Agenda and draft minutes

Council Meeting - Wednesday 17 January 2024 2.00 p.m.

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

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

Items
No. Item

73.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

Minutes:

The Mayor started the meeting by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. The full activity details since the last meeting in November were contained in Appendix A to the Mayor’s letter. The Mayor stated that he had been honoured to attend so many festive, local charity and veteran led events.

 

The Mayor shared the news that four very deserving recipients had been honoured in the King’s New Years Honours list:

 

·       King’s Volunteer Reserves Medal - Major Adrian Thomas Hunt, DL, VR, Corps of the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, Army Reserve.

 

·       OBE - Jon-Paul Kitson CORNFORTH for services to the community in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, particularly during Covid-19.

 

·       OBE - Diane OXLEY for services to Young People and to the community in Thurcroft, South Yorkshire.

 

·       OBE - Samuel Jozef OLDROYD Chief Executive Officer, JADE Youth and Community for services to Young People and Families in Rother Valley, South Yorkshire.

74.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

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

Minutes:

Resolved:- That apologies for absence be received from Councillors Aveyard, Burnett, Hall, Thompson and Whomersley.

75.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS COUNCIL MEETING pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To receive the record of proceedings of the ordinary meeting of the Council held on 29th November, 2023, and to approve the accuracy thereof.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Ball asked for clarification regarding Minute 58 – Recommendations from the Independent Remuneration Panel – Members Allowances. During the meeting he had asked about the reduction in allowances in 2015 and stated that this was not answered. As such, he put the question to the Leader.

The Leader explained that a decision was taken in the March 2015 budget to reduce Member Allowances. The Council asked the Independent Remuneration Panel to align the budgets accordingly with the decision that had been taken. This was done in order to save money for the taxpayer and this position was held for a number of years. 

 

Councillors Griffin and Yasseen spoke regarding Minute 63 – Notice of Motion – Israel and Palestine and the negative impact of the late withdrawal of the motion on the democratic process, elected Members and members of the public.

Resolved:- That the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 29 November 2023 be approved for signature by the Mayor.

 

Mover:- Councillor Read                         Seconder:- Councillor Allen

76.

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:

There were no petitions presented at the meeting.

77.

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 made.

78.

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:

Two public questions had been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12:

 

1.    Mr Paul Thorp:

FORS Gold operators champion the reduction of any carbon footprint and the safety of all vulnerable road users as a cornerstone to best practice. When you chose to build cycle lanes, the Sheffield Road to Wellgate was one of the first to be built. Since spending so much taxpayer’s money what was the expected benefits to Rotherham and its community?

 

The Leader responded:
The objectives were very similar to those of the FORS Gold Operators Scheme, including the reduction of carbon footprint and the safety of all vulnerable road users. The objectives of the scheme, as set out in the Cycling Strategy, where to enable Rotherham residents to choose walking or cycling as an option, reducing their carbon footprint relative to driving. The new infrastructure will allow this to be done safety, without impinging on access for motorists.

The Sheffield Road scheme in particular was chosen for two reasons. One was that, often when cycle lanes go in, they do not connect to anywhere and there were random bits of infrastructure. The Sheffield Road scheme allowed connections between the Town Centre and Tinsley and, Sheffield City Council had further proposals for improvements towards Meadowhall and then Sheffield City Centre. This would provide a corridor for common journeys.

 

The second reason was that the development of Sheffield Road closer to the Town Centre would involve more people living in that community. As such, changes needed to be made on the “town-end” of Sheffield Road in any case because of the number of people and vehicles.

 

The scheme was paid for wholly from external funding for walking and cycling, not from the Council’s budget. The scheme would be assessed in due course in terms of safety and the number of people using it.

 

In his supplementary, Mr Thorp stated that he understood the idea behind the scheme but explained that the literature that had been put out spoke about extending cycling but there was already a Sheffield to Rotherham cycle lane. The Council had used the most carbon-unfriendly way of building a cycle lane instead of just using paint and cones. Sending cyclists across a roundabout and to the wrong side of a road was not going to work. Cyclists would just use the normal road which was now even narrower and would cause the possibility of more accidents. He asked the Leader why this had been done?

