Members of the Committee are requested to bring their copy of the agenda for the Executive meeting on 30 November 2022.
The Committee considered the following reports on the Part 1 agenda for the meeting of the Executive on 30 November 2022:
BUDGET MONITORING 2022-2023
The report provided the first budget monitoring position for 2022/23 based on expenditure and activity levels up to the end of September 2022. The report also highlighted any significant variations which would impact on future years as well as any early warnings that could impact on the final year end position.
RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to
1. consider the latest financial position;
2. note that a projected net overspend on services of £9,568k is forecast based on information as at July 2022.
3. consider the comments from Chief Officers detailed in Appendix 2;
4. note a projected reduction to the General Fund balance of £1,478k as detailed in section 3.3;
4. note the full year cost pressures of £9.369m as detailed in section 3.4;
5. agree to the release of funding from the 2022/23 central contingency as detailed in paragraphs 3.2.2 to 3.2.6;
6. agree to the release of £314k from the CEF Health Reserve Fund for expenditure in the CEF department as detailed in para. 3.8;
7. identify any issues that should be referred to individual Portfolio Holders for further action.
CAPITAL PROGRAMME MONITORING 2022-23
The report summarised the current position on capital expenditure and receipts following the second quarter of 2022/23 and sought the Executive’s approval to a revised capital programme.
RESOLVED: That, subject to the outcome of discussions later in the agenda, the Executive be recommended to
1. Note the report, including a total re-phasing of £134k from 2022/23 into future years, and agree a revised capital programme.
2. Approve the following amendments to the capital programme (paragraph 3.3 of the report)
(i) Increase of £3,000k in relation to the budget for depots
(ii) Increase of £20,970k for additional costs associated with Project Smith, the preferred option for the existing capital budget for the Civic Centre redevelopment scheme
3. --- Recommend that Council approve the increase of £23,970k to the capital programme (paragraph 3.3 of the report)
The Committee agreed to consider the following three items together:
, ITEM 8: ,
In opening the discussion, the Chairman complimented the Assistant Director for the quality of the three reports provided. The Chairman hoped that future reports from Officers would maintain the standard.
The Director for Housing, Planning and Regeneration outlined that the three papers before the Committee set out the strategic direction for the Council ensuring that properties were properly managed and maintained in the future.
In discussing the reports, Members expressed concerns around the speed with which they were being asked to consider these reports and take significant decisions. Members highlighted that they had had less than 5 days to consider and digest the information in the reports and requested that in future Executive reports to be considered by the Committee be published at the same time as the agenda for the Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee agenda.
In response to a question surrounding how repair works had been prioritised, the Director for Housing, Planning and Regeneration explained that the prioritisation was based on statutory requirements, the state of the properties and how badly the repairs were required.
The Committee then made the following recommendations:
OPERATIONAL PROPERTY REVIEW
RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to
1) Note the contents of the report.
2) Formally adopt the Operational Estate Strategy as detailed at 3.22 to 3.30 within this report.
3) Agree to Officers progressing the various Workstreams identified at 3.34 to 3.43 within the report noting that works packages once scoped and costed will then be reported to the Executive for consideration to proceed and award works packages.
4) Agree that the sums identified within the report are incorporated into the Capital Programme.
5) Agree in principle to the funding of the £3M resources identified at 3.45 to enable Officers to progress the various Workstreams and such funding to made available from the Capital Programme.
RESOLVED: that Executive be recommended to note the contents of the Part 1 report and refer the report to Full Council.
FUTURE COUNCIL HQ OPTIONS
BIGGIN HILL AIRPORT LTD: REQUEST TO VARY USER CLAUSE
BHAL had formally requested their intention to seek to modify the definition of “Permitted User” in clause 1.8 of the Lease, in their letter to the Council dated 24 October 2022. They had requested that the Council approved the modification, but should the Council not decide to approve it then pursuant to their rights under section 84 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (“LPA 1925”) they would apply to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) to determine such a change.
