Council Minutes

Council Minutes

Date:
Wednesday 2 April 2014
Time:
7:00 p.m.
Place:
Council Chamber, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

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

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

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
13/77 MINUTES - COUNCIL 19 FEBRUARY AND 3 MARCH 2014

The minutes of the meetings of Middlesbrough Council held on 19 February and 3 March 2014 were taken as read and approved as a correct record.

13/78 ANNOUNCEMENTS/COMMUNICATIONS

There were no announcements or communications.

 

NOTED
 

13/79 MAYOR'S STATEMENT AND REPORT

There was no written report or specific statement from the Mayor for this meeting.

 

NOTED

13/80 DEPUTY MAYOR AND EXECUTIVE MEMBER REPORTS

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 (Section 2), 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) Inequality

 

Members referred to information provided by an Independent Body which demonstrated continuing inequality in terms of pay rises across the UK and of other comparative data elsewhere in the world which showed the seriousness and extent of inequality. Concerns were reiterated of increasing pressures on persons with low income. An indication was also given of latest Council figures in relation to housing benefit with particular regard to private landlords although it was clarified that one organisation had a contract with the Home Office (UK Border Agency) to provide accommodation for asylum seekers.

 

The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Resources concurred with the sentiments expressed and highlighted the principles as outlined in The Spirit Level publication. Specific mention was also made to health inequalities as highlighted by the Director of Public Health in his recent annual report.

 

Following a Members’ comments regarding inequalities in respect of certain pay awards in 2003 and a recent pay award for senior fire officers the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Resources confirmed that it was a matter of the Cleveland Fire Authority.

 

(b) Ofsted Inspection

 

Members’ sought clarification as to how Councillors could assist with the proposed action plan given a lack of direct influence as many were no longer on the Governing Body of Academies. In response and following a brief overview of the Ofsted Inspection judgement and the Council’s post inspection action plan the Executive Member for Children’s Services specifically referred to the importance of Member briefings to ensure that Councillors were kept up to date with the overall situation across the Town on available data. Reference was also made to the role of scrutiny and an indication given of the benefits of becoming a volunteer in community schools with particular regard to shared reading. It was also confirmed that the points raised regarding a lack of clarity around a councillor’s responsibility with no direct influence in respect of Academies was to be pursued with the Department for Education.

 

(c) Universal Free School Meals

 

In response to assurances sought from Members the Executive Member for Children’s Services confirmed that sufficient DfE funding was being allocated with regard to entitlements of free school meals for Key Stage 1 pupils with revenue funding being made at a flat rate of £2.30 per meal. In terms of the links with the pupil premium the Executive Member for Children’s Services acknowledged the complexities and confirmed that a reminder had been forwarded to all schools in respect of the importance of collecting appropriate data in this regard.

 

(d) Restaurant Week

 

The Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development welcomed the positive comments from Members regarding arrangements for the first Middlesbrough Restaurant Week with the aim of enhancing the Town’s evening economy.

 

(e) Landlord Licensing

 

Following Members’ questions the Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development indicated that a number of enquiries from the public had been made regarding the proposals but confirmed that whilst the principle of a Private Landlord Licensing Scheme had been approved further detailed analysis including associated costs had to be undertaken and examined further.

 

(f) Stewart Park

 

The Executive Member for Environment acknowledged the positive comments of Members regarding Stewart Park, one out of only 10 England parks being encouraged to apply to Royal Botanic Gardens Kew for a Grow Wild initiative. Congratulations were extended to all concerned with the submission.

13/81 OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY BOARD

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

 

Specific reference was made to the special meeting of the Board to be held on 8 April 2014 regarding the review of the impact of Welfare Reform in Middlesbrough.

NOTED
 

13/82 PAY POLICY STATEMENT 2014/2015

Council received and considered a report introduced by the Chair which sought approval of the 2014/2015 Pay Policy Statement as outlined in Appendix 1 to the report submitted.

The statement set out details of the Council's policies on remuneration of Chief Officer posts to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011.

Moved, seconded and ORDERED that the Pay Policy Statement 2014/2015 be approved.
 

13/83 URGENT ITEMS

There were no urgent items to report.

 

NOTED

13/84 MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME

There were no questions for this meeting.

 

NOTED

13/85 NOTICE OF MOTION NO. 111 - DECLARATION ON TOBACCO CONTROL

Consideration was given to the following motion, moved by Councillor Rostron and seconded by Councillor Budd of which notice had been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule No 9:

'LOCAL GOVERNMENT DECLARATION ON TOBACCO CONTROL

Smoking is the single greatest cause of premature death and disease in our communities.

Every year in England more than 80,000 people die from smoking related diseases. Smoking accounts for one third of all deaths from respiratory disease, over one quarter of all deaths from cancer, and about one seventh of all deaths from heart disease. On average a smoker loses 10 years of life. The earlier you quit, the less life you lose.

 

  • In Middlesbrough 24.7% of adults are regular smokers. This is higher than both the North East (21/2%) and the national average (20%).
  •  Every year in Middlesbrough, smoking directly causes approximately 229 premature deaths which include death from conditions like lung cancer, heart disease and COPD (including bronchitis and emphysema). 
  • Smoking related diseases cost the NHS in Middlesbrough over £6.48 million per year and there is an additional £1.97 million lost to the economy through increased sickness absenteeism from smokers compared to non-smokers. 
  • I would like to propose that we pass a motion to sign up to the Local Declaration on Tobacco Control which will set out our commitment to tackle the harm smoking causes our communities. The Declaration on Tobacco Control has been endorsed by, among others, the Public Health Minister, Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England.

 The Declaration commits Middlesbrough Council to:
- Reduce smoking prevalence and health inequalities
- Develop plans with partners and local communities
- Participate in local and regional networks
- Support Government action at national level
- Protect tobacco control work from the commercial and vested interests of the tobacco industry
- Monitor the progress of our plans
- Join the Smokefree Action Coalition, which we have already done.

There is already much work underway to reduce smoking and the related ill health and signing up to this Declaration commits Middlesbrough Council to act at a local level to reduce smoking prevalence and health inequalities and to raise the profile of the harm caused by smoking to our communities.'

On a vote being taken which was unanimous the motion was declared CARRIED.
 

13/86 APPOINTMENT OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Council received a report of the Assistant Chief Executive informing Members of the recommendation of the Chief Officer Appointments Committee at its meeting held on 5 March 2014, recommending that, subject to ratification by Council, the post of Chief Executive be offered to Mr Mike Robinson, currently Executive Director of Wellbeing, Care and Learning.

In accordance with the requirement of the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) Regulations 2001, Council was required to approve that decision subject to there being no objections received from members of the Executive. It was confirmed that no objections had been received.

ORDERED that the appointment of Mr Mike Robinson as Chief Executive and Head of the Council's Paid Service be approved and a formal offer be confirmed.
 

13/87 UPDATE ON URGENT DECISIONS JANUARY 2014 TO APRIL 2014.

In accordance with the Constitution, Council received and considered a report on urgent key decisions taken under the Urgency rules during the period January 2014 to April 2014 as follows.-

 

Site L (North) and Arundale Site, Parkway Centre, Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough - Proposed Freehold Sales (Confidential) to expedite completion of the sales - 17 January 2014 - Executive Sub-Committee for Property.

 

The Cleveland Hotel - Commercial Loan (Confidential) in view of time constraints to ensure project viability for the buildings to be brought back into use - 4 March 2014 - Executive.

 

Regional Growth Fund Round 4 - Clawback Guarantee - deadline for offer of grant to be accepted - 7 March 2014 - Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Resources.

 

Coroner's Service Update (Confidential) owing to time critical, confidential and sensitive nature of the report - 11 March 2014 - The Mayor.

 

 

NOTED

 

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