Venue: Telford Theatre, Limes Walk, Oakengates, Telford, TF2 6EP
Contact: Jayne Clarke / Paige Starkey 01952 383205 / 380110
A minutes silence was held following the passing of four young men who lost their lives on a camping trip to Wales.
Prayers and Reflections
Reverend Ian Olliver, representing Dawley Baptist Church, said prayers.
Declarations of Interest
To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Council.
RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2023 be confirmed and signed by the Mayor.
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.
The Leader highlighted the significance of both local and national events that had occurred in recent months and the impact these events have had on local residents and communities.
Following the Government’s Autumn Statement, the Leader stated that recent headlines had seen reductions in national insurance, however independent organisations would continue to be affected by the burden created from local taxation and local authorities would receive little investment for services that matter the most in their communities.
The Council had seen budgetary challenges throughout the year as a result of the impact of inflation, however had continued to invest funding into vital services.
The Leader provided an update that following a 6 month wait for a response from the Department of Health, it had been confirmed that the plans to downgrade the A&E and move the consultant-led women and children’s centre from the Princess Royal Hospital to Shrewbury were being re-considered by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.
To note the Mayoral Engagements undertaken since the previous Council meeting.
The Deputy Mayor noted the engagements that the Mayor had undertaken since the last meeting of Council. In particular, he highlighted a recent visit to Crucial Crew at Telford College and the Mayor’s forthcoming Christmas Carol Service which would commence the start of the festive season.
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.
No questions were received.
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.
The following questions were
asked under Council Procedure Rule 6.2.2:-
Councillor S Handley asked the following question of
Councillor L D Carter, Cabinet Member: Place (The Economy &
“As you are aware there has been increasing concern over the Holyhead Road by Central Park in St Georges, I know the current and previous Labour councillors for St Georges have been advocating for the road to be improved and have also wanted signals added to the junction of Furnace Road. This is a major scheme, and I would be delighted if the Cabinet Member for Place could inform me if there is a date now agreed for this project to commence and if the junction will be signalled to help improve road safety and ease congestion?”
Councillor Carter responded that the Council had recently undertaken a number of major improvement schemes across the Borough and in particular a number of challenging repairs to structures and retaining walls in the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site. The Council would be investing a further £24m into transport and highways schemes and improvements to Holyhead Road in St Georges will take place in the New Year with works set to commence in late January. The project would see improvements to the retaining wall, resurfacing of the roads and footpaths as well as the introduction of a signalised junction to include pedestrian crossing facilities.
(b) Councillor H Morgan asked the following question of Councillor K Middleton, Cabinet Member: Health, Safer & Stronger Communities and Partnerships:
"I'm really pleased to see that Telford and Wrekin are spreading the message of zero tolerance on violence to both men and women. There is a funding gap for community services for domestic abuse and since the pandemic there has been an increase of 20% in reported domestic violence so to see our local authority prioritise this is brilliant to see. Can you tell me a little more about any planned work in the area that will help continue the White Ribbon message in the long term?”
Councillor Middleton responded
that the Council would be investing £1.5m over the next three
years to provide a new domestic abuse support service which would
be delivered by not-for-profit organisations Cranstoun and West
Mercia Women’s Aid. The
Council’s Building Safer & Stronger Communities programme
had supported more than 200 women to complete free self-defence
classes with further sessions planned for the New Year. The annual
Telford 5K Park Run continues to raise awareness of domestic abuse
and those who attend the park run are encouraged to sign the
(c) Councillor A D McClements asked the following question of Councillor R Mehta, Cabinet Member: Inclusion, Engagement, Equalities & Civic Pride:
“Since 2011, under this administration, the Councillors Pride Fund has given ward members the opportunity to allocate funding towards improvements or projects within their ward. This funding has given all 54 councillors the opportunity to make a big difference with a small amount of money, supporting many hundreds of projects that benefit local communities, improving ... view the full minutes text for item 37.
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.
No questions of clairifcation were raised.
The Cabinet Member: Place (The Economy & Neighbourhood Services) presented the report of the Director: Policy & Governance. The report provided a summary a year on from the publication of the Independent Inquiry’s report of the progress made by the Council against the recommendations contained within the report.
Following a robust debate it was:
a) The progress made by the Council against the actions contained within the report of the Independent Inquiry into CSE in Telford published on 12 July 2022 be noted;
b) Delegated Authority to the Director: Policy & Governance, following consultation with the Lived Experience Consultees, to write to the Independent Chair of the Inquiry to invite a review of the steps taken to implement the recommendations with the intention that this invite will be issued by the end of December 2023 be granted; and
c) Thanks and gratitude to Holly Archer, Scarlett Jones and Joanne Phillips for their contribution to the work carried out to date on the recommendations be extended.
The Cabinet Member: Finance, Customer Service & Governance presented the report of the Director: Policy & Governance. The report outlined a number of governance related matters and changes affecting the Council Constitution, a request for Leave of Absence and the Members’ Allowance Scheme.
Following a debate it was:
a) The work undertaken to effect the Member Development Induction programme and the associated update as set out in paragraphs 3.4-3.7 of the report be noted;
b) The adoption of the revised Constitution at Appendix A and its changes, as set out at paragraph 3.8 of the report be approved;
c) A leave of absence for Councillor Shirley Reynolds until 12 July 2024 on the grounds of ill-health be approved; and
d) The addition to the Members Allowance Scheme of provision for an allowance associated with the role of Acting Cabinet Member as set out in paragraphs 3.8 – 3.9 be approved.
Recommendations from Boards and Committees
The Chair of the Audit Committee presented the report of the Director: Finance & Human Resources. The report provided an update on the outcome of Treasury Management activities for 2022/23 and detailed the position for 2022/23 to 31 May 2023.
Councillor Dugmore asked if a breakdown of the amount of money borrowed from local authorities and the names of those local authorities could be provided.
Councillor Thomas asked why the audit report for 2021/22 had not been published and the reasoning behind the delay.
The Cabinet Member: Finance, Customer Service & Governance confirmed that written responses to these questions would be provided.
Following a debate it was:
a) The contents of the report be noted; and
b) The performance against Prudential Indicators be noted.
Motions on Notice
(a) Councillor A J Eade proposed the following Motion:
“Despite undertakings to the contrary, we note with grave disappointment this council’s failure to secure state of the art health provision for the Borough of Telford & Wrekin.”
The Motion was seconded by Councillor N A Dugmore.
Councillor P Watling then moved an amendment, with additional words shown in bold and underlined and removed words shown with a strikethrough.
Despite undertakings to the
contrary over the past 13 years, we note with grave
A) To continue to lobby the current Prime Minister and current Health Secretary to reverse the decision by then Health Secretary Matthew Hancock to downgrade hospitals service.
B) To call for more fairer funding for GP’s, pharmacists, dentists so that we can have a health care system all our residents can rely on.
C) To praise our NHS staff who continue to work to offer the best possible service whilst dealing with the continued underfunding.
The amendment was seconded by Councillor A D McClements.
a recorded vote was requested by the requisite number of councillors
RESOLVED – that the amended
motion be approved.
(b) Councillor T J Nelson proposed the following Motion:
“This Council re-states its commitment to 35% affordable homes.”
The Motion was seconded by Councillor N A Dugmore.
Councillor R A Overton then moved an amendment, with additional words shown in bold and underlined and removed words shown with a strikethrough.
This Council re-states its commitment to 35% affordable homes where such a target can be agreed through the current government national policy framework. The council notes that 35% is the target for Newport and rural areas within the existing local plan which is currently subject to review and public consultation. The council notes that 3,473 affordable have been built across the whole borough from 2011-2022 which equates to over 3 in 10 homes built in that period.
This Council agrees to continue to deliver affordable homes through every available option, including developer contribution, seek more Homes England grant and ... view the full minutes text for item 42.