Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cabinet Minutes

Thursday, 20th April, 2017
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 Nigel Cooke, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Michael Smith and Cllr Norma Wilburn.
Neil Schneider (CE), Julie Danks, Margaret Waggott, Peter Bell (DCE), Beccy Brown, Ged Morton (HR&L), Garry Cummings (F&BS), Martin Gray (CHS), Reuben Kench (CL&E), Jamie McCann (CS), Chris Renahan, Richard Pratt (EG&D), Ann Workman, Sarah Bowman-Abouna (AH).
In Attendance:
Cllr David Wilburn (Chair of Crime and Disorder Select Committee), Cllr Lauriane Povey (Assistant Cabinet Member for Children and Young People), Cllr Lisa Grainge (Assistant Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing), Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Phil Dennis and Cllr Lynn Hall.
Apologies for absence:
Item Description Decision
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and the evacuation procedure was noted.
Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 5 - Scrutiny Review of Safety of Railway Crossing Points as his brother worked for Network Rail.

Councillor Ann McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) Report 2017 as she was a member of SDAIS.

Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) Report 2017 as he was a Director of Tristar Homes.

Councillor Nigel Cooke declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 8 - Apprenticeship Programme as he was a member of the Learning and Skills Council.

Councillor Mike Smith declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 10 - Economic Climate Report - Business Theme as he was an employee of one of the companies named within the report.

Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 11 - Director of Public Health Annual Report 2015/16 as he was a Director of Catalyst and a Director of Tristar Homes.

Councillor Norma Wilburn declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 11 - Director of Public Health Annual Report 2015/16 as she was a Tees Active Board Member.
The minutes of the meeting held on 16 March 2017 were confirmed as a correct record.
Cabinet Decision Record D170036

1. A communication strategy be developed to raise awareness of the safety risks at crossing points and promote responsible behaviour utilising social media channels as appropriate.

2. The Council raise awareness in primary and secondary schools as part of initiatives such as Crucial Crew and the Junior Road Safety Officer to complement the work of the British Transport Police.

3. A road rail liaison group be established comprising representatives from the Council, Network Rail and the British Transport Police to improve communication between the various agencies, including:

• discussion of concerns
• identifying improvements to crossings
• sharing intelligence including intelligence about anti-social behaviour in the vicinity of crossings
• providing an interface between all agencies
• discussion of road classifications
• sharing timescales for programmes of work
• co-ordinating activity in relation to national and local awareness campaigns
Cabinet Decision Record D170037

1. The positive findings from the 2017 update report, including the improvement in SAP ratings of domestic properties be noted.

2. The positive direction of travel of reducing levels of fuel poverty in the Borough compared to a continued national increase be noted.
Cabinet Decision Record D170038
RESOLVED that the Cabinet Member Portfolios be noted.
Cabinet Decision Record D170039

1. The detail of the Apprenticeship Levy, public sector Apprenticeship targets, and the Council’s proposals for Apprenticeship opportunities be noted.

2. Further information on the progress a year from implementation May / June 2018 be received.
Cabinet Decision Record D170040
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings detailed in the appendices be approved / received, as appropriate.
Cabinet Decision Record D170041

1. The content of the report be noted.

2. The work being undertaken be supported.
Cabinet Decision Record D170042
RECOMMENDED to Council that the report be noted.
Cabinet Decision Record D170043
RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

1. Grindon Parish be abolished and Grindon Parish Council be dissolved and that two new parishes and parish councils be created based on the ward boundaries of Grindon East and Grindon West.

2. The new parish in the Grindon West Ward be called Grindon and Thorpe Thewles Parish and the new parish in the Grindon East Ward be called Wynyard Parish.

3. Thorpe Thewles Parish Council comprise 7 Parish Councillors and Wynyard Parish Council comprise 9 Councillors.

4. Subject to further consultation on the above proposals and final agreement by Council 21 June 2017, a reorganisation order be made to implement the changes which would come into force at the next ordinary parish elections in May 2019.
RESOLVED that the construction of a crematorium, including gardens of remembrance and associated landscaping and parking on the former Blakeston School playing field site, which will be owned, and managed by the Council be agreed.

RECOMMENDED to Council that £6.35m be funded through prudential borrowing.
4.30 pm to 6.30 pm


Consideration was given to a report that presented the Crime and Disorder Select Committee findings and recommendations following the Scrutiny Review of the Safety of Railway Crossing Points.
Consideration was given to a report on Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) Report 2017

The Home Energy Conservation Act (1995) required all Local Authorities to prepare a report every 2 years describing the energy conservation measures that had been implemented to significantly improve domestic properties across all tenures and reduce fuel poverty. Attached to the report was Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s submission to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), due every two years by 31 March.

The 2017 report, covering the period 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2017 included detail on the energy efficiency ambitions and progress, measures implemented using financial assistance from central Government initiatives and the delivery of our area based schemes. There had been 2 years of improvement across all the priorities under HECA including a 16.9% reduction in CO2 emissions from the domestic sector, an increase from 61 to 63 in average SAP rating across domestic properties, and a continual reduction in fuel poverty levels in Stockton-on-Tees, against a trend of national increasing fuel poverty incidences.
Consideration was given to a report that provided the details of the amendments to Cabinet Member Portfolios made by the Leader of the Council at the meeting of Annual Council held on 5 April 2017 as follows:

Leader of the Council - Councillor Bob Cook
Deputy Leader of the Council and Adult Social Care & Health - Councillor Jim Beall
Access, Communities & Community Safety - Councillor Steve Nelson
Arts, Culture & Leisure - Councillor Norma Wilburn
Children & Young People - Councillor Ann McCoy
Environment & Transport - Councillor Mike Smith
Regeneration & Housing - Councillor Nigel Cooke
Consideration was given to a report on the Apprenticeship Programme.

The Government had made a commitment to deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 and in order to support this commitment a new apprenticeship Levy, new apprenticeship standards and public sector apprenticeship targets came into force in April 2017.

Employers with annual pay bills of £3 million and over will be charged a rate of 0.5% of their annual pay bill, which they can use to fund apprenticeship training.

The Levy payable by the Council per year will be approximately £503,500.

The public sector apprenticeship target would be based on 2.3% of headcount

The Council’s apprenticeship target was detailed within the report.

Whilst it was clearly important to plan to meet the apprenticeship target in order to maximise use of the Levy spend and to meet the public sector targets, the new apprenticeship requirements also offered an opportunity for the Council and Schools to deliver an apprenticeship programme which supported workforce development, contributed to succession planning and the overall resilience within the workforce. An Apprenticeship programme provided the Council with a way to improve the skills base of employees, provided a way to recruit new staff, and to re-train and up-skill existing staff of all ages and levels of experience in a wide variety of roles.

The report provided further detail on the Apprenticeship Levy, target, and eligible apprenticeship training as well as a proposed approach to maximise use of the Levy and meet targets including how the Council would work with the community and voluntary controlled maintained schools.
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution or previous practice the minutes of the meetings of the bodies indicated below were submitted to members for consideration:-

SLSCB - 19 January 2017
SLSCB - 16 February 2017
SSP - 14 February 2017
TSAB - 3 March 2017
Cabinet considered the subsequent quarterly update that provided Members with an update on information published in Stockton’s Local Economic Assessment 2014 as well as key recent economic announcements on the People Theme.

The report was presented to Cabinet on a quarterly basis. The emphasis of each report focuses on a particular theme as follows:

• People - labour supply
• Place - key economic development locations
• Business - key sectors and businesses
• Economic Performance Summary Report and Economic Growth Plan monitoring

Each thematic report was presented in four sections:

i. Economic Dashboard - presents a number of key indicators which are monitored at least quarterly
ii. Updates - summarising key announcements and developments:

• updates - announcements with implications across key sectors, the region and nationally
• business announcements - announcements from some of the key businesses within the Borough
• strategic locations - a brief update on any new development at strategic employment locations across the Borough
• training & skills - provides an update on emerging news relating to skills needs and provision

Internet links have been included, where possible, to provide digital viewers of this report with more information on each announcement.

iii. Theme Review - An in depth focus, and the substantive part of the report, on key statistics affecting business, people or place. Most of the referenced statistics in the review are produced annually and cannot be updated quarterly
iv. Case Study - A relevant case study for the theme. For example, the business case study in this report focuses on a two engineering businesses located in the Borough.
The Director of Public Health Annual Report outlined some of the key health and wellbeing challenges and opportunities in Stockton Borough, including the data and evidence and details of work and planned next steps.

Under the Health and Social Care Act (2012), the Director of Public Health in the Local Authority had a statutory duty to publish an independent report on the health of the population in their area; the Local Authority had a duty to publish the Report.

The Report was based on the JSNA and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2012-18, plus additional evidence from other sources and therefore had been developed through consultation with partners and communities. The focus of this year’s Report was a ‘proportionate universalism’ approach i.e. examples of work that were tailored to the needs of the local population, particularly through a combination of universal and targeted approaches.

The Director of Public Health Annual Report 2015/16 was attached to the report.
Consideration was given to a report that presented feedback from consultation with stakeholders in Grindon Parish.

A community governance review enabled a principal council to review and put in place new arrangements, making changes to current community governance systems and structures, for example by creating, merging, abolishing or changing parish or town councils in the review area.

The Government had emphasized that the aim of a review should be to bring about improved community engagement, more cohesive communities, better local democracy, and result in more effective and convenient delivery of services.

All principal councils had a legal duty to carry out a community governance review if they received a valid petition. For a community governance petition to be valid in an area of less than 2500 electors, as was the case with Grindon, it must be signed by at least 187 local government electors, define the area to which the review related and specify one or more recommendations.

This petition called for the splitting of Grindon into two separate parishes along the ward boundaries of Grindon East and Grindon West with an alteration to the boundary line as shown on the proposed new parish boundaries that was attached to the report.

The timetable approved by Cabinet and Council recognised that the review must conclude within 12 months from receipt of a valid petition (received September 2016).

The key stages of the review were as follows:-

Consultation with all Local Government Electors in the area 9 January 2017 - 28 February 2017 - complete
Consideration of the wider forms of Community Governance in the area 9 January 2017 - 28 February 2017 - complete
Initial findings are considered and draft proposals presented for consideration by SMT 13 March 2017 - complete
Cabinet meeting 20 April consider findings.
Draft recommendations to Council 3 May 2017
Consult on draft proposals 8 May 2017 to 31 May 2017
Final recommendation to Cabinet 15 June 2017
Final recommendation to 21 Council June 2017
Final Recommendations and reasons for the decision published and stakeholders informed on 22 June 2017
Implementation will be dependent upon publication of a re-organisation order. Any changes would come into into force at the next ordinary parish elections in May 2019.

A range of consultation mechanisms had taken place:-
- A letter to every local government elector explaining the issue with a consultation reply slip attached that asking for views
- Review Notices placed on the web and displayed within the Parish
- Consultation with the Parish Council, Ward Members, MP, the Locality Forum and residents’ groups
- Press release

A number of comments were also received on the reply slips and these were attached were attached to the report.
Consideration was given to a report that sought approval to build and manage a crematorium on the site of the former Blakeston School Playing Fields site, Junction Road, Roseworth, Stockton.

Stockton had a growing population. The population was estimated at 194,800 [ONS 2015 mid-year population estimate published 23 June 2016]. By 2034, based on most recent trends, it was projected to increase to 211,000 and by 2039 to 214,200 [ONS 2014-Based Subnational Population Projections for Local Authorities released 25 May 2016].

The Borough’s population had increased by 1.56% from 2011 to 2015 and this was projected to increase by 9.96% by 2039 equating to an additional 19,400 residents compared with 2015.

In England, the vast majority of people opt for cremation over burial: 2014 figures from the Cremation Society of Great Britain showed the cremation rate was 74.77%. In a significant and growing number of cases, cremations were themselves followed by the formal burial of cremated remains at cemeteries, crematoria and churchyards.

Of those deaths registered in Stockton [based on statistics 2010 to 2016], the rate for those choosing cremation was 78%, with burials being 22%. This meant, on average 1605 of death informants choosing cremation had no choice other than to cremate their family member outside of the Borough as there was no crematorium facilities.

In February 2014 and February 2016, formal public consultation took place on the proposed provision of a crematorium in Stockton Borough. On both occasions overwhelming support for a crematorium was gained, with the latter identifying over 93% of respondents in favour.

During the period of February 2014 to February 2015, additional informal consultation was undertaken. Information boards used during the Community Engagement Event were placed in the reception area of The Register Office in order to engage with actual service users of Registration and Bereavement Services and to gauge to what extent they agreed or disagreed with a proposal for a new cemetery and crematorium at Stockton - 956 customers completed feedback sheets and the results were 87% strongly agreed with the proposal, 10% slightly agreed, 2% slightly disagreed and 1% strongly disagreed.
Similarly in a consultation exercise between April 2014 - October 2014, 496 death informants were asked the question “If the option had been available, would you have chosen Stockton Crematorium?” 87% stated ‘yes’.
Location for Crematorium.

The location for development of a crematorium was the former Blakeston / Northshore School playing fields. The site was located to the north of Junction Road (B1274) and Roseworth housing estate, and fell within the Roseworth Ward.

Directly to the north of the site was a railway line. To the east was Blakeston Court housing estate and to the west was a large supermarket with car park. Adjacent to the western boundary of the site was Roseworth Community and Social Club and Crossley’s Bungalow.

Under planning reference 16/0846/LAO, outline planning permission for a crematorium with associated memorial gardens, access roads, car parking and landscaping with all matters reserved was granted, with conditions, on the 1st September 2016.

A new site access from Junction Road would be required to service the facility. The requirements of the facility must conform to the Crematorium Act of 1902 and the Secretary of State (DEFRA) Statutory Guidance for Crematoria.

It was envisaged that the new crematorium would be a modern single-storey building with one service chapel and two cremators, with abatement equipment. The crematorium would be surrounded by attractive landscaped gardens of remembrance, where enhanced planting would contribute positively to the visual appearance of the site and also provide an enhancement to the ecological value. The location of the crematorium building would be sympathetic to the surroundings in terms of both design and setting and would be complemented by ample car parking provision in accordance with the Council’s Supplementary Planning Document: Parking Provision for New Developments.

The expectation would be the first service to commence no earlier than 09:15 with the last service ending at 16:00 from Monday to Friday as well as morning services available on a Saturday. The preference being that each service should be at least 45-minutes in duration, with the crematorium being served by two cremators able to accommodate the largest of coffins.

Incorporating the overall cremation service period above, it was assumed that the actual crematorium building would not be used outside of the normal opening hours e.g. 08:30 to 17:00. The gardens of remembrance were to be designed to provide both an area for the scattering of ashes and sections for the interment of cremated remains. It was anticipated that the grounds of the crematorium would have suitable summer and winter opening hours to enable bereaved families to tend their loved ones cremated remains graves and visit the remembrance gardens.

Subject to obtaining reserved matters approval it was anticipated that highway works associated with the new crematorium would begin later in 2017 with construction of the crematorium starting in spring 2018 and completed spring 2019.
The assessment of future projected cremations in the Borough and the views of residents had focused the proposed design format as previously identified. These, together with the expected operation costs, had informed the determination process in assessing the viability of the preferred development.

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