Decisions made at the most recent meeting of the Surrey Heath Borough Council Executive on 25 January included:
Revenue Grants 2022- 2024
The Executive was asked to consider the revenue grant payments to voluntary organisations for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 and three ringfenced organisations for the second period from 1 April 2023 to 31st March 2024.
The Executive was advised that the budget preparations for 2022/23 had indicated the Council would be unable to sustain the same level of funding as in previous years and would not be able to support any new organisations. Furthermore, the Council would be unable to confirm the continuation of funding for non-ringfenced organisations beyond 1 April 2023. It was proposed to use the Containment Outbreak Management Fund, which would enable the Council to continue to support the existing organisations for the 2022/23 financial year and those that were ring-fenced for the 2023-24 financial year.
Members recognised a need to further understand the impact of the Council removing the funding to the organisations. It was therefore agreed that a report would be considered by October 2022, examining the impact of not funding each of the organisations and the potential impact on the Council, plus whether services could be delivered in another way.
The Executive resolved that the following Revenue Grants for 2022/23 be awarded to:
- Surrey Heath Citizens Advice (CASH) – £80,000.
- The Hope Hub - £31,500
- Voluntary Support North Surrey - £30,000.
- Surrey Heath Age Concern - £10,000.
- VSNS-Time to Talk - £10,000.
- Basingstoke Canal Authority - £10,000.
- Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership - £10,000.
- Camberley Central Job Club - £6,000
- Surrey Heath Sports Council - £3,000.
- Catalyst Support - £1,500.
No Revenue Grants to be awarded to: Windlesham Field of Remembrance, The Women’s Institute Bagshot, RASASC (Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre) Guildford, the Mustard Seed Trust, Farnborough, Home-Start Surrey Heath, Lightwater Connected and Surrey Heath Arts Council. More information about the reasons for these decisions can be found in the minutes of the meeting (external link - Agenda Template (moderngov.co.uk)).
The available funds from the Containment Outbreak Management Fund be used to meet the Revenue Grant costs of the three ringfenced organisations which consist of:
- Citizen’s Advice Surrey Heath, £80,000
- Basingstoke Canal Authority, £10,000
- Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership, £10,000
Surrey Heath Community Grants Review
The Executive reviewed at its meeting on 16 February 2021 the Community Fund Grant Scheme. This is a discretionary grant scheme introduced over 20 years ago that supports local groups up to a maximum contribution of £25,000 to meet general one-off costs normally related to capital expenditure.
The Executive resolved that the Community Support Working Group’s recommendations relating to the Council’s Community Grant Schemes, as set-out in Annex A to the agenda report, be agreed.
Review of Parking Fees and Charges (called in)
Car parking tariffs have remained unchanged in the Council’s multi-storey car parks since 2014 and since 2009 in the borough wide pay and display car parks, falling significantly behind inflation and increasing pressure on council finances and future investment in Parking Services. Proposals have been put forward to bring pricing back in line with cost of living increases as well as a review of the structure and provision of parking season tickets.
The following changes were put forward.
Car parking tariff changes, as set out in Annex 1 to the agenda report, be agreed to come into effect as soon as the statutory Traffic Regulatory Order process is complete and after review and consideration of any feedback received, this includes a period of free parking in most village car parks;
Pay and display parking tariffs be introduced at Wharf Road car park, Frimley Green once the statutory Traffic Regulatory Order process is complete and after review and consideration of any feedback received;
The temporary NHS/Carers permit be extended until 1 May 2022;
The RingGo convenience fees be passed on to the customer;
Parking Services investigate incentives to encourage greater use of zero emission vehicles;
Charging for the first two hours of parking in Knoll Road car park be reinstated as the public realm works in the High Street have now been completed. This will follow a statutory three week notice process, coming into effect on Monday 27 February 2022;
The Parking Subsidy Season Ticket for low paid workers permit be retained as part of the revised tariffs; and
The position in respect of Deepcut Car Park be reviewed should circumstances change.
This item has been ‘Called In’ – which means two or more Councillors have asked for the decision to be scrutinised formally.
This item will be considered by the Performance & Finance Scrutiny Committee on 17 February 2022.
Surrey Heath Physical Activity Strategy
Physical activity plays a key role in the health and wellbeing of our community and can have positive impacts on wider agendas such as community safety and the climate emergency. In line with regional and national partners, SHBC Officers are bringing forward a Physical Activity Strategy that highlights priority areas for the next five years where the Council will concentrate its efforts. The vision of the strategy is to create an environment where all Surrey Heath residents, regardless of age, background or circumstances, have the opportunity to participate in physical activity in a way that works for them.
The Executive resolved that the physical activity strategy for Surrey Heath, entitled “Moving Forward”, as set out at Annex A to the agenda report, be formally adopted for the 2022-2027 period.
COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund
The Government has introduced a number of new measures to support business as a result of the ongoing pandemic. This follows the significant support provided through business grants and rate reliefs in 2020 and 2021.
The COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) – announced in March 2021 but details have been delayed due to the Government legislative process until December 2021. Government guidance has been received on 30 December 2021 for COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) scheme rules. Approval was sought for the discretionary local scheme that will been drawn up based on the Government guidelines. The schemes offer valuable support to businesses in Surrey Heath and link to the corporate priority of Surrey Heath to support our existing businesses.
The Executive resolved that authority be delegated to the Strategic Director Finance & Customer Services after consultation with the Finance Portfolio Holder to approve the Business Rates COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund policy, scheme rules and authorise the award of the relief.
Read more about this meeting here - https://surreyheath.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=127&MId=3698