Decisions

Use the below search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding decisions that have been taken by the council’s decision making bodies since 18 May 2018.

Alternatively you can visit the officer decisions page for information on officer delegated decisions that have been taken by council officers.

Decisions published

25/10/2018 - Rail Heritage and 2025 Celebration ref: 284    Recommendations Approved

Report of the emerging programme, commitments and resources to deliver the Rail Heritage 2025 ambitions.

Decision Maker: Place Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 25/10/2018 - Place Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 25/10/2018

Decision:

The Assistant Director, Railway Heritage and 2025 gave a PowerPoint presentation which outlined the Rail Heritage and 2025 Vision, Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) Programme; Governance and delivery arrangements and the next steps.

 

Details were provided on the policy and strategic context including organisational, tactical and thematic strategies and the three priority workstreams of Experience Darlington, namely, a Railway Town, a Theatre Town and a Town to Visit.  References were made to the priorities for action that will enable Darlington to improve its visitor offer for 2026 and beyond, creating significant economic benefits that will support local businesses, increase productivity and create jobs.

 

A Rail Heritage Board had been established to enhance collaborative working to ensure the vision, by 2026, of the Stockton and Darlington Railway being recognised as a world class heritage attraction which would boost the economic growth potential of the area.  The Heritage Action Zone Status and the HAZ Boundary were also highlighted within the presentation.

 

The Stockton and Darlington Railway Heritage programme had been submitted to Historic England and adopted in May 2018 and covered various project management aspects including background, needs, delivery methods and the initial budget and resources.

 

To date, forty three projects had been identified and grouped under the four work streams of Conservation and Management, Heritage Attraction Development, Festivals and Events and cross-cutting initiatives.

 

The Railway Heritage Board had been established and six projects were in progress and three had been completed.  Reference was also made to the many Conservation projects that have been or were being undertaken with various organisations and bodies

 

Work to be completed over the next twelve month was highlighted within the presentation, together with the progress on priority actions.

 

Discussion ensued on available resources and it was stated that, since the formation of the Tees Valley Combined Authority, culture was high on the economic growth agenda and additional resources were available.  It was however stressed that the Council would have to match fund any resources from the Tees Valley and that other funding streams were to be accessed and applied for. 

 

It was confirmed that whilst there were numerous interested organisations and bodies, the Railway Heritage Board had been established to manage the core business.  The Friends of Stockton and Darlington Railway were invited onto the Board as it was considered they could best represent voluntary organisations that have an interest in the Stockton and Darlington Railway and the various initiatives. 


In relation to access arrangements to the proposed Rail Heritage Quarter at North Road, it was acknowledged that the site was constrained but that this was an issue the appointment of Master Planners had been asked to address.   It was hoped that visitors would be encouraged to stay in Darlington thereby boosting the economy.

 

Members were advised that City of Culture 2025 was a year-long event and that, if successful, the story of the Stockton and Darlington Railway would be a big part of that event.  It was stressed that the City of Culture Bid would be submitted in 2021 and the outcome not known until 2022.

 

Following a question, Members were informed that Pease House was currently occupied by a fast food provider and whilst the appearance of the building needed to be improved, a feasibility study had yet to be commissioned to explore the future contribution of the building to the visitor offer.

 

RESOLVED (a) That the thanks of this Scrutiny Committee be extended to the Assistant Director, Railway Heritage and 2025 for his informative presentation.

 

(b) That this Scrutiny Committee be informed of any progress in relation to 2025.

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: John Anderson


25/10/2018 - Tees Valley Combined Authority Transport Strategy ref: 282    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Place Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 25/10/2018 - Place Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 25/10/2018

Decision:

The Head of Transport, Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) gave a PowerPoint Presentation on the Tees Valley Strategic Transport Plan (STP) which was currently being developed to support the delivery of the Strategic Economic Plan for the Tees Valley.

 

Reference was made to Transport for the North (TfN), a unique partnership, established in 2014, comprised of four development partners, eleven Local Enterprise Partners and nineteen Local Government partners.  TfN was working to develop a strategic northern transport strategy to improve connectivity between economic centres in the north and provide a blueprint for building the Northern Powerhouse.

 

Details were provided of the Strategic Transport Plan (STP) Components and the TVCA Transport Framework for the rail, road, bus, cycle and pedestrian networks together with improvements for freight and access to Durham Tees Valley Airport.

 

Particular reference was made to the visions and emerging strategies to connect the Tees Valley; key challenges that had been encountered; and to the interventions and funding that had been secured to deliver the strategies.

 

Members were informed that approval for the STP would be sought at the TVCA Cabinet scheduled for 31 January 2019 and that a consultation exercise would then be undertaken closing in May 2019.

 

Clarification was sought on why bus travel alone was a vision and the other forms of transport a strategy and whether the powers of the new Act overcame some of the current constraints.

 

In relation to increasing the rail network relative to Darlington, Members were advised that whilst it was expensive to build railways and stations, Darlington needed more platforms and the bottle neck of services crossing the East Coast Main Line needed to be cleared.

 

It was also confirmed that there was unlikely to be an increase in rural bus services but the best service possible would be sought.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the thinks of this Scrutiny Committee be extended to The Head of Transport for his informative presentation.

 

(b) That the Head of Transport be invited to a future meeting of this Scrutiny Committee prior to the consultation exercise scheduled to be held in May 2019


06/09/2018 - Performance Indicators Quarter 1 2018/19 ref: 280    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Place Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 06/09/2018 - Place Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 06/09/2018

Decision:

The Managing Director submitted a report (previously circulated) and detailed performance scorecard (also previously circulated) providing Members with Quarter 1 Performance Data against key performance indicators for 2018/19.

 

It was reported that the performance indicators were aligned with key priorities and the majority were used to monitor the Corporate Plan 2017/21.  Many indicators for this Scrutiny Committee were reported annually and as quarterly updates were not available, all annual indicators would be included in the Quarter 4 report.

 

It was reported that the indicator set for this Scrutiny Committee had increased by eight and of the 39 indicators for Place Scrutiny Committee 17 were reported annually and one was reported six monthly at Quarters 2 and 4.

 

Details were provided for indicators which had previous data for comparison and it was noted that seven indicators had achieved or exceeded year-end targets, seven had not achieved year end targets and six did not have a year-end target. 

 

It was reported that Planning Indicators ECI 104 – Percentage of major planning applications decided within 13 weeks or within agreed time, ECI 105 – Percentage of non-major planning development decisions within eight weeks or within agreed time and ECI 106 – 24 months to date percentage of non-major development decisions within 8 weeks or within agreed time were currently exceeding year-end targets.  Environment indicators ENV 002 – Number of Street Champions who are actively involved in litter picking a minimum of once per month and ENV 005 – Local Environmental Quality Survey – percentage of 75 transpets inspected that pass the Litter Code of Practice list are both showing solid improvement at Quarter 1.  REG 312a – Percentage of noise complaints investigated and completed within six weeks of the date of receipt (Except where diary sheet returned) is also showing good performance and CUL 071 - Visits to the Head of Steam is showing strong performance at Quarter 1.

 

Members requested that CUL 065 be split to show visits to both Crown Street and Cockerton Libraries separately and following a question were advised that CUL 030 – total number of visits to the Dolphin Centre was inaccurate as there was an anomaly with footfall counters in that they did not tally with income received and that more accurate data would be provided in future.  Clarification was sought on CUL 038 – Number of individual attendances at Hippodrome Theatre shows and Members were advised that as this indicator was calculated cumulatively across the year it was unlikely to achieve end of year targets by the end of Quarter 1, however at this time it is anticipated that this indicator will reach its end of year target by the end of the year.  Members welcomed the data in relation to CUL 071 – Number of visits to the Head of Steam and in relation to the Hullabaloo enquired if the number of visits not related to shows could be captured.

 

In relation to ECI 105 – Percentage of non-major planning development decisions within eight weeks or within agreed time, Members were informed that there was a slight delay in getting applications up and running but this was due to new system problems and Officers hoped to be in a better position in three months’ time.

 

ECI 401 – New homes delivered against 5 year supply was currently on target with 139 completions being made at the of Quarter 1, however, Members were made aware that the figures were dependent upon the scheme operated by the developers i.e. build as sell or completion of all houses within the development.

 

Officers acknowledge that a better system was required to record the number of Street Champions actively involved in litter or ground maintenance projects (ENV 002) as there were more than the 77 registered with the Council.

 

In relation to ENV 006 – Total number of fly tips reported, Members were advised that this should reduce due to the allocation of additional resources.  It was also stated that the Contract for the new litter scheme was due to start on 17 September for a trial period of six months.

 

The Assistant Director, Community Services advised Members that Cabinet approval was being sought to enter into consultation on the Joint Waste Management Strategy for the Tees Valley and that this Scrutiny Committee would consider the strategy as part of that consultation process.

 

Members were informed that there had been around 1700 households wanting to access the garden waste service and that a further publicising exercise was to be undertaken.

 

In relation to REG 308 – Environmental Health: Percentage of premises broadly compliant for food hygiene Members were advised that the word ‘broadly’ was an official term used by the Food Standards Authority.

 

The Chair referred to TCP 600 – Number of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic accidents and made particular reference to two serious road accidents that had occurred, following the introduction of a new road scheme, at St Cuthbert’s Way and requested that the Head of Highway Network Management attend the next meeting of this Scrutiny Committee scheduled for 25 October.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the thanks of Scrutiny Committee be extended to Officers for their comprehensive accounts in relation to Performance Indicators.

 

(b) That the submitted report be noted.

 

(c) That the Head of Highway Network Management be requested to attend the next meeting of this Scrutiny Committee.

 


06/09/2018 - Broadband Infrastructure ref: 281    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Place Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 06/09/2018 - Place Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 06/09/2018

Decision:

The Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report (previously circulated) providing an update on past and future Broadband infrastructure roll out in the Borough and detailing other projects enhancing speed for digital use.  A PowerPoint Presentation given by the Economic Strategy and Intelligence Manager of Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) accompanied the submitted report.

 

The submitted report stated that TVCA and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) had committed funding for two phases of public sector funded Broadband infrastructure rollout programmes for the Borough with Digital Durham managing delivery of two Phases of the BDUK programme via Openreach in County Durham, Gateshead, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside and the five Tees Valley Local Authorities including Darlington Borough Council.

 

Members were informed that Phase 1 of the BDUK Programme had been delivered in the Town Centre and Central Park Enterprise Zone together with rural cabinets around Piercebridge, Merrybent, High and Low Coniscliffe, Hurworth Place and Bishopton resulting in a 93.5 per cent Borough coverage.

 

In 2017 Tees Valley Combined Authority took over responsibility for the management of Phase 2 of the roll out of Broadband.  Following consultation with the Local Authorities a revised Phase 2 contract was negotiated which set a target of coverage of at least 98.1% coverage of premises in each of the 5 Local Authorities up to a maximum budget of £2.5m.  The revised Phase 2 necessitated a change request with Digital Durham, for which it was able to largely subsume existing contracts in Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland, but had to develop new plans for Darlington and Hartlepool.

 

It was also reported that TVCA aimed to apply for Government programmes such as the Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) (based on full fibre solutions) which would offer new infrastructure provision for speeds up to 1 gigabit per sec level which would enable 5G solutions.

 

The report outlined the future needs for Superfast Coverage in Darlington through Phase 3 (2020 onwards) although stated that Darlington’s Rural Areas to the West (Killerby, Summerhouse, Denton and Walworth Gate) and North East (Great Stainton and Barmpton) would be left uncovered by Fibre based solutions for Broadband.

 

It was stated that those areas which have not been covered by Phase 2 of the programme were eligible to bid through the Better Broadband Scheme administered by Digital Durham for grants in the form of a voucher (up to £350 for hardware and installation) for mobile or satellite broadband connection with Superfast speeds.

 

Consideration is also being given to working with the Neighbouring North Yorkshire Programme (NYNET) to cover the rural areas in the next Phase 3 (2020 onwards) due to the closeness of its fibre network to both Darlington and the Tees Valley and its considerable rural delivery experience.

 

Particular references were made to the future proofing considerations for the Tees Valley and Darlington as digital enhancements and technology are not standing still.  Ambitions for economic growth are underpinned by digital speeds and the Tees Valley Combined Authority, including Darlington, aims to stay ahead in the digital speed race. In order to market the Tees Valley as a region for investment digital speeds have become a locational factor to attract investment into the region.  The TVCA has subsequently earmarked Government programmes like Gigabit Vouchers for businesses, the 5G Testbed and Trial programme and the Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) programme for up to 1gb/sec 5G technology.  Applications for these programmes are being considered which would enhance Darlington’s position in connectivity speed further in the future.

 

Discussion ensued on the timescale involved to provide broadband to the TVCA areas; the pros and cons of Fibre to the Cabinet and Fibre to the Home broadband; Darlington’s change request to BT being subject to the deliberations of Central Government and BT due to the economic life of Fibre to the Cabinet which would need to be replaced after eight to ten years; rural areas to be provided having a certain amount of ambiguity until site investigations have been undertaken; the programme operating where there is not an existing provision; and the need to ascertain from BT where broadband provision was and whether or not it was value for money.

 

Concerns were expressed that nationally broadband provision was lacking compared to international employers and there was a need to future proof commercial and residential broadband provision for the region.  It was stated that full fibre would ensure 5G; Phase 3 would use legacy funding and provide 100 per cent coverage; and that full fibre would ensure that any provider could deliver broadband leading to increased productivity and increased premises.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the thanks of this Scrutiny Committee be extended to the Economic Strategy and Intelligence Manager of Tees Valley Combined Authority for his informative and interesting presentation.

 

(b) That the current position on Phase 1 of the Broadband Delivery UK Programme be noted.

 

(c) That the future aspirations of the Tees Valley Combined Authority regarding Local Full Fibre Network be noted.

 

(d) That an update on broadband provision be provided in six months’ time.

 


28/06/2018 - Performance Indicators Quarter 4 and Proposed Indicators for 2018-19 ref: 278    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Place Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 28/06/2018 - Place Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 28/06/2018

Decision:

The Performance Manager submitted a report (previously circulated) providing Members with outturn performance data against key performance indicators for 2017/18; requesting consideration be given to the proposed basket of performance indicators for 2018/19; and to note the proposed schedule of performance reporting for 2018/19.

 

The submitted report provided performance information in line with an indicator set and Scrutiny Committee distribution agreed by Monitoring and Coordination Group on 12 June 2017, and subsequently by Scrutiny Committee Chairs.  The indicators were aligned with key priorities and the majority used to monitor the Corporate Plan 2017/21.

 

Members were advised that of the 31 indicators reported to Place Scrutiny Committee 15 (fifteen) were reported annually, a further 15 (fifteen) reported quarterly, and 1 (one) reported 6 monthly at Quarters 2 and 4.  It was also stated that annual information was available at Quarter 4 (outturn) and therefore information for all indicators monitored by the Place Scrutiny Committee was included within the submitted report with the exception of ENV 009 per cent of household waste that is collected that is either reused, recycled or composted.  ENV 009 data is reported quarterly in arrears therefore Q3 performance data was included in the submitted report.

 

Particular reference was made to the 30 indicators for which outturn data was available and of those 18 had year-end targets with nine achieving or exceeding target and nine not achieving year end targets.  Of the twelve indicators with no year-end targets seven had exceeded out-turn performance and five showed performance worse than out-turn performance last year.

 

It was also that reported that Assistant Directors had reviewed the indicator set in order to ensure continued relevance to Scrutiny Committee’s work programme for 2018/19 and some additional indicators had been suggested for inclusion for 2018/19 where they had been subject to discussion during 2017/18 or related to current areas of interest of this Scrutiny Committees.  Additional indicators for this Committee for 2018/19 included CUL 037 Number of shows at the Hippodrome; CUL 078 Number of attendances at the Hippodrome; CUL 067 Number of ICT sessions at the library; CUL 078 Number of shows at the Hullabaloo; CUL 079 Number of attendances at the Hullabaloo; ENV 006 Total number of fly tips reported; ENV 023 Number of prosecutions for fly-tipping; and TCP 101 Bus punctuality – percentage of buses arriving on time.

 

Details were provided of the proposed quarterly performance reporting schedule of Q1 - October 2018; Q2 - December 2018; Q3 - March 2019; and Q4 - June/July 2019.

 

Discussion ensued on the calculation of CUL 065 Number of visits to the Library which continues to decline; the offer provided by the Hippodrome and work the Creative Darlington Manager was undertaking with the Arts Council to provide community based programmes; planning permission implementation periods of one year to 18 months to ensure developers do not land bank; alternative methods to record ENV 001 Number of Ward members who are leading or are involved in a litter or grounds maintenance based project; calculation of ENV 005 Local Environmental Quality Survey percentage of 75 transepts inspected that pass the Litter Code of Practice; ENV 009 end of year figures being available in July; publication of the Strategic Transport Plan in Autumn 2018 following consultation which should address TCP 900 Overall public satisfaction with Public Transport Theme (National Highways and Transport Survey); and TCP 200 Percentage of principal roads where maintenance should be considered to include a target for pot hole repairs.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the submitted report be noted.

 

(b) That, with the inclusion of an indicator relating to pot holes, the proposed basket of performance indicators for 2018/19 be agreed.

 

(c) That the scheduled for performance reporting for 2018/19 be noted.

 

(d) That a representative from the Tees Valley Combined Authority be invited to attend a future meeting of this Scrutiny Committee to give consideration to the Tees Valley Combined Authority Strategic Transport Plan.

 

 

 


28/06/2018 - Fly Tipping and Waste in the Borough's Back Lanes ref: 277    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Place Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 28/06/2018 - Place Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 28/06/2018

Decision:

The Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report (previously circulated) providing an updated position on the level of fly-tipping across the Borough, actions taken, comparisons with Tees Valley and the Council’s future strategies. 

 

It was stated that fly-tipping was a national problem and all Council’s had to report fly-tipping data through FlyCapture, a National database. 

 

Particular reference was made to the significantly reduced resources within Street Scene from both staff collecting and clearing fly-tips to enforcement staff who investigate and prosecute when evidence exists.  This reduction had resulted in back lanes receiving a fortnightly cleanse as opposed to weekly and a reduced response to fly tipping removal.

Details were provided of performance over the last three years and Members noted that the number of fly-tips recorded through FlyCapture was more in 2017/18 than in previous years. 

 

Members considered a breakdown of performance over the last three years which clearly showed that the majority of fly tips were deposited in back alleys and lanes across the Borough.  This was followed by Council land and highways, footpaths and bridleways.  The majority of waste was identified as coming from households and included black bags and furniture including mattresses and three piece suites. 

 

Members were made aware that the size of fly tips varied from a single black bag to a tipper truck load with large fly tips significantly rising from 93 in 2016/17 to 210 during 2018/19.  Large fly tips were generally household waste from a house clear which has been undertaken by a private company who then dump the waste illegally across the Borough.

 

Members were informed of the enforcement action undertaken since 2015/16 following a reduction in resources however it was noted that the focus for the staff had been abandoned vehicles, fly tips and waste in back lanes, resulting in an increase in prosecutions of over 150 per cent during 2017/18.

 

Details were provided of the number of fly tips within the Tees Valley with Redcar and Cleveland having the largest number and Stockton the least, however, Middlesbrough had the least number of back lane fly tips.  In relation to prosecutions Darlington had prosecuted considerably more than the other four authorities although Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland had issued more Fixed Penalty Notices.

Particular reference was made to the additional resources of £300,000 allocated to Street Scene as part of the MTFP 2018/19 which would be divided between street cleaning and grounds maintenance.  Additional Street cleaning resources would provide mechanical sweeping, back lane cleansing, litter picking, litter bin emptying and responsive work as well as additional street cleaning staff.  As a result, back lanes particularly in the problem areas are to be cleansed a minimum of once a week. 

 

Scrutiny Committee was also advised that a new Community Safety Unit was to be established to operate between the hours of 8am to 9/10pm.  The Unit is to include a new function of Civic Enforcement covering nuisance parking, civil parking enforcement, environmental crime, focussing on fly tipping, waste out in back lanes, abandoned vehicles and addressing incidents of anti-social behaviour.  The Unit will provide additional resources to undertake enforcement in relation to environmental crime with up to four Officers always available to prioritise workload and geographical area.

 

Discussion and challenge ensued on the feasibility of licensing traders who advertise house clearance and rubbish disposal services, however, Members were advised that these traders should hold a Waste Carriers Licence which is enforced by the Environment Agency.  All traders can be checked on the Environment Agency website to ensure they have a valid licence prior to members of the public engaging their services.  Work is also ongoing with the Police who regularly stop suspicious vehicles.

 

When asked whether waste was tracked Members were advised that Waste Transfer Orders are used to record a transfer of waste from one party to another.  Details include date, time and place of transfer, the parties involved, the license or permit number of the person receiving the waste and a description of the waste being transferred.  The Orders are signed by the person requesting disposal of the waste and double-signed by the waster operators.  It was also reiterated that it is the responsibility of the public to check that an Order is held by the company being hired to dispose of any waste.

 

Following a question in relation to the number of fly tips for 2017/18 Scrutiny was informed that there had been increased reports due to fortnightly collections as waste was often left for longer periods and that the charges introduced at Drinkfield during 2012 did not result in a significant rise in fly tips.

 

Members were also advised that the Council receives all monies from Fixed Penalty Notices whereas the Courts receive the income from Prosecutions.  Darlington’s approach had always been to prosecute as perpetrators then receive a criminal record and any person who fails to turn up for an interview also breaches Section 110 of the Environment Act.

 

Concerns were expressed that there were hot spot areas which were recognised by rogue traders as places where they could regularly fly tip without facing prosecution however Officers advised that where evidence existed offenders were prosecuted, the additional resources would ensure faster clearing of fly tips and a Data Analyst would be in the newly-established Community Team to determine where problems were persistent and should be able to provide a Ward by Ward breakdown of fly tips.  It was also confirmed that persistent offenders’ previous activities are also taken into consideration by the Courts.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the submitted report be noted.

 

(b) That the future opportunities through the additional resources in Street Scene and Community Safety be noted.

 

(c) That Place Scrutiny Committee continues to support a zero tolerance approach to fly tipping in the Borough.

 

 

 


08/01/2019 - Tees Valley Waste Management Strategy ref: 239    Recommendations Approved

Once consultation is completed, the Tees Valley Joint Waste Management Strategy will be reviewed and then submitted to each Tees Valley Council for adoption.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 08/01/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 11/01/2019

Effective from: 19/01/2019

Decision:

The Cabinet Member with the Leisure and Local Environment Portfolio introduced the report of the Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to adopting the Tees Valley Joint Waste Management Strategy (JWMS) (also previously circulated) following an eight?week consultation period, which closed on 3 December 2018.

 

The submitted report stated that the five Tees Valley Local Authorities were currently developing an outline business case for the options on the future of waste treatment/disposal post 2025 when existing contractual arrangements would come to an end; as part of the process, the JWMS for Tees Valley had been reviewed, refreshed and updated to take account of current policy direction; and that the other four Tees Valley Authorities had also carried out a similar consultation exercise with their residents.

 

Discussion ensued on the impact of implementing the strategy for the residents of the Borough and, in particular, children and young people.

 

RESOLVED – (a)  That the response to the consultation, as detailed in the submitted report, be noted.

 

(b)  That the Joint Waste Management Strategy for Tees Valley, as appended to the submitted report, covering the period 2020 to 2035, be adopted.

 

REASON - The adoption of the Joint Waste Management Strategy will enable the Council to develop its own action plan to deliver the aims and objectives from the strategy.

 

Decision Maker: Place Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 25/10/2018 - Place Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 19/01/2019

Decision:

The Project Director, Local Partnerships gave a PowerPoint Presentation to Scrutiny on the Tees Valley Joint Waste Management Strategy which was currently being developed by the five Tees Valley Local Authorities and which outlined the options for the future waste treatments/disposal post 2025 when the existing contractual arrangements came to an end.  Cabinet had given its approval to enter into consultation on the Joint Waste Management Strategy (JWMS) for the Tees Valley at its meeting held 11 September (Cabinet report also previously circulated).

 

The submitted report stated that the five Tees Valley Authorities were currently developing an Outline Business Case (OBC) for options on future waste treatments and disposal and that the new refreshed JWMS would cover the period from 2020-2035.

 

The Project Director, Local Partnerships gave further details and in doing so outlined the background to Local Partnerships, a joint venture between Local Government Association and HM Treasury and its role to help the public sector to delivery infrastructure projects more effectively and obtain commercial advantage and value for money.

 

In relation to waste management in the Tees Valley, it was reported that recycling and residual waste was collected by the five Tees Valley Councils using a range of different frequencies and systems with 34 per cent of waste being recycled and the remaining residual waste being sent to an energy waste facility for treatment.  In Darlington’s case this was 40 per cent.  Waste flows of the five Tees Valley Authorities were highlighted within the Presentation.

 

Further details were provided on the content of the OBC, including, Strategic Waste Management Objectives; Procurement Strategy and Reference Project; Risk Management; Risk Allocation and Contractual Structures; Project Team and Governance; Sites, Planning and Design; Costs, Budget and Finance; Stakeholder Communications; and Timetable.

 

Particular references were made to the development of the JWMS; collection options modelling; the residual waste options appraisal; and strategic environmental assessment.

 

Scrutiny was informed that the preferred option was adoption of prevention, reuse and recycling initiatives; introduction of high recycling performance collections including separate food waste collections; and a new energy recovery facility with the ability to utilise the heat produced, through the development of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) facility and that systematic approach had been adopted to identify site(s) for future strategic waste infrastructure.

 

The next steps were to undertake an eight week consultation process, financial modelling and stakeholder engagement prior to delivery of the draft OBC in March 2019.

 

Discussion ensued on the life span of the new strategy and whether one facility would be sufficient for the whole of the Tees Valley. 

 

In relation to perspective sites for the facility it was confirmed that the entire Tees Valley had been considered and that three preferred sites had been identified.  It was stated that the sites were in industrial areas and that residents and the environment had to be taken into consideration.  None of the identified sites were in the Borough of Darlington.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the thanks of this Committee be extended to the Project Director for his informative presentation.

 

(b)  That the Project Director be invited to a future meeting of this Scrutiny Committee prior to delivery of the draft outline business case in March 2019.

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Ian Thompson


28/06/2018 - Creative Darlington Capacity ref: 279    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Place Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 28/06/2018 - Place Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 28/06/2018

Decision:

With the prior approval of the Chair to the matter being treated as urgent the Managing Director submitted a report (previously circulated) advising Scrutiny of the current Creative Darlington Board Resources including current spend and future opportunities.

 

The submitted report comprised the developing work of Creative Darlington to date, identified current Creative Darlington Board Resourcing and anticipated future opportunities.  It was stated that Creative Darlington was established following an Arts Enquiry process beginning 2010/11 which explored new ways to maintain a vibrant cultural offer in Darlington. The Council committed a Culture and Heritage budget of £100,000 to support strategic development of arts in 2012/13 and Darlington Partnership committed £60,000 to support the transition of arts activity in Darlington.

 

The Creative Darlington Board which comprises Darlington Borough Council Officers and Members, and other parties from the private, public and voluntary sectors was established in 2011/12 and the Creative Darlington Manager appointed in July 2012.

Creative Darlington has reviewed its strategic priorities and a draft Culture Strategy and action plan has been prepared and will be presented to Cabinet with a request to agree and promote the strategy in 2018/19.  The Council has also committed a Culture and Heritage budget of £101,396 to arts development in 2018/19 which supports Creative Darlington work, including salary and on costs for the Creative Darlington Manager and programme delivery.

 

Particular references were made to emerging opportunities which included extending the development of Darlington’s reputation as a theatre town, creatively exploring Darlington’s railway heritage leading up to 2025 and opportunities for Darlington to contribute to the Tees Valley UK City of Culture 2025 programme.

 

The initial priorities of Creative Darlington were to support the transition of arts activity; develop finance for arts activity in Darlington; maximise the sustainable operation of arts assets in Darlington; and audience development.

 

Details were provided of arts activity support which included management of a budget for the Bridge Centre for Visual Arts building which is now managed by an independent charity; management of the OpenArt Studio programme, an arts and well-being programme focused on adults which concluded in 2015/16; management of the exhibitions programme at Crown Street Library which held its first of 51 exhibitions on 17 May 2012 attracting 126,411 visits, at an average of 2,479 visits per exhibition; management of the Borough Art Collection; and management of a new exhibition programme at Darlington Town Hall where a total of 22 individuals and groups have delivered exhibitions from 14 July 2014 to 19 May 2018.

 

The Developing Finance for Arts Activity in Darlington scheme was introduced between 2013 and 2016 whereby individuals and groups could apply for support.  Successful proposals were awarded support conditional to them securing additional finance from other sources and approximately £3 of additional finance for arts activity in Darlington was secured for every £1 of Council strategic arts development budget allocated.

 

To support the development of strategically important arts assets a number of Maximising Arts Assets awards were made to particular organisations or services, to support time limited development activity rather than programme.  Recipients of Maximising Arts Assets awards included Darlington for Culture (for website and membership offer), Darlington Hippodrome (to inform heritage programme development), Humantics CIC (structure and fundraising), ODDMANOUT (structure and brand/website development) and Theatre Hullabaloo (supporting the development of their successful capital programme proposal to Arts Council England).

 

Creative Darlington also supported a proportion of the research and development and promotion costs for the introduction of a website by The Northern Echo through which individuals, enterprises, groups and organisations could promote eligible cultural activity in Darlington for free.  Programmes which secured profile for Darlington’s cultural offer at local, regional or national levels were also supported and included Festival of Thrift; The Jabberwocky Market; Darlington Arts Festival; IncludFEST Darlington in 2015 and IncludFEST Tees Valley in 2016 and 2017; and Blue Cabin Director Jenny Young to deliver the Head, Heart, Hands Darlington project from April 2016-April 2017 which aimed to create an arts and cultural strategy for looked after children and the adults in their lives.

 

Creative Darlington commissioned a review of its structure and allocation of resources in 2015/16 which resulted in a greater focus of resources on strategic priorities and less focus on direct delivery.  Creative Darlington extended its remit to the arts, culture and creative work around heritage, and recruited additional board members to reflect this. 

 

Following withdrawal of the Developing Finance for Arts Activity open application scheme, Darlington for Culture’s small arts grants programme was launched in 2017.  Although the final decision is made by Darlington for Culture the Creative Darlington Manager assesses, and makes recommendations on, proposals seeking support.

 

Although The Bridge is operated by an independent Charity, Creative Darlington has responsibility for the Council’s Borough Art Collection; managing the exhibitions programme at Crown Street Library and the Town Hall Exhibition space; managing delivery of programmes in receipt of external funding including the Heritage on Track programme; and assessing applications to Darlington for Culture’s small arts grant programme.

 

Details were provided of Creative Darlington’s strategic work which included supporting sector development; representing Darlington in various Arts and Culture regional and local meetings; facilitating the Creative Darlington Partnership; and commissioning activity for Festivals and Events in Darlington.

 

Following a review of priorities the Creative Darlington Board now has Darlington as a theatre town; creative exploration of Darlington’s railway heritage; Darlington’s contribution to a successful Tees Valley UK City of Culture programme in 2025; and an excellent, inclusive and accessible cultural offer combining public events, festivals and programmes and targeted activity as its strategic priorities up to 2025.

 

The proposed Culture Strategy priorities were included following consultation and align with priorities within the Experience Darlington Visitor Economy Strategy 2016 - 2026.  The draft Culture Strategy is expected to be presented for Cabinet approval in 2018/19.

 

Funding of £10,000 received from Creative Darlington and a Council Grant of £65,000 from Arts Council for England have supported a variety of theatre activity within the Town leading up to the opening of Darlington Hippodrome and Theatre Hullabaloo.  The Council has confirmed a Culture and Heritage budget of £101,396 for 2018/19, £103,033 in 2019/20 and £103,712 in 2020/21 to support arts development and progress Creative Darlington work.

 

Future requirements and opportunities were highlighted in the submitted report and included considerable progress against the Theatre Town priority building on the ‘pioneering’ work of Theatre Hullabaloo and supporting the developing profile of The Hullabaloo as a national centre of excellence; work around the creative exploration of railway heritage and the approaching bi-centenary of the first modern railway passenger journey which is expected to be a cultural event of national and international significance; leading the Heritage on Track programme, which is one part of the Tees Valley Combined Authority led Greater Tees programme; commissioning original work marking the countdown to the bi-centenary event in 2025 which enhance the public realm and strengthen Darlington’s profile as a railway town, particularly around key rail heritage sites and stations within Darlington; and development of the UK City of Culture 2025 alongside other Tees Valley local authorities.

 

Following a question it was reported that the Darlington Cultural Volunteers formed a partnership between the Hippodrome and Darlington Creative Board and were an excellent asset of 60 volunteers who undertake a broad spectrum of work and support many events such as IncludFest. 

 

Discussion ensued on the Council’s involvement with The Majestic Theatre; relocation of the Festival of Thrift; and other Festivals promoting the economy and cultural offer of the Town.  It was also stated that the Creative Darlington Manager now had more opportunity to engage with Tees Valley Combined Authority, focussing on a smaller number of priorities for a larger budget and providing core heater events that will be more sustainable.

 

The Creative Darlington Manager also advised that the Tees Valley Combined Authority recognised the importance of engaging school children and college and university students and in doing so stated that there was dedicated capacity to work with children at the Museum, Library Service and Hullaballoo.  Durham Music Service played a key role and the Head of Education and Inclusion now sat on the Creative Darlington Board alongside Culture Bridge North East, an organisation that connected cultural organisations and the education sector so that children and young people can have access to great arts and excellent cultural opportunities.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the report be noted.

 

(b) That this Scrutiny Committee welcomes and supports the activities of Creative Darlington.

 

(c) That a further report be submitted in twelve months’ time detailing the work of Creative Darlington.

 


13/09/2018 - Performance Indicators Quarter 1 - 2018/19 ref: 271    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 13/09/2018 - Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 13/09/2018

Decision:

The Managing Director submitted a report (previously circulated) to provide Members with performance data against key performance indicators for 2018/19 at Quarter 1.

 

The submitted report provided performance information in line with an indicator set and Scrutiny Committee distribution agreed by Monitoring and Coordination Group on 4 June 2018, and subsequently by Scrutiny Committee chairs. The submitted report stated that the ten reportable indicators were aligned with key priorities and that the majority were used to monitor the Corporate Plan 2017/21.

Members entered into discussion on how complaints were processed before being forwarded to the Ombudsman, any financial implications relating to complaints, the percentage collection of Council Tax in year and the work conducted to specifically target the unrecovered amount at the end of each financial year.  


RESOLVED – (a) That the performance information provided in this report is reviewed and noted, and that relevant queries be raised with appropriate Assistant Directors.

 

(b) That a more detailed report be submitted to this Committee outlining the recovery levels and on-going work associated with the collection of outstanding Council Tax at the end of each financial year.


12/07/2018 - Revenue Budget Monitoring 2018/19 - Quarter 1 ref: 269    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 12/07/2018 - Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 12/07/2018

Decision:

The Managing Director submitted a report (previously circulated) advising Members of the quarter 1 revenue budget monitoring report 2018/19.

 

It was reported that the Council’s projected revenue reserves at the end of 2018/19 were £16.445 million, £0.955 million more than the initial 2018-22 MTFP position and included a brought forward amount of £0.530 million from 2017-18 and the rebasing exercise of £0.425 million.  Of those reserves, it was reported that there was a risk reserve balance of £4.330 million and a commitment to use £11.134 million to support the 2018-22 MTFP, leaving £0.981 million one-off funding to support the general fund moving forward.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be received.


12/07/2018 - Revenue Outturn 2017-18 ref: 268    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 12/07/2018 - Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 12/07/2018

Decision:

The Managing Director submitted a report (previously circulated) advising Members of the revenue outturn for 2017/18, subject to auditing.

It was reported that the draft year-end position showed an improvement of £0.530 million from the opening balance projections reported in the MTFP 2018/19 to 2021/22, which was mainly due to significant improvements within children and Adult Services.  It was reported that the outturn figures were welcome, especially as a number related to the early delivery of savings which provided a solid base for achieving future year efficiencies.

RESOLVED – That the report be received.


12/07/2018 - Revenue Budget ref: 267    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 12/07/2018 - Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 12/07/2018


12/07/2018 - Performance Indicators Q4 - 2017/18 ref: 266    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 12/07/2018 - Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 12/07/2018

Decision:

The Performance Manager submitted a report (previously circulated) giving an update on performance against those key performance indicators within the remit of this Scrutiny Committee for the period 1 January to 31 March, 2018.~

The submitted report also requested that consideration be given to the proposed indicator set for this Scrutiny Committee for the Municipal Year 2018/19, which had been reviewed for continued relevance and the reporting schedule.

 

RESOLVED – (a)  That the report be received.

 

(b)  That the proposed basket of performance indicators for 2018/19, together with the reporting schedule, be agreed.


12/07/2018 - Procurement ref: 265    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 12/07/2018 - Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 12/07/2018

Decision:

The Head of Procurement and Principal Lawyer (Commercial)gave a presentation on the process and procedures in place within the Authority in relation to procurement.

 

The presentation covered the legal and contractual obligations, the internal and EU thresholds, the role of the Procurement Board, compliance and monitoring of the agreed processes, existing frameworks, documentation, spend information and social value in Procurement.
 

Discussion ensued on the role of the Procurement Board as the main Officer decision-making forum for procurement decisions; the involvement of Members in monitoring compliance with the processes and procedures, through the Annual Procurement Plan which was reported to Cabinet and which gave visibility to Members of all existing and new contracts which were over £100,000; the requirement, under the Local Government Transparency Code 2014, to publish all procurements with a value that exceeded £5000 on a Contract Register; the need for all Officers to comply with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules; and the approach in balancing cost and quality when considering tender specifications.

Particular reference was also made to the social value of contracts and it was reported that all local businesses and small and medium enterprises were encouraged to participate in tendering processes and that Officers should use tender procedures which encouraged maximum participation, including preliminary market consultation and the splitting up of contracts into lots that might encourage wider participation.

RESOLVED – That the presentation be noted.


12/07/2018 - Corporate Health and Safety Report 2017/18 ref: 264    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 12/07/2018 - Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 12/07/2018

Decision:

The Managing Director submitted a report (previously circulated) updating Members on the Authority’s performance in relation to health and safety for the financial year 2017/18, which, overall, showed an improvement on the previous year.

It was reported that health and safety continued to be a high priority for the Authority and the main focus for the year had, again, been to continue to embed the health and safety management system and improve health compliance.

 

A full review of the Corporate Health and Safety Policy had also been undertaken, which reflected the commitment of elected Members and senior management to health and safety within the organisation and that the Council’s General Statement of Intent poster had also been updated and was displayed at various locations throughout the organisation.

 

Discussion ensued on how verbal abuse and threatening behaviour, including on-line abuse towards both staff and Members was managed, and it was reported that the Employee Protection Register contained details of any individual who may present a potential threat to the safety of an employee, that operating procedures had been reviewed and additional response arrangements had been put in place at all customer facing receptions and that, in certain circumstances, additional action could be taken.

 

Reference was also made to security arrangements within Council buildings and the need to ensure that all staff and Members wore their ID badges at all times when working and it was suggested that there should be a ‘Council’ standard lanyard, which was easily identifiable.

RESOLVED – That the report be received.


13/09/2018 - Employee Survey Results 2018 ref: 270    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 13/09/2018 - Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 13/09/2018

Decision:

The Managing Director submitted a report (previously circulated) to present the results of the Employee Survey 2018.

 

The submitted report outlined that all employees, including casuals, had been invited to complete the Employee Survey between 6 February and 18 April 2018, via either Survey Monkey or in hard copy format. The submitted report stated that the last full Employee Survey had been conducted in 2014, and, where applicable, comparisons had been drawn between the two surveys, and noted the positive direction of travel across all themes.

 

Members agreed that this was a pleasing report and welcomed the positive direction of travel in all of the five key themes. Members were also pleased to note the improved, and comparatively high, response rate.

 

RESOLVED – That the Employee Survey Results and the next phase of progressing the results and outcome of the workforce’s views be noted.


13/09/2018 - Capital Projects, Controls and Procurement ref: 272    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 13/09/2018 - Efficiency and Resources Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 13/09/2018

Decision:

The Assistant Director, Housing and Building Services, Assistant Director, Transport and Capital Projects, and the Head of Capital Projects, gave a presentation which provided an overview of the control processes in place within the capital project methodology and the procurement process within projects, including the three levels of control, with a focus on the corporate processes and the project specific procedures.

 

Members entered into discussion on the management systems in place for capital projects, the involvement of Members in project consultation stages, the need for early analysis to identify anticipated outcomes and benefit cost ratio, the mechanisms in place for quality assurance, and Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) thresholds. 

 

RESOLVED – That the presentation be noted


11/09/2018 - Performance Indicators Quarter 1 - 2018/19 ref: 258    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 11/09/2018 - Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 11/09/2018

Decision:

The Managing Directorsubmitted a report (previously circulated) providing Members with an update on performance against those key performance indicators for 2018/19 at Quarter 1

 

In relation to the Adult Social Care targets, the submitted report gave the performance position in relation to 10 key performance indicator and in relation to Housing Services Quarter 1 performance against six key indicators was reported; two Adult social Care indicators are reported annually and therefore data for these two indicators was not included in the report at this time.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be received.

 


30/10/2018 - Darlington Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board Annual Report 2017-18 ref: 253    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 30/10/2018 - Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 30/10/2018

Decision:

The Director of Children and Adult Services submitted a report (previously circulated) together with the Annual Report 2017-18 of the Darlington Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board (DSAPB) (also previously circulated).

The submitted report outlined the requirement for the DSAPB to produce an Annual Report which outlined its activities over the previous year and which made an assessment of the effectiveness of multi-agency safeguarding arrangements within the local area and the independent Chair of the Board, Ann Baxter, gave an overview of the key messages and challenges faced.

The report set out the progress against the six key principles, as outlined in the Care Act 2014 as the strategic aims to support good inter-agency Adult Safeguarding and discussion ensued on the challenges faced by the Board in relation to the increased demand for services, within the context of reduced resources and the impact the changes to be brought by the Children and Social Work Act 2017, may have on adult safeguarding.

 

Particular reference was made to a piece of work which had been undertaken whereby all partner agencies had been required to do a self-audit of their safeguarding practices which had then been moderated by other partner members, and it was reported that this had worked well and the outcomes had been positive.

Discussion ensued on the future funding arrangements for the Board and the financial contribution statutory partners were required to make,  together with the valuable contribution and commitment the Fire Authority made to safeguarding, albeit they were not statutory partners

Reference was also made to the work undertaken to develop a multi-agency data set

which would provide assurance that agencies were working in partnership and were fulfilling their statutory roles in accordance with the Care Act 2014.  The use of this data would also determine whether issues needed to be highlighted.

 

Members sought reassurance on safeguarding issues around adults in their own homes and it was accepted that this was a more difficult area to give assurance as they were more vulnerable because they were not in a structured and controlled environment, however, the Board had not seen a rise in issues within a community setting.  Following a question by a Member in relation to BME communities, the Independent Chair reported that the level of concerns raised within Darlington were not proportionate to its population.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be received and the thanks of this Scrutiny Committee be extended to Ann Baxter for attending the meeting.

 


30/10/2018 - Adult Social Care Transformation Programme ref: 256    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 30/10/2018 - Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 30/10/2018

Decision:

The Director of Children and Adult Services submitted a report (previously circulated) updating Members on the progress of the Adult Social Care Transformation Programme, which had been developed to modernise service and meet future demands and address pressures within that service area.


It was reported that the programme was progressing well with work in a number of areas complete and many more nearing completion and that the programme was regularly reviewed with new work added and the scope of existing pieces of work widened as applicable.

Particular references were made to the project in relation to Vane House and it was reported that work was being undertaken to establish the options available to deliver the best offer in relation to sensory impairment and how best that offer could be supported, the location of the first point of contact to Adult Social Care services and the work being undertaken to prepare for winter pressures.

RESOLVED – That the report be received.

 


30/10/2018 - Non-Residential Charging Policy Consultation ref: 257    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 30/10/2018 - Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 30/10/2018

Decision:

The Director of Children and Adult Services submitted a report (previously circulated) advising Members of a report being considered by Cabinet at its meeting scheduled to be held on 6November 2018, in relation to the Council’s charging policy relating to Non-Residential Services in respect of the treatment of income from eligible benefits.

It was reported that the current policy, approved by Cabinet in 2016, stated that the Council must treat eligible benefits as income when considering what a person could afford to pay towards their care from their income, however, guidance and associated Regulations stated that Councils may have discretion about the treatment of these benefits when completing a financial assessment and it was this element that had been the subject of a four-week public consultation exercise.


The Assistant Director Adult Social Care reported that Cabinet was being recommended to continue to take the income received from benefits into account when completing a financial assessment as to exclude these benefits would have a significant financial impact on the Authority and that, as the previous Fairer Charging Policy and the incorrectly approved current policy did take income from benefits into account, applied assessments of individual contributions would not change and individuals would not be impacted further by the decision to continue to do this. 

It was reported that the Policy was a framework document to be implemented, however, any specific exceptional individual needs and circumstances could be addressed on a case by case basis.

RESOLVED – That the report be received.

 


30/10/2018 - Quality Standards Monitoring Outcomes 2018-19 (Year 6) Agreement for the Provision of Residential Care for Adults and Older People and Older People with Mental Health Problems 2013-19 ref: 255    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 30/10/2018 - Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 30/10/2018

Decision:

TheDirector of Children and Adult Services submitted a report (previously circulated) updating Members on the outcome of the monitoring visits of those care homes contracting with the Council.

