Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA

Contact: James Kinsella 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bakir, J Charalambous, N Cazimoglu, David Sanders, Milne, Savva and Simon and for lateness from Councillors David-Sanders and Fonyonga. 

2.

Declarations of Interest

Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non pecuniary interests relevant to items on the agenda. 

Minutes:

Councillor Achilleas Georgiou declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in item 4 Meridian Water:  Land Acquisition and left the meeting when the item was discussed and did not vote.   

3.

Borough Capital Programme - Public Realm Improvements, Bridges, Highway Structures and Flood Prevention pdf icon PDF 278 KB

To receive a report from the Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment  on the Capital Programme – Public Realm Improvements, Bridges & Highway Structures and Flood Prevention.  (Report No:  3)

 

This report was approved as a portfolio decision of the Cabinet Member for Environment and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency with a recommendation to Council that the indicative capital budget for the public realm improvements, bridge and highway structures and flood prevention be confirmed as an approved budget.

 

Council is asked to approve the recommendations in the report. 

Minutes:

Councillor Lemonides moved and Councillor Anderson seconded the report of the Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment on the Capital Programme – Public Realm Improvements, Bridges and Highway Structures and Flood Prevention.  (Report No: 3)

 

NOTED

 

1.               The indicative capital programme had been approved as part of the Council budget report in February 2017.  Council was now being asked to approve the details of the funding for specific schemes (included in the appendix to the report) and to give financial approval to undertake the works.

 

2.               In previous years this had been dealt with under the annual budget report, but this year, exercising good governance, further detail had been sought to ensure value for money and greater control over the schemes.

 

3.               The concerns of the Opposition who stated that they would not be supporting the proposals:  

 

·       That this year’s budget contained £1.97m less money than in previous years and that this was felt to have had nothing to do with Government funding, but had been a decision of this administration alone. 

 

·       That Money had been allocated to other priorities including £100m for Housing Gateway, on external legal advice and £3.5m purchasing Sloemans’ Farm which was now felt to be neglected.  The £2.7m spent on external legal advice could have been spent on the roads which were in poor condition and deteriorating. 

 

·       That replacing pavements with tarmac, which was not permeable would increase the risk of flooding. 

 

·       That the indicative budget should have been approved in February 2017 as normal. 

 

·       About the current contractor and the backlog of existing works.

 

4.               During the debate, the Mayor reminded Councillor Laban that the Council were in a purdah period and that electioneering should be avoided. 

 

5.               The responses of the majority group:

 

·       That the reductions in spending were a consequence of the huge Government cuts suffered by the Council - £118m since 2010 with a further £56m proposed - which had had significant impact on the capacity of the Council to deliver services.

·       Since 2010 the Council has spent on average £8m on highway improvements anticipated to be a total of £64m by 2018.

 

·       Investments such as the Housing Gateway Project had provided much needed housing for people in need.

 

·       This was not the amount that the administration would have liked to have allocated to these schemes, but they were constrained from doing more because of the cuts.  It was acknowledged that more investment was needed to maintain the boroughs roads, footways, bridges, trees and street lights.

 

·       If the Opposition had had concerns, they could have called in the original delegated action report. 

 

6.               In summing up Councillor Lemonides said that the administration would like to spend more, but the Council did not have the money.  Housing Gateway was making a 20% return, contributing to the Council’s revenue stream.  Roads did not make money.

 

Following the debate the recommendations in the report were put to the vote and agreed with the following result;

 

For:  27

Against:  18

Abstentions: 0

 

AGREED

 

 

1.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Meridian Water: Land Acquisition pdf icon PDF 459 KB

To receive a report from the Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment on a land acquisition in Meridian Water.   (Report No.263A)

(Key decision – reference number 4442)

 

Council are asked to note that this report is due to be considered by Cabinet on 9 May 2017.

 

As the meeting of Cabinet is taking place after the Council agenda is published, Cabinet’s decision will be reported up to the Extraordinary Council on the update sheet tabled at the meeting. 

 

If the recommendations in the report are approved by Cabinet on 9 May 2017, Council will be asked to approve an addition to the capital programme. 

 

Please also note the report on the part 2 agenda (Report No:  264A)

Minutes:

Councillor Sitkin moved and Councillor Lemonides seconded the report of the Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment on a land acquisition in Meridian Water.  (Report No:  263A)  Council is being asked to approve an addition to the Capital Programme. 

 

NOTED

 

1.               That the proposals had been considered by Cabinet on 9 May 2017.  Cabinet had agreed the recommendations in the report with the following amendment to recommendation 2.2:

   

“To include delegation of the authority to approve the overall viability of the scheme to the Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Business Development and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency with the addition of the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services and the Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment.” 

 

2.               This report was considered in conjunction with the report on the part 2 agenda.  (Report No:  264A)

 

3.               The report set out the proposals ready to agree the purchase of a site in Meridian Water, subject to further checks on the risks, viability and profitability of the scheme.   This was a real opportunity for Enfield but was contingent on further checks to ensure high quality decision making.

