Agenda and minutes

County Council
Thursday, 21st July, 2011 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Buildings, Stafford. View directions

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

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

18.

Confirmation of the minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 12 May 2011

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That, subject for the substitution of the name “Philip E Jones” for the name “Phil Jones” in the list of members of the Assets and Budget Scrutiny Committee (in paragraph 11 of the minutes) the minutes of the meeting held on 12 May 2011 be confirmed.

19.

Chairman's Correspondence

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

By-election Results

 

The Chairman reported the election, on 16 June, of Mr Ron Clarke as Councillor for the Burton Town County Electoral Division and also the election, on 7 July, of Mr Mike Worthington as Councillor for the Churnet Valley County Electoral Division.

 

Members extended their congratulations to Mr Clarke and Mr Worthington on their election to the County Council.

 

Civic Heads

 

Members extended their congratulations to Jeremy Oates on being appointed Mayor of Tamworth Borough Council.

 

Centre for Public Scrutiny - Good Scrutiny Awards 2011

 

Members extended their congratulations Alan White who was announced as one of the “runners-up” at the Centre for Public Scrutiny’s “Good Scrutiny Awards 2011” on 2 June.  The Awards attracted over 80 entries.

 

The judges highlighted Alan’s innovative approach to promoting scrutiny through his YouTube annual report and DVD with the Leader promoting the value and impact of scrutiny.  They also highlighted his rigorous approach to challenging decision makers and in facilitating community opinion to influence change.  Overall the judges highlighted that Alan's nomination was an "excellent example of strengthening and promoting the scrutiny role in a majority party authority."

 

APCOM Print Awards 2011

 

The Chairman informed Members that the Council’s Print Commissioning Services team were recently awarded two awards at the national Association of Print & Communications Managers (APCOM) Print Awards held at the Imperial Hotel in Torquay. The Team were won the award for Best Variable Data Print and were runners-up for Best Litho Print. Members noted that, in the last four years the team have now won eight national awards in the past 4 years.  

 

Quality Service Awards 2011

 

The Chairman informed Members that the Council’s Registration Service team had won a national award in recognition of their efforts to make planning weddings and civil ceremonies easier for couples across the county.

 

The team picked up the prize for Innovation at the Quality Service Awards 2011 hosted by theLocal Registration Services Association, for their new approach to helping couples plan for their big day.

 

Soon to be wed couples planning a ceremony in Staffordshire now had the option to discuss their arrangements with a Registrar over the phone at a time of their choosing rather than having to travel to a registration office for a face to face meeting.

20.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Retirement of Sally Rees

 

The Leader of the Council informed Members the Sally Rees, the Council’s Director of Children’s Services, was to retire on 31 August 2011.  Members paid tribute to Mrs Rees and wished her well in her retirement.

 

Staffordshire Prosperity Update

(Paragraph 1 of the Statement)

 

Mr. White referred to recent County Council initiatives to support the local economy and commented on the positive news stories that were appearing in the press.

 

Keele University Science and Business Park – IC5

(Paragraph 2 of the Statement)

 

Mr. Tagg stated that he welcomed the County Council’s decision to invest in the development of the proposed IC5 site at Keele University Science and Business Park.  Mr. Adams thanked Mr. Tagg for his comments and referred to the work that was ongoing with partner organisations to attract businesses into Staffordshire including the recent announcement by Amazon that it was to create 900 jobs at its new distribution centre at The Towers Business Park in Rugeley.  He also referred to the proposal to create an Enterprise Zone in Staffordshire and asked Members that, if they had any contacts within the business community they pass the details to him in order that he can seek their support to the creation of the Enterprise Zone.  Mr. Atkins also referred to the recent announcement by Defence Secretary Liam Fox that MOD Stafford was to become home to two additional signal regiments of 1,200 troops in addition to the units already based there, thus securing the future of the base.  It was anticipated that the move would bring an extra 600 new families to the town.

 

In response to a question by Mrs. Maxfield in relation to the currently vacant Blue Planet Distribution Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Mr. Atkins indicated that the County Council was doing its best to promote all businesses in Staffordshire.

 

Staffordshire Families and Communities Update

(Paragraph 3 of the Statement)

 

Mrs. Perry referred to the recent Accountability sessions with the Primary Care Trusts in Staffordshire, which she felt were working well, and enquired as to what progress was being made in relation to engagement with local communities.  In response, Mr. Ellis indicated that this was a major challenge for the County Council, particularly following the well publicized issues surrounding Stafford Hospital.  He added that the County Council was working with the PCTs to “knock down the barriers” between those services provided by the County Council and those provided by the health sector.  He also indicated that all of the Trusts had “signed-up” to “Engaging Communities Staffordshire”, a project to set up a viable, independent and community led social enterprise which would bring together engagement, consultation, complaints and consumer advice and insight services into one place, which was to be launched in January 2012.

 

Members also welcomed the decision by Mr. Winnington to write to Bob Neil MP to seek his endorsement to the County Council’s approach to aggregate mineral extraction in Staffordshire which focused on meeting the County’s needs rather  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Questions

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr. Locke asked the following question of the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Transformation:

 

Question

 

In the light of recent newspaper reports that local authorities, including Staffordshire County Council, routinely fund staff to undertake trade union activities in place of their usual responsibilities (at a reported cost to Staffordshire of £342,850/year); and given the present austerity and the cutbacks that this may require; are there any proposals to review the present arrangements?

 

Reply

 

Yes

 

Supplementary Question

 

Can the Deputy Leader elaborate more on the timing of the Review?

 

Reply

 

The Council feels that it is important to have good channels of communication with its employees.  However, only about 25% of employees are members of a trade union and we are therefore looking at finding the best ways of consulting with all employees

22.

Notice of Motion

Mr. P.E.B. Atkins to move the following motion:-

 

“that the County Council recognises and endorses the efforts by local communities and voluntary groups, the business sector and public sector in making Staffordshire the safe, healthy and aspirational place to live that it is despite the economic challenges our country faces.

 

That Staffordshire is well placed to tackle the challenges which lie ahead in relation to an aging population, more individuals with long term health conditions, the need to reduce alcohol consumption whilst promoting healthier lifestyles and maintain recent successes in reducing crime and particularly the fear of crime”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr. Philip Atkins moved, and Mr. Ellis seconded the following motion under Standing Order No. 11:

 

“That the County Council recognises and endorses the efforts by local communities and voluntary groups, the business sector and public sector in making Staffordshire the safe, healthy and aspirational place to live that it is despite the economic challenges our country faces.

 

That Staffordshire is well placed to tackle the challenges which lie ahead in relation to an aging population, more individuals with long term health conditions, the need to reduce alcohol consumption whilst promoting healthier lifestyles and maintain recent successes in reducing crime and particularly the fear of crime.”

 

NOTE: The meeting was adjourned at 12:45 pm

 

Present at 2:00 pm:

 

Ben Adams

Philip Atkins

Erica Bayliss

John Bernard

Len Bloomer

Frank Chapman

Ron Clarke

John Cooper

Pat Corfield

Dylis Cornes

Veronica Downes

Janet Eagland

Brian Edwards

 

Matthew Ellis

Terry Finn

Bob Fraser

Mark Heenan

Derrick Huckfield

Ivan Jennings

Phil Jones

Philip E. Jones

Ian Lawson

Frank Lewis MBE

Geoff Locke

Robert Marshall

 

Geoffrey Martin

Mike Maryon

Michael Oates

Ian Parry

Kath Perry

Robert Reade

Rex Roberts, OBE

John Rowley

Liz Staples

Stephen Sweeney

John Wells

Mark Winnington

 

A number of Members spoke in support of the motion and paid tribute to the vital role played by the voluntary sector.

 

Mr. Ellis spoke about the opportunities for the County Council to work more closely with the health sector and called upon GPs to “go that bit further and start looking at how they can use non-clinical ways of prescribing rather than simply drugs and medicines; and to do that we have to join together.”

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the motion be carried.

 

(b) That the Chairman of the County Council be requested to write to the six Staffordshire based voluntary groups who were recently announced as winners of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to congratulate them on their achievement.

23.

Electoral Review of Staffordshire - response to the Boundary Commissions recommendations

Report of the Leader of the Council

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report of the Director of Law and Democracy setting out the proposed draft response to the recommendations of the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) on the pattern of county electoral divisions for Staffordshire.

 

RESOLVED - That the Director of Law and Democracy, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, be authorised to make any necessary amendments to the draft response to reflect Members’ views and to then forward the response to the LGBCE by the deadline of 1 August 2011.

24.

Review of Procurement Regulations and Financial Regulation

Recommendations of the Audit Committee

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered recommendations of the Audit Committee in respect of the adoption of revised Procurement and Financial Regulations for the County Council.

 

RESOLVED – That the revised Procurement Regulations and Financial Regulations for the County Council be adopted for inclusion within the Council’s Constitution.

25.

Report of the Chairman of the Staffordshire Police Authority

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the periodic report of the Staffordshire Police Authority be received.

26.

Report of the Chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Periodic Report of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority be adopted.

27.

Petitions

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Quarrying between Alrewas and Kings Bromley

 

Mrs. Eagland presented a petition from local residents requesting “that the current policy of no quarrying west of the A38 between Alrewas and Kings Bromley be adhered to in the preparation of the new Minerals Core Strategy”.