Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Guildhall, High Street, Worcester WR1 2EY

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 

Media

Items
No. Item

26.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Bisset and Mitchell and David Blake, Managing Director.

27.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were made:

 

Councillors Altaf, Ditta, Gregson, Hassan, Riaz, Stanley and Stephen - Minute 32 (Notice of Motion - Protection and Engagement – Private Renters) – As private landlords in Worcester

 

Councillor Piotrowski -  Minute 32 (Notice of Motion - Protection and Engagement – Private Renters) – Due to his employment by a major social housing provider

 

Councillor Riaz – Minute 38 (Termination of Revenues and Benefits Management Contract) – Brother is an employee of Civica.

 

28.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 340 KB

Of the meetings held on 17th May 2022 to be approved and signed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Annual and Extraordinary Council meetings held on 17th May 2022 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:

Thank You to Staff

The Mayor thanked all Council Officers who had helped with the organisation of the recent Queen’s Jubilee events and the 100th Anniversary of Gheluvelt Park event.

 

Civic Service

The Mayor thanked those Members who attended the Civic Service on 19th June 2022.

 

Worcester Carnival

The Mayor informed the Council that he had attended the opening of the Worcester Carnival on Saturday, 2nd July 2022.

 

10th Anniversary of The Hive

The Mayor informed the Council that he had attended the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Hive on Saturday, 2nd July 2022.

 

Magic of Middle Earth Exhibition

The Mayor informed the Council that he would be opening the Magic of Middle Earth Exhibition at the Museum and Art Gallery on 9th July 2022.

 

Remembering Srebrenica Memorial Event

The Mayor reminded Members of this event, which would take place on Monday 11th July 2022 at 11.00am.

 

St Swithun’s Day Organ Recital

The Mayor informed the Council that he would be attending an organ recital at St Swithun’s Church, following 3 years of restoration work, on Friday, 15th July 2022 at 1.10pm. All Members were welcome to join him.

 

Three Choirs Festival

The Mayor informed the Council that he would be attending the Three Choirs Festival in Hereford on 23rd July 2022.

 

Inaugural Banquet

The Mayor announced that his Inaugural Banquet will be held on Friday 23rd September 2022 and invitations will be sent out soon.

 

Welcome to Worcester’s Ukrainian Guests

Members were advised that plans are underway to organise an event in August 2022 to welcome Worcester’s Ukrainian guests. More information will follow.

 

Refreshments

The Mayor invited everyone present to join him for refreshments in the Assembly Room at the finish of the meeting.

30.

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.

31.

Questions

The Leader of the Council 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 Stephen Hodgson

Question To:

Councillor Marc Bayliss, Joint Leader of the Council

Question:

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours list that was published on 1st June 2022, how many recipients came from the Worcester City local authority area and how any nominations have been put forward through Worcester City Council over the past two years?

 

Answer:

It’s difficult to define the Worcester area because we’re obviously not consulted on the list prior to it being published, it simply says the “location of the recipient.” For instance, the only award that was given this year was to Sir Nicholas David Coleridge CBE, of Wolverton Hall. It lists him as Worcester, but he is not in Worcester, he’s in Wychavon, for instance, so it’s difficult to give an exact answer.

 

There were no nominations put forward through the City Council over the past two years, but then anybody and everybody can put nominations forward.

 

What I would say though is that in my view, nominations are always for those who have done outstanding work for the community in which they’re based, and there has already been some comment on social media about this question, and a scurrilous suggestion from a Member – who knows who I’m talking about - that Conservatives are asking questions about getting their friends OBEs. Nothing could be further from the truth, it’s an outrageous comment and should be withdrawn.

 

Supplementary Question:

Last year, in my Mayoral role, I had the privilege of attending two awards ceremonies in the Guildhall, which included a well-deserved British Empire Medal to Julia Micklewhite and her excellent work for Aspie, one of the charities I chose when I was Mayor. I witnessed awards that were given to people from Wychavon, recognising their endeavours during the Covid pandemic, but was disappointed that nobody from the city of Worcester was recognized.

 

I mentioned this lack of award to our citizens to the Chief Executive.

 

Will the Leader ask our Officers to communicate to Members about how to nominate local people, and also put in the resource as well so that when nominations are put forward, they are properly entered into the official forms and all that that, and put forward so that they are received in the best way possible so that we can start seeing the large amount of voluntary people – because Worcester has a very good voluntary sector – those people getting the recognition that they deserve?

 

Answer:

I totally agree with Councillor Hodgson that there are a huge number of people in Worcester who do great service to this community and deserve the recognition that an award from her Majesty the Queen would bestow, and I would certainly support this Council offering help and assistance to people who are thinking of making a nomination. As I said, this is something that should have wide support, the nominations system has enabled  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Notice of Motion

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

 

Cost of Living

 

This Council notes that:

 

On 1 April 2022 Ofgem increased the energy price cap by 54 per cent.  This means the average standard tariff energy bill will increase by £693 per year and the average pre-pay meter energy bill will increase by £708 per year.  (1)

 

The Government has not applied the pensions “triple lock” for 2022/23 meaning that Worcester’s pensioners will see a rise of just 3.1 per cent this year as opposed to 8.3 per cent under the triple lock formula. This year, this will cost a Worcester pensioner on the full new state pension an average of £487 and a Worcester pensioner on the full basic state pension an average of £373.  (2)

 

Worcester Foodbank fed 10,838 people in 2021 and has seen a 22% rise in demand since 2020.  More than 1 in 3 people fed by Worcester Foodbank are children.  (3)

 

This Council therefore declares a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’ and requests the Managing Director to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and express this Council’s wish for Government to:

 

Immediately remove the standard rate of VAT on fuel from 5 per cent to 0 per cent saving Worcester households £100 (£98.55 on the average standard tariff maximum and £100.85 on the average pre-pay meter energy bill);

 

Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent for one year further saving the average Worcester household £587.50 this year (4);

 

Immediately apply and backdate the pensions “triple lock” for this year (2022/23) to support Worcester’s pensioners now.

 

(1)   Ofgem website announcement 3rd March 2022

(2)   TUC statement 18th March 2022

(3)   Worcester Foodbank website statement 20th June 2022

(4)   Officer for Budget Responsibility October 2021 VAT Forecast

 

Proposed by: Councillor Allcott

 

Dines Green Community Police Post

 

Council is concerned about the proposals by the Police and Crime Commissioner to close the Dines Green Community Police Post. Council opposes such a decision and believes the Commissioner should continue to provide a permanent police presence in St John’s and west of the river, which would be responsive to local needs and would assist with community engagement and community safety.  Council therefore mandates the Managing Director to request that the Police and Crime Commissioner reconsiders his proposal and to work with the City Council to consider alternatives to closure and disposal.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Udall

 

Protection and Engagement – Private Renters  

 

This Council is committed to protecting and engaging with private renters as no one should live in a home that is damp, in a poor state of repair, overcrowded or unaffordable. Private renters need to hear more from Worcester City Council about the rights they have and how to exercise them.

 

Council therefore resolves to instruct Officers to compile an Action Plan for consideration by the Council’s Communities Committee identifying measures of how the Council can further protect and engage  ...  view the full agenda text for item 32.

Minutes:

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

 

Cost of Living

 

This Council notes that:

 

On 1 April 2022 Ofgem increased the energy price cap by 54 per cent.  This means the average standard tariff energy bill will increase by £693 per year and the average pre-pay meter energy bill will increase by £708 per year.  (1)

 

The Government has not applied the pensions “triple lock” for 2022/23 meaning that Worcester’s pensioners will see a rise of just 3.1 per cent this year as opposed to 8.3 per cent under the triple lock formula. This year, this will cost a Worcester pensioner on the full new state pension an average of £487 and a Worcester pensioner on the full basic state pension an average of £373.  (2)

 

Worcester Foodbank fed 10,838 people in 2021 and has seen a 22% rise in demand since 2020.  More than 1 in 3 people fed by Worcester Foodbank are children.  (3)

 

This Council therefore declares a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’ and requests the Managing Director to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and express this Council’s wish for Government to:

 

Immediately remove the standard rate of VAT on fuel from 5 per cent to 0 per cent saving Worcester households £100 (£98.55 on the average standard tariff maximum and £100.85 on the average pre-pay meter energy bill);

 

Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent for one year further saving the average Worcester household £587.50 this year (4);

 

Immediately apply and backdate the pensions “triple lock” for this year (2022/23) to support Worcester’s pensioners now.

 

(1)     Ofgem website announcement 3rd March 2022

(2)     TUC statement 18th March 2022

(3)     Worcester Foodbank website statement 20th June 2022

(4)     Officer for Budget Responsibility October 2021 VAT Forecast

 

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

The following amendment was proposed by Councillor Stephen and seconded by Councillor Lewing:

Between the words “Immediately” and “remove” add the words “for this year.” On being put to the vote the amendment was lost.

Members then entered into a debate on the Motion, where a range of views were expressed. Upon being put to the vote it was agreed and

RESOLVED: That this Council declares a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’ and requests the Managing Director to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and express this Council’s wishes as set out in the Motion above.

 

Dines Green Community Policy Post

Council is concerned about the proposals by the Police and Crime Commissioner to close the Dines Green Community Police Post. Council opposes such a decision and believes the Commissioner should continue to provide a permanent police presence in St John’s and west of the river, which would be responsive to local needs and would assist with community engagement and community safety.  Council therefore mandates the Managing Director to request that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England: Electoral Review - Warding Arrangements Consultation pdf icon PDF 207 KB

That the Council agrees the Warding Arrangements Submission set out in Appendix 1 as its collective response to the initial consultation being undertaken by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and authorises the Corporate Director - Planning and Governance to submit this document to the Commission, on behalf of the Council.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report on a submission to Local Government Boundary Commission for England in response to their initial consultation on proposed warding arrangements, based upon 35 councillors representing the district. The Corporate Director- Planning and Governance presented the report and explained that, whilst there was no requirement for the Council to submit an agreed response, this will be helpful for the Commission’s review and would give the Council the opportunity to have its say. To this end, Officers have been working with Members to develop proposals for warding arrangements in the district which may be able to achieve consensus support from Council Members.

 

The draft submission, which was appended to the report, had been prepared following discussions with the four Political Group Leaders as well as through individual workshops with each Political Group on the Council. All Group Leaders spoke in support of the proposed submission. Other Members also spoke.

 

In was moved by Councillor Bayliss and seconded by Councillor Denham and upon being put to the vote it was agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agrees the Warding Arrangements Submission set out in Appendix 1, Paragraph 4 - Summary of the Council’s Proposals as its collective response to the initial consultation being undertaken by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England and authorises the Corporate Director - Planning and Governance to submit this document to the Commission, on behalf of the Council.

 

34.

Amendments to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 201 KB

That the Council approves, with immediate effect, the amendments to the Constitution set out in this report and authorises the Corporate Director - Planning and Governance to make the necessary drafting changes to the Constitution.

 

Minutes:

The Council considered a report on proposed amendments to the Constitution to provide clarity on a number of points where the Constitution did not currently reflect the Council’s preferred operating arrangements. The Corporate Director – Planning and Governance presented the report and explained that the amendments were:

Issue

Proposed amendment

The Articles (para 9.1) stipulate that a Political Group Leader should not be a member of the Standards Committee. However, the Corporate Director- Planning and Governance advises that, in terms of how Standards matters are managed at the Council, there is no legal or governance reason to prevent a Political Group Leader from being a participant in Standards Committee.

Delete this provision in the Articles so that there is no restriction on Political Group Leaders being members of, or Chair/Vice Chair of, Standards Committee.

Terms of reference for Joint Consultative and Safety Committee (“JCSC”) stipulate that the Managing Director shall be the Chair instead of a Member, which is not consistent with other Member meetings.

Specify in Terms of Reference for JCSC that the Chair will be a Member appointed by Council and delete corresponding reference to Managing Director as the Chair.

The Constitution does not codify the established convention that Worcester City Council’s nomination for Chair/Vice Chair of Joint Advisory Panel (“JAP”) on rotation, should be the Member who is Chair of the Place and Economic Development Committee.

Add the Terms of Reference for JAP into the Constitution and clarify that the Chair of Place and Economic Development shall be the Council’s nominee for Chair/Vice Chair of JAP, on rotation with the other South Worcestershire Councils.

 

The Council were advised that a proposal to change the name of the Income Generation Sub-Committee to Income Management Sub-Committee so as to better capture its purpose/remit was not being put forward for consideration at this stage as a report on this topic would be presented to the Sub-Committee in the first instance.

 

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

 

RESOLVED: That the Council approves, with immediate effect, the amendments to the Constitution set out above and authorises the Corporate Director - Planning and Governance to make the necessary drafting changes to the Constitution.

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 24th May 2022 - Treasury Management Annual Report for 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 184 KB

That the Council receives the Treasury Management Annual Report 2021/22.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a referral report from Councillor Stanley, Vice-Chair of Policy and Resources Committee.

 

At the Policy and Resources Committee meeting on 24th May 2022 it was agreed that the Treasury Management Annual Report for 2021/22 be referred for information to full Council.

 

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

 

It was proposed by Councillor Stanley and seconded by Councillor Denham and on being put to the vote it was agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council receives the Treasury Management Annual Report 2021/22.

37.

Referral Report from Communities Committee 8th June 2022 - Provision of a new Artificial Grass Pitch at Perdiswell pdf icon PDF 187 KB

That the Council agrees an ‘in principle’ capital allocation of £200k to unlock specialist support from the Football Foundation to facilitate the development of a business case and detailed design.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a referral report from the Chair of Communities Committee.

 

At the meeting on 8th June 2022, the Committee had approved the progression of a business case and detailed design for a multi-use Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) at Perdiswell. The Football Foundation needed to see a complete business case and approve it. At this point they had provisionally allocated a specialist to work with the Council to reach approval stage but required a capital commitment by the Council.

 

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

 

It was proposed by Councillor Riaz and seconded by Councillor Cleary and on being put to the vote it was agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agrees an ‘in principle’ capital allocation of £200k to unlock specialist support from the Football Foundation to facilitate the development of a business case and detailed design.

38.

Referral Report from Policy and Resources Committee 4th July 2022 - Termination of Revenues and Benefits Management Contract pdf icon PDF 186 KB

That the Council approves the return of the Revenues and Benefits to an in-house shared service, with staff employed by Malvern Hills District Council, noting that further reports will be brought to the Policy and Resources Committee once the transfer has been completed and a review of the service has commenced.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a referral report from the Councillor Stanley, Vice-Chair of Policy and Resources Committee.

 

At the meeting on 4th July 2022, the Committee had considered a report on the return of the management of the South Worcestershire Revenues and Benefits Shared Service to the Shared Service partnership arrangement that was previously in place. The earliest requested date of transfer was 30th October 2022. If this is to be achieved, Council approval to terminate the contract early was required to ensure that there is time for a full and detailed consultation with the staff who will transfer.

 

It was proposed by Councillor Denham and seconded by Councillor Stanley and on being put to the vote it was agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council approves the return of the Revenues and Benefits to an in-house shared service, with staff employed by Malvern Hills District Council, noting that further reports will be brought to the Policy and Resources Committee once the transfer has been completed and a review of the service has commenced.

39.

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.

40.

Any Exempt Issues

To consider any exempt matters which might arise.

Minutes:

None.