Cabinet
Tuesday, 12th December, 2017 7.00 pm - Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, Farnborough

Contact: Chris Todd, Democratic Services  on 01252 398825 or e-mail:  chris.todd@rushmoor.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

56.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 183 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 14th November, 2017 (copy attached).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 14th November, 2017 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

57.

REVISIONS TO DISCRETIONARY RATE RELIEF POLICY pdf icon PDF 621 KB

To consider Report No. FIN1737 (copy attached), which sets out proposed amendments to the Council’s Discretionary Rate Relief Policy.

Presented By: Councillor Gareth Lyon, Concessions and Community Support Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered Report No. FIN1737, which set out proposed amendments to the Council’s existing Discretionary Rate Relief Policy, which was intended to support charities, Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs), not-for profit organisations and other businesses.

 

Members were informed that these amendments would allow the Council to award Discretionary Rate Relief to other organisations in the Borough that provided benefit to the community and not be limited to charities and not-for-profit organisations.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED that the adoption of the amended policy, as set out at Appendix 1 to Report No. FIN1737, be approved.

58.

TREASURY MANAGEMENT OPERATIONS MID-YEAR REPORT 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 438 KB

To consider Report No. FIN1736 (copy attached), which sets out the main activities of Treasury Management Operations during the first half of 2017/18.

Presented By: Councillor Paul Taylor, Corporate Services Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet received Report No. FIN1736, which set out the main activities of the treasury management operations during the first half of 2017/18 and provided an update on the current economic conditions affecting treasury management decisions. 

 

The Cabinet was informed that the Council had continued to receive treasury management advice from Arlingclose Limited, who had provided a detailed commentary on the economic background, which was set out at Appendix A to the Report. In relation to investment activity in 2017/18, Arlingclose had produced a graph that was set out at Appendix B to the Report. This indicated total investment returns generated were down on the same period in the previous year. Their advice was to review the Council’s holdings in pooled funds and, as a result of this review, the Council had made some adjustments to its holdings in this area. Appendix C to the Report showed the actual prudential indicators relating to capital and treasury activities for the first half of 2017/18 and compared these to the indicators which had been set in the Annual Treasury Management Strategy for the year, which had been approved by the Council on 27th July, 2017.

 

In response to a question, it was confirmed that this area of the Council’s financial activities had been outside of the scope of the recent peer challenge exercise. 

 

The Cabinet NOTED the Council’s treasury management operations in the first half of 2017/18, as set out in FIN1736.

59.

FARNBOROUGH AIRPORT COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL FUND pdf icon PDF 120 KB

To consider Report No. COMM1722 (copy attached), which sets out details of an application for a grant from the Farnborough Airport Community Environmental Fund.

Presented By: Councillor Martin Tennant, Environment and Service Delivery Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered Report No. COMM1722, which sought approval to award a grant from the Farnborough Airport Community Environmental Fund, which had been set up to assist local projects.

 

The Environment and Service Delivery Portfolio Holder had considered the application by the Friends of Ancells Farm for an award of £8,496 towards the cost of developing a play area at Ancells Farm Park in Fleet. It was confirmed that this application met all of the agreed criteria.

 

The Cabinet RESOLVED that a grant of £8,496 be awarded from the Farnborough Airport Community Environmental Fund to the Friends of Ancells Farm.

60.

SOUTHWOOD GOLF COURSE - CONSULTATION ON OPTION TO CREATE A MAJOR NEW PARKLAND AND DELIVER SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE NATURAL GREENSPACE pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To consider Joint Report No. COMM1721 / PLN1739 (copy attached), which sets out the results of a public consultation exercise on the option to close the Southwood Golf Course and convert it to a major new parkland, providing additional Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) to enable the delivery of new housing developments elsewhere in the Borough.

Presented By: Councillor Martin Tennant, Environment and Service Delivery Portfolio Holder and Councillor Maurice Sheehan, Leisure and Youth Portfolio Holder

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered Joint Report No. COMM1721 / PLN1739, which set out the results of a consultation exercise on an option to create a major new parkland and deliver Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) at Southwood Golf Course, Farnborough. Also included was a summary of the process to date, to assist the Cabinet in determining what action was to be taken in relation to the future of the Southwood Golf Course.

 

Members were reminded that a joint meeting of the Environment Policy and Review Panel and the Leisure and Youth Policy and Review Panel had been held on 7th November, 2017 to consider this matter. It was reported that the Chairman of that meeting had requested to address the meeting, as had five members of the public and a representative from England Golf.

 

Cr. Mrs. D.B. Bedford, Chairman of the Joint Panel meeting, explained that, at the meeting, a thorough examination of the options for the golf course following the completion of the consultation exercise had been carried out. The Minutes of the meeting were set out at Appendix 1 of the Joint Report No. COMM1721 / PLN1739. Following a comprehensive debate, the Joint Panel had agreed that the following should be recommended to the Cabinet:

 

“That the decision regarding the future of the Southwood Golf Course be deferred for twelve months while all other options be pursued to include:

 

·                Lobbying Government

·                Seeking special dispensation for the area of Rushmoor in the way it is treated for SANG land, and;

·                Examination of alternative SANG provision to provide the necessary mitigation for housing development in Rushmoor.”

 

The Cabinet then received representations in favour of the Southwood Golf Course from Mr. Mike Bartley, Mr. Barry Gilmore, Mr. Keith Ledgerwood and Mr. Andy Short. Mr. William Fry of England Golf also spoke on behalf of England Golf. It was noted that Mr. David Scott had also registered to speak at the meeting but had been unable to attend.

 

The Cabinet then questioned officers in relation to various matters. These matters had been raised during the consultation exercise and events, the Joint Panel meeting, the Council meeting, at which the petition containing 2,366 signatures had been received, and the spoken representations received earlier in the meeting. The following clarifications were received:

 

-           The Council’s previous Portfolio Holder for Environment and Service Delivery had consistently challenged both Natural England and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in relation to SANG provision in Rushmoor’s individual circumstances, and the whole concept of the approach to mitigation but had been unsuccessful in achieving concessions in this respect;

 

-           Aldershot’s Member of Parliament, Mr. Leo Docherty, had recently written to the Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP expressing concerns regarding SANG and the Southwood Golf Course. Mr. Javid’s reply had confirmed that there were no plans for the Government to revise its current position in relation to the provision of SANG to mitigate the harmful effects of new housing development on protected sites;

 

-           It was Natural England’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.