Agenda and minutes

Venue: Assembly Room, Guildhall

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

Note: To view the live broadcast go to https://www.youtube.com/user/WorcesterCityCouncil 

Items
No. Item

26.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors Altaf, Hassan and Lawrance.

27.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were made:

 

Councillors Gregson and Stephen – Minute 34 - Amendment to the scheme for Members’ Allowances 20212/22 – as Members affected by the amendment.

28.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Of the Annual Council Meeting and the Extraordinary Meeting held on 18th May 2021 to be approved and signed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Annual Council Meeting and the Extraordinary Meeting held on 18th May 2021 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

29.

Mayor's Communications

To receive any communications the Mayor may wish to make.

Minutes:

Remembering Srebrenica

The Mayor explained that he and the Mayoress attended a special event to mark Srebrenica Memorial Day. Remembering Srebrenica raises awareness about the Bosnian genocide and educates people about what the UN called “the worst atrocity on European soil since World War Two”. This charity is the sole organiser of the annual Srebrenica Memorial Week which culminates on July 11. The event was organised by Worcester Interfaith Forum and we had a keynote speaker, Amil Khan, who is the Director of the Remembering Srebrenica Charity.

 

Worcester’s Big Parade

The Mayor explained that he was delighted to attend the launch event for Worcester’s Big Parade earlier today.  This summer the city centre will be home to a parade of beautifully decorated elephant sculptures, both big and small, which form a stunning, free art trail through the city’s streets and open spaces.  Each sculpture is sponsored by a business and individually designed by an artist.  The ultimate purpose of Worcester’s Big Parade is to raise awareness of St Richard’s Hospice.

 

Three Choirs Festival

The Mayor announced that the opening ceremony of the Three Choirs Festival is on Saturday 24th July. More details to be circulated shortly.

 

 

30.

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 Matt Lamb

Question To:

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Leader of the Council

Question

 

As a councillor representing a Ward on the west side of the river, the Leader of the Council will share my concern about the announcement in April of the closure of Joy Mining in St Johns with the loss of up to 150 jobs. Skilled manufacturing jobs are vital to ensuring our city has a balanced economy and their loss will be keenly felt. What support has been offered and what conversations have been had with the management and workforce to reduce the impact of this closure on Worcester and St Johns?

 

Answer:

 

Joy Mining currently employ just over 200 staff at the site in St John’s and as noted, a number of these jobs are to be lost during 2022 and 2023. The Managing Director has met with Joy Mining senior management in order to ascertain what actions are being taken to help staff at risk of redundancy find alternative employment, what alternative accommodation will be required for the engineering staff that are to be retained and what are the plans for the site.

 

I am pleased to report that Joy Mining is working closely with DWP to find alternative local employment for staff and is also working with other elements of the Komatsu company to see if it will be possible to offer some staff alternative jobs elsewhere within the company.

 

Some 80+ engineering and administration jobs are to be retained and discussions between the City Council and the employer have commenced with regard to identifying alternative premises for these staff. Discussions will continue between now and 2023, when the site is to be vacated.

 

Joy Mining will probably dispose of the site in late 2023 and discussions have also commenced regarding potential future use of the site. The City Council will continue these discussions over the coming months.

 

Supplementary Question:

 

Would you agree with me that I think it is important to ensure that the site is retained for business use? Whilst there is a shortage of affordable housing and Worcester is under pressure to increase its housing stock, I think the loss of this site for economic use would be a further blow. What plans have been made for the Joy Mining site and what can we do to ensure it is retained for business use to encourage skilled jobs?

Answer:

 

Yes, I do think the site should be retained for business use and I will work with Council Officers to try and deliver that outcome.

 

Question No. 2

 

Question From:

Councillor Richard Udall

Question To:

Councillor James Stanley, Chair of Communities Committee

Question:

The brilliant new tennis courts in Cripplegate Park, are a fantastic addition to the park, we waited a long time for them, they were welcomed by many local residents.  However, even during the recent Wimbledon fortnight, they appeared to be hardly used.  Will the Chair of the Committee investigate why this is the case  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

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 programme of native wildflower verges and green spaces and the way in which the Council can save money, reduce their carbon footprint, enhance the biodiversity in the city and improve the wellbeing of the community.

32.

Notice of Motion

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

 

Pets as Prizes: This Has to Stop

 

This Council:  

·          is concerned about the number of cases reported to the RSPCA each year regarding pets given as prizes via fairgrounds, social media and other channels in England, and notes the issue predominantly concerns goldfish;

·          is concerned for the welfare of those animals that are being given as prizes;

·          recognises that many cases of pets being as prizes may go unreported each year;  

·          supports a move to ban the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on Worcester City Council land.  

 

The Council agrees to: 

·          ban outright the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on Worcester City Council land; and

·          mandate the Managing Director to write to the Minister of Animal Welfare, urging an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes on both public and private land. 

 

Proposed by: Councillor Laurenson

 

West Mercia Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Support Centre

 

West Mercia Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Support Centre is the only organisation in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to offer specialist support to the victims of rape and sexual violence. Services are free, confidential and non-judgemental and currently available to survivors who have experienced any form of rape and/or sexual violence at any time in their lives. WMRCSASC offers both telephone advice and face to face counselling sessions to survivors of rape and sexual violence, both men and women, young and old, and offers a specialist Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Service to survivors over the age of 5. The majority of those seen by the service are between the ages of 11 and 25.

 

It is therefore devastating to hear that the service has had to close it’s doors to new referrals whilst it clears the backlog of over 400 people currently on the waiting list, with a current estimated wait time of over 18 months from referral to a first face to face session. Whilst approximately one third of funding for the service comes from the Ministry of Justice, and the advocacy service is currently funded by the PCC, there is a significant funding gap and it is no longer ethical or sustainable for the service to accept new referrals.

 

This Council notes the hardship that is currently being experienced by WMRCSASC and calls on the Managing Director, Director of Homes and Communities, and Leader of the Council to work with partners across Worcestershire including MPs, the PCC, the NHS and social services in order to assist WMRCSASC in being able to carry out this valuable and life saving work.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Griffiths

 

Minutes:

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

 

Pets as Prizes: This Has to Stop

 

This Council:  

·           is concerned about the number of cases reported to the RSPCA each year regarding pets given as prizes via fairgrounds, social media and other channels in England, and notes the issue predominantly concerns goldfish;

·           is concerned for the welfare of those animals that are being given as prizes;

·           recognises that many cases of pets being as prizes may go unreported each year;  

·           supports a move to ban the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on Worcester City Council land.  

 

The Council agrees to: 

·           ban outright the giving of live animals as prizes, in any form, on Worcester City Council land; and

·           mandate the Managing Director to write to the Minister of Animal Welfare, urging an outright ban on the giving of live animals as prizes on both public and private land. 

 

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

 

Members then entered into a debate on the Motion where support and opposition was expressed across the Chamber.

 

The Motion was then put to vote which was tied.  In accordance with the Council’s Constitution the Mayor used his casting vote and the Motion was lost.

 

West Mercia Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Support Centre

 

West Mercia Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Support Centre is the only organisation in Herefordshire and Worcestershire to offer specialist support to the victims of rape and sexual violence. Services are free, confidential and non-judgemental and currently available to survivors who have experienced any form of rape and/or sexual violence at any time in their lives. WMRCSASC offers both telephone advice and face to face counselling sessions to survivors of rape and sexual violence, both men and women, young and old, and offers a specialist Independent Sexual Violence Advisory Service to survivors over the age of 5. The majority of those seen by the service are between the ages of 11 and 25.

 

It is therefore devastating to hear that the service has had to close it’s doors to new referrals whilst it clears the backlog of over 400 people currently on the waiting list, with a current estimated wait time of over 18 months from referral to a first face to face session. Whilst approximately one third of funding for the service comes from the Ministry of Justice, and the advocacy service is currently funded by the PCC, there is a significant funding gap and it is no longer ethical or sustainable for the service to accept new referrals.

 

This Council notes the hardship that is currently being experienced by WMRCSASC and calls on the Managing Director, Director of Homes and Communities, and Leader of the Council to work with partners across Worcestershire including MPs, the PCC, the NHS and social services in order to assist WMRCSASC in being able to carry out this valuable and life  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Appointment of Members to Committees pdf icon PDF 183 KB

That the Council agree to remove Councillor Allcott as a member of Licensing and Environmental Health Committee and appoint Councillor Lawrance.

Minutes:

 

The Council considered a report on the appointment of Members to Committees.

 

Following Annual Council on 18th May 2021 whereby appointment of Members to Policy Committees, Regulatory Committees, Joint Committees and Other Bodies had been approved, Councillor Allcott had requested that she be removed from the Licensing and Environmental Health Committee and replaced with Councillor Lawrance.

 

In accordance with Part 2, Article 4.2 of the Constitution, appointing and removing Members to and from Committees is a matter reserved to full Council, unless delegated by the Council.

 

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

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree to remove Councillor Allcott as a member of the Licensing and Environmental Health Committee and appoint Councillor Lawrance.

34.

Amendment To The Scheme For Members' Allowances 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 194 KB

That the Council approve the amendment to the Scheme for Members’ Allowances 2021/22 as set out in the report.

Minutes:

The Council considered a report on the amendment to the Scheme for Members’ Allowances 2021/22.

 

Following the Local Elections on 7th May 2021the political balance of the Council changed and subsequently changes to the appointment of the Deputy Leader role, membership on committees and the appointment of Charis and Vice Chairs were agreed by Council at its meeting on 18th May 2021.

 

At this meeting, Councillors Gregson and Stephen were appointed to the Vice Chair role of Policy and Resources Committee meaning that both are now carrying out one special responsibility function.

 

In accordance with the Independent Remuneration Panel’s recommendation that Members should only receive one Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) payment, it is proposed that Councillors Gregson and Stephen receive the SRA of £4,474 agreed by the Council on 23rd February 2021 for the Vice Chair role of Policy Committees.

 

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

 

RESOLVED:  That the Council approve the amendment to the Scheme for Members’ Allowances 2021/22 as set out in the report.

35.

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.

36.

Referral Report from Policy and Resources Committee - Replacement of Wetside Floor Tiles at Perdiswell Leisure Centre pdf icon PDF 188 KB

That the Council agree an amendment to the Capital Programme of up to £182,100 to meet the costs of the capital works.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The Policy and Resources Committee at its meeting on 8th June 2021 had considered a report on the procurement of contractors to replace the wetside floor tiles at Perdiswell Leisure Centre.  The Committee agreed to recommend that the Council amends the Capital programme of up to £182,100, to meet the costs of the capital works, in  accordance with the proposals set out in the report.

 

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

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree an amendment to the Capital Programme of up to £182,100 to the meet the costs of the capital works.

 

 

 

 

37.

Referral Report from Standards Committee - Standards Committee Annual Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 181 KB

That the Council receive the Standards Committee Annual Report 2020/21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a referral report from the Chair of Standards Committee on the Annual Report of the Committee, which provided a summary of the work undertaken by the Committee in the 2021/21 municipal year.

 

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

 

RESOLVED: That the Council receives the Standards Committee Annual Report 2020/21.

38.

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.

39.

Any Exempt Issues

To consider any exempt matters which might arise.

Minutes:

None.