Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King's Lynn PE30 5DQ. View directions
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Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from L Gore (substitute O Judges) and M Drewery (substitute C Holland).
Deep Dive into Projects
The Chair explained that four projects had been identified at the previous meeting and advised that the Board would consider the Guildhall and the Southgates at today’s meeting. NORA 4 and Southend Road, Hunstanton would be presented to a future meeting.
Members Access to Information
In response to questions from the Chair on Members Access to Information, the Principal Lawyer explained that Members had the right to access any information unless there was a specific reason why they would not be able to access information.
Guildhall Working Group
The Manager – PMO explained this would be addressed under the Agenda item – Action Log.
Please indicate if there are any interests which should be declared. A declaration of an interest should indicate the nature of the interest (if not already declared on the Register of Interests) and the agenda item to which it relates. If a disclosable pecuniary interest is declared, the Member should withdraw from the room whilst the matter is discussed.
These declarations apply to all Members present, whether the Member is part of the meeting, attending to speak as a local Member on any item or simply observing the meeting from the public seating area.
There were no declarations of interest.
Urgent Business under Standing Order 7
To consider any business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chairman proposed to accept as urgent under Section 100(b)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.
There was no urgent business.
Members pursuant to Standing Order 34
Members wishing to speak pursuant to Standing Order 34 should inform the Chair of their intention to do so and on what items they wish to be heard before a decision on that item is taken.
Councillors S Ring was present under Standing Order 34.
The Manager – Programme Management Office (PMO) presented the report circulated with the Agenda. It was highlighted that the work planned by the S151 Officer and finance team to restructure the Capital Programme over the next few months may impact on these and the Board was informed that it was intended to align the definitions given above for Place Directorate projects, with the finance work, in due course. A further update will be brought to MMPB at the meeting in March 2024 if the finance team have completed their work on the Capital Programme.
The Chair thanked the Manager – PMO for the report and invited questions and comments from the Board, a summary of which is set out below.
In response to questions from Councillor Blunt regarding the process for getting Tier 3 projects into the process, the Manager – PMO explained that Tier 3 projects were no different from the current process of projects being identified and worked on, via Portfolio Holders and added that there was no written document setting out the process. The Manager – PMO outlined the work being undertaken by the Finance Team to align the Capital Programme and commented that this may then be able to be put in place to align with the major projects reported to MMPB.
The Assistant Director, Property and Place explained that the amendments to the Capital Programme would require Cabinet and Council approval and that ideas/proposals would be brought through the democratic process involving the Policy and Development Panels. The Board was reminded that Cabinet decided which projects were “major projects.”
The Chair gave an example of Baxter’s Plain being a Tier 3 project. The Vice Chair advised that a presentation had been received by a Policy and Development Panel and the information was in the public domain.
Councillor Blunt expressed concern that there was no written document setting out the process of getting a Tier 3 project into the system.
Councillor Dickinson expressed concern regarding projects that have been ongoing for some time and in some cases longer than the Capital Programme and added that there was nowhere where Members could see the progress of costs. The Chair highlighted the importance of monitoring projects and gave examples of Southend Road, Hunstanton and NORA and agreed that all reports presented to the MMPB should include cost monitoring information.
The Assistant Director, Property and Projects referred to the Florence Fields project and explained that the Officer Major Projects Board (OMPB) had recently challenged the financial summary section within the Project Highlight reports template and work is being undertaken to update this. It was advised that over time it was anticipated that the reports received by the MMPB would be aligned with the capital programme in time. .
The Executive Director, Place outlined the work which was being undertaken on continuous improvement to the reporting process for MMPB.
The Assistant Director, Property and Projects informed the Board ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
The Assistant Director, Property and Projects explained that other internal project boards within the Council were using an action log to ensure that all points were picked up and monitored and this was now being put into place for MMPB
The action log would be updated and circulated with all future agendas.
The Manager – PMO explained that the action log itself would be updated and circulated to the MMPB in a timely way and that the log should mean officers can be more responsive over points / queries raised by Members.
Councillor Morley highlighted the importance of some correlation between the MMPB action log and the Corporate Risk Register, where relevant. In response, the Manager – PMO undertook to ensure this was addressed.
With regard to the Guildhall Working Group, which was one of the queries raised at the previous MMPB meeting, the Manager – PMO explained that the minutes and terms of reference of the group had been reviewed; and that Democratic Services had advised that the group was in the process of being disbanded.
RESOLVED: The Board noted:
• The proposal for the council’s Programme Management Office (PMO) to run the Action Log approach to assist Board Members with queries/issues.
• That logs will be published with subsequent meeting papers, for information.
The Board received a presentation (copy attached to the Agenda) from the Assistant Director, Regeneration, Housing and Place.
The Chair thanked the Assistant Director for the presentation and invited questions and comments from the Board, a summary of which is set out below.
The Assistant Director responded to questions and comments from Councillor Parish on the Borough Council’s and CIO’s income stream.
The Chair highlighted the importance of the Governance document being approved by the CIO and the Borough Council.
The Assistant Director referred to a Cabinet report in 2022 which had delegated establishment of the CIO to officers, Portfolio Holders and the Guildhall Working Group. The Assistant Director explained that thought would need to be given to work relating to the governance agreement going forward and discussions would be held with the Portfolio Holder/Cabinet.
The Chair added that the above proposal seemed sensible and discussion on appropriate delegation would follow.
