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Shropshire Council
Shirehall
Abbey Foregate
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
SY2 6ND

Agenda and minutes

Council
Thursday, 18th December, 2014 10.00 am

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

Contact: Karen Nixon  Committee Officer

Items
No. Item

84.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

The Director of Commissioning reported that apologies for absence had been received from the following; Mr Gwilym Butler, Mrs Anne Chebsey, Mrs Pauline Dee, Mr Richard Huffer, Mr David Lloyd, Mr David Minnery, Mrs Peggy Mullock, Mr David Roberts, Mr John Tandy and Mr Clive Wright (Chief Executive).

 

At this point, the Deputy Speaker conveyed his sincere best wishes to Councillor David Lloyd for a speedy recovery following a recent illness, which was endorsed by everyone present.

 

85.

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.

 

86.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 25 September 2014.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 September 2014, as circulated with the agenda papers, be approved and signed as a correct record.

 

87.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

Minutes:

87.1    Chairman’s Engagements

 

The Deputy Speaker referred Members to the list of official engagements carried out by the Chairman and the Speaker since the last meeting of the Council on 25 September 2014, which had been circulated at the meeting.

 

87.2    Nathan Craig

 

The Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services introduced Nathan Craig, a care leaver who was shortly going to start a Master’s degree at the prestigious Royal College of Arts in London.  As Corporate Parents, Mrs Hartley acknowledged and congratulated Nathan on this wonderful achievement.  Nathan who was present, accepted the good wishes and thanked the Council for its support in his education to date.  Looking ahead, he welcomed the opening of the new University Centre Shrewsbury and suggested that the Council might consider waiving fees for care leavers in the future, which was duly noted.

 

87.3    MOD Silver Employer Recognition Award

 

The Deputy Speaker was pleased to announce that Shropshire Council was the recipient of the Ministry of Defence’s Silver Employer Recognition Award, which recognised the outstanding support provided across a range of defence personnel matters, particularly to Reservists.

 

87.4    Christmas Celebrations

 

The Deputy Speaker reminded everyone that they were invited to join him in the Foyer at the conclusion of the meeting for a glass of mulled wine before lunch was served in the Column Restaurant.

 

88.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS pdf icon PDF 156 KB

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

 

Two separate petitions, each bearing over 1,000 signatures have been received as follows, each requesting a debate under the Council’s Petition Scheme;

 

a)    Petition to keep Westgate House for Bridgnorth Community Use – Paul Passant.

b)    Petition to turn at least 1 in 3 street lights back on in Whitchurch – Jane Kirk.

 

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

 

Minutes:

88.1    Petitions

 

The Deputy Speaker advised that two petitions, each bearing more than 1,000 signatures had been received, requesting a debate under the Council’s Petition Scheme.  Each petitioner was given 5 minutes to open the debate and outline their case, after which there was a debate;

 

(a)  Petition to Keep Westgate House for Bridgnorth Community Use.  This was introduced and amplified by Paul Passant, Chairman of the ‘Save Westgate for the Community Campaign’.  Mr Passant urged the Council to support proposals to keep Westgate House for local community use.  Future plans included a walk-in medical centre, some business use, some housing, a restaurant, a construction school and a school of music.  Mr Passant spoke about the poor infrastructure in Bridgnorth for housing and urged the Council to transfer the building as an asset for the community.

 

In response Mike Owen, Portfolio Holder for Resources Finance and Support thanked Mr Passant for his input but said that Cabinet had made a decision in July 2014 to dispose of Westgate and he stood by that decision.  There were already many community facilities in Bridgnorth town, fulfilling various community roles.  The sale of Westgate House would allow capital receipts and revenue savings and he therefore proposed that for these reasons the Council should take no further action.  This was duly seconded by Mr Robert Tindall.

 

A recorded vote was requested by Mr Roger Evans and duly agreed:

 

FOR: P Adams, N Bardsley, T Barker, J Barrow, K Barrow, T Bebb, M Bennett, T Biggins, J Cadwallader, K Calder, D Carroll, L Chapman, S Charmley, P Cherrington, G Dakin, S Davenport, A Davies, D Evans, J Everall, A Hartley, R Hughes, V Hunt, J Hurst-Knight, S Jones, R Macey, M Owen, W Parr, M Pate, M Price, K Roberts, M Shineton, R Tindall, K Turley, D Turner, A Walpole, S West, C Wild, B Williams, L Winwood, M Wood, T Woodward, P Wynn.

 

AGAINST: A Bannerman, C Barnes, A Boddington, V Bushell, T Clarke, R Evans, H Fraser, N Hartin, T Huffer, J Jones, M Kenny, H Kidd, J Mackenzie, C Mellings, P Moseley, A Mosley, K Pardy, V Parry, D Tremellen and M Williams.

 

ABSTENTION: C Lea.

 

The proposal to take no further action was carried with 42 voting for, 20 voting against and 1 abstention:

 

(b)  Petition to turn back on at least 1 in 3 street lights in Whitchurch - Jane Kirk introduced this petition and urged the Council to switch back on 1 in 3 street lights in Whitchurch for mainly safety reasons but also cited the negative effect on local business’ that reduced lighting was having.  Some of the lights in Whitchurch were owned by Shropshire Council and went off at 10.30 pm and others owned by the Town Council went off at around midnight.

 

In response the Portfolio Holder for Highways, Mrs Claire Wild, said she proposed to take no further action.  To switch one in three lights back on would create a strobing effect on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88.

89.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS pdf icon PDF 116 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

(i)              Received from Mr M Kenny and answered by Mr M Owen, Portfolio Holder for Resources, Finance and Support, about door step lenders and the promotion of Credit Unions in Shropshire – copy attached to the signed minutes.

 

By way of a supplementary question Mr Kenny asked what the Council was going to do about loan sharks.

 

In response the Portfolio Holder confirmed that maybe more thought needed to be given to this issue generally but that currently he felt this was well supported in many ways and the Credit Union was soon to be moved to a more suitable location within Shrewsbury town.

 

(ii)             Received from Mr M Kenny and answered by Mr M Owen, Portfolio Holder for Resources, Finance and Support, about Shropshire Pension Fund - copy attached to the signed minutes.

 

By way of a supplementary question Mr Kenny asked when was the Council going to ask the beneficiaries whether they were happy that the Council was investing in companies that promoted death?

 

In response the Portfolio Holder confirmed that he strongly believed in seeking advice from the ‘professionals’ and invited Mr Kenny to go with him so they could seek the answer to this question together following the meeting.

 

(iii)            Received from Mr S Davenport and answered by Mrs A Hartley, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, about projected numbers of children and students in Shropshire schools over the period to 2018 and what action the Council was taking to ensure sustainability of high quality education in our schools over this period - copy attached to the signed minutes.

 

There was no supplementary question.

 

(iv)           Received from Mr A Mosley and answered by Mr M Owen, Portfolio Holder for Resources, Finance and Support, about accommodation strategic plans including objectives and expected outcomes and costs of any leasing/rental agreements - copy attached to the signed minutes.

 

By way of a supplementary question Mr Mosley asked the Portfolio Holder to explain firstly why high rents were being paid when the Shirehall building was half empty, secondly why was Longbow House not on the list and finally did the Portfolio Holder agree that the absence of an accommodation strategy over the last 4/5 years had led to a waste of resources?

 

In response the Portfolio Holder confirmed that the development of the University Centre Shrewsbury continued and until this had been decided no decision on the broader accommodation strategy would be made.  A draft Asset Management Strategy had been prepared and would be submitted to Cabinet in February 2015.

 

(v)            Received from Mrs Pam Moseley and answered by Mr S Charmley, Portfolio Holder for Business Growth, ip&e, Culture and Commissioning, about the financial success of The Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

 

By way of a supplementary question Mrs Moseley asked how did the number  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.

90.

SETTING THE COUNCIL TAX TAXBASE FOR 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 243 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, Mr K Barrow, and seconded by Mr T Barker 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 Authorities (Calculation of Tax Base) (England) Regulations 2012, the amount calculated by Shropshire Council as its Council Tax taxbase for the year 2015/16, as detailed in Appendix A, totalling 102,411.33 Band D equivalents be noted.

b)    That it be noted there will be some minor changes to the Council’s localised Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme in 2015/16 to reflect minor legislative changes.  The scheme is attached at Appendix B with the proposed changes detailed on page 5.

 

c)     That the exclusion of 11,601.95 Band D equivalents from the taxbase as a result of localised Council Tax Support be noted.

 

d)    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) and the inclusion of 649.83 Band D equivalents in the Council Tax taxbase as a result of this discount policy be noted.

 

e)    That the continuation of the discretionary Council Tax discount policy of 50% for up to 12 months in respect of vacant dwellings undergoing major repair, i.e. former Class A exempt properties, and the resulting exclusion of 109.33 Band D equivalents from the Council Tax taxbase be noted.

 

f)      That the continuation of the discretionary Council Tax discount policy in respect of vacant dwellings, i.e. former Class C exempt properties, of 100% for one month, i.e. effectively reinstating the exemption, and then a 25% discount for the remaining five months and the resulting exclusion of 266.39 Band D equivalents from the Council Tax taxbase be noted.

 

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

 

h)    That the continuation of the discretionary Council Tax discount policy of 0% in respect of long-term empty properties be noted.

 

i)       That the continuation of the discretionary power to levy a Council Tax premium of 50% in relation to dwellings which have been empty for more than two years and the resulting  inclusion of 209.56 Band D equivalents in the Council Tax taxbase be noted.

 

j)      That a collection rate for the year 2015/16 of 98% be approved.

 

It was specifically requested by Mr R Evans that it be recorded that he voted against this item.

 

91.

TREASURY STRATEGY 2014/15 - MID YEAR REVIEW pdf icon PDF 80 KB

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

 

Contact James Walton Tel 01743 255011.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by the Leader, Mr K Barrow, and seconded by Mr B Williams, that the report, a copy of which is attached to the signed minutes and the recommendations contained therein, be received and agreed.

 

RESOLVED: That the contents of the report of the Head of Finance be received.

 

92.

CREATION OF NEW PENSION BOARD pdf icon PDF 106 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, Mr K Barrow, and seconded by Mrs A Hartley, 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 the contents of the report of the Head of Finance be noted, in particular the draft Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) governance regulations and the progress made by the Task and Finish Group in implementing the changes for the Shropshire County Pension Fund.

 

b)    That the setting up of the Pension Board be approved from 1 April 2015.

 

c)     That authority be delegated to the Head of Finance Governance & Assurance to make minor changes to the Terms of Reference if required once the final regulations are issued.

93.

UNIVERSITY CENTRE SHREWSBURY

Report of the Chief executive WILL FOLLOW.

 

Contact Clive Wright Tel: 01743 2701.

 

Minutes:

The report for this item was now exempt – see agenda item 18 – which was not for publication by category 3 of paragraph 10.4 of the Council’s Access to Information Procedure Rules.

 

94.

ORGAN DONATION pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Report of the Director of Public Health is attached.

 

Contact Rod Thomson Tel 01743 253934.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Mrs K Calder, the Portfolio Holder for Health, and seconded by Mrs C Barnes, that the report, a copy of which is attached to the signed minutes and the recommendations contained therein, be received and agreed.

 

The Portfolio Holder thanked the health team and particularly Charlotte Cadwallader and Miriam Turner for their excellent work on this item to date.  Mrs Barnes endorsed this and undertook to circulate a short video to all members following the meeting about blood and organ donation which was currently being aired nationally, for their information.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)    That the results contained in the report be accepted as indicative of the views of the population in Shropshire.

 

b)    That the intention of the Health and Wellbeing Board to send this report to the county’s Members of Parliament, the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt and to the Health and Wellbeing Board Regional Network, to spark national debate around the topic of organ donation be noted.

 

c)     That central government be lobbied to consult all English residents to determine their views on adopting an opt-out system for organ donation.

 

d)    That the changes to the scheme in Wales (due to commence from 1 December 2015) continues to be monitored.

 

95.

LOCAL JOINT COMMITTEES - UPDATE ON BOUNDARIES pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Report of the Director of Commissioning is attached.

 

Contact George Candler Tel 01743 255003.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was proposed by Mr T Barker, Portfolio Holder for Performance, and seconded by Mr R Tindall that the report, a copy of which is attached to the signed minutes and the recommendations contained therein be received and agreed.

 

Mrs H Fraser proposed the following amendment which was seconded by Mr A Boddington:

 

‘That this Council asks the Leader and Chief Executive to investigate a consultation with members and town and parish councils on Local Joint Committee (LJC) constitutions, reporting back to Council at it’s next scheduled meeting; and making no constitutional changes before that meeting’.

 

When put to the vote the amendment was lost with a large majority voting against the amendment.

 

The substantive motion was then put and was duly carried.

 

RESOLVED:

 

a)    That changes to the geographies of Local Joint Committees as set out in Appendix 1 of the report and set out below be approved;

 

b)    That local governance within Shrewsbury will continue to be supported by the Shrewsbury wide LJC; however, the six individual area based Shrewsbury LJCs will no longer meet as formally constituted LJCs, although this does not prevent them continuing to meet as “Neighbourhood Forums” in response to local circumstances.

 

c)     That Loton & Tern, Burnell & Severn Valley, Longden, Ford & Rea Valley, and Strettondale LJCs be consolidated into three new LJCs:

                                                    i.     Pontesbury, Minsterley, Longden, Ford, Rea Valley & Loton LJC

                                                   ii.     Tern & Severn Valley LJC

                                                 iii.     Strettondale LJC.

 

d)    That Highley LJC is joined by Chelmarsh Parish to align with the Highley Place Plan area.

 

e)    That Bridgnorth, Worfield, Alveley & Claverley, LJC merges with Brown Clee LJC to form the Bridgnorth, Worfield, Alveley, Claverley & Brown Clee LJC Zone, to more closely align with the Bridgnorth Place Plan area.

 

f)      That the ability to make changes to the LJC constitution, including further boundary changes, be delegated to the Chief Executive in consultation with the relevant Portfolio Holder and local members.

 

96.

MOTIONS

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

 

13.1    The following motion has been received from Councillor Martin Bennett

 

The Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, has recently announced significant changes to the regime under which developers of Market Housing are obliged to make provision for local needs Affordable Housing.

 

Under the new rules Councils will be unable to require the previous levels of Affordable Housing contributions or provision on all but the larger schemes. 

 

This will significantly reduce this Council's ability to make much needed provision for Affordable Housing and reduce our future ability to replicate the significant successes that have been achieved in recent years.

 

This Council therefore agrees that it will put in place the following course of action.

 

- Instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Housing Minister asking him to reverse his decision.

- With other Councils, lobby the LGA to put pressure on Government to reverse the policy.

- Ask the RSA to similarly seek reversal of the decision.

- Through the Portfolio Holder, lobby our local MPs to point out to the Housing Minister the undesirability of the implications of this decision.’

 

 

13.2    The following motion has been received from Councillor Miles Kenny:

 

‘Over many years Central Government have eroded local democracy, taken away powers from local government and have introduced responsibilities based on central government policies without funding or adequate funding. The quality of life and wellbeing of our constituents be they in need of care, learning facilities, health provision, environmental protection, business development, jobs and in every walk of life has been adversely effected.

 

Therefore this council instructs the chief executive to liaise with other local government chief executives and the LGA to bring to an end the devastating cuts to local services and restore local democracy. The chief executive to report back to council on the results and council then considers its options on what further action to take’

 

13.3.   The following motion has been received from Councillor Alan Mosley:

Given that the Future Fit project has reached a critical stage in determining policy and strategy for the future of NHS services in Shropshire, Shropshire Council strongly believes that the retention and development of full A & E services and facilities at the RSH is essential.  Furthermore the Council commits itself to pursuing this objective in every way possible and in generally ensuring that there is no reduction in the overall levels of service and quality at RSH which are freely available for residents of Shropshire and neighbouring areas.

 

13.4    The following motion has been received from Councillor Roger Evans:

In amongst the very few actual correct facts given in answer to a previously tabled question it is noted that because it is not in the Articles of Association the elected members who are Directors of IP&E are not required to and consequently are not prepared to attend an Annual General Meeting of IP&E Ltd. This is despite the many verbal commitments given when it was  ...  view the full agenda text for item 96.

Minutes:

96.1    The following motion was proposed by Mr M Bennettand duly seconded by Mr T Barker:

         

‘The Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, has recently announced significant changes to the regime under which developers of Market Housing are obliged to make provision for local needs Affordable Housing.

 

Under the new rules Councils will be unable to require the previous levels of Affordable Housing contributions or provision on all but the larger schemes. 

This will significantly reduce this Council's ability to make much needed provision for Affordable Housing and reduce our future ability to replicate the significant successes that have been achieved in recent years.

 

This Council therefore agrees that it will put in place the following course of action.

