Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Angela Cox, Democratic Services Specialist - 01935 462148  Email: angela.cox@southsomerset.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

125.

Minutes of Previous Meeting

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the District Executive meeting held on 7th February 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the District Executive meeting held on 7th February 2019, copies of which had been circulated, were taken as read and, having been approved as a correct record, were signed by the Chairman.

 

126.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Peter Gubbins, Graham Middleton and Peter Seib.

127.

Declarations of Interest

In accordance with the Council's current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also "prejudicial") in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting.

Members are reminded that they need to declare the fact that they are also a member of a County, Town or Parish Council as a Personal Interest. Where you are also a member of Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council within South Somerset you must declare a prejudicial interest in any business on the agenda where there is a financial benefit or gain or advantage to Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council which would be at the cost or to the financial disadvantage of South Somerset District Council. 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made.

128.

Public Question Time

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public present.

129.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

There were no announcements from the Chairman.

130.

Adoption of the South Somerset Leisure Facility Strategy pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That the District Executive formally adopted the new South Somerset Leisure Facility Strategy 2018 – 2036.

Reason:

To adopt the new South Somerset Leisure Facility Strategy and associated action plan. 

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture advised that consultants KKP, had been appointed in 2018 to work on the new leisure facility needs assessment and strategy as part of updating the Council’s planning policy evidence and to look at future funding priorities.  There had been extensive consultation with clubs and national bodies and at a Members Workshop in January 2019, the priorities had been agreed. 

 

The Specialist – Strategic Planning advised that at the workshop, Councillors had separated the proposals into those which the Council could support, enable or deliver.  She noted that the Scrutiny Committee were concerned that not all sports were listed and they should not be overlooked, but she explained that a range of different sports had been considered in detail within the accompanying Needs Assessment document on the Council website.  The Specialist – Strategic Planning assured members that the Strategy would be monitored through Health and Wellbeing Community of Practice and would be reviewed annually. 

 

During discussion, the following points were made:-

 

·         Footpath connectivity between new developments and village or town centres should be planned into the development.

·         There were no leisure or sports facilities on the new Wyndham Park housing development.

·         A planned cyclepath from Wyndham Park to the centre of Yeovil appeared to have suffered a setback due to loss of external funding.

·         The Strategy would be reviewed annually and Members could prioritise new leisure or sports facilities in the future.

·         Councillors should be the driving force to ensure footpath connectivity was included in new housing developments.  

 

In response to questions from Members, the Specialist – Strategic Planning advised:

 

·         Aspirations for new leisure facility provision, not included within the current strategy could always come forward through the Council Plan process in response to changes within the broader landscape.

·         The Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan for Yeovil (which SCC were  leading on with support from SSDC) could eventually be rolled out to other towns in South Somerset.

 

The Director for Strategy and Support Services clarified that specialist advice and guidance was required on some needs analysis and it was appropriate to buy in that technical advice for a short period rather than employing someone full time.

 

At the conclusion of the debate, Members were content to formally adopted the new South Somerset Leisure Facility Strategy 2018 – 2036.

 

RESOLVED:

That the District Executive formally adopted the new South Somerset Leisure Facility Strategy 2018 – 2036.

Reason:

To adopt the new South Somerset Leisure Facility Strategy and associated action plan. 

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

131.

Equality and Diversity Policy 2019 pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That District Executive:-

 

a.

recommend to Full Council the adoption of a new SSDC Equality and Diversity Policy;

 

b.

noted the introduction of a new suite of Equality Objectives and accompanying action plan;

 

c.

noted the implementation of a single Equality Impact Assessment template.

Reason:

To confirm the new Equality and Diversity Policy and to note the introduction operationally of a new Equalities Impact Assessment template and suite of Equality Objectives.

(Voting: 6 in favour, 0 against, 1 abstention)

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Environment & Economic Developmentadvised that the policy had been produced in collaboration with the Somerset Equality Officer Group and it covered both officers, Councillors and customers.  The Equality Objectives and action plan mentioned at recommendation B were on the website and the equality impact assessment covered all the protected characteristics.  She noted that the Scrutiny Committee had questioned the need for the gypsy and traveller community to be specifically listed but she said this was because they had particular needs.

 

The Specialist – Strategic Planning advised that the policy had been produced in collaboration because of the reduced officer capacity in this area within each Council.  The policy was a pragmatic approach to ensure compliance within the law which would be sustainable in the future.

 

In response to a question, the Portfolio Holder and Specialist – Strategic Planning advised that the policy was to ensure all people were treated the same and it was not intended to single out any particular group.

 

At the conclusion of the debate, the majority of Members were content to recommend that Full Council adopt the new SSDC Equality and Diversity Policy, Equality Objectives and accompanying action plan.

 

RESOLVED:

That District Executive:-

 

a.

recommend to Full Council the adoption of a new SSDC Equality and Diversity Policy;

 

b.

noted the introduction of a new suite of Equality Objectives and accompanying action plan;

 

c.

noted the implementation of a single Equality Impact Assessment template.

