Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive
Tuesday, 19th March, 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

EX90

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Decision:

There were no apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

EX91

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:

Councillor Bob McShee disclosed a non-pecuniary interest in respect of item 8 on the agenda, Guildford Sportsground Management Company, as he was a member of Surrey County Cricket Club.

 

There were no other disclosures of interest.

Minutes:

Councillor Bob McShee disclosed a non-pecuniary interest in respect of item 8 on the agenda, Guildford Sportsground Management Company, as he was a member of Surrey County Cricket Club.

 

There were no other disclosures of interest.

EX92

Minutes pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 19 February 2019 (attached) and the special meeting held on 7 March 2019 (to follow).

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Executive approved, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 19 February 2019, and the minutes of the special meeting held on 7 March 2019.  The Chairman signed the minutes.

 

Minutes:

The Executive approved, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on 19 February 2019, and the minutes of the special meeting held on 7 March 2019.  The Chairman signed the minutes.

 

EX93

Leader's Announcements

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Leader announced that the Council had received the Local Plan Inspector’s Draft Report for fact-checking and it was still intended to present the Plan to the Council for consideration of formal adoption before May 2019.

 

Minutes:

The Leader announced that the Council had received the Local Plan Inspector’s Draft Report for fact-checking and it was still intended to present the Plan to the Council for consideration of formal adoption before May 2019.

 

EX94

The Guildford Museum Development Project - Update pdf icon PDF 384 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

(1)     That the work undertaken to date be noted and that the project be progressed to RIBA stage 4.

 

(2)     That officers explore external funding options, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

 

(3)     That a fundraising officer be appointed.

 

(4)     That the sum of £1,200,000 be transferred from the provisional capital programme to the approved capital programme to fund the required work.

 

(5)     That the Director of Environment, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Skills, Arts and Tourism, Lead Councillor for Finance and Asset Management and Director of Finance, be authorised to review the existing contracts for external consultants and either re-negotiate or re-procure them in order to ensure best value for money.

 

Reason:

To progress further the architectural and technical designs, surveys, audience development programme, submission of planning and grant funding applications.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

A.     Undertake minimal refurbishment of the existing project within existing capital budget

B.     Deliver a phased project  which still requires external match funding but a reduced scale of development

 

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

None

 

 

Minutes:

Prior to consideration of this matter, Julia Holberry of Julia Holberry Associates and gave a presentation on the Guildford Museum Development Project to the Executive and Mr Gavin Morgan of the Guildford Heritage Forum addressed the meeting.

 

The Executive considered an update report on the Project, which was a forward-thinking transformational project of substantial scale and influence that would make a significant positive contribution to Guildford’s attraction as a place to live, work, play and to be creative.

 

The proposed landmark new build extension and refurbishment of the existing museum buildings would create a destination hub for Guildford’s cultural and leisure offer, showcasing prestigious national events and exhibitions as well as celebrating Guildford’s own past and its contribution to innovation globally, notably the digital and satellite industry.

 

The impact of similar museums and other cultural institutions had demonstrated the boost they gave to local economies; generating greater spend by visitors, increasing employment and providing a catalyst to grow creative industries and support existing businesses. The proposed museum was estimated to contribute £2.4million GVA per annum to the local economy.

 

Through modernised programmes of activities, the museum would be more financially sustainable and resilient. The range of additional income-generating activities included a welcoming café that would link the Museum to the Castle grounds and events that would draw new audiences with extended opening hours.

 

The Executive noted that, in 2016-17, museum visitor numbers had fallen to 9,642.  This, it was felt, demonstrated the need to radically change what the Council offered to enable Guildford to live up to its status as the county town of Surrey.  If completed to expectations, it was estimated that the Council could realistically expect up to 70,000 visitors per year.

 

With an emphasis on greater partnership and collaboration, Guildford’s businesses, other cultural attractions, educational institutions and the third sector would play an integral part of the overall offer.  The museum would provide a hub for art and heritage attractions both within and beyond Guildford.  Partners such as the Carollian Wonderland Trust, Surrey Archaeological Society and Surrey Infantry Museum would all provide greater depth and interest to the museum offer.

 

Work to date had focused on the development of Guildford Museum’s vision, audience development, display interpretation and architectural design options and had involved specialist, external experts such as  ZMMA (architectural designs and Interpretation Planning), Julia Holberry Associates (audience development and activity planning), and Fourth Street (business planning).  

