Agenda and minutes

Council
Monday, 18th November, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

Items
No. Item

48.

Welcome

Minutes:

The Deputy Mayor welcomed all those present to the meeting.

49.

Election of the Mayor for the period 18th November 2019 to 26th May 2020

Minutes:

Councillor Michael Chalk was elected Mayor of the Borough for the remainder of the municipal year, following which he made the statutory declaration of acceptance of office and was then invested with the Chain of Office by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Gareth Prosser.

 

RESOLVED that

 

Councillor Michael Chalk be elected Mayor of the Borough of Redditch to serve until the next Annual Meeting of the Council.

50.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

51.

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.

52.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that

 

the minutes of the meeting of Council held on Monday 23rd September 2019 be approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Mayor.

53.

Announcements

To consider Announcements under Procedure Rule 10:

 

a)           Mayor’s Announcements

 

b)           The Leader’s Announcements

 

c)           Chief Executive’s Announcements.

 

 

Minutes:

a)        The Mayor’s Announcements

 

The Mayor confirmed that his wife would be his consort. 

 

Members were advised that a list of civic engagements that had been attended by the former Mayor and the Deputy Mayor since the previous meeting of Council had been tabled at the meeting for consideration (Appendices 1 and 2).

 

Councillor Chalk thanked the previous Mayor, Councillor Roger Bennett, who had stood down from the position and, on behalf of the Council, expressed gratitude for the work he had carried out as an ambassador for the town.

 

b)        The Leader’s Announcements

 

The Leader advised that Thursday 12th December 2019 would be the deadline for submissions in respect of membership of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

 

c)         The Chief Executive’s Announcements

 

The Chief Executive confirmed that he had no announcements to make on this occasion.

 

RESOLVED that

 

the Council formally express, and record, its gratitude to Councillor Roger Bennett for his excellent service to the town over the last 6 months as Mayor.

 

54.

Questions on Notice (Procedure Rule 9)

Minutes:

There were no questions on notice.

55.

Motions on Notice (Procedure Rule 11)

Minutes:

There were no motions on notice.

56.

Executive Committee pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Council discussed recommendations arising from meetings of the Executive Committee held on Tuesday 29th October 2019 and Monday 11th November 2019.  During consideration of these minutes the following matters were debated in detail:

 

a)        Tenancy Recharge Policy

 

The Tenancy Recharge Policy had been introduced to provide the Council with an opportunity to recharge tenants and former tenants for damage caused to Council properties.  The policy had been introduced to complement the new Tenancy Agreement and Handbook, which had been approved by the Executive Committee in October and which was designed to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Council, as landlord, and the tenant respectively.

 

There was general consensus that where a tenant had wilfully caused damage s/he should be charged for any work required to resolve that damage.  Concerns were expressed that some tenants might be required to pay for general wear and tear as well as the level of consultation that had been undertaken with tenants and residents.  Furthermore, concerns were raised that there was no right to appeal and that some tenants on low incomes would struggle to pay for repair works.  On the other hand Members noted that the policy stated that the tenant would be recharged in cases of wilful neglect or malicious damage and where it was the responsibility of the tenant for work to be undertaken. 

 

Reference was made to the financial costs involved in undertaking the work and the impact that this had on the Council’s budget position in the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).  Members also noted that it was standard practice for both housing associations and private sector landlords to recharge tenants in cases where the tenant had neglected or caused malicious damage to a property.  This policy would ensure Council tenants were treated in a similar way.

 

b)        Redditch Town Centre Regeneration (Community Hub and Railway Quarter)

 

The proposals in respect of the regeneration of Redditch town centre were debated in some detail.  Members noted that originally plans had been brought forward in respect of this matter in March 2018 and had subsequently been amended in August that year.  The proposals were at a preparatory stage and a number of options remained available for redevelopment of both the community hub and the railway quarter.

 

Reference was made to the most appropriate location for the community hub and it was noted that no decision had yet been taken in respect of this matter.  There was general consensus that regeneration of Redditch town centre would have a positive impact on the town’s reputation and civic pride. 

