Agenda and minutes

Full Council - Thursday, 13 January 2022 6.00 pm

Venue: The Place, Limes Walk, Oakengates, Telford, TF2 6EP

Contact: Jayne Clarke / Kieran Robinson  01952 383205 / 382061

Media

Items
No. Item

166.

Prayers and Reflections

Minutes:

Mr Hezron Ottey, of the Telford Seventh-Day Adventist Church, delivered prayers.

167.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor S Davies declared an interest in Item 9 as the Council’s nominee to the Wrekin Housing Group.

168.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 355 KB

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Council.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 November 2021 be confirmed and signed by the Mayor.

 

169.

Leader's Report & Announcements

The Leader of the Council may give an oral report on matters of significance to the Borough, comment upon the Cabinet decisions or make any announcements.

Minutes:

The Leader wished all a Happy New Year. The Council’s budget consultation was open to the public and residents were encouraged to get involved. It was noted that the Council was possibly the only council in England to be offering a two-year council tax freeze, however, in line with other councils the Authority would be applying the 1% adult social care precept as mandated by government.

 

Despite having had the lowest council tax rates in the Midlands for a decade, it was recognised that the bill was still one of the most significant facing residents each month. With rising prices as a result of inflation, increasing gas, and energy costs, the Council called upon parish and town councils, the Police and Crime Commissioner, and the Fire Authority to follow the Council’s lead and freeze their precepts. It was imperative that the Authority play its part in helping residents at what was a difficult time.

170.

Mayor’s Announcements pdf icon PDF 108 KB

To note the Mayoral Engagements undertaken since the previous Council meeting.

Minutes:

The Mayor asked Members to note the report on Mayoral Engagements since the last meeting of full Council and noted thanks to the Deputy Mayor for attending several events over the holiday period.

Members would be aware that in January of each year, the Council hosted a Holocaust Memorial Day event. In 2022, this event would be held on 27 January and would take place online. The Mayor asked Members to be mindful of this and to take time to reflect during this period. 

171.

Public Questions

To receive any questions from the public which have been submitted under Council Procedure Rules 7.11 and 7.12. The session will last no more than 15 minutes with a maximum of 2 minutes allowed for each question and answer. Questions can be asked of the Leader and Cabinet Members.

Minutes:

No questions were received.

172.

Councillor Questions On Notice

To answer questions received under Council Procedure Rule 6.2.

 

NB      In accordance with the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 6.2.9 there will be a maximum of 30 minutes allowed for questions and answers.  Any question not answered within the 30 minute time limit will receive a written reply within 5 working days.

Minutes:

The following questions were asked under Council Procedure Rule 6.2.2:-

 

(a)       Councillor C R Turley asked the following question of Councillor S Davies, Leader of the Council:

 

I am delighted that Telford and Wrekin Council continues to support its service men and women and takes its Armed Forces Covenant role seriously and welcome the Calm Café recently set up for veterans. 

 

I understand that Telford and Wrekin Council Leader Shaun Davies, together with other Council leaders recently joined the call by Dan Jarvis and Johnny Mercer MP to lobby Government to scrap visa fees for service personnel and their families, which could run to nearly £10,000 for a family of four.  I understand also that the Cllr Shaun Davies wrote to both Telford and The Wrekin MPs asking them to support this amendment to the Nationality & Borders Bill which came before Parliament in December.  Our country has long benefited from the sacrifices made by soldiers, sailors and airmen who travel across the globe to protect us and it was therefore extremely disappointing to hear that the Government defeated the amendment put by Dan Jarvis MP and Johnny Mercer MP.  In view of this I would be grateful if Cllr Davies could please inform Council if our MPs heeded The Leader’s call and supported this amendment.

 

Councillor S Davies thanked Councillor Turley for his work supporting veterans and service people. The Council was proud to be among the few councils to have gold accreditation for its work on the Armed Forces Covenant. Commonwealth veterans’ visa fees had been subject to cross party condemnation and the amendment moved by Dan Jarvis and Johnny Mercer meant that Commonwealth soldiers who had served around the world would not have had to pay to remain in the United Kingdom. The Leader was horrified that the government had opposed the amendment and was disappointed Telford and Wrekin’s MPs had not supported it. If you served your country, you should not have to pay to stay.

 

(b)       Councillor B Wennington asked the following question of Councillor S A W Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, and Families, on behalf of Councillor A D McClements:

 

Covid-19 has already caused enormous impact on our children’s education and the Government must act urgently to ensure our schools across Telford and Wrekin are as Covid-secure as possible.  I am disappointed therefore to hear that only 7,000 much needed air filtration devices have been made available by the Government in England, with 300,000 classrooms in England alone, this is just a drop in the ocean.  I welcome the Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, Education & Lifelong Learning’s strong and robust representation to the Secretary of State for Education on behalf of all schools across Telford and Wrekin and wonder if she could give an update on any progress that has been made on this issue.

 

Councillor S A W responded that the Department of Education’s offer of 7,000 units was woeful. The Cabinet Member was not aware of any schools or  ...  view the full minutes text for item 172.

173.

Cabinet Decisions Made Since the Last Meeting of the Council pdf icon PDF 335 KB

To receive the report on the Cabinet decisions made since publication of the last Council meeting agenda. Cabinet Members may speak on these decisions and Members may ask questions about key decisions of the relevant Cabinet Member for the purposes of clarification only.  Members are asked to note the additional delegations to officers granted at those meetings.

Minutes:

Members received the report on the Cabinet decisions made since the last meeting of the Council.

 

First Homes – Local Criteria

 

Councillor N A Dugmore asked whether Cabinet was supportive of this scheme

 

Councillor R A Overton responded that the Council was implementing the scheme as instructed to by the government; the Council had extended the scheme’s criteria to open it up to more local people. The Cabinet believed the scheme did not go far enough in securing the provision of housing on an affordable basis for those in the Borough who needed it.

 

 

2021/22 Financial Monitoring

 

Councillor N A Dugmore asked what the Council’s deficit would be without the £15m Covd-19 grant from the government.

 

Councillor R C Evans stated that this grant simply replaced what the Council had had to spend. The budget was carefully managed.

 

174.

Setting the Council Tax Base for 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 275 KB

Minutes:

Councillor R C Evans, Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance and Customer Services, presented the report of the Director: Finance & Human Resources (Chief Financial Officer).

 

A recorded vote was required.

 

For: Councillors S Bentley, L D Carter, S Davies, N A Dugmore, A J Eade, N A M England, R C Evans, C Healy, V Holt, M B Hosken, A Jhawar, A Lawrence, K Middleton, R A Overton, S A W  Reynolds, P J Scott, W L Tomlinson, C R Turley, P R Watling, B Wennington,

 

Against: 0

 

Abstain: 0

 

RESOLVED – that full Council approve:

 

(i)         The calculation of the tax base for 2022/23 as at paragraph 5.6 and Appendix 1; and

 

(ii)        In Accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012:2914), the amount calculated for Telford and Wrekin Council Tax base for 2022/23 for its Special Fund Area shall be as per the appropriate parish amounts detailed in Appendix 1 for the parishes listed in paragraph 5.7.

175.

Recommendations from Cabinet

175a

2021/22 Financial Monitoring pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor R C Evans moved the recommendations. Councillor R A Overton seconded.

 

RESOLVED – that full Council:

 

(i)         Note the 2021/22 revenue budget position;

 

(ii)        Note the position in relation to capital spend and recommend that Full Council approve the changes to the capital programme detailed in Appendix 3; and

 

(iii)       Note the collection rates for NNDR, council tax and sales ledger.

176.

Governance Update pdf icon PDF 317 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Finance, Governance and Customer Services presented the report of the Associate Director: Policy & Governance.

 

The report detailed a number of governance updates which included: the approval of absences for reasons associated with Covid-19 for a further twelve months; the approval of two leaves of absence for a period of six months each for Councillors R T Kiernan and J Loveridge; the noting of new Cabinet responsibilities; changes to political balance following the December election to the Council; and the final item was and update on the intention to create honorary aldermen.

 

The Cabinet Member thanked Councillor D Wright for his work as a member of the Cabinet.

 

A brief debate followed, this focussed on the appropriateness of granting independent Members seats on boards and committees under political balance calculations

 

The Speaker stated that there had been a request to take Items 2.1-2.3 and 2.5 en bloc, with 2.4 to be voted on separately.

 

Items 2.1-2.3 and 2.5 were taken en bloc. The vote was unanimous.

 

Item 2.4 was carried by majority

 

RESOLVED – that full Council:

 

2.1       Approve the reason for non-attendance at meetings of the authority as set out in paragraph 4.3 of this report subject to the relevant Member notifying the Monitoring Officer of the need to rely upon it prior to the implementation of the ‘6-month rule’ described in this report;

 

2.2      Agrees to review the decision made at recommendation 2.1 above by no later than 31 January 2023;

 

2.3      Notes the updated Cabinet membership and responsibilities as set out at paragraph 4.6 of this report;

 

2.4      Approves the allocation of committee seats as set out at paragraphs 4.7 – 4.10 and Appendix 1 of this report; and

 

2.5      Notes the approach in relation to Honorary Aldermen as set out in paragraphs 4.11 – 4.14 of this report.

177.

Notices of Motion

177a

Councillor E J Greenaway will propose the following Motion:-

“This Council calls on Severn Trent to work with Council officers and ward members to update the drainage plan for the Borough and address the drainage issues that have been caused by the rapid expansion of the town.”

 

The Motion will be seconded by Councillor M B Hosken.

 

Minutes:

The motion was withdrawn, with the agreement of the meeting, and the seconder of the motion.