Venue: Astley Room - Castle
Contact: Geoff Durham 742222
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest stated.
To consider the Minutes of a previous meeting.
Resolved: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 September, 2023 be
agreed as a correct record.
The committee had been convened to consider a Call-In made in relation to the decision of Cabinet on 17 October, 2023. Cabinet had resolved:
(i) The interests from developers to secure portions of the
site for residential development be noted and that delegated authority be given to the Deputy Chief Executive, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance, Town Centres and Growth, and Portfolio Holder for One Council, People and Partnerships to finalise a masterplan for the hotel and residential developments and agree terms with developers to enable these developments to progress.
(ii) The outcome of the procurement for a Hotel brand for the site be considered, and agree to the selection of Accor Hotels, with their Ibis Styles brand, for the development of the next stage of business case development, at a cost of £50,000;
(iii) Further update reports on progress of the various elements be received as and when further details have been developed. “
The Chair outlined the procedure that would be followed at the meeting, in accordance with the constitution.
The Call-in was introduced by Councillor Stubbs as lead Call-In member stating that the reason for the Call-In was to discuss and deliberate upon a recent Cabinet decision that had raised concerns amongst residents. The decision in question that had prompted the Call-In was number (i) as written above.
Councillor Stubbs outlined the reasons for the Call-In:
· Lack of Scrutiny. The decision in question was made without sufficient consultation of either Full Council or the Finance, Assets and Performance Scrutiny Committee.
· Lack of transparency. Concerns had been raised about the transparency of the decision making process.
· Significant change in the in-year budget was clearly reportable. For full transparency, Full Council should have been reported to as per the Financial Regulations.
The Call-In aimed to achieve the following outcomes:
· To re-evaluate the decision, taking into account the concerns raised by Councillors and to consider alternative solutions that could serve the
· Enhance transparency, seeking to establish a more transparent and accountable decision making process where the rationale for decisions was clearly communicated to residents.
· That the Council receives a presentation from Capital and Centric outlining their vision for the developments within the town centre.
· Prior to approval, to delegate agreement of terms. That Council receive a paper for approval outlining the financial plans, risks and timeframes of the York Place, Midway, Ryecroft and Castle Car Park Projects.
Councillor Stubbs expanded on the points, stating that there had been a lack of formal reports to scrutiny and Full Council meetings. In addition, reference was made to the blueprint for the Ryecroft redevelopment which, Councillor Stubbs said that nobody had seen.
More information was requested regarding Capital and Centric as it was felt that not enough was known about them. Councillor Stubbs also stated that delivering the Capital Programme for 2023/24 would require prudential borrowing to be undertaken.
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
Any member of the public wishing to submit a question must serve two clear days’ notice, in writing, of any such question to the Borough Council
There were no public questions.
To consider any business which is urgent within the meaning of Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972
There was no urgent business.
DISCLOSURE OF EXEMPT INFORMATION
To resolve that the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the attached report, because it is likely that there will be disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs contained within Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.
There was no requirement for the meeting to go into closed session.
Consideration was given to the confidential appendices, attached to the report.
Resolved: That the confidential appendices be received and noted.