Agenda and draft minutes

Council
Thursday 4th August, 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 - Farnham Town Hall. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

C27/22

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs Hesse, Martin and Merryweather.

C28/22

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 councillors have made a general non-pecuniary interest declaration in relation to being councillors of Surrey County Council: Cllr Macleod and Cllr Martin; and

(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.

C29/22

Minutes pdf icon PDF 201 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the Farnham Town Council meeting held on June 23rd at Appendix A.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on June 23rd were agreed as a correct record for the signature of the Mayor.

C30/22

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:

There were no questions from members of the public.

C31/22

Town Mayor's Announcements

To receive the Town Mayor’s announcements.

Minutes:

The Mayor announced he had attended the National Association of Local Councils Annual Parliamentary Reception in the House of Lords.  Farnham was invited as being the Council of the Year and it was a useful opportunity to help raise the profile of all the good things happening in Farnham.  He reaffirmed his thanks to the community, staff and councillors for their contribution.

 

The Mayor said he was delighted to announce that Farnham had been re-awarded its Green Flag for Gostrey Meadow which was a good indication that things were progressing well in the Management Plan for Gostrey Meadow.

 

The Mayor had been pleased to be part of the team hosting the Britain in Bloom judges.  Farnham was second on the list of the eight towns the judges were visiting, and Farnham’s volunteers, as always, did a fantastic job.  The judges were very positive in their comments but there was now a wait until October to hear Farnham’s result.

 

The Mayor advised Council that 24th August was the National Day of Ukraine and Farnham’s community of visitors from Ukraine was hosting a family afternoon and evening of activities with a focus on Ukrainian cooking.

 

 

C32/22

Questions by Members

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

 

Question from Cllr Edmonds:

“Why are work group meetings held during the normal working day as this is a barrier to councillor diversity? Such scheduling makes it difficult or even impractical for the employed and perhaps other groups to attend workgroup meetings?”

 

Answer from the Town Clerk

 

“The hours of Working Groups and Task Groups are determined at the first Working Group/Task Group of the year.  This is set out when Members opt for which groups they wish to serve on during the year.  In practice, most members have adjusted their diaries to allow for meetings first thing or at the end of the day although it is recognised that this can cause a difficulty for some.  In practice there are also challenges in terms of availability of councillors when meetings take place in the evening especially when councillors are representatives on more than one council and also have evening meeting commitments (examples of this are the Overview and Scrutiny or planning meetings at the District Council).

 

When Councillors are on a specific Group and have had difficulties because of work commitments officers do try to find the optimum time as the aim is that Working/Task Group meetings are arranged at a time that provides the best result for the organisation. 

 

It should be recognised that if all the meetings are all held in the evening, then there could well be a staffing impact since staff would be working in excess of their working week without taking compensatory time off during the day.  If time is taken off during the working day, there is inevitable inefficiency as the staff members will not be able to progress matters with colleagues or external partners. In addition, when offered a choice of meeting times, partner organisations have more often than not requested a day time meeting because of other conflicts.”

 

 

Minutes:

 

 

Although Cllr Edmonds was not present, he had asked the following question:

“Why are work group meetings held during the normal working day as this is a barrier to councillor diversity? Such scheduling makes it difficult or even impractical for the employed and perhaps other groups to attend workgroup meetings?”

 

In response, the Town Clerk advised that the meeting times of Working Groups and Task Groups were determined at the first Working Group/Task Group of the year.  This is set out when Members opt for which groups they wish to serve on during the year.  In practice, most members adjusted their diaries to allow for meetings first thing or at the end of the day although it is recognised that this can cause a difficulty for some.  In practice there were also challenges in terms of availability of councillors when meetings take place in the evening especially when councillors were representatives on more than one council and also had evening meeting commitments (examples of this were the Overview and Scrutiny or planning meetings at the District Council).

 

When Councillors on a specific Group had difficulties because of work commitments officers do try to find the optimum time as the aim is that Working/Task Group meetings are arranged at a time that provides the best result for the organisation. 

 

It should be recognised that if all the meetings were held in the evening, then there could well be a staffing impact since staff would be working in excess of their working week without taking compensatory time off during the day.  If time was taken off during the working day, there would inevitable be inefficiencies as the staff members would not be able to progress matters with colleagues or external partners. In addition, when offered a choice of meeting times, partner organisations had more often than not requested a day time meeting because of other conflicts.

 

 

C33/22

Working Group Notes pdf icon PDF 211 KB

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

i)             Tourism and Events held on 13th July 2022                                      Appendix B

ii)            Strategy and Finance held on 26th July 2022                                        Appendix C

2)                To receive a verbal update on any significant matters from the Community & Enhancement and Cemeteries and Appeals Working Groups

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

C33/1   Tourism and Events Working Group

 

Cllr Mirylees introduced the notes of the Tourism and Events Working Group held on 13th July at Appendix B to the agenda.

