Council Minutes

Council Minutes

Wednesday 13 July 2016
7:00 p.m.
Council Chamber, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Bloundele, (Chair), The Mayor, D Budd, Arundale, Bloundele, Blyth, Brady, Branson, Brunton, Carr, Cole, Coupe, Cox, Davison, Dean, Goodchild, Hellaoui, Higgins, Hubbard, Hussain, Lawton, McGee, McGloin, J McTigue, G Purvis, P Purvis, Rathmell, C M Rooney, Rostron, Saunders, Shan, Taylor, Thompson, Uddin, N J Walker, Walters, Young
M Allinson, L Henman, A Hoy, J Lewis, S Lightwing, T Parkinson, M Robinson, N Sayer and M Taylor
Apologies for absence:
Biswas, Dryden, Harvey, C Hobson, J Hobson, Lewis, Mawston, McCabe, D Rooney, Sharrocks, J A Walker
Declarations of interest:
Name of Member Type of Interest Item/Nature of Interest
Councillor Brunton Pecuniary Item 10 - Motion 119
Councillor McGee Pecuniary Item 10 - Motion 119
Councillor N J Walker Pecuniary Item 10 - Motion 119
Councillor Walters Pecuniary Item 10 - Motion 119
Item Number Item/Resolution
16/14 MINUTES - 30 MARCH, 3 MAY AND 11 MAY 2016

The minutes of the meetings of Middlesbrough Council held on 30 March, 3 May and 11 May 2016 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


There were no Announcements/Communications for this meeting.


The Chair announced that Mike Robinson, Chief Executive, would be retiring from the Authority in August 2016. 


Mike was appointed as Chief Executive in April 2014, having originally joined Middlesbrough Council in 1996.  Mike was a Chartered Civil Engineer by profession and had worked in local government authorities in the Tees Valley and North Yorkshire since 1979.  Mike was born and educated in the town and continued to live in Middlesbrough with his wife and two children. 


The Mayor thanked Mike for his leadership and on behalf of all Councillors, wished him a long and happy retirement.


The Annual Council Team Awards had taken place recently and the Mayor commented that it had been a very good evening. The Mayor thanked all Middlesbrough employees, whether or not they had won an award, for their hard work during the last year. The Mayor highlighted that public service employees were often unfairly denigrated in the media and encouraged all present to promote the good services provided by Council employees.

The Mayor referred to a number of concerns expressed locally from business and industry as to the effects of Brexit. The five leaders and Managing Director of the Tees Valley Combined Authority had met with James Wharton MP and Greg Clark MP to express their concerns, particularly with regard to EU funding. The Tees Valley Combined Authority was keen to ensure that the Government would replace any EU funding that ceased in future. Discussions had also taken place with regard to the recent Heseltine Report, funding for culture and apprenticeships.




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) Planning and Development


A Member asked the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Regeneration for clarification on the stalled housing development at Acklam Green.  The Deputy Mayor explained that the land was currently owned by Bellway Homes but Gleeson Homes wanted to purchase the land, subject to a successful planning application to change the proposed house types. The planning application was due to be heard in mid-August and Gleeson had stated that works would commence as soon as permission was granted. Once Gleeson had purchased the land the Council would be in discussion with them about their proposals and hopefully there would also be some community involvement.

(b) Orange Pip Market


Responding to positive comments from a Member in relation to the Orange Pip Market, the Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport stated that the Market had been a runaway success. The Market would be monitored during the summer months to ascertain whether it was mainly University students who had visited it to date. The Executive Member confirmed that the Council would be looking to develop and progress the Market.


(c) The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum


Reference was made to a recent newspaper article regarding the future of the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum. The Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport stated that there had been some misinformation and scaremongering in the media in relation to the Museum. The Arts Council had awarded a grant of £0.5 million to the Museum and detailed plans were being drawn up to refurbish and enhance it. The outline project was titled 'The Great Cabin of Curiosities' and the refurbishment would include new temporary exhibitions as well as enhancing existing exhibitions and education spaces. 


The Executive Member commented that as part of the Council’s Strategic Plan 2016-2020, the Town would develop as a cultural hub. A Cultural Services Review was underway but no decisions had been made with regard to provision as yet. The Executive Member added that misinformation could cause a lot of unnecessary stress to employees, and gave an assurance that employees would always be fully consulted and kept up to date with any developments.

(d) Educational Excellence Everywhere

A Member referred to the Government’s White paper on education published in April 2016. Whilst there was an expectation that all schools would convert to academies, it appeared that there was now less pressure to do so for schools that had been identified as good or outstanding by OFSTED. The Member asked whether in future parents could be included in consultations when schools were considering converting to academies.

The Executive Member for Education and Skills agreed with the Members’ comments but stated there was still pressure on schools that required improvement. Middlesbrough had been in discussion with other local Authorities with a view to forming a Multi-Academy Trust. The Executive Member agreed to take on board the point made regarding consultation with parents. 

