MEETING OF THE COUNCIL

 

24 April 2019

 

(7:30 pm - 0:01 am)

 

The Mayor (Councillor Thay Thayalan)

The Deputy Mayor (Olivia Boult)

 

Councillors

 

Zain Abbas

* Sushila Abraham

Stephanie Archer

Roy Arora

Kim Bailey

Tricia Bamford

Rowena Bass

Mark Beynon

* Fiona Boult

Tim Cobbett

David Cunningham

Emily Davey

Kevin Davis

Lorraine Dunstone

Mark Durrant

Simon Edwards

Sharron Falchikov-Sumner

Sam Foulder-Hughes

Ed Fram

Hilary Gander

Ian George

Dennis Goodship

Liz Green

 

 

Jaesung Ha

* Lesley Heap

Alison Holt

Jason Hughes

Caroline Kerr

Andreas Kirsch

Katrina Lidbetter

Rebekah Moll

Maria Netley

* Munir Ravalia

Dave Ryder-Mills

Anita Schaper

Malcolm Self

*Nicola Sheppard

* Chris Stuart

John Sweeney

Margaret Thompson

Jon Tolley

Olly Wehring

Diane White

Annette Wookey

Yogan Yoganathan

Sharon Young

 

* Absent

 

The Mayor’s Assistant Chaplain, Rabbi Yechezkel Mandelbaum of Kingston and Surbiton District Synagogue, opened the meeting with prayers.

 

 

84.         Apologies

 

 

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Sushila Abraham, Fiona Boult, Lesley Heap, Munir Ravalia, Nicola Sheppard and Christine Stuart.

 

 

85.         Declarations of Interest

 

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

 

86.         Minutes

 

 

Resolved that the minutes of the meeting of Budget Council held on 26 February 2019 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

 

87.         Mayor's Announcements

 

 

Sri Lankan bomb tragedy

The Mayor had sent the Royal Borough’s condolences to the President in Sri Lanka and the High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in the UK after the recent bomb attacks that had taken place in Sri Lanka.

 

The Mayor would be attending a candlelight vigil the following evening (Thursday 25 April) and would be holding a minute’s silence at the Mayor’s Charity Ball on the evening of Friday 26 April which was to be attended by many representatives from the local Sri Lankan community.

 

Mayor’s Charity Ball

All Councillors had been sent by email a link so that they could participate in online bidding as part of the fundraising activities at the Mayor’s Charity and the Mayor encouraged all to take part.

 

 

88.         Petitions

 

Appendix A

88.1    Two petitions were presented by members of the public at the meeting as follows:

 

(1)Assess other options and resident support before awarding estate regeneration contract’ petition

 

The petition which was submitted by Mr Derek Moss had 41 online signatories with KT postcodes and 5 signatories from a paper version and requested:

“At its meeting on 24 April the Council should vote against awarding the contract to Countryside Properties and instruct officers to produce a detailed assessment of the alternatives to joint venture regeneration which are provided by the Government's decision to scrap the HRA borrowing cap, with reference to the 2012 council housing investment plan drawn up by the previous Lib Dem administration.

Once that report has been considered, if the Council still considers that joint venture regeneration is the best option, then before signing a contract with a developer that will waste £1.5m if residents reject the masterplan it should first ballot residents, at a estimated cost of less than £50,000, to find out whether there is any chance of them supporting a regeneration plan that involves the demolition of their homes.

Any ballot should include all residents and home owners on the Estate and the regeneration should only go ahead if at least 50% of eligible voters vote in favour.

 

 

 

 

(2) 'A fair ballot for residents on Kingston's Cambridge Road Estate' petition

 

The petition which was submitted by Mr Phil Bevin had 246 signatories with KT postcodes and requested "Cambridge Road Estate residents must have a free and fair ballot."  The detail of the petition request read:

"We the undersigned believe that, because of the risks posed to the future of residents on Cambridge Road Estate through potential rent rises and the disruption to their lives, the regeneration ballot should represent a free and fair vote and that any associated campaign by RBK Council must honour this principle in a financially responsible manner. To this end we demand:

- on the terms of the ballot:

·           a legally binding ballot on the final proposals that the Council must honour (all viability assessments to be completed before the ballot)

·           that only CRE residents should be balloted and every CRE resident over the age of 16 should be eligible to vote

·           a simple yes/no question on whether the final plans of the regeneration should go ahead

·           that because of the significant change occasioned by the regeneration, no change should take place unless a yes vote garners 50% support but if there is no vote or less than 50% of residents participate in the ballot, there must be an alternative programme of reinvestment in the estate, one that does not include wholesale demolition

·           that residents are informed of what any possible rent or council tax rises they may face on the new estate before the ballot takes place

- on the cost of the ballot:

·           that all resources produced during the campaign by the Council contain a balanced assessment of the risks and opportunities of the plans; council resources should not be misspent on a partisan campaign for a yes vote by the Council; Campaign materials should also make residents aware of alternative options for reinvestment should residents not opt for wholesale demolition

·           that the estimated cost of the ballot by the Council be reviewed; ballots of this kind cost on average £5000 to implement, so the figure of £450,000 quoted by the Council is too high and a potential waste of resources.  If necessary, costs could be reduced by training Norbiton's Councillors who as local representatives are duty bound to know the details of regeneration plans anyway, to distribute materials instead of paid Council staff

·           that any costs to the Council incurred by a note vote should not be passed on to residents. The low level of investment suffered by CRE historically means that the estate needs more investment in the future, not less.]

 

The Mayor indicated that as these petitions referred to the Cambridge Road Estate redevelopment about which there was an item on the agenda for the meeting (ref. Minute 92 below "Cambridge Road Estate Redevelopment Joint Venture Contract Award" - report at Appendix C of the Council agenda pack), Members would have regard to both petitions when considering that item.

 

 


88.2  With reference to a report at Appendix A of the agenda pack, two petitions which had received over 500 signatures were debated at the Council meeting, as follows:

(1)       Children’s Centres petition

The petition, which was presented by Ms Jenny Lister, had received 579 eligible signatories and requested:

“We strongly oppose the proposed closures of half of the children’s centres within the borough of Kingston. We fervently believe that the changes in how the remainder operate, including the removal of sessions into the community will not be sufficient to meet local need and will raise serious safeguarding concerns. We insist that the children’s centres remain open.  In the event of closures, we demand financial investment ensuring that:

·           The remaining centres can be fully staffed;

·           Each centre has a full time member of staff available to parents throughout the week;

·           The remaining centres are able to meet the needs of a greater number of families;

·           Sessions currently being held continue to run within the children’s centre buildings;

·           Any sessions held in alternative local venues must guarantee that:

a. the general public cannot access families;

b. parents can converse with staff privately in a separate room; and

c. there is wheelchair access.

We ask that the Council seriously consider the detrimental impact that the proposed changes would have for many families and that the investment in our children and their futures should be a priority.”

The petition had previously been presented at the Children’s and Adults Care and Education Committee on 21 March 2019 when it had been considered in relation to a report concerning a ‘Children’s Centre Strategy’.  Having considered that report, the petition and representations, the Committee had agreed that Norbiton and Surbiton Children’s Centres are remodelled from June 2019 and the provision of services will be offered through outreach into the local communities; and that New Malden and North Kingston Children centres are remodelled from April 2020 with a phased reduction in children centre activity to target those most in need (as set out in the report).

Following debate on the petition at full Council, it was resolved that the petition and the Director’s response to the petition (as set out in the report at Appendix A) be noted.

Voting:

For: 32 Members of the Council (The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Olivia Boult) and Councillors Zain Abbas, Stephanie Archer, Kim Bailey, Tricia Bamford, Mark Beynon, Tim Cobbett, Emily Davey, Lorraine Dunstone, Mark Durrant, Simon Edwards, Sam Foulder-Hughes, Hilary Gander, Dennis Goodship, Liz Green, Jaesung Ha, Alison Holt, Caroline Kerr, Andreas Kirsch, Katrina Lidbetter, Rebekah Moll, Dave Ryder-Mills, Anita Schaper, Malcolm Self, John Sweeney, Margaret Thompson, Jon Tolley, Olly Wehring, Diane White, Annette Wookey, Yogan Yoganathan and Sharon Young.)

Against:9 Members of the Council (Councillors Roy Arora, Rowena Bass, David Cunningham, Kevin Davis, Ed Fram, Ian George, Jason Hughes, Maria Netley, and Sharron Falchikov-Sumner)

Abstaining: the Mayor, Councillor Thay Thayalan

(2)       ‘Save the Fishponds Park in Surbiton’ petition

 

The petition, which was presented by Ms Kezia Coleman, had received 840 eligible signatories and requested:

“The Surbiton Branch of the Labour Party demands that Kingston Council invest in a professional engineering project to repair the Fishponds water pumps. Kingston Council must then allocate funds to maintain a healthy wildlife environment thereafter.”

 

Following debate on the petition, it was resolved that the petition and the Director’s response to the petition (as set out in the report at Appendix A) be noted.

 

Voting:

For: 39 Members of the Council (The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Olivia Boult) and Councillors Zain Abbas, Stephanie Archer, Roy Arora, Kim Bailey, Tricia Bamford, Rowena Bass, Mark Beynon, Tim Cobbett, David Cunningham, Emily Davey, Kevin Davis, Lorraine Dunstone, Mark Durrant, Simon Edwards, Sharron Falchikov-Sumner, Sam Foulder-Hughes, Ed Fram, Hilary Gander, Ian George, Dennis Goodship, Liz Green, Jaesung Ha, Alison Holt, Jason Hughes, Caroline Kerr, Andreas Kirsch, Katrina Lidbetter, Rebekah Moll, Dave Ryder-Mills, Anita Schaper, Malcolm Self, John Sweeney, Margaret Thompson, Jon Tolley, Diane White, Annette Wookey, Yogan Yoganathan and Sharon Young.)

