Scrutiny Review of the disposal of the former St.... Lewes

Audit, Best Value & Community Services Scrutiny Committee
Scrutiny Review of the disposal of the former St. Anne’s School site,
Lewes
Wednesday 15 October 2014, 9.00am in the Committee Room, County Hall, Lewes,
BN7 IUE
Review Board Members:
Councillors: David Tutt (substituting for Councillor Mike Blanch), John Barnes and Jeremy Birch.
AGENDA
1) Apologies
2) First evidence gathering session
3) To consider excluding the public and press from the meeting for the remaining agenda
items on the grounds that if the public and press were present there would be disclosure to
them of exempt information as specified in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local
Government Act 1972 (as amended), namely information relating to the financial or business
affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).
4) Second evidence gathering session
5) Next steps
6) Any Other Business
PAUL DEAN
Member Services Manager
County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent
LEWES BN7 1UE
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01273 481751
Contents
Title
Page
1. Scope of the review board
3
2. Summary of the process
5
Appendix 1 – Witness Statement by ex Head of Estates and Asset
Management, ESCC
17
Appendix 2 – St. Anne’s Steering Group Terms of Reference
25
Appendix 3 – Tree Preservation Order Notice
27
Appendix 4 – Report to Lead Cabinet Member for Resources, 23 October
2012
47
Appendix 5 – ESCC Community Asset Transfer Policy (May 2013)
51
Appendix 6 – Public notice of sale of former St. Anne’s School for
community uses
81
Appendix 7 – Sales Particulars for former St. Anne’s School
83
Appendix 8 – ESCC Asset Transfer Bid Application form (Blank)
91
Appendix 9 – Bid Scoring Matrix template
113
Appendix 10 – Report to Lead Cabinet Member for Resources, 29 October
2013
115
3. Submissions from bidders
Subud Lewes Group
145
YMCA
191
4. Submissions from members of the public and other parties
199
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1. Scope of the review board
To undertake an analysis of the process that led to the choice of preferred bidder in
respect of the disposal of the St Anne’s School site, and to hear the public concerns.
The issues include:
•
To review the process involved in selecting a preferred bidder to take over the
site of the former St Anne's school in Lewes for the purpose of providing an
asset for the community.
•
The extent to which the St Anne's Steering Group was representative of the
community
•
Advice given to each bidder
•
The extent of the Council's research into the policies (particularly equal
opportunity policies) of the bidders
•
How each bidder was assessed/scored
•
The composition of the Bid Assessment Panel
•
The reasons for disposal to an 'under-bidder'
•
The level of community benefit arising from the successful bidder
•
How the Council will protect community benefits and equality of access to the
site's facilities
•
How protection against gains from future housing development on the site is
to be achieved.
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2. Summary of the process
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6
Former St Anne’s School – From School to Community Facility
Background
St Anne’s School, Lewes, was used as a Special School until its closure in
September 2005. The site consisted of several buildings, car parking and external
play space (‘the Site’).
Due to the restricted access to the Site there was no obvious future use of it.
Potential opportunities were varied and often overlapping. One such opportunity
related to the future location of County Hall (next to the St Anne’s site) and whether a
relocation of County Hall would allow a much better future use of the combined sites.
However, County Hall is now set to remain at the current Lewes site, which put the
future use of the St Anne’s Site back in focus.
Pending confirmation of its future use, basic maintenance of the site buildings was
implemented by East Sussex County Council (‘the Council’). Public access to the
Site was not physically restricted and it was used informally by the local community.
On 5 April 2011, there were reports that lead had been stolen from the roof of
buildings on the Site. Due to concerns about the possibility of water ingress destabilising the in-situ asbestos, the Council took the decision to board up the
windows and doors (Appendix 1: Witness Statement). Later that year, the Council
had to deal with a number of forced entries to the buildings and the resulting
damage. As warning signs alone had not reduced the risk of public injury, the
decision was made to enhance the physical security of the Site through the use of
security fencing.
The new physical restrictions to the Site raised concerns in the local community
about the Council’s intentions for the Site. In the early summer of 2011, the Site was
occupied by a group of climate change activists who stated that they wanted to
secure the future community use of the Site. The illegal encampment was removed
in June 2011. Following the removal, the Council set in motion a series of meetings
and conversations with the local communities of Lewes to discuss the future of the
Site.
Community Engagement
On 7 and 27 July 2011, the Council convened Town Hall meetings for residents and
community groups to discuss and explore the options for the interim community use
of the Site. These meetings were followed by an on-site open day in August at which
over 200 people visited the site and contributed ideas for both the interim use of the
site, and its on-going development.
On the back of the Town Hall meetings and the August open day it was suggested
that a community led steering group be established to oversee the development of
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an interim use of the Site. Community representatives that attended the Town Hall
meetings were encouraged to become involved in developing the steering group.
The Council, with the assistance of an organisation called ‘Meanwhile Space’ and
community representatives, established a community led steering group,(‘the St
Anne’s Steering Group. Community representation on the St Anne’s Steering Group
included interested representatives (c. 12 individuals) from the surrounding
neighbourhoods, and local community organisations. The St Anne’s Steering Group,
supported by 3VA (a local community development organisation) began the process
setting terms of reference (Appendix 2: Steering Group Terms of Reference) and
information for communities and organisations on how to access the Site for interim
use. The St Anne’s Steering Group held regular meetings which were well attended
until January 2014, at which point requests for the use of the Site were managed via
email correspondence.
By early autumn of 2011 the Site was open with it being used formally and informally
by the community.
By January 2012 the Site was open 7 days a week from 11:00am to 4:00pm with the
community using the Site more frequently for both informal and planned activities.
The St Anne’s Steering Group held a further open day in January to engage with
communities at the Site and to further explore the interim use. By the spring of 2012
the Site opening hours were extended to 8am to dusk, and has remained open to
this day.
Disposal Process - Bids
In October 2012, following community input and discussions with the St Anne’s
Steering Group, the Council undertook appraisals in to the options available for the
future end use of the Site. The options considered by the Council were:
-
Sell on the open market (most likely for residential redevelopment);
-
Community Use not excluding social housing; and
-
Do nothing – allow continued community use of grounds and continue to
retain for future inclusion in a larger redevelopment of County Hall.
The appraisals highlighted a number of issues:
- site access;
- the proliferation of tree preservation orders (Appendix 3: Tree Preservation Notice)
and the various densely wooded areas; and
- local planning policy and the South Downs National Park Authority’s operational
commencement in April 2011.
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The appraisals also highlighted that the opportunity to use the Site for residential
purposes was severely restricted (Appendix 4: Report to Lead Cabinet Member for
Resources, 23 October 2012) and that the “market value for such a use would not be
significantly in excess of inviting bids for community use which is considered to be
the most valuable non-residential use for this Site”. This was in line with the
previous conversations with residents and the community in the summer of 2011.
In October 2012 the Lead Member for Community and Resources approved a
proposal to declare the Site surplus to the Council’s future needs and to dispose of
the Site in a manner that achieved future community use and secured best value for
the Council (Appendix 4: Report to Lead Cabinet Member for Resources, 23 October
2012). The Council’s process for disposal was an informal tender. The Royal
Institution of Chartered Surveyors advises that an informal tender is where a date for
best bids is established, but that the vendor (in this case the Council) is not
contractually obliged in to a contract of sale following the selection of a preferred
bidder. The European Court of Justice has reiterated that the sale of public land
(such as the Site) is not a ‘public works contract’ and is therefore not subject to EU
Procurement Rules.
The disposal process was implemented in accordance with the underpinning
principles of the Community Asset Transfer Policy (‘CATP’) (Appendix 5: Community
Asset Transfer Policy), and was informed by the engagement with residents and
communities throughout the preceding year. The CATP states “Engagement and
empowerment of local communities is the primary reason for asset transfer…Any
proposed asset transfer must be for the benefit of the community, support or
enhance the current services provided and demonstrate a clear contribution to the
priorities within the Sustainable Community Strategy and/or the Council Plan”.
A Public Notice and marketing particulars were published in January 2013
(Appendices 6: Public Notice and 7: Sales Particulars) inviting expressions of
interest from voluntary and community organisations. A range of information about
the Site, the application process and the assessment process was made publicly
available (Appendix 8: Asset Transfer Bid Application Form). As part of the
application, bidders were asked to identify:
-
How it would support community empowerment, the area and neighbourhood
agenda;
-
How it would promote a sustainable third sector;
-
The economic and social benefits that would arise from its use of the Site;
-
How it would promote improvements in local services;
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-
How it would provide value for money and what the corporate and partnership
priorities of its bid were; and
-
What discussions had been held with the local planning authority and the
results of the same.
The bidders were not given any guidance about planning (i.e. any potential planning
permission that may be relevant to their proposals), but were asked to undertake
their own investigations. It would be inappropriate for the Council to provide planning
advice where it was interested in seeing what schemes could be delivered by the
various bidding parties, without the bidders being unduly influenced by the Council.
For this site the Council did not submit a planning application as the Council had
neither any intention to develop and manage a community asset, nor was it
appropriate for the Council to obtain planning for a community scheme that would
influence the bidders proposals.
Completed applications were received from three organisations. The Council and
Localities carried out an initial check of each bid. Localities is an independent not-forprofit organisation that provides support for the voluntary and community sector and
Local Authorities especially with regards to the transfer of assets. Queries raised by
the Council and Localities were sent to each applicant on 13 May 2013, to seek
clarifications from applicants prior to a full assessment.
The queries focused on details around scheme costings, inconsistencies in data
provided and suggestions to support business plans. The queries were to clarify
bids, and did not guide any of the bids on scheme design and / or make-up.
The clarification process provided all applicants with the opportunity to amend or
revise their bids prior formally submitting them on 7 June 2013. The application
process ensured all bidders were given equal opportunity to describe how their
proposal would meet the Council’s key criteria for the Site. The Council’s willingness
to encourage information gaps to be filled was designed to ensure a fair, full and
transparent assessment and comparison of all bids in line with the Council’s key
criteria. The Council provided consistent and accurate information regarding the Site
and the bid assessment process to all parties.
Following the deadline, a Bid Assessment Panel (‘the Panel’) began its work to
assess the three bids completing assessment on 17 June 2013. The Panel included
Council Officers from Communities, Estates, Economy and Finance, as well as a
representative from 3VA and a nominated representative from the St Anne’s
Steering Group.
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Each Panel member scored each bid without conferring with other Panel members,
but was able to seek clarifications from the lead officer. Individual Panel members
carried out independent research on each of the bidders.
The Council takes its duty under the Equality Act 2010 extremely seriously. Ability to
comply with the Act is always part of an assessment process and formed part of the
Panel members’ independent research. The views of the Council Equalities
Manager were sought in respect to the governance of bidding organisations in
relation to the Councils duty under the Equality Act 2010, but not in relation to the
tender.
All bids were passed to the Council’s Finance department to check bidders’ financial
standing including stability, governance, and probity. The bids were assessed based
on a set of five criteria that had been highlighted throughout the application process
(‘the Criteria’). The Criteria were as follows:
1. The Organisation;
2. Finance;
3. Asset Transfer Rationale;
4. Relationship with 3VA; and
5. Offer.
A scoring matrix was also used to weight these strengths in respect to the individual
bids (‘the Scoring Matrix’) (Appendix 9: Bid Scoring Matrix Template).
The Panel met to discuss their individual scoring and comments on the bids,
unanimously recommending the bid submitted by SUBUD. SUBUD received the
highest score against all of the Criteria, which led to the decision to recommend
them. This included the highest score against the offer criteria despite their offer not
providing the highest capital receipt. For more information on under-bidders please
refer to the section below ‘Disposal Process – Sale’.
Following the Panel’s recommendation, a summary of each of the three bids (by
reference to the Criteria) was presented to the St Anne’s Steering Group. The Panel
discussed the bids proposals for community use and the bidding organisation’s
relationship with the local community. In terms of documentation shared, only plans
showing the proposed site layouts were made available. Based on the information
provided, the St Anne’s Steering Group were supportive of the Panel’s
recommendation to select SUBUD as the preferred bidder.
The involvement of Localities, 3VA and the St Anne’s Steering Group in the
assessment reflected the Council’s sensitivity to the need for a fair and informed
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appraisal of all bids by representatives of organisations who work in the community
sector. As part of the application form, the Council confirmed with bidders that their
information was not confidential. This was for the sole purpose of sharing
commercially sensitive information with Localities, the Panel members from 3VA and
the St Anne’s Steering Group; so that they could assess the bids.
Shortly after the completion of the Bid Assessment process the Council received a
challenge against the process and more specifically relating to the wording of the bid
application form. The wording in question stated that the “questionnaire applies to
requests for the purchase of a Council asset by voluntary, community or not for profit
organisations, unless the organisation is promoting political or religious activities. It is
not intended to be used for commercial organisations” (Appendix 8: Asset Transfer
Bid Application Form).
Advice on the wording of this portion of the tender had not been sought from the
Equalities Officer. However, upon review, this wording was considered to be
potentially contrary to the Council’s duties under the Equality Act 2010, and had
therefore been inserted in to the original bid application form in error. It was
therefore agreed that this restriction should be removed from the disposal process.
Furthermore, the Council reviewed the impact that the erroneous wording had on the
process generally. The review concluded that the erroneous wording had not
affected any of the bids received. The erroneous wording had not been included in
the advert for sale of the Site nor in the Sales Particulars that were issued to any
party which expressed an interest in purchasing the Site. The form which included
the erroneous wording was only seen by parties who had already expressed an
interest in purchasing the site. Two of the three bidders that submitted a bid were
organisations with religious affiliations, and therefore the Council was satisfied that
the erroneous wording had not prevented any party from expressing an interest in
the Site or from submitting a bid.
The recommendation to select SUBUD as the preferred bidder based on the
unanimous scoring of the Panel was subsequently approved by the Lead Member for
Resources on 29 October 2013 (Appendix 10: Report to Lead Cabinet Member for
Resources 29 October 2013). At this point in the process, Council officers agreed
that once contracts had been exchanged for the sale of the Site to the preferred
bidder, the Council would contact the unsuccessful bidders to provide constructive
feedback and would prepare a press release advising the public of the preferred
bidder’s scheme. At this stage the Council had not envisaged the process of
agreeing heads of terms would become as protracted as it did. The delay in these
discussions was caused in part by the parties joint efforts to safeguard community
use of the Site. For clarification, ‘heads of terms’ is the name given to the salient
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terms (of the sale) agreed between the parties which will then be incorporated in to
the final transfer and sale contract documents.
The Council’s standard practice for providing detailed feedback to unsuccessful
bidders in an informal tender processes is to offer this feedback following the
exchange of contracts with the successful bidder. This practice is in place to ensure
that the Council can finalise contractual negotiations in the most diligent manner
having due respect to the interests of all parties and maintain appropriate
commercial confidentiality.
Disposal Process - Sale
S.123 of the Local Government Act 1972 states that the Council is required to sell
surplus land for the ‘Best Consideration’ that can reasonably be obtained, unless the
consent of the Secretary of State is given to sell at an undervalue. However, by the
Local Government Act 1972: General Disposal Consent 2003, the Secretary of State
has granted a general consent which removes the requirement for the Council to
obtain specific consent where the price obtained is not less than £2 million below
what would be considered to be “best consideration” (based on an independent
valuation). The general consent is further limited by the requirement that the
authority must considers that the disposal will help secure the promotion or
improvement of the economic, social or environmental well-being of its area.
Whilst the SUBUD bid was not the highest in terms of price, the bid was scored as
best of the bids received across all of the 5 evaluation criteria. SUBUD’s proposal
includes the provision of two community halls which will be available for public use, a
social enterprise hub, a crèche, a café (which will use produce grown at the Site),
and public gardens. Additional scheme phases may include a facility let to Living
Well Dying Well (providing end of life care), as well as a lodge offering over-night
accommodation to visitors of Lewes and users of the Site’s services and facilities.
The Council therefore considered that although the sale would be at an undervalue,
it would contribute to the economic and social well-being of the area in accordance
with the General Disposal Consent 2003. Consequently, in October 2013 the Lead
Member for Resources declared the proposed sale to SUBUD to be at an
undervalue.
In the summer of 2014, clarity was requested by local County Councillors about the
process for attracting bids for the Site and the transparency of the assessment
procedure.
The Council has demonstrated a high level of commitment to securing a future
benefit to the community from the Site, evidenced through public reports and the
open collaboration with 3VA and Localities.
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The Council will safeguard the on-going community use of the Site through the
conditions of the sale. Similarly, the conditions of sale will be drafted to provide
protection against gains from future housing development on the Site following its
sale to SUBUD. These conditions are being prepared in the commercially sensitive
heads of terms that are currently in negotiation between the Council and SUBUD.
Once contracts for sale have been exchanged, SUBUD will be able to submit a
planning application to the District Council and the South Downs National Park
Authority. If the planning application is successful, then this will trigger completion of
the sale. It is envisaged that exchange of contracts will take place prior to the end of
December 2014, with planning permission for SUBUD’s proposed scheme being
approved later summer 2015.
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LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix 1
Witness Statement
Appendix 2
Steering Group Terms of Reference
Appendix 3
Tree Preservation Order Notice
Appendix 4
Report to Lead Cabinet Member for Resources 23 October 2012
Appendix 5
Community Asset Transfer Policy
Appendix 6
Public Notice
Appendix 7
Sales Particulars
Appendix 8
Asset Transfer Bid Application Form
Appendix 9
Bid Scoring Matrix template
Appendix 10
Report to Lead Cabinet Member for Resources 29 October 2013
9
15
16
Appendix 1
17
Appendix 1
18
Appendix 1
19
Appendix 1
20
Appendix 1
21
Appendix 1
22
Appendix 1
23
24
Appendix 2
St. Anne’s Site Steering Group
Terms of Reference
October 2011 – September 2012
The primary function of the St. Anne’s Site Steering Group is to ensure that the communities
of Lewes have opportunities to develop and deliver ideas and activities for the interim
(minimum 3 years) use of the St. Anne’s site grounds.
The secondary function of the Steering Group will be to work with partners and the County
Council (as landlord) to as investigate potential opportunities for the long –term use of the site
(both grounds and buildings). Any short-term projects cannot prejudice any potential longterm use of the site (grounds and buildings). The Steering Group will ensure this condition of
use is respected.
Purpose
The St. Anne’s Site Steering Group will:
-
Lead on the development and implementation of the criteria and process for assessing
and agreeing the use of the site;
-
Lead on developing communication to ensure that the communities of Lewes are fully
aware of opportunities to become involved in developing and delivering site activity;
-
Be responsible for agreeing the activities that take place on the grounds of the St. Anne’s
site, against the agreed criteria and processes; and
-
At every opportunity actively promote the St. Anne’s Site development activities with
external partners.
Membership
1. Membership of the group will be consist of up to 10 community representatives and a
representative from each of the following: East Sussex County Council, Lewes District
Council, Lewes Town Council, and the Accountable Body;
2. Membership to the steering Group will be reviewed annually;
3. All members should have an understanding that some action, reading and related followup will be required of them.
4. A member with a personal interest in a matter, who attends a meeting of the group at
which the matter is considered, must disclose to that meeting the existence and nature of
that interest at the commencement of that consideration, or when the interest becomes
apparent.
Operation & Proceedings
1. The St. Anne’s Site Steering Group will be supported by an organisation external of the
County Council. The organisation providing support will be the Accountable Body in terms
of legal obligations with the County Council. This external organisation or Accountable
Body will also provide advice, developmental support, and administrative support to the
Steering Group.
2. The St. Anne’s Site Steering Group will meet at least three times every three months.
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25
Appendix 2
3. Agendas and papers for the St. Anne’s Site Steering Group meetings will be available one
week prior to a meeting taking place, and will be distributed via email to all group
members. Papers will also be made available for all members who do not have reliable
access to email
4. Notes (including actions) of the St. Anne’s Site Steering Group meetings will be available
within one week of a meeting taking place, and will be distributed via email to all group
members.
5. The ‘purpose’ and ‘membership’ of the St. Anne’s Site Steering Group will be reviewed in
September 2012.
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Appendix 3
27
Appendix 3
28
Appendix 3
29
Appendix 3
30
Appendix 3
31
Appendix 3
32
Appendix 3
33
Appendix 3
34
Appendix 3
35
Appendix 3
36
Appendix 3
37
Appendix 3
38
Appendix 3
39
Appendix 3
40
Appendix 3
41
Appendix 3
42
Appendix 3
43
Appendix 3
44
Appendix 3
45
Appendix 3
46
Appendix 4
Agenda Item 6
Committee:
Lead Member for Community and Resources
Date:
23 October 2012
Title of Report:
Former St Anne’s School, Rotten Row, Lewes
By:
Interim Director of Corporate Resources
To invite Lead Member to consider the future of St
Anne’s former school and its alternative use as a
community asset.
__________________________________________________________________
Purpose of Report:
RECOMMENDATIONS: The Lead Member is recommended to:
(1)
Declare the former St Anne’s School surplus to the County Council’s
requirements; and
(2)
Authorise the marketing of the property for community uses in order to
achieve best value for this purpose.
1. Financial Appraisal
1.1.
Declaring this land surplus to the Council’s requirements and sold for community
purposes will generate a significant capital receipt and contribute towards funding of the
County Council’s capital programme.
1.2.
The buildings are no longer fit for purpose and have therefore been maintained
on a wind and water-tight basis. The current backlog of repairs to return the existing
structures to good repair would be in excess of £1 million. Furthermore the ongoing
costs to maintain and secure this property are currently in excess of £100,000 per
annum and its disposal would remove this ongoing liability.
2. Supporting Information
2.1.
St Anne’s is a former school for children with special needs that was closed by
the County Council in 2005 following a change in policy that sought to integrate the
education of these children within main stream schools. The site was declared surplus to
the requirements of Education and Libraries in 2005.
2.2.
The site is 1.78ha (4.4 acres) and is extensively wooded and subject to a number
of tree preservation orders. The principal school building is a Victorian lodge and in the
1960’s this building was extended to provide classrooms, school hall and kitchens. By
2005 the building was no longer fit for purpose and the school was closed. The property
has since been held for strategic purposes alongside the adjacent County Hall site. Due
to the building’s dated design and poor layout it has not been suitable for any alternative
operational use other than low grade storage of non essential records & furniture, a
Police dog training facility and use by east Sussex Fire and Rescue as an ad hoc
training facility. Therefore it has not been appropriate for the Council to allocate the
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Appendix 4
resources that would be required to maintain the building in good repair and despite
being maintained on a wind and water tight basis, damage caused by weather and
vandalism has meant the building has continued to deteriorate and the backlog of
repairs is now in excess of £1 million.
2.3.
Due to the site’s restricted access and its wooded nature the opportunity to use
this site for residential purposes is very restricted. Therefore it is the professional opinion
of the Head of Estates and Corporate Asset Management that its market value for such
a use would not be significantly in excess of inviting bids for community purposes which
is considered to be the most valuable non-residential use for this site.
2.4.
Since July 2011 the Council has been working with the local community to
consult on the future of the site. This resulted in the creation of the St Anne’s steering
group (See Appendix 1) whose purpose has been to consider how the grounds and not
the building could be used. It is as a result of the work of this group that the Council has
now entered into an initial one year interim lease at nil rent to 3VA, a local community
and voluntary organisation, who will manage the use of the grounds for community
purposes on behalf of the Council.
2.5.
Although the long term aim of the Council is to relocate County Hall to a more
central location in East Sussex it is recognised that until conditions in the local real
estate market make such a move viable at no net cost to the Council the principal
administrative location of the authority should remain in Lewes. Therefore it is proposed
that as a result of the ongoing liability to continue to maintain a building it no longer
requires and the option appraisal attached in Appendix 2 the Council should no longer
retain this property for strategic purposes and declare this property surplus to its
requirements. Furthermore as part of its continuing commitment to work with the local
community to invite bids from purchasers who will use the site for community purposes.
Bidders will be assessed on a number of criteria including their Business Plan, their
commitment to work with the current tenant, 3VA, and the sum offered to purchase the
property. Any preferred bid will be subject to obtaining the necessary approvals.
3. Conclusion and Reason for Recommendation
3.1.
In order to fulfil the commitment to fully engage with the community to ensure
suitable sustainable use for the site, approval is sought to declare the property surplus to
the requirements of the County Council as there is no further operational use or other
Council requirement for this land; and to market the property for community uses in
order to achieve best value for this purpose.
ANDREW TRAVERS
Interim Director of Corporate Resources
Contact Officer:
Dennis Thomas - Estates Team leader (01273) 335469
Local Member:
Councillor Ruth O’Keefe
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
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Appendix 4
Agenda Item 6 Appendix 1
St Anne's Steering Group

The primary function of the St. Anne’s Site Steering Group is to ensure that
the communities of Lewes have opportunities to develop and deliver ideas
and activities for the interim (minimum 3 years) use of the St. Anne’s site
grounds.

