Venue: Council Chamber - Rotherham Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S60 2TH
To consider the minutes of the previous meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 19 April 2023 and to approve them as a true and correct record of the proceedings.
The Chair thanked Cllr Joshua Bacon for chairing the previous meeting and Cllr Tony Browne for introducing the recommendations from the Spotlight Scrutiny Review of Modern Slavery.
Resolved: - That the Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board held on 19 April 2023 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 at the meeting.
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.
To consider a briefing and presentation on Rotherham Council Byelaws following the motion to Council considered at its meeting on 30 November 2023.
The following was resolved:
Ask the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board to consider within its work programme the following potential actions, making any recommendations they deem necessary, and require the proposer of this motion to be part of this Scrutiny activity:
1. Review existing byelaws with a view to revoking and replacing them as appropriate.
2. Bring forward a draft byelaw or byelaws to prohibit removing, displacing, damaging or otherwise interfering with lifesaving equipment across the borough.
3. Consider enacting new byelaws to prohibit other specific undesirable behaviour in public spaces.
4. Consult with with police, councillors, parish and town councils, and other partners to identify behaviours and public spaces where byelaws could be useful and complete this consultation process within four months.
5. Implement a regular system of review for local byelaws, to ensure byelaws are revoked and/or replaced when they are no longer useful.
6. Where it is thought that a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) would be a more effective tool than a byelaw, proceed with a PSPO.
The Chair invited the officers to introduce the briefing and presentation on Rotherham Council Byelaws following the motion to Council considered at its meeting on 30 November 2023.
, make any recommendations it deemed necessary, and involve the proposer of this motion as part of any related Scrutiny activity.
The Chair welcomed the Strategic Director – Regeneration and Environment, the Head of Service – Community Safety and Regulatory Services and the Service Manager – Regulation and Enforcement to the meeting.
A short presentation was given providing detail on byelaws and their application. It was highlighted that byelaws should be a measure of last resort, after other alternative actions have been explored and exhausted. It was outlined that byelaws were a regulation made by a Local Authority made under any of the following enabling powers:
• The Byelaws (Alternative Procedure) (England) Regulations 2016
• Public Health Act 1875 - Byelaws relating to the regulation of public walks and pleasure grounds
• Local Government Act 1972 – Byelaws relating to good rule and government and suppression of nuisances
• South Yorkshire Act 1980 – Byelaws relating to land, open spaces and municipal property and to the regulation of good and orderly conduct of persons
There were a number of byelaws in place in Rotherham, some dating back to 1968. The byelaws applied to country parks related to matters such as open water swimming and fires, whereas byelaws relating to good rules and government apply to anti-social behaviour for example off-road motorbiking.
It was outlined that permission was required by the Secretary of State to enact a byelaw and a breach of a byelaw can be considered by a magistrate court (and therefore can be construed as a criminal offence). However, it was noted that it been difficult to find examples of byelaws being enforced in Rotherham and there was little evidence of fines being issued in the recent past.
An overview of other available enforcement powers was given. For serious criminal offences, including criminal damage, the police had existing powers to deal with such instances. It was noted that damage to life saving equipment was covered by this existing provision. Other options included Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) were conditions can be applied to sites to restrict activities and issue fines if conditions were breached by either police or local authority enforcement officers. Individuals causing nuisance can be served with a Criminal Protection Notice, injunction or injunction warning depending on the seriousness of the activity.
It was outlined that community protection and environmental health officers were authorised to discharge some of the existing powers. Consideration could be given to widening this remit to include specific groups such as those working in green spaces, however due regard should be given to the evidence base to support this this action. Noting that damage to life saving equipment was a concern, it was outlined that only one recorded case of ... view the full minutes text for item 189.
Work Programme - feedback from Scrutiny Strategy/Work Programming Day
To receive a presentation and verbal update from the Scrutiny Strategy Day held on April 26, 2023.
The Senior Governance Advisor gave a presentation outlining the key points from the recent Scrutiny Strategy/ Work Planning Day held on 26 April 2023. Fifteen members attended the session, along with Link Officers and Governance Advisors. The day was supported by the Local Government Association as a follow-up to its “Effective Scrutiny of Children’s Services” session delivered to members of Improving Lives Select Commission in October 2022.
The presentation covered the following areas:
The purpose of Overview and Scrutiny (O&S)
What does O&S do (and what it can’t)
Role of “scrutiny” and “overview”
• Work programming
Provides a framework for scrutiny activity (rather than prescriptive list)
Should be member led
Be selective – can’t focus on everything
Need to consider what resources are available to support – time and information
Usually determined at the start of each municipal year
Is a living document - reviewed and revised regularly
Can scrutiny add value or influence?
Is it being looked at elsewhere?
Is it a priority – council or community?
• Developing a consistent shortlisting criteria e.g.
T: Time: is it the tight time, enough resources?
O: Others: is this duplicating the work of another body?
P: Performance: can scrutiny make a difference
I: Interest – what is the interest to the public?
C: Contribution to the corporate plan
• Scoping scrutiny activity
What are the key issues?
What is the outcome that we want?
Who are the key stakeholders?
Who should be involved?
What evidence is needed?
What are the potential barriers/risks you may need to overcome?
What are the timescales?
What is NOT included in the review?
• Types of scrutiny
Whole Committee review?
Task and finish to drive the investigation work?
Individual or paired Councillors to drive the review?
• Putting into practice – examples of scoping work
• Health Select Commission
Access to mental health support
• Improving Lives Select Commission
Preparation for adulthood
Safeguarding of children educated in a non-school setting
• Improving Places Select Commission
Environment Act- opportunities to increase reuse/recycle (including partnerships with social enterprises)
A further report would be submitted to the Board detailing options for work planning in due course.
The Chair invited questions and comments from Board Members.
The Chair of Improving Places Select Commission commented on the recent Council motion on the Nature Crisis and how the commission would focus on this area as part of its work programme.
Clarification was sought about OSMB’s work programme. It was outlined that the programme would be submitted early in the new municipal year for discussion and approval. It was noted that the Board had prioritised a number of areas for scrutiny over the current year which would be factored ... view the full minutes text for item 190.
Work in Progress - Select Commissions
To receive updates from the Chairs of the Select Commission on work undertaken and planned for the future.
The Chair of Improving Lives outlined that work had been done to draft its work programme, which would be circulated to its members in due course. She also raised concerns about the impact of cost-of-living pressures on mental health and asked if this was being considered.
The Chair of Improving Places Select Commission referred to his earlier comments about its review of the Nature Crisis which had started recently.
To review and identify items for pre-decision scrutiny from the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period from May 1, 2023 to July 31, 2023.
The Board considered the Forward Plan of Key Decisions 1 May 2023 to 31 July 2023. The Chair outlined that the Board would wish to consider the Equalities Annual Report and Financial Monitoring Reports. It was noted that Improving Places Select Commission would receive a report on CCTV to a future meeting.
Resolved: - That the Forward Plan be noted.
To consider any issues referred for call-in from recent Cabinet meetings.
There were no call-in issues.
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 Wednesday 14 June, 2023 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 14 June 2023 at Rotherham Town Hall.