Agenda and minutes

Economic Committee
Tuesday 8th June 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: virtual via Zoom

Contact: Carley Lavender 

Media

Items
No. Item

56.

Welcome

Minutes:

The Chair opened the meeting and welcomed Members of the Committee, the Public and Press, other Members and Officers participating in the first meeting of the Planning Policy Committee under the newly adopted Committee structure.

 

The Chair explained that this meeting was being held in accordance with the  resolution of the  Extraordinary Council held on 12 May 2021 [Minute 551] which continued Section 5 Part 5 of the Constitution (The Virtual Meeting Procedure Rules) and declared the use of Council powers, under Section 111 of the Local Government Act 1972, and the general power of competence under Section 1 of the Localism Act 2011, for making advisory decisions, as appropriate.

57.

Declarations of Interest

Members and Officers are invited to make any declaration of pecuniary, personal and/or prejudicial interests that they may have in relation to items on this agenda, and are reminded that they should re-declare their interest before consideration of the items or as soon as the interest becomes apparent.

 

Members and Officers should make their declaration by stating:

 

a)             the item they have the interest in

b)             whether it is a pecuniary/personal interest and/or prejudicial interest

c)             the nature of the interest

 

Minutes:

Councillor Dendle declared a personal interest in item 7 [Covid Discretionary Business Grant Funding] as two of his businesses had received business grants.

 

Councillor Dixon declared a personal interest in item 8 [Bognor Regis Seafront: Review of Seafront Delivery Plan and Deliverable Interventions and Actions] due to a role he undertook prior to being an elected councillor with Bognor Regis Civic Society where he engaged with members of the public on the topic. He then stated that he would have an open mind and would listen and consider all the relevant issues and interests presented to the Committee today and confirmed that he would reach his decision on merit. Regarding agenda item 9 [Levelling Up Fund BID Submission] he also declared a personal interest in this item as he made a submission that was considered by the Levelling Up Working Party.

 

58.

Public Question Time pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To receive questions from the public (for a period of up to 15 minutes)

 

Minutes:

The Chair invited questions from members of the public who had submitted their questions in advance of the meeting in accordance with the rules of the Council’s Constitution and the Virtual Meeting Procedure Rules amended by the Council on 15 July 2020.

 

The Chair confirmed that seven questions had been submitted by two members of the public and that only one member of the public was in attendance to read out their questions, the other questions submitted would be read out by the Committee Manager and responded to by the Chair.

 

There was one supplementary question asked The Chair confirmed that the points raised by the member of the public had been noted and drew public question time to a close.

 

(A schedule of the full questions asked and the responses provided can be found on the meeting’s webpage at: (Public Pack)Economic Committee - Public Question Time - 8 June 2021 Agenda Supplement for Economic Committee, 08/06/2021 18:00 (arun.gov.uk))

 

59.

Start Times

The Committee is requested to agree its start times its meetings for the remainder of 2021/22.

Minutes:

It was proposed and seconded that the remaining Economic Committee meetings for 2021/22 continue to start at 6pm

 

The Committee

 

                     RESOLVED

 

that the start times for the remainder of the municipal year 2021/22 be 6pm.

 

60.

Terms of Reference for Economic Committee pdf icon PDF 234 KB

This report asks Economic Committee to note its terms of reference as given by Full Council  to make any suggestions to Constitution Working Party for clarifying these terms of reference and to make delegations to Officers under matters reserved.

Minutes:

The Interim Monitoring Officer  provided members with an overview of his report advising the Committee that they were being asked to make any suggestions to the Constitution Working Party in relation to any changes they wanted to be considered and to agree its reserved matters.

         

In turning to the debate members raised a number of points of which these were centred around Appendix 2, Reserved Matters, point 3 – Leasing etc, some comments made were that some members would like to review all leases with a view to look into new ways for the Council to make money.

          Clarity was sought regarding regeneration and the General Fund as it had been interpreted by some members that these topics would be dealt with by Full Council only. It was confirmed that the latest version of the constitution that was available on the Council’s website had been agreed by Full Council at its part two meeting on 24 March 2021, further to that as the constitution was a living document, changes had also been made since the Annual Meeting of the Council on 19 May 2021. The Interim Monitoring Officer confirmed that Full Council had delegated its regeneration matters to the Economic Committee, however, he also stated that the Economic Committee could make recommendations to Full Council should the Committee feel that the regeneration is of such major regeneration for consultation purposes.

