Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Lisa Thornley  020 8461 7566

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND NOTIFICATION OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence; all Members were present.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were received at the meeting.

3.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting.

 

Questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda.  Please ensure that questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5 pm on Wednesday 26 August 2020.

3a

QUESTIONS FOR THE RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PORTFOLIO HOLDER

Minutes:

A total of nine questions for written response were received.  The Chairman indicated that one supplementary question in relation to the Portfolio Holder’s response could be submitted.  A copy of those questions, together with the Portfolio Holder’s responses can be viewed as Annex A to these Minutes.

3b

QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAIRMAN OF RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PDS COMMITTEE

Minutes:

No questions were received.

4.

NOTES ON ITEMS FROM THE CANCELLED RR&H MEETING ON 25 MARCH 2020 pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Notes on items from the cancelled Renewal, Recreation and Housing PDS meeting on 25 March 2020 be noted.

5.

MATTERS OUTSTANDING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES

There are no outstanding matters from previous meetings.

Minutes:

The Committee noted there were no outstanding actions from previous meetings.

6.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PORTFOLIO REPORTS

Portfolio Holder decisions for pre-decision scrutiny.

6a

CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING - 1ST QUARTER 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 454 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report FSD20063

 

On 8 July 2020, the Leader received a report summarising the current position on capital expenditure and receipts following the 1st quarter of 2020/21 and agreed a revised Capital Programme for the four year period 2020/21 to 2023/24. 

 

Members considered changes agreed by the Executive and Leader in respect of the Capital Programme for the Renewal, Recreation and Housing Portfolio.

 

RESOLVED that the Portfolio Holder be recommended to note the changes agreed by the Leader on 8 July 2020.

7.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 1 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 16 September 2020:

7a

PROVISION OF HOUSING IN YORK RISE, ORPINGTON

(Report to follow)

Minutes:

THIS REPORT WAS WITHDRAWN FROM THE AGENDA.

7b

LAND APPROPRIATION pdf icon PDF 242 KB

(Report to follow)

Minutes:

Report HPR 2020/023

 

Members were requested to consider matters in relation to the appropriation of land for Brindley Way following planning permission granted for the site on 31 July 2020.

 

The project was now entering the delivery phase, dealing with all the property aspects including rights and restrictive covenants.

 

The Interim Head of Regeneration confirmed that the development site was subject to restrictive covenants drawn up in 1927.  During the application process, concerns regarding right of light for nearby properties were raised; this matter would be looked at through the rights of light process.

 

RESOLVED that:-

 

1  the report be noted and the Committee’s comments be provided to Members of the Executive.

 

2  The Executive be recommended to:-

 

  2.1  exercise its powers of appropriation pursuant to Section 226 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990;

 

  2.2  resolve that it is the intention of the Council to appropriate the relevant land for planning purposes in order to engage Section 203 of the Housing and Planning Act 2017 in order to override the restrictive covenant, easements and other rights to enable the Council to carry out the development at Brindley Way; and

 

  2.3  resolve to give delegated authority to the Director of Renewal, Recreation and Housing in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing and the Director of Corporate Services to approach any affected parties to agree statutory compensation and ensure that all appropriate legal documents are completed.

7c

BROMLEY HIGH STREET IMPROVEMENTS pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Minutes:

REPORT HPR2020/021

 

Following Member agreement in April 2020 to proceed with a revised improvement scheme in Bromley Town Centre, work had progressed and a design team had been appointed.  To meet the programme aim of having the improvements in place before Summer 2021, for the crucial benefit of the local economy following the negative impact of Covid-19, officers requested changes to the original approval to enable the delivery deadline to be met.

 

The Chairman reported that the completion of the improvement work was time critical and needed to be in place before summer 2021.

 

Following a query from Councillor Cuthbert, the Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration confirmed that should authority be given to approve the design work at RIBA stages 2 and RIBA stages 4 in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing, Councillors (particularly Ward Members) would be kept informed of progress on a regular basis.

 

The Chairman considered it was crucial that as much as possible was done post Covid-19 lockdown, to entice shoppers, diners, etc. back into Bromley Town Centre.

 

Councillor Michael stated that any sculptural or statement piece to define the character of the town centre and contribute towards the sense of place and Bromley's unique identity, should be a sophisticated and tasteful design.

 

RESOLVED that:-

 

1  the report be noted and the Committee’s comments be provided to Members of the Executive.

