The Executive Director, Finance and Resources introduced each item and provided a brief overview of the application and any applicant attending was introduced. Members were then invited to raise any questions or points of clarification with the applicant.
It was also highlighted that there had been a number of issues nationally with Skype for Business and that there were some difficulties in connectivity with those in the meeting. This would not impact on the final deliberations of the Panel and any questions raised would be forwarded to those applicants unable to attend and any response circulated to the Panel Members.
6th Bromsgrove Scouts Group – Hut Security
Vivien Ware from the 6th Bromsgrove Scouts Group attended the meeting and Members considered the application before them. Arising from questions the following points were noted:
· It was confirmed that the CCTV would be fitted by a Scout Leader who was a qualified electrician and the equipment sourced through his regular supplier.
· This will be done free of charge and would be the Scouts contribution to the cost of the project.
· It was confirmed that the Scout Group did have a small amount of funds in balances.
· The number of members of the Scout Group was confirmed together with the waiting list.
· If the project was only part funded it was confirmed that the fire doors were the most important area of the project as the work would need to be completed before the Scout Hut could re-open.
· The CCTV equipment had been discussed with the local Police who had provided advise on this and other areas following the break-ins.
Catshill and North Marlbrook Parish Council - Youth Club Start Up
Sami Osman attended in support of this application. The following points were clarified:
· The age range of those attending and the group aimed at in the future. The target audience was 11-16 year olds, but it would be open to others if they wanted to join.
· The types of activities that would be included in the future programme were also highlighted, it was noted that there would also be a quite area available for the young people and together with a number of craft activities.
· Unfortunately, the group had only held 3 sessions prior to lockdown being put in place. It was hoped that under normal circumstances the group would have between 20-30 members. Although it was appreciated that this would vary depending on the time of year but was felt to be a realistic target and manageable with the resources available. It was still hoped that this would be achievable despite the current situation.
· It was anticipated that the Group would become self-sufficient within the first year. A small charge was made for attending the group and there was a minimal cost to hire the village hall.
· The Group was run in partnership with the YMCA.
Clent Parish Council – Youth Council Football Pitch Improvement Project
Councillor N. Sugden from the Parish Council attended in support of this application, however due to technical issues was unable to respond to the questions raised. (It should be noted that written responses were received immediately following the meeting.)
Members raised safety concerns around the combination of artificial grass and real grass and questioned whether this would be a trip hazard or whether the health and safety implications from this had been properly looked into. The life time of the artificial grass was also questioned.
It was agreed that officers would contact Mr Sugden after the meeting for confirmation of this.
The Challenge Stroke Group – Day Trip for the Group
Mr Tony Maslen attended the meeting by telephone in respect of this and the following 2 applications (Rubery Festival Live Entertainment Evening and Rubery Festival). It was noted that the Panel had funded similar events on a number of occasions.
The Chairman raised the question as to whether any of these events would be able to go ahead this year in light of the current restrictions relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and until social distancing was relaxed.
Mr Maslen responded to a number of questions, including:
· It was thought that the Stroke event was the least likely to go ahead due to the vulnerability of the attendees.
· He was hoping to hold small events in respect of the Rubery Festival event for a set amount of people.
· The larger applications for the helpers would be a one off event for those volunteers who had helped throughout the pandemic, including such people as health workers and refuse collectors.
· This was a one off event which could be in the new year if necessary.
· It was confirmed that Rubery Festival usually took place in September. Mr Maslen explained some alternative options which could be put in place to meet the requirements for social distancing and the difficulties to control the numbers.
· Smaller events in the various venues throughout Rubery would be the preferred option, a total of three was anticipated.
· The day trip for the Challenge Stroke Group was a coach trip which the Panel had funded in previous years.
· There were a number of options of where the Group could go to allow for social distancing. There would be a reduced number of attendees due to restrictions on the coach itself.
· The remained of the cost of the Challenge Stroke event would be through the small amount of subs that were paid together with reserves.
· The funding for the Festival would come from other fund raising events and monies raised through food vendors and from fees for stall holders.
· It was confirmed that the Festival could be held both outside and inside. Although this would be a substandard event.
Rubery Festival Committee – Live Entertainment Evening for Community Support Workers Group during Covid-19
Councillor S. Colella – Tree Planting Project
Councillor Colella was present at the meeting and responded to questions from Members in respect of the following:
· Members were interested to understand the mechanics of this project and who would manage it should it go ahead. Councillor Colella suggested that the funds should go into the Council’s Environmental Services budget in order for that Team to manage the project.
· A number of trees would be procured through the Landscaping Team and would work with the Parish Council or the Place Team to ensure that the right type of trees were planted in the correct area.
· Members agreed to consider this matter further as there was concern as to whether the Panel could actually pay the Council through the terms of the scheme. The logistics would be worked through after the meeting.
· Whether Worcestershire County Council had been approached as it was understood they had a large tree planting project currently underway. Councillor Colella confirmed he had not approached them in this respect.
· He understood that the County schemes were much larger than the one proposed but that he would work with County to ensure the trees were planted appropriately.
· It was suggested that this might have been better presented at full Council. Councillor Colella agreed to respond to this outside of the Council as he was experiencing technical difficulties.
Rubery Community and Leisure Centre – Walkway Refurbishment
Unfortunately, Mr R. Poston had been unable to join the meeting due to the ongoing issues with the system, however Councillor A. Kriss attended in support of it and responded to questions from Members on the following:
· The footfall increase had been due to lockdown and being encouraged to take exercise. There were large areas of open space accessible from this walkway, and which would be improved.
· This would improve disabled access and make improvements.
· It was believed that it would continue to be used post lockdown.
The Bromsgrove Minibus Appeal (After Coronavirus) the next 35th Years
Mr R. Trigger and Councillor M. Middleton attended in support of this application and responded to the following points raised by Members.
· Background information in respect of the project was provided by Mr Trigger.
· It was created some 35 years ago, initially to provide support to various care homes and specialist interest groups such as life after stroke. Visits and luncheon clubs were part of the programme of visits.
· At the moment a full service was not able to be provided as the bus could only be half filled due to social distancing.
· It was proposed that smaller groups would be taken out at no extra cost.
· Deep cleaning of the bus also needed to be factored into – charges were per mile for hire of the bus.
· Trends in the demand were raised and currently it was very low but groups were asking when the service would resume. The vehicle had been taken off the road to save costs but had been put back on the road to be able to respond to any immediate demand.
· On average the bus was used on average for 3 trips a week.
· The bus was brand new following fund raising efforts.
Councillor Middleton supported the application in view of its 35th anniversary appeal and the vital necessity of voluntary run services such as this, particularly in light of the current circumstances and the impact of social isolation of some of the most vulnerable communities.