Agenda and minutes

Council Meeting - Wednesday 4 March 2015 2.00 p.m.

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

Contact: Debbie Pons, Principal Democratic Services Officer 

No. Item


Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 130 KB

Additional documents:


Resolved:- That the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 28th January, 2015, be approved for signature by the Mayor, subject to an inclusion to Minute No. A94(17) where the member of the public in question requested the comment made by the Mayor be included prior to the commencement of the answer “The Mayor pointed out that Councillor Steele would be answering this question not Councillor Hussain”.


Mover:-           The Mayor                             Seconder:-    Deputy Mayor

                        (Councillor J. Foden)                                  (Councillor M. Clark)




(1)  The Mayor reported on the announcement by the Queen appointing Mr. Andrew Coombe DL FCA as Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire to succeed Mr. David Moody when he retired on 7th April, 2015.


The Mayor asked the Council to join him in thanking Mr. David Moody on the excellent work he had undertaken and wished him well in his retirement and in congratulating Mr. Andrew Coombe on his appointment.


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


·                Containing 11 signatures from residents of Greasbrough and Munsbrough who are concerned about road safety issues on Fenton Road, Greasbrough and ask the Local Authority do something to improve road safety on Fenton Road.

·                Containing 1023 signatures requesting “We the people of Rotherham demand that all Rotherham Labour Councillors stand down from their Council seats and call a re-election with immediate effect – you have betrayed our children”.


(3)  The Interim Chief Executive submitted apologies for absence from Councillors Cutts, Dodson and J. Hamilton.

(The Mayor authorised consideration of the following urgent item in order to share the Directions of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Education under the Local Government Act 1999 and the Educational Act 1996.


The Effect of Directions made in relation to Rotherham Borough Council on 26th February 2015 pdf icon PDF 76 KB


Consideration was given to a report presented by the Director of Legal and Democratic Services, which set out the details of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Education’s Directions under Section 15(5) and (6) of the Local Government Act 1999 and Section 497A(4B) of the Education Act 1996 in relation to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council to secure its compliance with the best value duty and to secure that the Authority’s children’s social care functions were performed to the required standard.


The report set out in detail the nature of the Directions, introduced the Commissioners, their roles, powers to be exercised and the decision-making and accountability of the Commissioners, roles of the Leader, Cabinet and Members, appointment of statutory officers, appointment to other bodies, Directions to the Authority, duration of the intervention and order moving Rotherham Council to all out elections from 2016.


The representations made by the Council requested further information from the Department for Communities and Local Government relating to the constitutional implications and practical operation of the proposed intervention.


The Mayor invited Lead Commissioner Sir Derek Myers to say a few words.


Commissioner Sir Derek Myers introduced his fellow Commissioners, Stella Manzie who would be full-time and take over from the Interim Chief Executive from the 16th March, 2015, and Mary Ney, who would be part-time, and exercise all functions in respect of community safety, partnership with the Police and all licensing activity.


As Lead Commissioner, Sir Derek Myers would be overseeing the team’s function and report periodically to the two Government departments with a view to convincing them the full range of powers and accountabilities could be restored and returned to Councillors in due course.


Commissioner Sir Derek Myers and his fellow Commissioners thanked staff and Councillors they had met so far for the warm welcome.


Councillor Gilding also wished to offer his welcome to the Commissioners, but was saddened that the town had hit rock bottom and now required Commissioners to run its services.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the contents and effects of the Directions dated 26th February, 2015 be noted.


(2)  That the appointed Commissioners in the exercise of their functions as described in the Directions dated 26th February 2015 be fully supported.


Mover:-           The Mayor                             Seconder:-    Deputy Mayor

                        (Councillor J. Foden)                                  (Councillor M. Clark)


Leadership Arrangements


Consideration was given to the proposed leadership arrangements with the appointment of Councillor Christopher Read as Leader of Rotherham Borough Council.


Councillor Read explained that he had mixed emotions at becoming Leader as he was proud of Rotherham, its people, history and heritage.


Like most Members he felt the weight of the scandal that had become known simply as “Rotherham” and his thoughts were with the victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation and for what had gone wrong, as highlighted by both the reports by Professor Jay and Louise Casey, and how not enough had been done so far to put things right.


Change had already begun; meetings were webcast, there would be no Leader’s car, there was to be a future non-Labour Mayor and some of the victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation were receiving funded support.


Councillor Read was pleased to announce his new Cabinet:-


Deputy Leader                      Councillor Gordon Watson

Cabinet Member                  Councillor David Roche

Cabinet Member                  Councillor Denise Lelliott

Cabinet Member                  Councillor Kath Sims


The Council was now dealing with the past, but must look to the future and welcomed the Commissioners to their first full Council meeting.


Shortly the public of Rotherham would have their say about the future direction of the Council. Structures may have to be reformed with no return to systems that had previously failed.


Councillor Parker welcomed the changes, but questioned the Leader’s appointment of Deputy Leader who had denied on camera about the extent of child sexual exploitation.


Councillor Watson explained the situation which led to him appearing on Channel 4, how he was unable to express his comments, how the footage had been edited and how he was not, or ever said, he was in denial about child sexual exploitation.


Councillor Reynolds asked for clarification as to why the Council required a Leader and Deputy Leader and was informed by the Director of Legal and Democratic Services that this was a statutory requirement and formed part of the Local Government Act, 2000.


Resolved:- That Councillor Christopher Read be elected as Leader of Rotherham Borough  Council.


 Mover-: Councillor Ellis                             Seconder:- Councillor Gosling


Questions from the Public


(1)  Mr. P. Thirlwall asked could the Leader please confirm that Officers and Elected Members of the Council could no longer travel first class when travelling outside Rotherham on Council business?


The Leader confirmed this was the case.  If details were required about the Allowances Scheme this could be provided.


In a supplementary question Mr. P. Thirlwall welcomed this and other approaches about first class travel, which would be shared by the ratepayers of Rotherham, along with the reduction in Cabinet Members, Members’ allowances and the scrapping of the Imagination Library.


The Leader was pleased to confirm the action being taken.


(2)  Mr. R. Bartle referred to both verges of Worrygoose Lane, Whiston, which were strewn with all types of litter and asked when were the Council going to treat this issue seriously to convince residents that they intended to do something to deal effectively with the problem?


The Leader confirmed that Worrygoose Lane was programmed for litter picking on the 16th (and probably 17th as well) of March.  In addition, the Commissioners have recommended to Council the Budget which included an additional £200k for Street Cleansing; part of this would be used to increase the frequency of litter-picking on rural verges such as Worrygoose Lane.


In a supplementary question Mr. R. Bartle was pleased to hear that the programme of litter picking was for this month and asked the new Leader if these issues would be taken seriously and efforts made to clean up not just the Town Centre, but the whole of the Borough and if whether the additional funding for road repairs could be extended to Whiston?


The Leader hoped that the measures to be announced today would go some way to addressing the problems that have been mentioned.


Councillor Cowles asked if the new Leader was happy to put together a cross party group of people to look at litter to find some effective way of dealing with the problem appropriately, including looking more closely at the opening hours of the recycling centres.


The Leader confirmed this indeed would be an excellent topic for a scrutiny review and for a cross party approach to look at the issue.  However, discussions would have to take place with the Commissioners to ascertain if this could be taken forward on a cross party basis.  It must also be borne in mind that given the reductions in Local Government finances any such recommended action would have to be judged as a priority, but the approach was welcomed.


Councillor Parker asked if consideration was to be given to bringing the recycling centres back in-house as they were not easy to use and the people administering their operation were running them for profit and if the restrictions on the use of vans could be lifted, which would alleviate some of the problems with fly tipping.


The Leader confirmed that should a review take place these matters would be considered.


