Agendas, Meetings and Minutes - Agenda and draft minutes

Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: County Hall, Worcester

Contact: Simon Lewis  Committee Officer

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

Available papers

The members had before them:

 

A.    The Agenda papers (previously circulated);

 

B.    6 questions submitted to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services (previously circulated); and

 

C.   The Minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2019 (previously circulated).

Additional documents:

2073.

Apologies and Declaration of Interests (Agenda item 1)

To receive apologies and invite any councillor to declare any interest in any of the items on the agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

An apology was received from Mr C B Taylor.

 

Mr L C R Mallett declared an interest in Agenda item 6 - Notice of Motion 3 as his employer had campaigned against hospital car parking charges.

 

Dr C Hotham declared a DPI in Agenda item 6 - Notice of Motion 3 as his wife was a GP and could gain financially from hospital car parking charges and did not participate in this item.

2074.

Public Participation (Agenda item 2)

To allow a member of the public to present a petition, or ask a question relating to the functions of the Council, or to make a comment on any matter on the agenda.

 

Members of the public wishing to take part should notify the Head of Legal and Democratic Services in writing or by e-mail indicating both the nature and content of their proposed participation no later than 9.00am on the working day before the meeting (in this case 13 February 2019). Further details are available on the Council’s website. Enquiries can also be made through the telephone number/e-mail address listed below.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mr M E Jenkins presented a petition on behalf of Ms Marjory Bisset in relation to the improved safety for road users at the junction of Astwood Road and Bilford Road, Worcester by installing a pedestrian crossing and redesigning the junction.

 

Mr M Regan commented on the proposal to establish an Archives and Archaeology Working Group.

 

The Chairman thanked all the public participants for their contribution and said they would receive a written reply from the relevant Cabinet Member.

2075.

Minutes (Agenda item 3)

To approve as a correct record and authorise the signing of the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2019 (previously circulated electronically).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 January 2019 be confirmed as correct record and signed by the Chairman.

2076.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 4)

To receive any announcements to be made by the Chairman.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Noted.

2077.

Reports of Cabinet - Matters which require a decision by Council - 2019/20 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan Update 2019-22 (Agenda item 5) pdf icon PDF 131 KB

To consider the reports of the Cabinet and to receive answers to any questions asked on those reports as follows:

 

a)    Reports of Cabinet – Matters which require a decision (Yellow pages); and

b)    Report of Cabinet – Summary of decisions taken (White pages).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a detailed report on the 2019/20 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan Update 2019-22, which the Cabinet had considered on 31 January 2019 and which the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet were recommending for adoption by the Council.

 

All Councillors had received or had access to the full report and Appendices considered by the Cabinet on 31 January 2019.

 

The Leader introduced the report and moved the recommendation as set out in paragraph 1 of the report; this was seconded by Mr A I Hardman. The Leader explained that the key themes of the budget included: protection of the most vulnerable children and adults in society; maintaining a highways network; supporting economic growth through projects that improved infrastructure, tackled congestion and enhanced connectivity; and creating the Council for the future through re-examining contracts and reforming the way the Council worked to ensure that it was fit and effective for the future. All these themes underpinned the Council’s Corporate Plan “Shaping Worcestershire for the Future” and reflected the priorities of the public.

 

The backdrop to the budget was a county that continued to thrive with a strong economy, high levels of employment and a great environment that provided a good quality of life and a high satisfaction rating for Worcestershire as a place to live. This helped the Council’s budget as income continued to grow with the net budget growing from £324m to £330m in the next financial year as a result of increased Council Tax and business rates from new homes and businesses. The new 75% business rates pilot would mean that a further £4.8m of resources would remain in the county.

 

However income was not keeping pace with demand-led services as a result of the cost of Adult Social Care increasing as more adults and children needed support and an aging population living longer.

 

The budget delivered a £14.1m increase for Adult Social Care for existing pressures and future demand. It continued to develop the Three Conversations Model. Children’s Services would receive £7.8m which was on top of the £5m received last year for safeguarding placements for the most vulnerable in society. 70% of the total budget would be spent on the most vulnerable members of society.

 

To reflect the views of the public, the planned reduction to the highways budget had been removed from the budget. £3m had been set aside for open for business initiatives, £2.8 to deliver the next set of transport schemes, £2.8m for the evolving infrastructure fund, £23m for capital investment/regional infrastructure across the county. These schemes supported housing developments and economic growth that increased prosperity and income for residents in the county. Schemes included: £5m towards talking congestion; £5m towards rail station upgrades/parking; £4m towards the next range of economic game changer sites: £4m towards walking/cycling; £2.5 towards the next phase of town centre improvements; and £2.5 towards highways capital issues.