 

2  The Executive be recommended to:-

 

  2.1  agree that the Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration has authority to approve the design work at RIBA stages 2 and RIBA stages 4 in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing instead of the scheme returning to Committee at these points in the programme to enable speed of delivery.  All Members (particularly Ward Members) should be kept informed of progress on a regular basis;

 

  2.2  delegate the decision to proceed to procurement for the works contract at an estimated value of £1.055m to the Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration in consultation with the Portfolio Holder; and

 

  2.3  delegate the decision to award the contract for the works contract referenced in 2.3 to the Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration in consultation with the Portfolio Holder.

7d

ADOPTION OF REGENERATION STRATEGY pdf icon PDF 222 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2020/020

 

Over the past year the Assistant Director, Culture and Regeneration had prepared the borough's first ever regeneration strategy.  This strategy had been reviewed and fed into by the wider Council and external stakeholders.  The strategy was now ready for formal scrutiny by Members in anticipation of its adoption.

 

The Interim Assistant Director of Culture and Regeneration reported that the Regeneration Strategy was developed to provide a new strategic approach to the regeneration of the borough over a 10 year period. Whilst the strategy did not endorse planning, officers had worked with the Planning Department to ensure thoroughness and synergy with the Local Plan.

 

A local economy plan post COVID-19 would be produced to incorporate changes in the way people lived, worked and shopped.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Cuthbert, the Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration, reported that the Regeneration strategy sat alongside other Council strategies such as the Building and Housing Association Strategies and work was being carried out to establish how this Strategy could support improvements to existing housing and the creation of new homes.

 

Referring to Section 2.2 (page 53) entitled ‘Develop Bromley Town’s contemporary cultural centre in the vicinity of the Churchill Theatre and Central Library’, Councillor Michael referred to the Ripley Arts Centre which she considered to be a cultural asset and should be included in the report as part of the borough’s offer. The Acting Assistant Director of Culture and Regeneration, informed Members that the Council worked with various cultural venues across the borough (including the Ripley Arts Centre) but it would be challenging to include them all in the Regeneration Strategy.

 

Councillors Botting and Allatt had sat as members of the Ripley Arts Centre Committee alongside Councillor Michael and agreed that the Centre should be included as a cultural offer in the borough.

 

The Acting Director of Culture and Regeneration reported that a wide range of organisations had been consulted on the Strategy and agreed to check whether the Ripley Arts Centre had been included.

 

Councillor Stevens was given assurance that as projects came forward, individual reports would be submitted to the Committee for consideration by Members.

 

Councillor Benington referred to the caption at the bottom of page 37 which indicated that the train ride from Bromley South Station to London Victoria took 16 minutes.  He informed the Committee that a train journey from Orpington to London Bridge took 15 minutes and should, therefore, also be included.

 

In relation to the caption on page 36 stating that Bromley Town Centre was the 25th most potential of shopping areas in England, Councillor Morgan confirmed that based on Bromley’s infrastructure and population etc,. Bromley was the 25th best place for shopping.  The Acting Assistant Director reported that the majority of large retailers would look to open shops and invest in areas listed in the top 50.

 

RESOLVED that:-

 

1  the report be noted and the Committee’s comments be provided to Members of the Executive; and

 

2  the Executive  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7d

7e

BECKENHAM PUBLIC HALL FEASIBILITY STUDY pdf icon PDF 483 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2020/026

 

The Acting Assistant Director, Culture and Regeneration confirmed that this report followed the Committee’s endorsement and Executive approval to carry out a feasibility study on Beckenham Public Halls.  One of the options explored in the feasibility study was the consideration of whether Beckenham Library could be relocated to the Beckenham Halls.  She clarified that this was never a feasibility study for the Beckenham Library site.

 

The Acting Assistant Director, apologised to the Committee, Ward Councillors and members of the public for the delay and late submission of this report.  There had been some delays to the consultant’s review as a result of Covid-19 and the regeneration team were confronted with significant capacity challenges as they supported the administration of the Government’s Covid business grants.  Given the public interest in this report, officers believed it would be appropriate to submit the report as soon as possible (being one week prior to the meeting), for Member consideration, noting that the Executive was the decision making body and any member of the public or Councillor questions could be submitted for the Executive meeting on 16 September.

 

The consultant’s report was detailed and in parts complex, given the nature of what officers asked the consultants to cover in the feasibility study.  However, the Executive Summary provided the overriding information.

