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Larger Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) Bids

22/01/2019 - Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) Bids (Larger)

Decision that:

 

1.     the report be noted, including the content of Appendix A which summarises all of the larger scale bids received through the recent Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) bid process;

 

2.      funding be approved for three larger scale CIF bids as follows:

      EB6 – Elstree University and Technical College; EB14 – Community       Hertsmere (Aycliffe Road); and EB15 – Community Hertsmere (Leeming       Road), totalling £623,875, as detailed in Report EX/19/06 and as       recommended by the Community Infrastructure Levy Investment Panel       (CILIP);

 

3.     larger scale CIF bid EB17 – Hertswood Academy, Cowley Hill,   Borehamwood, be deferred;

 

4.     funding for larger scale bids AL4 – Red House Surgery, Watling Street, Radlett and EB19 – Hertfordshire County Council, Pegs Lane, Hertford be not approved for the reasons given in report Appendix A;

 

5.     larger scale bids BU2, BU3, PB1, PB7, PB8, EB10, EB11 and EB18, relating to Hertsmere Leisure, be considered at a separate meeting of the Executive; and

 

6.     further detail be provided in future reports on CIF bids to include the names of the organisations in the report’s recommendations.

       

Reasons for the Decision

 

National legislation stipulated that CIL monies should be spent on improvements to infrastructure, including its replacement, operation and maintenance to support development which had taken place within the local area. 

 

The Council’s CIL Panel was tasked with considering the bids received and ascertaining which projects should receive funding in the light of national and local level legislation as well as the Council’s own guidelines, officer recommendations and input from external and internal consultees.  The recommendations of the Panel were now presented to the Executive, in accordance with the agreed processes, for a final decision on funding pledges to be made. 

 

The reason for not approving the bids listed in (4) above was that they failed to meet the criteria outlined in the assessment process.

 

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

 

          An alternative option was to spend no CIL monies at the current time.  However, this option was not supported due to the recent relaunch of the bidding process and the fact that a number of strong applications had been received from local groups and organisations. 

 

Another option was to endorse a higher number of bids than recommended.  However, this was not supported as the Council needed to ensure that monies were allocated fairly and in accordance with the process previously agreed by the Executive, having regard to the agreed assessment criteria.

 

Key Points Arising from the Discussion

 

·       The non-Executive Member reiterated his point made at the previous Executive meeting regarding the targeting funding for infrastructure needs which he felt was magnified in the larger bids.  He commended the conscientious work of the Panel which had considered the bids within the prescribed criteria but suggested that the process and criteria be reconsidered for future bids.

 

Responding, the Portfolio Holder agreed that CIL should primarily be used to address the infrastructure deficit.  He advised that the intention was to earmark a top slice of the funding for small organisations and reserve the bulk for serious infrastructure needs and that Officers had been instructed to look into ways of achieving the latter.

 

·       The Chair reiterated his previous point that it was important to look at the wider picture and take a balanced approach with regard to the delivery of funding, namely that grants to local organisations could also have a positive impact on the infrastructure, as in the case of encouraging fitness in schools and promoting cycling as an alternative form of transport. 

 

·       The Leisure, Culture and Health Portfolio Holder agreed with the concept of a strategic approach and congratulated the successful bidders. In particular she considered that the community shed provided a wide reaching range of benefits, a view shared by the Environment and Transport Portfolio Holder.  In the case of unsuccessful bidders, she asked whether they would receive feedback on the reasons they had not been successful.  The Planning and Localism Portfolio Holder confirmed that they would receive feedback and that, whether the process was changed or remained the same, they would be invited to re-tender.

 

·       During further discussion, Members agreed that a multi-faceted approach was required to address the wider infrastructure problems.  The Chair asked that further details be provided in future reports in the form of the names of the relevant organisations.

 

(Action:  Principal Planning Officer)