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Shirehall
Abbey Foregate
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
SY2 6ND

Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 14th December, 2017 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, SY2 6ND

Contact: Karen Nixon  Committee Officer

Items
No. Item

63.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

The Chief Executive reported that apologies for absence had been received from Councillors Aspinall, Barrow, Dee, Huffer, Hughes, Jones, Parsons, Tindall and Turley.

 

 

64.

DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS

Members are reminded that they must not participate in the discussion or voting on any matter in which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and should leave the room prior to the commencement of the debate.

Minutes:

Members were reminded that they must not participate in the discussion or voting on any matter in which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest and should leave the room prior to the commencement of the debate.

 

 

65.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 21 September 2017, which are attached.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 21 September 2017, as circulated with the agenda papers, be approved and signed as a correct record.

 

Arising thereon: at Minute 61 ii) it was highlighted that Cllr Boddington accepted the amendment put forward.  Subject to this addition, the minutes were approved.

 

 

66.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

To receive such communications as the Chairman, Speaker, Leader and Head of Paid Service may desire to lay before the Council.

Minutes:

Chairman’s Engagements

 

The Chairman referred Members to the list of official engagements carried out by herself and the Speaker since the last meeting of the Council on 21 September 2017, which had been circulated at the meeting.

 

Gold Employer Award

 

Sean McCarthy, Armed Forces Covenant Co-ordinator presented the Gold Employer recognition Award to Cllr Karen Calder on behalf of Shropshire Council for the excellent work it did in supporting members of the Armed Forces, Reservists and Volunteers.  In accepting the award Cllr Calder acknowledged the hard work of members and officers that had contributed to this great achievement and said the Award would be displayed in a prominent area in Reception for all to see.

 

Ofsted Inspection

 

The Portfolio holder for Children and Young People gave a verbal update on the outcome of the recent Ofsted Inspection of which he was very proud:  Shropshire had been classed as GOOD which was an excellent achievement.  This put Shropshire Council amongst the top 25 – 30% of councils in the north of England.

 

He gave a huge thank you to all involved and said it was good to know children were safe in Shropshire, whilst paying a special tribute to Karen Bradshaw, Director of Children’s Services and her team.

 

In concluding, the Portfolio Holder acknowledged that there was no room for complacency and that there were still areas to be improved upon.  To this end, an Action Plan was currently being developed with the aim of attaining outstanding at the next inspection.

 

Christmas Celebration

 

Unfortunately the Shire Choir were unable to perform on the day.  However, The Chair informed that there would still be a short recess between 12.30pm and 1.00pm, but without the choir.

 

 

67.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

To receive any questions from the public, notice of which has been given in accordance with Procedure Rule 14.

 

Two petitions, bearing over 1,000 signatures, have been received from the following requesting a debate under the Council’s Petition Scheme:

 

·       Petition opposing the changes and charges to the Market Drayton Car Park – Geoff Vernon, Festival Drayton Centre

 

·       Say NO to Council plans to raise parking charges in Shrewsbury

 

The petitioners will be allowed 5 minutes to outline their case, after which there may be a debate of up to 15 minutes maximum.

 

Minutes:

Petitions

 

The Speaker advised that two petitions, each bearing more than 1,000 signatures each, had been received regarding car parking charges as follows;

 

·       A petition opposing the changes and charges to the Market Drayton Car Park from Mr Geoff Vernon, of Festival Drayton Centre, and

·       A petition entitled ‘Say NO to Council Plans to raise parking charges in Shrewsbury.’

 

Mr Vernon was present to outline his case regarding the Market Drayton Car Park petition and in doing so he specifically spoke about the detrimental impact the proposed introduction of evening parking charges at the Festival Drayton Centre would have.  He also stressed the enormous community support there was against these proposals and urged the Council to look at his proposals.

 

A debate ensued and Cllrs Pardy, Evans, Minnery, Aldcroft and Wynn spoke in support of the key points made by the petitioner.  In formally responding to the petition, Cllr Davenport Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport, said the Council recognised the importance of car parks within communities and the local economy. He fully took on board the comments made by Mr Vernon and commented that this had yet to go to Cabinet.  This was still being consulted on and therefore the Portfolio Holder proposed that the Council should take no further action at this point.

