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Agenda and minutes

Items
No. Item

9.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

 

The Chairman apologised for the delayed start to the proceedings due to his prior discussions with the Vice-Chairman and the Head of Legal Services.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Mr Peter Draper nominee for re-appointment as Independent Member (voting co-optee) to the Committee.

 

The Chairman welcomed Mr Richard Estcourt, Mrs Elissia Evans and Mr Stephen Maynard to their first DTOC meeting and thanked Mr Martin Hussey and Mr Peter Draper for agreeing to stand for a second four year term as Independents. He noted that both sets of nominations would be ratified by Cabinet on 23 October.

 

The Head of Legal Services confirmed that all four nominees for Independent voting co-optee present that evening had received training prior to the meeting, but were attending in an observer capacity, pending formal confirmation of their appointments by Cabinet on 23 October as the appointing body.

 

10.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members including the terms(s) of the Grant of Dispensation (if any) by the Audit Board or Managing Director.

Minutes:

The Head of Legal Services advised the Committee that should they wish to discuss the financial aspects of the 2013/14 Hesketh Park Annual Report (Agenda Item 10 pages 41-53) Cabinet Members present would be conflicted and obliged to leave the meeting room.

 

The Chairman explained, for the benefit of the new Independent nominees, that whilst the General Assembly of the Council voted as a body on financial matters on an annual basis, the Cabinet were the body responsible for authorising day-to-day financial transactions and in-year virements. Consequently, as Cabinet Members, the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Councillor Mrs Patsy Thurlow would be conflicted, should the Committee wish to discuss the financial recommendations in the Hesketh Park report in detail and make any subsequent proposals.

 

Non-Cabinet Members confirmed that they were happy to take the Hesketh Park report on papers, without detailed discussion of the financial recommendation at 2.3 in the report (agenda page 41).

 

There were no other declarations of interest.

11.

Confirmation of Minutes of the meeting held on 30 July 2014 pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 30 July 2014 be confirmed as accurate.

12.

Urgent Items

The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that there were no urgent items for consideration and that he would report the outcome of the Committee’s selection Panel held on 9 October 2014 under agenda Item 7 [Min No. 14].

 

13.

Conflicts of Interest Policy pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To present to the Committee, the amended Conflicts of Interest Policy for endorsement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report presented to the Committee for endorsement the amended Conflicts of Interest Policy as approved by the Charity Commission at Appendix A.

 

The Head of Legal Services advised Members that the Charity Commission’s positive response to the Council’s proposal that Independents (voting co-optees) on the Committee be allowed to stand for a second term of office reflected a common-sense approach.

 

The Chairman welcomed the Charity Commission’s endorsement of a second term of office for Independents, adding that the Committee would continue to benefit from the experience of the re-appointed Independents, in addition to the further skills sets of the newly nominated Independents joining the Committee.

 

In response to a specific question, the Head of Legal Services confirmed that the appointment of Independents would continue to be advertised in the future, following the current cycle of appointments and if the need arose in the interim.

 

The Vice-Chairman reminded Members that the Committee had had to achieve a balancing act in 2010, following the Charity Tribunal’s decision and determination that a quorum of members, not affected by any conflicts of interest with the Council, be appointed to the Committee as independent voting co-optees (Independents).

 

He noted that the very positive contribution made by independent members over the last 4 years had confirmed the value and importance of their position on the Committee.

 

He further noted that, the very successful selection Panel held by the Committee on 9 October 2014, to recruit new Independents, had identified three high calibre candidates with differing skills sets to benefit the Committee even further going forward. The subsequent recommendation by the Panel to the Committee and Cabinet (as the approving body) to increase the compliment of Independents to five (5), would require a corresponding increase in the number of Councillors on the Committee, to maintain the Independent / Councillor balance.

 

The Vice-Chairman concluded that he was sure Cabinet would wish to approve the proposal to increase the scope, membership and skills profile of the Committee when it met on 23 October.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the Committee acting as Charitable Trustee:

 

1.    Endorses the amendment to paragraph 7.3 of the Conflicts of Interest Policy as follows:

 

‘Unless a [voting] co-optee resigns or becomes disqualified in accordance with Dartford Borough Council’s Standing Orders, the term of office for co-optees appointed to the Deed, Trust and Obligations Committee, will not usually exceed a period of 4 years. Co-optees are eligible for reappointment for a second or subsequent term.’

14.

Appointment of Independent Members to the Deed, Trust and Obligations Committee pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To inform the Committee of the outcome of the interview process for the appointment of new Independent Members and the re-appointment of two of the outgoing Independents.

Minutes:

The Chairman expressed his thanks to the Head of Legal Services and the Committee Co-ordinator for all their hard work during the recruitment process for new Independent (voting co-optee) members to the Committee and for the smooth running of the selection Panel proceedings on 9 October 2014.

 

The Head of Legal Services advised Members of three changes to the published report [Agenda Item 7 page 9] as a consequence of the Panel’s decision on 9 October to select three new independent [voting co-optee] members to the Committee, in addition to recommending the re-appointment of two of the outgoing Independents [report para. 1.1] The Panel decision also required an amended recommendation for ‘five’ Independent members to the Committee rather than ‘four’ [para 2.1].

 

She further advised, in relation to para. 3.5 of the report, that the seven applications for the two remaining posts had, in the event, resulted in only four completed applications being received for submission to the selection Panel for consideration.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the Committee acting as Charitable Trustee:

 

 

1.    Notes the changes to the published report following the Panel’s deliberations of 9 October 2014 as advised by the Head of Legal Services and recorded in the Minutes;

 

2.    Agrees the Panel’s proposal to increase the compliment of Independents on the Committee to five (5) subject to ratification by Cabinet on 23 October 2014 (as the formal appointing body) and subsequent reporting to the next Annual Meeting of the Council;

 

3.    Agrees the proposed appointments of Mr Richard Estcourt, Mrs Elissia Evans and Mr Stephen Maynard as Independents on the Committee  for an initial term of 1 year subject to confirmation at the next Annual Meeting and subsequently on an annual basis up to a period of 4 years;

 

4.      Agrees the proposed re-appointments of Mr Peter Draper and Mr Martin Hussey for a second subsequent term of office as Independents on the Committee for an initial term of 1 year subject to confirmation at the next Annual Meeting and subsequently on an annual basis up to a period of 4 years.

15.

The Kidd Legacy Trustee's Annual Report and Accounts 2013/14. pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To consider the Trustee’s draft Annual Report and Accounts for the Kidd Legacy at Central Park Dartford (registered charity no. 11342579) and to recommend accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report presented the Trustee’s draft Annual Reportand Accounts on the Kidd Legacy land at Central Park Dartford (registered charity number 11342579) for the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 for approval.

 

The Financial Services Manager (FSM) referred Members to the recommendations as set out in paras. 2.1 to 2.4 of the report and the Income and Expenditure Account [Appendix A, agenda page 23].

 

In response to a specific Member question, the FSM explained that rental income for the Charity in 2013/14 had increased significantly in comparison to 2012/13, because Easter had fallen twice in the accounting period under review. This had generated double the normal rental proceeds from the Easter circus held in the Park. He added that this apparent accounting discrepancy could re-occur in future years, depending on the date of Easter.

 

Members noted that the expenditure for insurance had reduced by half. The Vice-Chairman advised that this was in line with the Charities requirements.

 

The Chairman noted the many recreational activities available for the public benefit on Charity land in the Park in furtherance of the Object of the Kidd Legacy including; the green gym fitness facility, the Edwardian-style bandstand and the construction of footpaths linking the charity land to the rest of Central Park.

 

The Head of Legal Services confirmed for the Chairman, that all Independent nominees attending as observers that evening had been made aware of the history of the Kidd Legacy, both during their training and through the contents of the annual report document.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the Committee acting as Charitable Trustee;

 

1.    Approves the draft Annual Report and Accounts for the period 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014 (Appendix A to the report);

 

2.    Authorises the Committee Chairman to sign the Annual Report and Accounts on the Trustee’s behalf with the following amendment:

 

(i)            Appendix A para. 2.8(7) (agenda p 17) amend Voting Co-optees [Independents] from (x4) to (x5);

 

3.    Authorises the Managing Director to file the Annual Update for the financial year 2013/14 with the Charity Commission on the Trustee’s behalf as amended at 2 (i) above.

 

 

16.

Children's Playing Field and Recreation Ground, Savoy Road Trustee's Annual Report, Accounts and Update 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To consider the Trustee’s draft Annual Report and Accounts for the Children’s Playing Field and Recreation Ground Savoy Road and to recommend accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report presented the Trustee’s draft Annual Report and the Annual Accounts Update for the Children’s Playing Field and Recreation Ground, Savoy Road (registered charity number 302723) for the financial year 2013/14 for approval.

 

The Financial Services Manager (FSM) referred Members to the recommendations as set out in paras. 2.1 to 2.4 of the report and the Income and Expenditure reconciliation [Appendix A, agenda page 38].

 

He advised the Committee that the Council (acting in its corporate capacity) would meet the costs of future grounds maintenance works at Savoy Road over the remaining 14 years of the lease until 2028; given the short-fall in the Charity’s funding [as set out in para. 3.9 of the report].

 

The Vice-Chairman advised, in response to subsequent Member concern, that a formal funding request to the Council (in its corporate capacity) from the Committee (acting as Charitable Trustee) was not required. The future funding arrangements for grounds maintenance at Savoy Road would be confirmed through the Council’s Budget Review process [report para 3.9 and Min. No. 15 (Resolution 3) of 15 October 2013 refer].

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the Committee acting as Charitable Trustee:

 

1.    Approves the draft Annual Report and Accounts and Annual Update for 2013/14 (Appendix A to the report);

 

2.    Notes the financial position of the charity as set out in paragraph 3.9 of the report (agenda page 29);

 

3.    Authorises the Committee Chairman to sign the Annual Report and Accounts on the Trustee’s behalf with the following amendment:

 

(i)            Appendix A para 2.9 (7) (agenda p 33) amend Voting Co-optees [Independents] from (x4) to (x5);

 

4.    Authorises the Managing Director to file the Annual Update for 2013/14 with the Charity Commission on behalf of the Trustee’s as amended at 3 (i) above.

 

 

17.

Hesketh Park - Trustee's Annual Report and Accounts and Annual Update 2013/14 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To consider the Trustee’s draft Annual Report and Accounts and Annual Update for the Scheme of Management for the Council’s charitable land holding at Hesketh Park and to recommend accordingly.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This report presented the Trustee’s draft Annual Report and Accounts and the Annual Update for Hesketh Park (registered charity number 4023456) for the financial year 2013/14 (Appendix A to the report) for approval.

 

The Financial Services Manager (FSM) presented the report referring Members to the recommendations set out in paragraphs 2.1 to 2.3 in the covering report (agenda p.41) and invited questions.

 

The Chairman confirmed that all Members had received copies of Mr Ryan’s letter of 11 October 2014 addressed to the Committee as a whole, together with the Council Solicitor’s email response of 14 October addressing the points Mr Ryan had raised in his letter.

 

The Head of Legal Services updated Members on the current lease negotiations with Dartford Cricket Club in relation to the building of the new pavilion facility.

 

She advised that discussions with the Club had been and continued to be amicable with the Club now considering an offer for a lease within the terms of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

 

The Vice-Chairman was pleased to hear that negotiations with the Club were progressing on an amicable basis and that agreement on a new lease appeared imminent.

 

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the Committee acting as Charitable Trustee:

 

1.    Approves the draft Annual Report and Accounts and the Annual Update for Hesketh Park (Appendix A to the report);

 

2.    Notes that all future running and maintenance costs [for the Park] will be paid by the Council acting in its corporate capacity;

 

3.    Authorises the Committee Chairman to sign the Annual Report and Accounts and the Annual Update as published in the agenda document on the Trustee’s behalf with the following two amendments:

 

(i)            Appendix A para. 2.10 (7) (agenda p.47) amend the number of Voting Co-optees [Independents] from (x4) to (x5);

 

(ii)          Appendix A (agenda p.52) Income and Expenditure Account Unrestricted Funds 2012/13 £ column, amend the figure for Grounds Maint. /other running costs to “67,994”.