The Chair announced that three questions had been received from members of the Council. The detail of the specific questions was included at Agenda Item 10.
Question 1/2022 - Councillor Saunders to the Executive Member for Environment regarding the cost to Middlesbrough Council on taxis for children who require a taxi to take them to school.
The Executive Member for Environment advised that there was a statutory requirement for the Council to provide transport for vulnerable children. The Council looked to provide best value in the provision of transport to vulnerable children.
The Executive Member provided members with detailed information regarding the number of children using the transport, the types of transport used such as buses, taxis, or minibuses. The costs of each type of transport and details of the tendering process. The Executive Member advised that he would email the information after the meeting.
Question 2/2022 – Councillor Wilson to the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Children’s Services regarding how the youth service will tackle anti-social behaviour.
The Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Children’s Services advised that the Council had a range of different Youth Services in Middlesbrough, some of which were directly commissioned by the Council. This included The Linx Youth Project who offered open access Youth Clubs and provision across Middlesbrough for all young people to access, Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation who worked with young people in schools to support them with transitions, and The Junction who worked directly with young people who were vulnerable and required one to one support.
The Junction also delivered detached youth work whereby the Youth Workers went directly onto the streets and estates and engaged with young people. This type of youth work was focused in areas where there was anti-social behaviour.
The Council worked closely with the Police and Community Safety Teams to make sure that these Youth Workers were in the right areas of Middlesbrough. In addition to the Youth Services that the Council funded, there was a range of other Voluntary and Community sector youth services who were working with young people across Middlesbrough though church groups and other organisations.
For those young people who were identified as being involved in anti-social behaviour, the Council had a range of other services including the Neighbourhood Safety Officers and Youth Offending Services who aimed to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour.
Question 3/2022 – Councillor McIntyre to the Executive Member for Culture and Communities regarding the Executive Member’s personal experience of visits to some of our cultural venues and what can be done to improve them?
The Executive Member for Culture and Communities advised that he had visited all the Council lead cultural community spaces such as the Dorman Museum, Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Middlesbrough Theatre, Teesside Archives. Newham Grange Farm, My Place, all the major parks and community hubs and libraries, in addition to several non-Council venues such as MIMA, Ubuntu and Ormesby Hall, all of which formed part of the cultural partnership.
The Council’s venues were already improving, with new management at the museums and Newham Grange Farm, looking at ways to bring in revenue to plough back into the venues to improve facilities.
One of the biggest pieces of work that had been undertaken was the Cultural Investment Prospectus. It was crucial to improving the Council’s improvement offering and the document was used to attract funding to the town. It was how the Council managed to attract the £5m funding for the renovations to Central Library and the Railway Station. The prospectus had already been praised by several national organisations, including the Arts Council.
The Executive Member advised that if the scrutiny panel or any other members had any ideas for new events or proposals to improve any of the venues, he would be happy to receive them.