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There were no apologies for absence, though Members noted that Councillor Bill Hartnett would be arriving slightly later.
Declarations of Interest
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.
There were no declarations of interest.
A written record of the Leader’s announcements was circulated at the meeting.
the minutes of the meeting of the Executive Committee held on Tuesday 11th February 2020 be approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chair.
The Council Tax Resolutions will follow.
The Executive Director of Finance and Resources presented the Council Tax Resolutions. Members were advised that following the Executive Committee meeting that had been held on 11th February 2020 all of the preceptors had provided information to the Council, including Feckenham Parish Council, Hereford and Worcester Fire Authority, Worcestershire County Council and the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner. The detail provided had informed the Council Tax Resolutions.
Members discussed the Council Tax Resolutions and noted that Council Tax was an important source of income for local government. However, Redditch Borough Council , though it was the collecting authority, would only retain a small portion of the funding from council Tax, the majority of which would be distributed amongst the other preceptors.
During consideration of this item concerns were raised about the funding available for local authorities and the challenges facing local government. Members noted that Council across the country were struggling financially and it was suggested that the Government needed to consider providing more funding to Councils moving forward.
RESOLVED to NOTE
that at a meeting held on 14th January 2020, the Executive Committee calculated the Council Tax Base 2020/21 as:
a) for the whole Council area as 26,276.50 [Item T in the formula in Section 31B of the Local Government Act 1992, as amended (the “Act”)]; and
b) for dwellings in those parts of its area to which a Parish precept relates; this being Feckenham Parish as 367.50.
and RECOMMENDED that Council APPROVE:
1) the calculation for the Council Tax requirement for the Council’s own purposes for 2020/21 (excluding Parish precepts) as £6,415,355;
2) that the following amounts be calculated for the year 2020/21 in accordance with sections 31 to 36 of the Act:
a) £44,214,467 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (2) of the Act (taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils) (i.e. Gross expenditure);
b) £37,789,112 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (3) of the Act. (i.e. Gross income);
c) £6,425,355 being the amount by which the aggregate of 3 (a) above exceeds the aggregate at 3 (b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A (4) of the Act, as its Council Tax requirement for the year. (Item R in the formula in Section 31B of the Act);
d) £244.53 being the amount at 3 (c) above (Item R), all divided by Item T (1(a) above), calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including Parish precepts);
e) £10,000 being the aggregate amount of all special items (Feckenham Parish precept) referred to in Section 34 (1) of the Act;
f) £244.15being the amount at 3 (d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at 3 (e) above by Item T (1 (a) above), calculated ... view the full minutes text for item 114.
The Constitution Review Working Party is due to meet on Wednesday 19th February 2020. Any recommendations arising from this meeting will be reported for the consideration of the Executive Committee at this meeting.
The Head of Service for Transformation, Organisational Development and Digital Strategy presented a report outlining proposed amendments to the Officer Scheme of Delegations. Members were asked to consider delegating authority to Officers in respect of the following:
· To determine the Council’s IT policies.
· To determine equalities, engagement and performance policies.
· To determine service restructures.
In all cases the delegated authority would enable the Council to update policies and procedures at the Council more quickly than at present. The proposed delegations would also enable the Council to adapt in a fast changing environment, including with respect to modern technology. The changes had been reviewed at a recent meeting of the Constitutional Review Working Party (CRWP) and the proposals detailed in the report reflected the conclusions reached by the group.
Members discussed the proposed delegations and in doing so noted that this followed previous reviews of the Officer Scheme of Delegations in recent years. As had been the case at the CRWP meeting there was general consensus that the proposed delegation for Officers to determine IT policies should be supported, as this was an internal operational matter. However, concerns were raised about proposals to delegate authority to Officers to determine equalities and engagement policies. Members noted that the Council in the past had frequently adopted progressive policies in respect of these areas prior to legislation being passed that required such action and Members would potentially want to continue to do so. In respect of service restructures concerns were raised that this could result in staff redundancies as well as impact on services provided to the local community.
1) the proposed change to the Officer Scheme of Delegations for the Business Transformation and Organisational Development Department, in respect of delegating authority to Officers to determine all the Council’s policies and strategies relating to Equalities, Engagement and Performance be approved;
and RESOLVED that
2) the proposed changes to the Officer Scheme of Delegations for the Business Transformation and Organisational Development Department, in respect of delegating authority to Officers to determine all the Council’s IT policies be approved; and
3) the proposed changes to the Officer Scheme of Delegations for the Business Transformation and Organisational Development Department, in respect of delegating authority to Officers to determine restructures within agreed budgets be approved.
Overview and Scrutiny Committee
The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be scrutinising the Executive Committee’s budget proposals at a meeting on 17th February 2020. As this meeting will take place after the publication of the agenda for this meeting any recommendations arising from the Committee’s discussions will be reported for Members’ consideration at this Executive Committee meeting in an Additional Papers Pack.
The Chair noted that there were no recommendations arising from the latest meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, held on Monday 17th February 2020, requiring Members’ consideration.
Minutes / Referrals - Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Executive Panels etc.
To receive and consider any outstanding minutes or referrals from the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Executive Panels etc. since the last meeting of the Executive Committee, other than as detailed in the items above.
The Chair explained that there were no further recommendations requiring Members’ consideration on this occasion.
Advisory Panels - update report
Members are invited to provide verbal updates, if any, in respect of the following bodies:
a) Climate Change Cross-Party Working Group – Chair, Councillor Brandon Clayton;
b) Constitutional Review Working Panel – Chair, Councillor Matthew Dormer;
c) Corporate Parenting Steering Group – Council Representative, Councillor Julian Grubb;
d) Member Support Steering Group – Chair, Councillor Matthew Dormer; and
e) Planning Advisory Panel – Chair, Councillor Matthew Dormer.
The following updates were provided in respect of Executive Advisory Panels and other bodies:
a) Climate Change Cross Party Working Group – Chair, Councillor Brandon Clayton
Councillor Clayton advised that there were no updates to provide on this occasion.
b) Constitutional Review Working Party – Chair, Councillor Matthew Dormer
Councillor Dormer noted that the outcomes of the latest meeting of the CRWP had been discussed earlier in the meeting.
c) Corporate Parenting Board – Redditch Borough Council Representative, Councillor Julian Grubb
Councillor Grubb explained that there were no updates to provide in respect of the work of the Board on this occasion.
d) Member Support Steering Group – Chair, Councillor Matthew Dormer
Councillor Dormer thanked every Member who had attended a data protection training session that had been held on 18th February 2020. Positive feedback had been received from both Members and Officers about this training. Those Members who had not yet attended data protection training in the 2019/20 municipal year were urged to attend an additional training session that was scheduled to take place on the evening of Thursday 27th February 2020.
e) Planning Advisory Panel – Chair, Councillor Matthew Dormer
Councillor Dormer explained that no meetings of the Panning Advisory Panel were due to take place.