Council Minutes

Council Minutes

Wednesday 3 April 2013
7:00 p.m.
Council Chamber, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Bloundele (Chair), R Mallon (The Mayor), Councillors Arundale, Biswas, Brady, Brunton, Budd, Clark, Cox, Davison, Dryden, Hanif, Harvey, Hawthorne, C Hobson, J Hobson, Hussain, Junier, Kerr, S Khan, Lowes, Mawston, McIntyre, McPartland, McTigue, Michna, Morby, Mrs H Pearson, G Purvis, P Purvis, Rehman, Rooney, Rostron, Sanderson, Saunders, J Sharrocks, P Sharrocks, Taylor, Thompson, J A Walker, N J Walker, Williams
J Bennington, J Lewis, R G Long, M Robinson and G Rollings.
Apologies for absence:
Cole, Hubbard, Hudson, P Khan and Loughborough
Declarations of interest:

There were no declarations of interest made at this point of the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution

The minutes of the meetings of Middlesbrough Council held on 20 February and 4 March 2013 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


The Chair formally reported the resignation of Barry Coppinger as a Councillor who had first been elected to Middlesbrough Council in 1985.


It was confirmed that a By Election for the Pallister Ward would be held on 2 May 2013. 






It was reported that there was no written report or specific statement for this meeting.


The Chair invited Members to raise items for general discussion arising from the Information Booklet of Executive Member reports (previously circulated) which detailed activities carried out within the respective Executive Member portfolios (Section 1), Executive decisions taken (Section2) or to be taken where known, prior to and following the meeting (Sections 3 and 4).


Members commented and posed questions in relation to the following matters and Executive Members responded where appropriate:-


(a) Middlesbrough Mela 


The Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development acknowledged the positive comments from Members regarding Middlesbrough Mela which had secured key sponsorship from Middlesbrough College.  More comprehensive planning had been undertaken for the event which in future would be held in the Town's Centre Square.


(b) mima


The Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development welcomed the Members' comments received from a recent visitor to the Town and mima who had praised the facility and wanted to convey his thanks to all concerned. 


The Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development specifically referred to a recent local art competition organised by mima in collaboration with the Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation with a £41,000 prize fund given to schools, charities and community groups.


(c) Middlesbrough Digital Library


The Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development endorsed the comments of Members regarding the benefits from a recent promotion resulting in increased interest and usage of the Middlesbrough Digital Library which was seen as a positive way forward for the Town.


(d) Enterprise Zone Infrastructure Fund


In response to a Members' question with particular regard to the importance of securing the submission relating to an Advanced Manufacturing Park the Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development confirmed that such proposals together with others were the subject of a bidding process to the Government to the loan fund with the aim of stimulating development activity in Enterprise Zones for which a decision was still awaited.


(e) Events Facilitation


A Member expressed disappointment at the lack of a mention of the Armed Forces Day parade and referred to the significant amount of work which had been undertaken in this regard and asked that every endeavour should be made for this event to be promoted.


The Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development gave an assurance that steps would be taken to ensure that such events would be well promoted and appropriately publicised.


(f) Ormesby Roundabout


A Member referred to proposals which had been part of a joint project between Redcar & Cleveland Council and Middlesbrough Council to upgrade the intersection situated on the border of the two boroughs. Such proposals had been the subject of consultation resulting in a petition with more than 2,500 signatures.


The Executive Member for Environment confirmed that the outcome of the consultation had been taken into account and the proposals had subsequently been withdrawn. It was reported that there were further discussions between the two authorities regarding possible alternative ways in which to improve the road network in the area.




Council received and considered a report submitted by the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board outlining the work of the Board and Scrutiny Panels.


Specific reference was made to the Board's scrutiny investigation into Welfare Reforms initially focussing on the Employment and Support Allowance and to the examination being undertaken by the Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel regarding 'Paperless Committee Meetings'.




There were no urgent items to report.


There were no questions for this meeting.


Council received the following motion submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule No. 11:-


'In the interests of transparency and accountability, the Council will publish all 'Returns of candidates election expenses' on the Council website.'


ORDERED that consideration of the motion be deferred to the next meeting of the Council.


There were no urgent motions for this meeting.


The Chair of the Teesside Pension Fund and Investment Panel presented an overview of the Annual Report to Council, submitted by the Director of Strategic Resources.


The report stated that the value of the Fund had risen from £2.59 billion as at 31 March 2012 to £2.69 billion as at 31 December 2012.


The latest valuation showed that at 31 March 2010 the funding level had risen to 99% which meant that the Teesside Fund was the best funded of all the LGPS funds in England and Wales. It was noted however that the market conditions since the valuation was undertaken would have reduced the funding level.


In common with other public sector schemes the Government was proposing significant reforms to the LGPS and had undertaken a consultation process to which the Fund had submitted its response which included other recommendations designed to promote a sustainable Scheme in the interests of Scheme members.


Moved, seconded and ORDERED that the report be approved.



Council received and considered a report of the Director of Wellbeing, Care and Learning which sought approval to the formal handover of Public Health duties from NHS Tees as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012.


It was confirmed that local authorities were now specifically responsible for commissioning or providing a number of services as outlined in the report. 


In order to undertake the activities outlined the Director of Public Health would require a number of delegated powers which the Council would be asked to approve as part of its annual review of the Scheme of Delegation at the Annual General meeting to be held on 15 May 2013.


The Local Authority had received a two-year Public Health ring fenced grant to enable it to fulfil its statutory public health functions of £15,932,000 for 2013/2014 and £16,378,000 for 2013/2014 but thereafter the funding allocation was unclear from 2015 onwards.


 Moved, seconded and ORDERED as follows:-


1. That the Council formally accepts the transfer of Public Health functions from 1 April 2013 to ensure that the Council fulfils its statutory responsibilities.


2. That details of the Local Authority public health responsibilities as set out in the report submitted be noted.


3. That the Chief Executive be given delegated authority to ensure that statutory duties can be undertaken until the scheme of delegation is reviewed in May 2013.


Council received and considered a report of the Director of Wellbeing, Care and Learning to formally establish the Health and Wellbeing Board as a Council Committee as required by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.


The Local Authority (Public Health, Health and Wellbeing Boards and Health Scrutiny) Regulations 2013 provided certain flexibility with regard to Health and Wellbeing Boards as best fits local circumstances in particular:-


(a) Boards are able to establish sub-committees and delegate functions to them; 

(b) non-elected members of a health and wellbeing board can vote alongside nominated elected representatives on the board; 

(c) political proportionality of the board's membership is up to local determination.


In accordance with the prevailing legislation the terms of reference and membership for the Middlesbrough Health and Wellbeing Board were set out in Appendix 1 to the report submitted which included the role of the Board as follows:-


(a) Provide strategic direction

(b) Ensure all statutory duties are met

(c) Sign off for key documents i.e. Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy

(d) Review progress against priorities

(e) Develop a forward work programme

(f) Link with neighbouring authorities across the Tees Valley

(g) Influence joint working between commissioners and providers of health and social care services.


The current membership of the Board included the Mayor (Chair) and the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Resources (Vice-Chair), Executive Member for Children's Services, Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, and Executive Member for The Change Programme.


 Move, seconded and ORDERED as follows:-


1. That the Health and Wellbeing Board be established as a new Committee of the Council to discharge the functions required by the Health and Social Care Act 2012.


2. That the terms of reference for the Health and Wellbeing Board as set out in Appendix 1 to the report submitted be approved.


Council received and considered a report of the Director of Legal and Democratic Services regarding changes to the Health Scrutiny Powers.


As part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and associated policy changes, Health Scrutiny had been strengthened and now included that the Council should make decisions as to how such powers could be utilised.


The matter had been considered by the Health Scrutiny Panel and the Overview and Scrutiny Board both of which agreed that Health Scrutiny had a strong track record of influencing local service provision in Middlesbrough and that the status quo should be maintained, with the Health Scrutiny powers delegated to the Health Scrutiny Panel. 


Moved, seconded and ORDERED that the Council endorses the view of the Overview and Scrutiny Board to maintain current arrangements with regard to Health Scrutiny and delegates the associated powers to the Health Scrutiny Panel but that periodic updates on the work of the Panel be submitted to Council.


Council received and considered a report of the Chief Executive which sought a decision as to whether or not the Council should hold a Referendum to determine how the Council should be governed with effect from April 2015.


The Council had previously held a referendum on 18 October 2001, the outcome of which was that the Council's constitutional arrangements changed and a directly elected mayor was subsequently elected in May 2002. The legislation relating to such constitutional issues had been the Local Government Act 2000 which had subsequently been amended by the Localism Act 2011 as outlined in the report submitted.


One of the changes made by the Localism Act to the 2000 Act was that the local authority must operate one of three governance models; executive arrangements; a committee system; or prescribed arrangements.


Where a local authority wished to make a change in its governance arrangements which required approval through a referendum, it was confirmed that it must give notice as prescribed. After complying with such a requirement a local authority may hold a referendum on its proposals.  As before, where a local authority holds a referendum, it may not hold or be required to hold a further referendum within a period of ten years beginning with the date of that referendum.


In accordance with the prevailing legislation if the Council resolves to hold a referendum the question to be put to the electorate could only be one of the following two:-


(a) How would you like Middlesbrough Borough Council to be run?

      By a mayor who is elected by voters. This is how the council is run now.




     By a leader who is an elected councillor chosen by a vote of the other elected councillors. This would   be a change from how the council is run now.


(b) How would you like Middlesbrough Borough Council to be run?

      By a mayor who is elected by voters. This is how the council is run now.




     By one or more committees made up of elected councillors. This would be a change from how the council is

     run now.


The Mayor reiterated his intention not to seek re-election as the mayor in 2015 and commented that both the elected mayoral and leader models had advantages and disadvantages and stated that he considered that a referendum should be held so the public could decide what form of governance they would prefer.


Whilst a Member commented that too much power rested with one person in respect of both systems of an elected mayor and a leader system other Members expressed support for holding a referendum and for an elected leader model.


Moved, seconded and following a vote it was ORDERED as follows:-


1. That a Referendum be held on a proposed change of the Council's governance arrangements and that the question to be put to the electorate in accordance with the prevailing legislation be (a) as outlined above in respect of an elected leader model.


2. That the Referendum as referred to in 1. above be held on 26 September 2013.


3. That the Chief Executive be given delegated power to prepare the necessary documentation required by the Local Government Act 2000.




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