Venue: Parkside, Station Approach, Burton Street, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. LE13 1GH
Contact: Democratic Services 01664 502579
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
There were no apologies for absence.
Members to declare any interest as appropriate in respect of items to be considered at this meeting.
Councillor Orson declared an interest in the following item (Staged Payment Agreement with Leicestershire County Council (LCC) to Support Infrastructure Investment), due to his role as a County Councillor.
The Leader of the Council to submit a report updating Cabinet on the work to support Leicestershire County Council (LCC) in delivering the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road (MMDR) and seeking approval to enter into the Staged Payment Agreement with LCC subject to a further recommendation to Council to approve the associated financial implications, which will enable LCC to secure the HIF grant from Homes England.
Cabinet (subject to approval from Council to make the necessary provision in the Capital Programme):
2.1 PROVIDED authority for the Borough Council to enter into a Staged
Payment Agreement with Leicestershire County Council, as summarised
in this report;
2.2 DELEGATED authority to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the
Leader, to make any final amendments to the agreement arising from any
further negotiations with the County Council;
2.3 DELEGATED authority to the Chief Executive to enter into the agreement
as soon as is practicably possible, to enable the County Council to enter
into an agreement with Homes England to secure the Housing
Infrastructure Fund grant;
That Cabinet RECOMMENDED to Council:
2.4 To note and endorse the decision taken by Cabinet to enter into a Staged
Payment Agreement with Leicestershire County Council (subject to
Council approving the necessary provision is made in the Capital
2.5 To note that the agreement will fund a contribution by the Borough Council
towards the costs incurred by the County Council in the provision of
educational infrastructure arising from housing associated with the
construction of the MMDR South;
2.6 To approve the financial implications arising from the agreement by making
provision in the Capital Programme for a number of staged payments to
the sum of £1.75m (initially funded by borrowing and subject to indexation
as set out in the financial implications of the report).
Edd de Coverly, Chief Executive introduced the report, the purpose of which was to update Cabinet on the work to support Leicestershire County Council (LCC) in delivering the Melton Mowbray Distributor Road (MMDR) and to seek approval to enter into the Staged Payment Agreement with LCC, subject to a further recommendation to Council to approve the associated financial implications, which would enable the County Council to secure the Housing Infrastructure Funding (HIF) grant from Homes England.
Mr. de Coverly highlighted that supporting LCC to deliver the relief road was 1 of the Council’s key priorities within its Corporate Strategy. In July 2021, LCC advised that it would accept the grant, subject to reaching agreement with Homes England and providing the Council met a number of conditions. Good progress had been made and the final requirement for the Council was to enter into an agreement with LCC to assist in mitigating the financial risk it faced (up to an agreed cap of £1.75m). Extensive negotiations had taken place in an effort to reach an agreement, which was legally sound and financially affordable to the Council and in early October, LCC advised that due to increasing pressure from Homes England to accept the HIF grant by the end of October, the agreement between the Council and LCC would need to conclude by this deadline. Despite significant time pressure, the negotiations with LCC had concluded successfully and an agreement had been reached, the details and implications of which were set out in the report.
Mr. de Coverly advised that following consideration of a number of options, the proposed approach was to enter a staged payment agreement, which would require the Council to contribute £1.75m to support the education expansion programme in 4 staged payments over a 7 year period. The staged payment agreement would create an additional financial burden on the Council, which had the potential to put pressure on its ability to deliver other priorities and may require the Council to make savings elsewhere. This was a matter of judgement as to whether the benefits in securing 1 of the Council's key priorities outweigh the liabilities created by the agreement (without the agreement, LCC would not be in a position to accept the HIF grant and the delivery of the southern section of the road would be jeopardised). Difficult decisions may need to be made but liabilities were considered manageable and indirectly Council finances may benefit from future local growth incentives attributed to the road.
Mr. de Coverly confirmed that subject to consideration by Cabinet, the financial implications arising from the agreement would be considered at the Special Council meeting later this evening. Should approval be given by both Cabinet and Council, the agreement would be signed and LCC would enter into the Grant Determination Agreement (GDA) with Homes England.
The Leader thanked officers, LCC and LCC Councillor Debbie Taylor for the work they had undertaken. He commented that the agreement was a significant achievement and would help to deliver post Covid ... view the full minutes text for item 204.