Agenda and draft minutes

Wormwood Scrubs Charitable Trust Committee - Tuesday, 15th December, 2020 6.30 pm

Venue: Online - Virtual Meeting. View directions

Contact: Amrita Gill  Email: amrita.gill@lbhf.gov.uk

Link: Watch the meeting live on YouTube

Items
No. Item

1.

Appointment of Chair

The Committee is asked to appoint a Chair for the 2020-21 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

Resolved:

That Councillor Alexandra Sanderson was unanimously agreed as Chair of the Committee for the municipal year 2020-21.

 

2.

Appointment of Co-opted Members pdf icon PDF 119 KB

The Committee is asked to approve the appointment of two non-voting co-opted members.

Minutes:

Resolved:

Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen and Miriam Shea, representatives of the Friends of Wormwood Scrubs, were unanimously agreed as co-opted members of the Committee for the municipal year 2020-21.

 

3.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

 

4.

Roll Call and Declarations of interest

At the start of the meeting the Chair will carry out a roll call of committee members to confirm attendance. Members will also have an opportunity to declare any interests.

 

If a Councillor has a disclosable pecuniary interest in a particular item, whether or not it is entered in the Authority’s register of interests, or any other significant interest which they consider should be declared in the public interest, they should declare the existence and, unless it is a sensitive interest as defined in the Member Code of Conduct, the nature of the interest at the commencement of the consideration of that item or as soon as it becomes apparent.

 

At meetings where members of the public are allowed to be in attendance and speak, any Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest or other significant interest may also make representations, give evidence or answer questions about the matter.  The Councillor must then withdraw immediately from the meeting before the matter is discussed and any vote taken.

 

Where Members of the public are not allowed to be in attendance and speak, then the Councillor with a disclosable pecuniary interest should withdraw from the meeting whilst the matter is under consideration. Councillors who have declared other significant interests should also withdraw from the meeting if they consider their continued participation in the matter would not be reasonable in the circumstances and may give rise to a perception of a conflict of interest.

 

Councillors are not obliged to withdraw from the meeting where a dispensation to that effect has been obtained from the Audit, Pensions and Standards Committee.

Minutes:

The Chair carried out a roll call to confirm attendance. There were no declarations of interest.

 

 

5.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 315 KB

To approve as an accurate record, the minutes of the meeting held on 6th October 2020.

 

Minutes:

Resolved:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 6th October 2020  were approved.

 

6.

Manager's Report pdf icon PDF 672 KB

The Committee is asked to note and approve all matters in the report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Steve Hollingworth, Advisor to the Trust, presented the report.

 

HS2 Bill Alternative Ecological Mitigation (AEM)

Steve Hollingworth noted that the AEM works were progressing in three stages. A conservation management plan had been circulated to the Friends and Members of the Committee for comments. The masterplan presented at the last Trust meeting had been discussed by the subgroup on 29th October 2020. Detailed designs would be developed along with a 10-year management and maintenance plan to maximise habitat improvement for wildlife and increase biodiversity after the masterplan had been agreed so that the project could be tendered.

 

The Chair noted that following her discussions with the consultants, the updated plans would be completed by the 11th January 2021 and a sub-group meeting would be held shortly after.

 

HS2 – Compensation Code Temporary access to Trust Land

Steve Hollingworth noted that this would be discussed alongside item 7.

 

Update on leases

Steve Hollingworth noted that officers had a positive meeting with Kensington Dragons Football Club (KDFC), and most actions had been resolved. However, KDFC requested a change from a 25 year to a 40-year lease. Steve Hollingworth noted that further advice needed to be obtained and the Council was exploring this option with the Property team.

 

The Chair requested that clear guidance be gathered from the Property team and circulated to members before a decision was made.

 

The Committee unanimously agreed to delegate authority to the Chair to approve the extension of lease to 40 years once further guidance and advice was received.

 

 

Action: Steve Hollingworth

Tennis Courts

Steve Hollingworth noted that a licence to use the old tennis courts to the South of Linford Christie Stadium by the Hospital’s development contractor had resulted in the discovery of asbestos. Therefore, the asbestos would need to be removed before the tennis courts could be used. Part of the cost for this would need to be offset against the income received for the licence.

 

It was noted that the details of the lease and the extent of the repairs required for the residential property Park Lodge were still being explored so that an options paper could be presented to the Committee.

 

The Chair asked for further clarification to be provided around the timeframe for resolving the asbestos issue. Steve Hollingworth explained that he didn’t have details on the exact timeframe for removing the asbestos. However, work would commence to ensure that this was removed as soon as possible.

 

Councillor Helen Rowbottom asked that the area be clearly sign posted, notifying the public of the works that would be carried out for the asbestos.

 

 

Implementing Strategic Governance Review Recommendations

Steve Hollingworth noted that the terms of reference for this review were still awaiting legal advice. The Committee would be updated when this was completed.

 

The proposed job description for the project manager role to support the implementation of the review recommendations had been circulated to Members for comments.

 

The Chair asked for further clarification to be provided on the key responsibilities for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Grounds Maintenance Update Report pdf icon PDF 131 KB

The Committee is asked to note and approve all matters in the report.

Minutes:

Richard Gill, Advisor to the Trust, presented the report.

 

Richard Gill provided an update on the new management contract for the maintenance of the grounds. The plan was to publish an OJEU advert pre-Christmas and expressions of interest would be received by the end of January 2021. An evaluation would be carried out in February 2021 and a request for tenders for the GM Contract would be made. The AEM works were proposed to be tendered in the summer of 2021 and the new GM contract would not start until February 2022.

 

Richard Gill noted that there would be an opportunity to include a Member of the Trust on the tender evaluation panel. The Chair agreed that that it would be useful to have a Member of the Trust and a Co-opted Member on the panel.

 

Stephen Waley-Cohen (Co-opted Member) asked when the tender specification would be put together. In response Richard Gill explained that a draft specification had already been set out and this would be sent with the expressions of interest. It was noted that this document would be circulated to Committee Members to review and make comments.

 

Action: Richard Gill

 

Richard Gill noted that it was proposed that the area of the new AEM works (predominantly the western side of the Scrubs) was not included in the GM contract at this stage. It would instead remain with the contractor responsible for the implementation and management of the AEM works. This would have two significant advantages as outlined below:

·       An extended defects liability period for the works would be provided by the contractor.

·       The establishment period would be paid for from the AEM works budget providing a significant saving to the Wormwood Scrubs GM budget for at least five years.

 

Miriam Shea (Co-opted member) expressed her concerns around two separate contractors managing the Scrubs simultaneously and noted that it would be useful for the Members of the Trust to have clarity on how the expenses would be managed going forward for each contractor including the management of the trees. In response Richard Gill noted that a financial specification for all the contractors would be circulated to Committee Members.

Action; Richard Gill

 

Resolved:

That the Committee:

-        Approved the management of the AEM works as separate from the GM contract scope for a five-year defect’s liability period, then would be added to the contract.

-        Approved the management of Trees of Wormwood scrubs within Lot 4 of the GM contract scope.

-        Noted all other matters in the report.

 

8.

HS2 Alternative Access Report pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Minutes:

Steve Hollingworth introduced the report and summarised the key points. It was noted that the report outlined the ecological and other implications of the route from Braybrook Street approved under the government’s HS2 Act (2017) and the actions needed by the Trust and other organisations to enable an alternative access point and route from Old Oak Common Lane to be used instead.

 

HS2 already had authority to do this under the Act of Parliament, including access to certain parts of the Scrubs. The Trust had taken legal advice and had no powers to stop these works. However, there was significant concern over the potential impact on the ecology of the Scrubs and the amenity of residents living in Braybrook Street, and the Trust would do all it can to protect valuable wildlife and local people.

 

The Council was working hard on behalf of the residents, Scrub users and the Trust to provide an alternative access, that was far less disruptive to residents and had potentially less impact on the ecology of the Scrubs; by proposing a different access from Old Oak Common Lane.

 

Steve Hollingworth gave a presentation to help understand the steps required to deliver the alternative access route from Old Oak Common Lane. He showed slides of the indicative maps for the access roads, images of where the roads would be placed and the route to the sewer realignment works by light vehicles to carry out vegetation clearance across the Scrubs. An overview of the outline programme for the alternative access road, including ecological considerations and surveys was also provided.

 

The Chair noted that the Committee had received a series of questions and comments from residents regarding the alternative access route, covering the following topics:

 

·       Maps showing the HS2 site footprint

·       Details of the tree and ecological Surveys

·       Details of HS2’s species translocation plans

·       Plans for the lizard colony and to protect wildlife.

·       Contact details for the independent ecologist

·       A detailed schedule of the 24-hour piling works.

·       A guarantee that any felled trees would be replaced by mature trees

 

Officers provided detailed responses during the course of the meeting.  Full details can be viewed here

 

Councillor Belinda Donovan asked if bat surveys had been carried out. In response Sebastian Dunnett noted surveys conducted had identified very low numbers of bats around the northern embankment of the Scrubs and further details of this could be found in the protected species report 2018.

 

Councillor Belinda Donovan asked for further clarification to be provided on the size of the land for the HS2 access route. In response Peter Wilson noted that the area required by the access road from Braybrook Street was approximately 1800 square metres.

 

Stephen Waley-Cohen (Co-opted Member) expressed his concerns around the overuse of the meadow area, whilst these works would be carried out. He asked if the Council had any plans to mitigate these concerns. Steve Hollingworth explained that if access was provided via Old Oak Common Road, then the main access via Braybrook Street would be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.