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Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and minutes

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Suite

Contact: Jane Game 

No. Item




Councillors R Hulland, Mrs J Hulland and  Sheridan.


Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 110 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the previous Council meeting held on 16 July 2015.


The minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2015 were submitted.



  That the minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2015 be confirmed as a correct



  Following the vote Councillor Wilson requested that it be noted that in  minute

  13 the final question to Councillor Meeson should read refer to Primary Care

  Provision at Smiths Wood not Chelmunds Cross.


Declarations of pecuniary or conflicting interests from Members

To receive declarations of interest from Members in accordance with the Code of Conduct (Members are directed to the guidance sheet attached)



Councillor Williams declared interest as a Member of Solihull Community Housing.



To receive petitions from Members of the Council


Councillor McCarthy submitted a petition on behalf of residents, regarding the speeding on Rowood Drive with a request for a traffic calming programme to be put in place. 



To receive any announcements from the Mayor, Leader of the Council or Members of the Cabinet.


Illuminated Address

The Mayor presented the Deputy Mayor Cllr Mrs Wild and Mr Wild  with their  illuminated address, which recorded the Council’s appreciation of the way they undertook their year of office.


Promise Pack

Councillor Meeson referred to the Promise Pack which had been circulated to all Members.



Questions and Deputations under Standing Order 9 and 12

To answer questions asked by residents of the Borough under Standing Order 9 and to hear petitioners or deputations in accordance with Standing Order 12. Ms. S Evans has given notice that she wishes to address Council on the Babbs Mill development.



A deputation was received under Standing Order 12 from Ms Sarah Evans a resident of the Borough who was introduced by Councillor Hall. The deputation related to the  development at Babbs Mill. Ms Evans drew attention to the importance of Babbs Mill both as a Nature Reserve and Educational Asset. Ms Evans stated residents were opposed to the development proposed for the Park.


Councillor Courts as Cabinet Member for Managed Growth responded to the deputation. He explained that the site at Larks Meadow was an allocated site in the adopted Local Development Plan, which was produced after extensive consultation across the Borough..


The site size was 1.98 hectares, allocated for 70 homes. This was reduced from 4.37 hectares originally proposed, by expanding other sites across the Borough and represented 0.3% of the land at Babbs Mill. 


Having looked at the ‘Accessible Green Space’ statistics, and whilst noting that these may not be the most up to date ones, Kingshurst showed over 76 hectares, which was considerably more than the Dorridge Ward for example (61 ha), where attrition of gardens and ecological habitats had been large-scale over recent years.


In the originally approved plan, Solihull needed to build 11,000 homes over the plan period. Approximately,1,000 of these were in the North Solihull regeneration zone and the other 10,000 were distributed across the Borough. However, inevitably the result of the Court of Appeal challenge to the Inspector would require additional housing numbers.


In the 8 years to 2013/14, only 69 additional houses had been provided in the Kingshurst Ward: a third of that provided in Knowle Ward, for example, and not much more than half of that provided in Dorridge  or Castle Bromwich. Housing needed to be provided for local people, locally, and there were very few sites available.


In respect of the Larks Meadow site, the Planning Inspector had concluded that “the loss of less than 2 hectares of the Nature Reserve would not seriously erode its nature conservation value, particularly with the compensatory green space and biodiversity enhancements envisaged”. The Inspector had also noted that both Natural England and the Environment Agency were content with the allocation and found it to be soundly based and justified. 


Noting that decisions like these were always difficult; few people wanted development in their area, but the Council had a duty to provide homes for local people and had acted responsibly in the balanced approach it had adopted in allocating sites across the Borough.


The Council spent £100,000 a year on Babbs Mill Nature Reserve and with the Friends of Babbs Mill, were looking at the scheme mentioned by the Inspector and supported by Nature England to enhance the biodiversity.