 

The Leader responded that the scheme was designed in line with the latest set of government guidance. The latest rules from the government were specifically not to just use paint and cones to separate cyclists and the cycling community do not believe that a series of white lines offer the protection required.

It was the first one that the Council had done, and it would learn from the process. However, it was designed and built in accordance with those national guidelines in order to provide the maximum  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.

79.

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 such items that required the exclusion of the press and public from this meeting.

80.

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 wished everyone a Happy New Year. He stated that the Council were making good progress on the commitment to hundreds of new council homes. Since the last meeting the 500th new home since 2018 had been delivered as part of the Housing Delivery Programme. The Council had also bought its first property under the Right To Buy – Right of First Refusal scheme in East Dene. The Leader noted that this policy was a double-edged sword in that more council houses were needed to give Rotherham residents safe, affordable, warm places to live and in some cases, this could be done most cost effectively by buying back houses and properties that were lost under the Right to Buy Scheme. That did not negate the fact that the system was completely nonsense. The Council were forced to sell Council housing stock under the Right to Buy Scheme at a massive discount. Although the receipts were kept by the Council, they did not cover the cost of replacing those properties. Further, buying those same properties back later, at an inflated value from a private owner, was a waste of public money. The Leader believed this to be a farce and stated that the Council was doing the things possible within the legal framework but stated that the legal framework had to change.

In December 2023, the annual staff awards were celebrated for the public servants that went above and beyond in the service of the borough. The Leader also spoke at the Rotherham Together Partnership Community Achievement Awards at the New York Stadium which celebrated the best of Rotherham’s Voluntary and Community Sector.

Councillor Lelliott had officially opened the new Century II Business Incubator at Manvers which included a more environmentally friendly building, a £5.4m investment in 20 new workshops, 16 offices and two labs. Nearly all of these were already filled, supporting new businesses to create jobs and opportunities in the north of the borough.

The Leader confirmed that in the previous week he had visited the Stagecoach depot at Rawmarsh where work had begun on charging infrastructure for South Yorkshire’s first electric bus fleet.

The latest round of the Energy Bill Crisis Grants was now open. The Leader stated that too many people were still suffering from the cost of living crisis with more than 13,000 local people in receipt of direct financial support with the cost of living pressures from the Council over the last two years. The additional funding would benefit up to two and a half thousand more people.

The Leader advised that he and Councillor Lelliott were at the topping out ceremony for Forge Island along with senior staff from Arc Cinema. They were very excited about the prospect of the cinema opening. The Council were very excited to be working with them. The development was on track to be delivered in Summer 2024 as part of the Town Centre regeneration. 

Councillor Bennett-Sylvester asked a question in relation to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 80.

81.

MINUTES OF THE CABINET MEETING pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To note the minutes of the Cabinet Meeting held on 20th November and 18th December, 2023.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Bennett-Sylvester asked a question in relation to Minute 110 – Rotherham Markets and Central Library. Councillor Bennett-Sylvester noted the bric-a-brac markets that were currently in the Town Centre and queried the forward looking element of the new development. Short term it would seem to have a great impact on the town but long term, was anything being done to analyse what impact the street markets were having in terms of overall market management?

 

Councillor Lelliott responded that the Council did work with the street market traders and there was a task and finish group that worked to monitor all developments that were happening. There was a long term plan and a team had been set up to look at how to move people back into the markets and the best way to manage that, including moving other stall holders and business in. 

 

Resolved:- That the report, recommendations and minutes of the meetings of Cabinet held on 20 November and 18 December 2023 be received.

 

Mover:- Councillor Read                         Seconder:- Councillor Allen

82.

OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY UPDATE pdf icon PDF 254 KB

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which provided an update to Council on the activities and outcomes of Overview and Scrutiny work in accordance with the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules. Appendix 2 and 3 of the report provided an update on the scrutiny work programme and the progress of implementing the agreed recommendations from scrutiny reviews, from May 2023 to the present day.

