|Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2017.|
|Consideration was given to a report that presented the Crime and Disorder Select Committee findings and recommendations following the Scrutiny Review of Membership of Local Government Bodies.|
The report presents the outcomes of the Scrutiny Review of Membership of Local Government Bodies. The review was specifically concerned with the following local government bodies:
LGA - Local Government Association
SIGOMA - Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities
NEPO - North East Purchasing Organisations
NEREO - North East Regional Employers Organisation
APSE - Association of Public Service Excellence
The Crime and Disorder Select Committee took evidence from the Councillors appointed to the local government bodies and sought feedback from the Council's Senior Management Team on the key lines of enquiry. Feedback was provided verbally or in writing to the Select Committee.
|Consideration was given to a report that sought approval for the Adoption Tees Valley Business Case. It outlined the background the establishment of ATV as a new regional adoption agency, to meet the requirements of the Education and Adoption Act 2016. It set out the basis for the new organisation, which would be hosted by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and go live on 1 April 2018.|
Once the Full Business Case was approved the project would move into the following implementation phases:
a. Implementation - the establishment of Adoption Tees Valley
b. Transition - Local Authorities - looks at the reorganisation of the Local Authority services. This was particularly important for those LA's where Fostering and Adoption were combined services.
c. Infrastructure Live - this was the milestone in January which needed to be achieved to ensure a go live for the full service in April 2018.
d. Transition to Adoption Tees Valley - this would be the period from January to April 2018 when the work of the new organisation takes over from the existing local authority arrangements. It also took account of all the workforce development / team building and culture issues.
It was proposed that the initial work for Transition and Implementation commence as soon as possible to ensure a timely implementation. The impact of change on the local authorities could not be underestimated. Additionally, go live was fully dependent upon a number of critical milestones being met:
Service Manager recruited and in post
Accommodation identified and made ready
ICT system purchased and installed
ICT networks established
Staffing structure in place and recruitment completed
Information governance issues resolved, including Data Protection registration and Information Sharing Agreements all signed off by the Caldicott Guardians
Memorandum of Understanding/S101 agreement signed off by all five local authorities
Members were presented with amended tables to replace those in paragraphs 19 and 21 of the report.
|Consideration was given to a report that summarised the approach and progress to date in a strategic review of the Council's education role. It set out anticipated savings to respond to the loss of Education Services Grant, and further work to be progressed.|
Cabinet had considered a report in January 2017 which set out the changing context for the Council in education. It noted the need to bring a further report back to Cabinet on the proposals for 2018/19 and beyond.
A strategic review was included as one of the key priorities in the Children's Services Strategy for 2017-20, agreed at Cabinet in June 2017.
Additional work was underway in the following areas:
a. Remodelling the approach to early years.
b. Income generation through SSIF and TVCA.
c. Opportunities for de-delegation of Dedicated Schools Grant
It was anticipated that this could generate an additional £500K to offset the funding gap through savings and income. Additional work was also proposed as part of the Smarter Working programme to identify additional opportunities to improve efficiency and process.
Implementation of these proposals would mean that the Council would retain:
a. An effective, streamlined and efficiency Education Improvement Service with a well-defined core and discretionary offer, and an ability to trade competitively in Stockton and across the wider region.
b. A reshaped and remodelled targeted approach to supporting vulnerable pupils.
It was noted that the Council had always strived to provide a service to the Borough's schools that was beneficial to them and their pupils.
|Consideration was given to a report on the School Organisation Plan.|
Although the statutory requirement to publish an annual School Organisation Plan was abolished in 2004, the Council had continued to publish an updated plan to inform schools, parents and the general public. The Plan gave information about the number, types and sizes of schools maintained by the Council, Academies and Free Schools. It recorded the number of places available in those schools and it included forecasts of pupil numbers over the next five years. This information was an important resource to support the Council in carrying out its statutory duty to ensure a sufficient supply of school places to meet the needs of children and young people in the borough.
When taken together with documents relating to the condition of school buildings and their suitability for purpose, the information in this plan may help to inform decisions about capital investment in existing or new school buildings.
The School Organisation Plan 2017' described three specific issues to be confronted over the next five years:
Rising numbers of four-year-olds starting school;
The beginning of the end of falling numbers in our secondary schools;
Uncertainty over the impact of Academies and possible Free Schools.
The draft plan was attached to the report.
|Consideration was given to a report that provided an update on the Preston Park Master Plan.|
Following previous reports setting out the Council's intention to define a framework for the continued improvement of Preston Park Museum and Grounds (PPMG), the report presented the medium and long term priorities for development. If approved they would form the basis of detailed work and future funding bids as appropriate.
The master plan was attached to the report and set out a number of medium and long term proposals that could not currently be resourced but which were still critical to understanding the context of the shorter term measures the Council may be able to fund. The plan was annotated to show those developments which were likely to be eligible to be funded by the Heritage Lottery, however, the match funding required to supporting these improvements may not be a priority at this time.
It was also noted that following a restructure, the Council had new staff and management arrangements in place, bringing the different Council teams within the attraction together under a new PPMG Development and Operations Manager. The new management team would be responsible for scoping and investigating the detail of any developments proposed within the plan, utilising their experience and knowledge of parks and heritage attractions.
The approach to future developments within the Park and any detailed work undertaken on proposals set out in the attached Master Plan would be informed by the findings of the ongoing Scrutiny Committee investigation into Anti-social Behaviour in the park.
The master plan outlined 28 areas for improvement, development or creation. These ranged from restoring boundary fencing, improving signage to investigating the feasibility of introducing new catering opportunities within PPMG.
As set out in preceding paragraphs the most important work in the medium term was likely to be the modification of the car parking and traffic flow systems and the improvement of the central café, toilets and pedestrian area. Shorter term work on pathways and signage were also a priority to encourage better use of the 110 acre site and to ensure the safety of visitors. Overarching this entire plan was always the vision to establish PPMG as a major visitor destination under one brand, rather than the current disjointed feel the site had developed over time.
|Consideration was given to a report that gave an update on the Armed Forces Community Covenant.|
The report provided a review of the Council's commitment to its Armed Forces Community Covenant (AFCC) and sought authority to develop an Action Plan in consultation with all service areas of the Council to ensure that the Council's commitment to the Covenant was up to date and fit for purpose.
Members were also invited to consider approval in principle for a proposed Tees Valley Armed Forces Forum (TVAFF) Joint Funding bid to the Armed Forces Covenant Local Grants Fund to provide a full time outreach worker working across the Tees Valley improving and co-ordinating awareness and effective delivery of the pillars of the AF Covenant within the sub region.
|Consideration was given to a report on the proposed merger of the Teesside and Hartlepool Coroner areas. |
An addendum to the business case had been prepared by Middlesbrough as lead authority, which amended some of the recommendations contained in the main business case previously submitted to the Ministry of Justice ("MOJ") in September 2014.
The addendum to the business case would be taken through the relevant decision-making processes of each authority.
The addendum to the business case and the formal decisions from the relevant local authorities would be forwarded to the MoJ.
The MoJ were responsible for deciding whether or not to progress a merger. The local authorities cannot progress any course of action until the MoJ confirm the actions they intended to take.
|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:-|
SSP - 11 July 2017
TSAB - 28 June 2017
TVCA - Cabinet - 13 June
|Consideration was given to a report on the Economic Climate.|
The report, and subsequent quarterly updates, provided Members with an update on information published in Stockton's Local Economic Assessment 2017 as well as key recent economic announcements.
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 - presented a number of key indicators which were monitored at least quarterly, and included a position statement against the two indicators of growth relevant to the People' chapter
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 had been included, where possible, to provide digital viewers of the 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 People' case study in this report focuses on a entrepreneurship in the Borough.
|This item was not included on the original published agenda, but the Chair had agreed that the item required an urgent Cabinet decision. This was because the Council had been advised by the Department for Transport that to delay would risk the statutory instrument needed to bring the organisation into existence not being given parliamentary time, due to the Brexit related matters that were likely to dominate the parliamentary timetable in the forthcoming period.|
Consideration was given to a report on Transport for the North - Incorporation as a Sub National Transport Body.
The purpose of this report was for the Council as Local Highway Authority to consent to the making of Regulations by the Secretary of State to establish Transport for the North (TfN) as a Sub -National Transport Body under section 102J of the Local Transport Act 2008.
The consent of each Highway Authority within the area of each Combined Authority which was a Constituent Authority of TfN was required to the making of Regulations by the Secretary of State because the Regulations contained provisions giving TfN highway powers to be exercised concurrently with the Local Highway Authorities.
The Secretary of State had formally responded to the Proposal and had indicated that he was minded to make Regulations creating TfN as the first Sub-National Transport Body with the following functions :
a. The preparation of a Northern Transport Strategy;
b. The provision of advice on the North's priorities, as a Statutory Partner in the Department's investment processes;
c. The coordination of regional transport activities, (such as smart ticketing), and the co-management of the TransPennine Express and Northern rail franchises through the acquisition of Rail North Ltd.