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Agenda and minutes

The Former Regeneration Scrutiny Panel
Friday, 9th April, 2010 1.30 p.m.

Venue: The Bailey Suite, Bailey House, Rawmarsh Road, ROTHERHAM. S60 1TD

Contact: Janet Cromack, ext 2055 

Items
No. Item

141.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest made at the meeting.

142.

Questions from members of the public and the press

Minutes:

There were no questions from members of the public or the press.

143.

Minutes of the previous meeting of the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel held on 5th March, 2010 pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes the previous meeting of the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel held on 5th March, 2010.

 

Resolved:-  That the minutes be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

144.

Communications pdf icon PDF 35 KB

(i)                 New Cultural Accommodation – verbal update.

Ian Smith, Director of Asset Management

 

(ii)               Highway Damage following severe winter weather – briefing note attached.

Andy Shaw, Streetpride Community Delivery Manager

 

(iii)             Retail Strategy – verbal update.

Paul Woodcock, Director of Planning and Regeneration

Minutes:

(i)                             New Cultural Accommodation

 

Ian Smith, Director of Asset Management, reported on the continued work in respect of the provision and development of new cultural accommodation for the town centre.  A report was currently being prepared for consideration by the Capital Strategy Group which would then be forwarded to the Cabinet and to the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel.

 

Current issues focussed around:-

 

-                      Funding

-                      The interim situation to 2015

-                      Post 2015

-                      Development of a business case

-                      Timetable for procurement

-                      Number of genuine options – timeline for and cost of each option

 

The Panel acknowledged the current position and progress to date.

 

(ii)                           Highway Damage following severe winter weather

 

Andy Shaw, Streetpride Community Delivery Manager, presented a briefing note on the highway damage following the severe winter weather during December 2009 and January and February 2010.

 

The following points were highlighted for the Panel:-

 

Actions taken after the main thaw:-

-                      Dangerous defects and potholes were given first priority

-                      An emergency rapid inspect of all the highway network was carried out

-                      Priority damage estimated repair cost of £727,000

-                      “other severe damage” estimates repair cost of £794,000

 

Finance for the “priority damage” repairs:-

-                      Basic highway maintenance revenue budget

-                      Principal road capital funding

-                      Savings in Streetpride revenue budget 2009.10

-                      RERF revenue funding

 

The Panel noted the additional £504,000 that had been spend over and above the normal basic highway maintenance budget.

 

Assistance from Government:- Rotherham’s Allocation of £327,700

 

Risks and concerns:-

-                      Scale of eventual liability

-                      Lack of funding to tackle normal highway patching repairs over the full year including 2010/11 winter

-                      Affect of the winter damage on the LAA improvement target re:  Principal roads

-                      Level of annual requirement to maintain the current condition levels of non-principal roads

 

Current and future actions:-

-                      The programme of deferred pre-patching works was currently in progress and some of the more urgent “other severe damage” repairs had been ranked and were being prepared for construction

-                      Further reports were being prepared for the Cabinet Member re:  investment alongside other competing priorities in the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

Members of the Panel raised and discussed the following:-

 

  • repairs at road bends and whether they were considered a priority
  • concerns re:  funding repairs and maintenance next winter
  • the Council’s responsibility/liability:-  the Panel noted the monthly inspection regime for principal roads, and 6 monthly for estate roads
  • facility to test the binding material to ensure a 20 year lifespan
  • criteria used to determine “priority”:  noting that speed of road and its configuration were factors
  • financial impact if LAA target not met.  Members suggested that the Authority, along with other local authorities, may be able to review the LAA target due to the impact of extreme weather conditions.

 

Resolved:-  (1) That the update be noted.

 

(2)  That the Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Transportation discuss the issue of the LAA target with the Leader with a view to this issue being  ...  view the full minutes text for item 144.

145.

Land Use and Transport Integration (LUTI)

Keith Oates, Planning & Research Manager, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

Minutes:

The representative from South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive was unable to attend for this item.

146.

Affordable Warmth and Sustainable Energy pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Paul Maplethorpe, Affordable Warmth and Sustainable Energy Co-ordinator.

Minutes:

Paul Maplethorpe, Affordable Warmth and Sustainable Energy Co-ordinator, supported by a PowerPoint presentation, reported on future proposals to encourage householders to install energy efficiency measures.

