Agenda and minutes

Place Making and Innovation Executive Advisory Board
Monday, 18th February, 2019 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Andrea Carr, Committee Officer Tel no: 01483 444058  Email:


No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitute Members

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Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Julia McShane and Jenny Wicks.  Councillor Caroline Reeves was present as a substitute for Councillor Julia McShane.


Local Code of Conduct and Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

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 not participate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter

and they must 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.

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Councillors David Elms and Caroline Reeves declared non-pecuniary interests in the Guildford Museum Development Project agenda item as members of the Museum Working Group.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Executive Advisory Board meeting held on 15 October 2018.

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The minutes of the meeting of the Executive Advisory Board held on 15 October 2018 were agreed as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.


Innovation Strategy pdf icon PDF 3 MB

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Councillor Gordon Jackson introduced a presentation in respect of the developing Innovation Strategy together with the draft foreword of the Strategy.


The Rural Economy Officer delivered the presentation which advised that the Strategy sought to shape a smarter, more sustainable Guildford and covered: the key to the future; the innovation challenge; the business view; innovation through collaboration between businesses, the Council and University of Surrey; core objectives; Action Plan Objectives 1 to 3; the Climate Change Task Group; the circular economy of the Borough’s twin town; Guildford ‘Hollywood of Games’; and the Strategy timetable.


The Foreword introduced the Strategy which established a Vision for Guildford that embraced a digital future and promoted the town as being at the leading edge of innovation.  The aim was to enable technological change and innovation to support local economic competitiveness, quality of life and public service delivery with a view to creating a vibrant, prosperous, resilient and sustainable Borough for the digital age.  The Strategy would promote the development of high-quality infrastructures to support new technologies and systems and raise awareness of how social and technological changes were influencing current and future planning and investment decisions, including the evolution of how people lived and worked.  Much of the Council’s work would involve collaboration with partners and stakeholders including the University of Surrey, Royal Surrey County Hospital and local ground-breaking companies that were leading the way in new digital technologies.


The Strategy included delivery of three Objectives that expanded the strategic priorities set out under the Innovation theme of the Council’s Corporate Plan, namely, facilitating smart places infrastructure across Guildford, Guildford as the innovators’ location of choice and the Future Guildford initiative of working to improve value for money and efficiency in Council services.


The EAB was advised that the work of the newly formed Climate Change Task Group, a sub-group of the Innovation Strategy Board, would be built in to the Strategy.  The Task Group had been requested to report its findings to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and to make recommendations as appropriate to the Executive and full Council.


The following points arose from related questions and discussion:


·             Innovation was broader than industrial technology and touched all aspects of life including society, behaviours, the environment, parking app, business diversification and health and wellbeing.  It aimed to facilitate smart sustainable living and connectivity and the digital infrastructure were key to achieving this.

·             Guildford was ranked amongst the top ten councils in the country when assessed against the innovation vitality measure and it sought to be an innovation exemplar.

·             The largest growing population group locally was 85 years plus and for the first time people aged 65 years and over outnumbered the under 5’s which would require innovation to meet the needs of an aging population.

·             Provision of a digital hub in Guildford to support the development of small companies was a goal.

·             People required skills and training in order to be equipped for future employment and the University of Surrey provided digital marketing courses  ...  view the full minutes text for item BEI22


Guildford Museum Development Project - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 347 KB

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Councillor Nikki Nelson-Smith advised that since the previous report to the EAB on 9 April 2018, the Council had progressed the development of Guildford Museum’s vision, audience development, display interpretation and architectural design options from the feasibility study stage to the concept stage.  The EAB’s previous comments to consider improvements to the Museum in a much wider context and on a single site had informed the revised project’s vision and scope and now provided greater opportunity to enhance the Museum offer and widen its audience.


