Full Council - Thursday, 2nd March, 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Mr G Lelliott 

No. Item


Mayor's Announcements


Minutes pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To confirm and sign, as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 9 February 2023.


Apologies for Absence


Declarations of Interest

If Members have an interest in an item, please complete a member interest form and email it to Democratic.Services@runnymede.gov.uk by 5pm on the day of the meeting. Members are advised to contact the Corporate Head of Law and Governance prior to the meeting if they wish to seek advice on a potential interest.


Speaking or Questions from Members of the Public under Standing Order 12



To receive any petitions from members of the Council under Standing Order 19.


Questions from Members of the Council under Standing Order 13

a) Question from Councillor Sylvia Whyte to the Leader of the Council


“In April 2022 I asked the Leader of The Council when elected members would receive monthly Enforcement updates.  The Leader advised that “the most effective ways of reporting accurate information to Members would be looked at as soon as possible after the Election.”  Whilst I and my fellow ward councillors have received some verbal updates on some key Enforcement issues in our ward, I would like to know when we, and all elected members, will receive a complete list of those enforcement issues across the Borough.”


b) Question from Councillor Don Whyte to the Leader of the Council


“Since October 2022 most households in Runnymede will have been progressively receiving part of the Government funded £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) discount.  These households have a direct relationship with an electricity supplier. 


Those households that buy their fuel through a third party or are not on mains electricity, have as of 20th February, not yet received any of the £400 EBSS discount. This includes people who live in park homes, a houseboat or care homes. Similarly, those who don’t use mains gas or electric are entitled to a payment of £200.  


Can the Leader please explain what Runnymede Borough Council is doing or planning to do to encourage and help residents to claim their £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) discount and or their £200 Alternative Fuel Payment?”


c) Question from Councillor Steve Ringham to the Leader of the Council


“Our next council elections, in May of this year, will be the first to be held where polling station voters will be required to show valid Photo ID before they can vote. Central government’s excuse is that it is to prevent voter fraud or impersonation. However this restriction has not been extended to postal voters. Can the leader of the council tell me, with regard to Runnymede in the last 10 years, how many instances of voter fraud have been detected, investigated and prosecuted, split between postal and polling station voters, and as a percentage of all voters?”


*Clarification – I’ve asked for 10 years but any period will do depending on what data you hold


Recommendations from Committees


Asset Management Strategy and associated policies - recommendation from the Corporate Management Committee pdf icon PDF 52 KB

The report for this item was published as part of the agenda for the Corporate Management Committee on 23 February 2023.


The draft strategy was an important document, which sought to ensure that the Council had an asset base that was fit for purpose.  It also sought to formalise the Corporate Management Committee’s role as the corporate landlord.  The strategy document and performance against the key performance indicators within would be kept under regular review, as it was important to ensure that the Council’s portfolio of properties continued to meet the Council’s needs in what was a challenging and changeable economic climate.


The draft strategy was discussed by the Committee.


Suggested additions, such as referencing significant employers like St Peter’s Hospital, and the proposed housing development at Longcross, were made.  A number of other minor amendments were noted by officers.


There was discussion about the proposed minimum energy efficiency rating.  It was planned for this to align with the higher rating expected of the borough’s housing stock when the next iteration of the strategy was developed in 2028.


The value of a number of properties had decreased since they were last reviewed.  The Committee was assured that this was normal for assets that had long term tenancies nearing their end points.  Efforts were being made to secure new tenancy agreements at the best possible value for the Council.


The levels of delegation that were being sought as part of the table in the addendum to the report were discussed.  Whilst the Committee was content with most of the proposed delegations that were sought, it was considered that the current officer level delegation for rental values below £100k (detailed in row 1 of the table in the addendum) was appropriate and that member oversight of leases above this value should remain.  It was further felt that a suitable mechanism, in the form of Standing Order 42, already facilitated speedy decision making where it was required.  It was reported that the Constitution Working Group had reviewed the request for greater delegation and that those present at the working group held similar views to those expressed by members of the Committee.


