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.
(1) Mr. Eyre referred to Facebook where he saw the post "Labour commits additional £10 million to fixing Rotherham's roads". Acting due to the upcoming election aside was there a list of priority roads which were in need of fixing and if so who chose the list, residents, councillors or officers or others?
Councillor Sims, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety, confirmed that as part of the Community Road Shows held last year residents gave feedback on the issues that were important to them, as part of that feedback the state of the roads was an area highlighted (Page 3 Views from Rotherham). The £10m would be allocated according to criteria in the published Highway Asset Management Plan. Any work carried out was based on condition data, which was collected by specialist surveying machinery and by Highways Inspectors carrying out walked visual surveys to a particular standard. This data together with information reported by Councillors and members of the public was brought together into a works selection matrix, which could be found in Section 11 of the Highways Asset Management Plan. The Highway Asset Management Plan was on the website at -
In a supplementary question Mr. Eyre confirmed residents of Holderness and Rother Vale had contacted him regarding the condition of the roads in those areas and asked if the Council would look at out of centre roads such as on the B6067 Toad Lane.
Councillor Sims, Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety, asked Mr. Eyre to report any roads of concern.
(2) Mrs. S. Hudson referred to some areas having buses which run every ten minutes while other areas, like Wentworth Parks in Swinton, have no service at all. Some residents report feeling isolated and abandoned by a lack of access to public transport. With an increasingly aging population aren't regular bus services essential in ALL areas?
Councillor Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, thanked Mrs. Hudson for her question and agreed that high quality public transport was essential to communities across Rotherham. Bus services were de-regulated in the area and decisions about the routes and the frequency of buses were predominantly commercial decisions that were made by local bus companies.
A petition had been received by the Council and discussed with the Transport Executive.
Where bus companies do not operate a commercial service, a supported bus network could be introduced by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive where defined criteria have been met. The current criteria aimed to provide access to a 30 minute daytime service within either 400m (or 5 min walk) or within 600m (7 or 8 min walk) to a frequent bus service of 10 to 15 minute frequency. This criteria extended to 800m on Sundays and evenings. Much of Wentworth Parks estate was within 600m of an available bus route and, therefore, was unlikely to benefit from a publically funded service.
The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive were unable to support the petition, but the issue would continue to be raised on an ongoing basis.
In a supplementary question Mrs. Hudson asked if Leaders and Councillors would support the Swinton Councillors in their quest to ask companies to consider communities as well as profit, given that a lot of people were disabled and were unable to walk to a bus stop that was located a long way from where they lived.
Councillor Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, confirmed her willingness to provide support and would continue to raise this with the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive regarding the petition and the access of local bus services for people.
(3) Mr. Cutts asked how many domestic properties were there with a “Rate Reduction” or “Council Tax Deduction” due to religious circumstances within the household, in Rotherham.
Councillor Alam, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Budgeting, confirmed there was one domestic property in the borough which received a 50% Council Tax discount as all occupants in the property were part of the same Mormon religious community and met the specific criteria defined in the Local Government Finance Act 1992.
In a supplementary question Mr. Cutts confirmed he had overheard two members of staff referring to this property and asked if he may have a further meeting with either Councillor Alam or Councillor Watson.