The Leader announced that, since the last Council meeting, she had attended the Surrey Leaders’ meeting, the EM3 Leaders’ meeting and the Local Government Conference.
The Surrey Leaders had discussed the County Council’s difficult budget situation, which it was felt could only be solved nationally by increased government funding or by removing the council tax cap.
The EM3 Leaders had discussed the Housing Infrastructure Fund which required bids for funds from local government by the end of September. The Leader reported that she had asked the Chief Executive to explore the possibility of submitting bids for grants from both the major and the small scheme funds.
Ann Widecombe had been the guest speaker at the Local Government Conference and had spoken about Brexit. Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, had also spoken at the Conference. He had delivered a strong message about the delivery of housing and indicated that he held local authorities responsible for the lack of provision. It was likely that more frequent local plan reviews would be required together with changes to the housing needs assessments.
The Leader also reported that the appeal against the Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the development of up to 140 dwellings and communities facilities on land at Heathpark Wood, Heathpark Drive, Windlesham, had been upheld and planning permission granted.