Council Minutes

Council Minutes

Date:
Wednesday 20 June 2018
Time:
7:00 p.m.
Place:
Council Chamber, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor S E Bloundele (Chair), Councillor R Brady (Vice-Chair), Councillor R Arundale, Councillor J Blyth, Councillor D J Branson, Councillor J Brunton Dobson, Mr D Budd, Councillor M Carr, Councillor D P Coupe, Councillor D Davison, Councillor S Dean, Councillor J Goodchild, Councillor A Hellaoui, Councillor T Higgins, Councillor C Hobson, Councillor J Hobson, Councillor N Hussain, Councillor T Lawton, Councillor L Lewis, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor D McCabe, Councillor J McGee, Councillor L McGloin, Councillor J Mohan, Councillor P Purvis, Councillor J Rathmell, Councillor C M Rooney, Councillor D Rooney, Councillor J Rostron, Councillor M Saunders, Councillor M Storey, Councillor M Thompson, Councillor J A Walker, Councillor N J Walker, Councillor V Walkington, Councillor M Walters, Councillor J Young, Councillor L Young
Officers:
M Allinson, J Bromiley, B Carr, L Henman, D Johnson, E Kunonga, A Pain, T Parkinson, S Reynolds and B Roberts
Apologies for absence:
Councillor S Biswas, Councillor E Dryden, Councillor T Harvey, Councillor B A Hubbard, Councillor F McIntyre, Councillor J McTigue, Councillor G Purvis, Councillor J Sharrocks, Councillor Z Uddin
Declarations of interest:

None Declared

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
18/17 MINUTES - COUNCIL - ANNUAL MEETING 16 MAY 2018 - EXTRAORDINARY MEETING AT 8.00PM - 16 MAY 2018 - EXTRAORDINARY MEETING AT 8.30PM - 16 MAY 2018

The minutes of the Annual Council Meeting held on 16 May 2018 and the 2nd Extraordinary Council meeting held on 16 May 2018 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

 

The minutes of the 1st Extraordinary Council meeting held on 16 May 2018 were submitted and approved as a correct record subject to the following amendment:

 

Page 2 paragraph 3 - first sentence to be changed to "The refurbished bus station opened in 2012, and it was no longer a modern design".

18/18 ANNOUNCEMENTS/COMMUNICATIONS

The Chair of the Council announced with sadness, the death of Barry Dodd CBE, former Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire. The Chair paid tribute to Mr Dodd and advised that a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Mr Dodd CBE had now been confirmed as taking place at 11.30 am on Friday 20th July 2018 at York Minster. This would be a public service open to all who wish to celebrate Mr Dodd's life.

 

All present stood in silence as a mark of respect.
 

18/19 PETITION

The Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure received a petition, on behalf of the Council, in respect of the Local Plan proposed building at Newfield Crescent Greenfield site.

 

Martyn Walker, the Lead Petitioner, addressed the Council in support of the petition. Mr Walker advised that his day job was as a primary school teacher. He advised that he had received the letter a month ago from planning and was upset about it when he read that it was about the meadow - the Jewel in the Crown of Bluebell beck.

 

He advised that the meadow had been well used by his own family and other members of the public over a great many years. The use of the meadow varied, and it offered people a means of escape from the stress of life in general. It was necessary and needed by the residents of Middlesbrough and the inclusion of the Newfield meadow in the Town Local Plan was a mistake. He urged the Council to reconsider its decision and instead to put the meadow back in the plan as designated green space.

 

The Executive Member thanked Mr Walker for the petition and those people that had taken time to sign the petition. He advised that he would ensure that the representations contained within the petition would be taken into account as part of the consultation process.

18/20 QUESTION FROM MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC

Question 1/18 from J Campbell - to the Mayor

 

Question - "You have set aside £100k for a new bus station in a "central location", can you please confirm how many of the successful and long established businesses currently based in the bus station you will be supporting to move to the new bus station?"

 

Response - The Mayor thanked Ms Campbell for her question and her concerns for the businesses in the bus station. The Mayor advised that at the present time, no plans had been drawn up for the new bus station and no firm timescales for doing so had been agreed. No decisions had been made and no recommendations formulated with regard to format and location of any retail businesses within the new bus station. Until this changed, there was little further to add. The Mayor stated that if and when there was something available to consult on, a consultation process would take place and all of those affected would be consulted.

18/21 MAYOR'S STATEMENT AND REPORT

The Mayor advised that a few things had happened since the previous Council meeting. There had been lots of comments in the National media regarding the fact that the high streets were changing and were under threat.

 

Closures had been announced regarding the House of Fraser Stores including Middlesbrough Binns store, although nothing had been confirmed. Many of the things that Middlesbrough had been doing over the years were to combat these changes and keep the high streets vibrant.

 

Middlesbrough had been looking at the diversification of the city centre including the Baker/Bedford Street project which was about local businesses rather than national ones. Bistrot Pierre had located in the town and the former BHS store had been successfully filled when others around the country were still vacant.

 

Middlesbrough had invested in some hotels and others had located to Middlesbrough without requiring Council investment. The aim of the Investment Strategy was about creating more jobs in the town. The hoardings had been erected to the East of Centre Square and work was due to commence next month and this was where many of the new jobs referred to in the Investment Prospectus would be based.

 

The Mayor stated that investors and developers viewed the city centre as more than just a retail centre. It included the Town Hall, MiMA, Centre Square, the Railway Station, the University, the Snow Centre and the town's infrastructure and sometimes the Council needed to borrow to invest in the city centre. The Mayor stated that there were a number of active officers in the Council who identified trends before things happened. The Mayor stated that there was national and international interest in Middlesbrough.

 

The Mayor commented that the word city in terms of Middlesbrough, was frequently used, and he made no apology for that as it was an economic reality and a worthy ambition. The Mayor announced that the Centre for Economic and Business Research and Irwin Mitchell had published some interesting statistics in terms of Middlesbrough.

 

In the Consumer Powerhouse table which listed 44 cities in UK,  of which Middlesbrough was one, in terms of employment in the last quarter of 2017,  Middlesbrough was 7th in the table with a 2.6% increase in employment and it was 2nd to Bristol in terms of GVA. The forecast for the next year was that Middlesbrough would be 10th in terms of employment and 7th in terms of GVA . The Mayor thanked the Chief Executive and his officers for their work in promoting and encouraging investment in the town.

 

A Member referred to the petition that had been handed in at the start of the meeting and queried whether the Mayor was against demolishing the meadow on Newfield Crescent.

 

The Chair advised that the petition was not part of the Mayor's Statement and therefore the question was not relevant as questions should relate to the Mayor's Statement. The Member stated that the question was relevant as it was part of the Mayor's Vision for the town.

 

The Mayor stated that he was not prepared to give a yes or no answer at this time. He stated that he had met with the Lead Petitioner and visited the land in question and had formed a view. This was a quasi-legal situation and the process needed to be carried out in the correct way. A consultation process was underway in respect of the Local Plan and had not yet been completed. The Mayor stated that the process would be followed properly and the representations put forward at the Council meeting would be taken into account as part of that process.

 

A Member stated that the Mayor had referred to the building work that was due to commence in Centre Square and he queried whether anyone had approached the developer with regarding to the recruitment of Middlesbrough people to work on the site or whether people outside the town would be employed.

 

The Mayor stated that the development was due to commence East of Centre Square rather than in Centre Square and he confirmed that with any project in the town and the Tees Valley an attempt was always made to employ local contractors and local people and the Council would always try to stipulate this.

18/22 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 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:-
 

The Chair suggested that as two questions had been received in respect of the Centre Square Development, that the two Councillors put their questions first to allow the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Centre Strategy to respond to both questions at the same time.

 

a) and b) Centre Square Development

 

A Member referred to page 1, paragraph 1 of the report of the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Centre Strategy in relation to Centre Square Development.

 

The Member commented that in the last week, the hoardings had been erected on the East of Centre Square where the office blocks were due to be built and queried with regard to the impact that this development would have on the town.

 
A Member referred to the second office building that the Council was due to let out and he queried whether there had been any consideration or if a risk analysis had taken place with regard to the Council's increase in car parking charges and what affect this would have on the Councils ability to let out the building.

 

The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Centre Strategy advised that he would address the first question first. He stated that the development would have a very positive affect on the town. The Council were having discussions with people who were interested in occupying the second building and there had been enough interest to fill the second building. The Council was in discussions with institutions about the investment for the building and that was due to be signed off later in the month ready to commence on site early next month.

 

In terms of the risk assessment, the Council were getting a far better return on the investment than originally planned, it was an increase of 25% but the actual figures were confidential.

 

At this point of the meeting a number of members of the public interrupted the meeting and the Chair advised that the Council meeting was a business meeting of the Council and he asked the public to remain quite during the meeting.

 

c) House of Fraser

 

A Member referred to page 4, paragraph 13 of the report of the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Centre Strategy in relation to the House of Fraser.

 

The Member referred to the fact that the House of Fraser was closing down and she queried whether the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Centre Strategy would reconsider the decision to increase car parking charges, would it help or hinder our struggling high street, as it could drive people away to shop at Teesside Park where parking was free.

 

The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Centre Strategy advised that car parking did not have any bearing on investment in the town. The study attached to the car parking review stated that the location, convenience and safety of a car park was far more important than the actual car parking charges. The House of Fraser group were closing stores all over the country so it was not just a Middlesbrough issue it was a national problem.

  

d) Middlesbrough Rail Station

 

A Member referred to page 3, paragraph 8 of the report of the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Centre Strategy in relation to Middlesbrough Railway Station.

 

The Member referred to the improvements at Middlesbrough Railway Station and he queried with regard to how much Middlesbrough Council were contributing towards the overall cost and how much the Tees Valley Mayoral Authority were contributing.

 

The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Centre Strategy stated that he did not have the actual costs but he would forward them to the Member. Middlesbrough Council were contributing to the costs of the Railway Station and the public realms leading to the Railway Station to revitalise the city centre. The Council had discussions with various components of Network Rail and other building and rail owners. The front of the station was now open. It was planned to have a train direct to London in 2020 and an extra platform so that capacity could be improved and any investment was worth it.

 

The Member commented that the improvements were necessary and he advised that the Middlesbrough Council contribution was £500,000 and the Combined Authority contribution was £2m. The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Centre Strategy pointed out that this was a Middlesbrough Council funded project.


e) Rita Ora: August 2018

 

A Member referred to page 2, paragraph 7 of the report of the Executive Member for Culture and Communities in respect of the Rita Ora concert.

 

The Member commented that it was good to see that the Rita Ora concert was coming to Centre Square. He stated that he wanted to see Centre Square used for big events and concerts as it would draw people to the Town Centre. He stated that it was a really positive thing and he hoped to see other such events in the future. He stated that it was part of not seeing things in isolation but as part of a bigger project.

 

The Executive Member advised that the original location had been Stewart Park and a decision had been taken to relocate it to Centre Square. Centre Square should be used for more cultural events to help attract people to the town.

 

f) Selective Landlord Licensing

 

A Member referred to page 5, paragraph 13 of the report of the Executive Member for Culture and Communities in respect of Selective Landlord Licensing.

 

The Member referred to the successful prosecution of rogue landlords. There had been a scrutiny panel on the issue of Selective Landlord Licensing. The member queried whether the scheme could be rolled out in other wards or across the town as a whole.

 

The Executive Member stated that Selective Landlord Licensing had been critical to turning the housing market around in North Ormesby. The Executive Member stated that it was not possible to designate a whole town, it had to be a specific area. The Selective Landlord Licensing had been successful but it had been labour intensive and costly. The Council had learned from the North Ormesby experience and he was looking forward to rolling it out across the town in future.

 

g) Erimus

 

A Member referred to page 9, paragraph 19 of the report of the Executive Member for Culture and Communities in respect of Erimus, the Middlesbrough Town Hall Opening Performance.

 

The Member stated that she wished to pass on her congratulations to all of the teams that had organised the above event with the Southpaw dancers. It was pleasing to see that local people had been invited to be part of the event and had been provided with the opportunity to participate in the singing. The Member also passed on her thanks for the Middlesbrough Banquet. Both events had been a celebration of Middlesbrough.

 

The Executive Member stated that he had no hesitation in passing on his gratitude for the organisation of the event. The event was an astounding portrayal of the history of Middlesbrough through dance. Some of the cast were from the local community and some that were involved had been assisted by the Homelessness team and the Drug and Rehabilitation Team. The Executive Member advised that he would pass on thanks to all those involved.

h) East to North East

 

A Member referred to page 7, paragraph 17 of the report of the Executive Member for Culture and Communities in respect of East to North East.

 

The Member commented on the video and exhibition in the Central library which included a selection of exhibits relating to the history of the migrant community in Middlesbrough. There was a video highlighting the experience of the Muslim people in settling in Middlesbrough.

 

The project highlighted how the migrants loved the town and how they contributed to the town. It was important to stress the positives and importance of migration and the diversity of culture and the East to North East project highlighted this. The Member stated that he would like to thank Amjid Khazir from the Media Cultured organisation who worked with young people in the Muslim community and worked to prevent radicalisation. Media Cultured was a nationally recognised organisation located in Middllesbrough set up by Amjid Khazir.

 

The Executive Member stated that he had been able to have a sneak preview of the exhibition and he stated that the social fabric of Middlesbrough was stitched together from people from all over the world.  


i) Middlesbrough Job Fair

 

A Member referred to page 2, paragraph 4 of the report of the Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure in respect of Middlesbrough Job Fair.

 

The Member referred to the Mayor's Statement and the growth in Middlesbrough. The Jobs Fair mentioned in the Executive Member's report complimented the growth in Middlesbrough. It was positive to see the key partners working together to organise the fair and that Middlesbrough was taking the lead role.

 

The Executive Member advised that he would take the comments back to those who had organised the event and worked hard to build the partnerships. The Jobs Fair was a huge success and over 1000 people had attended and it provided opportunities for Middlesbrough people to access those jobs. The Council would continue to work hard to bring the Job Fairs forward, and it was anticipated that another would be held in the Jury's Inn in July and this would be promoted.

 

j) Housing Delivery Vehicle - Middlesbrough Council building houses

 

A Member referred to page 1, paragraph 1 of the report of the Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure in respect of Housing Delivery Vehicle - Middlesbrough Council building houses.

 

The Member stated that he was really excited to see the issue of Housing Delivery Vehicle - Middlesbrough Council building houses in the Executive Member report and advised that it was a topic that the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel were currently scrutinising.

 

The idea that Executive was looking at the prospect of Middlesbrough Council building social housing was exciting. The Scrutiny Panel aimed to look at the different models/best practice and what other local authorities were doing with regard to this issue. Middlesbrough Council would be taking this forward.

 

The Executive Member stated that the idea of Middlesbrough Council building houses for the first time in a generation was a really radical plan. He stated that he was pleased that Scrutiny was looking into the matter. A report would be submitted to the Executive later in the year.

 

k) Special Educational Needs

 

A Member referred to page 2 of the report of the Executive Member for Education and Skills in respect of Special Educational Needs.
 

The Member stated that she wished to recognise the acknowledgement sent to Helen Watson, Executive Director of Children's Services from the Parliamentary Under Secretary for Children and Families and the SEN and Disability Professional Adviser for the Department of Education in respect of completing the Transfer of Statements of SEN to EHC plans.

 

The Executive Member stated it was very important that children with SEN had up to date plans. The staff had worked very hard to ensure that this happened. The Executive Member advised that she would pass thanks on to the staff involved.

 

l) Acklam Grange School

 

A Member referred to page 3 of the report of the Executive Member for Education and Skills in respect of Acklam Grange School.

 

The Member stated that he would like to see a letter of congratulations and thanks sent to the staff at Acklam Grange School for the excellent work carried out at the school to assist the children in achieving a good education and start in life.

 

The Executive Member thanked the Member for his comments and advised that a letter had already been sent to the school from the department but she would ensure that a letter was sent from all the Councillors.

 

m) Newham Grange Leisure Farm

 

A Member referred to page 1, paragraph 1 of the report of the Executive Member for Environment and Commercial Services in respect of Newham Grange Leisure Farm.

 

A Member stated that he would like to congratulate the Council and all those who had worked on the project for the developments and improvements at Newham Grange Leisure Farm.

 

The Executive Member thanked the Member for the comments. The developments were a great improvement to the farm and it had great potential and the space and the ability to develop into an educational and leisure facility. The improvements would increase the visitor ratio to the farm. The £3m which came from the Council and the Tees Valley Combined Authority would mean that the farm would generate an income and achieve a profit. 

n) Enforcement Team

 

A Member referred to page 3, paragraph 6 of the report of the Executive Member for Environment and Commercial Services in respect of the Enforcement Team.


A Member referred to the enforcement action taken by the Council and she queried how many successful enforcement actions had been taken in the last year.

 

The Executive Member stated that a decision had been taken in the last year to increase the Enforcement Team to 7.5 members of staff. It has proved to be successful. There had been 16 successful prosecutions through the courts and over 50 fixed penalty notices had also been issued. Operation Harlow which was mentioned in the report, had been a huge success and this would continue.

18/23 REPORT OF THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY BOARD

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

 

NOTED

18/24 MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME

There were no questions for this meeting.

18/25 NOTICE OF MOTION

Consideration was given to Motion No. 131, moved by Councillor Arundale and seconded by Councillor C Hobson of which notice had been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rules No. 53-60 as follows:

 

"I propose Middlesbrough Council ,as part of their commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant which they signed up to, follow Durham Council’s example of offering every Armed Forces Service leaver a job interview within 3 years of leaving service provided they have the right credentials."

 

An amendment to the Motion was moved by Councillor N Walker and seconded by Councillor L Lewis as follows:

 

"This Council resolves, as part of our commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant which we signed up to, to follow Durham Council’s example of offering every Armed Forces Service leaver a job interview within 3 years of leaving service, and applying the same principle to those who are still currently in service and are within the 12 week period running up to their discharge date, provided they meet the essential criteria for the vacancy that they apply for."

 

Councillor Walker thanked Councillor Arundale for bringing forward the motion and advised that she had not proposed the amendment to the motion to oppose it. The reason for the proposed amendment was to allow officers to apply the motion to Council policy and procedures. The part that had been added in was about those who were due to be discharged. The Council did have some guaranteed interview policies such as for those who were classed as disabled under the Equality Act, care leavers, apprentices and redeployed employees of the Council.

 

The Executive Member pointed out that the skills gained by those in the Armed Forces were transferable. The Executive Member referred to an initiative which began in 2012 by Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy which was called the Veterans Interview Programme in response to defence cuts which offered a guaranteed interview but by businesses for those leaving the forces. The Executive Member suggested that the Council, in making a commitment as a Veteran Friendly employer encouraged the Council's other partners in Middlesbrough and in the Tees Valley and other public bodies and businesses to introduce something similar within their own recruitment process. The Executive Member stated that Councillor Lewis as the Council's Armed Forces Champion and Councillor Arundale would be able to play a valuable part in this process.

 

Members voted on whether to accept the amended Motion. The amendment was declared CARRIED.

 

The above amendment became the substantive motion.

 

Councillor Arundale advised that the wording that underlined the Armed Forces Covenant stated that no person should have disadvantage for serving in Her Majesty's Armed Forces. Further to that, Councillor Arundale stated that we had a duty to those people who put themselves between us and those who might do us harm. Councillor Arundale thanked the Executive Member for adding to the original motion.

 

The substantive motion was put to the vote.

 

On a vote being taken the substantive motion was declared unanimously CARRIED.

18/26 NOTICE OF URGENT MOTION (IF ANY)

There were no urgent motions for this meeting.

18/27 STANDARDISED MEANS TESTED MODEL FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR FAMILY & FRIENDS CARERS: CONNECTED PERSONS AND SPECIAL GUARDIANS.

The Executive Director of Children's Services submitted a report, the purpose of which was to outline the benefits, and consider any associated risks, of adopting the Department for Education standardised means testing model for financial support for Family & Friends Carers.

 

The Executive Member for Children's Services presented the report to Council.

 

Moved, Seconded and ORDERED that Council approve the adoption of the Department for Education standardised means test model when assessing the eligibility of Family & Friends Carers for financial support from the Local Authority, which would be reflected in the Council’s revised policies attached to the report at appendices 1, 2 and 3.

18/28 APPOINTMENT TO COUNCIL COMMITTEES AND OUTSIDE BODIES 2018.

Council received a report that sought Members’ approval to nominations for appointment, arising from vacancies deferred at the Annual Meeting of Council and resignations from Committees.

 

Moved, Seconded and ORDERED as follows:

 

Committee Appointments - Schedule C Appointments:

 

Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel

Councillor Higgins appointed

 

Children and Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel

Councillor McGee and Councillor Walters appointed

 

Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel

Councillor Brady appointed

 

Health Scrutiny Panel

Councillor McGloin appointed

 

Licensing Committee

2 resignations: Councillors Dryden and Hussain - 1 appointment Councillor D Rooney

Still 2 vacancies (1 initially reserved for Independent and 1 initially reserved for Labour)

 

Teesside Pension Fund Committee - Councillor Davison resigned:
Councillor L McGloin appointed

 

Works Council

Councillor Storey appointed

 

Outside Bodies


Following the Annual Meeting, the Council was advised that the membership of the Police and Crime Panel needed to be politically balanced. In accordance with the above a Conservative vacancy was available on the Police and Crime Panel.

 

Police and Crime Panel
Councillor Coupe appointed

 

Councillors Branson and Higgins resigned from Captain Cook Birthplace Trust.

Councillor Davison and Councillor Mawston appointed

 

Corporate Parenting Board - Councillor J Walker appointed

 

Durham Darlington Teesside Hambleton Richmondshire and Whitby STP Joint Committee - Councillor Hellaoui appointed.

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