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Agenda item

Question Time:

To answer questions from members of the public pursuant to Executive Procedure Rule No. 13


QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC NO. 1 Under Schedule 4, 13, Mr M Hall will ask the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jeremy Oates the following question:-


My question relates to the FHSF of £40M and the plans for the regeneration of Tamworth - Can the leadership of Tamworth Borough Council outline the level of experience which exists within the leadership team in planning, management (of the council team, advisers contractors) and delivery of a project of this value and complexity?


In the absence of Mr Hall the Question and Answer are set out in the Minutes.




The Assistant Director Growth and Regeneration, Anna Miller, is a Chartered Town Planner with 25+ years’ experience in the planning and development industry working both in the public and private sectors. As the senior responsible officer within the Borough Council for the FHSF project, Anna is supported with additional Governance, officer resource and an external multidisciplinary team.


The Wider Executive Leadership team along with three Members of Cabinet form the majority of the FHSF Programme Board which provides the strategic leadership for the project and meets monthly, to ensure that progress is made. In addition to this the project also supported by a scrutiny committee, cabinet and an audit and Governance sub committee, all of which meet quarterly.


Officer support for the project includes a dedicated project officer and a Programme Manager. The Programme Manager works for a Construction Project Management consultancy which leads on the delivery of construction projects for a range of clients across the West Midlands region including local authorities. Additionally, there is a delivery team comprising officers across the authority who meet monthly.


External support is provided by McBains, a multi-disciplinary property and construction consultancy that supports the FHSF project including architectural services, project management, engineering services, cost management and civil and structural services, to name a few. 


It should be noted that the £40M FHSF programme comprises the flagship college project which is being delivered by South Staffordshire College.


To respond to the request for information relating to the delivery of complex projects with high value, I can only reflect on that part of the programme that the Borough Council are delivering.


Therefore, in relation to the refurbishment of the TEC, the demolition and rebuild of Middle Entry and the various heritage projects associated with the castle gateway, I can confirm that McBains have delivered both complex projects and projects to this value as evidenced during the procurement process.


QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC NO. 2 Under Schedule 4, 13, Mr R Bilcliff will ask the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jeremy Oates the following question:-


Can the Leader of the Council give Tamworth residents assurances that it has undertaken due-diligence regarding any health impacts from the 5G Network Rollout in Tamworth?




5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband mobile phone networks, which mobile phone companies began deploying worldwide in 2019, and is the planned successor to the 4G networks to provide connectivity to most current mobile phones. 


Under the General Permitted Development Order when considering applications relating to 5G rollout for example masts, cabinets etc. there are stringent requirements for consideration. The health implications are not a consideration for either the planning process or Tamworth Borough Council. 


Supplementary Question


Mr Bilcliff asked the following supplementary question:


The European Parliament in June 2021 published a review in entitled Health Impacts of 5G. They called for a halt in the expansion of 5G which should be a clear warning for policy makers to put the brakes on. Indeed one of the world’s leading re-insurance providers, the Swish Re Group has rated 5G as a high impact liability risk. Can you please assure residents that Tamworth Borough Council’s public liability insurance provides cover for adverse health effects caused by 5G. Thank you.




Thank you, Mr Bilcliff, in terms of the specific element of your question at the end, I don’t have access to the public liability documents in front of me so I cannot tell you what is and what is not covered within those.  In terms of the broader areas covered with your supplementary question, and policy makers, Tamworth Borough Council is not a policy maker in relation to the roll out of 5G communications so as a result we are not involved in the halting of, the progression of, the roll out or any opportunity to set any policy in accordance with that. So it would be inappropriate for this authority to suggest anything either way on that. I am happy to have a conversation with you at a later date, to look at how we could respond to the information you have just given me and to look at possible opportunities of addressing your concerns and also addressing the matter at hand.  So if you’d like to contact me by email, we can have a further discussion.

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