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Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest
To receive any apologies and declarations of interest.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Asker, Coote and De Vries. Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Lavelle.
Exclusion of public and press
Consideration of reports containing exempt information within the meaning of section 1001 and paragraph 3 part 1 Schedule12A Local Government Act 1972.
RESOLVED that under section 100I of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
To consider the endorsement of the Investment Opportunity and to authorise the necessary borrowing as set out in the report.
Councillor Reeve, as Chair of the Investment Board, summarised the report.
He said that the investment opportunity formed part of the overall investment portfolio. He outlined the proposed purchase arrangements and the arrangements currently in place with the landlord. He said that he did not see the possibility of sub-letting being a risk as it would require UDC agreement. He said that if this opportunity was taken it would provide income of around £1m this financial year and alongside other approved investments would be moving towards the target of between £5m and £7m net annual income from the Investment portfolio. He also outlined the important role played by the Independent Members on the Investment Board and that there had been no dissent from the Investment Board in support for this opportunity.
Councillor Reeve also made Members aware of the withdrawal of two previously approved investment proposals and proposed the motion.
This was seconded by Councillor Hargreaves.
Councillor Lavelle joined the meeting at 6.17pm.
Councillor Sell said that he was ambivalent towards the investment opportunity but that he did not believe that the Council had a coherent investment strategy. He said that the policy was not locally based as for example Scarborough Council’s policy. He stated that good governance was important and that he was happy with the roles being played by the Independent Members and that the previously expressed intention of one of the Independent Members chairing the Investment Board was being considered and would be brought back to the Board.
The Chief Executive said that further opportunities within the district were limited but that the Council would evaluate any that did come up.
Councillor Reeve said that the target level for the Investment portfolio had almost been reached and that one further investment of around £25m was needed. In response to Councillor Sell’s comments on an Independent Member taking the Chair of Investment Board he stated that this matter was under consideration but that by not being the Chair, the Independent Members were in a better position to fully express their views and engage in debate. This position had been agreed with the Independent Member who had attended the previous meeting of the Investment Board.
The Director – Finance and Corporate Services confirmed that he had contacted large local businesses in the past month but local investment opportunities were limited.
Councillor Evans asked for confirmation that this opportunity was for a freehold interest in the property and he also asked for clarification as to the potential risks of sub-letting.
The Director – Finance and Corporate Services confirmed that it was a freehold interest and explained the significant legal work that could be involved in any future sub-letting arrangements.
Councillor Hargreaves supported the proposal in that it was an excellent location, there were quality tenants and that there was a need for a mixed portfolio, with a yield of 4.2% being produced. He said there were no similar opportunities in the district.
Councillor Khan said that he was in favour ... view the full minutes text for item 3.