Agenda and minutes

Council - Thursday 15th December, 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: 

No. Item



To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Dunsmore and Mirylees.



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.



 (i)        The following councillors have made a general non-pecuniary interest declaration in relation to being councillors of Waverley Borough Council: Cllrs Beaman, Cockburn, Dickson, 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 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 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.


There were no disclosures of interest other than those of the double and triple-hatted councillors.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 193 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the Farnham Town Council meeting held on October 20th at Appendix A.


The minutes of the Farnham Town Council meeting held on 20th October 2022 at Appendix A were agreed.



Co-option of a Councillor for the vacant position in the Wrecclesham & Rowledge Ward

Following the resignation of Councillor Edmonds, five candidates have put their names forward to fill the vacant position. 

Mr Stephen Bennett, Mrs Pat Frost, Mr George Murray, Mr Christopher Storey, and Mr Mark Westcott.


Each will be invited to make a three minute presentation which will be followed by questions from Council at the Mayor’s discretion. The order of presentations will be decided prior to the meeting by drawing lots.


There will then be a vote by Council until one candidate has the majority of votes. 



The Town Clerk set out the process for co-option and advised, in the interests of fairness,  that each candidate would be invited into the chamber when it was their turn to present. Each candidate would then be able to stay and listen to the other presentations if they chose to do so. The order of the presentations was decided by a random draw. After each presentation, the Mayor invited 2 questions from councillors for each candidate.


The order of the candidates was: Mrs Pat Frost, Christopher Storey, Stephen Bennet (unable to attend in person but his application was read out by the Mayor), Mark Westcott, and George Murray.


After each candidate had spoken voting took place by ballot with the candidate receiving the fewest votes eliminated until the successful candidate had a majority of those present and voting. 


George Murray was duly elect as Councillor for Wrecclesham and Rowledge, signed his declaration of office, and took his seat for the rest of the meeting.




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.


There were no questions or statements from the public.


Town Mayor's Announcements

To receive the Town Mayor’s announcements.


The Mayor expressed his personal sadness of the passing of Cllr Blishen and described him as a well-respected, hard-working colleague and friend who was dedicated to his local community and sent the Council’s condolences to his wife Ann and his family.


The Mayor announced there had been various events and activities in Farnham to celebrate Armistice Day, with poignant commemorations including the School’s Remembrance event, and the Annual Parade and Service at the War Memorial organised in conjunction with the Farnham Branch of the Royal British Legion and Alder Valley Brass Band. He added how impressed he had been to see so many people and community organisations remembering those who died in the wars.


Farnham had the honour of receiving one of the trees from the Queen’s Jubilee celebration outside Buckingham Palace earlier this year. The Lord Lieutenant helped plant it at Space2grow in recognition of the difference they were making for the Farnham community.


The Mayor went on to highlight the successful start of the Christmas Season which included the Christmas Lights Switch-on in Gostrey Meadow, the 10th Civic Christmas Carol Service with the outstanding Farnham Youth Choir,  and the Farnham Christmas Market.


The Mayor concluded by thanking councillors for the work they did in their wards and the community organisations who always went the extra mile to support those in need and he wished everyone a happy Christmas.


Questions by Members

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


There were no questions from Members.




Working Group and Panel Notes pdf icon PDF 140 KB

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

i)           Community Enhancement held on 16th November 2022                     

 This meeting did not take place and there are no notes for consideration.

ii)         Strategy and Finance held on 8th December 2022                                                    Appendix B

iii)        Farnham Infrastructure Programme – observations for the Board                                               Appendix Bi

iv)        Strategy Day Notes and new Council Structure.                                               Appendix C

iii)      HR Panel           Appendix D


To receive any relevant verbal updates from the Cemeteries and Appeals, Community Enhancement, and Tourism and Events Working Groups.

Additional documents:


i)           Community Enhancement held on 16th November 2022.

This meeting did not take place and there were no notes for consideration.


ii)      Strategy and Finance held on 8th and 13th December 2022.

a)    Cllr Evans introduced the report of the Strategy and Finance Working Group at Appendix B.  The Working Group had considered the 2023-24 budget, which was set out in a detailed report at Appendix E to the Full Council agenda.


b)    Cllr Cockburn commented that the Neighbourhood Plan had been discussed at Strategy and Finance and at the Strategy Day. In terms of the budget, she hoped that any review or work on the Neighbourhood Plan would be considered without expenses, as the plan was out of date.


