Council Minutes

Council Minutes

Date:
Wednesday 4 September 2019
Time:
7:00 p.m.
Place:
Council Chamber, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor J Hobson (Chair), Councillor L Garvey (Vice-Chair), Councillor R Arundale, Councillor A Bell, Councillor D J Branson, Councillor C Cooke, Councillor B Cooper, Councillor D P Coupe, Councillor D Davison, Councillor S Dean, Councillor C Dodds, Councillor T Furness, Councillor J Goodchild, Councillor A Hellaoui, Councillor T Higgins, Councillor A High, Councillor C Hobson, Councillor B A Hubbard, Councillor D Jones, Councillor L Lewis, Councillor T Mawston, Councillor D McCabe, Councillor C McIntyre, Councillor M Nugent, Councillor E Polano, Councillor G Purvis, Councillor J Rathmell, Councillor D Rooney, Councillor J Rostron, Councillor R M Sands, Councillor M Saunders, Councillor M L Smiles, Councillor J Thompson, Councillor Z Uddin, Councillor J A Walker, Councillor S Walker, Councillor A Waters, Councillor G Wilson, Councillor C Wright
Officers:
A Allen, S Bonner, J Bromiley, B Carr, G Field, Z Farrow, N Finnegan, K Flynn, R Horniman, C Lunn, A Pain, K Parkes, T Parkinson, S Reynolds, E Scollay, R Thompson, K Whitmore, A M Wilson, I Wright
Apologies for absence:
Councillor N Hussain, Councillor J McTigue, Councillor J Platt, Councillor D Smith, Councillor M Storey, Councillor P Storey
Declarations of interest:
Name of Member Type of Interest Item/Nature of Interest
Councillor M Saunders Disclosable: Pecuniary Interest Taxi Driver
Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
19/33 MINUTES - COUNCIL - 24 JULY 2019

The minutes of the Council meeting held on 24 July 2019 were submitted and approved as a correct record.

19/34 ANNOUNCEMENTS/COMMUNICATIONS

The Chair announced with deep regret, the death of former Councillor - Ron Lowes. The Chair advised that Ron was a Middlesbrough Councillor for 39 years and he was first elected as an Independent Councillor in the North Ormesby Ward in May 1976. During his time in North Ormesby he instigated the North Ormesby carnival, which became the largest community organised carnival in the whole of England.

In 1991 he was elected as an Independent Councillor for the Acklam Ward and became an Executive Councillor in 2002 for Environment, Housing & Transport.

In Acklam, he led the campaign to replace the former Co-op Employees Club with the new Jack Hatfield Club.

He was appointed as Vice-Chair of the Council for 4 years and was the longest serving Independent Councillor in Middlesbrough’s history.

All those present stood for a minutes silence to remember Ron Lowes.

19/35 QUESTIONS SUBMITTED BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

The Chair advised that the member of the public who had submitted Question 3/19 was unable to attend the meeting and he had been requested to read the question out on the member of the public's behalf. The Chair read out Question 3/19 and invited the Deputy Mayor to respond.

 

The Deputy Mayor advised that in his view, Middlesbrough should be doing anything it could to assist people who had addictions to recover well.  He advised that the Heroin Assisted Treatment was not a new initiative although it was new to Middlesbrough. It had been tried and tested across the country and had been recently been trialled in Darlington.

 

He stated that the people receiving the treatment would be receiving medicines and substitute medicines to prevent them using illicit substances. He stated that it was a pilot but he advised that sometimes pilots created a need and when the pilot stopped there was a gap in provision. He stated that he had been due to meet with the Health Select Committee the next day but they had unfortunately had to cancel because of national issues.

 

The Deputy Mayor advised that it was the aim of the Council to ensure that new pilots would not be delivered in isolation. The pilot was supported by multiple elements of funding including funding from the local authority. The Council was looking at innovative ways to deliver these services. The Council would be working closely with Commissioned Services to ensure that the practice and learning was safe and it benefitted the users of Middlesbrough in their road to recovery.

 

The Chair invited the member of the public who had submitted Question 4/19 to put her question to the Mayor.

 

The Mayor advised that as the question was in three parts, he would respond to the first two parts and the Deputy Mayor would provide a response to the third part.

 

He stated that he would dispute the fact that there was no evidence to support the fact that domestic violence was a massive effect of drug addiction. He stated that there had been reports on this issue in the British Journal of Criminology and he had also discussed the issues with a number of recovery charities that worked with addicts and they talked about the problems of addicts and domestic violence. He had also contacted an Assistant Chief Constable who had also confirmed that there was a link between the two issues.

 

The Mayor advised that the review of services and cuts and savings had been agreed by the previous administration however a review was underway and things could be changed.

 

The Deputy Mayor commented that it was evident that the questioner was passionate about the issue of domestic violence. He stated that the Council was going through a strict procurement process, so he could not share information with regard to the delivery of the model at the current time. He stated that when he talked about combining services he was not referring to dealing with people that had suffered sexual violence, domestic violence, substance misuse or homelessness from one specific service. The local authority was looking at having commissioned services for the four troubled areas to work in partnership to ensure that the service user was at the centre of delivery. It would be a specialist service commissioned to deliver specialist care.

 

The Deputy Mayor stated that performance management for all these services would in future, be held by the Council. The Deputy Mayor had been advised that £400k needed to be removed across that spend. £5.2m would be spent on the delivery of the four troubled services however the savings efficiencies would not affect the services received by these service users. Although there would be efficiencies in cost there would be improved delivery.

 

The Chair invited the member of public that had submitted Question 5/19 to the Executive Member for Children's Services

 

The Executive Member advised that services and support based on individual needs were offered to parents to support them to make the necessary changes to keep their children safe at home. This support continued when the children were in the care of the local authority either long or short term in order to continue a positive relationship between the children and their parents.

 

The Executive Member advised that, in terms of ethnicity, as of 27 August 2019, 85% of children looked after by the authority were white, other ethnicities made up 15% of the total number.

19/36 MAYORS STATEMENT AND REPORT

The Mayor advised that he wished to speak about the following issues:

Tribute to Ron Lowes

 

The Mayor stated that he would like to pay tribute to Ron Lowes. He advised that Ron was a good person. He had written a piece on social media about Ron and all the good things he had done and the feedback from the public had been very good. The Mayor advised that his thoughts and condolences were with Ron's family.

 

Gresham

 

The Mayor stated that the Gresham area was a desperate place to live. It had been destroyed, damaged and overlooked over the years. Residents were tired of infestation, crime, bad behaviour and the presence of drug addicts. He advised though that Gresham was on the turn. 179 new homes were due to be built in conjunction with Thirteen housing. New rules were being introduced for Central Middlesbrough. Residents had been consulted and the plan was to outlaw beggars and other forms of anti-social behaviour. Thousands of leaflets had been sent out to residents and a survey had been conducted. The survey had resulted in an overwhelming response and to date 90% of those that had completed the survey were in favour of the new measures.

 

Centre Square Offices

 

The Mayor announced that he could report that there was now strong interest from a business in occupying the premises. He stated that he could possibly announce something in the next three weeks and he hoped that once the buildings were occupied it would bring new people into the town.

 

Knife Angel

 

The Mayor stated that the Knife Angel was a controversial sculpture. Cleveland's Police and Crime Commissioner had agreed for the sculpture to come to the town and it had been a tremendous success. Over 30,000 people had been to visit the sculpture, even travelling from places such as Leeds, Alnwick and York. He stated that it was an excellent piece of public art.  

 

North Ormesby

 

The Mayor stated that North Ormesby was the second poorest Ward within the Council area. It faced massive challenges but it had a fantastic community. There was a spirit of optimism in the Ward, the streets were cleaner and crime levels had fallen. The Mayor announced that there were plans to bring back the North Ormesby Carnival and work had already commenced on the plans to do this.

 

Street Wardens

 

The Mayor stated that the Council's Street Wardens worked very hard and they were committed to their work. In the past few weeks they had dispensed five Naloxone kits to people who had overdosed on drugs and had probably saved their lives. They had also administered first aid as part of their work and helped people struggling with carrying shopping and treated a beggar to food. The Council was hiring more Street Wardens and he urged anyone who was interested in a Street Warden post to get in touch.

 

Survey

 

The Mayor announced that he was planning to launch an on-line survey for residents. He stated that changes were coming and he advised that he did not promise to always agree but he would always listen.

 

Police and Crime Commissioner

 

The Mayor stated that despite the brave efforts of police officers, Cleveland Police force had been put into Special Measures. He stated that it was a disgrace and although the Police and Crime Commissioner was a nice man, he urged him to resign, as the blame should rest with the person in charge.

 

Trees

 

The Mayor stated that his plans to plant 10,000 trees were still on track. He was hoping to access up to £1m of grant funding. He stated that the planting of trees would be good for the environment and good for mental health.

 

The Council

 

The Mayor advised residents that whether they lived in Gresham, North Ormesby, Nunthorpe or any other Ward in the Middlesbrough Council area, the Council was on their side. He urged residents that if they did require any further support or help then this Council was on their side.

 

The Chair invited Members to put any questions on the above report to the Mayor.

 

Councillor Cooke queried whether there could be a residential PSPO that did not include the central shopping part of Middlesbrough so that Newport and Gresham had their own. The Mayor clarified that what Councillor Cooke was looking for was two separate PSPOs one that included the central district of the town and one that covered the residential district. The Mayor advised that this would not be possible at the current time, the aim was to introduce one scheme. It might be reviewed in the future but the aim was for one PSPO to be introduced.

 

Councillor Hellaoui stated that she disagreed with the Mayor's assertion that the Gresham area had been ignored. Councillor Hellaoui listed ten separate initiatives that demonstrated that the area of Gresham had not been ignored. She stated that the Councillors had worked hard to improve the area. The Mayor stated that the Gresham area was a disgrace and it had been neglected and residents were unhappy about the fact.

 

Councillor Furness queried whether the money being used to employ the additional Street Wardens was in the form of a grant and if so what were the ongoing costs to the Council. The Mayor advised that the funding was obtained from the Indigenous Growth Fund from the TVCA.

 

The Mayor stated that he had witnessed people dealing drugs around the Town Hall and people who had passed out on the pavement. He stated that in his view it was due to the failings of the Police and the Council and it had caused an almost irretrievable situation. He stated that he had spoken to the Chief of Police, Senior Officers at the Council and residents to try and bring Central Middlesbrough under control to protect retail, offices and people.

 

He stated that the Council aimed to spend £3.5m over a four year period to transform Middlesbrough. He stated that if people felt safer, it would bring more people to the town, resulting in the Council receiving additional Council Tax. He stated that the Council need to face up to the issues of crime and anti-social behaviour and deal with it.

 

Councillor Goodchild queried with regard to whether a person needed to be within a specific age range to apply for a Street Warden post.

 

The Mayor advised that Street Wardens should be representative of the whole town so a person could apply as long as they were over the age of 18.

 

Councillor Higgins advised that she was concerned about the fact that the Mayor thought that many Councillors did not care about the town and the criticism of some members in general. She advised that she had become a Councillor because she did care about the town. She advised that the previous regime had did the best they could in the circumstances, given the cuts in Council and Police funding. Councillor Higgins advised that it was time for people to work together.

 

The Mayor stated that he had never stated that Councillor Higgins did not care, when he criticised the previous regime, it was with regard to the collective denial of issues. The Mayor advised that he was concerned about the fact that there had been no criticism of the Police and Crime Commissioner or the local MP.

 

Councillor Higgins advised that she had arranged a meeting with the Chief Constable to discuss her concerns.

 

Councillor Walker queried whether the Mayor was aware of any impact assessments that had been carried out in the event that the country left the EU without a deal. The Mayor advised that in his view he did not think that everything would be as negative as predicted. Some of the large authorities had predicted a big economic fallout. He stated that as more than 50% of the people had voted to leave the EU then that it what the country should do.

19/37 DEPUTY MAYOR AND EXECUTIVE MEMBER REPORTS

DEPUTY MAYOR REPORT - VERBAL


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).

 

The Chair advised that twenty four Executive Member questions had been submitted. The Chair requested questions and answers on the reports to be precise. Only one question per Member would be allowed in the first instance and if there was time left before the time allowed for questions had elapsed, Members that had submitted a second question, would be given the opportunity to ask their second question.

 

The Chair advised that as the Deputy Mayor had been on leave when the Executive reports were distributed, he would provide Members with a verbal update.

 

The Deputy Mayor stated that before he presented his report, he wished to pay tribute to Ron Lowes. He advised that he had attended school with Ron Lowe's children, they were a lovely family and they currently worked really hard within the education system and were very proud of their father. He stated that he wished to pass on his condolences to the family of Ron Lowes.
 

