Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Council Minutes

Date:
Wednesday, 7th May, 2008
Time:
07.00 p.m.
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 John Fletcher), Cllr Hilary Aggio, Cllr Mrs Lynne Apedaile, Cllr Paul Baker, Cllr Jim Beall, Cllr Mrs Jennie Beaumont, Cllr Phillip Broughton, Cllr Aidan Cockerill, Cllr David Coleman, Cllr Robert Cook, Cllr Mrs Eileen Craggs, Cllr Alex Cunningham, Cllr Jackie Earl, Cllr Mick Eddy, Cllr Mrs Suzanne Fletcher, Cllr Maurice Frankland, Cllr John Gardner, Cllr Robert Gibson, Cllr David Harrington, Cllr Miss Barbara Inman, Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Miss Tina Large, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Ken Lupton, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Lee Narroway, Cllr Mrs Kath Nelson, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Mrs Liz Nesbitt, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Ross Patterson, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Mrs Maureen Rigg, Cllr Roy Rix, Cllr Fred Salt, Cllr Andrew Sherris, Cllr Michael Smith, Cllr Mrs Allison Trainer, Cllr Steve Walmsley, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley, Cllr Mrs Mary Womphrey, Cllr Mick Womphrey, Cllr Bill Woodhead and Cllr Barry Woodhouse.
Officers:
G Garlick, H Dean (CE); D E Bond, P K Bell (LD); N Schneider (DNS); J Danks (R); A Baxter (CESC).
In Attendance:
6 Members of the Public.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Ann Cains, Cllr Dick Cains, Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Andrew Larkin, Cllr Colin Leckonby, Cllr Bill Noble, Cllr Julia Roberts and Cllr Mick Stoker.
Item Description Decision
Public
C
20/08
FORMER COUNCILLOR HARRY DAVIES
 
C
21/08
PRESENTATION - THE NORTH EAST CHARTER MARK FOR ELECTED MEMBER DEVELOPMENT
 
C
22/08
MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS HELD ON 27TH FEBRUARY 2008, 5TH MARCH 2008, 26TH MARCH 2008 AND 2ND APRIL 2008
 
C
23/08
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
C
24/08
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
 
