Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive - Thursday, 16th November, 2023 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Democratic Services (01737 276182)  Email:


No. Item



To approve the Minutes from the meeting on 14 September 2023.

Supporting documents:


The Minutes of the previous meeting on 14 September 2023 were approved.


Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Additional documents:


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor James King, Executive Member for Corporate Policy and Resources.


Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Additional documents:


There were no Declarations of Interest.


Response to Petition - 'Save Christmas in Redhill'

The Leader of the Council.

Supporting documents:


The Leader welcomed the petitioner and Redhill resident, Mr Elliott Wragg, to the meeting to present the petition – ‘Save Christmas in Redhill’ – which had been signed by over 200 people both online and in hard copy. The petition asked for funding to support the cost of Christmas decorations in Redhill town centre as the regeneration and investment in the town continued to make it the focal point for East Surrey.


Mr Wragg thanked Executive Members for considering the petition which he was presenting as a substitute on behalf of the petitioner, Ms Jen Orchard. She could not attend the meeting and had sent her apologies. He thanked residents who had signed the petition which was a very important matter to Redhill residents. He said that a few days after the petition had started, the funding gap had been solved. A Christmas tree was up in the town centre which was great to see. A meeting of local businesses that make up the Redhill Business Guild had been very informative. Mr Wragg thanked all parties who had contributed to that event.

As a resident who has recently moved to the area, he raised other issues that concerned neighbours such as the parking outside McDonalds, temporary closure of toilets in the park and lack of monitored CCTV for the town centre. He appreciated the complexities of these different items but said he hoped that these could be solved with ingenuity and cooperation within the council and local businesses to look forward to a happier, safer and brighter Redhill for the 50th anniversary of the borough.

The Leader, Councillor Biggs, said that planning work for Christmas celebrations in the borough by the Council and local businesses started at the beginning of the year. It was important that the Council gets right how it spends its limited resources across all the other major town centres. For example, there are over 30 shopping parades across Banstead, Redhill, Reigate and Horley and it would not be a simple solution or fair to other areas to provide funding for one but not another. He welcomed calls or emails from residents if there were issues, before a public petition. The draft budget demonstrated how the Council would need to stop doing some of the services it was doing in order to fund festive lights. In past years, some funding had been secured just after the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously Surrey County Councillors in Redhill had also contributed to the Redhill Christmas lights using the SCC community fund. Redhill Business Guild as well as other town centre organisations had also secured discretionary funding for improving the vitality of town centres.


He noted that partnership working with local businesses generally helped to fund Christmas lights and decorations. The Belfry Shopping Centre and the Redhill Business Guild had worked together on this although he acknowledged there had been a recent change of ownership of The Belfry so there had been a slow start, but this was now resolved. In other  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Service & Financial Planning 2024/25

The Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance, Governance and Organisation.

Supporting documents:


The Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Finance, Governance and Organisation, Councillor Lewanski, introduced the report and annexes ­- Service & Financial Planning 2024/25 which was published as part of the Executive agenda pack on the Council’s website. The report and annexes set out the draft Revenue Budget proposals for 2024/25 and Capital Programme proposals for 2024/25 to 2028/29.

Councillor Lewanski said that local government as a whole was facing continued financial challenges. However, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council was confident of balancing its budget for 2024/25 as it had avoided high levels of external debt and reserves remained buoyant. It had nevertheless been challenging over the summer to produce a set of draft budget proposals for 2024/25.

The Financial Sustainability Programme had helped Executive Members and Officers continue in-depth reviews of spending plans and sources of income. This was supported by service plans that set out how each service will operate and what they plan to achieve over the coming year. This work had led to a full and robust assessment of what the Council does and how it is funded. Service budget growth requirements were relatively modest, mainly reflecting unavoidable cost increases.  Wherever possible savings proposals had been identified that have few direct impacts on service delivery. However, that continued to be a challenge in the current economic climate.

There had been an in-depth review of fees & charges for all services. This had identified opportunities to adjust existing budgets to reflect forecast income levels and increase fees in line with the recommended Policy.

The Deputy Leader said that the Council was very mindful of the potential impacts when making budget decisions and they will, as they do every year, consult widely on the proposals in this report before making final decisions in February.The final budget position will depend on the outcome of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement on 22 November 2023 and the Local Government Settlement announcement in December. The Budget report to Council in February will reflect any further changes that are identified as a result.

In addition the Budget report highlights potential risks and issues that may cause the Council to draw on the Reserves that have been earmarked to address them. These include the continued risk of reducing housing benefit subsidy and grants.

Medium Term Financial Plan

This report also included the updated five year Medium Term forecasts, reflecting the work that had been completed over recent months to map the potential impacts of increasing costs and reductions in Government funding over the next five years. While the forecast gap remains potentially significant if action is not taken to address it, the MTFP and supporting strategies provide a solid framework for future financial planning.


As set out in the report, the Revenue Reserves are more than sufficient to support the Budget and mitigate potential risks. Focus remains on developing new income streams and reducing costs through the Financial Sustainability Programme and an approved Reserves Policy.

Council Tax Increase

The Council Tax proposals  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


A23 Great Street Design Code Draft SPD

The Executive Member for Place, Planning and Regulatory Services.

Supporting documents:


The Executive Member for Place, Planning and Regulatory Services, Councillor Michalowski, gave an overview of the report: A23 Great Street Design Code Draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which was published as part of the agenda pack.

The Design Code covers the area between Redhill and Horley and contains a set of rules and guidance that will provide more certainty for developers and landowners when they look to promote their site in the area. It will also provide an essential tool for the Council as decision maker to be able to assess the design quality of emerging proposals and to dictate the design standard that is expected. The report sought to progress the Code to formal status as a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

Following Executive agreement, the draft Design Code SPD will go out to public consultation for six weeks between early December 2023 and January 2024.  The draft SPD will then be updated to reflect comments received from the public, which will be summarised in the final Consultation Statement to be published alongside the adopted SPD. The A23 Great Street Design Code SPD will then be recommended to the Executive for adoption, currently planned for Spring 2024. 


The National Planning Policy Framework requires local planning authorities to prepare design guides or codes that are consistent with the principles set out in the National Design Guide and National Model Design Code. It states these should reflect the local character and design preferences for their area. The recent Levelling Up and Regeneration Act 2023 has strengthened this requirement, requiring every local authority to produce a design code for its area. This will update the Local Distinctiveness and Character Design Guide SPD, updated in 2021, which has provided useful guidance to help steer the design of development proposals to better reflect local character.

The Council benefited from being part of the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Pathfinder Programme. Throughout the Pathfinder programme, three public engagement events had taken place. These centre around four principal themes:

·        To make the area work better for pedestrians and cyclists;

·        To improve access to open spaces and parks;

·        To identify opportunities for development; and

·        To raise the quality of design.

Stakeholder engagement

Stakeholder engagement included input from Borough Council and Surrey County Council officers  as well as comments received from internal groups such as the internal Member and Officer Local Plan Advisory Group (LPAG) and the Leader’s meeting.

The Leader, Councillor Biggs, noted the quality of this draft A23 Great Street Design Code SPD. It was a credit to the Council’s Planning Department to secure DLUHC Pathfinder funding. He  thanked Planning Policy Officers who had undertaken this detailed work as well as Councillor Michalowski for leading the consultation and other Members who had provided early feedback. There were no further comments from Executive Members.


Visiting Members who had taken part in the consultation praised the good start and excellent work so far. Visiting Members at the meeting, also made the following observations and asked  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.



To receive any statements from the Leader of the Council, Members of the Executive or the Managing Director.

Additional documents:


There were no Statements given at the meeting.


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:  Urgent business must be submitted in writing but may be supplemented by an oral report).

Additional documents:


There was no urgent business.


Exempt business

RECOMMENDED that members of the Press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that:

(i)            it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act; and

(ii)          the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Additional documents:


There were no Exempt reports or business to discuss.