Reports on the performance of Elstree Film Studios will no longer be considered in public council meetings.

Until now the quarterly reviews of Elstree Film Studios Ltd – which is wholly owned by Hertsmere Borough Council – have been reported to meetings of the council’s executive.

But in future the reports will be shared with a meeting of the ‘shareholders’ panel’, which does not meet in public.

The change was highlighted at a meeting of the council’s executive on Wednesday (November 13).

And following the meeting a spokesperson for Hertsmere Borough Council said the move was in line with recommendations from the recent audit report into governance of council-owned companies.

“This step is being taken as Elstree Studios is a competitive and commercial entity and it’s considered inappropriate and potentially damaging for detailed information about its business, particularly financial data which is commercially sensitive, to be discussed publicly,” she said.

“We adopt a similar approach with our leisure contractor, InspireAll, whose performance is reviewed at the council’s Leisure Management Panel.

“This move is also in line with a recommendation in the recent audit report carried out into governance arrangements for council-owned companies.”

She said that through the shareholders’ panel – which includes five cross-party elected members – there would be “robust governance”.

The panel is in addition to the Studios Board which includes five Industry Non-Executive Directors (INED) representing the film and television sector and six borough council-elected members.

At the latest meeting of the council’s executive, Cllr John Graham said the performance of the studios “was going very well”.

And he reported that next year the rent – which is used to support council services – would be £1.55 million.

The report to the executive highlighted the planned development of two new stages on the former site of the Big Brother House and essential electrical works that had been commissioned on the site.