Corporate Management Committee - Thursday, 20th June, 2024 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre

Contact: Mr G Lelliott 

No. Item


Notification of Changes to Committee Membership


There were none.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To confirm and sign, as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 23 May 2024 (Appendix ‘A’).


The minutes of the meeting held on 23 May 2024 were agreed and signed as a correct record.


Apologies for Absence


There were none.


Declarations of Interest

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


Agenda item 13 – Appointment of Shareholder Non-Executive Director (Chair of the Board)


Councillor Milstead declared that he had a disclosable pecuniary interest and withdrew from the meeting during consideration of the item.


Council Tax Support Review pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Additional documents:


Changes to the Council Tax Support Scheme could only be made following a statutory consultation, during which residents, and key partners such as precept authorities and the voluntary sector, would be consulted.  The financial impact on Runnymede and precept authorities, depending on which option was eventually implemented, could be significant.


The use of resources to undertake the statutory consultation, and whether this would outweigh the advantages of retaining the existing scheme, was suggested as a consideration for the Committee.


The possible advantages and disadvantages of each option, such as the ability to tailor the service to an individual’s needs versus the impact on the staffing resources associated with operating the service, were mentioned as considerations for when this item was brought back to the Committee following the statutory consultation. 


It was confirmed that for a household to qualify for the benefit set out in paragraph 2.17 of the officer’s report, a qualifying individual would need to reside at the home address.


It was resolved that:


1)    A consultation, containing all of the options for changes to Runnymede’s Council Tax Support Scheme, to begin in July 2024, with a view to agreeing a scheme for implementation from 1 April 2025.


2)    Expenditure of £5,000 from existing budgets, to undertake the consultation exercise agreed in 1) above be agreed.


3)    A further report, detailing the results of the consultation and proposals for the Council Tax Support Scheme, be provided to the Corporate Management Committee in November 2024.


The Treatment of War Pensions in the Calculation of Housing Benefit pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee was fully supportive of the proposal contained within the officer’s report.


It was resolved that the Council be recommended to fully disregard war pensions income when calculating entitlement to Housing Benefit (in accordance with the arrangements set out in paragraph 5.4 of the officer’s report).


Corporate Debt Policy pdf icon PDF 106 KB

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The proposed changes aimed to provide an efficient and cohesive approach to recovering debts.  The ethical considerations, in particular an individual only having one point of contact regarding their debts, was an important element of the proposal.  A single point of contact also made assessing an individual’s eligibility to receive certain benefits or other support, with a view to alleviating some of the financial pressures that they were experiencing, more practical.


Where debt recovery was required, the use of a credit reference agency made assessing an individual’s ability to make payments towards their debt more effective.


It was resolved that the Corporate Debt and Financial Inclusion Policy be agreed.


Customer First Strategy pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Additional documents:


Members highlighted that residents were often frustrated when navigating the services offered by district and borough councils, and the county council.  It was confirmed that the effectiveness of the Council’s signposting was regularly reviewed, with the intention of improving it where persistent issues were identified.


The operation of the proposed live chat feature for the website was discussed.  The service would operate with a combination of automated responses and customer service adviser input, depending on the subject matter and whether queries were received during business hours.


The Committee was reassured that the ability for residents, particularly those who were not comfortable with online engagement, to make ‘in person’ or telephone enquiries, would remain.  A number of departments also operated services within the community, or undertook home visits, where these were appropriate.


It was confirmed that the previously proposed ‘citizens’ panel’ was the subject of a separate piece of work which would be brought to the Community Services Committee in due course.


It was resolved that the Customer First Strategy and associated action plan be agreed.


Digital Transformation Strategy pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Additional documents:


It was resolved that the Digital Transformation Strategy and associated action plan be agreed.


Website Accessibility Improvements pdf icon PDF 96 KB

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The Committee noted that this was an important piece of work, particularly with regard to website accessibility requirements placed upon councils.


It was resolved that:


1)    The project proposals, to improve the accessibility and usability of the website, be noted.


2)    The release of £10,000, from the Council's capital programme provisional scheme, to commence essential website improvements, be agreed.


Bookings System Project pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee was supportive of the proposal, which sought to modernise how the Council’s assets were made available for public use.  It was hoped that the ability to check venue availability and make payment at the point of enquiry would reduce the number of bookings lost to other venues.


It was resolved that:


1)    The project proposals, to improve the Council’s online and internal bookings management processes and systems, be noted.


2)    A capital estimate in the sum of £25,000, to commence the bookings system development required in the Digital Platform, to be funded from the equipment replacement reserve, be agreed.


Annual Appointments to Outside Bodies pdf icon PDF 78 KB

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It was stated that the positions with Citizens Advice Runnymede and Spelthorne were for a member and a deputy.  With this in mind, Councillor Mullens stated that she was happy to be considered for the deputy position.


Councillor Snow sought further information on Councillor Gahir’s credentials in relation to the position on the Sir William Perkins Foundation.  Following a discussion about Councillor Gahir’s and Councillor Snow’s candidacy for this position, Councillor Snow withdrew his nomination.


As there were more nominations for positions available with Voluntary Support North Surrey, the Committee discussed the candidacy of each individual before voting in accordance with Standing Order 39.6.


It was resolved that the following appointments be made, in accordance with the arrangements set out in the report:


Air Training Corps (no. 398 Squadron) Management Committee


Councillor Harnden

Armed Forces Champion


Councillor Saise-Marshall

Ashford and St Peter’s NHS Trust


Councillor Williams

CARS (Runnymede and Spelthorne Citizens Advice)


Councillor Milstead (member)

Councillor Mullens (deputy)

Chertsey Chamber of Commerce


Councillor Mavi

Councillor Parry

Egham Chamber of Commerce


Councillor Mullens (member)

Councillor Moudgil (deputy)

Egham Museum Trust


Councillor Harnden

Egham United Charity


Noted that the appointment made by the Trust


Fairoaks Airfield JCC


Councillor Mann (member)

Councillor MK Cressey (deputy)


Frank Muir Memorial Field


Noted that the councillors for Thorpe Ward are appointed to the Trust


Henry Smith’s Charity


Noted that Mrs Doreen Weavers, Ms E Bancroft and Mr

D W Parr had been appointed by the charity.


Noise and Airspace Community Forum (NACF)


Councillor Berardi (member)

Councillor Gates (deputy)

Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London Adjudication Joint Committee and the Traffic

Penalty Tribunal (PATROL)


Councillor MK Cressey

Runnymede Access Liaison Group (RALG)


Councillor Jenkins

Councillor Harnden

Runnymede Open Awards Centre


No nominations.

Sir William Perkins’s Foundation



South East Employers


Councillor R King (member)

Councillor Gillham (deputy)


South East England Councils


Councillor Gillham (member)

Councillor R King (deputy)

Staines Shopmobility


Councillor Harnden (member)

Councillor R King (deputy)


Strode’s Foundation


Councillor Mann


Surrey Museums Partnership


Councillor Harnden (member)

Councillor Ringham (deputy)

Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area Strategic Partnership Board


Councillor S Whyte (member)

Councillor Ringham (deputy)

Virginia Water Community Association


Councillor Howorth


Voluntary Support North Surrey


Councillor Clarke

Councillor R King



Appointment of Shareholder Non Executive Director (Chair of the Board) pdf icon PDF 84 KB


[Councillor Milstead left the meeting during consideration of this item.]


An external review of the governance arrangements for Runnymede’s companies had been commissioned.  The review would be brought to a future Corporate Management Committee, prior to the companies’ AGMs taking place.


It was resolved that Councillor Milstead be appointed as Non-Executive Director (Chair of the Board):


1)    RBC Investments (Surrey) Ltd

2)    RBC Services (Addlestone One) Ltd

3)    RBC Heat Company Limited


Appropriation of the residential property at St Ann's Hill pdf icon PDF 111 KB

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The Committee was pleased that a long-term vacant property was being brought back into use.  The property was currently in a lettable condition, having undergone a refurbishment shortly before it was vacated.  The lease, when agreed with an occupier, would contain appropriate provisions addressing the issue of access and the use of the adjacent public open space.


It was resolved that:


1)    The intention to appropriate the use of the Lodge at St Ann’s Hill, from open space to the general fund, be formally advertised.


2)    Any objections to the appropriation be reported to the Committee.


3)    In the event of there being no objections to the appropriation, the appropriation process be completed without reporting back to the Committee, and that the Corporate Head of Law and Governance be authorised to prepare and sign a Memorandum of Appropriation to record the appropriation of the Lodge at St Ann’s Hill to the general fund.


4)    The changes to the Heads of Terms be agreed.


Annual Treasury Management Report 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 576 KB


The Committee was pleased to note that the Council’s treasury management function had performed well again this year.


This report was for information only.


Salix Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund Phase 5 Bid pdf icon PDF 153 KB


The Committee was pleased to note the positive environmental impact of this proposal.


It was resolved that:


1)    Details of the Council’s submitted bid to the Public Sector Low Carbon Skills Fund Phase 5 for a total value of £255,700 be noted.


2)    The procurement and agreement of contract terms if the Council is successful in securing funding through the Phase 5 Low Carbon Skills Fund be agreed.


Treescape Funding Application - Tiny Forest pdf icon PDF 153 KB

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The Committee welcomed the potential for increased tree cover, higher levels of carbon being absorbed locally, and progress being made towards the Council’s climate change commitments.  Community engagement was also another prospective benefit of hosting ‘tiny forests’.  The impact on existing resources, particularly with the ongoing maintenance required for ‘tiny forests’, was noted.


It was resolved that the Council proceed with the application process to the Treescapes Fund, working in partnership with Earthwatch Europe and Spelthorne Borough Council, subject to being able to withdraw from the process at a future point, with a final decision on being able to proceed to be taken following receipt of a further report to Committee in September 2024.


Recommendation from Environment and Sustainability - Electric Vehicle Charging at Council Owned Car Parks

The Committee was presented with a report regarding the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure at four of the Council owned car parks.


In the EV Strategy Action Plan (2022-2026) Action 1 stated that the Council would ‘Explore opportunities to increase the network of publicly available electric vehicle charge points across Runnymede on both Council owned land and other public sector land’.   This included both on and off-street chargers.


As discussed in the Council's EV Strategy, it was expected that properties in the borough without access to their own driveways currently faced a barrier in being able to transition to electric vehicles.   Surrey County Council were installing on-street chargers in the borough which had the potential to help overcome this barrier.  However, to further assist in this regard, as well as using car parks for destination charging, Officers intended to allow residents who lived close to Council car parks to charge their cars overnight in some of the Council’s car parks.


In order to determine the best options for facilitating public charging points across the borough on Council owned land, Officers from Digital, Customer and Collection Services team worked with the Energy Saving Trust (EST) to look at factors such as demand, type of chargers needed, barriers for implementation and use of available funding.  Based on these discussions and further exploratory work, the four car parks chosen to be most suitable were:


Chertsey Library Car Park, Heriot Road, Chertsey

Woodland Car Park (St Peter’s Hospital), Hillswood Drive, Chertsey

Wasp Farm Car Park, Heritage Court, Egham

Memorial Gardens Car Park, Station Parade, Virginia Water


These sites corresponded to the car parks where the Automatic Number Plate Recognition was installed.  Currently, there was limited electricity supply at the car parks being considered.  As such, if the EV charging points were to be delivered to the shortlisted car parks, the Council would first need to understand the requirements and investigate the costs of any new connections to the grid at each site. The Assets and Regeneration team were awaiting quotes from existing Council contractors for an electrical survey at each site, however, the team estimated that the survey would cost in the region of £5,000 to £10,000 for the 4 car parks.  £30,000 was available from the earmarked Car Parks Reserve which could be used to pay for these surveys.


The Committee supported the proposal but considered Option 1 detailed in the report  a viable option and Officers were asked to also explore this option.


Resolved that:


The use of £30,000 from the earmarked Car Parks Reserve be used to complete electrical surveys at the four suggested car park sites.


Corporate Management Committee be asked to approve a budget of £30,000 to be financed by the release of funds.


The locations of the four suitable car parks sites selected be approved.


Officers be authorised to explore Options 1, 2 and 3 with regards to progressing EV Charging points in Council owned car parks.


Option 4 in the report be disregarded.


Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure at Council Owned Car Parks


Appendix A - GIS Car Park Summary Sheets


Appendix 2 Surrey County Council Brochure - Collaborating Organisations


The Committee was advised that surveys, to establish whether there was sufficient electrical capacity at various sites, were required before any charging infrastructure could be procured.  Consideration would be given to whether faster or slower charging technology was required, depending on expected and maximum parking times available at each viable site.


It was resolved that a budget of £30,000, to be financed by the release of funds, be approved to undertake the works agreed by the Environment and Sustainability Committee.


Exclusion of Press and Public


By resolution of the Committee, 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 Schedule 12A to Part 1 of the Act.


Recommendation from Environment & Sustainability - Procurement of Replacement Fleet Vehicles

Procurement of Replacement Fleet Vehicles


The Committee was asked to consider the six options detailed in the report in relation to a capital estimate for the purchase of two electric fleet vehicles.  


Officers advised the Committee that there were currently two vehicles within the Council’s fleet which urgently needed replacing. The vehicles were used by Parking Enforcement Officers who patrolled the Council’s 14 off street car parks 7 days a week, including bank holidays.  In addition, they were responsible for reporting back minor repair works with the car parks, maintaining the pay and display machines and other routine work associated with car park enforcement.


Of the six options considered Officers considered option 3 to be the best option.  The Committee concurred to this approach.



Resolved that:


Corporate Management Committee be requested to approve a capital estimate for the purchase of two (2) electric fleet vehicles to be funded from the Equipment Replacement Reserve set up for this purpose.


Procurement of Replacement Fleet Vehicles


It was noted that the vehicles would not be purchased before charging infrastructure was in place.


It was resolved that a capital estimate for the purchase of two electric fleet vehicles, to be funded from the Equipment Replacement Reserve set up for this purpose, be approved.


Recommendation from Community Services - Community Transport

Subject to approval by Community Services Committee Wednesday 12 June 2024.


Community Transport Review Outcome


Appendix 1 - SWOT Analysis


Appendix B - Equality Screening Assessment


The Committee was presented with three options for the future of the Community Transport service in Runnymede.  This was following a comprehensive review in the light of the Council’s financial position and an assessment of demand for and viability of the service since the Covid Pandemic in 2019.


The Committee recalled that Community Transport had been provided in the borough for over 20 years.  Among the service objectives were to connect communities and reduce isolation.  Latterly, the service was provided across Runnymede and Surrey Heath.


Members were apprised of the economic and environmental effects of the service coupled with a reduction in demand which meant the service was under-utilised and heavily subsidised.  Furthermore, the County Council’s plans to roll out a two year pilot of a Demand Responsive Transport Service would potentially further reduce demand for other Community Transport services.  The Committee agreed that all these factors had implications for future viability unless costs could be reduced and income generated.


Members noted the scope and process of the review and agreed Officers had been both thorough and fair in their approach and the conclusions drawn, discounting the ‘do nothing’ option and withdrawal of the service altogether.  Members’ attention was drawn to the full options appraisal and SWOT analysis appended to the report.  The legal implications were noted and that a full Equalities Impact Assessment had been undertaken.  The Committee was also advised of the risks of pursuing the preferred option but agreed that these were outweighed by the potential positive outcomes as presented.  These were in particular, the significant financial saving, the procurement of an accessible electric fleet of minibuses in partnership with the County Council and the resulting reduction in carbon emissions and revenue cost.


Officers highlighted a revised charging structure for the 2025/26 fees and charges and that a further full service review would take place in 2026/27.


It was agreed to provide one Member a table of estimated savings associated with the fuelling of the electric Meals at Home vehicles in relation to fuel spend as it was acknowledged that Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) was more expensive than diesel.  It was agreed this would help evidence how fast a transition could be made from HVO to electric vehicles.


As a result of a full consideration of the report, the Committee agreed that the most sensible and cost effective option was ‘Social Value Transport with identified contract capacity’.  Members were particularly pleased that arrangements to procure vehicles in partnership with the County Council were progressing, the details of which were noted, including the projected annual savings and grant funding option should this be necessary.  In addition, it was pleasing that the chosen option also aligned with the Corporate Climate Change Strategy and action plan, the Electric Vehicle and the Sustainable Fleet Management Strategies.  This option also had the least impact on staffing resources whilst maintaining an effective and supportive service to some of the most vulnerable members of the Community, as well as helping the day centres to remain open to all.


In order to take advantage of potential contract opportunities which were often time limited and presented themselves at relatively short notice, it was agreed to recommend to Corporate Management Committee that delegated authority be given to the Corporate Head of Community Services to move such projects forward in a timely manner.


Officers would keep the Chair of the Committee updated on the funding bid to the County Council and whether the failsafe option to apply to the Climate Change Pump Prime Fund would be needed.  Officers would also share the marketing plan with the Committee when it was available.

Officers were thanked for their report and the Committee was pleased to make the following recommendations to Corporate Management Committee accordingly.




The Committee agreed that the proposals would result in a more resilient service for the borough’s most vulnerable residents.  It was also agreed that whilst the temporary move to HVO as a fuel for the borough’s vehicles was welcomed, a transition to an electric fleet was an important milestone in the Council’s Climate Change Strategy.


It was resolved that the recommendations, as set out in the exempt officer’s report to the Community Services Committee on 12 June 2024, be approved.


Request to incur greater sum of money on legal proceedings than permitted under delegated authority


The Committee agreed that it was important to undertake enforcement action in cases where serious breaches of regulations were identified.  This was particularly the case when it related to the safety of residents.  The proposal set out in the officer’s report was therefore supported.


It was resolved that authority be granted to incur further legal costs up to the amount set out in the officer’s exempt report, to meet the legal costs associated with this matter, be agreed.