WELSH CHURCH ACT ESTATE COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting held on 29th September, 2014.
Present: Councillor F.T. Johnson (Chairman); Councillors G.A. Cox, C.P. Franks and K. Mahoney and R.P. Thomas.
Also present: Mrs. J. Lord, Towry Ltd.
427 MINUTES –
RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 18th August, 2014 be approved as a correct record.
428 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –
No declarations were received.
429 PRESENTATION FROM TOWRY LTD –
Mrs. Lord, of Towry Ltd, was present at the meeting to provide a verbal update on the portfolio Valuation and Investment Account for the Welsh Church Act Estate Trust as at 29th September 2014. Mrs. Lord also provided the Committee with paperwork detailing the portfolio valuation at the meeting. Mrs. Lord informed the Committee that the value of the portfolio in September 2013 was approximately £871,300, the value of the portfolio had increased and the total portfolio value was now in excess of £912,000. Mrs. Lord further informed the Committee that there had been an income generation of approximately £21,000 as well as the growth in the value of the portfolio of approximately £41,000. Mrs. Lord informed the Committee that there had been just over 4% growth in the past year and that the portfolio would need to be rebalanced in line with the most appropriate asset allocation to satisfy the Trust’s stated attitude to risk.
After the presentation a Member asked whether the fund had performed as expected and Mrs. Lord advised that it had. In response to a question from a Member of the Committee Mrs. Lord stated that the Trust had received approximately £39,000 from liquidated assets which was included within the total portfolio value, however, this was currently being held in cash and was not therefore earning a lot of interest and therefore needed to be reinvested. Mrs. Lord further informed the Committee that the receipt figure of approximately £33,000 in the General Investment Account transaction listings represented the sale of the EEA Life Settlement Fund units.
Mrs. Lord advised that Towry Ltd. would like the Trustees’ permission to make recommendations to re-balance the portfolio of the Welsh Church Act Estate Trust Fund which would be presented to a future meeting for consideration.
A Member asked whether the Trust’s investments would be exposed to the increase in the value of the American dollar and, in response, Mrs. Lord stated that certain investments would be exposed to currency exchange risk as they were invested in foreign markets.
A Member asked whether the investments were low risk and was advised that they were medium risk investments, which was the standard risk level for these types of investments and that Towry Ltd took a very balanced view of the Welsh Church Act Estate Trust Fund portfolio.
Following the presentation from Towry Ltd it was
(1) T H A T the content of the verbal presentation and supporting documentation on the Welsh Church Act Estate Trust Fund portfolio be noted.
(2) T H A T Towry Ltd’s proposals to re-balance the Welsh Church Act Estate Trust Fund portfolio be considered at a future meeting.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To have regard to the contents of the presentation.
(2) To take account of the advice from Towry Ltd in the best interest of the Welsh Church Act Estate Trust.
430 FORMER SOUTHERNDOWN HOME (DR) –
The Committee received an update report with regard to the former Southerndown Home which detailed the progress since the last report of 18th August 2014.
The Committee was minded to recall the report of 18th August 2014, which informed it of the submission of the notice of demolition to the Local Planning Authority
Since the last meeting in August, officers were advised by the Council’s Property Team that the deadline had now lapsed for any objections to the notice of demolition. The Group Estates Officer informed the Committee that there was a slight error in paragraph 3 of the report in that the report had stated that there had been no objections, however the Officer clarified that there had been no objections received from statutory consultees; however they had received a few comments from local residents.
The Committee was advised that the next step was to determine whether or not to proceed with demolition of the property itself or to market the property for sale. Whilst the Council’s Property Team had been instructed to seek quotations for the demolition, the tender specification was currently being prepared and therefore officers would not be in a position to report to Committee in respect of the quotations received until the next meeting of the Committee in December.
Concern was expressed that the property was a liability and that a decision with regard to the way forward needed to be expedited. The Committee was informed that it could decide to remarket the property with the benefit of the demolition notice in place whilst awaiting the completion of the tendering exercise for demolition costs. Brinson’s Fairfax had previously been appointed following seeking quotations from agents. The Group Estates Officer would make arrangements with the agent to prepare for the marketing of the property at the earliest opportunity.
Following the presentation of the report, it was
(1) T H A T the progress made in relation to the demolition notice submitted be noted.
(2) T H A T the progress made in instructing the Council’s Property Team to seek quotations for the demolition of the property be noted.
(3) T H A T the Director of Resources be authorised to instruct Messrs Brinsons Fairfax to commence marketing the property at the most appropriate time.
Reasons for decisions
(1&2) To keep the Committee apprised of the progress with regard to the former Southerndown Home.
(3) To ensure marketing was commenced at the earliest opportunity.