Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive
Tuesday, 19th July, 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

Media

Items
No. Item

EX20

Apologies for Absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Nikki Nelson-Smith.

 

EX21

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interest.

 

EX22

Minutes pdf icon PDF 228 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Executive held on 28 June 2016.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive approved the minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2016.  The Chairman signed the minutes.

 

EX23

Business Rates Discretionary Rate Review pdf icon PDF 364 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)       agrees not to make any changes to the scheme, but notes that there will be an increase in cost over the next three years;

 

(2)       agrees to review the discretionary rate relief scheme again in 2019, when there will be more information available about both future funding and the health of the high street.

 

(3)       approves the scheme set out in Appendix 2 to the report submitted to the Executive.

 

Reasons for Decision:

·        To ensure that support continues for organisations that play a key role in the community, whilst acknowledging that there is a cost to the Council in doing so.

·        To ensure that an up to date scheme is in place.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

·        Apply either a 50 or 75 percent reduction of relief across the board.

·        Restrict the relief available to Local Charity Shops.

 

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 agreement to a revised discretionary relief scheme for Business Rates, in the light of the impact of changed funding arrangements.

 

Councillors noted that discretionary rate relief helped charities, not for profit organisations, rural businesses and businesses facing hardship, with the property costs resulting from business rates.  This was the only aspect of Business Rates that the Council controlled.

 

It was good practice to review the discretionary relief scheme.  This provided guidelines to ensure that relief was distributed fairly and consistently.  The Director of Resources had delegated authority to authorise payment of relief in accordance with the scheme.

 

Rates Retention (introduced in 2013), revaluation of all business properties (2017) and 100% Rates Retention (2020) would all increase the cost of the scheme for the Council – although currently there was a lack of detailed information regarding the last two.  At the same time, there were social and economic changes affecting the use of business premises.  These affected the retail sector in particular, which was increasingly in competition with online retailers with no actual properties (or business rates).

 

The report considered three options:

·        No change

·        The same percentage reduction across all recipients

·        A minor change to restrict the relief granted to local charity shops to one property.

 

There was a real concern that removal of relief from organisations that provided valuable services in the Borough could ultimately cost the Council more than any savings made, if a consequence was the loss of those services.  The maximum cost of not making any significant changes to the scheme was an increased expenditure of £42,000 over the next three years.  There was insufficient information about 100% Rates Retention to make any estimates beyond 2019.

 

Restricting the relief available to Local Charity Shops would minimise the Council’s risk of further growth in this area – especially if a future decline in the high street resulted in large retail units being available to charities for nominal rents.  However, there was no indication that this was imminent.

 

At its meeting on 26 May 2016, the Society, Environment and Council Development Executive Advisory Board had considered this matter and had submitted the following comments:

 

·        Some organisations, which provided invaluable services to the community, would cease to exist if they did not receive business rate relief. 

·        The Executive should receive an explanation of what each organisation in receipt of rate relief offers to the community.

·        The application process should encourage the dual-use of properties, as well as offering incentives for pursuits that may complement local authority activity

·        The application process should be expanded to include an assessment of the social worth of a charity, provided this expansion does not impact on Council resources too heavily.

 

Having considered the report and the comments of the EAB, the Executive

RESOLVED:

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)       agrees not to make any changes to the discretionary rate relief scheme, but notes that there will be an increase in cost over the next three years;

 

(2)       agrees to review  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX23

EX24

Budget Assumptions for Business Planning 2017-18 to 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 760 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)   approves the budget assumptions to be used in the preparation of the 2017-18 outline budget and for medium term financial planning purposes, as detailed in the report submitted to the Executive

 

(2)   adopts an ‘Entrepreneurial Council’ model for the medium term financial strategy

 

(3)   delegates the decision on whether to accept the 4-year indicative local government finance settlement from Government to the Chief Finance Officer, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Finance.

