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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Muriel Matters House, Breeds Place, Hastings, TN34 3UY. Please enter the building via the Tourist Information Centre entrance.

Contact: Democratic Services on 01424 451484  email:  democraticservices@hastings.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

56.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies received from Victoria Conheady, Assistant Director, Regeneration and Culture, and Andrew Colquhoun, Chair, Grants Advisory Panel.

 

57.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

None.

 

58.

Minutes of previous Charity Committee pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the Charity Committee meeting held on 9th December 2019 be approved as a true record.

 

59.

Notification of any additional urgent items

Minutes:

The Committee were informed that the Pebsham Place Car Park EV Charging Points report was submitted as an urgent item.

 

60.

Small and Events Grants recommendations pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ian Sycamore, External Funding Manager, presented the report setting out the recommendations of the Grants Advisory Panel (GAP) in respect of applications for the Small and Events Grants Pilot Round 2 2020-21.

 

The Foreshore Trust Small and Events Grants Pilot is a small and events grants scheme for voluntary and community groups offering a service or running an event within Hastings & St. Leonards.

 

The report details from Paragraph 11 recommendations which have been put forward following an evaluation of the pilot.

 

A total of 79 enquiries were received and by the closing date, 42 applications were received. One application was ineligible meaning that 41 applications with a total amount requested of £180,144.99 were assessed. The GAP met on 21st and 29th January 2020 to review and score the applications. As in previous years the GAP members were paired up for the initial assessments and these was then jointly reviewed at the meeting.

 

Of the 41 applications considered, GAP recommends to the Charity Committee that 14 of these be approved for funding at various levels, with some subject to conditions. All the projects are to be delivered within a year of approval of the grant.

 

The Grants Advisory Panel’s recommendations are outlined in Appendix A.

 

Ian Sycamore noted that there are 5 events planned up to June which may possibly not go ahead as scheduled due to the coronavirus crisis. One of the grants is to support the Mayday biker event. Kevin Boorman, Marketing and Major Projects Manager, confirmed that if the Mayday run is cancelled there may still be bikers attending and there will need to be infrastructure in place to deal with that.

 

The Chair noted that Karen Hopkins, Senior Compliance Monitoring Officer, was leaving the council at the end of the month and thanked for her hard work dealing with the grant programme over the years.

 

Councillor Rogers proposed approval of the recommendation, seconded by Councillor Batsford.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously):

 

That the meeting:

 

1. Consider for approval the Small and Events Grants Pilot Round 2 2020-21 recommendations of the GAP as set out in Appendix 1

2. Recommend the continuation of the combined Small and Events Grants programme following the evaluation of the pilot

3. Recommend the changes proposed at item 11, following the questionnaire feedback on the pilot programme, including any necessary provision within the Foreshore Trust business plan

 

Reasons:

 

The Grant Advisory Panel has appraised the merits of the applications received for Small and Event Grant support and has made a number of recommendations for grant awards that can be funded from the available 2020-21 budget.  The pilot was to run for two rounds (one year) and with the second call now closed it has been evaluated.

 

61.

Proposed Large Grant Programme pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ian Sycamore, External Funding Manager, presented the report to propose the themes, criteria, governance and process of assessment for the Foreshore Trust Large Grants Programme for discussion and agreement.

 

 

The report also asks the Committee to allocate as part of the Foreshore Trust Charity’s budget an amount of approximately £16,000 - £19,000 per year to resource the administration of this programme (along with the current small and events grant programme), to be provided by a new 0.5 FTE post.

 

If approved the programme will launch in June with the expectation of having projects to start in April 2021 to run for three years but contracted on an annual basis.

 

The Assistant Director, Financial Services and Revenues confirmed that the budget would have to amended to reflect the cost of the 0.5 FTE post.

 

It was confirmed that the Grants Advisory Panel were advised on the new programme and this was discussed at the GAP AGM.

 

The Chief Legal Officer informed the Committee that the Foreshore Trust charitable scheme had been amended by the Charity Commission to increase the membership of the Grants Advisory Panel by 2 to take account of the additional work load.

 

Councillor Batsford proposed approval of the recommendation, seconded by Councillor Rogers.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously):

 

1. Charity Committee to agree the themes, criteria, governance and process for implementation of a proposed Foreshore Trust Large Grants Programme.

2. To allocate grant amounts available for the 2021–2024 periods as part of the Foreshore Trust Charity’s budget setting process; with the proposed total grant funding available for the five core themes being approximately £161,000 per year with an additional £20,000 per year in both years 2 and 3 to address the ‘Golden Thread’ mental health and wellbeing theme.

3. To allocate as part of the Foreshore Trust Charity’s budget setting process an amount of approximately £19,000 per year to resource the administration of this programme (along with the current small and events grant programme), to be provided by HBC.

 

Reasons:

The Foreshore Trust Charity Committee agreed in March 2019 to develop a large grants programme alongside its combined small and events programme. It also agreed that the large grants programme would support third sector organisations to deliver Hastings wide community support services within a number of activity themes.  This report discusses this proposal in detail for subsequent approval for implementation to meet the proposed launch date of summer 2020. The Foreshore Trust budget also needs to allocate the proposed funding for the programme including the administration costs.

 

62.

Lifeguard review 2019 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Kevin Boorman, Marketing and Major Projects Manager, presented the report to update the Committee on the 2019 lifeguard service in Hastings.

 

In 2019 the lifeguards saved four lives, rescued seven people, assisted sixteen, performed major first aid on five casualties and minor first aid on 22. This is the first time that the RNLI lifeguards’ intervention has been classified as ‘saving lives’ at Hastings, and is the most serious form of intervention.

 

In addition, some 14,230 members of the public were engaged with ‘preventative actions’ (an action described as ‘an action conducted by the lifeguard team to prevent persons coming into contact with harm including; PA announcement, moving flags, displaying safety signage, educating beach users’).

 

It was agreed that a press release and letter of thanks should be issued to recognised the RNLI’s work.

 

Councillor Rogers proposed approval of the recommendation, seconded by Councillor Batsford.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously):

 

That the charity committee notes the excellent lifeguard service provided by the RNLI on the town’s beaches in 2019, including the saving of four lives, and thanks the RNLI for the service they provided.

 

Reasons:

To acknowledge the excellent service the RNLI lifeguards provided in 2019.

 

63.

Coastal Users' Group update pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Minutes:

Kevin Boorman presented the report in Victoria Conheady’s absence.


Following the Coastal Users’ Group (CUG) meeting in December a small group of CUG representatives met with Hastings Borough Council officers to identify a way forward. The group noted the lack of resource within the Council for supporting wider seafront issues.

It was suggested that a liaison officer post be created to ensure that communication and feedback between the CUG and the Foreshore Trust is as open and productive as possible, in between and following on from the quarterly meetings.

CUG members reiterated at the meeting that without this dedicated resource they could not see how they could continue in the advisory function for the Foreshore Trust.

After some discussions, officers and the Chair of the Charity Committee agree that, assuming sufficient financial resources are available over the long term, this post should be created.

 

Councillor Batsford proposed approval of the recommendation, seconded by Councillor Rogers.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously):

 

1. Approve the creation of a part time (0.3 FTE) Coastal Users Group liaison officer, at a cost of up to £12,000 pa

 

2. Approve the changing of the group into two parts: a) a smaller core group focussed on the Hastings and St Leonards Foreshore Charitable business as advisory group (as outlined within the constitution) b) a wider group focussed on the wider seafront issues.

 

3. That the charity committee note the business plan will be presented at the June committee.

 

Reasons:

1. After considerable discussion with representatives of the Coastal Users Group (CUG), a workable way forward to ensure a healthier working relationship with the Hastings and St Leonards Charitable Foreshore Trust has been proposed, which necessitates a more focused advisory group on FST matters, but still maintain a larger seafront/coastal users’ group.

2. Through discussion with the coastal users’ group representatives, the shrinking officer resource and analysis of future FST workload the need for a dedicated resource to support partnership working between the CUG and the FST has been identified, subject to agreement by the full Coastal Users’ Group, which meets on Tuesday 10th March.

3. Given that the above role’s workload fluctuates throughout the year, we propose to include 1.5 days a week working with the Coastal Users’ Group (CUG) with the proposed FST programme compliance and support officer, if possible. It is also likely that the programme compliance and support officer workload may also fluctuate throughout the year dependent on the grant programme cycles, and therefore we need only create a 0.8 FTE post.

 

 

64.

Electric Bike Trial Project pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Minutes:

Keith Duly, Leisure Development Manager, presented the report to request the use of the electric bikes from the Seaside Cycle Hire for a short-term trial which encourages local work-related journeys.

 

The Seafront Cycle Hire is funded by the Foreshore Trust and operated by Active Hastings. The service incudes 23 bikes available to hire, 6 of which are electric.

 

The project aims to encourage more council workers to cycle to local meetings. The trial period will enable the Council to gather insight regarding the potential benefits, including:
 

  • Promotion of healthy lifestyles amongst council workers
  • A more environmentally friendly way to travel for those switching from car and taxi use
  • Efficiencies regarding lower vehicle running costs, reduction in staff sickness and travel time during peak traffic

 

The trial will be reviewed and evaluated during December. A case study will be drafted as part of the project evaluation. If successful, there is the possibility of exploring further opportunities perhaps to broaden the offer to other partners and residents.

