Agenda item

The Mayor and Executive Member reports


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 in relation to the report of the Mayor and Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health


Councillor Smiles in relation to homelessness.


The Mayor stated that the issue with the PSPO’s was that they would have to be administered. The Council currently had a limited number of wardens, and the Council would need to consider whether their priority would be tackling bin rummaging.


In terms of homelessness, the Mayor spoke about priorities and how limited resources could be used effectively to prevent homelessness and how homelessness impacted more generally.


Questions in relation to the report of the Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Education and Culture


Councillor Clynch in relation to child poverty/poverty strategy.


The Executive Member advised that she had contacted LocalMotion and they were currently conducting a consultation listening programme to provide a baseline and to put the voices and experiences of residents who were facing the worst poverty at the heart of any poverty strategy.


The Executive Member advised that she had also linked up with MVDA, You’ve Got This, Youth Focus, the Council’s Public Health Team, the North-East Child Poverty Commission, the HAF Team and the IPPR and various local authorities to look at best practice. All of the information and evidence gathered would be co-ordinated, once the outcome of the LocalMotion consultation was received. 


Councillor McCabe in relation to Middlesbrough Development Corporation.


The Executive Member advised that Middlesbrough House was the preferred temporary accommodation site for the extension to Outwood Riverside. The car park that was located there was required for a playground for the children. Middlesbrough Development Corporation had advised that they required the car park, and therefore refused to consent to it being used as an outdoor play area. As a consequence, the Council was required to find another site for the extension to Outwood Riverside.


Councillor Mason in relation to schools in the local area, specifically college and sixth form provision.


The Executive Member advised that the question submitted by Councillor Mason was in relation to an earlier draft of the report, which was circulated in error. The Executive Member clarified that the Council did not have any responsibility for sixth form provision across the town. However, the Executive Member advised that if Councillor Mason had any further queries, he should email her and she would respond to him via email.


Councillor Smiles in relation to museums.


The Executive Member advised that the Council was looking at installing new power points in Centre Square and Albert Park which would enable the Council to host new live, big events. This would mean that companies would not have to bring in large generators, which were not particularly environment friendly. The Council also had a stage, which could be hired out to other local authorities. There was currently a waiting list of other local authorities wanting to hire the stage, which would generate income for the Events Team.


Questions in relation to the report of the Executive Member for Community Safety


Councillor Blades in relation to Neighbourhood Action Partnerships.


The Executive Member advised that the Joint Area Action Groups were a Multi-agency approach focusing on crime and anti-social behaviour and councillors were invited to attend and raise issues in their ward. The meetings were suspended during the Covid pandemic.


As a result of the anti-social behaviour that was taking place in the Newport and Hemlington wards, the Locality Neighbourhood Partnership was set up and through this approach there had been some successes in the two wards, but there was still further work to be done.


The Council was aware of the situation at Norfolk shops, but there had been a 50% reduction in anti-social behaviour/crime at this location. To build on this, there was no plans to re-establish the Joint Area Action Groups as the focus of these groups was primarily on anti-social behaviour and crime. A Multi-agency approach was required. As a result, the Executive Member advised that she would be introducing four Neighbourhood Action Partnerships across Middlesbrough i.e.


           North (based at Newport Hub),

           East (to be confirmed),

           South (based at Hemlington Hub)

           West (to be confirmed).


The Executive Member referred to a map included in her report which outlined the areas contained in each Neighbourhood Action Partnership and details of the partners involved.


The Neighbourhood Action Partnerships would be multi-agency hubs based in each area and an electronic newsletter and statistics would be produced on a regular basis so that people would know what was happening in each location. The Executive Member stated that she would like to work with all councillors regarding what they would like to see in the newsletter.


Question in relation to the report of the Executive Member for Environment


Councillor Gavigan in relation to potholes.


The Executive Member advised that over the last year, the Council had repaired 5000 potholes. The Council had done a good job repairing the potholes, however repairing potholes by filling them in would not solve the problem. The only way to repair the potholes properly was to resurface the roads but resurfacing roads was expensive. It was estimated that it would cost £30 per square metre to resurface a road.


Potholes were an issue for local authorities across the country. Without adequate funding from the government, the Council was unable to resurface all the roads affected. When the Council received the appropriate funding required to properly repair potholes, it would carry out the work.


Question in relation to the report of the Executive Member for Finance and Governance


Councillor M Storey in relation to Executive responsibility’ and ‘Financial and Strategic Planning


The Executive Member advised that budget monitoring had been happening over the previous years but there had not been any Executive Member involvement. The Executive Member stated that the Council was going to be facing some very challenging times ahead and it was important that Executive Members and officers worked together, and that Executive Members took responsibility for the finances within their portfolio. All Executive Members had indicated their willingness to be involved to help improve the financial situation of the Council.


The Executive Member advised that rather than use the term budget monitoring, there was a change of emphasis, and the new term was budget challenge. Instead of officers forecasting a budget overspend, the challenge from Executive Members and Senior Officers would be to query regarding which solutions the officers proposed, to mitigate the overspend.


The Executive Member stated that it was important that Council spending remained within the allocated budget. In relation to the budget and performance, the budget should not be considered in isolation, it should align to, and fund the priorities of the Mayor and the Council. By connecting the performance and the budget, the Council was demonstrating best value for the residents of Middlesbrough.


Questions in relation to the report of the Executive Member for Regeneration


Councillor Morrish in relation to Nutrient Neutrality Executive decision.


The Executive Member advised that the map also included land at Coulby Newham in addition to the land at Marton West. He advised that there would be an Executive decision to decide what the Council would do with the land. He advised that he was open to speaking to all those with an interest about the future use of the land. He stated that it was in the Council’s interest to have the land designated as green space.


Councillor Hurst in relation to Linthorpe Road Cycle Lanes.


The Executive Member advised that he and the Mayor had discussed the issue of removal of the cycle lanes with officers of the Council. The removal of the cycle lanes was currently being costed. If the Council removed the cycle lanes completely, the grant funding would be lost and any further funding would also be lost.

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