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Election of Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year
Mr. H. Butter proposed, and Mrs. V.M. Downes seconded, that Mr. F.W. Lewis be elected Chairman for the ensuing year.
RESOLVED – That Mr. F.W. Lewis be elected Chairman of the County Council for the ensuing year.
Declarations of Interest under Standing Order 16.5
The following member declared an interest in accordance with Standing Order 16.5:-
Confirmation of the minutes of the Council meeting held on 17 March 2011
RESOLVED - That the minutes of the meeting held on 17 March 2011 be confirmed.
Election of the Vice-Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year
Mrs. L. Staples moved, and Mr. T. Corbett seconded, and it was:-
RESOLVED – That Mr. R. Fraser be appointed Vice-Chairman of the County Council for the ensuing year.
The Chairman will mention a range of recent items of news which may be of interest to Members
County Councillors Barrie Mycock and Peter Beresford and Alderman Herbert Derrick Brookes
The Council were informed of the recent death of County Councillors Barrie Mycock and Peter Beresford and Alderman Herbert Derrick Brookes.
Mr. Mycock had represented the Churnet Valley County Electoral Division on the County Council since his appointment to the Council in June 2001. He had served on the former Social Services Scrutiny Committee and Regulatory and Audit Committee and was also a member of the Regulatory Committee, Partnership Scrutiny and Performance Panel, Staffordshire Health Scrutiny Committee, Social Care Scrutiny Committee, Regeneration and Infrastructure Scrutiny Committee and Audit Committee. Mr Mycock had also represented the County Council on the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Authority
Mr Beresford had represented the Burton Town County Electoral Division on the County Council since his appointment to the Council in 2005. He served on the Communities Scrutiny Committee, Social Care Scrutiny Committee and also the former Children and Young People Scrutiny and Performance Panel. He had also served on the County Council’s Cabinet as the Lead Member for Children and Young People and as a representative of the County Council on the Staffordshire Police Authority.
Mr Brookes represented the former Burntwood Chase (Lichfield) County Electoral Division on the County Council between 1989 and 1999. He had served on the Education, Highways, Libraries, Arts and Archives, Policy and Resources and Police Committees. He was also Chairman of the Libraries, Arts and Archives Committee between 1992 and 1997, and was Chairman of the Cultural and Recreational Services Group Committee between 1996 and his resignation from the County Council in 1999.
Mr Brookes was made an Honorary Alderman of the Council in 1999.
Members paid tribute to the contribution made by Messrs. Beresford, Mycock and Brookes, and stood in silence in their memory.
Renaissance Best of the West Awards 2011
Members extended their congratulations to the Council's Heritage and Arts Service who had won two prizes in the Renaissance Best of the West Awards 2011.
A project run jointly by the heritage and arts service and the county council's prison library service won first prize in the Best Education Project category. The services worked together to deliver learning experience to young offenders in Staffordshire. It involved the county council's mobile museum visiting young offenders' institutions, benefiting 217 young people and 69 staff.
In the Best Exhibition category, Staffordshire won top prize for A Sense of Place at the Shire Hall Gallery. The exhibition, staged last summer, celebrated the diversity of Staffordshire. Local artists worked with school and college students and communities to produce textile postcards, photography, drawing, film and a sound installation. The exhibition attracted over 14,000 visitors.
A Young Curators Project, where four schools worked with local museums to develop touring displays, was runner up in the Best Exhibition on a Shoestring category. The displays created were exhibited at the schools, museums and libraries across Staffordshire.
Local Government Chronicle Awards 2011 – Innovation Award
Members were informed that the County Council had ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Appointment of the Leader of the Council
Mr. I.M. Parry moved and Mr. L.W. Bloomer seconded, and it was:-
RESOLVED – That Mr. P.E.B. Atkins be appointed Leader of the County Council for the ensuing year.
To set the maximum number of Members of the Cabinet
On the motion of Leader of the Council it was: –
RESOLVED – That the maximum the number of members of the Cabinet be set at nine, plus the Leader of the Council.
Statement of the Leader of the Council
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
The Leader of the Council presented a Statement outlining his recent work; his plans for the Council; and an overview of decisions taken by the Cabinet (and Portfolio Holders) since the previous meeting of the Council.
Staffordshire Prosperity Update
(Paragraph 1 of the Statement)
Mr. Heenan indicated that he welcomed the recent Government announcement that Middleport Pottery in Burslem and Alstom in Stafford were to benefit from the new Regional Growth Fund. He added that this was a major achievement that would help to attract jobs and prosperity to the county. Mr Adams responded by indicating that Staffordshire was one of only a few authorities whose bids had been successful. He added that, with confidence returning in the business sector, he hoped that firms within Staffordshire would be well placed to compete in the developing markets in the East.