 

Members also discussed the funding that would be available to support the regeneration of Redditch town centre.  Redditch had been announced as one of 100 towns that would be eligible to receive up to £25 million in funding for regeneration of the town centre.  The Council would need to submit an investment plan by the summer of 2020 in order to secure some of this funding.

 

Concerns were raised about the time that had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 56.

57.

Regulatory Committees pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a recommendation arising from a meeting of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee held on 31st October 2019 in respect of Local Government Ethical Standards. This proposed changes to the Members’ Code of Conduct and would include new features, such as references to bullying on social media.

 

RESOLVED that

 

the changes to the Code of Conduct to reflect the CSPL Best Practice Recommendations be approved and that authority be delegated to the Head of Legal, Equalities and Democratic Services to update the constitution accordingly.

58.

Political Balance (report to follow) pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Any proposed changes to Committee appointments, if required, will also be considered under this item.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report setting out the proposed political balance of the Council’s Committees, which had been produced following changes at the Council. A list of nominations to Committees and Sub-Committees was tabled at the meeting (Appendix 3).

 

RESOLVED that

 

1)        the Political balance of the Committees of the Council be agreed as set out in paragraph 3.6;

 

2)      the arrangement where the seats on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee are not allocated in accordance with the political balance requirements be continued;

 

3)      the arrangement where the seats on the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel are not allocated in accordance with the political balance requirements be continued;

 

4)      appointments by political group leaders to the places on each Committee etc. be noted;

 

5)      the Council appoints the non-aligned Councillor to places on Committees; and

 

6)     the Council appoints Chairs and Vice-Chairs to the Committees and other bodies as set out in Appendix 3 to the minutes.

 

59.

Outside Body Appointments

To note that Councillor Julian Grubb is replacing Councillor Juliette Brunner as relevant Portfolio Holder on the Worcestershire Corporate Parenting Board.

 

Minutes:

Members noted that Councillor Julian Grubb had been nominated to replace Councillor Juliet Brunner as the Council’s representative on the Worcestershire Corporate Parenting Board in his capacity as relevant Portfolio Holder.

 

RESOLVED that

 

Councillor Julian Grubb’s appointment to the Worcestershire Corporate Parenting Board be noted.

60.

Urgent Business - Record of Decisions pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To note the following decision taken in accordance with paragraph 5 of Part 9 of the constitution since the last ordinary meeting of the Council.

 

Worcestershire Business Rates Pool 2020/21

 

Officers requested urgent approval of Redditch Borough Council joining the Worcestershire Business Rates Pool for 2020/21, following the recent Government announcement that the Worcestershire Business Rates Pilot Pool will not continue into 2020/21.

 

The reason for urgency is the announcement made in the Settlement by Government that the current Worcestershire Pilot Pool will not continue into 2020/21 and therefore a decision needed to be made urgently to join the Worcestershire Pool to ensure that any share of Business Rates growth for 20/21 is not returned to Central Government but remains in Worcestershire.

 

RESOLVED

 

to delegate Authority for the decision on the 2020/21 Business Rate Pool final arrangements to the Executive Director Finance and Resources in agreement with the Portfolio Holder for Finance and the Leader.

 

   (Executive decision)

 

Minutes:

The Leader explained that there had been one urgent decision taken since the previous meeting of Council.  This decision had been taken in respect of the Council’s membership of the Worcestershire Business Rates Pool 2020/21.  The government had announced that the Worcestershire business rates pilot pool would not be continuing in 2020/21.  Enquiries had been made about the potential to join a Greater Birmingham and Solihull business rates pool but Officers had been advised that this option would not be available in 2020/21.  The Council had therefore opted to join the Worcestershire Business Rates Pool in 2020/21 but a decision on this subject had been required before the date of the Council meeting.

61.

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 was no general urgent business for Members’ consideration on this occasion.

Appendix 1 - Previous Mayor's Announcements pdf icon PDF 394 KB

Additional documents: