A CIVIC chief has insisted there will be no conflicts of interest involving staff at the council's urban regeneration company.

The subject around BCP FuturePlaces Limited was raised by a resident at last week's full council meeting.

FuturePlaces has been recruiting staff, including its senior team, as it steps up its work in considering the regeneration potential of sites across the conurbation.

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Resident Alex McKinstry asked: "What measures are the council taking to prevent any conflicts of interest arising among such employees giving the possibility that some of these people may have links to planning consultancies, property development companies – the very firms in other words who would be looking to implement the council’s Big Plan."

Cllr Philip Broadhead, BCP Council deputy leader and director of FuturePlaces, said both the urban regeneration company and the local authority took issues of conflicts of interest "very seriously".

“Before hiring the senior team, careful enquiries were made of their extant and previous business relationships during that interview process," said Cllr Broadhead.

“It has been determined that none of the directors have any previous or current business relationships with planning consultancies or developers who are active within the BCP Council area of operation other than as third party clients and even then with no ongoing relationship.

“Further the senior management team have covenanted that they will not engage in any business activity that conflict with BCP Council."

Cllr Broadhead said the situation will be monitored by the FuturePlaces management and BCP Council throughout their oversight functions on an ongoing basis.

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He said a register of interests will also be maintained and held by the FuturePlaces commissioning team - the group who set out the work the urban regeneration company does.

Bournemouth Echo: Cllr Philip BroadheadCllr Philip Broadhead

“Furthermore, as the company is a wholly-owned council company, it has to abide by all of the rules that the council would," said Cllr Broadhead.

"FuturePlaces in of itself is not a decision-making body. Any decisions as to what to develop, when, where and any approvals come through the council as they always would.

“In FuturePlaces we now have an incredible team of talented professionals all driven to unlock all of the amazing potential our area has instead of spending endless money on outside consultants, we now have a plethora of experience in-house to really unleash our coastline of opportunity.”

BCP Council said FuturePlaces will help the authority’s ambitions to deliver significant investment across the region. At present 15 regeneration sites are being looked at by FuturePlaces.

The company's website currently lists the following people as on its 'team':

Gail Mayhew, managing director

Councillor Philip Broadhead, chairman

Councillor Drew Mellor, board member

Graham Farrant, board member

Andrew Burrell, development and design director

Craig Beevers, chief operating officer

James Croker, corporate engagement director