Venue: This meeting will be held via MSTeams
Contact: Andrea Carr, Committee Officer Tel no: 01483 444058 Email: email@example.com
Apologies for Absence and Notification of Substitute Members
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Andrew Gomm and Pauline Searle. Councillor Masuk Miah was present as a substitute for Councillor Pauline Searle.
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.
There were no declarations of disclosable pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests.
To confirm the minutes of the Executive Advisory Board (EAB) meeting held on 10 March 2022.
The minutes of the meeting of the Service Delivery Executive Advisory Board (EAB) held on 10 March 2022 were confirmed as a correct record, and would be signed by the Chairman at the earliest opportunity.
The Strategy and Communications Manager introduced and presented a mandate in respect of local tourism and the Council’s Tourist Information Centre (TIC). The mandate addressed the following areas:
· Risks, Assumptions and Issues
· Dependencies, Constraints and Opportunities
· Internal Stakeholders
· Next Steps
The Executive Advisory Board (EAB) was advised that the TIC was located in Guildford House, High Street, Guildford. Pre-Covid, the service had opened on Mondays to Saturdays plus Sundays from the beginning of May until the end of September. However, the TIC was currently operating reduced hours and this was under review. The TIC provided the following services:
· Information and advice to visitors to the Borough.
· Promotion of Guildford to encourage visitors to the Borough.
· Shop offering a mix of souvenirs and local products.
(A Box Office providing ticketing services for local events had been discontinued.)
The most common requests received by the TIC were for bus timetables and maps and the most frequently asked questions included ‘what’s on’, where to eat and the location of particular shops. Many of the functions performed by the TIC aligned with the responsibilities of Experience Guildford in the town centre area.
As part of Phase B of the Future Guildford transformation programme, the tourism and heritage marketing functions and associated budgets transferred to the Strategy and Communications Team which became responsible for leading an online visitor economy and marketing function. Therefore a new approach would need to be developed, including:
· Closer collaboration with Visit Surrey and other partners, such as Experience Guildford and Surrey Hills Enterprises.
· An improved online offering to replace Visit Guildford (which was now unstable and unsupported).
· Utilising expertise from the University’s Centre for Digital Transformation in the Visitor Economy.
· Increased targeted promotional campaigns.
As it was facing a substantial projected budget deficit over the next four years, the Council needed to identify savings across its discretionary services. Therefore, this mandate considered options for changes to the future delivery of visitor information services that would also secure financial savings as part of the Council’s Savings Strategy. The strategic Options available to the Council to deliver a solution were:
(a) Do Nothing - Continue with the current TIC and service in-situ at Guildford House.
(b) Do Something (1) - Move the TIC and staff to another location.
(c) Do Something (2) - Remove the physical TIC and provide an alternative digital and online communications and marketing service, incorporating increased targeted promotional campaigns. This would be accompanied by a review of future strategy / approach and required resources.
(d) Do Most - Close the TIC and end the visitor service offered by GBC.
When the Executive / Management Team Liaison Group considered the mandate at its meeting on 16 February 2022, it expressed in principle support for Option (c) and requested that opportunities be considered for the continued provision of visitor information at Guildford House and other town centre locations in consultation with Experience Guildford.
The Lead Councillor for Environment gave a brief overview of the mandate ... view the full minutes text for item SD63
The Executive Advisory Board (EAB) was invited to consider the mandate in respect of the Shawfield Road Site, Ash.
The Council previously had two purpose-built day centres providing care and support services for elderly residents, namely, The Hive at Park Barn in northern Guildford and the Shawfield Day Centre in Ash. Following a consultation exercise, a decision had been reached to consolidate day care services at The Hive, with clients of the Shawfield Day Centre being transferred to the former. With the improved facilities and services available at The Hive and by consolidating staffing, it was considered that clients would receive improved support and care whilst the decision also generated financial savings to the Council as part of its Savings Strategy.
Following the transfer of all day care services to The Hive, the Shawfield Road site was no longer required for its former purposes and had remained unutilised for approximately two years. The mandate considered options for future alternative uses of the site. However, it was noted that there was a charge on the title of the land requiring it to be used as a 'day centre' and this would have implications in respect of the viability and feasibility of some options. The charge was the result of an NHS agency contributing £280,000 towards the construction of the day centre and could form part of the basis of the valuation for a removal of the charge, which gave the NHS an entitlement to 60% of any sale of the site, including the rental income from an associated lease.
The mandate addressed the following areas:
· Options Evaluation
· Potential costs to proceed to the next stage to develop the Strategic Outline Case
· Issues, Assumptions and Risks
· Dependencies, Constraints and Opportunities
· Next Steps
· Reviewer List
The Options Evaluation identified the following five potential strategic options to deliver a solution:
1. Leave the site and premises vacant.
2. Redevelop the site for affordable housing.
3. Redevelop the site for alternative uses such as key worker or extra-care housing (including discussions with other health and social care providers).
4. Explore options for potential community uses of the site.
5. Sell the site.
Options 2-4 would be subject to successful negotiation and resolution of issues relating to the charge on the title of the site involving the relevant NHS agency, which may have a financial cost.
Having considered the mandate at its meeting held on 2 March 2022, the Executive / Management Team Liaison Group expressed a preference for the options relating to redevelopment of the site for affordable housing or to meet other housing needs, such as key worker or extra-care housing. Community use of the site was also felt to be an acceptable option, subject to there being a demonstrable need for community facilities in Ash and there being no ongoing costs to the Council.
The following points arose from related questions, comments and discussion for forwarding to the Executive:
a) A councillor expressed the view that there had been ... view the full minutes text for item SD64
Attention was drawn to the absence of references in the Executive Forward Plan to some of the Council’s major projects, such as the Town Centre Masterplan, the North Street Redevelopment and the Weyside Urban Village Development. The Service Delivery Director undertook to discuss this matter with colleagues with a view to identifying how best to incorporate such significant areas of work into the Forward Plan in a timely fashion to enable the relevant EAB to have an input at an early stage.
To consider and approve the EAB’s work programme with reference to the above Executive Forward Plan.
Although no items were currently scheduled in the EAB’s Work Programme for its next meeting on 7 July 2022, the Chairman and Service Delivery Director had discussed the matter and suggested that two Heads of Service in the Service Delivery Directorate be invited to that meeting to share and discuss their top three service priorities and / or concerns. The EAB indicated its support for this broad approach and the proposal that the meeting focus on wider Community Services and on Environment and Regulatory Services.
It was requested that updates in respect of the two substantive items forming part of the agenda for this meeting, namely, Tourism and the Tourist Information Centre and the Shawfield Road site, be the subject of future reports to the EAB when those mandates had progressed.
The EAB was invited to submit any further suggestions for future Work Programme items to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to pursue as appropriate.