Agenda and minutes

Council
Wednesday, 21st September, 2016 5.45 pm

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

Contact: Julia Cleary  01902 555046 Email: julia.cleary@wolverhampton.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for absence

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Arun Photay.

2.

Declarations of interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes of previous meetings - 20 July 2016 pdf icon PDF 107 KB

[To approve the minutes of the Extra Ordinary meeting and the Ordinary meeting of Council held on 20 July 2016]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

(1)          That the minutes of the extraordinary meeting, held on 20July 2016, be agreed as a correct record and signed accordingly by the Mayor.

(2)          That the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 20 July 2016, be agreed as a correct record and signed accordingly by the Mayor.

 

 

 

4.

Communications

[To receive the Mayor’s announcements]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor stated that it was with great sadness that we had learned of the death of former Councillor and Mayor, Gwen Stafford-Good on 18th August and former Councillor and MP, Ken Purchase on 28 August, a minutes silence was held in their memory.

 

The Mayor also reminded Councillors that the Remembrance Sunday service would take place on 13 November.  The Drumhead Service would begin at 10.58am, followed by a second service in St. Peter’s Church at approximately 11.25am.

5.

Treasury management - annual report 2015/16 and activity monitoring quarter one 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

[To approve an amendment to the Annual Investment Strategy]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Johnson introduced the Treasury Management Annual Report 2015/16 and Activity Monitoring Quarter One 2016/17. Cllr Johnson stated that the report was excellent news and would be making a big difference to the services that the Council was providing to Wolverhampton.

 

Cllr Thompson stated that is was good to see savings however she would also like to see figures relating to any debts in the future as well. It agreed that this was possible as these figures were a matter of public record.

 

The recommendations were moved by Cllr Johnson and seconded by Cllr Bilson.

 

Resolved:

 

1.         That the amendment to paragraph 1.4 of the Annual Investment Strategy by lowering the minimum sovereign rating from AA+ to AA with regard to the Council’s investment lending list be agreed.

 

That the Council note:

 

2.         That the Council operated within the approved Prudential and Treasury Management Indicators, and also within the requirements set out in the Council’s approved Treasury Management Policy Statement during 2015/16.

 

3.         The revenue savings of £7.6 million for the General Fund (including a special dividend from Birmingham Airport of £3.6 million) and £1.5 million for the Housing Revenue Account were generated from treasury management activities in 2015/16.

 

4.         The revenue savings of £886,000 for the General Fund and £254,000 for the Housing Revenue Account are forecast from treasury management activities in 2016/17.

6.

Adoption of the Wolverhampton City Centre area action plan pdf icon PDF 55 KB

[To consider a recommendation from Cabinet on the adoption of the Wolverhampton City Centre Area Action Plan]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Reynolds moved that the Wolverhampton City Centre Action Plan be adopted. The Plan had been through three rounds of consultation and provided a basis for determining planning applications up until 2026.

 

Cllr Thompson stated that she welcomed the Plan but that it had taken too long to develop and would require a site of considerable building work to start to raise the confidence of residents.

 

Cllr Bilson stated that a lot of work was already underway and that the Council was also looking at the skills base of residents to encourage those with low skills or poor health onto a 6 weeks course with the armed forces to help them back into work.

 

The recommendations were seconded by Cllr Bilson.

 

Resolved:      That Council approve and adopt the Wolverhampton City Centre Area Action Plan.

7.

Human Resources pdf icon PDF 63 KB

[To approve a recommendation of a Special Appointments Committee that David Watts be appointed as Service Director – Adults on the Council’s senior management terms and conditions]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Lawrence moved a report to seek approval for the appointment of a Service Director – Adults.

 

On 7 September 2016, a Special Appointment Committee had been convened to interview for the post of Service Director – Adults.  The committee’s recommendation was to appoint David Watts.

 

The recommendation was seconded by Cllr Samuels.

 

Resolved:      That Council approve the recommendation of a Special Appointments Committee that David Watts be appointed as Service Director – Adults on the Council’s senior management terms and conditions.

 

 

 

8.

