Shropshire Council website

This is the website of Shropshire Council

Contact information

E-mail

customer.service@shropshire.gov.uk

Telephone

0345 678 9000

Postal Address

Shropshire Council
Shirehall
Abbey Foregate
Shrewsbury
Shropshire
SY2 6ND

Agenda

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

Contact: Tim Ward  Committee Officer

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

2.

Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

Members are reminded that they must declare their disclosable pecuniary interests and other registrable or non-registrable interests in any matter being considered at the meeting as set out in Appendix B of the Members’ Code of Conduct and consider if they should leave the room prior to the item being considered. Further advice can be sought from the Monitoring Officer in advance of the meeting.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 432 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on 21 September 2023

4.

Announcements

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

5.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 239 KB

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

Additional documents:

6.

Report of Returning Officer - Alveley and Claverley pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Report of Returning Officer attached

 

Contact:  Andy Begley, 01743 258675

 

7.

Setting the Council Tax Taxbase for 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 540 KB

Report of the Executive Director, Resources is attached

 

Contact:  James Walton.  Tel. 01743 258915

 

8.

Annual Treasury Report 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 657 KB

Report of the Executive Director, Resources is attached

 

Contact:  James Walton.  Tel. 01743 258915

 

9.

Treasury Strategy 2023/24 - Mid Year Review pdf icon PDF 268 KB

Report of the Executive Director, Resources is attached

 

Contact:  James Walton.  Tel. 01743 258915

 

Additional documents:

10.

Statement of Licensing Policy 2024 to 2029 pdf icon PDF 282 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Place is attached

 

Contact Mark Barrow  Tel: 01743258919

 

Additional documents:

11.

Polling District, Polling Place and Polling Station Review 2023 pdf icon PDF 256 KB

Report of the Returning Officer is attached

 

Contact:  Andy Begley, 01743 258675

Additional documents:

12.

Annual report - People Overview Committee pdf icon PDF 310 KB

Annual Report of the People Overview Committee is attached

13.

Annual Report - Communities Overview Committee pdf icon PDF 301 KB

Annual Report of the Communities Overview Committee is attached

14.

Community Governance Review pdf icon PDF 228 KB

Report of the Assistant Director – Legal and Governance is attached

 

Contact Tim Collard  Tel: 01743 252756  

 

Additional documents:

15.

Adoption of Pontesbury Neighbourhood Plan pdf icon PDF 508 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Place is attached

 

Contact Mark Barrow  Tel: 01743258919

 

Additional documents:

16.

Local Government Act 1972, Section 101 Formal Application to Upgrade Footpaths and add a Section of Bridleway in The Parish of Woore and Parish of Buerton in Cheshire East - Delegation To Cheshire East Council to Investigate and Determine This Cross-border Claim pdf icon PDF 320 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Place is attached

 

Contact Mark Barrow  Tel: 01743258919

 

Additional documents:

17.

Constitution of Committees and the Allocation of Seats to Political Groups pdf icon PDF 394 KB

Report of the Assistant Director – Legal and Governance is TO FOLLOW

 

Contact Tim Collard  01743 252756

Additional documents:

18.

Appointments to Committees

Transformation and Improvement Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor Robert Tindall to replace Councillor Kevin Turley as a member of the Transformation and Improvement Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

Councillor Andrew Sherrington to replace Councillor Rob Wilson as a substitute member of the Transformation and Improvement Overview and Scrutiny Committee

 

 

Housing Supervisory Board

 

Councillor Roger Evans to replace Councillor Heather Kidd as a member of the Housing Supervisory Board

 

Councillor David Vasmer to replace Councillor Bernie Bentick as a substitute member of the Housing Supervisory Board

 

Northern Planning Committee

 

Councillor Roger Evans to be appointed a member of the Northern Planning Committee

 

Councillor Nigel Hartin to be appointed a substitute member of the Northern Planning Committee

 

Councillor Nick Hignett to be appointed a substitute member of the Northern Planning Committee

 

Councillor David Evans to be appointed a substitute member of the Northern Planning Committee

 

Councillor Mary Davies to be appointed a substitute member of the Northern Planning Committee

 

 

Southern Planning Committee

 

Councillor Joyce Barrow to be appointed a substitute member of the Southern Planning Committee

 

 

19.

Motions

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

 

 

 

 

19a

Motion received from Councillor Duncan Kerr and supported by the Green Group

Waste Minimisation Strategy

On the 15th July 2021 we presented a motion to this Council calling on the authority to adopt a waste minimisation strategy by Dec 2021. This motion recognised that despite declaring a climate emergency Shropshire Council has the unenviable record of collecting more household waste per household than any other mainland authority in England. The consequences is higher carbon emissions and costs falling on our residents.

