Venue: Council Chamber - Rotherham Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham, South Yorkshire S60 2TH
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of interest from Members in respect of items listed on the agenda.
Cllr Pitchley referred to her Register of Interest, declaring her employment as a Consultant for Rotherham Pioneers, in relation to Minute 18 – UK Shared Prosperity Fund – years two and three. She remained present and participated in the proceedings and vote.
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 the public and 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.
Agenda Item No. 6 (Rotherham Markets & Library Redevelopment - Appendix 2) was exempt from the press and public:-
That under Section 100(A) 4 of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12(A) of such Act indicated, as now amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006 (information which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual/financial information).
Resolved:-That members of the press and public be excluded for this item.
The report provides proposed projects and recommendations for use of Rotherham’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) £6.4m allocation, for 2023/24 and 2024/25.
Projects will help Rotherham businesses to start up and grow, develop the skills our residents need to get a good job and progress in their careers, and provide targeted support to local communities in the face of cost of living and other pressures. In short, this package of measures will support the Council’s aspirations to build a more inclusive local economy.
Portfolio – Leader of the Council
Directorate – Assistant Chief Executive’s
The Chair invited the Chief Executive to introduce the report. She outlined that the UKSPF was a three-year government funded programme channelled through the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA), introduced as a successor fund to the European Structural Funds (ESF).
It was noted that the UKSPF replaced the funding available through ESF, albeit at a lower level. The regional allocation for South Yorkshire equated to £38.9 million over three years, compared with €410 million from 2007- 2013 and €180 million between 2014 – 2020.
Rotherham’s allocation of the UKSPF was £7.2 million from April 2022 to March 2025. Of this £5.6 million was allocated to revenue funding with the remaining £1.6 million allocated to capital projects. £6.4 million was available in years two and three.
All funding allocated under the fund had to meet and eligibility criteria which was signed off by Government in late 2022. The criteria were aligned to the following themes:
· Supporting local business
· People and skills
· Community and place
The report and appendices listed the activity and programmes supported by the fund.
It was noted that the timescales attached to the funding was extremely tight, therefore South Yorkshire partners had looked pragmatically at developing proposals to avoid disruption to services and businesses and loss of key staff. It was outlined that some of the projects would have come to an end had this funding not been available. The use of the funding would ensure that priority schemes could be delivered, especially in the context of cost-of-living inflationary increases. Examples were given of integrated working such as Employment Solutions which were having a positive impact on those people needing additional support to access employment.
The Chair invited questions from Board Members and a discussion on the following issues ensued:
Further details were sought on how year one funding was reported. It was outlined that details were reported in the financial update, however because of the amount of detail and the significance of years two and three funding this was reported to Cabinet in a stand-alone paper.
Clarification was requested on how partnerships and agencies were selected and if there was sufficient capacity for programmes to be rolled out wider (e.g. Open Arms). It was outlined that a mapping exercise had been undertaken with voluntary-community sector partners to identify what activity was already underway in the borough. This had identified communities where the greatest need of support was required, including local infrastructure. The aim was to target funding where the greatest impact could be made in line with the criteria. It was noted that projects in some wards may not access funding although the Council continued to explore new funding streams to support future targeted work.
Further details were requested about business incubation centres and how success was measured. The Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment outlined that there were four business incubation centres in Rotherham. Referrals were received from business networks such as the Chamber of Commerce, colleges or self-referrals. What differentiated incubation ... view the full minutes text for item 30.
This report details the proposed redevelopment of the Rotherham Markets Complex and new library, located in the town centre of Rotherham, including an update on progress to date, a summary of the proposals, delivery programme, and sequencing. The report also seeks authority to award an enabling works contract.
Portfolio: Jobs and the Local Economy.
Directorate: Regeneration and Environment
The Chair invited the Strategic Director for Regeneration and Environment to introduce the report. Referring to the scrutiny review undertaken by Improving Places Select Commission, he outlined the importance of the market to Rotherham as a historic market town. The markets supported 300 local businesses, as well as a programme of events, street markets and themed markets.
The market redevelopment was part of the Town Centre Masterplan agreed in 2017. The proposed relocation of the library emerged from the work undertaken for the new Library Strategy (2021-2026) and following consultation and engagement, it was identified that a more central location for the library was the preferred option. The report proposed enabling works in order that preparation could begin on site and mitigate against increasing costs. It was expected that the full scheme would be presented to Cabinet in November 2023.
The Chair invited the Chair of Improving Places Select Commission to speak to the report. It was acknowledged that market redevelopment may be challenging for traders, customers and the local authority. He thanked the Strategic Director for referencing the recommendations from the commission’s scrutiny review. He highlighted that it was critical that the food and beverage offer was developed; recognising that redevelopments worked better where the facilities were multiuse, including health and well-being and cultural events. The relocation of the library was felt to be key to this. It was also observed that the nearby student population was an opportunity to increase potential footfall.
The Chair invited questions and comments from Board Members and a discussion on the following issues ensued:
Further details were sought on opportunities to host alternative events such as artisan markets. In response, it was outlined that such examples would be part of the offer alongside supporting the existing business base. The proposals focused on the refurbishment and redevelopment of the current market site.
It was noted that since the introduction of the Thursday market, town centre shops had experienced greater footfall because of the trade that had been brought in. Further details were sought about the engagement with local traders and their views of the redevelopment/refurbishment plans. It was noted that financial support would be offered during the period of refurbishment to compensate for disruption and upheaval. It was outlined that traders had engaged with the design and concept work, with plans amended following feedback, including the introduction of a temporary market solution.
Further details were sought about the potential for social or evening events in the covered market. An example was given of evening events related to celebrations such as Ramadan and Eid which attracted communities that may not usually access the town centre. It was confirmed that the cultural events offer would be linked to the development to ensure that the flexible space could be used for different events and groups.
It was noted that a number of other towns and cities had recently refurbished their market complexes. Clarification was sought that local authorities had been contacted to establish if lessons could be ... view the full minutes text for item 31.
To consider the Board’s Work Programme.
The Board considered its Work Programme.
The Senior Governance Adviser outlined future work including the review of life-saving equipment and Children’s Commissioner Takeover Challenge.
The was a request for a presentation on the outcomes of the 2021 Census. It was also noted that a separate meeting would be organised to discuss the Director of Public Health’s Annual Report: The Impact of the Pandemic in Rotherham.
An update was requested on educational attainment and SEND. It was confirmed that this would come under the remit of Improving Lives Select Commission.
The Chair of the Health Select Committee requested that every effort be made, wherever possible, to secure attendance from relevant Cabinet Members and senior officers at future meetings.
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.
There were no updates given.
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 13 September 2023 at 10.00am at Rotherham Town Hall.
Resolved: - That the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board will be held at 10am on Wednesday 13 September 2023 at Rotherham Town Hall.