Staffordshire Families and Communities Update
(Paragraph 2 of the Statement)
In response to a question from Mr. Sweeney concerning the “take-up” of the Young People’s Travel Card, Mr. Maryon indicated that, to date, nearly 7,000 applications had been received. He added that, as a direct result of the success of the scheme, a bus operator had contacted the county Council with a view to creating a new bus route.
Mrs. Heath referred to recent speculation that the County Council was proposing to reduce the number of School Crossing Patrols. Mr. Maryon responded by indicating that the County Council had no such plans.
In response to questions by members, Mr. Ellis outlined the progress being made by the County Council and the Primary Care Trusts in Staffordshire in relation to the integration of Health and Social Care services. He explained that the main thrust was on commissioning services that were “person focussed”, bringing together health and social care so that those services were more “joined-up”.
Mr. Huckfield expressed concern that a recent change in policy had resulted in the Newcastle Weekly Social Club for the Visually Impaired now being charged for the hire of transport. In response, Mr. Maryon indicated that he would investigate this matter further and would respond to Mr. Huckfield in writing.
In response to questions from Members in relation changes made to address alleged failings at Stafford Hospital, Mr. Atkins indicated that the County Council had made some changes in order to improve the scrutiny arrangements.
Renewable Energy Generation on the Council’s land and Buildings
(Paragraph 4 of the Statement)
Several Members welcomed the announcement by the County Council that it did not wish to pursue the option of commercial-scale wind energy generation on its land holding because of the potential environmental impacts of that technology. They also noted that the Council had an aspiration to bring forward sufficient projects involving all other renewable energy technologies to ensure that it remained on course to meet its overall carbon reduction target. In response to a question from Mr. Davies in relation to how the County Council would meet its carbon reduction target, Mr. Winnington indicated that the County ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
Questions to be asked by Members of the County Council of the Leader of the Council, a Cabinet Member, or a Chairman of a non-Scrutiny 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
Mr. D. Nixon asked the following question of the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills whose reply is set out below the question:-
(i) Does the portfolio holder welcome the liberation of our schools from L.E.A. control which on a national basis will have gone from one in sixteen schools now to the predicted figure of one in three schools by the end of this year?
(ii) How many schools in Staffordshire have so far opted out of the L.E.A. or are in the process of doing so?
(iii) As schools free themselves from L.E.A. control, there is going to be less work for the administrators in county buildings so are there any plans in place to cut-back the number of educational bureaucrats to reflect this?
(i) I am proud of the fact that in Staffordshire we have a strong and robust relationship with all schools whatever their status. I am also confident that whilst in some areas schools have felt the need to ‘break free’ from perceived Local Authority control, in Staffordshire we will continue to work with all schools to improve outcomes and provide the very best education we can.
(ii) There is an evolving situation with Academies in the county.
We have four operational academies in Staffordshire:-
· JCB Academy, Rocester
· Landau Forte Academy, Tamworth
· John Taylor High School. Barton under Needwood
· de Ferrers Technology College , Burton on Trent
In addition three schools have had their applications approved and will convert to Academy status on the dates shown:-
· Violet Lane Foundation Infant School 1 June 2011
· Chasetown Specialist Sports College 1 July 2011
· Chadsmead Primary School, Lichfield 1 August 2011
The following four schools have applied to the Secretary of State to convert to academy status. Their applications have been approved and they anticipate that they will be operating as an Academy from 1 September 2011:-
· Biddulph High School, Biddulph
· Christchurch VA(CE) Middle School, Stone
· Cheadle High School, Cheadle
· Cannock Chase High School, Cannock
· Blake Valley Technology College will become an Academy from 1 September 2011, sponsored by Staffordshire University
· Fair Oak Business and Enterprise College and Hagley Park Sports College will become Academies, sponsored by the Creative Education Trust.
In total; by September 2011 there will be 13 Academy schools.
(iii) The County Council retains responsibility for ensuring standards of education in schools are high and improving and for making sure that we have enough school places. We have a small team of officers who ensured that this year 93% of all secondary pupils got their first choice of school and 99% were offered one of their preferences (the figures for primary admissions were 93% and 97% respectively). Additionally, we have just completed a review and restructure of our Education Transformation Team to make sure that all Staffordshire pupils get the best education we can provide. Again, the record speaks for itself with my area of responsibility (education and skills) coming in ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
Proposed Changes to the Constitution
Report of the Director of Law and Democracy
The Council considered a report of the Monitoring Officer proposing amendments to the Constitution in the light of the adoption of the New Way of Working for the County Council in July 2010 and the subsequent revisions to decision making structures within the Authority.