 

Reason for Decision:

To set the budget assumptions that officers will use to prepare the 2017-18 outline budget and medium term financial plan.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

·        adopting a mixed economy of the organisational models described in paragraph 11.3 of the report

 

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 the suggested parameters that officers would use to prepare the 2017-18 outline budget and projections for the following three years to 2020-21.  These parameters were the level of:

 

(a)     general  inflation to be assumed in expenditure budgets (excluding any increases of a contractual nature)

(b)     pay award to be assumed in the preparation of the salary budgets

(c)     increase in income to be achieved from fees and charges

(d)     council tax and council tax base increase

(e)     housing rent increase

(f)      business rates increase

(g)     government grant predictions

 

Setting parameters for the whole of the plan period was beneficial in the calculation of projections over the medium term.  Officers therefore proposed working assumptions to use in the preparation of the outline budget for 2017-18 and projections for the following three years. The Council would make the final decision on the estimates for 2017-18 at its budget meeting on 8 February 2017. 

 

In order to take forward the financial strategy, it was important for the Council to have a clear understanding of the type of organisational model it wished to pursue in planning its future shape and structure and informing the medium term financial strategy (MTFS) to be updated to articulate the strategy.  At its meeting on 26 May 2016, the Society, Environment and Council Development Executive Advisory Board (EAB) debated the potential range of organisational models, future shape and structure of the Council.  The options considered were:-

 

·         Full provision of services in-house

·         Fully outsourced services with a central contract management function

·         A Commissioning Organisation – which would commission services from external public or private partners and retain an in-house commissioning team

·         Partnering / co-operative organisation – where services would be provided in partnership / co-operation with other public partners, the voluntary sector or a series of employee mutual organisations

·         The ‘Entrepreneurial’ Council – where the Council would deliver services through a variety of commercial and non-commercial vehicles designed to offer freedom to grow and expand through innovation, trading, and selling spare capacity into other non-traditional markets

·         The ‘Amazon’ Council – where a high level of customer self-service and automation through the website would be established and the council would manage the supply and communication of services through automation but not necessarily deliver the services itself

·         ‘Easy Council’ – where the Council would provide a statutory minimum level of service with no frills (discretionary provision)

·         Mixed Economy – where the Council would adopt a mixture of the above models

 

The EAB had recommended that the Executive consider adopting a mixed economy of the organisational models described above.  However, the Lead Councillor for Finance proposed that the Executive should adopt the ‘Entrepreneurial Council’ model.

 

The Society EAB also considered a number of opportunities, presented by officers, for further efficiencies, savings, and additional income generation, full details of which were set out in the report submitted to the Executive.

 

The Executive was informed that the government had given local authorities the option of  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX24

EX25

Adoption of Revised Corporate Plan pdf icon PDF 275 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Recommendation (to Council: 26 July 2016):

That the proposed amendments to the Corporate Plan 2015-2020, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report submitted to the Executive, be adopted.

 

Reason for Recommendation:

The proposed revisions update and clarify the Council’s Corporate Plan.

 

Minutes:

The Executive noted that the Council had approved its current Corporate Plan for the period 2015 to 2020 at its meeting on 7 October 2015.  Since that time, the Council had appointed a new Leader and the Leader had made changes to the membership of the Executive and the responsibilities of lead councillors.  As such, the Leader had taken the opportunity to review the Corporate Plan with his Executive colleagues. 

 

The Corporate Plan was the key document that detailed the Council’s strategic framework bringing life to its priorities and outcomes, thereby providing a clear sense of purpose and direction.  It informed other strategies and plans, in particular, the content of service plans.

 

The revised plan had set out the Council’s priorities against five fundamental themes (Our Borough, Our Economy, Our Infrastructure, Our Environment and Our Society) that would support the delivery of the Council’s overall vision.  It also included an action plan showing the activities that would be undertaken to deliver the identified priorities.  The Council would deliver these directly or through a combination of supporting and facilitating work with partners. The Council’s service plans would include and build on these key projects and actions.

 

The five fundamental themes were supported by a section entitled “Your Council”, which sets out how the Council will continue to meet its Mission of being:

 

A forward looking efficiently run council, working in partnership with others and providing first class services that give the community value for money, now and for the future”.

 

The plan covered the period up to 2020, but would provide the foundation for the development of the borough over a much longer period.  The content was derived from a comprehensive review of existing activities, political direction, strategic framework and an assessment of the challenges and priorities facing the Council.  This included a number of factors, such as knowledge of the borough, the continuing financial pressures and the existing corporate programme of projects.