 

Following previous work to identify the best site, a new build extension within the courtyard of the Museum was proposed.  This would re-orientate the Museum towards the Castle and town centre and provide a unique opportunity to consolidate and draw on the attraction of the Castle. The site did, however, present a challenge due to its access, sensitive historic setting and topography.  As such, the cost estimate had taken account of these factors.

 

The Executive noted that the Council had already allocated £6.5million in its provisional capital programme, which would be insufficient to meet the Council’s aspirations,  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX94

EX95

Innovation Strategy 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 297 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

Noting the cross-cutting importance of Innovation to all portfolio holders, the Executive agreed:

 

(1)   to approve the Innovation Strategy 2019-20, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report submitted to the Executive;

 

(2)   to ask the Innovation Strategy Board to consider the subsequent review, revision, and prioritisation of future strategic objectives within the Innovation Strategy and to make recommendations, as appropriate to the Executive;

 

(3)   to authorise the Director of Environment, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Innovation and Transformation, to approve minor changes to the Innovation Strategy.

 

Reasons:

Unprecedented levels of change are affecting daily life – both at home and in the workplace. The changes and challenges are economic, environmental, legal, political, social or technological – all can be addressed through innovation.

 

While innovation through technical advancement may often provide a solution, other forms of innovation are as important, addressing behavioural or cultural changes that might be needed to transform future Society.

 

The Council’s Future Guildford transformation programme provides the means by which the Objectives and Actions covered by this Innovation Strategy can be developed and delivered, enabling the Council to lead by example.

 

The Action Plan at Appendix 1 of the Strategy identifies the Objectives and Actions in detail; the annual term of this and subsequent versions of the Strategy underline the importance of keeping Innovation under review through regular monitoring, adaptation and revision against new and emerging priorities.

 

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 Council’s first dedicated Innovation Strategy, which had been designed to follow an annual format that reflected the dynamic nature of Innovation, constantly evolving and requiring flexibility of approach in order to manage the effects of change. Anticipated changes might be economic, environmental, legal, political, social, or technological – all of which could be addressed through innovation.

 

Based on the Innovation Theme of the Council’s Corporate Plan and overseen by the Innovation Strategy Board in conjunction with the Executive, the new Strategy prioritised the three strategic priorities for Innovation as follows:

 

1.         Facilitating smart places infrastructure across Guildford

2.         Guildford as the Innovators’ location of choice

3.         Future Guildford - working to improve value for money and efficiency in Council services

 

Delivery of the Future Guildford transformation programme, which had been approved by the Council on 26 February 2019 for implementation, would run parallel to the delivery of the Innovation Strategy throughout 2019-20 and as future annual editions of the Strategy were planned, updated and published.

 

The Place Making and Innovation EAB had received a presentation on the Innovation Strategy at its meeting held on 18 February 2019. Councillors’ comments included references to climate change and air quality and uncertainties around electric vehicle charging infrastructure compared with other fuel options such as hydrogen cells. The opportunity for tri-partite Business-Council-University collaboration was welcomed.

 

The over-riding aim of the Innovation Strategy was to “future-proof” Guildford for the benefit of its residents and businesses, with the Council leading by example. Noting the cross-cutting importance of Innovation to all portfolio holders, the Executive

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Innovation Strategy 2019-20, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report submitted to the Executive, be approved.

 

(2)     That the Innovation Strategy Board be requested to consider the subsequent review, revision, and prioritisation of future strategic objectives within the Innovation Strategy and to make recommendations, as appropriate to the Executive.

 

(3)     That the Director of Environment be authorised, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Innovation and Transformation, to approve minor changes to the Innovation Strategy.

 

Reasons:

Unprecedented levels of change are affecting daily life – both at home and in the workplace. The changes and challenges are economic, environmental, legal, political, social or technological – all can be addressed through innovation.

 

While innovation through technical advancement may often provide a solution, other forms of innovation are as important, addressing behavioural or cultural changes that might be needed to transform future Society.

 

The Council’s Future Guildford transformation programme provides the means by which the Objectives and Actions covered by this Innovation Strategy can be developed and delivered, enabling the Council to lead by example.

 

The Action Plan at Appendix 1 of the Strategy identifies the Objectives and Actions in detail; the annual term of this and subsequent versions of the Strategy underline the importance of keeping Innovation under review through regular monitoring, adaptation and revision against new and emerging priorities.

