Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Cabinet Minutes

Date:
Thursday, 11th February, 2010
Time:
4.30 p.m.
Place:
Lecture Theatre, Stockton Central Library, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Ken Lupton(Chairman), Cllr Mrs Jennie Beaumont, Cllr David Coleman, Cllr Robert Cook, Cllr Alex Cunningham, Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Steve Nelson and Cllr Mrs Mary Womphrey.
Officers:
N Schneider (CE); P Dobson, R McGuckin, R Poundford (DNS); J Danks J Spittle (R); J Humphreys, , J Morrison, R Kench, L Danby (CESC).
In Attendance:
Cllr Jim Beall, Cllr Cherrett, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Mick Eddy, Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr John Fletcher, Cllr David Harrington, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Tina Large, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Ross Paterson, Cllr Mrs Rigg, Cllr Steve Walmsley, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley; Members of the Public.
Apologies for absence:
None.
Item Description Decision
Public
CAB
166/09
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Lupton declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 13 - English National Concessionary Travel Scheme Update as he held a current pass under the ENCTS and proposals in the report would allow him to claim for a pass during 2010/11.

Councillor Mrs Beaumont declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 13 - English National Concessionary Travel Scheme Update as she held a current pass under the ENCTS and proposals in the report would allow her to claim for a pass during 2010/11.

Councillor Mrs Beaumont declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 5 - Raising Expectations - Enabling the System to Deliver as a result of her membership of the Riverside College Board.

Councillor Cook declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - Local Authority Representatives on School Governing Bodies as a result of being a Governing Body member of one of the schools concerned.

Councillors Lupton and Mrs Womphrey each declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 8 - Draft Tourism and Visitor Economy Strategy 2010 - 2015 as a result of their membership of the Tees Active Board referred to within the strategy. Councillor Cunningham also declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of the same item as a result of his role as a Board Member of the Regional Development Agency, and Councillor Cook similarly declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest as a result of being a member of the Visit Tees Valley Board.

Councillors Mrs McCoy and Nelson each declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 9 - Economic Climate Update as a result of their membership of Stockton District Advice & Information Services referred to as part of the Council's response to economic climate issues. Councillor Cunningham also declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest as a result of his membership of the Regional Development Agency.

All members of Cabinet declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 12 - Review of Workplace Travel and Travelling Allowances as a result of the proposed changes to the terms of the Members Allowances Scheme.

Councillor Mrs McCoy declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Thornaby Town Hall Regeneration as a member of Billingham Town Council, whose accommodation costs had been referred to as a comparator to the proposed lease agreement for Thornaby Town Council.

Councillor Lupton declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 4 - Building Schools for the Future Review of Options for the South of the Borough as a result of a family member working at one of the schools contained within the proposals at one of the specified schools.

Councillor Mrs Beaumont declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 4 - Building Schools for the Future Review of Options for the South of the Borough as a result of her involvement as a School Governing Body member at one of the specified schools.

Councillor Faulks declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 4 - Building Schools for the Future Review of Options for the South of the Borough as a result of his involvement as a School Governing Body member at one of the specified schools.

Councillor Dixon declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 4 - Building Schools for the Future Review of Options for the South of the Borough as a result of his involvement as a School Governing Body member at one of the specified schools.

Councillor Beall declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 4 - Building Schools for the Future Review of Options for the South of the Borough as a result of his involvement as a School Governing Body member.

Councillor Patterson declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 4 - Building Schools for the Future Review of Options for the South of the Borough as his daughter attended one of the schools involved in the proposals.

Councillor Fletcher declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 13 - English National Concessionary Travel Scheme Update as he held a current pass under the ENCTS and proposals in the report would allow him to claim for a pass during 2010/11.

Councillor Lewis declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 13 - English National Concessionary Travel Scheme Update as he held a current pass under the ENCTS and proposals in the report would allow him to claim for a pass during 2010/11.

Councillor Mrs Craggs declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 13 - English National Concessionary Travel Scheme Update as she held a current pass under the ENCTS and proposals in the report would allow her to claim for a pass during 2010/11.

Councillor Walmsley declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Thornaby Town Hall Regeneration due to being a member of Thornaby Town Council but he made representations/answered questions under paragraph 12(2) of the Code of Conduct, and then left the meeting room.

Councillor Eddy declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Thornaby Town Hall Regeneration due to being a member of Thornaby Town Council but he made representations/answered questions under paragraph 12(2) of the Code of Conduct, and then left the meeting room.

Councillor Mrs Craggs declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Thornaby Town Hall Regeneration due to being a member of Thornaby Town Council but she made representations/answered questions under paragraph 12(2) of the Code of Conduct, and then left the meeting room.

Councillor Miss Large declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Thornaby Town Hall Regeneration due to being a member of Thornaby Town Council and left the meeting room.

Councillor Mrs Walmsley declared a personal and prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Thornaby Town Hall Regeneration due to being a member of Thornaby Town Council and left the meeting room.

Councillor Cunningham declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Thornaby Town Hall Regeneration due to his One NE Membership.
CAB
167/09
MINUTES OF METINGS HELD ON 17TH DECEMBER 2009 AND 14TH JANUARY 2010
 
CAB
168/09
BUILDING SCHOOLS FOR THE FUTURE-REVIEW OF OPTIONS SOUTH OF THE BOROUGH
 
Cabinet Decision Record D100019
RESOLVED that:-

1. Further detailed investigations be carried out to test the deliverability of the following options:-

Option School Places Location

A1 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Site 9 - Allens West site

A2 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Site 2 - Present school site

C1 All Saints 1,050 Site 3 - Present site + Site 7a, b or c
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 900+250 Site 2 or 9 - Present site or Allens West

D2 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Sites 11a+11b, 12 or 13

2. Subject to the completion of those investigations, a further report be brought to Cabinet outlining the results of this additional work for consideration prior to informing an extensive programme of public consultation.

3. Site survey and investigations be funded from balances.
CAB
169/09
RAISING EXPECTATIONS ENABLING THE SYSTEM TO DELIVER
 
Cabinet Decision Record D100012
RESOLVED that:-

1. The proposed Regional Planning arrangements be noted and authorise the Director of Children's Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children & Young People to keep these arrangements under review to ensure they are effective in supporting the Authority in discharging its responsibilities.

2. The outcomes of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) staff matching process, 6 posts will transfer formally to the Local Authority from the LSC on April 1 2010 be noted.

3. In relation to Recommendation 2, the creation of the identified posts on the LA establishment be approved.

4. The financial implications to support the staff transfer be noted.

5. The intention to support shared services as appropriate at SRG level be confirmed.

6. The Director of Children's Services be authorised, in consultation with the Corporate Director of Resources and the Head of Legal Services, to put in place all necessary arrangements for receiving the transferring LSC staff in line with best practice in Transfer of Undertakings - Protection of Employment (TUPE) legislation.

7. The Director of Children's Services be authorised, in consultation with the Corporate Director of Resources, the Head of Legal Services and appropriate senior LSC officers, to put in place all necessary arrangements for the transfer and management of funding contracts, agreed by the LSC with learning providers in the borough, from April 1st 2010-July 31st 2010 and from August 1st 2010-July 31st 2011.
CAB
170/09
APPOINTMENT OF LOCAL AUTHORITY REPRESENTATIVES TO SCHOOL GOVERNING BODIES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D100013
RESOLVED that appointments be made to the vacant Governorships subject to successful List 99 check and Personal Disclosure, as follows:-

Blakeston School - Mr G Pickup
Myton Park Primary School - Mrs S Hughes
CAB
171/09
THORNABY TOWN HALL
 
Cabinet Decision Record D100018
RESOLVED that authority be approved for officers to undertake necessary legal action to ensure the satisfactory implementation of the Thornaby Town Hall Regeneration Project as provided within paragraphs 14-19 under the Legal Implications of the submitted report.
CAB
172/09
DRAFT TOURISM & VISITOR ECONOMY STRATEGY 2010-2015
 
Cabinet Decision Record D100014
RESOLVED that:-

1. The Draft Tourism & Visitor Economy Strategy be approved.

2. The aims, objectives and priorities set out within the Tourism & Visitor Economy Strategy be endorsed.
CAB
173/09
ECONOMIC CLIMATE - UPDATE REPORT
 
Cabinet Decision Record D100015
RESOLVED that the content of the report be noted and the work being undertaken supported.
CAB
174/09
HMI PROBATION INSPECTION OF STOCKTON-ON-TEES YOUTH OFFENDING SERVICE
 
Cabinet Decision Record D100016
RESOLVED that Cabinet note the positive outcome of the Youth Offending Service Inspection.
CAB
175/09
MINUTES OF VARIOUS BODIES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D100011
RESOLVED that the minutes of the following meetings be received/approved, as appropriate:-

Tees Valley Living Board - 8 October 2009
The Culture Partnership - 3 November 2009
St Ann's Development Board - 5 November 2009
Economic Regeneration and Transport Partnership - 11 November 2009
Local Safeguarding Children Board - 19 November 2009
Western Area Partnership Board - 30 November 2009
St Ann's Development Board - 3 December 2009
The Billingham Partnership - 4 January 2010
CAB
176/09
REVIEW OF WORKPLACE TRAVEL AND TRAVEL ALLOWANCES
 
Cabinet Decision Record D100017
RESOLVED that Cabinet approve:-

1. An amendment to the provisions concerning Car Allowances in Part 2, Section 12 and Part 3, Section 6 of the National Agreement on Pay and Conditions of Service in respect of Local Government Employees as detailed in Schedule 1 to the submitted report.

2. The transitional arrangements set out in Schedule 1 to the submitted report.

3. Changes to subsistence and travelling expenses as set out in Schedule 1 to the submitted report.

4. The proposal to cease the allocation of free car parking passes to employees as set out in Schedule 1 to the submitted report.

NB Subsequent to the meeting, the Head of Human Resources advised that the date referred to in Schedule 1 regards Transitional Arrangements and the removal of essential car user allowance (2/3rds of current rate from 1.10.2010) was incorrect and should infact read 1.06.2010 as this was the date that had been referred to in all information published on the Council's Intranet and in her consultations with the Trade Unions.

RECOMMENDATION TO COUNCIL:-

5. That in respect of Elected Members, Council approves an amendment to the Members' Allowances Scheme as set out in Schedule 2 to the submitted report.
CAB
177/09
ENGLISH NATIONAL CONCESSIONARY TRAVEL SCHEME UPDATE
 
Cabinet Decision Record D100010
RESOLVED that:-

1. Approval be given to seeking continuing participation in the Tees Valley wide enhancement to the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) offering free travel within and between the areas covered by Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Councils.

2. The Council enters into dual negotiations with the bus operators for 2010/11 based on either continuation of the any time of day enhancement or a nominal charge for journeys made before 9.30am under the enhanced scheme.

3. Any agreed continuation of the enhancement enabling travel at any time of day operates for a one-year period commencing on 1st April 2010.

4. Any changes to the administration system for vetting applications on grounds of disability be deferred to 2012.

5. Charges for replacement passes remain at 5 for the first pass and 10 for subsequent passes.

6. New computers be provided in all main libraries, commencing at Stockton and Billingham, plus cameras and software to enable them to register residents for the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS).
4.30 pm - 7.30 pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
CAB
167/09
The Minutes of metings held on 17th December 2009 and 14th January 2010 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
CAB
168/09
Cabinet, at its meeting held on 3rd September 2009 (Min 75/09), requested that a review be undertaken of possible options for BSF for the three schools in the South of the Borough: All Saints Church of England School in Ingleby Barwick, Conyers School in Yarm and Egglescliffe School in Eaglescliffe. No capital funding for these schools had been included in the first wave of BSF funding, and the Government had until now given no indication of the likely timing of a second wave of BSF investment in the borough. This would mean that the whilst the Council could not commit at this stage to delivering any of the options presented to Cabinet, Members were requested to authorise further deliverability studies of options prior to community consultation so that the Council would be ready to proceed with an agreed strategy should a second wave of BSF funding be announced.

It was noted that the Council's BSF strategy was informed by projections of future student numbers supplied by the Tees Valley Joint Strategy Unit (JSU), which indicated that a total of 2,850 secondary school places (11-16) would be needed across Eaglescliffe, Ingleby Barwick and Yarm in 2018. All of the options submitted to Cabinet were based on that projection and this was the number of school places for the South of the Borough agreed with Government agencies.

Cabinet had previously asked for feasibility studies on the following four options, and had asked that any other site options that emerged during the study be investigated:-

A: The current preferred option set out in the BSF Strategy for Change agreed by Cabinet and approved by government.
B: To create a second school in Ingleby Barwick.
C: To increase the capacity of All Saints School beyond 900 places.
D: To relocate Egglescliffe School to a site within Preston Park.


The full list of sites were identified as follows, and accompanying maps submitted illustrating their location:-

Site & Description
1 Conyers School existing site at Green Lane, Yarm
2 Egglescliffe School existing site at Urlay Nook Road, Eaglescliffe
3 All Saints Church of England School existing site at Blair Avenue, Ingleby Barwick
4 Land to the west of Ingleby Mill Primary School, Low Lane, Ingleby Barwick
5 Land at Little Maltby Farm, Low Lane, Ingleby Barwick
6 Land south of the TIBS playing fields at Thornaby Road
7 Land north of Blair Avenue, Ingleby Barwick (shown on the map as 7a, 7b, and 7c)
8 Land south of Sunningdale Drive, Eaglescliffe
9 Egglescliffe School playing field site at Allens West
10 Land to the rear of Durham Lane, Eaglescliffe
11 Land within and adjacent to Preston Park, Eaglescliffe (shown on the map as 11a and 11b)
12 Land at Preston Farm, Eaglescliffe
13 Land near Queen Elizabeth Way
14 Land between A67 and Urlay Nook, Eaglescliffe
15 Land north of Allens West rail crossing, Eaglescliffe
16 Land to rear of the former Logistics Centre, Eaglescliffe


The four original options, together with the additional possible sites identified above, had been summarized into the following variants:-

Option School Places Location

A1 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Site 9 - Allens West site

A2 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Site 2 - Present school site

B1 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 4, 5, 6 or 7 in Ingleby Barwick
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Site 2 or 9 - Present site or Allens West

B2 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 4, 5, 6 or 7 in Ingleby Barwick
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Site 1 - Conyers School site

C1 All Saints 1,050 Site 3 - Present site + Site 7a, b or c
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 900+250 Site 2 or 9 - Present site or Allens West


C2 All Saints 1,200 Site 3 - Present site + Site 7a, b or c
Conyers 750+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 900+250 Site 2 or 9 - Present site or Allens West

D1 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Site 8, 10, 14, 15 or 16

D2 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Sites 11a+11b, 12 or 13


Cabinet was advised of the methodology of the feasibility studies undertaken to date, which included:-

Whether that option would result in all schools in the South of the Borough area being of viable size
Whether that option would maintain a secondary school in each geographical community (Eaglescliffe, Ingleby Barwick and Yarm)
To what extent the number of school places in each geographical area would match the number of resident students
The impact on the distances travelled and the number of students required to travel to schools outside their own area
The impact on post-16 education provision
Whether any additional land (not currently in Council ownership) would be required
An assessment of the likely availability of such land
The likely impact on the existing long-term PFI contract for the maintenance of the site and buildings of All Saints Church of England School
Any planning and/or highways issues
The likely development cost (excluding costs funded through BSF).

Factors both in support and against each of the options were summarised. It was noted also that regulations provided that BSF funding could not be used to fund the purchase of land.

The Cabinet Member for Children & Young People indicated that in already approving option A1 contained within the Council's Strategy for Change submission, the Government had requested that the Council explore other options. A petition had also been received from residents of Ingleby Barwick requesting that another school be provided in their area. There was however no available BSF funding beyond what had already been granted to the Council for the twelve schools in the first group of BSF funding. Work on any option could only begin after funding was formally approved by Government and following completion of the works involved in the first group of funding. This was likely to be 2016 at the earliest. In proposing to Cabinet that detailed investigations be carried out to test the deliverability of the following options, the Cabinet Member referred to the Cabinet's ambition to retain a school in each of the three communities without compromising the existing redevelopment proposals for Preston Hall and Park:-

Option School Places Location

A1 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Site 9 - Allens West site

A2 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Site 2 - Present school site


C1 All Saints 1,050 Site 3 - Present site + Site 7a, b or c
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 900+250 Site 2 or 9 - Present site or Allens West


D2 All Saints 900 Site 3 - Present school site
Conyers 900+200 Site 1 - Present school site
Egglescliffe 1,050+250 Sites 11a+11b


It was proposed that the above options be the subject of more detailed technical assessments, the results of which would be reported to Cabinet later in the year. Cabinet would then be invited to decide which of the options they would like officers to further pursue through public consultation. The public's views would then be reported back to Cabinet so that it could consider them when deciding a strategy for the three schools in the south of the Borough should be included in the Building Schools for the Future strategy should BSF or any other form of funding become available.

Cabinet heard representations from spokespersons and elected members in attendance speaking on behalf of residents and groups affected by the proposals.

Borough and Parish Councillors representing Ingleby Barwick emphasised the importance of securing another school for the community and the strength of public support behind the campaign. The impact of the existing travel arrangements required to transport pupils from Ingleby Barwick to other schools on the Council's challenge to reduce carbon emissions in the future, was noted, and it was suggested that a further option to those proposed should be a submission for a further additional school. The Parish Council indicated its willingness to facilitate further discussions with all affected parties, should they be considered necessary.

Reference was made to the proposed use of land at Preston Hall and Park (Option D2) and concern was expressed by both elected representatives, residents in the adjacent area, and spokespersons on behalf of the affected Allotments Association and the Commission for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE). Reference was made to the effects of the proposal on the Council's already approved strategies and master plan for the Hall and Park, and the public concern in losing part of the Park, which had resulted in the recent submission of a public petition to Council objecting to the proposal. It was suggested also that this option would still require many pupils having to travel, some increased distances than was the case currently, and the lack of any financial certainty regarding the creation of a bridge link from Ingleby Barwick to Preston Park cast further doubt on this particular option. The possible increase in the number of pupils in Eaglescliffe requiring schooling arising from new housing developments in the area, was also cited as a reason for retaining Egglescliffe School on its existing site, albeit with an increased capacity. The implications of the possible development on Preston Park in terms of the loss of parking available within the Park, the displacement of the existing allotment holders, the impact on the nearby Nature Reserve and on the Heritage Park, and the increased traffic disruption to the business community, were all voiced as causes for concern regarding the proposed use of the Preston Park site.

