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Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: James McLaughlin, Democratic Services Manager  The webcast can be viewed at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv

Items
No. Item

147.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

To consider any announcements by the Mayor in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 3(2)(ii).

Minutes:

The Mayor was pleased to share a written report on her activity since the last Council meeting.  She particularly wanted to highlight, given this was her last full Council Meeting as Chair, the opening of the new underground cinema/theatre in the former Turf Tavern and the recent visit by the Rainbows who had painted and hid a special rock for Members to find in the Council Chamber.

 

The Mayor also wished to announce news about her own charity, Thornberry Animal Sanctuary, who had confirmed they would free up three spaces to accommodate dogs for homeless people providing assistance in often difficult circumstances.

 

148.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

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

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Andrews, Bird, Evans, Hague, Jepson, Lelliott, Khan, Mallinder, Marriott, McNeely, Russell, John Turner, Tweed and Whysall.

149.

COMMUNICATIONS

 

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

Minutes:

There were no communications received.

150.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS COUNCIL MEETING pdf icon PDF 282 KB

 

To receive the record of proceedings of the ordinary meeting of the Council held on 24 January 2018 and to approve the accuracy thereof.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 24th January 2018, be approved for signature by the Mayor.

 

Further to Minute No. 137 the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board confirmed the attendance of the Chief Fire Officer to discuss the second appliance in Rotherham at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board scheduled for Wednesday, 21st March, 2018 at 11.00 a.m.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                       Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

151.

PETITIONS pdf icon PDF 115 KB

 

To report on any petitions received by the Council and receive statements in support of petitions in accordance with the Petitions Scheme and Council Procedure Rule 13.

Minutes:

The Mayor reported that one petition had been submitted, which had met the threshold for consideration by Council containing 6,569 signatures calling on the Council to ensure that there was adequate in-house services for vulnerable adults in Rotherham and to keep open the Addision and Oaks Day Centres.

      

Mr. Martin Badger addressed the Council as part of the presentation of the petition and outlined the merits, usage, level of support and high level of benefit to service users of these centres.  The viability was not questionable and he urged the Council to carefully consider future provision and invited all Elected Members to visit the centres and view personally the activities and community benefit.

 

Councillor Roche, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, thanked Unison for the presentation of the petition and confirmed he had visited the centres on many occasions.

 

A report relating to the future proposals had not yet been drafted so it was not possible to pre-judge any outcome.  The service was well supported and it was timely to review the provision following a period of consultation.  There would be no changes to any individual’s circumstances without an assessment and future provision would ensure it met the needs of the users and carers.

 

Details of the current provision was highlighted along with the timeframe for the proposed report’s progression through the democratic process eventually being considered by the Cabinet in May, 2018.

 

In considering the concerns and views expressed there appeared to be three possible options to move this forward:-

 

1.     Agree to the request of the petition.

2.     Take no action of what had been requested.

3.     To undertake further investigation.

 

Councillor Roche, therefore, formally moved Option 3 for further investigation to be undertaken and for this to be completed before formal consideration by the Cabinet.

 

Councillor Watson formally seconded Option 3 and agreed the concerns of service users and their families needed to be taken on board before a decision was made on any future proposal.

 

Resolved:-  That Option 3 (to undertake further investigation) be approved in relation to the petition as submitted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Roche                      Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

152.

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:

There were no Declarations of Interest to report.

153.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

 

To receive questions from members of the public who may wish to ask a general question of the Mayor, Cabinet Member or the Chairman of a Committee in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.

Minutes:

(1)  Mr. L. Harron was unable to attend today’s meeting so his question would be answered in writing.

 

(2)  Mr. P. Thirlwall asked how did the Leader reconcile the opposing statements in the Council’s Constitution, Rules of Procedure, when rule 18(17) stated that the mover of an amendment had the right of reply and rule (30) clearly stated, that the mover of an amendment does NOT have the right of reply?

 

The Leader believed Mr. Thirlwall had received a written a response from the Chief Executive on this matter.

 

Interpretation of the Constitution was not a matter for the Leader as this was a matter for the Mayor, as Chair.