The Town Clerk confirmed that he and Rachel Aves had a very positive meeting with place with officers from Waverley. It was confirmed that Waverley was taking legal advice on a review of the Plan engaging paragraph 14 of the NPPF.  Local Plan Part 2 was expected to be adopted in March, but the Waverley Executive were considering whether to do a review of Local Plan Part 1.  Cllr Cockburn advised that whilst it had to consider the review it did not have to change it, and if it did the Neighbourhood Plan would be out of date and Farnham would have to start again.


It was noted consultation on the Neighbourhood Plan review had already started with Statutory stakeholders and would continue once it was clear what the best direction to was to bring back the five-year protection.  It was noted the NPPF proposed changes could be beneficial.


It was agreed that the Secretary of State be requested to ‘recover’ the recent Hawthorn’s appeal given the haste with which the Inquiry took place and the anticipated NPPF changes.


c)    It was noted that Landform Limited had been granted the contract for the renovation of the Hale Chapels at a cost of £164,473 further to Council delegating the decision to the Town Clerk in October.  The Strategy & Finance Working Group had endorsed the decision who had considerable experience in awad-winning heritage and landscaping projects. It was hoped the result would be an award-winning garden for which the community would be proud.


It was AGREED nem con that:

1.     The position regarding options to review and update the Neighbourhood Plan be noted;

2.     A formal request for the Secretary of State to recover the Hawthorns appeal in light of the anticipated changes to the NPPF be made; and

3.     The Hale Chapels Community Garden Project work be completed and managed by Landform at a cost of £164,773.


d)      Farnham Infrastructure Programme

       Cllr Beaman was thanked for his draft report summarising the papers for the Farnham Infrastructure Programme Board Meeting being held on 16th December. And for all the work he had been doing. Cllr Beaman confirmed that a list of recommendations set out at Appendix Bi to the Council Agenda and proposed amendments had been completed  ...  view the full minutes text for item C74/22


Budget 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To agree the draft budget for 2023-24 at Appendix E.

Additional documents:


Cllr Evans introduced the 2023/24 budget report at Appendix E.  She advised Council that this had been a very thorough consideration lasting over two hours.   It was noted that the priorities as discussed at the Strategy Day had been reflected in the budget.


Cllr Ward raised a query in relation to an increase in staffing and agency costs and it was agreed that the Town Clerk would clarify the detail and follow this up after the meeting.


Council noted the significant pressures on the budget with inflation running at a 40 year high (11.1% RPI in October and 14.2% CPI) and not expected to get back to the Bank of England target rate for two years. It was noted that this was a cautious budget and a number of areas such as energy costs were very uncertain, but it was clear price inflation was significant.


It was RESOLVED nem con to set the 2023-24 budget at £1,643,750.



Planning and Licensing Applications pdf icon PDF 113 KB

To receive the minutes of the Planning & Licensing Consultative Group meetings held on    31st October, 14th and 28th November and 12th December at Appendices F, G, H and I

Additional documents:


Cllr Fraser advised that the Planning and Licensing Consultative Group had met four times, on 31st October, 14th and 28th November, and 12th December. The minutes of the meetings were noted, and Cllr Fraser drew attention to a number of specific points highlighting there had been 115 applications in total, and that the 56 new homes proposed for Bindon House had been recommended for refusal as not in the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan.  The decision by Waverley to demolish 17 Frensham Road, built without Planning Permission, was welcomed.


Cllr Cockburn advised that the appeal for Waverley Lane was coming up and said that it was important that the Secretary of State be asked to recover the Hawthorns appeal.



Actions taken under the Scheme of Delegation

To receive details of actions under the scheme of delegation not previously reported.


There were no actions to report other than those noted elsewhere in the minutes.


Reports from Other Councils

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



Cllr MacLeod advised that Surrey County Council was reducing the Your Fund Surrey capital sum from £100m to £60m.


He also advised that there was a lot of work on Climate Change being progressed which was to be welcomed.



Reports from Outside Bodies

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



i)               Cllr Cockburn gave an update from the Farnham Sports Council. She said that following the success of the Loneliness Project, Mental Health in Sport was being launched, to get people back into sports.

ii)             Cllr Dickson said that the Fringe Festival committee had been able to recruit enough team members and there would not be a festival in the coming year due to the current economic climate.

iii)            Cllr Ward gave an update on the vandalised Farnham in Bloom ceramic plaque in need of repair. He advised that he has contacted the Repair Shop but thought it was unlikely they would be able to assist and was puruing other options. 



Date of Next Meeting

To note the date of the next meeting as Thursday 26th January 2023.


The date for next council meeting was agreed as Thursday 26th January 2023.