Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room 1 - Wallasey Town Hall
Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest
Members of the Cabinet are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary or non pecuniary interests in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.
No such declarations were received.
The minutes of the last meeting have been printed and published. Any matters called in will be reported at the meeting.
RECOMMENDATION: That the minutes be approved and adopted.
That the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 9 December 2014 be confirmed as a correct record.
The Director of Children’s Services introduced her report which advised that in January 2014 the Cabinet agreed to undertake a consultation on the closure of The Lyndale School. Following the consultation, which closed in June 2014, the Cabinet agreed at its meeting on 4 September 2014 to publish formal statutory notices advising the public of the proposed closure of the school.
In accordance with the statutory guidance, the statutory notice (Appendix 1) and statutory proposal (Appendix 2) were published on 22 October 2014. The process allowed a four week period for representations to be made on the proposals, during which time any person could make comments or objections on the proposals.
The report and appendices set out all the relevant information that should be considered in making a decision on the proposal to close The Lyndale School. Measures required to mitigate the effect of the proposal, if agreed, were also outlined.
The Cabinet was informed that the Council was the decision maker in respect of the published proposal. The proposal could be approved, rejected, approved with modification or approved subject to meeting specific condition(s).
The closure of the Lyndale School was being considered because the viability of the school had been compromised by its small size and falling roll. There were also two other primary schools in the Council’s administrative area providing good and outstanding provision for children with complex learning difficulties.
The report recommended that the Cabinet approve the proposal to close The Lyndale School with a modification to the closure date to 31 August 2016.
Appended to the Director’s report for Cabinet Members’ information was:
· The Statutory Notice (Appendix 1)
· The Statutory Proposal (Appendix 2)
· Statutory Guidance (Appendix 3)
· A detailed list of the issues raised during the representation period (Appendix 4)
· Redacted Representations (Appendix 5)
· The Equalities Impact Assessment (Appendix 6)
The Director of Children’s Services recognised that it had been a difficult and challenging time for all concerned and she informed that she intended to work positively with everyone to accomplish the closure of The Lyndale School, if the Cabinet agreed that this was the way forward.
Following the Director’s presentation Cabinet Members asked a number of questions which were answered by her as appropriate. Issues raised included the following:
· Children’s Services will discuss with parents their preferences for other schools and, if The Lyndale School is to close, will also work with parents to complete each pupil’s Education Health and Care Plan. Whatever was identified in individual Education Health and Care Plans would be replicated in either of the two other schools (Elleray Park and Stanley). Therefore, if the Cabinet’s decision was to close The Lyndale School, there would not be a detrimental impact.
· For the 2014-15 financial year The Lyndale School had set a balanced budget of £743,345 based on funding for 40 places, when it had 23 pupils on roll at the January 2014 Census. Any single place reduction would represent a loss of £10,000 to the base budget for the school. ... view the full minutes text for item 118.
GRAHAM BURGESS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Councillor Phil Davies reminded the Cabinet that Mr Burgess was attending his last Cabinet meeting as he was retiring on 31 December 2014, after being in post for the last two and a half years. He thanked Mr Burgess for all his work and support in improving the Council and wished him well in his retirement and with other projects that he intended to pursue.
Mr Burgess thanked Councillor Davies for his kind words and support. He also thanked the Cabinet and particularly Councillors Ann McLachlan and George Davies with who he had worked very closely for their support. Mr Burgess wished the Council the best of luck for the future.
Councillor Adrian Jones introduced a report by the Director of Universal and Infrastructure Services, seeking a decision to release restrictive covenants on land at Ingleborough Road, Tranmere, currently used by Tranmere Rovers Football Club (TRFC) as an Academy training facility.
The report also sought approval to enter into:
1. A Lease of land at Solar Campus, Leasowe, shown on Plan 1 for identification purposes annexed to the report, for the replacement of pitches.
2. An Agreement for Lease/Lease of land and buildings, also at Solar Campus, Leasowe, shown on Plan 2 for identification purposes annexed to the report, for the development of a First Team, Football Academy and Community Facility.
In addition, approval was required for the land shown on Plan 1 and the land and buildings shown on Plan 2 attached to the report and referred to in paragraphs 1.2.1 and 1.2.2 to be appropriated for planning purposes under section 237 Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
The Cabinet noted that appropriation occurred where the Council held land for one particular purpose and it made a declaration that it was going to hold the land for a different purpose. The relevant land was currently designated as greenfield land but it had originally been purchased for educational purposes. It was used by the public as open space but it was not formally designated as open space. In order to clarify the designation of the land it was considered that the Council should formally appropriate the land in question for planning purposes.
The Cabinet also noted that section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972 required the Council to advertise the intention to appropriate open space land as shown on Plan 1 for two successive weeks in a newspaper circulating in the area. Section 123 of the Local Government Act required the Council to similarly advertise any proposed disposal of open space land. Any objections needed to be notified to the Council for consideration prior to such appropriation or disposal.
The Cabinet was, therefore, requested, subject to there being no objections as referred to in the paragraph above, to approve the appropriation and disposal of the land as shown on Plan 1 and to approve the appropriation and grant of an Agreement for Lease in respect of the land and buildings shown on Plan 2. The report proposed that any objections be considered by the Director of Universal and Infrastructure Services in consultation with the relevant Portfolio holder who should then be given delegated authority to determine the appropriation and disposal.
Councillor Jones reminded the Cabinet that the original transfer deed relating to the Ingleborough Road site (in addition to the restrictive covenants) reserved the right for the Council to enter onto the property and remove the plaque which commemorated the loss of former pupils of Birkenhead Institute in the First World War. Agreement had now been reached in principle between Tranmere Rovers, the prospective developer of the site and Council officers, to work with the Birkenhead Old Boys Association to ... view the full minutes text for item 120.