This more expansive vision was now reflected in the work streams being delivered by the Council’s consultants providing architectural designs and interpretation planning, audience development, activity planning and business planning.  A preferred design for the site was emerging with a new build extension within the courtyard of the Museum, which took into account the spatial requirement of the business service model, interpretation of displays, activities, cafés, toilets and other facilities.  Challenges facing the existing site development continued to be its sensitive historic setting as having listed building and schedule ancient monument status.  A strategy was currently being developed to address these concerns.


In tandem with these developments, the Council continued to explore options for including potential partners such as the Carollian Wonderland Trust, Surrey Archaeological Society and Surrey Infantry Museum Regiment.  External grant opportunities such as the Heritage Lottery Fund were being explored as these would provide a significant contribution to meeting the cost of the new museum.


Consultant Julia Holberry gave a presentation in respect of the Museum project which was a theme in the Council’s Corporate Plan 2018-23.  The project featured a sponsor, a Working Group including Councillors and officers, stakeholders such as Friends of Guildford Museum and consultants.  A related public consultation had been carried out and discussions in three focus groups, a teacher group and interviews with schools and the University of Surrey had informed the project.


The presentation explained the vision for the Museum to become a hub for community engagement facilitating learning and creativity at a destination worth travelling to.  Touring displays and collections would maintain appeal and attract return visits and Guildford’s history would be brought up to date from 1945 onwards with a living memory of Guildford collection.  Elements of the project included a new extension, Castle Arch House, strong rooms, and a Carollian Wonderland Trust display area, over three floors.  Collections would feature living, working and playing in Guildford giving the local history some of which would be modern relating to computing and gaming.  The Wey Navigation, railways, gunpowder, World War 2 and brewing would feature on a stories map with a timeline showing key points from medieval times to present day.  Ada Lovelace, George Abbot, John Russell, Alan Turing, Lewis Carroll and the Dennis brothers were some of the notable people who would feature.


The Museum Activity Plan consisted of researching, digitising, co-creating galleries, innovation storey-telling, prestigious exhibitions, guided tours, digital trails into the town, collecting memories of Guildford and volunteering.


Challenges and uncertainties  ...  view the full minutes text for item BEI23


Report of the Executive Advisory Board Review Task and Finish Group pdf icon PDF 232 KB

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The Council, at its meeting held on 9 October 2018, considered a report concerning a review of the structure of the Executive Advisory Boards (EABs), which contained the following three options:


1.               To disband the existing EABs and establish one overarching EAB making greater use of existing powers to establish  task groups to look at specific issues and projects relating to the delivery of the nine strategic Corporate Plan priorities.


2.               To disband the existing EABs and establish topic based advisory boards to be commissioned directly by the Executive as and when required.


3.               To make no change to the current arrangements.


The Council resolved that, before any decision was taken in respect of the future of the EABs, a cross party task and finish group of nine councillors, comprising five Conservative councillors and one councillor from each of the other four groups, be established to consider the matter and report its findings to the Council. 


Accordingly, the EAB Review Task and Finish Group was established and met on 20 November 2018 when it considered the future structure of the EABs.  The Board was invited to consider a report outlining the findings of the Group’s meeting and setting out its conclusions and recommendations to the Council on 26 February 2019, which were first being shared with the EABs with a view to gaining their support.


The Group’s recommendations to Council were as follows:


(1)     That Option 2: “To disband the existing EABs and establish topic based advisory boards to be commissioned directly by the Executive as and when required” be not supported and discounted as a possible future EAB governance structure.


(2)     That the existing arrangement of the two EABs be retained for the time being whilst the Forward Plan process is strengthened pending review following the Borough Council Elections in May 2019 to ascertain whether changes to the Forward Plan process and/or EAB structure are required.


(3)     That the review referred to in paragraph (2) above be carried out within 12 months of the Borough Council Elections.


(4)     That the Forward Plan be included on future EAB agendas as part of the standing item on the Work Programme to facilitate better agenda planning.


(5)     That lead councillors do not play a part in determining the Overview and Scrutiny Committee work programme at work programme meetings.


The reason for the recommendations was to introduce a more efficient and effective EAB configuration.


