To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (S151).
The Cabinet had before it a *report of the Deputy Chief Executive (S151) requesting the Cabinet to consider a long term loan arrangement to help facilitate the construction of a NHS Hub building in Crediton.
The Cabinet Member for Finance outlined the contents of the report stating that he appreciated the time and effort that officers had taken with regard to this matter, he felt that the project was a good investment for the area of Crediton and important to the town. He informed the meeting of the background to the project, the request for funding that had been received at the end of 2018 by representatives of two GP Practices who were proposing to merge and locate to a new building in Crediton. The new building was proposed to provide much more than just a larger GP Practice, but to be more of an integrated health hub with both GP and wider NHS treatment areas. They had approached the Council to see whether it could offer a more competitive lending rate than that already offered by two banks. The initial timeline had been tight, hence the urgent decision on the principle of supporting the project, since that time further work had been completed and the urgency of the request had subsided due to the extension of the timelines by the NHS.
He explained the lending criteria that had been negotiated, that of £2.1m over a 28 year period and that the authority would have the first charge on the property, external legal advice had been sought, State Aid had not been triggered, 85% of the funding required would be financed by the NHS with the remaining 15% requested from the District Council. He also outlined how the funding would be managed by the authority.
Consideration was given to:
· Appreciation for the work of officers with regard to the project and the additional information available
· The benefits of the project for the town of Crediton
· The excellent location for the hub with good parking facilities and access to the station
· Whether any equity would be released from the original GP surgeries
· The terms of the loan and the repayment scheme
· The level of risk
· The governance arrangements following the merging of the 2 GP practices and the liability of the debt
· The residual value of the site and the future phases of the project
RECOMMENDED to Council that:
(Proposed by Cllr D J Knowles and seconded by Cllr G Barnell)
i) Cllr G Barnell declared a personal interest as a patient of one of the GP surgeries;
ii) *Report previously circulated, copy attached to minutes.