Agenda and draft minutes

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Contact: Michaela Gay  01225 394411

Items
No. Item

1.

WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

2.

EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

The Chair will draw attention to the emergency evacuation procedure as set out under Note 6.

 

Minutes:

The Chair drew attention to the emergency evacuation procedure.

 

3.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS

Minutes:

Councillor Chris Dando had sent his apologies.

4.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

At this point in the meeting declarations of interest are received from Members in any of the agenda items under consideration at the meeting. Members are asked to indicate:

(a) The agenda item number in which they have an interest to declare.

(b) The nature of their interest.

(c) Whether their interest is a disclosable pecuniary interest or an other interest,  (as defined in Part 2, A and B of the Code of Conduct and Rules for Registration of Interests)

Any Member who needs to clarify any matters relating to the declaration of interests is recommended to seek advice from the Council’s Monitoring Officeror a member of his staff before the meeting to expedite dealing with the item during the meeting.

Minutes:

Councillor Goodman stated that he had clients who own properties in the Commercial Estate and so he declared an ‘other’ interest.

5.

TO ANNOUNCE ANY URGENT BUSINESS AGREED BY THE CHAIRMAN

Minutes:

There was none.

6.

ITEMS FROM THE PUBLIC OR COUNCILLORS - TO RECEIVE DEPUTATIONS, STATEMENTS, PETITIONS OR QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE BUSINESS OF THIS MEETING

At the time of publication no notifications had been received.

 

Minutes:

There were none.

7.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Minutes:

The Panel confirmed the minutes of the previous meeting as a true record and they were duly signed by the Chair.

8.

Commercial Estate Strategy pdf icon PDF 71 KB

A report is attached on the Commercial Estate Acquisition Strategy which provides the Panel with an update on the achievement to date against the revenue targets set for the Commercial Estate during the periods 2016/17 and 2017/18.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Derek Quilter – Divisional Director of Property and Project Delivery introduced the report. He explained that a number of reports would be brought to the Panel in the coming months (Review of the Property Market; Review of Commercial Estate objectives; Generating Income and Review on performance of the Commercial Estate). He explained that acquisitions are an important part of our income and two acquisitions alone (Melksham and Aztec West – details in the report) have achieved the 2017-18 target.

 

Panel members made the following points and asked the following questions:

 

Councillor Goodman referred to the fact that two acquisitions form 10% of the Commercial Estate income – he asked if there is a break clause which may put this figure at risk and also asked if the officer thinks it could be dangerous to have 10% of income based on two acquisitions. The officer explained that there are a large number of small tenants and the authority has been advised to diversify with some larger clients. The officer also explained that a risk analysis is always done where issues such as these are concerned. The Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency added that he had asked for a second opinion before this decision was made.

 

Councillor Goodman asked about the risks associated with 107% borrowing for new acquisitions in the commercial market. Richard Long – Head of Property explained that due diligence was explored as part of the Single Member decision on this. Regarding a query from Councillor Goodman on stamp duty, the officer stated that he would check and come back on that issue. Andrew Pate – Strategic Director, Resources explained that the report provides a summary only and the details are in the original decision report. He further explained that the main idea behind acquisitions is to diversify the asset base and deliver extra income.  Borrowing on the commercial estate portfolio as a whole is low. Derek Quilter assured the Panel that there is an extensive sifting process and that 7-8 properties have been turned down due to risk.

 

Responding to a query from Councillor Pearce about protection from interest rate rises, the officer explained that it is a fixed term loan for 25 years. Councillor Becker asked if Local Authorities could be crowding out commercial investors (as they cannot get the 25 year fixed rate deals).  The officer explained that Local Authorities are sometimes outbid. The Strategic Director explained that a number of Local Authorities invest to grow their income in order to put the money towards essential services such as social care.

 

Councillor Barrett asked for information on housing acquisitions. The officer explained that a report on ADL is coming to the July meeting of the Panel.

 

[Further information on these questions is contained in a note attached to the minutes.]

 

Richard Long, Head of Property talked through the section on risk (page 30 of the report)

 

Panel members made the following points and asked the following questions:

 

Councillor Furse stated that he felt that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

Supplementary information - Commercial Estate Strategy pdf icon PDF 58 KB

9.

Cabinet Member update

The Cabinet Member will update the Panel on any relevant issues. Panel members may ask questions on the update provided.

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency, Councillor Charles Gerrish updated the Panel on the following:

 

·  A report on ADL will come to the Panel in due course;- there are now 15 units let. Planning consent has been granted for the Riverside building in Keynsham to be made into units and a contractor appointed. The units will be let by the end of 2019. ADL revenue is ahead of projected figures.

·  Community Asset Transfer – a long running transfer has come to fruition (Bath Canoe Club).

·  Regarding the financial report to the Panel – the end of year figures will come to the July meeting.

 

Panel members made the following points and asked the following questions:

 

Councillor Goodman asked if any of the units at Riverside would be let at reduced rate, to which the Cabinet Member replied that the units will be let on the open market.

 

Councillor Barrett asked about the Guild – the Strategic Director explained that the Guild is part of regeneration activity.

10.

Future Workplan Report pdf icon PDF 58 KB

A report is attached for the Panels consideration regarding their future workplan items.

Minutes:

Andrew Pate – Strategic Director, Resources introduced the report which set out suggested items for consideration at the Panel’s future meetings.

 

Panel members made the following points and asked the following questions:

 

Councillor Barrett asked if the appointment of the West of England Mayor impacted the panel workplan. The Strategic Director explained that there was no direct effect on the Resources Panel remit and there are separate scrutiny arrangements.

 

The Panel noted the items listed in the report and agreed that the Chair of the Panel and Strategic Director would programme these items into the forward plan.

11.

Panel Workplan pdf icon PDF 108 KB

This report presents the latest workplan for the Panel. Any suggestions for further items or amendments to the current programme will be logged and scheduled in consultation with the Panel’s Chair and supporting officers.

Minutes:

The Panel noted the workplan