Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester

Contact: Nichola Garner  Committee and Appellate Officer

Webcast: View the webcast

No. Item


Apologies and Declarations of Interest

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Public Participation

Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Head of Legal and Democratic Services in writing or by e-mail indicating both the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case Wednesday 30 January).  Further details are available on the Council's website.  Enquiries can also be made through the telephone number/e-mail address listed below.

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There was one Public Participant, Mr Mark Regan, who spoke on behalf of the Friends of Worcestershire Archives. Mr Regan put forward a proposal to reduce the budget to the Archives Service without requiring funds from the County Council.  Mr Regan was thanked for his contribution.


Confirmation of the Minutes of the previous meeting

The Minutes of the meeting of 13 December 2018 have been previously circulated

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RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2018 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


2019/20 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan Update 2019-22 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

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The Cabinet considered the 2019/20 Budget and medium term financial plan update 2019-22. The details were set out in the report and its appendices.


The Leader of the Council introduced the report and highlighted that although the Council’s income had increased, the increase was not enough to cover the demand led pressures for Adults and Children’s services. Worcestershire’s economic policy was succeeding but an ambitious reform programme was still necessary to produce a balanced budget. The Council welcomed the 75% business rates retention pilot which would generate up to an extra £4.9 million to be put against social care pressures.


The budget included £14million to be invested in Adults Social care; over £7million into children’s services as well as investment in the economy. The Council tax would be increased by 3.99% but that still meant that Worcestershire had one of the lowest rates in the Country.


Having listened to comments from the OSPB, parishes and communities, amendments had been made to the proposed budget such as the reduction of cuts to highways, the countryside service, libraries and the archives service and the creation of a communities fund.  Additions were being made to the capital budget which would be spent on measures to cut congestion, railway station improvement, game-changer sites around Worcestershire, town centre improvements, walking and cycling routes and the Members’ highways fund. However despite the positive investment in the County the Leader cautioned the Council not to forget the backdrop that further reform would be needed in future years.


Cabinet Members made the following comments:

·       They were pleased with the way the budget had come together although the Council still faced considerable challenges. The Government had contributed to Adults’ and Children’s social care funding but only with one-off amounts

·       Council Tax was being kept at a reasonable level. However, there was some concern that in future pensioners may be adversely affected if Council Tax continued to be increased at above CPI rates of inflation. It was pointed out that Worcestershire residents paid one of the lowest amounts of Council tax, only 1.7% more than the lowest, 5.1% below the average and 14.6% below the highest Council tax amount

·       Investment had been made in the necessary areas – Children’s Social Care, SEND, adults social care, learning disabilities services, highways and the economy

·       The Local Members Capital Fund was welcomed

·       Keeping 75% of business rates would help with demand prevention and was an ambitious project even though it was only a pilot at present

·       Minor amendments had been made to the Adult services budget. The Public Health Ring Fenced Grant was enabling the grant for the stroke association specialist support programme to continue for a further year and the quality checkers and assurance team had offered to accept a reduction in their pay to enable the 8 people in the team with Learning Disabilities to keep their jobs

·       It was recognised that children and families had been an area of growth in terms of finance over the last couple of years,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1899.


School Admissions Policy for Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools, Academic Year 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

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The Cabinet considered the School Admissions policy for community and voluntary controlled schools for the academic year 2020/21. The details were given in the agenda and in the appendices. The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills introduced the report.


It was explained that the proposal included items of significant change so had been brought to Cabinet rather than being dealt with as a Cabinet Member Decision.

The Cabinet felt that the proposed changes to the admissions criteria and the co-ordination of in-year admissions was sensible and fair.


RESOLVED: that Cabinet


a)         approved the Admissions Policy for Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools 2020/21 as set out in Appendices 1a and 1b;


b)         approved the scheme for Co-ordinated Admissions for Primary/Middle and Secondary Schools for 2020/21 as set out in Appendices 2a and 2b; and


(c)     approved the scheme for In-Year Co-ordination for 2020/21 as set out in Appendix 3.



Worcestershire Passenger Transport Review and Strategy Development pdf icon PDF 88 KB

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The Cabinet considered the Worcestershire Passenger transport review and strategy development. The details were given in the agenda and the appendix. The Cabinet Member for Highways introduced the report, highlighting that a comprehensive review would take place, starting with full data gathering exercise and then a 12-week public consultation.


Cabinet members went on to make the following points:


·       Home to school transport and SEND transport for children and young people would be included in the review along with other passenger transport

·       It was clarified that the amount of money being discussed was in excess of £20 million

·       The timescale was discussed with some proposing that it was taking too long while others pointed out that it would take time to carry out a comprehensive review as lots of areas needed to be considered and in fact an extra round of consultation may become necessary to deal with the volume of responses

·       A Member from outside the Cabinet pointed out that co-ordination with neighbouring authorities was important to ensure that people can have access to services outside Worcestershire as well as co-ordinating the use of bus passes. Some consideration should also be taken about the impact of the impending congestion zone

·       Another member from outside the Cabinet pointed out that she and some other Councillors used their Divisional Fund to help fund scheduled bus services. Services needed to be integrated and school services should be available to the public

·       During the consultation about Libraries, members of the public had mentioned that buses were necessary for the public to be able to get to libraries. It was agreed that Community transport should be part of the review

·       One Cabinet Member was disappointed that although 1000s of responses were expected, if those people all used the buses there would be no need to reduce services.



RESOLVED: that Cabinet agreed that


a)          Worcestershire Passenger Transport Strategy be developed, taking a strategic and holistic view of all public and community transport provision, including home to school transport arrangements, fares and ticketing, concessionary travel, bus priority, infrastructure and information;

(b)    this Passenger Transport Strategy would be informed by a Passenger Transport Review of needs and demands (including future development) together with an assessment of how well these were met by current services;

(c)     the Passenger Transport Review would also consider changes in the local market for public transport and different options for the future; and

(d)    the Directors of Economy and Infrastructure and Children, Families and Communities be authorised to undertake the Passenger Transport Review and, in consultation with the Cabinet Members with Responsibility for Highways, and Education and Skills, develop a draft Passenger Transport Strategy to be presented to Cabinet in June 2019 for formal approval for public consultation with a view to a decision regarding the Passenger Transport Strategy at the November 2019 Cabinet.