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Agenda

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Pinstone Street, Sheffield, S1 2HH

Contact: Paul Robinson, Democratic Services  Email: paul.robinson@sheffield.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

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2.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Members to declare any interests they have in the business to be considered at the meeting.

 

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3.

Public Questions and Petitions and Other Communications

To receive any questions or petitions from the public, or communications submitted by the Lord Mayor or the Interim Chief Executive and to pass such resolutions thereon as the Council Procedure Rules permit and as may be deemed expedient.

 

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4.

Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 834 KB

4.1       Questions relating to urgent business – Council Procedure Rule 16.6(ii).

 

4.2       Supplementary questions on written questions submitted at this meeting – Council Procedure Rule 16.4.

 

4.3       Questions on the discharge of the functions of the South Yorkshire Joint Authorities for Fire and Rescue and Pensions – Section 41 of the Local Government Act 1985 – Council Procedure Rule 16.6(i).

 

            (NB. Minutes of recent meetings of the two South Yorkshire Joint Authorities have been made available to all Members of the Council via the following link -

            http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/ecCatDisplay.aspx?sch=doc&cat=13165&path=0)

 

 

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5.

Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Business Plan and HRA Budget 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Report of the Executive Director, Place.

 

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6.

Proposal for Alternative Governance Arrangements for Sheffield City Council pdf icon PDF 536 KB

Report of the Executive Director, Resources.

 

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7.

Notice Of Motion Regarding "Business Rates and Financial Support to Businesses" - Given By Councillor Mazher Iqbal And To Be Seconded By Councillor Ben Miskell

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes the Council’s commitment to the city’s businesses and that Sheffield has over 19,000 businesses, but believes support is needed to help organisations who are struggling, and further notes that the Council supports over 9,300 businesses through some form of business rates relief, which reduces the amount of rates they have to pay;

 

(b)       believes that the country’s high streets, neighbourhood retailers and community centres have been badly damaged over the last decade, and that a big part of this decline has been caused by unfair rates and a system of taxation which appears to support online business giants whilst punishing conventional retailers;

 

(c)        agrees with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) that the business rates system is long overdue radical reform and at present it is ‘entrenching regional unfairness’;

 

(d)       notes the Council has no powers on what businesses are billed, and that the Government’s Valuation Office Agency (VOA) sets the value of a property and the annual bill is set based on that value;

 

(e)       believes that the VOA  is woefully underfunded by the Government, meaning, despite their best efforts, valuations are taking 12 – 18 months, a long and often damaging delay for businesses;

 

(f)        believes everything possible must be done to support the city’s smaller businesses, and notes this Council’s Small Business Rate Relief provides support to businesses with a Rateable Value up to £16,000 – this is the largest relief granted and 7,200 businesses receive it, and of these, 6,700 receive the full amount, meaning they have no rates to pay;

 

(g)       notes that the Small Business Rate Relief is calculated to be worth over £17m to Sheffield businesses;

 

(h)       notes that in addition to this support, over £26m per year is awarded through other forms of rate relief, and that this Council is committed to using Business Rates Relief wherever it can to support a varied range of businesses and organisations, including small manufacturing companies, pubs, restaurants, universities, health centres, hospitals, theatres and charities;

 

(i)         notes that whilst the Council cannot change the bill set by the Government, the Council has used what powers it does have available to provide fairer ways of repaying the bill and has agreed different schedules of payments for businesses who are struggling;

 

(j)         notes with alarm that the Government is considering reducing the revenue grants received by local authorities and instead replacing it with 100% retention of business rates, and contends that such a move would be self-defeating as Sheffield, like other local authorities, could never raise enough business rates to offset the loss of grants and, therefore, this policy should be opposed in the strongest possible terms;

 

(k)        believes that Government policy over the last decade has badly let down not only our high streets and neighbourhood retailers, but our key industries and business sectors, with an industrial strategy that is not fit for purpose, and which cherry-picks support for some industries over others – for instance, the Government had no  ...  view the full agenda text for item 7.

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8.

Notice Of Motion Regarding "Sheffield Parks and Open Spaces" - Given By Councillor Mary Lea And To Be Seconded By Councillor Andy Bainbridge

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes the public responses during the Big City Conversation which showed that a majority of Sheffielders believe one of the best things about the city is its parks and open spaces;

 

(b)       believes the city’s parks should be accessible to everyone and for people of all ages, and this Council remains committed to ensuring this;

 

(c)        believes that Sheffield truly is the Outdoor City, which helps make it such a fantastic place to live, work or study;

 

(d)       believes that despite a decade of austerity and government funding cuts, the city’s parks have continued to go from strength to strength under the current Administration, including:-

 

(i)         creation of the Sheffield Trees and Woodland Strategy; a 15 year programme for Sheffield’s non highway trees which will see a huge 100,000 trees planted over this time, and notes that this target is well on course to being delivered, with over 13,000 trees planted since the strategy launched in December 2018;

 

