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Agenda and minutes

Council Meeting
Wednesday, 1st February, 2012 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2TH

Contact: Lewis South, Democratic Services Manager or Debbie Bacon, Senior Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

74.

Presentation of Award

Minutes:

The Mayor was pleased to present the following awards to:-

 

·              Jayne Grice, Team Manager Central (Clifton), who had been awarded Silver Award for Team Manager, Children’s Services – in the recent Social Worker of the Year Awards.  Rotherham’s Looked After Children’s Team had also been finalists in the Team of the Year – Children’s Services category.

 

·              Robin Lambert, Markets Manager.  Rotherham had been awarded the best Street/Outdoor Market in the UK at a national awards ceremony.

 

Congratulations were offered to all those involved in gaining these awards.

75.

Council Minutes

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 14th December, 2011, be approved for signature by the Mayor.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Stone                               Seconder:-  Councillor Akhtar

76.

Communications

Minutes:

(1)  The Chief Executive submitted the following petitions which had been referred to the appropriate Directorates for consideration:-

 

·              Containing twenty signatures from residents of Clifton Mount regarding anti-social behaviour in the vicinity.

·              Containing seventy-eight signatures requesting provision of safer crossing facilities/traffic calming outside Brinsworth Howarth Primary School, Whitehill Lane, Brinsworth

 

(2)  The Chief Executive submitted apologies for absence from Councillors Burton, N. Hamilton, Jack, Kirk, Parker, Pitchley, Sims and Tweed.

77.

Questions from the Public

Minutes:

There were no questions from the public.

78.

Cabinet Minutes

 

Housing Rent Increase 2012-13 (Minute No. C130) (Pages 88 to 96)

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports and minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet (Section C) (Pages 78-96C) be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Stone                               Seconder:-  Councillor Akhtar

 

(Councillors Akhtar, Ali, Andrews, Atkin, Buckley, Currie, Dodson, Doyle, Ellis, Falvey, J. Hamilton, Havenhand, Hughes Hussain, Lakin, License, McNeely, Pickering, Roddison, Rushforth, G. A. Russell, P. A. Russell, R. S. Russell, Sangster, Smith, Stone, Walker, Whelbourn, Whysall, Wootton and Wyatt declared personal interests in Minute No. C130 (Housing Rent Increase 2012/13) on the basis of either being a Council tenant or related to or associated with a Council tenant)

79.

Delegated Powers Meetings

 

Safeguarding Children and Adults – Pages 29D to 31D (Section D)

 

Community Development,  Equality and Young Peoples Issues – Pages 34E to 37E (Section E)

 

Lifelong Learning and Culture – Pages 30F to 36F (Section F)

 

Town Centres, Economic Growth and Prosperity – Pages 59G to 68G (Section G)

 

Adult Social Care – Pages 38H to 43H (Section H)

 

Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods – Pages 35J to 38J (Section J)

 

Health and Wellbeing – Pages 31K to 35K (Section K)

 

Waste and Emergency Planning– Pages 19L to 22L (Section L)

 

Deputy Leader and Organisational Change and Governance – Pages 11N to 12N (Section N)

 

 

Minutes:

Resolved:- That the reports and minutes of the meetings Cabinet Members as listed below be adopted:-

 

·              Safeguarding Children and Adults – Pages 29D to 31D (Section D)

 

·              Community Development,  Equality and Young Peoples Issues – Pages 34E to 37E (Section E)

 

·              Lifelong Learning and Culture – Pages 30F to 36F (Section F)

 

·              Town Centres, Economic Growth and Prosperity – Pages 59G to 68G (Section G)

 

·              Adult Social Care – Pages 38H to 43H (Section H)

 

·              Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods – Pages 35J to 38J (Section J)

 

·              Health and Wellbeing – Pages 31K to 35K (Section K)

 

·              Waste and Emergency Planning– Pages 19L to 22L (Section L)

 

·              Deputy Leader and Organisational Change and Governance – Pages 11N to 12N (Section N)

 

Mover:- Councillor Stone                                Seconder:- Councillor Akhtar

80.

Audit Committee

Minutes:

Resolved:- That the reports and minutes of the meetings of the Audit Committee (Section P) (pages 21P to 26P) be adopted.

 

Mover:- Councillor Sangster                           Seconder:- Councillor Kaye

81.

Licensing Board

Minutes:

Resolved:- That the reports and minutes of the meetings of the Licensing Board (Section Q) (pages 19Q to 22Q) be adopted.

 

Mover:- Councillor Wootton                           Seconder:- Councillor Barron

82.

Health and Wellbeing Board

Minutes:

Resolved:- That the reports and minutes of the meetings of the Health and Wellbeing Board (Section S) (pages 16S to 24S) be adopted.

 

Mover:- Councillor Wyatt                                Seconder:- Councillor Lakin

83.

Planning Board

Minutes:

Resolved:- That the reports and minutes of the meetings of the Planning Board (Section T) (pages 62T to 74T) be adopted.

 

Mover:- Councillor Pickering                           Seconder:- Councillor Dodson

84.

Questions to Cabinet Members

Minutes:

(1)  Councillor Gilding asked, in view of the recent spate of metal thefts, was the Council pursuing alternative means of producing street signs, grates etc., in non-metallic materials?

 

Councillor Smith reported that during the current financial year there had been approximately seventy thefts of road gully covers. Following a trial of alternatives from different suppliers, Streetpride had identified three different types of plastic replacement gully covers which fit into the majority of the existing road gully network and could be used as permanent replacements. This enabled the Service to respond quicker to keeping the highway safe, but there was also a cost saving of around £60 - £80 per unit in not having to purchase and fix more expensive metal cover and frames.

 

There was a peak in thefts last summer which had reduced in recent months.  However, in the Rother Valley South area they were now seeing a rise in thefts of third party hydrant and manhole covers which were the responsibility of the respective utility companies, water, gas etc. When reports were received of this nature, the utility company was notified and if necessary were asked to temporarily make the highway safe for members of the public.

 

Thefts were reported to South Yorkshire Police so their local teams could be extra vigilant in these locations.

 

(2)  Councillor Middleton asked, in view of the national publicity concerning the unlawful re-letting of Council properties by tenants, was there any evidence of such sub-letting in Rotherham, what prevention safeguards are in place, how were they detected and what were the procedures for eviction of the sub-tenant and termination of the original tenancy?

 

Councillor McNeely reported that with regard to evidence of sub-letting in Rotherham, there had only been a small number of cases where the Council had suspected and investigated sub-letting. These had mainly been detected in response to “whistle blowing” from either members of the public, staff or external contractors. The outcome of the investigations had resulted in either the tenant moving back in to retain their tenancy or they had denied the allegation but had later terminated the tenancy and handed in the keys.

 

If the changes proposed in the Government’s Social Housing Fraud consultation were implemented, sub-letting would no longer be a civil matter, but a criminal offence with Council tenants who sub-let their homes facing up to two years in prison with a fine of up to £50,000. 

 

With regard to current safeguards/prevention methods in place, as part of a nation wide crackdown on social housing fraud, Rotherham was allocated £30,000 to spend on measures to reduce illegal sub-letting.  Items of expenditure have included:-

 

·        Setting up a common housing register with Registered Social Landlords.

·        Advertising and PR for the Government initiative to reward people for providing information that lead to properties being recovered. No instances or rewards have been issued.

·        Setting up of a dedicated phone line and email address for confidentially reporting tenancy fraud.

·        There were checks ‘up front’ on pre-tenancy validations. These included,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 84.