 

No significant changes were proposed to the broad strategic framework, priorities and desired outcomes for the next four years as these were still considered to align the Council’s activities to the issues that mattered most to local people.  A number of amendments, mainly to the accompanying action plan, had been proposed.  These largely revised expected completion dates, clarified wording or added new actions that had arisen since the adoption of the initial plan.  A small number of actions had been deleted as it was not now intended to progress these projects.

 

The Executive, having considered the proposed amendments to the Corporate Plan arising from the review,

 

RECOMMEND:

 

That the proposed amendments to the Corporate Plan 2015-2020, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report submitted to the Executive, be adopted.

 

Reason for Recommendation:

The proposed revisions update and clarify the Council’s Corporate Plan.

 

EX26

Woodbridge Road Sportsground Pavilion Redevelopment - Approval of Capital Funding pdf icon PDF 292 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

That the Executive approves

1)    the transfer of £1,150,000 from Woodbridge Road scheme PL29(p) on the provisional capital programme to the approved capital programme

2)    a provisional capital virement of £550,000 from the capital contingency fund (scheme FS1) for the refurbishment of the Woodbridge Road Sportsground Pavilion, and delegate authority to the Lead Councillor and Head of Financial Services to provide final approval of the virement subject to the outcome of the value engineering exercise and examination of possible further external funding streams

3)    the use of relevant section 106 contributions, as outlined in paragraph 7.2 of the report submitted to the Executive, to part finance the scheme

4)    the disposal of the groundsman’s cottage (subject to Charity Commission approval)

Reason for Decision:

To enable the project for the refurbishment of the Woodbridge Road Sportsground Pavilion to proceed to tender and award of the building works contract.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

·         To withdraw support for this project:

·         To await the garnering of all anticipated contributions before proceeding:

 

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

None

 

Minutes:

The following persons addressed the Executive in accordance with Public Speaking Procedure Rule 3:

                  

·        Andrew Lane on behalf of Surrey County Cricket Club

·        David Watts on behalf of Guildford Cricket Club

                      

The Executive noted that the project for the refurbishment of the Woodbridge Road Sportsground Pavilion is listed in the Council’s Corporate Plan, in order to upgrade the current out-of-date facility through working with partners.  The project was also included in the Council’s draft capital programme, with a budget of £1,150,000,    £200,000 was in the approved capital programme towards professional fees giving a total budget of £1,350,000.

 

The current estimated total cost was now £1,900,000. The Executive considered a report which sought approval to transfer £1,150,000 from the provisional capital programme to the approved capital programme, and a capital virement of £550,000 from the capital contingency fund to enable the project to proceed to tendering the building works contract.   It was estimated that this total cost of £1,900,000 would be offset by £496,000 in Section 106 contributions, £300,000 in grants (from Surrey County Cricket Club and Guildford Cricket Club) and £575,000 future capital receipts generated through a capital disposal. This would make the Council’s net capital contribution £529,000.

 

The Executive also noted that the Council’s appointed design team had undertaken further detailed design and cost analysis, which had led to a requirement to seek a larger capital virement to enable to project to proceed, increasing the sum of £269,000 to £550,000 to cover a projected cost of £1,900,000.  There had been a reassessment of the risks associated with refurbishment of the building following site investigations, detailed design and the level of structural alteration and the volatility and growth in the construction market had led to a projected increase in the project cost.  This was still significantly cheaper than demolition and rebuilding the pavilion, which was estimated to be £2,300,000.

 

Throughout the tender process, and once tenders are received, a value engineering exercise would take place, as well as examination of  possible external funding streams to reduce the cost to the Council. 

 

The Executive therefore

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)         That £1,150,000 be transferred from the Woodbridge Road Sportsground Pavilion scheme PL29(p) on the provisional capital programme to the approved capital programme.

 

(2)         That a provisional capital virement of £550,000 be approved from the capital contingency fund (scheme FS1) for the refurbishment of the Woodbridge Road Sportsground Pavilion, and that the Head of Financial Services be authorised, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Rural Economy, Countryside, Parks and Leisure, to provide final approval of the virement, subject to the outcome of the value engineering exercise and examination of possible further external funding streams.

 

(3)         That the use of relevant section 106 contributions, as outlined in paragraph 7.2 of the report submitted to the Executive, to part finance the scheme, be approved.

 

(4)         That the disposal of the groundsman’s cottage (subject to Charity Commission approval), be approved.

 

Reason for Decision:

To enable the project for the refurbishment of the Woodbridge Road  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX26

EX27

Walnut Bridge Replacement Project pdf icon PDF 415 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

(1)   That Option 1B ‘Cable Stay bridge with mast on town side’ be approved and taken forward to detailed design and construction, to be undertaken via a Design and Build contract, through an OJEU compliant tender.

 

(2)   That the updated budget in the programme, as outlined in this report, be approved to take the project forward to detailed design and construction.

 

(3)   That £2.299 million be transferred from the provisional capital programme (scheme P5(p) Guildford Gyratory Package – Walnut Bridge) to the approved capital programme.

 

(4)   That £403,000 be transferred from the provisional capital programme (scheme P8(p) Town Centre Transport Infrastructure Package) to the approved capital programme.

 

(5)   That a capital supplementary estimate of £50,175 be approved, to be funded wholly from s106 contribution 14P1614.

 

(6)   That the Director of Environment, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Infrastructure and Governance, be authorised to determine any procurement related matters required during the OJEU process, including appointment of the successful contractor.

 

Reasons for Decision:

In order to deliver a key component of the GTCTP package, and ensure that project delivery takes place in a timescale that is in line with the bidding documents approved by the Enterprise M3 LEP. 

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

·       Option 1A Cable Stayed Bridge, Mast on Station Side

·        Option 2 Living Bridge

 

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

None

Minutes:

The Executive noted that the replacement of the existing Walnut Bridge with a modern, fit for purpose, structure was an essential component of the Guildford Town Centre Transport Package (GTCTP).  This scheme was one of a number of measures which would provide enhanced means of pedestrian and cycle access to and through the town centre, reducing the need to use the gyratory system.

 

Since November 2015, officers had worked on submitting a business case to Enterprise M3, the Local Enterprise Partnership (M3 LEP) for grant funding, and the procurement process for the next stage of design.

 

Engineering firm WSP had completed a feasibility study for Walnut Bridge, which had concluded with the shortlisting of two options for selection. The shortlisted options were option 1B ‘mast on town side’ and option 2, ‘the Living Bridge’.  In response to a public consultation by Surrey County Council in which there had been a clear desire for a replacement bridge and in conjunction with the Lead Councillor for Infrastructure and Governance and the Walnut Bridge Steering Group, it was recommended that option 1B be taken forward to detailed design and construction.  A soft market testing exercise during June 2016 had established that there was very little experience amongst the construction industry in building a ‘Living Bridge’ type option.  Furthermore, the soft market testing exercise had established that the Living Bridge option was likely to be more expensive, both in terms of construction and maintenance following construction.  In March 2016, the Council, in conjunction with Surrey County Council, had been successful in gaining approval and grant funding for the GTCTP business case from the M3 LEP, for Local Growth Fund Round 2 application.

 

As the budget was currently in the provisional capital programme, the Executive considered a report which sought approval to update the budget and transfer it to the approved capital programme.

 

The Executive accordingly

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)         That Option 1B ‘Cable Stay bridge with mast on town side’ be approved and taken forward to detailed design and construction, to be undertaken via a Design and Build contract, through an OJEU compliant tender.

 

(2)         That the updated budget in the programme, as outlined in this report, be approved to take the project forward to detailed design and construction.

 

(3)         That £2.299 million be transferred from the provisional capital programme (scheme P5(p) Guildford Gyratory Package – Walnut Bridge) to the approved capital programme.

 

(4)         That £403,000 be transferred from the provisional capital programme (scheme P8(p) Town Centre Transport Infrastructure Package) to the approved capital programme.

 

(5)         That a capital supplementary estimate of £50,175 be approved, to be funded wholly from s106 contribution 14P1614.

 

(6)         That the Director of Environment, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Infrastructure and Governance, be authorised to determine any procurement related matters required during the OJEU process, including appointment of the successful contractor.

 

Reasons for Decision:

In order to deliver a key component of the GTCTP package, and ensure that project delivery takes place in a timescale that is  ...  view the full minutes text for item EX27

EX28

Proposed Pop-Up Village pdf icon PDF 369 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

That full approval for the construction and opening of a Pop-Up Village at the former cinema site in Woodbridge Road, Guildford, in accordance with the proposals agreed provisionally by the Executive at its meeting on 28 June 2016, be confirmed.

