Agenda, decisions and minutes

Cabinet
Tuesday 8 March 2016 9.30 am

Venue: Committee Room 2 - East Pallant House

Contact: Philip Coleman, Member Services Manager  Tel: 01243 534655 Email:  pcoleman@chichester.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

155.

Minutes

To approve as a correct record the minutesof the Cabinet meeting held on 9 February 2016.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on Tuesday, 9 February 2016, be signed as a correct record.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on Tuesday, 9 February 2016, be signed as a correct record.

 

156.

Urgent Items

Chairman to announce any urgent items which due to special circumstances are to be dealt with under agenda item 17(b).

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent items for consideration at this meeting.

 

157.

Declarations of Interests

Members and officers are reminded to make any declarations of disclosable pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests they may have in respect of matters on the agenda for this meeting.

 

Minutes:

No interests were declared at this meeting.

 

158.

Public Question Time

Questions submitted by members of the public in writing by noon on the previous working day (for a period up to 15 minutes).

 

Minutes:

No public questions had been submitted.

 

159.

Timing of Council Meetings

To make recommendations to the Council about the timing of future Council meetings.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

(1)  That the proposed changes to Council meetings as listed in paragraph 5.3(a) and (b) be approved.

(2)  That, as there was no clear majority for changing the time of Council, that the Council considers either:

 

(a)  A morning start time of 11:00am (with briefing sessions starting at 9:30am); or

 

(b)  An afternoon start time. If the majority of Members vote for an afternoon meeting they will subsequently be asked to vote on either:

 

                              i.        A 2:00pm start time (with briefing sessions starting at 12:30pm); or

                            ii.        A 2:30pm start time (with briefing sessions starting at 1:00pm).

 

RESOLVED

 

That, subject to approval of (1) above, Councillors Apel, Lintill, Ridd and Tull be appointed to the Task and Finish Group on the Constitution.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report circulated with the agenda (copy attached to the official minutes).

 

Mrs Hardwick introduced the report. She reminded the Cabinet that, following members’ disquiet at the length of two successive Council meetings, the Chief Executive had sent an email to members to survey their opinions on the length, frequency and timing of Council meetings. The results of the survey were set out in Appendix 2, and summarised in paragraph 5.3 of the report. These showed a wide spread of opinion. It was, therefore, proposed to put the two most favoured meeting times to the Council for decision. Paragraph 5.3 of the report also set out some other suggested changes to the conduct of meetings, including the establishment of a task and finish group (TFG) under her chairmanship to review the Constitution. She proposed that the other members of the TFG should be Councillors Apel, Lintill, Ridd and Tull.

 

The Chief Executive corrected recommendation 2.2(a), which should refer to a morning start time of 11.00am. She  added that this was a difficult issue as the Council consisted of 48 individuals who all had different circumstances and preferences. The aim was to achieve the best fit, but it would not suit everybody.

 

The Chairman agreed that the Council ought to choose between the broad options of morning or afternoon meetings and then decide the actual start time. The TFG should review the Constitution to see whether meetings could be streamlined without imperilling backbench councillors’ right to hold the Cabinet to account.

 

Mr Finch suggested that a 10.30 am start time would best suit members who were in employment. Mrs Hardwick pointed out that the survey showed this was not necessarily the case, and suggested consideration should be given to alternating the start times of the Council meetings, in order to give all councillors the opportunity to participate at some. Mrs Lintill commented that an experiment with alternate start times had been carried out previously, but had not increased attendance. Mrs Keegan asked that the numbers attending Council meetings of different times should be made available to members. The Cabinet decided that the choice before the Council should be kept simple, as too many permutations could lead to confusion.

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

(1)  That the proposed changes to Council meetings as listed in paragraph 5.3(a) and (b) be approved.

(2)  That, as there was no clear majority for changing the time of Council, the Council considers either:

 

(a)  A morning start time of 11:00am (with briefing sessions starting at 9:30am); or

 

(b)  An afternoon start time. If the majority of Members vote for an afternoon meeting they will subsequently be asked to vote on either:

 

                              i.        A 2:00pm start time (with briefing sessions starting at 12:30pm); or

                            ii.        A 2:30pm start time (with briefing sessions starting at 1:00pm).

 

RESOLVED

 

That, subject to approval of (1) above, Councillors Apel, Lintill, Ridd and Tull be appointed to the Task and Finish Group on the Constitution.

160.

Recommendations of the Grants Task and Finish Group

To consider the recommendations of the Grants and Concessions Panel, relating to revisions of various grants policies, priorities and funding.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

That the revisions to the New Homes Bonus (Parish Allocations) Policy as set out in Appendix 2 be approved.

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That the unspent balance of the Low Carbon Chichester District Fund be transferred to the Private Sector Renewal Budget for the Chichester Warm Homes Initiative.

 

(2)  That the revisions to the Grants and Concessions Policy as set out in Appendix 4 of the report be approved.

 

(3)  That the draft “Priorities and Principles for Funding” for the financial year 2016-17 (Appendix 6) be approved.

 

(4)  That, at the appropriate time, consideration be given to including the funding of the grants programme within the base budget once these funds have been exhausted; currently forecasted to be from 2020-21.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report and appendices circulated with the agenda (copy attached to the official minutes).

 

Mrs Lintill introduced the report, explaining that, having regard to the future financial settlement and concerns about the longevity of the grants pot, the Grants and Concessions Panel had established a task and finish group to consider the various discretionary funding sources made available by the Council. The group’s recommendations were set out in full in the report, and aimed to ensure sustainability of both the New Homes Bonus (Parish Allocations) Scheme and the discretionary grants scheme. The main points were:-

·         The annual allocation for the New Homes Bonus scheme should be reduced from £400,000 to £250,000. This was generally in line with actual past payments. It would be subject to annual confirmation by the Cabinet, in view of uncertainties about the future of the New Homes Bonus. The maximum allocation per parish would be £100,000, and parishes which had had less than five houses built in the preceding three years would no longer be eligible. Projects already identified in the Infrastructure Business Plan would have a shortened application form.

·         The annual general grants pot would be reduced from £250,000 to £175,000, again reflecting past payments. Typically the maximum grant would be £15,000, reduced from £25,000, although this could be exceeded in exceptional circumstances. More specific criteria would be set for what the Council would and, by exception, would not fund, and these priorities were set out in Appendix 6.

·         Demand for the Low Carbon Chichester District fund had virtually ceased and the unexpended balance would be transferred to the private sector renewal budget.

Mrs Lintill thanked the Task and Finish Group for their work on these challenging issues.

 

Mrs Taylor welcomed the proposed transfer of the Low Carbon Chichester District fund to the private sector renewal budget to help tackle fuel poverty.

 

The Cabinet discussed the possibility of a loans scheme, alongside the grants scheme. Mrs Lintill pointed out that this was referred to in paragraph 6.9 of the report. Outside of the scope of the Task and Finish Group, this had been found to be  more complex than originally considered in view of legislation governing the making of loans. It was an outstanding piece of work that was yet to be undertaken by the Economic Development service.

 

Mrs Lintill added that she had discussed with the Economic Development team the number of large requests from businesses for grants, which the Panel had not been able to support. Grants in this area would be limited to a maximum of £2,500.

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

That the revisions to the New Homes Bonus (Parish Allocations) Policy as set out in Appendix 2 be approved.

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That the unspent balance of the Low Carbon Chichester District Fund be transferred to the Private Sector Renewal Budget for the Chichester Warm Homes Initiative.

 

(2)  That the revisions to the Grants and Concessions Policy as set out in Appendix 4 of the report be approved.

 

(3)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 160.

161.

Replacement Telephone System

Further to minute 67 of 6 October 2015, to approve and award the contract for the replacement of the Council’s current telephone system, subject to a recommendation to Council to release funding from the Asset Replacement Programme.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

That up to £175,000 (including contingency) be released from the Asset Replacement Programme in order to allow a contract to be awarded to the preferred contractor.

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That the replacement of the current telephone system be approved.

 

(2)  That the Head of Business Improvement Services be authorised, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Support Services, to conclude a contract with the preferred contractor.

 

Minutes:

Further to minute 67 of 6 October 2015, the Cabinet considered the report and appendix circulated with the agenda (copy attached to the official minutes).

 

Mr Finch introduced the report, adding that recommendation 2.3 should be amended to include consultation with the Cabinet Member before the exercise of delegated powers.

 

He reminded the Cabinet that, at their meeting on 6 October 2015, they had approved a Project Initiation Document (PID) for a replacement for the Council’s current telephone system, which was now 25 years old and would be unsupported by the current suppliers by July 2017. Officers were also authorised to undertake a joint procurement with Arun District Council who also needed to replace their telephone system. The rationale for this was to reduce procurement costs, but also to give opportunity to procure a shared system. This would provide resilience between the two authorities to overcome a weakness in business continuity for the telephone system and to provide a key piece of infrastructure for the sharing of services and resources.

 

Through a joint tendering exercise both Councils had identified the same preferred supplier, after a detailed evaluation of 14 submissions. For Chichester, the capital cost would be £149,849, with an annual revenue cost of £15,945. Arun’s Cabinet would be considering their side of the offer on 21 March 2016.

 

If it was decided to proceed with a shared solution, additional costs would be incurred to cover the additional items set out in the second table in paragraph 6 of the appendix. A further report identifying integration requirements and itemising these costs and savings would be made before seeking agreement to a shared service.

 

Mr Finch emphasised that it was necessary to move forward with replacing the telephone system without waiting for a decision on integration, but the proposed new system would enable many improvements.

 

Mrs Ryan (ICT Manager) underlined the need to replace the current system. The cost was below the initial budget. A very comprehensive evaluation of the submissions had been carried out to ensure that the replacement system was fit for purpose and provided a responsive, flexible and resilient system. The additional functionality of the new system was exciting and would involve a big cultural change for the organisation.

 

Mrs Hardwick drew attention to the contrast between Chichester and Arun in the size of the Project Team listed in paragraph 10 of the appendix. Mrs Ryan explained that the relative strength of the Chichester team was because the replacement of the telephone system was a more urgent priority than for Arun. The teams would be more even if a shared service was to be progressed.

 

Mrs Lintill expressed the hope that a shared solution would be agreed, for business continuity reasons. She asked whether the report took account of the outsourcing of the Leisure service. Mrs Ryan replied that the Leisure service’s requirements had been included in the tender. The outsourcing now meant that there would be a reduction in the number of handsets required, which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 161.

162.

Revised Local Development Scheme 2016-2019

To recommend the Council to approve the revised Local Development Scheme.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

(1)  That the revised Local Development Scheme, as updated, be approved.

 

(2)  That the Head of Planning Services be authorised to make typographical and other minor amendments to the Scheme before it is published.

Minutes:

Further to minute 18 of 7 July 2015, the Cabinet considered the report and appendix circulated with the agenda, together with an update providing amendments suggested by the Development Plan and Infrastructure Panel (DPIP) (copies attached to the official minutes).

 

Mrs Taylor introduced the report, explaining that the Local Development Scheme (LDS) contained information about the current Development Plan for Chichester District and the timetable for the future production of planning policy documents. It was an important document for keeping the community informed and as such was published on the Council’s website.

 

The LDS had last been updated and approved by the Council in July 2015. It had to be subject to constant review to take account of new documents, not least the review of the Local Plan. It covered a rolling three year time frame from 2016 – 2019.

 

The LDS enabled residents and interested parties to know the timetables of the documents and when they could participate in the planning process. The LDS gave the profile of each document, setting out its scope and the proposed timetable. The timings were indicative and would be kept under review.

 

The document had been discussed by the DPIP on 25 February resulting in some amendments set out on the update sheet. She also added a recommendation to enable minor amendments to be made under delegated authority.

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

(1)  That the revised Local Development Scheme, as updated, be approved.

 

(2)  That the Head of Planning Services be authorised to make typographical and other minor amendments to the Scheme before it is published.

163.

Making the Fishbourne Neighbourhood Development Plan

Further to minute 101 of 1 December 2015, and in the light of a local referendum, to recommend the Council to make the Fishbourne Neighbourhood Development Plan part of the Development Plan for Chichester District.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

That the Fishbourne Neighbourhood Development Plan be made part of the Development Plan for Chichester District (excluding the area within the South Downs National Park).

Minutes:

Further to minute 101 of 1 December 2015, the Cabinet considered the report circulated with the agenda (copy attached to the official minutes).

 

Mrs Taylor introduced the report, pointing out that 93.8% of those who had voted in the referendum on 11 February 2016 were in favour of the Plan, on a turn-out of 30.2%. She congratulated the residents of Fishbourne on this success.

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

That the Fishbourne Neighbourhood Development Plan be made part of the Development Plan for Chichester District (excluding the area within the South Downs National Park).

164.

Wisborough Green Neighbourhood Plan

To publish the Decision Statement and agree that the Wisborough Green Parish Neighbourhood Plan should proceed to referendum.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That the Decision Statement as set out in the Appendix be published.

 

(2)  That the examiner’s recommendation that the Wisborough Green Neighbourhood Plan proceed to referendum, subject to modifications as set out in the Decision Statement, be approved.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report and appendix circulated with the agenda (copy attached to the official minutes).

 

Mrs Taylor introduced the report, pointing out that the examiner had found that, subject to modifications, the Wisborough Green Neighbourhood Plan met the basic conditions. Subsequently the Parish Council had agreed to make the suggested modifications.

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That the Decision Statement as set out in the Appendix be published.

 

(2)  That the examiner’s recommendation that the Wisborough Green Neighbourhood Plan proceed to referendum, subject to modifications as set out in the Decision Statement, be approved.

 

165.

Enterprise Gateway Project: Plot 12, Terminus Road, Chichester

This report updates the Cabinet, following an OJEU procurement process and recommends the appointment of a contractor to construct the proposed Centre. The report further recommends approval to proceed to the next stage in which the Council will enter into a pre-construction agreement with the preferred contractor, whereby the contractor will be asked to complete a full design and provide a firm price for the building works.

 

Note: The press and public may be excluded from the meeting during part of the consideration of this item.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That, having regard to the revised Return on Investment, £140,000 be released from the approved budget to allow the project to proceed to the next stage.

 

(2)  That a pre-construction agreement be entered into with the preferred contractor, contractor A, to complete the design and provide a fixed price for construction.

 

(3)  Following the contractor providing the Council with a detailed fixed price, and subject to the total project costs being within the budget approved by Council, that the Head of Commercial Services be authorised, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, to conclude a design & build contract with contractor A.

 

Minutes:

Further to minute 19 of 7 July 2015, the Cabinet considered the report (copy attached to the official minutes) and exempt appendix circulated with the agenda.

 

Mrs Keegan introduced the report, and reminded the Cabinet of the previous history of this project. The architect and design team had been appointed, planning permission had been granted and a design and build EU procurement process had been carried out. The Cabinet was now being asked to appoint a preferred contractor and release funding from the approved budget to enable the contractor and design team to develop the detailed design and report a fixed build price. If that final build cost, together with the expenditure to date, was within the approved budget as expected, delegated authority was sought to enter into the contract.

 

The Chairman welcomed the progress and pointed out that the project offered a very healthy return on investment, especially given the element of guaranteed income. The scheme was well-sited adjacent to a key junction on the A27 trunk road, and was important for job creation.

