Venue: Board Room - Town Hall. View directions
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Appointment of new Chairperson
KM opened the meeting by asking Councillors for nominations for Chair.
LSy nominated Councillor Thomas (J) and the nomination was seconded but when put to a vote, the nomination was lost.
CL nominated Councillor Cowell and the nomination was seconded by RH and when put to a vote, the nomination was carried. Councillor Darren Cowell was elected as Chair of the Oldway Working Party.
Exclusion of the Press & Public
To consider passing a resolution to exclude the press and public from the meeting prior to consideration of the following items on the agenda on the grounds that exempt information (as defined in Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) is likely to be disclosed.
Minutes were agreed as read by LSy
o Security Contract
o Oldway Artefacts
Security Contract - KM provided an update on the Security contract issue for Oldway. KM advised that he had met with the new Security provider to come up with a solution to reduce the costs of the existing contract. KM advised that he had also met with the Council’s corporate security officer, Steve Cox, to ask if he can assist with a solution. He would like to talk with the new Administration and the new members of the Working Party, to gain their feedback on what they would like to happen with regards to security measures for Oldway. - ACTION - Steve Cox to attend next meeting.
KM advised that it had been identified earlier this year that the fire alarm system needed to be replaced and he therefore asked that the Security Contractor undertake their own risk assessment on their staff entering the building and currently they are satisfied that the security guards can work alone inside Oldway. However, Council officers are reviewing this risk from a landlord perspective.
CR asked if there had been any update on a live-in hall keeper position or with the police having a base in Oldway - KM advised that he has not progressed the live-in position further due to the recent issues highlighted with health and safety. The Police issue has not been progressed as the enquiry had gone cold.
SD asked if there are any logs kept by the security contractor of any incidents that are reported. KM advised that he will speak with the security contractor to find out and provide feedback on this information at the next meeting - ACTION - KM/LS & Stuart Left
DC asked if there was any update on upgrading the CCTV system. KM advised that a quote was received to purchase a new system (via the security contractor) which could be monitored by the security company, with no need for an officer to be on-site 24 hours a day. KM will be discussing this proposal with Steve Cox and also whether the existing cameras could be upgraded and linked in with the corporate CCTV system. - ACTION - Steve Cox to attend next meeting.
Oldway Artefacts - KM advised that a portrait which was identified as being stored in Oldway has been arranged to be removed and stored in a secure place along with other valuable artefacts.
KM issued a copy of the current budget update for all and long discussion was had.
ACTION - LS to send Steve Darling a copy of the budget update from SH.
ACTION - KM/LS to try and find out further information on Utilities costs
Health & Safety findings - Fire alarm/Emergency lighting
KM updated the Working Party that these issues came to light when there was a community event scheduled for April and a fire risk assessment was carried out which identified the building as not safe to be opened to the general public.
KM advised that both identified issues with regards to the fire alarm system and the emergency lighting are in hand and underway as they were classified as essential.
KM advised that the Health & Safety officer and Neil Coish from Natural Environment have recently taken a trip around the grounds of Oldway to check for further issues and have made some proposals that parts of the garden should be fenced off. NC provided an update that it is the Grotto area that has been identified as unsafe for public access. NC advised that there are recommendations suggested to fence off several areas include the grotto area, a section at the back of the building, some fire escapes and at the back of the old tennis courts where an unfenced drop existed.
NC also advised that some fencing was being taken down around the old tennis courts as the space was being abused by dog walkers and easier access garden machinery would permit more cost effective grass cutting.
NC has met with a contractor today and has requested for costing details to be provided for the fencing if required. - ACTION - LS to distribute the fencing plan which shows the proposals
DC agreed for this item to be deferred until the next meeting for plans to be sent out, costs to be identified and for the Working Party to go and look at the identified areas.
KM advised that currently Tor2 are contracted to maintain the Oldway Grounds and KM has asked NC to look into reducing the operating cost. KM has terminated the current contract with Tor2, which expires in August 2019.
NC advised that after the contract ends with Tor2 it will change into an ordered service only i.e. works will only be ordered as and when a service is needed. NC advised that savings identified are reducing the seasonal flower beds and having a team attending once a month only to maintain the gardens. This will protect the listed status of the garden and only carry out the bare minimum of grounds maintenance required.
KM is not aware as yet as to how much the saving will be for this year for the reduced grounds maintenance so is still identified in the budget as the full amount.
NC advised that there is a strong volunteer element involved in maintaining Oldway Gardens and hopefully this will continue even after the termination of the contract. He is going to be meeting with the Hollicombe Community Centre people, who assist with the volunteering, to discuss future involvement with the grounds maintenance.
Future Oldway Trust
KM advised that the recommendations from the consultants (DCA) was to consider forming a Trust and part of their work brief was to assist Torbay Council in forming the trust. KM advised that a Memorandum of Understanding was required for the Trust to be formed which is required to be signed by the Council. However, this was put on hold pending the new Administration being appointed. KM advised that a meeting is going to be held shortly with the new Working Party Chairman and the responsible Cabinet Member to discuss how this is to be progressed. DC agreed with KM and that Oldway is considered by the new Cabinet as a heritage asset priority.
CR provided an update on DCA’s previous experience at Insole Court, near Cardiff.
DCA Update Report
KM advised that the DCA Update report was circulated by LS for all to read prior to the meeting and discussion was had over the update report.
KM advised that he will arrange for DCA to come down to meet with DC as Chairman and the new Cabinet Member, Swithin Long.
LS to resend the original DCA report to all of the Working Party members - ACTION - LS
Any Other Business
DC advised that he formally would like to appoint CR as an external community member of the Working Party and this was agreed by all other members of the Working Party. CR advised that he hoped to be the lead trustee for the proposed Oldway Trust, with support from Paul Hawthorne and Anna Tolchard, as other trustees. KM confirmed that once the Trust is formed they would not have any immediate involvement in the day to day running of the Oldway grounds but they could assist with the volunteer effort.
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