Deputy Leader – Asset & Estate Management, Sport, Leisure & Culture Cabinet Member – Minutes – 14 November 2011

15  (15)  NORMANBY HALL COUNTRY PARK ADMISSION CHARGES 2012-13 – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report for consideration of the admission prices for Normanby Hall Country Park for 2012-13 season.

Work needed to start in December 2011 in promoting the park for the 2012-13 season. To do this effectively the admission prices needed approval for inclusion in promotional material. Officers had taken account of various issues to bring forward recommendations for future prices.

Advice from the Finance Service suggested that income targets would increase by 2.5 per cent in 2012-13. 

The proposed prices for 2012-13 were set out within the report. Officers had taken account of customer feedback on prices when preparing them. This suggested that reasonable price rises were acceptable.

Resolved – (a) That the admission prices for 2012-13 be approved, and (b) that the ‘early bird’ promotion for the Season Ticket which offered a £1.00 reduction on all Season Tickets purchased before 1 June 2012 be approved.

16  (16) KEY ART ORGANISATION GRANT – WATERSIDE ARTISTS’ CO-OPERATIVE – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report considering an application for funding from the Waterside Artists’ Co-operative.

The Ropewalk was an arts centre in Barton upon Humber, which included four gallery spaces, a shop and coffee shop, artist’s studios and the Ropery Hall.  The Ropewalk was managed by a social enterprise, the Waterside Artists’ Co-operative.

The Co-operative had asked the council to support their exhibition programme and had indicated that the programme for the year would cost £40,595; this would be partially met by an Arts Council of England grant. Gallery sales and income from the coffee shop would also contribute, however, a gap in funding of £5,000 remained.  The Co-operative wished to apply for a £5,000 grant in support of the programme.

Resolved – That the £5,000 grant to support the Waterside Co-operative be approved. 

17  (17) 20-21 VISUAL ARTS CENTRE CAFÉ – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking approval to investigate ways in which the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre Café could operate at no cost to the council.

The café at the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre cost the council around £20,000 per year to run. In the council’s budget for 2011/12, which was set in February 2011, the café’s ongoing subsidy had been removed as a budget saving. 

There was a need to investigate options to remove the cost of the café. The following of which were worthy of consideration: 

  • The council continued their management of the café but made operational changes
  • Management of the café was transferred to another provider
  • Closure of the café 

Resolved – That an investigation into the available options to reduce the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre Café subsidy be approved. 

18  (18) EDUCATION AND OUTREACH AT THE BATHS HALL AND PLOWRIGHT THEATRE – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking approval for a change to the Baths Hall and Plowright Theatre Management Contract (management contract) that transferred responsibility for education and outreach work from SMG (UK) Ltd to the council, and considering options for providing an education and outreach service for both venues.

On 22 June 2011 the council met with SMG (Europe) Ltd to discuss potential changes to the management contract. It was agreed that SMG (UK) Ltd’s obligation to undertake education and outreach work was removed. This was recognised as the only viable change that could deliver a cost reduction to the annual management fee.

SMG (UK) Ltd had confirmed that they would accept a contractual change to use their “reasonable endeavours” to work in partnership with the council to support education and outreach work taking place at the Baths Hall or Plowright Theatre.  For the function to be effective, the council would need to take the lead. Respective council and SMG (UK) Ltd’s responsibilities as a result of the proposed contract change were set out in Appendix 1 to the report.

The council had investigated the options as to how Arts Development might take on the work and implications for the service were also considered.  The report set out various options for consideration based upon approval of the proposed contract change.

Resolved – (a) That the proposed change to the management contract, as set out in the report and accompanying appendices, be approved, and (b) that Option 1, as set out in paragraph 3.2 of the report, be approved and adopted. 

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

19  (19) ALLOCATION OF PROPERTY TRADING ACCOUNT FUNDS ANNUAL STRATEGY DOCUMENT – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking to provisionally allocate Property Trading Account (PTA) funds to development schemes, and seeking to approve progressing the schemes listed in Appendix 1 to the report.

The council had previously approved an Industrial/Commercial Property Management and Development Policy, which allowed the use of PTA funds for development schemes that were linked to the wider Regeneration Agenda and Priority Framework.

The policy required an annual strategy document reviewed at six monthly intervals. This approved and reported on any proposed development schemes/investment projects.

Most schemes were property related and would usually involve a period of negotiation to achieve good value for money.  Certainty of funding to the process was essential.  Negotiations would ultimately result in a legal commitment by the council, and some schemes could require external funding before they commenced.

Approval was required to provisionally allocate PTA funds against proposed development schemes, so that negotiations could commence or continue.

Resolved – (a) That the provisional allocation of Property Trading Account funds against the proposed development schemes, as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report, be approved, and (b) that the Director of Infrastructure Services be authorised, in consultation with the Cabinet Member, to progress negotiations to implement the approved schemes.

20  (20) INDUSTRIAL/COMMERCIAL PROPERTY ROLLING PLAN – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report setting out the estimated Capital and Revenue position of the Industrial/Commercial Property budget (including the Property Trading Account), for the next five years.

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

Resolved – That the Financial Plan relating to the council’s Industrial/Commercial Property, as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 to the report, be approved.

21  (21) PROPERTY TRANSACTION SCHEDULES – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted a report seeking for consideration, and where necessary approval, of a schedule containing the terms of all recently negotiated property transactions.

The schedules covered both operational and commercial property.

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

The following item contains exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended). 

22  (22)  WORKSMART BUSINESS PROCESS IMPROVEMENT GENERIC ADMINISTRATION RESTRUCTURE – The Chief Executive submitted a report seeking approval for a proposed generic administration team to be established at Church Square House.

From 1 April 2011 the council established the WorkSmart Programme as part of the council’s transformation agenda. The WorkSmart Programme consisted of six work streams; Accommodation, Business Process Improvement, Change Management, Customer Contact, Document Management and Information Technology. 

The Business Process Improvement (BPI) work stream focused on standardising and streamlining administration processes to reduce duplication and improve the support service that was provided in each of the four main council buildings, Church Square House, Pittwood House, The Angel and Hewson House.

The first phase of the programme was the renovation of Church Square House to enable the vacation and sale of Cliff Gardens. The BPI work stream had therefore reviewed current administration/business support provided in each of the service areas that would be brought together into Church Square House concluding this phase of the programme.

The analysis of work undertaken throughout the first phase of the BPI project had highlighted that there were a number of generic administration/support processes, which were detailed in the report, that were carried out in the majority of administration/business support roles within service areas.

The ways in which these generic processes were carried out was different within each service area, allowing the opportunity to centralise the processes into a generic administration team to support the building.

The report and appendices set out proposals for the generic administration team, including financial implications.

Resolved – (a) That the proposal to create a generic administration team at Church Square House, as set out in the report and accompanying appendices, be approved, and (b) that the proposed generic administration team be replicated at Pittwood House, The Angel and Hewson House to generate further efficiencies through subsequent phases of the project.

23  (23) LEISURE GRANT AID APPLICATIONS – The Director of Infrastructure Services submitted an urgent report for consideration of an application for financial assistance. 

There were two different leisure grant aid schemes. The report highlighted that Sports Grants to Individuals scheme helped athletes selected to national teams/squads. The maximum grant was £500 towards travel and training costs and free off peak access to fitness centres and swimming pools in council run facilities. Only those sports recognised by Sport England were eligible. 

The Leisure Capital Grant Programme scheme helped community sport, arts or heritage capital projects.  The most granted was normally £15,000. It was explained that Groups could apply for one grant of up to £30,000 in any five-year period if the total cost of the project was more than £60,000. 

An application had been received from the Bangladesh Welfare Association. They had undertaken to set up a badminton session in the Crosby area in response to consultation but needed help with the set up costs. The application was urgent due to the Association wishing to commence the sessions on 6 November 2011. 

The application met the criteria in the relevant grant aid scheme for assistance. 

Resolved – That a grant to the Bangladesh Welfare Association for £1003.44 for support to develop community badminton be approved.

24  Following the resignation of the Deputy Mayor and the consequent confirmation that he would be reappointed as Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Asset and Estate Management, Sport, Leisure and Culture, it was necessary to reconsider the decisions made by the Cabinet Member between July to November 2011.  Decisions had been made on 13 and 19 July, 4 August and 7 October and there were a number of matters under consideration where decisions were pending following the publication of reports on 19 October, 2011. 

The Deputy Leader had given further detailed consideration to the above decisions/issues in a meeting with the Director of Corporate and Community Services on 11 November 2011.

Resolved (a) That the decisions previously taken by the Deputy Leader/Cabinet Member for Asset and Estate Management, Sport, Leisure and Culture on 13 July, 4 August and 7 October be confirmed, and (b) that the matters under consideration and as published on 19 October 2011 be approved and detailed minutes of the decisions published accordingly

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.