Agenda, decisions and minutes

Barham Park Trust Committee
Wednesday 7 March 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Boardrooms 3/4 - Brent Civic Centre, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0FJ. View directions

Contact: Bryony Gibbs, Governance Officer  020 8937 1355 Email: bryony.gibbs@brent,gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

For the Committee to note any apologies for absence.

Minutes:

None.

2.

Declarations of interests

Members are invited to declare at this stage of the meeting, the nature and existence of any relevant disclosable pecuniary, personal or prejudicial interests in the items on this agenda and to specify the item(s) to which they relate.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.  

3.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 65 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.

Decision:

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 11 October 2017 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 11 October 2017 be approved as an accurate record of the meeting.

4.

Matters arising (if any)

To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.

Minutes:

Chris Whyte (Operational Director Environment Services) provided an update to the committee on several matters discussed at the previous meeting. The committee heard that: work to resolve some of the damage in the Silver Jubilee Gardens would take place as part of the wider programme of improvement; the Tree Survey had been undertaken; and, public consultation regarding the Public Space Protection Orders was due to commence.

 

Chris Whyte then introduced Leslie Williams who had recently been seconded to the role of Project Officer for Barham Park. The Project Officer would facilitate the day-to-day management of the park and undertake consultation with stakeholders to take forward park improvements. The post was currently funded by the Council for a period of seven months and as part of his role, Leslie Williams would be seeking permission from the Charity Commission to re-charge the cost of the role to the Trust in the future.

 

The Chair welcomed Leslie Williams to the role on behalf of the committee.

5.

Review of Future Governance of Barham Park Trust pdf icon PDF 111 KB

This report presents a review of potential governance options for the Barham Park Trust.

 

Decision:

i)     That with respect to the future governance of the Barham Park Trust, the status quo be maintained as set out as Option 1 in the report from the Strategic Director, Regeneration and Environment.

 

ii)    That with the exception of the Annual General Meetingof the committee which would be formally scheduled in the Brent Council calendar of meetings for 2018-19, meetings of the committee would be arranged on an ad-hoc basis to meet the operational requirements of the Trust. 

 

Minutes:

Looqman Desai (Senior Solicitor, Governance) introduced the report regarding the review of the future governance of the Barham Park Trust. The report asked Members to review afresh the five governance options which the committee had previously considered at its meeting on 28 January 2015. On that occasion the committee had opted for the status quo, namely, the Council continuing to directly discharge its Trust functions via its Cabinet Members and officers. As a matter of good practice, the committee had chosen to keep this arrangement under review. Looqman Desai advised that the report before the committee presented Members with the opportunity, with the benefit of a further two years of experience of the current arrangements, to take stock and take a strategic view of how the Trust should be governed in the future.

 

The options as set out in the report were outlined to the committee by Looqman Desai. These were to: 1) maintain the status quo; 2) appoint additional trustees alongside the Council; 3) appoint a corporate trustee; 4) establish a new corporate charity to take on ownership and control of Barham Park; and 5) outright transfer to another charity. It was emphasised that if the committee chose to maintain the status quo, no further action would be required. Alternatively, the committee could recommend one or more of the other options to Cabinet for further consideration and consultation.

 

Looqman Desai explained that the Council held Barham Park on a charitable trust to preserve the land for public recreation. The Council was the sole corporate trustee of the charity. The exercise of the administration, operational and management function of the Trust was an executive function of the council. Until 2012, the function had been discharged by the Cabinet itself. Since then, at Member level, it had been discharged by the Barham Park Trust Committee. In September 2016, the committee revised the previous officer delegation scheme by delegating the day to day functions of the Trust to the Operational Director, Environmental Services.

 

The committee further heard from Looqman Desai that there was no mutually exclusive division between things the Council did pursuant to its statutory functions, and things that it did as a charity trustee. In that respect Trust activities were not ring-fenced. However, the Trust assets and funds could only be used for its charitable purpose and were kept separate from those of the Council. 

 

With reference to the report considered by the committee at its meeting on 12 April 2017 on the state of finances of the Trust, Looqman Desai highlighted that the Trust had significant reserves (generated from the sale of two properties within the park and other sources of income) which earned interest at a rate higher than that received by the Council. It was important to acknowledge, however,  that there were a number of items of expenditure in respect of Barham Park, such as maintenance and plantings costs, tree related insurance claims and professional officer time, that were not re-charged to the Trust. The Trust therefore  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Any other urgent business

Notice of items to be raised under this heading must be given in writing to the Head of Executive and Member Services or his representative before the meeting. Any decisions taken urgently under this heading must comply with the provisions outlined in paragraph 39 of the Council’s Access to Information Rules (part 2 of the Constitution).

Minutes:

None.