Members considered recommendations that had been agreed at meetings of the Executive Committee held on 25th July and 12th September 2023.
Worcestershire Housing Strategy 2040
Members expressed their thanks to the former Chief Executive for the work involved in bringing a report to the Executive Committee. Some members expressed the view that whilst they supported the proposals, there were concerns about the impact of the costs of retrofit in the current economic climate.
Approvals to Spend
During consideration of these recommendations, members referred to discussion at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the concerns which had been raised at that meeting and notified to the Executive Committee.
Draft Treasury Management Outturn Report 2022/23
Members considered and agreed the recommendations from the Executive Committee.
Future of Brick Arched Former Railway Bridge, Green Lane, Studley
Members welcomed the actions proposed by the Executive Committee.
Disposal of Long Leasehold Interest at Woodfield Close, Abbeydale,Redditch
Members supported the proposals to dispose of the long lease as recommended.
Housing development proposal – Loxley Close, Church Hill
Cllr Baker expressed concerns about the building site as it was on a flood plain and his reservations about the potential for a ‘two tier’ rent system in the town. However, members recognised the need for social housing and the contribution to the housing stock made by this development.
Councillor Warhust explained that the planning process had considered the flooding issues and the proposed development had been adjusted accordingly.
Town Hall Refurbishment – Final Decision
The Council considered the recommendations from the Executive Committee meeting on 12th September to increase the Town Hall Refurbishment Capital Budget to £6.2 million; fund the £1 million difference from the original approved budget through PWLB debt financed via the additional income, over and above what is in the Medium Term Financial Plan being delivered; and to delegate authority to the Interim Director of Finance and Resources to enter into the consequential contractual arrangements.
During debate of this item the following were the main points made:
· the proposed Hub would bring organisations together to benefit people of the town
· whilst in support of the Hub concept some members expressed the view that as consultation and petitions had demonstrated public opposition to relocation of the library then this should not proceed
· There were alternative uses for the additional £1m proposed to be allocated to the project, which could be applied to dealing with the current financial challenges. Alternatives suggested for spending included improving the housing stock and increasing provision of community facilities
· Lessons should have been learned from the Tech1 project and applied to the Town hall refurbishment
· Some members expressed concern that the current proposed total cost of £10.6m would increase still further, which in their view would put the Council’s finances in jeopardy, and sought guarantees that there would be no further increases
· A member highlighted that financial implications in the report to the Executive Committee had identified £400k annual savings as a result of the Hub. It ... view the full minutes text for item 37