Minutes of the Eighth Meeting of the Resources Committee of the City of Sunderland College held at 3.30pm on Tuesday 15 March 2011 in Room 614 at the Shiney Row Campus PRESENT:
Mr I Forster (Chairman), Mrs A Inkson, Mrs A Lawson-McLean, Ms A O’Donoghue, Mr M Ridley.
Mr D Howells, Mrs J Ridley, Ms K Wade.
Mr C Crossman.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE Apologies for lateness were received from Mr R Edmonds and Mrs A Inkson.
MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING OF 18 JANUARY 2011 The minutes were accepted as an accurate record.
MATTERS ARISING THEREFROM R/11/10 – Annual Health, Safety and Welfare Report to Governors It was confirmed that the report had been circulated to all Board Members. R/11/07 – International Report In response to a question from a Governor, the Principal confirmed that a comprehensive risk assessment was undertaken prior to each overseas visit by the Vice Principal International. A Governor mentioned that an independent college in the area had been suspected of being used for immigration crime. The Principal explained that the City of Sunderland College worked closely with the Border Agency in relation to the tracking of its international students.
BUDGETARY CONTROL STATEMENTS TO 31 JANUARY 2011 The Vice Principal Finance presented the budgetary control statements to January 2011 outlining the significant variances from the budget. It was noted that the Income and Expenditure account was showing an operating surplus of £746k against a budgeted surplus of £578k. The variance was largely due to timing of funding body grant projects and the delivery of third party activity. 1
The College was taking remedial action to ensure that it meets its funding targets and progress would be kept under constant review. In response to a question from a Governor on the variance in non pay expenditure, it was explained that this was due to timing issues with exam registrations being made ahead of budget and third party payments including additional payments due to the RISE Project income being ahead of target. It was noted that the cashflow variance was due to the lower than budgeted expenditure on the IT Plan. The Committee: received the report. R/11/17
BUDGETARY UPDATE 2010/2011 Confidential The Committee agreed to deem the report and its minute confidential from public scrutiny as it contains details of budgetary provisions being made for restructuring costs as a result of the Change Management process.
ESTATES UPDATE The Vice Principal Finance gave the following update in relation to estates. Newcastle Road • The Heads of Terms have been finalised between the College and the Council and the purchaser. • The purchaser’s solicitors have been instructed and were submitting searches and pre-contract enquiries • After taking advice from PKF, the College does not propose to elect to charge VAT on the land • The planning application is due to be heard later this month. It was estimated that the permission could be in place by midApril with completion shortly thereafter. ICT •
A review had been undertaken by Grant Thornton consultants as there were issues with the costings. A meeting was scheduled with Capita to look at a revised specification to achieve some savings whilst providing a system that is fit for purpose 2
The Internal Audit review would give the Skills Funding Agency confidence that the project had been rigorously tested and represented value for money The College had identified a sum of money for IT equipment. It was intended to replace some workstations and software which would go some way to addressing the complaints raised by students. It was planned that this would take place over the summer break A detailed delivery plan would be developed followed by contractual negotiations. Skills Funding Agency and Board approval would then be sought. The College needed to identify the level of support required for project management.
Governors raised a number of questions and it was noted that: • whilst the long term future of the Shiney Row Centre was uncertain, work there could be undertaken at the end of the plan • Students would be given an update on developments at the Strategic Away Day • the College had received £200k from the Skills Funding Agency by way of capital grant, however there are no large capital grants available Condition Survey A Condition Survey would be undertaken on the structural elements of the Shiney Row, Bede and Hylton Centres. The report would provide recommendations for immediate action along with the associated costs. It would inform management on which site is in need of the most work and how much it would cost to repair, together with a five year and ten year plan. A survey of the plant rooms and heating systems at Hylton and Shiney Row was also being undertaken. Governors raised a number of questions and it was noted that: • the supported learning students were transported to College by taxi and therefore could be accommodated at any centre • the report would identify areas where urgent repairs were required but would also help management to form a strategic overview • the decision regarding the High Street West project was due in April; management would meet with Gentoo to discuss a contingency plan should the bid be unsuccessful • there was the possibility that the companies who were originally involved in the Building Schools for the Future initiative may become involved in projects with the schools and colleges who had not received any capital funding The Committee: received the report. 3
Mrs A Inkson joined the meeting at 4.30pm R/11/19
RELOCATION OF SCIENCE LABS AT BEDE The Head of Facilities Management presented a report outlining the proposal to relocate and renew the science laboratories from their current location in Ettrick building into Bede building. It was noted that the laboratories are dated, not fit for purpose and detached from other A level curriculum provision at Bede. The proposal would provide state of the art facilities which would offer a better learner experience and environment for students. The project cost would be £500,000 which would be funded partly from a Skills Funding Agency Grant, the remainder coming from the proceeds from the sale of Newcastle Road. Governors raised a number of questions and it was noted that: • Science staff would be given an input into the design of the new laboratories • there was provision within the capital budget for the installation of a fume cupboard however it was expected that the day to day expenditure on equipment would come from the curriculum area’s own budget • 8 Headways students had chosen to enrol at St Peters as it had modern science facilities; it was expected that those students would return to Bede. • Science is a growth area; there are currently 383 students with a predicted increase in numbers for September • the timescale was tight with a September completion date; it was intended that major works would take place during the Easter and Summer breaks when the students were off site • the Ettrick building would be refurbished at a later date and would be included in the property strategy • it would not be known whether any saving had been made following installation of the new heating system and solar panels at Bede until 12 months had elapsed and an accurate meter reading had been obtained. The Committee, whilst very supportive of the project, queried the justification for £500,000 expenditure given the current funding situation. The Principal explained that in terms of the property strategy, it was recognised that Bede would need to be retained and further investment was needed to update the facilities. Bede had the largest number of science students who were accommodated in the worst conditions. The project had been delayed for a number of years and it had now become a priority. 4
The Chairman pointed out the timing of the receipt for Newcastle Road would present a cash-flow risk which would need to be carefully managed. The Committee agreed to recommend that the Board: give approval to the relocation and renewal of science laboratories at Bede Centre from their current location in Ettrick building into Bede building (subject to Board approval of the revised budget). R/11/20
ANY OTHER BUSINESS There was none.
DATE, TIME AND VENUE OF NEXT MEETING The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 3 May 2011 at 3.30pm in Room 614, Shiney Row Centre.
CHANGE PROCESS ISSUES There were no change issues to report. A meeting of the Change Committee would be convened in the near future.
The meeting closed at 5.00pm