Agenda and minutes

Venue: Guildhall

Contact: Committee Administration 01905 722027, 722005, 722085 

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

Media

Items
No. Item

21.

Appointment of Substitutes

To receive details of any Member nominated to attend the meeting in place of a Member of the Committee.

Minutes:

Councillor B. Amos for Councillor Mrs. L. Hodgson; Councillor Carver for Councillor Griffiths; Councillor Ditta for Councillor Bayliss.

22.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

Councillor Carver declared an interest in item 29 (Covid -19: Decisions Under Urgency Powers) as the proprietor of a business which has received a discretionary grant.

23.

Public Representations

Up to a total of fifteen minutes can be allowed, with 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 Committee.

Minutes:

Paul Snookes on behalf of Worcester Environmental Group addressed the Committee and spoke about the advantages of purchasing a Grillo “cut and collect” ride-on mower and trailer to maintain grass verges on the roadside. He explained that this approach would reduce the need for cutting long-term and would also improve biodiversity. The Chair thanked him for his presentation and stated that this proposal could be considered as part of the budget setting process later in the year.

24.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Of the meeting held on 8th June 2021 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 8th June 2021 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

25.

Minutes of Income Generation Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 9th June 2021.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 9th June 2021 be received.

26.

Minutes of Personnel and General Purposes Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 5th July 2021.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 5th July 2021 be received.

27.

Referral Report From Communities Committee - Request For Capital Funding To Support A Ministry Of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) Rough Sleeper Move-On Accommodation Bid pdf icon PDF 194 KB

That the Committee approves an allocation of up to £120,000, to be met from the Vulnerable Adults Accommodation City Plan Fund, to support the submission of the said bid which if successful would result in the acquisition of 8 self-contained properties by Citizen Housing, and which will be for the sole use of Worcester City Council for a period of 30 years.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on a proposal by Citizen Housing to acquire 8 x 1 bed self-contained flats. The Corporate Director – Finance and Resources presented the report and explained that the Communities Committee at its meeting on 21st July 2021 had considered a report on this Rough Sleeper Accommodation Programme (RSAP) funding opportunity provided through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), which required submission by 2nd September 2021.

 

In order to secure the best chance of succeeding, Citizen Housing proposed to request a grant from Homes England to the value of £45,000 per unit (£360,000 in total) with Worcester City Council (subject to approval) providing a further contribution of £15,000 per unit (£120,000 total) to Citizen, in order to make up the £60,000 per unit subsidy. Citizen Housing would then make up the difference between grant and purchase price to acquire the property and then the repair.

 

It was proposed to allocate the contribution from the Housing for Vulnerable Tenants City Plan Fund which was agreed by this Committee on 18th March 2018.

 

The Communities Committee had agreed the proposal and recommended this Committee to approve the funding allocation.

 

The Corporate Director responded to comments and questions from Committee Members. As part of the debate, it was proposed that the Council should look to extend the 30-year period for nomination rights and the Deputy Director – Governance stated that officers would pursue this.

 

Committee Members expressed support for the proposed funding allocation.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to approve an allocation of up to £120,000, to be met from the Vulnerable Adults Accommodation City Plan Fund, to support the submission of the said bid which if successful would result in the acquisition of 8 self-contained properties by Citizen Housing, and which will be for the sole use of Worcester City Council for a period of 30 years.

28.

Proposal For Fees And Charges For The Use Of Electric Vehicle Charge Points At St Martins Gate Car Park pdf icon PDF 228 KB

That the Committee:

 

1.     Approve the introduction of a market rate tariff for use of electric vehicle charge points at St Martin’s Gate Car Park as outlined within this report, and

 

2.     Note that a further report will be presented to Environment Committee in Autumn 2021, that will seek an amendment to the relevant Car Parking Order that will specify free parking periods for electric vehicles using the charge points.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the installation of nine charge points in St Martin’s Gate car park. The Corporate Director – Finance and Resources presented the report, which proposed a tariff on the use of the chargepoints at market rate. At the time of writing, the market rate had been established to be 25p/kWh. With this tariff a cost neutral position was being targeted over time. The tariff should be reviewed annually, taking into account demand, costs to use other units nearby and costs of public charging nationally.

 

In summary, therefore, it was proposed to amend the Car Park Order for St. Martin’s Gate as follows:

 

·        To waive parking charges for the first hour of parking on all the chargepoint bays.

·        To permit only electric vehicles which are plugged in and charging to park in the bays.

·        To set a maximum length of stay on the electric vehicle chargepoints. This would be three hours for the rapid chargepoints and eight hours for the dual fast chargepoints.

 

In the ensuing discussion, the Chair of the Environment Committee explained that there had been no consideration by that Committee of the tariff, length of stay or the way in which the spaces are used. There was a debate as to whether this item should be deferred in the circumstances. The Deputy Director – Governance stated that the terms of the consultation on the amendment to the Car Parking Order can be determined in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of Environment Committee and a report on the outcome submitted to that Committee in November. The purpose of this report was to seek agreement to the principle of a market rate tariff. The Chair of the Environment Committee stated that he was happy to proceed on this basis and Committee Members expressed support for the proposal.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to:

 

1.   approve the principle that a market rate tariff should be applied for use of electric vehicle charge points at St Martin’s Gate Car Park as outlined within this report and delegates authority to the Corporate Director for Homes and Communities and Corporate Director - Finance and Resources to implement a market rate tariff and to keep it under review annually; and

 

2.   authorise the Corporate Director - Homes and Communities , in consultation with Chair and Vice-Chair of the Environment Committee, to consult on amendments to the relevant Car Parking Order to provide for free parking periods for electric vehicles using the charge points in the terms outlined in this report, for referral back to the Environment Committee for a decision later this year.

29.

Covid-19: Decisions Under Urgency Powers pdf icon PDF 245 KB

That the Committee notes the decision, since the last report to Committee, taken by the Managing Director under urgency powers in response to the Covid-19 emergency incident.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report on decisions taken by the Managing Director under urgency powers in response to the Covid-19 emergency incident. The Corporate Director – Finance and Resources presented the report and explained that the latest tranche of funding for Additional Restrictions Grants for businesses was a top-up allocation of £630,735. To continue to support economic recovery, it was resolved in discussions with Group Leaders and the Chair and Vice-Chairs of this Committee to allocate this funding to businesses which are incurring ongoing premises-related costs and are continuing to be affected by ongoing restrictions and/or reduced income. A total of £399,972 had been allocated, leaving £104,722 for new applications. Should there not be sufficient new applications by 31 March 2022 a further payment will be made to existing recipients.

 

In response to questions, the Corporate Director stated that safeguards are in place to establish that payments are made to businesses which remain viable. An analysis of city businesses that have folded, closed and re-opened, or have newly opened since first lockdown can be provided for the next meeting in September.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee note the decision taken since the last report to Committee.

30.

Q1 Financial Monitoring Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 461 KB

 

1.     That the Committee reviews the financial monitoring details including budget variances and performance indicators for the 1st quarter ended 30th June 2021; and

 

2.     That the Committee approves the write-offs of Council Tax and Business Rates for the quarter.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed the financial monitoring details including budget variances and performance indicators for the 1st quarter ended 30th June 2021. The Head of Finance presented the report and highlighted the main points. He responded to questions from Committee Members.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to:

 

1.    note the report; and

 

2.    approve the write-offs of Council Tax and Business Rates for the quarter.

31.

Quarter 1 Performance Report for 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 189 KB

That the Policy and Resources Committee notes the Council’s Quarter 1 performance for 2021/22.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on the Council’s Quarter 1 performance for 2021/22. The Scorecard had been refreshed with projects completed in the last financial year replaced by new projects as previously agreed by this Committee. The Corporate Director – Finance and Resources presented the report and highlighted the main points.

 

Committee Members asked questions on various aspects of the report. In the ensuing discussion, the following main points were made:

 

     In response to comments on the slippage in the timetable for the City Centre Transport Strategy, Officers agreed to present an interim progress report to the September meeting of the Committee.

     The implications of the County Council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee to defer the planning application for the Kepax Bridge will be addressed as part of the report on the Towns Fund which will be presented to the next meeting of this Committee in September.

     With reference to the redevelopment of Sansome Walk Swimming Pool Site, progress with the demolition work was noted. Reference was made to Sanctuary’s preparations for public consultation on their plans, and Members asked for a progress report on next steps to be presented to the Committee.

     It was noted that Member workshops on the Equalities and Diversity Strategy will be arranged for September and a draft Strategy will be presented to the Committee in late autumn including a recommended action plan for implementation.

     the Council have previously agreed to appoint a Children and Young People’s Champion and a report will be presented to the September meeting of this Committee for decision.

     The red rating with regard to the amount of time taken for processing new Council Tax and Housing Benefit Support claims was highlighted. Officers stated that this does not form part of the service level agreement, but it was acknowledged that an improvement is required and discussions with Civica about this are ongoing. The Committee requested a corrective action plan from Civica.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to note the Council’s Quarter 1 performance for 2021/22.

32.

Any Other Business

Which in the opinion of the Chairman is of sufficient urgency as to warrant consideration.

Minutes:

None.