Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE
Contact: Graham Seal
To receive apologies for absence, if any.
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors M.Birleson, J.Boulton, A.Chesterman, L.Chesterman, M.Cowan, J.Fitzpatrick, S.Glick, K.Holman, A.Rohale and P.Zukowskyj.
To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2018 (circulated separately).
The Minutes of the meeting held on 19 September 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.
LEADER OF THE COUNCIL - COUNCILLOR MANDY PERKINS
The Mayor will ask all those present at the meeting to observe a minute’s silence in memory of Mandy and afterwards invite Councillors to make their tributes following the very sad news of her death on 29 September 2018.
The Council observed a minute’s silence in memory of Mandy following the very sad news of her death on 29 September 2018.
Mandy’s husband David was at the meeting and the Council extended their sympathy and condolences to David and his family on their loss which they shared with them.
The Mayor paid her own tribute to Mandy and then invited Councillors to make their tributes, starting with Group Leaders.
Councillors paid tribute to Mandy and words were also read out from Members who could not be present at the meeting.
Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) seeking agreement to set aside a capital budget to invest in office accommodation.
(Note: A special Cabinet meeting is being held immediately before this Special Council meeting to consider this item and confirmation of the Cabinet’s agreement to it will be given at the meeting).
Report of the Corporate Director (Resources, Environment and Cultural Services) asking the Council to agree to add £8M to the capital programme for the current year for the purchase of properties suitable to replicate the Weltech Business Centre operation model.
The existing Weltech Business Centre in Welwyn Garden City hosted 49 businesses and had been a success. It was designed to support start-ups and small businesses. All units were fully let and the Council had from time to time had to turn businesses away.
It therefore acted as a spur to business development within the Borough, as well as producing a return for taxpayers through the rental income generated.
The success of the Weltech facility meant that the Council was interested in replicating the facility elsewhere in the Borough. Such an investment would make a significant positive contribution to economic development within the Borough and the return generated for the General Fund would help support the services the Council provided to residents.
At present, there was not a capital budget for an additional Weltech-style facility. This meant that, were a suitable investment of this nature to present itself, a Special Council meeting would have to be convened to approve any specific investment. Due to the tight timescales involved in commercial property acquisition, this could put the Council at a disadvantage in the bidding process.
The Special Cabinet meeting held immediately before this meeting had recommended that an amount of £8M be added to the 2018/19 capital budget for the purposes of replicating the Weltech facility elsewhere in the Borough (Minute 63 refers).
It was moved by Councillor D.Bell, seconded by Councillor T.Kingsbury and
That the Council agrees that £8M be added to the current year’s capital programme for the purchase of properties suitable to replicate the Weltech Business Centre operation model as recommended in the report and by the Special Cabinet meeting held immediately before this Special Council meeting.