Council Minutes

Wednesday, 28th November, 2012
07.00 p.m.
Council Chamber, Town Hall, High Street, Stockton on Tees TS18 1AJ
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

The Worshipful the Mayor (Cllr Lynne Apedaile), Cllr Paul Baker, Cllr Jim Beall, Cllr Derrick Brown, Cllr Mark Chatburn, Cllr Carol Clark, Cllr Michael Clark, Cllr David Coleman, Cllr Robert Cook, Cllr Nigel Cooke, Cllr Evaline Cunningham, Cllr Ian Dalgarno, Cllr Phillip Dennis, Cllr Ken Dixon, Cllr John Gardner, Cllr Robert Gibson, Cllr David Harrington, Cllr Barbara Inman, Cllr Mohammed Javed, Cllr Eileen Johnson, Cllr Elliot Kennedy, Cllr Jean Kirby, Cllr Terry Laing, Cllr Miss Tina Large, Cllr Colin Leckonby, Cllr Alan Lewis, Cllr Ken Lupton, Cllr Ray McCall, Cllr Mrs Ann McCoy, Cllr Mrs Kathryn Nelson, Cllr Steve Nelson, Cllr Mrs Jean O'Donnell, Cllr Ross Patterson, Cllr Maurice Perry, Cllr Mrs Maureen Rigg, Cllr Andrew Sherris, Cllr Michael Smith, Cllr Norma Stephenson, Cllr Mick Stoker, Cllr Tracey Stott, Cllr Steve Walmsley, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley, Cllr David Wilburn, Cllr Norma Wilburn, Cllr Mrs Mary Womphrey, Cllr Mick Womphrey and Cllr Barry Woodhouse.
N Schneider (CE); J Danks, L King (R), J Humphreys (CESC); P Kelly (DPH); D E Bond, P K Bell (LD).
In Attendance:
4 Members of the Public.
Apologies for absence:
Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr Gillian Corr, Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Ben Houchen, Cllr Paul Kirton, Cllr David Rose, Cllr Andrew Stephenson and Cllr Bill Woodhead.
Item Description Decision
Councillor Evaline Cunningham declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 11 - Parliamentary Review as her husband was a Member of Parliament.

Councillor Bob Cook declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 11 - Parliamentary Review as he worked for Alex Cunningham MP.

Councillor Ann McCoy declared a personal interest in respect of agenda item 5 - North East Charter Plus for Elected Member Development as she was the Chair of North East Regional Employers' Organisation.
The minutes of the meeting held on 17th October 2012 were signed by the Worshipful the Mayor as a correct record.
The Worshipful the Mayor and the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People presented Lauren Dalgarno of Conyers School, Yarm with a pen to mark her achievement of winning the Times Educational Supplement - Teacher of the Year Award.
The Worshipful the Mayor and the Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Finance presented Margaret Waggott, Nigel Hart, Judy Trainer and Joanne McGeeney with the North East Charter Plus Award for Elected Member Development.
The Worshipful the Mayor and the Cabinet Member for Corporate Management and Finance presented Beccy Brown with the national training award for the Council's Middle Manager Development Programme.
The Worshipful the Mayor and the Leader of the Council presented Dale Rowbotham with the Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM) Award for Innovation in Waste Management & Resource Recovery and The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee Award for best new idea.
The Director of Law & Democracy informed Members that no Public Questions had been received.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
RESOLVED that the report be noted.

1. The comments specified at paragraph 12 of the report to Council regarding the revised proposals published by the Boundary Commission for England be agreed as the Authority’s formal representations in relation to those proposals and,

2. This should include a request that the name “Thornaby” be added to the new Middlesbrough constituency name.

3. Subject to this, the Director of Law and Democracy be authorised to submit the agreed representations to the Boundary Commission for England before the consultation deadline of 10 December 2012.
RESOLVED that Councillor Michael Smith be removed and
Councillor Ray McCall be added to the Planning Committee.
The Director of Law & Democracy informed Members that no Member Questions had been received.
07.00 pm - 07.30 pm


Consideration was given to a report that provided confirmation of the successful candidate who had been elected Police and Crime Commissioner for the Cleveland police area following the election on the 15 November 2012.

The total number of valid first and second preference votes cast for each of the candidates remaining in the contest after the conclusion of the first count was as follows:-

Candidate - First Preference - Second Preference - Total
Barry Coppinger - 25,691 5,649 31,340
Ken Lupton - 16,047 4,124 20,171

Barry Coppinger, had therefore been duly elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for the Cleveland police area.
Consideration was given to a report that provided Council with an overview of content from the Members Policy Seminar held in October 2012 which provided updates on the recently published consultation on Fluoridisation of water, Reducing Excess Winter Deaths and Increasing Resilience to the Cold, a presentation from the Managing Director of Tees Valley Unlimited to outline recent developments and their future work programme. The session ended with an overview of the consultation paper and thinking around the revised Proposals for School Funding.

Members Policy Seminars were an important vehicle for both informing and consulting with Members on a variety of topics from Policy and Legislative changes, contributions to Government consultations, and providing an update on local service provision from partner organisations. They had been in place since January 2009 and were particularly useful for those issues which were of importance to the Council or partners but were in the early stages of development, or those which would be of interest to Members, out with the usual reporting arrangements.

A programme of seminars was set annually with events planned on a monthly basis. Topics were reviewed monthly by the Corporate Management Team to ensure issues were current and discussions and information provision was timely. Special, additional seminars were arranged as required.

There had been one Member Seminar since the last report to Full Council. The October seminar provided an opportunity for Members to be briefed on the consultation arrangements around fluoridisation of water, work ongoing within the Council and with partners to reduce excess winter deaths, an update on the work of Tees Valley Unlimited and the thinking and development of a response to the government consultation on future proposals to school funding arrangements.

The Director of Public Health, Peter Kelly briefly updated Members on the recent consultation on the process local authorities would use to conduct consultations on fluoridation of drinking water. A response to this consultation would be submitted with an opportunity at a later date for Members to contribute to the actual consultation on the fluidisation proposals. This was expected some time in 2013.

Stockton experienced 15% (70) more deaths during the winter caused by respiratory diseases, heart attacks and strokes mainly by those most at risk which included the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, those in poor housing, fuel poverty, living alone, the very young and those with a learning disability. This presentation identified the various initiatives being undertaken by the Council, its partners, including a specific initiative by the Fire Brigade, to help reduce the numbers who die as a result of the cold weather. The scope of the initiatives ranges from major insulation projects to the issuing of blankets, safe fire appliances, benefit maximisation checks and social care referrals where necessary. These initiatives had been very well received by residents and in some cases won awards for the positive outcomes they had achieved.

Stephen Catchpole, Director of Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU) provided an update on the work of Tees Valley Unlimited identifying recent changes to their organisation, successes, policy changes and their impact and future challenges the organisation and the local area face. The presentation touched on the work and success of the LEP, recent grant awards, strategic planning initiatives, links with local and nationally business and ongoing changes and initiatives at a European level. The presentation identified an understanding of the positive opportunities within the Tees Valley and also the challenges that were still faced. TVU had a Business Plan and Statement of Ambition that they were working to, progress against which, was monitored and reported regularly.

A presentation on the consultation of the future of School Funding provided some background to arrangements and identified the proposed changes that the government was consulting upon. Details of the three new categories and 11 funding factors were explained, identifying the impact the changes would have on funding for individual schools within Stockton and provided an outline of the suggested response following consultation with governors and Head Teachers. The response deadline was early November with the outcome of the consultation expected to align with the budget setting process for 2013/14.
Consideration was given to a report that requested Council’s agreement to the comments which would be submitted to the Boundary Commission for England regarding its revised proposals for new parliamentary constituencies for the Stockton-on-Tees Borough area.

