Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday 28th October, 2021 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

C60/20

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs Attfield, Edmonds, Fraser, Hesse and Wicks.

C61/20

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:

Apart from dual and triple hatted councillors in relation to their roles as councillors at Waverley and Surrey, the following made specific declarations of interest and took no part in discussion on the specific items:

Cllr Mark Merryweather as Portfolio holder for Assets at Waverley Borough Council (re Hale Recreation Ground and Farnham Museum);

Cllr David Beaman, as Trustee of Hale Recreation Ground Committee;

Cllr Kika Mirylees as Portfolio holder for Culture at WBC in relation to Farnham Museum.

C62/20

Minutes pdf icon PDF 237 KB

To sign as a correct record the minutes of the Farnham Town Council meeting held on 16th September (Appendix A).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 16th September were agreed for the signature of the Mayor.

C63/20

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:

There were no questions or statements from the public.

C64/20

Town Mayor's Announcements

To receive the Town Mayor’s announcements.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that he had attended the inaugural meeting of the Surrey Association of Local Councils after it had been relaunched after the break from Sussex, and had attended a number of the excellent events held during October Craft Month.

 

The Mayor announced that 2021/22 celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Green Flag Award - the international quality mark for parks and green Spaces and  that Gostrey Meadow had been awarded the Green Flag for 2021. He thanked the Council Staff and volunteers for this great achievement.

 

The Mayor advised that the 2021 Remembrance events would include the Schools Remembrance on 12th November, and the Main Remembrance Parade and Service at the War Memorial on the 14th.  This year’s service included the postponed rededication of the War Memorial as it celebrated its centenary, and the commemoration of the centenary of the Farnham Branch of the Royal British Legion, with Bishop Dr Christopher Herbert leading the rededication.

 

The Mayor looked forward to the Christmas Lights Switch taking take place on Saturday 20th November; the Christmas Carol Service with the Farnham Youth Choir on Wednesday 1st December, and the Farnham Christmas Market on Sunday 12th December

 

The Mayor was pleased to announce that he had personally commissioned a painting by Susie Lidstone of the Council Offices with the Christmas lights and tree which would be the official Christmas Card.  Susie Lidstone formally presented the painting to the Mayor and he in turn donated it to the Council for display in the Council offices.

 

C65/20

Questions by Members

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

Minutes:

There were no Questions by Members.

C66/20

Working Group and Panel Notes pdf icon PDF 135 KB

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

a.      Community Enhancement held on 23rd September 2021                                         Appendix B

b.     Tourism and Events held on 12th October 2021    Appendix C

c.      Strategy and Finance held on 19th October 2021  Appendix D

d.     Cemeteries and Appeals held on 21st October 2021                                         Appendix E

e.     HR Panel held on 20th October2021                      Appendix F

 

f.       Younger People Task Group

To note the receipt of a grant of £10,000 from the Police & Crime Commissioner Community Safety Fund towards the costs of the purchase and installation of a Youth Shelter in Borelli Walk (Waverley Borough Council permission received).  To agree to waive Standing Orders Contracts to purchase an Upton Shelter from Lightmain Ltd (following consultation with young people and quotes received) at a cost of £8,850.

 

Additional documents:

C67/20

Community Enhancement Working Group

Minutes:

Cllr Dickson reported on the Community Enhancement Working Group meeting held on 23rd September.  The Group had been addressed by Colin Shearn from Plastic Free Farnham and there had been an interesting discussion on proposals for a Deposit Return Scheme for recyclable bottles.

 

Council noted the discussion on South East in Bloom and the inclusion of Green Lane Cemetery and Hallifax Gardens in the 2022 competition with the community benefits this brings.

 

In terms of allotments, Cllr Dickson advised she was still pursuing Waverley Borough Council over the transfer of the Weybourne Road allotment site.

 

Council noted the interest in Memorial benches in Gostrey Meadow and that these would be progressed within existing budgets. Council also noted a number of maintenance items that were being progressed.

 

Cllr Dickson reported that the Working Group had noted the adoption of the red telephone boxes in Rowledge Boundstone and West Street with the first option being for defibrillator use.  The Rowledge box would be used for a ‘little library’ at the suggestion of the Rowledge community as the defibrillator was adjacent.

