Agenda and minutes

Council - Monday, 27th June, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber Town Hall. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

No. Item




The Mayor welcomed everyone present to the meeting.




Apologies for Absence


An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Aled Evans.




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 324 KB




the minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on Monday 23rd May 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 advised that she had attended 36 civic engagements since the previous meeting of Council (Appendix 1).


Specific reference was made to the many events that had been held in honour of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which the Mayor had attended in early May 2022.  The Redditch half marathon, held on 26th June 2022, was also noted as a highlight, as this had been the first time it had been held in the Borough and had attracted an excellent turnout.


b)          The Leader’s Announcements


The Leader commented that since the previous meeting of Council he had attended meetings of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Board as well as meetings of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP).


c)          The Chief Executive’s Announcements


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




Questions on Notice (Procedure Rule 9) pdf icon PDF 187 KB

Additional documents:


Four Questions on Notice were considered in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.


Town Deal Bid


Councillor Sharon Harvey asked the Leader the following question:


Can the Leader provide an update on the progress of the business case which will support the Town Deal Bid, and explain how delays at County Council might affect this?”


The Leader responded by explaining that Council officers and a team of external consultants were finalising a summary of the business cases for the Innovation Centre and Public Realm Scheme.  It was anticipated, in line with Government deadlines, that these would be submitted to Government, on 29th June 2022.  The matter had been considered at the Town’s Deal Board the previous week and was due to be considered by the Executive Committee at a meeting scheduled to take place on 28th June 2022.  The Section 151 Officer would be required to sign off the business cases prior to submission. The summary related to the library site would not be submitted on 29th June and instead an extension had been agreed with the Government until 30th September 2022. This later agreed submission date would not impact on the evaluation of the submission by the Government.


Councillor Harvey subsequently commented that in her view the review of the library was the most contentious part of the process.  The Leader was asked in a supplementary question about what plans were in place for public consultation in respect of the content of this business case.


The Leader responded by advising that there was a plan for public consultation in respect of this business case.  The extension to the submission date for the business case for the library would provide more time to obtain feedback from the public about the proposals.


Council Houses


Councillor Bill Hartnett asked the Leader the following question:


“Can the Leader advise, since becoming Leader in 2018, the locations of all new council dwellings, how many have been started, and how many have been completed with keys handed over to tenants?”


The Leader responded by explaining that despite the issues caused by the pandemic, 74 new dwellings had been added to the Council’s housing stock since 2018. This included 19 properties purchased from developers in Webheath and Enfield and 55 properties purchased off the open market spread across the Borough. The Leader also confirmed that 19 units were under construction in Church Hill and had an expected handover date of January 2023. The authority would continue to work to add homes to the Council’s housing stock through all options available, including bringing forward construction of properties on the Council’s identified land.


Councillor Hartnett subsequently asked how many new houses were planned to be built in the following 12 month period.


The Leader responded by commenting that 19 units were under construction, although had not yet been completed.  There were other parcels of land owned by the Council that were in the process of being reviewed and which had been identified as potentially suitable locations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.


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


The Mayor advised that two Motions on Notice had been received for consideration at the meeting.


Climate Change Impact Assessment


Councillor Sharon Harvey submitted the following Motion on Notice for Council’s consideration:


We move that a full climate change impact assessment is carried out for work proposed in the Town Deal Bid, paying particular attention to the proposed Library demolition.


The Motion was proposed by Councillor Harvey and seconded by Councillor Juma Begum.


In proposing the Motion, Councillor Harvey commented that there was a need for the Council to consider the environmental consequences of all the actions that were taken by the authority.  This supported work to address the green thread, as detailed in the Council Plan, and corresponded with the Council’s declaration of a climate emergency in 2019.  However, Councillor Harvey expressed concerns that there had been limited focus on the climate implications of the proposed town’s deal redevelopment plans in the recent report about the business cases for the town’s deal, which had been considered at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 23rd June 2022.  In this context, she suggested that further consideration needed to be given to the potential climate change implications of the redevelopment of Redditch town centre, potentially at a meeting of the Climate Change Cross Party Working Group.


In seconding the Motion, Councillor Begum noted that there was a need for the Council to ensure that the local decision-making process was transparent.  As part of this process, consultation needed to be undertaken with the public on plans for the redevelopment of the town centre.  Residents needed to be fully informed about all the facts and a climate change assessment would assist with this process.


In response to the Motion, the Leader highlighted that environmental impact assessments took place as part of the planning process.  There was a risk that an environmental impact assessment undertaken at this stage could interfere with the planning process.  A full assessment would be undertaken, however, at the appropriate stage.


The Motion was debated in some detail and Members commented on the potential for a climate change impact assessment to be undertaken in respect of the redevelopment of Redditch town centre.  On the one hand it was noted that there were various tools available to enable a climate change impact assessment to be undertaken.  Members also commented on the need for Councillors to set an example in tackling climate change, which could include cycling to Council and Committee meetings, which would also have a beneficial impact from a leisure and health perspective.  On the other hand, concerns were raised about the potential for interference in the planning process.  Reference was also made to the inclusion of a section referring to the climate change implications of any proposals in the standard report template.


