Farms Estate

Committee Minutes

Thu Jul 30 2009

Related Documents:
agenda for these minutes

Present:-

Councillors Brook (Chairman), Bowden, Chugg, Fowler, Lee, Taylor and Yabsley

Also Present:-

Mr Latham (Tenants Representative) and Mr Glanvill (Devon Federation of Young Farmers Clubs Representative)

*FE/3 Minutes

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 1 July 2009 be signed as a correct record.

*FE/4 Urgent Business: Bovine Tuberculosis

(An item taken under Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972)

The Chairman had decided that the Committee should take this item as a matter of urgency because of the need for a response to be made to the NFU as soon as possible.

The Chairman reported that the National Farmers Union intended to apply to the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for the funding needed to employ four specialist advisers on bovine tuberculosis in the south west and had invited interested parties to express their support for the application.

The Committee agreed that the employment of the advisers would be in the best interests of the regional farming industry.

It was MOVED by Councillor Lee, SECONDED by Councillor Chugg and

RESOLVED that a letter be sent to the NFU expressing the Committee s full support for the NFU s application for RDPE funding.

*FE/5 Revenue Budget 2008/09 (Outturn) and 2009/10 (Month 3)

The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance (CX/09/62 - text only | pdf supplementary information CX/09/62) on the County Farms Estate Revenue Budget 2008/09 outturn and 2009/10 (Month 3) monitoring statement.

The Estate had achieved an outturn surplus of 303,623 for 2008/09 compared with a target surplus of 234,000. The 2009/10 budget was on target.

It was MOVED by Councillor Brook, SECONDED by Councillor Chugg and

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

*FE/6 Usable Capital Receipts Reserve

The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance (CX/09/63 - text only | pdf supplementary information CX/09/63) on the current position of the Usable Capital Receipts Reserve for the County Farms Estate.

The final outturn for 2008/09 was a surplus of 2,087,000 compared with a projected surplus of 1,642,000. This increase was mainly due to a 100% capital receipt (Hurston Farm). The forecast outturn for 2009/10 was a surplus of 1,922,000.

It was MOVED by Councillor Yabsley, SECONDED by Councillor Lee and

RESOLVED

(a) that the report be noted;

(b) that the Chief Executive be asked to look into value for money issues relating to works associated with preserving the capital asset value of traditional buildings with latent development potential.

*FE/7 Estate Management Strategy and Plan Post 2012 (Min. FE2/1 July 2009)

The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance (CX/09/68 - text only | pdf supplementary information CX/09/68) setting out draft Terms of Reference for a comprehensive review of the Devon County Council Farm Management Strategy and Plan.

It was pointed out that during the course of the review issues might arise which were outside the terms of reference but would need to be investigated.

It was MOVED by Councillor Brook, SECONDED by Councillor Bowden and

RESOLVED

(a) that the draft Terms of Reference for the Estate Management Strategy and Plan review be approved and the review process be commenced as soon as practically possible;

(b) that Councillor Yabsley be appointed as the second member of the Committee to serve on the Review Group;

(c) that when considering expressions of interest for extended terms of tenancy under the exceptional circumstances policy, the relationship with the Estate Management Strategy and Plan review and possible variation to the standard length of tenancies offered by the Estate be borne in mind.

*FE/8 Matters of Urgency

The Committee noted the action taken by the Chairman, in accordance with Part 3 of the County Council s Constitution, in:

(a) approving the expenditure of 140,000 plus fees from the corporate compliance NVZ capital programme for the provision of a legislative compliant slurry store at Markhams Farm, Ide (Councillor Hosking);

(b) approving the expenditure of 31,000 inclusive of fees from the Usable Capital Receipts Reserve 2009/10 on upgrading the electricity supply at Parks Farm, Crediton (Councillor Hosking);

(c) approving an expenditure from the Usable Capital Receipts Reserve 2009/10 for the potential acquisition by private treaty of a block of 60 acres or thereabouts of land (Councillor Brook).

*FE/9 Management and Restructuring Issues

(In accordance with Standing Order 25(2), Councillor Giles attended and spoke on the item relating to land at Thorne Farm, Ottery St Mary. He declared a personal interest by virtue of being a member of East Devon District Council and Ottery St Mary Town Council and a Governor of The Kings School, Ottery St Mary)

The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance (CX/09/64 - text only | pdf CX/09/64) on proposals for County Farms Estate management and restructuring in accordance with the aims and objectives of the approved Estate Management Strategy and Plan 2002 to 2012.

It was reported that Councillor Spence, as the local County Councillor, supported the proposal relating to land at Monkerton Farm, Pinhoe.

It was MOVED by Councillor Yabsley, SECONDED by Councillor Lee and

RESOLVED as follows:

(a) Land at Monkerton Farm, Pinhoe

(i) that subject to terms being agreed, a Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 lease excluding security of tenure be granted for a term of 5 years commencing 25 March 2010 and terminating 25 March 2015 to St Luke s Community College, Pinhoe of part Field OS No. 0005 for the sole purpose of providing a practical learning experience for students undertaking the Land Based Rural Studies Diploma at the College;

(ii) that the exact area of land to be let be confirmed once the area of land required by the Highways Authority for works associated with the adjacent bridge strengthening scheme has been ascertained.

