Agenda item

Formation of LeisureSK Ltd

This report requests additional Director appointments to complement the Board of LeisureSK Ltd.  Council is also asked to approve the level of management fee which may be required to be provided to the company for the period January 2021 to December 2021, and that an element of this is provided upfront to LeisureSK Ltd as working capital to cover any necessary costs.

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader of the Council presented the report, which requested additional Directors to be appointed to the board of LeisureSK Ltd.  He also asked for an amendment at recommendation one, to include the Chief Executive as a Director of LeisureSK Ltd. 

 

The Council were also being asked to approve a level of management fee not exceeding £500,000, which may be required to be provided to the company for the period January 2021 to December 2021.  An upfront element of this fee, £250,000, was to be provided to LeisureSK Ltd as working capital to cover any necessary costs.  The Deputy Leader also asked that the word Limited be included after LeisureSK at recommendation three as a further amendment to the recommendations before Council.   The five-year business plan for LeisureSK Ltd had been endorsed by the Companies Committee on 21 October 2020.

 

The proposal was seconded.

 

Debate then followed on the recommendations before Council and the inclusion of the Chief Executive as a further Director.

 

Concern was expressed about the proposed appointment of the Chief Executive as a Director. Some Members felt that there was a conflict of interest between the Director role for LeisureSK Ltd and that of the Chief Executive of the Council.   Clarity was also asked on whether it was the person or post that was the Director position.  It was confirmed that it was the person holding that position, if the person no longer worked for the Council, they would resign from the Director position.

 

The Deputy Leader reiterated his recommendation to include the Chief Executive as a Director and stated that the Chief Executive did have knowledge of the leisure industry and all procedures relating to the running of LeisureSK Ltd would be followed.

 

A question was asked in relation to the financial aspects outlined in the report and the assumed business rate relief to which the Interim Director of Finance responded.

 

A point of order was raised in relation to the nature of the debate before Members and it was confirmed that this should not take the form of a question and answer session.  It was proposed and seconded to suspend Standing Orders so that Members could speak more than once but on being put to the vote the proposition failed.

 

Further discussion followed on the set up of the Company and the significant work being undertaken due to the current volatility of the leisure market and Covid-19. 

 

The formation of LeisureSK Ltd was welcomed by Members to improve the current leisure provision within the district. It was however, felt that a more political balance was required within the Directorship of the company and it was proposed that the Independent Group Leader be appointed as a Director, which was seconded and debate supporting the appointment followed.  During debate a further proposition was made for a non-aligned member to be on the board of Directors and this was seconded.

 

Clarification of the role of a Director on the Board of LeisureSK Ltd was given and confirmation that the company would be scrutinised by the Companies Committee which was a politically balanced Committee.

 

The proposition for the Independent Group Leader to be on the board of Directors for LeisureSK Ltd was then taken, voting was by exception and the proposition fell.

 

The functionality of the IT software being used for the meeting was questioned, as some Members had been unable to cast their vote.   The Chief Executive indicated that a new system was being looked at and it would be the last Council meeting using the current system.

 

It was proposed and seconded that a recorded vote be taken.  A further proposal was put that all votes for the remainder of the meeting be recorded and this was seconded.  A proposal was also put that the decision be taken after the vote had taken place.  As the request for recorded votes had been requested by over ten Members of the Council as required by Article 4.13.4 of the Council’s Constitution, all decisions for the remainder of the Council meeting would be taken by recorded vote.

 

(14:51 Councillor Goral left the meeting and did not return).

(14:53 Councillor Chivers left the meeting and did not return).

 

The proposition to appoint the Independent Group Leader to the Directorship of LeisureSK Ltd was then taken by recorded vote.  The proposition failed.

 

For

Against

Abstain

Councillor Ashley Baxter

Councillor Bob Adams

Councillor Charmaine Morgan

Councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing

Councillor David Bellamy

Councillor Lee Steptoe

Councillor Louise Clack

Councillor Kelham Cooke

2

Councillor Phil Dilks

Councillor John Cottier

 

Councillor Paul Fellows

Councillor Helen Crawford

 

Councillor Jan Hansen

Councillor Barry Dobson

 

Councillor Anna Kelly

Councillor Mike Exton

 

Councillor Philip Knowles

Councillor Breda Griffin

 

Councillor Penny Milnes

Councillor Graham Jeal

 

Councillor Virginia Moran

Councillor Gloria Johnson

 

Councillor Ian Selby

Councillor Rosemary Kaberry-Brown

 

Councillor Amanda Wheeler

Councillor Jane Kingman

 

Councillor Jane Wood

Councillor Matthew Lee

 

Councillor Paul Wood

Councillor Annie Mason

 

14

Councillor Dr Peter Moseley

 

 

Councillor Robert Reid

 

 

Councillor Nick Robins

 

 

Councillor Susan Sandall

 

 

Councillor Jacky Smith

 

 

Councillor Judy Smith

 

 

Councillor Judy Stevens

 

 

Councillor Adam Stokes

 

 

Councillor Ian Stokes

 

 

Councillor Jill Thomas

 

 

Councillor Rosemary Trollope- Bellew

 

 

Councillor Sarah Trotter

 

 

Councillor Dean Ward

 

 

Councillor Hilary Westropp

 

 

Councillor Mark Whittington

 

 

Councillor Sue Woolley

 

 

Councillor Linda Wootten

 

 

Councillor Ray Wootten

 

 

32

 

 

Debate then followed in respect of the non-aligned Member being a Director on LeisureSK Ltd and further concern was expressed about the Chief Executive’s independence in the role of a Director and the openness and transparency of the company to which the Chief Executive replied.

 

Assurance was given by the Vice-Chairman of the Companies Committee that scrutiny of the company would be undertaken in a robust manor.

 

The proposition for the non-aligned Member to take a role of Director on LeisureSK Ltd was then voted on. The proposition was lost.

 

(15:13 Councillor Clack left the meeting and did not return)

 

For

Against

Abstain

Councillor Ashley Baxter

Councillor Bob Adams

 

Councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing

Councillor David Bellamy

 

Councillor Phil Dilks

Councillor Kelham Cooke

 

Councillor Paul Fellows

Councillor John Cottier

 

Councillor Jan Hansen

Councillor Helen Crawford

 

Councillor Anna Kelly

Councillor Barry Dobson

 

Councillor Philip Knowles

Councillor Mike Exton

 

Councillor Penny Milnes

Councillor Breda Griffin

 

Councillor Virginia Moran

Councillor Graham Jeal

 

Councillor Charmaine Morgan

Councillor Gloria Johnson

 

Councillor Ian Selby

Councillor Rosemary Kaberry-Brown

 

Councillor Lee Steptoe

Councillor Jane Kingman

 

Councillor Amanda Wheeler

Councillor Annie Mason

 

Councillor Jane Wood

Councillor Dr Peter Moseley

 

Councillor Paul Wood

Councillor Robert Reid

 

15

Councillor Nick Robins

 

 

Councillor Susan Sandall

 

 

Councillor Jacky Smith

 

 

Councillor Judy Smith

 

 

Councillor Judy Stevens

 

 

Councillor Adam Stokes

 

 

Councillor Ian Stokes

 

 

Councillor Jill Thomas

 

 

Councillor Rosemary Trollope- Bellew

 

 

Councillor Dean Ward

 

 

Councillor Hilary Westropp

 

 

Councillor Mark Whittington

 

 

Councillor Sue Woolley

 

 

Councillor Linda Wootten

 

 

Councillor Ray Wootten

 

 

30

 

 

 

 

 

A proposal was made that Councillor Mark Whittington be nominated as a Director on LeisureSK Ltd and this was seconded.

 

It was noted that currently Councillor Whittington was the Vice-Chairman of the Companies Committee and that a conflict may arise. Further debate followed on the member’s suitability following which Councillor Whittington withdrew his nomination to the post of Director.

 

An amendment was proposed that in addition to the recommendation before the Members, that an additional member of the Council be proposed who is nominated with appropriate skills and that a report come back to an additional meeting of the Council where interested parties to the post were listed together with their portfolio and skills.

 

The Monitoring Officer then stated why the amendment was not appropriate in the context of the recommendation that was before the Council, and therefore, was not accepted as an amendment.

 

The Member stated that her amendment simply added a further Member as a director on the board of LeisureSK Ltd.  The Monitoring Officer clarified what the proposal was before Members.  The proposal was seconded.

 

(15:36 Councillor Exton left the meeting)

 

A brief debate followed with some support being given to the proposal and the need to have balance on the board of directors by having a Member who was suitably qualified and not part of the Cabinet or the Chief Executive.  It was reiterated that an independent specialist was to be appointed to the board of LeisureSK Ltd.

 

On being put to a recorded vote the amendment failed.

