Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cabinet Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 20th April, 2006
Time:
4.30 pm
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 Mrs P A Cains, Cllr D Coleman, Cllr B Cook, Cllr R Gibson, Cllr E Johnson, Cllr P Kirton, Cllr K Leonard, Cllr S Nelson, Cllr Mrs J O'Donnell
Officers:
G.Garlick (CE); M Robinson, Ms C Straughan, (DNS), P. Mrs A.Baxter, Ms J.Humphreys (CESC), I.Miles (R), N.Hart (LD.
In Attendance:
Councillors Frankland, Luton and Mrs Rigg
Apologies for absence:
An apology for absence was submitted on behalf of Councillor Cunningham
Item Description Decision
Public
29 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillors Mrs Cains, Coleman, Frankland, Gibson, Johnson, Kirton, Leonard, Nelson and Mrs O'Donnell each declared personal, non-prejudicial interests in respect of the item entitled Education Capital Building Programme 2006/2007 as a result of their role on the School Governing Bodies of schools affected by the Education Capital Programme.

Councillors Mrs Cains and Leonard each declared personal, prejudicial interests in respect of the item entitled Establishment of a New Community Primary School in Roseworth as a result of their position as Governing Body members of the schools affected; and therefore left the meeting during the discussion of this item.

Councillor Mrs Cains declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of the item entitled Stockton Town Centre-On Street Parking Charges as a result of her position as a Council representative on Shopmobility Limited. Councillor Mrs Rigg also declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of the same item as a result of being an occasional user of disabled parking bays.


None

Councillors Mrs Cains, Coleman, Gibson, Johnson, Kirton, Leonard, Nelson and Mrs O'Donnell each declared personal, non-prejudicial interests in respect of this item as a result of their role on the School Governing Bodies of schools affected by the Education Capital Programme.

Councillors Mrs Cains and Leonard each declared personal, prejudicial interests in respect of this item as a result of their position as Governing Body members of the schools affected; and therefore left the meeting during the discussion of this item.

None

None

Councillor Mrs Cains declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of this item as a result of her position as a Council representative on Shopmobility Limited.

None

None
30 MINUTES
The Minutes of the meetings held on 9th March 2006 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
31 LOCAL AUTHORITY REPRESENTATIVES ON SCHOOL GOVERNING BODIES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D060001
RESOLVED that the appointments to the following School Governing Bodies be approved in line with agreed procedures subject to successful List 99 check and Personal Disclosure:-

Billingham South Primary Mr I.Tate
Bowsefield Lane Primary Mr C.Harris
Egglescliffe CE Primary Mrs D.Andrew
Egglescliffe School Mr D.Brown
The Federated Governing Body
Of Abbey Hill School & Tech College & Westlands School Mr M.Jones
Mr E.Jewitt
Cllr Cunningham Mr C.Whittaker
Holy Trinity Rosehill VA CE Primary Mr J.Britton

Mandale Mill Mrs J.Taylor
The Links Primary Mrs J.McGuire
Wolviston Primary Mr G.McGregor


Cabinet was requested to consider the appointment of school governors in accordance with the procedure for the appointment of school governors, approved at Minute 84 of the Cabinet (11th May 2000).

RESOLVED that the appointments to the following School Governing Bodies be approved in line with agreed procedures subject to successful List 99 check and Personal Disclosure:-

Billingham South Primary Mr I.Tate
Bowsefield Lane Primary Mr C.Harris
Egglescliffe CE Primary Mrs D.Andrew
Egglescliffe School Mr D.Brown
The Federated Governing Body Cllr Cunningham
Of Abbey Hill School & Tech College Mr E.Jewitt
& Westlands School Mr M.Jones
Mr C.Whittaker
Holy Trinity Rosehill VA CE Primary Mr J.Britton
Mandale Mill Mrs J.Taylor
The Links Primary Mrs J.McGuire
Wolviston Primary Mr G.McGregor


32 EDUCATION CAPITAL BUILDING PROGRAMME 2006/2007
 
Cabinet Decision Record D060002
RESOLVED that

1. Members agree the Education Capital Building Programme of £9,260,791 be included in the Borough's 2006/07 Capital Programme.

2. The Corporate Director for Children, Education and Social Care be authorised to approve the schemes and financial appraisals in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People.




Cabinet considered a report regarding the known Education Capital Programme for the 2006/07 financial year.

Members were informed that funding was recorded under three main headings. Formula allocations from Government for the modernisation and renewal of school buildings were based partly on the number of pupils in the Council's schools and partly on the capital needs of school buildings as recorded in the education Asset Management Plan. Funds were required to be spent on priority projects determined in consultation with schools through the Asset Management Plan process. The Targeted Capital Fund was a project-specific Government funding stream to support major projects that could not be funded from formulaic allocations. Finally, with the agreement of the Schools Asset Management Group and the Schools Forum, the capital programme was augmented with a contribution from the Education revenue budget.

Members noted the DfES allocations of SCE ®, Supported Capital
Expenditure (Revenue), previously called Credit Approval and SCE©, Supported Capital Expenditure, previously called Capital Grant for the financial year 2006/2007:-

L.A. Formulaic Allocation
Modernisation £ 800,334 SCE©
Modernisation £1,731,361 SCE®
Schools Access Initiative £ 299,106 SCE®
Schools Devolved Formula Capital £2,776,513 SCE©

Total LA Formulaic Allocation £5, 607, 314

It was explained that formula allocations to Local Authorities were based partly on the number of pupils in the Council's schools and partly on the capital needs of school buildings as recorded in the education Asset Management Plan. Funds had to be spent on priority projects determined in consultation with schools through the Asset Management Plan process.

Schools' Devolved Formula Capital was included in the overall education capital programme, but those funds had to be devolved directly to schools to enable them to meet their own AMP priorities.

Targeted Capital Fund

Billingham Campus 3rd year £305,000 SCE®
Grangefield 3rd year £182,300 SCE®
Roseworth/Redbrook 1st year £835,825 SCE©

Total TCF £1,323,125

Targeted Capital Fund was a bid-driven allocation from the DfES for high priority projects that could not be funded from formulaic allocations. The Authority/school had to contribute 20% to project costs.

Details of the Revenue contributions to the Capital Programme were provided.

Planned Maintenance £985,352 Revenue
Small Minor Works £100,000 Revenue
LEA Disabled Access £ 25,000 Revenue
Grounds Maintenance £ 20,000 Revenue

Total Revenue Contributions £1,130,352

1. Specialist Schools Funding

The Norton School ( Humanities) £100,000 SCE©

2. Capital Receipt (Income)

Sale of The Dene land £1,100,000

Total Education Capital Programme £9,260,791

As an appendix to the report Members were provided with details of the schemes already identified for inclusion within the programme of works.
33 ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW COMMUNITY SCHOOL IN ROSEWORTH
 
Cabinet Decision Record D060003
RESOLVED that a Statutory Notice be published inviting comment on the Authority's proposals to:

a. close Roseworth Primary School and Redbrook Primary School on 31st August 2008;

b. establish on 1st September 2008 a new community primary school for 420 children, plus a 39-place nursery, in new premises to be constructed on the site of Roseworth Primary School.




Cabinet considered a report that described the outcome of consultation on a proposal to close both Redbrook Primary School and Roseworth Primary School and establish a single community primary school in a new building funded with an 80% grant awarded from the DfES Targeted Capital Fund. The remaining 20% would be funded from Council resources.

It was explained that the new school would be constructed on part of the site occupied by Roseworth Primary School to open in September 2008 with 420 full-time places and an integrated 39-place nursery as part of a foundation unit. The new school would be planned to contribute to the delivery of integrated services for children and families in consultation with other service providers in the Roseworth area.

The proposal was described in a consultation paper circulated to parents, school staff and their representatives, school governors, the Anglican and Catholic dioceses and neighbouring schools. Meetings were held at both schools for parents, staff and their professional representatives. The consensus at all meetings agreed that the proposal would be likely to bring significant benefits for the children of the Roseworth estate.

Concerns were raised over planning issues, particularly the location of the school entrance and the impact on neighbours of parents delivering and collecting children by car. This would be addressed at the design stage, taking account of the results of a Transport Impact Assessment. It was very likely that appropriate conditions would be attached to the granting of planning permission for a new building.

One organisation representing some members of staff had sought confirmation that the new school would be a community school (like those to be replaced) so that staff would remain in the employment of the Council. Members noted that this was the intention of the proposal, subject only to any change in legislation.

It was explained that should members agree to the recommendations in the report, a Statutory Notice (draft was provided) would be published in the press and at the school gates. This would be followed by six weeks in which any person could respond in writing. After the expiry of that period, if no written objections had been received, the Authority may itself determine whether to implement the proposal by delegated decision. If any objections were received, the proposal would be referred to the School Organisation Committee for decision.

The two governing bodies expressed their support for the proposal.
RESOLVED that
a Statutory Notice be published inviting comment on the Authority's proposals to:

a. close Roseworth Primary School and Redbrook Primary School on 31st August 2008;

b. establish on 1st September 2008 a new community primary school for 420 children, plus a 39-place nursery, in new premises to be constructed on the site of Roseworth Primary School.

34 REVIEW OF RESIDENTIAL CHILDREN'S HOMES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D060004
RESOLVED that:-

1. Vulcan Way Children's Home be closed.

2. Princess Avenue Children's Home continues as a task centred unit providing intake facilities, assessment, remands to care and respite.

3. 6 medium to long term beds be retained at the small children's homes at Routledge Road and Rochester Lane.




Cabinet was advised that there had been a decline in Looked After Children from 218 in 2002 to 195 in March 2006, and wherever possible the Council aimed to place children and young people within a family setting. As a consequence there had been a review of residential care provision carried out and consideration was given to the outcome of this review.

The Council currently had four Children's Homes for Looked After Children and details were provided of their current occupancy levels and operational costs. There were currently 16 young people in placement in total in the four residential homes, leaving 3 vacancies. A further vacancy was anticipated over the next month. Analysis of current residents would suggest that there were 10 young people who would require long term care, and with the exception of two, all had indicated a preference to stay within a residential setting. It was likely that two could be fostered. Five young people were likely to move on within the next year and one may return home within the same timescale. Residential placements would continue to be required for some young people, particularly those who present risks to foster carers or their families and it was clear that an intake/assessment unit at Princess Avenue would continue to be required.

Therefore it was proposed that Vulcan Way Children's home be closed and 6 medium to long-term beds in the two small homes at Rochester Road and Routledge Road be retained. This would reduce our in house residential bed base by 7 and provide a total of 12 beds.In addition, It was proposed that Princess Avenue continue as a task centred unit, providing intake facilities, assessment, remands to care and respite. An analysis of usage would suggest that a more flexible approach to offering respite care should be developed converting some beds into respite with planned interventions which could assist in maintaining children and young people at home or in family settings. Princess Avenue was the only home that could offer remand facilities and whilst there was a very low take up, they had the flexibility to respond should we need to. Consultation with all staff and families affected by the proposals had commenced, with further meetings to be held. A total of 12 staff would be affected and all options such as redeployment, redundancy and early retirement would be considered.