(ii)        refurbishment of twenty parks in some of Sheffield’s most deprived areas, using contributions from the city’s Public Health budget;

 

(iii)       launch of the Better Parks initiative to develop better facilities and increase income in Sheffield parks and green spaces;

 

(iv)       creation of a new War Memorial in Sheffield parks, with a commitment to plant 300 new protected trees, 200 of which have now been planted and recognised with a dedication plaque;

 

(v)        securing Fields in Trust status for many parks across the city, to ensure the parks’ continued protection for years to come, at sites including Woodhouse Mill Recreation Ground (2014), Weston Park (2016), Ochre Dyke (2017), Stocksbridge Clock Tower (2019), Tinsley Green (2019) & Hollinsend Park (2019);

 

(vi)       securing £3.2m of Lottery Heritage Funding to improve Sheffield’s General Cemetery; and

 

(vii)      working to secure additional funding for sporting and play equipment across the city’s parks, including ten Non-Turf Cricket Wickets, in conjunction with the English Cricket Board, and ten Tennis Courts uplifted and refurbished in conjunction with the Lawn Tennis Association;

 

(e)       believes that Sheffield is not only a uniquely green city, the greenest in Europe, but is also a considerably rural one in parts and it is, therefore, important that this Council’s Cabinet is developing a Rural Strategy to ensure that our rural spaces are supported so they can continue to flourish; and

 

(f)        believes that it is heartening to know that Sheffielders are so fond of their parks and open spaces, and believes this Council must continue to work closely with local communities to ensure their parks and open spaces continue to be such a positive.

 

 

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9.

Notice Of Motion Regarding "People and Power" - Given By Councillor Joe Otten And To Be Seconded By Councillor Barbara Masters

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes the receipt of the It's Our City petition, triggering a referendum on the governance of the city;

 

(b)       notes that the referendum will be legally binding on the City Council, short of another referendum, as regards to the choice of executive arrangements or the committee system, but not on the specific implementation of either system (Part 1A of the Local Government Act 2000, Chapter 1, as amended by the Localism Act 2011, Schedule 2, Part 1, Clause 9M);

 

(c)        notes that under a committee system, committees of the council are legally required to be politically proportional to the composition of the council, with the exception of area committees (The Local Government (Committees and Political Groups) Regulations 1990 - Regulation 19);

 

(d)       believes that this unusual development reflects justified dissatisfaction with the decision making processes of the City Council, in particular, concerns over decisions relating to the issue of highway trees, such as the operation on Rustlings Road and the committal proceedings against citizens of Sheffield, including an elected Member;

 

(e)       believes that decision making should be open, accountable, democratic and transparent, that it should make good use of the contributions of elected members, and that it should be timely and efficient;

 

(f)        believes that a change of governance to a committee system represents a good opportunity to improve decision making at the Council;

 

(g)       believes that more timely engagement with popular calls for improved governance would have avoided the need for a costly referendum, and avoided binding the city to the result of the referendum, for better or worse;

 

(h)       believes that the devolution of powers and budgets relating to local matters to committees of local Members would result in better decisions and the more effective use of public money;

 

(i)         deplores the decision by the Administration to abolish Community Assemblies and replace them with a much weaker neighbourhood structure;

 

(j)         regrets the decision by the Administration to abandon the principle of proportionality in chairs of scrutiny committees, previously adopted in the Council;

 

(k)        regrets that the 'Big City Conversation' consultation exercise has largely avoided the governance issues, has run down the clock, and prevented any consultation on the options that will be put to the referendum; and

 

(l)         calls on all elected Members of the Council to engage positively and earnestly with citizens expressing concerns regarding decision making structures and culture at the Council, and to adopt a positive and collaborative working relationship where common ground might be found, to advance the interests of the city and its people, while each respecting our various political traditions and values.

 

 

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10.

Notice Of Motion Regarding "The Planet Is On Fire" - Given By Councillor Douglas Johnson And To Be Seconded By Councillor Ruth Mersereau

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes that it is 12 months since this Council declared a climate emergency;

 

(b)       notes the Tyndall Centre’s advice to “Initiate an immediate programme of CO2 mitigation to deliver cuts in emissions averaging 14% per year”;

 

(c)        is disappointed to have seen no evidence showing this yearly reduction has been achieved in the last 12 months;

 

(d)       believes that this Council needs a cross-party Climate Emergency Committee to lead on implementing the changes Sheffield needs to make to be resilient for the future; and

 

(e)       asks that the Council sets up a properly resourced team of sustainability officers as a priority at the earliest opportunity.

 

 

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11.

Minutes Of Previous Council Meeting pdf icon PDF 240 KB

To receive the record of the proceedings of the meeting of the Council held on 8th January 2020 and to approve the accuracy thereof.

 

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12.

Representation, Delegated Authority and Related Issues pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To consider any changes to the memberships and arrangements for meetings of Committees etc., delegated authority, and the appointment of representatives to serve on other bodies.

 

 

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Amendments 5 February 2020 pdf icon PDF 271 KB

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