Questions under Standing Order 8 (30 Minutes)

To answer questions asked under Standing Order 8 by Councillors (30 Minutes)


The following questions were submitted to the various Cabinet Members;-


Councillor Evans to Councillor R Hulland, CPH for Resources and Delivering Value

“Regarding the article in the Evening Mail about the Council spending over 7 million pounds on agency staff, can the Cabinet Member please explain why agency staff expenditure has risen in the last year?  Is this down to increased usage or increased charges by the agencies involved?”


In Councillor Hulland’s absence the Leader of the Council responded that last financial year the Council spent £4.34 million on agency staff. This was an increase of £562,000 compared to the previous year. The increase was due to increased usage, not increased charges. The main reason for the increase was significant one-off projects within planning and highways where temporary rather than permanent additional capacity was needed. The cost of agency staff was funded from existing budgets.


Schools also spent £2.43 million on agency staff, which was an increase of £305,000 compared to the previous year. The Leader advised that the Council was part of a regional arrangement for agency staff where the costs were capped at agreed, competitive rates. These rates were more competitive than those paid in previous years.



Councillor Williams to Councillor  Courts, CPH for Managed Growth 

“Can the Cabinet Member outline the unfortunate impacts of the proposed cuts to the Feed-in Tarriff (FiT) renewable energy subsidy scheme on Solihull and will he commit the Council to outlining these impacts in response to the Government consultation on this matter?”


The Cabinet Member for Managed Growth  explained that on 27 August, The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) issued a Consultation on a review of the Feed-in-Tariffs scheme.


The review was driven by Government concerns about the amount of expenditure in this area and principally the amount that consumers had to pay through their energy bills for low carbon & renewable energy subsidies. Feed-in-Tariffs had exceeded all renewable energy deployment expectations, however this success had also come with costs exceeding projections. DECC expected to breach the limits of the Levy Control Framework (LCF), the amount of money agreed within Government which could be added to consumer bills to pay for low-carbon electricity generation, and deploy more small-scale renewables than envisioned when the scheme started.


DECC were proposing measures to place policy costs on bills on a sustainable footing, improve bill payer value for money, and limit the effects on consumers who ultimately paid for renewable energy subsidies.


Solihull Community Housing (SCH) had been considering a large scale PV project that would see up to 4500 homes receive PV. In order to achieve this SCH had been in discussions with two potential companies who were willing to finance the project via a Rent a Roof scheme. SCH had contacted the potential funders in light of the proposed cuts in Feed-in-Tariffs and had been advised that, with the proposed changes to be implemented from January next year the project would no longer be financially viable.


In view of these proposed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Council Topic of Debate

To deal with any Council Topic of Debate submitted.


There was no Notice of a Topic of Debate 


Notice of Motion

To deal with any Notices of Motion submitted.


There were no Notices of Motion.


Recommendation from Cabinet - Devolution - A Combined Authority And Devolution Deal For The West Midlands pdf icon PDF 380 KB

To receive the following recommendations from Cabinet:


i.  That subject to the successful conclusion of the ongoing negotiations, the Draft Scheme for the establishment of a Combined Authority for the West Midlands be approved for submission to the Secretary of State; and

ii.  That subject to no material changes being made to the Scheme by the other member authorities following the Council meeting, the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader of the Council be authorised to sign the final version of the Scheme for submission to the Secretary of State.

 In doing so, to consider the findings of the Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board’s investigation of the implications of the recommendations.



Additional documents:


The Leader presented a report to Council on the Regional Devolution Deal for the West Midlands including the revised scheme and the recommendations from Cabinet. The Leader stressed that the creation of a Combined Authority itself was separate to any Devolution Deal agreed with Government. Any Devolution Deal  would require a future decision of the Council.


The Leader explained that the decision making and scrutiny processes in Solihull had been open, transparent and well informed. All Members had had the opportunity to engage with and influence the debate and had equal access to reports and presentations to Council, via Scrutiny and a Members Seminar. Opposition Group Leaders had also been offered personal briefings.


The Leader drew attention to the three independent Commissions which had been agreed; the West Midlands Productivity Commission, the West Midlands Land Commission and the West Midland Mental Health Commission and the potential benefits to the Council of their work.


The Leader explained that in order to achieve the Council’s wider ambitions for economic growth it needed a platform of a scale that could attract inward investment which was particularly important with regards to UK Central.


Councillor T Hodgson advised that he wished to propose an amendment to the recommendation to include an additional recommendation as iv.


At this juncture the Mayor adjourned the meeting  in order to review the proposed amendment. 


The Council meeting reconvened and Councillor T Hodgson circulated a copy of his amendment.


Councillor T Hodgson proposed the following amendment which was seconded by Councillor Macnaughton:-


“(iv) Council notes the disquiet expressed by many Solihull residents about the possibility both of the West Midland Combined Authority having an elected Mayor, and an elected Mayor who may also have tax raising powers at some point in the future. Therefore, should an elected Mayor be proposed in the future, this Council commits to holding a referendum in Solihull to ask residents whether or not they would agree to having an elected Mayor, rather than this Council deciding on this issue. To minimise costs, this vote would be (if at all possible) held on the same day as an existing local election or other vote (e.g. the EU referendum).”


A vote was taken on the amendment and the amendment was lost.


The following Members voted in favour of the Amendment and wished for their names to be recorded in the minutes:-

Councillor  Allen,  Brown,  Burn, Evans, Hall, A Hodgson, T Hodgson, S Holt,  Macnaughton,  Williams and  Wilson.


  The Cabinet recommendation was then debated and in summary included

  the following points:-


Ø  Although the scheme had its attractions there was also negatives. Although under the current scheme being proposed Solihull would be protected there was no guarantee that this would be the case in future; The Leader commented  that if any changes to the scheme were proposed then these would be considered by Council;


Ø  Attention was drawn to other Committees where there was only one representative from Solihull in attendance. The Leader was asked whether  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Recommendations from Committees

To receive the following recommendations:


Audit Committee 14 September 2015


Minute 8 Mid-Year Treasury Management Strategy Review (pages xx)


(i)  That Council be recommended to approve the revised forecasts for the 2015/16 Capital Financing Requirement, Authorised Limit and the Operational Boundary and to note the treasury activity to date.


Governance Committee 22 September 2015


Minute 6Protocol For Webcasting Council Meetings (pages x)




  i.  That Council adopts the Protocol for Webcasting Meetings attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes; and


  ii.  That live webcasting of meetings be commenced as soon as possible after the adoption of the Protocol.


Minute 7Monitoring Officer Protocol (page x)




i That Council adopts the updated Monitoring Officer Protocol Attached as Appendix 2 to these minutes.



Council agreed to receive the following recommendations:


Audit Committee 14 September 2015

Minute 8 Mid-Year Treasury Management Strategy Review



That the revised forecasts for the 2015/16 Capital Financing Requirement, Authorised Limit and the Operational Boundary be approved and the treasury activity to date noted.



Governance Committee 25 June 2015

Minute 6 Protocol for Webcasting Council Meetings



(i)  That the protocol for Webcasting Council Meetings attached as Appendix 1 to the minutes be approved; and

(ii)  That live webcasting of meetings be commenced as soon as possible after the adoption of the Protocol.


Minute 7 Monitoring Officer Protocol



(i)  That the updated Monitoring Officer Protocol attached as Appendix 2 to the minutes be adopted..   




Reports from Cabinet pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To receive a summary of decisions, reports from and to deal with any subsequent questions in relation to the following Cabinet Portfolios:


a)  Cabinet 16 July and 30 September and a report on the Solihull Partnership (pages xx)

b)  Cabinet Resources and Delivering Value 30 July and 7 September (pages xx)

c)  Stronger Communities and Partnerships 23 September (pages xx)

d)  Managed Growth 1 September and including the minutes of the HS2 Working Party (pages xx)

e)  Education, Skills and Culture 6 July and 21 September (pages xx)

f)  Environment Housing and Regeneration 10 September (pages xx)

g)  Health and Wellbeing 23 July and 29 September (to include minutes of Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board 21 July and 8 September) (pages xx)

h)  Transport and Highways 3 September (pages xx)



Additional documents:


The following Cabinet Member reports were submitted on recent decisions and responses were given to the subsequent questions from the Members of the Council:


Cabinet 16 July and 30 September 2015 and the Solihull Partnership Report


Resources and Delivering Value Portfolio 30 July and 17 September 2015


Stronger Communities and Partnerships Portfolio 23 September 2015


Managed Growth Portfolio 1 September 2015 including the minutes of the HS2 Working Party


Councillor Hogarth questioned the cost of car parking at Resort World, and asked whether there was scope for this being cheaper. Councillor Courts agreed to look into this with the NEC and respond to Councillor Hogarth.


Education, Skills and Culture Portfolio 6 July and 21 September 2015


Environment, Housing and Regeneration Portfolio 10 September 2015


Health and Wellbeing Portfolio 23 July and 29 September 2015 including the minutes of the Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board 21 July and 8 September 2015.


Councillor Burn asked which authorities treated unaccompanied asylum seeking children as Children in Need rather than Looked After Children. Councillor Meeson advised that there were a small number, but Solihull MBC had always applied Looked After status.


Transport and Highways Portfolio 3 September 2015.





Minutes of Scrutiny Boards pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To receive for information the minutes of the following Scrutiny Boards:


a)  Resources and Delivering Value 6 August, 3 September and 1 October 2015 (pages xx)

b)  Health and Adult Social Care 2 September (pages xx)

c)  Stronger Communities and Neighbourhood Services 7 September (pages xx)

d)  Economic Development and Managed Growth 15 September (pages xx)

e)  Children Services, Education and Skills 16 September (pages xx)





Additional documents:


The minutes of the following Scrutiny Boards were presented:


Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board  6 August, 3 September and 1 October 2015


Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board 2 September 2015


Councillor MacNaughton asked in relation to GP Surgeries what mechanisms were in place to monitor initial enquiries. The Chairman responded that surgeries would be monitoring those patients who telephoned for appointments.


Stronger Communities and Neighbourhood Services Scrutiny Board 9 June 2015


Economic Development and Managed Growth Scrutiny Board 15 September 2015


Councillor Williams in referring to the recommendation asking for School Governing Bodies to regularly consider safeguarding/CSE and the schools approach, asked whether there was an issue as he was under the impression that schools were already doing this. Councillor Mackiewicz responded that this was included to ensure that schools did not lose sight of the importance of safeguarding.


Childrens Services, Education and Skills Scrutiny Board 16 September 2015 


Minutes of Committees pdf icon PDF 36 KB

To note the minutes of the following Committees:



a)  Appeal Committee 13 August (pages xx)

b)  Licensing Committee 13 August (pages xx)

c)  Audit Committee 14 September (pages xx)

d)  Governance 22 September (pages xx)


Additional documents:


The minutes of the following Committee meetings were presented:


Appeal Committee 13 August 2015


Councillor Hogarth noted the point raised by Councillor Williams regarding the possibility of having a pedestrian crossing by the Forest Oak and Merston Federated Special School, and referred this point to Councillor Richards the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Transport and Highways.


Licensing Committee 13 August 2015


Audit Committee 14 September 2015


Governance Committee 22 September 2015


Joint Arrangements and External Organisations pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To receive a report on the West Midlands Fire Service.


Councillor Davies presented the West Midlands Fire Service Report.



  That the report on the West Midland Fire Service be received.  


Chief Executive Report pdf icon PDF 54 KB

a)  Greater Birmingham And Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Joint Scrutiny Committee


Council received the following report from the Chief Executive:


Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership Joint Scrutiny Committee



  That Councillor  Allen be appointed as the Council’s representative and

   Councillor A Hodgson be appointed as alternate member to serve on the Greater

  Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Joint Scrutiny

  Committee (JSC).


Chief Executive Urgent Matters

The Chief Executive to report on any urgent matters


The Chief Executive confirmed that there were no urgent matters.


Questions under Standing Order 8

To answer any remaining questions not dealt with under item 7.


All questions under Standing Order 8 had been dealt with previously in the meeting.


Agendas, Meetings and Minutes


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Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council - 2018