Contact: Felicity Foley, Acting Committees Manager
Apologies for Absence
There were no apologies for absence.
Declarations of Interest
A member with a disclosable pecuniary interest or a prejudicial interest in a matter who attends a meeting of the authority at which the matter is considered:
(i) must disclose the interest at the start of the meeting or when the interest becomes apparent, and
(ii) may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must withdraw from the meeting room.
A member who discloses at a meeting a disclosable pecuniary interest which is not registered in the Register of Members’ Interests or the subject of a pending notification must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.
Disclosable pecuniary interests, personal interests and prejudicial interests are defined at Paragraphs 5-7 and Appendix A of the Members’ Code of Conduct
Please be advised that the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny has further agreed that the call-in procedure shall not apply to this urgent decision. This is because the decision is urgent and any delay in implementation caused by the call-in procedure would seriously prejudice the Council's or the public's interests due to the fact that this is a National emergency and the Council must ensure that it does not hinder Fusion’s ability to carry on trading and restructure their business, the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee has agreed that the decision is both reasonable in all circumstances, and that it should be treated as a matter of urgency. This is in accordance with Part 4, Section H, and Paragraph 18 (a) and (b) of the Council Constitution.
The Cabinet Member for Corporate and Civic Services considered a report which set out the case for not agreeing to a request made by Fusion to enter into a Sharing Agreement with NatWest bank so that its security could be on an equal basis with that of the Council at New River. Although not agreeing to the request may have implications for Fusion, it was decided that on balance, the Council needed to protect its financial interest in the New River Sports Ground.
Reasons for decision
The market and financial models for local authority leisure provision have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Council has a favourable contract with Fusion and whilst performance was reducing prior to lockdown the current restart of the operation provides an opportunity to reset and start afresh.
The Council would not normally agree to Fusion’s request for the Council to share its security against the New River Lease.
It is anticipated, at this time, that additional resources may be required under any proposed new operating model.
Alternative options considered
An alternative option would be for the Council to agree to the Shared Security arrangement proposed by Fusion.