Venue: Council Chamber, Rushcliffe Arena, Rugby Road, West Bridgford
Contact: Helen Tambini 0115 9148320
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest made.
The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday, 10 October 2023 were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
To answer questions submitted by citizens on the Council or its services.
There were no citizens’ questions.
Opposition Group Leaders' Questions
To answer questions submitted by Opposition Group Leaders on items on the agenda.
Question from Councillor Birch to Councillor Clarke. Councillor Birch did not attend the meeting, so his question was read out by the Chair, Councillor Clarke.
“Given that the Corporate Strategy public consultation received just 352 responses, do you think that the Council did enough to promote the survey to the public?”
Councillor Clarke responded by advising that the consultation had featured in Rushcliffe Reports, which had landed on doorsteps week commencing 19 June, reaching over 52,000 households, making it accessible to everyone in those households. This had been supported by an extensive social media campaign, with two press releases, which were picked up both by the West Bridgford Wire and Newark Advertiser, adding to the publicity. The Councillors’ consultation featured each week in Councillors’ Connections and the Communications team also followed up with a number of direct emails to all Councillors encouraging them to participate. In respect of social media, the Communications team had been monitoring it, with over 50,000 views made of the Corporate Strategy content, and Councillor Clarke stated that he was both satisfied and confident that the consultation had reached a large and wide part of the population.
Question from Councillor J Walker to Councillor Clarke.
“How were the Cllr responses to the consultation considered in the writing of the Corporate Strategy?”
Councillor Clarke thanked Councillor Walker for her question and stated that the Labour Group had submitted a response, along with three other Councillors, with the survey being anonymous, and assumed that other Groups had considered it, as the Conservative group had. Councillors’ feedback had been considered and disseminated to Service Managers who would be responsible for the day-to-day delivery of the tasks. They had been asked to consider feedback as they embarked upon delivering tasks, or in some areas continued delivering tasks that were continued from the 2019-2023 Strategy. The Corporate Strategy captured at a relatively high level the 12 strategic tasks the Council was committed to delivering and behind each of those 12 tasks sat a much more detailed ‘task appraisal’ document. Those appraisals were still being developed and Councillors’ feedback would be considered where possible and appropriate.
Councillor Walker asked a supplementary question to Councillor Clarke.
“How will the Council engage in a meaningful way showing that great care mentioned in the Corporate Strategy to ensure that the Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan has input from all stakeholders, especially from vulnerable groups, who are often our biggest service users and also bear the brunt of poor strategic planning.”
Councillor Clarke responded by advising that there would be further involvement through the scrutiny process, and assuming that the proposal tonight was approved, to submit the Strategy to Council, comments from the Corporate Overview Group and any further information would be incorporated for Council to consider.
It was RESOLVED that the Corporate Strategy 2024-2027 be endorsed and forwarded to Council for adoption.
The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Strategic and Borough-wide Leadership, Councillor Clarke, presented the report of the Chief Executive, which detailed the Council’s Corporate Strategy for 2024-2027.
Councillor Clarke advised that this Strategy was set to be adopted by Full Council in December, with the current Strategy expiring this year. Cabinet was reminded that the Strategy had been subject to consultation by both Councillors and residents, with the four key priorities remaining the same, as they were still appropriate and relevant. Councillor Clarke stated that whilst each key priority was important it its own right, the Environment would continue to be a significant focus for the Council, and as new Government legislation came forward, the Council needed to ensure that it was reacting appropriately to that. The Council was also working towards being operationally net zero, whilst working to strike the correct balance between development without sacrificing the Borough’s rural identity, which the Council and so many residents valued. Councillor Clarke referred to the 12 strategic tasks for the four key priorities, which were highlighted in the Strategy. Councillor Clarke referred to his earlier response to Councillor Walker’s question and stated that since the Cabinet agenda had been published, the Corporate Overview Group had met and considered the Strategy and he suggested that it would be appropriate to include those comments in the report submitted to Council, together with any other comments relevant to the potential adoption of the Strategy.
In seconding the recommendation, Councillor Brennan endorsed the comments made by Councillor Clarke and stated that the Strategy clearly set out the Council’s strategic objectives and the actions to be taken to deliver them. The Strategy made it clear that the Council continuing to deliver its core services to residents remained a key priority, whilst at the same time focusing on some of the significant strategic challenges that it would face, particularly with the advent of the new Devolution Deal and the creation of a new Combined Mayoral Authority. Councillor Brennan reiterated that the Council would continue to work to create investment opportunities in the region, particularly with the closure of the Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station, the development of the Freeport and the Development Corporation, and by taking advantage of the Government’s Levelling Up agenda. Councillor Brennan started that she was particularly pleased that the Council would be working towards an Economic Growth Strategy, which was detailed in the Action Plan. Alongside those new strategic challenges, the Council had set out its intention to implement new Government legislation on planning and the environment, and to review its asset base to ensure it maintained sound finances, which would enable the continued delivery of high quality services, whilst ensuring value for money and Councillor Brennan was happy to endorse the Strategy.
Councillor J Wheeler welcomed the inclusion of the fourth strategic task to deliver Rushcliffe’s Leisure Strategy, the progress already made and looked forward to reporting back to scrutiny on future progress. Whilst it was noted that the consultation had been very ... view the full minutes text for item 39.
It was RESOLVED that:
a) the new structure for the Boards be approved; and
b) the proposed terms of reference template included as Appendix A and Appendix B in the report be agreed, and the Director – Development and Economic Growth be granted delegated authority to adapt as necessary.
The Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Growth and Development, Councillor Brennan, presented the report of the Director – Development and Economic Growth, which outlined the new structure and terms of reference for the Growth Boards.
Councillor Brennan stated that this report followed on from reports submitted to Cabinet and the Growth and Development Scrutiny Group in June and October respectively this year and reflected the outcome of those discussions and the extensive review work undertaken by officers, with the new structure for the Boards detailed in Paragraph 4 of the report. Cabinet was advised that the current Strategic Growth Board would continue, but with new objectives, with the proposed terms of reference for the Board set out in Appendix A to the report. Councillor Brennan advised that the local Growth Boards as were would be replaced by Development and Community Boards, alongside those would be Task and Finish Groups, established to look at specific topics, together with meetings with the six largest town/parish councils and the West Bridgford Local Area Forum, as detailed in Paragraph 4.3, with a summary of the changes in Paragraph 4.4. Councillor Brennan advised that an important new role for the Strategic Growth Board would be the development of an Economic Growth Strategy for the Borough, which would oversee the development and delivery of the work programmes for the Task and Finish Groups. Cabinet was advised that the process for establishing the terms of reference for those groups, together with the list of key questions to be asked when new groups were proposed was detailed in Paragraph 4.8, with the new structures continuing to be supported by officers. Councillor Brennan concluded by advising that considerable work had taken place to undertake this review, the current Boards had served their purpose and it was the correct time to consider their relevance, if they were tackling the right issues and involving the right people. The new structure would be fit for purpose and help to deliver the Council’s corporate objectives.
In seconding the recommendation, Councillor Upton stated that he was speaking with some experience, having chaired the West Bridgford Growth Board for several years and currently being a member of the Radcliffe on Trent Growth Board. Given that it was eight years since the Boards were established Councillor Upton considered that it had been timely to review them and that a new structure was required and applauded the flexibility in this new structure, and he noted that the report had been endorsed by the Growth and Development Scrutiny Group.
Councillor Clarke agreed that when the Boards were set up they were appropriate for the time and served a useful purpose; however, things evolved, and it was right to review and ensure that the operation was fit for purpose.
Having chaired the Bingham Growth Board, Councillor Inglis concurred with Councillor Upton’s comments and noted the many projects that had been delivered and was pleased to see that they would be more inclusive.
It was RESOLVED that:
a) the new structure ... view the full minutes text for item 40.