 

Appendix 1 was the update report that was presented to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board in December 2023. 19 scrutiny meetings had been held since the start of the municipal year in May 2023 with over 50 separate items being considered across the Commissions and Board. There were also additional fact-finding meetings, reviews and workshops. Recommendations arising from those varied activities had been communicated to Cabinet Members, Senior Leaders and partners as appropriate.

 

It was noted that due to diary commitments, resource capacity and other priorities being identified, it had not been possible to complete work on all projects/reviews within the projected timescales. As such, Members were asked to review programmed activity at the mid-point and prioritise work over the remaining municipal year as required.

 

Paragraph 2.11 of the report provided an update on the reviews. The majority of recommendations were substantially complete or ongoing. All scrutiny recommendations considered by Cabinet had been accepted.

 

The Chair of Overview and Scrutiny presented the report to Council and thanked the Chief Executive and Senior Leadership Team for their commitment to ensuring that progress implementing agreed recommendations was maintained. She also thanked Caroline Webb, Jo Brown, Emma Hill and Barbel Gale for their work in supporting the scrutiny function. Thanks was also given to the former vice-chairs of OSMB, Councillor Emily Barley and Councillor Tom Collingham.

 

The Local Government Association Peer Review had stated that “there are clear, robust and embedded governance arrangements, accompanied by effective overview and scrutiny mechanisms. ... The peer team received positive feedback on the work carried out by scrutiny through scrutiny reviews, the support Members receive from officers, and the influence scrutiny has on the council's decision-making process, particularly through pre-decision scrutiny – there is transparency in decision-making.”

 

Resolved:-

 

1.    That the report be noted.

 

Mover:- Councillor Clark                         Seconder: Councillor Bacon

 

83.

MEMBERSHIP OF POLITICAL GROUPS ON THE COUNCIL, POLITICAL BALANCE AND ENTITLEMENT TO SEATS pdf icon PDF 413 KB

To report on the establishment of political groups, the political balance of the Council and the entitlement of each group to seats on the authority’s committees.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which provided an update on the membership of political groups on the Council, the political balance and the entitlement to seats following the Kilnhurst and Swinton East By-Election on 2 November 2023. As the Member that had resigned was from the Labour Group and the Member that was elected was from the Labour Group, there was no overall change to the political balance:

 

Name of Group

Designated Leader & Deputy Leader

(Number of Members)

 

Labour

Leader – Councillor Chris Read

Deputy Leader – Councillor Sarah Allen

(34 Members)

 

Conservative

Leader – Councillor Simon Ball

Deputy Leader – Councillor Lewis Mills

(15 Members)

Liberal Democrat

Leader – Councillor Adam Carter

(4 Members)

 

Independent Conservative

Leader – Councillor Emily Barley

(2 Members)

         

         

*Non-Aligned Members: Cllr(s) Bennett-Sylvester, Wilson, Elliott, Jones

**maternity leave from 7 August 23

 

The nominations to Committees, Board and Panels were as follows:

         

Cabinet – 8L

 

Leader – Councillor Read

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing and Neighbourhood Working – Councillor Allen

Cabinet Member for Children and Young People – Councillor Cusworth

Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health – Councillor Roche

Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy – Councillor Lelliott

Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion and Environment – Councillor Sheppard

Cabinet Member for Housing – Councillor Brookes**

Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Community Safety and Finance –

Councillor Alam

 

Audit Committee - 3L, 1C, 1NA

 

Cllr Baker-Rogers

Cllr Browne

Cllr Wyatt

1 x Conservative Vacancy

Cllr Elliott

 

Licensing Board – 12L, 5C, 1LD, IC & 2NA

 

Cllr Ellis

Cllr Hughes

Cllr Wyatt

Cllr Clark

Cllr Pitchley

Cllr Cooksey

Cllr Hoddinott

Cllr Monk

Cllr McNeely

Cllr Browne

Cllr Aveyard

Cllr Haleem

Cllr Castledine-Dack

Cllr T Collingham

Cllr Mills

Cllr Reynolds

Cllr Barker

1 x Liberal Democrats Vacancy

1 x Independent Conservative Vacancy

Cllr Jones

Cllr Bennett-Sylvester

 

