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Agenda and minutes

Items
No. Item

18.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

 

Apologies for absence had been received from Mrs Elissia Evans Independent (voting co-optee) and from Councillor Sue Butterfill.

 

The Chairman welcomed Richard Estcourt, Martin Hussey and Stephen Maynard to their first DTOC meeting in a decision making capacity [voting co-optees] following confirmation of their appointments as Independent members of the Committee by Cabinet on 23 October 2014. He also welcomed Councillors Keith Kelly, Drew Swinerd and Pat Kelly to the Committee, following their nomination by their respective Group Leaders.

 

The Chairman expressed his sadness at the recent passing of Peter Draper on 14 February 2015, following a protracted illness. Peter had served on the Committee since October 2010 as one of four original Independent’s and had been re-elected to office for a further 4 year term in October 2014. He had also held office as a Dartford Borough Councillor [Brent Ward] in the mid–late 1960s and 1970s, in addition to becoming a Kent County Councillor during the 1970s. As an Independent (voting co-optee) Peter Draper had brought his own unique skills set and views to the Committee’s deliberations and had richly fulfilled the role of Independent as envisaged by the Charities Commission. Sadly his final illness had prevented him from taking up his further appointment with the Committee and his contributions to the Committee’s work would be missed. The Chairman asked that all present join him in observing a short period of silence and reflection in memory of Peter.

 

It was noted that all new Committee members (Councillors and Independents) had received the appropriate Charity and specific Conflicts of Interest training from the Council’s Head of Legal Services and Solicitor respectively.

 

 

19.

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 Chairman reminded the Committee, in particular the new Members; of the Guiding Principles it was bound by in its decision making as Charitable Trustee; as set out on the summary page of the Agenda, prior to formally requesting any declarations of interest.

 

No declarations of interest were made and the Council Solicitor confirmed, at the Chairman’s request, that Cabinet Members present were not conflicted over any items on the agenda.

 

20.

Confirmation of Minutes of the meeting held on 14 October 2014 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

Minutes:

                        RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 October 2014 be confirmed as accurate.

21.

Chairman's Update

Minutes:

The Chairman noted the presence of Mr R P Ryan in the public gallery and thanked him for his letter of 25 March 2015 addressed to the Chairman and Members of the Committee, which had been placed before the Committee on a tabled basis that evening.

 

The Chairman noted that many of the points addressed by Mr Ryan in this latest letter had been answered previously by Officers [exchange with Mr Ryan of October 2014] and discussed by the Committee at their meeting on 14 October 2014. It was noted that Mr Ryan had attended that meeting as a member of the public and was therefore aware of the Committee’s discussions on that date. [Copies of the October 2014 exchange with Mr Ryan had been attached to the tabled document]. 

 

The Chairman proposed that Mr Ryan’s current letter [25 March 2015] be dealt with by Officers in the first instance and asked the Solicitor to prepare a draft response for his signature as Chairman. For the future, the Chairman suggested that any further correspondence from Mr Ryan be processed by Officers in the first instance rather than as a tabled document and the outcome subsequently reported to the Committee as necessary. However, he appreciated that his proposal would be a decision for the new Chairman and incoming Committee to make, following the Borough elections on 7 May.

 

Following discussion by the Committee; it was agreed that the draft response being prepared by Officers to Mr Ryan’s letter of 25 March should be seen by all members of the Committee for comment prior to signature by the Chairman; given that the Committee as a whole was acting as Charitable Trustee. The Solicitor noted these final requirements.

 

22.

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.

 

The Chairman thanked Mr Ryan for his attendance in the pubic seating area, prior to formally requesting that he vacate the meeting.

 

23.

Hesketh Park and Dartford Cricket Club - Addendum to Surveyor's Report

Minutes:

The report from the Council’s Solicitor enclosed an addendum and original report from Watson Day Chartered Surveyors [attached as Appendices A and B respectively]. The Committee, acting as Charitable Trustee, was asked to approve the proposals for the surrender and grant of a new lease to the Hesketh Park Sports Club Limited or the Dartford Cricket Club (“the Club”).

 

The Solicitor advised that her report followed on from the verbal update given by the Head of Legal Services to the Committee on 14 October 2014 [Min. No. 17 final 3 paragraphs]. The addendum report dated 30 March 2015 (Appendix A) updated the original report from Julian Scannell of Watson Day Chartered Surveyors of 17 June 2014 (Appendix B) presented to the Committee on 30 July 2014.  The map of Hesketh Park (attached as Appendix C) showed areas of land held by the Council in both its corporate capacity and as Charitable Trustee [edged in green and red respectively]. Only the Charitable land [edged in red] was the subject of the report.

 

The addendum document from Julian Scannell at Appendix A dealt with 2 key changes to his original report [Appendix B] that had arisen during negotiations with the Club and comments from the external solicitor acting independently for the Council as Charitable Trustee.

 

The Committee were advised that the Club were in the process of seeking grant funding from the Council [in its corporate capacity] to meet the rental costs for the first 5 years of the new lease term.  A separate report in support of that grant funding application was due to be considered by Cabinet on 16 April 2015.

 

In conclusion the Solicitor advised the Committee that; if they were satisfied that the heads of terms outlined in the report (and appendices) for the surrender of the existing lease and the granting of the proposed new lease to the Club, were the best that could be reasonably obtained by the charity for its land holding in Hesketh Park; it would be necessary to advertise the proposals publically.

 

The advice of the independent external solicitors [Bates, Wells and Braithwaite LLP] acting for the Council as Charitable Trustee; was that the lease proposals should be brought to the attention of the beneficiaries of the charity [the public of Dartford] by the placing of site notices erected around the perimeter of Hesketh Park. The Council’s Parks Department would be asked to monitor the notices to ensure that they remained in place.

 

The Committee undertook a comprehensive discussion of the report and appendices and noted the points made by Independent (voting co-optees), individual Councillors and the Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively. At the conclusion of that discussion and on a unanimous basis, the Committee acting as Charitable Trustee RESOLVED to:

 

1.    Note the contents of the addendum dated 30 March 2015 to the surveyor’s report of 17 June 2014 from Mr Julian Scannell of Watson Day, issued in compliance with the requirements of Section 119 the Charities Act 2011;

 

2.    Confirm that it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Chairman's Valedictory

Minutes:

In bringing the meeting to a close, the Chairman Councillor Tony Martin expressed his thanks to all Members and Independents who had served on the Committee during his time in office, which he had thoroughly enjoyed. He also thanked Officers for their support and guidance, in particular the Head of Legal Services, the Committee Co-ordinator and the Solicitor.

 

He wished the Committee well in all its future endeavours as Charitable Trustee for the Council, following his decision not to seek re-election as a Borough Councillor on 7 May.

 

The Committee asked that their appreciation of the Chairman’s significant contribution to the aims of the Deed, Trust and Obligations Committee during his term in office be recorded in the Minutes.