Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cabinet Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 12th October, 2017
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 Nigel Cooke, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Michael Smith and Cllr Norma Wilburn.
Officers:
Julie Danks, Margaret Waggott, Judith Trainer, Peter Bell (DCE), Beccy Brown, Ged Morton (HR&L), Garry Cummings (F&BS), Martin Gray (CHS), Reuben Kench (CL&E), Chris Renahan (EG&D), Jamie McCann (CS).
In Attendance:
Cllr David Wilburn (Chair of Crime and Disorder Select Committee).
Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Lynn Hall, Cllr Rowling.
Members of the Public.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Jim Beall.
Item Description Decision
Public
CAB
61/17
WELCOME AND EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and the evacuation procedure was noted.
CAB
62/17
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Bob Cook declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 5 - Crime and Disorder Select Committee - Scrutiny Review of Membership of Local Government Bodies as he was a member of LGA, NEPO and NEREO.

Councillor Ann McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 5 - Crime and Disorder Select Committee - Scrutiny Review of Membership of Local Government Bodies as she was the Chair of NEREO.

Councillor Norma Wilburn declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Strategic Review of Education - Update Report as she was a governor of a school detailed within the report.

Councillor Bob Cook declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 8 - School Organisation Plan as he was a governor at two of the schools detailed within the report and his grandchildren attended one of the schools detailed within the report.

Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 8 - School Organisation Plan as he was a governor at two of the schools detailed within the report and his grandchildren attended one of the schools detailed within the report.

Councillor Ann McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 8 - School Organisation Plan as she was a governor at two of the schools detailed within the report.

Councillor Mike Smith declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 13 - Economic Climate Report as his pension fund company was detailed within the report.
CAB
63/17
MINUTES
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2017 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.
CAB
64/17
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF MEMBERSHIP OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170082
RESOLVED that the Council retain membership of 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
CAB
65/17
ADOPTION TEES VALLEY BUSINESS CASE
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170083
RESOLVED that:-

1. The ATV Full Business Case as attached at Appendix 1 of the report be approved.
2. The draft section 101 agreement at Appendix 2 of the report be noted.

3. The Director of Children's Services in consultation with the Director of HR, Legal & Communications, Director of Finance & Business Services and Cabinet member for Children's Services be authorised to agree the final details of the partnership agreement subject to there being no substantial changes to the Full Business Case and draft section 101 agreement.

4. A further report be presented to Cabinet in December to formally accept the delegated authority for the ATV from the other four Councils.
CAB
66/17
STRATEGIC REVIEW OF EDUCATION
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170084
RESOLVED that:-

1. The progress made on the strategic education review be noted.

2. The work undertaken to date be noted.

3. A further report be presented to Cabinet in January 2017.
CAB
67/17
SCHOOL ORGANISATION PLAN 2017
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170085
RESOLVED that:-

1. The information in the attached draft plan be noted.

2. The pressure in demand for secondary school places be noted.

3. The ‘School Organisation Plan 2017' be published on the Council website and made available to partner organisations.
CAB
68/17
PRESTON PARK MASTER PLAN UPDATE
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170086
RESOLVED that:-

1. The Preston Park Museum & Grounds Master Plan 2018 - 2028 be approved as a basis for the ongoing development of the visitor attraction.

2. Detailed further work be approved on possible traffic flow and car parking solutions and café and toilet improvements as a matter of priority.
CAB
69/17
ARMED FORCES COVENANT
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170087
RESOLVED that:

1. The local Armed Forces Community Covenant be brought up to date and made fit for purpose by implementing the proposals from the review of the existing covenant document (outlined at paragraphs 6-11 of the report);

2. The proposed consultation on the draft Stockton on Tees Action Plan be implemented in consultation with all service areas of the Council (outlined at paragraph 11 of the report);

3. The development of a joint funding bid by the Tees Valley Armed Forces Forum to the AF Covenant Fund be supported, which would include each Council committing to invest a sum of money (approx. £5K year each) into the project beyond the funding period - on the basis that the sums saved through the project outweigh the investment.
CAB
70/17
PROPOSED MERGER OF TEESSIDE AND HARTLEPOOL CORONER AREAS
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170088
RESOLVED that:-

1. The submission to the Ministry of Justice of the addendum to the Business Case set out Appendix 1 of the report be agreed.

2. Further revisions to the Business Case and its addendum, which do not fundamentally alter the direction proposed be delegated to the Director of Finance and Business Services and the Director of HR, Legal and Communications in consultation with the Leader of the Council.

3. The Director of HR, Legal and Communications be authorised to undertake all necessary steps required to progress the merger of the Coroner areas in accordance with the directions of the Chief Coroner, Lord Chancellor and/or Ministry of Justice.
CAB
71/17
MINUTES OF VARIOUS BODIES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170089
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings detailed in the appendices be approved / received, as appropriate.
CAB
72/17
ECONOMIC CLIMATE REPORT
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170090
RESOLVED that the content of the report be noted and the work being undertaken be supported.
CAB
73/17
TRANSPORT FO THE NORTH
 
Cabinet Decision Record D170091
RESOLVED that:

1. Consent be given to the incorporation of Transport for the North as a Sub-National Transport Body.

2. Delegation be given to the Director of Economic Growth & Development to confirm to the Secretary of State the giving of consent by the Council and to take such other steps that are required to bring the creation of Transport for the North as a Sub-National Transport Body into being.
4.30pm tp to 6.30pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
CAB
63/17
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meeting held on 14 September 2017.
CAB
64/17
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.
CAB
65/17
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.
CAB
66/17
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.
CAB
67/17
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.
CAB
68/17
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.
CAB
69/17
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.
CAB
70/17
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.
CAB
71/17
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
CAB
72/17
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.
CAB
73/17
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.

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