Agenda and draft minutes

Finance and Governance Cabinet Advisory Board - Tuesday, 13th July, 2021 6.30 pm

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Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1RS. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Media

Items
No. Item

FG16/21

Apologies pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To receive any apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no apologies.  Councillor Holden was not present.

FG17/21

Declarations of Interests pdf icon PDF 66 KB

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no disclosable pecuniary or other significant interests declared at the meeting.

FG18/21

Notification of Visiting Members Wishing to Speak pdf icon PDF 29 KB

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Bailey had registered to speak on Agenda Item 10 – The Town Hall.   Councillor Allen read the statement on his behalf.

FG19/21

Minutes of the meeting dated 8 June 2021 pdf icon PDF 167 KB

To approve the minutes of a previous meeting as a correct record. The only issue relating to the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No amendments were proposed. 

 

RESOLVED -  That the minutes dated 8 June 2021 be approved as a correct record.

FG20/21

Forward Plan as at 29 June 2021 pdf icon PDF 285 KB

To note forthcoming items as set out in the Forward Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No amendments were proposed.

 

RESOLVED – The Forward Plan as at 29 June 2021 be noted.

FG21/21

Budget Projection and Strategy 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 346 KB

To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jane Fineman, Head of Finance, Procurement and Parking introduced the report set out in the agenda.

 

Discussion and questions from Members included the following:

 

-       A full set of benchmarking data was not available at the meeting.  This would be sent after the meeting.

 

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations to Cabinet as set out in the report be supported.

FG22/21

Property Transaction Report January to June 2021 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

John Antoniades, Estates Manager, introduced the report set out in the agenda.

 

Discussion and questions from Members included the following:

 

-       The Council owned 8.47% of the land sold at Bridge Ridge. Speldhurst road, Southborough and therefore received the equivalent percentage of the overall sale, a total of £160,930.00 (8.47% of £1.9m).  In addition TWBC received costs associated with obtaining planning permission, a total of £22, 022.44.   

 

To note, the matter was decided in taking the exempt information set out in the Agenda as read.

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations to Cabinet as set out in the report be supported.

FG23/21

Annual Corporate Health and Safety Report pdf icon PDF 140 KB

To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mike Catling, Corporate Health and Safety Advisor introduced the report set out in the agenda.

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations to Cabinet as set out in the report be supported.

FG24/21

Property Asset Programme pdf icon PDF 203 KB

To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

David Candlin, Head of Economics, Development and Property introduced the report set out in the agenda.

 

Discussion and questions from Members included the following:

 

-       The long lease that was currently in place for TN2 was no longer suitable. TWBC were now in discussion with the landowner to try and bring this forward. 

-       Options for the use of TN2 were also being discussed with the landowner and could include part residential or a possible medical centre. 

-       The Development Programme Officer Group (DOG) met on a monthly basis.  The proposed Property Asset Oversight Panel would sit above this Group. 

-       A delegated budget for the Property Asset Oversight Panel would be set by Cabinet.  Projects would then come forward to be dealt with by the Portfolio Holder, in this case the Leader of the Council. 

-       Final decisions on the disposal of any property remained with Cabinet and would therefore go through the normal Cabinet process.

-       The Civic Complex Working Group would have oversight for the Civic Complex.  The Working Group would be in the lead for this work, with the Property Asset Oversight Panel having a watching brief. 

-       Information related to assets would be disseminated to the appropriate Ward Members.

-       Information and engagement would be done by the Property Asset Oversight Panel.  At the appropriate time, and if required All Member Briefings would be arranged, especially for the disposal of any major assets (this would be alongside the normal Cabinet process).

-       Materials related to meetings of the Property Asset Oversight Panel would be available to Members on request.  Members would need to decide how best to ensure that information was disseminated so that Members were aware of when meetings were scheduled to take place.  It would be important that the necessary Governance arrangements were in place.

-       The Property Asset Oversight Panel would take the place of the Development Advisory Panel (DAP).

-       Meetings of this nature (also including other panel meetings e.g. ASMOP) were held in private to allow issues including financially sensitive information to be discussed in full. 

-       Using the £500k for consultancy fees ensured that all the necessary skills were obtained to undertake the work required.  To obtain those skills via in house recruitment would be a very big undertaking with no guarantee of success.  It was very unlikely the Council would be able to secure the range of skills required. 

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations to Cabinet as set out in the report be supported.

 

 

FG25/21

Town Hall pdf icon PDF 208 KB

To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Katie Exon, Corporate Property Manager introduced the report set out in the agenda.

 

Councillor Harry Allen read a statement on behalf of Councillor Bailey.

 

Discussion and questions from Members included the following:

 

-       Retaining ownership and the continued use of the Town Hall was important to residents.

-       Heritage of the Town Hall and measures to reduce operational costs was also considered important.  Letting vacant space would defray costs to the Council.

-       Using the Town Hall in a way that would encourage more people to work in Tunbridge Wells would have a positive knock on effect for the Town Centre.

-       Engagement with Council staff on any decisions related to the future use of the Town Hall would be very important.

-       TWBC envisaged working with one landlord/tenant.  Office space would be rented from the landlord/tenant.  TWBC would then only be dealing with one person.  Included in the lease agreement would be a service charge that would cover any necessary costs e.g. the appropriate portion of business rates.

-       It would be paramount to ensure that the building was brought up to an acceptable standard not only for the portion that would be rented out but also for Council staff that continued to use the building.

-       The Town Hall would be open for business use (rather than residential, hospitality etc.).

-       Procurement would not need to follow the OJEU route. 

-       It was noted that the indicative timetable included in the report had changed. It was hoped that a Members Briefing would be scheduled for the week beginning 30 August 2021.  Supplier engagement would be done potentially towards the end of the week beginning 12 July 2021.  This would allow approximately 4 weeks to gather information before the internal briefing session.

-       In taking this forward it would be important that measures were taken in terms of carbon reduction and energy efficiency.

 

RESOLVED – That the recommendations to Cabinet as set out in the report and including the addition of ensuring appropriate carbon reduction and energy efficient measures were included be supported.

FG26/21

Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 28 KB

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

FG27/21

Date of the Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To note that the date of the next scheduled meeting is Tuesday 7 September 2021 at 6.30pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Tunbridge Wells.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday 7 September 2021 at 6:30pm.