The secondary function of the Steering Group is to work with partners and the
County Council (as landlord) to investigate potential opportunities for the long
–term use of the site (both grounds and buildings). Any short-term projects
cannot prejudice any potential long-term use of the site (grounds and
buildings). The Steering Group will ensure this condition of use is respected.
The Steering Group will:
-
Lead on the development and implementation of the criteria and process for
assessing and agreeing the use of the site;
-
Lead on developing communication to ensure that the communities of Lewes are
fully aware of opportunities to become involved in developing and delivering site
activity;
-
Be responsible for agreeing the activities that take place on the grounds of the St.
Anne’s site, against the agreed criteria and processes; and
At every opportunity actively promote the St. Anne’s Site development activities with
external partners
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Appendix 4
Agenda Item 6 Appendix 2
Summary - St Anne’s Options
Option
Do nothing
Market the site and the
St Anne’s building for
wider community based
uses.
Market the site for
housing development.
Risk
Current short term
leasing arrangement
with 3VA stays in place
and the condition of the
building, which is
outside this
arrangement
deteriorates further.
Use by the community
may be restricted by the
poor condition and
layout of the building
Development potential
for residential use is
limited as the site has
restricted access and
would limit the density
for a scheme of this
nature.
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Outcome
The opportunity to reuse part or all of this
building for a suitable
community will decline
and may impact further
on value.
A successful disposal
will achieve best value
and enable the
redevelopment of the
site for community uses.
The value that would be
available for this use at
the present time is
limited and may be no
greater than the
potential receipt
achieved for an
alternative use of this
site for community
purposes.
Appendix 5
Community Asset Transfer Policy
May 2013
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Appendix 5
Amendments history sheet
Issue Number Changes Made
1
Created
2
3
4
Issue Date
March 2013
If you would like a copy of the document in a different format, such as
large print, Braille or a different language, please contact us.
David Baughan
Head of Strategic Property
Tel: 01273 336680
[email protected]
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Appendix 5
Contents
1 Introduction
2 Background
3 Our Principles
4 Our approach to Community Asset Transfers
5 Conclusion
Appendices
Appendix I17 - The Process for Asset Transfers
Appendix I18 - The Current Use and Circumstance
Appendix I19 - Risk Assessment
Appendix I20 – Community Assets – Grants available
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Appendix 5
1 Introduction
The Council wants to support the development of the transfer of assets to third
sector as part of the Government’s agenda to encourage devolution to local people
and communities.
Transfer occupation of Council owned premises by the voluntary and community
sector is not new. Currently several properties are used/occupied by a variety of
organisations ranging from voluntary support groups to sporting and youth
organisations. The purpose of this policy framework is to build upon current
experience and best practice and provide a clear policy framework for responding to
any requests or identifying any opportunities for asset transfer to the community.
This includes how it considers the risks and benefits of asset transfer as part of its
overall corporate asset management planning process.
Due to the diverse nature of the Council’s property holdings which includes land,
buildings, structures, and monuments it is clear that one policy will not fit all
circumstances. However a number of common themes will need to be considered
e.g. nature and capacity of the applicant, adoption of robust option appraisals
including financial implications to the authority, contribution to corporate objectives,
assessment of risks and sustainable business cases before contemplating the
transfer of any asset. The Council therefore needs a clear policy framework against
which to judge any asset transfers.
The Council does also consider the community and voluntary sector using its assets
for short term use or to cultivate organisations to be self sustaining. Whilst these are
not transfers as such, the principles of this policy will be observed in such
arrangements as demonstrated in this policy
This policy has been shared with the Third Sector and developed with support from
Localities.
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Appendix 5
2 Background
Scope of the Policy
An asset is land or buildings in the ownership of East Sussex County Council. The
policy applies to all land and buildings, and potential transfers will be considered on
a case-by-case basis against the criteria outlined in this policy. The Council will not
consider applications for transfer in respect of:
• Buildings which accommodate fixed or core services (e.g. schools, social care
establishments, integrated service centres)
• Assets which have, through a review, been identified as having a potential
significant capital receipt and where the Council is looking at disposal.
The Council will consider asset transfer solutions through proactively working with
the voluntary and community sector, or consider applications in respect of:
• Buildings currently delivering community-based services, where there is a
demonstrable need for the building and associated services to continue. For
these buildings there may be mutual benefit to explore transfer. The Council
would, however, place a condition that the organisation taking ownership of
the building does so for community use and continue to provide access to the
community and voluntary groups currently using the premises.
• Buildings which have been identified by the Council as potentially surplus or
where there is no clear rationale for retention due to; a) the cost to maintain,
b) the condition of the building, c) low levels of participation or utilisation, or d)
the potential to use nearby facilities to provide services.
Whilst the Council does not rule out transfer of the freehold, this will need to be
carefully considered as it increases the level of risk to both the Council and the third
sector organisation. Freehold transfer could reduce the Council’s control in the longterm over the benefits achieved through its assets. Transfer of freehold would also
require a more complex assessment and justification process. Any asset
permanently transferred to a third sector organisation would also need to be
removed from the Council’s balance sheet thus reducing the Council’s financial
strength.
“Transfer” is therefore primarily considered to relate to leasehold arrangements at
less than best consideration or potentially freehold with relevant covenants. The
terms of transfer will therefore usually be on the basis of a long lease of between 25
and 99 years, assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The Council may grant an initial 3-5 year lease with a view to eventual transfer to
allow the voluntary and community sector organisation to, for example, explore
options for the management and refurbishment of the building. The process followed
will be the same as set out however it will be a one stage process based on the
principles.
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Appendix 5
Groups may be locally based or regional or national organisations with a work
programme that has clear benefits for East Sussex. Groups must be able to
demonstrate good governance and an appropriate legal structure. Transfer to social
enterprises will be considered, but will be subject to additional commercial analysis.
Purpose of the strategy
The transfer of assets can have a significant impact:
• It can contribute towards the regeneration of communities and can act as a
catalyst for social, environmental and economic regeneration
• Changing ownership or management offers opportunities to extend the use of
a building or the piece of land, increasing its value in relation to the number of
people benefiting and the range of opportunities it offers
• It can stimulate the involvement of local people in shaping and regenerating
their communities, and can be a catalyst for local volunteering and increasing
community cohesion
• It can build confidence and capacity amongst the individuals involved, and can
support the creation of community leaders, and inspire others to improve their
community
• It has potential to create stronger, more sustainable voluntary and community
sector organisations (VCOs), which can create a wide range of benefits for
the communities they serve. An asset can provide VCOs with financial
security, recognition, and management capacity
• It can result in the creation of new organisations, joint ventures or
collaborations with the ability to lever in additional resources, which would be
unavailable to the Council acting independently
• The activities that are stimulated or safeguarded by community asset transfer
will contribute to council objectives. Working in partnership with VCOs (HVA,
RVA and 3VA) can help the Council to achieve its outcomes set out in key
place shaping strategies
• It can contribute towards efficiency savings (e.g. achieving revenue savings
by releasing surplus property), and drive the diversification of public services
in an era of austerity spending settlements for local government
• It can contribute to the Council's objective to rationalise its estate and facilitate
more effective and efficient use of its asset base, where the focus is on better
services and community outcomes as a result of strategic asset management
• It can be a stimulus for partnership working between the voluntary and
community sector, the Council and other partners and can improve the
provision and accountability of services within communities.
As part of wanting to maximise on the impact, the Council must have a clear and
transparent approach to how it addresses asset transfers to the community. This is
the aim of this policy.
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National policy context
The development of this policy has regard to:
•
•
•
Localism Act (Part 5 Community Empowerment) 2011
Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
Local Government Deficit Reduction
Local policy context and links to other strategies
The operation of this policy will need to have regard to the desired outcomes in other
Council strategies including:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Sustainable Community Plan
Corporate Plan
Local Development Framework
Empowerment and Engagement Framework
Corporate Property Asset Management Plan
The Compact
Capital Strategy
The Council will also have regard to specific local issues.
There may be conflicting needs and the Council will in such cases have regard to
priorities and core responsibilities.
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Appendix 5
3 Our Principles
Principle 1 – Improve or replace
Investment to ensure retained properties are fit for purpose, efficient and
sustainable.
Out of scope.
Principle 2 - Release
To identify poorly performing assets to rationalise the corporate Estate
The authority needs to streamline its estate in order to be able to provide fit for
purpose buildings to support service delivery. This means releasing buildings which
are not fit for purpose where investing in improvement is not viable and gaining
capital receipts from sales to fund replacement or improvement of other
properties and where appropriate seek to transfer to community use to support
core priorities.
Principle 3 – Reduce our Carbon Footprint
To identify and implement changes to reduce our carbon footprint
Out of scope.
Principle 4 – Work in partnership
And empower our communities
The authority aims to provide services across the county, alongside and in collaboration
with, other organisations, enabling local people to access a range of services from
place. This is an important issue in the provision of services to both children and
young people, and in adult care services, where the ability to access a range of
support facilities in one location is beneficial (personalization of services).
The County Council is a member of SPACES (Strategic Property Asset Collaboration
in East Sussex) which comprises of public, private, voluntary and community sector
and community sector organisations. One of the core priorities of the Council is to
also create sustainable communities. For more information see: http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/community/helping/partnerships/default.htm
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Appendix 5
Challenges
•
•
•
•
To identify opportunities for greater efficiency in service delivery and building use in
key towns across East Sussex.
To reconcile organisational timescales and strategies with partners,
alongside agreeing partnership principles.
Building greater resilience and self-sustaining capacity to support delivery of
joint objectives with the voluntary and community sector.
To balance the benefits of asset transfers and community empowerment with
the need to generate resources to fund the Capital programme.
Pledges
• To build on existing partnerships between the public, voluntary and
•
•
community sector throughout East Sussex.
Support the delivery of the SPACES priorities.
Work with partners to further develop area based asset plans and to work
strategically with our partners to ensure that we learn from our common
experience and share best practice.
Underpinning Principles
The Community Asset Transfer policy is underpinned by the following principles:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
We will work with the voluntary and community sector to achieve asset
transfers where appropriate that will enhance community engagement and
empowerment and encourage development and sustainability of the sector
We will take a strategic approach to community asset transfer and identify
assets to be transferred through regular reviews of the Council's asset base,
and undertake option appraisals
We will have a transparent process for responding to requests for individual
asset transfers
We will seek to implement the policy proactively to encourage appropriate
groups to consider transfer
Engagement and empowerment of local communities is the primary reason
for asset transfer
Any proposed asset transfer must be for the benefit of the community, support
or enhance the current services provided and demonstrate a clear
contribution to the priorities within the Sustainable Community Strategy and/or
the Council Plan
We recognise the Council’s dual but independent roles as a supporter of the
third sector, but also as a steward of publicly owned assets
The Council will assess the benefits of the transfer (linked to corporate
priorities) which allows a comparison with market disposal
There must be a clear proposal, business case and rationale for transfer,
which could include opportunities for new and innovative ways of supporting
the Council providing services to the community
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Appendix 5
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
We recognise the advantage of long and flexible terms of tenure (with
appropriate and proportionate safeguards) to enable the voluntary and
community sector to adapt and change over time, in response to community
needs, and to achieve long term sustainability
We will seek to extend our approach to community asset transfer and
positively promote it to other public bodies and service providers
We will take a community wide perspective involving other public partners
through our SPACES programme
We will have a clear process and timescale for dealing with asset transfers.
The decision to transfer an asset will not be considered as setting a
precedent. Each asset transfer will be judged on its own merits and the detail
of the transfer arrangements will be arrived at through individual negotiation.
All Council departments will endorse and help to deliver this agenda
The Council will negotiate two sets of documentation in respect of any
transfer. This will be a Lease and a Partnership Agreement. The aim will
be to empower the VCS organisation, in an appropriate timescale, to take on
the full legal responsibilities of an asset transfer.
The lease will therefore be "aspirational" and commercial in nature in that it
will set out the eventual position on shared responsibilities.
The Partnership Agreement, however, will clearly set out the support
(financial or otherwise) being provided to the organisation to enable it to meet
its responsibilities. These may change over time in recognition of growing
capacity within the organisation to take on more responsibility for the asset.
The Partnership Agreement will also detail any monitoring regime, together
with remedies available to both parties if the terms of the partnership
agreement are not met.
Cabinet will ultimately take decisions on all transfers.
.
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Appendix 5
4 Our Approach to Community Asset
Transfer
Council’s Disposals Policy
The implications of this policy will be reflected in the Acquisition and Disposal
Policies along with any implications arising from this policy proposal including an
initial option appraisal will be carried out to inform decisions on future disposals
which may be community transfer, eg capital investment for continued operational
use by another service, income from rental, disposal to support the capital
investment programme, transfer of asset to the third sector, opportunity for
collaborative working. Appraisals will also need to address economic, regeneration,
and sustainability issues.
The priority will always be to obtain the best outcome to help deliver Council
objectives and this will require balancing the best price reasonably obtainable to
support the Capital Programme against the benefits being offered through alternative
use including asset transfer.
The Council does have the opportunity, under the General Disposals Consent 2003,
to dispose of land or buildings at less than market value provided the disposal is
likely to contribute to the economic, social or environmental well-being of the area,
and the difference between the market value and the actual price paid is less than
£2million. Any disposal for less than market value would need to be transparent
justifiable and have the appropriate Cabinet/Lead Member approval. In some cases
the consent of the Secretary of State is required.
Link to Disposals Policy
Link to Acquisition Policy
Link to Lease and Rent Policy
Aims of Community Asset Transfer
The Council’s Property Portfolio includes land, buildings and other structures held to
support direct service delivery, support delivery by partners including the voluntary
and community sector sector, stimulate economic activity and regeneration. Through
the ownership of assets it achieves a variety of different economic, regeneration,
social, community and public functions. For some of these assets community
management and ownership could deliver a variety of benefits.
For the Council and other public sector service providers, the potential benefits from
asset transfers include:
•
•
Community empowerment
Area wide benefits for the citizens of East Sussex
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
A sustainable third sector
Improvements to local services including more accessible and responsive
services
Delivery of corporate objectives
providing a catalyst for inward investment and local multipliers through local
purchasing and employment
transfer can help to solve building management problems and can lower
ongoing costs
helping to progress neighbourhood planning priorities
providing opportunities for long-term working between sectors
creating the opportunity for investment in the asset that may not be possible
within Council ownership.
The potential benefits of asset transfer for VCS organisations include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
physical assets can provide sustainable wealth
can strengthen the organisation’s confidence
can strengthen the organisation’s community ties
can strengthen the organisation’s ability to raise money. There may be access
to funding to refurbish the building or to support staff training and
development
greater financial sustainability can help the organisation to escape short term
grant-dependency
an ability to develop the asset to meet the organisation’s needs and
aspirations
Public assets are rarely used by everyone: their ‘value’ being locked-in to a particular
use or a particular group of people. Changing ownership or management offers
opportunities to extend the use of a building or piece of land, increasing its value in
relation to the numbers of people that benefit and the range of opportunities it offers.
Community-led ownership offers additional opportunities to secure resources within
a local area and to empower local citizens and communities.
How asset transfers can take place
The process of asset transfer may be initiated in two ways:
•
•
By the Council identifying an asset as appropriate to consider for transfer
either to sustain the current building and service delivery where a building has
been deemed surplus; or
A request from the voluntary and community sector
In the case of the former, following a review of the Council's assets and relevant
engagement and approval on which community assets are suitable for transfer,
these will be advertised and the local voluntary and community sector will be made
aware.
In the case of the latter, the Council will assess the initial request to determine
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whether the asset is suitable for transfer. Speculative transfer requests will be
subject to an initial assessment of the suitability of the asset for transfer. Should the
asset be deemed suitable it will be advertised as being so to ensure an open and
transparent process. Interested parties will be directed towards completing an initial
Expression of Interest (EOI) providing details about the organisation, identifying the
building proposed to be transferred, identifying the organisation's plans for the
building and identifying any local support for the proposal (amongst local members
and the local community).
When there are a number of interested parties in an asset that has been made
available for transfer, the Council will aim to encourage collaboration. However,
when this is not possible a competitive process will be used to decide the outcome
and the successful organisation will become the Council's preferred partner in the
transfer process.
Where there are current lease arrangements in place, the transfer process will need
to consider the terms of this lease and this may limit the opportunity to advertise on
particular buildings.
Potential funding sources for community groups
Grants are available towards the purchase/refurbishment of community assets
depending on the location, status of the organisation applying and the use of the
asset, some of which are listed in Appendix I20. For more information, please
contact our external funding team: [email protected] or phone
01273 482859.
Conclusion
This Policy sets out how the Council approaches asset transfer. It will be reviewed
regularly and at least once a year.
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Appendix I17
The Process for Asset Transfer
The asset transfer decision is essentially a choice between:
•
•
•
doing nothing;
realising a capital receipt as a result of a ‘commercial’ disposal;
the benefits generated by the transfer of the asset to a VCS organisation and
local communities more widely.
In identifying assets proactively and in assessing proposals for asset transfer, the
Council will attempt to measure the relative benefits and risks of these three options
in order to justify its decision and the level of discount proposed. It will also relate
these benefits to Council priorities such as objectives of Vision 2030 and the
Corporate Plan.
The Council will operate a two-stage process for asset transfer. Where a decision is
made not to transfer – either at stage 1 or stage 2 – the Council will give feedback to
the third sector organisation. As part of the feedback, the Council may put forward
alternative proposals for working with the organisation to help build capacity or to
find an alternative property solution.
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The process can broadly be described as:
Asset identified by the Council and
initial discussions with Voluntary
Organisations representatives –
Preliminary stage
Expressions of Interest
Advert and Expression of
Interests invited
Assess the Expressions of Interest for suitability of the Asset
for Transfer
Stage 1
Assessment
passed
Assessment
failed
Feedback to the
Community and
Organisation
Detailed
Assessment
Stage 2
Assessment
passed
Cabinet
decision
Completion of:
Lease
Partnership Agreement
Handover
NB
Short Term Lease of 3 to 5 years will follow single stage process based on
stage 2.
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Appendix 5
Criteria to be adopted for considering requests for
Community Asset Transfer
Preliminary Stage
Where the preliminary approach is being undertaken by the Council, this will be
based on:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Any known needs in the area with input and engagement from 3VA and
appropriate representatives of the voluntary and community sector
Current status of the asset e.g. surplus
Value of a commercial decision
Asset is not currently needed or identified for future investment value or use
for direct service delivery which could be best provided directly by the
authority rather than through the community
Transfer will deliver the strategic priorities of the Council
The asset is fit for purpose and would not impose an unreasonable liability to
a third sector organisation or the Council
Transfer or management of an asset would not be contrary to any obligation
placed on the Council
The assert is in the freehold/leasehold ownership of the Council
Requesting Expression of Interest
These will be via advertisement. Where an organisation approaches the Council
with an Expression of Interest, the Council will consider whether this should be
advertised more widely or whether the Expression of Interest will proceed to stage 1
and can hence be evaluated.
Stage 1 - Suitability Assessment: key criteria
The outline assessment will take place for:
a) those opportunities proactively identified by the Council and advertised
b) those expressions of interest made by
The suitability decision will be made on the suitability of the asset for transfer and the
standing of the third sector organisation based on their expression of interest.
The suitability of the asset for transfer would consider:
•
•
•
•
Current status of the asset
Any future intentions
Value of a commercial decision, financially and non-financially e.g. creation of
housing
Risks of status quo or commercial decision
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Appendix 5
In assessing the organisation, the Council will consider its constitution, how long it
has been operating, its aims and objectives and its management and staffing:
•
•
•
•
•
•
What does the organisation want the asset for?
Does the organisation have a business case supporting their bid / how well
developed are the proposals?
Does the organisation have the capacity to take on the asset?
What benefits might arise from the proposed transfer?
What are the risks of the proposed asset transfer?
How does the proposal contribute to corporate priorities?
Responsibility - this will be undertaken by the Community Asset Group along with
other representation from relevant and appropriate service departments.
Stage 2 - Detailed Assessment: key criteria
The second stage decision will be made based on a detailed business case
submitted by the third sector organisation and a detailed assessment of the potential
benefits and risks made by the Council.
The stage 2 assessment covers 5 main areas, the details of which are set out in
Appendix I18.
Consideration by the Council
In view of the diverse nature of assets within the Council’s ownership, there is no
one disposal methodology that suits all circumstances. However the Council’s asset
transfer policy will be that asset transfers will be by means of leases or licenses.
Nature of Tenure offered will be determined on case by case basis having regard to
the particular circumstances of the project, strength of the applicant and
sustainability of the business case etc.
As the management of assets and the support to communities falls across a range of
Council departments and services it is considered that the asset transfer process be
initially managed by the Community Asset Group cross service internal officer group.
The decision whether to charge an open market consideration for the benefit of an
interest in an asset will be determined on a case by case basis. Factors influencing
such a decision will include proposed uses, extent of revenue producing
opportunities, benefits to the community. In all cases involving transfer of ownership
/occupation appropriate legal mechanisms will be put in place to protect the Councils
financial position. Any proposed asset transfer at less than best consideration will be
subject to formal valuation in accordance with the Royal Institution of Chartered
Surveyors Valuation Standards.
The Council’s intention will be to transfer responsibility of all repairs and
maintenance unless there is a compelling case that responsibilities remain with The
Council. A dowry may be considered.
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Appendix 5
Legal Issues
Asset transfers will generally be by means of a long-term lease, the terms of which
will be agreed at the time of each individual transfer. Freehold transfer will only be
considered in exceptional circumstances.
The organisation taking ownership will be responsible for:
•
•
•
Upkeep, repair and maintenance of the building
All running costs
Compliance with statutory inspections and health and safety requirements
In all cases involving transfer of ownership/occupation appropriate legal mechanisms
will be put in place to protect the financial position of the Council, such as restrictions
on use and break clauses. For example, in the case of a long term lease we will write
into such leases an appropriate clause (forfeiture or break clause) under which the
asset would revert back to the Council, such as:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
In the case of bankruptcy/insolvency
In the case of corruption
In case of none payment of rent (if applicable)
In the case of none performance of other terms such as serious repairs and
maintenance (if applicable)
The Council requires vacant possession of the asset as it forms part of a
regeneration scheme
If the transfer agreement is breached
If the organisation wishes to develop and move into bigger premises.
In the case of all asset transfers, the property may not be sold or transferred to
another organisation without written permission from the Council. The decision of
the Council would be primarily based on ensuring that the benefits of the transfer as
set out in the Partnership Agreement (see below) would be maintained or improved
by the proposed sale or transfer.
Other issues may arise with regard to:
• Domestic law applicable to disposals at an undervalue
• EC law applicable to procurement issues, treaty obligations and state aid
• Domestic law relating to judicial review
• Domestic law applicable to employment contracts
All the above will need to be considered on a case by case basis and a guidance
note is to be prepared by legal services.
Timescales
The Council will endeavour to process applications promptly and will set a timeframe
and milestones for each transfer.
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Appendix 5
Risk Assessment
It is important that both the Council and the receiving organisation are sufficiently
equipped to understand, assess and manage the risks that are inherent in the
process of asset transfer and its policy. In managing this policy the Council will
manage the associated risks as set out in Appendix 3.
Statutory powers of acquisition
Local Authorities can only exercise functions which are authorised by statute.
Specific legislation exists to enable the Council to acquire land that is required to
perform its statutory functions and to implement proper planning proposals at the
relevant time.
The Council has the ability to utilise Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) to acquire
land within the County for specified purposes. In the event that these powers are
exercised compensation is payable to the landowner in accordance with the Land
Compensation Act 1961.
The procedure for exercising CPO is directed by the Acquisition of Land Act 1981
and this statutory procedure must be strictly observed.
The Council may acquire land by agreement either as an alternative to CPO or in the
general exercise of its statutory powers, and these efforts will always be encouraged.
The ability to acquire land by agreement is provided by S227 of the Town & Country
Planning Act 1990 in the case of a specific alternative to compulsory purchase and,
more generally, by S120 of the Local Government Act 1972. Where the Council has
the ability to acquire land compulsorily acquisitions by agreement are often referred
to as ‘acquisitions under threat of CPO’. It will be assumed that the Council were
prepared to utilise powers of CPO unless the land was publicly or privately offered
for sale immediately before negotiations.
Crichel Down Rules
Where a property has been previously acquired through or under the threat of
compulsory means and is now surplus to Council requirements consideration of the
Crichel Down rules may apply. In 2004 the Government produced a circular entitled
“Compulsory Purchase and the Crichel Down Rules” which prescribed the way in
which all Government departments and executive agencies that are subject to a
power of direction from a Minister must manage the disposal of land previously
acquired by use of compulsory powers. Local authorities that are not subject to a
ministerial power of direction are not subject to such a prescription but are
recommended to also follow the rules.
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In particular the General Rule of these guidelines states that “where a department
wishes to dispose of land to which the Rules apply, former owners will, as a general
rule, be given the first opportunity to repurchase the land previously in their
ownership, provided that its character has not materially changed since acquisition.”
The Council is committed to follow the Crichel Down rules and further detail is
provided in its’ Disposal Policy Appendix 4 however where it is concluded that there
is an overriding local or community interest such as a disposal to a parish council,
registered charity or other properly constituted body where best value may not be
achieved then upon the direction of the Assistant Director – Property and Capital
Investments a disposal may proceed to such a body even when it was not the former
owner of the property.
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Appendix 5
Appendix I18
Current use and circumstances building on the assessment already
undertaken and consider and or confirm:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
There is a legal interest owned by the Council from which the transferee can
demonstrate community benefit.
The asset is in the freehold/leasehold ownership of the Council.
An options appraisal has been carried out to identify that the asset is suitable
for community transfer as the sole or one of the viable options. This process
will be adopted in response to requests or properties identified through
internal reviews. This will cover:
The asset is not currently needed or identified for future investment value or
use for direct service delivery, which could best be provided directly by the
authority rather than through the community.
The transfer will deliver the strategic priorities of the Council.
The asset is fit for purpose and would not impose an unreasonable liability to
the Third Sector organisation or the Council
Transfer or management of an asset would not be contrary to any obligation
placed on the Council
Details of current use, occupation and circumstances
Details of the condition of the asset
Suitability of the asset for existing use
Whether any other organisations will be affected by the ownership of the
asset?
Organisation Assessment
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Community-led, i.e. its governance arrangements must ensure that it has
strong links with the local community and that members of the community are
able to influence its operation and decision-making processes;
Be a voluntary and community sector organisation which is a legal entity
Be appropriately constituted and not for profit (e.g. a registered charity,
community interest company or charitable incorporated organisation, a not for
profit company)
Have a strong financial background and/or a demonstrable financial plan
moving forward. (The Council will wish to review copies of audited accounts
and forward projections where appropriate)
Exist for community/social/environmental/economic benefit (The Council will
want to review annual reports)
Be non-profit distributing and reinvest any surpluses to further its social
aims/community benefits
Have stated community benefit objectives
Demonstrate strong governance by operating through open and accountable
co-operative processes, with strong monitoring evaluation, performance and
financial management systems
Demonstrate it has the skills and capacity within, or available to, its managing
body to effectively deliver services and manage the asset;
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Appendix 5
•
•
•
•
•
Have a management proposal which includes a specific plan on health and
safety issues and compliance with legislation and any statutory requirements
arising from ownership or management of the building or running a service;
Have a clear purpose and understanding of the activities it wishes to deliver
and demonstrate how the asset transfer will enable and support these
activities.
Embrace diversity and work to improve community cohesion and reduce
inequalities
Abide by the principles and undertakings in the Third Sector Compact
Demonstrate it is well established and/or track record of delivering services or
property management.
Assessment of the Proposal, including finance and business plan
For any transfer, the Council would require a proposal outlining the business case,
covering financial viability, proposed utilisation, benefits to the organisation and
community and evidence of wider community consultation and support. The decision
on transfer will be made by the Council's Cabinet in all cases.
As a minimum the business case will need to clearly identify:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
At least three/five years revenue or capital funding plans and projections of
managing and operating the asset
How it will invest in and maintain the asset including a specific plan as to how
all health and safety responsibilities will be met
The planned outcomes and benefits to result from the asset transfer
Demonstrate a community governance structure with capability to sustain
asset transfer and has the identified necessary capacity building requirements
within their organisation
Any sources of finance asset transfer will release or attract
Track record of delivering services and or managing property
Financial sustainability and forward planning
Risk assessment and mitigation plan
Evidence of consultation on the proposals
Details of how the proposed use and benefits of the asset will be monitored
and details of ‘fall back’ arrangements should the transfer prove to be not
sustainable
Whether they would wish to start on the phased transfer of the asset and
agreed milestones to justify progression to the next phase.
Justification for transfer at less than market value either freehold or leasehold
the applicant has justified and quantified the benefits to the community and
Council to justify the subsidy. The Council will separately need to satisfy that
any transfer is within its legal and financial powers
How proposed use will demonstrably help in the delivery of the Council’s
community strategy, corporate needs and facilities for the use by the people
of ESCC
How the proposed use will ensure extensive and inclusive reach into the
community and will be open to all
How the proposed use will be maximised
72
Appendix 5
•
•
•
•
The applicant has established how much space it requires to deliver its
proposals, and how they will make good use of such facilities
Clear management structure demonstrating how premises will be managed
on a day to day basis, and legislation affecting occupation of premises
Demonstrate that the buildings will continue to support community and
voluntary activities within the area and protect the use of the facility by other
voluntary organisations
Outline the future opportunities for enhancing the use of the building as a
community facility that transfer would bring
Assessment of potential benefits
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Community empowerment
Area and neighbourhood agenda
Promote a sustainable third sector
Economic development and social enterprise
Improvements to local services
Value for money
Create efficiency savings
Corporate and partnerships priorities
Assessment of risks
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Potential to disadvantage particular individuals or impact negatively on the
local community or communities of interest
Potential for a negative impact on community cohesion
Potential loss of existing community services
Capacity of recipient to manage asset
Potential for the asset to become a financial liability for recipient
Capacity of recipient to deliver promised services/outcomes
Capture of asset by unrepresentative/extremist minority
Transfer contravenes State Aid rules
Conflict with other legal, regulatory constraints
Potential for ongoing Council liability
Lack of value for money
Conflict with other funders
73
Appendix 5
Appendix I19
Risk Assessment
Risk
Organisation does not
have the capacity /skills
to take over and
manage the asset
Community
organisation cannot
raise the cash needed
to purchase or refurbish
the asset offered
The ability of the
Council to support a
particular project is
limited by state aid
rules or other
restrictions or legal
constraints which will
impact on
organisation’s operation
of the asset impact
Inability of the
community organisation
to manage the asset
effectively
Asset not used in public
interest, taken over by
an unrepresentative or
unaccountable minority,
access to the asset is
not inclusive
Community
organisation is not able
to invest in the asset to
meet its longer term
liabilities for upgrading
and cyclical
maintenance
Reliance of smaller
receiving organisations
on volunteers through
lack of resources or
professional/ support
staff
Fragmented ownership
of assets across an
area could impair
strategic objectives of
local authority and/or its
LSP partners
Potential Solution
Agree expectations document at the outset incorporating skills audit and
management plan, organisational development plan, detailed business plan,
ongoing management plan, marketing plan, level of support offered and
agreed at the outset
Identify extent of repair cost by detailed survey, prepare detailed business
plan, identify and secure funding sources, phased transfer in line with
finances available
Identify up front any issues that need to be addressed and allow time in
programme for resolution
Robust business plan identifying secured revenue streams, agreed
organisational development plan, skills audit and training development plan
Adoption of ongoing expectation document, legally binding service level
agreement or other legal agreement, council board members. Local Authority
to ensure management group reflects diversity of local community interest
Robust long term business plan. Agreed organisational development plan.
Organisation has demonstrated appropriate financial skills or access thereto.
Minimise liabilities through appropriate legal structures.
Adequate support/advice on organisational structure /management. Use of
role descriptors for trustees.
Council adopting strategic approach to use of its asset base. Use of LSP to
engage /encourage joint working
74
Appendix 5
Confusion and lack of
awareness over roles,
responsibilities and
liabilities between
landlord and community
organisations
Community
empowerment
objectives of the
receiving organisation
are vague, weak, or not
aligned to those of the
Council
The Council does not
have sufficient capacity
either financially or
through personnel to
support the initiative
Use of expectations document at the outset setting out roles and
responsibilities of each party.
Organisation needs to undertake community needs survey to assess the
needs /interests of the community; working in partnership with other groups
Support for the third sector should be part of a broader partner ship with the
third sector. Role of local authority to be set out in expectations document
75
Appendix 5
Appendix I20
Community Assets – Grants available
A number of grants are available towards the purchase/refurbishment of community assets depending
on the location, status of the organisation applying and the use of the asset. Please bear in mind that
where a capital element is requested there will be an expectation that the organisation applying for
the grant owns the building/land or the freehold for a certain period of time.
Below is a summary of key funders for generic buildings and lands projects. Please note that whilst
lottery funding is likely to remain unchanged, other funders will update their criteria every so often.
If funding is required for a particular scheme (i.e. listed building, energy saving features, etc), a search
would be carried out and additional funders would be identified. Please contact
[email protected] or phone 01273 482859.
The funders listed below are for capital grants, which also include some revenue costs and they are
also the larger funders. There are however smaller grants available that would support small capital
projects, for example:
Awards for All which supports projects that meet one or more of the following outcomes:
•
•
•
•
People have better chances in life – with better access to training and development to improve life
skills
Stronger communities – with more active citizens working together to tackle issues within the
community
Improved rural and urban environments – which communities are able to better access and enjoy
Healthier and more active people and communities
Chidham and Hambrook Village Hall (West Sussex)
£9,850
This village hall in Chichester used the funding to equip its new kitchen in the village hall to bring the
hall up to an acceptable standard and allow the current senior luncheon club to continue.
Sussex Community Foundation which awards grants to community and voluntary groups. They are
particularly interested in supporting smaller community based groups where a small grant can make a
significant difference.
The majority of grants are in the region of £1,000 to £5,000.
Community Wise
£3,500
This Eastbourne based organisation received a grant to refurbish their kitchen and toilets.
Gatwick Airport Community Trust
The priorities of the trust include improvements to community facilities and they have funded village
hall improvements in Newick and Forest Row. Eligibility to apply depends on project location and a
list of eligible areas is available on their website (in broad terms the area is bounded by the A272 to
the south; the A283/A281 to the west, the A25 to the north and the A21 to the east.)
The normal level of grants is from £1,000 to £5,000. Occasional larger may be considered if the
impact is targeted to benefit a significant number of people and is considered to make a valuable and
noticeable difference longer term.
As well as grant opportunities, other sources of income might be available through:
76
Appendix 5
•
•
•
applying for a loan, for example through the Charity Bank, if your project will generate an income
that will help repay it
raising a precept tax through local taxation in a Parish or Town, as long as the local Council can
demonstrate that the area in question would benefit from the updates to the community facility funds can cover buildings or revenue projects
renting out space in the building, charging a fee, etc
It is worth noting that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have recently published a report “Community
Organisations controlling assets: a better understanding” which contains a wealth of information on
community assets.
Lottery
Reaching Communities
Reaching Communities funds projects for up to 5 years and up to £500,000 that help people and
communities most in need. Projects can be new or existing, or be the core work of an organisation.
All projects have to meet at least one of the four outcomes of the programme – same as Awards for
All (see above).
The Reaching Communities programme has two strands:
1. Reaching Communities revenue and small capital – funding from £10,000 to £500,000 for
revenue projects and/or smaller capital projects up to £50,000 for which all organisations can
apply to
Wave Leisure Trust Limited
£180,986
This project aims to save an essential youth facility Shakespeare Hall in Newhaven
Sussex. It will form a community hub incorporating a skate park BMX course, outdoor green
gym, cricket and bowls clubs, employability training, walking groups healthy living classes
and Friday night discos. A number of volunteers will provide sports training in football, BMX,
swimming and basketball and participants will have the opportunity to gain national
qualifications in sporting activities nutrition and IT.
2. Reaching Communities Buildings – funding of between £100,000 and £500,000 for large
capital projects where only selected geographical can apply to. Geographical eligibility is at
super output level and postcodes need to be entered to check eligibility as one area in a town
might be eligible whilst another might not.
Peasmarsh Parish Council
£270,000
The Peasmarsh Revived project aims to create a community hub to host services and
activities to enhance and improve the opportunities and social wellbeing of residents. The
memorial hall will be refurbished and extended to meet modern requirements. It will provide
a meeting place for people to engage in a variety of activities including Guides, an over 60s
choir, a luncheon club, a youth club mother and toddler group and Zumba. Other plans
include adult education classes.
Voluntary/community organisations, schools, local authorities, health bodies, not-for-profit
organisations or social enterprises can apply at any time.
Heritage Lottery Fund
The Heritage Lottery Fund gives grants to heritage projects (including parks and buildings) of all sizes,
with grants from £3,000 to over £5million. All of the funding programmes expect projects to achieve
one or more of the following outcomes
77
Appendix 5
Outcomes for heritage - so that heritage will be better managed, in better condition, better
interpreted and explained and identified/recorded
Outcomes for people - so that people will have developed skills, learnt about heritage, changed their
attitudes and/or behaviour, had an enjoyable experience and volunteered time
Outcomes for communities – where environmental impacts will be reduced, more people and a
wider range of people will have engaged with heritage, the local area/community will be a better place
to live, work or visit, the local economy will be boosted and organisations will be more resilient.
Kings Road, St Leonards
£1.8m
Hastings Borough Council's conservation team stumbled across artwork believed to have been by
the campaigner and author of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell, also known
as Robert Noonan.
Through two Townscape Heritage Initiative schemes and Heritage Lottery Fund grants the Council
have been able to restore shop fronts, install public art and bring back to life several decaying
properties.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-18592103
Sport England
Sport England invests in organisations and projects that will grow and sustain participation in
grassroots sport and create opportunities for people to excel at their chosen sport. They do this
through a number of programmes, in terms of capital funding Playing Protecting Fields (PPF) is one of
the programmes they run which could be of interest.
Chailey Sports Club
The grant will be used towards the building of a new pavilion.
£50,000
The programme will fund capital projects (between £20,000 and £50,000) that create, develop and
improve playing fields for sporting and community use and offer long term protection of the site for
sport. Local authorities, schools, voluntary or community organisations, sports clubs and playing field
associations can apply.
They will pay for purchase of land, Improvements to existing pitches through levelling, drainage,
reseeding and realignment.
Inspired Facilities is another programme which focuses on making it easier for local community and
volunteer groups to improve and refurbish sports clubs or transform non-sporting venues into modern
grassroots sport facilities.
•
•
Community and voluntary organisations, including parish and town councils can apply for grants
worth between £20,000 and £50,000. At least 70% of the available funding available is set aside
for these groups
Local authorities, statutory bodies and education establishments such as schools, can apply for
grants between £20,000 and £150,000
However, £150,000 grants will be exceptional and only given to projects that can demonstrate a
strategic rationale to their application - for example, a review of a local authority’s sports facility stock
that identifies this project as a top priority. No more than 30% of the total amount available will be
invested through these organisations.
th
Round 5 will be open between 21st October 2013 and 16 December 2013.
Robertsbridge Community College
£150,000
The award will contribute towards a new dual use sports hall with changing areas and a reception
office area, all with disability access. This public sports facility will be the only facility of its kind in the
78
Appendix 5
local community.
Landfill Communities Fund
Funding programmes are available through the Landfill Communities Fund, an initiative which allows
landfill operators to release tax credits to environmental and community groups.
A number of schemes exist to benefit local communities in the vicinity of a landfill site.
Grants are normally available for physical improvements to community and sports facilities, and to
historic buildings/structures to a maximum of £500,000 for a “flagship” project.
A postcode checker is available to ensure that applicants are eligible. The following are the key
schemes that are available to some East Sussex organisations.
Veolia Environmental Trust
Birling Gap Café
£27,725
This project aims to make use of redundant space to create and expand the facilities, enabling the
National Trust to meet the high demand for meeting spaces for groups, and creating new and
diverse volunteering opportunities.
Biffaward
All Saints Parish Hall, Sidley
£50,000
The Parish Hall used the money to improve its facilities to make it more accessible to the local
community. The hall’s three toilet areas were fully refurbished, while improvements were made to
the hall’s outdoor paths to make them safe for use and allow better access to the facilities.
SITA Trust
Felbridge Village Hall
£11,500
Felbridge Village Hall in West Sussex received the grant to replace selected windows and doors.
Trusts and Foundations
Below are examples of Trusts and Foundations that will fund community buildings:
Henry Smith Charity
Capital grants of £10,000 or more are available through the Main Grants Programme towards the
purchase of equipment, or for the purchase or refurbishment of a building.
Escape Family Support Ltd
£125,000
This Northumberland based organisation received the grant towards building refurbishment costs
that provides support and services to people with drug and alcohol addiction.
Garfield Weston Foundation
The Foundation makes a large volume of grants every year to community projects covering the
following categories: Arts, Education, Youth, Health, Community, Environment, Religion and Welfare.
They award capital grants, for example for restoration of village halls and community centres.
Percy Bilton Charity
79
Appendix 5
Registered charities whose primary objectives are to assist one or more of the following groups:
•
•
•
Disadvantaged/underprivileged young people (persons under 25)
People with disabilities (physical or learning disabilities or mental health problems)
Older people (aged over 60)
They offer one off payments for capital expenditure of approximately £2,000 and over for items such
as furniture and equipment (excluding office items); building or refurbishment projects.
Charles Hayward Foundation
The Foundation only funds capital costs. Project funding may be offered for start-up or development
activities where these are not part of the on-going revenue requirement of an organisation.
Grants are between £1,000 and £25,000, but from time to time, they may make larger grants to fund
projects of an exceptional nature which show outstanding potential.
If you would like a copy of the strategy in a different format, such as
large print, Braille or a different language, please contact us.
Melanie Griffin
Assistant Director - Property and Capital Investment
Tel: 01273 335819
[email protected]
80
Appendix H
P
Date:
16 January
Revise:
Size:
160 x 116 SET
Op: LES
2:
AH: Lauren
eSend: 289278
Pub: Brighton Evening Argus
PLEASE CHECK SIZE IS CORRECT
994792 E Sussex 160 x 116
13:03 Wed, 16 Jan 2013
FORMER SCHOOL FOR SALE, LEWES
AVAILABLE FOR SALE FOR COMMUNITY USES
Approximately 1,825 sq m of freehold buildings
East Sussex County Council invites expressions of interest for the purchase
of the former St Anne’s School, Rotten Row, Lewes for a broad-based
community use, by local groups, voluntary organisations or local commercial
organisations. Redevelopment potential subject to necessary consents.
For a sales pack or further details please contact:
Archie Cowan
Tel. 01273 335459
email. [email protected]
81
82
Appendix SALES PARTICULARS
FORMER ST ANNE’S SCHOOL
ROTTEN ROW, LEWES BN7 1LJ
FOR SALE
OFFERS INVITED FOR COMMUNITY USE
Expressions of interest are sought on the basis set out herein. In
particular, interest is invited from local community groups, the
voluntary sector and other users seeking to create an asset for
the community
Property Description:
83
Appendix 7
●
●
●
●
A former Victorian school building originally constructed in 1873 with
extensions from the 1960s and later as well as ancillary
outbuildings. The grounds amount to approximately 4 acres.
The external grounds are let to 3VA, a group providing support
and advice to the local voluntary and community sector. This lease
runs for one year from 13th August 2102 at a yearly rent of £1 (one
pound). The intention is for this lease to continue, if 3VA so wish, for
a further two years. A copy of the lease is available on request.
More information on the tenant is available at www.3VA.org.uk. The
grounds are open to the public between 10 am and 6 pm and are
currently hired out to community groups, such as a butterfly bank
with Sussex Wildlife Trust.
The buildings are available with full vacant possession.
The Council is open to proposed uses, subject to obtaining any
necessary planning consent, but would be interested in receiving
proposals which involve broad-based community use.
Please see the attached plan showing the area to be sold, as well
as the adjoining holdings of the Council. The Council will consider
any application that provides additional site access through
County Hall grounds.
Condition:
●
The buildings have been largely vacant since 2005 and whilst they
have been maintained on a ‘wind and water tight’ basis, there has been
some damage caused by weather and vandalism. A specification of repairs
likely to be required prior to re-occupation has been drawn up and is
available on request.
Location:
●
The property is situated on the north of Rotten Row, Lewes, just
behind County Hall in a predominantly residential area. Vehicular
access is from Rotten Row.
Please see the attached Site Plan and Location Map.
Accommodation:
●
The subject property is arranged on ground, first and second floors
and comprises a mixture of classrooms, staff rooms, offices, halls
and WCs.
The Gross Internal Area (G.I.A.) is in the region of 1,815 sq. m.
(19,537 sq. ft.)
See attached floor plans.
Amenities:
84
Appendix 7
●
●
●
Oil heating (Not Tested)
Mains electricity (Not Tested)
Mains water (Not tested)
Terms:
For sale freehold with vacant possession.
Bid Assessment Criteria:
Expressions of interest will only be considered from properly
constituted voluntary, community or not for profit organisations.
Applications will be appraised on a variety of key criteria including:●
the proposed use and its potential to obtain planning consent
●
the business case in support of the proposed use
●
details as to how the relationship with the tenant of the
grounds will be managed
●
the price offered and any conditions attached
Rates:
The property has been de-rated.
Viewings:
Open days will be held in January (dates to be confirmed) when interested
parties can view the exterior of the premises. This will be by appointment
only and interested parties are asked to contact the individual below to
arrange attendance at one of the Open Days. Limited internal access will
be available although more detailed internal viewings will only be available
to qualified personnel with the relevant safety equipment.
Contact details:
Archie Cowan – Estates Surveyor
01273 335459
[email protected]
Conditions:
The sale will be subject to the necessary County Council formal approvals.
85
Appendix 7
South elevation
1974 extension behind main building
86
Appendix 7
Ancillary buildings to north west
Disclaimer:
East Sussex County Council acting for itself as agent and lessor gives notice that: 1 These particulars are
only a general outline for the guidance of intending lessees and do not constitute in whole or in part an
offer or a Contract. 2 Reasonable endeavours have been made to ensure that the information given in
these particulars is materially correct but any intending lessee should satisfy themself by inspection,
searches, enquiries and survey as to the correctness of each statement. 3 No statement in these
particulars is to be relied upon as a statement or representation of fact. 4 Nothing in these particulars
shall be deemed to be a statement that the property is in good repair or condition or otherwise nor that
any services or facilities are in good working order. 5 Any areas, measurements or distances are only
approximate. 6 There is no implication from the Council that premises can be used for any particular use.
02/11/2012/agc
87
Appendix 7
LOCATION PLAN
ST ANNES SCHOOL, LEWES
88
Appendix 7
SITE PLAN
ST ANNES SCHOOL, LEWES
89
Appendix 7
FLOOR PLANS
ST ANNES SCHOOL, LEWES
90
Appendix 8
S T A N N E S S C H OO L , R OT T E N R OW , L E WE S
C O M M UN I T Y A S S E T T R A N S F E R
A P P L I C A T I ON F O R M
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The questionnaire applies to requests for the purchase of a Council asset by
voluntary, community or not for profit organisations, unless the organisation is
promoting political or religious activities. It is not intended to be used for
commercial organisations.
The questionnaire is to allow assessment of your organisation’s application for the
transfer of a publicly owned property
The decision will be based on a number of factors including:
●
the proposed use and its potential to obtain planning consent.
In particular the Council will be seeking details of the potential benefits of the
proposed use. The bid will need to identify;
- how it will support community empowerment, the area and neighbourhood
agenda
- how it will promote a sustainable third sector
- the economic and social benefits that will arise
- how it will promote improvements in local services
- how it will provide value for money and what the corporate and partnership
priorities of the bid are.
- what discussions have been held with the Local Planning Authority and the results
of same
●
how the proposed use/owner will manage the relationship with the
tenant of the grounds.
The bid will need to identify;
- how it will support the tenant’s operations
- how it will ensure public access to the grounds
- what structure will be put in place to work with the tenant on issues of joint
concern
●
the business case in support of the proposed use
The business case will need to identify;
- at least 3-5 years’ revenue or capital funding plans and projections of managing
and operating the asset
- how it will invest in and maintain the asset including how health and safety
responsibilities will be met
- a community governance structure with capability to sustain asset transfer and
the ability to undertake the required building works
1
91
Appendix 8
- any sources of finance
- a track record
- a risk assessment and mitigation plan
- evidence of consultation on the proposals
- how the proposed use of the asset will be monitored and ‘fall back’ arrangements
should the transfer prove unsustainable
- justification for a transfer at below market rates if applicable
- how the proposed use will help in the Council’s community strategy
- how the use will be open to all
- a clear management structure showing how the premises will be managed on a
day to day basis
- future opportunities for enhancing the use of the building as a community facility
●
the price offered
The bid should include;
- information on any conditions required to be met and the timescales for meeting
same
- details of the sums payable on exchange and completion and the timescales for
achieving same
- a justification for any bid made at below market value
- details of the lawyers who will be advising the bidder
- confirmation that the details of the bid, including the financial terms, will not be
confidential
Questionnaire
The bidder should complete the attached questionnaire and include it with their
bid.
Decision
The Council will make a decision early in 2013 and the bidders will be notified
shortly thereafter.
2
92
Appendix 8
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETION
1.
1.
Please complete as many sections of the questionnaire as you can, keeping
a copy for your own records
2.
All enclosures and supporting documents should be clearly marked with the
sections and questions to which they relate. All questions anticipating
enclosures are listed on the document check list
3.
Where a number of organisations are working in partnership to provide a
solution, one should act as a lead to complete this questionnaire.
4.
The information set out in this questionnaire will be used in the overall
evaluation process.
5.
If you require further assistance in the completion of this form, please
contact Archie Cowan on [email protected] who will be
happy to arrange an informal session to help.
ORGANISATIONAL DETAILS
1.1
Full name of organisation (Lead organisation in the case of a consortium)
1.2
Please give the date your organisation was formed
1.3
Contact details
Address
Contact name
Position in organisation
Phone Number.
E-Mail Address.
3
93
Appendix 8
1.4
Please state the key aims and objectives of your organisation
1.5
Please give details of which user groups your organisation works with
1.6
Does your organisation have:
Yes
A constitution
Charitable status
Bank account
Financial records
Regular minuted committee meetings
Business plan
Insurance polices please list
4
94
No
considering
Appendix 8
1.7
Please give details of any assets your organisation owns or leases and the
approximate value of any assets owned
Building
Please
tick
1.8
Land
Please
tick
Address of asset
Own
Please
tick
Estimated
Value
Lease
Please
tick
Is your organisation:
Registered charity
(if yes please give charity number)
Company Limited by Guarantee
(if yes please give company registration number)
Community Interest Company
(if yes please give company registration number)
Industrial and Provident Society
(if yes please give registration number)
Other – please specify
1.9
Does your governing document allow the organisation to:
Yes
Own property?
Fundraise?
Employ staff?
Take out a loan?
1.10
Please give details of any quality assurance systems used by the organisation
5
95
No
Appendix 8
1.11
Please list your policies
Yes
No
considering
Equal Opportunities Policy
Health & Safety Policy
Child Protection Policy
Vulnerable Adult Policy
Please detail any other polices or statements your organisation has
1.12
If your organisation is acting as the lead applicant for a consortium, please give the
name(s) of the partner organisation(s) and the main contact name(s). Please
attach a copy of the most recent annual accounts for each partner. (if you have
more than 5 partners, please attach an additional sheet)
Name of organisation
Relationship with lead
applicant
Nature of organisation’s use
of the asset
Partner 1
Partner 2
Partner 3
Partner 4
Partner 5
1.13
Please detail the key links you have with statutory organisations –
Organisation
Link Officer
(name)
Agreement to
provide
services
6
96
Commissioned
service
Grant or
other
funding
Any
other
links
Appendix 8
2. YOUR ORGANISATION’S FINANCIAL INFORMATION
2.1
What are the dates of your financial year
2.2
Please enclose a copy of your last 3 year’s annual accounts.
2.3
Please give details of your surplus or deficit in the last financial year. If you made a
deficit, please give details of how your organisation is dealing with this.
2.4
Please give details of your funding for this financial year (you may attach
documents):

detailed budget for this financial year

most recent management accounts

amount of your reserves
7
97
Appendix 8
2.5
Please attach your income and expenditure projections for the next three years
based on taking on the asset. Please give details of expected income and
expenditure in relation to the asset. Which elements of your income are secured –
e.g. confirmed grants or earned income based on trading figures from the previous
year?
2.6
Does your organisation have a three year business plan which includes this asset
transfer? If this is not available, please explain why
2.7
If your plans for the asset include capital works, how will you manage finance and
cash-flow during transfer and building work?
8
98
Appendix 8
3. ASSET TRANSFER
3.1
If your proposed asset transfer involves additional land or rights, please set out the
details below.
3.2
Why is your organisation requesting the transfer of this asset? How will the asset be
used and why is this specific asset most suitable?
9
99
Appendix 8
3.3
Are you intending a new build, refurbishment or renovation? If yes, please give
details of the proposed works.
3.4
Do your proposals require planning permission? If yes, please provide details of
discussions with the relevant planning department – attaching copies of
correspondence where appropriate.
10
100
Appendix 8
3.5
Have you received any legal, technical or professional advice on your proposals,
including any risk assessments? Please give details of which organisations/services
have provided the advice, and details of any expertise within your Board.
3.6
If building work is required, how much will it cost? Please give details of how you
will raise the capital funding – e.g. potential sources of grant or loan funding.
11
101
Appendix 8
3.7
Who will use the asset? Please give details of organisations and user groups which
will benefit through the community asset transfer of this asset, and how much time
each will be using the asset per week/month.
3.8
Please give details of how this asset will be of benefit to your organisation.
12
102
Appendix 8
3.9
If you are planning to offer new services, how have you identified the need for these
services? Please provide evidence.
3.10
Please give details of how transfer of this asset will be of benefit to the local
community. Demographic information which supports evidence of this benefit should
be included here.
13
103
Appendix 8
3.11
Please say how your plans link to the plans and priorities of other statutory services.
3.12
Please set out how your organisation has the capacity and experience to manage the
asset you have requested.
14
104
Appendix 8
3.13
Please say how your plans for the use of the asset will contribute to the delivery of
East Sussex County Council’s corporate policy steers, i.e:• help make East Sussex prosperous and safe
• support the most vulnerable people
• improve and develop roads and infrastructure
• encourage personal and community responsibility
• deliver the lowest possible council tax
• be a voice for East Sussex, listening and answering to local people
3.14
Please confirm what jobs, if any, will be created by this asset transfer and what
nature (full-time, part-time, etc.) they will be.
15
105
Appendix 8
4. RELATIONSHIP WITH TENANT (3VA)
4.1
Please confirm below that you understand and are comfortable with the nature of
the tenant for the grounds and their use of same.
4.2
Please set out what measure will be taken for the management of the relationship
with the tenant.
16
106
Appendix 8
4.3
Please confirm that your proposed use of the property is compatible with that of the
tenant.
4.4
What opportunities exist for the joint benefit of your organisation and the tenant?
17
107
Appendix 8
5. PRICE AND CONTRACT
5.1
Please set out the price offered for the freehold interest.
5.2
Please set out any conditions attached to the offer.
18
108
Appendix 8
5.3
Please set out your proposed timescale for exchange and completion.
5.4
A covenant will be included in the property sale contract restricting the ongoing use
of the site to community use. Please confirm that this is understood and accepted.
19
109
Appendix 8
5.5
Please set out below the details of you lawyers
5.6
Please confirm that the details of your bid, including the financial terms, are not
confidential.
UNDERTAKING
I certify that the information supplied is accurate to the best of my knowledge.
I certify I have the approval of my management board/committee/trustees gave
approval to make this Stage 2 application on…………………………………(date of meeting)
(please enclose a copy of the minutes detailing the approval)
Signed_________________________
Name_________________________ (Print)
Date
_________________________
On Behalf of: ________________________________
Position
___________________________________
The person signing this questionnaire must have the prior approval of the
organisation applying for the asset.
20
110
Appendix 8
BEFORE RETURNING THIS QUESTIONNAIRE, PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE:
Answered all questions appropriate to your application;

Enclosed relevant documents ensuring that all enclosures are clearly
marked with the name of your organisation and the number of the
question to which they refer;

Signed the undertaking above (Part Three)
CHECKLIST
Section
1.13
1.15
1.15
1.16
1.17
1.20
2.4
Declaration
Document
Latest annual accounts
Budget for current financial year
Management accounts
3 year financial projects
Business plan if not already submitted
Annual accounts of consortium members
Planning documentation
Copy of minutes
21
111
Yes
Enclosed
N/A
112
Appendix 9
Quality Scores
Appendix 3
THE ORGANISATION
Enter
Assessors
Names
Proposed Purchaser
INSERT BIDDERS NAME
%
Weighting
10
Consider:
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
FINANCE
Total
%
Weighting
10
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
key aims
Consider:
quality assurances
community invovlement
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
ASSET TRANSFERRELATIONSHIP WITH TENANT
Total
%
Weighting
10
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
accounts
Consider:
Last 3 years deficit/surplus
funding
3 year projections
3 year bsuiness plan
capital works funding
bank balance
Total
%
Weighting
10
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Additional rights/land
Use of asset
Building works
Planning permission
Cost of works
Users of asset
Benefit to community
Asset management
Consider:
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
Total
OFFER
5.1 - Price
%
Weighting
10
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3VA management
Consider:
Compatiability with 3VA
Section to be completed
by;
ALL
ALL
ALL
ALL
113
Bid Scoring Matrix
ALL
Price
Conditions
Timescales
Total
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Total assessors
score
100
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
Assessors
average
score
100
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
100
114
Appendix 10
Report to:
Lead Cabinet Member for Resources
Date:
29 October 2013
By:
Chief Operating Officer
Title of report:
Former St Anne’s School – Site Disposal
Purpose of report:
To seek Lead Member approval to dispose of the site
Agenda Item 4
RECOMMENDATIONS:
The Lead Member for Resources is recommended to:1. Approve the disposal of the former St Anne’s School site at an undervalue to the
preferred bidder SUBUD, to secure the promotion or improvement of the economic,
social or environmental well-being of its area, in accordance with the General
Disposal Consent (England) 2003 (Circular 06/03), subject to any necessary consent
being given by the Secretary of State under section 77 of the School Standards and
Framework Act 1998 (‘s77 consent’), and in accordance with schedule 1 of the
Academies Act 2010 (‘schedule 1 consent’);
2. Delegate authority to the Chief Operating Officer to negotiate and agree terms for the
sale of the site to the Council’s preferred bidder SUBUD;
3. Delegate authority to the Chief Operating Officer to take all necessary steps and
actions in connection with applying to the Secretary of State for any necessary s77
consent and schedule 1 consent to dispose of the former St Anne’s School site; and
4. Delegate authority to the Chief Operating Officer to approve the use of the sale
proceeds from the disposal of school playing fields forming part of the site, having
regard to the criteria set out in ‘Advice on the protection of School Playing Fields
and Public Land’ published by the Department for Education (November 2012).
1.
Financial Appraisal
1.1
The St Anne’s former School was closed in 2005. The buildings are no longer
considered fit for purpose and since the School’s closure have been maintained on a wind and
water-tight basis. The current backlog of repairs to return the existing structures to good repair
would be in excess of £1 million. Furthermore, the ongoing costs to maintain and secure this
property are currently in excess of £25,000 per annum; its disposal would remove this ongoing
liability.
1.2
The disposal of this property will generate a capital receipt that will contribute to the
Council’s capital programme.
2.
Supporting Information
2.1
The land and buildings, shown hatched black on the attached plan (Appendix 1),
comprise approximately 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) and form the site of the former St Anne’s
School. The property was the subject of a report to Lead Member on 23 October 2012 when
the site was confirmed as being surplus to Council’s requirements, and authorisation given to
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3
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the marketing of the property for community uses in order to achieve best value for this
purpose.
2.2
The Council ran a two stage bidding process, at the end of which it received three firm
offers from Lewes Community Land Trust (LCLT), YMCA and SUBUD.
2.3
Bids received were evaluated by a Bid Assessment Panel of six members comprising
officers of the Council (who specialise in economic development, community partnership,
financial and property management) and members of the wider community, including a local
resident and representative of the voluntary community. Bids were assessed on a number of
criteria including their Business Plan, their commitment to work with the current tenant, 3VA,
and the sum offered to purchase the property. Following an evaluation process that is
specified in Appendix 2 of this report, the Bid Panel were unaminous in their decision to
recommend SUBUD as the preferred bidder. The scheme of the preferred bidder will deliver a
range of community benefits that will be made available to the wider community. These include
two community halls and other community rooms, including a café, and the grounds of the
former School will be landscaped to include a garden and play area for children that will be
open to the public.
2.4
The St Anne’s Steering Group were consulted following the evaluation process and is
supportive of the decision of the Bid Assessment Panel. The Local Member has regularly been
present at the St Anne’s Steering Group meetings and is entirely satisfied with the conduct and
fairness of the disposal process.
2.5
It is, however, recognised that the value that has been achieved is likely to be less than
that which could have been achieved if sold for residential purposes. Section 123 of the Local
Government Act 1972 gives a local authority the power to dispose of land in any manner it
wishes; the only constraint being that a disposal must be for the best consideration reasonably
obtainable, unless the Secretary of State consents to the disposal. The General Disposal
Consent in 2003 issued by the Secretary of State permits local authorities to transfer land at
less than market value, providing that it is likely to contribute to the “promotion or improvement”
of the economic, social, or environmental well-being of the area; and that any discount on
market value is less than £2,000,000.
2.6
The General Disposal Consent 2003 requires that::
‘In determining whether or not to dispose of land for less than the best consideration
obtainable, and whether or not any specific proposal to take such action falls within the terms
of the Consent, the authority should ensure that it complies with normal and prudent
commercial practices, including obtaining the view of a professionally qualified valuer as to the
likely amount of the undervalue.’
2.7
The unrestricted valuation of the land, details of the bids that were received, and their
evaluation scoring are exempt information as specified in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of the Local
Government Act 1972 and are reported as a separate item. It can, however, be reported that
the bidding process has been very competitive and the disposal of this property will yield a
significant capital receipt to the Council. The scheme proposed by the SUBUD will contribute to
the economic and social well-being of the local area and, therefore, it is recommended that in
recognition of these benefits the Council dispose of this property at less than best value in
accordance with its powers as defined by the General Disposal Consent Order 2003.
2.8
The disposal of the site will be subject to the consent of the Secretary of State for
Education in accordance with section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998
and schedule 1 to the Academies Act 2010. The Secretary of State has published criteria in
‘Advice on the protection of School Playing Fields and Public Land’ (November 2012) against
which applications to dispose of schools and school playing fields will be considered. The
criteria includes, in respect of the disposal of school playing fields, the Secretary’s expectations
as to the intended use of any expected sale proceeds, and requirements as to carrying out
consultations on proposals.
116
4
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2.9
In seeking such approval, the County Council needs to satisfy the Secretary of State as
to the use of the sale proceeds from the playing field. The Council will, therefore, review the
provision of playing field provision in the local area to identify opportunities for the investment
of the receipt that will be received following the sale of this property.
3.
Conclusion and Reason for Recommendation
3.1
East Sussex County Council has undertaken an exhaustive marketing process in order
to dispose of the site for community uses. The Bid Assessment Panel has concluded that, of
the bids that were submitted, the SUBUD bid provides the greatest benefit to the wider
community. On the basis that the community uses will secure the promotion or improvement
of the economic, social, or environmental well-being of the County Council’s area, the Lead
Cabinet Member is recommended to agree to a disposal of the site to SUBUD at an
undervalue in accordance with the General Disposal Consent (England) 2003 (Circular 06/03).
3.2
Furthermore, the Lead Cabinet Member also approves that the Council seek the
approval of the Secretary of State for Education to any necessary s77 consent and schedule 1
consent. to dispose of this property. If the disposal of the former school’s playing field is
approved by the Secretary of State, then the sale proceeds may be subject to restrictions laid
down by the Secretary of State.
KEVIN FOSTER
Chief Operating Officer
Contact Officer:
David Baughan, Head of Strategic Property (01273) 336680
Assistant Director
Melanie Griffin, Property and Capital Investment (01273) 335819
Local Member:
Councillor O’Keeffe
Background Documents
None
117
5
Appendix 10
44a
Gate
126
´
Lych
Posts
Post
County Hall
The Glebe House
St Anne's School
21.8m
Crowlink
Hill House
Shepherds
House
42
62
Garden House
12.8m
The Cottage
Whitegates
41
Hill View
RO
Cemetery Cottage
E
TT
W
RO
54
N
Brook
House
Brendon
Chandos
8.4m
Durlston
1
West
Port
1 to 12
5
Stream Edge
Map Title:
Recreation Ground
Date:
Scale:
ST PANCRA
1:1,250
2
El Sub Sta
APPENDIX 5 - Plan of FORMER St Annes School, Lewes
28 June 2013
Barber
Court
S ROAD
This map is reproduced from Ordnance Survey material with the
permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of the Controller of Her
Majesty’s Stationary Office © Crown copyright. Unauthorised
reproduction infringes Crown copyright and may lead to prosecution
or civil proceedings. 100019601. 2011.
El
Sub Sta
Greene
Court
1 to 12
FB
© East Sussex County Council 2011.
Aerial Photography © Getmapping.com 2011.
Dumbrell Court
ST PANCRA
1 to 12
14 to 22
Map No:
Author:
1
CR/RP
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6
S GARDEN
S
East Sussex County Council
County Hall
St Annes Crescent
Lewes
Appendix 10
APPENDIX 2a – Bid Assessment Process.
All bids were evaluated in accordance with the criteria outlined in the report submitted to the
Lead Member for Corporate Resources on the 23rd October 2012. This report stated that
bidders seeking to acquire the site for community purposes would be assessed on a number
of criteria including their Business Plan, their commitment to work with the current tenant,
3VA, and the sum offered to purchase the property.
All bidders were provided with, and invited to complete and submit, a Community Asset
Transfer Application Form (a copy of which is included within this appendix). The application
form required bidders to state their organisational objectives (section 1), scheme proposal
for the site (section 3), proposed relationship with 3VA (section 4) and their proposed
purchase price (section 5). Four expressions of interest were received and initially four bids
were received. Following an interim review process, one party subsequently chose to
withdraw their bid and asked that they be given the opportunity to enter a dialogue with the
remaining bidders; this request was shared with all parties.
The remaining three bidders, SUBUD, YMCA, and LCLT all submitted final bids that were
assessed by the Bid Assessment Panel. This Panel assessed the information included within
the applications received in accordance with a Bid Evaluation Matrix (also included within
this appendix). Panel members were invited to score each of the following criteria but did not
score if they were of opinion they were not suitably qualified to score a specific criteria.
Each bid was assessed on the following criteria:
1. The Organisation - including organisational aims, quality assurances provided and
present community involvement.
2. Finance - Financial information was requested of each bidder, including the last 3
years accounts, funding details, projected accounts and proposed business plan. An
ESCC Principal Finance Officer was part of the Panel and assisted members of the
panel in assessing these criteria.
3. Asset Transfer - Each bidder was required to outline the proposed use of the site,
building design/works, potential cost of works, potential users of the proposed
scheme, wider benefit to the community and future management of the site. Officers
from Governance & Community Services and Economy Transport & Environment
were also part of Panel and provided support to all Panel members in the
assessment of these criteria.
4. Relationship with 3VA - This asked the panel to consider the compatibility of the bid
proposal to 3VA as the current tenant of St Anne’s and their objective to work with
the St Anne’s Steering Group to make available the grounds for interim uses by the
community. A representative of 3VA and a member of the local community was on
the panel and able to guide the Panel on the compatibility of each bid in accordance
with this aspiration.
5. Offer – This focused on the price, and imposed conditions and timescales. A qualified
surveyor from Business Services Department was able to give guidance to the Panel
on these criteria.
The scores were split into five sections as per above, each weighted based on relative
importance to the decision making progress. The weightings of each criterion are set out
within the Bid Evaluation Matrix included within this appendix.
119
7
Appendix 10
Following the decision to withdraw the report to Lead Member of the 16 July 2013, an
internal review of the disposal process was conducted by officers of the Council. It was
identified during this process that the application form, which was only issued upon receipt of
an expression of interest, had in error contained a statement excluding bids from
organisations promoting religious or political activities. This statement was not in accordance
with the Council’s public sector equality duty.
Bidders were notified in August of this error and were given further opportunity to develop
their bids in relation to their equality obligations. None of the bidders chose to develop their
bids further and, therefore, it was concluded there was no requirement to reconvene the Bid
Assessment Panel as there had no been no material alteration to any of the bids that had
been assessed by this Panel.
Upon the conclusion of the disposal process, feedback will be provided to all bidders to
assist them in developing alternative bids for other community asset transfer opportunities
that may arise in the future.
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8
Appendix 10
APPENDIX 2b
ST ANNES SCHOOL, ROTTEN ROW, LEWES
COMMUNITY ASSET TRANSFER
APPLICATION FORM
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The questionnaire applies to requests for the purchase of a Council asset by
voluntary, community or not for profit organisations. It is not intended to be used
for commercial organisations.
The questionnaire is to allow assessment of your organisation’s application for the
transfer of a publicly owned property
The decision will be based on a number of factors including:
●
the proposed use and its potential to obtain planning consent.
In particular the Council will be seeking details of the potential benefits of the
proposed use. The bid will need to identify;
- how it will support community empowerment, the area and neighbourhood
agenda
- how it will promote a sustainable third sector
- the economic and social benefits that will arise
- how it will promote improvements in local services
- how it will provide value for money and what the corporate and partnership
priorities of the bid are.
- what discussions have been held with the Local Planning Authority and the results
of same
●
how the proposed use/owner will manage the relationship with the
tenant of the grounds.
The bid will need to identify;
- how it will support the tenant’s operations
- how it will ensure public access to the grounds
- what structure will be put in place to work with the tenant on issues of joint
concern
●
the business case in support of the proposed use
The business case will need to identify;
- at least 3-5 years’ revenue or capital funding plans and projections of managing
and operating the asset
- how it will invest in and maintain the asset including how health and safety
responsibilities will be met
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9
Appendix 10
- a community governance structure with capability to sustain asset transfer and
the ability to undertake the required building works
- any sources of finance
- a track record
- a risk assessment and mitigation plan
- evidence of consultation on the proposals
- how the proposed use of the asset will be monitored and ‘fall back’ arrangements
should the transfer prove unsustainable
- justification for a transfer at below market rates if applicable
- how the proposed use will help in the Council’s community strategy
- how the use will be open to all
- a clear management structure showing how the premises will be managed on a
day to day basis
- future opportunities for enhancing the use of the building as a community facility
●
the price offered
The bid should include;
- information on any conditions required to be met and the timescales for meeting
same
- details of the sums payable on exchange and completion and the timescales for
achieving same
- a justification for any bid made at below market value
- details of the lawyers who will be advising the bidder
- confirmation that the details of the bid, including the financial terms, will not be
confidential
Questionnaire
The bidder should complete the attached questionnaire and include it with their
bid.
Decision
The Council will make a decision in May 2013 and the bidders will be notified
shortly thereafter.
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10
Appendix 10
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETION
1.
1.
Please complete as many sections of the questionnaire as you can, keeping
a copy for your own records
2.
All enclosures and supporting documents should be clearly marked with the
sections and questions to which they relate. All questions anticipating
enclosures are listed on the document check list
3.
Where a number of organisations are working in partnership to provide a
solution, one should act as a lead to complete this questionnaire.
4.
The information set out in this questionnaire will be used in the overall
evaluation process.
5.
If you require further assistance in the completion of this form, please
contact Chris Reed on [email protected] who will be happy
to arrange an informal session to help.
ORGANISATIONAL DETAILS
1.1
Full name of organisation (Lead organisation in the case of a consortium)
1.2
Please give the date your organisation was formed
1.3
Contact details
Address
Contact name
Position in organisation
Phone Number.
E-Mail Address.
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11
Appendix 10
1.4
Please state the key aims and objectives of your organisation
1.5
Please give details of which user groups your organisation works with
1.6
Does your organisation have:
Yes
A constitution
Charitable status
Bank account
Financial records
Regular minuted committee meetings
Business plan
Insurance polices please list
124
12
No
considering
Appendix 10
1.7
Please give details of any assets your organisation owns or leases and the
approximate value of any assets owned
Building
Please
tick
1.8
Land
Please
tick
Address of asset
Own
Please
tick
Estimated
Value
Lease
Please
tick
Is your organisation:
Registered charity
(if yes please give charity number)
Company Limited by Guarantee
(if yes please give company registration number)
Community Interest Company
(if yes please give company registration number)
Industrial and Provident Society
(if yes please give registration number)
Other – please specify
1.9
Does your governing document allow the organisation to:
Yes
Own property?
Fundraise?
Employ staff?
Take out a loan?
1.10
Please give details of any quality assurance systems used by the organisation
125
13
No
Appendix 10
1.11
Please list your policies
Yes
No
considering
Equal Opportunities Policy
Health & Safety Policy
Child Protection Policy
Vulnerable Adult Policy
Please detail any other polices or statements your organisation has
1.12
If your organisation is acting as the lead applicant for a consortium, please give the
name(s) of the partner organisation(s) and the main contact name(s). Please
attach a copy of the most recent annual accounts for each partner. (if you have
more than 5 partners, please attach an additional sheet)
Name of organisation
Relationship with lead
applicant
Nature of organisation’s use
of the asset
Partner 1
Partner 2
Partner 3
Partner 4
Partner 5
1.13
Please detail the key links you have with statutory organisations –
Organisation
Link Officer
(name)
Agreement to
provide
services
126
14
Commissioned
service
Grant or
other
funding
Any
other
links
Appendix 10
2. YOUR ORGANISATION’S FINANCIAL INFORMATION
2.1
What are the dates of your financial year
2.2
Please enclose a copy of your last 3 year’s annual accounts.
2.3
Please give details of your surplus or deficit in the last financial year. If you made a
deficit, please give details of how your organisation is dealing with this.
2.4
Please give details of your funding for this financial year (you may attach
documents):

detailed budget for this financial year

most recent management accounts

amount of your reserves
127
15
Appendix 10
2.5
Please attach your income and expenditure projections for the next three years
based on taking on the asset. Please give details of expected income and
expenditure in relation to the asset. Which elements of your income are secured –
e.g. confirmed grants or earned income based on trading figures from the previous
year?
2.6
Does your organisation have a three year business plan which includes this asset
transfer? If this is not available, please explain why
2.7
If your plans for the asset include capital works, how will you manage finance and
cash-flow during transfer and building work?
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16
Appendix 10
3. ASSET TRANSFER
3.1
If your proposed asset transfer involves additional land or rights, please set out the
details below.
3.2
Why is your organisation requesting the transfer of this asset? How will the asset be
used and why is this specific asset most suitable?
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17
Appendix 10
3.3
Are you intending a new build, refurbishment or renovation? If yes, please give
details of the proposed works.
3.4
Do your proposals require planning permission? If yes, please provide details of
discussions with the relevant planning department – attaching copies of
correspondence where appropriate.
130
18
Appendix 10
3.5
Have you received any legal, technical or professional advice on your proposals,
including any risk assessments? Please give details of which organisations/services
have provided the advice, and details of any expertise within your Board.
3.6
If building work is required, how much will it cost? Please give details of how you
will raise the capital funding – e.g. potential sources of grant or loan funding.
131
19
Appendix 10
3.7
Who will use the asset? Please give details of organisations and user groups which
will benefit through the community asset transfer of this asset, and how much time
each will be using the asset per week/month.
3.8
Please give details of how this asset will be of benefit to your organisation.
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20
Appendix 10
3.9
If you are planning to offer new services, how have you identified the need for these
services? Please provide evidence.
3.10
Please give details of how transfer of this asset will be of benefit to the local
community. Demographic information which supports evidence of this benefit should
be included here.
133
21
Appendix 10
3.11
Please say how your plans link to the plans and priorities of other statutory services.
3.12
Please set out how your organisation has the capacity and experience to manage the
asset you have requested.
134
22
Appendix 10
3.13
Please say how your plans for the use of the asset will contribute to the delivery of
East Sussex County Council’s corporate policy steers, i.e: help make East Sussex prosperous and safe
 support the most vulnerable people
 improve and develop roads and infrastructure
 encourage personal and community responsibility
 deliver the lowest possible council tax
 be a voice for East Sussex, listening and answering to local people
3.14
Please confirm what jobs, if any, will be created by this asset transfer and what
nature (full-time, part-time, etc.) they will be.
135
23
Appendix 10
4. RELATIONSHIP WITH TENANT (3VA)
4.1
Please confirm below that you understand and are comfortable with the nature of
the tenant for the grounds and their use of same.
4.2
Please set out what measure will be taken for the management of the relationship
with the tenant.
136
24
Appendix 10
4.3
Please confirm that your proposed use of the property is compatible with that of the
tenant.
4.4
What opportunities exist for the joint benefit of your organisation and the tenant?
137
25
Appendix 10
5. PRICE AND CONTRACT
5.1
Please set out the price offered for the freehold interest.
5.2
Please set out any conditions attached to the offer.
138
26
Appendix 10
5.3
Please set out your proposed timescale for exchange and completion.
5.4
A covenant will be included in the property sale contract restricting the ongoing use
of the site to community use. Please confirm that this is understood and accepted.
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27
Appendix 10
5.5
Please set out below the details of your lawyers
5.6
Please confirm that the details of your bid, including the financial terms, are not
confidential.
UNDERTAKING
I certify that the information supplied is accurate to the best of my knowledge.
I certify I have the approval of my management board/committee/trustees gave
approval to make this Stage 2 application on…………………………………(date of meeting)
(please enclose a copy of the minutes detailing the approval)
Signed_________________________
Name_________________________ (Print)
Date
_________________________
On Behalf of: ________________________________
Position
___________________________________
The person signing this questionnaire must have the prior approval of the
organisation applying for the asset.
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Appendix 10
BEFORE RETURNING THIS QUESTIONNAIRE, PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE:
Answered all questions appropriate to your application;

Enclosed relevant documents ensuring that all enclosures are clearly
marked with the name of your organisation and the number of the
question to which they refer;

Signed the undertaking above (Part Three)
CHECKLIST
Section
1.13
1.15
1.15
1.16
1.17
1.20
2.4
Declaration
Document
Latest annual accounts
Budget for current financial year
Management accounts
3 year financial projects
Business plan if not already submitted
Annual accounts of consortium members
Planning documentation
Copy of minutes
21
141
29
Yes
Enclosed
N/A
Rosey Eggar
Katherine Perrin
Russell Bright
James Harriss
David Baughan
Archie Cowan
Paul Rideout
Enter
Assessors
Names
Section to be completed
by;
A N Organisation
Proposed Purchaser
INSERT BIDDERS NAME
Appendix 2c
ALL
Consider:
7
5
10
7
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Total
7
8
10
ALL
key aims
Consider:
quality assurances
community invovlement
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
% Weighting
THE ORGANISATION
21.0
24.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
Total
7
7
10
142
30
ALL
accounts
Consider:
Last 3 years deficit/surplus
funding
3 year projections
3 year bsuiness plan
capital works funding
bank balance
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
% Weighting
FINANCE
21
21
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Total
Bid Scoring Matrix
Additional rights/land
Use of asset
Building works
Planning permission
Cost of works
Users of asset
Benefit to community
Asset management
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
30
% Weighting
% Weighting
Total
ALL
Consider:
6
7
10
6
7
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
8
9
10
ALL
3VA management
Consider:
Compatiability with 3VA
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
10
Price
Conditions
Timescales
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
OFFER
5.1 - Price % Weighting
ASSET TRANSFERRELATIONSHIP WITH TENANT
Quality Scores
16
18
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Total
71.0
75.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
100
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
73.0
100
Total assessors Assessors
score
average score
100
Appendix 10
3. Submissions from bidders
143
144
Evidence from Subud Lewes Group
Statement to the Scrutiny Review Board
Appendix 1 – Letter from Susila Dharma Britain
Appendix 2 – Letter from Subud Britain
Appendix 3 – Letter from Subud USA
Appendix 4 - Letter from Ofcounsel Services
Appendix 5 – Letter from Subud Publications International
Appendix 6 – Letter about Pelham House
145
146
From
Subud Lewes Group
26a Station Street
Lewes
2 October 2014.
To:
East Sussex County Council Scrutiny Committee.
Dear Scrutiny Committee,
Statement from the Lewes Subud group to East Sussex County Council
Scrutiny Committee.
I am writing on behalf the Lewes Subud group who are the preferred bidder on the
St Annes Site in Rotten Row. I hope the committee have all had a chance to see our
original proposal and feasibility study brochure that was submitted as part of the
application and have also seen the formal application form. These documents set out
all the important points and community benefits of our scheme and I do not wish to
over complicate things by re stating everything here. For the sake of clarity I am
setting out the main areas under headings.
Transparency of process and the Community Asset Transfer:
We found the bid process to be clear and transparent. Although a ‘Community Asset
Transfer’ we understood it to still be a commercially sensitive process and that our
bids needed protecting from other bidders until a buyer was agreed. We therefore
did not go public with any information either as we were told we could still be subject
to counter bids at any time during the process.
We do think that ESCC has been very slow in the basic negotiations for sale once a
bidder was approved. There have been several additional delays caused by outside
appeals, which were outside the control of ESCC. When the first appeal from the
Lewes Community Land Trust was made on the grounds that the sale documentation
excluding ‘religious organisations’, we found it very difficult to get information from
ESCC – there was effectively ‘radio silence’ until they had fully reviewed their
position and this was frustrating for us. However, in all respects they have been
professional and straightforward and we would like to commend their enlightened
approach to classify St Anne’s as a community Asset Transfer and therefore put the
community needs first rather than purely commercial gain.
The ‘public’ meeting called by the ‘St Anne’s Group’ and the vote on
transparency:
This meeting was held in the council chamber at the town hall on Wednesday 3rd
September. The scope of the meeting was wide ranging and questions from the floor
very varied and not just about transparency. A vote was hurriedly put forward at the
end of the meeting, which did not seem to grow out of the content of the meeting. I
believe the wording was, ‘Was the process clear’. This was wrongly reported to the
local paper, as ‘Was the process unfair’. [I cannot confirm the exact wording that
took place in the meeting, as I have not seen a transcription]
Since the meeting we have been approached by a number of people, both Subud
members and non-Subud members who were confused by the vote. As they were
not involved directly in the bidding process they did not feel they had enough facts
147
and information to comment on its transparency. They felt the only honest option
was to abstain. (There were approximately 19 abstentions.) From the teams
perspective the bid process was both clear and transparent.
Towards the end of the meeting a proposal was made from the floor (by a non Subud
member) that whilst the disposal process could have been better managed, it was a
process that was good enough for the result to stand. This motion got the most
applause, but this was not a motion that was voted on.
Public Concern and Community Consultation:
As stated it has been a long time in negotiations since our bid was approved [I
believe its approaching 18 months]. We understood it was still the correct thing not
to share information because of the commercial sensitivity. Understandably with lack
of information some of the Lewes community expressed concerns about the nature of
the project proposed and the future of the site. Since the degree of concern became
apparent we have taken steps to address this and so far have hosted 3 public
meetings to show plans and talk about the proposed projects and also give people a
chance to ask question both about the project and also about Subud if they were
interested. We have also had a permanent exhibition in the main hall at the current
Subud House, which has been available for all hall users to review.
Once the legal documentation has been agreed we will have a full and more formal
community consultation and collate views and ideas from residents of the St Annes
area and the wider Lewes community.
Best Value:
“A number of public bodies, in particular local authorities, have the power to
dispose of land and buildings at less than market value where they are able to
demonstrate that doing so will result in local improvements to social,
economic or environmental well-being.”
Ref: MyCommunityRights.org. Understanding Community Asset Transfer.
We understand there have been some comments that the site was not sold to the
highest bidder. Had our bid like the (LCLT) focused on housing development then we
understand our bid would have needed to be higher in accordance to the quantity of
housing planned. Please refer to the community benefits listed in our application.
The types of uses we have outlined for the site will benefit community in Lewes and
long term will contribute both to the cultural and economic future of the town and
enhance the experience of any visitor to Lewes. Long-term benefits should be
considered when looking at ‘best value’ rather than any short-term gain in land price
sale.
What should also be considered is the bidders track record and ability to deliver and
we believe we have demonstrated this at a local level with the established projects of
Subud members in the town e.g. Pelham House Hotel and Conference Centre, the
Lewes New School and the palliative care charity Living Well Dying Well. And
nationally and internationally through the charitable and social enterprise affiliate of
Subud, Susila Dharma International www.susiladharma.org
The uses of the site:
Subud Lewes put forward a phased development. Beyond the core proposal we also
discussed other projects for the site including social housing or a mixed ages project
148
in particular care for the elderly. Because the time frame from details of the sale to
bid submissions was short we did not have time to research these areas thoroughly
and do feasibility studies before submission. We were also aware there were issues
with access and restrictions on the site, which at the time seemed to, not exclude,
but mitigate against these ideas.
We have always stated that later phases are subject to community and 3 rd party
partnerships and community consultation. This is an evolving situation and ideas do
not stand still. In the intervening time since the original proposal was submitted
other ideas have come forward and we are sure these will evolve with proper
community consultation. However, the core of the project remains the same as set
out in our documentation.
Concerns over equal opportunities:
In the community asset transfer from supplied by ESCC and in answer to question
1.11:
Equal opportunities policy, health and safety policy, child protection policy,
vulnerable adult policy –
We responded–
‘Subud Britain as an umbrella organization is run by volunteers –associated projects
will have their own policies and the St Annes Project would comply with all the
above.’
We have supporting material from affiliated organizations such as Susila Dharma
International and Subud Britain [the charitable and social enterprise sister
organizations of Subud], who have policies in place, as do the Lewes New School and
Living Well Dying Well etc.
Our national organization is now reviewing the need for broader policies that would
ratify our stated aims on inclusivity
We are grateful to some members of the Lewes community for pointing out some
literature and references that were available on the web in relation to Subud are no
longer appropriate or relevant to the organization as it is now and to the world in
which we live. This was particularly in reference to what clearly came across as an
anti homosexuality statement in an isolated passage, but nonetheless, public
document. Since this was pointed out we have taken steps to update all the relevant
sites and postings. The international as well as the national organization is continuing
to review and make recommendations and changes. We publically apologized for this
in the town hall meeting and have since done so in the press and on radio. We have
also written to and sought advice from the gay rights organization, ‘Stonewall’ and
sent responses and apologies to the online publications GScene and Gay UK.
We have also received letters of support from gay Subud members.
Subud [Susila Budhi Dharma] Policies:
Subud is a relatively small organization, 10,000 members word wide and
approximately 1200 in the UK and roughly 150 in the Lewes group. Every country is
autonomous but the overall umbrella organization is WSC [Subud World Council].
Very few people are employed [a handful] and the rest are all volunteers.
Constitutions and bylaws might vary slightly from country to country but the same
overall principles apply to all Subud members as stated in the main website:
The World Subud Association ("WSA") is a not-for-profit organization with its
headquarters in Washington, D.C. (USA). Subud members engage in a non-
149
denominational spiritual practice called the "latihan kejiwaan," a practice originating
in Indonesia that has now spread worldwide. We welcome new members 18 years
and older. Our organization does not discriminate on any basis, including nationality,
gender, color, age, or sexual orientation. Subud is not a religion and is open to
persons of all faiths and those who do not follow religions. WSA and other Subud
organizations do not have a policy or practice to change the religious beliefs or
practices of Subud members (or nonmembers), their sexual orientation, or their
rights to state their views on such subjects, consistent with their own religions and
the laws of the countries in which they reside.
www.subud.com/organization.html
We sincerely trust this rigorous process you are undertaking on the Scrutiny Panel
will be able to bring about a resolution so the site can start to be reclaimed, restored
and serve as an inspiration for the benefit of the wider community.
Yours Sincerely,
David Anderson, Annabella Ashby (Subud Lewes Chairperson), Sue Fleming, Hussein
Dickie, Roger van der Matten, Lorna Dowson-Collins
The Subud Lewes St Annes Project Team
150
Appendix 1
Susila Dharma Britain
Barnack
Langley
Liss
Hants GU33 7JR
5th October 201
Dear Councillor O’ Keefe,
I write in connection with the plans of Subud Lewes to develop the St Annes Centre. Susila Dharma Britain
is the social and humanitarian development wing of Subud Britain, independently registered as a UK
charity. We have been in discussion with Subud Lewes with regard to the partnership we can offer to them
in the development of community activities on the site.
Our mission is to support Subud members in their aspirations to initiate and develop social humanitarian
and environmental projects both in the UK and abroad. We have experience in grant proposal writing,
fundraising and project management. We are members of the Susila Dharma International Association, an
NGO with UN consultative status. as members of the SDIA network we have extensive access to
professional expertise and tools to facilitate an effective service. As a network we currently support over
40 social, humanitarian and environmental projects worldwide. You may see more on the work of SDIA
at http://www.susiladharma.org/
We believe in the value that volunteering brings to individuals and the society they serve. We see the
development of the St Annes centre as epitomising that value.
In our work we expect all our partners to have in place, appropriate policies to ensure equality of
opportunity and protection of vulnerable adults and children. Subud Lewes are presently working on such
policies. I attach our own policies for your information.
Kind regards
Stephanie Holloway (Chair Susila Dharma Britain, Director Susila Dharma International Association)
Susila Dharma Britain is a member of
Susila Dharma International Association
151
Susila Dharma Britain
Company number 1903863 Charity number 291818.
Appendix 1
Susila Dharma Britain
Equal Opportunities Policy
Aims
The aim of this policy is to communicate the commitment of Susila Dharma Britain (SDB) to the
promotion of equality of opportunity for all of our volunteers, grantees and beneficiaries.
It is our policy to provide equality of opportunity irrespective of:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Age
Disability
Gender reassignment
Marriage and civil partnership
Pregnancy and maternity
Race
Religion and belief
Sex
Sexual orientation
We are opposed to all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination. All the grantees and volunteers
of SDB will be treated fairly and will not be discriminated against on any of the above grounds.
We recognise that the provision of equal opportunities in all our activities will benefit the
association. Our equal opportunities policy will help all grantees and volunteers to develop their full
potential.
We recognise our duty under the Human Rights Act 1998, to implement an equal opportunities
policy. This policy applies to volunteers and grantees of SDB alike. In turn we expect the grantees of
SDB funds also to abide by the same duty.
Equality commitments
We are committed to:
• promoting equality of opportunity for all persons
• promoting a good and harmonious environment in which all men and women are treated
with respect and dignity
• fulfilling all our legal obligations under the equality legislation and associated codes of
practice
1
152
Appendix 1
•
•
complying with our own equal opportunities policy and associated policies
breaches of our equal opportunities policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to
termination of placement or access.
Implementation
The SDB Board have specific responsibility for the effective implementation of this policy. We
expect all grantees and volunteers to abide by the policy and help to create the equality
environment that is its objective.
In order to implement this policy we shall:
• Communicate the policy to grantees and volunteers by supplying a copy of it to all potential
grantees and volunteers.
• require that potential volunteers and grantees acknowledge they have read and accepted
the policy and agree to abide by it.
Monitoring and review
We will establish appropriate information and monitoring systems to assist the effective
implementation of our equal opportunities policy. The effectiveness of the equal opportunities
policy will be reviewed regularly.
Complaints
Grantees and volunteers who believe that they have suffered any form of discrimination,
harassment or victimisation are entitled to raise the matter with the board of trustees. If the board
or members of the board are alleged to be involved, the complaint will be dealt with by a mutually
agreed third party. All complaints will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially.
Susila Dharma Britain is a member of
Susila Dharma International Association
2
153
Appendix 1
Susila Dharma Britain
SAFEGUARDING CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS POLICY
Statement of Policy
 uSsila Dharma Britain (SDB) is committed to safeguarding and promoting the
welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults in all of its activities.
 SDB feels that in the interests of good practice there should be a clear policy,
associated procedures and guidance to work with under-18 year olds and
vulnerable adults.
 SDB recognises that it has a duty to assist in the development ofall parties to
recognise their responsibilities (through guidance, support and training), thus
minimising risk and avoiding situations where abuse or neglect may take place.
Principles
Whether working in a paid or voluntary capacity, adults have a duty to keep
children, young people and vulnerable adults safe and to protect them from
sexual, physical and emotional harm. Children and young people have a right
to be treated with respect and dignity. It follows that trusted adults are
expected to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of
children and young people. Failure to do so may be regarded as neglect.
Statement of Commitment to Child Protection
We affirm our belief in the right of all children to be protected from all forms
of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence, as set out in the UN Convention on
the Rights of the Child 1989.
We recognise that all organisations coming into contact with children have a
fundamental duty of care towards them, and we acknowledge our
154
1
Appendix 1
responsibilities to keep children safe in both relief and development
interventions.
The standards which follow draw upon the principles outlined in international
and regional child rights instruments and commitments.
Though the achievement of the standards may often be influenced by factors
beyond our control, we commit ourselves to consistently working towards
achieving them and we expect to be held to account accordingly.
Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and
educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental
violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or
exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal
guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.
Article 19 – United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
(UNCRC)
General principles
1. All children have equal rights to protection from abuse and exploitation;
2. All children should be encouraged to fulfil their potential and
inequalities should be challenged;
3. Everybody has a responsibility to support the care and protection of
children;
4. SDB have a duty of care to children with whom they work and with
whom their representatives work;
5. If SDB works through partners we have a responsibility to meet
minimum standards of protection for the children in our partners’
programmes.
Responsibilities
All Grantees are required to take shared responsibility for the safeguarding and
safety of any young people and vulnerable adults they come into contact with.
The managerial responsibility for any programme or activity rests with the
individual staff member who is directing or organising the activity. This person
is expected to:
155
2
Appendix 1
• Ensure that any activity is planned, organised and delivered in
accordance with the Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy;
• Arrange the checking, training, induction and guidance for all staff and
volunteers;
The Grantees Executive Director has responsibility for the oversight of SDB’s
Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults Policy with delegated
responsibility to relevant members of their Management Team.
Organisational Responsibilities
Grantees should have processes in place to check the suitability of staff and
volunteers working directly with children and young people. Some staff will be
in regular or significant occasional contact with under-18s or vulnerable adults
in the course of their work. Grantees must commit to ensuring that all such
staff have satisfactory DBS Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
A ‘satisfactory’ check is defined as having no criminal convictions (including
cautions, reprimands and final warnings) relevant to the post.
All Grantee staff employed to look after or interact with children must report
any subsequent criminal convictions to the Grantee Executive Director.
Establishing Safe & Caring Environments
A Caring Environment is one in which:
• The health, safety and welfare of young people has been assessed and
catered for;
• Staff are alive to the possibility of abuse and take measures to prevent
that possibility;
• There is a sound and known reporting system for any incident;
• Staff take reasonable and practical precautions to avoid any suspicions
of abuse being brought against them.
Child Safeguarding Procedures
Grantees should designate a specific member of their executive as its
Safeguarding Officer and the lead person with regard to child safeguarding
issues.
156
3
Appendix 1
All Grantee staff must contact the Safeguarding Officer if they have any cause
to believe a young person involved in any activity funded by SDB or one of the
programmes or organisations it supports is in any way at risk.
Records will be kept of all such incidents and their outcomes and held by the
Safeguarding Officer in accordance with the UK Data Protection Act 1998.
All staff should be aware that in accordance with UK statutory requirements
where child safeguarding issues are involved, it is not possible to offer
confidentiality to a person under 18 as any disclosures must be reported.
Where an issue has occurred in another country Grantee staff have a
responsibility to report and bring any such issue to the attention of the
relevant organisations and bodies in the country concerned, as well as
reporting to SDB
Vulnerable Adults
Though statutory provisions for vulnerable adults do not exist in the same way
as they do for children in many countries the same principles as outlined above
apply.
Where possible the Grantee will identify vulnerable adults and ensure that
there are appropriate support measures in place. This is most likely to be when
a staff member comes into contact with individuals with mental health
difficulties or a disability that puts them into the definition of ‘vulnerable’.
Any member of Grantee staff with concerns regarding an adult with whom
they have contact and whom they believe or know to be vulnerable must
contact the Safeguarding Officer.
Role of the Safeguarding Officer
The role of the Safeguarding Officer is:
• To receive information about events that are planned by Grantee staff
that may involve young people or vulnerable adults, and plans that
indicate how safeguarding will be covered;
• To receive information from any staff, volunteers, children, or carers
who have child safeguarding concerns and record it;
157
4
Appendix 1
• Assess the information promptly and carefully, clarifying and obtaining
more information about the matter as appropriate;
• Consult initially with a statutory child safeguarding agency to test out
any doubts or uncertainty;
• To make a formal referral to a statutory child safeguarding agency or the
police.
• To report any incident to SDB.
Reporting and Monitoring Procedures
All members of staff working closely with children have to be alert to
possibilities of abuse and any concerns about the behaviour of any adult with
respect to that child should be reported to the Safeguarding Officer who will
decide what further action to take.
It is the duty of staff to inform only not to investigate – this is the role of the
Police and appropriate government bodies.
If in the course of their work, staff have a child safeguarding issue brought to
their notice, this must be treated as a priority over all other work.
Guidance with regard to a specific incident may be obtained from the
Safeguarding Officer.
An oral, and then written report should be provided to the Safeguarding
Officer who will keep a confidential record of any such incidents.
Allegations involving a member of staff and a person under 18 or a vulnerable
adult should be reported to the Safeguarding Officer.
Consideration will be given as to whether the situation falls within the
definition of abuse (see below).
Training
In accordance with good practice the Grantee will ensure that the
Safeguarding Officer, selected other staff members deputed to act on their
behalf and other staff likely to be in regular contact with under 18’s and
vulnerable adults receive appropriate training.
The following topics must be covered:
158
5
Appendix 1
•
•
•
•
•
Health and safety issues
Handling a disclosure
Reporting an allegation
Confidentiality
Code of Practice and Code of Behaviour
Grantees will also provide information to raise awareness to ensure that all
staff understand what to do if a child, colleague or professional acquaintance
discloses abuse or any other safeguarding issue.
Media Relations
For any Grantee activity involving young people, parents or guardians must be
given the opportunity to refuse permission for photographs, videos or other
images to be made of their children and for the children to be interviewed by
press, broadcasters or other media.
Review
This policy and procedures will be regularly monitored and reviewed:
• In accordance with changes in legislation and guidance on the
safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults or any changes within
GHFP;
• Following any issues or concerns raised about the safeguarding of
children or vulnerable adults within SDB’s programmes or activities;
• In all other circumstances, at least annually.
159
6
Appendix 1
Definition of Vulnerable Adult and Abuse
The core definition of “vulnerable adult” from the 1997 Consultation “Who Decides?” issued
by the Lord Chancellor’s Department, is a person:
“Who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or
illness; and is or may be unable to take care of unable to protect him or herself against
significant harm or exploitation”. This definition of an Adult covers all people over 18 years
of age.
What is Abuse?
Abuse is mistreatment by any other person or persons that violates a person’s human and
civil rights. The abuse can vary, from treating someone with disrespect in a way that
significantly affects the person’s quality of life, to causing actual physical or mental suffering
or endangers life.
Abuse may be:
 Physical.
 Sexual.
 Psychological– repeatedly being made to feel unhappy, humiliated, afraid or
devalued by others.
 Financial or material– stealing or denying access to money or possessions.
 Neglect.
 Discriminatory– abuse motivated by discriminatory attitudes towards race,
religion, gender, disability or cultural background
Susila Dharma Britain is a member of
Susila Dharma International Association
160
7
Appendix 2
161
162
Appendix 3
163
164
Appendix 4
165
166
Appendix 5
167
168
Appendix 6
169
Appendix 6
HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY
We support and protect human rights wherever we can. As a responsible hotel,
we believe that strong ethics and good business go hand in hand and we are
committed to complying with current legislation and regulations
To demonstrate our commitment in this area we:
 Support the protection of human rights, particularly those of our
employees, the parties we do business with and the communities where
we operate
 Respect our employees' rights to voluntary freedom of association,
under the law
 Provide a safe and healthy working environment
 Do not support forced and compulsory labour or the exploitation of
children
 Support the elimination of employment discrimination and promote
diversity in the workplace
 Provide our employees with remuneration and tools for growing their
careers, and take their wellbeing into consideration
 Promote fair competition and do not support corruption
 Conduct our business with honesty and integrity in compliance with
applicable laws
 Develop and implement company procedures and processes to ensure
we comply with this policy.
170
Appendix 6
Section 4
4. Equal Opportunities and Diversity
We promote a working environment in which diversity is recognised, valued and encouraged. We
acknowledge the multi-cultural and diverse nature of the UK workforce and society in general.
We are committed to principles of fairness and mutual respect where everyone accepts the
concept of individual responsibility. It is therefore your responsibility to make sure you observe
and adhere to this policy at all times. We view any breach seriously. We will investigate and
potentially take disciplinary action. This may include dismissal in instances we consider gross
misconduct.
We recognise that discrimination in the workplace in any form is unacceptable and in most cases
unlawful. Our policy seeks to ensure job applicants and employees are treated fairly and without
favour or prejudice. We are committed to applying this throughout all areas of employment. This
includes recruitment and selection, training and development, benefits, rewards and promotion,
dealing with grievances and disciplinary issues.
Our policy complies with current legislation. We review it regularly and will update it if the law
changes. However, we recognise that equality of opportunity is best achieved by day to day
commitment throughout the organisation. We offer support and training where necessary to
achieve and maintain this.
Recruitment
The selection methods we use for recruitment are related to the requirements of the job. We do
not seek irrelevant qualifications, experience or skills. Applicants for employment are shortlisted/selected solely on the basis of their assessed capability for the role.
Protected Characteristics
No job applicant, employee or anyone our organisation deals with receives less favourable
treatment because of their protected characteristics. The protected characteristics are:•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Age
Disability
Gender Reassignment
Marriage and Civil Partnership
Pregnancy and Maternity
Race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin)
Religion or Belief
Sex
Sexual Orientation
Your Responsibilities
Each and every one of us is a stakeholder in the success of this policy. We expect you to make a
positive contribution towards maintaining an environment of equal opportunity throughout the
organisation. Please make sure you observe this policy at all times. In particular, you have
individual responsibility to adopt the following:•
Do not take unlawful discriminatory actions or decisions contrary to the spirit of this policy.
•
Do not discriminate against, harass, abuse or intimidate anyone on account of their
protected characteristics.
171
Appendix 6
Section 4
•
Do not place pressure on any other employee to act in a discriminatory manner.
•
Resist pressure to discriminate placed on you by others and report such approaches to an
appropriate manager.
•
Co-operate when we investigate, including providing evidence of conduct which may
amount to discrimination.
•
Co-operate with any measures introduced to develop or monitor equal opportunity.
Discrimination is not just treating one person less favourably than another. It can take place
because:•
Someone associates with a person with a protected characteristic.
•
Someone is believed to possess a protected characteristic (even though they don’t).
•
Something particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic more
than others.
We expect you to treat, and be treated by, other employees and the people our organisation
deals with considerately and with respect.
Where You Encounter Discrimination
If you feel subject to discrimination, make clear to the individual concerned that you find it
unacceptable. Person-to-person discussion at an early stage may be enough to resolve it
without involving anyone else. Alternately, seek the help of a trusted colleague and ask them to
approach whoever has caused you offence.
If discrimination continues, or you consider an instance to be particularly serious, please
implement the grievance procedure. We assure you that grievances will be dealt with promptly
and in a discrete and caring manner.
Should you feel an individual grievance is not appropriate to the situation, you may consider
using our confidential reporting procedure.
172
Appendix 6
Section 4
5. Non-Harassment Policy
Our Policy
We support your right and opportunity to seek, obtain and hold employment without
discrimination and with respect for your dignity.
Harassment in the workplace is a discriminatory act which in any form is unacceptable and
in most cases unlawful. We are committed to providing a working environment which is
harmonious and acceptable to all. We extend this principle to the people our organisation
deals with.
What Is Harassment?
Harassment is “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which
violates an individual’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or
offensive environment for that individual”.
Harassment is not only unacceptable language or behaviour which causes the recipient to
be embarrassed, offended or threatened. Someone may complain about particular behaviour
that they find offensive even though it was not directed at them. Neither does the person
complaining need to possess the protected characteristic. It may also be behaviour directed
at someone who associates with a person who has a protected characteristic or because
they are believed to possess a protected characteristic (even if they don’t).
Your Responsibilities
It is your duty to treat people with respect; appreciating their feelings and considering their
well-being in what you say or do. What may be acceptable to one person may upset and/or
intimidate another. Harassment takes many forms and can range from relatively mild banter
to actual physical violence. It can be delivered in many ways and this policy applies to all
forms of communication including text messages, email and comments posted on social
networking sites.
Some Examples
The following are examples of behaviour which we consider constitutes harassment:•
Coarse or insensitive jokes and pranks.
•
Coarse or insensitive comments about appearance or character.
•
Display or distribution of offensive material whether written or pictorial.
•
Deliberate exclusion or isolation from conversation or activities.
•
Unwelcome familiarity or body contact.
•
Abusive, insulting, or threatening language.
•
Demands or threats to intimidate or obtain favours.
173
Appendix 6
Section 4
•
Threatened or actual violence.
This is not intended as an exhaustive list.
We will investigate all allegations of such behaviour. Offenders are liable to disciplinary
action and, in serious cases, dismissal.
Third Party Harassment
Harassment may also take place through someone who is not our employee. This is known
as third party harassment. If someone using our services or who has a business relationship
harasses you, tell your line manager immediately. We can then take reasonable steps to
prevent it from recurring.
Where You Encounter Harassment
If you feel you are being harassed, the first step is to make clear you want it to stop. Tell the
person harassing you that you find such behaviour unacceptable. Person-to-person
discussion at an early stage is often enough to stop harassment. Alternately, you could seek
the help of a trusted colleague and ask them to approach the person causing offence on
your behalf.
If the behaviour continues, or you consider an instance to be particularly serious, please
implement the grievance procedure. We assure you that grievances will be dealt with
promptly and in a discrete and caring manner.
Where you make or support a complaint in good faith, you will not be victimised for doing so
whatever transpires.
We are unable, however, to protect anyone who maliciously makes or supports an untrue
complaint. We investigate such occurrences utilising our disciplinary procedure.
174
Appendix 6
Events Held at Pelham House
Oliver de Dook Seminar
Seminar with Oliver de Dook in finance/new thinking in
economics around the launch of the Lewes pound.
Pelham House Sponsership of
Lewes Pound
Tom Paine
Sponership of Tom Paine sculpture unveiled by Tony Benn (July
2010).
Tom Paine Room at Pelham
The only permanent, fully dedicated space to Tom Paine with historical
documentsand illustrations of Tom Paine’s life by Lewes artists. We also
support local authors and stock and sell the book they wrote, ‘Tom Paine
in Lewes.
175
Appendix 6
Transition Town Events
‘Slow Food’ Fish Supper
We invited diners in Lewes to develop a responsible attitude towards the
seas by participating in a sustainable fishing event at Pelham House hotel
on 10th February.
We hosted a two course sustainable fish meal followed by a
screening of ‘The End if the Line’ with an after dinner debate on the
subject of environmentally responsible fishing on behalf of Slow Food
Brighton and Lewes and the Transition Town Lewes Food Group.
Heart & Soul Events
Heart and Soul had regular meetings at Pelham that we subsidised and
also put on some public lectures and workshops.
June 10th, 2009
Annie Blompied, Interfaith minister, ‘How Green is Your Mind?’, ‘Can
Spirituality Save the World?’
October 3rd, 2009,
Philip Carr-Gomm and Annie Townend; How to stay empowered and
empowering in a changing world. ‘Staying Sane in an Insane World’.
Local Food Producers Fair
Soils Association Lecture
Public lecture by the chair of the Soil Association on local resilience in
farming and food production.
Headstrong Club
(original club founded by Tom Paine) We have hosted a public debate
on the influence of China on global economy and western society.
176
Appendix 6
Monday Lit Club
Speakers during our time at Pelham House
October 2005 to present
2005-06 season
Sybil Oldfield (historian, Sussex University)
Adam Nicolson (writer and journalist; lives at Sissinghurst Place; 3rd
generation of his family to speak at a meeting of the Club, following his
father Nigel Nicolson and grandmother Vita Sackville-West)
Paul Atterbury (Antiques Roadshow expert)
(Lord) Max Egremont (biographer, lives at Petworth Place)
Neil Bartlett (theatre director and novelist)
Al Alvarez (poet and critic)
Catherine Smith (Lewes-based poet)
2006-07 season
Ian McEwan (novelist)
Rod Kedward (historian, Sussex University)
John Vernon-Lord (illustrator)
Pamela Tudor-Craig (expert on the Middle Ages; exhibition; adviser on
medieval buildings)
Kate Clanchy (poet and writer)
Richard Davenport-Hines (biographer)
Henry Hitchins (writer on the English language)
2007-08 season
Ann Thompson (Shakespeare scholar, general editor of the Arden
Shakespeare)
Gillian Darley (journalist and biographer)
Phil Baines (expert on graphic design)
Kit Wright (poet)
CJ Sansom (novellist)
Dame Stella Rimington (retired head of MI5, now a write of spy
novels)
William Nicholson (novelist; writer of screenplays, including that for
‘Gladiator’))
177
Appendix 6
2008-09 season
Andrew O’Hagan (novelist, essayist and journalist)
Daljit Nagra (poet)
Katharine Whitehorn (pioneering feminist journalist and writer)
Judith Carver (biographer; daughter of William Golding)
Anne Sebba (biographer and journalist)
Nicola Beauman (writer and publisher - founder of Persephone Books)
Colin Brent (local historian - described new discoveries about Tom
Paine’s time in Lewes)
2009-10
Carmen Callil (writer and publisher - founder of Virago Books)
David Cordingly (naval historian, writer, exhibition curator, adviser on
for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films)
Selina Hastings (biographer)
Charlotte Moore (writer and journalist)
Roddy Lumsden (poet and anthologist)
Helen Dunmore (novelist and poet)
Major Local Dinners
Lewes Football Club (now a community owned
club.
Lewes Rugby Club
Prize supplied by Pelham House
178
Appendix 6
Waterloo Bonfire Society
Prize supplied by Pelham House
South Street Bonfire Society
Prize supplied by Pelham House
France and Germany for the Twinning
Mike Turner, Mayor of Lewes, to arrange a dinner for
guests from ‘France and Germany for the Twinning’
Association Dinner.
Lewes Old Grammar School
Hosted Bugsy Malone production for Lewes Old Grammar School for five
days.
Paddock Community Chorus
Production
‘Give my regards to Broadway’ for the Brighton Fringe Festival.
179
Lewes Barbican Rotary Fundraiser
The Lewes Barbican Rotary Fundraiser which Peter James, a local author
attended to answer questions- Pelham House supplied prize for raffle.
Local Author?
Lewes Round Table
6th Form Prom
Lewes Old Grammar School held their 6th Form Prom at Pelham House.
Enthum
We assisted Enthum with low cost meetings and the type of events. They
have set up a foundation- Enthumfoundation.org to help young people as
well as running a number of training courses such as ‘Yes Quest’ meetings
and workshops.
WHAT IF
WHAT IF work with clients who genuinely want to innovate and grow.
They help them release the creative potential of their people, products and
brands.
They also work with clients to increase their innovation capability
- developing skills, organisational structures and mechanisms, and
identifying and developing how to lead for successful innovation.
WHAT IF are an action-orientated, happy and hard working team of over
180 people with offices in the UK, USA and China, working in over 40
countries worldwide across a wide range of clients and market sectors.
180
Appendix 6
Appendix 6
Princes Trust
We started Pelham with a five day residential for developing music skills
and building confidence for disaffected youth run by Prince Charles
charity, ‘Princes Trust’.
IDS
IDS at Falmer are a major think tank for third world development. They
are regular users.
Ministry of Justice
Events.
Circuit Judges
Events.
Lewes District Council
Meetings on ecology etc.
Public Meetings
We have hosted public enquiries.
181
Community and Public Events
‘The Paddock Singers’
Brighton Fringe Festival
Show in connection with Brighton Fringe Festival.
Employment
Development training for team members improving career prospects.
Ceremonies
Weddings, Wakes, Christening, naming ceremonies, birthday parties etc.
We recently held a Wake for Professor Freeman. A building was named
after him.
John Drummond
Head Radio 3, hosted a party with many noteworthy guests, i.e. Melven
Bragg.
Glyndebourne
Many guests, conductors etc stay.
182
Appendix 6
Appendix 6
Glyndebourne
Many guests, conductors etc stay.
Charleston, Brighton Festivals
Bonfire Night
Hosting; guests but also societie’s dinners (strong community event).
Pelham House hosts community emergency room in Terrace for local
services, i.e. police, ambulance.
Viva Lewes
Sell and decorate rooms with their artwork. Magazine in every room.
Public Art Ehibitions
Upcoming of local ‘Downs Syndrome Girl’.
Arts in Business
Arts in Business have used us for innovative training programmes
183
Appendix 6





 
 





Peter Messer
A Few New
Paintings
Some new tempera paintings set in,
around and parallel with Lewes
Private View, Friday 4 July, 6 – 8.30pm
5th – 23rd July 2008
www.pelhamhouse.com
St Andrews Lane, Lewes,
East Sussex, BN7 1UW
Telephone: 01273.4 88600
184
Appendix 6
Aardman Animation
Script meeting workshops.
Children in Need
Children in Need fund raising dinners.
Lewes Live Literature
Lewes Live Literature, concerts.
Homeopathic Society
Regular meetings and training.
Opera in the Garden
Guitar Festival
The Guitar Festival
185
Appendix 6
‘Creativity and Innovation’
Inhouse event.
PET
PET certification weekend.
Holistic Medical Association
Lewes Live Literature, concerts.
Building Local Resilience
Public lecture for Transition Town. ‘Building local Resilience’. For growers
and breeders and distributers in the local area. By chair of The Soil
Association- Patrick Holden.
Theatre
Little visitors- Susannah Walters. We have put on several public theatre
events.
I.N.K
Institute of not knowing- an occasional dinner club rub by David
Anderson, one of Pelham directors. “In an age where there seem to be
experts for everything and they all profess to have all the answers- we at
the Institute take a more relaxed line and say ‘We just don’t know’ ”. An
open minded view on life and the universe and everything.
186
Appendix 6
Subud Events
Subud, (Suslia Budhi Dharma) an international spiritual organization
have had a number of events.
GHFP
GHFP (Guerrand Hermes Foundation for Peace) - meeting on Interfaith.
Reduced Rates
Reduced rates agreed for local community groups and charities:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Sororptimist International Society
Lewes Barbican Rotary Club
Women’s networking company
Heart & Soul Event.
Homeopaths
Enthum Coaching
Artist in Residence
Artist in residence over the Easter weekend for guests to see him work and
chat too.
Exhibition
Held a private view of the new exhibition along with a talk by one of the
artists.
Ball
Hosted the local Sussex funeral directors ball- Pelham House supplied the
prize for the raffle.
187
Appendix 6
Internships
Bethan had her work placement with us from Central Sussex College.
Photography
Steve George a local photographer who has agreed to take new
photographs for the Pelham House website in exchange for a
complimentary stand at the Wedding Fair and to act as our recommended
photographer.
Sussex Past
Abi and Stuart met with John Manley from sussex Past to begin to build a
relationship between them and Pelham House.
AGM
Abi attended the Tourism South East annual AGM Bexhill to continue to
show an interest in local tourism and build on relationships.
Western Road School
Children from Western Road School came to look round the garden as
they were doing a project on sculptures; we recieved a lovely set of thank
you letters back from them.
Street Child Worldcup
We gave a voucher for a raffle to help raise money for
www.streetchildworldcup.org which is based in Lewes.
188
Appendix 6
John Crawford
John Crawford , who is the Lewes District Council Chief Executive, came
for a meeting to discuss setting up a forum of local businesses to help
promote Lewes as a destination.
Saving Energy
Our own energy survey and efforts to make more carbon efficient our
rambling and drafty ancient building.
Transition Town Events
October Food Festival
Throughout October we are opening our doors to everyone interested
in sampling the best that Sussex has to offer with food and drink. We
are also giving you an opportunity to have a good snoop around our
interesting house and view the ever changing art work.
Parents & Teachers in the Arts
Event
Summer Party
189
Appendix 6
Breaky Bottom Wine
Supportin local wine makers.
Artwave
190
6XEPLVVLRQ from the YMCA
191
192
06/10/2014 Disposal of former St Anne's school site
From:
David Standing [[email protected]]
Sent:
06/10/2014 10:13
To:
Scrutiny
Subject:
Disposal of former St Anne's school site
Dear Mr Dean
You will be aware that we as Sussex Central YMCA were one of the unsuccessful
bidders for the St Anne’s school site. We raised concerns at the time regarding the
process undertaken by the County Council for the disposal as we did not consider it
to be fair, clear and transparent. I attach for your information a letter sent at the time
raising our specific concerns which were shared by the other bidder, the Lewes
Community Land Trust.
In summary our concerns were:•
A lack of clarity as to whether an element of housing might be acceptable on
the site.
•
We were told that the development may be linked with a possible disposal of
the St Anne’s Crescent car park which could act as an enabler to develop St
Anne’s for community use. It was not clear at what level within the council
this possible linkage was being proposed.
•
We were given to understand that a key component of the bid must be an
ability and willingness to work closely with the tenant, 3VA. However, when
we approached 3VA they were unable to be clear about their plans and how a
possible partnership might work. We understood they were to be involved in
the selection of the successful bidder.
•
Part way through the process, the criteria were changed to remove the
prohibition for the site to be used for religious purposes. The YMCA, although
working with those of all faiths and none, is a Christian organisation and this
initial prohibition precluded a possible partnership with a local Church.
•
We were given to understand that the shortlist of successful bidders would be
invited to discuss/present their proposals as part of the process for
determining the eventual successful bidder. This did not happen.
•
Despite requests, we have not been given clear feedback as to why our bid
scored less than the successful bidder, or any clear indication as to the
scoring process with any weightings.
As a successful and significant local Charity and Registered Provider of social
housing, we have been involved in many bidding and procurement processes, and in
our opinion the way this process was conducted fell short of the high standard we
would expect from a local authority. We have no problem losing to a better bid in a
fair contest, but having invested a lot of time and expense in preparing our bid, were
very disappointed in the process and the response given to concerns we raised in
this particular case.
193
Yours sincerely
David Standing
CEO
David Standing
Chief Executive
T 01273 222550 E [email protected]
YMCA DOWNSLINK GROUP
Reed House, 47 Church Road, Hove, BN3 2BE
www.ymcadlg.org
194
195
2 Deanery Cottages
Becky Shaw
Chief Executive
East Sussex County Council
County Hall
St Anne’s Crescent
Lewes
BN7 1UE
Lewes BN7 2JA
01273 488323
PRIVATE & CONFIDENTIAL
Dear Becky/Cllr Glazier,
Re: St Anne’s Site
We wish to notify you that Sussex Central YMCA and the Lewes Community Land Trust wish to raise
a formal objection regarding the procurement process for the St Anne’s site. Our concerns are as
follows:
•
There was a lack of clarity as to the parameters of the bid, and what the Council wanted to
achieve through the transfer of the site. We had contradictory advice to whether or not
housing might be included on site, for instance.
•
We were told that there may be an option to acquire the St Anne’s Crescent overflow car
park and develop this as part of the bid. Again, it was not made clear whether this was a
definite option.
•
We were told that the shortlisted bidders should produce an outline bid and then we would
be invited for interview, through which our bid could be refined if necessary. This did not
happen.
•
We were told following the withdrawal of the proposal to award the site to Subud from the
Council meeting on 16th July that the bids were to be considered through a more rigorous
process.
•
We then received the attached email, which merely says the restriction on organisations
promoting political or religious activities has been removed. It seems to us that the only
reason to change the criteria at this point is to enable the Council to proceed with the award
of the site to Subud.
•
Sussex Central YMCA and the Lewes Community Land Trust have asked for feedback from
our bids which has not been received to date. We presume the scoring of the bids will be
available to evidence your decision.
196
Clearly this is a valuable site which has considerable potential to benefit the community, and we
would expect the County Council to seek assurance that they have secured the best offer for the site
that can create a sustainable provision that will benefit the community for years to come. From our
point of view, we do not feel this has been a fair and rigorous process, giving senior officers and
elected members a chance to consider the merits of the shortlisted bids sufficiently to enable them
to make an informed decision.
In summary:
•
It was not clear what was admissible/inadmissible in the bidding process (changing the rules
re religious organisations as an example of this).
•
The process was not clear and rigorous. We were not interviewed although we had been
told we would be.
•
We are still not clear how the decision is to be made regarding the successful bidder and by
whom.
As bidders we have put a lot of work and incurred considerable costs into preparing our bids, and do
not feel we have had sufficient engagement with the County Council as the Commissioning body
through a fair and open bidding process. We would urge that you review the process before making
your final decision and we are keen to talk with you regarding ways in which we might be engaged in
a fair, open and transparent process. We look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,
David Standing
CEO
Sussex Central YMCA
CC
Pru Rowntree
Chair
Lewes Community Land Trust
Cllr Keith Glazier
Leader of the Council
Bramleys
Pett Road
Pett
TN35 4EY
197
198
4. Submissions from members of the public
199
200
Submissions that are positive about the process
02/10/2014 St Anne's scrutiny panel
From:
Susan Murray
Sent:
Thu 02/10/2014 12:12
To:
Scrutiny
Subject:
St Anne's scrutiny panel
Dear Paul,
From my point of view the whole process of seeking to sell the St Annes site for
community benefit was carried out scrupulously and fairly and as transparently as feasible
in the circumstances. I have been involved at the site ever since the climate camp
occupation and feel that every effort was made to involve residents of Lewes in deciding
upon the future of the site. Well publicised meetings were held and every effort made to
get representatives of local groups involved in the St Anne's steering group.
I myself represented the town council on the steering group and I can say that it was kept
well informed by ESCC about its plans and consulted at every stage. We wee given the
opportunity to to see the criteria for the bid, the marking system and the detail of what
each bidder was offering and we were unanimous in agreeing that the right decision had
been made in awarding the site to Subud. It offered the most community benefit and
looked as if it had the best chance of succeeding. I think it is a tragedy for Lewes that
Subud has been prevented from moving forward with the process and putting in a planning
application that would give further detail to its exciting plans.
I would further say that it is a sad sight when people who have been disappointed in their
own bid then start digging for dirt on an organisation that has never done anything but
good in Lewes.
I intend to attend the scrutiny panel on 15th October and would be happy to be questioned
on the day.
Best wishes, Susan Murray
Councillor Susan Murray, Green Party, Castle ward
201
05/10/2014 St Anne’s Subud Proposal
From:
Felicity Carter
Sent:
Sun 05/10/2014 21:51
To:
Scrutiny
Subject:
St Anne’s Subud Proposal
To whom it may concern,
I live in Rotten Row, I have lived here on and off for the last 33 years. I grew up with
St Annes School just down my road. I remember going there with a friend of mine
from primary school who needed lots of extra support. I remember it being a busy
and active place with lots of fun games to be played.
It is a great shame to see it so run down and falling apart now. I was pleased that the
protest a couple of years ago brought it to the attention of the town again. I was even
more pleased to hear that the Lewes Subud group have put in an application to buy
the site. I have no connection at all with Subud except for using their Station street
halls for Tinklers music sessions with my own children and attending other children’s
birthday parties there. The current Subud halls do not seem big enough for the
demands made on them, showing a need for more large community halls.
I have never heard of any discrimination from local Subud members and have
always found all the people I have talked to friendly and honest.
I have talked to various Subud members about their plans for the St Annes site and
believe that it will offer great community value and be an amazing asset to the town.
I share the Subud vision of a shared space, community based, diversity of use and
inclusive of all people. People of all ages can come together from nursery children to
the elderly.
There is definitely a need in Lewes for more space for social enterprises which would
be included in the Subud plans. I also loved the idea of a community café growing its
own food, and the Growing projects scheme giving local people access to grow food
and share knowledge. I shared my seeds and grew food with my children there
during the protest in 2011.
The Subud proposal also plans to increase the biodiversity on the site, providing an
excellent resource for education and recreation. Increasing biodiversity is of
particular importance due to the decline in bee and butterfly populations and would
be a great addition to the South Downs National park too. Including a children’s play
area and peace garden/tranquillity space outside with add to the community benefit
of this biodiversity site. Children who play in natural environments undertake more
diverse, creative and imaginative play and this is an important part of a child’s
development. Children have more confidence and self-belief as they have the
freedom, time and space to learn, grow and demonstrate independence. Adults who
spend time in outside spaces also find they have better mental health, the
psychological benefits of engagement with nature are exceedingly well-established.
All the above spaces (social enterprises, living well/dying well, Growing Projects,
nursery, biodiversity area) will offer training and volunteer opportunities for
vulnerable groups (disability, social need etc) and support for young people in
202
training, education and volunteer opportunities.
Community participation is essential in these projects which will open up further
partnerships in the community.
I currently live in a shared generation household with my two children, my mother,
brother, sister in law and their small baby. Neither my brother nor I can afford to buy
a house in Lewes. However I do not think that new homes would be the best option
for St Annes. This would benefit only those people lucky enough to have the money
to buy those homes (most likely not me or my brother). On the other hand the Subud
proposal would benefit the whole community and allow this space to be shared by
all.
I understand that there has been some upset about the process but I am unsure why
it is necessary to further waste time on contesting the bid now when it has already
been decided It appears to me that there was ample opportunity to be involved in the
bid application earlier on in the process.
It seems to me to be a waste of time and public money for ESCC to keep dealing
with these challenges and/or in keeping the site empty for the last year and a half
while the process is being challenged. Security costs are enormous, as are the costs
of mounting these investigations!
I hope that it can all be resolved soon and Subud can start to build a great future for
St Annes,
Your faithfully,
Felicity Carter
203
Emails forwarded by Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
24/09/2014 St Anne’s
From:
Cllr Roger Murray
Sent:
24 September 2014 06:40:51
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne’s
Dear Ruth,
I've heard that some people are dissatisfied with the way the future use of the old school
site should be developed was decided.
From what I have seen and heard and read in the papers and the statement from ESCC, I
am very happy with the process of selecting a future user of the site.
Indeed I think the Subud organisation is the best of the three prospective users, in view of
all the exciting community based activities they are proposing centred around the cafe,
which will use food produced on site by young local people training in horticulture. I am
impressed by their plans for a lot of innovative creative activities , in arts and sciences
which are aimed to involve the whole community, especially the young.
I agree with the committee's decision not to favour the Community Land Trust who have
been in existence for a number of years and have so far not undertaken
or achieved anything. Furthermore they admit that there is no probability of their being
able to lay their hands on sufficient funds in the near future.
Sincerely
Roger Murray
Councillor Roger Murray, Green Party, Castle ward
204
0/10/2014 Subud bid for St Annes
From:
Sent:
1 October 2014 07:57:01
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Subud bid for St Annes
Dear Ms O'Keefe
I would like to add my support for Subuds bid to buy St Annes
I am not a member of Subud but I know many people who are through my association with
Lewes New School. I have lived in Lewes for 18 years and worked here for 23 and am a
member of Cliffe Bonfire society.
I think Subuds plans for the building and surrounds are a very fitting use of the space and
their intention of sharing it with the community is something I think is vital for Lewes.
I feel this bid process has gone on long enough now St Annes has been lying dormant and
must be costing us (the tax payer) a fortune.
Please can you do all you can to get the building back in use ASAP.
-All the best
205
01/10/2014 Review of St Anne's site (attachment)
Dear Councillor Ruth O'Keefe,
I'm writing to express my concern that the sale of St Anne's site has gone to a review holding up a process that has gone on for a long time already - and that the good name
of Subud in the town is being questioned ( albeit by a rather vociferous minority some of
whose statements are not only ridiculous but libellous)
I was present at the Town Hall when the bidding process was discussed and was
surprised that this was the outcome of that meeting. It felt to me that the representatives
from Subud and ESCC gave clear and reasonable explanations to all the concerns raised
by the floor. Voting at the end on whether or not the bidding process was clear seemed
strange and out of place. I cannot help feeling cynical and wondering if the call for that
particular vote was a piece of political manoeuvring to jeopardise the sale. I'm sure I wasn't
the only person thrown by this vote and wish I'd been brave and quick witted enough to
propose an alternative motion - namely that we allow the bid to continue with Subud as the
clear and only viable winners of the bid. If the house had voted on this, we might have
been able to avoid this review. which is no doubt costing a great deal.
I'm sure if you listened to a recording of the meeting it would be apparent that the
most applause came after a comment ( made by a non Subud member) that whilst the
bidding process may not have been completely clear, Subud were not to blame and should
be allowed to continue with their proposed plans. ( i also cant help wondering why indeed
the bidding process should be clear to those of us who weren't involved in it. Once the
scoring was explained, it became clear enough as did the reasons why Subud won the
bid)
One of Councillor St Pierre's objections to the Subud bid was that only the Subud
community would benefit from their purchase of the site. She must have made this
statement without looking at the Subud proposal for public use facilities and outdoor space
which clearly will benefit the wider community - far more so than 27 new houses proposed
by the losing bid ( who incidentally admitted they would struggle to get the money together
if they had to)
The St Anne's site was squatted a few years ago by activists wanting the site to be
used for community use. It seems that those people won the people of Lewes an
opportunity which is now being threatened.
Subud has a proven track record in both financial terms and in its commitment to
community projects in the town. The Subud representative at the Town Hall said they had
even suggested working together with the Lewes Community Land Trust but that that offer
had not been taken up.
Anyone who knows the Subud Centre in Lewes will know how well used it is by a
whole variety of groups and individuals- and the Subud proposals for the St Anne's site will
expand on this, becoming a focal point for social enterprises to support vulnerable and
disadvantaged people amongst others - much needed in our town.
Over the eight years I have lived in Lewes I have used the Subud hall in a number
of capacities - ( too numerous to list) yoga, Lewes community acupuncture, creative writing
group, memorial service, film screenings. In each occasion I have been greeted with
professionalism and courtesy by the people hosting and managing the centre.
This is a great opportunity for our town and I feel angry that a small group of people
are able to hijack a process. This same group of people ( many of whom are anonymous)
206
on the Lewes forum have now turned their attention to objecting to other local matters with
the same degree of venom.
I very much hope you can impress upon the Councillors involved in the review
process that the view of those who have objected to Subud winning the bid is by no means
a popular viewpoint.
I'd appreciate it if you could acknowledge receipt of this email.
best wishes
207
01/10/2014 Support for Subud taking on the St. Anne's site
From:
Sent:
1 October 2014 14:51:33
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Support for Subud taking on the St. Anne's site
Dear Ruth,
I just wanted to write to you in support of the Subud group taking on the St.Anne’s site.
I have lived in Lewes for the past seven years and have encountered Subud and it’s
members in almost every aspect of my life here.
My son went to the Lewes New School which was founded by members of Subud. I have
been very impressed with the ethos of the school which was put in place by the founder
members. Through the school I made friends with a number of Subud members and found
them to be very thoughtful caring members of society.
I have worked closely with
the creative co-ordinator of
admire her commitment to the local community.
this year. I
I enjoy attending yoga classes at the Subud Centre, finding the facilities to be calm, clean,
bright and inclusive.
I also enjoy the occasional meal, party or private view at Pelham House which I also
believe is a Subud owned property.
Having read their proposal I am keen for them to have the site because it seems that they
intend it to be very community based, providing a cafe and creche, a public garden as well
as spaces to rent for functions and working. The alternative housing development would
mean that the site would be no longer available for the public to enjoy.
I can not imagine that you would find a more community minded set of people to take on
this site.
Yours Sincerely,
208
02/10/2014 St Anne's
From:
Sent:
2 October 2014 10:51:15
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's
Dear Ruth,
I am writing ahead of the Scrutiny Committee meeting on October 15th regarding the
St Anne’s site.
As you know from the recent public meeting, my view is that, whilst the disposal
process could have been better managed, it was a process that was good enough
for the result to stand. I say this as a member of a team that put forward an
unsuccessful bid. You win some, you lose some. Much of the recent talk has been
based in ignorance and sometimes simple prejudice, which I cannot abide.
The key thing in my view is how we now move on. First, I think that the Subud
proposal will create significant community benefits, which can be further enhanced
by wider community engagement. I am particularly interested in the possibilities of
linking with the Sussex Partnership Mental Health Foundation Trust of which I am a
member around the well-being work, and of course there are several local
organisations who may value the Living Well Dying Well approach. The mental
health trust in particular I know would be very receptive to some form of joint initiative
as this is their chosen style of working.
I also think that the proposal could be strengthened if it could be varied to include a
small residential component, say 5 to 10 one and two bed dwellings let at 40% of
market rent. This would help make the scheme more attractive given the dire need
for genuinely affordable homes in the town, and if the scheme was made car free it
would have little or no impact on traffic or other local amenities.
I have discussed this with Sue Fleming who is genuinely excited about the possibility
of moving forward collaboratively, putting the undoubted community benefits of the
scheme at the disposal of everyone in Lewes.
I shall be attending the meeting on 15th October, and if I have the opportunity I will
make these points from the floor. In the meantime, please feel free to share my note
with anyone that you would like to.
Regards,
209
02/10/2014 St Anne's, Subud
From:
Sent:
2 October 2014 19:35:10
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's, Subud
Dear Ms O'Keefe
I would like to say how much I support the Subud bid for the St Anne's site and do not
understand quite why after so long this is all being raised again.
Although it is not something I belong to, I know some of the Subud members through
connections with other local organisations. Subud seems to me to be genuinely
concerned in being involved with the local community and I have been to a variety of
events at Subud House. They have been there for as long as I can remember (and I have
been here over 20 years), quietly providing space for events of a gentle and caring
nature. All the people I have met are involved in many other organisations in Lewes, doing
a lot of positive community work,. Everyone involved in Subud that I have met has been
friendly and welcoming and open about their views but without proselytising. They are part
of the fabric of Lewes but don't shout about it.
Their proposal for St Anne's seems to me to be a very good mix of keeping the site open
to the public and yet providing community facilities. It's nice that the lovely quiet space
would not be covered in houses. This is what I would call an organic proposal, allowing for
feedback from Lewes residents as to what they want to see, not a dogmatic plan but with
an overall vision and some concrete proposals. There's clearly been a lot of work and
care gone into this and it would be a great shame if they were to pull out because of what
seems to be sour grapes from other bidders for the site.
Yours sincerely
210
03/10/2014 St Annes
From:
Sent:
3 October 2014 09:54:05
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Annes
Hello Ruth , i would like to send this letter of support for the Subud proposal for the
St.Anne's site . i am not clear about the process in which they became the chosen
purchaser , but as long as it was transparent , that is fine with me .
i support their project principally beacuse it is a beautiful site and should be made
available to the community as much as possible . I believe the alternative scheme
proposed 27 private dwellings which while that would assist the supply of additional
housing stock for the town , it would close off this wonderful site to the rest of the town . I
know the living well/dying well organization and think it would be a marvelous addition to
the town with the posiiblity i understand of a small hospice attached sometime in the
future . Subud's plans to include a communal growing area and a cafe using the produce is
exciting as is the creation of a peace garden .
I am not a member of Subud myself although both my daughters went through lewes new
school which was set up by subud families . We had a very poisitive experience at the
school and felt totally included although not subud members . Basically , any scheme that
offers facilities for the wider community and comes from local people who understand and
love the town gets my support . I do not believe the subud scheme for St Anne's would
be exclusive for just their members but would actually open up a lovely site for the town .
All the best
211
03/10/2014 St Anne's Community Project (attachment)
Pippa’s Group Reg. Charity No: 1074486
Pells C of E Primary School, Landport Road, Lewes BN7
2SU
Tel/Fax 01273 483992
[email protected]
www.pippasgroup.org.uk
Roger van der Matten,
St Anne's Subud Committee,
Subud Centre, Station Street,
Lewes, East Sussex.
2nd October 2014
Dear Roger,
I would like to give our support to the Subud Committee for their great efforts in creating an
excellent Community Project on the St. Anne’s Site.
We love the idea of mixing together both young and old in the various plans you have. A
Community Cafe and an ‘Enterprise Hub’ giving young unemployed people a social focus
is just what Lewes needs and in an area where there is nothing else on offer.
The idea of an opportunity for supporting vulnerable teenagers and young adults is an
excellent idea with the peer to peer mentoring model as well.
Congratulations must go to East Sussex County Council for seeing what a great social
scheme this will be as it benefits all ages in the community now and for many years into
the future.
We are really hopeful to be able to be included in this great scheme. Pippa’s Group has
been part of Lewes childcare provision for over 27 years.
We offer low cost, affordable nursery places to many children, some of whom are
disadvantaged and may also have additional needs. We offer high staff ratios to enable
every child to have the best possible start before Primary School. We are, at present
training a staff member in ‘Forest School’, so I cannot think of a more suitable place to be
able to offer this type of nursery education than the wonderful St. Anne’s site!
Good luck to you all!
Very best wishes,
Pippa Campbell
Pippa Campbell (Group Co-ordinator)
212
03/10/2014 Subud and St Annes
From:
Sent:
3 October 2014 15:47:42
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Subud and St Annes
Dear Ms O'Keefe
I'm writing regarding the Subud bid for St Annes. I have no axe to grind over this issue but
given the virtual witch-hunt against Subud I feel compelled to write.
Firstly I want to say that all the people I know who have any connection with Subud are
without exception kind, gentle, thoughtful and smart. The idea that they harbour anti-gay
leanings is plainly ludicrous
My daughter attended The Lewes New School and received a fantastic education which
has allowed her to excel at secondary school. At no time during her years at the school
did we feel the influence of Subud, indeed I would say that the disagreeable evangelical
element present in most religious leaning groups is notable by its absence.
Their bid seems to me to be more in the public interest than another profiteering developer
building a few more houses - the lack of affordable housing in the area is the fault of
successive tory governments from 1979 who allowed public housing to fall into private
hands. It's not the role of Subud to correct this.
I'm more than happy to allow the bidding process to be re-run, but believe Subud's
proposal needs to be considered outside the furore being stirred up by a few very vocal
opponents. It would be a shame if single issue busy-bodies were allowed to decide the
outcome.
Yours sincerely
213
03/10/2014 St Anne's/Rotten Row - support for Subud's community proposal
From:
Sent:
3 October 2014 17:11:54
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's/Rotten Row - support for Subud's community proposal
Dear Ruth O’Keefe,
I have lived and worked in Lewes for 16+ years and have used the Subud community
facilities in Station Street for yoga.
The reason for this email is to support the Subud Lewes community proposal for St
Anne’s.
I know several Subud members personally and have always been impressed with their
commitment to a less-selfish, more community-oriented way of living. This is epitomised by
some beneficial projects in the town ranging from Pelham House Hotel and the Lewes
New School to the palliative care charity ‘Living Well Dying Well’. I believe they have
proven themselves capable of delivering on their plans and have demonstrated community
spirit and commitment; they therefore seem well placed to take on the St Anne’s site.
I am very pleased to see that the site will potentially be kept for community use with
access to public spaces and that green spaces in Lewes will also be preserved.
As I understand it, there are the main projects being proposed:
Community Café and growing project. – with opportunities for young people in training
and education as well as providing for vulnerable groups in the growing project.
Social Enterprise hub. – offering spaces to local charities and social enterprises
encouraging shared facilities and networking on projects.
A ‘Garden of Forgiveness or Peace garden’ –- and children's play area - open to the
public and co-created with the community.
Two community halls that will be used for public meetings, concerts, workshops,
performances and meetings.
A training base for the charity “Living Well Dying Well’ whose trainees give support and
comfort to those at the end of life.
These seem to me to be worthwhile uses for the St Anne’s site.
I understand the project is also open to future community partnerships in the later phases
of development and that there will be transparent community consultation that will ensure
the views of the community will be sought and taken on board, thereby ensuring that the
best use is made of the site.
Kind Regards,
214
03/10/2014 Community and St Anne's - Creating Something Positive for
Everyone
From:
Sent:
3 October 2014 16:00:53
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Community and St Anne's - Creating Something Positive for
Everyone
Dear Ms O'Keefe,
I am writing to show my support, hopefully from a slightly different perspective, for the the
plans proposed by Subud for the St Anne's site in Lewes.
As a Lewes resident of 20 years, I'm certainly used to seeing community resistance to
change. These collective efforts have certainly served to boost the sense of togetherness,
and connection with democracy within the town. Living here for so long has also taught me
to distinguish between positive community causes and small groups with a loud, yet
negative message. The latter of which, like many, I have always chosen to ignore entirely.
Although I am in no way involved or affiliated with Subud, I must confess I am not entirely
impartial here. I have a good few colleagues and friends who are heavily involved, both
with Subud and the St Anne's project. Having heard, over two years ago, of the positive
plans for the site which I once knew as St Anne's school, I was absolutely shocked to hear
that there was any objection from within parts of the Lewes community. This surprise,
coupled with a feeling of injustice on behalf of my friends, colleagues and the town as a
whole left me compelled to become more involved in the process.
I'm sure you'll receive a number of letters explaining just how wonderful/terrible Subud is
as a group. As somebody who knows the organisation from the outside, I know all of the
negative feeling towards them comes largely from a lack of education, as well as a need to
fulfil a certain political agenda. Making out that Subud is some evil cult, no matter how
libellous or slanderous that could potentially be, makes it far easier to discredit what they
have planned for the St Anne's site. I get that, and I'm sure you and your colleagues
understand that too. This quote springs to mind: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in
the world, but there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches”. Politicians know this
feeling more than most, I'm sure.
That may be the crux of other letters you will receive, but I would like to concentrate on
simply one word: Community.
I mentioned earlier on how collective local efforts, when approached positively, can create
an incredible sense of togetherness within the town. Conversely, negative campaigns
directed at certain groups can, and do, fracture the sense of community within the town.
Lewes isn't like a big city; there, you might have different religious/ethnic/socioeconomic
groups nestling themselves into different corners and living in separation. The beauty of
Lewes is that it is one big cultural melting pot, in which every different race, gender, creed
or age should be able to thrive in a positive community atmosphere. The negative
atmosphere within the town regarding the current political and social rift has led me to ask
myself “What really is community?”
You don't switch on the news to see all of the good things that have happened that day.
For whatever reason, the negative tends to overshadow the positive. The fact that Subud's
community project at St Anne's was the successful bid has been misconstrued by many as
215
an apparent criticism of the other bids. This is not how these bidding processes work, or
should be viewed. Of course you know this, but many of those opposed the Subud project
(even those who haven't taken the time to find out what it is) have tended to lean towards
this negative, potentially counterproductive, way of thinking.
Nothing about this issue is black and white. I am incredibly grateful to live in a town where
people care enough to share their opinions, no matter how unpopular they could lead to
be. Having taken all of this into account, I keep coming back to one thought: The
refreshing and genuine sense of community I felt when I first heard about Subud's plans
for St Anne's 2 years ago. That is what Lewes needs, I thought to myself. Even in the bid's
developmental stages, I could feel a great sense of anticipation and excitement at the
prospect of creating something positive for everyone. Creating something positive for
everyone - this is what I have decided my definition of community is. Lewes is an old town
which can often fall on old habits. Creating something new is what creates progress. Doing
it together, and doing it for everyone, is what creates community.
Yours sincerely,
216
03/10/2014 Subud Lewes and Community at St Anne's
From:
Sent:
3 October 2014 17:53:13
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Subud Lewes and Community at St Anne's
Dear Ruth
I am writing to express support for the Subud Lewes and Community at St