Councillor Reeder referred to emails she had sent regarding litter, spitting and dog  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.


Proposed Revenue Budget and Council Tax for 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 91 KB


As recommended by the Commissioners on 27th February, 2015.


Recorded Vote.

Additional documents:


Further to Minute No. 5 of the meeting of the Commissioners’ held on 27th February, 2015 consideration was given to the proposed Revenue Budget for 2015/16 based on the outcome of the Council’s Financial Settlement.


The Leader of the Council outlined the budget proposals following a series of successive budget cuts and which required a further £23 million in savings.


The large majority of the savings proposed did not come directly from frontline services, but subjecting local Councils to further cuts was not sustainable, but the task was to deliver on the priorities of the public with a greatly diminished resource to drive forward the change that was needed.


Top of the priority list was Children’s Safeguarding, which not only protected the core but increased funding in three key areas:-


·                £234,000 for the development of outreach youth work based provision to engage with young people at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation.

·                £390,000 for additional, permanent, social workers to make sure children at risk are seen by Children’s Services as quickly as possible.

·                £200,000 additional support for Child Sexual Exploitation victims and survivors.


£125,000 of short term funding announced after the Jay Report, was allocated to a number of local charities to increase capacity quickly to provide some of the support that victims and survivors need.  Within this budget the amount would be increased and mainstreamed to help to provide increased certainty over the coming months and years.


The funding would be allocated based on the needs analysis currently being conducted and informed by the views and experiences of victims and survivors themselves.


Local third sector groups were being encouraged to bid for further grant funding from the Government, but this was no substitute for the measures being proposed. 


To partly fund the measures above, it was proposed that Council Tax rise by 1.95% and amounted to 31p per week for the average Rotherham household in Band A.


To offset the potentially substantial one-off costs arising from the Jay Report a £8.4 million “Transformation Reserve” was proposed in order to meet these potential costs.


As the Government grants declined, the Council was increasingly dependent on retained business rates and reducing costs by helping people back to work.  It was, therefore, proposed that:-


1.      No revenue budget cuts to Economic Development staff.

2.      To continue as a Living Wage employer to 1,500 Council staff, subject to agreement from the Commissioners.

3.      To continue to provide Council Tax Support to ensure that those on the very lowest incomes continued to receive a 91.5% discount.

4.      To maintain a Local Welfare Fund for those in real financial crisis situations.


The choices being proposed would prevent net job losses.


In response to views of residents about litter, it was proposed to restore £200,000 of funding to Streetpride to address basic issues of weeds and litter.


The capital budget proposals would also see an extra £5 million spent on road maintenance and resurfacing over the coming two years and doubles the existing planned expenditure, and should  ...  view the full minutes text for item 109.


Setting the Council Tax for 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 140 KB


Following on from the Commissioner’s consideration of Agenda Item 6.


Recorded Vote.


Consideration was given to the report submitted by the Strategic Director of Resources and Transformation which set out details of the calculation of the Council Tax for Rotherham’s parished and unparished areas for the financial year 2015/16, and included both the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Fire and Rescue Authority Precepts. 


Resolved:-  (1)  That the Net Revenue Budget for the Council in 2015/16 of £203.554m, which after receipt of Central Government Grants and use of the Collection Fund leaves £83.663m 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), £1,277.73 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 2015/16 in accordance with Sections 31B to 36 of the Act as set out in Section 3 of Appendix A for the year 2015/16:-


(a)  £205,782,191 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 (£203,554,000) plus Parish Precepts (£2,228,191).


(b)  £119,891,408 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)  £2,000,000 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)  £85,890,783 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)  £1,311.7599 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)  £2,228,191 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)  £1,277.7300 being the amount at 3e above less the result given by dividing the amount at 3f above by the figure at 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  ...  view the full minutes text for item 110.


Prudential Indicators and Treasury Management and Investment Strategy 2015/16 to 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 179 KB


As recommended by the Commissioners on 27th February, 2015.


