Agenda and minutes

EXTRAORDINARY, Council - Thursday, 18th January, 2024 7.30 pm, NEW

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

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No. Item



To sign the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 30 November 2023.

Supporting documents:


RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of Council held on 30 November 2023 be approved as a correct record and signed.



Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Additional documents:


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Elbourne, Harper, Sachdeva, and Thorne.



Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Additional documents:


There were none.



Urgent business

To consider any urgent business.

Additional documents:


There was none.



Petition: Reinstate Monitored CCTV Cameras in our Town Centres

To receive and consider a Petition regarding restating monitored CCTV cameras in the Borough’s Town Centres.

Supporting documents:


The lead petitioner, Mr Liam Castles, introduced the petition:

·       When gathering signatures, it became apparent that there was anger that CCTV cameras had been decommissioned. An apology to residents was needed for changing the policy without their consent.

·       The petition called for CCTV cameras to be reinstated in the Borough’s Town Centres, for Surrey police to reinstate regular patrols around Town Centres and for the Council to work with local stakeholders to set-up and operate a ShopWatch scheme. These were basic necessities  and would ensure Town Centres were safer and free from crime. The Council was called on to explain why it thought the decision to decommission CCTV had been rational.

·       The decommissioning of CCTV cameras had put residents at greater risk of crime. 54.7% of reported crimes in Redhill Town Centre over the last three years had not resulted in a prosecution. It was questioned if this had been a financial decision and if that was appropriate.

·       The removal of CCTV had put the protection of local businesses in the hands of small business owners who lacked the financial capacity and time to install and monitor cameras. They felt that they had not been listened to and that the Council did not care about their situation.

·       New developments in the Redhill night-time economy were also being put at jeopardy. Residents, staff and patrons would feel unsafe meaning that customer would go elsewhere.

·       The report on the petition put emphasis on the financial implications of reinstating CCTV cameras without putting forward any alternative solution. The Conservative led Council was called on to use its influence with the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner to increase patrols in Town Centres.

·       The Council was called on to be much stronger on crime by supporting the petition.


Councillor Biggs, the Leader of the Council, provided the response to the petition:

·       The petition states that the decision made in December 2020 to decommission monitored CCTV was made based on data relating to the period of the COVID pandemic. This was incorrect. The decision was made following extensive discussions with the police and based on data which predated the pandemic.

·       The police had confirmed that CCTV in the public realm continued to be largely unused for the detection of crime.

·       The Council had invested in CCTV in the Borough’s three largest parks and in its two multi-storey car parks in Bancroft Road and Clarendon Road. This was based on there being evidence of the value of CCTV in these spaces.

·       The impact of privately owned CCTV cameras both static and mobile was emphasised. A review of Town Centres in late 2023 confirmed that these were covered by 450 privately owned cameras, all with some coverage of public spaces. The police had invested in a reporting system which allowed residents and businesses to quickly, easily and safely upload footage for review to help maintain the public realm.

·       The action being requested by the petition would incur a significant cost for the Council of around £500K. This was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.


Interim Polling Place and District Review 2023/24

To consider the final recommendations of an interim Polling Place and District Review, which seeks to ensure that all electors have reasonable facilities for voting in elections.

Supporting documents:


The Managing Director introduced the report. It was explained that following a review of Parliamentary boundaries by the Boundary Commission for England, the interim review sought to ensure that all electors had reasonable facilities for voting at the forthcoming Borough Council, Police & Crime Commissioner and Parliamentary elections in 2024.


RESOLVED that the recommendation to designate the polling places for polling districts as outlined in the officer’s report and addendum be approved.



Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel on Members' Allowances for 2024/25

To receive and consider the report of the Independent Remuneration Panel including any recommendations on Members’ Allowances for 2024/25.

Supporting documents:


The Managing Director introduced the report. It was explained that this set out the Members’ Allowances scheme for 2024/25 following a review by the Council’s Independent Renumeration Panel (IRP). There were eight recommendations for Council to consider as detailed in Annex 1 to the report to apply from 1 April 2024.


Councillor Lewanski moved two amendments to the recommendations, that:

1.    The Special Responsibility Allowance paid to the Leader of the Council increase to £19,000 for 2024-25 rather than £15,800 as recommended by the IRP; and

2.    The Special Responsibility Allowance paid to the Leader of the largest Opposition Party increase to £3,800 rather than £3,310 as recommended by the IRP.


Councillor Lewanski put forward the following rationale for his amendments:

·       Good candidates to the position of Leader should not be discouraged on the grounds of financial pressures.

·       Not all Councillors were retired and many worked at the same time as carrying out their Councillor duties. Whilst the role was demanding, the Leader was only able to commit to allocating one day a week to being in the Council in person. This was a new approach and allowed face-to-face meetings with residents, officers and Members. However, these were time restricted. An increase in the Leader’s Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) would allow work commitments to be reduced and more time given to Council responsibilities.

·       Under this Leader, there had been a reduction in the number of Executive Members, requiring him to take a more hands-on approach with elements of various portfolios. This reflected a saving of around £10K well in excess of the additional £3,200 being recommended was added to the Leader’s SRA.

·       Previous IRP recommendations that the Leader’s SRA should be increased had not been accepted and this would bring parity with the previous recommendations.

·       Whilst it was not a requirement that the Leader of the Opposition’s SRA be fixed at 20% of that paid to the Leader, it was being recommended that this be increased in line with that of the Leader as part of the motion.


Councillor Neame seconded the amendments proposed by Councillor Lewanski.


Mister Mayor invited other Members to speak on the item.


Councillor Booton spoke to the item making the following comments:

·       The amendments to the recommendations made by the IRP were difficult to accept.

·       The IRP had consulted with Group Leaders. It was therefore assumed that the suggestion of a larger increase in the SRA for the Leader had been made. The IRP would have considered this as part of its review but had decided not to have increased the Leader’s SRA further.

·       As detailed in the terms of reference for the IRP, it had taken into consideration the difference in responsibilities and the time commitment of various roles when making its recommendations.



Councillor Harrison spoke in favour of supporting the amendments to the recommendations.


RESOLVED to accept the amended recommends as detailed in the officer’s report.