WV Living detailed business plan phase one pdf icon PDF 70 KB

[To consider a recommendation from Cabinet on the approval to Phase 1 of the WV Living (the Council’s Housing Company) detailed business plan to commence trading and delivering new housing for sale and market rent]

 

[This report will be sent to follow]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Bilson introduced a report recommending that Council approve the recommendation from Cabinet regarding the WV Living detailed business plan phase 1. 

 

The report considered an increase to the Council’s Capital Programme for loans to WV Living to be repaid to the Council at commercial rates in accordance with the provisions of the Business Plan.

 

The development of new homes by WV Living would support a number of the City’s strategic objectives:

 

           Pump prime the new build housing market in the City

           Accelerate the development of much needed new homes

           Provide additional council housing for the Housing Revenue Account

           Provides new market rented homes for families (who cannot afford deposit towards purchase) – not currently available in the City

           Opportunity to support regeneration programmes

           Bring sites into use that might otherwise not be developed   

           Provides local jobs and training including work and opportunities for private sector builders and professional services, including sustaining jobs at the Council and Wolverhampton Homes by purchasing services

 

The WV Living Business Plan demonstrated a positive financial outcome for the Council which would support the provision of other activities and services.

 

Cllr Johnson seconded the recommendations.

 

Resolved:      That the Council agree to provide an increase to the Council’s Capital Programme by up to a maximum of £40 million to enable loans to be made to WV Living to be repaid to the Council at commercial rates in accordance with the provisions of the Business Plan.

 

 

 

?

 

 

9.

Questions to Cabinet Members pdf icon PDF 57 KB

[That the Cabinet Members for Resources, and City Environment and the Leader of the Council respond to questions received in accordance with the Constitutional rules of procedure]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1.            In response to Cllr Councillor Udey Singh’s question in relation to the cost of translation services Cllr Johnson stated that we did not separately analyse translation and interpreter services and were only able to provide a combined spend figure. We were only able to access spend data from 1st April 2014 (Agresso Implementation). The figures were as follows:

 

2014/15

The cost of Translation and Interpretation Services for 2014/15 was in total £193,090.88.

 

2015/16

The cost of Translation and Interpretation Services for 2015/16 was in total £320,890.87.

 

2016/17

The cost of Translation and Interpretation Services for 2016/17 is currently £117,044.80.

 

The Council had a Contract in place for Translation and Interpretation Services with a company called, “The Big Word”.  Where the contracted provider was unable to fulfil the requirements of the customer then staff had engaged with other accredited suppliers. The service provided was fully managed and therefore the Council did not employ any staff to deliver this Service.

 

The Councils Contract with The Big Word” expired on 31st October 2016; a procurement exercise was currently being undertaken to seek the most advantageous company to deliver the Councils; Translation, Face to Face Interpretation, Telephone and BSL (British Sign Language) Service.

 

Cllr Singh asked a supplementary question:

 

‘How is the City assisting new movers to the area with integration when funding is being spent on translation services?’

 

Cllr Johnson stated that the key was to understand the legislative requirements linked with translation services. In areas such as child protection, domestic violence and homicide reviews interpreters were required to be present.

 

2.            In response to Cllr Thompsons question regarding Residents’ Parking Schemes, Cllr Evans stated that there were no plans to introduce further residents parking schemes in Wolverhampton until the New Cross parking scheme was live and any lessons learnt had been considered. It was expected that it would be at least six months after going live before we would be in a position to consider any further schemes.

 

Cllr Thompson asked a supplementary question:

 

‘What was the percentage response to the consultation?’

 

Cllr Evans stated that he would provide the answer in writing.

 

3.            In response to Cllr Thompson’s question regarding a response to the DCLG request for compliance, Cllr Lawrence confirmed that he had replied to the Minister on 1st August and that there had been no evidence to support the anecdotal reports that a handful of Council Tax Demands had been delivered during the first few days of the Purdah period.

 

The Monitoring Officer had investigated the matter and confirmed that there had been no breach of the regulations surrounding the Purdah period and the Section 151 Officer was satisfied that all the facts and figures were in order.

 

Cllr Thompson asked a supplementary question:

 

‘Were you aware that the original question had been based on a complaint from a local resident?’

 

Cllr Lawrence stated that he was aware of some complaints but that no evidence had been received.