Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board - Wednesday 14 September 2022 10.00 a.m.

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

Contact: Caroline Webb, Senior Governance Adviser Tel: 01709 822765 email:  The webcast can be viewed at

No. Item


Minutes of the previous meeting held on 15 June 2022 pdf icon PDF 162 KB

To consider the minutes of the previous meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 15 June 2022 and to approve them as a true and correct record of the proceedings.


Resolved: - That with the inclusion of Councillor Wyatt’s apologies, the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 15 June 2022 be approved as a true record.


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.


There were no questions from members of the public or press.


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.


There were no exempt items on the agenda.


Council Plan and Year Ahead Delivery Plan, Update for April to June 2022 pdf icon PDF 369 KB

To consider a progress report outlining Year Ahead Delivery Plan activities and the data for the Council Plan performance measures for the first quarter of 2022-23.


Cabinet Portfolio: The Leader

Strategic Directorate: Assistant Chief Executive.

Additional documents:


The Leader of the Council introduced a report which set out the Council’s vision for the Borough and priorities for residents and communities. The Plan provided the medium-term basis for targeting resources, informing the budget-setting process and planning cycles, and ensuring that residents can hold the Council to account for delivery.


Formal progress reports were considered by Cabinet every three months, with the first report presented in June 2022. This second report focussed on activities in the Year Ahead Delivery Plan up to end July 2022. It was noted that of the 92 priorities, 83% were achieved or on target with only five being more than three months delayed.


The Leader gave a brief overview of progress and areas of concern in the each of the key themes, drawing attention to the detailed performance narrative contained in the report. It was highlighted that performance was light largely on target and those activities that were delayed would be on track by year end.


The Chair opened the discussion to Board Members. It was acknowledged that considerable progress was being made, however residents were raising concerns about issues which were not on track and clarification was sought on how these could be prioritised.


It was highlighted that the issues referred to were reflected in the plan, with examples given of enforcement action across a range of measure including environmental crime. Progress had also made in improving the road network although it was acknowledged that this was an ongoing challenge.


Clarification was sought how to balance demand for community hubs to be more accessible against financial and staffing constraints. For example, it was asked if more use of volunteers may support greater flexibility. It was outlined that volunteering opportunities were available however, there was also a commitment to ensuring that facilities were professionally led. The current financial pressures meant that careful consideration had to be given to opening hours.


It was noted that facilities were now open on the same basis as pre-pandemic so groups could utilise facilities as before. It was acknowledged that usage had dropped off across the Borough and work was underway to understand the reasons behind this.  It was further noted that because of the rise in energy costs, libraries may be used as warm spaces. It was therefore important that they remained as accessible as possible.


Further details were sought on performance in respect of average call waiting times, with members of the Board giving examples of performance not meeting customer expectations. The Leader outlined mitigations including identify peak times to maximise staffing and piloting call-back in some services. It was recognised that long waiting times could be frustrating so were encouraging customers to call at less busy times or use web-facilities if possible. It was noted that some complex calls could take longer to process which added to wait times.


The wider roll out of the call-back facility was being considered in other services such as Adult Social Care service. However, this was dependent on having sufficient  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76.


July 2022/23 Financial Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 723 KB

To consider a report outlining the financial position as at the end of July 2022 and forecast for the remainder of the financial year, based on actual costs and income for the first four months of 2022/23.


Cabinet Portfolio: Corporate Services, Community Safety and Finance

Strategic Directorate: Finance and Customer Services.

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Community Safety and Finance introduced the report, setting out the financial position as at the end of July 2022 and forecast for the remainder of the financial year, based on actual costs and income for the first four months of 2022/23.


As at July 2022, the Council estimated an overspend of £11.4m for the financial year 2022/23. Whilst the core directorates services had a forecast year-end overspend of £7.4m on the General Fund, there was £4.0m of estimated unbudgeted cost resulting from the wider financial impact of the war in Ukraine, inflation, energy price increases excluding the estimated impact of the 2022/23 pay award. This additional financial challenge had been factored into the current forecast following a review of the impact of these pressures on the current year and Medium Term Financial Planning.


Whilst the energy price rises and inflation would have an impact the Council’s costs in the provision of services there would be some mitigation in future years by increased core funding as business rates income was indexed to the rate of inflation. It was expected that the period of high inflation will last for around two years before it returned to a more normal level although there this would have a compounding impact. As such the Council faced significant financial pressures that will need to be managed and mitigated through the Medium Term Financial Strategy and through significant use of the Council’s reserves. There was no indication as yet as to whether additional funding will be provided to local authorities as part of the financial settlement for 2023/24. It was noted that a budget update was expected shortly and further financial planning would take place following the announcement from the Treasury.


The Chair invited Board Members to question the report. It was noted that the report also referred to a larger overspend and sought clarification on the differential. It was noted that the pay award had not yet been agreed, however, figures would need to be revised in future reports to reflect the pressure once it had been finalised. Assurance was given that regular monitoring and planning was taking place to reflect changes and market fluctuations.


It was noted that there was a number of savings to be delivered in children services. Given the changing financial situation were these on track or was there a need to re-profile how they were to be achieved? It was outlined that careful monitoring was taking place however, it was difficult to reduce costs of placements because of demand across the country. It was noted that the Borough was one of few local authorities to reduce the numbers of children in care. Other developments included building in-house residential placements and increase regional working to manage commissioning costs.


Further clarification of the £9m overspend in relation to the market redevelopment project and what steps were being taken to ensure that it was still viable and deliver value for money for Rotherham residents. The Leader outlined that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77.


Safer Rotherham Partnership Plan 2022-25 pdf icon PDF 493 KB

To consider the new Safer Rotherham Partnership Plan, setting out priorities and commitments for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025.


Cabinet Portfolio: Corporate Services, Community Safety and Finance

Strategic Directorate: of Regeneration and Environment

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Community Safety and Finance introduced the report. The Safer Rotherham Partnership (SRP), of which the Council was a key statutory partner, had agreed a new Safer Rotherham Partnership Plan, setting out priorities and commitments for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2025. The previous Safer Rotherham Partnership Plan 2018-21 was extended for an additional year to 31 March 2022 due to Covid pandemic pressures and impacts on crime and community safety. The plan guided the partnership in delivering significant work to protect vulnerable children and adults, build safer and more cohesive communities and tackle domestic abuse and serious and organised crime.


Community Safety Partnerships have a statutory responsibility to prepare an annual strategic assessment to identify community safety priorities across the local area, develop a partnership plan and co-ordinate activities to address the priorities. There was also a requirement to consult and engage with communities, ensuring that their views are taken into account when identifying local priorities.


The plan outlined a number of key priorities based around the following four themes:

         Protecting vulnerable children;

         Protecting vulnerable adults;

         Safer and stronger communities; and

         Protecting people from violence and organised crime.


It was outlined that the process and priorities were intelligence led and was informed by data and risks identified using the Management of Risk in Law Enforcement (MoRiLE) thematic tool and Joint Strategic Intelligence Assessment.


The Chair invited questions from Board Members. Clarification was sought on the consultation process and how groups were selected and what consideration had given to consult with other groups of disabled people, for example people with autism.  It was outlined that groups were identified through Voluntary Action Rotherham and other established networks. Whilst it was welcomed that two groups had been consulted with, it was felt that future consultation should be wider to capture the views of under-represented groups including black and minority ethnic communities and young people.  It was noted that a consultation plan had been drawn up and activities were delivered to try and capture views, including speaking to students from a special school to inform the Hate Crime Panel and engagement with Rotherham United to address mental health issues.  The plan also utilised findings from Council Plan consultation and information from ward plans.


Further details were asked about consultation on rural crime and engagement with individuals across different locations.  Examples were given of engagement with the Parish Council Network and the use of ward plans to better understand local issues and inform priorities.


It was stressed that tackling serious violence was a priority regardless of the gender of the perpetrator or victim. However, it was acknowledged that violence against women and girls was largely committed by male perpetrators and therefore the Partnership was developing strategies to address this and women’s safety.  It was noted that there had been reports of disabled people experiencing hate crime and some made be vulnerable to criminal exploitation such as modern slavery. Assurance was sought that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 78.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 256 KB

To consider the Board’s Work Programme.


The Senior Governance Advisor gave an update on the Board’s work programme, drawing attention to the following areas:


                Items for the pre-decision scrutiny meeting to be held on 12 October 2022 and future agendas

                Modern-slavery spotlight review

                Monitoring arrangements of recommendations arising from Operation Linden

                Cost of living crisis – scrutiny activity

                Nature emergency – Improving Places Select Commission would undertake this work


Resolved: - That the Work Programme be approved.


Work in Progress - Select Commissions

To receive updates from the Chairs of the Select Commission on work undertaken and planned for the future.



Improving Lives Select Commission considered the Rotherham Local Area Special Education Needs and Disability – Written Statement of Action Update and Looked After Children Draft Sufficiency Strategy. The Board was advised that the Commission would be considering the Draft Early Help Strategy at a workshop meeting to be held on 21 September 2022.


Improving Places Select Commission would be undertaking a focussed review on the effectiveness of selective licencing scheme.


Health Select Commission future work programme would include scrutiny of medicine management and child and adolescent mental health services.


Forward Plan of Key Decisions - 1 September 2022 to 30 November 2022 pdf icon PDF 403 KB

To review and identify items for pre-decision scrutiny from the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period from 1 September 2022 to 30 November 2022


The Board considered the Forward Plan of Key Decision 1 September 2022 to 30 November 2022.


Resolved: - That the Forward Plan be noted.


Call-in Issues

To consider any issues referred for call-in from recent Cabinet meetings.


There were no call-in issues.


Urgent Business

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


There were no urgent items.


Date and time of next meeting

The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held on 12 October 2022 at 10.00am at Rotherham Town Hall.


Resolved: - That the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held at 10.00am on Wednesday 12 October 2022 at Rotherham Town Hall.