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).
(1) Councillor Reeder referred to the Advertiser of the 27th May, 2020 - Fire in East Herringthorpe - in the article that covered the fire in East Herringthorpe it stated that the pump in attendance came from Stocksbridge, so asked could the spokesperson please confirm where Rotherham’s own pump was at this time and, therefore, why it was necessary to bring a pump from Stocksbridge?
Councillor Taylor confirmed the incident in question (2044006033), involved a grassland fire at Hatfield Moor. With any large fire incident this often involved lots of appliances and they were strategically moved to ensure overall coverage.
At the time of the vehicle fire at Wickersley Road, Herringthorpe, on the 26th May, 2020, one of the Rotherham appliances was assisting at Hatfield Moor and this resulted in the Stocksbridge appliance being placed on standby at, and mobilised from, Rotherham Fire Station to attend the incident at Herringthorpe.
In a supplementary question Councillor Reeder sought an assurance that there would be no more cuts to fire services due to the support to the Police and NHS during this difficult time. It takes time to train people and have people ready to deal with a fire, especially if one occurs in Rotherham on an evening. What would have happened if there had been a local house fire with people trapped and how long would it have taken for the pump to arrive from Stocksbridge? This was why people were calling for the second pump at night to be reinstated in Rotherham. Funding was available and would Councillor Taylor continue to lobby as his party pledged to restore the second pump in Rotherham.
Councillor Taylor explained it was not unusual for a fire pump to be sent from the other end of South Yorkshire and to stand at another station. There was no delay in this instance. The second pump at night had now not been in place for two years and it was unfortunate this had been the case for Rotherham.
Interestingly the new Fire Minister had spoken in Parliament about pressures on the service both historically and currently with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Mayor advised the meeting that, in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11(11)(c), the Designated Spokespersons for the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority would respond in writing to Councillor Carter in respect of the following questions, which would be appended to the minutes of the meeting presented for approval on 22 July 2020:
· How has the coronavirus pandemic affected the South Yorkshire Pension Fund, particularly given its investments in the fossil fuel industry?
· How many fixed penalty notices have South Yorkshire Police issued since the Coronavirus Act was enacted, broken down by council ward?
· Where does South Yorkshire Police rank in terms of the issuing of fixed penalty notices and warnings issued under the Coronavirus Act, compared to other police constabularies in England?
· How many reports of Coronavirus lockdown breaches have been made using the online reporting form in Rotherham, what actions have been taken as a result of these, and how many convictions and fixed penalty notices has this resulted in?
· What has been the impact on South Yorkshire’s Fire and Rescue Service during the coronavirus lockdown period, in terms of fires and callouts in comparison to previous years?
· What is the combined authority’s forecast on the economic impact from the coronavirus public health measures and can you please outline the combined authority’s economic recovery plan?