 

Even though the Council had a waste minimisation strategy in 2011 this motion was opposed by the Conservative controlling group who argued that it might result in charging for green waste and that the Government might be removing the powers of Local Authorities to do this. Recently the Government has made it clear that their fears were unfounded.

 

In the meantime, the Cabinet has received a report from a Scrutiny Committee recommending that a waste minimisation strategy be developed but not producing any timetable.

 

As a result of this lost opportunity for action our recycling performance has dropped by 2.7% from 2018/9 to 2021/2 relegating us out of the top 50 authorities for recycling; and our total waste arisings have increased by 7%. We are heading rapidly in the wrong direction.

 

It’s time to take some action on a service that the Council has direct control over and is an important contributor to the climate change which is already affecting Shropshire. This motion therefore commits the Council to have a Waste Minimisation Strategy approved by June 2024

19b

Motion received from Councillor Mark Williams and supported by the Liberal Democrat Group

Limit Post-16 Student Transport Costs.

With the imminent closure of the Bridgnorth 6th Form, the Post-16 students in my ward will now be disadvantaged by having to travel much further for their compulsory Post-16 education. The significant problem that this causes my and many other rural wards is that these students will have to purchase at least two bus passes to get to their chosen college.

 

Using my ward, Highley, as an example; almost every student will need to purchase an annual Diamond Bus Pass costing £800 to get to Bridgnorth and then either a college specific pass at around £600 or an Arriva annual bus pass at £715 to get to their chosen college.

 

Our current system is forcing the parents and carers of our children to find around £1500 per year to send them to school. This is clearly unfair, if you live within the reach of a single bus service like Arriva which covers most of the county, then you will pay no more than £715 for your annual bus pass, if, like us, you have to use multiple services you have to pay far more.

 

The Department for education Post-16 transport and travel support to education and training Statutory guidance for local authorities clearly states the Council’s responsibilities:

·         That those who are vulnerable to becoming not in education, employment or training should be offered any transport support that is necessary to enable them to participate.

·         That young people in rural areas should not be worse off financially because they may need to travel further to access education and training provision than their peers in urban areas

·         That they ensure that any contribution is affordable for learners and their parents.

·         That they ensure that there are arrangements in place to support those families on low income.

 

Also, to aid transparency, it is good practice for local authorities to set out the average cost per young person of post-16 transport in their area before any are subsidies deducted.

Section 509AB(3)(b)(c)&(d) of the Education Act 1996

 

I couldn’t find this information anywhere in the Council’s transport policy

 

This policy will promote fairness and inclusivity by ensuring that all students, regardless of their economic backgrounds or location, have equal access to education without an unfair financial burden of excessive transportation costs.

 

Therefore, I propose

 

1)      that the total annual cost of a Post-16 student’s transport, when using school buses and public transport, shall not exceed the expense of a single annual Arriva student bus pass within Shropshire;

2)      where a student’s total transport costs exceeds this amount, Shropshire Council will issue an Annual Student Transport Pass on payment of the value an Arriva student bus pass;

3)      that the Annual Students Transport Pass will enable the holder to use all relevant public transport to get to and from their chosen place of education within the approved list of education providers.

 

 

19c

Motion received from Councillor Ruth Houghton and supported by the Liberal Democrat Group

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is often difficult to develop in many areas of the County. The reasons for this are as follows:

  • Limited land availability
  • Length of time to reach the development stage and now
  • Increasing construction costs.

Shropshire is experiencing a significant shortage of affordable Housing which impacts on our local communities. With this in mind we propose the following :

 

This Council agrees to develop a strategic policy in conjunction with Housing providers that will help to:

 

- maintain and improve existing social housing stock across the County

- ensure that existing stock is retained and not subject to disposal

- Upgrade the existing housing social housing stock to an EPC rating  of C or above

 

 

19d

Motion received from Councillor Rob Wilson and supported by the Liberal Democrat Group

Improving Shropshire’s Footways

This council notes that:

1.     Every journey includes walking or wheeling, therefore good quality, accessible footways are essential.

2.     Every councillor is aware of footways in their division of footways that are of poor quality, and are not accessible by all users, often because of overhanging vegetation, a lack of sufficient cleaning, or outstanding repairs.

3.     The “highway” is ‘hedge to hedge’, therefore the highway includes the carriageway, footways and any cycleways.

4.     The Council has a duty under the Highways Act 1980 to ensure that the highway is not obstructed. Even small overgrowths can be hazardous particularly to blind and visually impaired people who often use property boundaries as a guide, or when a footway is narrow. It is also a requirement that anything overhanging a footway must be at least 2.3m above the footway, cycleway, verge and 5.3m above the road surface

5.     It is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 to allow trees, hedges, shrubs and so on to obstruct the highway.

