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To approve as correct records the Minutes of the meetings held on 24 January and 17 May, 2017, copies attached as appendices.
That the Minutes of the meetings held on 24 January and 17 May, 2017, be approved as correct records.
Exclusion of the Public
The following matter is for consideration by Members “In Committee”. It will therefore be necessary to
That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the Paragraph indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act:-
Item No. 6 – Aylesbury Vale Broadband Update
The public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information because the report contains information relating to the financial or business affairs of organisations (including the Authority holding that information) and disclosure of commercially sensitive information would prejudice negotiations for contracts and land disposals or transactions.
That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the Paragraph indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act:-
Future ofAylesbury Vale Broadband Update (Paragraph 3)
The public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information because the report contained information relating to the business affairs of organisations (including the Authority holding that information) and disclosure of commercially sensitive information would prejudice negotiations for contracts and land disposals or transactions.
Aylesbury Vale Broadband Update
Councillor Mrs J Blake
Cabinet Member for Commercialisation and Business Transformation
To consider the attached confidential report.
Contact Officer: Andrew Small (01296) 585507
Aylesbury Vale Broadband (AVB) had been established with the ambitious objective of delivering at least superfast broadband in rural parts of Aylesbury Vale. At the point of deciding whether or not AVDC should support the creation of AVB, the only alternative had been to make funds available (with limited potential of any financial return), to the Connected Counties programme in order to deliver “fibre to cabinet” (FTC). This was a technology that was recognised as becoming unsuitable within five years due to the ever increasing demands on broadband speeds. The Council also had limited means by which to direct the activity of “Connected Counties” and had been frustrated by the slow pace of broadband roll-out across the Vale.
Given the wide rural expanse of the Vale, with a large number of small communities, the likelihood of these communities not having access to fast broadband had become of real concern. Access to fast broadband had and still was, seen as essential, particularly for businesses and access generally was a real issue in terms of the future sustainability of these rural communities.
An opportunity had arisen through a third party that had enabled the Authority to direct the roll-out of fast broadband to local communities, using the latest technology of fibre to the premises. It was important to recognise that without the involvement of the Council through AVB, many rural businesses and households would not have received broadband and were likely not to do so for a number of years.
The Committee considered a report setting out the achievements of AVB, current operational arrangements and options for its future direction. Two officer Directors were present at the meeting and prior to discussing the report, Members of the Committee had an opportunity to ask them technical questions and seek clarification around particular aspects of the AVB’s operations. The Officer Directors then left the meeting.
With regard to the future direction of the company, it was reported that two expressions of interest had been received for its acquisition. These expressions were referred to as Bidder 1 and Bidder 2 and discussions with each were at different stages. Due diligence had been virtually completed in relation to Bidder 1. The position with Bidder 2 was less far advanced but progressing. On the basis of the information received thus far, Bidder 1 had submitted a conditional offer.
Technologically, financially and operationally, Bidder 1 offered the greatest realistic prospect of being able to conclude a sale agreement quickly and, as a consequence, provide the technical support necessary to protect service provision to the existing customers of AVB. They were also best placed to be able to ensure the continued roll-out of services to customers who were waiting to be connected. The Chief Executive of this company had written to the Director with responsibility for Finance outlining its immediate priorities in relation to broadband provision in the event that the Council accepted its offer. That letter was circulated at the meeting.
Normally, the Council would seek to continue ... view the full minutes text for item 3.