Agenda and minutes

Full Council
Thursday, 4 March 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: Remote Meeting

Contact: Stacey Worthington  01952 384382

Media

Items
No. Item

122.

Prayers and Reflections

Minutes:

The Reverend Molly Chitokwindo, representing Telford Methodist Church, said prayers.

123.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None.

124.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 581 KB

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2021 be confirmed and signed by the Mayor.

 

125.

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 thanked all those who had been involved in the vaccination effort across the Borough and noted that, after a slow start, the vaccination rates in the Borough were above the regional and national averages. He stated that there had been a number of gaps in appointments due to the national booking system and noted that he had offered help to the government with the aim of getting the appointments filled.

 

The Leader advised that there had been an increase in the number of rapid testing centres in the Borough. Over 400 laptops had been distributed to local school children and children were due to return to school the following week.

 

In regards to flooding in the Borough, the Council had written again to the government regarding permanent flood defences in Ironbridge, noting that the temporary defences had been in place for over 15 years.

 

The previous day, the Government had announced its budget. The Council would do all it could to support businesses, including enhancing support where possible. The Leader expressed disappointment that there was no fix for adult social care and children’s safeguarding funding from government. The Government had also not provided grants to councils allowing them to freeze council tax.

126.

Mayor’s Announcements pdf icon PDF 113 KB

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

Minutes:

The Mayor noted that due to current lockdown restrictions, he had not been able to attend engagements in person, however, he had continued to attend events virtually. The Mayor highlighted his attendance at the Holocaust Memorial Day, the Chinese New Year Celebrations and the West Midland Cadets & Reserve Forces Presentation.

127.

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.

 

128.

Cabinet Decisions Made Since the Last Meeting of the Council pdf icon PDF 331 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.

 

Safer, Cleaner Neighbourhoods Through Appropriate Use of Our Enforcement Powers

 

Councillor W L Tomlinson requested a review into the Council’s bulk collection charges to maximise the number of residents who would be able to access this service for free.

 

Councillor R A Overton, Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Community Safety and Customer Services stated that fly tipping was a blight and that current bulk collection discounts were generous.

 

Councillor N A Dugmore asked if the whole Borough would be covered under the enforcement powers, including rural areas.

 

Councillor R A Overton confirmed that where there was an issue, the Council would address it. Councillor Overton highlighted the available partnerships that Town and Parish Councils could be part of and stated that the whole Borough was covered by enforcement action.

 

Councillor T J Nelson asked when the capacity of Hortonwood Recycling Centre would be increased.

 

Councillor R A Overton stated that a written response would be provided.

 

129.

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 R A Overton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Community Safety & Customer Services:

 

‘We are still seeing rogue scrap dealers driving around the area especially in Newport. What is the council doing to stop this from happening and what is the success rate to date?  What can the residents do to assist in stopping rogue dealers in the area?’

Councillor R A Overton confirmed that scrap dealers must be licensed by the Council and that the Council worked closely with the police where there had been reports of unlicensed collections. There were regular social media posts in regards to bulk collections. There had been 9 reports of unlicensed collections in the previous 2 years.

As a supplementary question, Councillor Scott noted that the police were often the first point of call for residents when they saw an unlicensed collector. Did the police automatically liaise with the Council?

Councillor Overton confirmed that the Council and the police worked closely on this issue.

 

b)    Councillor J Lavery asked the following question of Councillor R A Overton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Community Safety & Customer Services:

 

‘Further to the recent Council announcement in respect of the £1.5million Safer Communities Fund, could the Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Community Safety & Customer Services confirm that it will be data driven and that the local representations made in Donnington has been agreed as part of the Safer Communities Fund?’

Councillor R A Overton stated that this funding meant that the Council, working in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner, could tackle the root causes of crime. The scheme would utilise data from the community safety partnership and Councillor Overton noted that each plan would be area specific. Based on the data that had already been gathered, Donnington was one of the areas that had been confirmed as part of the programme.

 

c)    Councillor G C W Reynolds asked the following question of Councillor C Healy, Cabinet Member for Visitor Economy, Historic and Natural Environment and Climate Change:

 

‘It has recently been reported that global warming will reach 1.5 degrees, considered to be the threshold of no return, ten years earlier than previously projected. Whilst I recognise the work the council is doing to limit its own carbon footprint, that will have limited effect without national and international action. With that in mind, can the council take any action to ensure national government acts with more commitment and urgency on this hugely important issue?’

Councillor C Healy, Cabinet Member for Visitor Economy, Historic and Natural Environment and Climate Change stated that the Council was committed to reducing its carbon footprint and had made significant progress on this. An update would be provided to the Cabinet in March. There was much more that central government could do and highlighted a range of measures.

 

d)    Councillor G Offland asked the following question of Councillor S  ...  view the full minutes text for item 129.

130.

Service & Financial Planning 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 271 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor R C Evans, Cabinet Member: Council Finance & Governance, presented a series of reports from the Chief Executive, the Chief Financial Officer, , The Director:Prosperity & Investment, The Director:Neighbourhood & Enforcement 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, identified the service priorities and budget for 2021/22 and the formal resolutions to set the level of the Council Tax in each parish area across the Borough for 2021/22.  The reports included details of savings proposals and investments for 2021/22 and set out the proposed approach to developing the further savings that would be required through to 2023/24.

 

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 £126.4m per annum. 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 a one month consultation period commenced.

Attached to the report were a number of appendices, including savings proposals, the Pay Policy Statement 2021/22, 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 £228.532m that included the proposed investments contained in the overall budget strategy. It also set out the Council’s proposed planned Building Maintenance programme.

 

The report on the Treasury Management Strategy detailed the Treasury Strategy to be adopted for 2021/22. The Strategy was set within the parameters of relevant statute, guidance and accounting standards. It was expected the Council may borrow up to £60.2m in 2021/22 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 2020/21. The report also included the Council’s Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Statement, which overall was in line with that previously agreed.

 

The report on Prudential Indicators sought approval of the prudential indicators for 2021/22 required under the Prudential Code of Capital Finance in Local Authorities.

 

Having been moved by Councillor Evans, the budget proposals were seconded by the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Enforcement, Community Safety & Customer Services, Councillor R A Overton.

 

Councillor N A Dugmore, Leader of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 130.

131.

Monitoring Officer Annual Update pdf icon PDF 356 KB

Minutes:

Councillor R C Evans, Cabinet Member for Council Finance and Governance presented the report of the Associate Director: Policy & Governance.

 

RESOLVED that:

a)    The reason for non-attendance at meetings of the authority as set out in paragraph 4.6 of the 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 paragraph 4.4 of the report be approved

b)   The decision made in FC-131 (a) be reviewed no later than 31 March 2022

c)    The two appointments as set out in paragraph 4.8 of the report and the allowances associated with those roles be approved, with effect from 2021/22 municipal year

d)   The approach set out in paragraphs 4.13 – 4.16 of the report in relation to Member development and support be noted and endorsed

e)    The scrutiny update provided at paragraph 4.19 of the report be noted

f)     The updated terms of reference as detailed at paragraph 4.21 of the report be approved.

 

132.

Notices of Motion

Minutes:

Councillor L D Carter formally moved, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 7, the following Motion:

 

‘This Council welcomes the Council’s 4 year £50m Investment into Telford & Wrekin’s Highways and calls upon the Government to reverse the planned 21% cut to its Highways Grant Funding Allocation for Telford & Wrekin’

 

The Motion was formally seconded by Councillor D Wright.

 

Following a robust debate, the Motion was approved by a majority vote.


RESOLVED
 - that the motion be approved