Agenda and minutes

Council - Monday, 11th April, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item




The Mayor welcomed all those present to the meeting.




Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Michael Chalk, Peter Fleming, Alex Fogg, Wanda King, Emma Marshall, Nyear Nazir and Craig Warhurst.




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.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 541 KB




the minutes of the meeting of Council held on Monday 21st February 2022 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)          The Mayor’s Announcements


The Mayor explained that he had been unable to attend civic engagements for a period of time due to experiencing the symptoms of long Covid.  However, he had attended a performance of 42nd Street at the Palace Theatre, which had been performed by the Studley Operatic Society.


During consideration of this item, Members congratulated Councillor Alex Fogg and his partner on the birth of their baby daughter, Felicity, the previous day.  Council was informed that both mother and baby were doing well.


On behalf of the Council, the Mayor thanked those Members who were due to stand down at the forthcoming local elections in May 2022.  They were thanked for their hard work and public service during their time as Councillors.


Members joined the Mayor in paying tribute to the Councillors who were due to stand down.  In respect of Councillor Debbie Chance, it was commented that she had been a long-serving Member who had acted as both a Portfolio Holder and the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee during her time as a Councillor.  In relation to Councillor Julian Grubb, Members commented that during his term of office he had been the Deputy Mayor, a Portfolio Holder, the Vice Chair of the Planning Committee and the authority’s Armed Forces Champion. 


b)          The Leader’s Announcements


The Leader added his tributes to the Councillors who were due to retire at the forthcoming local elections.


c)          The Chief Executive’s Announcements


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




Membership of the Council

To note that Councillor Jenny Wheeler resigned as a Councillor with effect from 14th March 2022.




The Mayor announced that former Councillor, Jenny Wheeler, had resigned as a Member with immediate effect from 14th March 2022.  On behalf of the Council, the Mayor thanked Mrs Wheeler for her hard work and public service during her two terms of office serving as a Councillor.


During consideration of this item, both group leaders paid tribute to former Councillor Wheeler on behalf of the Council.  Members were advised that Mrs Wheeler had been in the unusual position of having been both Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Borough of Redditch after previously having served as the consort of another Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Borough of Redditch, her husband, former Councillor Steve Wheeler, in previous years.  Council noted that during her time in office, former Councillor Wheeler had served in a range of additional positions, including Chair of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee, Chair of the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel, Vice Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Chair of both the Budget and the Performance Scrutiny Working Groups.  She had also been an active member of a number of scrutiny Task Groups over the years.  Members commented that she had always been inclusive and worked constructively with Members from all parties.  There was general consensus that she was a lovely person.




Motions on Notice (Procedure Rule 11) pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Following consultation with the Mayor, the attached Motions have been accepted for consideration at this Council meeting in recognition of the fact that they are cross party Motions on matters of interest to all Members.


Additional documents:


The Mayor advised that two Motions on Notice had been received for consideration at the meeting.  Usually, in line with requirements detailed in the constitution, Motions on Notice were not permitted for discussion at meetings of Council held during the pre-election period.  However, on this occasion, the Mayor had chosen to agree that these Motions should be accepted for debate at the meeting under exceptional circumstances, on the basis that they had received cross-party support and focused on matters of interest to all Councillors.


Remote Meetings


Councillor Gemma Monaco proposed a Motion which called on the Government to permit Councils to hold remote and hybrid Council and Committee meetings.  This Motion was seconded by Councillor Andrew Fry.


In proposing the Motion, Councillor Monaco commented that during 2020, in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, Councils were permitted to hold formal Committee meetings remotely.  At Redditch Borough Council, virtual Committee meetings were successfully held on Skype for Business and then subsequently on Microsoft Teams.  This helped to ensure that Council business continued at a challenging time whilst also protecting meeting participants from contracting Covid-19.


The regulations that permitted Councils to hold formal Committee meetings remotely expired on 6th May 2021.  Since that time, elected Members had been required to attend formal Committee meetings in person if they were to participate in the debate and vote on Council business.  The same rule did not apply to Officers (with some exceptions) who could participate remotely, and steps had been taken to ensure that they could participate in these meetings from home.  The public could also participate in Council and Committee meetings both in person and remotely.


Councillor Monaco expressed the view that the option to attend meetings remotely should be extended to elected Members.  She suggested that remote meeting arrangements could enable greater participation of Members from a wider variety of backgrounds in Council business.  For example, Councillors with work commitments might find it easier to juggle their work and Council duties if they could attend meetings from home or from their place of work.  In addition, remote meeting arrangements could help Members with caring responsibilities or specific medical requirements to participate safely in Council and Committee meetings. 


Members were reminded that a climate emergency was declared by the Council in September 2019.  Remote and hybrid meetings provided opportunities for participants to reduce their carbon footprint, as they would not need to travel to and from Redditch Town Hall.  Creating an environment where any participant, including elected Members, could attend a meeting without having a negative impact on the environment would be a positive development for the Council and would support collective aims to address the climate emergency.


In proposing this Motion, Councillor Monaco explained that she was not suggesting that the Council would necessarily want to hold all Council and Committee meetings remotely.  Instead, she commented that Councils should be provided with the choice to determine when remote or hybrid meeting arrangements would be most appropriate for their authority and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.


Executive Committee


The Mayor explained that there were two sets of minutes from meetings of the Executive Committee held on 21st February and 22nd March 2022.  The recommendations that had been made at the meeting of the Executive Committee on 21st February 2022 had been agreed at the Council meeting held on the same date.  There had been no recommendations arising at the meeting of the Executive Committee held on 22nd March 2022.




the minutes of the meetings of the Executive Committee held on 21st February and 22nd March 2022 be noted.




Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Councillor Debbie Chance, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, presented the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2021/22.


Councillor Chance thanked all Members who had participated in the Overview and Scrutiny process during the year, as well as the Members, officers and representatives of external organisations who had submitted evidence.  In particular, she thanked members of the Committee for their hard work, especially the Vice Chair of the Committee, former Councillor Jenny Wheeler.  Members of the Budget Scrutiny Working Group, the Performance Scrutiny Working Group and the Dementia Task Group were also thanked for their hard work.  Councill Chance concluded by wishing the Overview and Scrutiny Committee well for the 2022/23 municipal year.


Following the presentation of the report, the Leader welcomed the update.  He thanked Councillor Chance, in her capacity as Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, for her hard work as well as the rest of the Committee.  Members were reminded that Overview and Scrutiny was an important part of the local democratic process and the diligence of scrutiny Members was welcomed.




the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2021/22 be noted.




Constitutional Review Working Party - Recommendations pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Additional documents:


The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling presented a report detailing recommendations that had been made at the latest meeting of the Constitutional Review Working Party (CRWP).


Members were advised that the report proposed that senior officers should have delegated authority to act in the event of an emergency.  It was suggested that it would be sensible to introduce this delegation, which would only be used in the event of an emergency. 


In addition, the CRWP had also recommended that no Council meetings should be held during the pre-election period, unless considered to be necessary.  Again, Members were advised that this would be a sensible proposal as there were limits on the amount of business that generally could be debated at Council meetings held during these periods.




1)          that the Officer Scheme of Delegations be amended to grant Chief Officers delegated authority to act in the event of an emergency; and


2)          as a general rule there should be no full Council meetings in the pre-election period before a Borough election, unless the Proper Officer determines that a meeting is required.




Appointments to Committees

Following the resignation of former Councillor Jenny Wheeler, a vacancy has arisen for the position of Chair of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee.  Members are invited to nominate and approve a new Chair of the Committee.


In considering this matter, Members are asked to note that, as detailed in the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee’s Procedure Rules at Part 12 of the constitution (paragraph 5) the Chair of the Committee must not be a member of the controlling political group.



Council was advised that, following publication of the agenda for the meeting, it had been determined that a decision in respect of the appointment of a new Chair of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee would be deferred until the following meeting of Council.  Consequently, the Vice Chair of the Committee, Councillor Juliet Brunner, would Chair the meeting due to take place on 14th April 2022.




Urgent Business - Record of Decisions

To note any decisions taken in accordance with the Council’s Urgency Procedure Rules (Part 9, Paragraph 5 and/or Part 10, Paragraph 15 of the Constitution), as specified.


(None to date).


Members were advised that no urgent decisions had been taken since the previous meeting of Council.




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 urgent business for consideration on this occasion.