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Contact: Liz Frier
Apologies For Absence
There were no apologies for absence received.
Urgent business, if any, introduced by the Chair
There were no items of urgent business received.
Declarations of Interest
To Receive Declarations of Interest in any Contract or matter to be discussed at the meeting.
Councillor Knox declared a personal and prejudicial in Item 6 of the agenda - Land to the North of the Lancaster Club, by virtue of her position as Cabinet Member when an Oldham Athletic Stadium Proposal report was considered by Cabinet on the 17th March 2010. Councillor Knox left the room during consideration of Item 5 Land to the North of the Lancaster Club, Broadway, Failsworth and took no part in voting thereon.
Councillor J Hulme advised the Committee that although the Charity Commission considered that he had an interest, he had obtained advice from the Borough Solicitor and was no requirement for him to leave the meeting as the decision of the Charity Commission was subject to a review process, the decision of which was pending.
Public Question Time
To receive Questions from the Public, in accordance with the Council’s Constitution.
The following Public questions were received from Warren Bates:
1. After the damming report by the Charity Commission into the handling of the Lower Failsworth Memorial Land swap proposal it is evident that elected Members and those persons on the Standards and Audit Committee are incompetent and are not sufficiently able to make reasoned judgements, in effect not fit for purpose. I would ask therefore if they intend to resign, as their position is untenable?
2. Are all Members fully aware that the Charity Commission has stipulated that any trust land that is for the benefit of the inhabitants of a specific area could only be swapped with land that could serve those same inhabitants?
3. The Failsworth Trust Committee now have a responsibility to raise funds to develop the land, therefore, could the Committee confirm that they are to seek funding from every available source to enable the land to be suitably developed?
4. Are the Failsworth Trust Committee members going to liaise forthwith with the local beneficiaries on their wishes on how to develop the ground in accordance with the Trust requirements?
5. Could I be informed of the steps that are to be taken to enable wheelchair user access throughout the site?
6. Is the Failsworth Trust Committee to consider requesting local residents to become members of the Failsworth Trust Committee?
7. Could the Members of the Failsworth Trust Committee inform me if the payment for the pylon is subject to a wayleave payment or an easement payment and the amount of payment received?
8. Would the Committee consider raising funds that would allow them to purchase the land and property to the north of the Trust Land (the former Lancaster Club) from is present owners to enable the site to be incorporated into trust land which could be developed into a social club come visitor centre, together with providing additional much needed activity facilities for the area?
9. Is the Committee intending to request the Council to donate the land they own adjacent to the Trust Land that fronts Broadway so that it could be incorporated into the Trust Land enabling this to be developed into a attractive gateway into Oldham?
Councillor Masud, Chair of the Cabinet sub-Committee responded with the following answers:
1. The Trust would challenge the statement that the response from the Charity Commission was in any way “damning”.
2. Records show that Failsworth UDC acquired land, "in the Lower Ward", for the purposes of a recreation ground. Neither the 1924 Conveyance, nor the minute of the General Purposes Committee of Failsworth UDC dated 15th August 1923 (which authorises the Council to accept the gift of the land from Failsworth War Memorial Committee), refer to the land being specifically for the benefit of the inhabitants of a specific area.
If indeed the land had been acquired specifically for the people of “the Lower Ward”, of which there is little evidence to suggest that this is indeed the case, seeing as ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
Minutes of Previous Meeting
The Minutes of the Cabinet Sub Committee – Failsworth Trust held on 25th August 2010 are attached for approval.
RESOLVED - That the minutes of the meeting held on the 25th August 2010 be approved as a correct record.
Land at Failsworth Lower Memorial Park
The Cabinet sub Committee gave consideration to a report of the Executive Director, Economy, Places and Skills, the purpose of which was to provide Members of the Committee with an update in respect to Failsworth Lower Memorial Park which is held upon a registered charitable trust.
The Borough Solicitor advised Members at a meeting of the Trust Committee, 25th August 2010, it was resolved that it was in the best interests of the Trust to dispose of the asset in lieu of two replacement recreational grounds held by the Council in its statutory capacity. A further, adjoining area of land, which currently formed the formal Lower Memorial Park area, was registered within a charitable trust on 19 January 2011 (reference 1139908).
The Trust was advised that following the resolution of the Committee, Officers of the Council made an application for an Order to allow the land swap to continue. The Charity Commission responded on the 1st February 2011 and failed to give the necessary consent to authorise the land swap, but did give the Trust the opportunity to make further representations.
Further information was resubmitted to the Charity Commission on the 15th February 2011, and officers were informed that the information along with the original application would be dealt with under the decision review process of the Charity Commission.
Members noted the updated position and the agreed to convene a further meeting of the Trust once the decision of the Charity Commission was known.
The trust also considered a recommendation that the meetings should be held quarterly provided the Chair agreed that there was sufficient business to consider. Councillor J Hulme suggested that the Trust should agree this recommendation as to convene a meeting of the Trust without sufficient business to consider was a costly and time consuming exercise.
None. Once the Charity Commission had formed a view under the review process, the Trust would consider the necessary actions at that time.