Agenda and minutes

County Council
Thursday, 15th May, 2014 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

1.

Election of the Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Jones proposed, and Mr Francis seconded, and it was:

 

RESOLVED – That Mr I.S. Lawson be elected Chairman of the County Council for the ensuing year.

2.

Confirmation of the minutes of the Council meeting held on 13 March 2014

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED - That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 2014 be confirmed.

3.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr Finn moved, and Mr Worthington seconded, and it was:-

 

RESOLVED – That Mrs J. Eagland be appointed Vice-Chairman of the County Council for the ensuing year.

4.

Chairman's Correspondence

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Former County Councillor Bob Ivinson

 

The Chairman informed the Council of the death on Thursday, 27 March 2014 of former County Councillor Bob Ivinson who represented the Uttoxeter Urban (East Staffordshire) County Electoral Division between 1997 and 2005.

 

Mr Ivinson served as a Member of the Council’s Cultural and Recreational Services Group Committee, Countryside Services Committee, Arts and Heritage Services Committee, Education Group Committee, Continuing Education Committee, Curriculum Committee, Development Services Scrutiny Committee, Environment Scrutiny Committee and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee.  His funeral took place on 16 April 2014.

 

Members paid tribute to Mr Ivinson and then stood in silence in his memory.

 

New Civic Leads of District and Borough Councils

 

The Council extended their congratulations to Ron Clarke on his election as Mayor of East Staffordshire Borough Council and also to David Smith on his election as Chairman of Lichfield District Council.

 

Chairman’s Civic Service

 

The Chairman extended an invitation to Members to attend his Civic Church Service which was to take place at St. Mary’s Church, Stafford on Sunday, 15 June commencing at 11:30 am.

 

Excellence in Public Procurement Awards 2014/15

 

Members were informed that the County Council’s Procurement Team were selected as finalists in the “GO! Procurement Innovation of the Year” category of the 2014/15 Excellence in Public Procurement Awards.  This was in recognition of their work in leading the EU competitive dialogue for the successful delivery the UK’s first and largest local government private sector Joint Venture with Capita - Entrust Support Services Ltd.  The Entrust project involved a potential spend of £4 Billion, the letting of a 20 year service delivery agreement, the protection / TUPE transfer of around 5,000 Council employees to the Joint Venture company and will see the delivery of facilities management and educational services to Staffordshire’s 400 schools.

5.

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.

 

The Leader also announced that Simon Tagg had written to him indicating that he wished to step down from his role as a Cabinet Support Member so as to concentrate on the launch of his new business.  The Leader had therefore appointed Mark Deaville as Cabinet Support Member for Transport and Connected County with immediate effect.

 

The Leader also referred to the recent death of Stephen Sutton who had raised approximately £3.3M for the Teenage Cancer Trust and indicated that he had asked officers to investigate the possibility of creating a lasting legacy in recognition of Stephen’s achievements.

 

A50 Growth Corridor

(Paragraph 1.1 of the Statement)

 

Several Members spoke in support of the proposals and the benefits they would bring to the Uttoxeter area.  In response to a question from Mr Deaville about the need for highway improvements between the A50 and Cheadle, Mr Atkins confirmed that the County Council was in discussion with stakeholders in relation to improvements to the A522 between the A50 and Cheadle.

 

Household Waste Recycling Centre Consultation

(Paragraph 1.2 of the Statement)

 

Mr Jackson indicated that if the Bemersley Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) was to close, this would have a detrimental impact on residents of Biddulph, Brown Edge and Endon who would need to travel to Stoke-on-Trent to use facilities provided by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.  Ms Woodward added that, despite the consultation being put on hold, over 2,000 local residents had signed a petition opposing the possible closure of the Burntwood HWRC.  She sought a commitment that neither the Bemersley nor the Burntwood sites would be closed during the term of the current political administration.  In response, Mr Winnington indicated that it was not possible to make such a commitment at this stage

 

Mr Greatorex referred Members to the situation in the Tamworth area where there were cross boundary arrangements in place which enable residents to use a HWRC in Warwickshire.

 

Mr Atkins also referred to the recent opening of the W2R plant at Four Ashes and indicated that this new facility would save the County Council around £250M over the next 25 years.

 

Achieving Excellence for Young People

(Paragraph 2.1 of the Statement)

 

Several Members expressed their concerns in relation to the Achieving Excellence for Young People proposals and the potential impact they would have on the number of Youth Workers employed by the County Council.  Ms Atkins enquired whether there was likely to be a gap between the County Council ceasing its youth provision and the voluntary sector providing suitable alternative provision.  Ms Peaple enquired as to when Members would be consulted on the detailed proposals moving forward.  In response, Mr Atkins stated that there would be a report back to Scrutiny by the end of October.  Mr Sutton added that detailed work was now being carried out and that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Petition Re: Proposed removal and relocation of the façade of the Carr Gymnasium in Leek

To consider the petition regarding the proposed removal and relocation of the façade of the Carr Gymnasium in Leek in accordance with the County Councils’ petition scheme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Mr Roger Warrilow, as lead petitioner, to address the Council on the petition opposing the proposal to relocate the façade of the Carr Gymnasium in Leek.

 

Following Mr Warrilow’s presentation, Mr Atkins moved that as the original decision to relocate the façade was not a matter within the control of the County Council and had been subject to a democratic process at the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, there be no debate on the petition and that it be referred to Leek College for them to take account of the strength of opinion highlighted in the petition as the college development proceeded.

 

RESOLVED - Thatas the original decision to relocate the façade is not a matter within the control of the County Council and has been subject to a democratic process at the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, the petition be referred to Leek College for them to take account of the strength of opinion highlighted in the petition as the college development proceeds.

7.

Notices of Motion

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

 

“This Council is opposed to the proposals by the Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning Group to close the Minor Injuries Unit at Cannock Hospital. This Council calls on the Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning Group to at least maintain the level of services at Cannock Hospital for the residents of Cannock Chase and surrounding areas”.

 

(b)           Mr P E B Atkins to move the following motion:

 

“Staffordshire County Council has a crucial role to play in bringing everyone in Staffordshire together to improve the mental and physical health of all our communities and believes this should be a priority across all the local authority’s functions, from public health, adult social care and children’s services to our roles in housing, planning and public realm and the council will play a positive role in championing mental and public health on an individual and strategic basis”.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a) Mr Adamson moved, and Ms Mitchell seconded, the following motion:

 

This Council is opposed to the proposals by the Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning Group to close the Minor Injuries Unit at Cannock Hospital. This Council calls on the Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning Group to at least maintain the level of services at Cannock Hospital for the residents of Cannock Chase and surrounding areas”

 

Mr Adamson referred to the distressed health economy in Staffordshire and the anticipated overspend by the Cannock Chase Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which currently stood at £9.2m.  He explained that the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) was well used and that its closure would be a false economy as local residents would be forced to use the Accident and Emergency Units at Stafford, Walsall and Wolverhampton Hospitals, which were much more expensive to run.  Ms Mitchell spoke in support of the motion and referred to there being insufficient capacity for GPs to provide the support which would be lost as a result of the closure of the MIU as could be evidenced by the difficulty in getting a same day appointment with a GP.

 

Mr Loades indicated that the CCG’s proposals had already been considered by the Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee who had resolved “that the Clinical Commissioning Group be recommended to carry out a 12 week Public Consultation on the proposed closure of Minor Injuries Unit at Cannock Hospital.”   He therefore suggested that Mr Adamson should withdraw his motion.  Mr White indicated that he agreed with Mr Loades that the motion should be withdrawn.  He also explained that the MIU was under-utilised and that many of the patients visiting the unit could have instead been treated by their GP or, in other cases, needed to be referred elsewhere for further examination such as for X-rays. 

 

Following a debate, 15 members rose and called for a named vote, the result of which was as follows:

 

Those Members voting in support of the motion:

 

George Adamson

Margaret Astle

Charlotte Atkins

Ann Beech

Ron Clarke

Maureen Compton

Peter Davis

Derek Davis

Carol Dean

Sandra Hambleton

Ian Hollinshead

Derrick Huckfield

Brian Jenkins

Shelagh McKiernan

Christine Mitchell

 

Mark Olszewski

Sheree Peaple

Trish Rowlands

John Taylor

Diane Todd

Caroline Wood

Susan Woodward

 

 

 

 

Those Members voting against the motion:

 

Ben Adams

Philip Atkins

Len Bloomer

Frank Chapman

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

 

Abstentions:

 

Chris Cooke

Jeffrey Sheriff

 

RESOLVEDThat the motion be not supported.

 

(b) Mr Atkins moved, and Mr Marshall seconded, the following motion:

 

Staffordshire County Council has a crucial role to play in bringing everyone in Staffordshire together to improve the mental and physical health of all our communities and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Recommendations to Council

Report of the Director of Democracy, Law and Transformation

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council considered a report of the Director of Democracy, Law and Transformation concerning proposed appointments to the Independent Remuneration Panel; proposed amendments to the Council’s Constitution;  and proposals to reduce the size of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

 

RESOLVED - (a) That Leslie Trigg and Michael Murray be offered appointments to the Independent Remuneration Panel (subject to receipt of satisfactory references.)

 

(b) That:-

 

(i) The proposed amendments to paragraph 14.9 of Section 12 of the Constitution outlined in the report relating to the recording of votes at full County Council meetings on decisions on Budget and Precept setting; and

 

(ii) the proposed amendments to the Local Code of Conduct relating to registration of gifts and hospitalities, reference to the Planning Protocol and mechanisms for complaints, be approved.

 

 (c) That:

 

(i) The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority be informed that the County Council supports their proposals to reduce the size of the Authority from 25 to 21 seats.

 

(ii) The following Members of the County Council be appointed to serve on the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority for the ensuing year:

 

Bloomer, L.                           Hambleton, Mrs S.

Chapman, F.                        Hollinshead, I.

Clarke, R.                              Martin, G.

Davies, M.                             Mitchell, Ms. C.

Davies, P.                             Sweeney, S.

Day, W.                                 Wileman, C.

Finn, T.                                  Winnington, M.

Greatorex, M.                        Wood, Ms. C.

 

9.

Committee Membership (to be circulated at the meeting)

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the members indicated below serve on the Committees indicated for the period up to the annual Council meeting in 2014:-

 

Corporate Review Committee

Frank Chapman

Philip Jones

Carol Dean

Kath Perry

Brian Edwards

Simon Tagg

John Francis

John Taylor

Derrick Huckfield

Sue Woodward

Kevin Jackson

Mike Worthington

Brian Jenkins

 

 

Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee

George Adamson

Brian Edwards

Ann Beech

Geoff Martin

Len Bloomer

Geoff Morrison

Maureen Compton

Martyn Tittley

Tim Corbett

Diane Todd

 

Safe and Strong Communities Select Committee

Margaret Astle

Mark Olszewski

Charlotte Atkins

Alison Spicer

Michael Davies

Stephen Sweeney

Terry Finn

Conor Wileman

John Francis

David Williams

 

Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee

Charlotte Atkins

Christine Mitchell

Chris Cooke

Sheree Peaple

Bob Fraser

Kath Perry

Michael Greatorex

Trish Rowlands

Philip Jones

David Smith

David Loades

Mike Worthington

Shelagh McKiernan

 

 

Planning Committee

Ron Clarke

Geoff Martin

Chris Cooke

Geoff Morrison

Tim Corbett

Shelagh McKiernan

Alan Dudson

Trish Rowlands

John Francis

Jeff Sheriff

Sandra Hambleton

David Smith

Ian Lawson

David Williams

David Loades

 

 

Pensions Committee

Margaret Astle

Mike Lawrence

Philip Atkins

Robert Marshall

Derek Davis

Shelagh McKiernan

Alan Dudson

Stephen Sweeney

Bob Fraser

 

 

Audit and Standards Committee

Derek Davis

Alison Spicer

Bill Day

Simon Tagg

Janet Eagland

Martyn Tittley

Michael Greatorex

Diane Todd

Derrick Huckfield

Conor Wileman

Kevin Jackson

Caroline Wood

Keith James

Mike Worthington

Philip Jones

 

 

Corporate Parenting Panel

Peter Davies

Mike Lawrence

Bill Day

David Loades

Janet Eagland

Geoff Martin

Terry Finn

Geoff Morrison

Michael Greatorex

Trish Rowlands

Gill Heath

Jeff Sheriff

Sandra Hambleton

Caroline Wood

Ian Hollinshead

 

 

Charities and Trusts Committee

Tim Corbett

Sandra Hambleton

Peter Davies

Stephen Sweeney

Brian Edwards

 

 

10.

Appointment of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Committees (to be circulated at the meeting)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In response to a question from Mr Jenkins concerning how the Council could be kept informed of the work of its Select Committees, Mr Atkins indicated that he would discuss this matter with the Leader of the Opposition and, if necessary, refer the matter to the Members Services Development Panel for consideration.

 

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 2015:-

 

Corporate Review Committee

 

 

 

            Chairman

Philip Jones

            Vice-Chairman

Simon Tagg

 

 

Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee

 

 

 

            Chairman

Brian Edwards

            Vice-Chairman

Martyn Tittley

 

 

Safe and Strong Communities Select Committee

 

 

 

Chairman

John Francis

Vice-Chairman

David Williams

 

 

Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee

 

 

 

Chairman

Kath Perry

Vice-Chairman

David Loades

 

 

Planning Committee

 

 

Chairman

Tim Corbett

Vice-Chairman

David Smith

 

Pensions Committee

 

 

Chairman

Stephen Sweeney

Vice-Chairman

Bob Fraser

 

 

Audit and Standards Committee

 

 

Chairman

Mike Worthington

Vice-Chairman

Keith James

 

Corporate Parenting Panel

 

 

Chairman

Mike Lawrence

Vice-Chairman

Janet Eagland

 

11.

Appointment of Members to Outside Bodies 2014/15 (to be circulated at the meeting)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Leader of the Council, in consultation with the Political Group Leaders, be authorised to approve the appointment of members to Outside Bodies for 2014/15 and. subsequently to make any changes to those appointments as necessary.

12.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr P. Davies sought the support of Members in persuading local planning authorities to bring pressure to bear on developers to install sprinkler systems in new domestic and commercial premises as a means of reducing the number of fire fatalities per year. 

 

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

13.

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 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 M. Compton asked the following question of the Cabinet Member for Children, Communities and Localism whose reply is set out below the question:-

 

Question

 

I understand that the Early Years' budget has reduced from £22 million in 2009/2010 to £12.4 million in £2013/14.    What are the consequences for Early Years and Early Education of a budget cut of £10 million?

 

Reply

 

The consequence of changes in government grants is that we have become more focused on targeted intervention with families that need it, developing provision at a local level, and working with our partners to provide the best outcomes in the community.

 

By focusing on the outcomes that our children need, innovating and finding better ways to work together with partners, we have faced the challenge of shrinking resources and increased demand.

 

The transformation of children’s services social care services into Families First saw some efficiency savings, but this wasn’t the main driver of change – it was about changing the system so that the right children get the right help at a the right time.  The change moved us from a traditional hierarchical service based system to one of locality based resources that were allocated on need. Improvement at the early years foundation stage,  better planning, better information sharing, improved use of resources and  customised approaches to communities were all consequences.

 

Today we see vast improvements in standards of nursery provision, with 84% of Staffordshire’s settings being rated by Ofsted as either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’

 

Our priority remains ensuring children have the best start in life, because, in the long run, that is not only the best outcome for the child and their family, but for the authority too.

 

We also intend,  through our work in achieving excellence in Early Years,   to ensure that there every 0-5 year olds has the best start in and are school  ready, not just those who are vulnerable.

 

Supplementary Question

 

There has been a reduction of 47 people in the last four years working in the Early Years and Early Education Teams.  There used to be 114, there are now 67.  I just want to ask, what are the consequences for the staff and the work that they do in this reduction of 47 staff over the last four years?

 

Reply

 

I have not got those figures available and in front of me so I will respond to you in writing.

 

Note by clerk:  Mr Lawrence provided Mrs Compton with the following written response:

 

The numbers of staff working directly with children and families on the front-line were protected, and have not reduced as a result of changes to early years provision.

 

The staffing changes were the result of changes to support functions, some of which had reached their objectives or there were changes in external funding.  – e.g. the work of the Children’s Fund. Others from the School Improvement Service transferred to Entrust and continue to perform their role. The changes of staffing at a management level were not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Petitions

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(i) Request for Traffic Signals at the Junction of Arnold Grove/Clare Avenue and for Safety Cameras along Bradwell Lane, Newcastle-under-Lyme

 

Mrs Hambleton presented a petition from local residents, requesting the installation of Traffic Signals at the Junction of Arnold Grove/Clare Avenue and for Safety Cameras along Bradwell Lane, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

 

(ii) Petition opposing the possible closure of Biddulph Household Waste Recycling Centre

 

Mr Lawson presented a petition from local residents opposing the possible closure of Biddulph Household Waste Recycling Centre.