i) To receive the notes and any recommendations of Strategy and Finance Working Group held on 18th April 2023 Appendix B
ii) To receive any relevant updates from the Cemeteries & Appeals, Community Enhancement and Tourism & Events Working groups.
Cllr Evans introduced the Notes of the Strategy & Finance Working Group held on 18th April 2023 at Appendix B to the Agenda advising that the end of Year Finance papers would be taken under a separate agenda item.
i) Cllr Evans reported that the Working Group had reviewed the list of Direct Debits and Standing Orders that would be applicable in the year ahead and there had been some grant applications considered.
It was RESOLVED nem con that
1) The Standing Orders and Direct Debits for 2023/24 be noted;
2) The Farnham Ukrainian Weekend Club be supported with funds for equipmentand materials from donations received;
3) The Council’s policy of supporting locally-based charities be re-affirmed but thatan opportunity for a fundraising/profile raising event for the Air AmbulanceCharity be encouraged.
ii) The Working Group recommended that a new door into the kitchen at Wrecclesham Community Centre to improve safeguarding be agreed.
It was RESOLVED nem con that Landlord’s Consent to the request for a new internal door tothe kitchen at Wrecclesham Community Centre be approved.
iii) Cllr Evans provided an update on contracts and assets matters and Council noted that the Hale Chapels Garden was almost complete. Council considered the delegated decision to finish the scheme on a recommendation from the Cemeteries & Appeals Working Group members with some mature trees and shrubs. The project was one for which the Council can be rightly proud, and an opening was provisionally scheduled for June.
Council also received details of a proposal to add another polytunnel on the allotments (reserved cemetery land) adjacent to the Nursery pending a further report on reconfiguring the Nursery.
Council noted that a tender had been undertaken for the Council’s Insurances with Zurich, BHIB and Gallaghers being invited to bid. A three year deal with the potential to extend was being recommended.
It was RESOLVED nem con that:
1) The progress on the Hale Chapels’ Garden be welcomed;
2) the decision to vary the planting scheme with additional shrubs and trees at anadditional cost of up to £5,000 be endorsed.
3) a new polytunnel and equipment be purchased with theestimated cost of £10,000 to be met from the insurance earmarked reserve.
4) A new three year agreement (with the potential to extendthis to five years) for the Council’s Insurances be entered into with Zurich up to a cost of£12,500.
iv) Cllr Evans advised that the Terms of Reference for Working Groups and Panels at Annex 1 had been reviewed and were recommended for adoption.
It was RESOLVED nem con thatthe Working Group Terms of Reference be approved.
v) Council received an update from the Infrastructure Planning Group, the Conservation Areas Task Group (CATG), and the Riverside Sculpture Task Group. Folowing an proposal by Cllr Beaman to strengthen the recommendation, seconded by Cllr Hesse, Council expressed great concern that the Farnham Design Statement submitted to Waverley some 15 months ago was still not agreed despite the Council’s suggested changes being included as requested. It was agreed that Waverley should be advised of the extreme concern and requested to deal with the matter without further delay. Council noted the progress of the Yards of Farnham project and the repair of the Farnham Flame. Council also received details of a complaint by residents of Hawthorn Lodge about the new public art by Longbridge and the Riverside, funded by Section 106 funding from the UCA development. It was noted the residents had made a complaint to Planning Enforcement whose consideration was awaited. Councillors expressed surprise that the residents were seemingly unaware of the project which had a lot of public engagement and felt it important that the claim about this being public money should be corrected.
It was RESOLVED nem con that Farnham Town Council express its deep concern and further request that Waverley Borough Council adopt theFarnham Design Statement as a minimum as a Material Planning Considerationpending work on the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan.
vi) Cllr Beaman gave an update of the work of the Farnham Infrastructure Programme, and Councillors acknowledge the detailed response he had sent following the last council. There was a debate on the ongoing position of the planters in Downing Street which were considered by some to be adding to the congestion caused by the closure of West Street.
Some Councillors felt the gridlock would have been just the same if there had been no planters, and the planters were still much better for pedestrians (noting the CCTV showed how much people stepped off the pavement) and had stopped at least two crashes into shops because they had taken the impact. Cllr MacLeod advised this was a matter for Surrey County Council to deal with particularly if there was an issue for emergency vehicles. Cllr Hesse thanked Cllr MacLeod for taking this up with Surrey and asked him to urge Surrey to get improvements on the ground sooner than later.
vii) Cllr Evans advised that Mr Michael Stephens had been appointed as Farnham Town Crier.
Cllr Mirylees gave an update on the work of Tourism and Events and the planned programme for Coronation weekend. She also reminded Councillors of the Walking Festival programme and other events including Music In the Meadow and the sustainability Festival.
Council noted the launch of In Bloom and that the Green Flag judging would be taking place in May for Gostrey Meadow, and the West Street and Badshot Lea Cemeteries.
The Mayor proposed a vote of thanks (to a round of applause) for all staff, councillors and volunteers who had contributed to the success of the town council’s activities.