|Consideration was given to a report on Local Authority Representatives on School Governing Bodies.|
In accordance with the procedure for the appointment of school / academy governors, approved as Minute CAB 27/13 of the Cabinet (13 June 2013), Cabinet was invited to consider the nominations to school / academy Governing Bodies listed in the attachment to the report.
|Consideration was given to a report on the Care Act 2014.|
The Care Act 2014 (the Act) introduced major reforms to the legal framework for Adult Social Care: to the funding system; to the duties of local authorities; and to the rights of those in need of social care. Being introduced in two phases, Social Care Reform, which would take effect from April 2015, and Funding Reform, which would take effect from April 2016, the Act had significant implications for local authorities.
The report outlined the background to the Act, the key requirements under the Act, the changes that were required, the plans in place, and progress being made in preparations for Act readiness. In addition to preparations to ensure compliance with the duties under the Act there were a number of areas of discretion that involved local determination. The report presented the key points of discretion to Cabinet for consideration.
|Consideration was given to a report on the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards - Update.|
A report to Cabinet in October 2014 provided details of the changes to the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards following the Supreme Court Judgement on the Cheshire West and Cheshire Council and Surrey County Council cases. The implications for the Council in relation to this were also outlined, including details of the work in progress to identify the risks and resource implications of the revised legal framework. The report provided an update on operational activity and financial projections for 2015-16.
Following an initial scoping exercise, a work programme was in progress to ensure that clients were not unlawfully deprived of their liberty. Working practices had also been reviewed to ensure that the new test was embedded in practice and risks to vulnerable clients and the Council were mitigated as far as is reasonably practicable.
Client assessments were being prioritised by client group and care and support arrangements. It had been recognised that the additional work resulting from the Supreme Court Judgement was creating workload pressures across Adult Services and the 0-25 team. The following dedicated staffing resource was in place until the end of March 2015, with the expectation that this resource would continue to be required for the full 2015/2016 financial year in order to meet demand.
1 WTE Commissioning manager to oversee the administrative function of the Safeguards
2 WTE x Senior Administrators to administer each application for authorisation of a DoL
3 WTE Best Interest Assessors
A project Manager had also been appointed until 31 March 2016 in order to support the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards function and develop a sustainable process, which would incorporate monitoring and quality assurance requirements. An additional 3 WTE Social Workers were also being recruited so that the required 3-monthly (minimum) care-management reviews for all clients subject to a DoL authorisation were completed. This was to ensure that the authorisation continued to be needed, and that it was the least restrictive way of providing the care and support. The need for additional legal staff resource was also being considered. The additional staff resource needed to be in place until 31st March 2016 in the first instance to enable monitoring and review to inform substantive arrangements.
It was acknowledged in the previous Cabinet report that there were additional direct costs relating to:-
Payments to Mental Health Act s.12 approved doctors, who were commissioned to carry out the required mental capacity assessments for clients.
Payments to Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs)
Court of Protection applications for clients living in supported living arrangements. These costs were associated with the application, the hearing and the mental capacity assessment.
Attached to the report were details of the costs for 2014-15 and the projected costs for 2015-16.
The next steps were:-
The action plan would continue to be implemented.
Options to incorporate the additional work and potential new ways of working are being explored and would be considered at Adult Care Management Team and the Adult Board in due course.
The Local Executive Committee (Safeguarding Adults) would continue to be informed of progress against the action plan.
The Local Safeguarding Childrens Board would continue to receive updates on the elements of the operational plan that related to young people aged between 16 and 18 years.
Consideration of the requirements for Quality Assurance of the whole process would be incorporated into the operational plan.
|Consideration was given to the Draft Director of Public Health Annual Report 2013/14.|
This was the draft Annual Report of the Director of Public Health for Stockton Borough Council for 2013/14. The Report outlined the key health and wellbeing challenges and opportunities in Stockton Borough, particularly around health inequalities. Stockton Borough was the Local Authority with the widest inequality in life expectancy nationally: 16yrs for men and 11.4yrs for women. As set out by Dr McGonigle (Chief Medical Officer 1924-1939), social and economic determinants impact on health and wellbeing. The Report outlined work over the past year to address these challenges, including service reviews, commissioning, population-wide programmes and work with partners. The Report fits with the priorities in the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2012-18 and the Council Plan.
