Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2TH
Contact: Debbie Pons, Principal Democratic Services Officer
Resolved:- That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 29th January, 2014, be approved for signature by the Mayor.
Mover: Councillor Stone Seconder: Councillor Akhtar
The Chief Executive submitted apologies for absence from Councillors Lelliott, Pitchley, Smith and Tweed.
Questions from Members of the Public
A member of the public referred to replies to questions put forward at Council meetings being answered by letter they avoided the subject being recorded for future reference in the minutes.
With visual, recording and incomplete minutes not being implemented, was this deception or distortion?
The Leader reported that questions from the public were responded to, wherever possible, at the meeting at which they were asked.
The member of the public received a reply to his question at the previous Council meeting. However, as part of his enquiry related to licenses across the Borough, thorough research was required to provide a full and accurate response. Owing to the amount of detail that needed to be considered prior to finalising the response (an examination of the licensing conditions appertaining to all licensed premises in the Borough) giving a written reply rather than an oral response at the meeting, provided the questioner with a more comprehensive answer.
The Council was committed to encouraging participation from members of the public at meetings. The Council abided by all requirements with regard to enabling the public and press to make records of meetings and would look creatively at any new requirements that may arise from the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.
In a supplementary question the member of the public confirmed he had received an answer in writing, but that this did not directly answer the question he had originally asked.
The Mayor confirmed an answer to the question had been provided.
Proposed Revenue Budget and Council Tax for 2014/15
(Minute No. C191 – Pages 109C to 112C)
Prudential Indicators and Treasury Management and Investment Strategy 2014/15 to 2016/17
(Minute No. C192 – Pages 112C to 114C)
Recorded Votes at Budget Meetings
(Minute No. C195 – Pages 115C to 116C)
Sheffield City Region Combined Authority – Appointment of Representatives
(Minute No. C196 – Pages 116C to 177C)
Resolved:- That the reports and minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet (Section C) (pages 91C to 120C) be adopted with a clerical correction to the amendment to Standing Orders in relation to Minute No. C195 (Recorded Votes at Budget Meetings) – Pages 115C to 116C, to now read “Immediately after any vote on any decision relating to the making of the calculation or the issuing of the precept is taken at a budget meeting there must be recorded in the minutes the names of the persons who cast a vote for the decision or against the decision or who abstained from voting.”
Mover: Councillor Stone Seconder: Councillor Akhtar
(The Mayor (Councillor J. Foden), Councillors Ahmed, Akhtar, Ali, Andrews, Astbury, Atkin, Barron, Beaumont, Beck, Buckley, Burton, Clark, Currie, Dalton, Dodson, Doyle, Ellis, Falvey, Godfrey, Gosling, Goulty, J. Hamilton, N. Hamilton, Havenhand, Hoddinott, Hussain, Johnston, Kaye, Lakin, McNeely, Pickering, Read, Roche, Roddison, Rushforth, G. A. Russell, P. A. Russell, R. S. Russell, Sangster, Sharman, Sims, Steele, Stone, Swift, Wallis, Watson, Whelbourn, Whysall, Wootton and Wyatt recorded their vote in favour of Minute No. C191 (Proposed Revenue Budget and Council Tax for 2014/15) – Pages 109C to 112C).
Councillors Donaldson, Gilding, Jepson, Mannion, Middleton and Vines recorded their vote against Minute No. C191 (Proposed Revenue Budget and Council Tax for 2014/15) – Pages 109C to 112C).
Children, Young People and Families Services – Pages 42D to 49D (Section D)
Communities and Cohesion – Pages 23E to 26E (Section E)
Culture and Tourism – Pages 23F to 27F (Section F)
Regeneration and Development – Pages 39G to 45G (Section G)
Adult Social Care – Pages 30H to 44H (Section H)
Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods – Pages 44J to 47J (Section J)
Health and Wellbeing – Pages 21K to 24K (Section K)
Waste and Emergency Planning– Pages 29L to 32L (Section L)
Deputy Leader – Pages 19N to 23N (Section N)
Resolved:- That the reports and minutes of the meetings of Cabinet Members as listed below be adopted:-
· Children, Young People and Families Services – Pages 42D to 49D (Section D)
· Communities and Cohesion – Pages 23E to 26E (Section E)
· Culture and Tourism – Pages 23F to 27F (Section F)
· Regeneration and Development – Pages 39G to 45G (Section G)
· Adult Social Care – Pages 30H to 44H (Section H)
· Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods – Pages 44J to 47J (Section J)
· Health and Wellbeing – Pages 21K to 24K (Section K)
· Waste and Emergency Planning– Pages 29L to 32L (Section L)
· Deputy Leader – Pages 19N to 23N (Section N)
Mover:- Councillor Stone Seconder:- Councillor Akhtar
Resolved:- That the reports and minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee (Section P) (pages 17P to 21P) be adopted.
Mover:- Councillor Sangster Seconder:- Councillor Kaye
Resolved:- That the reports and the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Board (Section Q) (Pages 21Q to 23Q) be adopted.
Mover:- Councillor Wootton Seconder:- Councillor Barron
Resolved:- That the reports and minutes of the meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board (Section S) (Pages 41S to 54S) be adopted.
Mover:- Councillor Wyatt Seconder:- Councillor Doyle
Resolved:- That the reports and minutes of the meetings of the Planning Board (Section T) (pages 42T to 44T) be adopted.
Mover:- Councillor Pickering Seconder:- Councillor Dodson
Employee Relations Update
Minute No. V1 (Pages 1V-2V)
Resolved:- That the reports and minutes of the meetings of the Staffing Committee (Section V) (pages 1V to 2V) be adopted.
Mover:- Councillor Stone Seconder:- Councillor Akhtar
Questions to Cabinet Members
(1) Councillor Hoddinott indicated that in their rush to penalise tenants with the cruel bedroom tax, the Government had mistakenly charged people who have been in their home prior to 1996. How many people in Rotherham have been affected by this and had anyone moved out of their home because of the Government’s error?
Councillor Akhtar explained that in this Coalition Government’s push to rush through this ill-conceived, cruel and unfair bedroom tax, it made a fundamental and sloppy error in drafting the legislation by mistakenly including people who have been in their home prior to 1996. So far it was known that 281 tenants have been affected in Rotherham by the error which resulted in an underpayment of £149,000 in Housing Benefit to them. The Council was in the process of rectifying the Government’s error and ensuring each tenant received the benefit that they were entitled to. The Council was unaware of the numbers of people who may have moved home as a result of this Government error.
(2) Councillor Middleton asked would the proposed 'selective licensing scheme' for rented residential properties in certain areas of Rotherham be self-funding, how many properties would it cover and when was it proposed to put it into force?
Councillor McNeely explained that selective licensing schemes were required by Government guidance to be self-financing and a robust business case needed to demonstrate costs and benefits. The current consultation concerned a proposal for a scheme to include approximately 2,000 properties. The consultation exercise would conclude on the 24th March. In accordance with national guidelines, the results of the local consultation exercise would be considered along with the business case for selective licensing, before making a final decision about the type of scheme that would be appropriate.
If there was a clear case to proceed with some form of scheme, the Council would be required by national guidance to serve notice of its intentions, which would take several months. The earliest any scheme could be introduced would be around autumn of this year.
(3) Councillor Gilding asked if he could be supplied with income, expenditure and any surplus made from the Council’s parking charges and fines.
Councillor R. S. Russell confirmed that the figures were from the Parking Services report which was presented to the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development Services and approved for last financial year (2012/13):-
It should be noted that the surplus was derived from car parking charges, not from Penalty Charge Notices; the cost of employing the team of Civil Enforcement Officers was off-set by the income from penalty charge notices.