Previous reports had explained that the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 (“the Act”) required the four Boundary Commissions to conduct a review of the parliamentary constituencies in their part of the UK and to submit final reports to Government before 1 October, 2013.

The Act required there to be a fixed number of 600 constituencies for the whole of the UK (as opposed to the current 650). The number of constituencies allocated to England was 502 (including the two reserved for the Isle of Wight).

The Boundary Commission for England (“BCE”) had subdivided the 500 England constituencies between the regions used for European Parliament elections.

The North East had been allocated 26 constituencies (at the time of this meeting it had 29). The BCE's initial proposals ensured that each of these constituencies were wholly contained in the North East region.

The BCE was also required by the Act to ensure that each constituency had an electorate that was no less than 95% and no more than 105% of the UK electoral quota. This quota had been calculated at 76,641. Accordingly, each constituency must have an electorate that was no smaller than 72,810 and no larger than 80,473.

Representations on the BCE's initial proposals were agreed by Council at its meeting on 1st December 2011.

The representations were as follows:-

(i) There is general concern that the restrictions imposed by the legislation, specifically the proposed reduction in the number of MPs from 650 to 600 and the requirement for each Constituency to have an electorate that is no less than 95% and no more than 105% of the UK electoral quota, will cause significant problems locally, with illogical parliamentary boundaries being created and constituencies sometimes being separated only by the width of a particular street.

(ii) Specific concerns regarding the impact on community boundaries and the loss of community identities as a result of all of the proposals.

(iii) The proposals will create four Members of Parliament for the Stockton Borough area. This will inevitably result in an increased use of the Council’s resources than at present and will not, therefore, be cost effective.

(iv) The impact of the proposals at election time should not be underestimated. There will be voter confusion, with parts of the same communities voting for different Members of Parliament. The administration of elections for four different constituencies will be logistically complex and will require an increased use of resources.

(v) There is widespread concern amongst residents and Members regarding the splitting of the Billingham wards and communities as a result of the proposals for Hartlepool BC and for Stockton and Billingham BC. It is, therefore, recommended that the Billingham North Ward is not included in the proposed Hartlepool BC and that it is retained with other Billingham wards, in any new, revised proposals.

(vi) If the Billingham North ward is however to remain a part of the proposed Hartlepool BC, it is recommended that the constituency be renamed Hartlepool and Billingham North BC.

(vii) As regards the Middlesbrough BC, it is recommended that the constituency be renamed Middlesbrough and Thornaby BC.

(viii) With regard to the Sedgefield and Yarm CC, the majority of the electorate will be Stockton Borough residents. The constituency should be a Stockton Borough, not County Constituency, administered by/on behalf of the Borough Council at elections. It is also recommended that it be renamed South West Stockton and Sedgefield BC.

The Parkfield and Oxbridge ward is closely associated with the Stockton Town Centre area and should accordingly be retained as part of the new Stockton and Billingham BC (subject to the comments which follow regarding the name of that constituency).

(ix) In relation to the Stockton and Billingham BC, the reference to Billingham will be confusing given that, at present, it will not include the Billingham North Ward. It should, therefore, be renamed North Stockton BC. It should also include the Parkfield and Oxbridge Ward, given its close association with the Stockton Town Centre area.

The review entered a secondary consultation phase on 6th March 2012. This concluded on 3rd April 2012. The secondary consultation allowed interested parties to submit further comments on the representations received by the BCE on their initial proposals.

At its meeting on 8th March, Cabinet agreed that the Council's original representations should be reaffirmed for the purposes of the secondary consultation period. This was done and the decision to do so, in consultation with the Mayor, was reported to Council on 2nd May 2012.

The BCE published revised proposals for new parliamentary constituency boundaries on 16th October 2012. Copies of the revised proposals were accessible at:-

The details affecting the administrative area of Stockton-on-Tees were attached to the report.

At its meeting on 1st November 2012 Cabinet considered the revised proposals and indicated that the following representations should be submitted to the BCE:-

(i) As regards the proposed Stockton North and Aycliffe Constituency, given the respective sizes of the electorate of Billingham, Stockton and Aycliffe/Sedgefield wards, it is considered that the name of the Constituency should be Stockton North, Billingham and Aycliffe.

(ii) The administration of and “lead local authority” role for parliamentary elections for the new constituencies of Stockton North, Billingham and Aycliffe and Stockton South should continue to be the responsibility of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.

The report to Cabinet was accessible at on the Stockton Council website ( and the relevant Cabinet minute was attached to the report.

The final consultation period on the revised proposals concluded on 10th December 2012. The final consultation would not include any public hearings, nor was there an opportunity for commenting on the representations of others.

The BCE would consider any representations made during the final consultation period about the revised proposals and would make its final decisions about whether further revisions were needed in light of those representations.

Once the BCE had decided on its final recommendations for the whole of England, it would then draft and submit a formal report to Government. The report, which would be published, would contain a description of the review in each region, a textual description of all of the final recommendations, and a set of maps to illustrate the existing constituency boundaries and those proposed by the final recommendations.

The submission of the formal, final report would conclude the review process.

A further report would be presented to Members once this stage had been reached.

Members discussed the report and agreed that the response should include a request that the name “Thornaby” be added to the new Middlesbrough constituency name.
At its Annual Meeting, held on Wednesday 25 May 2011, the Council approved appointments to its Committees, Panels and Joint/Outside Bodies for 2011/15.

Subsequently the Council had been asked to make one amendment to the Planning Committee:-

Remove Councillor Michael Smith
Add Councillor Ray McCall
the Leader of the Council gave his Forward Plan and Leaders Statement.

• Rediscover Stockton - the shop was open and automata competition running to pick one to be installed in the town centre.

• Work was progressing well on Stockton High Street and paving was starting to go down.

• The Business rate reduction scheme for the Town centre was receiving very positive response.

• Billingham town centre regeneration and the new library Customer service centre was progressing well.

• Billingham House had been taken down.

• Northshore has had the bid accepted by ERDF in 1st round for an innovation centre.

• Police and Crime Commissioner has been elected, Barry Coppinger was in post, and he had been in Stockton Town Centre just a few days into his term of office.

• City Deal discussions were ongoing and a submission would be made in January.

• Regional Growth Fund success in round 3 - £70million to the Tees Valley.

• The floods had again caused damage exactly 2 months after the last floods but only some houses in Cowpen Bewley where water did manage to get into the houses, but it was touch and go in other parts of the Borough and when officers had collated the facts it might be found that there were other houses where water had entered.

The Leader of the Council thanked the teams who had worked tirelessly round the clock to help residents.

• Preston Park visitor numbers at record high official launch planned for early 2013. The Northern Children’s Book Festival at the weekend was a great success and attracted many visitors.

• Congratulations were given to Matthew Wilson the Youth Parliament representative who had spoke at Westminster.

• The autumn statement and the Financial Settlement were expected late December. There would be difficult decisions to make in the New Year.

• MORI survey had positive results for Stockton Borough Council and for the Borough as a whole. There would be a special Members Seminar in January to discuss the results in detail.

Significant items at the next meeting of Cabinet were:-

• The impact of Welfare reforms, specifically the outcome of the consultation on the Local Council Tax Support Scheme

• Local Account 2011/12 - The overview of Adults Services

• A review of the summer 2012 events programme

• The Quarter 2 performance report and medium term financial plan

• The new Extra Care Facility at Billingham

• Parkfield exciting plan with Fabrick to build 108 new homes and restart the regeneration scheme - being considered.

Also the Stockton Sparkles Festival was due to start on 29th November 2012 with the Christmas Lights switch-on on the High Street at 6pm and would run right through to Christmas. The popular Christmas Market would begin on 6th December. The Reindeer parade returned along with a new attraction a giant snow globe you can step inside and live ice sculpting.

Can't find it

Can't find what you're looking for? Let us know and we'll do our best to point you in the right direction