 

          Public Questions

 

The Speaker advised that one public question had been received from Mr Wynn Davies in accordance with Procedure Rule 15 (a copy of the report containing the question and the formal response was circulated at the meeting and a copy is attached to the signed minutes).

 

Mr Davies asked a supplementary question of the Leader: How much extra funding will be coming into Shropshire Council and how do you anticipate raising funds in the future?

 

The Leader replied that he could not respond directly - the financial settlement would not be known until the following week.  However he was hopeful in respect of housing and being able to spend more freely in the future.

 

 

68.

CHANGE TO ORDER OF BUSINESS

Minutes:

The Leader reported that with Council’s agreement he would bring forward agenda items 20 ‘Shrewsbury Shopping Centres’ and 21 ‘Treasury Strategy 2017/18’ (which were both exempt items) to the beginning of the meeting, after going into private session.

 

Furthermore he reported that agenda items 14 and 15 would be swapped around as follows:

 

‘Shropshire Council – Council Tax Support Scheme 2018-19’ would be taken first, followed by

‘Setting the Council Tax TaxBase for 2018/19’.

 

 

69.

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

RESOLVED:  That in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and Paragraph 10.4 (3) of the Council’s Access to Information Procedure Rules, the public and press be excluded during consideration of the following items.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

That in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, and Paragraph 10.4(3) of the Council’s Access to Information Procedure Rules, the public and press be excluded during consideration of the following items

                                                                                                            

 

70.

SHREWSBURY SHOPPING CENTRES (EXEMPT ITEM)

Exempt Report of the Director of Place and Enterprise WILL FOLLOW.

 

Contact George Candler Tel 01743 258671.

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Corporate Support presented a confidential report from the Director of Place and Enterprise on Shrewsbury Town Centre.

 

RESOLVED: That the four exempt recommendations as detailed in the confidential report, be approved.

 

 

71.

TREASURY STRATEGY 2017/18 - MID YEAR REVIEW (EXEMPT ITEM)

Exempt report of the Head of Finance, Governance and Assurance is attached.

 

Contact James Walton Tel 01743 255011.

 

Minutes:

The Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance presented a confidential report from the Head of Finance, Governance and Assurance on the Treasury Strategy 2017/18 – Mid Year Review.

 

RESOLVED: That the three exempt recommendations as detailed in the confidential report, be approved.

 

The public and press were invited to return to the meeting.

 

 

72.

PORTFOLIO HOLDER ANNUAL REPORT FOR ECONOMY AND GROWTH pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To receive the annual report from the Portfolio Holder for Economy and Growth, attached.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Cllr Laurens Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth and seconded by Cllr Turner that the report, a copy of which is attached to the signed minutes, be received.

 

Cllr Laurens presented and amplified his report and responded to the questions, queries and concerns raised by Members, including Cllrs Motley, Keeley, Mosley, Pate, I Jones, Dean, Parry, and Lynch.

 

In conclusion, Cllr Laurens assured that he was mindful of tourism and that renewables would be promoted.

 

RESOLVED:  That the contents of the report of the Portfolio Holder for Economy and Growth be noted and approved.

 

 

73.

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PLACE OVERVIEW COMMITTEE (INCORPORATING ENTERPRISE AND GROWTH SCRUTINY COMMITTEE) pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To receive the annual report of the Place Overview Committee, which is attached.

Minutes:

It was proposed by Cllr Butler, Chairman of the Place Overview Committee (incorporating Enterprise and Growth Scrutiny Committee), and seconded by Cllr Harris, that the Annual Report 2017 of the Place Overview Committee, a copy of which is attached to the signed Minutes, be received and agreed.

 

Cllr Butler presented his report and thanked officers for their excellent work in re-organising the Committee.  He also made particular mention of a list of interesting topics that would be scrutinised in the future by the Committee. 

 

RESOLVED: That the contents of the Annual Report 2017 of the Place Overview Committee (incorporating the Enterprise and Growth Scrutiny Committee) be received.

 

 

74.

PORTFOLIO HOLDER ANNUAL REPORT FOR FINANCE pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To receive the report from the Portfolio Holder for Finance which is attached.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Cllr Minnery, Portfolio Holder for Finance, and seconded by Cllr Nutting that the annual report, a copy of which is attached to the signed Minutes, be received and agreed.