6.     Councils can, after an initial informal request, serve a 21 Day Notice on the occupier of a property, to cut back the offending vegetation. If the occupier does not comply with the Notice, Councils may carry out the work themselves and recover costs in doing so from the occupier, through the courts if necessary. (H_Hedge_hazards_web_18.pdf (westberks.gov.uk)).

 

This council further notes that:

7.     Shropshire Council is making an £59m capital investment in improving the quality of Shropshire’s highways.

8.     A number of Council’s, for example Oxfordshire, have formally moved from “Predict and Provide” to “Decide and Provide” (UK county pivots to ‘decide and provide’ transport planning - Cities Today (cities-today.com)).

 

The council resolves:

1.     To recognise the importance of high quality, accessible footways in all our communities, both rural and urban

2.     To request that a report is brought to Cabinet within 3 months explaining how our existing footways will be cleared and cleaned to a higher standard, including (but not limited to):

a.     A review of the cleaning regime for footways

b.    A review of the process for cutting back Shropshire council owned hedging and other vegetation

c.     A review of the process for cutting back privately owned hedging and other vegetation

3.     To include in the report to cabinet details of how the £59m capital investment is being divided between carriageways, footways and cycleways, and to comment on this point in any future reports to Council, Cabinet and Scrutiny Committees.

4.     Ensure that LTP4 is based on the principle of “decide and provide” rather than “predict and provide”.

 

19e

Motion received from Councillor Roger Evans and Supported by the Liberal Democrat Group

Free School Meals

School budgets are being squeezed in many ways. Family income is also being squeezed.

Wage rises, heating costs and travel to school events all cost more. Parents who are not able to pay for breakfast clubs and after school clubs are now being faced with not being able to work if the school can’t afford to support them. This applies to many where both parents are working on low wages especially with high rents and energy costs. Help is available from other sources in certain areas.

 

One area where help can be given is in the supply of free school meals.

 

The benefits of introducing free school meals have long been proven. Children who eat healthy, free school meals have lower obesity rates, better academic performance and behavior and improved lifetime productivity. However, the numbers eligible for free school meals is reducing and is noted in many schools.

 

The income levels at which claims can be made has not been increased since 2018.

In Shropshire Children in KS2 and higher at present cease to be entitled to a universal free school meal.

From KS2 onwards in Shropshire, pupils are only entitled to a free school meal if.

 

If you're on universal credit then the household earnings threshold is £7400

If you work and claim other benefits like child tax credits or working tax credits, then the threshold is £16190.

The trigger level for wages is so low - household income must be below £22,700/annum.

As of 2023, the UK national minimum wage for workers aged 23 and over is £10.42 per hour, which equates to around £21,630 per year if working full-time hours.

From April 1st, 2024, the UK national minimum wage for workers over 23 will rise to £11.44.

 

There is still, in many people’s minds a stigma attached to claiming these, the school does not hear much from parents who miss out when applying.

 

For every child who is entitled to a free school meal the school they attend get extra income.

The Primary School gets £1,455 and Secondary School an extra £1035.

 

In England, every child in Key Stage 1 is automatically eligible for a free school meal, but the school loses out by not getting the extra income if the parent does not also fill in a claim form asking their child to also be registered as being eligible for a free school meal. If registered, as detailed above, the school would receive an extra £1,455.00.

 

In the majority of England, the universal free school meal ceases from when the child enters Key Stage 2, Other areas in the UK adopt different rules and many extend this to later years.

 

We on Shropshire Council note the above and the extra benefit for both the child and the school when they are able to eat a healthy midday meal.

 

The Council asks both the Leader and the Chief Executive to.

·         Write to all our MPs and the Department of Education  ...  view the full agenda text for item 19e

20.

Questions from Members pdf icon PDF 628 KB

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

21.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To resolve 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 Rules, the public and press be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items

22.

Exempt Minutes

To approve as a correct record the exempt minutes of the previous meeting held on 21st September 2023

23.

Housing Supervisory Board: CDL Shareholder Report

Exempt report of the Executive Director of Place is attached

 

Contact Mark Barrow  Tel: 01743258919

 

24.

Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme: Housing First

Exempt Report of the Executive Director of Place is attached

 

Contact Mark Barrow  Tel: 01743 258919

 

25.

Shirehall Disposal and Decommissioning Strategy

Exempt Report of the Executive Director of Place is attached

 

Contact Mark Barrow  Tel: 01743 258919

 

 

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