Executive Minutes

Thursday, 23rd September, 2004
7.30 pm
in the New Council Chamber, Town Hall, Reigate.

Attendance Details

Councillor Mrs. J.M.A. Spiers (Chairman); Councillors P.J. Circus, R.K. Ellingham, Dr. L.R. Hack, A.J. Kay, R.C. Newstead and Mrs. D.A. Ross-Tomlin.
Also Present:
Councillors R.M. Bennett*, M.A. Brunt, N. Harris, N.D. Harrison, S.A. Kulka, F.J. Moore, G.L. Norman, D.J. Pay, E. Russell, B.A. Stead, Mrs. R.S. Turner and C.T.H. Whinney.

* Part Meeting
Min NoDescriptionResolution
Part I
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 9th September, 2004 be approved and signed as a correct record.

(i) the current points-based Housing Register be closed from 1st November, 2004, with new applicants added to the new register from that date and nominations continuing to be made from existing lists between then and 1st January, 2005;

(ii) two additional full-time permanent members of staff be incorporated into the Housing Human Resource Plan to manage the register, together with a 0.5 FTE added to the Customer Services' Human Resource plan to deal with initial enquiries;

(iii) the Overview and Scrutiny Committee be consulted about the proposed arrangements; and

(iv) delegated authority be granted to the Head of Housing, in consultation with the Executive Member for Housing, to implement the management of the register and make minor changes to the policies, including any in response to observations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

RECOMMENDED that the policy framework attached at Appendices 1, 2 and 3 to the previously circulated report - incorporating a banding system with applicants housed in date order - be agreed as the basis for running the Housing Register and associated policies from 1st January, 2005.

(i) the comments of the Budget and Service Planning Review Panel from their meeting held on 13th September, 2004 as set out at Annex 1 to the circulated report be noted; and

(ii) the Corporate Management Team's response to the Panel's comments as set out at Annex 2 to the circulated report also be noted.

RECOMMENDED that the previously circulated Budget and Financial Strategy for the preparation of the 2005/06 budget be approved.
RESOLVED that members of the Press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1 (Minute 70), 8, 9 (Minutes 68 and 69) and 11 (Minute 70) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Part II(Confidential)
  • Report of the Head of Neighbourhood Services

(i) delegated authority be given to the Director of Services to the Community in consultation with the Executive Members for Environment and Finance and Assets to accept tenders in order to meet the project timetable; and

(ii) an exception be made to Contract Procedure Rules 44.2, 44.3 and 44.4 which restrict the basis on which tenders can be accepted, and the use of Contract Procedure Rule 60 be authorised to ensure the project timetable can be met.

RECOMMENDED that additional capital expenditure of 759,000 for the purchase of vehicles and equipment for the ground maintenance services be approved.
  • Report of the Head of Policy and Community Iniatives
  • |
    Annex 1
(i) the transfer of a 584m2 area of Council-owned land, and the grant of a permanent easement over two further areas of land totalling 1,149m2, in order to assist in implementation of the Fastway Bus Project be agreed; and

(ii) the transfer take place for the nominal sum of 1.00 and the easement be granted for a nominal annual payment of a peppercorn.
  • Report of the Director of Services to the Community
RESOLVED that the changes to the 2004/05 Human Resource plans as detailed at paragraph 4.1 in the circulated report be approved.
RESOLVED that no Press Release be issued in respect of the exempt items listed above.
The meeting closed at 8.04 p.m.


Min NoMinute
62Executive Members: Councillors M.H.C. Buttery and J.B.P Jones.

Non-Executive Members: Councillors Mrs. F.D.M. Dixon, J.M. Ellacott, S.A. Gates, A.R. Mountney, M.J. Selby and T.D. Stoddart.
64The Executive considered a report which summarised proposed arrangements for managing the Housing Register when it was brought back in-house. Agreement was also sought for a new Housing Register and Nominations Policy. The report set out the background, details in relation to policy proposals, affordable rented vacancies, transfer applicants, lettings plans, IT and other requirements for running the register, resource and policy framework implications, and consultation undertaken.

During discussion of the report it was noted that a revised "banded" prioritisation system would be put in place, with those applicants in each band being made offers of housing in date order of application. The proposed four bands would be categorised in order of priority and it was envisaged that this approach would be more easily understood and demonstrably fairer than the current points based allocations system.
65The Executive considered a report, circulated separately to the agenda, which noted the comments of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee's Budget and Service Planning Review Panel on the draft Budget and Financial Strategy for 2005/06. The report also set out responses to those comments and any recommended action following consideration by the Corporate Management Team.

During discussion of the report, the Leader noted that the Panel had done a thorough and constructive job in its consideration of the draft budget, and should be thanked for their efforts. It was further commented that the "areas for concern" identified by the Panel did not seem to require any changes to the Medium Term Financial Strategy, rather they appeared to represent useful comments for Officers to accommodate within the Council's planning mechanisms.

A Member drew attention to the fact that a large amount of expenditure had been committed by the Council to the regeneration of the Borough's Town Centres, and requested that the Council consider the Borough's villages as a priority for investment in the future. The Leader responded that as part of the Corporate Planning process, the Council priorities for the 2006-09 Plan would soon be the subject of discussion, and the issue of investment in the Borough's villages was certainly one which was high on the list for consideration.
66The Chairman informed the Executive that the Council's 4.5 million bid for lottery funding to enhance Priory Park had been approved by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It was a remarkable achievement and the Chairman conveyed on behalf of the Executive their gratitude to the Director of Policy and Environment and Amanda Curnow, the Senior Policy Officer (Countryside) for all their hard work in developing this bid. Particular thanks was also recorded for Councillors Christopher Whinney and Susie Garnier for their work on the Steering Group. The Chairman further reported that the County Council's bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore The Priory's Verrio Mural was turned down, but that the County Council had stated it would earmark funds to commission the restoration work despite the bid failing.
68The Executive had before it a report which sought additional funding for the purchase of vehicles and equipment to carry out the Council's grounds maintenance works, following the internalisation of the services in January 2005. The report set out the background, factors for consideration, details of the funding required, resource implications and associated conclusions.

In response to a query from a Member with regards to the short timescales involved and the request to set aside the Council's normal contract procedure rules, the Deputy Director of Services to the Community noted that it had taken some time to examine the various procurement options in order to obtain best value for the chargepayer. The Director of Services to the Community further added that the request to suspend normal tendering requirements was recommended in order to give flexibility in this expenditure. Whilst it was recognised that the total capital expenditure was a significant amount, the nature of the proposed purchases meant that there was a mix of the type of vehicles to be acquired. A full tendering process would be undertaken, but flexibility was required in the event of a proposed acceptance of a tender that was considered to be the best value, but not necessarily the lowest. An exception to Contract Procedure Rules was sought so as not to delay the proposed purchases in this event.

The Deputy Director of Services to the Community noted that the cost-envelope that the project was required to work within was a challenging one, and in response to a query confirmed that the possibility of acquiring Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) fuelled vehicles would be looked into. The subject of security of the premises where the newly acquired vehicles would be stored was also raised, and it was confirmed that this was part of an on-going project. The provision of CCTV at relevant storage sites would also be explored.
69A report was considered by the Executive which sought approval to the terms of disposal of land to Surrey County Council as Highway Authority for implementation of alterations to Longbridge Roundabout, primarily for the Fastway Project. The report set out the background, factors for consideration, options open to the Council, resource and policy framework implications, consultation undertaken and associated conclusions.

During discussion of the report, concern was expressed that there should be no adverse affect with regards to access to the Council's leisure land in the vicinity, by adopting the proposed recommendation. It was confirmed that this was safeguarded as part of the suggested terms of disposal. A Member requested that a mechanism be put in place so that should the land not be used for the designated purpose of the Fastway Project in the future, its ownership would transfer back to the Council. The Head of Legal and Property Services confirmed that these concerns would be taken on board in the course of negotiations and addressed in any contractual arrangements entered into.
70The Executive considered a report which sought approval to amend the 2004/05 Human Resource (HR) plans, in order to achieve savings of 170,000 in 2005/06. The report set out the background, factors for consideration, details of the proposed changes for the 2004/05 HR plans, financial implications and associated conclusions.
In response to a query from a Member, it was noted that proposed savings identified in the report would be effective from the 1st April, 2005.