Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Meeting, Council - Wednesday 20th September 2023 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Parkside Suite - Parkside

Contact: Jess Bayley-Hill 

No. Item


To receive apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were recorded from Councillors R. Bailes, A Bailes, D. Hopkins and M. Marshall.


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.


There were no declarations of interest.


To confirm the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 19th July 2023 pdf icon PDF 455 KB


Councillor R. J. Hunter announced that whilst not an issue of accuracy of the minutes, he had omitted to state at the last meeting of the Council that he was a member of the Bromsgrove and Redditch Rail Users Partnership.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 19th July 2023 be approved as a true and accurate record.


Changes to Committee Membership

Members are asked to note the changes to the following Committee:


Appointments Committee:

Councillor S. Baxter (Member) and Councillor C. Hotham (substitute)

Councillor David Stewart – (substitute)

Councillor Shirley Webb (substitute)



The Chairman drew Council’s attention to the reported changes to membership of the Appointments Committee:

Councillor S. Baxter (Member) and Councillor C. Hotham (substitute)

Councillor David Stewart (substitute)

Councillor Shirley Webb (substitute).


RESOLVED that the changes to the membership of the Appointments Committee as set out above be noted.




Governance Systems Task Group Report pdf icon PDF 101 KB

A copy of the Governance Systems Task Group’s report has been attached together with a report from the Council’s Statutory Officers in respect of the findings detailed in the report.


The notes arising from a briefing for all Members on the subject of the Task Group review, at Appendix 7 to the report, will follow in a supplementary pack for the meeting.


A copy of the presentation delivered at that briefing will be published in a separate background papers pack.



Additional documents:


Councillor P. McDonald, the Chairman of the Governance Systems Task Group, introduced the Task Group report and in doing so outlined:


·       the reasons for the work which had been undertaken;

·       the process involved, including opportunities for all Councillors to attend briefings and ask questions, and consideration at Cabinet and Overview and Scrutiny Board; and

·       an additional recommendation which had been supported by Cabinet, to be included as ‘(f) A review to take place after 6 months by the Overview and Scrutiny Board’.


Councillor McDonald proposed the recommendations and these were seconded by Councillor S. Nock.


Council also considered the minutes of discussion of this item at the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 11th September 2023 and the Cabinet meeting held on 13th September 2023.


Councillor D. J. Nicholl proposed the following amendment: ‘Council thanks the Task Group for its efforts to improve the governance and decision making and calls for the Task Group to reconvene and consider further evidence in order to deliver the best possible system for Bromsgrove in time for the final meeting of the year.’  Councillor J. Robinson seconded the amendment.


In proposing the amendment, Councillor Nicholl referred to the high number of Councils across the country which operated the Committee system and other forms of governance.  He suggested that the Task Group’s research had been constrained by the time available to it, particularly as it included the ‘summer recess’ and examples given in its report were not of the same type of Council as Bromsgrove.  Also, since the Task Group had completed its work, reports had been received about Councils which had severe financial issues, and he suggested that the new Governance system should maximise all Councillors’ opportunities to check the financial standing of the Council.


During the debate on the amendment, the following points were made:


·       the Task Group had been advised and supported by the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny, which was an independent body with knowledge across the sector;

·       The Task Group had looked at the effectiveness of the types of governance used and technical aspects.  For example, some Councillors considered that the Cabinet form of governance was a ‘closed shop’ but this observation was also made about some Committee systems, where the Chairmen of Committees had collaborated and other Members had felt excluded from some big decisions;

·       The role of a Council’s culture in implementing its governance structures needed to be considered and the current proposals offered an opportunity for improving the future governance of the Council which was also affordable;

·       The Task Group had fulfilled the brief set by the Council at its meeting in May 2023 and its members had approached the work with open minds.  The Group had considered what was working well in the current arrangements and what could improve this further and be embedded.  It would not be appropriate to delay implementation of the recommendations as there was a lot of work to do to enable the new system to be implemented for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40\23

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
To defer consideration of governance options to enanble further research Amendment

In accordance with a request by Councillor J.W. Robinson, the amendment proposed by Councillor D.J Nicholl was subject to a recorded name vote.


Motion to approve recommendations from the Governance Task Group Resolution

In accordance with a request from Councillor J.W. Robinson, the recommendations of the Governance Systems Task Group, as recommended via the Overview and Scrutiny Board and Cabinet were subject to a recorded name vote.


  • View Recorded Vote for this item
  • 41\23

    To consider any urgent business, details of which have been notified to the Head of Legal, Democratic and Property Services prior to the commencement of the meeting and which the Chairman, by reason of special circumstances, considers to be of so urgent a nature that it cannot wait until the next meeting


    There was no urgent business on this occasion.