Agenda and draft minutes

County Council - Thursday 21st July 2022 10:00am

Venue: Council Chamber - County Buildings

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

Media

Items
No. Item

16.

Declarations of Interest under Standing Order 16

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Minutes:

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

 

Philip White

Minute nos. – 19

Interest – personal

Reason – member of Newcastle under Lyme Town Deal Board

17.

Confirmation of the minutes of the Council meeting held on 19 May 2022 pdf icon PDF 273 KB

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Minutes:

Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the County Council held on 19 May 2022 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

18.

Chairman's Correspondence

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

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Minutes:

Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours

 

On behalf of the Council, the Chairman extended congratulations to Catherine Mann, the Council’s interim Assistant Director for Culture, Rural and Safer Communities, in being awarded a MBE for her national work promoting a literate, kinder society, as well as being the head of the county’s library service for more than a decade.

 

The Chairman also informed the Council that other Staffordshire recipients of Honours included:

 

     OBE for Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal MBE DL, of Brocton, Regional Prevent Coordinator at the Department for Education, for services to social cohesion;

     OBE for Dr David Lawson Jacques, of Stafford, for services to garden history and conservation;

     MBE for Pamela Bostock, of Tamworth, Consultant Occupational Therapist at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for services to adults with progressive neurological conditions;

     MBE for Glenn Gerald Parkes, of Stoke-on-Trent, for service to the homeless and rough sleepers of Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent;

     MBE for Douglas Robertson Wright DL, of Wood Lane, near Aldridge, for services to the economy and to charity in the West Midlands;

     BEM for Sheila Anne Cooper, of Cheadle, a First Aid trainer and instructor in the Cheadle division of St John Ambulance in Staffordshire;

     BEM for Daniel Mark Kinsey, of Wombourne, Chair of Wombourne Parish Council, for services to the community of Wombourne, particularly during Covid-19.

 

Honorary Alderman Derek Davis OBE

 

The Chairman informed the Council of the death, on the evening of Monday 11 July 2022, of former County Councillor Derek Davis.  Mr Davis represented the Chadsmoor (Cannock Chase) County Electoral Division on the County Council from 1985 to 2021

 

Mr Davis served on a number of the Council’s Committees including the Pensions Committee, Pensions Panel, Audit and Standards Committee, Staffordshire Health Scrutiny Committee, Corporate Review Committee and the Assets and Budget Scrutiny Committee.

 

Mr Davis was awarded an OBE in the 2010 for his services to local government and particularly his work as Chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Combined Fire and Rescue Authority from 2001 to 2009. 

 

He was also appointed as an Honorary Alderman upon his retirement from the County Council in 2021.

 

Councillors Sutherland, Charlotte Atkins and Philip Atkins paid tribute to Mr Davis following which Members stood and observed a one minute silence in his memory.

19.

Statement of the Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 175 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

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Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented a Statement outlining his recent work since the previous meeting of the Council.

 

Household Support Fund

(Paragraph 1 of the Statement)

 

Councillor Sutton informed Members that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had announced an extension to the Household Support Fund (HSF) Grant which would be made available to County Councils and Unitary Authorities in England. Staffordshire was to receive around £5.5m which would be split across three areas of activity to support those most in need this Summer.

 

Staffordshire Better Care Fund 2021-23

(Paragraph 2 of the Statement)

 

The Leader of the Council indicated that he wished to amend the paragraph to clarify that the Health and Well-being Board was required to approve the 2022/23 Staffordshire BCF Plan.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Charlotte Atkins concerning the need to more effectively promote the Disabled Facilities Grant, Councillor Jessel indicated that there was variations in spend across the District/Borough Councils, with some Councils underspending.  She added that the Leader of the Council was taking this matter forward through the Leaders’ Board.  Councillor Alan White added that Leaders of the Councils across Staffordshire were doing their upmost to get the money out to where it was needed.

 

Staffordshire Means Back to Business

(Paragraph 3 of the Statement)

 

Councillor Philip White outlined how the Council’s Staffordshire jobs brokerage scheme “Staffordshire Jobs and Careers”, Apprenticeship 500 programme and Ignite initiative were helping people to gain skills and find employment.  He also encouraged Members to promote the initiatives.

