Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary, Council - Thursday 18th January, 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Wallfields, Hertford. View directions

Contact: Katie Mogan  Tel: (01279) 502174 Email:


No. Item


Chairman's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Chairman.


The Chairman reminded Members to use their microphones when speaking so they could be heard on the webcast.


The Chairman thanked Members for wearing their festive jumpers and contributing to the charity collection at the December meeting and said it raised over £100.



Leader's Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Leader of the Council.


The Leader thanked Members for attending the extraordinary Council meeting in the cold weather. He thanked the officers involved for their efforts in getting the report ready for the meeting.



Apologies for Absence

To receive any Members’ apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Andrews, Glover-Ward and McAndrew.



Declarations of Interest

To receive any Members' declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest.



Hertford Theatre Options pdf icon PDF 184 KB

Additional documents:


The Executive Member for Wellbeing presented the report to Members. She said that the development was proposed and agreed in 2018 with work commencing on the Hertford Theatre in 2022. There had been a culmination of factors causing the increase in the contract price such as energy prices and inflation increases. She said that other projects across the country had faced similar pressures and the recommendation for a further £6 million for the Theatre had not come lightly. It was a significant sum of money and the administration had explored multiple options to reduce costs such as not opening one of the cinemas and not fitting out the studio but although each option made savings, it would also mean a loss of revenue on completion.


The Executive Member for Wellbeing said that alternative funding and longer-term income generation options had also been explored but these would take a number of months to be realised and further delays now would risk further cost increases down the line. She felt that the additional spend on the project represented good value for money as the project was close to completion and when the Theatre opened, it would be able to pay back the money borrowed so far.


Councillor Hopewell proposed that the recommendation in the report be supported. Councillor Daar seconded the proposal and reserved her right to speak.


Councillor Hollebon referred to page 12 of the report which noted that £6million of council assets would be sold to fund the extra spend on the theatre. She asked if these had been identified and felt Members should be given an opportunity to discuss which ones were to be sold.


Councillor Crystall said that a list of assets had been identified which totalled £10 million. He had asked each Group Leader to nominate a Member from their group to get a reference group together to discuss the assets identified and feedback to the Executive.


Councillor Devonshire said that it was a buyers’ market currently and was concerned that assets could be sold at rock bottom prices.


Councillor Brittain said that the assets had valuations on paper but did not know yet what they could achieve on the open market. He said the process could be reviewed if the assets did not reach their valuations. He said the whole list was £10 million so did not think it would be an issue to achieve £6 million.


Councillor Deffley asked about the timeline for the sale of the assets. He said if they were not sold before the money was required, it would have to be borrowed therefore increasing costs associated with interest repayments.


Councillor Brittain said it would depend on timing, but the council also had use of short term deposits to fund it if necessary.


Councillor Goldspink said that she would support the recommendation but with a heavy heart. She said she was angry that the previous administration had left the council with financial problems because they were over ambitious for embarking on many  ...  view the full minutes text for item 298.