Agenda for Council on Wednesday 16th September 2020, 6.00 p.m.

Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday 16th September 2020 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Virtual Meeting - Skype - Virtual. View directions

Contact: Amanda Scarce  Jess Bayley

No. Item


As a number of Members were experiencing connectivity issues, the meeting commenced at 6.10 pm and initially the Vice Chairman welcomed Members to the virtual full Council meeting and reminded them of the protocol to be followed during the meeting.  This covered both the muting of microphones, the use of the instant messaging facility and the use of roll calls for the approval of items.  Members were reminded that the detail of these would not be included within the minutes and if Members wished for a named vote, then this should be requested in the usual manner.


Members were also reminded that the meeting was being live streamed to the Council’s You Tube channel to allow the public to view it.






An apology for absence was received from Councillor S. Baxter and it was noted that Councillor S. Hession would need to leave the meeting at 8.00 pm.



Declarations of Interest

To invite Councillors to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Disclosable Interests they may have in items on the agenda, and to confirm the nature of those interests.


Councillor A. Kriss declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in respect of Minute No. 20/2020, the recommendations in respect of Amenity Standards Report and left the meeting during this item and took no part in the debate.


Councillors C. Hotham, M. Middleton, M. Sherrey and P. Whittaker queried whether, as Trustees of the Artrix Holding Trust they should declare an interest under Minute No. 22/2020.


The Monitoring Officers confirmed that under normal circumstances these would be disclosable pecuniary interest, but as the questions raised by other Members would not be debated, but simply responded to by the Leader, this would not be necessary but should be noted for transparency in the minutes of the meeting.




Minutes pdf icon PDF 312 KB


(The Chairman, having joined the meeting via the telephone link, took over from the Vice Chairman for the remainder of the meeting.)


Members considered the Minutes of the full Council meeting held on 5th August 2020.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the full Council meeting held on 5th August 2020 be approved.




To receive any announcements from the Chairman and/or Head of Paid Service


There were no announcements from the Chairman or Head of Paid Service.




To receive any announcements from the Leader


(Due to connectivity issues, the meeting was paused on two occasions to give Members the opportunity to re-join the meeting and for the live stream to re-commence.)


The Leader began her announcements by updating Members on the Covid 19 situation in Bromsgrove.  It was confirmed that the current numbers of Covid-19 cases in Bromsgrove District, stood at 30 cases per 100,000. The rate per 100,000 in Bromsgrove was similar to the England average as cases had risen across the Country.  On 8th September Worcestershire County Council’s Public Health Team took the precautionary decision to close visits to care homes and currently only essential visits were allowed. This decision was taken in order to protect the elderly and vulnerable residents something that was of paramount importance to everyone.  The Leader asked everyone to continue to adhere to the social distancing rules, wash their hands regularly and wear face coverings where necessary, which was simple to do and saved lives.


The Leader was proud to report to Council, that Maz Salmou a volunteer from the Bromsgrove Community Support Group, a Group set up to help the elderly and vulnerable during the Coronavirus Crisis, had been awarded a “Make a Difference Superstar award” from BBC Hereford and Worcester. Maz had moved to Bromsgrove as a refugee in September 2018 and said he wanted to give something back to the Bromsgrove Community, which had made him so welcome since he had settled here.  He was one of two overall winners of the award and would now have his name on the side of a GWR train which he would be given free travel on. The Leader gave sincere thanks to Maz and to everyone in Bromsgrove District who had worked to ensure the safety of its residents during this pandemic, they were all very much appreciated for the work that they had done and continued to do.


The Leader went on to announce that Councillor G. Denaro had made the decision that due to family commitments he wished to stand down as the Deputy Leader of the Council.   The Leader placed on record her sincere thanks for all that Councillor Denaro had done in his role as the Deputy Leader which was much appreciated.   It was confirmed that Councillor Denaro would continue in his role as the Cabinet Member for Finance and Enabling.


Councillor A. Kent was to become the new Deputy Leader, and he would retain the Planning and Regulatory Services Portfolio in addition to his new role.


Finally, the Leader took the opportunity to advise Members that, as they were probably aware, Ms. Jayne Pickering, the Director of Finance and Resources, was leaving Bromsgrove District Council at the beginning of October to take up a new role as the Deputy Chief Executive at a neighbouring authority.  This was sadly Jayne’s last Full Council meeting for this Authority.  Ms. Pickering had been at Bromsgrove District Council for 17 years and the Leader thanked her most sincerely for her service, commitment, energy and drive  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18\2020


To receive comments, questions or petitions from members of the public

A period of up to 15 minutes is allowed for members of the public to make a comment, ask questions or present petitions.  Each member of the public has up to 3 minutes to do this.  A councillor may also present a petition on behalf of a member of the public.



There were no comments, questions or petitions from members of the public on this occasion.





Recommendations from the Cabinet pdf icon PDF 15 KB

To consider the recommendations from the meeting(s) of the Cabinet held on 6th August 2020 and 9th September 2020 (to follow)


Additional documents:


Cabinet Recommendations – 6th August 2020


Partnership Waste Strategy Officer

Councillor M. Sherrey, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services presented the report and explained the reasoning behind the need for this post.  She provided background information and explained that the Government had published “Resource and Waste Strategy” in December 2018, as the first major policy document for Waste since 2007.  This focused on keeping resources in use as long as possible to extract maximum value and was aimed at changing how waste was perceived and managed from production through to final disposal. The main elements affecting Local Authorities (LAs) were proposed changes to services regarding waste collection and disposal/processing:


·       Compulsory Weekly Food Waste Collection by 2023

·       Removal of discretionary status for garden waste collection, and removal of ability to charge residents for providing the service.

·       Increased pressure on LA’s to implement kerbside recycling collections.


These were being enacted in the Environment Bill currently being processed through Parliament, and currently being considered by a Public Bill Committee. The Committee was now scheduled to report by Tuesday 29th September 2020, and further Government consultation regarding elements affecting LA’s were expected in September/October. These would finalise the minimum expectation for a dedicated Food Waste collection and support final decisions on the status of garden waste collections and discretionary fees for the service.


The impact of those elements on Authorities signed up to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy included: up to 80 additional vehicles and associated staff to collect food waste, approximately £8million per annum across the partnership; Approximately £801k yearly cost to this Council (this would have a significant impact on disposal arrangements and logistics for disposal, with a possible commercial opportunity through investment in Anaerobic Digestion facility with Private sector to generate income and potential loss of approx. £900k income on the existing Garden Waste service, with increased annual costs of approximately £580k in vehicles and staff to support larger take-up across the District, plus a potential cost of up to £300k to buy and deliver wheeled bins.)


In addition to these changes, the Government were also looking at Deposit return schemes and Extended Producer Responsibility, to recoup costs of processing packaging from manufacturers. These could all have an impact on the more valuable recycling materials, and potentially remove or reduce those elements that support profitability of private sector recycling facilities, and impact on viability of wider recycling arrangements currently in place.


Councillor Sherrey confirmed that Government had committed to supporting the costs of these changes, with the expectation that much of the additional funding would come from the private sector to support NET costs for LA’s.

The Herefordshire & Worcestershire Waste Partnership Board had been collaborating on joint responses to consultations carried out already, but the proposed Strategy Officer would:


·       Actively engage with National Policy Development to understand and influence it to reflect on local needs and concerns – specifically focusing on the approach to food and garden waste, and the funding implications for each member LA.

·       Prepare  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20\2020


To note the minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 6th August 2020 pdf icon PDF 250 KB


The minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 5th August 2020 were noted.



Questions on Notice pdf icon PDF 203 KB

To deal with any questions on notice from Members of the Council, in the order in which they have been received.


A period of up to 15 minutes is allocated for the asking and answering of questions.  This may be extended at the discretion of the Chairman with the agreement of the majority of those present.



The Chairman advised Members that due to the exceptional circumstances under which everyone found themselves, the Leader had again agreed to allow one supplementary question in respect of each question asked.  He would also allow the time spent on questions to be extended as it had been agreed that the Motions on Notice attached to the agenda for this meeting would not be debated.


Question Submitted by Councillor K. Van der Plank

“A number of trees have been cut down, in Alvechurch and around the District, over recent months which is extremely concerning when we are facing a climate emergency and should be protecting trees and planting more, not removing them.


Why have these trees been removed? What checks are in place to ensure that trees are only cut down where absolutely necessary and how is this being monitored and reported?  What plans are in place to ensure new trees are planted to replace any that are removed”


Councillor A Kent responded that after checking with the officers they had come back and stated that they were not aware of any of the trees to which Councillor Van der Plank had referred. However, Councillor Kent advised that he believed that Councillor Van der Plank had raised an important point about trees and their impact on the environment and feeling of well-being within Bromsgrove. He therefore hoped that she would be delighted with the proposal by Worcestershire County Council to plant 150,000 trees throughout Worcestershire.

Councillor Kent further commented that, he could not recall whether Councillor Van der Plank had attended the Strategic Planning Steering Group where Members had discussed the new planning consultation paper; but within that was a proposal to ensure that all the streets are lined with trees on new developments.

Councillor Kent apologised for not being able to answer Councillor Van der Plank’s question in more detail but if she were able to evidence the trees concerned he would ask the officers to look into the matter in more detail.


Question submitted by Councillor C Hotham

“Now that the Bird Box is complete, please could the cabinet member responsible inform council of the final build cost? Thank you”


The Leader thanked Councillor Hotham for his questions and confirmed that the total capital spend was £210K in line with the budget, £100k of which had come from Hintons.


Councillor Hotham’s supplementary question was whether, if the Birdbox was seen as a success, the Council would consider it remaining in situ as opposed to the original plan of it being in place for approximately 18 months, until a more permanent use was found for the site.


The Leader responded that due to the current circumstances, all options were being considered before a final decision was made and that those options would come before this Council in due course.


Question Submitted by Councillor J King

Protecting our Green Belt from Government planning reforms 

“Are you concerned about the analysis from Lichfields planning consultants which indicates that the number of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22\2020


Motions on Notice pdf icon PDF 265 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.


Additional documents:


The Chairman confirmed that it had already been agreed by the Leader, in consultation with all Group Leaders, that the motions from Councillors Hotham and Colella will be considered by Cabinet.  In respect of the motion from Councillor Hunter, the Leader had agreed to write to the Chancellor.  There would therefore be no debate on these items.  The Leader confirmed that she was in agreement with this.