1. Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence.

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act 1972, s 85.

2. Disclosure of Pecuniary Interests

To receive disclosure of any pecuniary interests relating to meeting agenda items.
Having declared an interest, a member must not participate in discussion on the matter and must not take part in any vote unless an appropriate dispensation has been granted.

Relevant Legislation: Localism Act 2011, s 31.

3. Public Participation

The council meets and makes its decisions in public. A council meeting is not a public meeting. It is a meeting held in public and there is no requirement in law which allows members of the public to speak at such meetings.

However, the council is keen to encourage public attendance at meetings and will therefore provide an opportunity to local registered electors to show it is committed to community engagement.

A maximum of 3 minutes is allowed per person to speak and the total length of time afforded for public participation at each meeting shall be no more than 15 minutes, subject to an extension of this time, in exceptional circumstances, being agreed by the Chairman.

Relevant Legislation: Local Government Act, s 100.

4. Approval of Minutes

To approve the Minutes of the Meeting of the Strategy & Finance Committee held Wednesday 15 June 2022

>View the Draft Minutes of the Strategy & Finance Committee for Wednesday 15 June 2022opens PDF file

5. To receive Kirby Road Allotments Interim Update

Following concerns raised by tenants, the Grounds Manager and Council Administrator attended a site inspection on Tuesday 14th June 2022. Tenants had complained over a number of overgrown and unworked plots. Since this time, the Public Realm team have been working through clearing the allotment plots in question and debris left by previous tenants.

Four plots have been re-tenanted after being fully cleared. A further six plots are still to be cleared to allow new tenants to occupy them. Our new Facilities Caretaker was able to help them on two days last week and they filled two skips of waste from the site. Once the clearance is complete, it is planned for the composting bays to be reintroduced and kept level to allow better access for tenants and improve the overall look of the site.

Four tenants who had paid but have not been working their plots responded to contact from us and these plots have all begun to be worked again. Luke has accompanied Matt on monthly site inspections and will continue to do so. This will ensure that any unworked plots can be reported and contact made with the tenants as soon as possible, before any further issues arise.

Two tenants have now had their agreements terminated following repeated contact with no response for unworked plots.

Tenancy has now increased to the point where we have only two more people on the waiting list, who we hope to be able to offer freshly cleared plots to in September at the latest.

Following this, the allotments will be marketed to attract further new tenants to fill the plots as they become available.

The new inspections app allows us to upload photos to accompany specific plots and follow up with tenants in a timely manner.

There have been no further complaints received from current tenants regarding the management or administration of the site. We will continue to update members regularly on the Kirby Road Allotment site through reports to this committee or via the members updates should any urgent information arise.

Resolution: To note the interim update

6. To note indicative costings for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan and consider approaches to funding

Following production of a whole-site scheme, a costings report has been produced to reflect indicative costs of delivery.
An earlier costings report presented to the council in 2020 only included one phase of the scheme. Therefore, with additional phases included, along with rising inflation and costs, the total sum is inevitably higher than the initial report.

At this stage, the committee is only required to note this report, along with details of discussions council officers are undertaking to secure supplementary funding towards the project. This includes applications for funding from CIL, Lower Thames Crossing Fund, and possible contributory funding from key stakeholders.
These discussions will continue to develop over coming months, which will also coincide with submission of reserved planning matters and discharge of planning conditions.

The council will therefore be required to make decisions regarding expenditure and delivery late 2022/early 2023.

Resolution: To note the indicative costings report produced by Liberty QS and ongoing activity by council officers to negotiate supplementary funding.

7. Budget Monitoring Report

To note budget monitoring reports for the period April/May 2022, including:

Resolution: To note the budget monitoring report

8. Authorisation of Payments

A schedule of supplier payments is presented for council resolution to authorise payment.

Resolution: To approve authorisation of payments

Relevant Legislation: Accounts & Audit Regulations 2015

9. To resolve to exclude press and public

To resolve, pursuant to section 1 (2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, that because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the public and the press leave the meeting during consideration of the following item.

Resolution: To resolve to exclude press and public

10. To note service adjustments and revised operating times for Lizzie’s Cafe

Further to a recent Lizzie’s Café operations meeting, several service adjustments have been proposed in response to current sales reports.

A full service review scheduled for the next Strategy & Finance Committee meeting in October.

The minutes of the recent Lizzie’s operations meeting are attached to provide full background of discussion and rationale for these changes.

11. To note insurance claim ref 9167045

Resolution: To note details of insurance claim ref: 9167045