Agenda and draft minutes

Full Council
Thursday, 5 March 2020 6.00 pm

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

Contact: Deborah Moseley  01952 383215

Media

Items
No. Item

63.

Prayers and Reflections

Minutes:

The Reverend Keith Osmund-Smith said prayers.

64.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None.

65.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 362 KB

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 23 January 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Mayor.

 

66.

Leave of Absence - Councillor Jackie Loveridge

Minutes:

The Speaker noted that a leave of absence due to ill health had been sought for Councillor Jackie Loveridge.

 

RESOLVED – that Councillor Jackie Loveridge be granted a leave of absence of up to six months (ie to 5 September 2020).

67.

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 reflected on recent weather events that had resulted in flooding and praised the community response that had been seen in Ironbridge Gorge.  He particularly thanked Council staff who had worked around the clock to protect residents in the face of the most extreme conditions that had been seen for many years.  The focus had shifted to help people recover from the effects of flooding and he had met with the Secretary of State in Ironbridge and would be lobbying for more permanent flood defences. This was something that he hoped all parties could join together on.

 

The Leader also expressed his pride in the Outstanding ratings that had been achieved following recent Ofsted and CQC Inspections.

 

68.

Mayor’s Announcements pdf icon PDF 215 KB

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

Minutes:

Reflecting on his recent engagement, the Mayor thanked Members for their continued support of himself, the Mayoress and the Deputy Mayor.  He noted that there were limited tickets left for the upcoming Charity Murder Mystery night and hoped to see tickets sell-out in support of his charity.

69.

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.

 

None received.

Minutes:

No questions were received.

 

70.

Cabinet Decisions Made Since the Last Meeting of the Council pdf icon PDF 327 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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Becoming Carbon Neutral Action Plan

 

It was agreed that written responses would be provided to the following questions from Members:-

 

With respect to the procurement of commercial vehicles, Councillor A Lawrence asked how many vehicles had been procured since the Council declared a climate emergency and how many of those were diesel, petrol and the like and what was the Council’s our policy trying to go forward to switch things over to as many electric vehicles as it could?

 

Councillor N A Dugmore asked why there had been no cross party involvement in drawing up the Carbon Neutral Action Plan?

 

Councillor T J Nelson asked:

 

1.         For clarification on whether the report was  trying to achieve carbon zero or carbon neutral?  The title of the report was carbon neutral but there was no Plan B – it was only achieved if carbon zero was reached and there was a question around the attainability of that.

2.         Why didn’t the Council know how much natural woodland there was that would provide sequestration?

3.         With reference to point 26 of the action plan - why had contractors not been asked to provide their own carbon reduction plans because all of the Council’s main contractors had and it was not difficult to find their own carbon reduction plans.

4.         With reference to point 39 of the action plan – clarify was sought on the carbon impact of first time heating

5.         With reference to points 53 & 54 of the action plan - clarification on these when the action plan was reviewed.

6.         With reference to point 55 of the action plan – clarification of the reference to a calculation factor of 3.66 because that was not defined.

 

Councillor Nelson commented that his queries amplified the point of Councillor Dugmore that if there had been cross party involvement in the process before the report was presented, Members would have been able to ask these questions and resolve these issues at that point.

71.

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 P Scott asked the following question of Councillor Richard Overton, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Infrastructure.

 

"There was an increasing problem with dog owners allowing their dogs off leads on sports pitches across the borough. In Newport the local football and rugby teams had to regularly clear the pitches of dog faeces before a game could commence. It was unhealthy and antisocial.

 

Would the Council consider a new bylaw to keep all dogs on leads on and around sports areas throughout Telford and Wrekin?"

 

Councillor Overton responded that the Council already issued Fixed Penalty Notices for those people that allowed their dogs to foul without cleaning up after them, however, work was already underway to enable the Council to commence consultation on the use of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to deal with dog related offences in the coming months. The PSPOs were made under the Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 and could be used to impose a number of requirements relating to dogs to prevent activity which may be detrimental to the local community’s quality of life. Some of the requirements that the Council might consult on included:

 

      Exclusion of dogs from certain areas

      Requiring a person to pick up after their dog

      Dogs to be kept on leads in specific areas

      Prohibiting dogs from entering into certain areas (parks / play areas)

      Restricting the number of dogs that could be walked by one dog walker

      Any other measures which would have a positive impact to prevent and deter the detrimental quality of life in the local area

 

Following consultation it was hoped that any PSPOs made would reduce anti-social behaviour and promote responsible dog ownership.  However, in the event that somebody failed to comply with the requirements of a PSPO, there were powers under the legislation to issue Fixed Penalty Notices or commence prosecution proceedings against them.

 

Councillor Scott asked for a written copy of the response and to be kept updated with progress.

 

(b)       Councillor S Bentley asked the following question of Councillor David Wright, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and Infrastructure

 

“On how many occasions had the Flood Defence barriers been erected along the Wharfage since being acquired.”

 

Councillor D Wright responded that records had shown there had been at least 17 separate deployments of the flood barriers along the Wharfage at Ironbridge since they were secured in 2004 and Members would not be surprised to learn that four of those deployments had taken place within the last 12 months.

 

Due to the temporary nature of the flood defences, the Council was required to mobilise staff at short notice to install the barrier in partnership with the Environment Agency who owned and stored them.  The Council also provide a rota of employees to staff the barriers 24/7 to ensure there was public safety in place.  There was a cost to the Council in the region  ...  view the full minutes text for item 71.

72.

Review of the Terms of Reference for Health & Wellbeing Board pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Minutes:

Members received the report of the Director: Governance which set out a revised Terms of Reference for the Health and Well Being Board. The changes focussed on the Membership of the Board, in order to better reflect Cabinet Member priorities and the new Senior Management Team Structure.

 

RESOLVED – that the amendments to the Health and Wellbeing Board Terms of Reference as set out at Appendix A to the report be approved.

 

73.

Service & Financial Planning 2020/21 - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 270 KB

To consider the reports listed below. Reports 9.1 to 9.4 were considered by Cabinet on 20 February 2020 for recommendation to Council for approval.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor L D Carter, Cabinet Member: Finance, Commercial Services and the Economy, presented a series of reports from the Chief Executive, the Chief Financial Officer, the Executive Director for Housing, Communities and Customer Services and the Director: Policy, Customer & Commercial Services. The reports, detailed the Revenue Budget, medium term Capital Strategy and Programme, the Investment and Treasury Management Strategies and Prudential Indicators, formed the Council’s overall Medium Term Service & Financial Planning framework, and identified the service priorities and budget for 2020/21.  The report included details of savings proposals and investments for 2020/21 and set out the proposed approach to developing the further savings that would be required through to 2021/22.

 

The Overview and Revenue Budget report set out the severe financial challenges facing the Council.  By the end of this financial year, the Council would have made savings of £123m per annum, meaning that every year there was now £1,600 less to spend delivering services to each household in the Borough.  The Council had sought to do this in ways that protected front line services as far as possible and where services to the public were affected to do this in as compassionate a way as possible.  

 

Following the publication of its draft budget proposals in early January, and a one month consultation period, Cabinet had confirmed its key budget priorities as Adult Social Care, Children’s Safeguarding, support for housing initiatives, pump priming work on climate change, and Pride environmental projects.

 

Attached to the report were a number of appendices, including savings proposals, Impact Assessments of the savings proposals, the Pay Policy Statement 2020/21, analysis of base budget movements, and details of Reserves and Balances.

 

The Council’s Chief Financial Officer was required to give a view on the robustness of the Council’s financial strategy, including the use of balances, and this was appended to the report. This had concluded that the Council was pursuing a sound financial strategy in the context of the most prolonged and challenging financial position it had ever faced due to the combined effect of Government grant cuts and increased service pressures.

 

The Capital Strategy and Capital Programme reports presented the Council’s Capital Strategy for 2021/22 and a capital programme of £234.4m that included the proposed investments contained in the overall budget strategy. It also set out the Council’s proposed planned Building Maintenance programme, particularly focusing on 2020/21 and the two year Highways & Transport capital investment programme.

 

The report on the Treasury Management Strategy detailed the Treasury Strategy to be adopted for 2020/21. The Strategy was set within the parameters of relevant statute, guidance and accounting standards. It was expected the Council would borrow up to £29.6m in 2020/21 based on the current capital programme plans, and would adopt a flexible approach to borrowing.  The report also provided an update on the treasury management activities during 2019/20. The weighted average return on internal investments at the end of December 2019 was 0.61% compared to a benchmark return for the period of 0.5. The report also included  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73.

74.

Notices of Motion

74a

Councillor S A W Reynolds moved, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 7, the following Motion

 

“During the last three years since the last Ofsted inspection the government has slashed T&W funding, with the Revenue Support Grant being reduced by £8.485m (46%), but this labour Council continued to invest an extra £13.77m (53%) in our families.

 

This labour administration has a clear and ambitious vision for vulnerable children and families in Telford and Wrekin, and we have endeavoured to deliver excellent children services and ensure we provide first-class services that benefit children and their families.

 

This administration wants first-class children’s services for all families, this Council calls on the government to provide a comprehensive funding increase for Children’s Services for local authorities, to provide a service for every child that they would welcome for their own.”

 

The Motion will be seconded by Councillor P Watling.

Minutes:

“During the last 4 years since the last Ofsted inspection the government has slashed Telford and Wrekin Council funding, with the Revenue Support Grant being reduced by £8.485m (46%), but this Labour Council continued to invest an extra £13.77m (53%) in our families support.

 

This Labour administration has a clear and ambitious vision for vulnerable children and families in Telford and Wrekin, and we have endeavoured to deliver excellent children services and ensure we provide outstanding services that benefit children and their families.

 

‘Children’s Services in Telford & Wrekin Council are outstanding’ those nine words encapsulate nine years of hard work and dedication by our staff, parents, carers and all of our other partners.

 

This administration wants outstanding children’s services for all families, this Council calls on the government to provide a comprehensive funding increase for Children’s Services for all local authorities, to provide a service for every child that they would welcome for their own.”

 

Councillor P R Watling seconded the Motion.

 

Following a robust debate, during which a number of Members congratulated the Children’s Services Team, the Motion was unanimously approved.

 

RESOLVED -  that the motion be approved

 

 

74b

Councillor T J Nelson moved, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 7, the following Motion:-

 

“This Council undertakes to urgently plan and implement all appropriate and proactive measures to provide a comprehensive local response to the declared climate emergency.”

 

The Motion will be seconded by Councillor A Lawrence.

 

Minutes:

“This Council undertakes to urgently plan and implement all appropriate and proactive measures to provide a comprehensive local response to the declared climate emergency.”

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor A Lawrence.

 

Councillor H Rhodes moved the following amendment, with additional words shown in bold and underlined: 

 

“This Council undertakes to urgently plan and implement all appropriate and proactive measures, including as set out in the ‘Telford and Wrekin Council’s Becoming Carbon Neutral Action Plan’, before Council this eveningto provide a comprehensive local response to the declared climate emergency.”

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor C Healy and subsequently accepted by the proposer and seconder of the Motion.

 

Following a robust debate during which Members applauded the community response to recent flooding in the Ironbridge Gorge, and discussed a plethora of measures that the Council could explore, the Motion as amended was unanimously supported.

 

 RESOLVED -  that the amended motion be approved