Agenda and minutes

Improving Places Select Commission - Tuesday 22 March 2022 1.30 p.m.

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, ROTHERHAM. S60 2TH

Contact: Katherine Harclerode  The webcast can be viewed online:

No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 01 February 2022 pdf icon PDF 139 KB


To consider and approve the minutes of the previous meeting held on 01 February 2022 as a true and correct record of the proceedings.




1.    That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 1 February 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.


Cllr Hughes declared a personal interest in respect of Agenda Item 8, as a close family member was Chair of the Rotherham Allotments Alliance.


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.



Highways Service Update pdf icon PDF 446 KB

To receive an update in respect of recent work by the Highways Service

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to a report, along with the accompanying presentation, which provided a 12 month progress update on Highway Inspection and Highway Maintenance performance. The report set out performance by the service since the last report to the Commission in February 2021. Members were also provided with a progress update on the following performance areas:


·     Highway Condition

·     Safety Highway Inspections

·     Highway Defect Repairs

·     Residents Satisfaction Survey Results

·     Highway Service Performance Indicators

·     Customer Complaints and Compliments

·     Pothole Numbers

·     Highways Liability and Claims Performance

·     Highway Code changes 2022


It was noted that the published performance management data for the year from 1 April to 31 December 2021 demonstrated that the target to achieve the national average of 17% by 2024, for the condition of the unclassified network (estate roads) would be achieved two years early. It was explained that this was due to the additional investment that the Council had made in local roads and good asset management. It was also noted that the number of highway inspections carried out on time was 96%, exceeding the target of 95%, which compared to a performance level of 93% in the 2020/21 financial year. It was also recognised that residents’ satisfaction survey results for Highway scheme works carried out on site had been consistently high.


Members broadly welcomed the report and presentation in respect of the performance information of the service and recognised the high standard of work and compliments received from the public around the way that the service worked. It was noted that the financial investments made by the Council in previous budgets were delivering tangible results. Some concern was expressed in respect of the footways and whether there were national standards that the Council had to work to. It was confirmed that there not any national standards, but the Council’s highway inspectors proactively reviewed the condition of footways across the borough on a twice-yearly basis. Whilst the overwhelming majority of footways in the borough were tarmacked, the foundations were checked for structural integrity and for trip hazards. Members were reminded that the Council spent £1m per annum on the maintenance of footways across the borough. An additional issue was raised in respect of the repair of flagstone footways which had begun to collapse after multiple works by utility companies had undermined the integrity of the footway.


Following on, concerns were expressed in respect of the condition and repair of flagstone footways in certain parts of the borough, which had anecdotally attributed to damage incurred through works by utility companies. In response to these concerns, it was explained that 20% of the borough’s footways were flagstones and these had been installed with poor or no foundations, which was creating issues in terms of collapse of particular flagstones. Whilst it was acknowledged that some issues were caused by the failure to repair these adequately by utility companies, a greater issue was the common practice of motor vehicles being parked on such flagstones, which the footway had not been designed for. More  ...  view the full minutes text for item 60.


Active Travel Update pdf icon PDF 304 KB

To receive a briefing in respect of recent work to promote cycling and modes of active travel in the Borough


Consideration was given to a report which provided an overview and update on progress of the Council’s approach to delivery of Active Travel measures. It was reported that the new Rotherham Cycling Strategy was adopted by the Council in January 2022, which would inform development and delivery of active travel schemes in the future. Members also noted the current funding schemes and bids planned for funding for future schemes.


Members welcomed the update and the approval by Cabinet of the Cycling Strategy in January 2022. Enthusiasm was expressed to further look at the potential of former railway lines and mineral lines for use as cycleways in the borough. Officers indicated that they would be happy to investigate any ideas that Members had in mind, although provided a caveat that it may not be straightforward to bring these into use and gave an example where such lines may cross local authority boundaries and the need to engage other authorities may prove more problematic.


Responding to a question in respect of low traffic neighbourhoods, it was explained that the Council had long encouraged this as part of developments and could be witnessed through the use of cul-de-sacs and shared access roads where possible. It was acknowledged that there were issues in older areas which had not been developed according to low traffic neighbourhood principles but officers were looking at ways in which this might be achieved in a different way.


Members noted that there had not been a significant response in relation to the Cycling Strategy in a number of wards across the borough and sought reassurance as to what could be done to improve this in future. In response, it was acknowledged that there was a lot of work to be done and not just in relation to cycling but to active travel more broadly, including walking. It was recognised that there was a role for ward Members and the neighbourhoods team at the Council to help feed in aspirations from a greater cross section of residents.




1.   That the report be noted.


2.   That the external funding specifications be noted.


Rotherham Allotments Alliance Representative


To receive nominations and appoint a representative to the Board of the Rotherham Allotments Alliance


Nominations were invited to serve as a representative of the Commission on the Rotherham Allotments Alliance.




1.   That Councillor Hughes be appointed to serve as the representative of the Improving Places Select Commission on the Rotherham Allotments Alliance.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 355 KB

To consider and approve the updated schedule of scrutiny work

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the work programme update for the Improving Places Select Commission, which set out the proposed schedule of work for the remainder of the municipal year.


In considering the report, it was noted that the Markets Review would not be completed in time for the next meeting in April 2022. A successful meeting had taken place on 18 March 2022 and further work would be required to challenge practices and procedures governing the operation of markets.


It was suggested that a spotlight review on anti-social behavior issues should be included in the draft programme of work for the 2022-23 municipal year.




1.   That the report and schedule of work be noted.


2.   That authority be delegated to the Governance Advisor in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair to make changes to the scheduled of work as appropriate between meetings, reporting any changes back to the next meeting for endorsement.



Urgent Business


To consider any item which the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.


The Chair advised that there were no urgent items of business requiring the Commission’s consideration.


Date and time of the next meeting


The next meeting of the Improving Places Select Commission will take place on 19 April 2022, commencing at 1.30 pm in Rotherham Town Hall.




1.   That the next meeting of the Improving Places Select Commission will take place on 19 April 2022, commencing at 1.30 p.m. in Rotherham Town Hall.