Agenda and minutes

Council Meeting - Wednesday 8 July 2015 2.00 p.m.

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

Contact: Debbie Pons, Principal Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

28.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

The following declarations of interest were reported:-

 

Councillor Jepson declared a personal interest in Agenda Item 13 (Standards Committee) on the grounds that he was a member of a Parish Council that was referred to in the minutes.

 

Councillors Khan and Yasseen declared disclosable pecuniary interests in Agenda Item 7 (Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy) on the grounds of being involved with or knowing someone in the licensing trade and withdrew from the room whilst that item was discussed.

29.

Council Minutes pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 3rd June, 2015, be approved for signature by the Mayor.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read             Seconder:  Councillor Watson

30.

Communications

Minutes:

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

 

·           Containing 17 signatures from residents of Brameld Road, Rawmarsh, requesting CCTV, Police monitoring and patrols. 

·           Containing 105 signatures from residents requesting resurfacing works to the roads of Broom Avenue, Middle Lane South and Badsley Moor Lane.

 

(2)  The Managing Director submitted apologies for absence from Councillors Ahmed, Elliot, Pitchley, Reynolds, Robinson, Russell, Sims, Smith, Taylor and Tweed.

 

(3)  Councillor Beck reported on the positive work taking place in the town centre including the erection of the Heart of Steel sculpture, extension of the Tuesday market and the award to Patchwork Pig of High Street for the Regional Retailer of the Year.

31.

Questions from the Public

Minutes:

(1)  Mr. R. Bartle referred to the last Rotherham South meeting where an Asian gentleman from Eastwood said he wanted to leave Eastwood because he was fed up at the level of eastern European prostitution and general state of the area, his house was worthless and he was trapped and asked what did the Leader have to say.

 

The Leader explained the Borough was facing big challenges. Colleagues from Streetpride, Community Protection, Children and Young People’s Services and Area Assembly staff were working together with Elected Members and the Clifton Partnership to tackle major issues.

 

In a supplementary question Mr. Bartle referred to the migration issues in Eastwood, the clean-up operations, the additional waste collections, the increased costs and the criminal activity taking place.

 

The Leader advised that should Mr. Bartle be aware of any criminal activity taking place this should be reported to the Police. Any other issues identified by Mr. Bartle could be provided to the Leader in writing for him to deal with.

 

In terms of the migration in Rotherham the Leader had met with many people in the Eastwood community.  They had come to this country to work and their contributions supported the local economy.

 

(2)  Mr. M. Eyre referred to the Council’s website where it stated that “to meet the national standard of decent homes” a Council house must be free from damp and asked could the Council tell him if the Council housing in East Dene was free from damp.

 

Councillor Lelliott, Advisory Cabinet Member for Housing and the Local Economy, confirmed theCouncil’s housing stock exceeded 21,000 homes and it was probable that at any one time a small number may have an issue with damp. The housing in East Dene was traditional brick built and suffered from no more damp problems than average. However, the Council was investing £5.9 million on roofing and insulation in East Dene - £3 million spent to date and £2.9 million planned in 2015-16, which would minimise any problems with condensation.

 

In a supplementary question Mr. Eyre gave two examples of families with children suffering with damp in East Dene, which were causing health issues.  He believed these families were being ignored by the Council and found this situation unacceptable that families were having to live in these conditions and wished to know what action could be taken to prevent further neglect.

 

Councillor Lelliott, Advisory Cabinet Member for Housing and the Local Economy, asked the member of the public to provide details on these families and she would speak to the relevant people involved to investigate.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

 

(3)   Mr. D. McMillan asked, whilst acknowledging the pre-eminence of addressing overall governance and CSE issues, what assurances could all parties give that they would work together with any new Chief Executive and senior departmental management to ensure that concomitant Council responsibilities were not adversely affected.

 

The Leader thanked the member of the public for his question and confirmed that child sexual exploitation was a top priority for the Council. 

 

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy pdf icon PDF 35 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to the meeting of Commissioner Ney and the Advisory Licensing Board held on 29th June, 2015, consideration was given to a report which detailed the proposed Policy in relation to Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing scheduled for implementation on 6th July, 2015 (subject to the receipt of representations against the decision).

 

The proposed Policy was the result of the largest overhaul of the Council’s licensing policy and practice ever to have taken place.  Once implemented the Policy was designed to bring about significant improvement in the regulation of the taxi and private hire trade in Rotherham and ensure that the standard of drivers, vehicles and operators were improved.

 

As a result of the responses received during the consultation, and discussions with the Advisory Licensing Board and licensed trade representatives, Commissioner Ney made a number of amendments to the Policy which Members of the Council were urged to support.