The current percentage of children and young people who are looked after in residential placements was 12%. This had already significantly reduced from last year. If the bed base was reduced by 7 there would be a total of 18 children in residential placements both within and outside of the Borough. This would mean a further reduction in residential placements to 9.2%.

It was noted that wherever possible children and young people need to be placed in family settings. The Council were working to develop a range of foster care placements for those children who cannot remain with their family. These proposals recognise the reduction in overall numbers of children who are looked after by Stockton Borough Council, and release resources to invest in community based services.


RESOLVED that:-

i) Vulcan Way Children's Home be closed.

ii) Princess Avenue Children's Home continues as a task centred unit providing intake facilities, assessment, remands to care and respite.

iii) 6 medium to long term beds be retained at the small children's homes at Routledge Road and Rochester Lane.

35 PRIORITISATION OF HEITAGE PROJECTS
 
Cabinet Decision Record D060005
RESOLVED that

1. The list of projects, appended to the report, be agreed as priority order for applications for Heritage Lottery Funding subject to consultation with members and subsequent agreement with the Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Transport and Corporate Director, Development and Neighbourhood Services.

2. Officers continue to pursue alternative funding for the remaining projects.



The Council and its partners had been preparing a number of bids for Heritage Lottery Fund. The two most advanced projects were Preston Hall Winter Gardens and Thornaby Town Hall. The regional office of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) had approached Local Authorities in the North East of England, requesting projects submitted for their support to be taken from a list of heritage priorities as a result of regional budget reductions being imposed on HLF. The impact of this was that HLF was now unable to fund a greater than £250,000 contribution to any project through the main grants programme and wouldl only be able to support one project from each Local Authority Area at any given time.

Members considered a report that outlined the programmes operated by HLF and gave a suggested way forward for the schemes.

It was explained that there were four main programmes operated by HLF, three of those, (National Grants, Your Heritage and Townscape Heritage Initiative) were not subject to any restrictions. Within those, proposals for Preston Hall and Park, Stockton Town Centre Conservation Area and small community grants were not at risk and were being encouraged by HLF. The Regional Main Grants Programme was subject to budget pressures and where prioritisation was necessary. A full list, in the proposed priority order, was provided to Members

Heritage Lottery Fund Main Grants Programme

This programme supported projects through a contribution between £50,000 and £2m. The recent changes to the HLF budgets had had a major impact with HLF recommending that they were only able to provide a maximum contribution of £250,000 with only one project being delivered by any given local authority at any one time. There were two project applications lodged with HLF for Preston Hall Winter Gardens and Thornaby Town Hall, both of which were Grade II listed.

Preston Hall Winter Gardens

As a forerunner to the main restoration work at Preston Hall and Park, this early piece of work would restore and reopen the Winter Gardens at Preston Hall. The fabric of the Winter Gardens was seriously damaged with significant concern over how the weather would affect the stability if nothing was done in the short term. If the Council were able to attract the £3-4 million in the next few years, which was expected to be needed to revitalise the Park and Hall as the Borough's most important visitor attraction, the Council must begin the process now, improving the very visible Winter Garden and showing that it valued the Park and Hall.

The proposal being put forward wouldl see the Winter Gardens made safe and reopened for a structured programme of activities that centre on Victorian planting and horticulture. A friends group of local representatives were supporting the proposal for this popular site for weddings and other ceremonial events and detailed historic planting schedules having been worked out by horticultural specialists.

The total project cost was £308,771, made up of HLF contribution £208,957, volunteer labour £12,500, Stockton Council £87,314.

Contingency arrangements if the bid was unsuccessful could result in the Council Capital Programme being approached to fund the work in its entirety.

Thornaby Town Hall

The fabric of Thornaby Town Hall had been deteriorating since it fell into disuse in the late 1980's. The loss of the lead from the roof had been a significant contributor to this with the temporary repair work reducing the damage rather than removing the source entirely. The only use for the building was Thornaby Town Council who occupied a single room on the ground floor, but the deteriorating condition of the building may put that use at risk.

A project had been developed that would see the disused building and four extensions that made up the building group of Thornaby Town Hall being fully restored and refurbished to provide business incubator workspace for the creative industries and a community heritage centre for local activities and displays. This link between community and business support activity was in line with the recommendations being proposed by the Government backed Local Enterprise Growth Initiative.

The total project cost was £2.5m, the total HLF contribution required was £585,000.

Contingency arrangements without the HLF contribution could see a two-phased approach brought forward. This would deliver the business space in the extensions in the first phase along with securing the fabric of the original town hall through a new roof and disabled access, at a cost of approximately £1.6M that could be primarily funded from Single Programme and European Regional Development Funds. The heritage restoration work for the community heritage centre within original building would form a future second phase of work. Discussions were taking place with community organisations (Thornaby Five Lamps) for increased involvement and delivery of this approach. Thornaby Town Council had written to confirm their full support for this phased approach to securing the refurbishment of the buildings.



RESOLVED that

1. the list of projects, appended to the report, be agreed as priority order for applications for Heritage Lottery Funding subject to consultation with members and subsequent agreement with the Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration and Transport and Corporate Director, Development and Neighbourhood Services.

2. That Council Officers continue to pursue alternative funding for the remaining projects.
36 STOCKTON TOWN CENTRE - ON STREET PARKING STRATEGY
 
Cabinet Decision Record D060006
street parking charges in the Stockton Town Centre area and to adopt additional measures to assist Town Centre businesses.

Members were reminded in November 2004, Members had agreed that, following the adoption of Decriminalised Parking Enforcement powers, a report be brought to Cabinet detailing proposals for the introduction of on-street pay and display charging in selected areas.

Approval was granted to take over on-street enforcement from 5 September 2005. Policies approved in the Parking Plan and Financial Case that accompanied the application to the Secretary of State included the future introduction of on-street parking charges in Stockton Town Centre. This was consistent with National Planning Policy Guidance and the Council's Local Transport Plan Demand Management Strategy.

At the subsequent Members Seminar held on 23 June 2005, it had further suggested that Members be consulted on the relevance of existing waiting restrictions in their wards.

The Town Centre Manager had also been engaging with local businesses to determine what could be done to assist the vitality and performance of the Town Centre.

Members noted feedback from consultation undertaken which included

· All Members received a Decriminalised Parking Enforcement briefing pack and a plan showing the current restrictions in their respective wards was also provided to assist. The main comments were that some businesses were now being adversely affected by the improved enforcement of yellow lines that perhaps were unnecessary except to prevent all day parking. Consideration should be given to revoking some restrictions.

· The Town Centre Manager contacted over 600 businesses and received detailed comments from almost 50. There were additionally 3 discussion groups held with the traders and the feedback was provided. The main business community concerns were over the restricted access to the High Street (particularly for Finkle Street traders), Market trader parking, the high volume of parking by Blue Badge holders, inconsistency of restrictions and most importantly the lack of short stay quick turnover parking.


· Additional taxi provision in the area of the developing Cultural Quarter will assist the development of the Quarter and the night-time economy.

High Street Restriction

Members were reminded that the Police were experiencing great difficulties enforcing High Street contraventions due to the vast number of exemptions, permits and access documents. Therefore, in September 2002, a simplified but more restrictive Order was introduced.

Compliance had improved although there were still persistent offenders. Authorities that had taken up decriminalised parking powers would shortly be able to apply to enforce moving offences in bus lanes. It was recommended that the Council applied for those powers with a view to introducing camera enforcement of the High Street southbound buses only lane. The Traffic Regulation Order would need to be amended as technically it was currently a one-way street with an exemption for buses. Camera enforcement should also deter northbound offences and should allow reconsideration of permits and access documents to assist traders. Those measures were in addition to programmed enforcement measures carried out by enforcement officers in person, and required the installation of a Home Office approved camera detection system, at an estimated cost of £40,000 to include camera housing and photograph viewing facilities.

Market Traders / Norton Road

Following the loss of Market trader permit parking in Wellington Street, an area of Norton Road was allocated for their vehicles on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Very few vehicles were making use of those bays since they prefered to park in an off-street private car park in West Row. This had led to confusing restrictions and wasted on-street parking opportunity for Norton Road traders.

It was suggested that Norton Road be made available for short stay customer parking all week and an alternative off-street location be found for Market Traders vehicles.

It was also agreed that consideration should be given to extending the Victoria Residents permit zone to include the west side of Norton Road. This was in order to be equitable to traders on both sides of the road as, at present, only those on the East side were able to apply for parking permits to park near their premises.

Blue Badge parking (disabled permit)

The European wide blue badge scheme was a valuable initiative to increase accessibility for those with mobility difficulties and whilst there should be few problems if drivers displaying badges park responsibly in accordance with the conditions of issue, there could be concerns over safety and obstruction if such conditions were not observed. A number of concerns had been raised over parking in Stockton Town Centre due to large numbers of vehicles bearing blue badges parking indiscriminately in streets adjacent to the High Street. There were an estimated 10,000 blue badge holders in Stockton District alone and it clearly could present a significant problem as they were permitted to park for up to 3 hours on any yellow line where loading was not restricted.

Recent problems involving obstructive parking and parking in loading bays were difficult for the Council to enforce due to the way in which national legislation was currently framed. However, the Council also issued blue badges with conditions of use. Misuse of the badge could lead to it being withdrawn. It was recommended that warning letters be issued to Stockton Blue Badge holders (visitors could only be reported to their issuing authority) and that if 3 warnings were recorded then the blue badge be not renewed upon the triennial application. It was also recommended that specific campaigns be run to inspect badges as there were frequent complaints of able bodied individuals using such badges irrespective of whether the badge holder is present.

Short Stay parking

The single issue that concerned most of the traders that responded to the survey was the lack of availability of quick turnover short stay customer parking. There was a willingness to accept modest charges paid at meters, 20p was suggested) if this was necessary to prevent longer stay and blue badge parking. Currently, Darlington and Middlesbrough charged 40p for 30 minutes and Redcar & Cleveland 20p for 30 minutes. The main areas suggested for pay and display ultra short stay (30 minute) bays were Yarm Lane/ Yarm Street, Norton Road and around the Cultural Quarter.

It was recommended therefore that the introduction of on-street pay and display parking should concentrate on areas that would assist Town Centre traders and control commuter parking. It was further recommended that any Orders were framed in such a way to exclude free parking in metered bays by blue badge holders as otherwise this would undermine the objective of the initiative. A plan showing the broad area suggested for the introduction of charging bays was provided, but it was likely that there would be a phased implementation.

