Minutes – Property Sub-Committee – 7 January 2020
The minutes of this meeting are presented below.
You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Property Sub-Committee – 7 January 2020
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PROPERTY SUB-COMMITTEE
HELD ON TUESDAY 7 JANUARY 2020 AT 10.30AM
- Councillor K Hughes
- Councillor Scicluna
- The Mayor (Councillor Plowman)
- The Deputy Mayor (Councillor J Hughes)
ALSO IN ATTENDANCE:
- Property Manager
- Member Services Support Officer
- Property Maintenance Officer
- Councillor Dignum
- Councillor Apel
- Councillor Joy
Prior to the meeting, the Property Manager introduced the new Property Maintenance Officer, Stephen Hawkins, to the Sub-Committee. Members were informed that Stephen is an active allotment gardener, has an extensive background in building and maintenance and is a fully qualified electrician and electrical test engineer. It is anticipated that, as well as becoming a valued member of the Council Officers team, Stephen’s skill set will allow for less reliance on contractors and provide better value for money on maintenance budgets. The Chairman and Sub-Committee welcomed Stephen to the City Council and to the Property Team.
As recorded above
36. TO APPROVE AND SIGN AS A CORRECT RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE SUB-COMMITTEE HELD ON 1ST OCTOBER 2019
The Minutes of the Property Sub-Committee meeting held on 1st October 2019, having been printed and circulated, were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
POST MEETING NOTE: The Chairman also signed as an accurate record the notes taken at the inquorate Property Sub-Committee meeting held on 16th December 2019.
The Property Manager’s report had been circulated to all Members with the Agenda in connection with the Agenda items.
37. COUNCIL HOUSE
(a) Roof Lantern
The Property Manager advised that he was currently awaiting a date for a pre-start meeting with the supplier to discuss access arrangements and installation procedures. He was hoping that this would take place within the next few days.
(b) Exterior Building Survey
The Property Manager reported that Fuller Associates had now carried out the additional survey and gathered the necessary information in order to produce a detailed Listed Building Consent application as well as a tender document for the work which would be sent to seven contractors. It was anticipated that this would be happening shortly.
(c) Neptune and Minerva Stone
Members were advised that the University of Warwick had completed their 3D scan of the Neptune and Minerva Stone on the 4th December 2019. The scan created a very large set of data which was currently being analysed before the University updated the City Council on its findings.
(d) Portico – proposal to enclose with glass to create an internal flexible space
The Property Manager informed the Sub-Committee that he was in the process of obtaining quotes for Listed Building Consent, design, tender and contract administration in respect of the investigations in to enclosing the Portico to create a flexible space to enhance the facilities already offered at the Council House.
Members were advised that the recommendations would be brought to a future meeting for the Sub-Committee to discuss.
(e) Noticeboards at either end of Portico
The Property Manager reported that the new noticeboards had been built and were currently being painted with an expected delivery date within the next week.
The Sub-Committee were advised that, while the new boards had to be removed at the end of each day to comply with Listed Building Consent, they had been built in such a way that they could not be removed without the board being unlocked; to make them more secure.
Members were informed that an order for the repair work to the Council House lift had been placed with Sussex Lift Co. and that work had commenced before Christmas.
The Property Manager reported that work was progressing well and the engineers hoped to start commissioning work within the next week with a tentative completion of Friday 17 January 2020.
The Sub-Committee were advised that there were currently 63 people on the waiting list for an allotment with five unallocated plots being brought back into serviceable condition by the Property Team.
(b) St Pauls allotments – tree works
The Property Manager confirmed that the works on the trees at St Pauls allotments had been ordered.
Members were advised that an update was being awaited from S&P Tree Specialists regarding the treeline to the north of the allotment site while work on the two oak trees by Chichester Tree Services was due to start in the near future.
38. LITTEN GARDENS
The Sub-Committee were informed that a detailed proposal for spotlighting the war memorial was still being awaited from SSE.
(b) War Memorial
The Property Manager advised that the additional name (Hopkyns, T. G. – South Africa) had been added to the war memorial prior to Remembrance Sunday.
(c) Maurice Patten Statue
Members were informed that, further to the installation of the Maurice Patten Statue in Litten Gardens prior to Remembrance Sunday; a compacted Cotswold golden gravel path had now been added around the statue by the Property Team to enable members of the public to walk around the statue without damaging the grass.
