Agenda and minutes

County Council
Thursday, 25th July, 2013 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

17.

Confirmation of the minutes of the Council meeting held on 16 May 2013

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVEDThat the minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2013 be confirmed.

18.

Chairman's Correspondence

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Alderman Thomas Roger Wright

 

The Chairman informed the Council of the death, on 11 June 2013, of Alderman Thomas Roger Wright who represented the Burton Town County Electoral Division between 1981 and 2005. 

 

During his 24 years as a Member of the County Council, Mr Wright had served on a number of Committees including Fire and Public Protection, Highways, Education (on which he was Chairman), Records and Museums, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Joint Archives, Police, County Farms and Agriculture, Policy and Resources, Enterprise and Economic Development, Libraries, Arts and Archives, Cultural and Recreational Services Group, Planning and the Regulatory Committee (on which he also served as Chairman)

 

Mr Wright was also Chairman of the County Council between 1997 and 2001.

 

Members paid tribute to Alderman Wright and then stood in silence in his memory.

The 2013 Municipal Journal Achievement Awards

 

The Chairman informed Members that the County Council had won the “Innovation in Communications” and “Community Investor” categories in the 2013 Municipal Journal Achievement Awards.  The County Council also received a “Highly Commended” in the “Best Achieving Council” category of the Awards.

 

The Innovation in Communication Award recognised the comprehensive communications approach that launched Families First – the Council’s early interventions services for children and young people that made sure that they received the right support at the right time so that children had the best start in life.  The communications supported 1700 staff through a large scale restructure.

 

Queen’s Birthday Honours

 

The Council were informed that five people from Staffordshire had been honoured in this years’ Queen’s Birthday Honours.  David Pearsall was to receive an MBE for his services to the community and the police; Margaret Stanhope was also to receive an MBE for her services to local government and the community of Lichfield; Eric Emery was to receive a British Empire Medal for services to health; and John Upton was also to receive a BEM for his voluntary service to St John Ambulance.  Steve Thompson, a former Chief Inspector with Staffordshire Police was to receive a Queen’s Police Medal.

 

Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

 

On behalf of Members, the Chairman extended the Council’s congratulations to Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of their son.

19.

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:

The Leader of the Council presented a Statement outlining his recent work and an overview of decisions taken by the Cabinet (and Portfolio Holders) since the previous meeting of the Council. 

 

Replacement of Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) Contract Award and Site Leasing Arrangements

(Paragraph 2.1 of the Statement)

 

In response to a question by Mr Huckfield, Mr Winnington confirmed that under the new contract, all HWRCs in the County would offer enhanced “small trade waste disposal service” aimed at providing convenient waste disposal opportunities for small businesses in Staffordshire.  Other key enhancements included:

 

·         An additional 30 minutes opening (until 5pm) during Winter Months at all HWRCs (*Except at Biddulph, where winter opening hours would remain limited to 4.30pm due to the proximity of local residents) and 7 day opening at, Bilbrook, Cannock, Leek and Stafford sites (subject to appropriate planning permissions and agreement with SCC);

·         Increased staffing levels on sites;

·         Introduction of additional material streams for recycling, including carpets, hard plastics and mattresses;

·         Reuse facilities on all sites;

·         Use of the HWRCs for more effective and efficient handling of Waste Collection Authority (WCA) bulky and fly-tipped wastes;

·         Initial site refurbishment works and refurbishment or replacement of plant and equipment where needed.  All new mobile compacting equipment will be sourced from local firm JCB; and

·         Provision of a Recycling and Education Officer, to undertake communication, education and promotional activities in conjunction with SCC and the WCAs.

 

Mr Winnington added that the new contract would also achieve annual savings of approximately £240,000.

 

In response to a question by Cooke concerning the possible provision of a HWRC in Tamworth, Mr Atkins indicated that the County Council looked at the location/relocation of sites as opportunities arose.

 

2012/13 Final Outturn Performance and Finance Report

(Paragraph 3.2 of the Statement)

 

Mr Atkins and Mr Parry referred to savings which had been secured over the past four years whilst protecting frontline services; how the County Council worked with partners to the benefit of Staffordshire’s communities; the growth of the national economy through Staffordshire based companies like JCB, Alstom, Steelite and Jaguar Landrover; how customer satisfaction in Staffordshire County Council had grown steadily over the past four years; and that Staffordshire had the lowest level of Council Tax in England.

 

Portfolio Holder Delegated Decisions – Superfast Broadband

(Paragraph 3.3 of the Statement)

 

Mr Sutton welcomed the progress being made on the roll-out of Superfast Broadband in Staffordshire and the benefits this would bring to local small businesses.  Mr Winnington thanked Mr Sutton for his comments and explained that this £90m investment in infrastructure would result in 97% of Staffordshire households being able to access high speed broadband.  The project would be rolled-out in eight phases and Members would be informed as each phase commenced.  It was anticipated that the roll-out would be completed by 2016.

