Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, ROTHERHAM. S60 2TH
Contact: Katherine Harclerode The webcast can be viewed online: http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv
To consider and approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 March 2022 as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
1. That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 22 March 2022 be approved as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest.
Questions from members of the public and the press
To receive questions relating to items of business on the agenda from members of the public or press who are present at the meeting.
The Chair advised that there were no members of the public or representatives of media organisations present at the meeting and there were no questions in respect of matters on the agenda.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
To consider whether the press and public should be excluded from the meeting during consideration of any part of the agenda.
The Chair advised that there were no items of business on the agenda that would require the exclusion of the press or public from the meeting.
To receive a report providing an overview of the local position in respect of CCTV capabilities within Rotherham and upgrades of existing assets.
Consideration was given to an update report in respect of use of CCTV assets tactically throughout the Borough. The presentation included an overview of CCTV projects as well as case studies of CCTV results, particularly in respect of enforcement procedures around fly-tipping. The report provided an overview of the local position in relation to CCTV capabilities within Rotherham from existing assets, with a focus on upgrades utilising existing assets the Council already owns.
In discussion, Members requested more information around the procedure if perpetrators do not pay. The response from officers noted that the Courts chase the payment, and the Council monitors and ensures payment of fixed penalty notices.
Members requested information in respect of mean time to repair CCTV units. The response noted that average downtime was 4 weeks, with additional time to install. In future, the units will be interchangeable, so that one can be taken down and another put up in the same visit.
An example was provided by Members to illustrate a question around control and inventory of CCTV assets. The response from officers described an interactive map showing where assets are. The Home Office funding had resulted in acquisition of assets which become the Council’s own, which means that, in the short term, there was uneven distribution of assets, which were to become more evenly distributed in future.
Members also expressed interest in whether the CCTV cameras assist the police around speeding. The response noted that occasionally, enforcement around other types of infractions including parking enforcement and other nuisances have been assisted by CCTV technology, with potential for wider use as a deterrent.
The desire for Members to be informed of the location of CCTV assets in the wards was noted. Members were invited to get in touch with the service if they would like a demonstration or greater understanding of asset placement within wards.
Members also expressed interest in the best way to feed back information around perceptions of safety for women in Clifton Park. The response cited the new Community Safety Strategy, with a lead officer for each of several designated areas of focus. The service worked closely with the teams utilising the Towns and Villages Fund along with the Council’s own investment monies.
Members requested more information around the approach to planned maintenance. Officers conveyed that the service is looking into a longer-term maintenance contract, as currently, redeployable CCTV units are maintained on an ad hoc basis.
Some communities may underreport crime and anti-social behaviour; Members wished to know how the service takes this into account. The response from officers noted this is an area the service are keenly aware of, proactively utilising information and intelligence submissions that come into the service via a variety of channels. Officers emphasised the importance of residents to have the trust and confidence in the service to report issues.
More clarification was requested around the data collection and timescales to be able to show the effectiveness of CCTV. The response from Members noted the ambitious timescale, ... view the full minutes text for item 70.
To receive an update in respect of progress in the implementation of the Tree Management Protocol & Guidance, recent tree planting, and looks ahead to the next financial year.
Consideration was given to an update in respect of the progress by the Tree Planting Programme, which is enhancing and extending existing woodland as well as increasing the number of urban trees. This reduces the carbon footprint and encourages biodiversity in wooded areas. The report noted the review after 1 year of the Tree Planting Protocol was trying to find a pragmatic way to approach tree planting without encroaching on residents’ quality of life. The Tree Service receives 1000 requests per year.
The tree planting programme is a 2 year program. 22,000 trees were planted in the first year of the programme. The service is currently reviewing the consultation process and ensuring that Members and residents have an opportunity to feed into tree planting plans in future. Details were provided around funding and grants that were availed and used for this programme.
In discussion, Members noted the frequency of questions to Members around trees. Clarification was requested around maintenance assistance offered to schools and community groups. The response from officers and the Cabinet Member noted that any tree that is owned by the Council and is growing on Council land is maintained by the service via a ring-fenced fund for maintenance of trees.
Members requested further information around responsiveness of the team to service requests. The response from officers noted that the small team receives a large number of inquiries and requests. Requests can be picked up through casework as well as at the tree service email inbox.
Members requested more information around whether the service avails the moneys available and cooperative schemes that exist. The response from Members described the funding and schemes that are availed by the service in respect of tree planting.
Members expressed interest in the prioritisation of fruit trees for planting. The tree engagement officer had supervised the planting of a community orchard, and expansion of fruit tree planting was encouraged.
Members reported responsiveness of the team to requests, and indicated areas for expansion of consultation with residents related to tree planting and maintenance. The response from the Cabinet Member illustrated that, based on time pressures associated with changing seasons and working with communities had meant that this year, the service had not been able to do as much consultation as they would have liked. One of the things that working with community groups has allowed is the integral involvement of the school children who will see these trees grow up alongside themselves. The service has further consulted experts and have taken advice around which trees are best to plant now based on the temperatures expected in future. This approach helps keep trees healthy and safe in the long term.
Members requested clarification around timescales for projected work, for example, working with private landlords. The response noted that near the end of the year, the service expected to have completed the first phases of this work. The new supplementary planning document included green spaces, ensuring that developers know the requirements to plan trees within their ... view the full minutes text for item 71.
To receive an updated schedule of work and recent actions in respect of the scrutiny programme of work.
The Chair summarised updates to the Work Programme and forward plan of work including an upcoming review on selective licensing, coopting members who have selective licensing areas in their wards. An initial work programme will be brought to the 7 June meeting of Places. A wider audience will be included in the ASB review.
To consider any item which the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.
Consideration was given to recent reports of the flooded state of graves in the East Herringthorpe Cemetery. The Chair noted that the Cabinet Member had been made aware of the reports and of Members’ desire that Dignity, Ltd. and the service be asked to investigate and report back any actions taken.
In discussion, Members further affirmed the need to rectify the situation promptly and described the distress the condition of graves had caused to members of the community and their families.
1. That the concerns of Members be noted and any actions taken reported back.
Date and time of the next meeting
The next meeting of the Improving Places Select Commission will take place on 7 June 2022, commencing at 1.30 pm in Rotherham Town Hall.
That the next meeting of the Improving Places Select Commission will take place on 7 June 2022, commencing at 1.30 pm in Rotherham Town Hall.