Venue: Council Chamber
Contact: Bernie Carr
Declarations of Interest
To receive any declarations of interest.
Councillor J Walker declared a non-pecuniary interest as she was involved with the Linx project and the organisation was mentioned in the Deputy Mayor and the Executive Member for Culture and Communities’ Executive report.
Minutes - Council - 20 October 2021 PDF 165 KB
Councillor Thompson advised that the minutes did not reflect a question she had asked the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities to which she had not received a response. The question was with regard to progress made in relation to a commitment to deliver training to members on racial awareness, as a result of a motion submitted to Council on 14 October 2020. Councillor Thompson requested that this be noted in the minutes of 20 October 2021.
The minutes of the Council meeting held on 20 October 2021, with the inclusion of the amendment set out above, were approved as a correct record.
The Chair invited Councillor Mawston to address members with regard to the Cleveland Show.
Councillor Mawston advised that he had been a member of the Cleveland Show for many years and he was currently the Chair of the Cleveland Show Board.
He stated that a press release was due to be published the following morning from the Cleveland Show’s Director informing every one of the permanent closure of the show.
He stated that the Cleveland Show Board wanted to thank Middlesbrough Council, in particular, the Chief Executive, the Director of Environment and Community Services, Middlesbrough Council staff and all of the successive Park Managers including the current one. He advised that the support of all of the above had assisted the show to become a big attraction in Stewart Park. Councillor Mawston also thanked previous and current Council members for their support over the years.
The Cleveland Show had started off as the Stockton Show, based at Ropner Park in 1944. It had relocated to Stewart Park in 1963. Memorable events had included the presence of the Queens coaches in 1971, (the first time on display without a member of the Royal family on board) and the Household Cavalry. In 1977 the winner of the Grand National, Red Rum, had appeared, and in 2018, the equine cast of the Game of Thrones, had been present.
The Cleveland Show was a not for profit, self-funded, volunteer run, organisation. Several years of shows that had been affected by the bad weather had resulted in the Board having to seek sponsorship for the event. Representatives from the show had met with the Mayor and the Chief Executive and following the meeting it was anticipated that a local business man would be able to raise the £50,000 needed to sponsor the show. The funding did not materialise and following an unsuccessful bid to Tees Valley Combined Authority, the Show Board continued to try and host the show.
Councillor Mawston advised that, following the impact of the Covid pandemic, it was however decided, with sadness, that the show must come to an end. The show would lose its charitable registration in May 2022.
The Mayor stated that the closure of the Cleveland Show was very sad and he thanked all the volunteers.
Councillor McTigue queried whether there was anything that could be done about the closure and whether the closure had been publicised?. Councillor Mawston advised that the Board had tried everything it could to maintain the show and he did not wish to comment any further.
Questions from Members of the Public (if any).
There were no valid questions submitted from members of the public for this meeting.
Mayor's Statement and Report
The Mayor commented on the following issues:
The Mayor advised that the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities was absent from the meeting as she was suffering with Covid.
The Mayor urged councillors and members of the public to exercise extreme care and to continue to wear face masks. He stated the rates in Middlesbrough were middle of the table. He thanked the NHS, the Public Health Team and other staff for helping to keep the town safe.
The Mayor referred to the current spate of bad behaviour in the Hemlington area and the fact that vulnerable people and the town in general were being let down because of the courts. Young people who were intimidating residents were being arrested by the police and the police were requesting curfews, but it appeared that the courts were not respecting the wishes of the police. The Mayor urged people to report crime as if it wasn’t reported, it would not be recorded.
The Mayor referred to a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme that had been set up by A Francis in the Linthorpe Ward and advised that if a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme was run well, crime could be reduced by 25% as a result of a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme.
The Mayor referred to the fact that Middlesbrough had been awarded ‘Tree City of the World' status. He stated that thousands more trees and wild flowers would be planted this year and next year.
The Mayor referred to the fact that people were furious about the fact that Lidl had cut down some trees, in anticipation of a planning application. He thanked Councillor P Storey for making Lidl aware. The Mayor referred to a petition that had been taken down from the Council Website for legal reasons. He advised that he would be happy to help with the main petition if required.
The Mayor welcomed Harrison Scott to the meeting, a participant in the Council’s recent initiative called the Big Takeover. The Mayor stated that he wanted young people to obtain quality jobs if they chose to remain in the town. People often had to leave the town to secure jobs.
The Mayor referred to the progress with Boho X and advised that an announcement was due to be made in the next few weeks.
The Mayor advised that he had met Harrison at the Big Takeover. He had also met Phoebe from Trinity School and Ruby from Nunthorpe School as part of the Big Takeover event, which was a fantastic success.
The Mayor advised that the new ambition for Middlesbrough was that no single person in Middlesbrough would ever go hungry. He advised people who were struggling to get in touch with the Council or the White Feather Project and they would make sure that people were fed and were safe and warm.
Councillor Bell stated that in relation to anti-social behaviour in Hemlington, young people who were being arrested were ... view the full minutes text for item 21/76
Executive Member reports PDF 92 KB
The Chair invited Members to raise items for general discussion arising from the Information Booklet of Executive Member reports which detailed activities carried out within the respective Executive Member portfolios (Section 1), Executive decisions taken (Section 2) or to be taken where known, prior to and following the meeting (Sections 3 and 4).
Councillor M Storey queried why there was no report from the Mayor in relation to Children’s Services. The Council was currently subject to Ofsted and it was an important area particularly in relation to Children Looked After. The Mayor advised that a report had been prepared, however he had suffered a family bereavement eleven days previously. Without discussion with the Mayor, but with good intent, a decision had been made by officers that the Mayor presenting a report may not be appropriate.
Questions on the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities report
Councillor Davison – General Question regarding Paragraph 4 of the report
Councillor Davison stated that she was pleased to see that the wheelchair swing in Stewart Park was to be replaced as it had been broken for over 3 years. Councillor Davison queried whether other parts of the play area in Stewart Park could be looked at in the future?
Councillor J Walker – Safety and Communication
Councillor J Walker wished the Deputy Mayor a speedy recovery.
Councillor J Walker referred to paragraph 29 onwards of the Executive Member report in relation to the fact that in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office the Council was set to receive a share of £23.5 million funding allocated to help women and girls feel safer on the streets. She queried whether the wording should be ‘to help women and girls be safer on the streets’. Councillor Walker also queried if all of Middlesbrough would receive a share of the funding as there were women and girls in every ward and whether this would mean that Hemlington would be allocated a share of the funding.
Councillor J Walker referred to the £381,771 Safer Streets Government funding. Councillor Walker noted that a range of initiatives would be introduced, which would be primarily focused in Newport and Central wards and queried whether any funding that was left over could be allocated to the Hemlington Ward to address the problems that the area was experiencing, over the past few years, but in particular over the previous four months. It was quite likely that Hemlington would focus highly on the Active Intelligence Mapping (AIM) system. Councillor Walker also referred to the fact that it mentioned in the report that AIM process was under constant review to drill down on priority areas. Councillor Walker queried whether the Executive Member was involved in the review process and whether it indicated that Hemlington had a very high level of crime and anti-social behaviour incidents.
In relation to the proposed closure of Cass House Road underpass, which attracted the most prolific offenders, Councillor Walker stated that she hoped the consultation process ... view the full minutes text for item 21/77
Report of the Overview and Scrutiny Board PDF 255 KB
The Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Board presented a report, the purpose of which was to provide an update on the current position regarding progress made by the Overview and Scrutiny Board and each of the individual Scrutiny Panels.
ORDERED that the report be noted.
Medium Term Financial Plan Update PDF 303 KB
The Elected Mayor and the Director of Finance submitted a report, the purpose of which was to provide an update to Council of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) for the period to 2024/25, reflecting and supporting delivery of the Strategic Plan.
The report also set out to Council the proposed budget and Council Tax increase for 2022/23, and noted that these would be subject to public consultation.
The Mayor presented the report.
In response to a query from Councillor Branson with regard to paragraph 85 of the report in relation to a projected £1.8m budget gap in 2023/24 and a projected £4.6m budget gap in 2024/25 and whether the budget gap was likely to increase and if so would it affect services, the Mayor advised that the finance officers had made conservative assumptions with regard to the funding the Council was likely to receive from the Government however, there had been encouraging signs in relation to the future funding from the Government.
ORDERED as follows:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>That the Council notes the updated Medium Term Financial Plan position for 2021-25.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>That the Council notes the proposed budget for 2022/23, and the proposed total Council Tax increase of 2.99% for 2022/23 (comprising of a 1.99% increase in general Council Tax and a 1% Adult Social Care Precept).