 

Reasons for Decision:

The financial models have been reviewed and they show that the original report Scenario (A) continues to deliver a surplus, but the new Scenarios B and C, predict a loss although these assume a ‘worst case position’. Officers believe that the project remains a highly attractive one for the town centre that will deliver a range of benefits. Officers also believe that all risks have been satisfactorily identified and understood and are being properly managed and mitigated.

 

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:

Councillors noted that the Executive had granted provisional approval for the proposed Guildford Pop Up Village (PUV) at its last meeting on 28 June 2016. Full approval was subject to detailed financial projections being updated and confirmed. The Executive had also sought assurances on certain risks and how they were to be mitigated.

 

The Executive considered a report which dealt with these matters and

 

RESOLVED: That full approval for the construction and opening of a Pop-Up Village at the former cinema site in Woodbridge Road, Guildford, in accordance with the proposals agreed provisionally by the Executive at its meeting on 28 June 2016, be confirmed.

 

Reasons for Decision:

The financial models have been reviewed and they show that the original report Scenario (A) continues to deliver a surplus, but the new Scenarios B and C, predict a loss although these assume a ‘worst case position’. Officers believe that the project remains a highly attractive one for the town centre that will deliver a range of benefits. Officers also believe that all risks have been satisfactorily identified and understood and are being properly managed and mitigated.

 

EX29

Guildford Park Development pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision:

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)      notes progress with the scheme and reaffirms its decision that the Council carries out the development, including the market sale element of the project, subject to the proposal receiving planning permission

(2)      authorises the transfer of £6 million from the general fund provisional capital programme to the approved capital programme to fund the cost of the necessary enabling works described in the report together with costs associated with procuring construction partners including design costs

(3)      authorises the Director of Community Services, in consultation with the relevant lead councillors, to let relevant contracts to allow the necessary enabling work to be carried out

(4)      agrees to the appropriation of land as necessary between the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account.

 

Reason for Decision:

To enable the redevelopment of the Guildford Park car park site.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

·         retain the status quo

·         dispose of the site to a private developer

·         develop the site with an external partner through a joint venture arrangement.

 

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

None

 

Minutes:

The Executive noted that the Council owned a significant brownfield site on the edge of the town at Guildford Park.  The site was currently used as a surface car park largely serving commuters using the nearby railway station.

 

The Executive acknowledged that the Council was committed to redeveloping the site to not only provide much needed additional housing but an enhanced parking facility.  The proposal involved the construction of 160 new homes, of which 40% would be affordable rented homes.  The development would also include a multi-storey car park with 493 public spaces.

 

The affordable housing would be funded by the Housing Revenue Account.  The remaining housing would be built for market sale and along with the car park funded through the General Fund.  Financial projections at this point suggest proceeds from the sale of the market housing would largely offset the cost of the new car park.

 

To minimise the impact on the amount of public parking provision in the town during the construction period, the development would be phased.  The new car park would be built ahead of the residential development.

 

There were both construction and market risks associated with the project; however, these were outweighed by the opportunity to regenerate the site with a quality development that would help to meet local housing needs.

 

A specific measure to reduce project risk in the early stages would be to carry out various enabling works before letting the contract for the construction of the car park.  The Executive considered a report which sought the necessary funding approval for this, together with the final design and procurement stages of the project.

 

Having noted that the commencement of the enabling works would be subject to the proposal receiving planning permission during the Autumn, the Executive

 

RESOLVED:

 

That the Executive:

 

(1)       That progress with the scheme be noted and that the decision that the Council carries out the development, including the market sale element of the project, be reaffirmed, subject to the proposal receiving planning permission.

 

(2)       That the transfer of £6 million from the general fund provisional capital programme to the approved capital programme to fund the cost of the necessary enabling works described in the report submitted to the Executive, together with costs associated with procuring construction partners including design costs, be approved.

 

(3)       That the Director of Community Services be authorised, in consultation with the relevant lead councillors, to let relevant contracts to allow the necessary enabling work to be carried out.

