Public Question Time (30 minutes)
- Meeting of Annual General Meeting, Charity Committee, Monday, 25th September, 2017 7.00 pm (Item 12.)
A notice had been placed in the local newspaper inviting written questions, and two members of the public had submitted questions. Written answers had been provided.
The Chair invited questions from the public gallery on matters relating to the Trust.
Mr Dick Edwards asked 4questions of the committee, as follows:-
1. It should be easier for a member of the public to raise concerns to members regarding the Foreshore Trust. In response, the Chief Legal Officer advised that the Council’s Constitution provides that the Chair of the Charity Committee can be asked questions just like any other portfolio holder under Rule 11, Part 4, Public Question Time.
2. He asked when the Charity’s conflicts of Interest Policy was last reviewed. The Chief Legal Officer said that it is something that she would review.
Mr Edwards made a number of recommendations:-
3. The meetings of the Coastal Users Group need to be aligned to Charity Committee meetings to give them time to consider issues. Charity Committee should consider increasing grants from £90,000 to £100,000. The extra £10,000 could be earned by investment.
4. Mr Edwards asked for the Foreshore Trust element of the Council’s website to be reviewed. The Chief Legal Officer said this would be done.
The Chair thanked Mr Edwards for his recommendation and questions.
Mr Lewcock asked several questions of the committee, as follows:-
5. What plans do the Trust have in expanding the western part of the Foreshore Trust? Is there a strategy document which follows the priorities of the Foreshore Trust? The Assistant Director, Regeneration and Culture said the business plan adopted by the Charity Committee sets out the priorities for the Foreshore Trust. It also deals with issues around maintenance and the repair of assets, and is reviewed on an annual basis.
6. Is there an opportunity for the Foreshore Trust to collaborate with the Council regarding the site at West Marina? The Chief Legal Officer said that the site is currently being marketed. If any development were to come forward the Foreshore Trust would be a consultee.
7. What area of Foreshore Trust Land will the Marina use? The Assistant Director, Regeneration and Culture replied that it is too early to know what land would be affected, if any, and how it might be used. The Harbour Quarter proposal is in a very early investigative stage..
8. Are the repayments on the loan regarding the White Rock Baths paid from the income from the Source? The Assistant Director of Finances and Revenues advised that the original loan to the Foreshore Trust was for £300,000. The Trust receives income from The Source which more than exceeds the cost of the loan to the Trust. In addition the Trust receives income from the Pier Charity for the hub above White Rock Baths.
16. The Assistant Director, Financial Services and Revenues said some parts of White Rock Baths remain a responsibility of the Trust e.g. pumps and structural repairs. There have been unforeseen costs this financial year, resulting in the costs being more than the Trust anticipated. The Assistant Director further advised that the Source has a repairing lease. Mr Lewcock asked how much are they responsible for? The Assistant Director, Financial Services and Revenues said they were responsible for internal repairs rather than the fabric of the building. The building will continue to be subject to water ingress. The loan repayment was for 10 years. Mr Lewcock said it would be helpful for committee members to have a breakdown of the £262,000 costs in future reports.</AI3>
Mr Lewcock further commented that it would be helpful for all to have a breakdown of repair costs.