Venue: Mandela Room
Contact: Chris Lunn / Scott Bonner
Declarations of Interest
no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.
The Executive Member for Regeneration sought an amendment to Minute number 23/34. It was clarified that should the Viewley Centre be sold as part of the asset review a further decision on that sale would be brought back to Executive for consideration.
With the above clarification the minutes of the Executive meeting held on 15 Minutes 2023 were submitted and approved as a correct record.
SUSPENSION OF COUNCIL PROCEDURE RULE NO. 4.13.2 –
ORDER OF BUSINESS
In accordance with Council Procedure Rule No. 4.57, Executive agreed to vary the order of business to deal with the items in the following order: 5,6,9,12,8,13,4,7,10,11,14,15,16,17,18.
The Mayor and Executive Member for Adult Social
Care and Public Health submitted a report for Executive’s consideration.
The report sought an endorsement of the Public
Health Strategy as well decisions around the proposed allocation of the public
health grant to wider council service areas, which included the implementation
of governance arrangements and directorate Service Level Agreements. The report
also sought to provide assurance that the grant allocations delivered public
health outcomes as well as seeking approval of the ongoing financial rigour in
the allocation of the public health grant to wider council services on an
In common with all other local authorities,
Middlesbrough Council received an annual public health grant allocation from
the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). The public health allocation
for 2023/4 was £18.309m. The public health grant was ringfenced, meaning it
could only be applied where the main and primary purpose was the delivery of
public health outcomes. The public health grant conditions set out a
combination of prescribed and non-prescribed public health activity against
which the use of the public health grant was to be reported.
On average, people in Middlesbrough were less
healthy than those in other parts of the North East
and compared to the England average. Middlesbrough’s communities had wide
ranging health and wellbeing needs which varied significantly between different
groups of the population and geographically across the town.
Endorse the Public
proposed allocation (as set out in table 1, paragraph 13 of the report) of the
public health grant to wider council services and the implementation of the
governance arrangements (including directorate Service Level Agreements) to
provide assurance that the grant allocations deliver public health outcomes.
ongoing financial rigour of the allocation of the public health grant to wider
council services, reviewed on an annual basis.
There were no
other options put forward as part of the report as failure to comply would put
Middlesbrough Council at significant financial and reputational risk.
The Public Health Strategy outlined the key
priorities for public health over the next three years giving clarity to the
public health outcomes that would be delivered through the programme approach
and through whole council action.
To support delivery of the Public Health
Strategy, the Council received a ring-fenced public health grant which could
only be used where the main and primary purpose was public health.
Middlesbrough Council was required to produce
an annual Statement of Assurance, which demonstrated that the public health
grant had only been applied to eligible expenditure in line with the
legislative requirements of its intended purposes and as set out in the grant
Without robust arrangements in place as outlined in the report, there was a significant risk to non-compliant use of the public health grant. Failure to comply with the grant conditions or provision of the requisite level of assurance to the Secretary of State could result in the grant payments being reduced, ... view the full minutes text for item 23/39
The Mayor and Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
submitted a report for Executive’s consideration.
The purpose of the report was to seek approval for Middlesbrough to
accept ‘boost funding’ to enable the continuation, as lead organisation, for
the South Tees Changing Futures Programme for the period of one additional year
– from April 2024 – March 2025.
Following Executive’s approval to bid for funding, Middlesbrough were
awarded £3.1m via the following funding bodies: the Department for Levelling Up
Communities and Housing (DLUHC) and the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF),
for the South Tees Changing Futures (STCF) programme in 2021.
This programme supported adults experiencing multiple disadvantages in
both Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council
areas. Further roll of out funding had
become available, which the South Tees Changing Futures programme had
successfully been awarded. A funding amount of £0.850m from April 2024 – March
2025 would be awarded.
There would be additional activities that could be undertaken with the
boost funding, some of which would be above the procurement threshold for
direct award. These were detailed in the report.
It was queried if a similar process would be carried out in Redcar and
Cleveland. It was clarified the process described in the report only applied to
ORDERED that Executive:
Accept the boost funding.
Approve that Middlesbrough Council continued as
lead organisation of the Changing Futures South Tees Programme.
Approve Middlesbrough Council accept and hold
monies, regarding South Tees Changing Futures Programme Boost Funding.
Delegate the allocation of monies for activities
required to deliver the programme and management of associated procurement
processes to the Director of Public Health, as advised by the South Tees
Changing Futures Board, for the allocated period of April 2024-March 2025.
Middlesbrough Council were the lead organisation for this programme and
this request was to both continue the status of Middlesbrough Council being
lead organisation and to accept the boost funding.
An alternative option would have been to not accept the funding and let
the programme end – this would deny South Tees the opportunity for continued
investment and ongoing improvement to benefit some of Middlesbrough’s most
vulnerable residents, therefore, it is not deemed to be a worthy option.
A further option would have been to drastically alter the STCF
workstreams, potentially making them much smaller in scope. This was not
considered to be feasible as a network of support and relationships had been
developed since the STCF programme was implemented in 2021. The application for
extended/boost funding was based on the continuation of the existing programme.
To deviate significantly from the current workstream would have likely impacted
the award of these funds and would not be a suitable recommendation.
The final alternative would have been for Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council (RCBC) to take on the role of lead organisation for STCF - given that Middlesbrough Council has been the lead organisation since the outset of the programme. RCBC assuming that responsibility would have risked ... view the full minutes text for item 23/40
The Executive Member for Children’s Services submitted a report for Executive’s consideration.
The report sought approval of a new three-year partnership with SHiFT, a youth justice charity, that would create a new SHiFT Practice hosted by Children’s Services within the Council. The Practice would work intensively across two, 18-month Programmes with children and young people caught up in, or at highest risk of, cycles of crime and exploitation. The costs of the partnership were supported by the sum of £600,000 which SHiFT has secured from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, alongside the match funding of £556,347 investment from the Council.
The report described that despite the best efforts of dedicated professionals, many young people and their families did not get the support they needed to move to a place of safety and strength. Too often, current responses to harm and offending exacerbated crisis, compounded disadvantage, and deepened harmful cycles. Services and systems were experienced as piecemeal and uncoordinated, with artificial thresholds that created damaging cracks, gaps, and cliff edges. The system had been designed through the lens of disconnected problems rather than the interconnected needs of people and their communities.
ORDERED that Executive:
Approve the partnership with SHiFT and
the opportunity this presented to offer intensive multidisciplinary support for
the most vulnerable children caught in cycles of crime and exploitation in the
Authorise receipt of grant funding to the
Council from SHiFT sourced from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and
Communities totalling £600,000 over three years. Funding would be received on
signature of a Partnership Agreement with SHiFT, the timeline for which was
Approve match investment from the Council
to enable the creation of the new SHiFT Practice totalling £556,347 over three
years. This would be an approval in principle for inclusion in the 2024/25 to
2026/27 MTFP and to be funded as a transformation initiative from Flexible Use
of Capital Receipts. The initiative will be included in the Flexible Use of
Capital Receipts strategy which would be tabled for Council approval in
As there were no other organisations which created
partnerships with Local Authorities in the way envisaged, with grant funding
available through the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities no other
options were put forward as part of the report.
SHiFT was an innovative organisation, founded in 2019,
with a track record for delivering exceptional outcomes that broke the
destructive cycle of children caught up in, or at risk of, crime. The
Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities supported and funded the
national scale and spread of SHiFT. The Department brokered an introduction
between SHiFT and Middlesbrough Council. The Department was keen for the area
to receive support and funding from SHiFT to bolster efforts to improve
outcomes for the area’s children and young people, noting local challenges
relating to Serious Youth Violence and the number and experiences of children
in Local Authority care.
SHiFT would offer 18 months of 1-1 intensive support ... view the full minutes text for item 23/41
The Executive Member for Regeneration submitted a report for Executive consideration.
The report sought Executive approval for the introduction of an Article 4 Direction to enable the Council to control the location and quality of new HMOs in Middlesbrough (except in the area covered by the Middlesbrough Development Corporation).
A house in multiple occupation (HMO) was defined as being a property occupied by at least three people who were not from one household (such as a family) but share facilities such as a bathroom and kitchen. Such properties were commonly known as house shares or bedsits.
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (the ‘GPDO’) makes provision for granting planning permission for certain classes of development without the requirement for a planning application to be made.
Under the GPDO, a change of use from a house (which was in planning use class C3) to a large HMO of 7 or more people (which did not fall into any of the planning use classes) required planning permission. However, change of use from a house to a small HMO of between three and six people (which was in planning use class C4), was classed a permitted development and did not require planning permission. This meat that the Council could not currently exercise any planning control over small HMOs.
Since 1 October 2018 all HMOs of five or more people had also been subject to mandatory licensing. Licenses were valid for five years and properties were subject to an inspection during this period. If the Council received complaints regarding a property this will prompt a further inspection and enforcement action may be taken.
ORDERED that Executive agree to the making of a
non-immediate Article 4 Direction to remove the permitted development right to
change from a C3 dwelling to a C4 HMO in Middlesbrough (except in the area
covered by the Middlesbrough Development Corporation.
Not to introduce an Article 4
direction. This was rejected as it would
have meant the Council had little control or influence on the establishment of
new HMOs, and it was not considered in the best interests of ensuring the
delivery of good quality affordable housing for all.
To introduce the Article 4 Direction
immediately. This was rejected as it would have opened the Council up to
challenge and potential compensation claims. In addition, it would not have
allowed for the effective consultation and engagement on the introduction of an
interim policy to guide new HMO development.
The introduction of an Article 4 Direction would enable
the Council to control the location and quality of new HMOs. This would help
deliver the Council aspiration of providing high quality, affordable housing
The Mayor and Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health submitted a report for Executive’s consideration.
The purpose of the report was to present the evaluation report for the Newport 1 Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme which came to an end on 12th June 2024. The report also sought approval to consult on the proposal for further designation of Newport 1 area as Selective Landlord licensing area and the proposed fee of £998.
Executive approval was required as the schemes were delivered via a legislative framework that required organisational approval to start formal consultation prior to implementation.
The Housing Act 2004, gave local authorities powers to introduce Selective Landlord Licensing (over a five year period) for privately rented properties in areas experiencing low housing demand and/or significant and persistent anti-social behaviour. The purpose of such a scheme was to improve standards of property management in the private rented sector, and when combined with other measures, should lead to improved physical, social and economic conditions.
ORDERED that Executive consider the Evaluation Report on
the Newport 1 Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme and approve:
The commencement of appropriate
consultation on the proposal to the designation of the selective landlord
licensing scheme in the Newport 1 for a further five years.
The consultation to include the proposed
fee of £998 for a 5-year licence to cover the cost of delivering the scheme in
the designated area.
The results of the consultation be
presented to Executive for consideration to determine whether or not to
designate the area as a selective licensing area.
Do not renew the SLL designation/new designations and
carry out alternative interventions to replace of a formal scheme.
Alternatives to Selective Licensing were considered in
2014, 2019 and 2023 prior to the designation of the current Selective Licensing
areas. These included voluntary registration and the use of traditional
enforcement tools. These would have required significant additional investment
by the Council to achieve any sustainable change across the area.
There was a need to ensure that proactive assessment of
properties and an increased focus on renting and management practices was
sustained. While Selective Landlord
Licensing was not intended to be indefinite, a shift to an alternative
non-regulatory approach or only relying on traditional reactive enforcement
tools were not considered appropriate to sustain or progress the improvements
Traditional interventions did not provide the level of
engagement with landlords necessary for the desired improvements. Landlord take
up of previous accreditation schemes had been very low, they tended to only
engage with responsible landlords who saw a value in being part of a scheme. An
example of a non-mandatory scheme is the Stockton Pluss model which was run by
landlords. Stockton Council figures show
that they had 80 members for this scheme with 539 properties and not all
landlords who opposed their SLL scheme joined the accredited scheme.
Short term proactive enforcement projects could have an impact but were not sustainable without significant investment from existing revenue budgets or grant funding. ... view the full minutes text for item 23/43
The Executive Member for Regeneration submitted a report for Executive approval.
