Council Minutes

Council Minutes

Wednesday 17 October 2018
7:00 p.m.
Council Chamber, Town Hall, Middlesbrough

Attendance Details

Councillor R Arundale, Councillor S E Bloundele, Councillor R Brady, Councillor D J Branson, Mr D Budd, Councillor D P Coupe, Councillor D Davison, Councillor S Dean, Councillor J Goodchild, Councillor T Harvey, Councillor A Hellaoui, Councillor C Hobson, Councillor J Hobson, Councillor N Hussain, Councillor T Lawton, Councillor L Lewis, Councillor J McGee, Councillor L McGloin, Councillor J Mohan, Councillor G Purvis, Councillor P Purvis, Councillor J Rathmell, Councillor D Rooney, Councillor J Rostron, Councillor M Saunders, Councillor J Sharrocks, Councillor M Storey, Councillor M Thompson, Councillor Z Uddin, Councillor J A Walker, Councillor M Walters, Councillor J Young, Councillor L Young
B Carr, R Grey, G Field, E Loughran, C Lunn, K Parkes,T Parkinson, S Reynolds, B Roberts, H Watson
Apologies for absence:
Councillor S Biswas, Councillor J Blyth, Councillor J Brunton Dobson, Councillor M Carr, Councillor E Dryden, Councillor T Higgins, Councillor B A Hubbard, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor D McCabe, Councillor F McIntyre, Councillor J McTigue, Councillor C M Rooney, Councillor N J Walker, Councillor V Walkington
Declarations of interest:

None Declared

Item Number Item/Resolution

The minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting and the Extraordinary Council Meeting held on 5 September 2018 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


There were no Announcements or Communications for this meeting.


The Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure received a petition, on behalf of the Council, from Wade Tovey, on behalf of, outlined the purpose of the petition. Mr Tovey requested that the Council engage the community in a genuine discussion about options and constructively consider feedback. 


The Executive Member thanked Mr Tovey for the petition which would receive consideration. He advised that consultation had taken place in respect of the Local Plan and the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.


The Chair stated that seven questions from members of the public had been submitted, the details of which had been circulated with the agenda. The Chair advised that as four of the questions that had been submitted related to Dixons Bank, he would invite the four people that had submitted questions 12/18, 13/18, 14/18 and 16/18 to put their questions to the Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure and the Executive Member would then respond to the questions.


The Chair invited the member of the public who had submitted Question 10/18 to pose her question to the Mayor.


In response to Question 10/18, the Mayor advised that the Council already worked closely with the Police through the Strategic Road Safety Partnership. The Partnership targeted resources so that they were effective and evidence led. The Council also engaged in several road safety campaigns jointly with the Police throughout the year and activities were co-ordinated with neighbouring authorities to achieve maximum impact. The Council also considered potential road safety improvements as part of capital schemes.  The Mayor advised that he recognised the seriousness of the matter and he stated that he would review the issue with the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable.


The Chair invited the member of the public who had submitted Question 11/18 to pose his question to the Executive Member for Environment and Commercial Services.


In response to Question 11/18, the Executive Member advised that the cost incurred by Middlesbrough Council between 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2018 on the planting of trees for the whole of Middlesbrough was £18,983. The total for the South of Middlesbrough which included Nunthorpe, Marton West and Marton East was £,3842, which included the amount that was contributed from the Parish Council.


The Chair advised that the member of the public who had submitted Question 12/18 was unable to attend the meeting and he had been requested to read the question on his behalf. The Chair read out Question 12/18 and invited the members of the public that had submitted Questions 13/18, 14/18 and 16/18 to put their questions to the Executive Member.


In response to Question 12/18, the Executive Member advised that no date had been agreed yet for publication, as additional requests - none of which related to Dixons Bank - had been added to the scope of the assessment, pushing back its completion.


In response to Question 13/18, the Executive Member highlighted that although the question stated that these were 'essential' measures to mitigate the impact of the proposed road widening, they were not actually considered essential measures. The Council was using noise reducing materials and surfacing, but no additional noise 'barriers' were identified as being required. Nor was there a requirement to alter the speed limits.


In response to Question 14/18, the Executive Member advised that the Council had not directly made any progress with this initiative, as the Nunthorpe Park and Ride was based in Redcar and Cleveland. The Council had however been liaising positively with Redcar and Cleveland Council with regard to this issue, and would support them in their efforts to bring it forward. The momentum was however in the hands of Redcar and Cleveland Council.


In response to Question 16/18, the Executive Member advised that all of the reports and technical advice that the Council had received had been taken into account in deciding to progress with the scheme, and both reports were to be read together.


The Executive Member stated that the fact was that Arup, whilst recognising that this scheme was part of a wider package - supported the scheme as an improvement in 'the context of current network conditions' (Forecasting Report) and had gone on to recommend the schemes' implementation by 2020.


The Chair invited the member of the public who had submitted Question 15/18 to put her question to the Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure.


In response to Question 15/18, the Executive Member advised that the Council did not recognise the statement that it had failed in its duty to inform residents, nor that in any way the consultation was undemocratic. The event was appropriately promoted - all Councillors, from all Wards were notified about the consultation, it was featured on the Council’s website, and a press release was given to the Gazette - which they then covered. There was also coverage on BBC Tees. This was in addition to any social media posts about the consultation from the Council. The consultation event attracted people from across many Wards in the town, including people from Trimdon, Kader and Ayresome Wards and as a consequence, there was no requirement to restart the process.


The Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure advised that he would provide the answers to the questions in writing. 


The Mayor stated that he wished to provide an update on austerity and the effect it had on this and other Councils in the country.


The Mayor made reference to the following:

  • Launch of the Breaking Point Campaign
  • The effect of austerity on key public services that cared for vulnerable older people, the disabled and children at risk and the services relied on to keep the streets clean
  • The effect of austerity on the community and the town
  • The fact that Children's Centres and libraries were being forced to close because of lack of funding
  • The ageing population and the effect of Social Services
  • The fact that Councils had to spend an additional £800m last year to meet the demand on vital services to protect children
  • The fact that Northamptonshire Council had gone bust and other local authorities were under pressure
  • The fact that Councils faced a further funding gap of £7.8bn by 2025 just to keep Council services standing still

The Mayor advised that the Breaking Point campaign had suggested the following:

  • That to end austerity, the Government use the budget to reverse the 1.3bn planned cuts to Councils budgets for the next year 
  • That the Government invest immediately £2bn in Children's Services and £2bn in Adult Social Care to prevent these vital services from collapsing
  • That the Government use the spending review to restore funding to 2010 levels for the next few years

The Mayor stated that he supported the Breaking Point Campaign and he advised members of the following actions:

  • He had signed a petition which was due to be handed into Downing Street the following day
  • He had signed a letter to a national newspaper which would go this weekend
  • He would write a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government setting out the funding pressures faced by local authorities 

 A number of members commented on the Mayor's Statement.


The Mayor responded to the comments made.


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 Council meeting (Sections 3 and 4).


The Chair advised that as apologies had been received for some of the Executive Members, Councillors could if they wished, email their questions direct to the Executive Member.


Members commented or posed questions in relation to the following matters and Executive Members responded accordingly:-

  • Middlesbrough Railway Station - Councillor to email Executive Member the questions
  • Christmas activities - member queried whether there would be a Christmas market
  • Invest Middlesbrough Breakfast exchange - Councillor to email Executive Member the question
  • Tees Amp - member commented on the success of Tees Amp.
  • Review of Intermediate Care and Reablement - member queried why there had been no updates to Council - Executive Member advised that there had been little change to report.
  • Salons for Screening and Live Well Centre - member commented on range of services and campaigns
  • Referral, Assessment and Intervention - Councillor to email Executive Member the question
  • Looked After Children - Corporate Parenting Board - member queried about the increase in LAC and the causes and what the Council was doing about the increase in LAC.
  • Selective Landlord Licensing - member queried whether the scheme could be expanded across the town. The Executive Member advised that a consultation exercise had been launched in respect of the Newport area of the town. 
  • The Town Meal - member commented on success of town meal.
  • Planning Update - member expressed concern about potential increase in traffic caused by development at Ladgate Lane - the Executive Member advised this would be taken into consideration as part of consultation exercise.
  • Schooling - Councillor to email the Executive Member the question
  • Newham Grange Farm - member commented on the success of the farm and Executive Member provided figures in relation to attendance and details of events that had taken place at the farm. 
  • Albert Park - member commented on attendance at Battle of Britain parade
  • Annual Audit Report (6 Questions) - Councillor to email Executive Member the questions
  • DBS checks - Councillor to email Executive Member the question
  • Annual Audit Report - Councillor to email Executive Member the question



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



Budget and Policy Framework Reports

The Executive Director for Growth and Place submitted a report, the purpose of which was to seek the approval of the Council to the Publication of the Local Plan and its subsequent submission to the Secretary of State, for Independent Examination.


The Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure advised that the Council was required to prepare a statutory development plan for the borough that set out the policies and land allocations to guide development in the area.


After an extensive process, following the Local Plan Preferred Options consultation, the completed Local Plan had been submitted to Council for approval to publish it. Publication of the Local Plan would be followed by a six-week inspection period which would take place between 9 November and 21 December, during which, representations could be made on the grounds of legality and soundness. Following the inspection period, the Local Plan would be available for public inspection.


The Executive Member advised that the Local Plan underpinned everything that the Council did. It provided the Council with control over what was developed in the town and where it was developed and it included much more than housing, although housing was an important element of the Local Plan. The Local Plan was the instrument that gave the Council and the Planning and Development Committee the confidence to make important decisions.


The Local Plan included policies that set out the Council's ambition for the City Centre, the Economic Strategy, policies that covered transport and infrastructure, health and wellbeing and green spaces. The Council had a policy that restricted conversions and sub-division of properties, and it also restricted the increase of hot food takeaways on the grounds of both economic vitality and health, and was supported by Health Scrutiny. The Council had also made the Stainsby Country Park a key strategic proposal. The Executive Member stated that the Local Plan was a very important document that ensured that the Council had control and could determine what was developed and for what purpose and he urged Members to support the publication of the Local Plan.


The Executive Member also stated that he wished to thank officers for their work in helping to formulate the Local Plan. A number of members commented on the content of the Local Plan.


It was Moved, seconded and ORDERED as follows:


That the Publication Local Plan and its subsequent submission to the Secretary of State for Independent Examination be approved.


**Councillor J Young advised that he wished it to be recorded in the minutes that he had voted against the recommendation.


The Members question that had been submitted was withdrawn by the Member as the issue had been covered in the Mayor's Statement.




The Chair advised that Motion 134 had been withdrawn prior to the meeting.


Consideration was given to Motion No. 135, moved by Councillor D Rooney and seconded by Councillor J Rostron of which notice had been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rules No. 53-60 as follows:


"Middlesbrough Council will endeavour to reduce its purchasing and use of non-recyclable plastic. In addition, the Council will explore ways to expand the recovery and recycling of plastic that it uses. This Council will encourage partners and businesses to adopt a similar position."


The Chair invited Councillor D Rooney to speak to the motion.


The Executive Member advised that in 2017/18, Middlesbrough Council collected and recycled 1291 tonnes of plastic a year, in comparison to Hartlepool Council who collected 743 tonnes and Stockton Council who collected 1213 tonnes. The Executive Member stated that the Council would work collaboratively with its partners and businesses to ensure they all adopted a similar position. The UK Government had launched its Environmental Plan for the next 25 years, and as part of the plan, it had committed the UK to eliminating all avoidable plastic waste by 2042.  


The Executive Member stated that the Council did not currently have any data in respect of plastic products purchased by Middlesbrough Council. Further work would be carried out by the Council's Procurement Team to determine if data could be recorded. The Council was working with neighbouring Tees Valley authorities alongside local partnerships to identify ways to maximise household recycling including plastics.


The options available to the Council to reduce plastic waste were as follows:

  • Work with the events team to ensure all future events were plastic free;
  • Ensure all Council events had adequate recycling facilities available;
  • Work with catering services to reduce the amount of plastic purchased;
  • Ensure all Council depots and offices had drinking water available;
  • Remove all desk waste bins and introduce communal recycling areas; and
  • Work with procurement to reduce the amount of single plastic purchases

The motion was put to the vote.


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


There were no urgent motions for this meeting.

Business Reports

The Strategic Director of Finance, Governance and Support submitted a report, the purpose of which was to seek Council agreement to a formal affiliation between Middlesbrough Council and Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Knight.


Move, seconded and ORDERED as follows


That the formal affiliation between Middlesbrough Council and Royal Fleet Auxiliary Wave Knight be approved.


The Monitoring Officer submitted a report, the purpose of which was to advise Members of the changes to dates of various Council meetings to fit in with the budget consultation process.


Moved, seconded and ORDERED as follows:

That the change of dates to various Council meetings to fit in with the budget consultation process be noted.


A report was submitted, the purpose of which, was to provide the Council with an update in respect of the Government's roll out of the full Universal Credit service in Middlesbrough which was effective from 3 October 2018.


Councillors held a debate on the impact of Universal Credit on claimants particularly in respect of:

  • financial pressures experienced by claimants as a result of the delay in receiving money;
  • the impact on some claimants' mental health;
  • the difficulties experienced by some claimants' in respect of the process for making claims;
  • the reduction in benefits experienced by some claimants' transferring to Universal Credit;
  • the impact on claimants' health;
  • financial hardship experienced by some claimants';
  • the exemptions criteria for Universal Credit; and
  • the measures that the Council had put in place to assist with the roll out of Universal Credit.


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