4 Reigate & Banstead 2025 Annual Report 2021/22
The Leader of the Council and the Executive Member for Corporate Policy and Resources.
That the Executive:
1. Agreed the Reigate & Banstead 2025 Annual Report for 2021/22 for publication, and
2. Agreed the Equality Objectives Progress Report for 2021/22 for publication.
Councillor Mark Brunt, Leader of the Council, introduced the Reigate & Banstead 2025 Annual Report 2021/22. This provided the second annual update on progress towards delivering the Council’s Corporate Plan which sets out the objectives for delivering services to those living, working and spending time in the borough. It also highlighted how the Council had responded to the challenges of the pandemic. An update on progress on the corporate Equalities Objectives was also set out in a report to Executive Members.
Each of the nine Executive Members summarised highlights from their portfolio’s area of work over the past year in the three areas of People, Place and Organisation. These were:
· Community Partnerships – Councillor Ashford highlighted the extensive work to support vulnerable residents, the transformation of the Borough’s three community centres, and close working with health partners.
· Housing and Support – Councillor Neame highlighted the team’s work supporting residents facing homelessness, the completion of new affordable housing such as Wheatley Court in Redhill and Camelia Close in Tadworth, and supporting refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine.
· Leisure and Culture – Councillor Sachdeva set out the £100k Cultural Recovery Funding secured, partnership working with organisations across the Borough, return of events at the Harlequin, including the pantomime, and the work of the leisure team and developing Leisure and Culture strategy.
· Planning Policy and Place Delivery – the Leader highlighted work in Councillor Biggs’ portfolio area including the continued progress of regeneration of Redhill town centre, The Rise and the Light Cinema, the Place Delivery team’s work on projects in Horley and at Merstham Recreation Ground. The work of the planning team on applications and responding to Gatwick runway proposals was summarised. The coming year will complete the Playing Pitch Strategy and consider the Community Infrastructure Levy.
· Neighbourhood Services – Councillor Bramhall summarised the challenging work of the teams delivering services through the pandemic such as refuse and recycling, parks and greenspaces (which received 9 In Bloom awards), street cleaning, parking enforcement and environmental health and licensing. There were record levels of domestic refuse collected during the pandemic but also high levels of recycling. Sales of materials, including paper and cardboard, and the high level of garden waste customers was delivering an income of £1.69m for the Council.
· Economic Prosperity – Councillor Humphreys highlighted the support to businesses to access government financial support in lockdowns with £800,000 awarded from Business Support Grants and Business Growth Grants. Successful partnership working with Tandridge District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions was helping young people find work through the Youth Employment Hub. Reigate & Banstead Works website was continuing to link local people to local jobs.
· Investment and Companies – Councillor Archer highlighted the framework for the Council’s investment activity set out in Part 2 of the Council’s Commercial Strategy, the property portfolio which provides a net income of around £1.5m and the comprehensive review of the Council’s assets with the Property Team.
· Corporate Policy and Resources – Councillor ... view the full minutes text for item 4
9 Reigate & Banstead 2025 Annual Report 2021/22
To receive an annual performance report on the Corporate Plan 2020-25 and consider progress during 2021/22.
Members received a report from Cllr M. Brunt, Leader of the Council, on the Reigate & Banstead 2025 Annual Report 2021/22.
The Reigate & Banstead 2025 Annual Report and the Equalities Objectives Progress Report are key tools to assess the Council’s progress towards its corporate plan and equalities objectives. The plan had been adopted by the Council in January 2020 and this was the second year of its implementation. 2021/22 had been a year of both good progress and ongoing challenges for the Council. Key projects such as The Rise in Redhill and Camelia Close in Tadworth had either grown nearer to fruition or had been completed this year. The Council has also maintained consistent delivery of core services, despite the lingering disruption of the coronavirus pandemic and has improved its work with local partners to deliver support to local residents and communities.
Points to note included:
· The delivery of affordable housing at Tadworth and Redhill.
· YMCA housing for young people.
· Harlequin and Community centres.
· Support for vulnerable residents with support from Surrey County Council and NHS.
· Delivery of family support including refugee support.
· Progress on The Rise at Redhill, including a cinema and bowling alley.
· Development of Merstham Recreation Park and Horley Town Centre.
· Local businesses supported to recover from the pandemic.
· New business start-ups supported.
· Local people being connected to local jobs.
· High quality services delivered by Neighbourhood Services Team.
· Record local levels of recycling.
· Awards received for greenspaces.
· New commercial strategy.
· IT strategy.
· Work to deliver the £150 Council Tax rebate.
Challenges had included:
· Changes in services throughout the pandemic and changes in the prioritisation of services.
· Rising costs.
· Focus on financial sustainability.
Members thanked officers for the report and made the following comments and observations for the Executive for its meeting on 23 June.
Average resident income – Members asked why average employee earnings in the borough had decreased in the years 2012-2016 while average employee income in other districts had risen and asked whether this indicated that residents in the borough are not well paid. It was confirmed that this is a complex indicator but that average earnings in the borough were above the national average.
Town Centre Audits – Members asked whether some of the smaller towns and villages could be considered for funded items that the larger towns received, such as painting, maintenance of park benches and Christmas decorations. It was explained that the audits had been externally funded and so scope was limited, however, the points raised would be considered. Local CIL funding can be used to make improvements, however, if something specific was required, this could be brought to the attention of the Portfolio Holder.
Clear and Effective Communication – Members asked whether communication from residents was received via email, phone calls or letters. It was confirmed that communication from residents was received via all three channels and that a written answer would be provided to members with more detail following the meeting.
Local Plan – Members asked whether the Local Plan up ... view the full minutes text for item 9