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To receive the minutes of the meeting of the Thames Basin Heaths Joint Strategic Partnership Board held on 21st September 2018.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Thames Basin Heaths Joint Strategic Partnership Board held on 21st September 2018 be agreed as a correct record.
To consider a report setting out a proposed investment strategy for the Thames Basin Heaths’ Endowment Fund.
The Board considered a report providing an update on the work of the Investment Working Group since the Board’s last meeting.
It was reported that the Working Group had developed a draft Investment Strategy which set out how any investments made on behalf of the Board would be managed and overseen by the Board. It was also noted that Arlingclose had now been appointed to act as Independent Financial Advisors to the Board. The Company had had been appointed on an annual rolling contract which renewed on the 1st December each year.
Greg Readings, Arlingclose, gave a presentation summarising a suggested investment route for the Board. The presentation provided an overview of the approach to investments agreed with the Investment Working Group and a summary of three potential investment opportunities identified by Arlingclose which met the agreed investment criteria.
It was noted that following the steer given at the Board’s last meeting, the Investment Group had agreed a number or criteria which would be used to govern investment decisions including:
· The primary aim of any investments would be to generate income over the long term.
· Investments were to be made in Pooled Investment Funds which invested in a range of investment opportunities including property, equities and bonds
· Aiming for a target income return of between 2 and 3% was considered realistic in the current economic climate
Arising from the Board’s questions and comments the following points were noted:
· The retail units invested in by the CCLA Local Authorities’ Property Fund were predominantly industrial units and warehouse and as such were generally considered to be relatively protected from the impacts of changes to shopping habits in recent years.
· As part of their due diligence processes, Arlingclose would meet fund managers on a regular basis.
· The Investment Strategy was a working document and it was requested that any comments on the draft be forwarded to Rob Sarfas by the end of December 2018 to co-ordinate distribution to the Investment Working Group for consideration.
· The draft Investment Strategy included provisions for the continuation of the Investment Working Group to provide a steer on any investment work going forward.
The Board acknowledged that although there was a significant amount of political uncertainty currently and that this could impact on investments this should not be used as a reason for unduly delaying the decision to invest.
In addition, it was recognised that whilst the suggested investment funds were income generating this was not currently the primary intention of the decision to invest. However it was recognised that this situation could change in the future. Consequently there would need to be a degree of flexibility that enabled any profits to be diverted into reinvestment or an income stream.
The Board was informed that a legal opinion would be sought on the Investment Strategy to ensure that it was legally sound.
The Board thanked the Working Group for all their work to develop the Strategy.
RESOLVED that the Thames Basin Heaths Joint Strategic Partnership ... view the full minutes text for item 23.
Hart, Rushmoor and Surrey Heath SPA Mitigation Project
To receive a verbal update on the development and scope of the Hart, Rushmoor and Surrey Heath SPA Mitigation Project.
Anna Lucas, gave an update on the development of the Hart, Rushmoor and Surrey Heath SPA Mitigation Project. The project had been funded for two years by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Agency to explore the evidence base for the effectiveness of any alternative mitigating actions being taken to protect the SPA. The project was in the process of being scoped and updates would be given to the Board as work developed.