Agenda and draft minutes

Council Meeting - Wednesday 17 July 2024 2.00 p.m.

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

Contact: Governance Unit  The webcast can be viewed at

No. Item



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


The Mayor informed Members of the passing of former Rother Vale ward councillor John Swift and passed on the Council’s deepest condolences to his family. The Mayor also offered her congratulations to the following people who were recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours List:

·       OBE – Rotherham Council’s Chief Executive, Sharon Kemp for services to business and to the community in Rotherham and South Yorkshire.  The honour recognised 30 years of public service.

·       OBE – Sarah McLeod, Chief Executive of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, for services to heritage.

·       MBE - Craig Simon Batham, Special Chief Officer, South Yorkshire Police (Dinnington) for services to policing.

·       MBE - Suzanne Jackson, Domestic Abuse Risk Assessor Manager and Force Lead for Honour Based Abuse, South Yorkshire Police (Rotherham), for services to the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls.

·       MBE - Elizabeth Anne Kenny. English Hub Lead, Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant Primary School for services to Education.

·       BEM - Claire Frances Ashby, for services to the community in Rotherham.

·       BEM - Helen Mortimer, Volunteer, Rotherham Samaritans. For services to People in Emotional Distress.

All were given a round of applause.

The Mayor had been honoured to have been involved in Rotherham’s annual Armed Forces Day on 22 June and stated that it was a pleasure to see so many Members in the Chamber for the meeting that were also able to attend to give thanks to the veterans and active service men and women.

The full list of engagements was appended to the Mayor’s Letter.



Apologies for Absence

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


Apologies were received from Councillors Alam, Beck, Lelliott, Pitchley and Yasseen.




Minutes of the previous Council Meetings pdf icon PDF 171 KB

To receive the record of proceedings of the meetings of the Council held on 17 and 22 May 2024 and to approve the accuracy thereof.

Additional documents:


Resolved: That the minutes of the meetings of Council held on 17 May and 22 May 2024 be approved for signature by the Mayor.


Mover: Councillor Read                          Seconder: Councillor Sheppard



Petitions pdf icon PDF 260 KB

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.


Consideration was given to the report which confirmed the receipt of one petition that had been received since the last Council meeting. The petition was titled “Removal of Mayor’s Picture” and received 27 valid signatures. In accordance with the Council’s Petition Scheme, the lead petitioner, Councillor Ball, was entitled to address the Council for a period of five minutes.




1.    That the petition be received, and the content noted.


2.    That the lead petitioner receive a written response from the Assistant Chief Executive, in accordance with the Council’s Petition Scheme, by 31 July 2024.



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.


There were no declarations of interest to report.


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.


The following public questions had been received:


1.    From Mr Smith:


Is RMBC planning and enforcement now so unfit for purpose it needs to be put back into special measures?


Mr Smith was unable to attend the meeting and a written response would be provided.


2.    From T:


RMBC have admitted to spending more than £60,000 on legal costs in Information Rights Tribunals.


Will the Leader tell the truth about when he was first informed about the Investigation into Swinton Lock Activity Centre?


T was unable to attend the meeting and a written response would be provided.


3.    From Mrs Bader:


At the OSMB meeting on June 5th, the Chair of OSMB promised to discuss the recommendations from the community petition titled "Rotherham’s Commitment to a Permanent Ceasefire and to Promote Peace in Palestine" on July 24th. We seek assurance that this discussion will indeed take place, as it has already been delayed from the originally promised date?


Councillor Steele confirmed that discussion of the petition was on the published agenda for the OSMB meeting on Wednesday 24 July. The lead petitioner had been notified. Councillor Steele advised that any questions that members of the public wanted to ask on the petition should be submitted to governance before the meeting.


In her supplementary question, Mrs Bader stated that she and others had been engaging with the local council since October 2023 with minimal results despite maximum effort. She said that the Council operated inefficiently and made it practically impossible to engage with the processes. Mrs Bader asked if steps would be taken to remedy this issue?


Councillor Steele explained that if discussions regarding the processes and standing orders were required, that would be for the Leader to act upon as part of a working group. He also explained that the petition had been pulled from the agenda of the last OSMB meeting due to the calling of the General Election and the start for purdah. There was no other reason. Councillor Steele reassured Mrs Bader that the petition would be discussed at the meeting on 24 July 2024.


4.    Ms Yusufi:


During the community OSMB meetings discussing the Palestine Petition requests, we were informed that the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council declined to raise the Palestinian flag, citing election purdah. Rotherham residents have been requesting the Council to raise the flag since October of last year. What was your reason since October, before the elections, not to?


