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 Cabinet and Portfolio (Economy) Report
b) Cabinet Member for Resources (pages 35-37)
c) Cabinet Member for Stronger and Safer Communities (pages 39-45)
d) Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning and Housing (pages 47-49)
e) Cabinet Member for Children Education and Skills– (pages 51-55)
f) Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways (pages 57-61)
g) Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health including Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board minutes (the minutes are marked to follow) (pages 63-66)
h) Cabinet Member for Growth and Infrastructure (pages 67-69)
(i) Cabinet Member for Leisure Tourism and Sport (pages 71-73)
Councillor Courts – Leader of the Council
The Leader advised Council of the decisions taken at the Cabinet meetings 14 January 2021 and provided a summary of the meetings and activities he had been involved in on behalf of Solihull and the West Midlands, as well as an update on the economic strategy responsibilities of his portfolio.
Councillor Sleigh – Cabinet Member for Resources
The Cabinet Member advised Council of the decisions taken at the decision session on 12 January 2021.
Councillor A Hodgson queried what provision was in place for when the furlough scheme ends, which could lead to an increase in people who qualify for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. The Cabinet Member confirmed he would provide a written response to Councillor Hodgson.
Councillor Rolf – Cabinet Member for Stronger and Safer Communities
The Cabinet Member advised Council of the decisions taken at the decision session on 8 December 2020 and 21 January 2021.
Councillor Mackiewicz – Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning and Housing
The Cabinet Member advised Council of the decisions taken at the decision session on 17 December 2020 and provided an update on the Local Plan.
Councillor McCarthy asked if ward Members would be consulted if any changes to the Local Plan in their area were introduced, specifically if there were changes in relation to the Household Waste Recycling Centre being moved to Damson Parkway. The Cabinet Member confirmed that any changes would be made available in the public domain, and would follow the relevant legal process.
Councillor McLoughlin questioned whether the 250,000 trees which the Council committed to planting would still take place, or would the Arden Forest scheme change this. The Cabinet Member explained that the Arden Forest scheme was a long term project which would be linked across the whole Borough.
A number of Members queried a consultation document which had been circulated by the Conservative Party which could have confused respondents thinking it was linked to the Council’s Local Plan consultation and requested that the comments were included in the Local Plan consultation process. The Cabinet Member stated that the document was printed by the Conservative Party and did not relate to his portfolio.
Councillor Meeson – Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills
The Cabinet Member advised Council of the decisions taken at the decision session on 11 January 2021 and gave further information on the decision to expand Cheswick Green Primary School. The Cabinet Member also thanked all those who had contributed to the OVOS Christmas collection. He was pleased to report that OVOS had surpassed the collection target.
Councillor K Thomas queried how the target of increased percentage of children walking to school would be met through the decision about Cheswick Green Primary School. The Cabinet Member explained that it would be expected that the children on the new housing development in Cheswick Green would walk to the school but there would still need to be capacity for parking facilities for those who would need to drive.
Councillor Hawkins – Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways
The Cabinet Member advised Council of the decisions taken at the decision session on 5 January 2021.
Councillor K Grinsell – Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health
The Cabinet Member presented her report and the minutes of the Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board from 19 January 2021. The Cabinet Member provided an update on the local COVID-19 situation, and Members had the opportunity to make comments and to thank the NHS and care staff.
Councillor Sexton asked whether the pilot for the digital champions programme would be accessible for those with the most significant needs. The Cabinet Member explained that this scheme worked with Age UK, which enabled it to be accessible for a variety of people who may have different needs. Staff were trained to support all people to maximise the effectiveness of the scheme. Councillor Sexton questioned if this scheme could be made permanent. The Cabinet Member confirmed this would be considered.
Councillor Howell noted that there were 27 local COVID-19 vaccination sites, and asked how many were in Solihull and whether residents would be able to access a local site. The Cabinet Member explained that the majority were in Solihull but some were on the border with Birmingham, however there was good coverage across the Borough. If any issues were identified, it was requested that Members contacted the Cabinet Member.
Councillor Thomas asked how many people were housed in hotels currently and what does this cost the Council. The Cabinet Member confirmed that there were about 10-15 people housed in a hotel, and a written response would be provided regarding the cost.
Councillor Burn queried whether the Cabinet Member could work with partners to consider the creation of a simple website being created which provided information on when each priority group would be vaccinated in each GP surgery. The Cabinet Member noted that the NHS was independent of Solihull Council, but they continued to vaccinate each priority group. If there were concerns that a resident had missed a vaccine appointment, the NHS continued to monitor records to establish any potential problems.
Councillor Richards – Cabinet Member for Growth and Infrastructure
The Cabinet Member advised Council of the decisions taken at the decision session on 21 December 2020.
Councillor Slater asked the Cabinet Member whether they had spoken to Councillors and Officers at Birmingham City Council about the Wheatsheaf Junction on the A45 which caused traffic problems in Solihull. The Cabinet Member explained that they had liaised with the Cabinet Member for Environment and Highways where the problems regarding this junction had been actively discussed, alongside colleagues from Transport for West Midlands and West Midlands Combined Authority.
Councillor Tildesley – Cabinet Member for Leisure, Tourism and Sport
The Cabinet Member advised Council of the decisions taken at the decision session on 15 December 2020.