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Agenda and minutes

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Items
No. Item

122.

Attendance by Reserve Members

To note the attendance at this meeting of any duly appointed Reserve Members.

 

Reserve Members may attend meetings:-

 

(i)                 to take the place of an ordinary Member for whom they are a reserve;

(ii)               where the ordinary Member will be absent for the whole of the meeting; and

(iii)             the meeting notes at the start of the meeting at the item ‘Reserves’ that the Reserve Member is or will be attending as a reserve;

(iv)              if a Reserve Member whose intention to attend has been noted arrives after the commencement of the meeting, then that Reserve Member can only act as a Member from the start of the next item of business on the agenda after his/her arrival.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that there were no Reserve Members in attendance.

123.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests, arising from business to be transacted at this meeting, from:

 

(a)               all Members of the Committee;

(b)               all other Members present.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  To note that 

 

(1)          the Declarations of Interests published in advance of the meeting on the Council’s website were taken as read and it be also noted that Councillor Baxter, who was not a member of the Committee, but was present at the meeting, did not have any interests to declare;

 

(2)          Members and Co-opted Members who had declared interests remained in the virtual meeting whilst the matters were considered and voted upon.

RESOLVED ITEMS

124.

Harrow Strategic Development Partnership - Appointment of Preferred Bidder pdf icon PDF 15 MB

Report of the Corporate Director of Community.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Corporate Director of Community which was to be considered by Cabinet at its meeting scheduled to be held on 10 September 2020 for decision.  The report advised Members of the outcome of the Competitive Dialogue stage of the procurement process.  The report sought Cabinet’s approval of the appointment of Bidder B as the Preferred Bidder with whom the Council would seek to establish the Harrow Strategic Development Partnership (HSDP).  Cabinet’s approval was also being sought to proceed to the Preferred Bidder Stage in order to allow the proposals to be clarified, specified and optimised so that the structure of the vehicle could be formalised, legal documents finalised and the HSDP Business Plan concluded.

 

The report was before the Overview and Scrutiny Committee due to its role as a scrutinising body and Members were invited to comment on the report and the proposals therein prior to its consideration by Cabinet.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Employment introduced the report and referred to the key priorities of the Council for the Core Sites.  The Core Sites were Poets Corner, Peel Road and Byron Quarter for which the priorities included:

 

-               re-provide the Civic Centre;

-               provide the Civic Centre at no cost to the Council’s General Fund, utilising the receipts received through the period of the partnership

-               maximising affordable housing across the three sites.

 

The Portfolio Holder informed the Committee that whilst key Members of the Executive were briefed on a weekly basis, they had not participated in any deliberations during the procurement process and in officers arriving at the  recommendations before Cabinet.  He added that once Cabinet had appointed a Preferred Bidder, a further report would be submitted in the New Year with a view to approving a Business Plan which would include an outline of the sites proposed for development. There would also be a report in the autumn finalising the Council’s Accommodation Strategy.

 

The Chair invited questions from Members under the following topics:

 

Governance, Legal and Accountability

 

Q1:  Why was the LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) considered to be the best vehicle and the right option for the HSDP (Harrow Strategic Development Partnership)?

What does tax efficient mean?

What rates of taxation would apply?

 

An officer, the Council’s external legal advisor and the Council’s Commercial Advisor stated that a corporate vehicle was required for the HSDP and current local authority practice was often to use a LLP for these types of joint venture where this was possible. The LLP structure  provided an opportunity to have a jointly owned vehicle capable of being structured for this transaction with limited liability which would allow each party to have  an equal share, provide flexibility in terms of governance, decision making and its operational aspects.

 

One  benefit of an LLP was due to the tax status.  Although taxes such as VAT and SDLT applied, as opposed to companies which pay corporation tax, an LLP was not taxed on its own behalf, each partner was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 124.

125.

Exclusion of the Press Public

To resolve that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of confidential information in breach of an obligation of confidence, or of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972:

 

Agenda Item No

 

6.

Title

 

 

Harrow Strategic Development Partnership - Appointment of  Preferred Bidder - Appendices E, F and G

 

Description of Exempt Information

 

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

 

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the press and public, including co-opted members of Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Harrow Youth Parliament representative, be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business, on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of confidential information in breach of an obligation of confidence, or of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972:

 

Agenda Item No

 

Title

Description of Exempt Information

 

6.

Harrow Strategic Development Partnership - Appointment of  Preferred Bidder - Appendices E, F and G

 

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

 

Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings.

 

126.

Harrow Strategic Development Partnership - Appointment of Preferred Bidder

Appendices to the Report of the Corporate Director of Community.

Minutes:

 Members of the Committee discussed the confidential appendices E, F and G in detail and asked questions of both officers and external advisers present during the private session of the meeting.  Questions from Members related to the following:

-               land value and the timing of how this would be recouped;

-               disparity in tenders in relation to management fee charges;

-               robustness of the bidders.  Members sought details of the ‘minor concerns’ mentioned in the report;

-               whether any of the minor errors in the model had a material effect;

-               margins;

-               viability of the bidders.

 

An advisor undertook to provide additional information in relation to the question on the timing of the recouping of the land value.  Another advisor explained the levels of controls the Council would be able to exercise in its role as a planning authority, including checks and balances that would be required in order to ensure value for money.  The question relating to the ‘minor concerns’ was explained and Members were assured that these would not have any material impact on the proposals.

 

Members questions were responded to and details of the two bidders were shared with them.  The Committee was reminded that these details were confidential until released formally following the Cabinet decision.  Members noted that additional reports would be submitted to future meetings of the Committee as the project progressed.

 

In summing up, the Chair stated that, whilst he would argue for additional affordable housing to be provided on the sites, he would support the appointment of Bidder B.  He thanked all for their work in bringing this project to fruition.

 

RESOLVED:  That the comments of the Committee be submitted to the Cabinet.

The recording of this meeting can be found at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/G0pjkeQVqcE