Agenda and minutes
The Former Cabinet Member for Cultural Services and Sport from May, 2009 to July, 2010
Tuesday, 9th March, 2010 10.00 a.m.
Venue: Eric Manns Building, 45 Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2RB
Contact: Debbie Bacon, Senior Democratic Services Officer - Ext. 2054
Resolved:- That the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet Member held on 23rd February, 2010 be signed as a true record.
Nichola Stretton, Finance Manager, to report.
Consideration was given to a report presented by Steve Hallsworth, Acting Director of Culture and Leisure, which detailed the performance against the revenue budget for the Environment and Development Services Directorate as at the end of January, 2010 and provided a forecasted outturn for the whole of the 2009/10 financial year.
The report reflected the position against budget for the period 1st April, 2009 to 31st January, 2010 and a summary was provided of the projected 2009/10 revenue position for the Directorate.
The key pressures for Culture and Leisure Services contributing to this position of relevance were within Culture and Heritage relating to staffing costs in Theatres (£38k) and the payment for South Yorkshire Archives (£15k). These pressures were being offset by an underspend on staffing in Museums (£50k).
Pressures within Sports and Recreation included solicitor costs (£18k), operational costs at the Stadium (£35k), unrecovered debts (£64k), loss of income within Countryside budgets (£30k), but the delay in opening Clifton Park was partially offsetting these pressures (£59k-), as were savings in pay across the service area (£36k-).
The Service continued to work towards establishing the financial position of the Clifton Park Restoration Project. The Service was taking legal advice with regard to payments either due or from the Administrator dependant of the results of the assessment being carried out by the Quantity Surveyor. This was expected during March, 2010. However, additional costs have already been incurred for site security and fees as a result of UCS Civils leaving the site (£60k+).
Overall Libraries were forecasting an underspend (£51k-) and pressures within Libraries management were being offset by staff vacancies, materials fund savings and an expected reduction RBT charges (£39k-). The Service was continuing to work to achieve the savings offered in the 2009/10 budget.
Additionally, unbudgeted security costs at Ulley Reservoir (£27k) have been incurred.
A proposal had been made to offer part of the Museum Insurance monies post Floods 2007 to mitigate pressures within EDS Services (£100k-). A detailed report will be presented to Cabinet Member Cultural Services, outlining the risks of this proposal in due course.
Resolved:- (1) That the current forecast year end outturn position of an overspend of £259,000 for the Environment and Development Services Directorate based on expenditure and income as at January, 2010 be noted.
(2) That this report be referred to the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel for information.
Marie Hayes, Events and Promotions Service Manager, to report.
Consideration was given to a report presented by Marie Hayes, Events and Promotions Service Manager, which outlined the annual review of Culture and Leisure fees and charges for 2010/11. Where appropriate, charges were increased by at least 2%. Where charges remained the same this was because either increasing a price would incur additional costs (e.g. for changing ticket/photocopying machines) or where managers felt that an increase would affect customer levels. Several prices have also been reduced in order to attempt to arrest a decline in usage.
It should be noted that several core services still remained essentially free of charge, e.g. public library service, museum service, archives and local studies service and casual access to green spaces and children’s play areas. Where there was a charge there was often a concessionary rate and, particularly related to leisure activities, a junior Rothercard rate. Concessionary customers were not restricted to access at off-peak times as was the case in many other local authorities.
The charges for allotments were for the financial year 2011/12. This was because allotment holders have to receive twelve months’ statutory notice of any increase in line with Allotment Act Legislation. These charges were still well below comparable local authorities and it was the intention to increase them by 10% each year until a comparable rate was reached.
The proposed charges were with effect from 1st April, 2010 (25th March, 2010, for Country Parks and 1st September, 2010, for the Civic Theatre).
Attention was also drawn to an incorrect charge relating to the Community Library Intermediate Band Hire Per Week in the Libraries and Information Services Section as part of Videos and DVD’s as being 25p when this should have been reported as £1.00 full price and 75p concessionary price and the Intermediate Band Overdue Per Day being reported as 85p when this was in fact 25p.
Reference was made to Leisure and Green Spaces Charges in relation to Herringthorpe Athletics Stadium and the categorisation of “Price on Application” in relation to arena hire and birthday parties. Whilst the reasoning behind this labelling was explained in full, it was suggested that the wording be amended accordingly to reflect the negotiations that could take place over specific booking requests.
Resolved:- That the fees and charges as set out in the report, with the correction above, be approved.
(The Chairman authorised consideration of the following item in order to expediate the process of the matters referred to.)
Exclusion of the Press and Public
The following item is likely to be considered in the absence of the press and public as being exempt under Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended March 2006) (information relates to finance and business affairs):-
Resolved:- That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, 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 exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act (information relates to finance and business affairs).
Approval of Tender for Clifton Park Buildings Completion Works
Phil Gill, Green Spaces Manager, to report.
Consideration was given to a report presented by Phil Gill, Green Spaces Manager, which set out details about the tenders received for the completion of the outstanding building works and the making good of a number of defects in the Garden Building, Walled Garden and Activity Buildings in Clifton Park. This work was necessary following the insolvency of the contractor appointed to carry out the original contract.
The report set out information contained with the tender documentation and the companies/amounts that submitted formal tenders.
Discussions ensued on the selection of the preferred contractor, negotiations that had taken place to ensure that the Council’s position was safeguarded and the scope of works included in the tender documentation.
Resolved:- (1) That following the amended tender submitted dated 18th February, 2010, officers be authorised to pursue negotiations with the preferred contractor named in the report in order to arrive at an optimum contract sum in line with the project budget.
(2) That, subject to a satisfactory conclusion to these negotiations, the Director of Asset Management be authorised to issue a Letter of Acceptance to the preferred contractor subject to a formal contract award.