Agenda and minutes

Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel - Wednesday 15th June, 2022 10.30 am

Venue: Mandela Room

Contact: Susan Lightwing 

No. Item


Welcome and Evacuation Procedure


The Chair welcomed all present and read out the Building Evacuation Procedure.


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.


Minutes - Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel - 6 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 214 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 6 April 2022 were taken as read and approved as a correct record.


Overview of Environment and Community Services and Regeneration and Culture Service Areas

The Director of Environment and Community Services and the Director of Regeneration and Culture will be in attendance to provide an overview of their service areas.


Recommendation: Panel notes the information provided.


The Directors of Environment and Community Services and Regeneration and Culture were in attendance to provide an overview of their service areas.


The Regeneration Directorate covered the following areas of work that were under the remit of the Panel:


        Supported the business community to thrive.

        Supported key sectors to grow such as Digital and Advanced Manufacturing.

        Provided the network infrastructure for the town to grow.

        Built new commercial space so businesses could locate or expand.

        Provided opportunities for new housebuilding to retain population.

        Controlled development to protect the town’s future.


In addition, the following work was undertaken by the Culture Directorate.


        Provided opportunities for people to experience/enjoy cultural activities.

        Oversaw the sport and leisure offer in the town.

        Promoted the town and the work of the Council.

        Supported people to improve their skill levels and find work.


Some of the work previously undertaken with the Business Community was now done by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, and the Council now had a focus on the Digital sector with TeesAmp and Boho.


The Council had a strategic overview of the road network and this had expanded to cover broadband and bus networks. 


New commercial spaces in Middlesbrough included Centre Square, Boho and TeesAmp.


Whilst there was an aspiration to grow and retain the population, the Council also exercised some control over developments to ensure it happened in a coherent way.


The direct and positive impacts on the Council included increased income from Council Tax, business rates and commercial lettings.  The commercial lettings were a key component of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan as the generated income was in excess of the expenditure on the original developments.


However, the Regeneration Directorate also received complaints in relation to planning and parking and there was sometimes controversy around new cycle lanes and housing.


Transforming the centre of town was a current focus for the Directorate.  The decline of high streets was a national issue and the Captain Cook Square was therefore being repurposed as a leisure destination.  The Council was also working with developers on Church House which was a large building that had been empty for some time.  Investment had been put into improving the heritage area near to the Rail Station.


Key business sectors such as hospitality had been supported by the Council with investment in Bedford and Baker Streets.  The high quality business space available at TeesAmp had all been filled at the rental predicted.  Approval for TeesAmp 2 was underway and there was a waiting list for rentals on completion.   The Council also liaised with and supported the growing and successful Digital Sector in Middlesbrough. 


Middlehaven continued to be re-developed with the Boho X building and a new school, college and housing developments underway.


The Middlesbrough Cultural Capital Investment Prospectus had been developed for economic purposes, setting out the Council’s aims for the cultural sector which included transforming the Central Library.


In terms of the learning the 50 Futures  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22/4


Setting the Scrutiny Panel's Work Programme 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 308 KB


The Democratic Services Officer presented a report, the purpose of which was to assist Members of the Panel to consider and agree its work programme for the 2022-2023 Municipal Year.


A list of topical issues and the suggestions received in respect of the Scrutiny Panel's remit were contained in the submitted report. It was suggested that the Scrutiny Panel should select one or two topics for full review along with several short topics and updates.


It was highlighted that two updates from last year’s Work Programme:  Waste Management/Waste Disposal Facility and City Fibre’s broadband installation in Middlesbrough, had had to be postponed and could be re-scheduled for this year if the Panel required.


Members discussed the information provided by Officers at the meeting, the topics suggested in the report and suggestions received from members of the public and the service areas.


Following discussion, Panel Members agreed the following topics for review:


Main Topic:


1.   Improving and Enhancing the Physical Environment Town-Wide.


      This scrutiny review will focus on the following areas:

-        Environmental Enforcement/Fly Tipping.

-        Damage to grass verges.

-        Tree Replacement Programme.

-        Enforcement of Planning Conditions.

-        Pest Control Service.

-        Allotments.

-        Empty Properties.


 Short Reviews/Updates:


2.  Teesside Crematorium.

3.  Flood Risk Management.

4.  Local Plan.

5.  Town Centre Strategy - Update on Future High Streets/Towns Fund.

6.  Mayoral Development Corporation.

7.  Income to the Council from Housing/Potential impact of increased  

     development costs.

8.  Housing – impact on health and wellbeing.


 AGREED as follows that:


1. The information provided was received and noted.


2.  The topics listed at 1 to 8 above, would be submitted to the Overview and Scrutiny Board for approval.


Proposed Schedule of Meetings 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 13 KB


A proposed schedule of meeting dates for the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel for the 2022-2023 Municipal Year was submitted for the Panel's consideration.


AGREED that the proposed meeting dates for 2022-2023 were approved.


Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered


Final Report on the Green Strategy


The Panel’s Final Report on the Green Strategy had been presented to the Executive at a meeting held on 14 June 2022 and deferred at the Chair’s request so that some further suggestions could be considered by the Panel.


Additional Meetings


The Chair asked Panel Members for their views on holding additional meetings of the Scrutiny Panel to assist with completing the work programme.    It was noted that these did not need to be formal meetings.