Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday 2 September 2015 2.00 pm

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

Contact: Paul Robinson, Democratic Services  Email:

No. Item


Apologies for Absence



Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 65 KB

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



Minutes Of Previous Council Meeting pdf icon PDF 310 KB

To receive the record of the proceedings of the meeting of the Council held on 1st July 2015 and to approve the accuracy thereof.



Public Questions and Petitions and Other Communications pdf icon PDF 76 KB

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



Members' Questions pdf icon PDF 75 KB

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


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


5.3       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 -




Representation, Delegated Authority and Related Issues pdf icon PDF 41 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.



Standards Committee - Annual Report 2014-15 pdf icon PDF 166 KB

To receive the annual report of the Standards Committee on the work it has undertaken during 2014/15.


The Chair of the Committee (Councillor Bryan Lodge) will briefly introduce the report.



Notice of Motion given by Councillor Ian Auckland

That this Council:-


(a)       notes the recent Sheffield Bus Partnership’s public consultation into proposed changes to bus services around Sheffield which ended on 31st July 2015;


(b)       believes that if Sheffield Bus Partnership’s proposed changes to bus services go ahead, thousands of people from all across the city face being cut off from the services they need the most, such as hospitals, doctors surgeries, shops and schools, and will leave many residents with, at best hourly, and at worst, no Sunday or evening services at all;


(c)        is concerned that many Sheffield residents who will be affected by the changes have been denied a say due to a number of reasons such as:-


(i)         the poor timing of the bus consultation during holiday season when many people who rely on buses will be away or off work;


(ii)        inadequate advertising of the consultation including limited and late publicity on many of the buses that serve routes facing cuts; and


(iii)       the short consultation period of 25 days (23 days if replying by post), when Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport (Councillor Terry Fox) had up to 40 days to give his response to the proposals;


(d)       notes the hypocrisy of a recent petition by the Leader of the Council (Councillor Julie Dore) and her fellow Labour councillors, petitioning the Sheffield Bus Partnership about the proposed changes, of which her own Administration is a member;


(e)       notes the Sheffield Liberal Democrats’ own bus survey which has received over 3500 replies so far, more than Sheffield Bus Partnership’s own consultation;


(f)        welcomes the response from SYPTE to the consultation, reconsidering many of the proposed changes, but believes that this does not go far enough;


(g)       calls for a delay in any changes to bus services until another longer, better advertised, consultation is carried out; and


(h)       calls for a "statutory quality contract" system of bus services to be applied in Sheffield.



Notice of Motion given by Councillor Mazher Iqbal

That this Council:-


(a)       is concerned that there are around 50,000 Sheffield residents who are reliant on exploitative payday and doorstep lenders;


(b)       welcomes the establishment of Sheffield Money and believes it will make a valuable contribution in helping people escape the lure of unscrupulous lenders in the City;


(c)        believes that Sheffield Money will:


(i)         play a key role in helping people to access affordable credit; and


(ii)        help to tackle the root causes of personal debt by referring people to independent money and debt advice;


(d)       is encouraged that more than 250 people contacted the service in its first week of business; and


(e)       is delighted that the Sheffield Money team have already been recognised by providers and customers as being knowledgeable and very professional.



Notice of Motion given by Councillor Jackie Drayton

That this Council:-


(a)       is disappointed that as part of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill the Government is planning to:-


(i)         scrap binding, measurable targets to reduce child poverty;


(ii)        stop setting targets that aim to reduce the proportion of households with a below average income;


(iii)       repeal the majority of the Child Poverty Act, including all the targets, the provision for the Child Poverty Commission (replacing it with a Social Mobility Commission), and the duty to publish UK and local child poverty strategies; and


(iv)       remove the word ‘poverty’ from the relevant legislation, renaming the Child Poverty Act 2010 the Life Chances Act 2010;


(b)       believes the Government should amend the proposals set out in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill as follows:-


(i)         include targets against all measures so that government can be held to account for progress and we are all clear about the amount of change that is needed and by when it is needed;


(ii)        retain the four income related measures (and the additional severe poverty measure set out in the national child poverty strategy) in addition to any new measures;


(iii)       ensure that families who are working and in poverty are included in the measures used;


(iv)       retain the legal duties for local authorities and named partners to cooperate to reduce and mitigate child poverty;


(v)        retain the word ‘poverty’ in the name of the Act; and


(vi)       ensure that there is sufficient time to debate and propose amendments to the elements of the Bill relating to changes to the Child Poverty Act as well as the other changes contained within the Bill;


(c)        notes the recent report by the New Policy Institute whose analysis estimates that a further 300,000 children are living in poverty since the Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition Government implemented a raft of welfare cuts in April 2013;


(d)       notes the findings of research carried out by Sheffield Hallam University last year which found that households with children in Sheffield will have lost on average £1,690 per year as a result of the Coalition Government’s welfare cuts;


(e)       is concerned that more children will be pushed into poverty over this Parliament as a result of the further cuts to working-age benefits announced in the Chancellor’s Budget;


(f)        agrees with the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Resolution Foundation that cuts to tax credits will lead to increases in child poverty;


(g)       agrees with the Child Poverty Action Group that “No serious plan for the low-paid begins with making them poorer by cutting their tax credits”;


(h)       notes the recent report by the Resolution Foundation that showed that two-thirds of those affected by the cuts to tax credits are in work;


(i)         believes that tax credits:-


(i)         improve the work incentive, and that the dismantling of the tax credit system will damage work incentives; and


(ii)        have played a key role in reducing child poverty;


(j)         praises the impressive record of the  ...  view the full agenda text for item 10.



Notice of Motion given by Councillor Steve Ayris

That this Council:-


(a)       notes the new Government’s proposal to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants;


(b)       notes the shortage of affordable rented homes in Sheffield with around 20,000 people on this Council’s housing waiting list and is concerned that the current government plans risk making matters far worse;


(c)        notes that a recent opinion poll showed that just 16% of the public believed that extending Right to Buy to housing association tenants would be the most useful way of tackling the affordability crisis; the public’s top choice was to help housing associations or councils to build more affordable homes, selected by 46% of the public;


(d)       is concerned that by allowing housing association tenants to purchase their homes at a large discount, the Right to Buy policy will lead to longer waiting lists for homes and fewer social houses, and do nothing to tackle our city’s affordable housing needs;


(e)       believes these measures will force housing associations to simply be catching up with replacing homes rather than building affordable housing to give more people homes they need and only benefit the lucky few;


(f)        notes that even the Conservative Mayor of London has said he did not want to see councils “deprived at a rapid rate of their housing stock” if more homes were not being built to replace them;


(g)       recognizes the desire by many to own their own homes and suggests that proposals put forward by the Liberal Democrats, such as a “Rent to Own” model and Shared Ownership housing, would represent a better way of reaching this goal;


(h)       also notes that there are existing routes for housing association tenants to own their own properties – some housing association tenants already have the Right to Acquire; and


(i)         proposes that:


(i)         this Council works with other neighbouring authorities and housing associations to oppose the current Government proposals; and


(ii)        a copy of this motion is sent to our local MPs asking them to support the Council’s position; to speak up in Parliament for more social housing and not less and to push for a genuine “one for one” replacement but not at the cost of losing more council housing.



Notice of Motion given by Councillor Nikki Bond

That this Council:-


(a)       believes that homophobic bullying is unacceptable and must be stamped out;


(b)       is proud to have received national recognition for the fifth year in a row for its work in schools to provide lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students with mental health and social support, having been ranked in the top 10 local authorities in Stonewall’s Education Equality Index 2015; and


(c)       thanks all those involved, including officers, schools, young people, the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service and Fruitbowl – Sheffield’s LGBT youth group, who have worked hard for us to receive this recognition.



Notice of Motion given by Councillor Leigh Bramall

That this Council:-


(a)       notes the success of recent summer events, including:


(i)         Doc Fest;


(ii)        Sheffield Design Week;


(iii)       Sheffield Sky Ride;


(iv)       Tramlines Music Festival;


(v)        Sheffield by the Seaside;


(b)       thanks all staff and volunteers who worked incredibly hard to make the events possible;


(c)        encourages local people to attend upcoming events, including:


(i)         Art in the Gardens, 5th - 6th September;


(ii)        Great Yorkshire Run, 27th September;


(iii)       Last Laugh Sheffield Comedy Festival, 1st – 31st October;


(d)       welcomes the increased city centre footfall that such events provide, and the positive impacts for the local economy; and


(e)       notes that many events in the city are funded by local businesses and thanks local businesses for their contributions.



Notice of Motion given by Councillor John Booker

That this Council:-


(a)       believes that the problems with the Strong Leader and Cabinet/Executive system are:-


(i)         the fact that the 'Cabinet' (or 'Executive') can be composed exclusively of members from one political party;


(ii)        the fact that the leader has such a monopoly of power;


(iii)       the fact that members of the Cabinet/Executive are chosen by the Leader;


(iv)       the fact that the Cabinet/Executive is often not geographically representative;


(v)        the lack of genuine debate at Cabinet/Executive meetings, with most decisions being taken in advance;


(vi)       the under-utilisation and marginalisation of backbench Councillors;


(vii)      the lack of opportunities for backbench Councillors to build up expertise;


(viii)     the fact that residents do not have equality of representation - those residents with a Councillor who is a Cabinet (or Executive) Member have a Councillor with more influence than those residents with non-Cabinet (or Executive) Councillors, although this can cut both ways if a Cabinet/Executive Councillor uses their position on the Cabinet/Executive to excuse them from engaging in local issues;


(ix)       backbench Councillors have little incentive to engage actively with their residents as they have little, or no, influence in the decision-making process; and


(x)        the 'strong leader' model personalises local politics in an unhealthy way;


(b)       believes that the problems with Councillors are:-


(i)         that Councillors are not sufficiently representative of the community as a whole;


(ii)        that too many Councillors fail to actively engage with the residents in their wards;


(iii)       that too many Councillors fail to seek out and represent the concerns of their residents;


(iv)       that too many Councillors fail to alert their residents in advance to forthcoming issues of potential importance; and


(v)        that too few Councillors have the courage of their convictions to speak out when their party is taking a position which they personally are uncomfortable with;


(c)        believes that the problems with party politics at the local level are:-


(i)         that too many decisions are taken along party political lines, when party politics is actually irrelevant to the issue at hand;


(ii)        that there are too many angry exchanges of abuse between members of the political parties, which undermine rational debate;


(iii)       that it is difficult for residents to stand as independent Councillors, because they have no support structure; and


(iv)       that party politics at the local level leads to polarised debates and a lack of consensus-building;


(d)       believes that the problems which residents face in trying to influence the decisions which affect them are:-


(i)         that residents are often not aware of decisions which will affect them or their community until the decision has already been made, and this gives residents the impression that everything is a 'fait accompli';


(ii)        that where consultation does take place, it is often too late in the decision-making process to make any real difference;


(iii)       that consultation exercises often appear weighted in favour of the Council's preferred option; and


(iv)       that  ...  view the full agenda text for item 14.