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That, having regard to the revised Return on Investment, £140,000 be released from the approved budget to allow the project to proceed to the next stage.

 

(2)  That a pre-construction agreement be entered into with the preferred contractor, contractor A, to complete the design and provide a fixed price for construction.

 

(3)  Following the contractor providing the Council with a detailed fixed price, and subject to the total project costs being within the budget approved by Council, that the Head of Commercial Services be authorised, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, to conclude a design & build contract with contractor A.

 

166.

Private Sector Housing Renewal Strategy 2016-2021

To approve the Private Sector Housing Renewal Strategy 2016-2021 and adjust financial provision for it.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That the Private Sector Housing Renewal Strategy 2016-2021 be approved, together with accompanying financial assistance options for implementation commencing on 1 April 2016.

 

(2)  That the repurposing of the Care and Repair Home Improvement Agency grant funding of £24,200 be approved to be used for the provision of heating and insulation for vulnerable members of the community as part of the Chichester Warm Homes Initiative.

 

Minutes:

Further to minute 91 of 3 October 2006, the Cabinet considered the report and appendix circulated with the agenda (copy attached to the official minutes).

 

Mrs Taylor introduced the report, commenting that private sector stock, both rented and owner occupied, was becoming more and more important, especially in view of the challenges facing the social rented sector. However, it was essential to ensure that the private sector provided warm and safe accommodation. There was a strong link between poor housing and health, which in turn created additional costs for the NHS and other social services.

 

Chichester District was an affluent area, and yet at 14% it had double the national category 1 hazard for excess cold compared to the rest of England (7%). The highest concentrations were found in the central and northern part of the District.

 

The Council was working in co-operation with a number of partners (e.g. the CAB, health professionals) to identify vulnerable residents and target resources.

 

There were four strands to the Strategy:-

·         Improving the standard of accommodation in the private rented sector.

·         Reducing the level of hazards in the private sector stock.

·         Deceasing the high level of fuel poverty and excess cold.

·         Providing adaptations to meet the needs of residents with disabilities.

 

Two key changes were proposed in the Strategy: The first was the introduction of a Chichester Warm Homes initiative to assist vulnerable home owners and landlords to improve the heating provision and energy efficiency of their homes; the second was to dispense with the home loans provided to owner occupiers due to lack of uptake and to provide Home Repair assistance to owner occupiers in the form of interest free loans, repayable on the sale of the property.

 

Most of the funding was already available. However, allocation of funding was sought as follows:-

·         Approximately £325,000 over a five year period from the Warm Homes Initiative.

·         £24,200 from the ceased Care & Repair Home Improvement Agency.

·         £95,221 funding from the Low Carbon Chichester Fund referred to previously in minute 160.

·         £208,000 was approved by the Council in March 2016 as part of the Housing Strategy.

 

It is important that a good working partnership was built up with landlords, in particular the rural estate landlords. A number of constructive meetings had taken place between officers from both the Housing and Environmental Teams with the rural estate landlords, resulting in the formation of a working partnership to improve the accommodation in the District.

 

Mr Finch asked how ‘excess cold’ was defined. Mr Dunmall (Housing Operations Manager) explained that this derived from a risk rating in a hazard points system introduced by the Housing Act 2004.

 

Mr Finch also asked how the provision of Home Repair assistance to owner occupiers in the form of interest free loans would be more likely to succeed than the previous home loans to owner occupiers. Ms Reed (Environmental Housing Manager) explained that the new loans would be interest free and payable on sale of the property. Previously owner occupiers had been reluctant  ...  view the full minutes text for item 166.

167.

Update of the Housing Allocation Scheme regarding the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme

To update the Housing Allocation Scheme to allow direct allocation of homes to people arriving in the Chichester District via the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the Housing Allocation Scheme be updated to include the following statement to allow direct allocation of homes to people arriving in the Chichester District via the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme:-

“Section 17 Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme

17.1 Where an individual or family is to be relocated to the Chichester District through the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme they will be directly allocated a home without the need to provide a local connection or to be placed on the Housing Register.”

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report circulated with the agenda (copy attached to the official minutes).

 

Mrs Taylor introduced the report, and reminded the Cabinet of the Government’s commitment to relocating 20,000 Syrian refugees. West Sussex County Council had made a commitment to accepting one family of four per month for five years. This would equate to around two families per year for Chichester District. In order to enable these families to be placed directly in accommodation to meet their needs, an amendment to the Housing Allocation Scheme was required. Mrs Taylor added that both the County Council and the voluntary sector would provide support to help the families settle in and feel welcomed.

 

Mr Finch supported the proposal, but asked whether this would increase waiting times for families on the register and whether this could be managed.

 

Mr Dunmall (Housing Operations Manager) explained that the Council made about 420 allocations per year, so the addition of two more would be a very small proportion. The Council could place them on the housing register and their exceptional needs would give them priority anyway, but the proposed amendment would avoid the need for the families to undergo form-filling processes. It would not have a significant impact on waiting times for others.

 

The Chairman emphasised that the families would be taken directly from refugee camps in and around the Syrian border and would have been vetted by the United Nations and the Home Office.

 

Mrs Lintill commended the community response to the refugees’ plight and added that the local member should be involved as the refugees were found homes.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the Housing Allocation Scheme be updated to include the following statement to allow direct allocation of homes to people arriving in the Chichester District via the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme:-

“Section 17 Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme

17.1 Where an individual or family is to be relocated to the Chichester District through the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme they will be directly allocated a home without the need to provide a local connection or to be placed on the Housing Register.”

168.

Coastal West Sussex and Greater Brighton Local Strategic Statement Adoption (LSS2)

To approve an updated Coastal West Sussex and Greater Brighton Local Strategic Statement.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That the updated Coastal West Sussex and Greater Brighton Local Strategic Statement (LSS2) including Annexes 1-3 be approved.

 

(2)  That Annex 4, the Coastal West Sussex and Greater Brighton Monitoring and Delivery Framework (Update January 2016), be noted.

 

Minutes:

Further to minute 529 of 7 January 2014, the Cabinet considered the report and appendix circulated with the agenda (copy attached to the official minutes).

 

Mrs Taylor introduced the report. She reminded the Cabinet that the Coastal West Sussex and Greater Brighton Area Board had been formed in 2012 comprising the local planning authorities of coastal West Sussex, together with Brighton and Hove City Council, Lewes District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority. In 2015 the area had been expanded to include both Mid Sussex and Horsham District Councils. The purpose of the Board was to facilitate joint work on strategic planning priorities.

 

In 2013 the Board had produced the Local Strategic Statement (LSS1) which provided the context for sustainable growth over the period for 2013 – 2031.

 

In 2015, to take account of the inclusion of Horsham and Mid Sussex and the implementation of the Greater Brighton City Deal (which had been at an early stage when LSS1 was initially prepared), the original LSS had been updated. In effect it was a refresh of the original LSS1.

 

LSS2 had drafted by an independent planning consultant with input and comment from the senior officers from the participating local authorities and the final draft agreed by the participants was set out in the appendix.

 

The updated LSS had been managed as a focused ‘refresh’ rather than a full review. The strategic context (government policy, outcome of devolution proposals etc.) was likely to change and a full review would be needed to address longer term issues, in particular the housing shortfall across the Sussex Coast area.

 

Spatial Priority 2 which covered Chichester/Tangmere/Bognor Regis dealt with familiar issues i.e. A27 and sewage disposal. The “refreshed” Statement as regards Chichester was little different from the Statement agreed by the Cabinet in 2014.

 

By participating in the Coastal West Sussex and Greater Brighton Board, Chichester was contributing towards meeting its Duty to Co-operate which was a legal requirement of the Localism Act 2011. Fulfilment of this duty was an important factor in the Examiner finding the Council’s Local Plan sound.

