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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Debbie Pons, Principal Democratic Services Officer  Email: debbie.pons@rotherham.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

43.

Introductions

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer reported she had considered a request from the UKIP Group to have access to confidential reports being considered by Cabinet.  The reports on today’s agenda had been considered against the statutory criteria for disclosure and were subsequently made available with a copy of the full agenda placed in the UKIP Group Room.

 

The Leader of the Council declared that in the spirit of increasing openness and transparency, not provided for in Standing Orders, he intended to allow other Members of the Council, not on the membership for the Cabinet, to ask questions at the meeting.  This would follow the same principle for members of the public, with the same time limit of twenty minutes.

 

In view of the availability of confidential reports to the UKIP Group, it was proposed that Members of this Group be allowed to remain in the meeting to observe the consideration of confidential items, but this would be assessed on each occasion against the statutory criteria for disclosure.

44.

Questions from Members of the Public

Minutes:

A member of the public asked about the costs associated with the piece of work for the Rotherham Development Plan when last summer the Sites and Policies Document was consulted upon?

 

The Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services reported that the costs were broadly in the region of £10-15,000, but agreed to provide a more detailed response in writing, along with the details about the consultation events.

 

In a supplementary question the member of the public asked if it was felt that this was good value for money for the taxpayers of Rotherham when a further period of consultation on the Sites and Policies Document was due to start in the next few months.  This did not inspire public confidence when appropriate feedback had never been given.  The only conclusion that could be drawn from this was the usual disregard for representations or taxpayers wishes.

 

The Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services confirmed that the Council was bound by national guidance and at the last period of consultation a range of sites were looked at and included preferred and non-preferred sites to stimulate debate with the public.

 

The Core Strategy, adopted by Council on the 10th September, 2014, set out a number sites needed to deliver the number of homes over a fifteen year period.

 

The Sites and Policies Document was now ready for consultation and the views of the public would be taken into account when determining which sites to allocate for development. The independent planning inspector appointed to lead the examination in public would also take account of the representations received.  A feedback report would then be produced and presented to Cabinet and would also be available on the Council’s website.

 

The big issue was the quantity of homes and the impact on the green belt.  The number of houses had been reduced for a more local target from 17,000 to 14,000 following challenge to the Inspector. The Council had been robust on this issue, having regard to the significant public concern over the impact on the green belt.

45.

Questions from Elected Members

Minutes:

(1)          Councillor Reynolds made reference to the resignation of Joyce Thacker and asked if there would be any costs on the taxpapyers of Rotherham following her departure?

 

The Monitoring Officer confirmed that no announcement could be made with regards to the question asked and details would be provided in the near future.

 

(2)           Councillor Reynolds asked about the whereabouts of the former Strong Leader of the Council and asked why he was still claiming his allowance?

 

The Monitoring Officer was unable to comment on the whereabouts of the former Leader who was obliged to attend a meeting in a six month period.  It was suggested that any individual questions would best be directed to the person in question.

 

(3)          Councillor Reynolds asked when the former Mayor, who lasted three weeks in the position was returning?

 

The Monitoring Officer referred Councillor Reynolds to the earlier question, which was the same position for the former Mayor.

 

(4)          Councillor Reynolds asked if the former Police and Crime Commissioner, Shaun Wright, had been paid his allowance in full for the two year tenure, even though he had resigned early?

 

The Monitoring Officer confirmed that this question was best answered by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, but it was believed that his allowance would have ceased on his immediate resignation.

46.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

There were no Declarations of Interest to report.

47.

Members' Training and Development Panel pdf icon PDF 26 KB

-           Chief Executive to report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hoddinott, Deputy Leader, introduced the minutes of the Members’ Training and Development Panel held on 4th September, 2014.

 

A number of reviews were ongoing and it was important that training continue to be assessed in order to allow Members to fulfil their function.

 

Resolved:-  That the minutes of the Members’ Training and Development Panel held on 4th September, 2014 be received.

48.

Rotherham Local Plan Steering Group pdf icon PDF 27 KB

-       Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods, introduced the minutes of the Rotherham Local Plan Steering Group held on 4th September, 2014.

 

Many of the items that were discussed were included on the Cabinet agenda for decision.

