Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cabinet Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 11th February, 2016
Time:
4.30pm
Place:
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

Present:
Cllr Robert Cook (Chair); Cllr Jim Beall, Cllr Nigel Cooke, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Steve Nelson and Cllr Norma Wilburn.
Officers:
N Schneider (CE), J Danks, P K Bell (DCE), B Brown, G Morton (HR, L&C), G Cummings, I Coxon (F&BS); R McGuckin, C Renahan (EG&D); J Humphreys, M Grey, D McConnell (CHS); L Hanley (A&H).
In Attendance:
Cllr Lynn Hall, Cllr Ross Patterson and members of the public.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Mike Smith.
Item Description Decision
Public
CAB
104/15
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Mrs McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 4 - Stockton Strategic Partnership - Brighter Borough for All as she was a member of Billingham Town Council.

Councillor Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 4 - Stockton Strategic Partnership - Brighter Borough for All as he was a member of the Central Locality Forum.

Councillor Mrs Wilburn declared a personal prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - The Future Management Arrangements for the Council's Leisure Facilities as she was a on the board of TAL. Councillor Mrs Wilburn withdrew from the meeting and left the room during consideration of the item.

Councillor Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 8 - Procedure for Admission of Pupils to Primary and Secondary Schools in September 2017 as he was on the Board of Governors at one of the schools detailed within the report.

Councillor Mrs McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 8 - Procedure for Admission of Pupils to Primary and Secondary Schools in September 2017 as she was on the Board of Governors at one of the schools detailed within the report.

Councillor Cook declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 8 - Procedure for Admission of Pupils to Primary and Secondary Schools in September 2017 as his grandchildren were at two of the schools detailed within the report.

Councillor Beall declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 8 - Procedure for Admission of Pupils to Primary and Secondary Schools in September 2017 as he was the Chair of the Board of Governors at one of the schools detailed within the report.

Councillor Wilburn declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 10 - Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) - Special Educational Needs Reform as her grandson had special needs.

Councillor Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 13 - Town Centre's Progress Update as he was on Tristar Board and his son worked within security in Stockton town centre.

Councillor Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Draft Director of Public Health Annual Report 2014/15 as he was a member of Catalyst.

Councillor Cooke declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 15 - Council Plan 2016 - 19 as he was on the Board of Tees Music Alliance.

Councillor Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 15 - Council Plan 2016 - 19 as he was on Tristar Board and Catalyst.
CAB
105/15
MINUTES
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2016 and 21 January 2016 be confirmed as a correct record.
CAB
106/15
A BRIGHTER BOROUGH FOR ALL
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160015
RESOLVED that the refreshed Brighter Borough for All Framework be agreed.
CAB
107/15
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUESTS
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160016
RESOLVED that:-

1. The detail of the report be noted.

2. The opportunities presented through recent restructures be maximised to provide an effective gatekeeping and signposting function.

3. A case management tool be used wider, maximising any automated functionality.

4. Key officers be trained on the use and interpretation of the Freedom of Information legislation including practice and procedures adopted by the council.

5. The Councils Publication Scheme be reviewed and refreshed linking the publication of information to frequently requested data sets.

6. Good practice continues to be shared with local and regional benchmarking groups.

7. Opportunities be maximised resulting from the Parliamentary review of the Freedom of Information Act, once published.
CAB
108/15
THE FUTURE MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE COUNCIL'S LEISURE FACILITIES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160017
RESOLVED that:-

1. A new funding agreement be entered into with Tees Active to allow them to continue to deliver leisure services in Stockton beyond 2019.

2. Agreement of detailed terms of the funding agreement be delegated to the Director of Culture, Events & Leisure, in conjunction with the Leader of the Council.
CAB
109/15
MINUTES OF VARIOUS BODIES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160018
RESOLVED That the minutes of the meetings detailed in the appendices be approved / received, as appropriate.
CAB
110/15
PROCEDURE FOR ADMISSION OF PUPILS TO PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN SEPTEMBER 2017
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160019
RESOLVED that:-

1. The proposed Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme for Primary, Secondary, Voluntary Aided (VA) schools, Academies and Free School (point 8 and Appendix 1) be agreed.

2. The proposed admission numbers for Primary and Secondary schools for September 2017 (point 10 and Appendix 2) be agreed.

3. The proposed Admission Policy for September 2017 (point 11 and Appendix 3) be agreed.
CAB
111/15
EARLY HELP UPDATE ON PROGRESS AND NEXT STEPS
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160020
RESOLVED that:-

1. The progress on implementation of the strategy be noted.

2. The proposed future actions be endorsed.

3. Further reports on actions and progress be received.
CAB
112/15
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES (SEND) -SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS REFORM - UPDATE.
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160021
RESOLVED that:-

1. The progress made in the implementation of the SEN reform legislation be noted.

2. The next steps for work on the reform be noted.
CAB
113/15
LA NOMINATIONS FOR CABINET ON 11 FEBRUARY 2016
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160022
RESOLVED that the following appointments be made to the vacant Governorships in line with agreed procedures subject to successful List 99 check and Personal Disclosure:-

St. Patrick's RC Primary School - Cllr M Clark

The Management Committee of Bishopton Centre Pupil Referral Unit - Rev L McWilliams
CAB
114/15
SOUTH OF THE BOROUGH INVESTMENT UPDATE
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160023
RESOLVED that:-

1. The content of the report be noted.

2. The work undertaken to date be supported.

3. The work planned be supported.
CAB
115/15
TOWN CENTRES PROGRESS UPDATE
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160024
RESOLVED that:-

1. The progress on infrastructure and economic development projects across town centres be noted.

2. The production of a draft Stockton Town Centre Prospectus be noted and final agreement of content and use in public be delegated to the Leader, Deputy Leader and Director of Economic Growth and Development.
CAB
116/15
DPH ANNUAL REPORT 2014/15
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160025
RECOMMENDED to Council that the report be noted.
CAB
117/15
COUNCIL PLAN
 
Cabinet Decision Record D160026
RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

1. The draft Council Plan be endorsed and approved.

2. Delegated authority be given, for the agreement of targets for key performance indicators, to the Director of Finance & Business Services, in consultation with the Leader of the Council.
4.30 pm - 6.30 pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
CAB
105/15
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meetings held on 14 January 2016 and 21 January 2016.
CAB
106/15
Consideration was given to a report that presented the refreshed framework for tackling household poverty. The original Brighter Borough for All framework was developed in 2013 as part of the review of the Local Strategic Partnership and in response to a statutory requirement for a Child Poverty Strategy. The framework focussed particularly on families which included children. As a result of implemented and proposed changes under the national welfare reform policy and work undertaken locally to understand impact and needs, the Brighter Borough for All framework had been updated to include the wider range of people potentially at risk of poverty.

The original key objectives of ‘Giving Every Child the Best Start in Life' and ‘Maximising Family Income' had been retained, with the latter being amended to ‘Maximising household income.' An additional objective of ‘Maximising access to support for groups such as the under 35 years with no children, crisis or particular health need who find themselves experiencing poverty'.

The Locality Forums and relevant thematic partnerships had been developing action plans and activity aimed at addressing the key objectives and the outcomes were fed back at the annual Stockton Strategic Partnership business event. The 2016 annual business event was scheduled for 1st March.

The long-awaited national strategy update and performance measures from Central Government had not materialised although they had announced their intention of producing a Life Chances Strategy and indicated the sort of performance indicators they were considering using to measure success. This had been factored in to the refreshed framework.

Following approval of the revised framework it was proposed that the refreshed objectives and measures be formally ‘launched' at the 2016 annual business event on 1st March 2016. The Locality Forums would use the revised framework to shape their 2016-17 action plans and the locality profiles produced in 2013 would be updated to help inform prioritisation.
CAB
107/15
Consideration was given to a report that presented the context, findings and recommendations following the officer led review of practice with respect to Freedom of Information requests. The review reported into Executive Scrutiny Committee, details of their scrutiny, challenge and comments were detailed within the report.

The scoping document for the Freedom of Information (FOI) Review was attached to the report. The report highlighted the key lines of enquiry.

The report detailed the context and findings from the review.

The Executive Scrutiny Committee considered the scope of the review on 15th September 2015, the baseline challenge and option appraisal was considered on the 24th November and the 16th December 2015 respectively. An outline of the information received and discussion was detailed within the report. Members considered the recommendations detailed above and requested that they be presented to Cabinet for approval.

Following the approval of the recommendations, an action plan would be developed to progress the recommendations, with reports on progress referred back to Executive Scrutiny committee as appropriate.
CAB
108/15
Consideration was given to a report on the future management arrangements for the Council's leisure facilities

Tees Active Limited (TAL) was set up by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council (SBC) and had been operating SBC Leisure facilities since May 2004. They were formed as a charitable social enterprise, an industrial and provident society, for the benefit of the community. They were a non-profit distributing company with all surpluses reinvested into the service.

Over the past decade SBC and TAL had developed a strong strategic partnership, jointly investing in facility improvements and planning services for the long-term, achieving continuous growth in usage for reduced subsidies. Since 2004 TAL had reduced the subsidy per visitor from 1.66 to 75p.

To ensure continuity of this strategic alliance, giving TAL planning certainty as a basis for commercial investment decisions, Officers sought approval to enter a further funding agreement beyond the term of the current agreement.

TAL currently manage Billingham Forum, Splash, Thornaby Pavilion, Thornaby Pool, The River Tees White Water Course (which also includes the Sky-Climb facility).

The future funding would be on a reducing basis, reflecting continued budget pressures.
CAB
109/15
In accordance with the Council's Constitution or previous practice the minutes of the meeting of the bodies indicated below were submitted to Members for consideration:-

SLSCB - 19 November 2015
TVU Leadership Board - 28 October 2015
CAB
110/15
Consideration was given to a report on the admission arrangements the Local Authority (LA) was proposing for primary and secondary schools in September 2017. In order to comply with legislation for admissions in 2017, the report included the full Co-ordinated Admission Arrangements and Admission numbers for Primary and Secondary Schools for that year.

The report included reference to the Children and Young People Select Committee - Scrutiny Review of School Organisation and Admission Arrangements (Phase 2).

The new Admissions Code published December 2014 underpinned the Government aimed to create a schools system shaped by parents which delivered excellence and equity, developing the talents and potential of every child, regardless of their background; a system where all parents feel they had the same opportunities to apply for the school they want.

Within Stockton-On-Tees the aim was to ensure that the admission arrangements were in line with the principle of fair access to educational opportunity. The LAs current policies, procedures and the additional information to be published in the Primary and Secondary Admissions Booklets 2017 for parents supported this.

Attached to the report was a copy of the Stockton on Tees Co-ordinated Admission Scheme for admissions in 2017/18 which included the timetable.

The proposed Admission Numbers for September 2017 in Community, VA, Academies and Free Schools was also attached to the report. This showed the proposed increase in school admission numbers across the Borough.

The proposed Admission Policy for 2017/18 gave priority to applications for admission to a Community and Voluntary Controlled Primary or Secondary school if that school was oversubscribed. Details of this was also attached to the report.
CAB
111/15
Consideration was given to a report on the progress of implementation of the Early Help and Prevention Strategy. It included details of progress and achievements to date, an assessment of outcomes and impact, and proposed a series of priorities for 2016/17, to form the basis of a revised action plan.

Early help was used to take action as soon as possible to tackle problems that had already emerged in working with children, young people and families. Although an early intervention approach could be used at any time of life, it was usually adopted by services from conception to early adulthood, and was usually referred to as ‘early help' in this context.

A variety of national research in recent years had established the basis for early help in delivering better outcomes for children, young people and families. There were also significant costs associated with ‘late intervention', and the national estimates were detailed within the report.

The strategy was linked to a range of existing activity around the theme of early help, and was designed to embed an approach which was long term and transformative, both to ensure that children, young people and families had better outcomes, and also to address the challenges and costs of late intervention, including the Council. It was developed in part from previous Ofsted inspection in 2013 which identified that whilst children were supported effectively by a range of Early Help services in Stockton, there was a need to develop a co-ordinated Early Help offer overall.

The report highlighted the current position and evidence of progress.

The range of future actions set out within the report had been identified as the basis for the further evolution of early help in 2016. Elements of this approach were discussed in detail at the LSCB Board session on 18 December, and would be further refined through a refocused Early Help Partnership Group, reporting into the Children and Young People's Partnership and the Health and Wellbeing Board. A detailed implementation plan for the Early Help and Prevention Strategy would be developed for 2016/17. The future priorities and proposals were based around the priorities in the strategy.

The further implementation of early help provided the opportunity to consider the future of the troubled families programme and to ensure it was more clearly aligned to reducing the need for social care involvement. The key aspects of a proposed approach were detailed within the report.
CAB
112/15
Consideration was given to a report on Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) - Special Educational Needs Reform.

The Children and Families Act (2014) part 3 introduced significant changes to the system for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) from September 2014 (SEN reform). A report on the implementation of the reform was presented to Cabinet on 16th July 2015.

The report provided a further update on implementation and the current position, as well as detailing next steps.

The Local Authority had been implementing the requirements of SEN reform since September 2014. The areas that the work had focused on were detailed within the report.

As part of the recent Children's Services review the new 0-25 SEN Team was set up. All appointments had been made to the team and staff were in place.

The 0-25 SEN Team was responsible for the new SEN systems and processes. However as the legislation applied to Local Authorities, health partners and a range of education providers, and required close working with parents and carers, there had been multi agency and partnership working during the implementation, and this continued.

A key strand of the legislation was the replacement of statements of special educational need and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs) with Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans. EHC plans had the same legal status as statements and greater rights and protections than LDAs.

The Local Authority continued to deliver three strands of work:
• The new system for Education, Health and Care (EHC) assessments
• The transfer process from statements to EHC plans (see paragraphs 22 to 24)
• Continuation of the previous system with annual reviews for children and young people with statements of SEN until they transfer to the new system.

A table within the report showed a comparison between the numbers of requests for assessment under the previous SEN system in the last academic year of that system as compared with the number of requests in the first year of the new system. A further table showed the information about the completion of EHC plans in legal timescales since the implementation of the reform in September 2014.

A consultation on the revised process had taken place and the resulting 20 week process was attached to the report. This would be implemented from February 2016. The key changes were detailed within the report.

With regard to the next steps the 0-25 SEN team was delivering most of the requirements of the SEN reform as part of its ongoing work. However a SEN Development group had been formed to take forward work on the reform.

The group had members from the Local Authority, health partners and education providers and reports to the Children and Young People's partnership.

The Local Authority had acknowledged that at present outcomes were not strong for children and young people with SEN. A next step would be to consider the impact of the strategies described in the report, such as the revised EHCP process, the targeting of annual reviews and support for SENCOs in improving these outcomes. The 0-25 SEN Team had a support and challenge strand to its work and this would assist with this.

Linked to the work outlined in the report, work was taking place to reduce spending from the High Needs Funding which supports children and young people with SEN with and without EHC plans. There was significant pressure on the budget, and the 0-25 SEN Team was working closely with Schools Forum to ensure that funding was correctly targeted to meet children's needs, and monitored for impact and improving outcomes.
CAB
113/15
Consideration was given to a report on Local Authority Governors on School / Academy 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.
CAB
114/15
Consideration was given to a report on that gave an update on the investment in the South of the Borough.

There were challenging times; with limited resources and increasing responsibilities. The pattern of economic growth, impact of the National Planning Policy Framework and infrastructure needs in general in the Borough continue to change rapidly.

Stockton-on-Tees was a growing borough that had proved resilient in the face of significant economic challenges. Its population, workforce and overall number of jobs had increased in the past 20 years, despite the impacts of recession.

Traditionally the focus of housing development in the South of the Borough had been in Ingleby Barwick. However, with a high demand for the properties had come significant pressure on the local road network and community facilities. Continued investment by private housing developers, and further housing and school planning permissions, some granted at appeal, saw yet more pressure on local facilities and road network. Additionally, there had been a number of planning permissions granted in the Allens West and Urlay Nook areas of Eaglescliffe, and in and around Yarm.

The Council's desire to create and retain top class infrastructure and facilities remained, and so in the 2015-16 budget setting process, the Council agreed the allocation of nearly 10M to support future (infrastructure) investments and regeneration related activities, following their 2014-15 allocation of nearly 6M.

The report updated Members on:-

Ingleby Barwick Leisure Facility
Road Network Improvements
Preston Park
Green Infrastructure
Yarm High Street & Library
Teesside Park Highway Improvements

A further progress report would be brought to Cabinet in due course.
CAB
115/15
Consideration was given to a report that updated Members on the progress of regeneration, economic development and infrastructure projects across the Borough's town centres.

The report contained detailed of infrastructure works on Stockton High Street, progress on initiatives to support retail and business growth, enhancements to Stockton's market offer, economic development projects and business support along with details of works in Yarm, Norton, Billingham and Thornaby, town centres.
CAB
116/15
Consideration was given to a report on the draft Annual Report of the Director of Public Health for Stockton Borough Council for 2014/15. The Report outlined the key health and wellbeing challenges and opportunities in Stockton Borough, particularly around health inequalities. The Report outlined work over the past year to address local health 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.
CAB
117/15
Consideration was given to a report that presented a draft Council Plan for 2016-19, prior to it being submitted to Council for approval. A copy of the plan was attached to the report.

The Council Plan set out the overall ambitions and priorities of the Council and described the key outcomes, objectives and activities. It also identified the key performance indicators to be used to challenge and monitor progress. It aimed to provide clarity and focus for Councillors, managers, staff, members of the public and partners about the Council's ambitions and direction of travel.

The contents of the Council Plan 2016-19 was as follows:-

Foreword - joint statement from the Leader and Chief Executive
Section 1 - Vision, policy principles and culture
Section 2 - Context and background
Section 3 - Resources
Section 4 - Outcomes, objectives and activities
Section 5 - Key performance indicators
Section 6 - Outcomes, objectives and activities (by policy principle)

The final version of the plan would include, at Section 5, targets for the key performance indicators. Targets were being considered using the latest available outturn data and, where available, revised targets were included in the plan. However, for some indicators where year-end data was required, Cabinet recommended to Council that delegated authority, for the agreement of targets for key performance indicators, be given to the Director of Finance & Business Services, in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

Discussion sessions had been organised for the 10 and 11 February 2016, for elected members to discuss the Council Plan 2016-19 alongside the medium term financial plan arrangements.

Further work target setting for key performance indicators continued as year-end data becomes available.

A summary version of the Council Plan 2016-19 would be developed following approval of the full version of the plan.

Both the full and summary version of the Council Plan 2016-19 would be published on the Council's website following approval by Council in March 2016.

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