Notice of Motion given by Councillor Vickie Priestley

That this Council:-


(a)       recalls previous resolutions this Council has passed denouncing the Government’s planned cuts to the welfare system;


(b)       is disappointed that 4 of Sheffield’s 5 Labour MPs chose to abstain on the second reading of the Government’s Welfare Reform and Work Bill, including former deputy leader of the Council, Harry Harpham MP;


(c)        notes that the eight Liberal Democrat MPs, including Sheffield Hallam MP, the Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg, voted against the Bill;


(d)       recognises that these cuts will have devastating effects on many of our city’s residents, as latest estimates suggest that:


(i)         22,000 Sheffield residents and their families will lose an average of £260 per year;


(ii)        3,500 of which are hardworking people whose families will have to make up an average £280 shortfall per year in lost tax credits; and


(iii)       around 4,200 residents in the Employment and Support Allowance work related activity group, considered only temporarily too ill to work, will lose a further £30 per week as their allowance is brought down to the level of Jobseekers Allowance;


(e)       recalls previous resolutions this Council has passed remarking that the impact of the previous Coalition Government’s cuts to welfare in Sheffield were ‘hitting hardest the poorest in the City’;


(f)        regrets that after 5 years of attacking the Liberal Democrats in the coalition government on welfare cuts, Labour MPs have, through silence, nodded through much deeper and unnecessary ideological cuts to the welfare budget which will hit the working poor hardest;


(g)       recognises the Liberal Democrats’ role in the previous Government as a moderating force, blocking many of the harshest measures put forward by the Conservatives; and


(h)       proposes that a copy of this resolution be sent to the four Sheffield MPs that abstained on the Welfare Bill.



Notice of Motion given by Councillor Julie Dore

That this Council:-


(a)       condemns the Government’s decision to shelve indefinitely the electrification of the Midland Mainline between Sheffield and London;


(b)       is dismayed that just seven weeks after the General Election the Government reneged on its election pledge to electrify key rail lines in the North, and views the decision as evidence that the North is not considered a priority by the Government;


(c)        questions the Government’s claim that they had no knowledge of this before the election;


(d)       calls on the Government to reaffirm its commitment to electrification and to provide a definitive timetable as to when Yorkshire can expect to have the rail upgrades that it needs and was promised before the General Election;


(e)       notes a report by engineering consultants Arup which estimated that electrification would reap economic benefits totalling £95m for Sheffield City Region over a 60 year period, in addition to significant environmental benefits; and


(f)        believes that the pausing of infrastructure projects, such as the electrification of the Midland Mainline:


(i)         makes a mockery of the Government's commitment to the “Northern Powerhouse”; and


(ii)        has a detrimental impact on businesses and commuters in Sheffield and across the north of England.



Notice of Motion given by Councillor Penny Baker

That this Council:-


(a)       congratulates Jessica Ennis-Hill, CBE, on becoming the 2015 world champion in the heptathlon at the World Athletics Championships; and


(b)       further congratulates Joe Root for his part in regaining The Ashes and becoming the world No 1 ranked Test batsman.



Notice of Motion given by Councillor John Booker

That this Council:-


(a)       recalls that the Labour Representation Council, formed in 1900, allowed political funds to be raised from members of the unions;


(b)       also recalls that the Trade Union Act 1913 gave Trade Unions the right to divide its subscriptions into a Social Fund and a Political Fund;


(c)        notes that the 38 affiliated Trade Unions to the Labour Party collect the political fund automatically; that all members opted in unless they "opt out", and that members do not receive any discount of their subscription fees if they "opt out", with no explanation why;


(d)       believes that nearly five million union members are unwittingly paying large amounts of money directly to the Labour Party, and further believes that this policy is undemocratic and morally bankrupt;


(e)       strongly asserts that every union member should have the choice to pay money to whichever political party they choose, or not to pay anything at all, and that these conditions should be clearly defined, so everyone understands them;


(f)        places on record that, in an attempt to balance this injustice, Trade Unions ballot their members every ten years to continue the political fund, but believes that awareness is low amongst union members and their published material, in effect, steers their members into voting yes to keep the political fund going, and that Section 72 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 is quoted, but Section 82, which relates to "opting out", is not;


(g)       believes that this issue has had a long and troubled history, and has got to change, noting that even Winston Churchill discussed this matter a hundred years ago; and


(h)       further confirms strong support to the Trade Union Movement, but believes that democracy, transparency and fairness must be the cornerstones of these organisations when it comes to the Political Levy.