 

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 4th September, 2014 be received.

49.

Transformation Challenge Award pdf icon PDF 54 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 6 of the meeting of Cabinet held on 18th June, 2014, following an Expression of Interest to secure £0.7 million grant funding, Councillor Beaumont, Cabinet Member for Children and Education Services, introduced the report, which detailed how in late April the Government announced the availability of £105 million Transformation Challenge Award (TCA) grant and a further £200 million capital receipts flexibility.

 

The Expression of Interest presented in July, 2014 was well received and Rotherham had now been invited to present a Final Bid Proposal by 1st October, 2014.

 

It was proposed that a Final Bid Proposal from Rotherham be submitted to fund the development of a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) underpinned by the development of a Single View of a Child Information Dashboard.

 

Resolved:-  That the principle of Rotherham submitting a Transformation Challenge Award bid be approved and for this to be developed further for submission on the 1st October, 2014.

50.

Review of Polling Places 2013/2014 pdf icon PDF 46 KB

-           Chief Executive to report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hoddinott, Deputy Leader, introduced a report by the Chief Executive which described the review of parliamentary polling districts and polling places and the final proposals for future polling arrangements.

 

The most recent review was completed in December, 2011, but the Electoral Registration and Administration Act, 2013 introduced a change to the timing of the reviews to better align them with parliamentary elections. 

 

The Act required that the next compulsory review must be started and completed between 1st October, 2013 and 31st January, 2015 (inclusive). 

 

Each existing/proposed venue had now been evaluated against issues of accessibility, voter convenience, fairness and availability for polling (including at short notice). The polling place review had taken account of the effect of Council budget considerations on the future availability of some Council owned community centres and warden/neighbourhood centres.

 

The Returning Officer’s proposals were reported to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board on 18th July, 2014, where it was agreed that Electoral Services would review proposals at Hooton Roberts, East Herringthorpe and Rotherham West in response to issues raised by Members.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Management Board at that meeting resolved that subject to any alterations being made as a consequence, the Returning Officer’s proposals be approved.

 

The appendices attached to the submitted report set out details of all the issues, investigations and outcomes, the process and criteria for the review and the final outcome, which were referred to in detail at the meeting.

 

Cabinet Members, in considering the issues raised by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, asked if any voters were disadvantaged by the proposals, about the use of schools and if there any reported problems with them being academies, if those voters affected by the changes were informed and if the detail could be provided to all Elected Members for information.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the proposals for future polling arrangements outlined in the report be approved.

 

(2)  That the information attached at Appendix 3 be circulated to all Elected Members for information.

51.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 72 KB

-           Director of Finance to report.

Minutes:

Councillor Hoddinott, Deputy Leader, introduced a report by the Director of Finance, which provided details of the operation of Rotherham’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) for the last sixteen months since April, 2013 and outlined the policy options available to the Council in order to help determine the nature and scope of its Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2015/16.  Legislation requires the Council to determine and approve formally its Council Tax Reduction Scheme on an annual basis.  Essentially, the Local Authority must determine whether to retain the current scheme or alternatively consult on a new local scheme which, for example, could set a different minimum contribution percentage from claimants. 

 

The local Council Tax Reduction Schemes were required by statute to protect pensioners and, provided their financial circumstances do not change, there would be no change in the Council Tax support that a pensioner received.  Working age claimants did not receive any such protection and authorities could require a contribution towards Council Tax from these claimants.  Currently working age claimants in Rotherham were required to contribute a minimum 8.5% of their Council Tax liability and this had been the case since the scheme was introduced in 2013/14.

 

Rotherham was one of the few Local Authorities that had kept its contribution rates lower for working age claimants and was, therefore, retaining its excellent collection rate of 97.1%, unlike others in the region.  For this reason it was suggested that the Council Tax Reduction Scheme be retained in its present format with no revisions proposed.

 

Cabinet Members welcomed the approach being taken in Rotherham to maintain the flexible options for collection in the borough and to ensure no greater demand was placed on those affected by the welfare reforms.  It was suggested that when the process was subject to review that benchmarking data that was available be used as part of the balancing consideration for future schemes.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the report be received and the contents noted.