 

The Constitution had been subject to external review by the Association of Democratic Services Officers who had assisted with the refresh and having checked with them their interpretation of Standing Orders was the same as the Council’s.

 

Paragraph 17 was clear that there was a right of reply for a proposer of an amendment.  Paragraph 30 referred to the absence of a right of reply for the proposer of an amendment in the debate on the substantive motion AFTER the debate on the amendment.

 

The Leader agreed the wording was not as clear as it should be and this would be rectified.

 

In a supplementary question Mr. Thirlwall believed the Council, on this occasion had got it wrong.  The Leader, in his opinion, had also given the wrong answer, should have offered an apology and indicated the mistake would be corrected at the first opportunity instead of trying to defend the indefensible.  He should also have apologised about not looking into the fifty word limit for public questions and also admitting he was wrong about paying the Leader of the Opposition an allowance  He asked the Leader if he agreed with him.

 

The Leader explained he agreed with many matters raised by Mr. Thirlwall, but not all.  On this occasion the rules were interpreted and followed with intent and this was checked and confirmed with the people who put together the wording.  The Leader appreciated Mr. Thirlwall’s frustration, but agreed to disagree.

 

(3)   Mr. D. Smith was unable to attend today’s meeting so his question would be answered in writing.

 

(4)  Mr. N. Carbutt asked could the representative outline for the benefit of the public of Rotherham, South Yorkshire Fire Authority/SYFR underspends on total revenue receipts that had been committed to reserves for years 2006-2018 e.g. underspend for 2006, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18.

 

Councillor Atkin confirmed he would need to send him a year by year breakdown in writing.

 

Underspends during this period have contributed to reserves of around £25 million. The growth in reserves was mainly a consequence of the retirement rate of operational staff outpacing the rate at which the Service’s funding had reduced, and the fact that uncertainty about the extent and duration of future cuts have left the Fire Authority with no confidence to recruit new  ...  view the full minutes text for item 153.

154.

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:

Resolved:-  That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, that should the Mayor deem if necessary the public be excluded from the meeting on the grounds that any items involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraphs of Part 1 of schedule 12(A) of such Act indicated, as now amended by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006.

155.

LEADER OF THE COUNCIL'S STATEMENT

 

To receive a statement from the Leader of the Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.

Minutes:

The Leader was happy to field any questions by Members, but would refer to any statement he would have made as part of the Item 11 on the Budget.

156.

MINUTES OF THE CABINET AND COMMISSIONERS' DECISION MAKING MEETING pdf icon PDF 96 KB

 

To note the minutes of the Cabinet and Commissioners’ Decision Making Meeting held on 15th January, 2018.

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports, recommendations and minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet/Commissioners’ Decision Making Meeting held on 15th January, 2018, be received.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                       Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

157.

BUDGET AND COUNCIL TAX 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 421 KB

 

To agree the Budget and Council Tax level for the 2018-19 financial year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 111 of the meeting of the Cabinet/Commissioners’ Decision Making Meeting held on 19th February, 2018, consideration was given to the report which proposed the Council’s Budget and Council Tax for 2018/19.  It was based on the outcome of the Council’s Final Local Government Financial Settlement, budget consultation and the consideration of Directorate budget proposals through the Council’s formal Budget and Scrutiny process (Overview and Scrutiny Management Board) alongside a review of the financial planning assumptions within the Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

In setting the proposed 2018/19 Budget, Cabinet had recommended to Council an increase of 2.99% in the Council’s basic Council Tax and a further 3% increase for the Adult Social Care precept; a combined increase of 5.99% for 2018/19.

 

The Leader of the Council addressed Members and thanked all those who had dedicated hours and hours over the last few months for these proposals to be brought forward.  In particular he wanted to thank his Cabinet colleagues, and in particular Councillor Alam, for their selflessness in their approach and Councillor Steele and his Scrutiny colleagues who have been tireless in their efforts to ensure that nothing was missed.

 

The Leader wished to particularly speak about:-

 

·                The issuing of a Section 114 notice to Northampton County Council, who had declared it could not make ends meet.

·                The survey undertaken by the Local Government Information Unit and the MJ suggesting two-thirds of Councils intended to use their reserves to balance their budgets in the coming year.

·                95% of councils increasing Council Tax.

·                This budget marked £162 million of cuts to the Council’s budget, with a further £30 million expected over the following two years.

·                Across the country 800,000 fewer people now worked in Local Government since 2010.

 

Whilst there were undoubtedly reductions in services in this budget today this was about priorities, which was why:-

 

·                Agency staff had been brought down by nearly a quarter over the last year.

·                Councillor allowances had been cut again this year, including the cost of the Town HJall and the mayoral car, saving £48,000, resulting in £30,000 being invested into neighbourhoods.

·                60% of the savings required in this revenue budget were made without impacting on services to residents.

·                This budget put Social Care first.

 

Social Care accounted for 60% of the budget and was the reason for the crisis in Social Care.  Councillor Watson and Ian Thomas and the team were credited for the way they had transformed Rotherham’s Children’s Services. Their work was already turning around the lives of thousands of children and families across the Borough.  This was a top priority and it had been delivered upon.

 

This budget continued to make significant investment in Children’s Services.  Care leavers have been exempted from Council Tax and the suggestion of the Looked After Children’s Council in banning black bin liners had been taken on board.

 

At a time when there were more children in the Council’s care than ever before, the pace of change in transforming Early Help Services  ...  view the full minutes text for item 157.

158.

APPOINTMENT OF A LOCAL RETURNING OFFICER AT COMBINED AUTHORITY MAYORAL ELECTIONS pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To appoint a Local Returning Officer for the Combined Authority Mayoral Election in May 2018

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which detailed how the Combined Authority Mayoral election was to be held on 3rd May, 2018.  The Chief Executive of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority was the Combined Authority Returning Officer and, therefore, responsible for the overall conduct of the election, and for liaising with and co-ordinating the work of Local Returning Officers within the Combined Authority area.

 

The Combined Authority (Mayoral Elections) Order 2017 required the Council to appoint an officer of the Council to be the Local Returning Officer for the election of a Combined Authority Mayor.  The Local Returning Officer was responsible for running the election at a local level.  The Local Returning Officer would be personally responsible for the conduct of the poll, including the provision of polling stations, the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers and the verification and counting of the votes in their area.

 

This report, therefore, recommended that the Chief Executive be appointed as the Local Returning Officer. 

 

Resolved:-  That the Chief Executive be appointed as the Local Returning Officer for the Combined Authority Mayoral elections on 3rd May, 2018.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                       Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

159.

PROTOCOL FOR THE AWARD OF THE FREEDOM OF THE BOROUGH pdf icon PDF 186 KB

 

To consider the adoption of a protocol to govern how the Council awards the Freedom of the Borough.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which details how the making of an award of the Freedom of Borough was the highest honour that the Council could bestow in recognition of excellence and achievement. There was presently no guidelines or protocols governing the way in which the Council made such awards.

 

This report, therefore, proposed the adoption of a protocol which would clarify the nomination process and the way in which Freedom of the Borough would be awarded in future.

 

Resolved:-  That the protocol for the award of the Freedom of the Borough be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                       Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

160.

CALENDAR OF MEETINGS FOR THE 2018-19 MUNICIPAL YEAR pdf icon PDF 100 KB

 

To agree the Calendar of Meetings for the Council’s Committees, Boards and Panels for the 2018-19 municipal year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which detailed how the Council amended the Procedure Rules in the Constitution in September, 2017 to require the Calendar of Meetings to be presented for approval at the Budget Council meeting. This report was, therefore, submitted in accordance with that requirement.

 

Resolved:-  That the Calendar of Meetings for the 2018-19 municipal year be approved.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                       Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

161.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY - ALTERNATIVE MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS FOR CHILDREN'S SERVICES - RESPONSE OF THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 108 KB

 

To receive the response of the Cabinet to recommendations from the Improving Lives Select Commission’s review of Alternative Management Arrangements for Children’s Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute 109 of the meeting of the Cabinet and Commissioners held on 19th February, 2018 The Improving Lives Commission established a Task and Finish Group to consider the lessons learnt from other trust models and also looked objectively at other alternative management arrangements which might secure the long-term success of Rotherham’s Children and Young People’s Services. The group completed its review in the autumn of 2017 and submitted a final report to Council on 18th October, 2017.

 

Under the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, the Cabinet was required to respond to any recommendations made by Scrutiny. Cabinet considered and agreed the response enclosed at Appendix A. This report was, therefore, submitted to ensure that all Members were aware of the implementation of recommendations from the review.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the response to the scrutiny review of Alternative Management Arrangements for Children and Young People’s Services in Rotherham set out at Appendix A to this report be noted.

 

(2)  That the response be referred to the next meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission on 13th March, 2018.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Watson                    Seconder:-  Councillor Read

162.

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY - EMERGENCY PLANNING - RESPONSE OF THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 108 KB

 

To receive a response from the Cabinet to recommendations made by the Improving Places Select Commission review of Emergency Planning

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute 113 of the meeting of the Cabinet and Commissioners held on 19th February, 2018 the Improving Places Select Commission established a Task and Finish Group to undertake a review of Emergency Planning in 2016. The group completed its review in the autumn of 2017 and submitted a final report to Council on 18th October, 2017.

 

Under the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules, the Cabinet was required to respond to any recommendations made by scrutiny and the response was agreed. This report was submitted to ensure that all Members were aware of the proposed implementation of agreed recommendations arising from the scrutiny review.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the response to the recommendations of the Improving Places Select Commission scrutiny review of Emergency Planning (as set out in Appendix A) be noted.

 

(2)  That the response be referred to the next meeting of the Improving Places Select Commission on 14th March, 2018.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Alam                        Seconder:-  Councillor Read

163.

NOTICE OF MOTION

 

No motions were submitted before the deadline for the submission of motions on Monday 19 February 2018.

Minutes:

There were no notices of motions submitted for consideration.

164.

STANDARDS AND ETHICS COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 69 KB

 

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

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports, recommendation and minutes of the meetings of the Standards and Ethics Committee be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Allen                        Seconder:-  Councillor Ireland

165.

AUDIT COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 90 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, recommendation and minutes of the meetings of the Audit Committee be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Wyatt                      Seconder:-  Councillor Walsh

 

166.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING BOARD pdf icon PDF 92 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, recommendation and minutes of the meetings of the Health and Wellbeing Board be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Roche                      Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

167.

PLANNING BOARD pdf icon PDF 54 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, recommendation and minutes of the meetings of the Planning Board be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Atkin                        Seconder:-  Councillor Walsh

168.

LICENSING pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To receive and consider reports, minutes and recommendations of the Licensing Board Sub-Committee and Licensing Sub-Committee.

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports, recommendations and minutes of the meetings of the Licensing Board Sub-Committee and Licensing Committee be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Ellis                         Seconder:-  Councillor Beaumont

169.

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:

(1)  Councillor Short asked would the Police and Crime Panel representative on the Council give a lay man’s outline of what the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Council Tax Precept meant to his Ward residents?

 

Councillor Sansome confirmed that for the new financial year 2018/19 the Government had frozen its grant funding and so the Police and Crime Commissioner would need to increase the precept in South Yorkshire in order to cover the costs of the police officers’ pay award, increase costs for transitioning to more visible neighbourhood policing across the county and the ongoing costs associated with legacy issues, such as child sexual exploitation in Rotherham (investigation and civil claims) and the Hillsborough disaster (civil claims).

 

Residents who took part in the consultation made it clear to the Police and Crime Commissioner they would be prepared to pay more to see more police on the streets.  The last Chief Constable, David Crompton, oversaw the reduction of 500 police officers and office staff and also removed any semblance of neighbourhood policing. 

 

The Panel’s position, a meeting which Councillor Sansome chaired, stated very clearly that if any proposed reduction in officers or backroom staff was forthcoming then it would veto the budget.  The new neighbourhood model that Members would have chance to view and challenge in April would see more joined up working with partners with a commitment with the Chief Constable to gradually increase officer numbers and provide better flexible working. 

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner was committed to reducing his substantial reserves of over £20 million by up to £7.3 million.  This reduction in reserves was key as it would allow the increase in the precept to be centred on policing and making residents feel safe.  For the first time as a Police and Crime Panel a small cross party group would scrutinise the budget on a six monthly basis and would report back as and when required.

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner’s budget would reduce and the Police budget would increase by £3 million.  Local partnership grants would be negotiated as previous years with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

 

For this financial year the maximum increase under Government rules was the equivalent to £12 per annum (23p per week) on a property in Council Tax Band D. Most properties in South Yorkshire were either Band A or Band B whose increases would be £9.33 and £8.00 annually respectively, which worked out as an increase at 18p (£9.33) and 15p (£8.00).

 

Councillor Short thanked Councillor Sansome for his answer and for the reassurance that money was being taken from the budget and reserves to put more police officers on the beat and he would advise his constituents accordingly.  By contrast, however, the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Services were sitting on £27.4 million and would not reinstate the second fire appliance in Rotherham.

 

(2)  Councillor R. Elliottreferred to the last full Council where it was stated that Rotherham's second appliance would be reinstated when finances were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 169.

170.

MEMBERS' QUESTIONS TO CABINET MEMBERS AND CHAIRMEN

 

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

Minutes:

(1)  Councillor Sansome asked could the Cabinet Member confirm were there homeless people in Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and how many.

 

Councillor Beck confirmed the Authority sympathised with those who found themselves in that position.  Given the deterioration in the weather, officers had been out each day supporting those people who were rough sleeping, the number of which fluctuated.

 

The Council co-ordinated a Rough Sleeper count in Rotherham and in November, 2017 two people were identified and supported.

 

In terms of statutory homeless between April, 2017 to the end of January, 2018 there were 92 households identified and during this period 451 households were prevented from becoming homeless.  These were on the housing register waiting for accommodation and given priority for properties.

 

Homeless households were supported in finding suitable private rented accommodation, but there were also 484 households who were homeless on the Housing Register waiting for accommodation for a variety of reasons.

 

The Council was also proactively involved in various projects having attracted over £800,000 in funding to assist services in tackling this challenge and to abolish this problem.  Rotherham was not alone as this was also a national issue.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Sansome asked the Cabinet Member to consider the position of those people who were encouraged to come off streets for shelter, which was not possible if they had pets and for this to be overcome to encourage those in need to come into shelter whilst taking care of their pets at the same time. 

 

Councillor Beck was in agreement, but was not familiar with any particular cases.  He asked Councillor Sansome to share any information he may have to see if this could be taken forward.

 

The Mayor also pointed out she was working on these type of initiatives with Shiloh and Thornberry Animal Sanctuary.

 

(2)  Councillor Carter asked could the Cabinet Member reassure him that all services tendered by the Council to external organisations paid the Rowntree Living Wage, as directly employed Council workers received?

 

Councillor Alam explained that as Councillor Carter was aware, the Council could not legally oblige all the providers of commissioned services to pay the Rowntree Living Wage.

 

However, the Council did encourage contracted services to pay the Living Wage. The Council had a minimum standards Charter which was built into tender processes.  There were a range of criteria within the Charter and a question within the tender asked organisations whether they were willing to promote and support the Charter and work towards the principles it set out. 

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Carter pointed out the Cabinet Member mentioned the Living Wage in the Charter, but in the budget extra funds was being allocated for changes to the National Living Wage and asked if it was the National Living Wage in the Charter or the Rowntree Living Wage.

 

Councillor Alam confirmed it was the National Living Wage standards within the Charter.

 

(3)  Councillor Simpson asked when would his idea of full photo ID be in Rotherham Taxis, along  ...  view the full minutes text for item 170.

171.

URGENT ITEMS

 

Any other public items which the Mayor determines are urgent.

Minutes:

There were none.