Key areas of work and ongoing challenges are outlined in relation to:-
Addressing inequalities e.g. NHS Health Checks and Lung Checks, smoking, cancer screening uptake and fuel poverty
Creating population impact
Service reviews e.g. weight management and school nursing services
Specialist Public Health support and advice to the NHS
Protecting the health of the population e.g. management of outbreaks and immunisations
The Report also outlined progress on three key challenges from last years Report and endorsed their continued importance:-
No alcohol in pregnancy
Fizzy drinks full of added sugars should only be a rare treat, especially for children
Read to your child every day - a great way to bond with your child and help them develop
|Consideration was given to a report that provided an update on the Asset Review and built on earlier reports to Members.|
The Report summarised progress in implementing recommendations in respect of the Review of Libraries and provided an update on progress around Asset Transfer arrangements and provided recommendations around Site Disposal Strategy.
Previous reports outlined the approach to the Councils assets and investments in schools capital, with the latest being presented to Cabinet in June 2014.
This was the latest in a series of reports on the EIT Asset Review which had a saving target of £1,000,000 in the MTFP. This was estimated to deliver £1,400,000 once savings from the Education Centre and Ragworth Neighbourhood Centre were realised.
The report provided an update on Community Asset Transfer and an update on progress of both the Community Building Trust and individual asset transfer requests were included as well as an update on sites included within the Disposal Strategy including an update on Education Centre, Playing Pitch Strategy and Grangefield Site.
|Consideration was given to a report on the minutes of various bodies.|
In accordance with the Councils Constitution or previous practice the minutes of the meeting of the bodies indicated below were submitted to members for consideration:-
Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board - 12th January 2015
Safer Stockton Partnership - 11th November 2014
SLSCB Board Meeting - 20th November 2014
|Consideration was given to a report, and subsequent monthly updates, that provided Members with an overview of the economic climate, outlining the effects that this was having on Stockton Borough, and the mitigations already in place and those being developed in response to this. |
Following the recession in 2008 Stockton Councils ambition remained the same; to create a borough that was more confident, vibrant and successful than ever before; where business and people prosper and grow. To do this the Council must understand the nature and extent of opportunities and challenges that exist within Stocktons economy.
The monthly update report enabled a focused account to be made of any recent changes to economic circumstances (both positive and negative), the direct impact that this may be having on the Borough, and the responses and mitigations either in place or being developed to support businesses and residents. Attached to the report was a summary of those changes and responses.
|Consideration was given to a report that presented a draft Council Plan for 2015-18, prior to it being submitted for Full Council approval. A copy of the Council Plan 2015 - 18 was available on egenda. |
Last year, the Council Plan 2014 - 17 underwent a robust review process prior to approval by Council in March 2014. As a result , it was agreed that the refresh of the plan for 2015- 18 would be light touch, taking into consideration any new legislative and policy changes, rolling forward ongoing actions and removing those completed. Details of the Policy and Legislative changes, performance measures and targets would also be rolled forward or reviewed as required. A full review would take place next year following the May 2015 local and national elections.
New policy and legislative changes that had emerged since the development of the plan last year were considered and mapped against existing objectives and actions in section 4 of the plan. This identified where existing activity already supported any new policy changes or highlighted potential gaps. A copy of this mapping exercise was available on egenda.
Discussions took place at each Service Group Management Team meeting, providing a challenge to the list of policy and legislative changes and identifying any new objectives and actions for inclusion in the 2015- 18 plan. Discussions also highlighted completed actions and considered arrangements for monitoring outcomes and provisional target setting.
The Council Plan 2015/18 was in 2 parts. The front end sections 1 - 3, sets out the Councils overall ambition, vision, policy principles and priorities and provided the context in which the Council delivered its services. This was supported by narrative providing information about changing demographics, details of national policy and legislation that had informed the plan, the links to other key strategic plans, consultation activity, both internal and external challenge and inspection regimes that supported the priority setting and improvement programme.
The second part, sections 4 and 5, provided the activity to be undertaken detailed by theme and the agreed policy principles. It set out the desired outcome, key objectives and related actions to be delivered through the duration of the plan. The final version of the plan would include a range of indicators and targets on which progress could be monitored and success measured. Targets were being considered using the latest available outturn data and where available revised targets were included in the plan however for some residual measures where year-end data was required, Cabinet was requested to delegate the decision on approval of these targets to the Corporate Director for Resources in conjunction with the Leader of the Council.
Discussion sessions had been organised for the 10th and 13th February 2015, for elected members to discuss the Council Plan 2015/18 alongside the medium term financial plan arrangements. Group discussions were also ongoing.
Further work on residual measures and target setting continued as year-end data releases become available.
A summary version of the Council Plan 2015-18 was to be developed following approval of the full version of the plan.
Both the full and summary version of the Council Plan 2015- 18 would be published on the councils Web Site following approval by Council in March 2015.
|Consideration was given to a report on the Learning and Development Strategy 2015 - 2019 and Induction Programme Following the Local Government Election.|
Members were presented with the proposed changes to the Member Learning & Development Strategy and the proposed Induction arrangements in readiness for the next Council elections in 2015.
The proposed Learning & Development Strategy 2015 - 2019 outlined the Councils support and development priorities for Elected Members was attached to the report.
As noted in the Strategy, Member Development needs would be identified and delivered within the main themes of:-
Corporate Training Needs
Role of Members / Identifying Personal Support Needs
The 2015 Induction Programme would be advertised and included in Candidates and Agents packs prior to the May elections.
Elected Members would receive a Getting You Started pack on the day of the Count, which would include key information regarding car parking, Map / Addresses for Council Officers, door codes etc. Full demographic Ward profiles would also be given to all Members and all Members would be offered an opportunity to conduct Ward Walks in the company of relevant officers from each Service Area.
The induction would commence on the first Monday following the elections (11th May 2015). The Induction Programme was attached to the report for Members consideration.
|Consideration was given to a report on Combined Authority for the Tees Valley.|
The report provided information on the outcome of the consultation results, details of the Draft Scheme and an outline of the future timetable.
At the Cabinet meeting of 4 December 2014 a report was received in respect of the potential creation of a Combined Authority for the Tees Valley (including Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar & Cleveland). As part of the report it was agreed to undertake consultation as outlined and receive a further report prior to the submission of a draft scheme to the Secretary of State.
The report incorporated a recap on the rationale for the establishment of a Combined Authority (the original report was attached for Members information) and how it would support the achievement of economic goals, the results from the consultation and the draft scheme for submission to the Secretary of State.
A great strength of the area had been its ability to demonstrate its unity of purpose in securing a more prosperous economic future. The five local authorities of the Tees Valley, working together with business as the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), had firmly established the sub-region on the national stage. Building on the strengths of the partnership, it was clear that new arrangements and powers would:-
Combine the strengths of the LEP with new powers afforded by a Combined Authority
Be non-bureaucratic. A Combined Authority which operated as the LEP would achieve this
Be cost-effective. The analysis estimated that there was limited additional cost across the Tees Valley to deliver more effective decision-making and delivery of the strategy
Not re-create the former Cleveland County Council. A Combined Authority would not do this; it would assist decision-making on matters of jointly agreed priorities of economic development, skills and transport across the five Boroughs, and
Ensure continued work in harmony with business
The Authorities were hugely ambitious for the Tees Valley and the communities. The existing governance arrangements had served the Tees Valley well but it was a fast changing world and it was essential that the Tees Valley built on its success. The economy could only grow if the Tees Valley Authorities all work together, and the speed at which change was occurring warrants an appraisal of options that would help to strengthen decision-making and further develop the partnership.
The Tees Valley wanted to be a big player, competing successfully alongside other, often much larger, sub-regions, both in the UK and internationally. The Tees Valley had always been ahead of the competition as illustrated by the establishment of the Enterprise Zone and RGF awards, for example. The Tees Valley had achieved this through being innovative, collaborative and creative. The Tees Valley must remain in the premier league, rather than risk lagging behind. The Tees Valley had a strong track-record of working together, recognised nationally, but it had an opportunity to cement the partnership through a Combined Authority and benefit from the security of approach this would bring for the Tees Valley and its partners.
The funds for which TVU was responsible would increase substantially in size with EU Structural Funds, Local Growth Fund, the schemes approved through the City Deal (e.g. the Business and Skills Hubs) and funds returning from the Enterprise Zones. Future governments may well channel further additional resources through Combined Authorities. The Tees Valley would need to ensure that the decision-making, accountability and claw-back in relation to these funds were effective, efficient and meet the requirements of funders.
Part of the rationale for the Combined Authority was to make decision-making more efficient by requiring just one decision instead of five locally. The major prize, however, was the devolution of powers from Government and the opportunities afforded by reversing decades of centralisation in the UK.
As a Combined Authority, the Tees Valley would want to attain the same level of powers on transport as had been held by Integrated Transport Authorities (formerly Passenger Transport Authorities) which had been transferred to every one of the five newly created Combined Authorities. The Tees Valley was unique in that it did not have an Integrated Transport Authority. Attaining the same transport powers as other Combined Authorities would support the ambitions to accelerate economic growth, recognising the need to improve:-
Connectivity within the Tees Valley, improving access to work, leisure etc,
Connectivity between the Tees Valley and other regional and national centres to improve both mobility and our logistics industry, a key driver of economic growth, and
Connectivity internationally, to scale up exports and inward investment
These ambitions covered road, rail, air and sea; for freight, passengers, commuters and visitors.
In relation to economic development it was assumed broad well-being powers to promote economic prosperity, had the power to accept devolved funding for economic development purposes and to manage significant investment in transport and economic infrastructure to boost economic growth.
The creation of a Combined Authority would benefit the communities by improving the Tees Valley ability to:-
Create employment opportunities;
Target resources to skills development where they are most needed;
Attract businesses here to make the most of opportunities especially in new and emerging industries as we diversify our economy; and
Create the transport infrastructure and strategy that helps people and goods move around the Tees Valley more effectively, and between the Tees Valley and other centres both nationally and internationally.
There had never been a better time to establish a Combined Authority.
As was highlighted in the last report the Combined Authority would consist of a representative Member appointed by each of the five Tees Valley Authorities, with the intention being that this would be either the Authoritys Leader or directly elected Mayor, each with one vote.
Members on the Combined Authority could co-opt others (e.g. business representatives) in line with the TVU Leadership Board. The Chair and Vice-Chair would be appointed annually for a one year term by the Combined Authority from amongst the representative Members of the constituent Local Authorities and the positions would rotate between the constituent Councils each year.
Part 6 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 stated that every Combined Authority must put into place arrangements for the review and scrutiny of the discharge of its functions. The proposed scrutiny arrangements for the Tees Valley Combined Authority were based upon and incorporate CLG guidance and it was proposed that there be a Scrutiny Panel of 3 Councillors from each of the Tees Valley constituent councils. This was consistent with a number of Combined Authorities already set up and would produce a sensible number of Councillors to be a Panel for the Tees Valley. Membership of the Scrutiny Panel must be politically proportionate.
As agreed as part of the report in December 2014 a consultation process had been running across all five local authorities. Attached to the report were the results of the consultation which provided more detail than was included in the report.
The consultation ran from 10 December 2014 to 31 January 2015 and was publicised through press releases, inclusion on authority websites, social media and direct contact across the five boroughs.
In total there were over 1900 responses (of which 1638 were residents) which was a significant return. It was important that the numbers of responses were maximised (hence the promotion around the consultation). As context, when the consultation was undertaken in the north of the region in respect of the establishment of their Combined authority there were a total of 650 responses to the consultation (of which 450 were residents).
The results were supportive of the creation of a Combined Authority. A number of people did not answer the question. Of the 1828 responses almost 65% were in favour of the creation of a Combined Authority (with 27% against and 8% dont know).
In addition to the responses to the questions posed there had been a number of comments made. These had been both in favour and against the creation of a Combined Authority and a range of them were reflected in the attached report.
The results of the consultation were clearly in favour of the creation of a Combined Authority and a strong endorsement of the proposals.
The Authorities were required to submit a draft scheme for the operation of the Combined Authority to the Secretary of State to lay the appropriate orders in Parliament.
A draft Terms of Reference was submitted to Cabinet in December. Attached to the report was the proposed Draft Scheme for submission to the Secretary of State for the Combined Authority. There were no significant differences between the draft scheme and the draft Terms of Reference previously submitted. It set out a comprehensive list of its functions in relation to each of the functional areas. It also set out the decisions that the Combined Authority would take, alongside the decisions to be taken by the local authorities.
Based on this, the principal functions of the Combined Authority would be to:-
(i) Set the strategic economic vision, key priorities and outcomes for the Tees Valley area, in relation to:-
Strategic Transport and Infrastructure
Employment and Skills
Low Carbon; and to
(ii) Fulfil other duties and responsibilities including to:-
determine the use of funding received for joint purposes;
approve the commissioning of capital projects; and
consider funding agreements and joint venture arrangements
There were a number of stages to the process of becoming a Combined Authority as defined by Government, and this dictated, in part, the timescale for securing this status.
Following consideration of the matter by respective Cabinets / Finance and Policy Committees officers from each of the five councils had been working on the drawing up of the scheme what the Combined Authority was, what its powers were intended to be, who was on it, how it would operate. It was expected that there would be consultation locally on Tees Valley scheme before submitting it to Government.
Following consideration by each of the Finance and Policy Committees / Cabinets the proposals included in the report required consideration and endorsement by each of the respective Councils before submission to the Secretary of State.
The next stage involved Government engaging and consulting on the Tees Valley scheme. The Tees Valley had consulted locally already, effectively warming up the partners, business and stakeholders to the benefits of the proposals and providing the opportunity for any comments and views to be expressed. If Government concluded that the proposals were supported and meet statutory criteria of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of transport and economic development and delivering economic growth, then Government would move to the final stages.
The final stage involved the laying of an Order before both Houses of Parliament. Once approved by both Houses, the Order is made and then would come into force on a specified, pre-agreed date.
In broad terms the Tees Valley would be ready to submit the scheme to Government in early April 2015.
The General Election would take place in May 2015 and there would undoubtedly be a delay in proceedings within Government for several weeks afterwards. There was a need for the Order to be debated in both houses of Parliament so the most likely conclusion was that the earliest the Combined Authority could come into being was October 2015 or during the winter of 2015/16.
|Consideration was given to a report on the Recording and Web Broadcasting of Council Meetings.|
The report updated Members regarding the outcome of the meeting of the Members Advisory Panel (the Panel) on the 7 January 2015.
The Panel previously met on 5 September 2014 and agreed that:-
(i) Subject to both a technical and financial appraisal being carried out and reported to Members (of the Panel) initially, and thereafter to Cabinet / Council, agreement in principle be given to this Council recording / web - broadcasting the following meetings, being meetings most likely to engage members of the public:-
(ii) A further report on the results of the appraisals be reported to a future meeting following consideration by Cabinet and Council of the proposed approach.
Cabinet endorsed this approach at its meeting on 6 November 2014.
Council also agreed with the approach at its meeting on the 19 November 2014.
In accordance with these decisions, the Panel considered a report on 7 January 2015 regarding a technical and financial appraisal relating to a particular proposal for the recording and web broadcasting of Council, Cabinet and Planning Committee meetings.
A copy of the relevant report to the Panel was attached as to the report to Cabinet.
The Panel agreed with the approach and proposal set out in paragraphs 9-11 inclusively of the report, including that filming first be introduced at the Annual Meeting on the 3 June 2015.
The Panel also agreed that a review of the recording and web broadcasting of meetings should be carried out 6 months after the first film of a meeting had been published and that before the first meeting to be filmed takes place there was an appropriate level of publicity about what was proposed.