Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS. View directions
Contact: Mark O'Callaghan Scrutiny and Engagement Officer
To receive any apologies for absence.
There were no apologies for absence.
To receive any declarations of interest by members in items on the agenda. For any advice on declarations of interest, please contact the Monitoring Officer before the meeting.
There were no disclosable pecuniary or other significant interests declared at the meeting.
To note any members of the Council wishing to speak, of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Meeting Procedure Rule 18, and which items they wish to speak on.
There were 2 visiting members registered to speak:
· Councillor Ellis (Item 4 on the agenda) minute FG41/19
· Councillor Pound (Item 4 on the agenda) minute FG41/19
Additionally, there was a member of the public registered to speak:
· Dr R Banks (Item 4 on the agenda) minute FG41/19
To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report.
The report on the latest stage of the Calverley Square project was presented by David Candlin (Head of Economic Development and Property) and Lee Colyer (Director of Finance, Policy and Development).
The following points were highlighted:
· The project had reached the end of Stage 4. Throughout there had been continuous engagement to ensure the scheme remained fit for purpose.
· Equality Impact had been reviewed and updated by the Council and details were included in the Agenda pack.
· The Council had included details of the other options available:
o Do nothing (staying put)
o Do minimum (refurbishment of Town Hall and Assembly Hall Theatre)
o Do something (Calverley Square Project).
· Costs on each option had also been provided – based on the options currently in progress. In brief:
o Remedial work to the Town Hall = £4.3m
o Refurbishment of the Assembly Hall Theatre = £25m
o Town Hall - £21.4m (not £25m as stated in the pack)
· Report on Calverley Square Development covering design and construction elements. Details included an update on design details, planning conditions, progress with site assembly, CPO and the Inspectors report and conclusions. In addition, details of next steps including, social, environmental and economic benefits of the scheme. The report also included a summary of the project programme.
· Consents – work was ongoing in preparation to start work on site.
· Report on the Civic Complex Feasibility Study included the Council’s vision for the complex. Report included a long list of uses which were considered by the Consultants to meet the Council’s objectives. Short list of 4 options were subsequently reviewed, 2 further options were developed and tested – giving a total of 6 options, full details of which were included in the pack.
o New work space
o Boutique Hotel, restaurant and work space
o Residential lead mix of uses, including an element of work space
o Hotel, residential and work space
o Residential development, community event and work space
o Residential development and a small element of business space
· Report on Calverley Square Financials. Benefits of the project would not accrue to the Council but to those who live, work and visit the Borough. Report provided an update of the financials approved by Full Council in December 2017.
· In addition to the independent reviews undertaken by the Council – due to a request for a public interest report, Grant Thornton undertook a report on the decision making process and achievement of Best Value. A 9 month independent evaluation followed by the external Auditor with unfettered access to information. Report was issued in March 2018 to the objector, and to the public in February 2019. The report in the Agenda pack included the following conclusions:
o No significant weaknesses were identified in Council’s decision making arrangements in respect of the new Theatre.
o No indication that the decisions taken by the Council within the various stages of the decision making process, including choice of site and decision to prioritise continuity of service, were unreasonable.
o Decision ... view the full minutes text for item FG41/19
To consider any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent, for the reasons to be stated, in accordance with Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.
There was no urgent business.
To note that the date of the next scheduled meeting is Tuesday 01 October 2019 at 6.30pm.
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 1 October 2019 at 6:30pm.