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  • Agenda and minutes

    Venue: Council Chamber Town Hall

    Contact: Democratic Services 

    Items
    No. Item

    62.

    Welcome

    The Mayor will open the meeting and welcome all present.

     

    During this item, in line with the Mayor’s focus on mental health and wellbeing this year, Councillor David Thain will be invited to deliver a short speech in respect of mental health.

    Minutes:

    The Mayor announced the recent deaths of former Councillor, Brenda Quinney, as well as a long-serving member of staff, Mrs Jennifer Delorenzo, and led the Council in paying tribute to them both by observing a minute’s silence.

     

    The Leader explained that the flag at the Town Hall had been flown at half-mast as a mark of respect for Mrs Quinney.  Mrs Quinney had served on the Council representing Batchley and Brockhill ward, from 2008 to 2014, having been originally elected in a by-election.  During her tenure as a Councillor Mrs Quinney had been an active scrutiny Member, having served on the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee as well as various Task Groups investigating Redditch Market, action that could be taken to promote Redditch and access for people with disabilities to the Borough.  Mrs Quinney had also served as the Council’s representative on the Worcestershire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC).

     

    Councillor Brandon Clayton also paid his respects to former Councillor Brenda Quinney on behalf of his group.  Mrs Quinney had been passionate about Redditch and had had a clear view of the action that could be taken to improve the lives of residents.  Due to her background in commerce Mrs Quinney had also made a valuable contribution to the economy of the Borough.  Mrs Quinney would be sadly missed by all who knew her.

     

    Tributes were also paid to Mrs Delorenzo.  The Leader noted that she had worked in the Strategic Housing Team and Customer Serves.  During this time Mrs Delorenzo had presented reports at Committee meetings and provided invaluable advice to elected Members.  The Leader proposed that a letter should be sent from him and the Mayor, on behalf of the Council, expressing Members’ condolences to Mrs Delorenzo’s family.

     

    Following these discussions the Mayor explained that she had invited Councillor David Thain to perform some poetry which he had written.  Each of the three poems, entitled ‘Depression’, ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’ and ‘Don’t Walk on by’, related to the Mayor’s theme of mental health and wellbeing.

    63.

    Apologies

    Minutes:

    Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Juliet Brunner and Pattie Hill.

    64.

    Declarations of Interest

    To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.

     

    Minutes:

    There were no declarations of interest.

    65.

    Minutes of the meeting of Council held on 20th November 2017 pdf icon PDF 222 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that

     

    the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 20th November 2017 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

    66.

    Announcements

    To consider Announcements under Procedure Rule 10:

     

    a)           Mayor’s Announcements

     

    b)           The Leader’s Announcements

     

    c)           Chief Executive’s Announcements.

     

     

    Minutes:

    a)        Mayor’s Announcements

     

    The Mayor circulated a list of civic events which she and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Nina Wood-Ford, had attended since the previous meeting of Council (Appendix 1).  The Mayor took the opportunity to thank the Deputy Mayor for her hard work and support during the period.

     

    b)        The Leader’s Announcements

     

    The Leader advised that he had attended a number of events since the previous meeting of Council.  In addition to those which had been highlighted by the Mayor in her announcements the Leader provided the following updates to Council:

     

    ·                The Leader had attended the carols at the bandstand event, which had transferred to St Stephen’s Church due to the inclement weather.

    ·                In addition the Leader had attended the Bromsgrove and Redditch Welcomes Refugees Christmas Party, the Hereford and Worcester Sports Awards in Worcester and the Redditch Gudwara at Ridgeway School.

    ·                There had been a bench dedication service for the 37 Signal Regiment at Plymouth Road Memorial Gardens which the Leader had attended.

    ·                The Annual Conference of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) had been held and this had been attended by the Leader.

    ·                The Leader had participated in the Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations.  The guest speaker in 2018 had been Mr Carl Wilkins who had spoken about his experiences during the genocide in Rwanda.

    ·                Reservist Major Sandy Hennis, from Redditch, had participated in the British Army’s Expedition Ice Maiden.  This was an all-women initiative which had involved the participants crossing the Antarctic.  The Leader had sent Major Hennis a letter of congratulations and had invited her to the Town Hall to provide an opportunity to congratulate her in person.

    ·                The Leader had attended an Economic Development seminar which had been held at the Palace Theatre and had been organised by the North Worcestershire Economic Development Unit.  This formed part of the “opening doors” initiative, designed to provide local school children with an opportunity to find out about different careers and areas of industry.

     

    During this period the Peer Review Challenge had taken place.  This challenge had been organised by the Local Government Association (LGA) and involved senior officers and Councillors from other local authorities and the LGA reviewing Redditch Borough Council and Bromsgrove District Council from 22nd to 24th January 2018.  Members had been invited to attend a number of the sessions that had been held as part of this process and it was anticipated that a report detailing the outcomes of the challenge would be available for Members to consider in late February.

     

    The latest review of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (WAHT) had been published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on 17th January 2018.  This had identified some improvements in service delivery, though the trust continued to be classified as inadequate.  In response to this report the Leader had issued a press release calling for an opportunity to meet with representatives of both the trust and Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).  It was understood that there would be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.

    67.

    Questions on Notice (Procedure Rule 9.2) pdf icon PDF 132 KB

    Minutes:

    The Leader responded to two questions that had been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.2.

     

    a)        Question from Councillor Antonia Pulsford

     

    Councillor Pulsford asked the following question:

     

    “Have other consultancies besides NW Environmental Ltd. been asked for their proposals for upgrading Arrow Valley Park, and if so, when will Council see theirpresentations?”

     

    The Leader responded as follows:

     

    Thank you for your question

     

    There were no other consultancies engaged in support of a funding application. NW Environmental Ltd were jointly procured by the Environment Agency and Redditch Borough Council competitively, against 10 other companies, all of whom had a successful history of the Heritage Lottery Fund bid process. All tenders were assessed on their ability to deliver based on proposed project management, relevant experience and project delivery. Due to the joint funding and sensitivities around the competitive tendering process the financial details could not be made available to the public at this stage.

     

    No other consultancies were engaged for their opinions as this would require further expense.  However if the Borough was successful at stage 1, assistance would be required to develop the application to a stage two bid submission and NW Environmental Ltd would be able to further tender for this work at the appropriate time.

     

    Due to the speculative nature in the preparation of the ‘First Stage’ application (to be submitted in March 2018) to the Heritage Lottery Fund for Arrow Valley Country Park, user stakeholders’ opinions had been sought to determine outline views on the viability of a funding submission. This was in line with the funding body application requirements. These stakeholders had received feedback and letters of support for the outline principles of a stage 1 application sought.

     

    The stage 1 application had been jointly funded by the Environment Agency and the Borough. The current speculative data was not for the public domain at this stage as it was a provisional baseline data set to inform a detailed formal and costed Stage 2 submission. There would be the need to have a full public discussion through the democratic process if the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the Council a ‘Stage 1 application’.

     

    Redditch Borough Council with its funding partner The Environment Agency, sought professional assistance in securing a first round submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund (for the current financial year). Following advice from Heritage Lottery Fund Officers believed that the Borough could have a sound foundation for a submission for external grant aid via the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘funding programme’.  However, in order to give the Borough the strongest possible chance of success, Officers identified a requirement to review key elements of the data to ensure that it reflected the recent changes to the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘funding objectives’.

     

    The changes in the key outcomes for Heritage Lottery Fund funding focused more on people and communities, and it was these elements - amongst a number of other issues which needed to be addressed within the application. The application process was in two  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.

    68.

    Motions on Notice (Procedure Rule 11) pdf icon PDF 161 KB

    Minutes:

    a)        Transition Support for Young People Leaving Care in Redditch

     

    A Notice of Motion had been submitted by Councillor Tom Baker-Price in respect of transition support for young people leaving care in Redditch.  This was seconded by Councillor Jane Potter.

     

    In proposing the motion Councillor Baker-Price highlighted the difficulties experienced by many young people who left the care system, including the risks they faced in respect of falling into poverty due to their limited access to support networks. By reducing the net liability for Council Tax of care leavers until their 21st birthday, and by introducing a transitional discretionary discount scheme to enable reduction of liability for Council Tax up to and including zero from their 21st to their 25th birthdays, it was suggested that the Council could help to nurture independence amongst young care leavers.

