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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Town Hall, Moorgate Street, Rotherham. S60 2TH

Contact: James McLaughlin, Head of Democratic Services  The webcast can be viewed at http://www.rotherham.public-i.tv

Items
No. Item

100.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

To consider any announcements by the Mayor in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 3(2)(ii).

Minutes:

The Mayor was pleased to present his activity since the last Council meeting which was attached for information to the Mayor’s letter. 

 

The Mayor also referred to Councillor Lyndsay Pitchley suffering a stroke and, on behalf of the Council, passed on the very best of wishes for a speedy recovery.

101.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

To receive the apologies of any Member who is unable to attend the meeting.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Clark, D. Cutts, Ellis, Evans, Hague, Pitchley, Roche, Rushforth, Senior, John Turner, Julie Turner, Wilson and Yasseen.

 

102.

COMMUNICATIONS

 

Any communication received by the Mayor or Chief Executive which relates to a recommendation of the Cabinet or a committee which was received after the relevant meeting.

Minutes:

There were no communications received.

103.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS COUNCIL MEETING pdf icon PDF 240 KB

 

To receive the record of proceedings of the ordinary meeting of the Council held on 31 October 2018 and to approve the accuracy thereof.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 31st October, 2018, be approved for signature by the Mayor.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                       Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

104.

PETITIONS

 

To report on any petitions received by the Council received by the Council and receive statements in support of petitions in accordance with Petitions Scheme and Council Procedure Rule 13.

Minutes:

The Mayor reported receipt of a petition, which had not met the threshold for consideration by Council, and would be referred to the relevant directorate for a response to be prepared:-

 

·             From 235 residents calling on the Council to consider reducing the speed of traffic from the current 40 mph to 30 mph on the stretch of Doncaster Road between Fosters Garage and Thrybergh Country Park.

 

Mr. Taylor addressed the Council as part of the presentation of the petition.

105.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

To invite Councillors to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests or personal interests they may have in any matter which is to be considered at this meeting, to confirm the nature of those interests and whether they intend to leave the meeting for the consideration of the item.

Minutes:

Councillor Albiston declared a personal interest in Minute No. 116 (Council Motion – HS2) and chose to leave the room and not observe the vote.

106.

PUBLIC QUESTIONS

 

To receive questions from members of the public who may wish to ask a general question of the Mayor, Cabinet Member or the Chairman of a Committee in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12.

Minutes:

(1)   Mr. Jackson asked did the Council accept, that any reduction in the amount of green waste composted due to the changes in refuse collection, would be a failure of the Council’s waste policy, and incur unnecessary cost and create a situation of more home composting/garden fires for vulnerable benefits groups.

 

Councillor Hoddinott did not believe that there would be a failure of the Council’s waste policy.  Whilst the Council had no way of knowing how much garden waste was composted in people’s gardens, home composting was the most environmentally friendly way of disposing of garden waste so where it was safe to do so that was to be encouraged.  The Council currently had home compost bins on offer at a reduced cost.

 

Equally there was no evidence from the rest of the country that charging increased the number of garden fires.  The Cabinet Member reminded  everyone that most Councils in the country have already introduced charges for green waste before Rotherham.

 

The Cabinet Member had spoken to Mr. Jackson before about the economics of garden waste. As well as collection costs, the disposal of the garden waste that was collected from residents incurred a cost. The Council paid a contractor to treat the waste, which was the case in all other local Authorities. Any proposal to process garden waste and sell the compost that was produced assumed that there was a profit to be made from the process. This was not the case. The cost of processing the waste would hugely outstrip any potential income that could be made.

 

In a supplementary question Mr. Jackson referred to the Council collecting or making less compost through not have a full collection system.  He, therefore, presented some further information to the Mayor which would explain in full and give a glimpse for the future.

 

The Mayor assured Mr. Jackson he would read the information he had been presented with.

 

Councillor Hoddinott confirmed, however, that 32,000 households have now signed up for the new garden waste service and so would receive all year round garden waste collections. That was nearly one in three of all the properties in the borough.

 

Even if the weight of garden waste coming through the Council’s collections reduced, and it may not do, overall it was expected that the full programme of changes that were being introduced would increase the amount of waste recycled in total, and at the same time save the Council about half a million pounds a year.