In opening the discussion, a Member noted that the report had been classified as non-urgent, and throughout the report there were references to the need for more information to be provided. Consequently, the Member felt that there needed to be meaningful discussion between landlord and tenant and on that basis the item should be deferred. Another Member noted that non-urgent signified that the report had been published in accordance with the standard publication timetable for Executive, and that owing to the fact that in their letter of 24 October, BHAL had given the Council 28 days to determine their application, the discussion could not be deferred.
The Assistant Director for Property reported that the Council had been notified subsequent to the publication of the report that BHAL now intended to take the matter to the Upper Tribunal and in response to a question the Legal Advisor to the Committee confirmed that in broad terms the legal advice received indicated that the Council had strong grounds to resist challenge.
A Member noted that BHAL had been informed that they had to submit a formal request to vary the user clause. The Member expressed concern that the Council may undermine its case at the Upper Tribunal if it were not seen to be behaving reasonably and entering into discussions with BHAL prior to taking a decision. The Member noted that it appeared that BHAL had sought to address some of the concerns raised previously and suggested that it would do the Council’s legal case no harm to be trying to reach an amicable agreement.
Another Member highlighted that the previous High Court judgement had banned fare paying passengers and Members had to be cautious of agreeing to this request for change which could be seen to be accepting the principle of fare paying passengers and setting a precedent thus undermining the previous High Court decision. The Member also noted that the lease had been set up to protect residents on environmental grounds. The Assistant Director for Property referenced that the Tribunal would be considering the legal merits of the case as opposed to negotiation stances.
It was suggested that often Members had insufficient time to consider the last minute requests submitted by BHAL and the Member requested that when applications were received from the Airport sufficient time was allowed to enable all parties – BHAL and the public (through the Council) – to discuss applications. This would ensure that the public had equal opportunity to make representations. However, it was noted that the in their letter of 24 October, BHAL had given the Council 28 days to determine their application. The report was published on the 28th day and Councillors and members of the public had equal notice.
The Chairman proposed an additional recommendation that Executive set aside appropriate funds to fight any tribunal case. The motion was agreed.
The Chairman moved that the Executive be recommended to refuse BHAL’s application to amend the Permitted User Clause in the Lease and set aside appropriate funds to fight any tribunal case.
The substantive motion was put to the vote (Cllr Rowlands and Cllr Gabbert were not present):
8 in favour (Cllr Fawthrop requested that his vote in favour be recorded)
RESOLVED: That Executive be recommended to refuse BHAL’s application to amend the Permitted User Clause in the Lease and set aside appropriate funds to fight any tribunal case.
BROMLEY TOWN CENTRE HEALTH AND WELLBEING CENTRE DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL ON BEHALF OF THE NHS BROMLEY ICB
The report provided an update to the Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee and the Executive on the proposal to develop a new Health and Wellbeing Centre (HWBC) with the South East London Integrated Care Board (ICB) on the site of the former Adventure Kingdom building and the Great Hall at the Civic Centre. The report also sought authority to enable the Council to continue to work with the ICB and to support them in their proposals for the refurbishment of the Adventure Kingdom as set out in the report.
Mr Mark Cheung, Mark Cheung, One Bromley Programme Director – Integrated Care (ICB) attended the meeting to respond to Member’s questions.
A Member of the Committee who was also a Bromley Town Ward Councillor expressed gratitude for the considerable work that had gone into developing the proposals and reported that the Bromley Town Ward Councillor were wholly supportive of the recommendations to the Executive.
In response to a question, the Senior Development and Programme Manager confirmed that there was no loss of value to the Civic Centre site arising from the proposal. The sale would be at market value and Officers would take all necessary steps to ensure that there was no disadvantage to the Civic Centre site.
RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to
1. To note the updated proposals for the Health and Wellbeing Centre on the site of the Adventure Kingdom and that previous proposals as approved by the Executive, Resources and Contracts at its meeting on 9th February 2022 will not be proceeding.