The Committee discussed the mechanism for upward only rent reviews.  There was concern about how this might affect organisations that added substantial value to Runnymede’s communities.  It was noted that whilst this mechanism needed to remain in the strategy, there were other measures available to safeguard such organisations.  These measures included grant aid and a provision, within defined limits, as set out in Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972.


The complexity of the health and safety policy elements of the strategy were reviewed.  These sections were necessarily detailed, in order to safeguard the Council and its interests.  These parts of the strategy would be kept under review.


It was proposed, seconded and agreed that the proposed motion be amended to read:


“The Asset Management Strategy and associated policies attached at appendix A be recommended to the Council for adoption,  ...  view the full agenda text for item 8a


Local Authority Housing Fund - recommendation from the Corporate Management Committee

The report for this item was published as part of the agenda for the Corporate Management Committee on 23 February 2023.


The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities had allocated a sum of money to Runnymede for the purchase of properties to house eight Ukrainian and Afghan families.  These properties, when vacated by these families, would then become part of the borough’s housing stock.  Other neighbouring local authorities had agreed to similar arrangements with the Department.


The Committee lauded the support that Runnymede had provided to Ukrainian and Afghan families, and noted the contributions that many had already made to their communities.


It was resolved that:


1.     Runnymede sign-up to the Local Authority Housing Fund scheme.

2.     The suggested delivery route, as outlined in the report, be agreed.

3.     Due to the unavailability of 1-4-1 receipts, additional use of the HRA working balance be approved, in accordance with the arrangements set out in the report.

4.     Authority be delegated to the Corporate Head of Housing, in consultation with the Chairman of the Corporate Management Committee, to determine rent levels related to properties purchased via this scheme.


It was resolved that the following recommendation be made to the Council on 2 March 2023:


That the budget, as set out in the report, to purchase 8 properties to fulfil the requirements of the Local Authority Housing Fund, be agreed.


Pay Policy Statement - 2023/24 - recommendation from the Corporate Management Committee

The report for this item was published as part of the agenda for the Corporate Management Committee on 23 February 2023.


The Pay Policy Statement was a statutory document that had to be published on an annual basis. 


The increase in the difference between the lowest and highest paid, when compared to the previous year, was noted.  The Corporate Head of Human Resources agreed to review the reasons for this and report back to the Human Resources Member Working Party.


It was resolved that the Pay Policy Statement 2023/24 be recommended for approval by the Council on 2 March 2023.


[Following the Corporate Management Committee’s meeting on 23 February 2023, where a query was raised about the pay ratio between the lowest paid and highest paid employee in last year’s Pay Policy Statement, the Corporate Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development liaised with Payroll and identified that there had been an error in that year’s Pay Policy Statement.  The ratio should have been reported as 1:7.424 and not 1:5.475.  There has therefore been a gradual reduction in the difference between the lowest and highest paid since 2020.]


Preliminary Consideration of Mayoral Selection - recommendation from the Corporate Management Committee

The report for this item was published as part of the agenda for the Corporate Management Committee on 23 February 2023.


It was resolved that the Council, at its meeting on 2 March 2023, be recommended to propose Councillor Shannon Saise-Marshall as Mayor for the 2023/24 municipal year.


Preliminary Consideration of Deputy Mayoral Selection

In accordance with Standing Order 7, Council is asked to consider candidates for the office of Deputy Mayor for 2023/24.


If there is more than one nomination, the selection of Deputy Mayor will be conducted by secret ballot. In the event of an equality of votes on the nomination, the Mayor will exercise a casting or second vote.


The nominee will be put forward as a candidate for the office of Deputy Mayor at the Annual Council meeting on 17 May 2023 providing that they are still a member of the Council.


(To resolve)


Delegated Authority to Appoint an Assistant Chief Executive

At its meeting on 19 January 2023, the Corporate Management Committee commissioned an Appointments Sub-Committee to administer the recruitment to the newly created Assistant Chief Executive post.  As part of the report, the committee considered that, in the interest of ensuring an efficient timetable for recruiting to this post, it was necessary to seek delegated authority from the Council, to formally offer the role to the preferred candidate at the conclusion of the shortlisting and interview process.




That the Corporate Management Committee be delegated authority to make a formal offer of employment for the role of Assistant Chief Executive, following consideration of the recommendation of the Appointments Sub-Committee.


