Council Minutes

Council Minutes

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

Attendance Details

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

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
13/12 MINUTES - COUNCIL 15 MAY 2013

The minutes of the meeting of MIddlesbrough Council held on 15 May 2013 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


The Chair welcomed Councillor M Thompson, newly elected Councillor for Pallister Ward who was attending his first meeting of Middlesbrough Council.


The Mayor indicated his intention to focus on the Chancellor of the Exchequer's recent announcement on the Government's Spending Plans 2015/2016 and the implications for Middlesbrough.


Following the Comprehensive Spending Review a figure of £50 million reduction over four years had been announced in October 2010 and since then a further £13 million. On 26 June 2013 it was announced that there would be a 10% reduction to local government in 2015/2016 which in overall terms equated to £82 million over a five year period and a £379 reduction per resident from 2011 to 2016.


The offer of a two year Council Tax freeze was seen by the Mayor as another attempt to erode the financial base of the Council.


In terms of the future it was considered that there would be further public sector cuts and welfare reform to reduce the deficit £96 billion by 2015/2016 and £43 billion by 2017/2018.


The main financial challenges to the Council were regarded as Adult and Children's Social Care and meeting the primary responsibilities of the services. An indication was given of the potential impact of key demographic changes and the draft Care and Support Bill which focused on preventative and the needs of people requiring care. A number of key changes were expected to impact on the Council resulting in more people being eligible for support from the Council as the capital threshold increased and a cap was placed upon the total contribution they could make.


Whilst accepting that reductions had to be made to deal with the level of public borrowing and the yearly deficit, the Mayor indicated that due to flatline economic growth, tax revenues had not been forthcoming and the trend was unlikely to be reversed in the short to medium term.


If the financial cuts imposed by the Government continued and the demand for Adult and Children's Social Care continued to rise as expected and amounted to 75% of the Council's budget, the concern was how the Council would cope with its other statutory responsibilities.


Members acknowledged the seriousness of the current financial situation and key challenges facing the Town in the immediate future and beyond as outlined in the Mayor’s statements and spoke in support of the continued efforts to raise awareness to the Government of the specific issues and social deprivation affecting the town.


In response to clarification sought regarding suggestions previously made by Members for savings the Mayor gave an assurance that updated information would be provided.




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) European Funding


In response to clarification sought regarding the delivery model in relation to the Government's current consultation on proposals for utilising European funding post 2014 the Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development outlined the importance for the Council to have local control and flexibility to best advantage for the town and Tees Valley.


(b) Mela


The Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development acknowledged the positive comments from Members and congratulated the organisers and staff involved in the successful Mela event which had taken place on 8 and 9 June in Centre Square.


(c) Public Health Transition


In response to clarification sought from a Member the Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health gave an assurance that efforts would continue to lobby the Department of Health to ensure that future public health funding beyond 2015 reflected the complex health needs and social deprivation inequalities and would allow a focus on early intervention and prevention.


(d) Local Transport Plan Safety Scheme Budget


In response to clarification sought on the purchase of a Mobile Camera Enforcement Vehicle the Executive Member for Environment gave an indication as to how it would assist in terms of efficiency and making best use of the resources available to undertake enforcement involved in that area.


(e) The Change Programme


Following a Members' question in relation to expenditure with regard to the Change Programme, the Executive Member for The Change Programme clarified that the overall aim was for the Council to be more cost effective although some initial investment would be required in respect of ICT in order to achieve the required savings.


The Executive Member for the Change Programme acknowledged the positive comments of a Member regarding the way in which the Change Programme had been initiated in terms of the detailed information diseminated and the useful discussion emanating from the Member Briefings on the matter also noting the involvement of the scrutiny process in the implementation of the programme over the next five years.


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.




There were no urgent items to report.




There were no questions for this meeting.




Consideration was given to the following motion, moved by Councillor Hudson and seconded by Councillor Hubbard of which notice had been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule No. 11,


' This Council asks that Barry Coppinger, Police Commissioner, ensures that the mounted police section remains within Cleveland Police force, and is not removed from service as recently announced by the forces Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer. This Council believes that the mounted section is a vital component for the police to fight crime, and is much valued by members of the public and should therefore be retained.'


 On a vote being taken the motion was declared LOST.


Consideration was given to the following motion, moved by Councillor Rooney and seconded by Councillor Rostron which had been deferred from the meeting of the Council held on 3 April 2013:-


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


An amendment was moved by Councillor Rooney and seconded by Councillor Brunton for the following to be added after 'website', 'on the same basis and to the same extent as they may be physically inspected or copied at the Council's offices.'


Moved, seconded and the motion was unanimously APPROVED.


In accordance with the Constitution, Council received and considered a report on urgent key decisions taken under the Urgency rules during the period December 2012 to July 2013 as follows.-


Transfer of Block Contract back to Middlesbrough Council to allow the Council to achieve efficiencies by increasing local bed numbers and reducing the need for out of area spot purchased placements - 14 December 2012 - Executive Member for Children, Families and Learning.


The Social Fund - the scheme to be operational by 1 April 2013 - 18 March 2013 - Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Resources.


Changes to Community Learning Funding for Adults - a need to advertise the 2013/2014 September programme in early July - 18 June 2013 - Executive Member for Children's Services.


Addressing Fuel Poverty and Improving Homes in Middlesbrough - Investment Programme - in order to ensure that British Gas could start work on site by the end of June 2013 to ensure the benefits of the Government Scheme called Community Energy Saving Programme.- 18 June 2013 - Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development.



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