Minutes – Property Sub-Committee – 23 May 2022
The minutes of this meeting are presented below.
You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Property Sub-Committee – 23 May 2022
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PROPERTY
HELD ON MONDAY 23 MAY 2022 AT 10.30AM
- The Mayor (Councillor J Joy)
- The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Plowman)
- Councillor Scicluna (Chairman)
- Councillor J Hughes
- Councillor Quail
ALSO IN ATTENDANCE:
- Councillor Corfield
- Councillor Gaskin
- Councillor Sharp
- Deputy Town Clerk
- Property Manager
- Member Services Support Officer
- Committee and Communities Officer
1. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN
It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED that Councillor Scicluna be elected Chairman of the Property Sub-Committee for the remainder of the Council year. There were no other nominations.
2. APOLOGIES AND RECORD OF ABSENCE
Apologies were received for Councillor Dignum
Councillor Martyn Bell was absent from the meeting.
3. MINUTES OF THE WORKING GROUP MEETING HELD ON 10 JANUARY 2022
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Property Working Group meeting held on Monday 10 January 2022, having been printed and circulated, be approved and signed by the Chairman.
The Chairman welcomed the Committee and Communities Officer to her first Property Sub Committee meeting.
The Property Manager’s Report had been circulated to all Members with the Agenda in connection with the Agenda items 3 to 11.
4. COUNCIL HOUSE
a) Boiler replacement and energy saving plan
The Property Manager summarised the contents of his report and explained that due to finances, it would be a phased approach. He drew attention to the most important issue of replacing the current boilers as only one of the three boilers was currently working. He further noted that a local consultancy, Copperstone Ltd, was working on a specification and a tender package so this could be replaced in time for next winter. The Property Manager did not yet have a cost but asked The Deputy Town Clerk if there was a budget set aside for these works. The Deputy Town Clerk advised this figure was £18,000.
The Property Manager advised that a thermal store battery would be included in the proposal cost. This would allow for the utilisation of heat pumps or solar panels to store heat then use in the heating system.
The next phase would be solar battery storage. The Property Manager reminded Members of the solar panel system which was installed last year and suggested that it would be good to store and then use excess electricity. The budget set aside for this was between £18,000 and £20,000.
He then went onto explain the next step would be the modification of the air handling system in the Assembly Room. As it’s a large space with a high ceiling and hot air rises, this hot air could be used to warm fresh air entering the Assembly Room. He noted any similar works that might be carried out in the Council Chamber would have to be done so with care as it’s a historic room.
There was a brief discussion and Members agreed that this was a good idea and very self-sufficient. The Chairman asked the Deputy Town Clerk about budgets for the work. She confirmed that not all the work that was being discussed had been costed so at this point, she could not confirm. She then advised that money was already set aside for the boilers and other costings would be required in order to phase these future plans out.
The Property Manager advised he hoped to have the costings from the consultant for the next meeting.
b) EV Charger
The Property Manager advised he obtained three quotes to install the EV charger which were shown in his report.
Having reviewed the quotes it was RECOMMENDED to Finance Committee on Tuesday 14 June 2022 that the City Council Property Maintenance Team install the electric vehicle charging point at the Council House at a cost of £1,140.55 payable from CIL. Committee are asked to note that, as the electric vehicle had already been purchased, the installation had taken place under Officer discretion to allow for ongoing charging of the van.
c) Council Chamber
The Property Manager summarised the issue of the portico pillars becoming unstable, and two quotes had been obtained to rectify the issue which were shown in the report. He outlined the process that would be involved, and that the consultant had recommended proceeding with the quote from Mainmark.
Councillor Hughes asked what the difference in works was between the two quotes obtained as there was a difference of over £35,000. The Property Manager advised that the works included in each quote were essentially the same.
There was a brief discussion on the peeling paper and cracks visible on some parts of the walls in the Council Chamber. Some Members noted it did not look great, while other Members agreed it added to the charm of the room.
After a short discussion on the quotes received for the subsidence repair, it was RECOMMENDED to Finance Committee on 14 June 2022 that the Committee accept the recommendation of Archibald-Shaw to proceed with Mainmark to undertake the necessary works. It was further noted that the City Council’s insurers had accepted the quote and that only the £1,000 excess would be payable from Council House Repairs and Maintenance budget.
d) Damp in Town Clerk’s office
The Property Manager summarised the works already that had been carried out which were detailed in his report.
It was RECOMMENDED to Finance Committee on Tuesday 14 June 2022 that Happy Drains Ltd be employed to undertake initial remedial works to line the damaged drain at a cost of £750 + VAT payable from the Council House Repairs and Maintenance budget. Committee are asked to note that, due to the need to minimise damage to the building, Officer discretion was exercised, and the work was undertaken on 24 May 2022.
e) Utility contracts
The Property Manager informed Members that he signed up to fixed electricity and gas contracts which protected the Council from rising prices until 30/09/2023. The Deputy Town Clerk suggested a reserve be set aside to prepare for future rising costs.
f) Hopper and downpipe repairs
The Property Manager summarised the issue detailed in his report regarding the cast iron hopper and downpipe repairs required. Members agreed it was important to keep the traditional styles in place.
It was RECOMMENDED to Finance Committee on Tuesday 14 June 2022 that an order be placed with Clanfield Gutters for the replacement of the damaged hopper and downpipe at a total cost of £2,376 + VAT payable from Council House Repairs and Maintenance budget. Committee are asked to note that, due to the need to minimise damage to the building, Officer discretion was exercised, and the work was undertaken on 27 May 2022.
g) Carpet in lift lobby and Lion Street Corridor
The Property Manager obtained quotes for these works detailed in his report. Members discussed the issue while the Property Manger passed around samples for Members to consider.
It was RECOMMENDED to Finance Committee on Tuesday 14 June 2022 that an order be placed with Eazylay Carpets for the replacement of the lift lobby and Lion Street carpets and underlay board in the sum of £2,664.00 payable from Council House Repairs and Maintenance budget.
The Chairman asked the Property Manager how many people on the waiting list were waiting on their first allotment and not a second or third.
Councillors Quail, Plowman and J Hughes declared an interest as allotment holders.
The Property Manager roughly estimated that two thirds of the waiting list did not currently have another allotment. The Property Manager made a point that often when allotments became available, people were then contacted, but due to various reasons such as them moving or not being interested anymore, they did not then take on the allotment site.
There was a brief discussion among Members on whether people who have greater need can be given higher priority on the waiting list and how current allotment holders already do give away excess, fresh produce to their neighbours or foodbanks or a possible formalisation of a process linking excess allotment produce to local associations in need.
Councillor Corfield advised that the use of allotments can also be for exercise and socialising. The Property Manager added that this could bring mental health benefits also.
b) Allotment Management Software
The Property Manager advised it would be beneficial for efficiency and financially to allow the current allotment management software system to lapse as a member of the Property Maintenance Team had created an alternative system at no extra cost to the council which has been trialled for several months and was far more effective than the current system. Members were in AGREEMENT with the proposal.
c) Council Support for Officers
The Property Manager summarised the issue in his report to which the Members agreed. This should be noted as an uninformed comment.
6. BUS STOPS/SHELTERS
a) Swanfield Drive
The Property Manager advised he had done his best on the matter, but it had not moved forward. He was waiting on Chichester District Council to respond. Councillor J Hughes noted this issue was ongoing for sixteen months and that residents were in real need of a bus stop/shelter. He further requested support from Chichester District Councillors and West Sussex County Councillors to move this to conclusion.
b) Bognor Road
The Property Manager advised the section 115 licence had been obtained and to proceed would cost the City Council £7,512.
Members discussed the pros and cons of both options of a sedum roof and solar panel roof.
The Property Manager advised the Deputy Town Clerk that he had not yet received confirmation of section 106 funding from West Sussex County Council. The Property Manager further advised that the sedum roof would be the better option with regards to sustainability.
It was RECOMMENDED to Finance Committee on 14 June 2022 that a bus shelter with a standard roof be installed in Bognor Road subject to availability of S106 funding from the Bartholomew’s site development.
7. PUBLIC REALM PROJECTS
a) Precinct Paving
Councillor Plowman advised the Economic Panel of Chichester District Council were meeting on Friday and he hoped a decision would be made then.
b) West Street project
Councillor Plowman noted Chichester District Council decided to move onto the second phase of levelling up grants. The Deputy Town Clerk advised she had a meeting later that day with the Chief Executive of Chichester District Council about levelling up funding.
c) Lidl to Story Road footpath link
The Chairman acknowledged the report and advised the Community Highway scheme had been applied for.
d) Litten Gardens CCTV
The Chairman noted the drug use and drug trading which occurs in Litten Gardens and the complaints received from residents. The Property Manager also reported on the two litter bins that were vandalised which resulted in a new bin being ordered. He further noted the Community Wardens were aware of the issues.
The Deputy Town Clerk advised that as a one-off cost, funding could come out of the Public Realm budget, but ongoing costs had to be considered and monitored. The Property Manager further recommended for the additional cost it was best to proceed with the extended system.
The Deputy Town Clerk asked whether all costs were included and the Property Manager advised there was a monthly broadband cost to be considered also a £1,500 maintenance cost per year. The Property Manager added that the first year’s costs were included in the initial set up costs. Members agreed to review the system after a year.
It was RECOMMENDED to Finance Committee on Tuesday 14 June 2022 that ASDC be asked to install the Option B (extended) CCTV system in Litten Gardens at a cost of £5,666 + VAT to be paid from the Public Realm budget. It was further RECOMMENDED that the ongoing maintenance and broadband costs be reviewed after the initial 12 months to ensure best value was being achieved.
e) East Walls footpath lighting
The Property Manager advised where the lights would be positioned. Members discussed whether lighting was necessary for the area. It was further discussed that the path was short, and people could walk on East Walls Road instead if they were concerned.
The Deputy Town Clerk raised concerns of the cost of the lights and the precedent it might have created within the rest of the city.
Members agreed to defer this to the next meeting once they had inspected the area for themselves.
8. WEST STREET MEMORIAL GARDEN
The Chairman referred the report and noted the West Walls Residents Association had done a fantastic job on its upkeep. The Chairman suggested the Mayor write a letter of appreciation to the Residents for their efforts in the garden.
9. WAR MEMORIAL
The Property Manager advised the works and cleaning required could wait until next year as it had only just been recently maintained. Members agreed to defer this project until next year.
10. THE BREWERY FIELD
The Property Manager briefed the Members on the background of this item and advised on the two quotes obtained which were detailed in the report.
It was RECOMMENDED to Finance Committee on Tuesday 14 June 2022 that the contract for mowing at Brewery Field be given to Sussex Estate Care at an initial cost of £2,970 + VAT per annum payable from the Brewery Field Maintenance budget.
11. BOARD OF TOWN CLERKS
The Chairman acknowledged the update detailed in the report.
12. STAFFING & RESOURCES
The Property Manager summarised the contents of his report.
It was RECOMMENDED to Finance Committee on Tuesday 14 June 2022 that the Personnel Sub-Committee be re-established to review the issues raised at the Property Sub-Committee meeting on 23 May 2022 as well as wider staffing matters.
13. ARTWORK DISPLAY COMMITTEE
Councillors Plowman, Quail and Scicluna agreed to be on the Committee.
14. ITEMS TO BE INCLUDED ON AGENDA FOR NEXT MEETING
a) Redecoration of the Council Chamber and the chandelier
b) New Park Road light
c) Bike racks at New Park Road
15. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
22nd of August 2022
The meeting closed at 12.24pm