Community Services Committee - Thursday, 21st September, 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Miss C Pinnock 

No. Item


Notification of Changes to Committee Membership


To record that Councillor T Gates substituted for Councillor A Berardi.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 227 KB

To confirm and sign, as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 15 June 2023 (Appendix ‘A’).


The Minutes of the meeting held on 15 June 2023 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor C Mann.


Declarations of Interest

Members are invited to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or other registrable and non-registrable interests in items on the agenda.


To record the Other Registrable Interest of Councillor A King in the item concerning the lease of Larchwood Drive, as she was a member of the organisation leasing the building and a volunteer at the Hub.  Councillor King left the chamber for this item and did not participate or vote.



Safer Runnymede Annual Report pdf icon PDF 141 KB


The Committee noted the annual report for the CCTV side of Safer Runnymede for 2022.


Officers reported another successful year for CCTV; highlighting its policy objectives and compliance with the National Strategy for Public Space CCTV and their accreditation with the Surveillance Camera Commissioner Code of Practice.


The Committee noted that 6,070 incidents had been recorded across Runnymede and Spelthorne compared with 784 recorded when Safer Runnymede had been operating for its first full year in 1998.  In addition 255 videos had been uploaded at the request of Surrey Police to their forensic video evidence portal NICE.  The Police had complemented Safer Runnymede for their assistance during the year, demonstrating service excellence and professionalism.


Members reviewed statistics relating to the categories of incidents recorded; the most reports relating to Violence Against The Person and anti-social behaviour.


Officers were asked to consider indirectly advertising the option for members of the public to contact CCTV directly for evidence with regard to accidents.  This was in the context of providing evidence to assist people with making insurance claims.  Officers were always happy to assist where they could with the caveat that a charge was made for providing footage and not all incidents could be captured.


Officers were thanked for their report and Safer Runnymede’s valued service to the Borough.


Halls Fees and Charges pdf icon PDF 133 KB


The Committee’s approval was sought to continue the discounted Halls fees and charges previously approved ahead of the 2023/24 financial year.  These had been applied during the recovery from Covid period in order to boost the number of hires of the Council owned Hythe Centre and Chertsey Hall.


Members recalled that a review of the Halls took place in 2019 prior to their move from Community Development to Community Services.  At the time Officers involved with the project had agreed to introduce two charging structures, one for ‘Individual and Community’ and the other for ‘Commercial’.


An opportunity to properly test the new structures had been suspended whilst both centres were shut during lockdown and then used as Covid Vaccination Centres, before re-opening in September 2022 and March 2023.


Officers had introduced a ‘welcome back’ 30% discount to the ‘commercial’ charge in response to feedback that some regular users classed as ‘commercial’ could no longer afford to hire the halls.  Often these were small organisations or a single person business but because the commercial rate was applied to any service or activity that sought to make a profit, regardless of size and scale of the business, or the nature of the services provided it proved too difficult for them to carry on at one of the Council’s venues. 


In order to address this issue  Officers proposed to provide a mid range charge for commercial use where the hirer provided a community benefit.  The Committee was fully supportive of this in order to preserve the existing regular hires, as well as hopefully attract additional hirers. 


Members noted the minor financial implications of approving the proposals but agreed the potential benefits to the community outweighed the loss of approximately £9,000 income, and possibly more if the hirers did not return.


In the long term, Officers would consider a review of how Community Halls should be delivered which Members were supportive of so that the Council’s assets were used in the best way and taking on board feedback from hall users.


Officers in Community Services agreed to gather statistics on use of halls by hirers by category; ‘individual and community’ and ‘commercial’.


Resolved that –


The continuation of the discounted hire charges for2023/2024 be approved.



Contain Outbreak Management Fund pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received an update on how the Council was applying the funding from central government for local organisations to assist with their recovery from the Covid pandemic.


Members recalled that the Council had originally received a total of £907,650 in Contain Outbreak Management Funding (COMF) in 2021-2023.  Members were advised that £213,829 was left and must be spent by 31 March 2024, to avoid it being reclaimed by central government.


Members approved the table of proposed projects and recipients, noting an email received from the Director of Public Health at Surrey County Council, confirming that £165,000 could be applied to the Play Area Replacement Programme.  The caveat being that the funding could only be used in areas of relative deprivation in the borough.


The other recipients were the Runnymede Foodbank (£20,000), Citizens Advice Runnymede and Spelthorne (£20,000), and Chertsey Hall (£10,000).  Officers reported that as a result of Chertsey Hall being used as a vaccination centre, repairs were needed to the main hall floor, so it would be appropriate to use funding in this way.   The proposed use of funds for all the projects met the criteria and guidance issued on how COMF monies could be applied.


It was noted that all the projects also met the Council’s Corporate priorities of Empowering Communities and Health and Wellbeing.


