The Overview and Scrutiny Committee is due to pre-scrutinise this report at a meeting scheduled to take place on 6th October 2022. Any recommendations on this subject arising from that meeting will be reported for the Executive Committee’s consideration in a supplementary pack.
The Programme Delivery Manager from the North Worcestershire Economic Development Unit (NWEDR) presented the Redditch TIP Library Redevelopment – Business Case report.
Officers were proposing that there should be a public plaza and a pavilion in Redditch town centre. The pavilion would consist of three floors, comprising a ground floor dedicated to food and beverage and the other two floors used for office space. The proposal was for the library, subject to the outcomes of public consultation and decisions taken by Worcestershire County Council, to be relocated to a community hub, which was subject to consideration as part of the review of the Town Hall Hub.
During consideration of this item, Members noted that the report had been pre-scrutinised at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on Thursday 6th October 2022. During this meeting, an amendment had been proposed to the recommendations detailed in the report but this had been defeated. The actual proposals had not been voted on.
Subsequent to the presentation of the report, Members discussed the following matters in detail:
· The shopping habits that people had developed during the twenty-first century, mainly involving the increasing use of online retail, and the implications of this for the High Street.
· The potential for High Streets in the UK to offer leisure activities and food and beverage outlets in order to entice people to the town centre.
· The need for economic growth in Redditch and the potential for regeneration of the town centre to contribute to that growth.
· The possibility of relocating the library to a public sector community hub and the benefits of retaining a library in the town centre.
· The libraries that had been closed in other parts of the country.
· The beneficial impact that the urban design associated with the proposals could have on rates of anti social behaviour (ASB) in the town centre.
· The number of visitors who might be attracted to visit Redditch, should these plans be approved.
the Redditch TIP Library Redevelopment business case be endorsed and used to present summary information for submission to the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities on the 14th October 2022.