Licensing Committee – 9L, 4C, 1LD & 1 NA

 

Cllr Ellis

Cllr Hughes

Cllr Wyatt

Cllr Clark

Cllr Pitchley

Cllr Cooksey

Cllr Hoddinott

Cllr Monk

Cllr McNeely

Cllr T Collingham

Cllr Mills

Cllr Reynolds

Cllr Bennett-Sylvester (gifted by Conservative)

1 x Liberal Democrats Vacancy

Cllr Jones

 

Planning Board – 9L, 4C, 1LD & 1NA

 

Cllr Atkin

Cllr Bird

Cllr Taylor

Cllr Cowen

Cllr Andrews

Cllr Keenan

Cllr Sheppard

Cllr Khan

Cllr Havard

Cllr Ball

Cllr Bacon

Cllr Burnett

Cllr Fisher

Cllr Tarmey

Cllr Elliott

 

Staffing Committee – 3L, 1C & 1LD

 

Cllr Alam

Cllr Allen

1 x appropriate Cabinet Member as determined by the matter to be considered

Cllr T Collingham

Cllr Tarmey

 

Standards and Ethics Committee – 5L, 2C & 1NA

 

Cllr McNeely

Cllr Griffin

Cllr Hughes

Cllr Keenan

Cllr Yasseen

Cllr Z Collingham

Cllr Bacon

Cllr Wilson

 

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board – 7L, 3C, 1LD & 1NA

 

Cllr Clark

Cllr Bacon

Cllr Baker-Rogers

Cllr Pitchley

Cllr Cooksey

Cllr Yasseen

Cllr Wyatt

Cllr Browne

Cllr Ball

Cllr Tinsley

Cllr Miro

Cllr Elliott

 

Health Select Commission – 10L, 5C, 1LD, 1IC & 1NA

 

Cllr Yasseen

Cllr Miro

Cllr Griffin

Cllr Havard

Cllr Bird

Cllr Cooksey

Cllr Harper

Cllr Hoddinott

Cllr Andrews  ...  view the full minutes text for item 83.

84.

RECOMMENDATION FROM AUDIT COMMITTEE - APPOINTMENT OF AN INDEPENDENT MEMBER OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 144 KB

To consider the report regarding the appointment of the Independent Person for Audit Committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report which stated that on 19 July 2023, Council resolved to amend the Audit Committee Terms of Reference to include provision for a second independent member. Prior to this, the Committee was comprised of five Councillors and one independent person.

 

Following the amendment to the Terms of Reference, a recruitment exercise had been undertaken. Recommendation 1 of the report was to appoint Alison Hutchinson as an Independent Member of the Audit Committee until January 2028 (4 year term.)

 

The current independent Member, John Barber, had resigned from this position with effect from 4 January 2024. During the recruitment exercise, a second candidate was also considered to be suitable for the role. Recommendation 2 of the report was therefore to appoint Michael Olugbenga-Babalola as an Independent Member of the Audit Committee until January 2028 (4 year term.)

 

The recommendations had been supported by the Audit Committee at their meeting on 9 January 2024.

 

At the meeting, the Chair of the Audit Committee placed on record her thanks to John Barber for his valuable contributions during his term.

 

Resolved:-

 

  1. That Council appoint Alison Hutchinson as an Independent Member of the Audit Committee until January 2028 (4 year term.)

  2. That Council appoint Michael Olugbenga-Babalola as an Independent Member of the Audit Committee until January 2028 (4 year term.)

 

Mover: Councillor Baker-Rogers             Seconder: Councillor Browne

85.

THRIVING NEIGHBOURHOODS - UPDATES FROM AUGHTON AND SWALLOWNEST WARD COUNCILLORS pdf icon PDF 866 KB

To receive updates from ward councillors from Aughton and Swallownest on the activities supporting Thriving Neighbourhoods across the Borough.

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 55 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 19 November 2018, consideration was given to the annual Ward update for Aughton and Swallownest as part of the Thriving Neighbourhood Strategy.

An update report had been provided as part of the agenda. However, each Ward Member was invited to speak.

 

Councillor Pitchley introduced the report and thanked Councillor Taylor and the residents for their support during the last few years. Fence, Ulley and a part of Aston were also included within the Aughton and Swallownest Ward. There were three ward priorities:

  • Develop and support initiatives that will improve health and well-being and tackle poverty.
  • Develop and support initiatives around crime and community safety.
  • Develop and support initiatives that will improve the environment and the neighbourhood.

 

Work to achieve these priorities included:

  • Working with local schools, particularly around local democracy.
  • The funding of friendship branches, improved outdoor areas and bowling sessions.
  • The provision of a memorial stone and tree by Pritchard and Sons in Burgoyne Park. Thanks was given to Aston Parish Council for this.
  • Celebrating all the volunteers and partners within the ward.
  • Crime and Community Stalls.
  • Skips, litter picks, ward walks and new bins.

 

Councillor Taylor seconded the report and highlighted the following:

  • Boxing fitness sessions at the Parish Hall.
  • Work with the charity Hope, which was one of the Mayor’s chosen charities, to organise road safety workshops for young people following a number of tragic accidents.
  • The controlled crossing on the A57 which will be happening in 2024. Councillor Beck was personally thanked for his work on this project.

 

Councillor Pitchley and Councillor Taylor thanked all schools, partners, parish Council’s, community groups and policing teams for all their hard work. The Housing Officer, Richard Tomlinson, and Andrea Peers, Dawn Thomas and Karen Bickerton for the neighbourhoods team were also thanked.

 

Resolved:-

 

1.    That the report be noted.

 

Mover:- Councillor Pitchley           Seconder:- Councillor Taylor

 

86.

THRIVING NEIGHBOURHOODS - UPDATES FROM ASTON AND TODWICk WARD COUNCILLORS pdf icon PDF 665 KB

To receive updates from ward councillors from Aston and Todwick on the activities supporting Thriving Neighbourhoods across the Borough.

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 55 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 19 November 2018, consideration was given to the annual Ward update for Aston and Todwick as part of the Thriving Neighbourhood Strategy.

An update report had been provided as part of the agenda. However, each Ward Member was invited to speak.

 

Councillor Bacon provided a history of Aston and Todwick and thanked those that had supported him before highlighting the following:

 

  • The introduction of speed watches on the A57
  • Work to improve various roads such as the A57/Worksop Road junction in Aston and around the Todwick Red Lion roundabout.
  • Speed activated signs, new road markings and other street furniture.
  • Work with the Towns and Villages Fund – there were multiple proposals sites around Todwick which required good quality works only.
  • The Levelling-Up project in Aston that would improve the green space behind the boiler house on Florence Avenue.
  • Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour – Local Neighbourhood Watch schemes have been established along with regular public police events.
  • Campaigns for better buses and the securing of two live bus signs.
  • Work on over 30 projects with partner agencies, schools, churches, parish Council’s etc.

 

In seconding the report, Councillor Barker stated that he and Councillor Bacon had worked well together and with the community on a number of projects. This had included working with schools, helping children go to Magna and learning about science. Councillor Barker stated that he was proud of what had been achieved.

 

Councillor Wilson asked whether Councillor Bacon’s speech related to the Neighbourhood Report or was a party political broadcast.

 

Councillor Allen was particularly interested in the Towns and Villages Fund projects. She noted that the projects discussed were awaiting approval from the two Ward Members and she asked if that had now been given so that it could start?

 

As the mover of the report, Councillor Bacon had the right of reply. In response to Councillor Wilson, he stated that the report circulated, and his speech highlighted the achievements and ambitions of Ward Members for Aston and Todwick.

In response to Councillor Allen, Councillor Bacon confirmed that approvals had been given.

 

Resolved:-

 

1.    That the report be noted.

 

Mover:- Councillor Bacon             Seconder:- Councillor Barker

87.

AUDIT COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 564 KB

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

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Minutes:

88.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING BOARD pdf icon PDF 1001 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

89.

