Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2TH
Contact: Debbie Pons
Appointment of Chair
Agreed:- That Councillor Alam of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council be appointed Chair for the meeting.
(Councillor Alam assumed the Chair)
Agreed:- That the minutes of the previous meeting of the Emergency Planning Shared Services Joint Committee (Rotherham and Sheffield), held on 30th July, 2019, be approved as a correct record.
Matters arising from the previous minutes
Arising from Minute No. 4 (Emergency Planning Shared Service Structure), it was noted that details of the restructure had been shared following the last meeting. However, it would be recirculated.
November 2019 Flooding
· Response and Recovery.
Officers presented a verbal update on the recent flooding that took place in Sheffield and Rotherham on 7th November, 2019 and the subsequent recovery efforts. They highlighted:-
- The weather had been monitored until a Major Incident was called at 4.30/5.00 p.m.
- There had been several incidences where water had actually burst the channels/overtopped the channels but the majority had been manageable by some local traffic diversions
- By the end of the 7th November, the majority of the highway network was back in operation
- Approximately 24 houses and 5 businesses were flooded
- The recovery itself had been relatively quick with no ongoing major disruption
- The flood defence work that had been carried out following the 2007 incident had held up as well as the preventative work i.e. culvert cleaning etc.
- The response from Departments had been good but still concern with regard to resource sustainability
- The highway network had been affected with 36 roads closed across the Borough with some closed over the weekend
- The roads situation had been compounded by issues with Yorkshire Water in one particular area
- Quite a number of households had been displaced – 68 were evacuated and sought refuge in the Town Hall
- 664 properties identified at risk of flooding with 120 residential properties affected by flood water
- A significant number of businesses had been affected
- Positive feedback received from Elected Members with regard to the Council’s new website which had included information on road/school closures, availability of sandbags etc.
- Individual debriefs were taking place within both Authorities, local organisations and the Local Resilience Forum. There would then be a corporate debrief to capture the learning from the incident
- The learning would be presented to both Authority’s Resilience Groups with oversight by this Committee
- The sustainability of both volunteers and Services and durability had been tested
- Meetings had already taken place with Yorkshire Water Authority as well as a site visit
- Discussions required with bus operators to understand their reaction to such an incident
- The Army was part of a Major Incident and would seek to make resources available
- Incident Management Suites at both Rotherham and Sheffield required reconfiguring
- Excellent support through the Strategic Resilience Group and Local Resilience Forum
Agreed:- (1) That the update be noted.
(2) That an update be provided to the next meeting on the discussions with Yorkshire Water.
Incident Management - Volunteer Recruitment
In accordance with Minute No. 7 of the previous meeting, an update was provided on volunteer recruitment.
The number of volunteers in the different roles had not vastly improved and there would be a question of sustainability if a prolonged incident occurred.
As part of the communications strategy there had been a campaign seeking volunteers but had achieved disappointing results. The Governance Group continued to keep it on their agenda and would re-evaluate once the campaign had ended.
Sheffield had mandated the top two tiers of their organisation to carry out Emergency Planning roles but there was the desire to see the remainder of the emergency hierarchy filled by volunteers.
All Rotherham’s Borough Co-ordinators were mandated in their expectations to deliver the strategic role; that all the layers beneath were volunteers. With the exception of Forward Liaison Officers, a paid role across both organisations, the others remained on a volunteer basis. Rotherham had set a target of 12 persons, at a minimum, for each role to provide the level of sustainability based on a 6 hour shift. However, that target was not being achieved for the vast majority.
There was a large amount of goodwill and volunteers’ appetite to be involved.
The Chair suggested that the Chief Executive’s bulletin be used to publicise the need for volunteers.
Agreed:- That the report be noted.
Financial Management - 2019/20 Forecast Outturn including In Year Underspend
A verbal update was provided on the current 2019/20 forecast outturn position.
There was a underspend currently projected for the end of the current financial year which was based on a vacant post not being filled. Should recruitment be successful before the end of March 2020, the underspend would reduce accordingly.
Agreed:- That the update be noted.
Resilience Round Up
The Emergency Planning and Safety Manager provided an update on activities that had taken place since the previous meeting which included resilience training in each authority, business continuity testing and accident management framework and control room corporate exercises.
Agreed:- That the information be noted.
Any Other Business
There was no other business to consider.
Date, time and venue for the next meeting
Agreed:- That a further meeting be held on Tuesday, 17th March, 2020, commencing at 1.30 p.m. in Rotherham Town Hall.