- Instruct the Chief Executive to write to the Housing Minister asking him to reverse his decision.

- With other Councils, lobby the LGA to put pressure on Government to reverse the policy.

- Ask the RSA to similarly seek reversal of the decision.

- Through the Portfolio Holder, lobby our local MPs to point out to the Housing Minister the undesirability of the implications of this decision.’

 

After debate and on being put to the vote, the motion was carried with a large majority of members voting in favour.

 

96.2    Mr M Kenny proposed to withdraw his motion, as set out below, which was seconded by Mr R Evans and duly agreed:

 

Over many years Central Government have eroded local democracy, taken away powers from local government and have introduced responsibilities based on central government policies without funding or adequate funding. The quality of life and wellbeing of our constituents be they in need of care, learning facilities, health provision, environmental protection, business development, jobs and in every walk of life has been adversely effected.

 

Therefore this council instructs the Chief Executive to liaise with other local government chief executives and the LGA to bring to an end the devastating cuts to local services and restore local democracy. The chief executive to report back to council on the results and council then considers its options on what further action to take’.

 

96.3    The following motion was proposed by Mr A Mosleyand duly seconded by Mrs P Moseley:

         

‘Given that the Future Fit project has reached a critical stage in determining policy and strategy for the future of NHS services in Shropshire, Shropshire Council strongly believes that the retention and development of full A & E services and facilities at the RSH is essential.  Furthermore the Council commits itself to pursuing this objective in every way possible and in generally ensuring that there is no reduction in the overall levels of service and quality at RSH which are freely available for residents of Shropshire and neighbouring areas.’

 

          Mr M Bennett proposed an amendment which was seconded by Mrs C Wild, to amend the motion to read as follows:

 

          “Given that the Future Fit project has reached a critical stage in determining policy and strategy for the future of NHS services in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96.

97.

REPORT OF THE SHROPSHIRE AND WREKIN FIRE AND RESCUE AUTHORITY pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To receive the report of the Shropshire and Wrekin Fire & Rescue Authority arising from its meeting held on 8 October 2014.

 

Minutes:

It was proposed by Mr S Westand duly seconded, that the report of the Shropshire and Wrekin Fire and Rescue Authority held on 8 October 2014, a copy of which is attached to the signed minutes, be received and noted.

 

In presenting the report, Mr S West was pleased to confirm that the County had been well covered during the recent industrial action strikes which was welcomed and noted.

 

RESOLVED:  That subject to the foregoing, the report of the Shropshire and Wrekin Fire and Rescue Authority be noted.

 

98.

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

To RESOLVE that in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 12A, 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 the 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:

 

99.

CHURCH STRETTON SECONDARY SCHOOL SPORTS AND COMMUNITIES FACILITIES (Exempted by Categories 1 and 3)

Exempt report of the Head of Customer Support and Assets is attached.

 

Contact Steph Jackson Tel 01743 253861.

 

Minutes:

The Council received an exempt report by the Head of Customer Support and Assets, a copy of which is attached to the exempt signed minutes on proposals to develop Church Stretton Secondary School Sports and Communities Facilities.

 

          RESOLVED: That the exempt report and recommendations contained therein be approved.

 

100.

STONE HOUSE , LUDLOW (Exempted by Category 3)

Exempt report of the Head of Customer Support and Assets is attached.

 

Contact Steph Jackson Tel 01743 253861.

 

Minutes:

The Council received an exempt report by the Head of Customer Support and Assets, a copy of which is attached to the exempt signed minutes on proposals to dispose the vacant Stone House offices in Ludlow.

 

RESOLVED: That the exempt report and recommendation contained therein be approved.

 

101.

UNIVERSITY CENTRE SHREWSBURY (Exempted by Category 3)

Exempt report of the Chief Executive WILL FOLLOW.

 

Contact Clive Wright Tel 01743 252701.

 

Minutes:

The Council received an exempt report by the Chief Executive, a copy of which is attached to the exempt signed minutes, seeking authority for a partnering arrangement between Shropshire Council and the University of Chester in respect of the University Centre, Shrewsbury

 

          RESOLVED: That the exempt report and recommendations contained therein be approved.

 

 

 

(The full version of Minutes 99 to 101 constitutes exempt information under category 3 of Paragraph 10.4 of the Council’s Access to Information Rules and have accordingly been   with-held from publication).

 

 

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