Agenda and minutes

Council Meeting - Wednesday 21 October 2015 2.00 p.m.

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

Contact: Debbie Pons, Principal Democratic Services Officer 

Items
No. Item

66.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

To consider any announcements by the Mayor or the Leader.

Minutes:

The Mayor reported on various events where she had represented the Council since the last meeting. 

 

Church services included Maltby Civic Service, where a group of young people called the Environmentalists who were junior litter pickers and kept their area litter free, received the Maltby Town Council award for Young Person of the Year.

 

There was also the Rotherham Parade and Service celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.   This was an extremely moving and thoughtful service along with the National Union of Mineworkers Memorial Day Service where Sheffield Cathedral presented a fantastic backdrop for the display of the banners from many Yorkshire pits with those from Kiveton Park, Treeton, and Dinnington Collieries among the banners from around Yorkshire.   Most prominent was the banner for Kenningly Colliery.   Kenningly Colliery would close on 18th December, 2015 bringing to an end the deep mine coal industry not only in Yorkshire, but in the UK as a whole.

 

It was an honour for the Mayor to represent Rotherham at the Inauguration of the new Master Cutler, Craig McKay, who announced that one of his two charities for the year would be Rotherham’s own Hospice.

 

The Mayor was also privileged to host the presentation by the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire of the British Empire Medal to one of Rotherham’s citizens, Mrs Janet Swift.  An amazing woman and one of Rotherham’s unsung heroes.

 

The Aagrah Business Group last week chose to stage their prestigious Annual Business Awards at Magna with about 1,000 people attending. Their Managing Director, Mohammed Aslam MBE, informed the Mayor that his decision to move from Leeds to Rotherham was evidence of a mark of confidence in Rotherham.

 

The Mayor also unveiled the Civic Society’s blue plaque on the Three Cranes Building on High Street dedicated to former Member of Parliament, Stan Crowther.

 

As well as attending the proposed Anne Frank +You  Exhibition and learning  of  the work that the Anne Frank Trust had done with schools in understanding the consequences of unchecked prejudice and discrimination whilst at the same time exploring, understanding, respecting and celebrating cultural diversity, every effort must be made for this to happen in Rotherham.

 

The Mayor also attended the opening of Baby Blossom Boutique pop up shop in the Imperial Buildings. The owner, Katie, was a credit to the town, a young woman working hard to turn her dreams into reality and assisted by the Prince’s Trust.

 

But sadly not all was good news. Once again there had been a pointless attack on one of Rotherham’s senior citizens. The Mayor asked the Council to join her in sending best wishes for a speedy recovery to Mr. Tommy Ward of Maltby who was badly beaten in an attack at his home.

 

But to end on a cheery note this month saw the Chuckle Brothers light up of the Heart of Steel.  This was a great evening with a good turn out and excellent entertainment from the Schools Brass Band.   This saw people coming together to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.

67.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

To receive the apologies of any Member who is unable to attend the meeting.

Minutes:

The Managing Director submitted apologies for absence from Councillors Hunter, Pitchley, Robinson, Rosling, Sims, Smith, John Turner and Yasseen.

68.

PETITIONS

 

To report on any petitions received by the Council.

Minutes:

The Managing Director submitted the following petition which had been referred to the appropriate Directorates for consideration:-

 

·                Containing 274 electronic and 490 paper signatures asking the Council to stop the sale of green space land at Catcliffe.

69.

COMMUNICATIONS

 

Any communication received by the Mayor or Managing Director which relates to a recommendation of the Cabinet or a committee which was received after the relevant meeting.

Minutes:

No communications had been received.

70.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

To invite Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or personal interests they may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting, to confirm the nature of those interests and whether they intend to leave the meeting for the consideration of the item.

Minutes:

Councillors Currie, Rose, Sansome and Whelbourn declared disclosable pecuniary interests in the Notice of Motion for the Charter for Sustainable British Steel on the grounds of being employed, formerly employed or had family connections to the British Steel industry.

 

Councillor Jepson declared a personal interest in the minutes of the Standard Committee on the grounds of being Chair of Anston Parish Council and left the room whilst that item was discussed.

71.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS COUNCIL MEETING pdf icon PDF 133 KB

 

To receive the record of proceedings of the ordinary meeting of the Council held on 16th September, 2015 and to approve the accuracy thereof.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 16th September, 2015, be approved for signature by the Mayor.

 

Having been absent at the last Council meeting and being unable to ask a supplementary question, Councillor Currie exercised his right and referred to his previous question about taxi licensing and asked about the possibility of sub-contracting work out across the Local Authority on a yearly, three yearly or five yearly basis, how the risk would be managed and the potential for loss of revenue to the Council.

 

Councillor Ellis, Chairman of the Advisory Licensing Board, advised the detail around the De-Regulation Act was still being considered, with no precedence or case law.

 

Councillor Cowles raised a Point of Personal Explanation regarding a comment he had made at the last Council Meeting, to which he offered an apology to any resident in Rotherham he had offended.  In doing so he suggested that any other persons guilty of any political wrong doing should also do the same.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                           Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

72.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

 

To receive questions from members of the public who may wish to ask a general question of the Mayor, Advisory Cabinet Member or the Chairman of a Committee.

Minutes:

(1)       Mr. R. Bartle asked was the Leader aware that Whiston Brook, which had been a brook for hundreds of years, had been reclassified as a river and had had its name changed to Whiston Brook River. Why were the people of Whiston not asked if they wished this reclassification and name change to take place?

 

Councillor Roche, Advisory Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, replied that Whiston Brook was designated as a ‘Main River’ by the Environment Agency in 1999. However, this did not involve a name change, it was still called Whiston Brook.

 

In 1996 the Environment Agency informed the Council that a review was being undertaken by the Agency for the reclassification of Whiston Brook.

 

In January, 1999 the Council received a Notice under Section 194(5) of the Water Resources Act, 1991 that the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Food was in the process of reclassifying Whiston Brook as a main river.

 

In a supplementary question Mr. Bartle referred to the changes and the powers that had transferred to the Environment Agency allowing Yorkshire Water access under certain conditions.  This had led to frequently finding raw sewage being released into the Brook, floating debris and due to flooding some pollution to residents’ gardens.    He found this unacceptable and asked what the Council proposed to do about this.

 

Councillor Roche, Advisory Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, expressed his concern about any form of pollution and asked that details be forwarded on and he would endeavour to follow this up with the Environment Agency.

 

(2)       Mr. M. Eyre stated he was glad to see that all parties agreed that protests by pressure groups should be regulated with an aim to prevention. However, he asked what restrictions would the Council like to see?

 

The Leader thanked Mr. Eyre for his question.

 

The Council and the Police recognised that people had a right to legitimate peaceful protests and free speech, but the best case scenario for restrictions would be for the Home Office to allow more powers for legal matters to be taken into account when the right to protest was being used repeatedly to the detriment of the local community.

 

In a supplementary question Mr. Eyre expressed his sorrow at the extreme right groups coming into the town causing disruption to local businesses and asked whether the restrictions would apply to ad hoc protests as well as the repeated protests as Rotherham businesses had had enough and need to be able to move forward.

 

The Leader pointed out that the restrictions should only apply to repeated protests as any group was entitled to come and protest as a one off event.

 

(3)  Mr. B. Cutts referred to the corridor from the Mushroom Garage to Canklow and asked how many registered Mosques (Religious Community Discounts) there were and in the remainder of the Borough?

 

The Leader reported there were eleven mosques or educational religious establishments in the borough, nine of which were mosques located in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72.

73.

REVISED MEMBERSHIP ARRANGEMENTS 2015/16

 

To consider revisions to the following:-

 

·                To include Councillor Elliot on the membership of the Improving Lives Select Commission to replace Councillor Currie.

 

·                For Councillor Whelbourn to replace Councillor Rosling as Vice-Chairman of the Wentworth South Area Assembly.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the revised membership arrangements for the current municipal year to include:-

 

·                Councillor Elliot to become a member of the Improving Lives Select Commission to replace Councillor Currie.

·                Councillor Whelbourn to replace Councillor Rosling as Vice-Chairman of the Wentworth South Area Assembly.

 

Resolved:-  That the revisions to the membership arrangements be approved.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                           Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

74.

ROTHERHAM ECONOMIC GROWTH PLAN pdf icon PDF 65 KB

 

To approve and adopt the final version of the Rotherham Economic Growth Plan, to agree it becoming a live document and commencing implementation of its actions and priorities.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which provided the Council with the latest version of the Rotherham Economic Growth Plan and sought agreement for it to be adopted; becoming a live document and commencing implementation of its actions and priorities.

 

The Plan was built on a robust evidence base, clear strategy and challenging economic outcomes and mapped out the priorities, objectives and outcomes for the Borough, underpinned by a programme of investment in economic infrastructure and activities over the short, medium and long term. The Plan was a result of partnership working between the public, voluntary and private sectors.

 

The Plan covered a ten year timeframe (2105-25) and was broken down into a number of themes, matching closely with the Sheffield City Region’s (SCR) priorities to ensure close links between the Economic Growth Plan and the City Region’s Strategic Economic Plan (SEP). These themes were:-

 

        Grow existing and develop new businesses;

        Skills for employment and progression;

        Inclusion, well-being and employment;

        Employment land and business premises;

        Housing;

        Town centre; and

        Transport.

 

The Plan set out the challenges and ambitions for each theme, along with high level interventions and targets/impacts/outcomes.

 

Councillors Jepson and C. Vines agreed with elements of the Plan, but were unable to offer to their support due to the absence of any contingency plans for at risk high profile local businesses and the loss of green belt land.

 

Councillor Hoddinott believed the Plan was timely, having listened to the recent Radio 4 Programme on Rotherham, as it was about how Rotherham could recover and was aspirational for the creation of employment.  There was a continuing trend away from traditional manufacturing to high-tech industries and a service based economy required a well-educated local workforce.

 

Local residents had contacted Councillor Fleming to express their concern about increased traffic congestion in the local area so he too was unable to offer his support to the Plan.

 

Councillor Currie expressed his fear for small businesses; especially local taxi firms if the plans by Uber to take over a number of regions went ahead.  The Plan was aspirational with creation of 750 additional jobs and homes, but this must still be supported from a Rotherham context whilst keeping an eye on the work of the Sheffield City Region.

 

Councillor Parker too believed the Plan to be aspirational, but also out of date given the recent events involving the sale of the Pithouse West Site.  He suggested there be better liaison with Robin Hood Airport to reduce the limitations on tour operators and for this to be expanded, but also expressed his concern about the possible loss of green belt land and for this reason could not offer his support to the Plan.

 

The Leader referred to the sad decline in the steel industry and the concerns around Tata Steel, which were beyond the control of the Council.  This Plan should bring other private sector jobs into Rotherham into buildings at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, which were state  ...  view the full minutes text for item 74.

75.

HIGHWAY ASSET MANAGEMENT POLICY, STRATEGY AND PLAN 2015-2021 pdf icon PDF 74 KB

 

To approve and adopt the Council’s Highway Asset Management Policy, Strategy and revised Highway Asset Management Plan (HAMP) which covers the period 2015 – 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which sought adoption of the Council’s Highways Asset Management Policy, Strategy and revised Highway Asset Management Plan (HAMP) which covered the period 2015 – 2021.

 

The Asset Management Policy and Strategy set out the objectives that the Council aspired to achieve from the management of its assets.  It linked into the corporate vision and demonstrated how the maintenance of the highway assets would support that vision over the medium to long term. 

 

The HAMP was a technical document which set out the principles that would help shape and determine the future methods of managing the Council’s highway assets.   The HAMP set out the principles on which available funding from the DfT and decisions could be made for highway maintenance.  

 

Councillor Beck, Chairman of the Improving Places Select Commission, confirmed the Policy, Strategy and Plan had been considered by Scrutiny  and outlined how over 54 schemes would be delivered this year which had been suggested by Members and the understanding of the processes.  This document would take on a life of its own and it was suggested that the performance be monitored on an ongoing basis.

 

Councillor Wyatt pointed out that there should be some acknowledgement of the additional investment on the primary roads in local areas, with more being put forward and being taken forward by the HAMP.

 

Resolved:-  That the Highways Management Policy statement, Strategy and the Highway Asset Management Plan (HAMP) covering the period 2015-2021 be approved and adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                           Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

76.

NOTICE OF MOTION - CHARTER FOR SUSTAINABLE BRITISH STEEL

 

This Council:-

 

Notes with deep concern the recent announcements across the UK steel industry.

 

The Council urges the company to work with the trade unions to help build a sustainable future for steel in the UK. The Council recognises that the cost of energy and European rules on carbon emissions makes the UK a challenging climate in which to produce steel.

 

The Council believes that all levels of Government should support the UK steel industry, not only as a source of tens of thousands of jobs, but also given its role as a foundation industry of key strategic importance to the wider economy.

 

The Council, therefore, resolves to support the ‘Charter for Sustainable British Steel’ as promoted by the ‘UK Steel’ organisation. The Council also supports the proposals of UK Steel and Community regarding the EU Emissions Trading System, proposals which call for the steel sector to be helped to decarbonise in a way that ensures its future and the many thousands of valuable jobs it provides, rather than being pushed overseas.

 

 

Proposer:- Councillor Sue Ellis     Seconder:-  Councillor Stuart Sansome

Minutes:

Moved by Councillor Ellis and seconded by Councillor Sansome

 

This Council:-

                     

Notes with deep concern the recent announcements across the UK steel industry.

 

The Council urges the company to work with the trade unions to help build a sustainable future for steel in the UK. The Council recognises that the cost of energy and European rules on carbon emissions makes the UK a challenging climate in which to produce steel.

 

The Council believes that all levels of Government should support the UK steel industry, not only as a source of tens of thousands of jobs, but also given its role as a foundation industry of key strategic importance to the wider economy.

 

The Council, therefore, resolves to support the ‘Charter for Sustainable British Steel’ as promoted by the ‘UK Steel’ organisation. The Council also supports the proposals of UK Steel and Community regarding the EU Emissions Trading System, proposals which call for the steel sector to be helped to decarbonise in a way that ensures its future and the many thousands of valuable jobs it provides, rather than being pushed overseas.

 

The motion was put and debated and adopted by the Council.

 

(Councillors Currie, Rose, Sansome and Whelbourn declared disclosable pecuniary interests in the Notice of Motion for the Charter for Sustainable British Steel on the grounds of being employed, formerly employed or had family connections to the British Steel industry)

77.

SCRUTINY UPDATE

 

To consider and note the Scrutiny Update by the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.

Minutes:

Councillor Steele provided an update on activity and how the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board was focusing on the budget setting process for 2016/17 with initial budget savings proposals being referred on for consideration.

 

Some proposals had been referred back to the Commissioners seeking further information.

 

Councillor Beck was invited to share information on activity from the Improving Places Select Commission and he confirmed that updates had been provided following reviews on the Homelessness Strategy and Supporting the Local Economy.

 

Consideration had also been given to the Rotherham Growth Plan and the progress of each of the Task and Finish Groups which had been established to consider the detail of the Council’s ‘Cleaner – Greener’ agenda. These related to waste management, grounds maintenance and town centre issues.

 

Resolved:- That the Scrutiny update noted.

78.

STANDARDS COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 47 KB

 

To receive and consider reports, minutes and recommendations of the Standards Committee held on 10th September, 2015.

 

See Minute No. 22 - Outcome of Standards Hearing re Alleged Breach of the Code of Conduct.

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Minutes:

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

 

Councillor Currie referred to Minute No. 19 (Update on the Handling of Complaints) and the descriptions of “rough and tumble” in politics and stressed the importance of being respectful to others.

 

He also referred to Minute No. 21 (Whistleblowing Allegations Received) and the award received by Jayne Senior for highlighting issues relating to child sexual exploitation and believed the Council should be offering support and congratulations.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Beck                            Seconder:-  Councillor Hughes

 

(Councillor Jepson declared a personal interest in this item on the grounds of being Chair of Anston Parish Council and left the room whilst this item was discussed)

79.

AUDIT COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To receive and consider reports, minutes and recommendations of the Audit Committee.

