Agenda and minutes
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Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bateson, W. Da Costa, L. Jones and Reynolds.
To receive any declarations of interest
Councillor Singh declared a personal interest in the item ‘Community Options – Maidenhead’ because one of the Trustees of Maidenhead Community Centre was a neighbour and acquaintance. He would take part in the discussion and vote on the item.
The deadline for public questions (directly relating to an item on the agenda) is 12noon on Tuesday 22 September 2020.
For information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01628 796529.
(The Council will set aside a period of 30 minutes to deal with public questions, which may be extended at the discretion of the Mayor in exceptional circumstances. The Member who provides the initial response will do so in writing. The written response will be published as a supplement to the agenda by 5pm one working day before the meeting. The questioner shall be allowed up to one minute to put a supplementary question at the meeting. The supplementary question must arise directly out of the reply provided and shall not have the effect of introducing any new subject matter. A Member responding to a supplementary question will have two minutes to respond).
a) Andrew Hill of Boyn Hill ward asked the following question of Councillor Johnson, Leader of the Council:
The MCC submitted an Asset of Community Value nomination on May 11th 2020. By law the site MUST be designated or refused ACV status within 8 weeks. Was the RVS site designated an ACV (or not) under regulation 7 of the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012, and on what date?
Written response: Thank you for your question Mr Hill. There has been a delay in determining the application. An apology was provided to MCC as their email with the application was not picked up for a number of weeks due to staff being refocused on to the Council’s response to COVID 19. Subsequent to that due to the existence of a development agreement and planning permission relating to the site specialist legal advice has had to be commissioned to support determination of the application. We are sorry for the delay and the application will shortly be determined.
By way of supplementary question, Mr Hill referred to paragraph 2.12 of the report where it stated that the ACV application was being considered in line with the relevant legislation yet in the written response to his question it was stated that this was not true and in fact regulation 7 had been breached. Worse still, it appeared that Councillor Johnson intended to go on defying the statutory deadline. Section 5 of the report (legal implications) did not inform Members of the statutory breaches. Mr Hill asked why this was the case and why had RBWM decided not to comply with all statutory requirements?
Councillor Johnson responded by restating that the reason the application had not been determined in the required timescale was due to the reallocation of resources to tackle the more immediate issue of COVID-19. The council would be determining the application in line with its statutory obligations. Although this was delayed, it did not mean the council would not pay regard to the due process going forward. It was also fair to say that the council had arrived at a solution which would be discussed later in the agenda; the question was somewhat academic given the information now in Part I.
b) Andrew Hill of Boyn Hill ward asked the following question of Councillor Johnson, Leader of the Council:
Written response: Thank you for your question Mr Hill. The proposed location was Part II so that the confidential discussions with the relevant parties could be completed. As soon as we can, this information will be made available in Part I.
Countryside are required to pay the contribution of £650,000 for improving the Desborough ... view the full minutes text for item 33.
The Constitution provides for a maximum time of 30 minutes to debate petitions; this can be overruled at the Mayor’s discretion.
In accordance with the Constitution, the order of speaking shall be as follows:
a) The Mayor may invite the relevant officer to set out the background to the petition issue.
b) The Lead Petitioner to address the meeting on the petition (5 minutes maximum)
c) The Mayor to invite any relevant Ward Councillors present to address the meeting. (5 minutes maximum each)
d) The Mayor to invite the relevant officer to provide any further comment.
e) The Mayor will invite all Members to debate the matter (Rules of Debate as per the Constitution apply)
Members considered the following petition:
We the undersigned petition The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to Stop RBWM demolishing Maidenhead Community Centre and moving us to an inadequate temporary site!.
The Director of Place explained that the York Road development, the first of the Council’s regeneration projects, required vacant possession of Phase II and Phase III, for these to proceed.
Phase II was currently occupied by Maidenhead Community Centre (MCC), with a head lease held by Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) and the freehold interest held by the council. The council had been in negotiations with both RVS and MCC regarding the surrender of the head lease and the relocation of MCC to an alternative facility.
The Part II report on the agenda set out a proposed way forward so that phase II of the York Road regeneration scheme could progress and the future location of MCC could be secured. The proposed way forward would involve MCC moving to 4 Marlow Road, Maidenhead. This would be a site in line with the requirements they had indicated and would not involve a move to a temporary site.
Jack Douglas, lead petitioner, explained that in late 2016 RVS had advised that the building would close. He ran a small church that used a room at the site. He had been aware the site was earmarked for development but the building would now be mothballed. It was felt that it would be a shame to simply board the building up therefore RVS had been asked if volunteers could run the facility. MCC had therefore been set up as a charity in 2017. The community centre had flourished; prices were kept low but over £100,000 of income had been raised. Given the level of demand for the building it would be a shame if what had been built up would be knocked down with the building. Several years and two petitions later, the same question was still being asked. During the three years of meetings with the council discussions had been friendly and constructive however financial constraints and the pandemic meant a solution had been difficult to find. An earlier offer of a temporary location followed by a permanent site had been considered deeply but it had been felt that a temporary move would have resulted in the destruction of the services provided. Mr Douglas provided a personal example of the difficulties of moving to a temporary location. Moving a whole community centre and leaving it in limbo for two years would not have worked. He believed the council cared about the services provided and that the petition had been heard. The opportunity of 4 Marlow Road had now arisen and Members would be asked to vote to put their trust in MCC. He believed that trust would be repaid by making full use of the site for the community for many years. He thanked the residents who had signed the petition, the council for providing the hearing and to those councillors in St ... view the full minutes text for item 34.
Local Government Act 1972 - Exclusion of Public
To consider passing the following resolution:-
“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting whilst discussion takes place on item 6 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1-7 of part I of Schedule 12A of the Act"
RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the remainder of the meeting whilst discussion takes place on item 6 on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1-7 of part I of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Community Options - Maidenhead
To consider the above report