 

(2)  That the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2015/16 be approved.

 

52.

Capital Programme Monitoring 2014/15 and Capital Programme Budget 2015/16 to 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 113 KB

-           Director of Finance to report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Hoddinott, Deputy Leader, introduced a report by the Director of Finance, which provided details of the current forecast outturn for the 2014/15 programme and enabled the Council to review the capital programme for the financial years 2015/16 and 2016/17.

 

The budget process that led to the original Capital Programme for 2014/15 to 2016/17 ensured that the Council’s capital investment plans were aligned with its strategic priorities and vision for Rotherham.

 

In order to maintain that strategic link and make best use of the capital resources available to the Council, it was important that this programme be kept under regular review and where necessary revisions made. This programme was initially reviewed in June 2014, following the finalisation of the 2013/14 outturn capital expenditure and financing and had now been the subject of a further review, the results of which were reflected in the Directorate summary table as set out in detail as part of the report along with the detailed analysis of the programme for each Directorate.

 

The financial implications of the Programme were reflected in the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) and Treasury Management and Investment Strategy.

 

(1)           Resolved:-  That the report be received and the contents noted.

 

(2)          Recommended:-  That the updated 2014/15 to 2016/17 Capital Programme be approved.

53.

RLSCB Child Sexual Exploitation Action Plan 2014/15 First Quarter Report pdf icon PDF 156 KB

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

Minutes:

Councillor Beaumont, Cabinet Member for Children and Education Services, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services, which highlighted the progress made in the delivery of the Rotherham Child Sexual Exploitation Strategy and Action plan in the first quarter of 2014/15 and the next steps across the three key priorities of Prevent, Protect and Pursue.

 

Significant progress was made during 2013/14, outlined in the recent Annual Report. Following this the action plan and its strategic objectives were further reviewed and refined to remove completed actions and ensure it focused on remaining areas of multi-agency improvement.

 

The Cabinet considered the Jay Report on 3rd September, 2014.  Fifteen recommendations were identified by Professor Jay and Cabinet requested a further four.  All of these have been incorporated into the CSE Action Plan and would be reported on in future progress reports to the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and Cabinet.

 

Each of the priorities were considered in turn and information provided.  A range of questions were raised by Cabinet Members which received a response.  These included:-

 

Leadership:-

 

·                Data analysis and use of “Big Data” to map potential areas of exploitation.

·                Areas of development for the MASH and the timescales for this to be addressed.

·                Governance arrangements of the MASH and lines of accountability with integration of all services.

·                Additional layers for the escalation of issues and roles for challenging decisions and recommendations made.

·                Line management arrangements with clear lines of accountability as referred to the Jay Report.

·                Review process for the overall management of the MASH

·                Allocation of duties for staff off sick or on leave.

·                Staffing structures and resources to meet demand.

·                Operation of the MASH as the preferred model recommended by Ofsted.

·                Role and membership of the CSE Sub-Group and its Gold and Silver operational arms.

·                Reconfiguration of the risk assessments with the opportunity for professional manual judgements based on individual young people.

 

Prevent:-

 

·                Range of the safeguarding training and development framework.

·                Commissioning to the voluntary sector to build awareness in the community including hard-to-reach groups and parents and the activities taking place.

·                Identification of technical issues which caused a delay, which have now been addressed.

·                Referral process and awareness raising amongst larger organisations.

·                Training programmes in all secondary schools to assist with educating young people about the risks around child sexual exploitation and early detection of the warning signs.

·                Being outcome focused to ensure effective analysis of intervention.

·                Areas of the community who were difficult to engage in awareness raising.

 

Protect:-

 

·                How Rotherham was performing against other Local Authorities in tackling child sexual exploitation.

·                Performance comparisons, benchmarking and identification of positive outcomes for young people from agencies.

·                External validations and the options available.

·                Options for complaints if a child or a family’s needs or expectations were being met.

·                Sign off process for those children the subjects of social care intervention.

·                Definition of referrals and contacts.

·                Referral activity directly or indirectly to other agencies such as Barnados and Safe at Last and how these collated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 53.

54.

