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A minute’s silence was observed in respect of the passing of former Councillor Julia Macaulay who had represented Collingwood Ward from 2004 to 2011.
Two valid question has been received from a member of the public for this meeting.
1. Question to the Elected Mayor by Ms Graham of North Shields
As part of the government's strategy to clean up the high street (in an announcement made on 16 March this year) £35,844.00 was allocated to North Tyneside Council from central government.
The government's intention was that councils, in partnership with existing community groups, will be able to use this one-off funding to support volunteers.
As a resident of North Tyneside with a keen interest in the environment, I would like to know how the council intends to use this extra funding.
Councillor C Johnson responded on behalf of the Elected Mayor as follows:
Thank you for this question.
While we welcome this funding, it is important to note that this is a relatively small amount of money. Therefore in my role as Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, I have been working closely with the officer team to develop options to maximise the impact of this grant, at the same time developing more of a community-led approach to cleaning up our high streets.
Some of the initiatives we are looking at include:
· Purchasing two new state of the art mobile CCTV cameras so that we can work with communities to monitor litter hotspots in and around our town centres.
· Purchasing tools such as litter pickers, gloves and brushes for those volunteers who are keen to get involved in clean ups.
· Working with schools on an exciting new project involving the design and implementation of unique litter and recycling bins for our town centres.
· Promoting positive behaviours and educating communities on environmental issues which are important to them such as littering, dog fouling and fly tipping.
I hope this gives you a feel for some of the initiatives we’ll be introducing with this funding.
2. Question to the Elected Mayor by Mr Wynn of North Shields
Why is North Tyneside Council not making provision for electric charging points to be installed in council run independent living apartments? I asked this question of the housing officer 6 months ago and was told nothing was planned for this. The government is banning petrol and diesel cars in 2035; surely steps should be taken now to install charging points so that residents can start planning for electric cars only?
Councillor C Johnson responded on behalf of the Elected Mayor as follows:
I would like to thank Mr Wynn for this very important question.
This Council is certainly committed to expanding the provision of public Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points to support the shift to electric vehicles. In fact we are currently working with other authorities in the North East to examine bidding opportunities and other potential means to expand EV infrastructure.
However, I think it’s important to highlight the EV charging infrastructure required to achieve this shift cannot be the sole responsibility of the Council. Whilst we will continue to expand our public charging estate, we expect individual residents and tenants living in the borough who are making the shift to electric ... view the full minutes text for item C20/19
To receive any Declarations of Interest
You are invited to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests in matters appearing on the agenda, and the nature of that interest.
Please complete the Declarations of Interests card available at the meeting and return it to the Democratic Services Officer before leaving the meeting.
You are also invited to disclose any dispensation from the requirement to declare any registerable and/or non-registerable interests that have been granted to you in respect of any matters appearing on the agenda.
Councillor S Graham declared a registerable personal interest in relation to item C25/07/19 - 2018/19 Annual Financial Report - as she has a family member who works for Ernst and Young, the Authority’s external auditors
Resolved that the minutes of the Annual Council meeting held on 16 May 2019 be confirmed and signed by the Chair.
To approve the 2018/19 Audited Annual Financial Report in accordance with Section 9 (2) of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.
A report was considered seeking Council’s approval of the 2018/19 Audited Annual Financial Report in accordance with Section 9 (2) of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.
Councillor R Glindon, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, welcomed Mr S Kenny from Ernst and Young, the Authority’s external auditors, who presented the Audit Results Report.
This was the first year that the Authority’s audit had been undertaken by Ernst and Young. The audit of the 2018/19 accounts was substantially complete and an unqualified audit opinion on the financial statements and value for money conclusions was expected to be issued. The Audit Results Report in respect of the 2018/19 Annual Financial Report had been presented to the Audit Committee on 24 July 2019. No material errors had been identified in the financial statements.