 

It was confirmed that a separate insurance policy was in place for staff using the bikes.

 

Councillor Rogers proposed approval of the recommendation, seconded by Councillor Batsford.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously):

 

1. That the electric bikes are used for a trial period without impacting on the agreed Seaside Cycle Hire provision.

 

Reasons:

To trial the use of electric bikes as an alternative mode of transport for local work-related use. If this short-term trial is a success, there is potential for it to be expanded and made more permanent. Possible long-term benefits include healthier and more efficient local work force and a more environmentally friendly mode of local transport.

 

65.

Appointment of Protector pdf icon PDF 115 KB

Minutes:

Chris Barkshire-Jones, Chief Legal Officer, presented the report to appoint a Protector to the Hastings and St Leonards Foreshore Charitable Trust which is necessary under The Scheme dated 13 January 2011 authorised by the Charity Commission for England and Wales.

Following an interview process it was proposed that James Cook be appointed with effect from 20 March 2020 for a period of three years.

The Committee and officers present thanked Chris May for his service as Protector over 9 years.

Chris May thanked the Committee for their remarks.

Councillor Batsford proposed approval of the recommendation, seconded by Councillor Rogers.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously):

 

1. To appoint James Cook with effect from 20 March 2020 for a period of three years.

 

Reasons:

On 13 January 2011, the Charity Commission for England and Wales approved Hastings Borough Council as trustee for the Hastings and St Leonards Foreshore Charitable Trust. The scheme required that the trustee must appoint a Protector of the charity “whose fiduciary duty will be to ensure the integrity of the administration of the charity, and who must report to the Charity Commission any matter which he has reasonable cause to believe is likely to be relevant for the purposes of the exercise by the Commission of any of its functions.

 

66.

Foreshore Trust - Finance Report (Including 2019/2020 Budget) pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Minutes:

Peter Grace, Assistant Director, Financial Services and Revenues, presented the report to advise members of the Committee on the current year's financial position (2019/20) and to determine the budget for 2020/21.

 

The budget agreed in March 2019 identified budgeted income at £1,477,000 and expenditure at £1,296,000. The budgeted surplus for the year being £181,000 after direct governance costs, but before distribution of grants, capital charges and before use of Reserves.

 

Income is currently projected to be less than budget. The amount of car parking income anticipated is now £68,000 less than budgeted which is indicative of fewer visitors to the area as a result of the adverse weather and concerns over the potential impact of coronavirus. Rental income and Investment income remain on budget.

 

Expenditure is expected to be £51,000 under budget. This is due to lower maintenance expenditure (£12,000) which is now expected to be spent in 2020/21 and an anticipated underspend of £39,000 on charitable activities.

 

The combination of the expected reduction in income and decrease in expenditure will give rise to a net £17,000 decrease in the anticipated operating surplus at the year end. This is now forecast to be £164,000.

 

The budget for 2020/21 was attached as Appendix A to the Assistant Director’s report.

 

The Assistant Director confirmed that the budget projections will need to be amended to reflect the agreed new staff post. The 2020/21 budget was set before the implications of the coronavirus were known. Although the Trust has adequate reserves expenditures may have to be looked at. A revised set of proposals may be brought back to the Committee to reflect this.

 

Councillor Batsford proposed approval of the recommendation, seconded by Councillor Rogers.

 

RESOLVED (unanimously):

 

1. To agree the current financial position for 2019/20.
 

2. The allocation of general grants for 2020/21 be set at £60,000 and event grants at £30,000.

3. Approve the proposed expenditure funded from Reserve – albeit further approval to proceed will be required for a few schemes (marked with an *).

4. Approve the budget for 2020/21.

5. Financial monitoring reports continue to be presented to each meeting of the Charity Committee.

6. No increase in car parking charges for 2020/21 

Reasons:

The Council has the responsibility for the proper management of the financial affairs of the Trust. In doing so it complies with Accounting Codes of Practice and the high standards required for the accounting of Public money.

A deficit slightly above budget expectations is anticipated for 2019/20 in respect of operating income and expenses. Once grant and project costs are taken into account a deficit of £203,000 is anticipated against a budgeted deficit of £197,000.

 

67.

Minutes of Coastal Users Group held on Tuesday, 10th March pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the Coastal Users Group (CUG) meeting held on 10 March 2020 were submitted for the Committee to note.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Coastal Users Group meeting held on 10 March 2020 be received and noted.

 

68.

Urgent items (if any)

Minutes:

Urgency provisions were utilised for the item Pebsham Place Car Park EV Charging Points and agreed earlier due to the requirement for works to be commissioned at the same time as the works commissioned by the council.

 

69.

Pelham Place Car Park EV Charging Points pdf icon PDF 136 KB

 


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