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Agenda and minutes
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Consideration of correspondence in relation to the interpretation of section 6.8.1 of the Determination (leasing, sub-letting and sharing) and section 2.5 of the Determination (support from central funds relating to Covid-19 pandemic)
1.1 The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.
1.2 The Board noted apologies from Jane Roberts.
1.3 The Board considered the correspondence from the Chief Executive and Clerk requesting clarification from the Board about its expectations in relation to the interpretation of section 6.8.1, and related matters under section 2.5, of the Determination.
1.4 The Board discussed its expectations and agreed to respond to the Chief Executive and Clerk to outline them in writing as detailed below.
1.5 The Board confirmed its intention that the requirements in paragraph 6.8.1 of the Determination apply to all new rental agreements and all renewals of rental agreements (but not routine rent reviews undertaken in accordance with an existing agreement). The aim of the Board is that, over time, all lease/rental agreements in place will have been subject to valuation and Members will have received legal advice on the suitability of their agreement.
1.6 In relation to the scenarios for returning Members listed in the Chief Executive’s letter, the Board would expect the requirements in 6.8.1. (a) – (d) to apply.
1.7 The Board was content with the Chief Executive’s interpretation of the provisions made through the Covid Fund, subject to the following considerations:
· The Board agreed that, where a Covid risk assessment concludes that additional office space needs to be taken:
o the associated legal and valuation costs under 6.8.1 would be met from the Covid Fund (i.e. central funds under section 2.5 of the Determination);
o this risk assessment would need to be undertaken by a suitably qualified Health and Safety professional (the cost of which would also be met from the Covid Fund) and a copy of the risk assessment provided to MBS;
o any resulting additional rental costs would also be met from the Covid Fund for a maximum of 2 years from the date on which the rental agreement is made (costs thereafter would need to be claimed from the Office and Constituency Liaison Fund).
o the risk assessment would need to be undertaken by a suitably qualified Health and Safety professional (the cost of which would also be met from the Covid Fund);
o a copy of the risk assessment would need to be provided to MBS;
o statements of the following would need to be provided by the Member to MBS:
that the changes they are proposing to make to the office are allowed within the terms of the lease and that there are no reparation costs (or a statement as to what those costs may be in future);
that the changes are necessary and are the best reasonable option to address the risk and provide value for money, based on the risk assessment.
o a landlord does not consent for the Member to ... view the full minutes text for item 1.