 

Officers have offered to meet to discuss this further and this offer still stood to Mr. Jackson.

 

(2)  “T” was unable to attend today’s meeting so the question would be answered in writing.

 

(3)  Mr. D. Smith was unable to attend today’s meeting so the question would be answered in writing.

 

(4)  Mr. Sylvester welcomed the news that Members would be reporting to Council on the work they were doing under the potentially excellent neighbourhood working strategy but asked what procedures would be in place to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 106.

107.

EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

 

Should it be necessary, in the opinion of the Mayor, to consider excluding the press and public from the meeting in relation to any items of urgent business on the grounds that private information is likely to be divulged.

 

There are no such items at the time of preparing this agenda.

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972, that should the Mayor deem if necessary the public be excluded from the meeting on the grounds that any items involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the paragraphs of Part 1 of schedule 12(A) of such Act indicated, as now amended by the Local Government (Access to information) (Variation) Order 2006.

108.

LEADER OF THE COUNCIL'S STATEMENT

 

To receive a statement from the Leader of the Council in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 9.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council wished to say a few words in relation to the story covered initially in The Times newspaper last week, and subsequently in other media.  He spoke for everyone in this chamber whose hearts went out to those involved in the story. Many had met Sammy Woodhouse personally, and held her in the highest of respect. Clearly her experiences in the family court have been traumatic, and that was a cause of real sorrow to all.  It was not possible to comment on the specifics of Sammy’s case. Family Courts were held in private and revealing information about individual cases could result in contempt of court. The privacy of the child in the case was also paramount.

 

The issue centred around part of the family court proceedings and whether parents who did not have parental responsibility must legally be informed about certain legal proceedings in the family courts involving their children.

 

Social workers must listen to and act in the best interests of the child at all times and the Leader was confident that staff have followed the national rules correctly. Social workers have not tried to use the family courts to give convicted violent criminals access to any children, or to arrange custody for perpetrators of child sexual exploitation.

 

As the Local Government Association said in their statement last week: “Councils are absolutely committed to making sure the welfare and wellbeing of the child is paramount in decisions about their care.

 

However while these are complex issues, councils have to operate within the existing legal framework at all times.”

 

Some commentators last week suggested that social workers should choose when to follow the law just as a matter of “common sense”.

 

Had, in Rotherham, during government intervention, a social worker decided that the law did not need to apply, the Council would have been dealing with an entirely different and legitimate set of concerns.

 

The Leader wanted to be clear that elected politicians did not direct individual safeguarding and family court cases. Those who have argued that politicising these processes further were, in his opinion, gravely mistaken.

 

None of this changed the heartache from recent days, but it did not mean that the national rules were right.

 

Rotherham’s priority remained working to safeguard vulnerable children within the borough. Contact with the Ministry of Justice had continued over the last week and the potential issues around current practice directions in England and Wales were being treated with the gravity and urgency that they required.

 

An announcement from the Ministry of Justice was awaited on their next steps and support had been reiterated to participate along with other Council’s in any considerations of the guidance that may be proposed.

 

The Ministry of Justice have confirmed that their  previous statements regarding ‘failings’ were given prior to a review of the case, and they were now considering potential issues with practice directions in England and Wales. They have said there was no suggestion Rotherham Council had operated outside of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.

109.

MINUTES OF THE CABINET pdf icon PDF 102 KB

 

To note the minutes of the Cabinet Meeting held on 22nd October, 2018.

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports, recommendations and minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 22nd October, 2018, be received.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                       Seconder:-  Councillor Watson

110.

RECOMMENDATION FROM CABINET - CONSULTATION ON THE ADOPTION OF SCHEDULE 3 OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 1982 AND A ROTHERHAM SEX ESTABLISHMENT LICENSING POLICY pdf icon PDF 75 KB

 

To consider a recommendation from Cabinet to commence the consultation on the adoption of Schedule 3 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 62 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 19th November, 2018 consideration was given to the report which sought approval to commence public consultation on the adoption of the Schedule, which would give local communities a greater say about the presence of sex establishments, including sex entertainment venues, sex shops and sex cinemas.  This would allow the Council to more effectively regulate such premises through a formal Sex Establishment Licensing Policy.