Parking Charges in the town have not changed since April, 2010 (when off-street charges were slightly increased, but on-street charges were decreased) and prices would remain static for the financial year 2014/15.
(4) Councillor ... view the full minutes text for item 89.
Questions to Spokespersons
(1) From Councillor Gilding asked what was the current amount in the South Yorkshire Police cash reserves?
The Deputy Leader explained that the Police and Crime Panel was a scrutiny body, designed to support the effective exercise of the functions of the Police and Crime Commissioner. It had particular defined functions, including:-
· Contributing to the development of the Police and Crime Plan.
· Reviewing the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed precept.
· Reviewing senior appointments of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
· Commenting upon the Police and Crime Commissioner’s annual report.
· Investigating complaints about the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The Panel was different in nature to the former Police Authority as it performed an overarching, review role rather than functioning as an authority in its own right.
The Panel considered issues relating to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed budget at its meeting on 31st January, 2014. At that meeting the report of the Police and Crime Commissioner was considered and there was a lengthy questioning of the Commissioner.
However, the exact details of the current level of cash reserves was not information which the Panel had. The Commissioner had services of a Treasurer and that would be the most appropriate route for the query to be considered.
(2) Councillor Gilding asked was this Council reimbursed with the cost of Rotherham Council officers servicing the Police and Crime Panel?
The Deputy Leader confirmed that Rotherham Borough Council, as the host authority for South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, received a Home Office grant of £53,000 per annum, to fund the necessary work. If any further activities were required above this level of funding, the Panel would need to consider alternative ways of resourcing that work.
The Director of Finance submitted a report on the amount of Council Tax for Rotherham both for parished areas and unparished areas for the financial year 2014/15 and included both the Police and Crime Commissioner and Fire and Rescue Authority precepts.
Resolved:- (1) That a net Revenue Budget for the Council in 2014/15 of £208.885m, which after receipt of Central Government Grants and use of the Collection Fund leaves £80.438m to be funded be approved.
(2) That, in accordance with Section 34 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011), £1,253.34 be calculated as its basic amount of Council Tax for the year (using the formula in section 34 of the Act) for an unparished area.
(3) That the following amounts be calculated for the year 2014/15 in accordance with Sections 31B to 36 of the Act as set out in Section 3 of Appendix A for the year 2014/15:-
(a) £210,997,623 being the net aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the items set out in Section 31A (2) and 31A (3) of the Act taking into account all precepts issued to it by Parish Councils (Gross Council Expenditure (less income and Specific Grants other than the Business Rates Retention Scheme and other Settlement Funding Assessment grants (£208,885,000) plus Parish Precepts (£2,112,623)).
(b) £126,942,842 being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates will be payable for the year into its General Fund in respect of the Business Rates Retention Scheme and other Settlement Funding Assessment grants.
(c) £1,504,038 being the amount which the Council estimates will be payable in the year from its Collection Fund to its General Fund in accordance with section 97(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (Council Tax Balance).
(d) £82,550,743 being the amount by which the aggregate at 3a above exceeds the aggregate of 3b and 3c above , calculated by the Council in accordance with section 31A(4) of the Act as its Council Tax requirement for the year (Item R in the formula in section 31B of the Act).
(e) £1,286.2577 being the amount at 3d above (Item R divided by Item T 1a above) calculated by the Council in accordance with section 31B of the Act as the relevant basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including Parish Precepts).
(f) £2,112,623 being the aggregate amount of all special items (Parish Precepts) referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act as per section 1b above.
(g) £1,253.3400 being the amount at 3e above less the result given by dividing the amount at 3f above by 1a above (item T in the formula in Section31B (1) of the Act calculated by the Council in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act, as the relevant basic amount of its Council Tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which no parish precept relates. (Band D Council Tax for Rotherham MBC services).
(h) The following amounts be ... view the full minutes text for item 91.