Abstaining: 3 Members of the Council (the Mayor, Councillor Thay Thayalan, and Councillors Maria Netley and Olly Wehring)

 

 

89.         Deputations

 

 

The Council had received eight deputations of which notice had been submitted in advance in accordance with Standing Order no.17, as follows:

i) Kingston Advocacy Group: Concern about Advocacy Provision in the Borough – presented by Mr Jim Green

[Concerns about the awarding in March of a tender for advocacy services which had previously been held for many years by Kingston Advocacy Group to Cambridge House (based in Southwark).]

ii) Cambridge Road Estate Repairs – presented by Mr Phil Bevin

[Concerns about delays in the time taken to make repairs to properties in the Cambridge Road Estate – request for refurbishment and investment via the Housing Revenue Account.]

iii) Neville House Yard – presented by Ms Deepa Veneik on behalf of Mr Bob Tyler

[Concern about the lack of action from developers after an urgent decision had been taken for the site disposal in June 2018, dumping on the site and loss of potential parking income.]

iv) Elected Mayor Referendum – presented by Mr James Giles

[Bringing to the Council’s attention the rationale for the launch of an ‘Our Kingston’ campaign petitioning for a borough-wide referendum for a directly elected Mayor.]

v) Cambridge Road Estate Decant – presented by Mrs Mary Clark

[Concerns about the details of the Decant Policy including right to return, downsizing, stock for decanting, affordability for freeholders/ leaseholders]

vi) Biodiversity Loss – presented by Alison Fure

[New development should make a positive contribution or net gain to biodiversity; increased urban gradient in the borough reduces habitat and contributes to loss of species in the borough.]

vii) *Climate Emergency Motion amendment – presented by Mr Chris Walker

[The target date for the Council’s Motion for becoming carbon neutral should be brought forward from 2038 to 2025 and be linked to all Council’s policies especially the Local Plan.]

viii) *Climate Emergency Motion amendment – presented by Mr Paul Rees

[The Council should aim to become zero carbon emitting by 2025.]

A briefing note had been circulated to Members which provided officer comments on the Deputations. 

The Council noted all the Deputations.

 

[*Both these deputations related to a Liberal Democrat Group Climate Emergency Motion to be referred from Council to the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee (refer Minute 93 below).  Information about the deputations would be referred to the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee for consideration when it considered that Motion.]

 

 

90.         Community Motion under Standing Order 7A

 

 

(1)  The Council agreed to bring forward this item on the agenda because of the large numbers of members of the public attending for it.

(2) Standing Order 7(A) provides for a minimum of 500 interested people to present at any ordinary meeting of the Council a motion for debate relevant to an issue which affects the Royal Borough. 

(3)  In accordance with the Standing Order the following community motion was presented by Mr James Giles:

 “Demanding Better on Resident Parking

A.   "This Council notes:

(i)         the failure of the Liberal Democrat administration to meet their promises, set out in their 2018 local manifesto, to "", and instead pursue a regressive tax on residents living within CPZs;

(ii)       the huge public outcry in response to these changes, which has resulted in a petition of over 2000 signatures;

(iii)      the lack of openness and transparency in consultation carried out by the current administration and the feelings being expressed by residents that consultation is just a tick box exercise, that they are being ignored by RBK and that the Council is just doing whatever it wants to do; and

(iv)      thefailure of the Liberal Democrat administration to meet their promise, set out in their 2018 local manifesto, to '', which further reinforces the feeling that RBK will just do whatever it wants to, regardless of the views of residents.

B.   This Council believes:

(i)         the Liberal Democrat Council is not engaging with residents; that public consultation has been poor in general but particularly bad in regard to the proposed CPZ charges;

(ii)       it is important to find ways to drive behavioural change and improve air quality in the borough by discouraging unnecessary car journeys, encouraging the use of environmentally friendly forms of transport, through less regressive means;

(iii)      a regressive tax on older vehicles, whilst allowing newly purchased £100k cars to have free permits, will hit the financially vulnerable the most in our borough; and

(iv)      it is imperative that residents feel the Council is doing things with residents, not to residents, and, as such, does not consider consultations a 'tick-box' exercise.

 

C.   This Council resolves to:

(i)         listen to and engage with our residents;

(ii)       be sure we have identified groups that need to be included in our consultations and communications;

(iii)      properly consult with our residents on issues that affect them;

(iv)      be accountable to our residents;

(v)       make sure senior Administration politicians are answerable to our residents for policy and that they do not stand behind Council officers who are employed to implement policy agreed by politicians; and

(vi)      in light of the thousands of residents who have displayed their opposition to the proposed CPZ charges, to immediately halt the rollout of changes to resident parking permits, and seek a better way forward."

 

(4)  A briefing paper had been circulated prior to the Council meeting to assist Members to debate this Community Motion.  The Council heard representations from ten members of the community as follows: Stephen Reilly, Charles Deacon, Georgina Hall, Suzanne Harrison, Andrew Brand, Jo Wright, Ann Taylor, Les Csonge, Harm van Eynsbergen, and Damon Noad.

(5)  The Standing Order provides that the Council, having considered a community motion, may accept, modify or reject it.   After initial debate, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Liz Green, moved and Councillor Patricia Bamford seconded that the community motion be modified by omitting Sections 3A and 3B (above) and retaining Section 3C (i-vi) (above)

(6)  At 11:10pm the Mayor asked that the Council meeting be adjourned to allow relevant Portfolio Holders to receive advice on the financial implications of the Leader’s motion.  The meeting reconvened at 11:15pm.

(7)  Councillor David Cunningham moved and Councillor Kevin Davis seconded that the Council’s Standing Orders be varied to allow Mr James Giles as presenter of the community motion to respond to the debate and sum up the community motion.  Councillor Cunningham asked for a named vote on his motion.  A named vote on this motion having been taken, the motion was declared defeated.

Voting:

For: 12 Members of the Council (Councillors Roy Arora, Rowena Bass, David Cunningham, Kevin Davis, Mark Durrant, Ed Fram, Ian George, Liz Green, Jason Hughes, Maria Netley, Dave Ryder-Mills and Sharron Falchikov-Sumner)

Against: 16 Members of the Council (Councillors Stephanie Archer,    Tricia Bamford, Mark Beynon, Tim Cobbett, Emily Davey, Lorraine Dunstone, Sam Foulder-Hughes, Hilary Gander, Jaesung Ha, Alison Holt, Caroline Kerr, Katrina Lidbetter, John Sweeney, Olly Wehring, Annette Wookey and Sharon Young)

Abstaining: 12 Members of the Council (the Mayor, Councillor Thay Thayalan, the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Olivia Boult, and Councillors Zain Abbas, Kim Bailey, Simon Edwards, Andreas Kirsch, Rebekah Moll, Malcolm Self, Margaret Thompson, Jon Tolley, Diane White and Yogan Yoganathan)

(8) The motion as set out in paragraph (5) above was put to the vote and was declared carried.

Voting:

For: 31 members of the Council  (The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Olivia Boult) and Councillors Zain Abbas, Stephanie Archer, Kim Bailey, Tricia Bamford, Mark Beynon, Tim Cobbett, Emily Davey, Lorraine Dunstone, Mark Durrant, Sharron Falchikov-Sumner, Sam Foulder-Hughes, Hilary Gander, Liz Green, Jaesung Ha, Alison Holt, Caroline Kerr, Andreas Kirsch, Katrina Lidbetter, Rebekah Moll, Dave Ryder-Mills, Anita Schaper, Malcolm Self, John Sweeney, Margaret Thompson, Jon Tolley, Olly Wehring, Diane White, Annette Wookey, Yogan Yoganathan and Sharon Young.)

Against: 8 members of the Council (Councillors Roy Arora, Rowena Bass, David Cunningham, Kevin Davis, Ed Fram, Ian George, Jason Hughes, and Maria Netley)

Abstaining: 2 Members of the Council (the Mayor, Councillor Thay Thayalan and Councillor Simon Edwards)

(9)     On being put to the vote, the substantive motion was declared carried as follows:

This Council resolves to:

(i)  listen to and engage with our residents;

(ii) be sure we have identified groups that need to be included in our consultations and communications;

(iii) properly consult with our residents on issues that affect them;

(iv) be accountable to our residents;

(v) make sure senior Administration politicians are answerable to our residents for policy and that they do not stand behind Council officers who are employed to implement policy agreed by politicians; and

(vi) in light of the thousands of residents who have displayed their opposition to the proposed CPZ charges, to immediately halt the rollout of changes to resident parking permits, and seek a better way forward."

Voting - unanimous

 

 

91.         Motion on Air Quality

 

 

(1) Standing Order No 8(A)(5) provides for the Council to debate a motion which has been submitted by Members of the Council, alternating, from meeting to meeting, between a motion submitted on behalf of the Administration and a motion submitted on behalf of Opposition Members of the Council.

(2) A Motion had been submitted from the Conservative Group on the Council as follows:

“This Council notes that:

1.            Air quality is a concern for residents and this Council;

2.            The latest figures available demonstrate that on average there are 5 attributable deaths people per ward in the Borough from PM2.5 pollution (NB this does not mean that this number die, but that this is the equivalent level of pollution total pollution-related deaths) Source: Air Quality Information for Public Health Professionals  - Greater London Authority;

3.            Since 2012 we have seen improvements in air quality in 24 of the 40 areas that we monitor;

4.            There have been improvements in our two worst polluted areas of Cromwell Road and Tolworth roundabout, but that there have been significant increases in pollution on areas of the Kingston Relief Road and near the Cambridge Estate.

“This Council believes that:

Despite what has been done more action is required to tackle this public health problem and that it needs to be done quickly.