Rotherham Local Plan: Local Development Scheme pdf icon PDF 749 KB

-           Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Minutes:

Councillor Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, which provided an update to the Local Development Scheme to reflect the adoption of the Core Strategy and the revised timetable for publication and submission of the Sites and Policies document to Government.

 

The Local Development Scheme was last formally revised in April, 2013 and this latest update reflected the adoption of the Core Strategy by the Council on 10th September, 2014 as part of the development plan. It also reflected the revised timetable for further consultation, publication and submission of the Sites and Policies document necessitated by the slight delay in adopting the Core Strategy.

 

It was, therefore, important to ensure a revised and up to date Local Development Scheme was in place in time for publication and submission of the Sites and Policies document programmed for 2015.

 

Resolved:-  That the revised Local Development Scheme be approved.

 

55.

Rotherham Local Plan: Public Consultation pdf icon PDF 52 KB

-           Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Minutes:

Councillor Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, which sought approval for public consultation on the Local Plan. The consultation was planned to commence 13th October, 2014 for a six week period until 24th November, 2014 and would cover the potential development sites around all the Borough’s communities, the refined development management policies and the draft Policies Map.

 

A summary of the Local Plan Consultation and Community Engagement Action Plan was attached as part of the report, but this may be subject to minor changes in the run up to consultation launch as the detail was finalised.

 

A couple of new sites had also been identified which would be included as part of the consultation process, a residential site at Thrybergh and an employment site at Todwick.

 

Cabinet Members asked if there was some flexibility in the consultation process to give residents and Parish Councils the opportunity to make representations and for these to be given serious consideration before the document was signed off by the Secretary of State.  It was also suggested that some consideration be given to some alternative bespoke consultations to the four drop-in sessions across the borough, particularly for areas of high concern.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the final draft Sites and Policies document for public consultation be approved.

 

(2)  That the the approach set out in the Local Plan Consultation and Engagement Action Plan summary attached at Appendix 1 be approved.

 

 

56.

Revised Statement of Community Involvement pdf icon PDF 218 KB

-           Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Minutes:

Councillor Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, which set out how and when stakeholders could influence new planning policy documents covering Rotherham. The report sought approval for public consultation on the draft revised Statement of Community Involvement.

 

The Statement of Community Involvement had been reviewed and refreshed to create a new simplified and user-friendly version that was fit for purpose. The revised document was now presented in three sections which explored the:-

 

     Approach to community involvement.

     Influencing the Local Plan.

     Getting involved in planning applications.

 

A six-week consultation period was proposed, the dates and notifications for which would align with those of the final draft Sites and Policies document.

 

Resolved:-  That the public consultation on the draft revised Statement of Community Involvement be approved.

57.

Review of Directly Managed Community Centres pdf icon PDF 104 KB

-           Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Minutes:

This item was deferred in order to allow Cabinet Members to be provided with further information.

58.

Award of the Tender for the Provision of Road Markings pdf icon PDF 43 KB

-           Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Minutes:

Councillor Hussain, Cabinet Member for Waste and Environment, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, relating to the tenders received for the provision of Road Marking Services to the Borough area. The contract was to be awarded for a period of four years, with the estimated spending for the life of the contract being £740,000 (based on current profiles, which may be subject to change).

 

Cabinet Members noted that the effective procurement of this agreement would generate savings of approximately £8,500 per annum over and above the existing agreement, again based on current volumes. The market was showing price increases in this area, although the tender process had shown that the Council was able to maintain standards and reduce costs.

 

Resolved:- (1) That the report be received and its contents noted.

 

(2) That the tender submitted by WJ Road Markings Ltd,, as detailed in the report now submitted, for the provision of Road Marking Services be accepted.

59.

Green Waste Service - Summer Only Collection pdf icon PDF 38 KB

-           Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Minutes:

Councillor Hussain, Cabinet Member for Waste and Environment, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, which detailed how the green waste service was a seasonal service which was subject to high demand in summer and a very low demand over the winter period.  During the last two years the service had dropped to a monthly service over the winter period operating with a maximum of three vehicles out of the current fleet of seven vehicles. This report outlined the proposal to revert to a summer only collection of green waste to meet the requirements of the medium term financial plan

 

Cabinet Members sought clarification on the opportunities for the public to dispose of any green waste during the winter period, the recycling opportunities available and the potential for reverting to a green waste collection a month early in March if weather conditions were permitting.

 

Cabinet Members also noted that the proposal to cease collections over the winter period had been fully discussed with Trade Union Representatives in terms of reducing the establishment on Waste Collection Operations through the Voluntary Severance Scheme and taking vehicles off the road.

 

Resolved:-  That the proposal to revert to a summer only collection of green waste be approved.

60.

Expectations and Aspirations : Co-production in Rotherham pdf icon PDF 40 KB

-           Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and Adult Services to report.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Doyle, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, introduced a report by the Performance and Quality Manager, which detailed how the Expectations and Aspirations work stream of the Health and Wellbeing strategy had a priority in its action plan around co-production of services, this was fully endorsed by the Board’s member organisations.

 

The report submitted was currently being consulted on across the members of the Health and Wellbeing Board and provided information around definitions of co-production, examples of where this was already in place in Rotherham and the suggested approach to move this forward across all organisations.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the report be received and the contents and the case studies noted.

 

(2)  That the consultation of this document be noted.

61.

Exclusion of the Press and Public

Resolved:-  That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended March 2006), 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 Paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the Council)).

Minutes:

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 it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3  of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended March 2006) (information relates to finance or business affairs).

62.

Approval of Tender for the Provision of Bituminous Macadam

-           Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Minutes:

Councillor Hussain, Cabinet Member for Waste and Environment, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, relating to the award contracts for the supply of bituminous macadam (tarmac).

 

Resolved:-  That the tender submitted by Harsco Metals Group Ltd and Lafarge Tarmac Trading Ltd. for the provision of bituminous macadam be accepted.

63.

Wath District Office Site, Church Street, Wath

-           Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Minutes:

This item was deferred in order to allow Cabinet Members to be provided with further information.

64.

Former Records Centre and Weighbridge, Station Road, Masbrough, Rotherham

-           Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Minutes:

Councillor Beck, Cabinet Member for Business Growth and Regeneration, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, which sought approval for the disposal of the above-mentioned asset which had been declared surplus to the requirements of the Department of Audit and Asset Management.

 

Cabinet Members were informed that this site would be disposed of in its present condition with the current buildings in situ.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the Director of Audit and Asset Management be authorised to dispose of the asset on the basis recommended in item 7 in the report.

 

(2)  That the Director of Audit and Asset Management negotiates the terms of the disposal of the assets as described in the report.

 

(3)  That the Director of Legal and Democratic Services completes the necessary documentation.

65.

Forge Island Development - Next Steps

-           Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services to report.

Minutes:

Councillor Beck, Cabinet Member for Business Growth and Regeneration, introduced a report by the Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, which detailed the options available to the Council when Tesco vacated its current site on Forge Island.

 

It was recommended that with the strategic acquisition of the Forge Island site, its short term retention as a public car park be used to support nearby retailers and approval was sought to progress options for development.

 

Detailed information on the various options and uses of Forge Island were considered by Cabinet Members with clear indications of risk in the short and longer term.

 

Cabinet Members asked about third party involvement as part of the acquisition of the site, the number of employment opportunities that could be generated, the wider benefits for relocation opportunities, what the specific conditions involved taking into account the Regeneration and Town Centre Strategies and the timeframe for moving forward.  It was noted that whilst this was a key site in the town centre every effort should be made to minimise the risk to the Council.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the Director of Internal Audit and Asset Management be authorised to exercise the option to acquire Forge Island from Tesco, as described in Section 7.2 of this report.

 

(2)  That as detailed in Section 7.3 of this report the Director of Internal Audit and Asset Management be authorised to progress the option to keep the existing Forge Island car park open to the public.

 

(3)  That the Director of Internal Audit and Asset Management be authorised to continue negotiations towards redevelopment of Forge Island in accordance with Section 7.5 of this report.

 

(4)  That the Director of Internal Audit and Asset Management negotiates and enters into the legal agreement detailed in Section 7.6 of this report.

 

(5)  The Director of Financial Services adjusts the capital programme and revenue budgets as required to fund costs necessarily incurred in carrying out the above recommendations, as detailed in Section 8.0 of this report.