To put questions, if any, to Cabinet Members and Chairmen (or their representatives) under Council Procedure Rules 11(1) and 11(3).
(1) Councillor Cowles pointed out that prior to the election, residents of Whiston experienced flooded houses, evacuation and months of waiting before their properties would be dry and useable for the second time since 2000. He asked what would the Cabinet Member do to ensure adequate funding was made available to build the flood defences required in the Ward to protect dwellings, as recommended by previous engineering reports?
Councillor Hoddinott explained that this was devastating and the impact would go on for months. A number of areas around the Borough did flood and the Council wanted to put a number of schemes in place to protect those areas and to improve flood defence works.
Councillor Sheppard and the Cabinet Member, representatives on the Flooding Committee, both continued to make the case for areas that flooded.
Both the Leader and Mayor of Sheffield City Region were lobbying for Government funding and Rotherham needed £51m to undertake the work required to protect flood-hit areas. The work required to protect properties near to Whiston Brook was included in this estimate.
In a supplementary question Councillor Cowles referred to a number of issues with flooding, not just surface water, which affected Whiston. He was aware maintenance of Whiston Brook was previously managed by the Local Authority, but had since transferred to the Environment Agency. Despite requests to them he had not received any maintenance records. He had contacted the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water and they denied any spillage from the pumping station into Whiston Brook until they were shown videos that this was the case.
Whiston Brook was now in an appalling state with one of the culverts blocked under the road and rubble left causing blockages in the flow of the water. He, therefore, asked for assurance that the Council would standby the residents of Whiston to get the defences in place so that the flooding did not happen again.
Councillor Hoddinott confirmed Whiston Brook was now managed by the Environment Agency and was not aware that Councillor Cowles’ requests for information were not being adhered to. She offered to help in this regard.
Yorkshire Water also had a role to play and she and Councillor Sheppard were asking for the Environment Agency to list assets such as pumping stations etc. across the Borough so it was certain what state they were in and what investment was needed, who managed them and who was responsible.
The Council would continue to press for action. Rotherham was not alone on what had been experienced as part of the flooding. Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield were to take a River Don and Dearne approach working in partnership across South Yorkshire to pick up specifics and actions from the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water, who were slow at coming forward in dealing with residents’ concerns.
(2) This question was withdrawn.
(3) Councillor Simpson asked would the Leader of the Council join him in thanking those taxi drivers who carried on working as long as they could during the recent floods.
The Leader confirmed he was happy to be associated with the Elected Member for Brinsworth and Catcliffe Ward in thanking any taxi driver and other services who supported residents and visitors during the severe weather on the 7th and 8th November, 2019.
(4) Councillor Simpson asked given the recent news about Scottish Water and possible connection to Dementia would the Cabinet Member join him in asking that that all Councillors let residents know about the very safe levels of Aluminium in Yorkshire water.
Councillor Roche confirmed Yorkshire Water regularly took samples for Aluminium and there have been no failures of the standard in the general Rotherham area since prior to 2005. In fact, Yorkshire Water typically expected to see concentrations so low as to be at the limit of detection.
Rotherham residents should be assured that the levels of Aluminium in their drinking water kept at levels well below standards for acceptability.
(5) Councillor Sansome asked could the Cabinet Member give him and his Ward residents an assurance that an impact assessment had been completed for the Swinton development that protected the local infrastructure e.g. GPs, schools, roads etc.
Councillor Lelliott confirmed the impact of the development on local infrastructure would be picked up through the planning process, before any formal permission to develop the site was given. Any planning application submitted would be subject to public consultation and be available to view on the Council’s website.
The company had agreed to work with the Council on public engagement and to engage with local Ward Members as the scheme progressed.
In a supplementary question Councillor Sansome expressed the importance and speed of the consultation in this once in a lifetime opportunity for Swinton and the need to listen to residents was massive.
Councillor Lelliott appreciated the concerns, but pointed out that due planning process must take place and that having already consulted with local residents previously, relevant officers, in conjunction with Ward Members, would consult again.
(6) Councillor Sansome explained the proposed Swinton development, whilst very welcome could have an economic impact on footfall whilst the development was ongoing so asked could the Cabinet Member give a commitment that she would liaise with business owners to understand any footfall issues.
Councillor Lelliott confirmed if was proposed to hold regular meetings with local retailers and this, whilst including herself and Council Officers as appropriate, would be led by the developer. These would occur at key points in the development, including at the design and planning stage.
Council Officers via Asset Management have already started discussions with local retailers.
The Council was aware that there would be an amount of disruption during the work, but it would seek to work with the developer to ensure that any disruption to retailers was minimised. It is the Council’s ambition for this project to ensure that existing and new retailers could grow and thrive in Swinton with improved facilities was an excellent opportunity.
In a supplementary question Councillor Sansome asked could Councillor Lelliott please ask the developers make some regular commitment to meet.
Councillor Lelliott confirmed she would ask the developers this question.
(7) Councillor Sansomeexplained that in 2015 this Council under a Labour administration agreed a procurement policy that committed to using Rotherham Steel. Forge Island development would see Rotherham steel used so did the Leader agree with him that it was time for Boris to follow a Labour model not his populist free market rhetoric.
The Leader confirmed Muse had indicated they would use Rotherham steel where possible within the development. This followed on from Gulliver’s where they used the local supply chains to get maximum benefit. Indeed, the Council’s own Social Value Policy was committed to getting maximum local benefit.
In a supplementary question Councillor Sansome asked if the Leader would join with him congratulating Mr. Chris Williams on the Aldwarke site for no compulsory redundancies and the retention of agency personnel in the steel making process in light of reported job losses in the steel industry.
The Leader confirmed this was indeed welcome news as Members were concerned about the potential economic impact on the site and noted the comments from the management. The Council would continue to offer its support to the steel production and local employment.
(8) Councillor Wyatt referred to the Swinton Redevelopment and asked would a dedicated risk register be sorted for the project and if so, who would monitor this and when would it be compiled with.
Councillor Lelliott confirmed the Swinton Town Centre Regeneration Project would be taken forward by a private company following the procurement exercise. They would produce their own project risk registers and comply with CDM regulations to Manage Health and Safety Risks.
The Council would have a project plan with any associated risks identified for aspects relating to the library, community centre, residents and retailers.
In a supplementary question Councillor Wyatt was aware the building work would follow risk process, but the risk register was about the overall delivery of the project and local Ward Members might help to mitigate this locally. He asked, therefore, if Ward Members could have sight of this to assist locally.
Councillor Lelliott reiterated the project was being delivered by a private developer who would have own risk register. Officers would have a project plan and have all the risks identified within it. She was happy to work with Ward Members to go through this register.
(9) Councillor Wyatt asked, in view of the Council’s agreed Social Value Policy could the Cabinet Member give the Chamber the assurance that officers would work with the developer for the Swinton redevelopment to maximise local jobs, “Buy Local”, British Steel used, monitor apprenticeship benefit, considerate contractors scheme, high environmental standards and design out crime methodology.
Councillor Lelliott confirmed that in line with the developer’s original submission they would commit to buying locally where possible for construction materials and as a Yorkshire based company most of the supply chain was already from within the county.
As part of the bid the consortium agreed to take on six new apprentices/construction trainees.
Designing out crime was applicable to the new build homes and the Council would consult with the relevant local secure by design officer, however, on the existing buildings the aim would be to minimise crime through new interventions, where possible.
In a supplementary question Councillor Wyatt asked would the Cabinet Member agree with him that the demonstration why the benefits such as this ought to be publicised and celebrated as the project moved forward.
Councillor Lelliott was in full agreement.
(10) Councillor Wyatt explained the first public event was very well attended and many of the issues raised have been addressed. The commitment from the preferred bidder to organise further sessions was welcome in addition to the full planning requirements, but asked could he be assured that this process got underway as soon as possible?
Councillor Lelliott explained she was happy to take this back, but the next stage of the project would be a planning application involving consultation as part of this process.
The company had agreed to work with the Council on public engagement and to engage with Local Ward Members as the scheme progressed. No dates or times have been agreed yet.
(11) Councillor Carter asked did the Council have any imminent plans to introduce new litter bins and dog waste bins throughout the Borough.
Over the last twelve months the Council had invested £56,000 to replace damaged litter bins across the Borough and invested in twelve solar powered litter bins in the Town Centre. In addition, in consultation with Ward Councillors, the Council had installed three new litter bins in each Council Ward.
Consideration was being given to further steps, as part of the budget for the coming year, which will be reported to Council in February.
(12) Councillor Carter asked what were the Council’s priorities regarding the bus network in the Borough and how did the Council prioritise the key destinations that the buses needed to cover?
Councillor Lelliott explained the routing and operation of bus services was determined by private, commercial bus operators.
The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive have informed the Council that, in South Yorkshire, 87% of services were operated on this commercial basis.
Where there were gaps in the commercial network, services may be tendered by the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.
To prioritise funding SYPTE considered: the distance to the nearest commercial/or tendered service and the cost of each journey made on each supported service.
In order to try to ensure local priorities were met, the Council, through the Rotherham Bus Partnership, sought to influence and collaborate with bus operators and the SYPTE in relation to services provided.
Ultimately the decisions on routing rested with bus operators on commercially operated services and with SYPTE in the case of tendered services.
In a supplementary question Councillor Carter asked what this administration’s intentions and priorities were in terms of key destinations and whether it wanted to prioritise the bus network that served Rotherham town centre or key hubs that residents wanted to get to like Meadowhall.
Councillor Lelliott explained SYPTE had pointed out that bus services were coming under increasing pressure, as the commercial bus service was much reduced (20% reduction). This had increased the demand for tendered services at a time when the budget to support such services was reducing and the cost of providing the services was increasing.
However, if Councillor Carter had somewhere particular in mind that could do with a tendered service happy the Cabinet Member was happy to take this up with SYPTE.
(13) Councillor Carter explained that two years ago the Cabinet Member told him that requiring third party sub-contractors to pay the Joseph Rowntree living wage to their staff was too expensive and could not be done legally. He asked what had changed.
Councillor Alam explained there had been no change in the law. The approach being taken by the Council was to encourage its supply base to pay the living wage rather than mandate it through the procurement process and that this was considered on a case by case basis.
The Council’s Social Value Policy also encouraged local businesses to invest locally.
In a supplementary question Councillor Carter asked what had changed the Council’s mind from him first raising this two years ago supporting sub-contractors paying the Living Wage.
Councillor Alam explained the Council could not force a third party legally, but could encourage and was working with local business to invest locally and to improve their ethical policy on recruitment.
(14) Councillor Carter asked would the Council support proposals that would involve a Park and Ride service that connected Sheffield city centre with somewhere around the Junction 33 area of the parkway?
Councillor Lelliott confirmed that at this moment there was no proposal for a park and ride service in the area mentioned. However, if Sheffield Council wished to speak to the Council regarding this, the Council would be happy to engage.
In a supplementary question Councillor Carter asked whether the administration would want to progress this or look into it further if it was an option.
Councillor Lelliott confirmed there were no plans at the minute, but was more than happy to speak to Sheffield if they wished to engage.
(15) Councillor Carter referred two years ago to an extension to the car park at the AMRC being built after Ward Councillors raised the issue of reckless parking with them and limited double yellow lines were introduced. Since then, student numbers have massively increased so asked would the Council lobby for increased parking provision and ensure that parking attendants patrolled the area.
Councillor Lelliott explained the Council recognised that there was pressure on car parking at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, including the AMRC. Officers have already met with the landowner and the University to raise the matter and would continue to press both parties to identify measures to ease the problem. This traffic had an impact locally, but also contributed to the broader problem of congestion in the area and on the Parkway. Therefore, as well as considering the extent of local restrictions and enforcement, the Council have a broader transport strategy to provide enough capacity on the network but also to manage car demand. That was why the Council was proposing a major long term investment to widen the Parkway, but also lobbying for a new Train Station at Waverley, that would provide a genuine step change in public transport at the site.
With regard to enforcement, the Transportation and Highways team was currently working on proposals to implement parking restrictions on a number of roads in the Waverley Area. This required a formal process to be followed, including statutory and public consultation, which could take up to six months to implement subject to no objection being received.
In relation to parking attendants the Cabinet Member was pleased to report that she had arranged for additional parking patrols to be carried out in the Waverley area.
(16) Councillor Carter asked what progress had been made by the Council on its so-called “Children’s Capital of Culture” project since it was revealed in the summer.
Councillor Allen confirmed the Children’s Capital of Culture Project was not a Council project, but an initiative which was led by the Rotherham Cultural Partnership Board, a multi-agency group consisting of mainly voluntary and private sector partners, such as Magna, Places Leisure, Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance and Yorkshire Sport to name but a few.
During this time the Council had supported the creation of a steering group which was led by Julie Dalton, CEO of Gulliver’s, which included Voluntary Action Rotherham, Grimm and Co. and involved young people in an advisory capacity.
This group has appointed cultural engagement agency 64 Million Artists (funded by the WE Great Place programme) to undertake a year of research and development.
This first six months had been about establishing the foundation on which to build and ensuring that due diligence was undertaken ahead of any major announcements.
To date, activity included:-
· Testing new activities, such as the Young Roots project at Clifton Park Museum and the Children and Families Zone at Rotherham Show (independent evaluation tells us this was very popular with Rotherham Show visitors).
· Consultation with teachers, youth and social care experts through forums such as Rotherham Young People’s Partnership Board and Rotherham Education Strategic Partnership.
· Building links with other towns and cities running similar cultural initiatives in order to better understand the financial and operating model.
· Early discussions with prospective funders such as Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund about how the project supports their goals.
In a supplementary question Councillor Carter asked what were the costs to the Council for the progress made on the Children’s Capital of Culture
Councillor Allen did not have the information to hand, but would endeavour to provide this to Councillor Carter.
(17) Councillor Carter pointed out that the press had recently highlighted a dramatic fall down in the regional league table for achievement at junior school level and Rotherham was now the worst in the region. He asked how did the Cabinet Member explain the fall in achievement across the Borough?
Councillor Watson explained that when exam results were received they were invalidated. In most cases they would change very little between invalidated results and the validated results that were not published until February. However, in this particular case the Key Stage 2 results the validated results would be dramatically different. The reading and mathematics results and the combined result of reading, maths and writing would be 2% higher than the figures referred to and the writing results were 1.5% higher which dragged the results down to the same as last year's figures.
The plan was to increase year on year rather than standstill but for any given primary school there was only a small number of pupils in any given year that may be different better or worse than another.
The Educational Strategic Partnership was concentrating on reading and all language skills as this would give the best foundation for secondary education. However, when the validated figures were published in February they would not be the worst in the region.
The Council would like the results to be better and there was an across authority plan involving the Educational Partnership, Local Authority, the CEOs from the larger MATS and Head Teachers in primary and secondary.
In considering the results, however, the Key Stage 4 results were better than expected this year and once again the Key Stage 5 results were improved much above the national average and of great credit to those schools.
(18) Councillor Carter asked what business rate relief, incentives and other support did the Council give enterprising new businesses to open in or expand in areas such as Rotherham town centre and district centres like Brinsworth and Dinnington?
Councillor Alam explained business rates reliefs gave up to 100% relief dependant on qualifying criteria and retail discount which gave 33.3% relief.
These were available to all qualifying businesses and do not specifically target new businesses or businesses setting up in specific areas.
Additionally, the Localism Act allowed the Council to award up to 100% rate relief to any business in order to help attract firms, investment and jobs.
Any discretionary awards are made under the Council’s Discretionary Rate Relief Policy and were subject to Cabinet approval.
In a supplementary question Councillor Carter asked about discretionary rate relief up to 100% and if there were any plans to make this available to any enterprising businesses coming into our town centre.
Councillor Alam explained advice would be given to any new businesses and if they met the qualifying criteria then they would receive the discount.
(19) Councillor Carter asked did the administration support or oppose the proposed closure of the Dinnington campus of Rotherham College?
Councillor Watson confirmed the Council had not yet been formally consulted to date and, of course, it was disappointed.
The issue facing the Rotherham and North Notts College Group which incorporated Dearne Valley College, Rotherham College and North Notts College had to be acknowledged.
The College Group have previously stated that they were undertaking a review of estates to identify land and property that could be released to fund investment required for the future as budgets have reduced significantly due to the real-terms cuts, while at the same time student numbers have increased.
Ultimately the two big costs in education were staffing and buildings. In the first instance there would be a bus service that would take students to the other colleges.
In a supplementary question Councillor Carter asked if the Cabinet Member agreed with him that the Council should be lobbying that during the consultation processes there be an option whereby students for next September could apply to other further education colleges with the proviso that they could apply for the Dinnington campus as an option should the closure not be realised.
Councillor Watson believed this was already in the process and that students were being advised that during the consultation process there might be a place at Dinnington or at a different college. Realistically, it was suspected there would be a reduction in some of the provision at Dinnington.
(20) Councillor Carter asked after the successful trial of longer crematorium opening times for urgent burials in the summer, would this change be made permanent and would the Council lobby to remove the additional surcharge imposed for this service, that he understand did not exist in Sheffield?
Councillor Hoddinott confirmed a discussion had already been held within the Improving Places Select Commission into the evaluation of the pilot which was documented in the agenda pack at Page 187.
The pilot was largely successful and the findings would be given further consideration by the Internal Working Group at its next meeting in January, 2020 followed by a meeting with Dignity in February before any final decision was made on the future of the out of hours provision.
This pilot had been a real success and it was being recommended to be made permanent.
It was pointed out that the out of hours' fees had always been in place for Bank Holidays and weekends and had not changed. However, it had become more apparent as it applied from 5.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. The out of hours fee, however, would be looked at as part of benchmarking work with Dignity.
(21) This question was withdrawn having already been answered.
(22) Councillor Marriott asked what provision was available to insure that during periods of cold weather anyone in Rotherham who wants a bed could have one?
Councillor Beck explained that in exceptional cold weather the Council were working closely with the South Yorkshire Fire Service and in 2018 the fire service station in the Dearne was used to house the homeless. This was a good partnership and there were now facilities across the Borough for events of exceptional cold weather.
During other times of the year all people who the Council came into contact with or who have been referred in by other agencies were all offered the opportunity to go into temporary accommodation, or sometimes where temporary accommodation was full, into hotel accommodation.
The Rotherham Housing First scheme also had twenty-five dedicated self-contained units which were for people with really complex needs, such as mental health or substance misuse; there was wrap-around support with other agencies to help those people. This meant there was different provisions for different types of people at different times.
In a supplementary question Councillor Marriott herself had visited the fire station at Manvers and it was not suitable. She had been unable to gain access to put camp beds in until a meeting had finished so it would be nice for somewhere more suitable for the homeless to go.
Councillor Beck confirmed this was the first time the fire station had been used and feedback at the time was positive and people were just thankful for the opportunity to have somewhere to stay.
Regardless of cold weather all rough sleepers were offered the opportunity of temporary accommodation either within one of the Council’s fifty units or indeed within a hotel so the fire service provision was not the first offering.
As part of the wider approach there was more than one route for people to take. Rough sleepers often came with their own personal issues and not always wanted to go into a self-contained unit or a hotel. Occasionally they preferred to be around other people. This was why it was important to have as many different options available to people and the reason for the partnership.
(23) Councillor B. Cuttsasked were there to be “Christmas Carols” in the town centre as normal this year and if not, why not.
Councillor Allen confirmed carols were played from the Markets Building from week commencing 16th December, 2019.
Four live performances of Christmas carols were also organised and two performances of Christmas music by local brass bands took place.
The Council’s Events Team were now already developing plans for the Christmas programme for 2020 and as Cabinet Member, Councillor Allen, would ensure that Christmas Carols were taken into consideration.
(24) Councillor B. Cutts confirmed he was advised in the 2016 local plan that a ‘local list of heritage assets’ would be produced by 2018 and he asked if he could have a copy as of that date and any update since.
Councillor Allen explained that since the completion of the Sites and Policies Document in 2018, work had started on the production of a Listed Buildings at Risk Strategy and Register. This was the priority advised by Historic England, as these registers could help focus resources to save listed buildings at risk of loss. This work was scheduled to be completed by June, 2020, when the Council could then move on to other Heritage work including producing a local heritage list.
Locally listed buildings were of considerable local importance, whilst not being “statutorily listed” heritage assets. The Council’s Local Plan indicated that a list of locally listed buildings would be produced and maintained by the Council.
In a supplementary question Councillor B. Cutts confirmed this request for a copy had been made for some time so if there was a list he would appreciate a copy.
Councillor Allen again explained the list was not yet complete, but once it was a copy would be provided to Councillor B. Cutts.
(25) Councillor B. Cutts asked was the Council trying to blot out the Grade 2 Listed Wellgate Hall with:-
· Moving building line from back to front.
· Can see trees on painting.
· Can see letter 19.11.19 – no reply to date.
and did the Council not have a duty and responsibility to the town’s future?
Councillor Beck confirmed no the Council was not trying to blot out the Grade 2 Listed Wellgate Hall. Councillor Cutts had raised concerns in writing to the Council on 19th November, 2019 about the impact on the Old Hall, following the Planning Board and a response was sent to him on 21st November, 2019. However, if needed a further copy could be provided.
The application for the development of the Former Henley’s site went through the proper process and went to Planning Board on 31st October, 2019. At that meeting details were shared at the location of the Hall and how the development would be stepped back in order to not block out the Hall in any way.
In a supplementary comment Councillor Cutts thanked Councillor Beck for his answer and confirmed he had received the letter. He pointed out his concerns about the painted hoarding around the site and how the intended development would look. On these paintings trees were in the location where the Hall was, hence his question.
(26) This question was withdrawn.
(27) Councillor Napper asked did the Planning Department take into account Tree Preservation Orders before granting permission for construction of houses.
Councillor Lelliott confirmed they were protected through the planning process to ensure that the amenity that they provided was not lost due to the unregulated removal of them.
This did not mean that a protected tree could not be considered for removal as part of a planning application, if the benefits of the development would outweigh the loss of the tree(s), together with any mitigation to offset that loss if it was considered necessary.
In a supplementary question Councillor Napper referred to the authorised and unauthorised removal of trees from the woodland at the side of the Woodlaithes development. Again another six trees had recently been taken down. None of the trees had been left for wildlife, but removed. In total approximately fifty trees have been removed so he asked would the Cabinet Member look into this before more were taken down.
Councillor Lelliott explained that any trees that have Tree Preservation Orders require permission before any works, unless the tree was illegally removed. However, this would be followed up and investigated by the Planning Department.
(28) Councillor Napper asked what pressure could R.M.B.C. put on Thrybergh Academy to re-open the leisure centre gymnasium to the public.
Councillor Watson explained Councils have a very limited role and limited influence in relation to academies as they were independent of the Local Authority and operated in accordance with their funding agreements with the Secretary of State for Education.
The academy was also a school requiring “Special Measures" and the Regional Schools Commissioner had appointed the Wickersley Partnership Trust as Sponsor with a remit to focus on:-
· Raising school standards.
· Improve educational outcomes for pupils.
· Ensuring a balanced school budget via Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) notice.
The Academy advised that the closure of the gym facilities to the public was due to the increased costs of supervisory staffing, costs of maintaining and replacing equipment and consumables and also other on costs incurred by the Academy meaning that the gym was placing an ever increasing financial burden on the school budget. This was an untenable position when schools spending per pupil had dropped by 8% in real terms since 2010. The Academy could simply not afford to run the leisure centre whilst improving the educational standards in the school.
In a supplementary question Councillor Napper referred to the vast array of community groups using the facilities for football, cricket, rugby, basketball, badminton, archery, table tennis, climbing etc. and believed the sum in question was around £5k. Surely this could easily be achieved with a small charge to raise these funds. He believed it was wrong that the facility could not be used following the hard work in turning this wet area into a vegetable garden and then subsequently into a leisure centre.
Councillor Watson had been advised that all other lettings to community groups at the school in relation to the sports hall and sports facilities would remain unaffected. It was just the gym facilities. If that was not the case he would investigate further.
(29) Councillor Napper asked would R.M.B.C. double the amount of trees to be planted on R.M.B.C. land in the future to help fight climate change.
Councillor Allen confirmed the Council was hoping to take a more calculated approach and the Council would seek to actively plant trees as part of development, regeneration and transport projects. An example of this was the College Road Roundabout scheme currently on site which would see replacement tree planting as part of the highway improvements at a ratio of 6:1.
As a result of the Council’s recent motion on the Climate Change on 30th October, 2019 a Carbon Action Plan would be coming to Council in March, 2020 and this would outline the intended approach to trees and the affects on carbon emissions.
(30) Councillor Jarvis asked how would the social values contract starting in April effect Adult Social Care contracts and were there any tenders/contracts meeting the Social Value Policy.
Councillor Roche confirmed this good news story saw the Social Value Policy being introduced in December 2019. Cabinet also approved the new approach to Home Care and Support in December, with new arrangements starting from 1st April, 2020.
For the first time when awarding the Home Care contracts, the bidders have had to demonstrate how they could provide wider social value to Rotherham, as well as delivering good services. Frontline care workers in Rotherham were set to get a pay rise as a result. This was a major victory for Rotherham Council's new Social Value Policy - giving a boost to the local economy and nearly 800 low paid workers.
Following a comprehensive tendering process and negotiations, it had been confirmed that all 970 care workers would be paid the Living Wage Foundation hourly rate of £9.30 per hour or above. In addition, the contracts have guaranteed training, use of apprentices and the ending of the fifteen minute slots at no extra cost to the tender. A contract relating to providing accommodation of vulnerable children also guaranteed a wide range of social value benefits with the voluntary tender approved by the policy. Adult Social Care was fully committed to the Council’s to the Social Value Policy.