Agenda item

Questions on Notice (Procedure Rule 9)


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 the Overview and Scrutiny Committee had missed some information, the reasons for this had been explained at the time.  The Council had submitted all relevant paperwork to the Government in accordance with the established process and further attempts would be made to bid for more Levelling Up funding in the forthcoming third round of the scheme.



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