Agenda and minutes
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillor Mrs S P Butterfill and Independent Co-opted Committee members Mr P Draper, Mr M Gibson and Mr M Hussey.
Mr P Ryan attended the meeting as a member of the public (MoP).
The Chairman advised that the Independent committee members were due to complete their [single] 4 year term of office in September 2014, prior to the next scheduled meeting of DTOC on 14 October.
He wished to record his thanks and those of other Councillors on the Committee for the varied knowledge and contribution Independent members had made to DTOC proceedings since their appointment in September 2010. A recruitment process to identify new candidates to join the Committee as Independent Co-optees would be undertaken in the summer. The Chairman expressed the hope that the process would identify candidates of an equally high calibre to the present appointees.
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.
There were no declarations of interest.
At the request of the Chairman, the Council Solicitor confirmed for the record that Cabinet members present were not conflicted in their consideration of the report and legal advice [Item A]; nor for the consideration and resolution of recommendations 2.1 to 2.4.
However, Cabinet members were conflicted over recommendation 2.5 given the fiscal implications for the Council in its corporate capacity. She advised therefore, that Councillor Martin and Councillor Kite absent themselves from the meeting prior to both the discussion and resolution of recommendation 2.5.
The Solicitor further advised that should the Committee wish to discuss the external legal advice in detail in the Exempt part of the agenda [Item A]; the Committee would have to go into closed session and any members of the press or public present requested to leave the room.
It was separately confirmed for the record that no Member of the Committee sat on the Development Control Board.
The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 10 March 2014 were confirmed as accurate.
The Chairman will announce his decision as to whether there are any urgent items and their position on the agenda.
The Chairman confirmed that there were no urgent items for consideration.
To consider the legal implications associated with the proposals for a new cricket pavilion at Hesketh Park Dartford.
The Solicitor presented the report on the proposals for a new cricket pavilion at Hesketh Park, which followed on from the initial report considered by the Committee on 10 March 2014 [Min. No. 24].
Members were reminded that Hesketh Park Sports Club Limited, who operate Dartford Cricket Club, currently occupied land held by the Council as Trustee under the charitable trusts, as well as land held by the Council in its corporate capacity.
The report set out in detail the proposal to demolish the existing clubhouse building [straddling both corporate and charitable landholdings] and construct a new club house building entirely on the land held corporately by the Council. The majority of the footprint of the existing building would become the site of new cricket nets, which would straddle both the charitable and corporate land holdings. The cricket pitches would remain on the charitable land, but there would no longer be a building on the charitable land that forms part of the Club’s site as at present. In addition, it was proposed that an existing footpath that runs on the charitable land in front of the proposed new building would be extended, so as to provide a patio and hard standing overlooking the cricket pitches.
The Solicitor explained that the current lease to the Club was granted before the Council realised that part of the leased area was held on charitable trust. As a consequence, only one lease had originally been granted to the Club covering both the charitable and corporate land areas. In view of this situation, it had been necessary to take external legal advice as to how the arrangements for a new clubhouse should be documented. This advice was now presented to Members in the exempt part of the agenda [Item A].
She confirmed that any detailed debate of item A would have to take place in camera with members of the press and public excluded, but summarised the legal advice and recommendations as follows:
· It was recommended that a separate lease be granted by the Council in its capacity as Trustee covering only that part of the Club’s site which is held under the charitable trust;
· The Council in its corporate capacity would then simultaneously grant a separate lease covering that part of the Club’s site situated on corporate land;
· The Committee only needed to consider the proposals in terms of the charitable land holdings. Any future lease of the corporate area will be dealt with by Officers;
· If the Committee agrees a lease of the charitable land as proposed, the Council as Trustee will need to comply with certain statutory requirements as set out in the Charities Act 2011 and be satisfied that the proposals are in furtherance of the objects of the trust i.e. the use of the land as a recreation ground for the use of the inhabitants of Dartford.
The Solicitor advised that the statutory requirements and recommendations were detailed in the body of the report. She summarised them as follows:
· The ... view the full minutes text for item 29.