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Agenda item

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 reported on the Independent Review which had taken place in early February giving the Council an opportunity to demonstrate its continued improvement and to showcase the progress it was continuing to make since the Commissioners had left.  The review went really well with the view of the Review Team being that excellent progress had and continued to be made by the Council. 

 

The Leader wished to thank everyone for their continued support in turning the Council around.

 

In addition, an update on the progress of projects being led by the City Region highlighted:-

 

·             An independent bus review chaired by Clive Betts, which would examine all aspects of Sheffield City Region’s bus services with recommendations expected to address declining patronage, congestion and air quality.

 

·             The Council had secured £663,000 from the Sheffield City Region’s housing fund as part of a £2.6m “Modern Methods of Construction” pilot.  The scheme would deliver twelve bungalows and ten single person pods on five sites.

 

·             The Council were awaiting the outcome of a bid to “Tranche 1” of the Transforming Cities Fund which, if successful, would fund cycle infrastructure improvements between the Town Centre and Greasbrough totalling £1m.

 

·             The Secretary of State had written to Yorkshire Leaders and Mayor Jarvis in response to the One Yorkshire devolution proposal saying that the proposals did not meet the Government’s criteria for devolution, largely due to the geography being “far greater than any of today’s functional economic city regions”.  However, the Government were prepared to open discussions around a different localist approach to devolution in Yorkshire.

 

The letter did stress the importance of “honouring commitments to the people of Sheffield City Region through the implementation of the Sheffield City Region devolution deal which still remains a priority”.

 

Finally, in partnership with other South Yorkshire Authorities and Sheffield Hallam University, as part of the South Yorkshire Futures work, the Council had secured funding from the South Yorkshire Early Outcomes Bid, securing a proportion of the overall funding pot of £6.5m. 

 

The ambition of the fund was to increase the number of local authorities starting a transformation journey to improve, and to build knowledge of how to improve, the collective operation of local services in securing good early language outcomes for children.

 

Councillor Carter asked about the bus consultation and the review over the next twelve months and sought the Leader’s stance on having London-style bus contract for South Yorkshire that could lead to an ever more unified and joined up service.

 

The Leader believed legally a Transport for London type regulation could not be introduced.  As part of the bus deregulation there was only one part of the country that was exempted.

 

As part of the devolution deal the Leader would continue to support proposals around bus franchising, but nowhere in the country had this yet been taken that forward.  This did warrant some closer attention.  It was not certain whether this would necessarily resolve some of the challenges being faced, but certainly some form of better co-ordination and better decision making to ensure that services covered the places where people needed them would be a welcome outcome.