Docstoc

Report London Borough of Hillingdon

Document Sample
Report London Borough of Hillingdon Powered By Docstoc
					FINANCE & ASSET MANAGEMENT SUB-COMMITTEE - 22 JUNE 1999

AGENDA

PART I - MEMBERS PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

(1)   Apologies for absence and to report any changes of membership
(2)   To receive the Minutes of the meeting held on 30 March 1999 (copy
      attached)
(3)   Disclosure of any other business and urgent items in Parts I and 2 of the
      agenda.
(4)   To confirm that the items of business marked in Part 1 will be considered in
      public and any items marked Part 2 will be considered in private
(5)   To note that none of the items fall within the provisions of Section 106 of
      the Local Government Finance Act 1992
(6)   Report of the Officers, copy attached

       1.    The Council’s Capital Maintenance Programme             Page 1
             1999/00
       2.    Progress Report on Income Best Value                    Page 13
       3.    Parking Services Audit – Management Action Plan         Page 21
       4.    Internal Audit-Annual Report                            Page 28
       5.    Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee                Page 35
             Revenue Budget 1999/00
       6.    National Non Domestic Rate Team                         Page 39
       7.    External Financing Limits                               Page 44
       8.    Victim Support Scheme                                   Page 46
       9.    Year 2000 Millennium Problem - 2nd Quarter              Page 48
             Report
       10.   Asset Management Plan                                   Page 58
       11.   The Grange, Pine Place, Hayes                           Page 73
       12.   Kingshill Depot, Kingshill Avenue, Hayes                Page 86
       13.   Park Lodge Farm Centre, Harefield                       Page 89
       14.   Park Lodge Farm Centre – Financial Arrangements         Page 93
             and Assets
       15.   Breakspear Stables, Cottage and Adjoining Land,         Page 98
             Harefield
       16.   Potential for Gravel Extraction – Denham Lock           Page 101
             Meadow, Denham Quarry, Harefield
       17.   Cranford Park Stable Block – Proposed Letting           Page 105
       18.   The Lodge, Rickmansworth Road, Harefield                Page 109
       19.   Land Adjacent to Old School House, Wise Lane,           Page 113
             West Drayton
       20. Land Fronting 63 & 65 Cowley Road, Uxbridge,                 Page 116

(7)   Any other business and urgent items in Part I

PART 2 - MEMBERS ONLY

       21.    Appendices to Item 10, Asset Management Plan              Page 118
       22.    Appendix to Item 11, The Grange                           Page 130
       23.    Relocations from Moorcroft and the Longer                 Page 131
              Term Office Accommodation Strategy
       24.    Land Adjoining Frays Farm, Uxbridge –                     Page 136
              Proposals on Termination of Agricultural
              Tenancy
       25.    Land Adjacent to 9/15 The Drive, Ickenham
                                                                        Page 142


       (Items 21-23 and 25 are included in Part 2 of the agenda
       as they contain exempt information relating to any terms
       proposed or to be proposed or to be proposed by or to the
       authority in the course of negotiations for a contract for the
       acquisition or disposal of property or the supply of goods
       or services. (Exempt information under Paragraph 9 of
       Part 1, Schedule 12a of the Local Government : (Access
       to Information) Act 1985))

       (Item 24 is included in Part 2 of the Agenda as it contains
       information relating to the financial or business affairs of a
       particular person (other than the Authority), (exempt
       information under Paragraph 7 of Part I, Schedule 12a of
       the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985.))

(8)   Any items transferred from Part 1
(9)   Any other business and urgent items in Part 2
THE COUNCIL’S CAPITAL MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME 1999/2000                        ITEM 1


                      CONTACT OFFICER: Gerry Edwards (Property Issues)
                      TELEPHONE:       018952 50903
                                       Gillian Ralphs (Highways Issues)
                                       018952 77500
                                       Tony Butler (Corporate Finance)
                                       01895 250111 Ext: 2085


SUMMARY

Finance and Asset Management Sub-Committee at its meeting of the 30th March
1999 agreed an allocation of maintenance resources for 1999/2000 based on a new
policy, which seeks to address the need for urgent funding by prioritisation

This report informs Members of the current position in respect of the 1999/2000
maintenance allocations for land, property and highways assets. In addition it seeks
Members approval for, a new reserve list for land and property maintenance, the
allocation of funds from the Land & Property Contingency and for a process for the
allocation of contingency funds between meetings of this Sub-Committee.

RECOMMENDATIONS

It is recommended that the Sub-Committee:

i.        Agrees the revised allocation of funds for land and property maintenance
          for 1999/2000 as identified in Appendix A1.

ii.       Notes the programme for land and property maintenance for 1999/2000
          as identified in Appendix A5

iii.      Agrees a new reserve list for land and property maintenance as identified
          in Appendix A3.

iv.       Agrees the allocation of funds from the Land & Property contingency to
          fund the projects identified in Appendix A4.

v.        Notes the programme for highway maintenance for 1999/2000 as
          identified in Appendix B.



     __________________________________________________________________

              PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

       Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999          Page 1
vi.      Delegates the day to day responsibility for the approval of urgent and
         emergency items from both the general and land & property
         contingency’s to the Chief Financial Officer.




 __________________________________________________________________

             PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

      Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999        Page 2
INFORMATION

Land and Property

1.1 All agreed projects have now been programmed in conjunction with Clients and
are appended at Appendix A5. Members will note that although the majority of
projects will be completed within the current financial year a number will be completed
in the following financial year due to complexity or due to the time required to
establish the full details of the works involved. In the light of the potential slippages
identified officers will identify prior to the next meeting of the Sub-Committee how the
programme can be adjusted to maximise outturn expenditure.

1.2 Member’s attention is drawn to the new item shown first in the list at Appendix A1
in respect of the Civic Centre Multi Storey Car Park. This scheme was original funded
from the Civic Centre maintenance provision in 1998/99 with a budget of £150k.
However when detailed investigations were carried out on the car park it was
identified that more works would be required than originally anticipated. As a result of
this the tenders received were significantly over budget. It is now expected that this
scheme will cost a total of £250k and therefore £100k has been reflected in the
current programme.

1.3 This is the only scheme where officers are aware that a significant variation
between the original estimate and actual cost has arisen in respect of the 1998/1999
block allocations of maintenance funds. The only opportunity that exists to complete
this work is to incorporate the additional costs within the Land & Property
maintenance programme for the current year.

1.4 Under the current process adopted by Members of this Sub-Committee on the
10th December for the allocation and management of capital maintenance resources it
would be anticipated that in future years exceptional variations such as the one above
would be dealt with via the contingency. In addition the management processes
adopted at an officer level to support this process should allow for the early
identification of such items should they arise. In the current year however, because of
the uncertainty surrounding the impact on the maintenance contingency with the return
of Foundation (formally Grant Maintained) Schools to the Council’s responsibility the
approach outlined above has been adopted.

1.5 At the last meeting of this Sub-Committee a main list and a reserve list were
approved. Subsequent to the meeting four projects were deleted due to approved
NDS funding and projects identified for Children’s Homes are to be incorporated in the
refurbishment schemes (detailed at Appendix A2). Consequently projects on the
reserve list were allocated funding to the extent that the reserve list was exhausted.
Members are now asked to approve a new reserve list and this is appended at
Appendix A3.

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                 Page 3
1.6 Since the last meeting of this Sub-Committee a number of urgent works have
been identified and which have been allocated resources from the Land and Property
Contingency Reserve. These have been:


a) Structural repairs to Cherry Lane School                          £ 35k
b) Air conditioning works at William Byrd School              £ 7k
c) Dangerous materials register                                      £ 5k
d) Removal of dangerous materials at Deansfield                      £ 5k
e) Replace heaters at Hillingdon Tuition Centre                      £ 16k
                                                                     ---------
                                                Total                £ 68k
                                                                     =====

1.7 Following these works the Land and Property Contingency Reserve now has a
remaining balance of £33k as shown in Appendix A4.

Highways

1.8 All highways maintenance projects agreed at the Finance and Asset Management
Sub-committee of 30 March 1999 have been programmed, with information on
progress, appended at Appendix B. All schemes are expected to be completed within
the current financial year with the objective of completion during the summer months.

1.9 At the next Environment Committee, within this cycle of meetings, on 29 June
1999, it is expected that some schemes from the reserve list of highway maintenance
projects approved on 30 March 1999, will be funded within a range of Environmental
Improvements. Officers will revise the reserve list for this Sub-Committee following
Environment Committee decisions and report it to the next meeting of the Sub-
Committee.

The Contingency Reserve

1.10 At present the programme has not had to draw on the general contingency,
which is estimated at £280k. However as explained in the section on land & property
it has been necessary to allocate funds from that contingency to meet the costs of
certain schemes that have arisen during the first three months of the year.

1.11 As a result of these items being identified the officers managing the process
have noted that the day to day responsibility for approving the allocation of
contingency funds rests with the Sub-Committee. Given the nature of the works that
are likely to call upon these contingencies i.e. caused by an emergency or are of an


 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 4
urgent nature they are liable to need to proceed immediately rather than wait for
approval at the Sub-Committees next meeting.

1.12 The option does exist for officers to seek approved for the allocation of these
funds from Urgency Sub-Committee. However, taking account of the nature of the
works involved, officers would suggest that perhaps the most efficient approach to
dealing with these items would be for the Sub-Committee to delegate the
responsibility for approving the allocation of funds from contingency to an officer of
the Council.

1.13 In this instance it is recommend that this delegation be made to the Chief
Financial Officer who would make such decisions following advice from either the
Property Consultancy Manager and/or Acting Head of Highways as appropriate. To
facilitate the proposed process running smoothly all requests for funds from the
contingencies would be made to the Chief Financial Officer. Members of the Sub-
Committee would be informed of any allocations made and the reasons for these as
part of the regular reporting on the overall maintenance programme.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

In considering maintenance, the Council needs to ensure that all land and property is
maintained so that it is safe for all those who have access.

FINANCIAL COMMENTS

This report was prepared with the Chief Financial Officer and their comments are
included in the main body of the text.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Report and Minutes of Finance and Asset Management Sub-Committee 30th March
1999.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                 Page 5
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 6
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 7
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 8
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 9
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 10
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 11
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 12
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 13
PROGRESS REPORT ON INCOME BEST VALUE                                            ITEM 2


                                           CONTACT OFFICER: Steve Finch
                                           TELEPHONE:       01895 250308

SUMMARY

To report on the Income section’s progress in implementing Best Value.

RECOMMENDATION

That the Sub-Committee notes the progress to date and the further steps to be
implemented.

INFORMATION

2.1 The income function of Financial Control was chosen as one of the Councils pilot
projects for Best Value. It was selected being a manageable sized unit of 13 staff
undertaking elements of a devolved function and central monitoring and control. It had
a diverse customer base that included all Groups and the public, both private and
commercial.

2.2 As a starting point it was necessary to determine the full scope of the sections
activities which were defined as follows.

a)      To receive notifications of all payments made to the Council and to advise
        controllers of personal accounts of these payments and receiving their
        confirmation that they have credited customers accounts.

b)      To credit the councils General ledger with all miscellaneous payments, grants,
        subsidies and moneys collected by Collecting Officers.

c)      Reconcile all payments received to the Councils bank accounts.

d)      To manage the home loan mortgage portfolio.

e)      To produce external invoices for all rechargeable services (sundry debtors)
        and initiate recovery procedures. Monitoring and progressing the recovery of
        debts, reporting to client Groups and their various service provider sections.




 __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

     Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999             Page 14
f)      Excluded from this definition was the collection of Social Services assessed
        charges and the billing and recovery of commercial rents as these activities
        had been fully devolved to Groups previously.

2.3 Costs of the service were established and reviewed. It was very important to ring
fence the activity in line with the definition of the service for benchmarking purposes
that were to follow. In 1997/8 the following unit costs were calculated.

         No of items         Unit cost
      Invoices                  21673            £ 9.32
      Car loans                           663          £ 46.00
      Mortgages                   991            £ 84.00
      Receipts                 718918            £ 0.20

      For 1998/9 the estimated out turn is:-

      Invoices                  20200             £ 7.47
      Car loans                    297           £ 32.95
      Mortgages                   689            £ 76.94
      Receipts                 750000             £ 0.11

2.4 The reduction in costs has been achieved by a restructuring of Income within
Accountancy giving wider responsibilities for senior staff outside the Income field and
greater responsibilities for other experienced staff to further training and devolution
within user departments. As the mortgage portfolio has reduced and responsibilities
for the staff assisted car purchase scheme passed to Pay Roll there have been staff
reductions by natural wastage. The staffing level now stands at 9.5 f.t.e.
A change of office location and rationalization of storage requirements added to the
savings.

2.5 An important part of the best value regime is to benchmark to compare services
in terms of costs, quality and to establish best practice. Staff joined benchmarking
clubs with other local authorities and from this it was established that the processes
adopted by Hillingdon were sound, timely and innovative. As what is included and
excluded by income sections varied widely it has to date not been possible to draw up
meaningful comparisons of costs. More work is scheduled on this for 1999/2000
having regard to local performance indicators that have been set.

2.6 A range of local performance indicators have been put in place to improve
service delivery by ensuring targets are met. They will be reviewed for each financial
year and more frequently if circumstances demand. Performance standards will be
compared with other local authorities and other service providers by benchmarking
and performance tables published by the Audit Commission.


 __________________________________________________________________

             PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

     Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999           Page 15
      Included in these indicators for example are the following.
      Invoices are to be prepared by departments within 14 days of service delivery.
      Reminders to be dispatched within a strict time table.
      The cost of raising an invoice to be under £5.

      Only invoices subject to litigation or arrangements to pay to be outstanding after 6
      months.

      All correspondence to be actioned with a full reply within 4 working days.

      The following analysis demonstrates the value of external invoices and the
      improvements monitored over recent years.

      Value raised.          Outstanding in excess     % o/s of debt     % o/s in
                             Of 1 month at             raised and b/fwd in excess
                             Year end.                 start of year.   of 1 year.
               £                 £                           %             %

      98/9 46,071,643           1,550,046                         3.1              40.80

      97/8 42,726,444           1,650,831                   3.6             58.40

      96/7 37,267,550           1,790,850                   4.3             63.30

2.7 Consulting and Informing. It was seen as essential to develop a regular dialogue
with the service providers whose charges are being invoiced for. For some of the 105
internal clients this was in place to a degree but the process was reviewed by the
issue of an information paper setting out the aspects of best practice required of all
parties, accompanied with a consultative/ satisfaction survey to establish areas of
improvement to benefit the whole process. (Attached as appendix A).

