Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Council Minutes

Date:
Wednesday, 9th September, 2009
Time:
7.00 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 Paul Kirton); Cllr Hilary Aggio, Cllr Mrs Lynne Apedaile, Cllr Paul Baker, Cllr Jim Beall, Cllr Mrs Jennie Beaumont, Cllr Phillip Broughton, Cllr Mrs Ann Cains, Cllr Dick Cains, Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Aidan Cockerill, Cllr David Coleman, Cllr Robert Cook, Cllr Alex Cunningham, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr Mick Eddy, Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr John Fletcher, Cllr Mrs Suzanne Fletcher, Cllr Maurice Frankland, Cllr Robert Gibson, Cllr David Harrington, Cllr Miss Barbara Inman, Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Colin Leckonby, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Ken Lupton, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Bill Noble, 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 Mick Stoker, Cllr Steve Walmsley, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley, Cllr Mrs Mary Womphrey, Cllr Mick Womphrey, Cllr Bill Woodhead and Cllr Barry Woodhouse.
Officers:
N Schneider (CE); D E Bond, P K Bell (LD); P Dobson, M Robinson (DNS); J Danks, B Brown (R); J Humphreys (CESC).
In Attendance:
Neil Barnes (Balfour Beatty); 8 Members of the Public.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Mrs Craggs, Cllr Dalgarno, Cllr Earl, Cllr Gardner, Cllr Miss Large, Cllr Larkin, Cllr Mrs Nelson, Cllr Nesbitt, Cllr Smith and Cllr Trainer.
Item Description Decision
Public
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125/09
FORMER COUNCILLOR, HONORARY ALDERMAN AND FREEMAN OF THE BOROUGH JAMES COOKE
The Worshipful the Mayor announced that, since the last Council meeting, former Councillor, Honorary Alderman and Freeman of the Borough James Cooke had passed away. All those in attendance observed a minutes silence as a mark of respect.
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126/09
ANTHONY ALDERSON AND BRIAN PORTER
The Leader of the Council informed Members of the recent deaths of Council employees Anthony Alderson and Brian Porter. Members agreed that sincere condolences be sent to the family members on behalf of all Members of the Council.
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127/09
PRESENTATION OF A PAINTING OF THE INFINITY BRIDGE
The Worshipful the Mayor and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport received on behalf of the Council a painting of the Infinity Bridge from Neil Barnes (Balfour Beatty). The painting was awarded to Balfour Beatty for winning the Robert Stephenson Award for excellence from the Institute of Civil Engineers North East. The painting would be loaned to the Council and it was agreed that the painting should be displayed in the entrance of the Town Hall.
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128/09
PRESENTATION TO ALAN SLATER (BRITISH WATERWAYS)
It was agreed that this item be deferred.
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129/09
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Fletcher declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of item 7 - Members' Question Time as he was the Chairman of the Stockton on Tees Public Transport Users Forum.

Councillor Stoker declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of item 40 - Cleveland Fire Authority Minutes as he was a Member of Cleveland Fire Authority.
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130/09
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
The Director of Law and Democracy informed the Worshipful the Mayor that no Public Questions had been received.
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131/09
MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME
 
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132/09
MINUTES
The minutes of the special meeting of Council held on 8th July 2009 were signed by the Worshipful the Mayor as a correct record.
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133/09
MINUTES
The minutes of the ordinary meeting of Council held on 8th July 2009 were signed by the Worshipful the Mayor as a correct record.
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134/09
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 25th June 2009 (Minute ACC 1/09 - ACC 4/09) be received.
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135/09
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 3rd June 2009 (Minute ALC 1/09 - ALC 6/09) be confirmed.
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136/09
AUDIT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Woodhouse, seconded by Councillor Womphrey and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Audit Committee held on 29th June 2009 (Minute A 14/09 - A 22/09) be received subject to the following correction:-

Minute A 21/09, Page 8:-

In the resolution delete the word "forward" and replace with "foreword".
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137/09
CABINET MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Lupton, seconded by Councillor Mrs Beaumont and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Cabinet held on 9th July 2009 (Minute CAB 52/09 - CAB 61/09) be confirmed or received as appropriate subject to the following correction:-

Correct the Minute Cab 52/09 Declarations of Interest as follows:-

Delete the entire existing entry and replace with:-

Councillor Mrs Beaumont declared a personal non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Local Authority Representation on School Governing Bodies as she was a Governor of one of the schools referred to in the report.

Councillor Nelson and Councillor Mrs McCoy declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Economic Climate Update as they served on the Stockton and District Advice and Information Service Board.

Councillors Lupton and Mrs Womphrey each declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of the item entitled Sports and Leisure Strategy and the item entitled Free Swimming, as a result of their membership of Tees Active Ltd Board.

Councillor Nelson and Councillor Mrs McCoy declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Q4 Improvement Report - Finance/Performance as they served on the Stockton and District Advice and Information Service Board.

Councillor Lupton declared a personal, non-prejudicial interest in respect of the item entitled Q4 Improvement Report - Finance/Performance item as a result of his membership of Tees Active Ltd Board.
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138/09
CABINET MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Lupton, seconded by Councillor Mrs Beaumont and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Cabinet held on 6th August 2009 (Minute CAB 62/09 - CAB 71/09) be confirmed or received as appropriate subject to the following correction and amendment:-

Correct the Minute Cab 62/09 Declarations of Interest as follows:-

Delete the entire existing entry and replace with:-

Councillor Nelson declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in the item entitled Economic Update Report as she served on the Stockton and District Advice and Information Service Board.

An amendment to the content of Appendix 1, referred to in the recommendation to Council (Minute No. CAB 69/09) was proposed by Councillor Gibson and seconded by Councillor Lupton as follows:-

Delete the words "to all local government electors" from the third bullet point on the appendix and replace with the words "through a programme of consultation".

The amendment was carried.
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139/09
CABINET MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Lupton, seconded by Councillor Mrs Beaumont and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Cabinet held on 3rd September 2009 (Minute CAB 72/09 - CAB 82/09) be confirmed or received as appropriate subject to the following correction:-

Please correct the Minute Cab 72/09 Declarations of Interest as follows:-

Delete the final declaration which read - Councillor Coleman declared a personal, non prejudicial interest in this item as he served on the Central Area Partnership Board which was referred to in the report.
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140/09
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 24th June 2009 (Minute CYP 11/09 - CYP 15/09) be confirmed.
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141/09
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 15th July 2009 (Minute CYP 16/09 - CYP 22/09) be confirmed.
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142/09
CORPORATE, ADULT SERVICES & SOCIAL INCLUSION SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Stoker, seconded by Councillor Apedaile and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Corporate, Adult Services and Social Inclusion Select Committee held on 18th May 2009 (Minute CAS 6/09 - CAS 9/09) be confirmed.
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143/09
CORPORATE, ADULT SERVICES & SOCIAL INCLUSION SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Stoker, seconded by Councillor Apedaile and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Corporate, Adult Services and Social Inclusion Select Committee held on 30th June 2009 (Minute CAS 10/09 - CAS 13/09) be confirmed.
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144/09
ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs Rigg, seconded by Councillor Cains and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Environment Select Committee held on 1st June 2009 (Minute ENV 1/09 - ENV 8/09) be confirmed.
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145/09
ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs Rigg, seconded by Councillor Cains and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Environment Select Committee held on 29th June 2009 (Minute ENV 9/09 - ENV 13/09) be confirmed.
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146/09
ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs Rigg, seconded by Councillor Cains and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Environment Select Committee held on 13th July 2009 (Minute ENV 14/09 - ENV 18/09) be confirmed.
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147/09
ENVIRONMENT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs Rigg, seconded by Councillor Cains and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Environment Select Committee held on 3rd August 2009 (Minute ENV 19/09 - ENV 23/09) be confirmed.
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148/09
EXECUTIVE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Gibson, seconded by Councillor Lupton and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Executive Scrutiny Committee held on 10th June 2009 (Minute EXC 10/09 - EXC 14/09) be received.
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149/09
HEALTH SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Mrs Cains, seconded by Councillor Faulks and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Health Select Committee held on 22nd June 2009 (Minute H 11/09 - H 17/09) be confirmed.
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150/09
HOUSING & COMMUNITY SAFETY SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Cherrett, seconded by Councillor Mrs Rigg and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Housing and Community Safety Select Committee held on 28th May 2009 (Minute HCS 1/09 - HCS 5/09) be confirmed.
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151/09
HOUSING & COMMUNITY SAFETY SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Cherrett, seconded by Councillor Mrs Rigg and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Housing and Community Safety Select Committee held on 16th July 2009 (Minute HCS 6/09 - HCS 12/09) be confirmed.
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152/09
LICENSING COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Woodhead, seconded by Councillor Gibson and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Committee held on 7th July 2009 (Minute L 26/09 - L 30/09) be received.
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153/09
LICENSING SUB COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Woodhead, seconded by Councillor Gibson and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Sub Committee held on 16th July 2009 (Minute LSC 4/09 - LSC 6/09) be received.
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154/09
LICENSING SUB COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Woodhead, seconded by Councillor Gibson and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Licensing Sub Committee held on 20th July 2009 (Minute LSC 7/09 - LSC 9/09) be received.
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155/09
PLANNING COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Rix, seconded by Councillor Salt and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 1st July 2009 (Minute P 37/09 - P 42/09) be received.
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156/09
PLANNING COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Rix, seconded by Councillor Salt and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 22nd July 2009 (Minute P 43/09 - P 53/09) be received.
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157/09
REGENERATION & TRANSPORT SELECT COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Perry, seconded by Councillor Cains and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Regeneration and Transport Select Committee held on 3rd June 2009 (Minute RTS 6/09 - RTS 12/09) be confirmed.
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158/09
STANDARDS (PARISH & INDEPENDENT REPRESENTATIVES) APPOINTMENT PANEL MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Lupton, seconded by Councillor Mrs Beaumont and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Standards (Parish & Independent Representatives) Appointment Panel held on 19th August 2009 (Minute SAP 1/09 - SAP 4/09) be confirmed.
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159/09
STANDARDS COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Sherris, seconded by Councillor Baker and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Standards Committee held on 5th June 2009 (Minute S 20/09 - S 27/09) be confirmed or received as appropriate.
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160/09
STANDARDS COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Sherris, seconded by Councillor Baker and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Standards Committee held on 1st July 2009 (Minute S 28/09 - S 35/09) be confirmed or received as appropriate.
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161/09
STANDARDS COMMITTEE MINUTES
Moved by Councillor Sherris, seconded by Councillor Baker and RESOLVED that the minutes of the Standards Committee held on 30th July 2009 (Minute S 36/09 - S 45/09) be confirmed or received as appropriate.
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162/09
BUILDING SCHOOLS FOR THE FUTURE BSF PROJECT BOARD MINUTES

The minutes of the Building Schools for the Future BSF Project Board held on the 6th July 2009 were noted.
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163/09
BUILDING SCHOOLS FOR THE FUTURE BSF PROJECT BOARD MINUTES

The minutes of the Building Schools for the Future BSF Project Board held on the 3rd August 2009 were noted.
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164/09
CLEVELAND FIRE AUTHORITY MINUTES

The minutes of the Cleveland Fire Authority held on the 5th June 2009 were noted.
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165/09
CLEVELAND POLICE AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE MINUTES
The minutes of the Cleveland Police Authority Executive held on the 19th March 2009 were noted.
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166/09
MARKETS FORUM MINUTES
The minutes of the Markets Forum held on the 22nd July 2009 were noted.
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167/09
PARISH COUNCIL LIAISON FORUM MINUTES
The minutes of the Parish Council Liaison Forum held on the 16th March 2009 were noted.
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168/09
PARISH COUNCIL LIAISON FORUM MINUTES
The minutes of the Parish Council Liaison Forum held on the 15th June 2009 were noted.
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169/09
STOCKTON HOME SAFETY ASSOCIATION MINUTES
The minutes of the Stockton Home Safety Association held on the 2nd June 2009 were noted.
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170/09
MEMBERS ADVISORY PANEL-NEW CONSTITUTION MINUTES
The minutes of the Members Advisory Panel-New Constitution held on the 25th March 2009 were noted.
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171/09
AMENDMENTS TO THE MEMBERSHIP OF CLEVELAND FIRE AUTHORITY AND APPOINTMENT TO TRUSTEE TO STOCKTON ALMSHOUSE CHARITY FOR THE MUNICIPAL YEAR 2009/2010
RESOLVED that the above amendments/appointment be approved.
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172/09
MOTION TO COUNCIL - DEPORTATION
 
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173/09
FORWARD PLAN AND LEADERS STATEMENT
 
7.00 pm - 9.00 pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
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131/09
The following question was submitted by Councillor Lewis for response by the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People:-

"In the Mori Surveys conducted for this Authority since I was elected in May 2007, the residents indicated that they would like to see more facilities for Children and Young People. Can the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People please tell me what plans this Authority has to address this situation and also what facilities for transport will be put in place so that all the Children and Young People across the borough can take advantage of any new facilities that may be put in place?"

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

"Within the Children and Young People's Plan, 2009-12 one of the priorities is to:

"Increase the range of accessible culture, leisure, sporting and social activities for children and young people across statutory, voluntary and independent sectors."

A wide range of services are in place or to achieve this priority objective. The thrust of these developments is to create a network of local opportunities within walking distance of the communities they serve.

Examples of the range of provision include:-

• Children's Centres - 11 in place by the end of this financial year
• Extended Services - delivery of core offer through schools(over 73% of schools delivering core offer)
• Youth Café provision - 3 youth cafes in place, 4th one in development
• Youth buses - 3 buses providing mobile facilities
• Youth Opportunity Fund providing finance to young people to develop specific projects (£131k per year over 4 years, ending in 2011)
• Free swimming provided to all under 16s.
• Development of Play Strategy and funding of a wide range of local initiatives
• Park developments - Romano Park just opened
• Wide range of summer activities, including "Beat the Boredom Events"
• Development of volunteer schemes
• "myplace" - finances approved from DCSF for delivery of iconic youth facility
• Dedicated Children & Young Persons Librarian working with local young people as part of the National Youth Agency ‘Out of the Box' programme
• Youth Zone - regular programme of computer gaming, drawing and reading in Stockton Central Library attracting 40 - 50 12 - 25 year olds
• Chatterbooks - reading groups for younger people in 5 branch libraries
• Boys into Books programme attracted 1020 boys in the 3 months April - June 09
• Craft activities in Libraries
• Author events targeted at youth audiences
• Generation 2012 Legacy Trust North East Region Youth project, to shape design of north east libraries
• Dedicated 12-19 Leisure & Sports Development Officer working closely with schools and colleges to deliver a targeted programme of sport and active leisure
• Take to the Tees event providing opportunities for young people to get involved in water sports and river based leisure
• Dedicated officer supporting inclusion and integration of disadvantaged and minority groups in sport and active leisure
• Investment in Community Sports Clubs
• Working to increase access to school facilities which complement specialist leisure provision and which therefore serve local communities without presenting transport difficulties
• Over 15000 Tees Active leisure cards for under 16's issued since 1st April, 2009
• 6 ‘Playing Out' events staged in summer 09 providing free leisure and culture activity in Billingham and Stockton town centres
• Activities funded via Youth Crime Action Money (£700k over 2 years)

The Review of Youth Services and Youth Provision as part of the Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation programme - will also report to Cabinet in November and will include recommendation on future development of services around "positive activities" for young people.

In relation to the "myplace" developments, transport issues are being addressed within the development of "myplace". The position of "myplace" is such that it will be accessible from the main public transport routes. Some funding within the project will be available to support development of an accessibility plan.

With regard to any new facilities for children and young people we work closely with our colleagues in Technical Services to ensure that transport links - be it walking, cycling, public transport or car - are as effective as is possible. For example, as part of the developing BSF strategy we are looking to provide safe routes to school (cycling and walking), safe and secure cycle storage, pedestrian crossing points, bus facilities within or adjacent to sites and even car parking where appropriate. This should ensure that we design facilities that are as accessible to children and young people as practicable.

The Council also operates a half fare scheme for post 16 attending colleges or apprenticeship training which allows them to travel across Tees 24/7."

Councillor Lewis asked the following supplementary question:-

"Is the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People:-

• Aware that this top-performing Authority is the only one in the Tees Valley and only one of a few in the whole of the country that has failed to provide a static off road cycle or skate board facility for its children and young people?

• Can he confirm that this authority does actually have a mobile skate board facility?

• That in the last two years at least (while I have served on this Council) it has not been used, and that the reason for this is that this authority can't afford to transport it about?

• Is he aware that at Prissick Base in Middlesbrough there is a marvellous skateboard park where you can see, at appropriate times, up to 60 youngsters all thoroughly enjoying themselves in a well behaved manner?

• Is he also aware that in South Park Darlington there is a similar facility?

• Is he also aware that at Summerhill in Hartlepool there is an international standard BMX track that in July this year attracted hundreds of youngsters from the north of England and Scotland to come together for a regional BMX meeting.

Would you agree with me that facilities like these would tie in well with the recent Children and Young People's Obesity Review?"

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

"Its sad that we haven't been able to put the mobile skate board equipment to better and more regular use and I'd love to have a skate board park and yes, it would contribute to our work on obesity. It is a shame however that Councillor Lewis has concentrated on the one negative when we have so many other things for the children and young people in our Borough."



The following question was submitted by Councillor Broughton for response by the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People:-

"It was disappointing that Stockton Sixth Form College did not receive the finance promised to provide a new building for this very successful educational facility. Could you please inform members of the current position regarding the possibility of funding becoming available for this college and what representation the council made to government in support of the college application?"

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

"The Authority shares the disappointment of the sixth form college but rest assured we continue to work with the college, the Learning and Skills Council and others to secure funding in the future. The college is very much a partner in everything we do and we were working hard to secure the investment through direct and indirect lobbying with Stockton South MP Dari Taylor also fighting the corner.

The prospects for the future depend on a number of factors - maybe depending on whether we have a Government that invests or a Government that cuts. The college has of course already benefited from massive investment by the Government and its new facilities are superb. Now it is more likely that the college will continue a phased programme of development and the Council - through direct input from our Chief Executive himself - will be assisting all the way to realise the ambition we all share."

Councillor Broughton asked the following supplementary question:-

"A leading newspaper has reported that the 13 building projects that have been given the go-ahead are all in Labour seats, many of them marginals, how does the Cabinet Member respond to that?"

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

"Don't know about that - but isn't Stockton South a marginal too? And isn't Stockton Sixth Form in Stockton South?

But let's set this whole matter in context. This decision, disappointing as it is, comes during unprecedented investment in education not just in our Borough but throughout the country.

Never before have billions been spent on building new colleges - and that's before we even start to think about the money spent and planned to be spent on Building Schools for the Future.

Perhaps Councillor Broughton would like to explore how much was invested in our Borough alone in the 17 years of Tory Government prior to 1997 - and then compare that with what has happened since at Riverside and the Bede Sixth Form College in Billingham.

Another member has already taken us a trip around the Tees Valley so I'd suggest Councillor Broughton spreads his exploration a little wider - but not too wide - but just look what has happened in Hartlepool, in Middlesbrough, in Darlington and in Redcar as investment in post 16 education has run into tens of millions of pounds in the Tees Valley.

All that can be contrasted to a time when there was little or no spending on the fabric of our colleges - times when roofs leaked and our people didn't have access to the best of facilities and couldn't realise their full potential because they were so ill equipped.

My advice to Councillor Broughton is that rather than present me with opportunities to remind people of those days, he ought to be looking to the future.

Can he secure a commitment from his own Party leader that our colleges, schools and children's centres will be fully and properly funded if the Tories come to power? Will he guarantee that our £180 million Building Schools for the Future programme will be secure and it will quickly include the schools in the south of the Borough - and will he guarantee that the Tories will reverse the decision in relations to Stockton Sixth Form College? He can't and they won't.



The following question was submitted by Councillor Harrington for response by the SBC Representative on the Cleveland Police Authority:-

"A number of articles have appeared recently in the local media referring to proposals by Cleveland Police to privatise the IT Section and the Control Room located at Ladgate Lane in Middlesbrough. Please could the representative of the Cleveland Police Authority advise Members what impact this will have on the residents living in Stockton-on-Tees?"

The Worshipful the Mayor as the SBC Representative on the Cleveland Police Authority responded with:-

"Can I remind Members that the Chair of Cleveland Police Authority wrote on 18 August to all members of local authorities in the Cleveland Police Force area, setting out the factual position in regard to the consideration being given by the Police Authority to the possibility of some involvement of a private sector partner in the delivery of the forces' information technology services and some elements of the force control room function.

Can I stress no decision has been made - all that is occurring is that the authority is examining the potential and implications for such an arrangement.

Both the Chairman and Chief Executive of Cleveland Police Authority will be attending the next member policy seminar session next Tuesday 15 September at 5 pm in Stockton Library where they will outline proposals and be happy to take questions. I'm sure you will agree that represents a more appropriate and productive opportunity to discuss proposals than responding to a range of media articles.

So I would ask that this question be referred to next Tuesday's session and that a response to the question be subsequently circulated to all Councillors."



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

"For how many years has the Housing Revenue Account been paying negative housing subsidy (in effect part of the rent paid by tenants of Stockton Council owned homes) to the Government? And

How much money in total is this?"

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

"The current subsidy system began in 1989 and we believe we will have been in a negative subsidy position since this time. We are only required to keep detailed financial records on the accounts for 7 years but we actually have 9 years of information and this tells us that during this period we paid £88 million in subsidy. Prior to this period from 1989 to 2001 we estimate we will have paid around £89 million so in total the amount of negative subsidy will be circa £177 million."

Councillor Mrs Fletcher asked the following supplementary questions:-

"I am astounded that it is as much as that, even as someone with a longstanding interest in the subject the amount of £88 million over 9 years amazes me, can the Cabinet member confirm that is the figure that he said?

I don't expect him to know the answer but I do wonder just how many doors, windows and other repairs and renovations could have been done for our tenants in this time had we been able to keep the tenants rent money.

I note from the minutes of the last Council meeting that it was in the business plan for the next 30 years that £80 million would be needed to bring stock up to standard. I am appalled at how previous Conservative and then this Labour Government have allowed this racket to continue."

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

"It is important however that we recognise the income we have had into the housing revenue account to offset the negative subsidy. In 2001 a new grant was introduced by Government called the major repairs allowance which was designed to provide capital funding for major works to address the previous limited Government funding in this area. From 2001 we received a total of £63 million from this pot. The Council also benefits from a subsidy; equivalent to the interest payments to enable the financing of an additional £63 million ALMO allocation (basically we get revenue to fund our capital costs). These two pots of money along with government resources allocated by the Regional Housing Board have resulted in an overall investment programme for Council housing which equates to £148 million).

In addition to funding for council housing the Government has also made other significant resources available to stimulate new housing and tackle areas requiring regeneration. In Stockton for example we have had approximately £840,000 to promote housing growth for the period 2009 to 2011 in addition to £18.26 million allocated between 2006 and 2011 for market renewal in the Parkfield area. Resources have also been awarded to developers for the Kickstart programme to assist 6 new housing developments in the borough."



The following question was submitted by Councillor Walmsley for response by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport:-

"The former Tristar Neasham Garage in Thornaby Town Centre has been an eyesore and embarrassment for Thornaby and in fact Stockton Council for many, many years. Thankfully, the situation could soon be resolved. Therefore, should congratulations be offered to Town Centres and Major Project Officer, Nigel Laws and his team for their doggedness over a long and often frustrating period to secure agreement with Midland Investment?"

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport responded with:-

"I would like to thank Cllr Walmsley for his comments. It is true that the team have worked with determination to try and reach an acceptable conclusion on the former Tristar Neasham site and hopefully this will be resolved shortly.

I shall ensure that Cllr Walmsley's thanks are passed on to the team. I'd also add that the same team have put in similar levels of energy and commitment into bringing about successful regeneration across the whole of Thornaby - such as Mandale and the Town Centre - and indeed the Borough."

Councillor Walmsley asked the following supplementary question:-

"The Tory candidate claimed responsibility for this, is this because he is a Tory or does he need some sort of legal training?"

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport responded with:-

"Mr Wharton claimed credence, he should apologise to Council Officers for this and maybe our Tory Councillors could ask him to do this."



The following question was submitted by Councillor Fletcher for response by the Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Finance:-

"In view of what was said at this Council's last meeting about the payment of the Authority's creditors, can he comment on the report in the Evening Gazette of 2nd September 2009 that, although Redcar & Cleveland and Hartlepool Borough Councils had signed up to the Government's Prompt Payment Code (PPC) and Middlesbrough Borough Council planned to sign up to it "in the very near future", but that Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington Borough Councils had not signed up?

As that newspaper article said that Stockton Council pledged to pay suppliers "across the board" within 28 days, can he say whether that pledge is currently being fulfilled?"

The Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Finance responded with:-

"The Prompt Payment Code (PPC) is a Government initiative which is a commitment to pay suppliers on time within agreed timescales, giving clear guidance to suppliers and promoting good practise through supply chains. In most aspects this is simply formally recognising what SBC are already doing, plus we are striving to process all invoices as quickly as possible. This, in fact, exceeds the requirement of this formal code which is based on making payments within the terms agreed at the outset of the contract.

The Association of North East Councils (ANEC) has been promoting the PPC across the region and SBC gave a commitment to sign up on 24-Aug-09, the administrative process for signing up was completed on 1-Sep-09. ANEC have since confirmed that all Local Authorities in the region have signed up, making the North East the first region in the country to have full LA sign up.

Performance is currently 92.8% cumulative paid within 30 days for the 5 months covering April 2009 to August 2009."

Councillor Fletcher asked the following supplementary question:-

"Can the Cabinet Member pass on my congratulations to the Officers that have helped achieve this performance?"

The Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Finance responded with:-

"Yes thank you very much I will."



The following questions were submitted by Councillor Fletcher for response by the Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture:-

As this year's Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) was so successful in giving so much pleasure to so many people, and in view of this Council's aims to include people with disabilities so far as possible in enjoying fully what the Authority provides:

1. In view of Cabinet Resolution No. 8 in Minute 1199/06 of 12th April 2007 , passed on the recommendation of the Adults, Leisure & Culture Select Committee, can she explain why neither the SIRF website nor other publicity material and information leaflets contained details of suitability of events for people with disability?

2. Is she aware that an Access Toolkit produced by Attitude is Everything and Independent Street Arts Network was informed by visits to SIRF 2008 (detailed in Appendix 3 to that Toolkit) and that this was mentioned in an article in The Guardian newspaper of 19th August 2009?

3. Can she outline how SIRF 2009 took account of that Access Toolkit's recommendations?

4. In view of Resolution 9 of the same Cabinet minute, can she outline the times and ways in which the Disability Advisory Group was consulted about SIRF 2009 and the results of that consultation?

The Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture responded with:-

"I would like to thank Cllr Fletcher for asking his questions about SIRF as they provide me with an opportunity to highlight the excellent work undertaken by Council officers and partner agencies in relation to Disability and Access at the Festival.

1. There is indeed information about access for people with disabilities in both the printed and web based promotions. The programme brochure dedicates all of the first page to the subject, under the heading Access Information, as follows:-

"We aim to make the Festival accessible and enjoyable for all visitors. SIRF Central, our Festival Information point on Stockton High Street, has useful information about all aspects of the Festival and facilities in Stockton town centre, and our Visitor Experience Team, in their distinctive black and pink T-shirts, are out and about in the centre of town. They are there to help you make the most of your visit so stop and ask them about SIRF.

Please contact us if you are disabled and have specific needs. For example, we can help with transport or parking information. We are able to provide our brochure in larger text format and Braille prior to and during the Festival. Our Visitor Experience Team includes a British Sign Language interpreter who will be available during the Festival. Most of the shows are not seated and some may involve the audience moving around. Strong lights and strobe effects may feature in some of the shows.

For information, help, comments and suggestions contact:
SIRF Central Festival Information point on Stockton High Street"

On the www.sirf.co.uk website the above programme is available as a downloadable PDF, in addition the home page refers to SIRF Central as the information point for the Festival. The copy on the site refers explicitly to disabled access information:-

"SIRF CENTRAL is located in The Shambles on Stockton High Street and is this year's festival information point. Our Visitor Experience Team has all the information you could need on which fabulous acts are appearing and when and where you can see them. They will also be on hand to give out accessibility information packs and other general festival information you might need to have a fantastic few days at SIRF 2009."

The Accessibility Pack available via SIRF Central contains information on toilets, shop mobility, BSL interpretation, Bus stand relocation and low floor bus points.

2. Stockton Borough Council, working with Arts Council England, commissioned Attitude is Everything (AiE) to advise on SIRF access issues. We actively sought their involvement in SIRF to help us strengthen our access provision.

3. After their visits to SIRF 2008, AiE presented a report to SBC including more than 60 detailed recommendations, addressing a range of very specific issues on a show-by-show basis. We responded to these and the more general points made in the Toolkit in preparation for SIRF 2009. In particular we commissioned AiE to deliver a full days training for the SIRF personnel to enable them to respond to the challenges thrown up by each year's unique programme. Furthermore, we also commissioned AiE to assist with planning for SIRF 2009 and to visit the 09 event as a ‘mystery shopper'.

We still await the full written report of the AiE team but their initial feedback is very positive. In the words of their lead advisor; "I am confident that you haven't neglected any areas regarding accessibility."

4. The involvement of the Disability Advisory Group (DAG) in the planning of SIRF continued alongside the work with AiE. An extended Disability Advisory Group event was held at ARC on 26.5.09 and a representative of DAG attended the regular SIRF planning meetings. I am confident that the involvement of the Disability Advisory Group helped SIRF achieve the very positive outcome with Attitude is Everything."

Councillor Fletcher asked the following supplementary question:-

"Would she accept my apologies if I had not been able to find at the time some of the information in the publicity which she had outlined, which I shall look forward to reading in full, but would she and officers take on board that there are many people who do not consider themselves disabled but cannot stand for long periods and need to know in advance which performances have no seating?"

The Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture responded with:-

"Yes I will."



The following questions were submitted by Councillor Fletcher for response by the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport:-

"1. In view of Cabinet Resolution No. 4 in Minute 1199/06 of 12th April 2007, passed on the recommendation of the Adults, Leisure & Culture Select Committee, why the SIRF website this year did not carry relevant travel information, including telephone numbers, to aid the use of public transport to and from SIRF?

2. Is he satisfied that, in accordance with Resolution 5 in the said Minute, that SBC engineers and bus operators working together ensured that both the public and bus crews are advised of diversions during SIRF events and the Carnival parade by providing clear advance publicity and site notices on the days affected?

3. In particular, what was effect of the road closures at around the time of the Carnival parade on public transport and what steps had been taken to advise the public of these in advance?

4. Is he satisfied that road closures on the Riverside Road for two full days after the end of the Festival were necessary and that there was adequate planning to cope with the effects on public transport?"

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport responded with:-

1. The SIRF website did contain the relevant travel and public transport information as the Cabinet Member has explained previously.

SBC's website also included information about public transport during SIRF.

We continue to work to ensure that Bus operators publicise the changes they make to their services as a consequence of the Festival. However we are happy to discuss how this can be improved further.

2. Yes, comprehensive press releases and roadworks bulletins were issued and Officers Traffic Group and SIRF technical group meetings took place to allow all of the impacts of the Festival to be explored and planned for.

3. In addition to the well-publicised High Street closure a rolling road closure on Church Road is needed to allow the parade to get from the Municipal car park to the High Street - and a further series of short managed closures to allow the parade to cross Yarm Lane/Bridge Road to get onto Trinity Green.

These closures were brief and bus operators were aware of the anticipated timings in each case. However, they may have caused short delays to bus services on the day, but these would have been no more than 5 minutes.

4. The closure of Riverside after the festival is to allow safe dismantling of the main stage. There are very few buses that use this route and no stops along its length so disruption to bus services was minimal.

However, thanks to the efforts of the technical production crew it was possible to re-open the Riverside road at 2pm on 7.9.09 - a full 6 hours ahead of the scheduled re-opening which helped in easing the afternoon traffic on that day.

Councillor Fletcher asked the following supplementary question:-

"Would the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport note that:-

· the SIRF website contained unhelpful information about ‘buses, such as the normal layout of stands in the High Street, which, of course, were altered for the Festival;

· Note that I had found it difficult to find the information about ‘bus service changes on the Council website, because the redesign of it meant that such news was not highlighted on the home page;

· Ask officers to revisit the assertion that ‘buses were delayed by no more than 5 minutes, as my wife and I alighted from a ‘bus in Yarm Lane in traffic being stopped by the police at the time the Parade was due to start from the Civic Square and that traffic was still halted more than 5 minutes later when we had walked round the corner out of sight; also Cllr Cherrett had been delayed for an hour on a bus that day;

· Say whether he was aware that the Officers Traffic Group on 13-8-09 recorded in Minute 158/09:

"Issues raised for feedback meeting:-

· ‘Closure' of Prince Regent Street.

· Early/late implementation of closure times.

· Signage for alternative bus stands.

· Traffic build up on Church Road due to temp redundant signal phases at Church Road/Maritime Road Riverside Road junction."

· Accept that, although many people enjoyed SIRF tremendously, others had to get from A to B, e.g., for hospital visits, could not enjoy the SIRF event taking place at that moment and needed certainty as to where their ‘bus would leave and how long it would be delayed?"

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport responded with:-

"I will take your comments away and I will look at the minutes of the Officers Traffic Group."
C
171/09
At its Annual Meeting held on Wednesday 1st April 2009 the Council approved appointments to its Committees, Panels and Joint/Outside Bodies for the Municipal year 2009/2010. Subsequently the following amendment/appointment had been identified that required approval by the Council viz:-

Cleveland Fire Authority

Remove - Councillor Andrew Larkin

Replacement - Councillor Ross Patterson

Trustee to Stockton Almshouse Charity

Nomination - Councillor Roy Rix
C
172/09
The following motion was submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.1. Moved by Councillor Coleman, seconded by Councillor Rix:-

"In light of recent deportation cases to the Democratic Republic of the Congo this Council expresses grave concern about the Country of Origin information relied upon by the UK Border Agency in determining individual risk. This information is flawed, out of date and fails to take into account the recommendation of the Human Rights Watch report that a UN rapporteur assess the situation urgently.

We call upon Immigration Minister Phil Woolas to suspend further removals to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, until proper account is taken of the experience of those returned recently. We ask him also to honour his assurance to Frank Cook MP that "the UK Border Agency will investigate any allegation of harm or ill treatment" ( 22nd June 2009) and the outcome of those investigations be used to inform a more up to date Country of Origin report. A copy of this motion is also sent to the two local MPs."

The motion was carried.
C
173/09
The Leader of the Council gave his Forward Plan and Leaders Statement.

TVU, One Northeast and Government Office were preparing a business case on the potential for developing the low carbon economy, which Cabinet would consider in October 2009.

Beginning September 2009 181 jobs would be created through the "Future Jobs Fund" which would be offered to young people from across the borough who had been out of work for more than 12 months and to people of any age from areas of high unemployment. SBC were delighted to be one of 62 local authorities across the country to have benefited from the fund.

The Department for Transport had confirmed in principle £100 million of bus, rail and road improvements over the next three years. These included:-

- £62 million for the Tees Valley bus network
- £35 million for the first phase of the Tees Valley Metro project
- £5 million towards the East Billingham Transport Corridor scheme
- A £4 million scheme to reduce congestion on the A19 and A66
and

ANEC were preparing a case to Government for linking North East England with a national high speed rail network for submission to the Government.

TVU would be refreshing the business case for the Tees Valley City Region, ready for a launch in June 2019. An early draft would be circulated to Members for comments.

SBC had received good news that the redundancies at Corus had again been staved off following further fresh orders and with the price of steel improving there was some optimism for the future.

Job seeker allowance claimants rose by a further 39 in July bringing the Boroughs overall percentage to 5.3.

A Green Paper on Adult Social Care - "Shaping The Future of Care Together" - sets out a vision for a new national care and support system intended to be fair, simple and affordable for all adults in England.

As part of its launch, a public consultation called "The Big Debate" was taking place until 13 November, including various national and regional events. Members would be consulted as part of the process of preparing our response to the national debate.

12th - 18th October would see the national "Local Democracy Week" campaign designed to engage people in local government. SBC were developing a programme of activity which targeted the whole community. A campaign which aimed to increase interest in being a Councillor and in improved communications was also being developed.

Beginning on 22 September, a Planning Inspector would preside over a public examination of the Core Strategy as part of the Borough's Local Development Framework, taking place at the Education Centre, Norton.

Hartlepool Council were due to consider the proposals for a new hospital in Wynyard in a few weeks time. Discussions continued about the detail of the proposed development.

In the Building Schools for the Future programme, officers were finalising the Outline Business Case for consideration by Cabinet in October 2009 and, if approved, submission to Partnerships for Schools.

The Minister had also approved Expressions of Interest for two Academies, one in North Stockton replacing Blakeston and the Norton School and one in Thornaby to replace Thornaby Community School.

This year saw Stockton's best ever performance in GCSEs with 68% of young people gaining 5 or more good passes, an increase of 2% from 2008 and beating the national average of 67%. These results reflected the hard work, commitment and dedication of head teachers, support staff, governors and parents as well as the effort made by the children themselves.

Also I am pleased to inform Members that the formal opening of Romano Park by the Mayor would take place on 16th September 2009.

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