 

The submitted report outlined the requirement, under the Authority’s Agreement for the Provision of Residential Care for Adults and Older People with a Mental Health Problem, for its Contract Officers to visit all contracted care homes for older people on an annual basis between April and June to monitor the care home against the agreed quality standard, which, along with the home’s environmental grade, determined the fee level for the coming year.  The level of compliance was then graded A – C with A achieving all ten standards and C with eight standards or less fully met.

It was reported that, overall, of the 18 homes visited, 12 had maintained the same grade as last year, four had increased and two had decreased and that there had been an increase in the homes achieving an A grade, however, three previously C homes had not improved. 

Following questions by Members, it was reported that written feedback would be given to providers and action plans would be required from each of the homes to address any shortfalls and that the homes graded C would be monitored again by the Contracts Section against their outcomes and action plans in November/December 2018.

 

Discussion ensued on the evidence that changes in management within care homes, with multiple managers being in a care home in any one year or significant gaps between managers did result in a dip in standards; the work of the Contract and Brokerage team to provide support and assistance, the difficulties encountered by homes in finding a relevant course to meet the required learning and development plan standard; and the outcome in relation to management of medication.

 

Reference was made to the standard in relation to nutrition and Members noted that all homes had passed this standard which was reassuring following the work it had previously undertaken around this.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be received.


30/10/2018 - Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards - Update ref: 254    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 30/10/2018 - Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 30/10/2018

Decision:

The Director of Children and Adult Services submitted a report (previously circulated) updating Members on the impact of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) on the Authority.

The submitted report outlined the background to the introduction of the DoLS, which had come into force in England and Wales on 1 April 2009, as amendments to the Mental Capacity Health Act 2007 and in response to a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, which found that, legally, adequate protection was not given to people who lacked mental capacity to consent to care or treatment and who required some restrictions on the liberty to keep them safe.

 

Reference was made to the continued demand on the authority in term of the high number of requests being received, however, the Assistant Director Adult Social Care, reported that additional resources had been provided to ensure that the Council met its statutory obligations and that the reliance on independent Best Interest Assessors had been reduced, with the Council employing its own Assessors and training existing staff.

Following a question by a Member, it was reported that Darlington had a good record of ensuring that its DoLS were in place to meet statutory requirements, however, there was currently a slight backlog.

RESOLVED – That the report be received and that a further report on any proposed changes to the DoLS scheme be submitted to this Committee.

 


11/09/2018 - Advocacy Services ref: 263    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 11/09/2018 - Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 11/09/2018

Decision:

The Director of Children and Adult Services submitted a report (previously circulated) to provide details of the advocacy arrangements within Adult Social Care Services.

 

The authority is under a statutory duty to provide independent advocacy services for people with adult social care needs who need care and support and a new contract for the provision of these statutory services within Darlington was awarded to Darlington Association on Disability (DAD) on 1 April 2018.

 

The submitted report outlined the Council’s duty under the Care Act 2014; the new arrangements with DAD and monitoring information provided by DAD in respect of advocacy activities in the contract April to June 2018; along with the Advocacy Charter and Code of Practice DAD adheres to.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the advocacy services commissioned by the Council to support individuals with adult social care needs be noted.

 

(b) That the monitoring information provided by Darlington Association on Disability in respect of advocacy services during 1 April 2018 to June 2018 be noted.

 


11/09/2018 - Support to Carers ref: 262    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 11/09/2018 - Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 11/09/2018

Decision:

The Director of Children and Adult Services submitted a report (previously circulated) to provide an update on the operation of the Darlington Carers Support contract and the recently published National Carers Action Plan 2018-20.

 

It was reported that the Darlington Carers Support contract has been in place since 1 May 2017 offering a range of support and was performing well with 850 carers on the register being in support of the service.

 

The National Carers Action Plan 2018-20 was published on 5 June 2018 and sets out the cross-government programme of work to support carers over the next two years.  It was reported that Darlington was well placed to develop a response to the newly published Action Plan which will build on and expand work that was already in progress.  Darlington’s response will be co-produced and carer’s views will be sought during the process.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the report be noted.

 

(b) That the updated Darlington Carers Action Plan is shared with Members following its completion.

 


11/09/2018 - Better Care Fund ref: 261    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 11/09/2018 - Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 11/09/2018

Decision:

The Director of Children and Adults Services submitted a report (previously circulated) to update Members on the delivery of the 2017-2019 Better Care Fund submitted and associated plans and the updated guidance received in July 2018 in respect of the second year of the plan; and to provide a short glossary of terms used across health and adult social care.

 

The submitted report outlined the seven broad workstreams of the plan to support the delivery of the Better Care Fund in the priority areas; the additional grant funding to Adult Social Care which will be used to offset expenditure on current pressures and demand to ensure sustainability while the service undergoes transformation; and provided a summary of the 2017/18 quarter 4 (year end) monitoring requirements to ensure that Darlington complies with the national conditions attached to the Better Care Fund.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 


11/09/2018 - Quad of Aims ref: 260    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 11/09/2018 - Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 11/09/2018

Decision:

The Managing Director submitted a report (previously circulated) to give conside The Managing Director submitted a report (previously circulated) to give consideration to a request received from a Member of this Scrutiny Committee for a task and finish review in relation to Universal Credit to be added to its work programme.

 

The request to undertake a piece of work to gauge the initial impact of the roll out of Universal Credit in Darlington; and the agreed procedure taking into account the views of the Assistant Director, Adults and Housing were also submitted with the report.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That this item be included on the work programme of this Scrutiny Committee.

 

(b) That Councillors Kane, Knowles, Lister and Mills sit on the task and finish review.

 


11/09/2018 - Update ref: 259    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Made at meeting: 11/09/2018 - Adults and Housing Scrutiny Committee

Decision published: 16/01/2019

Effective from: 11/09/2018

Decision:

The Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services submitted a report (previously circulated) to provide Members with an update on the roll-out of Universal Credit in Darlington and the potential impact on residents and Council services.

 

It was reported that Universal Credit was replacing a number of existing means tested benefits for working age people, including Housing Benefit administered by the Council and began to roll out in Darlington in November 2015.   The full roll-out commenced on 20 June 2018 so most working people making a new claim to benefit or reporting a significant change in their circumstances will now claim Universal Credit.

 

There are a number of measures and sources of advice and support in place to help residents to claim Universal Credit successfully and these were also detailed in the submitted report.

 

It was noted that implementation of Universal Credit had been successful in Darlington with the support of the Job Centre and the Department for Works and Pensions and the Chair acknowledged the hard work of all staff putting in place support for residents.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 


08/01/2019 - Permit System to Manage and Coordinate Roadworks ref: 240    Recommendations Approved

To seek permission to consult on the introduction of a Permit Scheme for the coorindation and management of roadworks.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 08/01/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 11/01/2019

Effective from: 19/01/2019

Decision:

The Cabinet Member with the Leisure and Local Environment Portfolio introduced the report of the Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to developing a Permit Scheme and consulting on the proposed scheme to improve the management, coordination and operation of road works.

 

The submitted report stated that under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and the Traffic Management Act (TMA) 2004, all highways authorities had a duty to effectively coordinate all activities on the highway to ensure the safe and expeditious movement of traffic, pedestrians and vulnerable road users; the Council currently managed the coordination of roadworks through a noticing system; the TMA 2004 allowed highway authorities to introduce a permit scheme; outlined the key features, benefits and feasibility of introducing a permit scheme; and the financial and legal implications.

 

Discussion ensued on the additional controls available on roadworks available through the introduction of the permit system.

 

RESOLVED – (a)  That the development of a Permit Scheme and the consultation on the proposed scheme to improve the management, coordination and operation of road works, be approved.

 

(b)  That a further report be considered by Cabinet upon the completion of feasibility and consultation to include the business case, resource requirements and to agree the detail of the scheme to be implemented, including the level of charges.

