Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kensington Community Interest Company - what the papers say

Just spotted this update in the national Regeneration news about the work that Councillor Nick Small and I have been carrying out to mitigate the worst affects of the proposed succession strategy to Kensington Regeneration. You don't just have to take my word for it... (whatever Cllr Sidorczuk's muddled response to an earlier post might suggest).


Laurence said...

Louise, your attempt to spin this to your advantage won't work, however much you try. My so-called 'muddled' response deal with the facts as they are and not how you'd like them to be. The KCIC succession strategy is backed by all the major partners in Kensington including the Bishop of Liverpool, has received the approval of the Executive Board and has the backing of the vast majority of residents and was approved unanimously at the final KR AGM - a shame that you and Nick couldn't attend in person. Indeed, Nick's motion at District Committee dealt with issues which had already received KCIC Board approval some months before so it was hardly a surprise. That's why I voted for it too. For your information, I've already been dealt with the piece in R&R by Sarah Townsend and will continue to do so in whatever medium I can.

Louise Baldock said...

This is what the minutes say

The Committee received an Emergency Motion submitted by Councillor Nick Small –

“This Committee notes the decision taken by the Executive Board on 23 October to reaffirm its approval of the Kensington New Deal Succession Strategy and to authorise the Executive Director for Regeneration and then City Solicitor to negotiate and approve the necessary legal agreement with the Community Interest Company.

This Committee notes with concern that the Community Interest Company currently only has a membership of around 70 out of a possible membership of around 14,500 and that under the Business Plan within the overall management plan for the Succession Strategy it is anticipated that the Community Interest Company will spend more on administrative costs in the first three years of operation than its projected income from external sources.

This Committee therefore requests that the Executive Director for Regeneration and the City Solicitor take account of the following principles when negotiating the legal agreements with the Community Interest Company:

* That the proposed Community Fund (asset lock realisation over the 10 Year programme) be distributed by the Community Interest Company in accordance with participatory begetting principles,

* That the Community Interest Company’s public engagement effectiveness is measured objectively by setting an annual target in terms of  membership,

*That the Community Interest Company in terms of the administrative salary, ancillary services and all other costs, becomes self-sustaining by the third year of operation;

*That the Directors of the Company receive no remuneration”

It was agreed that the terms of the Motion be supported and be forwarded to Executive Director John Kelly and City Solicitor Paul Evans for consideration.

Louise Baldock said...

So you see Laurence, that our committee has instructed the city solicitor to put these terms into the legal agreement with the council and KR. That despite the business plan currently showing a loss situation at the end of year 3, the agreement will require the CIC to break even. Have you even read the business plan? We poured all over it at the Scrutiny Committee, I still have a copy, showing a proposed loss. Do you want me to point the page out to you? The KR AGM that you refer to, has not seen any proposed legal agreement with the council so they can not have voted for it, or otherwise. Wait and see what come forward in reality!

Laurence said...

Sorry to be picky, Louise, but when you say "instructed", this means that you're giving the District Committee far more powers than it actually has at its disposal. The minutes state that "the Committee...requests that the Executive Director for Regeneration and the City Solicitor take account of the following principles when negotiating the legal agreements with the Community Interest Company". Also, that they be "forwarded for consideration". Hardly a fait accompli as you suggest.

For the record...of course I've read the business plan and I'd be really pleased if you point me to the relevant page showing a projected loss since I can't find any evidence to support your statement. BTW, which "Scrutiny Committee" do you refer to and when did the Committee meet to discuss these matters?

GoW said...

Do you really think they'll consider any of this? I wouldn't hold my breath. The Council, its joint-venture partners and its senior officers - including the city solicitor - don't seem to do effective consultation, proper governance or real accountability....

Louise Baldock said...

Laurence, the scrutiny committee that met to discuss this was the one chaired by Colin eldridge. It met a month or so ago, I blogged about it at the time. The discussion took place in camera. My copy of the papers are in the office at the moment so I cannot check them. And you cannot get them on the internet because they were taken in secret. I am not sure why something involving tax payers money had to be held in secret but there you are. The business plan showed, from memory, a £19k loss after the third year - even allowing for the new manager to be apparently fundraising throughout the period. You must know this, you are after all a director of this outfit. You must KNOW that you have predicted to still be making a loss at the end of year 3? Why did you think we wanted to push the motion through the district committee, to force you to at least break even?

Louise Baldock said...

And I am concerned that you would vote for a motion and then suggest that the city solicitor could choose to ignore our collective view. Why would he want to do that if it is the settled will of a unanimous vote of the district? Surely he will be guided by our thoughts. Surely he will agree with us that it is not unreasonable to wish the CIC to break even after three years. Especially given that I had offered several solutions for the spending of tax payers monies that would not cost anything and where all the money could be spent locally. I wanted to extend the budget available to us at participatory budgeting events, where the public vote for what they want to spend it on. Just like you had last week. I still dont see why you don't think that is a good idea and why you prefer 10 directors to decide instead, none of whom represent the public at large.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that even with poor turnouts in local elections that the district committee's suggestion brings with it more of the people's backng than any meeting Kensington Regeneration have ever held.

Yes, the elected members should be mindful of the decisions of community groups, but as Liverpool Council is the responsible body for public money, one would expect them to take a great interest and pay close attention to what those elected to represent the community think. clearly, the Lib Dems do not think this to be the case.

A coterie of people agree with no rcourse for ordinary people aside from their local elected representatives and yet one of them believes that they should not have any more of say. And he claims to be both a liberal and a democrat.

Perhaps Laurence not believe that councillors represent people? That they are just there to be mouthpieces for unrepresentative groups? In that case, what on earth is he doing as a councillor?

steve faragher said...

As someone who runs a CIC in Kensington and Fairfield, I would love the luxury of lump some of money off off the City every year. I am really amazed by the Yr 3 loss considering the CIC will be in receipt of £200K and also the current proposal to pay the mmanager £42K seems faintly surreal.

The Directorship and membership of the CIC was all stitched up in 2007 when the KNDC Board voted to to stop further elections to the board as it was deemed to close to the end of the New Deal (3yrs!). As a way of testing the "democracy" of the old New Deal, it would be nice to see the "results" (how many people actually voted for Norma, Richie etc.) of the board elections leading up to ending of said elections. It is Interesting to see the makeup of the board of directors of the new CIC,except for Lawrence it seems to be the usual suspects.

I'm not holding my breath.