Reason:

To confirm the new Equality and Diversity Policy and to note the introduction operationally of a new Equalities Impact Assessment template and suite of Equality Objectives.

(Voting: 6 in favour, 0 against, 1 abstention)

132.

SSDC Local Authority Trading Company pdf icon PDF 272 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That District Executive:-

 

a.

approved the setting-up of a Holding Company & Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) in the manner outlined in this report with delegated authority to the Director for Commercial Services and Income Generation, and S151 Officer in consultation with the relevant Portfolio Holders to proceed with the implementation as proposed within the document, following more detailed due diligence on the legal and financial set up of the company;

 

b.

approvedElleston  - landscape management and horticultural services, to be the first traded service within that LATC structure. This is in accordance with the attached business plan (Appendix 2);

 

c.

recommended that Full Council approve the principle of a working capital loan of up to £132,000 to the Trading Company following the creating of the companies following due diligence as outlined in recommendations (a) and (b) above, and delegate authority to the S151 Officer in consultation with the Portfolio Holder - Finance and Legal to agree final amount and commercial terms. The loan advance to be financed from the Council’s revenue reserves;

 

d.

noted that the delegated authority sits with the relevant Portfolio Holder to make the initial appointments to the Holding Company and Local Authority Trading Company.

Reason:

To approve the principle of this Council setting up a holding company in order to take forward the trading of its services.

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

Minutes:

The Portfolio Holder for Property and Climate Change and Income Generation advised that the report introduced the start of a process to set up a trading company to allow the Council to start commercial trading.

 

The Income Opportunity Development Manager provided Members with a short power point presentation and advised that the first commercial company proposed to be set up would be a land management and horticultural company called Elliston. 

 

The Director (Commercial Services & Income Generation) provided the following clarification following discussion of the report at scrutiny Committee:

 

Why propose a trading company?

The purpose of trading services for a Council is to generate business, leading to additional profits/income; and cost reduction to internal services in some circumstances. The council can only ‘trade’ i.e. work outside of council core business and make a profit if it sets up an arms-length company vehicle to do so.  Which is why this proposal is coming forward, the proposal is the next step in delivering the already approved Commercial Strategy.

 

Why is council approval needed at this stage?

Without approval for the principle of setting up a trading company, as per the proposed structure in the report and the set up loan funds, we cannot commission the detailed tax advice and legal company set up documents; as there is no budget to do so.

 

We seek approval now to proceed further in the setting up of a trading company in order to commission the due diligence and set aside loan funds required to do this, covering early set up costs for trading.  We believe that this is the amount needed, having considered all that we can at this stage.  These next steps and expert advice will answer the detailed operational outstanding questions preparing for implementation to trade as a company.

 

What are the Costs of a Holding Company (as separate to the trading co subsidiary)?

We acknowledge that there is a cost to the creation of the Holding Company which will be in addition to the trading entity itself. Example costs could include e.g. Director remuneration, Co. Secretary remuneration, cost of accountancy and other expert/management services etc.  This is considered to be nominal amount each year and would be recovered by way of a management charge to each of the subsidiary trading companies.  This is built into costs at Appendix 3 for the proposed trading company, Elleston, and contingency sums are allowed for in Year 1 until trading is fully underway.

 

Where is the reference to Governance, Scrutiny and Audit roles?

Appendix 4 refers to Governance, including elements that the external legal adviser has identified.  It is the case that we haven’t yet identified named individuals as client officers, directors, who will be responsible for monitoring, and what the scrutiny and reporting arrangements will be, as this forms a part of the next steps following the provision of more detailed legal documents including a Shareholder Agreement to be commissioned and finalised.

 

However, having discussed the proposed delegation with our Monitoring Officer  ...  view the full minutes text for item 132.

133.

District Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That the District Executive:-

 

1.

approved the updated Executive Forward Plan for publication as attached at Appendix A, with the following amendments;

  • Community Capital Grant Request for Caryford Community Hall Association – April 2019.

 

2.

noted the contents of the Consultation Database as shown at Appendix B.

Reason:

The Forward Plan is a statutory document.

 

Minutes:

The following addition to the Forward Plan was noted:

 

·         Community Capital Grant Request for Caryford Community Hall Association – April 2019.

 

RESOLVED:

That the District Executive:-

 

1.

approved the updated Executive Forward Plan for publication as attached at Appendix A, with the following amendments;

  • Community Capital Grant Request for Caryford Community Hall Association – April 2019.

 

2.

noted the contents of the Consultation Database as shown at Appendix B.

Reason:

The Forward Plan is a statutory document.

 

134.

Date of Next Meeting pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Minutes:

Members noted that the next scheduled meeting of the District Executive would take place on Thursday 4th April 2019 in the Council Chamber, Council Offices, Brympton Way, Yeovil commencing at 9.30 a.m.