 

Cllr Minnery presented and amplified his report and responded to the questions, concerns and comments from Members, including those from Cllrs Pardy and Evans

 

RESOLVED: That the contents of the annual report of the Portfolio Holder for Finance be received.

 

 

75.

PORTFOLIO HOLDER ANNUAL REPORT FOR CORPORATE SUPPORT pdf icon PDF 170 KB

To receive the report from the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Support which is attached.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Cllr Charmley, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Support, and seconded by Cllr Macy that the annual report, a copy of which is attached to the signed Minutes, be received and agreed.

 

Cllr Charmley presented and amplified his report and responded to the questions, concerns and comments from Members, including Cllrs Mosely, Hartin, Evans, Parry, Wood and Gittens.

 

In conclusion, he expressed his sincere thanks to the work and support of the Head of Human Resources and Development and her staff for their continued hard work in making Shropshire a much more commercial and agile organisation.

 

RESOLVED: That the contents of the annual report of the Portfolio Holder for Corporate Support be received.

 

 

76.

REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO HOLDER FOR UNIVERSITY AND STRATEGIC pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To receive the report from the Leader and Portfolio Holder for University and Strategic which is attached.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Cllr Nutting, Portfolio Holder for University and Strategic, and seconded by Cllr Charmley that the report, a copy of which is attached to the signed Minutes, be received.

 

Cllr Nutting presented and amplified his report and responded to the questions, concerns and comments from Members, including Cllrs Mosley and Pardy.

 

RESOLVED: That the contents of the annual report of the Portfolio Holder for University and Strategic be received.

 

 

77.

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SCRUTINY COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To receive the report of the Chairman of the Performance Management Scrutiny Committee which is attached.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Cllr Wild, Chair of the Performance Management Scrutiny Committee, and seconded by Cllr Butler that the Annual Report of the Performance Management Scrutiny Committee 2017, a copy of which is attached to the signed Minutes, be received.

 

Mrs Wild presented her report and provided an overview of the work of the Committee during the last twelve months.

 

RESOLVED: That the contents of the Annual Report 2017 of the Performance Management Scrutiny Committee be received.

 

 

78.

PORTFOLIO HOLDER HEALTH AND ADULTS pdf icon PDF 188 KB

To receive the report from the Portfolio Holder for Health and Adults which is attached.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Cllr Chapman, Portfolio Holder for Health and Adults, and seconded by Cllr Carroll that the report, a copy of which is attached to the signed minutes, be received and agreed.

 

Mr Chapman presented his report and responded to questions, queries and concerns raised by Members, including Cllrs Kidd, Evans, Parry and Pardy.

 

Cllr Chapman also expressed his thanks to the Director of Public Health and the Health Team for their excellent work.

 

RESOLVED:  That the contents of the report of the Portfolio Holder for Health and Adults be received.

 

 

79.

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE HEALTH AND ADULT SOCIAL CARE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (formerly HEALTH AND ADULT SOCIAL CARE SCRUTINY COMMITTEE) pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To receive the annual report of the Chairman of the Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee which is attached.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Cllr Calder, Chair of the Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee (formerly the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee), and seconded by Cllr Milner that the Annual Report of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee 2017, a copy of which is attached to the signed Minutes, be received.

 

Cllr Calder presented her report and provided an overview of the work of the Committee during the last twelve months. In conclusion, she thanked officers for their hard work and continued commitment and gave special thanks to Cllr Dakin for his valued contribution over the years to this area of work.

 

RESOLVED: That the contents of the Annual Report 2017 of the Health and Adult Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee be received.

 

 

80.

SHROPSHIRE COUNCIL - COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT SCHEME 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 466 KB

Report of the Head of Finance, Governance and Assurance is attached.

 

Contact James Walton Tel 01743 255011.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by the Leader, Cllr Nutting, and seconded by Cllr Minnery, that the report, a copy of which is attached to the signed Minutes and the recommendations contained therein be received and agreed.

 

Cllr Evans proposed an amendment whereby Option 2 be approved: Make changes to the existing scheme to align with Housing Benefit and apply a minimum award of £1.50 a week which would give savings of £206,000.  This was seconded by Cllr Boddington.