Members were content to support all the projects.  Officers advised that there was a slight shortfall of £1,174, for which approval would be sought from Corporate Management Committee to meet from the existing Communities First budget held in Community Services.


Officers were asked to record thanks in the Minutes to the Director of Public Health at Surrey County Council for consent to utilise funds for the play area replacement programme in areas of relative deprivation.


Recommend that Corporate Management Committee –


i)          approves the proposed expenditure plans for the remaining COMF funding held by the Council, in 2023-2024; and


ii)         approves the use of existing Communities First budgets to fund the balance of £1,174





Play Area Programme 2023/2024 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee was updated on the Play Area Programme and how that might be delivered.


Members were advised that the Council currently maintained 43 play areas across the borough, within Green Spaces and Housing areas.  A full survey had been undertaken to identify where key repairs and/or replacement of individual items of equipment were needed and then to develop a longer term plan for replacement in consultation with local Ward Councillors.


The Committee was presented with a Repairs Budget Expenditure Plan to cover 20 play areas.  Officers reported that surfacing repairs had almost been completed and several other minor repairs not included in the report.  This totalled £195,000. 


Members also received a pre and post consultation list ranking all 43 sites which identified 9 sites in urgent need of attention, 4 of which were in the Egham area, a further 16 classed as amber and the remaining 18 low priority.  This totalled £799,000 to be drawn (subject to approval) from 10 identified areas including Section 106 monies, the Housing Business Unit, Runnymede Pleasure Grounds Trust and Community Services budgets.


Officers advised there was a shortfall of £2,000 which would be covered by the Contingency budget within the Youth Development Fund.  It would also be necessary to carry forward some funding into 2024/2025 as not all the works could be carried out in 2023/2024.





Type of Funding


S106 Chertsey Recreation Ground


Developer Contributions


S106 Englefield Green


Developer Contributions


S106 – relating to Magna Square


Developer Contributions


Capital Replacement Programme 23-24


Budget Provision


Youth Development Fund 23-24


Budget Provision


Housing Contribution – Garfield Rd


Budget Provision


Housing Estates Programme


Budget Provision


Runnymede Pleasure Grounds Trust


Future Trust Balance


Contain Outbreak Management Fund


See COMF reference elsewhere on this agenda


Youth Development Budget 24-25


Provisional Budget






Play Area


Estimated Cost

Replacement Year

 Funding Ref (see above table)


Chertsey St Ann’s




Chertsey Recreation Ground

Chertsey Riverside




Surrey Towers

Addlestone South




Pooley Green

(young children)

Egham Hythe




Hamm Moor

Addlestone South



9, 5

King George V

Virginia Water



5, 10


Egham Town




Hythe Park

Egham Hythe




Runnymede Pleasure Grounds

Egham Town



8, 3

Englefield Green

Englefield Green West










An Equalities Screening Assessment had been completed since drafting the report which identified positive implications for the protected characteristic of age and that accessibility would be an important part of the process.


The Committee agreed that it was an ambitious programme but one which they supported in order to improve facilities for young people in the borough.


Officers were thanked for their inclusive approach and for taking into account Councillors’ views so readily which had made the consultation with them positive and productive.


It was noted that because the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.


Water Play Facilities in Runnymede pdf icon PDF 87 KB


The Committee noted progress with the review of Water Play facilities in the borough.


Members recalled that two new roles had been recruited to within the Open Space Development Team to take forward some of the priorities previously reported to the Committee.


One of these was the paddling pool facilities in the borough and the potential for future water play facilities in Runnymede.  Members had previously expressed disappointment that the paddling pools at Chertsey Recreation Ground, Heathervale Park and Victory Park had remained closed since the pandemic, for both practical and financial reasons.  However, work undertaken by Community Services at Runnymede Pleasure Grounds (RPG), enabled this facility to be reopened for the summer of 2023, as a short term solution, with the work funded by the Runnymede Pleasure Grounds Trust budget.


It was confirmed that following approval of a capital budget of £500,000 for the replacement of facilities (excluding RPG), Officers were working to establish the options for Members to consider, albeit in the context of the Council’s current financial position.  Officers confirmed that the actual location of water play facilities would remain the same but that all options would be considered if the budget was not sufficient to deliver three new facilities.


The Committee was advised that work had already begun to appoint a consultant to provide support to the Open Spaces Development team, in working out the future requirements, costs and options around provision at each of the four sites in the borough (including RPG).  This would be paid for by way if a virement from existing community services budgets.  Officers hoped it would cost less than the budgeted sum.


Members noted that the consultant would be asked to consider a number of factors, including the feasibility of splash pads, infrastructure requirements, site location, environmental impact, maintenance, operational delivery and health and safety. 


An Equalities Screening Assessment had been completed since drafting the report which identified positive implications for the protected characteristic of age and that accessibility would be an important part of the process.


