Agenda and minutes

County Council - Thursday 9th February 2023 10:00am

Venue: Council Chamber, County Buildings, Stafford. View directions

Contact: Mike Bradbury  Email:


No. Item


Declarations of Interest under Standing Order 16

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The following Members declared an interest in accordance with Standing Order 16.5:-



Minute Nos.



Mark Deaville

44 and 45


Non-Executive Director of Nexxus

Mark Winnington

44 and 45


Non-Executive Director of Nexxus



Confirmation of the minutes of the Council meeting held on 8 December 2022 pdf icon PDF 205 KB

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Resolved – That the minutes of the meeting of the County Council held on 8 December 2022 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.


Chairman's Correspondence

The Chairman will mention a range of recent items of news which may be of interest to Members

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Staffordshire residents recognised in His Majesty The King’s New Year’s Honours


On behalf of the Council, the Chairman extended congratulations to the following Staffordshire residents who had received honours in His Majesty The King’s New Year’s Honours:


§   Prof Janet Mary Lord, of Barton under Needwood, Professor of Immune Cell Biology and Director of the MRC-Versus Arthritis Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research at the University of Birmingham, Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to older people;

§   Mr Jatinder Kumar Sharma OBE, of Perton, Principal of Walsall College, CBE for services to Further Education;

§   Michael John Allen, of Haughton, Chairman of Haughton Parish Council, Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the community in Staffordshire;

§   Mrs Angela Mary Ham, of Lichfield, lately the head of business support services at the National Memorial Arboretum, MBE for services to national commemoration;

§   Dr Atiya Kamal, of Burton upon Trent, Health Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University, MBE for services to health psychology during Covid-19;

§   Mr Elliott Albert Lancaster, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Director of Utter Rubbish, MBE for services to youth empowerment and sustainability in Staffordshire;

§   Mrs Sarah Jane Coffey, of Lichfield, executive assistant to the CEO of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for services to sport;

§   Mr Albert Gordon John Dale, of Edingale, BEM for his services to the community in Edingale;

§   Mr Arthur Leonard Renshaw, of Marchington, 40 years a member of the local parish council, BEM for services to the community in Draycott in the Clay.


Also honoured with an OBE was Ms Sara Williams, Chief Executive of Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce for services to the community; and with an MBE was Mrs Catherine May Nash, of Ashbourne, recently the manager of the vaccination centre at Burton’s Pirelli Stadium, for services to the community of East Staffordshire.


By-election – Biddulph North


The Chairman welcomed Nigel Yates to the Chamber and congratulated him on his recent election as the County Councillor representing the Biddulph North County Electoral Division.


Medium Term Financial Strategy 2023/28 and 2023/24 Budget and Council Tax pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Joint report of the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources outlining how the Council will finance its operations over the next five years and recommending a budget to the Council for 2023/24.


NOTE: Members are reminded that, under Section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, if they are two months or more in arrears with their Council Tax it is an offence for them to vote on the budget. Members are also required to disclose at the meeting the fact that this Section applies to them.

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The Council received a joint report by the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources on the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) 20023/28 and 2023/24 Budget and Council Tax proposals.


Cllr Alan White moved, and Cllr Philip White seconded, the recommendations contained in the report before the Council.


Councillor Parry extended his thanks to the Director of Finance and his team, Cabinet Members, the Council’s Senior Leadership Team and the members of the MTFS Working Group for their support in compiling the MTFS and Budget proposals.


In presenting the report, Councillor Parry informed Members that, in line with most other local authorities, the County Council was requested to approve a 4.99 per cent council tax increase for 2023/24, comprising 2.99 per cent for general purposes and 2 per cent ringfenced for social care. This meant that the annual increase for a Band D property would be the equivalent of £1.34 a week. Despite this proposed increase, the County Council would remain in the lower quartile with regard to the Council tax levy amongst Shire Authorities.


Councillor Parry spoke about the Council’s investment in Children’s Services and in adult social care.  He also added that since 2014, the Council’s Economic Growth Programme had delivered more than 11,000 jobs; and that the additional approved investment included:


·       £50 million for the repair and maintenance of roads;

·       £40 million on public health projects, including diabetes-prevention, supporting good mental health in the young, and drug and alcohol addiction treatment;

·       building the major road junction to Pets at Home’s national distribution centre in Stafford, which would create 800 jobs; and

·       the £3.1 million Chatterley Valley West employment site near Kidsgrove, which would create up to 1,700 jobs.


It was also highlighted that almost two-thirds of the budget would be spent on the provision of care for young and old, including helping around 6,600 people remain independent in their homes.


Councillor Charlotte Atkins extended her congratulations to officers for preparing a balanced budget but expressed concern about the impact the proposed increase in Council Tax would have on families on low incomes.  She also spoke about the need for Central Government to reform the way in which social care was funded and also for long-term fairer funding for Local Government.


In response to a question from Councillor Pardesi in relation to the use of new technologies, Councillor Alan White cited the case of the 75 people in Staffordshire who were using an iPad to have their health monitored in a virtual hospital ward whilst being able to remain at home.


Councillor Sutton spoke about the investment in Children’s Services including SEND and the progress of the on-going transformation programme.


In response to a question from Councillor Yates as to whether the proposed budget included provision for meals for children during school holidays for those in receipt of free school meals, Councillor Alan White indicated that the funding for this came from a Government ring-fenced grant.


Councillor Philip Atkins and Councillor Hussain  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.


Statement of the Leader of the Council pdf icon PDF 187 KB

The Leader will inform the Council about his work and his plans for the Council, and will give an overview of decisions taken by the Cabinet (and Portfolio Holders) since the previous meeting of the Council

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The Leader of the Council presented a Statement outlining his recent work since the previous meeting of the Council.


Adult Learning Disability Provider Services

(Paragraph 1 of the Statement)


In response to a question from Councillor Charlotte Atkins concerning the need for the Council to develop more building-based facilities for adults with learning disabilities, Councillor Jessel confirmed that the Council was continuing to invest in this service area.  She also spoke about the restrictions imposed by the Care Quality Commission which required new registrations for such facilities to have a maximum of six beds.


Homes for Ukraine

(Paragraph 2 of the Statement)


Councillor Charlotte Atkins extended her thanks to the host families for their generosity in opening up their homes to those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.  She did however express concern that there was no financial help available from the County Council for Ukrainian families in relation to transport costs for those residing in areas which had poor public transport links which resulted in them not being able to access services such as language classes.  In response, Councillor Wilson indicated that there were around 800 Ukrainians being hosted by Staffordshire residents.  She added that the Council was providing a range of services for those refugees to help them integrate into society and that English language classes were also available online.  Councillor Wilson also indicated that the Cabinet had approved proposals for the County Council, together with its partners, to develop a Resettlement Integration & Independence Support Offer (including the creation of a Resettlement Team), which would ensure that guests had access to seamless integrated support.


Review of Older People’s Nursing Home Capacity and Demand (Paragraph 3 of the Statement)


Councillor Winnington welcomed the proposed development of Bracken House in Burntwood and Meadowyrthe in Tamworth into nursing homes and indicated that these facilities would be operated by Nexxus.  In response, Councillor Jessel spoke about the huge positive impact that Nexxus had had on the provision of care services in Staffordshire.


Councillor Charlotte Atkins spoke about the need for additional, affordable nursing home care in north Staffordshire and suggested that The Mount in Leek may be suitable for such a development.  In response, Councillor Jessel indicated that the Council had carried out an assessment of current nursing care provision across the County, including any proposed future developments, so as to identify any gaps in provision.  This had led to the proposed development of Bracken House and Meadowyrthe into nursing homes.  She also spoke about the positive impact the use of new technology had had in the care sector and how the County Council acted as a catalyst to stimulate care provision by private providers.


Delivering a Future Vision for the Countryside Estate

(Paragraph 4 of the Statement)


Councillor Winnington spoke about the importance of the County’s Country Parks and routes such as the Stafford to Newport Greenway in helping people to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.   Councillor Yates also referred to the health benefits of open spaces and asked that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.


Appointment of Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen of Committees

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On the nomination of the Leader of the Council it was:


Resolved – That Paul Snape be appointed as Vice-Chairman – Scrutiny on the Safeguarding Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


Questions pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Questions to be asked by Members of the County Council of the Leader of the Council, a Cabinet Member, or a Chairman of a Committee.  The question will be answered by the relevant Member and the Member asking the question may then ask a follow up question which will also be answered

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Councillor Pritchard asked the following question of the Leader of the Council whose reply is set out below the question:-




According to a report compiled by SunLife UK that looked at several indicators, Tamworth has been ranked the 4th safest place in England and Wales for the over 60's to live. Top in Staffordshire. The report measured consistently low, on average, burglaries, theft, ambulance waiting times and flu mortality. The same report concluded that Staffordshire is the safest county out of England and Wales for the over 60's to live. Would the Leader agree that this is very positive news and will he join me in thanking the public services involved in the indicators measured in this report?




We are delighted to see that Tamworth has been ranked the 4th safest town in England and Wales for the over 60's. Lichfield, Stafford and Newcastle-under-Lyme are also in the top 20 towns, and Staffordshire is the ranked the safest county in England. The ranking appears to be a consequence of low crime rates and low flu mortality rates among the over 60s.


Councillor Yates asked the following question of the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport whose reply is set out below the question:-




Last weekend, I submitted a highways report, through the Staffordshire County Council Portal, that had 25 separate photographs attached, together with a statement regarding the poor condition of Meadows Way (A527) as it goes through Biddulph. This report was declared invalid, as I am asked to report each pothole/defect individually. On Saturday (4th Feb) I walked the 1.6km of Meadows Way and recorded 138 potholes and defects worthy of such individual report.


My in box is full of requests to get this road “sorted”


Instead of consuming my valuable time, officers valuable time, and inspectors valuable time, can I instead have a firm, dated commitment to resurface this, our one and singular “A-Road” in Biddulph?




I am pleased to confirm that the A527 principal route through Biddulph is identified in the provisional highway capital maintenance programme over the next two financial years for a combination of structural and preventative measures.


The section from the county boundary heading south to the junction with Grange Road is included in the preventative surface treatments programme this coming summer.


The next section from the Grange Road junction heading south to Tunstall Road roundabout (nr the new Aldi development) will also see surface pre-patching works during 2023, with surface treatment planned in summer 2024.


Preventative treatments are not suitable however for high stress roundabout locations. Therefore, the three roundabout junctions: Congleton Road roundabout, Wharf Road roundabout and Tunstall Road roundabout, along with their approach roads, have also been identified as high priorities for remediation subject to future funding availability.


The fourth roundabout with Tunstall Road was recently resurfaced in conjunction with the S278 highway improvements for the Aldi development.


With regards to the reporting of highway defects we do, of course, welcome reports from the public about  ...  view the full minutes text for item 47.



An opportunity for Members to present and speak on petitions submitted by their constituents

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Request for crossing outside St Luke’s School, Endon


Councillor Flunder submitted a petition for a traffic light controlled crossing outside St Luke’s School in Endon.