Consideration was given to the carbon footprint of the existing building in which the library was located.  Members commented that there was the potential to retrofit old buildings to make them  ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.


Executive Committee pdf icon PDF 173 KB

Additional documents:


Bromsgrove and Redditch Duty to Co-operate


Members commented that the report had been discussed in detail at a recent meeting of the Planning Advisory Panel (PAP).  There was general consensus that meetings of PAP provided Members with a useful opportunity to consider the content of planning policies in detail and that these meetings should continue to take place moving forward.


Council Plan (Including Restoration and Recovery Plan)


The content of the Council Plan, including the Restoration and Recovery Plan, was considered.




the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee held on 14th June 2022 be received and all recommendations adopted.




Regulatory Committees pdf icon PDF 429 KB

Additional documents:


Members considered recommendations that had been made on the subject of the Capital Strategy 2022/23, incorporating the Treasury Management Strategy, at a meeting of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee held on 14th April 2022.


Council was informed that there was a statutory requirement for the Capital Strategy and Treasury Management Strategy to be considered and agreed on an annual basis.  The Deputy Section 151 Officer was thanked for having attended the meeting and provided a detailed report on the subject for the consideration of the Audit, Governance and Standards Committee.




1)          the Capital Strategy as an appropriate overarching strategy for the Council be approved;


2)          the Treasury Management Strategy for 2022/23 and the associated MRP policy be approved;


3)          the policy for Flexible use of Capital Receipts be approved; and


4)          the Investment Strategy be approved.




Section 151 Officer Appointment pdf icon PDF 134 KB


Council considered a report in respect of the appointment of an interim Section 151 Officer, following the resignation of the Council’s Executive Director for Resources, who was the existing Section 151 Officer.


Members requested that they be notified of new appointments to the Financial Services team moving forward.  A request was also made for former members of staff to be notified of Members’ gratitude for their hard work over the years.




the arrangements for an Interim Chief Finance Officer and Section 151 Officer for Redditch Borough Council for a period of 12 months (with any extension subject to review) be approved. 


(Prior to consideration of this item, the Interim Head of Financial and Customer Services, Peter Carpenter, left the room.  He was therefore not present during the debate or vote in respect of this item.)


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).


The Mayor confirmed that there had been no urgent decisions taken since the previous meeting of Council.




Urgent Business - general (if any) pdf icon PDF 349 KB

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.)


The Mayor advised Members that she had accepted a Motion on the subject of bus services for consideration as urgent business at the meeting due to the timeframes concerned in respect of the potential changes to bus services which would occur in some cases prior to the following Council meeting.


Bus Services


Councillor Bill Hartnett submitted the following Motion on Notice for Council’s consideration:


Council notes the email sent by Diamond Buses to all Members dated 7th June and the attached letter to the Department for Transport dated May 2022.

Council is also concerned at the announcement issued by Diamond Buses dated 16th June 2022 which contains details of proposed withdrawal of services across Redditch from July and August 2022.


Council notes that the services on the withdrawal list will affect many Redditch Residents who rely on public transport to attend school, the Alexandra Hospital, the Town Centre and the wider cross Worcestershire area.


Council opposes the withdrawal of these services and believes that only a fully integrated and publicly subsidised transport service that meets the needs of our Community and meets it’s obligations towards a cleaner, greener and sustainable travel plan designed to reduce the reliance on car journeys.


Council, therefore, instructs the Leader of the Council to write to Diamond Buses outlining the Council’s opposition to the service cuts and further, convenes a Redditch wide public transport forum to include representatives of all political groups of the Council, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member responsible for Transport and invites members of the public with an interest in public transport.”


The Motion was proposed by Councillor Hartnett and seconded by Councillor Sid Khan.


In proposing the Motion, Councillor Hartnett commented that the withdrawal of bus services would have a detrimental impact in the local community.  A range of people used bus services in the Borough, including people travelling to work, school children and people attending medical appointments.  Use of public transport, instead of a reliance on using cars, helped to reduce carbon emissions in the Borough.  Demand and use of bus services in Redditch was the second highest in the county, when compared to other districts.  Concerns were raised about how people would undertake essential journeys should services be removed.  Council was also asked to note that this was likely to impact on residents living across the Borough and Councillor Hartnett drew Members’ attention to all of the wards through which the routes concerned travelled in order to highlight this point.


In seconding the Motion, Councillor Khan noted that local residents needed the Council’s support in relation to resisting the proposed changes to bus services.  A letter, setting out the concerns of all elected Members, would help to highlight the extent to which the Council took this situation seriously.  In seeking to resolve this issue, there was the potential to learn from other parts of the country, including Manchester.  Councillor Khan expressed the view that failure to act on this issue would result in Members failing local  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.