Agenda item

Statement of the Leader of the Council

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


The Leader of the Council presented a Statement outlining his recent work and an overview of decisions taken by the Cabinet (and Portfolio Holders) since the previous meeting of the Council. 


Mid-Staffordshire Hospital

(Paragraph 1.1 of the Statement)


Mr Adamson welcomed the recommendations of the Administrators which, if accepted, would result in Cannock Hospital being retained.  He added that he shared Members concerns over the proposals to reduce the number of services available from Stafford Hospital and expressed the view that as many services as possible should be retained.  Ms Woodward and Ms Atkins referred to the complex health economy in Staffordshire and indicated that they did not support the Leader’s preferred option for a single acute Trust to serve the whole of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent as this would reduce patient choice and would not necessarily be any cheaper to run that retaining the two Trusts.  Ms Atkins and Mrs Rowlands also referred to the possible revenue implications for the University Hospital of North Staffordshire if Stafford Hospital was to be “downgraded” and the need for the government to confirm that they would “pick up the bill”.  Mrs Rowlands expressed the view that that the proposal for a Midwife led maternity Unit at Stafford Hospital would not cater for the needs of residents.  She also expressed concern about the additional travel costs which would be incurred by patients should some services cease to be provided at Stafford Hospital and be transferred elsewhere.


Mr Atkins thanked Members for their comments.  He indicated that Cannock Hospital came out of the Administrator’s proposals fairly well.  He also reminded Members that the problems were not limited to Stafford and Burton Hospital was under Special Measures.  Mr Atkins also outlined the preventative work undertaken by the County Council to keep people out of hospital and also the reablement work which enabled patients to return to their homes as quickly as possible after receiving treatment in hospital.  He also expressed the view that one Acute Trust for Staffordshire could work well and he stressed the need for the various partners, including the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Clinical Commissioning Groups,  to work together to improve the health of Staffordshire residents.  Mr Atkins concluded by indicating that, in his view, the model proposed by the Administrators was unsustainable and that the County Council needed to work together with its partners in the health sector to come up with something better.


High Speed Rail 2 Phase One: Consultation Response

(Paragraph 2.1 of the Statement)


Several Members spoke in support of the County Council’s stance on HS2 including the support it was giving to Staffordshire communities who would be adversely affected by the project, its proposals to mitigate the impact of the new railway line on the local environment in Staffordshire and its support for fair compensation to be paid to those individuals directly affected by HS2.


Ms Peaple expressed concern at the spiralling costs of the scheme and suggested that the government should not issue HS2 with a blank cheque.


Mr Atkins thanked Members for their comments and added that it was important that the voice of local communities were heard and, if the scheme were to proceed, to mitigate against its impact on the Staffordshire Countryside.


Portfolio Holder Delegated Decisions

(Paragraph 3.5 of the Statement)


In response to a question from Mr Hollinshead in relation to consultation with Members over the closure of several Day Care Centres, Mr Marshall indicated that there had been wide consultation on the proposals and that Service Users had been assisted in finding suitable alternative provision.


Ms Woodward referred to the proposals to sell packages of accommodation and attractions to consumers under the Enjoy Staffordshire brand and she highlighted some of the local tourist attractions in and around the Burntwood area.  Mr Winnington responded by indicating that he was excited about this new tourism offer in Staffordshire and he outlined a number of the ways in which the County Council, with its partners in the local tourism industry would be trying to attract people to spend their vacations and days out in Staffordshire to the benefit of the Staffordshire economy.


In response to a question from Mr Jenkins in relation to Early Years provision, Mr Marshall indicated that the provision of nursery care from Children’s Centres was not a statutory requirement.  He added that the County Council had reviewed such provision and had agreed arrangements whereby, in the future, the service would be provided by two private sector providers.


RESOLVED – That the Statement of the Leader of the County Council be received.

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