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Minutes – Finance Working Group (Special meeting) – 10 February 2022

The minutes of this meeting are presented below.

You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Finance Working Group (Special meeting) – 10 February 2022

NOTES OF THE  VIRTUAL SPECIAL MEETING OF THE FINANCE WORKING GROUP HELD ON THURSDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2022 AT 3.00PM

PRESENT:

  • Councillor Scicluna (Chairman)
  • Councillor Barrie (Vice-Chairman)
  • Councillor Dignum
  • Councillor Harry

EX-OFFICIO:

  • The Mayor (Councillor J Hughes)
  • Councillor Apel (Chairman of Community Affairs)
  • Councillor Plowman (Chairman of Planning and Conservation)

IN ATTENDANCE:

  • Councillor Corfield
  • Councillor Sharp
  • Town Clerk
  • Deputy Town Clerk (Responsible Finance Officer)
  • Member Services Support Officer
  • Front of House Supervisor

91. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies were received from Councillor K Hughes.

The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Joy) was absent.

92. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS OF THE WORKING GROUP IN MATTERS ON THE AGENDA FOR THIS MEETING

Councillors Apel and Plowman declared an interest as Members of Chichester District Council.

93. PLATINUM JUBILEE GALA – REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING

The Deputy Town Clerk reminded Members that, for 2022-23, the Events budget had been increased from £1,000 to £6,000 due to the number of events being planned, including the Platinum Jubilee Gala.

Members were further reminded that when this decision had been made, the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic were still being felt on the City Council’s income and so a cautious approach had been taken.

The Deputy Town Clerk advised Members that the current budget monitoring indicated a surplus on the City Council’s budget for 2021-22 and that she was confident that this would allow for a further increase of the Events funding if the Working Group agreed.

She informed Members that the Front of House Supervisor, who had been working on the arrangements for the Gala, had reported that costs for the bigger ticket items such as the band, the radio station, the conveniences and the sound system had reached approximately £7,000. This compared with an overall spend of £9,200 for the 2012 Jubilee Gala.

The Working Group was reminded that, while the current discussion was about the Jubilee Gala, the budget was for all events organised by the City Council through the year 2022-23.

Members were advised that if they agreed to increase the Events budget, any sponsorship of the event that resulted in an underspend could mean the surplus being returned to the City Council’s general budget.

The Front of House Supervisor summarised the spending and sponsorship amounts for the 2012 Gala and assured Members that she was working hard to get sponsors of all sizes in place for the 2022 Gala.

She informed Members that even if it did not all get spent, having the additional funds in place meant she could continue to make arrangements more effectively.

The Chairman expressed the opinion that it would be a difficult year for finding sponsors given the number of events taking place in the city in the months ahead. This view was supported by Councillor Plowman.

Members discussed the issue and agreed that, with the Platinum Jubilee being a unique event, it was important that the City Council did a good job of celebrating it while remembering the other events that would require funding.

The Town Clerk informed the Working Group that he had also been discussing external funding for another event involving the City Council, the proposed Freedom of the Entry of the City of Chichester march by the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment in October 2022.

The Front of House Supervisor outlined some of the arrangements that were already in place including free printing of publicity materials by Selsey Press, V2 Radio’s offer of support in securing a headline sponsor and a mini funfair that would be provided free of charge. Members were asked to come forward with ideas for prizes in the planned grand raffle at the Gala.

She informed Members that an article about the Gala had appeared in the Chichester Observer that day and that there would also be a full page article which would include an application form for potential participants to complete and send in.

Councillor Plowman advised Members that the Chichester Rotary Clubs and Chichester Lions could potentially be sponsors for the event as well as providing volunteers to help on the day.

After a short further discussion, it was AGREED TO RECOMMEND to Full Council on Wednesday 23 February 2022 that an additional £5,000 be added to the Events budget bringing the total to £11,000 for 2022-23.

The Chairman, on behalf of the Working Group, thanked the Front of House Supervisor for all her work on the Gala arrangements.

94. CONFIDENTIAL ITEM

RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting due to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, namely commercial matters.

95. UPDATE ON THE MARKET HOUSE

The Deputy Town Clerk informed Members that, further to the leasing of unit 4 of the Market House (Finance Working Group, 24 November 2021, Minute 74 refers), Orion Developments (Southern) Ltd had advised the City Council that, due to a number of issues, they were withdrawing from the lease agreement with the intention of re-marketing the unit.

The Working Group noted the information and discussed their concerns about what was happening.

In response to questions from Members, the Deputy Town Clerk advised that this would not change the rental agreements in place between the City Council and Orion Developments (Southern) Ltd.

The Deputy Town Clerk then advised the Working Group that, as part of the re-marketing, Orion Developments (Southern) Ltd intended to modify the layout of unit 4 to flatten the frontage and open up more space. Members were shown an illustration of the intended work.

She also advised Members that Orion Developments (Southern) Ltd had requested a contribution from the City Council towards the fees that would need to be paid as part of this work.

The Working Group discussed the issue and AGREED that, while there was no objection to the modification to unit 4 being made, Orion Developments (Southern) Ltd should pay for the work as part of their responsibilities for the managing the Market House.

DATE OF NEXT ORDINARY MEETING: TUESDAY 5 APRIL 2022

The meeting closed at 3.23pm

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