 

The schemes in place at present, and a summary of projects to date, were described, in particular:-

 

-                      Warm Front – noting contract ends 2016

-                      Save N Warm scheme – noting the South Yorkshire agreement with Npower

-                      CERT – noting contract extension to 2016

-                      SYHARP – South Yorkshire Housing and Regeneration Partnership – for households in receipt of benefits and where heating system is over 20 years old

-                      Social Housing CERT 100% funding provided by NPower – providing loft and cavity wall insulation; external cladding;  ground source heating e.g. at Ulley

-                      Future Proposals – Pay as You Save – to pay for whole-house energy efficiency retrofits.  This scheme was proposed to deliver the greenhouse gas reductions necessary for the UK to meet its 2050 targets.  4 proposed delivery mechanisms were detailed in the submitted report.  It was noted that PAYS was currently on a two year pilot and each resident would receive £10,000 which would pay for identified efficiency measures, rather than specifics which the householder might want.

-                      The boiler scrappage scheme – noting this was fully subscribed and now closed

-                      Feed-in Tariffs – introduced 1st April, 2010 – payment to householders who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources

-                      NI 186 - per Capita CO2 emissions in the local area

-                      NI 187 – tackling fuel poverty:  % of people receiving income based benefits living in homes with a low and high energy efficiency rating;  noting the significantly reduced energy bills in the Ulley properties

-                      Warm Homes Greener Homes Bill – Government strategy setting out measures for householders to stay warm, reduce energy use and cost, use small scale renewables and low carbon sources of energy

-                      The vision for 2020:  a new era of energy management – ambitions for every home

 

Members of the Panel raised and discussed the following:-

 

  • The possibility of using mine water for heating – it was pointed out that the majority of Rotherham was on the main network, and that parts of the Borough did not have mine water
  • Performance and savings from photo-voltaic cells e.g. Henley ECO properties:  noting current legislation and ability now to feed into the energy grid
  •  Explanation of solid wall insulation
  • Use of infra red cameras for thermal imaging to track heat loss;  associated costs; cost to residents for survey;  educational use in schools
  • Current use of double and triple glazing;  possible future use of shuttering for new build.  Reference was made to Code Levels 3, 4 and 5 and to new regulations coming into force in September 2010
  • Involvement in the Building Schools for the Future programme re:  energy efficiencies
  • How to spread the message to the public – presentations to Area Assemblies
  • The issue of fuel poverty
  • Consequences of not actioning energy efficiencies

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That  ...  view the full minutes text for item 146.

147.

Scrutiny Review of PE and Sport in Schools

Bronwen Moss, Scrutiny Adviser, to report.

Minutes:

Bronwen Moss, the Scrutiny Adviser, distributed copies of the draft report on the Scrutiny Review of PE and Sport in Schools.

 

Reference was made to the Executive Summary and to the background to the origin of this review.

 

The following issues were highlighted:-

 

-                      Achievement of the Performance Indicator

-                      Acknowledgement of the really good work that is taking place in schools

-                      Noting lack of co-ordinated working in other instances

-                      How to build on good progress/best practice and spread this?

-                      How to get the most out of the funding available?

-                      How to progress health and activity for young people and the community with the Council’s partners?

-                      How to get more use of school premises and facilities out of school hours?

-                      The Building Schools for the Future programme

 

Councillor Currie welcomed the report and thanked the Scrutiny Adviser for this excellent piece of work.  He made reference to the changes to the curriculum in 2011 and the essential need to look forward with our schools.

 

He confirmed that the Review Group had undertaken a detailed examination of the subject resulting in a large number of recommendations.

 

He specifically referred the Panel to Recommendation No. 10 – school clusters working together in learning communities and as part of sustainable communities.  He emphasised the need for Governor engagement and good governance.

 

The Scrutiny Officer reported that the document was currently out to consultation and that would end on 20th April.  It was proposed that the Environment and Development Services Directorate could use the review as a basis from which to feedback to Government Office on the NI 57 LAA indicator in August/September, 2010.

 

Members of the Panel raised and discussed the following:-

 

  • Issues in respect of how the data was collected
  • Different approaches in Academies and the rest of the schools
  • Difficulties schools have in providing 5 hours physical activity with curriculum time
  • How can out of school hours activity be counted? Reference was made to Sport England’s’ current telephone survey
  • Teacher training issues – teachers in primary schools not feeling confident to teach PE;  shortage of male primary school teachers
  • The apparent gulf between provision in primary and secondary schools
  • Links to health and well being of children and current levels of obesity
  • Competitive sport leading up to 2012 Olympics
  • Sport work in youth clubs
  • Old premises vs. newly built
  • Timetabling and school hours (vis.  Compressed dinner times)
  • Much of what is provided is out of school hours by dedicated and interested teachers
  • Decline in provision of sports clubs and facilities by employers

 

Members of the Panel were invited to feed back further comments to the Scrutiny Adviser.

