|Cllr Coleman declared a personal prejudicial interest in item 6 Voluntary Sector Support Fund 2009/10 Allocation and Review as he served on the Stockton International Families Centre's Management Board. Cllr Coleman left the meeting room during Cabinet's consideration of the item.|
Cllr Nelson declared a personal prejudicial interest in item 6 Voluntary Sector Support Fund 2009/10 Allocation and Review as he served on the Stockton Advice and Information Service. Cllr Nelson left the meeting room during Cabinet's consideration of the item.
Cllr Mrs McCoy declared a personal prejudicial interest in item 6 Voluntary Sector Support Fund 2009/10 Allocation and Review as she served on the Stockton Advice and Information Sercice. Cllr Mrs McCoy left the meeting room during Cabinet's consideration of the item.
Councillor Lupton declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Economic Climate Update as he was a Durham Tees Valley Airport Board Member.
Councillor Cook declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Economic Climate Update as he was employed in the petro chemical industry.
Councillor Cunningham declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Economic Climate Update as he served on the Regional Development Agency.
Councillor Mrs Rigg declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Review of Area Partnerships as she was the Chairman of the Western Area Partnership.
Julie Nixon indicated that, with regard to item 6 - Voluntary Sector Support Fund 2009/10 Allocation and Review she was a member of the Catalyst Board.
With regard to item 6 - Voluntary Sector Support Fund 2009/10 Allocation and Review Julie Nixon indicated that she was a member of the Catalyst Board. She explained that she would be stepping down from this position shortly.
|Members considered the nominations to School Governing Bodies in accordance with the procedure for the appointment of School Governors, approved as Minute 84 of the Cabinet (11th May 2000).|
|Consideration was given to a report that presented the outcomes and outputs for the Christmas Festival and Markets 2008, and Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) 2008 to inform future investment and programming.|
Members of Cabinet were provided with a summary of the events which formed part of the Stockton Christmas Festival and Market 2008 together with a summary of feedback received from visitors and businesses. Cabinet was also given details of the way forward in terms of festival timings and programming, events, locations and marketing.
Additionally a summary of the events for SIRF 2008 was provided as were statistics, taken from the annual SIRF Visitor Survey. Information relating to marketing and publicity, technical and safety management and disability access audit was also included in the report.
It was explained that the programme of festivals was to be expanded further in 2009. A spring festival based on the Tees Regatta and the Infinity Bridge opening was planned for May, summer festivals including SIRF 2009, a River Festival in August and BIFF were proposed, whilst ideas for festivals based around other religions, such as Diwali or Eid, were being considered as part of the festival programme. The winter festival of Stockton Sparkles including the Christmas and Market 2009 concluded the programme.
It was noted that to supplement the programme of festivals further events would be planned throughout the year with many of these also being focussed on improving footfall and spend across the Borough's town centres.
|Members considered a report the purpose of which was two fold, namely:|
i)To approve the specific allocation of Voluntary Sector Support Fund to 11 core funded organisations during 2009/10 as set out as Appendix 1 to the report.
ii)To agree the objectives for a review of the Voluntary Sector Support Fund during 2009/10
Cabinet noted that the Voluntary Sector Support Fund would receive core funding of £430,869 for 09/10. Council had approved an additional £123,000 for 1 year to be added to the core funding. This would provide a total of £553,869. Details of how this amount would be distributed was provided to members.
Members were also provided with details of objectives of a review of the Voluntary Sector Support Fund to be undertaken during 2009.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided Members with an overview of the current economic climate, outlining the effects that this would have on Stockton Borough, and the mitigations already in place and those being developed in response to this.|
A report was submitted to Cabinet in December 2008, which set the scene of the economic downturn, and the effects that the global recession and economic climate were having on businesses, rising unemployment, and mortgage repossessions.
The monthly update report would enable a focussed account to be made of any recent changes to economic circumstances the direct impact that this may have on the Borough, and the responses and mitigations either in place or being developed to support businesses and residents. Members were provided with a summary of the economic changes that had taken place and noted both negative and positive effects.
Members were encouraged by the many positive circumstances identified in the report and highlighted how useful the recent busting the credit crunch events had been.
Particular discussion took place on the announcement that BMI had terminated its service from Durham Tees Valley Airport to Heathrow. It was estimated that the cost to passengers of the withdrawl of the service was £2.3 miillion/year and to the business community £1.4 million/year. Members were very concerned about this development and its impact on the whole region. It was considered that it was important that relevant organisations in the region lobbied MPs and government ministers with a view to securing a solution to this problem.
|Consideration was given to a report that presented the views and comments received from the Licensing Committee, trade and other interested parties following consultation on the proposed Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy. Cabinet was asked to determine the final policy. |
Following initial consultation with the trade and interested parties the Licensing Committee at their meeting held on 13th October 2008, agreed a draft consolidated policy document in respect of Hackney Carriage and Private Hire licensing and that further consultation be carried out with the trade and other interested parties on the proposed policy.
Consultation had been undertaken and the Licensing Committee considered the responses received, together with officer's comments at their meeting on the 27th January 2009. At that meeting the Members agreed various amendments that should be incorporated into the draft policy and certain issues that Cabinet may wish to consider. Cabinet was provided with a copy of the minutes of that meeting and a copy of the revised draft policy.
Cabinet was given details of further amendments to the proposed policy document as a result of information being received from the Independent Safeguarding Authority and also following the receipt of Counsel's opinion.
Also, since carrying out the consultation exercise the Department of Transport had issued a consultation document "Improving Access To Taxis". The document looked at four options of which Cabinet were given details. Officers would consider and respond to the consultation, in consultation with the cabinet member before the closing date of 24 April 2009.
It was explained that the issue that Licensing Committee Members requested be given further consideration was in relation to random drug testing of drivers. The trade suggested that this should only be required when there was clear and independent information which suggested a driver may be abusing any substance; there should be no cost to the driver if tests were negative and safeguards should be in place for the testing regime and the individual concerned.
The Licensing Committee was concerned that, while there were benefits of random drug testing particularly for public safety, there were issues regarding residual level of narcotics in the blood system, the need for consistency for drug testing across all Council employees whose duties included driving, and the trade being fully informed of the processes. The Committee therefore recommended that drug testing should be deferred until these issues had been examined.
It was noted that Officers believed that the introduction of random drug testing would increase public safety, improve the reputation of the reputable licensees and assist the authority in fulfilling its duties under section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
Members of Cabinet were therefore requested to include the requirements for random drug testing in the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy proposed in paragraph 198 -199, page 23. It was explained that Officers would develop detailed guidance notes regarding the manner in which the random drugs tests would be undertaken and would consult further with the trade on them in time for its proposed introduction date of 1st July 2009.
Cabinet was informed of the implementation dates that Licensing Committee and officers considered appropriate.
|Cabinet considered a report relating to the development of a Stockton Heritage Strategy and action plan. |
It was explained that there were many local and regional strategies relating to heritage, and activities which celebrated Stockton's history, but they were not brought together in any one plan, and there were gaps. New technology had generated new opportunities for Stockton to connect and reveal aspects of history, and to release a wealth of knowledge and information from local people.
Cabinet was given details of the current position and also the proposed development of a new encompassing strategy for heritage, based around five heritage themes:
· Early Stockton, iron-age, Roman and Saxon Stockton
· Railway and engineering heritage including petrochemical industries
· Our World War I and II contribution
· Plaques, trails and interpretation in the landscape
· Recent/Living history and community interest in heritage
Cabinet was informed that an overarching Heritage Strategy would exist as a written document published online, providing a framework for the work of various Council Services, community groups and heritage agencies. A new micro site within Stockton.gov.uk would allow people to add comments and pictures, driving an ever-increasing body of information on Stockton's Heritage and living history.
It was noted that this would then be translated into an implementation plan.
It was considered that it would be helpful to bring together an Officer Steering Group to drive the production of the plans and the development of the micro-site. It was noted that the group could report to the existing Urban Environment Task Group to provide a wide underpinning of member and officer input.
It was explained that given the focus on user generated content and on unlocking the expertise and interest of local individuals, it was considered helpful to establish an Independent Advisory Group to oversee the production of the strategy and the website content, and to promote widespread involvement. It was proposed that the Independent Advisory Group should include elected members covering all parties, key academic figures and local historians, and representatives of the established local history groups or societies.
|Consideration was given to a report which provided details of a review Area Partnerships which had been undertaken to strengthen their community leadership role and their support arrangements.|
Members noted the methodology of the review and issues that had been identified. Issues identified included:-
· Governance/Decision Making
· Funding Support
It was explained that there were a number of actions to be undertaken by the Area Partnership Boards, following on from the review, which would be incorporated into an Area Partnership Board Improvement Plan, a draft of the plan was provided to Members.
|Cabinet considered a report relating to Flood Risk Management - Pitt Review.|
It was explained that in August 2007 Sir Michael Pitt was asked by Ministers to carry out a review of the flood related emergencies, which occurred during the Summer of 2007. The Pitt Review -"Learning Lessons from 2007 Floods" was released on 25 June 2008. Overall it contained 92 recommendations addressing physical, institutional, co-operative and political aspects of flood risk management.
In December 2008 the Government published its response to the Pitt Review in the form of an action plan for Government, local authorities and others to implement the 92 recommendations within the review. Cabinet was given details of the implications for the Council, the next steps to be taken and the long-term implications. In particular, recommendations 14-20 and 90-91 set out the roles that local authorities were expected to play in the future. Cabinet was presented with these recommendations with the Governments response, implementation, funding and specifically the action to be taken by Stockton Council.
It was recognised that the cross cutting agenda associated with the Floods & Water Bill would generate across all service areas, Cabinet therefore agreed to recommended to Council that the lead responsibility should lie within the portfolio for Corporate Management and Finance.
|Consideration was given to the minutes of the meetings of Various Bodies.|
|Members were provided with the Teachers' Joint Consultative Panel's Terms of Reference which stated that it is a forum for discussion of issues of mutual interest to elected Members, representatives of teacher organisations and officers of the Council'. |
Included in the Terms of Reference was a mechanism for items to be submitted to the Panel for discussion. Unfortunately there had been no items submitted for consideration, for some considerable time, and during that time the Panel had not met. Clearly, given these circumstances, consideration needed to be given to its future operation and possible options in this regard.
The issue was initially discussed at a meeting between school staff representatives and officers from Children, Education and Social Care. Staff representatives indicated that they would support the continuation of the Panel in some form as they felt that its role, as a link between school staff and elected members, to discuss issues of mutual interest', was important and would be of great benefit to union representatives and elected members. They felt that it would be particularly beneficial over the coming years, when relevant issues related to the introduction of Building Schools for the Future could be discussed.
In supporting the continuation of the Panel, staff representatives requested that consideration be given to extending its membership and suggested that it be amended to include all school workforce union representatives i.e. to include teaching and school support staff reps.
At a meeting of the Teachers Joint Consultative Panel (TJCP), called to specifically discuss its future operation, Members considered possible ways forward. The Panel was provided with a draft Terms of Reference, which reflected comments made by school workforce representatives. The report also made suggestions relating to the introduction of an annual work programme and an amended agenda management process.
In addition to the above, Members also considered the possibility of merging the Panel with the Council's Local Joint Consultative Panel (LJCP). The LJCP fulfilled a very similar role to the Teachers Panel, but it considered issues associated with staff from services not directly connected to schools. Staff union representation on the Panel reflected this. It was suggested that there could be benefits to a merger, including the widening of debate on issues, cutting down on duplication and reducing the number of meetings necessary.
The Panel discussed the options presented and, whilst recognising that there were merits in the merger suggestion, felt that the Schools' agenda had been large enough to justify a separate forum. There were concerns that meetings of such a merged Panel could be quite protracted. It was considered that separate meetings were still the most appropriate way to consider relevant issues for both Panels. The Panel did, however, agree that staff representation should include all school workforce staff, not just teaching. It was also agreed that suggestions relating to the formation of an annual work programme and a new agenda management process were positive.
During further consideration of the Panel's Membership it was agreed that the two largest unions, the National Association of School Masters and Women Teachers (NASUWT) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT), should have two representatives each. This would result in 11 staff representatives serving on the Panel.
Recognising that the Panel was for consultative purposes only, Council Members, present at the meeting, indicated that they were happy that Council representation should remain at 7.
Members were provided with a proposed Terms of Reference, which reflected the discussions detailed above. Given the proposed changes, it was explained that it would be necessary for Council to agree that the Teachers Joint Consultative Panel be discontinued and a Schools' Workforce Joint Consultative Panel (including centrally employed Teachers) be established. Minutes of the Panel were forwarded to Full Council for information.
|Members were provided with a report that sought agreement to consult with key stakeholders on the updated Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report. The report was provided to members. It was explained that the Sustainability Appraisal Scoping report recorded the process of deciding on the scope and level of detail for the Sustainability Appraisal of emerging planning documents which would make up the Local Development Framework. This would be a tool to be used to appraise the emerging Local Development Framework proposals and policies using the ten Sustainability Appraisal objectives that reflected the key sustainability issues within the Borough.|
|Consideration was given to a report that sought approval of a new Procurement Strategy for the Council, the current Strategy concluded in March 2009. The report also sought approval of changes to Contract Procedure Rules and related Responsibility for Functions.|
It was explained that the purpose of the Sustainable Commissioning and Procurement Strategy was to define a strategic level approach to the way in which the Council commissioned and procured goods, services and works and to lay down a series of policy principles that guided all related activity. The strategy included details about context and how commissioning and procurement was currently organised within the Council, what the Council bought and how commissioning and procurement could be used to deliver other strategic objectives of the Council. The policy principles covered a number of generic areas as well as 3 specific spend categories.
Cabinet was provided with a copy of the strategy and a summary of the main changes.
It was noted that the review and renewal of the Sustainable Commissioning and Procurement Strategy had also provided the opportunity to review Contract Procedure Rules (CPR). These rules lay down the detailed procedural guidance of how commissioning and procurement should be undertaken. The CPR was part of the Constitution and included links to the Responsibility for Function - Scheme of Delegation.
The main purpose of the review was to update the language' of CPR to make it easier for Members and officers to understand and to ensure they met all legislative requirements (primarily the Public Contracts Regulations 2006). Cabinet was given details of other changes.
The Responsibilities for Functions had also been simplified and clarified to make it easier for officers to understand what powers they had in relation to commissioning and procurement.
Members of Cabinet were provided with a copy of Contract Procedure Rules and the relevant part of the Responsibilities for Functions.
|At its meeting held on 9th July 2008 (min C89/08 refers) Council approved changes to the Cabinet structure which saw it increase in size to nine members, and entailed the creation of two new Cabinet Portfolios combining and replacing the responsibilities previously held by the Cabinet Portfolio for Corporate & Social Inclusion.|
The Portfolios for Corporate Management & Finance and Access & Communities were established and the service responsibilities previously held by the Cabinet Portfolio for Corporate & Social Inclusion were split into the two new Portfolios as appropriate.
Responsibility for the Council's Communications function sat within the Cabinet Member Portfolio for Corporate Management & Finance. However, it was considered that Communications would be best placed alongside Community Engagement & Consultation
It was therefore suggested that responsibility for Communications be moved from the Corporate Management and Finance Portfolio to the Access and Communities Portfolio
|Cabinet considered terms in relation to the proposed disposal of the land and buildings at Saltergill School, a former residential special school located on Saltergill Lane on the outskirts of Yarm. Cabinet was provided with an outline plan of the site. It was explained that the property ceased to be used for operational purposes in August 2005 and was surplus to the Council's requirements.|