Councillor Ring commented that it was key for fundraising to be included in the governance document. In response, the Assistant Director explained that discussions would be held with the CIO and Trustees on objectives which reflected fund raising arrangements.
The Principal Lawyer provided clarification on the charitable objects.
The Executive Director, Place provided an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the Trustees.
In response to questions from Councillor Blunt on who would write and approve the governance agreement, the Assistant Director explained that it would be a legal agreement drafted by the Borough Council’s solicitor and the CIO would appoint their own solicitor and the mechanism for signing off the final agreement would be discussed with Cabinet.
The Chair referred to the 2022 Cabinet report and added that the delegated authority may not now be appropriate and suggested the debate should be reopened. The Chair added that it was important for the Governance Agreement to be correct for both the Borough Council and the CIO and therefore further discussions should take place.
The Executive Director, Place advised that a report would be brought back to the MMPB setting out the decision making process, etc. at the appropriate time.
In response to a comment from Councillor Moriarty on the footprint of the site, the Assistant Director confirmed it was the entire footprint of the site and undertook to circulate a plan outlining ownerships to the Board.
Councillor Ware advised that it would be usual to agree Heads of Terms prior to starting to draft the Governance Agreement. The Assistant Director explained that the Council had draft Heads of Terms in place and undertook to bring a copy to the Board.
Councillor Morley highlighted the importance of the Governance Agreement and the decision making process/approval by Cabinet/Full Council and emphasised that requirement for sustainability wording to be included within the document. Councillor Morley echoed the comments made by the Board on objectives on fund raising being agreed by the CIO and the Borough Council and added that the ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
The Manager – PMO presented the report as at 30 September 2023 and explained that there were 15 major projects monitored by the Board. Of the 15 major projects, the RAG ratings at that date were – 1 = red, 9 = amber and 5 = green. The report provided information on the overall status and included commentary.
The Chair thanked the Manager – PMO for the report and invited comments and questions from the Board.
There were no comments or questions from the Board or those Councillors attending under Standing Order 34.
RESOLVED: The report was noted
The Executive Director, Place presented the report on the following projects and explained that it was hoped that there would be more alignment in 2024 and eventually reports would only be only one month behind.
NORA EZ Infrastructure Project
NORA EZ Development of Spec Units – Phase 1
Parkway (Florence Fields)
Southend Road Project
West Winch Growth Area
Southgates Programme Placemaking Project
St George’s Guildhall and Creative Hub
Active and Clean Connectivity Project
Rail to River – Public Realm Project
Multi-User Community Hub
3G Sports Pitch
NORA EZ Infrastructure Project
The Assistant Director, Property and Projects provided an overview of the requirement for an urgent cabinet report following consultation with the Leader of the Council.
In response to a question from the Chair, the Assistant Director, Property and Projects explained that there had been less contaminated material on site than anticipated, however the final costs were not yet known
Councillor Morley commented on the Capital Programme and stated that if the MMPB was to be efficient it needed to receive up to date information. In response, the Assistant Director, Property and Projects recognised that this presents an issue and Senior Management Team have asked officers to re-profile the capital programme and outlined the work being carried out in the Finance Team to provide a financial summary with the most up to date information.
Following comments from the Chair, the Executive Director, Place reiterated that the work currently being undertaken by the Finance Team would inform the Capital Programme and linked to the major projects reporting process.
The Chair thanked officers for the significant amount of work being carried out in relation to this project.
Florence Fields (Parkway)
The Chair informed the Board that he had recently attended a meeting on site with the Contractor and explained that although the wet weather was having an impact on the works, there was scope to catch up.
Southend Road, Hunstanton
Councillor Parish stated that this project had presented a significant challenge and explained that a discussion had taken place at the previous meeting on the flats being available for those people with a local connection. In response, the Executive Director explained that the local condition had been added.
Multi User Community Hub
The Chair explained that Baxters Plain had been referenced as a Tier 3 project and presented to a recent Town Deal Board indicating that there had been positive public engagement and a useful design had been proposed. The Chair flagged to officers that there was no financial provision for Baxters Plain.
Councillor Moriarty commented that changes had occurred since the 30 September 2023 to the West Winch project and other projects and that at the next meeting scheduled for March the information to be presented would still be two months behind. In response, the Manager – PMO explained that the March meeting information would be receive for the period October ... view the full minutes text for item 10.
The Board noted the Officer Major Project Board (OMPB) Minutes.
In response to questions from Councillor Moriarty on membership of OMPB and there being no officer present to provide updates on West Winch, the Manager – PMO confirmed the membership and terms of reference of the OMPB.
The Executive Director, Place explained that relevant officers were invited to attend when required for specific projects.
The Manager – PMO explained that the Technical Adviser who previously worked at the Council had recommended that the membership of the OMPB be reduced in order to free up officer capacity and ensure focussed input.
The Board received a presentation from the Regeneration Programmes Manager.
The Chair thanked the Regeneration Programmes Manager for the presentation and invited comments and questions.
There were no questions and comments from the Board.
The Board was invited to submit any comments/questions to the Regeneration Programmes Manager which would be presented to the next meeting of the MMPB.
RESOLVED: The Board noted the content of the presentation.
The Manager – PMO explained that after May 2024 MMPB meetings would be scheduled on a quarterly basis.
The following items were identified:
· Response to questions/comments from the Board on the presentation on the Deep Dive presentation on the Southgates Area.
· Deep Dive - Guildhall
Date of Next Meeting
27 March 2023 at 1 pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, King’s Lynn.
27 March 2023, 1 pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, King’s Lynn.