Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cabinet Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 30th August, 2007
Time:
04.30 p.m.
Place:
Lecture Hall, Stockton Central Library, The Square, Stockton on Tees
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Ken Lupton(Chairman), Cllr Mrs Jennie Beaumont, Cllr Robert Cook, Cllr Alex Cunningham, Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Mrs Mary Womphrey
Officers:
J. Danks, J. Spittle (R); N. Schneider, S. Daniels, R. McGuckin, S. Burgess, R. Young (DNS); A. Baxter (CESC); M. Waggott, J. Grant, N. Hart, L. Lawty (LD)
In Attendance:
Cllr Ann Cains, Cllr Maureen Rigg, Cllr Maurice Frankland
Item Description Decision
Public
CAB
37/07
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
CAB
38/07
LOCAL AUTHORITY REPRESENTATIVES ON SCHOOL GOVERNING BODIES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070075
RESOLVED that the following appointments be made to the vacant Governorships, subject to successful List 99 check and Personal Disclosure:-

Permanent Governing Body of - Mr R. Sandbach
Roseberry Primary School - Cllr S. Skilbeck

Temporary Governing Body of the New - Cllr Mrs Cains, Cllr J. Beall and
Roseworth Primary School Mr K. Leonard
CAB
39/07
PROPOSED CLOSURE OF ROSEWORTH AND REDBROOK PRIMARY SCHOOLS - ESTABLISHMENT OF A TEMPORARY GOVERNING BODY FOR THE NEW PRIMARY SCHOOL
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070085
RESOLVED that

1. a temporary governing body with a total membership of 15 governorships be established.

2.the two outgoing Governing Bodies of Roseworth and Redbrook schools be empowered to appoint six parent and two Staff governors between themselves.

3. Members appoint Mr N Anderson, Mrs J Shave and Mrs D Crinson to the temporary Governing Body as Community Governors.

4. authority be delegated to the Cabinet Member and Corporate Director for Children, Education and Social Care to appoint to any vacancies arising from declined appointments.
CAB
40/07
TEES VALLEY METRO
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070086
RESOLVED that:

1. the Tees Valley Metro proposal be supported.

2. the Corporate Director of Development and Neighbourhood Services be authorised, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport and the Corporate Director of Resources, to enter into negotiations with the other four Tees Valley Boroughs to endeavour to provide a combined local funding contribution of 10% of the capital cost (currently estimated at £14 million) towards the Tees Valley Metro project between 2011 and 2012.
CAB
41/07
PERFORMANCE REPORT - COUNCIL PLAN AND SERVICE IMPROVEMENT PLAN 2006/07
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070077
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
CAB
42/07
MINUTES OF VARIOUS BODIES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070076
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Partnership Boards, as appended, be received/approved, as appropriate:-br>
CAB
43/07
FINANCIAL POSITION UPDATE
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070078
RECOMMENDED to Council that

1. the revised MTFP be noted.

2. that Capital slippage of (£2,627,000) and an expenditure saving of (£3,000) be approved.

3. the issues for the 2008/09 Finance Settlement be noted.

4. the use of Prudential borrowing to the value of £1.008 million to fund a range of improvements to Thornaby Pavilion be approved.

5. the revised level of working balances be noted.
CAB
44/07
CORE STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT PLAN DOCUMENT PREFERRED OPTIONS - LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070079
RECOMMENDED to Council that the report be noted.
CAB
45/07
APPROPRIATE ASSESSMENT OF THE CORE STRATEGY DPD PREFERRED OPTIONS - LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070080
RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

1. the report be noted..

2. the finalised Appropriate Assessment be agreed and published for consultation in conjunction with the Core Strategy DPD Preferred Options and the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal.

CAB
46/07
REVIEW OF ELECTIONS 2007
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070081
RECOMMENDED to Council that the report be noted and the recommendations contained in appendix 2 relating to a review of the 2007 local elections be endorsed.
CAB
47/07
REVIEW OF LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY FOR MEMBERS
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070082
RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

1. the timescale and format for future Induction programmes be extended to cover ‘your first 100 days as a Councillor' which will allow for flexibility and follow up induction sessions.

2. Planning training continue to be provided, as detailed in paragraph 7 of the report considered, each year, supplemented by in house training as required throughout the year to support the committees ongoing requirements.

3. Licensing training continue to be provided, as detailed in paragraph 11 of the report considered, each year, supplemented by in house training as required throughout the year to support the committees ongoing requirements.
CAB
48/07
EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC
RESOLVED that under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Confidential
CAB
49/07
STOCKTON TOWN CENTRE AND RIVERSIDE SITES ACTION PLAN
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070083
  • Report
  • |
    Appendix 1
  • |
    Appendix 2
RESOLVED that: -

1. the amendments to the Stockton Town Centre Action Plan as summarised in the report be approved

2. the Stockton Town Centre Partnership structure and implementation, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report be approved.

3. the bringing forward into 2007/08 of £890,000 from the previously approved £1,675,000 for 2008/09 Council Capital Programme to be used as a contribution towards site assembly at the Southern Gateway and the English Heritage Partnership Scheme be approved.

4. additional capital funding of £1,800,000 in 2009/10 for expenditure at the Riverside sites and £100,000 in both 2009/10 and 2010/11 at the English Heritage Partnership Scheme subject to all capital resources becoming available be approved.

5. a projected £480,000 revenue pressure be considered as part of the review of the Medium Term Financial Plan for 2008/09 and 2009/10.

6. the use of the Council's Compulsory Purchase powers under section 226(1)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended by Section 99 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchases Act 2004) to obtain vacant possession of land and premises at Southern Gateway, Chandlers Wharf and Castlegate Quay (as shown in Appendix 2) be approved. The approval of the land and property to be acquired compulsorily be delegated to the Corporate Director of Development and Neighbourhood Services in consultation with the Director of Law and Democracy and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport.
CAB
50/07
EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC
RESOLVED that under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 4 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
CAB
51/07
JOB EVALUATION AND SINGLE STAUS
 
Cabinet Decision Record D070084
  • Report
  • |
    Annex
RECOMMENDED to Council that: -

1. the new pay and grading structure, at paragraph 3 in the report replacing the relevant parts of the Purple Book (paragraphs 26, 27 and 28 (a)) and the Manual Handbook, (Section 2) be agreed.

2. posts graded on PO15 and above be evaluated using the Hay job evaluation scheme.

3. the conditions of service agreed in principle by the Unions and set out at Annex A be agreed:

(a) Attendance at training events
(b) Career grades
(c) Term time working
(d) Annual leave
(e) Probationary service
(f) Notice periods
(g) Meal Abatement
(h) Meal and overnight accommodation

and delegated authority be given to the Corporate Director of Resources in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Corporate and Social Inclusion and the Director of Law and Democracy to further negotiate and determine these if necessary.

4. delegated authority be given to the Corporate Director of Resources in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Corporate and Social Inclusion and the Director of Law and Democracy to negotiate and determine any outstanding issues relating to Single Status including:

(a) The period of pay protection for employees who are detrimented as a result of Single Status and the new pay and grading structure

(b)Changes to conditions of service within the Purple Book (See Annex A for details) as follows:

i. Provisions relating to the working week and premium payments, (paragraph 28 of the Purple Book)

ii. Officers temporarily undertaking additional duties, (paragraph 35 of the Purple Book)

iii. Non standard working arrangements (paragraphs 36 and 38 of the Purple Book)

iv. Travelling and Disturbance Allowances (paragraphs 62 and Appendix E of the Purple Book) and to the equivalent sections 3, 4, 5 and 10, together with the relevant Appendices of the Manual Handbook. These have now been replaced by Part 3 of the National Agreement on Pay and Conditions of Service.

(c) Any issues arising from consultation with employees or the implementation of the Single Status Agreement.

(d) Making statutory notifications regarding potential dismissal/re-engagement of staff to the TUs and Secretary of State

(e) A possible further settlement in respect of potential equal pay claims and any issues arising from implementation of Single Status including backdating

(f)The Appeals procedure.

4.30pm/5.35pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
CAB
37/07
Cllr Mrs Cains declared a personal, non prejudicial interests in items 3 and 4, entitled 'Local Authority Representatives on School Governing Bodies' and 'Proposed Closure of Roseworth and Redbrook Primary Schools' as she was an existing Governor of Redbrook Primary School.

Councillor Nelson declared a personal interest in item 8 entitled Financial Position Update as he was a member of Tristar Homes Management Board.

Councillors Mrs Beaumont and Mrs Womphrey declared personal prejudicial interests in item 8 entitled Financial Position Update as they were both Members of the Tees Active Board.
CAB
38/07
Members considered a report relating to Local Authority Representatives on School Governing Bodies. It was explained that as a result of the expiry of some Governors' Terms of Office and the Resignation of others, vacancies existed on some Governing Bodies. A list of the Governing Bodies and nominations was presented to Members.

In accordance with the procedure for the appointment of school governors, approved as Minute 84 of the cabinet (11th May 2000), Cabinet was invited to consider the nominations to school Governing Bodies.

The 'call in' period ending at Midnight on Friday 7th September 2007 applies.
CAB
39/07
Members considered a report that detailed the need to establish a temporary school governing body for the proposed new primary school in Roseworth.

It was noted that on 5 January and 20 April 2006 Members considered reports on proposals to cease to maintain Redbrook Primary School and Roseworth Primary School and to establish a new primary school on the Roseworth site on 1 September 2008.

No objections had been received in response to the Statutory Notice published on 2 May 2006, and the proposal was approved on 28 July 2006 under delegated powers by the Corporate Director for Children, Education and Social Care and the Lead Cabinet Member for Children and Young People (decision number 739). It was explained that as a result there was the need to establish a temporary governing body to oversee the opening of the new school.

The temporary governing body would have a total membership of 15, comprising of 6 Parent, 3 Staff, 3 LA and 3 Community Governorships.

The Local Authority shall appoint the LA and Community Governors. The LA appointments were to be dealt with in accordance with the procedure for the appointment of school governors approved as Minute 84 of the Cabinet (11 May 2000).

It was proposed that Mr N Anderson, Mrs J Shave and Mrs D Crinson who were all currently or had previously served as Governors on either Roseworth or Redbrook School Governing Bodies would fill the community governorships.

Members were advised that where a temporary governing body was established due to the closure of two existing schools, the local authority must allow some or all of the temporary Parent and Staff Governors to be appointed by the outgoing governing bodies of the schools that were to close.
It was therefore proposed that all of the parent and two of the staff governorships be filled by the outgoing governing bodies and the remaining staff governorship be reserved for the Headteacher designate.

It was explained that, if for whatever reasons, any of the appointments were subsequently declined; there would be a need to ensure that the resulting vacancies were filled as soon as possible. It was, therefore, proposed that delegated authority be given to the Cabinet Member and Corporate Director accordingly.

The 'call in' period ending at Midnight on Friday 7th September 2007 applies.
CAB
40/07
Members considered a report relating to the Tees Valley Metro.

It was explained that Tees Valley Regeneration TVR had been developing the Metro proposal since November 2004, and in October 2006 produced an outline business case that set out the preferred option for Metro at that time. This was based on an assumption that the new system would be required to be almost completely segregated from the existing heavy rail network. However, DfT and Network Rail were looking at an arrangement whereby systems could "share" track with existing heavy rail passenger and freight services. This increased the opportunity for a viable Metro system as there were potential savings in adopting a track sharing strategy.

In response to this proposals had been developed by Tees Valley Regeneration (TVR) for a high quality, fast and reliable City Region rail-based solution to assist regeneration and help to avoid the transport problems that would otherwise arise as economic activity gathered pace.

Cabinet noted that the Tees Valley Metro would:-

· deliver a step change in sub-regional public transport across the Tees Valley, providing a high frequency, high quality service, and a 21st Century metropolitan public transport system.

· bring strong benefits, including support for economic regeneration that will deliver a significant uplift in GVA of up to £400 million and;

·help the Tees Valley realise its potential as it opens up development potential along the corridor and in particular in proximity to its stations, with the potential for Local Authorities to lever Section 106 contributions from private sector developers.

The preferred option developed and being examined in more detail, was an innovative transit system for the Tees Valley, making more efficient use of the current rail and bus networks to better meet the travel needs over the next 20 years. It provided:

· A four trains per hour service between Darlington and Saltburn throughout the working day;

· New rolling stock with higher levels of passenger quality and comfort;

·Up to five new stations along the route, serving key employment sites, major regeneration areas and Durham Tees Valley Airport;

·Upgrades to all other stations along the route;

·Supporting heavy rail/metro service enhancements to Hartlepool and Nunthorpe (the latter possibly with park and ride to serve East Cleveland);

· Complementary links to the existing Community Rail Partnerships along the Esk Valley and Bishop Auckland lines; and

· Integrated express bus services where heavy rail/metro services were not economically viable in the short term.

The capital cost estimate for the core section of the route has been estimated at £141.9 million (2005 prices).

In parallel a significant amount of work had been undertaken to develop the Tees Valley Bus Network Improvements scheme (with a capital cost of some £40 million between 2008 and 2011), which aimed to provide a "step change" in the provision of bus services across the Tees Valley. It was important that those proposals and the Metro proposals were complementary to provide a wholly integrated network.

The work done by TVR for the outline business case assessment showed that there was a strong economic benefit : cost ratio, even assuming a relatively modest transfer of ridership from the private car.

Members noted some of the headline benefits of the proposals across the Tees Valley:

I. Enhanced capacity on the ECML and Trans Pennine rail routes;

II. Opportunities for additional passenger and freight train services, particularly Teesport (although additional paths over and above those available at present are not needed as part of the current Northern Gateway proposals);

III. Potential to serve new markets along the Durham Coast whilst enhancing connections to Tyne and Wear;

IV. Support sustainable development and contribute to reducing CO2 emissions;

V. Support for economic regeneration and delivers significant uplift in GVA (currently calculated at some £400 million);

VI. Significant accessibility and social inclusion benefits.

Significant local benefits would accrue to each of the Tees Valley Authorities, both with the proposals being considered at present, and as part of any future network extensions. Potential benefits were described for each of the Tees Valley authorities, with regard to Stockton these were as follows:-

· Fast and frequent connections to the ECML at Darlington, TransPennine Express at Thornaby, Grand Central at Eaglescliffe and Durham Tees Valley Airport;

· Direct support for the Stockton Middlesbrough Initiative; and,

· Support for development opportunities at Eaglescliffe, Preston Farm, Thornaby and Teesside Retail Park, including possible new stations.

· Looking beyond the core scheme, Metro offers the potential for future street-running extensions to Stockton town centre and Ingleby Barwick.

It was explained that discussions were being held with the Department for Transport (DfT) and Network Rail to explore innovative funding mechanisms. However, the DfT required a "local" contribution to each major local transport scheme of at least 10% of the gross capital cost in order for the project to be considered by the DfT and the Regional Funding Allocation (RFA) process. Therefore, an "in principle" funding commitment from each of the Tees Valley Local Authorities to provide a local contribution covering a collective total 10%, or around £14 million, of the capital cost was required. Without this the Metro scheme could not proceed to the next stage.

The definition of "local" contributions included funding from European sources, the private sector, Local Transport Plan (LTP) funding already secured and other mechanisms outside a central Government grant. TVR and Officers would continue to work to maximise the value of the contribution from sources other than the Local Authorities.

A draft timescale for implementing the improvements had been developed. In order to avoid cost penalties the timetable was linked to the period of the current Northern Rail franchise, which ended in 2013. Therefore, any contributions from the Local Authorities (and other sources) were likely to be required between 2011 and 2013, and a confirmation on the exact contribution from each Authority would not be required until 2009/10.

During the project development to date, two separate value engineering and risk management exercises have been undertaken in order to provide a robust estimate of the capital costs. A Quantified Risk Assessment (QRA) has also been undertaken, following HM Treasury guidelines.

The capital cost estimate for the core section of the route, taken from Darlington to Saltburn, including the QRA cost, was estimated at £141.9 million (2005 prices).

In working with Network Rail, the new option for using shared running along much of the route should further reduce costs. However, it was explained that there may be some additional costs associated with additional elements of the scheme that were being examined in more detail in the next stage of work, that were not included in the £141.9 million scheme. Members were informed that a detailed cost benefit evaluation remained to be undertaken, and that the proposed phasing of the implementation of the improvements would need to be addressed in terms of economic viability. However, the need to provide an integrated network across the whole of the Tees Valley was fundamental to the development of the scheme.

Due to increased frequency of service and higher staff costs the total forecast annual operating cost for the core system was £6.6 million, compared with the current estimate of £5.7 million. However, it was anticipated that trip numbers would increase and the new system would actually require less subsidy than the existing system. It was envisaged that the new system would require around £1.5 million less per year in Government subsidy payments.

The option for increased use of shared running currently being examined also assumed that the system remained part of the national rail network, which would not place additional operating cost risk on the Local Authorities.

It was explained that TVR was working to secure a contribution from the DfT in respect of major transport schemes, and position Metro favourably for the review of the RFA process to be undertaken later in 2007.

The 'call in' period ending at Midnight on Friday 7th September 2007 applies.
CAB
41/07
Members considered a report which included performance against the Council Plan 2006 - 2009 and Service Improvement Plans for 2006/2007.

Overall, 73% of key service improvement objectives and 77% of key organisational objectives were fully achieved or were on track (not yet due for completion). This compared with 75% of key service objectives and 76% of key organisational objectives fully achieved or on track for 2005/06. Members were provided with details of actions that had been achieved within agreed timescales, were on track to be achieved or had slipped for each theme in the Plan. A copy of the full Council Plan 2006 - 2009 monitoring report was also provided.

It was explained that Service Improvement Plans detailed the key change and improvement areas required to achieve the priorities and objective set out within the Council Plan. Service Improvement Plans showed accountability at Head of Service level and were closely monitored on a regular basis within service groups. This monitoring framework and improved project management arrangements had ensured that good progress had been made across all Service Improvement Plans for 2006/7. Details of key achievements were provided to Members.

It was noted that work was being undertaken to address any slippage on targets and that initial consideration had commenced regarding the possibility of a Special Council meeting being arranged, in June 2008, to reflect and consider performance during 2007/2008.

The 'call in' period ending at Midnight on Friday 7th September 2007 applies.
CAB
42/07
Consideration was given to the minutes of the following meetings of the Area Partnership Boards:-

Eastern Area Partnership Board - 5th June 2007
Eastern Area Partnership Board - 27th June 2007

The 'call in' period ending at Midnight on Friday 7th September 2007 applies.
CAB
43/07
Cabinet considered a report that provided information on projected outturn position based on information to the end of June 2007, the medium financial position, and current issues for the 2008/2009 Revenue Support Grant settlement..

Cabinet noted that the position for 2007/08 was structured around three "ring-fenced" financial areas:

a. General Fund
b. Housing Revenue Account
c. Capital

The projected position on the service element of the General Fund was provided and it could be seen that the Council would be carrying forward a Managed Surplus of £1.769m into 2007/08 compared to £1.403m Managed Surplus reported in July 2007. Members noted a table detailing the current MTFP position and were provided with key movements since the last reported position.

Cabinet noted the current position with regard to balances in the general fund and were informed of a number of major issues and pressures that may require funding from the Council's available corporate working capital.

With regard to the Housing Revenue Account the projected position was in line with what had been reported in July, which was a surplus of £1.3 million at the 31st March 2008.

Members noted the Capital position, including the variance from the approved budget. It was explained that this movement included savings on expenditure 0f £3,000 and slippage of £2,627,000. Reasons for these movements were provided.

Members were informed of issues relating to Thornaby Pavilion Improvements and noted proposals to use prudential borrowing of £1.008 million to help fund necessary improvement works.

Cabinet were provided with details of current issues which would impact on the 2008/2009 Finance Settlement.
CAB
44/07
Cabinet considered a report that informed members of further comments received from Government Office for the North East (GO-NE) in relation to the Core Strategy DPD Preferred Options. The comments were based on some guidance, oublished in June by the Planning Inspectorate, which reflected the lessons learnt in examining DPDs to date. The guidance sought to ensure that DPDs were found to be sound at examination.

It was explained that the comments from GONE did not undermine the main thrust of the Council's Preferred Options for the Core Strategy. The main comments, in addition to editorial suggestions, focused on

· Consistency: ensuring that all the policies are clear and consistent in their relationship with each other;

· Local distinctiveness: not just repeating national and regional planning guidance;

· Inclusion of sufficient detail: to provide a meaningful spatial strategy, whilst remaining strategic.

· Avoiding repetition: the plan will be read as a whole, and therefore
repetition in both Core Strategy policies and Development Management policies, and cross referencing between policies is not necessary

· Strengthening links with the Sustainability Appraisal (SA): including text to say how the various options/policies perform against the SA.

At their meeting on 31 July 2007, the LDF Member Steering Group agreed that the comments of GO-NE should be incorporated into the Preferred Options, and that the amended version should be placed before Cabinet, as an item for information, prior to public consultation. An amended copy was provided to Members.
CAB
45/07
Members were informed that an Appropriate Assessment (AA) was an assessment of the potential effects of a proposed plan - "in combination" with other plans - on sites which were of European importance for their nature conservation value, broadly speaking Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). The ‘assessment' proper was a statement which indicated whether the plan did, or did not, affect the integrity of a European site. However, the process of determining whether or not the plan affected the site(s) was commonly referred to as ‘appropriate assessment'.

It was explained that undertaking an AA involved:

· collecting information on European sites within and outside the plan area potentially affected, including the characteristics of the sites, their conservation objectives and other relevant plan or projects

· identifying the effects of the plan (options/policies) on the habitats and species of international importance and how those effects were likely to affect the site's conservation objectives,

· deciding whether the plan proposed would adversely affect the integrity of the site in the light of conservation objectives

·if significant effects were identified, considering whether the plan could be modified so as to avoid adverse effects on the integrity of the sites.

Where a plan had been found to have adverse effects on the integrity of a European site, those effects should be mitigated, with the aim of fully cancelling out any adverse effects.

After mitigation measures had been exhausted on an emerging option/policy, and it was still shown to have a potentially negative effect on the integrity of a European site, and in the absence of any other alternative solution, as a rule the option/policy should be dropped. In the exceptional circumstance and as an exception to the rule, if the pursuit of the option/policy was justified by ‘imperative reasons of overriding public interest', consideration could be given to proceeding in the absence of alternative solutions.

Preparing an Appropriate Assessment of the effects of a Development Plan Document on the integrity of European sites was a technical process involving Natural England and possibly other nature conservation bodies. A report was being prepared, and a working draft of the document was provided to Members.

In addition to working closely with Natural England, the AA findings should be made available and consulted on at the Preferred Options stage of plan preparation. This meant that the AA findings were published at the same time as the Sustainability Appraisal report.

Following receipt of consultation responses, the LPA would refine the Preferred Options and prepare for the submission DPD. It may be necessary to revisit the AA at this point if the changes made for submission were such as to affect the validity of the AA report.
CAB
46/07
Members considered a report that provided specific details about the implementation of recommendations from a review of elections held in 2005 and a review that had taken place concerning the 2007 elections.

Cabinet was reminded that following the Parliamentary General Election and Local Government Elections held in 2005, a review was undertaken which resulted in some twenty four recommendations for improvement across all areas of election management and administration.

Implementation of the recommendations commenced in September 2005 led by the Head of Democratic Services (Deputy RO) and supported by the Returning Officer and Team Leader for Electoral Community Engagement and Civic services (Deputy RO). A summary of progress was provided.

Members also noted outcomes from a review of the 2007 local Elections and considered a report that identified what went well and areas where improvement could be made. Linked to these outcomes were a range of recommendations which would help improve the delivery of future elections. These were provided to Members for their consideration.
CAB
47/07
Cabinet considered a report that provided an update on issues related to the Council's Learning and Development Strategy for Members.

Members noted issues relating to the Induction Training Programme, which had been undertaken immediately following the May 2007 Local Elections.

With regard to the Programme as a whole it was noted that some very positive feedback had been received, however, it was felt that perhaps the programme was intense in terms of timing and content and that members were overawed by the complexity and diversity of the authority.

Specific feedback with regard to the Planning and Licensing training indicated that Members had found the one day courses to be extremely informative. Training courses for Planning and Licensing had been provided by external specialists and it was felt that this should be continued on a yearly basis and be supplemented by in house training throughout the year.

Cabinet noted progress in relation to Member completion of Personal Support Plans and was informed that 47 Members had undertaken the one to one Personal Support Sessions. A matrix of learning needs had subsequently been developed which identified specific development needs and preferred learning styles which would be used when determining training and support opportunities. A copy of the matrix was provided to Members.

Cabinet agreed that significant progress had been made in enhancing the approach to Member Learning and Development and noted that this was likely to be confirmed externally by accreditation and receipt of Chartered Status.
CAB
49/07
Members considered a report that sought to amend the Stockton Town Centre Action Plan, as approved by Cabinet for consultation in November 2006, to reflect changed circumstances and comments received as part of the consultation process. It also sought to update the requirements for funding of the proposals within the Action Plan.

The 'call in' period ending at Midnight on Friday 7th September 2007 applies.
CAB
51/07
Cabinet was provided with a report that updated Members on the progress made towards the implementation of Job Evaluation and the Single Status Agreement. At their meeting on 7 June 2007, Cabinet noted the progress made to date. At that time evaluations up to and including Scale 6 had almost been completed and some progress had been made to completing evaluations for posts graded SO1 and above. In addition the Council's position in respect to changes to conditions of service was being considered. At that meeting Members agreed an implementation date for both a new pay and grading structure and to changes to conditions of service of 1 April 2008.

This report sought approval to a proposed new Pay and Grading Structure and proposed changes to certain Terms and Conditions of Employment. In addition delegated authority was sought in respect of future implementation issues concerning ongoing discussions on conditions of service, pay protection and potential settlements. Further details were given in the body of the report. A copy of the proposed new pay and grading structure was set out at paragraph 3 of the report and the proposed changes to conditions of service was attached at Annex A.

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