Agenda and minutes

People Select Committee - Monday 6th November, 2023 4.00 pm

Venue: Jim Cooke Conference Suite, Stockton Central Library, Church Road, Stockton-on-Tees, TS18 1TU

Contact: Scrutiny Support Officer Rachel Harrison 

No. Item


Evacuation Procedure pdf icon PDF 9 KB


The Committee noted the evacuation and housekeeping procedure.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To approve the minutes of the last meeting held on 2 October 2023.


AGREED the minutes of the meeting held on 2 October 2023 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


Scrutiny Review of Cost of Living Response pdf icon PDF 399 KB

To receive evidence from Council Officers and representatives from Catalyst and Stockton Food Power Network.

Additional documents:


The Select Committee received a presentation from the Council’s Service Lead for Education and Wellbeing, which included:

         School Uniform: Scrutiny Recommendations

         School Uniform Statutory Guidance (Department for Education)

         Best Practices and Resources

         Child Poverty Action Group’s School Uniforms Guide Content and Considerations

         Questions for Governors and Trustees

         Poverty Proofing the School Day

         Dissemination – School Forums, Wider Forums

The main issues highlighted from the presentation and discussed were as follows:

         Members raised concerns about a perceived general lack of support from school governors to make school uniforms more affordable.

         It was acknowledged that the Council was restricted in its influence on academies and free schools.

         For maintained schools, an annual check of school websites was undertaken by council officers to ensure that schools were compliant with current legislation and school uniform policy was included in this check.

         Officers explained that the crucial role of school governors was to challenge and support school policies. Officers agreed that this was a continual process and regularly updated governors on school uniform and the promotion of ‘pre-loved’ uniforms. The Council also continued to run its termly ‘Closing the Gap’ sessions to ensure governors remained well informed.

         Catalyst had carried out an online mapping exercise to catalogue the different services available to recycle uniform and purchase/obtain pre-loved uniforms. The possibility of opening a pre-loved uniform shop in Stockton Town Centre had also been discussed.

The Select Committee received a presentation from the Chief Executive of Catalyst Stockton and the Project Coordinator for the Stockton-on-Tees Food Power Network, Catalyst Stockton, which included:

         An information leaflet on Foodbanks and other food resources in Stockton-on-Tees

         Background information on Catalyst as the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE) infrastructure organisation for Stockton-on-Tees

         Catalyst Partnerships

         What is the Stockton-on-Tees Food Power Network?

         Community pantries in Stockton Borough- usage statistics

         Foodbanks in Stockton Borough - usage statistics

         Providing additional support for food support services

         Food support services & the Cost of Living

         Support to the VCSE Sector

         Fairer Stockton-on-Tees Coordinator –Tackling inequalities

         Holiday Activities and Food Programme/ Holiday Enrichment Programme

         Roseworth Big Local

         Charitable funding sources in 2022-23


         What can the Council learn from the VCSE sector?

The main issues highlighted from the presentation and discussed were as follows:

         According to the Trussell Trust, in the borough of Stockton-on-Tees, there had been a 30% increase in visits to foodbanks and a 50% decrease in donations over the last year.

         In Stockton, in September 2023, 470 children had received food parcels.

         The number of people receiving help from foodbanks and pantries that were also in employment was increasing.

         A discussion was held on reports of the increasing financial burden on parents and grandparents to support young people/adults struggling with the cost of living. Catalyst representatives were unable to provide data on this but were aware of cases.

         Members thanked  ...  view the full minutes text for item PEO/19/23


Chair's Update and Work Programme 2023-2024 pdf icon PDF 100 KB


Consideration was given to the Work Programme.


An additional evidence session would be held, via Teams, on Tuesday 21 November 2023, 12pm-2pm.


The next Committee meeting would be held on Monday 4 December 2023.


AGREED that the Work Programme be noted.