Council Minutes

Council Minutes

Wednesday 14 October 2015
7:00 p.m.
Council Chamber, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Bloundele (Chair), Arundale, Biswas, Blyth, Brady, Brunton, Carr, Cole, Coupe, Cox, Culley, Davison, Dean, Harvey, Hellaoui, Higgins, C Hobson, J Hobson, Hussain, Lawton, Lewis, McCabe, McGee, G Purvis, Rathmell, C Rooney, D Rooney, Rostron, Saunders, Shan, J Sharrocks, Taylor, Thompson, Uddin, J A Walker, N J Walker, Walters, Young
R Broad, L Henman, S Lightwing, A Pain, T Parkinson, M Robinson, K Whitmore
Apologies for absence:
Dryden, Goodchild, Hubbard, Mawston, McGloin, McIntyre, McTigue, P Purvis and The Mayor, D Budd
Declarations of interest:


Name of Member Type of Interest Item/Nature of Interest
Councillor Bloundele Disclosable Pecuniary Interest

Agenda Item 10 - Notice of Urgent Motion


Item Number Item/Resolution

The minutes of the meeting of Middlesbrough Council held on 16 September 2015 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


The Chair read out a letter received from Laura Bailey, who had recently resigned as Chair of the Children in Care Council.  Laura thanked Council for the support she had received over the years and asked for continued support for looked after children and young people. 


Moved, seconded and ORDERED that the Chair, on behalf of the Council, write to Laura thanking her for her contributions.


The Chair, on behalf of the Council received a petition from residents expressing strong concerns regarding the 29A Bus Service which had been reduced.  The lead petitioner addressed the Council stressing the importance of the 29A service to residents and seeking the Council's support to improve the present situation.


The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Regeneration acknowledged receipt of the petition and agreed to contact the relevant Officers to ascertain whether any assistance could be given.


Moved, seconded and ORDERED that the petition be received, noted and forwarded for consideration.


(a) LED Lighting Replacement Scheme


In relation to the LED Lighting Replacement Scheme, the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Regeneration was requested to ensure that the lights would service the community properly and any necessary adjustments needed would be made. The Deputy Mayor responded that the LED lighting was mainly for highways and not for street lighting. However, it was confirmed that the lights could be adjusted to ensure a satisfactory spread of light. Another Member asked whether there were any plans to introduce the LED lights in the Kader Ward. The Deputy Mayor undertook to check whether there were any plans to introduce LED lighting for Kader Ward and respond in writing.

(b) Teesside Pension Fund


A Member referred to recent reports in the press in relation to Durham Tees Valley Airport withdrawing its membership of the Teesside Pension Fund. The Member asked for clarification as to the financial effect of this action on both Middlesbrough Council and the Pension Fund itself. The Executive Member for Finance and Governance clarified that Middlesbrough Council, along with the other Tees Valley Councils, had agreed to make a contribution to underwrite the total shortfall in the Pension Fund of approximately £300,000. The estimated contribution from Middlesbrough Council was approximately £40,000. The Executive Member agreed to provide the finalised amount in due course.


(c) European Funding


Reference was made to the recent Association of North East Councils (ANEC) and Ruhr Regional Foundation (RVR) Creative exChange that had taken place. It was highlighted that if the United Kingdom was to leave the European Union, there would be a significant negative impact on attracting European funding for such cultural initiatives, as well as employment and investment. The Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport commented that the issue of European funding had been discussed several times during the exchange and it was hoped to work together to tap into various funding streams. The Executive Member agreed that culture, manufacturing, training, skills and employment in the north east had all received vital investment through the European community.


(d) Middlesbrough Hidden Women Trail


It was highlighted that this year’s Discover Middlesbrough Festival, taking place during October 2015, included a Middlesbrough Hidden Women Trail, charting the progress of inspirational women such as Middlesbrough’s first (and current, only), woman MP, Ellen Wilkinson. The Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport commented on the importance of learning about the local steel industry, Linthorpe pottery, and pioneering men and women and promote the town’s history to a wider audience.


(e) MIMA’s Localism Exhibition


A Member drew attention to the Localism exhibition currently being held at Mima and congratulated the organisers. The exhibition told the story of art in Middlesbrough from 1829 to the present day and celebrated local artists and art industries. The Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport urged everyone to visit the exhibition and learn more about the town’s heritage.


(f) BME Awards


A Member was delighted to inform Council that the Middlesbrough MELA had won an award at the recent BME Awards Ceremony. The Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport commented that this clearly demonstrated the cohesive community in Middlesbrough and the excellent work going on in the town.


