cllr Cockburn advised that the Farnham Design Statement had been with Waverley since October and a meeting was planned to get a response on any changes needed.

 

C121/20

Reports from Outside Bodies

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

 

Minutes:

Cllr Cockburn advised she had attended a webinar arranged by Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) regarding updating neighborhood plans using Design Codes. She would bring any further information to the next Strategy and Finance meeting.

 

C122/20

Date of Next Meeting

To note the date of the next meeting of Council as being 28th April 2022 at 7pm.

To note the date of the Annual Town Meeting of Electors as 31st March 2022.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was agreed as 28th April 2022 at 7pm. The date of the Annual Town Meeting of Electors was noted as being 31st March 2022.

 

C123/20

Exclusion of the Press and Public

TO PASS A RESOLUTION to exclude members of the public and press from the meeting at Part 3 of the agenda (if required) in view of any confidential items under discussion.

Minutes:

At 10.05pm, it was agreed for the meeting to be adjourned to hold the Meeting of the South Street Trust. 

 

The meeting reconvened at 10.10pm to continue with the agenda in exempt session. This was to discuss matters regarding the Farnham Infrastructure Programme options prepared by consultants working for Surrey CC that were still in draft.  

 

Council RESOLVED, with two abstentions,  to propose to the programme team that a link between Castle Street and the Upper Hart Car Park be included in the second option.

 

C124/20

Any confidential matters (if required) arising from discussions of the Working Group notes.

Minutes:

Council reconvened at 10.10pm. Councillors Wicks, Evans and Cockburn had left at this point.

 

There was a risk of blight hence why they had reconvened in exempt sessions.

 

There were complex changes to roads proposed. The proposed changes to the gyratory at phase two were feasible although some concern was raised regarding the number of students and increase in traffic.

 

Phase 3 which was full pedestrianisation was an aspiration and there was both positive and negative feelings towards closing off the roads. There would be further discussion with local businesses.

 

It was proposed by Cllr Beaman and seconded by Cllr Dickson to RESOLVE that the Upper Hart Link proposal be moved to phase two. Councillors Neale and Attfield abstained from the vote.