 

EX96

Replacement of Guildford Spectrum pdf icon PDF 491 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

(1)         That the research undertaken into the current performance and challenges of the Spectrum be noted.

 

(2)         That the option to build a new facility and produce a full business case, including public consultation, funding, and delivery options, be progressed.

 

(3)         That the draft vision and aspirations for the new facility, as set out in the report submitted to the Executive, be approved.

 

Reason:

To address the Corporate Plan objective to undertake a feasibility study for a new facility to replace Guildford Spectrum.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

To refurbish the current facility.

 

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

None

 

 

Minutes:

 

The Executive considered a comprehensive report on the outcome of research relating to the possible replacement or refurbishment of Guildford Spectrum Leisure Complex.

 

Councillors noted that the Corporate Plan included an objective to undertake a feasibility study for a new leisure facility and the report outlined the work undertaken to inform this process.

 

The research included examining the national and regional situation, the performance and challenges of the existing venue and the draft aspirations and objectives for a replacement.  It also examined the option of refurbishing the existing facility.

 

The report argued that provision of sports and leisure facilities were consistent with Council strategies and policies, government policy and national strategies for health and wellbeing and sport.  It was suggested that these policies were best fulfilled by the provision of an affordable, volume-based offering. The approach to the business (pricing and programming) needed to reflect this as the Council needed to provide great facilities within reach of the entire community.at an affordable price.

 

The predicted increase in population detailed within the emerging Local Plan would require additional facilities to meet the community’s needs.

 

The Executive noted that Guildford’s community was healthier than the national average, with a longer life expectancy and a greater propensity to exercise although there remained inequalities within some wards in the borough.

 

In respect of income, facilities at Guildford Spectrum still performed above the Sport England National Benchmarking Scheme (SENBS) benchmarks. The mix of the facilities on the site meant that comparison of the whole site cost per visit (i.e. operational expenditure per visit) was not comparing like with like.

 

The recent remedial works had improved the condition of the venue to a point where the operational life of the roof had been extended to ten years on the assumption of ongoing maintenance.

 

The current condition of the building meant that a long term solution was required before the temporary remedial works expired in 2028. On the assumption that ceasing provision was not an option, the two remaining options were therefore to either refurbish or rebuild the venue.  As the cost of refurbishment was broadly similar to building an equivalent sized new venue and considerably more disruptive, a new build was therefore the recommended option although further work would

be undertaken as part of the business case process.

 

The vision and aspirations exercise produced a top priority of being financially self-sustaining. Whilst it was possible to generate a significant operating surplus, it was extremely unlikely that the capital financing cost could be met, let alone the additional surplus over and above this to reinvest in the venue.

 

A well-informed business plan would take into account the combination of the facilities, their detailed design and the programme of operation (including pricing). At this early stage of the process, and bearing in mind the unique status of the venue, historical performance of the venue was the best available indicator. A business plan would go through a number of iterations reflecting decisions made about the site as  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX96

EX97

Guildford Sportsground Management Company pdf icon PDF 268 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

(1)   That the Council establishes a private company limited by guarantee with Surrey County Cricket Club and Guildford Cricket Club to be responsible for the management of Guildford Sportsground.

 

(2)   That the Head of Paid Service, in consultation with the Council Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, Leader of the Council, Lead  Councillor for Infrastructure and Governance and Lead Councillor for Finance and Asset Management, be authorised:

 

(a) to appoint directors and the Authorised Officer; and.

(b) to approve the final Company documentation following receipt of legal advice.

 

(3)   That the Director of Environment be authorised, in consultation with the Council Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, to take such steps as are required to incorporate the Company, and agree associated documentation with Surrey County Cricket Club, and Guildford Cricket Club.

 

(4)   That a one-off contribution of £35,000 to the Company to set up an operational reserve for cash flow purposes, funded from the budget pressures reserve, be approved.

 

Reason:

To allow the Company to be set up in accordance with the Company documentation and leases to be granted which have been agreed by the Members of the proposed Company.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

To establish a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee.

 

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

None

 

 

Minutes:

Prior to consideration of this matter, the following persons addressed the meeting in support of the proposals:

 

·        Richard Gould, Chief Executive of Surrey County Cricket Club

·        David Pateman, Non Executive Director of Oval Events Limited

 

The Executive considered a report which sought authority to establish a private management company (“The Company”), to be limited by guarantee responsible for the management of Guildford Sportsground in compliance with the Charitable Objectives of the Guildford Sportsground Trust.  The Company would not be wholly owned by the Council but would comprise of Guildford Borough Council, Surrey County Cricket Club and Guildford Cricket Club.

 

Following consultation with the Charity Commission and the local community, the Council as Trustee, via the Executive Shareholder and Trustee Committee had decided to lease the venue to a Management Company.  The Trustee had considered this to be the most appropriate and effective way to encourage a wider community use, to maximise the community benefits arising from the newly refurbished Pavilion, and to control and reduce the Council’s subsidy to the trust.

 

The Council had discussed the proposals with the existing tenants and users of the site (Surrey County Cricket Club, and Guildford Cricket Club), and agreement had been reached to form the Company.

 

Accordingly, the Executive

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)   That the Council establishes a private company limited by guarantee with Surrey County Cricket Club and Guildford Cricket Club to be responsible for the management of Guildford Sportsground.

 

(2)   That the Head of Paid Service, in consultation with the Council Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, Leader of the Council, Lead  Councillor for Infrastructure and Governance and Lead Councillor for Finance and Asset Management, be authorised:

 

(a) to appoint directors and the Authorised Officer; and.

(b) to approve the final Company documentation following receipt of legal advice.

 

(3)   That the Director of Environment be authorised, in consultation with the Council Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, to take such steps as are required to incorporate the Company, and agree associated documentation with Surrey County Cricket Club, and Guildford Cricket Club.

 

(4)   That a one-off contribution of £35,000 to the Company to set up an operational reserve for cash flow purposes, funded from the budget pressures reserve, be approved.

 

Reason:

To allow the Company to be set up in accordance with the Company documentation and leases to be granted which have been agreed by the Members of the proposed Company.

 

EX98

Ash Road Bridge - Pre-Construction pdf icon PDF 349 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

That the Executive:

 

(1)         approves the overall capital scheme cost for the Ash Bridge Project of £22.8 million outturn cost (as attached in the “Not for Publication” Appendix 6 to the report submitted to the Executive) and notes that the project is expected to be fully funded by £12.5 million grants and developer contributions to be determined;

 

(2)         approves proceeding with the project to enable the Ash Road Bridge scheme (Option 3) as outlined in the report to proceed as a project from planning permission stage to pre-construction (including detailed design and procurement for construction) and to secure external capital funding in order to progress the project within the Homes England Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) timescales;

 

(3)         approves the transfer of £2.86 million from the provisionally agreed HIF funding from the provisional to the approved capital programme for the scheme to enable the project to proceed from planning permission stage to pre-construction (as attached in the “Not for Publication” Appendix 7 to the report);

 

(4)         approves the proposed procurement strategy (as attached in the “Not for Publication” Appendix 9 to the report);

 

(5)         notes that an Expression of Interest (EOI) has already been submitted to the EM3 LEP in February 2019 for the Local Growth Fund 2019-21 and approves the preparation and submission of a detailed bid to follow the EOI; and

 

(6)         authorises the Director of Planning and Regeneration, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Infrastructure and Governance, to progress this scheme from planning permission stage to preconstruction and to engage with suppliers to start implementation of the scheme as outlined in the report.

 

Reason:

The scheme is in line with the Submission Local Plan, Policy A29, and follows the strategic priorities of the Council’s Corporate Plan 2018-2023, specifically:

 

·        creating infrastructure

·        making travel easier by reducing congestion now and in the future

·        improving safety on the road and rail network

·        supporting communities

·        enabling growth by supporting and unlocking land for quicker delivery of housing

 

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:

Prior to consideration of this matter, the following persons addressed the meeting in respect of the proposals:

 

·        John Dymott

·        Peter Simpson

·        David Weller

·        Paul Abbey

·        Norman Bristow

·        Sue Wyeth-Price

 

The public speakers highlighted the following points in respect of this matter:

 

·        The Executive report did not provide:

o   information on the expected increase in road and pedestrian traffic following completion of the housing development in the area and no projection given that quantifies any improvement in safety following construction of the bridge

o   evidence that a road bridge will improve safety or that there will be no adverse impacts on the safety of the junctions along the A323 

o   quantified data about traffic and pedestrian volumes and whether Network Rail’s existing safety systems will continue to be adequate

·        Pedestrian movements across the level crossing have increased by 31%, whilst vehicles have only increased by 1.2%, therefore the footbridge is all that is required.

·        Network Rail has stated that they already have adequate safety provision at the level crossing

·        Concern from Surrey County Council regarding the bridge design and departure from design standards

·        Concerns over increase in project costs and funding for it, which include conditional contributions from Homes England and Network Rail.  This could result in a funding gap of around £10m

·        It is possible that the provision of a fully accessible footbridge may cost more than the £2.5m Network Rail contribution

·        Concern that the budget for the scheme does not take into account that 70% of bridge constructions exceed the budget by over 10%. 

·        Concern that report makes no reference to impact of proposed bridge on heritage assets, particularly the Grade 2* listed Old Manor Cottage

·        The location of the bridge should be reconsidered to avoid impact on the Grade 2* building

·        Concern over increased parking in the vicinity of the Station caused by housing developments

·        Concern that report lacks detail on the impact of the bridge on local roads and junctions

 

The Executive considered a report setting out proposals to deliver a new road and road bridge over the railway line at Ash to allow the level crossing to be closed and replaced with a footbridge suitable for all users. This infrastructure scheme was essential to mitigate existing and planned development of approximately 750 homes and mitigated against the highways and safety implications at the level crossing arising from the proposed full local housing allocation of 1,750 new homes for the Ash and Tongham area.  The current level crossing, which had been categorised as medium-high risk by Network Rail (NR), had significant periods of closure leading to congestion, and had a negative impact on the local and wider economy.

The purpose of the report was to seek the Executive’s approval to progress the project through to planning permission stage and pre-construction stage.  Councillors noted that moving to this next stage, including the detailed design, would address many of the concerns raised by the public speakers.

 

The Executive, having noted that the proposal had been scrutinised by  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX98

EX99

Sale of land to the rear of Guildford Rowing Club pdf icon PDF 217 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

That the sale of land and the diversion of a footpath to the rear of Guildford Rowing Club, Shalford Road, Guildford, to Guildford Rowing Club on terms set out in the report submitted to the Executive, at below market value, be approved.

 

Reasons:

·        To secure the sale of land, which will release a capital receipt,

·        To improve the facilities offered by Guildford Rowing Club.

 

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, which sought approval of the sale of land and the diversion of a footpath to the rear of Guildford Rowing Club, Shalford Road, Guildford, to Guildford Rowing Club on terms set out in the report, at below market value.

 

In February 2012, the Council had previously sold off the land where the current Rowing Club was located.  Since then, the Club had grown and now wished to build a new modern facility on this site and expand on to adjacent Council-owned land. 

 

The new Clubhouse was needed as there were currently no accessible toilets or changing facilities or suitable training areas.  The Club’s existing fleet of boats, including their lottery-granted specialist adaptive (disabled) boats, had outgrown the Clubhouse and were stored outside.  The new facility would provide up to date indoor training facilities, accessible changing rooms and toilets, indoor storage for specialist equipment and a site designed for inclusive access with gentle gradients, extra turning space and safe surfaces.  The Rowing Club planned to develop the new Clubhouse bringing its facilities up-to-date and creating a sports club accessible to all, and benefiting the local community. 

 

Planning permission for a replacement Clubhouse building had been granted in September 2016.   

 

A small section of footpath ran across the land that the Club wished to acquire which would need to be relocated to allow the construction of the new facility. It was noted in the report that the footpath was not a public right of way and the relocation of it could be dealt with as part of the sale of the site to the Club.

 

It was proposed that the footpath relocation works along with tree and fencing works be carried out by the Council with the estimated cost of £8,000 plus VAT being met by the Rowing Club.     

 

The land had been independently valued at £12,000 for a one off premium, by a professional valuer.  The report had recommended that the premium be reduced to £8,000 on the basis of the social economic and environmental benefit that the new facility would bring.  As this did not represent best consideration under the terms of the Local Government Act 1972, the Executive had to decide whether to agree to sell the land at this proposed undervalue.

 

Currently, the land was achieving no income and was a maintenance liability for the Council.  Agreeing to sell the land to Guildford Rowing Club would release a capital receipt and further help contribute to the offering provided by the Rowing Club.

 

Having considered the report, the Executive

 

RESOLVED: That the sale of land and the diversion of a footpath to the rear of Guildford Rowing Club, Shalford Road, Guildford, to Guildford Rowing Club on terms set out in the report submitted to the Executive, at below market value, be approved.

 

Reasons:

·        To secure the sale of land, which will release a capital receipt,

·        To improve the facilities offered by Guildford Rowing Club.