Venue: Committee Room
Contact: Christine Lewis
Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Councillors Drinkwater, Mrs Fisher and Mrs Stanhope
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interests
The Committee considered the Call In from the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Mrs Sue Woodward of the Cabinet decision – Multi Storey Car Park, Refurbishment Project.
The Committee received further information from the Cabinet Member in response to the reasons for the Call-In. The Committee adjourned to consider this information.
The Chairman then re-opened the meeting and asked Councillor Mrs Woodward if she wished to add anything to the reasons for the Call-In and she reported that there had been a disregard for costs and funds in the sinking fund for the reprovision of a car park and the money to do this would be considerably less if this refurbishment proceeded. She reported that she had concern that the refurbishment followed the end of the Friarsgate project however that was some time ago and wished to understand what the delay had been and why it was after the Medium term Financial Strategy (MTFS) had been approved. She requested further information to the break even period and the consequences if the car park was taken out of commission before this point. She then asked for clarity on what the standards were for lighting and where the line was between safety and cosmetic measures for the works. Councillor Mrs Woodard also requested clarification as to why the total for the works was £123k but was rounded up to £150k for the budget submission.
The Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Environment & Development Services, Councillor Pritchard gave his presentation of the report as he did at the Cabinet meeting. He reported that there were no direct cost to the council. He reported that the money did not belong to the council but to Railpen who own the site. He then reported that the council was under agreement to provide spaces for the Three Spires shopping centre and if the car park was repaired as agreed, the rest of the sinking fund could be utilised for car parking for the Birmingham Road Site (BRS) however if not, it would be unlikely that Railpen would allow access to the fund.
The Committee discussed why the Cabinet report did not appear before them for pre-decision scrutiny and it was noted that the item was on the Forward Plan which was sent to all Members and could have been requested to be considered by O&S if wished.
There were some initial concerns by some Committee Members that the time taken by the Cabinet to debate this item at their meeting was short and this could be misinterpreted by the public as not effective. Reference was made to the Electoral Reform Society publication on the cost of one party councils.
The Chairman reminded all in attendance that O&S was non political and it was the role of the Committee to investigate each reason for the Call In.
At this point each reason for the Call In as submitted by Councillor Mrs Woodward was be considered in turn.
Reference was made at Cabinet to it (a) being ... view the full minutes text for item 60.