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Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Kennet Room, County Hall, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JN

Contact: Stuart Figini  Email: stuart.figini@wiltshire.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr Laura Mayes and Cllr Pauline Church.

 

 

2.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

To confirm and sign the minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 10 December 2019, previously circulated.

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 10 December 2019 were presented.

 

Resolved:

 

To approve as a correct record and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 10 December 2019.

 

 

3.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of disclosable interests or dispensations granted by the Standards Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were received:

 

1.    Cllr Richard Clewer, Cllr Bridget Wayman and Cllr Ian Thorn, declared interests in relation to agenda items 11 and 15 – Stone Circle Company Business Plans – as they are Directors of the Company. All the Councillors left the meeting during the item’s consideration.

2.    Alistair Cunningham, Executive Director, declared interests in relation to agenda items 11 and 15 – Stone Circle Company Business Plans – as he is a Director of the Company. He left the meeting during the item’s consideration.

3.    Dr Carlton Brand, Executive Director, declared an interest in relation to agenda item 9 – Provision of Loan Facility for Wiltshire College – as he is a Governor of the College. He left the meeting during the item’s consideration.

 

 

4.

Leader's announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader informed the Cabinet that following a series of surveys and investigations, the swimming pool section of Clarendon Leisure Centre, Trowbridge, had been closed from 23 December 2019. The building was closed due to concerns over its structural integrity and would not be reopened until these issues had been addressed. Some minor works were being undertaken in the next couple of weeks to allow the sports hall element of the Centre to reopen.

 

Funding is being allocated to complete significant remedial structural works on the main pool side structure, and this would be completed for the summer.

 

 

5.

Public participation and Questions from Councillors

The Council welcomes contributions from members of the public. This meeting is open to the public, who may ask a question or make a statement. Questions may also be asked by members of the Council.  Written notice of questions or statements should be given to Stuart Figini of Democratic Services stuart.figini@wiltshire.gov.uk/  01225 718221 by 12.00 noon on 2 January 2020. Anyone wishing to ask a question or make a statement should contact the officer named above.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

1.    Stephen Eades read out a statement, copy attached as an appendix to these minutes, about the planning application to build an ATT gasification Incinerator at Westbury.

 

Cllr Sturgis, as Cabinet member for Spatial Planning, Development Management and Investment provided a verbal response at the meeting, a copy of which is attached as an appendix to these minutes. 

 

The Leader thanked Mr Eades for his question and explained that a            written response would be sent to him in due course.

 

2.    Adrian Temple Brown read out a statement and asked a question, copy attached as an appendix to these minutes, about the climate emergency and the rise in average temperatures.

 

The Leader thanked Mr Temple Brown for his question and explained that a          written response would be sent to him in due course.

 

 

6.

Strategic Depot Implementation Plan

*                 Report by Executive Director Alistair Cunningham OBE.

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for IT, Digitalisation and Operational Assets introduced the report which set out the strategic direction for the depot review, which included an update on the first phase of that review, detail of the projected service need and objectives for Phase 2.

 

Cllr Blair-Pilling referred to the objectives detailed in the report for Phase 2 and emphasised that works to be undertaken at the depots would result in a reduction of the Council’s carbon footprint. He indicated that the scope of the review would be enhanced with the inclusion of a review of Household Recycling Centres in specific locations.

 

Colin Gale asked for further information about the proposed review of Household Recycling Centres as indicated in the report.  The Leader confirmed that a future Depot Strategy would contain the detail requested and this would be available in 6 to 12 months.

 

In response to questions from Cllr Ian Thorn about the potential income from the sites and the scrutiny process, Cllr Blair-Pilling reported that the income from sites was still to be determined.  The Leader explained that the detail contained in the report referred to maintenance works being undertaken at a number of depots to comply with Environment Agency licences, whilst a Depot Strategy was being prepared. Cllr Bob Jones MBE confirmed that the Environment Select Committee would have involvement in the preparation of the Strategy prior to its consideration at a future Cabinet meeting.

 

In response to questions from Cllr Jon Hubbard about, proposals for the number of depots, vehicle movements and potential increases in carbon footprint, Cllr Blair-Pilling explained that the proposals for Phase 1 would result in a decrease in the number of operational depots from 12 to 10. Vehicle movements would be kept to a minimum as the depots are located throughout the county to enable efficient delivery of services, reasonable response times and minimised distances travelled to deliver services.

 

The Leader requested that any proposals to close a Salt Store, for example Semington, that the salt stock is finished before the Store is closed rather than the salt stock being transferred to another Store.    

 

Resolved:

1.    To note the progress on phase one of the depot review.

 

2.    To note the service demands and agree these should form the basis of the future solution for the depot portfolio.

 

3.    To agree that the objectives of the Phased approach.

 

4.    To agreethe overall strategic approach of identifying sites in the north and south of the County, as part of Phase 2.

