Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Claire Chaplin, Democratic and Civic Services Manager - Tel: 01905 722005 

Items
No. Item

30.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were made:

 

Councillors A. Amos, Geraghty, Mrs L. Hodgson, Mackay and Roberts – item 38 - Referral Report from Policy and Resources Committee - Land at the Rear of The Pines, Bilford Road – as Members of Worcestershire County Council.

31.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Of the meeting held on 14th July 2020 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 14th July 2020 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

32.

Mayor's Communications

To receive any communications the Mayor may wish to make.

Minutes:

Neville Swanson

The Mayor paid tribute to the former Chair of Worcester Twinning Association, Neville Swanson, who had recently passed away.

 

Heritage Open Days

The Mayor commented on the Heritage Open Day held at the Guildhall on Saturday, 19 September 2020. She thanked all of the staff who had helped to make the event a success.

 

Black History Month

The Mayor informed the Council that she would be supporting Black History Month throughout the month of October. She explained the aim of Black History Month in the UK and highlighted activities that will be taking place in support of this year’s celebration.

33.

Public Participation

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, each speaker being allocated a maximum of five minutes, for members of the public to present a petition, ask a question or comment on any matter on the Agenda or within the remit of the Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.

Minutes:

Paul Snookes from Worcester Environmental Group spoke on the importance of biodiversity to the residents of Worcester and what is being done by other local authorities

34.

Questions

The Leader of the Council, the Deputy Leader of the Council or the Chair of any Committee or Sub-Committee to take any questions that may be submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.

Minutes:

Question No. 1

Question From:

Councillor Marjory Bisset

Question To:

Councillor Joy Squires, Chair of Environment Committee

Question:

Since the Covid19 lockdown started to be relaxed, the level of littering in Worcester has increased alarmingly. Litter disfigures the environment, can be a danger to wildlife, us and pets, and is expensive to clean up. What action will the Council take to counteract this growing problem?

Answer:

I’d like to start by thanking Councillor Bisset for the question. I would certainly agree with her that litter does disfigure the environment and can be a danger to ourselves, wildlife and pets. It’s certainly very expensive to clean up, so I think it’s really important that we do take action to deal with anything that affects us in this way.

 

The Environment Committee does take a regular interest in the management of litter in the City. Levels of litter clearance are reported to the Committee every quarter in its performance scorecard and the Committee has recently approved an investment in new recycling bins and will be considering the next round of investment in public bins at its next meeting, which is towards the end of October. The Council has powers of enforcement for littering which it has used to issue civil penalties to individuals where appropriate, although I think it’s fair to say that all of us are hoping that more enforcement will be able to take place in the future.

 

In terms of the recent period, which I think Councillor Bisset is referring to more specifically, I think the comment would be that reports of litter are slightly increased for the first six months of the year compared to last year – we had 80 during the first 6 months of last year, we’ve got 95 reports of litter this year – and fly-tip reports have also increased. However, it is a mixed picture because reports of overflowing bins have reduced along with reports of dog fouling as well.

 

A possible cause of increased litter is that people are out and about much more in the local environment rather than travelling away on holiday, and therefore parks and open spaces are seeing more use, and as a consequence potentially more litter as well.

 

As Councillor Bisset would have read in her briefing last week, we are about to move to place-based working which should improve overall levels of cleanliness as local teams introduce cleansing frequencies that reflect demand in particular areas.

 

Members will have seen the trial bins on some of our main roads in the city. These are bigger and contain litter far better than existing bins and the Environment Committee will be considering this further in October, in terms of how to replace some of our existing bins which themselves – the open bins in particular – can give rise to littering on a windy day. At the same time, the Committee will consider what steps are needed to increase public awareness of littering and of waste collection in public  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Notice of Motion

To consider any Notices of Motion submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8.

 

Motion to Declare a Biodiversity Emergency

 

Full Council notes:

 

1.   Recent reports from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on global species and habitat loss which detail.

 

2.   The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever.

 

3.   Over one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction, many within decades.

 

4.   Transformative changes are needed to protect and restore nature.

 

5.   It is not too late to make a difference, if we start now at every level, from local to global.

 

6.   Current Council strategies and plans are, unfortunately, not sufficiently addressing this emergency.

 

7.   Councils are responding by declaring a “Biodiversity Emergency” and committing resources to address this emergency.

 

Full Council believes that:

 

1.   A healthy and biodiverse environment is necessary, for a sustainable future.

 

2.   All governments (national and local) have a duty to act; local government must be proactive, for the benefit of their community.

 

3.   Bold action, is required, now to make a difference, globally and locally.

 

Full Council will:    

 

1.   Declare a “Biodiversity Emergency.”

 

2.   Pledge to act during the first year of Motion being accepted, to secure future measurable biodiversity net gain, for Worcester.

 

3.   Pledge to act during the second year of Motion being accepted and beyond, to secure further biodiversity net gain for Worcester, based on assessment of available scientific reports.

 

4.   Call on Westminster to provide powers and resources necessary to make net gains.

 

5.   Work with other governments and partners, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

 

6.   Create a cross party steering group, to work with the Environmental Sustainability Officer and report to the Environment Committee, on actions the Council will take with key stakeholders to address this emergency.  This work will be led with the Chair of the Environment Committee.

 

7.   Strategy and plans to be formulated in conjunction with the declared Climate Emergency.  Prioritisation of sustainable land management, sympathetic to wildlife.  Prevention of wildlife habitats, being unnecessarily destroyed.   Creation and care for wildlife-rich spaces, in every part of the city and across the region.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Allcott

Minutes:

The Council considered the following Notices of Motion, which had been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8:

 

1.    Motion to Declare a Biodiversity Emergency

 

Full Council notes:

 

1.   Recent reports from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) on global species and habitat loss which detail.

 

2.   The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever.

 

3.   Over one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction, many within decades.

 

4.   Transformative changes are needed to protect and restore nature.

 

5.   It is not too late to make a difference, if we start now at every level, from local to global.

 

6.   Current Council strategies and plans are, unfortunately, not sufficiently addressing this emergency.

 

7.   Councils are responding by declaring a “Biodiversity Emergency” and committing resources to address this emergency.

 

Full Council believes that:

 

1.   A healthy and biodiverse environment is necessary, for a sustainable future.

 

2.   All governments (national and local) have a duty to act; local government must be proactive, for the benefit of their community.

 

3.   Bold action, is required, now to make a difference, globally and locally.

 

Full Council will:    

 

1.   Declare a “Biodiversity Emergency.”

 

2.   Pledge to act during the first year of Motion being accepted, to secure future measurable biodiversity net gain, for Worcester.

 

3.   Pledge to act during the second year of Motion being accepted and beyond, to secure further biodiversity net gain for Worcester, based on assessment of available scientific reports.

 

4.   Call on Westminster to provide powers and resources necessary to make net gains.

 

5.   Work with other governments and partners, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

 

6.   Create a cross party steering group, to work with the Environmental Sustainability Officer and report to the Environment Committee, on actions the Council will take with key stakeholders to address this emergency.  This work will be led with the Chair of the Environment Committee.

 

7.   Strategy and plans to be formulated in conjunction with the declared Climate Emergency.  Prioritisation of sustainable land management, sympathetic to wildlife.  Prevention of wildlife habitats, being unnecessarily destroyed.   Creation and care for wildlife-rich spaces, in every part of the city and across the region.

 

The proposer, Councillor Allcott and the seconder, Councillor Laurenson, both spoke in support of the Motion.

 

Other Members spoke in support of the Motion.

 

On being put to the vote, the Motion was unanimously agreed and it was

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree to:

 

1.  declare a “Biodiversity Emergency;”

 

2.  pledge to act during the first year of Motion being accepted, to secure future measurable biodiversity net gain, for Worcester;

 

3.  pledge to act during the second year of Motion being accepted and beyond, to secure further biodiversity net gain for Worcester, based on assessment of available scientific reports;

 

4.  call on Westminster to provide powers and resources necessary to make net gains;

 

5.  work with other governments and partners, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally;

 

6.  create a cross party  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Report From The Relevant Committee On Matters Which Are Referred To Council For Decision

To receive reports on matters which by law or in accordance with the Constitution are referred to Council for decision.

Minutes:

The Council considered the following reports from the relevant Committee on matters which were referred to Council for decision.

37.

Referral Report from Place and Economic Development Sub-Committee - Local Development Scheme 2020 - 2023 pdf icon PDF 254 KB

1.     That Council approve the Local Development Scheme (LDS) 2020-2023 set out at Appendix 1 and for the LDS to come into effect from 1st October 2020; and

 

2.     That delegated authority is given to the Corporate Director – Place in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of Place and Economic Development Committee to make minor amendments to the LDS prior to publication.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report from the Chair of the Place and Economic Development Sub-Committee. The report explained that the most recent Local Development Schemes for the South Worcestershire Councils were adopted in November 2019.  The National Planning Practice Guidance stated that Local Development Schemes should be updated at least annually.  The September 2020 Scheme would cover the period 2020-2023.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Mrs L. Hodgson and seconded by Councillor Gregson and on being put to the vote it was agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree:

 

1.    to approve the Local Development Scheme (LDS) 2020-2023 set out at Appendix 1 and for the LDS to come into effect from 1st October 2020; and

 

2.    to delegate authority to the Corporate Director – Place in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair of Place and Economic Development Committee to make minor amendments to the LDS prior to publication.

 

38.

Referral Report from Policy and Resources Committee - Land at the Rear of The Pines, Bilford Road pdf icon PDF 189 KB

That the Council declare the land at the rear of The Pines (identified as the “Site” and shown edged red on the plan attached to the report) as surplus to the Council’s requirements and to authorise the Site to be offered jointly with the County Council’s land on the open market for disposal by way of freehold sale.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report from the Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee. The report explained that the Committee had considered a proposal to dispose of 0.15 hectares of land which is part of the City Council’s wider ownership at Perdiswell and had been occupied by Worcestershire County Council under the terms of a licence since 1976 at a fee of £1 per annum. The Committee expressed support for the proposal.

 

In accordance with the decision of Full Council on 22nd November 2016, any proposal to sell, lease, transfer or otherwise dispose of land at Perdiswell should be determined by Full Council.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Stephen and seconded by Councillor Bayliss and on being put to the vote it was agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree to declare the land at the rear of The Pines (identified as the “Site” and shown edged red on the plan attached to the report) as surplus to the Council’s requirements and to authorise the Site to be offered jointly with the County Council’s land on the open market for disposal by way of freehold sale.

39.

Referral Report from Policy and Resources Committee - Land To The East Of Sanctuary Close / Hopton Street 'Pocket Park' pdf icon PDF 189 KB

That the Council agree an amendment to the Capital Programme to include an additional £17,075 in respect of this scheme in 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report from the Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee on proposals to create a small, informal park and memorial on Council-owned land off Sanctuary Close/Hopton Street, in accordance with a motion agreed by full Council on 19th July 2019.

 

The preferred option was to undertake the works as proposed in the report at a total cost of £30,000. A contribution of £12,925 had been secured from Platform Housing, which was regarded as a fair reflection of the costs of works required under planning obligations to improve the site.

 

The Committee had agreed to authorise the Corporate Director of Place to accept the financial contribution and to recommend to Council an amendment to the Capital Programme to include an additional £17,075 in respect of this scheme in 2020/21.

 

In accordance with the Constitution, changes to the Policy and Budgetary Framework are reserved to full Council to determine.

 

Members spoke in support of the Motion.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Stephen, seconded by Councillor Gregson and upon being put to the vote it was unanimously agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree an amendment to the Capital Programme to include an additional £17,075 in respect of this scheme in 2020/21.

40.

Referral Report from Policy and Resources Committee - Accelerated Towns Fund Application pdf icon PDF 191 KB

That Council agree an amendment to the Capital Programme to include an additional £25,850 in respect of these schemes in 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report from the Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee on the outcome of the Council’s application for funding under the Accelerated Towns Fund.

 

The report explained that three relevant projects were identified in the application. The details of the proposals were set out in a letter to the Minister on 14 August 2020. These totalled £1,025,800. The Managing Director’s urgency powers had been used to submit an application for £1m funding (the maximum allowed). The Council had now been allocated £1m under the Fund.

 

The Committee had agreed to recommend to Council an amendment to the Capital Programme in respect of these schemes.

 

In accordance with the Constitution, changes to the Policy and Budgetary Framework are reserved to full Council to determine.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Stephen, seconded by Councillor Bayliss and upon being put to the vote it was unanimously agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree amendment to the Capital Programme to include an additional £25,850 in respect of these schemes in 2020/21.

41.

Referral Report from Policy and Resources Committee - Treasury Management Annual Report pdf icon PDF 183 KB

That the Council note the details included within the Treasury Management Annual Report for 2019/20.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report from the Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee on the Treasury Management Annual Report for 2019/20.

 

The report explained that, in accordance with the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management in the Public Services (2009), the Council should receive regular treasury management reports, including an annual review report after the close of the year.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Stephen, seconded by Councillor Gregson and upon being put to the vote it was unanimously agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council receive the Treasury Management Annual Report 2019/20.

42.

Referral Report from Standards Committee - Standards Committee Annual Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 183 KB

That the Council receive the Standards Committee Annual Report 2019/20.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report from the Chair of the Standards Committee on the Annual Report of the Committee, which provided a summary of the work undertaken by the Committee in the 2019/20 municipal year.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Lamb, seconded by Councillor Roberts and upon being put to the vote it was unanimously agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council receive the Standards Committee Annual Report 2019/20.

43.

Arrangements for Executing Contracts: Amendments to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 197 KB

That the Council authorises the Monitoring Officer to amend the Constitution with regard to the execution of contracts in the terms set out in section 3 of the report.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report from the Leader of the Council on proposals for minor amendments to the Procurement Code to provide clarity and more flexibility over the formalities for execution of contracts, without affecting the fundamental principles or the financial and legal controls within the Constitution.

 

In summary, the Monitoring Officer had reviewed the current procedures and recommended the following amendments:

 

Item

 

Proposed Amendment

Contract above £50k and below EU threshold

 

 

Is in writing and is signed by the Managing Director, Monitoring Officer or Deputy Monitoring Officer.

 

Contract above EU threshold

 

 

Is in writing and is either:

(a)         affixed with the Council’s Common seal and attested by the Managing Director, Monitoring Officer or Deputy Monitoring Officer;

or

(b)         signed by two authorised sigantories being: the Managing Director, Monitoring Officer and Deputy Monitoring Officer.

 

Use of the Common Seal of the Council

 

 

The Council’s Common Seal must be applied where the contract is a deed, irrespective of its financial value.

 

The Council’s Common Seal may also be applied to contracts above EU threshold.

 

Otherwise at the discretion of the Monitoring Officer.

 

Use of electronic signatures

 

 

An electronic reproduction of the signature of an authorised signatory may be used for a contract below the EU threshold provided that:

 

(a)     it is not required to be executed under Seal; and

(b)    the authorised signatory has expressly agreed to the application of their signature on each occasion and maintains a written record of the same.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Bayliss, seconded by Councillor Gregson and upon being put to the vote it was unanimously agree and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree to authorise the Monitoring Officer to amend the Constitution with regard to the execution of contracts in the terms set out above.

44.

Report from the Leader of the Council on any matters which he is of the opinion require urgent consideration by The Council

To receive a report, if necessary.

Minutes:

None.

45.

Items Involving the Disclosure of Exempt Information

The Council is invited to pass the following resolution:-

 

That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of information as defined in Schedule 12A of the said Act.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the

following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of information as defined in Schedule 12A of the said Act.

46.

Minutes (Exempt Items)

Of the meeting held on 14th July 2020 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes (exempt items) of the Council meeting held on 14th July 2020 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

47.

Any Exempt Issues

To consider any exempt matters which might arise.

Minutes:

None.