Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Thursday, 7th September, 2023 7.30 pm

Venue: New Council Chamber - Town Hall, Reigate. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services (01737 276182)  Email:


No. Item



To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the previous meeting.

Supporting documents:


One of the Committee Members requested that an addition be made to the minutes of the meeting held on 6 July. Minute 18 Reigate & Banstead Annual Report 2022/23 – General Comments; the following text has been added to the original minutes:

“Members commented that, where possible, KPIs should be underpinned by data in future Annual Reports.”

Visiting Members requested that they have access to the exempt minutes for meetings for which they had been in attendance.

RESOLVED that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 July 2023 be approved and signed.

RESOLVED that the exempt minutes of the previous meeting held on 6 July 2023 be approved and signed.


Apologies for absence and substitutions

To receive any apologies for absence and notification of any substitute Members in accordance with the Constitution.

Additional documents:


Apologies were received from Councillor Hinton; Councillor Harp was substitute. Apologies were received from Councillor Sachdeva, there was no substitute.


Declarations of interest

To receive any Declarations of Interest (including the existence and nature of any Party Whip).

Additional documents:


There were no declarations of interest.


Leader's Update

To receive an update from the Leader of the Council, Councillor Richard Biggs.

Additional documents:


Members received an update from the Leader, Councillor Biggs, about the ongoing activities and key work ahead for the Council.

The Leader reported that the Council is in a strong position.

The Corporate Plan presented to the Committee in July 2023 had reported on delivering homes, balancing the budget, and building towards the future, as well as the challenges around costs for both the Council and residents and the projected pressures on recruitment and retention. Since this report was received, the Council’s work has continued, providing support for those in most financial need and enabling others with information and guidance to assist their situation. Teams across the organisation within Community Development, Money Support, Housing and others are therefore all kept very busy responding to these needs, and the Leader thanked these teams for all the work carried out on this issue.

Financial Planning

The annual Service and Financial Planning process is underway, considering ways to be more efficient in use of resources, while maintaining services at high standards, and discovering ways to identify additional income and savings.

Commercial Activities

Portfolio Holders and officers continue to monitor progress of the companies owned by the Council; updates on these companies and the Council’s wider commercial strategy will be presented to this committee in December 2023.


New Executive Members are in post and portfolio priorities have been agreed, which will guide forthcoming work responding to current context and effectively delivering the Council’s objectives.

Anti-social behaviour

The Council continues to address anti-social behaviour, including through the recent concluded survey on the Public Space Protection Order in Redhill.

Town centres

Early indications are that The Rise is helping to boost footfall in Redhill.

Visitor levels to the Borough’s town centres have recently exceeded 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic.

Environmental Sustainability

Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil is being considered for new fleet vehicles which should reduce the Council’s carbon emissions by about 24%, however this would carry an additional financial cost; the benefits and costs are therefore being assessed and need to be balanced.


The Council has been able to access funding from the Department of Levelling Up Communities and Housing to help provide additional temporary housing in the local area, working together with local registered providers.

Options for securing a second round of funding are being explored, which will again help with providing temporary accommodation, particularly families displaced from Afghanistan.

These additional temporary accommodation units assist the Council in providing better provision for families, helping to save money by not relying on bed-and-breakfast accommodation, and reducing the demand on other local housing stock.

Local highlights

·         Work has commenced on delivering outdoor fitness areas in Woodhatch, Lady Neville Recreation Ground, and Priory Park.

·         A new transformation plan announced for Redhill library, supported by Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding.

·         Consultation on the next round of subway improvements in Horley.

Looking forward

·         Preliminary work has started on reviewing the Corporate Plan, looking at how residents can be best supported from 2026-2030. This  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Quarter 1 2023/24 performance report

To consider the Council’s performance in Quarter 1 2023/24 including Key Performance Indicators for Q1 2023/24, Revenue Budget and Capital Programme forecasts for Q1 2023/24, the Prudential and Treasury Management Indicators and Treasury Management Outturn Report for 2022/23  and the Treasury Management Performance Update for Q1 2023/24.

RECOMMENDED that Overview and Scrutiny Committee:

i)       Notes the Key Performance Indicator Performance for Q1 2023/24 as detailed in the report and Annex 1 and makes any observations to the Executive;

ii)      Notes the Revenue Budget and Capital Programme forecasts for Q1 2023/24 as detailed in the report and at Annexes 2 and 3 and makes any observations to the Executive;

iii)    Notes the Prudential and Treasury Management Indicators and Treasury Management Outturn Report for 2022/23 at Annex 4 and the Quarter 1 Treasury Management Performance Update for 2023/24 at Annex 5 and makes any observations to the Executive;

Supporting documents:


The Committee received reports on the Council’s performance for the first quarter of 2023/24 including Key Performance Indictor (KPI) reporting, as well as revenue and budget monitoring. The reports were due to go to the Executive on 14 September 2023.

The Executive Member for Corporate Policy and Resources, Councillor James King, presented the Quarter 1 Performance Report 2023/24 covering the period April to June 2023.

Key Performance Indicators

Of the ten KPIs reported on, seven were on target or within agreed tolerances. Two KPIs were off target and outside of their tolerance: KPI 7 – Net affordable housing completions, and KPI 10 – Percentage of household waste recycled and composted. Although Affordable housing completions had not met their target within this quarter, the Council has already delivered 1,139 affordable units against the overall target of 1,100 affordable units set out in the 15 year plan. The percentage of household waste recycled or composted in the Borough was 51.9% against a target of 60%. This figure is reported one quarter in arrears and Q4 performance remained broadly in line with that of previous years. KPI 8 - Local Environmental Quality Survey was unable to be reported on during Q1, due to resourcing challenges.

Advance Questions

Several advance questions on the Key Performance Indicators had been submitted prior to the meeting. The advance questions and their responses can be viewed here:

Document Advance Questions and Answers OS 7 September 2023 | Reigate and Banstead Borough Council (

The Executive Member for Corporate Policy and Resources, Councillor James King, invited Members to ask questions on the Quarter 1 202/24 Performance Report provided in the agenda pack. In response, the following clarifications were provided:

KPI 3 – Staff turnover

It was confirmed that the level of staff turnover had reduced; It was expected that the level would remain below that of 2022/23, but it was noted that the employment market is very buoyant and competitive, and some fluctuation was to be expected. This authority strives to be an employer of choice.

KPI 5 – The % of positive homelessness prevention and relief outcomes

It was reported that the housing team assess all approaches for homelessness; certain criteria apply around those people presenting as homeless to the authority to assess their priority. There is a legal duty to assist certain people, who are given priority. For those the authority does not have a statutory duty to assist, the authority provides information to help source private sector accommodation, contact information for other authorities with which they have a local connection, contact information for Citizens Advice Reigate and Banstead, or CDA, who are a debt or organisation that the authority works with. Unfortunately, demand for housing exceeds supply. The Council was working as hard as it can on this issue and the resource in the Housing team was being increased.

The Housing team would supply a written answer detailing the number of local properties available for emergency accommodation and the intended number for the entire year.

KPI  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Environmental Sustainability Strategy: Annual Report

To receive the report on 2022/23 progress on the Environmental Sustainability Strategy and make any observations to Executive.

RECOMMENDED that Overview and Scrutiny Committee:

i)       Notes the Environmental Sustainability Strategy progress report (Annex 1) and makes any observations to the Executive.

ii)      Agrees to request Democratic Services (in consultation with the O&S Chair and relevant Head of Service) to prepare a scoping report looking at establishing a time limited Scrutiny Panel for the forthcoming Environmental Sustainability Strategy Review, to be considered at a future Committee meeting.

Supporting documents:


The Committee received the third annual update on the progress in delivering the Council’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy, adopted in July 2020.

Councillor Moses, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, outlined the work that had taken place over the past year, challenges and next steps. In addition, the agenda pack included Annex 2 which is summary of the external studies that have been commissioned to assist in the Council’s journey to net zero. The Council’s sustainability work is very wide ranging and split across two main areas - at a council level – where there is direct control – and also more widely working with others to improve sustainability across the borough as a whole.

The following areas were highlighted:

Data and Evidence

Annex 2 provides a useful summary of the background work that is ongoing to ensure the evidence base is up to date.

This work is important: The Council has choices about how it achieves its sustainability targets while also meeting service delivery and financial sustainability commitments. This information will help inform those choices.

The Council still faces some issues with data availability, as described in the report, but this has improved since the Strategy was adopted and will continue to do so.

Progress on the Action Plan

The Council continues to make good progress on the actions in the Action Plan.

Members will recall that the original action plan included over 100 actions.

Annex 1 shows the progress that is being made against all of these. It shows those that have been completed, those that are underway and (in a few instances) where the Council has not been able to complete actions or where actions have needed to be postponed.

Carbon Emissions

The organisation’s carbon emissions have increased as we have come out of the two years of pandemic-related lockdowns. During this period, a number of Council buildings were closed, and activities restricted.

Overall, however, emissions are down from the pre-Covid baseline year.

The covering report (at paragraphs 26 to 31) explains some of the specific interventions being progressed to continue and accelerate this reduction in the short term. It explains how these will be funded and the carbon savings they are expected to generate. Annex 2 includes information about the trajectory towards net zero.


The Council has allocated £239,000 of external UK Shared Prosperity Funds to deliver a range of sustainability activities over a three-year period. £850,000 of Strategic CIL funding has also been secured to reduce energy use across Council buildings; this will also save money on the Council’s energy bills.

Other funding to improve Council buildings and reduce carbon emissions from the fleet will be sought via internal budget setting processes or from external sources.

Funding allocations will be linked to there being satisfactory business cases for these activities.

Review of the Strategy

More information about the scope of this is provided in the covering report at paragraphs 32 to 34.

There will be Member engagement as part of this process, and any relevant  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.


Overview and Scrutiny Committee Forward Work Programme

To consider and agree any changes to the schedule for Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Forward Work Programme 2023/24 and to consider the Action Tracker from the previous meeting.

Supporting documents:


The Committee received the Overview & Scrutiny Forward Work Programme.

The Chair noted that the Strategy Guidance document would be circulated to all Members for comment and therefore proposed that it should be removed from the forward work programme. The Committee agreed.

It was noted that there were a large number of items scheduled for the meeting on 14 March 2024. The Chair agreed that the programme was full and that this would be challenging, necessitating review and discussion.

Members requested that one of the completed items on the action tracker be re-opened. This related to an action from 6 July 2023 on Capital Assets. Members clarified that the information requested related to the net return on the assets listed in the report over a period of time, i.e. the price paid for the asset plus any additional capital expenditure costs for upkeep; and the revenue generated minus operational costs. A written response would be provided.

RESOLVED that the Committee agreed the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme for 2023/24 and noted the updated action tracker.



To consider any items arising from the Executive which might be subject to the ‘call-in’ procedure in accordance with the provisions of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules set out in the Constitution.

Additional documents:


It was reported that there were no items arising from the Executive that might be subject to the ‘call-in’ procedure in accordance with the provisions of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules.


Any other urgent business

To consider any item(s) which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered as a matter of urgency - Local Government Act 1972, Section 100B(4)(b).


(NOTE: Under the Committee and Sub-Committee Procedure Rules set out in the Constitution, items of urgent business must be submitted in writing but may be supplemented by an oral report.)

Additional documents:


There were no items of urgent business.