“This Council resolves that:

1.            The Administration brings forward in 60 days a new air quality implementation plan that:

a.     is discussed at the Environment and Sustainability Committee on 24 June  2019, and recommended to Full Council to debate and agree at the meeting of the 9 July 2019;

b.     brings forward a costed plan to implement on-street electric charging on residential roads and prevent trailing cables littering the streets where owners have no driveways;

c.      consults on and introduces an anti-idling scheme and fines for taxis, mini-cabs and cars at stations and schools;

d.     works with schools on main transport routes to bring forward a costed plan and timescale for implementation of defensive air quality measures on school boundaries;

e.     designs and consults on changes to the relief road in Kingston;

f.       creates a costed plan for “after GO cycle” to demonstrate the future ongoing commitment of this council to cycling and ensure that the Mayor’s GO Cycle money is good value through further council investment;

g.     consults and costs a cycle hire scheme that works for all the Borough and not just transport nodes;

h.     creates a plan for green screens, walls and algae tubes at major transport nodes, in particular at major bus stops.

2.            Until such time as this new strategic implementation plan is brought forward, the Council will suspend any unilateral schemes that are perceived to improve air quality and are not targeted for implementation across the entire borough until such time as Full Council ratifies the implementation action plan on the 9 July 2019.

3.            Agree that any schemes arising out of the new implementation plan must be subject to full public engagement and consultation with residents outside any formal statutory requirements.”

(3) Given the lateness of the meeting, the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Kevin Davis moved, and Councillor David Cunningham seconded, that the above Motion be referred for debate to the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee, and this was resolved unanimously.

 

 

92.         Cambridge Road Estate Redevelopment Joint Venture Contract Award

 

Appendix C

The Council agreed to bring forward this item on the agenda because of the large numbers of members of the public attending for it.

The Council considered a report at Appendix C of its agenda pack which incorporated a report to and recommendations from the Finance and Contracts Committee meeting on 18 March 2019 relating to the mechanisms through which the Council will enter into a joint venture to deliver the redevelopment of the Cambridge Road Estate.  (The report included in Annex 1 Enclosure 2 commercially sensitive elements of the procurement exercise outcomes which are exempt from disclosure to the public in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and were consequently circulated separately to Members of the Council.)  Members also had regard to the two petitions on this topic which had been heard earlier in the meeting.

Cambridge Road Estate (CRE) is a council estate of over 830 homes in Norbiton Ward, built in the late 1960s and early 1970s and now in need of major investment.  Over the last two years the Council has been preparing the ground for a comprehensive phased regeneration of the area.  This included undertaking a procurement process to secure a suitably qualified and experienced developer partner to enter into a 50:50 joint venture with the Council to deliver a comprehensive redevelopment, including new homes and community facilities that meet modern standards.  It is a key priority of the Council to ensure that residents are at the heart of the regeneration plans.

The Committee recommended that Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd, previously identified as the preferred bidder, should now be awarded the contract and a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) be established with Countryside in order to bring forward the development of the estate. 

 

RESOLVED that:

1.            the contract be awarded to Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd;

2.            a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) be established;

3.            authority be delegated to the Finance and Contracts Committee to: (a) appoint RBK councillors and officer representatives to the LLP Board and any other related body; and (b) review and approve LLP Business Plans; and

4.            authority is delegated to the Director of Growth (in consultation with the Director of Corporate and Commercial, Leaders, relevant Administration Portfolio Holders, and Opposition Spokespeople) to agree the name of the Joint Venture LLP, negotiate the final detailed terms of the agreements being entered into, and agree that the Council enter into the following agreements:

·                LLP Members’ Agreement

·                Development Agreement

·                Completion Agreement

·                Phase Lease and Works Agreement

·                CPO Indemnity Agreement

·                Project Management Agreement

·                Construction Management Agreement

·                Corporate Services Agreement

·                Any ancillary agreements or documents necessary to give effect to the setting up of the Joint Venture LLP in accordance with the agenda report and its appendices

Voting:

For: 39 Members of the Council (The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Olivia Boult) and Councillors Zain Abbas, Stephanie Archer, Roy Arora, Kim Bailey, Tricia Bamford, Rowena Bass, Mark Beynon, Tim Cobbett, David Cunningham, Emily Davey, Kevin Davis, Lorraine Dunstone, Mark Durrant, Simon Edwards, Sam Foulder-Hughes, Ed Fram, Hilary Gander, Ian George, Liz Green, Jaesung Ha, Alison Holt, Jason Hughes, Caroline Kerr, Andreas Kirsch, Katrina Lidbetter, Rebekah Moll, Maria Netley, Dave Ryder-Mills, Anita Schaper, Malcolm Self, John Sweeney, Margaret Thompson, Jon Tolley, Diane White, Ollie Wehring, Annette Wookey, Yogan Yoganathan and Sharon Young.)

Against: Councillor Sharron Falchikov-Sumner

Abstaining: the Mayor, Councillor Thay Thayalan

 


 

93.         Motion: Declaration of Climate Emergency

 

 

(1) In accordance with Standing Order No 8(A)(3) and (6), the following Motion was submitted by the Administration, to stand referred without discussion to the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee:

‘Climate Emergency

“This Council notes:

(i)            the impacts of climate breakdown are already causing serious damage around the world;

(ii)          unfortunately, while current plans and actions locally are making a difference, they are not enough. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050;

(iii)         the ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C’, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018:

(a)  describes the enormous harm that a 2°C average rise in global temperatures is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise; and

(b) confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector.

(iv)         all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to act, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies;

(v)          strong policies to cut emissions also have associated health, wellbeing and economic benefits; and that recognising this;

(vi)         a growing number of UK local authorities have already passed 'Climate Emergency' motions; and

(vii)        individuals cannot be expected to make this reduction on their own. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc. to make low carbon living easier and the new norm.

 

“This Council resolves to:

(i)            declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ that requires urgent action;

(ii)          establish a new working group, with a remit to: draw together the work of the Council, already underway, to reduce the impacts of climate change, identify gaps and develop a plan that aims to set a challenging target date of 2038 for carbon neutrality and a baseline figure from which achievement will be measured;

(iii)         seek advice from experts to develop 5-year carbon budgets, across all the Council’s activities;

(iv)         consider the climate change impact of the Council’s activities to inform the action plan;

(v)          to assess the feasibility of requiring all risk and procurement assessments to include Carbon Emission Appraisals, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce emissions wherever possible;

(vi)         the working group will include council officers, partners and Members from across the Council;

(vii)        task a director-level officer with responsibility for reducing the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities according to the plan;

(viii)      equip all our staff, particularly those involved with planning, buildings, energy and transport management and procurement of goods and services, with an awareness of the CO2 costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions;

(ix)         report on the level of investment in the fossil fuel industry that our pensions plan and other investments have, and review the Council’s investment strategy to give due consideration to climate change impacts in the investment portfolio;

(x)          work towards involving the wider community, including local businesses and our young people, in shaping the future, through a workshops or Citizen's Assemblies; and

(xi)         call on the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible, and ask local MPs to do likewise.”

 

(2) The Council agreed to refer the Motion (which was moved by Councillor Hilary Gander and seconded by Councillor Sam Foulder-Hughes) to the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee for debate.

Voting - unanimous

 

 

94.         Questions

 

 

In accordance with Standing Order 6 (1&2), 37 Council questions had been submitted, of which a maximum of 7 were to receive replies at the meeting (the remainder to receive replies in writing). 

However, given the lateness of the meeting, it was RESOLVED that all the Council Questions would receive replies in writing. 

[The written replies to all the Council Questions are included in Annex 1 to the minutes of the meeting.]

Voting – unanimous

 

 

 

95.         LGA Corporate Peer Review

[Finance and Contracts Committee – 4 April 2019]

 

Appendix B

The Council considered a report at Appendix B of its agenda pack which incorporated a report to and recommendations from the Finance and Contracts Committee meeting on 4 April 2019 relating to the LGA Peer Review of the Council.

 

At the Council’s request, the Local Government Association (LGA) had conducted a Corporate Peer Review of the organisation during January 2019 in order to support the Council’s transformation and improvement - and so that the Council could learn from best practice.  LGA Corporate Peer Reviews are based around a standard framework comprising the following themes: our understanding of the local place and priority setting; leadership of place; financial planning and viability; organisational leadership and governance; and capacity to deliver.  In addition to these standard themes, the Council asked for the review to look deeper at the financial planning and viability element and to consider the Council’s ambitions in relation to improving community engagement.

 

The Peer Review final report and recommendations which had been published on the Council’s website on 14 March 2019 were incorporated in the report to the Council.

 

Overwhelmingly, the Review Team were struck by the potential and opportunity that exists for the Council, both as an organisation and as a leader of place:  ‘The Council has much to call upon to drive things forward, including a committed and talented workforce, a passionate elected membership and the goodwill of partners.  The prospect of harnessing all of this and uniting it behind fulfilling the potential and the opportunity means that these are very exciting times for Kingston’.  The key recommendations of the Review report were summarised as follows:

 

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames should:

·      capitalise upon the opportunity as an organisation and a leader of place, involving establishing a clear vision and sense of purpose.

·      seize the place leadership through building relationships with partners.

·      establish a single, shared understanding about the scale of the financial challenges being faced and mechanisms that provide real grip and rigour around the delivery of savings and budget spend.

·      bring about greatly improved communication across the Council.

·      establish greater collective leadership of corporate and strategic issues.

·      determine what community engagement means in Kingston and the approaches to be adopted.

·      continue the review of the council’s Constitution and governance arrangements.

·      conclude the organisational restructure in as timely a fashion as possible.

·      prioritise/sequence the corporate system and process changes that the Council recognises are needed and then inject pace and rigour at each stage.

 

The Finance and Contracts Committee had resolved that authority be delegated to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to develop a Council action plan to respond to the recommendations of the Peer Review.  This Action Plan was attached as Annex 2 to the report to Council.   The Action Plan expands on the initial response of the Strategic Leadership Team, listing the activity that is underway or will be undertaken to take on board the recommendations of the Peer Review.  Each activity has a senior leadership owner, a target date for completion and a status update.  The activity set out has been compiled by senior officers and is either listed as a deliverable in the Corporate Plan and/or will be embedded in directorate service plans.  Progress will be monitored through those plans and the LGA Peer Review Team will be invited back to look at how the Council has made progress with the areas of improvement identified in 12 - 18 months’ time.

The Leader moved, Councillor Dave Ryder-Mills seconded and it was resolved that the Action Plan at Annex 2 to the report responding to the LGA Peer Review be approved, subject to any additions by the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council in response to any comments submitted by Councillors to them during the week following the Council meeting.

Voting – unanimous

96.         Appointment of Monitoring Officer

 

 

A local authority is legally required to designate certain statutory officer posts, among which is the role of Monitoring Officer under the provisions of Section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act1989.  The primary role of the Monitoring Officer is to ensure lawfulness and fairness of decision making.   The Monitoring Officer contributes to the promotion and maintenance of high standards of conduct through the provision of support to the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee.  The officer is also responsible for the maintenance of the Register of Members’ Interests and the separate Register of Gifts and Hospitality and provides advice on the scope of powers and authority to take decisions, maladministration, financial impropriety, and budget and policy framework issues to all Councillors.

In view of the forthcoming departure from the Council of the current Monitoring Officer (and Assistant Director, Governance and Law), Quentin Baker, it was necessary to appoint a suitable replacement on a temporary basis pending a permanent appointment to that position.

Resolved that Marie Rosenthal be designated as the Council’s Monitoring Officer with immediate effect for the period until a new Assistant Director of Governance and Law is appointed.

Voting - unanimous

 

 

97.         Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer

 

 

The statutory functions of Returning Officer (RO) for Elections and Referenda, and Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) are currently undertaken by the Assistant Director of Governance and Law (who is designated as the Proper Officer for these functions within the Council’s Constitution).

The Electoral Registration Officer is responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the registers of parliamentary electors for any parliamentary constituency (or part of a constituency) within its area, and of local government electors for its area.  The Returning Officer holds personal statutory responsibility for the effective delivery of these elections.

In view of the departure from the Council of the Assistant Director of Governance and Law, it was necessary to designate a Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer.

Resolved that:

1.            in accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983 and all related legislation, Ian Thomas, the Chief Executive (Head of Paid Service) of the Council is appointed with immediate effect as:-

(a)        Returning Officer, and designated the Proper Officer for the purposes of Elections and Referenda; and

(b)        Electoral Registration Officer; and

2.            the Monitoring Officer is authorised to make any consequential changes to the Constitution and Scheme of Delegations.

Voting – unanimous

98.         Statutory and Proper Officer Functions

 

 

Following the establishment of the role of Corporate Head of Democratic and Electoral Services, it was resolved that the following Statutory and Proper Officer functions listed in Article 11.01(c) of the Constitution, which had been previously allocated to the Democratic Services Team Leader, be allocated to the Corporate Head of Democratic and Electoral Services:

 

Statutory Officer:

•    Scrutiny Officer

 

Proper Office functions:

•    Notice of political groups

•    Certification of copies of minutes, byelaws or other documents

 

Voting – unanimous

 

 

99.         Approval of Member absence

 

 

The Council considered a report on apologies submitted on health grounds by a member of the Council which had been submitted because it would potentially be the case, by late May, that Councillor Fiona Boult would have been absent from meetings of the Council for six months.

 

Resolved that approval of absence, on health grounds, be given to Councillor Fiona Boult for a period of absence until 10 July 2019.

 

Voting - unanimous

 

 

100.      Appointments to the Health and Wellbeing Board

 

 

RESOLVED that the following appointments be made to the Health and Wellbeing Board:

 

(1) Ed Montgomery, interim Managing Director of Your Healthcare CIC, be appointed as the (non-voting) advisory member representing Your Healthcare (replacing Siobhan Clarke, who has retired).  [Grant Henderson to continue as alternate Board member.]

 

(2) Dr Annette Pautz be appointed as alternate for all three representatives from the Clinical Commissioning Group (Dr Naz Jivani, Dr Phil Moore and Dr Pete Smith) who are voting (non-elected) members of the Board. 

 

Voting – unanimous

 

 

 

101.      Election of the Mayor for 2019/20

 

 

At the Council meeting on 20 March 2001 it was agreed that, other than in an Election Year, the Mayor should be elected at the Ordinary Council meeting immediately preceding the Annual Meeting.

 

One nomination was submitted - from the Liberal Democrat Group - in the name of Councillor Margaret Thompson.

 

There being no other nominations, the Mayor duly declared Councillor Margaret Thompson elected as Mayor of the Royal Borough for the Municipal Year 2019/20.

 

[The formal installation of Councillor Thompson as Mayor would take place at the Annual Meeting on 14 May.]

 

 

 

 

102.      Urgent Items authorised by the Mayor

 

 

There were no urgent items authorised by the Mayor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signed:………………………………………………………………Date:…………….

The Mayor


 

Annex 1

 

WRITTEN REPLIES TO COUNCIL QUESTIONS

 

 

By Councillor Sam Foulder-Hughes

 

To Councillor Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services including Education

 

Question:

 

What are we doing to lobby Government to make sure Headteachers never have to clean toilets?

 

Written reply:

 

The Council recognises that schools are facing significant financial pressure in running schools within the funding level that is being made available by Government through the Dedicated Schools Grant. 

The Administration is committed to not reducing schools budgets by transferring funding from the schools block to allow for high needs service funding pressures without the agreement of the Schools Forum. 

Council officers have met with the DfE a number of times since May to discuss the funding pressures for education and has highlighted the pressures being faced by local schools at these meetings as well as the escalating funding gap for high needs education.

Sir Ed Davey MP, with the support of the Leader and Portfolio holder, has also actively lobbied Ministers for more resources for education.

 

 

By Councillor Roy Arora

 

To Councillor Malcolm Self, Portfolio holder for Planning Policy, Culture and Heritage

 

Question:

 

Can the Portfolio Holder now answer the question concerning the programme for the Housing Delivery Test first asked for on the 12 March 2019 and then promised to all members of the SHAP Committee on the 19 March 2019? Can the Member also tell us the style of consultation he proposes on this issue?

 

Reply:

 

Initial work has commenced on pulling together details of the Housing Delivery Test results for the Council and some proposals that would form the basis of a draft Action Plan.

The next steps are for there to be a meeting with myself as the Portfolio Holder and the Opposition Spokesperson for planning to run through the issues.

This would then provide a steer for officers to continue the development of the Action Plan with the target of it being presented to the June meeting of the Strategic Housing and Planning Committee.

It is too early at this stage to confirm what steps the Council might seek to use as part of the proposed Action Plan.

Therefore we are not in a position to make a decision on the type of consultation that might be undertaken, as this would be directly related to the detail of these suggested activities.

 

 

By Councillor Tricia Bamford

 

To Councillor Margaret Thompson, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care

 

Question:

 

What do you think of the Government missing its own deadline for a sixth time to publish details of the care system reforms for disabled adults and older people?

 

Reply:

 

The publication of the Green Paper has been delayed several times: it was originally due to be published in “summer 2017”. The latest position is that it will be published “at the earliest opportunity”, although the Health and Social Care Secretary had previously said in January 2019 that he “certainly intended for that [publication] to happen before April [2019]”.

The original rationale for the Green Paper was to explore the issue of how social care is funded, and a number of policy ideas have reportedly been under consideration for inclusion in the Green Paper, including:

·         a more generous means-test;

·         a cap on lifetime social care charges;

·         an insurance and contribution model;

·         a Care ISA; and

·         tax-free withdrawals from pension pots.

Other topics that the Government have said will be included are integration with health and other services, carers, workforce, and technological developments, among others. The Government will also consider domestic and international comparisons as part of the preparation for the Green Paper.

Work to find a long-term funding solution for adult social care is now critical and whilst our Adult Social Care teams, alongside our partners across the sector, are succeeding in managing demand they are being placed under increasing pressure.

This Council agrees with the view of The Local Government Association and The Association of Directors of Adult Services that the current system of social care is unsustainable and will buckle under the weight of demand. With people living longer, increases in costs and decreases in funding, adult social care is at breaking point. This is something that the Government must address in its Green Paper on social care and in the forthcoming Spending Review.

 

 

By Councillor Nicola Sheppard

To Councillor Emily Davey, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regeneration

 

Question:

 

The Administration promised the residents of the Cambridge Road Estate that they would be setting up an inquiry to consider the issue of water rates, following the Southwark court case. Can the Portfolio holder tell us when that Committee was established and who sits on it? Can the portfolio member ensure that minutes of the meetings of the inquiry are published?

 

Reply: 

Following the judgement in Southwark v Jones LBC [2016] EWHC 457 (Ch) (Jones), further High Court proceedings (which the Council have commenced following on from this case) are progressing, and are set down for trial in October this year.

Therefore the Council is unable to comment at this time.

 

 

By Councillor Zain Abbas

To Councillor Jon Tolley, Portfolio Holder for Resident Engagement

 

Question:

Can you please update on progress with implementing the Customer Service Improvement Plan and Customer Access Strategy?

 

Reply:

At recent Community Engagement Committee we reviewed the Customer Access Strategy

Some behind the scenes have included the councillor caseworker system, but the main visible item is the website. It is frustrating but we’re sorting the structure of it right now, and are doing extensive co-design (including going to where people are rather than hoping they come to us) to make sure it works for the people who are going to be using it.

After this, it’s about allowing services to be delivered digitally - Kingston has some of the highest digital inclusion in the country - for speed and value for money, and freeing up time to people who do need face to face or on-the-phone services

In the short term… some of improvements are huge:

·         Significant improvements to waiting times in the contact centre - average from over half an hour to 3 minutes

·         All but 3% of FOI requests sorted on time

·         83% of complaints dealt with on time, when it was previously under 50%

·         Fewer temporary staff and more people in place to see the problem through from first reporting to finding the solution

We’re not there yet, and it will take a long time to get there…. but we’re certainly advancing.

 

 

 

By              Councillor David Cunningham 

 

To Councillor Hilary Gander, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainable Transport

 

Question:

 

Does the Councillor regret not having undertaken a proper public consultation and engagement process, rather than relying on a statutory consultation, for the introduction of her punitive scale of CPZ charges?

 

Reply:

 

The Council follows a statutory procedure to produce its Traffic Management Orders (TMO), as set out in The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996. Under the terms of this legislation, the Council must advertise TMO proposals in the local press (The Surrey Comet) and The London Gazette.  The public notice is available to view at the Council Offices during normal business hours and for at least 21 days from the date of the notice.

Consultation with Police and other statutory bodies must also take place.  Local groups such as residents, traders and community groups may also be consulted.

Representations and objections to the notice must be made in writing (as specified in the notice) and within the 21 day period mentioned above. Following which, any contentious issues would be considered by the council.

The Council did not however rely on a statutory consultation. In addition to the above, the Council emailed all account holders with NSL, the Council’s parking contractor, to advise them of the proposed changes that would affect those who hold a resident permit. 16,000 account holders were emailed in relation to the TMO advertisement.

Over and above these requirements, the Council undertook additional activities to raise awareness of the advertisement and the 21 day consultation period as listed below:

- putting posters on community notice-boards and on digital boards in the town centre.

- updating the RBK website to note the proposals: parking charges page updated, FAQs published and a banner on the homepage.

- linking the TMO advertisement to the RBK consultation portal.

- providing regular messaging on social media.

In response, the Council has received over 1000 comments on the TMO.

 

 

 


By: Councillor Sharron Falchikov-Sumner  

 

To: Councillor Dave Ryder-Mills, Portfolio Holder for Contract Monitoring and Corporate Services 

 

Question:  

 

I have received a number of complaints from Surbiton parents regarding ISS - the Council's supplier of school meals. I gather RBK has extended their contract which was due to end this summer.

 

These complaints include:

•      Difficulty in placing orders

•      The quality and quantity of the food, meaning many children are going hungry in the afternoons

•      Menu options being frequently substituted on the day and parents not being notified

•      Canteen staff running out of food (despite the need to pre order all meals) and some children being forced to miss part of their lessons whilst more food is cooked

•      Children not being given enough time to eat their lunches - due to delays caused by low numbers of serving staff.

Could the Portfolio Holder for contracts therefore confirm what input he and his team had in the extension of this contract? In addition what consultation took place with parents prior the extension being awarded?

 

Reply:

 

This is not a contract over which I have had any jurisdiction or overview, as it is one set by and overseen by Achieving for Children. My only direct involvement is when there have been comments made to the governing bodies of the 2 schools where I am a governor. Over the years there have been some comments which some time ago did, to some extent, match those which have reached your ears. These schools negotiated the inadequacies with the provider and the quality and quantity subsequently improved. A fact I know personally, as I make a point of ordering a lunch for myself when I visit.

 

However, to return to the substance of your question, I am told that the procurement and lead-in time for a contract of this size is such that it takes at least a year to develop the specification and arrange the tender exercise. In July 2018 we started to review the contract with an aim to contact all schools to agree a collective approach to either renew for 2 years or go to tender.

 

A key part of this process was to engage an independent charitable organisation School Food Matters to survey families across the contract to gain feedback. 1,252 parents completed the survey, of which a majority of parents were satisfied with the meal service. However, when asked what improvements can be made, the majority of parents wanted more quality food. As a consequence of this, we pushed forward for our accreditation for Gold Food for Life award.

 

All schools were formally asked to confirm if they were in agreement to extend the contract. Aside from one school which had joined an academy chain and wanted to change to the chain’s contractor, all schools agreed to the contract extension.

Since a complaint was submitted to the Children’s and Adults’ Care and Education Committee concerning the meals at one school in Surbiton, we arranged for a parent consultation to take place at the school concerned.

 

This consultation took place on Wednesday 3rd April, 13 parents attended, along with representatives from the catering company, school and AfC. The school ensured this invite was posted to all parents at the school through the parent newsletter, to ensure maximum amount of publicity for the consultation. However, one parent was unable to attend but was eager to meet with AfC, therefore we had a separate meeting with this parent on Friday 29 March.

From this consultation, we are planning to set up a specific parent group to use to meet with and communicate on a regular basis around meals at the school. 

 

AfC recognises there is limited cooking and cold storage in the kitchen, which has resulted in food shortages, which was one of the main points raised. Therefore AfC will be investing £7000 worth of new equipment into the kitchen to alleviate the cold storage problem, and replace one of the older ovens.

 

 

 

By Councillor Caroline Kerr

To Councillor Malcolm Self, Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy, Culture and Heritage

 

Question:

 

Could you please update on how the Council will consult and involve residents and other parties for a new Local Plan for the Borough?

 

Reply:

 

The first stage of Local Plan consultation will be the Early Engagement stage in accordance with Regulation 18 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.

We have a Local Plan Communications and Engagement Strategy in place, which includes stakeholders identified through a workshop with senior planning officers and Portfolio Holders for Planning Policy, Culture & Heritage and Resident Engagement. The overall strategy was then reviewed and improved by the Leader, Cllr Self and Cllr Tolley.

 

Communication and engagement on the Local Plan will target the various audiences through a range of print, digital and face to face activities. This includes the consultation being run on our online engagement portal (www.kingstonletstalk.co.uk), as well as hard copies being available in libraries and the Information and Advice Centre. There will be public engagement events across the borough where we’ll ask for thoughts and ideas and we’ll also be attending other community events to share information.

 

During the three month consultation there will be promotion on social media, community advertising, advertisements on print and digital JCDecaux boards across the borough.  We’ll also be sending information to schools, the college and university, local community groups and worship groups. We’ll target businesses through the Chamber of Commerce and KingstonFirst as well as our own channels.

We’re also going to be contacting site owners in the borough and emailing those on our planning database to gauge their views.

We’re working with our equalities officer and Kingston Centre For Independent Living on the document to make it inclusive and accessible.

Based on the feedback from the consultation, the council’s planning team will draft the Local Plan for the borough. The draft document will be taken to Strategic Housing and Planning Committee in late 2019 for approval to go to further public consultation.

 

 

By       Councillor Lorraine Dunstone

 

To       Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Council

 

Question:

 

Is Kingston’s Shopmobility continuing?

 

 

Reply:

 

The short is yes, with a long term aim to improve the service. The Council is investing in Shopmobility over the next 3 years to update stock and is exploring ways to modernise how the service can be booked and accessed by both residents of and visitors to Kingston, for example, through the development of a new website and app.

 

 

 

By       Councillor Kim Bailey

 

To       Councillor Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services including Education

 

Question:

 

What has the Council done to provide more in-borough places for children and young people with Special Education Needs and Disability?

 

Written reply:

 

The Council has funded the provision of more than 90 additional places in new and expanded specialist resource provisions, which allow children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to be educated in a specialist setting and to access mainstream lessons where appropriate.

 

The Council is also funding an additional 70 places in Dysart and St Philip’s special schools, and its application to open a new 90-place special school in the borough for children and young people with ASD was recently approved by the Department for Education.

 


By:      Councillor Sam Foulder-Hughes

       To:      Councillor Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services

      

Question:

What is the Council doing to ensure that schools feel supported in providing LGBT inclusive education in the borough?

 

Reply:

 

Achieving for Children will continue to support schools across the next academic year with information via eNews and in schools’ partnership briefings by sharing information about content and implementation of the new relationships and sex education (RSE) guidance. A PSHE network is held termly and makes sure that schools are informed and clear of new resources and information. Two further courses which support this area are available to schools, Equality and Diversity and Introduction to Gender identity and Trans Awareness.

The New RSE curriculum comes into effect from September 2020.

The draft guidance outlines a statutory framework of understanding that pupils should have about RSE and health education. Good practice would also develop skills in a values-based or “positive virtues” framework. The importance of teaching about online relationships is emphasised, as is teaching about LGBT issues which should be integrated throughout RSE, in a way which is sensitive, age-appropriate and delivered with reference to the law.

RSE should also:

           Build on what has been taught in primary schools.

           Provide a developmental curriculum focusing on families and the contribution of different types of committed, stable relationships to personal happiness and bringing up children.

           Address the characteristics of positive and healthy respectful relationships, including friendships, both on and off-line.

           Discuss the rights, responsibilities, challenges and opportunities of the online world and in the modern media, including the impact of harmful content.

           Discuss being safe, which includes the concepts of and law relating to sexual consent, exploitation, coercion and harassment.

           Discuss intimate relationships and sexual health, which includes the importance of mutual respect, loyalty and trust, as well as the facts around contraceptive choices and STIs. All of this should be taught with relevance to the law.

Public Health commissions Your Healthcare (YHC) to deliver a school health service that provides support to schools to deliver inclusive and evidence based RSE. This includes both supporting teaching staff in their lesson planning and undertaking direct delivery. RSE sessions focus on a range of topics including LGBT issues, healthy relationships and challenging stigma and discrimination. In preparation for RSE becoming statutory, colleagues at YHC are working closely with Public Health and other providers via a PSHE working group to ensure that local schools are supported to continue to deliver effective RSE that is line with national guidance, and develops a whole school approach.  Gender and LGBT equality, including tackling all forms of discrimination in everyday school life are integral to this work. 

Two ‘Get ready for statutory RSE’ training days will be offered through AfC CPD (continuing professional development) online in October for primary and secondary schools.  A number of education fora e.g. headteachers cluster meetings, safeguarding leads networks, have received RSE update briefings, which have highlighted LGBT inclusivity needs.  

 

 

By       Councillor Tim Cobbett

To       Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Council 

Question:

In the manifesto, we pledged to review the Voluntary and Community Sector, can the Leader give an update please on the review?  

Reply:

The Council has begun the review of the Council’s commissioning relationship with the local voluntary and community sector to shape and agree a new approach that:

•           meets the needs of Kingston’s diverse communities

•           ensures high quality local provision

•           supports the development of sustainable community assets

•           is fair and equitable

•           represents best value

 

A key underlying principle of the review is that it is done in collaboration with the sector and that the approaches adopted are co-produced and agreed. Scope of the review includes:

•           Commissioned services (including major grants)

•           Small/micro grants programme

•           Financial assistance (e.g. rate relief, rent subsidies)

•           Social value

•           Assets (community use and ownership)

•           Sector development - commissioning capability and bid support

 

The proposed key deliverables from the review are:

•           Redesigned VCSE commissioning programme

•           Refreshed and streamlined commissioning strategy

•           Clear strategy and approach to community asset use

•           Social value policy that includes community outcomes

•           Commissioning forum/network that includes VCSE

•           Financial assistance policy

•           Sector support and development offer

•           Procurement portal - accessibility

•           VCSE Compact/MoU

 

It is hoped to launch the funding programme in September 2019 with new arrangements in place by April 2020.

By       Councillor Andreas Kirsch

 

To       Councillor Tricia Bamford, Chair of Development Control Committee 

 

Question:

With local speculation about Chessington Golf Club, has the Council received a planning application for the site and will there be an opportunity for residents to tell us their views about this site in the early engagement consultation for the Local Plan?

 

Reply:

No planning application has been submitted for this site. The most recent interaction relates to a pre-application submission made back in 2016 for the redevelopment of vacant golf club to for new sports and leisure facilities and creation of new housing.

The site included in Annex 2 of the Council’s forthcoming Local Plan Early Engagement consultation. It is listed with the reference of SA095.

 

 

By       Councillor Rowena Bass

To       Councillor Alison Holt, Portfolio Holder for Finance - redirected to Councillor Emily Davey, Portfolio Holder for Housing including Cambridge Road Estate Regeneration

Question:

The Opposition has now asked on three occasions for figures relating to the full costs to the Council of a ‘no’ vote in the ballot on the regeneration of the Cambridge Road Estate. Can the finance portfolio holder tell us what the total abortive costs of losing the ballot including not just the costs to break the joint venture arrangements but also the total costs to date to both the General Fund and the Housing Revenue account for the project costs since the start of the project in Autumn 2014? Can the portfolio holder also clarify what are the costs to the Council for breaking the funding arrangements agreed with the Mayor’s office?

Reply:

1. Potential abortive RBK costs spent on the promotion of the scheme to that date.

The projected cost to the Council’s HRA from the initiation of the project on the Agresso system in August 2015 to December 2019 is £2,683,650. This is net of a contribution to fee expenditure from the GLA of £700,000. There is no expenditure from the General Fund.

Costs from Aug 2015 to Dec 2019 - £3,383,650

Funding received from GLA - £700,000

Projected total costs to December 2019 - £2,683,650

 

2. Potential contribution to joint costs to ballot under the Completion Agreement

In addition, as set out in the March Finance and Contracts Committee paper, in the event of a no vote the Council would also have to repay the developer for 50% of the agreed joint costs expended on masterplanning and engagement from May 2019 to a confirmed decision on ballot. The total is estimated at £3m so the maximum Council exposure is £1,500,000.

3. GLA implications of a No vote on CRE

a) The Council has received a £26m loan from the GLA under the Housing Zone initiative to facilitate early acquisition of leasehold property on CRE. In the event of a No vote the Council would need to repay the total loan the majority of which will not have been spent

b) The Council also received an allocation of £20m grant for social housing under the Housing Zone initiative. An allocation is a “promise” of money that would be released when the homes started on site. In the event of a No vote and no new homes the Council would be obliged to hand this allocation back to the GLA.

c) In addition, in autumn 2019 the Council received an allocation of grant for new homes of over £67m under the Building Council Homes for Londoners programme. Some of this was earmarked for social rented homes on CRE and some for development on the Council’s smaller sites. Although the GLA would allow this funding to be moved between sites within the borough it is unlikely that all of the CRE funding could be taken up elsewhere, so a percentage of the £67m allocation would have to be handed back to the GLA in the event of a No vote.

 

 

By       Councillor Rowena Bass

To       Councillor Alison Holt, Portfolio Holder for Finance - redirected to Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Council

Question:

Can the Portfolio holder update on what discussions have taken place with Treasury Ministers on the Administration's stated objective to remove Stamp Duty from those downsizing from 3 bedroom homes?

Reply:

The Administration wishes to encourage pensioners to consider downsizing to free up family homes.

Unfortunately, in 2018 the government, in their second report of session, seemingly ruled out an exemption from stamp duty for older residents, but we remain hopeful that they may change their minds - Dominic Raab, for example, has indicated that he would like to see a move in this general direction.

Given the current paralysed state of central government, which has, among other things, led to the publication of the Green Paper on social care being delayed for the 6th time, no meetings have been agreed.


By       Councillor Rowena Bass

To       Councillor Alison Holt, Portfolio Holder for Finance - redirected to the Leader of the Council, Councillor Liz Green

Question:

Can the Portfolio holder tell us when we can expect to see the Lib Dem proposals for a Borough Lottery come to a committee for discussion?

Reply:

Many boroughs across the country have introduced borough lotteries as a way of supporting their voluntary and community sector.

The Council has in its corporate plan to consider the feasibility of running a Borough Lottery by March 2021, but I hope that we will be in a position to introduce one before then.

 

 

By       Councillor Rowena Bass

To       Councillor Alison Holt, Portfolio Holder for Finance

Question:

Can the Councillor give the Council an update on the overall expected budget outcome for the year to 31 March 2019?

Reply:

The Council is still in the process of closing its accounts and the outturn is still forecast at £1.2m.  The final outturn will be reported to Finance and Contracts Committee on 27th June 2019.

 


By       Councillor Roy Arora

To       Councillor Malcolm Self, Portfolio holder for Planning policy, Culture and Heritage

 Question:

The 2018 Lib Dem manifesto said: “We will robustly challenge the new draft London Plan, where the Mayor of London wants to increase Kingston's housing target from 643 units to 1,364 units per year, working together with central government and other London boroughs, to get the level of housing we need, whilst keeping the quality of life our residents value.” Can the Portfolio holder set out what he has learnt from the Examination in public of the new London Plan, when he attended and which areas does he believe he has been successful in lobbying for such that we will see a change in the plan?

Reply:

The Council objected to the proposed housing target in our written statement response to the London Plan Examination in Public (EiP) for Matter 19 (Housing Supply and Targets) and Matter 20 (Small Sites and Small Housing Developments). This was on the basis that the overall target is based on the assumed capacity of large and small sites. We were not consulted on the small sites capacity. Officers attended both hearing sessions where the points were reiterated.

 

By       Councillor Roy Arora

To       Councillor Malcolm Self, Portfolio holder for Planning Policy, Culture and Heritage

Question:

Can the Councillor tell us the cost of the contract to Create Streets for the review of Cock’s Crescent and what five things he learnt from the review that the residents and Council were not already aware of?

Reply:

The Create Street review has been invaluable in sense checking the Council’s approach to the redevelopment of the Cocks Crescent scheme. The results of the review have confirmed the wider community desire to see the site redeveloped and to have a continued input into the design and development of any scheme through the adoption a co-design approach to delivery.  Central to the delivery is the mix of uses including the reprovision of modern leisure and community facilities and ancillary uses that will contribute to the sustainability of the town centre.

The design of any new housing will need to be outstanding in terms of architectural quality and materials, creating a vibrant place that is integrated into the surrounding neighbourhood, through enhancing Blagdon Park, creating a new central square and new pedestrian links to the High Street.

 

By       Councillor Roy Arora

To       Councillor Malcolm Self, Portfolio holder for Planning Policy, Culture and Heritage

Question:

Can the Councillor confirm whether the largest Scheme ever permitted in Kingston at the Toby Jug will have “poor doors” or have they been removed in line with the 2018 Lib Dem manifesto?

Reply:

There are no poor doors in the first phase as the first phase of the development will not contain any affordable housing. The reason for affordable housing coming at a later phase is as a result of cash flow because the developer is required to make a £2.5 million contribution to Transport for London when they commence works.

Affordable housing units will be delivered in later phases of the development to achieve a level of 30% affordable across the site as a whole. These later phases of the development only have outline planning consent at this stage. As the council considers future applications for the detailed design of these later phases, it will seek to ensure good design which addresses appropriate access and integration.

By       Councillor Roy Arora

To       Councillor Malcolm Self, Portfolio holder for Planning Policy, Culture and Heritage

Question:

At the meeting of Full Council in December 2018 the Councillor responded to a question that “The Liberal Democrats are not carrying out a green belt review”. The Lib Dem manifesto of 2018 said: “We will review the Assessment of the Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land, currently being carried out by the Conservative Administration. We will share its findings with the communities we represent and agree next steps.” When will the Councillor be sharing these findings with the community?

Reply:

The findings of the Council’s Green Belt and Metropolitan Open Land Assessment (2018) have been shared with the community. The study, along with its Appendix A Land Parcel Assessments, and a list of FAQs has been published on the Council’s website: https://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200157/planning_strategies_and_policies/1353/new_local_plan/3

As set out in the FAQs, the key findings of the study are:

-       Green Belt

All of the sites within the assessment met one or more requirements to be Green Belt land. Even though all sites met the Green Belt purposes generally, there were examples where the containment of sprawl (keeping development within city boundaries) has been less successful than in other places. An example of this is around Chessington World of Adventures.

 

-       MOL

All Metropolitan Open Land within the assessment met the criteria in the London Plan. MOL has lots of different land uses, including extensive development, most notably around the Thames Water Hogsmill Sewage Treatments Works in Berrylands.

The study also identifies two areas which could have the potential for designation as MOL, because of their character and geography. These are:

● Manor Park, off Malden Road, Motspur Park

● Fishponds, off Ewell Road/Hollyfield Road

 

By       Councillor Roy Arora

To       Councillor Malcolm Self, Portfolio holder for Planning Policy, Culture and Heritage

Question:

The Council has recently updated its online planning system. For a considerable time, it has been difficult to see past planning applications. Whilst some limited information has now been uploaded it has been some months since this issue first arose and we need to see all the plans relating to planning applications restored. Other councils do not seem to have this problem so when can we expect to see the full restoration of this service?

Reply:

Current applications received in 2019 are not be affected, but not all records are available for older applications. The planning department is working to restore the wider functionality of the system.

Historic records were saved without appropriate redaction of sensitive data and therefore the Council cannot ‘turn on’ all historic records for all cases. As a short term solution we are publishing records for historic applications on request.


By       Councillor Ed Fram

To       Councillor Margaret Thompson, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care

Question:

When was the decision taken to proceed with a new dementia care home and does the Member agree that it does nothing for the faith in politicians or the Council when Councillors make claims that are patently not true?

Reply:

On 29 September 2016 the Adults' and Children's Committee resolved that a project be initiated to develop one or more care homes for higher acuity dementia care for people aged 65+ in Kingston by 2020/21.

The project is on target. Keys to the first 80 bed dementia nursing home in Browns Road Surbiton, will be handed over in December 2020, subject to planning permission being granted in June 2019.

The home is expected to welcome its first residents in March 2021.

 

By       Councillor Ed Fram

To       Councillor Margaret Thompson, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care

Question:

When can we expect to see the plans for the introduction of public defibrillators across the Borough and can the Portfolio holder give us an update on how the expansion of workplace blood pressure monitoring has been implemented?

Reply:

The important role that public access Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) can play in responding to cardiac arrest and improving survival is well recognised, and Kingston Council supports the London Ambulance Service’s “Shockingly Easy” campaign that aims to increase the number of public access defibrillators. 

Automated external defibrillators are already available in Kingston in areas where a high footfall is expected, or where higher risk physical activities are undertaken regularly. This includes railway stations, high footfall areas in the town centre, sports clubs, leisure centres and some night-time venues.

A map of publicly accessible AEDs is being promoted by HeartSafe: http://www.heartsafe.org.uk/AED-Locations and the Council will ask officers to upload public AEDs to this website.  Those in Kingston Town are already shown.

AEDs have also been purchased in some areas using the Councillor small grants scheme. Members of the public have also fund-raised for AEDs, which are then held in as accessible a location as possible, even if not available 24/7.  

The London Fire Brigade carry defibrillators on all of its pumping vehicles.

There has also been a London wider roll-out of defibrillators in police vehicles and these have been available across the BCU from August 2017.

CPR is valuable in almost all cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and schools provide opportunities for us to promote health and lifesaving skills.

A survey of availability of defibrillators in state schools in Kingston was undertaken. As of September 2017 twenty four schools (all 10 secondary schools, the Pupil Referral Unit and 13 primary schools) plus Kingston 6th Form College all had defibrillators. Twenty six primary and infant schools did not have their own but twelve of these knew where they could access one in close proximity to their premises.

Funding towards defibrillators is available to schools via the Children’s Safeguarding Board.

This topic was discussed at Kingston’s Health and Wellbeing Board on 14th September 2017 and the Board approved encouraging schools to take part in the British Heart Foundation’s ‘Restart the Heart’ campaign. This is being promoted throughout all secondary schools in Kingston.

It should be remembered that AEDs do need routine maintenance, including battery replacement, and that this needs to form part of any commitment to purchase an AED.

In terms of workplace health and blood pressure monitoring, Kingston Council supports the London Healthy Workplace charter.  This scheme provides a framework for action to help employers build good practice with respect to workplace health and wellbeing in their organisation. The charter supports all types of employers, large and small, from the public, private or voluntary sectors. Using the self-assessment framework organisations can find out what it is already doing that fits into the ethos of the charter as well as where it might need to improve. This can include blood pressure monitoring.  The framework reflects best practice and is endorsed nationally by Public Health England.

The Kingston Public Health team have been working with businesses on the Workplace charter over the last six years.  To date 28 businesses within the borough have signed up to the charter.

The business benefits of having a healthy, fit and committed workforce are clearly recognised. These include lower absence rates, fewer accidents, improved productivity, staff who are engaged and committed to the organisation and fitter employees as they grow older. For staff, having the opportunity to access health and wellbeing services in the workplace, including blood pressure monitoring, will continue to be something that the Council supports to promote health and wellbeing, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and the impact on the lives of individuals and families that these conditions have.

 

By:      Councillor Maria Netley 

To:      Councillor Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services

Question:

Can the Portfolio Holder update the Council on the budget around SEND and confirm whether she believes this area will overspend this year and by how much?

Written reply:

The high needs block of the Dedicated Schools Grant has overspent by over £1m in 2018/19, even after allowing for £4m of one-off funding.  This means that, based on the current cohort of pupils requiring additional support, there is a funding shortfall of £5m. 

 

Demand for high needs services is expected to continue to escalate in 2019/20 which will further exacerbate this position by up to a further £2m.  The SEND Transformation Plan outlines plans to manage this position but an overspend of up to £2.5m will remain, even if the ambitious plan is fully successful.  Taking a more prudent view, if the plan delivers 50% of the savings, an overspend of £5m would remain.  The plan looks to achieve an in-year balanced position by 2021/22.

  

By:      Councillor Maria Netley 

To       Councillor Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services

Question:

After considerable negotiation since 2015, I was pleased to see that an application has been submitted to the DfE for a new Church of England secondary school in the Borough. Can the portfolio holder confirm that both she and the Leader of the Council will be writing to the DfE to support this application?

Written reply:

It is clear that a new primary, a new secondary and a new special school are all needed in the borough.

We have secured the special school, are working to provide a new primary in Surbiton and do indeed support the Diocese of Southwark’s application for a Church of England secondary school.

The Department for Education has closed off any possibility of another non-faith secondary free school being approved to open in the borough by restricting Wave 13 and the current Wave 14 of the free schools programme to areas of ‘low social mobility’ and ‘low educational standards’ only.

A Church of England secondary would provide a natural feeder from the 10 Church of England primary schools in the borough and we have accordingly provided a letter of support to the Diocese for them to include with their application.

 

By:      Councillor Maria Netley 

To       Councillor Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services including Education 

Question:

Can the portfolio holder tell us when we can expect to see proposals for the promised youth service review?

Reply:

The Corporate Plan shows that a review of the youth offer will be undertaken by April 2021.

The review will focus on a range of, and access to, positive engagement opportunities with young people, including leisure, health and voluntary activities. The youth offer is not just about the youth service, but all services which provide positive participation opportunities for young people.

It is expected that a consultation scope will be submitted to the Children’s and Adults’ Care and Education (CACE) Committee in April 2020 for consultation through to October 2020 and a report on outcomes with proposals to CACE Committee in December 2020.

 

By:      Councillor Maria Netley 

To       Councillor Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services including Education 

Question:

Can the Portfolio Holder update the Council on when we can expect to see progress on the provision of a new Express CIC autism centre in Tolworth?

Reply:

A number of Council-owned sites across the Borough are being appraised to consider their suitability for inclusion in phase 1 of a new affordable homes programme. 

The provision of built facilities, which could be used for a range of purposes by our communities, and which could include an autism centre, are being considered as part of these appraisals.  

Phase 1 of the affordable homes programme will be presented to Members shortly; following that we will engage with our local communities. 

 

 

By    Councillor Maria Netley 

To       Councillor Diane White, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services including Education 

Question:

On the 1 March 2018 there were 94 young people who did not, at that time, have a secondary school place for September 2018. They all received a place. At the time the now Leader of the Council said: "This is about an incompetent and uncaring Conservative administration, unprepared for a known rise in the number of children needing a place in secondary school from this September”. This year there were 111, an increase of 18%. Will you be apologising or asking the Leader to resign and apologise for causing such alarm and concern amongst parents?

Reply:

We recognise that, for a small minority of applicants, the secondary transfer process can, initially at least, be very difficult and we and the School Admissions Team are doing everything we can to support and advise parents/ carers so that their children can be appropriately placed as quickly as possible.

However, the relative numbers of unplaced children mask the fact that, this year, the number of applications made by in-borough residents rose by 142, from last year’s total of 1,768 children, to 1,910 this year - an 8% increase (5% higher than the London average).

75 additional places have been provided - at Coombe Boys’, The Hollyfield and Southborough High Schools.

All children currently unplaced will be placed in time for their admission in September.

The rising numbers support the case for another new secondary school to be established within the borough, which we have been actively seeking to secure.

 


By       Councillor Nicola Sheppard 

To       Councillor Emily Davey, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Regeneration,

Question:

At the recent meeting of the Strategic Housing and Planning Committee, you claimed that you had no contact with the formulation of the question for the CRE ballot because you wished to ensure that the whole process was seen as fair. Do you, therefore, regret setting a new question in the course of that committee without taking proper legal advice and then seconding that new suggestion when it was proposed to the committee by one of your colleagues?

Reply:

We did not set a new question at the meeting. The Committee agreed to insert the word ‘regeneration’ in to the existing question. Both the Council’s Monitoring Officer and the independent Electoral Reform Services have reviewed this amended wording and are comfortable with it.

 

By       Councillor David Cunningham 

To       Councillor Hilary Gander, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainable Transport redirected to Councillor Jon Tolley

Question:

Only five years after the multi-million pound Lib Dem led Kingston Market project there has been a marked decline in the condition of the market stalls. Putting aside whether they were fit for purpose when designed can the Member tell us what plans the Administration has for improving the market place so it can be a better public event space that can arrest its decline?

