Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room B12. View directions
Chairman's Welcome and Introductions
The newly appointed Chairman, Councillor Andy Lloyd, introduced himself to the Committee and advised that as a Dartford resident from birth, he had greatly enjoyed the facilities at both Hesketh and Central Parks during his school days, as a parent and now as a grandparent.
He asked others present to introduce them themselves.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence had been received from Councillors S H Brown, R Lees, D Swinerd and Mrs Elissa Evans (Independent Co-optee).
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 from Councillors or Independent Members of the Committee.
The Council Solicitor confirmed, for the record, that Cabinet Members present were not conflicted over any items on the agenda.
The Chairman asked those Committee Members present at the meeting held on 14 April 2015 to confirm that the Minutes were an accurate record of that discussion.
The Vice-Chairman updated the Committee regarding Minute No. 21. He advised that the action proposed by the previous Chairman to respond to Mr L P Ryan’s letter to the Committee dated 25 March 2015, had not in the event been possible prior to the imposition of purdah in the run-up to the Parish, Borough and General Elections held on 7 May. The post-Election period had been equally busy with the appointment of new Members to the Committee including a new Chairman. However, a draft response had been prepared by the Solicitor to Mr Ryan’s letter of 25 March and a subsequent email of 26 July and would be circulated to all members of the Committee as proposed by the previous Chairman [Min. No. 21] prior to despatch to Mr Ryan.
Thereafter, given the background set out in Min. No. 21 to the current and previous correspondence from Mr Ryan concerning Hesketh Park and Central Park, going forward, Officers would respond to Mr Ryan in the first instance, advising the Chairman as they felt necessary.
1. That a draft response to Mr L P Ryan’s letter of 25 March 2015 and email of 26 July 2015 be submitted to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committee for approval and then be circulated to the other members of the Committee for comment prior to despatch to Mr Ryan;
2. That Officers respond to any future correspondence from members of the public concerning the governance of the Trusts within the remit of the Committee, or concerning actions taken and matters arising from previous decisions made by the Committee;
3. That the Minutes of the Committee’s meeting held on 14 April 2015 be confirmed.
To consider representations received following the public notice given by the Council acting as Charitable Trustee.
The Committee received a report from the Council’s Solicitor asking them to consider the letters of representation received following the public notice given by the Council acting as Charitable Trustee of the proposals to grant a new lease of land at Hesketh Park to Dartford Cricket Club Limited.
The report asked the Committee to note the representations made, confirm whether they wished to proceed with the surrender of the existing lease and the granting of a new lease in Hesketh Park to Dartford Cricket Club Limited as agreed in principle at the April 2015 meeting of the Committee [Min. No. 23] and, if so minded, that the Committee review the existing arrangements for advertising hoardings on the site and whether those arrangements should continue.
The Solicitor advised that the Public Notice [attached at Appendix A to the report] had been duly posted by Officers at various locations around Hesketh Park and monitored by Officers to ensure it remained on display throughout the period allowed for representations. Representations had subsequently been received in response to the Notice and were attached at Appendices B and C to the report. Both responders had been sent copies of the Agenda containing the present report before the Committee.
Regarding the present arrangements for advertising hoardings on the site, agreed in 2012 with the existing tenant; the Council’s surveyor acting for the Council as Charitable Trustee, recommended that new arrangements be agreed with Dartford Cricket Club Limited regarding advertising hoardings and suggested that any future income derived from the hoardings above £2,500 per annum be apportioned between the Club and the Trustee on a 50:50 basis.
In subsequent discussion of Appendix A (Public Notice) in relation to Appendix B (representations received from Mr L P Ryan) the Committee noted the Solicitor’s advice that:
· The Charities Act 2011 did not prescribe the method for the giving of Public Notices;
· The Charity Commission’s guidance on such Public Notices referred to bringing proposals to the attention of beneficiaries of the charity. The posting of site notices was recommended in such guidance, and endorsed by the solicitors acting for the Council as;
· Given that the Council was acting as Charitable Trustee in the matter, posting the Notice on the Council’s website ran the risk of impugning the Committee’s impartiality as Trustee in the public eye;
· Notice of the application for the Club’s premises certificate [Agenda p. 10 paras 5 and 7] had been advertised on the Council’s website as required by the Licensing Act 2003;
· It was proposed that rights be granted to the Club to allow them to position the sponsored cricket scorebox outside the area demised by the lease, but within the Park in the future.
In discussion of Appendix C (representations received from Mr T M Theobald) the Solicitor advised the Committee that:
· The Club should bear the responsibility for litter clearance [point 3] after Club events and that the Council would enforce the requirement via Officers (Park Rangers);
· Mr Theobald [and Mr Ryan] would be contacted ... view the full minutes text for item 5.