2.8 The responses were very encouraging and it is evident that there is a great will
and enthusiasm to recover all sums due. Following on from that survey Income staff
are meeting with every user to discuss their responses, their needs and to look at all
opportunities for prepayment, credit and debit cards, cheque guarantee and any other
difficulties to be overcome. To date there have been great efforts in the field of
Housing rechargeable works, environmental services including trade refuse, pest
control and building control fees. Results are coming through now.

2.9 New initiatives and developments to date:-

•       In partnership with our current soft ware providers a new computer system is
        in the final stages of development and testing that will allow all users to access
        a full range of reports and enter recovery notes to better monitor and progress
        outstanding debts. It will increase the ability to identify persistent debtors
    __________________________________________________________________

             PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

     Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999              Page 16
        across Groups and improve consideration of withdrawing services or insisting
        on prepayment where appropriate.

•       Heads of Finance who report debts written off under delegated authority to
        their committees will from 1999/2000 include a report on the extent of their
        outstanding debt showing the age of debt profile. The central bad debt
        provision is to be allocated to Groups and it will be for them to make adequate
        provision for this in future years. There has been a tendency for speculative
        debts to be raised enhancing the Income position and when not paid write off
        or cancellation has been left until written off from the central provision. These
        changes will eradicate this.

•       New County Court rules that came into effect in April 1999 impose additional
        duties of care on the Council as plaintiff in the field of debt recovery. There is
        a much stricter regime relating to evidence and witnesses and any costs
        awarded will be commensurate with the level of debt. It will be essential for
        Groups to assess very carefully the wisdom of litigation and the procedures
        demand that every effort must be made and demonstrated to reach
        arrangements and negotiated settlement.
        Groups referring cases for litigation will bear the costs directly and will need to
        be aware that costs awarded may not meet costs incurred.

•       In a very few cases debtors cannot be readily traced and tracing agents are
        employed on a no trace no fee basis.

•       Where debts are written off the possibility of factoring the write off book to a
        reputable company at a discount is being explored. Great care will have to be
        exercised to exclude inappropriate debt and to ensure staff resources are not
        wasted if this raises subsequent problems on matters already assessed as
        uneconomical to pursue further.

•       There has been a purge on writing off very old debts that were obviously
        irrecoverable and this, as it continues, will free up resources to resolve
        recoverable debt.

2.10 The Mortgage portfolio. The possibility of an external provider administering
this was explored but the cost was prohibitive in relation to the in-house expertise that
would have to be retained due to the nature of the remaining cases. As an alternative,
in conjunction with the Councils bankers, a mail shot was included with annual
statements offering the possibility of re-mortgage at beneficial rates. It is hoped this
will further reduce the portfolio and thus attract additional capital receipts.

2.11 Whilst there is much to do there will be a continuous improvement in the
recovery of debts as these initiatives are implemented.

    __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

    Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 17
LEGAL COMMENTS

There are no direct legal implications to this report.

RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS

The financial implications are contained within the report.

BACKGROUND PAPERS.

Reports and papers of the Best Value Pilot.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999     Page 18
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 19
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 20
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 21
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 22
PARKING SERVICES AUDIT - MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN                                ITEM 3


                                          CONTACT OFFICER: John Simpson
                                               TELEPHONE: 01895-250281

SUMMARY

This report sets out the Audit recommendations following investigation of certain
parking related services and the management action to address identified
weaknesses.

RECOMMENDATIONS

That Members note the Management action taken in respect of the Parking
Services Audit.

INFORMATION

3.1 Audit reports primarily deal with the findings of the Auditor and recommendations
to Management about action necessary to address the issues which arise from the
investigation.

3.2 The 30 March 1999 meeting of this Committee received a copy of an Internal
Report on certain aspects of Parking Services. This report had been prepared some
months earlier and references to the status of action taken to remedy weaknesses
were misleading in that they did not reflect the present position.

3.3 Members resolved that Officers should provide the next meeting of the Committee
with an updated Management Action List relating to the matters identified in the Audit
report.

3.4 This Action List is reproduced at Appendix 1 along with Internal Audit’s
commentary relating to the investigations and conclusions.

3.5 Members attention is drawn to item 13 of the Action list which refers to
abandoned vehicles, the review of procedures and the monitoring of new procedures
by the Internal Auditor.

3.6 The conclusions by Audit indicate that Management has been “extremely
responsive”, has made significant improvements to the service and strengthened
controls, and continues to work closely with Internal Audit to ensure best practice.

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 23
LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

None arising directly from the report.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The implementation of Internal Audits recommendations are contained within existing
budgets.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Report to Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee 30 March 1999.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999            Page 24
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 25
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 26
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 27
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 28
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 29
INTERNAL AUDIT – ANNUAL REPORT                                                   ITEM 4

                                           CONTACT OFFICER: Gill Crosbie
                                           TELEPHONE:       01895 250345

SUMMARY

This is the annual report of the Internal Audit section

RECOMMENDATION

That the report be noted

INTRODUCTION

4.1 Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires each local authority to
make arrangements for the proper administration of its financial affairs and to ensure
that one of its officers has responsibility for the administration of those affairs. At the
London Borough of Hillingdon the Chief Financial Officer is the responsible officer. The
Accounts and Audit Regulations 1996 provide that the Council maintains an adequate
and effective internal audit with a right of access to documents and other records and
an entitlement to information and explanations.

4.2 The Auditing Practices Committee defines Internal Audit as:

        “An independent appraisal function established by the management of
        an organisation for the review of the internal control system as a
        service to the organisation. It objectively examines, evaluates and
        reports on the adequacy of internal control as a contribution to the
        proper, economic, efficient and effective use of resources.”

4.3 This report summarises audit activity for the financial year 1998/99 and gives an
overall opinion on the control environment within the authority. Performance and
quality issues are reported on together with details of future initiatives proposed to
improve the Internal Audit service.

SUMMARY OF AUDIT WORK

4.4 During 1998/99, a total of 65 audits were undertaken:-

                Department                     No. of Final No. of Draft
                                               Reports      Reports

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                 Page 30
                                              Issued          Issued
                Chief Executive’s Office           1               2
                Education                          9              10
                Finance                            8               4
                Hillingdon Direct Services         2               6
                Housing                            6               -
                Local Services                     3               5
                Social Services                    7               3
                Total                             35              30

Details of the reports issued with the audit opinion are given in Appendix 1. It should
also be noted that a number of follow-up audits were undertaken during the year.
Audit reports for these were only issued where agreed recommendations were not
implemented by the target dates set at the time of the original audit.

4.5 The overall Internal Audit opinion on the control environment within the Council is
that it varies considerably between services. Weaknesses identified in some service
areas were of a minor nature and would not expose the authority to any significant
risk. However, there were some service areas where controls were not operating
satisfactorily and therefore recommendations were made to strengthen controls.
Appendix 1 details the control evaluations for each area audited. The final reports
issued contained 221 recommendations and management agreed to implement 95.9%
of these, which is an increase of 1.9% on the 1997/98 figure.

4.6 Contingency/Unplanned work usually arises at the request of management and
can be in relation to suspected fraud/financial irregularities or specific service reviews
required by management. Details of the unplanned work carried out in 1998/99 are
given in Appendix 2.

4.7 Internal Audit also co-ordinated the provision of data for the National Fraud
Initiative (NFI98) and the provision of data for the Inland Revenue under the Taxes
Management Act 1970. Apart from the NFI co-ordination, anti-fraud work in respect
of the fraud warning bulletins issued by the Audit Commission and the London Team
for Action against Fraud (LTAF) was undertaken. This involved confirming that the
authority was not subject to frauds identified at other local authorities or other public
service organisations.

4.8 Audit involvement of an on-going nature was also undertaken during the year. The
areas covered by this included computer audit consultancy work for the new Housing
and Social Services computer systems, advice on the new telephone system, a
watching brief on Year 2000 issues and examinations of a sample of final accounts
for contract work. Audit was also involved in the new financial arrangements under fair
funding for schools that will require a higher level of audit input from 1999/2000 with
the return of grant maintained schools to LEA control.
 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 31
AUDIT QUALITY/PERFORMANCE

4.9 The Chief Internal Auditor monitors the quality of audit work and the performance
of auditors throughout the year using subjective and measurable indicators. The
subjective opinions are based on audit management’s review of the audit reports
produced, the evidence supplied to support findings, the evaluation techniques used
by auditors and the professional conduct of the auditors. To assist in improving the
quality of audit work, an Audit Manual was introduced which documents the
procedures to be followed and the standards required of internal audit staff. The
manual was not fully completed in 1998/99, but further work on developing it will
continue in 1999/2000.

4.10 The number of reports issued in 1998/99 was lower than in 1997/98. This
decrease was the result of a combination of two things; the high level of vacancies
within the Internal Audit Section throughout the year and audit work moving away from
probity audits towards performing systems reviews. Systems based audits require
higher audit input in relation to the number of days to undertake an audit as they aim
to ensure that:-

              i)                   Activities are performed in an efficient and
                                   effective manner
              ii)                  Policies and directives are adhered to
              iii)                 Statutory requirements are complied with
              iv)                  Assets are safeguarded and fraud is prevented
              v)                   Complete and reliable information is
                                   maintained
              vi)                  Value for money is being obtained

It is considered that these types of audit are more beneficial to the authority as they
identify those areas where weak controls, both financial and otherwise, could have a
detrimental effect on the Council. Whereas probity audits concentrate on checking
financial transactions to check for incorrect or fraudulent items and do not fully
evaluate control systems.

4.11 An analysis of actual days to planned days shows that the number of days
spent on audit assignments was significantly less than anticipated. The shortfall in
planned audit activity was attributable to 372 lost days that arose from vacancies
within the section throughout the first half of the year. Full details of audit activity
against that planned are given in Appendix 3. The shortfall in the number of available
days for the year was identified at an early stage and as a result some audits were
dropped from the planned activity. The decision on which audits were to be deferred
was based on the risk category of the audit area, the time lapse since the previous
audit and District Audit work priorities.

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 32
4.12 Productive time, including 1997/98 audits not completed until 1997/98 and
contingency work represented 72% of total audit days available. The remaining 28%
was spent on general administration work (7%), training (7%) and general
management (14%). In 1997/98, the reported productive time was 86%. However,
this included general management and supervision that has been removed from the
productive time this year. If it had been included, productive time would have been the
same as in 1997/98 at 86%.

4.13 There were also overspends on some audit assignments. Reasons for
overspends varied:-

       i)      Newly appointed staff required additional audit days to complete audits
               as they needed to familiarise themselves with the systems operating
               within Hillingdon.

       ii)     The managed audit approach whereby the audit of financial systems
               was split between Internal Audit and District Audit was changed in
               December 1998 so that Internal Audit would undertake all the audits. As
               a result of this the audits of wages, creditors and pensions were carried
               out at the beginning of 1998/99 for the 1997/98 accounts and at the end
               of 1998/99 for the 1998/99 accounts.

       iii)    Time allocations were found to be insufficient as the scope of some
               audits had to be extended or more detailed checking was required as a
               result of weaknesses identified.

4.14 The change in the managed audit approach was agreed in order to prevent an
increase in external audit fees and to allow internal audit resources to be utilised
throughout the year in future rather than at the beginning of each financial year when
finance sections were at their busiest.

4.15 Time lapses between completion of audit work and the issuing of draft reports
have been minimal in the majority of audits. Delays have tended to occur between the
draft report and the final report stages where auditees have not always promptly
responded to the recommendations made. In some instances, the delays can be
justified, but where they are not, the impact of the audit report can be lost if changes
have occurred since the audit was undertaken. To minimise these delays for the
future, Internal Audit staff will be instructed in the procedures to be followed where
replies from auditees are not forthcoming. If prolonged delays occur, the matter
should be referred to the Chief Internal Auditor to follow up with senior departmental
management and the Finance and Asset Management Sub-Committee where
considered appropriate.

4.16 Requests for advice and assistance on various matters continue which indicates
that departments appreciate the guidance and support that can be provided by
  __________________________________________________________________

              PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 33
Internal Audit. Also, following each audit a “Client’s View of Internal Audit Service”
questionnaire is sent to management for completion.           During the year, this
questionnaire was revised to obtain a wider range of clients' views covering value of
the audit to the client, scope/coverage of the audit, quality of audit findings and
reports, timing of the audit, communications during the audit and knowledge/conduct
of the auditor. The responses from returned questionnaires ranged between good and
very good in the majority of cases. A graph showing the average scores for each
category is attached as Appendix 4.

4.17 Apart from the individual post-audit questionnaires, a general audit survey was
issued to all members of departmental senior management teams. The main
objectives of the survey were to:-

              1   Ascertain managers’ perceptions of Internal Audit.
              2   Obtain clients’ views of the value of Internal Audit.
              3   Identify any communication problems that have
                  been experienced.
              4   Assess whether clients’ perceived needs have
                  been met.
              5   Identify any changes to audit coverage and/or
                  methodologies that may be required to enhance
                  the service.
              6   Establish how managers foresee the service
                  developing in the future.

4.18 There was a fairly low response to the questionnaires, but of those returned the
general conclusion was that the Internal Audit service was valued, but that
management would prefer more consultancy type audit work. As Internal Audit assists
the Chief Financial Officer in ensuring that the financial affairs of the authority are
properly administered, it would only be possible to perform more consultancy work if
staff resources were increased. In the Council's current financial position, this would
not be possible and so an alternative would be to transfer the days previously
allocated for value for money reviews to consultancy reviews. This has been actioned
for the 1999/2000 Audit Plan and has been targeted at those services subject to a
Best Value Service Review.

4.19 The Council's External Auditors monitor the work of Internal Audit. Their last full
review was in 1995/96 and a number of recommendations were made to improve
Internal Audit performance. All f the recommendations have now been fully
implemented and Internal Audit continues to work closely with External Audit in order
to continue that improvement and avoid duplication of work.

STAFFING ISSUES


 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                 Page 34
4.20 The Internal Audit Section comprises 10 FTE members of staff with a mixture of
qualifications and experience. During the year, three Senior Auditor posts became
vacant through retirements. These vacancies were in addition to the Computer Auditor
post that had been vacant since 1997/98. By the middle of February 1999, the
section was fully staffed. The new auditors employed bring with them experience of
other local authorities and private sector organisations that will further increase the
range of skills and knowledge that are available from Internal Audit.

4.21 Training of staff is important to ensure that a professional service is provided as
internal auditors need to keep abreast with Council policies, Government legislation
and developments in audit practices/techniques. In order to enhance existing skills and
provide new skills, internal audit staff received programmed training throughout the
year of 108 days. This was higher than allocated within the plan due to some
additional training requirements of the new employees who were appointed in the
year.

4.22 Monthly team meetings were held throughout the year. These were found to be
beneficial in clarifying current issues and in considering ways is which to develop the
Internal Audit service for the future.

FUTURE INITIATIVES

4.23 Constructive working relationships and mutual understanding are essential if
Internal Audit is to obtain the confidence and respect of clients, members and District
Audit. To improve relationships regular meetings will be held with departmental senior
management, pre-audit briefings will be held with line management and audit staff will
need to ensure that they understand the issues facing clients and take these into
consideration during the course of audit work.

4.24 The professional image of Internal Audit is paramount in obtaining the co-
operation and respect of the people that it has contact with in order to provide a
quality service. The main way of demonstrating the staff’s image is by ensuring that
verbal and written communications with clients and other parties are of a high
standard and that staff have the appropriate knowledge and experience to perform
their duties. This will be achieved by completing the Internal Audit Manual which will
provide staff with standards and guidelines to follow and by continuing to train and
develop Internal Audit staff.

4.25 The profile and status of Internal Audit within the Council is not as high as it
could be. The effect of this is that management may not fully understand the role and
objectives of Internal Audit which can have a detrimental affect on working
relationships as managers perceive Internal Audit as "policeman/fault finder" rather
than as an aid to management. As a result management may not fully utilise the
services available from Internal Audit and may also lead to recommendations being

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 35
given a low priority. It is therefore important to raise the profile and status of Internal
Audit and it is intended to achieve this by:-

       i)      Producing a brochure/leaflet for circulation to all Council staff stating the
               role and objectives of Internal Audit, the services available and how
               audits are performed.

       ii)     Revising the format of the Internal Audit Strategic and Annual Plans to
               provide a brief outline of the methods employed in preparing the plan
               and the coverage expected for each audit area.

       iii)    Publicity via internal publications.

4.26 The annual report of audit activity to Finance and Asset Management Sub-
Committee is the only regular report to committee throughout the year. Where
significant problems arise, ad hoc reports can be submitted to the relevant committee
for information as can any non-implementation of audit recommendations by
management where it is considered that the weakness in control could pose a
significant risk to the Council. The review of committees under the Council's
Modernisation agenda means this route is unlikely to be available in future. However,
depending on the particular issue and the terms of reference of the new committees,
audit reports might usefully be considered as part of scrutiny or policy overview work.

4.27 In order to ensure Internal Audit can play a constructive role in helping
management to achieve good practice in financial control, it is important that
management is given the opportunity to respond to reports in a considered manner. In
some cases, there may be a need to preserve confidentiality while investigations are
carried out. Therefore, the reports submitted to any future committees should be
confined to:-

       i)      Reports on audits that have concluded that weaknesses identified could
               expose the authority to considerable risk

       ii)     Reports where fraud/malpractice has occurred

       iii)    Internal Audit Annual Report

       iv)     Details of any services where agreed recommendations have not been
               implemented by management

       v)      Details of any recommendations not agreed to by management which
               could put the authority at risk

4.28 In order to continuously improve the Internal Audit service, the principles and
key features of the Government’s Best Value framework will be applied in Internal
 __________________________________________________________________

              PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                  Page 36
Audit. It will also be necessary to provide assistance to management where areas of
activity are subject to a Best Value service review under the Council's 5-Year
Programme.




 __________________________________________________________________

          PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999           Page 37
FINANCE & ASSET MANAGEMENT SUB-COMMITTEE                                        ITEM 5
REVENUE BUDGET 1999/2000

                                  CONTACT OFFICER: Paul Whaymand
                                  TELEPHONE: 01895 250111ext: 2084

SUMMARY

This report outlines the main budget issues that are facing this Sub-Committee over
the following year.

RECOMMENDATIONS

That Members note the current budgetary position for the Sub-Committee for
1999/2000.

INFORMATION

The 1998/99 Outturn

5.1 The Sub-Committee’s accounts for the last financial year are currently being
finalised. At this stage there are no significant variances from those that were
reported to Members last year and which were taken into account in the Director of
Finance’s balances projection in his supplementary report to the Council Tax setting
meeting.

5.2 A detailed outturn report will be presented to Members in the next cycle.

1999/2000 Budget Position

5.3 In the last cycle it was reported that the Sub-Committee had an original budget
set for the current year of £12.41m (See Appendix 1). No virements have yet been
effected to change this original budget.

5.4 In addition information is presented on the two central Departments reporting to
this Sub-Committee, Corporate Services and the Chief Executive’s Office. Large
proportions of these Departments are charged out to a range of services in all
Committees. Such elements of these Departments therefore have a nil net budget
(Appendix 2).

5.5 The new Corporate Services Group has been set up as a result of the Chief
Executive’s Council wide reorganisation and pulls together some of the services

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999              Page 38
previously in Hillingdon Direct Services Group, those services previously in the
Finance Department and some services previously in the Chief Executive’s Office.

5.6 There are still various budget adjustments to be effected as a result of the
Council wide reorganisation. The budgets for the new posts of Assistant Chief
Executive and Director of Corporate Services are still to be established.
Moving resources that previously supported the Director of Finance and Group
Director of Hillingdon Direct Services will be used to fund these posts. These posts
were both deleted in the restructuring.

5.7 The expectation is that the overall Council-wide restructuring will be cost neutral
in the current financial year. The budget adjustments relating to the restructuring will
be undertaken over the summer. Controls will be put in place to ensure that proper
budgetary control is exercised over this period. By the next cycle it should be possible
to report any financial consequences of the restructuring.

5.8 The main budget issue for this Sub-Committee in the current financial year
outside restructuring is likely to be that related to the outsourcing of the Revenues and
Benefits function.

5.9 £175k assumed savings are built into the base budget for the current year and
£350k savings in a full year thereafter is assumed in current budget projections for
future years. The tenders from CSL and Capita are currently being evaluated and it is
expected that recommendations will be put to Best Value Sub-Committee next month.

5.10 A further budget issue is likely to be related to the expected agreement
between the Council and the Middlesex Area Probation Service over their occupation
of part of the Uxbridge Magistrates Court building. The final deal relating to the
settlement of prior year rent due to the Council and the provision of a new lease for
the Probation Service will be put to Members later this year. It is expected that the
final deal will enable the prior year rental debt outstanding to be cleared and to
release a further sum of money into useable balances.

5.11 The remaining potential variance, which needs to be carefully monitored in the
current year is that of the budgeted surpluses for the HDS trading operations which
are now in Corporate Services. The Property Consultancy position in particular will
need to be monitored because a significant element of their budgeted income is now
delegated to schools who may or may not purchase their services.

5.12 As part of the Council Tax setting resolution it was agreed that Officers should
explore ways to achieve a one-off underspend in the current financial year of £1m to
improve the General Fund balances position. The target for this Sub-Committee was
calculated as £80k made up of £30k from the Chief Executive’s Office and £50k from
the Finance Department. It is expected that this target is achievable through a
combination of vacancy savings and various one-off efficiency measures.
  __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 39
5.13 Officers will pull together a comprehensive budget monitoring report in the next
cycle that will pull together all the potential budget variances for this Sub-Committee
for the current year. By that stage it will be possible to put figures against many of the
potential variances that have been discussed in this report.

5.14 Finally Members are reminded of the Council resolution of 4 March
(recommendation 9) which states that as an integral part of the Council’s budget
processes:

       a)     all Committee budgets, once set by Council, should not be exceeded,
              without the specific authority of Policy Committee;

       b)     any proposals for service improvement or expansion must be funded
              within budgets, and the relevant Committee must specifically approve
              this funding before new expenditure is committed.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

There are no direct legal implications arising from this report.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Report and minutes Council 4 March 1999
Report and minutes Finance and Asset Management Sub-Committee 30 March 1999.




 __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                 Page 40
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 41
REPORT ON THE CURRENT POSITION OF THE                                          ITEM 6
NATIONAL NON DOMESTIC RATE TEAM, IN RESPECT
OF OUTSTANDING WORK AND ARREARS.

                                          CONTACT OFFICER: Keith Clayton
                                          TELEPHONE:       01895 250663

SUMMARY

This report updates members on the current position on the National Non-Domestic
Rates (NNDR) team, in respect of outstanding work and level of arrears.

RECOMMENDATION

That this report be noted.

INFORMATION

6.1 A report was submitted to the Finance & Asset Sub-Committee, on 10 December
1998, regarding the very poor collection performance of the National Non-Domestic
Rate (NNDR) team, This poor performance was caused by the severe difficulties
encountered with the migration of the NNDR data from the old mainframe system to
a new ‘open’ system.

6.2 The report outlined the main reasons for the failure in the migration, and indicated
the level of existing problems.

6.3 The report contained an ‘Action Plan’ that was being followed to try to rectify the
very serious problems.

6.4 Members instructed officers to report back to the sub-committee at regular
intervals. An update report was submitted to this Sub-Committee at it’s meeting on 30
March 1999. This is an update of the position as at 31 May 1999.

STAFFING ISSUES

6.5 The post of Revenues Manager (NNDR) remains vacant. As the NNDR function
is included in the Revenues Package, which is due to be outsourced from 20
September 1999, it is felt that this post should be left vacant, thus allowing the
Contractor to be involved in the decision whether to fill it or not.



 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 42
6.6 However the resources from this vacant post are being used to fund agency and
temporary staff working within the team.



VALUATION UPDATES

6.7 The following table shows the current position regarding the outstanding valuation
amendments.

      Table 1   Outstanding Valuation Amendments.
       Number of outstanding cases as at 31/03/99.                    1,600

       Number of amendments received from the District
       Valuer and Valuation Officer                                     639

       Number of cases ‘actioned’
                                                                        959

       Number of cases still outstanding                              1,280


6.8 In April I meet with the Valuation group to discuss a workplan and set priorities
for the forthcoming year. An area for concern was the new amendments being issued
by the District Valuer and Valuation Officer (VO)

6.9 Approximately every two weeks, the VO issues a schedule of amendments to the
rating List. At the same time in sending us the schedule, he notifies the Ratepayer of
the proposed change.

6.10 In the past these cases have been added to the backlog, at the end of the
queue. Therefore, the taxpayers have had to wait several weeks, even months,
before we were able to amend our rating records and send an amended bill.

6.11 A large proportion of the enquiries received by the Valuation group was from
Taxpayers querying why they had not received an amended bill within a few weeks of
the amendment as issued by the VO. In addition the specification to which the section
should be working, required us to deal with theses cases within one month from the
issue of the schedule. This was clearly not being met.

6.12 In view of the above it was agreed that the Valuation group would attempt to
clear all new amendments as a priority. This has been in operation since April 1999
and has proved successful with the majority of amendments being dealt with within
two weeks from the issue of the Schedule. The advantages are:-

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999             Page 43
(i)       Reduced enquiries as all new amendments to the rating list are dealt with
          quickly.

(ii)      A clear demonstration that the NNDR group can met and improve on the
          performance targets as set out in the specification.




  __________________________________________________________________

              PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

       Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999           Page 44
(iii)    Improved ‘customer care’ as taxpayers receive amended accounts within a
         reasonable period of time from receiving notification from the VO of a change
         to the Rating list.

(iv)     Ring fencing the backlog whilst carry out new day to day work.

6.13 However this measure does mean that some ‘older’ cases will wait longer
before they are cleared.

6.14 In analysing the NNDR arrears it was noted that a number of cases with arrears
were on ‘hold’ awaiting valuation amendments to be dealt with. These cases have
now been identified and are also given a priority by the Valuation group.

6.15 On average the Valuation group can deal with some 90 cases per week.
However with resources allocated to the ‘new’ cases and the fact that the backlog
contains some of the more complex items, process to clear the backlog remains slow.

ARREARS UPDATE

6.16 In the report to the March meeting, it was reported that NNDR arrears were at
£28.1 million.

6.17 This figure was the ‘net’ arrears figure and would have included the total value
of all accounts with arrears, less any accounts with credit balances. The net arrears
figure as at 31 March 1999 was £23.7 million. However the analysis showed that we
had a larger than expected number of accounts with credit balances. The value of
credit balances as at 31 March 1999 was £40 million and the value of gross arrears
was £63.7 million.

6.18 However investigations show that in a number of cases, accounts relating to the
same taxpayer and same property, contained both arrears and credit balances. Once
identified the credit is transferred to offset the erroneous arrears figure.

6.19 Set out below is a table showing the Value of arrears by type as at 31 March
1999.

          Table 2 Value of Arrears by Type as at 31/03/99
        Type of Arrears           Live       Closed A/c’s Totals
                                 A/c’s       £ 000’s       £ 000’s
                                       £
                                 000’s
        Liquidation/Bankruptcies         131          406         537
        Small Balance                                    4          4
        Probate                            1             1          2

  __________________________________________________________________

             PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

    Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 45
     RV reduction pending               9,994            3,310         13,304
     New Account                           13                              13
     Liability Order Held                 281               65            346
     No recovery Action                39,209            5,528         44,737
     Liability Order (Part debt         2,816            1,934          4,750
     only)

     Totals (in £ 000’s)             £52,445           £11,248       £63,693

Table 3 shows the position as at 31 May 1999

       Table 3 Value of Arrears by Type as at 31/05/99
     Type of Arrears           Live A/c’s Closed A/c’s Totals
                                   £      £ 000’s       £ 000’s
                              000’s
     Liquidation/Bankruptcies         154           443        597
     Small Balance                                    4          4
     Probate                            1             1          2
     RV reduction pending           4,122         2,685      6,807
     New Account                       11                       11
     Liability Order Held             258            53        311
     No recovery Action            21,732         4,948     26,680
     Liability Order (Part          2,641         2,021      4,662
     debt only)

     Totals (in £ 000’s)             £28,919           £10,155       £39,074

6.20 A high priority has been given to identifying accounts were recovery was held,
pending a change in Rateable Value. These cases were passed to the Valuation
group to be dealt with quickly. Where an amount still remained outstanding the
Recovery group would then contact the Ratepayer to make a payment arrangement.

6.21 Another priority is to ensure that recovery action is taken on all accounts with
‘no recovery action’ or where there is a Liability order for part only of the debt. In view
of the numbers, it is important that the group prioritise cases (by value) to ensure that
they can cope with the levels of response from taxpayers. This does restrict progress
in terms of number of accounts that they can deal with. It is also important to work
within the recovery timetable for the current year’s debt, to ensure that taxpayers are
not confused with reminders and other notices for different amounts and that they are
given a full explanation of the debt.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS



 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                 Page 46
There are no legal implications arising directly from this report




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999           Page 47
RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS

•       The cost of employing agency staff has been contained within existing budgets.