Returning back to Appendix 2, Reserved Matters, point 2 – Acquisitions and disposal, one member sought clarity regarding the figure of £250,001, he asked for confirmation that anything that came under this threshold would not come to Committee should the terms of reference be agreed, he then stated that he thought the Bognor and Littlehampton Regeneration Sub-Committees should be reformed as he felt that having these would reduce the workload of the Economic Committee and allow for agenda’s to be slimmed down, finally he asked for members question time to be considered to be the added to the Committee’s agenda. It was confirmed that the members interpretation of the reserved matters was correct, only acquisitions and disposals over £250,000 would be brought to Committee.  It was also confirmed that there was already a proposal going to the Constitution Working Party meeting to be held on 28 June 2021 regarding Member Questions being added to Committee agenda’s and should this Committee wish to align itself with that proposal then it could. It was further explained by the Director of Place that the figure of £250,000 was an average house price within the district and therefore a relatively low amount. He also advised that there were approximately 150 leases and licenses, that were spread out over a number of years and given that the Committee had a limited number of meetings he would advise members to focus on the importance of their role which was to look at the strategic matters. The Chair suggested to the Committee that it did align itself with the proposal being sent to the Constitution Working Party,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.

61.

Covid Discretionary Business Grant Funding pdf icon PDF 142 KB

The report provides a background to Discretionary Grant Funding and proposes spending on projects to provide wider business support.

 

The Committee is asked to agree the spending from the Discretionary Business Grant fund as set out in the report.

 

 

Minutes:

(Councillors Dendle and Cooper both declared personal interests in this item as they have both had businesses that had received mandatory business grant funding. Councillor Dendle also declared an additional personal interest during the debate as he was a shareholder for ‘FlexiApp’ one of the companies who had put a bid forward for an additional grant.)

 

          The Business Development Manager provided members with an overview of her report and explained that funding from the first allocation needed to be spent by the end of June 2021 in order that further funds would be received.   She explained that Arun would not be able to do this and that it effectively meant that the Council have approximately £600,000 available for various grants to provide wider business support, as suggested by government.

These included ’Get online and upgrade’, a new business start-up support fund, Leap Grants, which had been run for a number of years and were very popular and a Green Grant Fund. Finally, an online training project for retailers, that could be enhanced so it was specific to Arun retailers. In summing up she explained that there would be a small amount of money left over for other opportunities and that the projects set out within the report would sit within the suggested budget and would be on a first come first served basis, she then confirmed that the monies needed to be spent by end of March 2022 and therefore application would need to close at the end of February 2022..

 

          The Chair extended his personal thanks to the Business Development Manager and her team for all their hard workover the last year. In turning to the debate members were keen to understand if Arun had been in contact with the Bognor Regis BID in relation to retail support as it was felt that their input would be key for Bognor Regis.

 

The Leader of the Council explained that upon reading the report he was delighted to see the level of support that had been provided. He explained that early on in the last year there had been some frustration initially on the speed at which were able to provide support to businesses in the district. He stated that he would urge members to talk about these grants to make sure people are aware of these grants so all who need to can take advantage of this fund. The recommendation was then proposed and seconded.

 

The Committee

 

    RESOLVED that

 

1.    the spending from the Discretionary Business Grant fund as set out in the report be agreed.

 

62.

Bognor Regis Seafront : Review of Seafront Delivery Plan and Deliverable Interventions and Actions pdf icon PDF 254 KB

The Report provides a progress update on proposed projects in respect of the regeneration of Bognor Regis seafront.

 

Minutes:

The Group Head of Economy provided members with a detailed overview of her report, stating that the report had been requested by the Covid Recovery Working Party November 2020. She explained that the report provided members with an update on the regeneration strategy and plans in respect of Bognor Regis Seafront, what had been delivered to date in line with those plans and a list of future deliverable interventions and projects. In summing up she explained that members were now being asked to confirm if there were any projects listed that they did not want to be included as part of the priority list that would be being presented to the Committee at its meeting on 26 July 2021.