 

REASONS – (a)  To fulfil duties under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991(NRSWA) and the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA).

 

(b)  Improve the management and coordination of roadworks.

 

(c)  Comply with requests from the Secretary of State to introduce a Permit Scheme.

 

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Lead officer: Steve Pryke


08/01/2019 - Strategic Sites Development Programme - Darlington Town Centre ref: 241    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 08/01/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 11/01/2019

Effective from: 19/01/2019

Decision:

The Cabinet Member with Economy and Regeneration Portfolio introduced the report of the Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services (previously circulated) providing an update to Members on emerging high-level thoughts and the future development of proposals that will encourage further investment on key strategic sites in Darlington Town Centre that would complement and supports the work and actions outlined in the Town Centre Footfall Strategy report agreed by Cabinet in July 2018 (Minute C33/Jul/18 refers).

 

The submitted report stated since the Town Centre Footfall Strategy had been produced the landscape of retail and commerce within the town centres across the UK had changed; the threat to the country’s high streets had been acknowledged by the Government which had announced a £675M Future High Street Fund as part of the 2018 budget; given the changes to both the environment of the high street and changes to peoples’ shopping habits there was a need for all towns to develop plans that had business investment at their heart and were focussed on transforming them into a community hub incorporating health, housing, arts, education, entertainment, leisure, business/office space and retail; and that Darlington’s Town Centre continued to retain a high proportion of top national retailers with a strong representation from independent retailers.

 

Discussion ensued on the outdoor Market and on the Yards, and in particular, on how to advertise the shops and businesses that were located in the Yards.

 

RESOLVED – (a)  That the report be noted,

 

(b)  That the ongoing position which officers are developing, as detailed in the submitted report, that will lead to further private sector development, be supported.

 

(c)  That the key Town Centre development areas that were appropriate for consideration, be agreed, namely:-

 

                         (i)    Victorian Indoor Market;

                       (ii)    Skinnergate and the Yards and Wynds;

                      (iii)    Northgate; and

                      (iv)    Crown Street.

(d)  That further reports be brought back to future Cabinet meetings to update on progress.

 

REASONS – (a)  To ensure that the strategic sites detailed in the report are addressed to improve the attractiveness and vitality of the Town Centre.

 

(b)  Suitable alternative uses of sites are pursued to support the actions detailed in the Darlington Town Centre Footfall Strategy (2018).

 

(c)  To contribute to the further economic wellbeing and vitality of the Town Centre.

 


08/01/2019 - Annual Audit Letter 2017/18 ref: 238    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 08/01/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 11/01/2019

Effective from: 19/01/2019

Decision:

The Leader and Cabinet Member with the Efficiency and Resources Portfolio introduced the report of the Managing Director (previously circulated) presenting the Annual Audit Letter for 2017/18 (also previously circulated).

 

The Annual Audit Letter provided a high level summary of the results from the 2017/18 audit work undertaken by Ernst and Young LLP (EY), the Council’s external auditors; confirmed that the Council’s accounts gave a true and fair view for the year ending 31 March 2018; and that the Council had put in place proper arrangements to secure value for money in uses of its resources.

 

A representative from Ernst and Young LLP (EY), presented the main findings from the Annual Audit Letter 2017/18 and stated that, the Council had been issued with an unqualified audit opinion.

 

RESOLVED – That the Annual Audit Letter, as appended to the submitted report, be noted. 

 

REASON - To enable Cabinet to receive the results of the external audit work carried out.

 

 


08/01/2019 - Land at Neasham Road - Proposed New Housing Development - Disposal of Sites ref: 243    Recommendations Approved

Disposal of sites and proposed new housing development - land at Neasham Road

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 08/01/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 11/01/2019

Effective from: 19/01/2019

Decision:

The Cabinet Member with the Economy and Regeneration Portfolio introduced the report of the Director of Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services (previously circulated) reporting the progress made following the acquisition of the land at Neasham Road; requesting that consideration be given to engaging the services of Esh Homes Limited to facilitate an early planning application for the site and incur the associated costs; and seeking in principle approval to dispose of part of the site to the Esh Joint Venture and part of the site to a Registered Provider, with detailed terms being reported back to Cabinet in the future.

 

The submitted report outlined the background to the proposals; the land and property advice received; proposed fees and costs of planning application; legal and financial implications; and the risks associated with the proposals.

 

RESOLVED – (a)  That the costs identified in Appendix 2 of the submitted report and the release of the funding necessary to appoint Esh and the relevant providers to undertake the specified work required to submit the planning application, be approved, with the costs to be funded from the Economic Growth Investment Fund.

 

(b)  That the in principle disposal of part of the site to the Esh/Council formed Joint Venture Company and part to a Registered Provider with terms to be reported to Cabinet in due course, be agreed.

 

(c)  That the Assistant Director – Law and Governance be authorised to execute the necessary documents to facilitate future development.

 

REASONS – (a)  To provide a site capable of contributing to the delivery of Council Housing Stock and other affordable/social homes to satisfy the Borough’s housing need.

 

(b)  To achieve a capital receipt for the Council from a private developer as well as securing funding from Homes England and increased Council Tax receipts from approx. 450 new homes.

 

Wards affected: Eastbourne; Hurworth;

Lead officer: Ian Williams


08/01/2019 - Delivery of New Homes at Middleton St George - Joint Venture Proposal ref: 242    Recommendations Approved

To approve the establishment of a Joint Venture Company which will provide the infrastructure build and sale of homes in Middleton St George, under the company name Middleton St George JV Limited and to seek approval to acquire the land at Middleton St George for residential development, through the Councils Joint Venture arrangements

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 08/01/2019 - Cabinet

Decision published: 11/01/2019

Effective from: 19/01/2019

Decision:

The Leader and Cabinet Member with the Efficiency and Resources Portfolio introduced the report of the Managing Director (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to approving the establishment of a Joint Venture Company to provide the infrastructure build and sale of homes in Middleton St George, under the company name Middleton St George Joint Venture Limited.

 

The submitted report stated that a Joint Venture Company had already been established with Esh Homes Ltd to build and sell homes at Eastbourne; the site at Middleton St George was owned by a third party and the Joint Venture (JV) partner had negotiated terms to acquire the site with planning permission being obtained for the development of 55 homes; outlined the JV proposal; the two main areas of risk on the expected return; the financial implications; mitigations in place to minimise risk; outcome of consultation; and the legal advice received.

 

RESOLVED – (a)  That the establishment of the Joint Venture Company to acquire land, deliver, build and sell up to 55 new private sale and affordable homes at Middleton St George, as detailed in the submitted report, be approved.

 

(b)  That £4.7m from the Investment Fund, be approved, to fund the Joint Venture Company, financed by prudential borrowing, subject to a first Legal Charge in favour of the Council over the land acquired by the Joint Venture Company together with a Guarantee from the Joint Venture Partner in respect of 50 per cent of the loan sum.

 

(c)  That the Joint Venture Agreement be approved and authority be delegated to the Managing Director to finalise the establishment of the Joint Venture Company in line with the terms, as set out in the submitted report, and supporting Development Appraisal and Cashflows annexed at Appendix 2 (Part III) of the submitted report.

 

(d)  That the Assistant Director – Resources (CFO), the Assistant Director Housing and Building Services and the Assistant Director Law and Governance be appointed to act as directors in the Joint Venture Company as part of its Executive Board.

 

(e)  That the Joint Venture be funded from prudential borrowing from the Capital Investment Fund.

 

REASONS – (a)  To assist in the delivery of the Economic Strategy by speeding up the building of new homes.

 

(b)  To assist in the delivery of the Housing Strategy by enabling the building of fifty houses for private sale and five affordable housing properties. 

 

(c)  To deliver income for the Council. 

 

Wards affected: Sadberge and Middleton St. George;

Lead officer: Sarah Hutchinson