Agenda item



The Chair confirmed that there was one urgent item for the Committee to consider relating to the Swimming Pool Support Fund Phase 2 Grant. This urgent report had been uploaded to the Committee’s web page earlier in the afternoon and had been emailed to Councillors.


The Chair confirmed that the special circumstances for non-compliance with Access to Information Procedure Rules as set out in Part 6, Section 1, Paragraph 5.1 of the Constitution and Section 100B (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (items not to be considered unless open to inspection at least 5 days before the meeting) were that there were no confirmed meetings of the Policy & Finance Committee until July 2024 and bringing this report to members at that time would delay approval for the capital grant amount being added to the capital programme for the financial year 2024/2025. It was outlined that this could lead to increased risk of failure for the projects being completed due to the deadlines for delivery within the grant agreement.  This was the primary reason for the item to be considered tonight as urgent business and as there was the need for this Committee to make a recommendation to Full Council on 13 March 2024.



The Wellbeing Business Manager was then invited to present the report. He explained its urgency which was to ensure that the Council had the maximum timeframe to deliver these externally funded projects. Notification from Sport England of the successful application of the capital grant had been delayed from December 2023 to January 2024 due to the high amount of applications that had been submitted. The Council had done well to have been successful in being awarded this grant as it had been confirmed that 726 applications had been submitted. The recommendation in the report had been based on the requirement to add the grant amount of £135,470 to the Council’s capital programme as it was necessary to claim the grant amount retrospectively by March 2025 following delivery of the project by the swimming pool operators. It was again explained that delaying the presentation of this report to the first cycle of meetings in the new Municipal Year would cause damaging delays for Freedom Leisure and the Arundel Lido in respect of their timeframes for procuring contractors and completing the works. Delays would also impact energy savings to both operators.


Context around the funding application was provided. Officers had been required to lead the application process and had worked with the representatives of Freedom Leisure and the Arundel Lido to complete the applications. There was a successful application for funding from the National Lottery in the sum of £90,400 for the Arundel Lido for Photo Voltaic [PV] Panels and a new main pool cover. Funding from the Exchequer in the sum of £45,070 for Littlehampton Wave for PV panels to be installed on the swimming pool roof. The Housing & Wellbeing Committee had been made aware of the applications at its meeting held on 25 January 2024 in receiving its update report from Freedom Leisure. Members were advised that a separate report would be submitted to the next meeting of the Committee on 26 March 2024 requesting approval to draw down the grant funding received and to approve distribution to both the Arundel Lido and Freedom leisure; and enter into funding agreements.


Before inviting debate, Councillor Oppler formally proposed the recommendation which was seconded by Councillor Nash.


          Following short debate,


          The Committee


                     RECOMMEND TO FULL COUNCIL – That


(1)  The mount of £135,470 from the Swimming Pool Support Fund is added to the Council’s capital programme for 2024.25; and


(2)  The contents of the report and process of achieving grant funding be noted.


Supporting documents: