Council Minutes

Council Minutes

Date:
Wednesday 17 February 2016
Time:
7:00 p.m.
Place:
Council Chamber, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

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

There were no Declarations of Interest at this point in the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
15/71 MINUTES - COUNCIL - 6 JANUARY 2016

The minutes of the meeting of Middlesbrough Council held on 6 January 2016 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

 

NOTED

15/72 ANNOUNCEMENTS/COMMUNICATIONS

With sadness, the Chair announced the recent deaths of former Councillors Mrs Hazel Pearson, OBE and Tony Campbell and local radio commentator, Alistair Brownlee.

 

Mrs Hazel Pearson died peacefully on 5 February 2016. Hazel was a Middlesbrough Councillor for 47 years, and won her first seat in Acklam, Kader and Brookfield Ward in 1968. She became the first female chairman of Cleveland County Council and in 2003 she was granted the Freedom of the Borough. Further accolades included an OBE which she received from the Queen in 1989 and she became Honorary Life President at Middlesbrough College in 2010.


Tony Campbell, died peacefully on 16 January 2016. Leaves wife, Yvonne, eight children, also grandchildren and great grandchildren. Tony was Councillor for Thorntree Ward (1972-1979), Beckfields Ward (1979-1987) and Hemlington Ward (1987-1995).
 

Ali Brownlee was a legendary Boro matchday commentator who covered Middlesbrough FC for more than 30 years at Radio Clevelan, Century and BBC Tees.  He died on 14 February 2016 after a battle with bowel cancer.  Ali leaves a wife and two children.

 

All present stood in silence as a mark of respect.

 

Councillor C Hobson paid tribute to Mrs Pearson and extended her condolences.

 

NOTED

15/73 MAYOR'S STATEMENT AND REPORT

The Mayor provided a brief update on the Combined Authority and devolution. Following Orders being laid in Parliament, the Combined Authority would come into operation from 1 April 2016. Subject to further legislation being approved, the Mayoral Election for the Combined Authority would take place on 4 May 2017. A detailed briefing would take place on 2 March 2016 and the Mayor invited all Members to attend.

 

NOTED

15/74 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) Unemployment


It was noted that the unemployment claimant count had increased to 4.4%, with a slight increase for 18-24 year olds to 5.6%. A Member commented that in fact jobs were being created and asked whether Middlesbrough could obtain more accurate employment figures from the Department for Work and Pensions. The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Regeneration agreed that it was difficult to get accurate statistics but that Councils had to work with the information provided. The Deputy Mayor highlighted that statistical information issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in relation to zero hours contracts also appeared to be incomplete. The Deputy Mayor also commented that the Trade Unions had voiced concern that many people were being employed on contracts of 18 hours per week or less, potentially because national insurance contributions were not due on less than 18 hours employment.

 

(b)   Planning and Development


 A Member referred to the poor state of the section of Albert Road from the train station up to Corporation Road and the impression of the town given to people arriving in Middlesbrough. Whilst this issue had recently been reviewed by the Economic Development and Regeneration Scrutiny Panel the Member asked for assurance that the required improvements could be progressed. The Deputy Mayor stated that whilst all the properties on Albert Road were privately owned, the Council was trying to have an influence where it could. Efforts were being made to improve the station and car park and the local MP was campaigning for a London rail link. Funding applications had been made and there had already been improvements to Queens Square.

 

(c)   School Standards Monitoring Group

 

It was noted that a recent OFSTED report had contained some negative comments with regard to Middlesbrough schools. The Member highlighted the excellent work that was going on in schools and asked whether, where improvements were being made, this could be better publicised. The Executive Member for Education and Skills stated that the vision for schools and the Local Authority was that every Middlesbrough school would be outstanding within five years. Since the last OFSTED inspection, many improvements had been made and 87.1% of pupils attended a good or better primary school, with 87.8% of primary schools being rated good or better. In relation to secondary schools, 72.6% of pupils attended a good or better school and five out of the seven secondary schools were good or better. The Executive Member added that the Head of Achievement and several Consultants, funded by the schools, were working closely together to raise achievement and hopefully this year’s examination results would show improvement. The Executive Member added that Middlesbrough had some excellent schools and teachers.

 

(d)   Resource Hub Event

 

Reference was made to an initiative being rolled out across the Tees Valley to help people find work after the closure of SSI.  The Member asked what provision had been made for those employed as apprentices at SSI.

The Executive Member for Communities and Public Health commended the work of the Local Authorities on this initiative and confirmed that all apprentices affected by the closure of SSI had found alternative employment.  The Executive Member stated that he would let the Member have the exact figures. 

 

NOTED

15/75 REPORT OF THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY BOARD

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 highlighted that the Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel was currently scrutinising the use of Consultants by the Council and invited suggestions for future topics for review.

 

NOTED

15/76 NOTICE OF URGENT MOTION

There were no Urgent Motions for this meeting.

15/77 MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME

There were no questions for this meeting.

15/78 LEVICK TRUST - MEMBERSHIP

A report of the Head of Democratic Services was presented to seek nominations for appointments to The Levick Trust.

 

The term of office for the three Councillors who currently sat on the Levick Trust was due to end in February 2016. A request had been received from the Levick Trust to nominate three representatives to the Trust for a four year term.

 

Moved, seconded and ORDERED as follows that Councillors Dryden, Rostron, and D Rooney be nominated as the Council's representatives to the Trust for a four year term.

15/79 COUNCIL GOVERNANCE AND SENIOR MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS, INCLUDING THE ROLES OF SECTION 151 AND MONITORING OFFICERS -REPORT OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE

The Head of Legal Services stated that due to a change in circumstances the report would be presented to a subsequent meeting of Council which was likely to be scheduled for Wednesday 16 March 2016.

 

Moved, seconded and ORDERED as follows that the report was DEFERRED.

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