Agenda and minutes

South Side Task and Finish Group - Monday, 22nd March, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: This will be a remote meeting held via Microsoft Teams in accordance with The Local Authorities and Crime Panels (Coronavirus)(Flexibility of Meetings)(England and Wales) Regulations 2020

Contact: Committee Officer  01525 631920 or: Email:

Note: or by tel: +44 20 3795 5672 (Conf.ID: 130 250 247#) 

No. Item




Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Spurr.




(i)    Under the Localism Act 2011 (sections 26-37 and Schedule 4) and in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, Members are required to declare any interests which are not currently entered in the Member’s Register of Interests or if he/she has not notified the Monitoring Officer of it.

(ii)  Should any Member have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in an item on the agenda, the Member may not participate in consideration of that item unless a Dispensation has first been requested (in writing) and granted by the Council (see Dispensation Procedure).



Members were asked to declare any interests, including the nature of those interests, which they had in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.


Councillor Palmer declared an interest as a member of LB Society and LB

Archeological and History Society.  Councillor Harvey declared an interest as a

Member of LB Society and LB Friends of the Earth.





There were no questions from members of the public.




(a)  To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the South Side Task and Finish Group meeting held on 15 February 2021 (attached) in accordance with Standing Order 12.


(b)  To receive information updates on matters arising from the previous meeting (if appropriate).



(a)          The group received the draft minutes of the South Side Task & Finish Group held on the 14 December 2020.      


Minute ref 10/SS Venue Examples; a request was made to add to the minutes so the versatility and size of the venue was emphasised.  The sentences below were added –


It was noted that the size of a venue could  be influential to whether or not it was on the touring circuit, i.e. host national touring shows and perfomances.  The Neeld did receive touring shows.


The venue had a bar/café which was seen as an important income stream. It was felt that more could be made of the facility to boost income further. 


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the South Side Task & Finish Group held on 14 December 2020 be approved as a correct record and would be signed at a later date when safe to do so.


(a)          No updates were made as they would be covered in the remainder of the agenda.




To receive a working draft summary paper that captures the Group’s learning and options being explored to date.  (attached)



The Task and Finish Group received a summary document of all suggested options from previous meetings for further review and discussion. This document could be added to as a working document when new ideas/information received.


Members agreed that refinements and quantification would be needed on what facilities were preferred and what the precise demand would be.  Sam Caldbeck agreed that a document like this was of use  and that all facilities in the local area should be considered to eradicate duplication of use.


A suggestion was made by Councillor Owen that this document should be made into a working spreadsheet which could be updated by all members of the Task and Finish Group and would show what we have already in the town and what could be needed.  All members agreed this would be a good option to follow and Councillor Owen volunteered to put this together before the next meeting.


Members also agreed the focus should still be the town centre as that is what the Task and Finish Group was formed to do and once the draft document had been agreed by the Group it could be shared with Central Bedfordshire Council.   It was queried whether there should be a timeframe to complete the document by.  Sam Caldbeck confirmed the planning was in early stages and the timeframe was not urgent as development of Land South would not be imminent.  Once Cornerstones produced their Options Analysis then the work could move forward with eventual public consultation.


At present the Options Analysis was at a basic stage to establish a realistic option to deliver once this research had been completed more detailed recommendations and options could be sought.


Cornerstones had been asked for development options for Land South either as a commercially viable project or part-funded.  A second set of experts had been asked to look at the development from a purely commercial view and once all had been completed they would be brought together and a practical way of offering the facilities required would be suggested.


A suggestion was made that using a vacant property, if a suitable one becomes available within the town centre, might be an option to test the audience.  Community groups could use the space and this could be monitored and if successful would be a good indication of what facilities were wanted in the town.  Sam Caldbeck agreed this would be an option worth looking into.  Members agreed this should be managed by the Cultural & Economic Services Committee if progressed, as it was beyond the remit of this Task & Finish Group.


RESOLVED to note the information.  





To receive headline data from the commissioned Options Analysis research yet to be fomally signed off by CBC.  (verbal)



Members were informed that the Options Analysis was yet to be received and should realistically be completed by April 2021. Once this had been completed it would be brought back to this Group and Cornerstones could be invited to attend. 


It was confirmed that the inclusion of Incubator Business Space would also be included within the site which would help with commercial funding of the facility.


Based on current market conditions a mixed use scheme may not be viable at present on this site but once conditions improve this could change.  Discussions with the various landowners of the site were continuing and any development would improve the land for these landowners.


Vivien Cannon and Sam Caldbeck to liaise on the date of the next meeting in April 2021.


RESOLVED to note the information.  




To receive an update on current Government funding (verbal) 



The Task and Finish Group received a verbal update on the options of funding available from the Government.


The new Levelling Up fund had wrapped a lot of funds together which included the Future High Street Fund.  There were now 3 priorities when applying for the Levelling Up Fund, 1 being the highest and 3 the lowest.  Leighton-Linslade had been given a level 3 priority.  This meant it was still possible to apply for funds but the higher your priority the more likelihood of success.  Also schemes and bids had to be ready to go which would probably exclude applying in our current position for this area of work although Central Bedfordshire Council may have other appropriate schemes to consider putting forward on a Highways/transport theme for example. Other funds might become available by the time Land South comes to fruition.


RESOLVED to note the information.




The Committee may consider it appropriate to consider the following resolution should they consider that any discussion would be prejudicial to the public interests: that, under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, the public be excluded on the grounds of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information. The public and press to withdraw from the meeting during consideration of detailed discussion regarding: Unadopted 2016 Development Study.





To consider information received on 15/02/21, minute ref: 14/SS, on work pertaining to plans for the area of land south of the High Street.



It was confirmed the document provided had never been adopted and was just provided as an information document for this group and would not be circulated widely.  It was not up-to-date and conditions had moved on since it was produced.


RESOLVED to note the information.