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
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. There was concern about the position of the signs and proposed build outs within the conservation area and their proximity to the listed buildings and structures and it was felt the zone should be moved further up Castle Street. It wasn’t felt that ‘Farnham Town Council’ or its crest needed to be included on the sign. Cllr MacLeod said any signage would be temporary so that they could be moved if circumstances changed. Council felt it should not be dictated to by Surrey County Council and it was felt the views previously expressed had not been taken on board. Cllr Hesse presented another proposal for temporary signs which, after further discussion, was the preferred option of those seen. It was noted the 20mph zone would come into force in the summer and would be in place for a minimum of 2years. Signs on the road surface would also depict 20mph in addition to the signs.
The Conservation Area Task Group had agreed a list of actions for each of the conservation area improvements be prepared. Cllr Brian Edmonds and Carole Cockburn would be meeting with Sophie Piper at Waverley Borough Council to discuss further.
Contracts and Assets:
It was RESOLVED nem con that:
1. The purchase of 10 new Boxchip S900A phones at a cost of £6,450 the purchase the Tassta application at a cost of £1,650 for a two year deal from within the 2021/22 IT equipment and software budgets be agreed
2. The replacement of the two uneconomic mowers with 2 Scag Freedom Z machines at a cost of £16,000 from the new machinery budget 2021/22 be agreed.
3. The purchase of a Mosquito 2 sweeper at a cost of £4,000 from the 2021/22 environmental initiatives budget be agreed.
4. The purchase of Arboricultural PPE at a cost of approximately £600 for one full kit for each of two staff members with a view to recharging the staff members a percentage of the cost if they were to leave within two years be agreed with the cost to be met from 2021/22 PPE budget.
5. A polytunnel for the rear of the Depot be purchased at a cost of £800; and
6. The demolition of the Gostrey Meadow pavilion at a maximum cost of £3,492 be progressed with the cost met from the Property Maintenance and refurbishment budget
It was RESOLVED nem con that:
7. The Summary Income and Expenditure to the end of February with an anticipated end of year surplus be noted.
8. A grant of up to £1,000 from the 2021/22 balance be earmarked for the Fringe Festival subject to further information being received. (amendment proposed by Cllr Beaman and seconded by Cllr Hesse and agreed to refer to “up to”)
Review of Council Policies:
It was RESOLVED nem con that:
9. The LGA Model Code of Conduct, developed in association with the National Association of Local Councils, and any subsequent modifications, be adopted as the code applying to Farnham Town Council; and
10. All councillors attend training on the code and their responsibilities.
11. It was proposed by Cllr John Neale, seconded by Cllr David Beaman and it was RESOLVED, with Cllr Fraser objecting, that temporary gateway signage be implemented similar to that proposed by Cllr Hesse and subject to location being agreed by the Waverley heritage officer and Historic England.