Agenda and draft minutes

County Council - Thursday, 23rd July, 2020 10.00 am

Venue: Virtual Meeting via Microsoft Teams

Contact: Mike Bradbury  Email: michael.bradbury@staffordshire.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of the Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Snape moved, and Mr David Williams seconded, and it was:

 

RESOLVED – That Mrs Kath Perry be elected Chairman of the County Council for the ensuing year.

2.

Declarations of Interest under Standing Order 16

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following Members declared an interest in accordance with Standing Order 16.5:-

 

Member

Minute Nos.

Interest

Reason

Martyn Tittley

7

Disclosable Pecuniary

Undertakes work for a Utility company

 

3.

Confirmation of the minutes of the Council meeting held on 19 March 2020 pdf icon PDF 316 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting of the County Council held on 19 March 2020 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

4.

Election of the Vice-Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs Perry moved, and Mrs Jessel seconded, and it was:-

 

RESOLVED – That Mr Paul Snape be appointed Vice-Chairman of the County Council for the ensuing year.

5.

Chairman's Correspondence

The Chairman will mention a range of recent items of news which may be of interest to Members

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Death of Former County Councillor Ignatius Kelly

 

The Chairman informed the Council of the death, on 23 March 2020, of former County Councillor Ignatius Kelly.  Mr Kelly represented the former Wombourne County Electoral Division (South Staffordshire) between 1989 and 2001.  He had served on a number of the Council’s Committees including the Education Committee, Enterprise and Economic Development Committee, the Fire and Public Protection Committee, the Planning Committee and the Social Services Committee.

 

Death of Mick Harrison MBE, Commissioner for Safety

 

Members were also informed of the death, on 2 April 2020, of Mick Harrison, the Council’s Assistant Director for Children’s System Transformation within the Families and Communities Directorate.

 

Mick had worked for the County Council for nearly nine years in leadership roles but was well known to many through his illustrious career with Staffordshire Police where he served both across the county and the city of Stoke-on-Trent. His contribution to public services was later recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in the New Year’s Honours list in 2012, where he received an MBE.

 

Members paid tribute to Mr Kelly and Mr Harrison following which they observed a one minute silence in their memory.

 

Covid-19 Pandemic

 

The Chairman made the following statement:

 

“These are, as we are all aware, unprecedented and difficult times.

 

I would like to express, on behalf of this Council, our immense sadness at the deaths suffered during this current pandemic. Our most sincere and heartfelt condolences are sent to all those in our communities who have unfortunately lost love ones, we are thinking of you all and understand the grief you have gone through and are going through.

 

I would also like to say that our thoughts and prayers are with those of you, or your family and friends, who are suffering from the virus at this moment, and our thanks are with all those involved in your own or your loved one’s treatment.

 

While many people are following government guidance and staying at home, this is not an option for frontline and key workers, you continue to care for and provide support to everyone within our communities who need you, in the most incredibly challenging circumstances. We have all been humbled and astounded at the total selflessness and devotion of our frontline and key workers, in whatever their capacity, they have given so much in the fight against coronavirus. An unreserved thank to each and every member of our frontline and key workers.

 

Throughout this amazing county there are also many in our communities who are volunteering to work daily to ensure support is given to our elderly and vulnerable residents, making sure everyone has food on their tables, and that vital supplies are delivered to individuals and organisations. Supporting the vulnerable at this time can also be simply going to the shops for a neighbour.

 

I have heard of some astonishing examples of work being undertaken in the communities throughout the county and I want you to know that I really appreciate all of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Urgent Additional Item - Appointment of the Leader of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Note by Clerk: On the motion of the Chairman, the Council agreed that this item be dealt with as urgent business as Mr Atkins OBE had given notice of his intention to stand down from his position as Leader of the Council.

 

Members paid tribute to Mr Atkins for the contribution he had made to the work of the Authority during his eleven years as Leader of the Council. In response, Mr Atkins thanked Members for their kind words and highlighted some of the challenges the Council had faced and its achievements whilst under his leadership.  He also extended his thanks to his fellow Members and to the Council’s officers for their support.

 

Mr Atkins moved, and Mr Philip White seconded, that Mr Alan White be appointed as Leader of the Council.

 

Following a vote it was:

 

RESOLVED – That Mr Alan White be appointed as Leader of the Council.

 

7.

Statement of the Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 322 KB

The Leader will inform the Council about his work and his plans for the Council, and will give an overview of decisions taken by the Cabinet (and Portfolio Holders) since the previous meeting of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented a Statement outlining the work of the Cabinet since the previous meeting of the Council.  In moving consideration of the report, Mr Alan White made the following statement:

 

Covid-19 in Burton

 

“Since lockdown eased on 4 July there has been an increase in Covid-19 cases in East Staffordshire.  There have been 58 positive cases in the district, almost all in Burton, of which 45 cases are in the areas of Anglesey, Horninglow and Shobnall. The County Council is working with East Staffordshire Borough Council, partners and most importantly the local community. We held our second virtual meeting yesterday afternoon to discuss how we spread the message, protect local people and avoid the restrictions we have seen for example in Leicester and Blackburn. This is about acting early to reduce the spread of infection.  There are currently no plans for lockdown measures in Burton or anywhere in Staffordshire, however more robust localised measures will be considered if necessary.

 

Burton Covid-19 Rates and Cases:

 

·       The current (15th-21st July) 7-day rate per 100,000 population is 21.8 in Burton-upon-Trent

 

·       Current 7-day rate per 100,000 is 39.4 in Anglesey, Shobnall and Horninglow

 

·       Current 7-day rate per 100,000 is 13.4 in East Staffordshire.

 

·       For comparison, the current 7-day rate per 100,000 is 3.9 for Staffordshire and 5.3 for England.

 

In response, we are promoting public health messages through the media, social media, letters to homes and via word of mouth to prevent further spread of the infection. Information is available in different languages. We are analysing data every day and working with Public Health England (PHE) to investigate cases and their contacts to ensure isolation and testing messages are promoted. East Staffordshire Borough Council are visiting shops and businesses in the local area to reinforce messages. And we have set up three different testing facilities – a drive through at the Pirelli stadium, a walk-in centre at Uxbridge Road Mosque and an NHS team who can test people in their own homes.

 

We are acting now to contain the spread and are calling on all people to follow the guidance on Covid-19. Now is not the time to let our guard down and we are already seeing an amazing response from the community in Burton. Our message is that Covid-19 doesn’t care about culture, faith, or background so sticking to the rules and booking a test if you have symptoms is the best way to help protect yourself, your family and your community.”

 

Keeping Staffordshire Moving - Highway Permit Scheme

(Paragraph 2 of the Statement)

 

Note by Clerk: Mr Tittley declared a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in this item and left the meeting during its consideration.

 

Staffordshire Autism Joint Implementation Plan 2020-2023

(Paragraph 4 of the Statement)

 

In response to a question from Mrs Woodward concerning what the County Council and Clinical Commissioning Groups will do to increase capacity to be able to get Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) in place more quickly, Mr  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Recommendations to the Council pdf icon PDF 175 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council were informed that as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Government had introduced legislation, The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 No.392 (‘the Regulations’) which enabled local authorities to hold “virtual” meetings. 

 

As a consequence of these Regulations it was necessary to make changes to the Council’s Procedural Standing Orders.

 

RESOLVEDThat the amendments to the Council’s Procedural Standing Orders to facilitate “virtual” meetings, as detailed in the appendix to the report, be approved.

9.

Access to Information Rules - Special Urgency Notices pdf icon PDF 188 KB

Report of the Leader of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that, in accordance with the Access to Information Rules contained within the County Council’s Constitution, the Leader of the Council is required to submit quarterly reports to the Council detailing those key decisions taken by the Cabinet where it had not been possible to give the requisite 28 days public notice of the intention to take such a decision.  Similarly, where a decision being taken by or on behalf of the Cabinet is urgent and any delay likely to be caused by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the Council’s or the public’s interests or the interests of any person(s) to whom the decision relates, then the Leader of the Council may seek the approval of the Chairman of the Corporate Review Committee to that decision being exempt from call-in.  A report on the use of this procedure must be submitted to Council on a quarterly basis.

 

Members were informed that the Cabinet, at their meeting on 15 April 2020, took a key decision relating to the provision of a fee uplift and financial stability measures for Care Providers during the Covid-19 pandemic.  In addition, the Cabinet, at their meeting on 20 May 2020, also took a key decision on further extra funding of £4.3m from the additional grant to support care providers.  As it had not been possible to give the requisite 28 days public notice of the intention to take the above-mentioned decisions, the provisions referred to above were utilised.  In addition, as there was considerable concern nationally about the risk of care providers failing, which would have a catastrophic impact on people and the NHS, the approval of the Chairman of the Corporate Review Committee was sought to the decisions being exempt from call-in.

 

RESOLVEDThat the use of the special urgency and exemption from call-in provisions contained in the Council’s Constitution in respect of the Cabinet’s decisions on 15 April 2020 (on the provision of a fee uplift and financial stability measures for Care Providers during the Covid-19 pandemic) and 20 May 2020 (on further extra funding of £4.3m to support care providers), be noted.

10.

Annual Scrutiny Report 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered the Annual Scrutiny Report which summarised the work the Council’s Select Committees had undertaken during 2019/20.

 

Mr David Williams extended his thanks to all those Members who sat on the Council’s Select/Scrutiny Committees and also to the officers who supported them.

 

In commending the report, Mrs Atkins and Mrs Woodward referred to the valuable role played by scrutiny in holding the Council’s executive to account.  In response, Mr Alan White reaffirmed the commitment of the Council’s Executive to the work of scrutiny and positive impact it has on shaping decision making.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be received.

11.

Staffordshire Corporate Parenting Panel Annual Report 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 292 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Sutton moved consideration of the Staffordshire Corporate Parenting Panel Annual Report 2019-20.  He extended his thanks to Members of the Panel, and the officers who supported them, for the valuable contribution they had made.  He also extended his thanks to those Members and Officers who had offered to be a mentor to a child in care and he reminded Members that they were all Corporate Parents.

 

Mr Philip White referred to the work of the virtual school for the support it provided to children in care.

 

Mr Philip Atkins also spoke about the role of the County Council in trying to prevent children from needing to enter into the care system.

 

Mr Bryan Jones commended the work of the Panel and how it engaged with those young people in the Council’s care.

 

RESOLVED That the Staffordshire Corporate Parenting Panel Annual Report 2019-20 be received.

12.

Committee Membership

To consider the appointment of the members to Committees on the nomination of Group Leaders.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that the Director of Corporate Services, in consultation with the Group Leaders, would notify Members of any changes to Committee memberships in the coming days.

 

13.

Appointment of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Committees and Panels (Including the appointment of Community Cabinet Support Members) pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Alan White moved, and Mr Philip White seconded, the nominations for the appointment of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Committee.

 

RESOLVED – That the under-mentioned be appointed as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Committees stated for the period up to the annual Council meeting in 2021:-

 

Corporate Review Committee

 

 

 

          Chairman

Colin Greatorex

          Vice-Chairman

Opposition Vice-Chairman

Conor Wileman

Susan Woodward

 

 

Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee

 

 

 

          Chairman

Ian Parry

          Vice-Chairman

Opposition Vice-Chairman

Tina Clements

Kyle Robinson

 

 

Safe and Strong Communities Select Committee

 

 

 

          Chairman

John Francis

          Vice-Chairman

Opposition Vice-Chairman

Bob Spencer

Ron Clarke

 

 

Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee

 

 

 

          Chairman

Jeremy Pert

          Vice-Chairman

Opposition Vice-Chairman

Paul Northcott

Charlotte Atkins

 

 

Planning Committee

 

 

 

          Chairman

Mark Winnington

          Vice-Chairman

David Smith

 

Pensions Committee

 

 

 

          Chairman

Alastair Little

          Vice-Chairman

Mike Davies

 

 

Audit and Standards Committee

 

 

 

          Chairman

Martyn Tittley

          Vice-Chairman

Carolyn Trowbridge

 