Officers in Community Services would expedite the necessary work in order to submit a report to a future meeting of the Committee on longer term provision options and costings with the opportunity for a prior, informal discussion with Members of the Committee.


Period Poverty - Motion from Council 20 July 2023 pdf icon PDF 101 KB


The Committee was tasked with considering a motion from Council on 20 July 2023 concerning period poverty.


The Committee was advised that since the motion had been referred to Community Services, Officers had undertaken research into how the Council could deliver a service to provide period products in all of the Council’s publicly accessible toilets and buildings to make a contribution towards ending period poverty.


Members noted available statistics on period poverty, exacerbated by the cost of living crisis and the rise in its occurrence.  The Committee noted how it had been responded to, including government funding for a scheme to provide access to period products within education settings for girls and women up to age of 19 who could not afford to buy them and/or some other circumstances as outlined in the report.


Surrey County Council had also launched the ‘period dignity’ campaign, working with the charity Binti International and encouraged local authorities in Surrey to participate.  To this end Officers in Community Services and Housing had identified funding of £24,000 from three budgets and sought to deliver the project in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Community Services Committee and the original proposer of the motion to Council.  Councillor A King was thanked for bringing the motion forward for consideration, who in turn thanked Officers for their work and approved the idea of including leisure facilities in the project.


Recommend to Corporate Management Committee that –


i)          a combined budget of £24,000 over three years, be approved; and


ii)         the delegation of authority for agreeing the deliveryof this project to the Corporate Head of Community Services, in consultation withthe Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Community Services Committee, and theoriginal Councillor (Councillor A King), proposer of the motion to Council, be approved




Service Plan Progress Report pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee was advised of progress with the Community Services Service Plan which was approved by the Committee in January 2023 for the current financial year.


Members were advised that overall, the business unit showed a position where progress had been made against many of the 36 objectives set, with only a limited number that had not yet commenced. 


Officers extended thanks to his team for their hard work and commitment in moving forward the objectives set, whilst also managing the business as usual work which it was acknowledged was sizeable in quantity and the time commitment devoted to it, and which would always have to be prioritised given the nature of the services and the residents supported.  These sentiments were echoed by the Committee.


The Committee noted that a number of additional new objectives had been set, for example delivery of the period poverty project. 


Members agreed that Community Services continued to push to do more and provide more and better to residents and communities. 



Key Performance Indicators Quarter 1 2023/2024 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

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The Committee received for information the Quarter 1 results for the Key Performance Indicators attached to Community Services, which were approved in March 2023, for the current financial year.


Officers sought to provide members with a holistic understanding of performance, progress and breadth of activity across Community Services, as illustrated by there being 46 different indicators.


Officers highlighted some key KPI information provided within the report, notably the high performance of Chertsey Museum, Social Prescribing, Homesafe and the Home Improvement Agency.  It was noted that despite showing some room for improvement (rated amber in places) Community Alarms and Meals at Home had continued to deliver high volume and quality of service to vulnerable residents.


Officers were thanked for their efforts across Community Services.



Community Services Appointments 2023 pdf icon PDF 64 KB


The Committee was asked to make two appointments to Community Services related bodies.


There was some discussion about political balance and to this end a motion was proposed and seconded that Councillor A King be nominated as a core member of  the Community Services Partnership Board.  This motion was defeated. 


However, a further motion was passed that Councillor King be appointed as the reserve Member for the Board.


Resolved that –


i)          Councillors C Howorth, S Lewis, and S Walsh, withCouncillor A King in reserve, be appointed to the Community Services Partnership Board for the remainder of thisMunicipal Year, 2023/2024; and


ii)         Councillor C Howorth be appointed to Chair the Place Based, Health and Wellbeing Partnership for theperiod 2023 – 2027.




Cabrera Trust Management Committee Minutes pdf icon PDF 38 KB

Additional documents:


The Minutes of the meetings of the Cabrera Trust Management Committee were received and noted, as attached at Appendix ‘A.’


Exclusion of Press and Public



the press and public be excluded from the meeting during discussion of the following reports under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that the reports in question would be likely to involve disclosure exempt information of the description specified in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.


            (To resolve)


By resolution of the Committee, for the reasons set out in the agenda, the press and public were excluded from the remainder of the meeting during the consideration of the remaining matters under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that the discussion would be likely to involve the disclosure of exempt information as set out in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to Part 1 of the Act.



Larchwood Drive

This report discloses lease details which are commercially sensitive


The Committee was asked to approve the letting of a premises to a local organisation in Englefield Green.


The Committee was advised of the current usage of the premises by the Forest Estate Community Hub, delivered by the Journey Church, part of the River Church, who were working towards being a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) registered with the Charity Commission.