The Leader stated that he did not know who had informed Ms Yusufi that a decision had been taken not to fly the flag due to purdah as that was incorrect. The request had been made as part of the petition and the petition was working its way through the Council’s democratic processes. A decision would be taken by Members of OSMB on 24 July about whether they want to recommend that the flag is flow. The recommendations will then be sent to Cabinet Members for consideration. Until then, no  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.


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 were no matters requiring the exclusion of the press or public.


Leader of the Council's Statement

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


The Leader welcomed everyone back to the Council Chamber and referenced the General Election that had taken place since the last meeting. He stated that the public had spoken and that it was time for change in the country. Change was needed in Rotherham as much as anywhere else. The Leader hoped that all Members would send their good wishes and good luck to the new Prime Minister and his team.


The Council would continue to make their case to the new government on behalf of the people of Rotherham. That started in the week prior to the Council meeting with the work that Cllr Allen had been leading on, alongside the other 19 biggest social landlords in the country, making the case for more coordinated support for council housing and social housing more widely. This would ensure that more homes were not just built – although the country needed more homes – but ensured that they were affordable and accessible to all, as they should be in a civilised society.

The Leader congratulated Jake Richards on his election as the new MP for Rother Valley and confirmed that the new MP had already been in direct contact with him on behalf of his residents. Members in Dinnington should feel assured that Jake Richards MP had been making the case on behalf of Dinnington Regeneration Scheme.


The Leader also congratulated John Healey MP on his new role as Defence Secretary. In what was a more uncertain time for the world than had been known for some years there was no one the Leader could think of with a better temperament, intellect and work ethic to be representing the nation in the Oval Office last week and on the global stage over the months and years to come.


The Leader highlighted the programme of summer events that was now well underway:


·                Rotherham Pride on 8 June which returned for the first time in 5 years

·                National Civic Day which was celebrated at Clifton Park Museum on 15 June

·                Armed Forces Day on 22 June where Rotherham came together to say thank you to the Armed Forces community

·                The Reytons concert in Clifton Park which 20,000 people attended.


The Leader stated that he had often said that for too long Rotherham and the  community had hidden its light under a bushel, but the Reytons gig prompted everyone once again that they must not do that. Rotherham was a place that mattered, and a community that mattered. There was a question later on the agenda that the Leader stated seemed dismissive about the Children’s Capital of Culture and hoped he was misunderstanding it. This was because Rotherham’s children deserve that it stand a bit taller, a bit more assertive on their behalf, so that it gives them the status and the opportunities that they deserve, not running itself down.

On the subject of successes, the Leader acknowledged that the Chief Executive, Sharon Kemp, had been awarded the OBE in the Kings Birthday honours  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36.


Minutes of the Cabinet Meeting pdf icon PDF 610 KB

To note receipt of the minutes of the Cabinet Meeting held on 10 June, 2024.


Councillor Ball asked the following questions on the Cabinet Minutes:


1.    In relation to burials and cemeteries, Maltby Cemetery and many others were quickly running out of room. Could they be given the same level of interest as those mentioned in the Cabinet minutes?

The Leader confirmed that Maltby Cemetery would certainly be part of the same exercised referenced in the Cabinet Minutes. The work was being undertaken and there was no distinction between the various sites so ensure there was sufficient supply. The Leader stated that Councillor Ball would be kept informed of the progress.

2.    Was the Council hitting its own targets on nature recovery as it seemed as though it was struggling to hit the targets for planting trees, especially if the Council would be requiring green belt space to build on at some stage?

The Leader explained that he was not aware of any problems in that regard but would provide a response in writing if there was something that he had missed.




That the reports, recommendations and minutes of the meetings of Cabinet held on 10 June 2024 be received.


Mover: Councillor Read                          Seconder: Councillor Sheppard


Notice of Motion - Grass Cutting and Green Spaces pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To be moved by Councillor Baum Dixon and seconded by Councillor Z Collingham.


It was moved by Councillor Baum-Dixon and seconded by Councillor Z Collingham:




The cutting of grass and maintenance of verges and public open spaces is a fundamental service provided by the Council.


Neglected and overgrown verges are a risk to public safety, obstructing motorists, limiting access for the disabled and reducing the scope for active travel.


Aside from designated parks, our community green spaces and common lands are vital public amenities. They provide areas for communities to walk dogs, to gather for picnics and games and to participate in informal sport and exercise, helping reduce social exclusion and tackle loneliness. Those attached to Local Authority and sheltered housing enhance the wellbeing of our most vulnerable residents, while well-kept cemeteries and memorials are vital in treating lost loved ones with dignity.


Effective maintenance of these areas is a public good, inspiring residents to take pride in their communities and improving the desirability of Rotherham, encouraging tourists to visit and businesses to invest. By contrast, poor maintenance risks public safety, takes away public amenities and encourages fly-tipping. It is hugely corrosive to the reputation of the Council and the good name of Rotherham Borough.


The Council is concerned that:


In 2024, there have been widespread and systemic issues in the delivery of this service, leading to complaints, concerns and frustrations that need to be taken seriously.


Certain areas have been deliberately disregarded from the outset and given over to rewilding projects. Whilst the benefits of rewilding are appreciated, the lack of local consultation or communication undermines public support and gives an appearance of an excuse for neglect.


Areas that remain to be cut are too often not being. Village focal points are left to deteriorate and public spaces become unusable. When maintenance is eventually carried out, there are instances where it is incomplete or inadequate, with grass uncut around important signage and cuttings left behind, killing the grass beneath.


These are failures of the most basic kind that should not be accepted as satisfactory.


There has been no proactive communication with elected members or Neighbourhoods about the issues in the service, or any actions being taken to address them. This is poor partnership working and undermines residents’ confidence in the Council’s ability to plan and deliver the services they pay for.


We want to live in a Borough we are proud to call home and recognise the importance of maintaining our public spaces.


Therefore, this Council resolves to:


1.    Acknowledge that the current situation is unacceptable.


2.    Request that all Cabinet Members cascade the importance of proactive communication of service wide issues to Neighbourhoods and elected members.


3.    Request that the Council’s Cabinet consider additional capital funding if required to resolve issues identified in the service.


4.    Request that the Improving Places Select Commission urgently considers:


a)    A comprehensive public consultation on the maintenance of public areas across the borough.

b)    A protocol for public consultation before rewilding areas.

c)    A review of the effectiveness of zonal working and maintenance.

d)  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.


Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 412 KB

To note receipt of the minutes of the Audit Committee.


Resolved: That Council note receipt of the minutes of the Audit Committee.


Mover: Councillor Marshall                     Seconder: Councillor Baggaley



Health and Wellbeing Board pdf icon PDF 916 KB

To note receipt of the minutes of the Health and Wellbeing Board.


Councillor Ball asked the following questions on the Health and Wellbeing Board minutes:


1.    The population of Rotherham was over 270,000 and in the last week, there were 7,480 people on the waiting list to be housed and in the wards the population was increasing steadily. Did the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health think that the targets for houses might not be hit if imposed and if so, was the Cabinet Member concerned about building on the green belt land to achieve these targets?

Councillor Baker-Rogers confirmed a written response would be provided.

2.    With the Council not hitting its own targets on reducing its emissions as of last year, despite revising its targets to make them more favourable, did the Cabinet Member agree that the Council was contributing to the poor mortality rates? Councillor Ball referenced a section of the minutes that stated: “Given that much of the impact that air pollution had on mortality was linked with cardiovascular deaths, it was considered that it made a contribution to some of, perhaps even all, cardiovascular deaths.” He stated that the Council was therefore failing to protect its residents and contributing to a lower mortality rate. He asked when the Council would get a grip of the emissions it produces in order to help residents.

Councillor Baker-Rogers confirmed a written response would be provided.


Resolved: That Council note receipt of the minutes of the Health and Wellbeing Board.


Mover: Councillor Baker-Rogers             Seconder: Councillor Cusworth



Licensing Board Sub-Committee and Licensing Sub-Committee pdf icon PDF 155 KB

To note receipt of the minutes of the Licensing Board Sub-Committee and Licensing Sub-Committee.

Additional documents:


Resolved: That Council note receipt of the Minutes of the Licensing Board Sub-Committee and Licensing Sub-Committee.


Mover: Councillor Hughes                      Seconder: Councillor Beresford



Planning Board pdf icon PDF 154 KB

To note receipt of the minutes of the Planning Board.

Additional documents:


Resolved: That Council note receipt of the Minutes of the Planning Board.


Mover: Councillor Williams                     Seconder: Councillor Mault



Standards and Ethics Committee pdf icon PDF 115 KB

To note receipt of the minutes of the Standards and Ethics Committee.



Resolved: That Council note receipt of the Minutes of the Standards and Ethics Committee.


Mover: Councillor Monk                          Seconder: Councillor Clarke



Staffing Committee pdf icon PDF 96 KB

To note receipt of the minutes of the Staffing Committee.


Resolved: That Council note receipt of the Minutes of Staffing Committee.


Mover: Councillor Read                          Seconder: Councillor Sheppard



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).


6 questions had been submitted:


1.    Councillor A Carter for the designated spokesperson on South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority: Will SYMCA consider increasing the text size on bus stop timetables so that it can be more easily be read by residents with visual impairments, rather than leaving blank space on the timetable sheets?