 

5.    To agreed that the household recycling centres should be included in the rationalisation review, allowing for options to be considered in a wider context.

 

6.    To agreed that the waste transfer station solutions should be considered, as part of Phase 2.

 

7.    To agree to an additional budget allocation of £3.500m for new projects.

 

Reason for decision:

 

To establish the implementation of the strategic depot review so as to facilitate the optimum use of Council assets whilst  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Porton Science Park - Phase Two

*                 Report by Executive Director Alistair Cunningham OBE.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development introduced a report seeking Cabinet’s endorsement of funding for a second phase of development at Porton Science Park, to help achieve the long-term vision for growing high value activity in the defence and health/life sciences sectors at this centre of excellence.

 

The Leader explained that the first phase of the Porton Science Park became operational in January 2018 and was now at 90% capacity. The Park was proving to be very successful, although it was essentially a workspace focussed facility with no readily available business support on offer, and lacked meeting, conferencing and collaborative space. Phase 2 would deliver a research and innovation facility linked to the Porton Campus, providing the much-needed facilities and would be partially financed by a European Regional Development Funding grant.

 

Cllr Ian Thorn, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, who welcomed the proposals. In response to questions from Cllr Thorn about the yield, profitability and risks of Phase 2 and whether there was an opportunity to scrutinise the proposals, the Leader and Executive Director explained that Phase 1 generated a return on investment, risks had been mitigated by the use of EU funding and there were plans to recruit a Director to manage the facility. It is expected that Scrutiny would have involvement at the appropriate time.

 

In response to a question from Cllr Mike Hewitt about the widest use of conferencing facilities, in addition to those ‘on-site’, the Leader confirmed that this was the case.

 

Resolved: To endorse:

 

1.    the funding of £2,500,000.00 capital to enable the draw-down of match European funding for the costs of building a 20,000 sq ft (1858 sqm) Innovation centre at Porton Science Park, and to provide specialist business support, training and development on-site.

 

2.    an additional £2,500,000.00 capital to fund an additional 1858 sqm, enabling a larger 3716 sqm building to be constructed, which will provide grow-on space, additional employment from the scheme and enable an economy of scale. As with the first phase building at Porton, the additional space will be built as a shell, with a reduced price per sqm charged to reflect the fit-out costs the tenant will bear.

 

Reason for decision:

 

1.    To progress delivery of Porton Science Park, in partnership with Dstl and PHE.

 

2.    To ensure that businesses at Porton Science Park do not need to travel out of the SWLEP area for innovation support because this project will provide free access to this in situ.

 

3.    To offer flexible space for meetings and a collaborative laboratory space supported by existing ultrafast broadband provision, as well as creative and recreational space to support networking.

 

4.    To build on existing innovation assets at Porton Science Campus (including the specialist technology which may be made available at Dstl and PHE) and directly develop opportunities for exchange between small and medium sized enterprises and larger research bodies in the area.

 

5.    To establish links to higher education institutions, researchers and academics  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Wiltshire Council Adoption Service: 2019/20 Q1-2, 6 Month Report

Report by Executive Director Terence Herbert.

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Peter Hutton, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Safeguarding, presented a report which provided an interim six-month report about the performance of the Adoption Service of Wiltshire Council.

 

Cllr Hutton explained that it was a statutory requirement that the Adoption Service provided regular assurance reports to the Council. This is achieved through annual year-end report, supported by a brief six-month update relating to quarters 1 and 2. The report detailed the following two main areas of focus, as there was a need for continual improvement regarding the Adoption Service:

 

·         The need for timeliness of the assessment of adopters and their match with a child to be adopted; and

·         The need for timeliness of the adoption of children with complex needs.

 

The report recognised the Government’s commitment to improving adoption services in terms of numbers of children being adopted and the timeliness of matches for children requiring adoptive placements, the development of the Adoption Service, within the broader context of the development and implementation of Adoption West. 

 

Cllr Hutton referred to the annual comparative performance figures and how they are measured using the Adoption Scorecard, which for Wiltshire Council showed overall continued improvement.

 

Cllr John Hubbard, Chair of the Children’s Select Committee, welcomed the report and informed the Cabinet that Adoption West, the regional response to developing collaborative arrangements to improve performance by 6 local authorities, would now be the subject of a new scrutiny regime between the 6 partners.  Cllr Hubbard explained that he was currently the interim Chair of the Interim Scrutiny Committee and that Wiltshire Council would be allocated 2 places on the Committee.

 

Resolved:    That the Adoption Service 2018 Q1-2 6 month report be noted and adopted.

 

Reason for Decision:

 

Wiltshire Council is an Adoption Agency registered with Ofsted. The 2014

Adoption Minimum Standards (25.6) and 2013 Statutory Guidance (3.93 and

5.39) describe the information that is required to be regularly reported to the

executive side of the local authority to provide assurance that the adoption

agency is complying with the conditions of registration whilst being effective

and achieving good outcomes for children and service users.

 

 

9.

Provision of Loan Facility for Wiltshire College

*                 Report by Executive Director Alistair Cunningham OBE.

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Simon Jacobs, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement, presented a report seeking a loan facility to Wiltshire college to enable them to complete their campus redevelopment.

 

Cllr Jacobs reported that Wiltshire College had asked the Council to consider offering a further loan facility to cover the refinancing of their current loan and to make up the shortfall on their first loan of £65,000. The first loan was agreed by Cabinet in July 2019 and would enable the College to redevelop their Salisbury and Lackham College campus. 

 

In response to a questions from Cllr Ian Thorn, Chairman of the Financial Planning Task Group, about the value of assets offered as security against the loan and the interest rate of the loan, the Leader, Cllr Jacobs and Director of Housing and Commercial Development confirmed that the value of assets offered as security would cover any default in repayments of the loan, and in the unlikely event of any default, the assets would not impact on the education offered. The interest rate offered reflected the current competitive market rate for the refinancing of the loan.

 

The Leader confirmed that the Financial Planning Task Group would have the opportunity to review all the relevant information in connection with the loan.

 

Cllr Jon Hubbard, Chair of the Children’s Select Committee, suggested that Wiltshire College should be encouraged to consider the provision of education in locations around the county that they did not currently provide an education offer at. Cllr Jacobs confirmed that this was a direction of travel that the Council would wish to consider.

 

The Leader indicated that the partnership work is ongoing but would not form part of the discussions in relation to the loan arrangements.

 

Resolved:

 

1.    To agree to provide a loan facility of up to £6.312 million to Wiltshire college subject to obtaining required security for the loan and proof of cash flow to repay the loan.

 

2.    Subject to agreeing to provide the loan facility agree to include a capital allocation of £6.312m in the 2020/21 capital programme

 

3.    To delegate the detail of the security required and the commensurate interest to be charged on the loan to the Director of Finance and Procurement in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance, Procurement, Transformation and Operational Assets. 

 

4.    To delegate to the Director of housing and commercial development the authority to secure the charge on the security offered by Wiltshire college for the loan.

 

5.    To delegate to the Director of Housing and commercial development in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and procurement authority to negotiate an option on Wiltshire College land in return for the loan facility.

 

Reason for Decision:

 

The proposals will provide a loan facility to enable Wilshire college to refinance their current loan portfolio. In turn this will enable the Wiltshire College to offer courses to the benefit of young people in Wiltshire as well as enable the Council to generate a return on the loan commensurate with the risk that is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Acquisition of Land at Horton Road Devizes

*           Report by Executive Director Alistair Cunningham OBE

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development presented a report which detailed a proposal to acquire land at Horton Road, Devizes and sell individual parcels to interested companies to construct employment facilities.

 

The Leader explained that it was proposed that the Council acquires the whole site, together with the adjoining skid pan owned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Any remaining land could be developed for employment purposes by the Council as an investment.

 

The Leader also explained that the recommendations no longer required approval by Full Council as the Cabinet had authority to make a final decision about the purchase of the land.

 

Resolved:   

 

1.    That the Council acquires, subject to the grant of planning permission for employment purposes, the land at Horton Road Devizes, including the skid pan.

 

2.    To dispose of individual plots to companies to enable employment development to take place.

 

3.    To construct employment units on any remaining land as a commercial investment.

 

 

Reason for Decision:

 

To enable employment development to take place thereby safeguarding and

creating jobs in accordance with ‘Growing the Economy’ section of the

Council’s Business Plan.

 

 

11.

Stone Circle Company Business Plans

*                 Report by Executive Director Terence Herbert 

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Simon Jacobs, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement presented a report which detailed the proposed business plans for the Stone Circle Companies beginning in the financial year 2020/21.

 

Cllr Jacobs explained that the shareholder agreement between the Council and the companies requires the companies to present proposed business plans three months before the forthcoming financial year. The boards of the three companies met on 17 December 2019 to consider the business plans for 2020/21.

 

In addition, the report detailed proposals for the establishment of a new trading company within the Stone Circle Holding Company Ltd called Stone Circle Energy Company Ltd. The company would facilitate the sale of energy generated from the installation of photovoltaic cells at a Council park and ride scheme subject to due diligence and production of an acceptable business plan.

 

Resolved:   

 

1.    To agree the business plan for Stone Circle Holding Company Limited beginning in 2020/21 based on the business plans for the subsidiary companies.

 

2.    To agree the year one business plan for Stone Circle Housing Company Limited as set out at Appendix A in the exempt part of the agenda.

 

3.    Subject to Cabinet agreeing the Stone Circle housing company business plan at 1 and 2 above, to agree the loan agreement required.

 

4.    To support Stone Circle Housing Company Limited’s proposal to establish a shared ownership product and to agree to receive a detailed proposal as to how such a scheme would operate.

 

5.    To agree the business plan of Stone Circle Development Company Limited as set out at Appendix B in the exempt part of the agenda.

 

6.    Subject to Cabinet agreeing the Stone Circle development company business plan at 5 above, to agree the loan facility required.

 

7.    Subject to agreeing Stone Circle Development Company Limited’s business plan at 5 above, to agree to enter into sale contracts conditional upon obtaining planning consent for the following Council owned sites; Marlborough former resource centre, Ashton Street resource centre, Royal Wootton Basset former depot and Calne Priestly Grove as set out in appendix B1 in the exempt part of the agenda.

 

8.    To agree to delegate the decision to dispose of the New Zealand Avenue site to Stone Circle Development Company subject to Stone Circle Development Company Limited providing an acceptable project plan, to the Director of Finance and Procurement and the Director of Commercial, Housing and Commercial Development, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement and Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning Development Management and Investment.

 

9.    To agree that the Council’s legal services provide conveyancing and associated development legal services to Stone Circle Development Company Limited and the resourcing contract between the Council and the company is amended accordingly.

 

10.To agree to delegate authority to agree the project plan for each development proposed by Stone Circle Development Company Limited, to the Director of Finance and Procurement and the Director of Commercial, Housing and Commercial Development, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement and Cabinet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Urgent Items

Any other items of business, which the Leader agrees to consider as a matter of urgency.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

 

 

13.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

This is to give further notice in accordance with paragraph 5 (4) and 5 (5) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 of the intention to take the following item in private.

 

 

To consider passing the following resolution:

 

To agree that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the public from the meeting for the business specified in Item Numbers 14 and 15 because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in  paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.

 

Reason for taking item in private:

Paragraph 3 - information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

To agree that in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the public from the meeting for the business specified in Item Numbers 14 and 15 because it is likely that if members of the public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in  paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Act and the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information to the public.

 

 

14.

Acquisition of Land at Horton Road Devizes

*           Report by Executive Director Alistair Cunningham OBE

 

                     This item is exempt due to the business information provided                  in the Appendix.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development presented a report which highlighted further detailed financial information in relation to the purchase of the land at Horton Road, Devizes.

 

The Leader explained that he was the member for the Urchfont and The Cannings Division and that in order to avoid any possible conflicts of interest arising during the completion of the necessary legal transactions, that the Deputy Leader should also be included at recommendation 2 below.

 

The Leader also explained that the recommendations no longer required approval by Full Council as the Cabinet had authority to make a final decision about the purchase of the land at Horton Road.

 

Resolved:   

 

1.    Approve the acquisition of the land at Horton Road Devizes from BSL together with the adjoining Skid Pan.

 

2.    Authorise the Executive Director, Growth, Investment and Place (or as permitted by the scheme of delegation) to agree terms for the completion of necessary legal transactions and documents in consultation with the Leader of the Council and Deputy Leader of the Council.

 

3.    Approve the funding of the acquisition as set out in the Financial Implications section detailed in the report.

 

Reason for Decision:

 

To enable employment development to take place thereby safeguarding and

creating jobs in accordance with ‘Growing the Economy’ section of the

Council’s Business Plan.

 

 

15.

Stone Circle Business Plans

*           Report by Executive Director Terence Herbert

 

          This item is exempt due to the business information provided in the        Appendix.

 

 

 

Minutes:

Cllr Simon Jacobs, Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement presented the appendices to the Stone Circle Companies report considered at minute number 11 above.

 

Resolved:    To note the following appendices:

 

·         Appendix A - Stone Circle housing company business plan

·         Appendix A1 Stone circle housing company shared ownership model business plan

·         Appendix B Stone Circle development company business plan

·         Appendix B1 Stone Circle development company site development programme and appraisals

·         Appendix D Stone circle energy company indicative business plan

 

Reason for Decision:

 

The proposals aim at complying with the shareholder agreement the Council has with the Stone Circle Companies to agree the business plans and consequent actions that the Council needs to consider.

 

(Note:

 

1.    Cllr Richard Clewer, Cllr Bridget Wayman and Cllr Ian Thorn, declared an interest in relation to this item as they are Directors of the Company. All the Councillors left the meeting during the item’s consideration.

2.    Alistair Cunningham, Executive Director, declared an interest in relation to this item as he is a Director of the Company. He left the meeting during the item’s consideration.)

 

 

 

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