Agenda and draft minutes

City Council
Monday, 10th January, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - at the Council House. View directions

Contact: Jane Garrard, Senior Governance Officer  Email: jane.garrard@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

55.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Councillor Rosemary Healy – unwell

Councillor Phil Jackson – unwell

Councillor Rebecca Langton – personal

Councillor Dave Liversidge – personal

Councillor Sajid Mohammed - unwell

56.

Declarations of interests

Minutes:

None

57.

Questions from citizens pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Minutes:

Clifton

JC asked the following question of the Leader of the Council:

In 2019, the Leader of the Council responded to a question from a member of the public who was concerned that the Leader of the Opposition had described the Clifton area as being in a state of 'demise'. Now, with almost three-years having passed since this question was asked, would the Leader of the Council please provide an update regarding the work that he and the Council as a whole have undertaken to ensure the success of Clifton — in spite of the pandemic — and advance the interests of its citizens?

 

Councillor David Mellen replied as follows:

I am grateful for the citizen’s question and the opportunity to talk about this Council’s commitment to investment and regeneration across our neighbourhoods. Firstly, let me say that Nottingham City Council has invested significantly in Clifton, in the face of disproportionate Government cuts to Council funding over the last ten years. Like all our neighbourhoods, we’re committed to making it a desirable place in which to live, learn, work and play. Whether that’s through retrofitting energy efficient provision in housing stock, or delivering the obvious benefits of having the tram serving the area, providing a vital link to the city centre, the Queens Medical Centre, the north and the west of the city, and attracting fresh investment into Clifton. We’ve continued with our commitment to improve and maintain the housing stock in Clifton with approximately £5m spent on maintenance since 2019, which includes £1.4million spent on 25,000 repairs, £1million on boiler installations, £208,000 on housing adaptations and £200,000 spent on a sprinkler system for Southchurch Court. Through the Decent Neighbourhood Programme, within Clifton alone we’ve repaired footpaths to Homewell Walk, Bramford Avenue, Ridgmont Walk, Dungannon Road and Wilkin Gardens, with additional car parking refurbishments at Barkla Close, South Church and Fleming Gardens. The Council is also investing £6.39million in the development of 36 new homes at the newly built Keiron Hill Court due for completion in October this year.

 

Clifton remains one of the priority areas and we will continue to look for opportunities to enhance the local area and create jobs. Clifton’s commercial retail centres are currently in a very healthy condition. Following a comprehensive survey in the late summer of last year there was only one single vacant unit in the three main shopping parades of Varney Road, Central shops and Holy Trinity. There are two units available on the newly developed Clifton Triangle site but there is currently commercial interest in both units from new businesses wanting to come into the area.  Covid restrictions over the last two years have been a major disruptor as staff from the Economic Development team working in the Clifton area were diverted to lead on the processing and payment of approximately £100 million of much needed grants to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. This helped thousands of businesses across the city area, including many in Clifton, survive during  ...  view the full minutes text for item 57.

58.

Petitions from Councillors on behalf of citizens

Minutes:

Councillor Cheryl Barnard presented a petition on behalf of citizens regarding proposed alterations to Old Edna’s shop at 129 Bannerman Road.

59.

To confirm the minutes of the last Ordinary meeting of Council held on 8 November 2021 pdf icon PDF 526 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2021 were confirmed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.

60.

To receive official communications and announcements from the Leader of the Council and/or the Chief Executive

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported the following:

 

I would like to start by extending my congratulations to all those citizens recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, including Mark Fowles, John Buckley, Professor Anthony Avery, Professor Robert Mokaya, Amanda Smith and John Clarke.

 

I am pleased to report that the City’s digital campaign, led by the Council’s Communications Team, to encourage Covid vaccination take up particularly by those from ethnic minorities and younger age groups who might be hesitant about the vaccine or not normally see Council communication channels won Gold at the Public Service Communications Awards.

 

I am also pleased to report that the Education Services’ School Swimming Service won School Swimming Lesson Provider of the Year at the recent Swim England Awards for their provision of a comprehensive swimming experience for primary school children in the City.  I would also like to congratulate Mellers Primary School in Radford on being awarded Swim England Primary School of the Year for its commitment to swimming and water safety.

 

I am sad to report the death of former employee Karl White from Covid-19.  Karl worked in the Youth Services Team for 32 years prior to his retirement, including running the Meadows Youth Centre.  He has always put the needs of his local Meadows community first and has most recently been organising football for local children, having previously established local team FC Cavaliers.  My thoughts are with his family, friends and all those who feel his loss.

 

It is with sadness that I also report to Council the passing of Kristian Murden, a much liked and respected Area Housing Manager at Nottingham City Homes. Kristian worked across Nottingham, particularly in Aspley, Strelley, Arboretum and Broxtowe, as Housing Patch Manager and Area Housing Manager. He was well regarded by colleagues, partners and councillors alike. I would also like to report the passing of another very popular colleague, Simon Forrester, who was one of Nottingham City Homes’ Estate Caretakers who sadly passed away shortly before Christmas. We remember both of their lives and contributions to public service this afternoon.

 

Councillor Wendy Smith spoke in tribute to Kristian Murden and Simon Forrester.

 

Councillor Michael Edwards spoke in tribute to Karl White.

 

A minute’s silence was held.

61.

Questions from Councillors - to the City Council's lead Councillor on the Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority

Minutes:

None

62.

Questions from Councillors - to a member of Executive Board, the Chair of a Committee and the Chair of any other City Council body pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Community Centres

Councillor Kevin Clarke asked the following question of the Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion:

It has come to our attention that there is a proposal for a significant increase in the rent charged by the Council for Nottingham’s Community Centres, including Highbank Community Centre in Clifton.  Can the Portfolio Holder inform us whether it is true that the Council is proposing this policy to hugely increase the rents charged to Nottingham’s few remaining Community Centres, and if so, how does she expect them to continue to operate under these conditions?

 

Councillor Neghat Khan replied as follows:

Thank you Lord Mayor and can I thank Councillor Clarke for his question. The Council has a number of properties that are let to community groups for minimal rents, often where this is the case without the renting organisation being responsible for either building liabilities or associated community outputs. As part of the Together for Nottingham Plan, previously known as the Recovery and Improvement Plan, which councillors will see later on today’s agenda, we are changing our approach to community asset leases to ensure asset values are maintained and community assets fully utilised.  This will include consideration of transferring full repairing and insuring leases as standard and consideration of applying fair market rate to community asset leases. Historically, our community centres have been on extremely low rents, resulting in them being propped up and subsidised by the Council. Colleagues are aware of the significant challenges officers are facing to ensure that we have a balanced budget. Unfortunately, we will need to have a broader vision which looks at how we use our non-essential services to support the core essential services. While I appreciate that some financial changes will impact on centres such as Highbank, I must be clear that we are in a very difficult financial position and we can no longer sustain a blanket approach for all community centres meaning that we must start making our assets pay for themselves and not remain empty and unused at significant cost to the tax payer. Councillor Clarke, you make reference to Highbank Community Centre in Clifton where the current management committee has made the Council aware it wishes to dissolve and hand the keys back to the Council.  This is not due to rent, as Councillor Clarke is aware.  The group currently pay £10 a year and have paid that figure for over 30 years without any inflation cost. Currently only one group is using the building.  With any new group taking over this, they will need a new lease as we cannot just carry over the old lease. We are applying fair market rates, however if a group can demonstrate outputs that benefit the community then the Council could consider reductions based on community outputs that groups would deliver.  This Council has always been committed to sustainable community led initiatives and that will not change, but what I can say is that must balance with our drive to bring  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.

63.

Refresh of the Nottingham City Council Recovery and Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 217 KB

Report of the Leader of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor David Mellen, presented the report proposing approval of a refresh of the Council’s Recovery and Improvement Plan, to be known going forward as the Together for Nottingham Plan, and incorporation of the Plan into the Council’s Policy Framework.  The report was seconded by Councillor Sally Longford.

 

Resolved to:

 

(1)  approve the refreshed Together for Nottingham Plan (formerly the Recovery and Improvement Plan) as set out as Appendix 1 to the report; and

 

(2)  include the Together for Nottingham Plan as part of the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

 

64.

Decisions taken under Urgency Procedures pdf icon PDF 213 KB

Report of the Leader of the Council

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council, Councillor David Mellen, presented the report detailing urgent decisions that the Council is required to note, which have been taken under provisions within the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules and Access to Information Rules.  The report was seconded by Councillor Sally Longford.

 

Resolved to note the following decisions taken under the Call-in and Urgency provisions of the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules:

 

Decision Reference

Subject

Decision Taker

Reason for Urgency

DD4428

Disposal of Sneinton Hermitage Community Centre

Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Inclusion

To enable market preparations to be completed in time to enter the property into the December 2021 auction, rather than be delayed until the next auction in February 2022.  A delay would have incurred additional costs for maintenance and security and the property would have remained unoccupied with potential risks from anti-social behaviour or vandalism, which could give rise to additional costs for repairs and/or affect the sale price.

Minute Ref: 69

Medium Term Financial Plan 2022/23 to 2025/26

Executive Board

To enable public consultation to commence immediately and enable as long a consultation period as possible.

 

 

65.

Retender of External Audit for 2023/24 to 2027/28 pdf icon PDF 179 KB

Report of the Chair of Audit Committee

Minutes:

The Chair of the Audit Committee, Councillor Audra Wynter, presented proposals for appointing the external auditor to the Council for the accounts for the five year period from 2023/24, as recommended by the Audit Committee.  The report was seconded by Councillor Michael Edwards.

 

Resolved to accept Public Sector Audit Appointments’ invitation to opt into the sector-led option for the appointment of external auditors to principal local government and police bodies for the five financial years from 1 April 2023.

66.

Motion in the name of Councillor Graham Chapman

This Council expresses its deep disappointment at the Government’s response to the social care crisis in that:

·  the amount of additional funding, both in the short and long term, will not ‘fix the problem’;

·  a number of care homes risk closure and there is nothing in the recent announcement to recognise the problem;

·  the Government will continue to rely on regressive council tax increases to plug gaps;

·  there is no long-term strategy for training, recruiting, sustainable wage growth, and professionalising the sector; and

·  the increase in National Insurance contributions, which was introduced as a solution, will actually make the problem worse.


It calls on the Government to:

·  provide a properly funded comprehensive approach, if necessary via a levy on wealth; and

·  ensure that there is no further call on the council tax to fund increases in social care funding

Minutes:

Councillor Graham Chapman proposed the following motion, which was seconded by Councillor Adele Williams:

 

This Council expresses its deep disappointment at the Government’s response to the social care crisis in that:

·  the amount of additional funding, both in the short and long term, will not ‘fix the problem’;

·  a number of care homes risk closure and there is nothing in the recent announcement to recognise the problem;

·  the Government will continue to rely on regressive council tax increases to plug gaps;

·  there is no long-term strategy for training, recruiting, sustainable wage growth, and professionalising the sector; and

·  the increase in National Insurance contributions, which was introduced as a solution, will actually make the problem worse.


It calls on the Government to:

·  provide a properly funded comprehensive approach, if necessary via a levy on wealth; and

·  ensure that there is no further call on the council tax to fund increases in social care funding

 

Resolved to carry the motion.

67.

Committee membership

To note the following changes to committee membership:

a)  Councillor Ethan Radford has been removed as a member of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

b)  Councillor Ethan Radford has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee

c)  Councillor Nayab Patel has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee

d)  Councillor Nayab Patel has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee

e)  Councillor Corall Jenkins has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

f)  Councillor Corall Jenkins has been appointed a vacant seat on the Regulatory and Appeals Committee

Minutes:

The following committee membership changes were noted:

(1)  Councillor Ethan Radford has been removed as a member of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

(2)  Councillor Ethan Radford has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee

(3)  Councillor Nayab Patel has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee

(4)  Councillor Nayab Patel has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee

(5)  Councillor Corall Jenkins has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee

(6)  Councillor Corall Jenkins has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Regulatory and Appeals Committee