|Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item LSP Update as he was the Chair of the Safer Stockton Partnership and a member of Tristar Board.|
Councillor Ann McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item LSP Update as she was a member of Billingham Town Council.
Councillor Mrs Norma Wilburn declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 11 - Economic Climate Update Report as she was a member of Stockton Riverside College Board.
Councillor Mike Smith declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 11 - Economic Climate Update Report as his employer was named in the report.
Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 12 - Stockton-On-Tees Borough Local Plan as he was a Board Member of Tristar Board.
|Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 19th May 2016.|
|Consideration was given to a report that gave details of the transport provided by Adult Social Care through a variety of options for Adults and Carers with eligible needs across Stockton- on-Tees. |
The policy for the provision of adult social care was aimed at promoting the maximum possible independence for the service user. In extending this principle to the Councils provision of transport services, this policy sets the criteria that would be used to assess whether the service users needs could be best met through independent travel arrangements, taking account of the service users assessed needs and abilities, or whether Council provided transport services were necessary.
This policy rests upon a general assumption and expectation that service users would meet their own needs for transport to access and take advantage of services or support where reasonably possible, and taking into account their assessed needs and abilities. The intention was to promote a culture of:
a. Enabling service users to provide for themselves;
b. Families and carers taking more responsibility for providing for themselves;
c. People using benefits and concessions they were entitled to in order to travel to activities/services; and
d. Social Workers enabling people who could and wanted to travel independently to do so, where this was appropriate, ensuring training was provided to achieve this.
Transport was not a service in its own right: it was a means of accessing services or support. The overriding principle was that the decision to provide transport was based on assessed needs, risks and outcomes and on promoting independence.
Funded transport would only be provided if, in the opinion of the assessor, it was the only reasonable means of ensuring that the service user could be safely transported as part of their assessed and eligible care and support or support. Where there was appropriate transport available (either personal or public transport), it would be assumed that the service user would use this as a first option. Transport would only be provided if alternatives were unavailable or inappropriate for an identified reason.
If funded transport was provided for a service user, a financial assessment would be required and a contribution may be payable towards the cost of all services received, including transport.
An audit of 10% of current service users who received community transport from the Council indicated that it was unlikely that any current users would not be eligible if the draft policy were in place. However, to ensure that all possible opportunities for efficiencies were considered in Adult Services, work was being undertaken to review the utilisation of Council busses, transport costs related to our in-house services at Allensway and Lanark Close and also through our commissioned day services. Services were already being developed locally for people with autism, which would reduce current transport costs for people traveling out of Borough.
A 12 week Consultation was proposed to take place between July and October 2016, consisting of meetings and engagements with key stakeholders including Members, family carers and service users, together with interested organisations and the general public. Advocacy would also be provided to support people and an easy read consultation document would be produced and be available for online completion through the Councils website. A report setting out the outcomes from the consultation would be presented back to Cabinet in the Autumn 2016.
|Cabinet considered an update on the Stockton Local Strategic Partnership (SLSP), the partnership arrangements and infrastructure which support it. This included proposals which took account of changes in the partnership landscape associated with the current SLSP infrastructure and discussions with stakeholders.|
The Stockton Local Strategic Partnership structure, the thematic partnerships and groups, communities of interest and advisory groups in the borough had been subject to several reviews over the years, the last one being in 2013. Since the last review a number of changes had taken place, particularly over the last 12-18 months, which necessitated a refresh of the current arrangements. These changes were as follows.:
- The changes and continued development of Tees Valley Unlimited and the newly constituted Tees Valley Combined Authority increasingly provide a partnership which provides an alternative for the need for a separate Economic and Regeneration thematic group and for the Annual Cultural Forum. The Economic and Regeneration briefings with Chairs and Vice chairs of the Locality Forums have not taken place for the last year. However the sector have been engaged with the authority via special briefings via the Chief Executive and CMT and also directly with Tees Valley Unlimited via the SEP consultations. The Annual Cultural Forum had only held one event since 2013 and the key delivery partners for Culture in Stockton (SBC, ARC, TMA and private entertainment companies and individuals) met regularly, outside of the SLSP structure, to decide a programme of events and activities for the Borough.
- Over the last couple of years the Housing and Neighbourhoods Partnership and the Fuel Poverty Partnership had increasingly found that their priorities and work areas had converged, which had been reflected in some duplication of membership across the two partnerships.
- Since the function of Voice was transferred to Catalyst in 2013 there had been some movement of communities of interest into this structure e.g. LGBT Group, Armed Forces Group and the Cultural Forum, with some Communities of interest remaining with the Council for administration purposes e.g. the Youth Assembly, Disability Advisory Group (DAG) and the Over 50s Assembly. Catalyst also now organised the Annual Environmental Forum.
