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Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Waltham Forest Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Anthony Jackson, Democratic Services Officer  020 8496 4328 Email: anthony.jackson@walthamforest.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Liaquat Ali MBE JP.

 

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members are required to declare any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests they or their spouse/partner may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting. Interests are defined on the inside cover of this agenda.

Minutes:

Item 5, Selective Licensing Re-Designation: Councillor Naheed Asghar and Ahsan Khan declared a pecuniary interest in this item as landlords of properties in the borough.

 

3.

MINUTES OF CABINET pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2018were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

4.

LONDON BOROUGH OF CULTURE 2019: PROGRAMME UPDATE pdf icon PDF 151 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet noted:

 

(a)  the programme developments since the October 2018 Cabinet paper and steps taken to realise the council’s plans to deliver an ambitious London Borough of Culture 2019 programme;

 

(b)  the achievement of reaching key milestones – the programme highlight announcement and the first event ‘Welcome to the Forest’,  ...  view the full decision text for item 4.

Minutes:

The Leader introduced the report and referred to the exciting and very successful launch of the Borough of Culture, ‘Welcome to the Forest’, held over the weekend of 11-13 January.  Many people had come and enjoyed the event, and the Cabinet joined the Leader in thanking the many volunteers, Legends of the Forest, who contributed to its success.  She also congratulated the officer team in obtaining so many levels of sponsorship in the short time available.

 

Cabinet noted:

 

(a)    the programme developments since the October 2018 Cabinet paper and steps taken to realise the Council’s plans to deliver an ambitious London Borough of Culture 2019 programme;

 

(b)   the achievement of reaching key milestones – the programme highlight announcement and the first event ‘Welcome to the Forest’;

 

(c)    the success of the first round of the Fellowship Funding grants programme;

 

(d)   the Equalities Impact Assessment screener for the programme;

 

(e)    the Evaluation Framework to measure the impact and benefits of the programme;

 

(f)    the plans to announce further programme elements in the last week of January 2019; and

 

(g)   that further updates on the London Borough of Culture 2019 programme will be presented to Cabinet on a quarterly basis, with the next update scheduled for April 2019.

 

5.

SELECTIVE LICENSING RE-DESIGNATION pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(a)       noted the outcome of the significant work undertaken since the previous report in September 2018 to establish a robust evidence base;

 

(b)       noted that the evidence base does not support a proposal for a further borough-wide selective licensing scheme as neither the Hatch Lane or Endlebury wards meet  ...  view the full decision text for item 5.

Minutes:

Having declared a pecuniary interest in this item as landlords in the borough, Councillor N Asghar and A Khan left the room at 2.08 p.m. when it was reached and took no part in its consideration.

 

Councillor Mitchell introduced the report and congratulated David Beach and his team on an excellent piece of work.  This was warmly applauded by the Cabinet.

 

Councillor Mitchell explained that, although the number private rented sector dwellings in Waltham Forest was relatively large, the Secretary of State would need to be satisfied that a scheme of this scale was justified.  There was a huge disparity between the ward with the highest proportion (63 per cent in Grove Green, and the two lowest, Endlebury and Hatch Lane, which with fewer than 20 per cent did not meet the criteria for inclusion in the scheme.

 

The proportion of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) is less disparate by ward but the association with poor property conditions and anti-social behaviour creates clearer evidence for the designation of the whole borough as an additional HMO licensing area.

 

In welcoming the report, the Leader underlined the importance of consultation, and said that Cabinet would consider the outcome carefully and proportionately.

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)    noted the outcome of the significant work undertaken since the previous report in September 2018 to establish a robust evidence base;

 

(b)    noted that the evidence base does not support a proposal for a further borough-wide selective licensing scheme as neither the Hatch Lane or Endlebury wards meet any of the current criteria for designation;

 

(c)     agreed that there be a consultation upon a proposed scheme that includes the proposed designation of 18 wards as a selective licensing area but excluding Hatch Lane and Endlebury;

 

(d)    agreed that there be a consultation upon the proposed designation of the borough as an additional HMO licensing area;

 

(e)    noted the outline approach to the proposed consultation at Appendix 3 of the report;

 

(f)      delegated to the Portfolio Lead Member for Housing and the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Commercial Services  responsibility for agreeing the final consultation questionnaire in consulation with the Director of Governance and Law; and

 

(g)    noted that Cabinet will receive a further report with the outcomes of the consultation and recommendations in relation to designation of property licensing beyond the expiry of the existing Selective Licensing scheme, in July 2019 to enable time for any application for approval by the Government to be confirmed and published before it expires on 31 March 2020.

 

Following consideration of this item, Councillors N Asghar and A Khan rejoined the meeting.

 

6.

LOCAL FUNDING FORMULA FOR SCHOOLS 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet approved the draft 2019/20 Schools Block Local Funding Formula (LFF) for 5-16 year olds at Appendix A and Appendix B of the report.

 

OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

 

At its meeting of 19 September 2018, Schools Forum agreed to establish two task and finish groups to review the local funding formula.  ...  view the full decision text for item 6.

Minutes:

Councillor Williams introduced the report and said that through the formula, the Council plays a key role in how the schools funding is allocated, in consultation with the Schools Forum.  The proposal addressed concerns that although the National Funding Formula includes the application of transitional funding floors to ensure that every school can be said to be better off in 2019/20, this did not mean in practice that every school would receive an increase and some schools will still be supported through the minimum funding guarantee.  Schools’ funding also fluctuates due to the number of pupils on roll and their characteristics such as deprivation and additional educational needs.

 

Cabinet approved the draft 2019/20 Schools Block Local Funding Formula (LFF) for 5-16 year olds at Appendix A and Appendix B of the report.

7.

ECB CRICKET HUB – LEYTON pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(a)      endorsed the joint funding proposal made by the ECB in respect of Leyton County Ground Main Sports Hall and George Mitchell Arts Centre for an urban cricket centre;

 

(b)      agreed the inclusion of this scheme within the Council’s Capital Programme at a total cost of £950,000;

 

(c)       agreed  ...  view the full decision text for item 7.

Minutes:

Councillor Asghar introduced the report and said that the proposal represented an excellent opportunity to make use of existing assets and create an outstanding urban cricket centre, with particular targets on cricket development for the South Asian community and on Asian women, as well as the refurbishment of the arts centre and an accent on the Council policy of promoting health and well-being.

 

Councillor Miller added that the proposal is a testament to how far Waltham Forest has come in attracting investment, leading to even greater opportunities such as the food and community hub on a site that has been regarded by many as difficult to manage.  The Deputy Leader echoed these views, and said that while other authorities were struggling for basic funding, the borough was in a position to win investment because the Council had a vision and a plan.

 

The Leader praised the excellent work and looked forward to the benefits to schools and communities that lay ahead.

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)          endorsed the joint funding proposal made by the ECB in respect of Leyton County Ground Main Sports Hall and George Mitchell Arts Centre for an urban cricket centre;

 

(b)          agreed the inclusion of this scheme within the Council’s Capital Programme at a total cost of £950,000;

 

(c)          agreed that the Council’s contribution towards the funding of the scheme at £500,000 (supplementing the ECB contribution of £450,000), will be funded from the Budget Strategy Reserve set aside for service improvement and growth;

 

(d)         subject to further design development and detailed cost analysis, approved the allocation of capital funds, currently estimated at up to £500,000, to cover the costs as referred to in paragraph 2.1.3 of the report;

 

(e)          delegated approval to the Director of Property & Asset Management in consultation with the Strategic Director of Economic Growth, to enter into the final agreement with the ECB and all associated legal agreements, with the agreed financial provision made in the Capital Programme; and

 

approved waiver of the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules to directly appoint a design and build contractor, capable of potentially delivering the project by mid-2019 to coincide with the Cricket World Cup which was a key milestone for the ECB.

8.

FINANCE PEER CHALLENGE pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

(a)      noted the findings from the finance peer challenge, as set out in Appendix A of the report;

 

(b)      accepted the peer team’s recommendations in full;

 

(c)       approved the action plan designed to address each of the peer team’s recommendations attached at Appendix B of the report; and

 

(d)  ...  view the full decision text for item 8.

Minutes:

The Leader briefly introduced the report.

Cabinet:

(a)          noted the findings from the finance peer challenge, as set out in Appendix A of the report;

(b)          accepted the peer team’s recommendations in full;

(c)          approved the action plan designed to address each of the peer team’s recommendations attached at Appendix B of the report; and

noted that a further report on progress against the action plan will be presented to Cabinet in twelve months’ time.

9.

INTEGRATED SUBSTANCE MISUSE SERVICE - DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY TO AWARD CONTRACT pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Decision:

Cabinet delegated authority to the Deputy Chief Executive, in consultation with: (i) the Portfolio Lead Member for Health and Voluntary Sector; (ii) the Strategic Director Finance and Governance; and (iii) the Director for Governance and Law, to approve the award of contract(s) for the provision of Integrated Substance Misuse Services  ...  view the full decision text for item 9.

Minutes:

Councillor Asghar introduced the report and said that the Integrated Substance Misuse Service provides residents of Waltham Forest with accessible and effective support in addressing drug misuse and alcohol dependency.  The contract for this service was originally awarded to Lifeline Project, which in 2017 went into administration.

Following the failure to mobilise a separate contract for Young People’s Early Response Services, Commissioners decided to create an all-age integrated service, which national indicators show is a better option.  Implementation is now of the essence.

Cabinet delegated authority to the Deputy Chief Executive, in consultation with: (i) the Portfolio Lead Member for Health and Voluntary Sector; (ii) the Strategic Director Finance and Governance; and (iii) the Director for Governance and Law, to approve the award of contract(s) for the provision of Integrated Substance Misuse Services for a period of 3  years, with effect from 1st August 2019, or such other date as the Deputy Chief Executive considers to be appropriate in all of the circumstances.

10.

PUPIL PLACE PLAN 2018-2022 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet approved the Pupil Place Plan 2018-2022 at Appendix A to the report for publication on the Council’s Website.

 

OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

 

Cabinet could decide not to adopt the new Plan, however, this would mean that there would be no up to date information available to educational providers including the  ...  view the full decision text for item 10.

Minutes:

Councillor Williams introduced the report and said that given the growth of the borough and demographic change, there has been a decline in primary demand and an increase in secondary.  She praised the work of the officer team and colleagues from Regeneration in producing the report that reflected current trends and forecasts and was therefore as accurate as possible.

 

Cabinet approved the Pupil Place Plan 2018-2022 at Appendix A to the report for publication on the Council’s website.

11.

LEYTON UNDERGROUND STATION - COUNCIL FUNDING CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS PROPOSED CAPACITY IMPROVEMENT AND STEP FREE ACCESS SCHEME pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

(a)      approved a funding allocation of up to £9 million from Community Infrastructure Levy contributions, as the Council’s financial contribution to Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Leyton Underground Station Project;

 

(b)      in the event alternative funding is required; delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Finance and Governance to confirm  ...  view the full decision text for item 11.

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader introduced the report and said that Leyton Underground had been an issue for Waltham Forest for a long term, of antiquated timber construction and ever-growing passenger use.  Following extensive deliberation and negotiation, the Council was now in a position to match-fund £9 million for a scheme that can be completed relatively quickly and minimise disruption to journeys during the work.

Councillor Miller welcomed the scheme as excellent news for Leyton, as well as bringing much-improved mobility access and further underpinning the regeneration of the area.

Cabinet:

(a)          approved a funding allocation of up to £9 million from Community Infrastructure Levy contributions, as the Council’s financial contribution to Transport for London’s (TfL’s) Leyton Underground Station Project;

(b)          in the event alternative funding is required; delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Finance and Governance to confirm the final source of Council funding for the Leyton Underground Station Project;

(c)          agreed to officers progressing commercial negotiations with TfL regarding the terms of the Council’s financial contributions for TfL’s Leyton Underground Station Project, alongside the Council’s partnership role in the governance and oversight of the project; and

delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Economic Growth, in consultation with the Strategic Director of Finance and Governance, to finalise the commercial terms and enter into all associated legal agreements with Transport for London.

12.

ENDING 'NO FAULT' EVICTIONS pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Decision:

Cabinet agreed to support measures to reduce “no fault” evictions, including supporting:

·         an end to ‘no fault evictions’ under s21 of the Housing Act; and

·         relevant private rented legislation reforms.

