Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary meeting, Local Councils' Liaison Committee - Thursday 28th January 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting on Zoom. View directions

Contact: R. Perrin  Tel: (01992) 564243 Email:


No. Item


Webcasting Introduction

1. This virtual meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to unmute

before speaking.


2. The Chairman will read the following announcement:


“I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the

internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such

third parties).


Therefore by participating in this virtual meeting, you are consenting to being filmed

and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings for webcasting and/or

training purposes. If members of the public do not wish to have their image captured

they should ensure that their video setting throughout the virtual meeting is turned off

and set to audio only.


In the event that technical difficulties interrupt the virtual meeting that cannot be

overcome, the Chairman may need to adjourn the meeting”.

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The Democratic and Electoral Services Officer reminded everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.


Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 248 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 7 September 2020 and any matters arising therefrom.

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That the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 7 September 2020 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Qualis - Presentation

To receive a presentation from Qualis and answer questions from the Committee.

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The Qualis Group Managing Director, S Jevans introduced herself and the Qualis team that were in attendance as follows;


Group Operations Managing Director, Paul Hewitt

Interim Manging Director Qualis Commercial , Chris Ives

Manging Director Qualis Management, Ben Johnson

Finance Director, Nick Dawe

Communications & Residents Consultation - Anne-Marie Brown

Independent Non-Executive Board Member, Farooq Mohammed

Council Member on the Board, Councillor Richard Bassett; and

Council Member on the Board, Councillor Howard Kauffman. 


Mr Mohammed gave a short introduction into his role and experience with Local Authority Trading Company’s (LATC) such as Qualis. He advised that the Localism Act 2011 had allowed Local Authorities (LA) to create companies that were free to operate commercially but remained wholly owned and controlled by the relevant authority. This was particularly relevant now as LA’s were coming under pressure because of austerity measures and to do more with less, as well as a desire not to outsource services. Furthermore, LATC’s were allowed to generate profits and as EFDC was a 100% shareholder, theses profits would be invested back into the Council.


Ms Jevans advised that Qualis had been set up in February 2020 and the team had been working hard to establish the governance framework and recruitment of key positions on the permanent Board and leadership team.


The purpose of Qualis was to;


·         Bring forward the development of key sites, to deliver new homes and amenities within the District;

·         To act commercially and deliver sustainable returns to the Council;

·         Deliver long term value across all activities and positively impact the community, environment and economy; and

·         To create a corporate culture that empowered and energised people.


Qualis consisted of Qualis Group the parent company and four subsidiaries.


·         Qualis Living – the investment arm, which would retain long term investments;

·         Qualis Commercial – the development arm which would involve planning and building projects;

·         Qualis Management – the delivery of services, i.e. housing repairs service; and

·         Qualis Community – the delivery of community benefits and interests i.e. Job creation and public realm spaces.


Ms Jevans advised that the governance and funding were determined through the Shareholders Agreement, which was the contract between the Council and Qualis. This agreement provided the mechanism in which the Council oversaw the activities of Qualis and provided the parameters within which the activities could  be undertaken, who would be responsible and how the information was reported back to the Council. It was noted that quarterly monitoring reports were summitted to both the Cabinet and Council meetings and the Council’s 151 Officer, Andrew Small represented and oversaw the activities of Qualis on the Council’s behalf. Qualis also had to produce a  Business Plan, which allowed it the autonomy to carry out the activities.

Furthermore, Qualis was funded by loans from the Council which were used for   investment and development opportunities and in time would be returned to the Council in the form of a margin on the loan or as a dividend. 


Mr Hewitt gave an overview of each of the subsidiaries as follows;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.



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There was no other business.


Dates of Future Meetings

To note that the next meeting of the Committee will be held on 15 March 2021 at 7.00pm.

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It was noted that the next meeting of the Committee would be held virtually at 19.00 on 15 March 2021.