Community Services Committee - Thursday, 16th March, 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Miss C Pinnock 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To confirm and sign, as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 5 January 2023 (Appendix ‘A’).


The Minutes of the meeting held on 5 January 2023 were confirmed and signed as a correct record.


Declarations of Interest

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


There were no declarations of interest.


Green & Blue Infrastructure Strategy Update pdf icon PDF 78 KB


The Committee was asked to note progress with the production of a draft Runnymede Green & Blue Infrastructure (GBI) Strategy.


The Committee was advised that the strategy would set the framework for the Council’s approach to GBI.  The County Council would be producing a Local Nature Recovery Strategy covering Runnymede, as required by the Environment Act 2021.  It was noted that the Runnymede Local Plan 2030 contained a number of specific policies relating to GBI and related topics affecting, amongst other things, Health and Wellbeing and Climate Change.


Members were advised that whilst there was no mandatory requirement for the Strategy it was considered to aid the implementation of the Environment Act 2021, especially in relation to Biodiversity Net Gain.  Different Business Centres would contribute to it, particularly those responsible for managing and maintaining the Council’s network of open spaces, parks, designated sites for nature and other recreational facilities.  Rivers, lakes and canals in the borough were also important features to promote biodiversity that would be covered by the Strategy.


Officers confirmed that progress reports would be submitted at key stages of the Strategy’s development.  So far, an audit of GBI assets and features had commenced and following internal discussion and external consultation it was anticipated that a final strategy could be adopted in 2024.  This would identify strengths and risks, and suggest where improvements could be made to protect and enhance the biodiversity of the borough, making environmental considerations part of all decision making.


Officers agreed to confirm whether there were any exemptions from the new mandatory requirement from 2024 for Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) in development and to provide feedback on any exceptions for individual residential properties.


Officers were thanked for their fluid and effective report.




The preparation of a draft Runnymede Green & Blue Infrastructure Strategy and the timetable for preparation, be noted.




Core Grants Proposals pdf icon PDF 119 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee’s approval was sought to make four core grant aid awards and introduce conditions to monitor how funding was spent by those voluntary organisations.  The overall spend was included in the Medium Term Financial Strategy approved by full Council in January 2023.


Officers advised that the Council wished to continue supporting four core organisations whose work supported key themes in the Corporate Plan, particularly health and wellbeing, providing significant social value to the community.


Officers had engaged with each organisation and gained an understanding of their work and the benefits for residents they worked with.  Findings had been considered by the Health and Wellbeing Member Working Party, as the first stage of an overall review of Voluntary Sector funding and an attempt to streamline processes and introduce more consistency and transparency.


Members agreed that the conditions attached to each grant were reasonable and proportionate and would also keep the Committee informed.  Each organisation would be required to submit an application for funding and make a report either annually and/or on a quarterly basis to account for the grant and its impact on their work.  With the exception of Addlestone Community Association, one or more Councillors would continue to be appointed as representatives on each organisation.


The awards were as set out below and would be made annually for a period of three years:


1.    Citizens Advice Runnymede and Spelthorne: £103,700 + 10%

2.    Voluntary Support North Surrey: £33,000 + 10%

3.    Runnymede Access Liaison Group: £1,500 + 10%

4.    Addlestone Community Association: £2,900 + 10%


It was agreed that should Council finances become unavailable, or if the grant investment was found not to deliver the intended outcomes, funding could cease subject to each organisation being given six months’ notice.


Members noted the legal and equalities implications in the report.  Legal agreements would be drawn up with each organisation to ensure the monitoring conditions were met.


The Committee was pleased to recommend the grants be approved by Corporate Management Committee.


RESOLVED that  -


Members recommend Corporate Management Committee to approve:


a)         the proposal to award an annual core grant to the sum of £103,700 + 10% for a period of three years to Citizens Advice Runnymede and Spelthorne on receipt of completed application documentation, with the monitoring conditions outlined in section 2 of this report;


b)         the proposal to award a core grant to the sum of £33,000 + 10% for a period of three years to Voluntary Support North Surrey, on receipt of completed application documentation, with the monitoring conditions outlined in section 2 of this report;


c)         the proposal to award a core grant to the sum of £1,500 + 10% to Runnymede Access Liaison Group, for a period of three years, on receipt of completed application documentation, with the monitoring conditions outlined in section 2 of this report; and


d)         the proposal to award the core grant sum of £2,900 + 10% to the Addlestone Community Association for a period of three years, on receipt of completed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 616.


