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Agenda and minutes

With effect from 1 April 2016 Agenda and Minutes will be available in both Welsh and English. Reports are working documents and produced in English only in accordance with Welsh Language Standard 41 of this Council’s Final Compliance Notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner.

Venue: Meeting Room 1, Guildhall

Contact: Suzanne Price  Scrutiny Facilitator

Items
No. Item

13.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillors Bryan Apsley and Paul Blackwell.

14.

Declarations of personal interests, if any

Members are reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare the existence and nature of any personal interest in respect of any of the business to be transacted at this meeting

Minutes:

Members were reminded of their responsibility, under Paragraph 11 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, to declare any interests in relation to any of the business to be transacted at this meeting.  The following declarations were made:

Councillor Brian Cameron – Agenda Item 5 – Personal and Prejudicial – Local Authority appointed School Governor.  The Councillor remained in the meeting and claimed an exemption under Article 12(2) of the Members’ Code of Conduct taking part in the discussion thereon.

15.

Confirmation of Minutes pdf icon PDF 78 KB

To sign as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 July 2018

Minutes:

AGREED – That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 July 2018 be signed as a correct record.

16.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 38 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Finance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Finance submitted a report (HF/104/18s) to assist the Committee in considering and agreeing its work programme.

 

AGREED – That the work programme as outlined in report HF/104/18s be agreed.

17.

Feasibility Study (Former Groves School) pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To consider the report of the Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health & Safety and Governance and the Lead Member for People - Education

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Members declarations of interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 14 above)

 

The Lead Member for Organisation – Finance, Performance, Health & Safety and Governance and Lead Member for People – Education submitted a report (HEd/23/18) to provide Members with information about the current status of the Groves site in terms of future development potential and legal status and to share with Members the outcome of the feasibility study commissioned by the Education Department.

 

Presenting the report the Lead Member for Education wished to place on record his thanks to Simon Roberts, Assets Manager and TACP Architects for the feasibility study.  He reminded the Committee of the requirement for education use of the site and referred to the ongoing work of the department in increasing primary school places in the town centre.  Referring to the feasibility study the Lead Member concluded that this had demonstrated that the listed Groves School building would be too expensive to refurbish and required a number of important compromises as listed in the report to be made for the building to be used as a primary school.  Therefore the Education Department would be notifying the Assets Team and Corporate Land and Buildings Group of its intention to declare the building surplus to requirements.  He confirmed that it was intended to proceed with a scheme to place a single new build 420 pupil primary school plus a nursery for 60 pupils on the remainder of the site.

 

The Chair invited Members to comment on the report and the following matters were highlighted:

 

·         Legal advice confirmed that consideration of today’s report by any Councillors who were also members of the Planning Committee would not be considered pre-determination.

·         The view of some Members that it declaring the building surplus to requirements at this time was premature and concern was expressed that to do so could result in no future use for the building for many years.  The Lead Member assured the Committee that the Council was still obliged to maintain the listed building and it’s future use would be considered by the Corporate Land and Building Group.  He gave an assurance that progressing the new school could run in conjunction with identifying a proposed use for the Groves School building.

·         The need for this Committee to monitor progress.

·         Disappointment that the report did not include alternative funding sources which may have allowed the conversion of the Groves School building to a primary school.  Officers reminded Members that adapting the building would still result in unacceptable compromises.

·         Assurances sought regarding the need for town centre school places.  The Head of Education stated that this information could be provided to the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee.

·         Suggestion that the Lifelong Learning Scrutiny Committee should be invited to input.  The establishment of a joint task and finish group was proposed.

·         The restrictions of the covenants remained unresolved at this time.  It was intended to submit a Planning application within the next 6 months for a new school  ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.