 

OPTIONS & ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

To do nothing: Waltham Forest residents who rent privately lack security and often turn to the council’s  ...  view the full decision text for item 12.

Minutes:

Councillor Mitchell said she was proud that the Council was in a position to back the national campaign to end no-fault evictions by abolishing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.  As it stands, most residents renting privately are on tenancies with fixed terms of six months or a year: after this period, landlords may evict their tenants with two months’ notice, without giving a reason.

Councillor Mitchell noted that growing numbers of older and younger people are now renting privately.  Eviction can put an intolerable burden on household expenses, lead to education and job instability, and fear of making a complaint.

Cabinet agreed to support measures to reduce “no fault” evictions, including supporting:

·         an end to ‘no fault evictions’ under s21 of the Housing Act; and

relevant private rented legislation reforms.

13.

BUILDING COUNCIL HOMES FOR LONDONERS pdf icon PDF 132 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

(a)   authorised the Director of Housing to enter into a Grant Agreement with the Greater London Authority for the Mayor of London’s Building Council Homes for Londoners programme 2018-22.

(b)   delegated authority to the  Director of Housing, in consultation with the Portfolio Lead Member for Housing and Portfolio Lead  ...  view the full decision text for item 13.

Minutes:

Councillor Miller briefly introduced the report, which set out the Mayor of London Building Council Homes for Londoners announced in May 2018 one o f a number of policies and processes in place to increase the number of affordable homes in London. 

The Council successfully bid for and has been allocated £25.518m grant funding under this programme to part fund the development of 232 homes for social rent and 61 for shared ownership as part of a Council-led housing development programme of 463 homes on eight sites. 

Cabinet:

(a)      authorised the Director of Housing to enter into a Grant Agreement with the Greater London Authority for the Mayor of London’s Building Council Homes for Londoners programme 2018-22.

(b)     delegated authority to the  Director of Housing, in consultation with the Portfolio Lead Member for Housing and Portfolio Lead Member for Economic Growth and High Streets, to undertake all necessary activities to deliver the housing development programme including:

(i)        to approve the business case and tendering process for projects (including projects over £1million) within the housing development programme;

(ii)      to procure and appoint consultants to provide housing development professional services required to deliver the new homes, which will include but is not limited to the commissioning of architects, employers' agents, planning consultants, cost consultants, surveyors and project managers;

(iii)    to procure and appoint contractors to build the new homes including to award enabling contracts and main contracts and to enter into development agreements; and

(iv)    to vary the sites and projects in the programme as may be required in order to meet funding deadlines and delivery targets;

delegated authority to the Strategic Director of Economic Growth, in consultation with the Director of Property & Asset Management, Director of Regeneration and Growth and the Strategic Director of Finance and Governance, to agree terms for the disposal and/or transfer of Council sites to Sixty Bricks Limited and to complete the transactions to enable the delivery of the programme.

14.

MARLOWE ROAD REGENERATION - PURCHASE OF 66 ADDITIONAL UNITS FROM COUNTRYSIDE PROPERTIES pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

(a)       approved the principle of the Council acquiring the 66 units in blocks P3 / P4 of the Estate and authorised officers to proceed with negotiating the commercial terms of such acquisition;

(b)       approved a maximum budget provision of £30 million in the general fund capital programme to meet  ...  view the full decision text for item 14.

Minutes:

Councillor Miller introduced the report and referred to the Development Agreement with Countryside Properties (UK) Limited for the redevelopment of the Estate. He said that there have been discussions with Countryside regarding proposals for the Council to purchase 66 additional units from them.

Cabinet:

(a)           approved the principle of the Council acquiring the 66 units in blocks P3 / P4 of the Estate and authorised officers to proceed with negotiating the commercial terms of such acquisition;

(b)          approved a maximum budget provision of £30 million in the general fund capital programme to meet the cost of the acquisition, subject to viable business case being approved by the Lead Portfolio Member for Economic Growth and High Streets in consultation with Strategic Director of Finance and Governance and Corporate Director of Housing, which demonstrates that this scheme will be cost neutral and all risk plus any issues can be managed. Due diligence has been undertaken to ensure no more than £30m is required; and

(c)           delegated authority to Corporate Director of Housing in consultation with the Strategic Director of Finance and Governance and Director of Property and Asset Management to approve the final commercial terms of the acquisition and enter into all associated legal agreements.

 

15.

ST JAMES QUARTER: BRIEFING pdf icon PDF 161 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

(a)   approved the direction of travel towards the preferred option for the regeneration of the St James Quarter;

(b)   noted that the Director of Regeneration and Growth and the Director of Property and Asset Management, in consultation with the Director of Finance and Governance, will carry out detailed analysis  ...  view the full decision text for item 15.

Minutes:

Councillor Miller briefly introduced the report, setting out how the remainder of the South Grove/St James Quarter area will come forward and the options to complete the significant regeneration of this part of Walthamstow Town Centre.

The Leader welcomed the report and the pace of development in this area.  However, she urged the CCG and if necessary GPs to grasp the opportunity to replace the substandard health centre, which in its current state was unacceptable to patients and staff, and a health risk in itself.

Cabinet:

(a)           approved the direction of travel towards the preferred option for the regeneration of the St James Quarter;

(b)          noted that the Director of Regeneration and Growth and the Director of Property and Asset Management, in consultation with the Director of Finance and Governance, will carry out detailed analysis of the Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) area, produce a comparative study of the most likely delivery options and present its findings, including a preferred option, for consideration by Cabinet later in 2019;

(c)           noted that the Council was working with the Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and other partners to seek to facilitate the relocation of the existing St James Surgery to a new Health and Care Hub at Site C. This is subject to on-going discussions on design and deliverability, and is a challenge to the CCG and GPs urgently to address the unacceptable state of primary care provision at the existing health centre; and

noted the ongoing work on Site C by Sixty Bricks in conjunction with the Housing Department which is the subject of a GLA Funding bid reported to Cabinet at this meeting.

16.

FINANCIAL MONITORING: MONTH 8 (NOVEMBER) pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

 

(a)   noted the projected revenue expenditure position of a spend to budget as at month 8;

 

(b)   noted the progress on savings proposals detailed in Appendix 1 of the report;

 

(c)    approved the London Councils Grants Scheme contribution for 2019/20 of £208,175;

 

(d)   noted additional winter pressures funding of  ...  view the full decision text for item 16.

Minutes:

The Leader briefly introduced the report and said that additional Government funding towards alleviating pressures on adult social care had now been confirmed.

 

Cabinet:

 

(a)           noted the projected revenue expenditure position of a spend to budget as at month 8;

 

(b)          noted the progress on savings proposals detailed in Appendix 1 of the report;

 

(c)           approved the London Councils Grants Scheme contribution for 2019/20 of £208,175;

 

(d)          noted additional winter pressures funding of £1.089 million being allocated in 2019/20 to the Council;

 

(e)           noted Social Care Support Grant funding of £1.86 million being allocated in 2019/20 to the Council for Children’s and Adults’ services;

 

(f)           noted the Brexit implications on the Revenue Budget and Capital Programme as detailed in Appendix 2 of the report;

 

(g)          approved increased budget for Ive Farm from £10.5 million to £11.2 million as detailed in paragraph 3.42 and 3.43 of the report which will be funded from the Score Site development proceeds;

 

(h)          approved that the residual balance of £543,000 from the Growth fund, in conjunction with a contribution of £457,000 from the Investment fund will be utilised to fund the delivery of the Borough of Culture legacy strategy;

 

(i)            noted one year funding of £20,000 for social intelligence to analyse sentiment, tone and content of social posts on Facebook, Twitter etc. which will be funded from the Budget Strategy Reserve;

 

(j)            noted additional resource costs to fund the development of a gender pay gap strategy and action plan (£30,000) and the development of a HR policy for Council employees deployed to Council-owned companies (£12,000), to be funded from contingency;

 

(k)          noted funding for social media streaming and AV system support of £16,000 from contingency;

 

(l)            noted an allocation of £42,000 from the Growth Fund to support resources to develop our Connectivity Programme, which has the objective to deliver Gigabit broadband at affordable cost across the Borough in order to boost economic growth and regeneration in Waltham Forest;

 

(m)        noted the allocation of £7,500 from contingency to fund work on credit union;

 

(n)          noted the allocation of £16,000 from contingency to fund work on the Capital Strategy; and

 

(o)          noted that where services were forecasting to overspend (including non-achievement of savings), that in line with the ground rules for financial control, appropriate mitigating action must be put in place by those services as previously agreed.

 

17.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

18.

RE-PROCUREMENT OF THE HOUSING REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE CONTRACT FOR BUILDING WORKS pdf icon PDF 141 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

(a)       considered the observations made by leaseholders, in response to the Notice of Proposal to enter into a Qualifying Long Term Agreement, which was issued to Leaseholders on 10th December 2018 with a deadline for responses of 14th January 2019, pursuant to section 20 Landlord and Tenant  ...  view the full decision text for item 18.

Minutes:

Councillor Mitchell introduced the report and first placed on record Cabinet’s thanks to Maureen McEleney, Assistant Director of Housing Management Services for the extraordinary amount and complexity of work undertaken to bring the proposal to fruition. 

Housing repairs and maintenance involves the Council in a commitment of around £12 million over several years, and is one of the most visible services, especially when things do not go well.  The current contract was inherited from Ascham Homes and expires in April 2019.

After careful evaluation, the recommendation was to award the contract to Morgan Sindall Property Services Ltd.  The main difference is the shift to a price per property or void model, and contractors will not be paid again if they need to return.  There is also an advantage that there will be Essex-based contractors to maintain and repair the Council’s housing stock at Billericay.

The Leader warmly endorsed these comments and welcomed an exciting new chapter for the housing service.

Cabinet:

(a)           considered the observations made by leaseholders, in response to the Notice of Proposal to enter into a Qualifying Long Term Agreement, which was issued to Leaseholders on 10th December 2018 with a deadline for responses of 14th January 2019, pursuant to section 20 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (as amended), together with the responses provided to leaseholders, as highlighted in Appendix B of the report; and

while taking account of leaseholder observations as set out in Appendix B (second despatch), approved the award of a contract to the preferred supplier, Morgan Sindall Property Services Ltd.,  for the provision of Housing Repairs and Planned Maintenance Works to the Council, for an eight year period with the option to extend for a further seven years.

19.

FORMER EMD CINEMA - ACQUISITION AND PROPOSED TENANCY UPDATE pdf icon PDF 232 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

Cabinet:

(a)  agreed, subject to contract, on terms of the freehold acquisition of the former EMD Cinema, 186 Hoe Street, E17 from the current owner, EMD Walthamstow LLP;

 

(b)  agreed a revised acquisition cost of £2.8 million plus associated professional fees of £150,000 to secure vacant possession and accelerate the  ...  view the full decision text for item 19.

Minutes:

The Leader welcomed the report and said how apt and gratifying it was to propose the acquisition of the cinema at the launch of the Borough of Culture and just after the wonderful celebrations to usher it in.

Cabinet:

(a)      agreed, subject to contract, on terms of the freehold acquisition of the former EMD Cinema, 186 Hoe Street, E17 from the current owner, EMD Walthamstow LLP;

(b)     agreed a revised acquisition cost of £2.8 million plus associated professional fees of £150,000 to secure vacant possession and accelerate the scheme;

(c)      noted on completion of the acquisition, the Council will lease parts of the EMD Cinema on a short term basis for existing uses set out in exempt Appendix 4 of the report;

(d)     approved the engagement of Soho Theatre, under the proposed Heads of Terms, as set out in exempt Appendix 3 of the report as the operator on a long term agreement and to delegate authority to the Director of Property & Asset Management to document and complete the Agreement to Lease (subject to completion of the acquisition);

(e)      approved an overall construction budget of £17 million, including enabling budget, to fund the total refurbishment costs of the theatre, assuming no grant funding is achieved. This is to be added to the Council’s Capital programme. This budget comprises all contractor costs, professional fees including multi-disciplinary and any specialist fees; and

delegated approval to Director of Property & Asset Management, in consultation with the Strategic Director of Finance and Governance, to procure and appoint the Multi- disciplinary team and to determine the appropriate route to procure a construction company for the EMD Cinema.