Agenda and minutes

Service Delivery Executive Advisory Board - Thursday, 8th July, 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: This meeting will be held via MSTeams

Contact: Andrea Carr, Committee Officer Tel no: 01483 444058  Email:


No. Item


Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitute Members

Additional documents:


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Andrew Gomm and George Potter.  Councillor Will Salmon was present as a substitute for Councillor George Potter.


Local Code of Conduct and Declaration of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

In accordance with the local Code of Conduct, a councillor is required to disclose at the meeting any Disclosable Pecuniary Interest (DPI) that they may have in respect of any matter for consideration on this agenda.  Any councillor with a DPI must not participate in any discussion or vote regarding that matter and they must withdraw from the meeting immediately before consideration of the matter.


If that DPI has not been registered, the councillor must notify the Monitoring Officer of the details of the DPI within 28 days of the date of the meeting.


Councillors are further invited to disclose any non-pecuniary interest which may be relevant to any matter on this agenda, in the interests of transparency, and to confirm that it will not affect their objectivity in relation to that matter.

Additional documents:


There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests.  Councillor Chris Blow declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item number 4 as the councillor representative for liaison with Southern Pro Musica.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To confirm the minutes of the Executive Advisory Board meeting held on 1 April 2021.

Additional documents:


The minutes of the meeting of the Service Delivery Executive Advisory Board held on 1 April 2021 were confirmed as a correct record, and would be signed by the Chairman at the earliest opportunity.



Classical Music Grant pdf icon PDF 172 KB

Additional documents:


The current recipient of the Classical Music Grant was Southern Pro Musica (SPM).  The related mandate was introduced by the Leader of the Council who explained that the mandate formed part of the agreed Savings Strategy, which constituted one of four strands of the Council’s commitment to addressing its budget gap over the next five years.  Whilst the contributions of all organisations in receipt of a Council grant were valued, it was necessary for the Council to identify savings as it was not in a financial position to continue to fund the organisations at the same level as in previous years.  The EAB’s views in respect of the mandate options were welcomed.


The mandate consisted of a Strategy, Options, Considerations, Resources, and the strategic Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies, Constraints and Opportunities.  The Strategy and Communications Manager advised that the strategic options available to the Council to deliver a solution consisted of:


a)           Do Nothing - Allow the existing agreement with SPM to end in June 2021 and cease funding classical music provision in the Borough to deliver a financial saving of £60,000 per annum.

b)           Do Something - Due to Covid-19 related disruption to the musical programme, SPM had agreed that £30,000 of its 2020/21 funding would be rolled forward into the next financial year.  With expected continued Covid-19 disruption, invite SPM to provide a reduced programme in 2021/22 at a cost of £30,000 pending a review of future classical music provision.

c)           Do More - Enter a new funding agreement with SPM to deliver a reduced future programme at a lower annual cost to the Council or invite expressions of interest from classical music providers to offer a programme of classical music at a lower annual cost to the Council.

d)           Do Most - Extend the existing funding agreement with SPM on the existing terms and invite expressions of interest from classical music providers to offer a programme of classical music on similar terms to the existing.


At its meeting on 27 January 2021, the Executive / Management Team Liaison Group had recommended that the £30,000 underspent grant from 2020/21 be rolled forward into 2021/22 to enable SPM to deliver a reduced programme and that the grant be discontinued in future years.


Further to related questions, comments and discussion, the following points arose:


1.           In-year financial savings were being sought during the current year in line with the Savings Strategy and SPM had been advised accordingly.

2.           The councillor representative for liaison with SPM advised that the organisation had a strong appreciative following in the Guildford area and this sentiment was echoed by other councillors.

3.           SPM had commenced preparation of a reduced programme of events, including a variety of concerts and the ‘Strings Scheme’ work with schools, in the expectation that the unspent returned portion of last year’s grant, amounting to £30,000, would be rolled forward for expenditure in 2021/22.  It was confirmed that this would be the case and councillors indicated that the reduced programme was impressive  ...  view the full minutes text for item SD29


Guildford Book Festival Mandate pdf icon PDF 212 KB

Additional documents:


The Lead Councillor for Environment introduced the above mandate and advised that the Council was seeking to balance its need to reduce expenditure in line with the agreed Savings Strategy against its wish to continue to offer financial support to the Guildford Book Festival (GBF) to enable the organisation to maintain its viability.  Attention was drawn to the four funding options contained in the mandate and the alternative option agreed by the Executive / Management Team Liaison Group on 3 March 2021.  The EAB’s views in respect of the options were invited.


The Strategy and Communications Manager presented the mandate and outlined the related Strategy, Options, Considerations and Resources, together with the strategic Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies, Constraints and Opportunities.  The options consisted of:


a)           Do Nothing - Continue with the existing annual grant at the current level of £23,000.

b)           Do Something - Introduce a gradual phased reduction in funding of £18,000 (2021), £13,000 (2022), £8,000 (2023) and £5,000 (2024).

c)           Do More - Reduce funding to £11,500 in 2021/22 and discontinue all funding in subsequent years.

d)           Do Most - Discontinue all funding with immediate effect.

e)           Alternative Option - A future funding path of £12,000 (2021), £6,000 (2022) and £2,000 (2023).


The EAB was reminded that one of the prioritised workstreams of the agreed Savings Strategy was to identify discretionary services savings of £2million.  This included delivering savings approaching £1million in respect of culture and heritage services.


Mr Andrew Hodges, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of GBF, was a registered speaker at the meeting and spoke in support of the Festival and provided some historic information regarding the levels of financial support which GBF had received from the Borough Council.  In conclusion, Mr Hodges advised that GBF appreciated the grant from the Council and requested that, in the event that the grant was reduced, the reduction was not severe and that there was no decision to phase out the grant entirely.


Some of the EAB’s questions were directed to Mr Hodges owing to his background knowledge of GBF and he responded in the following terms:


·             GBF had anticipated a reduction in Council grant in 2021.  A deficit in the region of £11,000 had occurred in 2020/21 owing to constraints associated with Covid-19 and related factors.  The Festival required working capital of approximately £30,000 as expenditure was incurred early in the planning process to fund publicity and organisational costs whilst revenue was received later through ticket sales.  Although GBF could continue in 2021 on the basis of the receipt of a Council grant of £18,000, there was doubt regarding its financial viability the following year.  Whilst sponsorship could assist with filling funding gaps, it could be challenging to obtain and be subject to conditions.  Low level sponsorship, for example from publisher sponsors, had been received in respect of individual events and high level sponsorship from sponsors such as national newspapers was sought.  However, there was no guarantee that the receipt of sponsorship would continue.  Reducing the  ...  view the full minutes text for item SD30


Executive Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 516 KB

Additional documents:


The above was noted without comment.


EAB Work Programme pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To consider and approve the EAB’s draft work programme with reference to the Executive Forward Plan. 

Additional documents:


EAB members were invited to submit any work programme suggestions to the Chairman or Vice-Chairman prior to the EAB / O&S Work Programme meeting on 21 July 2021.  Items scheduled for the next EAB meeting, to be held on 9 September 2021, were noted and councillors were reminded that a special Joint EAB was taking place on 20 September 2021 to consider the Local Plan Development Management Policies.