Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester

Contact: Simon Lewis  Committee Officer

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

Available papers

The members had before them:

 

A.    The Agenda papers (previously circulated);

 

B.    4 questions submitted to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services (previously circulated); and

 

C.   The Minutes of the meeting held on 12 September (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

2140.

Apologies and Declaration of Interests (Agenda item 1)

To receive apologies and invite any councillor to declare any interest in any of the items on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr A A J Adams, Mr R W Banks, Mr P Grove, Mr J A D O’Donnell, and Ms C M Stalker.

 

Mr P Middlebrough declared interests in Agenda items 7(a) and 10(b) as a Member of the Worcestershire Pension Fund.

 

Mrs F M Oborski declared an interest in Agenda item 5 as a Member of Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority.

 

Mrs T L Onslow declared an interest in Agenda item 5 as the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.

 

Mr R M Udall declared an interest in Agenda item 5 as a Member of Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority.

2141.

Public Participation (Agenda item 2)

To allow a member of the public to present a petition, or ask a question relating to the functions of the Council, or to make a comment on any matter on the agenda.

 

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 6 November 2019). Further details are available on the Council’s website. Enquiries can also be made through the telephone number/e-mail address listed below.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ms M Allcott presented a petition to stop First Bus cancelling the Claines 37 bus service in Worcester.

 

Mrs F M Oborski presented a petition regarding parking issues in Linden Avenue Kidderminster.

 

The Chairman thanked Ms Allcott and Mrs Oborski for their petitions and said they would receive a written response from the relevant Cabinet Member.

2142.

Minutes (Agenda item 3)

To approve as a correct record and authorise the signing of the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2019 (previously circulated electronically).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 12 September 2019 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

2143.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 4)

To receive any announcements to be made by the Chairman.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A Minute’s silence was held in memory of former county councillors Mr Peter Fallows and Mrs Jennette Davy.

2144.

Fire and Rescue Authority (Agenda item 5) pdf icon PDF 182 KB

To consider the annual report of the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority (Red pages) to be presented by Mr P A Tuthill, Vice-Chairman and to receive answers to any questions asked about this report. It is planned that the Chief Fire Officer will attend the meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Mr Nathan Travis, the Chief Fire Officer, to the meeting. The Vice-Chairman of the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority, Mr P Tuthill, presented his report to the Council and he and Mr Travis answered questions asked by members of the Council.

2145.

Reports of Cabinet - Matters which require a decision - Capital Programme Update (Agenda item 6) pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To consider the reports of the Cabinet and to receive answers to any questions asked on those reports as follows:

 

a)    Reports of Cabinet – Matters which require a decision (Yellow pages); and

b)    Report of Cabinet – Summary of decisions taken (White pages).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered the updated Capital Programme. The details were set out in the report.

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were raised:

 

·         The Leader of the Council introduced the report and commented that the purpose of this update was to ensure that the capital programme reflected the latest state of play. The Council continued to deploy a significant amount of resources to improve assets across the county, including £172m in this financial year, to improve the Council’s performance. In particular, he highlighted the Pershore Infrastructure Improvements which were progressing and included £5m of the Council’s own resources

·         The Leader of the Council undertook to provide a written response to a councillor to explain the proposed spending under the capital programme heading: Local Transport Plan: Integrated Transport

·         Concern was expressed about the absence of the proposed Western Relief Road for Bromsgrove in the capital programme. The Leader of the Council re-emphasised that there were no policy changes resulting from this capital programme update

·         The inclusion of precise figures in the capital programme for the proposed changes to the A38/A4104 junction at Upton-upon-Severn was welcomed.

 

RESOLVED: that the updated Capital Programme shown in the Appendix to the report be approved.

 

2146.

Reports of Cabinet - Summary of decisions taken (Agenda item 6)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported the following topics and questions were answered on them:

 

·         Development of Worcestershire Children First

·         Future Provision of Overnight Unit-based Short Breaks for Children with Disabilities

·         Worcestershire Education and Skills Strategy 2019-2014

·         Children’s Social Care – Ofsted Inspection update and priorities for further improvement

·         Resources Report – Revenue and Capital Budget Monitoring – Month 4 (31 July) 2019/20

·         Scrutiny Report: The Relationship between the Family Front Door and Schools

·         Use of Children’s Centre Buildings – Transfer of the Centre at Abbey Park First and Middle Schools, Pershore.

2147.

Constitutional Reports (Agenda item 7) pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To consider changes to the governance arrangements of (a) Worcestershire Pension Fund; (b) Health and Well-being Board; (c) Updated Pan-Worcestershire Code of Conduct for Members; and (d) Appointment of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board (Yellow pages).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a) Pension Board Governance Arrangements

 

The Council considered the revised Terms of Reference of the Pension Board. The details were set out in the report.

 

The recommendation in paragraph 1 on page 13 was moved by Mr P Middlebrough and seconded by Mr R C Lunn.

 

In the ensuing debate, it was requested that as the Chairman of the Board would not have a casting vote, the Board give future consideration to the Chairmanship being alternated on a two year basis between representatives of the employer and member sides.

 

RESOLVED that the revised Terms of Reference of the Pension Board set out at Appendix 1 of the report be approved.

 

(b) Health and Well-being Board Governance Arrangements

 

The Council considered the updated terms of reference for the Health and Well-being Board. The details were set out in the report.

 

The recommendation in paragraph 12 on page 15 was moved by Mr J H Smith and seconded by Mr A C Roberts.

 

RESOLVED that the updated terms of reference for the Health and Well-being Board as set out as Appendix 2 of the report be approved.

 

(c)Local Government Ethical Standards – Updated Pan-Worcestershire Code of Conduct for Members

 

The Council considered the updated Pan-Worcestershire Code of Conduct for Members. The details were set out in the report.

 

The recommendation in paragraph 25 on page 17 was moved by Mr S J Mackay and seconded by Ms P A Hill.

 

In the ensuing debate, in response to a query, the Chairman of the Standards and Ethics Committee confirmed that the statutory sanctions outlined in the Nolan Report had yet to be considered by parliament.

 

RESOLVED that the draft Code of Conduct set out at Appendix 3 of the report be adopted.

 

(d) Constitutional Matter – Appointment of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board

 

The Council considered the appointment of the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group proposed Mr R M Udall as his Group’s nomination as Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board. Mr L C R Mallett seconded the nomination. No other nominations were received.

 

RESOLVED that Mr R M Udall be appointed Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board.

 

2148.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 1 - Support for Entrepreneurs and Innovators in Worcestershire (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 88 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services on any Notices of Motion received by him (Lilac pages).

 

Councillors are asked to note that any Notices of Motion must be received by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services no later than noon on 29 October 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a Notice of Motion set out in the agenda papers standing in the names of Mr G R Brookes, Mr R J Morris, Mr M J Hart, Dr K A Pollock and Ms R Vale.

 

The motion was moved by Mr G R Brookes and seconded by Mr R J Morris who both spoke in favour of it, and Council agreed to deal with it on the day.

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were made:

 

·         Entrepreneurs took risks not only to benefit themselves but also to benefit the local community with the creation jobs and payment of taxes. Supporting the work of entrepreneurs also contributed to the Council’s corporate objectives including supporting Children and Young People, improving health and well-being and protecting the environment

·         The Council’s work with partners, including the Local Enterprise Partnership, could provide vital support to entrepreneurs and contribute to the county having one of the strongest economies in the country.

 

The following amendment was then moved by Mr L C R Mallett and seconded by Mr R C Lunn:

 

Whether in the emergence of new technologies, the fresh availability of natural resources or of changes in society, change provides a catalyst for new ideas to emerge. Properly acted on and developed, new ideas can generate new businesses providing employment, generating income for this Council to support our infrastructure, and provide happier and more fulfilled lives for many of our residents.

 

As an example, after a gap of one hundred years, the recent availability of Droitwich Brine, a natural resource laid down over 200 million years ago, and the strongest natural saltwater known, has prompted the emergence of new businesses and products across the region, resulting in increased employment. Further individuals and groups are presently coming forward, seeing opportunities to develop tourism in Worcestershire by developing the “Stay-cation” industry as concerns rise at the cost in climate terms of extensive air travel.

 

History shows us that much of the wealth Britain has enjoyed has been generated as a result of lateral thinking by individuals and small companies. Successful small companies can grow to service world markets, not only generating wealth to support our vital services such as the NHS, but also in many cases improving the lives of people far removed from our county.

 

This Council calls on all its members to take a positive approach whenever and wherever possible and appropriate to support and encourage Entrepreneurs and Innovators in Worcestershire to develop new businesses, including all forms of co-operatives and social and community enterprises, to develop new products and services to enhance our economy, furthermore we encourage all Worcestershire employers to pay the Living Wage, so their employees can share in their success.”

 

Those in favour of the amendment made the following comments:

 

·         The amendment aimed to strengthen the original Motion by including reference to the full breadth of entrepreneurship in the county. It would not only capture the development of new products and services but also different  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2148.

2149.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 2 - The 'GET SAFE' Initiative - safeguarding young people (Agenda item 8)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a Notice of Motion set out in the agenda papers standing in the names of Mr A D Kent, Mr M J Hart, Mr A C Roberts, Ms K J May and Mrs L C Hodgson.

 

The motion was moved by Mr A D Kent and seconded by Mr T Baker-Price who both spoke in favour of it, and Council agreed to deal with it on the day.

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were made:

 

·         The motion encouraged councillors to raise awareness of the ‘Get Safe’ Initiative. The initiative was wide-ranging and aimed at protecting children and young people up to the age of 25 years against a whole range of issues that affected them. In the past there had been a lack of support for children and young people who were at risk. In particular, drugs were a major threat to children and young people and had been linked to a number of other damaging impacts to their well-being

·         The safeguarding of children was everyone’s responsibility. Safe communities required everyone to be vigilant for signs of all types of child exploitation

·         It was queried how councillors would be able to find the necessary information to promote and publicise the initiative

·         This initiative encouraged partnership working that enabled agencies to identify and support children at the earliest opportunity before they became entrenched in gangs/drugs/criminal activity

·         It was disappointing that opposition members had not been invited to be signatories to this motion

·         The Cabinet Member for Children and Families commented that a soft launch of the initiative had taken place in June. Since then it had been considered by the OSPB, the Children and Families Overview and Scrutiny Panel and the Corporate Parenting Board as well as a rolled out to district councils. There was information on the initiative available on the Worcestershire Children First web site. Councillors had an important role promoting this initiative acting as conduits to parish councils, community leaders and governing bodies. Children had always been vulnerable but the ease of accessibility via electronic devices in the modern age had made the situation worse

·         The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills undertook to ensure that all schools would be made aware of the initiative and provided with all the relevant promotional material. He also hoped that Government funding for youth provision would increase in the future

·         Whilst the initiative was laudable, in order for to be effective the Council needed to adequately fund other services such as youth provision and prevention of alcohol and drug abuse

·         Councillors had a vital role in providing important local information to enable the Police to carry out their duties

·         It was important for children to understand the implications of their actions and a useful tool to achieve this was the sharing of life experiences.

 

RESOLVED "Vulnerable children and young people have always faced danger but in modern times these risks come in new forms under the heading ‘criminal exploitation’.

 

This includes gang-related activity including  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2149.

2150.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 3 - Employment agencies (Agenda item 8)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was insufficient time to consider this motion within the allotted 90 minute time limit for the consideration of Notices of Motion.

2151.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 4 - Royal Mail and Post Office Services (Agenda item 8)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was insufficient time to consider this motion within the allotted 90 minute time limit for the consideration of Notices of Motion.

2152.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 5 - Proposals for Voter ID (Agenda item 8)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There was insufficient time to consider this motion within the allotted 90 minute time limit for the consideration of Notices of Motion.

2153.

Question Time (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To receive answers to any questions asked by Councillors (Orange pages).

 

(Members are reminded of the timescale adopted by Council for notice of questions. A Councillor may only ask a question if:

 

·         It is delivered in writing to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services by noon on 29 October 2019 or

·         If it relates to urgent business, the Head of Legal and Democratic Services is notified at least half an hour before the start of the meeting.)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Four questions had been received by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services and had been circulated in advance of the meeting. The answers to all the questions are attached in the Appendix.

2154.

Reports of Committees - Audit and Governance Committee (Agenda item 10 (a)) pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To consider the reports of Committees and to receive answers to any questions asked on those reports as follows (White pages):

 

a)    Audit and Governance Committee;

b)    Pensions Committee;

c)    Planning and Regulatory Committee; and

d)    Standards and Ethics Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Audit and Governance Committee containing a summary of the decisions taken.

 

In the ensuing debate, it was queried why a significant number of overdue audits related specifically to Northleigh Primary School. The Chairman of the Committee responded that a number of outstanding issues had been identified by Internal Audit as a result of actions taken by the previous head teacher and governing body at the school. Officers had worked closely with the new head teacher and governing body to resolve these issues and make sure they did not reoccur.

2155.

Reports of Committees - Pensions Committee (Agenda item 10 (b))

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Pensions Committee containing a summary of the decisions taken.

2156.

Reports of Committees - Planning and Regulatory Committee (Agenda item 10 (c))

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Planning and Regulatory Committee containing a summary of the decisions taken.

2157.

Reports of Committees - Standards and Ethics Committee (Agenda item 10 (d))

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Standards and Ethics Committee containing a summary of the decisions taken.