 

The consultants had detailed the level of works required to the Beckenham Public Halls, which was greater than originally anticipated. In consideration of the potential relocation, the consultants concluded that whilst considering the physical location of the Public Halls to be more appropriate for a library, the costs of the relocation and works required would outweigh the now lower likely capita receipt of the existing library site.  At the request of a member of the public, the existing library site was reviewed by Historic England for consideration as to whether the Library should be added to the list of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historical Interest – this review had been completed and the building was not added to the List.

 

In consideration of the feasibility study, the impact Covid-19 had on the potential sale of the existing library site and the greater costs of the works required to the Halls for suitable library locations, the recommendation was not to relocate the library but to consider other uses for the public Halls via lease disposal and to test the market for community and/or commercial use in the Halls with the surveys and up-to-date information now at officers’ disposal.

 

The Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration confirmed that at present there were no proposals to relocate Beckenham Library.

 

The Chairman accepted the conclusion that the cost of renovating the Public Halls would outweigh the potential benefits and asked what options remained for the existing Beckenham Library.  The Acting Assistant Director confirmed that a further piece of work on this matter would need to be undertaken in the future.

 

Councillor King expressed his concern that the need for maintenance and repair of the Public  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7e

POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER ITEMS

8.

CONTRACT REGISTER pdf icon PDF 587 KB

Minutes:

Report HPR2020/018

 

Members considered an extract from May 2020’s Contracts Register which provided key information relating to contracts within the Renewal, Recreation and Housing Portfolio with a total value greater than £50k.

 

Members also considered additional confidential information set out in the accompanying Part 2 (Exempt) report which included commentary on each contract to inform Members of any issues or developments.

 

RESOLVED that:-

 

1)  the report be noted; and

 

2)  the additional confidential information set out in the accompanying Part 2 (Exempt) report be noted.

 

9.

PROVISION OF LIBRARY SERVICES - CONTRACT PERFORMANCE REPORT pdf icon PDF 779 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report HPR2020/022

 

Members considered an update on the Provision of Library Services contract with Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) over the last six months of operation.  The value of the contract over a 10 year period was £40,908,465.

 

The report updated Members on the performance of the contractor since the previous report in March 2020

 

The report demonstrated how the contractor had delivered the service in line with the contract specification and key performance indicators.

 

The Principal Client, Libraries informed the Committee that the report covered the period from January-June 2020. This unprecedented period saw the closure of libraries in March due to COVID-19 and the report addressed the pre-Covid period, closure and service recovery and how libraries had adapted. GLL Managers, Diana Edmonds and Rebecca Gediking were in attendance to answer Member questions.

 

Referring to the number of complaints received about the service, Councillor Allatt asked how many were justifiable.  Members were informed that many related to the refurbishment of Central Library however, customers appeared to adapt well and accepted the changes.  Letters had also been received from customers who were happy with the refurbishment.  A number of complaints concerned the knock-on effect of the union strike action. 

 

Councillor Allatt requested that an appendix giving details of the top 20 complaints and resolutions be included in future reports.

 

During lockdown GLL had created and developed the online ‘Library Without Walls’ offer, which included book groups, crafts and story time.  Summer activities were looked at and a You Tube page had been developed. Staff remained positive and had enjoyed participating in the expansion of services.

 

Further work on the introduction of ‘Zoom’ chats for isolated mums was also being undertaken.

 

It was confirmed that during and following lockdown, members of the public were able to join libraries on line.

 

It was noted that many customers had migrated to using e-books during lockdown along with e-audio and downloads etc.  However, if this trend were to continue, there would be no reduction in the physical book stock.

 

Referring to the statement that 10.6% of the population of Bromley used their library card to borrow an item in 2019, Councillor Benington asked how this figure compared with other libraries.  The Principal Client, Libraries agreed to circulate these details following the meeting.

 

Members were informed that the Summer Reading Challenge did take place.  The official count for take-up of this activity had been extended until schools’ October half-term break.

 

Following lockdown, some libraries had re-opened with limited hours of operation however, Bromley Central Library, Beckenham, Orpington and Biggin Hill Libraries were all open 9.30 am – 5.30 pm.

 

It was anticipated that certain activities and services would become operational again from 14 September.  Ms Gediking agreed to provide Members with details of the timeline for returning to a fully operational service.

