Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Board - Thursday 11th February, 2021 4.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Chris Lunn 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.


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


Minutes - Overview and Scrutiny Board Call-in - 18 December 2020 - Residual Waste Collections pdf icon PDF 103 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 18 December 2020 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


Minutes - Overview and Scrutiny Board - 14 January 2021 pdf icon PDF 208 KB


The minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board held on 14 January 2021 were submitted and approved as a correct record.


Executive Forward Work Programme pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Executive submitted a report which identified the forthcoming issues to be considered by the Executive, as outlined in Appendix A to the report.  The report provided the Overview and Scrutiny Board with the opportunity to consider whether any item contained within the Executive Forward Work Programme should be considered by the Board, or referred to a Scrutiny Panel.


A Member made reference to the impending Equality and Diversity Policy report and queried why this was a triennial refresh, as opposed to being a more frequent refresh.  It was agreed that this would be followed up with an appropriate officer for a response to be provided to the Member.


AGREED that the information provided be noted, and the agreed action be undertaken.


Middlesbrough Council's Response to COVID-19

The Chief Executive and Director of Public Health will be in attendance to provide the Board with an update in respect of the Council’s response to COVID-19.


The Chief Executive provided a brief introduction to advise the Board that the Council was currently experiencing a steady state in terms of responding to COVID-19, with support being provided to communities and businesses as required.  The only recent decision of note concerned IT provision to school children.


The Consultant in Public Health delivered a presentation to the Board.


Regarding the latest regional COVID-19 position (and trends), it was explained that over the most recent seven day period, which ended on 6 February 2021, most Local Authority areas in the North East were (in comparison to the previous seven day period) seeing a downward trend in COVID-19  cases.  Middlesbrough had been stable over the last two-week period.


The local position showed a downward trend, which had plateaued over the last two weeks.  On 10 February 2021, there had been 64 new cases of COVID-19; 526 new cases had been diagnosed in the last seven days; the current rate per 100,000 of the population was 373.1.


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there had been circa. 11,000 cases in the Middlesbrough Council area.  There had been 858 cases diagnosed in the last 14 days, and 1462 new cases diagnosed in the last 21 days.


In terms of COVID-19 mortality rates, up to 22 January 2021 inclusive, there had been 298 deaths.  Four of these had occurred in the previous week; the rate per 100,000 of the population was currently 211.10.  The majority of those deaths had occurred in hospital (194), followed by care homes (91), at home (12) and in a hospice (1).


Regarding the COVID-19 case rate by age groupings, it was indicated that the majority of Middlesbrough’s current cases were amongst the 23-34 age group.


In terms of current clustering and outbreaks, and activities being undertaken as part of community testing, it was explained that there were two outbreaks currently ongoing, both of which were in high risk settings (Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO)): one was a mother and baby unit and the other a supported living unit.  In terms of work places, cases had been identified at DWP offices; Cleveland Cable Company; Teesside University; On a Roll sandwich manufacturer; and First Source.


As part of the Council’s response to the pandemic, the Council hosted a community testing programme.  Through the programme, additional testing was provided to essential workers who were not able to work from home during the lockdown period, which was provided twice per week.  Additional testing was also available to any members of the  public who were not showing symptoms of COVID-19, which was in addition to the testing sites already available to those displaying symptoms.  In Middlesbrough, three fixed sites within the community were planned: Middlesbrough Sports Village (now live), North Ormesby Community Hub, and Newport Community Hub.  As part of the programme, essential worker testing (mainly Social Care staff) was now live at three Council sites: MAIN, Resolution House, and Cavendish House.  Work was also being undertaken with high risk businesses,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20/83


Executive Member Update: Executive Member for Regeneration pdf icon PDF 197 KB

The Executive Member for Regeneration, Councillor A Waters, will be in attendance to update the Board on his aims and aspirations, progress made to date and to highlight any emerging issues relating to his portfolio.


The Executive Member for Regeneration, Councillor A Waters, was in attendance at the meeting to update the Board on his aims and aspirations, progress made to date, and to highlight any emerging issues relating to his portfolio.  The Director of Regeneration and Culture was also in attendance at the meeting.


The Executive Member made the following points as part of his update to the Board:


·        This portfolio covered transportation, inward investment to the town, economic development, development, planning and building control. 

·        Current key issues included: Cycle lanes on Linthorpe Road; Inward investment at Centre Square, with the properties now largely being let; Tees AMP, with all units now let or under offer; and the BOHO Zone area. 

·        Regarding economic development, the Town Centre issues in relation to COVID-19 had had a huge impact.  Reference was made to the significant amount of work being undertaken by officers in relation to grants and revenues and benefits, with a message of thanks being conveyed to all of the teams involved.

·        Regarding the Future High Streets Fund, the Council had secured £14m, which was excellent news for the Town Centre and the wider Tees Valley area.

·        Work was currently being undertaken in repurposing Captain Cook Square.

·        In terms of housing development, work was progressing in Gresham and it was hoped that Thirteen Group would be on site soon.  Reference was made to BOHO Bright ideas, where 60 units would be on site soon.  Agreements had been reached with all of the developers for housing at Middlehaven, which was excellent news.

·        Work was currently ongoing with regards to the Stainsby consultation, which was due to end at the end of January 2021.


Following the update, Members were afforded the opportunity to ask questions.


A Member referred to cycle path investment and the importance of this.  Reference was made to the cycle lanes investment on Linthorpe Road and to the potential for further investment in other areas of Middlesbrough.  Further details were requested as to how Linthorpe Road had been selected for the lanes, what other options had been considered, and what consultation work had been carried-out.  In addition, it was queried whether further investment for other areas could be identified.  In response, the Executive Member explained that consultation work in respect of Linthorpe Road had been carried out through the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA), as it was a TVCA funded project.  Consideration was given to the feedback received to date, which had included negative feedback from some businesses.  This was acknowledged, however, it was indicated that car parking on Linthorpe Road was limited, and the revenue generated from car parking was minimal as only 30 vehicles paid to park in this locality during designated/peak times.  Following consultation activity, responses had been reviewed and it was hoped that some further ideas would be brought forward to support businesses in the area.  It was explained that Linthorpe Road was a gateway into the Town Centre.  In terms of further infrastructure, it was important that development permitted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20/84


Final Report - Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel - Social Cohesion and Integration pdf icon PDF 574 KB


The Vice Chair of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel presented the Panel’s Final Report in relation to Social Cohesion and Integration.


The recommendations to be submitted to the Executive were:


1.      That the Council develop a Community Cohesion Strategy for Middlesbrough that:


·          Ensures all aspects of Community Cohesion work is co-ordinated and monitored.

·          Informs the Council’s existing social regeneration agenda and is monitored through existing performance reporting processes.

·          Is in place by the end of 2022/23.


2.      Given recent staffing changes, as well as the discontinuation of funding for key projects after 2021 and the uncertainty brought about the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council should look to ensure the current Strategic Cohesion and Migration Manager is sufficiently supported via a robust staffing structure beyond 2021.


3.      That the Executive consider including Middlesbrough in the Refugee Resettlement Scheme.


4.      To assess progress against its objectives, the Panel should receive an update on the progress of Place Based Working no later than November 2021.

AGREED that the findings and recommendations of the Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel be endorsed and referred to the Executive.


Scrutiny Chairs Update

Ad Hoc Scrutiny Panel - Councillor J. Thompson
Adult Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel - Councillor J. Platt
Children and Young People’s Learning Scrutiny Panel - Councillor S. Hill
Children and Young People’s Social Care and Services Scrutiny Panel - Councillor L. Garvey
Culture and Communities Scrutiny Panel - Councillor C. McIntyre
Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel - Councillor M. Saunders
Health Scrutiny Panel - Councillor J. 


The Scrutiny Chairs/Vice Chairs provided updates in respect of the work undertaken by their respective panels since the last meeting of the Board.


A Member queried that, if it was necessary for a scrutiny panel to be postponed and then subsequently cancelled, would it be possible for that panel to decide to temporarily look at holding a substitute meeting on a slightly different topic, or did the topic currently under review need to be completed.


This query would be raised with the Head of Democratic Services.


AGREED that the information provided be noted, and the agreed action be undertaken.


Date of Next Meeting - Thursday, 11 March 2021 at 4.00 p.m.


The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board had been scheduled for Thursday, 11 March 2021 at 4:00 p.m.



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


Outcome of Executive Meeting – Call-in Referral – Nunthorpe Grange Farm Disposal


The Chair reported to the Board that the Executive had met on 9 February 2021 to consider the Call-in referral in respect of Nunthorpe Grange Farm Disposal.


The outcome of that meeting was that the recommendations put forward by the Overview and Scrutiny Board were noted but not endorsed.  Therefore, the decision taken by the Executive on 24 November 2020 was still valid, and would be implemented with immediate effect.