 

There was a proposal that the West Street telephone box should be made into a golden ‘cultural’ box with its first use being to celebrate the achievements of Farnham’s sporting heroes and the recent successes of Kylie Grimes in the Tokyo Paralympics and Rachel Morris in previous paralympics.

 

It was RESOLVED nem con that the phone box on West Street be used as a 'culture box', and that the initial use be to celebrate Farnham’s Sporting heroes in conjunction with the Farnham Sports Council.

C68/20

Tourism and Events Working Group

Minutes:

Cllr Evans introduced the notes of the Tourism & Events Working Group held on 12th October at Appendix C to the agenda.  It had been a busy time as set out in the notes, and the Working Group had reviewed events that had taken place during the year as well as planning future events.  Council noted the success of the summer programme and the Food Festival and progress on the Literary Festival which was taking place for the first time in 2022 and arrangements for the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

 

Cllr Evans provided an update on the Farnham Visitors’ Forum which was now planning to meet twice a year with a keynote speaker.

 

Cllr Martin congratulated Oliver Cluskey and the team that had enabled the Snow Windows Project to be pulled together and implemented in a very short time.  The Farnham retailers greatly appreciated what had been achieved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

C69/20

Strategy & Finance Working Group

Minutes:

Cllr Neale introduced the Notes of the Strategy & Finance Working Group held on 19th October at Appendix D to the agenda.

 

i)                 External Audit

Cllr Neale reported that the External Audit had concluded and was unqualified with no matters raised for further consideration.

It was RESOLVED unanimously that the Conclusion of the unqualified External Audit of the 2020/21 Accounts be welcomed.

 

ii)               Six-month Finances

Cllr Neale reported on the detailed finances at the half year point had been reviewed including the trial balance, the Income & Expenditure reports, the debtors at 30th September and the Statement of investments.  Council noted that income had held up well and was above the cautious budget figure, whilst expenditure was running at 44% of the budget with staff vacancies contributing to the saving.

It was RESOLVED unanimously that the update on finances at the six month period be agreed.

 

iii)              Farnham Support Fund

Council noted the continued work of the Farnham Coronavirus Support Fund and considered specific proposals to adapt its operation in light of experience which were recommended by the funding partners and the Working Group.

It was RESOLVED nem con that:

1)   The Farnham Coronavirus Support fund be renamed the Farnham Support Fund;

2)   The amount that can be requested be increased from £300 to £350 with the possibility of making a grant of up to £500 in exceptional circumstances. 

 

iv)              Wrecclesham Community Centre

Council considered the recommendation to extending the rent waiver agreed in 2020/21 for the first quarter of 21/22 as the Community Centre was unable to open the centre until the end of May. 

It was RESOLVED nem con that a  rent waiver of £1,500 be agreed for Wrecclesham Community Centre for 2021/22.

 

v)                Grants Review

Cllr Neale reported on the independent Grants Review undertaken by Wendy Varcoe MBE (former Chief Executive of the Surrey Community Foundation).  The review concluded that the FTC framework and process were very good and robust with a clearly worded and logical grants policy.  Overall, the grant programme was being delivered to a high standard with the right level of due diligence in relation to the level of grants awarded. The report identified a few points which would help meet the Council’s priorities and supporting community groups. 

 

It was agreed to recommend to Council that a summary of grants awarded in previous years be included in the Grant Programme Report split by categories of projects and areas served; an annual grants workshop be held to assist community groups apply for FTC and other funding; create an on-line application form to streamline applications; and invite feedback on the grants process to continuously improve. The Working Group recognised that some groups (particularly sporting) were more organised in making applications but did not wish to define specific priorities it wished to address each year preferring to address this at the grant allocation stage.

 

It was RESOLVED unanimously that:

1)     The response of the Strategy & Finance Working Group to the recommendations of the Grants review be agreed.  ...  view the full minutes text for item C69/20

C70/20

Cemeteries and Appeals Working Group

Minutes:

Cllr Cockburn introduced the notes of the meeting of the Cemeteries and Appeals Working Group held on 21st October at Appendix E.  She drew attention to the Gold Award for West Street Cemetery in this year’s South and South East in Bloom Awards but commented that the reason for entering the competition was to get feedback to make the cemeteries the best they could be, and as such Green Lane Cemetery would be entered for 2022. It was noted that the replacement of the damaged Green Lane railings by Tilford Forge was progressing and should be completed by February 2022.

 

The Working Group had discussed the entrance trees at West Street Cemetery as part of the Cemetery Gates restoration, noticing that they were past their prime. Council noted that the quinquennial tree survey would beconducted shortly and the entrance trees would be a part of the surveyalong with all other trees in the cemeteries. Particular attention would be

given to the entrance trees and if required some may need to be removed and replaced with mature alternatives.

 

It was RESOLVED nem con that authority be given for some of theconifers at theentrance of WestStreet Cemetery to beremoved and replacedwith mature trees aspart of the cemeterygates refurbishmentproject.

 

Council noted that a Christmas Memorial Tree was to be put up in West Street Cemetery.

 

 

 

 

C71/20

HR Panel

Minutes:

Cllr Evans introduced the report of the HR Panel that met on 20th October.  Council noted that the Panel had undertaken checks on salaries and payscales and reviewed the results of a limited job evaluation review that had been undertaken by South East Employers, the results of which were contained in Exempt Annex 1, for the posts of the Town Clerk, the Business and Facilities Manager, the Civic and Planning Administrator, and the Communities and Administration Manager.

 

Council noted that the National Pay Agreement for 2020/21 had not yet been concluded and was currently stalled noting that the employers’ side offer of 1.75% had been rejected by the unions.

 

Council noted the current position with regard to vacancies and that the in-sourcing of the cleaning contract had been delayed pending the receipt of TUPE information.

 

Council noted that the two appeal panels for any grievances or disputes were:

Panel A: Cllrs Mirylees, Neale and Wickes. Panel B: Cllrs Attfield, Cockburn and Evans.

 

It was RESOLVED unanimously that:

1)   The outcome of the HR Panel be endorsed and

2)   The results of the Evaluation at Exempt Annex 1 be implemented;

3)   A wider staff review should be commissioned in 2022.

C72/20

Planning and Licensing Applications pdf icon PDF 277 KB

To receive the minutes of the Planning & Licensing Consultative Group meetings held on 20th September, and 4th and 18th October at Appendices F, G, H.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Blishen introduced the Notes of the Planning & Licensing Consultative Group meetings held on 20th September, and 4th and 18th October at Appendices F, G, H.

 

He drew attention to the volume of work required and the ongoing difficulties with the Waverley Planning Portal. The lack of previous history for applications and missing constraints documents were causing a disproportionate amount of extra work, and a meeting had been arranged with the Waverley Planning Team to discuss this. 

 

Cllr Blishen commended the incredible support from Jenny de Quervain in streamlining the process for councillors.

C73/20

Actions taken under the Scheme of Delegation

Minutes:

There were no additional items to report.

C74/20

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 reported that he had attended the Surrey CC Cabinet on ‘greener future’ and had noted a transformation in the approach of Surrey.  He also reported that Cabinet had given approval for the purchase of Tice’s Meadow in conjunction with other council partners including Farnham Town Council.

 

C75/20

Reports from Outside Bodies

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

 

Minutes:

i)                  Cllr Cockburn advised that the Farnham Sports Council AGM was on 29th and commended the ongoing work of the group.

ii)                 Cllr Cockburn reported that she had attended the NALC webinar on biodiversity noting that as Farnham was doing so much the sessions had not been as useful for Farnham.

iii)               Cllr Neale reported on the Farnham Public Art Trust meeting which had been supportive of what the Town Council was doing.  He updated Council on the Kitty Milroy Murals, the positive feedback from Craft Month and the aspirations for the restoration and hanging of the Farnham Flame for which FPAT was happy to make a contribution.

iv)               Cllr Dickson reported that the Hale Carnival Committee was in good shape, but that a fundraising event had to be cancelled because of covid concerns.

C76/20

Date of Next Meeting

To agree the date of the next meeting as Thursday December 16th at 7pm.

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was agreed as Thurday 16th December at 7pm.

C77/20

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  in accordance with legislation for commercial sensitivity or staffing reasons.

Minutes:

The Mayor proposed, Cllr Neale seconded and Council RESOLVED nem con that press and public be excluded because of the confidential staffing matters at Annex 1.

C78/20

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

Minutes:

Council discussed the report from the HR Panel, the decisions of which have been included at Minute 71 above.