Reply:

The award winning Kingston Ancient Market Place and stalls remain extremely popular with Kingston residents, local businesses and visitors contributing to the town centre being London’s third most popular shopping destination. 

For these reasons the market place is intensively used and requires ongoing management and investment working with the Kingston First BID who manage the market stalls and work closely with the Council to keep public spaces clean, tidy and safe for all to use.  The square, for example, benefits for supplementary cleansing services.

More recently the Council has commissioned an extensive investment  programme that is underway and includes new doors and waterproofing measures for the existing market stalls to maximise business trading opportunities. Work has also been done to maintain a supply of granite to make sure repair jobs aren’t left unsightly after the agreed permitted period.

The Council is also proud to install the first-in-the-borough new design public water fountain in the market place last month. 

The use of the area as a public space is fundamental. Over the spring and summer period, the popular artificial grass is being renewed and the deckchairs to provide more public seating and relaxation.  Additional benches will be provided, the flower troughs are being replanted and the fountain will be switched on in May.  A covered seating area for eating is being provided and a floral arbour is to be installed to encourage users of the marketplace to photograph themselves.

 

By Councillor David Cunningham 

To Councillor Dave Ryder-Mills, Portfolio Holder for Contract Monitoring and Corporate Services

Question:

Can the Portfolio Holder outline the planned consultation and engagement process with residents relating to the budget decision to implement pavement based collections of all waste and recycling bins from households?

Reply:

The Council budget setting process for 2020/24 is in its very early stages.

All decisions that require statutory consultation, wider community engagement and/or strategic committee decisions for proposed implementation in 2020/21 will be brought forward in the Autumn 2019.

 

If it is decided that this proposal, which is currently the subject of negotiation between RBK and the relevant contract partner, should be implemented, consultation will follow this timetable.

 


By Councillor David Cunningham 

To Councillor Hilary Gander, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainable Transport

Question:

In relation to the proposed increases in CPZ charges for some vehicles: If the increased charges are to encourage residents to buy less polluting vehicles, why hasn't the Council given residents long-term notice of three to five years in order to allow them to change their vehicles to less polluting vehicles when they next need to renew their vehicle?

Reply:

These charges were designed to contribute to the Council’s overall approach to improve air quality, which includes many other measures such as ‘School Streets’ and Go Cycle protected cycle lanes, discouraging engine idling  together aimed to encourage a change in behaviour related to cars and transport generally. We know that poor air quality affects our vulnerable residents, including those with long-term conditions and children.

 

 Moreover, at Full Council on 24th April, this Administration joined many others across the UK in proposing a Motion (for debate at EAST Committee) to declare a Climate Emergency. That Motion outlined that the impacts of climate change are already causing serious damage around the world, and that while current plans and actions are helping, they are not enough. With the world on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050, and the potential enormous harm that this could create, this Council stated that it believed urgent action was needed.

 

The message we are getting is that we cannot afford to wait. Whilst this particular measure has been withdrawn, we look forward to the Air Quality Citizens’ Assembly later in the year, which will give residents the opportunity to contribute to building our collective action plan.

 

 


By:             Councillor David Cunningham 

To:             Councillor Hilary Gander, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainable Transport

Question:

In relation to the proposed increases in CPZ charges for some vehicles,

1.    can you advise how many Liberal Democrat councillors live in a household that own a car?

2.    can you advise how many Liberal Democrat councillors live in a household that own more than one car?

3.    can you advise how many Liberal Democrat councillors who have access to a car have access to off-street parking?

4.    can you advise how many Liberal Democrat councillors do have access to a car but do have no access to off-street parking and live in a CPZ area?

5.    can you advise of those Liberal Democrat councillors who have access to a car without off-street parking and live in a CPZ area, how much extra each would pay for parking their current vehicles under the proposed new CPZ changes?

6.    can you advise how many Liberal Democrat councillors own an electric car?

 

Reply:

Neither the party nor the Council holds this data. You are free to ask individual councillors their situations, but, even if I knew, it would not be my place to make this data public.

Speaking for myself, my household owns one car; I do have access to off-street parking; I do not live in a CPZ area though parking is restricted to one side of the street at certain times of the day. The emissions of my car are relatively low at 119 g/km. The proposed CPZ charges have been withdrawn.

 


By Councillor Kevin Davis 

 

To Councillor Liz Green, Leader of the Council

Question:

 Leaked documents have revealed to the public that you wish to curtail the rights of members and residents to call-in decisions of your Administration that they disagree with. Putting aside the well-known fact that I do not believe scrutiny has a role in a system where party proportionate decision making exists, in 2016 you said: “I am worried that big decisions coming before the Council will not be scrutinised properly”. Do you not agree that rather than closing down what Scrutiny does we should be willing to be open and transparent and allow scrutiny to broaden its role into pre-decision making scrutiny on issues it chooses?

Reply:

As you are aware, the Council is currently reviewing its constitutional procedures to ensure that we are able to make well informed decisions, with resident input and in a timely way. The Council is moving to ensure that we improve public participation/consultation in the lead up to decision making at strategic committee, neighbourhood and full Council.

As I know you are aware, the ‘leaked’ document was made available to all Members of the Council via Member workshops to start the debate on community and councillor call-in, scrutiny, deputations, petitions, member requisition, public participation and many other aspects of our constitution, and not, as some others have intimated, as the final proposal by the Administration.

The current procedures around petitions, deputations, community motions and community call-in were set some time ago, when social media was not as active as it is now and external petition websites were not as prevalent, so it is right that we review and refine the arrangements to ensure they meet the needs of the community and the requirement for elected Councillors to be able to make timely, well informed decisions.

An analysis of the 5 call-ins since May 2018 show that whilst at least 100 residents have signed each call-in, only a total of 7 residents have spoken across all the 5 call-ins. The cost of each call-in varies, depending upon the officer time needed to respond, but the analysis shows that it is around £5,000 per call-in, so the cost in 2018-19 financial year is approximately £25,000.  Regarding outcomes, only 1 decision has been altered slightly (1 of the 14 reasons on the local plan issues and options call-in altered the decision to ensure the final draft returned to committee) with the remaining 4 scrutiny panels fully upholding the original decision.

It is also of note that as far as we can assess, RBK is the only Council to provide for a resident call-in procedure and many Councils operating the committee structure have no post-decision scrutiny function.

No decisions on this or any other aspects of the procedural review have yet been taken. I am very happy to discuss options with yourself, other councillors and interested members of the public to ensure that we reach the right balance. This can include discussions on how we can undertake better pre-decision scrutiny.

The final proposals for any changes will come forward later this year to full Council to allow all members to take a full part in this important decision.

By Councillor Ian George  

To Councillor Jon Tolley, Portfolio holder for Resident Engagement

Question: 

What support did the Member give to the development of the consultation for the raising of CPZ charges and if he agrees with the process adopted does he accept that it could have been done better?

Reply:

The Council follows a statutory procedure to produce its TMOs, as set out in The Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales) Regulations 1996. This approach was taken with the recent TMO regarding resident permit charges.

Under the terms of this legislation, the Council advertised this TMO proposal in the local press (The Surrey Comet) and The London Gazette. The public notice was available to view at the Council Offices during normal business hours and for 21 days from the date of the notice.

Police, other statutory bodies, local groups such as residents, traders and community groups were also alerted to the TMO advertisement.

In addition to the above, for this particular TMO, the Council emailed all account holders with NSL, the Council’s parking contractor, to advise them of the proposed changes that would affect those who hold a resident permit. 16,000 account holders were emailed in relation to the TMO advertisement.

Further, the Council also undertook additional activities to raise awareness of the advertisement and the 21 day consultation period as listed below:

- putting posters on community notice-boards and on digital boards in the town centre.

- updating the RBK website to note the proposals: parking charges page updated, FAQs published and a banner on the homepage.

- linking the TMO advertisement to the RBK consultation portal.

- providing regular messaging on social media.

In response, the Council received over 1000 comments on the TMO, and more via other media.

The process adopted here went above and beyond the standard legislative requirements of a TMO advertisement. The TMO was clearly advertised and successfully raised awareness of the content within it.  After so many residents responded, we significantly changed our policy and I’d like to thank every resident who got involved.

 


 

By Councillor Kevin Davis 

To Councillor Lorraine Dunstone, Chair of the South of the Borough Neighbourhood Committee

Question:

Can I congratulate you on your adoption of the facility granted by the constitutional changes made in 2016 to have Neighbourhood forums and ask what your Committee learnt from the Forum you held recently?

Reply:

We used our first community forum on 7th March to facilitate a discussion with residents about community resilience. The aim was to engage with residents to ask what community resilience means to them and how it is best delivered going forward to meet the needs and expectations of residents, communities and businesses.

30 community members attended the event. Initial learning and feedback from the event suggests:

        The majority of attendees left with a greater understanding of what community resilience is and with a positive appetite to find out more about volunteering and training opportunities.

        There is a willingness from community and residents groups to become more resilient and aware on how they can support the emergency services and Council during disruptive incidents.

        Events, training and exercises should be provided within neighbourhood settings so more residents and communities can participate. Community groups were keen for RBK to make better use of their resources (buildings) for training and response purposes.

        Attendees would prefer RBK to use local media and news outlets to warn and inform local residents rather than the Council website. Additionally RBK emergency planning should make better use of local community groups to cascade these messages and develop community resilience.

        RBK emergency planning should develop local community and resilience plans, so residents can prepare and respond to emergencies better. Residents are keen for local emergency plans to be developed in consultation with them.

Council officers are currently undertaking a full evaluation of the workshop.  The evaluation report will include all learning from this event, finalise actions to be taken by RBK and make recommendations for other agencies that participated.  It will include a review of the event itself, learning that can be included in Community Plans and a recommendation on running similar workshops in other Kingston neighbourhoods. London Councils have asked Kingston to share learning and experience from our event with a pan-London group discussing community resilience.  The final evaluation report will be shared with elected Members as well as the pan-London community resilience group.