 

The key element of the budget was the redesign of the Council, including an examination  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2077.

2078.

Reports of Committee - Summary of decisions taken (Agenda item 5)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported the following topics and questions were answered on them:

 

·         School Admissions Policy for Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools, Academic Year 2020/21

·         Worcestershire Passenger Transport Review and Strategy Development.

2079.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 1 - Works carried out under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (Agenda item 6) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

To receive the report of the Head of Legal and Democratic Services on any Notices of Motion received by him (Lilac pages).

 

Councillors are asked to note that any Notices of Motion must be received by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services no later than noon on Tuesday, 5 February 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a Notice of Motion set out in the agenda papers standing in the names of Mr M J Hart, Mr A D Kent, Mrs J A Brunner, Mr G R Brookes Mrs E A Eyre, Mr A Stafford, Mr P A Tuthill.

 

The motion was moved by Mr A D Kent and seconded by Mr P A Tuthill who both spoke in favour of it, and Council agreed to deal with it on the day.

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were made:

 

·         Statutory companies gave only a cursory consideration to the needs of local residents and the Council. Statutory companies (or their subcontractors) were digging up newly laid pavement before patching it to a lesser standard and leaving the Council to pay for repairs and failing to keep local residents informed. Health and safety breaches were a regular occurrence. Section 74 notices should be issued where works overrun. There should be supervision during the work and an inspection after completion and any corrections made at the contractor’s expense

·         Examples of poor work by statutory companies included fire hydrants and cable access points being covered by tramac, delays in work being carried out, damage to verges, mud on the road, bus lanes rerouted, pipes dug in the wrong place, holes left in the highway, difficulty in contacting them, unhelpful responses to complaints, unnecessary road closures, and signs and bollards left on site

·         Local businesses were being unnecessarily affected by delays and the poor standard of work being carried out

·         The problems experienced with statutory companies was impacting on the Council’s strategy for investment in growth

·         There was an incorrect assumption that delays were caused by County Council contractors and this had a negative impact on the Council’s reputation

·         The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Highways commented that the Council had the power to ensure that statutory companies made good any or all damage to the highways and leave them in a condition to the standard before the work began. The Council also had the power to do the work itself and recharge them. Statutory companies were liable for the damage they caused and repair work to the required standard. They were also responsible in law for the work of their contractors and sub-contractors. The Council received 300 applications a day for work undertaken by statutory companies. So far, all works had been carried out without the need for the use of remedial powers, although it was a constant battle to get to that point. From 1 April, resources would be available to employ an additional enforcement officer and two extra inspectors

·         The complete lack of planning by developers added to the problem. The Government should be encouraged to increase the fines for poor quality work by statutory companies

·         Parish councils and possibly lengthsmen had an important role in pointing out transgressions by statutory consultees to the Council

·         Given the number of applications for work received from statutory consultees, it was not surprising that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2079.

2080.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 2 - Care Workers (Agenda item 6)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a Notice of Motion set out in the agenda papers standing in the names of Mr R M Udall, Mr R C Lunn, Ms C M Stalker, Ms P A Hill, Mr C J Bloore, and Mr L C R Mallett.

 

The motion was moved by Mr R M Udall and seconded by Mr R C Lunn who both spoke in favour of it, and Council agreed to deal with it on the day.

 

In the ensuing debate, the following points were made:

 

·         The Council needed to break down the negative perception of care workers as being low paid, unskilled with limited career opportunities and promote care work as a career with justifiable rewards. A recent survey of care workers indicated that they were proud of their work and found it rewarding but expressed concerns about a lack of support from employers and heavy workloads. The Council should only use agencies that treated their employees well, paid the living wage and provided career opportunities. Other councils had introduced successful initiatives including positive promotion through Facebook and Twitter and the creation of homecare co-operatives

·         It was important to boost the self-worth of care workers and emphasise the importance of their role

·         The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care commented that it was important for the Council to have the best quality and trained care staff possible. The Council needed to find a way to develop a career pathway for carers i.e into social work or management and not just accepting care work as a role for life. He suggested the establishment of an Overview and Scrutiny Task and Finish Group to look at the development of a career pathway, use of apprenticeships, the establishment of a social work/carers academy, liaison with the University of Worcester and the Council’s role as an employer. The Council did not have a workforce strategy that looked at the skills of the job and recruitment and retention. Value-based recruitment and saturation marketing had proved successful elsewhere in the country. The celebrating carers week in November had mainly focused on unpaid carers but next year this should be expanded to include professional carers

·         Historically, care workers have been female, poorly paid and non-unionised despite the qualifications and learning required to undertake the job. Qualification issues often acted as a block to carers furthering their ambitions

·         It was important to also recognise the role of unpaid volunteer carers.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion was agreed unanimously.

 

RESOLVED "Council acknowledges and respects the 15,000 Worcestershire residents who work in the care industry.  Many more residents are dependent upon their care.  Council asks the Cabinet Member Responsible to consider ways in which their work can be celebrated and encouraged and how more people can consider care work as a viable career option."

2081.

Notices of Motion - Notice of Motion 3 - The impact of NHS car parking charges on on-street parking near hospital sites in Worcestershire (Agenda item 6)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council had before it a Notice of Motion set out in the agenda papers standing in the names of Mr C J Bloore, Mr R M Udall, Mr L C R Mallett, Ms C M Stalker, Ms P A Hill and Mr R C Lunn.

 

The motion was moved by Mr C J Bloore and seconded by Ms P A Hill who both spoke in favour of it, and Council agreed to deal with it on the day.

 

Those in favour of the motion made the following comments:

 

·         To put a stop to car parking charging would provide an opportunity to save money, improve the lives of local residents living near hospital sites and put money back in the pockets of key workers. Car parking charges were a barrier to people parking at hospitals. The Council did not have the resources to address the issues associated with the resultant displaced parking on neighbouring streets. The motion merely requested that the Leader start a dialogue with the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust and the Government Minister to address this issue. It was clear that hospital car parks were not built large enough for future need

·         Displaced hospital parking was impacting on the lives of residents in Warndon and Ronkswood, Worcester. Hospital car parking charges were disproportionately impacting on the less well off. Government funding policies had led to Acute hospitals relying on car parking charges as a base funding mechanism

·         It was morally wrong to charge people with chronic health conditions for car parking at hospitals

·         Even if car parking charges were not removed, a voucher scheme could be introduced for those most in need

·         Bus services to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital were inadequate. Car parking was not free for long term patients. It was subsidised and only one permit could be requested and paid for.

 

Those against the motion made the following comments:

 

·         The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Health commented that there were costs associated with car parks including the purchase of the land, providing adequate surfacing, maintenance and lighting and security. If all car parking charges were removed from the hospitals in the county, the loss of income to the Trust would be approximately £2.6 - 2.7m. In addition, the Trust would still be responsible for the running costs of the car parks which amounted to approximately £2m associated with

·         The Worcestershire Royal Hospital car park was already full and impacted on access to the hospital by public transport. Free car parking would make the situation worse and allow non-hospital users to access the site, which would be difficult to police. Increasing demand without increasing supply was a recipe for disaster. People should be encouraged to make use of public transport

·         People with severe illnesses were able to park for free and patients could request parking concessions at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital. The problem with the car parking at hospital sites was not the charge but the lack of capacity.

 

On being put to the vote,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2081.

2082.

Report of the Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care (Agenda item 7) pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To receive the report of the Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care on current issues and proposed developments within his area of responsibility and to receive answers to any questions on the report (Green pages).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Adult Social Care presented his report to Council which covered various topics.

 

The Cabinet Member then answered a broad range of questions from members.

 

The Chairman thanked the Cabinet Member for his report.

2083.

Question Time (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To receive answers to any questions asked by Councillors (Orange pages).

 

(Members are reminded of the timescale adopted by Council for notice of questions. A Councillor may only ask a question if:

 

·         It is delivered in writing to the Head of Legal and Democratic Services by noon on Tuesday, 5 February 2019 or

·         If it relates to urgent business, the Head of Legal and Democratic Services is notified at least half an hour before the start of the meeting.)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Six questions had been received by the Head of Legal and Democratic Services and had been circulated in advance of the meeting. The answers to all the questions are attached in the Appendix.

2084.

Reports of Committees - Pensions Committee (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider the report of Pensions Committee and to receive answers to any questions asked on it.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council received the report of the Pensions Committee containing a summary of the decisions taken.