Derbyshire in Brief - latest decisions from Derbyshire County Council - 30 July 2013

30 July 2013

Here's a summary of the decisions made by our Cabinet on Tuesday 30 July 2013.

Here's a summary of the decisions made by our Cabinet on Tuesday 30 July 2013. For more information about any of these decisions, visit our meetings section (opens in a new window).

Joint funding initiative for schools

The latest round of eight school improvements projects costing £181,000 has been given the green light. Funding for schemes will be equally split between schools and the authority, which is contributing £90,500. We have already invested £659,000 of the £1.123m 2013/14 budget in school improvements across Derbyshire. 

New education centre

Students with learning difficulties in the Hope Valley will benefit from a new education centre for over-16s. Hope Valley College in Castleton Road, Hope, will get a new building and re-designate its age range from 11 to 16, to 11 to 18. The new centre will also become home to our support services for all families in the area.

School meal prices kept low as costs rise

Schools in Derbyshire are being recommended to keep meal prices as low as possible in the face of rising production costs. We have recommended a five pence increase, making primary school lunches £1.95 and secondary school lunches £2.05. Schools set their own prices for school meals as they hold their own catering budgets, but we recommend that they do not profit from them.

Support staff office move

Two teams in our support service for special educational needs (SSSEN) are to move offices as part of improvements to the way we work. Ashgate Croft SSSEN is moving to Cavendish Junior School and Stubbin Wood SSSEN will move to Whaley Thorns Primary School.

Busy times for Derbyshire Youth Council

In their latest report to our Cabinet, youth councillors revealed plans to raise money and awareness for homeless young people with a sleep-out event in November. Our youth councillors have already begun a forum for special schools, as well as setting up action groups transport, youth opportunities, environment, drug abuse and publicity.

Passenger boat on Cromford Canal

We have approved the use of a passenger-carrying narrowboat on the canal between Cromford and High Peak Junction. The service operated by Friends of Cromford Canal will primarily be electrically powered, although it will be horse drawn in peak periods. Our licence with Friends of Cromford Canal will be for 10 years with a review after five years. 

No to badger cull

We have set out our position about badger culling. We are opposed to badger culling on our land and support the principle of badger vaccination to reduce the spread of bovine TB. In Derbyshire around 212,000 cattle were tested for TB and 832 animals were slaughtered last year. We maintain the view that a nationwide badger vaccination programme should be supported, coordinated and funded as part of the central government strategy on controlling bovine TB.

Cash boost for road repairs

Work to carry out £4m of road repairs has been agreed by our Cabinet. The funding has been granted by the Government and £2.625m will be spent on work up to March 2014. The rest will be spent on work completed in 2014/15.

Road repairs in Dronfield

We have agreed to carry out work for South Yorkshire Housing Association Limited on Hawthorne Avenue in Dronfield. This will include improving the drainage, kerbing and resurfacing the pavement and road. The housing association will pay about £16,900 for the work which is expected to start in late summer.

Pavement adjustments in Alfreton

HSBC Bank in Alfreton has asked us to move a traffic signal control box and raise pavement levels at the King Street junction with High Street in Alfreton so that they can install a disability ramp at the front of their premises.

The proposed works will cost approximately £27,800 and if approved will be paid for by HSBC.

Long service awards

We have agreed that seven presentation evenings to recognise employees who have worked for us for 25 years and 40 years will be held this autumn.

Market supplement payments

Our Cabinet agreed a process where in exceptional circumstances a market supplement may be paid to attract the right people to specialist jobs. Market supplements will only be used in exceptional circumstances and when it can be demonstrated that all the recruitment difficulties are related to salary and all other alternatives have been considered.

Employment appeals

Employees right of appeal to councillors against dismissal on the grounds of redundancy, conduct and capability and against the outcome of grievance hearings and harassment procedures was restored by our Cabinet. All the necessary procedures were agreed, subject to discussions with the Trade Unions.

Increase in apprentice pay

Our apprentice employees are to receive an increased rate of pay. Currently an apprentice working for us, who is under the age of 19, or in the first year of their apprenticeship, receives the nationally agreed rate of £2.65 per hour. Today (July 30) our Cabinet approved changes which mean apprentices will be paid in line with the National Minimum Wage rate attributable to their age from 1 August. An apprentice aged under 18 will receive £3.68 per hour, 18 to 20-year-olds will be paid £4.98 per hour, with those aged 21 or over earning £6.19 per hour.

Council budget

We have agreed the final outturn of our revenue budget for the financial year 2012/13.

Electoral commission review on fraud

Our Cabinet agreed a response to the Electoral Commission's review of electoral fraud. We will send a formal response on proxy and postal voting.

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