Agenda item

Questions on Notice (Procedure Rule 9)


Three Questions on Notice had been received for this meeting. 


Notice of Consultation RBC Tenancy Agreement


Ms J. Snape asked the Leader: “Could the leader please inform us of the cost to the Council of having to reissue the Notice of Consultation on RBC's Tenancy Agreement to all Council tenants, due to having issued the initial letter with the incorrect phone number on it?”


The Leader responded that with regret and sincere apologies from Officers this letter was reissued when it became apparent that in error part of the telephone number was transposed.


The Leader advised that the letter was sent on the 23rd October 2023 to 5,279 tenants.  It was in black and white (mono) on one side of A4.  The cost of this mailing was £745.45.

The Leader was pleased to report that to date the Council had received 73 written responses to the consultation and 142 residents were consulted with roadshows held in 12 locations.

Ms Snape asked a supplementary question, about whether the Leader or Portfolio Holder should have proof read the letter before it was sent out.  The Leader responded that Officers were responsible for drafting the letter and it would not be appropriate for councillors to do so.  A regrettable human error had occurred on this occasion.


Levelling Up Funding Matchborough and Winyates


Councillor J. Spilsbury asked the Leader “How can the leader demonstrate his commitment in real terms to residents of Matchborough and Winyates, given the failure to secure levelling up funding?”


The Leader responded that he had commitment to the whole town.  He had requested the preparation of a comprehensive pre-development feasibility study for the regeneration of Matchborough and Winyates, which was commissioned by NWedR on behalf of the council and delivered by Arcadis. This included the preparation of several development options for each local centre including feasibility studies, concept designs and viability assessments and appraisals. This work provided the core of the evidence base included in the LUF 2 bid and would be used in future bids for government grants and other relevant external funding programmes.  There was no call for any Council to bid in Levelling Up Fund 3, it was an allocation.  As the Council had already received funds from another source it was likely to be a challenge to receive further money.


The Leader invited Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), to a site visit in Redditch to discuss key regeneration plans for the town, including the regeneration of Matchborough and Winyates. As a result, conversations between WMCA, RBC and NWedR officers had commenced to explore potential WMCA support for the regeneration of Matchborough and Winyates. These included initial work on strategic fit, value for money and eligibility requirements of the various WMCA funding programmes that the council may be able to apply to as a non-constituent member of the Combined Authority. NWedR and RBC officers were working together to formulate the next steps.


Councillor Spilsbury asked a supplementary question about when residents could expect to hear confirmation of firm plans. 


The Leader replied that he could not give firm dates about the Matchborough regeneration.  The plans had been in place for 10 years and he was committed to see Matchborough get its fair share of funding.  The Council would continue to seek funding and he referred in particular to potential opportunities with West Midlands Combined Authority.


Relocation of Redditch Library


Mr O. Hale asked the Leader: “With regards to the relocation of the Library to the Town Hall, Redditch Council said they would not back the relocation if the majority of the population of Redditch did not want it relocated. Considering that the consultation sample showed that exact result, with a '99% confidence that the population would give the same result as the sample', can the Leader confirm if Redditch Council will continue to back the relocation?”


The Leader replied that the number of responses to the consultation was disappointing. A thorough process had been undertaken by officers both at the County and Borough Councils and prior to that by the Towns Deal Board in working up the proposals.  The County Council had decided to move the library into the Town Hall and the Borough Council would facilitate that.


Mr. Hale asked a supplementary question that given reports about the consultation said that the number of participants gave a valid response, and demonstrated that the people of Redditch did not want the library to move, was the Leader able to say that this was what the people of Redditch wanted?


The Leader replied that he believed the people of Redditch did want the project and the number of respondents to the consultation represented 1% of the population of the town.



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