Agenda and minutes

Wednesday, 15th February, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Oak Room, County Buildings, Stafford. View directions

Contact: Mike Bradbury  Email:


No. Item


Decision notice of the meeting held on 1 February 2017 pdf icon PDF 150 KB

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Decision – That the notes of the meeting held on 1 February 2017 be approved.


Leader's Update

Oral report of the Leader of the Council

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Decision – That the oral report of the Leader of the Council giving an update on a range of issues including Staffordshire’s position as a key contributor to the new UK Industrial Strategy; and the Council’s budget proposals for 2017/18 which will include a record £300m spend on care; be noted.


Third Quarter Budget Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 210 KB

Leader of the Council and Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Matters

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Philip Atkins

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“A great deal of thought and hard work has gone into managing the council’s financial position to recover from the unexpected shortfall in income that arose earlier this year.


An important part of this work has been the early identification of possible problems and it’s clear that spending controls introduced earlier this financial year are now having a significant, positive effect on the overall position.”


Philip Atkins OBE, Leader of the Council


“It’s important to note that the overall level of additional spending for 2016/17 is within our financial targets and capabilities. We will explore further spending controls, as well as the possibility of using capital receipts and earmarked reserves flexibly to reduce the overspend.


We will take the lessons learnt this year, and in previous years, from the planning and implementation of spending controls and incorporate them into our thinking for 2017/18 and beyond, as senior managers prepare for a future with less income and greater demand on certain services.”


Ian Parry, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Matters.


Reasons for the Decision To inform the Cabinet of the financial position of the county council (including the delivery of the Medium Term Financial Strategy) at the end of the third quarter 2016/17


Decision – That the third quarter finance position be noted.


Debt Benefits and Consumer Advice pdf icon PDF 317 KB

Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing

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Alan White Image

As a county council we have to work with the budget we have available and need to prioritise funding for those services which we have a legal duty to provide, such as the care of the elderly, people with learning disabilities, and the children in our care.


This has meant making some difficult decisions about the funding of non-statutory services, including the debt, benefits and consumer advice service currently provided for us by the Citizens Advice.


Although we approached partners to see if any additional financial could be found, unfortunately very little was offered. We will continue to work with Citizens Advice to see if it is possible to provide as much of the service as possible without county council funding.”


Alan White, Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing


Reasons for the Decision – To consider proposals for savings in relation to Debt, Benefit and Consumer Advice services across Staffordshire.


Decision – (a) That Staffordshire County Council cease to fund the Debt, Benefit and Consumer Advice service provided by Staffordshire Southwest Citizens Advice.  (This non statutory service was commissioned to provide free, confidential, impartial and independent, quality marked and accredited information and advice to the public on a wide range of issues including debt, benefits, and consumer information and advice across the county).


(b) That Staffordshire County Council offer support to Citizens Advice to consider how it might be able to review its operations in order to maximise access to services without County Council funding.



Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub pdf icon PDF 437 KB

Cabinet Member for Economic Growth

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“The growth hub has played an invaluable role in supporting small and medium-sized businesses in Staffordshire and guiding them to future growth. It acts as a first port of call for businesses which need advice on a range of issues – from access to finance to employment laws. The county council plays an important role in the delivery of the hub, which supports our priority of ensuring there is continued economic growth in Staffordshire and job creation. It has achieved a great deal since it was set up in 2014 and we will be working closely with partners to ensure this continues.”


Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth


Reasons for the Decision – To receive an update on the success of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub.


Decision – (a) That the success of the Growth Hub programme in supporting Staffordshire businesses to start up, thrive and grow be noted.


(b) That the Cabinet and wider membership helps to promote the Growth Hub services to local businesses of all sectors and sizes by raising awareness of the Staffordshire Business Helpline and the Growth Hub Advisors.


(c) That the role that the key partners (Stoke on Trent City Council and the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce) make in the Growth Hub be noted.


