Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 31st March, 2021 5.45 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

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

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Rupinderjit Kaur and Councillor Linda Leach.

 

2.

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

David Pattison, Director of Governance advised that all Councillors were eligible to vote in accordance with the legislation and under the Council’s Constitution therewas a standing dispensation to all Councillors in relation to member allowances, business rates, housing matters and rents.

 

Councillor Sandra Samuels declared a disclosable pecuniary interest.

 

Councillor Paul Birch declared a disclosable pecuniary interest with Arts Council England.

 

The following declaration of interest had been made:

 

Item 6 - Wolverhampton Homes Delivery Plan 2021-2022

 

Councillor

Interest

Reason

Payal Bedi-Chadha

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes Landlord

Ian Brookfield

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes’ Leaseholder

Sohail Khan

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes’ Leaseholder

Lynne Moran

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes’ Board Member

Rita Potter

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes’ Board Member

Zee Russell

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes’ Board Member

Susan Roberts MBE

 

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Dovecotes TMO – Board Member

Paul Singh

Disclosable non-pecuniary

Wolverhampton Homes’ Board Member

 

 

3.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 425 KB

[To receive minutes of the previous meeting held on 3 March 2021]

 

Minutes:

 

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

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 3 March 2021, be agreed as a correct record and signed accordingly by the Mayor.

 

4.

Communications

[To receive the Mayor’s announcements]

Minutes:

 

  1. Retiring Members of the Council 

 

The Mayor expressed thanks to the following Councillors who were not seeking re-election in May 2021:

 

Councillor Payal Bedi-Chadha

Councillor Roger Lawrence

Councillor Hazel Malcolm

Councillor John Rowley

Councillor Caroline Siarkiewicz

Councillor Jane Stevenson

Councillor Martin Waite

 

  1. Death of Staff Member

 

The Mayor was saddened to announce the death in service of Sandra Hevican, who had worked in the Revenues and Benefits Team for the last 21 years. Sandra was also a Councillor in Sandwell, representing the Tividale ward. The Mayor expressed her condolences to Sandra’s family, friends and colleagues.

 

     3. Day of Reflection

  

The Mayor announced that Tuesday 23rd March 2021 marked exactly one year since the country had gone into the first lockdown and a national Day of Reflection had been organised by Marie Curie to remember all those who had died during the pandemic. The Council had commemorated the occasion by observing a minute's silence and shining a beam of light into the night sky as part of the #shinealight event.

 

    4. Covid-19 Vaccine and Testing Progress

 

The Mayor announced that over 112,000 Covid-19 vaccines had now been given in Wolverhampton. Latest figures showed a total of 105,658 people having received the first of their two doses and 6,740 patients having had both.

 

The Mayor added that people who were eligible but had not yet had their first jab were being asked to do so as a matter of urgency. Vaccinations were currently available to anyone aged 50 and over; anyone who was clinically extremely vulnerable; frontline health and social care workers; and people who were in receipt of Carer's Allowance or were the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if their carer fell ill.

 

     5. International Women’s Day

 

The Mayor announced that it had been International Women’s day on 8th March 2021 and was pleased to report that Wolverhampton had played its part in marking the event.

 

The Mayor added that she had taken part in a conversation with Multi Award Winning Artist, Dawinder Bansal about challenges women had faced in their careers. Other local events included a presentation by our senior Archivist Heidi MacIntosh about Emma Sprosun and the Women’s Suffrage Movement in Wolverhampton, Emma who went on to become our first woman councillor in 1921; and Dr Andrew Yarnold, Cultural Learning Facilitator for Wolverhampton Arts and Culture, gave a talk on “Women in Art”.

 

     6. Wolverhampton History Week 22nd to 26th March 2021

 

The Mayor announced that Wolverhampton City Archives celebrated its first ever Wolverhampton History Week with a series of free online talks on a wide variety of topics. Speakers from the Lace Guild, the Crabtree Society, the Friends of the Archives, and individuals, had showcased their research, alongside ongoing projects such as the digitisation of the Express & Star photographic collection.

 

5.

Pay Policy Statement 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 132 KB

[To approve the Pay Policy Statement 2021-2022]

Decision:

1.     That the Pay Policy Statement for 2021-2022 as set out in Appendix 1 of the Cabinet report be approved.

2.     That the publication of the Pay Policy Statement as set out in Appendix 1 of the Cabinet report be approved, in line with the requirements of the Localism Act 2021.

3.     That it be noted, that the national pay award for National Joint Council (NJC) and Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) Chief Officers and Chief Executives had not yet been agreed.

Minutes:

Councillor Paula Brookfield presented the report: Pay Policy Statement 2021-2022 for approval. She outlined the recommendations of the report and advised that the national pay award for National Joint Council (NJC) and Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) Chief Officers and Chief Executives had not yet been agreed.

 

Councillor Paula Brookfield advised the Council had a responsibility under the Localism Bill 2011 to prepare and publish an annual pay policy statement which detailed the remuneration of chief officers, the remuneration of its lowest paid employees and the relationship of remuneration between chief officers and employees. She advised the Council had one of the lowest pay gaps ratios in the West Midlands region.

 

Councillor Paula Brookfield proposed the recommendations and Councillor Rita Potter seconded the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

 

  1. That the Pay Policy Statement for 2021-2022 as set out in Appendix 1 of the Cabinet report be approved.
  2. That the publication of the Pay Policy Statement as set out in Appendix 1 of the Cabinet report be approved, in line with the requirements of the Localism Act 2021.
  3. That it be noted, that the national pay award for National Joint Council (NJC) and Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) Chief Officers and Chief Executives has not yet been agreed.

 

6.

Wolverhampton Homes Delivery Plan 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 130 KB

[To approve the Wolverhampton Homes Delivery Plan 2021-2022]

Decision:

 

1.     That the Wolverhampton Homes Business Plan Delivery Plan 2021-2022 as set out in Appendix 1 of the Cabinet report be approved.

2.     That the new arrangements for monitoring the delivery of the Wolverhampton Homes Business Plan Delivery Plan to Council scrutiny be approved.

Minutes:

Councillor Jacqueline Sweetman presented the report: Wolverhampton Homes Delivery Plan 2021-2022 for approval. She outlined the recommendations of the report and detailed how the Delivery Plan supported the Council priority of ‘Better Homes for All’.

 

Councillor Jacqueline Sweetman praised how Wolverhampton Homes had responded to challenges throughout the impact of Covid-19 and how they had focused on supporting the business and the changing needs and expectations of its customers.

 

Councillor Jacqueline Sweetman proposed the recommendations and Councillor Louise Miles seconded the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

That the Council:

  1. That the Wolverhampton Homes Business Plan Delivery Plan 2021-2022 as set out in Appendix 1 of the Cabinet report be approved.
  2. That the new arrangements for monitoring the delivery of the Wolverhampton Homes Business Plan Delivery Plan to Council scrutiny be approved.

 

7.

Council Submission to Local Government Boundary Review pdf icon PDF 131 KB

[To approve the Council’s Submission to Local Government Boundary Review]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the Council’s Submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England as detailed in Appendix 1 to this report be approved.

Minutes:

Councillor Paula Brookfield presented the report: Council Submission to Local Government Boundary Review. She outlined the proposed Labour Party submission and thanked Members for their hard work in producing the comprehensive proposal. 

 

Councillor Paula Brookfield proposed the recommendations and Councillor John Reynolds seconded the recommendations.

 

Councillor Wendy Thompson stated that the Conservative Party intended to submit their own submission.

 

The report was debated by Council.

 

Resolved:

  1. That the Council’s Submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England as detailed in Appendix 1 to the report be approved.

 

8.

Calendar of Meetings 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

[To approve the Calendar of Meetings 2021-2022]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the City of Wolverhampton Council Calendar of Meetings for 2021-2022

attached at appendix 1 to this report be approved.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield presented the report: Calendar of Meetings 2021-2022 for approval. He advised the report sought approval for the calendar of meetings for the next municipal year. 

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield proposed the recommendation and Councillor Louise Miles seconded the recommendation.

 

Resolved:

  1. That the City of Wolverhampton Council Calendar of Meetings for 2021-2022 attached at appendix 1 be approved.

 

9.

Decisions Made Under Urgent Action Powers pdf icon PDF 313 KB

[To receive a report on urgent decisions taken by the Council.]

Decision:

That the decision made under the Council’s Urgent Action Powers be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield presented the report: Decisions Made Under Urgent Action Powers report for noting. The report detailed the decision taken under Urgent Action Powers.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield proposed the recommendation and Councillor Louise Miles seconded the recommendation.

 

The report was debated by Council.

 

Resolved:

 

That the decision made under urgent action powers be noted.

 

10.

Written Questions by Councillors pdf icon PDF 133 KB

[That the Cabinet Member for City Economy respond to questions received]

Decision:

That the responses to written questions be noted.

Minutes:

  1. Heath Town Baths

 

Councillor Simon Bennett asked the Cabinet Member for City Economy:

 

“The redevelopment of Heath Town Baths is an important project in the Heath Town Ward, what involvement has the Cabinet Member had in bringing this much delayed project forward?”

 

The Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Steve Simkins responded that since being in post since July 2020 he had received regular briefings from officers and had been assured that the project was moving forward despite the unavoidable delays caused by Covid-19. The Council had worked tirelessly to line up a private led scheme, following an open tender process, Gaddu Associates was appointed.  The Council continued to hold regular talks with Gaddu Associates, supporting them to develop their proposals.

 

The Heritage Lottery grant programme had been suspended due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic but had reopened in February and a case worker had been working with Gaddu Associates to support the resubmission of their bid. He added that the scheme was supported by the Council, the local community and more importantly the local MP.

 

Councillor Simon Bennett asked the Cabinet Member for City Economy the following supplementary question:

 

“This project is now on its third Cabinet Member, how has this impacted on delivering this important Community asset?”

 

The Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Steve Simkins stated that there had been ten years of austerity, ten years of lack of investment coming into the city, and finally a stage had been reached where a developer could be appointed.

 

  1. Heath Town Baths

 

Councillor Paul Appleby asked the Cabinet Member for City Economy:

 

“How much did the tendering process cost for Heath Town Baths and how much was paid to the Consultants used?”

 

The Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Steve Simkins stated that the appointment of the commercial adviser to manage the developer and selection process was agreed by Cabinet due to the complex nature of the building, this was undertaken by way of a mini competition using the Property Panel of the then Homes and Communities Agency to ensure value for money was achieved. The tender value was £19,872.

 

Councillor Paul Appleby asked the Cabinet Member for City Economy the following supplementary question:

 

“In the last four years the redevelopment of this very important community facility has progressed very little under the successful bidder, does the Cabinet Member consider this process to have delivered value for money?” 

 

The Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Steve Simkins stated that he wouldrespond to Councillor Appleby in writing with the value for money on the contract.

 

 

  1. Heath Town Baths

 

Councillor Jonathan Yardley asked the Cabinet Member for City Economy:

 

“Since the tendering process for Heath Town Baths concluded it is understood that the building has suffered further damage whilst standing idle. Please can the Cabinet Member detail the additional damage that has occurred since the tendering process finished?”

 

The Cabinet Member for City Economy, Councillor Steve Simkins stated that the most significant damage to the building had occurred  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.