Members are invited to provide verbal updates, if any, in respect of the following bodies:
a) Climate Change Cross-Party Working Group – Chair, Councillor Anthony Lovell;
b) Constitutional Review Working Panel – Chair, Councillor Matthew Dormer;
c) Corporate Parenting Board – Council Representative, Councillor Nyear Nazir;
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 the Executive Advisory Panels and other bodies:
a) Climate Change Cross Party Working Group – Chair, Councillor Anthony Lovell
In Councillor Lovell’s absence, Members noted that a meeting of the Climate Change Cross Party Working Group had taken place in December 2022. During this meeting, Members had discussed the planning process and action that could be taken in relation to this process to enhance the biodiversity of the local environment.
b) Constitutional Review Working Group – Chair, Councillor Matthew Dormer
Councillor Dormer explained that a meeting of the Constitutional Review Working Party had taken place on 23rd January 2023. During this meeting, Members had considered a number of reports and had made some recommendations about changes that could be made to the constitution. These recommendations were due to be considered at the following meeting of Council scheduled to take place on 27th February 2023.
c) Corporate Parenting Board – Council Representative, Councillor Nyear Nazir
Councillor Nazir commented that there had been a meeting of the Corporate Parenting Board on 31st January 2023. During this meeting, the Board had learned that there had been a recent spike in the number of school exclusions taking place. The situation in respect of this matter had improved slightly between autumn 2021 and 2022 and the Virtual Schools Board was working with local schools to address this problem.
The numbers of unaccompanied child asylum seekers in Worcestershire had increased from 29 to 89. The children, some of whom had escaped from war zones, were provided with support and the Board was working hard to ensure that this support met their needs.
The Executive Committee was reminded that Councillor Nazir was the Board’s District lead for employment and apprenticeships. It was noted that Redditch Borough Council had signed up to the pledge to help care leavers secure apprenticeships and it was hoped that some care leavers would therefore apply to take up apprenticeship opportunities at the Council.
d) Member Support Steering Group – Chair, Councillor Matthew Dormer
Members were advised that a meeting of the Member Support Steering Group had taken place on 17th January 2023. During this meeting, the group had considered feedback provided by Councillors in completed surveys on the subject of reducing paper waste for Council and Committee meetings. Based on the feedback received, as well as the need to address pledges in the Council’s Carbon Reduction Plan to reduce paper waste, the group had agreed that there should be an assumption that all Members would go paperless moving forward. However, individual Councillors could opt to continue to receive paper copies of agenda packs and Members were urged to notify Democratic Services by Friday 17th February 2023 if they wanted to continue to receive paper copies of agenda packs.
Councillor Dormer advised that there was due to be a Member training session focusing on how to use the modern.gov app, which was scheduled to take place in the evening on 13th February 2023. This training would outline how the app could be used to access and annotate agenda packs electronically and Members were urged to attend this session.
The Member Support Steering Group had also agreed at their latest meeting that, where Councillors continued to receive paper copies of agenda packs, they should collect these from their post trays at the Town Hall. This represented a return to the arrangements that had been in place for many years prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
e) Planning Advisory Panel – Chair, Councillor Matthew Dormer
Councillor Dormer confirmed that there had been no meetings of the Planning Advisory Panel (PAP) since the previous meeting of the Executive Committee.