C
25/08
MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME
 
C
26/08
ADULT SERVICES & HEALTH SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Gardner, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Adult Services and Health Select Committee held on 7th January 2008 (Minutes ASH 60/07 - ASH 67/07) be confirmed.
C
27/08
ADULT SERVICES & HEALTH SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Gardner, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Adult Services and Health Select Committee held on 14th February 2008 (Minutes ASH 68/07 - ASH 69/07) be confirmed.
C
28/08
ADULT SERVICES & HEALTH SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Gardner, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Adult Services and Health Select Committee held on 18th February 2008 (Minutes ASH 70/07 - ASH 73/07) be confirmed.
C
29/08
ADULT SERVICES & HEALTH SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Gardner, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Adult Services and Health Select Committee held on 25th February 2008 (Minutes ASH 74/07 - ASH 80/07) be confirmed.
C
30/08
APPEALS & COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Gibson, seconded by Councillor Sherris and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Appeals and Complaints Committee held on 28th February 2008 (Minutes ACC 1/07 - ACC 3/07) be received.
C
31/08
APPEALS & COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Gibson, seconded by Councillor Sherris and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Appeals and Complaints Committee held on 26th March 2008 (Minutes ACC 4/07 - ACC 6/07) be received.
C
32/08
APPOINTMENTS PANEL (HEADS OF SERVICE) MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Laing, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Appointments Panel (Heads of Service) held on 22nd January 2008 (Minutes APP 25/07 - APP 29/07) be received.
C
33/08
APPOINTMENTS PANEL (HEADS OF SERVICE) MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Laing, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Appointments Panel (Heads of Service) held on 17th April 2008 (Minutes APP 1/07 - APP 4/07) be received.
C
34/08
ARTS LEISURE & CULTURE SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell, seconded by Councillor Sherris and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee held on 13th February 2008 (Minutes ALC 36/07 - ALC 40/07) be confirmed.
C
35/08
ARTS LEISURE & CULTURE SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell, seconded by Councillor Sherris and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee held on 28th February 2008 (Minutes ALC 41/07 - ALC 43/07) be confirmed.
C
36/08
ARTS LEISURE & CULTURE SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell, seconded by Councillor Sherris and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Arts, Leisure and Culture Select Committee held on 5th March 2008 (Minutes ALC 44/07 - ALC 47/07) be confirmed.
C
37/08
AUDIT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Woodhouse, seconded by Councillor Womphrey and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Audit Committee held on 14th April 2008 (Minutes A 1/08 - A 9/08) be received.
C
38/08
CABINET MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Lupton, seconded by Councillor Mrs Beaumont and RESOLVED that the minutes of Cabinet held on 13th March 2008 (Minutes CAB 143/07 - CAB 154/07) be confirmed or received as appropriate.
C
39/08
CABINET MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Lupton, seconded by Councillor Mrs Beaumont and RESOLVED that the minutes of Cabinet held on 24th April 2008 (Minutes CAB 1/08 - CAB 19/08) be confirmed or received as appropriate.
C
40/08
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Harrington, seconded by Councillor Eddy and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Children and Young People Select Committee held on 6th February 2008 (Minutes CYP 39/07 - CYP 41/07) be confirmed.
C
41/08
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Harrington, seconded by Councillor Eddy and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Children and Young People Select Committee held on 13th February 2008 (Minutes CYP 42/07 - CYP 45/07) be confirmed.
C
42/08
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Harrington, seconded by Councillor Eddy and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Children and Young People Select Committee held on 6th March 2008 (Minutes CYP 46/07 - CYP 50/07) be confirmed.
C
43/08
CORPORATE & SOCIAL INCLUSION SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Coleman, seconded by Councillor Womphrey and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Corporate and Social Inclusion Select Committee held on 18th December 2007 (Minutes CSI 21/07 - CSI 27/07) be confirmed.
C
44/08
CORPORATE & SOCIAL INCLUSION SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Coleman, seconded by Councillor Womphrey and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Corporate and Social Inclusion Select Committee held on 11th March 2008 (Minutes CSI 28/07 - CSI 31/07) be confirmed.
C
45/08
EDUCATION SUPPORT PANEL MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Perry, seconded by Councillor Frankland and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Education Support Panel held on 13th March 2008 (Minutes ESP 7/07 - ESP 8/07) be received.
C
46/08
EMPLOYEE APPEALS PANEL MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Rix, seconded by Councillor Mrs Nelson and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Employee Appeals Panel held on 4th April 2008 (Minutes EAP 1/08 - EAP 3/08) be received.
C
47/08
ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs Rigg, seconded by Councillor Smith and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Environment Select Committee held on 11th February 2008 (Minutes ENV 38/07 - ENV 43/07) be confirmed.
C
48/08
ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs Rigg, seconded by Councillor Smith and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Environment Select Committee held on 25th February 2008 (Minutes ENV 44/07 - ENV 47/07) be confirmed.