 

4.               More detail was set out in the Part 2 report. 

 

5.               Thanks were given to the officers who had spent many hours on the project. 

 

6.               Concerns of the Opposition Group, who would not be supporting the recommendations, in relation to: 

 

·       The timing and last minute nature of the report and the shortage of time allocated to the discussion of such a major issue.

 

·       That this should have been included as part of the Council’s Capital Programme which had only been agreed 10 weeks ago.

 

·       Better and earlier planning should have been in place.

 

·       That there was too much reliance on the meanwhile uses.

 

·       That there was no firm agreement in place and much was subject to the removal of planning restrictions and the agreement of the Area Action Plan which had not yet been signed off.  On top of this there was felt to be a need to wait for the outcomes of a GLA review on declassification of industrial land.  The sites under consideration were the largest industrial areas in the Local Plan.

 

·       There were too many assumptions and too much that was uncertain. 

 

·       It would be preferable to use compulsory purchase powers. 

 

·       The strategic designation of the land could have been challenged 4-5 years ago.  That it had not been so was, in the opinion of the Opposition, due to gross incompetence on the part of the majority party.  

 

·       12 months after agreeing a development partner, no contract was yet in place. 

 

·       The development partner, rather than the Council, should have been asked to take on the risk. 

 

7.               The responses of the majority group:

 

·       That there were weaknesses in what had been said by the opposition members.  The company in question was not the development partner. 

 

·       The Council was only being asked to seek the addition to the capital programme to enable the purchase to take  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider passing a resolution under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 excluding the press and public from the meeting for any  items of business moved to the part 2 on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in those paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act (as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006) as listed on the agenda.

 

Please see part 2 agenda. 

Minutes:

AGREED in accordance with Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the press and public from the meeting for consideration of Item 17 listed on Part 2 of the agenda on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act (as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006).

6.

Meridian Water: Land Acquisition

To receive a report from the Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment on a land acquisition in Meridian Water.   (Report No.264A)

(Key decision – reference number 4442)

 

Council are asked to note that this report is due to be considered by Cabinet on 9 May 2017.

 

As the meeting of Cabinet is taking place after the Council agenda is published, Cabinet’s decision will be reported up to the Extraordinary Council on the update sheet tabled at the meeting.  If the recommendations in the report are approved by Cabinet on 9 May 2017, Council will be asked to approve an addition to the capital programme. 

 

Please also note the report on the part 1 agenda (Report No:  263A)

 

(This document contains exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person – including the authority holding that information) of Schedule 12 A to the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Sitkin moved and Councillor Lemonides seconded the report of the Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment on a land acquisition in Meridian Water.  (Report No:  264A)

 

NOTED

 

1.               That the proposals had been considered by Cabinet on 9 May 2017.  Cabinet had agreed the recommendations in the report with the following amendment to recommendation 2.2:

   

“To include delegation of the authority to approve the overall viability of the scheme to the Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Business Development and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency with the addition of the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services and the Executive Director of Regeneration and Environment.” 

 

2.               This report was considered in conjunction with the report on the part 1 agenda.  (Report No:  263A)

 

3.               This report is only concerned with agreeing the addition to the capital programme to fund the purchase of the land acquisition in Meridian Water if it goes ahead. 

 

4.               The amount to be borrowed is well within the amount allowed for prudential borrowing.

 

5.               Two sites, which the Council had had the intention to eventually acquire as part of the Meridian Water Project, had unexpectedly come on the market 7 to 10 years earlier than expected. 

 

6.               In order to acquire the sites it was necessary to proceed quickly as the current owner had strongly indicated that this was a time limited offer.  If not sold to the Council future owners could carry out improvements to the site which would make it more expensive to acquire in the future.

 

7.               The view of the Opposition party that although they supported the Meridian Water project in principle, they would be voting against this proposal because of the following concerns:

 

·       There were too many unanswered questions and there had not been enough time to read all the 372 pages of the report. 

 

·       That the exit strategy to recoup the outlay, if necessary, was not sufficiently detailed.

 

·       It would be a significant addition to the capital programme.

 

·       More financial detail was needed and greater certainty about subsequent rental agreements.

·       It would be better to wait until the Edmonton Area Action Plan had been agreed and the GLA review of industrial land had been completed before committing the council to the purchase. 

 

·       Concern about the lease buy back proposals and VAT accounting. 

 

8.               The response from the Majority Group that: 

 

·       This was a time limited offer which would enable the Council to gain control of the sites.

 

·       The agreed purchase price had been supported by two independent valuations.

 

·       Several options for disposal of parts of the area were still under consideration.  The meanwhile income would more than offset the costs of the purchase.

 

·       If planning permission were not obtained, the sites could be resold. 

 

·       In ten-years the costs could be twice as much. 

 

·       Purchase would increase the assets of the council and would with time gain in value.

 

·       The proposals could result in the creation of 1,500 to 2,000 new jobs.

 

·       These proposals had been studied  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.