Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 3rd November, 2021 5.45 pm

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:

There were no apologies for absence submitted.

 

2.

Declarations of interest

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Clare Simm declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 5 (Report of Leader of the Council) as an employee of the Department for Work and Pensions.

 

3.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 254 KB

[To receive minutes of the previous meeting held on 15 September 2021]

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 15 September 2021, be agreed as a correct record and signed accordingly by the Mayor.

4.

Communications

[To receive the Mayor’s announcements]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1.    Sir David Amess MP

The Mayor extended the deepest sympathies of the Council to the widow of Sir David Amess MP, who was murdered whilst undertaking his public duty.  He reported that he had written a letter to Lady Julia on behalf of the city.

 

The Council stood in silent tribute to the late Sir David Amess MP.

 

2.    COVID-19 Update

The Mayor reported that there were over 850 positive cases reported in the City in the week prior to the meeting. He encouraged eligible people to book both their booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine.

 

3.    Black History Month

The Mayor reported that City of Wolverhampton Council had hosted an active Black History Month during October. He reported that this year’s theme had been ‘Proud to Be’, and that events had celebrated identity and culture. He listed some examples of events that had taken place during the month.

 

He noted that it had been an active and educational month and thanked all those involved.

 

4.    Green Flag Awards

The Mayor was delighted to report that a fifth Wolverhampton park had been awarded Green Flag status by an environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy. He noted that Phoenix Park in Blakenhall now joined West Park, East Park, Bantock Park and Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve on the prestigious list.

 

5.    Kickstart Scheme

The Mayor reported that the Wolves at Work was encouraging young people and city employers to get involved in the Kickstart scheme after it was extended until March 2022.

 

He noted that the scheme was open to 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment, and offered a 6-month job placement to gain valuable work experience.

 

The Mayor encouraged all Councillors to familiarise themselves with the scheme.

 

6.    Wolves Online – Closing the Digital Divide

The Mayor reported that Wolves Online had distributed over 550 devices to city residents to help develop their digital skills to access learning, employment, and essential services.

 

The Mayor offered his congratulations to all those involved in this important scheme.

 

7.    Queens Awards for Voluntary Services Award Ceremony

The Mayor reported that he had attended the awards ceremony for the Queens Award for Voluntary Service on Sunday 17 October 2021.

He was pleased to report that awards had been presented to the following groups:

·       Big Local Venture Centre

·       Friends of Bantock House, Museum and Park

·       The Well Foodbank

·       TLC College

·       Wednesfield in Bloom

 

The Mayor offered thanks on behalf of the City to all the volunteers for the hard work in making a difference in people’s lives.

 

8.    St John Ambulance – District Manager’s Commendation for Exceptional Service

The Mayor reported that he had attended the annual awards ceremony of the Staffordshire and Wolverhampton Branch of St. John Ambulance on Sunday 24 October. He was pleased to report that he had received a District Managers Commendation for Exceptional Service on behalf of the City Council, in recognition of the assistance provided by the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Report of Leader of the Council

[To receive a report from the Leader of the Council]

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield, extended his condolences to the family of Sir David Amess MP.

 

He provided Council with an update on the Government’s Annual Budget.

 

The update was debated by Council.

 

6.

Wolves at Work 18-24 - Tackling Youth Unemployment pdf icon PDF 140 KB

[To approve a series of dedicated and focussed interventions to support 18-24 years olds into work over a 12 month period]

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.     That the launch of a new Wolves at Work 18-24 Programme of targeted interventions which puts our young people at the centre of activity be approved to urgently deliver the step change needed in our City to give unemployed young people opportunities for secure, sustainable employment, apprenticeships, education or training.

2.     That an initial £3 million budget, from a combination of the Recovery Reserve and Covid Emergency Grant be approved to deliver Wolves at Work 18-24 and galvanise a ‘One City’ approach to create opportunities for our young people.

3.     That the establishment of a £100,000 ‘City Ideas Fund’, initially (funded from the £3 million available) be approved, for City employers and partners to bid for and put forward ideas that will get more young people into sustained employment, apprenticeships, education or training.

4.     That authority be delegated to the Leader of the Council, in consultation with the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance, to approve:

a. Wolves at Work 18-24 targeted interventions and the allocation of the associated budget (from the £3 million available).

b. The scope and governance arrangements for the ‘City Ideas Fund’.

 

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield presented the report Wolves at Work 18-24 – Youth Employment. The report sought approval for the developing and resourcing of the Wolves at Work 18-24 scheme, which would support young people currently claiming benefits and aged 18 to 24 into sustainable employment, apprenticeships, education or training.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield noted that the youth unemployment levels in the City were more than double the national average and that this scheme would help tackle the issue. 

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield proposed the recommendations and Councillor Stephen Simkins seconded the recommendations.

 

The report was debated by Council.

 

Resolved:

 

1.     That the launch of a new Wolves at Work 18-24 Programme of targeted interventions which puts our young people at the centre of activity be approved to urgently deliver the step change needed in our City to give unemployed young people opportunities for secure, sustainable employment, apprenticeships, education or training.

2.     That an initial £3 million budget, from a combination of the Recovery Reserve and Covid Emergency Grant be approved to deliver Wolves at Work 18-24 and galvanise a ‘One City’ approach to create opportunities for our young people.

3.     That the establishment of a £100,000 ‘City Ideas Fund’, initially (funded from the £3 million available) be approved, for City employers and partners to bid for and put forward ideas that will get more young people into sustained employment, apprenticeships, education or training.

4.     That authority be delegated to the Leader of the Council, in consultation with the Chief Executive and the Director of Finance, to approve:

a. Wolves at Work 18-24 targeted interventions and the allocation of the associated budget (from the £3 million available).

b. The scope and governance arrangements for the ‘City Ideas Fund’.

 

 

7.

Overview of Electoral Cycles pdf icon PDF 366 KB

[To consider going out to public consultation on the Council’s electoral cycle]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That this Council maintain its commitment to local democracy and continues to elect by thirds.

Minutes:

Councillor Paula Brookfield presented a report on Overview of Electoral Cycles. She advised that the Governance and Ethics Committee had recommended that the electoral cycle be changed but that only Full Council had the authority to approve such a change. 

 

Councillor Paula Brookfield moved an amendment to the recommendation in the report that this Council maintain its commitment to local democracy and continues to elect by thirds. She outlined the rationale for the amendment.

 

The amended motion was seconded by Councillor Paul Birch.

 

The amended motion was debated by Council.

 

Upon being put to the meeting, and a division having been demanded and taken voting thereon was as follows:

 

Overview of Electoral Cycles (Resolution)

 

Councillor Greg Brackenridge

For

Councillor Sandra Samuels OBE

For

Councillor Obaida Ahmed

For

Councillor Paul Appleby

Against

Councillor Qaiser Azeem

For

Councillor Mary Bateman

For

Councillor Philip Bateman MBE

For

Councillor Simon Bennett

Against

Councillor Olivia Birch

For

Councillor Dr Paul John Birch J.P.

For

Councillor Ian Brookfield

For

Councillor Paula Brookfield

For

Councillor Christopher Burden

For

Councillor Alan Butt

For

Councillor Adam Collinge

Against

Councillor Jonathan Crofts

Against

Councillor Wendy Dalton

Against

Councillor Jasbinder Dehar

For

Councillor Steve Evans

For

Councillor Bhupinder Gakhal

For

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre

For

Councillor Christopher Haynes

Against

Councillor Stephanie Haynes

Against

Councillor Keith Inston

For

Councillor Rashpal Kaur

For

Councillor Sohail Khan

Against

Councillor Linda Leach

For

Councillor Asha Mattu

For

Councillor Barbara McGarrity QN

For

Councillor Andrew McNeil

Against

Councillor Beverley Momenabadi

For

Councillor Lynne Moran

For

Councillor Anwen Muston

For

Councillor Phil Page

For

Councillor Rita Potter

For

Councillor Andrew Randle

Against

Councillor John Reynolds

For

Councillor Susan Roberts MBE

For

Councillor Zee Russell

For

Councillor Stephen Simkins

For

Councillor Clare Simm

For

Councillor Gurmukh (Mak) Singh

Against

Councillor Paul Singh

Against

Councillor Tersaim Singh

For

Councillor Paul Sweet

For

Councillor Wendy Thompson

Against

Councillor Ellis Turrell

Against

Councillor Gillian Wildman

For

Councillor Jonathan Yardley

Against

Carried

 

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That this Council maintain its commitment to local democracy and continues to elect by thirds.

8.

Audit and Risk Committee Annual Report 2020 - 2021 pdf icon PDF 132 KB

[To endorse the Audit and Risk Committee Annual Report 2020 – 2021]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the contents of the 2020-2021 Audit and Risk Committee Annual Report be approved.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Alan Butt presented the Audit and Risk Committee Annual Report 2020-2021 for approval. He summarised the main areas of work undertaken by the Audit and Risk Committee during 2020-2021. He added that the Audit and Risk Committee had an instrumental role in providing independent and high-level focus on audit, assurance and reporting arrangements that underpin good governance and financial standards.

 

Councillor Alan Butt noted that the internal audit team had been praised at the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)-  Audit and Risk meeting for offering a professional independent internal audit service to the WMCA. He offered his congratulations to Peter Farrow, Head of Audit, and his team.

 

Councillor Alan Butt proposed the recommendation and Councillor Jonathan Yardley seconded the recommendation and thanked all internal and external auditors and officers for their hard work. 

 

Resolved:

 

That the contents of the 2020-2021 Audit and Risk Committee Annual Report be approved.

 

9.

Changes to the Constitution pdf icon PDF 135 KB

[To approve amendments to the Council’s Constitution]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1. That the amendments to the Constitution as detailed in this report be approved.

2. That the Monitoring Officer be authorised to implement the changes.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Paula Brookfield presented the report Changes to the Constitution for approval. The changes would ensure continuing lawfulness and effectiveness of the constitution.

 

Councillor Paula Brookfield, outlined the minor amendments to be made to the constitution and the rationale for making these changes.

 

Councillor Paula Brookfield proposed the recommendations and Councillor Tersaim Singh seconded the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

 

1.    That the amendments to the Constitution as detailed in this report be approved.

2.    That the Monitoring Officer be authorised to implement the changes.

 

10.

Revised Petitions Scheme pdf icon PDF 129 KB

[To approve amendments to the Petitions Scheme]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the revised Petitions Scheme, as detailed in Appendix 1 be approved.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Paula Brookfield presented a report on Revised Petitions Scheme for approval. The Councils’ Petition Scheme has been reviewed to ensure the scheme is legal, fair, transparent and efficient. She noted that the revisions to the scheme would make the process of submitting a petition easier for the public.

 

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

 

Resolved:

 

That the revised Petitions Scheme, as detailed in Appendix 1 be approved.

 

11.

Adopting a Definition of Islamophobia pdf icon PDF 134 KB

[To approve the adoption of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims (APPG) definition of Islamophobia]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.     That the adoption of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims (APPG)

definition of Islamophobia as follows “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness” be approved. 

2.     That the Council confirmed that it would continue to prioritise tackling hate crime and Islamophobia in partnership with all stakeholders; listen to their concerns and develop policies that would continue to ensure we lived in an inclusive city.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Paula Brookfield presented a report on Adopting a Definition of Islamophobia for approval. The report recommended that Council adopt the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia and continue to prioritise tackling hate crime and Islamophobia.

 

Councillor Paula Brookfield noted that the report would form part of the Council’s ongoing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion agenda.

 

Councillor Paula Brookfield proposed the recommendations and Councillor Obaida Ahmed seconded the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

 

1.     That the adoption of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims (APPG)

definition of Islamophobia as follows “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness” be approved. 

2.     That the Council confirmed that it would continue to prioritise tackling hate crime and Islamophobia in partnership with all stakeholders; listen to their concerns and develop policies that would continue to ensure we lived in an inclusive city.

 

12.

In Year Appointments for the 2021-2022 Municipal Year pdf icon PDF 139 KB

[To approve in year appointments]

Additional documents:

Decision:

1.     That the appointment of Councillor Milkinder Jaspal to the Audit and Risk Committee for the remainder of the Municipal year 2021/2022 be approved.

2.     That the appointment of co-opted member Tina Richardson, representing Healthwatch Wolverhampton to the Health Scrutiny Panel for the remainder of the Municipal year 2021/2022 be approved.

3.     That the appointment of Councillor Dr Mike Hardacre as a co-opted member on the Strategic SEND and Commissioning Partnership Board be approved.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield presented the report In Year Appointments for the 2021-2022 Municipal Year.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield proposed the recommendations and Councillor Stephen Simkins seconded the recommendations.

 

Resolved:

 

1.     That the appointment of Councillor Milkinder Jaspal to the Audit and Risk Committee for the remainder of the Municipal year 2021/2022 be approved.

2.     That the appointment of co-opted member Tina Richardson, representing Healthwatch Wolverhampton to the Health Scrutiny Panel for the remainder of the Municipal year 2021/2022 be approved.

3.     That the appointment of Councillor Dr Mike Hardacre as a co-opted member on the Strategic SEND and Commissioning Partnership Board be approved.

 

13.

Motion on Notice pdf icon PDF 326 KB

[That Council consider the motion received by Councillor Ellis Turrell]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the substantive motion on garden waste be agreed.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Ellis Turrell moved the following motion:

 

“That this Council notes with disappointment the 8% increase in charges for the Garden Waste Collection Service for 2022 without any detailed explanation or prior scrutiny of this decision; notes that the principle of double taxation is fundamentally wrong; and therefore agrees to abolish all charges for garden waste collection at the next Budget and to provide this service as standard alongside household and recycled waste collections.”

 

Councillor Ellis Turrell outlined the rationale for motion. Councillor Stephanie Haynes seconded the motion.

 

Councillor Steve Evans moved the following amended motion:

 

“That this Council notes the Government’s ongoing consultation on waste collection and as part of this, they are considering mandating councils to provide free garden waste collections by 2023-25. However, they have yet to outline how they are going to fund this.


This Council, therefore, calls on the government to announce that they will fully fund free garden waste collections. This would enable us to provide this service as standard alongside household and recycled waste collections.”

 

Councillor Steve Evans outlined the rationale for the amended motion. Councillor Stephen Simkins seconded the motion.

 

The amended motion was debated by Council. The amended motion was carried.

 

Resolved:

That the substantive motion on garden waste be agreed.

 

14.

Written Questions by Councillors pdf icon PDF 210 KB

[That Cabinet Members respond to questions received]

Additional documents:

Decision:

That the responses to written questions be noted.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield responded to questions put to him by Councillor Paul Singh on sporting legends, and Councillor Andy Randle on driving training.

 

The Cabinet Member for Governance and Equalities, Councillor Paula Brookfield responded to a question put to her by Councillor Jonathan Crofts on external legal services. She also responded to a supplementary question on the same subject matter.

 

The Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Work, Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre responded to a question put to him by Councillor Wendy Dalton on unemployment support. He also responded to a supplementary question on the same subject matter.

 

The Cabinet Member for City Environment and Climate Change, Councillor Steve Evans responded to questions put to him by Councillor Mak Singh on the World Powerlifting Championship and Councillor Paul Appleby on fly tipping. He also responded to a supplementary question from Councillor Mak Singh on the same subject matter.

 

The Deputy Leader: Inclusive City Economy, Councillor Stephen Simkins responded to questions put to him by Councillor Chris Haynes on the Westside scheme, Councillor Udey Singh on Heath Town baths, Councillor Wendy Thompson on support to shops and small businesses and Councillor Adam Collinge on the draft Black Country Plan. He also responded to supplementary questions on the same subject matters.

 

The Cabinet Member for Digital City, Councillor Obaida Ahmed responded to a question put to her by Councillor Simon Bennett on digital projects. She also responded to a supplementary question on the same subject matter.

 

 

That the responses to written questions be noted.