Venue: During the Covid-19 outbreak Committee meetings are taking place on Microsoft Teams
Contact: Democratic Services
The Mayor welcomed all those present and outlined how the virtual meeting would proceed.
Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Debbie Chance and Gemma Monaco.
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.
There were no declarations of interest.
the minutes of the meeting of Council held on Monday, 25th January 2021 be approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Mayor.
To consider Announcements under Procedure Rule 10:
a) Mayor’s Announcements
b) The Leader’s Announcements
c) Chief Executive’s Announcements.
The following announcements were made at the meeting:
a) Mayor’s Announcements
The Mayor advised that he had no announcements to make on this occasion.
b) The Leader’s Announcements
The Leader explained that he had attended a number of meetings of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) since the previous meeting of Council. However, there were no detailed updates to provide to Council at this time.
c) Chief Executive’s Announcements
The Chief Executive confirmed that he had no announcements to make at the meeting.
Council considered minutes from the meeting of the Executive Committee held on Tuesday, 16th February 2021 and recommendations from the meeting of the Executive Committee held on Monday, 22nd February 2021 directly before Council.
The following items were discussed:
Pay Policy Statement 2021/22
The Pay Policy Statement 2021/22 was considered in some detail. Members commented that the report was required to set out the pay for staff employed at all levels of the organisation, from the Chief Executive to the lowest paid staff. Reference was made to the pay increase that had been awarded to staff employed by Redditch Borough Council and this was welcomed in recognition of the hard work of staff during the pandemic.
During consideration of this item concerns were raised about the potential impact of public sector pay freezesmoving forward. However, Members also noted that the proposals outlined an increase to the wages paid to staff employed by the Council that was above the level of inflation.
Medium Term Financial Plan 2021/22 to 2023/24
Council considered the proposed Medium Term Financial Plan 2021/22 to 2023/24. Members commented that a balanced budget position had been secured for 2021/22 despite the financial challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic and the additional workload that had been generated for Council staff. Officers working in the Financial Services team were thanked for their hard work in respect of balancing the budget.
In proposing the recommendations detailed in the report, the Leader outlined an alteration to the sixth recommendation in the report which was seconded by Councillor Mike Rouse. This alteration was as follows:
“The net general fund revenue budget be approved:
2021/22 £10.467 million
2022/23 £10.064 million
2023/24 £10.051 million”
This alteration was adopted.
During consideration of this item, Councillor Bill Hartnett proposed an alternative budget. This alternative budget was seconded by Councillor Greg Chance.
Members were advised that in the alternative budget recommendations 1 to 8 in the report would remain as detailed in the agenda. However, the alternative budget included altered wording and figures in respect of recommendations 9 and 10, as follows:
“9) Approval of the increase of the Council Tax per Band D at 0.7% for 2021/22; and
10) Approval of the drawdown from balances of £42k for 2021/22.”
In proposing the alternative budget, Councillor Hartnett explained that a one-year settlement had been outlined for Members’ consideration. The additional information that had been requested in respect of the budget at the meeting of the Executive Committee held on 16th February 2021 had helped to inform the content of the alternative budget. Consideration had also been given to the financial position of local government and the need for greater certainty to be provided in respect of Council finances moving forward. A key concern had been the impact of Covid-19 on local residents and businesses, particularly people who had been furloughed or had been made unemployed as a result of the pandemic, many of whom were struggling financially as a consequence. To address this, the alternative ... view the full minutes text for item 69.
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).
Council was advised that two urgent decisions had been taken since the previous meeting in January 2021. The first of these decisions related to funding for action that could be taken to enable the decarbonisation of the Greenlands Business Centre and Redditch Town Hall. The second urgent decision had granted Members a dispensation to participate in the debate and vote in respect of the Medium Term Financial Plan 2021/22 and the Council Tax Resolutions.
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.)
There was no further urgent business for consideration on this occasion.