Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive
Tuesday, 8th January, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions

Contact: John Armstrong, Democratic Services Manager. Tel: 01483 444102  Email: john.armstrong@guildford.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

EX62

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Decision:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Gordon Jackson.

 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Gordon Jackson.

 

 

EX63

Local Code of Conduct - Disclosable Pecuniary Interest

In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda.  Any councillor with a DPI must notparticipate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must also withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.

 

If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.

 

Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

There were no disclosures of interest.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

 

 

EX64

Minutes pdf icon PDF 225 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 27 November 2018.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Executive approved the minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2018.  The Vice-Chairman, as the person presiding at the meeting, signed the minutes.

 

Minutes:

The Executive approved the minutes of the meeting held on 27 November 2018.  The Chairman signed the minutes.

 

EX65

Leader's Announcements

Additional documents:

Decision:

There were no announcements from the Leader.

 

Minutes:

There were no announcements from the Leader.

 

 

EX66

Annual Audit Letter 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 203 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

That the Annual Audit Letter for 2017-18 be approved.

 

Reason:

To approve the Annual Audit Report

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

None

 

Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:

None

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report on the completed external audit for 2017-18 for which an Annual Audit Letter had been issued.  The Executive commended the overall conclusion reached by Grant Thornton that they were satisfied that in all significant respects the Council had put in place proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources for the year ending 31 March 2018. 

 

Having considered the report and noted that the Corporate Governance and Standards Committee had also considered the Annual Audit Letter at its meeting on 29 November 2018 and had commended it for formal approval, the Executive

 

RESOLVED: That the Annual Audit Letter for 2017-18 be approved.

 

Reason:

To approve the Annual Audit Report

 

EX67

Chantry Wood Campsite pdf icon PDF 458 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

(1)     That no further action be taken to develop further the original proposal to fully refurbish the Chantry Wood Campsite.

 

(2)     That the Option D - the proposal to lease the Chantry Wood Campsite to a Forest School operator, be provisionally approved and that the Director of Environment be authorised, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Enterprise and Economic Development, to take such steps as may be necessary to implement this option to the satisfaction of the lead councillor, including consideration of the issues raised by local residents by way of a local consultation.

 

Reasons:

 

·        the provision of utility services at Chantry Wood Campsite would be more expensive and more complicated than anticipated to improve the facility;

·        there would be significant negative impact on Chantry Wood and Surrey Hills AONB due to the high customer footfall and the expected users of any refurbished campsite facility;

·        the cost of additional staff to manage the site reduces the amount of return which could be achieved by the Council from investing in a fully refurbished campsite;

·        operating a campsite at Chantry Woods is therefore not a viable business;

·        the campsite does not deliver Council core priorities;

·        establishing a forest school base would enable the educational community to be involved with Chantry Woods and the Surrey Hills and to view it as an asset for future generations, this is in line with the Guildford Countryside Vision and Play Strategy; and

·        a lease with a forest school provider can be put in place to ensure that the Council retains control over the use and development of the land whilst providing an income stream for the Council.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

·        Fully refurbish campsite with upgraded facilities

·        Continue current operation with small facility improvements

·        Continue current operation without changes to the facilities

·        Lease area for forest school use without facility improvement

·        Return site to grassland/ woodland

 

Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:

None

 

Minutes:

Prior to formal consideration of this matter, the following persons addressed the Executive in accordance with Public Speaking Procedure Rules:

 

·        Mr Jonathan Bigmore (representing six households closest to the campsite and the Tyting Society Steering Committee)

·        Mr John Rigg (representing Tyting Society Steering Committee)

 

The public speakers highlighted the following concerns in respect of the proposal:

 

·        Lack of consultation with local residents and users of the campsite

·        Absence of detail regarding the proposed new arrangement in terms of the number of children on site at any given time, the days and the hours during the day on which the site will be used, and how this compared with the current operational use

·        Noise disturbance arising from the proposed use

·        Impact on the natural environment

·        Safeguarding concerns associated with the presence of a large number of young children in an area of open access to the general public

·        Inadequate vehicular access

 

The Executive considered a report which outlined and appraised the following options for the future operation and alternative uses for the Chantry Wood Campsite:

 

(a)    Fully refurbish campsite with upgraded facilities

(b)    Continue current operation with small facility improvements

(c)    Continue current operation without changes to the facilities

(d)    Carry out small scale refurbishment to lease area for forest school use

(e)    Lease area for forest school use without facility improvement

(f)      Return site to grassland/ woodland

(g)    Consult on options

 

The Executive noted that the campsite currently provided a very basic camping facility suitable for single party bookings. Whilst originally aimed at scout and guide groups, the campsite was now mainly booked by family groups. Officers advised that the current operation of the campsite was subsidised by the Council and was not financially viable.

 

As the current facility was in need of repair, the report summarised the status of the Chantry Wood Campsite refurbishment project including details of the feasibility work undertaken, which had identified that the goal of creating a full campsite facility was now no longer feasible.  This was due primarily to changes in the campsite users in recent years.  These changes had made it clear that additional operational staff input would be required in order to minimise negative impacts of the facility on the surrounding landscape, which would limit the expected financial return.

 

The report had identified option (d): Small-scale refurbishment to lease the campsite area for forest school use as the preferred option to deliver a financially and environmentally sustainable future for this area of land at Chantry Wood.

 

In arriving at the preferred option, the following considerations had been taken into account:

 

·        Current Council Strategies

·        Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Management Plan

·        Provision of suitable alternative natural greenspace (SANG) at Chantry Wood

·        Capital investment options

·        Operational cost and potential income           

·        Impact on the local area (traffic, footfall, disturbances from activities)

·        Community benefit and involvement

 

The Executive noted the concerns expressed by the public speakers and by other residents in correspondence on this matter exchanged before the meeting.  Councillors noted the additional  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX67