Agenda and draft minutes

Overview and Scrutiny Management Board - Wednesday 11 May 2022 11.00 a.m.

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

Contact: Caroline Webb, Senior Governance Adviser Tel: 01709 822765 email:  caroline.webb@rotherham.gov.uk  The webcast can be viewed at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv

Items
No. Item

27.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.

Minutes:

Cllr T Collingham declared a personal interest as co-signatory of the petition to improve road safety on Cumwell Lane/Kingsforth Lane. He remained present for the debate on the call for action but did not take part in the Board’s consideration of the issue and its resolution.

28.

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.

Minutes:

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

29.

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.

Minutes:

There were no items that required the exclusion of the press or public.

30.

Petition - Improve Road Safety on Cumwell Lane/Kingsforth Lane pdf icon PDF 387 KB

To consider a petition received calling on the Council to improve road safety on Cumwell Lane/Kingsforth Lane.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

At the Council meeting on 13 April 2022, it was noted that a petition had been received in respect of a request to the Councilto improve road safety on Cumwell Lane/Kingsforth Lane. As the petition had 622 valid signatures under the Council’s petition scheme, it was referred to Overview and Scrutiny Management Board for review.

 

The Chair welcomed Cllr Ball to the meeting as Lead Petitioner. Cllr Collingham joined Cllr Ball as a signatory to the petition, having declared an interest in this item. The Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment and officers were also welcomed.

 

The Chair opened by offering the Board’s condolences to those affected by the recent fatal accidents. Following this, she outlined the process for consideration of petitions in accordance with the Council’s petition scheme.

 

The Chair invited to Cllr Ball to present the call for action. He noted with regret the need to submit the petition. Referring to previous serious accidents including some fatalities, he stated that the lanes were used as a shortcut between villages. Residents and professionals had approached him to raise concerns about road safety. He noted that the actions taken by the Council to date were welcome however, it was the view of the petitioner that the installation of an average speed camera would act as a greater deterrent and lead to reduced speeds on this stretch of road. Cllr Collingham speaking in support of the petition, cited widespread public backing to the concerns raised.

 

Board Members were invited to ask questions of Cllr Ball, as the Lead Petitioner. Clarification was sought if there were actions other than the installation of an average speed camera that could be taken by the Council to improve road safety. In response, the Lead Petitioner noted that proposals including the installation of barriers, road resurfacing, and introduction of speed limits had been made. Whilst these would offer additional safety measures, it was his view that average speed restrictions would be an effective deterrent. He further clarified that Council officers had been responsive to requests to meet to discuss proposals. While this was welcome, the petitioners asked that the proposals be translated into clear measures to improve road safety in the local area.

 

The Chair invited the Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment to outline his response. In opening, the Cabinet Member also offered his condolences to the families and friends in respect of the two recent fatalities. He stated that the Council was committed to taking this matter seriously and this could be demonstrated by what the Council has done, was doing and what future action the Council had planned to address concerns. 

 

He noted that a meeting had been organised with ward members and officer to discuss action taken and forthcoming plans. An offer was made to organise another meeting to keep members abreast of developments and inform future working.  The Cabinet Member reminded the Board and ward members that the Council was obliged to follow statutory processes in respect of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Town Deal and Levelling Up Fund: Update and Implementation pdf icon PDF 298 KB

To consider a report providing an update on progress and seeking approval to implement the Regeneration Programme projects which have been awarded funding via the Levelling Up Fund and Towns Fund.

 

Cabinet Portfolio: Jobs and the Local Economy

 

Strategic Directorate: Regeneration and Environment Services

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet Meeting to be held on 16 May 2022. It provided an update on progress and sought approval to implement the Regeneration Programme projects which have been awarded funding via the Levelling Up Fund and Towns Fund. A full list and summary of the projects was appended to the report.

 

The Town Deal was a £3.6bn programme seeking to ‘unleash the economic potential of 100 places across the country. In January 2021 Rotherham submitted a Town Investment Plan seeking £35m for projects across Templeborough, Eastwood and the Town Centre. In June 2021, Heads of Terms were received offering £31.6m. Stage 2 of the Town Deal process required a local assurance process for each project culminating in the submission of ‘Project Summary’ documentation to Department for Levelling-Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) by 27 June 2022.

 

The opportunity to bid to Round 1 of the Levelling Up Fund (LUF) was announced in March 2021. In June 2021 the Council submitted three bids seeking investment to support projects in the Leisure Economy, Principal Areas for Growth and Rotherham Town Centre. An announcement was made in October 2021 that Rotherham had successfully secured funding for two of the three submitted bids for the Leisure Economy (£19.5m) and Rotherham Town Centre (£20m) totalling £39.5m. In February 2022, Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were signed between the Council and DLUHC for each of the two successful Round 1 bids, setting out the terms, principles and practices that will apply regarding the administration and delivery of the

 

A second round of funding was announced on 23 March 2022. The Council intended to re-submit a bid proposal for Wath and Dinnington Town Centres to this fund with a deadline of 6 July 2022.

 

Given the significant amount of funding involved it was requested that progress of the Town Deal and Levelling Up fund be added to the Risk Register to be considered by the Audit Committee.

 

Confirmation was received that the projects listed were on track for their anticipated completion dates.

 

The consultation regarding the ‘Transforming Cities Infrastructure’ relates to the transforming cities fund which is not directly linked to the report although the long-term strategic plan in and around the town centre looks at the wider strategy and objectives for the town centre and how those work.  The consultation results associated with this were being assessed and would be responded to in due course.

 

The funding was welcomed but were the changes proposed for the town centre right for the current climate and environment or should they have been made previously.  It was confirmed that the changes were part of the masterplan created in conjunction with the business sector and community.  The Strategic Director Regeneration and Environment explained the Council received one of the largest Town Deals in the country along with two of the three bids for the Levelling Up Fund.  In terms of the ambitions, a substantial amount was for other  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.

32.

Household Support Fund pdf icon PDF 234 KB

To consider a report outlining recommendations on the provisional allocations of the Household Support Grant.

 

Cabinet Portfolio: The Leader

 

Strategic Directorate: Assistant Chief Executive

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report that was submitted for pre-decision scrutiny ahead of the Cabinet Meeting to be held on 16 May 2022.

 

The Leader introduced the report indicated that the Household Support Fund was discretionary funding that the Governance allocated to support cost of living issues.  The first round was used to pay for free school meal vouchers during school holidays, with around 11,000 children benefiting.  It was also used to provide some additional support to voluntary partners Christmas meal appeal along with providing additional Council Tax support within the last year.

 

The Government announced a further 6-month allocation in it’s Spring statement of around £2.5 million pounds for Rotherham with slight changes to how it could be administered.  It indicated that at least 30% of the funding had to be used for families with children and at least 30% of the funding to be used for people of a pensionable age.  The funding needed to have been allocated by September 2022.

 

The proposal was to continue the free school meal voucher offer through to October 2022.  Some additional funding would be set aside to the discretionary payments fund for energy bills which could be expanded to give some flexibility in terms of support to pensioner households.  this would provide grants of up to £150 for pension households to be used in a flexible way.

 

The remaining balance of the allocation would need to go towards households of a pensionable age however the application process for the energy bills fund would need to be in operation prior to decisions being made on the remaining funding. 

 

Clarification was sought as to how the Council would ensure this funding reached all areas of the borough.  The Leader confirmed that the funding was allocated to individual households rather than being geographically based.  Discussions were being undertaken as to how be able to reach all communities.

 

It was queried how the Council would ensure the funding was being allocated to those most in need.  In response it was explained that the priority was to make the decisions that could be taken easily to enable funding to be accessed in those areas immediately and then ascertain how vulnerable pensioners can supported to access the funding.

 

It was noted that other support is also required for households, such as support with prescriptions, dental treatment, eye tests, period poverty however the challenge would be how to identify those in need and what support could be provided to them via this funding in such a short space of time.

 

In response the Leader explained that the Council did offer a large amount of support either through its own services or those of its partners however he acknowledge it could be hard for a member of the public to navigate to the relevant services for them.  This could be resolved by the information being pulled together on the Council’s website.    

 

In response it was confirmed that the vouchers provided for the free school meals scheme were general  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 399 KB

To consider the Board’s Work Programme.

Minutes:

The Chair explained that a session would be arranged to select topics to be considered and added to the work programme.  This session would be face to face.  Information regarding when this session would be held will be circulated with members in due course.

34.

Work in Progress - Select Commissions

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

 

Minutes:

This item was deferred to the meeting scheduled for June 15, 2022.

35.

Forward Plan of Key Decisions - 1 May 2022 - 31 July 2022 pdf icon PDF 399 KB

To review and identify items for pre-decision scrutiny from the Forward Plan of Key Decisions covering the period from 1 May 2022 to 31 July 2022.

Minutes:

The Board considered the Forward Plan of Key Decisions 1 May 2022 to 31 July 2022.

 

The Senior Governance Advisor noted that a suggestion had been raised at a previous meeting that the Board considered the Equalities Strategy at its June 2022 meeting.

 

Resolved: - That the Forward Plan be noted.

36.

Call-in Issues

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

Minutes:

There were no call-in issues.

37.

Urgent Business

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

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

38.

Date and time of next meeting

The next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held on 15 June 2022 at 10.00am at Rotherham Town Hall.

Minutes:

Resolved: -

1)    That a special meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held at 10.00am on Friday 27 May 2022 at Rotherham Town Hall to consider the Rotherham Safeguarding Children’s Partnership’s CSE Review Report.

 

2)    That following this, the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held at 10.00am on Wednesday 15 June 2022 at Rotherham Town Hall.