Agenda and minutes

Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 23rd January, 2023 10.00 am

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre

Contact: Sonia Stewart - Tel: 0191433 3045 - Email: 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 96 KB

The Committee is asked to approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 28 November 2022.


RESOLVED -  That the minutes of the meeting held on 28 November 2022 be approved as a correct record.


Review of Community Wealth Building pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Report of the Service Director, Corporate Commissioning and Procurement

Additional documents:


The Committee received an update report on the work of the Council to implement a Community Wealth Building (CWB) model as one of the tools to support the Thrive agenda.  To achieve this the Council have been working with CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies).


Gateshead Council is establishing itself as a leading practitioner of CWB.  As a fundamental driver of an inclusive economy, CWB aims to reorganise and control the local economy so that wealth is not extracted but broadly held and generative, with local roots, so that income is recirculated, communities are put first, and people are provided with opportunity, dignity and well-being.


Through community wealth building, Gateshead is advancing its Thrive agenda aspirations and delivering the Corporate Commissioning and Procurement Strategy 2022 to ensure that Council priorities and objectives are met through our procurement activity.


A Social Value Co-ordinator has been appointed and will be looking at allocating the offers within the current contracts.  The co-ordinator will also monitor offers to make sure they have been completed as offered.


The Committee received a presentation from Andrew Tate, Economic Development.


The Committee were advised that there are 5 pillars of Community Wealth Building:


·         Progressive commissioning and procurement

·         Socially productive use of land and property

·         Fair employment and just labour markets

·         Making financial power work for local places

·         Grow local and community ownership of the economy

o   Building a more generative economy

o   Building a more democratic economy

o   Building financial resilience


There is currently a Gateshead Local Enterprise Group whose objectives are to:


·         Increase the number of generative enterprises in Gateshead and support their development and

·         Ensure local enterprise can compete for both public and private second contracts and that opportunities are accessible to them in order to maximise the retention of wealth locally


Progress made to date is as follows:  The Generative Economy in Gateshead has been baselined at over 80% of all businesses.  EU funds have been levered to provide self employment support and start up bootcamps.  79 new businesses have commenced trading so far in 2022/23.  An accelerator programme has been piloted to facilitate growth in Social Enterprise.  A Gateshead Connect service has been introduced with 4000+ supplier matches to 22 contract opportunities.  There has been improved visibility of live and pipeline tender opportunities via social media, and e-newsletter..  Work has been undertaken to market test low value contract opportunities through the group’s networks.  A guide has been developed on how to do business with the Council.  Working on actively supporting businesses to register on the Council DPS and NEPO Open portal.


It was noted that one of the criticisms is that there is nolonger any networking opportunities.  It was noted that prior to Covid there was a business networking programme in place led by the Council to compliment that of the Chamber of Commerce, etc and we have always held market engagement events.  It was noted that we are looking to re-start the networking in March.


It was queried what we are doing  ...  view the full minutes text for item CR92


Old Town Hall Update pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Report of the Strategic Director, Economy, Innovation and Growth


The Committee received an update on the current position with the Old Town Hall.  Officers received approval to extend the Business Plan development period to allow the leaseholder to undertake further planning and viability work.  This has been controlled by a Supplemental Agreement to the existing lease, this has formalised a programme of activity and associated milestones over the next six months.  The conclusion of these milestones would address issues previously raised by the OSC.


In the first quarter of 2023, officers intend to:

·        Continue to work with Dinosaura and BCEGI to progress the milestones related to redevelopment, including monthly meetings

·        Agree schedule of works to secure and safeguard the buildings, and ensure regulatory approvals

·        Undertake monthly monitoring of progress and building works


Following the conclusion of the programme of milestones, officers intend to provide a full and comprehensive update to the Leader and Cabinet, which would include Dinosaura’s development proposal and relevant recommendations for variations to lease to facilitate redevelopment.  An update to OSC would take place after Cabinet approval.


It was noted that if a report is taken to Cabinet the OSC has the power to call in the decision.


It was noted that the driver for selling this was the cost of securing the building being around £20,000 per month, do we know if Dinosaura are doing anything to protect the building.  It was noted that officers understood that some of their team have moved into the building.


It was noted that one of the caviats to the grant of the lease was there would be no development on either of the car parks.  Surely that if this was allowed it would make the property a more viable / saleable asset.


It was noted that it was a surprise given the questions previously raised that the update was only one side of A4 and it felt that there was a lack of respect shown to the Committee.


It was noted that there are several areas which are concerning for members and it seems there is currently no motivation for Dinosaura to do anything.


It was noted that we do have the planning regime to have some control over the site.  What is concerning is whether they are carrying out their legal obligations to keep the building in a safe way.


It was queried what the position of BCEGI is in relation to the business.  It was noted that they are an investment company but their position will be clarified.


RESOLVED    -           that the concerns of the committee be noted.


Annual Work Programme pdf icon PDF 74 KB

Report of the Chief Executive and the Strategic Director, Corporate Services and Governance

Additional documents:


The Committee were advised that the work programme for the next meeting was quite heavy and it was suggested that Progress on the Digital Programme be moved from 6 March to 17 April.


RESOLVED - (i)         That the work programme be noted.

                        (ii)        That further reports on the work programme will be brought to the Committee to identify any additional policy issues which the Committee may be asked to consider.