DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Mrs McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - Reorganisation of Secondary Schools in Billingham as she was a Member of Billingham Town Council.
Councillor Lupton declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - Reorganisation of Secondary Schools in Billingham as he was a friend of a teacher at one of the schools involved in the reorganisation. Councillor Mrs McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Local Authority Representatives on School Governing Bodies as she was a school governor at Mill Lane School. Councillor Coleman declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Local Authority Representatives on School Governing Bodies as he was a school governor at Mill Lane School. Councillor Lupton declared a personal prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Local Authority Representatives on School Governing Bodies as he had a close association with both applicants at Yarm Primary School and left the room during consideration of the item. Councillor Mrs Beaumont declared a personal prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Local Authority Representatives on School Governing Bodies as she had a close association with both applicants at Yarm Primary School and left the room during consideration of the item. Councillor Mrs Womphrey declared a personal prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Local Authority Representatives on School Governing Bodies as she had a close association with both applicants at Yarm Primary School and left the room during consideration of the item. Councillor Laing declared a personal prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Local Authority Representatives on School Governing Bodies as he had a close association with both applicants at Yarm Primary School and left the room during consideration of the item. Councillor Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 8 - Housing and Community Safety Select Committee Scrutiny Review of Registered Social Landlords as he was a member of Tristar Homes Board. Councillor Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 11 - Housing Futures (Options for Future Investment) as he was a member of Tristar Homes Board. Councillor Mrs Cherrett declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 8 - Housing and Community Safety Select Committee Scrutiny Review of Registered Social Landlords as she was a member of Tristar Homes Board. Councillor Mrs Cherrett declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 11 - Housing Futures (Options for Future Investment) as she was a member of Tristar Homes Board.
MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS HELD ON 11 SEPTEMBER 2008 AND 9 OCTOBER 2008
The minutes of the meetings held on 11th September 2008 and 9th October 2008 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
JOINT STRATEGIC NEEDS ASSESSMENT Cabinet Decision Record D080118
RESOLVED that the JSNA summary be received and its linkage to the key strategies and plans that support delivery of the Sustainable Community Strategy be noted.
YOUTH CAFE DEVELOPMENTS Cabinet Decision Record D080119
1. The progress on the developments of the Youth Cafes in Billingham and Thornaby be noted. 2. The progress on efforts to identify an appropriate site for a Youth Café development in Ingleby Barwick be noted. 3. Cabinet to confirm the development of further Youth Café provision within the North Stockton Integrated Service Area, and agree delegated approval to proceed with lead Cabinet member consultation.
REORGANISATION OF SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN BILLINGHAM Cabinet Decision Record D080120
RESOLVED that a Statutory Public Notice be issued describing a proposal to:-
1. Discontinue Billingham Campus School with effect from 31st August 2009, and 2. Enlarge Northfield School from 1,120 to 1,800 places to encompass the site and buildings of Billingham Campus School with effect from 1st September 2009.
LOCAL AUTHORITY REPRESENTATIVES ON SCHOOL GOVERNING BODIES Cabinet Decision Record D080121
RESOLVED that the following appointments be made to the vacant Governorships in line with agreed procedures subject to successful List 99 check and Personal Disclosure:
Hardwick Primary School - Mr R Stephenson Mill Lane Primary School - Jean Oliver Yarm Primary School - Councillor Mrs Simpson
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF REGISTERED SOCIAL LANDLORDS Cabinet Decision Record D080122
1. that the communication exchange between RSL partners and the local authority be improved by: a) drafting a protocol which the Council should encourage RSLs to use when communicating with Members, and for it to include reference to providing appropriate ward members with key RSL contact details (e.g. patch managers/area managers) on an annual basis and request that these contacts are kept up to date, b) including this up to date information in the induction packs of new Members as appropriate; c) providing all RSLs with general information regarding the role/remit of ward councillors as a means of general awareness raising of their roles within the local community and request this information is shared with their front line housing staff; d) providing RSLs with key contact details including ward members and appropriate Council Officers on an annual basis, and encouraging RSL officers based within a local area to informally meet with the appropriate ward members as a matter of course; e) SBC Housing Service advising ward members on the strategic role of the LA in dealing with complaints relating to RSLs. 2. that steps be taken to ensure all partner RSLs are active partners in the LSP, in particular, the thematic Housing and Neighbourhood Partnership. 3. a) that the Council create a framework of RSLs who wish to develop within the Borough and this framework be used to identify those RSLs capable of working with the Council to secure future funding, and to assist private developers to identify suitable RSLs to work with them on the deliverability of affordable housing on s106 sites. b) that the criteria for RSLs on the framework include: - their role as developing organisations; - their role as a key local authority strategic partner in order to support agendas including homelessness, training and employment, and the physical and social regeneration of the Borough, for example by attendance at the Housing and Neighbourhood Partnership; - the standards expected in terms of service and presence within Neighbourhoods. c) that the criteria and membership of the framework be regularly reviewed, and an annual update be reported to Housing and Community Safety Select Committee. 4. that in order to ensure that non-developing RSLs are good landlords, promote tenant involvement, participate in community involvement, and that they attend the Housing and Neighbourhood Partnership, the Council should undertake an annual review, taking into account the views of tenants/Members/key stakeholders including relevant SBC services, and to work with appropriate regulatory bodies should this be necessary following the review. The results of this review should be reported to Housing and Community Safety Select Committee. 5. that following recommendations 3) and 4), the Council evaluate the work undertaken by RSLs specifically in relation to their community investment funds/activity on an annual basis and to share best practice between partner RSLs and other housing providers, using the meetings of the Housing and Neighbourhood Partnership. 6. that in relation to planning obligations, building on the policy work already undertaken as part of the LDF process, officers of Housing and Planning Services (and other services as appropriate) should undertake joint work or training as deemed appropriate by the Heads of Housing and Planning Services to examine best practice in order to further develop experience and expertise when negotiating s106 agreements that contain provision for affordable housing, in order to promote greater understanding of the opportunities and constraints contained within and to maximise the number of units delivered through this method, and that the Housing and Community Safety Select Committee should receive an annual report stating what joint work or training has been completed. 7.a) that Members of the Housing and Community Select Committee (and all Members where appropriate) be provided with timely information relating to the housing market (including for example key Government announcements and projects initiated within the Borough). b) that the Housing Service actively seeks to bid for/secure resources to deliver new housing initiatives (for example Mortgage Rescue Packages).
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF CUSTOMER FIRST Cabinet Decision Record D080123
1. Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council adopts the Cabinet Office's new Customer Service Excellence Standard corporately, replacing and building on the Customer First Stage 2 programme post-March 2009, following corporate completion of Customer First Stage 2. 2. Section 5 of Customer First Stage 2 programme relating to Service Equality be reviewed and developed where necessary and included as an additional section above and beyond the Customer Service Excellence Standard or any other customer service programme implemented following Customer First Stage 2. 3. Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Councillors to have the opportunity for increased involvement, for example by supporting Council staff involved in mystery shopping exercises or as customer service champions, under the Customer Service Excellence Standard or any other customer service programme implemented following Customer First Stage 2. 4. Specific overarching targets for improvement in customer service satisfaction ratings be developed as part of the introduction of the Customer Service Excellence Standard (which requires the introduction of such targets) or any other customer service programme implemented following Customer First Stage 2. 5. To assist customers presented with a voicemail message when contacting Council officers by telephone the existing service standards and guidance for the use of voicemail be enhanced and promoted, in particular: * All voicemail messages include the officer's name, team or service details and extension number. * The alternative voicemail message facility is used if the officer being contacted is out of the office on business for the day or away on holiday. * Voicemail messages give an indication when the caller can expect to receive a response, or otherwise provide the caller with an alternative telephone contact officer and number. * Targets for responding to voicemail messages are established. Furthermore, taking into account the above recommendation, the use of voicemail be included in future mystery shopping exercises. 6. To avoid unnecessary calls back to the Council's automated messaging service, callers presented with an answering machine when contacting a member of the public or a Councillor leave an appropriate message and contact details including name and telephone number. 7. A corporate staff suggestion scheme be implemented under the Customer Service Excellence scheme with awards presented for the best suggestions. 8. Existing information relating to the responsibilities of different organisations working within the borough for particular services be expanded and made available via the SBC staff intranet or other suitable way in order for customers contacting Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council with queries regarding services provided by organisations other than the Council to be re-directed accordingly. 9. A review of the provision of children's toys in Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council reception areas and other appropriate buildings/ areas of buildings be undertaken. In carrying out the review, consideration should be given towards: * Assessing the potential customer demand for the provision of children's toys by conducting public consultation in reception areas. * Recognising that children's toys cannot be provided in every reception area and are best suited to reception areas suitable for families rather than where customers do not have to queue for very long. * The financial implications to the Council. 10. The Customer Service Excellence Awards be continued under the Customer Service Excellence Standard or any other customer service programme implemented following Customer First Stage 2. 11. Officers hold further discussions with the Customer Service Excellence bodies to finalise the one-off costs associated with a corporate application for Customer Service Excellence and that a bid be made as part of the 2009/10 budget-setting process to fund these costs. The North East Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership could, potentially, provide additional funding.
UNADOPTED STREETS - POLICY AND PROCEDURE FOR ADOPTION Cabinet Decision Record D080124
RESOLVED that the following policies be approved:-
1. Where Streets require no additional works to become adopted, it is in the interest of the public to adopt and adoption will not have significant ongoing maintenance liabilities:- the Head of Technical Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member be authorised to approve the adoption of such private streets. 2. Where Streets require minor works to become adopted, it is in the interest of the public to adopt and adoption will not have significant ongoing maintenance liabilities:- the Head of Technical Services will seek full or partial contributions from residents or landowners to facilitate adoption, the Head of Technical Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member be authorised to allocate limited Council funding, to assist adoption, up to a maximum of £5,000 per street, where appropriate, the Head of Technical Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member be authorised to approve the adoption of such private streets on condition a private contribution is secured, an initial allocation of £10,000 will be provisionally set aside, from the 2009/2010 Highways Maintenance Budget, to fund this activity, should this not be utilised the budget will revert to being used for general highway maintenance. 3. Where Streets require significant works to become adopted, it is in the interest of the public to adopt and adoption will have significant ongoing maintenance liabilities:- the Head of Technical Services will seek costs from the landowners, the Head of Technical Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member be authorised to approve the adoption of such private streets at the expense of the landowner/frontages in accordance with the legal requirements of the Highways Act 1980 (Private Street Works Code). 4. It is clarified to Ward Members that, subject to the agreed protocols for the use of Community Participation Budget (formerly Small Environmental Improvements Budget), private street adoption is a permissible use of that budget. 5. A further report be brought to Cabinet in November 2009 to update members on the progress of dealing with private streets and to review the policies agreed.
HOUSING FUTURES(OPTIONS FOR FUTURE INVESTMENT) Cabinet Decision Record D080125
Consideration was given to a report on the findings of the recent option appraisal undertaken in relation the Councils housing stock. The report also sought approval to further explore stock transfer as the only viable option available to the Council at this time that secures future investment needs (stock and service improvement).
Council had previously undertaken two options appraisals of council housing stock. The first option appraisal undertaken was in 2000 and following a positive tenant ballot resulted in the establishment an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO). Following acceptance on the Round 1 ALMO Programme, Tristar Homes Limited (THL) was created in April 2002. A further option appraisal of sheltered housing stock was undertaken in 2005 and following an overwhelming ballot in favour of small-scale stock transfer, resulted in the transfer of ownership and management of six sheltered housing schemes (152 units of accommodation) to Erimus Housing in July 2007. The key driver of each previous option appraisals was to determine how best to secure resources to meet both the investment needs of the housing stock and housing service improvements aspired by tenants. In August 2007 a report was presented to Cabinet, which sought approval to undertake a third option appraisal. The report outlined that whilst the establishment of THL had ensured investment of circa £120million to achieve the decent homes standard, it was now timely to consider the further management and maintenance of the councils housing stock to ensure the Council was in a position to respond appropriately to changing local and national issues. The key current drivers included: I. Maintaining property standards following decent standard investment work. II. Delivering sustainable communities i.e. delivering more than bricks and mortar investment - creating thriving, diverse communities where people choose to live. III. Meeting changing tenant needs and aspirations i.e. responding to the increasing demand for socially rented property from a diverse range of potential tenants. IV. Providing the right type and mix of housing (specifically responding to changing demographics and an aging population). V. Addressing the problems of affordability and access to the housing market. Following approval by Cabinet in August 2007 a comprehensive appraisal of all available options had been undertaken. The appraisal followed an inclusive and consultative approach involving both tenants and Members. The options appraised were: Option 1: Stock retention in the subsidy system - As an ALMO (stay as we are) - Take back in house Option 2: Stock retention outside of the subsidy system: - As an ALMO - Take back in house Option 3: Stock Transfer Option 4: Private Finance Initiative (PFI) Option 5: Regeneration Delivery Vehicle - Whole scale stock solution or - Hybrid solution A summary of each option was attached to the report. As with the previous option appraisals it was essential that each available option be judged against a number of pre-determined criteria. Four draft criteria were initially agreed by Cabinet and following a period of consultation with all council members (via a Housing Seminar) and tenants a final list of ten criteria were signed off by the Corporate Director of Development and Neighbourhood Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety. The ten criteria were attached to the report. In order to inform the option appraisal the Housing Service commissioned Savills Commercial to undertake a stock condition survey. 10% of the 10,527 housing stock were surveyed, (the 10% of stock surveyed was representative based on type, age and location of stock). The purpose of the survey was to: 1. Assess current stock condition. 2. Assess the current and future repairs and maintenance liabilities of the housing stock for the next 30 years. 3. Assess improvements required to the stock. 4. Assess properties against the decent homes standard and 5. Assess requirements beyond decent homes. The survey was concluded in November 2007, it acknowledged the substantial investment made in the housing stock over recent years to bring properties up to the decent homes standard. The stock condition survey identified investment required to maintain this standard (consistently across all stock), plus a programme of investment on items not included within the decent homes standard i.e. work to non traditional properties, roofs, works to external areas and structural repairs to high rise blocks to improve the thermal performance of these properties. However there were limitations to the decent homes standard; it did not meet the aspirations of our tenants, nor did it meet the broader regeneration proposals of the Council in terms of future place shaping (creating well-designed, quality homes and environments). The report concluded that stock investment needed over the next 30-years totalled in the region of £596m. However as some recent work had recently been undertaken to high-rise blocks this had reduced to £594m. The headline figures from the survey were detailed within the report. The profile of investment highlighted: 1. Around £25m per year was required in the first 5-years of the 30-yr programme. 2. Average capital spend of £18.5m per year for the first 5-yrs. 3. Average spend of £6.9m per year on cyclical responsive and void works in the first 5- years. Within the above totals, the first 5-yrs of investments needs included: 4. High-rise cost £6.9m. 5. Non-traditional costs £15m and 6. Environmental (external) improvements £15m. A comprehensive, financial evaluation of each option available to the Council had been undertaken. The purpose of this exercise was to identify the potential funding that each option would deliver and evaluate whether this funding would be sufficient to maintain a consistent base position for all sustainable housing stock over the next 30-yrs. A summary of the financial evaluation for each option was contained within the report. An evaluation of all 4 of the 5 options against the 10 pre-determined criteria was attached to the report. Evaluation against Option 2: Stock retention outside of the subsidy system could not be undertaken until CLG releases its Housing Finance consultation paper (anticipated) spring 2009. Following approval by Cabinet in August 2007, a Homes for the Future Tenants Group was established. CLG and Government Office North East (GO NE) both required tenants to be at the heart of the option appraisal process. Throughout the process the Group had been supported by an Independent Tenant Advisor (ITA) and held regular meetings to parallel the exercise undertaken by the Council. The Group had recently finished their option appraisal exercise and had concluded that at this time the only viable option to secure necessary stock investment was stock transfer. The Group had held a formal feedback session and presented their findings to the Head of Housing and the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety on 6.10.08. A copy of the Groups final report had been placed in the Members Library. As the implications to the Council of the current HRA Review were unknown, as soon as the consultation paper is released a detailed evaluation would be undertaken to determine whether this would option would provide a viable alternative option to stock transfer. However to prevent any unnecessary delay, it was proposed that further work be undertaken in terms of further exploration of the stock transfer option. There were a number of key stages involved, which included: a. Understanding the choices/models available to the Council and its tenants in terms of stock transfer. b. Preliminary assessment of each of the above models c. Development of a Landlord Specification d. Landlord choice It was prerequisite of CLG and GONE that throughout the above stages tenants and leaseholders remained central to the process and that there views were given due regard. As stated previously the Homes for the Future Tenants Group had worked closely with the Council throughout the option appraisal process, this group had advised the Council they were willing to continue to meet throughout the stock transfer exploration stage. In addition to the Homes for the Future Tenants Group it was also suggested that a cross party Member Group be established. It was proposed that membership of the group be representative of each of the political parties in the Borough. Whilst the remit of this group would be agreed with group members it was proposed that the Member Reference Group work in partnership with the Homes for the Future Tenants Group, supported by Officers of the Housing Service (and others as appropriate) to complete the four stages previously detailed. It would be necessary to appoint specialist consultants to support Officers of the Council in progressing the stock transfer option, they included for example an Independent Tenant Advisor to work with and support tenants, a Communication Specialist to ensure that key messages to tenants and all other stakeholders are delivered in an appropriate and timely manner, Legal Advisor and a Lead Advisor (specialists in the stock transfer process). Members were assured that the appointment of consultants would only be undertaken when appropriate and their role would be to support and advise Officers within the Council, there would be no duplication of duty. In addition to the above work that would be undertaken on stock transfer, further cross- authority work would also be undertaken on modelling potential Regeneration Delivery Vehicles (to inform the hybrid solution). This project would pull together Officers from across the Council and would be steered via the Corporate Capital and Asset Management Group. It was proposed that the exploration of stock transfer would commence immediately and that a report be presented back to Cabinet in Spring 2009. This report will include: 1. (Pending release by CLG) a financial evaluation of the Housing Finance Consultation Paper, detailing the implications for Stockton and advising whether this option would deliver an alternative option to stock transfer. 2. A detailed financial appraisal of the impact of stock transfer on the Authority. 3. A detailed project update of the work of Homes for the Future Tenants Group and Member Reference Group in undertaking the exploration of stock transfer stages. 4. A progress update (outlining next steps) in relation to the development of a potential Regeneration Delivery Vehicle. In this future Cabinet report Members would be provided with a comprehensive range of information, asked to make the final choice of option and landlord if stock transfer remained the preferred option. RESOLVED that:- 1. Stock transfer is currently the only viable option available to the Council to secure future stock and service investment needs. 2. Further exploration of the stock transfer model and further exploration of a Regeneration Delivery Vehicle be supported (to address areas of housing stock which may not be sustainable in the long term and may require regeneration). 3. The establishment of a Member Reference Group and the continuation of the Homes for the Future Tenants Group be endorsed. 4. A further report be brought back to Cabinet following further exploration of the stock transfer. 5. A further report be brought back to Cabinet providing a detailed financial appraisal of the impact of stock transfer on the Councils General Fund. 6. Following the publication of the CLG Housing Finance Review Consultation Paper (anticipated Spring 2009) a further report be brought back to Cabinet detailing the potential impact of the proposals on the Authority. 7. The appointment of appropriate consultant support as detailed in the body of the report be supported. Funding for such appointments can be afforded within current resource allocations.
MINUTES OF VARIOUS BODIES Cabinet Decision Record D080126
RESOLVED that the minutes of the following meetings be received/approved, as appropriate:-
Tees Valley Unlimited Leadership Board 11 June 2008 The Billingham Partnership 1 September 2008 St Anns Development Board 11 September 2008 Western Area Partnership Board 29 September 2008
STOCKTON ON TEES LOCAL PLAN ALTERATION NUMBER ONE:EXTENSION OF SAVED POLICIES Cabinet Decision Record D080127
RECOMMENDED to Council that:-
1. The recommendations of the report that Stockton-on-Tees Local Plan Alteration Number One policies EN32a, EN32b, EN32c, S3, S12, S19, S20 and S21 are deleted be endorsed. 2. The recommendations of the report that Stockton-on-Tees Local Plan Alteration Number One policies S1, S2, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S9, S10, S11, S13, S14, S15, S16, S17 and S18 are saved be endorsed. 3. Authority be delegated to the Head of Planning, in consultation with the Lead Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport to negotiate with Government Office for the North East about the schedule of saved and deleted policies prior to submission to the Secretary of State.
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK:INTERIM STUDENT ACCOMMODATION POLICY GUIDANCE Cabinet Decision Record D080128
RECOMMENDED to Council that:-
1. The Draft Student Accommodation Study be accepted as an accurate reflection of the current position and provision of Student Accommodation in Stockton and projected student growth. 2. The Draft Student Accommodation Study be accepted as interim policy guidance, which can be used to determine planning applications with immediate effect. 3. The following policy recommendations for the Core Strategy be endorsed:- Major planning applications for student accommodation will have to demonstrate how they will meet a proven need for the development; are compatible with wider social and economic regeneration objectives; and are conveniently located for access to the University and local facilities. 4. The policy recommendations to identify North Shore as the preferred location for future student accommodation in the Regeneration Development Plan Document be endorsed.