 

Resolved:- (1)  That the draft report be noted, and the Panel’s thanks be conveyed to everyone involved in this detailed examination of this complex issue.

 

(2)  That the review be submitted to the Performance and Scrutiny Overview Committee on 30th April, 2010.

148.

Developing a Knowledge Driven Economy pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Paul Woodcock, Director Planning & Regeneration, to report.

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 87 of the meeting of the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel held on 5th December, 2008, consideration was given to a report, presented by Paul Woodcock, Director of Planning and Regeneration, which summarised the activity Rotherham is currently undertaking with regard to increasing employment, promoting enterprise and raising skill levels. 

 

It was explained that this work underpinned the transformation from a low wage economy to a higher wage, knowledge economy, with greater sustainability in the longer term.  The submitted report detailed statistics which evidenced the strengths of the Rotherham economy, and highlighted areas where further interventions and support were required.

 

The following aspects, detailed within the submitted report, were highlighted:-

 

-                      Creation of circa 35,000 jobs over the past 12 years

-                      Rotherham’s performance compared to neighbouring local authorities

-                      Rotherham’s Economic Plan:  this Plan identifies a number of priority areas where future development needs to be focussed e.g. a high quality town centre; niche high growth sectors; increased number of residents with advanced skills, significantly reduced levels of worklessness

-                      Local Economic Assessment – statutory duty to identify the current economic position in Rotherham, highlight aspects of good performance and also weakness, together with links to regional and sub-regional economies.

-                      The Advance Manufacturing Park and the Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Investment Team

-                      Key Account Management

-                      Centre of Industrial Collaboration

-                      Enterprise/Business Support and the success of the RiDO Business Centres

-                      Rotherham Enterprising Neighbourhoods Project

-                      Rotherham Enterprise Network

-                      Work of the Local Strategic Partnership’s Enterprise Board

-                      UK Steel Enterprise Grants and Loans Scheme

-                      Skills and Employability -  Rotherham Employability Project and Future Jobs Fund

-                      The Way Forward

 

Members of the Panel raised and discussed the following:-

 

  • Indicators of national economic recovery yet to appear in South Yorkshire
  • Low level of business confidence in the region
  • What was needed to attract large businesses?
  • Importance of the right housing stock and hotel/conference facilities
  • The global economy’s influence on supply and demand and consequently on businesses’ order books
  • The potential of a University of the Dearne

 

Resolved:-  That Paul be thanked for his very informative report, and the progress to date be welcomed.

149.

Town Centre Renaissance Progress Report pdf icon PDF 39 KB

John Smales, Development Team Manager, to report.

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 52 of the meeting of the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel held on 2nd October, 2009, consideration was given to a report, presented by John Smales, Development Team Manager, which detailed the progress that has been made in respect of the various town centre renaissance projects and sites.

 

It was noted that prior to the meeting Members of the Panel had taken a tour of the town centre developments.

 

Reference was made to developments and current return on the level of expenditure.

 

The Panel’s attention was drawn to:-

 

-                      Westgate Demonstrator – noting the residential occupancy with slow take up of retail which is now starting to happen with new shops opening

-                      Flood Alleviation Scheme – noting completion of Phase 1 and removal of Don (Grafton) Bridge;  commencement of improvements to the railway station

-                      Townscape Heritage Initiative – noting the good progress to date, along with current problems associated with diversity of property owners and the impact of the credit crunch

-                      New Council Accommodation – noting commencement of groundwork

-                      Civic Centre – noting Heads of Terms now agreed

-                      All Saints Minster Churchyard – noting completion of lighting scheme

-                      All Saints Minster Square – noting business plan prepared and submitted to Yorkshire Forward

 

Reference was also made to Section 8 – Finance, detailed in the submitted report, which set out the Council’s four principal sources of funding and it was pointed out that because of the recession Yorkshire Forward had been subjected to severe cut-backs by Central Government.  Consequently consideration had to be given to re-programming schemes to ensure delivery and ensuring as little delay as possible.

 

Members of the Panel expressed their particular concern about the following:-

 

  • All Saints Minster Square and the need for an interim solution to open up the space and remove the hoardings.  The Panel was of the opinion that the current situation was detrimental to the town and trade.

 

  • The railway station – it was considered unattractive and detrimental to encouraging business people into the town

 

  • Imperial Building – the Panel noted the excellent occupancy but considered that better signing was needed to indicate to the public that the building was open and occupied.  The Panel stressed that the traders needed support and they needed to survive for the good of the town centre.

 

  • Funding: - the Panel were pleased to note the “green shoots” appearing in the town centre but were concerned about the impact of the forthcoming election and the need to find alternative sources of funding. 

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the Panel notes the progress since the previous report.

 

(2)  That a further update report be submitted to the Panel in October 2010.

 

(3)  That the issue of town centre signage be considered in the Image of Rotherham scrutiny review.

 

(4)  That the Director of Planning and Regeneration speaks to the Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Transportation to look at getting more impetus from Yorkshire Forward, and to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 149.

150.

Revenue Budget Monitoring - April 2009 to February, 2010 pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Nichola Stretton, Finance Manager EDS, to report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report, presented by Nichola Stretton, Economic and Development Services Finance Manager, detailing performance against the revenue budget for the Environment and Development Services Directorate as at the end of February 2010 and to provide a forecast outturn for the whole of the 2009/10 financial year.


Attention was drawn to the key areas of pressure:-

 

-                      Under recovery of income due to a reduced number of planning applications

-                      Flood related costs

-                      Winter maintenance

-                      Under recovery of income on the parking budget

 

Other issues highlighted included:-

 

-                      Agency/consultancy spend for the period April 2009 to February 2010

-                      Request to carry forward an earmarked balance for Third Party Funding relating to Area Assemblies

-                      Decision not to use the Museum insurance monies, which would increase the projected overspend (noting this had previously been used to reduce it)

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the Panel expressed appreciation for the financial information presented.

 

(2)  That the Panel notes the current forecast year end outturn position of an overspend of £246,000 for the Environment & Development Services Directorate based on expenditure and income as at February 2010 and forecast expenditure and income to 31st March 2010.

151.

Minutes of the Performance and Scrutiny Overview Committee pdf icon PDF 29 KB

 

-                      19th February, 2010.  (copy attached)

-                      26th February, 2010.  (copy attached)

-                      12th March, 2010.  (copy attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of meetings of the Performance and Scrutiny Overview Committee held as follows:-

 

-                      19th February, 2010

-                      26th February, 2010

-                      12th March, 2010

 

Resolved:-  That the contents of the minutes be noted.

152.

Minutes of meetings of the Cabinet Member for Streetpride pdf icon PDF 19 KB

 

-                      1st March, 2010.  (copy attached)

-                      15th March, 2010. (copy attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to minutes of meetings of the Cabinet Member for Streetpride held as follows:-

 

-                      1st March, 2010

-                      15th March, 2010

 

Resolved:-  That the contents of the minutes be noted.

153.

Minutes of Joint Meetings of the Cabinet Members for Economic Development, Planning and Transportation and Streetpride pdf icon PDF 17 KB

 

-                      1st March, 2010.  (copy attached)

-                      15th March, 2010.  (copy attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of Joint Meetings of the Cabinet Members for Economic Development, Planning and Transportation and Streetpride held as follows:-

 

-                      1st March, 2010

-                      15th March, 2010

 

Resolved:-  That the contents of the minutes be noted.

154.

Minutes of meetings of the Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Transportation held as follows:- pdf icon PDF 33 KB

 

-           1st March, 2010.  (copy attached)

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of meetings of the Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning and Transportation held as follows:-

 

-                      1st March, 2010

 

Resolved:-  That the contents of the minutes be noted.

155.

Minutes of meetings of the Cabinet Member for Cultural Services and Sport pdf icon PDF 45 KB

 

-                      23rd February, 2010.  (copy attached)

-                      9th March, 2010.  (copy attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of meetings of the Cabinet Member for Cultural Services and Sport held as follows:-

 

-                      23rd February, 2010

-                      9th March, 2010

 

Resolved:-  That the contents of the minutes be noted.

156.

Minutes of the Recycling Group held on 23rd February, 2010 pdf icon PDF 24 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the Recycling Group held on 23rd February, 2010.

 

Resolved:-  That the minutes be noted.

157.

Minutes of a meeting of the Members' Sustainable Development Advisory Group held on 5th March, 2010 pdf icon PDF 36 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of a meeting of the Members' Sustainable Development Advisory Group held on 5th March, 2010.

 

Resolved:-  That the contents of the minutes be noted.

158.

Retirement of Councillor Georgina Boyes

Minutes:

Members of the Panel joined Councillor Swift, Vice-Chair of the Panel, in expressing their thanks to Councillor Boyes for her work as Chair of the Regeneration Scrutiny Panel from June 2008, and conveyed their best wishes to her for a long and happy retirement.