Agenda and draft minutes

Council Meeting - Wednesday 13 April 2022 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Council Chamber - Rotherham Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S60 2TH. View directions

Contact: Governance Unit  The webcast can be viewed at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv

Items
No. Item

142.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

Minutes:

The Mayor explained that as her term of office was ending, she had been extremely busy meeting and thanking people for their support over the past 3 years. Many of the supporters had been to visit the Town Hall and the Mayor had hosted some of them at Wentworth Woodhouse for afternoon tea and a tour of the building. The Mayor had also visited Wentworth Woodhouse in March to celebrate International Women’s Day along with the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, Master Cutler, and the High Sheriff among many others.

 

The Mayor welcomed the opportunity to report on a number of engagements:-

 

-         Attendance at theatre performances including Our House, The Musical, Guys and Dolls (courtesy of the Chapeltown Musical Theatre Society) and Curtains’, a musical comedy Whodunnit performed by Maltby Minors which was thoroughly enjoyed.

 

-         South Yorkshire Veterans’ Breakfast Club get together at Toby Carvery.

 

-         Rotherham Grammar School Old Boys’ Association annual dinner at Sitwell Park Golf Club.

 

-         Friendship lunch at the Manor Barn, Kimberworth which aimed to reduce social isolation and loneliness through entertainment and lunch.

-         Visit to the Wonder Years Nursery in Ravenfield which had been given an award for ensuring a high level of safety for children in its care.

-         Rotherham’s World Day or Prayer at the Minster.

 

-         A celebration of local brick industry and heritage at Swinton Brick Assembly Unveiling Ceremony.

 

-         St Bernard’s Catholic High School Career Fair.

 

-         The Work-Wise Foundation which was an interactive Careers Showcase Event for schools, young people and families.

 

-         The AESSEAL ceremonial signing of the Factory of the Future contract.

 

-         The official launch of the Nayi Zindagi social enterprise project which creates positive awareness of its service to community members in and around Rotherham.

 

-         The opening of the Treeton Community Centre outside area.

 

-         The Brinsworth Academy Spring Fayre.

 

-         The Jump Inc Autism Awareness Event.

 

The Mayor also advised that a couple of other fundraising events to support her own chosen charities had taken place including a charity race night at the New Inn Pub in Masbrough and a day-long raffle organised by Tesco at Dinnington. The Mayor thanked all of those who took part in those events.

 

The Mayor stated that she had been very lucky to attend a number of sporting events including the Rotherham Titans rugby match on 12th March, Rotherham United v Milton Keynes on 5th March and Rotherham United v Sutton United at Wembley on 3rd April. The Mayor explained what a fantastic day the trip to Wembley was and how she could not have asked for a better outcome for Rotherham.

 

Finally, the Mayor wished to place on record her thanks to the Mayoress for the support given throughout her time in office.

143.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

144.

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 to report.

145.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS COUNCIL MEETING pdf icon PDF 529 KB

To receive the record of proceedings of the ordinary meeting of the Council held on 2nd March, 2022, and to approve the accuracy thereof.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved: - That the Minutes of the meeting of Council held on 2nd March, 2022, be approved for signature by the Mayor.

 

Mover: - Councillor Read                        Seconder: - Councillor Allen

146.

PETITIONS pdf icon PDF 273 KB

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 introduced the report and confirmed the receipt of one petition received since the last Council meeting which had not met the threshold for consideration by Council:

 

·        Containing 643 signatures calling on the Council to “Improve Road Safety on Cumwell Lane/Kingsforth Lane.”

 

Councillor Ball and Councillor T. Collingham addressed the Council as part of the presentation of the petition.

 

Resolved:-

 

(1)  That the report be received.

 

(2)           That the petition be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board for consideration.

 

147.

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.

148.

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:

There were no public questions to report.

149.

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.

Minutes:

There were no items that required the exclusion of the press and public.

150.

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 presented his statement and put on record his thanks to the Mayor for her 3 years of service. He also thanked the outgoing Mayor of the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, Dan Jarvis, who had decided not to seek re-election. The Leader explained that the Mayor had been a good friend to him over the years and had been elected at a time when there had been great uncertainty over devolution in South Yorkshire. The approach of the Mayor had brought people together for the good of South Yorkshire and he was owed a debt of gratitude by the people in Rotherham for the work he had done. He had secured hundreds of millions of pounds of investment in the region when it was most needed and led a co-ordinated approach to flood defence work and bus franchising.

 

An update on Council activity was given. The Government’s Council Tax Rebate Scheme had been launched but the Leader explained that this was not related to Council Tax and was not a rebate. The first direct debit payments would be paid out by the end of April 2022 and the cheques would follow in May. The Council’s Energy Bill Grant Scheme would be in place by the end of the month and details would be circulated to Members.

 

The DWP had put forward the Council for a partnership award in relation to the Kickstart scheme. This scheme aimed to help young people who were at risk of becoming long term unemployed by offering work placements paid at the Real Living Wage. Rotherham had done more than any other local authority in the region in terms of that work and that was testimony to the commitment by the Council to the young people within the Borough.

 

Work was due to start imminently on the Century Business Centre at Manvers and demolition works had commenced around Rotherham Market and the Rain Building. Construction of the flood barrier scheme around Riverside and Forge Island was well underway and those infrastructure improvements were required to make the borough more prosperous and a better place to live.

 

In relation to the comments about Mayor Dan Jarvis and his work on buses, Councillor Bennett-Sylvester stated that one of the investments that had been secured was £15 million for 27 low emission buses. He expressed concerns over giving public money to private business and questioned what checks and measures were in place to ensure low emission buses would continue on the routes where they were most needed, specifically the Dearne routes which do suffer with connectivity issues?

 

The Leader explained that the electric buses would be based in Rawmarsh due to the air quality concerns and the links to Barnsley and Doncaster. At present, the charging infrastructure would not allow the buses to deviate from the agreed routes around Rawmarsh but the development of more electric charging infrastructure could make this a possibility in the future. The Leader agreed to provide further information outside of the meeting  ...  view the full minutes text for item 150.

151.

MINUTES OF THE CABINET MEETING pdf icon PDF 287 KB

To note the minutes of the Cabinet Meeting held on 28th March, 2022.

Minutes:

Councillor Bennett-Sylvester made reference to Minute No. 125 (COVID Recovery Fund) and asked whether the £500,000 Energy Bill Scheme was a replication of schemes already in place such as the British Gas Energy Trust and whether any checks or measures were in place to ensure residents use other schemes first? He also asked whether any of the remaining £679,000 from the Fund could be used to support the night-time economy, which had suffered due to COVID, until the Forge Island scheme was completed? 

 

The Leader responded by explaining that it could be possible to use some of the remaining Fund to support the night-time economy but that any proposals would have to go through the correct channels as there was likely to be a huge demand for the funds across many sectors. He asked that Councillor Bennett-Sylvester email him with any further details so that they could be fed into the discussions.

 

In relation to the Energy Bill Scheme, the Leader explained that the priority was making sure the money was available to residents as quickly as possible. As such, there were no pre-requisites that required residents to try other schemes first. It was, however, anticipated that most residents that sought help through this scheme would come via advice groups and other options would likely have been discussed as part of that advice.

 

Councillor Ball made reference to Minute No. 116 over concerns that his question about why the figures for referrals from the Council, in relation to issues such as hoarding and houses, to the Fire Authority had not been properly addressed. The Leader agreed to pick this matter up outside of the meeting.

         

Resolved:- That the reports, recommendations and minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 28th March, 2022, be received.

 

Mover:- Councillor Read                                   Seconder:- Councillor Allen

152.

NOMINATIONS - MAYOR-ELECT AND DEPUTY MAYOR-ELECT FOR THE 2022-23 MUNICIPAL YEAR

To consider nominations and approve the Mayor-Elect and Deputy Mayor-Elect for the 2022-23 Municipal Year.

Minutes:

Nominations had been invited for the positions of Mayor-elect and Deputy Mayor-elect for the 2022-23 Municipal Year.

 

One nomination for the position of Mayor had been received:-

 

“That Councillor Khan be elected Chair of the Rotherham Borough Council for the ensuing (2022/23) Municipal Year and that he be entitled to the style of Mayor by virtue of Section 245(1) of the Local Government Act 1972.”

 

Proposer:– Councillor Read                    Seconder:- Councillor Allen

 

On being put to a vote, the motion was carried by majority.

 

Councillor Tajamal Khan was appointed Mayor-elect for the 2022-23 Municipal Year. His election as Mayor will take place at the Annual Meeting on 20th May, 2022.

 

One nomination for the position of Deputy Mayor-elect had been received:-

 

“That Councillor Taylor be elected Vice-Chair of the Rotherham Borough Council for the ensuing (2022/23) Municipal Year and that he be entitled to the style of Deputy Mayor by virtue of Section 245(1) of the Local Government Act 1972.”

 

Proposer:– Councillor Pitchley                Seconder:- Councillor Keenan

 

On being put to a vote, the motion was carried by majority.

 

Councillor Robert Taylor was appointed Deputy Mayor-elect for the 2022-23 Municipal Year. His election as Deputy Mayor will take place at the Annual Meeting on 20th May, 2022.

153.

NOTICE OF MOTION - SCRUTINY

This Council notes:-

 

1)      The scrutiny process in Rotherham is currently chaired by councillors from the MajorityGroup

2)      That pre-scrutiny meetings happen where the press and public are unable toattend

3)      Written scrutiny reports need to provide councillors, the press, and the public with the details needed to scrutinise decisions and policies of theCouncil

4)      Council officers do important work in delivering services on behalf of theCouncil

 

This Council believes:-

 

1)      The scrutiny process works best when it is chaired by OppositionCouncillors

2)      Pre-scrutiny meetings are anti-democratic, secretive, and are a means for the Majority Group and Cabinet to avoid properscrutiny

3)      Written scrutiny reports lack detail,namely:-

 

a)      Specific, outcome-basedobjectives

b)      Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), metrics and quantitativedata

c)      Evidence-based assessment of benefitsmade

d)      Feedback from serviceusers

e)      Measures to mitigate the impact on those with Protected Characteristics (as defined by the Equality Act2010)

f)       Measures to tackle the ClimateEmergency

g)      Benchmarking against comparator localauthorities

 

4)      Council officers work hard to answer questions from Councillors and appreciate the work they do in delivering services on behalf of theCouncil

5)      Verbal presentations by officers on agenda items at Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (OSMB) and Select Commissions are often too long and reduce the time available for questions and proper scrutiny

 

Therefore, this Council resolves that:-

 

1)      Pre-scrutiny meetings areabolished

2)      The Council’s Constitution be amended within three monthsto:-

 

a)      Require the Chair of the OSMB be an OppositionCouncillor

b)      Require the Vice-Chair of OSMB to be a Majority Groupcouncillor

c)      Require the Chairs of the Select Commissions be allocated to recognised Council Groups based onproportionality

d)      Require the Vice-Chairs of the Select Commissions be allocated to recognised Council Groups based on proportionality, so that the Chair and Vice-Chair are not from the same Council Group

 

3)      Opening verbal presentations by officers on agenda items discussed at OSMB and Select Commissions be no longer than five minutes in duration and include an introductory narrative, and a summary of key points

4)      Each Council service has a plan to be carbonneutral

5)      Each Council service produces and regularly updates Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion plans to ensure that those with Protected Characteristics are not disproportionatelyaffected

 

6)      Scrutiny reports mustcontain:-

 

a)      Specific, outcome-basedobjectives

b)      KPIs, metrics and measurable data and rationale forthese

c)      Evidence-based assessment of improvements made and benefits realised byservices

d)      Feedback from serviceusers

e)      Assessment of measures to mitigate the impact on those with Protected Characteristics (as defined by the Equality Act2010)

f)       Assessment of measures to tackle the ClimateEmergency

g)      Benchmarking against comparator local authorities and rationale for why these local authorities werechosen

h)      An analysis of value formoney

 

Mover:-  Councillor A. Carter                   Seconder:-  Councillor C. Carter

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Adam Carter and seconded by Councillor Charlotte Carter that:-

 

This Council notes:-

 

1)      The scrutiny process in Rotherham is currently chaired by Councillors from the MajorityGroup

2)      That pre-scrutiny meetings happen where the press and public are unable toattend

3)      Written scrutiny reports need to provide councillors, the press, and the public with the details needed to scrutinise decisions and policies of theCouncil

4)      Council officers do important work in delivering services on behalf of theCouncil

     

This Council believes:-

 

1)      The scrutiny process works best when it is chaired by OppositionCouncillors

2)      Pre-scrutiny meetings are anti-democratic, secretive, and are a means for the Majority Group and Cabinet to avoid properscrutiny

3)      Written scrutiny reports lack detail,namely:-

 

a)      Specific, outcome-basedobjectives

b)      Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), metrics and quantitativedata

c)       Evidence-based assessment of benefitsmade

d)      Feedback from serviceusers

e)      Measures to mitigate the impact on those with Protected Characteristics (as defined by the Equality Act2010)

f)        Measures to tackle the ClimateEmergency

g)      Benchmarking against comparator localauthorities

 

4)      Council officers work hard to answer questions from Councillors and appreciate the work they do in delivering services on behalf of theCouncil

5)      Verbal presentations by officers on agenda items at Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (OSMB) and Select Commissions are often too long and reduce the time available for questions and properscrutiny

 

Therefore, this Council resolves that:-

 

1)      Pre-scrutiny meetings areabolished

2)      The Council’s Constitution be amended within three monthsto:-

 

a)     Require the Chair of the OSMB be an OppositionCouncillor

b)     Require the Vice-Chair of OSMB to be a Majority GroupCouncillor

c)      Require the Chairs of the Select Commissions be allocated to recognised Council Groups based onproportionality

d)     Require the Vice-Chairs of the Select Commissions be allocated to recognised Council Groups based on proportionality, so that the Chair and Vice-Chair are not from the same Council Group

 

3)      Opening verbal presentations by officers on agenda items discussed at OSMB and Select Commissions be no longer than five minutes in duration and include an introductory narrative, and a summary of keypoints

4)      Each Council service has a plan to be carbonneutral

5)      Each Council service produces and regularly updates Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion plans to ensure that those with Protected Characteristics are not disproportionatelyaffected

 

6)      Scrutiny reports mustcontain:-

 

a)      Specific, outcome-basedobjectives

b)      KPIs, metrics and measurable data and rationale forthese

c)      Evidence-based assessment of improvements made and benefits realised byservices

d)      Feedback from serviceusers

e)      Assessment of measures to mitigate the impact on those with Protected Characteristics (as defined by the Equality Act2010)

f)        Assessment of measures to tackle the ClimateEmergency

g)      Benchmarking against comparator local authorities and rationale for why these local authorities werechosen

h)      An analysis of value formoney

 

Following debate, the motion was put to the vote and was declared lost.

154.

NOTICE OF MOTION - ROTHERHAM STANDS WITH UKRAINE

That this Council:-

 

a)             notes with shockand horrorthe deeplyupsetting situationin Ukraineand believes that Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine is an unprovoked, unjustifiableoutrage anda heinousviolation ofinternational lawthat will have tragicconsequences;

b)             takes a stand in complete solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they bravely resist thisassault;

c)             notes the horrific ordeal facing many as they flee to safety and who now facea futurethat theycould neverhave imagined;

d)             notes that formany yearsRotherham hasformed strongpartnerships with thetowns ofZabrze inPoland andCluj-Napoca inRomania, two countriesthat neighbourUkraine thathave respondedadmirably tothe humanitarian crisisthat thisconflict hascaused;

e)             notes that thisis nota warwaged byRussian citizensbut byits President and his high-ranking militaryofficials;

f)               notes that there are those in Russia who are standing up for what is right and making their voices heard against their own Government, and these people must be commended, and notes that due to brutal police crackdowns on freedom of speech it is dangerous to voice anti-Putin sentiments;and

g)             believes that thepeople ofthe Boroughhave along andproud tradition ofsupporting, welcoming,and caringfor thosein need,and weshould be proudof thefact wecan providea safeplace intheir timeof need.

 

This Council therefore resolves to:

 

1.         Write to the Home Secretary to offer to do what we can to house displaced Ukrainian families – making clear that we will go over and above to offer sanctuary and shelter to those that needit.

2.         Support, promote and work in partnership with local charitable, communityand religiousorganisations whoare workingto provide resourcesand assistancefor thoseaffected anddisplaced bythe conflict in Ukraine.

3.         Work with ourlocal schoolcommunity tourgently findplacement for anyschool agechildren seekingrefuge inRotherham Borough.

4.         Promote opportunities to support other organisations working on the ground in Ukraine to provide humanitarian aid and shelter – these include but are not limited to the British Red Cross, Disasters Emergency Committee, Unicef, the UN Refugee Council, and those in our partner towns in Poland and Romania.

5.         Ask our Members of Parliament to raise with the Home Office the issues children, who don’t have a passport, are currently experiencing at the UK border.

 

This Council also recognises it has a role to play to ensure Russian political and financial interests are not promoted in any of its activities and investments.

 

This Council therefore further resolves to:

 

1.         Immediately request a report from the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority on the investments our Council’s Pension Fund currently has inRussian companies.Where theseinvestments stillexist, Councilcalls on the Pension Fund to make immediate arrangements to divest any shares in Russiancompanies.

2.         To review immediatelyany contractualcommitments theCouncil has withRussian suppliers,particularly  ...  view the full agenda text for item 154.

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Miro and seconded by Councillor Tarmey:-

 

That this Council:-

·        notes with shockand horrorthe deeplyupsetting situationin Ukraineand believes that Vladimir Putin’s attack on Ukraine is an unprovoked, unjustifiableoutrage anda heinousviolation ofinternational lawthat will have tragicconsequences;

·        takes a stand in complete solidarity with the Ukrainian people as they bravely resist thisassault;

·        notes the horrific ordeal facing many as they flee to safety and who now facea futurethat theycould neverhave imagined;

·        notes that formany yearsRotherham hasformed strongpartnerships with thetowns ofZabrze inPoland andCluj-Napoca inRomania, two countriesthat neighbourUkraine thathave respondedadmirably tothe humanitarian crisisthat thisconflict hascaused;

·        notes that thisis nota warwaged byRussian citizensbut byits President and his high-ranking militaryofficials;

·        notes that there are those in Russia who are standing up for what is right and making their voices heard against their own Government, and these people must be commended, and notes that due to brutal police crackdowns on freedom of speech it is dangerous to voice anti-Putin sentiments;and

·        believes that thepeople ofthe Boroughhave along andproud tradition ofsupporting, welcoming,and caringfor thosein need,and weshould be proudof thefact wecan providea safeplace intheir timeof need.

 

This Council therefore resolves to:

1.      Write to the Home Secretary to offer to do what we can to house displaced Ukrainian families – making clear that we will go over and above to offer sanctuary and shelter to those that needit.

2.      Support, promote and work in partnership with local charitable, communityand religiousorganisations whoare workingto provide resourcesand assistancefor thoseaffected anddisplaced bythe conflict in Ukraine.

3.      Work with ourlocal schoolcommunity tourgently findplacement for anyschool agechildren seekingrefuge inRotherham Borough.

4.      Promote opportunities to support other organisations working on the ground in Ukraine to provide humanitarian aid and shelter – these include but are not limited to the British Red Cross, Disasters Emergency Committee, Unicef, the UN Refugee Council, and those in our partner towns in Poland and Romania.

5.      Ask our Members of Parliament to raise with the Home Office the issues children, who don’t have a passport, are currently experiencing at the UK border.

 

This Council also recognises it has a role to play to ensure Russian political and financial interests are not promoted in any of its activities and investments.

 

This Council therefore further resolves to:

1.  Immediately request a report from the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority on the investments our Council’s Pension Fund currently has inRussian companies.Where theseinvestments stillexist, Councilcalls on the Pension Fund to make immediate arrangements to divest any shares in Russiancompanies.

2.  To review immediatelyany contractualcommitments theCouncil has  ...  view the full minutes text for item 154.

155.

NOTICE OF MOTION - MUNICIPAL CEMETERIES AND DIGNITY FUNERALS LTD

This Council notes that:-

 

·              Problems persist with the management of several Municipal Cemeteries and funeral services across the Borough, which are contracted out by RMBC to Dignity Funerals.

·              At times poor management and lack of preparation of plots has led to funerals being cancelled at very short notice, causing significant distress to families.

·              Problems with the maintenance of Municipal Cemeteries include:-

 

o     Overgrown grass, weeds and brambles on several sites, making cemeteries look untidy, and covering graves and headstones.

o     Damage to graves, headstones and other cemetery features during cutting due to a mixture of carelessness and the sites being so overgrown that these features are not visible when vegetation is finally cut.

o     Poorly timed cutting of vegetation, for example during flowering season, which has a negative impact on wildlife.

o     Poor facilities on some sites, including lack of access to water, no bins, and few benches, which make it difficult for families to maintain gravesites and spend time in Cemeteries.

 

·              New ‘Friends of…’ groups have repeatedly asked for information on what they can/can’t do, as well as key points of contact, and have still not received this.

·              Volunteers with these ‘Friends of…’ groups put in a significant amount of their own time and effort to maintain cemeteries, at times taking on responsibilities that Dignity Funerals is contractually obliged to carry out but is not doing so.

·              When something goes wrong, residents say they do not have a clear complaints procedure to follow and have felt that their complaints have been dismissed, sometimes repeatedly, by Dignity Funerals.

 

Therefore, this Council resolves to:-

 

·              Request a detailed improvement plan and works schedule from Dignity Funerals, to be provided to RMBC within two months, and then scrutinised at the earliest opportunity and progress monitored by the Improving Places Select Commission.

·              Request RMBC Bereavement Services provide ‘Friends of…’ groups with clear guidelines, policies, protocols, and key points of contact – ideally in a short handbook – as soon as possible.

·              Request RMBC and Dignity Funerals agree, implement, and publicise a clear and fair complaints procedure within three months.

·              Ask the chair of OSMB to consider how scrutiny can most effectively ensure lessons are learned from the contract between RMBC and Dignity Funerals, including the original contract negotiations and contract management since then.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Thompson                Seconder:-  Councillor Tinsley

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Thompson and seconded by Councillor Tinsley that:-

 

This Council notes that:-

 

·        Problems persist with the management of several Municipal Cemeteries and funeral services across the Borough, which are contracted out by RMBC to Dignity Funerals.

·        At times poor management and lack of preparation of plots has led to funerals being cancelled at very short notice, causing significant distress to families.

·        Problems with the maintenance of Municipal Cemeteries include:-

 

o   Overgrown grass, weeds and brambles on several sites, making cemeteries look untidy, and covering graves and headstones.

o   Damage to graves, headstones and other cemetery features during cutting due to a mixture of carelessness and the sites being so overgrown that these features are not visible when vegetation is finally cut.

o   Poorly timed cutting of vegetation, for example during flowering season, which has a negative impact on wildlife.

o   Poor facilities on some sites, including lack of access to water, no bins, and few benches, which make it difficult for families to maintain gravesites and spend time in Cemeteries.

 

·     New ‘Friends of…’ groups have repeatedly asked for information on what they can/can’t do, as well as key points of contact, and have still not received this.

·     Volunteers with these ‘Friends of…’ groups put in a significant amount of their own time and effort to maintain cemeteries, at times taking on responsibilities that Dignity Funerals is contractually obliged to carry out but is not doing so.

·     When something goes wrong, residents say they do not have a clear complaints procedure to follow and have felt that their complaints have been dismissed, sometimes repeatedly, by Dignity Funerals.

 

Therefore, this Council resolves to:-

 

·        Request a detailed improvement plan and works schedule from Dignity Funerals, to be provided to RMBC within two months, and then scrutinised at the earliest opportunity and progress monitored by the Improving Places Select Commission.

·        Request RMBC Bereavement Services provide ‘Friends of…’ groups with clear guidelines, policies, protocols, and key points of contact – ideally in a short handbook – as soon as possible.

·        Request RMBC and Dignity Funerals agree, implement, and publicise a clear and fair complaints procedure within three months.

·        Ask the chair of OSMB to consider how scrutiny can most effectively ensure lessons are learned from the contract between RMBC and Dignity Funerals, including the original contract negotiations and contract management since then.

 

An amendment to the motion from the Labour Group had been received. It was moved by Councillor Alam and seconded by Councillor Hoddinott that the motion be amended as follows:-

 

This Council notes that:

 

·        [Insert] The Crematoria and Memorial Group (CMG) manage several municipal cemeteries in the borough on behalf of the Council: East Herringthorpe, Cemetery and Crematorium, Greasbrough Lane Cemetery, Greasbrough Town Lane Cemetery, Haugh Road Cemetery, High Street Cemetery, Masbrough Cemetery, Moorgate Cemetery and Wath Cemetery. [to here]

·        [Delete] Problems persist with the management of several Municipal Cemeteries and funeral services across the Borough, which are contracted out by RMBC to Dignity Funerals.

·        [Delete] At times [Insert]  ...  view the full minutes text for item 155.

156.

AUDIT COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 338 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 Baker-Rodgers          Seconder:- Councillor Cowen

157.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING BOARD pdf icon PDF 302 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 Cusworth

158.

LICENSING BOARD AND LICENSING BOARD SUB-COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 134 KB

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

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Bennett-Sylvester advised of a correction to the Licensing Board Committee Minutes of 25th February, 2022, as he was present at the meeting.

 

Resolved:- That the reports, recommendations and minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Board Committee (as corrected) and Licensing Board Sub-Committee be adopted.                                                                                                                                        

 

Mover:- Councillor Ellis                           Seconder:- Councillor Hughes

159.

PLANNING BOARD pdf icon PDF 111 KB

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

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Minutes:

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

 

Mover:- Councillor Atkin                         Seconder:- Councillor Bird

160.

STANDARDS AND ETHICS COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 120 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 McNeely                    Seconder:- Councillor Griffin

161.

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:

There were no questions.

162.

MEMBERS' QUESTIONS TO CABINET MEMBERS AND CHAIRPERSONS

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

Minutes:

(1)           Councillor Whomersley submitted a question asking what amendments were being made for the second Levelling Up Fund bid for Dinnington and if the Council was on track for the deadline?

 

As Councillor Lelliott had left the meeting at this point, a written answer would be provided.

 

(2)           Councillor Mills asked how many people had signed up to become a Snow Warden last winter and how effective the service was?

 

Councillor Beck stated that the Council’s Snow Warden service was a huge success with 572 volunteers to date. This was a significant increase on numbers in previous years which had been the result of a drive for more volunteers.

 

The Council’s Snow Wardens were volunteers who gave their own time over and above Council services, and the aim was to support them, so it was not a matter of measuring their performance. However, Councillor Beck did believe the service has been very effective in local areas in supporting the overall response to wintry weather. Councillor Beck wanted to put on record his thanks to the large number of residents who were already signed up as Snow Wardens, for their hard work and support and he encouraged others to get involved and help their local community in the future.

 

In his supplementary question, Councillor Mills stated that he and other Conservative Members had applied to be Snow Wardens in November 2021 and had never received their packs. He asked if this was another failure of the Labour-run Council and how many more failures would be delivered?

 

Councillor Beck apologised for the failure to deliver the packs but stated that had he been made aware of the matter sooner, i.e. before Spring, he could have addressed the matter. He encouraged any Members that wanted to become Snow Wardens to email him and he would pick the matter up.

(3)           Councillor Griffin stated that he was of the understanding that South Yorkshire’s bid for funding in relation to bus service improvements – cheaper tickets; moving to simpler ticketing; and new buses – had been rejected by the Conservative Government. He asked what the Leader expected to be the impact and consequences of that decision?

 

The Leader expressed huge disappointment in the fact that the bid for the South Yorkshire Bus Improvement Plan had been rejected by the Government.

 

This meant Rotherham would not benefit from:-

 

-        a cap on daily and weekly fares, access to more cashless ticketing to create an easy to use system.

 

-        it would not be able to fund the plans for a wider network of bus priority measures leaving buses continuing to be stuck in traffic and making services less reliable.

 

-        the Borough would have fewer new bus shelters with real time information, less support for new on-demand services and no funding for free bus travel for under 18 year olds.?

 

and all that together meant that South Yorkshire and Rotherham particularly, would continue to fall further behind other parts of the country.

 

It was the fundamental  ...  view the full minutes text for item 162.

163.

URGENT ITEMS

Any other public items which the Mayor determines are urgent.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items for consideration.