Tennis Court Refurbishment, Gogmore Farm Budget Request pdf icon PDF 80 KB


The Committee was advised that since the last report on this subject presented in September 2022, the funding for refurbishment of single tennis courts had been withdrawn.  Approval was sought for alternative funding.


Members were disappointed to learn that the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) had changed the way it approached the refurbishment programme in that funding for all single court sites had been withdrawn as a result of the current financial climate. 


This meant that in order to refurbish Gogmore Farm’s tennis courts alternative funding had to be identified.  Not to develop the site would disadvantage residents and community groups accessing the courts and would go against the Health and Wellbeing agenda.  It was confirmed there was no scope to enlarge the single court as this would impinge on the well used multi-use area at Gogmore Farm.


Members were keen to carry on with the programme with the LTA as it unlocked support and training opportunities for users as well as loaned equipment.


Officers shared this view and had therefore pooled various underspends across Community Services in the 2022/2023 budgets, in the sum of £29,922.65, to cover the cost of refurbishment and maintenance. 


In terms of timescale, the Committee was pleased to learn that work could commence in April 2023 subject to further discussion with the LTA, using contractors procured by the LTA.  Members were assured that the Council’s grant funding agreement with the LTA and the Council’s with the contractors were being checked by Legal.


The LTA had also decided that for funding at multi-use sites not to affected, the courts had to be devoted to tennis for at least 75% of the time.  Officers confirmed that this decision did not impact on Chertsey Recreation Ground, as it was split 82% tennis and 18% netball.


Officers confirmed that the courts at Heathervale Recreation Ground were included in the LTA programme.



i)          the change to the LTA Grant Funding Agreement be noted; and

ii)         to address the lack of grant funding for the refurbishment of Gogmore Farm Tennis Court the following proposed option be approved:


            RBC funds the re-development of Gogmore Farm Tennis Court through identified underspends across Community Services totaling the required sum of £29,922.65, to ensure that the site is re-developed in-line with the standards advised by the LTA.


Meals at Home Vehicle Procurement pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee’s approval was sought to enter into a new lease arrangement with Apetito for a fleet of 4 electric vehicles/diesel oven option for a period of 36 months to deliver the Council’s Meals at Home service.  Further, approval was sought to recommend Corporate Management Committee grant a waiver to Contract Standing Orders (CSO 2.6.1) to enable this proposal, Apetito being the only company that could provide the services required.


Officers advised that an opportunity had arisen which would allow the Council moved to using electric vehicles for Meals at Home, through its contractor, Apetito.  This was an important and timely step towards achieving carbon net zero emissions.


A full review of Meals at Home had been undertaken between October 2022 and January 2023.  A number of options had been considered for future provision, all of which had undergone an options appraisal, the details of which were noted by the Committee.


The preferred option (6c), and the one which Members agreed was the best, was to enter into an agreement with the existing suppliers, Apetito, to have 7 electric lease vehicles across Runnymede and Surrey Heath and for Surrey Heath to purchase a small electric van as contingency and to deliver bulk orders and deliveries in close proximity.  The leased vehicles would be under a full maintenance contract.  Officers were currently testing the electric vehicles (Renault Kangoo ZE) for efficiency and quality as well as investigating the necessary electric charging infrastructure.


Members recognised the need to act quickly as the service was currently out of contract and the vehicles were available now as a one-off opportunity without the previously anticipated 13+ months lead in.  This proposals would require a supplementary revenue estimate  increase per annum of £15,717 and a supplementary capital estimate increase of approximately £15,000 to instal the infrastructure required.  This was currently with the Council’s Assets and Regeneration business centre, the assessment not having yet been completed, with no provision for it in the Capital Programme.  The total for the 36 month contract for 7 vehicles was £175,140 excluding VAT, with Runnymede contributing 4/7, totalling £100,080.


Officers did caution that should the proposed option become unviable, the fall back option was to lease 7, 3.5 diesel vehicles with diesel powered ovens.  This was effectively continuation of the current delivery model and replacement of vehicles for which a supplementary revenue estimate increase of £11,139 was required.


The legal implications were noted, including the need for a waiver to Contract Standing Order 2.6.1, as Apetito were the only suitable provider, and a consequential exemption from the Public Contract Regulations 2015 regarding advertising.  Legal advice would also be needed to ensure the contract with Apetito was acceptable.


Members welcomed the possibility of steps being taken to address climate change and were keen for the positive message to be communicated and promoted on the vehicle livery.


Members also asked that the viability appraisal of the infrastructure should include consideration of installing solar panels at the Depot.


The Committee was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 618.


Event Coordination and Safety Advisory Group Policy pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee’s approval was sought for a new Event Co-ordination Policy to be operated principally by Environmental Services (Green Spaces).


A review of how Events were managed had been undertaken and a decision made that all events of a significant size, the majority of which were held on Council owned parks and open spaces, should be considered by the Council’s Safety Advisory Group where appropriate, so that a more co-ordinated approach could be taken. 


The policy would also ensure events did not clash, had been properly risk assessed for safety and security (including the provisions of Martyn’s Law when enacted and where applicable), and relevant information shared in a timely way between relevant Officers and business centres as well as with event organisers.


It was considered necessary to produce a new policy which was appended to the report.  The policy covered the process for notification/requests to hold events (including Council run events) and the terms of reference and process for the Council’s Safety Advisory Group.


Officers sought to prioritise permissions for the borough’s long-standing local events such as Black Cherry Fair, Goose Fair, Chertsey Show, Egham Royal Show and the Thorpe Half Marathon.  However, they would still be required to apply and or notify in line with the new policy.


Members were advised that whilst there were no direct financial implications arising from the policy, there could be some linked to supporting event organisers who might request an additional grass cut of an area, the provision of litter bins and litter removal.  This could be aided through a small grants process currently being considered as part of the ongoing review of the Council’s external grants process.


It was confirmed that events being held on Englefield Green for example would still need the approval of that Committee.  Other types of event such as park runs which were more regular should be co-ordinated by the Leisure Client Development Officer in Community Services.  In addition, markets and similar should not be affected but would still need to be included so that all events were known about and could be referred to the Safety Advisory Group where relevant.




The Event Co-ordination Policy, be approved, to be implemented from 1 April 2023


Junior Citizen 2023 pdf icon PDF 102 KB


The Committee’s approval was sought to support the long standing, multi-agency Junior Citizen event, the time limited funding for which from the Police had come to an end.


Members recalled that Junior Citizen had been running for over 20 years.  Aimed at Year 6 pupils, it focussed on a number of key themes which supported the health and wellbeing agenda including Fire and Water Safety, Stranger Danger and healthy bodies.


Junior Citizen relied on grant funding, provided by the Police Crime Commissioner, which was match funded from the Community First budget.  The PCC funding was reduced from £5,000 to £2,500 and would likely be discontinued altogether as they and the Fire Service turned their focus to supporting Year 4 and 7 pupils through the Safer Communities Programme.


Members were advised that the County Council had begun the Safer Communities Programme from January 2023, an online and free resource pack designed for teachers to deliver themes hitherto covered in the Junior Citizen event to Year 6 pupils.  However, a number of other agencies who were part of Junior Citizen such as St John Ambulance, the RNLI and School Nurses sought for it to be continued and the Committee agreed that it was a valuable event to support prevention in the long run.


The Committee noted the possibility of other agencies becoming involved including Hope UK and Eikon, both of whom had been approached.


The Committee noted that Junior Citizen was well supported; feedback from participants suggested that 100% would wish it to continue, but as a free event.  Members agreed that the modest outlay of £5,000 initially for 3 years was well worthwhile and thanked Officers for their continued dedication to the event, including exploring future funding opportunities for Junior Citizen.




i)          the Junior Citizen scheme continues, incorporating health and wellbeing themes; and


ii)         a budget provision of £5,000 be approved, allocated from the Youth Development budget held by Community Services, annually for a period of 3 years


Befriending Service Update pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received for information, an update on the Befriending Service.


Officers advised that there was an unmet need for Befriending, which used to be provided by Age UK Runnymede and Spelthorne, up until 2016 when they closed.  The gap in provision was highlighted during the Covid 19 pandemic when the Council stepped in with a temporary resource from redeployed front line staff. 


It was agreed that providing the service in future should be through the voluntary sector and Voluntary Support North Surrey (VSNS) were the obvious organisation to do this.  Accordingly, Corporate Management Committee had approved a grant of £80,000 for two years to facilitate this utilising COMF (Contain Outbreak Management Fund) from central Government.  However, although the service model and funding had been approved it was put on hold, pending financial uncertainty over funding.  This was resolved once it had been confirmed that COMF monies could be used for this service, but had to be spent by 31 March 2023.


The Committee agreed that Befriending was a valuable tool to combat isolation and signpost people to services that would help improve their health and wellbeing.  It also supported the theme of ‘Empowering our Communities’ in the Corporate business Plan.  Members were fully supportive of the proposals and the partnership with VSNS who had positive experience of delivering this in Surrey Heath, where it was called ‘Time to Talk.’  This model would be extended to Runnymede and based in Chertsey.


Officers confirmed that instead of a formal partnership with VSNS, a service level agreement would be put in place; the key aspects of which were noted.  These included performance monitoring and regular discussions with VSNS on how the service was working. 


Members noted the importance of promotion.  This would be a collaborative project, with an important aim to recruit and retain volunteers from a range of backgrounds and experiences.  It was noted that there were other providers of Befriending.  For example volunteers like Good Neighbours and various faith groups.  It was noted that EIKON was also engaging with local schools.  VSNS would target those not in touch with these other services.


It was noted that implementation and delivery of the service in Runnymede started on 1 March 2023 and would end on 31 March 2025, inclusive of a one month transfer period.  This was because no funding had been identified beyond this point.  However, Officers would work with VSNS to try and identify future funding to make the service sustainable and independent.


Officers were asked to confirm what services were available for under 18 year olds who couldn’t access the Befriending Service and whether this was something that the Health and Wellbeing Member Working Party could consider.


Officers were also asked to confirm that former service personnel would be covered by VSNS, in accordance with the Council’s Armed Forces Covenant which had just achieved ‘silver’ status.  It was suggested that whilst Befriending was generally age related, group befriending, facilitated by matching personnel might be appropriate.


In terms of coverage  ...  view the full minutes text for item 621.


Cabrera Trust Management Committee Minutes pdf icon PDF 37 KB

Additional documents:


The Minutes of the meeting of the Cabrera Trust Management Committee as attached at Appendix A were received and noted.


Safer Streets Update

To Follow


The Committee received a verbal update on the Safer Streets Funding.


Officers reported that there were unresolved issues with the Home Office regarding provision of a youth facility.  These were mainly around providing Intervention Services ‘without walls.’


Officers would need to identify match funding in liaison with colleagues in Finance for a future project in the Garfield Road area of Addlestone now that the youth café had been deemed unviable and submit a report to the most appropriate Committee in due course.


Proposed Key Performance Indicators for Community Services pdf icon PDF 126 KB


Officers presented the proposed key performance indicators for Community Services, following its merger with the former Community Development Business Unit.


The Committee noted the breadth of activity in Community Services, with the additional area of Open Spaces Development and Strategy, indicators for which had not yet been set.


Members were invited to suggest any targets or amendments to those presented.


Officers were asked to confirm the reason behind the perceived ‘dip’ in the number

of people accessing the museum in terms of the target for Quarter 4 being lower

than the previous quarters.


Officers agreed to provide a brief explanation of why the services included in the key performance indicators sat within Community Services and the importance of the data provided.


In future reports, Officers agreed to signpost to other sources of data reported elsewhere. For example anti-social behaviour reported to the Community Safety Partnership.




The proposed service KPIs for 2023/2024, be approved.



Exclusion of Press and Public



the press and public be excluded from the meeting during discussion of the following report under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that the report in question would be likely to involve disclosure exempt information of the description specified in paragraph xxx 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 paragraphs 3 and 5 of Schedule 12A to Part 1 of the Act.



Core Judo Your Fund Surrey Funding Application


The Committee was asked to support plans to make progress with the proposed enhancements at Thorpe Green by Core Judo, who had secured funding from ‘Your Fund Surrey’.


Officers advised that the funding from Your Fund Surrey was for resurfacing of the existing car park opposite the Core Judo site, extension of the car park, covering the former tennis court at Thorpe Green, provision of electric charging points within the car park, and provision of a green gym facility on Thorpe Green.


However, work could not commence until the Secretary of State to whom the Council would need to make an application, had given their consent to develop the site which held Common Land status.  This placed restrictions on what could be done, including the installation of permanent equipment.


Unfortunately, Core Judo were unaware of this when they applied for funding, as the status of the land had not emerged until quite recently.


A small group of Officers and elected Members had sought to move the project forward in discussion with Core Judo and Surrey County Council.  The Committee was pleased these had proven constructive and resulted in a solution so that Core Judo could receive funding in stages as each part of the project progressed.


Approval was sought to make an application to the Secretary of State to enable the extension of the car park on the existing concrete pad and for the green gym.


Some initial funding had been released by the County Council to resurface the established parking area; this was guaranteed even if the application to the Secretary of State was unsuccessful, and the project could not proceed fully.  Everyone hoped this would not happen as they were very supportive of Core Judo and the significantly positive impact they had in and for the community.


The Council would retain ownership of the site and equipment and Members were content to allow for an additional sum of £500 to be added to the Parks and Open Spaces budget for maintenance of the green gym.


To facilitate the project and the higher volume of traffic already being experienced, it was also agreed that a sum of £25,000 be vired from various underspends in Community Services to undertake works to widen the existing narrow access road, again, this required the Secretary of State’s consent as it amounted to development of Common Land.


Members reviewed a breakdown of the costs of taking the project forward as well as the legal implications, the process and timescale of applying to the Secretary of State to amend the two Schemes of Management that were applicable to Thorpe Green made in 1911 and 1965 respectively.  In practice permission to amend the Schemes was delegated to the Planning Inspectorate.  There was also a need for public consultation.


The Committee thanked Officers and the two elected Members for all the work they had completed so far to progress the project which it was considered was very worthwhile and promoted the development of valuable youth work being  ...  view the full minutes text for item 626.


Safer Runnymede - Authority to enter into a contract to deliver CCTV Services


The Committee was asked to authorise a new contract to provide CCTV services to a neighbouring local authority with whom the Council had an existing long-standing contractual relationship since 2003.


In 2017 the neighbouring authority upgraded its CCTV system to a wireless delivery transmission system, thus ensuring its longevity.


Members noted that Safer Runnymede already monitored 56 CCTV assets for the local authority in question and had a positive partnership with them and with senior Police Officers based in the same town as their Civic Offices.


Safer Runnymede produced weekly logs, detailing their activities, and which cameras had been used which helped justify camera usage.


Officers had been working with Safer Runnymede’s CCTV installers which had resulted in the local authority in question securing a successful funding bid from Safer Streets.  This enabled upgrades to be made and additional CCTV which Safer Runnymede would monitor and maintain under the new 5 year contract.


The Committee welcomed the opportunity to generate substantial income in the sum reported which helped off set the cost of Safer Runnymede.  Members noted that the contract revenue was currently included in the forecasted budget.


Members were advised of the legal implications under the provisions of the Local Authorities (Goods and Services) Act 1970.


The Committee was pleased to authorise the proposals accordingly.




Entry into a contract with the local authority named in the report for the provision of CCTV monitoring and maintenance be approved.

Appendix A Cabrera Trust Management Committee Minutes 5 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 98 KB