(g) Summer Reading Challenge


A Member commented on the Summer Reading Challenge campaign to encourage children to read for pleasure during the summer holidays. This year, 975 children signed up for the challenge, with 433 reading between 4 and 6 books. The Executive Member for Communities and Public Health responded and stated that the Executive Member for Education and Skills had also been involved in this excellent project. The Executive Member stated that Literacy and Numeracy were the cornerstones of a good education. It was highlighted that 25% of children joining the scheme were pupils at Thorntree Primary and the Executive Member paid tribute to the pupils, staff and governors for having the highest percentage of joiners.


(h) North Ormesby Market


A Member referred to the Environment Scrutiny Panel’s report to Executive in relation to North Ormesby Market and a proposal to contact North Ormesby Neighbourhood Development Trust (NONDET), with a view to starting a teenage market to encourage young people to sell their goods. The Executive Member for Communities and Public Health confirmed that the Panel’s proposals had been raised with NONDET, however he was not aware as to what progress had been made to date.


(i) Waste Policy Update


A Member congratulated the Council in relation to the kerbside recycling contract being back in-house from 6 October 2015. It was hoped that any problems experienced by residents in relation to recycling would be dealt with quickly. The Executive Member for Environment confirmed that the TUPE process had been completed with 19 employees transferring back to the Council. 


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


The Chair extended an invitation to all present to a Members' Seminar on the Prevent Agenda which would be held on 27 October 2015.  The Chair also asked Members to complete the online training if they were unable to attend the Seminar.




There were no urgent items for this meeting.




There were no questions for this meeting.




Councillor Brady, Vice Chair, in the Chair.




ORDERED that, Council agreed to suspend Procedure Rule No 61 for the remainder of this meeting and the requirement for 3 clear working days' notice in writing to the Monitoring Officer and the Chair of the Council of the Urgent Motion.

Consideration was given to the following Urgent Motion, moved by Councillor Rooney and seconded by Councillor Brunton:


"In light of the devastating and avoidable closure of the steelworks at Redcar, this Council gives its unconditional support to the Redcar steelworkers and their families. As a Council, we will do all we can to support the workers back into employment, and urge the Government to do take their responsibilities to Teesside seriously, providing the proper resources to the Taskforce and directing more employment opportunities to the region.


The Council also has a duty to scrutinise the events which have led to the avoidable and tragic demise of steel-manufacturing on the banks of the Tees. The closure of one of Europe’s largest and most modern steel plants will have a devastating impact on our wider industrial base, the supply chain, on our communities and to our industrial heritage.


Therefore, we resolve to write to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse and Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, calling for a full enquiry into the handling of the matter, and demanding answers to the following questions:


1. Was there an offer from a local company to run the coke ovens?
2. How much would mothballing cost vs massive loss of assets to sell?
3. When did the Government know of looming disaster?

4. What is the justification for the receiver only taking ten days to decide the future of the plant?

5. Did the Government instruct the receiver during the process?
6. Did the receiver have any dialogue with local suppliers, unions, industry and the task force?
7. Did the receiver have any dialogue with international industry?
8. Are any plans in place to pursue SSI or inheritor companies for debts knowingly incurred and assets deliberately stripped?
9. Are there, or have there been, any attempts at due diligence of companies running vital industries and their willingness or capability to ensure proper treatment of workers and investments?
10. Is any form of state intervention under any circumstances really against EU rules as repeatedly stated?
11. Would any EU funds been available if asked for?
12. Why close now when national steel summit is on Friday 16th?
13. Will the Government be pushing for SSI to be investigated over its handling of its pension contributions?

A briefing note prepared by the Executive Director for Economic Development and Communities is attached to this motion which provides an update on the current situation at SSI."

An amendment was moved by Councillor Hubbard and seconded by Councillor Saunders for the first sentence of the motion to be amended as follows:


"In light of the devastating and avoidable closure of the steelworks at Redcar, this Council gives its unconditional support to all steelworkers, contractors, suppliers and their families affected by this closure. "


The above became the substantive motion and the motion was put to the vote.


On a vote being taken the substantive motion was APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.

Business Reports

The Assistant Director, Organisation and Governance, presented a report to advise of recent changes to the Council's Constitution, effected by the Monitoring Officer under delegated powers.  


It was recommended that the changes detailed in the submitted report were incorporated within the Constitution together with any inconsequential changes that removed ambiguities and corrected typographical and grammatical errors.


Moved, seconded and ORDERED that the changes detailed in the submitted report were incorporated within the Constitution.

Powered by E-GENDA from Associated Knowledge Systems Ltd