Skip to content Skip to main navigation
Site map Arabic Urdu Slovenian Farsi Chinese French

Agenda and minutes

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

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

Items
No. Item

281.

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.

282.

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 Allcock, Hague, Ireland, Khan, Mallinder, Price, Russell, John Turner and Whysall.

283.

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.

284.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS COUNCIL MEETING pdf icon PDF 212 KB

 

To receive the record of proceedings of the ordinary meeting of the Council held on 30th October, 2019, and to approve the accuracy thereof.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 30th October, 2019, be approved for signature by the Mayor.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                        Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

285.

PETITIONS pdf icon PDF 135 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 five petitions received since the last Council meeting which had not met the threshold for consideration by Council.

 

·            Containing 205 signatures calling on the Council to keep children safe to and from Oakwood School.

 

·            Containing 26 signatures calling on the Council to summarise the effectiveness of all actions taken by Council to address Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and identify key actions to further address Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse for the next two years.

 

An adult survivor of Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse addressed the Council as part of the presentation of the petition.

 

·            Containing 34 signatures calling on the Council to undertake improvements to the grass verges at Brecklands, Stag.

 

Mr. C. King addressed the Council as part of the presentation of the petition.

 

·            Containing 230 signatures calling on the Council to undertake noise surveys of properties in Catcliffe to be affected by the widening of the A630 Sheffield Parkway.

 

Mr. Pashley addressed the Council as part of the presentation of the petition.

 

·            Containing 229 signatures calling on the Council to use noise barriers and  noise reduction tarmac on the stretch of the A630 Sheffield Parkway that passes Catcliffe.

 

Mr. Pashley addressed the Council as part of the presentation of the petition.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the report be received.

 

(2)  That the relevant Strategic Directors be required to respond to the lead petitioners as set out by 5th February, 2020.

286.

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:

The Mayor (Councillor J. Andrews) and Councillors R. Elliott, Fenwick-Green, McNeely and Wyatt declared personal interests on Minute No. 292 (Housing Revenue Account Rents and Service Charges for 2020-21) on the grounds that they rented or a spouse rented a garage, land or a property from the Council.

287.

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. Thirlwall explained that at the September Council Meeting the Leader told him if he could show that a third party had authorised alterations to a Member’s ‘Register of Interests’ he would wish to know and would take appropriate action so asked why then had he been denied access to the information that could show if that was the case?

 

The Leader explained it was not appropriate for Members of the public to access any internal correspondence or emails between Members and officers as some information was of a sensitive nature and personal to the Member.

 

In a supplementary Mr. Thirlwall referred to the response he was given back in September when the Leader said he would refer any matters should it be believed forms had been altered.  He made a telephone call and was told that those whose political party was changed from UKIP to Brexit had been contacted by email and told their Register of Interest forms must be updated before the Council meeting. He knew this was not correct as one Councillor openly admitted to not using email.  

 

On this basis a Freedom of Information request was submitted which was denied.  A further review was requested indicating that redacted or anonymised information was acceptable.  This request was denied and had since been forwarded for consideration by the Information Commissioner.

 

Mr. Thirlwall asked the Leader, therefore, if he would provide the information rather than the matter being delayed even further when it was hoped the Information Commissioner would direct the Council to release the documentation that had been requested.

 

The Leader advised the proper procedure was being followed and the precedent of one political leader trying to access emails of another political leader was not appropriate and was wary of becoming involved.  He was confident officers had acted appropriately and followed due process.

 

(2)  Mr. L. Harron referred to October, 2017 when two adult survivors of CSE addressed a petition in a Council meeting asking for a meaningful consultation about their needs.  About a year later a decision was made to use an external organisation to advise about consulting with survivors and a public consultation was promised and he asked why had this not taken place and when would it take place?

 

The Leader had discussed this previously and agreed that this needed to be moved on quickly.  He explained that as part of the consideration for a new refreshed specification for support for victims and survivors of CSE, the Council engaged an external consultant to undertake a full Needs Analysis in relation to supporting adult victims and survivors.  The consultation with victims and survivors included dialogue and discussion with stakeholders including those who were working with commissioned providers and other support groups.  This portion of the Needs Analysis had now concluded. 

 

There would be a further opportunity for the public to engage in consultation via an online questionnaire and this would be developed using the key findings and other feedback.   It was planned to undertake this  ...  view the full minutes text for item 287.

288.

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

 

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

 

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

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, that should the Mayor deem 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.

289.

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 update statement and in doing so wished all present a happy new year.

 

Attention was drawn to:-

 

(a)      The flooding incidents as a result of the horrendous weather conditions and significant levels of rain fall that were experienced across the Borough and neighbouring areas at the beginning of November.  A month’s rainfall fell in just twenty-four hours resulting in widespread flooding and disruption. 

 

The Council’s emergency planning arrangements were activated and a large-scale emergency response and subsequent recovery plan was put in place to support residents and businesses. 

 

Still today the recovery operation was still in operation in parts of Kilnhurst and Laughton which had had a devastating effect with the magnitude of:-

 

·                2328 flooding related contacts being received.

·                80 households evacuated with 68 people accommodated at the Town Hall, which was set up as a rest centre.

·                3,250 sandbags distributed. 

 

Many Council staff and partners worked around the clock to protect and support households and businesses and the Chamber thanked all those that have been and continued to be involved.

 

(b)     Recent press coverage focused on the Government agreeing to work with the four Local Authorities to progress South Yorkshire’s devolution.  Only by moving quickly could the funding be secured that was available through devolution benefiting communities and helping them to create jobs and opportunities.

 

          Rotherham had one of the fastest growing economies in Yorkshire and devolution would assist in accelerating growth and support the aim to extend prosperity and opportunity and effectively plan for the future.

 

(c)       National Holocaust Memorial Day would take place on Monday, 27th January, 2020 and Rotherham would be marking the occasion with a memorial event in All Saints Square at 12.30 p.m. to remember the millions of people killed during the holocaust.  This year’s national theme was “Stand Together” and everyone was urged to attend and give their support.

 

In the period where Members could ask questions of the Leader’s statement, Councillor Sansome added his own thanks to the efforts and support to those involved in the recent flooding.  He too was frustrated with Yorkshire Water who he believed had not helped the situation.

 

The Leader confirmed matters were to be followed up with Yorkshire Water.

 

Councillor Jepson added his own comments and in doing so asked when Elected Members would receive an update on the flooding situation and how they could have input into a review.

 

The Leader confirmed he would seek this information and respond to Councillor Jepson.

 

Councillor Cusworth wished to place on record her own thanks to Swinton Fitzwilliam and Swinton Brookfield Academies who had provided accommodation to the children from Kilnhurst Primary.

290.

MINUTES OF THE CABINET MEETINGS pdf icon PDF 144 KB

 

To note the minutes of the Cabinet Meetings held on 21st October and 23rd December, 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports, recommendations and minutes of the meetings of the Cabinet held on 21st October and 23rd December, 2019, be received.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                           Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

291.

RECOMMENDATION FROM CABINET - HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT BUSINESS PLAN 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 74 KB

 

To consider a recommendation from Cabinet in respect of the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2020-21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 88 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 23rd December, 2019, consideration was given to the report in respect of the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2020-21.

 

The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) recorded all expenditure and income relating to the provision of Council housing and related services, and the Council was required to produce a HRA Business Plan setting out its investment priorities over a thirty year period.

 

Following the introduction in 2012 of HRA self-financing, the Council was awarded control over its HRA in return for taking on a proportion of national housing debt.

 

Since the last update there have been no significant Government policy changes that affect the business plan. That said there were still some policies that have impacted on the plan:-

 

·                Roll out of full service Universal Credit to all remaining working age tenants in Rotherham since July 2018 onwards.

·                Ongoing Right to Buy eligibility.

·                Updated Guidance on Social rents permitting increases of CPI + 1% from 2020-21 onwards.

 

The Business Plan, therefore, recognised the importance of continuing investment in new affordable homes, focused on the next five years and would continue to be amended and reported annually. Given the economic uncertainty the overall position remained challenging, but given the level of reserves and the previous decision to defer some investment in stock until later in the Plan the ability to divert resources to fund housing growth and contribute to the Council Plan remained.

 

A detailed technical overview was provided of the current position and the reason for changes to the Business Plan and this report was to be considered alongside the proposed 2020-21 rents, service charges and budgets.

 

The priorities in the Housing Growth Programme over the next five years were:-

 

·           Developing 171 new homes in the town centre.

·           Piloting modern methods of construction in order to ascertain the potential to build homes at an increased pace and lower cost.

·           Delivering more shared ownership homes to enable first time buyers and older people wishing to downsize, to own an affordable home.

·           Continuing to build bungalows and other accessible accommodation to enable older people and people with support needs to live independently.

·           Releasing HRA owned sites for development by the private sector and housing associations.

 

Councillor Carter supported the sentiments of the report, but asked how greenfield sites could be protected.  He was advised and information shared about the strategic acquisition programme, the use of Section 106 Agreements and the development of housing with significant market discounts in order to deliver high quality homes across the Borough including a large proportion which would be added to the Council’s housing stock.

 

Councillor Beck recapped over the town centre housing programme delivering 177 new homes across three sites for those Members that sought clarification; former Henleys Garage, Millfold House on Westage and Sheffield Road car park.  This would deliver a mixture of tenures with homes for Council rent, some for shared ownership and some open market sales to sell to people to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 291.

