Surrey Heath Borough Council Executive meeting - 25 May 2021


Tuesday, 8 June, 2021

Decisions made at the most recent meeting of the Surrey Heath Borough Council Executive on 25 May 2021 included: 

Investigation of feasibility of Gypsy and Traveller site on Watchmoor Nature Reserve

Background:  The Council had investigated the feasibility of a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site on Watchmoor Nature Reserve.

Decision:  The Executive resolved that in light of the issues identified through the feasibility study, no further work would be undertaken on the use of Watchmoor Reserve as a Gypsy and Traveller site.  The Chief Executive was asked to write to all councillors detailing the implications of not identifying Gypsy and Traveller sites as part of the Local Plan work. 

Petition - Watchmoor Nature Reserve - A petition about Watchmoor Nature Reserve was presented to the Executive.

Five Year Strategy 2021 - 2026 – update

Background:  SHBC’s Five Year Strategy sets out the Council’s key priorities for the upcoming five years which also informs our Annual Plans.

Decision:  The Executive resolved that the timetable for the preparation of the Council’s new Five Year Strategy are noted together with the proposals for public and partner consultation.  A cross-party ‘’Task and Finish Group of seven members will be appointed to steer the development of the new strategy and review the feedback received during the consultation.

Collectively Camberley, Business Improvement District ballot vote. 

Background:  Collectively Camberley are the company who manage the Business Improvement District (BID) for Camberley Town Centre. 

Their mission is to make Camberley a destination of choice for shoppers and visitors as well as a vibrant location for residents and businesses alike. They are funded by and work for over 350 businesses within Camberley town centre.

Collectively Camberley came together as a not-for-profit organisation when it was voted by local businesses that the town should adopt a Business Improvement District (BID), in October 2011.  This year 2021, is a BID renewal year which takes place every five years.  SHBC along with all the town centre businesses paying business rates have the right to vote.

Decision:  The BID renewal process be supported with a “yes” vote from the Council, as recommended by its Camberley Town Centre Working Group.  The Leader of the Council will join the BID board on behalf of the Council.

Appointment of Executive Working Groups 2021/22.

The following Executive Working Groups for the Municipal Year 2021/22 be established:

  • Camberley Town Centre Working Group;
  • Climate Change Working Group;
  • Community Support Working Group;
  • Equality Working Group;
  • Local Plan Working Group;
  • Property Investment Working Group;
  • Surrey Heath Villages Working Group;

Appointment of Members to Outside Bodies 2021/22 - the full list can be seen on the link at the foot of the page.

Camberley High Street, Princess Way and Knoll Walk improvement works – additional costs

Background: The project had incurred increased cost and delay due to additional procedures  arising from the COVID pandemic and from unchartered underground services.

The scheme was impacted by the uncovering of gas and water supply pipelines that were not disclosed in the mapping of these services needed for the design and costing stage of this work. Only pipelines are usually mapped but many had valves, which were unmapped and very close to the tarmac wearing surface.  Damage occurred while the tarmac was being stripped back. In addition other smaller unmapped pipelines were uncovered.

In March 2020 when the UK went into lockdown due to Covid19 pandemic it was decided to continue with the works in accordance with Government guidelines. However, working under Covid 19 resulted in extra costs for the scheme due to the need to support businesses in The Square and The High Street that remained open during the lockdown.

Decision:  The Executive recommended to Full Council that the following costs are funded from the Council’s reserves;

  • £754,600 required for the High Street Public Realm Project’s additional costs is added to the capital programme
  • an additional £90,000 be added to the capital programme to fund further landscaping improvements in the scheme

The Executive requested the final costs of the project are reported to the Performance & Finance Scrutiny Committee.  A review of the circumstances leading to the increased costs will be undertaken to help inform future projects. 

Read more on the Executive meeting agenda accessible on this link -