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To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 11 September and 13 November 2019.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Council meetings held on 11 September and 13 November 2019 be approved and signed by the Mayor as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary or affected interests in respect of any matter to be considered at this meeting.
Any Member with a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a matter should withdraw from the meeting when the matter is under consideration and should notify the Democratic Services Officer in attendance that they are withdrawing as they have such an interest. If the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest is not entered on the register of Members interests the Monitoring Officer must be notified of the interest within 28 days.
Any Member with an affected Interest in a matter must disclose the interest to the meeting. There is no requirement to withdraw from the meeting when the interest is only an affected interest, but the Monitoring Officer should be notified of the interest, if not previously notified of it, within 28 days of the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
Including a presentation from the Mayor’s charity, Sandhurst Day Centre
Mayor’s Charity 2019-20
Due to unforeseen circumstances representatives from the Mayor’s chosen charity, Sandhurst Day Centre were unable to attend the meeting.
Councillor Mrs Hayes MBE, Executive Member for Environment, asked for thanks to be recorded as all the poppies had been displayed and now were returned and stored safely. She thanked in particular:
· Councillors Green and Finch for securing a poppy which had been tampered with;
· James Conn, Darron Ralph and Eli Mansel Ralph from Continental Landscapes for putting the poppies out and bringing them back;
· Nicholas Brace of Longshot Motors for repairing and respraying them; and
· The Trustees of Martin’s Heron and The Warren Community Centre for donating the funds for the paint.
The Mayor thanked Councillor Mrs Hayes MBE for all the work that she does to get the poppies displayed across the borough.
Children in Care fund
Councillor Ms Hayes, Chairman of Corporate Parenting Advocacy, thanked all the councillors who had donated money to the Children in Care fund for activities over the festive period. £672.95 had been raised and an update would be provided on the activities the young people have attended.
Children Looked After Annual Achievement Awards
Councillor Dr Barnard, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Learning was pleased to report that the Children Looked After Annual Achievement Awards held in October was a fantastic event. He thanked everyone who had taken part and advised that it demonstrated the strong bond that the council’s young people have with their foster carers, social workers and all those that support them.
Mayor’s Charity Events
The Mayor encouraged members present to purchase tickets to her end of year event in aid of her chosen charity. The event was being held on 27 February 2020 at The Bull and tickets were available on an early bird offer.
To receive the Leader’s report on the work of the Executive since the Council meeting held on 11 September 2019.
Council is asked to resolve a recommendation in respect of:
· the Council Plan 2019-2023
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Bettison OBE, presented his report on the work of the Executive since that reported at the Council meeting on 11 September 2019. The Executive had met twice on 24 September and 22 October 2019.
The Leader highlighted the following matters that had been considered:
· Council Plan 2019 – 2023 was recommended to the meeting which was the key document translating the conservative manifesto into deliverable plans. There were six strategic themes within the plan:
o Caring for you and your family
o Value for money
o Education & Skills
o Economic resilience
o Protecting & enhancing our environment
These themes are underpinned by 50 key objectives and Annual Service Plans will set out detailed annual steps to deliver the Plan.
· Local Plan Consultation was a key priority in the Council Plan and further consultation was agreed to run from 25 October to 6 December 2019. All comments received from previous consultations had been “carried forward”. A decision on the ‘submission’ version would follow in the New Year with an Examination in Public expected Summer 2020.
· Heathlands Nursing & Dementia Care Home was another key priority in the Council Plan and £10.95m was included in capital programme. The contract for pre-construction services had been awarded. Discussions on detailed operating model continued with Frimley Health and East Berkshire CCG. The planning application was expected in December.
• Major procurements had been undertaken for School Meals service, Home to School and occasional transport services as well as Liability insurance and claims handling.
• Agreement to transfer open spaces and two public conveniences to Towns & Parish Councils had been completed.
• The Children’s Social Care supervision policy had been agreed.
• The Local List of buildings and structures of Local Architectural and Historic interest had been agreed.
• The Polling place review 2019 had been agreed.
