Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Tuesday 11th October 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: Civic Suite

Contact: Jane Game 

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No apologies were received. With the Mayor’s permission Cllr Long attended the meeting virtually.

 

2.

Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 369 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the previous Council meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 5th July 2022 be approved.

 

 

3.

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)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr R Sleigh declared a non-pecuniary interest as he was named in the West Midlands Combined Authority minutes.

 

4.

Petitions

To receive petitions from Members of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following petitions were submitted:

 

Cllr Allen – The Sir Josiah Mason Trust and 58 residents of Mason House request the provision of a pedestrian crossing across Green Lane between Mason House and the Baptist Church. Mason House is a scheme of 70 flats for the over 55’s and residents find it very difficult when crossing Green Lane in order to access local shops, the train station and bus stop opposite. Some residents have mobility issues and feel they take their lives in their hands when trying to cross this road which can be extremely busy at times.

 

Cllr Carthew - presented a petition on behalf of residents of Meadow Grove to add appropriate parking restrictions, such as those seen on Braemar Road and Brookvale Grove.

 

Cllr Carthew – presented a petition on behalf of residents of Stoneleigh Road to add appropriate parking restrictions, such as those seen on Braemar Road, and Stoneleigh Road to gain parking restrictions which prevent corner parking particularly at the hook end of the road (No’s 63-75 and 70-104).

 

Cllr Tildesley - presented a petition to request that planning application No’s 2022/01203, at 23-27A, Alderbrook Rd, Solihull and the building of four new detached dwellings in the gardens be refused.

 

Cllr B Sleigh -presented a petition from residents of Coleshill Rd, Marston Green and nearby roads requesting that the Council develop proposals to reduce the speed of traffic along Coleshill Rd.

 

Cllr Hawkins - presented a petition requesting that the planning application 2022/01866/PPFL relating to the demolition of existing outbuildings, erection of nine detached dwelling houses, formation of pedestrian access point onto Dickens Heath Road and associated works at Wharf Farm 123 Dickens Heath Rd, Dickens Heath Solihull B90 1QG be refused.

 

5.

Announcements

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor made a number of announcements which in summary included: -

 

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - Following the death of Queen of Elizabeth II, the Mayor proposed that the Council send a message to the King, and in doing so the Group Leaders Cllrs Court, McLoughlin and L McCarthy, and Cllr Rebeiro on behalf of the Independents on Council were invited to support the proposal and share their thoughts on the passing of her Majesty. Council unanimously supported the proposed message which read:

 

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council wishes to place on record its thanks for the long and dedicated service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

 

We recall with pride her visits to Solihull in 1962 for the opening of the Civic Hall; in 1971 to Chelmsley Wood shopping centre; to officially open the National Exhibition Centre in 1976, where she returned to open a further 3 halls in 1989, and as part of her Golden Jubilee Tour in 2002 to the new Touchwood shopping centre and Jubilee Gardens, where she unveiled a plaque marking the renaming of the latter as “Golden Jubilee Gardens”.

 

On behalf of the whole Borough, we also express our greetings and our loyalty to His Majesty King Charles III on his accession as Sovereign, together with our wishes for good health and happiness throughout his reign.

 

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities – Training session for all Councillors, 27 October 2022- The rescheduled session aimed to provide a brief overview of some of the different types of Special Educational Needs, the picture in Solihull and the impact of diagnosis and support.

 

Solihull Council and Solihull Community Housing are Jointly marking Black History month – Black history had been celebrated in the UK since 1987, with the purpose of raising awareness, promote and celebrate the contributions of African, Asian, and Caribbean people to British society and to foster an understanding of Black History. The theme for the Black History Month was “Time for Change: Action not Words”.

 

6.

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.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Mayor advised Members that no questions under Standing Order 9 had been received. Two requests had been received to make a deputation under Standing Order 12.

 

Mr Shabir a local resident was introduced by Cllr Carthew. Mr Shabir raised the issue of hazardous parking by parents on Stoneleigh Road cul-de-sac. Cllr Hawkins the Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure responded to the deputation.

 

Ms Rolfe a local resident was introduced by Cllr McLoughlin. Ms Rolfe raised the issue of enforcement action being taken over a building constructed without planning permission. Cllr Mackiewicz the Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning and Housing responded to the deputation.

 

 

7.

Questions under Standing Order 8

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Caudwell to Cllr Bob Sleigh OBE Cabinet Member for Resources

Can the Cabinet Member for Resources set out what urgent actions are being taken to assess the Council's ongoing financial viability in light of the recent fiscal event and subsequent market adjustments?

The Cabinet Member responded. We have carried out a full assessment of the impact of inflationary pressures, increases in utility costs, the higher than budgeted pay award and the resources required to support the improvement plan in Children’s Services. The latest estimated additional cost in the current year is £6.8 million. This will be funded from the Budget Strategy Reserve. Along with the Business Rates Windfall monies, this shows the importance of holding this reserve as a key part of our Budget Strategy. The first meeting of the cross-party Budget Strategy Group takes place 12 October. The Group will be presented with a forecast of financial pressures for the next three years, as part of the initial update to our MTFS. The Group will meet on two more occasions in November and will agree what actions are needed to be able to set an updated budget. Details will then be presented to the Members Budget Seminar on 1st December. Final Budget proposals will be presented to Council in February 2023. In terms of increases in interest rates, the Council has £340 million of external borrowing which is all at fixed rates. The average rate of interest paid on this borrowing is 3.65%. The last borrowing taken out by the Council, in April 2021, was for £40 million at 2.01%, fixed for 50 years

Cllr Thomas to Cllr Grinsell Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Partnership’s and Wellbeing

 

We know from speaking to residents and support agencies as well as a significant increase in food bank usage, some people are facing tough choices between heating and eating. What steps are being taken with SCH to tackle an increase in damp problems this winter, arising from people choosing to eat rather than heat? Simply telling people to turn their heating on will not work and much heating support is aimed at emergencies not a whole winter of bills.

 

The Cabinet Member responded. Solihull Community Housing is working closely with the Council and there is a cost-of-living plan which is coordinating a range of practical advice and help available to homeowners/householders throughout the winter. Some of that will be for SCH tenants experiencing financial hardship and who are obviously concerned about heating their homes, but it will also extend to all households who need support. Through the Council's domestic energy partner Act on Energy there will be practical advice for heating all homes and practical help on reducing energy usage and we've been putting information out on the Here 2 Help website and also through their phone line. Advice will be offered in relation to financial help to households with fuel bill debt and prepayment metres. SCH also has additional funding in its emergency hardship fund so there's already additional funds going  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Council Topic of Debate

To deal with any Topic of Debate submitted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

No topic of debate was received.

9.

Notice of Motion

To receive two motions as detailed below: - 

 

Motion one is from Cllr Karen Grinsell and reads:

 

“This Council welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement on the unit cost limit on domestic gas and electricity prices for the next two years, which is predicted to reduce the average cost to households by one thousand pounds.

 

This Council also welcomes the equivalent limits on the costs to business for the next six months while reform to the energy market is considered.

 

This Council is committed to continue working on behalf of the people and businesses of Solihull to develop ways in which we can support them with advice and practical support through these difficult times, as it has before and throughout the Covid pandemic, and up to the present day.

 

This Council welcomes and supports government measures to stimulate the economy and especially the proposal for an investment zone for the area around the HS2 Interchange station enabling homes, jobs, and business in a sustainable location

 

The leadership of this Council will work with our regional partners and the West Midlands Mayor to request further devolved funds, once again demonstrating that we are best placed to support our people and help our economy to grow.” 

 

 

Motion two is from Cllr Caudwell and reads:

 

“The Council acknowledges the challenges many residents may face with rising energy bills. We do not accept that fuel poverty should endanger any lives of Solihull residents. The Council stands ready to support, within our means, any residents struggling to stay warm this winter. In supporting residents, we will account for the safety and dignity of those impacted, and any employees supporting these efforts. Whilst we recognise the pressures on Local Government finances, we accept that we have a responsibility to coordinate and deliver additional support to those in greatest need.

 

This Council: 

a. Agrees that no resident of our Borough should be unable to stay warm this winter. 

b. Notes the well-documented relationship between fuel poverty and adverse health outcomes; and 

c. Acknowledges the steps taken by similar Councils throughout the country to make public buildings and partner facilities available to their residents, to provide safe shelter this winter.

 

This Council therefore resolves to: 

d. Direct the Chief Executive to provide officer and infrastructure support as necessary to ensure the warmth and safety of our residents this winter; and

e. Provide updates on progress through the Stronger Communities and Neighbourhood Services Scrutiny Board and the Cabinet.”

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Two motions were submitted.

 

Cllr K Grinsell proposed the following motion, which was seconded by Cllr B Sleigh:

 

“This Council welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement on the unit cost limit on domestic gas and electricity prices for the next two years, which is predicted to reduce the average cost to households by one thousand pounds.

 

This Council also welcomes the equivalent limits on the costs to business for the next six months while reform to the energy market is considered.

 

This Council is committed to continue working on behalf of the people and businesses of Solihull to develop ways in which we can support them with advice and practical support through these difficult times, as it has before and throughout the Covid pandemic, and up to the present day.

 

This Council welcomes and supports government measures to stimulate the economy and especially the proposal for an investment zone for the area around the HS2 Interchange station enabling homes, jobs, and business in a sustainable location.

 

The leadership of this Council will work with our regional partners and the West Midlands Mayor to request further devolved funds, once again demonstrating that we are best placed to support our people and help our economy to grow.” 

 

 

An amendment was proposed by Cllr Thomas and seconded by Cllr L McCarthy which was withdrawn following a short adjournment.

 

Cllr Courts proposed an amendment which was seconded by Cllr L McCarthy which read:

 

“This Council welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement on the unit cost limit on domestic gas and electricity prices for the next two years, which is predicted to reduce the average cost to households by one thousand pounds.

 

Council, however, acknowledges that the increase in the energy cost limit will continue to hit many families hard.

 

This Council also welcomes the equivalent limits on the costs to business for the next six months while reform to the energy market is considered.

 

This Council is committed to continue working on behalf of the people and businesses of Solihull to develop ways in which we can support them with advice and practical support through these difficult times, as it has before and throughout the Covid pandemic, and up to the present day.

 

This Council welcomes and supports government measures to stimulate the economy and especially the proposal for an investment zone for the area around the HS2 Interchange station enabling homes, jobs, and business in a sustainable location.

 

Council is also concerned about the impact of underfunding of services such as adults and children’s social care, as well as the increased service demand arising from increasing food and energy prices, mortgage, and other borrowing costs.

 

The leadership of this Council will work with our regional partners and the West Midlands Mayor to request further devolved funds, once again demonstrating that we are best placed to support our people and help our economy to grow.” 

 

The motion as amended was debated, put to the vote, and carried.

 

RESOLVED that:

“This Council welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Recommendation from Cabinet pdf icon PDF 179 KB

To receive the following recommendation from Cabinet:

 

(a)  Council Tax Reduction Scheme 2023/2024 (to follow pending Cabinet decision on 6 October 2022.)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader presented the proposed Council Tax Reduction (CTR) Scheme from April 2023.

 

RESOLVED:

That the Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2023/24 be approved.

 

11.

Recommendations from Committees

To receive the following recommendations from Committees:-

 

Audit Committee 26 September 2022

Minute 6 2022/2023 Mid-Year Treasury Management Strategy Review (page 177)

 

RECOMMENDATION:

That Council approves the revised forecasts for the 2022/23 Capital Financing Requirement of £490.060 million, Authorised Limit of £510.194 million and to note the Operational Boundary and treasury activity to date.

 

 

Governance Committee 29 September 2022

Minute 7 Calendar of Meetings 2023/24 (page 86)

 

RECOMMENDATION:

That the Calendar of meetings for 2023/2024 be approved.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Long moved the recommendation from Audit Committee 26 September 2022 - Minute 6 2022/2023 Mid-Year Treasury Management Strategy Review 

 

RESOLVED:

That the revised forecasts for the 2022/23 Capital Financing Requirement of £490.060 million, Authorised Limit of £510.194 million be approved and noted the Operational Boundary and treasury activity to date.

 

 

Cllr Hogarth moved the recommendation from Governance Committee 29 September 2022 - Minute 7 Calendar of Meetings 2023/24

 

RESOLVED:

That the Calendar of meetings for 2023/2024 be approved.

 

12.

Reports from Cabinet pdf icon PDF 84 KB

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

 

a) Leader of the Council and Lead Member for the Economy

(pages 23-28)

 

b) Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Member for Partnerships and Wellbeing including Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board minutes. (The minutes of 27.09 will follow) (pages 29-43)

 

c) Cabinet Member for Resources (pages 45-49)

 

d) Cabinet Member for Communities and Leisure (pages 51-62)

 

e) Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning and Housing (pages 63-71)

 

f) Cabinet Member for Children and Education (pages 73-77)

 

g)  Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure (pages 79-85)

 

h) Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health (pages 87-95) 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received a summary of decisions, reports and dealt with any subsequent questions in relation to the following Cabinet Portfolios:

 

Leader of the Council and Lead Member for the Economy

The Leader of the Council presented his report. Cllr L McCarthy informed the Leader there were two different figures for the number of visitors to Love Solihull’s website and asked him to clarify which of the figures was correct. The Leader would provide a written response.

 

Deputy Leader of the Council and Lead Member for Partnerships and Wellbeing

The Cabinet Member presented her report, there were no questions.

 

Cabinet Member for Resources

The Cabinet Member presented his report, there no questions.

 

Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Communities and Leisure

The Cabinet Member presented her report, there were no questions.

 

Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Climate Change Planning and Housing

The Cabinet Member presented his report. Cllr R Grinsell thanked the Cabinet Member for work that had started on the delivery of ECO4 with help initially directed towards households in the Lyndon and Olton Wards. He asked the Cabinet Member if properties with single skinned walls will be part of the initiative? The Cabinet Portfolio Holder informed Cllr R Grinsell that they will be and set out the criteria.

 

Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children and Education

The Cabinet Member presented his report and in doing so he thanked Tim Browne, Interim Director of Children Services, for his work in the role and reminded Council that the new Director of Children Services, Pete Campbell, started his role on Thursday 13th October. There were no questions.

 

Cabinet Portfolio for Environment and Infrastructure

The Cabinet Member presented his report. There were no questions.

 

Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing

The Cabinet Member presented his report. There were no questions.

 

 

13.

Minutes of Scrutiny Boards pdf icon PDF 368 KB

The minutes of the following Scrutiny Board are presented for information:

 

a)  Resources and Delivering Value (pages 97-108)

 

b)  Health and Adult Social Care (pages 109-128)

 

c)  Children’s Services, Education and Skills (pages 129-140)

 

d)  Economic Development and Managed Growth (pages 141-155)

 

e)  Stronger Communities and Neighbourhood Services (pages 157-163)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the following Scrutiny Boards were presented for information only with Members asking questions of the relevant Chairman of the Boards:

 

 

a)  Resources and Delivering Value 11 July and 5 September

 

b)  Health and Adult Social Care 18 July, 4 August, 22 September

 

c)  Children’s Services, Education and Skills 12 September

 

d)  Economic Development and Managed Growth 13 September

 

e)  Stronger Communities and Neighbourhood Services 14 September

 

 

RESOLVED:

The minutes were noted.

 

 

 

14.

Minutes of Committees pdf icon PDF 194 KB

The minutes of the following Committees are presented for information:

 

a)  Remuneration Committee (pages 165-167)

 

b)  HS2 Implementation Advisory Group (pages 169-170)

 

c)  Audit Committee (pages 171-179)

 

d)  Governance Committee (pages 181-186)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the following Committees were presented for information:

 

a)  Remuneration Committee 6 July

 

b)  HS2 Implementation Advisory Group 19 July

 

c)  Audit Committee 25 July and 26 September

 

d)  Governance Committee 27 July and 29 September

 

RESOLVED:

The minutes of Committees were noted.

 

 

15.

Joint Arrangements and External Organisations pdf icon PDF 4 MB

To receive the following reports:

a)  WMCA Overview and Scrutiny 4th Annual Report and the WMCA Overview and Scrutiny Minutes  (pages )

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received for information the WMCA Overview and Scrutiny 4th Annual Report and the WMCA Overview and Scrutiny Minutes of 7 March and 11 July.

 

Members questioned whether they could receive more regular reports from Members who attended the WMCA meetings. The Mayor informed Members that all the minutes of the meetings that the WMCA hold can be viewed on their website.

 

16.

Questions by Leaders of Political Groups Under SO5 (2) (t)

To deal with any questions by Leaders of political groups to the Leader of the Council, a member of the Cabinet, a Chairman of a Committee, Board, Sub-Committee or Task and Finish Group.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council dealt with any questions by leaders of political groups to the Leader of the Council, a member of the Cabinet, a Chairman of a Committee, Board, Sub-Committee or Task and Finish Group. The following questions were asked:

 

Cllr L McCarthy asked the Leader of the Council, Cllr Courts, whether he could update Council on the peer review that was undertaken four years ago and what progress had been made against the recommendations? Cllr I Courts agreed to provide a written response.

 

Cllr McLoughlin asked Cllr K Hawkins if he would follow up on a written response he had agreed to provide from the previous meeting. Cllr K Hawkins agreed.

 

Cllr McLoughlin asked Cllr Parker if he could give assurances that the motion that had been referred on to his Scrutiny Board would fully explore the motion and assure Members that there would be no risk to residents or loss of life in the time between the Full Council meeting and the next Board meeting? Cllr Parker reassured Cllr McLoughlin that his Scrutiny Board would fully look into the work the Council was doing and would welcome all Members of the Board having an input.

 

Cllr McLoughlin asked the Leader of the Council, Cllr I Courts, if he would agree to removing Berkswell Windmill as a heritage asset on the Council’s website as requested by the owner? The Leader agreed to look into this.

 

17.

Chief Executive Urgent Matters

The Chief Executive to report on any urgent matters.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no urgent matters.

18.

Questions under Standing Order 8

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

All questions under Standing Order 8 had been dealt with under Item 7 on the agenda.

19.

Exclusion of the Public and Press

That, pursuance of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be now excluded from the meeting for the remainder of the business to be transacted, on the grounds that there would be disclosure to them of exempt information in terms of paragraph 3 of Part 9 of Schedule 12A to the said Act.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That, pursuance of Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be now excluded from the meeting for the remainder of the business to be transacted, on the grounds that there would be disclosure to them of exempt information in terms of paragraph 3 of Part 9 of Schedule 12A to the said Act.

 

20.

Private Minutes

The minutes of the following Boards are presented for information:

a)  Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board (pages229-235)

b)  Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board (pages 237-238)

c)  Audit Committee (pages 239- 240)

Minutes:

The Council received and noted the minutes of:

 

a)  Resources and Delivering Value Scrutiny Board 11 July ad 5 September

b)  Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Board 6 September

c)  Audit Committee 26 September