Agenda and minutes

Venue: Remote Meeting

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

Items
No. Item

77.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were made:

 

Councillor Hodges – Question – Worcester Live  (Minute 82) – As a Board Member of Worcester Live.

 

With reference to the Notice of Motion relating to Abolishing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (Minute 83), the Monitoring Officer advised that, after consultation with Chair and Vice-Chair of the Standards Committee, a dispensation had been granted to all Members who are Private Sector Landlords to speak and vote on this item. Councillors Altaf, Ditta, Gregson Hassan, Stephen and Riaz declared an interest as landlords of properties in Worcester. Councillors Bayliss, Bisset and Stanley declared an interest as landlords of properties which are outside the Worcester City area.

78.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 253 KB

Of the meeting held on 23rd February 2021 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Council meeting held on 23rd February 2021 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

79.

Mayor's Communications

To receive any communications the Mayor may wish to make.

Minutes:

First Anniversary of Lockdown

The Mayor commented on this significant anniversary and expressed her thoughts on the impact which lockdown has had on Worcester citizens.

 

Re-Opening of Perdiswell leisure Centre

The Mayor explained that she had been pleased to attend the re-opening of Perdiswell Leisure Centre earlier in the day and she commented on the positive impact of sport and exercise on health and well-being.

 

Tom Jones

The Mayor explained that a memorial plaque for Tom Jones, the student who sadly died after he went missing by the River Severn in September 2018, had been unveiled on Sabrina Bridge recently. She expressed her condemnation of the recent vandalisation of the plaque and expressed her hope that it can be restored.

 

Retiring Councillors

The Mayor paid tribute to Councillors Biggs and Cawthorne, who were retiring in May.  Other Members spoke and paid their respective tributes.  Each of the retiring Councillors responded to the tributes.

80.

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:

None.

81.

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:

The Council considered the following questions submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.

 

Question No. 1

Question From:

Councillor Richard Udall

Question To:

Councillor Joy Squires, Chair of Environment Committee

Question:

Does the Chair of the Environment Committee agree with me there has been an increasing level of litter during the pandemic, would she consider a high profile “Keep Worcester Tidy” campaign during the summer months, engaging with local communities, schools and organisations, to support mass litter picks and to help to restore the pride in our city, a campaign to make littering socially unacceptable and to bring communities together?

 

Answer:

Your finger is in the popular pulse as ever with this topic, I think.

Only on Saturday just gone, Councillor Jenny Barnes and myself joined about 30 other people for the Worcester Canal Group monthly litter pick, the first one we’ve been able to hold for about 4 months, and we were completely overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up and the difference that that made along the canal, within the Arboretum area, within the canal itself - we even had two people in a canoe picking litter from the canal - so this is something that I think people in Worcester are really, really keen to do.

 

Whether levels of litter have increased overall is probably a bit of a moot point. There’s been a reduction very much in terms of litter in the city centre itself, but of course we have all seen evidence that it has moved to some of the popular Riverside walks and such like, so I think that overall the impression certainly is that there is more littering and that's not a surprise really given how people have been taking advantage of the opportunity to use our parks and lovely Riverside areas.

 

That said, it does pose a problem and we will continue as a Council to promote good practise and continue to work with volunteer groups which we do across the city, to raise awareness and undertake clean-ups, and of course one of our key partners in this is the Duckworth Worcestershire Trust and the numerous volunteer litter warden projects supported by them right across the city, and all the friends groups of course, who participate in regular litter pickings as well. So, I think we have the basis of a good structure of volunteers if you like across the city in order to increase our efforts.

 

The Great British Spring Clean provides the perfect platform for a campaign. That starts on 28th of May and runs through to 13th June this year and the Council will start promotion of this campaign via the volunteering newsletter from April onwards and will regularly communicate on the event via social media in the run-up and throughout the campaign.

 

Supplementary Question:

Can I ask Councillor Squires if she remembers the Wombles? I have my 1974 annual here, one of my prized possessions which I had when I was five  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.

82.

Notice of Motion

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

 

Thanks to West Mercia Police

 

The violence and mayhem caused by a few thugs and hooligans in nearby Bristol has once again shown how important the police are in defending communities like ours in Worcester. They deserve our admiration and respect for the role they play in preserving a decent and civil society.  This Council therefore asks the Managing Director to write to the Chief Constable of West Mercia thanking him and his officers for all their efforts during the pandemic in keeping law and order and protecting us from those who seek to disrupt our work and progress. ?

 

Proposed by: Councillor Mitchell

 

Proposed Changes to the Legislative Regime Around Drugs

 

Hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine and GHB are a scourge on our society across the UK, including here in Worcester.  They create terrible life consequences for those who use  them, those whose neighbourhoods are blighted by them and for society as a whole.  We must do all we can to eliminate them from our society and support the criminal justice system in their work in supporting that aim.  Moves to loosen the legislative regime around drugs such as GHB (also known as the date rape drug) are completely wrong and must be resisted.  To this end, Council calls upon the Managing Director to write to the Home Secretary to ask her to reject any suggestions of decriminalising these substances. ?

 

Proposed by: Councillor Mackay

 

 

Minutes:

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

 

Abolish Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988

 

This Council believes strongly that a secure home is at the heart of all our lives. It gives security, enables aspiration and gives children a stable home in which to grow-up.

 

This Council believes that residents living in the private rented sector should have the security to  build their lives and futures, and to become an active part of the community, just as residents in other housing tenures. We note that the largest reason for homelessness is eviction from the private rented sector.

 

We therefore mandate Managing Director to write to the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government to call on Government to abolish S21 of the Housing Act 1988, which allows eviction without the landlord having to establish fault on the part of the tenant. Removing this unfair clause would help make renting more secure, improve standards, increase tenant confidence and ultimately contribute to making renting a viable long term alternative to home ownership or social rent for the millions who currently cannot access either.

 

The proposer, Councillor Berry and the seconder, Councillor Denham, both spoke in support of the Motion.

 

Other Members spoke on the Motion, following which the Motion was put to the vote. The Motion was agreed and it was

 

RESOLVED: That the Council mandates the Managing Director to write to the Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government to call on Government to abolish S21 of the Housing Act 1988.

 

Twinning Between Worcester and Gouzeaucourt

 

This Council will make the temporary Friendship Pact created in 2014 with Gouzeaucourt a small town in Northern France, into a permanent twinning arrangement between Worcester Council and Gouzeaucourt. The Twinning Association have considered this request and are confident that all the criteria to decide on the suitability of a relationship have been met and that this twinning relationship would benefit the City of Worcester.

 

The proposer, Councillor Hodges and the seconder, Councillor Gregson, both spoke in support of the Motion. Other Members spoke on the Motion, following which the Motion was put to the vote. The Motion was agreed and it was

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agrees to make a permanent twinning arrangement between Worcester and Gouzeaucourt.

 

Thanks to West Mercia Police

 

The violence and mayhem caused by a few thugs and hooligans in nearby Bristol has once again shown how important the police are in defending communities like ours in Worcester. They deserve our admiration and respect for the role they play in preserving a decent and civil society.  This Council therefore asks the Managing Director to write to the Chief Constable of West Mercia thanking him and his officers for all their efforts during the pandemic in keeping law and order and protecting us from those who seek to disrupt our work and progress.

 

The proposer, Councillor Mitchell and the seconder, Councillor Alan Amos, both spoke in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.

83.

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

84.

Referral Report from Policy and Resources Committee 23rd March 2021 - Capital And Investment Strategies 2021/22 - 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 186 KB

That Council agrees to:

 

1.     adopt the Capital Strategy and Investment Strategy for 2021/22 – 2023/24 as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 be adopted; and

 

2.     revise the Authorised Limit and Operational Boundary for external debt be revised in accordance with the proposals set out in the report.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a referral report from the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee.

 

The Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting on 23rd March 2021 had considered a report on the Capital Strategy and Investment Strategy for 2021/22-2023/24 and a revised Authorised Limit and Operational Boundary for external debt. The Committee agreed to recommend that the Council adopt the Strategies and revise the limit on the Authorised Limit and Operational Boundary for external debt in accordance with the proposals set out in the report.

 

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:

 

1.   adopt the Capital Strategy and Investment Strategy for 2021/22-2023/24 as set out in Appendices 1 and 2 be adopted; and

         

2.   revise the Authorised Limit and Operational Boundary for external debt be revised in accordance with the proposals set out in the report.

85.

Referral Report from Policy and Resources Committee 23rd March 2021 - Accelerated Towns Fund Projects - Community Centres And 4 Copenhagen Street pdf icon PDF 187 KB

That the Council agrees to:

 

1.     revise the Capital Programme in the sum of £90,000 to assist in the delivery of the Accelerated Towns Fund project for Community Centres; and

 

2.     revise the Capital Programme in the sum of £50,000 to assist in the delivery of the Accelerated Towns Fund project for 4 Copenhagen Street.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a referral report from the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee.

 

At its meeting on 23rd March 2021, the Committee considered a report on the Accelerated Towns Fund Projects for Community Centres and 4 Copenhagen Street. The Committee agreed to recommend that the Council revise the Capital Programme in the sum of £90,000 and £50,000 for Community Centres and 4 Copenhagen Street respectively, in accordance with the proposals set out in the report.

 

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

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree to:

 

1.   revise the Capital Programme in the sum of £90,000 to assist the delivery of the Accelerated Towns Fund Project for Community Centres; and

         

2.   revise the Capital Programme in the sum of £50,000 to assist the delivery of the Accelerated Towns Fund Project for 4 Copenhagen Street.

86.

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.

87.

Programme of Meetings 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

To agree the dates for Council and Committee meetings for 2021/22

(Attached).

Minutes:

The Council considered the proposed programme of meetings for the period May 2021 to June 2022.

 

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

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree the dates for Council and Committee meetings for 2021/22, as set out in the schedule attached to agenda item 10.

88.

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 item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of information as defined in Schedule 12A of the said Act.

89.

Referral Report from Policy and Resources Committee 23rd March 2021 - Proposed Fees and Charges 2021/22 - Trade Waste Collections

That the Council approves the proposed Fees and Charges for Trade Waste for 2021/22 .

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Council considered the fees and charges for Trade Waste Collections for for 2021/22. These were not for publication as they contained commercially sensitive information.

 

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

 

RESOLVED: That the Council approve the Fees and Charges for Trade Waste Collections 2021/22.