• The Council Plan Overview Report had been considered for quarter 1 and general good progress had been made.
Councillor Temperton requested for an example of what a permitted alternative health and social care use of one or more wings in the Heathlands building would be. In response Councillor Birch clarified that any void capacity would be offered to other health and care partners.
On the proposition of Councillor Bettison, Leader of the Council, seconded by Councillor Allen it was
RESOLVED that the Council Plan 2019-2023 be adopted as attached at Appendix A to the agenda report.
To advise Council of the implementation of revised arrangements for the discharge of the overview & scrutiny function and seeks approval to the consequential changes to be made to the Council’s Constitution and agree the appointment of two parent governor representatives to the Overview & Scrutiny Commission (OSC).
The Council considered a report advising of the implementation of revised arrangements for the discharge of the overview & scrutiny function and seeking approval to the consequential changes required to the Council’s Constitution. Agreement to the appointment of two parent governor representatives to the Overview & Scrutiny Commission Council was also sought.
Councillor Angell, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission encouraged all non-Executive members to get involved in future overview and scrutiny activity and referred them to the four year work programme which had been developed in response to the new Council Plan. He stated there would also be scope within the programme to respond to emerging issues. He emphasised this was an opportunity for all Councillors to get involved in topics that they were interested or had expertise in. His words were supported by both Councillors Temperton and Parker.
Councillor Angell delivered a vote of thanks to the Overview and Scrutiny Chairman and Vice Chairman for their participation in the development of the revised arrangements. In particular he thanked the officer team who had supported the preparation of the proposals.
On the proposition of Councillor Angell, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission, seconded by Councillor Virgo it was
i) the changes to the overview and scrutiny function agreed by the Overview & Scrutiny Commission on 5 November 2019 are noted;
ii) as a result of the changes, consequential changes to the Constitution are agreed as set out in Appendix A of the agenda report; and
iii) Tracey Wright and Mark Glanville are appointed to the vacant Parent Governor Representative seats on the Overview & Scrutiny Commission.
To agree the proposed schedule of meetings for 2020/2021.
The Council considered a report to enable arrangements for the next municipal year’s meetings to be put in place and assist members plan their diaries for the year ahead.
On the proposition of Councillor Leake, Chairman of the Employment Committee, seconded by Councillor Allen it was
RESOLVED that the schedule of meetings 2020/21 as set out in the annex to the report be approved.
Question Submitted Under Council Procedure Rule 10
By Councillor Temperton to Councillor Harrison, Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and Public Protection
Does the Council use pesticides and herbicides and if so, who decides which ones are used?
Councillor Temperton asked Councillor Harrison, Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and Public Protection the following published question:
Does the Council use pesticides and herbicides and if so, who decides which ones are used?
In response Councillor Harrison confirmed that the Council does use pesticides and herbicides. He clarified that ‘pesticides’ was the generic term for substances that control pests and as such pesticides include herbicides. He described the main areas of use in the Council as:
· Highways – herbicides were used for weed prevention associated with highway maintenance and this was undertaken three times a year by a sub-contractor
· Grounds Maintenance – herbicides for weed prevention around the town centre and other Borough locations were used as required by the Council’s contractor
· Cemetery & Crematorium – pesticides for weed prevention were used as required by the in-house team
· Rangers – pesticides were used to treat invasive vegetation and tree roots as required by the in-house team and by a contractor
He reported that in all applications the decision was made by the Council or contractor as different types of pesticide were required to treat different issues. He concluded that all pesticide use detailed was in line with EU guidelines and legislation.
Councillor Temperton asked a supplementary question about the link in recent research between pesticides with illnesses and how she hoped that this research was being kept under review to inform decisions regarding use. She reported that there were several towns across the Country who had gone pesticide free and asked if Bracknell Forest could become a pesticide free borough in the future?
Councillor Harrison replied that it would be impractical to abandon the use altogether as the Council needed to protect its infrastructure. He observed that the Council did not have control over other people’s use of pesticides. He considered that it was the responsibility of the government to legislate against this. He concluded that there were discussions about banning neonicotinoids which the government was supporting.