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>That the Council notes that the proposed budget and the proposed Council Tax increase for 2022/23 are subject to public consultation commencing on 25 November 2021 and ending on 23 January 2022.
There were no urgent items submitted within the specified deadlines for this meeting.
Members' Question Time
There were no Members Questions on Notice submitted within the specified deadlines for this meeting.
Prior to the consideration of Notice of Motion 150, the Monitoring Officer clarified the position with regard to amendments to motions. A recent change to the Council’s Constitution had specified that two days’ notice must be given of any amendment to a motion. This was an error; the wording should have stated that two days’ notice should be given of any amendment to a motion. On that basis, the Monitoring Officer advised that any member would be permitted to put forward an amendment to a motion, at the meeting.
Consideration was given to Motion No. 150, moved by Councillor M Storey and seconded by Councillor Branson of which notice had been given in accordance with Council Procedure Rules No. 53-60 as follows:
Middlesbrough Council notes:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>1 in 10 workers have experienced ‘fire and rehire’ – told to reapply for their jobs on worse pay, terms and conditions or face the sack, with BME workers facing this at twice the rate of white workers, since March 2020(TUC research, January 2021). A quarter of all workers have experienced a worsening of their terms and conditions – including a cut to their pay – since the pandemic began.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>That while the prime minister has called the practice unacceptable he has continually refused to take action to outlaw the practice, raising concerns that he will not intervene in this race to the bottom as an escalating number of employers across all sectors using our weak employment protections to force their staff to accept worse terms and conditions, leaving many having to work longer hours and for lower pay, with what can be devastating consequences for workers and their families.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Even before the pandemic, 1 in 9 workers – 3.8 million people – were already ‘insecure’ meaning they did not have access to basic rights at work and could be dismissed at will, including those on zero hour contracts and agency workers.
Middlesbrough Council therefore resolves to:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Ensure local residents are protected against such unscrupulous employers and will write to the Prime Minister demanding he outlaw fire and rehire and act now to keep his promise to local residents to protect their employment terms and conditions.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Promote the increasing number of progressive local employers prioritising their employees’ standard of living and their wellbeing, work with our anchor institutions and key partners to bring forward plans to ensure all have best practice employment and to work with recognised trade unions on this.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Write to the TUC to indicate support for the campaign for a ‘New Deal for Working People’.
Councillor Branson seconded the motion and spoke in support of it.
Councillor Branson stated that the purpose of Fire and Rehire was nearly always to worsen working conditions. This could include increasing working hours or reducing holiday entitlement or break times. This practice meant that the working conditions for the people in this country were considerably worse than the rest of Europe. This had resulted in a negative impact on health and safety. The European Treaty had ... view the full minutes text for item 21/82
Notice of Urgent Motions (if any)
There were no Notice of Urgent Motions submitted within the specified deadlines for this meeting.
The Chair advised that the report on Paperless Meetings had subsequently been withdrawn from the meeting.
Update on Urgent Decisions PDF 266 KB
The Director of Legal and Governance Services and the Mayor submitted a report which provided Council with an update with regard to all urgent decisions that had been taken under the urgency rules.
ORDERED that the report be noted
Council Committees and Outside Bodies - Vacancies PDF 220 KB
Council received a report which sought Members’ approval to nominations for appointment, arising from vacancies deferred at the Annual Meeting of Council and resignations from Committees.
The report included a list of current vacancies on various committees and Outside Bodies and nominations were put forward at the meeting by individual members.
ORDERED that the following vacancies allocated in accordance with the wishes of the political groups and other councillors be approved by Council:
Adult Social Care and Health Scrutiny Panel
Councillor Higgins appointed
Chief Officer Appointments Committee
Corporate Health and Safety Steering Group
Councillor Mawston appointed
Staff Appeals Committee
Councillor Garvey appointed
Councillor J Hobson appointed
Teesside Pension Fund Committee
Councillor Wilson appointed
Councillor High appointed
(ANEC) Resources Task and Finish Group
Cleveland Fire Authority
Councillor Mawston appointed
North East Regional Employers’ Organisation (NEREO)
Tees Valley Audit and Governance Committee
Following a vote, Councillor Hubbard was appointed