Agenda and minutes

Council (SMDC) - Wednesday, 6th December, 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Moorlands House, Leek

Contact: Linden Vernon 01538 395613  Email:


Webcast: View the webcast

No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 322 KB

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That the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 18 October 2023 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Declarations of interest

1.    Disclosable Pecuniary Interests

2.    Other Interests

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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 9 -

Biddulph Neighbourhood Plan - Referendum and Decision Statement

All Biddulph Town Councillors

Other Interest – member of Biddulph Town Council



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

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The Chairman had attended a number of events including Remembrance Sunday which was very moving and well organised, Staffordshire Parish Councils’ Association and had hosted a visit from local Guides.


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

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Constitution Review Working Party - Council Meetings Procedure Rules - Revised Rule 10 - Questions pdf icon PDF 207 KB

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That the revised Rule 10 (Questions) within the Council Meeting Procedure Rules be approved.



Recommendations from meetings in the interim period prior to the Council Meeting, if any.

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Audit and Accounts Committee - Treasury Management Update pdf icon PDF 213 KB

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



Biddulph Neighbourhood Plan and Neighbourhood Development Order Adoption pdf icon PDF 229 KB

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1.    That authority be delegated to make the Biddulph Neighbourhood Plan and Neighbourhood Development Order, assuming a positive result at referendum to the Executive Director (Place) in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Planning.


2.    That the result of the referendum and delegated decisions to be reported to Council at the meeting on the 28th February 2024.



Review of the Members' Allowances Scheme pdf icon PDF 236 KB

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Councillors considered in detail the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel with regards to the review of councillor allowances. The debate included reference to there being no increase since 2009/10, the financial climate, the number of historic special responsibility allowances, the need to attract a diverse range of candidates to stand at elections and to remove financial barriers.



A named vote having been proposed and seconded the result was as follows:


Those voting  FOR:


Councillors Atkins, Barks, Bentley, Boone, Brady, Cawley, Church, Garvey, Gledhill, Haines, Hart, Hoptroff, Jebb, Johnson, Malyon, Mills, O’Shea, Parkes, Pascal, Plant, Price, Proudlove, Salt, Smith, Spooner, L. Swindlehurst, M. Swindlehurst, Taylor, Whitehouse, Wilkinson, Wood and Yates


Those voting AGAINST:


Councillors Aberley, Beswick, Cox, Edwards, Emery, Fallows, Flunder, Herdman, B Hughes, Hulme, Porter, Roberts, Shaw, Ward, Worthington.




Councillor Moult






1.    That the findings of the Independent Review of Members Allowances, as set out in Appendix A to this report, be noted.


2.    That the revised Scheme of Members’ allowances be approved in accordance with the recommendations made by the Independent Remuneration Panel.



To answer questions asked under Procedure Rule No. 10, if any. pdf icon PDF 232 KB

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


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1.    Question to the Portfolio Holder for Services received from Councillor Ward


In light of the ongoing and deepening cost of living crisis being endured by the residents of the Staffordshire Moorlands, could the portfolio holder please update the council on what further measures have been added to the broad suite of interventions previously introduced by the former Conservative administration?”



“A Cabinet Delegated report was issued last week which details the progress that has been made with the actions agreed by Cabinet in October 2022


You will be aware that in the new Corporate Plan agreed by the Council at its October meeting, there is a commitment to the development of an ongoing Cost of Living Response Plan that recognises the deepening cost of living crisis. The delegated report details this plan.


It has been previously recognised and acknowledged that the ability of the Council to provide direct financial support, over and above that distributed by government direction, to individuals is limited. There are however several initiatives where the Council is continuing to provide residents with access to financial support. These include the following new interventions agreed by the new Cabinet:


·         Awarding the remaining balance of the Council Tax Support Fund to individuals who have made a new claim for Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) and other such vulnerable households throughout the 2023/24 financial year;

·         Contacting vulnerable Local Council Tax Support claimants and encouraging then to make a claim


Other actions that have been agreed and implemented by the Cabinet since the election Include:


·         The review of the use of enforcement agents for the collection of debt

·         The signing of the CAB Council Tax protocol – as a result the Council’s appointed Enforcement Agents and advice agencies will work together going forward to help and support taxpayers pay their council tax bills while accessing debt advice when needed

·         The involvement with the North Staffordshire Financial Inclusion Group to investigate alternative, perhaps multi-faceted, approaches to support.

·         Extending the use of its earmarked reserve to develop a Staffordshire Moorlands Community Fund to provide match funding to community groups of all forms that are providing vital support for those who are most affected by the cost-of-living crisis – the principles and eligibility criteria are set out in the Cabinet Delegated Report

·         The development of proposals for the Staffordshire Moorlands UK Shared Prosperity Funding allocation for measures to reduce the cost of living through improving energy efficiency, and combating fuel poverty and climate change


A number of the Council’s ongoing actions involve the signposting of individuals to other organisations for financial support. Recognising this, alongside the implementation of the Plan I intend to engage directly with these organisations with a view to increasing referrals and take-up of support.”


In response to supplementary questions the Portfolio Holder stated that the Council was working with foodbanks, working on better leaflets/improving the website, financial healthchecks for families and maximise take-up.



2.    Question to the Portfolio Holder for Services received from Councillor  Roberts  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.