 

In response to questions from Councillor Pardesi concerning the “vetting” of businesses taking on apprentices and how outcomes were monitored; how many people participating in the ignite initiative went on to set up their own business; and ensuring that graduates also had opportunities, Councillor Alan White indicated that he did not have the information to hand and would therefore ask the Deputy Leader and the Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills to respond to her in writing.

 

Final Financial Outturn Report 2021/22

(Paragraph 4 of the Statement)

 

In response to a question from Councillor Charlotte Atkins concerning the cost of social care reform and how the Council would meet these costs, Councillor Parry indicated that the Cabinet, at its meeting on 20 July 2022, received details of the latest revenue forecast outturn for Quarter 1 and noted that inflationary pressures were forecast to be in the region of £50-£70m in the current and future years and that the Council continued to monitor the situation carefully.  He added that additional funding had been made available to address inflationary pressures and that, like many local authorities, the Council still faced financial challenges, but continued to keep its finances in as strong a position as possible.  Councillor Parry and Councillor Alan White also indicated that the Council would continue to lobby Central Government in respect of the National Insurance Levy.

 

Corporate Delivery Plan 2022/23

(Paragraph 5 of the Statement)

 

Councillor Greatorex spoke about the importance of the Corporate Plan in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2021-2022 pdf icon PDF 873 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Greatorex moved consideration of the Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2021 – 2022.

 

Councillor Greatorex outlined the vital role played by the Overview and Scrutiny Committees and how there had been a return to the norm following the Covid pandemic.  He also extended his thanks to the Members of the Council’s Cabinet for engaging in the Overview and Scrutiny process.

 

Councillors Greatorex, Clements, Spencer and Pert outlined some of the work their Committees had undertaken over the year including a joint review on sexual harassment in schools.  They also expressed thanks to their fellow Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees, Scrutiny Officers and also to the other officers who supported them.

 

Councillor Tagg expressed his thanks to the Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee for their work in relation to the issues at Walley’s Quarry.  Councillor Alan White also paid tribute to the diligent work of the Overview and Scrutiny Committees and highlighted the valuable contribution they made to the work of the Council.  He also asked the Committees to continue their good work.

 

Resolved – That the Scrutiny Annual Report 2021 - 2022 be received.

21.

Staffordshire Corporate Parenting Annual Report 2021-22 pdf icon PDF 266 KB

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Minutes:

Councillor Sutton moved consideration of the Staffordshire Corporate Parenting Panel Annual Report 2021-22.

 

He informed Members that the way the Panel operated had changed so that it became more interactive and listened more to the views of the young people.  He also extended his thanks to his fellow Panel Members and also to the officers who supported them.

 

Councillor Edgeller referred to how support for children in care had changed over the last decade and she, together with Councillor Hood, extended their thanks to Councillor Sutton for his dedication and leadership.

 

Councillor Sutton thanked Members for their comments and also paid tribute to the county’s Foster Carers.

 

Resolved – That the Staffordshire Corporate Parenting Panel Annual Report 2020-21 be received.

22.

2021 Community Fund - 2021/22 Report and Next Steps pdf icon PDF 1 MB

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Minutes:

Councillor Wilson indicated that around 160 different organisations across the County had been helped during the year with Covid recovery related projects.

 

Councillors Clements and Cox outlined projects which had been supported in their respective areas and how Members had worked together to pool their funding.

 

Councillor Alan White paid tribute to Members for the hard work they undertook in their respective divisions.

 

Resolved – That the report be received.

23.

Recommendations to the Council pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a) Procurement Regulations - Proposed Addition

 

The Council’s approval was sought to a proposed addition to the Procurement Regulations to exempt from their standard tendering/quotation process the engagement of an HR adviser in very specific circumstances.

 

Members were informed that the exemption was needed to enable the Council’s Director for Corporate Services to follow due process when dealing with any employment disciplinary matter involving HR personnel. To date the Director had needed to call on the support of Senior officers from service areas sufficiently distanced from the HR function however, in some circumstances they had, understandably, not possessed the depth of knowledge and expertise required.

 

Resolved – That the proposed addition to the Procurement Regulations to exempt from their standard tendering/quotation process the engagement of an HR adviser in very specific circumstances be agreed and that the Procurement Regulations be amended accordingly.

 

(b) Health and Wellbeing Board - Changes to the Constitution

 

The Council’s approval was sought to make changes to the arrangements for chairing the Staffordshire Health and Well-being Board. The proposed revised arrangements took into account the establishment of the Integrated Care System, that the Clinical Commissioning Groups had been abolished and replaced by the NHS Integrated Care Board, and that Councillor Dr Johnny McMahan and Dr Alison Bradley had recently stood down as co-chairs.

 

Resolved - That the proposed changes to the Health and Wellbeing Board’s Constitution, as set out in paragraphs 2(a), (b) (c) and (d) of the report, be approved.

24.

Report of the Chairman of the Staffordshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel pdf icon PDF 150 KB

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Minutes:

In response to a question from Councillor Charlotte Atkins regarding Staffordshire Police being placed in Special Measures by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services, Councillor Cox indicated that the Panel was aware of the issues and would hold the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner to account to ensure that the areas of concern were addressed.

 

Resolved – That the report be received.

25.

Questions pdf icon PDF 89 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

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Minutes:

Councillor Pritchard asked the following question of the Leader of the Council whose reply is set out below the question:-

 

Question

 

Yesterday Tamworth hosted the Queens Baton Relay, with the baton ending its journey through Tamworth at a huge festival of sport and music in the town centre. Tamworth has also secured another honour, being the only Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Festival Site in Staffordshire. Over the next three weeks Tamworth will be showing Live footage of the games in the Castle Grounds, as well as putting on be a three-week summer festival of sports, entertainment, concerts and community events.

 

Will the Leader of the Council join me in congratulating Tamworth, and all those officers and volunteers, who have worked so hard in securing this amazing event?

 

Reply

 

Staffordshire County Council (SCC) congratulates all eight districts and boroughs for their involvement and co-ordination of events for The Queen’s Baton Relay. SCC recognises the commitment made by Tamworth District Council to offer the Commonwealth Games Festival Site providing live footage of the games over the coming weeks of sport.

 

SCC has been committed to supporting all the districts with their plans for The Queen’s Baton Relay. Co-ordinating a county-wide group to discuss and co-ordinate the events, offering support from relevant teams to ensure the events could be delivered efficiently, safely and were well promoted to Staffordshire residents. Comms have been actively involved in sharing the social media posts (on all platforms available) from all district councils. All the activities, routes and events were and will continue to be (where applicable) communicated via a dedicated webpage on SCC’s website to ensure Staffordshire residents would know how and when to get involved with The Queen’s Baton Relay and Commonwealth Games in the County.

 

SCC look forward to the start of the Commonwealth Games on 28 July and in particular the two events that will take place within our county: the Mountain Bike event which will be held on Cannock Chase on 3 August and the Cycling Time Trial on 4 August in South Staffordshire.

 

Councillor Oates asked the following question of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport whose reply is set out below the question:-

 

Question

 

Tamworth is in a unique situation being almost completely urban and without many rural roads, this means almost all roads have kerb stones.

 

Each year we see weeds growing up to 2ft high in these kerbs, not only are they unsightly but their roots will be creating gaps in between kerb stones and slabs which will fill with water then freeze and then become an expensive pothole or broken kerb stone/slab. These are our assets to maintain, so could the portfolio holder look to support more weed suppression in urban areas particularly Tamworth, in order to reduce future highways repair costs?

 

Reply

 

As part of the new vision and investment in highways we will be reviewing services that both improve the condition of our road network and have environmental benefits for our communities throughout Staffordshire.

 

Current  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Petitions

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Management of HGVs on Cemetery Road, Silverdale, Newcastle

 

Councillor Tagg submitted a petition from local residents seeking the introduction of measures to manage HGVs on Cemetery Road, Silverdale, Newcastle.