Risk assessment and minutes re funding cinema in rye

The request was successful.

Dear East Sussex County Council,
Via the RuGEF, ESCC made a grant of £100,000 in Feb 2013 to 'help develop a cinema and entertainment centre in Rye'. The promise of a loan of a further £100,000 by ESCC, made by Cllr Keith Glazier, is recorded in the minutes of the meeting of Rye Town Council of 11 February. (Report back by County Councillor)

Under FOI, I formally request a copy of the Risk Assessments undertaken prior to the awarding of this money and the minutes of ESCC council meetings where it was approved.
I have been unable to find this information on the ESCC website and two previous email requests to ESCC have elicited no response

Yours faithfully,
Cllr Mary Smith

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

 

 

Dear Cllr Smith

 

FOI Request ref: 2333 / Smith / RuGEF grant of £100,000 in Feb 2013 to
'help develop a cinema and entertainment centre in Rye

 

Thank you for your request for information about the above. Your request
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Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Jeremy Coleman

Freedom of Information Officer

 

East Sussex County Council

Governance and Community Services Department

C3F, County Hall

St Anne’s Crescent

Lewes

East Sussex BN7 1UE

 

Phone: 01273 482913
Fax: 01273 481208

email: [1][East Sussex County Council request email]   web: [2]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

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Dear East Sussex County Council,
Thank you for your acknowledgement of my request.
Just to clarify, my request also included the promise of the further £100,000 made by Cllr Glazier at Rye Town Council in his County Councillor's report.
With thanks again for your help

Yours faithfully,
Cllr Mary Smith

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

Dear Cllr Smith,

Please be reassured that we are dealing with your full request. The title in the reference heading is just a summary to help us keep track of it.

Yours sincerely

Jeremy Coleman
Freedom of Information Officer
East Sussex County Council
Governance and Community Services Department
C3F, County Hall
St Anne's Crescent
Lewes
East Sussex BN7 1UE

Phone: 01273 482913
Fax: 01273 481208

email: [East Sussex County Council request email] web: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi
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Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

2 Attachments

 

 

Dear Cllr Smith

 

FOI Request ref: 2333 / Smith / RuGEF grant of £100,000 in Feb 2013 to
'help develop a cinema and entertainment centre in Rye

 

Thank you for your request for information about the above, which has been
dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Your
request and our response are set out in the text boxes below. Please note
that the information is provided subject to the copyright and reuse of
information terms and conditions set out at the bottom of this email.

 

Request:

 

Dear East Sussex County Council,

     Via the RuGEF, ESCC made a grant of £100,000 in Feb 2013 to 'help

     develop a cinema and entertainment centre in Rye'. The promise of a

     loan of a further £100,000 by ESCC, made by Cllr Keith Glazier, is

     recorded in the minutes of the meeting of Rye Town Council of 11

     February. (Report back by County Councillor)

    

     Under FOI, I formally request a copy of the Risk Assessments

     undertaken prior to the awarding of this money and the minutes of

     ESCC council meetings where it was approved.

     I have been unable to find this information on the ESCC website and

     two previous email requests to ESCC have elicited no response

 

 
Response:

 

 

The approval process for the RuGEF and other Economic Intervention Funds was agreed by Lead Member for
Economy on 15 January 2013 at a Lead Member meeting.  The paper can be found at:

 

[1]http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil...

 

The Fletcher in Rye CIC applied (along with 21 other projects) to East Sussex County Council’s RuGEF first
round which closed on 31 November 2012.

 

All projects were appraised against the criteria and guidance notes for the fund by the Senior Economic
Development Manager (Team Leader) and the Economic Projects STO and a joint score sheet was completed
showing that the project passed the essential criteria and scored 31/50 on the non-essential criteria.

 

A summary template including a project description and recommendation was produced and along with the
original application form was sent to the Grants and Loans panel a week prior to the meeting.

 

Fletcher in Rye along with 11 other projects was presented to the first Grants and Loans Panel meeting on 21
January 2013.  The Panel comprised two County Councillors, one Senior Council officer and three independent
business people including an ex bank manager.  The two county council officers that carried out the
appraisal attended the meeting to present the projects and answer questions.

 

The Panel discusses the risks associated with delivering projects and did so in this case in some detail. 
The panel noted the project fitted the main RuGEF criteria of sustainable job creation and it felt the
experience of the operators (who run Kino in Hawkhurst) gave reassurance that the business plan was sound. 
The panel agreed unanimously to recommend the grant to the Director of ETE for approval (as agreed in the LM
report).

 

The Panel recommended the following project specific conditions: (i)that planning permission be approved
(ii) the ESCC grant only be claimed after works to that value had been completed and verified by a
surveyor.  Other universal conditions include a clawback clause that if the building / business is sold
within 3 years a proportion of the grant is repaid. 

 

The applicants also applied for a £100,000 loan (which is an option under the RuGEF funding guidance).  The
Panel decided that the applicants – Fletcher in Rye CIC may be able to raise sufficient loans from other
sources and agreed that the loan from ESCC should only be called upon once other sources had been exhausted
- a loan of last resort.  It was agreed to hold the funds for the loan option for 6 months – this has now
been extended to 12 months due to delays in the project.

 

Following the meeting the Economic Projects STO made a site visit on 13 February to see the building, meet
the representatives of the company, agree the conditions and discuss the delivery.  A significant risk to
the delivery of the project is the nature of the building which makes it difficult to accurately predict the
costs.  Fletcher CIC were aware of this risk and are mitigating against it by working with two builders to
cost the works.

 

Detailed plans for the building plus a detailed business plan supplied by the proposed operators Kino
accompanied the application and are on file.

 

The project score sheet and template are attached for your information.

 

 

 

 

I hope that this answers your enquiry. If you believe that the County
Council has not complied with the FOI Act in responding to your request,
you may ask for an internal review. If you wish to do so, please set out
the grounds of your appeal in writing to:

 

Philip Baker, Assistant Director, Legal and Democratic Services, East
Sussex County Council, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East
Sussex. BN7 1UE.

or by email to him at [2][email address]

 

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at: Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.  [3]Tel: 0303 123 1113.  [4]www.ico.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Jeremy Coleman

Freedom of Information Adviser

Room C3F

County Hall

St Anne's Crescent

Lewes

East Sussex BN7 1UE
Phone: 01273 482913
Fax: 01273 481208

email: [5][East Sussex County Council request email]   web: [6]www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

 

 

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Cllr Mary Smith

Dear East Sussex County Council,
Thank you for your response, but I am afraid that all the information that I requested has not been supplied.
I asked for a copy of any risk assessments and no risk assessments have been provided. There is a reference in the checklists supplied by you to 'risk assessment incomplete'. I found the checklists somewhat cursory, containing vague phrases such as 'a lot of'. Neither is there a copy of the minutes of any council meeting approving the grant or loan. All I have is the agenda of the meeting where the Lead Member alone approved the grant.
I note that a condition of the grant is for repayment if the project fails within 3years. The only asset appears to be the building owned by Fletcher CIC and leased to Fletcher Centre Properties. The project is subject to existing loans and the negotiation of a commercial loan for £400,000. Can you indicate the priority of the council grant as against any assets should the project unfortunately fail? This is
information that I would expect to be included in any risk assessment.

Yours faithfully,

Cllr Mary Smith

Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

Dear Cllr Smith

Thank you for your follow up message. I'm sorry that not all the information requested was provided originally. I've asked the team responsible for an update, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Kind regards

Dan Ellis

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Freedom of Information, East Sussex County Council

Dear Cllr Smith

 

The Fletcher in Rye grant application was recommended for approval by the
first Grants and Loans panel meeting on 21 January 2013, and as explained
in the previous letter, the panel comprises 6 members.  There was a long
discussion about the project risks but only the decision was minuted which
was then recorded on the template. Therefore, no separate risk assessment
document is held and we cannot therefore provide it. 

 

The Fletcher in Rye extract of the  report of the meeting incorporating
all the recommendations is  below.  All the decisions were reached in
agreement following discussion, and this report went to the Director of
Economy, Transport and Environment (ETE) for final approval. The Director
for ETE approved the decisions of the panel, having previously been
afforded delegated authority to approve the grants.

 

I would like to reassure you that no charge will be made against the
building for the grant. Any grant repayment will be after any loans or
mortgages have been repaid.  The risk identified by the panel is that
insufficient funds will be raised to complete the project. However, as the
grant will be used to carry out refurbishment works to a building for
community use and only paid out once the works to that value have been
completed, it was felt that there was an acceptable level of risk.  

 

 

+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
|2. |The |Fletcher |100,000       |£1,400m|To develop |- Cinema |Approved |
|RuGEF|Fletcher|in Rye CIC|grant | |cinema and |and café |subject |
| |Centre |and |7%            | |entertainment|facility.|to: |
|37163|in Rye | | | |centre in Rye| | |
| | |Fletcher |  | | |- 10 |1) |
| | |Centre | | | |permanent|Planning |
| | |Properties|100,000 | | |jobs |permission|
| | |Ltd | | | |created. |being |
| | | |loan | | | |granted |
| | | | | | |  | |
| | | |  | | | |2) The |
| | | | | | |  |loan |
| | | | | | | |element to|
| | | | | | | |be of last|
| | | | | | | |resort and|
| | | | | | | |held over |
| | | | | | | |for 6 |
| | | | | | | |months to |
| | | | | | | |allow |
| | | | | | | |other loan|
| | | | | | | |sources to|
| | | | | | | |be |
| | | | | | | |secured. |
| | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | |3) If the |
| | | | | | | |property |
| | | | | | | |is sold |
| | | | | | | |for a new |
| | | | | | | |use within|
| | | | | | | |3 years |
| | | | | | | |grant to |
| | | | | | | |be |
| | | | | | | |returned |
| | | | | | | |on sliding|
| | | | | | | |scale as |
| | | | | | | |per |
| | | | | | | |guidance. |
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------+

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Jeremy Coleman

Freedom of Information Adviser

East Sussex County Council

Governance and Community Services Department

C3F, County Hall

St Anne’s Crescent

Lewes

East Sussex BN7 1UE

 

Phone: 01273 482913

Fax: 01273 481208

 

 

email: [East Sussex County Council request email]   web: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/foi

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