Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Council Minutes

Date:
Wednesday, 7th March, 2012
Time:
07.00 p.m.
Place:
Council Chamber, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton on Tees TS18 1AJ
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Paul Baker (The Worshipful the Mayor); Cllr Mrs Lynne Apedaile, Cllr Jim Beall, Cllr Derrick Brown, Cllr Mark Chatburn, Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr David Coleman, Cllr Robert Cook, Cllr Nigel Cooke, Cllr Gillian Corr, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Phillip Dennis, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr John Gardner, Cllr Robert Gibson, Cllr David Harrington, Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Elliot Kennedy, Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Miss Tina Large, Cllr Colin Leckonby, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Ray McCall, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Mrs Kathryn Nelson, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Ross Patterson, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Mrs Maureen Rigg, Cllr Andrew Sherris, Cllr Michael Smith, Cllr Andrew Stephenson, Cllr Norma Stephenson, Cllr Mick Stoker, Cllr Tracey Stott, Cllr Steve Walmsley, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Norma Wilburn, 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 (DNS); J Danks, L King (R); J Humphreys (CESC).
In Attendance:
4 Members of the public.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Cllr Mick Eddy, Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Ben Houchen, Cllr Barbara Inman, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Ken Lupton, Cllr David Rose and Cllr Sylvia Walmsley.
Item Description Decision
Public
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188/11
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Councillor Norma Stephenson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Members Question Time as she was a member of the Cleveland Police Authority.

Councillor Mike Smith declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 14 - Members Question Time as he was employed in the chemical industry.
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189/11
SIGNING OF LOCAL COMMUNITY COVENANT IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ARMED FORCES
 
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190/11
MINUTES
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday, 18th January, 2012 (Minutes C 170/11 - C 185 /11) were signed by the Worshipful the Mayor as a correct record.
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191/11
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
 
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192/11
COUNCIL PLAN 2012-2015
RESOLVED that:-

1. The draft priorities for the Council Plan be noted.

2. The Council Plan 2012 - 2015 be agreed.

3. The agreement of success measures and targets be delegated to the Corporate Director of Resources in conjunction with the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Finance by the end of March 2012.
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193/11
ENTERPRISE ZONE BUSINESS RATES DISCOUNT SCHEME
RESOLVED that:-

1. The proposed arrangements for the Enterprise Zone business rate discount scheme be noted.

2. The detailed design of the scheme, and its accompanying administrative processes, be delegated to the Corporate Director of Resources in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Corporate Management & Finance and Regeneration & Transport.
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194/11
LOCALISM ACT 2011 - THE NEW STANDARDS REGIME
RESOLVED that:-

1. the new code of conduct to be drafted by the Monitoring Officer is based on the ten principles of conduct (as specified in the Relevant Authorities (General Principles Order 2001); and subject to this that it includes provisions equivalent to paragraphs 3 to 7 of the Council's current code; and that it should require registration and disclosure of interests which would constitute personal and/or prejudicial interests under the current code, but withdrawal from the meeting room as required by the Localism Act only in relation to disclosable pecuniary interests.

2. when the disclosable pecuniary interests regulations are published, the draft code is reviewed by the Monitoring Officer and appropriate provisions are included regarding the registration and disclosure of such interests and also of interests other than disclosable pecuniary interests.

3. the Monitoring Officer (or authorised representative) is given delegated authority to receive complaints about member conduct under the Council's new code of conduct and under the codes of conduct adopted by the Borough's Town and Parish Councils.

4. the Monitoring Officer (or authorised representative) be given delegated power, in consultation with an independent person, to decide whether or not to take any action on a complaint, including the power to take no action; to seek to resolve a matter informally and to arrange an investigation; and that he is given discretion to refer a decision on whether or not to investigate a complaint to the standards panel.

5. where an investigation finds no evidence of failure to comply with the code, the Monitoring Officer (or authorised representative) is given delegated authority, in consultation with an independent person, to close the matter, but with discretion to refer such a decision to the standards panel.

6. where an investigation finds evidence of a failure to comply with the code, the Monitoring Officer (or authorised representative), in consultation with an independent person, is given delegated authority to seek a local resolution of the matter to the complainant's satisfaction, where appropriate, and where not appropriate or possible, to refer the investigation findings to the standards panel.


7. a politically balanced list of ten members be established, from which a standards panel of three members could be drawn in order to hear complaints about member conduct where an investigation finds evidence of failure to comply with the code of conduct.

8. the standards panel is given delegated authority to take decisions in consultation with an independent person, in cases where a member is found as a result of a hearing to have failed to comply with the code of conduct, such decisions to include one or more of the actions specified at paragraph 19 of the report as considered appropriate.

9. it be noted that there will be no local authority appeal mechanism regarding decisions of the standards panel.

10. written procedures be developed by the Monitoring Officer regarding the arrangements outlined in recommendations 3 to 9 inclusively.

11. vacancies for one independent person ("IP") and two reserve IPs be advertised publicly and that the terms of reference of the current Standards Appointments Panel be revised to enable the Panel to shortlist (if considered necessary by the Monitoring Officer in consultation with the Chair of the Panel) and to interview candidates with a view to recommending appointments to Council.

12. the initial remuneration for the IPs be set at 650 per annum, with travel and subsistence being payable at member rates, with this being reviewed after 12 months of operation by the Standards Appointment Panel which would then make recommendations to Council regarding the future remuneration of IPs.

13. the Monitoring Officer:-

• prepares and maintains a new register of members interests for the Council, as required by the Localism Act and the code of conduct when adopted;

• ensures that the register is available for inspection and on the Council's website;

• provides guidance to all members on their duty to register interests;

• prepares and maintains new registers of members' interests for each Town and Parish Council within Stockton Borough, as required by the Localism Act and each code of conduct adopted by the Town and Parish Councils;

• ensures that each register is available for inspection and on the Borough Council's website, and that each Town and Parish Council with a website is provided with the information necessary to enable them to put their register on their own website;

• provides guidance to Town and Parish Clerks on the new registration requirements.

14. the Monitoring Officer amends Council, Cabinet and Executive Scrutiny and Select Committee procedure rules to provide that a member must leave the meeting room during the whole consideration of any item of business in which the member has a disclosable pecuniary interest, except where the member is permitted to remain as a result of the grant of a dispensation.

15. the arrangements and procedure relating to a member's sensitive interests be noted.

16. the Monitoring Officer be given delegated authority to grant dispensations in consultation with an independent person, but with the discretion to refer any request for determination by the Standards panel in consultation with an independent person, and that the standards panel is also given delegated authority to consider appeals against a refusal to grant a dispensation, again in consultation with an independent person.

17. the Council's standards arrangements are reviewed by the Monitoring Officer after 12 months of operation, and the outcome with any recommendations for change is reported to Cabinet and Council for further consideration.

18. in addition to guidance to Members on their duty to register interests, appropriate training be provided to members regarding the Council's new code of conduct, disclosable pecuniary interests and the arrangements for dealing with misconduct allegations.
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195/11
COMMUNICATION AND CONSULTATION WITH MEMBERS REVIEW
RESOLVED that:-

1.The proposed revised Concordat for Communication and Consultation with Members be approved.

2. The revised document be incorporated within the Council's Constitution.
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196/11
THE SPENCE BEQUEST
RESOLVED that:-

1. New procedures be introduced by way of statutory power (pursuant to s.74D of the Charities Act 1993) that regulate how the charity is administered and that they take immediate effect.

2. The following three ex-officio trustees, including Lead Cabinet Member, Arts, Leisure and Culture, be appointed, with immediate effect:- Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure & Culture (Councillor Dixon), Councillor Mrs O'Donnell and Councillor Johnson.

3. The trusteeship of the corporate trustee be terminated, with immediate effect, on the understanding that the newly appointed trustees may subsequently (subject to Charity Commission consent) amend the charitable purposes and bring about the release of capital from the Spence Bequest.
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197/11
MEMBERS POLICY SEMINAR PROGRAMME
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
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198/11
AMENDMENT TO EMPLOYEE APPEALS PANEL
RESOLVED that the amendment be agreed.
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199/11
URGENCY ITEM - CANCELLATION OF COUNCIL MEETING
RESOLVED that the Chief Executive's decision, taken in consultation with the Mayor and Director of Law and Democracy, be noted
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200/11
MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME
 
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201/11
FORWARD PLAN AND LEADERS STATEMENT
 
7.00 pm - 8.30 pm

Preamble

ItemPreamble
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189/11
The Worshipful the Mayor joined the Leader of the Council, Lt Colonel Adkins (Army Community), Commander Pickthall (Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Merchant Navy Communities) and Wing Commander Pruden (Royal Air Force) in signing the Local Community Covenant formally recognising the contribution that serving personnel, their families and veterans had made and committing partners to work and act together in mutual support to identify practical measures that would help them access support that may be required from the Council, charities and other relevant organisations.
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191/11
The Director of Law & Democracy informed Members that one Public Question had been received from Sue Dewey but as she was not in attendance at the meeting she would receive a written response to her question.
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192/11
Consideration was given to a report on the priorities for the Council Plan for 2012-15. The Council Plan set out Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's key priorities which were the Council's contribution to the Borough's Sustainable Community Strategy.

At its meeting on the 23rd February 2012, Cabinet gave consideration to the proposals detailed in the report and agreed the recommendations. A copy of the relevant minute was attached to the report.

The priorities were underpinned by Service Plans within each service area.

The plan for 2012-2015 reflected the challenges and opportunities facing the Council and the need to continue to make the budget reductions outlined in the Medium Term Financial Plan, in the context of the 2 year settlement from central government.

There were no significant changes to priorities from last year's plan and it reflected the fact that the main focus would continue to be the delivery of the Value for Money Programme, to meet the Medium Term Financial Plan targets. Results of a review to determine the impact of new, current and proposed legislation/policy changes had been reflected in revised key actions and where appropriate targets had been amended.

The Council Plan Framework, priorities, outcomes and results from the review of new policy / legislation, had been shared with Members during the development of the plan.
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193/11
Consideration was given to a report on the Enterprise Zone Business Rates Discount Scheme.

At its meeting on 9th February 2012, Cabinet considered the matter and a copy of the relevant minute was attached to the report.

It was explained that the Localism Act 2011 contained clauses that gave billing authorities powers to grant local business rate discounts.

The Council would be responsible for fully funding any discount granted under the powers, however, in certain defined Enterprise Zone sites the Government would reimburse the cost of providing up to 100% discount for 5 years, up to state aid de minimis levels (55k) for businesses that entered the sites by 31 March 2015.

Members noted that a sectoral focus on the sites provided a tight set of criteria to be met by incoming occupiers seeking to benefit from financial incentives. The target sectors were Advanced engineering / advanced manufacturing, Chemicals, Digital and Renewables.

The powers were expected to come into force on 1 April 2012, allowing discounts to begin from that date. The Council would have to design and set its discount scheme in accordance with Government regulations and guidance, not yet published.

The discount scheme would be a key element in the promotional package to attract new business to the Enterprise Zone and it was important that the scheme was finalised and approved as soon as the regulations and guidance were received.

In view of this Council was asked that approval for the detailed discount scheme design be delegated to the Corporate Director Resources in consultation with Cabinet Member for Corporate Management & Finance and Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Transport.
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194/11
Consideration was given to a report that detailed the new standards provisions to be introduced by the Localism Act, and in response set out initial proposals for consideration.

At its meeting on 9th February 2012, Cabinet considered the matter and a copy of the relevant minute was attached to the report.

Council noted some of the key features of the new provisions, which would take effect in July 2012:-

• All current legislation would be repealed
• There would be a new general duty to promote and maintain high standards of conduct by members and voting co-opted members
• Each "relevant authority" must adopt a code which dealt with the conduct expected of members and voting co-opted members when acting in that capacity.
• There would no longer be any national coordination or express controls over disrespect, bullying, intimidation etc, though the Council's adopted code may cover such issues.
• Regulations relating to "disclosable pecuniary interests"
• Arrangements for investigating and determining allegations.
• Requirement to appoint at least one "independent person"

A more detailed synopsis of the new provisions was provided as an appendix to the report being considered.

Members then considered a suggested initial response to the new proposals which covered the following areas:-

• The Code of Conduct
• Arrangements for dealing with Misconduct
• Initial decisions on a complaint
• Investigations
• Breaches
• Appeals
• Independent Persons
• Registers of Members' Interests
• Disclosure of Interests and withdrawal from meetings
• Sensitive Interests
• Dispensations
• Review
• Training
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195/11
Consideration was given to a report that examined the effectiveness of the arrangements for communication and consultation by Officers with Members (as set out within guidance last reviewed in 2007); and reflected feedback received from both parties, including Member input via two independent Scrutiny reviews as well as the views of the Members Advisory Panel, culminating in the production of revised guidance document. A copy of that guidance was attached to the report.

At its meeting on 13th February 2012, Members Advisory Panel considered the matter and a copy of the relevant minute was attached to the report.

Guidance for Officers in terms of how and when they should inform and consult with Members was last reviewed in 2007 and culminated in the production of a Concordat entitled ‘A Concordat for Communication & Consultation with Members' Constitution Concordat. The guidance was available for Officers and Members and was a supporting document within the Council's Constitution. Since this time, there had been both an increase in availability of electronic means to assist communication, and Select Committee reviews undertaken in 2007 (Corporate Consultation) and 2009 (Communication, Consultation & Engagement) which provided Member feedback regarding how successful the current communication and consultation arrangements were; and suggestions as to how they might be improved. Heads of Service had also been asked for their views on the available guidance given their role in ensuring that their staff understood the role of elected members and the importance of effective communication and consultation with them.

The Members Advisory Panel, at their meeting held on 13th February 2012, had a further opportunity to consider the above feedback on the existing guidance and provide input into a new proposed guidance document. The comments of MAP were summarised within the report.

The main features of the Concordat were summarised as follows:-

* Provision of Information to Members
* Consultation with Members
* Decision Recording System
* Consultation with External Consultees
* Monitoring of the Concordat

The following sections of the report examined those areas above which had been reviewed.

* Provision of Information to Members
* Consultation with Members
* Consultation with External Consultees
* Monitoring Complaints
* Proposals
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196/11
At its meeting on 9th February 2012, Cabinet gave consideration to a report relating to the Spence Bequest, an unincorporated charity of which Stockton Borough Council was the corporate trustee. A copy of the relevant Cabinet minute was attached to the report.

The Spence Bequest held a sum of money which was to be used, alongside Heritage Lottery Funds, for the construction of the Spence Building, a new museum store at Preston Hall. The principle of using the Spence Bequest for this purpose had been agreed by Cabinet at its meeting on 5th February 2009.

Members noted that a legal process must be followed to bring about the use of the residuary fund. The Charity Commission, regulator for charities in England and Wales, had assisted in the direction of a legal process. Recommendations suggested the passing of three resolutions by Council that were key to this legal process.

The recommendations dealt with the introduction of new procedures that regulated the Spence Bequest Charity. They also proposed the appointment of three ex officio trustees and terminated the trusteeship of the Council.
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197/11
Consideration was given to a report that provided an overview of content from the Members Policy Seminars held in January and February 2012 which provided a focus on the proposed Residents Survey, an update on progress and plans of Tristar / Vela, post stock transfer, the current state of provision and opportunities of the Voluntary and Community Sector in the Borough and Olympic related events planned for 2012. Supporting material from the seminar programme was available on the Member pages of the intranet.
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198/11
At its Annual Meeting, held on Wednesday 25 May 2011, the Council approved appointments to its Committees, Panels and Joint/Outside Bodies for 2011/15.

Subsequently the Council had been asked to make one amendment to the Employee Appeals Panel:-

Remove Councillor Ben Houchen
Add Councillor Bill Woodhead
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199/11
Consideration was given to a report on an officer decision, taken under urgency provisions, in consultation with the Mayor.

The Chief Executive Officer took the decision, in consultation with the Mayor and Director of Law and Democracy, to cancel the scheduled special meeting of Council on 28th March.

A special meeting had been identified to consider and approve the Council Plan, however, it was later agreed that the Council Plan should be approved at the Ordinary meeting of Council on 7 March 2012.

The decision to cancel the special meeting on 28 March 2012 was taken under delegated powers, rather than being referred to Council, to allow the date to be removed from members' diaries as early as possible.
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200/11
The following question was submitted by Councillor Walmsley for response by the Cleveland Police Authority Representative - Councillor Norma Stephenson:-

"5 People have now been arrested in relation to corruption charges within Cleveland Police and the Police Authority. Can the Cabinet Member responsible for Community Safety inform Members of the overall cost so far in this saga and the cost so far to residents of the borough of Stockton on Tees?"

The Cleveland Police Authority Representative - Councillor Norma Stephenson responded with:-

"Cleveland Police Authority have stated that the cost of Operation Sacristy, to the end of March will be 1.44m, with additional costs of 200,000 for costs incurred directly by Cleveland Police Authority, making a total of 1.64m. On the basis that the population of Stockton-on-Tees is about 34% of the population of Cleveland Police Force area, then the ‘Stockton share' would be about 558k.

Members will probably be aware that only about 20% of the Police Authority budget is funded by the police precept, with the remainder being met from Central Government grants, and that local MPs are supporting representations by the Police Authority to the Home Office in relation to additional central funding being made available to assist with the cost of Operation Sacristy."

Councillor Walmsley asked the following supplementary question:-

"The Cleveland Police Authority has been a mess for as long as I can remember. Would the cost of democratically elected Police Commissioner pay for Councillor McLuckie?"

The Cleveland Police Authority Representative - Councillor Norma Stephenson responded with:-

"They are only alleged crimes at the moment and I hope we don't have to pay any costs."



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

"Interest has been registered to build 1300 homes on land earmarked for the controversial and somewhat misnamed free school at Ingleby Barwick. Should this be given approval, can the relevant Cabinet Member inform Members what impact this would have on secondary education already serving Ingleby Barwick and also on the already oversubscribed primary schools in the settlement?"

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

"There is no planning application currently and any such proposal would be contrary to existing policy.

Any impact of such a proposal would depend upon property type, but inevitably if a significant element was family housing, then it would over the build out time have a significant impact on school places.

The Council's current School Organisation Plan 2011-2016, presented to Cabinet on 6 October 2011, highlights that for Ingleby Barwick the current projected figures for primary places, which include planned housing development, show there is already a need to increase capacity in primary schools in Ingleby Barwick."

Councillor Walmsley asked the following supplementary question:-

"I think you basically answered my intended supplementary and I am still catching up with the Free School situation but if the housing scheme is successful will we need to build a new primary school?"

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

"Planning law is planning law but if we have to we will address the primary school situation."



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

"In such a harsh economic climate when investment and employment should be paramount, how long is this council going to send out the signal that investment is welcome but only on Stockton High Street or North Shore?"

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Transport responded with:-

"Securing appropriate investments that deliver sustainable developments, that are in line with the Council's agreed policies and that create long-term employment opportunities, is fundamental to the Council's key priority to improve the borough's economy.

Amongst the notable economic development successes right across the borough, are:-

• the development of the state-of-the-art new Nifco factory at Eaglescliffe;
• the large-scale housing development on the former Visqueen site;
• the regeneration of Thornaby Town Centre;
• the major warehouse development at Clipper Logistics, Wynyard Business Park; and
• the expansion of Johnson Matthey as part of the Billingham Chemical Complex.

Councillor Walmlsey asked the following supplementary question:-

"The vote against the Springs site stopped 170k coming into the Borough. They will go to appeal and we will have to pay costs. Every application for the south side of the river gets rejected. Is this just lunacy?"

The Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Transport responded with:-

"There has been many planning applications approved on the south side of the river and we will do what is best for the people of the Borough."



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

"How much did it cost to ignore the recommendations of an Independent Members Remuneration Panel?"

The Leader of the Council responded with:-

"The recommendations were not ignored."

Councillor Walmsley asked the following supplementary question:-

"I'm lost for words. The recommendations from the Panel were ignored, it is an absolute nonsense. Would the Leader agree that proportionally Members at the bottom have been hit the hardest?"

The Leader of the Council responded with:-

"As required by the allowances regulations, both Cabinet and Council had regard to the Panel's recommendations when agreeing the Members' Allowances schemes for the next three years and took on board most of the Panel's principles and recommendations.

Members agreed with the Panel's recommendations regarding:-

• an overall budget reduction for 12/13 of 4%
• no change to the Basic Allowance for 12/13
• no change to the Co-optees Allowance for 12/13
• the Basic and Co-optees Allowance being frozen for 12/13 in line with the freeze on staff salaries.
• no change to travel and subsistence or pensions
• the introduction of a Deputy Leaders' Allowance
• a reduction to the majority of the Special Responsibility Allowances.
• the Deputy Leader and other Special Responsibility Allowances being calculated as a specific percentage of the Leader's Allowance.

However, Cabinet and Council agreed to go further by reducing the majority of Members' Allowances to a greater extent than recommended by the Panel.


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

"When a non-binding postal consultation took place on the future executive set-up of SBC (Leader/Cabinet model or directly elected Mayor), who scrutinised/verified the returned replies?"

The Leader of the Council responded with:-

"Democratic Services' Election Team verified and counted the replies."

Councillor Walmsley asked the following supplementary question:-

"I'm puzzled by the whole thing. When did it become binding?"

The Leader of the Council responded with:-

"When Council agreed it. We believe the Cabinet / Leader model is best for the Borough.
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201/11
The Leader of the Council gave his Forward Plan and Leaders Statement.

• Council had met to approve the Medium Term Financial Plan for 2012-17 and the Council Tax proposals for 2012/13.

• Peel Holdings Ltd had bought back the majority shareholding in Durham Tees Valley Airport. As a Council with a minority shareholding, the Council remained totally committed to the future of the airport and sincerely hoped the new owners would provide the investment it needed to operate successfully.

• Executive Scrutiny Committee had rejected a challenge to the Boroughwide parking strategy.

• Stockton had been named as a finalist in the Champion of Champions category in the Britain in Bloom competition, a tremendous accolade.

• The Council launched the Personal Podium challenge, aimed at encouraging the Borough's residents to take up a challenge of their own choice during Olympic year - and receive due recognition for their achievements.

• David Wilmore, one of the country's leading theatre restoration consultants, had been appointed to lead the restoration project for the Globe Theatre.

• Work had started on the 17.8 million construction for the North Shore Health Academy, project managed by the Council.

• The Council's Telecare helped its 800th customer.

• Ten councils across the North East, including Stockton, had launched a joint campaign, including radio advertising, to increase enquiries from prospective foster parents.

• St Michael's RC Comprehensive School won the first "Schools Market Enterprise Challenge" as part of the Council's Enterprise Culture Project, by generating 300 selling homemade vintage sweets at the Stockton Sparkles Christmas market.

• Bizzy B, the owners of Billingham House, have been given leave to appeal against the High Court decision to allow its demolition to proceed. The hearing is likely to take place in May.

• Prince Andrew officially opened the new 8.5m Nifco factory. The successful project benefited from a 1.65m Regional Growth Fund grant. We look forward to future Tees Valley successes in the 3rd Round of Regional Growth Funding which closes in June.

• The Council had launched the Warm Homes, Healthy People programme to help vulnerable residents to keep warm during the cold weather, through a range of advice and assistance. This would build on the success of the CESP scheme in Parkfield where homeowners were beginning to see savings of up to 700 per year from the scheme to retrofit heating and insulation improvements.

Looking Ahead:-

Significant matters to be considered at forthcoming meetings of the Cabinet included:-

• An update on the exciting developments at Preston Park - the development of the Hall and Park are on track to re-open on 1st July 2012

• Plans to develop sites for skateboarders and BMX bike riders

• Update on the transition of Public Health Services to the Council

• An update on the review of health needs of ex service Community - this work ties in closely with the Local Community Covenant

• Annual Meeting on 4th April

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