Agenda and minutes

Full Council
Thursday, 14 January 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Stacey Worthington  01952 384382

Media

Items
No. Item

111.

Prayers and Reflections

Minutes:

The Reverend Matt Beer, representing Telford Ministry, said prayers.

112.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None received.

113.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 530 KB

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 26 November 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Mayor.

 

114.

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 noted that the country was now in a third period of national lockdown. He stated that the Council had continued to work hard supporting all those who had been affected by the pandemic and highlighted a number of schemes that had been undertaken in the Borough. The Council had opened a rapid testing facility at Oakengates Theatre, where any resident who did not have symptoms could get a test;- this was in addition to the NHS facilities within the Borough.

 

The Council had worked closely with the Environment Agency around flooding, particularly in Ironbridge Gorge, where there would be some changes made to the installation of the flood defences.

 

The Leader expressed frustration about the pace of the vaccination roll out in the Borough and stated that Council would work with the Government and the NHS to catch up to the national level. He stated that the Borough should not be behind national averages and would do everything in his power to support this effort.

115.

Mayor’s Announcements pdf icon PDF 117 KB

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

Minutes:

The Mayor wished all Members and residents a happy new year. The Mayor noted the engagements that he had attended, as and when restrictions allowed, and highlighted his attendance at the WE and VJ film showing at Wellington Orbit and the opening of the new Foundry Gym.

 

116.

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.

 

The following question to Cllr E Callear, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Libraries and Culture has been submitted by Richard Handley:

 

While carrying out the redevelopment of Horsehay Pool could you consider allowing paddle boarding and Kayaking to take place? At present there is no publicly available water to carry out these activities other than flowing water of the Severn in Telford. It would have lots of health benefits.

Minutes:

The following question to E Callear, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Libraries and Culture was submitted by Richard Handley:

 

“While carrying out the redevelopment of Horsehay Pool could you consider allowing paddle boarding and kayaking to take place? At present there is no publicly available water to carry out these activities other than flowing water of the Severn in Telford. It would have lots of health benefits.”

 

Councillor Callear, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Libraries and Culture responded to the question and advised that it was not possible to undertake such activities at Horsehay Pool due to the depth of water, as most of the pool had an average depth of less than 2 metres, however, the Council was engaging with partner agencies to look at other waters were such activities may be possible.

 

117.

Cabinet Decisions Made Since the Last Meeting of the Council pdf icon PDF 230 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.

 

2021/22 Schools Funding Formula

 

Councillor A Lawrence noted that this was clearly a good news story, as the funding had increased by £12m, but it was not clear how this money was split between the different funding blocks.

 

Councillor S A W Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, Education and Lifelong Learning stated that she would provide a written response to this question.

 

Councillor V A Fletcher stated that SACRE was due to review the curriculum of religious education in the Borough and asked if there had been a budget allocated to this.

 

Councillor S A W Reynolds stated that this budget would not be from the schools funding formula so she would provide a written response to Councillor Fletcher.

 

Service & Financial Planning 2021/22 Proposals

 

Councillor I T W Fletcher asked if the Council was planning to set a negative budget.

 

Councillor R C Evans, Cabinet Member for Council Finance and Governance, confirmed that the Council was not planning on submitting a negative budget. Due to technical difficulties, Councillor Evans stated that she would provide a detailed written response.

 

118.

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 J Scott asked the following question of Councillor S Davies, Leader:

 

‘There is a lot of concern locally in the Newport area and the rest of the borough about the slowness of the Covid Vaccination roll out especially among the elderly and care homes. Other areas seem to be getting their vaccinations.  The residents need some clarity. Can the leader tell me if he knows why the Wrekin area appears to be left behind whilst others are being prioritised?’

The Leader thanked Councillor Scott for the work he had been doing for the residents of Newport on this issue and stated that he shared Councillor Scott’s frustration at the speed of the roll out of the vaccine. Less than 50% of care home residents in the Borough had a vaccination, which was not good enough. The Leader stated that a centre in Newport was planned and was due to open in February, with more details to be released shortly. The Telford International Centre site was due to open at the end of January and then a centre at AFC Telford.

 

b)    Councillor K Middleton asked the following question of Councillor S Davies, Leader:

 

‘During this health pandemic Telford and Wrekin council comms team and public health messaging has in my opinion been outstanding! Providing clear and concise guidance and information to residents, keeping them up to date in the form of social media posts, emails, letters, radio interviews and live Q&As, enabling them to engage and build confidence in our local public health message. We have all seen the negative impact of mixed messaging on how people respond and adhere to the guidelines. Do you agree that a vital part of fighting coronavirus is a consistent message to the public?’

The Leader replied that communication was very important and the Council was doing all it could to keep residents informed. The Council had regularly posted on social media and had written to every home in the Borough twice, with a third letter going out later this month.

As a supplementary question, Councillor Middleton asked the Leader what his message was in respect of the vaccine?

The Leader stated that the vaccine was safe, a life saver and that everyone should get the vaccine when they are called for it. There was no need to travel hundreds of miles to get vaccinated, centres were being set up in the Borough. He urged residents to follow the rules.

 

c)      Councillor N A Dugmore asked the following question of Councillor A J Burford, Cabinet Member: Health & Social Care:

 

‘Would the cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing please update the Council on the number of Covid vaccinations performed in Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire to date with comparative data for neighbouring authorities?’

Councillor Burford expressed his frustration with the speed of the vaccine roll out and noted that, nationally, the NHS had been guarded with data, as they are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 118.

119.

Setting the Council Tax Base for 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 273 KB

Minutes:

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

 

RESOLVED that:

a)      The calculation for the tax base for 2021/22 as at paragraph 5.6 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 2021/22 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 of the report

 

120.

Recommendations from Cabinet

120a

2020/21 Financial Monitoring Report

Minutes:

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

 

RESOLVED that:

a)      the changes to the capital programme and the transfers to reserves detailed in Appendix 1 of the report be approved;

b)      authority be delegated to the Chief Executive, following consultation with the Leader, to approve the uses of the Investment in Council Priorities Fund

 

121.

Notices of Motion

Minutes:

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

 

“This Council calls for an immediate review of the relationship between Telford and Wrekin local planning authority and ATP the private planning consultancy established by this Council to avoid any perception that applicants paying to use this consultancy have an unfair advantage”

 

The Motion was formally seconded by Councillor I T W Fletcher.

 

 In proposing the Motion, Councillor Dugmore stated that a review of the relationship between ATP and the planning department was needed, as he stated there was a perception that those who engage ATP are more likely to have their applications approved. Although it was the role of planning consultants to look at ways to overcome barriers to approval, Councillor Dugmore stated that there needed to be respect between Councillors and officers.

 

Various Members stated that serious allegations should not be made without proof, and that if such proof was available, this should be presented to the police or directly to the relevant officers. Councillor Wright stated that there were no double standards and that the Council carried out its duty within the law. Other Members clarified that ATP does not engage with the Planning Committee, the committee were advised by planning officers and legal advisors.

 

Members were advised that a new director had recently been appointed to oversee the planning department and that a review of ATP was underway, with a report due shortly.

 

A recorded vote was requested. The vote was as follows:

 

For:     12  

Councillors S Bentley, S P Burrell, E J Carter, N A Dugmore, A J Eade,  I Fletcher, V Fletcher, E J Greenaway, M B Hosken, A Lawrence, T J Nelson, J M Seymour

 

Against:          36

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

 

Abstentions: 0

 

RESOLVED - that the Motion not be approved

 

Councillor S Bentley formally moved, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 7, the following Motion:

 

“Transparency through consultation with stakeholders and elected members is a key element of Local Government and should be fully incorporated into the decision making process of Telford and Wrekin Council.”

 

The Motion was formally seconded by Councillor N A Dugmore.

 

Councillor P R Watling moved the following amendment, with additional words shown in bold and underlined: 

 

Transparency through consultation with stakeholders and elected members is a key element of Local Government and should be fully incorporated into the decision making process of Telford and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 121.