Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Friday, 12th March, 2021 2.00 pm

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Venue: Virtual Meeting - Online. View directions

Contact: Mark O'Callaghan  Scrutiny and Engagement Officer


No. Item


Apologies for Absence pdf icon PDF 28 KB

To receive an apologies for absence.

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Apologies for absence received from Councillors Chapelard, Morton, Neve, Ms Palmer and Scholes.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To receive any declarations of interest by Members in items on the agenda in accordance with the Members’ Code of Conduct. For any advice on declarations of interest, please contact the Monitoring Officer before the meeting.

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


Notification of Persons wishing to Speak pdf icon PDF 30 KB

To note any visiting Members or members of the public wishing to speak, of which due notice has been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 18 or 19, and which item(s) they wish to speak on.

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There were no Visiting Members or members of the public registered to speak. Councillor March, as the Portfolio Holder, was in attendance to present under OSC84/20.


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.

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There was no urgent business to be considered.


Date of the next meeting pdf icon PDF 28 KB

The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee will take place on Monday 29 March 2021.

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The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 29 March 2021.


Amelia Scott Construction Delay pdf icon PDF 155 KB

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The Chairman, Councillor Woodward noted that the main report was exempt and the meeting would move to private session following advice from the Monitoring Officer and an opening statement from the Portfolio Holder.


Patricia Narebor (Head of Legal Partnership and Monitoring Officer) advised that the report contained commercially sensitive details and should be considered in private session. Any inadvertent disclosure in public must be avoided.


Councillor March (Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development) introduced the public part of the report, comments included:

·         Project commenced in 2013 and benefited from partnership working with Kent County Council and cross-party support.

·         The Council was proud of the good reception the project had had and it was committed to completing the project.

·         The Portfolio Holder provided member oversight of the project and officers managed day-to-day operation.

·         Prior to the lockdown, all papers of the Amelia Scott Member Oversight Panel were available in the Members’ Room and since by email.

·         Regular member updates have been given. All publicly available documents have been published through the Cabinet papers.

·         The information set out in the report was made available to all members from 11 March.

·         The construction delays are explained and have come about relatively recently. Until December the Amelia Scott project had been the only National Lotters Heritage Fund (NLHF) scheme to remain on target throughout lockdown. NLHF had been supportive of the reasons for delay and granted a further £675k to help.

·         Projects involving heritage buildings would likely always come with unwelcome surprises.

·         The project was still on target to open in 2022 and continued support from members was sought.


Amelia Scott Construction Delay (Exempt) pdf icon PDF 9 KB

Exempt by virtue of Paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended): Information relating to the financial of business affairs of any particular person including the authority holding that information.

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RESOLVED – That, pursuant to section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 and the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it may involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Schedule 12A of the Act, by virtue of the particular paragraph shown on the agenda and on the attached report.


Paul Taylor (Director for Change and Communities) gave a presentation which included:

·         Background to the establishment of the project

·         Governance structure of the project and management reporting systems

·         Project costings

·         Details of the delays to the project.


Discussion included:

·         Resolution procedures and possible options

·         Changes to the project and the related context

·         Fundraising options

·         The nature of the construction contract and its implications for the allocation of responsibilities

·         External factors impacting on the project

·         The Council’s decision making processes.


The Chairman undertook to pursue several items raised by the Committee.