Agenda item

Executive Committee


Members considered recommendations that had been agreed at meetings of the Executive Committee held on 25th July and 12th September 2023.


Worcestershire Housing Strategy 2040


Members expressed their thanks to the former Chief Executive for the work involved in bringing a report to the Executive Committee.  Some members expressed the view that whilst they supported the proposals, there were concerns about the impact of the costs of retrofit in the current economic climate. 


Approvals to Spend


During consideration of these recommendations, members referred to discussion at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the concerns which had been raised at that meeting and notified to the Executive Committee. 


Draft Treasury Management Outturn Report 2022/23


Members considered and agreed the recommendations from the Executive Committee.


Future of Brick Arched Former Railway Bridge, Green Lane, Studley


Members welcomed the actions proposed by the Executive Committee.


Disposal of Long Leasehold Interest at Woodfield Close, Abbeydale,Redditch


Members supported the proposals to dispose of the long lease as recommended. 


Housing development proposal – Loxley Close, Church Hill


Cllr Baker expressed concerns about the building site as it was on a flood plain and his reservations about the potential for a ‘two tier’ rent system in the town.  However, members recognised the need for social housing and the contribution to the housing stock made by this development.


Councillor Warhust explained that the planning process had considered the flooding issues and the proposed development had been adjusted accordingly.


Town Hall Refurbishment – Final Decision


The Council considered the recommendations from the Executive Committee meeting on 12th September to increase the Town Hall Refurbishment Capital Budget to £6.2 million; fund the £1 million difference from the original approved budget  through PWLB debt financed via the additional income, over and above what is in the Medium Term Financial Plan being delivered; and to delegate authority to the Interim Director of Finance and Resources to enter into the consequential contractual arrangements.


During debate of this item the following were the main points made:


·       the proposed Hub would bring organisations together to benefit people of the town

·       whilst in support of the Hub concept some members expressed the view that as consultation and petitions had demonstrated public opposition to relocation of the library then this should not proceed

·       There were alternative uses for the additional £1m proposed to be allocated to the project, which could be applied to dealing with the current financial challenges.  Alternatives suggested for spending included improving the housing stock and increasing provision of community facilities

·       Lessons should have been learned from the Tech1 project and applied to the Town hall refurbishment

·       Some members expressed concern that the current proposed total cost of £10.6m would increase still further, which in their view would put the Council’s finances in jeopardy, and sought guarantees that there would be no further increases

·       A member highlighted that financial implications in the report to the Executive Committee had identified £400k annual savings as a result of the Hub.  It was suggested that although the final figures involved borrowing an additional £1m, the net savings were now projected to be £410k per year for the revenue budget, which would not be ring fenced.   


Councillor Joe Baker requested a recorded name vote and names were recorded as follows:


Members Voting FOR the proposal to add to the budget for the Town Hall Refurbishment:


Councillors Salman Akbar, Imran Altaf, Karen Ashley, Joanne Beecham, Brandon Clayton, Luke Court, Matthew Dormer, Peter Fleming, Alex Fogg, Lucy Harrison, Chris Holz, Anthony Lovell, Emma Marshall, Gemma Monaco, Timothy Pearman and Craig Warhurst (16)


Members voting AGAINST the proposal:


Councillors Joe Baker, Juliet Barker-Smith, Juma Begum, James Fardoe, Andy Fry, Bill Hartnett, Sharon Harvey, Joanna Kane, Sid Khan, Kerrie Miles, Jane Spilsbury, Monica Stringfellow and Ian Woodall (13)


Abstentions (0)


The proposal was carried.


Finance and Performance Monitoring Report - Quarter 1 2023/24


During the consideration of this item a member asked for confirmation of some details relating to the 2023/24 budget, including whether reserves were being used to meet the budget for 22/23 and whether efficiency targets were met.  In response the portfolio holder reported that the use of reserves had been as planned and that good progress was being made on efficiencies.




the minutes of the meetings of the Executive Committee held on Tuesday, 25th July and Tuesday 12th September 2023 be approved and all recommendations adopted.

Supporting documents: