Agenda and minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board - Wednesday 16 November 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 12 October 2022 pdf icon PDF 266 KB

To consider the minutes of the previous meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 12 October 2022 and to approve them as a true and correct record of the proceedings.


Resolved: - That the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 12 October 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.


Corporate Safeguarding Protocol pdf icon PDF 273 KB

To consider the Council’s Corporate Safeguarding Protocol and note the outcome from the Ofsted Inspection.


Portfolio Holder – the Leader of the Council

Strategic Directorate – Assistant Chief Executive’s

Additional documents:


The Leader introduced the report and highlighted that the new Corporate Safeguarding Protocol was a framework for the Council to ensure that safeguarding was embedded across all services and staff and Councillors were aware of their responsibilities.


The report outlined the duty of the Council to make appropriate arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people and adults.  A range of development interventions, procedures and good practice were in place to ensure that every service and employee can demonstrate that they understood their duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people, and adults.


The Chief Executive cited the outcomes of the recent Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) which judged Children and Young People’s Services as “good”.  She noted that the support of the whole organisation was needed to achieve this standard.


The Chair invited questions from the Board.  It was noted that the report listed fundamental rights that should be afforded to children and young people and reflected in the way that services work with them.  It was outlined that the expectations cited arose from a piece of work with children and young people, however, the principles also extended to adults.


Further details were sought to establish what changes had been made to the refreshed protocol. It was outlined that there was a commitment to ensure that individual responsibilities and accountability for safeguarding were clarified and more focussed. The Chief Executive referred to the examples cited in her introduction which also included closer monitoring of e-learning activity.


An example was given of a safeguarding issue involving a local adult resident and the difficulties in seeking support. The Chief Executive asked that further discussions take place outside the meeting to establish the circumstances.


Clarification was requested to establish the frequency of reviews of criminal record disclosures (“DBS check”). It was explained that there was a three-year rolling programme of review for roles requiring enhanced checks, with basic checks taking place at the point of employment.


It was acknowledged that the report showed a journey of improvement across the Council. Assurance was sought about the process of transition from children to adult services. The Assistant Director for Children’s Safeguarding outlined that the process was well developed between services for those children receiving support who will have assessed needs as adults.


In addition to the Ofsted judgement of “good”, further details were requested on what additional measures were in place to benchmark performance.  It was highlighted that performance was monitored on a continuous basis. This process included close monitoring of a suite of performance measures; participation in regional benchmarking groups and review and practice days.  Ofsted also conducted an annual review and the authority was required to undertake a self-assessment.


Assurance was sought if staff were clear on what routes were available to raise concerns or seek advice if issues required escalation. It was explained that staff were actively encouraged to speak to colleagues in the MASH (children’s safeguarding hub) or First  ...  view the full minutes text for item 104.


September 2022/23 Financial Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 749 KB

To consider a report outlining the current revenue and capital monitoring position and proposals regarding any required actions.


Portfolio Holder – Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Community Safety and Finance

Strategic Directorate – Finance and Customer Service

Additional documents:


The report set out the financial position at the end of September 2022 and forecast for the remainder of the financial year, based on actual costs and income for the first six months of 2022/23. Financial performance was a key element within the assessment of the Council’s overall performance framework and essential to achievement of the objectives within the Council’s policy agenda. This was the third financial monitoring report of a series of monitoring reports for the current financial year.


As of September 2022, the Council estimated an overspend of £18.2m for the financial year 2022/23. Whilst the core directorates services had a forecast year-end overspend of £8.1m on the General Fund, there was £10.1m of estimated unbudgeted cost resulting from the wider financial impact of the war in Ukraine, inflation, energy price increases and the impact of the 2022/23 pay award, costs that the Council could not have projected within its Medium Term Financial Planning. These additional financial challenges have been factored into the current forecast following a review of the impact of these pressures on the current year and Medium-Term Financial Planning. It was noted that at the time of publication, the local government settlement had not been announced.


The Leader introduced the report, highlighting that although the revenue position had worsened since it was last reported, action was being taken within directorates to address the overspend in the revenue budget. Assurance was also given that careful consideration was given to capital expenditure and progress on capital projects.


The Chair thanked the Leader for his introduction and opened the report for questions.


Further clarification was sought to establish what was being considered to achieve savings and the potential impact of these on staff and services. The Leader confirmed that all staff were invited to identify savings and efficiencies. There was a programme of measures outlined in the report to mitigate in-year pressures. In addition, he noted that in the short term, recruitment to some vacancies had been temporarily delayed although posts were not removed.  Other measures considered included deferring professional accreditation to the following year. However, given the significant budget challenges, the Council may have to consider if it could no longer afford to support some activities.


Details were sought on the use of the Homelessness Rough Sleepers Initiative Grant. It was highlighted that the authority had a good track record of accommodating rough sleepers however, the focus of this work was to ensure that people were supported before they become street homeless. The Chief Executive noted that there was also a challenge supporting people to find secure accommodation, however, staff were in place to do this.


In the respect of the overspend and budget pressures, it was asked how Rotherham compared with similar authorities, noting that that it should be recognised that this was a national issue. The Strategic Director for Finance and Customer Services confirmed that a number of Council were reporting significant overspends and a corresponding impact on services. She highlighted prudent assumptions had been  ...  view the full minutes text for item 105.


Medium Term Financial Strategy pdf icon PDF 559 KB

To consider a review and update of the Medium-Term Financial Strategy and proposals regarding any required actions.


Portfolio Holder - Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Community Safety and Finance

Strategic Directorate – Finance and Customer Services

Additional documents:


The Leader introduced the report which set out a review and update of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy to 2025/26. It included technical updates and detailed the volatility in the UK and international markets caused by the war in Ukraine, high inflation and rising energy costs.


The MTFS sat alongside the Financial Monitoring reported considered by the Board. It was envisaged a significant financial overspend that would require the use of the Council’s reserves to achieve a balanced financial outturn position for 2022/23 and likely for 2023/24. Government funding announcements were expected shortly. The MTFS made assumptions that the Government grant forecasts would be remain the same (as based on its three-year spending review); the level of anticipated resources from council tax and business rates and that planned council tax annual increases remained at 3%.


It was noted that progress was being made to achieve savings across services for example children services and home-to-school transport. It was reiterated that without the inflationary pressures, the Council would have been on course to achieve a balanced budget. The provisional settlement from Government was expected in December. The £10m gap would have to be managed through reserves in the short term.


It was observed that without the final settlement, it was difficult to anticipate what mitigations were required. It was clarified that the call on reserves would reflect the level of funding pressures. Whilst this currently stood at £18m, it was anticipated that this would reduce because of the actions taken within directorates. It was also outlined that planning assumptions were made on collection rates and council tax base which would include growth.




1.             That the MTFS update be noted by Cabinet.

2.             The requirement to use reserves in order to balance the Council’s outturn position for 2022/23 be noted by Cabinet.



Recommendations from Improving Lives Select Commission - Early Help Strategy pdf icon PDF 193 KB

To consider the recommendations from Improving Lives Select Commission following its pre-decision scrutiny of the draft Early Help strategy.

Additional documents:


The Chair of Improving Lives Select Commission (ILSC) introduced this report. Members of the Commission met on 21 September 2022 to scrutinise the draft Early Help Strategy in advance of its submission to Cabinet. The report detailed the recommendations arising from this review and asked that they be submitted to Cabinet. The Chair of ILSC thanked officers and Members for their contributions. She observed that the approach taken had been received positively.


In response to questions, it was outlined that the strategy included best practice from other local authorities. A commitment was given to providing further information about take-up of free school meals which would be circulated to the Board.




That the recommendations outlined be agreed by Overview and Scrutiny Management Board and forwarded to Cabinet for consideration and decision.



Social Value - mid year report pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider a report providing a mid-year update on achievement towards the Social Value policy outcomes and priorities for 2022

Additional documents:


At the meeting on 23 March 2022, OSMB received the Social Value Annual Report. This set out achievements over the previous year and recommended priorities for the year ahead. In considering the report and making recommendations to Cabinet, OSMB resolved to receive a mid-year report on progress. This report provided details of progress at mid-year.


The Leader introduced the report. He highlighted that in adopting this policy, the expectation was that the value of contracts awarded in line with Social Value principles would increase in Rotherham and the wider sub-region. The Chief Executive outlined that the definition of social value and social responsibilities had been clarified on the website as a result of feedback from this Board.


The Chief Executive put on record her thanks to officers for their support in this initiative. It was noted that whilst this was a technical report, officers were keen to capture the ‘stories’ of the positive impact social value policies can have. For example, developing employment opportunities for young people. It was hoped that by doing illustrating the impact through these stories, it would influence other organisations to participate. 


The impact of the policy was measured through the National Themes, Outcomes and Measures (TOMs) Framework. The Council had selected those measures which will have a positive impact on the economic, social and environmental well-being of the Rotherham community.


The Chief Executive gave a brief overview of progress since the previous report was submitted. This included analysis of local spend, supporting voluntary sector and community groups and the launch of a toolkit to ensure that staff have a good understanding of the social value principles and were able to measure impact. A network has been developed to share learning, intelligence and gaps. Through this work, collaboration with the business sector had taken place.


It was noted that the principles underpinning this project were longer term and the outcomes may take time to be realised. Work was underway to identify opportunities to demonstrate the impact of social value across the thousands of contracts the Council held to get more impact from the money it spent locally.


Prior to opening this item to questions, the Chair put on a record her thanks to the Head of Procurement for her contribution to the recent spotlight review of arrangements to tackle modern slavery.


She invited questions from the Board. In response to a question about engagement of local providers, it was outlined that this was done through various means including market engagement, working through the Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RIDO) and for lower value activities, internet searches. This took place with the Borough and across the South Yorkshire footprint, using local intelligence to raise awareness of contracts to local businesses. It was explained that for contracts under £10,000 at least one quote should be from a Rotherham based supplier.


Clarification was sought on how the social value policy addressed deprivation in wards. It was noted that the Boston Castle ward had seen greater  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To consider the Board’s Work Programme.


The Board considered its Work Programme.


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.



An update was received from each of the Chairs of Select Commissions outlining current areas of work.


Improving Places Select Commission: a spotlight review on selective licensing was underway. The Nature Crisis review would be considered in the New Year.


Improving Lives Select Commission: an outline of the LGA sessions on “Effective Scrutiny of Children’s Services” was provided, along with feedback on the Commission’s work. The Chair thanks all who attended.


Health Select Commission: the Commission had considered a report on access to dental care. A spotlight review on oral health was to be undertaken.


Resolved: That the update be noted.



Forward Plan of Key Decisions - 1 November 2022 - 31 January 2023 pdf icon PDF 400 KB


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 14 December 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 Thursday 1 December 2022 at Rotherham Town Hall.