 

Cabinet members commented that Chichester District seemed rather peripheral in the LSS, which appeared to add little value to the District, In fact it gave the misleading impression that Arun and Chichester were the areas with spare capacity for housing development. The Council’s officers should seek improvements in the intended full review.

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That the updated Coastal West Sussex and Greater Brighton Local Strategic Statement (LSS2) including Annexes 1-3 be approved.

 

(2)  That Annex 4, the Coastal West Sussex and Greater Brighton Monitoring and Delivery Framework (Update January 2016), be noted.

 

169.

Support to the Community and Voluntary Sector

To extend the Council’s funding of Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester (VAAC) for a further year and approve arrangements for agreeing a specification of service, pending a decision by West Sussex County Council on future funding for the service.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That the existing funding provided by Chichester District Council for a support service for the voluntary and community sector in Chichester be extended, by allocating base budget funding of £44,000 to Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester (VAAC) for one year from 1 April 2016.

(2)  That a specification for expected outcomes of a support service for the voluntary and community sector be agreed by officers, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Community Services, once Partner funding is known.

(3)  That the Head of Community Services, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Community Services, be authorised to enter into a contract from WSCC for local provision of support for the voluntary and community sector, if it is offered.

Minutes:

Further to minute 527 of 7 January 2014, the Cabinet considered the report circulated with the agenda (copy attached to the official minutes).

 

Mrs Lintill introduced the report, reminding the Cabinet that, at the meeting on 11 March 2013, they had agreed to enter into an agreement with West Sussex County Council (WSCC) to receive their contributions to commission a support service for the voluntary and community sector for 2013/14 – 2015/16. Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester (VAAC) was now the local provider of this infrastructure support to the voluntary sector in the District, with a funding agreement in place until 31 March 2016. VAAC’s performance had been monitored by the Grants and Concessions Panel who were satisfied with it, and recommended extending the Council’s contribution for a further year.

 

Unfortunately, it was not yet known whether and to what extent WSCC would continue to fund the service in 2016/17, although it remained informally committed to continue funding, and Arun District Council was waiting for a decision from WSCC before committing their own funds. If this Council also waited for confirmation from the other two councils there was a risk that VAAC might incur staff losses, and be less able to supply an effective support service, which could result in more financial and other support being sought from the Council by voluntary and community organisations.

 

Clearly if the Council became the only funder of VAAC, or the other Councils reduced their contribution, the specification for service provided would need to be reviewed.

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That the existing funding provided by Chichester District Council for a support service for the voluntary and community sector in Chichester be extended, by allocating base budget funding of £44,000 to Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester (VAAC) for one year from 1 April 2016.

(2)  That a specification for expected outcomes of a support service for the voluntary and community sector be agreed by officers, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Community Services, once Partner funding is known.

(3)  That the Head of Community Services, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Community Services, be authorised to enter into a contract from WSCC for local provision of support for the voluntary and community sector, if it is offered.

170.

Financial Monitoring 2015-16

To consider the quarterly Financial Monitoring report.

Supporting documents:

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the 2015-16 forecast revenue outturn position on the Council’s General Fund (Appendix 1 as amended) and progress made to date on the 2015-16 capital projects (Appendix 2) be noted.

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report and appendices circulated with the agenda (copy attached to the official minutes).

 

Mrs Hardwick introduced the report, and invited Cabinet Members to comment on whether there were any points of interest in their portfolios.

 

Mrs Belenger (Accountancy Services Manager) made a correction to Appendix 1 (page 175) in relation to Estates, explaining that the “Terminus Road income”, included the “Investment property woodruff centre”, which had thus been double-counted. This reduced the total projected variance 2015-16 from -£1,701,000 to -£1,600,200.

 

The Chairman commented on the effect of the buoyancy of the economy on planning and car parking income, the return on the Council’s property investments as compared with bank deposits, and the underspends resulting from holding staff vacancies.