 

Ms Gediking also agreed to contact Councillor Cuthbert in regard to the ‘Tackling Loneliness Strategy in Bromley’.

 

Councillor Michael referred to stock purchasing (page125 of the report) and was informed by Ms Edmonds that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

BIDS TERMS OF REFERENCE pdf icon PDF 216 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

REPORT HPR2020/017

 

Members considered the Business Improvement Districts’ (BIDs) Terms of Reference document.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted and the BIDs’ terms of reference be endorsed.

11.

RENEWAL, RECREATION AND HOUSING PDS COMMITTEE WORK PROGRAMME (NOVEMBER 2020-MARCH 2021) pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report CSD20083

 

Members reviewed the RR&H PDS work programme for the period November 2020 to March 2021.

 

The following reports were added to the Work Programme:-

 

(i)  Section 21 Evictions (November); and

 

(ii)  Bromley Town Supplementary Guidance (January).

 

RESOLVED that the work programme for the period November 2020 to March 2021 be noted.

PART 2 (CLOSED) AGENDA

12.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AS AMENDED BY THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) (VARIATION) ORDER 2006, AND THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000

The Chairman to move that the Press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business listed below as it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings that if members of the Press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

Minutes:

The Chairman moved that the press and public be excluded during consideration of the items of business listed below as it was likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information.

13.

PRE-DECISION SCRUTINY OF PART 2 (EXEMPT) EXECUTIVE REPORTS

Minutes:

The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 2 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 16 September 2020:-

13a

TRANSFORMING BROMLEY: APPROACH TO BUILDING HOMES IN BROMLEY

Minutes:

Report HPR2020/024

 

This confidential report proposed an approach to developing and building Council owned housing stock and provided an update on the developments approved to date.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted and the Committee’s comments be provided to Members of the Executive.

 

13b

REDEVELOPMENT OF CHISLEHURST LIBRARY AND DISPOSAL OF LAND AT 36 VINSON CLOSE, ORPINGTON

Minutes:

Report HPL2020/00

 

This report contained confidential information in relation to the redevelopment of Chislehurst Library and the disposal of land at 36 Vinson Close, Orpington.

 

The Chairman announced that it was in the public’s interest for the background details contained in the report to be made available to the public.  It was therefore decided that those details be brought forward and discussed in the Part 1 public section of the agenda.  The remaining confidential information would still be considered under the Part 2 (Exempt) section of the agenda.  The public information (Part 2 redacted report) can be viewed as Annex B to these Minutes.

 

The Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration reported that approval to dispose of this site and re-provide the library was originally made in 2014.  The site was previously marketed and sold but the deal fell through after many years.  Since then, the site had been remarketed and this report confirmed the outcome of the marketing exercise and the Executive Committee would be requested to make a decision on the preferred bidder.  Designs and re-provision of the library would be subject to consultation.  The actual planning application would be subject to full public consultation in line with planning legislation.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Renewal, Recreation and Housing assured the Chairman it was always intended that a temporary library would be provided during construction of the new site following which a new library would be established.

 

Councillor Sharma thanked officers, Cushman and Wakefield and colleagues for consulting with Members throughout this process.  The Chislehurst Society had conducted a poll and he was confident that the proposals would be well received by members of the public.

 

Councillor Stevens was informed by the Portfolio Holder that the temporary library would be situated at the car park site behind the Post Office on the opposite side of the road to the current library.  The new library would be comparable to the existing one in terms of book stock etc.

 

The timescale for the construction of the new build was estimated to be around 18 months.

 

Members were informed that following consideration of the 16 expressions of interest received (including scrutiny of pre-applications), only three were deemed viable.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted and the Committee’s comments be provided to Members of the Executive.

14.

PART 2 (EXEMPT) POLICY DEVELOPMENT AND OTHER ITEMS

14a

CONTRACT REGISTER

Minutes:

Members considered the Part 2 (Exempt) report containing commercially sensitive information in relation to the accompanying Part 1 report HPR2020/018.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

ANNEX A - WRITTEN RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS SUBMITTED TO THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER pdf icon PDF 416 KB

ANNEX B - ITEM 7B - REDEVELOPMENT OF CHISLEHURST LIBRARY AND DISPOSAL OF LAND AT 36 VINSON CLOSE, ORPINGTON (PART 1 REPORT) pdf icon PDF 450 KB

 

Original Text: