Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Centre, St Peter's Square, Wolverhampton WV1 1SH

Contact: Jaswinder Kaur  01902 550320 or Email: jaswinder.kaur@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Claire Darke, Christopher Haynes, Linda Leach, Arun Photay and John Rowley.

2.

Declarations of interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Kevin O’Keefe, Director of Governance advised that the following declarations of interests had been made:

 

Agenda item 6 – Statement of Gambling Policy:

 

Councillor

Interest

Reason

Ian Angus

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Employee of the Gambling Commission

 

Agenda item 8 – Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2019-2010 including Rents and Service Charges:

 

Councillor

Interest

Reason

Alan Bolshaw

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes Tenant

Peter O’Neill

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes Tenant

Asha Mattu

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes Board Member

Zee Russell

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes Board Member

Rita Potter

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes Board Member

Ian Brookfield

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes Leaseholder

Sohail Khan

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes Leaseholder

Paul Singh

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes Board Member

 

The following Councillors also declared interests in agenda item 8:

 

Councillor

Interest

Reason

Payal Bedi-Chadha

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes Landlord

Susan Roberts MBE

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes Tenant

 

3.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 107 KB

[To receive minutes of the previous meeting held on the 5 December 2018.]

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor proposed, Councillor Peter Bilson seconded, and it was resolved:

 

That subject to apologies being recorded from Councillors Alan Butt, Ian Brookfield, Keith Inston, John Rowley and Claire Simm and Councillor Louise Miles being recorded as being present, the minutes of the previous meeting held on 5 December 2018, be agreed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor. 

4.

Communications

[To receive the Mayor’s announcements.]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1.     The Queen’s New Year’s Honours

The Mayor extended congratulations to the following individuals who received royal recognition in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours:

·       Keith Ireland who was the Council’s Managing Director from 2014-2018, received an OBE for services to Local Government in the West Midlands.

·       Dr Joshua Johnson received an MBE for services to Karate and the community in Wolverhampton.

·       Susan Allen received The BEM for voluntary services to the Heath Town community. 

 

The Mayor had written to all three recipients expressing the Council’s congratulations on their well-deserved awards.

 

2.     Orange Wolverhampton Campaign

The Mayor reported that the City of Wolverhampton once again supported the United Nations' annual 16-day campaign to "Orange the World" and end gender-based violence.

 

The Mayor added Councillors were encouraged to support Orange Wolverhampton and raise awareness of the issue of violence against women and girls and to help highlight the support which was available to victims locally.

 

The Mayor added the campaign, which ran from 25 November to 10 December, encouraged wearing an orange ribbon and sharing key messages, to holding orange-themed events and activities. The event was shared on social media, using the hashtag #orangewolves, and was once again very well supported by the citizens of Wolverhampton.

 

3.     Christmas Jumper Day

The Mayor reported that Councillors and officers were invited to wear Christmas jumpers in December to raise money for his chosen charities. He thanked everyone who took part, their generosity raised over £700 pounds.

 

4.     Literature Festival

The Mayor informed Council that the full programme for City of Wolverhampton’s third Literature Festival in February 2019 had been announced.

 

The Mayor added that over 100 events were confirmed, the festival would again offer a vast scope of literary-related workshops, readings, presentations and performances, with the majority of events happening over three days from Friday 1 February to Sunday 3 February, at venues across the city.

    

The full programme of events was available on the Wolverhampton Literature Festival website: www.wolvesliteraturefestival.co.uk.

5.

State of City Address

[To receive the Leader of the Council’s statement regarding the City.]

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Roger Lawrence delivered his State of the City address. He highlighted the achievements of the City, actions taken, future significant challenges and opportunities to come.  In doing so he informed Council that facing all of these challenges required a longer-term solution and a longer-term plan. That was why he was announcing today that he would not be standing for re-election for the role of Leader of the Council from May 2019. After 17 years as Group Leader and going on for 15 years as Council Leader he believed that he had done his utmost to help support the City. He would remain as Leader until the May 2019 election and would continue to lead the City Council with all the eager energies he had done in the past. He would also remain a councillor for at least the remainder of his office.

 

At the end of his State of the City address Councillors stood and gave the Leader generous applause.

 

Councillor Wendy Thompson provided the principle speech in response to the State of the City Address.

6.

Statement of Gambling Policy pdf icon PDF 64 KB

[To approve the revised Statement of Gambling Policy.]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the revised Statement of Gambling Policy be approved.

Minutes:

Councillor Alan Bolshaw presented the revised Statement of Gambling Policy for approval. He advised Licensing Authorities were required to prepare and consult upon a Statement of Gambling Policy every three years. As part of the review a local area assessment hadalso been developed and it was envisaged that this would lead to a higher quality of applications.

 

Councillor Alan Bolshaw proposed the recommendation and Councillor Steve Evans seconded the recommendation.

 

In response to Councillor Udey Singh’s question on the Gambling policy it was agreed that the Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing would provide a written response.

 

Resolved:

 

That the revised Statement of Gambling Policy be approved.

7.

Local Council Tax Support Scheme pdf icon PDF 66 KB

[To approve the Local Tax Support Scheme.]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.    That a revision to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme be approved so that changes inentitlement of £3 or less were not applied.

2.    That a revision to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme be approved so that the financial andhousehold information used to assess entitlement to Universal Credit was used to calculatecouncil tax support.

3.    That a revision to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme  be approved so that claims would beaccepted from notification of an award of Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance(income-based), Employment and Support Allowance (income-related) or Universal Credit.

4.    That the revised scheme be adopted from 1 April 2019.

5.    That a scheme of transitional protection be approved for 2019-2020.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Louise Miles presented the Local Council Tax Scheme for approval. She advised that revisions had been made to the local tax scheme following consultation and the Council would continue to support working age families.

 

Councillor Louise Miles proposed the recommendations and Councillor Peter Bilson seconded the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

1.    That a revision to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme be approved so that changes in entitlement of £3 or less were not applied.

 

2.    That a revision to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme be approved so that the financial and household information used to assess entitlement to Universal Credit was used to calculate council tax support.

 

3.    That a revision to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme be approved so that claims would be accepted from notification of an award of Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (income-based), Employment and Support Allowance (income-related) or Universal Credit.

 

4.    That the revised scheme be adopted from 1 April 2019.

 

5.    That a scheme of transitional protection be approved for 2019-2020.

8.

Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2019-2020 including Rents and Service Charges pdf icon PDF 77 KB

[To approve the HRA BusinessPlan.]

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.    That the 1% reduction in social housing rents be implemented in accordance with the Welfare Reform and Work Act and 28 days’ notice be given to all secure and introductory tenants of the rent reduction from 1 April 2019 be approved.

2.    That the Business Plan set out at Appendix 1 to this report be adopted as the approved Housing Revenue Account Business Plan including:

a. The revenue budget for 2019-2020 at Appendix 1B to this report

b. The Capital Programme for 2019-2020 to 2023-2024 at Appendix 1C to this report to include the following;

·         Provision of £24.0 million for estate remodelling

·         An increase to the budget for the refurbishment of Heath Town Estate of £10.1million

·         An addition of £15.0 million to the budget for High Rise mechanical and

electrical infrastructure

·         Total new build programme provision of £157.3 million with £5.0 million for

community housing development at Bushbury Hill, £4.0 million for phase 5 of

the small sites programme and £60.0 million set aside for future development.

     3.   That the rates for garage rents and service charges set out in Appendix 2 to this

reportbe approved, and tenants be notified formally. There was a one stepped increase to approve, all other charges remained the same.

 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Peter Bilson presented the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan 2019-2020 including Rents and Service Charges for approval. He advised the additional borrowing flexibility provided real opportunities for the Council to increase the provision of new homes for rent, whilst continuing to invest in better and safer homes programmes to the existing stock and improving and redeveloping housing estates.

Councillor Peter Bilson, added the report also provided, as an integral part of that Business Plan, a proposed HRA budget for 2019-2020, including proposed rents and service charges to take effect from 1 April 2019, and a proposed HRA Capital Programme for the period 2019-2020 to 2022-2023 for approval.

Councillor Peter Bilson proposed the recommendations and Councillor Louise Miles seconded the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

1.    That the 1% reduction in social housing rents be implemented in accordance with the Welfare Reform and Work Act and 28 days’ notice be given to all secure and introductory tenants of the rent reduction from 1 April 2019 be approved.

 

2.    That the Business Plan set out at Appendix 1 to this report be adopted as the approved Housing Revenue Account Business Plan including:

a.    The revenue budget for 2019-2020 at Appendix 1B to this report

b.    The Capital Programme for 2019-2020 to 2023-2024 at Appendix 1C to this report to include the following;

·                   Provision of £24.0 million for estate remodelling

·                   An increase to the budget for the refurbishment of Heath Town Estate of £10.1 million

·                   An addition of £15.0 million to the budget for High Rise mechanical and electrical infrastructure

·                   Total new build programme provision of £157.3 million with £5.0 million for community housing development at Bushbury Hill, £4.0 million for phase 5 of the small sites programme and £60.0 million set aside for future development.

 

3.    That the rates for garage rents and service charges set out in Appendix 2 to the reportbe approved, and tenants be notified formally. There was a one stepped increase to approve, all other charges remained the same.

9.

i54 Western Extension pdf icon PDF 69 KB

[To approve the i54 Western Extension Scheme.]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.    That it be agreed, to be a 50:50 investment partner for the i54 Western Extension which was to be funded through the funding strategy and driving principles.

2.    That a phased budget approach working on the principles of working with the partners to secure and maximise grant funding and contributions, use of capital receipts generated from the site and any with borrowing being repaid from future business rates generated from the site be approved.

3.    Thatit be approved, that the use of the capital receipts generated from the site form part of the funding package.

4.    That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for City Economy and Cabinet Member for Resources, in consultation with the Director of Regeneration and Director of Finance, to:

a.    approve supplementary capital budgets for Phase 1, 2 and 3 on the basis that

budgets are fully funded through external funding, existing borrowing approvals and contributions from Staffordshire County Council.

b.    approve Phase 1, 2 and 3 capital budgets to cover the potential transfer of

Staffordshire County Council’s 50% share of grants and contributions in accordance with the funding strategy.

Minutes:

Councillor John Reynolds presented the i54 Western Extension for approval. He advised the report provided an update on the current position of i54 and the resulting outcomes and economic benefits. It also set out the current status of i54 Western Extension and the funding and delivery strategy for delivery of the City’s 60 acres through to realisation of outputs.

 

Councillor John Reynolds proposed the recommendations and Councillor Roger Lawrence seconded the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

1.    That it be agreed, to be a 50:50 investment partner for the i54 Western Extension which was to be funded through the funding strategy and driving principles.

 

2.    That a phased budget approach working on the principles of working with the partners to secure and maximise grant funding and contributions, use of capital receipts generated from the site and any with borrowing being repaid from future business rates generated from the site be approved.

 

3.    Thatit be approved, that the use of the capital receipts generated from the site form part of the funding package.

 

4.    That authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member for City Economy and Cabinet Member for Resources, in consultation with the Director of Regeneration and Director of Finance, to:

a.      approve supplementary capital budgets for Phase 1, 2 and 3 on the basis that budgets are fully funded through external funding, existing borrowing approvals and contributions from Staffordshire County Council.

 

b.      approve Phase 1, 2 and 3 capital budgets to cover the potential transfer of Staffordshire County Council’s 50% share of grants and contributions in accordance with the funding strategy.

10.

Motions on Notice pdf icon PDF 56 KB

[That Council consider the motions received by Councillor Paul Singh and Councillor Jonathan Yardley.]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.    That the following amended motion on Black Country Flag be agreed:

 

‘That the motion be referred to the Governance Committee who would be requested to carry out a full review of the Council’s flag flying protocol.’

 

2.    That the following amended motion on Tettenhall Pool be agreed:

 

‘This Council thanks and recognises the response to our consultation on how best to spend the Section 106 monies from the developer.
The Council further recognises the outcome and would procure the appropriate specialist contractor to carry out the necessary works to ensure that Tettenhall Pool was safe to use and be enjoyed by residents for many years to come.’

Minutes:

a.     Black Country Flag

Councillor Paul Singh moved the following motion:

 

‘That this Council recognises that the people of Wolverhampton are immensely proud of their Black Country heritage. It is at the heart of our community and has brought people together for generations. This Council therefore embraces the Black Country flag and agrees to fly it outside the Civic Centre building every day as a reminder of the pride we have in our wonderful City’.

 

Councillor Paul Singh outlined the rationale for the motion.  Councillor Udey Singh seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Roger Lawrence moved the following amendment to the motion:

 

‘That the motion be referred to the Governance Committee who would be requested to carry out a full review of the Council’s flag flying protocol.’

 

Councillor Roger Lawrence outlined the rationale for the proposed amendment. Councillor Beverley Momenabadi seconded the amendment to the motion.

 

The amended motion was debated by Council.

 

Resolved:

That the motion be referred to the Governance Committee who would be requested to carry out a full review of the Council’s flag flying protocol.’

 

b.     Tettenhall Pool

Councillor Jonathan Yardley moved the following motion:

 

‘That this Council notes the overwhelming support from residents for keeping Tettenhall Pool open; agrees to start repair works immediately so that the pool can open as usual on the Spring Bank Holiday; and regrets that the future of the pool was ever called into question’.

 

Councillor Jonathan Yardley outlined the rationale for the motion.  Councillor Jane Stevenson seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Steve Evans moved the following amendment to the motion:

 

‘This Council thanks and recognises the response to our consultation on how best to spend the Section 106 monies from the developer.
The Council further recognises the outcome and would procure the appropriate specialist contractor to carry out the necessary works to ensure that Tettenhall Pool was safe to use and be enjoyed by residents for many years to come’.

 

Councillor Steve Evans outlined the rationale for the proposed amendment. Councillor Roger Lawrence seconded the amendment to the motion.

 

The amended motion was debated by Council.

 

Resolved:

That this Council thanks and recognises the response to our consultation on how best to spend the Section 106 monies from the developer. The Council further recognises the outcome and would procure the appropriate specialist contractor to carry out the necessary works to ensure that Tettenhall Pool was safe to use and be enjoyed by residents for many years to come’.

11.

Questions to Cabinet Members pdf icon PDF 61 KB

[That the Cabinet Members for Education and Skills, City Environment and City Economy  respond to questions received.]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the responses to the written questions be noted.

 

Minutes:

a.     Pupils’ achievement and progress

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre asked the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills:

 

‘Would the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills care to comment upon the following; the improvement curve at Key Stage 2 in Wolverhampton pupils’ achievement, Continuing progress at Key Stage 4 and the improvement in OFSTED outcomes between 2009 and 2018.’

 

The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Councillor Lynne Moran responded that she could confirm the improvement curve at Key Stage 2 for our 10 and 11 year olds, followed by continuing progress to Key Stage 4. Between 2009 and 2018 there was a distinct improvement in OFSTED outcomes.  This City stands for investing in long life learning to ensure that all our residents, very young and older can engage with education and training to prepare them for quality lives and real sustained employment opportunities. The performance of Wolverhampton pupils at Key Stage 2 had shown steady improvement since 2009. Validated results for 2018, against the new and more challenging curriculum and assessment system, indicated that 65% of pupils have reached the expected standard in Reading, Writing and Maths. This was an increase of 5 percentage points from 2017 and was the first time that Wolverhampton had been above the national averages with a ranking of 72 (out of 151) in the country. Specifically there had been great improvement in reading for Wolverhampton pupils at Key Stage 2. Validated results for 2018 indicated that 77% of pupils have reached the expected standard. This was an increase of 12 percentage points from 2016 and again the first time that Wolverhampton had been above national with a ranking of 52 (of 151) in the country.

 

She added in respect of continuing progress at Key Stage 4, the 2018 outcomes indicated that pupils achieving a strong 9-5 pass in English and Maths had increased and was 36.4% compared to 40% nationally. This ranked Wolverhampton 133 in the country. There was still work to do but our secondary schools progress was in exactly the right direction. Currently 69% of secondary schools were judged by OFSTED to be Good or Outstanding with sure signs of improvement in the other schools.

 

She added in December 2018, 81% of all schools (primary and secondary) in Wolverhampton were good or outstanding with nearly 40,000 pupils attending good schools in the last year.  The great news was that 98% (53 out of 54) Local Authority maintained schools in Wolverhampton were judged good or outstanding by OFSTED.

 

She added the measure of a good or outstanding school was much more about leadership and governance than about academy or local authority maintained status. She congratulated students, school teachers, the local authority support improvement staff and parents for all of their hard work and on these ever improving results notwithstanding dwindling resources from central government.’

 

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre asked the Cabinet Member the following supplementary question:

 

‘Does the Cabinet Member agree that the Tory policy of Austerity means that Wolverhampton children and families  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.