The Leader explained that it was not always possible to increase the size of text on bus stop timetables. However, if passengers had issues with a particular stop, large format PDF document specific to their needs could be provided, and as these were produced individually, the Traveline Team could ensure that it applied to their nearest stop or the stops they used most frequently. If any residents would like this service, they should get in touch with the Traveline Team. SYMCA were also looking at new technologies which would assist passengers and were in the process of trialling electronic timetables at stops which also had an audio functionality which read out the timetable to visually impaired passengers, one of which had already been installed at the stop at Ecclesall Road/Carrington Road in Sheffield. SYMCA would welcome any feedback available on its use.


Councillor A Carter stated that that was good news. The question had arisen because as the number of bus routes shortened, the timetables shortened and were now mainly blank space. It was a simple solution to increase the size of the information available to fill the blank space. Would the Leader feed this back?

The Leader stated that he was happy to provide the feedback.


2.    Councillor Ball for the designated spokesperson on South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority:  Can the member please provide data from the last 5 years on what the budget forecast was compared to the actual financial expenditure?

Councillor Knight explained that in 19/20 SYFR had to use £3.139M of their reserves, in 20/21 £1.058M and 21/22 £0.826M used.  In 22/23 and 23/24 SYFR had contributed to their reserves.

In his supplementary, Councillor Ball stated that SYFR’s forecast was wildly out, and the Advertiser had picked up that £1.5m was being put back into reserves. With Rotherham residents being told there was no money to provide a night-time cover and two appliances in Rotherham whilst year on year, SYFR bank more millions, why was Rotherham left with a diminished cover, despite having the money to facilitate a night shift?

Councillor Knight confirmed that a written response would be provided.

3.    Councillor Ball for the designated spokesperson on South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority: Can you inform me how much SYFR has in reserves?

Councillor Knight confirmed that the position in relation to reserves was more complicated than simply a headline number. As Councillor Ball was aware, reserves were earmarked for specific purposes and could not be called on for day-to-day use. The Authority anticipated useable earmarked reserves reducing to just £5.7m during the planning period 2024-27.


South Yorkshire’s reserve levels were just below average, when benchmarked (in March 2022) against reserves  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45.


Members' Questions to Cabinet Members and Chairpersons

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


1.    Councillor Thorp: Can you inform me how much money RMBC has received in the form of CIL over the past 3 years after you have allocated the % of funds due to either the Parish or Ward?

Councillor Taylor explained that, in the last 3 financial years (April 2021 to the end of March 2024) the Council have collected just over £6.25 million (£6,252,679) and that would be allocated as per the plan that would be presented to Cabinet on 29 July 2024.

In his supplementary, Councillor Thorp asked for specific details on where the money was being spent.

Councillor Taylor agreed to provide a written response. 

2.    Councillor Thorp: There are several sources of funding that is at the disposal of the South Yorkshire Mayoral combined authority, so which fund did you get the money from to build the cycles lanes?

Councillor Taylor explained that the financing for the recently completed projects on Broom Road and Westgate had come from a combination of external funding sources, with most of the funding from the Department for Transport’s Active Travel Fund and the then government’s Transforming Cities Fund.

In his supplementary question, Councillor Thorp explained that, under regional sustainable transport, it stated that the Council should put 15% of the funds in. He asked if the Council had done this?

Councillor Taylor informed Councillor Thorp that he did not have that detail and suggested that if Members wanted that level of detail, they ask for it in their initial question. This would enable the Cabinet Member to respond in the meeting rather than by a delay written response.


3.    Councillor A Carter: At the last meeting you told us that the parking scheme outside the shops on Brinsworth Lane was due to be completed in June. This has not happened. Can you please explain why this has been further delayed?

Councillor Sheppard offered his apologies regarding the delay on this scheme. It had been an incredibly complex one and there were a number of factors. However the delay mainly related to a legal requirement for a Deed of Dedication, which was now resolved. Resolving this legal issue had been essential to enable the Council to create formal parking spaces on private land in front of the shopping parade, which would help discourage vehicles from parking on pedestrian footways.

Councillor Sheppard confirmed that the Council remained committed to completing this project as soon as possible and appreciated his patience and understanding. The scheme was about to go out to tender and a programme would be provided once the tender process and the legal issues were complete. Councillor Sheppard committed to keeping the ward members informed of the process.

In his supplementary, Councillor A Carter stated that the response sounded very optimistic, and he hoped that the optimism was not misplaced like it was at the last meeting. It was Councillor A Carter’s understanding that the Deed of Dedication and going out to tender had already been completed but that had not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 46.


Urgent Items

Any other public items which the Mayor determines are urgent.


There were no urgent items to consider.