Anne’s bid. The proposal they had accepted will bring lasting benefit to not only to the
community both locally around St Anne’s but right across Lewes too.
I have no affiliation at all to the Lewes Subud Group but as somebody who lives close to St
Anne’s, I did take the time to view the plan and felt strongly in favour of it.
I now understand there’s a growing lobby against that bid and some demands a public
hearing about the lack of transparency of the process. I can’t understand why, if the
proposals are to develop the area of land as a ‘Community asset transfer’, restricting
commercial use and making it available for community use, there should be a need for
anybody to try to overturn the decision, particularly if there is no material evidence to
present to show the process was anything less than transparent.
Therefore I would like you to register this email as a vote of confidence in the winning bid.
Yours Sincerely
217
03/10/2014 In support of Subud bid for St Anne's site
From:
Sent:
3 October 2014 17:44:19
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
In support of Subud bid for St Anne's site
Dear Ruth,
John and I have not been long-term denizens of Lewes, but we have been actively
involved in the life of the town since we moved here.
During that time, we have been welcomed into the community by many kind people, but I
must you—none so kind and warm as the members of Subud that we have been privileged
meet during the last three years. We are not members of Subud, and they are not the kind
of people who ever dream of imposing belief on another soul—but I must say that if I were
ever to choose a particular organisation in which to experience spiritual fraternity, they
would be it. Either that or the Quakers. Quite like the Quakers as well…
All joking aside—I had already been deeply impressed with the space on Station Street,
whenever I went there for yoga it always made me feel very calm and peaceful—and I'm
talking about the building itself, not just how yoga made me feel!
I (unlike the many vitriolic posters of hate messages on the Lewes Forum) attended the
first Subud open house that was extended to the public. What I encountered there
convinced me that what Subud is proposing is a solid, workable plan with community
interests completely in mind. We will have access to the wonderful gardens and it will be
an active, vibrant hub of culture and caring for the entire town. I cannot imagine what it
would be like if it was turned into private property and masses of flats built on it. That
would be a shame.
I do not know what is at the heart of all this controversy. I have only seen mis-information,
rumour-mongering and—quite frankly—outright nastiness on the part of those who are in
opposition to what is an excellent plan for the site—an excellent plan put forth by an
organisation that possesses the financial resources to put it into action, I might add.
Please do you level best to calm this unwarranted hysteria and make sure that the best
option for the site prevails here.
Respectfully,
218
03/10/2014 SUBUD/ST. ANNE'S SITE
From:
Sent:
3 October 2014 19:37:33
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
SUBUD/ST. ANNE'S SITE
Dear Ruth O'Keefe,
I have only recently become aware of the somewhat long drawn out process regarding the
proposal and negotiotions between the Subud Organisation and ESCC with regard to the
St. Anne's site Community Project.
I write formally in support of this excellent idea. The project has been carefully thought out
in great detail and illustrates that it would contribute great value to the local community's
needs and provide real enhancement to those areas of family and elderly care which, in
this political climate, seem to be progressively eroded.
I gather that there is an anti-lobby against this proposal, on the grounds that the project is
not transparent.
I am not a member of Subud myself. However, I attend movement classes at Subud
House and have hired rooms there for my own professional practice in dance. I do know a
number of people who are members of the Subud Movement. They are kind, thoughtful,
open and humanitarian. There have been no hints of a religious or dogmatic nature and I have never been approached to join this organisation.
I consider the proposal to be measured and of a philanthropic nature. As a Lewes resident
myself, I welcome and support this project.
219
03/10/2014 Subud proposal
From:
Sent:
3 October 2014 16:21
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Subud proposal
Dear Ruth
I would like to add my voice in support of Subud and the St Annes school bid
Best
220
04/10/2014 St Anne's School
From:
Sent:
4 October 2014 11:36:06
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's School
To whom it may concern
I am totally shocked that the liberal thinking reputation of Lewes has been shaken to the
core by the vitriolic response to the Subud purchase of St Anne's School. I'm not a Subud
myself but my perception of Subud people I have met is that they are non- proselytising
and have had only a positive impact on the community. Their current centre is open for
use by many different groups, and where their members have developed other amenities
such as Pelham House Hotel they have done so creatively and have only enhanced the
town's amenities.
I am extremely excited that a new community resource such as St Anne's School,
developed by this Subud group on environmental principles and with imagination and
integrity, should exist in the town. I think many of us will feel very differently about living in
Lewes if these kinds of forward looking, exciting and positive developments are scuppered
by a vociferous and unpleasant minority whose anonymous objections on the Lewes
Forum appear to be motivated by a worrying bigotry.
Regards
221
04/10/2014 St Anne's Project and SubudLewes
From:
Sent:
4 October 2014 12:54:25
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's Project and SubudLewes
Dear Councillor Ruth O’Keeffe,
I am writing from Rodmell, but Lewes is my town. My mother’s family, the Hodgkins, were
Quakers who rebuilt the Quaker Meeting House at the beginning of the 19th century, and
later on lived in what is now Shelley’s Hotel, where there is the “Hodgkin’s door” with my
name on it as an 11 year old. I am now 77.
I came to Rodmell in 1998, and I’ve been very active in environmental and social affairs. I
was on the committee of DOVE(Defenders of the Ouse Valley and Estuary) which
succeeded in holding up the incinerator for five years, but alas not stopping it. I have also
been active in Lewes Against Fracking, and as you may know the Subud House hosted
the first two meetings there.
I am Acting Chairman of Pelham House Associates Ltd in which Subud members hold
the majority of shares, but there is no official Subud Britain shareholding. I was
responsible as site manager for the conversion from the County Council offices. I
remember very well when we met in 2003 with the then Chairman of the ESCC who
said: “A sigh of relief went around the town when people heard that “the Subuds” were
buying it. We could not wish to sell to nicer people” . Of course we have to deal with the
economic realities in a very competitive market, but as founders we had a very strong
intention which we have had been able to fulfil as much as possible: to support community
social, cultural and other events. We believe that Pelham House is an asset to the
community as well as a significant employer.
As you know Subud members have been prominent in Transition Town Lewes, notably
the late Adrienne Campbell and have been the initiators of Lewes New School.
I am a member of the Sussex Forum for Sustainability which meets at the Linklater
Centre and I used to sing in the Sussex Bach choir and had a brief solo as town crier in
the community opera, The Finnish Prisoner . So you see, like my Subud and non-Subud
friends and colleages I am a really committed member of the community and feel
passionately about its future, as well as being a long term Subud member.
For five years I was Chairman of Susila Dharma International, an affiliate of the World
Subud Association which is a network of national Susila Dharma bodies in about 25
different countries and has 40 or so of projects all round the world in community
development, primary health care, education etc.
Our existing Subud House in Station St has provided space for other groups and events
during the 35 years of its existence, but is now too small for us, so the prospect of
developing the St Anne’s site is an exciting challenge for us. Our group is deeply
committed to sharing the use of larger buildings with the wider community and to develop
the rest of the site in a way in which is not only ecologically acceptable, but will also
provide venues and services to the community at large in partnership with other
222
charities. I believe others have written to you in more detail about this. So I would prefer
not to burden you with unnecessary repetition.
I will post you a copy of this Email but I’m not sure if it will reach you in time.
With very best wishes ,Yours sincerely,
223
04/10/2014 Subud Lewes's St. Anne's proposal
From:
Sent:
4 October 2014 13:09:58
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Subud Lewes's St. Anne's proposal
Dear Ruth,
I am sending you this letter for the scrutiny committee in support of Subud Lewes’s St.
Anne’s proposal. In particular to allegations that Subud is a homophobic organisation.
When I recently heard this allegation, it made me laugh. I've been a Subud member for 27
years and grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia where the founder of Subud lived with his family.
I've known them since I was a child and they all love and respect me unconditionally as I
am, an openly active homosexual.
I have never been reprimanded, excluded or made to feel that I need to be cured of my
homosexuality. I made my coming out when I was living in Lewes and had my first
boyfriend. He came to visit and we were both invited to a wedding of a Subud couple who
now live in Uckfield. At the wedding we danced together and both had a good time with the
Subud community. That's why I'm surprised to hear these accusations that assert Subud is
a homophobic organisation.
Once at a World Subud gathering, held every four years to elect representatives of the
organisation, some young guys were filming short snippets of what was going on and
showing it as a congress TV magazine in the evening. I was approached and asked a
question. I said, “I'll give you an answer, but only if you give me a kiss on the lips.” The
young man agreed and we gave each other the kiss. Later that evening when the kiss
came up on the screen everyone cheered and clapped.
I’m sure there may be people within the Subud membership who are homophobic,
although I've never been openly approached by any. Personally, what I appreciate in
Subud is that it promotes the discovery of one's individuality without the imposition of
doctrines. Through our sincerity we can slowly discover our own way to help us live more
harmoniously as a society, and more importantly, an inner harmony that can bring us
peace in our own lives.
I currently live in Brighton, and hope that during the upcoming review, my personal
experience can shed light to the issue. I would be more than willing if you or anybody
would like to meet me regarding this.
Yours sincerely,
224
04/10/2014 Subuds and St Anne's
From:
Sent:
4 October 2014 15:34:30
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Subuds and St Anne's
Dear Ruth,
David Anderson asked me to drop you a line about the situation regarding the Subud
acquisition of the St Anne’s Site.
The Subuds may have some odd connotations globally like most religions/faiths but in
Lewes they are a strong community group who do a lot of good work in the town. It would
be a shame if their attempt to purchase the site is prevented by the sort of vitriolic
nonsense I have read on the Lewes Forum and which has unfortunately drawn in a few
equally well meaning people in misjudged opposition.
Regards
225
04/10/2014 I support the Subud plan for St Anne's
From:
Sent:
4 October 2014 17:05:01
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
I support the Subud plan for St Anne's
Please try to make it happen. MANY THANKS.
226
04/10/2014 St Anne's Site
From:
Sent:
4 October 2014 17:34:00
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's Site
Dear Ruth O’Keefe,
I would like to register with you my support for Subud’s proposed project on the St Anne’s
site in Lewes.
I have lived and worked in Lewes for 24yrs. On first arriving in the town I frequented the
yoga classes there, and have attended workshops and events there ever since, finding the
atmosphere neutral and welcoming. I joined Subud last year in April, and I have benefitted
spiritually while remaining non-religious.Subud’s Lewes base on Station Street is used
80% of the available time for the community, and will hopefully still serve such a purpose
after Subud sells it and moves to the St Anne’s site. Subud Lewes is growing in
membership size and has to expand. There’s just not enough room sometimes. The group
could simply find a bigger space and rent that out in a similar way. However, the project is
truly a community one, and the vision is wider and more inclusive than before. It will
benefit the town and the surrounding community in the same ways as it does now, and in
more ways. Many of the people I have met in Subud Lewes have involvement in
community projects and businesses in the town. Pelham House was bought and the hotel
founded by 8 of its long-term members. It is an asset to the image of the town. I take many
a visitor there. And it is an important local employer. Lewes New School was also set up
by Subud people, providing employment and an opportunity for alternative ‘human scale’
education.
The St Anne’s site will have larger high-standard halls for bigger events and workshops.
There is a community café planned with training opportunities and support for local groups
who need the space, and an emphasis on networking with local charities and social
enterprises with the so-called ‘enterprise hub’. And a public garden.
I think this project will be of long-term benefit – a gift to the community, so it should be
actively encouraged to go ahead.
Yours sincerely,
227
04/10/2014 Letter supporting Subud
From:
Sent:
4 October 2014 21:29:27
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Letter supporting Subud
Dear Ruth O’Keeffe
I am writing in support of Subud, in connection with its bid to develop the St Anne’s site for
the community of Lewes. It offers a flexible, community-oriented plan from a competent
group. The present Subud centre is some evidence of this – the group already runs a
building that is an asset to the community of Lewes. This is open to use by a wide variety
of groups including yoga classes and U3A Italian. It is a peaceful, welcoming place. Lewes
needs more places like this – venues tend to be booked up.
I have read the Subud proposal for St Anne’s and feel the projects in phases one and two
are inspiring and very open to interaction with the community in general, and with partners
who also have good community involvement, such as Common Cause. Hosting
enterprises such as youth projects and Living Well Dying Well is a great start. I think the
future plans for a small mixed housing project are very interesting.
I have lived in Lewes for six years and have been mainly involved with the Transition Town
(TTL) groups in that time. I think I know quite a few Subud people although I am not in it
myself. I am aware of the Lewes New School as having been set up by individuals
involved in Subud, especially Adrienne Campbell. Also Subud people, among many others
have been involved with the successful OVESCo, Friday Market and Lewes Pound
enterprises at one stage or another. I know several people through TTL but cannot put an
exact number as people don’t push any particular message. It just seems to be something
that people quietly do, rather as if they were involved in some kind of self-help support
group that doesn’t directly influence the content of what they do. This tends to be
associated with peaceful, helpful attitudes, and value to the culture of Lewes, as with
music for example. There have been allegations of homophobia against Subud. For family
reasons, I would probably be sensitive to any anti-gay atmosphere, and definitely have not
encountered any. I think the Subud people in Lewes were as surprised as anyone to find it
in old literature – I don’t think they are constantly reviewing their public image but just
getting on with practical things.
I think the length of the ESCC process and its unfamiliarity to community groups has led to
suspicion thriving and rumours developing. Please do what you can to honour the action of
ESCC in assigning the St Anne’s site to community use and let’s get on with the project.
Yours sincerely
228
05/10/2014 The St Annes School site
From:
Sent:
5 October 2014 10:07:47
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
The St Annes School site
Dear Ruth
I am writing to you about the future of the St Annes School site, after all the questioning
that has taken place regarding the bidding process. I myself can't comment on these
procedural questions, but they are surely being raised because there is unclarity and
suspicion about the Lewes Subud Group, the successful bidder.
I am a member of the Group. While I am fairly inactive in it, I know all the people involved.
I think it important to testify as to the character of the organization into whose hands the
Council plans to place this important property. Firstly, I can assure anyone who needs
assuring that all persons involved in steering Subud are honest, honourable, competent
and scrupulous. More than this, they have a decent and warmhearted sense of social
responsibility, which means that Subud should prove a good partner to other organizations
concerned to improve life for the people of Lewes.
There is an essence of Subud that cannot be put into words - this is inevitable, since the
overall purpose of the organization is spiritual - but that aside, there is no particular
mystery about anything we do, nor is there any set of doctrines we have to adhere to.
Subud has historical roots in Indonesian Islam but our group hold typical, broadly
progressive, contemporary British attitudes, and the allegations that we are somehow
caught up in patriarchal sexism and homophobia do not correspond to anything I have
experienced in sixteen years' membership.
I can understand the frustration felt by people concerned with Lewes's lack of affordable
housing that the site has not been made over to this need, but I would ask them to look at
the broader balance of community requirements. Units for living in ought to be matched by
projects that actually make life worth living, and I have confidence that Subud's plan for St
Annes, which is forward-thinking, outward-reaching and sympathetically designed, will
deliver a lasting enhancement to the life our town.
I write aware that you will be attending a public meeting on this issue on 15 October. I
myself will be out of the country at that point, but for what it's worth, I am happy for the
above statement of support for Subud's St Annes bid to be put publicly on record.
With best wishes
229
05/10/2014 St Anne's Project, Lewes
From:
Sent:
5 October 2014 10:32:00
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's Project, Lewes
Dear Ruth O’Keefe
We are members of the Chichester Subud Group writing in support of the proposed St
Anne’s project in Lewes.
We recently moved to this area from Cheshire where we have had many years
experience running the Manchester Subud House for our own and the wider community’s
benefit. We wish to continue our community work and would like to support this project in
Lewes should the East Sussex District Council grant us this new opportunity.
At the Manchester Subud House we rented rooms to a variety of different groups including
the Church of the Lion of Judah, the Manchester Christian Believers’ Assembly and the
Mahanaim Pentecostal Church in Manchester providing space for members of ethnic
minority communities for their varying religious practices. We also provided space for
community groups such as the Russian Mother’s and Children’s Association to nourish the
national culture of Russian children growing up in Manchester. In addition we as a Subud
Group supported the Booth Centre for the Homeless based in Manchester Cathedral,
donating money and goods and attending cultural events in support of the Booth Centre
arranged by local companies such as Opera North where choirs of homeless people were
trained by leading musicians.
We also organised Art Shows and Fun Art days in the Manchester Subud House in aid of
Susila Dharma Britain, a Subud charity, which were much enjoyed by the participants. At
the Subud World Congress held in Mexico this August it was decided by SICA (Subud
International Cultural Association) to make Lewes the centre for our cultural development
in the UK. Rohana is a professional artist, community outreach worker and member of
SICA and would enjoy getting involved in these cultural events to be held in Lewes.
Rohana is also a qualified art therapist and was employed for over 20 years by the charity
Age UK in hospital settings and in community outreach groups. She is experienced in
working with terminally ill people and so is professionally interested in the Living Well,
Dying Well project initiated in Lewes. She has also worked on designing hospital gardens
and murals which improved the environment for long-term hospital patients and so would
support the proposed Peace Garden in Lewes.
We therefore hope that East Sussex District Council will grant Subud the chance to
contribute to their local community in these ways.
Best wishes from
230
05/10/2014 in support of st annes project
From:
Sent:
5 October 2014 13:36:10
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
in support of st annes project
Dear Ruth O’Keefe,
I have lived in Lewes for thirteen years; nearby for twenty. As an academic and clinician I
have to commute up to London most weekdays. I have lived all over the UK, but this town
is the first place I can say I truly feel at home. I love Lewes for many reasons, but for me,
its endless capacity to generate communal creativity and engagement is what marks
Lewes out.
I am writing to support the Subud group’s community proposal for St Annes. I am not a
member myself, but those I know, I experience as committed and responsible
communitarians whose work is imbued with goodwill and whose seriousness and
friendliness always impress me.
In my own small forays into community building I have used Subud House for workshops
and talks – mainly in connection with Transition Town Lewes Heart & Soul Group. At
Subud House I encounter a thriving community spirit among members (who all seem very
ordinary folk, quite non-cultish) and a strong sense of inclusivity, as evidenced by the
many people who like me are passing through to use the inexpensive space available
there for clinics or classes.
The organisation has an impressive local track record for innovation: for instance the New
School or the excellent conference space at Pelham House, which I have used for
meetings of the charity I chaired (British Holistic Medical Association) - sometimes free or
at a discounted rate. I know other charities and local groups have been afforded the
same facility.
As a doctor whose wife runs a hospice bereavement service I have a longstanding interest
in late life wellbeing and end of life care. So I am particularly struck by a Subud initiative I
believe to be a major social invention - Living Well Dying Well. Here once again, the
involvement of people who have no other connection with Subud illustrates both this
group’s creativity (in a field which will be of huge concern in the coming years) and
inclusiveness.
All these achievements convince me of this group’s abilty to deliver.
I understand that the site was not sold to the highest bidder. However, at a time when
community development is so vitally needed, the enormous value added by community
benefits written into Subud’s proposal have to be taken into account. I believe these
benefits will strengthen community in Lewes for years to come and, as this group’s current
projects already demonstrate, continue to contribute greatly to the town’s cultural and
economic life. The Council, entirely properly in my view realising that these matters
outweigh short term gain or income from land sale have understood that the proposed
projects will harness long term investment of human effort and hope, and build something
vital and unique in the heart of our town.
I feel certain that further community consultation will ensure the views of the whole
community are taken into account. Knowing this group’s track record for creative
231
leadership and follow through I am convince that the best use will made of the site. I urge
the Council to stand by its decision.
232
05/10/2014 ST ANNES PROJECT
From:
Sent:
5 October 2014 17:52:03
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
ST ANNES PROJECT
Dear Ruth O’Keefe,
I have lived in Lewes for 13 years and for the last 7 years have been teaching yoga
classes at Subud House in Station Street. I teach 5 classes a week there and have
around 80-100 students who regularly come to my classes in the Subud building. Many
students comment on the friendly, calm, welcoming atmosphere in the building which
particularly lends itself to community classes, with good kitchen and toilet facilities, storage
for equipment etc. Whilst not a member of Subud myself, I have always found the
building, the Subud organisation and the individuals I have come across, very congenial,
open and accommodating, whilst also efficient and capable. I would happily run more
classes there but am restricted by room in the timetable as it is a very sought after venue
by many teachers and group leaders of a large range of activities.
I am writing in Support of the Subud Lewes community proposal for St Annes, which I
have recently become aware of. I am delighted that the old St Annes site, derelict and
abandoned since before I moved to Lewes, is to be restored and redeveloped in large part
for community use.
I know many prominent Subud members have created lasting and beneficial community
projects in the town, ranging from Pelham House Hotel and the Lewes New School , which
our two daughters attended in its early days. More recently Subud members have set up
the palliative care charity ‘Living Well Dying Well’. Through all these projects I believe they
have proven themselves transparent, consultative and highly capable of delivering on their
stated development aims. Through such projects and in their current Lewes building in
Station Street they have visibly demonstrated community spirit and long term commitment
to community creativity, usage and development. They have also, on several counts,
shown excellent aesthetic sense and respect for the history and integrity of the buildings
they have used. Overall they seem trustworthy, open and reliable, with good business
sense moderated by a creative and inclusive attitude to community participation. They
seem admirably well placed to take on the St Annes site.
I am relieved and delighted to see that the site will potentially be kept for community use,
with access to erstwhile public spaces and that the surrounding gardens and greenery in
the heart of Lewes will also be preserved. The Subud proposals which include a
Community café and access to the garden areas, facilities to promote local business
enterprise and resilience and hall spaces available for classes and workshops seem to
offer an absolutely ideal blend of community enrichment and access. The Subud plans
offer a great deal to the Lewes community in the near and longer term and I do hope you
will give their application close and supportive consideration.
With warm wishes and thanks for your consideration.
233
05/10/2014 St Anne's Site
From:
Sent:
5 October 2014 17:26:03
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's Site
Dear Ruth
We wish to support the decision to grant Subud the contract for the St Anne's Site which
we consider to have been both transparent and fair. We approve of the mixed community
use which we believe would be a great asset to Lewes.
Our only concern is about vehicle access which should be from the north as the approach
from Rotten Row would be extremely difficult and dangerous. This would, of course, apply
to any development of the site.
234
05/10/2014 Subud and the St Anne's site
From:
Sent:
5 October 2014 19:16:35
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Subud and the St Anne's site
Dear Ruth
I am writing in support of Subud’s bid for the St. Anne’s site. I currently live in Alfriston and
have been a member of the Lewes Subud Group since 1997 and a member of Subud
since 1980. I have worked for many years in social care, mostly for local authorities and
know Keith Glazier, the Leader of East Sussex County Council, and also Keith Hinkley the
Director of Adult Services at East Sussex County Council quite well. I worked with them
for a number of years in my position as Director for Social Care of iESE, the Regional
Improvement and Efficiency Partnership.
As part of my work for social care I have developed a keen interest in welfare generally
and more specifically for the elderly, I am a Trustee of a residential care home for the
elderly in Gloucestershire (Wisma Mulia), which was set up and run by Subud members in
the 1970’s. When the opportunity of the St. Anne’s site came up, I worked with the core
group to put together the bid, and was discussing with them at that time, whether the site
might be suitable for a social enterprise of a smallish development for older people. My
vision was of a mixed-age community, which would be mutually supportive, but mainly
focused on supporting the elderly to enable them to live independently at home with
volunteered support from other, younger members of the community. I envisaged this as
no more than 10-15 homes, and felt it would be an excellent fit with the idea of the halls
(bringing the wider community into the smaller ‘older people’s community) cafe (providing
food when/if they were unable to cook for themselves) and Living Well Dying Well (in the
final stages of life). I saw this as working hand in hand with other community projects
which we had not yet developed, as they would depend on partnerships with non-Subud
members which we were not in a position to pursue until we knew the site was secured.
We did not initially put this idea forward as we needed more time to properly research and
explore this option and ensure it fitted with community requirements, nonetheless, it
remains a bit of a dream of mine to develop something similar in the South East, and if
there were a chance for it to be at St. Anne’s, well that would be one way of achieving that
dream.
In terms of some of the main issue raised against Subud:
I was distressed at the claims that Subud was homophobic, among other objections to
Subud and the process of the bid which were raised at the public meeting a few weeks
ago. However, I was more distressed to realise that for so many years I had been a
member of something which appeared to support homophobic views, and had done
nothing to change this myself. I realise that for many years many of us have simply
overlooked some of Bapak’s (the Indonesian founder of Subud) statements with which we
didn’t agree, just because we saw them as being of their time and place and not relevant
to our own lives today. Of course, that is no excuse for not altering how Subud presents
itself, but it is an explanation of sorts. I have many friends in Subud who are gay, openly
so, and I personally have never found this problematic, nor seen any homophobic
235
behaviour on the part of other Subud members. Had I done so, I would certainly challenge
it. However, I cannot speak for my gay friends as to how they experience Subud. What I
witness is that they have the same issues and niggles as we all do, which being part of
any community with a wide variety of people in it is likely to create. We cannot hope to
‘get on’ with everyone in such a wide community, nor to necessarily like everyone or have
the same views as everyone. But we continue to be part of Subud because the exercise
(latihan) is such a positive experience for us, and the richness it brings to my life of being
part of something which involves meeting people from all walks of life, many countries and
different backgrounds is wonderful. As an organisation Subud has been slow to recognise
that its’ inward and outward-facing communication is poor and desperately needs
reviewing. But this I would say is due to the difficulty of achieving change in such a thinlyspread organisation (all volunteers). In a way, therefore, I see the recent challenges as a
positive thing, in that they are forcing Subud to really focus on how we present ourselves
and ensure that this accurately reflects what the majority believe, and what the behaviours
and laws of our countries demand.
The opportunity which the St Anne’s site offers the Subud Lewes group has really
galvanised the group. There is great excitement about the opportunity of working closely
with (non-Subud) partners in developing something which will be a true community
resource. We have discussed a range of things, from market gardening projects for
people with learning disabilities, to accommodation for the elderly (as mentioned already)
to support for children with special needs and for children without special needs. People in
the lewes Subud group do not have the skills to deliver on all these ideas, it has always
been a backbone of our thinking that we would need to work with the wider Lewes (&
possibly Brighton) community to develop the site into something which truly reflected what
the Lewes community wanted and would find beneficial.
I believe that the opportunity of developing the St Anne’s site has brought together a
number of people in the Lewes Subud group who passionately believe that this would
provide an opportunity to work with the Lewes community to develop something of real
benefit to that community. As such, I fully support the Subud bid and hope that we are
able to move forward with it.
Yours sincerely,
236
06/10/2014 St. Anne's Project - Review meeting
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 10:30:32
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St. Anne's Project - Review meeting
Dear Ruth,
My wife and I have been Subud practitioners for more than 50 years each, and Lewes
residents since 1996. We are writing to you as your enthusiastic constituents, and would
like to use this opportunity to thank you for all the work you do on our behalf.
By way of further introduction, I have been a trustee of the Lewes New School since it
started and am also a director of Pelham House. Until I (semi-)retired three years ago, I
was running the Guerrand-Hermes Foundation for Peace, which has its domicile in
Brighton. It is a small think-tank that does research in education, Inter-religious
understanding, governance, sustainable development and peace building
(see www.ghfp.org). It has worked with and supported the Lewes New School since before
it started.
I have not been part of the St Anne’s Project working group, but my wife and I will give the
project our full support if it goes ahead. We believe this project will be a big win-win for the
town, which needs a community space to bring more life to its western end, and for the
Subud community, who need more space.
The Lewes Subud community are simply ordinary people who are trying, through their
spiritual practice, to become better people, and, in their outer lives, to give something back
to the community around us. I believe this is demonstrated by our past contributions to
Transition Town Lewes, the Lewes New School, and Pelham House, among other things.
As these ventures in Lewes attest, if given the chance, they will certainly invest a lot of
their time, money and care in this project.
My wife and I understand that the enquiry on October 15th is to determine whether the
process that awarded the St Anne’s Project to Subud was fair, appropriate and
transparent, and we were present at the meeting on September 3rd when we were asked
to vote on the same thing. The main reason for this letter to you is to express our
frustration on that occasion when we were asked to vote on a question we were absolutely
unable to answer. Like many present we abstained, since we had neither the information
on the council’s requirements nor the actual details of the decision making process they
had followed.
From what we have heard from our colleagues on the Subud project committee, the
process seemed quite rigorous and meticulous, but that did not enable us to answer the
question that was put to the vote. We therefore hope that the negative results of that vote
will not sway the review committee in their deliberations on Oct. 15.
Yours sincerely,
237
06/10/2014 St Anne's school site
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 10:42:58
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's school site
Dear Ruth O'Keefe,
I am writing in support of the Subud plans for development of the site at St Anne's
Crescent . I myself an not a member of the organisation but as a resident of the Lewes
area I have had experience of benefiting from their projects as a member of the
community. I currently teach a weekly class at the Subud house on Station Road and have
attended tango classes at the New School. I have found the organisation always good to
deal with organisationally and financially and they really do offer good rates for hire and
the spaces are attractive functional and well cared for.
I have looked at the plans and descriptions and would be so relieved if the site was
developed by such a aesthetically, environmentally and communally aware group with the
integrity they show in all their projects. It could so easily fall into the hands of someone just
wanting to make as much money as possible from the land.
I hope the council will support this proposal as I personally would be very keen to use the
spaces and engage in the initiatives as I am sure would many others.
Yours sincerely
238
06/10/2014 Re Subud
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 17:04:32
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Re Subud
Dear Ruth
I write to you in full Support of Subud it's members and the St. Annes site .
As a new Subud member ( joined only months ago ) and also as a member of the LGBT
Community . I am female and my beloved other is also female . I Am Not really into labels ,
but as this issue is about Subud and Homophobic allegations ... I will Use my full labels ...
As a Queer , as a Lesbian , as a Gay women and as a women with a thirst for spiritual
knowledge I became interested in Subud many years ago . Realising that so Many of the
people I knew and loved in Lewes were members . To me they had a certain quality about
them a certain glow and a certain positivity a certain care - I was never really sure what it
was ..
I got a friend who is a long term Subud member (
to investigate for me
wether or not Subud was homophobic and could I join ) She did her research and I really
trust her ( she died sadly a few years ago , she was a very dear friend of mine ) she got
back to me and in a heartfelt conversation she assured me Subud was not homophobic x
So I went ahead with my enquiry into Subud . Now, one has to enquire to really find out
all about it and one has the opportunity to ask as many questions as they like to various
Subud members who are called Helpers ..
Well me being me and very Cautious I totally grilled the members I met and I also grilled
the Subud movement ..
What I was met with was this .. So many warm hearted people giving me so much of there
time And care for months Whilst I enquired .
Eventually when I overcame my own fear and joined I just felt so much support And love to
be me , just exactly as I am .
I have never come across any homophobia in my time at Subud and I am a very out kind
of a Gay !!! I am just me and I am sure most people know of my sexuality ..
I have been so very shocked , alarmed and upset by all these homophobic allegations ...
Whilst at the sametime time it my own personal life
Dealing with the suicide of a young Gay women from am Evangalical background and who
was not accepted as she is ...
I want to get this email to you before 5.00 ...
I could say so much more
Please feel free to give me a ring or meet me if your would like any more information .
I feel strongly that Subud having St Anne's site would brim heaps to the Communty
I have more to say on this Is I have taught yoga at the Subud centre , been to my fronds
wedding there, been to a Winter Soltice celebration there held by a Lesbian women - Amd
all these things before I became a member x
239
Fear can be crippling and Fear of the unknown - people have fear around Subud , around
there own sexuality and about the spiritual element that we all have as human being s xxx
240
06/10/2014 Subud plans
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 17:24:40
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Subud plans
Dear Ruth O’Keeffe
My name is
, I live in Lewes and as a local yoga teacher I have my weekly
classes at the Lewes Subud centre. I am not a Subud member myself but I just wanted to
send you a short letter showing my support for Subud Lewes’s bid to buy the St Anne’s
site and build new community halls and gardens there. Subud Lewes already offers really
nice light and spacious community halls (at very reasonable rates) at their Station street
centre and I think it would be great if their wonderful plans for St Anne’s get the go-ahead.
Kind regards,
241
06/10/2014 St Anne's and Subud
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 17:56:53
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's and Subud
Dear Councillor Lewes
I am writing to you concerning the Sty Anne's development and the current proposals by
the Subud (Lewes) organisation.
I am not a member of Subud though I do know of their work and know a number of their
people through work they do with Transition Town Lewes.
I want to strong support this initiative and proposal on the grounds of:
The development proposal has a very significant amount of focus on sustainability - better
than virtually any development I have reviewed in recent years (I am a working energy
consultant)
There will be a very strong engagement with the local community
It will provide a community asset available to the community and enhancing life in Lewes
The Subud people have a track record of delivering on their proposals on time and cost,
and with a degree of honesty not seen much these days.
I ask you to support their proposal to develop this important building in the town.
Kind regards
242
06/10/2014 St Annes project - Lewes
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 18:04:46
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Annes project - Lewes
Dear Ms O'Keefe,
I would like to express my support for the St Annes project to go ahead as a community
project under the management of Subud Lewes, rather than as a commercial housing
venture. I think the site would provide a really wonderful opportunity for the wider Lewes
community, with halls and rooms to use for workshops, events and worship. It would be a
shame to see this decision revoked by the Council in answer to the small number of
outspoken individuals who have complained about lack of transparency.
I have been working on the project with the Subud group, and know that their intentions
are really worthy, as they have demonstrated with the current Subud centre on Station
Street, the Lewes New School, and Pelham House. Furthermore I know that as a nonreligious spiritual group that caters for people of many faiths as well as no specific one,
they are really well-placed to reach out to people of all backgrounds. I know the project
team is really keen to consult the wider community further, and make sure this project
appeals to everyone. So far it has been a struggle to get the heads of terms signed, so
they have not tried to commit energy in this way until it was certain they could go ahead
with the project. They should be given a chance to demonstrate their willingness under the
original agreement made with the Council.
I wish you well with the decision.
Sincerely,
243
06/10/2014 St Annes
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 16:41:21
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Annes
Hi Ruth,
I was reading about the review of the selection process for award of the St Anne's site.
Since I have several acquaintances/friends who are Subud and are involved in plans for
their possible new centre there, I thought I'd pop you a note in support of them personally.
I haven't taken a close interest in the particulars and pros & cons of the Subud proposal,
but I did want to say that all the Subud members with whom I've had contact have always
struck me as really decent, community-minded people who act with great integrity and
honesty. In that sense, I believe that they would do their utmost to deliver on any aspects
they had promised in their submission and would act in an inclusive way when planning
the details of the activities that might take place at the site.
Just wanted to say that really.
Thanks
244
06/10/2014 Subud+St.Anne's
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 16:32:04
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Subud+St.Anne's
Dear Ruth O’Keefe
I have lived in Lewes for the last 10 years.
I am writing in Support of the Subud Lewes community proposal for St Annes.
I am not a Subud member but have attended several classes and workshops held in the
Subud centre on Station Street over the years.
I know Subud members have created some lasting and beneficial projects in this town
ranging from Pelham House Hotel and the Lewes New School to the palliative care charity
‘Living Well Dying Well’. I believe they have proven themselves capable of delivering and
have demonstrated community spirit and commitment and therefore seem well placed to
take on the St Annes site.
I am very please to see that the site will potentially be kept for community use with access
to public spaces and that green spaces in Lewes will also be preserved.
With kind regards,
245
06/10/2014 Scrutiny panel for St Anne's Project
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 16:06:51
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Scrutiny panel for St Anne's Project
Hello Ruth, I would be most grateful if you could add my letter of support for the Subud bid
for the St Anne's project to the others to take to the Scrutiny Panel meeting this week.
From the time I came to Lewes in 2004 I became aware of the community's presence in
Lewes through the New School, Pelham House, and various interactions in the town with
people who turned out to be connected with Subud - all extremely positive experiences.
Not long after getting here I started to do Pilates and yoga at the Subud centre in Station
Street and was impressed by the calm and uplifting atmosphere created and how the
space was just right for the healing arts.
Two years ago I became a Subud member. I was struck by how inclusive, open and
friendly the group were. I was not asked about my sexual, religious or other orientation,
but on the contrary was simply welcomed by members happy to share their experiences
and answer any questions I might have. Since I have joined I have found the group
consistently friendly, warm and supportive to whatever comes up for me and others. The
practice of the Lathian is simple and profound, and suitable for all people of all ages,
backgrounds and orientations. Because within the Lewes group there are many who have
either a therapeutic or creative background (my own interests) on many occasions in the
town I have met with Subud members whose interests overlap with mine. Far from being
exclusive, there is a genuine mixing within the town of people with Subud affiliations and
those without them: a true mingling.
When the St Anne's Project was first considered, I was one of the many within the group
who responded with enthusiasm to the opportunity this larger space would afford us to
consider a greater range of social projects that would benefit the town. It seemed such an
appropriate and exciting venture because there are so many within the Subud community
with gifts and skills that could be more fully utilised for the benefit of Lewes under one
roof. I myself, a writer and retired teacher now running Read Aloud groups in the Lewes
Library and at the St Peters & St James Hospice, envisioned the possibility of running a
similar group for older people at the site in future years. A whole range of possibilities
opened out, organic garden and cafe, preserving the beautiful green space for the benefit
of everyone in the town, projects for the elderly, the young, the disabled, and more.
Having been part of a project in Canada and seen the dreams to contribute to the town in
a similar fashion come to pass over the years, I felt and do feel this is such a wonderful
opportunity to enrich the life of Lewes in only positive ways. I do hope that adverse fears
about Subud or the nature of the bidding will not at this stage stand in the way. Because,
as far as Subud goes, I know, from the bottom of my heart, and from any wisdom I have
garnered through 72 years, how unfounded they are. This is a good project. And the town,
if they choose the Subud bid, will only look back in future years and be pleased for all that
is good that it has brought about to many different sectors of its inhabitants, and for taking
the risk to try something a little different rather than going for simply another housing
development.
246
06/10/2014 In support of Subud plans for St Anne's school
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 15:49:36
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
In support of Subud plans for St Anne's school
Dear Ruth,
I am writing in support of Subud's plans for the St Anne's school site in Lewes.
I have known members of Subud for some years and have attended the current Subud
premises in Station Street for classes, talks and events. As a Lewes resident of 15 years it
seems to me that Subud have made a long-standing quiet contribution to the life of the
town.
I support the continuation of their work in new premises on the St Anne's site. Their plans
for the site offer many initiatives that will be of benefit to the Lewes community and enable
partnerships with different social enterprises. I particularly like the fact that the public will
continue to be welcomed into the site for recreation and dog-walking. I also note that the
retention of the many mature trees will be important for maintaining biodiversity and wildlife
corridors in the town.
I am dismayed by the call for an enquiry into the process used by ESCC to award the site
to Subud. It seems to me that this will not achieve anything except to create further
delays, keeping the site empty and derelict for even longer; and wasting public money in
continuing security for the site and in mounting an investigation.
Kind regards,
247
06/10/2014 St Annes School site Lewes_Letter of Support
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 14:49:10
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Annes School site Lewes_Letter of Support
Dear Ruth,
I have lived in Lewes for nearly 40 years (including a period in St Annes Crescent) and I
am writing in support of the Subud Lewes community proposal for St Annes.
As an architect I have been involved in a number of projects in the Town over this time and
have had the pleasure of being both a professional advisor and a friend to many of the
people involved in the St Annes project and on the project itself. I am not a member of
Subud but I have been shocked at the nonsense that has been talked about them and
know them to be socially enlightened and extremely committed to their compassionate
ideals and a quiet but effective force for delivering viable, useful community projects such
as the New School and the inspiring Living Well Dying Well charity founded by Hermione
Elliott.
I am convinced that they have the necessary skills and commitment to create a socially
responsible and sustainable response to the opportunity created by East Sussex County
Council’s refreshing decision to create a community asset transfer restricting the
commercial use of the site. No doubt this has put some traditional developers into a rage.
I also believe that with support from the community the proposals can offer a viable route
to maintaining this important area for community use and preserving a much loved green
space.
The proposal could also provide unique opportunities for all ages and sections of the
community by creating a special place which offers essential uplifting activities in an
inspirational and creative environment. It could be a counterbalance to the unsustainable
commercial pressures we all live under by providing a non-corporate, more
compassionate, humane and contemporary space for a wide range of small scale
community activities.
I have followed the process of the sale of the site and find that the ‘conspiracy theories’
and lack of transparency being bandied about simply do not add up, perhaps the objectors
are simply fashionably skeptical and cannot believe that this is a well-intentioned and in
many respects enlightened course of action taken by ESCC.
I understand that the project will be open to other community partnerships in later phases
of the development and there will have to be community consultation which should ensure
that community views will be considered at each stage.
I believe that the ambitious plans for the use of the site could be a great asset to the
immediate community, to the Town and for visitors and people coming to Lewes for work
to enjoy. By supporting an unusual creatively led community project like this I believe that
we would be strengthening the unique character which makes Lewes what it is.
Kind Regards,
248
06/10/2014 St Anne's
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 13:10:40
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's
Dear Ruth O’Keefe,
I’m writing to support the Subud Lewes community proposal for St Anne’s.
I have lived and worked in Lewes for 17 years and have used the Subud community
facilities in Station Street for yoga, know several Subud members personally and have
always been impressed with their commitment to a less-selfish, more community-oriented
way of living. This is epitomised by some beneficial projects in the town ranging from
Pelham House Hotel and the Lewes New School to the palliative care charity ‘Living Well
Dying Well’. I believe they have proven themselves capable of delivering on their plans
and have demonstrated community spirit and commitment; they therefore seem well
placed to take on the St Anne’s site.
I am very pleased to see that the site will potentially be kept for community use with
access to public spaces and that green spaces in Lewes will also be preserved.
As I understand it, there are the main projects being proposed are:
Community Café and growing project. – with opportunities for young people in training
and education as well as providing for vulnerable groups in the growing project.
Social Enterprise hub. – offering spaces to local charities and social enterprises
encouraging shared facilities and networking on projects.
A ‘Garden of Forgiveness or Peace garden’ –- and children's play area - open to the
public and co-created with the community.
Two community halls that will be used for public meetings, concerts, workshops,
performances and meetings.
A training base for the charity “Living Well Dying Well’ whose trainees give support and
comfort to those at the end of life.
These seem to me to be worthwhile uses for the St Anne’s site.
I understand the project is also open to future community partnerships in the later phases
of development and that there will be transparent community consultation that will ensure
the views of the community will be sought and taken on board, thereby ensuring that the
best use is made of the site.
With best wishes,
249
06/10/2014 St Anne's
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 12:26:25
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
St Anne's
Dear Ms. O'Keefe,
I am writing to you as a concerned and involved member of the Lewes community, and
one who would have their thoughts on the St. Anne's Site, and the current bid for the
property, heard.
I have been a resident of Lewes for several years, moving from London, via New York City
with my two children, the youngest of whom attended the Lewes New School until this past
July. My reasons for choosing Lewes as a place to settle was motivated by three things:
the unique and supportive community, the Lewes Old Grammar School and the Lewes
New School. My experiences with all three, to date, has validated and continue to validate
my choice of home.
Personally, having been a parent at the Lewes New School (which, as you are probably
aware, was created by several members of the Subud community), is one of the things
which has afforded me the opportunity to meet and get to know many people from the
Subud. My experiences have been nothing but positive, and while Subud seems to be
something that isn't discussed outside of their community, there is an openness should
one desire to know more. My perception is that this is an inclusive, non-judgemental, and
compassionate organisation.
I have attended many non-Subud functions in the Subud Centre, from birthday parties,
exercise classes, to general meetings. I understand their centre is open to all. Subud is
clearly focused on community participation, and, I feel, has much to offer in that
regard. Having viewed the plans for St. Anne's on the Open Day (which was open to the
entire Lewes community), what appeared to be very obvious was a 'reaching out' to
Lewes: plans to continue to provide their halls for community use; creating open gardens
for projects and gatherings and even dog walking and a cafe (which would certainly attract
many people in our town). However, what impressed me most of all was their plans for
training often overlooked groups, like the elderly and disabled, as well as the youth of our
community; skill and volunteer training are precisely what we need more of; in short, I see
nothing insular about this proposal - in fact, I see it bringing about some desperately need
opportunities.
I would call myself an active member of this town, and, as previously stated, I am
concerned about what happens here. I do not want to bring anything negative into this,
but I also believe Lewes would be best served by eliminating the bureaucracy surrounding
this process; it's been taking far too long and I would assume is wasting a lot of public
funds.
I've tried my best to keep informed in regard to this situation, and while I believe I am in full
possession of the facts, if there are other reasons for this not to move forward, please be
so kind as to enlighten me.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my thoughts on this matter.
250
06/10/2014 Subud proposal
From:
Sent:
6 October 2014 11:56:46
To.
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject.
Subud proposal
I would just like to say that as a long standing resident of Lewes I have noticed the gentle
positive effect of Subud motivated projects. Although I don’t know what Subuds believe in
my experience of them is that they are honest and have a proven track record of being
well intentioned. I believe that their bid for the St Anne’s site offers the best chance of
community benefit from this project. I was also at the transparency meeting and felt that
everything had done to be open and clear.
Yours sincerely
251
07/10/2014 St Anne's site
From:
Sent:
Thu 07/10/2014 23:21
To:
Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe
Subject:
St Anne's site
Dear Ruth,
I understand there have been some issues regarding the sale of the St Anne's school site
to the Subud group. The Sussex Wildlife Trust have been involved with the site for the past
two years. In 2012, after a public consultation about possible uses of the site, the Sussex
Wildlife Trust were asked to help improve a small area of the site for wildlife. At the end of
2012 a small army of volunteers assisted in stripping the turf from a bank at the site and
replanted the exposed chalk with local downland flowers to create the 'butterfly bank'. For
the past two years we have managed and monitored the site and recorded the butterflies
and other wildlife that has moved into the new habitat we have created. We have
discovered a number of unusual species here such as the white-letter hairstreak and the
purse-web spider.
Since the sale of the site we have cut back on our involvement at St Anne's as we were
unsure and concerned at how future developments here would affect the site. However
before the sale we were approached by the Subud group and we discussed with them the
potential for continuing to improve the site for wildlife in the future if their bid was
successful. Subud's plans are to further enhance the habitats available to wildlife at the
site allowing St Anne's to remain an important site for wildlife within an urban environment
and offering people the chance to enjoy their local wildlife and learn more about it through
interpretation and education.
The initial consultation proved that local people valued the St Anne's site for the wildlife
that can be found here. Sussex Wildlife Trust would be very happy to continue to work at
St Annes and would support Subud's plans in designing wildlife areas and interpretation at
the site.
If you require any further information please feel free to contact me.
Best wishes
252
08/10/2014 Former St Annes School Site
From:
Chris Oakley
Sent:
08/10/2014 11:53
To:
Scrutiny
Subject:
Former St Annes School Site
Ruth
David Anderson of Subud has asked me to comment to you upon my involvement with
this transaction and the procedures followed by ESCC.
I have been involved since the beginning of this process, acting as agent for Subud
Britain and my role has involved advising them on the valuation matters, negotiations
with ESCC and agreeing the detailed terms of the transaction.
It has been my experience that the Estates Team at ESCC have handled this transaction
extremely sensitively and professionally. I recall that the site was publicly advertised in
the Evening Argus and indeed at the time, as a local agent, I had approaches from other
interested parties asking for my views on the site as they had seen it promoted. These
included the YMCA’s Architect and their development partner (I recall Oracle Estates who
I heard later withdrew from dealing with the YMCA and property developers, but I was
unable to assist or comment as I was acting for Subud and would have had a conflict of
interests. However, clearly the individual who was dealing with the matter at the time at
ESCC, Archie Cowan, had prepared sale particulars and adequately marketed the site in
order to demonstrate best value.
I do also recall, because of the arrangements that were in place with 3VA and the
community on the grounds of St Annes, that the negotiations and the disposal had to be
handled very sensitively and there was clearly very senior management control of the
whole process from the then Head of Estates David Baughan. Indeed, at times the
whole process was extremely slow and painstaking for Subud to get answers, following
acceptance of their bid, but we had numerous meetings with David Baughan who
explained very professionally the sensitivities of the site and the fact that ESCC had to
follow procedures by the letter. As I say at times this has been very frustrating for my
Clients as purchasers and personally I think they have demonstrated a very high degree
of integrity and patience to allow ESCC to follow the correct procedures, mainly as they
value highly the benefits their interest in the site will bring to the community.
More recently the matter has been dealt with by Chris Reed of Estates at ESCC, who
took the matter over from David Baughan. Again I can only commend the professional
manner in which Chris has sensitively and professionally dealt with the matter.
I trust these comments are of assistance.
253
Submissions that are EURDGO\FULWLFDORI theSURFHVV
30/09/2014 St. Anne’s Bid
From:
Sent:
Tue 30/09/2014 12:38
To:
Scrutiny
Subject:
St Anne's bid
To whom it may concern:
I wish to make a formal complaint about the tender process for the sale of the St. Anne’s
School site.
I believe that the process was flawed because of the lack of research into the preferred
bidder, Subud Britain by relevant ESCC officers. Subsequently the bid panel held
inadequate knowledge of the winning bidder and their background and beliefs when
forming their opinion. I also believe that there were inherent flaws in the bid process itself.
Subud’s intentions for the site are to build a regional national and international
headquarters for Subud. This is easily referenced in their literature but presumably, not
stated in their plans submitted to the ESCC bid panel.
These intentions are clear from ‘AY ARCHITECTS’ website: ’A two stage invited
competition, runners up Lewes England 2014. Project Budget 2.5 million. Subud Lewes:
Brief: – a new regional and national centre for the Subud Britain Spiritual group’.
Subud Britain journal (2013) refers to ‘a chance to create a unique contemporary building
that can be a flagship for Subud and abroad’. There are many other references confirming
this, easily accessed by a simple Google search. This intention is evangelical in terms of
making the ‘Latihan visible’ and attracting new members to Subud.
Subud Britain: Trustees and Directors Report for the year ended 31 Dec. 2012 must surely
have been essential reading when considering the comparative substance of the
competing St. Anne’s bids. The officers before making their final recommendations must
then have been aware of several crucial facts about Subud contained in this document.
A: ‘Subud Britain’ has charitable status but ‘British Subud members must take more
positive steps towards making subud visible… with this in mind maybe it’s a wake up call
that we are being looked at by the Charity Commission as to our entitlement to be
registered as a charity and that the principle idea we need to demonstrate is compliance
with public benefit.’ (Subud Britain Journal) There are other references to these concerns
from the Charity Commission online. (Chris Read to Melanie Griffin, ESCC officers FOI
emails Sept 2013:,’Been doing some research on Subud, not helpful as they are a
religious charity’ - Surely this should have been known from the beginning of the bid
process and been part of the advice given to the Bid Panel)
B Subud Britain is a religion according to the Trustees and Directors report 2012.
‘The main object of Subud Britain as set out in the memorandum of association is ’to
promote and advance religion and advance the aim and worship of God known as Susila
Budhi Dhama. The name Subud is an abbreviation of Susila Budhi Dhama.’
254
Subud Britain has endorsed the aims of the World Subud Association. (Sharif Horthi,
Lewes Subud member, Director of Pelham house Associates and director and Chair of
Trustees Lewes New school, business premises at 43, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes was
Chair of world Subud until 2010). The main aims are ‘to facilitate the worship of Almighty
God through the Latihan Kejiwan of Subud and to provide for the other needs of the
Subud membership. To preserve the practice of the Latihan…. To protect the good
reputation of Subud.’
(FOI emails ESCC Legal Services 2013):’may well have the right to challenge on the
basis the preferred bidder Subud could well be seen to promote religious activities.’
(Chris Read to Melanie Griffin ESCC emails) : ‘Furthermore it is our intention to include a
religious covenant within the freehold transfer that the site will be used only for community
use and shall not promote any political or religious activities on this site and thus we can
therefore state that the sale of the site is to a user which will not be promoting religious
activities and thus in compliance with our own imposed restrictions. I would also reiterate
that the Steering committee were unanimous in their belief that Subud represented the
most suitable selection’.
Subud’s proposed purchase of St Annes for their religious practices, the worship of God
through the latihan – and their beliefs and doctrine(Bapak’s teachings) - certainly does
not fit within these perimeters. Was this restrictive covenant included and if so how was it
to be policed down the line?
C The same report (Subud Britain 2012) mentions the St Anne’s Subud bid as ‘ project to
provide new and larger Latihan premises for the local group.’ Latihan is Subud’s way of
worshiping God; there have to be two halls, one for men and one for women because of
the extreme behaviour that may be exhibited. Any acquired Subud real estate has to have
these halls. The Latihan practice, twice a week is seen as a spiritual cleansing and may
involve running very fast, whirling, wailing, speaking in tongues, barking like dogs (Subud
information available online). The halls are central to the worship of God in the Subud
religion. In fact St Anne’s is to be used first and foremost as a place of worship by Subud.
There is no mention of this in any of the information about ‘community use’ given out by
ESCC. Kevin Foster in a letter to me refers to ‘community halls’. Financial appraisal 2.5,
16 July2013 ESCC, CEO former St Anne’s School – site disposal states:’Integral to this
decision was…the design and nature of the flagship community halls’ .
‘Flagship’ is a word echoed in Subud literature about the proposed lathan halls at St
Annes; they say they are the first ‘ purpose designed latihan halls built by Subud
Britain….Subud is us, dancing in the sunlight, dancing in Lewes.’(Subud Britain Journal
2013). These halls, like those presently in use in Subud house in Station Street will be
rented out to groups when not in use by Subud members. As the plans are for a regional,
national, even international headquarters it is probable that public use will be very limited
indeed.
(Article byDavid Anderson and the Lewes Subud Property Group. Subud Britain Journal
March 2013):
‘The Lewes group believe that it’s a very unusual opportunity and a chance to create a
unique contemporary building that can be a flagship for Subud in Britain and abroad and
be a regular home for the regional meetings well as national meetings… a lasting symbol
of Subud in the world.’
Subud Britains’ main income as stated in the Directors Report in 2012 is from ‘donation
and the hiring out of premises when not in use’; the ‘community use’ it seems will not only
be marginal but intended to fill Subud’s coffers.
255
The use of these purpose built halls for Subud worship at St Anne’s would be further
limited by rules in the Subud Britain Handbook 2014 which defines the aims and principles
of the Latihan worship of God; ‘Care needs to be taken that the principles of Subud are not
compromised by the activities of any group using the property’. It says ‘A Subud House, in
reality is a place for members to do Latihan and a place for members from overseas to
stay. That is how it should be used’.
These rules from the handbook 2014, have great implication for ‘community’ use. I do not
want to wander into the subject of Subud and women, homosexuals or the mentally ill…
some of which may well be ‘Sub Judice’ but it would seem from this statement from the
Subud Britain Handbook2014 that unrestricted, open community use of the Latihan halls
may not be possible and some elements of the community may not be allowed use at
all.‘Hostel’is a word that has cropped up several times in the seemingly everchanging
Subud plans for the site; presumably this will be for Subud members visiting from Britain
and overseas as referenced in the above statement from Subud’s Handbook 2014.
Subud House in Station Street is to be sold to help fund the St Anne’s site purchase. The
new Latihan ‘flagship’ Halls on the site will merely replace the halls in Station Street. The
planners have been happy in recent years to change the use of Canon O’Donnell Hall in
Western Road Lewes, close to the St Anne site, to residential and plans have been
accepted for it to be converted into several houses. ‘Community’ gain is not apparent in
terms of the new purpose built halls for the Latihan following on from the proposed sale of
St Anne’s to Subud. The latihan halls in St Anne’s are merely replacing the halls in Subud
House in Station Street to fund the St Anne’s purchase; the district planners have in fact
already decommissioned a hall in the immediate area because it is not needed. Subud
Britain Journal Dec 2013: ‘We have a vision of bigger halls to accommodate all of mankind
in worshipful activity’.(Leonard Hitchock, Chair of Subud Britain). Introduction to Subud: 16
Steps says; ‘Entreprises are seen as a form of worship including large scale construction
and Real Estate development’.
Luke Penseney, current chair of World Subud wrote in The Entrepreneur newsletter of
Subud Enterprise Services USA June 2013: ‘Our ongoing Northern Hemisphere
demographic means that we urgently need to review our Subud community needs. The
Lewes group’s proposed 4 acre town centre multiple use site development, St Anne’s
Centre is a 4-5 million joint venture with Subud Britain that hopes to address this issue, -a
Subud home for the elderly near a large group like Lewes.’
All of these quotations are relevant since they get to the core of the question of how much
information Subud gave to ESCC in their bid tender, and how much research ESCC
officers had completed prior to choosing Subud as their preferred bidder. The immediate
question seems to surround the issue of ‘community use’ in exchange for an undervalue
sale price. The word ‘community’ seems to have been given implicit meaning and seems
too to have given wrong impressions. The development proposed by Subud seems from
evidence in their own literature to be specifically for their own needs and offers little if
anything to the wider community; any community access seems to come with significant
caveats. The development has appeared to offer different things at different times all with
the word ‘community’ being used as an adjective to describe the various schemes; I would
propose that the ‘community’ being referenced seems to be the Subud ‘community’ rather
than the wider community in the sense that we would normally understand the word. And
any plans will of course be subject to planning permission so nothing is set in stone
anyway. I am interested to see that Subud have now said that they would consider
housing on the site; - ‘it may well be that we can add to that quota here.’(Subud leaflet
handed out at the public town hall meeting) So anything is possible – apparently -even
though the other bids – bids that included social housing - were rejected. Surely Subud
should keep to the original plans outlined in its bid..
256
Pelham House purchased by Subud from ESCC in 2003 seems to have changed over the
years in terms of ‘community use’: ‘The Argus 2 Sept 2003. ‘Pelham House has been
bought by Subd… for use as a conferencing and training centre. Oakly Commercial
handled the deal…Lewes Subud Centre spokesperson, Harvey Peters said: ‘we are
delighted this superb building will effectively stay in public use. We consider activities and
events that can be held at the building will be of great benefit to the community of
Lewes.The purchase by the Subud centre and its exciting plans for the property… is great
news for the town.’ Nowadays it seems to be run more as an upmarket boutique hotel with
very modest community use.
Kevin Foster (ESCC) wrote that ‘following exchange of contracts Subud will be able to
submit a planning application for their proposed plans for the building which currently
include two community halls, a community café… and premises for use by the charity
‘Living well, Dying well’. What exactly is a ‘community’ café’?
Subud Britain Annual Report 2012 states that ‘in the future this site could also provide a
home for other charitable activities run by Subud members. …All charitable activities are
run by volunteers.’ Subud Britain is registered as a religious charity so these ‘charitable
activities ‘could well be run by Subud for Subud.
Kevin Foster does not mention that Living well, Dying well is a Subud charity with funds
provided by Subud Britain. Its director is David Anderson, a member of the Lewes Subud
property searching group, and a director of Lewes New school (until 2010) and Pelham
House Associates. This Subud charity is set up to train and provide ‘doulas’ for the dying.
‘Living Well, Dying well’ makes no mention of the fact that it is a Subud charitable
company in its promotional material. People at the end of their life are particularly
vulnerable. Course content is not in the public domain nor do ‘Edexcel Assured’ assure its
course content. ‘We do not assure course content and the courses offered are not
Pearson or Edexcel qualifications’(Joanne Hirst, director of business improvement and
regulation, quality standards and research Pearson UK Sept 2014).
Minutes from the 2013 world Subud meeting state that there are plans for a ‘Living well,
Dying well centre to be part of a million pound project in Lewes in collaboration with the
local Subud group and the local Council.’ It would seem to me that it perhaps would be
more transparent for ESSC to have made it clear in its public releases that this charity is a
Subud charity.
The whole semantics surrounding the word ‘community’ does seem to make the
