Agenda and minutes

Venue: Guildhall

Contact: Committee Administration 01905 722006, 722005, 722085 

Items
No. Item

31.

Appointment of Chairman

Minutes:

The Chairman, Councillor Stephen, had given his apologies. Councillor Gregson was appointed as the Chair for the meeting.

32.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

The following declaration of interest was made:

 

Councillor Hodges – New Voluntary Right to Buy Scheme West Midlands Pilot - Fortis Living Proposal (Minute 38) – daughter works for Fortis Living.

 

33.

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:

None.

34.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Of the meeting held on 30th July 2018 to be approved and signed.

Minutes:

With reference to minute 16 (Rowing Boats on the River Severn), reference was made by a Committee Member to the debate that had taken place.  It was noted that the Committee had considered this to be a matter for the Income Generation Sub-Committee to determine, that differing views were expressed in the discussion, and that not all Committee Members had supported the proposed way forward.

 

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 30th July 2018 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

35.

Minutes of Place and Economic Development Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd July 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the Committee receive the minutes of the meeting held on 23rd July 2018.

36.

Minutes of Income Generation Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 10th July 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the Committee receive the minutes of the meeting held on 10th July 2018.

37.

Minutes of Personnel and General Purposes Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 11th July 2018.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the Committee receive the minutes of the meeting held on 11th July 2018.

38.

New Voluntary Right to Buy Scheme West Midlands Pilot - Fortis Living Proposal pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report on a new regional Voluntary Right to Buy pilot in the Midlands. The Corporate Director – Place presented the report and answered questions from Committee Members.

 

In summary, Fortis Living had made a formal proposal to the Council regarding properties transferred by the Council as part of the local authority voluntary stock transfer contract and the clawback arrangements in place. Details of the proposal were set out in the report.

 

Officers were in agreement with the proposal, on the basis that the replacement property is within the boundaries of Worcester City Council, is created at a social rent level and is made available with 100% nomination rights to the local authority for households who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

 

Officers advised that the impact on individual authorities was likely to be relatively small and Officers anticipated few applications in Worcester City. It was explained that the proposal related to ex-Council stock only. Fortis Living could be encouraged to replace any other property sold via the VRTB scheme in Worcester, but there was no obligation to do so.

 

In the ensuing discussion, Committee Members expressed a range of views. In particular, reference was made to the timescale for building replacement properties. It was proposed that a five year limit should be applied as part of the conditions.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree:

 

1.    the proposal made by Fortis Living to include stock-transferred housing in Worcester in the Midlands Voluntary Right to Buy pilot;

 

2.    for Worcester City Council to forgo its share of income from Right to Buy sales  in order to facilitate the replacement of the sold property with a new property set at a social rent level, with a number of conditions:

 

·         That the replacement properties for ex-council stock are built within the Worcester City boundary within a five year period;

·         That Worcester City Council is entitled to hold 100% nomination rights to the properties for households who are defined as being homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; and

 

3.    that Fortis Living endeavour to replace properties for any other Fortis Living Worcester general stock where the new voluntary right to buy is taken up to be located within Worcester City.

39.

Lower Wick Swimming Pool - Funding Request Towards the Cost of a New Pool Liner and Associated Works pdf icon PDF 102 KB

That the Committee approves a contribution of up to £15,000 towards the replacement of the pool liner and associated works at Lower Wick Swimming Pool.

Minutes:

The Committee were advised that this item had been withdrawn from the agenda as additional information was required from the Association.

40.

Process and Timetable for Preparation of Budget 2019/20 and Medium Term Financial Plan 2019/20 -2023/24 pdf icon PDF 115 KB

That the Committee approves the proposed process and timetable for preparing the Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered proposals for consultation as part of the 2019/20 Budget setting. The Head of Finance presented the report and explained the proposed process.

 

In summary, the focus would be on a web-based survey for both the public and local businesses. Hard copies would be made available for those who do not have internet access. A draft web survey was appended to the report. Proposals for advertising the consultation exercise would be developed during September.

 

In the ensuing discussion, Committee Members made a number of comments on formatting of the survey and suggestions were made as to where paper copies should be available. Officers noted the points raised.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee approve the proposed process and timetable for preparing the Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan.

41.

Armed Forces Covenant Reserve pdf icon PDF 99 KB

1.     To established a reserve to fund activities in support of the Armed Forces Community Covenant; and

 

2.     To delegate authority to the Corporate Director Finance and Resources to consider allocations from the reserve in consultation with the Council’s Armed Forces Champion.

Minutes:

The Committee considered a request from Councillor Mitchell for a reserve to be established to help support local activities and initiatives that further the aims of the Armed Forces Community Covenant, to which the Council is a co-signatory, and to improve the relationship between the Council and the Local Armed Forces Community.

 

The Corporate Director – Finance and Resources presented the report and explained that it was proposed that the balance on the fund be established as £5,000 and maintained at that level as a maximum.  Proposals for allocations from the fund would be considered by the Council’s Armed Forces Champion in consultation with the Corporate Director - Finance and Resources.

 

Councillor Mitchell spoke in support of the proposal. Other Members also spoke.

 

In the ensuing discussion, Members were advised that the identification of a small standing reserve would enable support to be provided directly in response to specific requests, without recourse to a Committee or a Panel for determination. In response to a question about criteria, the Corporate Director, Finance and Resources in conjunction with the Armed Forces Champion would consider allocations, based on whether the proposed initiative is line with the aims of the reserve.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to:

 

1.    establish a reserve to fund activities in support of the Armed Forces Community Covenant; and

 

2.    delegate authority to the Corporate Director - Finance and Resources to consider allocations from the reserve in consultation with the Council’s Armed Forces Champion.

42.

Allocation of City Plan Funding pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Report to follow.

Minutes:

The Committee were advised that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport had launched a fund of £20m, open to towns and cities outside of London who want to make the most of culture’s contribution to their local economy.  The Corporate Director – Place explained that any bid would need to be supported by a firm financial commitment. A technical adjustment to the City Plan allocations needed to be made with a provisional allocation of City Plan funds to enable bids for cultural activity to be prepared. Commitments had to be made by mid-October. It was proposed that delegation be given to the Corporate Director – Place in consultation with the Chair and the Vice-Chairs of the Committee to prepare appropriate bids for match funding. This would enable the Council to make timely decisions relating to the submission of appropriate bids.

 

Committee Members expressed support for the proposal, which was integral to supporting all of the City Plan themes.

 

RESOLVED: That the Committee agree to:

 

1.    make a provisional allocation of £310,000 from the City Plan fund for cultural activity; and

 

2.    delegate authority to the Corporate Director – Place in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chairs of the Policy and Resources Committee to prepare bids for match funding for cultural activity.

43.

Any Other Business

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

Minutes:

None.