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Agenda and minutes

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors M J Davis, Mrs P A Thurlow and Independent Co-opted Committee members Mr P Draper and Mr M Gibson.

 

The Chairman welcomed Independent Members Jeremy Gaskell and Martin Hussey to what (he believed) would be their final scheduled meeting of the Committee, given that their 4 year tenure as Independent Members was due to come to an end in September 2014. He thanked them both for their contributions since their appointment in 2010, and paid tribute to their differing skills sets which had aided the Committee in their deliberations. The Chairman advised that he would also be writing to their fellow Independent Members Peter Draper and Mick Gibson, to thank them for their contributions since 2010.

 

The presence of Mr P Ryan, a member of the public, was noted and acknowledged.

 

The Chairman also advised Members that following approval by the General Assembly of the Council (GAC) on 28 July 2014 members of the public and press could if they so wished, with effect from that date; record, film, photograph or broadcast all Council meetings held in open session. The new measures had been approved by the GAC to comply with the provisions of the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulation 2014, recently agreed by Parliament. Committee proceedings that went into closed session i.e. ‘held in camera’ would not be recorded. Any member of the public attending a Committee in open session or addressing a Committee e.g. the Development Control Board, would not be recorded or have their presence recorded if that was their wish.

2.

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:

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 for any of the agenda items.

3.

Confirmation of Minutes of the meeting held on 24 April 2014 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the previous meeting held on 24 April 2014 were confirmed as accurate.

4.

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 confirmed that there were no urgent items for consideration.

5.

Charity Commission's Revised Guidance on Conflicts of Interest pdf icon PDF 53 KB

To note the ‘Conflicts of Interest: a guide for charity trustees’ document produced by the Charity Commission attached as Appendix A to the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report presented to the Committee for noting, the Charity Commission’s revised guidance on ‘Conflicts of interest: a guide for charity trustees’ as set out in Appendix A to the report.

 

The Solicitor confirmed that the Commission’s revised guidance required no amendments to be made to the Council’s existing Member Code of Conduct and Conflicts of Interests policy.

 

In response to a specific question, the Committee Co-ordinator confirmed for Members that a separate Register of Interests for Independent Members on the Committee was held by Member Services and that the Register could be consulted by members of the public on request.

 

The Vice-Chairman noted the fact that the Council’s current Conflicts of Interests policy required no amendment despite the Charity Commission’s new guidelines and in that respect, could be viewed as a model document for other local authorities to follow.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Committee notes the Charity Commission’s revised guidance on ‘Conflicts of interest: a guide for charity trustees’ attached at Appendix A to the report.

6.

Hesketh Park and Dartford Cricket Club - Appointment of External Advisers pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To recommend the appointment of external advisors to act for the Council as Charitable Trustee.

Minutes:

The report recommended the appointment of external advisers to act for the Council in its capacity as Charitable Trustee in connection with the proposals for a new cricket pavilion at Hesketh Park.

 

The Chairman confirmed for the Committee that the Council, acting in its corporate capacity, had appointed separate surveyors and sought separate legal advice, to consider the proposals to surrender the existing and grant a new lease to Hesketh Park Sports Club Ltd.

 

The Council Solicitor advised Members that Bates, Wells and Braithwaite LLP were a prominent London firm known to the Council and familiar with the proposed work.

 

In response to a specific question from a Member, the Solicitor advised that 3 firms had been approached by the Council to provide a fee estimate; 1 had not responded, 1 had refused the work and only Bates, Wells and Braithwaite had bid for the work.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Committee notes the appointment of Watson Day to provide valuation advice to the Council as Charitable Trustee in connection with the proposals to surrender of the existing lease and granting of a new lease to Hesketh Park Sports Club Ltd.;

 

2.    That the Committee authorises the appointment of Bates, Wells and Braithwaite LLP  to act for the Council as Charitable Trustee to provide legal advice in connection with the proposals for the surrender of the existing lease and granting of a new lease to the Hesketh Park Sports Club Ltd.;

 

3.    That the Committee notes that the costs of both appointments will be met by the Council in its corporate capacity.

7.

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended), the  press and public present be excluded from the remainder of the meeting for the final item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information.

8.

Hesketh Park and Dartford Cricket Club - Surveyor's Report

Minutes:

The Committee were asked to consider the surveyor’s report and appendices, as submitted by Mr Julian Scannell of Watson Day LLP. Mr Scannell was present at the meeting and clarified a number of points of detail in his report for Members.

 

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the Committee:

 

1.    Notes the contents of the report dated 17 June 2014 from Julian Scannell of Watson Day LLP, issued in compliance with the requirements of Section 119 the Charities Act 2011;

 

2.    Confirms that it was satisfied that the heads of terms for the surrender of the existing lease and grant of a new lease to the Hesketh Park Sports Club Limited as outlined in the surveyor’s report were the best that could be reasonably obtained by the charity, subject to further testing of the market;

 

3.    Authorises Watson Day LLP to negotiate and agree the detailed heads of terms for the surrender of the existing lease and grant of a new lease to the Hesketh Park Sports Club Limited within the scope of the outline heads of terms;

 

4.    Authorises the legal advisers appointed by the Council (as Charitable Trustee) to carry out all the legal work necessary to give effect to the agreed heads of terms for the surrender of the existing lease and grant of a new lease to the Hesketh Park Sports Club Limited as outlined in the report;

 

5.    Authorises the issue of a public notice of the proposed lease in compliance with Section 121(2) of the Charities Act 2011; and

 

6.    Notes that any representations received as a result of such public notice will be the subject of a further report to the Committee.