Regeneration, Marketing & Strategic Finance Cabinet Member – Minutes – 3 March 2011

122 (27) CAPITAL WORKS TO SCUNTHORPE MARKET – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking approval of the progress of a programme of capital improvement works to Scunthorpe Market.

One of the service priorities identified for Infrastructure Services was to explore options and agree a plan to reinvigorate North Lincolnshire Markets.The Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Panel review of North Lincolnshire Markets in 2009 led to the allocation of £25,000 for a feasibility study in 2010/11, to explore works needed to improve Scunthorpe Market. A further £100,000 was allocated for capital works to the markets.

The feasibility study identified the Old Hall as the first priority in need of revitalising. Low footfall and an increasing number of vacant units were adversely affecting trade.Many of the vacant units were in need of modernisation to make them more attractive to potential traders. The outdoor market (Old Barn) had seen a continuing decline in the number of stalls that were occupied.

Three priorities were subsequently identified:

  • To consolidate the trading area bringing in stalls from the Old Barn
  • To attract more shoppers to the market through regular events
  • To refurbish some vacant stalls ready for new traders

The proposals outlined within the report were taken to the Market Traders Liaison Group on Monday 10 January for their consideration.

Resolved – That the progress of a programme of capital improvement works for Scunthorpe Market as set out within the report be approved.

123 (28) MARKETS POLICY – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking approval for the process of establishing a policy to regulate the provision of markets across North Lincolnshire.

North Lincolnshire Council operated a number of markets in Scunthorpe, Ashby, Brigg and Barton. In 2010 a policy was drafted to allow the Council to grant a ‘Market Consent’ to a person, body or organisation to operate a market. An annual charge was proposed for this Market Consent, depending upon the number of stalls and frequency. If markets were held principally to raise funds for charity, this fee would be waived.

The first draft of the policy was sent out for consultation in 2010 and was subsequently amended to take into account the comments received. It was proposed to enter a further 13-week consultation period with a view to the policy coming into force in July 2011.

Resolved – That the timescales outlined within this report be approved.

The following items contained exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended).

124 (29) COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TRANSACTION SCHEDULE – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report for consideration and approval of the terms of all recently completed, current/ongoing and new property transactions.

Resolved – That the schedule appended to the report be approved.

125 (30) ALLOCATION OF PROPERTY TRADING ACCOUNT FUNDS – ANNUAL STRATEGY DOCUMENT – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking approval to allocate Property Trading Account Funds to development schemes.

The council’s Industrial/Commercial Property Management and Development Policy allowed the use of the PTA funds for appropriate development schemes which were linked to the council’s wider Regeneration Agenda and Priority Framework.The Policy required an annual strategy document reviewed at six monthly intervals, which approved and reported on those proposed development schemes/investment projects. Most schemes were property related and as such involved a period of negotiation to achieve a value for money conclusion. The certainty of funding to this process was essential.

Resolved – (a) That the proposal to provisionally allocate PTA funds against the proposed development schemes listed in Appendix 1 to the report be approved, and (b) that the Director of Infrastructure Services be authorised to progress negotiations to implement the approved schemes.

126 (31) INDUSTRIAL/COMMERCIAL PROPERTY – ROLLING PLAN – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report outlining the estimated Capital and Revenue position of the Industrial/Commercial Property and Tourism budgets including the Property Trading Account for the next five years.

In accordance with the approved and revised Industrial/ Commercial Property Management Strategy there was a requirement, in order to inform the council’s budget management process to provide a three to five-year plan (reviewed annually) for approval by the Cabinet Member which set out the current capital and revenue position and outlined proposals for capital investments and revenue budgets for future years.

Although going forward, the economy was difficult to predict, the report reflected that the revised revenue budget was predicted to at least break even during 2010/11. The report then assumed a gradual improvement in the economy and a consequent improvement on the revised budget towards the end of 2013/14.

Resolved – That the Financial Plan relating to the council’s Industrial/Commercial Property as attached at Appendix 1 & 2 of the report be approved.

127 (32) LINCOLNSHIRE LAKES PROGRESS AND DELIVERY OPTIONS – The Head of Strategic Regeneration Housing and Development submitted a report to provide an update on the Lincolnshire Lakes scheme, to provide information about options to progress the scheme and to seek approval to investigate these options further.

The Lincolnshire Lakes concept had been developed as part of the Scunthorpe Strategic Development Framework. A Feasibility study was undertaken in 2008, through the Urban Renaissance Programme, to determine whether it was possible to deliver the scheme.This work concluded that the Lincolnshire Lakes scheme was both financially and physically viable. This work was updated through the Lincolnshire Lakes Business Case 2010 which further evidenced its viability and deliverability.

Following on from the Feasibility Study a sequential test and exceptions test strategy was undertaken. The sequential test confirmed that this scheme could not be delivered elsewhere in North Lincolnshire whilst the exceptions test identified the constraints and issues which needed to be addressed in relation to flood risk to deliver the scheme and the options to mitigate these.

As confidence in the deliverability of the scheme had increased through the information obtained through the studies and tests, and progress had been made on identifying the site as a broad strategic location through the Core Strategy, a potential delivery partner had come forward, namely Lucent Lincolnshire Lakes SARL (Lucent).

Resolved – (a) That further investigations take place on developing a Joint Venture Company with Lucent and approval be given to transferring the monies to cover for the associated legal costs, (b) that further work be undertaken on ascertaining the full costs and timescale implications of commencing a wider procurement exercise, and (c) that a further report be submitted to the Cabinet Member for further consideration once this information is obtained.

Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.

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