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Contact: Katharine Simpson Senior Democratic Services Officer
Declarations of Interest
Members are invited to declare any interests they may have with respect to matters which are to be considered at the meeting. Members who consider that they may have an interest are invited to consult the Monitoring Officer or Democratic Services Officer prior to the meeting.
Councillor Shaun Garrett declared a non-pecuniary interest as he was the Council’s appointed representative on the Board of Collectively Camberley Ltd.
To receive and note the procedure that will be followed during the consideration of the Call In of an Executive Decision.
The Committee noted the procedure that would be followed during the meeting.
To consider a Member Call-In in respect of a decision of the Executive taken on 15th November 2022 to make an additional financial contribution to Collectively Camberley Limited, the administering body for the Camberley Business Improvement District (BID)
The Committee considered a report setting out a Member Call-in in respect of a decision taken by the Executive on 15th November 2022 to approve recommendations to make additional funding available to Collectively Camberley Limited, the administering body for the Camberley Business Improvement District (BID) outside of the statutorily set BID levy to facilitate the delivery of additional events in Camberley town centre.
The Executive’s decision to approve the additional funding had been called in by Councillors Bates, Tapper and Wheeler, who expressed a number of concerns about the proposals including:
· The report contained insufficient evidence to enable an informed decision to be made and no business case had been made to justify the benefits that the proposed events would bring to the Borough.
· No evidence had been provided to show that local businesses were supportive of the proposed events
· The report provided no evidence that partner organisations including the police and the Integrated Care System had been consulted over the proposed events.
· The proposed Christmas Con event appeared to encourage the promotion of unhealthy lifestyles and anti-social behaviour something that went against the Council’s agreed priorities
The members who had requested the Call-In indicated that they were in agreement with the Executive’s decision to make available an additional £5,000 capital grant to cover the costs of items including safety barriers, gazebos, signage and stage decorations.
It was acknowledged that the BID, through Collectively Camberley, was beneficial to the town and that the events hosted previously by the organisation including the Car Show and Christmas lights switch on did increase footfall in the town centre. Notwithstanding this, no tangible evidence had been presented to support the assumption that an increased footfall on the days events were held had resulted in increased spending in the town centre. Furthermore, it was stressed that any events supported by the Council should be high quality and supported by solid fully costed business cases which set out tangible benefits not only to the town and current businesses and residents but also positively advertised Camberley to prospective tenants as a place that they could envisage doing business in.
It was clarified that the proposed events had been put forward by the BID as part of a larger package of potential events that the Council had been asked to consider sponsoring. The proposed events had been reviewed and the ones that were considered to be most beneficial to the town centre had been put forward for funding.
In respect of the proposed Christmas Con event it was explained that this would be based on similar events that had been held successfully elsewhere in the country and involved a series of linked events and activities including live band performances which would be used to encourage people to visit Camberley town centre in the evening boosting the night-time economy. It was confirmed that the funding would not be used to pay for alcohol.
The Committee was informed that the proposed life sized models would be of a similar ... view the full minutes text for item 33/PF