Venue: Council Chamber, Surrey Heath House, Knoll Road, Camberley, GU15 3HD. View directions
Contact: Jane Sherman Democratic Services Officer
To confirm and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2017.
The minutes of the meeting held on 12 July 2017 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman.
Councillor Josephine Hawkins, the Corporate Portfolio Holder reminded the Committee of the areas covered by her Portfolio and gave a brief description of each of the following services and functions:
Communications and Marketing
Community and Revenue Grants
Contact Centre and Post Room services
Corporate complaints and Ombudsman matters
A large number of questions had been received from Members in advance. As a result, the Chairman had agreed that councillors would be restricted to no more than 3 questions each. Responses for any of the submitted questions which were not answered at the meeting would be dealt with at briefing meetings with officers or by written responses.
Councillor Josephine Hawkins responded to questions including:
1. Communications and Marketing
a) the number of social media posts made in support of consultations at the current URL of “consultations” and the list of these posts;
b) how brand and reputation was measured;
c) how the effectiveness of press releases was measured.
2. Child Protection, forced marriages and Female Genital Mutilation - the progress the Council was making to deal with these issues.
3. Contact Centre - recent customer service satisfaction levels.
4. Camberley International Festival and the Camberley Carnival.
a) numbers of footfall in the Camberley Town Centre both before and after the event;
b) the increase in revenue for the retailers because of this event;
c) the level of resident participation and how it was measured.
5. Surrey Heath Young Citizen Event – the extent of parental responsibility for their children’s safety.
Councillor Craig Fennell, the Business Portfolio Holder reminded the Committee of the areas covered by his Portfolio. It was now divided into 4 main service areas delivering a wide range of functions as set out below:
Recreation & Business
Commercial & Community Development
As referred to in the previous minute, the Chairman had agreed that because of the large number of questions received, Councillors would be restricted to no more than 3 questions each. Responses for any of the submitted questions which were not answered at the meeting would be dealt with at briefing meetings with officers or by written responses.
Councillor Craig Fennell responded to questions including:
1. Camberley’s Multi-Story Car Parks
(b) the Council’s plans to increase occupancy rates to match neighbouring authorities;
(c) proposals to enable multiple apps to use the Go app;
(d) evidence of whether the Council’s payment app Glide had increased or decreased the footfall in the Camberley town centre.
2. Surrey Youth Games – Team Surrey Heath’s performance and the number of events entered.
3. Camberley Theatre
(a) the level of the Council’s subsidy over the last 2 years;
(b) the measures to be taken to reduce the subsidy;
(c) when would the subsidy be eliminated.
4. Playground Renewals – the timing of the works for the playground at Watchetts Recreation Ground.
Members received a detailed update report on the Council’s Greenspace Service. The Service, split between directly employed staff and contracted out services, was responsible for a wide range of activities which maintained the Borough’s green spaces.
The Service was responsible for the following operational areas:
Hedge cutting & Vegetation maintenance
Children’s Play Areas
Dog Waste & Rubbish Collections
Park Pavilions & Public Toilet
Tree Inspections and resulting works
Members asked questions and received responses in connection with the following issues:
A cutting regime to encourage wild flowers on roundabouts
Responsibility for hedges which over hung footpaths
The Wild Surrey Heath Project
Conservation works for SANGS
Birch mulch in Lightwater Country Park
Bee keeping and the sale of honey
The Committee received a report on the latest air quality results for the Borough. It was noted that results showed that pollution from nitrogen dioxide, dust and other particulates showed levels within air quality objectives.
Members were informed that, in 2017 DEFRA, computer modelling had predicted that, until 2021, the A331 was likely to exceed legal limits for concentrations of nitrogen dioxide. As a result the Council had been directed by the Secretary of State to produce a feasibility study by March 2018 on options for ensuring compliance with the air quality objectives on the A331 in the shortest period possible. Work would continue to be carried out in conjunction with neighbouring local authorities, Highways England and the County Council.
The Committee discussed ways residents could help to reduce pollution levels in the Borough, particularly by avoiding short journeys in slow moving traffic and travelling at high speeds. In addition it was considered that it was important to convey a strong message to residents that air pollution in the Borough was reducing and to publish the air quality measures.
Furthermore, Officers agreed to look into whether it was possible to monitor air pollution levels in Frimley Green when the experimental traffic lights were installed.
The Committee was advised that pollution from aircraft was not currently a problem in the Borough as most of it dispersed in the atmosphere.
Resolved that Executive be advised to maintain the current air quality monitoring programme and to review it following the conclusions of future statutory Air Quality Status reports submitted annually to DEFRA.
Members were reminded that the Committee, at its meeting on 12 July 2017, had considered a report from the Task and Finish Group which had looked at the impact of welfare/benefits reforms on the Council and Borough residents. The Committee had made a number of recommendations to the Executive.
A report had been prepared which provided further information and context on the original recommendations to enable Members to consider them further prior to submission to the Executive. However it was considered that the Task and Finish Group should be asked to review the recommendations in the light of the further information.
Resolved that consideration be deferred to enable the Task and Finish Group to review its recommendations in the light of the further information and to report back to the Committee at a future meeting.
The Committee considered the work programme for the remainder of the municipal year.
Members noted that further meetings were scheduled for:
6 December 2017
21 March 2018
Resolved that the Work Programme, attached as Annex A to the agenda report be agreed.