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2022-12-21 LVCLT minutes
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Lune Valley Community Land Trust

Minutes of the Board Meeting held on 21st December 2022

Present:  Charles Ainger, Jane Allder, Ann Lanes, Chris Coates, Steve Wrigley, Lois Hurst

Apologies:  Garry Felgate  

Item

1.Declaration of Interests – Jane to arrange for the new year ( excepting Garry )

 Action

ACTION – Jane to arrange

2. Previous Minutes of 3/11 their agreement was proposed by Charles and seconded by Chris

AGREED

3. Matters arising from the previous minutes

Community Right To Bid/Community Asset Register

Jane is still progressing the Greyhound.

Jane responded to Paul Jarvis about the ‘horse’ field

 

All other actions are completed or dealt with elsewhere on the agenda

ACTION  -Jane to progress applications  

 

4. Publicity and Engagement

Prattle and newsletters – There will be one early in the New Year and a Prattle article. Prattle deadline is 11/1/23

The RP day held on 30th November in Halton Mill went well, with a visit to the Mill Lane site. Charles helped SLH and Tysons present the project. Useful audience of regional RPs, to hear our message.

The grand Mill Lane site ‘opening’, based on site and in Halton Mill, will be on 9th March 2023. It will highlight all those who have helped us, particularly LCC; but also invite others in the sector, to help publicise the scheme and the process regionally. After New Year we will work with them on the details.

 

ACTION – Ann

INFO

INFO

5. Finance and Management

All info at FCA etc is up to date.

Land Registry have processed our change of address

We need to review our Governance Health Check to feed into our Corporate Risk Registers

Ground rent has been received from SLH. We are well under spent for this year but don’t have any contingency.

Financial management: Steve and Jane have reviewed financial records and processes and started to process invoices etc. We need to track spend against ring-fenced and un-ring-fenced funds. Separate meeting needed to check that the categories in the cash book are still appropriate.

Un-ring-fencing ENW’s small residual grant funds. No reply yet from ENW.

Regular reporting to LCC on their ring-fenced residual grant funds.

INFO

INFO

ACTION - Jane to update Health Check, Charles to update Company risk register.

INFO

INFO

ACTION Steve & Jane meet + Charles..

INFO Steve has checked and we can keep the money for any EV or electrical activity

ACTION – Charles/Jane do report for LCC for end of Jan 23 when Mill Lane site occupation is completed .

6. Mill Lane project

Occupation date: Tysons have just been issued with a draft handover plan, and asked to confirm the handover date as 26th Jan. 2023.

Home User Guide [HUG]. Awaiting final version, for final review by our design team members.  

Choosing tenants – as last meeting: SLH have identified strong ‘local connection’ applicants for all 13 rental homes. But one candidate for 4 bed has pulled out because they have a disabled child and can’t be right next to a parking place - a side-effect of our community layout. SLH are confident of filling the vacancy.

Tenants’ rent level vs Local Housing Allowance [LHA]: at the last Board we discussed the problem that high ‘market’ rent rises, recent market turbulence and a low increase in the LHA has made the current LHA only 56% to 65% of the ‘market’ rent for the Mill Lane homes. SLH have calculated that they must set rents at 70% of market, which is 8 to 25% higher than LHA, to maintain the financial viability of the scheme. As we resolved on 3/11/22, because this is higher than LHA level, contrary to the lease and LLP terms, LVCLT need to agree this, for 2023 only , as an exception to the lease. SLH will now formally request our agreement. As soon as we receive their request, we will circulate it to the Board, with this resolution, for agreement by email circulation, in accordance with Rule 93:

SO sales – market conditions are still making this difficult. SLH have reduced the %age of value of some of the houses they are aiming to sell, and now have 3 sales @ 25%, 1 @ 40%, and 1 @ 75% and 2 in progress. They will persevere in trying to sell the last 2; there is no intention of switching any to rental.

SO sub-leases: Development Lease variation - Charles’ report back to the Board: After our resolution to agree a variation at the 3/11/22 Board, SLH and Charles for LVCLT have agreed and signed the lease variation Deed. This retains our ‘buy-back right after 55 years, but allows the SO sub-leases to continue past that event - by not requiring ‘vacant possession’. We have taken the opportunity also to include in the variation the Addendum to the LLP which we agreed with SLH earlier in 2022. As agreed, SLH are paying LVCLT’s ~£2000 legal fees for this.

Legal work on western site boundary by Wrigleys – In accordance with our Resolution at the last Board, we have authorised Wrigleys to work with SLH’s solicitor on this. We are waiting for SLH’s suggestions.

INFO

AGREED

INFO

RESOLVED -Taking account of the late 2022-23 property market turbulence and high rents, compared to the low level of LHA that has been set, LVCLT accepts that SLH will set their 2023 rents for Mill Lane homes at 70% of market level, which is as low as is financially viable, also given the lower than expected % of sale value realiseable for the 7 SO sales. LVCLT accepts, for 2023 only, that this is 5 to 25% higher than LHA, contrary to the LVCLT-SLH Lease and Local Lettings Policy. We authorise the Chair to agree these rent levels for 2023 with SLH.

INFO

AGREED 

AGREED

7. ESCO and EV 

 

Nothing to report

8. Green Open Spaces

Community Orchard

No more progress. Some contact from Storeys who say that a residents group would have to agree to the planting. No such group exists at the moment.

Contact with Cadman’s was not fruitful.

Lune Valley verges project

Hilary Carr and Carole Rogers are talking abut this at the Halton Gardening group in January

Story Homes development

The Parish Council leafleted residents about Parish Council tree-planting on the designated POS in November, but had a poor response.

 

ACTION  - Ann to keep the Board informed.

INFO

INFO

INFO

 

9. AOB

 

None

 

10. Next meeting will be Wednesday 25th January at 5.30pm in the Seminar Room