‘community access’ provision by the winning bidder somewhat opaque. One could well
think that the winning bid has been awarded to a minor religious sect whose plans are for
their new British headquarters in particular, and the Subud community in general. Any spin
off into the wider community could seem incidental to these aims especially when
considering that the provision of social housing on the site could have been an alternative.
The report 16 July 2013: Former St Anne’s School - site disposal states that ‘the proposed
cash purchase of the site represents the least risk’. But Subud literature makes it clear that
the sale of Subud House in Station Street, with its two Latihan halls will have to be sold in
order to fund the project. ‘Of course this vision must be sustained by raising capital for the
initial purchase of the land and buildings’. They state that they are pleased that the
negotiations - where ESCC is being ‘very amenable’ – will take some time: ‘this is a
blessing for us because it allows us a period of time when we can raise funds.’(Subud
Britain Journal). Luke Penseney, Chair of World Subud writes that the proposed
development will be ‘part funded by Subud Britain’s sale of the Lewes house (and possibly
other regional properties), members investments/loans and joint venture partners).This is
hardly the hallmark of straightforward financing for a development even if the site value
were low.
257
There has too to be uncertainty about the solidity of the development plans for community
use. Research into its financial probity must have shown ESCC officers that Subud does
seem to have encountered previous difficulties as far as its business and financial
enterprises are concerned – difficulties Subud acknowledges in its own literature;
information about one such enterprise, the Anugrha project near Windsor, intended to be
an International Subud centre as well as a ‘state of the art’ conference centre, can be
found easily on the internet.
All this does not sound like a solid concrete cash purchase and consequent development
proposal for St Anne’s and certainly at the time of the tendering of the bid no cash flow
could have been seen as certain and secure as far as the finances of Subud were
concerned; to say the least property had to be subsequently sold and mortgaged. My
opinion leads me to conclude that seemingly either the YMCA or the CLT bid must have
been at least as ‘safe’ in terms of risk as the preferred Subud bid.
In paragraph 3.1: Report to Lead Cabinet member for Resources 16 july 2013 Kevin foster
states: ‘ESCC have undertaken an exhaustive marketing process in order to dispose of the
site for community uses’. My belief, outlined earlier, is that ‘community uses’ may be ill
defined and ESCC officers may not have been clear, because of lack of research, about
the actual ‘community uses’ on offer from the Subud bid. Kevin Foster goes on to say that
both the bid panel and the St Anne’s Steering Group were clear in their decision to
recommend Subud.’
I believe that the composition of the St Anne’s Steering Group has contributed to a flawed
process in determining the winning bidder for the St Anne’s site. Public information about
this group is hard to pin down but it played a definitive role in the choosing of Subud as
purchaser at under value of the St Anne’s site. ESCC officers state that their decision
about the winning bid was unanimously agreed to by the St Anne’s Steering Group. Kevin
Foster cites their ‘unanimous decision’ as pivotal in his decision to support the choice. He
says that Cllr Ruth O’keefe attended all meetings and recommended the decision.
The original group comprised amongst others
St Anne’s Crescent residents and Grange Road residents. I do not understand the
arbitrary selection of these residents. How could they represent the wider interests of the
Lewes community that the sale was meant to represent? In fact these residents in living
close to the site might well be mindful of their own interests in terms of proximity. There
are other well populated streets that are close by whose residents were not represented.
Other groups represented on the St Anne’s Steering Group were ‘pop up coop’ and
‘common cause coop’, one I think ‘a coop set up by young Foodies’ and the latter
supporting sustainable farming. (When asked about the representatives of these groups
on the Steering group at the recent town meeting about St Anne’s at the town Hall Cllr
Susan Murray could not remember them – ‘groups came and went’ she said. Cllr Ruth
O’Keefe similarly could not remember if she had attended all the meetings although ESSC
officer Kevin Foster stated that she had, in order to support her recommendation of the
Subud bid.
The ‘Diggers’, members of the original protest group some of whom were Subud members
were also represented, as was Lewes Town Partnership (Cllr Susan Murray, director and
company chair and Ruth O’keefe, director.)
Cllr Murray represented LTC (their own sub committee on St Anne’s held only one meeting
before being disbanded ) (Cllr Murray was also on the bid panel for a while)
Cllr Ruth O’Keefe represented the LDC I believe and also represented ESCC.
258
The St Anne’s Steering group from information in the public domain does not seem to
represent the wider Lewes community - that the under value sale of St. Annes was meant
to benefit – in any realistic democratic way. In fact its permanent membership could well
be seen to largely consist of Cllr Murray and Cllr O’Keefe. How can the decision of the bid
Panel be seen as democratic in the light of what is known of the Steering Group’s
composition when its pivotal role was to endorse the Bid Panel’s decision?
Are minutes of the Steering Group meetings publicly available? Was there a quorum for
meetings stated in its ‘agreed terms of reference’? What were its agreed terms of
reference?
3VA was also represented on the St Anne’s steering group. I believe it left before the
process was completed. A glance at the St Anne’s site would show that as existing tenants
little was completed during their sojourn. And yet: (former St Anne’s school – site disposal
16 July 2013), ‘whilst this (Subud) was not the highest offer received, the proposal meets
the requirements set out in the bid application pack, which focuses on organisational
financial strength, community benefit and the relationship of 3VA as the current tenant’
How can that relationship be cited as a criterion within the bid matrix ? How could any of
the bidders form such a relationship? This seems a fundamental flaw in the overall bid
process. I do not understand the part played by 3VA in this process or why they were
appointed in the first place.
All three bidders agreed at the public meeting in the Town hall that they had been given
differing and contradictory information about the possibility of housing on the site. That in
itself is a major flaw in process made worse by the fact that two national reputable
organizations obviously felt sanguine enough, after ESSC advice, to submit plans that
included social housing. Why would they do this when to engage in the bid process itself
needs considerable funding?
FOI emails ESCC officers reflect this confusion:
Melanie Griffin: ‘as briefed on Friday I need an absolute yes or no on the ability to get
housing planning on the St Anne’s site’ This was sent on 16 Sept 2013. Shouldn’t this
have been ascertained before the whole process was initially instigated?
Chris Read: ‘I do not know what Archie/you have told the bidders but I have not suggested
housing nor have I made mention of the overflow car park. ‘ At this late stage there is the
seeming implicit admission that contradictory advice has been given.
I am also surprised that there was no oral presentation of bids that would have given
opportunity for specific questions to be asked of the bidders. Surely this is customary in
these situations and enables clarifications to be made. I find this an additional flaw.
The bid advertisement material was apparently taken from another region’s material rather
than being tailor made; this too represents a flaw in the process and caused subsequent
confusion because of not being ‘owned ‘ by officers. I believe the halt in the bidding
process should have engendered a completely new process; ‘getting an independent
review rather than try and drive Subud through on a technicality’(Melanie Griffin:FOI.
ESSC emails.) Becky Shaw: (FOI ESCC emails) ‘legal suggest retender with better clarity
which enables the same applicants to reapply’.
The bid scoring matrix was too I believe mostly generic rather than in house. Its weightings
appear skewed especially with regard to community benefit: the 3VA component is odd
and especially so since I believe 3VA were no longer involved latterly.
I am also concerned that there was no inbuilt appeal process. The ‘excuse’ for this seems
to be that the tender was ‘informal’.
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I wish to emphasise that Subud of course had every right to bid for the St Anne’s site. (I
am however concerned about the well publicized split that seems to have occurred in the
Subud community recently over doctrine and belief instigated by the concerns about the St
Anne’s bid. This could perhaps make Subud a rather less reliable purchaser of public
property.)
Rather, I am making a complaint about the way the bid process was handled and what I
see as its inherent flaws. The seeming lack of research and knowledge by officers about
the bidders’ background and suitability I think, have contributed to the flaws in the process.
It is in fact very hard to make a complaint about bureaucratic process as a lay person. And
information has been very hard to come by in this example; the process does not seem to
have been clear. I have tried to be as accurate as possible and identify all source material.
But I am in the end an amateur and I apologise in advance if I have misrepresented
anyone or anything.
I feel strongly that this whole process appears to have been opaque and undemocratic; I
believe it has not delivered best value both to the Lewes and the wider community of
ESCC. I firmly believe that the wider community would have benefited more from either of
the alternative bids that included social housing as well as other concrete benefits such as
extending the Lewes town cemetery. I believe bth rival bidders would have been
supportive of the other’s bid
Yours faithfully,
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05/10/2014 Future of St Anne's Site (forwarded by Cllr O’Keeffe)
From:
Sent:
05/10/2014 15:54
To:
Cllr Ruth O’Keefe
Subject:
Future of St Anne's Site
Dear Ruth,
I wanted to raise my concerns prior to the scrutiny meeting in the coming week.
It is incredible that the lowest bid for this site was accepted. The site is publicly owned and
the highest bid should be accepted especially in such difficult economic times.
The accepted bid price of £500K is deplorable. This is the price of a three bedroomed
terraced house in the town. How can this be seen as appropriate payment for a 4 1/2 acre
site in the centre of town when a plot for development to a three bedroomed single
dwelling is currently offered for sale at £450K?
Constituents can only be thankful that there is to be scrutiny of the process and trust that
the outcome will be to the benefit of the town, financially and socially, and not to the
benefit of a quasi religious organisation of only 1200 in the UK (ref SUBUD official website)
who propose to make it their British Headquarters.
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06/10/2014 Evidence for the ESCC Audit and Best Value Scrutiny Panel
(attachment)
Scrutiny review of the disposal of the former St Anne's school site, Lewes
This Report is submitted by The St Anne’s Group, an ad hoc group of Lewes residents in
response to the Review Board’s invitation to interested parties to submit evidence.
1. Introduction
Subud was selected as the preferred bidder for this site by the Lead Member for
Resources Meeting in October 2013. The decision was not challenged at the time by the
unsuccessful bidders and it was not noticed by the community until this summer when an
unprecedented volume of comment appeared on the Lewes Forum.
The St Anne’s Group, a community organisation, set up in response to the controversy,
called a public meeting in Lewes Town Hall on 3 September 2014 attended by some 100
townspeople.
Cllr Rosalyn St Pierre who represents Ringmer and Lewes Bridge asked the Audit, Best
Value and Community Services Scrutiny Committee to review the decision and at its
meeting on 6 September 2014 it set up a Review Panel to examine the details.
The St Anne’s Group submit that the Council acted carelessly, failed to follow ESCC’s
Community Asset Transfer Policy in managing the bidding process and that the
assessment it made of the bids received was inadequate and flawed.
The Review Board has defined its scope and is examining a range of factors. This Report
follows the format of these subject headings. This is followed by a review of the process
followed against ESCC’s Community Asset Transfer Policy.
2. The advice given to each bidder and how each bidder was 'scored'.
2.1
Advice given to each bidder
The report to the Lead Member for Community and Resources (Cllr Glazier) Meeting 23
October 2012 advised “the opportunity to use this site for residential purposes is very
restricted. Therefore … its market value for such a use would not be significantly in excess
of inviting bids for community purposes which is considered to be the most valuable nonresidential use for this site.“ The sale was approved on that basis. But the press release
issued by the Council categorically ruled out any form of housing.
Lewes CLT was briefed by Archie Cowan before the EOI stage. He advised that bids
would be judged on combination of price and community value, the price not likely to be
more than £750k and the key relationship was with 3VA and projects renting space on
grounds (Sussex Wildlife Trust, youth outdoor project) but there was no reason to keep
grounds open to public. Affordable housing was an acceptable use for the site. He also
suggested making an additional bid for the St Anne’s Crescent car park provided the total
number of ESCC car parking spaces were retained, but he explained the site had not been
formally released by the Council. He added that it was key how the community was
involved.
Archie Cowan told Lewes CLT that one other bidder (YMCA) was interested in residential
development at phase 2.
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2.2
How each bidder was 'scored'
The St Anne’s Group is puzzled by the weighting given to each part of the scoring process.
10% to the organisation. We know now that ESCC did not exercise due diligence in
respect of Subud.
30% to finance. Seems reasonable
30% to asset transfer , which includes additional rights/land, use of asset, building works,
planning permission, cost of works, users of asset, benefit to community and asset
management . In other words these eight significant issues were given an average of less
than 4% each.
10% to relationship with tenant. (3VA) As described elsewhere, the tenant administered
the site on a temporary basis on behalf of the steering group. This section is very
confusing – and made worse by 3VA’s unexpected withdrawal from the project at the end
of August 2014. The weighting seems far too much, especially in comparison to asset
transfer.
20% to the price offer. As we also know, it seems a perverse decision to award the tender
to the lowest bidder.
3. The extent of the Council's research into the policies (particularly Equal
Opportunity policies) of the bidders.
See comments from Tony Leonard
4. The composition of the Bid Assessment Panel and the extent to which
the St Anne's Steering Group was representative of the community.
The bid assessment panel seems to have relied on the views of the St Annes Steering
Group but as yet it is not clear who was in this group when they scrutinised the bids. We
don’t know if they were all present and certainly some of them like Meanwhile Space
cannot possibly claim to represent Lewes residents.
4.1
The bid assessment panel members
Paul Rideout, ESCC 3rd Sector policy manager
David Bingham, ESCC Head of Strategic Property
James Harris, ESCC Head of Economic Development, Skills and Infrastructure
Russell Bright, ESCC Finance Manager
Rosey Eggar, Lewes Volunteer bureau/ Lewes Town Partnership
Katherine Perrin, 3VA
If the bidders were unclear about housing development then is it the case that the panel
members were equally unclear – especially as Paul Rideout, Rosey Eggar and Katherine
Perrin had all been on the St Anne’s Steering Group.
4.2
The St. Anne’s steering group
The Council attached great importance to this informal group and did not take into account
its ad hoc nature. It drew members from some but not all of the immediately local residents
groups. But without participation from established groups like Friends of Lewes it could not
be said to represent the wider community across the Town comprehensively. They were
specifically set up to find ways of making interim use of the site and, as stated above,
there has been minimal interest in using a green space with no facilities. No one seems
263
able to find minutes or an authorative list of members. According to the Council’s Steering
Group Terms of Reference, St Annes Steering Group is required to meet 3 times per
quarter. But it ceased to function once the sale was announced and all the licensed short
term activities (protected as part of the sale) ceased as well.
The list of members of the Steering Group supplied from memory by Cllr Murray included
those below, but others including Marina Pepper and John Stockdale attended on one or
more occasion.
Paul Rideout - ESCC
James Livesey - resident of St Annes Crescent
Katherine Perrin - 3VA
Sarah Rideout - Common Cause
Paul H Millmore 1 – Grange Road Residents Association
Penny Jones - Grange Road Residents Association
Debbie Matthews - Lewes Town Partnership
Owen Postgate and Matthew Baker - Pop-up Co-op (NB There is nothing on Twitter after
2012 so are they defunct now?)
Cllr Susan Murray - Lewes Town Council
Rosey Eggar - Lewes Town Partnership
Nicola Fee – the Diggers (i.e. the original Climate camp occupiers)
Susanne Wolf - the Diggers
John Morris – ESCC
Jessica Courtney Bennett and Eddie Bridgeman - Meanwhile Space (A company based
in London , primarily concerned with temporary use of unused buildings)
Chris Bibb - representing LDC
Cllr Ruth O'Keeffe –ESCC councillor representing Lewes Division
4.3
Short term community use
The Council appointed 3VA as the tenant for the site for one year with the option of two
additional years. The St Anne’s Steering Group nominated some small projects to use the
land: Sussex Wildlife Trust’s wildflower garden, public garden/green space/peace garden,
play area for children. By the end of the second year, the Steering Group had long since
ceased to meet, the projects had stopped and 3VA notified the Council that it did not wish
to renew for the third year.
3VA and the St Anne’s Steering Group were asked to assess the bids for the site. One
person from each attended the formal assessment panel on their behalf.
5. The reasons for disposal to an 'under-bidder'
Not stated by the Council.
6. The level of community benefit arising from the successful bidder
The effect could be a Subud campus of halls, administrative offices, accommodation and
Subud charity provision, with the public paying for access to any of the facilities. The
1
Paul Millmore died in March 2012
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‘community benefit’ is primarily benefit to the Subud community with an option for the
Subud Britain to derive an income from the letting of their facilities at full price to the
community.
6.1
Build 2 halls.
There is no net gain to Lewes in this since they replace what already exists in Station
Street. Hirers may find the St. Anne’s site too far out of the centre of town to make the
same use as at present. Also, there are many halls available to hire in Lewes, including
the Town Hall, All Saints, pubs, clubs, hotels, community centres, schools and church
halls.
6.2
Community café.
The Oyster Project runs a successful café at All Saints and there is another community
café in Brooks Road. There is a café on Western Road which looks as though it is
struggling but there is also a very popular café in the Grange Gardens and a new one at
Anne of Cleves House, both within half a mile of St. Anne’s.
6.3
Social enterprise hub.
The Hive in the High Street, Lewes already provides facilities for social enterprise and not
for profit organisations and we understand that similar facilities will be provided in the
proposed Santon development on the Phoenix site.
6.4
Living Well Dying Well
This charity is currently based at the Tin Tabernacle in Barcombe, a property owned by
David Anderson, who is also one of the trustees. It has received grants from Subud, and
most of the staff and practitioners are Subud members.
7. How the Council will protect community benefits and equality of access
to the site's facilities
In selling the freehold to Subud with provision only for a clawback in the event of housing
development, the Council has no lien on the purchaser to ensure access to the site. The
short term projects that the bid process required bidders to continue have all ceased.
Archie Cowan in his brief to Lewes CLT (and presumably the other bidders) advised that
there was no obligation to provide public access. So, even the dog walkers who currently
visit have no assurance of continuity
8. How protection against gains from future housing development on the
site is to be achieved.
We understand that the Council will share in the uplift in value in the event of housing
development not disclosed in the successful bidder’s plans. Will this also apply to a hostel
or guest house for Subud visitors and trainees?
9. Process
9.1
Misleading press release
The report to the Lead Member for Community and Resources (Cllr Glazier) Meeting 23
October 2012 advised “the opportunity to use this site for residential purposes is very
restricted. Therefore … its market value for such a use would not be significantly in excess
of inviting bids for community purposes which is considered to be the most valuable nonresidential use for this site.“ The sale was approved on that basis. But the press release
issued by the Council categorically ruled out any form of housing.
9.2
Contradictory briefings to bidders
265
It was stated at the 3 September meeting that the officer’s briefing given to Subud ruled
out the possibility of providing residential development whilst that given to Lewes
Community Land Trust (LCLT) indicated that the housing proposals they were bringing
forward were within the guidelines.
9.3
The Council’s bid form excluded bids from ‘religious organisations’
The Council’s bid form stated in its first paragraph that it excluded bids from political or
religious organisations. The Council acknowledged that Subud was a religious
organisation. After three months, it determined that under equalities legislation, it should
not have included this phrase in the form and proceeded as if it had not been included.
9.4
The Assessment Panel was unrepresentative
The Panel comprised 4 officers, one person representing St Anne’s Steering Group and
one representative from the then tenant, 3VA. There was no elected representative on the
panel. It is contended that the St Anne’s Steering Group was a dysfunctional group that
was not representative of the community at large and has since ceased to exist and that
3VA was an ineffective tenant which has since resigned its tenancy a year before it was
due to expire.
9.5
The assessment panel failed to interview the bidders
The customary opportunity for each bidder to make a presentation to the panel assessing
the bid and to answer the panel’s questions was omitted from the process.
9.6
The Council’s Community Asset Transfer Policy (June 2013) was not
followed.
This Policy requires that the Council should
2
•
preferably lease not transfer the freehold, normally 20-99 years, but where the
organisation is new to consider a shorter initial period like 5 years
•
supporting projects that are “helping to progress neighbourhood planning priorities.”
•
dispose to a group that has consulted widely and will increase community cohesion.
Subud have now started consulting with the community after the event and the
proposed transfer seems to have been divisive.
•
prevent the possibility of a public asset being taken over by an unrepresentative or
extremist minority.
•
The preferred bidder must “have a strong financial background and/or a
demonstrable financial plan moving forward.” Several Subud enterprises have failed
including the last attempt by Subud to create an international campus at Anugraha,
a project that resulted in a number of members being made bankrupt? 2
•
The Policy states that “engagement and empowerment of local communities is the
primary reason for asset transfer”.
•
“any disposal for less than market value would need to be transparent justifiable”.
We have not seen the evidence for this.
•
“When there are a number of interested parties in an asset that has been made
available for transfer, the Council will aim to encourage collaboration.”
•
“Where a decision is made not to transfer – either at stage 1 or stage 2 – the
Council will give feedback to the third sector organisation.” No feedback was given
to YMCA or Lewes CLT at Stage 2.
Further details are available at Subudconscience.com.
266
10
Conclusion
The St Anne’s Group is not directly critical of Subud as an organisation. Subud Britain is a
registered charity and has a right to bid. But we are critical of the judgement made by
ESCC in selecting Subud as the preferred bidder for a site to be sold at an under value.
Subud’s 2012 accounts make it clear that financially Subud Britain’s charitable activity is
entirely directed to supporting Subud enterprises and maintaining the properties from
which they derive letting income. No connection to the locality or the general community
here, then.
We are also critical of the process followed which seems not to have met the high
standards set by the Council itself in its Community Asset Transfer Policy. Nor can we see
how the benefit to the community in a bid that was not the highest in monetary terms can
have been assessed as greater than that of the other two bidders.
ESCC had volunteered the site along with the County Hall site for inclusion in the Strategic
Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) and though this does not mean it is
currently zoned for housing development in the next Local Plan period, it is an important
option for the site. If it were to include a large measure of public or housing association
development, and if public access to the undeveloped parkland were assured, it is quite
clear that the local community would rate this more highly than the proposal accepted by
the Council.
6 October 2014
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Appendix
Summary of Subud Britain Accounts for 2012
1.
Subud Britain says it is a religious organisation
2.
There is no charitable aim other than the promotion of Subud in general.
Income in 2012 was £583,784 of which just short of £200,000 was “voluntary income”, i.e.
donations from supporters. Almost all the rest was “from charitable activities”, of which
79%, or £303,184, was from “hall letting”. The remainder was from running its own
Congress.
Expenditure on “charitable activities” was £513,124. All but £1,494 (0.003%) to “other
donations” was spent on donations to other Subud bodies and running its properties and
organisation.
Freehold properties in Lewes are valued at £196,945. The Lewes properties are one of
three used as security for bank borrowings. Total secured bank loans are £45,978, so on a
presumed pro rata basis there is about £180,000 of equity in the Lewes properties.
In short, in the latest accounts there is no evidence of Subud benefitting anything but itself,
other than the 0.003% of its income spent on (unspecified, but possibly also Subudrelated) “other donations”.
The objectives and activities of Subud Britain are set out in the accounts as:
Objects
The main object of Subud Britain is set out in the Memorandum of Association is to
promote and advance religion and in particular to promote and advance the aim and
principles of the worship of God known is Susila Budhi Dharma. The name Subud is on
abbreviation of Susila Budhi Dharma.
Aims of the charity
Subud Britain has endorsed the aims of the World Subud Association. The main aims are:
•
To facilitate the worship of Almighty God through the Latihan Kejiwaan of Subud
and to provide for the other needs of the Subud membership.
•
To preserve the practice of the Latihan Kejiwaan so that it will remain available to
people everywhere in the form in which it was originally practised under the
guidance of Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo.
•
To protect the good reputation of Subud.
•
To encourage peace, harmony and understanding between peoples regardless of
their ethnic origin or religion.
•
To make available information concerning the Latihan Kejiwaan of Subud.
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06/10/2014 St Anne's site (attachment)
Subud
I was a member of Subud for over ten years. I left about fourteen years ago.
I joined after meeting a Subud ‘helper’ when I was living in Japan in my early twenties, a
time of life when I was young, alone and vulnerable. Over the years I slowly realised that
Subud is effectively a cult with a leader (Bapak) whose teachings are believed as the one
truth.
It is true that there is no force to do anything within Subud, but the pressure to conform
with what everyone else is doing is huge: Bapak’s words are cited constantly and as a new
member you are not encouraged to think or question them, but to accept them as truth.
Nobody forces you to pay a monthly contribution for the upkeep of the Subud Hall but
everyone does (as I did for years). Nobody forces you to observe Ramadan or change
your name, but the pressure to do so is huge when you want to be accepted within a
group, and not doing so sets you apart.
As well as Ramadan, the chanting of ‘Allah’ and ‘Allah akubar’ during latihan is common
from non-Muslims, and this overwhelmingly Islamic practice within Subud always confused
me when it was sold to me as a non-religious organisation which you could join whatever
your religion, and even if you didn’t believe in God. Subud was consistently presented to
me as a spiritual practice for everyone and anyone, but once you are in Subud it is clear
that this is not the case.
To enter Subud, a new member is ‘opened.’ A number of helpers do a latihan and one
recites an invocation to Almighty God, followed by another short latihan. At my opening I
remember feeling nothing and saying that I didn’t feel I had been opened, at which point
one of the helpers told me that I had definitely been opened because she could feel it. She
insisted that she knew this. At the time I was reassured, but I look back now and feel
shocked at the arrogance of someone who could so unequivocally deny my experience
and mislead me into believing that she knew better than I knew myself.
I went to the Subud House to practise the ‘latihan’ once a week, sometimes twice, and
continued to feel nothing. The latihan is supposedly the spirit of God expressing through
you – probably the closest equivalent is ‘speaking in tongues.’ The only thing I felt
throughout my years doing latihan was that I obviously wasn’t spiritual enough. The Subud
environment is not conducive to admitting you feel nothing; I did ask about it and was told
to increase the number of times I did latihan, but generally the talk of amazing latihan
experiences from other members is enough to silence you: there is an assumption that
once you are opened you will be experiencing the latihan, and against that it is difficult to
admit to what seems like failure. To be honest I just found it boring, but I think others may
feel seriously deserted by God, and somehow inferior to other Subud members.
The most worrying practice within Subud for me though, is ‘testing.’ If you have a problem
or an issue you can’t resolve, you are actively encouraged to do testing with a few helpers.
The helpers will put your question to God – never a direct ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question, but
generally phrased as ‘how would it feel if I..?’ – and everyone then does a latihan for five
minutes to receive the answer. It is believed that the answer you receive through your
latihan comes directly from God. Everyone then shares the answer they received
(generally, a positive or a negative feeling) and more testing may be done if the answer
wasn’t immediately clear from everyone in the group.
I never liked testing and only did it a few times. The pressure to test is huge, in my
experience it was suggested to me almost every time I had a dilemma or problem or
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decision to make, to the extent that I began to feel very awkward always saying no. In the
testing sessions I took part in, I knew exactly what everyone in the group would ‘receive
from God’, because I knew each person’s personal views on the subject – what was
‘received’ inevitably matched the helpers’ personal opinions.
During my time in Subud, the most worrying example I encountered was a man who tested
with a group of male helpers whether he should leave his wife (and mother of his children)
for a new partner and received the answer ‘yes.’ His wife could not argue with God, and
the man himself was absolved of all responsibility and guilt.
Through testing, members of Subud are encouraged to give up their own responsibility
and hand it over to God. This is common in all religions, seeking guidance through
prayer/meditation etc, but the most worrying aspect of the Subud practice of testing is the
power it gives the helpers to influence people’s lives. Subud members are not encouraged
to test alone without a group of helpers, and when it is accepted without question that
whatever is received is coming from God, in effect the helpers have the power to shape
people’s lives with their own views. There is no recognition within Subud of the inherent
openness to misuse and manipulation of this practice.
The pressure on members to test every dilemma or uncertainty they have is overwhelming
and unremitting, this is not a small optional extra: the latihan and testing are intrinsic and
central practices of Subud. I believe the practice is totally unethical, dishonest and harmful
to people’s lives and I would not like to see Subud increasing its influence on any more
people with a new larger premises in Lewes.
As well as personal testing, Subud uses the practice in business, and is not transparent
about doing so. I was present when a group of Subud members, some of whom were
Trustees of Lewes New School, tested the appointment of the new Head teacher, Lizzie
Overton. She had just taken part in a rigorous selection procedure over the course of a
week, at the end of which she and her husband were invited for dinner at the home of two
very prominent Subud members in Lewes. After they left, the Subud members present split
into groups of men and women, and tested her appointment. I did not join in as I felt it was
unethical to use testing as part of the decision-making process without informing Lizzie. At
least two Subud members present were not even Trustees of the school.
In my view it is unethical business practice to secretly use a means of decision-making
which overrides all other open processes.
There is a hierarchy of power in Subud which goes unacknowledged so the structure
therefore remains unexamined. Those who are related to/were close to/worked for Bapak
(all of whom will be helpers) are at the top of the power triangle, beneath them are the
ordinary helpers and at the bottom are the members. Because everyone is so helpful and
caring and nice, members do not think to question this structure and are never encouraged
to do so.
My experience was that the caring nice helpers turned nasty, arrogant, cold and personally
abusive when the ‘pupil-teacher’ type of relationship we had within Subud was reversed in
situations outside Subud. This happened to me at a time when I was growing away from
Subud, and although I was still friendly, respectful and polite, I see now that I was probably
not as deferential and no longer accepted (or pretended to accept) everything the helpers
said, and in particular judgements made against me in areas which were none of the
helpers’ business.
It took me a few years of going to fewer and fewer latihans and Subud events to finally
admit to Subud members that I had left. The reaction was rather bizarre; several members
I knew best continued to invite me to latihan or testing as if I had said nothing or they had
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simply disbelieved me, several others were horrified and informed me that it is impossible
to leave Subud as once you are opened you remain opened.
In retrospect, I had built up enough of a friendship community outside of Subud to give me
the security to leave. Many people will join Subud, as I did, in order to gain a community or
extended family. Many Subud members I know (and there are many I like and feel great
friendship with) were born into Subud families, so Subud has been their community right
from the start and I can understand that for them that must be a great sense of security
and belonging.
For those coming in to Subud, the reality is that you will be entering a group which
practises a mainly Islamic form of religion, based on the ‘spiritual awakening’ of one
Indonesian man many years ago which is supposedly passed on to you through the
latihan. You will be expected to follow the teachings of this one man, teachings which are
firmly bound up in his culture, religion and era; teachings which are judgemental,
homophobic and misogynistic. None of this will be made clear to you when you join.
I have nothing personally against Subud members in Lewes. I still have Subud friends who
I like and respect. But I have to split Subud the organisation away from Subud friendships
and state my serious misgivings about the power Subud already has in Lewes and my
total opposition to them gaining any more. I do this out of concern for any vulnerable (and
especially young) individuals who may be recruited in to Subud, and for the larger
business community in Lewes who will face an unfair business advantage from a group
whose members will always stick together.
Stephanie Davies-Arai
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* COPY OF APPENDIX III AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
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