The purpose of the report was to update Executive on the progress made in relation to the closure of the Middlesbrough Development Company and the revised timetable for the Members Voluntary Liquidation. The report also fulfilled the commitment to provide a quarterly report on the Company’s operation, in line with the requirements of the Partly and Wholly Owned Council Companies policy and supporting minimum standards.
In September 2023 Executive were advised that the process to close the Middlesbrough Development Company was underway, and the process and timetable for this to happen were set out. The Middlesbrough Development Company Closure report set out that although all project activity had ceased, there were a number of contractual issues that would require further work, and upon completion of these a Members Voluntary Liquidation would be undertaken to close down the company. The timetable set out concluded with the company closing down by 31st December 2023.
The proposed process and timetable for the closure of the company was consistent with the actions identified against recommendations by the Council’s external auditors in the Section 25 report presented to Council on 24th November 2023. A recommendation was also made that Executive would be provided with regular updates, and that any changes to the situation would be formally reported.
Other options for the final closure of the company had
been examined, including the option to simply deregister the company. Although
this option could be delivered more cheaply (£15) it does not provide the
appropriate assurance that all matters had been concluded satisfactorily and
all risks have been managed.
The contractual position regarding the two major
developments undertaken by the company (and their inter-relationship) had
necessitated a reformatting of the company board, and an extension to the
timetable relating to the Members Voluntary Liquidation. The revised timetable
was necessary to ensure that the risks associated with the closure of the
company were minimised.
The purpose of the report was to summarise the findings from the 2023 Middlesbrough Community Survey, compare it to the 2017 Survey and set out proposed actions in response.
The Council’s strategies and plans were required to be evidence based, if they were to effectively address the challenges facing Middlesbrough and maximising the opportunities.
As well as using data, those strategies and plans should also be informed by, and responsive to, the views of residents if they were to be fully inclusive and fully effective. The report advised Executive of the main findings from the 2023 Middlesbrough Community Survey, so they be considered within the Council Plan and the supporting policy and strategy framework.
The LG’s standard question bank was used for the survey, with 18 broad question areas that captured views on the local area (within 15-20 minutes walking distance from home), community safety, and the Council and its services.
A total of 1,200 questionnaires were completed by telephone, supported by street interviews where required, providing a demographically representative sample of Middlesbrough’s population. The sample was also balanced across the town so an indication of variation in responses by area could be provided. These were set out in the report.
The report sought Executive endorsement, prior to consideration by full Council on 28 February 2024, of the Council Plan 2024-27. This was to ensure it remained current and reflective of major developments of the past year, and those anticipated in the coming three years.
The Council Plan, formerly known as the Strategic Plan, was the Council’s overarching business plan for the medium-term, and was refreshed on an annual basis, setting out the priorities of the Elected Mayor of Middlesbrough, the ambitions for Middlesbrough’s communities and the ways in which it sought to achieve them.
Part of the Council’s Policy Framework, the Council Plan required the approval of full Council, as set out in the Constitution. The Council’s Budget and Policy Framework Procedure Rules provided for the Executive to draw up firm proposals on the Strategic Plan (Change Strategy) for submission to Full Council.
Full Council approved the previous Strategic Plan 2021-2024 on 16 February 2021, which expressed the previous Mayors’ priorities for the town.
The proposed Council Plan 2024-27 and
associated strategic aims, ambitions, and outcomes prior to full Council
approval of the final Council Plan 2024-27 and to enable development of
detailed, supporting delivery plans.
Seeking feedback and input from partners
and stakeholders to enable the further development of the Council Plan 2024-27,
prior to full Council approval of the final Council Plan 2024-27 and alongside
the final 2024/25 Budget and Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) Update 2024/25
to 2026/27 report.
It was imperative that the Council effectively
articulated and communicated an overarching plan to direct activity across
Directorates and services, towards the achievement of its priorities and
The only other realistic potential decision would have
been to leave the Council’s strategic objectives unchanged on the assumption
that they were sufficiently robust to address and achieve previously identified
outcome measures. This, however, was not correct and neither would it have
represented an appropriate response to the needs of the town, it would
detrimentally impact local communities and the business of the Council for some
The only other feasible decisions therefore related to
the structure of the document, and its horizon (i.e., reverting to an annual
plan). It was strongly in the Council’s interest to plan over the medium-term,
(between 3 – 5 years) in line with the indicative budgets over this period
outlined by the Government. The proposed document achieved this whilst also providing
an appropriate level of detail for all audiences on the Council’s planned
activity over this period.
To enable the Executive to endorse, prior to
consideration by full Council, the Council Plan 2024-27, ensuring that it is
reflective of major developments of the past year, and those anticipated in the
coming three years.
The Mayor and Executive Member for Finance and Governance submitted a report for Executive’s consideration.
The report identified there was a legal requirement upon all members of the Council to set a balanced General Fund Budget for 2024/25 by 11 March 2024. In addition, it was a Best Value requirement to secure the financial recovery and return to financial sustainability of the Council through setting a balanced three-year MTFP over the period to 2026/27.
The report identified the Council’s financial position remained critical, and it was necessary to identify, approve, and implement a range of budgetary control measures at significant scale to return to a financially sustainable position where the annual expenditure of the Council remained within its annual income over the medium term. Achieving financial sustainability was essential to enable the Council to succeed in delivering improved services and outcomes for the people of Middlesbrough in the medium to long term.
The risk of the s151 Officer being required to issue a s114 Notice, under s114(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, remained were the Council be unable to set a legally balanced budget for 2024/25. The adverse consequences of issuing a section 114 notice were significant and were set out in more detail in paragraphs 4.132 to 4.135.
Middlesbrough Council continued to operate in a volatile and challenging economic and financial environment. Like many local authorities, the Council was experiencing significant financial challenges because of continuing high inflation, increasing demand, and complexity of need for services for the most vulnerable in the community, primarily adult and children’s social care, home to school transport, homelessness, and waste disposal, for which it was required to meet its statutory responsibilities.
The Mayor described the Council’s challenging financial position and his desire to mitigate cuts to frontline services where possible. It was clarified Executive was being asked to approve proposals for consultation, not to agree a budget as this would be approved by Council in February 2024.
It was commented officers were continuing to analyse the recent Local Government Settlement and Members stressed the need for the Council to avoid issuing a Section 114 notice.
The updated General Fund Budget gap to be
closed for 2024/25 of £6.279m rising to £8.180m in 2026/27 further to the
Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) refresh report considered by the Executive on
23 August 2023.
The national financial and economic
context within which the Council was operating and the financial benchmarking
which provided context for the range of Council services which presented some
of the most significant financial pressures to be addressed in the Council’s
business and financial planning.
The updated budget assumptions set out in
paragraph 4.67 of the report and the progress in developing proposals to
balance the Council’s General Fund Budget for 2024/25 and the updated MTFP
position for the three-year period 2024/25 to 2026/27.
Executive ENDORSED the draft budget proposals including:
4. Total budget savings and income growth of £14.038m in 2024/25 rising to £21.088m in 2026/27, ... view the full minutes text for item 23/47
The Executive Member for Finance and Governance submitted a report for Executive’s consideration.
The report was part of the process to set the council tax base for the financial year 2024/25 by the statutory deadline of 31 January 2024.
The Council has a legal obligation to calculate a council tax base each financial year. The calculation of the council tax base is a part of the Council’s budget strategy which forms part of the Council’s Policy Framework.
The starting point for the calculation of the 2024/25 tax base is the number of dwellings on the Valuation List, provided by the Government’s Valuation Office. The figures are also adjusted for exempt dwellings and for dwellings subject to disabled reduction.
The number of chargeable dwellings in each band is further adjusted for discounts, exemptions, premiums, and council tax support.
ORDERED that Executive:
Note the contents of the report.
Approve the council tax base for 2024/25
Approve 2,386.6 and 1,412.8 as the
council tax bases for the parishes of Nunthorpe and Stainton & Thornton
respectively for 2024/25
Following approval, agrees to notify the
Police and Crime Commissioner, the Cleveland Fire Authority, and the Parish
Councils of the 2024/25 council tax base.
There were no other options put forward as part of the
report as the Council had no option but to calculate a council tax base as it
was a statutory requirement.
The recommendations were supported by the following
The Local Government Finance Act 1992
required a billing authority to calculate its council tax base for each
The method of calculation was specified
in the Local Authorities (Calculation of Council Tax Base) (England)
Regulations 2012, which required the calculation to be approved before 31st
January in the year proceeding the relevant financial year.
The Executive Member for Regeneration submitted a report for Executive’s consideration.
The report sought Executive approval for the disposal of Nunthorpe Grange, which was allocated in the Housing Local Plan (2014), in accordance with the Council’s adopted Asset Disposal Process, and to inform Executive of the next steps to take this site to market.
The report detailed that the site was allocated in the 2014 Local Plan, and Nunthorpe Grange was circa 24.29ha of green field land and was in three separate ownerships, with Middlesbrough Council owning approximately 15.64ha and the remainder privately owned.
Appendix 1 of the report showed the site ownership which comprised:
· land coloured red owned by Middlesbrough Council which totalled 15.64ha;
· Lady Harrison’s Field/The Polo Field (land coloured yellow) owned by Sir Colin Harrison & Family Trust 3.06ha; and,
· Land at Field House (coloured blue) owned by Persimmon Homes 5.59ha.
The site was located south and east of existing residential developments. To the west and south were areas of open countryside. The site was bounded by the Guisborough Road (A171) to the north, by railway lines to the east, to the south by the (A1043) and to the west by the Stokesley Road.
A Member stated Nunthorpe had seen significant development without the requisite infrastructure for such development. As such, residents were dissatisfied with the situation. The Executive Member for Regeneration thanked the Member for their comments and appreciated their resident’s position. It was commented the Council’s financial position meant the recommendations contained in the report were necessary.
A discussion took place regarding the exempt information contained in Part B of the report. It was clarified that part of the report contained financial information that was not disclosable to the public.
AGREED that Executive:
Note the information contained within
Part A of the report.
Approve the marketing and disposal of
Nunthorpe Grange housing site; and
Provide Delegated Authority for the
Director of Regeneration and the Director of Finance, following consultation
with the respective Executive Members, to approve the Public Open Space (POS)
and Land Appropriation process once all the financial or exempt information
contained within Part B of the report has been considered.
Option 1 - Don’t sell the land.
This would have resulted in significant financial
implications for the Council, including no capital receipt and no Council Tax
revenue. Failure to dispose of the land
would be contrary to the Local Plan (2014).
The overall integrity of the Local Plan depends upon the land supply
identified within it being made available; the Council would have been open to
significant challenge from the housebuilding industry if it were seen to
constrain land supply.
Furthermore, this approach would result in significant
abortive costs for the Council resulting from the due diligence work undertaken
to date and the cost of legal proceedings relating to the farming tenancy.
Option 2 - Sell the land as a whole prior to de-risking
Previous market and disposal advice for other sites highlighted that this approach did not ... view the full minutes text for item 23/49
Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered.
Exclusion of Press and Public
To consider passing a
Resolution Pursuant to Section 100A (4) Part 1 of the Local Government Act 1972
excluding the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the
following items on the grounds that if present there would be disclosure to
them of exempt information falling within paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A
of the Act and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the
public interest in disclosing the information.
ORDERED that the
press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items on the
grounds that, if present, there would be disclosure to them of exempt
information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local
Government Act 1972 and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption
outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information.
EXEMPT - The Disposal of Land at Nunthorpe Grange for Housing - PART B
The Executive Member for Regeneration submitted a report for
That the recommendations of the report be approved.
The decision was supported by the following reason:
For reasons outlined in the report.
EXEMPT - Captain Cook Square - Business Case
The Executive Member for Regeneration submitted a report for Executive’s consideration.
That the recommendations of the report be approved.
The decision was supported by the following reason:
For reasons outlined in the report.
All other decisions will come into force after five
working days following the day the decision(s) was published unless the
decision becomes subject to the call in procedures.