Enforcement Issues

Short stay on-street parking enforcement was a very resource intensive operation and had in the past been difficult for the Police to effectively enforce. This had led to longer than permitted stays in areas that were intended as high turnover parking bays to assist town centre traders and businesses, e.g. Church Road, Norton Road.

The enforcement team had only sufficient resources to cover off-street parking control and priority yellow line restrictions although some limited waiting enforcement had been carried out. A breakdown of fixed penalty tickets issued since September was provided.

Most authorities including Darlington, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland had introduced pay and display meters to control the turnover and help finance enforcement. This had the benefit of being able to enforce overstay by spot checks on tickets rather than repeated patrols and observations. It was suggested that it may be possible to consider some free limited stay parking dependent on the level of enforcement available.

Riversides Sites study

Members noted that Master planning was underway for the Stockton Riverside area. This exercise would have had major implications for off-street parking in the Town Centre. A strategy to deal with this issue was currently being investigated and would be the subject of a further report after consultants' reports were received in June/July 2006

RESOLVED that

1. Members note the results of the consultation exercise with the Stockton Town centre business sector are generally supportive of charging for more accessible on street parking management.

2. Members approve the principle of revocation and/or relaxation of waiting restrictions where it would assist Stockton Town Centre Regeneration initiatives without detriment to road safety or the free flow of traffic.

3. Members approve the principle of on-street parking charges in Central Stockton where it would assist the turnover of spaces for short stay customer parking.

4. In line with the Scheme of Delegation, the Head of Service, and appropriate Cabinet Member, determines the detailed location and extent of the associated alterations to existing Traffic Regulation Orders and the Victoria Estate Residents Parking Zone.

5. The Stockton High Street restricted access order be amended to allow for bus lane enforcement and the re-introduction of business access permits.

6. The Council applies to the Secretary of State for Transport to assume powers that will allow civil enforcement of bus lane offences.

7. The Council takes sensitive action to reduce the inconsiderate parking by blue badge holders in loading bays.

8. Market Traders vehicles be relocated from Norton Road.

9. A review of taxi rank provision in Stockton Town Centre is undertaken.

10. Members note the likely impact of the Stockton Riverside Sites master planning exercise and the need to bring a further report revising the current off-street car parking strategy for Central Stockton.

37 APPOINTMENT TO OUTSIDE BODIES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D060007
Consideration was given to the appointment of elected members to outside body organisations which were within the remit of Cabinet to appoint.

RESOLVED that:-

1. The undermentioned persons be appointed to the relevant outside body organisations:-


ORGANISATION NO. OF REPS APPOINTMENTS RETIRING
ARC Board (Observer) 1 Councillor Mrs O'Donnell May 2007
Arts Council England North East (formerly Northern Arts) 1 Councillor Cunningham May 2007
Centre for Local Economic Strategies 1 Councillor Cook May 2007
Drugs Action Team 2 Councillors Mrs Cains & Kirton May 2007
Local Authority Arts Forum(min 192 3/7/03) 1 Councillor Mrs O'Donnell May 2007
NEA Strategic Planning Committee 1 Councillor Cook May 2007
North East Consortium for Asylum Seekers 1 Councillor Johnson May 2007
North East Community Forest Board 1 Councillor Mrs O'Donnell May 2007
North East Museums, Libraries & Archives Council 1 Councillor Cunningham May 2007
Schools Forum 1 Councillor Cunningham May 2007
Safeguarding Board 1 Councillor Cunningham May 2007
Supporting People Commissioning & Strategy Group 3 Councillors Kirton, Leonard & Mrs Johnson May 2007
Tees Forest Partnership Group 3 Councillor Brown, Narroway & Woodhead May 2007
Tees Valley Arts (formerly Cleveland Arts) 1 Councillor Mrs O'Donnell May 2007
Tees Valley Environmental Protection Group 3 Councillors Mrs Beaumont, Nelson & Teasdale May 2007
Tees Valley Joint Strategy Committee 5(2L, 1C, 1LD, 1IBIS/TIA) Councillors Cherrett, Cook, Lupton, Teasdale & LarkinSubs: Councillors Mrs Beaumont, Cains, Coleman, Fletcher, Harrington May 2007
Tees Valley Local Access Forum 1 Councillor Cook May 2007
Tees Valley Regeneration Inward Investment Advisory Group (min. 138 12/6/03) 1 Councillor Cook May 2007

RECOMMENDED that:-

2. Council rescind the appointments made to the Joint Archives Committee made on 5th April 2006 (Min ? refers) and confirms the following appointments:-

Archives 1and 1 substitute Councillor Mrs O'Donnell*Councillor Kirton May 2007

38 MINUTES OF VARIOUS BODIES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D060008
Cabinet considered the minutes of the following meetings: -

Western Area Partnership Board 23rd January 2006
Northern Area (Billingham) Partnership Board 13th February 2006
The Eastern Area Partnership Board 21st February 2006


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings of the above meetings be approved/received, as appropriate.
39 TO ESTABLISH THE MEMBERSHIP OF A STEERING GROUP WHICH WILL PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR WIDER AND EARLY MEMBER INVOLVEMENT ACROSS ALL THE POLICITICAL PARTIESAND ONGOING DEBATE/DIALOGUE AS THE CONSTITUENT LDF DOCUMENTS ARE PROGRESSED
RECOMMENDED that the Local Development Framework - Member Steering Group comprise 10 Members as follows:-

·Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport (Chair)
·Chair and Vice Chair of Planning
·Cabinet Members for Housing, Leisure & Environment
·4 other members to be appointed at Council
40 CONFIDENTIAL REPORTING POLICY
RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

1. The proposed, revised Confidential Reporting Policy be agreed; and that

2. Subject to this, the revised Policy be relaunched in order to publicise it to all employees and Members and to bring it to the attention of third parties involved in existing and proposed contractual relationships with the Authority
41 THIS REPORT PRESENTS TO MEMBERS THE DRAFT "CONSERVATION AND HISTORIC ENVIRONMENT FOLDER" THAT WILL INFORM AND ADD VALUE TO THE EXISITNG POLICIES SET OUT IN THE ADOPTED LOCAL PLAN AND LEGISLATION.
RECOMMENDED to Council that:-

1. the principal content of the draft Conservation and Historic Environment Folder be approved, so that it may be put forward for public consultation, leading to its adoption for use a material planning consideration in determining planning applications;

2. delegated Authority be granted to the Head of Planning in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Transport to make any minor modifications to the draft Conservation and Historic Environment Folder prior to its formal publication.
4.30pm-5.15pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
31Cabinet was requested to consider the appointment of school governors in accordance with the procedure for the appointment of school governors, approved at Minute 84 of the Cabinet (11th May 2000).
32Cabinet considered a report regarding the known Education Capital Programme for the 2006/07 financial year.

Members were informed that funding was recorded under three main headings. Formula allocations from Government for the modernisation and renewal of school buildings were based partly on the number of pupils in the Council's schools and partly on the capital needs of school buildings as recorded in the education Asset Management Plan. Funds were required to be spent on priority projects determined in consultation with schools through the Asset Management Plan process. The Targeted Capital Fund was a project-specific Government funding stream to support major projects that could not be funded from formulaic allocations. Finally, with the agreement of the Schools Asset Management Group and the Schools Forum, the capital programme was augmented with a contribution from the Education revenue budget.

Members noted the DfES allocations of SCE ®, Supported Capital
Expenditure (Revenue), previously called Credit Approval and SCE©, Supported Capital Expenditure, previously called Capital Grant for the financial year 2006/2007:-

L.A. Formulaic Allocation
Modernisation £ 800,334 SCE©
Modernisation £1,731,361 SCE®
Schools Access Initiative £ 299,106 SCE®
Schools Devolved Formula Capital £2,776,513 SCE©

Total LA Formulaic Allocation £5, 607, 314

It was explained that formula allocations to Local Authorities were based partly on the number of pupils in the Council's schools and partly on the capital needs of school buildings as recorded in the education Asset Management Plan. Funds had to be spent on priority projects determined in consultation with schools through the Asset Management Plan process.

Schools' Devolved Formula Capital was included in the overall education capital programme, but those funds had to be devolved directly to schools to enable them to meet their own AMP priorities.

Targeted Capital Fund

Billingham Campus 3rd year £305,000 SCE®
Grangefield 3rd year £182,300 SCE®
Roseworth/Redbrook 1st year £835,825 SCE©

Total TCF £1,323,125

Targeted Capital Fund was a bid-driven allocation from the DfES for high priority projects that could not be funded from formulaic allocations. The Authority/school had to contribute 20% to project costs.

Details of the Revenue contributions to the Capital Programme were provided.

Planned Maintenance £985,352 Revenue
Small Minor Works £100,000 Revenue
LEA Disabled Access £ 25,000 Revenue
Grounds Maintenance £ 20,000 Revenue

Total Revenue Contributions £1,130,352

1. Specialist Schools Funding

The Norton School ( Humanities) £100,000 SCE©

2. Capital Receipt (Income)

Sale of The Dene land £1,100,000

Total Education Capital Programme £9,260,791

As an appendix to the report Members were provided with details of the schemes already identified for inclusion within the programme of works.
33Cabinet considered a report that described the outcome of consultation on a proposal to close both Redbrook Primary School and Roseworth Primary School and establish a single community primary school in a new building funded with an 80% grant awarded from the DfES Targeted Capital Fund. The remaining 20% would be funded from Council resources.

It was explained that the new school would be constructed on part of the site occupied by Roseworth Primary School to open in September 2008 with 420 full-time places and an integrated 39-place nursery as part of a foundation unit. The new school would be planned to contribute to the delivery of integrated services for children and families in consultation with other service providers in the Roseworth area.

The proposal was described in a consultation paper circulated to parents, school staff and their representatives, school governors, the Anglican and Catholic dioceses and neighbouring schools. Meetings were held at both schools for parents, staff and their professional representatives. The consensus at all meetings agreed that the proposal would be likely to bring significant benefits for the children of the Roseworth estate.

Concerns were raised over planning issues, particularly the location of the school entrance and the impact on neighbours of parents delivering and collecting children by car. This would be addressed at the design stage, taking account of the results of a Transport Impact Assessment. It was very likely that appropriate conditions would be attached to the granting of planning permission for a new building.

One organisation representing some members of staff had sought confirmation that the new school would be a community school (like those to be replaced) so that staff would remain in the employment of the Council. Members noted that this was the intention of the proposal, subject only to any change in legislation.

It was explained that should members agree to the recommendations in the report, a Statutory Notice (draft was provided) would be published in the press and at the school gates. This would be followed by six weeks in which any person could respond in writing. After the expiry of that period, if no written objections had been received, the Authority may itself determine whether to implement the proposal by delegated decision. If any objections were received, the proposal would be referred to the School Organisation Committee for decision.
The two governing bodies expressed their support for the proposal.

