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).
Question on the Executive Member for Environment, Finance and Governance report
Councillor Thompson in relation to the pot hole programme.
In response to Councillor Thompson’s query with regard to whether the pot hole programme had ended, how much the programme had cost and whether the remaining pot holes would be repaired, the Executive Member advised that the programme was ongoing. Engineers were assessing the remaining pot holes and would prioritise them to ensure that the worst pot holes would be repaired first. In terms of the cost of the programme, the Executive Member advised that he did not have the information to hand, but he would forward it to Councillor Thompson in due course.
Questions on the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities report
Councillor Uddin in relation to alleygates.
In response to the question from Councillor Uddin about upgrading and decorating back alleys and the installation of alley gates, the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities stated that the installation of new alley gates was not just about the cost, other factors needed to be considered such as rights of way and who would have responsibility for the alley gates. The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities advised that the Head of Stronger Communities was currently looking into the legalities surrounding the installation of new alley gates and an update would be provided to the councillor once this process was completed.
The alley project was progressing well. 6 alleys had already been completed and 13
alleys were on the waiting list to be completed. The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities advised the councillor to contact her if he wished to go ahead with transforming alleys without the alley gates.
Councillor Branson in relation to community safety - motor bike nuisance.
In response to the question from Councillor Branson in relation to motor bike nuisance and the possibility of installing CCTV and other preventative measures, the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities advised that off road motor bikes were a blight on the community as well as being noisy and dangerous. The Deputy Mayor acknowledged that there had been issues with motor bikes on the fields in Coulby Newham, and the Council could look at the use of CCTV to tackle this as well as other measures. Operation Endurance was intelligence led and they could be asked to specifically look at the Coulby Newham area. As part of their work, they seized the vehicles that were causing the nuisance.
Councillor J Walker in relation to keeping members informed of activities within their wards.
In response to a question from Councillor Walker requesting if all councillors could be informed of any work or initiatives taking place in their wards, in advance of the work taking place, the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture and Communities thanked Councillor Walker for her comments and for wanting to be involved in the litter picking initiative. The Deputy Mayor stated that all those members of the public who had taken part in the litter picks should be thanked for their participation. In terms of councillors being made aware of upcoming litter picks, the Deputy Mayor advised that councillors had been sent emails advising of the dates, the information was placed on the Council website. There was a specific website page dedicated to litter picking.
Councillor Walker advised that some alleyways in her ward had been refurbished but she had not been informed. The Deputy Mayor advised that an email had been sent to all councillors in May regarding the Keep Borough Tidy initiative. Some councillors had been involved. Residents and residents groups needed to be encouraged to become involved in the initiative.
Councillor Cooper stated that he was pleased to see that Councillor Walker was passionate about becoming involved in the litter picking initiative. He advised that he had been involved with the community champion initiative prior to becoming a councillor. The groups involved in litter picking were not employed by the Council, and they sent emails out advising where the litter picking was being carried out, He stated that he was trying to make sure that the full bags of litter were picking up straight after the litter picking had ended. He stated that the volunteers deserved thanks for going out in all weather and he stated that he would be willing to pull together a timetable of litter picks and circulate it to all councillors.
Question on the Mayor’s Executive Member report
Councillor Uddin in relation to recruitment of social workers
In response to the question in relation to the recruitment of permanent social workers, the Mayor acknowledged that there were issues with different rates of pay being offered to social workers around the country and various different incentives used by authorities to attract social workers together with issue around the number of cases that social workers were required to handle. The Council employed a number of agency staff but this was expensive so it was important to attract permanent staff to the role. The Mayor advised that he could not speak in place of the Director of Children’s Services so he would get a response from the Director in relation to this issue.
Councillor Uddin in relation to the rough sleepers initiative
In response to Councillor Uddin’s comment in relation to the excellent work being carried out in relation to rough sleepers, the Mayor advised that the staff were working very hard to assist rough sleepers, but sadly, some rough sleepers chose to sleep on the street although facilities were available to assist them. The Mayor commented on the fantastic work being carried out by the team.
Questions on Executive Member for Education report
Councillor Hellaoui posed the following questions in the absence of the Executive Member:
(Special Educational Needs and Disability)
Your report states that Middlesbrough’s position is 9th in the country in terms of timely completion of timely EHCP plans question. How is this position related to numbers of young people who apply for EHCP plans across Middlesbrough compared with the rest of the country?
How many EHCP (Education Health and Care Plans) did Middlesbrough schools process in 2020 2021?
How many children do we have in Middlesbrough’s Primary Schools with EHCPs and how many are there in Secondary Schools and other school environments?
How many completed EHCPs completed in 20 weeks were actually successful?
How many did not get past this application process?
What progress our children making with EHCP plans?
How do we monitor their progress?
How do we track that the plans are effective?
What percentage of youngsters with EHCPs continue their education into FE/HE?
What proportion of children with EHCPs are Children Looked After?
(Are our CLA prioritised in terms of of the EHCP plans?
What data do we have that links Youth Offending with EHCPs?
Are there are limits to the number of EHCPs any particular group of schools can apply for?
It says in your report:
“Each year SEN2 data is published nationally which shares key information regarding a number of SEN data sets”.
Could you confirm exactly what is included in the data sets?