2. To provide authority to agree the updated proposals with the ICB for delivery of the project on behalf of the ICB such as design, procurement, terms, management and funding, as set out in sections 3.2 to 3.18 of this report, as necessary to proceed and to approve the intention to continue to work in partnership with the ICB, noting that the ICB continues to provide a cost indemnity for the Council’s costs in respect of the project.
3. To delegate authority to the Director of Housing, Planning, Property and Regeneration in consultation with the Director of Finance, the Director of Corporate Services and the Resources, Commissioning and Contract Management Portfolio Holder, to determine and finalise, as detailed in sections 3.2 to 3.18, all necessary commercial terms, financial arrangements and to deal with publicising, if appropriate, any Open Space Notices and considering representations received and reporting to Members as necessary, and prior to or in conjunction with the proposed report at 2.4 below.
4. To approve proceeding to procurement, via a compliant joint procurement arrangement with the ICB as set out in paragraph 3.12 to 3.16, for the main works contractor for the refurbishment of the HWBC site at an estimated cost of £6,500,000 (with cost indemnity for the works provided by the ICB). Noting that a formal decision on contract award (and associated contract novations) as set out in paragraphs 3.12 to 3.16 will be presented to Executive in due course prior to the commencement of contract.
5. To delegate authority to the Assistant Director of Legal Services to enter into all relevant legal agreements as detailed in paragraphs 3.12 to 3.16 and any other necessary ancillary legal documentation relating thereto, including (but not limited to):
· The project agreement;
· The Section 2 agreement;
· Agreement for lease and lease; and
· Option agreement.
6. To note that the ICB programme envisages construction commencement in June 2023 for completion in March 2024 in order to secure funding. Should there be significant delays to the ICB programme then the Council will need to consider whether it should proceed at that time.
7. To note that officers will provide regular updates to Executive, Resources and Contracts PDS Committee on the ICB’s progress with the project.
Having declared a pecuniary interest in the item, the Chairman (Councillor Simon Fawthrop) left the meeting and the Vice-Chairman (Councillor Shaun Slator) assumed the Chair for the duration of the item.
The report set out options and recommendations for the Executive to consider on the future of the Council’s Data Centre and Disaster Recovery. The report appraised the various technical options as part of the analysis process included the recommended option, risks, benefits and the required changes that were needed to ensure that the Council provided an adequate disaster recovery capability.
The Committee agreed that the approach set out in the report seemed sensible as many businesses and organisations were moving to a cloud-based solution.
In response to questions, the Assistant Director for IT confirmed that there was minimal risk to the Council as the contract would allow sufficient flexibility should changes be required at any point. In order to comply with GDPR servers would need to be based in the UK. The Committee also noted that the Council may have some legacy systems that were not compatible with a cloud-based solution, but Officers would look to move all systems over in the next 5 years.
RESOLVED: That the Executive be recommended to
1. Note the information and agree to the procurement of the Microsoft’s Cloud (Azure) as the Council’s Data Center with disaster recovery and increased resilience of the Data Centre for 5 years.
2. Approve an increase in the IT Services revenue budget of £400k to ensure Microsoft Cloud (Azure), Disaster Recovery and Cyber Security functions required are procured and available for the Council.This additional revenue budget requirement represents a forward commitment as part of the 2023/24 and future years budget. There will be part-year costs expected of c. £100k in 2022/23 which will need to be managed from within the existing approved IT Services revenue budget.
3. Agree to the use of the current IT service provider, BT, through the mechanism of the Westminster City Council Pan-London ICT Framework to procure the services detailed in the report. Where in the opinion of the Director of Corporate Services and Governance a separate procurement is required or desirable, agree to delegate authority to this Director in consultation with the Portfolio Holder, to authorise the use of an alternative procurement route in order to proceed to procurement and award the contract.
(At the conclusion of the item the Chairman rejoined the meeting)