Issue - meetings


Meeting: 20/07/2022 - Council (Item 43)

43 Motions on Notice pdf icon PDF 291 KB

A period of up to one hour is allocated to consider the motions on notice.  This may only be extended with the agreement of the Council.



The Chairman explained that three Motions on Notice had been received for consideration at the meeting.  However, prior to the meeting, Councillor H. Rone-Clarke had confirmed that he was withdrawing his Motion.  Therefore, only two Motions were due to be debated at the meeting.


Parkside Running Costs


Council considered the following Motion on Notice that was submitted by Councillor P. McDonald:


"Forking out £240,000 running costs for Parkside that rattles plus £138,000 to Redditch Council, to many is seen as financial incompetence and a cavalier approach to spending the hard-earned money of its residents at a time of a cost-of-living crisis.


We therefore call upon the Council to form a cross-party task group to carry out a full investigation into financial arrangements with Redditch Council: which it would seem to have left Bromsgrove Council with running costs of a £240,000; for what is a mainly an unused building while at the same time paying out £138,000 for use of Redditch Council's premises."


The Motion was proposed by Councillor McDonald and seconded by Councillor Rone-Clarke.


In proposing the Motion, Councillor McDonald raised concerns that Parkside cost the Council £240,000 per annum to maintain, particularly at a time when many staff were working from home.  Concerns were raised that the Council was providing a financial contribution to Redditch Borough Council to cover the costs of accommodating staff working in shared services and based at Redditch Town Hall when space remained available to accommodate staff at Parkside.  Councillor McDonald also raised concerns about the Council meeting these costs at a time of a cost of living crisis, when many residents would benefit from financial assistance and other support.  Residents paid Council Tax and fees for many Council services and it was important to ensure that there was transparency in respect of how this funding was spent and that value for money (vfm) was achieved.  Councillor McDonald expressed concerns about the implications of shared service arrangements for the potential for staff to meet the needs of Bromsgrove residents and he suggested that there was the possibility that Redditch Borough would benefit from these arrangements at the expense of Bromsgrove District.  A cross party working group could investigate this situation further and determine whether best value was being achieved for the Council.


In seconding the Motion, Councillor Rone-Clarke expressed concerns about the use of public funds on the maintenance of Parkside and in shared service arrangements with Redditch Borough Council.  Members were advised that there was a need for due diligence and a cross party review would be able to ensure transparency of management of the Council’s finances.  Councillor Rone-Clarke also suggested that this review would provide the public with reassurance about the work of the Council.  Members were asked to note that the Motion was not calling for an end to shared services but, rather, for these arrangements to be reviewed.


In response to the Motion, the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Governance commented that he refuted claims that the Council  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43