Further to Minute No. 4 of the meeting of the Commissioners’ held on 27th February, 2015 consideration was given to a report that detailed how, in accordance with the Prudential Code for Capital Finance, the Secretary of State’s Guidance on Local Government Investments, CIPFA’s Code of Practice for Treasury Management in Local Authorities and with Council policy, the Director of Financial Services was required, prior to the commencement of each financial year to seek the approval of the Council to the following:-

i.        The Prudential Indicators and Limits for 2015/16 to 2017/18 (Appendix A)

ii.       A Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Statement which sets out the Council’s policy on MRP (Appendix A)

iii.      An Annual Treasury Management Strategy in accordance with the CIPFA Code of Practice on Treasury Management including the Authorised Limit (Appendix B)

iv.      An Investment Strategy in accordance with the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) investment guidance (Appendix B)


Despite this being a technical and complex report the key messages were:-


a.      Investments – the primary governing principle would remain security over return and the criteria for selecting counterparties reflect this. Cash available for investment would remain low, resulting in low returns.

b.      Borrowing – overall, this would remain fairly constant over the period covered by this report and the Council would remain under-borrowed against its borrowing requirement due to the higher cost of carrying debt.  New borrowing would only be taken up as debt matures.

c.       Governance – strategies were reviewed by the Audit Committee with continuous monitoring which included Mid-Year and Year End reporting.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the prudential indicators and limits for 2015/16 to 2017/18 contained in Appendix A to the report be approved.


(2)  That the Minimum Revenue Provision Statement contained in Appendix A which sets out the Council’s policy on MRP be approved.


(3)  That the Treasury Management Strategy for 2015/16 to 2017/18 and the Authorised Limit Prudential Indicator (Appendix B) be approved.


(4)  That the Investment Strategy for 2015/16 to 2017/18 (Appendix B – Section (e) and Annex B1) be approved.


Mover:-  Councillor Read, Leader             Seconder:-  Councillor Watson,

                                                                        Deputy Leader


Capital Monitoring and Capital Programme 2015/16 - 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 144 KB


As recommended by the Commissioners on 27th February, 2015.

Additional documents:


Further to Minute No. 6 of the meeting of the Commissioners’ held on 27th February, 2015 consideration was given to a report which provided details of the current forecast outturn for the 2014/15 programme and enable the Council to review the capital programme for the financial years 2015/16 and 2017/18.


The proposed Capital Programme for 2015/16 to 2017/18 ensured that the Council’s capital expenditure plans were aligned with its strategic priorities and vision for Rotherham. 


Specifically the three year Capital Programme would deliver on the following key Council priorities:-


·                £15.9m investment in highway infrastructure projects and maintenance to improve the Borough’s roads.

·                £12.4m investment in school buildings to provide additional pupil places and improve existing building conditions.

·                £4.2m investment in street lighting to enable revenue savings by investing in new lighting technology.

·                £92.1m investment in new housing and improvements to existing stock and the estate infrastructure.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the updated 2014/15 to 2017/18 Capital Programme be approved.  This programme incorporated expenditure funded through grant allocations announced since the last report was produced, and includes the 2017/18 Housing Investment Programme funded through the Housing Revenue Account.


In particular, Members should note the following major additions to the capital programme and supplementary approvals to existing schemes:-


·                Additional expenditure on Highway Maintenance and Improvements to Non-Principal Roads funded by Prudential Borrowing (£3m in 2015/16, £2m in 2016/17).  Recommended for approval.

·                Waste Management – Capitalisation of Wheelie Bins (£0.181m in 2014/15 and £0.181m in 2015/16).  Proposed as part of the 2015/16 Revenue Budget.

·                Expansion of the Town Centre Street Market (£0.048m in 2014/15).  Approved by the Cabinet Member for Business Growth and Regeneration, 12th January 2015.

·                Reroofing works to Moorgate Crofts (£0.051m in 2014/15).  Approved by the Director of Planning and Regeneration under delegated powers, 5th November 2014.

·                Assistive Technology (£0.510m in 2015/16 and £0.400m in 2016/17).  Proposed for approval as part of the 2015/16 Revenue Budget.

·                Rotherham Equipment and Wheelchair Service (REWS) Equipment (£0.190m in 2015/16 and £0.190m in 2016/17).  Proposed for approval as part of the 2015/16 Revenue Budget.

·                Furnished Homes – Capitalisation of Furniture and White Goods – (£1.2m in 2014/15; £2.88m in future years).  Proposed for approval as part of the 2015/16 Revenue Budget.


Where not funded by grant or by the Service from its own resources, the revenue implications from these schemes have been built into the Council’s 2015/16 Revenue Budget and Medium Term Financial Planning assumptions.


Mover:-  Councillor Read, Leader             Seconder:-  Councillor Watson,

                                                                        Deputy Leader


Extension of Business Rates Transitional Relief for 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 46 KB


As recommended by the Commissioners on 27th February, 2015.


Further to Minute No. 7 of the meeting of the Commissioners’ held on 27th February, 2015 consideration was given to a report detailed how in the 3rd December Autumn Statement for 2014 the Government announced that Transitional Rates Relief was being extended for two years until March, 2017 and that Local Authorities would be compensated by grant for the cost to them of any relief granted.  Guidance on the extension of Transitional Relief was issued in January and it was estimated that up to seventeen properties in Rotherham would be affected and with a maximum rates relief awarded in 2015/16 of £20k of which Rotherham MBC’s share would be £10k.


In addition, the guidance asked Local Authorities to consider granting discretionary relief to child care providers, but did not offer to reimburse Local Authorities for the cost.  Councils were also reminded to notify child care providers of the other rates reliefs available to them (e.g. Small Business Rates Relief and Charity Relief) and of the importance of prompt payment. 


Resolved:-  (1)  That an extension be granted of Transitional Rates Relief to all qualifying premises within the Council area, subject to satisfying the State Aid requirements. 


(2)  That the Council does not change its existing Policy with respect to discretionary rates relief for child care providers, but continues to assess cases for discretionary rates relief individually. 


Mover:-  Councillor Read, Leader             Seconder:-  Councillor Watson,

                                                                        Deputy Leader


Cabinet Minutes pdf icon PDF 79 KB


Resolved:-  That the reports and minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet (Section C) (pages 145C to 157C) be adopted.


Mover:-  Councillor Hoddinott                   Seconder:-  Councillor Beck


Delegated Powers pdf icon PDF 44 KB


Deputy Leader – Pages 27D to 35D (Section D)


Children and Education Services – Pages 40F to 53F (Section F)


Environment – Pages 31G to 34G (Section G)


Adult Social Care and Health – Pages 41H to 49H (Section H)


Business Growth and Regeneration – Pages 26I to 32I (Section I)


Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods – Pages 60J to 67J (Section J)


Additional documents:


A number of questions were raised in relation to the minutes of the meetings of Cabinet Members as follows:-


Minute No. D38 (Financial System Managed Service Renewal) – Councillor Cowles referred to the reasons for outsourcing an I.T. system when the systems in Riverside House appeared to have the capacity and could provide accommodation and asked if this was not considered, then why not, why the Council were not considered to have the expertise and was it not time to look at a fully integrated system?


Councillor Hoddinott pointed out that the Council did not always have the expertise to provide support, but drew attention to the questions raised in the Minute and particularly Recommendation No. 1 where written confirmation was requested that no alternative provider could provide the required level of support.


It was also pointed out that consideration was already being given as to ways that the Council could become smarter with technology to engage with residents and work had commenced on the refresh of the I.T. Strategy, which was due later this year.  External support from providers was only sought when the expertise was not available in-house.


