Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Council Minutes

Date:
Wednesday, 31st October, 2018
Time:
7.00pm
Place:
Council Chamber, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1AU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
The Worshipful the Mayor (Cllr Eileen Johnson), Cllr Helen Atkinson, Cllr Louise Baldock, Cllr Chris Barlow, Cllr Jim Beall, Cllr Derrick Brown, Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Chris Clough, Cllr Robert Cook, Cllr Nigel Cooke, Cllr Gillian Corr, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr John Gardner, Cllr Lisa Grainge, Cllr Lynn Hall, Cllr Elsi Hampton, Cllr Tony Hampton, Cllr David Harrington, Cllr Stefan Houghton, Cllr Barbara Inman, Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Mrs Kathryn Nelson, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Ross Patterson, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Lauriane Povey, Cllr Stephen Richardson, Cllr Andrew Stephenson, Cllr Norma Stephenson O.B.E, Cllr Mick Stoker, Cllr Marilyn Surtees, Cllr Laura Tunney, Cllr Matthew Vickers, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley, Cllr Sally Ann Watson, Cllr Paul Weston, Cllr Julia Whitehill, Cllr Bill Woodhead MBE and Cllr Barry Woodhouse.
Officers:
Julie Danks, Peter Bell (DCE), Garry Cummings (F&BS), Beccy Brown, Jonathan Nertney (HR, L&C), Garry Cummings (F&BS), Richard McGuckin (E,G&D), Jamie McCann (CS), Ann Workman (AH); Reuben Kench (CL&E).
In Attendance:
Members of the Public.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Sonia Bailey, Cllr Paul Baker, Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Cllr Phil Dennis, Cllr Di Hewitt, Cllr Javed Mohammed, Cllr Mick Moore, Cllr Paul Rowling, Cllr Mike Smith, Cllr Tracey Stott, Cllr David Wilburn and Cllr Norma Wilburn.
Item Description Decision
Public
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35/18
WELCOME AND EVACUATION PROCEDURE
The Worshipful the Mayor welcomed everyone to the meeting and the evacuation procedure was noted.
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36/18
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Norma Stephenson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Motion to Council - Co-operative Party's Charter against Modern Slavery as she was a member of the Co-operative Party.

Councillor Nigel Cooke declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Motion to Council - Co-operative Party's Charter against Modern Slavery as he was a member of the Co-operative Party.

Councillor Jean O'Donnell declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Motion to Council - Co-operative Party's Charter against Modern Slavery as she was a member of the Co-operative Party.

Councillor Ann McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Motion to Council - Co-operative Party's Charter against Modern Slavery as she was a member of the Co-operative Party.

Councillor Lisa Grainge declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Motion to Council - Co-operative Party's Charter against Modern Slavery as she was a member of the Co-operative Party.

Councillor Bob Cook declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Motion to Council - Co-operative Party's Charter against Modern Slavery as he was a member of the Co-operative Party.

Councillor Louise Baldock declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Motion to Council - Co-operative Party's Charter against Modern Slavery as he was a member of the Co-operative Party.

Councillor Jim Beall declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Motion to Council - Co-operative Party's Charter against Modern Slavery as he was a member of the Co-operative Party.

Councillor Paul Weston declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Motion to Council - Co-operative Party's Charter against Modern Slavery as he was a member of the Co-operative Party.

Councillor Nigel Cooke declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 15 - Great Jobs Agenda as he was a member of a trade union affiliated to the TUC.

Councillor Bob Cook declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 15 - Great Jobs Agenda as he was a member of a trade union affiliated to the TUC.

Councillor Derrick Brown declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 15 - Great Jobs Agenda as he was a member of a trade union affiliated to the TUC.

Councillor Nigel Cooke declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 10 - Armed Forces Community Covenant Update as a family member had served in the armed forces.

Councillor Lynn Hall declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 10 - Armed Forces Community Covenant Update as her family members had served and were serving in the armed forces.

Councillor Matthew Vickers declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 10 - Armed Forces Community Covenant Update as his family members had served and were serving in the armed forces.

Councillor Paul Kirton declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 10 - Armed Forces Community Covenant Update as his family members had served and were serving in the armed forces.

Councillor Bill Woodhead MBE declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 10 - Armed Forces Community Covenant Update as he had served in the RAF.

Councillor Tony Hampton declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 10 - Armed Forces Community Covenant Update as his family members had served in the armed forces.

Councillor Paul Weston declared a personal prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Victoria Site Redevelopment - Prudential Borrowing as he was employed by Thirteen. Councillor Paul Weston withdrew from the meeting and left the room during consideration of the item.

Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 7 - Victoria Site Redevelopment - Prudential Borrowing as he was a director of Thirteen. Councillor Steve Nelson withdrew from the meeting and left the room during consideration of the item.

Councillor Jim Beall declared a personal non prejudicial in respect of agenda item 11 - Director of Public Health Annual Report as he was a member of Roseworth Community Partnership.

Councillor Barbara Inman declared a personal non prejudicial in respect of agenda item 11 - Director of Public Health Annual Report as she was a member of Roseworth Community Partnership.
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37/18
MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting held on 20 September 2018 were signed by the Worshipful the Mayor as a correct record.
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38/18
MARKETS MANAGER OF THE YEAR AWARD
The Worshipful the Mayor reported that Richard Beddard had won the Markets Manager of the Year Award.

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing outlined that Richard was familiar face to shoppers and market traders across Stockton-on-Tees and had won the national award.

Richard Beddard, who had been manager of the traditional weekly markets in Stockton, Billingham and Thornaby for six years, was named the Markets Manager of the Year at the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) awards ceremony.

In the six years he had been at the helm, Stockton Market had won several national honours including ‘Best Large Outdoor Market' at the Great British Market Awards and the ‘Love Your Local Market' award in 2014.
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39/18
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
The Chief Solicitor informed Members that no Public Questions had been received.
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40/18
VICTORIA SITE REDEVELOPMENT - PRUDENTIAL BORROWING
RESOLVED that the prudential borrowing of 1.6m to fund a loan to the Joint Venture Company to support the cash flow requirements of the scheme be approved. This loan will be repayable at a market rate (as detailed in paragraphs 14 and 15 of the report).
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41/18
DEMOCRACY DIARY 2019-2023
RESOLVED that:-

1. The draft Democracy Diary for 2019/23 be noted and it be circulated to all Councillors / Officers for information.

2. Council agree the proposed change of time for Council meetings suggesting that the meetings commence at 6.00pm with effect from the 2019/20 Municipal Year.
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42/18
INVESTORS IN PEOPLE (IIP) 2018 ACCREDITATION
RESOLVED that:-

1. The Stand-out Strengths and recommendations from the IIP Assessment be noted.

2. The actions in response to the IIP Assessment recommendations be agreed.
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43/18
ARMED FORCES COMMUNITY COVENANT UPDATE
RESOLVED that the revised Armed Forces Community Covenant be adopted.
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44/18
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH ANNUAL REPORT
RESOLVED that the Director of Public Health Annual Report be agreed.
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45/18
AMENDMENTS TO COMMITTEES FOR 2018/19
RESOLVED that:-

1. Councillor Lauriane Povey be removed as Vice Chair of the Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee.

2. Councillor Evaline Cunningham be appointed as Vice Chair of the Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee.
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46/18
COUNCIL MEETINGS - RUN UP TO ELECTIONS
RESOLVED that the following additional meetings of Council be agreed in order to manage essential Council business in the lead up to the local elections in May 2019:-

1. An additional Ordinary Council meeting be scheduled to take place immediately following the conclusion of the Special Council Meeting on 27th February 2019.

2. The Council meeting scheduled for 6th March 2019 be rescheduled to take place on Tuesday 5th March 2019 and be held at The Point in Arc.
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47/18
MOTION
The following motion had been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.1. The motion was moved by Councillor Louise Baldock and seconded by Councillor Bob Cook:-

"This Council notes:

That the Co-operative Party has worked with a wide range of NGOs, local Government procurement teams and the Co-operative Group to develop a new Charter which aims to ensure there is no place for modern day slavery in the supply chains used by local authorities.

The Charter proposes that that each council shall:

• Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply's (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.
• Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for non-compliance.
• Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.
• Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.
• Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.
• Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.
• Review its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.
• Highlight for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed.
• Refer for investigation via the National Crime Agency's national referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery.
• Report publicly on the implementation of this policy annually.

This Council agrees to adopt the Co-operative Party's Charter against Modern Slavery."

A vote took place and the motion was carried.
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48/18
MOTION
The following motion had been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.1. The motion was moved by Councillor Jim Beall and seconded by Councillor Norma Stephenson:-

"Every job should be a great job. For us that means workers in our area should be paid fairly; work in a safe and healthy workplace; be treated decently and with respect; have regular hours; have the chance to be represented by unions and be consulted on what matters at work; and get the chance to learn and progress at work and get on in life.

This Council resolves to:

1. Support the TUC's Great Jobs Agenda, which sets out the actions employers and the government must take for every job to be a great job.

2. Ensure as an employer we continue providing great jobs for our own employees.

3. Continue to value meaningful workforce engagement and representation through our recognised trade unions.

4. Continue our work with employers in the Borough to influence their employment practices, and to ensure that business growth is sustainable and ethical.

5. Make increasing job quality a key part of the conversation when pursuing local economic development opportunities in the area.

6. Use our commissioning and procurement processes where possible to raise employment standards amongst those suppliers and providers we work with.

7. Where appropriate, engage with government and other bodies who hold regulatory powers, to tackle issues which local authorities do not have statutory powers to address directly.

8. Write to our MPs informing them of our position and encouraging them to support the Great Jobs Agenda too."

A vote took place and the motion was carried.
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49/18
MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME
The Chief Solicitor informed Members that no Member Questions had been received.
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50/18
FORWARD PLAN AND LEADER'S STATEMENT
The Leader of the Council outlined the Forward Plan and gave his Leader's Statement.

The Leader of the Council thanked Members for their support and good wishes following his knee operation.

Council last met in September and since then Cabinet had met twice and considered a number of important matters. On the 27th of September Cabinet considered reports on:

• Investors in People
• The Medium Term Financial Plan update
• The Annual report from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
• The Smarter Working in Stockton programme
• The Victoria Estate redevelopment
• The Revised Legionella Control & Water Hygiene Policy
• The Tees Valley Joint Waste Management Strategy
• The Democracy Diary for 2019-23
• And the Annual Audit Letter which was presented to Cabinet by the auditors Mazars

At its meeting on 18th October Cabinet considered reports on:

• The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Joint Commissioning Strategy
• School Performance in 2017-2018
• The Openness of Local Government Bodies - Audio Recording of Council Meetings
• The Open Water Safety Strategy
• The Economic Climate Report
• The Director of Public Health Annual Report
• The first quarter Children's Services Progress Update
• And the Armed Forces Covenant

Looking forward, Cabinet would meet again on 15 November 2018 and consider reports on:

• The Scrutiny Review of Gambling
• The outcome of the LGA Peer Review of Physical Activity
• The Review of the Constitution
• The Council Plan mid year update report
• Strengthening Probation
• The Leaning & Skills Annual Report
• The feedback and market research findings on SIRF & the Cycling Festival

As ever the Council had a packed programme of events over the coming weeks, including the fireworks display on 4 November.

The centenary of the end of World War 1 would be marked across the Borough with a wide range of Remembrance Day services and events. The "Point me to the Skies" project would create a moving tribute to those who had lost their lives in wars. This continued the 1,245 sunflowers project, which started in 2014, and would bring together 1,245 sunflowers and a choir of 1,245 voices to sing at Trinity Church on the 11th of November.

And finally, can the Leader of the Council thanked everyone who had supported the "Show Racism the Red Card" campaign. The Leader of the Council particularly thanked Councillor Norma Stephenson for all her hard work in pulling the campaign together, 1,100 for the charity had been raised.

The Leader of the Council looked forward to seeing Members again on the 12 December 2018 for the next meeting of Council.
7.00pm to 8.00pm.

Preamble

ItemPreamble
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40/18
Consideration was given to a report on Victoria Site Redevelopment - Prudential Borrowing.

The Victoria site had been a long established component in the journey to re-purpose Stockton Town Centre to reflect the modern role of the Town Centre. With the Hampton by Hilton Hotel due to open in early 2019, the Globe restoration well under way and the demolition of Elm House scheduled for late 2018, the opportunity to provide an appropriate, modern residential offer to meet need across the community remains at the heart of the proposal.

In March 2018, Cabinet granted approval to support a procurement exercise to seek a potential Joint Venture partner to bring forward a comprehensive housing redevelopment proposal for the Victoria site. Following the conclusion of this exercise Cabinet in September 2018 had agreed to the establishment of a Joint Venture Company and to the appointment Keepmoat Homes Limited as the Councils joint venture partner. The freehold site at Victoria would be transferred to the JV Company.

The close proximity of Victoria to the heart of the Town Centre provided an ideal opportunity to ensure that the physical connection was seamless where practical. The demolition of Elm House provided the opportunity to enhance public realm and bring forward additional residential development in the form of a future development phase. The connection to Norton Road played an equally significant role and it was essential that later phases of Victoria explored improving this vital connection.

The masterplan submitted by Keepmoat Homes was for a contemporary design, using their new range of 2018 house types. Keepmoat were heavily involved in the Healthy New Towns initiative with Darlington BC (one of ten national pilot locations). The aim of the initiative was to shape the way new housing sites developed so to test creative solutions for health and care challenges in the 21st century. As part of this project Keepmoat had developed a ‘Lifetime Homes range' of dwellings, lifetime homes were designed to support the changing needs of individuals and families at different stages of life (to provide flexibility and adaptability). Keepmoat proposed to bring this learning to Stockton and would build these new house types on the Victoria development. Whilst the external, green landscape would be aimed at accommodating pedestrians, cyclists and encouraging sustainable modes of transport.

An attached appendix provided extracts from the Keepmoat site masterplan proposal, Members noted the masterplan proposal was to deliver 144 new homes which would include a range of 2, 3 and 4 bedroom houses and 2 bedroom bungalows.

Of the 144 new homes, 22 (15%) would be provided for affordable rent / affordable home ownership. The affordable units would be delivered (pepper potted) in different phases of the site and as required by the tender brief Keepmoat had committed to delivering these units (to Thirteen) in accordance with Homes England strict funding timescales. The affordable homes would be constructed simultaneously with the open market housing and would be tenure blind. All affordable homes would also comply and in some cases exceed the Homes England Nationally Designed Space Standards.

The masterplan proposal had also been developed to ensure that it would complement and support the future redevelopment of the Elm House site. The Elm House site (including the ground floor extension) was owned by Thirteen, once vacant (programmed for mid-September 2018) the full building (including the ground floor extension) would be demolished. The Council was leading on the demolition of the building (on behalf of Thirteen) and it was expected that demolition would be complete by the end of 2018. This would facilitate the timely redeveloped of this additional site area which Thirteen would bring forward exclusively for affordable housing.

A financial assessment conducted as part of the procurement of the JV partner had been undertaken that had considered the funding requirements of the JV Company to deliver the Victoria housing development, in particular the necessary borrowing costs.

At its meeting held on 18 October 2018 Cabinet had agreed to establish a JV Company the shareholders in which would be the Council and Keepmoat Homes Limited.

The potential financial benefits that accrue from establishing the JV Company are the profits distributed back to the Council after tax and margin on any lending made to the JV Company by the Council.

As the JV Company was being treated as a commercial operator and in order to comply with state aid rules, any lending to it by the Council must be at a commercial rate. As the Council would be able to either utilise its own resources or even if on-lending from the Public Works Loan Board there would be an opportunity to achieve at least some margin on the borrowing.

The Business Case was that Council and Keepmoat would both provide loan funding to the JV Company (intended to be in equal amounts). Over the lifetime of the development the proposed maximum value of the loan to be made by each partner would be 1.6m. The loan made by the Council would be on a commercial return basis (and will be state aid compliant).

The maximum value of the loan to be made by both JV partners, had been determined by as part of the procurement exercise and forms part of Keepmoat's bid. As noted previously each potential JV partner was required (as part of the procurement exercise) to complete a comprehensive financial appraisal which included details of the full costs of developing the site (including sales and marketing) and the projected sales values for the range of house types proposed within the development. The total cost of the redevelopment works proposed by Keepmoat is estimated at 18.7m. Based on their estimated sales values Keepmoat Homes Limited had expressed confidence that the site would be commercially viable and would provide both parties (after the payment of costs incurred by the JV Company for sale and professional fees) with an investment return.

Under the terms of the JV arrangements the Council would receive 30.64% of any profit and Keepmoat 69.36%. The precise shareholdings and shareholder control of the company would be structured to achieve this distribution ratio, but the Council would have additional protections to ensure that the development progresses in accordance with the Keepmoat bid through a shareholder agreement.

As with all development projects of this size and scale there were a number of risks that were relevant to the business case and these were detailed within the report.

Having evaluated the tender submission made by Keepmoat Homes Limited it was considered that the development of the Victoria site through a JV partnership was a viable proposition and that both parties would work collaboratively through the JV Company towards common and consistent goals (that were consistent with the Councils vision for the site) and would provide the Council with an income (share of the profit). In addition, the JV partnership option offered a more advantageous development proposal than the Council leading (in isolation) on the development of the site, developing the site through a traditional development agreement, selling the site on the open market or the Council deciding not to proceed with a development proposal.

At its meeting held on 18 October 2018 Cabinet had agreed the establishment of a JV Company, the JV Company would be governed by Articles of Association. In addition there would be a Joint Venture Agreement, a Loan Facility Agreement, a Services Contract, a Construction Contract and a legal Charge.

It may also be necessary to enter into an Interim Services Agreement with Keepmoat Ltd to enable initial woks to progress but before the formal establishment of the company.

As noted previously the JV Company would be jointly owned by the Council and Keepmoat Homes Limited and the principal business of the JV Company was the acquisition of the site at Victoria for the development of homes for sale at this site.

The Joint Venture Agreement would specify the services to be provided by the contractor (Keepmoat Homes Limited) that would be required to deliver to the JV Company, these included:

• Project management of the development of the site.
• The full requirement of financial and administrative and legal services to enable the JV to carry out the development.
• Sales and marketing services to enable the JV to carry out and deliver the sales of the development as detailed in the appraisal.
• Such other services as required in the delivery of the development by a competent contractor.
• In addition, the JV Company would ensure that both parties had control and influence over the operation of the company to ensure that their primary objectives for the development were met.
• The shareholder reserved matters would be agreed by both shareholders in writing.
• A clear process to resolve disputes or deadlocked decisions of the board was included.
• The JV Company would incur costs and execute sales in accordance with the scheme appraisal.
• The Agreement could be terminated under defined circumstances.
• The full requirement of financial and administrative and legal services to enable the JV to carry out the development.
• Sales and marketing services to enable the JV to carry out and deliver the sales of the development as detailed in the appraisal.
• Such other services as required in the delivery of the development by a competent contractor.

In addition, the JV Company would ensure that both parties had control and influence over the operation of the company to ensure that their primary objectives for the development were met.

It was envisaged that the initial board of the joint venture company would have 6 members three from the Council and three from Keepmoat.

The legal documentation would include provisions that the shareholder reserved matters (red lines) would be agreed by both shareholders in writing. A clear process to resolve dispute was included. The JV Company would incur costs and execute sales in accordance with the scheme appraisal and the joint venture may be ended under defined circumstances

Should Council confirm the borrowing requirement the list below provided an indicative site development timeline:

Submit planning application - November 2018
Secure planning consent - February 2019
Site preparatory works / building works commence - Post planning approval through to summer 2019
Sales Centre opens December 2019
First legal completions - February 2019
Overall scheme completion - June 2023

As highlighted in previous reports, the sites connectivity with Norton Road (as a key gateway into the Borough) was significant and work was ongoing to ensure the Victoria sites redevelopment complemented ongoing town centre regeneration, improvement activity (i.e. Townscape Heritage).
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41/18
Consideration was given to a report on the Democracy Diary 2019-2023.

In an attempt to give clarity for Members and Officers regarding the diary of scheduled Council and Committee meetings for the next entire electoral period of office, work had commenced on the draft Democracy Diary of Meetings 2019 - 2023.

Cabinet had noted the draft diary and had invited Council to consider a proposed change to the time of Council meetings with effect from the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

Moved by Councillor Bob Cook, seconded by Councillor Jim Beall that:-

1. The draft Democracy Diary for 2019/23 be noted and it be circulated to all Councillors / Officers for information.

2. Council agree the proposed change of time for Council meetings suggesting that the meetings commence at 6.00pm with effect from the 2019/20 Municipal Year.

Councillor Chris Clough, seconded by Councillor David Harrington moved an amendment to the substantive motion that the commencement time of Council remain at 7.00pm.

A vote took place on the amendment to the substantive motion. The amendment was not carried.
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42/18
Consideration was given to a report on Investors in People (IIP).

The Investors in People (IIP) award sets out the criteria for high performance through people. The Council had held the IIP Accredited award since 2003 and had maintained accreditation ever since. Following the recent assessment the Council had received confirmation that it had retained its Investor in People (IIP) until 2021.

The Council had a long history of investing in its employees and was 4 years into the Shaping a Brighter Future (SBF) programme which was investing heavily in the potential and heart of our employees. SBF was building organisational capacity and driving change in the way the Council worked so that it could cope with the challenge of working in Local Government in 2018.

As with any major investment the Council had welcomed the opportunity to test its effectiveness, the IIP reaccreditation had been particularly timely as a means of providing an independent assessment of and challenge to everything the Council was doing in SBF. The Council had always welcomed the insight and challenge provided by the IIP assessors and value the quality and comprehensive nature of the IIP assessment model. The Council was delighted to receive the detailed inspection feedback and the headline finding that the:

"SBF programme in 2018… has evolved substantially, unleashing energy for the benefit of the people served by the Council."

The assessment was conducted in July 2018 and focused on evidence from employees on an individual and group basis. A total of 137 employees were interviewed through the assessment process. There was also the opportunity for the Assessors to review various information in support of the Council's approach to people management, a wide range of Shaping a Brighter Future evidence, video clips, the Scrutiny Review of Sickness Absence, Hive results and Employee Survey 2016 Reports and Action Plans. In addition the Assessors attended a Setting the Standard session, which provided "an excellent overview of the Council's achievements and strategic developments"; and a Headway Bite-Size session, which focused on staff engagement.

Evidence gathered during Interviews provided significant evidence of good practice across all Indicators of the Standard and feedback in the report and directly from the Assessors was excellent. The Assessment suggested that the Council was working beyond the ‘Developed' level in many areas and would be well positioned to achieve IIP Gold accreditation at a future Assessment.

It was particularly pleasing to receive such positive feedback and recognition of the Council's ambition and approach to valuing our workforce, notwithstanding the significant financial challenge and change, including reduction in headcount, that employees had been part of over the recent years. The report endorsed the Council's value, care and investment in employees encapsulated in the long term commitment to the SBF programme and more recently the Smarter Working in Stockton (SWiS) programme.
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43/18
Consideration was given to the Armed Forces Covenant.

The report provided details of the position and the progress that had been made since Cabinet considered a review of the Council's commitment to its Armed Forces Community Covenant (AFCC) in October 2017 and recommended the adoption of a revised Covenant.

In order to ensure that the Covenant-related activities and initiatives remained current and continue to support the local AF community, the Council would need to:

- continue to review the Defence Secretary's annual Armed Forces Covenant report to Parliament each December;

- continue to review the guidance provided to local authorities on the MOD's newly launched AF Covenant website;

- review the cross-Government ‘Veterans' Strategy, which would be published November 2018.

- review the work of the Government's ‘Armed Forces Covenant and Veterans' Board' which was launched in October 2017.

- review the Covenant-funded ‘Map of Need' which was commissioned in April 2017 to provide an evidence-based analysis of what Veterans and Armed Forces families' services were being sought and where. The Council was awaiting its completion and publication. This may help to improve the profile of the local armed forces community and its needs.

- review the update of the SBC Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for veterans'.

By doing this the Council should be able to retain the Silver Award from the MOD ERS; begin to make progress towards the Gold Award; and continue working towards and maintaining a ‘green' rating for delivery of the Covenant pillars.

The 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day was a fitting reminder of the debt the nation owed to the Armed Forces community. A number of projects and events to mark this historic occasion were being organised by the Council. This made it a very opportune time for the Council to commit itself to a new Armed Forces Covenant.

At its meeting held on 18 October 2018 Cabinet had resolved that an annual report be received highlighting the work being carried out to fulfil the commitments in the Armed Forces Community Covenant.
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44/18
Consideration was given to the Director of Public Health Annual Report.

The Director of Public Health Annual Report outlined some of the key health and wellbeing challenges and opportunities in Stockton Borough, including the data and evidence and details of current work and planned next steps.

Under the Health and Social Care Act (2012), the Director of Public Health in the Local Authority had a statutory duty to publish an independent report on the health of the population in their area; the Local Authority had a duty to publish the Report.

The Report was based on the JSNA and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2012-18, plus additional evidence from other sources and therefore had been developed through consultation with partners and communities. The focus of the Report was using ‘community-centred approaches' to improve health and wellbeing in Stockton-on-Tees.
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45/18
At its Annual Meeting, held on Wednesday 3 June 2015, the Council approved appointments to its Committees, Panels and Joint/Outside Bodies for 2015/19.

The following amendment had been received and is presented for Council consideration:-

Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee

Remove Councillor Lauriane Povey as Vice Chair

Moved by Councillor Bob Cook, seconded by Councillor Norma Stephenson that Councillor Evaline Cunningham be appointed as Vice Chair.
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46/18
Consideration was given to the proposals to manage essential Council business to be transacted at full Council meetings in the lead up to the local elections in May 2019.

Meetings of full Council in the lead up to the local elections were scheduled to take place as follows:-

- 12th December 2018 - Ordinary Council
- 13th January 2019 - Ordinary Council
- 27th February 2019 - Special Council (MTFP)
- 6th March 2019 - Ordinary Council
- 22nd May 2019 - Annual Council Meeting (post-election)

Given that the volume of business to be transacted at Annual Council would be more substantial due to the need to appoint members to both Committees and Outside Bodies for a four year term; and the high number of civic, business and staff awards presented at the Annual Meeting, it was proposed that the date at which these awards were presented be changed and that they be held much earlier in the calendar avoiding the run up to the election period.

The first opportunity for doing so would therefore be at the Ordinary Council meeting in March. However, in order to facilitate the presentation of award winners, it would be necessary to find an appropriate venue for the occasion as the Council Chamber would lack sufficient capacity to accommodate.

The Point in Arc had been used successfully in the past for meetings of Council on occasions when several Aldermen/Freemen presentations had been made, and therefore it was proposed that it be used again for this occasion. Unfortunately, the venue was not available on the scheduled date of Council (6th March 2019) but was available on the 5th March 2019 and therefore it was proposed that the date of Council be changed to that date. It should be noted that as it was an Ordinary Meeting of Council, in addition to the presentation of awards, agenda items would still include Member and Public Questions, Council Motions (if any are received), as well as any recommendations to Council, presentations and other items required.

There were several Scrutiny Reviews due to report to Cabinet in January/February 2019 which may, or may not, require Council approval. Therefore to mitigate against the likelihood of the agenda for the 5th March containing a high volume of business emanating from the conclusion of the reviews in the immediate run up to the elections, it was proposed that an extra Ordinary Council Meeting be added to the diary.

If so, rather than seek to have a meeting on an additional date, the preferred option would be to have an Ordinary Council Meeting immediately following the conclusion of the Special Council Meeting (27th February 2019) convened to consider solely the setting of the Medium Term Financial Plan/Council Tax. (The business transacted by Ordinary Council cannot be considered at Special Council as that meeting was restricted to considering the business for which it was convened, e.g. Medium Term Financial Plan/Council Tax.)

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