 

 

 

 

For

Against

Abstain

Councillor Ashley Baxter

Councillor Bob Adams

Councillor Philip Knowles

Councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing

Councillor David Bellamy

Councillor Virginia Moran

Councillor Phil Dilks

Councillor Mrs Pam Bosworth

Councillor Ian Selby

Councillor Paul Fellows

Councillor Kelham Cooke

3

Councillor Anna Kelly

Councillor John Cottier

 

Councillor Penny Milnes

Councillor Helen Crawford

 

Councillor Charmaine Morgan

Councillor Barry Dobson

 

Councillor Lee Steptoe

Councillor Breda Griffin

 

Councillor Amanda Wheeler

Councillor Graham Jeal

 

 

Councillor Gloria Johnson

 

Councillor Lee Steptoe

Councillor Rosemary Kaberry-Brown

 

Councillor Amanda Wheeler

Councillor Jane Kingman

 

Councillor Jane Wood

Councillor Annie Mason

 

Councillor Paul Wood

Councillor Dr Peter Moseley

 

11

Councillor Susan Sandall

 

 

Councillor Jacky Smith

 

 

Councillor Judy Smith

 

 

Councillor Judy Stevens

 

 

Councillor Adam Stokes

 

 

Councillor Ian Stokes

 

 

Councillor Jill Thomas

 

 

Councillor Rosemary Trollope- Bellew

 

 

Councillor Sarah Trotter

 

 

Councillor Dean Ward

 

 

Councillor Hilary Westropp

 

 

Councillor Mark Whittington

 

 

Councillor Sue Woolley

 

 

Councillor Linda Wootten

 

 

Councillor Ray Wootten

 

 

29

 

 

The original proposal as outlined within the Deputy Leader’s report, with the addition of the Chief Executive as a Director at recommendation one, and the inclusion of Limited after LeisureSK at recommendation three, which had been seconded was then voted on.  A recorded vote was taken.

 

On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:

 

1.    That Council appoints the following as Directors of LeisureSK Ltd:

a)  The Leader of the Council, Councillor Kelham Cooke.

b)   The Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Councillor Adam Stokes.

c)    The Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Rosemary Trollope-Bellew.

d)   The Chief Executive, Karen Bradford.

2.    That Council approves the appointment of the Director of Growth and Culture and a Non-Executive Director to the Board of LeisureSK Ltd upon the successful conclusion of the Council’s recruitment process in this regard.

3.    That delegated authority is provided to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Directors of LeisureSK Ltd, to appoint a Non-Executive Director to the Board on the successful conclusion of the recruitment process in this regard.

4.    That Council approve a budget not exceeding £500,000 for the management fee to be provided to LeisureSK Ltd for the period January 2021 to December 2021, and that delegated authority is provided to the Chief Executive of the Council, in consultation with the Section 151 Officer to agree the final amount, noting that the payment will be subject to a reconciliation to show the impact of Covid-19 on income and expenditure.

5.    That Council approve an upfront payment of £250,000 of the annual management fee to provide for working capital for LeisureSK Ltd to enable the company to have sufficient cash flow to cover any necessary expenditure.

 

For

Against

Abstain

Councillor Bob Adams

Councillor Ashley Baxter

Councillor Anna Kelly

Councillor David Bellamy

Councillor Phil Dilks

1

Councillor Harrish Bisnauthsing

Councillor Virginia Moran

 

Councillor Pam Bosworth

Councillor Charmaine Morgan

 

Councillor Kelham Cooke

Councillor Lee Steptoe

 

Councillor John Cottier

Councillor Amanda Wheeler

 

Councillor Helen Crawford

6

 

Councillor Barry Dobson

 

 

Councillor Paul Fellows

 

 

Councillor Breda Griffin

 

 

Councillor Graham Jeal

 

 

Councillor Gloria Johnson

 

 

Councillor Rosemary Kaberry-Brown

 

 

Councillor Jane Kingman

 

 

Councillor Philip Knowles

 

 

Councillor Matthew Lee

 

 

Councillor Annie Mason

 

 

Councillor Penny Milnes

 

 

Councillor Dr Peter Moseley

 

 

Councillor Susan Sandall

 

 

Councillor Ian Selby

 

 

Councillor Jacky Smith

 

 

Councillor Judy Smith

 

 

Councillor Judy Stevens

 

 

Councillor Adam Stokes

 

 

Councillor Ian Stokes

 

 

Councillor Jill Thomas

 

 

Councillor Rosemary Trollope- Bellew

 

 

Councillor Sarah Trotter

 

 

Councillor Dean Ward

 

 

Councillor Mark Whittington

 

 

Councillor Jane Wood

 

 

Councillor Paul Wood

 

 

Councillor Sue Woolley

 

 

Councillor Linda Wootten

 

 

Councillor Ray Wootten

 

 

36

 

 

 

A Member referred to a letter she had sent to the Leader in relation to Deepings Swimming Club, the use of the Leisure Centre and the inability of the club to fund raise during the Covid-19 pandemic and the effect on the club hiring the pool.

 

The Leader stated that he would set up a meeting to discuss Deepings Swimming Club with the Member for the following week.

 

It was proposed, seconded and agreed to extend the meeting by one hour following the adjournment.  A recorded vote was taken to extend the meeting.  All those Members left in the meeting agreed to extend the meeting by one hour following the adjournment.

 

(16:03 – 16:18 meeting adjourned)

 

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