 

          In turning to the debate Committee members raised a number of points that have been summarised below;

 

§  Beach Huts it was felt that the Council was missing an opportunity by not considering building and selling as many as possible, there was also a suggestion from one member whereby the Council could divert up to 10 Beach Huts for an online auction with a reserve of £20,000 set, it was suggested that this could generate further funds that would enhance and help the overall offering to Bognor Regis.

§  Concern was raised that the report was recycling old ideas and consideration should be given to new ideas as well as being inclusive of the Pier

§  Concerns raised regarding the new Café that was being proposed within the report, given that there were already two distinct operators for the area already.

§  Support for having a series of places to eat on the seafront not just suited for families but to target the adult market was also voiced along with considering a road closure to allow for a large square to be created for pop up bars and restaurants right along the seafront.

 

The Committee then allowed for some non-Committee members to speak; the points raised have been summarised below;

 

§  Concern was raised over the design style that had been documented as following the same style as the new toilets on the seafront and this being something that did not suit everyone’s taste 

§  Concern was echoed by non-Committee members regarding the new Café near the bandstand as it was felt that improvements could be made to those already in place

 

After hearing non-Committee Members, the Chair returned to two of the Committee Members who wanted to query section 1.3.9 in the report specifically regarding the ownership of the Gloucester Road Car Park. It was confirmed that the report was correct, and the Car Park was under duel ownership by the Council and Butlins. The other member wishing to speak was Councillor Stanley who proposed the following amendment;

 

We move future projects with the expectation of the Bandstand Café and the new Café and that these be brought back to the Committee at a later date

 

The Chair sought guidance from the Group Head of Economy who provided clarification on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Levelling Up Fund BID Submission pdf icon PDF 149 KB

This report seeks the Committee’s endorsement to the core elements of the Council’s submission to the Levelling Up Fund.

 

Minutes:

The Director of Place provided members with a presentation which updated Members on how work had progressed with the two outline projects. It would be for Members to confirm, having received this update, that they confirm they endorse the submission of the bid for funding from the Levelling Up Fund to support projects in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton. 

 

          A brief summary of the presentation is below;

 

§  There were a number of parameters that were required to be met in order to submit a bid to the Levelling Up Fund, some of these were a maximum of three projects per bid, if bid was unsuccessful the Council could re-bid in the next round, work for this bid is required to start in 2021/22 and any successful bid must be concluded by 2024/25, support from local MP was encouraged, the Council would need to provide 10% of funding and the bid must be submitted by the deadline of 18 June 2021.

§  The Council would be submitting two bid projects, Littlehampton Seafront & Public Realm based on refresh of the original report completed by LDA Consulting in 2017. There had been public consultation completed on the original proposal. The second bid for Bognor Regis Theatre, the proposals had been developed alongside the Place St Maur designs.

§  The key strategy for Littlehampton had been to improve the link between the seafront and the town. The rest of the proposal is focused on the greensward down on the seafront, particularly around the concessions building and Banjo Road. Removal of the toilet block to provide a better public realm link with the Harbour Park, provide new toilets with an external shower block providing a better arrival view to those visitors coming to the seafront. Banjo Road area focused on providing a sheltered place to sit down and have something to eat. There is consideration within the bid to add some lighting along with a form of light installation to Oyster Pond, as this would provide additional reasons to keep people and visitors in the area longer.

§  The Bognor Regis Theatre improvements had been split in to two phases, phase two is a project for the future and not part of this bid. Phase one is to build a wraparound area of the existing Theatre comprising of new front of house facilities with increased seating and other internal improvements. There would also be the inclusion of 4 new studio areas and exhibition space.     

 

The Chair reminded members that their role tonight was to decide if the Council should proceed with the bid, discussion should not focus on making changes or adding in additional aspects. The bid was as it had been presented to the Committee.

 

In turning to the debate, the Chair of the Levelling Working Party was invited to speak first, he offered his thanks to those Officers and Members who had been involved in all aspects of the work completed to get the Council to the stage of the presentation that had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.

64.