- The members of the Campus Stockton Collaborative Partnership although meeting regularly and also with colleagues across Tees, had in practice participated in the LSP through other routes and not particularly through this mechanism.
The SLSP strategy - A Brighter Borough for All Tackling Family Poverty was refreshed earlier this year and endorsed by Cabinet in March 2016. The priorities of the strategy were now to:-
a. Give every child the best start in life
b. Maximise family income
c. Maximise access to support for under 35s with no children, crisis or particular health need who were in poverty
The SLSP currently held an Annual Business Meeting and another themed event each year to drive delivery of the strategy. The themed event planned for 2016/17 was on the new strand of the support for the under 35s.
The four SLSP Locality Forums met regularly throughout the year to deliver local responses to the SLSP priorities. It was proposed that the focus of the SLSP remain on tackling poverty in the borough and that the core SLSP and locality arrangements remain unchanged. The SLSP was delivering significant achievements in tackling poverty in the borough. It was proposed that the support for the SLSP and the Locality Forums remain unchanged and be continued to be delivered from the Consultation, Communication and Engagement team within the HR, Legal and Communications directorate within the Council.
It was proposed that a number of changes to the thematic groups, advisory groups and partnerships be supported to reflect the changes in the landscape.
It was proposed that the Over 50s Assembly become part of the Ageing Better Partnership that Catalyst had established and that the partnership became a formally constituted group in its own right in order to access funding for specific projects and activities. The Ageing Better Partnership would continue to function as an SBC reference group for consultations regarding services for older people.
Research into the function of the Disability Advisory Group showed that it had primarily been used as an SBC reference group e.g. the Town Centre consultation on accessibility, car parking etc. It was therefore suggested that this remain supported and be co-ordinated by SBC.
The Youth Assembly was managed and administered by Democratic Services within SBC, and it was proposed that this should remain unchanged.
It was proposed that the Voice groups and the Annual Environmental Forum which were supported and co-ordinated by Catalyst should remain unchanged.
The Health and Well Being Board (HWBB) and Safer Stockton Partnership (SSP) were statutory boards and it was proposed that they would remain unchanged in the structure.
As a result of the developments with the LEP/TVCA and the involvement in the VCSE sector via other routes it was proposed that the Economic and Regeneration briefings and the Annual Cultural Forum were discontinued.
With the focus of the Housing and Neighbourhood Partnership and the Fuel Poverty Partnership converging, after discussions with the secretariat it was proposed to bring these two partnerships together to form a new Housing, Neighbourhoods and Affordable Warmth Partnership. The terms of reference and membership would be refreshed to reflect the new arrangements.
The Area Transport Groups (ATG) were seen as being positive by the majority of the stakeholders and it was proposed that they remain. However it was proposed that a review be carried out of how they operate before the next round of ATG consultations.
The Financial Inclusion Partnership, Infinity, was a key partnership in driving forward the anti-poverty agenda. Infinity was brought into the formal structure in 2014 and they were currently looking at refreshing their membership and action plans.
One of the priorities within the Family Poverty Framework was to give children the best start in life so it was previously agreed that Campus Stockton Collaborative should be in the SLSP structure. However it was proposed that the route of engagement for them be via the Children and Young Peoples Partnership within the HWBB.
A diagram of the new proposed SLSP structure was submitted.
|Consideration was given to a report that gave details on the Annual Green House Gas Emissions.|
In the response to climate change, the Council had a long tradition, a strong track record and had demonstrated significant performance in both reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases (mitigation) and better preparing for extreme climatic events (adaptation). The Council were a Climate Local signatory and were now recognised nationally, and in 2015 the Council rose from 54th to 5th in the rankings of English and Welsh Local Authorities under the independent Local Authority Energy Index for its performance across a range of areas such as energy efficiency and emissions reductions.
Under the former National Indicator set introduced in 2008, local authorities performance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was measured via NI 185 - Percentage CO2 (carbon dioxide) reduction from Local Authority operations. Although the Council were no longer required to report under this indicator, in 2011 the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a framework for all Local Authorities to work together towards a shared vision on energy efficiency and carbon reduction. This included DECC requesting Local Authorities to follow the UK guidance on how to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions (which was aligned to international guidance on greenhouse gas reporting - the GHG Protocol), and to report their progress annually.
The annual report presented Stockton-on-Tees Borough Councils performance for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Council activity in 2015/16, and the Council were required to submit this report to DECC for publishing by 31 July 2016. This years document was the first to report against the challenging annual targets that we set as a Council in May 2016 for emissions reductions over a five year period from 2015 - 2020. These targets were such that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council activity by 21% on 2014/2015 levels by March 2020.
The report to be submitted to DECC in July 2016 was provided which detailed the performance to reduce emissions across all council activity. This was split across seven key areas of activity from energy in buildings, to fleet management and street lighting, and the table of emissions was highlighted.
In 2015/16, the Council had performed extremely well on emissions reductions and had exceeded our challenging targets with notable headlines as follows:-
-In 2015/16 the Council emitted 24,391 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent - measure of all greenhouse gases), representing 0.298 tonnes of CO2e per household;
-The short term challenging target was to reduce the Councils greenhouse gas emissions by 5% on 2014/15 levels by March 2016, but it had far exceeded this with a net 7.8% reduction in the last 12 months, representing a reduction of 2068 tonnes of CO2e per annum;
-Overall scope 1 emissions (stationary or mobile emissions from sources that were owned or controlled directly by the Council) had fallen by 39% since 2012/13;
-This was the first year since our baseline was set in 2009 that all seven areas of emissions activity had shown a decrease in a 12 month period.
During 2015/16, the reduction in emissions from scope 1, 2 and 3 activities represented combined financial savings / cost of avoidance of £250,595. One particular example of success was the ongoing implementation of the street lighting LED replacement programme which had realised savings of just over 1.3m kWh, representing a saving of £144k in the last 12 months alone.
In 2015/16 the Council generated 236.8 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy from our 31 individual renewable energy installations which was all used in situ, and was our highest generating year to date. This represented the annual consumption of approximately 60 average households but perhaps more significantly currently saved in excess of £30k per annum through not having to purchase that electricity. Our generating capacity had increased significantly over recent years, from just 8MWh in 2011/12.
It must be recognised that individuals, teams and services right across the Council were contributing to this success, and in addition our partners such as Tees Active were prioritising carbon reduction and working hard to drive down consumption and emissions across all its leisure facilities. It was hoped we would see further improvements over the coming months and years, and our adopted Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan sets out collective measures to continue to improve performance over the next 4 years.
|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:-|
SLSCB - 21st April 2016
TSAB - 26th April 2016
TVCA - 4th April 2016
TVCA - 15th April 2016
SSP - 17th May 2016
|Consideration was given to a report on Local Authority Governors 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 as attached to the report.
|Cabinet considered a report that detailed the Market Regulations and Quality Standards that had been produced following the successful regeneration of Stockton Town Centre and the subsequent relocation of Stockton Market to the South of the High Street.|
A significant effort had been made to work with traders to cement their location in the newly developed High Street which had seen the addition of new blue and white canopies for all those who trade on the market, as well as a range of local events and initiatives aimed at increasing the profile of the market. Similarly, staff had worked closely with traders from Billingham and Thornaby markets and it was positive to note that there had been an increase in stall allocations on both sites; Thornaby now had double the amount of stalls that it had three years ago and Billingham was also operating at full capacity.
Following the completion of Stockton High Street regeneration, it was felt that it was timely to review the previous Open Market Regulations 2009 as it was clear that the guidance for traders was lacking in detail, specifically in relation to the standards that we would expect to see in relation to the size, location and appearance of stalls, specific reference to the quality and type of items that should be traded from our markets as well as basic expectations placed on traders on acceptable conduct when communicating with customers.
Prior to any review, it was felt that a health-check by an independent professional body to ensure that any revisions were in line with and considered national best practice. Therefore, the Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) had been appointed in 2012 to undertake a thorough assessment of the regulations; and it was NABMAs review and recommendation report completed in May 2013, which led to the creation of revised Market Regulations and Quality Standards.
The revised Market Regulations and Quality Standards had been produced to ensure that the Council had appropriate, clear and transparent standards in place which all traders were expected to adhere to, which also included a Scoring Matrix which was reviewed on an annual basis which ensured that traders were adhering to those standards contained within the Regulations.
The Regulations were drafted and a 28 day consultation exercise with all traders was held in February 2014 with 3 drop in sessions held at the Rediscover Stockton shop in the High Street, as well as a Market Traders Meeting where the consultation process was discussed.
Following final revisions, all traders were presented with the newly agreed Market Regulations and Quality Standards document across Billingham, Thornaby and Stockton Markets. It was proposed that officers had delegated authority to deal with any transitional arrangements associated with transfer of pitches following the adoption of the new regulations and quality standards. To date all traders had now signed their new Market Traders licence.
|Consideration was given to the latest Economic Climate Report which summarised the overall economic performance and growth of the Borough in relation to a series of high level indicators, and consequently proposed the production of an Economic Strategy for 2016-2031 and a three-year Growth Plan for Stockton-on-Tees.|
To assist with development and delivery of the Economic Strategy and Economic Growth Plan, the Council already engaged with the business community in a number of ways at both a Member and Officer level. The Council also participated in many of the networks that exist in order to ensure the Council could both support and promote business investments within the Borough.
|Cabinet considered an update on work undertaken since the last report to Cabinet in December 2015 regarding an evidence base review and recommendation as to the most appropriate course of action in respect of the production of a Local Plan and associated documents. |
The report sought agreement to delegate preparation, approval and publication of key documentation throughout the plan preparation process to enable the Council to respond as swiftly as possible to changes to the planning system which could affect future progress.
Cabinet were aware of the intention to produce a Regeneration and Environment Local Plan (RELP), made up of three separate documents which identify specific development sites and environmental designations to support and supplement the vision and overarching policies in the adopted Core Strategy.
In 2012, the remit of the RELP was expanded to include policies which would replace the housing strategy within the adopted Core Strategy alongside the existing Regeneration DPD, the Environment DPD and the Yarm and Eaglescliffe Area Action Plan, forming a single document.
Following consultation in 2012 and March 2015, Cabinet agreed to a review of the evidence base that underpinned the RELP. The evidence base review had taken place and alongside a changing National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) had led to the view that in order to achieve the most robust policy position for the Borough, a new Local Plan document ought to be produced, replacing existing policy documents.
Cabinet in December 2015 agreed to the evidence base review and also referenced that two potential courses of action could emerge, those being either:-
A minor re-draft of the policies within the document and further re-consultation on a revised RELP; or
The need to prepare a new Local Plan, as the necessary changes recommended in the evidence base review would be so significant that they would require the Council to return to an earlier stage of plan preparation.
Cabinet noted from the evidence base review provided, that major changes could be required to the RELP to make it sound, including major changes to the development strategy of the area and specific site designations.
Cabinet acknowledged other factors now influential to how plan making proceeds and noted that ignoring these matters and progressing the plan, could result in legal and procedural issues being raised should the RELP progress to examination in public.
Officers were also mindful of the Governments recent consultation on their plans to withhold New Homes Bonus payments from Councils that have not submitted a local plan. Indications were that this would apply where a plan had not been submitted before the end of March 2017. The loss of this funding could result in a significant financial implication for the Council.
Given the above changes to the national planning system, officers recommend that in order to achieve the most robust policy position and to be pro-active in adopting new national policies, Cabinet agree to the production of a single Local Plan document which would replace existing policy and all work undertaken to date on the RELP.
It was intended that the new Local Plan would set out a vision and policy framework for the future development of the area, facilitating the delivery the emerging Economic Strategy, identifying and responding to needs and opportunities in relation to all forms of housing, including student accommodation, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure. It would also seek to safeguard the environment, respond to climate change and secure good design.
In the interests of shaping and enabling the future growth of the Borough it was proposed that Cabinet agree to delegate authority to the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transportation and the Director of Economic Growth and Development for the production, consultation, and submission of the Local Plan. Under this recommendation, the Local Plan will be presented to Cabinet prior to adoption. Cabinet noted that the production of the Local Plan required a number of supporting documents to be produced and consulted on with key stakeholders and the public. Drafting of these documents was a significant undertaking which would also need to be programmed in to the timetable for the preparation of the plan and considered in the preparation of the Local Development Scheme.
Cabinet noted the key milestones throughout the preparation and consultation process for preparation of the plan. There was a commitment to continuous engagement with relevant stakeholders, Members and Duty to Cooperate partners throughout the plan preparation process as appropriate to identify and address issues and challenges.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided an update for Members regarding the Parliamentary Constituencies review being undertaken by the four UK Boundary Commissions in their respective parts of the UK.|
Members recalled previous reports that were considered by Cabinet during 2011 with regards to the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 (the Act) that required the four Boundary Commissions to conduct a review of the parliamentary constituencies in their part of the UK and to submit final reports to Government before 1 October, 2013. Members were reminded that no action was taken as a result of this previous review being postponed by Parliament, and that the Boundary Commission for England (BCE) had now been tasked to complete the current review by September 2018.
Parliamentary Boundaries reflect the area where the electorate vote for their MP, and the review would examine these areas and make proposals for a new set of boundaries of equal size, with Parliament specifying that the review must reduce the number of constituencies in the UK to 600 from 650.
The North East had been allocated 25 constituencies (currently it has 29). The BCEs initial proposals would ensure that each of these constituencies were wholly contained in the North East region.
The BCE would publish its initial proposals for England, including the North East in September, 2016 and it was to be expected given the rules that limit the size of the electorate and the reduction in seats, that existing constituencies would have to change. A 12 week period of consultation would then follow.
The review would take place over approximately two and a half years with final recommendations submitted to Parliament in September 2018 and if agreed the new constituencies would take effect at the next scheduled General Election in 2020.
A further report regarding the initial proposals would be submitted to Cabinet in September and the initial set of proposed boundary proposals produced by the Boundary Commission for England would be presented to a Members Seminar in September 2016 following report to Cabinet for discussion.