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports and minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Wyatt                           Seconder:-  Councillor Hughes

80.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING BOARD pdf icon PDF 77 KB

 

To receive and consider reports, minutes and recommendations of the Health and Wellbeing Board.

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Minutes:

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

 

Councillor Roche responded to Councillor Reynolds’ comment about lobbying Government to provide additional funding relating to child sexual exploitation and confirmed that a meeting looking specifically at Adult Social Care was to take place shortly involving the Leader, Deputy Leader, Members of Parliament and himself with the Interim Strategic Director.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Roche                         Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

81.

PLANNING BOARD pdf icon PDF 46 KB

 

To receive and consider reports, minutes and recommendations of the Planning Board.

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Councillor Jepson referred to Minute No. 39 and the planning application which his Ward colleagues had supported which was development in the Green Belt, but according to the Council’s Local Plan it was to remain in Green Belt.  He expressed his concern when there appeared to be two opposing views.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Atkin                            Seconder:-  Councillor Tweed

82.

MEMBERS' QUESTIONS TO DESIGNATED SPOKESPERSONS

 

To put questions, if any, to the designated Members on the discharge of functions of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority and South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, in accordance with Standing Order No. 7(5).

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

83.

MEMBERS' QUESTIONS TO ADVISORY CABINET MEMBERS AND CHAIRMEN

 

To put questions, if any, to Advisory Cabinet Members and Chairmen (or their representatives) under Standing Order No. 7(1) and 7(3).

Minutes:

(1)  Councillor Julie Turner asked could an explanation be given on the Rotherham Town Centre First Policy. This has never been explained and frankly it was difficult to see how this was being pursued.

 

Councillor Lelliott, Advisory Cabinet Member for Housing and the Local Economy, explained that the Town Centre First was a national planning policy initiative that was reflected in the adopted Core Strategy.

 

In simple terms the Policy required that any proposals for development of uses such as new shops or offices, or leisure and entertainment facilities (things you would expect to see in a town centre) would only be granted planning permission outside of the town centre if it could be shown that there was no appropriate, available and suitable site in a town centre to accommodate the development.

 

The Council had produced a good practice guide to assist developers which explained the policy and its application in more detail. It was available on the Council’s planning consultation website or by calling the planning service.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Julie Turner referred to the Meadowhall development, which almost closed Sheffield and Rotherham town centres.  Then came Parkgate with work continuing to develop this area moving the town centre focus to this area.  At a recent meeting consideration was given to rent increases to town centre business and asked why local business were not contacted when it was difficult to trade and keep going.  On  a recent shopping trip the town centre was also found to be extremely quiet.

 

Councillor Lelliott, Advisory Cabinet Member for Housing and the Local Economy, was unable to pass comment on Meadowhall as this was in Sheffield, but confirmed discussions were taking place with local businesses and a meeting was held two weeks ago with the business community asking their views on how best to work together and deliver and development schemes.  There have been occasions when the town centre was quiet, but every effort was being made to improve the situation.

 

(2)  Councillor Julie Turner stated at the last Rotherham South Area Assembly meeting there was reference to the ‘Rotherham Master Plan’, and asked could it be explained what this plan was and why, in this supposed new age of openness and transparency, had she not been informed about such a plan?

 

Councillor Lelliott, Advisory Cabinet Member for Housing and the Local Economy, confirmed the Rotherham Master Plan was a refresh of the  Town Centre Renaissance Plan.  The work had been awarded to Arup and officers were working on a list of the stakeholders for ARUP to speak to as part of the consultation process and invited Councillor Turner to be added to that list, should she want to be involved.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Julie Turner referred to a couple of proposals being shared at the same Area Assembly meeting of potential developments of Forge Island.  One involved retail development in this area and she asked who would buy retail space in this part of town.  At the same  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

URGENT ITEMS

 

Any other public items which the Mayor determines are urgent.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

85.

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

 

Should it be necessary, in the opinion of the Mayor, to consider excluding the press and public from the meeting in relation to any items of urgent business on the grounds that private information is likely to be divulged.

 

There are no such items at the time of preparing this agenda.

Minutes:

There were no confidential matters for consideration.