Having considered the report, the EAB acknowledged that the improvement in the Forward Plan would assist with future work programming for EABs and for Overview and Scrutiny.  There was some support for the retention of two EABs going forward in order to engage more backbench Councillors in the process and it was confirmed that there would be no change until the EAB configuration was reviewed following the Borough Election.


The Board indicated its agreement with the conclusions and recommendations in the report and commended them to Council, noting that the inclusion of the Forward Plan  ...  view the full minutes text for item BEI24


Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 502 KB

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The EAB considered the most recent version of the Executive Forward Plan dated 22 January 2019 and noted that the work to strengthen the Forward Plan would result in a fuller programme of work in the future which would facilitate EAB work programming.



EAB Work Programme pdf icon PDF 132 KB

To consider and approve the EAB’s draft work programme.  Details of future Executive decisions are included.  

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The EAB Work Programme was considered and noted.


Progress with Items Previously Considered by the EAB pdf icon PDF 173 KB

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Progress with items previously considered by the EAB was noted.


Urgent Items of Business

Any other items which, pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, the Chairman decides are urgent.


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pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972, agenda item number 10, Ash Road Bridge – Pre-construction, be considered as an urgent item for the reason that it is necessary to submit it to this meeting of the EAB as it is the only opportunity for the Board to consider the item before it is determined by the Executive on 19 March 2019 in order for funding to be allocated before the end of the financial year.


Ash Road Bridge - Pre-Construction pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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The EAB considered a report which set 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 be replaced with a footbridge suitable for all users.  This infrastructure scheme was essential to mitigate against existing and planned development of approximately 750 homes and alleviate highways and safety risks at the level crossing arising from the proposed full local housing allocation of 1,750 new homes for the Ash and Tongham area.  The scheme enabled the delivery of new housing more rapidly in line with the Guildford Borough Council Submission Local Plan (Policy A29).  The current level crossing was categorised as medium-high risk by Network Rail, had significant periods of closure leading to congestion, and had a negative impact on the local and wider economy.


This report outlined the options available to the Council to provide a new road bridge and facilitate closure of the level crossing and provision of a footbridge.  The options considered included taking no action, pursuing a scheme with the shortest route, creating a longer route and the preferred option, which was the optimum between the shortest and longest routes to be attractive to users as an alternative to the level crossing and which generally met highway authority standards.


The report also sought approval from the Executive for funding for the scheme to continue as a key project for the Council and to secure external capital funding in order to progress the project within the Homes England Housing Infrastructure Fund timescales.


The reason for the recommendations to the Executive were that the scheme was in line with the Submission Local Plan and followed 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; and enabling growth by supporting and unlocking land for more rapid delivery of housing.


The following points arose from related questions and discussion:


·             The scheme offered accessibility for all users featuring a road with both cycle and foot ways and including a footbridge which would be subject to a feasibility study to establish the best design.

·             Pedestrian access to Ash station would be improved by the proposed footbridge.

·             The proposed road met a road safety audit and was designed to slow traffic.  There would be no weight restrictions to prevent use by larger vehicles.

·             Provisional monies to fund the scheme had been agreed.

·             The proposed bridge would be approximately the height of a two-storey building and early visualisations were published on the Council’s website.

·             The aim was to deliver the complete scheme with planning applications for different elements following in close succession.

·             The scheme was welcomed to mitigate against safety risks, congestion and the unplanned new development in the area ahead of the Local Plan.


The Board indicated its support for all of the recommendations to the Executive and favoured the preferred option 3.


Exclusion of Public

The Executive Advisory Board is asked to consider passing the following



‘That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended),

the public be excluded from the meeting for consideration of the following item

of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt

information, as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act’.


In the event, the EAB did not discuss the exempt appendices attached to item number 10 and therefore there was no need to exclude the public from the meeting.


Ash Road Bridge - Pre-construction - Exempt Appendices pdf icon PDF 330 KB

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This item was not discussed.