Staffordshire's Arts Offer pdf icon PDF 484 KB

Cabinet Member for Communities and the Environment

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“The request to look a second time at the County Council’s involvement in public arts coincided with the authority’s challenge to balance its budget for 2017/18.


In line with the County Council’s plan to spend more than ever before on care by providing £300 million for the elderly, people with disabilities and vulnerable children, there is far less funding available in some other areas.


We have been faced with some difficult decisions to make sure we can fund those services, like care, that we have a legal duty to provide.


Therefore, while protecting provision of the Multi-Sensory Experience room, I have put forward a fundamental change to the remainder of the service.”


Gill Heath, Cabinet Member for Communities and the Environment


Reasons for the Decision – To consider proposals to redefine the County Council’s Arts offer to realise a saving of £203,000.


Decision – (a) That the proposal for the Arts Service to vacate the Shire Hall, which will result in the closure of the Shire Hall gallery, be approved and that the Arts Offer is remodelled to realise a part year net saving of £129,810 in 2017/18 rising to a full year saving of £203,000 in 2018/19.


(b) That the Multi-Sensory Experience Room be relocated into Staffordshire Place One and managed as part of the Stafford Library offer.


(c) That the £20,000 Community Arts Grants scheme be discontinued from April 2017 and a Community Arts Officer post retained to support community providers, local organisations and artists to develop a network of locally based arts activity.


(d) That the £10,000 Arts Development Grants be withdrawn from April 2018. (Notice will be served during March 2017 to enable affected organisations to identify alternative funding).


(e) That Staffordshire County Council continues to invest in the New Vic Theatre for a period of 3 years (2018-2021).



Alternative Uses for Shire Hall, Stafford pdf icon PDF 313 KB

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Matters

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Shire Hall is a Grade II* listed landmark building and one of the most attractive features in the centre of Stafford.


No longer serving the function for which it was designed, it is a complex building and its listed status means the alterations that can be made must be done sensitively.


The county council is committed to meeting its legal duty to ensure that the building is maintained and preserved for future generations, therefore we are seeking ways to work with public and private sector partners to ensure Shire Hall, and the buildings behind it, are busy, successful and able to sustain their own future.”


Ian Parry, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Matters.


Reasons for the Decision – To consider proposals in relation to the use of Shire Hall, Stafford.


Decision – (a) That as the current uses for the building come to an end during 2017/18, the property be temporarily secured and decommissioned in order to preserve it in good order ready for reutilisation.


(b) That the multi-sensory room currently located with the Shire Hall continues to be provided and that it be relocated to Staffordshire Place 1 where it will be managed by the Library service.


(c) That approval be given to progress to the next stages of the project gateway process and that the requisite budget and time is allowed in order to secure the long term viable use for the building.


(d) That public access to this heritage building be incorporated into the proposed future uses.


Decisions taken by Cabinet Members under Delegated Powers pdf icon PDF 188 KB

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Decision – That the following decisions taken by Cabinet Members under delegated powers be noted:


Cabinet Member


Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Matters

In approving the granting of a lease of Littleworth Community Centre to Littleworth Community Association

Cabinet Member for Health, Care and Wellbeing

In approving the Better Care Fund plan for Staffordshire and subsequent transfer of £16.514m as part of a range of funding for protection of adult social care




Forward Plan of Key Decisions pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Additional documents:


The Forward Plan of Key Decisions for the period 15 Marchto 19 July 2017, which detailed the following issues, was approved:


Subject Matter


Children and Young People's Health and Wellbeing Programme 0-19 Year Olds

Name: Simon Ablewhite/ Tilly Flanagan

Tel: (01785) 278829/


Quarter 4, 2016/17 Performance Report

Name: Lauren Jackson

Tel: (01785) 854561

Fourth Quarter Budget Monitoring Report

Name: Rachel Spain

Tel: (01785) 854455

Treasury Management Report for the Year Ended 31 March 2017

Name: Johirul Alam

Tel: (01785) 276011







Philip Atkins

Leader of the County Council