 

(4)       That the appropriation of land as necessary between the General Fund and the Housing Revenue Account, be approved.

 

Reason for Decision:

To enable the redevelopment of the Guildford Park car park site.

 

EX30

Exclusion of the Public

In accordance with Regulation 5 of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012, the Council published on 21 June 2016 notice of intention to hold this meeting in private to consider Item 12 below (which is the Appendix containing the financial implications referred to in Item 10).  The notice included a statement setting out the reasons for part of this matter to be dealt with in private and inviting anyone wishing to make representations in relation to holding the meeting in private for this purpose to do so by 12 noon on 11 July 2016.  No representations were received. 

 

The reason for considering this matter in private is the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972, which is information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information.

 

In relation to item 13 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 above-mentioned Regulations 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 13 in private is also 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.”

 

 

Additional documents:

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 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.

 

 

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 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.

 

 

 

EX31

Guildford Park Development: Financial Implications

Decision:

Noted.

Minutes:

The Executive noted the financial implications of the proposed Guildford Park Development.

 

EX32

Authorisation to acquire Investment Property

Decision:

Recommendation to Council (26 July 2016):

 

(1)         That the acquisition of Wey House, Guildford be approved on the terms contained within Appendix 3 to the report submitted to the Executive and that the Director of Community Services, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Asset Management, be authorised to conduct such further minor negotiations in respect of the acquisition as he deems appropriate.

 

(2)         That a capital supplementary estimate of £15.7 million for the asset investment fund be approved to enable the purchase.

 

Reason for Recommendation:

To secure a good investment and strategic property asset enabling officers to progress the asset investment strand of the transformation programme.

Minutes:

The Executive considered a report setting out details of negotiations for the freehold acquisition by the Council of Wey House, Farnham Road, Guildford, which totalled 44,945 sqft, arranged over ground and three upper floors.  Councillors noted that some parts of either the building or the immediate surrounds appeared to be owned by the vendor on long leasehold terms for 125 years from 1986 at £1 or peppercorn rents from the National Trust.  It was understood that these leases would be included in the sale.

 

The property, which was located within 200 metres of Guildford mainline station and adjacent to other Council land holdings, was currently let in its entirety to a firm of solicitors, producing a total current rental income of £1,223,650 per annum. The full repairing and insuring lease would expire in March 2027.

 

Parts of the second and third floors had been sub-let from March 2010 for a term of 10 years.  There was also a sub-station lease and some parts of the exterior may be underlet already to the Council.

 

Any offer made to the vendor pursuant to any authorisation given by the Council would be subject to satisfactory title due diligence by its appointed lawyers.

 

Councillors noted that the current lessee had a Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) Risk Indicator of 1, which represented the minimum risk of business failure, with nothing in the D&B report to give cause for concern.

 

The proposal met the Council’s Investment Scoring Criteria for net initial yield achieving 5.07% (minimum 5% required), it also achieved an operating lease financial test score of 160 (minimum threshold to pass was 100).  The internal rate of return (IRR) on the property was 5.2%.

 

The report confirmed that this was a very attractive deal as not only did the site offer a good investment but it also provided an opportunity for the Council to consolidate its land ownership in this area.

 

On this basis, the Executive

 

RECOMMEND:

 

(1)         That the acquisition of Wey House, Guildford be approved on the terms contained within Appendix 3 to the report submitted to the Executive and that the Director of Community Services, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Asset Management, be authorised to conduct such further minor negotiations in respect of the acquisition as he deems appropriate.

 

(2)         That a capital supplementary estimate of £15.7 million for the asset investment fund be approved to enable the purchase.

 

Reason for Recommendation:

To secure a good investment and strategic property asset enabling officers to progress the asset investment strand of the transformation programme.

 

EX33

Notice under Access to Information Procedure Rule 16 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Additional documents:

EX34

Tunsgate Square Redevelopment - Lease

Decision:

Decision:

 

(1)  That the Executive approves the surrender and re-grant of the existing leases and ancillary development agreement for Tunsgate Shopping Centre in line with the Heads of Terms provided (Appendix 1). Any further minor negotiation of which will be delegated to the Managing Director (Chief Financial Officer) in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Asset Management.

 

(2)  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 enable the redevelopment of this key site within Guildford town centre whilst ensuring the Council continues to retain a good financial return on its investment.

 

Reason for Urgency:

The Council had been negotiating with Queensbury Real Estate (QRE), for several months. QRE had hoped to launch the site and start works in June but had to delay due to proposed Heads of Terms not being acceptable to the Council. These had mainly been resolved but QRE required all legal documentation to be formally agreed and signed by the end of July or they would lose prospective tenants

 

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 Council owned part of the Tunsgate Shopping Centre in Guildford. In order to redevelop the site the long leaseholder and owner of the rest of the site, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council (as administering authority for Merseyside Pension Fund), required the current lease to be modernised to make it acceptable from a development and institutional point of view.

 

The Council had been in negotiations with the project manager, Queensberry Real Estate (QRE), who were acting on behalf of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, regarding the surrender and re-grant of the head lease and car park sub-lease and grant of an associated development agreement. Heads of Terms had been provisionally agreed and a copy of the Heads of Terms in their current form was attached as Appendix 1 to the report submitted to the Executive. 

 

The Executive

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)         That the surrender and re-grant of the existing leases be approved together with the ancillary development agreement for Tunsgate Shopping Centre in line with the Heads of Terms set out in Appendix 1 to the report submitted to the Executive, and that the Managing Director (Chief Financial Officer) be authorised, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Asset Management, to conduct any further minor negotiations in this regard.

 

(2)         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 enable the redevelopment of this key site within Guildford town centre whilst ensuring the Council continues to retain a good financial return on its investment.

 

Reason for Urgency:

The Council had been negotiating with Queensbury Real Estate (QRE), for several months. QRE had hoped to launch the site and start works in June but had to delay due to proposed Heads of Terms not being acceptable to the Council. These had mainly been resolved but QRE required all legal documentation to be formally agreed and signed by the end of July or they would lose prospective tenants.

 

EX35

Acquisition of The Quadrant, 1 Onslow St, Guildford

Decision:

Decision:

 

(1)  That the Director of Community Services be authorised, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Asset Management, to acquire the freehold interests of the Quadrant site at the best price confirmed by an external valuer to consolidate the Council’s land ownership for the comprehensive redevelopment of Bedford Wharf

 

(2)  That the sum of £3,523,000 from 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 Bedford Wharf area and thereby helping to ensure a sustainable town centre for future generations and an improved leisure offer in Guildford.

 

Reason for Urgency:

There was a risk that, by delaying consideration of the matter to the next meeting of the Executive in August 2016, the landowner may have decided to sell his interest to other bidders.

 

Alternative options considered and rejected by the Executive:

The option not to buy the freehold interest of the property was rejected. If this were the case, the Council would miss an opportunity to enhance the leisure and entertainment offer in Guildford.

 

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 for the acquisition of the freehold interest of the property known as the Casino Nightclub, The Quadrant, 1 Onslow Street, Guildford.  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 Bedford Wharf.  A strategic property acquisition required the Executive’s consent.

 

The property had been valued by external valuers, in accordance with RICS professional standards, details of which were set out in the report.  The offer, subject to contract and executive approval, had been made on 13 July 2016 – a date set by the vendor.

 

On 10 February 2016, the Council had approved the provisional capital funding of £82.492 million for the Major Projects. This included the development of Bedford Wharf and provision for acquisitions of the interests within the site. The report now before the Executive had sought approval for a total sum of £3.523 million including the acquisition cost, fees and stamp duty to be moved from the provisional to the approved capital programme and authority for officers to pursue the acquisition.

 

Having noted that the Council’s offer to acquire the site was valid for four weeks from 13 July with six weeks for exchange of contracts

 

the Executive

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1)         That the Director of Community Services be authorised, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Asset Management, to acquire the freehold interests of the Quadrant site at the best price confirmed by an external valuer to consolidate the Council’s land ownership for the comprehensive redevelopment of Bedford Wharf.

 

(2)         That the sum of £3,523,000 from 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 Bedford Wharf area and thereby helping to ensure a sustainable town centre for future generations and an improved leisure offer in Guildford.

 

Reason for Urgency:

There was a risk that, by delaying consideration of the matter to the next meeting of the Executive in August 2016, the landowner may have decided to sell his interest to other bidders.