292.

RECOMMENDATION FROM CABINET - HOUSING REVENUE ACCOUNT RENTS AND SERVICE CHARGES FOR 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 77 KB

 

To consider a recommendation from Cabinet in respect of the Housing Revenue Account Rents and Service Charges for 2020-21

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 89 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 23rd December, 2019, consideration was given to the report which sought approval for the proposed values of the housing rents, non-dwelling rents, District Heating and service charges and the draft Housing Revenue Account Budget for 2020/21.

 

In line with changes to Policy on rents for social housing it was recommended that rents were increased in line with CPI (as at September 2019) plus 1% in 2020/21, therefore an increase of 2.7%.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That dwelling rents be increased by 2.7% in 2020/21 in line with the Government guidelines on rents for social housing from April 2020 which allows rents to increase by Consumer Price Index (as at September) plus 1%.

 

(2)  That there be a 2% increase in charges for garages and parking spaces, communal facilities, cooking gas and use of laundry facilities, in line with increases being proposed for other fees and charges across the Council.

 

(3)  That the unit charge per Kwh for District Heating Schemes remain the same level, as agreed by the Council in December 2017.

 

(4)  That all Affordable Rent properties be revalued in October and March each year to provide a valid rent value for when Affordable Rent properties are re-let.

 

(5)  That the draft Housing Revenue Account budget for 2020/21 be agreed.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Beck                            Seconder:-  Councillor Alam

 

(The Mayor (Councillor J. Andrews) and Councillors R. Elliott, Fenwick-Green, McNeely and Wyatt declared personal interests on the grounds that they rented or a spouse rented a garage, land or a property from the Council)

293.

RECOMMENDATION FROM CABINET - ADOPTION OF A REVISED LOCAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEME pdf icon PDF 77 KB

 

To consider a recommendation from Cabinet in respect of the adoption of a revised Local Development Scheme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 93 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 23rd December, 2019, consideration was given to the report which detailed how the Local Development Scheme (LDS) set out a project plan for the preparation, adoption and review of Rotherham Local Plan documents.  It also outlined the revised Local Development Scheme setting out the timescale for taking forward a partial update of the Local Plan Core Strategy (approved by the Council on 8th July, 2019).

 

Resolved:-  That the revised Local Development Scheme be adopted with effect from 23rd January, 2020.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Lelliott                         Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

294.

OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY UPDATE pdf icon PDF 2 MB

 

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 latest update of the work carried out by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (OSMB) and the Select Commissions - Health (HSC), Improving Lives (ILSC) and Improving Places (IPSC) during the last few months. 

 

Although fewer scrutiny meetings took place during the autumn due to the General Election, work continued, but the scrutiny work programme for the rest of 2019-2020 needed to be reviewed to re-prioritise and reschedule items to ensure the focus remained on the key issues.

 

In terms of Improving Lives, service users shared their experiences of Early Help Services and Youth Offending Services respectively and the Commission was also able to undertake pre-decision scrutiny at an earlier stage when considering the emerging proposals in the review of Area Housing Panels. 

 

Health Select continued to have a strong focus on performance and ensuring progress in Adult Social Care and Health Services looking closely at the effectiveness of multi-agency working in relation to social and emotional wellbeing and mental health.

 

The final version of the Youth Transport Charter was also to be launched this month with a webpage, posters and leaflets.

 

Reference was also made to the pre-decision scrutiny process, the progress monitoring of strategies and plans, recommendations and outcomes, sub-group activity, public involvement and other activity undertaken by Scrutiny.

 

In seconding the report Councillor Cowles endorsed the work of Scrutiny and in particular was grateful to those Partners and Members that supported the process.

 

Cabinet Members welcomed the role of Scrutiny and in particular their work in monitoring performance.  Sheffield City Council had recognised the work undertaken in Rotherham and had invited the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board to speak on the work undertaken on behalf of Borough.

 

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

 

Mover:-  Councillor Steele                          Seconder:-  Councillor Cowles

295.

AUDIT COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 98 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

296.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING BOARD pdf icon PDF 97 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 Keenan

297.

PLANNING BOARD pdf icon PDF 61 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

298.

LICENSING BOARD pdf icon PDF 53 KB

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

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

Mover:-  Councillor Ellis                          Seconder:-  Councillor Beaumont

299.

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 Cowles referred to residents of South Yorkshire, including Rotherham, contributing an additional £7 million approximately in Council Tax via the increased Police precept this year so asked could the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel Representative explain how many additional Police Officers have now been recruited and were in training?

 

Councillor Sansome explained that from 1st April, 2019 to 31st March, 2023 the strength of the Police Force would see an increase of 743 officers of which 220 have been funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner in the precept.

 

In the year 2019/20 the numbers would increase by 88, which was an increase from that proposed by the Police and Crime Commissioner of 55 when he asked for an increase in the precept by 14%.  The Police and Crime Panel refused on the basis that the figure be increased to 90.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Cowles asked about latest crime figures when knife crime and sexual offences were on the increase.  He had attended the meeting of the Police and Crime Panel before Christmas, but asked when did the Panel discuss issues and held the relevant people to account.  Should this not be on every agenda so that everyone could see the challenge for poor or lack of performance?

 

Councillor Sansome pointed out that had Councillor Cowles joined the Panel he would have seen for himself.  However, whilst he regularly asked questions at Panel meetings the role of the Police and Crime Panel was to hold the Police and Crime Commissioner to account not the Police Constable.  This was the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the various Boards.

 

(2)  Councillor Carter asked what was the average waiting time for a 101 telephone call to be answered when the telephone call-back service was not in use and how did that compare to when the service was in use?

 

Councillor Sansome explained he himself had asked this question at the Police and Crime Panel and believed the service should be in operation 24/7 and not when the Force saw fit.  This was not straightforward because the call back facility was not in continuous use, but was used by management when calls could not be answered within a reasonable length of time. The new IT allowed screens to be on display giving real-time information to managers about how many calls were queuing. If waiting time becomes unduly long, the call back facility was switched on.

 

Demand varies greatly throughout the week. During the period September-November, on an average day, Atlas Court received 2383 calls of which 1624 were 101 and 759 were 999. The average wait times were 2 minutes and 5 seconds when answered by the switchboard and 10 minutes and 25 seconds if passed to a call handler.

 

The Police and Crime Commissioner had arranged for Members of the Police and Crime Panel to visit Atlas Court on 10th February, 2020 to gain a better understanding of the different ways now open  ...  view the full minutes text for item 299.

300.

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 Cowles pointed out that prior to the election, residents of Whiston experienced flooded houses, evacuation and months of waiting before their properties would be dry and useable for the second time since 2000. He asked what would the Cabinet Member do to ensure adequate funding was made available to build the flood defences required in the Ward to protect dwellings, as recommended by previous engineering reports?

 

Councillor Hoddinott explained that this was devastating and the impact would go on for months.  A number of areas around the Borough did flood and the Council wanted to put a number of schemes in place to protect those areas and to improve flood defence works.

 

Councillor Sheppard and the Cabinet Member, representatives on the Flooding Committee, both continued to make the case for areas that flooded.

 

Both the Leader and Mayor of Sheffield City Region were lobbying for Government funding and Rotherham needed £51m to undertake the work required to protect flood-hit areas. The work required to protect properties near to Whiston Brook was included in this estimate.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Cowles referred to a number of issues with flooding, not just surface water, which affected Whiston.  He was aware maintenance of Whiston Brook was previously managed by the Local Authority, but had since transferred to the Environment Agency.  Despite requests to them he had not received any maintenance records.  He had contacted the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water and they denied any spillage from the pumping station into Whiston Brook until they were shown videos that this was the case.

 

Whiston Brook was now in an appalling state with one of the culverts blocked under the road and rubble left causing blockages in the flow of the water.  He, therefore, asked for assurance that the Council would standby the residents of Whiston to get the defences in place so that the flooding did not happen again.

 

Councillor Hoddinott confirmed Whiston Brook was now managed by the Environment Agency and was not aware that Councillor Cowles’ requests for information were not being adhered to.  She offered to help in this regard.

 

Yorkshire Water also had a role to play and she and Councillor Sheppard were asking for the Environment Agency to list assets such as pumping stations etc. across the Borough so it was certain what state they were in and what investment was needed, who managed them and who was responsible. 

 

The Council would continue to press for action.  Rotherham was not alone on what had been experienced as part of the flooding.  Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield were to take a River Don and Dearne approach working in partnership across South Yorkshire to pick up specifics and actions from the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water, who were slow at coming forward in dealing with residents’ concerns.

 

(2)  This question was withdrawn.

 

(3)  Councillor Simpson asked would the Leader of the Council join him in thanking those taxi drivers who carried on working as long as they could during  ...  view the full minutes text for item 300.

301.

URGENT ITEMS

Minutes:

The Mayor agreed for the following item of business to be considered as an urgent item at today’s meeting following the request by the Brexit Party for changes to the membership of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.

 

302.

MEMBERSHIP CHANGES

 

To consider any other public items which the Mayor determines are urgent.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the request by the Brexit Party Group to nominate Councillor Alan Napper to replace Councillor Allen Cowles on the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board and in addition to be appointed as Vice-Chair of that Board.

 

Resolved:-  That the replacement of Councillor Napper for Councillor Cowles as Vice-Chair and Member of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board be approved.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Cowles                     Seconder:-  Councillor Napper