Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cabinet Minutes

Thursday, 7th February, 2013
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, Church Road, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Robert Cook (Chair); Cllr Jim Beall, Cllr David Coleman, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr David Harrington, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Steve Nelson and Cllr Michael Smith.
J Danks L King (R); P Dobson, R Poundford, J Nixon, N Ellison (DNS); J Humphreys, S McEneany (CESC), P Kelly (PH); M Waggott, D E Bond P J Menear, M Jones P K Bell (LD).
In Attendance:
Apologies for absence:
Cllr David Rose.
Item Description Decision
Cllr Mohammed Javed declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in respect of agenda item 4 - Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation (EIT) Review of Adult Mental Health Services as he was employed by Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust however he had been granted a dispensation and could therefore be present at the meeting during consideration of the matter and take part in any discussion.

Councillor Mrs Ann McCoy declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 5 -Scrutiny Review of Affordable Warmth as she is on the board of Stockton District Advice and Information Service.

Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 5 -Scrutiny Review of Affordable Warmth as he was a member of Tristar Management Board.

Councillor Mike Smith declared a person interest in respect of agenda item 8 - Economic Climate Update as the company that he was employed by was named in the report.

Councillor David Harrington declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 7 - L A Nominations as he was named as one of the nominees.
The minutes of the meetings held on 10th January 2013 and 16th January 2013 were confirmed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.


1. The progress of the review to date, and the development of proposals for future service delivery be noted.

2. The following proposals be approved in principle for the future delivery of adult mental health social care services in order for these to be subject to a 12-week public consultation in conjunction with all stakeholders particularly service users and carers. The proposals are to:
a) Engage and support providers including the voluntary sector to develop services that meet the assessed needs of service users and attract personal budgets;
b) Improve the provision of information, advice, and signposting services for service users to enable them to identify appropriate services;
c) Strengthen support to service users in taking personal budgets to access services that meet their assessed needs;
d) Support the development of alternative provision of day time activities in the third sector / independent sector, consider investment in Community Bridge Building as a key intervention and support service for adult mental health service users, and cease providing the in-house day services provided at Norton Road and Ware Street (the Links unit);
e) Develop alternative options for rehab, respite and short break services, to enable a more flexible approach to service provision and achieve better value for money, and cease provision of the in-house respite and rehabilitation beds at Ware Street;
f) Revise the community support service specification and eligibility criteria to become a short term intensive support service based on the recovery model (maximum period of 12 weeks);
g) Re-configure the current in-house community support service in order to meet the needs of the revised specification;
h) Ensure that any ongoing assessed needs beyond the 12-week period, are met through commissioned services or personal budgets;
i) Ensure that the service user and carer involvement functions are embedded into the wider adult social care arrangements for involvement and consultation, and cease provision of the dedicated service user and carer involvement posts.

3. The proposed public consultation approach be noted and agreed, subject to further work by the Adult Services and Health Select Committee on the detail of the consultation plan.
Cabinet Decision Record D130016

1. A Stockton-on-Tees Affordable Warmth Strategy and delivery plan be developed for 2012/13 - 2015/16 to address the following objectives:-

• Increase local SAP ratings;
• Reduce fuel poverty rates in Stockton (dependent on household income and fuel prices);
• Reduce carbon emissions;
• Reduce the impact of fuel poverty on health & wellbeing (using recognised measures e.g. cold related hospital admissions) and other financial and social inequalities;
• Increasing number of homes meeting Decent Homes Standards.
• Encourage Registered Providers, by working in partnership with them, to incorporate targeted fuel poverty/energy efficiency measures into their repairs and renewals programme. Also that the programme is focussed on LSOAs/wards with the highest levels of fuel poverty and deprivation (as rated by IMD).

And that the strategy should be revised in 2015/16 to ensure it is fit for purpose.

2. in order to achieve these objectives, a plan be developed to deliver the strategy. (Based on the actions set out in the main body of the report and summarised at paragraph 5.3).

3. all routes of funding are explored on an ongoing basis. This should include a dialogue with Stockton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) over potential funding options and presenting year ROI/savings models along with other related health outcomes arising from fuel poverty measures on an ongoing basis for funding consideration.

4. SBC and delivery partners should investigate funding mechanisms potentially available to support Green Deal ‘loan’ deals including local authority and RP funds, CCG funding.

5. SBC should develop strategies to enable promotion and delivery of Green Deal schemes designed at tackling fuel poverty to reach fuel poor households outside the qualifying Energy Company Obligation (ECO) LSOAs. SBC should utilise the brand the Council to promote such opportunities to individual householders.

6. a ‘Fuel Poverty Partnership’ is formed to bring together all key stakeholders which will, as part of its remit, monitor the progress of the Stockton-on-Tees Affordable Warmth Strategy and delivery plan and report to all relevant groups and committees and that detailed terms of reference be developed for approval by the organisations involved. As the lead strategic and delivery body in securing funding and delivering programmes to tackle fuel poverty in the Borough, SBC should provide the Chair to this Partnership.

7. in addition to the regular local reporting process of the Affordable Warmth Strategy and Delivery Plan, the information and progress on this Delivery Plan be reported nationally via the Home Energy Conservation Act reporting process and Climate Local (Local Government Association mechanism for public reporting).

8. the issues of fuel poverty and affordable warmth be reflected in all relevant sections of the Stockton-on-Tees Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) and other strategic and policy documents covering areas such as family poverty, financial and social exclusion.

9. an evaluation of current and planned projects be carried out to measure and understand their long term health impacts, carbon efficiency, social and economic impacts.

10. Stockton Borough Council sign up to the Local Authority Fuel Poverty Commitment.
Cabinet Decision Record D130017

1. The promotion of using photovoltaic cells wherever possible on Council owned properties and elsewhere.

2. The updated Sustainable Construction Policy reflect all advances in renewable energy technology to ensure buildings are as energy efficient as possible while delivering value for money.

3. Whenever possible officers/Members use the electric cars that have been leased to Stockton Council.

4. Stockton Council ensure the cost of operation of pool cars is fully offset by reduction in business mileage.

5. Initiatives such as Energy Service Companies to aid future energy supply for the Council are considered regarding their positive contribution to meeting the Council’s objective on future energy supply.

6. Stockton Council do not commit to a specific course of action thereby allowing the flexibility to work alone or with others to best benefit from renewable energy.
Cabinet Decision Record D130018
RESOLVED that appointments be made to the vacant Governorship subject to successful List 99 check and Personal Disclosure, as follows:-

Conyers School - Mrs J Coleman
Myton Park Primary School - Councillor David Harrington
Cabinet Decision Record D130020
RESOLVED that the content of the report be noted and the work undertaken to date supported.
Cabinet Decision Record D130019

1. The report be noted.

2. The benchmarking results be noted.

3. The suggested actions with regard to communication and action planning be noted.

4. A further report be received following focus group work at a corporate level and within service groupings.
Cabinet Decision Record D130021
RESOLVED that the minutes of the following meetings be received/approved, as appropriate:-

Leadership Board - 24 October 2012
Safer Stockton Partnership - 6 November 2012
Stockton Local Safeguarding Childrens Board - 15 November 2012
Central Area Partnership Board - 29 November 2012
Cabinet Decision Record D130022
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
Cabinet Decision Record D130023
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
4.30 pm - 5.30 pm


Consideration was given to an interim report and proposals for consultation for Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation (EIT) Review of Adult Mental Health Services.

The Adult Services and Health Select Committee was undertaking a EIT review of Mental Health Adult Social Care Services. The report outlined progress in the review to date, and detailed a number of proposals for changes to services. Cabinet was requested to approve the proposals for future service delivery in order for these to go forward for public consultation with all stakeholders particularly service users and carers.

The services being reviewed included: day services, rehabilitation, respite, link workers, community support workers, user and carer involvement, and commissioned residential 24 hour care. In-house day services were provided at 70 Norton Road, and Ware Street provides out of hours day services, rehabilitation and respite services.

The proposals were being informed by the Equality Impact Assessment that was being updated though out the review. This would be updated further with the results of the public consultation.
Consideration was given to a report that presented the Environment Select Committee findings following the Scrutiny Review of Affordable Warmth.

Affordable Warmth was the ability heat a residential property sufficiently without incurring financial hardship, and the three major factors affecting affordable warmth were energy efficiency, fuel costs, and household income.

The review examined the energy efficiency of housing stock, previous and current schemes to tackle fuel poverty and energy efficiency, and future policy and funding streams. The significant increases in fuel costs and reduced levels of income due to the economic downturn were expected to have had a detrimental impact on fuel poverty levels since these were last reported 2010, and while the Committee noted the large amount of work already carried out by the Council and its partners, there was concern with this prediction that fuel poverty would increase. The overall aim of the review was to identify options for an affordable warmth strategy to ensure schemes are further developed and enhanced.
Consideration was given to a report on the Scrutiny Review of Energy Supply.

The Corporate and Social Inclusion (CSI) Select Committee undertook a review of energy supply taking a detailed look at what the Council sought to achieve including the key objectives of energy provision at a long term stable price, security of supply, a reduction in carbon emissions and how to stimulate the renewable energy supplier and energy technology markets with the aim of increasing employment opportunities.
In accordance with the procedure for the appointment of school governors, approved as Minute 84 of the Cabinet (11th May 2000), Cabinet was requested to approve the nomination to school Governing Body as detailed within the report.
Cabinet considered a monthly update report providing members with an overview of the current economic climate, outlining the effects that this was having on Stockton Borough, and the mitigations already in place and those being developed.

Members noted some of the positive and negative developments since the last report. Details of the support on offer to people and businesses was also provided.
Consideration was given to a report on the Employee Survey 2012.

The report presented a summary of the Employee Survey 2012 headline results. It also offered a planned way forward for working with Service Groups and Service Areas, reports on benchmarking our results against other public sector organisations and private businesses and a plan for communicating the results to all relevant stakeholders.

The report and the appendices illustrated that despite the working environment the results remained positive overall both in terms of performance over time and comparatively with others. An important aspect that was noted when reading the results was that there was a significantly higher proportion of respondents who stated they neither agreed nor disagreed with the questions than in 2010 i.e. they took the middle road this had been taken into account in analysis and reasons for this were being explored via focus groups.
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meetings of various bodies.
Consideration was given to a report that provided feedback following the Police and Crime Commissioner Election.

The first election for the new PCC for the Cleveland Force Area had been held on 15 November. This was a new election administered under new legislation and guidance and using the Supplementary voting system (SV) which was new to two of the four local authorities within the Cleveland Force Area:-

• Hartlepool
• Middlesbrough
• Redcar & Cleveland
• Stockton

Stockton acted as the Lead Authority for the elections for the Cleveland force area which included the Police Area Returning Officer (PARO) role. The management of the election was unique and challenging and this was detailed within the report.

Working across four local authority boundaries presented a range of practical difficulties and steps were taken to ensure high levels of co-ordination, consistency and communication.

The report highlighted the verification, what went well and any further issues.

In order to inform future planning and identify areas for improvement, a short survey was circulated to:-

• Presiding officers and poll clerks (199 responses received)
• Verification and Count Supervisors and Assistants (101 responses received)
• Polling Station Inspectors (7 responses received)
• Postal Vote Opening Supervisors and Assistants (17 responses received)
• LROs and election teams (1 survey returned; other comments via email)
• Candidates/ Agents and count attendees (2 surveys returned; other comments via email)

The response rate was high with most polling staff and verification and count staff returning the survey. The feedback comments were very detailed and would be subject to further consideration and would assist with the planning of future elections. Overall, comments from respondents were extremely positive. The key themes were set out within the report.

In order to gauge the views of residents, a Viewpoint survey was undertaken. The responses confirmed the feedback from telephone calls during the election period and at polling stations. A summary of the responses was detailed within the report.

In addition to the viewpoint survey, during the annual canvass those residents who chose to complete their registration using the online service were invited to take part in a survey at the end of the registration process. In addition to the standard questions on registration, residents were also asked whether they were aware of the election in November. 31% of respondents said that they were aware of the PCC election in November compared to an average of 39% across the participating councils.

In conclusion despite the challenges of a new election and voting system combined with a November poll, there were no significant problems encountered during the hours of poll and verification and count processes ran very smoothly. The vast majority of negative comments from residents were about the lack of pre-election material particularly in relation to candidates and this has been fed back to the Electoral Commission and the Association of Electoral Administrators.
Consideration was given to a report that provided information of new statutory requirements which had been introduced regarding executive meetings and decisions.

The Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) Meetings and Access to Information (England) Regulations 2012 (“the Regulations”) affected the arrangements for meetings and decisions of Cabinet, and of Officers when making decisions under executive powers.

The majority of the provisions in the Regulations did not affect the long standing arrangements and procedures relating to Cabinet Meetings and decisions and decisions made by Officers under executive delegated powers. However, there were certain requirements which had resulted in new or revised arrangements and procedures having to be established.

The report highlighted the changes to the following:-

• Exempt / Confidential Cabinet Reports
• Key Decisions
• Executive Decisions by Officers
• Background papers

New Criminal offences had been introduced of intentionally obstructing anyone, without reasonable excuse, from exercising their right to inspect or copy, or be provided with a copy of Cabinet agendas, reports, background papers or decision records.

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