Notices of Motion from Members of the Council under Standing Order 15

To receive and consider any notices of motion from members of the Council under Standing Order 15.


a) From Councillor Tom Gracey


This Council notes that the ULEZ expansion will add further costs for residents and businesses when budgets are already under pressure, disproportionately impacting those on lower incomes, including key workers required to commute to London.


There is no evidence that ULEZ expansion will deliver improved air quality in outer London boroughs, and there is a risk of worsening the situation on Surrey roads.  

Residents within Runnymede should not have to pay a London-centric tax which has been developed to provide a source of revenue generation to offset poor financial management on the part of the Mayor of London’s administration.


That the Council agrees and resolves the following:


a)    there is consistent and cross-party support for this Council to reduce its emissions and impact on the environment as quickly as practically possible;


b)    this Council does not support the expansion of the ULEZ.


c)     this Council rejects the proposal by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to expand the ULEZ £12.50 daily charge and potential large fines for non-compliant vehicles which will hit small businesses and those on lower incomes hardest;


d)    the evidence and economic modelling of the impact is wrongly focussed on the impact on Londoners and revenues for the Mayor of London, ignoring the impact on Runnymede residents who do not have access to the same tube and bus networks within the Greater London area;


e)    the roughly £400 million of government funding set aside for the Mayor to spend on reducing air pollution would be better spent on public transport, cycle ways, and other initiatives rather than a network of ULEZ cameras that penalise lower income households and those that must travel for work;


f)      that the Leader of Runnymede Borough Council writes to the Mayor of London to request that he reverse his current approach and replace it with a strategy that will benefit residents in neighbouring regions alongside those in his own jurisdiction;


g)    that the Leader of Runnymede Borough Council invites our local MP and group leaders of political groups on Runnymede Borough Council who are in agreement with the sentiments raised to co-sign the letter.


b) From Councillor Alex Balkan


Level Crossings Motion


This Council notes that:


·       Since the railway lines within the Borough were first bult, the impact of level crossings on local residents has increased hugely as the local population has expanded.


·       Residents have expressed ongoing concern about level crossing waiting times which can lead to traffic congestion, resulting air pollution from engine idling and can negatively impacts on the quality of life on residents living or working near level crossings in the Borough.


·       Network Rail continue to investigate innovative ways to reduce the number of level crossings across the railway network. This was highlighted in a 2019 report "Enhancing Level Crossing Safety 2019 - 2029".


·       There are ongoing works to improve the efficiency of the signalling at  ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.


Minority Group Priority Business

No minority group priority business has been registered under Standing Order 23.


Press and Public to be Excluded by Resolution

To consider any items so resolved at the meeting.


Urgent business - Local Government Act 1972 – Section 85: attendance dispensation

This item has been added to the agenda in accordance with Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.  The requirement for the item was not confirmed until after the publication of the summons.


Reasons for urgency


It is necessary for the Council to consider whether to grant a dispensation under Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972.  The Mayor is of the opinion that the item is urgent because it cannot be held until the next ordinary meeting of the Council.



a)    The Council is asked to consider whether it wishes to exercise its powers under Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 by granting a dispensation to the attendance requirements for elected Members in recognition of Councillor Furey’s ill-health.

b)    The Council is asked to agree the duration of the dispensation, to apply from 20 April 2023.


1.     Councillor Furey last attended a meeting of the authority on 20 October 2022 and has not been able to attend a meeting since then owing to ill health.


2.     Section 85 of the Local Government Act 1972 provides that if a member of a local authority fails throughout a period of six consecutive months from the date of his/her last attendance to attend any meeting of the authority, he/she, unless the failure was due to some reason approved by the authority before the expiry of that period, will cease to be a member of the authority.


3.     Therefore, if Councillor Furey fails to attend any meeting of the authority due to take place before 20 April 2023, or any meeting of an outside body to which he has been appointed as the Council’s representative, he will cease to be a member unless the Council grants a dispensation.


4.     As this is the last ordinary meeting of the Council before 20 April 2023, it is suggested that in light of Councillor Furey’s continuing recuperation, members consider whether a dispensation should be granted.