 

A recorded vote was requested and duly agreed on the proposed amendment.  The result was as follows:

 

Voted FOR (15)

Cllrs Boddington, Clarke, Dean, Evans, Green, Hartin, Keeley, Kidd, Mellings, Moseley, Mosley, Pardy, Parry, Taylor and Vasmer.

 

Voted AGAINST (30)

Cllrs Aldcroft, Bardsley, Biggins, Butler, Calder, Carroll, Chapman, Charmley, Gittens, Harris, Hartley, Hignett, Hunt, Laurens, Macey, Minnery, Nutting, Parr, Phillips, Picton, Price, Potter, Roberts, Turner, West, Wild, Williams, Winwood, Wood and Woodward.

 

ABSTENTIONS (2)

Cllrs Milner and Tremellen abstained from voting.

 

The amendment was therefore lost and the original recommendation was duly approved.

 

          RESOLVED:

 

a)    That Option 4 as Shropshire Council’s council tax support scheme for 2018-19 and associated exemptions with an estimated gross saving of £1,190,000 be approved.

 

b)    That arrangements for consideration of discretionary requests and the utilisation of DHP fund be approved and that a total fund of £300,000 be set aside for 2018/19 to help transition in these changes

 

c)     That Shropshire Council’s proposed full draft CTS scheme for 2018/19 which was  available on the Council’s website (link below) be noted:

 

https://shropshire.gov.uk/benefits/what-help-can-i-claim-from-the-council/council-support-and-housing-benefit/

 

 

81.

SETTING THE COUNCIL TAX TAXBASE FOR 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Report of the Head of Finance, Governance and Assurance is attached.

 

Contact James Walton Tel 01743 255011.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by the Leader, Cllr Nutting, and seconded by Cllr Minnery, that the report, a copy of which is attached to the signed Minutes and the recommendations contained therein be received and agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)    That in accordance with the Local Government Act 2012, the removal of the discretionary Council Tax discount policy awarded in respect of vacant properties undergoing major repair for the 2018/19 financial year, i.e. removing the discount of 50% for up to 12 months be approved and, therefore, inclusion of an additional 114.37 Band D equivalents in the taxbase be approved.

 

b)    That in accordance with the Local Government Act 2012 the revised discretionary Council Tax discount policy awarded in respect of vacant properties i.e. former Class C exempt properties for the 2018/19 financial year i.e. continuation of 100% for one month, and the resulting exclusion of 257.66 band D equivalents from the taxbase be approved, and the removal of the 25% discount for the remaining five months and the resulting inclusion of 268.00 Band D equivalents in the Council Tax taxbase be approved.

c)     That the publication of a notice regarding the new discretionary Council Tax discount policy awarded in respect of vacant properties within 21 days of the determination be approved.

 

d)    That on the assumption that the changes to the discount policy in relation to vacant dwellings detailed in Sections 2.1, 2.2 and 7.2 of the report be approved and the changes to the Council’s localised Council Tax Support scheme detailed in the Shropshire Council - Council Tax Support Scheme 2018-19 report presented earlier to Council be approved.

 

e)    That in accordance with the Local Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by Shropshire Council as its Council Tax taxbase for the year 2018/19, as detailed in Appendix A, totalling 109,095.60 Band D equivalents be approved.

f)      That the changes to the Council’s localised Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme in 2018/19 be noted.  The scheme was attached at Appendix B.

g)    That the exclusion of 9,353.67 Band D equivalents from the taxbase as a result of localised Council Tax Support be noted.

h)    That the continuation of the discretionary Council Tax discount policy of 0% in respect of second homes (other than those that retain a 50% discount through regulation as a result of job related protection) be noted and that the inclusion of 670.95 Band D equivalents in the Council Tax taxbase as a result of this discount policy also be noted.

i)       That the continuation of the “six week rule” in respect of vacant dwellings, i.e. former Class C exempt properties be noted.

j)      That the continuation of the discretionary power to levy a Council Tax premium of 50% in relation to dwellings which had been empty for more than two years be noted and that the resulting inclusion of 245.89 Band D equivalents in the Council Tax taxbase also be noted.

k)     That the collection rate for the year 2018/19 of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81.

82.

AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Report of the Head of Legal & Democratic Services is attached.

 

Contact Claire Porter Tel: 01743 252763.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by the Leader, Cllr Nutting, and seconded by Cllr Charmley, that the report, a copy of which is attached to the signed Minutes and the recommendations contained therein be received and agreed.

 

          RESOLVED

 

i)        That Part 3 of the Constitution, Responsibility for Functions, be amended by the replacement of the Political Structures Monitoring Group with the Constitution Working Group with a membership consisting of the Leader, Deputy Leader and other Group Leaders (or their deputy).

ii)       That that the scheme for Public Questions set out in the Constitution be amended as follows:

a)    Notice of the question should be received 24 hours’ prior to the commencement of the relevant meeting.

b)    The member of the public should ask the question at the meeting

c)     The response should be provided verbally at the meeting

d)    No supplementary question to be permitted.

iii)       That the terms of reference for the Audit Committee be amended by the inclusion of the following additional paragraph:

“3.      The Committee has the option to recruit an independent member where there is an identifiable benefit.”

 

 

83.

MOTIONS

The following 3 motions have been received in accordance with Procedure Rule 16:

 

21.1   From Councillor Julian Dean

 

Housing Benefit for those in Women’s Refuges

Council notes: 

The government proposals to remove Domestic Abuse Refuges and other forms of short-term supported housing from the welfare system. 

On average housing benefit makes up 53% of the funding to refuges that provide a vital, sometimes life-saving service to vulnerable women and children fleeing abusive partners. 

The chief executive of Women’s Aid had said: “The government’s proposed reforms to supported housing will dismantle our national network of lifesaving refuges and put the lives of women and children trying to escape domestic abuse at risk. This is a matter of life or death.”

West Mercia Police has seen the number of domestic abuse reports more than double in the last four years. 

The government proposal will see housing benefit replaced with a grant to local authorities. However there is no proposal to ring fence this for particular forms of short-term supported housing. In addition many people fleeing domestic violence and abuse need to relocate, and so may stay in areas where they have little or no local connection, with the possibility that the response from local authorities to their short-term housing needs will become uneven at best. 

Council resolves to instruct the Chief Executive and Leader to make representations to government calling on them to remove this proposal and retain access to housing benefit for those in short-term supported housing to help secure the future of this vital service. 

21.2   From Councillor Heather Kidd

 

The Council has severe problems recruiting carers, teachers and other key workers in rural areas – especially in South West Shropshire.  The Council now needs to have a robust plan to define our key workers and a delivery plan for their housing in the countryside.  Maintaining and improving sustainability of our villages is vital for their future, the future of their services e.g. schools, shops and local businesses.  This has the potential to save money in Council Service delivery too.

 

This Council requests officers- as a matter of urgency - to bring forward innovative ways to build housing to satisfy local need and not developers wants in our rural areas.  This response should include cost effective and low resource methods to improve the status of Parish and Neighbourhood planning so that Towns and Parishes have a meaningful role in planning applications and can reflect needs of their communities.  A  new definition and status of key workers is also vital.

 

21.3    From Councillor Andy Boddington

Council funding for community groups has been substantially reduced and is set to fall further. Several councils have introduced a community lottery.  For example, the pioneering Vale Lottery run by Aylesbury Vale District Council raised around £75,000 for good causes in its first year.  The sales drive is led by charities and voluntary groups.  These support everything from village halls to suicide prevention and from helping young people to ensuring the air ambulance keeps flying.  Good  ...  view the full agenda text for item 83.

Minutes:

83.1    The following motion was proposed by Cllr Deanand duly seconded by Cllr Taylor:

 

“Housing Benefit for those in Women’s Refuges

 

Council notes: 

The government proposals to remove Domestic Abuse Refuges and other forms of short-term supported housing from the welfare system. 

On average housing benefit makes up 53% of the funding to refuges that provide a vital, sometimes life-saving service to vulnerable women and children fleeing abusive partners. 

The chief executive of Women’s Aid had said: “The government’s proposed reforms to supported housing will dismantle our national network of lifesaving refuges and put the lives of women and children trying to escape domestic abuse at risk. This is a matter of life or death.”

West Mercia Police has seen the number of domestic abuse reports more than double in the last four years. 

The government proposal will see housing benefit replaced with a grant to local authorities. However there is no proposal to ring fence this for particular forms of short-term supported housing. In addition many people fleeing domestic violence and abuse need to relocate, and so may stay in areas where they have little or no local connection, with the possibility that the response from local authorities to their short-term housing needs will become uneven at best. 

Council resolves to instruct the Chief Executive and Leader to make representations to government calling on them to remove this proposal and retain access to housing benefit for those in short-term supported housing to help secure the future of this vital service.”

 

Cllr Carroll proposed an amendment, a copy of which was circulated at the meeting, which was seconded by Cllr Wild:

 

“Central Government has proposed changes to Housing Benefit for people in women’s refuges and temporary accommodation.  These have the potential to have a significant impact on those individuals within Shropshire and how Shropshire Council is able to meet their needs.  Shropshire Council believes we need to drill down in to this issue to understand its impact.

 

Therefore this Council resolves to refer this issue to the Welfare Reform Task & Finish Group to review and inform any response we need to make.”

 

On being put to the vote, the amendment was carried with the majority voting in favour.

 

In addition to this Cllr Evans proposed that to this end Council should look at undertaking a Rapid Action Group (in 1 day).  This was seconded by Cllr Calder and duly agreed by the majority.

 

83.2    The following motion was proposed by Cllr Kiddand duly seconded by Cllr Hartin:

         

“The Council has severe problems recruiting carers, teachers and other key workers in rural areas – especially in South West Shropshire.  The Council now needs to have a robust plan to define our key workers and a delivery plan for their housing in the countryside.  Maintaining and improving sustainability of our villages is vital for their future, the future of their services e.g. schools, shops and local businesses.  This has the potential to save money in Council Service delivery too.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To receive any questions from Members, notice of which has been given in accordance with Procedure Rule 15.2.

Minutes:

The Speaker advised that the following 9 questions had been received in accordance with Procedure Rule 15 (copies of the report containing the detailed questions and their formal responses are attached to the signed Minutes).

 

a)    Received from Cllr Turner and answered by Cllr Nutting, the Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for University and Strategic about the Council’s financial position.

 

By way of a supplementary question Cllr Turner thanked the Leader for his reply and the clarification.  Back in May the Leader suggested that the Council’s financial situation had been overplayed.  In November he talked of having to make some difficult decisions about next year’s budget and, when the delay since he coming to office in May was queried, he suggested that he was giving new members a chance to get to grips with how the Council worked.  I suggest that this six-month delay has jeopardised a potential budget saving of some £3m which we will never get back.  In the private sector I know and understand, this would be described as no way to run a business.  Does he agree? And if not in what way is my logic flawed?

 

In response, the Leader stated that progress would be seen in the coming weeks.

 

b)    Received from Cllr Kidd and answered by Cllr Macey, Portfolio Holder for Planning, and Regulatory Services and Environment about affordable housing.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Cllr Kidd asked to be involved in the Task and Finish Group.

 

In response, the Portfolio Holder stated that he would look at this.

 

c)     Received from Cllr P Moseley and answered by Cllr Charmley, Portfolio Holder for Corporate Support about the use of agency staff.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Cllr Moseley stated she was concerned about temporary staff and the lack of continuity of care this created.  She requested that measures be introduced to recruit permanent staff in the future.

 

In response, the Portfolio Holder stated that he would prefer to use permanent staff as far as possible but it was not always easy to recruit.

 

d)    Received from Cllr West and answered by Cllr Nutting, Leader about the good outcomes achieved by staff in Council activities and services, notably the recent Ofsted report for Shropshire Children’s Services.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Cllr West asked how similar outcomes could be achieved in the future, given the redundancy programme that was about to be considered.

 

In response, the Leader hoped that the Digital Transformation would help.  It would be challenging times ahead, but he felt the Council could do better and be more commercial in its approach.

 

e)    Received from Cllr Boddington and answered by Cllr Macey, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulatory Services about plastic recycling.

 

By way of a supplementary question, Cllr Boddington asked if China’s ban on recycling plastics had had an impact on Shropshire yet?

 

In response, the Portfolio Holder agreed to look into this and report back to Cllr Boddington.

 

f)      Received from Cllr Evans  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.

 

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