LICENSING BOARD SUB-COMMITTEE AND LICENSING SUB-COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 121 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 be adopted.

 

Mover: Councillor Ellis                  Seconder: Councillor Hughes

 

90.

PLANNING BOARD pdf icon PDF 160 KB

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

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

91.

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:

Two questions had been received:

 

1.    Councillor Ball: It has come to my attention the Mayor is suggesting that he takes the Police and crime panel into the Combined Authority if so how can this provide adequate independent scrutiny?

Councillor Haleem, the Council’s designated spokesperson on South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel responded by stating that the Police and Crime Panels scrutinise Mayors and Deputy Mayors for Policing and Crime with respect to their exercise of PCC functions, in the same way they scrutinise PCCs. The combined authority does not have a role in scrutinising the mayor in relation to their PCC functions. Councillor Haleem stated that she was not aware of the current Mayor making any such suggestion, so perhaps the question was based on a misunderstanding.

In his supplementary question, Councillor Ball stated that he was aware of the suggestion and asked if what was being suggested, which was less independent scrutiny, was really the way forward? He also asked Councillor Haleem if she had, in her role as spokesperson, suggested any alternatives or raised any concerns? If no, why not?

Councillor Haleem stated that she did not think it was less representative as each panel was hosted by a local authority within the police force area, known as the ‘host authority’ (defined in legislation and not a combined authority). The host authority was responsible for establishing and maintaining a panel and was always represented on the panel.

2.    Councillor Ball: Can you inform me how many staff out of the OPCC will lose their jobs when transferring over to the Mayor’s office?

All OPCC staff will transfer to the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority at the point of transfer and so no staff from the OPCC will lose their jobs when transferring over to the Mayor’s office.

 

92.

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:

29   questions had been received:

 

1.    Councillor Bennett-Sylvester: Congratulations on the final approval for Castle View. Can you please summarise the road map to opening and particular how agency will be given to service users to shape its offering?

Councillor Roche responded by stating that the scheme fitted in with the previous work done on the learning disability refreshment which had been very successful. The LGA had visited and were very complimentary about what had been done such as having 23 micro organisations involved in delivering care; there were 550 opportunities for a wide range of choice; 125 local staff were employed. That was a success and Councillor Roche believed that Castle View would also be a success.

The timeline for the construction of Castle View was as follows:

·       Construction to commence Summer 2024

·       Completion expected Winter 2025/26

·       Estimate that the new service will be operational by Spring 2026.

·       During 2025, people will take part in a review of their support needs and care plan and be made aware of the support choices available to them including a move to Castle View.

·       Once the interior of the building is fitted out and ready for use, people who wish to move to the new service will be supported to do so.

Throughout the whole process, a consultation and engagement programme was in place to ensure customers, carers and staff were fully involved and had ‘a voice’ in relation to the design of both the building and the service.
 

This had so far included a public consultation exercise, and a series of meetings and workshops. The latest being on 8 January 2024 where the final plans and designs were shown and discussed. This was very positively received by all those involved.

Customers at Reach had also made a model of how they would like the new building to be. Customers who were interested in gardening and the allotment were just about to commence some draft designs of the outdoor space and what they would like to do with it (including a sensory garden.)

 

Councillor Roche stated that this was a very positive development for Rotherham.

In his supplementary question, Councillor Bennett-Sylvester stated that this was exceptional, especially regarding the supported living that was going to be onsite. However, one of the issues that had been raised by users was that they were learning things out via cabinet reports, not direct discussions. He asked the Cabinet Member to confirm that there would not be future delays between cabinet announcements and informing residents?

Councillor Roche confirmed that feedback was been given as soon as possible and some of the services users contacted him on a regular basis for updates. There had been a smally delay but this was at a time when there was nothing to report back as the design team and asset transfer of land took time along with the planning consent. Councillor Roche stated that they would be kept informed at every stage and that would be done on a very  ...  view the full minutes text for item 92.

93.

URGENT ITEMS

Any other public items which the Mayor determines are urgent.

Minutes:

The Mayor provided a minor correction to a previous agenda item but there was no urgent business to consider.