 

She reported that Helen Lewis has been appointed as the new Craft Co-ordinator, and that the Literary Festival arrangements for 2023 were underway. With Sue Keogh continuing as co-ordinator.

 

Council noted progress made on the 2022 events which had been very successful, including the Jubilee Big Lunch and the Sustainability Festival.  It was noted that Farnham Community Farm had requested a mid-June date for 2023 and this had been agreed.  The West Street Markets had continued to be popular with both ACVR events and the Ethical Vegan market performing well and requesting additional dates for 2023.  This was agreed subject to having one event a month.

 

Council noted the full programme for the rest of the year and that matched funding for the Snow Windows from Waverley Borough Council was being sought to enable the programme to continue again at a subsidy for participating businesses.

 

Council noted the progress on the Business Improvement District and the new Business-led committee that had been formed working with consultants MOSAIC.

 

Cllr Mirylees advised that a request for staff support for the Fringe Festival had been requested, and that whilst a grant had been agreed by Council, there was insufficient capacity to provide further FTC staff support for the event which took place at the busiest time of year but assistance in promoting the need for volunteers would be given.

 

Council welcomed the report.

 

C33/2 Strategy & Finance Working Group

 

Cllr Evans introduced the Notes of the Strategy & Finance Working Group held on 26th July at Appendix C to the agenda.  The meeting had covered a lot of ground and had a particular focus on the draft response to the Farnham Infrastructure Programme and a paper drafted by Cllr Beaman which was attached at Annex 1 to Appendix C.

 

A)    Cllr Beaman introduced the recommendations of Strategy & Finance to Council by stating that all councillors shared a united vision to preserve the integrity of Farnham that makes it such a desirable place to live and to improve standards of air quality recognising that “something needs to be done” to resolve the traffic problems that cause congestion in Farnham.

 

He acknowledged that the ultimate desired objective would be the pedestrianisation of Central Farnham but there were clear differences over the speed at which this end objective could be achieved. If there was an easy solution, it would have been identified by now and implemented and councillors needed to be realistic about what could be achieved in the short to medium term.

 

Cllr Beaman said the Farnham Infrastructure Programme (FIP) represented the first time all 3 tiers of local government in Surrey (SCC, WBC and FTC) had worked together with a single focus of improving traffic flow and creating a more attractive town centre environment with consequential benefits to air quality.

 

There was a public consultation  ...  view the full minutes text for item C33/22

C34/22

Planning and Licensing Applications pdf icon PDF 179 KB

To receive the minutes of the Planning & Licensing Consultative Group meetings held on 4th July, 18th July and 1st August at Appendices D, E, and F.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Fraser introduced the Notes of the Planning & Licensing Consultative Group meetings held on 4th and 18th July, and 1st August.  In these three meetings 188 applications were considered.

 

Items of particular note were a re-applications for proposed development in Waverley Lane and on a site called Hawthorns which were not in accordance with the Neighbourhood Plan and was stoutly resisted; a proposal for a 5G mast outside Sainsburys in South Street that was inappropriately located and alternate locations were suggested; and a scoping option for a significant Amazon distribution depot on 32 acres of agricultural land just off the M3.  There was concern about the significant traffic increase if this were to go ahead.

 

Cllr Fraser advised that in the previous seven meetings there were applications for 464 new homes in Farnham, an average of 64 new houses every two weeks.

 

Cllr Fraser advised that two pre-application meetings has been held, one in Monkton Lane and one on land East of Farnham Park.  Cllr Cockburn reminded Council that the latter was on land designated as a Woodland Cemetery and that in the Neighbourhood Plan it had been proposed as extra SANG.

 

Cllr Dickson reference the considerable complaints received from residents about the activities of toob, the fibre broadband provider, about their lack of consultation, poor planning and methods of working.

 

 

C35/22

Actions taken under the Scheme of Delegation

Minutes:

The Town Clerk advised that comments on the Waverley Sustainability Supplementary Planning Document had been submitted.

C36/22

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 Cockburn advised she had met with Waverley officers over the Neighbourhood Plan to discuss the importance of the Neighbourhood Plan and its adopted sites as part of the Development Plan.  She remained concerned as evidenced in a recent report on Hawthorns that this was not fully appreciated.

2)     Cllr Beaman advised Council that two Farnham bus services were up for review (46 and 74) and was concerned about the possible outcome as these were heavily subsidised.

3)     Cllr MacLeod advised that he had raised the issue of the proposed mast in South Street with highways officers and an objection was anticipated on highway grounds.

 

 

 

C37/22

Reports from Outside Bodies

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

 

Minutes:

Cllr Dickson advised that the Farnham Fringe Festival had taken place in July, and was planning for 2023.

C38/22

Date of Next Meeting

To note the date of the next meeting as September 15th 2022.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was agreed as Thursday September 15th 2022 at 7pm.