•       Delays in receiving payments, have an adverse impact on the Council’s
        cashflow, leading to potential loss of interest

•       When, the implementation of a valuation reduction is delayed, the taxpayer is
        entitled to interest on the refund. However as the Council will have retained the
        payments, based on the original valuation, this need not have a net costs to the
        Council

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Report to the Finance & Asset Management Sub Committee 10 December 1998 and
30 March 1999.




    __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

    Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999              Page 48
EXTERNAL FINANCING LIMITS                                                       ITEM 7


                                          CONTACT OFFICER: Jim Burness
                                          TELEPHONE: 01895 250111 x2441

SUMMARY

The report explains the reasons behind the increase in the Council’s temporary
borrowing for the current year, related to the difficulties with NNDR collection. Under
regulations governing this aspect of the Council’s finances, an increase in the limit on
temporary borrowing requires Member approval.

RECOMMENDATION

That the Sub-Committee agrees to increase the limits on temporary borrowing, and
borrowing at variable rates, to £25m for 1999/2000 in both instances.

INFORMATION

7.1 The Council is required under the s45 of the 1989 Local Government and Housing
Act to set limits on its external borrowings, in total and the proportion that is defined
as temporary borrowing. Temporary borrowing is defined as any borrowing where
the initial period is less than one year.

7.2 In March Members agreed a limit on temporary borrowing for 1999/2000 of
£15m. Circumstances have arisen where it is required to increase that limit to £25m.

7.3 The reason behind the increase lies with the part of the Council’s overall cash
flow influenced by the Business Rate Collection.

7.4 As a result of work carried out over a number of months to rectify problems with
the National Non Domestic Rate (NNDR) system used by the borough there have
been a substantial number of refunds made to companies, together with a downward
reassessment of the amount collectable for the year. The position on NNDR has
been reported separately to Members.

7.5 Prior to the start of the year the Council is required to indicate to the DETR how
much it expects to collect in cash terms. The DETR then determines what payments
the Council will make to it in respect of the business rates collected. If the estimate
of the amount collected turns out to be overstated then the DETR adjusts for this after
the year end on the basis of audited returns, and re-imburses the Council accordingly.


 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 49
7.6 The implication of a situation of over estimating the amount collectable is that the
Council has to manage, through its own cash flow, this temporary loan to the DETR.
It is estimated at present, that the amount due to be repaid by the DETR later in the
year will be between £40m and £50m.

7.7 Until the repayment is made in the autumn, the Council will be incurring additional
temporary borrowing. It is not part of the overall treasury management strategy to
undertake substantial long term borrowing this year, as the strategy is to reduce the
overall size of the Council’s total debt, and that rates for longer term borrowing are
likely to be lower in 2000 than currently. Therefore until the repayment is received
later in the year the amount of temporary borrowing will be higher than anticipated
when setting the limits for the year.

7.8 It is the assessment of the officers that increasing the temporary borrowing limit
to £25m, from £15m, will be necessary. At the end of May the temporary borrowings
had reached £11m. This compares to 1998/99 when it never exceeded £0.5m.

7.9 There is a revenue cost to the Council of this situation. It is difficult to quantify
exactly the cost, as there are other factors affecting the Council’s cash flow, but the
cost will be assessed during the year as part of the budget monitoring process.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The budget for interest costs, which would cover temporary and long term borrowing
for the current year is £12.5m. The effect on the Council’s overall treasury
management budget will identified as part of budget monitoring, whether the effect is
extra interest costs, or reduced interest earned on surplus cash investments.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Report and minutes Finance & Asset Management Committee November 1998

Report and minutes Policy Committee February 1999.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                  Page 50
VICTIM SUPPORT SCHEME                                                           ITEM 8

                                          CONTACT OFFICER: Nigel Cramb
                                          TELEPHONE: 01895 250394
SUMMARY

Following discussions with the boroughs two Victim Support Schemes, the report sets
out the funding proposals for the schemes.

RECOMMENDATION

That the Sub Committee approves the following grants for the 1999/2000
financial year:-
Uxbridge and District Victim Support Scheme            £ 10,000
Hayes and West Drayton Victim Support Scheme           £ 2,000

INFORMATION

8.1 At its meeting of 24th February 1999 the Policy Committee during consideration
of applications for financial support from voluntary organisations agreed the following
resolution in respect of the boroughs victim support schemes:-

‘That officers be instructed to review the work of Uxbridge and Hayes Victim Support
Schemes to ensure best value in targeting resources towards victims of crime.
Officers to report back to the next meeting of the Policy Committee with revised grant
recommendations’.

8.2 In response to the Committee’s instruction, a meeting was held with
representatives of the borough’s two schemes and ways of developing a closer
working relationship between the schemes was discussed.

8.3 The meeting concluded that there were significant opportunities for closer
working and management links, and a working group consisting of the two schemes’
Chairs, Vice Chairs and Secretaries has been formed. The group will look at
developing closer working relationships in the short term and explore the possibility of
forming a borough based Victim Support scheme.

8.4 The Working group aims to have concluded its work and prepared a report on its
recommendations by 30th October 1999.

Officer recommendations



 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 51
8.5 In view of the progress made to date, and in anticipation of closer links being
formed, the Community Resources Team would recommend funding for the schemes
at the same level as the 1998/99 grant awards.
LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

There are none arising directly from this report

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE COMMENTS

The funding for these grants is provided for within the overall grants budget for the
current year agreed by Members.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Report to Policy Committee 24th February 1999

Community Resources Application for Financial Assistance File 1999/2000.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 52
       YEAR 2000 MILLENNIUM PROBLEM - 2nd                                       ITEM 9
       Quarter Report

                                          CONTACT OFFICER: Simon Wane
                                          TELEPHONE: 01895 250313

SUMMARY

This report follows a common format used for all committees, and is intended to
update Members on the present position with regard to the Year 2000 Millennium
Problem. Further reports will be presented at each Committee until the project is
completed.

This is a combined report covering the activities of Chief Executive’s, “Financial
Services” and “HDS” Groups.

Reports to Service Committee’s in the 3rd quarter will reflect current Council re-
organisations.

RECOMMENDATIONS

It is RECOMMENDED that :

       (a)    Members note the progress to date, in respect of the Yr2000
              Millennium project.

       (b)    Members endorse the Management Board decision that the
              existing Emergency Control Vehicle be replaced with a more
              suitable multi-purpose vehicle.

INFORMATION

9.5 An explanation of the Millennium problem was provided in the March report to this
committee. If Members require any additional general information on this subject,
they are requested to contact the Yr2000 Co-ordinator, who is the Contact Officer for
this report.

9.6 An indication of the Groups’ conformity, and progress since April 1999 report, is
shown in Appendix A.




 __________________________________________________________________

             PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 53
9.7 For the first time, the graphs also include a projection of anticipated achievement
2 months into the future, in order to provide Members with a improved “view” of
progress being made.

9.8 It is RECOMMENDED that Members note the progress to date, in respect of the
Yr2000 Millennium project.

Communication with Clients

Chief Executive’s

9.9 Full use will be made of the Council’s proposed Millennium Help Desk to inform
Clients of service levels and opening times.

Financial Services

9.10 Full use will be made of the Council’s proposed Millennium Help Desk to inform
Clients of service levels and opening times.

HDS

9.11 Full use will be made of the Council’s proposed Millennium Help Desk to inform
Clients of service levels and opening times.

Communication with Public, Media & Business Community

9.12 The plans, for this element of the project, are beginning to be formulated and
are based around several ideas / principles :

       (a)    The Council will share its facilities for “reaching” Clients, with the other
              “public service” partners (Health Authority, etc.) in Hillingdon.

       (b)    The Council will organise a ”Millennium Help Desk” over the Millennium
              period, which will gather information from Utilities, Hospitals, shops, etc.
              and make it available to the public.

       (c)    The Council will set up a display unit in the Civic Centre Reception area,
              which will provide information about the Millennium period and the
              Millennium Year.

       (d)    The two new Millennium Officer posts in the Educational Services Group
              will act as a “one stop” for the public on all enquiries about celebrations.
              They will pass on all relevant information to internal sections and
              external organisations.

 __________________________________________________________________

             PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                  Page 54
        (e)    The local Chambers of Commerce have been invited to attend the
               Council’s Hillingdon Area Group (HAG) Millennium planning sessions.
               This group brings together most of the key organisations responsible for
               providing services (including some commercial) to the Borough.


Health & Safety

9.13 No comments this cycle, specific to this Committee.

Personnel

9.14 An offer has been made to the Unions and we are seeking their views on it.
This offer is based on what, as a Local Authority, we feel is appropriate to pay as a
goodwill payment and will now be communicated to staff.

9.15 Projected costs will be reported to each Service committee and Policy
committee, when agreement is reached.

Training

9.16 Staff, responsible for producing Contingency & Continuity plans, have attended /
will be attending training sessions.

Project Planning (outstanding Year 2000 compliance work)

9.17 First line - Chief Executive’s / Second line - Financial services / Third Line -
HDS

                                                    Last
Failure           Outcome              No. of       project       Comments
Classification                         projects     finished
                                                    (LPF)
                  Deaths,              None
Catastrophic      <£m’s fines, etc.    None
                   & resignations      None

                  Death, injuries,     None
Major             <£1m                 None
                  & National Press     None

              Injuries,       2        01/10/1999 Registrar B.D.& M.
Significant    <£500k         1        31/11/1999 Revenues Contract
 __________________________________________________________________

              PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                 Page 55
                    & local press        4           01/07/1999 Stores System

                    Discomfort,          3           01/11/1999
Minor               <£100k               3           31/12/1999 Delphi PC upgrades
                    & internal Group     7           01/09/1999 Call logging system

                    Awkward,             0
Insignificant       <£10k                7           31/12/1999 Loans System
                    & internal Section   4           01/06/1999 Jel Env. Control system

9.18 The additional information shown below is provided on the basis of “exception
reporting”, as it will be included in this report only if there is an item which needs to be
brought to the attention of this Committee.

9.19 Detailed analysis and reviews will be carried out by each Group’s Senior
Management Team and the Management Board, on a monthly basis.

Catastrophic Systems

9.20 None.

Major Systems

9.21 The Facilities Manager has been co-ordinating an extensive test programme of
those Civic Centre systems which are supposed to be Yr2000 compliant. This is due
to be completed by the end of June.

Significant Systems

Chief Executive’s

9.22 The existing computer system for the Registration of Birth, Deaths and
Marriages is not Year 2000 compliant and has to be replaced. As the software is
supplied by the Registrar General, the Council cannot control the timescale for the
project. Since the last meeting, the Register Office has been informed that the date
for the installation of the new system has been set for the 6th & 7th September.

9.23 The £15,000 cost of the new system has already been through the bid process,
against the Yr2000 Contingency Fund and been approved.

9.24 Test, by Corporate IT, have revealed that the Electoral Registration fileserver is
not Yr2000 compliant. Investigations are now underway to establish the best solution
to this problem

 __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                  Page 56
Financial Services

9.25 Main corporate systems are now fully compliant and all Groups have been
notified in writing.

9.26 The Revenue & Benefits outsourcing contract will transfer a number of Yr2000
issues to the contractor and this has been explicitly recognised in the contract
documentation. An update on this situation will be provided, in the next report,
following the awarding of the contract.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999           Page 57
HDS

9.27 The stores package used at Harlington Road Depot for stock control is part of
the corporate CFACS system. A system upgrade has recently been installed and
work is about to commence on testing its Yr2000 compliance.

Minor Systems

9.28 No comments this cycle.

Insignificant Systems

HDS

9.29 The JEL Energy Management System, which controls the heating systems for a
large number of Council buildings, is currently being upgraded and will become fully
compliant by the end of June 1999.

Contingency Planning

Chief Executive’s

9.30 These are being produced in a common corporate format.

Financial services

9.31 These are being produced in a common corporate format.

HDS

9.32 The Facilities Manager is drawing up contingency plans for the operation of the
Civic Centre, during the millennium period, in conjunction with Service Users. The
operation of the proposed Millennium Help Desk will be built into the plans.

Emergency Control Vehicle

9.33 The current vehicle is expensive to run and unsuitable for its main purpose (i.e.
providing a mobile “Incident Control Room”). In May 1999 a report to Management
Board, by the Emergency Planning Officer, recommended that it be replaced with a
LDV.

9.34 This would not only provide far better “on-site emergency control” facilities, but
also provide facilities for Council Roadshows, etc. In addition, it would ensure the


 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 58
Council had an effective alternative to the Civic Centre Control Room over the
Millennium period

9.35 The new vehicle is estimated to have a capital cost of £23,000 (after out-fitting)
and the cost of the present financial arrangement is approximately £7,800 p.a.
Allowing for running cost of up to £2,500 p.a., the capital cost of £23,000 (to be
funded from the Yr2000 Contingency Fund), has to be compared against a total
revenue saving of around £53,000 over the anticipated 10 year (minimum) life of the
vehicle.

9.36 It is RECOMMENDED that Members endorse the Management Board decision
that the existing Emergency Control Vehicle be replaced with a more suitable multi-
purpose vehicle.

Corporate Systems

9.37 All corporate financial systems are now compliant.

9.38 Conformity for PC’s and desktop software related to the corporate financial
systems operation is scheduled to be completed by Autumn 1999.

Financial Effects

9.39 The current financial cost (to date), for the 3 Groups, is as follows :

                                  Yr2000              Yr2000
Group                             expenditure         Contingency fund
                                  from budget*        Expenditure
Chief Executive’s                 £10,000             **£15,000
Financial services                £1,000,000          £0
HDS                               £100,000            **£0

Total                             £1,110,000          £15,000

* Please Note

9.40 It is extremely difficult to separate normal budget expenditure from specific
Yr2000 expenditure. The figures in this column are an approximation of the amount of
budgeted expenditure that was spent on systems / items related to Yr2000
conformity, over the last few years. Purchase of PC’s is not included.

9.41 As can be seen from the table above, most expenditure has been / will be
contained within existing budgets so far. The two entries marked “ ** “ are likely to be
increased following anticipated additional bids against the Yr2000 Contingency Fund.



 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 59
Group Director’s Comments

Chief Executive’s

9.42 The previous concerns about the Registrar’s system have been partially
resolved by the provision of an installation date. There are still, however, some
concerns over the question of support for the package. A solution to the issue of the
Electoral Registration fileserver is now a high priority.

