Agenda and draft minutes

Extraordinary, Council - Wednesday, 17th February, 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Virtual - Online meeting. View directions

Contact: Corporate and Community Services  01271 388253

Note: This will be a virtual meeting and will be conducted in line with The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. 

Items
No. Item

193.

Appointment of Chair

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair advised that her internet connection was intermittent and would not able to undertake the role of Chair for this meeting.  Therefore, a vote was taken to appoint a Chair.  Councillor Worden moved that Councillor Prowse be Chair for this meeting, this was seconded by Councillor Yabsley.

 

RESOLVED that Councillor Prowse be appointed Chair for this meeting.

194.

Virtual meetings procedure - briefing and etiquette

Chair to report.

Minutes:

The Corporate and Community Services Officer outlined the virtual meeting etiquette and procedures and confirmed the Members, Officers and Guest in attendance.

195.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Biederman, Leaver, Lovering and Wilkinson.

196.

Declarations of Interest

(NB. Members only need to re-declare any interests previously declared at Committee and Sub-Committee meetings if the item is discussed at Council).

 

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were made:

 

Councillor Orange -

Personal interest in the item of Future High Street Fund, as was a member of the Barnstaple Youth House Trust in the capacity of an Outside Body appointee

 

Councillor York -

Personal interest in the item of Future High Street Fund, as was a Trustee of the Barnstaple Youth House Trust

 

197.

Exclusion of Public and Press and Restriction of Documents

Minutes:

RESOLVED that,

 

(a)  Under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item as it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended from time to time), namely information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding the information);

(b)  All documents and reports relating to the item be confirmed as “Not for Publication”.

 

198.

Future High Street Fund

Joint report by Regeneration Manager and Head of Resources (attached).

Minutes:

Council considered a report by the Head of Resources and the Regeneration Manager regarding Future High Street Fund, (circulated previously).

 

The Regeneration Manager gave Members a presentation as follows:

 

·         The Future High Street Fund was a Central Government scheme, administered by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MCHLG) aimed at renewing and reshaping High Streets

·         North Devon Council submitted their bid for funding in July 2020.  The bid consisted of four inter-related projects; the Pannier Market/Guildhall and Former abattoir, the acquisition and rejuvenation of 36/37a Boutport Street, the access and reconfiguration of Queen Street/Bear Street car park and the pedestrianisation of (10am 4pm) and public realm improvements to Butchers Row and Cross Street

·         On Boxing day 2020 North Devon Council learned they had been awarded over £6.50 million, which equated to 69% of the amount applied for

·         MHCLG awarded a further £5,000 to pay for consultants to help look at what could be achieved with the lower amount offered

·         In total five options were modelled in consultation with Inner Circle Consulting

·         North Devon Council had until 26th February 2021 to respond with how the bid had been adapted to account for the funding awarded or to identify where additional funding would be sourced

 

The Head of Resources then explained to Members the financial modelling of the five options:

 

·         Across the five options the old abattoir site was no longer part of the model, however, the scheme would be designed so as not to preclude this development coming forwards at a later date, the improvement works to the Pannier Market in options two and three allowed for this saving and showed reduced borrowing, options four and five showed this saving as additional contingency fund for the Pannier Market

·         Options two, three and four would not include the public realm improvements and would be a missed opportunity

·         Option five was the preferred model despite showing a higher borrowing cost to the Council

·         The improvement of the public realm would improve visitor experiences and would ensure return visits to the area which would not only benefit the town of Barnstaple but the whole of North Devon

·         Looking for a quick and/or the biggest revenue gain would not be of benefit in the medium to longer term

·         Any potential increased business rates income had not been included in the figures in the report

·         The assets acquired would grow in value for the Council over the longer term

·         The figures in the modelling had been looked at very closely and were very prudent, other teams across the authority such as the Property team and the Economic Development team had looked at the models produced by the external consultants to input their thoughts

 

The Head of Resources then introduced James Windsor, Inner Circle Consulting who gave a presentation on the benchmark data used for the financial modelling as follows:

·         The refurbishment of Altrincham Market was completed in 2014.  The project involved a transformation of their historic market into a destination for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 198.