To receive the Leader’s report on the work of the Executive since the Council meeting held on 21 April 2021.
Council is asked to consider recommendations in respect of:
· adopting the working definition on antisemitism
· adding the costs for Phase 1 of the Time Square works to the 2021/2022 capital programme
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Bettison OBE, presented his report on the work of the Executive since that reported at the Council meeting on 21 April 2021. The Executive had met once on 1 June 2021.
The Leader highlighted the following matters that had been considered:
• Bracknell Forest Council equality, diversity strategy committed to eliminating discrimination and hatred to all communities. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – Definition of Antisemitism was recommended for adoption.
• Phase 1 works had been agreed to transform the ground floor of Time Square for the Collaboration Space/Community Hub. The changes would create a vibrant community hub which would be more accessible to public, including;
– Ground floor café/collaboration space
– New Ceremony Room
– Re-imagined Reception/Customer meeting area
• Strategic procurement plan to re-develop Depot site had been agreed by Executive Member. This would deliver a new depot facility plus surplus land for disposal with works due to commence in April 2022.
• Leisure facilities’ income had inevitably been hit by Covid restrictions. Financial support packages for Everyone Active, who operate the council’s primary leisure facilities (BSLC, Downshire Golf Course, Coral Reef), had been agreed in April and July 2020 and March 2021. This would ensure that activities were able to re-open as the income generated underpinned the £1.3m management fee paid to the Council. Members agreed that the level of Quarter 2 support would be agreed when usage and income data became available.
• The request from South Hill Park to guarantee pension liability had been declined by Executive Members as there was no legal connection between Bracknell Forest Council and South Hill Park and there were concerns about equitable treatment of other charitable organisations. The ongoing £194K revenue support grant to South Hill Park was unaffected by this decision and there was no threat to the premises or grounds.
• £180k of S106 provision for affordable housing had been agreed for the provision of a wheelchair accessible modular building at Tenterden Lodge to offer temporary emergency affordable accommodation.
• Continued membership of Children’s Residential Care Consortia Framework 2021 – 2024 had been endorsed.
• Crowthorne Neighbourhood Development Plan 2018 – 2036 had been endorsed by May referendum and supported by 85% of voters. The Plan had been formally ‘made’ so became part of Bracknell Forest Development Plan and 25% of relevant local CIL levy receipts were now payable to Crowthorne Parish Council.
The report contained matters for the Council to consider and recommend to the Chief Executive to resolve in respect of:
• adopting the working definition on antisemitism
• adding the costs for Phase 1 of the Time Square works to the 2021/2022 capital programme
Councillor Mrs Temperton reflected that the support provided to the private company Everyone Active exceeded that provided to the South Hill Park charity. Provision of grounds and premises did not equate to arts provision, another provider was unlikely to be found and that the emotional wellbeing of Bracknell Forest’s residents was as important as their physical wellbeing.
In response the Leader stated that there was no comparison to be made between the two situations. He stated that the financial support to Everyone Active would protect the £1.3m income from management fees paid to the council and issues were as a direct result of the pandemic. The Council paid £194k to South Hill Park annually in grant funding plus the costs of maintenance of the site and the use of the building. He noted that the contributions required to Trust’s pension fund had been accruing for many years.
On the proposition of Councillor Kirke, Chair of the Equalities Working Group, seconded by Councillor Mrs McKenzie it was
RECOMMENDED TO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition on antisemitism be adopted.
On the proposition of Councillor Heydon, Executive Member for Transformation and Finance, seconded by Councillor Allen it was
RECOMMENDED TO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE that a supplementary capital approval of £604k to fund the costs for Phase 1 of the Time Square works be added to the 2021/2022 capital programme.