In response to a question from Mr. Davis in relation to the proposal to abolish the Safety of Sports Grounds Panel, Mr. White indicated that the Audit Committee had debated this issue “long and hard” and had concluded that, in view of the technical and enforcement nature of the role, it was appropriate to delegate all responsibilities to the Public Protection Manager (in consultation with the Chairman of the Planning Committee when legal proceedings were to be instigated). He added that, for monitoring purposes, an annual report would be submitted to the Planning Committee detailing the actions taken by the Public Protection Manager.
RESOLVED – That the recommendations in the report be adopted subject to the following amendments:
(i) That paragraph 11 of Table 1 (Delegations to all Senior Leadership Team Members) be amended to read as follows:
“To incur expenditure of up to £3000 in making an ex-gratia payment in order to resolve a complaint made against the County Council; any proposal to pay a sum in excess of that amount to be reported to Cabinet or Committee as appropriate.”
(ii) That paragraph 9.6 of Procedural Standing Orders be amended to read as follows:
“The length of the debate on the Leader’s Statement shall be at the discretion of the Chairman.”
To consider the appointment of members to Committees on the nomination of Group Leaders (to be circulated at the meeting)
RESOLVED – That the members indicated below serve on the Committees indicated for the period up to the annual Council meeting in 2011:-
Corporate Review Committee (13)
Safeguarding Scrutiny Committee (9)
Education Scrutiny Committee (9)
Enterprise, Environment and Transport Scrutiny Committee (9)
Communities, Crime and Culture Scrutiny Committee (13)
Assets and Budget Scrutiny Committee (9)
Health Scrutiny Committee (8)
Planning Committee (14)
Pensions Committee (9)
Audit Committee (9)
Standards Committee (6)
Joint Appointments Committee Re: Staffordshire Police (4)
Appointment of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Committees
To consider the appointment of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Committees (to be circulated at the meeting)
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 2011:-
Corporate Review Committee
Chairman Alan White
Vice-Chairman Paul Atkins
Safeguarding Scrutiny Committee
Chairman Lee Bates
Vice-Chairman Janet Eagland
Education Scrutiny Committee
Chairman Ivan Jennings
Vice-Chairman Jeremy Oates
Enterprise, Environment and Transport Scrutiny Committee
Chairman Brian Edwards
Vice-Chairman Geoff Martin
Communities, Crime and Culture Scrutiny Committee
Chairman Simon Tagg
Vice-Chairman Stephen Tranter
Assets and Budget Scrutiny Committee
Chairman Philip E Jones
Vice-Chairman Rex Roberts
Health Scrutiny Committee
Chairman Kath Perry
Vice-Chairman Mick Oates
Chairman Tim Corbett
Vice-Chairman John Cooper
Chairman Stephen Sweeney
Vice-Chairman Brian Beale
Chairman John Bernard
Vice-Chairman Henry Butter
Chairman Charles Mitchell
To consider the report of the Chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority
RESOLVED – That the Periodic Report of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority be adopted.
Special Urgency Procedures - Quarterly update
RESOLVED – That the report of the Leader of the Council relating to decisions of Cabinet under the Special Urgency Procedure be received.
An opportunity for Members to present and speak on petitions submitted by their constituents
Parking in the Vicinity of John of Rolleston Primary School
Bob Fraser presented a petition for residents of Rolleston-on-Dove and the surrounding area requesting the County Council to investigate ways in which the junction of School Lane and Station Road, and parking around the school, could be made safer.
Exclusion of the Public
The Chairman of the Council will move the following motion so that the County Council can consider confidential business in private:-
(All reports in this section are on pink paper)
RESOLVED - That the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of the Local Government Act 1972.
Exempt Special Urgency Procedures - Quarterly update
(exemption paragraph 3)
(NOTE to Members
(i) The County Council Members’ Club annual meeting, also in the Council Chamber, will be held immediately after the Council meeting.
(ii) A thirty minute presentation on the Civil Contingencies Act 2004: Communicating with the Public will take place at 2:15 pm or at the conclusion of the Council Meeting, whichever the later in the Council Chamber, County Buildings, Martin Street, Stafford)
RESOLVED – That the report of the Leader of the Council relating to decisions of Cabinet under the Special Urgency Procedure be received.