Agenda and minutes

Council - Thursday 26th October, 2023 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

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No. Item



To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies were received from Cllr Merryweather.


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 David Beaman, George Murray, Tony Fairclough, George Hesse, Andrew Laughton, Mark Merryweather, Kika Mirylees,          John Ward, and Graham White.

(iii)        The following councillor has made a general non-pecuniary interest declaration in relation to being a councillor of Surrey County Council: Cllr Michaela Martin;

(iv)        Members are requested to make any 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.


Cllr Fairclough declared a pecuniary interest as Waverley Portfolio for Brightwells in relation to agenda item 7 iii.




The Minutes of the meeting held on 14th September were agreed.


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.


Mr Andrew Walker, of the Farnham Croquet Club made a presentation on the concept of a community sports hub on Gostrey Meadow on the land around where the bowling green used to be.


In response, the Mayor said the suggestions would be included in the thinking about Gostrey Meadow by the Assets Task Group and discussed by Council in due course once the response to the pre-planning consultation advice had been received from Waverley.  He also advised that part of the area identified had been rewilded with a dead hedge and wildflower planting, to make a positive and beneficial impact for pollinators and biodiversity.



Town Mayor's Announcements

To receive the Town Mayor’s announcements.


The Mayor reported that Craft month was progressing well with over 100 events taking place, forty of which were free to attend.  He hoped to attend as many as possible.


The Mayor advised that the Venison Dinner was taking place on 10th November in the Bush Hotel with tickets still available.


The Mayor said that plans for the Remembrance procession and services on 12th November were well underway and encourage people to attend.


The Mayor was delighted to announce the success of Farnham in South and South East in Bloom awards in 2023 with five best in Category and 9 golds.  He was also pleased to thank all the community winners at the local awards ceremony held at the Squires Garden Centre in Badshot Lea.


Questions by Members

To consider the question submitted by Cllr Dickson in accordance with Standing Order 9.


I would like to welcome the start of the new academic year and welcome the return of UCA students who add joy, colour and vitality to our community.


In the light of this, please could you give an update on the plans and timeline for the new Farnham Neighbourhood Plan. In particular, could you give an update on conversations with UCA and plans for much needed expansion of student accommodation.”





Cllr Dickson asked the following Question  in accordance with Standing Order 9.


I would like to welcome the start of the new academic year and welcome the return of UCA students who add joy, colour and vitality to our community.


In the light of this, please could you give an update on the plans and timeline for the new Farnham Neighbourhood Plan. In particular, could you give an update on conversations with UCA and plans for much needed expansion of student accommodation.”


The Mayor replied that a meeting had been arranged with local community groups for November 23rd when the approach to the Neighbourhood Plan Update/Review and next steps would be considered.


He also reported that a meeting between some of the senior management team of UCA and the Lead Members of FTC Working Groups and the Town Clerk was taking place in mid November.  He further advised, noting that the UCA would be a key stakeholder in the review of the Neighbourhood Plan, that FTC would expect to engage with UCA specifically on student accommodation needs as part of that review.


Environment Working Group pdf icon PDF 168 KB

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

i)           Environment held on 27th September 2023                     Appendix B

ii)         Community held on 11th October 2023                         Appendix C

iii)        Strategy and Resources held on 17th October 2023        Appendix D


Additional documents:


Cllr Brown introduced the Notes of the Environment Working Group at Appendix B to the agenda. The Working group had received a presentation from Dr John Lewis on Plastic Free Farnham and work done by officers to date in reducing plastic use was noted.


There had also been an excellent presentation by Carolyn McKenzie, the Director of Environment at Surrey County Council who had mentioned how well Farnham had been doing in addressing climate issues.  The Working Group had reviewed two ‘mind maps’ which set out activities undertaken so far and where further progress could be made.


On a proposal to Council it was RESOLVED nem con that

1)    A Town Climate Action plan be prepared

2)    A Task Group for Climate Change be appointed. 

It was agreed that Cllrs Brown, Hesse, White and Woodhouse form the core members and noted that external participants would be included as required.


Cllr White reported that he had had a meeting with Jen Smallwood of Carbon Zero Guildford about the idea of a climate change network and other matters.  These would be discussed at the Task Group.


ii) Cllr Brown advised the Working Group had received a report on parks and open spaces and had made a recommendation to Council that two tree stumps and a log be carved with suitable environmental images.  The Business and Facilities Manager advised Council that the cost for removing the trees and stumps would cost in the region of £5,000 and, after discussion, it was RESOLVED (with one abstention) that tree carvings in West Street Cemetery and Gostrey Meadow be undertaken at a cost of no more than £8,000, with the costs split between the Gostrey Meadow and Cemeteries budgets.


iii) Cllr Brown reported that he had attended the South and South East in Bloom Awards ceremony which had been excellent.  Farnham had been up against a lot of competition but performed brilliantly with awards for biodiversity climate change and sustainability as well as the nine golds and five best in category awards.  Council noted the revamped Community Group and ideas for 2024 which were emerging.  Council also noted the work programme for the cemeteries and that the annual invoices for allotments were being sent.


iv) In terms of Street furniture, Cllr Brown advised of the scheme for vinyl wrapping to prolong  the life of the bus stops.  Cllr Dickson reported that the litter bins in Alma Lane were not closed in and were emptied by foxes.  It was agreed to raise this with Waverley Borough Council.  Council noted the problem with litter bins in general and that there were many occasions when the barrow man was not to be found in town.  After discussion on the importance of this service which Farnham Town Council had previously indicated an interest in taking on it was proposed by Cllr Woodhouse, Seconded by Cllr Dickson and RESOLVED unanimously that Farnham Town Council bids to take on the barrow-man service under contract from Waverley.


v) Council noted the proposed new  ...  view the full minutes text for item C71/23


Community Working Group


Cllr Mirylees introduced the Notes of the Community Working Group held on 11th October, attached at Appendix C.


1        Events

i)            Council noted that the Music in the Meadow format would continue in 2024 and a greater variety of stalls was being sought for the West Street markets.  Cllr Mirylees advised the Gin and Fizz Festival in Badshot Lea had worked well on a limited level and the Food Festival had been very successful.  It was suggested that a review of the flow of people in the market could be considered to ease congestion. Council also noted that  stallholders were encouraged to use compostable plates,cups, glasses and utensils.


ii)          Council noted the Craft Month was progressing well and a residency for Irish glassmaker Fiona Byrne was being finalised, with support from the South Street Trust.


iii)         Cllr Mirylees advised two keynote names had been secured for the 2024 Literary Festival subject to other commitments, and the programme was shaping up well.


iv)         Council noted that the BID team was positive about the outcome of the vote of businesses which would be announced on 1st November.  Cllr Murray advised there were a number of new hospitality businesses in town which could potentially become involved as new sponsors of the events programme.


v)          Council noted there was no support for Snow Windows from Waverley this year but there would be free parking for one day in December.  It was agreed that FTC would provide a link for businesses that would like to continue with the snow windows.


2        Younger People Task Group

i)            Cllr Jackman advised the next Younger People Task Group would be in mid November, and gave an update on things that had been happening.  A meeting had taken place with Norma Corkish about future direction of support for young people through the Task Group.  It was noted there was no single database of activities across the town that are taking place in schools, youth centres and uniformed groups. The next Task Group would look at whether an umbrella organisation could keep this information in one place. 


ii)          One of the main issues for all groups is one of funding.  The Hale Community Centre had a couple of years of lottery funding left. Cllr Jackman advised options for a new community lottery are being explored and options would be discussed further at the next Task Group. 


iii)         Cllr Jackman updated Council on the mentoring programme at Heath End School led by the Revd Alan Crawley. It had positively helped 22 young people in last year and consideration was needed on continuing the initiative when Alan and Lesley Crawley retired in March.


iv)         Cllr Jackman had attended the Sandy Hill Partnership meeting with representatives from a range of statutory and community organisations. Their focus was on getting Sandy Hill and the wider community better connected.


v)          Ward members were asked to contact young people groups operating within their wards to get an understanding of what was taking place and  ...  view the full minutes text for item C71/23a


Strategy & Resources Working Group


Cllr White introduced the Notes of the Strategy & Resources Working Group held on 17th October at Appendix D to the agenda.  It had been a long meeting but this reflected the amount of business being considered.


I           Finances          

i)          Council noted the six-month finance reports had been considered in detail and in the Notes were answers to a series of questions particularly around income.  Council noted some areas such as sponsorship and ticket sales were below expectation, others such as interest and dividends were significantly above budget as a result of rising interest rates.  Overall expenditure was running at 46% whilst income (once the second tranche of the precept was included was at 95%.


ii)         Council received the External Auditors unqualified audit and audit letter, at Annex 1 to Appendix D, following the completion of the 2022-23 accounts and the Annual Governance and Accountability Return review by PKF Littlejohn LLP. 

            It was RESOLVED unanimously to welcome the Unqualified Audit for the 2022-23 Accounts.           


iii)        The Working Group had considered a request for an additional grant for Space2grow towards its parenting classes. Exceptionally it was agreed to recommend that this grant be approved and that Space2grow be added to the list of organisations supported with a Service Level Agreement

It was RESOLVED unanimously that

a)     a grant of £2,000 be made to the Talking teens parenting classes with the funding to be met from the Younger People’s budget; and

b)     Space2grow be added to the organisations in receipt of a Service Level Agreement grant for the work carried out by them.


iv)        Council noted the position with the Christmas Lights and that a tender for the 2014 scheme would take place in 2023.  The scheme had lasted well but failing elements were renewed annually.  Any additional investment for replacements this year would be separately identified for retention and could be used in other parts of the town.  Council noted the outturn in 2022-23 was nearer to £80,000 and discussions were taking place to minimise any extra costs in 2023.


v)         Council considered the issue of two Lombardy poplars which had had detailed resistograph tests and were shown to be over mature and failing. In order to minimise risk it was RESOLVED unanimously that the remaining lombardy poplar in Gostrey Meadow and the lombardy poplar in Haren Gardens be removed and replacement trees be planted nearby.


vi)        Cllr White advised that the approved contractor (Jacksons) had visited Wrecclesham Community Centre prior to installing the new fence and advised that the end of the fence was tied into a retaining wall and required additional work which, with material increases, would increase the costs to over £7,000.

It was RESOLVED unanimously that the revised quotation by Jackson’s fencing be approved.


2          Farnham Infrastructure Programme

i)          Cllr Beaman provided an update on the Farnham Infrastructure Programme.  He reported that it was now a very difficult stage with the Infrastructure Programme and he was preparing a briefing note ahead of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item C71/23b


Planning and Licensing Applications pdf icon PDF 227 KB

To receive the minutes of the Planning & Licensing Consultative Group meetings held on 18th September, 2nd October and 16th October at Appendices E, F, and G.

Additional documents:


Cllr Laughton introduced the notes of the Planning & Licensing Consultative Group at Appendices E, F and G to the agenda.  He said there had been a number of requests for solar pv panels which was a good sign.  There was a speculative application for seven dwellings in Frensham Vale. There had also been a high number of tree applications which were welcome. 


Cllr Laughton advised that the Inspector’s decision for 56 homes at Monkton Lane was awaited.


Actions taken under the Scheme of Delegation

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


The Town Clerk advised there were no actions under the scheme of delegation to raise that had not already been reported.


Reports from Other Councils

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



1                Cllr Beaman reported, endorsed by other councillors, that the Surrey Connects on-demand bus service run by Hoppa was excellent and deserved much more publicity.  He advised that the service ran 7am to 7pm weekdays and cost £2 but free for concessions.

2                Cllr Mirylees said that the Willmer House work was commencing and a digital investigation would take place in November.


Reports from Outside Bodies

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



1          Cllr White reported that he had attended the 40 Degreez AGM with Cllr Mirylees.  He advised that Waverley were considering repurposing the building and that 40 Degreez were looking to get a fundraiser on board and were seeking new volunteers.  Cllr White said he felt this was something FTC should review to see how it could assist.

2          Cllr Hesse reported that the Farnborough Airspace Consultation was underway and that the Farnborough Noise Group had held a public meeting.  At the meeting a number of statistics had been shared outlining that 40% of the flights were empty and that 95% of the destinations were served by commercial airlines.  The proposal was to increase flights from 50,000 to 75, 000 but there were currently 33,000 flights but a doubling of weekend flights from 8,900 to 18,900 was proposed along with an increase in hours of operation to 8pm.  It was noted that there were only seven flights in the last hour so an increase should not be required.  Council noted that the proposed flightpath was narrower creating a bigger problem of noise and emissions for those under it.

3          Cllr Murray reported on the Plastic Free Farnham Group which was keen to promote the demise of single use plastics. He advised Council of the work being done in Frome and the success of the Green and Healthy Frome partnership that had won £1.7m funding from the National lottery to spend on climate change and wellbeing.

4          Cllr Jackman advised that he and Cllr Woodhouse had met with the Farnham Biodiversity Partnership who were keen to be part of the Neighbourhood Plan Review.


Date of Next Meeting

To agree the date of the next meeting as 14th December 2023.


The date of the next meeting was agreed as Thursday 14th December at 7pm.