The MP for Stockton South, in welcoming the fact that there were now four options put forward for consideration as opposed to only two in place at the outset, praised the well balanced presentation of the options for the way forward and the fact that the public would be given further opportunity to comment as part of the planned consultation process on any options subsequently approved by Cabinet.
CAB
169/09
Consideration was given to a report on progress in preparing for the transfer of funding and commissioning responsibility for the delivery of quality education and training for young people aged 16-19 (16-25 for learners with an identified learning disability), from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to individual Local Authorities (LAs) from April 2010.

The ASCL Act required LAs to put in place the arrangements described in the report and as such they represented statutory requirements. Approval was sought to progress the necessary HR, legal and financial arrangements required statutorily to facilitate the transfer of the commissioning responsibilities.

The White Paper Raising Expectations: Enabling the system to deliver, produced jointly by the DCSF and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) identified detailed proposed changes to the machinery of government with regard to skills training for adults and the creation of an effective system to deliver the learning entitlement to 14-19 year olds. The entitlement concept related to a range of curriculum and guidance initiatives and services that should be available to all 14-19 learners regardless of where they study. The reforms were designed to give councils the strategic lead for 14-19 education and training, enabling integration of provision between schools, colleges and employers as they jointly offer the new range of Diplomas and Apprenticeships alongside GCSEs and other qualifications.

Earlier in 2009, LAs were asked to consider the best way of grouping together to meet the learning needs of 14-19 year olds, informed by a detailed analysis of travel to learn patterns. This was a review of the choices that learners make in respect of their post-16 learning provider and the extent to which they stay within or move beyond their "home" local authority. This analysis informed the creation of sub-regional clusters of LAs to work together to create a commissioning plan for 14-19 learning in their geographical area. The LAs in Tees Valley submitted a joint response - the SRG Stage 2 Submission - proposing a sub-regional grouping (SRG) of the 5 Tees Valley LAs. The SRG Stage 2 submission was approved by Cabinet in January 2009.

The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (ASCL) was the legislative framework that confirmed the changes first outlined in the Raising Expectations White Paper. The Act was wide-ranging and encompassed a number of areas in addition to the changes to the machinery of government of the 16-19 phase.

From 1 April 2010, all unitary and county councils would take over responsibility for 16 to 19 education from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). This was a significant shift in responsibility and funding, involving the transfer of 7 billion of public money and nearly 1,000 LSC staff nationally. The key features of the new system are:

LAs to identify demand and plan provision to meet the learning needs of young people post 16
LAs to commission the provision
A funding model which ensures that money reaches providers appropriately

LAs would be responsible and accountable for securing the provision of high quality education and training for 16-19 year olds, (and 19-25 year olds subject to a learning difficulty assessment), and for those young people in youth custody aged 10 to 18. LAs would be supported by a small non-departmental public body - the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) - which would ensure coherence of planning and budgetary control at a national level.

LAs would be responsible for commissioning and procuring learning provision on behalf of young people in their own area and for young people choosing to travel in to learn from other local authority areas. This would ensure that providers, particularly FE Colleges, were not required to have multiple dialogues with a number of LAs. Due regard would be given, through the SRG and Regional Planning Group (RPG), to ensuring appropriate learning was available to meet the needs of residents of their area within the constraints of the funding agreement reached with the YPLA.

The Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), through a new agency, the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) would take on responsibility for all other learners over the age of 19, not subject to a learning difficulty assessment. It would also, through the National Apprenticeships Service (NAS), be responsible for securing apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds and all adults.

The legislation establishes LAs as the single point of responsibility and accountability for children's and young people's services from 0 to 19 (25 for learners subject to a learning difficulty assessment).

The proposed local, sub-regional and regional structures and planning processes were founded on the principle of subsidiarity, recognising the primacy of LAs. Through effective collaboration at SRG level LAs would inform and shape the regional agenda. They also reflected the key relationships being developed at SRG level with Multi-Area Agreements (MAAs) and sub-regional governance structures.

The ASCL Act required the dissolution of the LSC and the transfer of designated LSC staff to support the most appropriate element of the new system - the YPLA, the SFA, the NAS or the Local Authority. As part of the establishment of the new arrangements, current LSC staff had been through a "matching" process. The matching process reflected the duties and responsibilities that were transferring to each part of the new system from the existing LSC arrangements. Staff most closely aligned with the discharge of those responsibilities in respect of Local Authority areas had been identified to transfer to LA teams.