Financial Services

9.43 The current situation is as follows :

          Ø The major corporate financial systems are now Yr2000 compliant.

          Ø The compliance of the Revenues & Benefits systems is being raised
            with potential contractors. They are being made aware of the officers’
            assessment of the situation and they will indicate as part of their
            tenders how they propose to address the issue. The outcome is
            therefore linked to the VCT process.

          Ø Contingency planning will now be undertaken over the coming months to
            have reasonable plans in place, in event of the major systems not being
            fully operational in January 2000.

HDS

9.44 The Year 2000 work within “HDS” is proceeding in accordance with the project
plan, with all non-compliance issues being resolved by September 1999.

9.45 Civic Centre contingency & continuity planning is a key issue and will be
addressed during June 1999.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

If the Council is unable to demonstrate that it took all reasonable steps to identify and
ensure conformity of all its equipment and software, it could, possibly, result in legal
action under both Health & Safety and Data Protection legislation.

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE’S COMMENTS

Yr2000 costs are being contained within the limits of current group budgets and the
Yr2000 Contingency fund.

                              Notes about Appendix “A”

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 60
9.46 In the tables on the next page, the Risk Factor points allocated to each project
have been added together to provide an indication of the three Groups’ current
conformity status. The higher the risk factor for a project, the higher the points score.

9.47 The graphs indicate the size of each Group’s problem and how much work
remainds to be completed. ). A new element introduced, following a request at May’s
Management Board meeting, is the projected situation in 2 months time (31st July
1999) in addition to the current and past month’s figures.

                           Category          Comments

                                      Replace/upgrade subject
                     Red              to compliance testing
                                      Compliance satisfied but
                     Amber            not implemented
                                      No futher action,
                                      compliance confirmed or
                     Green            Low risk




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 61
Appendix A
Changes in Risk Factor Analysis
NB. Note change in scale above.
                                 Yr2000 Conformity for Chief Executive's
                                    Yr2000 Conformity for Hillingdon Direct services
                                 Yr2000 Conformity for Corporate IT
                     July
              JulyJuly
                     May
                     May
              May April
                 April
                             0            300        600           900           1200    1500
             April           0        300           600           900           1200     1500

                     0              300            600             900            1200     1500

                                 Yr2000 Conformity for Finance services


               July

                May

               April

                         0           500           1000           1500           2000     2500




 __________________________________________________________________

          PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                                         Page 62
ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN                                                       ITEM 10


                                         CONTACT OFFICER: Martin White
                                         TELEPHONE:       01895 250936



SUMMARY

A number of reports have been made to Policy Committee and Finance and Asset
Management Sub Committee on the development of an Asset Management Plan, an
Asset Management Database, a review of “Expensive to Maintain Buildings”, the
Capital Receipts Programme and a number of key aspects in the management of
property costs.

This report addresses the current state of progress on these key issues, the work
which needs to be done and proposes a structure for developing the Asset
Management Plan.

RECOMMENDATION

That the Sub Committee notes the work undertaken in preparing an Asset
Management Plan and instructs officers to pursue the actions set out below to
develop the Plan and report back to a future meeting.

(i)       The transfer of the Property Terrier to a Geographic Information System
          is to be progressed.

(ii)      Further work is to be undertaken to assemble key data on the Council’s
          more important assets for the Asset Management Database.

(iii)     Property Review and property related projects as indicated in the report
          are to be progressed in order to improve the efficiency in the use of
          property and to meet corporate and service objectives.

(iv)      A space audit of the Council’s accommodation both in the Civic Centre
          and other offices and premises is to be carried out to inform and help
          develop an accommodation strategy to meet the Council’s corporate and
          service needs.

(v)       The Capital Receipts Programmes to be progressed in coordination with
          the Council’s Capital Investment Programme.
  __________________________________________________________________

              PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

       Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999       Page 63
(vi)     Officers continue to keep rating assessments under review and take
         action to appeal and negotiate reductions in assessment where
         appropriate.

(vii)    Regular reports are made to this Sub Committee on Property and
         Highways maintenance allocations.

(viii)   Access for the disabled is to be a prime consideration for the design of
         all new buildings or additions and is to be considered in the annual
         review of capital maintenance allocations.

(ix)     Properties which may benefit from water and energy efficiency
         improvements are to be identified and audits carried out.

(x)      The policy on property insurance is to be reviewed in preparation for
         retendering of property insurance in 2000.

(xi)     Officers are to consider means of identifying and benchmarking property
         cost as part of the ‘Best Value’ process.

ASSET MANAGEMENT DATABASE

10.1 An important starting point for development of an Asset Management Plan is to
know what property the Council currently owns and leases and to have key data on at
least the more important property assets.

10.2 All Council property ownerships are recorded on the Property Terrier, a paper
based plan system to a scale of 1:2500 held in Estates and Valuation Services.
Work is in hand to transfer this to the Geographic Information System which will both
make it more accessible to all services and more readily usable in undertaking
property searches or reviews.

10.3 The Council already has information on the value of its property assets. The
Asset Register comprises 800 properties with a total asset value of approximately
£800,000,000. (It is important to appreciate that the basis of valuation is not open
market value but either: open market value for existing use or discounted replacement
value).

10.4 To make an effective start in producing an Asset Management Database
officers have compiled a list of the Council’s most important property assets and
researched key data for each of these. (A copy of this database in its current state
of development was recently provided to members of the Sub Committee).

 __________________________________________________________________

             PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

   Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999            Page 64
10.5 Property Review Group has recently considered the following:

•    Does the Database provide useful information for both Corporate and Service use
     for property review and planning purposes?

•    What further steps need to be taken to complete the collection of information for
     the Database which would improve its usefulness?

•    Are there any other key information areas which should be added to the
     Database?

•    How, in particular, will the Database assist in developing an Asset Management
     Plan for the Council and for schools and other Services?

10.6 As a result further work is now in hand to provide more information on internal
floor areas, estimated future maintenance costs and property budgets.

PROPERTY REVIEW

10.7 A key component of an Asset Management Plan will be the undertaking of
Property Reviews to seek to improve the utilisation of property and identify and meet
Service and Corporate needs for property. The Asset Management Plan will need
to be dynamic to take into account changing priorities and new requirements and this
will be reflected in the type and objectives of property reviews. The current position
on property reviews is as follows:

Expensive to Maintain Buildings

10.8 A review was carried out in October last year which identified a number of
buildings which are or will become expensive to maintain in the next few years.
Recommendations were made to review some of these further and a summary of the
action currently in hand to progress these is set out in Appendix A.

List of Property Projects

10.9 The Council is also involved in a number of major property projects which are
intended to improve service delivery, work in partnership with other agencies to
provide improved facilities for the public or to generate capital receipts for
reinvestment. These projects are listed in Appendix B.

4th Land Review

10.10 Policy Committee in December 1998 instructed officers to undertake a further
comprehensive review of the Council’s property which is intended to identify any
    __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

    Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999             Page 65
further opportunities to re-use property for other Service or Corporate needs or to
add to the Capital Receipts Programme.

10.11 A number of possible areas for the review have been identified and instructions
obtained on some specific properties but much further work needs to be undertaken
to fully investigate the potential of the Council’s existing property assets and a start
has been made on this by an officer land review team.

Identification of Service Property Needs

10.12 Property Review Group has asked that, when developing its Service Plan,
each Service should identify its property requirements. This may include new
demands for use of property, reductions in use and how the changing needs of the
Service may require changes to the type or location of property needed to deliver
those services.

10.13 In addition, each Service should refer to Property Review Group any proposal
to either vacate or change the use of any property it occupies so that the Group can
consider alternative uses or disposal and advise on any competing proposals for use
of property. Some Service requirements for property are known by PRG but the
total picture for each Service is incomplete.

ACCOMMODATION STRATEGY

Space Audit

10.14 In order to plan the most efficient use of the Council’s accommodation it is
clearly necessary to gather and evaluate data on service requirements and all
properties in Council ownership or under consideration. In the past this has been
done in a piecemeal way.

10.15 The Facilities Manager is now seeking detailed information from all Services on
premises outside the Civic Centre and will be applying Civic Centre space standards
to evaluate these requirements. He is also undertaking a further space audit in the
Civic Centre.

10.16 This will be most important in dealing with the priority relocations from
Moorcroft and review of the Chestnuts and Barra Hall.

Use of Civic Centre and Other Offices

10.17 In the medium to longer term consideration needs to be given as to how the
Council wishes to use the Civic Centre and other offices.


 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 66
10.18 This needs to be informed both by policy consideration about the way services
are to be delivered in future and the alternative costs of use of the Civic Centre, other
existing offices and other accommodation which could be acquired or leased.

10.19 An officer team is beginning to review these issues.

CAPITAL RECEIPTS PROGRAMME

10.20 Capital receipts achieved from the sale of property will be re-invested in the
Council’s capital programme. It is important that the Capital Receipts Programme is
carefully co-ordinated with the Capital Investment Programme and developed as a 3
year programme in line with budget planning.

10.21 Sites in the current Capital Receipts Programme are set out in Appendices C1
and C2 in Part II. The current target for capital receipts for 1999/2000 is £2,000,000
for which spending is already earmarked while further items for expenditure have
been identified if an additional £600,000 is achieved.

10.22 The achievement of this level of capital receipts will be largely dependent on
the success of the larger disposals identified in Appendix C1. The present position
on the disposal of properties listed in Appendices C1 and C2 is set out in Appendix D
in Part II.

10.23 The outcome of some of the Property Reviews referred to above may add to
the properties for disposal to generate capital receipts for future years programmes.

MANAGING PROPERTY COSTS

10.24 Whilst property is one of the major assets required to provide most services, it
is also one of the major costs in the provision of services. The Council should be
able to clearly identify and monitor its costs and take timely action wherever possible
to reduce its costs. In managing property costs the following need to be considered:

Utilisation

10.25 The use of the Council’s buildings should be kept under regular review.
Reference is made above to the work being done to analyse utilisation of space in the
Civic Centre and other offices.

10.26 It is important that the best use is made of the Council’s offices and other
buildings whilst seeking to meet the needs of all Services for use of property identified
from their Service Plans.

Rent

 __________________________________________________________________

              PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 67
10.27 The Council only pays rent for property it leases. The decision to lease a
particular property for an identified use will be taken at the time and will reflect the
requirements of the Service use, the property available for letting on the open market
and market conditions. Changes in Service use sometimes lead to such properties
being vacated. It may take some time to dispose of the leasehold interest, if no
other Service use is found, during which time the Council may be obliged to continue
paying rent. Close liaison is needed between Service users, Property officers and
Members to speed up decision taking in these circumstances to minimise such costs.

10.28 Use of Council owned property is generally regarded as “free”. This does not,
however, reflect the “opportunity costs” of owning property. The approach of using
asset rents will be considered by officers together with developing strategies for
expensive to maintain buildings to identify ways of improving accountability for, and
efficiency in use of, buildings.

Rates

10.29 Whilst rating assessments, on which payment of rates are based, are
assessed by the District Valuer and Valuation Officer, these can be challenged and
reductions sought. The Estates & Valuation Service has been successful in
negotiating a substantial reduction in the rating assessment for the Civic Centre and
some other useful reductions.

10.30 A new Valuation List will come into force in April 2000. As before Estates and
Valuation will advise client departments where it is considered a reduction could be
sought and, on receiving instructions, will submit proposals and negotiate for
reductions in assessments.

10.31 Some uses of property are exempt, whilst cessation of use of property can
also lead to rates not being payable. It is important that Estates and Valuation are
kept informed by all Services of any changes in occupation or vacation so that they
can advise and seek reductions in rating where possible.

Maintenance

10.32 A new approach has been adopted to the allocation of the capital maintenance
budget which allocates the budget between buildings and highways maintenance, sets
aside an agreed contingency sum and then allocates the budget to agreed priority
properties/highways. These allocations were reported to Finance and Asset
Management Sub Committee on 30 March 1999 and will be kept under review and
reported to this and each subsequent Sub Committee so that timely decisions can be
made on the allocation of the contingency sums.


 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 68
Access

10.33 Reports have been undertaken to identify the need for improvement to access
for the disabled to existing Council buildings. The needs for access for the disabled
will be fully taken into account in the design of any new buildings as part of the design
process and DASH will be consulted.

10.34 The opportunity to carry out improvements to access for the disabled will be
taken into account as part of the capital maintenance allocation process.

Energy and Water Efficiency

10.35 Pilot energy audits have been undertaken at Hayes and Highgrove Swimming
Pools. These energy audits indicate that revenue savings are possible although in
the majority of instances some capital investment will be required to achieve these
savings.

10.36 Property Review Group has requested Property Consultancy to initially
suggest properties which could be examined to identify possible water and energy
savings. Client departments will then need to commission water and energy audits
which will need to identify the scope for possible savings, the cost of any necessary
investment and the pay back period.

10.37 Decisions to carry out investment in water and energy saving works could be
included in the review of the capital maintenance budget. In the wider context the
Council’s commitment to Local Agenda 21 will be re-inforced by taking a pro-active
approach to ensuring the efficiency of the use of water and energy.

10.38 Decisions on expenditure on capital maintenance, works to improve access for
the disabled and energy efficiency works need to be taken in the context of the
Council’s long term intentions with regard to its properties.

Property Insurance

10.39 Although property insurance represents a relatively small proportion of total
property costs, it is important that these costs are effectively managed.

10.40 Primarily there are two types of risk - high and low - based on impact of
potential loss. The “high risk” properties held on separate cover include all schools,
Civic Centre, Uxbridge Central Library, Beck Theatre and Manor Farm complex. All,
except Manor Farm, are insured for “all perils” and the Civic Centre also is covered
for consequential loss. Manor Farm is actually insured for limited perils. In the case
of schools, there is a £100,000 excess.


 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 69
10.41 The “low risk” properties are insured under a blanket policy. The premium
rate is considerably lower than if each property were to be insured separately.
Zurich Municipal, our insurer, also is very familiar with the Local Authority scheme and
appreciates that where there is such a large volume of properties and the fact that
Council property is often a “target” the claims made are treated more favourably than
perhaps another insurer.

10.42 The premiums paid for insuring Council property in 1997/98 were
approximately:-

Civic Centre, Beck Theatre and Uxbridge Library                £149,000
Schools (LEA)                                                  £163,500
General Properties                                              £66,500

Premiums are funded by Service Groups.

