Agenda item

Review of the Parks Nursery (Overview and Scrutiny Board)

To consider a report by the Director (LD) (reference 17/167), attached. 

Minutes:

The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (LD) (Reference 17/167) in respect of a review of the Parks Nursery commissioned by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.  The Chairman of the Task Group, Councillor Randerson presented the report noting with sadness that according to the evidence they had obtained, it was no longer viable to continue with an in-house Nursery service.  He was however pleased to note the Council’s commitment to endeavouring to retain all four full-time Nursery staff, and that by outsourcing the supply of plants, the Council would not lose these valuable in-house skills.  Cabinet Members thanked Councillor Randerson and other members of the Task Group for an excellent, thorough piece of work, which would enable the Council to continue to provide a high quality Nursery service at a much reduced cost, whilst retaining staff, as Councillor Randerson had indicated. The Cabinet Member for Democracy, Councillor Turner, saw the review as a milestone for the new Overview and Scrutiny Board and a model of how the Board should be working.  At the permission of the Chairman, Councillor Siddons, Chairman of the Board, addressed the meeting.  He thanked the Task Group for undertaking a difficult review, noted that the Board had taken some time to find its feet, and that the issue of resourcing the scrutiny function had now been recognised by the Council’s management, and he looked forward to the Board continuing to contribute in future to the improvement of the Council’s services for the people of the Borough.  The Cabinet Member for Tourism and Culture, Councillor Jenkinson was similarly grateful to the Task Group and to all those who contributed evidence including the volunteer groups which played such an important role in the Parks service.

RESOLVED that the Council be recommended:

 

(i)            To approve the closure and disposal of the Manor Road Nursery, and to outsource the supply of plants for the Nursery Service;

(ii)          To approve the ring-fence of the capital receipt from the sale of Manor Road Nursery to ensure the redevelopment of Dean Road Depot to a suitable condition, the construction of a new holding facility on this site as well as the construction of an educational hub to facilitate the delivery of a range of services in the future.

(iii)         To adopt transitional arrangements for the Nursery Service until the opening of the new holding facility, and commence a procurement process with a view to buying in finished plants from spring 2018 and utilising the existing nursery as a temporary holding facility; and

(iv)         To approve development work including public consultation to establish horticultural community and educational facilities and activities in Peasholm Park with the necessary staff support.

 

And more specifically in respect of the Task Group’s recommended disposal of Manor Road Nursery and capital works:

 

(v)          To approve, in principle, the freehold disposal of land and buildings that form the existing Manor Road Nursery, Scarborough as edged red on the attached plan (Appendix 3);

(vi)         To approve a disposal and marketing budget of £10,000 to be funded from the Capital Development Reserve;

(vii)        To note that a further report will be presented to Cabinet following the completion of the marketing campaign for the sale of Manor Road Nursery;

(viii)      To approve a budget of £550,000 for the redevelopment of Dean Road depot and community hub in Peasholm Park in advance of the relocation of the Manor Road Nursery functions;

(ix)         To authorise Officers to appoint an architect to obtain the necessary permissions for the development works at Dean Road depot and Peasholm Park;

(x)          To authorise Officers to tender for the necessary works to Dean Road depot and in Peasholm Park in compliance with the Council’s Constitution;

(xi)         To delegate to Director (NE) in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Project Leadership, Harbours and Flood Protection to enter into relevant contracts for the development works at Dean Road depot and in Peasholm Park;

(xii)        To note that the Council will be undertaking the development of Dean Road depot and the community hub in Peasholm Park at financial risk as the works will need to be completed prior to obtaining a capital receipt for the freehold disposal of Manor Road Nursery.

 

Reasons

  • To deliver the Council’s plant requirements in the most cost effective way in sufficient quantity and within product specification.
  • To rationalise the Council’s assets and realise efficiencies in the Council’s operations by disposing of the Manor Road Nursery site and by locating the Nursery service in the form of a new plant holding facility at Dean Road Depot

·         To continue to provide support to local volunteer groups and educational and community activities in respect of the Council’s parks and green spaces including through the creation of a new community hub in Peasholm Park, subject to further consultation and feasibility work

 

 

Supporting documents: