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Agenda and minutes

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

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

Items
No. Item

251.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

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

Minutes:

The Mayor was pleased to present her activity since the last Council meeting which was attached for information to the Mayor’s Letter.

 

The Mayor drew attention to various events she and the Mayoress had attended since the last Council Meeting.

252.

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 M. Elliott, R. Elliott, McNeely, Pitchley and Senior.

253.

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.

254.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS COUNCIL MEETING pdf icon PDF 223 KB

 

To receive the record of proceedings of the ordinary meeting of the Council held on 4 September 2019, and to approve the accuracy thereof.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 4th September, 2019, be approved for signature by the Mayor.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                           Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

255.

PETITIONS

 

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

Minutes:

The Mayor reported receipt of a petition which had not met the threshold for consideration by Council:-

 

·        Containing 1567 valid signatures (2167 signatures in total) calling on the Council to take enforcement action against the reopening of Droppingwell Landfill.

 

Mr. S. McKenna, on behalf of Droppingwell Action Group, addressed the Council as part of the presentation of the petition.

 

The petition would be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board for consideration.

256.

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.

257.

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. Harron asked how could it be that the petition tabled at the Council meeting on 22nd May, 2019 (a petition from October, 2017 blocked apparently by the actions of the Chief Executive for about eighteen months) had not received a response by 5th September, 2019, yet the petition tabled at the Council meeting on 4th September, 2019 received a response from the Assistant Chief Executive on 5th September, 2019?

 

The Leader explained the Council would respond to petitions as quickly as practicable, but sometimes this took longer than others.  He understood that in this particular situation there had been a simple administrative error that meant a reply had not been sent. Mr. Harron was issued with apology from the Council and he included his own apologies for the process taking so long.

 

In a supplementary question Mr. Harron focused on the second response he received which was the following day to the Council meeting.  That petition was actually asking the Council to suspend the changes to the petition scheme and fully consult with members of the public before implementing the changes.  He was curious as to how, having addressed the Council, by mid- morning the next day he had received a response from an officer.

 

He, therefore, wanted to complain as he believed his right had been removed to go to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.   He had been sent a copy of the Unreasonable Complainant Behaviour Policy and there was nothing to suggest he had right of appeal.  He, therefore, asked was there a right of appeal and for confirmation when the above Policy was adopted by Council as there was no reference to Elected Members within it.

 

The Leader confirmed he was not aware of the response specifics to Mr. Harron so would need to check and come back to him.  He also advised that if the officer response was not satisfactory then Mr. Harron could take this forward using the Council's Complaints Procedure.  The Leader again apologised that a response to Mr. Harron had not been circulated sooner.

 

It was also pointed out that following feedback and an internal review of support services for governance, improvements had been made to the back office processes in the administration of petitions which should avoid significant delays in responses being issued by officers.

 

(2)  Mr. Simon Ball was unable to attend the Council Meeting so his question“That just 8 out of the 63 councillors here have been given the power to make nearly all Council decisions. In this undemocratic decision-making system, the other 55 councillors have little or no say, are you happy for this undemocratic way to continue?” would receive an answer in writing.

 

(3) Mr. Peter Thirlwall asked could the Chair of the Standards and Ethics Committee please tell me the outcome of my complaint dated 16th August, regarding the failure of Councillor Brian Cutts to complete his ‘Register of Interests’?

 

Councillor Clark, as Vice-Chair of the Standards and Ethics  ...  view the full minutes text for item 257.

258.

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.

 

Agenda Item 13 (Council Delivery of New Homes on Rotherham Town Centre Sites) has an exempt appendix. Therefore, if necessary when considering those items, the Mayor will move the following resolution:

 

That under Section 100(A) 4 of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12(A) of such Act indicated, as now amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006.

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, that should the Mayor deem it necessary the public be excluded from the meeting on the grounds that any items involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined under Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12(A) of such Act indicated, as now amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006.

259.

