Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Storey Centre future to be discussed at Full Council today

The future of the Storey Creative Industries Centre will be discussed at Full Council later today, after several councillors raised questions about decisions to take its management into City Council control.

The Council's Overview and Scrutiny committee considered the call-in of the Storey Institute decision of 3rd July at its meeting last night.

The end result - when Cabinet subsequently met to consider what Overview and Scrutiny had recommended - was an unexpected referral of the decision to Council, where it will be considered as urgent business this afternoon.

Elected members will receive the report which has previously been considered by Cabinet, along with updated information.

The meeting will also be considering a resolution passed at the City Council Budget and Performance Committee, calling for a report to the committee to answer a number of questions about the Centre.

In particular, this Committee wants to know if any contact taken place between representatives from sub-tenants of the building and the City Council as ultimate landlord (owner of the building); did the City Council pay the insurance bills and a utility bill for SCIC in mid 2011 and if so, why and on what authority; and has asked why did the City Council not take further action to protect its interests at that time.

Councillors also want to know why the decision taken in December 2011 to grant a loan to the SCIC was made without democratic accountability, pointing out that opening it up to scrutiny could have saved at least four more  months of losses and inaction.

They have also asked what processes of due diligence took place before the loan was agreed in principle in December 2011, when was the loan paid over to the company, and what due diligence took place between the agreement in principle, and the payment of the loan to the company.

Finally, in what way and at what date did examination of the annual accounts of the company contribute to due diligence.

The Full Council meets at 2.00pm at Morecambe Town Hall. The meeting is open to the public but some parts of the meeting may be 'restricted'.

• A copy of the public report on The Storey and appendices can be found at: http://ow.ly/cjNZG

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