C
49/08
ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs Rigg, seconded by Councillor Smith and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Environment Select Committee held on 5th March 2008 (Minutes ENV 48/07 - ENV 50/07) be confirmed.
C
50/08
ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs Rigg, seconded by Councillor Smith and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Environment Select Committee held on 26th March 2008 (Minutes ENV 51/07 - ENV 53/07) be confirmed.
C
51/08
EXECUTIVE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Gibson, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Executive Scrutiny Committee held on 4th March 2008 (Minutes EXC 71/07 - EXC 77/07) be received.
C
52/08
EXECUTIVE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Gibson, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Executive Scrutiny Committee held on 1st April 2008 (Minutes EXC 78/07 - EXC 86/07) be received.
C
53/08
EXECUTIVE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Gibson, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Executive Scrutiny Committee held on 10th April 2008 (Minutes EXC 1/08 - EXC 4/08) be received.
C
54/08
HOUSING & COMMUNITY SAFETY SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs Trainer, seconded by Councillor Mrs Fletcher and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Housing and Community Safety Select Committee held on 31st January 2008 (Minutes HCS 37/07 - HCS 43/07) be confirmed.
C
55/08
LICENSING COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Woodhead, seconded by Councillor Mrs Nelson and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 15th February 2008 (Minutes L 62/07 - L 64/07) be received.
C
56/08
LICENSING COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Woodhead, seconded by Councillor Mrs Nelson and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 26th February 2008 (Minutes L 65/07 - L 74/07) be received.
C
57/08
LICENSING COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Woodhead, seconded by Councillor Mrs Nelson and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 8th April 2008 (Minutes L 1/08 - L 8/08) be received.
C
58/08
LICENSING SUB COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Woodhead, seconded by Councillor Mrs Nelson and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Sub Committee held on 25th March 2008 (Minutes LSC 24/07 - LSC 26/07) be received.
C
59/08
LICENSING SUB COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Woodhead, seconded by Councillor Mrs Nelson and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Sub Committee held on 28th March 2008 (Minutes LSC 27/07 - LSC 29/07) be received.
C
60/08
PLANNING COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Rix, seconded by Councillor Gardner and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 20th February 2008 (Minutes P 129/07 - P 136/07) be received.
C
61/08
PLANNING COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Rix, seconded by Councillor Gardner and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 12th March 2008 (Minutes P 137/07 - P 145/07) be received.
C
62/08
PLANNING COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Rix, seconded by Councillor Gardner and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 9th April 2008 (Minutes P 1/08 - P 14/08) be received.
C
63/08
REGENERATION & TRANSPORT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Perry, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Regeneration and Transport Select Committee held on 11th February 2008 (Minutes RTS 61/07 - RTS 64/07) be confirmed.
C
64/08
REGENERATION & TRANSPORT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Perry, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Regeneration and Transport Select Committee held on 19th February 2008 (Minutes RTS 65/07 - RTS 68/07) be confirmed.
C
65/08
REGENERATION & TRANSPORT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Perry, seconded by Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Regeneration and Transport Select Committee held on 3rd March 2008 (Minutes RTS 69/07 - RTS 72/07) be confirmed.
C
66/08
STANDARDS COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Mr F W Hayes, seconded by Councillor Sherris and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Standards Committee held on 28th February 2008 (Minutes S 97/07 - S 105/07) be received.
C
67/08
STANDARDS COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Mr F W Hayes, seconded by Councillor Sherris and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Standards Committee held on 10th April 2008 (Minutes S 1/08 - S 20/08) be received.
C
68/08
CLEVELAND FIRE AUTHORITY MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting of the Cleveland Fire Authority held on 25th January 2008 were noted.
C
69/08
LOCAL JOINT CONSULTATIVE PANEL MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting of the Local Joint Consultative Panel held on 18th December 2007 were noted.
C
70/08
MARKETS FORUM MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting of the Markets Forum held on 23rd January 2008 were noted.
C
71/08
PARISH COUNCIL LIAISON FORUM MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council Liaison Forum held on 17th December 2007 were noted.
C
72/08
SAFER STOCKTON PARTNERSHIP MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting of the Safer Stockton Partnership held on 29th January 2008 were noted.
C
73/08
STOCKTON HOME SAFETY ASSOCIATION MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting of the Stockton Home Safety Association held on 4th December 2007 were noted.
C
74/08
STOCKTON HOME SAFETY ASSOCIATION MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting of the Stockton Home Safety Association held on 26th February 2008 were noted.
C
75/08
MEMBERSHIP OF EMPLOYEE APPEALS PANEL
RESOLVED that Councillor Mrs Trainer be appointed to the Employee Appeals Panel.
C
76/08
FORWARD PLAN AND LEADERS STATEMENT
 
7.00 pm - 9.00 pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
C
20/08
The Leader of the Council announced that former Councillor Harry Davies was seriously ill in hospital. All Members of the Council passed on their best wishes to Harry Davies and his family.
C
21/08
The Worshipful the Mayor presented the Director of Law and Democracy with the North East Charter Mark for Elected Member Development.
C
22/08
The minutes of the meetings held on 27th February 2008, 5th March 2008, 26th March 2008 and 2nd April 2008 were signed by the Worshipful the Mayor as a correct record.
C
23/08
Agenda Item 34 - Children and Young People Select Committee - Minutes

Councillor Mrs Craggs declared a personal, prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 34 as she was a Member of the Adult Services and Health Select Committee that had undertaken a Review of Parkview Care Home.

Agenda Item 6 - Members' Question

All Members of the Council that were present declared personal, non prejudicial interests in respect of agenda item no.6 as they were entitled to, had family relatives that were entitled to, or had close friends that were entitled to the benefits of the Concessionary Travel Scheme.
C
24/08
The following question was submitted by Graeme Robertson for response by the Leader of the Council:-

"In response to my enquiry about consultation over the Tees Valley Metro proposals at Public Question time in the Council Meeting of 28th November 2007, Cllr Lupton replied "The suggestions for consultation from your are very welcome, and will be helpful in shaping the way in which we consult. I have asked that this matter be put on the agenda for the meeting of the Tees Valley Metro Board in February/March 2008 (date yet to be set) so that we may develop a more specific consultation and local support evaluation process within Stockton and across the Tees Valley".

Could Councillor Lupton therefore now give an update of progress to the Council and indicate when the consultation is likely to be implemented?"

The Leader of the Council responded with:-

"Officers requested a timescale for public consultation at the Metro Board meeting of 18th March 2008. It was indicated that there needed to be completion of a key study with Network Rail before consultation could commence. Previously it was anticipated that this would be April 2008. However, at the present time the project team has been advised that more information is being requested by the Department for Transport in order that any business case assessment of the Metro can be carried out, which will inevitably delay any consultation exercise.

As I stated in my last response the public consultation will need to be undertaken if the scheme is to progress. When there is something meaningful to consult residents upon their views will be most welcome, helpful and useful. The current programme produced by consultants on behalf of Tees Valley Regeneration would indicate that we may be in a position to proceed to public consultation during the late summer. However, I must re-iterate that our progress to that programme is subject to working in partnership with the Department for Transport and Network Rail and meeting their needs too, it is not in the direct control of this Council.

Mr Robertson's suggestions for public consultation will be discussed with our partners to assist in determining the final public consultation strategy at the appropriate time."

As Graeme Robertson was not in attendance at the meeting it was agreed that he receive a written response.
C
25/08
The following question was submitted by Councillor Eddy for response by the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People:-

"Councillor Cunningham will you please tell me the latest information you have received from the Diocese of Middlesbrough regarding the latest "Building Schools for the Future" proposals?"

The Cabinet Member for Children and Young People responded with:-

"There have been a number of meetings with the diocese but no conclusion has been reached as to the best way forward. The issue remains that there are insufficient Catholic pupils in Thornaby to sustain a single school."

Councillor Eddy asked the following supplementary question:-

"Can I ask that particular care is taken to minute this question, and more particularly, the reply from Councillor Cunningham, as it may have implications for future dialogue.

In the light of the wish of the Trustees of the Diocese of Middlesbrough and the Governors of St Patrick's, Thornaby to proceed with a 3-16 school involving St Patrick's Primary, Thornaby and St Patrick's Comprehensive, Thornaby has the Council planned contingency strategies including the development of the Mandale Mill School site as an academy involving T.C.S site as a 3-16 school for both St Patrick's Primary and St Patrick's Comprehensive using funds from the sale of these two schools?"

The Cabinet Member for Children and Young People responded with:-

"These ideas would not fully address the issue of school places in Thornaby. The BSF Board have not discussed other potential sites."

The following question was submitted by Councillor Eddy for response by the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety:-

"Is it true that a private bail hostel has already been opened in Thornaby without the prior knowledge of the locally elected representatives and, indeed, the representative Member of Parliament, Mrs Dari Taylor?"

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety responded with:-

"It appears to be the case that a property has been acquired in Thornaby but is not yet operational. The Ministry of Justice has commissioned a commercial provider, Clear Springs Limited, to provide small residential facilities for adults who do not pose significant risks. These adults are on bail or on early release on ‘Home Detention Curfew', otherwise known as ‘electronic tagging', across the North East region. This situation is therefore not unique to Stockton Borough.

The first we knew of the actual procurement of a property in the borough by Clear Springs was the end of April.

Previous commitments given about asking the Stockton District Commander "for approval and advice" before finalising property procurement choices have, I am informed, not been kept. I have spoken to District Commander Dave Brunskill and he has arranged an urgent meeting for tomorrow morning (Thursday 8 May) with Clear Springs and the Council's Head of Community Protection to clarify the position; including the possibility of a second facility either proposed or already existing elsewhere in the Borough.

The matter was also discussed under Any Other Business at yesterday's Safer Stockton Partnership meeting.

The planning position is that change of use consent is not required if there are less than seven residents per property, if they have shared facilities rather than self-contained units and there are no residential workers. We shall clarify the situation tomorrow but it would appear that no planning application is needed.

The background documents turned up by our police partners state that sex offenders will be excluded from facilities operated by Clear Springs."

Councillor Eddy asked the following supplementary question:-

"In the light of the response from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety should this Council not grasp the nettle and voice it's concerns and help rein in what is rapidly becoming a very secretive and dictatorial Government?"

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety responded with?

"We only found out about the procurement of the bail hostel in Thornaby at the same time as you. No Members knew about any of this before it went public".

The following question was submitted by Councillor Large for response by the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety:-

"If the council did not know of the opening of the bail hostels, and in the light of no consultation, will the council be writing to the minister of justice, regarding the lack of consultation?
After all clearsprings are under a contractual duty to consult."

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety responded with:-

"Once all the relevant facts have been established (which should happen at the meeting tomorrow morning [i.e. 8 May]), an appropriate letter will be sent to the Secretary of State for Justice detailing any concerns about how Clear Springs Limited has performed its contract and/or how the Ministry of Justice has set up that contract."

Councillor Large asked the following supplementary question:-

"Can all Members have a copy of the correspondence?"

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety responded with:-

"Yes."

The following question was submitted by Councillor Walmsley for response by the Leader of the Council:-

"Would public perception of lack of impartiality be valid when a Coalition dominated Scrutiny Committee is used to scrutinise a Coalition Executive?"

The Leader of the Council responded with:-

"The Authority is under a duty to establish a committee to scrutinise decisions of the executive and must ensure that any such committee is politically balanced. This is a requirement of local government legislation. The membership of the Executive Scrutiny Committee therefore properly reflects the Council's political composition."

Councillor Walmsley asked the following supplementary question:-

"Would the Leader not agree that you can not scrutinise your own decisions?"

The Leader of the Council responded with:-

"The scrutiny process has matured over the last few years. I trust the members of the Executive Scrutiny Committee".

The following question has been submitted by Councillor Walmsley for response by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transportation:-

"Is meaningful consultation solely a matter of burying a questionnaire in a magazine - (Stockton News) which may or may not be read - and then interpreting a meagre response as an overwhelming endorsement?"

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transportation responded with:-

"At Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, effective consultation is at the heart of our commitment to the community. We want to ensure that residents of Stockton-on-Tees, our service users, partners and all other interested parties have the opportunity to be involved in the planning, prioritising and monitoring of our services and are integral to the Council's decision-making processes and activities.

To enable this to happen we have a robust and effective Consultation, Engagement and Communications strategy. The purpose and limitations of consultation must be made clear and the impression should not be given to respondents that their wishes will be made reality where options are limited.

The consultation piece in the Stockton News was in fact a high profile article covering a full half-page. It was supplemented on the same page by a piece on Thornaby Town Centre and followed by another half-page on the Spitfire on Thornaby Road. All three matters being of great interest for the borough and the people of Thornaby so no doubt will have attracted a keen readership. Furthermore in press terms the Town Centre and Town Hall pieces secured the best positioning being on page 3 of the edition, which is the first substantive right-hand page of the magazine - always the key page in any journal.

In terms of coverage, 1,700 editions are posted out directly by the Council to homes that are difficult for distributors to get to for various reasons - long drives, gates etc. A further 1650 are sent out to council buildings including libraries etc. The major circulation of 77,988 is distributed by Herald and Post Household Direct to homes across the Borough. Not an inconsequential number!

This particular magazine was the summer 2007 edition covering as well as the above matters a feature on SIRF, local policing, Preston Park and many other interesting features which will have generated a wide readership and interest.

The IPSOS MORI resident's survey indicates that nearly ninety per cent of the Borough have seen a copy of Stockton News and 83% claim they find it very of fairly useful. Seventy per cent of residents claim that Stockton News is their main method of obtaining information about SBC with local newspapers (57%) and leaflets delivered through the door(54%) being the next two most popular methods.

From 2004 to 2006 there was a six per cent rise in the percentage of residents who felt that the Council is in touch with the people in the Borough (37% agree in 2004 to 43% in 2006).(* Technical note IPSOS MORI is a statistically valid survey based on face to face interviews with 1,033 residents)

As with any other project, when there is a definite scheme in place there is a commitment to undertake consultation on the basis of the specific details that are being proposed by the developer. At this stage we simply have a preferred developer and a set of very general proposals which will be further refined and developed, but contain some clear commitments that will be incorporated, as has already been reported on several occasions.

All of this of course goes to support the ongoing involvement of ward and town council members through discussions and briefings as proposals are developed, and these meetings and discussions to date have already been noted in particular paragraph 30 of the cabinet report . Further involvement will continue as the proposals progress."

Councillor Walmsley asked the following supplementary question:-

"In the Council Minute Book at page 858 regarding Thornaby Town Hall what was the consultation that was carried out with Thornaby Town Council?"

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport responded with:-

"I have not got that information with me but I will find out and email all Members of the Council with the information. Further consultation will also take place with Thornaby Town Council".

The following question was submitted by Councillor Mrs Fletcher for response by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transportation:-

"In view of the response to the question asked at a Council meeting earlier this year about the establishment of a Bus Users Forum, and the subsequent inaugural meeting, I would like to ask:-

1. Why has the steering group set up at the meeting on 25th February not had any information or meeting arranged?

2. What progress has there been in the setting up of area Bus Users Forums as agreed at that meeting?

3. What feedback has there been about the submission of the Connect TV Strategy in view of the following extract from the Cabinet Member's answer?"

"Our partners have also indicated that they would wish to launch the Bus User Forum to coincide with the submission of the business case for Connect Tees Valley. I agree with this strategy as it gives the forum several advantages:

1. The Bus User Forum can assist to shape the detail of the schemes and have early input to this exciting project.

2. It gives the Bus User Forum some clear focus in its early days.

3. By having a strong initial focus and purpose the Bus User Forum will quickly have value to participants and increase its chances of being influential, successful and to have longevity.

I apologise for the delay but I am sure that approaching the forum in this way will be of great benefit to its success. The inaugural meeting has been set for 25th or 26th February 2008 and further details will be circulated shortly."

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transportation responded with:-

"At the Tees Valley Bus User Forum held in February, it was agreed that there was a benefit in hosting user forums at two levels;
1. The strategic Tees Valley level to consider the Major Bus project and to assist with project development. That included the Joint Strategy Unit establishing a marketing and branding task group. That Forum to be managed and supported by the Tees Valley JSU.
2. At the local level, where local specific issues could be addressed and that each authority should consider using the LSP framework to deliver a local user forum. The local forum attendees could then also be represented on the Tees Valley forum as they desire. Each local forum to be managed by the Local Authority.

With regard to the points raised:-

1. and 3. I am advised by the JSU that the next Tees Valley wide meeting will be best arranged when there is the next significant milestone. This appears likely to be in the early Summer after DfT has responded to the business case, discussed at the Tees valley User Forum, (anticipated DfT response is July 2008) and/or the information, marketing and branding task and finish group has something to share.

2. In Stockton we have the LSP Area transport Boards who have, previously, indicated that they would prefer a single user forum than area based forums - which we agree is far more likely to succeed. The next round of Area Transport Boards have been scheduled throughout May, and we will seek their ratification that a Stockton based forum is more appropriate and seek their views upon how they wish to be represented at the local and Tees Valley level to give the forum the agreed LSP input. Following that series of meetings/consultation with Area Boards SBC will set up a Stockton Bus User Forum, subject to any comments received."

Cllr Mrs Fletcher asked the following supplementary question:-

"There is no point in having milestones in the plan if there are not the buses for people to reach them. Will the Cabinet member please ensure that (the name of the Tees Valley Organisation that is responsible) follows up the actions agreed at the first meeting of the Bus Users Forum, so that we do not have to continually have to table formal questions to chase progress and find out what it happening?"

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transportation responded with:-

"We are hoping to get the views of the Bus User Forums and we are hoping to get the representatives from the bus companies although I do not know whether that would be possible."
C
75/08
At its Annual Meeting held on Wednesday 2nd April 2008 the Council approved appointments to its Committees, Panels and Joint/Outside Bodies for the Municipal year 2008/2009. Councillor Larkin had subsequently resigned from the Employee Appeals Panel. Therefore a vacancy existed on the Panel. Following consultation with the relevant Group Leaders the following nomination had been received, which required approval by the Council:-

Nomination Councillor A Trainer
C
76/08
The Leader of the Council gave his Forward Plan and Leaders Statement.

Tees Valley Unlimited: The first negotiation workshop on the draft Tees Valley Multi Area Agreement took place at the end of April with senior civil servants from the Departments of Communities and Local Government; Transport; Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform; and the Treasury. The agreement would secure resources in principle for major regeneration, housing and transport projects in the Tees Valley for the next five years and allow the area's authorities flexibilities on managing the programme. The negotiations went very well and the Tees Valley MAA was likely to be the first in the country.

Two major developments announced in the last month are Peel Holdings' £110 million Skylink International Business Park on the south side of Durham Tees Valley Airport and a 1.2 million square ft. import centre for Tesco at Teesport.

Carried out in partnership with Tees Valley Regeneration, One NorthEast and English Partnerships, the airport scheme would provide 2 million square feet of floorspace for airport businesses and freight companies and create 2,000 jobs. Work will start this summer.

The Tesco import centre follows another by Asda which opened last year and would create 800 jobs in the next two years. Construction would begin in July and the centre would be operational by autumn 2009.

Thornaby Town Centre: The Council's development partner, Thornfield Properties, now officially owned Thornaby Town Centre. Builders were on site and had begun the £25m redevelopment, starting with the new car park and the first new retail and office blocks. The car park should open for public use in June or July, after which the present main car park would close and the new retail mall be built opposite Wrightson House.

A new café in St. Peter's Square would follow later in 2008 then, in early 2009, Appleby House would make way for the new Lidl store. The entire scheme would be complete by summer 2009. New retailers such as New Look, Wilkinsons, Peacocks and Home Bargains were signed up alongside some existing local traders.

Joint Stockton/Middlesbrough Retail Study: A joint retail study for Stockton and Middlesbrough Councils had recently been completed. This would inform the Planning Local Development Frameworks and regeneration strategies and identify retail expenditure capacity up to 2021.

Billingham Town Centre: Since Stockland Halladale took over the Council's freehold in Billingham Town Centre last year, Halladale had been negotiating with potential anchor stores about possible leases and store configuration requirements. This would form the core element of the master planning process.

It was hoped this could be completed by the end of 2008, although Halladale had until summer 2009 to complete the masterplanning. The Council would then lead on a public consultation on landscaping and street furniture for the proposed scheme before Halladale sought planning permission.

Billingham Forum: The procurement strategy for the £15m enhanced refurbishment scheme was almost finalized, with detailed design work due this summer, ready for a start on site next spring. Large banners announcing the scheme would be placed on the Forum over the next week or so.

Can't find it

Can't find what you're looking for? Let us know and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction