The Council’s Car Park, Cromford Road, Ripley

At a Full Meeting of Amber Valley Borough Council on 15 December 2010, consideration was given to a confidential report proposing the ‘marketing’ of the Central Headquarters, as part of a strategic review of the operations of the Council in response to challenging current and future financial circumstances. It was resolved that the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader:

  • agree a marketing strategy for the disposal of the Central Headquarters;
  • appoint a surveyors company to deliver that strategy; and
  • report back to Council on the outcome of the strategy, with the final decision on the disposal of the Central Headquarters being a matter for the Council
  •  

Although the Headquarters has not been formally marketed in recent years, the Council regularly receives and considers approaches from potential purchasers.

A Full Meeting of Amber Valley Borough Council took place on 25 March 2015, at which 44 of the Council’s elected members were present. The agenda for the meeting, which had been published in advance and placed on the Council’s website, included an item entitled, ‘Central Headquarters’. The paper for this item was not made publically available because it contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of an interested party and the Council.

At the start of the meeting the Councillors were asked to determine which of the agenda items, if any, should be taken with the public excluded. It was resolved, without any objections, that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the business set out in the item entitled, ‘Central Headquarters’. This was on the grounds that the report involved the likely disclosure of information relating to the financial or business affairs of an interested party and the Council and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

The minutes of the meeting, that were published and made available on the Council’s website soon after, state that consideration was given to a confidential report regarding the Central Headquarters and that it was resolved that the open market value be noted in respect of the disposal of the land at Cromford Road, Ripley, shown edged red on the plan at Appendix 1 to the Officer’s report, and that Council expresses its views in advance of Cabinet making the final decision on any disposal.

A meeting of the Council’s Cabinet took place on 8 April 2015 and the agenda, which had been published in advance and placed on the Council’s website, included an item entitled, ‘Central Headquarters’. The paper for this item was not made publically available because it contained information relating to the financial or business affairs of an interested party and the Council.

At the start of the meeting the Cabinet Members were asked to determine which of the agenda items, if any, should be taken with the public excluded. It was resolved that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during the consideration of the business set out in the item entitled, ‘Central Headquarters’. This was on the grounds that the report involved the likely disclosure of information relating to the financial or business affairs of an interested party and the Council and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.

The minutes of the meeting, that were published and made available on the Council’s website soon after, state that consideration was given to a confidential report regarding the Central Headquarters building, the base for Amber Valley Borough Council. Further written information provided by the Executive Director (Operations) prior to the meeting was considered by members.

The minutes refer to the Council having received an offer in respect of the land at Cromford Road, Ripley, shown edged red on the plan attached at Appendix 1 to the Officer’s report, on the terms set out in the report and it was resolved that the disposal of the car park for the Council Offices at Cromford Road, Ripley be approved and the Executive Director (Resources), in consultation with the Leader of the Council, be authorised to negotiate the terms of the disposal. The reason for this decision was that it would release a Council asset, to generate a capital receipt to support the Council’s Capital Programme.

No sale has been agreed and no disposal will take place unless the Executive Director (Resources), in consultation with the Leader of the Council, is satisfied with the terms. This includes being satisfied that the Council gets the best value from the deal and that concerns about staff and public car parking are addressed effectively.

Any issues associated with a future development of the land would be addressed through the planning process.

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