Members were further informed that the plinth under the statue had been suffering from significant amounts of algae growth which the Property Team had now cleaned off. Coatings for the plinth were being investigated to help protect the stonework and minimise any further damage.
39. BUS STOPS/SHELTERS
(a) RTPI Bus Shelters
The Property Manager updated Members on the progress of the installation of three new RTPI bus shelters – two in Broyle Road and one on Lavant Road.
Members were informed that West Sussex County Council had allocated a further £30,000 from Section 106 money in addition to £7,500 already allocated. The Property Manager advised that, after installation costs, this would leave £3,370 for ongoing maintenance.
The Sub-Committee discussed the options for the maintenance of the bus shelters and whether it was appropriate for the City Council to undertake this work.
The Property Manager advised that the contractor, Clear Channel, had indicated that it would be willing to add the bus shelters to its maintenance schedule as this would be supported by in-shelter advertising revenues.
The Sub-Committee RESOLVED to accept the Section 106 money from West Sussex County Council to cover the cost of the installation of the three new bus shelters.
(b) Whyke Road bus stop – request from residents for a seat.
Members were advised that the new seat had been installed at the Whyke Road bus stop.
(c) Swanfield Drive
The Property Manager informed Members that he had met with Clear Channel and requested a quotation for the proposed RTPI ready bus shelter. Members were advised that this would require a strip of land approximately 800mm deep to be purchased from A2 Dominion. The costs identified to date were £10,418.30 to supply and install the bus shelter and electrical supply, £500 for the purchase of the land and £800 for alterations to an adjoining fence line. No indications of legal fees had been received.
The Sub-Committee discussed the issue at length with the Deputy Mayor and Councillor K Hughes advising that they had received feedback from local residents informing them how keen they were to have a bus shelter at this particular stop.
The Deputy Mayor and Property Manager suggested that it may be possible to install the shelter on the edge of the pavement backing on to the adjacent fence if the side panels were not included. This would negate the need to purchase the land and adjust the fence. The Property Manager indicated that this may be possible but that checks would have to be undertaken to ensure that the pavement was sufficiently deep to permit pedestrians to pass people waiting at the bus stop.
The Sub-Committee RESOLVED to task the Property Manager with continuing negotiations with West Sussex County Council and Clear Channel to discuss the suitability of the pavement for the alternative style of bus shelter and to confirm availability of Section 106 funds from the County Council for the provision of the bus shelter. It was agreed that the Property Manager would report progress to the next Sub-Committee meeting.
40. PUBLIC REALM PROJECTS
(a) City Boundary Sign, Whyke Road
The Sub-Committee was advised that the replacement Parish boundary sign, incorporating the speed safety message, had now been installed.
(b) Wayfinding (finger posts)
The Property Manager informed the Sub-Committee that quotes had now been received from contractors for the refurbishment of the existing finger posts.
The Property Manager further advised that he would be attending a meeting with the Chichester Vision group on 14 January 2020 to finalise the way forward before a meeting on site with the contractors to ensure that the brief had been fully understood.
(c) Precinct Paving – resurfacing of City Centre shopping precinct – UPDATE
Members were informed that West Sussex County Council and Chichester District Council had been advised of the City Council’s resolution to contribute up to £8,000 towards the proposed Options Report for the resurfacing of the main shopping streets in Chichester city centre.
Members were advised that no response had been forthcoming from West Sussex County Council or Chichester District Council.
The Sub-Committee discussed the urgency of proceeding with this project as the condition of the street surfaces was proving to be a deterrent for people visiting the City centre.
(d) Ward Boards
The Property Manager drew Members’ attention to the photographs in Appendix A of his report which showed the newly installed ward boards around the City.
The Property Maintenance Officer left the meeting.
(e) Proposal to install an interpretation board for the Keats sculpture
The Sub-Committee were advised that the sculptor of the Keats statue in Eastgate Square, Vincent Gray, had suggested that an interpretation board similar to that recently installed in Litten Gardens; could be erected near to the statue.
The idea was warmly received by Members who reviewed the material suggested for inclusion on the board in Appendix B of the Property Manager’s report. This was discussed by the Sub-Committee who felt that the first draft was too long.
Councillor K Hughes agreed to review and edit the content and the Mayor offered a contact to produce the final edit.
The Property Manager informed Members that the design of the artwork and production of the interpretation board would cost £750, based on the costs of the Patten board in Litten Gardens.
Members RECOMMENDED to the Finance Committee that orders to the total value of £750 be placed with Acorn Workshop and Ali Beckett Design for the production of a Keats interpretation board to be funded from Public Realm.
(f) Streetlights in Oxmarket Twitten
The Property Manager advised Members that he had obtained a quote from SSE to replace the current, temporary, battery powered lights in the Twitten between the Halifax and Vodafone buildings. The new lights would be mounted on the Vodafone building wall and be fed from the existing streetlight supply. Members were further advised that this would cost £1,352.38 and could be funded from Public Realm.
Members discussed whose responsibility this should be but all agreed that the temporary lights had been very effective and that the installation of permanent lights would be a positive addition.
The Sub-Committee RECOMMENDED to the Finance Committee that an order to the value of £1,352.38 be placed with SSE for the installation of two wall mounted lights in the Oxmarket Twitten, to be funded from Public Realm.
41. STREET SIGNS
(a) Roussillon Park – VC interpretation signs.
The Property Manager drew Members’ attention to the photographs of the new interpretation signs that had been installed in Roussillon Park. (Appendix C of his report).
Members discussed what a positive project this had been and the feedback they had received from members of the public. The Sub-Committee also agreed that further interpretation signs should be encouraged in new street signing projects where appropriate.
(b) Street Name signs update.
The Sub-Committee were advised that a total of 38 damaged or faded street signs had been replaced so far this year.
The Deputy Mayor noted that there were very few street signs in his area of Swanfield Park that carried the City Council crest. The Property Manager clarified that all new street name signs carried the crest and that signs were being replaced when they were deemed to be too damaged or too faded to be of use.
(a) Seat outside Library in Tower Street and Woolstaplers.
Members were advised that the broken and damaged benches outside the Library and on Woolstaplers had now been replaced.
43. MAINTENANCE TEAM UPDATE
(a) Maintenance Compound
The Property Manager updated Members on the progress of the Property Team compound at the St James allotment site. He advised that the new security fencing and gates had been installed by the Property Team and that the City Council truck was now being kept in the compound which had been approved by the City Council’s insurers.
Members were further advised that, as the Property Team now largely operated out of the compound, it was within the City Council’s duty of care to provide suitable facilities for the workshop area and for the Team members operating there.
The Property Manager explained the background to the requirements for light, heat and a water supply but not for toilet facilities as these already existed on site at St James.
The Sub-Committee were informed that a metered water supply could be added to the existing allotment supply, while power would have to be sourced from the main supply across the road from the allotment site.
The Property Manager advised Members that he had obtained a quote from SSE to install a 30KW three phase supply to the compound in the amount of £7,377,22 and that the bulk of this cost was incurred by the necessary traffic management and roadworks to bring the supply across the road. It was also pointed out that this would allow an electric vehicle charging point to be installed in the event that the City Council purchased a battery powered truck.
Members asked whether it would be possible to use a generator, but it was felt that this would be too noisy and polluting in a residential area.
The Property Manager also advised that future possibilities for the provision of a specific kitchen and eating space in the form of a static caravan would be investigated and brought to the Sub-Committee at the appropriate time.
Therefore, the Sub-Committee RECOMMENDED to the Finance Committee that an order be placed with SSE in the sum of £7,377.22 to provide the specified power supply to the St James Compound, to be funded from the Allotment Reserve.
(b) Stephen Hawkins
As minuted in the pre-meeting introduction.
(c) Use of weed killer
The Property Manager advised Members that West Sussex County Council had decided to resume use of Glysophate based weedkillers, especially where weed growth in pavements and highways had started to cause physical damage to the infrastructure.
The Sub-Committee was further advised that the City Council’s Property Team would continue to test green alternatives but, to date, they had been found to be ineffective in reducing weed growth. The Property Manager stated that, in very limited circumstances, controlled use of Glysophate weedkillers may be necessary to hold back weed growth. He gave the example of suppressing ivy growth on the boundary flint walls at St Pauls churchyard where allowing the ivy to grow would potentially cause significant and costly damage.
The Mayor commented that, with his experience in the agro-chemical industry, there was still very limited concrete evidence to support claims about the damage that Glysophate based chemicals cause and that the court cases and large settlements in the USA had not helped in this area.
44. ITEMS TO BE INCLUDED ON AGENDA FOR NEXT MEETING
The Mayor suggested that the future of the Murray sculpture and the Bernstein memorial should be discussed but was unsure whether this would be discussed at the Finance Committee meeting on 14 January 2020.
45. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
To be confirmed
The meeting closed at 4.45pm