 

Powerhouse Central

(Paragraph 3.4 of the Statement)

 

Mr Edwards extended his appreciation of the hard work of those Members and Officers involved in the negotiations with Central Government on the City  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

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:

Mrs S. Peaple asked the following question of the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing whose reply is set out below the question:-

 

Question

 

The recent Keogh report, which David Cameron described as excellent, identified poor communication with patients as a factor in the delivery of services by Burton Hospitals NHS Trust. 

 

(i) What steps is the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing taking to monitor the necessary improvements in patient communication in the hospitals run by the Trust?

 

(ii) Does the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing have confidence in the management of the Burton Hospitals Trust, since poor patient communication was a failing identified at Stafford Hospital and should therefore have already been a key area for all NHS Trusts to be monitoring?

 

(iii) Two of the Keogh Report's findings relating to Burton Hospitals Trust relate to a practise of imposing 12 hour shifts and leaving junior doctors unsupported.  Although the first was stopped once identified by the Keogh inspection team, what steps has the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing taken to identify how far the support for junior doctors has increased?

 

(iv) Since the Trust itself concludes  'A review of staffing needs to take place to ensure there are enough Nurses out of hours' ., what confidence does the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing have that Burton Hospitals Trust will be able to fund a more appropriate system in line with the actions agreed following the visit by the Keogh inspectors?

 

(v) Does the Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing agree that it is right that the three governors of Burton NHS Trust representing Lichfield and Tamworth all live in Lichfield?”

 

Reply

 

“With regard to the Keogh Review generally, it is clear that changes need to be made not just at Burton, but in our whole approach to health and social care. Staffordshire’s Health and Wellbeing strategy clearly sets out our plans with partners to create a sustainable and high quality NHS which delivers care in hospitals and increasingly in our communities.

 

Specifically on Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in all areas of care it is essential to communicate well with patients and it will be the role of Staffordshire’s Healthwatch and Engaging Communities Staffordshire to ensure the voice of residents is heard and acted on.

 

Our then health select committee acted swiftly ahead of this review when concerns were raised about mortality rates and called Chief Executive Helen Ashley to our health select committee. The chief executive certainly gave a candid account of the challenges the trust faced and I note in the review the trust was praised for its co-operation.

 

Issues such as shift patterns and staffing  is a matter for management and clinicians, but clearly nobody benefits from working very long hours and I am pleased this was stopped immediately once identified by the review team. Support for junior doctors is also a matter for the trust.

 

I understand the trust has recently recruited more nurses which is encouraging and will  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Notices of Motion

(a)  Mr G. Adamson to move the following motion:-

 

“This Council notes and supports the campaign by Unite the Union to stamp out the deplorable practice of 'blacklisting' of individuals because of their affiliation and association to a trade union within the construction industry.  Blacklisting is a national scandal and too many construction workers have had their lives ruined just because they had legitimate concerns over health and safety in one of Britain's most dangerous industries or just because they belonged to a trade union.

 

The Council expects our joint venture partners or any organisation or contractor working with or on behalf of the council to have a zero tolerance policy towards this practice and if applicable to be co-signatories to the Construction Industry Joint Council Working Rules Agreement which aims to ensure that this practice is not prevalent in the construction industry.

 

This Council will take every legitimate step necessary to ensure that the County Council never knowingly engages or contracts with a company that operates a blacklist or has been found to operate a blacklist.”

 

(b)  Mr G. Adamson to move the following motion:-

 

“This council condemns the forced academisation of Norton Canes Primary School & Heath Hayes Primary School and fully supports their campaign to avoid this process.”

 

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

 

“That we call upon all Staffordshire health organisations, through the work of the Health and Wellbeing Board, to join with us and all our other partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors by pooling our resources and maximising all our efforts and influence to achieve the County Council's shared vision for Staffordshire to be a place where everyone has the opportunity to prosper, be healthy and happy.”

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a) Motion by Mr G Adamson

 

Mr Adamson moved, and Ms Atkins seconded, the following motion:-

 

“This Council notes and supports the campaign by Unite the Union to stamp out the deplorable practice of 'blacklisting' of individuals because of their affiliation and association to a trade union within the construction industry.  Blacklisting is a national scandal and too many construction workers have had their lives ruined just because they had legitimate concerns over health and safety in one of Britain's most dangerous industries or just because they belonged to a trade union.

 

The Council expects our joint venture partners or any organisation or contractor working with or on behalf of the council to have a zero tolerance policy towards this practice and if applicable to be co-signatories to the Construction Industry Joint Council Working Rules Agreement which aims to ensure that this practice is not prevalent in the construction industry.

 

This Council will take every legitimate step necessary to ensure that the County Council never knowingly engages or contracts with a company that operates a blacklist or has been found to operate a blacklist.”