In a supplementary question Councillor Cowles referred to the inexperience of decision makers, the apparent lack of expertise in the Council and believed, having visited Riverside House, that the provision was only functioning at a third of its capacity.


Councillor Hoddinott pointed out that Opposition Members could have attended the delegated powers meeting and added their view, but  if they felt the decision was incorrect, could have called it in, but maintained it was the right decision for the Council to make.


Councillor C. Vines challenged the participation of Opposition Members in meetings and criticised the call-in process.


Councillor Steele referred to a decision that was called in by the Opposition and heard on the 13th February, 2015.


Councillor Hoddinott referred to 23rd January, 2015 meeting of her own where Councillors Parker and C. Vines were invited to contribute.


Minute No. D34 (Waiver of Standing Orders for Post Abuse CSE Support) – Councillor Parker expressed his concern that the funding referred to in Recommendation No. 3 was being pooled to commission further voice and influence work and these would simply become talking shops which was not addressing the problem nor giving the victims the support they required.


He pointed out that the proposed work was to better understand the effects of Child Sexual Exploitation on minority ethnic groups and communities, including Asian and Roma when the majority of the girls exploited were of white origin.  Would this not simply divide a community?  Reference was again made to a previous question where he had asked if there were any Roma families in this community in Rotherham married to underage children and claimed the answers provided were nonsense as it was illegal in this country and marital status details and dates of birth would be recorded on the passports of those entering the country.


Councillor Hoddinott explained that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 115.


Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 51 KB


The Chairman advised that this would be his last Council Meeting and wished to place on record his thanks and appreciation to his fellow Audit Committee Members past and present for the learning he had received and to officers and to reiterate to the public of Rotherham how sorry he was for the inadequacies that had been uncovered and the suffering caused.


Councillor Cowles wished to confirm that it had been a pleasure to work with the Chairman and enjoyed the experience.


Resolved:-  That the reports and minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee (Section N) (Pages 22N to 28N) be adopted.


Mover:-  Councillor Sangster                    Seconder:-  Councillor Kaye


Licensing Board Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 20 KB


Minute No Q32 (Application for the Review of a Hackney Carriage/Private Hire Driver’s License) – Councillor Gilding commended the Licensing Board Sub-Committee on the action they had taken and the reasons they had given for the revocation of a licensed driver in Rotherham and hoped that this practice would continue in the future.


Councillor Reynolds asked if there was any truth in the rumour that the Council was to sub-contract its licensing activity and was informed by the Chairman that she had no knowledge of such a request.


Resolved:-  That the reports and minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Board Sub-Committee (Section Q) (Page 23Q) be adopted.


Mover:-  Councillor Dalton                        Seconder:-  The Mayor

                                                                       (Councillor John Foden)


Health and Wellbeing Board pdf icon PDF 83 KB


Councillor Hoddinott wished to draw attention to Minute No. S62 (Urgent Care Performance) following the request by the Chairman for an urgent report and the concerns that the hospital had failed to achieve its 95% target in Accident and Emergency.  Yorkshire Ambulance was also reporting that over a third of the red call outs did not get a response in eight minutes.  Information was also heard from the Police who were regularly reporting they were transporting people to hospital because of concerns over the Ambulance Service.


The Commissioners were asked to carry on the work and look to address these concerns.


Resolved:-  That the reports and minutes of the meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board (Section S) (Pages 64S to 77S) be adopted.


Mover:-  Councillor Doyle                          Seconder:-  Councillor Hoddinott


Planning Board pdf icon PDF 30 KB

Additional documents:


Resolved:-  That the reports and minutes of the meetings of the Planning Board (Section T) (Pages 40T to 47T) be adopted.


Mover:-  Councillor Atkin                           Seconder:-  Councillor Tweed


Scrutiny Update


Councillor Steele provided an update on activity and achievements so far for each of the Select Commissions:-


·                Overview and Scrutiny Management Board completed an intensive and in-depth scrutiny of plans to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham, over two full days, during December 2014. The Management Board have agreed the final report and it will be fed into the new decision making arrangements for the Council over the coming weeks.


·                Self Regulation completed an urgent piece of work into Standing Orders for the Council – focusing on Member and public questions in Council, and have recommended a further stage to this work in the near future.


·                Health Select Commission have completed a key review on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and this would also be progressed through the new decision making processes.


·                Work programmes for all of the Select Commissions have progressed via the scheduled meetings including supporting the local economy, commissioning, Sheffield City Region, Town Centre Safety and Safeguarding (Adults and Children).


Councillor Wyatt also wished to point out the work of scrutiny and particularly the performance of the Ambulance Service as referred to under the Health and Wellbeing Board minutes and whether the duty was to look at all providers of health service.  He asked that the Ambulance Service be one such area to be looked at when Scrutiny was resumed.


Councillor Reynolds referred to the issue behind the ambulance service aging fleet which could not be replaced and the costs associated with a fully kitted ambulance.  Only by dealing with the core problem would the difficulties be resolved.


He also expressed his concerns over not receiving responses about Child Sexual Exploitation from the Police or the Police and Crime Commissioner.


Councillor Steele took on board all the concerns, but pointed out that the Police and Crime Commissioner and District Commander Jason Harwin had been present at the two day Scrutiny meetings to answer questions, but like everyone else in this Chamber wished to see more arrests and children protected.


Resolved:- That the Scrutiny update noted.


Questions to Former Cabinet Members and Committee Chairmen


(1)  Councillor C. Vines referred to a resident stating that the car park now run by the Council at the old Tesco Forge Island Site did not meet legal requirements which were:-


240 cm width

480 cm length


The length is only 410 cm.


Was this car park operating in accordance of the legal requirements?


The Leader confirmed the minimum car parking bay dimensions were set out in The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions which was a Statutory Instrument. However, this document prescribed dimensions for on-street parking bays and not for off-street bays as was Forge Island car park.


Checks had been made with both Barnsley and Doncaster Councils and they have confirmed that there was no legislation for the prescribed dimensions of off-street parking pays.


Clearly, off-street car parks needed to ensure that the parking bays were fit for purpose and that vehicular/pedestrian movement around the site was safely achieved.


From taking over the day-to-day operational management of Forge Island in November 2014 no incidents had been reported. 


(2)  Councillor C. Vines asked with proposed Landlord Licenses being introduced only in certain areas could he be told how many Council-owned properties would fall into these proposed areas and how much this would cost the Council in License fees and who would be the enforcer tasked with enforcing the License requirements?


The Leader confirmed the Selective Licensing Scheme related only to properties owned by private landlords and, therefore, there would be no charge to any Council-owned properties.


In a supplementary question Councillor C. Vines asked if this was discriminatory?


The Leader confirmed that there were separate regulations that governed Council-owned properties.


(3)  This question was not accepted.


(4)  This question was not accepted.


(5)  Councillor Cowles asked did the Leader agree that local people should receive, at the very least, the minimum wage for their labour? 


The Leader explained he did agree.


In a supplementary question Councillor Cowles stressed the importance as two meetings ago he raised a concern about the minimum wage not being enforced by Government.  The answer given was about the positives of the Living Wage, but no answer was given for this matter to be looked into locally to ensure the minimum wage was being paid in this region.  Rachel Reeves made the same point on Question Time on the 26th February, 2015, as had Councillor Cowles.  She also stated that there had been few prosecutions.  Given the current situation Councillor Cowles asked if a cross party group could look into this issue, which may involve working with other agencies, but it was important that this issue was looked at locally to ensure minimum wage was being paid in this region.


The Leader considered this to be an excellent topic for a cross party scrutiny review, but pointed out subject to the arrangements may be something that could be looked at. 


The Leader referred to some recent prosecutions by the Government where companies were not paying the minimum wage, which did include a prominent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 121.


Questions to Spokespersons


There were none.