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).
The deadline for receipt of questions for this meeting is 10.00 a.m. on Friday 19 January 2018.
(1) Councillor Carter explained Rotherham had got a raw deal from the Fire Authority with the cut to Rotherham’s second overnight pump and asked could the Member guarantee that further cuts to frontline services in Rotherham would not happen under the current IRMP?
Councillor Atkin confirmed there were no further changes to frontline services in Rotherham contained within the 2017-20 IRMP.
In a supplementary question Councillor Carter asked if Councillor Atkin could guarantee under the current IRMP going forward there would be no cuts given the fact that it’s a living document.
Councillor Atkin confirmed under the current IRMP there were no plans to cut services in Rotherham.
(2) Councillor Carter asked wouldCouncillor Atkin accept that the IRMP was a living document and could, therefore, be amended at any point?
Councillor Atkin confirmed he did.
In a supplementary question Councillor Carter pointed out that as the IRMP was a living document, in a different financial position from when the IRMP was introduced, and therefore, services had been cut, why could the second overnight pump in Rotherham not be reintroduced.
Councillor Atkin confirmed the IRMP was a living document and within it there were recommendations. The removal of the second pump in Rotherham was a recommendation of the previous IRMP.
The recommendations within this IRMP indicated Doncaster’s second pump would too be removed and Sheffield’s second pump removed unless funds could be found to save it. Since the IRMP had been approved it had been reconsidered further, arising from the slightly better settlement, resulting in the additional recommendations to save the second pumps at Doncaster and Sheffield. Unfortunately, it was not possible to look back at the second pump in Rotherham.
(3) Councillor Carter referred toBarnsley getting a new fire station, both Doncaster and Sheffield having their second overnight pumps protected and asked why have Rotherham’s representatives allowed Rotherham’s taxpayers to fund the bill for a worse service?
Councillor Atkin referred to the numerous communications that were circulated to Members and explained on last October a new fire station had been opened in Maltby which was a joint venture with the Police. This was to be officially opened by the Mayor on Monday.
Rotherham was somewhat blessed that it had four relatively new fire stations in the borough. He invited Councillor Carter to join him on a visit.
The fire station in Barnsley was in desperate need to be replaced.
(4) Councillor Carter asked didthe Fire Authority representatives believe that Rotherham’s taxpayers were getting value for money with the fire precept increasing year on year?
Councillor Atkin confirmed South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue had suffered severe cuts to its budget, having lost around £12.5 million in Government funding since 2010 – a 29% reduction. Throughout this period, the service had continually committed to providing the best service to local people within the resources available to it.
With considerable uncertainty over local Government finances beyond 2020, planned increases in the fire precept were a way of protecting the existing fire cover arrangements in place for both Rotherham and the whole of South Yorkshire.