 

Mr Adamson indicated that blacklisting was a terrible practice that went against the Government’s policy of encouraging “whistle blowing” and that the County Council needed to follow the example set by other Authorities by taking action to stamp out this illegal practice.

 

Ms Atkins added that the safety of their employees should be the number one priority for firms in the construction industry.  She also indicated and that the practice of blacklisting employees is to be condemned and that those who stand up for the rights of others should not be victimised.

 

Mr Edwards moved, and Mr Francis seconded, the following amendment:-

 

That all the words after the words “This Council” be deleted and be replaced with the following:

 

“deplores illegal and unethical behaviour in any organisation and reaffirms our commitment to work with responsible and considerate partners and encourage them to affirm appropriate codes of practice.”

 

Several Members spoke in support of the amendment whilst others expressed their support for the original motion.  Following a debate, the Chairman put the amendment to the vote.  Mr Adamson asked for a named vote on the amendment to his original motion, at which point 22 Members rose in support of the request to hold a named vote.

 

Those voting in favour of the amendment were as follows:

 

Ben Adams

Philip Atkins

Len Bloomer

Frank Chapman

Chris Cooke

Tim Corbett

Mike Davies

Bill Day

Mark Deaville

Janet Eagland

Brian Edwards

Terry Finn

 

John Francis

Bob Fraser

Michael Greatorex

Gill Heath

Keith James

Philip Jones

Mike Lawrence

Ian Lawson

David Loades

Robert Marshall

Geoffrey Martin

Geoff Morrison

 

Ian Parry

Kath Perry

David Smith

Mark Sutton

Stephen Sweeney

Simon Tagg

Martyn Tittley

Alan White

Conor Wileman

David Williams

Mark Winnington

Mike Worthington

 

 

 

The following Members voted against the amendment:

 

George Adamson

Margaret Astle

Charlotte Atkins

Ann Beech

Ron Clarke

Maureen Compton

Peter Davis

Derek Davis

 

Carol Dean

Alan Dudson

Sandra Hambleton  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Recommendations to the Council

Report of the Director for Democracy, Law and Transformation

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Independent Remuneration Panel -Addendum to Annual Report 2013/14 following County Council Elections on 2 May 2013

 

The Council considered the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel (The Panel) who were asked to consider specific aspects of the members’ allowance scheme following the County Council Elections on 2 May 2013.  The issues the Panel were asked to consider included: the level of special responsibility allowances (SRA) following the re-introduction of the role of Cabinet Support Members; reinstating the SRAs paid to Shadow Cabinet Members; and the allowances paid to the Leaders of the principal and minority opposition groups.  The recommendations of The Panel were considered by the Audit and Standards Committee at their meeting on 24 June 2013 who resolved to recommend to the County Council that The Panel’s recommendations be approved.

 

Mr Atkins moved and  Mr Parry seconded that:

 

(i)            That the Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) for Cabinet Support Members allowance be set at a level of 33% of the Leader of the Council’s SRA (£11,550); and

 

(ii)          That the number of SRAs for Shadow Cabinet be confirmed as five (plus the Leader of the Principle Opposition).

 

Mr Atkins indicated that the Cabinet Support Members had provided to him evidence of their work load at that the proposed new allowances, if approved, would result in savings of £13,511 compared with the 2012/13 Remuneration Scheme.

 

RESOLVED - (a) That the recommendations of the Audit and Standards Committee meeting on 24 June 2013 to approve the addendum report to the Annual Report 2013/14 of the Independent Remuneration Panel be noted.

 

(b) That the following allowances be approved and backdated to the Annual Council meeting on 16 May 2013:-

 

(i)            Cabinet Support Members - the allowance be set at a level of 33% of the Leader of the Council’s Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) (£11,550).

 

(ii)          Leader of the Principal Opposition - the allowance be set at a level of50 % of the Leader of the Council’s SRA (£17,500).

 

(iii)         Leaders of the Minority Opposition Groups - the allowance be set ata level of 5% of the Leader of the Council’s SRA (£1,750).

 

(iv)         Shadow Cabinet - the allowance be set at 15% of the Leader of the Council’s SRA (£5,250).

 

(c) That the number of SRAs for Shadow Cabinet be confirmed as five (plus the Leader of the Principle Opposition).

 

(Note by Clerk: Mr Huckfield asked that his name be recorded as having voted against the proposals).

23.

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 received.

24.

Petitions

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a) Deer Park Road, Fazeley

 

Mr White presented a petition from residents of Deer Park Road, Fazeley, Tamworth requesting updated signage to restrict access to residents only.

 

(b) Dartmouth Avenue, Newcastle-under-Lyme

 

Mr Tagg presented a petition from residents of Newcastle-under-Lyme requesting a safer crossing point on Dartmouth Avenue, Westlands, Newcastle-under-Lyme.