Closure of Trisanto Development Corporation Limited pdf icon PDF 133 KB

This report follows the Cabinet Report of 29 July 2019 which recommended to Full Council that the Council’s Local Property Company (LPC) - Trisanto Development Corporation Limited be closed as it was considered that it was no longer needed having regard to the removal of the borrowing cap on the Housing Revenue Account.  However, at Full Council this recommendation was withdrawn in order to give further time to assess the need for the LPC.  This report re-evaluates the situation and recommends that the Trisanto Development Corporation be formally closed, and appropriate actions taken to give effect to this decision.

Minutes:

(The Director of Place declared a personal interest in this item as the Director of Trisanto Development Corporation Limited)

 

The Leader of the Council explained that he was aware of concerns regarding this item and had an alternative proposal which was that the business case for Trisanto Development Corporation Limited be brought back to this Committee at a later date and the Directorship be brought back to this Committee at a later date for the Committee’s review, he felt that the closure of this company was potentially a bad idea for the Council

 

The Director of Place explained to the Committee that he only no longer wanted to be a director should this company continue as a paper entity only. If the Committee were keen to do something proactive with the Company, he would be happy to remain as one of the directors.

 

In turning to the debate, a proposal to amend the recommendations to include a time limit for actions was suggested early on and seconded, but later withdrawn. The Leader of the Council stated that if the company was closed the argument could be made that the Council didn’t want this as an option. He referenced Wokingham Homes who had taken the same approach and stated that their company was now generating a very good return.

 

The Director of Place stated that a report would be brought back to the Committee for their review at the earliest opportunity. The recommendations were then proposed and seconded.

 

          The Committee

 

                     RESOLVED that

 

1.    that the business case for Trisanto be updated and brought back to this committee, and;

2.    that the risk register be updated and brought back to this committee

 

65.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 99 KB

The Committee is requested to note its Work Programme for 2021/22.

Minutes:

The Director of Place provided members with an overview of the Committee Work Programme and confirmed that this was a living and evolving document.

 

There was a short discussion on suggestions for future items for the Committee and Officers to consider to be sent through to the Chair and the Committees team for further discussion. It was also confirmed that the list of the Outside bodies had been distributed to members as a supplementary pack for the Annual Council meeting on 19 May 2021.

 

              The Committee noted the Work Programme 

 

66.

Exempt Information

The Committee is asked to consider passing the following resolution: -

 

          That under Section 100a (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and accredited representatives of newspapers be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act by virtue of the paragraph specified against the item.

 

Minutes:

The Committee

 

                     RESOLVED that

 

under Section 100a (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and accredited representatives of newspapers 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 Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act by virtue of the paragraph specified against the item.

 

67.

Part B - Award of Contract for Office Guarding and Security Services

Following a procurement exercise, Committee’s approval is sought to proceed with entering into a five year contract for the continuation of office guarding and security services across the general fund portfolio. The service costs received can be accommodated within the accommodation services budget.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Estates Surveyor presented his report to the Committee explaining that following a procurement exercise, the Committee’s approval was sought to proceed with entering into a five-year contract for the continuation of office guarding and security services across the general fund portfolio. He also confirmed that the service costs received could be accommodated within the accommodation services budget. The recommendation was then proposed and seconded.

             

    The Committee

 

              RESOLVED that

 

1.    the five-year contract from 01 July 2021 for the tendered works be awarded to Tenderer B.

 

68.

Part B - Award of Contract for Resurfacing & Repairs to Council Owned Car Parks

Following a procurement exercise, Committee’s approval is sought to proceed with entering into a contract to undertake resurfacing, repairs and ancillary works to several Council owned car parks and an access road.  The repairs have been identified within the Council’s five year planned maintenance programme. The project costs received can be accommodated within the capital asset management budget.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Group Head of Technical Services presented his report to the Committee explaining that following a procurement exercise the Committee’s approval was sought to proceed with entering into a contract to undertake resurfacing, repairs and ancillary works to several Council owned car parks and an access road. The repairs had been identified within the Councils five-year planned maintenance programme. He also confirmed that the project costs received could be accommodated within the capital asset management budget. The recommendation was then proposed and seconded.

                            

    The Committee

 

              RESOLVED that

 

1.    the JCT Minor Works Building Contract (MW) 2016 for the tendered works be awarded to Tenderer A.

 

69.

CEO Advisory Decision Notice - Economic Committee - 8 June 2021 pdf icon PDF 240 KB