The Deputy Mayor advised that the Council were very close to agreeing the new model for the local authority. There were two key areas which the authority was focussing on. The report was due to be submitted to the Senior Leadership Team the following day, for further scrutiny and it was hoped it would be finalised in the near future. He stated that the Council had been brave with the new model, but it would improve the offer for people affected by sexual violence, domestic violence, substance misuse and homelessness and the Council needed to get it right. The report was due to be submitted to the Executive meeting in October and it was hoped that the new model would be ready by September 2020 and it would be a much improved offer for service users.

 

In terms of the Heroin Assisted Treatment pilot, the Council would use this programme to challenge the social difficulties faced by service users. In the long term, if the programme was removed the Council hoped to have something in place to replace it. As stated earlier, the Deputy Mayor had hoped to meet with the Health Select Committee, but the meeting had been unavoidably cancelled. In relation to the idea that people had been dying because of a lack of services, the Deputy Mayor advised that people were dying as a result of continued drug abuse and using a cocktail of drugs over a long period of years. The Deputy Mayor stated that Middlesbrough Council's service users did receive a good service.

 

The Deputy Mayor made reference to a "Recovery" event which was taking place on the following Saturday at 12 noon outside the Town Hall. He stated that the event would attract thousands of people from all over the UK, who had recovered to the town. The fountain outside the Town Hall would be purple and the Town Hall itself would be flying the purple Recovery flag. The Deputy Mayor highlighted that Middlesbrough people did recover from substance misuse in Middlesbrough because of the services on offer.

 

Questions on the Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health report

 

a) Suicide Prevention

 

Councillor Wilson referred to the funding allocated to NHS England to support a reduction in the suicide rate and he queried whether this funding was available to fund suicide prevention courses; who would be delivering the training; who was the training aimed at; were the Council going to employ selected suicide prevention workers; were the Council going to employ mental health mentors/counsellors; why was the training aimed at males aged 25 - 65 when mental health started at an early age? He queried whether the training should be aimed at male and females.

 

The Executive Member advised that there was training available which consisted of (ASIST) Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training; A life worth living suicide prevention training and broader mental health training, which was funded through Public Health. Redcar and Cleveland Mind currently held the contract for the Tees- wide training hub. They co-ordinated the training offer which was delivered by qualified practitioners from a range of organisations.

 

Suicide audits were carried out and those identified as being at risk were targeted. The Executive Member provided a list of the areas/professions/groups that might be perceived as being at risk.  The Council did not plan to employ a Selected Suicide Prevention worker however they did have a role in co-ordinating the Suicide Prevention Action Plan supported by a multi-agency task force. The Council did not intend to employ mental health mentors/counsellors as the responsibility for these functions lay within the NHS. The training was funded through NHS England. The conditions attached to the funding for the training was that it had to be ring-fenced for male high risk specific age groups. There were however local initiatives which were included in the action plan which took into consideration other high risk groups.

 

b) Performance

 

Councillor Rooney advised that the reason why the group were submitting so many questions was because they were not receiving enough information from the Executive.

 

Councillor Rooney referred to the appointment of a drug related post. She queried with regard to whether it was a new post; when it began; where did the funding come from and how long was the post funded for?

 

The Executive Member advised that she would provide a response to the member following the meeting.

 

The Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities advised that they regularly met with members, published information on social media, regularly published information and had an open door policy.

  

c) Homecare and Repeat Medication

 

Councillor J Walker advised that many members had completed the Suicide Prevention course and found it very useful.

 

Councillor Walker referred to the implications for people regarding ordering of repeat medication and she queried what provision was in place for those people who were unable to get to the doctors, those who were in care homes and those who were cared for in their own home.

 

The Executive Member advised that the Repeat Medication Project was being managed and run by the health partners. The Council had ensured that all the commissioned services were aware of the changes that were taking place and tasked them with ensuring that vulnerable people affected by the changes would be supported to remain under the previous medication ordering system if required. Due to patient confidentiality, the health partners were unable to share personal data, so the Council had only been able to provide a communications and support exercise in relation to sharing information about the changes. Medication administered in care homes would not be affected by the changes. The situation regarding the changes to the arrangements for requesting repeat medication would continue to be monitored until the changes had been embedded. The health partners had advised that they had written to every person that had been impacted.

 

Councillor Wright raised a point of order. He pointed out that there was no reference to the fantastic key stage 2 outcomes or the outcome of the recent GCSE exams. He highlighted that here was no reference at all in relation to education in the Executive Member's report.

 

The Deputy Monitoring Officer advised that before the Council could consider a point of order the Councillor was required to point out which law or breach of the Council Procedure Rules he was referring to.  The Councillor advised that he just wanted to make the point.

 

Questions on the Executive Member for Children's Services report

 

d) Progress against savings plan

 

Councillor Hill advised that he wished to withdraw his question.

 

e) Care Services

 

Councillor Uddin referred to the inclusion of the delivery of the Edge of Care Programme in the Executive Member report. He queried what services would be included, over what timescale and how much each service would cost.

 

The Executive Member referred to the presentation that was due to be provided on the following Monday. He advised that following the presentation, if the member required any further information, he would be happy to provide it.

 

The Mayor referred to Councillor Wright's query with regard to the omission of the recent school examination results from the Executive Member report. He advised that he was recently at the Unity City academy and they had discussed exam results. The Mayor was advised that exam results were subject to appeal. On that basis, the Executive Member would be better to wait until results were confirmed before including reference to them in his Executive report.

Questions on the Executive Member for Culture and Communities report

 

f) Cleveland Show

 

Councillor Mawston first of all congratulated all those involved in bringing the Knife Angel to Middlesbrough. He stated that it was a very powerful piece of art.

 

He referred to the section on events in the Executive Member report and queried why there was no mention of the Cleveland Show in the report. He stated that the show had been going for 76 years and had almost closed this year and he stated that the show needed all the publicity and help it could gain.

 

The Executive Member advised that the Cleveland Show was a very important event. There was a packed programme and hundreds had attended, despite the weather. There had been publicity in the press about the show. In terms of support being given to the show by the Council, the Executive Member advised that the Council had assisted in the organisation process of the show; pointed out areas of improvement in line with best practice and assisted in the application process to the TVCA, which had unfortunately been unsuccessful. The Council had also assisted in social media and marketing and producing a press release. The show had also conducted an audience survey and the results of the survey were awaited. The Executive Member advised that she would ask officers what support could be offered in the future and she would ensure that reference to the show was included in future reports. 

 

g) Homelessness

 

Councillor Cooke referred to the plan to try and relocate homeless people to their respective local authorities. He queried whether if this was achieved, then Middlesbrough would only have one homeless person. He referred to the recent count carried out in respect of homelessness and he queried how confident the Council could be about the accuracy of the count given the number of dilapidated properties and the number of camps that were emerging in Newport.

 

The Executive Member advised that she was unsure how the count had been conducted and she pointed out that there was a difference between homelessness and rough sleeping. In terms of the camps, the Executive Member indicated that she was concerned about this issue and would need to discuss it with those residents and discuss their circumstances.

 

The Executive Member referred to the new sit up service that had been established for rough sleepers and had been in operation for one week. There was a helpline and people would be picked up in taxis and taken to a safe space and provided with a warm drink and a meal for the night.

 

The Executive Member advised that there was a strong provision for homelessness in Middlesbrough. The budget was £1.6m for the provision of services for homelessness and domestic violence and it included eleven different provisions. The aim was to engage with people and direct them to the appropriate service.

 

h) Selective Landlord Licensing

 

Councillor Furness referred to the statistics for Selective Landlord Licensing and he commented that it appeared to have been a success in North Ormesby and it was on its way to being a success in Newport. He queried when the scheme would be rolled out across the remainder of the Newport Ward and whether there was a date for that. He also queried whether there were any plans to roll SLL out in other Wards.

 

The Executive Member advised that she and the Executive Member for Regeneration had been out in the Newport Ward with the Street Wardens and they had noticed that the SLL scheme stopped in a particular road and they had asked the reason for this. The Executive Member advised that they had taken information off the police and other agencies that the Council worked with when deciding on the area of the SLL. If the scheme was to be extend the remainder of the Newport Ward would be a priority.

 

In terms of expanding the SLL scheme across the other wards of the Council, if 20% of the housing stock was covered by a SLL scheme in Middlesbrough, then the Council would have to seek permission from the Secretary of State to expand the scheme further.

 

i) Selective Landlord Licensing

 

Councillor Branson referred to the principle of SLL and the SLL schemes set up in North Ormesby and Newport. He stated that there were other areas in the town where there was problems with private landlords. Often SLL was the only protection that private tenants had because of fear of being evicted. He stated that he would like to ask the Executive to support the principle that all private rented accommodation should be covered by a SLL system, given that private rented accommodation was rising and by 2021 a quarter of the population would be living in such accommodation.

 

The Executive Member advised that the Council would need to review how the existing schemes were working and then review the situation. As pointed out previously, if 20% of the housing stock was covered by a SLL scheme in Middlesbrough, then the Council would have to seek permission from the Secretary of State to expand the scheme further.

 

j) Stronger Communities

 

Councillor Hellaoui stated that the SLL scheme was another example of where it showed Gresham had not been ignored. Councillor Hellaoui wanted to thank the people involved in setting up the Gresham Together project. The aim was to address the problem with littering. Councillor Hellaoui provided members with an outline of the project and advised that another project was being set up in Gresham about recycling. The project was funded by the Empower Fund.

 

The Executive Member advised that she was thrilled to hear about the project and she acknowledged the work carried out by Councillor Hellaoui and Councillor Cooke in the Ward. The Executive Member advised that if Councillor Hellaoui wanted to discuss the project they could look at ways of expanding it .across Middlesbrough

 

Questions on the Executive Member for Environment report

 

k) Local Football Facility Plan

 

Councillor S Walker referred to potential funding from the FA in respect of MUGAs and football pitches. He advised that Coulby Newhamhad just lost a play facility. He stated that it was a large urban Ward with a high population and it only had one park. They were looking at submitting a Capital Funding Plan for an area where a MUGA existed but was not used very much. It was located next to a farmthat had £2m investment so it would add a commercial interest. He queried with regard to the process for Councillors and residents to become involved in the project.

 

The Executive Member advised that the MUGA referred to by the Councillor had been closed down due to the Sports Leisure management due to excessive vandalism and to replace it would cost in excess of £100k. The Playing Fields Strategy was looking at introducing some 3D facilities in respect of football, cricket, rugby and hockey pitches and the report was due to be published in the next week . The Executive Member advised that he would like to sit down with the member and look at any strategies that could be accessed.

 

Questions on the Executive Member for Finance and Governance report

 

l) Executive Meeting - 3 September 2019

 

Councillor Rathmell stated that given the predicted overspend of £336k and the discovery that £2.475m savings would not be achieved this year, resulting in the Council needing to find additional savings, he asked where the budget for new post of Director of Legal and Governance Services be coming from, given that there was a recruitment freeze across other departments.

 

The Executive Member advised that the Council did look carefully at recruitment and they did have a Vacancy Control Procedure and every vacancy was required to be submitted to LMT before recruitment took place. Two people had left the department and the budget was coming from the money saved from these two people leaving. The person currently doing the job did not wish to continue in it and for that reason, the job needed to be advertised.  

 

m) Executive Meeting

 

Councillor Thompson queried whether the rents on the new housing would be social and affordable.

 

The Executive Member advised that the houses would belong to the Thirteen group so she would look into it and get back to the member concerned. The Mayor confirmed that the rents would be social and affordable.

 

Questions on the Executive Member for Regeneration report

 

n) Local Plan Working Group

 

Councillor Hubbard queried in regard to what consultation had taken place with residents in relation to the Local Plan. The Executive Member advised that the consultation process with residents had not yet commenced, but residents would be fully consulted in the near future.

 

The Chair advised that the time allocated for Executive Member questions had elapsed. He advised those Members that had indicated that they wished to ask more than one question, that they could email the Executive Members direct with their additional questions.

19/38 REPORT OF THE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY BOARD

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

19/39 MORTGAGE INTEREST RATE

A report of the Strategic Director of Finance, Governance and Support was presented to seek Council's approval to set the local average interest rate for the six months commencing 1st October 2019.

 

Moved, seconded and ORDERED as follows that:

 

a) That the Local Average Interest rate for the period 1st October 2019 - 31st March 2020 to be set at 3.978%


b) That this rate be used for all Housing Mortgages for this period.

 

19/40 URGENT ITEMS - DESIGNATION OF MONITORING OFFICER

A report of the Chief Executive was presented to seek Council's approval of the designation of the Monitoring Officer post and for Council to note the establishment of the Director of Legal and Governance post and the ongoing recruitment process for this role.

 

It was Moved, Seconded and ORDERED as follows:

 

That Council:


1. Notes the establishment of the Director of Legal and Governance post and the ongoing recruitment process to the same; and


2. Approves that this post is designated as the Authority’s Monitoring Officer with effect from the date upon which the successful applicant begins their employment with the Authority.

19/41 MEMBERS' QUESTION TIME

There were no questions submitted within the specified deadlines for Members' Questions for this meeting.

19/42 NOTICE OF MOTIONS

Consideration was given to Motion No. 139, 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:

 

**Councillor Saunders declared a Pecuniary Interest in the following motion at this point of the meeting.

 

Motion - Taxi Licensing

 

"This Council asks the Government to act without delay and address the impact of s55A of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976.


The legislation allows sub-contracting by operators, which results in Councils licensing taxi vehicles and drivers intending to operate in areas across the rest of the country to the detriment of other local authority licensing offices, thereby removing their ability to set standards and control activities."

 

On a vote being taken the motion was declared CARRIED.

 

Councillor Arundale and Councillor Higgins spoke in support of the motion. The Executive Member for Culture and Communities advised that she had written to MP Simon Clarke about this issue and he in turn had written to the appropriate Minister. The Executive Member advised that she would circulate a copy of the letter if Members wished to see it.

 

The Chair announced that Motion 140 - Motion on Education Funding Cuts had now been withdrawn.

 

Consideration was given to Motion No. 141, moved by Councillor Rostron and seconded by Councillor Rooney of which notice had been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rules No. 53-60 as follows:

 

Motion - Climate Change

 

"Middlesbrough Council notes:

 

That the impacts of climate breakdown are already causing serious damage around the world.

That the 'Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 C' published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018 describes the enormous harm that a 2C average rise in global temperatures is likely to cause and confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5C may be possible with ambitious action from national sub national authorities, civil society and the private sector.

 

There is still the opportunity to address the changing climate and ensure future generations have a sustainable environment. Strong policies to cut emissions have associated health, wellbeing and economic benefits and in recognising this over a hundred local authorities and the LGA Conference have already passed Climate Emergency motions. The UN and WHO have declared that we have eleven years to address the problems. Beyond that the effects may be irreversible.

 

Middlesbrough has already taken steps to address its obligations in relation to climate change through adopting the One Planet Living approach to sustainable living.


"This Council aspires to:

  • make Council activities zero carbon by 2030
  • achieve 100% clean energy across the Council’s full range of functions by 2030
  • ensure that all strategic decisions are in line with a shift to zero carbon by 2030 declare a 'Climate Emergency’ that requires urgent action
  • proactively include young people in the process ensuring that they have a voice in shaping the future
  • continue to use the One Planet Living approach to sustainable living setting an annual plan and actions that assist in reducing greenhouse gas emissions whilst also creating and maintaining sustainable communities
  • continue to work with partners across the town and region to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans including the delivery of the One Planet Living Action Plan.
  • Call on the UK Government to provide power and resources to make the 2030 target possible"

Councillor Rostron, Councillor Arundale, Councillor C Hobson and Councillor J Walker spoke in support of the motion.

 

The Executive Member for Environment advised that a pilot scheme had been set up in schools to encourage children to bring greens/plastics to school. As a reward the children received free books. Special bins have been placed in schools to encourage children to recycle.

 

On a vote being taken the motion was declared CARRIED.

19/43 NOTICE OF URGENT MOTIONS

There were no motions submitted within the specified deadlines for Urgent Motions for this meeting.

19/44 MEMBERS SCHEME OF ALLOWANCES

The Chair advised that this report had been deferred to a future meeting of the Council.

19/45 COUNCIL COMMITTEES - CHANGES TO POLITICAL BALANCE - ALLOCATION OF PLACES AND MEMBERSHIPS 2019

The Chair advised that this report had been deferred to a future meeting of the Council.

19/46 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The Chair announced that, in the event that an election was called for October, the date of the next Council meeting would be put back to November 2019.

Powered by E-GENDA from Associated Knowledge Systems Ltd