Cabinet Sub-Committee (Council Charities) Minutes

Tuesday, 29th April, 2014
Committee Room 3, Council Offices, Gernon Road, Letchworth Garden City

Attendance Details

Councillor Bernard Lovewell (Chairman), Councillor P.C.W. Burt and Councillor David Levett.
In attendance:
Senior Estates Surveyor, Acting Senior Lawyer, Property Solicitor and Committee & Member Services Manager.
Also Present:
Mr Jim Wilcock, Brown & Lee Chartered Surveyors - Independent Surveyor.
Item Description/Decision
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting of the Sub-Committee held on 14 January 2014 be taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
There was no notification of other business.
The Chairman reminded Members that, in line with the Code of Conduct, any Declarations of Interest needed to be declared immediately prior to the item in question.
There was no public participation.
RESOLVED: That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the said Act (as amended).

  • Report
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    Appendix A
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    Appendix B
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    Appendix C
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    Appendix C1
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    Appendix D1
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    Appendix D2
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    Appendix D3
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    Appendix D4
The Sub-Committee considered a Part 2 report of the Head of Finance, Performance and Asset Management in respect of a number of issues relating to the ongoing management of the King George V Playing Fields, Hitchin. The following appendices were submitted with the report:

Appendix A - Heads of Terms;
Appendix B - Latest version of the draft lease;
Appendix C - Draft Management Agreement; and
Appendix D - Plans.

The Acting Senior Lawyer advised that the report set out the progress on the Lease and Management Agreement relating to the Playing Fields since the previous Sub-Committee meeting held on 14 January 2014, and following on from the Heads of Terms subsequently negotiated by the Independent Surveyor with Hitchin Rugby Club.

The Acting Senior Lawyer stated that further meetings had been held between officers and the Rugby Club and their solicitors in respect of the Lease and Management Agreement, in accordance with the agreed Heads of Terms. Substantial agreement had been reached on both documents.

In response to a Member’s question, the Acting Senior Lawyer explained that he had intended for the matter to be considered and determined by Fields in Trust at their meeting held on 20 March 2014, but that Fields in Trust had not managed to prepare certain paperwork in time for submission to that meeting. However, Fields in Trust had confirmed that the matter would not need to wait until the next of their quarterly meetings, and that they planned to determine the matter in the interim.

The Property Solicitor updated the Sub-Committee on some further proposed amendments to the Lease in respect of the Management Payment; Permitted Part; Underletting; and completion date for Phase 1 of the development works.

The Sub-Committee supported the proposed Lease submitted as Appendix B to the report, together with the amendments referred to by the Property Solicitor.

The Property Solicitor updated the Sub-Committee on some further proposed amendments to the Management Agreement regarding Clause 5 (Public Events); Clause 6 (User Group); and Clause 8 (Financial Arrangements).

The Sub-Committee was supportive of the amendments to Clauses 5 and 6, but was of the view that a re-negotiation should take place with the Rugby Club regarding Clause 8 to allow the Trust to minimise its financial liability.

The Senior Estates Surveyor raised the matter of the licensing fee payable by the organisers of the 2014 Beer Festival at the Rugby Club. The Sub-Committee considered that the Council’s full applicable licensing fee should be paid in relation to the Beer Festival.

The Sub-Committee thanked the Independent Surveyor for his work in agreeing the Heads of Terms with the Rugby Club, and Council Officers for their on-going work with Club and their solicitors in respect of the Lease and Management Agreement.


(1) That the Lease Agreement attached at Appendix B to the report, as amended, be approved, subject to the proposed recommendations including those matters set out in Paragraphs 7.2 to 7.5 of the report, deriving from negotiations with the Hitchin Rugby Club’s legal advisers and the agreement of Fields in Trust;

(2) That the Management Agreement attached at Appendix C to the report, as amended, be approved, in principle, subject to a re-negotiation regarding Clause 8 to allow the Trust to minimise its financial liability, and subject also to Fields in Trust approval;

(3) That a clause allowing the Hitchin Rugby Club to under let be agreed;

(4) That the inclusion of a break clause in the lease, permitting the Club to terminate the lease if the playing pitches become unavailable or unfit for use, be agreed; and

(5) That the consent be given, in principle, to the Phases 1 to 4 of the development works proposed by the Club.

REASON FOR DECISION: To secure that the Trust property is managed in the best interests of the Charitable Trust’s main purpose, which is as “a recreation and playing field, to be preserved in perpetuity as a memorial to King George V, under the provisions of King George’s Fields Foundation”.
Published on Thursday, 15th May, 2014