Agenda and minutes

Cabinet (Pre-Intervention - 2nd June 2004 to 4th February 2015) - Wednesday 5 December 2012 10.30 a.m.

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

Contact: Debbie Bacon  Email:

No. Item


To consider questions from Members of the Public


There were no questions from members of the public.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest to report.


Rotherham Local Plan Steering Group pdf icon PDF 27 KB

-        Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Additional documents:


Councillor R. Russell, Cabinet Member for Waste and Emergency Planning introduced the minutes of the Rotherham Local Plan Steering Group held on 9th November, 2012.


It was noted that, as part of the consultation in Spring/early Summer, 2013, there would be a substantially more information available on the Bassingthorpe site to enable a full understanding of the nature of the development.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the progress to date and the emerging issues be noted.


(2)  That the minutes of the Local Plan Steering Group held on 9th November, 2012 be received.


Local Plan Next Steps pdf icon PDF 46 KB

-        Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.


The Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services presented a report setting out the progress made towards submission of the Local Plan Core Strategy to Government.


Additional legal advice had been obtained given the Government had yet to formally revoke the Regional Strategy for Yorkshire and Humber and the Authority’s intention to submit its Core Strategy with a proposed lower housing target.


Counsel’s opinion was that the lower housing target was sufficiently below the Regional Strategy target that it was unlikely to be found to conform with the Regional Strategy even taking a balanced approach.  The only means by which it could be addressed by the Inspector at examination would be by increasing the extent of housing provision and, therefore, increasing the amount of Green Belt release.  This would necessitate substantial re-writing of the Core Strategy and a serious risk that the Inspector may recommend withdrawal of the entire Strategy.


Counsel’s advice was to delay submission until the Regional Strategy was revoked.  This would remove the obligation to meet the regional housing target, allow the Authority to demonstrate its locally derived target was sufficient to meet its objectively assessed needs and show that the current circumstances in the housing market did not support the ambitious growth targets of the Regional Strategy.


Counsel had also advised that the Memorandum of Understanding, drafted with Sheffield City Council regarding the local housing target, should be re-negotiated prior to endorsement by the Cabinet Member.


The effect on the overall Local Plan timetable would be minimised by completing work on the Core Strategy so that it was ready for submission as soon as the Regional Strategy was revoked.  Consultation could also take place on proposed development sites pending submission.


Resolved:-  That the Core Strategy be approved for submission to Government following revocation of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Strategy.


Scrutiny Review of RMBC's District Heating Schemes pdf icon PDF 37 KB

-        Chief Executive to report.

Additional documents:


Councillor Beck, Chair of the Review Group, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Resources, which set out the findings and recommendations of the scrutiny review into District Heating undertaken by the Self Regulation Select Commission. 


The review recognised that it was important that residents received reliable, competitive and value for money heating.  However, the current basis for charges did not reflect actual costs.  The review set out some practical steps to remedy this, ensuring the charges were fair and affordable to tenants.  The review also explored how the Authority communicated changes, Service improvements or disruptions with its tenants.


In order for District Heating to be efficient and effective, the Review concluded that management continuity and oversight needed to be improved and set out how this could be achieved in relation to financial management, District Heating stock condition and future investment plans into existing schemes or in new technologies.  Building on the recent Scrutiny Review on Fuel Poverty, the Review Group also explored how new and more efficient technologies could minimise reliance on fossil fuels and if there were other sources of funding that could support such developments.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the Scrutiny Review of District Heating and its recommendations be noted and a response be submitted within two months as outlined within the Council’s Constitution.


(2)  That the decision of Cabinet on the report, recommendations and proposed action be reported back to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board in due course.


Revenue Budget Monitoring for the period ending 31st October, 2012 pdf icon PDF 76 KB

-        Director of Finance to report.


Councillor Akhtar, Deputy Leader, introduced a report by the Director of Finance which provided details of progress on the delivery of the Revenue Budget for 2012/13 based on performance for the first seven months of the 2012/13 financial year.  It was currently forecast that the Council would overspend against its Budget by £4.165M.  The main reasons for the forecast overspend were:-


·              The continuing service demand and cost pressures in looking after vulnerable children across the Borough


·              Additional, one-off property costs relating to the continued rationalisation of the Council’s asset portfolio as part of the efficiency drive to reduce operational costs.


Total expenditure on Agency staff up to the end of October, 2012, across the Council as a whole, was £601,000 (£1,775,000 as at October, 2011), on Consultancy was £213,000 (£124,000 as at October, 2011) and Non-Contractual Overtime was £662,000 (£572,000 as October, 2011).


It was expected that the forecast overspend would reduce further over the remaining months following the instruction by Cabinet that future spend should be on essential items only.  This had been further reinforced by written instruction from the Chief Executive that, unless contractually committed, spend for the remainder of the year must only be in respect of ensuring that vulnerable children and adults were safeguarded and to comply with Health and Safety requirements.


Continued management action would be required over the remaining periods of the financial year to ensure that the Council was able to preserve its successful track record in managing both its in-year financial performance and its overall financial resilience.


Resolved:- (1)  That the progress made to date in delivering the significant financial challenges presented in the Council’s Revenue Budget be noted.


(2)  That the instruction given for spend on essential services only, to bring projected spend into line with budget limits, be noted.


(3)  That further progress reports be submitted during the remainder of the financial year.


Appropriation of Land - Bellows Road Shopping Centre pdf icon PDF 43 KB


The Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services submitted a report proposing the appropriation of land for planning purposes, pursuant to Section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972, to facilitate the disposal of, and subsequent development of, land and property at the Bellows Road Shopping Centre.


The Council had entered into a conditional development agreement with Caddick Developments Limited for the development of the southern part of the Bellows Road Shopping centre site as a retail parade of shops (Minute No. C144 of 15th December, 2010 refers) and the two parties had been working towards satisfaction of the various conditions set out in the Agreement.  One of the conditions precedent of the Agreement was that the Council demonstrated to Caddick clean title to the site, most of which had been or was in the process of being acquired pursuant to a Compulsory Purchase Order.  However, one area of the site had been owned by the Council since 1972.


The Council land in question was subject to a restrictive Covenant which provided that the “land shall not be used for anything other than as part of the car park and/or market stalls or shall otherwise remain undeveloped”.  Unless the restrictive Covenant was cleared off title, the Council would be unable to satisfy the title condition precedent contained in the Agreement and Caddick would not take the headlease or proceed with the proposed development.


It was proposed that the Council land be appropriated for planning purposes to permit the redevelopment of the land.  Once appropriated, the Council had the power, pursuant to Section 237 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to override easements and other rights (including restrictive Covenants of this nature), notwithstanding that this constituted an interference with a third party’s interest in land.  The owner of such overridden right then had a right to compensation only rather than the ability to enforce (by injunctive relief if necessary) the right in question.


Caddick had indicated that it accepted that the effect of Section 237 would be to provide clean title provided that the Council land was appropriated for planning purposes as was required.


Resolved:-  That the appropriation, for planning purposes, for the purposes of implementing the scheme permitted by the current planning permission (and any variation of it that may be made in the future) (pursuant to Section 122 of the Local Government Act 1972) of the land shown in the two title plans annexed to the report, be approved.


Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following items are likely to be considered in the absence of the press and public as being exempt under Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended March 2006) (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information and to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matter))


Resolved:-  That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 3 and 4 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act (as amended March, 2006) (information relating to financial and business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information and to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matter)).


Integrated Youth Support Service - Restructure


-        Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services to report.


Further to Minute No. C64 of the Cabinet meeting held on 19th September, 2012, Councillor Hussain, Cabinet Member for Communities and Cohesion, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services, which provided an update on the Connexions TUPE process proposed, potential for improved outcomes for young people and to potential efficiencies in terms of budgets.


The report also provided the underpinning context for the Service and an overview of its organisation.


It was noted that consultation with staff and stakeholders had been delayed until the New Year but would not affect the timetable set out in the report submitted.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the development of an Integrated Youth Support Service for Rotherham be approved.


(2)  That the proposals for the delivery model for the Service be approved.


(3)  That commencement of HR processes to facilitate the creation of a new Integrated Youth Support Service staffing structure be approved. 


Review of Enabling Service - Update on Consultation

-        Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Adult Services to report.


Further to Minute No. C48 of the Cabinet meeting held on 18th July, 2012, Councillor Doyle, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Adult Services setting out the outcome of the consultation that had taken place on the proposals.


The proposals had been positively received on the whole.  One area of change to the original proposals relating to full-time staff had arisen which would be the subject of further consultation.  It had also become clear that the Extra Care Service and Grafton House needed to be treated separately in order to provide effective customer focussed services for which a further piece of work would be undertaken.


The financial information and risks and uncertainties associated with the proposals were set out in detail as part of the report.


Resolved:-  (1)  The proposals set out at 7.1.2. of the report submitted be approved.


(2)  That a further report be submitted outlining an options appraisals for Extra Care Services.


Disposal of Land at Pithouse West, Rotherham

-        Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.


The Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services submitted, for information, details of urgent decisions taken by the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader, in accordance with Standing Orders, on 29th November, 2012, to enter into agreements for lease on the pit house west site, and the Remainder land at Rother Valley Country Park.


The need for an urgent decision by the Chief Executive had arisen as a result of the pressure to secure funding.  The funder had required some level of certainty on all the land that was part of their submission bid. 


The details of the subsequent lease agreements on the Remainder land would be subject to Cabinet approval.


The financial information and associated risks and uncertainties were set out in detail as part of the report.


Resolved:-  That the report be noted.