Members commented positively on the continued fall in the unemployment claimant count and in particular the fall in the Tees Valley which had been greater than that regionally and nationally over the past two years. The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Regeneration agreed that the appetite to work and range of jobs on offer in Middlesbrough had been highlighted at the recent job fair held in the Town Hall at which approximately 30 companies had recruited to over 300 jobs and apprenticeships. The Executive Member also voiced concern in relation to unemployment statistics, regarding the number of people employed on zero hours contracts.
(b) Middlesbrough Mela
A Member highlighted that the 25th anniversary Mela took place in June in Centre Square, where it had started in 1990. It had been a fantastic event with 44,000 people attending and the second Mela parade through the Cleveland Centre with around 130 community participants. The Member thanked all those who had supported and sponsored the event. An invitation was extended to all Members to attend the Mela AGM at 7.00 pm on 3 August 2015 in the Mandela Room, when preparations for the next Mela would commence. The Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport thanked all those who were involved in the organisation of the Mela and commented that Middlesbrough had a rich and diverse heritage which should be celebrated.
(c) Captain Cook Birthplace Museum
Reference was made to the £500,000 allocated to the Museum by the Arts Council in spring 2015 for the renovation of the gallery spaces. A Member asked whether a start date for the renovation had been agreed and whether the work would be completed before the time limit for the funding expired. The Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport confirmed that a project start date had not been agreed and that Council Officers were still working with Arts Council England. The Executive Member agreed to keep the Council informed of developments.
(d) North Ormesby Academy and Beech Grove Primary School
Members congratulated North Ormesby Academy and Beech Grove Primary School on their recent OFSTED inspections. North Ormesby Academy had moved from the 'Requires Improvement judgement received at the last inspection to 'Outstanding and Beech Grove Primary School from 'Requires Improvement to 'Good. Members paid tribute to the hard work and commitment of the staff, governors, pupils and parents of both establishments. The Executive Member for Education and Skills added her congratulations and highlighted that Outwood Academy had also received a 'Good judgement. The Executive Member stated that schools, teachers, parents and governors were doing some tremendous work to enable young people to achieve and it was important to keep aspirations and skills at the forefront of everything that the Council did.
(e) Ongoing Landlord Licensing Consultation
A Member referred to the development of a Selective Licensing Scheme for North Ormesby and highlighted that the purpose of it was to support landlords as well as the residents and community. The Executive Member for Communities and Public Health agreed with the comments made and stated that the significant challenges the Council faced could not be underestimated. Whilst some regeneration had taken place under the Housing Market Renewal scheme, this was no longer available and the Council had to look to other opportunities to improve the town.
(f) Waste Policy Team and Albert Park Fishing Lake
As the Executive Member for Environment had submitted apologies for the meeting, questions from Members on the Waste Policy Team and Albert Park Fishing Lake would be forwarded to the Executive Member and a written response provided.