Agenda and minutes

Full Council
Thursday, 23 January 2020 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Deborah Moseley  01952 383215

Media

Items
No. Item

49.

One Minute's Silence

The Mayor will call for a one minute silence in tribute to Councillor Liz Clare.

Minutes:

Following one minute’s silence, a number of Members paid tribute to the late Councillor Elizabeth Clare.

 

A further minute’s silence was held in tribute to Rob Eyres, Founder and Chief Executive of Telford After Care Team (TACT) and other recently deceased friends of the borough.

50.

Prayers

Minutes:

The Reverend Keith Osmund-Smith said prayers.

51.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Councillor Shaun Davies declared an interest in minute number 59 Youth Justice Plan due to his employment as a Solicitor.

52.

Minutes of the Previous Meetings pdf icon PDF 345 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meetings held on 19 September 2019 and 17 October 2019 be confirmed and signed by the Mayor.

53.

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 paid personal tribute to the late Rob Eyres, Founder and Chief Executive of Telford After Care Team, welcomed the new Chief Executive of the Council, David Sidaway, and reported on the progress being made against the Administration’s Manifesto Pledges including foster carer recruitment, stronger families funding, investment in borough schools, commercial, industrial and retail investment, Superfast Telford broadband, and infrastructure repairs.

 

The Leader looked ahead to the exciting events planned for the summer and also for the VE & VJ Day 75th anniversary events which would be taking place as a result of Telford 2020 funding.

54.

Mayor’s Announcements pdf icon PDF 257 KB

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

Minutes:

The Mayor reflected on the variety of events he had attended across borough since the last meeting and drew attention to the upcoming Murder Mystery event taking place on 27 March 2020 in aid of his charity supporting YMCA Wellington and District.

55.

Public Questions

“I welcome the inclusion of taxi licensing in the terms of reference of the Independent Inquiry into CSE and also the Council’s recent focus on cross border licensing.  What help can local residents give to ensure that only drivers licensed by Telford & Wrekin Council operate within the borough?”

Minutes:

The following questions from the public had been received.

 

(i)         The following question to Cllr R A Overton, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, Enforcement & The Pride Programme was submitted by Yvonne Hill:

 

“I welcome the inclusion of taxi licensing in the terms of reference of the Independent Inquiry into CSE and also the Council’s recent focus on cross border licensing. What help can local residents give to ensure that only drivers licensed by Telford & Wrekin Council operate within the borough?”

 

Cllr Overton responded that the Cabinet felt strongly about the problems of cross-border hiring that had arisen since the Deregulation Act of 2015, which permitted operators to subcontract jobs to another Private Hire Operator licensed by any local authority in England and Wales.

 

The Council had and would continue to lobby central government for changes to legislation that would, amongst other matters, see that all private hire journeys must start or end within the local authority where the driver and vehicle were licensed. This would give the licensing authority greater control over public safety.

 

Local residents could help the Council achieve this change in legislation by also lobbying their local MP.  Additionally, residents could, when booking private hire vehicles, inform the private hire operator whom they were making the booking with, that they would prefer a Telford & Wrekin Council licensed driver.

 

(ii)        The following question to Cllr D Wright, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Infrastructure was submitted by Carol Scott:

 

“Can the council advise whether they are actively and constructively working to implement a concessionary travel scheme possibly linked to TLC card for 1950’s women still affected by delayed state pension, therefore, no entitlement to bus pass or was the commitment to be a WASPI supporting council just empty words.”

 

Cllr Wright responded that the administration was sympathetic to the wider WASPI campaign and that at a national level there was much debate during the recent General Election on these issues The Council took the issue of Public Transport across the Borough extremely seriously.  Given the Council’s determination to do what it could to make the Borough the best place to live, work, learn and do business for the benefit of all residents, having a fit for purpose public transport infrastructure was a key aspiration.

 

There was significant pressure on public transport budgets. The Council continued to explore opportunities that may arise and had provided some initial pump prime investment to explore how the kind of scheme Mrs Scott alluded to might be developed, however, this would be expensive and complex to administer. 

 

The Council would welcome some commitment from Government to support a national programme to assist people who had had their state pension delayed.  In the meantime the Council was developing its the Integrated Transport Strategy to ensure that the Council was best placed to benefit from any external funding that became available.

56.

Cabinet Decisions Made Since the Last Meeting of the Council pdf icon PDF 336 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.

 

Review of the Telford & Wrekin Local Plan - Protect, Care and Invest to Create a Better Borough

 

Councillor Tomlinson noted that residents may have concerns that developers and others could put forward new sites not currently in the Local Plan for consideration for industrial and housing allocation in the future, could the Cabinet Member assure the Council and public that every effort would be made to communicate with the public to make them aware of what was happening at each stage of the review process.

 

Councillor D Wright responded that the official process would be used to review the Plan.  This was a Plan Review so the existing Local Plan remained in place and the Planning Authority would continue to make decisions in accordance with it.  Caution was required to ensure that the Plan was not reopened or rewritten, so that it could be demonstrated to the Planning Inspector that the Council was undertaking a review. The process would be open and clear, Members would be able to ask questions at Council and the Council would ensure communication with the public. 

 

Driving Delivery of Our 4 Year Programme to Protect, Care & Invest to Create a Better Borough”

 

Councillor S Bentley asked when potholes in the rural area would be dealt with.

 

Councillor S Davies reminded the meeting that there were processes in place to report potholes which Members could utilise as part of their day to day casework. 

57.

Recommendations from Cabinet

57a

2019/20 Financial Management Report pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Recommended that the changes to the capital programme detailed in Appendix 1 to the report be approved.

 

The attached report is an amalgamated report covering items 10.1 and 10.2

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor L D Carter, Cabinet Member: Finance, Commercial Services and the Economy, presented the report of the Director: Finance & HR which detailed the Financial Management reports to Cabinet on 10 October 2019 and 2 January 2020 in relation to the new capital allocations, virements and re-phasing which required formal approval by Full Council.

 

RESOLVEDthat the changes to the Capital Programme as set out in Appendix 1 to the report be approved.

 

 

57b

Housing Investment Programme pdf icon PDF 907 KB

Recommended - that an extension to the Nuplace Loan Facilities Agreement of £5.0m be approved, the rate and terms to be delegated for approval to the Councils s151 officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Council Finance & Service Delivery

Minutes:

Councillor D Wright, Cabinet Member: Housing, Transport and Infrastructure, presented the report of the Director: Finance & HR.

 

RESOLVED - that that an extension to the Nuplace Loan Facilities Agreement of £5.0m be approved, the rate and terms to be delegated for approval to the Councils s151 officer in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Council Finance & Service Delivery.

 

 

57c

Youth Justice Plan 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 343 KB

Recommended - that the Youth Justice Plan 2019/20 be approved and endorsed and that the West Mercia Youth Justice Service responsibilities be noted.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor S A W Reynolds, Cabinet Member: Children, Young People, & Education, presented the report of the Executive Director: Children’s and Family Services

 

RESOLVEDthat the Youth Justice Plan 2019/20 be approved and endorsed and that the West Mercia Youth Justice Service responsibilities be noted.

 

 

57d

Council Tax Support Scheme 2020-2021 pdf icon PDF 259 KB

Recommended that –

 

(a)       that the new Council Tax Reduction Scheme attached to the report at Appendix A be adopted for implementation from 1 April 2020; and

 

(b)       the redesigned Council Tax Reduction Hardship Assistance Policy attached at Appendix B to the report be approved.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor R Mehta, Cabinet Member: Communities & Inclusivity, presented the report of the Executive Director: Housing, Communities & Customer Services.

 

RESOLVEDthat -

 

(a)       the new Council Tax Reduction Scheme attached to the report at Appendix A be adopted for implementation from 1 April 2020; and

 

(b)       the redesigned Council Tax Reduction Hardship Assistance Policy attached at Appendix B to the report be approved.

 

 

58.

Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 531 KB

Councillor D R W White, Chair of the Scrutiny Management Board, will present the Annual Scrutiny Report.

Minutes:

The Lead Scrutiny Member, Councillor Derek White, presented the Annual Report for information.

 

RESOLVED – that the Annual Scrutiny Report 2018/19 be noted.

59.

Setting of the Council Tax Base for 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 444 KB

To receive the report of the Director: Finance & Human Resources (Statutory Chief Financial Officer).

Minutes:

Councillor L D Carter, Cabinet Member for Finance, Commercial Services and the Economy presented the report of the Director: Finance & HR.  

 

RESOLVEDthat

 

(a)       the calculation of the tax base for 2020/21 as at paragraph 5.7 and Appendix 1 of the report be approved;

 

(b)       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 2020/21 for its Special Fund Area shall be as per the appropriate parish amounts detailed in Appendix 1 to the report for the parishes listed in paragraph 5.9 of the report; and

(c)       the extension to the policy discounting young people leaving Council care and living within the Borough from Council Tax up until their 25th birthday, as detailed in Appendix 2 to the report be approved.

60.

Recommendations from Boards and Committees

60a

Review of the Speak Up (Whistleblowing) Policy 2019 pdf icon PDF 282 KB

Recommended - that members of the Audit Committee recommend that the Council adopts the updated Speak Up (Whistleblowing) Policy 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor N A M England, Chair of the Audit Committee presented the report of the Audit and Governance Team Leader which had been considered by the Audit Committee on 1 October 2019.

 

RESOLVEDthat the updated Speak Up (Whistleblowing) Policy 2019 be adopted.

 

 

60b

Scrutiny Structure pdf icon PDF 302 KB

At its meeting held on 12 November 2019, the Scrutiny Management Board  Committee made the following recommendation to Council:-

 

That the revised scrutiny structure set out in this report and the Terms of Reference for the Scrutiny Committees attached at Appendix 1 be agreed.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor D R W White, Chair of the Scrutiny Management Board, presented the report of the Director: Governance which had been considered by the Scrutiny Management Board on 12 November 2019.

 

RESOLVED - that the revised scrutiny structure set out in the report be agreed and the Terms of Reference for the Scrutiny Committees attached to the report at Appendix 1 be approved.

 

 

61.

Questions

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:-

 

1.         Councillor I T W Fletcher asked the following question of Cllr D Wright, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Infrastructure.

 

The LGA had recently published the following document: Probity in Planning: Advice for Councillors and Officers Making Planning Decisions.  Would the Cabinet Member Cllr David Wright - Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Infrastructure please advise members whether the advice and recommendations contained within this document would be implemented within Telford & Wrekin Council?

 

Councillor Wright responded that the Council had a very robust transparent, fair and efficient planning system which produced policies fairly, properly and transparently and determined planning applications equally fairly, properly and transparently.  The Planning Authority was always looking to improve practices/processes and would look at what the LGA had advised before deciding whether to change anything to reflect the LGA advice – in particular whilst the Planning Authority invited ward councillors to comment on pre-application discussions, consideration would be given to how further briefing on the relevant policy issues could be provided; there was merit in members involved in Planning to undertake an annual visit of sample of sites where planning permission had been granted and implemented so that they could see and appreciate the impact of their decisions; and there was also merit in ensuring that the time allowed for public speaking at planning meetings was shared equally between those for and against any application.

 

Councillor Fletcher welcomed consideration being given to the implementation of an annual visit to sample sites and suggested a rush hour visit to the site of Holy Trinity Academy with the junction of Teece Drive and Priorslee Avenue.

 

Councillor Wright responded that he was keen for all elements of the report to be considered and whilst it was important to set strategic direction it was also necessary to allow Members to make planning decisions independently.

 

2.         Councillor S Bentley asked the following question of Cllr S Davies, Leader.

 

Did the Leader intend to unlock the gridlock of Future Fit by collaborating constructively with Shropshire Council?

 

Councillor Davies responded that first and foremost the gridlock was something that was not this Council’s making.  Often, the Council, had acted to operate within the government-set process for the reconfiguration of hospital services.  He was aware of vocal dislike from certain quarters of the County of the Council’s stance but he would not apologise for standing up for the hospital services and a decent NHS because that was expected by residents.  He noted that the Future Fit process was approaching a cost of £0.5bn and he did not think it was too much to ask for health bosses and the government to take a second look at how such a substantial sum of taxpayers’ money was spent.  The proposal pitted one community against another but he stood ready to work together cross party, cross Council and with all local MPs to get the best healthcare and health outcomes possible.  The challenge set a few  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

Notices of Motion

62a

Councillor A J Eade moved, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 7, the following Motion:

“This Council supports the provision of a new hospital in between Telford and Shrewsbury and undertakes to send a fact finding Member/Officer delegation to Cramlington in Northumbria to review health service provision and best practice at that site.”

 

The Motion will be seconded by Councillor N A Dugmore.

Minutes:

“This Council supports the provision of a new hospital in between Telford and Shrewsbury and undertakes to send a fact finding Member/Officer delegation to Cramlington in Northumbria to review health service provision and best practice at that site.”

 

The Motion was seconded by Councillor N A Dugmore.

 

RESOLVED -  that the motion not be approved.

 

 

62b

Councillor N A Dugmore moved, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 7, the following Motion:

 

“This council resolves to consider housing numbers currently planned for the Borough within the Local Plan review process.”

 

The Motion will be seconded by Councillor T J Nelson.

 

Minutes:

“This council resolves to consider housing numbers currently planned for the Borough within the Local Plan review process.”

 

The Motion was seconded by Councillor T J Nelson.

 

Councillor D Wright then moved the following amendment, with additional words shown in bold and underlined. 

 

“This Council notes the decision of Cabinet on 2nd January 2020 to review the local plan. Council also notes that the covering report to Cabinet fully detailed the relevant legislation and Government guidelines informing the process of such a review. In line with this process Council resolves to consider housing numbers currently planned for the Borough within the Local Plan review process.”

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor R A Overton.

 

At the end of the debate, a vote was taken on the amendment put forward by

Councillor Wright which was unanimously CARRIED.

 

RESOLVED - that the amended Motion be approved.

 

 

62c

Councillor A J Burford moved, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 7, the following Motion:

“Telford and Wrekin Council is firmly opposed to the decision of the Secretary of State to downgrade Accident & Emergency services at the Princess Royal Hospital and close the existing Women and Children’s Centre.

 

We note with concern that the cost of Future Fit has spiralled out of control to £498 million with every indication that this will go higher still. This astronomical increase in cost makes Future Fit uneconomical and unfair and flies in the face of the need for a balanced approach to investment across the whole system which can deliver a viable solution to the current crisis in our local NHS

 

This more balanced approach must include:

 

·                a significant additional investment in accessible, local primary and secondary services across Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire which will reduce pressure on acute hospital services

·                a rejection of the current plan to pour a large majority of the available capital into crumbling hospital infrastructure contrary to the spirit and intent of the NHS Long Term Plan

·                a rapid feasibility study of the alternatives to the current proposal for acute reconfiguration to include both the option of a  new site dedicated either to A&E alone or to all hospital services for Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire  and the option of retaining full A&E provision at both sites including the retention of the Women and Children’s Centre at PRH

 

In order to progress these alternatives, and in the absence of fresh thinking from local NHS leaders, we call upon Shropshire Council and all local MPs to meet with this Council administration to make an agreed case to the Secretary of State to instruct that the feasibility work outlined above is undertaken in partnership with the local authorities.”

 

The Motion will be seconded by Councillor S Davies.

Minutes:

“Telford and Wrekin Council is firmly opposed to the decision of the Secretary of State to downgrade Accident & Emergency services at the Princess Royal Hospital and close the existing Women and Children’s Centre.

 

We note with concern that the cost of Future Fit has spiralled out of control to £498 million with every indication that this will go higher still. This astronomical increase in cost makes Future Fit uneconomical and unfair and flies in the face of the need for a balanced approach to investment across the whole system which can deliver a viable solution to the current crisis in our local NHS

 

This more balanced approach must include:

 

·                a significant additional investment in accessible, local primary and secondary services across Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire which will reduce pressure on acute hospital services

·                a rejection of the current plan to pour a large majority of the available capital into crumbling hospital infrastructure contrary to the spirit and intent of the NHS Long Term Plan

·                a rapid feasibility study of the alternatives to the current proposal for acute reconfiguration to include both the option of a  new site dedicated either to A&E alone or to all hospital services for Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire  and the option of retaining full A&E provision at both sites including the retention of the Women and Children’s Centre at PRH

 

In order to progress these alternatives, and in the absence of fresh thinking from local NHS leaders, we call upon Shropshire Council and all local MPs to meet with this Council administration to make an agreed case to the Secretary of State to instruct that the feasibility work outlined above is undertaken in partnership with the local authorities.”

 

The Motion was seconded by Councillor S Davies.

In accordance with Committee Procedure Rule 9.5, a recorded vote on the motion was taken, the voting being as follows:

For: 32

Councillors K T Blundell, M Boylan, A J Burford, E M Callear, L D Carter, S Davies, A R H England, N A M England, R C Evans, C Healy, V J Holt, T L B Janke, A S Jhawar, J Jones, J E Lavery, A D McClements, R Mehta, L A Murray, R A Overton, S J Reynolds, G C W Reynolds, S A W Reynolds, K S Sahota, P J Scott, C F Smith, M J Smith, B J Thompson, W L Tomlinson, K T Tomlinson, C R Turley, P Watling, and D Wright

 

Abstentions: 12

Councillors S Bentley, E J Carter, N A Dugmore, A J Eade, V A Fletcher, I T W Fletcher, E J Greenaway, M B Hosken, R T Kiernan, A Lawrence, T J Nelson, and J M Seymour

 

Against: 0

 

NB Councillors S P Burrell, K Middleton and D R W White did not take part in the debate or vote due to their Membership of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  Councillor G L Offland had left the meeting at 7.14pm.

 

RESOLVED -  that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62c