 

It was also intended to develop a draft policy, including proposals relating to the type of locations and number of sex establishments, and to seek views on that draft policy. Whilst this would potential aid a consultation, as it would give consultees a draft set of locations and a suggested number of sex establishments to consider, it could potentially limit the range of sensitive localities being identified, and limit the range of responses in relation to the number of sex establishments in particular locations and likely to elicit a more comprehensive range of views about sensitive localities and the appropriate number of sex establishments within those localities.

 

Councillor Keenan was in support of the report and deplored an industry where human beings were treated as commodities and booked or sold and this consultation gave everyone the opportunity to express their views.  Children had the right to move around the borough and attend churches and schools whilst not having to encounter such establishments.  Rotherham, despite what it referred to in the media, was a decent wholesome town and this consultation allowed people to make views heard and make the town a safer place.

 

Councillor Steele supported the report and thanked Councillor Hoddinott and the officers for protecting the interests of those who worked in this industry and welcomed the equality impact assessment.

 

Councillor Carter supported the policy and the proposals to regulate the industry, safeguard rights of the workers and ensure rights of all individuals were safeguarded.  He supported the consultation with regards to sex establishments in Rotherham.

 

Councillor Cusworth was also in support of the report.

 

Resolved:-  (1)  That the proposal to adopt Schedule 3 to the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (as amended) be considered, and the commencement of public consultation in relation to the proposed adoption be approved.

 

(2) That, in line with Option 2(b) (Section 4), a proposed draft Sex Establishment Licensing Policy, to run parallel to consultation on the adoption of Schedule 3 above, be approved.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Hoddinott                 Seconder:-  Councillor Beaumont

111.

RECOMMENDATION FROM AUDIT COMMITTEE - APPOINTMENT OF INDEPENDENT MEMBER OF AUDIT COMMITTEE pdf icon PDF 75 KB

 

To consider a recommendation from Audit Committee to re-appoint Mr. B. Coleman as an Independent Member until 31 December 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 55 of the meeting of the Audit Committee held on 27th November, 2018, consideration was given to the term of office of the current Independent Member serving on the Audit Committee which was due to cease on 9th December, 2018.

 

The appointment of an Independent Member of the Audit Committee was a function of the Council and the Audit Committee were recommending that Mr. Bernard Coleman be re-appointed as the Independent Member of the Audit Committee for a twelve-month term of office until 31st December, 2019.

 

Resolved:-  That Mr. Bernard Coleman be re-appointed as the Independent Member of the Audit Committee with a term of office ending on 31st December, 2019.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Wyatt                      Seconder:-  Councillor Walsh

112.

APPOINTMENT OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS - AUDIT COMMITTEE AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE OF SHEFFIELD CITY REGION COMBINED AUTHORITY

 

To agree the appointment of the following as substitute members on the Audit Committee and Scrutiny Committee of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority:-

 

·         Audit Committee                  Councillor Bob Walsh

·         Scrutiny Committee             Councillor Jeanette Mallinder

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the following nominations as substitute members on the Audit Committee and Scrutiny Committee of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority:-

 

·             Audit Committee                  Councillor Bob Walsh

·             Scrutiny Committee             Councillor Jeanette Mallinder

 

Resolved:-  That the appointments as substitute members be approved.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Read                       Seconder:  Councillor Lelliott

113.

OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY UPDATE pdf icon PDF 1 MB

 

To receive an update on the activities of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny bodies in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 14.

Minutes:

Councillor Steele, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, provided an update on the latest work carried out by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board and the Select Commissions - Health, Improving Lives and Improving Places over the last few months.

 

This was the second update for 2018-19 of the work undertaken by Scrutiny during the last few months and good progress was being made with the planned programme and as always additional items have been scrutinised, including multi-agency working in complex abuse investigations and homelessness prevention.

 

An initial session with Voluntary Action Rotherham went well and led to members of Rotherham Parent Carers Forum contributing to the scrutiny of child and adolescent mental health, bringing their perspective as parents and service users.

 

The Overview and Scrutiny Management Board had been busy with budget scrutiny looking at proposals for the next two years as well as close monitoring of the in-year position.

 

The Health Select Commission was monitoring progress on more integrated working in health and social care and on the social, emotional and mental health agenda.

 

Improving Lives Select Commission focused on the next phase of early help and the sufficiency strategy for looked after children, as well as having a positive meeting with the young inspectors

 

Improving Places Select Commission had largely focused on housing and neighbourhood strategies, in addition to finalising the joint review with the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board on modern methods of construction.

 

The Chair wished to pass on his thanks to all scrutiny members for their hard work.

 

Resolved:-  That the report be received and the contents noted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Steele                      Seconder:-  Councillor Cowles

114.

THRIVING NEIGHBOURHOODS - UPDATES FROM WARD COUNCILLORS pdf icon PDF 1 MB

 

To receive updates from ward councillors from Wales, Wath and Wickersley on the activities supporting Thriving Neighbourhoods across the Borough

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 55 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 19th November, 2018, consideration was given to the annual Ward Updates for Wales, Wath and Wickersley as part of the Thriving Neighbourhoods Strategy.

 

The Strategy signalled a new way of working for the Council both for Members and for staff and covered every ward in the borough and would be delivered through ward plans developed with residents to address local issues and opportunities. Ward Members would be supported by the neighbourhood team and would work with officers and residents from a range of organisations to respond to residents.

 

Councillor Read, on behalf of the Wickersley Ward, gave an update on ward priorities, which were based on proposals from an extensive residents’ survey with emphasis on young people.  The Ward was able to join up estate regeneration within Flanderwell Park and with funding from the Housing Revenue Account with Ward Members’ own delegated budget the unsafe play area was developed with young people engaged on the design. 

 

In addition, sessions were also arranged to engage some extra youth work to engage young people in diversion activities at certain times of the year.

 

Speeding came through in the survey much more and certainly work had taken place on Brook Lane and on the road between Bramley and Ravenfield to try and get speed reduced.  Reference was also made to litter and a number of schemes like community clean ups had been undertaken.  Good progress had been made, but this was plenty more challenges within this process which would be taken forward.

 

Councillor Hoddinott confirmed a lot of work had been taken place and reported on other activities such as the work on Markfield Drive with physical improvements to the estate and she thanked Councillor Beck for his support.  The community centre was now back up and running regular coffee morning and craft workshops which sat alongside the surgeries and the annual Christmas singalong which would take place in the next few days.  One of the highlights was the school council elections at Flanderwell School and the environmental projects they were undertaking.

 

The community speed watch on Brook Lane would be established as a regular occurrence with the local police and a further one would take place with Bramley Sunnyside School in the new year.

 

There were still many challenges with anti-social behaviour and criminal damage and a plea was made for residents to work with Ward Members to pass on information and look at solutions.  Solar lighting had been purchased and erected on footpaths to deter criminal damage and anti-social behaviour.  In last few weeks the Police had also been visiting houses to talk to families who were causing a nuisance.

 

Councillor Beck, on behalf of the Wales Ward, confirmed a key priority had been community safety and engaging vulnerable parts of the community. 

 

Key projects had also been undertaken with local schools, raising environmental awareness of litter and making sure people took greater responsibility for keeping areas  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114.

115.

NOTICE OF MOTION - SCHOOL TRANSPORT CHARTER

 

This Council supports:-

 

·         the work of the Rotherham Youth Cabinet and their Counterparts a cross South Yorkshire in developing the South Yorkshire Transport Charter.

 

This Council recognises:-

 

·         that the Charter will improve accessibility and safer transport and travel across South Yorkshire for all young people. The charter sets out the principles for all partners and also the responsibilities for children and young people themselves as transport users.

 

This Council resolves:-

 

·         to thank the young people in Rotherham for their contribution to developing the charter following work undertaken in takeover day with Scrutiny.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Steele                          Seconder:-  Councillor Lelliott

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor Steele and seconded by Councillor Lelliott:-

 

This Council supports:-

 

·       the work of the Rotherham Youth Cabinet and their Counterparts a cross South Yorkshire in developing the South Yorkshire Transport Charter.

 

This Council recognises:-

 

·       that the Charter will improve accessibility and safer transport and travel across South Yorkshire for all young people. The charter sets out the principles for all partners and also the responsibilities for children and young people themselves as transport users.

 

This Council resolves:-

 

·       to thank the young people in Rotherham for their contribution to developing the charter following work undertaken in takeover day with Scrutiny.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion was carried unanimously.

116.

NOTICE OF MOTION - HS2

 

This Council notes:-

 

·         the recent developments and disclosures about the out of control and spiralling costs of HS2

·         the need for improved links throughout the region to Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Hull.

·         the ravaging impact of austerity on social services and the urgent need to increase spending on children and young people, adult social care and education.

 

This Council resolves:-

 

·         to call on the Government to cancel the HS2 project immediately, thus saving Rotherham, South Yorkshire and the Nation from an unmitigated economic and environmental disaster.

·         to call on the Government to allocate the funding released from cancellation for use to boost local infrastructure and social spending

·         to call on local MPs and the Mayor of the Sheffield City Region to support the Council and our communities by lobbying for the cancellation of the HS2 project.

 

Proposer – Councillor R. Elliott                 Seconder – Councillor M. Elliott

 

Minutes:

Proposed by Councillor R. Elliott and seconded by Councillor M. Elliott:-

 

This Council notes:-

 

·       the recent developments and disclosures about the out of control and spiralling costs of HS2

·       the need for improved links throughout the region to Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Hull.

·       the ravaging impact of austerity on social services and the urgent need to increase spending on children and young people, adult social care and education.

 

This Council resolves:-

 

·       to call on the Government to cancel the HS2 project immediately, thus saving Rotherham, South Yorkshire and the Nation from an unmitigated economic and environmental disaster.

·       to call on the Government to allocate the funding released from cancellation for use to boost local infrastructure and social spending

·       to call on local MPs and the Mayor of the Sheffield City Region to support the Council and our communities by lobbying for the cancellation of the HS2 project.

 

Councillor Lelliott proposed and Councillor Watson seconded the following amendment:-

 

To replace

 

That this Council resolves to:-

 

·             call on the Government to cancel the HS2 project immediately, thus saving Rotherham, South Yorkshire and the Nation from an unmitigated economic and environmental disaster.

·             call on the Government to allocate the funding released from cancellation for use to boost local infrastructure and social spending.

·             call on local MPs and the Mayor of the Sheffield City Region to support the Council and our communities by lobbying for the cancellation of the HS2 project.

 

And insert

 

This Council resolves:-

 

·             to call on the Government to abandon the Leeds leg of the HS2 project immediately, thus saving Rotherham and South Yorkshire from the significant adverse environmental impact which will result.

·             to call on the Government to allocate the funding released from the abandonment of the Leeds leg to boost essential improvements to local transport infrastructure and the Northern Powerhouse.

·             to call on local MPs and the Mayor of the Sheffield City Region to support the Council and our communities by lobbying for the abandonment of the Leeds leg of the HS2 project.

·             to continue to raise the concerns of local residents that affected by the amended route of HS2, and the disruption that will be caused during its construction."

 

On being put to the vote the amendment to the motion was put and won and became the substantive motion.

 

On being put to the vote, the substantive motion was carried.

117.

PLANNING BOARD pdf icon PDF 63 KB

 

To receive and consider reports, minutes and recommendations of the Planning Board.

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports, recommendation and minutes of the meetings of the Planning Board be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Sheppard                 Seconder:-  Councillor Williams

118.

LICENSING pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To receive and consider reports, minutes and recommendations of the Licensing Board Sub-Committees.

 

To confirm the minutes as a true record.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:-  That the reports, recommendation and minutes of the meetings of the Licensing Sub-Committee and Licensing Board Sub-Committee be adopted.

 

Mover:-  Councillor Beaumont                Seconder:-  Councillor McNeely

119.

MEMBERS' QUESTIONS TO DESIGNATED SPOKESPERSONS

 

To put questions, if any, to the designated Members on the discharge of functions of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield Combined Authority and South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11(5).

Minutes:

(1)  Councillor Carter asked was he able to know the full final legal bill – including detriment costs – following the outcome of the Judicial Review into the unlawful duty system, Close Proximity Crewing in South Yorkshire?

 

Councillor Atkin confirmed the issue was raised at the meeting of the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority on 26th November. The position was explained to the Members of the Authority that the claims have been settled, in principle, subject to the individual claimants being consulted by their legal advisers and trade union representatives.

 

Only once it had been clarified that the proposed terms had been agreed by the individual claimants the full details of the compensation agreed would be reported to the Fire and Rescue Authority.

 

In terms of the financial implications of the costs of the judgement, which would include the compensation as well as the costs of the revised IRMP, these were being addressed within the Authority’s Medium Term Financial Strategy.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Carter asked would South Yorkshire Fire Authority be increasing the Council Tax precept to the maximum amount to help cover the cost of the detriment payments.

 

Councillor Atkin confirmed there were no plans to increase the cost to cover the detriment payments, but the Fire Authority would be setting the budget under the normal process. 

 

(2)  Councillor Carter asked what were SYFR's reserves balance at the time CPC was rolled out?

 

Councillor Atkin confirmed Lowedges and Aston Park Fire Stations went live with CPC at the end of 2014. At this time, the Authority’s earmarked and general reserves were around £25 million. Reserves could only be spent once and were not a realistic or viable way of paying for long term, revenue spending such as staff pay.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Carter asked would the Fire Authority be dipping into reserves to cover the detriment payments and/or increase the provision of fire cover as determined by this Council in the motion to the Fire Authority earlier this year given there was £25 million in the pot and did he agree there were now funds to enable this to happen.

 

Councillor Atkin reiterated reserves could only be spent once and were not a realistic or viable way of paying for long term, revenue spending such as staff pay.  £17 million had already been committed to essential capital investment. None of these measures would have been necessary had it not been for the austerity and budget cuts enforced by the Coalition Party during 2010-2015.

120.

MEMBERS' QUESTIONS TO CABINET MEMBERS AND CHAIRMEN

 

To put questions, if any, to Cabinet Members and Chairmen (or their representatives) under Council Procedure Rules 11(1) and 11(3).

Minutes:

(1)  Councillor B. Cutts formally withdrew this question.

 

(2)  Councillor Brookes referred to the recent care proceedings case which had provoked a clear and strong moral reaction from all. Victims and their families should be protected from their rapists. The law notwithstanding, did the Deputy Leader agree that the Council was doing all it could to support staff to raise concerns and question practice over potential harm and ethical issues?

 

Councillor Watson confirmed the protection of individuals, whether children or adults, was central to social work practice. Practitioners worked hard to ensure that vulnerabilities and risks were understood and taken into account within the work that they did. It was important that staff worked within national guidance and statutory procedures to ensure that the complex nature of their work was set within national practice and had adherence to practice across the country.

 

By implementing Restorative Practice and Reflective Supervision social workers were encouraged to raise concerns and escalate challenges to their line managers in order to achieve the best outcomes for their children and young people. The Council would work hard to ensure that social workers and team managers have time for reflective discussion and where appropriate escalate concerns about case work to more senior managers. The Council were working hard to continue to promote the culture of learning throughout the service where workers were encouraged to be curious, raise concerns and reflect on what actions were required for each individual situation.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Brookes was pleased to hear about the ongoing journey and the culture of learning and understood the Council had operated in the guidelines and asked if, with more foresight and with more questions being asked, there may have been a different outcome and perhaps a different one going forward for similar cases that may arise.

 

Councillor Watson confirmed it was impossible to talk about individual cases, but he was confident that workers did what was required by law and advised of them.  Going forward any changes that may happen or be suggested Rotherham’s staff should not be in a position where they were unable to follow the law.

 

(3)  Councillor Carter asked how many other rape victims who have had children consequently have had their rapists contacted about parental responsibility?

 

Councillor Watson thought it would be helpful to clarify parental responsibility – this was a legal term outlined in the Children Act 1989. It set out the rights, duties and responsibilities that a parent had in relation to their child. When issuing care proceedings the Council was required to contact all persons with parental responsibility and any person who the Council believed to be a parent without parental responsibility.

 

Family care proceedings were held in private in order to protect children and, therefore, the Council could not provide information on specific situations including the circumstances in which children were conceived.

 

In a supplementary question Councillor Carter asked given that a number had not been provided how many rape victims have been contacted  ...  view the full minutes text for item 120.

121.

URGENT ITEMS

 

Any other public items which the Mayor determines are urgent.

Minutes:

There were none.

 

The Mayor, however, drew attention to the Memory Tree in the Town Hall reception and invited Members of the Council to leave a message and make a donation to the Mayor’s Charity.

 

He formally closed the meeting by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.