Agenda and draft minutes

Scrutiny Committee for Community, Customer Services and Service Delivery - Tuesday, 13th October, 2020 4.00 pm

New regulations came into effect on 4 April 2020 to allow Councils to hold meetings remotely via electronic means. As such, Council and Committee meetings will occur with appropriate Councillors participating via a remote video link. Public access to the meetings is via a live stream video through the Council’s official YouTube channel

Venue: via REMOTE VIDEO LINK

Contact: Email: committees@midsussex.gov.uk 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Roll-Call and Virtual Meeting Explanation

Minutes:

The Vice Chairman carried out a roll call to establish attendance at the meeting. The Solicitor to the Council provided information on the format of the virtual meeting.

2.

To note Substitutes in Accordance with Council Procedure Rule 4 -Substitutes at Meetings of Committees etc.

Minutes:

The following substitutes attended the meeting:

Councillor Alison Bennett for Councillor Dempsey, Councillor Eggleston for Councillor Sparasci, Councillor Knight for Councillor Mockford, Councillor Bates for Councillor Hussain and Councillor Bradbury for Councillor Smith.

3.

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Dempsey, Sparasci, Mockford, Hussain and Smith.

4.

To receive Declaration of Interests from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda.

Minutes:

Councillor Boutrup declared a personal interest as a Trustee and treasurer of The Woodside in Bolnore Village. Councillor Eggleston declared a personal interest as a Trustees of the Beehive Trust in Burgess Hill and being a Member of the Burgess Hill Town Council Cultural Quarter Steering Group.  Councillor Chapman and Councillor Henwood declared a personal interest as they are also on the Burgess Hill Town Council Cultural Quarter Steering Group. Councillor Bates declared a personal interest as a registered member of Park Run as he had involvement in setting this up at Clair Hall.

5.

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 8 July 2020. pdf icon PDF 264 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2020 were agreed as a correct record and electronically signed by the Chairman.

6.

To consider any items that the Chairman agrees to take as urgent business.

Minutes:

None.

7.

Call-In of Cabinet Decision - Clair Hall pdf icon PDF 861 KB

Minutes:

Judy Holmes, Assistant Chief Executive introduced the report.

 

The Chairman confirmed that the Committee’s role was to consider three options in the report based on the specific operational areas requested by Councillor Alison Bennett in the call-in request.  In doing so, the Committee should consider all parts of the decision made by Cabinet in terms of the continued closure of Clair Hall, the establishment of a temporary car park on site and for Officers to commission work to develop a business case for the inclusion of a modern community facility as part of the future regeneration of the site or other sites in the town centre. The Chairman confirmed that a Council petition had been received regarding the closure of Clair Hall but this was not for discussion at this meeting.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery said that the Council intends to commission an independent organisation to engage with community groups through a consultation to establish the needs regarding the provision of a new community facility.

 

A Member raised a point of order under statutory provision 14.1 that the Cabinet’s decision rescinded a resolution passed on 19th August where the Council agreed to remove Clair Hall from the Places Leisure contract. He noted that paragraph 55 of the Council report states ‘The Council can consider the future of the site at some future point’. The Chairman and Head of Regulatory Services clarified that this refers to the Council in its whole body, not a meeting of full Council, and therefore it became the responsibility of the Cabinet.

 

Debate was held on the Cabinet’s decision on the continued and permanent closure of Clair Hall.  A Member felt that the Cabinet report was deficient in detail as the main focus was on figures relating to footfall and not utilisation. Rob Anderton, Divisional Leader: Commercial Services & Contracts confirmed that the footfall data in the Cabinet report over a 4 year period does indicate a decline. The utilisation data only shows 2019-20 and further data was requested for the purpose of the call-in scrutiny meeting. A Member requested that all the information presented to Cabinet be made available for the independent organisation appointed to carry out the consultation.

 

A Member queried Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) set for Places Leisure. The Chairman noted that KPI information was fed into the original Cabinet report and the Assistant Chief Executive confirmed that since the contract commenced 5 years ago, the KPI information had been provided annually to this scrutiny committee and is published online.

 

Two Members expressed concern that the Council had not provided alternative venue options for a number of events that used to take place in the Hall. The Chairman confirmed that discussion on alternative venues fell outside of the scope of the meeting and it was confirmed that work on sourcing alternative venues has had to cease whilst the call-in was under consideration.

 

The Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery acknowledged that although utilisation may have increased, it is still  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.2 due notice of which has been given.

Minutes:

The following question was asked by Councillor Hatton:

Cabinet Member Belsey has stated that consideration of the closure of Clair Hall began in March 2020. Why, therefore, was there no consultation held with the public or stakeholders in the following 6 months before the Cabinet decision was made to close Clair Hall immediately and permanently?

 

Councillor Hatton acknowledged in the meeting that a response had already been provided and asked a supplementary question requesting that the Council have discussion with the community regarding the potential to take over the hall in the interim period before the independent consultation is completed.  The Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery acknowledged that a list of alternative venues has been published to assist groups in relocating and contact will be made with local groups to consider all options available prior to the wider consultation.

 

The following question was asked by Councillor Cartwright:

Has the Council had approaches from developers or interested parties about making alternative use of the site since the decision in August to take Clair Hall out of the Places Leisure contract?

 

The Leader was not aware of receiving any contact from developers on this subject.  All representations received were considered at the Cabinet meeting and no further substantive proposals have been received.