 

Mrs Hardwick asked that the tables should show the % variances, and asked whether there were materiality thresholds. Mrs Belenger replied that variances of over £20,000 were considered significant.

 

Officers answered a number of members’ questions about individual variances.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the 2015-16 forecast revenue outturn position on the Council’s General Fund (Appendix 1 as amended) and progress made to date on the 2015-16 capital projects (Appendix 2) be noted.

171.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The Cabinet is asked to consider in respect of the following item(s) whether the public, including the press, should be excluded from the meeting on the grounds of exemption under Parts I to 7 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as indicated against the item and because, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption of that information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. The reports dealt with under this part of the agenda are attached for members of the Council and senior officers only (salmon paper).

 

Decision:

PART 2

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the public, including the press, be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the grounds that it is likely that there would be a disclosure to the public of ‘exempt information’ of the description specified in Paragraph 3 (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)) of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and because, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption of that information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

172.

Investment Opportunity

This report proposes that the Council acquires a property in Chichester with a net return on investment that exceeds the bank deposit rate.

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

That the purchase of the investment described in this report be authorised, subject to approval of the recommendation below, and that the Head of Commercial Services be authorised, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, to approve the final terms of this acquisition following completion of due diligence investigations.

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

That £1,010,000 be allocated from reserves for this purchase.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered the report circulated with the agenda. Mrs Keegan introduced the report. The report proposed that, subject to due diligence, the Council should acquire a retail property in Chichester (with accommodation above to be leased back to the vendor) with a net return on investment that exceeded the bank deposit rate.

 

Mr Regan (Senior Estates Surveyor) reported on the heads of terms that had been agreed, subject to due diligence. The Cabinet discussed the terms, including the lease back of the upper floors, the expected return on investment, and the risks in terms of capital value and rental income.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the purchase of the investment described in this report be authorised, subject to approval of the recommendation below, and that the Head of Commercial Services be authorised, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, to approve the final terms of this acquisition following completion of due diligence investigations.

 

RECOMMENDED TO COUNCIL

 

That £1,010,000 be allocated from reserves for this purchase.

 

173.

Development of Land at Barnfield Drive, Chichester

To approve a variation to the original development agreement relating to the Council’s land at Barnfield Drive, Chichester, and to authorise negotiations relating thereto.

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That a variation to the original development agreement relating to the Joint Venture Development Agreement with the Brookhouse Group for the development of the land owned by the Council at Barnfield Drive, Chichester be approved on the principle set out in paragraph 5 of the report.

 

(2)  That the Head of Commercial Services be authorised to negotiate and, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, to agree terms in respect of matters that may arise as the legal documentation is processed and to grant ground leases relating to individual sites, in accordance with the principles of the Development Agreement as revised.

 

Minutes:

Further to minute 391 of 9 April 2013, the Cabinet considered the report circulated with the agenda. Mrs Keegan introduced the report, which sought approval for a variation to the original development agreement relating to the Council’s land at Barnfield Drive, Chichester, and authority for negotiations relating thereto. Cabinet Members were shown a map of the Council’s land holdings and the proposed development.

 

Mr Harrison (Strategic Asset Management Surveyor) reported that phase 1 of the development was almost complete, but the Council’s development partner was seeking a variation of the agreement in relation to the development of phase 2, in order to reflect changed market conditions in the retail warehousing sector, increased construction costs, and the impact of planning conditions and highway requirements. The impact of these changes had been confirmed by a feasibility review by the Council’s development consultants.

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)  That a variation to the original development agreement relating to the Joint Venture Development Agreement with the Brookhouse Group for the development of the land owned by the Council at Barnfield Drive, Chichester be approved on the principle set out in paragraph 5 of the report.

 

(2)  That the Head of Commercial Services be authorised to negotiate and, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Commercial Services, to agree terms in respect of matters that may arise as the legal documentation is processed and to grant ground leases relating to individual sites, in accordance with the principles of the Development Agreement as revised.