     

    The Children’s Commissioner for England had suggested that these types of schemes could be helpful for young people leaving care.  Worcestershire County Council had recently considered a Notice of Motion on a similar subject and this had received support.  Motions proposing similar reviews had also been presented for Members’ consideration at Wyre Forest District Council and Worcester City Council and these had been welcomed.  It was estimated that if this type of scheme was introduced across the whole of Worcestershire the cost would be £17,000 per annum.

     

    In seconding the motion Councillor Jane Potter noted that all local authorities, not just the County Council, had legal responsibilities in respect of care leavers.  Young people leaving care could experience a difficult start in life and it was important to ensure that they continued to have access to sufficient support into their early adulthood.

     

    During consideration of the Motion an amendment was proposed by Councillor Mark Shurmer which was circulated in writing at the meeting.  In proposing this amendment Councillor Shurmer commented that he recognised the vulnerability of young people leaving care and their need to have access to appropriate support.  However, Members were advised that there were additional implications in respect of the proposed changes to Council Tax liabilities for care leavers which he felt merited further investigation.  In this context Councillor Shurmer was proposing that the subject should be reviewed in detail by the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, with the findings to be reported back to Council in six months’ time.

     

    Councillor Shurmer also noted that not every local authority that had received a proposal to introduce a similar scheme had agreed to do so.  Members were advised that this could create a postcode lottery in terms of the support available to care leavers across the country.  To address this Councillor Shurmer was also proposing that the Council should write to the Government requesting that consideration be given to introducing national legislation that would assist care leavers.

     

    In seconding the amendment Councillor John Fisher concurred that it was important to provide appropriate support to young care leavers.  The proposed scrutiny review would provide the Council with an opportunity to learn more  ...  view the full minutes text for item 68.

    69.

    Executive Committee pdf icon PDF 75 KB

    To receive the minutes from the meeting of the Executive Committee held on 16th January 2018 and to consider the recommendations for the following items:

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Flexible Homelessness Support Grant (Including Homelessness Reduction Act new Burdens Funding)

     

    Members noted that the Homelessness Reduction Act would result in significant changes to the ways that local authorities supported people who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The new legislation placed a greater emphasis on preventing homelessness from occurring and Councils would need to respond accordingly.

     

    Fees and Charges 2018/19

     

    The Leader advised that many of the fees and charges had increased by 3.9 per cent, though some had increased by more than this, others by less and no increases had been proposed for charges for some services.  Where increases over 3.9 per cent had been proposed this was to ensure that full cost recovery could occur.

     

    Acquisition and Investment Strategy

     

    Council was informed by the Leader that this would enable the Council to invest in land and assets both within the Borough and in locations contiguous to the borders of Redditch.  However, no projects were currently being investigated.

     

    Finance Monitoring Quarter 2 2017/18

     

    Clarification was requested regarding the term “virement”.  Members were advised that this referred to the process by which funds might be moved from one budget to another.

     

    RESOLVED that

     

    the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee held on 16th January 2018 be received and all recommendations adopted.

    70.

    Regulatory Committees pdf icon PDF 244 KB

    To formally receive the minutes of the following meetings of the Council’s Regulatory Committees:

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Council considered the minutes from meetings of the Licensing Committee held on 6th November 2017 and the Planning Committee held on 15th November and 13th December 2017.

     

    RESOLVED that

     

    1)        the minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 6th November be received and adopted; and

     

    2)        the minutes of the meetings of the Planning Committee held on 15th November and 13th December 2017 be received and adopted.

    71.

    Urgent Business - Record of Decisions

    To note any decisions taken in accordance with the Council’s Urgency Procedure Rules (Part 6, Paragraph 5 and/or Part 7, Paragraph 15 of the Constitution), as specified.

     

    (None to date).

    Minutes:

    There were no urgent decisions to note.

    72.

    Urgent Business - general (if any)

    To consider any additional items exceptionally agreed by the Mayor as Urgent Business in accordance with the powers vested in him by virtue of Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

     

    (This power should be exercised only in cases where there are genuinely special circumstances which require consideration of an item which has not previously been published on the Order of Business for the meeting.)

    Minutes:

    There were no separate items of urgent business to consider at this meeting.

    Minutes Appendix 1 pdf icon PDF 24 KB

     

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