West Berkshire Council

Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber Council Offices Market Street Newbury

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Items
No. Item

96.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 29 March 2018.

Minutes:

Councillor Graham Jones introduced the meeting by welcoming Councillor Jeff Brooks back into the Chamber as a Council Member.

Councillor Graham Jones then bade farewell to Rachael Wardell, the Council’s Corporate Director for Communities, who was leaving the Council on 4 May 2018 to join the London Borough of Merton. He gave thanks to Rachael for all her hard work and for the significant achievements that had been made during her time at the Council. Councillor Graham Jones then invited Councillors Lynne Doherty and Rick Jones to say a few words.

Councillor Doherty gave particular thanks to Rachael for her work in leading Children and Family Services. Councillor Doherty explained that Rachael’s vision for the service was the key driver for successfully achieving its improvement journey from being rated as Inadequate by Ofsted to Good. Councillor Doherty stated that she would seek to ensure that high levels of service were maintained.

Councillor Doherty also praised Rachael’s innovative approach and highlighted the Family Safeguarding Model and the Emotional Health Academy as positive examples of this.

Councillor Doherty highlighted the fact that 95% of West Berkshire’s schools were rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted. This was again a reflection of Rachael’s vision.

Finally, Councillor Doherty highlighted the improvements made to the recruitment and retention of staff in Children and Family Services. This had enabled a reduction in the Council’s use of agency staff.

Councillor Rick Jones commented from the Adult Social Care perspective. This service was also performing well and he particularly highlighted safeguarding work and that adults in care were very well cared for. He added that Rachael was leaving behind a definite legacy for the Directorate.

Councillor Mollie Lock echoed the points made by Councillors Graham Jones, Lynne Doherty and Rick Jones. She also added that Rachael had provided new enthusiasm to the Directorate. Councillor Lock also noted that it had been interesting to see how well the Council’s Looked After Children had progressed.

The Minutes of the meeting held on 29 March 2018 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Leader.

97.

Declarations of Interest

To remind Members of the need to record the existence and nature of any personal, disclosable pecuniary or other registrable interests in items on the agenda, in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

98.

Public Questions

Members of the Executive to answer questions submitted by members of the public in accordance with the Executive Procedure Rules contained in the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

A full transcription of the public and Member question and answer sessions are available from the following link: Transcription of Q&As.

98.(a)

Question submitted by Ms Julie Knapman to the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Leisure

“What criteria was used in the selection of the Warren Road Access within the Sandleford Development by West Berkshire Council?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Ms Julie Knapman on the subject of the criteria used in the selection of the Warren Road access within the Sandleford Development was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Leisure.

98.(b)

Question submitted by Ms Julie Knapman to the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Leisure

“What research did the Council undertake to confirm the suitability of the Warren Road Access from a legal and operationally optimal perspective prior to insisting its inclusion?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Ms Julie Knapman on the subject of the research undertaken by the Council to confirm the suitability of the Warren Road access was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Leisure.

98.(c)

Question submitted by Ms Julie Knapman to the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Leisure

“Bearing in mind the many valid objection points against the Warren Road Access by local residents, Highways Department and Newbury Town Council, presented during the recently proposed Sandleford planning applications, is it not time to review this criteria to determine whether it continues to be West Berkshire Council's preferred choice?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Ms Julie Knapman asking whether the Council would review the criteria for selecting the Warren Road access, when considering the objections raised against it, was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Leisure.

99.

Petitions

Councillors or Members of the public may present any petition which they have received. These will normally be referred to the appropriate Committee without discussion.

Minutes:

There were no petitions presented to the Executive.

100.

Members' Questions

Members of the Executive to answer questions submitted by Councillors in accordance with the Executive Procedure Rules contained in the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

A full transcription of the public and Member question and answer sessions are available from the following link: Transcription of Q&As.

100.(a)

Question to be answered by the Portfolio Holder for Culture and Environment submitted by Councillor Jeff Brooks

“Given the most recent rejection by voters on charging for green waste collection, will the Administration now consider scrapping this policy?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Jeff Brooks on the subject of charging for green waste collection was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Culture and Environment.

100.(b)

Question to be answered by the Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Young People submitted by Councillor Mollie Lock

“Given the lack of nursery provision in rural areas, what is the Council doing to make sure families can access the nursery provision they are entitled to?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Mollie Lock on the subject of access for families to nursery provision in rural areas was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Young People.

100.(c)

Question to be answered by the Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport submitted by Councillor Lee Dillon

“How many pot holes have been reported since January 2018?”

Minutes:

A question standing in the name of Councillor Lee Dillon on the subject of the number of pot holes that had been reported since January 2018 was answered by the Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport.

101.

Exclusion of Press and Public

RECOMMENDATION: That members of the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items as it is likely that there would be disclosure of exempt information of the description contained in the paragraphs of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 specified in brackets in the heading of each item. Rule 8.10.4 of the Constitution refers.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that members of the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the under-mentioned items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as contained in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information)(Variation) Order 2006. Rule 8.10.4 of the Constitution also refers.

102.

Housing Benefit Overpayment Write Off (EX3419)

(Paragraph 1 – information relating to an individual)

(Paragraph 2 – information identifying an individual)

Purpose:  To obtain a decision about writing off an overpayment of Housing Benefit.

Decision:

Resolved that the recommendation in the exempt report be approved.

 

This decision is eligible to be ‘called-in’.  However, if the decision has not been ‘called-in’ by 5.00pm on 11 May 2018, then it will be implemented.

Minutes:

(Paragraph 1 – information relating to an individual)
(Paragraph 2 – information identifying an individual)

The Executive considered an exempt report (Agenda Item 8) which sought approval to write off an overpayment of Housing Benefit.

RESOLVED that the recommendation in the exempt report be agreed.

Reason for the decision: As outlined in the exempt report.

Other options considered: As outlined in the exempt report.

103.

Children and Family Services Targeted Intervention Service

(Paragraph 1 – information relating to an individual)

(Paragraph 2 – information identifying an individual)

Purpose:  To seek permission from the Executive to make redundancy payments associated with a restructure in the Targeted Intervention Service in Children and Family Services.

Decision:

Resolved that the recommendations in the exempt report be approved.

 

This decision is not subject to call in as:

 

·      the item is deemed as an Urgent Key Decision as set out in Rule 5.4.7 of the Constitution.

·      a delay in implementing the decision would cause the Council serious financial implications or could compromise the Council's position.

 

therefore it will be implemented immediately.

Minutes:

(Paragraph 1 – information relating to an individual)
(Paragraph 2 – information identifying an individual)

The Executive considered an exempt report (Agenda Item 9) which sought permission from the Executive to make the redundancy payments associated with a restructure in the Targeted Intervention Service in Children and Family Services.

RESOLVED that the recommendations in the exempt report be agreed.

Reason for the decision: As outlined in the exempt report.

Other options considered: As outlined in the exempt report.