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  • Agenda and minutes

    Venue: Council Chamber Town Hall

    Contact: Democratic Services 

    Items
    No. Item

    82.

    Welcome

    Minutes:

    The Mayor opened the meeting by welcoming all those present.  In line with the Mayor’s theme of mental health and wellbeing for young people the Mayor invited the Reverend Paul Lawlor, from St Stephen’s Church, to speak to Council on the subject of Mindfulness.

     

    Reverend Lawlor explained that mindfulness had arisen in the 1970s and traced back to the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American Professor Emeritus of Medicine.  Whilst Mindfulness was not a religious practice it was informed by Buddhist principles, particularly in respect of meditation.  Those present at the meeting were encouraged to relax and to concentrate on their breathing and were advised that Mindfulness was designed to enable people to contemplate life in the present moment in a non-judgemental manner.  There were benefits to be attained from practising Mindfulness, particularly in respect of one’s mental health and wellbeing.  Practitioners could follow a number of self-help books, though many people preferred to participate in group activities led by a trained teacher.

    83.

    Apologies for Absence

    Minutes:

    An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Antonia Pulsford.

    84.

    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.

    85.

    Minutes pdf icon PDF 295 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that

     

    the minutes of the meeting of Council held on Monday 19th February 2018 be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

    86.

    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 announced that she had participated in the following civic events since the previous meeting of Council:

     

    ·                A visit to St Augustine’s High School to welcome a number of Spanish teachers.

    ·                Attended the Showmen’s Guild Annual Dinner.

    ·                Attended the Inner Wheel Annual Fellowship luncheon.

    ·                Visited Hilda Clulow on the occasion of her 110th birthday party.

    ·                Attended the West Midlands Ambulance Trust’s Awards.

    ·                Hosted her civic dinner.

     

    The Mayor took the opportunity to thank Councillor Nina Wood-Ford, in her capacity as Deputy Mayor, for her help and support.

     

    During consideration of this matter the Mayor also announced that four Councillors would be standing down at the forthcoming local elections; Councillors Gay Hopkins, Jane Potter, Rachael Smith and David Thain, each of whom spoke in turn about their experiences as Borough Councillors.

     

    Councillor Rachael Smith commented that she had enjoyed the four years that she had served as a Councillor, which she described as the experience of a lifetime.  She thanked officers and fellow elected Members for their support during this period.

     

    Councillor David Thain paid tribute to the residents of Crabbs Cross, the ward that he had represented for four years.  Thanks were also extended to fellow Members for their support, to the Mayor and to the Editor of the Redditch Standard. 

     

    Councillor Hopkins  commented that during her time serving as a Councillor she had been proud of a number of episodes, including serving as the Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Tourism at a time when the redevelopment of the Abbey Stadium took place, her involvement in work on the introduction of the Springs Statue in the town centre and serving as Deputy Mayor of the Borough.  Councillor Hopkins also noted that she had enjoyed participating in scrutiny activities and was particularly proud to have chaired the Improving Recycling Rates Task Group and a review of access for people with disabilities to taxis in Redditch as well as her participation in the LGB&T Scrutiny Task Group, which had resulted in the establishment of a local community group and recognition in an awards programme.  Councillor Hopkins thanked officers and Members for their support and extended particular thanks to her family, especially her husband, for their help.

     

    Councillor Potter commented that she had enjoyed serving the people of Astwood Bank and Feckenham.  Highlights during her time on the Council had included serving as the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee.  She concluded by thanking Members and Officers for their support over the four years that she had served on the Council.

     

    Following these speeches a number of tributes were paid by all Members to those Councillors who would be standing down.  In particular the hard work and dedication of the four Councillors to the Borough of Redditch was highlighted and Members noted that they would all be missed.

     

    b)        The Leader’s Announcements

     

    The Leader announced that he had participated in the following activities since the previous meeting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

    87.

    Questions on Notice (Procedure Rule 9) pdf icon PDF 131 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

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

     

    a)        Question from Ms A Drane to the Leader

     

    Ms Drane asked the following question of the Leader:

     

    I attended the Executive Committee last week.  It was awe-inspiring to hear of the innovative regeneration plans for Redditch Town Centre.

     

    A considerable amount of time and obvious networking has gone into creating that vision and document.

     

    Having been a disability consultant and a Trustee for Scope for over 15 years how will the council ensure that seamless accessibility is achieved in all aspects of the design of the regeneration ~ thus celebrating the culture and diversity that disabled people bring to any community ~ whether their impairments be physical sensory or intellectual?”

     

    The Leader responded as follows:

     

    “Thank you for your question.

     

    Let me start by saying that these are only proposals and a concept at this stage; however, having said that I can say that I do agree with you about the importance of access for all to buildings. You will be aware we have an access group in Redditch.  One of the Borough’s strategic key priorities is ‘Help me to Live my Life Independently’.

     

    The Council will ensure that seamless accessibility is achieved in all aspects of the design of the regeneration by compliance with legislation and through consultation with residents and negotiations with developers.

     

    It should be noted that any new building developments relating to the regeneration of the town centre, like all similar developments, would be subject to the relevant requirements laid down in the building regulations.

     

    The Council’s Building Control team will be involved in ensuring these standards are met thus providing a fully inclusive space.

     

    In due course if there are planning applications received about town centre redevelopment proposals these will be the subject of public consultation for a minimum of three weeks.

     

    If you would like to receive weekly details of planning applications received by the council please let Ruth Bamford, Head of Planning and Regeneration, know by emailing r.bamford@bromsgroveandredditch.gov.uk ”.

     

    Ms Drane asked the a supplementary question about the Redditch Access Group which she noted met regularly at Redditch Town Hall at 10.30 am.  Ms Drane expressed concerns that the timing of these meetings might prevent many interested parties from attending and she asked for consideration to be given to changing the timing of these meetings.

     

    The Leader responded as follows by noting that the Redditch Access Group was an independent body, though was currently chaired by a Councillor.  Ms Drane was advised that the Leader would notify the group of her concerns.

     

    During consideration of this supplementary question Councillor Anita Clayton was provided with an opportunity to speak in her capacity as Chair of Disability Action Redditch.  Ms Drain was advised that this matter had been raised at a recent meeting of the group and would be reconsidered at their Annual Meeting.  The outcomes of these discussions would be reported back for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87.

    88.

    Motions on Notice (Procedure Rule 11)

    No Motions on Notice have been submitted for consideration at this meeting.

     

    Minutes:

    There were no Motions on Notice for consideration at this meeting.

    89.

    Executive Committee pdf icon PDF 297 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Leisure and Cultural Services Business Case

     

    Members noted a number of matters during a lengthy debate in respect of the Leisure and Cultural Services Business Case, including the following:

     

    ·                The Options Appraisal, considered at a previous Council meeting, which had led to Members selecting a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC) as the preferred model of service delivery.

    ·                The feedback that had been received from residents in relation to the different options for service delivery, which had highlighted a desire for services to meet the needs of the community and for there to continue to be some Council involvement.

    ·                The recommendations on this subject that had been proposed at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 5th March.  It was confirmed that the Executive Committee had deferred making a decision on these recommendations, so these needed to be determined by Council.

    ·                On the one hand some Members raised concerns that the recommendations from Overview and Scrutiny, particularly in relation to the Shareholders Committee, were premature and would be more suitable for discussion alongside the detailed business plan in July 2018.

    ·                On the other hand other Members suggested that the recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee would enhance the Council’s authority over the LATC and ensure that this operated in line with good business practices.

    ·                The previous work undertaken by the Provision of Leisure Services Short Sharp Review in 2015, which had concluded that provision of services by a Trust, would be the most appropriate service delivery model for the Council moving forward.

    ·                The leisure centres in other parts of the country that had been visited by the scrutiny group.

    ·                The work that had subsequently been undertaken by relevant officers and the Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Tourism, which had included visiting further leisure centres across the country.

    ·                The model of service delivery for Leisure and Cultural Services that had been adopted by neighbouring authorities in Worcestershire.

    ·                The relatively recent change to rules in respect of TECKAL companies.

     

    Council Housing Allocations Policy 2018 Update

     

    Following the Executive Committee meeting held on 6th March 2018 Officers had, at the request of Members, undertaken some research in respect of the potential implications of the policy for kinship carers.  Based on this research Officers had concluded that it would be appropriate to include reference to kinship carers in the policy and they were therefore proposing an additional amendment to paragraph 32 of the policy.  The proposed additional amendment to the policy was tabled for Members’ consideration at the meeting and this amendment was as detailed in the box below:

     

     

     

     

    32.      KINSHIP CARERS

     

    Kinship Care is an arrangement where a child who cannot be cared

    for by their parent(s) goes to live with a relative or a family friend.

    Those applicants who are kinship carers will have the child added to

    their application providing that they have official parental responsibility

    or are confirmed Kinship carers by Children’s Social Care.

     

     

    There was general consensus amongst Members that this amendment to include reference  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

    90.

    Regulatory Committees pdf icon PDF 303 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Council considered minutes from meetings of the Planning Committee held on 17th January and 14th February 2018 and the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee held on 1st February 2018.

     

    Officers confirmed that the recommendations detailed in the minutes of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee had already been resolved at meetings of Council, on 19th February 2018, and the Executive Committee, on 6th March 2018 respectively.

     

    RESOLVED that

     

    1)        the minutes of the meetings of the Planning Committee held on 17th January and 14th February 2018 be received an adopted; and

     

    2)        the minutes of the meeting of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee held on 1st February 2018 be received and adopted.

    91.

    Grants Panel - Recommendations pdf icon PDF 122 KB

    Council is asked to consider and approve recommendations arising from the meeting of the Grants Panel held on Wednesday 7th March 2018. 

     

    (These recommendations are being reported to Council rather than to the Executive Committee to ensure that a final decision can be taken in respect of these grants before the next meeting of the Executive Committee, which is not due to take place until 5th June 2018).

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that

     

    the Grants for 2018/19 Help Me Run a Successful Voluntary Sector Business - £50k Relaunch be awarded to the Bromsgrove and Redditch Network to the value of £5,600.

    92.

    Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 9 MB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Due to the late hour the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Annual Report was considered in the absence of the Chair of the Committee.

     

    RESOLVED that

     

    the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2017/18 be received and noted.

    93.

    Review of the Place Partnership

    NOTE: the report contains exempt information which will only be made available to Members and relevant Officers. Should Members wish to discuss any exempt information contained in the report in any detail, a decision will be required to exclude the public and press from the meeting on the grounds that exempt information is likely to be divulged, as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12 (a) of Section 100 1 of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006.

     

    (Paragraph 3: Subject to the “public interest” test, information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information).)

     

     

     

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    Officers presented a report in respect of a review of the Place Partnership and highlighted the following.

     

    ·                The report needed to be presented at Council for Members’ consideration as a decision needed to be taken on this matter before the end of the financial year and there were no further Executive Committee meetings scheduled to take place in March.

    ·                It had not been possible to present a report on this subject for Members’ consideration prior to this date as meetings with the Place Partnership had continued to be held to discuss this matter until very recently.

    ·                Redditch Borough Council had transferred all of the expert Property Services staff to Worcestershire County Council under shared service agreements in 2010.

    ·                These employees had subsequently been transferred to the Place Partnership in 2015 when the company was established.

    ·                The original business case for the Place Partnership had had a number of key objectives including cost reduction, service transformation and business growth.

    ·                The partnership had initially been established to operate in line with a three year business plan and all partners had been required to commit to the partnership for that length of time. Organisations could subsequently sign up to receive services from the partnership on a rolling annual basis.

    ·                The Managing Director had presented an updated business plan covering a five year period up to 2020/21 which all partners were being asked to sign up to.

    ·                The Place Partnership was aiming to make savings over the five year period covered by the new business plan. 

    ·                To achieve the proposed savings the Place Partnership Ltd would need to develop the business and achieve significant levels of efficiency savings.

    ·                The Place Partnership Ltd had recognised there were some problems and had published an Improvement Plan in January 2018. 

    ·                Correspondence received from the Managing Director of the partnership in respect of the Council’s future working relationship with the partnership had been provided for Members’ consideration.

     

    Following presentation of the report a number of matters were discussed in detail by Members:

     

    ·                The fact that Worcester City Council was also considering its relationship with the Place Partnership Ltd.

    ·                The financial implications of remaining a member of the partnership and the length of time that the Council would be contractually obliged to work with the partnership should the authority sign the five year business plan.

    ·                The role of the Council as a shareholder and representation at shareholder meetings.

    ·                The work that had been undertaken by the Place Partnership Ltd in respect of the One Public Estate exercise.  Members were advised that the technical expertise of the staff was very good.

    ·                The one day a week of officer time allocated by the Council to the Place Partnership and what this entailed.  Officers explained that this Officer provided support to the Head of Customer Access and Financial Support to enable the Council to manage the authority’s working relationship with the partnership.

     

    RESOLVED that

     

    under S.100 I of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93.

    94.

    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.

    95.

    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.

     

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