Venue: Havering Town Hall, Main Road, Romford
Contact: Anthony Clements 01708 433065 Email: anthony.clements@oneSource.co.uk
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS
(if any) - receive.
Apologies were received from Councillors Mandy Anderson (Pat Brown substituting) and Natasha Summers.
DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
Members are invited to disclose any interest in any of the items on the agenda at this point of the meeting.
Members may still disclose any interest in an item at any time prior to the consideration of the matter.
There were no disclosures of interest.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meetings of the Board held on 15 November 2023 and 29 November 2023 (attached) and to authorise the Chairman to sign them.
The minutes of the meetings of the Board held on 15 and 29 November 2023 were agreed as a correct record.
Please note that, whilst the reports are correct at the time of publication, it is possible that they may change significantly by the time they are presented to Cabinet and Council.
Bridge Close Regeneration Business Plan and Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan
Officers clarified that the wording in the report in relation to the view of Savills regarding their view of the HRA business plan was based on an early draft and was no longer accurate. Savills had concluded that the business plan was on a relatively sound financial basis. The revised advice would be circulated to Members.
It was confirmed that it was sound financial practice for the HRA to borrow from the General Fund. This continued to be assessed as a cost effective option and it was currently more cost effective for the HRA to borrow in its own right. This meant the HRA could access better rates in its own right when borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board. The average cost of borrowing was considered over the course of a year and officers would circulate further details about this area.
For next year’s budget, the HRA would borrow in its own right. There was no formal policy on this area as it often varied what was the most cost effective option. Any loans would be short term of up to 2 years duration with a current interest rate of 4.58%. The Council would look to refinance within 2 years as it was unlikely that repayment of the principal would be achieved within this time. Officers would monitor interest rates very closely.
It was AGREED that the following comments on the HRA and Bridge Close reports made by the Places Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee should be included in the Board’s report to Cabinet on the overall budget papers:
BRIDGE CLOSE REGENERATION LLP - IN YEAR REVIEW OF 2024/25 BUSINESS PLAN
HRA BUSINESS PLAN UPDATE, BUDGET 2024/25 & CAPITAL PROGRAMME 2024/25 – 2028/29
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC
It was AGREED that, for the relevant section of agenda item 5 only, the public should be excluded from the meeting on the grounds that it was likely that, on view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, if members of the public were present during that item, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.