Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans, bright future

Executive Scrutiny Committee Minutes

Date:
Tuesday, 26th February, 2013
Time:
10.00 am
Place:
Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Library, Stockton on Tees, TS18 1TU
 
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Present:
Cllr Ken Lupton(Chairman), Cllr Miss Tina Large(Vice-Chairman), Cllr Mrs Lynne Apedaile, Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Nigel Cooke, Cllr Robert Gibson, Cllr Barbara Inman, Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Mick Stoker, Mr Richard Amir
Officers:
Margaret Waggott, Judith Trainer, Graham Birtle, Michael Henderson (LD); Debbie Hurwood (R)
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr Mrs Mary Womphrey,
Item Description Decision
Public
EXC
56/12
EVACUATION PROCEDURE
 
EXC
57/12
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
 
EXC
58/12
MINUTES FOR SIGNING - 23RD OCTOBER 2012
AGREED that the minutes be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
EXC
59/12
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING - 18TH DECEMBER 2012
AGREED that the draft minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2012 be approved.
EXC
60/12
REVIEW OF EMPTY / ABANDONED PROPERTIES
AGREED that the report be presented to Cabinet.
EXC
61/12
SCRUTINY REVIEW OF QUALITY & SUFFICIENCY OF CHILDCARE - FINAL REPORT
AGREED that the report be presented to Cabinet.
EXC
62/12
TEESSIDE PENSION FUND INVESTMENT IN TOBACCO COMPANIES
AGREED that the issue of the investment in tobacco companies by Teesside Pension Fund be referred to Housing and Community Safety Select Committee as part of its review of tobacco control.
EXC
63/12
REPORT ON CHAIRS UPDATES
AGREED that the Chairmen's updates be noted.
EXC
64/12
FORWARD PLAN
AGREED that the report be noted.
10.00am/11.00am

Preamble

ItemPreamble
EXC
56/12
The Evacuation Procedure was noted.
EXC
57/12
Councillor Lupton and Councillor Johnson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in iyem 8 entitled 'Teesside Pension Fund Investment in Tobacco Companies' as they received pensions from the scheme.

Councillor Gibson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in item 8 entitled 'Teesside Pension Fund Investment in Tobacco Companies' as he served on the Teesside Pension Fund Board.

Richard Amir declared a personal non prejudicial interest in item 7 entitled 'Scrutiny Review of Quality and Sufficiency of Childcare - Final Report' as he had a relative who worked in a nursery.
EXC
58/12
The minutes of the meeting held on 23 October 2012 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
EXC
59/12
Consideration was given to the draft minutes of the meeting held on 18 December 2012.
EXC
60/12
Members were provided with a report, produced by the Executive Scrutiny Committee, relating to its review of Empty/Abandoned Properties.

Members considered the report's recommendations at length, including an amended recommendation 1. Discussion of the report centred on the following areas:


- Council Tax and Empty Properties
- legislation allowing officers to Enforce Sales of properties to
recover debts exceeding 1000.
- the effects the recommendation may have on Registered Social
Landlords
- Funding of costs associated with financing and recouping the costs
of work to bring properties back into use.
- Relief/exceptions - the Committee was particularly concerned that
residents, already suffering as a consequence of being unable to
live in their home, because of flood or fire, would suffer further
hardship as a result of potential charges made under the
proposals. Members referred to areas in the Borough where
flooding had made homes uninhabitable and some properties had been
empty for many months. The Committee noted that each application
for hardship relief would be considered on its merits and
applications for relief, because of flooding and fire, were likely
to be looked upon favourably. It was suggested that the
arrangements for charging Council Tax on empty flood and fire
damaged properties be reviewed as the impact of the new charges
became clearer.

Members noted that the report would be submitted to Cabinet in March 2013.
EXC
61/12
Members were provided with a report, produced by the Children and Young People Select Committee, relating to its Review of Quality and Sufficiency of Childcare.

Members discussed the recommendations and noted that the report would be submittted to Cabinet in March 2013.

EXC
62/12
The Committee considered a report that presented a referral from Council:

'The issue of the investment in tobacco companies by the Teesside Pension Fund be referred to Housing and Community Safety Select Committee as part of its review of tobacco control'

The Committee agreed that the referral be passed to the Housing and Community Safety Select Committee for consideration.

During discussion it was noted that the Select Committee could chose to include it as part of its current piece of work, or do a separate piece of work, outside of its current Review.
EXC
63/12
Members were provided with an update, from each Select Committee's Chairman, on current and future review topics.
EXC
64/12
Members were presented with the Statutory Forward Plan from 1 February 2013 to 31 May 2013.

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