Corporate Parenting Panel

 

 

 

          Chairman

Mark Sutton

          Vice-Chairman

Bryan Jones

 

Charities and Trusts Committee

 

 

 

          Chairman

Kath Perry

          Vice-Chairman

David Smith

 

Appointment of Community Cabinet Support Members

 

South Staffordshire                                              Mike Davies

Newcastle                                                                           Trevor Johnson

Cannock Chase                                                   Phil Hewitt

Lichfield District                                                   Janet Eagland

Tamworth                                                                          Jeremy Oates

Staffordshire Moorlands                                       Ross Ward

East Staffordshire                                                                         Bernard Peters

Stafford                                                            Carolyn Trowbridge

14.

Appointment of members to Outside Bodies 2018/19

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council noted that the Director of Corporate Services, in consultation with the Group Leaders, would notify Members of any changes to Appointments to Outside Bodies in the coming days.

 

15.

Questions pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Questions to be asked by Members of the County Council of the Leader of the Council, a Cabinet Member, or a Chairman of a Committee.  The question will be answered by the relevant Member and the Member asking the question may then ask a follow up question which will also be answered

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mrs Atkins asked the following question of the Cabinet Member for Communities whose reply is set out below the question:-

 

Question

 

What actions has the County Council taken to tackle climate change since it declared a Climate Emergency a year ago?

 

Reply

 

Since the County Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2020 the authority held an all member workshop to consider potential suitable actions which could form part of a future climate change action plan.  All suggestions were considered by the newly formed All Party Climate Change Working Group with the aim of creating a prioritised list. Whilst this work has been temporarily paused due to Covid-19 activities I can confirm that we are looking to approve and publish the plan in the autumn.  This will provide a framework to spend the £2.43m of resources that were approved in the current MTFS last February.

 

Whilst some elements of the climate change work have had to be temporarily paused as the Council responds to the Covid-19 pandemic, I am pleased to report that since declaring a Climate Change emergency a number of activities have still progressed:

 

·       the local authority has switched to green electricity for buildings, street lighting and traffic signals;

·       undertaken a full review of the authority’s carbon baseline so we can track progress made since our carbon reduction strategy, Green Shoots, was published;

·       supporting Engie to ensure the Rugeley site is as sustainable as possible and unlocking innovation;

·       jointly commissioned a climate change study to support the refresh of local plans;

·       started a review of possible locations for solar farms on county land;

·       launched the Waste Savvy Staffordshire campaign;

·       worked with SCVYS to capture the views of younger people for our Action Plan;

·       ensured climate change is a golden thread of our Economic Recovery and Renewal Strategy; and

·       Restarted the Climate Change Working Group with its next meeting on 29th July to consider a comprehensive action plan of deliverable items which will be taken through Cabinet.

 

Work, of course, has continued on many fronts on the numerous activities that support a sustainable Staffordshire such as sustainable transport planning, active travel, building energy management and smart working to name a few.

 

Supplementary Question

 

When will real progress be made by the County Council in meeting its climate change obligations, particularly incorporating a green recovery?  We have never been in a better time to pursue green initiatives as there is currently public support for directing and shaping the economy towards zero emissions.  I hope that the County Council will seize the moment.

 

Reply

 

You will see from the list of Cabinet Member Portfolios that the commitment we have to climate change is now set out in a full Cabinet role.  Councillor Jessel will be taking on a cabinet portfolio called Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change.  I hope that Councillor Atkins recognises that new commitment to the climate change agenda and reshaping our economy and infrastructure in a way that supports those objectives.

 

Mrs Atkins asked the following question of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Petitions

An opportunity for Members to present and speak on petitions submitted by their constituents

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(i)     Footpath between Colton and Rugeley

 

Mr Tittley presented a petition from Colton Parish Council seeking improvements to the footpath running alongside the B5014 between Colton and Rugeley.

 

(ii) Request for Traffic Calming measures along Sydney Street, Burton upon Trent

 

Mr Clarke presented a petition from local residents seeking the implementation of traffic calming measures along Sydney Street, Burton upon Trent.

 

 

 

Chairman