The transfer of staff would be governed by Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) - TUPE - regulations. LSC and local authority HR staff in Tees Valley had been working together to oversee the transfer, in line with best practice guidelines for TUPE transfers. Similarly, each LA had initiated a programme of orientation and induction activities in advance of the formal transfer date of 1 April 2010 so that appropriate organisational and team development can take place in readiness for the formal transfer of responsibilities. Most transferring LSC staff would be spending time in their respective LA teams working on associated 16-19 initiatives in advance of April 2010. In Tees Valley agreement was reached for formal shadowing to commence in January 2010.

For staff transferring, the actual staffing cost including on-costs will also transfer. Where a vacancy transfers, the average cost of the vacancy would be transferred. The transferring staff would be embedded within Local Authority teams and their Children's Trust commissioning arrangements.

The Authority would receive, annually up to 2012/13, a ring-fenced Special Purpose Grant from DCSF to cover the additional costs associated with taking on these additional responsibilities.

In addition to the LA team, a sub-regional shared service was approved as part of the Stage 2 submission. This service would take the form of a virtual team and would undertake those activities which were best completed once on behalf of all LA partners. Accountability for these decisions would remain with individual LAs. The SRG structure to support these arrangements was attached to the report.

Each LA would take on the responsibility for administering the funding agreements with their local schools and colleges (and WBL/third sector providers for Foundation Learning). Funding for Academies would be administered by the YPLA who would assume responsibility for all open academies in April 2010. Academies would be considered within the commissioning process; however the YPLA would be responsible for deciding on the number of sixth form places to be funded in each 11 - 18 academy, taking account of the views of the local authority and the academy as well as its own local intelligence.

Funding agreements would cover the periods April 2010 - July 2010 (the current funding agreement) and August 2010 -July 2011. These agreements were already, or would be, in place before the formal transfer of responsibilities and as such they would transfer, along with the agreed funding allocations on April 2010. It would be for the LA team to administer rather than negotiate and agree these allocations.

For the delivery year August 2011 - July 2012, LAs would lead all elements of the planning, commissioning, administrative and quality assurance process. A consultation document had been produced by the DCSF - The National Commissioning Framework - that described the potential processes and lead responsibilities for 2011-12.

In addition to collaboration at a sub-regional level to plan and commission provision, LAs would need to come together with other key stakeholders such as the Regional Development Agency (RDA), Government Office North East (GONE), Young People's Learning Agency and the new Skills Funding Agency as part of a Regional Planning Group (RPG). The role and structure of the North East RPG was attached to the report.

The Regional Planning Group would scrutinise the commissioning plans of the Sub-Regional Groups to ensure that they were coherent, fall within the overall budget available and deliver the entitlement for all young people in the region. The RPG would also work with the Regional Skills Partnership to make sure that commissioning plans reflected local skills needs. Recent national guidance indicated an expectation that at a regional level the voice of employers should be strongly represented in helping to ensure that economic growth was driven forward and the needs of the labour market were being met.
CAB
170/09
In accordance with the procedure for the appointment of school governors, approved at Minute 84 of the Cabinet (11th May 2000), Cabinet were requested to approve the nominations to school Governing Bodies as detailed within the report.
CAB
171/09
Further to Min 146/07 (Cabinet-13th March 2008) regarding the proposals for the regeneration of Thornaby Town Hall, consideration was given to the current position and circumstances with regard to the sale of the building to Python Properties.

As contained within this original decision, the Council and Python Properties wished to proceed with the development of a scheme that included Thornaby Town Council as tenants within the building. However at the moment, the Town Council were unwilling to commit to be part of the scheme and therefore, authority was sought to serve a Landlord &Tenant Act Section 25 notice on Thornaby Town Council now due to the timescales involved in both the serving of the notice/obtaining vacant possession and the need for the redevelopment to commence in order for any funding to be drawn down. It was noted that should this proposed action be approved, it was hoped that simultaneously with the period of notice, the Council and Python Properties would continue to liaise with the Town Council in the hope of securing a commitment to enter into a lease with the developer, thereby negating the need to pursue vacant possession.

Cabinet heard representations from both elected Borough and Town Council representatives of Thornaby, along with residents and spokespersons from the local heritage group, Remembering Thornaby Group (RTG), who were former tenants of the building, but who had declined the opportunity to take up permanent space in the building.

Concern was expressed at the cost of works already undertaken to the building by the Council on roof repairs and asbestos removal ; and to then dispose of the building on the open market. It was noted that the Council had considered a range of options for regeneration as a means of bringing the building back into use, prior to determining that its disposal to a private developer offered the best way forward of securing its future use.

Reference was made to the appropriateness of the consultation carried out previously by the Borough Council in December 2009. The Head of Regeneration and Economic Development advised that the results of the consultation response to the event held in Thornaby Library and on-line were available, which indicated that 73% of respondents fully supported Python's proposals for the regeneration of the building. The Town Council had carried out its own consultation which revealed that 98% of respondents wished the building to remain in public ownership.

Concern was expressed that the proposed lease terms made occupation in the building by the RTG financially prohibitive, and that there was therefore a resultant risk that there would be no place available in the future to display to the public the vast heritage collection built up by this group. It was noted Python Properties remained willing to make available meeting and display space. Reference was also made to the possibility of the group being able to take advantage of support provided by groups such as Catalyst, that would potentially provide the group access to financial assistance in order to be able to afford the proposed lease options.

The Head of Regeneration and Economic Development reiterated the existing vision statement for the building, and the Director of Law and Democracy confirmed that there were no existing legal obstructions to prevent the Council from proceeding with its proposed course of action.
CAB
172/09
Cabinet considered a report introducing the Draft Tourism & Visitor Economy Strategy highlighted and presented the aims and objectives set out in the strategy, the reason for the strategy and the need for it to be fed into the Regeneration Strategy, the Regional and sub Regional Tourism Strategies and Plans.

It was explained that Tourism was recognised nationally as a key sector for the economy and vital for regeneration, with 86 billion spent annually on UK tourism, including 17 billion by 33 million overseas visitors and 44 billion on day trips by UK residents.

Within the Tees Valley the value of the tourism industry in 2006 was 535 million. The visitor economy incorporated:-

i) Attractions (e.g. natural environment, heritage and culture, iconic buildings, retail, sport, leisure facilities, food and events)
ii) Infrastructure (e.g. signs, transport, parking, interpretation, public space and amenities)
iii) Services (e.g. hotels and bars, pubs and restaurants, galleries, every day events and day-to-day services)

These elements contributed to the vibrancy and sense of place, civic pride, regional and local distinctiveness. Members noted that this was the first Tourism and Visitor Economy Strategy for Stockton Borough and was set to deliver an action plan up until 2015.

In recent years the tourism industry had become much more focused, with changing attitudes to leisure and tourism focusing on visitor's needs and requirements. Development of the overall product, together with the emerging new technology and practices and the need to raise the profile of Stockton locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, had highlighted the need for a Tourism & Visitor Strategy for Stockton.

Stockton Borough's development priorities were linked to the Regional Tourism Economy Strategy, the Tees Valley Investment Plan and ATMAP (Area Tourism Management Plan), which would be delivered by the new Tees Valley Unlimited structure, in terms of strategic positioning for the Borough.

The strategy set out priority objectives to take tourism within the borough forward, increasing visitor stay and spend by changing perceptions of the area and creating an attractive visitor destination. Therefore, generating more jobs and training opportunities with a positive impact on the local economy, The main purpose of this strategy would be to increase the overall value of tourism to the local economy.

Stockton's Vision was - ‘By 2015 Stockton-on-Tees would deliver a high quality visitor experience, continually surprising and exciting our visitors with a vibrant, contemporary and diverse offer in an historically rich environment'. The strategy would provide a framework for strengthening tourism activity and promoting growth in the visitor economy, in and around Stockton on Tees. The plan would be the linkage in the process of developing the Stockton Visitor offer within the regional and national context, with the key to success being our ability to develop and work in partnership with a wide range of agencies, businesses, residents and colleagues, to a common agenda. Through partnership working the strategy would improve tourism facilities, services and events and ensure that people with a disability were able to access and take part in tourism activities.

The main areas of improvement were almost identical to the issues raised in the Tees Valley Area Management Plan (ATMAP) document and would be delivered through our 14 main priorities addressed in the action plan. Members were provided with details of the priorities.
CAB
173/09
Cabinet considered a monthly update report providing members with an overview of the current economic climate, outlining the effects that this was having on Stockton Borough, and the mitigations already in place and those being developed.
CAB
174/09
In 2009, HMI Probation (HMIP) introduced a new 3 year independent inspection programme of Youth Offending Services (YOS). In response to national developments relating to public protection, youth crime and the safeguarding agenda, the new inspection regime focused exclusively upon the delivery of case work and how this contributed to: managing risk of harm presented to others from children and young people; reducing the likelihood of offending; and the safeguarding of children and young people.

Cabinet was advised that Stockton on Tees YOS had received very positive feedback from inspectors during and following inspection, with the inspection report published on the 6th January 2010, containing minimum recommendations for improvement in relation to all three areas of managing risk of harm; reducing likelihood of offending; and safeguarding. A full copy of the Inspection Report was submitted.

Stockton's results compared very favourably in the North East region and placed the YOS as the best performing YOS overall in the region. An improvement action plan had been prepared in response to the inspection's key recommendations to further strengthen service performance.

Cabinet wished to place on record its congratulations to staff within the YOS for their role in achieving an excellent inspection result.
CAB
175/09
Consideration was given to the minutes of the meetings of various bodies.
CAB
176/09
Further to Min 115/09 (Cabinet -5th November 2009) consideration was given to proposed amendments to the current arrangements for the reimbursement of employees who use their vehicle on council business, along with the proposed removal of the current entitlement to car parking permits for employees using the council's car parks, and to changes to subsistence and travelling allowances. These proposals included a review of member's allowances in line with the changes proposed for employees and followed extensive negotiations that had taken place with the Trades Unions and employees whereby agreement on the proposals had now been reached.

The proposals in respect of Travelling and Subsistence Allowances were set out in detail for employees and members respectively in Schedules 1 and 2 attached to the submitted report. The Council had already expressed its commitment to reducing the environmental and financial impacts from it's business travel and this had meant looking at ways to reduce the number of miles travelled and also indentifying methods of transport with lower carbon emissions per mile, reduced costs and improved safety for the employee and those around them. A new Travel and Subsistence Policy would therefore be developed which would:-

Support the Council's Travel Action Plan
Reduce the costs of business mileage
Introduce a pool car scheme
Increase working time by reducing the amount of time spent on car journeys
Support the health and safety of staff by minimising the amount of time spent driving vehicles outside the council's control.

It was noted that work was currently on going in respect of a pool car scheme for those employees who no longer wished to use their cars for work or for those undertaking longer journeys where public transport is unsuitable. The opportunity would be taken to use eco friendly cars and trial electric cars as appropriate. The pool car scheme would apply to existing employees in their current job role, new employees and current employees who change their job role would be expected to provide their own transportation to enable them to undertake their role in an efficient and effective way to meet service requirements.
CAB
177/09
Cabinet was provided with a report that provided advice on the progress of the introduction of the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (ENCTS) since its introduction on 1st April 2008 and the financial implications of operation of the scheme for Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council in 2010/11. The report acknowledged the findings of the Scrutiny review of this service area approved by Cabinet in November 2009. It also addressed previous Cabinet requests for a review of the way in which disabled entitlement to ENCTS passes were assessed and updated Members on progress towards future pass issue from libraries.

It was noted that, in January 2009, Cabinet had approved a a local enhancement in the Tees Valley that removed all restrictions on the time of travel. This would operate for the year ending 31st March 2010. In March 2010 agreement was reached with operators on continuing the fixed payment system in 2009/2010.

In November 2009 Cabinet agreed recommendations of the Regeneration and Transport Select Committee that included that ‘officers enter into dual negotiations for the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme concession 2010/11 subsidy with the alternative option of introducing a reduced fare for pass holders travelling before 9.30am Monday - Friday'.

It was, therefore, recommended that Cabinet approve that the Council seek continuing participation in the Tees Valley enhanced scheme, for 1 year commencing 1st April 2010, offering free travel within and between the areas covered by Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Councils at any time of day.

It was further recommended that this be subject to the continuing participation of the other local authorities in the scheme, available budgets and any agreed system of nominal charges for trips before 9.30am as previously approved by Cabinet.

Members noted the position surrounding vetting applications on the grounds of disability and were informed that the introduction of an assessment system, based on the use of occupational therapists, was unlikely to be possible within the following two years. Given that the next mass renewal of passes would be for 2012/13 it was recommended that any new system was not adopted until 2012.

Since Cabinet agreed to introduce charges for lost/stolen passes in January 2009, the demand for replacement passes has fallen from over 70 a month to just over 20 a month it was therefore recommended that the charges for replacement passes remain at their present level.

In January 2009 Members were informed of proposals to extend the number of outlets at which ENCTS applications can be made to all libraries in 2009. Although the new customer contact centre at Thornaby was now processing ENCTS applications, it had not been possible to add any more outlets at this stage. Following discussions with ICT it was apparent that adding more high bandwidth network connections in libraries will be difficult and expensive. It was agreed that rather than add new computers to undertake the task, the use of existing computers to process ENCTS would be preferable. However, the existing equipment in libraries does not meet the minimum standards needed to process ENCTS applications. Therefore, 20,000 will be used from existing resources in 2010/11 to provide libraries with new computers, cameras and software to enable them to process ENCTS applications.

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