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 clarified that petitions were not normally discussed that emerged with fewer than 2,000 signatures and he did not intend to start a discussion today.  However, he wished to thank the protesters who had brought their concerns today.  He was aware of the frustrations and difficulties around this big local issue and it was hoped, during the course of this meeting, more information about what the Council had been able to do on their behalf would be shared and further information would be available with the referral into Scrutiny.

 

The Leader wanted to also focus on some good news for the Council.  Over the last few weeks the Council had been award “Silver” for the Be-Well @ Work initiative and was the first Council in the country to receive such an award recognising good practice in workplace health and wellbeing.

 

The Council had also been accredited the PAS PRO Landlord Accreditation in Resident Involvement.  The Tenant Involvement Team and Council tenants had contributed to the Council achieving that accreditation.  The Assessment Panel had been  impressed with the positive engagement evidenced showing the Council was serious about engagement with tenants to help drive service improvements.

 

Clifton Park had once again won the Green Flag Award and was the only Local Authority managed Park in England to have been awarded the People's Choice every year for the last four years consecutively with more than 45,000 votes being cast. 

 

Congratulations were offered to the award-winning Planning Team following the recent publication of Government statistics showing the Service once again as one of the top performers in dealing with planning applications.

 

Finally, the Bellows Road development in Rawmarsh had been shortlisted for the best shared ownership development (urban) by the Inside Housing Development Awards, which was good recognition for that scheme and the work done by the Housing Service.

 

The Mayor invited Members to ask questions of the Leader’s Statement and none were raised.

260.

MINUTES OF THE CABINET MEETING pdf icon PDF 135 KB

 

To note the minutes of the Cabinet Meeting held on 16th September, 2019.

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports, recommendations and minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 16th September, 2019, be received.

 

With regards to Minute No. 50 (Community Energy Switching Scheme) Councillor Jepson sought clarification of whether this scheme was also available to the Borough’s community organisations, Parish Councils and local churches who would clearly benefit from saving money.

 

The Leader believed they could, but would confirm this in writing to Councillor Jepson in readiness for the launch of the scheme at the start of the next calendar year.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                           Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

261.

RECOMMENDATION FROM CABINET - ADOPTION OF POLICIES TO SUPPORT ELECTED MEMBERS pdf icon PDF 75 KB

 

To consider a recommendation from Cabinet in respect of the adoption of a suite of policies to encourage candidates to stand for election as councillors and to provide enhanced support to Elected Members.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 43 of the Cabinet held on 16th September, 2019, consideration was given to the report which detailed the outcome of a Members’ Working Group reviewing carers, maternity and paternity arrangements for Councillors with the aim of encouraging the next generation of women to play their part in politics in Rotherham.

 

The Working Group’s recommendations had formed a policy document proposing amendment to the Members’ Allowance Scheme to take account of the adoption of the policy.  The logic underpinning the policy was that improved arrangements for new parents would contribute towards increasing the diversity of experience, age and background of local authority Councils.  It was also written with a view to retaining experienced Councillors, especially women, and making public office more accessible to individuals who might otherwise feel excluded from it.

 

Councillors Carter, Cusworth, Hoddinott, Napper and Simpson spoke in favour of the recommendations and wished to place on record their thanks to the Members of the Working Group.  This suite of documents would provide support for Councillors not only with caring responsibilities, but those with disabilities and a terminal illness to fully participate.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the amendment to the Members’ Allowances Scheme be amended (Appendix 8 of the Constitution), subject to the receipt of the recommendations from the Independent Remuneration Panel.

 

(2) That the policies to support Elected Members in respect of parental leave, disabilities, arrangements for carers and dignity in dying be approved and be adopted, subject to the amendment to the Members’ Allowances Scheme.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Watson                       Seconder:-  Councillor Short

262.

RECOMMENDATION FROM CABINET - REVIEW OF POLLING PLACES pdf icon PDF 79 KB

 

To consider recommendations from Cabinet in respect of the final proposals arising from the review of polling places in the borough.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 46 of the Cabinet held on 16th September, 2019, consideration was given to the report which detailed the responses following the public consultation on the current polling scheme and the Returning Officer’s proposals.

 

The new Ward boundaries had been taken into account alongside disability access and the impact on schools. 

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the submissions made in respect of the review of polling districts and polling places for the Borough of Rotherham be noted.

 

(2)  That the adoption of the polling district boundaries be approved.

 

(3)  That the final proposals for polling places be approved.

 

(4)  That the Electoral Registration Officer make the necessary amendments to the polling districts to take effect from publication of the revised register on 1st December, 2019.

 

(5)  That the power to designate polling places in accordance with Section 18B of the Representation of the People Act 1983 be delegated to the Chief Executive, with such power to be exercised only in circumstances where a decision is required at short notice and it is not possible to await a decision of Council.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Alam                            Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

263.

RECOMMENDATION FROM CABINET - COUNCIL DELIVERY OF NEW HOMES ON ROTHERHAM TOWN CENTRE SITES pdf icon PDF 93 KB

 

To consider a recommendation from the Cabinet in respect of the delivery of new homes on Rotherham Town Centre sites.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 651 of the Cabinet held on 21st October, 2019, consideration was given to a report detailing the scheme to provide 171 high quality, mixed tenure homes, developed for gateway sites which were key to the delivery of the Town Centre Masterplan and sought authority for the necessary budget and delegated authorities to officers.

 

The sites sat at strategically important, highly visible gateway locations in the town centre, adjacent to other sites with the potential to accommodate further housing development. The delivery of 171new homes across these sites would provide a significant contribution towards Rotherham’s housing growth requirement, with further multiplier effects as anticipated above. 

 

Development funding on these sites would come from the Housing Revenue Account with some external funding from the Sheffield City Region Housing Fund.  The Sheffield City Region detailed business case had been recommended for approval with the decision to be taken in November.  It was hoped that positive news would then be heard from New Vision Homes England who were also keen to support the Council's plans in this regard in terms of delivery.

 

The Capital Programme was also to be presented to Council meeting in terms of the formal process with a view to starting on site early in the New Year.

 

It was pointed out that, with regards to concerns about the erection of hoardings adjacent to Wellgate Old Hall, this building was to be retained and Rotherham's history secured and complimented.

 

Resolved:-  That the inclusion of the scheme in the Capital Programme be approved.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Beck                            Seconder:-  Councillor Lelliott

264.

RECOMMENDATION FROM CABINET - ADOPTION OF A REVISED STATEMENT OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT (SCI) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

 

To consider a recommendation from Cabinet to adopt a revised Statement of Community Involvement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 67 of the Cabinet held on 21st October, 2019, consideration was given to a report outlining the consultation that had taken place on a draft revised Statement of Community Involvement Unit (SCI).  Under Article 3 of the Constitution, the SCI formed part of the policy framework.

 

The SCI set out how stakeholders could influence new planning policy documents covering Rotherham, how information would be communicated and the ways in which individuals and organisations could comment on planning applications.

 

The Council’s current SCI was adopted in June, 2015, however, following adoption of the Local Plan Sites and Policies document in June 2018, this effectively completed the current cycle of Local Plan production in Rotherham.  It was an appropriate and timely point to review and revise the current SCI and fulfil the duty of reviewing the SCI within the five years required.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the current Statement of Community Involvement (2015) be withdrawn

 

(2)  The revised Statement of Community Involvement (2019) be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Lelliott                      Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

265.

AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION - RESPONSIBILITY FOR FUNCTIONS - TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR CABINET pdf icon PDF 137 KB

 

To amend Appendix 9 of the Constitution (Responsibility for Functions) to reflect the Leader of the Council’s proposed amendment to the Cabinet’s terms of reference.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report proposing that the Terms of Reference of the Cabinet be amended to include provision for that body to determine major changes to the method of delivery of Council services.

 

The amendment was designed to ensure that there was Member level decision making in respect of any significant service changes to aid transparency and democratic oversight.  This would give the assurance about the way that services were delivered and allow for debate should proposals arise.

 

Resolved:-  That the Terms of Reference of the Cabinet be amended to include provision for the Cabinet to determine major changes to the method of delivery of Council services.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                       Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

266.

MEMBERSHIP OF POLITICAL GROUPS ON THE COUNCIL, POLITICAL BALANCE AND ENTITLEMENT TO SEATS pdf icon PDF 146 KB

 

To report on the operation of political groups, the change to the political balance of the Council and the entitlement of each group and non-aligned Members to seats on the authority’s committees.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which detailed how, in accordance with the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990, the Proper Officer was required to notify the Council of any change in the political balance of the Authority or the operation of new political groups under the Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990. Since the last meeting held on 4th September, 2019, the Proper Officer had received notification of a change in the political balance of the Authority.

 

There were 2 political groups in operation on the Council – the Brexit Party Group (11 Members) and the Labour Group (48 Members) – with 4 non-aligned Members, who were not in a political group.

 

There were 149 seats available on committees, boards and panels and under the calculation the Labour Group was entitled to 114 seats and the Brexit Party Group entitled to 28. This left 7 seats which could not be given to members of the political groups and should be allocated to the 4 non-aligned Councillors.  Details of the vacant seats and nominations were circulated at the meeting.

 

The Council also had 2 seats on the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, one of which was appointed to on 22nd May, 2019. The current vacancy must be filled by a member of the Brexit Party Group or a non-aligned Member and be appointed to by the Council.

 

Councillor Brian Cutts had been nominated by the Brexit Party Group to serve on the Police and Crime Panel, whilst Councillors Read and Watson of the Labour Group nominated Councillor Short to the same role.

 

Councillor Read recalled the reasons why the Council in October 2018 had determined that Councillor B. Cutts had not been a suitable representative to serve on the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, after a finding from the Standards and Ethics Sub-Committee that he had breached the Member Code of Conduct. 

 

Councillor Read reminded Members that the decision had been reached unanimously following the finding of the Standards and Ethics Sub-Committee. By virtue of his failure to meet the requirements of the Member Code of Conduct, Councillor B. Cutts was uniquely unqualified to represent the Borough.

 

He further referenced the Council’s contact with the Home Office and their advice about rejecting Councillor B. Cutts’ appointment.  As it would appear no suitable Brexit Party Member could be appointed, it was proposed that a non-aligned Member be appointed to the Police and Crime Panel. 

 

It was, therefore, proposed that Councillor P. Short resumed his place on the Police and Crime Panel.  He had previously represented the Council and the UKIP Party Group, as it was last year, so was eminently qualified to take that role again.

 

Councillor Cutts addressed the meeting requesting a copy of the correspondence with the Home Office and further asked if the Legal Department would assist him with sending his own report.

 

Councillor Cowles in response considered it unfair of the Leader to say that the Home Office rejected Councillor B.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 266.

267.

COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE REVIEW - RAVENFIELD PARISH COUNCIL pdf icon PDF 141 KB

 

To consider the commencement of a community governance review in respect of Ravenfield Parish Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which detailed receipt of a petition from Ravenfield Parish Council requesting a Community Governance Review.

 

The petition asked for the Review to be undertaken with a view to altering the existing boundary of the Parish of Ravenfield.  It proposed that the boundary between Moor Lane South and Lidget Lane should be moved south to a line stretching from the southern border of site LDF0774 (Rotherham Local Plan) running from Moor Lane South eastward to Lidget Lane (identified as a red line on the map attached to the petition).

 

The request was made due to the change of use of LDF0774 to residential and the inevitable increase in population.  Residents of the new housing would live in the community of Ravenfield and use Ravenfield village facilities.  The current boundary would create an anomalous situation and be harmful to community cohesion.

 

In order to start the required Community Governance Review, the Council would need to agree Terms of Reference for the Review and, as part of the Review, to carry out statutory consultation.

 

In considering the request Members were of the view that such a review did enthuse local residents and their views on the proposals should be sought.  However, this piece of land was still undeveloped and whilst there was a clear boundary, this may not be as clear once the land was built on.

 

This view was also the same for other Members who believed this request was a little premature when local residents should eventually choose whether they wanted to be part of the Bramley or Ravenfield parishes.

 

However, in noting the comments this was a legal process that needed to be followed following the request for a Community Governance Review.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That a Community Governance Review of the Parish of Ravenfield be undertaken.

 

(2)  That the Terms of Reference for the Review in respect of the Parish of Ravenfield, set out at Appendix 3 of the report submitted, be approved.

 

(3)  That a further report be submitted on the outcome of the consultation undertaken as part of the Review.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Alam                            Seconder:-  Councillor Read

268.

OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY UPDATE pdf icon PDF 994 KB

 

To receive an update on the activities of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny bodies in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 14.

Minutes:

Councillor Steele, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, introduced the first update for 2019/20 on the latest work carried out by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board and the Select Commissions - Health, Improving Lives and Improving Places as set out in detail as part of the report.

 

Councillor Carter believed the opposition should scrutinise executive functions of this Council and could not support the update due to there being a Labour Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.

 

Members were in disagreement with Councillor Carter’s view and challenged his own involvement in the scrutiny process given his reluctance to nominate himself to any membership.  They regarded the role of the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board to be robust and critical to the scrutiny processes in Rotherham, which were highly regarded and held up as good practice in the region.

 

Resolved:-  That the report be received and the contents noted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Steele                          Seconder:-  Councillor Cowles

269.

CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONER'S TAKEOVER CHALLENGE SCRUTINY REVIEW: YOUNG CARERS pdf icon PDF 125 KB

 

To receive for information the scrutiny review report from the Rotherham Youth Cabinet in respect of young carers.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the findings and recommendations of a spotlight review undertaken by the Rotherham Youth Cabinet, together with the Rotherham Young Carers Council, regarding improving access to leisure opportunities for young carers in Rotherham.

 

Many young people provided a significant number of hours of care each week which may impinge on both their school and social lives.  Given the value of respite from caring for all carers, it was vital that young people were able to have access to leisure activities and to have fun.

 

Financial considerations need to be taken into account as many families with young carers were on low incomes.  Access to discounted or free activities was important either through developing a new offer or building on what was already in place.  Concessionary travel to activities was another aspect to consider.

 

The recommendations focused on:-

 

·                An improved offer of discounted access to leisure activities for young carers.

·                Clear eligibility criteria.

·                Support to travel to activities.

·                Good promotion and publicity.

·                Identification of young carers and support.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the report and recommendations in respect of Young Carers be noted.

 

(2)  That the response of Cabinet be reported back to Overview and Scrutiny Management Board and Rotherham Youth Cabinet.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Steele                          Seconder:-  Councillor Cowles

270.

THRIVING NEIGHBOURHOODS - UPDATES FROM WARD COUNCILLORS pdf icon PDF 2 MB

 

To receive updates from ward councillors from Sitwell, Swinton and Valley on the activities supporting Thriving Neighbourhoods across the Borough.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 55 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 19th November, 2018, consideration was given to the annual Ward updates for Sitwell, Swinton and Valley as part of the Thriving Neighbourhood Strategy.

 

The Strategy signalled a new way of working for the Council both for Members and for staff and covered every Ward in the Borough delivered through Ward Plans developed with residents to address local issues and opportunities.  Ward Members would be supported by the neighbourhood team and would work with officers and residents from a range of organisations to respond to residents.

 

Councillors Cowles, Short and Julie Turner, on behalf of the Sitwell Ward, gave an update on their Ward priorities and welcomed the opportunity that the Thriving Neighbourhoods had given to Members and listed a number of initiatives that had taken place in the Ward, including:-

 

·                Fly tipping on Doles Lane and erection of steel barriers allowing access to all those who enjoyed open spaces.

·                Anti-social behaviour hotspots in and around a disused bus shelter on Cowrakes Lane.

·                Funding for the Parish Cricket Club to purchase an all-weather wicket.

·                Joint funding with Boston Castle Ward Members CCTV and barriers on the Duke of Norfolk estate.

·                Special award by the Police Crime Commissioner for the proactive work by residents with establishing a WhatsApp group with over 150 residents.

·                Speed surveys with the Council and Police.

·                Deployment of illuminated speed signs around the Ward.

·                Addressing isolation and loneliness and funding coffee mornings.

·                Building bird boxes with the pupils of Newman School for residents.

·                Proposals to run an integrated shopping project with students from Newman School.

·                Liaison with the Council, Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency following concerns about the cleanliness of the water flowing through Whiston Brook, the capacity of the sewage system and the maintenance schedule for the pumping station.

·                Funding at Whiston Worrygoose School for a fence to prevent litter being thrown into the school’s wildlife area.

·                Tables, chairs and play equipment for the Methodist Church Toddler Group.

·                Spring bulb planting party on the 3rd November, 2019 where 5,000 spring flowering bulbs will be planted within the Ward.

·                Water butts for the Whiston Allotment Society on its 3 sites.

 

In addressing the Council, Councillor Cowles was happy to support some of the many Ward projects, but expressed some concern about the delay from the request to authorise funds to the projects being implemented.

 

Councillors Cusworth, Sansome and Wyatt, on behalf of the Swinton Ward, gave an update on their Ward priorities and welcomed the opportunity to thank the Neighbourhood Working Group, staff and volunteers and listed a number of initiatives that had taken place in the Ward. 

 

Ward Members responded positively to the Thriving Neighbourhoods agenda as it enabled them to engage with residents in a much more meaningful way.  With access to the devolved budget priority could be given to important issues, but it was not just about money it was also about the time given.   As a result the community  ...  view the full minutes text for item 270.

271.

NOTICE OF MOTION - CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY

 

In the most recent State of the UK Climate 2017 report, trends show that the UK climate is continuing to warm and that sea levels continue to rise:

 

  • We will be experiencing summers that are 2.5ºC warmer,
  • Our winters will be milder with the average temperatures being 2.2°C warmer
  • There may be a 16% decrease in summer rainfall making our summers much drier but more
  • variable
  • Winters will be wetter with an average of 14% more rainfall
  • Mean sea levels around the UK have risen by about 16 cm since the start of the 20th Century.

 

The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming published in October 2018 states that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The government has set a target date of 2050 for Britain to produce “net zero” carbon emissions. All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of climate change, and local authorities that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies.

 

In recent years, Rotherham Council has been reducing its carbon emissions by about 3% per year.

 

Recent statistics from the energy switching website migrate.co.uk suggest that over the last 10 years Rotherham has seen the fifth biggest reduction of our emissions overall amongst 21 local authorities in Yorkshire & the Humber.

Nationally to date over half of the Councils in England have declared a climatic emergency as has the National Government. Rotherham has previously developed a climate change strategy but now is the time to reassess our objective for the years ahead.


This Council notes that there are significant opportunities to reduce RMBC’s carbon emissions over the coming years:

 

1.    The proposed development of a district heat network from Templeborough Power Plant, powered by sustainable biomass

2.    The proposed introduction of a community energy switching scheme, moving properties including council homes onto 100% renewable sources of electricity

3.    The recent installation of electric vehicle charging points, including for council vehicles, and future re-provision of the council’s fleet of vehicles

4.    Encouraging external providers of Council services to reduce their carbon emissions as part of our Social Value Policy

5.    The proposed planting of fifty million trees across the country, including potentially some in Rotherham, as part of the “Northern Forest”

 

This Council therefore resolves to:

 

1.    Join other local authorities in declaring a climate emergency.

2.    Create a Members working group to propose an informed target for the Council’s carbon reduction by 2025 and to review it every five years thereafter, and to develop a “Carbon Action Plan” towards these goals, and that this working group should report back to the Council no later than March 2020.

3.    Develop a strategy for RMBC to play a leadership role in promoting community, public and business partnerships in reducing carbon emissions

4.    Mandate officers to lobby government for additional resources to support this strategy where these are required

5.  ...  view the full agenda text for item 271.

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Roche and seconded by Councillor Allen:-

 

This Council:-

 

In the most recent State of the UK Climate 2017 report, trends show that the UK climate is continuing to warm and that sea levels continue to rise:

 

·         We will be experiencing summers that are 2.5ºC warmer,

·         Our winters will be milder with the average temperatures being 2.2°C warmer

·         There may be a 16% decrease in summer rainfall making our summers much drier but more variable

·         Winters will be wetter with an average of 14% more rainfall

·         Mean sea levels around the UK have risen by about 16 cm since the start of the 20th Century.

 

The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming published in October 2018 states that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius.

 

The government has set a target date of 2050 for Britain to produce “net zero” carbon emissions. All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of climate change, and local authorities that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies.

 

In recent years, Rotherham Council has been reducing its carbon emissions by about 3% per year. Recent statistics from the energy switching website migrate.co.uk suggest that over the last 10 years Rotherham has seen the fifth biggest reduction of our emissions overall amongst 21 local authorities in Yorkshire & the Humber.

 

Nationally to date over half of the Councils in England have declared a climatic emergency as has the National Government. Rotherham has previously developed a climate change strategy but now is the time to reassess our objective for the years ahead.

 

This Council notes that there are significant opportunities to reduce RMBC’s carbon emissions over the coming years:

 

1.    The proposed development of a district heat network from Templeborough Power Plant, powered by sustainable biomass

2.    The proposed introduction of a community energy switching scheme, moving properties including council homes onto 100% renewable sources of electricity

3.    The recent installation of electric vehicle charging points, including for Council vehicles, and future re-provision of the Council’s fleet of vehicles

4.    Encouraging external providers of Council services to reduce their carbon emissions as part of our Social Value Policy

5.    The proposed planting of fifty million trees across the country, including potentially some in Rotherham, as part of the “Northern Forest”

 

This Council therefore resolves to:

 

1.    Join other local authorities in declaring a climate emergency

 

2.    Create a Members Working Group to propose an informed target for the Council’s carbon reduction by 2025 and to review it every 5 years thereafter, and to develop a “Carbon Action Plan” towards these goals, and that this Working Group should report back to the Council no later than March 2020

 

3.    Develop a strategy for RMBC to play a leadership role in promoting community, public and business partnerships in reducing carbon emissions

 

4.    Mandate officers to lobby Government for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 271.

272.

STANDARDS AND ETHICS COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 76 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, recommendations and minutes of the meeting of the Standards and Ethics Committee be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Clark                            Seconder:-  Councillor Vjestica

273.

AUDIT COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 84 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, recommendations and minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Wyatt                           Seconder:-  Councillor Walsh

 

274.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING BOARD pdf icon PDF 108 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, recommendations and minutes of the meeting of the Health and Wellbeing Board be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Roche                         Seconder:-  Councillor Mallinder

 

275.

PLANNING BOARD pdf icon PDF 83 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, recommendations and minutes of the meetings of the Planning Board be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Sheppard                   Seconder:-  Councillor Williams

276.

STAFFING COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 54 KB

 

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

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record consider a recommendation to approve the authority being a signatory to GMB’s Work to Stop Domestic Abuse Charter.

 

Minutes:

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

 

Mover:-  Councillor Alam                            Seconder:-  Councillor Read

 

277.

LICENSING BOARD pdf icon PDF 48 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 meeting of the Licensing Board Sub-Committee and Licensing Sub-Committee be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Ellis                             Seconder:-  Councillor Beaumont

 

278.

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 Council Procedure Rule 11(5).

Minutes:

(1)  Councillor Carter referred to some residents telling him they had to wait for almost two hours before their call to 101 was answered. He asked were there any plans to introduce a call-back function for the 101 service?

 

Councillor Sansome confirmed this was in place

 

The Call Back Assist (CBA) was a new functionality that was delivered with the new system.

 

In terms of implementation, it was delivered in a phased way across the 4 groups that worked within Atlas Court. This commenced in June, with supervisors gaining some understanding of how the system worked. The roll out then continued across all the groups who switched the system on from 7.00 am to 7.00 p.m. 

 

When the roll out was first implemented there were a few teething problems and for a short period it was switched off whilst the issues were investigated and a fix was then put in place.

 

The CBA function had had a phased introduction over the summer period and allowed callers to choose the option of leaving their details and either the telephone number they were using to call, or an alternative contact number.  The system would then retain the callers place in the 101 queue and recontact them.  In the event that the caller did not answer the initial call back, the system would call a second and a third time before removing the number from the 101 queue.

 

The Call Back Assist system did not extend into a period of anti-social hours for a call back.

 

The system had now been running across the floor since the end of August and worked on a set of call routing rules.  However, the supervisors were able to switch the system on and off based on operational demand.

 

The average answered wait times for 101 for the last three months were:-

 

·                August 2019 - 14 minutes and 33 seconds with an average abandoned wait time of 10 minutes and 5 seconds.

·                September 2019 - 13 minutes and 43 seconds with an average abandoned wait time of 10 minutes and 35 seconds.

·                October 2019 - 8 minutes and 42 seconds with an average abandoned wait time of 8 minutes and 31 seconds.

 

Whilst this did not alleviate the frustration for those members of the public who have found themselves waiting longer, it did show that such long waits were an exception rather than the norm.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Carter understood now there was no covert function place at the beginning of August.  However, he asked were there plans to introduce the service on a 24/7 whether this would enable any caller wishing to use call-back assist to remain on the ‘log’ and then called back the day after.

 

Councillor Sansome would seek to obtain this information and provide feedback in writing.

279.

MEMBERS' QUESTIONS TO CABINET MEMBERS AND CHAIRMEN

 

To put questions, if any, to Cabinet Members and Chairmen (or their representatives) under Council Procedure Rules 11(1) and 11(3).

Minutes:

(1)  Councillor Simpson asked could the Council support his national petition to limit the sale and use of Fireworks to around 5th November (along with New Year’s/Chinese New Year and Diwali festival.)

 

Councillor Hoddinott confirmed that if Councillor Simpson could send her a copy of his petition she would be happy to have a look at it.

 

(2)  Councillor Simpson referred to “Fast 4’s unlicensed taxi driver fine” and asked was it about time the idea of taxi dashboard photo ID was implemented?

 

Councillor Ellis thanked Councillor Simpson for raising this matter.  The successful prosecution of Fast 4 and the significant fine of £1,300 showed how seriously the Council took taxi licensing and that the Council would act robustly if drivers and operators did not abide by the rules.

 

In 2015, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, set what was generally accepted to be the highest standard with regard to taxi and private hire licensing in the UK. Many of the standards have subsequently been adopted by other local licensing authorities. Rotherham had even been cited as best practice in revised national guidance.

 

However, the Council was not complacent. Following a review of the current Policy, Cabinet would be considering a report, proposing to consult on a revised Taxi Licensing Policy.

 

The current Policy required all drivers to wear an identity badge on their person.  However, feedback from both taxi users and drivers was that this was often not as visible as it could be to passengers.  As part of this review the Cabinet would be considering the most appropriate information for internal display.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Simpson confirmed he had spoken over two years ago to the National Taxi Association about displaying information.  However, being a taxi user himself he only considered it right that identification should be on display for safeguarding purposes rather than being clipped onto a jacket.  A passenger could then clearly see the identity of their driver.

 

Councillor Ellis reaffirmed that the policy currently dictated that all drivers must wear their personal licensed identification.  However, she urged Councillor Simpson to include his comments as part of the consultation.

 

(3)  Councillor Cooksey indicated that when carers have a respite package from Adult Social Care she understood it had to be re-assessed every year. This causes unnecessary stress for the carer so asked would the Council reconsider?

 

Councillor Roche confirmed there was a requirement under the Care Act to review support plans at least every 12 months and this was to make sure that eligible needs were still being met.

 

A more detailed reassessment would only take place if there were changes or circumstances that had arisen and a new support plan was needed. This was not intended to be a stressful experience, but one that provided reassurance that needs were being met appropriately whilst discharging the Council’s statutory duties.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Cooksey explained this concern had been said to her anecdotally, but understood that in some other authorities the respite package could  ...  view the full minutes text for item 279.

280.

URGENT ITEMS

 

Any other public items which the Mayor determines are urgent.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items for consideration.