Agenda and minutes

Council - Monday, 30th January, 2023 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item




The Deputy Mayor welcomed all those present to the meeting.




Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received on behalf of Councillors Juliet Barker Smith, Alex Fogg, Ann Isherwood and Nyear Nazir.


In the absence of the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Tom Baker-Price, chaired the meeting.




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 on this occasion.




Councillor Gareth Prosser

To pay tribute to late Councillor, Gareth Prosser, in recognition of his contribution to the Borough and its residents.



The Deputy Mayor opened this item by leading Members in paying tribute to the late Councillor, Gareth Prosser, by observing a minute’s silence.


The Deputy Mayor subsequently commented on behalf of the Council about Councillor Prosser’s years of service as an elected Member.  Council was advised that Councillor Prosser had first been elected as a Councillor in 2015 to represent Crabbs Cross ward.  He had been appointed Portfolio Holder for Community Safety in 2018/19 and had also served on a number of Committees during his time as a Councillor.  In 2020, Councillor Prosser had been appointed the Mayor of the Borough of Redditch during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and he had been the first Councillor to go on to serve two full consecutive terms of office as Mayor.  In addition, Members were reminded that Councillor Prosser’s time serving as a Councillor had followed a career serving in the police force.  On behalf of Members, the Deputy Mayor commented that Councillor Prosser would be missed.


Members subsequently went on to pay tribute to Councillor Prosser.  Reference was made to Councillor Prosser’s time serving as a Councillor and Members commented that he had been kind and considerate, with a good sense of humour.  Consideration was given to Councillor Prosser’s many years as a supporter of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club and his visits to watch the club play at Molineux Stadium.


Many Members made reference to the length of time that they had known Councillor Prosser, with some having first worked alongside him during his time serving in West Mercia Police.  There were also tributes paid to Councillor Prosser’s wife and family and Members commented that he had been dedicated to his family and devoted to his grandchildren.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 474 KB


Members considered the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 14th November 2022.


During consideration of the minutes, reference was made to Minute Item No. 57 - Executive Committee - specifically the record of the debate in respect of the Voluntary Bodies Scheme report.  It was suggested that it should have been noted in the minutes that a Member had asked representatives of the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) whether they had been consulted on changes to the concessionary rents scheme and had been advised in response that this had not occurred.




subject to the amendment detailed in the preamble above, the minutes of the Council meeting held on 14th November 2022 be approved 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:


a)          The Mayor’s Announcements


The Deputy Mayor advised that a record of the civic engagements that had been attended by the Mayor since the previous meeting had been tabled for Members’ consideration (Appendix 1).


b)          The Leader’s Announcements


The Leader explained that he had attended meetings of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA’s) Economic Growth Board.  A Worcestershire District Leaders’ Board, comprising the Leaders of the District Councils in Worcestershire only, had been established and the Leader had attended meetings of this board together with meetings of the Worcestershire Leaders’ Board, the latter of which also involved the Leader of Worcestershire County Council.


c)          The Chief Executive’s Announcements


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




Questions on Notice (Procedure Rule 9) pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Additional documents:


There were two Questions on Notice submitted for consideration at the meeting.


Redditch Innovation Centre


Mr James Fardoe asked the Leader the following Question on Notice:


“As a young person, I have a great interest in the project surrounding the Innovation Centre, would you be able to update us on the timeline regarding the demolition of the current police station and the budgeting of this project?”


The Leader responded by explaining that it was anticipated, subject to planning permission, that the construction for the Digital Manufacturing and Innovation Centre would start in winter 2024 with practical completion being achieved in winter 2026. The construction period was anticipated to last 12 – 15 months.


On the current programme, the Police Service was due to vacate Grove Street in Autumn 2023 and the demolition of the current police station would commence from thereon. It was anticipated that Redditch Borough Council would then take possession of a clean development site in Spring 2024 with construction taking place later in the year. The project budget was £8,000,000.00 and this was funded by central Government via the Town’s Deal Initiative.


Mr Fardoe was advised that further information could be found on the Town’s Deal Board’s website.


Mr Fardoe subsequently asked the following supplementary question:


“If the total spend goes over predicted budget where will the extra money come from?”


The Leader commented that a comprehensive answer to this question would be requested from the Council’s Finance team to send to Mr Fardoe after the meeting.


Matchborough and Winyates District Centres – Regeneration


Councillor Joe Baker asked the Leader the following Question on Notice:


“To ask the Leader of the Council if he would update the Council on what his plan B is for the regeneration of Winyates and Matchborough District Centres now that Redditch has lost out on his government’s funding."


The Leader explained that for Winyates and Matchborough Centres, final proposals for the centres were awaited from consultants.  When finalised, the plans would be costed up, by the consultancy team, and the viability gap would then be understood.  When received, the proposals would be submitted formally to Members to invite endorsement for the purposes of public consultation.  The public consultation, it was suggested, should include information on the viability gap to manage expectations.  With proposals, viability information and public comments, the Council would consider all available funding opportunities to progress with the plans.


Councillor Joe Baker subsequently asked the following supplementary question:


“Due to the late submission of the bid and the incompleteness of the report to the Overview and Scrutiny and Executive Committees, will the Leader apologise for Officers losing the £20 million?”


The Leader responded by commenting that the Council had not lost £20 million as this had not been the authority’s budget but instead had been applied for in a Government funding scheme.  He suggested that he would not apologise and that he did not feel that officers needed to apologise for this.  Whilst the report that had been considered by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 67.


Motions on Notice (Procedure Rule 11)


There were no Motions on Notice for consideration on this occasion.




Executive Committee pdf icon PDF 443 KB

Additional documents:


Members considered minutes from meetings of the Executive Committee held on 6th December 2022, 13th December 2022 and 10th January 2023. 


Council was reminded that at the meeting of the Executive Committee held on 13th December 2022 the Committee had made no recommendations.  These minutes had therefore been shared for Members’ consideration in case there were any questions of clarification on the content and to enable Council to adopt the minutes.


During consideration of the minutes of these meetings, the following reports, that had been debated at those meetings, were discussed in detail:


Medium Term Financial Plan 2023/24 to 2025/26 – Update


Concerns were raised that the savings detailed in the report could result in staff redundancies as well as a change to the electoral cycle at the Council from a system of elections by thirds.  In addition, some Members raised concerns about the proposed fees for services delivered by Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS).


Council Tax Base 2023/24


The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling highlighted that the Council was required to set the Council Tax Base on an annual basis.  The proposals detailed in the report assumed that the Council would achieve a 98 per cent collection rate, in respect of Council Tax payments during the 2023/24 financial year.  The Council Tax Base had been calculated at £26,304.94.  This was lower than for many other Councils in Worcestershire as the calculations were based on the numbers of Council Tax Band D equivalent properties in the local authority area and the majority of houses in the Borough were classified as Bands A – C.  The lower Council Tax Base placed the Council at a disadvantage and it was suggested that the Council should encourage the Government to take action to change the system.


Council Tax Support Scheme 2023/24


The Portfolio Holder for Finance and Enabling explained that a draft report on the subject of proposed changes to the Council Tax Support Scheme had been considered by the Executive Committee in October 2022.  The proposed changes had subsequently been the subject of public consultation.  A total of 94 responses had been received during this consultation, of which 87 per cent had expressed support for the proposed changes. 


As part of the process, the Council had consulted with all of the precepting authorities.  Worcestershire County Council had responded to Redditch Borough Council and had raised some concerns.  However, the issues raised would be offset by the benefits arising for eligible residents in the Borough.  Members were asked to note that in Worcestershire, only the District Councils in the north of the county had proposed changes to their Council Tax Support Schemes, all of which were designed to benefit vulnerable local residents.


Housing Revenue Account Rent Setting Report 2023/24


The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Procurement presented the Housing Revenue Account Rent Setting Report 2023/24.  Members were advised that the report proposed increasing rents for Council house tenants.  The Government had announced that Councils could increase rents for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
Housing Revenue Account Rent Setting 2023/24 Resolution

During consideration of the Housing Revenue Account Rent Setting Report 2023/24, a request was made for Members to make a formal recorded vote on the following recommendation that had been agreed at the Executive Committee meeting held on 10th January 2023:


“RECOMMENDED that the actual average rent increase for 2023/24 be set as 7%.”


  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 70.

    Outside Body Appointment

    To appoint a Councillor to replace late Councillor Gareth Prosser on PATROL – the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (Civil Parking Enforcement).


    (Members are asked to note that this appointment will apply until the new Annual Council meeting in May 2023.)



    The Deputy Mayor explained that, following the death of the late Councillor, Gareth Prosser, a vacancy had arisen for the Council’s lead Member appointed to PATROL – the Traffic Penalty Tribunal (Civil Parking Enforcement).


    A nomination was received for Councillor Lucy Harrison to be appointed the Council’s lead representative on PATROL – the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.


    RESOLVED that


    Councillor Lucy Harrison be appointed the Council’s lead representative on PATROL – the Traffic Penalty Tribunal for the remainder of the 2022/23 municipal year.




    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.)


    Officers confirmed that there was no urgent business for discussion on this occasion.



    Appendix 1 Minutes - Mayor's Engagements pdf icon PDF 455 KB