Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny - Thursday, 2nd February, 2023 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber Town Hall. View directions

Contact: J Bayley  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item


Apologies and named substitutes


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Akbar.


Apologies were also received on behalf of Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services, Councillor Fleming, who was due to attend as an observer.


Declarations of interest and of Party Whip

To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and / or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests, and any Party Whip.


Councillor Bill Hartnett declared an Other Disclosable Interest in Minute Item No. 98 – Rubicon Leisure – Finance Overview (Exempt Report) –in his capacity as a Member of the Shareholders Committee.


Councillor Hartnett was advised that as the Shareholders Committee performed an oversight function for Rubicon Leisure, and the item concerned was before the Committee for information and discussion only, Councillor Hartnett would be able to remain in the room during consideration of this item. Councillor Hartnett subsequently stayed in the room during consideration of the Rubicon Leisure – Finance Overview (Exempt Report).


The Deputy Chief Executive Officer and the Head of Environmental and Housing Property Services declared conflicts of interest in relation to Minute Item No. 98 – Rubicon Leisure – Finance Overview (Exempt Report) – in their capacity as Active on the Board of Directors of Rubicon Leisure Limited. They left the room during the consideration of this item and took no part in the deliberations.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 411 KB

Minutes for the meeting held on 8th December 2022 will be considered at this meeting.


The minutes from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting held on Thursday 8th December 2022 were submitted for Members’ consideration.




the minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Meeting held on Thursday 8th December 2022 be approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chair.


Public Speaking

To invite members of the public who have registered in advance of the meeting to speak to the Committee. Please note that the deadline to register to speak at this meeting is 12 noon on Tuesday 31st January 2023.



There were no public speakers who registered to speak on this occasion.


Bulky Waste and Fly Tipping Task Group - Briefing and Presentation

The documents for this item will follow in an Additional Papers pack.

Additional documents:


The Chair welcomed the Head of Environmental and Housing Property Services and the Environmental Services Manager who provided a detailed presentation on bulky waste collections and fly tipping in Redditch. During the presentation Members’ attention was drawn to the following:


  • The Council had a legal duty to manage fly-tipping under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and there was also a duty on the Council to provide a Bulky Waste collection service under Section 45 of the Environmental Protection Act.  
  • The Controlled Waste Regulations 1992 gave the Council the ability to charge for the bulky waste collection service, but charges must be ‘reasonable’.
  • Both Local Authorities and the Environment Agency (EA) had powers to tackle fly tipping. However, the Environment Agency (EA) would only become involved with large-scale, hazardous cases of fly tipping.
  • On private land the responsibility for clearance of fly-tipped waste rested with the landowner.
  • Over the three-year period of 2020-2022 there were almost twice as many bulky collections as fly-tips in the Borough.
  • The top fifteen areas with highest incidence of fly tipping in the Borough were outlined and it was noted that Church Hill South had by far the highest incidence at 627 fly tips – for the period January 2020 to December 2022.
  • Officers commented that the design of the neighbourhoods played a role in the incidence of fly tipping, with more fly tips recorded in neighbourhoods with central waste collection points rather than kerbside collection (such as in apartment buildings).
  • The Council held data indicated that the rates of bulky waste collections were consistent across different areas of Redditch Town, but incidence of fly tipping tended to be higher outside high-density residential areas and in areas with large number of short-term tenancies and relatively low numbers of owner-occupiers.
  • Majority of fly tips were linked to individual residents disposing of waste incorrectly rather than ‘man with van’ fly tippers.
  • The costs of removal of fly tipps incurred by the Council were around £122k in 2020/21 and around £100k for the first three quarters of 2021/22. This was based on the full cost of clearance, collection and disposal which was then apportioned to the Council’s data according to the size, type and location of waste.
  • Officers noted that enforcement action through the courts for fly tipping was difficult as it was reliant on either finding the evidence to definitively identify who the waste belonged to or a witness who was willing to become involved in the legal/court proceedings.
  • It was noted that the Council did not carry out enough reactive and proactive enforcement.
  • It was noted that income from bulky waste collections was currently insufficient to cover the total costs of the service.
  • A basic charge for bulky collection at Redditch for 2022/23 was £9.50 per unit and for 2023/24 this would increase to £10.45 per unit. Charges depended on the type of item collected with larger items incurring greater cost. It was highlighted this approach provided residents with flexibility as the cost for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 90.


Update on the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel 2022-23 (Verbal Update)


Councillor Khan introduced the Crime and Disorder Scrutiny Panel update in his role as Chair of the Panel. Members were informed that at the Panel meeting that took place on 2nd November 2022, when the work of the North Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership (NWCSP) was scrutinised, and the Panel received a highly informative presentation by Bev Houghton, the Community Safety Partnership Manager, at that meeting.


The Chair of the Panel summarised the main points discussed at the 2nd November 2022 meeting, which were as follow:


·       In September 2021 a new Fly Tipping Fund grant was released by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) to work with local private landowners to address the problem of fly-tipping on private land. The NWCSP had been allocated £22k which was firmly aimed at NWCSP’s work with private landowners only. Local authorities would not be able to access this funding.

·       As part of the PCC’s CCTV Capital Fund, over £48k of funding had been used for work on CCTV cameras in Redditch Borough, including 1 additional camera on Town Hall roof and upgrades to 24 cameras in the Borough. The upgrade included 3 moveable cameras, enhanced digital capability, improved image quality and a greater capacity to expand the scheme and/or link up to other digital systems across the region.

·       In terms of powers used in respect of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB), 9 Community Protection Warnings (CPWs) had been issued by the Police, Council services and Social Landlords in 2020-21 and none had been issued in 2021-22.

·       1 Community Trigger/ASB Case Review had been carried out in June 2021. It was explained that a Community Trigger/ASB Case Review was introduced as part of the ASB Crime and Policing Act 2014 and was a facility available to victims of ASB to request a review of their reported case, if they felt that no action had been taken.

·       The NWCSP’s Partnership Plan for 2021-24 had been informed by the following priorities which had been agreed by partners: Reducing Violence and Abuse, Reducing Theft and Acquisitive Crime, Reducing ASB, Damage and Nuisance, Protecting Vulnerable Communities, Reducing Offending and Reducing the Harm Caused by Drugs and Alcohol.

·       The Safer Streets Project in Woodrow was highlighted, which aimed to improve the security and safety of all homes in Woodrow Centre, Ombersley Close and Rushock Close.

·       Many other community safety projects and initiatives across the Borough that were concluded and/or started in 2021/22, including:

·       Community Safety Enhanced Youth Support Workers – in 2021-22 a Public Health Grant of £83k per annum for three years had been received by Redditch Borough Council from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund. This allowed the team to appoint two full time youth worker posts in partnership with Young Solutions Worcestershire.

·       Volunteer it Yourself (VIY) and Launch of the W.I.S.E Youth Centre – The VIY initiative combined DIY and volunteering and as a result young people were able to learn DIY and trade sector skills whilst helping to repair and refurbish  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91.


Draft Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 1 MB


The Chair presented the draft Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2022-23 for consideration by Committee Members and took the opportunity to thank Members of the Committee for all of their hard work over the course of current municipal year. He particularly thanked all those Members who were part of scrutiny working groups and Councillor Michael Chalk who had been providing written reports in respect of the external scrutiny bodies.




Draft Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2022-23 be approved.


Executive Committee Minutes and Scrutiny of the Executive Committee's Work Programme - Selecting Items for Scrutiny pdf icon PDF 248 KB

The latest edition of the Executive Work Programme and the minutes of the meetings of the Executive Committee held on 25th October 2022, 6th December 2022 and 13th December 2022 have been attached for Members’ consideration to this agenda pack.


The next edition of the Executive Work Programme, which is due to be published on 1st February 2023, will be provided for Members’ consideration in an additional papers pack for this meeting.

Additional documents:


During consideration of the latest Executive Work Programme, Members requested that the following items be added to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme:


·       Decarbonisation of the Council Fleet

·       Environmental Act – Changes to Waste Services - Implications


Some Members queried why consideration of the decision on Environment Act – Changes to Waste Services – Implications had been delayed to June 2023 on the latest Executive Work Programme. It was explained that this report had to be postponed as Officers were awaiting the Government’s green paper on environmental services before the report could be prepared and presented to the Executive Committee.




1)    the contents of the Executive Committee minutes of the meetings held on 25th October, 6th December, and 13th December 2022, be noted.


2)    the Executive Committee’s Work Programme be noted.


3)    items from the Executive Work Programme, as detailed in the pre-amble above, be added to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme.


Overview and Scrutiny Work Programme pdf icon PDF 185 KB


The Committee noted its Work Programme and requested that it be updated with items requested for pre-scrutiny from the Executive Committee Work Programme – as agreed under Minute Item No. 93. – Executive Committee Minutes and Scrutiny of the Executive Committee’s Work Programme – Selecting Items for Scrutiny.




subject to the updates being made as per preamble above, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s Work Programme be noted.



Task Groups, Short Sharp Reviews and Working Groups - Update Reports

a)          Budget Scrutiny Working Group – Chair, Councillor Kane


b)          Performance Scrutiny Working Group – Chair, Councillor Kane



Councillor Kane reported that a Budget Scrutiny Working Group meetings took place on 3rd and 31st January 2023 respectively. Councillor Kane informed the Committee that she had prepared a report on the matters discussed at the 31st January meeting. This was read out to the Committee, with the main points noted as follows:


·       At the 31st January meeting, the Budget Scrutiny Working Group discussed the Medium Term Financial Plan 2023/4 to 2025/6.

·       The overall conclusion was that in order to continue to build reserves to fund transformational changes, the Council must continue to drive down its expenditure.

  • The 2022/3 pay award delivered to staff in December and the impact was expected to be £928k, however, the actual impact on budgets was £200k less than expected. This was mainly due to staff vacancies.
  • Reviewing all the capital programme schemes. The Working Group requested an updated list of schemes that would not be going ahead for 2023/24.
  • The Council was looking at cuts in services and jobs for 2024/25, otherwise the budget might not be sustainable. The council would have to change the way it works and a large part of this will be changes to the back office. A working group had been set up to implement this – the aim was by April 2024.
  • The Council had set up an Earmarked Reserve for Utilities Pressures. This reserve might be drawn upon for additional costs for the new fuel to make council vehicles environmentally friendly – estimated at £130k. A total of £1.710m had been reallocated to a Utilities Reserve and £1.508m transferred to the General Fund. Most of this funding had come from the Covid-19 Reserve (£0.941m) and the Business Rates Retention Reserve (£1.500m).
  • The extra 1% on Council Tax allowed in the Chancellor’s Statement was worth £69k to the Council.


Councillor Kane then reported on significant risks to the medium-term budget that the Council needed to manage:


  • The council had not yet closed its 2021/22 accounts. This was not expected to happen until the summer.
  • The 2022/23 monitoring was showing an overspend position of £1.424m. This needed to be managed down because it would take out half the present General Fund balances.
  • If the Towns Fund and UK Shared Prosperity Funds programmes were not completed by the timescales specified by the Government, the Council would have to pay for whatever work was needed to finish the projects.
  • The Council needed to find a way to start to build back the General Fund Reserve to the best practice benchmark of 5% of gross spending (which would be £1.25m as net expenditure is around £25m). The intention was that the Council needs to do more than this and move to build back the reserve close to 9%. This was because 5% would not cover the level of overspend being reported for this financial year.
  • An estimate on future Government settlements had been made for 2024/5 and 2025/6 based on historic data. The net Government funding of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95.


External Scrutiny Bodies - Update Reports pdf icon PDF 103 KB


a)          West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Council representative, Councillor Chalk; and


b)          Worcestershire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) – Council representative, Councillor Chalk.

Additional documents:


Councillor Chalk reported that his written updates on the meetings of the Worcestershire Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee (HOSC), on 2nd November 2022 and 1st December 2022 respectively, were provided in the agenda pack.


It was noted that discussion at the meeting on 1st December 2022 was taken up by the visit to the new A&E department at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.


Councillor Chalk reported that the next meeting of HOSC was due to take place next week, on 10th February 2023, and a written report from this meeting would be provided to the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.




the External Scrutiny Bodies update be noted.




Exclusion of the Public and Press

In the opinion of the Chief Executive, the meeting will not be, or is unlikely to be open to the Public at the time the following items of business are considered for the reasons stated.  The Committee will be asked to pass the following resolution:


“that under S.100 I of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item(s) of business on the grounds that it/they involve(s) the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the following paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12 (A) of the said Act, as amended:


·                Paragraph 3 – Financial or Business Affairs.”





Under S100 A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following matters on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12 of the said act, as amended.


Minute Item No. 98 – Rubicon Leisure – Finance Overview (Exempt Report).



Rubicon Leisure - Finance Overview (Exempt Report)

This report will follow in an Additional Papers pack.


(During the consideration of this item, Members discussed matters that necessitated the disclosure of exempt information. It was therefore agreed to move to exclude the press and public prior to any debate on the grounds that information would be revealed which related to the financial and business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)).