34Cabinet was advised that there had been a decline in Looked After Children from 218 in 2002 to 195 in March 2006, and wherever possible the Council aimed to place children and young people within a family setting. As a consequence there had been a review of residential care provision carried out and consideration was given to the outcome of this review.

The Council currently had four Children's Homes for Looked After Children and details were provided of their current occupancy levels and operational costs. There were currently 16 young people in placement in total in the four residential homes, leaving 3 vacancies. A further vacancy was anticipated over the next month. Analysis of current residents would suggest that there were 10 young people who would require long term care, and with the exception of two, all had indicated a preference to stay within a residential setting. It was likely that two could be fostered. Five young people were likely to move on within the next year and one may return home within the same timescale. Residential placements would continue to be required for some young people, particularly those who present risks to foster carers or their families and it was clear that an intake/assessment unit at Princess Avenue would continue to be required.

Therefore it was proposed that Vulcan Way Children's home be closed and 6 medium to long-term beds in the two small homes at Rochester Road and Routledge Road be retained. This would reduce our in house residential bed base by 7 and provide a total of 12 beds.In addition, It was proposed that Princess Avenue continue as a task centred unit, providing intake facilities, assessment, remands to care and respite. An analysis of usage would suggest that a more flexible approach to offering respite care should be developed converting some beds into respite with planned interventions which could assist in maintaining children and young people at home or in family settings. Princess Avenue was the only home that could offer remand facilities and whilst there was a very low take up, they had the flexibility to respond should we need to. Consultation with all staff and families affected by the proposals had commenced, with further meetings to be held. A total of 12 staff would be affected and all options such as redeployment, redundancy and early retirement would be considered.

The current percentage of children and young people who are looked after in residential placements was 12%. This had already significantly reduced from last year. If the bed base was reduced by 7 there would be a total of 18 children in residential placements both within and outside of the Borough. This would mean a further reduction in residential placements to 9.2%.

It was noted that wherever possible children and young people need to be placed in family settings. The Council were working to develop a range of foster care placements for those children who cannot remain with their family. These proposals recognise the reduction in overall numbers of children who are looked after by Stockton Borough Council, and release resources to invest in community based services.
35The Council and its partners had been preparing a number of bids for Heritage Lottery Fund. The two most advanced projects were Preston Hall Winter Gardens and Thornaby Town Hall. The regional office of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) had approached Local Authorities in the North East of England, requesting projects submitted for their support to be taken from a list of heritage priorities as a result of regional budget reductions being imposed on HLF. The impact of this was that HLF was now unable to fund a greater than £250,000 contribution to any project through the main grants programme and wouldl only be able to support one project from each Local Authority Area at any given time.

Members considered a report that outlined the programmes operated by HLF and gave a suggested way forward for the schemes.

It was explained that there were four main programmes operated by HLF, three of those, (National Grants, Your Heritage and Townscape Heritage Initiative) were not subject to any restrictions. Within those, proposals for Preston Hall and Park, Stockton Town Centre Conservation Area and small community grants were not at risk and were being encouraged by HLF. The Regional Main Grants Programme was subject to budget pressures and where prioritisation was necessary. A full list, in the proposed priority order, was provided to Members

-Heritage Lottery Fund Main Grants Programme

This programme supported projects through a contribution between £50,000 and £2m. The recent changes to the HLF budgets had had a major impact with HLF recommending that they were only able to provide a maximum contribution of £250,000 with only one project being delivered by any given local authority at any one time. There were two project applications lodged with HLF for Preston Hall Winter Gardens and Thornaby Town Hall, both of which were Grade II listed.

-Preston Hall Winter Gardens

As a forerunner to the main restoration work at Preston Hall and Park, this early piece of work would restore and reopen the Winter Gardens at Preston Hall. The fabric of the Winter Gardens was seriously damaged with significant concern over how the weather would affect the stability if nothing was done in the short term. If the Council were able to attract the £3-4 million in the next few years, which was expected to be needed to revitalise the Park and Hall as the Borough's most important visitor attraction, the Council must begin the process now, improving the very visible Winter Garden and showing that it valued the Park and Hall.

The proposal being put forward wouldl see the Winter Gardens made safe and reopened for a structured programme of activities that centre on Victorian planting and horticulture. A friends group of local representatives were supporting the proposal for this popular site for weddings and other ceremonial events and detailed historic planting schedules having been worked out by horticultural specialists.

The total project cost was £308,771, made up of HLF contribution £208,957, volunteer labour £12,500, Stockton Council £87,314.

Contingency arrangements if the bid was unsuccessful could result in the Council Capital Programme being approached to fund the work in its entirety.

-Thornaby Town Hall

The fabric of Thornaby Town Hall had been deteriorating since it fell into disuse in the late 1980's. The loss of the lead from the roof had been a significant contributor to this with the temporary repair work reducing the damage rather than removing the source entirely. The only use for the building was Thornaby Town Council who occupied a single room on the ground floor, but the deteriorating condition of the building may put that use at risk.

A project had been developed that would see the disused building and four extensions that made up the building group of Thornaby Town Hall being fully restored and refurbished to provide business incubator workspace for the creative industries and a community heritage centre for local activities and displays. This link between community and business support activity was in line with the recommendations being proposed by the Government backed Local Enterprise Growth Initiative.

The total project cost was £2.5m, the total HLF contribution required was £585,000.

Contingency arrangements without the HLF contribution could see a two-phased approach brought forward. This would deliver the business space in the extensions in the first phase along with securing the fabric of the original town hall through a new roof and disabled access, at a cost of approximately £1.6M that could be primarily funded from Single Programme and European Regional Development Funds. The heritage restoration work for the community heritage centre within original building would form a future second phase of work. Discussions were taking place with community organisations (Thornaby Five Lamps) for increased involvement and delivery of this approach. Thornaby Town Council had written to confirm their full support for this phased approach to securing the refurbishment of the buildings.


39Consideration was given to the establishment of a Steering Group which would provide an opportunity for wider and early Member involvement across all the political parties and ongoing debate/dialogue as the constituent Local Development Framework (LDF) documents were progressed.

At a meeting on 11 November 2004, Members of Cabinet endorsed the establishment of a specific LDF Member Steering Group to facilitate the LDF preparation, with confirmation by Council on 24 November 2004. Further consideration by Cabinet and Council was agreed, where nominations were to be sought for Member representation.

The purpose of the Group was to work with officers in the preparation of LDF documents, and to advise the Council's Planning Committee, Cabinet and Full Council on the content of the LDF and its constituent documents.

At that time, it was suggested that the Steering group would comprise 12 Members, made up of a proportionate representation of all political parties.

As the political composition of the Council has changed, and Area Cabinet Representatives no longer exist, Cabinet would need to reconsider the composition (and possibly the size) of the Member Steering Group. It was important that the Group

q was sufficiently large enough to be representative, but small enough to be manageable (both in terms of organising meetings, and in becoming a productive, participatory forum).
q was both politically and geographically representative of the Borough
q allowed Members of Planning Committee with a specific interest in policy issues to participate.

Based on the current political composition of the Council, assuming a membership of ten, the proportionate representation of the Group should comprise 5 Labour, 2 Conservative, 1 Lib Dem and 2 IBIS/TIA.

Taking the political representation into account membership might include:

1) Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport (Chair)
2) Chair and Vice Chair of Planning
3) Cabinet Members for Housing, Leisure & Environment
4) 4 other members

Nominations for membership of the Group needed to be made. With the consultation phase on the LDF Core Strategy Issues and Options paper fast approaching (May/June 2006), the Group wouldl need to be in a position to start considering feedback from members of the public and stakeholders in July. An inaugural meeting would be required prior to this to deal with administrative matters such as the election of a chairperson for the Group, and confirmation of the terms of reference for the Group.

40Consideration was given to the proposed extension of the Council's existing Confidential Reporting Policy to include third parties involved in existing or proposed contractual relationships with the Authority.

The proposal was in line with current best practice and had the support of the Council's Procurement Working Group, and had been approved by the Council's Members Advisory Panel. The trade unions had also raised no objections to the proposal.
41Consideration was given to a report requesting endorsement of the content of the draft Conservation and Historic Environment Folder, so that it could be published for a period of 6 weeks public consultation prior to adoption as Supplementary Planning Document.

The Sustainability Appraisal Scoping Report had been published for a five week consultation period. Comments were received from the Environment Agency, Countryside Agency, Tees Archaeology, CPRE and English Heritage. These had been duly considered and used to inform the preparation of the draft Sustainability Appraisal.

Whilst the Folder was aimed at the development industry for use in Town Planning, it was hoped that it would also be used as a point of reference for local people to understand where their towns and villages had come from, and perhaps where they were going.

It was a requirement of PPG15 that Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans were prepared, and this coupled with the fact that the existing advice leaflets are in need of updating, had led to this comprehensive document being prepared.

This exercise had been undertaken. The Draft Conservation and Historic Environment Folder and the accompanying draft Sustainability Appraisal were a large documents and for logistical reasons copies had been made available in the Member's Library.

The Folder was divided into sections covering all aspects of historic sites, buildings and monuments in the area, and sought to simplify the legislation surrounding them, the role they play within the Borough, and what may be done to maintain them for future generations to enjoy.

Clearly such a comprehensive document wouldl be very large, and therefore in order to make it easier to read the Folder has been broken down into four geographic areas:


· Northern
o Including Billingham and Wynyard Village
· Eastern
o Including Thornaby and Ingleby Barwick
· Western
o Including Yarm and Eaglescliffe
o Central
o Including Stockton and Norton

Government advocated the need for consultation with the general public, businesses and other interested bodies before they were formally adopted by a Council resolution.

In accordance with this, the draft Conservation and Historic Environment Folder was put before Planning Committee on 19 April, and following approval by full Council would be published for public consultation.

Future Steps

The procedure for the adoption of supplementary planning document was streamlined and was not subject to an independent Examination, although the underlying principles of ‘soundness' still apply. Central Government advocated the need for consultation with the general public, businesses and other interested bodies before they were formally adopted by a Council resolution. The length of consultation must be no less than four weeks and no more than six weeks in accordance with the Regulations 2004. There was no right of appeal to its content or to have it tested via an Independent Examination, although the underlying principles of ‘soundness' still applied. Upon adoption, a statement of consultation must be prepared setting out a summary of the main issues raised in the representations and how these main issues had been addressed.

In accordance with the Council's submission draft of the Statement of Community Involvement, the consultation period will be for six weeks.

Following the Consultation period and any amendments necessary, the revised
Conservation and Historic Environment Folder will be put before Planning Committee and Cabinet and full Council for Adoption and subsequent use in determining Planning Applications. It was proposed that any minor amendments be delegated to the Head of Planning in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Transport in accordance with the required protocol for consultation with Ward Members.

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