Agenda and minutes

Council (SMDC) - Wednesday, 18th October, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Moorlands House, Leek

Contact: Linden Vernon 01538 395613  Email: linden.vernon@staffsmoorlands.gov.uk

Media

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

23.

Former Councillor Tony McNicol and Mr Harry Mawdsley

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Council observed a minute’s silence in memory of former Councillor Tony McNicol and Mr Harry Mawdsley (Independent Person) who had recently passed away.

24.

Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 19 July 2023 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

25.

Declarations of interest

1.    Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

2.    Other Interests

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The following declarations were made:-

 

Agenda Item

Members Declaring Interest

Nature of Interest

General – any matters arising relating to Staffordshire Police

Cllr. Porter

Other interest - employed by Staffordshire Police

Item 10 -

Biddulph Neighbourhood Plan - Referendum and Decision Statement

All Biddulph Town Councillors

Other Interest – member of Biddulph Town Council

 

26.

Chairman's or Leader's announcements and correspondence, if any.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman had attended many enjoyable and enlightening engagements leading to collaborative opportunities.  Work was also ongoing to develop the Parish Assembly. Councillors were thanked for their attendance at the Civic Service held on 17 September 2023. 

27.

To consider and debate any recommendations from the Cabinet, Overview and Scrutiny Panels and Committees, if any.

Additional documents:

27a

Standards Committee - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the report be noted.

 

27b

Audit and Accounts Committee - Supplementary Annual Treasury Management Report 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 398 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Supplementary Annual Treasury Management Report 2022/23 be approved.

 

27c

Audit and Accounts Committee - Treasury Management Update pdf icon PDF 214 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the Treasury Management position as at 31st August 2023 be noted.

 

27d

Cabinet - Developer Contributions SPD – Adoption pdf icon PDF 240 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:

 

1.     That the feedback to the public consultation, suggested Council responses and modifications to the SPD be noted.

 

2.     That the Developer Contributions SPD be adopted.

 

27e

Cabinet - Local Development Scheme – Adoption pdf icon PDF 230 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

1.     That the content of the proposed Local Development Scheme be noted.

 

2.     That the Local Development Scheme and the outline timetable for the production of all documents that make up the local plan be adopted.

 

28.

Corporate Plan 2023-27 pdf icon PDF 426 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

1.     That the Council’s Corporate Plan 2023-2027 as detailed in Appendix D of the report be approved.

 

2.     That the process of internal and external consultation as set out in Section 14 of the report be approved.

 

3.     That the process for adoption of the Corporate Plan as set out in Section 15 of the report be approved.

 

 

29.

Biddulph Neighbourhood Plan - Referendum and Decision Statement pdf icon PDF 406 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

1.     That the representations received in response to the revised modifications consultation in relation to the Biddulph Neighbourhood Plan be noted.

 

2.     That following statutory consultation on revised modifications, the District Council be satisfied that the basic conditions as required by Paragraph 8 (2) of Schedule 4B to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) have been met for the Biddulph Neighbourhood Plan and that a Decision Statement be published to confirm this and the plan proceeds to referendum in the Parish of Biddulph expected to be on 7th December 2023.

30.

Appointment of Independent Persons pdf icon PDF 224 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

1.     That the appointment of Philip Carnall as an Independent Person be confirmed.

 

2.     That John Berrisford be appinted as a substitute Independent Person.

31.

Notices of Motion in accordance with Procedure Rule No. 8, if any.

Additional documents:

31a

Leek to Stoke Railway Line - Councillor J Porter

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, this Council fully supports reopening the Leek to Stoke Railway Line and will work with our local MP Karen Bradley to make it happen over the coming years. We will work to deliver the maximum economic benefits to the whole of the Staffordshire Moorlands, including improving transport links, boosting local tourism and cutting carbon emissions. We will work with local communities to reopen railway stations along the line, including in Endon, to ensure this project benefits both our towns and rural communities. 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

“Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, this Council fully supports reopening the Leek to Stoke Railway Line and will work with our local MP Karen Bradley to make it happen over the coming years. We will work to deliver the maximum economic benefits to the whole of the Staffordshire Moorlands, including improving transport links, boosting local tourism and cutting carbon emissions. We will work with local communities to reopen railway stations along the line, including in Endon, to ensure this project benefits both our towns and rural communities.”

 

As an AMENDMENT it was PROPOSED and SECONDED that:

 

“This Council welcomes the opporunity to work with all partners on the possible renewal of the Leek – Stoke railway line for industrial and passenger transport.  We look forward to engaging with Network Rail on the development stage and to considering and reviewing the final fully costed and funded business case as part of our work to improve all aspects of public transport across the Staffordshire Moorlands and we are committed to maximising the potential for job opportunities and developing tourism across the whole of the District.”

 

During the debate councillors discussed the need to consider improved connectivity for the whole district and to ensure that public money was spent wisely.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Having been PROPOSED and SECONDED, upon being put to the vote, the AMENDMENT was CARRIED unanimously in the terms set out above.

 

32.

To answer questions asked under Procedure Rule No. 10, if any. pdf icon PDF 225 KB

(At least two clear days notice required, in writing, to the Proper Officer in accordance with Procedure Rule 11.3.)

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1.     Question to the Leader of the Council received from Councillor Joe Porter

 

“Why has the Labour and Independent Administration only “cautiously” welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that the Leek to Stoke Railway will be reopened? Surely this should be hugely welcomed as one of the biggest economic opportunities for the Staffordshire Moorlands?”

 

Response:

 

“The Leek Stoke rail link project has many steps to go through before it can come to fruition. It is important to note that it is a long term joint project involving a number of public bodies and companies beyond this council including Staffordshire County Council, Stoke on Trent City Council, Network Rail and the UK Government.

 

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, the project can move to the ‘Develop Stage’. This stage is rightly led by Network Rail as it will go deep into the technical detail of what is needed to be done in terms of construction, engineering, and railway architecture. If this stage is successful, the project will move to the final stage of planning which involves the production of a final business case.

 

This is a clearly defined path of development, typical for a regional infrastructure project that could involve up to £400 millions of public money. It will be some years before the groundworks could begin and even longer for it to become a reality.

 

As of now there are many variables to be considered. We do not yet know the views of our partner councils (Stoke and Staffordshire). The Government has recently said that some projects listed in the Network North policy paper are currently ‘illustrative’ rather than confirmed and while some projects have funding allocated to them, the Leek Stoke rail line does not. Also, there will definitely be one and possibly two general elections during the planning and construction stages so it is reasonable, given the HS2 situation, to factor that in.

 

In terms of caution, we also know how costs can change during the lifetime of large projects. There is no word yet from the government to confirm that the project will be fully funded from The Treasury. If a scenario developed where SMDC had to make a significant financial contribution towards the project, the council would have to consider that very carefully against our other priorities. We are committed to growing our local economy, improving public transport and developing tourism across the whole of the Staffordshire Moorlands. “

 

 

 

 

 

2.     Question to the Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Planning received from Councillor Paul Roberts

 

“What changes to the SMDC planning policies will the labour run administration make to reflect Sir Kier Starmer’s speech last week with regards to building housing on the Green Belt?”

 

Response:

 

“Any change to Green Belt policy would first require the Government to revise the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). If this were to occur the new NPPF would become a material consideration in determining any planning applications and any future local plan review would need to demonstrate conformity with it. However, until such  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.