Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 19th August, 2020 6.00 pm

As of May 2021, decision making of meetings of the Council have returned to in-person sessions. A number of meetings remain virtual, with appropriate Councillors attending via remote video link. Public access to these 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.

Opening Prayer

Minutes:

The opening prayer was read by the Vice-Chairman.

 

2.

Roll Call and Virtual Meetings explanation.

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting. A roll call of Members present was taken. The Head of Regulatory Services provided a virtual meeting explanation.

3.

To receive questions from members of the public pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 9.

Minutes:

None.

 

4.

To confirm Minutes of the meeting of Council held on 22 July 2020. pdf icon PDF 430 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 22 July were agreed as a correct record of the meeting.   

5.

To receive declarations of Interest from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda

Minutes:

None.

6.

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

Minutes:

None.

 

7.

Chairman's Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman noted that Councillor Walker and Councillor Coote were absent due to ill health and wished them well.

8.

Leisure Centre Reopening pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman advisedMembers that they would first debate the recommendationsin the report.  The exempt report under items 9 and 10 would be debated in closed session and any amendments will be taken when they return to the open session.

 

The Leader moved the item noting the recommendation from the earlier Cabinet meeting in support of opening the three leisure centres.  Reopening the leisure centres for use by the public and residents of Mid Sussex was an important step.  He thanked the residents for their patience whilst the negotiations had been on going and stated that it was critical that the Council approve the agreed deal. He confirmed the contract, agreed in 2014 based on a Sports England template, had been performing well before the start of the pandemic.  The management fee paid by Places Leisure made a significant contribution to the Council’s budget, which helped to pay for other services.  The Coronavirus Act had invoked a change in law clause which was designed to deal with the circumstance of Place Leisure not being able to run the leisure centres and was unforeseeable when the contract had been agreed.  The Council has been required to cover closure costs whilst the centres have been closed, to date £1.132m. The figure has been closely scrutinised and was a fair reflection of costs incurred. On re-opening, the clause in the contract requires that Places Leisure are no better or worse off, as there will be reduced capacity and income due to new operational measures and socially distancing guidelines.  The financial model provided by Places Leisure has been scrutinised and the forecast is as robust as possible, and the Council must agree to underwrite the difference. The level of funding will be reconciled at the end of every month and reported through the usual governance procedures. The Council will subsidise the centres this year through the use of General Reserves. This year the cost is estimated to be £2.5m and would not impact on the Revenue Budget.

 

This was seconded by the Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery who reserved his right to speak.

 

Discussion was held on a number of issues including the risk of long-term subsidy of the leisure centres as the future was unknown, payment of the management fee and post Covid operational measures in place, the costs of the current closure to the Council, the declining use and future use of Clair Hall and the Council recommencing operations in the leisure centres.

 

The Chairman noted that any TUPE matters were not for consideration in the open session.

 

The Leader advised that it was likely that part of the management fee would be

covered by a Government scheme to support lost income due to the pandemic. The scheme will underwrite 75p per £1 for some management fee income.  He confirmed that no element for profit had been included in the costs and a small allowance had been included for the headquarter costs of Places Leisure.  Clair Hall has always  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

To consider whether to exclude the Press and Public from the meeting during consideration of the following items in accordance with Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the said Act.

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that the meeting would now be held in a closed session to debate the exempt report.  Terry Stanley, Business Unit Leader for Democratic Services introduced agenda item 9 to exclude the press and public from the meeting.

 

The Members continued the debate in the exempt session.

 

The Chairman took Members to an e-vote.  31 Members voted for, 14 Members voted against and there were 2 abstentions. 

 

10.

Leisure Centre Reopening - Exempt Appendix

11.

Leisure Centre Reopening - Resumption of Open Session

Minutes:

The open session resumed at 7.48 pm and the Chairman moved to the three proposed amendments.

 

A tabled amendment (published online) was proposed by Councillor Bates, seeking to amend recommendation iv and require the Council to review Government guidelines with a view to re-opening Clair Hall, undertake a full review of all community facilities local to  Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill to ensure sufficient provision for all current and future user groups for the time of the District Plan, and to keep Clair Hall available for use until suitable facilitates are made available.

 

This was seconded by Councillor Eggleston who reserved his right to speak.

 

Discussion was held on the amendment. during the discussion point of order was raised by a Member and he asked the Member to withdraw his comments.  The Chairman asked Members to respect other Members’ views.

 

The Deputy Leader reminded Members that removing Clair Hall from the contract would make cost savings and reduce the draw on General Reserves.  

 

The Cabinet Member for Community noted the high usage of the leisure centres and their benefit to health and wellbeing.

 

Councillor Eggleston noted the need for a community building in Haywards Heath, and asked for a review, commented on the government guidelines on multi-use facilities and stated that other similar facilities in East Grinstead were open.

 

The Leader confirmed that officers had been working on a Community Building Strategy before the pandemic and alternative provision for users would be considered. Members asked for a recorded vote. A recorded vote was requested by the requisite number of members. The chairman took members to the vote:

 

 

For

Against

Abstained

Councillor G Allen

a

 

 

Councillor Ash-Edwards

 

a

 

Councillor R Bates

a

 

 

Councillor J Belsey

 

a

 

Councillor M Belsey

 

 

 

Councillor A Bennett

a

 

 

Councillor L Bennett

 

a

 

Councillor A Boutrup

 

a

 

Councillor P Bradbury

 

a

 

Councillor P Brown

a

 

 

Councillor R Cartwright

a

 

 

Councillor P Chapman

a

 

 

Councillor R Clarke

 

a

 

Councillor E Coe-Gunnell White

 

 

a

Councillor J Dabell

 

a

 

Councillor R De Mierre

 

a

 

Councillor B Dempsey

a

 

 

Councillor R Eggleston

a

 

 

Councillor A Eves

a

 

 

Councillor S Ellis

 

a

 

Councillor L Gibbs

a

 

 

Councillor I Gibson

 

 

a

Councillor S Hatton

a

 

 

Councillor J Henwood

a

 

 

Councillor S Hicks

a

 

 

Councillor S Hillier

 

a

 

Councillor T Hussain

a

 

 

Councillor R Jackson

a

 

 

Councillor J Knight

 

a

 

Councillor C Laband

 

a

 

Councillor Andrew Lea

 

a

 

Councillor Anthea Lea

 

a

 

Councillor J Lewellyn-Burke

 

a

 

Councillor A MacNaughton

 

a

 

Councillor G Marsh

 

a

 

Councillor A Peacock

 

a

 

Councillor C Phillips

 

 

a

Councillor M Pulfer

 

a

 

Councillor R Salisbury

 

a

 

Councillor S Smith

 

a

 

Councillor A Sparasci

a

 

 

Councillor L Stockwell

 

a

 

Councillor D Sweatman

 

a

 

Councillor C Trumble

 

a

 

Councillor R Webb

 

a

 

Councillor N Webster

 

a

 

Councillor R Whittaker

 

a

 

 

16 Members voted for, 27 Members voted against, 3 abstained and 1 could not be heard.  Therefore, the Chairman announced that the amendment was lost.

 

A second tabled amendment (published online) was proposed by Councillor Hatton, seeking to add another recommendation that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.