 (e) Welcoming the Stranger

A Member praised this successful event held at Newport Community Hub and aimed at developing faith group support for Refugees and Asylum Seekers Support across Teesside. Fifty-six representations from various groups had attended the event. The Refugee and Asylum Seeker week at the University, MELA and the Nagar Kirtan were highlighted as Middlesbrough events where other people’s beliefs and values were shared and respected.

The Executive Member for Communities and Public Health paid tribute to the support and work of voluntary organisations in Middlesbrough which he said was unsurpassed. The Executive Member also expressed concern at the amount of support which was provided by voluntary groups since it was the last line of defence for many.


(f) North Ormesby Volunteer

A Member paid tribute to North Ormesby volunteer Cheryl Dixon who had recently been awarded the British Empire Medal as part of the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations. Cheryl was a hardworking Community Champion who had engaged an army of volunteers and was involved in many projects in North Ormesby. The Executive Member for Communities and Public Health agreed with the comments made and whole-heartedly commended Cheryl for the work she undertook.


(g) Youth Employment Initiative (YEI)

The Youth Employment Initiative was a European Social Fund (ESF) funded project worth just under £18 million across the Tees Valley. A Member queried whether the funding was guaranteed in light of the recent EU Referendum?

The Executive Member for Communities and Public Health stated that he had been assured that the funding would be provided. The project would provide additional impetus in reducing the numbers of young people who were Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET) and helping them into employment.


(h) Begging


A Member requested information as to the services Middlesbrough Council provided for people who found themselves homeless and living on the streets. The Executive Member for Communities and Public Health stated that he could say with confidence that housing and other support was available from the Council for those people sleeping on the streets. Each of these people had individual circumstances which could include addiction to drugs or alcohol or mental health issues. The Executive Member applauded the work of Middlesbrough Council’s Community Safety Team in supporting approximately ten people who were currently sleeping rough. They were offered assistance, accommodation and support with addiction or other issues. The Executive Member also noted that there were others who came to Middlesbrough to beg by way of it being a business and for whom the required response was enforcement to remove them.

 (i) Capital Expenditure

A Member referred to the summary of major capital projects in the Executive Member for Finance and Governance’s Report which highlighted the completion of the Teesside Welders Institute project at a total cost of £7.9 million with a contribution by the Council of £6.9 million. The Member commented that the organisation concerned was a national organisation called The Welding Institute. The Member asked whether the project had been completed within the required timescale and satisfied the conditions to receive the external funding allocated.

The Executive Member stated that she would obtain clarification regarding the funding as there appeared to be some discrepancy in the figures quoted in the report. The project had been expanded due to further external funding becoming available and therefore the completion date had been extended.

(j) Proposed Changes to the Apprenticeship Policy for Young People and the Management of Recruitment Targets for Apprentices within the Council

A Member referred to the Council’s target of employing 258 apprentices and asked how long it would take to fulfil that aim. The Member also sought assurance that all Middlesbrough looked after children would be encouraged to apply for apprenticeships with the Council. The Executive Member for Education and Skills confirmed that every care leaver who met the essential criteria for a Council apprenticeships would be offered an interview. Where the criteria was not met, the Council would seek other opportunities to support that young person. At the current time the Council had 170 apprentices. The new Enterprise Bill had changed current funding arrangements so that businesses with total salaries over £3 million had to pay a levy and the funding raised would be used to create more apprenticeships. 


Since the Chair and Vice Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board had submitted their apologies for the meeting, the Chair stated that any questions on the report would be forwarded.  There were no questions from the floor.




There were no questions for this meeting.



16/21 MOTION NO. 119

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


"The Council calls upon the government to make fair transitional state pension arrangements for all women born on or after 6th April 1951, who have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the state pension age with lack of appropriate notification. Many women born in the 1950s are living in hardship. Retirement plans have been shattered with devastating consequences. Many of these women are already out of the Labour market, caring for elderly relatives, providing childcare for grandchildren or suffer discrimination in the workplace so struggle to find employment. Woman born in this decade are suffering financially. These women have worked hard, raised families and paid their national insurance with the expectation that they would they would be financially secure when they reached 60. It is not the pension age itself that is in dispute-it is widely accepted that women and men should retire at the same time. The issue that the rise in the women's state pension age has been to rapid and happened without sufficient notice being given to the women affecting, leaving women with no time to make alternative arrangements.


The Council calls upon the government to reconsider transitional arrangements for women born on or after the 6th April 1951, so that women do not have to live in hardship due to pension change they were not told about until it was to late to make alternative arrangements."

On a vote being taken the motion was unanimously APPROVED.

16/22 MOTION NO. 120

Consideration was given to the following Motion, moved by Councillor Rathmell and seconded by Councillor McGloin:


"We are proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society. Racism, xenophobia and hate crimes have no place in our country. We Middlesbrough Council condemn racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally. We will not allow hate to become acceptable.


Middlesbrough Council will work to ensure local bodies and programmes have support and resources needed to fight and prevent racism and xenophobia.


We reassure all people living in Middlesbrough that they are valued members of our community."


An amendment to the Motion was moved by Councillor Rathmell and seconded by Councillor McGloin as follows:


"We are proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society.  Racism, xenophobia and hate crimes have no place in our country.  We Middlesbrough Council condem racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally.  We will not tolerate or allow hate to become acceptable within our communities.


Middlesbrough Council will work to ensure the Council, its employees, partners, local bodies and programmes have support and resources needed to challenge and prevent racism and xenophobia and hate crime.


We wish to reassure all communities and individuals living in Middlesbrough that they are valued members of our community."

The amendment was put to the vote.


On a vote being taken the amendment was declared CARRIED.


The substantive motion was then put. 


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


There were no Urgent Motions.



Business Report
16/24 STRATEGIC PLAN 2016-2020

A report of the Chief Executive was presented, the purpose of which was:

  • to update the Council's Strategic Plan to 2019/2020, incorporating a Medium-Term Financial Plan and Investment Strategy for the same period, and position the consolidated document as the Council's four year 'Efficiency Plan', as required by the Government to access a four-year funding settlement; and
  •  outline activity to identify further transformation opportunities for the 2018-2020 period, which would be presented to Council in November 2016 in the draft first refresh of the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan.

Members commented on the report in relation to the investment programme, collection of Council tax, and loans and the Executive Member for Finance and Governance and The Mayor responded. 


Moved, seconded and ORDERED as follows that Council:


  • Noted the Medium-Term Financial Plan position for the period to 2019/20.
  •  Approved the 2016-20 Strategic Plan as the means of meeting with savings targets identified within the Medium-Term Financial Plan, and agreed that this be submitted to the Department of Local Communities to enable the Council to secure a four-year funding settlement, as offered to local authorities in the 2016/17 Local Government Finance Settlement.
  • Approved the Investment Strategy to 2020, focused on transformation, growth and efficiency and appended to the 2016-20 Strategic Plan, to replace the Council’s existing capital programme.
  • Noted the further activity to be undertaken to identify further transformation opportunities for 2018-20, which would be presented to Council in November 2016 in the first draft refresh of the 2016-20 Strategic Plan.

A report of the Monitoring Officer regarding appointments to Council Committees, Joint Committees and Outside Bodies 2016 was presented.


Members were asked to consider nominations for appointment arising from vacancies deferred at the Annual Meeting of Council.


Moved, seconded and ORDERED as follows:


1.   That the following appointments for the 2016-2017 Municipal Year, nominated at the meeting, be approved and noted, until amended by Council/Executive (whichever was the latter).


Schedule B Appointments:


Consitution and Members' Development Committee - Councillor N J Walker

Corporate Health and Safety Committee - Councillors Brady and P Purvis

Casino Licensing Sub Committee - Councillor Goodchild

Casino Licensing Sub Committee (Named Substitute) - Councillor Lewis

Works Council - Councillors Hellaoui and McGee


Appointments by the Council Joint Committees/Outside Bodies 2016:


Cleveland Show Society - Councillor Higgins

Hartlepool Power Station Local Liaison Committee - Councillor Brady


2.   The two vacancies for Teesside Pension Fund and Investment Panel were deferred due to there being no nominations received.  


A report of the Monitoring Officer/Head of Legal Services was presented to request approval for the appointment of Interim Chief Executive/Head of Paid Service.


Following the announcement of the retirement of the Chief Executive, the Chief Officers Appointments Committee met on 8 July 2016 to consider recruitment options for a successor.    Having considered a report by the Monitoring Officer, and taking account of the views of the current Chief Executive, the Chief Officer Appointments Committee decided as follows:


  • That a report should be submitted to council seeking approval for Tony Parkinson, Executive Director Corporate and Commercial Services to be appointed as the Interim Chief Executive/Head of Paid Service.
  • Subject to Council confirmation, a formal offer be made for an initial period of up to twelve months, to allow flexibility for the further senior management reviews that would commence during that period.
  • Authority to extend that initial interim period, by up to 6 months, be delegated to the Mayor, should such extension be required.

The Executive were formally advised of the Chief Officer Appointments Committee decision on 8 July 2016 and were asked to register any objections by 12 noon on 12 July 2016.


The Head of Democratic Services confirmed that no objections to the proposed appointee had been received.


Moved, seconded and ORDERED as follows that:


1.   The appointment of Mr Tony Parkinson as the Interim Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service, for an initial period of 12 months, be approved, and a formal offer be confirmed.


2.   The Mayor be authorised to extend the initial 12 month period by up to an additional six months, if he considers it appropriate.

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