Agenda, decisions and minutes

Executive
Thursday, 30th May, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: New Council Chamber - Town Hall, Reigate. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services (01737 276182)  Email: Democratic@reigate-banstead.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 76 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Executive meeting held on 18 April 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Executive meeting held on 18 April 2019 be approved as a correct record and signed.

2.

Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Executive Members: Councillor E. Humphreys and Councillor G.J. Knight.

 

Non-Executive Members: Councillor M.S. Blacker.

3.

Declarations of interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mrs N.J. Bramhall declared a non pecuniary interest in Items 6a and 11a – Acquisition of freehold land in Horley in respect of her capacity as a Portfolio Holder position on Surrey County Council.

Councillor V.H. Lewanski declared a pecuniary interest in Items 6a and 11a – Acquisition of freehold land in Horley in respect of his declared shareholding with the associated party involved in the acquisition.

Councillor N.D. Harrison declared a non pecuniary interest in Items 6a and 11a – Acquisition of freehold land in Horley in respect of his capacity as a Member of Surrey County Council.

 

4.

Commercial Governance: Changes to Executive Sub-Committees pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To consider proposed changes to Executive Sub-Committees.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor M.A. Brunt introduced the report as presented to the Executive, which included a number of changes to Executive sub-committees and associated delegations to update the Council’s commercial governance arrangements.

The Leader referred to the work of the Commercial Governance Task Group, chaired by former Councillor J.M. Ellacott, that reported its findings to the Executive in March 2019. This report had been prepared to provide the framework for the implementation of the Task Group’s recommendations that had been adopted by the Executive. One of the recommendations had been to establish a new Commercial Ventures Executive Sub-Committee to monitor and take decisions upon the Council’s commercial ventures, in accordance with the Commercial Governance Framework established.

It was noted that the previous Executive sub-committees were proposed to be disbanded and their work absorbed into the new coordinated approach.

The report also recommended associated delegations, to support the approach to investments and commercial ventures. These allowed the Council to respond to unexpected circumstances in a timely manner, and to investigate potential investment opportunities. Decisions taken using these delegations would be reported to the Sub-Committee.

In response to Member questions the Leader confirmed that the delegations had been proposed to respond to prevailing circumstances without delay and that the key principles set out in the Governance Framework would be applied. There would be clear transparency and record keeping of all decisions. It was also confirmed that the delegation levels could be reviewed in the future as required to ensure that they had been set at the right level. With that in mind the Leader indicated the importance of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee in reviewing the performance of the Council’s commercial governance activities including whether the Framework’s key principles were being applied as intended.

The Leader, in response to further questions, confirmed that the delegations taken by the Director would be reported to the next available meeting of the Sub Committee, which was expected to meet on a monthly basis, with additional meetings if required. Such delegations would in all likelihood be made in consultation with the members of the Sub Committee in any event in advance of formal reporting.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS THAT ARE SUBJECT TO FULL COUNCIL APPROVAL

 

RECOMMENDED that:

(i).

a Property and Investment Contingency Fund be established, with a value of £1.0m, funded within the £25m that has been allocated in the approved Capital Programme 2019/2024 for investment in new capital schemes to support delivery of the Corporate Plan, Housing Strategy and Investment Strategy, and that principle (vii) should be added to Article 14.3.3 of the Constitution, with the following wording:

(vii) decisions on the use of resources from the Property and Investment Contingency Fund of a value of more than £500,000 should be regarded as significant, superseding principles (i) and (iii) for such decisions.

(ii).

the Director of Finance and Organisation be authorised to approve the use of resources from the Property and Investment Contingency Fund for commercial investments in cases where  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Appointment to the Board of the Banstead Common Conservators pdf icon PDF 147 KB

To consider nominations to the Banstead Commons Conservators and to appoint representatives to fill positions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mrs N.J. Bramhall, Executive Member for Neighbourhood Services reported on the outcome of the nomination process for the annual appointment of representatives to serve on the Banstead Commons Conservators.

It was noted that there were three vacancies to be determined for three year periods. Two of the vacancies had arisen from the expiry of the term of office and the resignation of former Councillor Curry resulted in the third vacancy.

Dr Peacock (currently the Chair of the Board) had indicated that he would like to be considered for a further term of office.  The Executive noted that Councillor N. Moses had been nominated together with Dr Bellenger.

The details of the non-Councillor nominations were provided to the Executive in the Exempt section of the Executive’s agenda. It was noted that the background information provided in the exempt part of the report could be included in the public section of the report in future as the process for nomination was not in itself exempt.

RESOLVED that the following representatives be appointed to serve on the Banstead Commons Conservators for a three year period to May 2022:

·         Dr J.H. Peacock

·         Dr W.S. Bellenger

·         Councillor Nadean Moses

Reason for decision:

To ensure that positions on the Board of the Banstead Commons Conservators are suitably filled.

Alternative options:

To decide which nominees to appoint or ask officers to seek new nominations.

 

6.

Property Acquisitions

To consider any property acquisitions proposed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was noted that there was one property acquisition proposed, the acquisition of a freehold in Horley as set out below.

6a

Acquisition of Freehold in Horley pdf icon PDF 158 KB

To consider the acquisition of a freehold in Horley.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor M.A. Brunt presented a report that sought authority to acquire a parcel of land near Horley as a strategic investment. It was accompanied with further information set out in the Exempt part of the Executive’s agenda that contained commercially sensitive details for the proposed acquisition.

The Leader emphasised that the opportunity to bid for this land had emerged unexpectedly. As a result the Leader apologised for the late publication of the reports that were presented in an addendum to the Executive’s agenda.  However the Leader assured the Executive that the report provided the latest available information and that he and relevant portfolio holders had been consulted in advance on the proposals.

It was noted that the land acquisition opportunity supported future benefits in the local area and presented a potential investment that could provide a future financial return to the Council and support the delivery of wider services.

As a potential strategic investment, the land acquisition was recognised as one with long term benefits and returns, which was recognised as not without risk, but which were considered to be appropriate in relation to the potential future benefits. The Executive were asked to make a judgement on the balance of the proposals based on further detailed risk considerations that had been provided in the exempt section of the Executive’s agenda.

Clerk’s note – At this point in the meeting agenda item 6a (Acquisition of Freehold in Horley) was adjourned so that the exempt information, agenda item 11a (Exempt Business) could be considered ahead of making a decision.

Clerk’s note – The minutes of the meeting reflect the order of business listed on the published agenda, not the order taken during the meeting.

During the exempt discussion, a number of issues were considered, including:

        Information on the land valuation, land conditions, location, timetable, demand and financial implications for the proposed acquisition;

        Process for evaluating the due diligence information including modelling exercises and surveys being conducted;

        Ongoing negotiations and potential benefits regarding the proposed acquisition; and

        An assessment of the risks, alternatives, return on investment and possible exit arrangements.

On conclusion of agenda item 11a the Executive returned to agenda item 6a and

RESOLVED that subject to a satisfactory due diligence, the Head of Legal and Governance, in consultation with the Head of Finance & Assets, Leader of the Council, and Executive Members with responsibility for Place & Economic Prosperity, Finance, and Investment & Companies, be authorised to:

 

a.    acquire the freehold land in Horley, as referred to in the part 2 section of the Executive’s report, as a strategic investment to support the delivery of the Council’s Corporate Plan objectives, and to finalise the Heads of Terms and associated agreements to support the acquisition, in line with the principles and financial requirements of the report.

 

b.    To fund the acquisition and supporting costs from the funding allocated within the approved Capital Programme for 2019/2024 for investment in capital schemes to support delivery of the Corporate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6a

7.

Statements

To receive any statements from the Leader of the Council, Members of the Executive or the Chief Executive.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None.

8.

Any other urgent business

To consider any item(s) which, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered as a matter of urgency – Local Government Act 1972, Section 100B(4)(b).

 

(Note:  Urgent business must be submitted in writing but may be supplemented by an oral report).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

None.

9.

Exempt business

RECOMMENDED that members of the Press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that:

(i)            it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act; and

(ii)          the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that members of the Press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that:

(i)             it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act; and

(ii)           the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

10.

Appointments to the Board of the Banstead Common Conservators (Exempt)

To consider exempt information in relation to the appointments to the Board of the Banstead Commons Conservators.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the exempt information in relation to the appointment of representatives to be appointed to the Board of the Banstead Commons Conservators be noted.

11.

Property Acquisitions (Exempt)

To consider exempt information in relation to these proposals.

Minutes:

It was noted that there was one property acquisition proposed, the acquisition of a freehold in Horley as set out below.

11a

Acquisition of Freehold in Horley (Exempt)

To consider exempt information in relation to the acquisition of a freehold in Horley.  

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the exempt information in relation to the acquisition of freehold in Horley be noted.