10.43 The Council also has other liability insurance i.e. Public Liability; Officials
Indemnity and Employers Liability. It is recommended that these are continued at
this stage.

10.44 Terrorism cover for high risk buildings is at the behest of the insurance market.
Currently, because terrorism is a lower risk, we have cover and because of the nature
of public buildings the Council should continue whilst available. It can be unilaterally
withdrawn by the insurer.

10.45 A recent exercise was commissioned to review the assessment of the
insurance value of the Civic Centre. Following careful consideration the revaluation
enabled the sum covered to be reduced leading to a reduction in premiums. Further
commissions could be given to revalue all the other high risk properties initially
followed by low risk to enable further premium savings to be made. Any premium
savings will have to be considered in conjunction with the claim experience and
projected claims costs for the year.

10.46 Insurances are due for tendering on 21.4.2000. A range of quotations based
on several levels of excess e.g. £50k, £100k, £200k could be obtained for
consideration at renewal. Whether claims costs are self funded or transferred to the
Insurers each Service will need to develop a commitment to Risk Management as the
simplest way to reduce claims costs is to reduce the Risk.

Benchmarking Unit costs of provision of service.

10.47 The need to more effectively manage property costs and the adoption of “Best
Value” approaches to the delivery of services will require the introduction of


 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 70
benchmarking as a means of both comparing running costs of properties and the
costs of provision of services.

10.48 Careful analysis and data collection will be required to ensure that
comparisons accurately reflect costs to the authority of managing property and
providing services. Underlying reasons for differences in costs can then be explored
to establish whether high costs can be reduced or may have to be borne because of
particular circumstances or needs.

FINANCIAL COMMENTS

The report covers a wide range of issues that in differing ways will have a significant
financial impact on the Council’s finances in the future. Separate reports will need to
be brought back to Members on aspects referred to by the report such as rating
revaluation or Property Information.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Reports to Policy Committee 17 December 1998 and Finance and Asset
Management Sub Committee 14 July 1998, 29 September 1998 and 10 December
1998.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 71
                                                                         APPENDIX A

EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN BUILDINGS

Moorcroft, Hillingdon

Management Board confirmed that the sale of this property should proceed as a
priority and efforts be made to find alternative accommodation to relocate existing
users. The timetable and costs for relocation and sale are to be reported back to
the Board.

Moorcroft has been marketed and tenders are due on 15 June 1999. This is subject
to a separate report to this Sub Committee.

The Grange, Hayes

The results of a public consultation exercise have been advised to Members and a
separate report is submitted to this Sub Committee.

Education Assets Review

It has been decided to set up 3 area teams to progress evaluation of proposals
involving re-investment in Education, Youth and Leisure facilities in the following areas:

Hayes

Consultants, Donaldsons, have been appointed to advise on the potential for
redevelopment and reinvestment to improve leisure facilities and are due to report
shortly.

Pinkwell Park Pavilion, Hayes

Education Youth and Leisure Service have decided that this building should be
retained. It will require substantial expenditure in the next few years and this is being
evaluated.

Barra Hall/The Chestnuts, Hayes

Management Board have instructed officers to identify space for relocating existing
users.

Officers have also been instructed to identify suitable alternative accommodation for
the laboratories.
  __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 72
                                                           APPENDIX A (CONT)

Key House, Yiewsley

This may be used for relocations from Moorcroft, The Chestnuts or Barra Hall. In the
longer term the Council should consider disposing of the property as it is unlikely to
provide useful accommodation for Council services.

Dews Farm House, Harefield

A new right to buy application has been submitted by the tenant. If the property is
sold it will be removed from the list. If, however, the sale does not proceed, Housing
Service will need to consider the future of the building and its maintenance or
disposal.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999             Page 73
                                                                                                                            APPENDIX B
                                           PROPERTY REVIEW GROUP - PROJECTS 1999/2000


              PROJECT                     TIMETABLE               FUNDING                     OFFICER LEAD   COMMENTS


Uxbridge Shopping Centre                  The development is                                  Martin White   Planning, Legal, Car Park
Development                               planned to be                                                      Management and Housing issues
                                          completed in February                                              being resolved.
420,000 sq. ft mixed development          2001

31 flats leased to Notting Hill Housing
Trust


Hillingdon House Farm                     June for Consultant’s   Sell an area of “enabling   Tim Atkins     Forms part of Education, wider
                                          revised report.         land” for Residential /                    Asset Management Proposals.
Regeneration of leisure facilities        Mid-Summer Report       Commercial development
                                          - Board / Liaison       to generate a capital
                                                                  receipt

Moorcroft / Barra Hall / Chestnuts        Tenders to be           Sale of the site of the     Ken Chambers   Links with Space Audit and other
Relocations                               reported to F & A Sub   elderly persons home                       Council Properties.
                                          22/6/99.                (and Chestnuts land)
Disposal of sites                         Completion August 99.   subsequently
                                          Leaseback to August

                                     __________________________________________________________________

                                            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

     Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 74
                                       2001 (maximum)

Barnhill
                                       Completion              Construction of a new       Paul Williams       Key group to be re-located -
Relocation of Services                 December 1999           secondary school                                Community Transport

                                                                                                                        APPENDIX B (CONT)


             PROJECT                   TIMETABLE              FUNDING                      OFFICER LEAD           COMMENTS


Townfield                              September 1999         Sale of the former Asian     Gerry Edwards          Empty premises can be re-
                                                              Day Centre site and                                 located for use for Moorcroft
Uxbridge College are carrying out                             adjoining College land for                          relocation subject to decision
development proposals. Reprovision                            residential development                             on site.
of Asian Day Centre



Parkway                                Briefing for 3         Dependant on results of      David Chivers and      Number of major development
                                       Leaders on             marketing                    Marting White          considerations.
Development options include a range    amended
of different uses, including housing   Development Brief:                                                         Link with Hayes Town
and leisure. Preparation of brief in   June 1999                                                                  regeneration.
partnership with Ealing/BWW/BG         Meeting due with
                                       Partners to finalise                                                       Concern on effect on Hayes By
                                       ‘Development                                                               Pass
                               __________________________________________________________________

                                         PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

     Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999            Page 75
                                        Principles

Education Asset Review                  Report for Board /   Sale of existing Assets to                  Three separate teams have
                                        Liaison Mid Summer   re-invest and modernise      Tim Atkins     been set up for
Regenerate the Council’s major          1999                 facilities.                                 Ruislip
education/leisure facilities.                                                                            Uxbridge
                                                                                                         Hayes

Civic Centre                            Report to            Seek opportunities for       Martin White   Council needs to decide its
                                        Board/Liaison July   rental                                      future use of the Civic Centre
Review of options for future use        1999                                                             and how to fund substantial
                                                                                                         maintenance and improvement
                                                                                                         works




                                   __________________________________________________________________

                                          PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

     Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999           Page 76
                                                                                                                        APPENDIX B (CONT)


PROJECT                                  TIMETABLE             FUNDING                      OFFICER LEAD      COMMENTS


Site for London Ambulance Station,                                                                            Options identified. Links with
Ruislip                                                                                                       Education’s Asset Review - Use
                                         Report for Board /    Ambulance Service to fund    Martin White      of Kings College Pavilion.
Lease to London Ambulance Service        Liaison               their own development                          Political Steer is to locate on St
of part of the pavilion in Kings         Mid-Summer 1999                                                      Martins Approach site. This
College Road.                                                                                                 conflicts with Leisure and
                                                                                                              Committee Heritage Site
                                                                                                              proposals

The Grange, Hayes                        Report to Finance &   No funds identified for      Nigel Cramb       Public Consultation completed.
                                         Asset Sub             works / refurbishment                          Political Steer - likely to be for
                                         22 June 1999                                                         sale for private resid.
                                                                                                              development

Cedars and Grainges Car Parks,
Uxbridge
                                         Under consideration   Financial Analysis needed    Richard Farrant   The financial analysis and
Possible disposal subject to report to                         to show effects on Council                     possible terms of disposal are
Finance and Asset Management Sub                               revenue budget.                                under consideration.
Committee
  2461


                                __________________________________________________________________

                                           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

     Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999             Page 77
THE GRANGE, PINE PLACE, HAYES                                                    ITEM 11

                                           CONTACT OFFICER: Nigel Cramb
                                           TELEPHONE: 01895 250394

SUMMARY

The report summarises the results of the recent public consultation on the future of
the Grange Centre, and seeks the Sub Committee’s instructions in relation to the
future use.

RECOMMENDATION

The Sub Committee’s instructions on the future use(s) of the Grange site are
requested.

INFORMATION

11.1 At its meeting of 15th September 1998 the Housing Development Sub
Committee received a comprehensive report on the Grange site, which detailed the
recent history of the site, options available to the Council for it’s future use and an
officer recommendation that the site be disposed to a housing association, with a
view to using the whole site for the provision of social housing.

11.2 A copy of the 15th September report on the Grange is attached for member’s
information at Appendix A.

11.3 The Sub Committee in considering the report expressed the view that a
community use should be retained on the site, and agreed the following resolutions :-

‘That Finance and Asset Management Sub Committee be requested to consider the
provision of a community use at the Grange site following consultation with local
residents.

That the provision of affordable housing on the Grange site be agreed in principle,
subject to the above resolution.

That officers be instructed to contact Hillingdon and Harrow Health Authority to
establish whether it has any plans for the clinic adjoining the site that could be
included in consideration of any development of the Grange’.

Public Consultation



 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                 Page 73
11.4 Following the Sub Committee’s resolution, a letter was sent to the residents of
Pine Place, Fedora Avenue, Lansbury Drive (parts), Fairholme Crescent, Burns Close
and Leamington Place, a total of 415 residences.

11.5 Residents were asked to comment on one of four options, namely :-

•       Retain the building and surrounding land for community for community use,
•       Demolish existing building and leave the land vacant,
•       Use the site for a small social housing development,
•       Sell site for private housing development.
•       Residents were asked for their ideas for the site.

11.6 In addition to signifying their preferred option for the site, residents were invited
to make comments on any of the options. It was made clear in the consultation
document that the Council had currently not made provision within it’s budget for the
cost of repairing the building, which was estimated at £85,000. A copy of the
consultation letter is attached at Appendix B.

Responses to the consultation

11.7 Out of the 415 houses invited to comment on the future of the Grange building,
111 replies were received. Out of these, 63 were in favour of retaining the building
for community use. The second highest response, 22 replies was for the site to be
used for a private housing development. The other options i.e. demolish the building
and leave land vacant and the option to use the site for social housing met with less
support.

A summary of the results, on a street by street basis is attached Appendix C

Adjoining site

11.8 As instructed, officers have written to Hillingdon Health Authority seeking
guidance over the future of the Grange Park Clinic site, however no response has
been received to date.

Options for the future of the site

11.9 As the public consultation has now been undertaken, the Sub Committee is
asked for instructions on which of the options for the future use of the site it wishes to
pursue.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS



    __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

    Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 74
A restrictive covenant applies to the Grange Centre and the adjacent land under which
use of the land is restricted to a “labour hall”. It is not known if anyone is entitled to
enforce this covenant.

However, if the land is appropriated back for housing purposes, any person entitled to
enforce the covenant can only claim damages from the Council and not an injunction
to prevent the development from proceeding. The developing housing association has
taken the view this will not significantly affect progress on the scheme.

FINANCIAL COMMENTS

This building is currently not being used by the Council and has been identified as an
expensive to maintain property. In light of this a decision needs to be made about the
assets future use.

In reaching a decision on the future use of the building the Sub Committee is advised
to bear in mind the current financial position of the Council in respect of both revenue
and capital budgets.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Housing Development Sub Committee 15th September 1998
(Other background documents are listed in the copy of this report).




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 75
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 76
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 77
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 78
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 79
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 80
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 81
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 82
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 83
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 84
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 85
KINGSHILL DEPOT, KINGSHILL AVENUE, HAYES                                      ITEM 12

                                         CONTACT OFFICER:          Martin White
                                         TELEPHONE:                01895 250936


SUMMARY

This report considers the sale of Council owned land to Northcote Housing
Association in order to achieve nomination rights in favour of the Council and generate
a capital receipt.

RECOMMENDATION

That the Sub-Committee authorises negotiations for the sale of the land to Northcote
Housing Association on terms to be approved by the Head of Property Services
Agency.

INFORMATION

12.1 The land proposed to be sold is the site of a former Council depot used by
Grounds Maintenance and is approximately 1.5 acres (0.6ha) in area. The site is
shown edged black on the attached plan HAY.462/5 dated 26/5/99.

12.2 The site lies in a Green Belt designated area and as such the Council submitted
a planning application to be determined by the Secretary of State in January 1997.

12.3 The Secretary of State gave his consent in September 1998 to a mixed
development of 10 residential dwellings and a Doctor’s Surgery to be developed on
the site together with an open space area laid out on the area shown hatched black
on the plan.

12.4 A number of sites including Kingshill Depot were subject to a report to the
Housing Development Sub-Committee on 11th June 1998. This item was requisitioned
to full Council for consideration on 30th July 1998. It was resolved by Members that
officers should continue with the disposal of this site to a nominated Housing
Association for social housing development.

12.5 The Council’s Housing Development Group nominated Northcote Housing
Association as the prospective purchaser in response to the decision by Housing
Development Sub-Committee on 15.9.98. to obtain best value on the site to achieve
social housing.


 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999              Page 86
12.6 It is intended that Northcote Housing Association will sell on the area of land for
the surgery to a local doctors practice who are in urgent need of relocation.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The disposal of this site would generate a 100% usable capital receipt.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

Nil

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Reports to Housing Development Sub-Committee 11 June and 15 September 1998




 __________________________________________________________________

             PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

      Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999            Page 87
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 88
PARK LODGE FARM CENTRE, HAREFIELD                                             ITEM 1 3

                                         CONTACT OFFICER: Eric Xuereb
                                                          M Francis
                                         TELEPHONE:       01895 250576
                                                          01895 250925

SUMMARY

Park Lodge Farm Centre – Investigation into the creation of a Trust to manage and
progress the operation of the Farm for the benefit of educational, recreational and
community objectives, through the establishment of a charitable company limited by
guarantee.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.      That officers be instructed to progress with the establishment of a
        Charitable Trust by way of a company limited by guarantee, including
        early discussion with DETR, reporting final administrative details back to
        this Committee with a view to having arrangements in place by April
        2000.

2       That a review of the Council’s Green Belt and countryside holdings be
        implemented with a view to investigating the introduction of a wider brief
        for a Trust or series of Trusts based on the Park Lodge Farm Centre
        model, to be managed under the principles of Best Value, and to report
        findings back to the Best Value Sub-Committee.

INFORMATION

13.1 Following on from a resolution by the Finance and Asset Management Sub-
Committee on 10 December 1998 officers have continued to investigate the option of
establishing a charitable trust by way of a company limited by guarantee.

13.2 A working party of officers, comprising representatives from Legal Services,
Education, Youth and Leisure and HDS, has met on a regular basis to examine the
main issues arising from the establishment of this option.

13.3 At an early stage it has become apparent that although the objects, constitution
and administration of the Trust are important issues, of primary concern are the legal
and financial aspects involved in the Council establishing a Trust by way of the
charitable company limited by guarantee presently envisaged.

    __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

     Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999           Page 89
13.4 The term “Charitable Purposes” means purposes which are exclusively
charitable “according to the law of England and Wales” (section 97(1) Charities Act,
1993). They are broadly classified as:

      (1)   the relief of poverty
      (2)   the advancement of learning
      (3)   the advancement of religion
      (4)   other purposes beneficial to the community

13.5 Investigations into the establishment of the Trust show that, in so far as meeting
the requirements of the Charities Commission is concerned,
Park Lodge Farm Centre could achieve charitable status since its objects, if
sufficiently widely framed, could be made to meet both the Education and the
Community Benefit criteria.

13.6 The Council`s powers to manage the operation of the Farm are set out in
sections 3 to 6 of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974. Section 4
of that Act provides as follows:

“The Council may…use the farm for the purposes of agriculture and the promotion of
agricultural interest, and for the purposes of education, recreation and leisure and
may do all such things as they consider necessary or desirable for those
purposes or in connection with the management and maintenance of the farm and
may permit the use of the farm by members of the public for the purposes of this
section and subject to such terms and conditions as the Council thinks fit.”

13.7 This section grants a wide power to the Council to achieve its objects and it is
your officers` view that there is in principle no reason why the Council cannot use its
powers under this section to establish a company limited by guarantee for charitable
purposes. To comply with current requirements relating to the relationship between
the Council and the company envisaged, it is likely that the company would need to be
appointed as the Council`s agent or contractor for the purposes of the discharge of
the function under section 4 of the 1974 Act. Further investigation is needed into the
structure and objects of the company and its relationship with the Council.

13.8 Whilst investigating the option of establishing such a charitable company under
which Park Lodge Farm Centre could be managed, it has become apparent that the
same principles could be applied to a much wider area of Council Green Belt and
countryside ownership, leading to an imaginative vision for the future management of
these estates under one co-ordinated Trust related body, to the benefit of the
community as a whole, and with the advantage of effective, efficient and economic
control under the principles of Best Value.


 __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999              Page 90
13.9 Given the scale of the proposals currently contemplated, it is important that all
the issues raised by the powers under which the Council operates should be fully
considered, but initial external legal and financial advice encourages officers to believe
that these should not present any obstacle to the final resolution of this matter.

13.10 It is likely, however, that the Secretary of State’s consent would be required
for certain aspects of the proposal, such as those relating to lease arrangements, the
Council`s landholding affected and the relationship between the Council and the
company, and it would be sensible to discuss the various issues arising with the
Secretary of State at an early stage to ascertain the views of the DETR. It is
suggested that approval is given to the early commencement of discussions of these
matters with the DETR

13.11 An early assessment of the company`s financial viability is also essential, both
in terms of achieving the charitable objects identified and in terms of meeting the
Council`s duties of financial propriety and the fiduciary duty owed to the Council`s tax
payers. Much will therefore depend on preparing a detailed business plan setting out
the company`s objectives and the route by which those objectives will be achieved.

13.12 The issues to be resolved will therefore include:-

•       Detailed educational programme to include school visits, training, work
        experience and other educational visits.
•       Preparation of sensible conservative business plans reflecting the educational
        plans to ensure that the charitable structure will be a viable economic concern.
•       Broad approach to the drafting of the objects to ensure that they encompass
        as far as possible all possible charitable uses of the Park Lodge Farm Centre
        or any other property which may be owned or leased by the company for
        charitable purposes.
•       Ensuring that in emphasising the educational aspects of the charity and its
        activities in approaching the Inland Revenue for clearance that the exemption
        from tax or trading profits is available to the new charitable company.
•       That the charity should only undertake those trading activities which sit within
        the main charitable objects, and to create a wholly owned trading subsidiary to
        encompass other trading activities of a more commercial or leisure orientated
        nature.
•       What form of tenancy the Company would hold land under, and whether any
        rental return would be anticipated.
•       TUPE and other employment and union related issues.
•       Membership of the charitable company (trustees) and restriction of company’s
        powers to show that company is being used for a proper purpose.
•       Provisions of Section 69 (3) and (4) of Local Government and Housing Act
        1989 relating to the relationship between a local authority and a company.


    __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

    Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 91
13.13 Although the initial legal view is encouraging in that it would appear that the
Trust option is achievable, officers need to be instructed to continue with the detailed
work necessary to ensure that such an arrangement could be in place by April 2000.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The report highlights the need to get specialist legal and financial advice to progress
this matter and that will have to be funded out of the Green Belt Estate budget. The
key to the success of the project will be establishing the business plan that will define
exactly what the objectives are and how they are to be achieved

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

Embodied in report.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

None.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                 Page 92
PARK LODGE FARM CENTRE – REPORT ON                                              ITEM 14
FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS AND ASSETS

                                   CONTACT OFFICER: M Francis
                                   TELEPHONE:       01895 250925


SUMMARY

This report, which is for information only, reports on the financial arrangements and
assets held for the farming and public access operations and developments at Park
Lodge Farm Centre, as requested at the meeting of the Finance and Assets
Management Sub Committee 10/12/98.

RECOMMENDATION

That the report be noted

INFORMATION

14.1 Park Lodge Farm Centre is run as a commercial dairy and sheep farm with
facilities for the visiting public attending Farm Open Days or on organised school
visits.

14.2 The Farm operates under a ring-fenced budget with the requirement that the
account should break even at the end of each financial year.

14.3 The dairy herd consists of 170 milking cows producing in excess of 1,078,936
litres of milk per annum which is sold to Express Dairies via their processing plant at
Victoria Road, Ruislip. The current price for milk is 21.39p/litre, some 5p down on 2
years ago and 0.5p down on last years’ prices. The milk cheque is the main source
of farm income, from which all outgoings including staffing, repairs, maintenance,
replacements and farm improvements have to be found.

14.4 In addition, the farm keeps a flock of 200 sheep, from which approximately 350
lambs are produced annually. The lambs are sold from 4 months old for the meat
market, the price currently fluctuating substantially from year to year. Lambing time is
of great interest to visiting school parties and the general public and three successful
Lambing Afternoons were held during March this year.

14.5 The current market value of all livestock at Park Lodge Farm Centre as at
1/4/99 was £199000.

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999                Page 93
14.6 In order to maintain the livestock enterprises the farm has a requirement for
buildings of a certain standard, an adequate quantity of farm machinery and
equipment, and an appropriate number of staff.

14.7 Although the farm was modernised in the late 70’s with a new dairy and winter
cubicle building, in general the remainder of the buildings date from much earlier and
are well beyond their economic life, in that they are in need of repair and are not
particularly compatible with either modern livestock farming or public access
requirements.

14.8 A programme of development has been instigated since 1996 details of which
are given in Appendix A. these development which amount to a total expenditure in
the region of £300000 have been funded from the Farm account, from capital bids or
from S.106 monies made available following the sale of Glovers Grove.

14.9 The farm comprises some 570 acres (230ha) of grassland and cultivated maize,
the main objective being for self-sufficiency in the volume of silage produced to see
the dairy herd and followers through the winter. In order to carry out the farming
operations associated with grassland and livestock management the Farm currently
has 5 tractors (two of which are ex-Groundcare), a Land Rover and a quantity of
attached or trailed plant and machinery, as well as a huge variety of livestock handling
equipment. One of the tractors is due for urgent replacement, being 13 years old and
becoming expensive to maintain – outright purchase cost would be in the region of
£25-30000 (although the tendency is to lease these days). The current value of plant,
machinery and equipment, allowing for depreciation was £100000 as at 1/4/99.

14.10 Part of the interest of the farm is the rotary milking parlour with public viewing
gallery, which gives visitors an excellent opportunity to view the afternoon milking
process.

14.11 The parlour itself revolves on bearings and rails, and because of the conditions
under which the parlour has to be operated the rails and bearings suffer rapid wear
and tear, leading to regular replacement of the bearings and a need to replace the
rails every 10 years. This is an expensive exercise and there is a fine balance
between providing a good view to the visiting public of the milking process and the
cost of maintaining a exceedingly expensive piece of equipment. Most modern dairy
farms nowadays use a herringbone parlour which has no moving parts; it would be a
costly exercise to adapt the existing building to a herringbone parlour, the only
alternative being to continue to maintain the existing system on an as and when basis.
As spares become increasingly difficult to obtain the more likely it is that the parlour
will have to be replaced. It is estimated that repairs and improvements over the past
10 years (to comply with Dairy Hygiene regulations etc) have cost well in excess of
£30,000.

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 94
14.12 The farm operates with 4 full time staff under the supervision of the working
farm Manager. Three of the staff occupy residential accommodation under service
tenancies, two of which are rent-free and one on a subsidised rent. Because of the
hours associated with working on a dairy farm there are fairly high levels of overtime.
The total expenditure on staffing in 1998/99 was approximately £107000.

14.13 Other major items of expenditure from the farm account in 1998/99 were
£99000 on equipment and materials, and £54000 on other services (which include
field services, vet. fees, equipment purchases and repairs, both dairy and non-dairy).

14.14 The commercial side of the farm supports an education account, which reflects
the expenditure and income from school visits and farm open days. It must be borne
in mind that the reason for the Council running the farm is not to be in the business of
commercial farming, but to provide a commercial farming background to visits from
schools and the general public, and to encourage users with education, recreation and
conservation interests.

14.15 Since the “education” budget has struggled over the years to achieve a surplus
of income over expenditure, the overall farm budget is “subsidised” through a virement
from the Green Belt Estate account in recognition of the importance of school visits
from an education, not an income, point of view. (The economic costs of the school
visits and open day side of the farm’s activities are part of the reason for seeking
consent to establishing the farm as a Trust).

14.16 The farm Open Day programme resulted in a disappointing return financially
last year in that the major event in June was run at a loss, the low attendance
meaning that gate monies did not cover costs (see Appendix 2 for 1998/99
income/expenditure schedule). This matter has been reviewed and a series of
smaller, less ambitious events are proposed for this year with a reduced admission
fee and reduced overheads. It is hoped this will achieve at least a break-even
situation, including covering the costs of the lambing afternoons for which no
admission charge is made.

14.17 The Farm Centre is shortly to benefit from capital works as a part of the
Capital Maintenance programme approved by Finance and Assets Management Sub-
Committee on 30/3/99 which will provide for urgent structural repairs to the listed
farmhouse, an improvement to the old buildings roof water drainage system and
Health and Safety works to the concrete yards and buildings, for a total sum of
£70000.

14.18 In conclusion, the closing valuation of the Farm live and deadstock made
1/4/99 valued these assets at £315588, the Farm has the use of 1,203,435 litres of
milk quota, and the overall farm account, which usually operates on a breakeven basis
at end of year has just carried over a “loss” of £14917 into this financial year.
Improvements have been carried out to the farm buildings for both farming and public
 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 95
access reasons, with funding being provided from either the farm operational account,
capital bids through the Council procedures, or the allocation of the remaining S.106
monies arising from the Social Housing development at Glovers Grove.

14.19 The Farm Centre remains in need of further modernisation and improvement,
more particularly for a greater range of facilities for the visiting public. It is these
facilities which need external funding, which is more likely to be forthcoming if the
Farm is placed under a Trust arrangement.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Contained in the report

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

None

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

PLF Profit and Loss Account 1998/99.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 96
APPENDIX 1


Major improvements carried out at Park Lodge Farm Centre since 1996 together with
       source of funding and cost.


Description of Work            Source of Funding     Date           Cost

Farmhouse repairs              Farm Account          3/96            £8000

Agricultural Storage           Dismantle and erect  Sept. ‘96        £nil
       Building (ex Glovers          (sale of other
       Grove)                        two buildings)
Concrete floor, insulation,    S.106 monies (£42000 1997            £24000
       electrics etc and             total)*
       Toilet Block

Silage clamp effluent pit      Farm Account          June 1997      £95000
       and pump

Cubicle Refurbishment          Farm Account          March          £26434
                                                            199
                                                            8
Slurry Tower (350000 gal)      Capital Funding       Jan. 1999      £35520
       plus excavation         (Total £45000)**
       work

Surface water catchment        Capital Funding       Jan. 1999       £7270
      tank and pump

Livestock building inc. soil   Farm Account          May 1999       £60475
       retaining panels

Repairs to Farmhouse,          Capital Funding       Yet to be      £70000
      yards and drainage                                    start
                                                            ed
                                                         Total      £326699



Notes:-

* £42000 allocated, £24,000 spent - £18000 in reserve for “community” facilities.
 __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999             Page 97
** £45000 allocated, £42,790 committed - £2210 held against contingencies.
BREAKSPEAR STABLES, COTTAGE AND ADJOINING LAND,                            ITEM 15
HAREFIELD

                                           CONTACT OFFICER: Martin White
                                               TELEPHONE: 01895-250936

SUMMARY

This report asks the Committee to consider authorising disposal of the Council’s
Freehold interest in the above site on the open market.

RECOMMENDATION

1.      That Members authorise the sale on the open market either by tender or
        private party negotiations of the Council’s freehold interest of the land edged
        black on the plan no: UXB.923/1 dated 28.04.99 on terms to be approved by
        the Head of Property Services Agency.

2.      Officers be authorised to apply to the DETR for authority to this disposal of the
        land shown hatched black on the plan, under the Green Belt (London and
        Home Counties) Act 1938.

INFORMATION

15.1 The above site was transferred to this Council on the abolition of the G.L.C. The
rest of the site including Breakspear House is in the ownership of the London Borough
of Harrow.

15.2 The majority of the land shown hatched on the plan is Green Belt and is
protected by the Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938.

15.3 The Council successfully applied to the Secretary of State in 1996 to remove
the stables and part of the adjoining land from the 1938 Act so as to enable this land
to be sold for residential development to a Housing Association. This area is shown
unhatched and edged black on the plan.

15.4 Breakspear Cottage was leased in 1995 for a period of 6 years to 31.3.01 to
Co-op Home Services for use as Social Housing. This property is shown cross-
hatched on the plan.




 __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

     Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999             Page 98
15.5 Informal advice from the Director of Housing indicates that the potential loss of
the cottage would not be opposed as the locality and type of dwelling this provides is
not ideal for Social Housing purposes.

15.6 The Council has sworn a Statutory Declaration and deposited this with the Land
Registry giving it rights of way over the access road to Breakspear House from
Breakspear Road North.

15.7 The Council will need to apply to the Secretary of State to have the remainder
of the land removed from the 1938 Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act so
as to free the land for sale.

15.8 Part of the site is a walled garden of which a section is listed along with the
House owned by London Borough of Harrow. This is a potential maintenance liability
to the Council and its disposal along with the rest of the site would remove this
liability.

15.9 The Council has received an offer from a third party which encompasses the
whole of the Council’s freehold interest subject to the Secretary of State’s consent
for the removal of the remainder of the property from the Green Belt (London and
Home Counties) Act 1938. This offer is being evaluated.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

The disposal of the property would generate a capital receipt to the Council. The loss
of one unit of short life accommodation will have a minor impact on Council’s
homelessness budget.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

Under S123 of the Local Government Act 1972 the Council must obtain the best
consideration that can reasonably be obtained

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

None.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999              Page 99
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 100
POTENTIAL FOR GRAVEL EXTRACTION – DENHAM LOCK MEADOW,                         ITEM 16
DENHAM QUARRY, HAREFIELD



                                  CONTACT OFFICER: Martin White
                                  TELEPHONE:       01895 250936

SUMMARY

This report seeks approval to continuing negotiations with interested companies to
investigate and progress the possible extraction of gravel from the area known as
Denham Lock Meadows as originally agreed at a meeting of the Property Sub-
Committee on 8th November 1990 and further reviewed by Policy Group in August
1995.

RECOMMENDATION

That officers be instructed to negotiate appropriate terms and conditions for gravel
extraction and restoration on approximately 15 acres (6.07ha) of Green Belt land to
the south of Denham Quarry, subject to a company obtaining the necessary planning
consents and the approval of terms by the Head of Property Services Agency.

INFORMATION

16.1 Denham Quarry consists of some 182 acres of worked out gravel pits and
agricultural land purchased by the GLC in 1976 under powers conferred by the Green
Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938. It transferred to the London Borough of
Hillingdon in 1986, and is situated within the Colne Valley Park boundaries.

16.2 The lakes are occupied by local angling clubs and the Hillingdon Outdoor Activity
Centre and informal public access is encouraged on foot, bicycle and horseback by
the Denham Quarry Trail.

16.3 Part of the land in the south of the Quarry, as shown on the attached plan no.
Hil 83/9, together with other agricultural land known as Frays Meadows was declared
an SSSI by the former Nature Conservancy Council (now English Nature) in 1981, and
a large part of the land is now leased to London Wildlife Trust for nature conservation
purposes.

16.4 The 15 acres known as Denham Lock Meadow does not form part of the SSSI
nor is it included in the proposal for the Frays Valley Local Nature Reserve
designation. It is however included as part of a site of Metropolitan Importance for
Nature Conservation.
 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999             Page 101
16.5 A planning application was made in 1987 by Tarmac to extract gravel from this
site which was refused by the Local Planning Authority (Planning sub-Committee No.
1 (North) 9/4/87).
16.6 The main objection being that the London Ecology Unit felt that extraction could
damage the adjacent SSSI by affecting the water table.

16.7 At the Property Sub-Committee on 8th November 1990 officers were instructed
to negotiate suitable terms and conditions (subject to planning for gravel extraction)
and these negotiations have been ongoing since then with two companies, one of
which took an option on the site which has now lapsed. The volume of gravel
underlying the site is believed to be in the region of 260000 tonnes, and, following
referral to Members by the PSA (Martin White) it was decided that the potential for
extraction should be pursued by commissioning an hydrogeological survey of the area
to ascertain whether mineral extraction would be detrimental to the balance of the
regime for the variety of flora and fauna supported within the SSSI.

16.8 In May 1997 after a long period of consultation this survey was commissioned
and over a period of 12 months the water table level of Denham Lock Meadows and
the surrounding area was carefully monitored following the installation of
10 groundwater boreholes and 11 surface water monitoring points. English Nature,
the Environment Agency, London Ecology Unit and London wildlife Trust were all
asked to input the brief to ensure that precise information needed when considering
the results was available.

16.9 The report was finalised in August 1998, the conclusion being that the
conceptual model and simple calculations suggest quite clearly that gravel extraction
from Denham Lock Meadow would have little or no significant impact on the hydrology
of the SSSI.

16.10 If there was a desire to proceed with negotiations for the potential gravel
extraction from this area (subject to planning) then the hydrogeological report would
form part of the Environmental Assessment that would be submitted with the
application. At this time there is no doubt that those bodies responsible for
representing the conservation interests in the area would raise other matters of a
more local nature in objection.

16.11 A copy of the final report was sent to English Nature who commented that
there was no objection to the document being included in any planning application that
may follow provided that:-

•       there is no intention to dewater any excavation for gravel winning.
•       restoration lake water level is considered further to ensure no detriment to
        SSSI interest.

    __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

    Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999             Page 102
16.12 It now seems likely that the only acceptable extraction route from Denham
Lock Meadows is across the Grand Union Canal onto the adjoining land within Bucks
C.C. owned by Boyers, who are negotiating the final arrangements for gravel
extraction from The Lea with Bucks and others. The Company would therefore have
to negotiate with British Waterways Board for the right to cross the canal.

16.13 Members are requested to instruct officers to negotiate appropriate terms and
conditions for gravel extraction and restoration on approximately 15 acres (6.07ha) of
Green Belt land to the south of Denham Quarry, subject to a company obtaining the
necessary planning consents and the approval of terms by the Head of Property
Services Agency.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

None arising directly out of the report.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Any payment received as gravel royalties will be a windfall extra income to the
Council’s revenue budget, these payments are not capital receipts.

The actual sums received will be influenced by the agreement with BWB and the cost
of obtaining consent and of reinstatement after extraction to a compatible water
based conservation use.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Report to Property Sub-Committee 8/11/90
Briefing Note to Policy Group 10/8/95
D K Symes Associate Report into the Hydrology and Hydrogeology of Denham Lock
Meadow August ’98.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999             Page 103
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 104
        CRANFORD PARK STABLE BLOCK - PROPOSED                             ITEM 17
        LETTING

                                 CONTACT OFFICER: Trevor Williams
                                 TELEPHONE:       01895 277280

SUMMARY

This report outlines the proposed marketing arrangement for the east and west wing
of Cranford stable block. The length of term to be granted will depend on the
proposed use of the site and the extent of any proposed works within planning
constraints.

RECOMMENDATION

1.      That the Committee agrees to officers seeking offers and negotiating by
        private treaty or through tender a lease of east and/or west wing of
        Cranford Stable block as shown on plan HAY.635/a/b on terms to be
        approved by the Head of Property Services Agency.

2.      That the Committee agrees the licence for the east wing upper floor to
        the Sunday School of St Dunstans Church which expires on the
        12th August 1999 is to be terminated to allow a new lessee to occupy the
        site on a continual basis.

3.      That the Committee agree that if a lessee is interested in the west wing
        in addition to or instead of the east wing then negotiations can proceed
        on terms approved by the Head of Property Services Agency.

INFORMATION

17.1 The stable block is in the ownership of the London Borough of Hillingdon. The
remainder of Cranford Park is managed by Community Initiative Partnerships on
behalf of London Borough of Hounslow.

17.2 The east and west wing of the stable block are as identified hatched black on
plan HAY.635/a dated 14.5.99.

17.3 The upper floor of the east wing is occupied by the Sunday School of
St Dunstans Church under a licence agreement for three years which expires on the
12th August 1999. The licence is for the period 10.00 am to 1.00 pm on Sunday only.
 __________________________________________________________________

            PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

     Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999      Page 105
The licence reserves the right of either party to terminate the agreement by either
party giving at least one months notice in writing to the other.

17.4 The ground floor of the east wing, which has recently been refurbished, is
currently vacant and comprises of traditional stables. One of the objectives of the
letting will be to bring these back into occupation in line with their traditional use. The
letting of the stables will produce a rental income and a lessee in occupation will bring
better security to the site.

17.5 The west wing has not been refurbished and is currently used for general
storage of materials and equipment for maintenance of Cranford Park by London
Borough of Hounslow for which occupation London Borough of Hillingdon receives no
income.

17.6 The proposal would be to offer the east and west wing on the open market with
parties showing an expression of interest and negotiations entered into with those
whose proposals seem most likely to succeed in planning terms.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

If the lease to be granted is for a period of more than seven years then, under S 123
of the Local Government Act 1972, the Council must obtain the best consideration
that can reasonably be obtained.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Payments under licenses are revenue income, which for this asset forms part of the
Education, Youth and Leisure budgets.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Nil.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

   Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999               Page 106
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 107
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 108
THE LODGE RICKMANSWORTH ROAD, HAREFIELD                                         ITEM 18

                                   CONTACT OFFICER: Martin White
                                   TELEPHONE:       01895 250936

SUMMARY

This report outlines a request by the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust to
rectify the boundary records of the above property at the Land Registry. The property
owned by the Trust, The Lodge, has been in occupation of a small piece of Council
owned land for over 40 years for which they would have legal claim to ownership
now.

RECOMMENDATION

That the Committee resolves that the land shown on plans UXB.1013 and
UXB.1013/A dated 5.3.99 be transferred to the applicant upon terms to be
approved by the Head of Property Services on the assumption that the land is
declared surplus at the Housing Management and Maintenance Sub-Committee
on 8th June and Education Committee on 15th June.

INFORMATION

18.1 The applicant has identified from a boundary survey they have within their
occupation two strips of land, as identified hatched black on plans UXB.1013 and
UXB.1013/A dated 5.3.99, which is Council owned. The land shown on plan
UXB.1013 is held by Education Sub-Committee and the land shown on plan
UXB.1013/A is held by Housing Management and Maintenance Sub-Committee and
forms part of the title to the Barden Close development.

18.2 As the land has been in the Trust’s possession for over 40 years they would
have claim to possessory or title absolute. Nevertheless the Council has been asked
to sell the land at minimal cost to recognise the position formally. In practice because
we have not had use of this land it is recommended that the sale proceeds if the land
is declared surplus at the Housing Management and Maintenance Sub-Committee on
the 8th June and Education Committee on 15th June. It is unknown how the original
error occurred with the land originally being sold by the Council to the Secretary of
State as predecessor in title to the Trust, possibly as long ago as the 1930s.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

Contained within the body of the report.

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999              Page 109
RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS

There are no financial implications to this report.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

Nil.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

   Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 110
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 111
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 112
LAND ADJACENT TO OLD SCHOOL HOUSE, WISE LANE, WEST                            ITEM 19
DRAYTON



                                  CONTACT OFFICER: Martin White
                                  TELEPHONE:       01895 250936

SUMMARY

This report considers the sale of a small strip of land to the owners of the House in
order to facilitate development of the Social Housing site at the former Townmead
School site adjacent to the property.

RECOMMENDATION

That the Sub-Committee authorises the sale of this land to the owners of the
Old School House for nil consideration.

INFORMATION

19.1 The occupiers of the Old School House purchased their property under the
Right to Buy Scheme in 1998 together with a right of way to the side of the property
in order to access a garage at the rear.

19.2 The Council reserved the right to alter this right of way with the sale of the
former Townmead School in mind. The sale of the Townmead site included part of
the right of way, which the Council understood it could alter. The owners of the Old
School House contested that this reservation did not appear on their deeds and the
Council could not prove otherwise as the legal records were lost in a recent fire.

19.3 As the developers began work on the Townmead site time increasingly became
an important factor in resolving this dispute. The Land Registry could not provide
details of the Council’s right to alter the right of way because the Old School House
was in the process of being registered. To try to solve the problem the purchasers of
the Townmead site, Ealing Family Housing Association, proposed that they would
build a garage on the Council owned land shown hatched black for the owners which
the Council could convey to them at a nil price. Ealing Family Housing Association
would bear the costs of construction.

19.4 The land as it stands serves no useful purpose to the Council and is isolated
from other land in its ownership. Therefore as there is no cost implications to the


 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999             Page 113
Council it is recommended that this land be transferred with a covenant that no
buildings other than a domestic garage shall be permitted to be built on the site.

19.5 The Old School House is shown edged black, the right of way to be sold is
shown hatched black and the right of way to be given up by the owners is shown
cross-hatched black on plan number G155/3/RTB8815 dated 2.6.99.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

None

RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS

This report has no financial implications.

BACKGROUND DOCUMENTS

None.




 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999              Page 114
__________________________________________________________________

       PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999   Page 115
LAND FRONTING 63 & 65 COWLEY ROAD, UXBRIDGE                                    ITEM 20

                                   CONTACT OFFICER: Martin White
                                   TELEPHONE:       01895 250936
SUMMARY

This report recommends that a small area of land for which the Council has no
identified use be sold to the owners of 63 & 65 Cowley Road, Uxbridge.

RECOMMENDATION

That subject to being declared surplus at the Environment Committee on
29th June 1999, the land crosshatched black on plan UXB.999 dated 10.05.99 be
sold to the owners of 63 & 65 Cowley Road, Uxbridge on terms and conditions
to be approved by Head of Property Services.

INFORMATION

20.1 The area edged black on plan UXB.999 dated 10.05.99 was sold to the
Metropolitan Police on 15.02.54 but the area crosshatched black was retained for the
siting of a bus stop. The bus stop was eventually placed 30 metres south of the
original designated area leaving this small parcel of land redundant. The proposal to
declare the land surplus is being reported to Environment Committee on 29 June
1999.

20.2 There will be no disadvantage to highway users if the sale is approved as the
land is to be used as a garden extension with a covenant against development.

20.3 It is recommended that the land be sold to the owners of 63 & 65 Cowley Road
for incorporation into their front gardens.

LEGAL IMPLICATIONS

The Council has an obligation to obtain best consideration in respect of any disposal
of land under Section 123 of The Local Government Act 1972.

FINANCE COMMENTS

The disposal will produce a small receipt to the Council, which will be accounted for in
accordance with the appropriate regulations governing receipts.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 __________________________________________________________________

           PART 1 – MEMBERS AND PUBLIC (INCLUDING THE PRESS)

  Finance & Asset Management Sub-Committee – 22 June 1999              Page 116

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:24
posted:9/29/2012
language:Unknown
pages:123