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 Compact Update including the Third Sector Commissioning Standards
(Paragraph 2 of the Statement)
In response to a question from Mr Lee Bates concerning the Staffordshire Compact, Mr Ben Adams indicated that the Compact was a crucial element in being able to offer the most straightforward of contracting arrangements to third sector organisations, particularly the smaller organisations who were of an insufficient size to be able to compete for larger contracts.
Treasury Management Outturn Report for the Year ended 31 March 2010
(Paragraph 4 of the Statement)
In response to a question from Mr Derek Davis concerning the size of the Authority’s borrowing and its assets, Mr Philip Atkins indicated that the Council’s overall level of borrowing stood at £532.239m whereas its assets, at current trading value, stood at £1.5bn.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership
(Paragraph 6 of the Statement)
Mrs Christina Jebb asked whether the announcement that East Staffordshire Borough Council had withdrawn from the proposed Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership would have any effect on the Partnership’s viability. In response, Mr Philip Atkins indicated that East Staffordshire Borough Council had indicated their intention to join the Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and that this decision reflected the complex economic geography of the region. He added that such partnerships needed to have “porous” boundaries to enable adjacent Partnerships to work together. He concluded by indicating that, irrespective of East Staffordshire Borough Council’s decision not to be a member of the proposed Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, he believed that the case for the Partnership was still a strong one.
Consultation on the provision of Magistrates and County Courts in Staffordshire
(Paragraph 8 of the Statement)
Several Members expressed concern at the Courts service’s proposals to change Magistrates and County Court arrangements in Staffordshire which, if implemented, would result in the closure of the Magistrates and County Courts in Tamworth and the closure of the County Court in Burton. Mrs Liz Staples expressed the opinion that the foundation for the judicial system should be local people dispensing local justice and that, if the proposals went ahead there would be a loss of local knowledge. In response to Members’ concerns, Mr Philip Atkins indicated that the County Council would continue to press the Courts service to retain the courts.
Supporting the Staffordshire Economy – Staffordshire Business Support Fund
(Paragraph 9 of the Statement)
Mr Matthew Ellis explained that there was to be a further extension of the fund to support care orientated businesses. Another recent innovation was “Business in a Box” under which the County Council were providing help and advise to help “kick start” businesses providing care for vulnerable people.
Mr Ellis also announced that the second trench of funding under the Community Wellbeing Fund was now available.
Staffordshire County Council – New Operating Model
(Paragraph 10 of the Statement)
In response to questions from Members in relation to the Council’s new operating model, Mr Philip Atkins indicated that implementation of the new model was moving forward as quickly as possible with the intention that full implementation would be achieved by the time the 2011/12 budget was set in the spring of next year.
RESOLVED – (a) That the Statement of the Leader of the Council be received.
(b) That an amendment to the Investment Strategy be approved to allow investment in UK Government treasury bills for up to 1 year maturity to be added to the list of in-house specified investments.