Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive
Tuesday, 19th April, 2016 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions

Contact: John Armstrong, Democratic Services Manager. Tel: 01483 444102  Email: john.armstrong@guildford.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

EX90

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

 

EX91

Local Code of Conduct - Disclosable Pecuniary Interest

In accordance with the revised local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda.  Any councillor with a DPI must notparticipate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must also withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.

 

If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

 

 

EX92

Minutes pdf icon PDF 195 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 22 March 2016.

Minutes:

The Executive approved the minutes of the meeting held on 23 March 2016.  The Chairman signed the minutes.

 

 

EX93

Guildford Borough Transport Strategy 2016 pdf icon PDF 349 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

(1)         That the Guildford Borough Transport Strategy be endorsed.

 

(2)         That the addition of the Strategy to the transport evidence base for the emerging Local Plan be noted.

 

(3)         That the use of the Strategy to support bids to Government, the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and other parties for investment in the borough, be endorsed.

 

(4)         That the Interim Director of Development be authorised, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Infrastructure and Environment, to make such minor amendments or typographical changes to the Strategy document he considers necessary following the Executive meeting.

 

Reason for Decision:

The Guildford Borough Transport Strategy will provide a frame of reference to structure ongoing work to deliver multiple elements of both the Council’s strategic framework and projects and actions from the Corporate Plan 2015-2020.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

The option to not approve the Strategy was rejected as the Council would not be able to present the transport strategy as having been endorsed as such in its bids to funders.

 

Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:

None

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report on the Guildford Borough Transport Strategy, which was an up-to-date and forward-looking strategy proposing a programme of schemes covering all modes of surface transport in the borough.  A copy of the Strategy was appended to the report.

 

Officers had drawn together information from a variety of sources in preparing the Strategy, including from the forward plans of transport infrastructure and service providers and funders and the Council’s own transport evidence base. The Strategy was consistent with the Council’s draft of the Proposed Submission Local Plan: strategy and sites (“the draft Local Plan”). The transport schemes on which, it was considered, the delivery of planned growth would depend had been written into the draft Local Plan itself.

 

The Strategy would inform the preparation and review of Surrey County Council’s Local Transport Plan, including the proposed Local Transport Strategy and Forward Programme for the Guildford borough area, as and when this was prepared, revised and adopted.

 

The Guildford Borough Transport Strategy would be used to support bids to Government, the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and other parties for investment in the borough. The transport strategy would demonstrate to funders and stakeholders that the Council had a clear and ambitious strategy and programme of schemes for delivery with partners.

 

The Council would keep the Strategy under review and revise it when it was necessary or expedient to do so.

 

Having considered the report and the Strategy, the Executive

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)         That the Guildford Borough Transport Strategy be endorsed.

 

(2)         That the addition of the Strategy to the transport evidence base for the emerging Local Plan be noted.

 

(3)         That the use of the Strategy to support bids to Government, the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership and other parties for investment in the borough, be endorsed.

 

(4)         That the Interim Director of Development be authorised, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Infrastructure and Environment, to make such minor amendments or typographical changes to the Strategy document he considers necessary following the Executive meeting.

 

Reason for Decision:

The Guildford Borough Transport Strategy will provide a frame of reference to structure ongoing work to deliver multiple elements of both the Council’s strategic framework and projects and actions from the Corporate Plan 2015-2020.

 

EX94

Review of Guildford Museum- Second report pdf icon PDF 342 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

(1)          That a feasibility and costing report be commissioned for the proposed new build extension to the current Museum buildings and that the vision of developing an updated and exciting museum offering at that site be approved.

 

(2)          That the sum of £240,000 be transferred from the provisional capital programme (ED18(p) Museum and Castle Development scheme to the approved capital programme to carry out the work referred to in paragraph (1) above.  

 

(3)          That the Director of Environment be authorised in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Economic Development, Heritage and Tourism be authorised:

 

(i)    to establish a Development Group, consisting of internal representatives and external partners, to assist in the delivery of improvements to the Museum; and

 

(ii)    to develop a fundraising strategy and related fundraising committee with a view to identifying and securing external grants and funding for improvements to the Museum

 

(4)          That the Museum Working Group be requested to review and make recommendations on the future of the Victorian Schoolroom, including the possible sale of 39½ Castle Street should the Schoolroom be discontinued.

 

(5)          That the Action Plan in Appendix 3 to the report submitted to the Executive, be approved and that the Museum Working Group be requested to continue its work to deliver the Action Plan.

 

Reason for Decision:

To fully review the museum offering for Guildford with a view to improving the service and making it more cost effective.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

The option to move the Museum to another site in the town centre was rejected as an appropriate existing building could not be identified.  The option for a new build museum was rejected on cost grounds.

 

Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:

None

 

Minutes:

Prior to the formal consideration of this matter by the Executive, the following persons addressed the meeting:

 

·        Doug Scott  (on behalf of the Guildford Society)

·        Gavin Morgan (on behalf of the Guildford Heritage Forum)

·        Honorary Freeman Jen Powell

 

The Executive considered the second report relating to the review of Guildford Museum, having considered the first report at its meeting on 24 November 2015.

 

The Executive also received the comments made by the Borough, Economy and Infrastructure Executive Advisory Board, when it considered this matter on 4 April 2016, details of which were set out on the Supplementary Information sheets circulated at the meeting. The Board had fully endorsed the recommendations now before the Executive.

 

Councillors noted that Guildford Museum currently provided public displays and storage of collections owned by the Council and also the Surrey Archaeological Society (SAS) together with offices for the Council’s Heritage team.  The buildings in Quarry Street were of significant historic interest but suffered from poor access and visibility. As stated previously in the first report, there had been little investment in the Museum for over 25 years and this had left it looking very tired and outdated.  Visitor numbers were also low and costs were considered to represent poor value for money.  Three failed Heritage Lottery Fund bids had also meant that no additional funding had been made available to address these issues.

 

The Museum working Group (MWG) had been looking at all aspects of the Museum and its future.  The MWG had also visited other museums to learn from their experiences and approaches.  Stuart Davies Associates (SDA), museum consultants, had also been carrying out work to inform the review, speaking to stakeholders, partners, public and staff and collating information about other museums.  A report outlining their findings and recommendations was appended to the report submitted to the Executive.  The SDA report confirmed that the Council’s museum offering fell short of current expectations of the type of offering and experience a modern museum should provide.  SDA also confirmed that Guildford was sufficiently large and historically important to warrant a good modern museum.

 

Alongside the work of SDA, the MWG had also looked for any available sites in the town centre that might be appropriate for a new museum.  Searches had confirmed that there were no such suitable alternative properties identified for museum use.  The cost of a new build had also been ruled out due to very high costs.  As a result, the MWG had looked at the current site to assess its suitability as the continued and future home of Guildford Museum.  An architect had produced some exciting draft plans of an attractive, high quality new build extension to the current site.  This would allow for expansive, modern display space along with a café, modern and appropriate access, toilets and an entrance facing into the Castle Grounds. 

 

It was suggested that the Council should invest its capital (£2.264 million currently in provisional programme) into the new extension project.  Councillors acknowledged that appropriate feasibility studies  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX94

EX95

Future of the Electric Theatre pdf icon PDF 385 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

That the Director of Environment, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Economic Development, Heritage and Tourism, the Director of Corporate Services and the Electric Theatre and Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Working Group, be authorised:

 

a)     To agree the precise form of the procurement exercise

b)     To agree the criteria to be used in the procurement exercise (including the nature and extent of the community use to be secured)

c)     To agree the nature and form of any disposal of The Electric Theatre pursuant to the procurement exercise

d)     To carry out the procurement exercise

e)     To report back to the Executive at the conclusion of the above and prior to the award of any contract and/or disposal of The Electric Theatre

 

Reason for Decision:

To enable the Council to explore options that will contribute to addressing the Council’s financial challenges by exploring procurement options that may result in a reduction or removal of current subsidy levels whilst maintaining the venue as a theatre, performing arts venue with community use.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

Option A: To outsource the management of the theatre. 

Option B: To lease the building to an external organisation without ensuring community use.

Option D: The Council to continue to run The Electric Theatre.

 

Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:

None

 

Minutes:

Prior to the formal consideration of this matter by the Executive, Honorary Alderman Terence Patrick addressed the meeting.

 

The Executive considered a detailed update report on activities relating to the review of the Electric Theatre, the results of the public consultation exercise and the views of the cross party Electric Theatre and Yvonne Arnaud Theatre Working Group in relation to these results.  The report had also set out the proposed future actions in order to identify an optimal procurement route for an operating solution to deliver the Council’s objectives for The Electric Theatre in the future.

 

The Executive noted that, as part of its work, the Working Group had:

 

a)     Spoken to a number of interested organisations that had produced proposals for the future use of the theatre

b)     Considered an in-house team business plan that looked to reduce the subsidy the Council paid for the running of the venue. 

c)     Carried out an exercise using independent commercial property agents, Owen Shipp, to gauge interest in leasing The Electric Theatre. This exercise had resulted in seven expressions of interest that confirmed high levels of interest and competitive lease values. Although not requested specifically, a number of the expressions of interest proposed a continuation or development of community activities currently undertaken at the site if they were to be offered the lease. A further proposal was also received, but did not include any leasing proposals for the site.

 

Councillors were reminded that the Guildford Amateur Theatre Association (GATA) had also submitted a petition to the Council on 23 November 2015, “Save Guildford’s Electric Theatre – Before it’s too late”.  The Council had debated the petition at its meeting on 10 February 2016 where it was agreed that:

 

 “if feedback from the public clearly demonstrates public support for the continuing levels of community use, then this will be considered, whilst also taking financial implications into account, as criteria for any future decisions or procurement for the future of The Electric Theatre”.

 

The Executive was informed that the Council had now registered The Electric Theatre as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), as a result of a nomination made by GATA.

 

The Working Group felt that it was important to collate the views of all interested individuals, groups and stakeholders in relation to The Electric Theatre.  The Council had carried out a full public consultation exercise between 25 January 2016 and 29 February 2016. The exercise had been undertaken on the Council’s behalf by the independent research company, SMSR, and their report with the results and analyses of the exercise were appended to the report submitted to the Executive. 

 

The results showed that:

 

·        The Electric Theatre should remain primarily as a performing arts venue

·        The Electric Theatre should retain some community use

·        The community use and key themes should be Performance, Theatre, Festivals and Education.

·        Option C, to lease the building to an external organisation ensuring some element of community use, was the preferred option.

 

The Working Group had met on 16  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX95

EX96

Play Strategy 2016-2021 pdf icon PDF 339 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

That the Play Strategy 2016 – 2021, as set set out in the report submitted to the Executive, be adopted along with the proposed action and development plans and annual monitoring arrangements.

 

Reason for Decision:

The Council has gone through a structured planning process to align the strategy with national policy guidance and undertaken a clearly defined consultation process to develop a strategy with action plans that meet the needs of our residents, including children and young people. 

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

To not approve the strategy was rejected as this would mean an uncoordinated approach to the play development service and the planning and maintenance of our play areas. This could result in inappropriate use of resources and delivery of projects that do not meet customer need. It would also mean a failure to deliver a key target within the Corporate Plan.

 

Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:

None

 

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report which set out a new five year play strategy and annual action plan to assist the Council and its partners in setting a framework for delivering and developing play in the borough.

 

The overall aim of the strategy was to enhance and promote opportunities for play, provide support for community ‘play development’ opportunities and to ensure that the importance of play was recognised and valued.

 

The strategy comprised two separate but aligned documents, the first of which had  set a framework for the Council to advocate children’s right to play and identify priorities within play development, with an action plan.  The second part of the strategy focused on outdoor fixed play equipment, which listed existing play areas within the borough, and had a ten year development plan.

 

A project board, including cross party councillors, oversaw the preparation of the strategy and officers prepared comprehensive assessments of current play initiatives, including an outdoor, term time after school scheme; “Playrangers”, and a school holiday provision; “FISH” (Fun in School Holidays).

 

To measure the access to spaces and facilities for play and informal recreation,officers used established policy guidance from Play England and Fields in Trust (FIT) to assess and identify requirements for play provision in each ward.  An independent inspector had assessed all council owned play areas, or those in the ownership of parish councils, in each ward. The key aspects of these assessments were accessibility, quantity, quality and play value.

 

The Executive noted that consultation with key stakeholders, including children and young people and the community, had informed all aspects of the strategy. This process involved a stakeholder engagement evening, a small community engagement session and three online surveys; one for children and young people, one for parents and residents and one for partners and stakeholders. The consultation had also informed key policy decisions and the strategy themes in which future design and development of play opportunities would be delivered

 

The key themes in the strategy would enable the Council to plan community based play services and the future development of fixed play equipment, whilst taking into consideration current and future resources available to tackle the highlighted need.

 

The strategy was based around ten policy decisions, details of which were set out in the report.

 

Establishing and monitoring set targets within the action plans would measure the success of the strategy.  The report had proposed that a strategy review panel would meet twice a year to review progress and set targets for the coming year. This board comprised key officers from the project board, and cross party councillors, including the two lead councillors.

 

Having noted that the Society, Environment and Council Development Executive Advisory Board had reviewed the objectives of the strategy, the preparation process and the policy decisions at its meeting on 25 February 2016 and were supportive of the content, the Executive

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Play Strategy 2016 – 2021, as set set out in the report submitted to the Executive,  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX96

EX97

Allocation of voluntary grants: 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 349 KB

Decision:

Decision:

 

That the allocation of joint grant funding to voluntary organisations for 2016-17, as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report submitted to the Executive, be approved.

 

Reason for Decision:

To enable the 2016-17 joint grants panel process to be implemented.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

None

 

Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:

None

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report on the proposed allocation of grants to voluntary organisations for 2016-17, as recommended by the Voluntary Grants Panel.  The Panel was a partnership between Guildford Borough Council (GBC) and Surrey County Council Adult Social Care Team (SCC).  Because funding was from the Adult Social Care budget, it was allocated primarily, but not exclusively, to services supporting adults in the Community. The proposals in the report allocated the joint funding from both organisations. 

 

Having considered the Panel’s recommendations in respect of the applications submitted for grant funding in 2016-17, the Executive

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the allocation of joint grant funding to voluntary organisations for 2016-17, as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report submitted to the Executive, be approved.

 

Reason for Decision:

To enable the 2016-17 joint grants panel process to be implemented.

 

 

EX98

Allocation of community grants: 2016-17 pdf icon PDF 351 KB

Decision:

Decision:

 

(1)         That the allocation of grants through the Council’s Community Grants Scheme, as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report submitted to the Executive, be approved;

 

(2)         That the unallocated residual grant be carried forward to grant funding for 2017-18.

 

Reason for Decision:

To enable the 2016-17 Community Grants funding process to be implemented.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

None

 

Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:

None

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report on the proposed allocation of grants under the Community Grants Scheme for 2016-17.  The scheme provided one-year grant support to charitable organisations to provide support to people of all ages within the borough. It was funded entirely by this Council and a panel of officers and councillors assessed applications to the scheme. The scheme was designed to support projects that improved the lives of vulnerable residents of Guildford, to promote health and wellbeing, reduce inequalities and improve access to training, skills and work opportunities.

 

Having considered the recommendations of the Community Grants panel in respect of grant funding to voluntary organisations in 2016-17, the Executive

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)         That the allocation of grants through the Council’s Community Grants Scheme, as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report submitted to the Executive, be approved;

 

(2)         That the unallocated residual grant be carried forward to grant funding for 2017-18.

 

Reason for Decision:

To enable the 2016-17 Community Grants funding process to be implemented.

 

EX99

Exclusion of the Public

In relation to item 11 below, the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Councillor Caroline Reeves) has agreed that it was impracticable to comply with the requirements of Regulation 5 of The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 to give at least 28 days’ notice to enable the matter to be considered in private at this meeting.

 

The reason for the need to consider Item 11 in private is due to the likely disclosure of information considered to be exempt under paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

 

The Executive is therefore asked to consider passing the following resolution:

 

         "That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) and Regulation 5 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.”

 

 

 

Decision:

Decision:

 

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) and Regulation 5 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the 1972 Act.

 

 

Minutes:

The Executive

 

RESOLVED:  

 

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) and Regulation 5 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the 1972 Act.

 

 

 

EX100

Acquisition of lease of a town centre property

Decision:

#Decision:

 

(1)    That the Director of Development be authorised, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Finance, Asset Management and Governance, to acquire the headlease interest of the property referred to in the report submitted to the Executive at the best price confirmed by an external valuer.

 

(2)    That the sum of £14,176,471 in respect of the Major Projects Team (P9(p)) scheme be transferred from the provisional capital programme to the approved capital programme (this sum includes purchaser costs at 6.75%).

 

(3)  That, in accordance with Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 17 (h), the Executive formally agrees that the matter is urgent and should not be subject to the call-in procedure.

 

Reason for Decision:

To secure the site in Council ownership, giving the Council control, as part of the future development of the local area and thereby helping to ensure a sustainable town centre for future generationsand an improved leisure offer in Guildford.

 

Reason for urgency:

It was impracticable to comply with the 28 days’ notice requirement for dealing with a matter in private and taking a key executive decision because the valuation report in respect of this property, including details of the market value price, was only received on 30March 2016.

 

As landlord, the Council had been given the opportunity to buy back the lease.  By delaying the formal consideration of the matter to the next scheduled meeting of the Executive on 31 May 2016, there was a risk that the leaseholder may decide to advertise the acquisition offer publicly.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

The option to not buy the property was rejected.  If that were the case, the property would remain in its current use and the Council would miss an opportunity to incorporate this key building into a wider, strategic part of the future town centre.

 

Details of any conflict of interest declared by the Leader or lead councillors and any dispensation granted:

None

 

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report which sought approval to purchase the head lease interest of a property in the town centre. This acquisition would enable the Council to incorporate the property within a key redevelopment area in the town centre. In particular, the Council would have an opportunity to consolidate the land ownership for the comprehensive redevelopment of the area in which the property was located.  

 

The property had been valued by external valuers, in accordance with RICS professional standards, at a recommended value of £13.235 million. No offer had been made to the head leaseholder to date.

 

The Council was the freeholder of the site and the proposal was to surrender the 125 year headlease between the Council and its tenant. The sublease had security of tenure and therefore the tenant was entitled to a renewal on similar terms. Current passing rent was set at £742,831 per annum, exclusive of VAT, with 5 yearly upward only rent reviews.

 

The Executive was reminded that on 10 February 2016, the Council approved the provisional capital funding of £82.492million for the Major Projects Team. The bid included the development of the area referred to in the report and provision for acquisition of the interests within the site. The report had requested approval for a total sum of £14,128,500 including the acquisition cost, fees and stamp duty to be moved from the provisional to the approved capital programme and to authorise officers to pursue the acquisition.

 

The acquisition would result in net revenue income to the Council of £193,000 after business rates, finance costs and management costs were taken into account. Councillors noted that if the Council’s offer to acquire the lease was accepted, the likely timetable to exchange contracts was eight weeks, with completion four weeks thereafter.

 

The site was a strategic acquisition opportunity for the aspirational redevelopment of the area, in particular for leisure and entertainment use. By safeguarding this site, which was adjacent to land already owned by the Council, the Council would gain control over it and enable it to support a sustainable town centre for future generations.

 

The Executive

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)     That the Director of Development be authorised, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Finance, Asset Management and Governance, to acquire the headlease interest of the property referred to in the report submitted to the Executive at the best price confirmed by an external valuer.

 

(2)     That the sum of £14,176,471 in respect of the Major Projects Team (P9(p)) scheme be transferred from the provisional capital programme to the approved capital programme (this sum includes purchaser costs at 6.75%).

 

(3)   That, in accordance with Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rule 17 (h), the Executive formally agrees that the matter is urgent and should not be subject to the call-in procedure.

 

Reason for Decision:

To secure the site in Council ownership, giving the Council control, as part of the future development of the local area and thereby helping to ensure a sustainable town centre for future  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX100

EX101

Notice of intention to deal with an urgent key decision in private pdf icon PDF 106 KB