 

Clarification was sought on various matters including the issuing of receipts and the use of non-Rotherham licensed drivers and were informed by Commissioner Ney that receipts would only be issued on request.  In terms of the use of non-Rotherham licensed drivers, the Policy did stipulate licensed drivers from Rotherham, but it was hoped in time this could be enforced across South Yorkshire.

 

Support was expressed to the Policy in order to protect some of the most vulnerable in society who used taxi services through the use of CCTV. 

 

There was a suggestion that there be more improved communication and race relations to iron out some of the difficulties in the Policy.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the Revised RMBC Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy (attached as Appendix 1 to this report) be noted.

 

(2)  That Commissioner Ney’s decisions with regard to the policy (minded to decision notice attached as Appendix 2) be noted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Ellis               Seconder:-  Councillor Wallis

 

(Councillors’ Khan and Yasseen declared disclosable pecuniary interests on the grounds of being involved with or knowing someone in the licensing trade and withdrew from the room whilst this item was discussed)

 

(Councillors Alam, Ali, Atkin, Beaumont, Beck, Buckley, Burton, Cowles, Currie, Cutts, Ellis, Evans, Finnie, Fleming, Gosling, Hague, J. Hamilton, Hoddinott, Hughes, Hunter, Jepson, Johnston, Jones, Lelliott, Mallinder, McNeely, Middleton, Parker, Pickering, Price, Read, Reeder, Roche, Roddison, Rose, Rosling, Rushforth, Sansome, Steele, Turner, Turner, C. Vines, M. Vines, Wallis, Watson, Whelbourn, Whysall and Wyatt supported the Policy adoption)

 

(Councillor Ali abstained from the vote)

33.

Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Steele, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, presented the Annual Report for 2014-15 for approval.

 

The Annual Report set out the key achievements for the 2014-15 Scrutiny function of the Council and looked back to capture some outcomes attributable to previous completed reviews.

 

Many changes had occurred in the last few months and tribute was paid to Councillors Currie and Whelbourn for their support to the Scrutiny function.

 

Resolved:-  (1) That the draft Scrutiny Annual Report 2014-15 be approved.

 

(2)  That membership details for 2015/16 reflect any changes made at the Council meeting on the 8th July, 2015 and be included in the final published version.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Steele           Seconder:-  Councillor Hamilton

34.

Local Development Scheme pdf icon PDF 757 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report detailing the Local Development Scheme setting out the project plan for the preparation, adoption and review of the Rotherham Local Plan.

 

The report outlined an update to the Local Development Scheme which had been produced to reflect the revised timetable for publication and submission of the Sites and Policies document to Government.

 

Councillors Parker, John Turner and C. Vines were unable to support the Scheme whilst ever consideration was being given to development on Green Belt land.

 

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

 

Mover:-  Councillor Lelliott          Seconder:-  Councillor Atkin

35.

Review of the Council's Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) Profile pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which outlined the work being undertaken to review and amend the current profile for reducing the Council’s underlying need to borrow (Capital Financing Requirement - CFR) through the annual Minimum Revenue Provision charge to revenue (MRP) in respect of capital expenditure incurred prior to 2007/08 which was funded by borrowing. This identified short to medium term revenue benefits and sought approval.

 

The report also outlined a proposal to utilise unapplied capital resources to achieve short-term revenue benefits by repaying existing debt and sought approval for this to be applied in the 2014/15 financial year.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the re-profiling of the Council’s Minimum Revenue Provision charge for reducing the Council’s underlying need to borrow on capital expenditure incurred prior to 2007/08, which was funded from borrowing, and the transfer of the identified short-term revenue benefits to a new Council earmarked reserve titled ‘MRP Adjustment Reserve’ be approved.

 

(2)  That an amendment be made to the Council’s Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement applicable in 2014/15 and future financial years, the revised wording for paragraph (a) of the Policy Statement to be:-

 

“The MRP charge in relation to capital expenditure incurred prior to 2007/08 where the expenditure was funded by either supported or unsupported borrowing will be calculated using the expected useful life of the asset and the calculation of the provision will be by the annuity method.”

 

(3)  That the use of unapplied capital resources to reduce the Council’s underlying need to borrow be approved and for this to be applied in the 2014/15 financial year.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read             Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

36.

Scheme of Delegation and Financial Regulations pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which recommended the updating of the Scheme of Delegation and the revision of the Council’s Financial Regulations following the appointment of the Commissioners by the Secretaries of State.

 

There was some confusion with the electronic version of the documents being circulated by email, but these were for information only.  Hard copies of the revised Scheme of Delegation had been provided in each of the respective Group Rooms with a copy for inspection left on Reception at the Town Hall.  Further copies could be requested via the Monitoring Officer.

