Venue: Council Chamber
Contact: Chris Lunn / Georgina Moore
Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.
Procedural Guidance - Verbal Update
The Monitoring Officer made a verbal statement regarding the Council’s Access to Information Procedure Rules and the process that had been followed prior to the meeting of the Executive, which was held on 19 April 2022.
Due to a procedural oversight in fulfilling the requirements of a general exception in relation to a key decision, as per the Council’s Constitution, it was advised that there was a requirement for the Executive to re-consider the reports entitled ‘Homes for Ukraine Impact’ and ‘Star Academies - Option for Land Disposal’.
The Executive Member for Culture and Communities and the Director of Environment and Community Services submitted a report for the Executive’s consideration. The purpose of the report was to provide an update on the impact of the Homes for Ukraine programme in Middlesbrough and seek agreement on how it was to be managed locally.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) had released guidance around the expectations on local authorities, as a result of the Homes for Ukraine scheme. The guidance covered issues such as data sharing, safeguarding, payments for hosts and guests, education, health, community integration and more.
Middlesbrough Council proposed the following management approach:
· liaising with North East Regional Migration Partnership (NEMP), British Red Cross, and Local Resilience Forum (LRF) regarding reception arrangements at port of entry;
· completing property checks when data on sponsor was shared by DHLUC;
· completing safeguarding checks through internal systems and Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) as required;
· managing the interim payment for guests;
· providing education;
· making appropriate service referrals;
· supporting arrivals in accessing benefits and working in partnership with statutory and voluntary services;
· providing homelessness assistance if matching failed in line with statutory duties;
· administering payments to sponsors;
· utilising a proportion of the tariff to launch trauma informed hosting courses through VCS; and
· ensuring health protection was in place (i.e. GP registration, Covid vaccination, childhood immunisations).
Appendix 1 of the submitted report set out the expectations on Middlesbrough Council for Ukraine Resettlement and Appendix 2 illustrated the local process for guests arriving in Middlesbrough.
The option to do nothing had been considered and it was not recommended due to the fact that central government had placed responsibility on local authorities to support guests and make check on sponsors. It was therefore necessary to have a management plan in place.
That the impact of the Homes for Ukraine programme in Middlesbrough be noted and that the management approach, to introduce the scheme locally, be agreed.
Introducing the management approach planned to allow the Council and key partners to provide services to sponsors and guests and ensure that any support needs were met.
The Executive Member for Environment, Finance and Governance and the Director of Finance submitted a report for the Executive’s consideration. The purpose of the report was to outline the case to provide Star Academies, in partnership with Eton College, with a first option to purchase the designated land at Middlehaven under agreed commercial terms, subject to outlined conditions.
Star Academies was recognised for its extensive experience of establishing, developing and continually improving outstanding schools that delivered outstanding results, including in terms of the progress made by pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds and for progress made by their most able learners.
The site, identified as site No 19, highlighted in Appendix A of the submitted report was 1.45 acres, and had been declared surplus to the operational requirements of the Council and was currently being held as available for sale.
The Council’s vision for the regeneration of Middlehaven included the development of educational provision in the area, including development at Middlesbrough College and Outwood Academy Riverside. The development of educational provision in the area brought animation to Middlehaven and increased footfall in both the immediate area and the town centre.
It was planned that the commercial principles would involve the following:
· Star Academies being given the ringfenced option to acquire the land - subject to achieving DFE support and funding for the sixth form college development;
· land being disposed of at market value; and
· the land being subject to revaluation.
The Council could have chosen not to support the disposal of a site. That, however, would have led to the potential of the project being delivered elsewhere. Middlesbrough Council recognised both the educational benefits the project would deliver, along with the wider economic and regeneration impacts that such an opportunity presented. Therefore, the Council was committed to ensuring that it facilitated a site that met the key objectives of the project.
The Council could have facilitated the site on non-commercial terms. The application of the asset disposal policy had been applied to the last three educational developments in which all three had included land disposals. For the three transactions, commercial terms had been agreed. As such, it was imperative that the Council maintained its position that the asset disposal policy was followed and equity in its application towards the principles of commerciality in the transaction was maintained.
That Star Academies be provided with a first option to purchase the designated land at Middlehaven under agreed commercial terms, subject to:
· DFE funding for the project being approved;
· the land being disposed under commercial terms at market value; and
· a further report being brought to Executive on the detail of the disposal, in accordance with the Council’s Asset Disposal Policy.
The decision was recommended for the following reasons:
· the previous three educational developments had all been progressed on commercial terms, namely Discovery School at Natures World, Northern School of Art and more recently Outwood Academy Riverside at Middlehaven;
· the proposal would fit with the Council’s vision for the regeneration ... view the full minutes text for item 21/127
The decision(s) will come into force after five working days following the day the decision(s) was