(b) Land at Thorne Farm, Ottery St Mary

that in principle and subject to contract, the County Council let to the Ottery St Mary Town Council or East Devon District Council part OS 6230 (extending to 0.56 acres or thereabouts) on a Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 lease excluding security of tenure for a term of 20 years commencing 25 March 2010 and terminating 25 March 2030 for the sole purpose of providing a community BMX/Skate Park.

(c) Part Cordwents Farm, Halberton

that part OS 142 (extending to 0.005 acres or thereabouts) as edged red on the plan displayed at the meeting be declared permanently surplus to the operational requirements of the Estate and sold to the owner of 3 Lower Town Cottages, Halberton, subject to terms to be agreed.

(d) West Ford Farm, Drewsteignton

that two parts of OS 0066 extending to 0.97 acres or thereabouts of land at West Ford Farm, Drewsteignton be declared permanently surplus to the operational requirements of the Estate in accordance with the approved Estate Plan and sold with all that land and property previously declared surplus under Committee resolution *FE/179(b) of 30 April 2009.

*FE/10 The County Farms Estate - Annual Report 2008/09

The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance (CX/09/65 - text only | pdf CX/09/65) incorporating the eighteenth annual report on the County Farms Estate. 2008/09 was the seventh year of the second ten year Estate Management Strategy and Plan.

The report covered: committee functions; financial performance and indicators; Estate management performance; CIPFA statistics comparison; and wider rural regeneration and corporate service delivery objectives.

It was MOVED by Councillor Lee, SECONDED by Councillor Fowler and

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

*FE/11 Exclusion of the Press and Public

RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of Schedule 12A of the Act, namely information relating to, and which is likely to reveal, the identity of an applicant for a holding and information relating to the financial or business affairs of that person and, in accordance with Section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, by virtue of the fact that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

*FE/12 Requests for Extensions of Progression Tenancy

(Councillor Lee declared a personal interest by virtue of being acquainted with the tenant referred to in Paragraph 4. Councillor Yabsley declared a personal interest by virtue of being the local County Councillor for the tenant referred to in Paragraph 5)

The Committee considered a report of the Chief Executive (CX/09/66) on requests from progression tenants for an extension to the term of their tenancy agreements.

It was MOVED by Councillor Brook, SECONDED by Councillor Chugg and

RESOLVED

(a) that the tenants involved be asked to attend an interview at each of their respective holdings before a decision is made on their requests at the next meeting;

(b) that the interviews be undertaken by the full Committee on 20 August 2009.

*FE/13 Position Statement relating to Tenants currently under Notice to Quit (Min. FE/2(e)/1 July 2009)

The Committee considered a report of the Chief Executive (CX/09/67) on the circumstances of Estate tenants currently under Notice to Quit and those tenants whose tenancy agreements were due to expire in the foreseeable future.

It was MOVED by Councillor Yabsley, SECONDED by Councillor Bowden and

RESOLVED

(a) that the report be noted;

(b) to agree to the erection by the landlord of a new, general purpose building at Southacott Farm, Mariansleigh on the understanding that the tenant will finish the building internally and will be responsible for any pollution control measures/NVZ requirements that may be required if livestock are housed in the building;

(c) (i) that the tenant of Southacott Farm, Mariansleigh be given an absolute deadline of 31 August 2009 to accept the offer of tenancy for Lower Uppacott Farm, Mariansleigh;

(ii) that if the offer is not accepted by that date it be withdrawn; and

(iii) that in the event of (ii) above arising, NPS South West Ltd be instructed to advertise Lower Uppacott Farm, Mariansleigh to let as an 85 acre starter holding to new entrants on the open market for a term of 5 years commencing 25 March 2010, subject to terms being agreed.

*FE/14 The County Farms Estate Bad Debts

(Councillor Chugg declared a personal interest by virtue of being acquainted with debtor no. 67761)

The Committee considered a joint report of the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance (CX/09/69) on the circumstances of tenants in rental arrears.

It was MOVED by Councillor Lee, SECONDED by Councillor Fowler and

RESOLVED

(a) that the County Solicitor be instructed to pursue debt and possession proceedings against debtor nos. 22674, 140443 and 60453;

(b) that a letter be sent by the Senior Land Agent to debtor nos. 62625 and 34492 requiring them to pay within one month of the date of the letter or debt recovery and possibly possession proceedings will be put in the hands of the County Solicitor.

*DENOTES DELEGATED MATTER WITH POWER TO ACT

The meeting started at 2.15pm and finished at 4.55.pm

The Minutes of the Farms Estate Committee are published on the County Council s Website at: http://www.devon.gov.uk/dcc/committee/mingifs.html

Date Published: Wed Aug 12 2009