Members noted the historical use of the premises, reviewed the current and proposed lease terms and were advised of issues relating to the condition of the premises and future management arrangements when a new CIO would be formed to take the project forward.


Officers were satisfied that the proposed lease arrangements to regularise the occupancy of the premises and which it was agreed represented the best consideration reasonably obtainable.


On the basis of the information available and taking into account the financial and legal considerations, the Committee was content to recommend approval by Corporate Management Committee on the terms set out in the report, noting that if necessary, a further report would be submitted to Members regarding any future lease arrangements which might come forward.


Officers in Communications were asked to consider how assistance might be given to the Hub with publicity, Officers in Community Services with making funding applications and Officers in Assets and Regeneration with practical matters related to future maintenance of the building infrastructure.


Recommend to Corporate Management Committee that -


i)          the premises in Larchwood Drive is leased to the organisation named in the report for a term of 10 years onthe Terms set out in the agenda report; and

ii)         in the event that a Development Charitable Incorporated Organisation issuccessfully formed, an Agreement for Lease is entered into with theCIO with delegation to the Chief Executive in consultation withCorporate Head of Law and Governance and Corporate Head of Assetsand Regeneration in consultation with the Chairman and Vice-Chairmanof Community Services Committee to finalise the terms of the Agreement for Lease





Virginia Water Football Club

This report contains commercially sensitive information pertaining to lease arrangements


The Committee was asked to approve a lease of part of the King George Playing Field in Virginia Water to Virginia Water Football Club.


The Committee was advised that Virginia Water Football Club had been based in Crown Road for many years and now sought to renew the lease, undertake repairs to the pavilion and expand the club.  It was intended for the car park to be included in the demise in line with other similar sports clubs.


Members were advised that a recent planning application had been submitted for a telecommunications mast on site, the terms of which were to be determined.  To facilitate this delegated authority was sought as set out in the report.


The Committee was content with the proposed terms, subject to approval by Fields in Trust and other statutory consent and represented the best consideration reasonably obtainable.  It was noted that the proposed lease contained a break clause to protect the interests of the Council as guardian of a community asset and the club.  The Committee noted the financial and legal implications and the terms allowed the club time to make the planned improvements on site.


Some Members of the Committee had visited the site and were satisfied that the Club was meeting community needs in order to qualify for grant aid in the sum reported.


Recommend to Corporate Management Committee that –


the recommendations as set out in the agenda report be approved.



Runnymede Pleasure Grounds Forward Plan of Works

This report discloses the budget available to the Council for a procurement exercise, which would put the Council at a commercial disadvantage when seeking to secure the best possible value for money for these works.


The Committee’s approval was sought for a series of improvements to facilities at Runnymede Pleasure Grounds to be funded from the RPG Trust budget.


The Committee was reminded that for this item they were sitting as Trustees for the Pleasure Grounds and acting in the best interests of the Trust.


The Committee was advised that recent work in respect of the Pleasure Grounds included repairs to the paddling pool, the agreement of a new lease with the third party provider operating the Café and improvements to the car parking system and payment arrangements, including free parking for blue badge holders.


The forthcoming works for which approval was sought to be funded by the Trust’s reserves included repairs to the toilets and pavilion, immediate play area repairs, and replacement of the play area and paddling pool facilities.  Some other non-essential work was to replace the chain link fencing which was not up to modern safety standards.


An Equalities Screening Assessment had been completed since drafting the report which identified positive implications for the protected characteristic of age and that accessibility would be an important part of the process.


The Committee was also requested to facilitate the introduction of a Park Run at the Pleasure Grounds and to waive the normal event hire charge per occasion.  The Park Run Organisers intended to limit the impact on the Pleasure Grounds by rotating routes.  The organisers would also need to submit an event request form and other documentation to be scrutinised if necessary by the Council’s Safety Advisory Group.


The Committee was keen to promote the Pleasure Grounds as a valued asset attracting visitors from within and outside the borough.


The Committee noted the legal and financial implications, including the charitable status of the Open Space as set out in the conveyancing document of 1928.


Resolved that -


i)          the sum as reported be approved, to be spent on toilet and pavilionrepairs, funded by the Runnymede Pleasure Ground Trust budget;

ii)         the sum as reported for essential play area health and safety repairs,funded by the Runnymede Pleasure Ground Trust budget;


iii)        the inclusion of Runnymede Pleasure Grounds in the wider Councilconsiderations relating to the future of water play in Runnymede, beapproved; and


iv)        approval for Park Run, be granted, to be held on a weekly basis atRunnymede Pleasure Grounds, and that the event charge is waived forthis activity.


Digital Alarms Refresh

This item is to follow and is exempt as it contains commercially sensitive information


This item was withdrawn from the agenda as noted on the supplementary agenda.

Appendix A Cabrera Trust Management Committee Minutes pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents: