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

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Welcome Koussoukama and Zee Russell.

2.

Declarations of interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest submitted.

3.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 111 KB

[To receive minutes of the meeting held on the 19 September 2018.]

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor proposed, the Deputy Mayor seconded, and it was resolved:

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 19 September 2018, be agreed as a correct record and signed accordingly by the Mayor.  

4.

Communications

[To receive the Mayor’s announcements.]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1.    Dutch War Graves

The Mayor reported that Wolverhampton would pay its respects to the brigade of Dutch soldiers who were stationed at Wrottesley Park during the Second World War. The Mayor would lay a wreath at the annual Dutch War Graves Service of Remembrance at Jeffcock Road Cemetery on Saturday 10 November 2018. The poignant service, organised by the City of Wolverhampton Central Branch of the Royal British Legion, would remember the 23 soldiers from the Princess Irene Brigade who were buried at the cemetery. The Remembrance service would take place at 10am and would be preceded by a short parade which would form up at 9.40am. The Mayor encouraged as many Councillors as possible to attend.

 

2.    Remembrance Sunday

The Mayor reported that the Remembrance Sunday service this year would also commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War in the City of Wolverhampton and remember those who died and fought in World War One. The Outdoor Drumhead Service would begin at 10.58am, followed by a second service in St. Peter’s Church at approximately 11.25am.  The Mayor encouraged as many Councillors as possible to attend.

 

3.    Wednesfield in Bloom 2018

The Mayor was delighted to congratulate all those who were involved in the 2018 Wednesfield in Bloom entry in the Britain in Bloom contest. Wednesfield had been awarded a gold award for the ‘urban community category’ and also a judges’ discretionary award for ‘community achievement’. The Discretionary Community Achievement award was very rare and was the result of lots of hard work by an army of dedicated volunteers ages ranging from 4 to 84.

 

The Mayor added a number of people led by ‘Hands on Wednesfield’, helped to win a Gold award for the second year running including a number of schools and nurseries, St Thomas’s Church, the Staffordshire Regimental Association, The Local Scout groups (that built a Viking Longboat in Bentley Bridge), local business’s, Council Departments and Public Services along with Wednesfield Councillors, helped to raise almost £3,000. 

 

4.    Carols in the City/Victorian Christmas Market

The Mayor was also delighted to report that the three-day Victorian Christmas Market was set to return for a second year and would be the largest festive market the City had held. The three-day market would take place on Friday, 14 December (11am-9pm), Saturday 15 December (10am-9pm) and Sunday 16 December (10am-5pm) in Wolverhampton City Centre at Queen Square, Dudley Street and Lichfield Street.

 

The Market would be joined by the City of Wolverhampton Carols in the City event hosted by the Mayor and Mayoress who would formally open the Victorian Market on Friday 14 December at 4pm. The Carols in the City were due to take place from 5pm with choirs from local schools and the City choir. This would be located on the main stage area at Queen Square. 

 

5.Touchstone Awards

The Mayor was delighted to introduce Noel Hunter OBE, the Chair of the British Hallmarking Council to present the prestigious annual Touchstone award to Councillor Steve  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 58 KB

[To approve amendments to the Constitution.]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.     That the amendments to the Constitution be approved.

 

2.     That the Director of Governance be authorised to implement the changes.

Minutes:

Councillor John Reynolds presented the Changes to the Constitution report. He sought approval for the amendments to the Constitution and authorisation for the Director of Governance to implement the changes. The proposed changes included updates to delegations and the creation of two separate Licencing Committees to consider statutory and non-statutory matters respectively.

 

Councillor John Reynolds proposed the recommendations and Councillor Val Gibson seconded the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That the amendments to the Constitution be approved.

That the Director of Governance be authorised to implement the changes.

6.

Code of Conduct report pdf icon PDF 62 KB

[To approve the revised Code of Conduct and Protocol for Councillor and Employee Relations.]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.     That the revised Councillor Code of Conduct be approved.

 

2.     That the revised Protocol for Councillor/Employee Relations be approved.

Minutes:

Councillor Val Gibson presented the Code of Conduct report. She sought approval for the revised Code of Conduct and the revised Protocol for Councillor/Employee Relations. The documents had been revised to include the Nolan Principles, to provide clarification on expectations and guidance on declarations of interest and to ensure transparency.

 

Councillor Val Gibson proposed the recommendations and Councillor John Reynolds seconded the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

 

1. That the revised Councillor Code of Conduct be approved.

2. That the revised Protocol for Councillor/Employee Relations be approved.

7.

Executive Business pdf icon PDF 71 KB

[For the Cabinet Members to answer any questions.]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Executive Business be noted.

Minutes:

The Council received a summary of Executive Business relating to the Governance Review and Scheme for the Transfer of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Amendment to Housing Enforcement and Charging Policy, Strategic Asset Plan and School Accessibility Strategy.

 

In response to Councillor Sohail Khan’s question regarding the School Accessibility Strategy, Councillor Lynne Moran confirmed that the Council had always had policies on the requirement to access and that this Strategy pulled all the strands together in one document.

 

In response to Councillor Paul Singh’s question regarding the Amendment to Housing Enforcement and Charging Policy, Councillor Peter Bilson confirmed that the penalties were decided upon depending on the severity of the delay and the circumstances. Details on the charges were provided in the Cabinet report and more information could be provided by the Private Sector Housing team.

 

Resolved:

 

That the Executive Business be noted.

8.

Motions on Notice pdf icon PDF 61 KB

[That Council consider the motions received by Councillor Paul Singh, Councillor Hazel Malcolm and Councillor Wendy Thompson.]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.     That the following amended motion on Wednesfield in Bloom be agreed:

 

‘That City of Wolverhampton Council congratulates the Wednesfield community on their recent achievements in winning a Gold award and a discretionary community award in the Britain in Bloom Competition 2018. To celebrate this success, the Council has commissioned signs and banners that are now displayed around the entire Wednesfield area. Their success is a wonderful example of community cohesion and of what can be achieved when all sections of our local communities work together. The Council is particularly impressed with the wide range of backgrounds of the various groups and volunteers that contributed to bring colour to the whole of Wednesfield and wishes the group further success for the future’.

 

2.     That the motion on Telford Princess Royal Hospital be agreed.

 

3.     That the following amended motion on Civic Halls refurbishment be agreed.

 

‘That this Council agrees to remit the resolution from Councillor Wendy Thompson to the Capital Projects Member Reference Group for due consideration, where the Civic Halls refurbishment is being monitored in accordance with the Council decision of 16 May 2018’.

Minutes:

a.    Councillor Paul Singh moved the following motion:

 

That this Council congratulates Wednesfield in Bloom for being awarded the Britain in Bloom 2018 Gold Award in the Urban Community category and the Discretionary Award in the Community Achievement category; and calls upon the Cabinet and all Councillors to recognise this fantastic achievement by erecting a sign in Wednesfield.

 

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

 

Councillor Greg Brackenridge moved the following amendment to the motion:

 

That City of Wolverhampton Council congratulates the Wednesfield community on their recent achievements in winning a Gold award and a discretionary community award in the Britain in Bloom Competition 2018. To celebrate this success, the Council has commissioned signs and banners that are now displayed around the entire Wednesfield area. Their success is a wonderful example of community cohesion and of what can be achieved when all sections of our local communities work together. The Council is particularly impressed with the wide range of backgrounds of the various groups and volunteers that contributed to bring colour to the whole of Wednesfield and wishes the group further success for the future.

 

Councillor Greg Brackenridge outlined the rationale for the proposed amendment. Councillor Philip Bateman MBE seconded the amendment to the motion.

 

The amended motion was debated by Council.

 

Resolved:

 

That the following amended motion on Wednesfield in Bloom be agreed:

 

That City of Wolverhampton Council congratulates the Wednesfield community on their recent achievements in winning a Gold award and a discretionary community award in the Britain in Bloom Competition 2018. To celebrate this success, the Council has commissioned signs and banners that are now displayed around the entire Wednesfield area. Their success is a wonderful example of community cohesion and of what can be achieved when all sections of our local communities work together. The Council is particularly impressed with the wide range of backgrounds of the various groups and volunteers that contributed to bring colour to the whole of Wednesfield and wishes the group further success for the future.

 

b.    Councillor Hazel Malcolm moved the following motion:

 

That this Council expresses its grave concern over the proposed ‘temporary’ closure of A&E overnight services at Telford Princess Royal Hospital. The impact of an estimated 20 extra ambulances a night and up to 300 additional admissions a month on New Cross Hospital cannot be accepted without additional resources. This Council agrees to ask the Secretary of State to intervene to sustain A&E services at Telford and urges all Councillors to support the online petition to prevent this avoidable overnight closure.

 

Councillor Hazel Malcolm outlined the rationale for the motion. Councillor Martin Waite seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Simon Bennett moved the following amendment to the motion:

 

That this Council expresses its grave concern over the proposed ‘temporary’ closure of A&E overnight services at Telford Princess Royal Hospital. The impact of an estimated 20 extra ambulances a night and up to 300 additional admissions a month on New  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Questions to Cabinet Members pdf icon PDF 64 KB

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

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the responses to the written questions be noted.

Minutes:

a.    Illegal Traveller Encampments

Councillor Udey Singh asked the Cabinet Member for City Environment the following question:

What has the total cost been to the Council for removing illegal traveller encampments from all sites within the city in each of the last 3 financial years?

 

The Cabinet Member for City Environment, Councillor Steve Evans, responded that the total cost of dealing with traveller incursions in each of the last three financial years was as follows:

2016-2017: £210,273

2017-2018: £244,188

2018 to date: £149,226

 

Councillor Udey Singh asked the Cabinet Member for City Environment whether the Council was reactive to the needs of its residents.

 

The Cabinet Member for City Environment, Councillor Steve Evans, responded that Wolverhampton was often shown in a negative view in the press. Traveller incursions were a national issue and the Council’s response to incursions was in line with the legislation and the reaction was always immediate and professional. Assessments were carried out and officers worked with the Police and courts to remove people from these areas. Council employees had written to the Secretary of State to request stronger legislation, along with other local authorities in the West Midlands.

 

b.    Westside project contracts

Councillor Jonathan Yardley asked the Cabinet Member for City Economy the following question:

Can the Cabinet Member outline the total number of contracts the Council have signed with the primary developer of the Westside project, and the total cost to the Council of those contracts?

 

The Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, responded that in terms of commercial contracts, i.e. contracts with operators, none had been signed at that stage. The Council entered into a Development Agreement and Agreement for Lease with the developer for the Westside scheme, Urban & Civic in April 2017. There was no specific cost attached to the preparation of these documents although advisory support was provided by JLL and Bruton Knowles throughout the marketing process for the site.

 

Councillor Jonathan Yardley asked the Cabinet Member for City Economy why it had taken the Council so long to attract private investment in comparison to neighbouring local authorities.

 

The Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor John Reynolds, responded that all Councillors had received an invitation to the Wolverhampton Business Breakfast in September 2017, where Urban & Civic had outlined their investment plans. All contractors involved were still confident in investment, however the current investment climate nationally had been impacted by Brexit. Negotiations with Urban & Civic were continuing with a result expected shortly, but the national uncertainty was impacting on all investments nationwide.

 

c.    Traveller Injunction

Councillor Simon Bennet asked the Cabinet Member for City Environment the following question:

Can the Cabinet Member explain why he believes that Bantock Park and Heath Town Park do not need to be included in the city-wide Traveller Injunction, despite both sites being subjected to illegal encampments in recent months?

 

The Cabinet Member for City Environment, Councillor Steve Evans, responded that an email had been sent to all Councillors on 8 October 2018 to inform them  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.