 

Resolved:-  That the revised officer Scheme of Delegation and the revised Financial Regulations be approved.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read             Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

37.

Revised Membership Arrangements 2015/16 pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report which detailed suggested revisions to the appointment of Members to the Committees, Boards and Panels of the Council, in accordance with the requirements of political balance.

 

Resolved:-  That the revisions to the appointments to Committees, Boards and Panels of the Council be approved as follows:-

 

Sheffield City Region – Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority

Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Steele plus Councillor Cowles

Audit Committee –Councillor Wyatt plus Councillor Cowles

 

Improving Lives Select Commission:-

 

For Councillor Reeder to replace Councillor John Turner

For Councillor Jepson to replace Councillor Burton

 

Health Select Commission:-

 

For Councillor John Turner to replace Councillor Reeder

For Councillor Parker to replace Councillor Ellis

 

Members’ Training and Development Panel:-

 

To include Councillor Jepson

 

Planning Board:-

 

For Councillor Cutts to replace Councillor M. Vines

 

Appeal and Grievance Panels:-

 

To include Councillor Parker

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read             Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

38.

Standards Committee pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports, minutes and recommendations of the meeting of the Standards Committee be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Beck               Seconder:-  Councillor Hughes

 

(Councillor Jepson declared a personal interest on the grounds that he was now Chairman of Anston Parish Council, which was referred to in the minutes, and indicated he would be making a written submission on comments made about the Parish Council at the previous meeting)

39.

Health and Wellbeing Board pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the minutes of the Health and Wellbeing Board and tribute paid to all those involved in the independent review into suicide.

 

Resolved:-  That the reports and minutes of the meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Roche            Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

40.

Planning Board pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports and minutes of the meetings of the Planning Board be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Atkin               Seconder:- Councillor Roche

41.

Questions to Spokespersons

Minutes:

There were none.

42.

Questions to Advisory Cabinet Members and Chairmen

Minutes:

(1)  Councillor John Turner asked with regard to the introduction of videoing of meetings being a major move towards democracy, did this ruling apply to Parish Councils or was it optional.

 

The Leader explained Parish Councils were not obliged to webcast their meetings, but they were obliged to permit filming, photographing and audio recording.

 

The Council also supported the extension of the webcasting of meetings and was extending webcasting from Council, Cabinet, Planning Board and Overview and Scrutiny Management Board meetings to all Scrutiny Commissions and the Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

Councillor John Turner referred to the difficulties within some Parish Council meetings and asked the Leader to lobby for any funding to support the filming of Parish Council meetings.

 

(2)  Councillor John Turner asked, since the evacuation of the multi-million pound Bailey House and its now seemingly desultory usage, what was the plan.

 

The Leader explained Bailey House was fully occupied on every floor, and contained a number of services:-

 

·                Ground floor - Corporate Print Room, Streetpride Town Centre Cleaning Team and storage, museum workshop, store and fine arts store.

 

·                First floor - Corporate Post Room (approximately 1/3rd of floor space, Elections Office and preparation area (1/3rd floor area), Bibliographical/ Library book store (approximately 1/3rd of floor space, Corporate archives (remaining floor area)).

 

·                Second Floor - GMB Office, Emergency Planning store and Corporate Records Management.

 

·                Third Floor - Cultural store and security store, Schools’ Connect Team, further general storage.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor John Turner referred to the largescale space within Bailey House and asked if the Leader agreed with him that it was bad asset usage.

 

The Leader could not agree with Councillor John Turner and pointed out that building management was being looked at moving forward.

 

(3)  Councillor C. Vines asked why was Habershon House put up for sale and staff informed of sale, who was responsible for this and who gave the authority for the sale and again why was it Opposition Members had to read the Advertiser to be informed of this?

 

The Leader confirmed at no point had Habershon House been put up for sale nor had staff been informed that the house was up for sale. The report in the Advertiser followed a meeting between the Local Authority officers and staff at Habershon House inappropriately suggesting that Habershon House was to be closed. It would appear that following this meeting someone then approached the Advertiser with this misinformation.  

 

This meeting took place with no authorisation or knowledge of either Elected Members or the Commissioners. The Strategic Director had investigated how this miscommunication occurred and had put checks in place to ensure there was no repeat.

 

Councillor C. Vines in a supplementary question asked could the Advertiser be approached to print a retraction on the misleading information.

 

The Leader indicated the Advertiser could be asked.

 

(4)  Councillor C. Vines asked why and what was the reason for so many personal and intrusive questions being asked of prospective new Council tenants such questions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.