A number of disclosure errors had been identified during the audit and the majority had been corrected and were reflected in the Annual Financial Report. The significant adjustments required related to the following items and were described in more detail in the Audit Results Report:
(a) the removal of trust schools from the Authority’s balance sheet;
(b) changes required to IAS19 pension liabilities following the recent McCloud judgement; and,
(c) the revised valuation for Newcastle International Airport.
It was noted that the adjustments did not impact on the Authority’s reserves and balances.
Members were given the opportunity to ask questions of Mr Kenny and Councillor Glindon, which were responded to appropriately.
It was moved by Councillor R Glindon and seconded by Councillor C B Pickard that:
(1) the Audit Results Report, submitted by the Authority’s external auditors Ernst and Young, be approved and the draft Letter of Management Representation be agreed; and
(2) the 2018/19 Audited Annual Financial Report be approved.
The Motion, on being put to the meeting, was approved by 43 votes to 5 votes.
To request that the Authority declares a Climate Emergency along with the steps the Authority proposes to take in response to this emergency.
Cabinet had received a progress report in June 2019 on the Authority’s Low Carbon Plan, which summarised the progress being made to reduce the carbon footprint of the Authority and the Borough. Whilst Cabinet had recognised excellent progress was being made against original targets and had paid credit to the leadership shown on this issue by the Youth Council, they had requested that a Climate Emergency should be declared by Full Council along with the steps the Authority proposed to take in response to this emergency.
A report was considered by Council which set out the national and international context in tackling climate change and outlined local policy and performance.
It was moved by the Councillor C Johnson and seconded by Councillor J Kirwin that:
(1) notes the significant progress made to date by the Authority in reducing carbon dioxide emissions;
(2) agrees that the Authority:
a. declares a climate emergency;
b. seeks to halve the Authority’s and the Borough’s carbon footprint by 2023, four years ahead of the current target; and
c. commits that itself and the Borough will be carbon neutral by 2050 in line with the national target;
(3) notes that Cabinet will receive an update report within six months; and
(4) requests the Elected Mayor to instruct the Head of Environment, Housing and Leisure, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, to:
a. publish an annual report on the Authority’s website that details performance against carbon reduction targets;
b. include young people in the development, delivery and review of actions, ensuring that they have a voice in shaping the future;
c. work with partners across the Borough and region to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;
d. call on Central Government to provide powers and resources to reduce carbon emissions;
e. ensure that all strategic decisions, budgets and approaches to planning decisions are in line with this climate emergency declaration; and
f. ensure that the Authority’s Senior Leadership Team embed carbon reduction work across the Authority and take responsibility for reducing, as rapidly as possible, the carbon emissions resulting from the Authority’s activities.
The Motion, on being put to the meeting, was unanimously approved.
To agree the Common Seal being affixed to all deeds and documents required for carrying into effect the various decisions of the Council made since its last meeting.
Resolved that the Common Seal be affixed to all deeds and documents required for carrying into effect the various decisions of the Council made since its last meeting.
To receive any announcements by the Chair of Council.
The Chair announced the charities she would be supporting during her tenure and asked for Members’ support, these being the Great North Air Ambulance and Operation Veteran.
She had attended a number of award ceremonies, such as football, Rotary Club and badminton presentations. She made particular reference to her attendance at the Friendship Games held in the twin town of Oer-Erkenschwick in Germany. She paid credit to the young competitors who had represented both North Tyneside and the UK and had competed against teams from Germany, Slovenia, Poland and Serbia.
The Chair encouraged Members to attend Citizenship Ceremonies, and she made special mention of the award of the British Empire Medal to an 85 year old lady from Wallsend who had worked tirelessly for over 25 years going into school to read with the children
Elected Mayor's Announcements
To receive any announcements by the Elected Mayor.
The Elected Mayor began by thanking everyone who had participated in the recent Peer Review Challenge. The Peer Review Team had included the Chief Executive of Salford City Council, the Director of Finance and Performance and Procurement of West Sussex County Council, the Director of Regeneration and Growth at Sandwell Metropolitan Council, the Chief Executive of Blackpool Coastal Housing and LGA Programme Manager and the Elected Mayor and Leader of Doncaster Metropolitan Council who had provided some useful pointers about what the Authority should think about next.
She looked forward to receiving the final report that would help in planning for the future and its findings would be shared with Members in the near future.
The Elected Mayor congratulated the following who had all received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service:
· Walking With North Tyneside
· The Volunteers at St. Bernadette’s Church, North Shields
· The Friends of Red House Ramblers and
· Collingwood Bowling Club
She acknowledged this was a fantastic achievement for those organisations and hoped that their efforts would inspire many more people across North Tyneside.
The Elected Mayor reported that seven of the borough’s parks had made it onto this year’s list of Green Flag Award winners, which had been announced on 16 July by Keep Britain Tidy, and she thanked the staff who worked so hard to maintain these standards. The Rising Sun Country Park, Benton Quarry Park, Marden Quarry Nature Reserve, Killingworth Lakeside Park, Wallsend Parks and Northumberland Park had again been recognised as being among the nation's finest parks and green spaces.
The Mouth of the Tyne Festival had again been a resounding success and had sold out in record time. More than 100,000 people had attended the festival, bringing an estimated £1 million boost for the local economy. The Elected Mayor thanked everybody who had been involved in making the festival such a success.
The prestigious Tour of Britain Cycle Race would be passing through the Borough on 9 September and many schools, businesses and residents were eager to be involved. The Elected Mayor thanked the Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Day and officers who had organised 17 cycling events across the borough over the summer.
The Elected Mayor finally reported that since the last Council meeting, the Spanish City had won an award for the Best Change of Use of an existing building and had been shortlisted for a Best Commercial Project and Best Public Service Building.
Three valid questions on notice have been received for a response at this meeting.
1. Question to the Elected Mayor by Councillor S Brockbank
Given the flooding on Bromley Avenue in my ward in mid-June, does the Elected Mayor share the concerns of residents about the increased pressure on infrastructure of the proposed development in the Local Plan?
Councillor C B Pickard responded on behalf of the Elected Mayor as follows:
Thank you, I’ll deal with the issues raised by the question.
First of all, flooding is taken very seriously by the Council and in addition to the two major flood alleviation schemes just completed at Fairfield Green and Briarville, Officers have sound contingency plans in place to deal with these issues.
The Local Plan is underpinned by a comprehensive strategic flood risk assessment. Specifically, flooding on the Murton Gap site was considered in our Local Plan and the inspector stated ‘flood risk is a significant local concern following the storm event of Thunder Thursday. The frequency and intensity of such climate related incidents are projected to increase but I’m satisfied that the various strategic flood risk work takes this into account. The absence of objections from the Environment Agency, Northumbrian Water and other authorities provides additional confidence that surface and foul water can be appropriately drained from this site’.
Additionally, as I’m sure Councillor Brockbank is aware, planning applications are required to provide a detailed flood risk assessment that is reviewed by the Environment Agency, Northumbrian Water and the Council before any planning permission is granted for development.
I fully understand the residents’ concerns and I am confident this Council has put in place through the Local Plan policy framework the right polices to ensure their concerns will be addressed, that developer proposals are progressed and the developers are required through the planning process to provide full flood mitigation measures on their site.
If we now look to address the Local Plan because Councillor Brockbank has consistently tried to make political capital by statements that he is against the Local Plan. I had at first put this down to naivety; however he has had this situation explained a number of times yet he continues with his misleading simplified slogans of opposition to the Local Plan but as yet failed to answer how he would resolve the disastrous consequences of following his policy.
Let me reiterate what those consequences are. First of all the Local Plan is a requirement of his Conservative Government and if we don’t have a plan we will be subject to government intervention. No plan means developers can submit planning applications at will and in the past a number of proposals which were not supported by the Council were allowed on appeal. Do you honestly believe that developers would not welcome this situation and pile in with unrestricted development plans for Murton Gap possibly increasing from 3000 to what developers originally wanted - 5000 houses - on that particular site?
Your policy replacing the Local Plan and your published statement to oppose all building on Murton Gap site will ... view the full minutes text for item C28/19